I don’t buy the Cloward-Piven argument. Sure, there are some who would like to bring this country down economically so they can rebuild it as some sclerotic socialist utopia replete with Young Pioneer camps and pompous people’s art in the subways (and no food in the stores), but most are not even imaginative enough for that.
I think there are three things at work — habit, fear of change, and pure, unbridled, screw-the-rest-of-us, self-interest. And the ones who focus on the latter — the powerful and self-interested – rely on the habit and the fear of change on the part of the others — plus a soupçon of patronage — to hold the whole tawdry ball of wax together.
Of course this patronage system is deteriorating rapidly. It cannot continue in its present manner without bringing on that economic Samson Option.
So the Democrats are at a crossroads. Will they face reality?
I sincerely doubt it. Not with ultra-conventional Obama in the White House. This is not a man who takes risks. This is not a man who has demonstrated the slightest interest in genuine change other than the rhetorical kind. And big change — giant change — we need.
Michele Bachmann was entirely correct when she excoriated him for failing blacks and Hispanics. But that’s the tip of the proverbial ice berg. His party has failed, more importantly exploited, those minorities for years, decades really. The proof is in their execrable results.
Now they are going after the rest of us. And the sad thing is they may succeed. Because it’s going to take all of America to pull us back again, to get us back to work and revive our spirit. And the Democratic Party is doing the opposite.