Notes on Inauthenticity in a Creeping Fascist Nuthouse by Paul Street – Dandelion Salad
Seymour Hersh: “I think it’s inevitable that you don’t get truth-tellers. I want the American people to stop believing everything they hear and to ask more questions, to become more skeptical. I think it’s the one reason a guy like Donald Trump won. They understood where he was coming from. That Trump is just a blowhard. They laughed at him. They knew Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But Trump wasn’t the same old big smile and a lot of good words. The Democrats have been going around saying, ‘We’re for the people, we’re for the little guy.’ And all they do is run to Wall Street for money. And the one guy that didn’t, Sanders, was sabotaged by the Democratic National Committee.”
But this is nothing remotely new. Yes, Virginia, the Democrats have an authenticity problem, you betchya. The late left Princeton political scientist Sheldon Wolin memorably labeled the Democrats as, get this, “the Inauthentic Opposition” twelve years ago. “Should Democrats somehow be elected,” Wolin prophesied in his book Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism (Princeton, 2007), they would do nothing to “alter significantly the direction of society” or “substantially revers[e] the drift rightwards. … The timidity of a Democratic Party mesmerized by centrist precepts,” Wolin wrote, “points to the crucial fact that for the poor, minorities, the working class and anti-corporatists there is no opposition party working on their behalf.” The corporatist Democrats would work to “marginalize any possible threat to the corporate allies of the Republicans.”
Wolin called it. A nominal Democrat was elected president along with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress in 2008. What followed under Barack Obama (as under his Democratic presidential predecessor Bill Clinton) was the standard “elite” neoliberal manipulation of campaign populism and identity politics in service to the reigning big-money bankrollers and their global empire.