The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

What’s Up with the Dems?

Apr 28, 2008

The American population is clearly fed up with Republican rule and has every reason to be: the war, the flagrant handing of government money over to Wall Street while the population faces a real crisis, steep inflation, the degradation of public and social services – the list of grievances is endless.

And yet, in most election polls neither Obama nor Clinton get very far ahead of Republican McCain, and in some polls one or the other or both fall behind him.

So what’s up?

There is a serious fight going on inside the Democratic Party apparatus, and it has little to do with the two candidates themselves.

The struggle between the two candidates is not a fight over policy. Both candidates have taken almost the same stand on all important issues. Take the war, for example. Obama says he didn’t support the first resolution authorizing Bush to go to war. It’s true, he didn’t – he couldn’t! He wasn’t yet in the Senate when the vote was taken. But Obama, like Clinton, voted all the money Bush asked for.

Nor does the fight between the two candidates reflect a big difference over which part of the bourgeoisie is supporting which candidate, since both Obama and Clinton draw funds from the most important parts of the bourgeoisie – including Wall Street and other financial interests (18 million dollars for Clinton, as of the end of February; 15 million for Obama); corporate lawyers and big business lobbyists (16 million to Clinton; 14 million to Obama), etc.

And it’s certainly not a concern for letting the voters decide – since the Democrats have more than enough “super-delegates” to decide the issue. That’s why the party has so many of them. The whole primary system is set up in ways that prevent the voters from expressing what they want.

There’s only one other obvious explanation: the party itself is engaged in a fight over who will control the apparatus.

The importance of who controls the Democratic Party apparatus boils down to the same reason the two parties fight each other over who controls the state apparatus: the spoils of office – judgeships, appointments, contracts, the slush funds that flood government corridors, etc.

The federal government is a multi-trillion dollar business for the taking. Just look at Vice President Cheney, who has turned the government into his own wealth-making machine. Many of these folks in the Democratic Party have been waiting quite a while to get their hands on that machine.

Apparently, both sides in the Democratic Party split are ready to risk letting the Democrats lose the election, rather than give up their possibility to control the loot if the Democrats win.