To the folks who want to take over the Democratic Party

I wrote a diary Saturday discussing a proposal for a new political party. Here's another proposal by Seth Ackerman from the pages of Jacobin. -- here's Ackerman's expansive vision:

A true working-class party must be democratic and member-controlled. It must be independent — determining its own platform and educating around it. It should actually contest elections. And its candidates for public office should be members of the party, accountable to the membership, and pledged to respect the platform.

Each of those features plays a crucial role in mobilizing working people to change society. The platform presents a concrete image of what a better society could look like. The candidates, by visibly contesting elections and winning votes under the banner of the platform, generate a sense of hope and momentum that this better society might be attainable in practice. And because the members control the party, working people can have confidence that the party is genuinely acting on their behalf.

That's awesomely utopian stuff. Democracy is coming to the USA!

(Leonard Cohen (1934-2016))

On the other hand, my concern, in writing the diary, was in putting together the initial process of party formation. What do we do when we're ready to form a new party? How are we going to form a new party in such a way that it avoids the pitfalls of the Green Party, a party of sectarians which can't seem to grow significantly, and of the Democratic Party, which has completely sold out through agreements based in money with the possessors of money?

My solution was this: since the people who organize the party will be the activists, have the activists spell out the parameters of the new party. Sell the concept through a sort of "Bernie Plus" platform: Bernie's proposals, only organized so they'd work more effectively to deliver the goods to the people. It is styled this way because Bernie organizers are the ones to which the initial appeal should be made: only organizing effectiveness will be able to get us off the ground. (H/t to Roger Fox for helping me to consider this notion.) If we have organization, we will need democratic organization and future orientation.

The new party needs to be a major party. 1% won't cut it; the Green Party has been around in the US since 1990, and so it's important to ask whether or not we want to be the Green Party, or create a second Green Party. A second Green Party would be pointless, and I have yet to see Green regulars comment on my diaries at C99%. So we will need an 1856 moment if we are to form a new party.

Given this high standard, the "new party" is a BACKUP proposal: it's clear that all the momentum is at this point in favor of a "takeover" of the Democratic Party. I'm not sure that those who claim to have read my Saturday diary have caught this. But my opinion is that we'd better have something ready in case the neoliberals win. The alternative in that case would be to jump on the Cory Booker 2020 Presidential campaign bandwagon.

Analytically, I can see three possible outcomes to the struggle to take over the Democrats: 1) a genuine takeover of the Democratic Party, 2) an illegitimate takeover of the Democratic Party, and 3) a complete fiasco. Which outcome do you think is most likely?

I myself don't see 1) as being anything close to inevitable. Here's a website outlining some difficulties that might be encountered -- please read it.

Seth Ackerman's Jacobin piece suggests that the Democratic Party can only feature "liberalism" through an approach which is born and which dies with the campaigns of unsuccessful candidates. Here's the passage in which this is shown:

“Working within the Democratic Party” has been the prevailing model of progressive political action for decades now, and it suffers from a fundamental limitation: it cedes all real agency to professional politicians. The liberal office-seeker becomes the indispensable actor to whom all others, including progressives, must respond.

Think of Ted Kennedy or Mario Cuomo in the 1980s; Paul Wellstone or Russ Feingold in the 1990s; Howard Dean, Elizabeth Warren, or Bill de Blasio since 2000. Each emerges into the spotlight as they launch their careers or seek higher office. Each promises to represent “the democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” Each generates a flurry of positive coverage in progressive media and a ripple of excitement within a narrow circle of progressive activists and voters.

The "Left" has been trying to take over the Democratic Party at least since the Populist Party ran fusion candidates with the Democrats. Anyone care to step back and assess how this strategy has worked so far since 1896? I'd like to see this question asked of Bernie Sanders (with his big endorsement of Keith Ellison for DNC chair) and of his associates right now. I'm sure if we try once again, success is TOTALLY GUARANTEED y'know. Fer sher! Anyone for a backup plan in case they're wrong?

