Stanley Dundee

Macronies

2018-12-21 v. 3, updated with Beto austerity quotes from Texas Observer.

2018-12-20 v. 2, updated with Beto cites.

2018-12-19 v. 1

We face an entire generation of Democratic Party politicians who are untrustworthy and need to be purged. They are all intent on fooling you, on convincing you that they have all turned over a new leaf after coming face to face with Bernie Sanders. They want you to believe that they are the magical young Berniecrats you've been waiting for. They are liars.

Benjamin Studebaker

Macron. Obama. Good looking. Youngish. Articulate. Smooth talking, vaguely inspiring. Easy to hear what you want to hear. Neoliberal to the core. Utterly in service to the plutocracy. Standing between the bankers and the pitchforks.

We are subject to a flood of such characters. They are products of two generations of neoliberal corruption. We need a term for this ilk. I propose Macronies. Let's keep a sharp lookout and call them out as we find them. As always, follow the money. If they take the plutonic dosh, they will follow the plutonic line. Watch what they do not what they say.

I'll start with Cory Booker, corporate hooker. Turn to Bruce Dixon at the Black Agenda Report:

Cory Booker is a great fit. As Glen Ford, who has followed his career in Black Agenda Report and Black Commentator since 2002 notes, charter school sugar daddies from the Olin, Bradley and Walton Family Foundations and the Manhattan Institute funded his early career. Cory's wealthy friends bankrolled and promoted a slick Hollywood documentary, Street Fight to ensure his 2006 election to Newark's City Hall . . . The one percenters take good care of their guy Cory, giving him 3 times the cash raised for all his opponents together in the 2013 Democratic primary, and he takes good care of them. When the anti-Romney rhetoric in 2012 strayed to touch on how the hedge fund Republican actually made those millions, it was Obama surrogate Cory Booker who stepped up on Meet The Press to defend the predatory economics of hedge funds, calling outrage against disaster capitalism useless rhetoric. After all, Goldman Sachs was and still is one of Booker's major contributors. Cory hit the Senate just in time to vote for a major school voucher bill in 2014.

Next time, Beto O'Rourke? He's currently getting the head-to-toe tongue job from our stenographic press corps. But what about Kamela Harris? Michelle Obama? Kirsten Gillibrand? Amy Klobuchar? John Hickenlooper? Deval Patrick? Not to mention Justin Trudeau. So many to choose!

Updated 2018-12-20. Putative Democractic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is one of the inspirations for tagging Macronies. He was defeated in his bid to turf out Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race. But he raised mountains of dough (money watch alert) and got a surge of national attention as a potential presidential candidate for 2020.

Beto won everlasting internet fame when CNN political analyst Leah McElrath sexualized his appeal:

O'Rourke is like the guy who is all sweet and nerdy but holds you down and makes you cum until your calves cramp.

Who worries about policy when her calves are cramping?

But who is he really? Raising lots of money and cramping virtual calves are fine achievements for a Democrat, but is there anything behind that smooth facade? Long-time analyst Zaid Jilani at Current Affairs does not find much to impress:

While the Democratic base is coalescing around single-payer health care and free college, O'Rourke sponsored neither House bill. During his time in Congress, he never joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He has been, however, a member of the New Democratic Caucus, the group organized to carry on the ideas of Clintonite policies. During the 2016 presidential primary, he stayed on the sidelines. . . . While O'Rourke steadily avoided left-wing legislation, he went above and beyond to ally himself to the corporate wing of the Democratic Party . . . O'Rourke was one of the Democrats who voted to grant [so-called Fast Track authority as it related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership] to Obama.

Updated 2018-12-21. Christopher Hooks in the Texas Observer likens Beto to Obama:

Like Obama, O'Rourke is able to appeal to groups with different interests by nature of his effortless charisma and a somewhat indeterminate rhetoric that emphasizes hope, change and regeneration.

Not unlike Obama, Beto tipped his hand in favor of austerity, according to Hooks. Covering his campaign against Ted Cruz, Hooks refers here to Beto's first House campaign in 2012, versus long-time democrat Silvestre Reyes:

At the first debate with Reyes, O'Rourke criticized Reyes for not offering concrete ways to cut the federal budget, and then turned to Social Security. We need to look at things like means testing, he said. We need to look at a later age at which my kids are gonna retire.

We have David Sirota to thank for a review of an analysis of congressional votes performed by Capital & Main. Beto was often aligned with Republicans:

In the last two years, O'Rourke was among the top fifth of all lawmakers voting against his own party's positions. FiveThirtyEight has calculated that in that same time period, O'Rourke has voted for the Trump administration position roughly 30% of the time.

Sirota's piece uncovers Beto's aisle-crossing ways regarding the CFPB, energy, immigration, finance, healthcare, and taxes. Excellent detail there! This is how we smoke them out.

It also seems Beto has been taking dozens of contributions exceeding $200 from oil and gas executives, despite signing a pledge not to do so:

Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke has been removed from a pledge he signed to reject large donations from fossil fuel PACs and executives, following a recent Sludge investigation of federal campaign finance records. Sludge reported on Dec. 10 that the congressman had accepted dozens of contributions of over $200 from oil and gas executives and had not reported refunding them. Oil Change USA, which led a coalition of environmental and democracy organizations to create the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, attempted to reach O'Rourke's campaign and congressional office but did not hear back. Nor did Sludge. David Turnbull, strategic communications director at Oil Change USA, told Sludge on Tuesday that the group had just removed O'Rourke's name from the list of signers.

Updated 2019-01-10. In case Beto's policy record doesn't quite convince you that he's got the oligarchy's stamp of approval, consider Amy Hoover Sanders, his wife. Ms. Sanders is a telecoms entrepreneur and executive director of a charter school. Moreover, she is the scion of near-billionaire real estate developer Warren M. Sanders. Sanders was one of the pioneers of the real-estate investment trust (REIT), a popular financial vehicle for high-leverage real estate investing. One of Beto's first tussles as an elected official on behalf of the oligarchy was a 2006 project spear-headed by his wealthy father-in-law to use eminent domain to evict low-income residents from downtown El Paso neighborhoods to make way for high-end development. This development was vigorously resisted by residents and never completed. Here's how the Gray Lady tells it:

At a special City Council meeting in 2006, a billionaire real estate investor unveiled his vision for redeveloping downtown El Paso. To replace tenements and boarded-up buildings, he proposed restaurants, shops and an arts walk rivaling San Antonio's River Walk. Representative Beto O'Rourke, one of hundreds attending, wasn't exactly a disinterested party. Not only had he married the investor's daughter, but as a member of City Council, he represented the targeted area, including a historic Mexican-American neighborhood. . . . Mr. O'Rourke would defend the plan before angry barrio residents and vote to advance it. At other times, he would abstain. Business owners who opposed the plan accused Mr. O'Rourke of a conflict, citing the involvement of his father-in-law, the billionaire developer William D. Sanders.

Beto O'Rourke: an exemplary Macrony!