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Beast of the Month - December 2008

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  • Robert Sterling
    Beast of the Month - December 2008 Al From Democratic Leadership Council Kingpin I yam an anti-Christ... John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols,
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2009
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      Beast of the Month - December 2008
      Al From
      Democratic Leadership Council Kingpin

      "I yam an anti-Christ..."
      John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) of The Sex Pistols, "Anarchy in the UK"

      "His choice, basically, is whether he's going to be Uncle Sam for the
      people of this country, or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations."
      Ralph Nader on Barack Obama, on election night

      Anyone who is cynical about the whole Obamamania fad (and yes, that
      would include The Konformist itself) might as well suck it up and
      accept the truth: like it or not, Barky is the face of "liberalism"
      and "the left" for at least the next eight years. (And perhaps up to
      forty, if you believe the persuasive political theories of Webster
      Tarpley and Samuel Huntington.) So the question needs to be asked:
      what is the reality behind this face?

      Despite all the korporate press propagandizing already proclaiming
      President Obama a perfect mixture of JFK, MLK, RFK, FDR, Abraham
      Lincoln and Jesus Christ even before he has taken office (an
      embarrassing level of delusional fawning by the establishment media
      not seen since... well, since George W. Bush right after 9/11) he is
      decidedly a transparent fraud rather than a transcendental leader in
      The Konformist view. This became more annoyingly obvious as the
      image heavy, substance non-existent campaign continued to be exposed
      as a front for the most noxious elements of the Democratic Party.
      All the repeated chantings of the mantras of "hope" and "change"
      couldn't hide the repellant machine behind the bizarre mixture of a
      New Age religious kult and a multi-level marketing scam.

      Certainly Obama, a crafty politician and master manipulator, deserves
      much of the credit and blame for the success of his campaign,
      starting off with his lofty oratorical style. Indeed, his personal
      magnetism in speeches is so spellbinding, many suspect he
      intentionally uses NLP phraseology and pacing in his delivery to
      induce mass hypnosis on his audience. (Then again, since mass
      manipulation is the purpose of all political propaganda, it's hard to
      fault Obama on this count just because he's better at it than
      everyone else.)

      NLP hypnosis or not, Obama didn't come up with his war plan blueprint
      all by his lone gunman self. His two top political advisors, chief
      strategist David Axelrod and campaign manager David Plouffe,
      certainly deserve much of the cheers and heckles as well. Axelrod
      and Plouffe are partners in AKP&D Message and Media, and the campaign
      they helped craft earned the prize from Advertising Age for 2008
      Marketer of the Year, beating out Apple and Zappos.com. As the World
      Socialist Web Site would sarcastically observe, "Obama replaces last
      year's winner, the video game system Nintendo. The runner-up in 2007
      was the insurance corporation GEICO, which features a talking lizard
      and a cave-man in its ads for discount insurance."

      Still, even the twin David's are chump change in the Democratic Party
      machine, smooth spin doctor salesman rather than the policy genius.
      If Obama is the current Grand Theft Auto of politics, the Xbox 360
      system running the software is clearly the Democratic Leadership
      Council, led by founder and CEO Al From, The Konformist Beast of the

      The DLC was founded in 1985, after the massacre of Walter Mondale by
      the Gipper in the '84 election. Its first major battle came in 1988,
      when it successfully fought against Jesse Jackson from winning the
      Democratic nomination. Ironically then, its first mission was
      blocking a smooth-talking Chicago black man from winning the White

      The DLC's problem with Jesse wasn't that he was African-American, but
      that he was an economic populist, which the DLC terms as "out of
      touch" thinking. Instead, they support what they term "centrism" -
      i.e. right wing economic and foreign policy positions. Economic
      populism, as far as the DLC is concerned, is engaging in "class
      warfare" and a decided no-no. Talking populism may not be
      acceptable, but taking hefty dollars from oil companies, military
      contractors, korporate monoliths and right-wing foundations is okely
      dokely. Thanks to the DLC's refusal to battle the GOP talking
      points, they, as much as George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh and FOX News,
      have pushed the rightward shift in American politics over the last
      twenty years.