I'd also like to hear from anyone who's been involved in Brand New Congress. How have your results been so far? Yes, let's take over Congress. Please. How?

People have argued that setting up a new political party in the US would be "divisive." I suppose this is the primary criticism. Guess what y'all? The "Left" is divided ALREADY. Severely. Sanders' endorsement of Clinton did that. Two strategies appear: 1) recognizing that division, and 2) not recognizing it. Which strategy do you think I support?

So yeah. New Party. It can stay at the proposal level for awhile now. But it might have to happen.

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featheredsprite's picture

I just came back from a meeting forming a branch in our county, which didn't have one. About 16 people came. Four people already knew each other. The rest came because of emails and facebook.

As to forming a new party, I think it would be very, very hard.

You might take an already existing party and expand it across the country. The Working Families Party has a wonderful name but I don't know what their platform is like. There are other local parties.

But starting from scratch would be so hard, I think.

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Life is strong. I'm weak, but Life is strong.

Cassiodorus's picture

if they have a backup plan.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

dervish's picture

It'll be temperate soon enough.

The trouble with new parties is state law, it is heavily rigged against third parties in most states, so much so that even the heavily funded Libertarians finally gave up in some areas. Coups are more fun, and politically traditional. I will read the link though.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Cassiodorus's picture

Carl Romanelli of the Pennsylvania Greens apparently had PA laws changed, and AFAIK he had nobody on his side. I met Carl in New Orleans awhile ago. Great guy!

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

dervish's picture

Ruled against the Libertarians years ago in a very twisted ruling.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Alex Ocana's picture

My plan B is to start up a papaya farm in Greenland.

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From the Light House.

riverlover's picture

laws here. The NY WFP originally endorsed Sanders, but bailed and went to Hillary for the election. Often the WFP line looks like that of the Democratic Party here, but not always. I have moved to WFP voting often, off Dem line, even before my #DemExit. Greens are here, I committed to Green in July. I believe that I can change official party membership every 6 months (could be wrong). NY (at least my county) has not updated databases since Jan 2016. I know there is a WFP in several states. How many? I think they might be the way to grow, with the right leadership. They, as a Family-oriented party would be interested in the future. For the kids and grandkids. And I think that is the Hook. Solidarity might return.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

boriscleto's picture

Like when they put Cuomo on their ballot line instead of Zephyr Teachout. Howie Hawkins got enough votes to put the Greens on the ballot on the 4th line and the WFP moved down. If they had endorsed Bernie this year they would have moved up to the third line for the next four years...

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

Hetrose's picture

This is the closest I could find to a Platform on their site: http://workingfamilies.org/issues/

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Pricknick's picture

Yet it is likely too late.

May Mars never see a human footprint. We don't deserve it.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

riverlover's picture

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Lily O Lady's picture

Mars would invade us.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Alphalop's picture

That has been happening a lot lately on YouTube.

I had paused a video (which was really just an audio clip from a podcast) that when I got back to my computer an hour later said it had been pulled because it violated the copyright of Blizzard Entertainment. A game developer that has absolutely nothing to do with the podcast...

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Question is centralized or decentalized: both approaches have pros and cons

It is better though to start sooner, at the minimum, to provide competition or there will be no impetus for self-reflection nor change.

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Fighting for democratic principles,... well, since forever

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

in any real way will fail. And speaking of backup plans, I think Sanders is now the Democratic establishment's backup plan. Unlike others here, I don't think he was a sheepdog to begin with, but he certainly is now, because he's almost the only credible Democrat left, and he's using that to elevate himself within the party. He could have, instead, led us out of the convention and started a new party, but he didn't. Thus the division is already here, as you point out, and what's also already here is the Dems' effort to make us all into chumps again. Lucy and the football doesn't even begin to cover it. People have been trying to drive the Democratic party left and make it back into the party of FDR since I was 4 years old. That's been 44 years. The Democratic party has not moved left once in that time.

So, given that, since it seems impossible to convince people that they shouldn't try to kick the football again, the best thing we can do is to gather those who don't want to kick the football again and try to do some real work. I'm aiming for a Black Panthers style party which actually incorporates community work/resilience work AND political work. I don't think anything else will actually reach the American people, who are sick of being talked at.

