The Duplicitous Roles of the OFA and the Daily Kos
When Markos Moulitsas informed members of the Daily Kos that Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was “inevitable” the response from Democratic supporters was predictable. Traditional progressives -- understanding that anointed candidates are the antithesis of Democracy -- slammed their collective feet on the brakes. The last thing they wanted was another untrustworthy neo-liberal politician leading the Democratic Party.
As one Democratic Underground member noted:
The most that the supporters tell us is that she's better than any Republican.
That's like saying a broken leg is better than a heart attack. Sure it is, but nobody wants a broken leg either. -- savannahmann
The response from Obama’s entourage was even more predictable: the OFA’s "rapid response” team turned out in full force on the Daily Kos, predictably shouting down detractors and unleashing faux outrage at any member who had the temerity to challenge Markos’ assertion.
But even for a neo-liberal operation, this stunt was thinly disguised and in trouble from its onset. After six years of telling lies and routinely breaking campaign promises, Barack Obama’s credibility was circling the drain, and the Democratic Party could not afford another disingenuous PR stunt. But the dots were easy to connect if you compared the Hillary Clinton Is Inevitable PR stunt to Margaret Thatcher’s neo-liberal acronym TINA – There Is No Alternative.
Neo-liberal political stratagems are incredibly predictable, and their gimmicks are constantly repackaged and unveiled through slick PR campaigns that are so blatantly deceitful it’s amazing that any voter would accept them at face value.
And unfortunately for the Daily Kos, Markos’ surprise endorsement of Hillary’s candidacy created a different credibility problem. Most of us remember his damning Washington Post Op-Ed attacking Hillary Clinton’s credentials and questioning her viability as a presidential candidate:
Hillary Clinton: Too Much of a Clinton Democrat?
By Markos Moulitsas Sunday, May 7, 2006 - Washington Post Op-Ed
Hillary Clinton has a few problems if she wants to secure the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. She is a leader who fails to lead. She does not appear "electable." But most of all, Hillary has a Bill Clinton problem. (And no, it's not about that.)
Moving into 2008, Republicans will be fighting to shake off the legacy of the Bush years: the jobless recovery, the foreign misadventures, the nightmarish fiscal mismanagement, the Katrina mess, unimaginable corruption and an imperial presidency with little regard for the Constitution or the rule of law. Every Democratic contender will be offering change, but activists will be demanding the sort of change that can come only from outside the Beltway.
Hillary Clinton leads her Democratic rivals in the polls and in fundraising. Unfortunately, however, the New York senator is part of a failed Democratic Party establishment -- led by her husband -- that enabled the George W. Bush presidency and the Republican majorities, and all the havoc they have wreaked at home and abroad.
In those three paragraphs, Markos unwittingly identified four very good reasons Hillary Clinton’s candidacy should be rejected – reasons that progressives have repeatedly posited on the Daily Kos only to be shouted down by OFA activists; and his “failed Democratic Party establishment” statement illuminated the bankruptcy of Barack Obama’s presidency, especially when compared to his decision to insure the viability of unpopular Bush policies.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are not, and have never been, progressive Democrats: they are both neo-liberals, and that reality presents an obstacle for Dkos writers. They simply cannot tell the truth about Hillary and Barack’s neo-liberal/free trade credentials because it would reveal the stealth role the site has played in advancing corporate friendly policies.
Like 2008 candidate Obama, 2016 candidate Clinton is using every trick in the book to conceal her true agenda. And that facade would crumble in the dust if the DNC would truthfully answer one simple question: are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton true progressive politicians – as they pretend to be – or are they neo-liberal corporatists who detest traditional Democratic values?
As Barack Obama nears the end of his presidency, it’s easy to see he deceived his way into the presidency; he only adopts a populist/progressive persona when he needs the base to support an unpopular corporate policy, such as the TPP, and now that Hillary Clinton has thrown her hat into the ring, she is following the same fraudulent blueprint.
And that scam will never come to fruition without the help of the OFA and the Daily Kos.
In reality, the OFA represents the antithesis of Democracy. It disseminates disinformation while claiming to set the record straight. It denies average Americans a voice at the table because OFA members take extreme measures to quash dissenting opinions.
But the OFA was not created to promote the truth, and despite the assertion posted on its website -- No fluff, just facts—that's the Truth Team way – it exists primarily to serve as Obama’s shadowy hit squad. In essence, they are the “goodfellas” of the Democratic Party. They are masters of ad hominem attacks, and their faux outrage campaigns are as nasty as anything Karl Rove could have designed.
And to truly understand neo-liberal tactics and the roles the OFA and the Daily Kos have played, it’s important to remember that neo-liberals do not defend their actions; they simply overwhelm detractors with massive amounts of money and disinformation.
