Interesting

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JekyllnHyde's picture

It is high time for the Democratic Party to abandon Clinton-style "pragmatic" or "sensible" centrism. It is a recipe for defeat, disaster, and despair.

As the author notes.

A $15 minimum wage, a restored overtime threshold, affordable public college, Medicare for All, paid family leave, crucial infrastructure investments, modern labor laws, and substantially higher taxes on wealthy corporations and individuals would be a good start. If that sounds like the platform of lefties like Ocasio-Cortez, it’s because it is. But when ideologically “lefty” ideas are both broadly popular and broadly economically beneficial, they occupy the majoritarian center from which electoral majorities are built.

Democrats need to stop balancing the economic interests of the top 2 percent against the interests of everyone else and start focusing on the needs of the majoritarian center—the 80 percent of families who have been left behind by 40 years of trickle-down economics. Raise wages now. That’s the kind of pragmatic centrism the majority of Americans truly want, and that our economy needs.

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24 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

Pluto's Republic's picture

They want to be "centrist" and all pragmatic-like, but they don't know where the political center is located in America. And they can't figure out how to find it. They keep guessing that the center is in the middle of the political spectrum, but they're wrong. That's why they continue to lose.

At $7.25 an hour, the current federal minimum wage provides a floor under only 1.3 percent of all wage and salary workers—a cohort one might fairly characterize as occupying the far left of our economic yardstick. By comparison, a hike to $15 an hour would directly or indirectly benefit 29.2 percent of workers. And with half of all American jobs paying less than $18 an hour, a $20 minimum wage would directly cover a majority of workers, while indirectly pushing wages higher for many millions more. From a majoritarian perspective—a perspective that asks, “Who does it benefit?”—the higher you raise the minimum wage, the more centrist the policy becomes!

And the same holds true for many other policies routinely caricatured as “far-left.”

It turns out the political center is nowhere near the middle. This article explains how that works.

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16 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic They don't really stand for very much. They communicate no real vision of what they want the country to be. They do want corporate contributions, and they want to kiss corporate ass so that they can make a lot of money when they step down from office.

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Hawkfish's picture

This is another memorable Hanauer essay from 2014.

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11 users have voted.

We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away

polkageist's picture

This article explains what most of us believe or know or intuit. If the Democratic Party changes direction it can reap power and prestige in one or two elections. If they don't, they will join the Whigs and will be responsible for all of the climate catastrophe death and destruction because they don't try to stop the Republican huns and spoilers. I haven't voted Democratic for many years except for Bernie because I have seen just what Mr. Hanauer describes. If the current Democratic Party "leaders" get their act together, I will help put them in charge. This article shows them what is needed and I'm a concerned former Democrat who is attesting to the truth of what Hanauer says. Let's hope they aren't as venal and stupid as I suspect they are.

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16 users have voted.

Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@polkageist

If the current Democratic Party "leaders" get their act together, I will help put them in charge.

They have been constantly doubling down on their mistakes, deceptions, and delusions for many years — and deceiving only themselves. The sheer weight of it, I fear, makes it impossible to maneuver. And, addressing that sort of change carries the risk that the Russia Hoax will be exposed utterly. I don't see a path to reform for the Democrats.

For the first time, an entirely new party seems a much more likely outcome.

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10 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

In his most recent interview, Hedges talks to Nick Brana, founder and executive director of Movement for a People's Party. They discuss the US' two political party system and the need for third and fourth parties. Brana offers a unique perspective that developed from his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

@Pluto's Republic

Would the American people be better served by a Movement for a People's Party?

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8 users have voted.

because the democrats mostly want it that way. Or else there would be a change in direction, not tactics. None of the 20, 30 40 year veteran "old hands" have any desire to change, or can even conceive of changing. If you believe in parties and voting, then it's 3rd party or take over the existing one. If not, then either way the democratic party needs to be disrupted. Like when Sanders was prevented from speaking at a campaign rally by BLM protesters.

" Seeing two young black women with long ghetto braids, big earrings and a total disregard for the authority of the state and the power of white supremacy over their lives is what shook this nation to its core." https://www.theroot.com/1-year-later-blm-protester-who-interrupted-berni...