I will go read the article you linked to. I am sorry that I have been so unavailable for real work lately; been trying to get my family into a new house and it's really freaking consuming; also, my only internet connection is in the old rental.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

I honestly do not think the party is the most important issue. I believe it is election integrity. I believe I read that the US ranks second to last among 40 or so western democracies in election integrity. Only Mexico is worse.

As Germany and Ireland have concluded, publicly hand-counted paper ballots is the best way to ensure the integrity of any election. Any time a computer is involved in the casting or counting of votes, the opportunity for catastrophic mischief is present. The evidence that such mischief is regularly occurring is abundant.

Do members of this site really believe that Jill Stein only received one to two percent of the vote? Did all of us Bernie voters who were active in the primary really sit the election out or vote for Trump or Clinton? I was a delegate in our caucus, which was overwhelmingly won by Bernie, and almost all that I met expressed an intent to vote Green if Bernie did not get the nomination.

The dominant party in each precinct controls the election machinery in both the primaries and the general. In Seattle, that is the Democrats, and I was sickened by the amount of dirty tricks and sleaze, punishing Bernie voters and favoring Clinton during the caucus. The smug smirks of the party hacks running the show was infuriating -- and that was in a district that Bernie won 65% to 35%. The process was intentionally delayed for hours for just the Bernie delegates, the ballots were screwed up (they changed the assigned numbers for the 200+ delegates running for 12 or so spots, and they did not sort the long list of names alphabetically) and did not arrive until 9:30 p.m. In the end, everyone just handed their ballots to the hacks to be counted by them after everyone had left at around 10:00 p.m.

Absent public hand-counting of paper ballots, we are left to trust the good faith of the dominant party's election workers. I don't.

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Cassiodorus's picture

At any rate, the "elected" officials like their rigged elections just as they are, especially within the Democratic Party. Did you see the Podesta emails where Podesta claims that the Sanders campaign had an "agreement" with the Clinton campaign?

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/47397

http://heatst.com/politics/wikileaks-clinton-sanders-agreement/

At any rate, I'll invite you, once again, to examine the Seth Ackerman piece in Jacobin. You might be interested in the argument I quoted about how the Left in America has become attached to the periodic appearance of unsuccessful Democratic Party Presidential candidates and other such celebrities.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

I read the Ackerman piece. It is a nice, comprehensive history of the difficulties of gaining ballot access in a system controlled by only two parties. Ralph Nader could speak to those issues as well, as he was tied up in litigation with the Democrats in many states in 2000. There is no doubt that efforts to remove those barriers to ballot access are worthwhile.

However, Jill Stein was able to get on the ballot in 44 states! In light of the issues discussed in the Ackerman article, think of the level of support she had to have to accomplish that. That level of support alone would seem to translate to a greater than 1% to 2% share of the vote.

Moreover, with presidential elections, certain states are so overwhelmingly Red or Blue that for practical purposes there is only one party on the ballot. Since the Green Party is further left than the allegedly left Democratic Party, it only needs to be on the ballot in Blue and swing states to have a chance to win the presidency. Stein and the Greens had sufficient ballot access in this election.

Bernie proved that lack of (or negative) media coverage and no corporate money are obstacles that can be overcome. Jill proved that barriers to ballot access can be overcome. Both proved that a riggable, corrupt voting process cannot be overcome. The added benefit of elevating election integrity to the top of our priority list is that it is on its face a non-partisan issue that neither of the dominant parties can credibly oppose.

As for Bernie's "deal," I always assumed that he had to make one in order to be allowed to run in the Dem primaries. After all, he was not a member of the party. His initial "enough of your emails" statement in the first debate was obvious evidence of that. I was not troubled by it, and I believe that he won "with one hand tied behind his back" per that agreement.

