Why 2018 might be very different

The latest evidence that something unusual is happening this year is the news out of New York today.

After years of Democratic infighting that has helped keep Republicans in control of the New York State Senate, two long-warring factions of Democratic lawmakers in Albany are on the brink of reunifying, according to five people familiar with the discussions...
The reunification would end one of the oddest political arrangements in the country, and in the history of New York State. In it, the breakaway conference, which is made up of eight Democratic state senators, has helped ensure Republican control of the State Senate.

Cynthia Nixon's comment on the news was golden: "If you've set your own house on fire and watched it burn for eight years, finally turning on a hose doesn't make you a hero."
It also brings up a good question. Why are the DINOs finally interested in becoming Dems again? The reason is because the progressive grassroots has done something that Democrats haven't done in decades, and it has them nervous.

Despite tentative reunification plans between the Independent Democratic Conference and mainline Democrats in the state Senate, progressive primary challengers are barreling ahead with their campaigns to unseat Independent Democratic Conference members – and they’re drawing support from a coalition of left-leaning activist organizations. Last week, the Working Families Party endorsed four more candidates running against for IDC members, bringing the total of WFP-backed IDC-challengers to seven. WFP initially endorsed three anti-IDC insurgents in February, and held a kickoff rally on Sunday to bring the upstart candidates together.

The Working Families Party is outside of the Democratic establishment. Party insiders would never have endorsed a primary challenge of an incumbent for any reason.
Time and time again, party insiders have been caught flat-footed by the changing political environment. It started with how Bernie Sanders nearly knocked off Hillary despite a rigged primary.

In their arrogance, they were assured that everything would go back to normal after 2016.
This was first exposed during the Unity Tour when loyal Democrats cheered Bernie and booed Perez.
Party insiders were aghast when Bernie kept talking about specific issues that insiders wanted to ignore, like Medicare For All.
And it's working, because the public is getting behind the idea despite the bipartisan establishment being firmly against it.

The Dem insiders tried to distract the grassroots instead, by telling us it's all about Trump's personality, plus ScaryRussia!
IOW, they borrowed the Republican Tea Party script of 2009-2010, and misdirected legitimate anger and fear into something easily controlled. It was a good try, and it normally would work.

However, the biggest changes are happening beneath the surface, and the Democratic establishment still seems largely oblivious to it.

Just as important were grassroots, small-”d” democracy groups that have emerged in Pennsylvania and, it seems, just about everywhere else in the U.S...
Organizationally, these new groups are embedded in their local communities and do not constitute a national movement in the standard way such movements are understood. For instance, they don’t have a national leadership or organizational structures, unlike most advocacy organizations and many groups associated with “the resistance.”
How have these groups coalesced into effective organizations? Skocpol and Putnam find that they rely on “relational organizing,” meaning that individuals have used their existing personal relationships to build extensive volunteer and activist networks.

People actually talking to other human beings is not something either political party wants.
Doing this outside of the Dem's political structure is not even on the radar of the party insiders.

These groups present a golden opportunity for state and local Democratic party functionaries as they go door-to-door canvassing, with a strong inclination to “contest everything.” But this is where the electioneering part of the equation comes into play. Putnam and Skocpol find that many Democratic party insiders “seem strikingly uninterested in the evidence that a surge of hands-on, face-to-face organizing – not just ‘enthusiasm’ – might have something to do with recent electoral victories, or could be relevant to future prospects.”
...In other words, they can either rely on – and pay big bucks to – the “consultant class” that “has turned politics into marketing, campaigns into advertising, candidates into brands, voters into data points, and debate into messaging,“ or they can engage directly with citizens to build an organizational backbone that will last for multiple election cycles and operate in between elections as well.

So far, based on Skocpol’s and Putnam’s findings, most local-level Democratic party operatives seem not to have understood the opportunity presented by these emerging grassroots organizations. In many cases, but not all, long-time party officials just don’t seem to get the transformational moment in which they find themselves.

Let's face: the Democratic Party is not just corrupt, but completely incompetent.
They have no idea what is happening because short-term monetary gains don't point in that direction.

All of that being said, the Democratic Party insiders could still ride this one out, except for two recent events that could transform 2018 into something historic.
First was the Parkland students.

The Democrats had been more amenable, but, after speaking to them, the movement added another message. “We also wanted to tell them, ‘Listen, we’re so grateful for the help and everything, but we’re not your pawns,’ ” Chris Grady, a Stoneman Douglas senior who went on the trip, said later, after the meeting in the gymnasium. “Make no mistake about it: we’re our own movement.”

Neither party wanted to take on the NRA. These kids forced the nation to debate something other than Trump's tweets, and they did it outside of anyone's control.
The second event has even more far-reaching potential - the public school teachers.

Oklahoma teachers seized every floor of the state Capitol on Tuesday during their ongoing strike for more education funding.
Teachers and other school staff filled the Capitol on the second day of organized strikes, vowing not to leave until the Republican-controlled legislature passes more funding for school resources, ABC News reported Tuesday.
Capitol security had to occasionally declare the building at capacity and temporarily shut the doors to prevent more teachers from entering.

First of all, the public is firmly behind the teachers. Secondly, this is happening in red states.
Kansas just gave $500 million more to their public schools, probably to head off their own teachers strike.
But most importantly, this isn't about just teachers. It's about rejecting the neoliberal ideology that has captured both parties.

