For the first time in this century, significant numbers of young people of all races are expressing raw hatred for the Democrats and denouncing “The Squad” for collaborating with the oligarchy.
The most volatile elements of “left” Democrats have finally understood that you can’t oppose corporate duopoly rule while living in the oligarchs’ (out)house. The former Sandernistas brought in the New Year loudly demanding that “The Squad” — the handful of Democratic Representatives that style themselves as the “progressive” cutting edge of the Congress – refuse to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House unless the 80-year old millionairess and corporate bag woman agreed to submit Medicare for All to a full House vote. “A vote on Medicare for All will prompt a national conversation on guaranteeing health care in the middle of a pandemic,” wrote former Bernie Sanders press aide Briahna Joy Gray. A roll call tally “will show the country who really supports it, not just rhetorically, but in practice. Then we can hold our representatives accountable.”
The goal of the exercise was to expose and embarrass those lawmakers that pretend to back legislation favored by nearly 90 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of all Americans, but who always buckle to Pelosi’s corporate discipline. Gray, Dr. Cornel West, Movement for a People’s Party national coordinator Nick Brana, NFL player Justin Jackson and podcasters Katie Halper, Krystal Ball, Kyle Kulinski and Jimmy Dore held a #ForceTheVote Town Hall to compel The Squad to act as the people’s operatives in the legislative bowels of the beast. As it turned out, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and her leftish congressional cohorts chose to serve as the first corporate line of defense against the #ForceTheVote strategy — originally conceived by Jimmy Dore .
In the end AOC, newly-elected St. Louis Congresswoman Cori Bush, and Barbara Lee voted to elect Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House for the fourth time, after initially abstaining on a procedural ballot. In collapse, The Squad had shrunken to three fingers of one submissive hand.
It must be noted that back in 2005-06, when Pelosi was gearing up for her first her successful run for Speaker, she prevented Democrats from holding hearings on the Katrina catastrophe in fear of identifying the Party too closely with Black issues, and then forbade the Congressional Black Caucus and all other Democrats from attending Republican hearings on Katrina. All of the Black Caucus meekly complied with her diktat – except for Atlanta Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who was shunned by her fellow Black congresspersons as a result. As Peter Gamble and I reported in The Black Commentator , Pelosi “was able to convince the Congressional Black Caucus, as a body, to stand down in the face of a horrific crisis: the displacement of hundreds of thousands of residents of New Orleans.” The Black Caucus’s political irrelevance and impotence can be dated to that debacle. AOC and her Squad are on the same path – and the slope is much steeper in this era of accelerating national and imperial decay.
Covid-19 ensured the demise of Trump and has laid bare the anti-people nature of racial capitalism and the corporate duopoly that serves the oligarchs. Pelosi and her Democrats have shown themselves to be one with the Republicans in enforcing the Race to the Bottom that capitalists have imposed, worldwide, and whose noose has been tightening in the United States for two generations. Medicare for All is anathema to both corporate parties because it would go far towards deprivatizing one-sixth of the U.S. economy but, just as importantly, it would greatly diminish the precarity and desperation of workers who fear they must take and hold any job that provides health insurance. The oligarchy understands perfectly that its super-profits are derived from super-exploitation of the precarity-stricken workers of the planet, and on the deepening desperation of its own workforce.
It is with these forces that The Squad is collaborating, through their subservience to Pelosi and the duopoly.