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Hetrose's picture

"It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." - Joseph Stalin

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This is the position of the Democratic Party on the condition of the American people today, as stated today, by the Democratic President Barack Obama. He is wrong, and there are plenty of American people that will honestly produce evidence to refute this assertion. My life, the lives of my children, many of my friends and family are not better than they were prior to Obama taking office, and since the implementation of government policies signed into law by this President. The Democratic Party will never admit that the policy of "globalization," which they support and "austerity," which the Democratic Party has supported since the Presidency of Bill Clinton are policies, not inevitable economic developments, that they have supported wholeheartedly. They will also not admit that shitty health insurance is not health care, coverage is not care, and even complete "affordable." coverage has not been achieved, not even close. Horrid Foreign policy, domestic spying, constant war, breaking, bending and twisting the Constitutions civil protections, are all results of the Democratic Party policy agenda under Barack Obama... Taking over this Party and expecting change is a very tough road to hoe.

I have advocated change from within for the Democratic Party in the past, simply because it is extant and Party members could actually do that if they were so inclined. Recent events (in the past twenty four hours) have convinced me that I am wrong. No such movement will be tolerated by the Leadership of the Party, and no reform is even being contemplated. It is time to walk out of the Democratic Party and let them fall into the waste bin of history. I am now ready, are you?

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SparkyGump's picture

Here in NY, the endorsed Andrew Corporate Cuomo over Zephyr Teachout for governor then there's their endorsement of $Hillary. They label themselves as progressive then campaign for corporate conservadems hoping for crumbs from the table of power. There's no way I can get behind that. If the DNC goes with Ellison and starts turning more to the left, fine, but if they go centrist, I'd suggest going Green.

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The real SparkyGump has passed. It was an honor being your human.

Where and who are these people that are principled enough to join us let alone lead us.

I hear here on a daily basis that even the best we have are tools of the establishment, and the ones that aren't get 1%.

Also how do you think we are going to sell this to 100 million people who refuse to be ruled by corruption, when those people don't exist?

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Cassiodorus's picture

is a joint letter signed by thirty or so Bernie organizers begging Bernie not to endorse Hillary. Anyway, if you can find it, those people is where I would start.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

detroitmechworks's picture

They're religions.

Ok, that's a bit too far, admittedly, but when I clearly recall my family talking about Bush, and explaining that he MUST be supported because he's "On our side", I know that there's something really, really wrong with our political discourse.

Personally, I blame media consolidation and propaganda, which drowns out as many opposing voices, and determines when people know about protests/political actions. Compare the coverage of the Hillary astroturf to the coverage of OWS for a prime example of that crap.

I almost think it would be a smart idea to target celebrity/anybody who the media pays attention to. It worked for Trump.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

They're religions"

That's not a bit far. It has an element of truth. Especially when as a kid you were taught Party X's chatechism just like you were taught your denomination's chatechism.

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Alex Ocana's picture

Maybe, but certainly interbred corporate police state crime syndicates.

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From the Light House.

Hetrose's picture

there certainly is a lot brain-washing involved. Not that I think all religions stoop to washing of brains (mine does not), however the major ones rely upon it heavily. Apparently, so do the adherents of the Two-Headed Party of America.

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Alphalop's picture

than I would have been.

I consider them more akin to cults...

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

The laws which greatly limit the ability to establish a new party.

We've got history now from John Anderson on on 3rd parties.

A 3rd party candidate with a deep enough pocket book can get a lot of attention, but still not win (Perot's 20% in 92). Yet in a year when 80-something percent of the electorate disliked both candidates, 3rd parties got less than 5% - the libertarians got about 3% and the Greens got 1%.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/11/bernie-sanders-democratic-labor-party...

I still think a dual approach is best, since it reduces risk. But growing a 3rd party is a long term project and is going to have to start at the state level & move up to the house & senate. So we have no choice but to try to change the Democratic Party from within. Good thing Bernie & his allies are prepared to take advantage of the opportunity given them.

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Cassiodorus's picture

is mainly for people who want to voice their opinion while evincing, at best, a selective reading (if any reading at all) of what I actually wrote.

