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Free Minds & Free Markets

Harry Reid Sells Out Dick Durbin, Democratic Party Soul

What's left of it

An attempt was made recently to sell the U.S. Senate subdivision of Democratic Party real estate to Manhattan money changers. A contract was brokered by the Senator from Las Vegas, Harry Reid, for his protégé, the Senator from Wall Street, Chuck Schumer, passing over the Democratic Whip, the Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, for leadership in what used to be called the greatest deliberative body in the world.

The deal can't be closed until the November 2016 election, which will determine exactly who gets to sign the papers transferring ownership from Reid to Schumer. So there's still time to foment a little revolution.

This does not surprise. It comes when the nouveau riche Chicago, Arkansas and Westchester County Hillbillies, Hillary and Bill Clinton (swimmin' pools, movie stars, investment bankers, foreign donors,) seek a new lease on the presidential wing of the Democratic Party, their old place at 1600 Pennsylvania, operated for several decades by the New York money changer, Goldman Sachs.

News that Schumer might replace Reid left some Democratic party stalwarts as emotional as Linda Richman, visited by just-like-buttah' Barbra on SNL's "Coffee Talk." We were as verklempt as Schumer reportedly became when Durbin told him he had "earned" the promotion.

We free market Jeffersonian Democrats are talking among ourselves, wondering if the donkey side of the House of Representatives duplex may also be for sale. But a quick look at Federal Election Commission listings suggests much of Democratic House property seems to be taken, brokered by Washington's K Street lobbyist Realtors. (Closing prices searchable at OpenSecrets.org.)

Having gone a real estate metaphor too far, let me continue.

I came from Mt. Vernon, Illinois to the District of Columbia—68.3 square miles surrounded by reality—in 1975, as press secretary to newly elected Democratic Congressman (and later Senator) Paul Simon, a principled Progressive Era politician, and mentor to Durbin.

Since arriving on Capitol Hill, I've been watching the center of Democratic Party gravity shift from the farming and manufacturing Midwest, the progressive Boston-based northeast enclaves, and the independent-minded, populist Rocky Mountain and Pacific West Coast. The party of the Little People has been drifting toward the money manipulating Big People in the urban East, to those who risk other peoples' savings in the seven blocks of Lower Manhattan known as Wall Street.

The political tectonic plates have been shifting slowly, so gradually, indeed, that few seem to be noticing the earthquake that's shaking the Democratic Party from its historic embrace of working poor and lower middle class Americans.

In the 1980s, Democrats cozied up to New York bankers. After elections in 1992, William Jefferson Hamilton Clinton (sic) all but deeded the White House to the 70th Secretary of the Treasury, Robert Rubin, who was at Goldman Sachs for 26 years. Rubin's deputy, Larry Summers, succeeded him as Secretary at the end of the Clinton Administration. Summers later became a paid speaker to Goldman Sachs, and returned to Washington as economic policy advisor to President Barack Obama in 2009, after the former chairman of...drum roll...Goldman Sachs!, Henry Paulson, labored as George W. Bush's Treasury Secretary from 2006 to 2009.

Upon Rubin's retirement in 1999, Clinton called him the "greatest secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton," the founding father who created Wall Street.

The web is tangled, dark and deep. Some who still call ourselves Democrats are saddened by the slow slide of a once greater party, which I served as a 9-year-old in 1956 helping my mother drive Democrats to the polls, and for which I was a press spokesman for its national committee, 1983-87.

Listen up New Yorkers. This ex-Jefferson County Illinois, aging Democrat boy is verklempt. Mucho verklempt. Get your greedy hands off my party! Listen up Democratic Senators. You don't have to swallow this deal!

Photo Credit: White House

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  • Hugh Akston||

    Terry Michael, former press secretary for the late Senator Paul Simon.

    (D) Graceland

  • sarcasmic||

    He's got diamonds on the soles of his shoes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    What soul?

  • UnCivilServant||

    They might have stolen a few along the way.

  • Swiss Servator, Switzier!||

    "a principled Progressive Era politician, and mentor to Durbin."

    A more damning description is difficult to conceive.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Paul Simon was principled, Dick Durbin is a corrupt piece of shit.

  • Paul.||

    Manhattan money changers

    Is this allegory?

  • Swiss Servator, Switzier!||

    He should have made it alliteration - "Manhattan Money Men" or such.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Yeah but "money changers" has a much better pedigree as an antisemetic dog whistle.

