. . . And Where Are the Democrats?

Revolution #021, November 6, 2005, posted at revcom.us

"If you fall into the orientation of trying to make the Democrats be what they are not, and never will be, you will end up becoming more like what the Democrats actually are."

Bob Avakian

In the face of major political conflict and debate last week, where were the Democrats?

Hundreds of cities witnessed demonstrations and vigils against the war in Iraq, but...where was the Democratic leadership? And where were they on September 24, when over 100,000 demonstrated against the war in Washington, D.C.?

Theocratic fascists managed to derail a Supreme Court nomination on the grounds that Harriet Miers was not openly and strongly enough reactionary. As for criticism of theocracy overall, that was left to moderate Republican politicians. Where were the Democrats?

Torture remained a huge question, but no Democrat has dared to touch this since Durban, the Democratic senator from Illinois, was forced to tearfully recant his criticism.

Now Libby has been indicted, but where are the Democratic Party leaders calling for further investigation and questioning the legitimacy of the entire regime? Where, for that matter, are the motions for impeachment?

The answer to these questions is two-fold. One: on some major questions of policy--the war, say, or domestic repression--the Democrats have no essential disagreement. On others--abortion, for example--they may, at times, pay lip service. But they will not fight, and always move to tone things down. This is because in today’s situation they have no real answers to the contradictions confronting imperialism beyond "Republican lite," and they are in fact an imperialist party that shares the fundamental aims and assumptions of the Republicans--openly committed to preserving the capitalist system and pursuing its interests around the world.

Two: more overall, the Democrats play the role of appealing to the oppressed, the alienated, and the disaffected, and giving people just enough hope to stay confined in the framework of the electoral process and bourgeois politics. And as Bob Avakian has observed,

"The thing about [the Democrats] is that they are very afraid of calling into the streets this base of people that they appeal to to vote for them. The last thing in the world they want to do is to call these masses of people into the streets to protest or to battle against this right-wing force that’s being built up."

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