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The Washington political system


Republicans on the rampage
Should we look to the Democrats?
History of the Democratic Party
A rotten system
Is there an alternative?
The corporate media


Big business switches sides
Whoever the Democratic nominee is will take a huge fundraising and business endorsement advantage into the November election.

Fiddling while the economy burns
John McCain is proposing warmed-over supply-side economics--and there's less to the Democrats' criticisms of business than meets the eye.

The making of a scapegoat
If Rev. Jeremiah Wright used angry rhetoric, perhaps it's because there's still a lot in American society to be angry about.

The new debate about racism
Barack Obama's speech has put the issue of racism back in the center of mainstream U.S. politics for the first time in decades.


End of the Reagan-Bush era?
If current projections hold, 2008 has the potential of being equivalent for the Democrats what 1980 was for the Republicans.

Why Ron Paul's left-wing champions are wrong
Supporting a candidate with right-wing views, even if he is against the war, is a disaster for anyone who wants to rebuild the left.

Theologically correct
Why do politicians feel compelled to profess their religious faith as if they were running to be spiritual counselors as well as political leaders?

A maverick, but not the good kind
Any progressives who are tempted to support long-shot Republican presidential contender Ron Paul should take a closer look at his libertarian agenda.

Another rat leaves Bush administration
Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation after months of scandals, focused especially on his frenzied pursuit of Big Brother spy powers for the U.S. government.

The rise and fall of Bush's hatchet man
Karl Rove--the latest rat to desert George Bush's sinking ship--was never the genius that his supporters said he was, nor the evil sorcerer that his Democratic detractors feared.

Sinking deeper
The Bush administration has lurched from one disaster to another in the Middle East. But the more they struggle to get out of the quicksand, the deeper they sink.

The left turn in U.S. politics
Most presidential candidates may not yet recognize the shift in mainstream politics, precipitated from below. But opinion polls clearly show consciousness is far left of center.

Leader of the intolerant and bigoted minority
Never speak ill of the dead, goes the old saying. But in the case of conservative evangelical Rev. Jerry Falwell, his lengthy record of bigotry and intolerance speaks for itself.

The truth about Giuliani
If anyone wants to know what a Giuliani presidency would look like, they should go back to his years as mayor of New York City during the 1990s.

After the Republicans' humiliating defeat...
What's next?
The Democratic victory has led to a rise in expectations for an end to the Iraq war and more besides. But the Democrats have no plans to shake things up.

Why Election 2006 marks a turning point in U.S. politics
End of the Republican era
The 2006 election provided the final confirmation that the "Republican Revolution" has disintegrated under the weight of its own arrogance, corruption and cruelty.

Seniors cut off in debut of Washington's prescription drug benefit
Medicare drug disaster
The great hidden scandal in Washington is the disastrous debut of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. A Rhode Island social worker gives a front-lines report.

White House lie machine exposed
The president's men were certain that a war to topple Saddam Hussein was necessary to promote U.S. interests. And they were ready to do anything to get it.

Bush's plan to stack the Court
How can he be stopped?
With the timely death of William Rehnquist and the resignation of Sandra Day O'Connor, George W. Bush will get the chance to further pack the Supreme Court with conservatives.

Washington's bipartisan gift to the bankers
Making bankruptcy a life sentence
The profit-hungry banks and credit card companies wrote the legislation themselves. And now, their friends in Washington have delivered.

Making the rich richer by robbing the rest of us
Bush's class war budget
Washington is beginning to debate a White House budget proposal that cuts more from domestic government spending than any since the Reagan years.

The truth about the conservative movement
What's behind the rise of the right?
Liberals and conservatives seem to agree that Election 2004 represented a lurch to the right. But who is leading this new right-wing charge?

Right-wing republic?
Who is to blame for Bush's victory? Unfortunately, the first conclusions coming from the Anybody But Bush left appear to have shifted blame to the U.S. population itself.

The real state of the union
Socialist Worker talked to activists, writers and experts on some of the issues most important to working people--and asked them about the real "state of the union."

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Health care in crisis:
Do the Democrats have a solution?
Health care reform has been at the center stage of the Democratic primaries. But both Hillary Clinton's and Barack Obama's proposals fall short.

