Politics Ralph Nader

The Midterms Are Proof the Dems Need to Fire Their Corporate-Conflicted Political Consultants

[Phil Roeder / CC BY 2.0]

By Ralph Nader

The mid-term congressional elections are over, but the counting in some very close races continues, which extends the time for determining the margins of control over the Senate and the House.

What is known is that the Red Wave predicted by pollsters and trumpeted by the New York Times and other media almost daily did not materialize. If there was any wave, it was a blue one, victorious for direct democracy ballot measures raising the minimum wage in Nebraska, Nevada and Washington, DC. Even in GOP-ruled South Dakota, voters overwhelmingly approved Medicaid expansion via a constitutional amendment.

This year, the Senate Democrats had the advantage with twenty Republican seats up for re-election as compared with fourteen Democratic seats. Typically, the Democratic Party only seriously contested five of these GOP seats, while conceding fifteen from the get-go, leaving the Democrats with very little margin for error, especially in a 50/50 Senate.

For the House races, New York Democrats produced their own redistricting disaster. Dominating the state legislature, they passed an extremely gerrymandered map that the state appeals court (4 to 3) found unlawful. A special master was appointed who redrew the map, which resulted in the GOP flipping four congressional seats. This debacle could possibly hand the House of Representatives to the GOP. This is a political boomerang for the history books!

The more fundamental question is why the Democrats did not landslide the Republicans nationally. This is the worst GOP in its history. The Trump-dominated GOP is serially corrupt, violence-prone, anti-labor, anti-women and anti-children. The corporatist GOP embraces compulsive lying, dishonesty, brazenly authoritarian suppression of votes and dedication to corporate domination of our country.

Late in this year’s campaign, the Democrats highlighted recent GOP designs to lift the eligible age for Social Security while freezing benefits and corporatizing further Medicare and Medicaid. Opposing any increases in the frozen federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, any improvements in workplace health and safety and backing union-busting drives puts the GOP on the opposite side of labor.

The GOP’s callousness toward children is despicable. The Trumpsters opposed paid child care and family sick leave as well as expanded Medicaid for children (provided by European countries for decades), while they supported more junk food (sugar, fat and salt) in school lunch programs, repealed a ban on dangerous pesticides to infants and blocked the extension in January of the $300 monthly child tax credit to 58 million children that would have cut child poverty by a third.

The anti-women GOP continued its opposition to reproductive rights, equal pay requirements and an end to marketplace discrimination.

Trump’s deadly derision and delays in confronting the arrival of Covid-19 in early 2020 led to the preventable loss of over 300,000 American lives. His Republican toadies in Congress and in state government echoed his anti-science lies.

Trumpsters huddled with the oil, gas and coal lobbyists against faster conversion to renewable energy and conservation. The GOP has called climate catastrophes “a hoax.” Reducing taxes on the super-rich and big businesses to record lows, the GOP then asserts we can’t afford social safety nets and investments in repairing America’s public works.

Not long ago, such overt cruelties and neglect would have been political suicide. But, with few exceptions, these subjects were not placed front and center for the past year by the Democrats. The GOP’s campaigns are always on the offensive, placing the Democrats in the defensive position of responding to fake assaults on claims about catchphrases such as “defund the police,” “socialism,” “critical race theory,” and whatever other daily fabrications flowed from the GOP’s political sewers.

Of course, dialing for the same corporate campaign dollars as does the GOP and giving over their campaigns to corporate-conflicted political/media consultants have cursed the Democrats from being true to their name for decades. These consultants, such as those exposed in articles by the Intercept (See article: Democratic Consultants Cash In On AIPAC Spending — Even As It Tries to Hand the House to Republicans by Akela Lacy), have escaped the attention of the mainstream media. Now that the election is over, will the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and Bloomberg bring the light of day on these backroom manipulators, with regular corporate clients to compromise them?

If Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy becomes the next House Speaker, the Democratic Congress has two months before turning over the gavel. The Democrats should buckle down and pass long-overdue legislation and confirm judges and executive branch officials. They should hold a variety of gripping public hearings on corporate crime, labor abuses, harms to children, restoring the huge tax cuts of Trump for the plutocracy and entrenched rip-offs of consumers. Reaching tens of millions of people, such hearings will throw the agenda gauntlet down to the incoming Trumpsters.

Regardless of what happens next year under the GOP, the Democrats cannot only place Trump’s Party on the defensive, and encourage defections on various votes, but they must also educate themselves about how they need to campaign in the future before all the people, all the workers, all the consumers, all the children.

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  1. to defeat the GOP, the Dems need to be more forceful in explaining what’s wrong with this country. they can’t
    Be afraid to say anything . Like telling the people that they lost jobs because 100,000 factories were moved out of this country, and why. but I see a fear in most Dems to say these things.Stop being afraid to say anything, and if you are a Corpoate Politician, you are an enemy of the people!!!

    1. Hey Ralph: all those things that you would like to see the Dems do? They ain’t gonna do them! I mean, really now, it’s a bit late in the day to still entertain these fantasies. Your main complaint here, about the bad consultants, is pointless too. Those overpaid hacks (like the vile James Carville) are part and parcel of the Party; they tell the corrupt Party leaders exactly what they want to hear. Now that Trump has announced, the new message will be “stop Trump, and then we’ll talk about the other stuff.” Except they won’t.

  2. The problem is not the consultants. The problem is greed and corruption. The Dems like the bribe money just like the Republicans. And now, thanks to both political parties our political/electoral system is a system of bribery, certified by a corrupt Supreme Court. We do not have a democracy.

    1. When they split apart their own base, middle class vs. poor, party loyalists resolved to arrogantly ignore it.

  3. There goes Ralph again, blaming the Democrats’ failures on some other source, in this case their consultants. If it’s not the Republicans, it’s the consultants. Or their donors. I’m guessing if it’s not any of them, it’s the parliamentarian. He still, after all these years decades, has yet to realize the Dems are just as corrupt as the Republicans, and that the Dems are all too enthusiastic with (to wit: not duped by) their consultants.

    This is why I had to stop listening to the RNRH over a year ago. Every election year he herds lefties to the Dem party just like he did over the past few months this year. Moreover the party he herds them to is the same party that cynically blamed him for the 2000 election outcome. He’s either disingenuous or delusional when it comes to the Democrats.

    I suppose when this student debt relief scam that Biden perpetrated on the American people for votes this election cycle ends up failing, he’ll find someone else to blame instead of the Dems. Probably federal judges.

  4. I admire Nader for all the great work he did in the past. Of course the Republicans, Trump or not, are terrible, but so are the Dems, especially the Biden mob, and in foreign policy they are disastrous as we see now in the needless attempts to destroy any cooperation in the world by blaming China and Russia for the US-caused conflicts and divisions.

  5. We spent years telling liberals exactly how Democrats drive away so many people. They didn’t hear a word of it.

  6. Probably the Democrats should make Sam Bankman Fried their Head Consultant.
    Open secrets notes that 94.5% of the 2022 US House races went to the candidates with the most campaign donations: https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/winning-vs-spending
    Yes, American Democracy still rests on buying Elections!
    SBF donated $30 to 50 million to Democrats (his mother is a Democrat “operative”. ) SBF did not keep his personal fortune separate from his investors’ money, and there are indications that much of FTX’s value was from US taxpayers or donations to Zelensky and Biden’s Ukrainian friends. That money was not kept separate (nor was it converted to hryvnia, the fiat money which Ukraine prints for internal use); not clear where it went, but likely much was “invested” with FTX for promised big returns. Nor is it clear how much of the Ukro oligarchs/ US taxpayer money “contaminated” FTX funds, and more pointedly how much of this Foreign Power monies affected the MidTerm Elections? All we know is that SBF gave Democrats $30 to 50 million (he has NO money today, nor do FTX’s investors), and that money likely SAVED US DEMOCRACY!
    And yet many thought flooding corrupt Ukraine with US taxpayer money was a bad idea… Ukrainians are turning America into their own image!

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