  • Swiss Servator, Switzier!||

    True.

  • ThomasD||

    "We free market Jeffersonian Democrats..."

    More code talk from the party of non-racists.

    What they lack in self awareness they make up for in hubris.

  • ||

    Presumably a Jesus figure will come along to drive them from the temple.

  • ||

    I thought Warren wasn't running!?

  • John Galt||

    Obama Jesus will..not throw them out. Obama Jesus is an all new Jesus.

  • Moridin||

    Yet every time I tell leftists that their party is also full of Wall Street whores/sell outs they either say nothing, say the "but Republicans are worse" or change the subject.

    Teams!

  • John Galt||

    Yay!

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Fucking Thursdays.

  • Raven Nation||

    Hmm, I read that opening para four times and still don't really understand it. I don't think I'm that dumb: graded as a C-.

  • Rich||

    It is, poorly, written. Terry writes poorly.

  • Raven Nation||

    Heh, heh. I want back and read the whole thing and it didn't get much better.

  • Viscount Irish, Slayer of Huns||

    That second sentence man:

    "A contract was brokered by the Senator from Las Vegas, Harry Reid, for his protégé, the Senator from Wall Street, Chuck Schumer, passing over the Democratic Whip, the Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, for leadership in what used to be called the greatest deliberative body in the world."

    I feel like I'm being held to a bed and forcefully raped by commas.

  • GregMax||

    I was sodomized by a coma once.

  • Ol' Dirty Bastard||

    This paragraph triggered me.

    Expect a call from my lawyer.

  • Paul.||

    Well, OT: Hookers at the Nevada's notorious Bunny Ranch are enthusiastically supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016 because they... it's hard saying this with a straight face... they say that Hillary will "prevent a return to supply-side economics".

    The Bunnies, who are featured on the HBO show "Cathouse," said in a news release that their support for Clinton comes down to four issues: protecting health care reform, foreign policy experience, support for agencies that protect public health and the prevention of a return to supply-side economics.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....29398.html

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That's a ringing endorsement. Just like Lena Dunham for Obama.

  • ||

    I wonder what a ringing political endorsement goes for in Nevada these days?

  • Rich||

    "Just contribute to the Foundation, please."

  • JW||

    Hookers at the Nevada's notorious Bunny Ranch are enthusiastically supporting Hillary Clinton in 2016

    They don't want to lose a loyal customer.

  • Rich||

    I served as a 9-year-old in 1956 helping my mother drive Democrats to the polls

    Back when children were allowed to drive.

  • Paul.||

    By the way, this is not a childhood well spent. If I found out my daughter was getting involved in political activities I'd have a stern talk with her.

  • Rich||

    "But I want to help change the world, Daddy!"

  • Paul.||

    In my house, we change things from the outside.

  • Rich||

    *** runs outside and slams door ***

  • fish||

    "But I want to help change the world, Daddy!"

    Fine...go mow the lawn!

  • UnCivilServant||

    "But I want to help change the world, Daddy!"

    Into what?

  • UnCivilServant||

    Did they drive a hearse?

  • Swiss Servator, Switzier!||

    Nah, that is Cook County, where he lived, his Ma was driving the 3 Democrats in the county to go vote...

  • Swiss Servator, Switzier!||

    EDIT BUTTON, EDIT BUTTON NOW!!!!

  • Swiss Servator, Switzier!||

    Oh yeah?! Back when I was 9, I had to help carry voters to the polls in a sedan chair, uphill BOTH WAYS!

  • ||

    Oh yeah? Well by the time I was that age I was ten.

  • UnCivilServant||

    You must have had a long year at some point.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Having gone a real estate metaphor too far, let me continue.

    I have no idea what this article is even about.

  • Charles Easterly||

    Mexicans?

  • Suicidy||

    And pot?

  • Rhywun||

    If there's a beltway politics version of Variety, this article would be in it. Because I think we're not supposed to understand it.

  • Xeones||

    Hitler?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    SOUL?
    That's a knee-slapper.

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    PRINCIPLED PROGRESSIVE is the knee slapper, they are unprincipled by design.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    He meant to say deluded.