The Democrats' undemocratic superdelegates
Just because an organization has "democratic" in its name doesn't mean it functions according to the barest concepts of democracy.

Class war converts?
Suddenly, the two Democrats vying for the party's presidential nomination are talking like hardened class warriors.

The Obama phenomenon in perspective
Barack Obama has tapped into mass discontent with the status quo and the desire for a genuine and fundamental alternative.

Hillary Clinton: The candidate for women?
Would Hillary Clinton meet the expectations of many women that she will act on the issues that matter in their day-to-day lives?

Will voters get the change they want?
Voters' desire to see political change has become the undisputed theme of Election 2008 following the strong surge of support for Barack Obama.

Less than meets the eye
When you look beyond his inspirational rhetoric and profile as a candidate of "change," what does Barack Obama actually stand for?

Does Obama speak for a "new generation"?
Barack Obama hopes to appeal to young voters as the candidate of a "new generation." But there is less to this rhetoric than appears on the surface.

Who do the Democrats really listen to?
Hillary Clinton may be Corporate America's favored Democratic presidential contender, but she isn't unique. The Democrats' true colors have always been not blue or red, but green.

The Kucinich factor
Kucinich stands alone among the current crop of candidates in his principled stands. But he must be faulted for compromising in one respect: he remains beholden to the Democrats.

The Democrats' backward march
Not quite one year after taking control of Congress, the Democrats have not only failed utterly to stop the war on Iraq--they've caved in every confrontation with the White House.

What happened to the Obama phenomenon?
Barack Obama's fading status isn't merely the fault of advisers urging a more cautious course versus a candidate who wants to be a maverick--because Obama is no maverick.

What happened to standing up against the war?
That was the question millions of people were asking after the Democrats blinked in their showdown with George Bush over funding the war on Iraq.

Why did the Democrats fund the war?
What the Democrats actually voted for was supplemental funding that would continue the war in Iraq for virtually the entirety of Bush's term.

The real antiwar opposition is outside Washington
The Democrats' plan to (not) end the war
Democrats have finally responded to the voters' mandate in the 2006 election with a proposal about the war on Iraq. Their plan? Keep the war going until the next election in 2008.

The repackaging of John Edwards:
Talking the populist talk
The former 2004 vice presidential candidate has repackaged himself, with a new message for his run to be the Democratic presidential nominee for 2008.

The real story of the Clintons:
The art of politics without conscience
CounterPunch coeditor Jeffrey St. Clair talks about the story of the Clinton presidency--and the grim record of Democratic presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Liberals pin their hopes on a "good Democrat"
Is Obama different?
Barack Obama may position himself two steps to the left of his main opposition, but never beyond the corporate-dictated confines of official politics.

After the election repudiates one-party rule by the Republicans
What can we expect from the Democrats?
Before Election Day, Republicans held all the power in Washington. But after the drubbing they got on November 7, only the White House remained firmly in their grasp.

Not even close to "radical"
The real record of Nancy Pelosi
Socialist Worker asked two California Green Party candidates about whether the Speaker of the House-to-be is as "radical" as she's made out by Republicans.

The making of the Democrats' rising star
The Obama myth
Liberals may excuse Sen. Barack Obama's national-security speak as a concession to political realities, but his career is characterized by cold ambition and ruthless opportunism.

Democratic wing of the Democrats?
The self-styled "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party"--the liberals who try to rally the Democratic base for every election--are always the good soldiers.

Party of peace or party of war?
The Democrats' "war on terror"
Rather than posing an alternative to a U.S. foreign policy of war and imperialist expansion, the Democratic Party is simply another vehicle for achieving the same goals.

From the "war on terror" to immigrant rights:
Will the Democrats ever fight for what's right?
The Democrats have a perfect opportunity to make gains in the November elections, but how likely is a Democratic victory--and will it have anything to do with stopping the Bush agenda?

End of "Joe-mentum"?
The possibility of Joe Lieberman's loss in the Connecticut Democratic primary sent a shiver through Washington's insular political establishment.

Joshua Frank on the Democrats' early frontrunner for 2008
Hillary for president?
Left-wing author Joshua Frank looks at the record of a senator who seems to have set her sights on the White House.

