LaRouche's EIR Magazine Features Report on Battle for the Democratic Party
Democratic Presidential primary candidate Lyndon LaRouche is Founder and Contributing Editor of Executive Intelligence Review, the weekly international news magazine featuring issues of current history and physical economy. EIR's Volume 23, No. 14, dated March 29, 1996 will release a 30-page feature report on "The Battle for the Soul of the Democratic Party." The introduction to that special feature by EIR editor Jeff Steinberg, follows.
The battle is on for the soul, and future, of the Democratic Party. On the one side is arrayed a growing coalition of forces, including Lyndon LaRouche, leading Congressional Democrats--led by Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.), Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (S.D.), House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt (Mo.), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (N.M.), and Rep. David Obey (Wisc.)--who all, in various ways, have taken up the theme encapsulated in James Carville's now famous 1992 campaign observation, "It's the economy, stupid." From within the Clinton administration, for the time being, the principal spokesman for this viewpoint is Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
On the other side, is a deeply entrenched apparatus of "Bush-league" Democrats, especially powerful within the Democratic National Committee and sections of the President's own re-election organization, who were responsible for throwing the 1994 mid-term congressional and gubernatorial elections to the Republicans. Left to their own devices, they will repeat that treachery again in 1996. Some of these "Republicans in Democrats' clothing" are longtime associates of Robert Strauss, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, who was George Bush's ambassador to Moscow, and is, today, part of the Dwayne Andreas and Hollinger Corp. apparatus behind the assault on the U.S. Presidency.
Andreas, the chairman of the Archer Daniels Midland grain cartel firm, the man who saved the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, an organized crime-contaminated hate-group, from near bankruptcy in 1978, is a power behind the throne of the Republican Party's likely Presidential nominee, Sen. Robert Dole (Kan.).
Strauss, like his former boss Bush, is a product of the political machine built up by the late Averell Harriman, which has been a pernicious source of British influence inside both the Democratic and Republican parties for decades. The recent Pat Buchanan "phenomenon" inside the GOP, is but another manifestation of bipartisan uprising against the "new world order" and "world government" policies associated with this obsessively Anglophile Harrimanite crowd.
The LaRouche FactorAt a Feb. 28 appearance at a candidates forum at The Woodlands, Texas, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Lyndon LaRouche, who is the only national figure, aside from William Clinton, running in the 1996 Democratic Presidential primaries, called upon his fellow Democrats to make the 1996 elections a turning point in the fight to "deal with what may be the worst economic crisis in our national history."
In subsequent campaign speeches, LaRouche has forcefully stated that the Democratic Party must be rebuilt through a landslide victory in the 1996 congressional elections. Otherwise, the re-election of President Clinton to a second term in office would be a pyrrhic victory, at best. Without such a congressional landslide, President Clinton will suffer a fate similar to, or worse, than that of Richard Nixon, following his 1972 re-election. The Whitewater forces, taking their cue from such British Intelligence conduits as Lord William Rees-Mogg and the Hollinger Corp., are already prepared to descend on President Clinton, at the first politically appropriate moment. Only a Democratic Party sweep of the Congress will deny them their moment.
LaRouche's words are carrying increasing weight with a large number of Democrats. Beginning with the Delaware primary, where he won 9.6% of the vote, LaRouche has scored impressive vote totals, including: 34.5% in North Dakota, 11.1% in Colorado, 12.6% in Oklahoma, 11.7% in Louisiana, and, most recently, 8.25% in Ohio. So far, LaRouche has cumulatively received just under 200,000 votes.
These numbers are all the more impressive, given the fact that his campaign has been totally blacked out of the national media. Also, Democratic National Committee Co-chairman Donald Fowler, a leading Bush-league Democrat, has unlawfully informed every state party chairman that LaRouche delegates will be barred from attending the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August, and has done everything in his power to blunt LaRouche's presence, including shutting down two Democratic Party primary elections altogether.
But the impact of LaRouche and his political movement extends far beyond the fact that he now commands a voter base of 10-20% of the Democratic Party activist core.
The Defeat of North Was StrategicIn 1994, as the Democratic National Committee was paving the way for the Republican Party's takeover of the Congress, LaRouche seized on the fact that Iran-Contra criminal Oliver North was the GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate in Virginia, against Democratic incumbent Charles Robb. With tens of millions of dollars from all across the United States pouring into North's campaign coffers, with Christian evangelical hypocrites Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell marshalling their forces, and with the Virginia Democratic Party almost hopelessly divided, LaRouche concluded that he had to personally launch a concerted effort to defeat North.
