What unites the Democrats

And always keep a-hold of Nurse

For fear of finding something worse.

==Hilaire Belloc.

A friend of mine defines the Democratic voting coalition as (1) labor; (2) African-Americans; (3) Hispanics; (4) feminists; (5) gays; (6) environmentalists; (7) members of the helping professions, such as teachers, social workers and nurses; and (8) “militantly liberal” inhabitants of university towns and similar enclaves.

What is remarkable is how little the Democratic leadership, including President Obama, has done for any of these groups, except possibly gays.

The Obama administration supports NAFTA-like free trade agreements with countries such as Colombia and South Korea, and has done nothing to support workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively.  It quickly abandons any African-American member of its administration who is under attack from the radical right.  It is deporting unauthorized immigrants at a faster rate than the Bush administration.  Obama has put a woman’s right to contraception on the negotiating, instead of defending it as a basic right.  He has not attempted to give relief to state and local governments so that they can avoid cutbacks in basic governmental and social services.  And he claims the right to commit acts of war and ignore basic civil liberties without accountability.

What keeps this coalition together is that all these groups are demonized and scapegoated by the Republican leadership, giving them no alternative within the framework of the two-party system.   The main reason for them to support the Democratic Party is fear of something worse.

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