The idea proposed here is not that a new party would be a "3rd party," nor would it be a "long term project." I'm not interested in that. I'm interested in a party to replace the Democratic Party, in the same sense that the Republican and "American" Parties replaced the Whig Party in the 1850s.

But I've said that already.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

Was it poisoned from within and then morphed into a new party? Was there a third party that beat it to death? How did it die? I'm afraid I don't know the history. I will google it.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

the Dems are heading the way of the Whigs. We need to form a new party to replace Democratic Party. I think its brand is so soiled, it can't be reclaimed. It is likely that Bernie was their last change.

The Republican Party, while it also attracted many anti-slavery Democrats, drew off so many Whigs that they effectively killed the Whig party. The Whigs were also badly hurt by the short-lived Native American or Know-Nothing party, which was primarily anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic. This party was strong in urban areas, which had also been a Whig stronghold. The last year the Whigs had a presidential candidate was in 1856.

The underlying problem was the increasing sectional divide between the Northern and Southern wings of the party, which was intensifying in the early 1850s. The "last nail in the coffin" was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The support for this bill, which UNDID the Missouri Compromise, and so could allow slavery into northern territories, was mostly on sectional, not party lines. Southern Whigs sided with Southern Democrats (and some Northern Democrats but NOT Whigs) in support of this bill. This caused problems in the Democratic Party (and divisions that contributed to their 1860 split, allowing the Republican victory, whence secession and war), though the fact that the Democrats were nationally dominated by their southern wing tempered the results. But it was devastating to the Whig Party which had never been as cohesive to start with... and which was now bereft of the generation of leaders (above all of Henry Clay) who had formed the party and helped keep it together.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Hetrose's picture

Replacing either head of the Party with Two Heads is, indeed, neither easy nor especially desirable. Upon the successful construction of a New Party which clearly, to me, has the promise of Diminishing both branches of the One Party is substantial. There is a goodly number of those in the Democratic Party that might well jump at the chance to join a truly Progressive (Liberal, Socialistic, Caring) party now that we are out of the Frenzy of a Presidential year.. I think that much poling this last cycle, as poorly designed and executed as a lot of it was, would indicate that there are even those in the Republican Party that might bolt to a new Party of Reason, and droves of Independents are more "Progressive" than usually given credit for. Bernie could have helped this to happen essentially overnight. To bad he opted out of the Real Revolution. Although I voted, as possible, for Green Party (here that is the affiliated Mountain Party) candidates, there where oodles of offices for which there was only one candidate running, always a Republican. Perhaps it was that way elsewhere in the country as well. Surely there is a lot more unplowed fertile land out there that could be furrowed. I agree that the struggle to "take over" the Democratic Party would take decades and would likely fail. Do we or the Planet have that much time? I don't. Hell, even if I was of a mind to try, I will not live forever, nor will anyone else.

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Any "replacement" for the dem party would face the same obstacles that 3rd parties face today.

And I get from your multiple diaries that you don't believe the dem party can be fixed. I simple don't see how your alternative, due to the institutional obstacles out there, can be viable in the foreseeable future.

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Cassiodorus's picture

that the Democratic Party will never, ever collapse regardless of how stupidly its elite members behave?

Or is it that you yourself have some sort of ironclad allegiance to the Democratic Party, that you plan to retain your membership in said party regardless of how poorly it represents your interests?

Maybe when most of America is rendered unsuitable for agriculture because those precious Dems didn't do anything about climate change when it could have amounted to something, and when America is plagued by endemic famine and the war between the Republican goon squads and the immigrants coming in from the even less habitable equatorial areas of planet Earth, you can repeat this line. Yep, things never change. I suppose that if you get tired of the Democrats you can always vote for the Whig Party. They're still in business, right?

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

before we can accomplish anything. Whether reforming the Dem Party or creating another, we have to get rid of the barriers put in place by big money donors. It was great that Bernie was able to raise enough money from the grassroots to fund a strong primary campaign, but raising that much cash for state and local races and party building in all 50 states will be difficult.

Same applies for reforming the Dem Party. As long as corporate donors are calling the shots, real, lasting reform will be difficult.