Well-known Virginia LaRouche Democrat Nancy Spannaus entered the Democratic Party primary to mobilize party support to defeat North; and after she was defeated by Robb for the Senate nomination, she formed a political action committee, the Defeat that Son-of-a-Bush Committee, and led a drive to expose the former Marine lieutenant colonel as a dope trafficker and terrorist.
In the closing days of the campaign, North, a loose cannon, made a fatal error: He boasted that, if elected, he was committed to wiping out Social Security and other benefits for the nation's elderly--policies that would later emerge as the hallmark of the Gramm-Gingrich Republican Congress, but were blacked out of the GOP's campaign rhetoric. The Defeat that SOB Committee saturated Virginia with leaflets on the eve of the election, quoting North on the end of Social Security. Senator Robb won re-election.
The defeat of North was strategic. It proved that "free market" Republicans could be defeated by mobilization of the traditional constituencies of the Democratic Party. Many of Pat Robertson's own blue collar and rural poor supporters voted against North following exposure of his drug ties, and his austerity policies.
At least one Democrat, aside from LaRouche, grasped the strategic significance of the North defeat.
On Jan. 11, 1995, Senator Kennedy delivered a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Kennedy had just won a hard-fought re-election victory. He strongly chastised many of his fellow Democrats for having abandoned the principles of the party. "Democrats must be more than warmed-over Republicans. The last thing this country needs is two Republican parties. If we fall for our opponents' tactics ... or engage in a bidding war to see who can be the most anti-government or the most laissez-faire, we will have only ourselves to blame. As Democrats we can win.
"The election last November," he continued, "was not a ratification of Republican solutions. By the narrowest of margins they gained control of Congress. But less than 40% of the eligible voters turned out on Election Day, and only slightly more than half of those--about 20%--cast ballots for Republicans."
In the same speech, Kennedy picked up on a second theme--the need to restore economic justice.
"We are, without apology," Kennedy stated, "the party that believes in assisting the poor and the disabled and the disadvantaged--but not to the detriment of the working class, which is justifiably frustrated and angry. They ... know they are losing ground. They see the wealthiest Americans becoming wealthier.... The majority of Americans are working harder and making less."
Kennedy then raised the issue of deregulation: "We must resist our opponents mindless anti-government vendetta against regulation, a rhetoric leading to an across the board assault on government that hides a multitude of injustices and indifferences. Republicans wanted to get the government out of the savings and loan industry in the worst way in the 1980s and they did. Deregulation ran amok. The S&L mess became one of the most serious scandals in our history, costing taxpayers more than $150 billion."
Gramm's 'Conservative Revolution in America'LaRouche immediately sized up the significance of Senator Kennedy's remarks. In the introduction to a February 1995 EIR Feature, "Phil Gramm's Conservative Revolution in America," he endorsed Kennedy's assessment that "a return to (e.g., Franklin Roosevelt era) Democratic Party constituency campaigning would turn back this Conservative Revolution during the 1996 primaries and general election." The EIR study dissected the Gramm-Gingrich policies and profiled the Mont Pelerin Society-led apparatus of Conservative Revolution think-tanks and tax-exempt foundations behind the murderous Contract with America. In his introduction, LaRouche also rigorously defined Gramm, Gingrich, et al. as fascists.
A March 1995 New Federalist pamphlet, "How the Conservative Revolution Crowd Plans to Destroy America," detailed the murderous consequences, for 80% of the American people, of the Contract with America and the GOP balanced-budget plan. Five million copies of that document were printed and circulated throughout the country.
Simultaneously, more than 600 state legislators from all across America were signing an open letter to President Clinton, calling for LaRouche's exoneration from the Reagan-Bush railroad prosecution and jailing of LaRouche and a half-dozen associates.
A 'Program to Save the Nation'In 1992, while running for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination, LaRouche issued a Program to Save the Nation, in which he spelled out concrete steps to be taken to bring an end to the cancerous speculative bubble; to return to America's successful tradition of national banking, by federalizing the Federal Reserve; and to create 6 million new, decent-paying jobs by rebuilding the country's decimated hard and soft infrastructure.
That document epitomized policies that have been the hallmark of LaRouche's efforts since 1979, when he was first co-opted into the Democratic Party, by a group of concerned leading Democrats who saw the party collapsing into hopeless disrepair, as the consequence of the so-called 1972 "McGovern reforms," and the disastrous performance of the Carter administration on all but a handful of secondary issues.