      In 2003, the DLC leadership strongly backed the invasion of Iraq.
      Indeed, Will Marshall (besides From, the only non-elected official on
      the DLC founding roster) co-signed a letter written by the neocon
      Project for the New American Century to George W. Bush in favor of
      the attack before it was launched. Even as the war became
      increasingly unpopular, Marshall and the DLC crowd continued to mock
      what they termed the "looney left" critics of the war. As Marshall
      would put it, "Democrats need to be choosier about the political
      company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-
      American fringe." The DLC went after prez candidate Howard Dean over
      his antiwar status, who replied that he came "from the Democratic
      wing of the Democratic Party." (It's plausible the repeated playing
      of the "Dean Scream" was orchestrated by DLCers who wanted to destroy
      his campaign.) There was one guy even more hated than Dean in 2004
      among the DLC: Michael Moore, whose Fahrenheit 9/11 heated up the box-
      office and progressive voters with his Bush-bashing documentary. As
      Marshall would sneer, "You know, let's let Hollywood and the Cannes
      Film Festival fawn all over Michael Moore. We ought to make it
      pretty clear that he sure doesn't speak for us when it comes to
      standing up for our country." From would add: "We've got to
      repudiate, you know, the most strident and insulting anti-American
      voices out there sometimes on our party's left... We can't have our
      party identified by Michael Moore and Hollywood as our cultural
      values." Four years later, Moore has been proven to be even more
      vindicated over what the correct position on Iraq was than Jose
      Canseco has been on steroids in baseball. Despite this, Marshall
      continues to head the Progressive Policy Institute, the DLC's think
      tank (Orwellian in name due to its lack of any progressive values.)

      Shilling for war in Iraq isn't the only Shrubian position taken by
      the DLC. When Bush's illegal warrantless surveillance program was
      uncovered, senior fellow Marshall Wittmann dismissed opposition to it
      as from the "fevered imaginations of graying baby boomers and twenty-
      something bloggers," and added: "The Democratic Party is increasingly
      under the influence of modern day McGovernites." It should be noted
      that Wittmann is a "former" Republican, still a social conservative
      and neocon, and a one-time legislative director for the Christian
      Coalition. This, of course, is totally acceptable to the DLC, but
      Michael Moore is not.

      The current chairman of the DLC, Blue Dog conservative Democrat
      Harold Ford, shows the utter cluelessness of the organization. Like
      Obama, Ford is a charismatic African-American who barely conceals his
      right-wing agenda under vague generalities. In 2006, he lost the
      Tennessee Senate contest after his opponent Bob Corker unveiled race-
      baiting commercials, race-baiting Ford refused to denounce in his
      attempts to portray himself as a "post-racial" politician. So now,
      the irony of ironies, one of the few decided Democratic losers in the
      2006 election cycle is leading an organization whose purpose is to
      show the Democratic Party the path to victory.

      Thanks to its right-wing posturing, the DLC is viewed as a four-
      letter word among progressives, and Hillary Clinton's membership
      (along with her husband Billy's, who is also a former DLC chairman)
      became a rally just under her Iraq War support for Daily Kos Hill-
      hatred. In their distaste for Hillary, they found their supposed
      champion in Obama.

      But The Konformist smells a ringer: though he denies any ties to the
      DLC (just as he's denied ties to Tony Rezko and Bill Ayers) he was
      featured prominently on the DLC's "100 to Watch" list for 2003.
      Meanwhile, early last year, From gushed about Obama as the potential
      Democratic choice, noting: "I mean his chief economist, Austan
      Goolsbee, is a fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, which is
      our think tank." (Goolsbee, for those keeping score, is from the
      University of Chicago and represents the "centrists" among Milton
      Friedman acolytes.) The timing of From's comment coincides with the
      sudden switching of loyalties in the Democratic Party establishment
      from Hillary to Obama.

      Why did the DLC betray Hillary? Perhaps it was about Hillary not
      being particularly loved by the progressive crowd, meaning that she
      would be expected to deliver something to satisfy them. Meanwhile,
      Obama has come with little demands from his followers, as his kult of
      narcissism has substituted feel-good personality worship over policy
      and substance. Or perhaps it's about Hill and Bill, for all
      their "Third Way" and centrist leanings, are still Democrats who
      believe in the New Deal (having been behind crazy things like trying
      to provide Americans with universal health coverage) making them
      unpopular among the DLC crowd in their own right. Whatever the
      reason, the end result is that the Democratic Party now has as its
      standard bearer a guy who took less progressive stands on issues than
      either Hillary or John Edwards during the campaign, this at a time
      when another Great Depression may be starting and another New Deal
      the best remedy.

      Of course, whatever the DLC may want may be trumped by reality.
      Sooner or later, if unemployment soars to the double digits and
      people keep losing their homes to banks, the masses may demand more
      from Obama than snuggly slogans, at the point of riots. When that
      happens, Obama can either finally deliver something to the public in
      a concrete plan or send in the National Guard. At the core of the
      best of politicians, the fundamental ideology is not wanting to lose,
      and if there is any true "hope" over Obama, it's that he doesn't want
      to be labeled a loser. But as shrewd betters in Las Vegas, The
      Konformist is guessing he's a compromised tool for the DLC
      establishment who is going to do too little too late, leaving an
      impotent Democratic Party discredited and holding the bag on Great
      Depression II. Go ahead, Obama, prove us wrong.

      In any case, we salute Al From as Beast of the Month.
      Congratulations, and keep up the great work, Al!!!

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