Today I just want to make the simple observation that America’s two-headed one-party political system is a lot like an old stand-up bit Bill Cosby once did about beating his children.
The bit I’d like to highlight is from Cosby’s 1983 special “Himself”. Society’s attitude toward physically assaulting children has changed a bit since then, as has society’s attitude toward Bill Cosby, so it rings a fair bit different in modern ears than it did in those of the audience at the time. In fact when you just read a transcript of the routine, it doesn’t look like a comedy bit at all; it just looks like some guy’s description of abusing his children with his wife.
After painting a scene in which his children bicker and fight in defiance of their mother’s instructions, Cosby said the following:
“My wife turns around, grabs a yardstick. She holds it like a samurai warrior. She then makes an announcement that the beatings will now begin by saying, ‘I have had enough of this!’ Now these three brain-damaged people have the nerve to look surprised. My wife is… [imitates yardstick being thrown]. Children run everywhere.
“Now my job is, I am the goalie. The children come at me, I kick ’em back into play. Now the beatings are over, not because I see my wife, but because I hear all of upstairs going: [Imitates sobbing.]
“Now here’s the funny part: my wife comes downstairs with the broken stick, throws it on the table, sits down and begins to talk out loud to nobody: ‘Gonna tell me that you’re not going to do something when I tell you to do something. I mean, you move when I say move. Think I carried you in my body for nine months so you can roll your eyes at me? I’ll roll that little head of yours down on the floor. You don’t know who you’re fooling with. I’ll beat you until you can’t grow anymore.’ “
America’s dad, everyone.
“Now my job is, I am the goalie. The children come at me, I kick ’em back into play.”
Does this sound familiar?
Does it sound kind of like the Democratic Party?
Does it sound like the party which draws in voters who are looking to escape from the abusive, violent, warmongering, climate-killing, oligarch-coddling Republican Party, only to “kick ’em back into play”?
That’s the Democratic Party’s job. The Democratic Party is the goalie. Whenever the victims of America’s corrupt status quo start looking for an exit from the abuse, the Democratic Party’s job is to block that exit. It blocks that exit by offering up the promise of social justice, economic justice, advocacy for the working class and progressive reform, and then it actively neuters all attempts to make that happen. Attempts such as electing a progressive candidate to lead the party in a direction that actually reflects the will and interests of the people, for example.
Democrats sometimes accuse me of claiming that both parties are exactly the same, but that’s not true at all. The parties fulfill two very distinct roles in the administration of the beating: one wields the actual yardstick, while the other one acts as the goalie. One openly advances warmongering, ecocidal agendas of the billionaire class, while the other advances all those agendas more slyly while nullifying any attempt by the populace to thwart them.
They play two different roles in advancing the exact same agenda. Their behaviors are a bit different, but they’re both working to assault children with a yardstick.