Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

Long Live Gridlock and Paralysis of Both Big Business Parties

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Since the Left is non-existent on Capitol Hill, and barely evident in the society at large, nothing good can possibly emanate from the executive and legislative branches of government.”

The corporate media, whose job is to create impressions of reality while revealing nothing of actual substance, is full of scorn for the now adjourned 113th Congress, which, according to the New York Times, is “in a race to the bottom” with the previous Congress as the most “do nothing” ever. Media associated with the Democratic wing of the ruling duopoly are especially upset that the Republican faction has not cooperated with President Obama to get something – anything! – done, as if the nation and the world would be a better place if the two big business parties would only collaborate more closely with one another. The current state of congressional gridlock is, according to the pundits, the worst of all worlds.

The truth is, were it not for gridlock, President Obama would have engineered the utter annihilation of what’s left of the social safety net in a Grand Bargain with the Republicans during his first term office. That was his plan from the very beginning, when the new president announced that all entitlements, including Social Security, were on the chopping block. Before his first year was out, Obama had crushed the jellyfish that call themselves progressive Democrats in the health care debate. With his arms spread wide to embrace the Republicans as partners in the Age of Austerity, Obama offered to lead the wrecking crew that would finally demolish Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. But, the Republicans were so consumed with racially fueled fervor to destroy the First Black President, they rejected the Grand Bargain and chose gridlock, instead. Lucky for us! Given the circumstances, it was the best thing that could happen.

We need more ill feeling and deeper paralysis.”

Gridlock has been the order of the day for the past four years, dramatically inhibiting the flow of legislation. Since the Left is non-existent on Capitol Hill, and barely evident in the society at large – and with Black America, historically the most progressive constituency in the nation, now in its seventh year of self-imposed political irrelevance – nothing good can possibly emanate from the executive and legislative branches of government. The only kinds of measures that can sail through the gridlocked Congress are those designed to start a war with Russia or increase the killing power of the Israeli apartheid regime.

Given that we have, mainly, the Republicans to thank for the blessedly constipated condition of Congress, it follows that it is the Democrats, who keep harping on the need to “do something” to get the infernal legislative machinery rolling, who represent the greatest threat to the people’s interests.

In any event, it is definitely NOT in the interest of ordinary Americans for Democrats and Republicans to become more collaborative on the legislative agenda. On the contrary, we need more ill feeling and deeper paralysis in the ranks of the two big business parties. Until a movement can be created that will fight for the overthrow of Wall Street and its duopoly – Long Live Gridlock!

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to to sign up for email notification of new issues of our magazine, each Wednesday.


BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20140806_gf_Gridlock.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:33pm EDT