The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 8/3/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses what matters most in Washington, which is being an "insider". Thom explains that whether someone is an insider or an outsider is more important than their political affiliation.
Thom: We thought Barack Obama was an Outsider. We voted him in as an Outsider, but he was really an insider all along. He basically was taken under Bill Clinton's wing when he gave the DNC speech. The powers that be worked miracles to get him into the Senate. He was in the Senate only a few months before they started running him for president.
He was the Insider's nominee. But he ran on a platform of being an Outsider. It worked, and it worked because it had been tried before. It was tried in 1992 by Bill Clinton who ran on an Outsider's campaign platform, which was called the New Covenant.
Bill Clinton's New Covenant was basically that we need to reject Reganism and go back to the wisdom of FDR and John Maynard Keynes. We need to take America back to before the Reagan Revolution. But, as has been famously documented by [Naomi Klein], in the weeks leading up to his inauguration - when candidate Bill Clinton became president-elect Bill Clinton - Larry Summers, along with Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin sat Clinton down and said...
Son, you may think that you are the populist president, that you were elected on this platform of dramatic change - but that's now how you're going to govern. Not if you want to be on the Inside. Not if you want to have the assistance of Congress. Not if you want to have the assistance of the corporate system.
Being an Insider is like being in the mafia. And I don't mean that in a "bad" way, I mean that in an organizational way. It's structure. Most companies are structured like this, by the way. You've got Insiders in companies and you've got Outsiders. It's the Insiders who rise up through the ranks, and it's the Outsiders who stand on the outside and wonder why they get passed over for promotions. Even if they're smart and even if they make better contributions.
It's knowing how to play the game. I've been given several opportunities since I started this program 12-13 years ago to essentially become an Insider. Invited to the White House, etc. I chose, from the very beginning, that I was never going to be an Insider. I wanted to maintain my integrity. I did not want to be dependant upon party or political structure.
You will find other people in the media, on so-called Left-wing radio and TV who want to become part of the Inside. They don't want to be Outsiders. And so those people will not talk about our insane trade policies, because that is something that is very important to the Insiders. They make a lot of money off our trade policies.
They won't talk about net neutrality, because that is also something that is important to the Insiders. The small number of corporations that own our media don't want net neutrality. You won't hear Democrats and Liberals who are Insiders talk about those things. You won't hear Hillary Clinton talk about those things. You won't hear them talk about the TPP or Keystone XL. Because these are things that produce [or could produce] an enormous amount of money for the Insiders.
If you start talking about them, immediately the power structure [will try to shut you up]. And it's not like some weird conspiracy, but it's there. You can watch someone on television for 2 minutes and know - Insider or Outsider. Harold Ford Jr, Insider. Michael Steel, Insider. Virtually every guest that you see on CNN or MSNBC is an Insider.
And the Insider message [on the Democratic side] is - we want to elect Hillary Clinton. She's been an Insider from day one. Her husband is an Insider. He brought us "free trade" and deregulated the banks. Things that helped the Insiders. He governed in a fairly moderate way, just slightly to the Right of Dwight Eisenhower - who was, I would say, probably the last Outsider President on the Republican side.
Although you could argue that Reagan was elected as an Outsider... and then became an Insider. His vice president, George Herbert Walker Bush was the ultimate Insider. His father had been a United States Senator. In fact, he got busted by FDR for dealing with the Nazis after we were already involved in World War 2.
But for the Democrats, this is the question - how did the Democratic Party lose it's soul.
[End Thom Hartmann Rant]
|The shift away from the people was embraced most dramatically when Bill Clinton's New Democrats came to power in the 1990s. Clinton double-crossed labor with NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements, which encouraged the great migration of manufacturing jobs to low-wage economies. Clinton's bank deregulation shifted the economic rewards to finance and set the stage for the calamity that struck in 2008. Wall Street won; working people lost. Clinton presided over the financialization of the Democratic Party. Obama merely inherited his playbook and has governed accordingly, often with the same policy-makers.|
This is the kind of shit that causes anyone who pays attention to think it's hopeless. The oligarchs have corrupted both parties. We have two corporate parties, although one of them is fully corrupted and FULLY does the bidding of the plutocrats, while the other is less corrupted; or a lot less corrupted (depending on if you're talking about a Blue dog or a Progressive).
Bernie Sanders might be the only politician in Congress who truly represents The People instead of the rich people. Although he has to compromise to get anything done. So in the end he does vote for legislation that benefits the Insiders. Makes me wonder what it's going to take before the people revolt.
By the way, many people who don't pay attention to politics also think it's hopeless. But it's because they believe the false meme that says the two parties are equally corrupt. There is a difference, however. Which is that the Repubs work for the benefit of the oligarchs exclusively, while the Dems work for the benefit of the oligarchs so they can get the campaign cash they need to compete and get into government and do a little for working people.
At least that was Bill Clinton's reasoning (that the Dems needed to sell out a little or Repubs backed by plutocrat cash would crush Dems with no plutocrat cash). Was Bill Clinton right? No, I do not think so. Although if the plutocrats are able to crush the campaign of Bernie Sanders... well, that might prove that Bill was right. Or that he set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. By which I mean this - Bill went 3rd way and the Dems started selling out big time, thus causing a lot of people to turn away from politics and stop paying attention.
Thus many people are too apathetic to realize that Bernie is the real deal (or even know who he is). They just see the plutocrat-funded ads that play during their TV programs and think they're getting the truth, when (in reality) it's lie-filled deceptive brainwashing propaganda designed to trick people to voting against their own interests.