Wednesday, January 23, 2008


The Democratic Party Establishment or What the mainstream media is NOT telling us about Nevada

By Christopher Fung, Ph. D.

There are three basic points to emerge out of the latest media kibbitz-fest.

Firstly, the so-called split between latino voters and black voters.  Can I just register here that I am really tired of all this badly-remembered first-year sociology that passes for journalism in this country.  So to those so-called commentators I offer the following reminders:

  1. Latinos are not a monolith.  “The” Latino vote doesn’t exist.  What is true for conservative upper-middle class Cuban exiles is not true for middle-class Chicanos and neither are good proxies for working class first and second generation Hispanic Americans in northern cities who in turn are very different from formerly rural Mexican citizens employed in the United States legally or otherwise (who by the way, aren’t eligible to vote).   The most likely reason people in the media have for trotting out these tired and inaccurate statemetnts about latino/black rivalry is INTELLECTUAL SLOTH (not to mention a certain tolerance for careless sophistry, but we’ll get to that later) 
  1. Granted there are places where black and latino communities see one another as competition, but these are overwhelmingly in areas where both communities are poor and working class and where economic pressures are high.  This is generally LESS true in Las Vegas than it is in the working-class neighborhoods of Chicago, Los Angeles and New York city where the most highly-publicized friction - most notably, competition over key economic resources such as relatively well-paying service jobs and most importantly, access to public housing takes place.
  1. Did anyone bother to look at who was organizing for Hillary amongst “Latinos”?  I haven’t checked myself but I’ll lay even money that many of the people who did so are strongly connected to the Democratic Party apparatus in Las Vegas.  As the new constituency within the Democratic Party, it’s much more likely that Latinos inside the Democratic machine will follow the party line.  African Americans on the other hand have had to endure several decades of Democratic establishment collusion with Southern white supremacists and high capitalists.  If the Nevada results showed anything, they showed that blacks are no longer willing to blindly follow the Party leadership. 

 This brings me to a related point.  Why is no-one paying any attention to the respective degrees of support for Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton by the conservative (establishment) faction of the Democratic Party?

 My own connections with the Democratic Party in Hawaii lead me to suspect that there is a vicious struggle going on nation-wide between the establishment structure of the Democratic Party which is overwhelmingly pro-Clinton, and the “radical”, “younger” and “more ethnic” segments of the Party who support Edwards, Kucinich and Obama.  The old guard have grown fat on the patronage of their centrist DLC-oriented leaders.  In Hawaii, this faction have stymied attempts by progressives to move the party away from appeasement and corporatism over several decades now.


The party bosses in Las Vegas would have pulled out the stops for HRC but in the rural areas, and in places where people were freer to make up their own minds, Obama and Edwards together were the preferred candidates.

 This election is more than just a rejection of George Bush, Karl Rove and the sons of Gingrich.  It’s also a referendum on twenty-odd years of failure by the Democratic Party establishment.  The MSM may not understand it, but the old guard definitely does.  And that’s why they’ve  gone to bat with all the tricks they can muster in support of their candidate.  “Mob-handed” is what they call it in Britain, and it’s a pretty apt turn of phrase.

 In a way, Hillary doesn’t deserve this.  She is probably more towards the progressive wing of the party than her husband on a personal level.  BUT, she is and has been for the last four years, the anointed candidate of the DLC.  If the Republicans are scared shitless about facing the electorate, the Democratic establishment is as well.  We can only expect more quasi-legal tactics and bullying from them as time goes by.  Not all branches of the Democratic Party are as notoriously self-serving as the great party machines of Chicago, Boston and New York, but you can bet your bottom dollar they all have vested interests in retaining power in opposition to the progressive forces represented by the “change” candidates.

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