A Horse Named Ghost

Allow me to once again beat the crap out of a long dead horse. This particular dead horse passed on 40 years ago or so, and so one might think me a bit unable to leave the creature dead and buried, once and for all. However, it’s just too important to not again put the carcass of the deceased on display at this specific point in time, because while the horse may be passed on, it hovers about, haunting millions of people, many of whom bet on it over and over only to keep watching it lose race after crucial race, losing by not knowing how to win, and at times behaving in so docile a manner that the notion of winning when it counted most was seemingly not a matter of urgency or importance. It once did know how to win. But again, that was over forty years ago, at a minimum, possibly 50 or more years ago. And right now, the spectre of this creature is so intensely insinuating itself into our daily lives that–whether one knows it or not–it would appear to be intent on reminding us of what a tragedy it’s demise represented, and how its absence constantly keeps nagging (pun intended) away at we the people regarding what it has cost our country.

Okay, enough with a metaphorical dead horse. But I think it’s quite an apt metaphor for——the Democratic Party. I guess I should use a donkey as the four-legged metaphor, since that is the Dems’ mascot. but “beating a dead horse” is an established descriptor of my mojo here. The literal meaning of the horse beating is that it is a waste of time to do so, as the dead horse will not work just because you beat it. The Democratic Party is not going to work any better if I or millions of others keep beating it. It is a DEAD HORSE. How-ever. Until the goddam corpse is not worth beating anymore, as in it has been replaced by a functioning, capable, savvy horse, willing to try its best to win winnable races, to fight and forge evermore ahead in the race, then let the desecration continue.

Right now, in late September of 2020, this is what the failed Democratic Party has managed to usher into our lives through its contemporary mojo of incompetency, corrupted ideology, and a collusive and capitulatory modus operandi: It stupefyingly lost the 2016 election to a now irrefutably intellectually bankrupt, self-styled autocratic flim-flam man, a mysogynistic cretin who overtly sexualizes his own daughter, who by edict separates–likely forever–immigrant children from their parents, who wantonly ignores science–immunological and climate related– and who has all but guaranteed he will refuse to leave office should he lose the election. Not to mention his bombastic bullshit during this week’s first “debate”. Many people saw his garish character flaws years ago, and certainly so did the DNC in 2016 when it absurdly took it for granted that Hillary Clinton simply could not lose to a shallow reality TV show host.

To go back to the dead horse theme, the 2016 election was as though the DNC’s pony in this race started out of the gate with a 20 length lead, and then the horse became bored, its sense of purpose supplanted by self-delusional invincibility. But then again, if the DNC was her handler, it was inevitable that it would lose, since that is what the DNC gives us: losers. Clinton and Obama? Towering statesmen compared to the serial ignoramus in the oval office, but both capitulated, compromised and ultimately accommodated a GOP agenda that has forever catered to a tiny fraction of the public at the expense of the greater good. Clinton and Obama both placed corporate interests over all else. Clinton signed off on gutting much of the social welfare programs that were vital to those already victimized by social and financial inequality. Obama refused to hold to account the Wall Street hucksters that cost so many their jobs, pensions and homes related to the 2008 market meltdown. FDR still spins in his grave. Oh, the corporate dems are guilty of much more than those two examples but if you doubt my umbrage is warranted, get away from the corporate media mavens and check out the journalism practiced by the independent outlets. Do it. Forget about the networks. They help spreading the lies and propaganda. Along with indoctrinating us to shop and be happy no matter what.

Now, after almost four years of the dangerous disgrace that is our current national ruling party, it boggles the mind that the Democrats, rather than being able to project a superiority to the freak show that basically wipes its ass with the Constitution, that constantly crosses legal lines with impunity, that unabashedly rigs local, statewide and national vote counts, finds itself again playing defense or worse, being unable to prevent yet another gross abuse of power by the GOP. The failed DNC apparently has no ability to block the egregious power grabs of what soon will be a second, radical-right wing SCOTUS nominee from being confirmed. 

They have no power to stop this power grab because they can’t manage to win enough senate seats to have a majority. Never mind having a majority. The Democrats, back in 1991, with a 57-43 senate advantage, approved putting a right-wing nominee named Clarence Thomas on the Court, in spite of Thomas having a lackluster legal portfolio and who was accused by many women–during his hearings–of having sexually harassed them under his authority as head of the EEOC. All Thomas had to do to get the Democrats to cower and capitulate was cynically play the race card. “This is an electronic lynching” he indignantly declared, and 9 Democratic senators immediately folded and voted to confirm him. That’s our so-called opposition party for you. Even when they have numbers, they squander their power. Keep in mind Thomas has been the 5th and deciding vote on anti-democratic Court rulings such as Citizens United (corporations are “people”) and the gutting.of the Voting Rights Act. Now they can only sit back as irrelevant bystanders as another right-wing extremist is going to be confirmed –as they did with the Brett Cavanaugh nomination (indignant, at times over-the top defiant Brett was also accused of sexual misconduct, but hey, it was a matter of–like Thomas– he said vs all of them said).