Campaign finance and lobbying reform have to be at the top of the list for next year.

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"If you can't eat their food, drink their booze, take their money and then vote against them you've got no business being in Congress."

Hawkfish's picture

A platform for a new party could just begin with this list. Just start at the top and go down.

The list also suggests a name: The Supermajority Party. If we could get through the policies that have ⅔ support, a lot of progress would have been made. It could also inoculate against being branded as "left-leaning" or some other meaningless pigeonhole.

One thing I've been pondering of late is a possible weakness of the left/liberal worldview when making policy proposals. Part of the problem with government programs is that many voters who are hurting don't necessarily want support. What they want is agency. They don t want subsidies for health insurance, they want to be able to afford it. This boils down to reducing inequality, and the only policy being pushed by the left that supports agency is the minimum wage. It's also the policy that has the most traction. We should take note of that.

Another thing to remember is that politics is a full time job. The people who do this need to be able to focus on their work, so a funding model has to be in place unless we want to recruit sympathetic people who are independely wealthy. These do exist, but there are not nearly enough of them.

I have decided for myself that supporting a national political party with a monthly contribution is part of my budget. Right now, that is going to the Greens because I don't see any other option. I was waiting to see what Bernie could do with Our Revolution, but like you say, I have not been impressed.

The last thing to remember is that whatever we do will get corrupted. That is the nature of life in this vale of tears. Ursula LeGuins Odonians saw their society as a "permanent revolution" and that is what we ultimately need.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Do an essay on it. The branding would be incredible.

Honestly I don't see how another left party would take off if the Greens can't, although I admit the Green brand is a little stale and niche. A lot of party ID is about cultural affinity rather than policy. The way the Left talks, writes, acts feels very urban, academic, coastal to me. I'm talking style, not content.

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Lily O Lady's picture

Medicare. I remember my grandfather complaining that he couldn't get health insurance for my grandmother before they qualified for Medicare. They voted Republican, but lived like Democrats.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

They can't get traction and have not been able to get traction since the old scarey-worker-comnist days. imo it would be easier to take over the democratic party like the tea partier crazies took over the republican party. See how the tp crazies don't seem so crazy any more? Well, that's gonna change once President Trump gets to work in earnest.

What about a consumer strike? that might be particularly effective going in to the jolly season. The point is, if it's true that Trump was elected mainly by disaffected short-on-work uneducated folks, they are probably already not consuming much. Most of the rest of us are wage slaves now, and in total we continue to fuel consumption, including mindless consumption. If those of us who are still earning forego the 2016 jolly season, only the successful small business people (my guess for who is the main Trump support) will be left to prop up mindless consumption. Let's see how many Ivanka bracelets those folks need this year.

There are goods and services we all need, let's cut our consumption off at the necessities and forego the goodies until the inauguration. Get your kids a deck of cards and teach them how to play poker, that'll stand them in better stead in this day and age than buying them the 2016 xmas hot toy.

If a consumer boycott is effective, that could launch the next part of a movement. So, at least until the Trump inauguration, let's "not occupy" consumerism. Cancel your cable, live smaller and leaner and smarter, save and prepare for the dark days that are coming. There's really not a personal downside to a consumer strike.

If otoh Trump actually brings good-paying jobs back for disaffected workers, this plan won't and shouldn't work in the long term. If he is successful it will revive the gotp, they will be the real workers party, we will all be voting republican because that would genuinely be in our best interests. Let's see what Trump and Pence (the job creator) can do with their window for that.

That outcome is unlikely. (I backspaced over all of my snorts). In the meantime, a successful consumer strike might light the path forward to either a new workers' party or at a minimum, help to build a cohesive defense against the ptb. If we can't build traction for an end-of-2016 consumer strike, that's a sure sign we can't build traction for a workers' party.

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~annominous

Hawkfish's picture

This means that they have an ideology. What Cass and others are proposing is a non-sectarian party based solely around issues. See my comment just above for a version of this based around polling.