To see a blatant example of Obama’s hypocrisy, look at his recent attack on Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the Congressional Democratic critics of the TPP:
"I love Elizabeth. We're allies on a whole host of issues, but she's wrong on this," Obama said. "When you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts, they are wrong."
Of course, Obama made that statement only after making certain Warren could not fully respond, essentially tying her hands by blocking her from discussing the specifics of the TPP.
But that is a classic neo-liberal tactic: Never use the truth when you can simply “rig the system” against those who oppose your corrupt corporate policies. And rigging the system is the primary role of the OFA -- and providing a platform for that type of duplicity is the responsibility of the Daily Kos.
Recently, while discussing Obama and the TPP, Gaius Publius described the OFA this way:
His robotic OFA forces (that's not an unfair characterization on this issue, unfortunately) are out in number, throwing up Obama's disingenuous defense of this treaty in many progressive forums. (For a prime instance, see comment threads like this at Daily Kos. There are many such examples of OFA pushback in progressive discussion spaces.)
A question for OFA defenders of TPP: You've shown your loyalty — it's to Obama and his future earnings, not your own as progressives in the "Warren wing" of the Democratic Party. What will you do when Obama is off living his future, and you're left behind to seek your own among the progressives you're now disingenuously attacking?
But that is another neo-liberal tactic; they know to win, they need only manipulate vulnerable voters into acting against their own best interests.
In its simplest definition, neo-liberalism is an evil, monolithic global philosophy that exists solely for the purpose of generating massive amounts of wealth through mergers and free trade deals. Judicial, legal, and political processes do not govern it, nor is it constrained by loyalty to a national identity. Outside the immensely wealthy cabal at the top, every practitioner of neo-liberalism is simply a cog in a giant wheel that serves the top 1%. And thanks to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the Democratic Party now serves the same purpose.
But despite the massive neo-liberal campaign to prevent Democrats – and all Americans -- from learning the true nature of their global pursuits, the “truth” about their duplicity is beginning to resonate at the grass roots level.
Consider this article posted two days ago by Taegan Goddard at Political Wire:
Big Doubts About Clinton’s Honesty
May 1, 2015 - By Taegan Goddard
“Americans appear to be suspicious of Hillary Clinton’s honesty, and even many Democrats are only lukewarm about her presidential candidacy,” according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.
“Is she strong and decisive? Yes, say a majority of people. But inspiring and likable? Only a minority think so.”
“Clinton’s struggles to explain her email practices while in government, along with questions about the Clinton Foundation and Republican criticism of her openness, wealth and trustworthiness seem to have struck a nerve in the public’s perception of the dominant Democratic figure in the 2016 campaign. In the survey, 61% said ‘honest’ describes her only slightly well or not at all. Nearly four in 10 Democrats, and more than six in 10 independents agreed that “honest” was not the best word for her.”
The truth is the Democratic Party has backed itself into a very dark corner. No matter which way they turn, they lose. If they tell the truth, then they will expose their own duplicity; if they continue to lie, then they will lose all credibility.
Each time Obama has faced media cameras and blatantly lied to the American public, the Democratic Party didn’t flinch, and they never repudiated his lies; and now that Hillary’s true agenda represents a threat to their political plans, the DNC, the OFA, and the Daily Kos are leading a campaign to redefine Hillary as a populist, one of the most shameless deceptions in our party’s political history.
As Bill Curry recently wrote in Salon magazine: “As it is now organized and led, the Democratic Party is a corrupt and empty husk of an institution.”
It is simply drowning in its own duplicity.
And the current faux progressive effort to “push Hillary to the left” reveals how far the Democratic Party has gone astray. Think about it: if she needs to be pushed to the left, then she is not a true liberal and the populist claim that she is a fake is reinforced; but if she is a true liberal, then why isn’t she leading the fight against the TPP? Why hasn’t she called out Obama for protecting Wall Street criminals? Why isn’t she condemning the president for killing innocent children with drones? Where has she been when we were pleading with the president to protect people on Main Street, not the criminals on Wall Street? What was her position regarding the U.S. military’s use of torture to gather information? Where does she stand on NSA spying? What position did she take when Obama’s HAMP allowed banks to unfairly foreclose on million of American homeowners?
Unfortunately, we know the answer to those questions: like the Democratic Party – Hillary has been on the wrong side of every issue, and she has either blatantly or tacitly supported many neo-liberal policies that exploited middle class Americans and the needy. And the only way she can deny her true agenda is to lie.
But that is the new Democratic way.
And the OFA and the Daily Kos just can’t wait to tell the truth…except when the truth supports reality, and then they will metaphorically "break all the knees" it takes to keep the truth from reaching the American public.
Give them hell, Bernie.