This is why I again beat a dead horse. Opposition party my ass! It is apparent that winning isn’t something the Democrats care about. Seriously, they do not care enough to find strong candidates. Otherwise explain how it loses to a Richard Nixon. Or a Ronald Reagan (whose Reaganomics continue to haunt the working class). Or Bush I or Bush II (the latter the author of the propaganda fueled invasion of Iraq and its massive cost of lives while private interests reaped massive profits). But worse than those loses was that 2016 race. That loss may well spell the end of what is already a tarnished and tattered democracy, with a fledgling fascist regime hiding in plain sight right now.

Perhaps enough people who alarmingly see what is right in front of their eyes will show up on November 3rd (with likely days and days to follow to sort out the mailed-in ballots). I mean enough votes to overcome the blatant voter suppression or scrubbing of strategically identified ethnic and likely Afro-American surnames from voting rolls that is standard procedure by the GOP at this point (Keep in mind these voting count counter-measures weren’t installed in a political vacuum. Where the hell was that opposition party as it became more an in-your-face vote stealing gambit?).

Right now it looks bad for saving this country from more dysfunction, lawlessness and divisiveness. Should the dangerous, amoral denizens of high and low office be shown the door, it will be in spite of the inept and disgustingly complicit Democratic Party. Their candidate for the White House projects exhaustion while trying to enunciate a rote political rhetoric. Not too inspiring. If he wins, that dead horse won’t be resurrected. If anything, it’ll be another Trojan Horse with no teeth and no game to serve the many instead of the few. Medicare for all? Not in the DNC platform. Green New Deal? Ditto. But if victorious because legions of people take it upon themselves to fight back against what is now a GOP death cult, the DNC and its stable of gimpy nags will need be replaced as soon as possible with a fresh steeds who the vast majority of people can actually get excited about. If that can happen, the DNC and it’s play not to lose but also not to win strategy can be, finally, and once for all, pronounced dead. And permanently buried.

At long last.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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3 Responses to A Horse Named Ghost

  1. Some new polls from Politico:
    HAPPY SUNDAY. A HANDFUL OF NEW BIG POLLS this morning, 37 DAYS out from Election Day:

    — WAPO/ABC: JOE BIDEN is leading DONALD TRUMP 53-43 among registered voters, and 54-44 among likely voters. WaPo’s Dan Balz and Emily Guskin with more

    ABC’S @rickklein: “Clinton won political moderates by 12 points. Biden leads among them by 47 … Clinton won independent women by four points. Biden leads among them by 57 points.”

    — NYT/SIENA: BIDEN leads TRUMP 49-41. NYT’s Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns with more

    BIDEN, as you see above, is above 50 in both states.
    This is not a drill. The Reichstag is burning.
    Opinion by Dana Milbank
    With his repeated refusals this week to accept the peaceful transfer of power — the bedrock principle that has sustained American democracy for 228 years — President Trump has put the United States, in some ways, where Germany was in 1933, when Adolf Hitler used the suspicious burning of the German parliament to turn a democracy into a totalitarian state.



  2. From the Obama administration we got a) Arne Duncan, b) Romneycare that was unaffordable to millions of Americans, and c) a continuation of Bush’s wars in precisely manner of Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice.
    However, the choice in this election is clear. We can have Biden, who will take climate change and clean air and water regulation seriously, restore our alliances, end the criminal treatment of asylum seekers, and protect the civil rights of women, LGBTX persons, and we can nudge toward a more equitable and progressive tax code. Or, we can continue with Trump, whose only interest is Trump–an environmental vandal who actively works against civil rights, supports autocrats worldwide, and straight up espouses racist and fascist principles, who believes in eugenics and an imperial presidency backed by brownshirts in the streets.

    Discussion of some hypothetical better candidate in this election is now entirely moot. DO NOT WASTE YOUR VOTE!!!


  3. Joe Biden for president
    Opinion by the Editorial Board Washington Post
    SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
    Mr. Biden’s competence and honor are more important in this cycle than any particular stand on any particular issue.


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