This article is reasonable and its logic is sound; the problem is that it is based on a major assumption that is false. The author believes that the effective rulers of the Democratic Party are willing to go against their corporate base, if the alternative means losing office. From the standpoint of the (D) establishment, it is not a “mistake” to advocate policies that turn away voters but are crucial to the 1% of our society. The functional attitude of the Democratic Party is “you have no choice, because if it isn’t us, then it’s them”–them, of course, being the increasingly unhinged GOP. The entire purpose of the two-party system is to give us, the 99%, no effective choice. Both parties have actively pruned their state laws to make effective campaigning far more difficult for third parties and independents (other than the occasional super-wealthy self-server who fancies a Presidential ring on the finger) to challenge the (D) and (R) duopoly. The last thing the Democrats want is democracy, something that last time it broke out in this country was called Occupy–and which met with prompt action during the administration of the photogenic neoliberal (D) in the White House to suppress that movement and disperse its camps.
Pelosi, cited in Mr. Atcheson’s article, is a fine example of business-as-usual-forever. Insulated from reality beyond her own gated lifestyle and the hallucinatory environment of Congressional chambers, she has neither clue nor concern to inform her about the real lives of those who exist for her only as statistics to be harvested at election times. Like Senator Feinstein and the rest of the dinosaurs plying their trade in the DC swamp, she is immediately and utterly dismissive of challenges by any earnest newcomers to the Congressional abattoir, where progressive politics go to die. She understands the central rule of government, which is The Golden Rule: those with the gold, rule. She has, as with the rest of her kind, greatly prospered from reliably rendering our lives into 1% practices and profits; at last report, she has garnered more than $100 million to her name.
Given this removal from reality and the accompanying determination to pursue “realism” in the form of more-of-the-same, the prospect of losing another election–while disagreeable–is entirely within the purview of the Democratic establishment. They know it doesn’t mean the end of the world, the only world that exists for them, which is to say the world of promotions, perks, and profits received via service to corporate interests. It is instructive to recall how they did not hesitate to passively and actively undermine George McGovern, a progressive candidate who obtained the nomination for president on the Democratic ticket. Hard to find on today’s internet but well recalled by those of us who lived through that time and volunteered in the McGovern campaign, was the nearly hermetically sealed absence of organized labor and distancing by powerful figures like Chicago’s mayor Richard Daley from the Democratic electoral effort.
Worse than losing elections is losing support of their 1% base–the base that provides endless benefits both during and after tenure in government. After all, elections come and go, but the gravy train abides; if you want to understand why the ruling actors in the (D) wing of the 1% electoral circus are so clear that challenging Wall Street is a no-go deviation from the “center” (a favorite code word for corporate policies and practices), just follow the money.