I don't know if this would work, but the last time a third party went mainstream was when the Republicans took on slavery. That was pretty much a single issue.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Cassiodorus's picture

should the Democrat elite prevail over anyone who might dissent (and since Sanders has been appointed Senate Chair of "outreach" (i.e. selling-out), he doesn't count), is to hide under a rock?

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

but your response would fit in well over at TOP. Christy on a crutch.

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~annominous

shaharazade's picture

interested in becoming a cohesive or democratic party. The Pacific Green's had no local grass root presence or visibility all in Portland in this election. BLM was more represented on a street level then the Greens were. The Portland Pacfic Green Party headquarters is right down the street from us. Cassie's recommended attending their meetings and really checking them out. I tried but they do not seem to really have meetings or be organized on the ground level. Facebook is the only place that I can find where you can get information and even there they are strangely closed instead of being inclusive or actively recruiting new members. The structure of the party is opaque. I can register as a Green but other then voting for candidates on my ballot listed as Green party what else do they offer?

We joined our local county Democratic party in 2001. Shah went to all the meetings and became a precinct captain. We both were active in getting supposedly progressive new candidates elected on the city state level. How can you have or even start a political party with no way on a local level to join and or be active in? I haven't been a registered Democrat since 2011. I joined the WFP as I had been donating to them for years. The ACLU during the early Bush years canvased and reached out in our neighborhood and was somehow affiliated with WFP. This all happened when like now the unthinkable Bush11 was selected.

I do not like the WFP. They seem about as real as Our Revolution and all of their candidates who we worked to get elected turned out to just be weasel Democrat's riding the 'progressive' wave of anti-Bush RW hysteria. This city used to be pretty radically left. No Republican candidate has a chance here so the rat bastard pols just call themselves Democrat's. Just because a candidate has WFP as well as a D after their name doesn't mean a thing. So as a party they are a bust another phony Democratic dead end.

They however unlike the Greens actively try to recruit members on a street level neighborhood level. They lost me when recently one of their recruiters with a clip board told me that they were trying to get 'centrist' Democrat's to join their ranks. Yeah right what a way to be a viable alternative to the corrupt neoliberal Democratic party. So now I'm in no mans land as far as party affiliation goes. I'm an Independent along with 40 something % of registered voters.

I think it's the cart before the horse to start a new party at this point. I think that a lot of people are aware of the duopoly and are sick of it. They lurch from election after election trying to get the lesser evil's elected. They are motivated by fear which both sides cultivate by the whipped up culture war and by the propaganda arm of both party's the media. Globally many people are organizing, protesting and resisting. So maybe we should work at building coalitions and organizing outside of the existing duopoly.

Critical mass resistance is needed and it seems to me that if ever the time was ripe for people to come together in solidarity it's now. Divide and conquer worked well for the 1% owners of the place. I have noticed that people I know who are Democratic or Indies and liberal support and vote for the blue side out of fear and loathing of the right. These people do support movements like Bernie's or NoDAPL, BLM, OWS, etc. I think that a party could evolve from the massive rejection of globalized neoliberalism. My biggest fear is that Bernie and the rest of the fake useless progressive caucus in the Democratic party will once again bait and switch people who have had enough.

The Dems. will start veal penning the resistance within the Democratic party under the banner of Our Revolution or taking over the party and reforming it. Chuck Schumer for god sake? Forget about it. How many times can this work, it sure backfired in this election. So for now I'm going to work locally to support and join in resisting the overt corporate anti-democratic agenda of both sides.

Too early after 'Were So Screwed -2016' to start or take over any party. Play it as it lays and build on the growing resistance to the duopoly from hell. Maybe I will register as a Pacific Green for now and search for their local structure. I do believe that ordinary people in this country are for the first time in my life willing to take them on. There was a demonstration for No DAPL yesterday here in Portland. There is a Stop Demolishing Portland protest I'm going to on Saturday. There is a huge march for women I have rejected as it's reeks of Hillbot fake feminism. I'm feeling optimistic as after years of compliance people are hitting the streets. Feels like the old Portland I knew and loved.

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