The Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements

Arun Gupta and Steve Horn write: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker did not win the June 5 recall vote because a parade of Daddy Warbucks stuffed his suit full of six-figure checks. The Democratic challenger Tom Barrett did not lose because he raised a scant $4 million to Walker’s $30 million war chest.

Walker won because he had a vision, however brutish, and he forged a rich-poor alliance that supports it. Barrett lost because he stood for nothing, because the Democrat Party shuns organized labor, because labor retreats from street politics even when they have the upper hand and because progressives confuse elections with movements.

In short, Walker’s cakewalk is a microcosm of why American politics tilts further and further right year after year, and why the Democrats, progressives and unions have an endless capacity for self-inflicted wounds. As much as liberals whine “big money thwarts people power” and the Obama campaign dismisses the loss as due to local conditions, the election portends deep trouble for a president and party facing an energized right in November’s election.

The recall is also a study in the paths not taken for the Wisconsin Uprising and why the Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements. There was an expression among activists in Wisconsin that went, “One year longer, one year stronger” a year after the beginning of the “Uprising.” But the reality is that, one year longer, the left as an organizing force is, in actuality, “one year weaker.” [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “The Democratic Party is the graveyard of social movements

  1. Christopher Hoare

    The problem with the failure in Wisconsin is not only the inability of the Democrats to support their constituency, it is a systemic failure of liberalism in the confrontation with militant libertarianism. The lack of leadership in feather-bedded and comfortable centerist unions show that the liberal ethos is extinct. Only a united and militant socialism can combat the power of lobbyists, corporations and the 1%, and it cannot succeed if it relies upon the ballot box.

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