Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, March 06, 2006

"Democrats Shilling for Wal-Mart"

Radio talk show host Michael Savage is sometimes too right-wing even for me (I know that seems hard to believe). But Savage is right on the money when he says that "liberalism is a mental disorder". As proof, I offer this column from Huffington Post, written by Jonathan Tasini, a union leader and labor activist who is running for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in New York:
Is there anything Democrats won't do to cozy up to corporate power? And do they not get that the more they cozy up to corporations, the more they lose any credibility as the party that looks out for the working person?

The newest, appalling twist in the moral corruption of the party came this past week when we learned that Andrew Young has turned his soul over to Wal-Mart.

Yes, Young, who once played a role as a civil rights leader, has agreed to be the public spokesperson for Working Families for Wal-Mart, a front-group for the company.

The Orwellian name of the front organization has got to take its place right next to Peacekeeper (Ronald Reagan's moniker for his nuke program) and Iraqi Freedom. In justifying his work for the company, Young wrote in an op-ed piece, "those who have committed their lives to helping the poor believe that if more companies followed Wal-Mart's lead, and provided opportunity and savings to those who need it most, more Americans who are battling poverty would be able to ascend the rungs of the ladder that leads to the American dream."

Really? What opportunity does Young think Wal-Mart is giving people? The ability to be so poor they can only shop at Wal-Mart? The great opportunity to have their kids on Medicaid because working people at Wal-Mart can't afford even the company's barebones health plan? The ability, if you're a women, to face widespread discrimination? Actually, Young's defense of his actions makes me think of Jesse Jackson's quote, which is far more apt: "Even slaves had jobs."

I've raised before the issue of the Democrats' relationship with one of the worst corporate players in the nation. Last year, I wondered why 22 Democrats would do Wal-Mart's bidding by protecting the company during an important House vote and why Democratic operatives were working for Wal-Mart.

More recently, I've suggested in these pages that Hillary Clinton needs to explain what she did--or did not do--during her six-year service on Wal-Mart's board. At the time, she sat on the board, the company was rabidly anti-union, was exploiting sweatshop labor around the world, discriminating against women workers, forcing workers to labor off the clock and destroying small businesses in communities around the country.

I would argue this: you can't call yourself a Democrat if you're doing business with Wal-Mart. What Wal-Mart does and what it means for our future is the opposite of the historic mission and the principles of the Democratic Party. In throwing in his lot with an abuser of civil rights, Andy Young has sullied his own past record fighting for the liberation of African-Americans.

I just got one of those silly surveys from Nancy Pelosi which pretends to want to know my opinion on issues but is really simply a pitch for money. If the party really wants my money, here's what it could do: pass a caucus rule that says no Democrat will take Wal-Mart's money and that no Democratic campaign firm or consultant will be hired if they maintain any ties with Wal-Mart.
Of course, Mr Tasini will be vainly opposing Ms. Clinton in the New York Democratic primary later this year. I'm sure that has NOTHING to do with his stance on Wal-Mart.

Whenever I get discouraged by Plamegate, Wiretapgate, Abramoffgate, Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, The Hunting Party, etc. and the lack of a strong GOP presidential candidate for 2008, along comes something like this to remind me that there will never be another Democratic president in our lifetime. The elitist whackos have completely taken over.

Look at what the alliance of the Whitman County Democratic Party and PARD did for Judy Krueger and Gary Johnson in last year's city council election. It turned off a lot of moderate Democrats and resulted in lopsided victories for Ann Heath and Bill Paul in a normally Blue town.

I only pray the Democrats will swallow this same poison at the national level.

Technorati Tags:

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

I can only speak about my experience during my young, broke, single mother, unemployed period of my life. I was completely disallutioned by the social welfare system. My opinion of the welfare system is not too different than my opinion of the public school system. Apparently to the NEA, children exist to give teachers a job with generous perks. Government social workers can't justify their lush job if people climb up out of welfare. The entire system is set up to reward failure.