But the striking teachers have also made clear that their protests are about more than just their own pay and benefits. West Virginia's striking teachers, for example, held out until raises were granted to all state employees and school staff, not just public school teachers. In addition to raises, Arizona's teachers are demanding a restoration of funding to pre-Recession 2008 levels and a guarantee from state lawmakers that they'll stop cutting taxes until the state's per-pupil spending levels reach the national average.
In Oklahoma, where many schools have been forced to convert to a four-day school week due to funding cuts, the Republican governor and legislature actually passed a bill granting teachers a 16 percent (or approximately $6,000) raise before the walkout. The teachers, however, are holding out for larger raises, more school funding, and better pay for other school staff. In interview after interview, the teachers explain that they're striking for their students as well; some of Oklahoma's public school students have even joined in the protests, pointing out that it's hard to learn without textbooks and in classrooms with leaky ceilings.

Solidarity and the common good are foreign ideas to the ruling elite. They don't understand it.
But regular people do.
If people aren't careful, they might just start something important.
Somewhere on the fringes, people are waking up to this new reality.

All hell is about to break loose in the Democratic Party. It will come from the left. And when it does, the Democratic establishment will be even more powerless than the Republican establishment was against Donald Trump.
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this will go on for a while

Leaning over the overpass going under the Oklahoma State Capitol Complex, a group of a dozen women in rain jackets hold signs as oil tankers pass under, honking their horns in support for the striking teachers.

“It’s like the Arab spring, but it’s a teacher spring,” geography teacher Toni Henson said, smiling as thousands of teachers march past picketing the Oklahoma state capitol and calling for higher wages and funding for schools.

The protest takes to the street Wednesday as hundreds of teachers will begin a 110-mile march from Tulsa to Oklahoma City stopping at closed down schools along the route to rest. Teachers in Kentucky have gone out on strike too and Arizona may be next.

No respect

But the state’s Republican governor appeared to have little sympathy for the teachers, telling CBS: “Teachers want more, but it's kind of like a teenager wanting a better car.”
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but Hillary might judt go down in history as an iconic figure - like the Red Skull. (No, not Lex Luthor, Zuckerberg is more like a Lex Luthor wannabe and if Hillary were a Batman villain she would never be the Joker, just a second rate Penguin. Comic book iconic villains don't really match up right.)

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On to Biden since 1973

@doh1304
She was just the last straw.
2016 was just the final discrediting of the establishment.

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@gjohnsit
I just thought it was a cute analogy.
otoh she really is a kill crazy Lovecraftian horror.

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On to Biden since 1973

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@doh1304 Lovecraftian horrors are beyond human; they are classy, mysterious, exciting, and unfathomably intelligent.

Hillary Clinton is, at best, the Mayor of Innsmouth.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@gjohnsit "2016" I told myself, "is going to be the system's FINAL SHOT at proving its viability - and gods help us if we get stuck with Hillary."

The rest, as they say, is history.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

Wink's picture

a Ton to speed up the
@gjohnsit
Downward Spiral. It likely would have happened without Her, but with Her leading the way... well, it led to this happening in 2018 instead of waiting for 2020.
So... thanks, Her Highness! Ya done (something) good.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

@gjohnsit

amounting to nothing more than a Hill of mean.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

riverlover's picture

@doh1304 Even kids recognize a villain.

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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.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@doh1304 The "Other Mother" from Coraline?

Seems outstandingly appropriate when you think about it: Seems really nice at first, but the longer you watch her, you start to notice everything that's wrong with her facade, until finally she demands that you take your own eyes out and pledge eternal loyalty to her, and if you don't, she reveals herself for the abusive narcissistic predator that she really is.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

karl pearson's picture

In special elections, Democrats have flipped several seats in deep-red Oklahoma since Trump was elected. Since Dem elites have ignored the middle of the country, Oklahoma Democrats are not under their thumbs so they may continue to make gains. Also, Oklahoma is known as the birthplace of the "Godfather of Populism": Fred Harris.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

is not going to be any help.

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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

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal That was my first thought, and second was 2020 he's going to make a run because it's "his turn".

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@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal he can be President some day, which, he knows, he can't do without a unified legislature. His claim to fame after all is I did a good job of managing a large state. Unfortunately for him, he needs the big money from Wall Street and the orthodoxy they will impose is increasingly disliked and resented by the rest of the country.

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Nastarana

Obama proved what a liar and snake in the grass the whole passel is. Until we drive a stake thru their hearts and burn their bones, they can't be trusted to do anything they are supposed to including stay dead.

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

@dkmich but next zombie flick I watch I'm gonna have a hard time not seeing the undead as democrats..... 2 thumbs up.

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orlbucfan's picture

your mental energy? Educated minds would like to know. Smile

Rec'd!!

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

orlbucfan's picture

@orlbucfan The current Democratic Party is just another version of GOPuke. That's why the genuine GOPuke wins. They have more experience than their YUPPIE counterparts.

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@orlbucfan

gjohnsit, like where do you get your mental energy? Educated minds would like to know.

(S)He's got herself a secret stash of Vin Mariani!

Smile

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@orlbucfan

that gjohnsit bathes in a pool of genius every morning before breakfast, in order to do 11 impossibly good essays before nightfall. If you have a better one, I'd like to hear it.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@orlbucfan
My brain usually functions in "pre-rant mode".
I have to tone it down around friends.

Physical energy is another story. I still haven't fully recovered from my accident last year.

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@gjohnsit

... Physical energy is another story. I still haven't fully recovered from my accident last year. ...

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

incredible

thanks

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