On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, a group of prominent Democrats and Republicans held a forum at the University of Oklahoma to press the demand for “unity” and bipartisanship.
- David Boren (now president of the university)
- Sam Nunn
- Bob Graham of Florida,
- Charles Robb of Virginia and
- Gary Hart of Colorado.
- Bill Brock of Tennessee,
- William Cohen of Maine and
- John Danforth of Missouri, and retiring
- Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
Most of the Democrats have been associated with the Democratic Leadership Council, the right-wing lobby within the Democratic Party that was founded in 1985 to adapt the party’s policies to the “free market” and pro-corporate nostrums of the Reagan administration and definitively repudiate any connection to the social reform policies dating back to Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.
The star of the Oklahoma event was New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Democrat-turned-Republican who left the Republican Party last spring and declared himself an independent. Bloomberg, whose personal fortune is estimated at $11 billion, has been toying with the idea of running as an independent candidate for president.
The conference issued a statement calling on the Democratic and Republican candidates to embrace bipartisanship and pledge to establish a “government of national unity” with cabinet members from both parties. Many participants held up the threat of running an independent ticket, headed up by Bloomberg, should the two parties fail to heed their advice.
It would be used, , as a political lever to shift the direction of the campaigns of the two major parties and ultimately tip the balance in favor of one or the other party.
The Democratic 110th Congress is a testament to the fundamental unity of the two parties on all issues—
- the further enrichment of the financial aristocracy,
- the assault on democratic rights
The concentration of wealth has reached unprecedented levels, with the top 1 percent of families owning 40 percent of the nation’s net worth. And the economic disparities continue to grow.
A call for the unity of the corporate elite against the working class. The billionaire Bloomberg is possessed of the wealth required to launch a 50-state independent campaign, at a cost estimated at $500 million to $1 billion, Bloomberg’s message to both parties is: Don’t stray too far from the consensus positions of the financial oligarchy, or I can single-handedly upset all your electoral calculations.
Neither Obama or Clinton has any answer to the social crisis affecting ever wider layers of the population, and both defend the use of military force to secure the global interests of the US corporate-financial elite. The Democratic Party is an instrument of the financial elite that monopolizes the wealth and dominates the political life of the country.
Leading lights of the Republican right have joined in the praise for Obama. The editorialists of the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times’ Republican columnist David Brooks and such conservative media pundits as Peggy Noonan, William Bennett and Rush Limbaugh have all had good things to say about him.
The promotion of Obama is motivated in part by calculations that he will be easier to defeat in the general election than Clinton.
There is a common thread in the efforts of the media to promote Obama’s call for bipartisanship and the intervention of Boren, Bloomberg and company.
In the 2008 elections, the politically explosive question of an unpopular war has been joined by a deepening economic crisis that is fueling growing anxiety over jobs, prices and living standards. With
- unemployment sharply rising,
- food and gasoline prices soaring and
- home foreclosures at a record high and expected to hit another 2 million households over the next year,
the American oligarchy is seeking to lay down the law—to delegitimize any critique of the establishment political consensus behind militarism and imperialism, and proscribe any challenge to the ever-greater concentration of wealth at the very top of American society.
It is an effort to discipline the political squabbling within the US ruling elite in order to face a far greater danger: an eruption of social conflict produced by the increasingly desperate conditions facing the vast majority of the American people.