The not-so-antiwar Democrat
Mr. Outside or Mr. Inside?
Left-wing author Joshua Frank looks at the political career of the supposed "antiwar" Democrat Howard Dean.

Backing Democrats has pulled the antiwar movement to the right
Why "inside-outside" is getting nowhere
The truth is that rather than moving Democrats to the left, the inside-outside strategy has moved the antiwar movement to the right.

The left and the Democratic Party:
With or against?
David Swanson of the Progressive Democrats of America and Lance Selfa of Socialist Worker debate whether the Democratic Party can be reformed.

Why John Kerry lost
George Bush led the country into an unpopular war, handed out tax breaks to the wealthy and used the occupation of Iraq to reward corporate cronies. But he won re-election anyway--thanks, above all, to John Kerry.

The case against "Anybody But Bush"
Should we vote for the pro-war, pro-occupation, pro-USA PATRIOT Act, pro-NAFTA, anti-gay marriage Democrat? Socialist Worker answers the arguments of the "Anybody But Bush" progressives.

What they really mean by "electability"
Forget whether they supported the war. The only thing that seems to matter in the race for the 2004 Democratic Party presidential nomination is "electability."

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Will your vote end the war?
Millions voted on Super Tuesday with the hope that a Democratic president will end the war on Iraq. But the Democrats' history should give them pause.

Al Gore's less-than-peaceful past
Many of Al Gore's new fans would find it hard to reconcile his image today with the Al Gore of the not-so-distant past--a loyal friend to Corporate America and a pro-war hawk.

What went wrong with the Clinton plan?
Health care non-reform the last time
The health care reform proposal put forward by the Clinton administration wasn't killed by big business. It was allowed to waste away--and the Clintons sat by and let it happen.

The myth of the Kennedys
The major problem with the new film Bobby is political--it regurgitates all of the myths about Robert Kennedy and his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

Democrats take care of business
The Democrats claim to be the "party of working people." But a look behind the scenes at the Democrats' convention in Boston at the end of July will tell a different story.

Why the Democrats aren't the antiwar alternative in 2004
The other war party
George Bush's policies are a logical extension of U.S. foreign policy dating back before September 11--when the Democrats controlled the White House.

If Kennedy had lived, would history have been different?
The real JFK
John F. Kennedy's political history reveals not only an utterly conventional American politician, but an ardent Cold Warrior who brought the world the closest it has ever been to nuclear annihilation.

The real record of the last Democrat in the White House
The broken promises of Bill Clinton
When Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992, many people hoped he would bring real change after 12 years of Republicans in the White House. But over the next eight years, Clinton left behind a trail of broken promises.

An honest look at Wellstone's legacy
Of course, no one in the Washington establishment was going to speak ill of the dead. But you couldn't help but notice last week that people who despised Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.)--or at least his liberal principles--suddenly had nothing but good to say about him.

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A system reeking of corruption
The priority of government is to defend the interests of the rich and powerful in society, and that is why corruption and hypocrisy is endemic.

Racism and politics in America
Race and racism have emerged at the heart of the Democratic presidential campaign. But they have always been beneath the surface of U.S. politics.

Foley scandal exposes the Washington system
Liars and hypocrites
The Foley scandal has cast a spotlight on a corrupt system, where political leaders who preach about "morality" and "serving the people" instinctively cover for each other.

Bush reaches new heights of hypocrisy
For the first time, George Bush has been placed directly in a chain of events that led to the leaking of the identity of CIA employee Valerie Plame to a New York Times reporter.

War crimes and hunting misdemeanors
Dick Cheney and the Bush administration have committed an endless string of real crimes--and they should be held accountable for them.

Congress' cushy pension plan
What they have that you don't
In Washington, the politicians who let corporations destroy our pensions enjoy a retirement savings system and other benefits that ordinary workers couldn't imagine.

Abramoff scandal exposes the slimy world of Washington
How to buy friends and influence politics
The reality of the "world's greatest democracy" is that political influence is for sale, and right-wing fanatics are able to impose an unpopular agenda.

