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Dec-13-2010 19:10printcomments

The Western Road to Demorepublicanism

Historical traces of the well traveled trail to a drab and mediocre time...

Troy Horse

(LAGUNA BEACH) - It had been ten years since the United Kingdom held a general election. Winston Churchill had steered the nation through the most difficult war in Britain’s history. Churchill himself was popular with the electorate so it was widely believed the Conservative Party would sweep to a big victory in the election held on July 5, 1945. To everyone’s surprise the Tories were nearly wiped out losing 190 seats in the House of Commons while the Labour Party gained 239 seats. The Conservative loss was due in part, according to Joe Conason writing in Salon, “...because British voters didn’t trust the Tories to implement the Beveridge report” (which called for a National Health Service).

Later that same year Pamela Beryl Digby Churchill filed for divorce from Randolph Churchill, the son of Winston Churchill. Some people speculated that the marriage broke up because Randolph had lost his parliamentary seat that year. Others said while Randolph was doing military service in Cairo during the war, Pamela had an affair with United States Ambassador to the Soviet Union, W. Averell Harriman. W. Averell was nearly 30 years older than Pamela. W. Averell returned to the United States in early 1946 after breaking off his relationship with Pamela. Later he would be honored with the title of Mr. Democrat because of his huge influence (read largesse) on the Democratic Party.

In 1909 Harriman inherited a fortune from his father, E.H. Harriman, who owned the Union Pacific Railroad, Wells Fargo, and a slew of other valuable properties. In 1922 the upstart W. Averell established the W.A. Harriman & Company bank. Later the bank’s name was changed to Harriman Brothers & Company and later still Brown Brothers & Harriman & Company. George Herbert Walker, the great grandfather of President George Bush was president of Harriman & Co. Prescott Bush, President George Bush’s other great grandfather, was a senior partner at Harriman & Co.

Pamela Churchill, after divorcing Randolph (remember him?) went on to have numerous affairs with men of prominence and wealth. In 1971, a day after Pamela’s second husband died, she began a second affair with W. Averell. Six months later W. Averell and Pamela were married. From their marriage forward Pamela, like her wealthy Wall Street husband, became immersed in Democratic Party politics. In 1986 William Averell Harriman died at the ripe old age of 95 years and Pamela inherited 75 million dollars.

Meanwhile, during the 1980s, the Democratic Party was getting clobbered at the hands of the Republican Party in national election after national election. According to Godfrey Hodgson in his book titled More Equal Than Others: America from Nixon to the New Century.

“By the 1980s influential leaders in the Democratic Party...especially in the South were coming to accept...the Democrats could never hope to recapture power nationally unless they changed their spots. “ These Democratic Party leaders advocated taking the party to the right. By adopting right-wing positions on policy issues, particularly pro-corporate neo-liberal economic policies, these southern and mid-western Democrats believed they could attract more corporate money. “The key group in selling this idea was the (newly formed) Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) based in Chicago.”

Aside from a stable of upstart and conservative establishment southern and mid-western rural Democrats “...the DLC had another valuable asset: the substantial fortune of Pamela Harriman....Mrs. Harriman raised a reported $12 million (during the 1980’s). The considerable influence that (fund raising) brought her, in a party strapped for cash, was thrown toward the DLC. She liked Bill Clinton and helped him to emerge as the leading candidate for President of the United States in 1992.” After Clinton’s victory in the 1992 national election, Pamela Churchill Harriman was appointed United States Ambassador to France. She died in 1997 after suffering a stroke while swimming at the Paris Ritz Hotel.

The health care “reform” product that emerged from the Senate Democratic Caucus is a direct reflection of the split between the “progressives” who are mainly loyal members of the Democratic National Committee, the DNC, and the pro-corporate DLC in alliance with Senate Republicans.

In 2005 Howard Dean was elected Chairman of the DNC. At that time Dean described the DLC as the "Republican wing of the Democratic Party.” DLC leaders were outraged at Dean’s characterization. In 2003 then Senator Barack Obama opposed the DLC stating his support for universal healthcare were at odds with the DLC, "...That is why I am not currently, nor have I ever been, a member of the DLC." After becoming President and appointing more than 50% of his cabinet from the DLC, in May of 2009, President Obama declared to the House New Democrat Coalition (DLC Caucus), "I am a New Democrat." In 2009 (at the direction of President Obama) Howard Dean was replaced as chairman of the DNC by Tim Kaine, the current Governor of Virginia and leading member of the DLC. Obama also pointedly refused to appoint Dean to any position in his government.

Leading members of the DLC in the new Senate, who can now be referred to as “Clintonites,” are former DLC Chair Joe Lieberman (1995-2001), Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Max Baucus, Maria Cantwell, Tom Carper, Dianne Feinstein, Tim Johnson, John Kerry, Herb Kohl, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, and Debbie Stabenow, all major players who are responsible for killing Single Payer, The Public Option, and Medicare Buy-in. All these corporate Democrats support the continued corporate monopoly over health care.  (http://www.nndb.com/group/269/000093987/)

Dialing forward to the present: The extension of the Bush Tax cuts that Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are trying to force down the nation’s collective throats is nothing more than a replay of the health reform shadow puppet show. In the intensifying class war being waged by the rich on the rest of us, the big winners will again be corporate America in cahoots with fourteen DLC Democrats and forty-seven Republicans. No matter how you cut it, that adds up to a corporate majority in the Senate.

So where’s the surprise? Howard Dean had warned the Democrats. When progressive Democrats drag a hollowed out Tory Horse inside their gates, they shouldn’t expect a pleasant party that night.

Tyrone Borelli, a resident of Laguna Beach for the past 27 years, is a retired high school physics and earth science teacher. He started teaching back in 1973. Tyrone's first high school teaching job was at George Washington High School with the Department of Education in Guam. He later taught math in San Marcos, Texas for several years, and finished his teaching career at Santa Ana Valley High School where he taught GATE and AP Physics and GATE Earth Science for 23 years. You can write to T.C. Borelli at: alty53@cox.net

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