Many of these themes have been recently taken up by others in the party, especially the idea of using the power of government to force American corporations to once again play a constructive role in rebuilding the nation and restoring decent conditions of life for all Americans.
Nevertheless, as LaRouche noted in an interview with "EIR Talks" on Feb. 15, there are still certain issues that others in the pro-growth wing of the party are not yet ready to tackle: "Now the difference, of course, among us, is my difference. That doesn't mean, necessarily, that Kennedy, Daschle, or Gephardt would dig in and have absolute opposition to what I'm saying. It means that they're not ready to go that far, or have not reached that conclusion yet.... Not only is our economy very sick ... but the international monetary and financial system, including our own Federal Reserve System, is hopelessly bankrupt, is terminally ill, is on its deathbed. And the United States government, as the most powerful nation in the world today, must take leadership, both in the United States iteslf, and in cooperation with other countries which will cooperate, in creating a new monetary system and a new international credit system, to replace the bankrupt, hopelessly bankrupt, Federal Reserve System ... and central banking institutions abroad."
Forcing Corporate ResponsibilityFollowing the disastrous GOP takeover of the House and the Senate in the November 1994 elections, a number of leading Congressional Democrats joined with Senator Kennedy in attempting to develop an appropriate policy agenda through which to recapture Congress in 1996.
On Feb. 8, 1996, it was again Senator Kennedy who spoke for this Democratic Party faction, when he told an audience at the Center for National Policy, that the United States and the world had entered into a "Quiet Depression," "All is not well in the American economic house," he declared, "because all is not well in the homes of too many American workers and their families." Kennedy introduced the concept of "most-favored corporations," drawing on some of the economic policies that had brought the United States to its postwar peak of real growth, during the 1961-63 Presidency of his brother, John F. Kennedy.
On Feb. 14, the London Guardian's Will Hutton reported that a draft copy of an 80-page report was circulating around Democratic Party circles in Washington, embracing the same themes struck by Kennedy. The report was a draft of a study by a "high-wage task force," under the sponsorship of Senate Minority Leader Daschle and Senator Bingaman.
On Feb. 27, House Minority Leader Gephardt delivered an address before the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington, in which he, too, took up the issue of the destruction of the conditions of life for average American working families. This was the result of economic policies driven by Wall Street's desire to "squeeze up short-term stock prices--even when that means ignoring the long-term needs of the corporation itself," he said.
The next day, Senators Daschle and Bingaman issued their "high-wage task force" report, "Scrambling to Pay the Bills: Building Allies for America's Working Families." The 57-page report picked up on some important themes from LaRouche's earlier "Program to Save the Nation," and set forward revisions in the corporate tax codes that would dry up the most egregious forms of speculative looting, including derivatives.
A Political EarthquakeOn March 2, LaRouche appeared on a half-hour nationwide television campaign broadcast to address the subject of "economic national security." He blasted Newt Gingrich for embracing "Nazi policies." Three days later, when LaRouche received 11.1% of the vote in the Colorado Democratic primary, the beginnings of a political earthquake were felt all the way back in Washington.
The initiatives of Kennedy, Gephardt, Daschle, Bingaman, and others are already beginning to reverberate in the state parties. Typical of the pattern of reactions was a March 10 editorial page commentary in the Newark Sunday Star Ledger by State Senator Gordon A. MacInnes, a Democrat from Morris County, New Jersey. MacInnes warned against over-confidence inside the Clinton-Gore re-election camp, and urged the President to begin campaigning immediately on a platform to address the "reality of stagnating standards of living for about 80% of American households, despite two-spouse employment and longer work hours."
On March 11, in a press conference by Representative Obey, the Democratic Policy Committee issued a Staff Report, "Who Is Downsizing the American Dream?" which, too, took up the themes of the earlier LaRouche, Kennedy, Gephardt, and Daschle-Bingaman studies, and named some of the oligarchical families behind the Conservative Revolution.
With a resurgence of the role of the AFL-CIO, following the ouster of Lane Kirkland and the election of John Sweeney, a close Clinton ally, as the new union president; and with last October's Million Man March spurring a voter registration drive and a renewal of political activism in the African-American community (despite DNC efforts to sabotage the effort by withholding organizing funds), the opportunity is ripe for a rebirth of the Democratic Party.