  • Charles Easterly||

    "Upon Rubin's retirement in 1999, Clinton called him the 'greatest secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton'"

    Naturally Clinton would think positively of Hamilton: "Hamilton was the master of the political lie. He used his rhetorical powers and elite connections to invent the myth of the Constitution's 'implied powers.' He established the imperial presidency. He devised a national banking system that imposes boom-and-bust cycles on the American economy. He saddled Americans with a massive national debt and oppressive taxation. He pushed economic policies that lined the pockets of the wealthy and created a government system built on graft, spoils, and patronage. He transformed state governments from Jeffersonian bulwarks of liberty to beggars for federal crumbs."

  • LynchPin1477||

    Sadly, if it wasn't him, someone else probably would have done it.

    Still, I remember first learning just how awful Jackson was. I can't believe he's on the $20 over someone like Madison.

    This is why I'm enthusiastically endorsing Harriet Tubman for $20 status.

  • Redmanfms||

    Still, I remember first learning just how awful Jackson was. I can't believe he's on the $20 over someone like Madison.

    First Dem Prez dude.

    First. Dem. Prez.

  • Suicidy||

    I gain my rhetorical powers through ongoing exposure to earth's yellow sun. Or maybe an Oan power ring. Powered battle armor? Wait.....what the hell is my origin?

  • radar||

    I'm a bit baffled here - Reason's publishing a piece that expects me to give a shit that Dick Durbin was passed over for a Dem leadership position? Dick fucking Durbin?? SERIOUSLY???? What exactly is the difference between Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer, other than Durbin having a much more accurately descriptive first name?

  • ||

    Chuck has bitch tits?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think a bunch of people must be on vacation today. Or maybe Welch is back on jury duty.

    On days like today Reason should do a "Commenters of" series, where we each get chance to post a column of our choosing. Just think of all the page views that would generate.

  • Charles Easterly||

    The sheer enormity of the chaos that would ensue could crash Reason for days or weeks, unless the ever-present squirrels called in reinforcements to handle things.

    I like your idea, LynchPin, and perhaps we could convince them of having an occasional guest column where a randomly selected commentator is given an opportunity to write an article. If said article passes their "rigid journalistic guidelines" it gets included on the site.

    Two thoughts: Those of us who wrote and had our articles accepted could experience what the regular contributors deal with (assuming they dare to read the comments/reactions anymore) and the rest of us could benefit or at least have the opportunity to read something our fellow commentators write which is longer and more developed/thought out than what we are used to seeing in the comments sections.

  • Vampire||

    Awesome idea.

  • Puddin' Stick||

    That's… not a bad idea.

  • Suicidy||

    Just imagine the shit Tony, PB, Boocara, and Am. Soc. would write. Imagine it!

  • Jima||

    "other than having a much more accurately descriptive first name" Yep, made me spit beer out laughing. Good beer too... great shot sir.

  • Almanian!||

    "An attempt was made recently.....

    A contract was brokered.....

    An article was written, the passive voice was used, mistakes were made....

  • Drake||

    The gun went off...

  • Xeones||

    Dick was passed over...

  • Rhywun||

    15 minutes of my time were wasted...

  • hazer45||

    I didn't understand a word of this. Maybe I just don't understand Democrat speak.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Feelz, no understanding required, just feelz.

  • Suicidy||

    Imagine monkeys flinging their poo. Then imagine that poo as words.

  • Don'tTreadOnMe||

    Now THIS is why I come to the comments section.....

  • american socialist||

    This article is going to get lots of comments because it feels like it was written by my cranky old uncle. Don't worry, terry, we're still trying to purge all those third-way bullshitters like your ex-boss out of the Democratic Party

  • JWatts||

    It says a lot when american socialist's post is both more thoughtful and better written than the article.

  • american socialist||

    I do try. As far as soul goes, I'm pretty happy that we have Bernie sanders running. He is the most principled person to run for president since George McGovern-- so, yeah, I agree with terry-- there is a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. Let's hope he wins.

  • JeffreyinSandySprings||

    When are these people going to realize that the reality is that there are only two things that democrat (socialist) politicians and government workers truly care about :

    A. Staying in power and enjoying the perks and prestige that comes with their plush government position.

    B. Advancing the socialist/progressive cause.

    There might be true believers in the democratic side but nearly all are the "useful idiots" that support and vote for these leaders.
    The truth is that they would sell the entire country into tyranny, dissolution and poverty if it helped achieve those two objectives.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    Actual socialists are principled idiots who are willing to take the social hit for their beliefs, like flat-earthers or the guy who got his ass kicked by Neil Armstrong. Mainstream D politicians are just political trolls who make their living leeching off the envy of others.

