Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Democrats' disgusting Sit-In photo op.

That's a bit hard on a $60 million bum.
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry as I flip through today’s Wall Street Journal and New York Times online, both prominent journals of the US ruling class.  The Journal article has a large picture with it of some of the well-dressed and well-heeled Democrats sitting on the House floor to try and force votes on expanding background checks for gun purchases and to close some loopholes.

Anticipating accusations of being a gun nut, I’ll make it clear that I believe no serious gun owner would object to laws that ensure that weapons don’t fall in to the hands of violent criminals or other people mentally unfit to own them. But it is overwhelmingly a good thing that working class people have the right to own guns. The issue of gun control is used though, to avoid a serious discussion on the crisis of the system, of the madness of the market and capitalism.

In the front of the WSJ image is Nancy Pelosi, the multi millionaire member of a prominent US bourgeois family. Pelosi is worth about $60 million. Her and her investor/speculator husband also have huge real estate investments. Save us all Nancy, please save us all.

John Lewis, the veteran of the Civil Rights movement is right there with her. “John Lewis says stay after the votes and we will stay.” Pelosi announces to the media as if Lewis has any real power over what she or her party does.  What’s even worse is these politicians of the 1% are in there singing We Shall Overcome and adding the lyrics, “We shall pass a bill someday…”

It’s the sort of photo op we see during strikes when members of the labor hierarchy suddenly appear with a Democrat in tow and sit themselves down for a planned arrest by their favorite police department, “Careful now, don’t mess up the Congressman’s suit.”.

Pelosi described this photo op and the subject matter that it is directed at as “discussion heard around the world.”  What arrogance. Yes Ms Perlosi, the women of Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are all ears. As are the Cambodian workers in the factories that produce WalMart’s profits and the millions of workers in the former colonial world starving to death under the weight of World Bank and US imposed structural adjustment programs.

And let’s not forget, as it is never mentioned in the mainstream media, that the so-called “migrant” crisis in Europe is not a migrant crisis at all but a refugee crisis as people flee US wars, bombing, in short, US state terror in the Middle East. US imperialism’s foreign policy is not only the starting point if we are to discuss the refugee crisis but also what the media describes as “terrorism”. No sit ins from the liberals about this.

But we don’t have to look too far to recognize this shameless theatre for what it is.

There’s been no such Democratic Party disruptions or sit ins around other issues that are of a serious concern for American workers.  Five million lost their homes in the market induced crash. There’s the issue of student debt. What about the massive poverty and economic crisis that is destroying working class communities here? There are urban communities, what we always refer to as ghettos as if there’s something fashionable about them----things never really change in these communities except their continued decline. Areas like West Virginia are a basket case as the determination whether one has a job and a future or not is determined in the boardrooms of major corporations and the meetings of speculators and investors whose sole interest in the process is profit margins.

Katrina was a far worse disaster then 911 but that was due to domestic enemies, domestic terrorism really as decisions were made that were known to be harmful to people.  No massive media celebrations about that every year. No war on the terrorists responsible for that.

The issue behind gun control now is to “expand background checks for guns and prevent terrorists from buying firearms.”, the Wall Street Journal writes.  It seems the motive for the call for more control over the firearms market is terrorism. But who or what force determines someone or some group are terrorists? And what is a terrorist?  Well, the same people that own the media determine what a terrorist is and they formulate the language that we read in their media. Is the Klu Klux Klan a terrorist group? I don’t think so otherwise they’d be kidnapping “suspected” Klan members on the streets, taking them to hot spots and applying a good old dose of CIA/FBI interrogation techniques on them, waterboarding a lot of them, sticking objects up their rectums, keeping them awake all night, making them stand naked or pouring menstrual blood over them. They would be getting Chelsea Manning treatment or the treatment normally reserved for Muslims, Arabs or anyone they consider an obstacle to US imperial global interests. The Klan on the other hand are useful terrorists.

Is it an accident that the only people the World Court has convicted of war crimes are Africans?  And we have Bush, Rumsfeld, Kissinger, Wolfowitz, and drone king Obama living among us. Hilary Clinton is a war criminal and she’ll likely be the next president.

There’s an election coming up when the two parties of big capital vie for which section of the US ruling class will have the opportunity to govern and plunder society for four years. It’s insulting that these politicians are using the victims of a deranged man’s killing spree, and in particular their relatives’ sorrow, as an excuse for a photo op.

And the millionaire in the party that denied Fannie Lou Hamer a seat at a Democratic Party convention, sings “We Shall Overcome.”. That’s an insult to Martin Luther King and those who fought and died in the Civil Rights movement. Makes me want to throw up.

If you want to shake them up this election cycle, vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president. A massive turnout for this party will cause serious concern to the duopoly. I can’t say where the Green Party will lead or end up for sure, but becoming involved in the party and helping shape its orientation can determine that.

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