Peter Camejo on the two-party system and Election 2004
"A dictatorship of money over people"
Ralph Nader's vice presidential running mate Peter Camejo talks to Socialist Worker about Election 2004 and the importance of the Nader challenge.

Two pampered children of wealth
Skull vs. Bones
CounterPunch coeditor Jeffrey St. Clair looks at the sordid history of the two presidential candidates of the major parties.

How big business buys politicians
Both Republicans and Democrats rake in huge sums from wealthy "special interests"--in exchange for allowing these interests to shape laws to their advantage and gain "access" at every level of government.

From corporate crimes to murder in Iraq
Crimes of the Bush dynasty
The great myth about the United States is that we live in a "meritocracy," where the "best and brightest" will rise to the top. Any examination of the Bush family tree proves that this is a lie.

The Senate's good old boys club of racists
Sen. Trent Lott got canned as Republican leader of the Senate for praising arch-racist Sen. Strom Thurmond. But Lott and Thurmond are far from the only politicians in Washington who built their careers on appeals to racism.

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What can Nader accomplish in 2008?
Ralph Nader's critique of the Democrats remains true, but the political setting for the 2008 election is different from his previous campaigns.

Nader, the Greens and 2008
Ralph Nader's 2000 presidential campaign electrified U.S. politics. But the prospects for an independent presidential challenge are very different this year.

The reasons why Nader took a stand
A new film traces Ralph Nader's transformation from a reformer working firmly within the Washington system to a renegade confronting the two parties from the outside.

The unfortunate truth about Bernie Sanders
A socialist in the Senate?
The new senator from Vermont may have a portrait of Eugene Debs hanging in his office, but his politics have little in common with that great American socialist.

The Green alternative to Hillary Clinton
Howie Hawkins' antiwar challenge
The veteran activist and Green Party leader from New York talks about his campaign for the U.S. Senate as an alternative to pro-war Democrat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

LA teacher nearly forces runoff in schools chief election
Shaking up politics as usual in California
The incumbent Superintendent of Public Instruction in California was nearly forced into a runoff against a member of the Green Party and the International Socialist Organization.

Todd Chretien's "Million Votes for Peace" Senate campaign
A challenge to Feinstein
A socialist and Green Party member explains why he is challenging Sen. Dianne Feinstein in next year's election in California.

Beyond the Democrats and Republicans...
Why is there no third party in the U.S.?
Since 1856, every U.S. president has been the candidate of either the Democratic or Republican Party, and third party candidates have been forced to the margins of political debate.

Should the left support Nader?
Who should the left support in Election 2004? Here, syndicated columnist Norman Solomon takes issue with a recent Socialist Worker editorial, and SW responds.

Convention rejects Nader endorsement
The Green Party's step backward
The Green Party convention's rejection of Ralph Nader is a step away from a challenge to the two-party "duopoly" and away from the political prominence that the Greens have achieved.

Why Peter Camejo deserves your vote in California
A real alternative in the recall circus
Peter Camejo has spoken out for a real alternative from the status quo presided over by the mainstream parties. We believe that he deserves our readers' vote.

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Guardians of the status quo
End Times, a new book by CounterPunch editors Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, documents the current dismal state of the mainstream media.

The making of a media hack
New York Times star reporter Judith Miller has been revealed as someone prepared to serve as a stenographer for the government rather than a critic of it.

From fake news to Fox News to the New York Times...
Inside the media propaganda mill
Many people know and despise Fox News. Yet even traditionally "liberal" media outlets have proven pliable to the manipulators of public opinion in Washington.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman goes after Bush
The last liberal?
Has the New York Times unleashed a leftist on its editorial page? That's the claim of the Paul Krugman-haters at conservative publications like the National Review.

The FCC's rule changes:
A green light for the media monopolies
Socialist Worker explains what the controversy over new rules voted on by the Federal Communications Commission is all about.

Media becomes a "branch of the war effort"
Pro-war propaganda machine
Anthony Arnove, editor of the book Iraq Under Siege, looks at the tide of pro-war propaganda flooding out of the corporate media--and explains why you'll see little dissent there from the war on Iraq.

Exposing the media bias hoax
The idea that the mainstream media is biased to the left has long been a favorite complaint of right-wing blowhards. But now the right is claiming that they have the inside scoop.

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