  • MSimon||

    When are these people going to realize that the reality is that there are only two things that democrat (socialist) politicians and government workers truly care about :

    FIFY

  • Deli-bro||

    wtf-did-I-just-read.jpg

  • tz||

    Harvey McKay wrote a book, "Beware the Naked Man who promises the shirt off his back".

    Beware the materialist atheist who promises his soul.

    Is this actual fraud - selling something you've already sold elsewhere, or does the devil merely have a lein?

    Ingenous! Donkeys don't have horns!

  • MSimon||

    Bill Clinton might beg to disagree. Confirmation available from a girl in a blue dress.

  • Suicidy||

    The title of this article is based on a flawed premise. As democrats have no souls.

  • MSimon||

    Israel doesn't need a lobby. They have the Bible. And the Christians.

  • ||

    I am not sure what Michaels was trying to say here exactly, but I get the notion he is a democrat who thinks his party is one of principle yet it is being sullied by a few of the very people his team rails against constantly.

    What a deluded fool.

  • Libertarius||

    Yeah. He writes like every other college-infected postmodernist, a bunch of nonsense that you're supposed to find ironic but it makes you want to punch the idiot who wrote it.

  • gord53||

    Big money political influence is ubiquitous. Both parties have been corrupted for decades. With any luck, the next devastating financial collapse, which is coming soon, will awaken the public to the nature of our government.

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  • HenryC||

    The side of the Democratic party with the most votes wins. if you don't like it, tough.

  • REMant||

    I hope the author doesn't consider populism to be synonymous with libertarianism.

  • HolgerDanske||

    Old news, but it's interesting that some of the same players are playing a similar game in Denmark: http://europeangreens.eu/news/.....government

    Especially since the Danish (far) left isn't well known for being corporatist in general.

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  • AAC||

    Reid. Schumer. Durbin. We're supposed to feel sorry for a democrat after what these guys have put us through? They *own* Reid.

  • ||

    The problem with "the party of the Little People" is implicit in that very phrase: how condescending can you get, calling your constituents "little people?" And then, compounding that, trying to treat all of us like we're "little people," children, incompetent to make our own decisions.

  • MoreFreedom||

    In other words, Democrats are now the party of Wall Street and billionaire financiers, and not the party for blue collar workers and the little guy. Schumer is like Reid, extremely partisan, corrupt and willing to use dirty tricks to get his way.

    Yes, the Democratic party has lost it soul. But then the GOP (at least 60% of them) aren't fiscal conservatives either. Both parties are now the parties of more government. We're screwed, as they use that power to take from us, and enrich themselves. At least there are some in the GOP who are trying to protect us.

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  • TuhayBey||

    The reality is that the GOP has gone so far off the rails that figuring out which party is better for your interests no longer depends on whether you're rich or poor really. Even the rich would do better under a thriving Democratic economy than they would do under the bizarre mix of irrational plans the GOP is currently pushing. Certainly the old school fiscally conservative, pro big-business, anti-tax wing of the GOP is still there and the rich certainly like all that stuff. But, it has become clear that the conspiracy nuts really do have the power to take control of the party, and any risk of that is simply unacceptable. The rich, at least the smart and educated rich, are completely unwilling to risk that, even for some slightly lower taxes in the short run.

    For example, a Democrat winning may cost them 3% of their income or so in taxes, but a Republican winning may mean a non-zero chance of the country intentionally defaulting, which would cost them virtually everything.

  • DocDave88||

    I begged anyone who would listen, or read what I write, to hold their noses one last time and pull the level for the R in 2014. I specifically included That Cockman in Mississippi and Patty /Roberts in Kansas in that plea. My thinking was that moving Dirty Hairy Weed to a much smaller office was job one.

    Imagine how disappointed I am after November 4th to find out that the one-eyed ex-boxer still runs the Senate and the hag so botoxed up she can no longer close her eyes runs the House.

    So now I am urging everyone who will listen or who will read what I write to write in Baxter Schnauzer/Molly Schnauzer 2016. Terriers with Principles. And one is female, That THAT Monica Lewinsky's Boyfriend's Wife.

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  • Richard Fitzwell||

    ".....You don't have to swallow this deal!"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....Hey, Harry? Who's the jimoke who wrote this? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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