October 04, 2012

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Obama and the debate (WSWS) It is impossible, however, to explain the performance witnessed by 70 million Americans by focusing solely on the political tactics devised by Democratic Party spin doctors or the personality traits of the nonentity in the White House. Like any significant political event, the course of the US presidential election can be grasped only through an analysis of the social forces at work. Only by considering the essential class role of the Democratic Party can Obama’s failure to take the offensive against Romney be understood. The Democratic Party, like the Republican, is a political instrument of the financial aristocracy that rules America. It has not the slightest independence from the capitalist ruling elite. That does not, however, make the two parties identical. They play distinct, albeit complementary, political roles. The Republican Party asserts the barely disguised appetite of the ruling elite for the greatest possible accumulation of wealth in the shortest possible time. While claiming, as Romney did Wednesday night, that policies of cutting taxes on corporations and the wealthy will “create jobs” and improve conditions of life for working people, this pretense has very little credibility with the American people. After all, the US is now in the fifth year of the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, with Wall Street profits returning to record levels, but working class living standards thrown back a generation. The Democratic Party poses as the advocate of ordinary working people, supposedly concerned with jobs, social programs and raising living standards, while occasionally criticizing...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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