Tag Archive: Neoliberal

Jul 27 2015

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: How Neoliberal is Hillary Clinton?

By Le Gauchiste

The term “Neoliberal” is used a lot here at Daily Kos: 203 posts included the term during the first half of 2015 alone, a little more than one every day. Many of these posts stimulate lively discussion, especially regarding the alleged neoliberalism of various Democratic Party figures, most notably President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Quantity is not always a sign of quality, however, and many of these discussions suffer from a failure to define neoliberalism adequately or even at all, leading to understandable confusion and misplaced accusations that the term is meaningless. This post will try to avoid that pitfall by proposing a definition of neoliberalism that emphasizes its nature as an ideology, and will then apply that definition to one of Clinton’s most important recent speeches, in which she was widely reported to have returned to traditional liberalism.

Jun 12 2013

When You Support George W. Bush’s Policies, like Obama, I Get to Call You a Republican

Worse than a Republican; I get to call you a fawning sellout with even less principles than the Republican security soccer moms of 2004 that we all remember before. They really believed back then, and still do, that giving up their rights was worth a sense of (fake) security. And you know what? They were more principled than anyone who writes diaries excusing neoconservative policies from the Obama administration that were unacceptable to them when they came from the George W. Bush administration.

Period. End of story. Why? The RW soccer moms didn’t pretend to be outraged about this stuff during the Bush years. They have consistently supported it. So since that is an undeniable fact, I have to ask some of you how it feels to have even less principles than Republican voters who excused and supported some of the worst war crimes in history? How does it feel to enable a Justice Department that has now de facto codified some of the worst war crimes and financial crimes in history? How does it feel now that it is now exposed that, like Republican voters, you need a BS war on terror to feel safe?

How does it feel to repeat the same BS that cretins from the right did in the 2004 election to support their chosen leader? You know that fear mongering bit about “having nothing to hide so then having nothing to worry about?” That came from the RNC, and now that garbage is being recycled by people “who consider themselves Democrats or progressives based mostly on their feelings and nothing more. This similar zeitgeist all started during the run up to the Iraq war after 9/11 when the Patriot Act was passed when almost no one read the Bill in Congress.

Unlike apparently many people who didn’t really mean it, I was actually horrified by what went on during those years, and yet those same policies continue under President Obama. I’m also horrified that some of the same people who call themselves Democrats are not horrified anymore.

Jun 01 2012

Unmasking Barney Frank

Writing for naked capitalism Matt Stoller sheds some light on the myth of retiring Massachusetts Rep. Barney Franks’s true politics, and it’s not as liberal as you would think. Despite the press touting Mr. Frank as a “top” and “passionate” liberal in reality, Mr. Stoller points out, that in reality he has been a career Reaganite

The career of Barney Frank casts a large shadow upon the Democratic approach to financial matters, as he perfectly epitomizes how they behaved throughout this time period.  Frank was elected in 1981, as a quintessential Reagan-era Democrat.  He is frequently misunderstood, and cast as a liberal.  In another era, he would have been such.  But he was first and foremost interested in cutting deals, and to that end, his ideology ended up as that of a Reagan-lite.  It’s unfortunate, because by the time he had real power in 2008, he had no firm basis upon which to make decisions for the broad public, and ended up consolidating wealth into the hands of a smaller and smaller number of people. [..]

He’s a bank-friendly Democrat who is believes in neoliberal ideas, but wants to ensure that there is some housing for the poor.  Let’s take this comment, which cuts to the core of how Frank sees the economy.

   “These days in developed countries, everybody says you need a private sector to create wealth, you need a public sector to create rules by which wealth is created. Sensible people understand that.”

This is absurd.  The government creates enormous amounts of wealth, from the telecommunications industry to the computer to the internet, to infrastructure like the national highway system.  If you’re driving across any number of bridges or traveling over airports, that’s wealth.  That’s value.  And it’s government-created.  The Reconstruction Finance Corporation lent out a total of $55 billion in the 1930s and 1940s, it was a government-bank that financed infrastructure all over the country.  Liberals govern like wealth can be created in both the public and private sector, and destroyed in both areas as well.  Neoliberals like Frank put their faith in the private sector.

Nor is Barney a friend to activists as Matt sites this statement that was made just recently about the Gay Pride movement:

    And I believe very strongly people on the left are too prone to do things that are emotionally satisfying and not politically useful. I have a rule, and it’s true of Occupy, it’s true of the gay-rights movement: If you care deeply about a cause, and you are engaged in an activity on behalf of that cause that is great fun and makes you feel good and warm and enthusiastic, you’re probably not helping, because you’re out there with your friends and political work is much tougher and harder. I’m going to write about the history of the LGBT movement, partly to make the point that, in America at least, it’s the way you do progressive causes….

   Pride Weekend was very important early on, because people didn’t know who we were, the hiddenness was a problem. Today, Pride has no political role. It’s a fun thing for people.

Wow! If it weren’t for the activists of OWS and Gay Pride there would be no change in public attitude about LGBT rights and no turn in conversation about the corruption of Wall St. and the causes for the income disparity that is holding back the economic recovery from the Great Recession.

Like President Obama, Barney Frank likes bipartisanship and compromise. The problem with that is it has been the downfall of the Democratic Party and widening of income disparity for the 99%. It well past time Barney Frank retired. Let the voters of Massachusetts replace him with a representative that will stand for the principles of the Democratic Party, the majority of Americans and not the banks and Wall St.

Happy retirement, Mr. Frank, and congratulations on your up coming nuptials which might not be happening if it weren’t for the Gay Pride movement.