It worked in the past, it'll work today, because even if the PTB stand there and do nothing, or call in police to bust heads they'll have to answer for it, and own it.

From above " A $15 minimum wage, a restored overtime threshold, affordable public college, Medicare for All, paid family leave, crucial infrastructure investments, modern labor laws, and substantially higher taxes on wealthy corporations and individuals would be a good start. "

Are they for it, or against it? And if against confront then with it at every chance, publicly force them to address it over and over...no form letter emails, no letting campaign speeches substitute for answers.

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7 users have voted.
Wink's picture

the wrong tree then,
@Snode
Bernie having a record of civil rights
actions longer than both of those BLM protesters
been alive.
Never heard of BLM before that moment, but they lost me that moment.

But, yeah! Call them out! Shame them! Or at least embarrass them. For being the gutless spineless wonders they are. (prolly why I don't get "invited" to work our Dim candidate's race). I pretty much burned my bridges for the current campaign, but there's always 2020 (as I'm sure the Dims will lose this one, our candidate having drunk the Dim party Kool Aid). {sigh}
It's easy enough to do...
"A $15 minimum wage,
affordable public college,
Medicare for All,
paid family leave,
and higher taxes on wealthy corporations and individuals"
Call them out. "Are you for it or against it??"
Pretty much as simple as that.

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6 users have voted.

the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

@Wink it accomplished what they set out to do perfectly. (Just wish it had been HER., instead) Cussing them out would just play into their hands. Tired of them patronizing their way through elections.

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3 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

As for progressive Democrats, it’s time for us to stop trashing the very notion of centrism itself. The “centrist” wing of our party (and to be clear, it’s a wing, not the center) isn’t uniformly evil or corrupt. They’re not bad people. They’re just wrong.

No actually, they are evil. This entire generation of Clintonian politicians are where they are today BECAUSE of corruption. Bill and Hillary showed them just how much cash they could make selling their constituencies down the river and the whole greedy bunch jumped in with both feet.

They believed what economists told them, and then tried to govern accordingly.

They believed what they wanted to believe. They weren't stupid.

But they’re still Democrats, and as such, we all broadly share the same inclusive values and goals.

Name one.

Moreover, by relentlessly reviling the center, progressives needlessly cede it. Which is stupid.

Huh? Listen, I know condescension is an evolutionary trait inherent in Billionaires, but if you are going to insult your target audience with patronizing behavioral arguments, it usually helps if those arguments actually make a modicum of sense.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus is already the largest Democratic caucus in Congress. So you know what that makes them? The center!

So by reviling the fake center we are preventing ourselves from being the real center.

Or something.

We seem to be seeing a lot of these 'Suddenly Socialist' articles planted in some unlikely places lately. Yet they never seem to quite hit the mark for me.

Read deep enough, and there's always a tell that gives away the centrist con.

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8 users have voted.

The drama of the deep state in full factional meltdown makes Mario Puzo look like a dime store hack.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

If the lawmaker actually has a moral compass, then he knows where a given policy position is going to leave his constituents. Economics is really not that complicated and the outcomes are not really that difficult to predict

They’re not bad people. They’re just wrong.

Oh pulease! I am so tired of the dumb.

Now you got me riled up, NHK. But the fact is, mediocracy was built into the system, and Americans are so busy being thrilled with themselves they let it all slip away. We do have the highest incarceration rate in the world. Maybe we just produce inferior human beings when we are away from our indigenous lands where we actually evolved. There has to be an explanation.

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6 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

Moving to the center by making a hard left. Interesting article. Thanks for the post.

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7 users have voted.

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

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Hawkfish's picture

@dkmich

A lot of this was old news but I hadn’t considered that the timid moves the centrist Dems (assuming they aren’t all as venal at NHK implies) are counterproductive because they don’t cover people who actually vote. That is an important point.

It is also interesting to me that Hanauer (another Seattleite) made his money selling pillows(!) which requires understanding marketing and target audiences. Most of the dims deep pockets are in finance and they don’t need that stuff (rich people come to them).

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8 users have voted.

We may find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud.
- Pink Floyd, On the Turning Away