Bill Moyers chats up Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner on why the Democrats can’t win.
First up is Bill himself:
Truth is, our capitol’s being looted, republicans are acting like the town rowdies, the sheriff is firing blanks, and powerful Democrats in Congress are in cahoots with the gang that’s pulling the heist. This is not capitalism at work. It’s capital. Raw money, mounds of it, buying politicians and policy as if they were futures on the hog market.
Pretty prose but I’m just not sure about the distinction being made between capitalism and capital at work?
Now for Kuttner on the Dem’s health care bill:
… the deal going in was that the administration, drug companies, insurance companies are on the same team. Now, that’s one way to get legislation, it’s not a way to transform the health system. Once the White House made this deal with the insurance companies, the public option was never going to be anything more than a fig leaf. And over the summer and the fall, it got whittled down, whittled down, whittled down to almost nothing and now it’s really nothing.
Isn’t that capitalism at work?
Here’s Matt Taibbi:
I think, you know, a lot of what the Democrats are doing, they don’t make sense if you look at it from an objective point of view, but if you look at it as a business strategy- if you look at the Democratic Party as a business, and their job is basically to raise campaign funds and to stay in power, what they do makes a lot of sense.
What? Taibbi’s a good investigative reporter but what gives him the creds to be a “political reporter” is beyond me. Democratic policy makes no sense from an “objective point of view” but it’s good business strategy? That’s not deeply explanatory. The Dem’s policy makes good objective business sense. That’s what Western political “democracy” has come to whether you are its object or subject and whatever that means.
Now back to Kuttner. Moyers asks him if he’d vote for the bill and he says:
Well, it’s so far from what I think is necessary that I don’t think it’s a good bill. But I think if it goes down, just because of the optics of the situation and the way the Republicans have framed this as a make or break moment for President Obama, it will make it easier for the Republicans to take control of Congress in 2010. It will make Obama even more gun-shy about promoting reform. It will create even more political paralysis. It will embolden the republicans to block what this President is trying to do, some of which is good, at every turn. So I would hold my nose and vote for it.
Isn’t this a deeply cynical and anti-democratic view of politics that plays right into the hands of regressives, as usual? Isn’t that what’s wrong with the Dems? It seems a deliberate choice on their part and it is an ideological one. I don’t know why anyone would make the choice to vote for this bill after saying the Dems made deals with the devils of big pharma and health insurance companies from the get-go. The acceptance of the system as-is here is depressing and familiar.
As is the rest of the conversation.
I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus for the last six months. Did the state of political analysis suffer some kind of influenza while I was gone?