Why it's different this time

Most of the conflict I've had on C99P has been about my support of the new progressive insurgency in the Democratic Party, and those who think I'm being suckered.
Most responses have been something like "We've seen this before in 2008 and 2016."
I finally figured out a way to empirically prove to those doubters why it's different this time, and it should've been obvious to me long ago.

It's the money!

First let me say that if you think that money doesn't have a huge impact on politics, you can stop reading here.
But if you are like most people you will agree that money is the most important issue in politics.

Comparing 2008 v. Now

Obama fooled a lot of people. They really thought he was going to change things.
The Progressive Insurgents also promise to change things.
That's where the similarities end.

Obama was vague. Justice Democrats are specific with their plans.

Justice Democrats do not "take any corporate PAC or corporate lobbyist money."
Obama in 2008 took a mountain of Wall Street cash.

Illinois Sen. Obama, who captured the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday after a lengthy primary battle against New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, has received $7.9 million (4.1 million pounds) n contributions from the securities and investment industries, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

His opponent, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, banked a little under $4.2 million, putting him behind fellow Republicans Rudolph Giuliani and Mitt Romney, who have long since dropped out of the race.

Overall, Democrats garnered 57 percent of the contributions from the securities and investment industry. If that trend continued through November, it would mark the first time since 1994 that they have drawn more Wall Street cash than Republicans in a presidential election year, according to the data complied by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Do you think that this makes a difference?
It's the difference between politicians that have been bribed and those that haven't.

Compare 2016 v. Now

This is a bit harder, but there is still a clear difference.

2016 was almost entirely about Bernie Sanders.

All of the progressive insurgency groups were founded after the 2016 primaries ended.
JD was founded on January 23, 2017.
Brand New Congress was founded in late April 2016 as Sanders conceded the primary to Hillary Clinton.
Our Revolution was officially launched on August 24, 2016.

So what we are looking at is the difference between a campaign and a movement.

Even the WashPost recognizes that something is different this time around.

It’s been decades since Democrats had to confront a genuine challenge from the far left.

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Now you can claim that the outcome will be the same, but you can't use 2008 and 2016 as examples of why nothing will change.

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Comments

Alligator Ed's picture

The emperor putatively has new clothes--same as the old clothing--i.e., none. Any difference is only in verbiage. We will still be screwed by the "insurgents' who don't give a damn about anything except power, just the same way as their forebearers. If you think the Squad or other putative "progressive" far left group is any different, I beg to ask why about policy difference--not merely funding. Clearly the "insurgents don't gave an effort about immigrants as witness their principled stance over Trump's brilliant political maneuver, exempting persons traveling from a third country to the U.S. Oh, didn't catch that bit of McResistance, eh? Neither did I. Those mealy-mouthed fuckers don't care about immigrants--only about votes. Votes = power. So what changed? Absofuckinglutelutely nothing. Please tell me how I am wrong.

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@Alligator Ed
It's your right to ignore all of my points, but you should at least acknowledge it.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@gjohnsit I humbly apologize for misinterpreting any or all of what you wrote. To the best of my admittedly limited cognitive abilities, I did the best I could. The preceding question is often used in medical malpractice cases to defend a physician who committed an error so egregious as to fail any valid counter-argument. Again, please let me me profess my obvious inattentiveness to the core of your essay, the fault of which is mine, entirely mine.

According to my admittedly impaired cognitive faculties, how the influence of money upon politics has changed miraculously because this is 2019. By the purifying fire of Athena, I swear to smite and destroy any semblance of money--yes, money--influencing policy or politics decisions. May you please unconfuse this obviously confused communitarian?

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Cassiodorus's picture

also appears a lot more ridiculous now than it did in 2016.

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Wally's picture

@Cassiodorus

It's not like there's an indefinite timeline to their being able to equivocate and play footsie with one half measure after another.

As much as I respect alligators' ability to survive the swamps, I'll place more faith in guys like Bill McKibben when it comes to the matter of organizing to combat the onset of global climate catastrophe during the 12 year window of opportunity we have left.

McKibben supports Bernie. And will probably be appointed by Bernie to an important position in his administration if he pulls off the miracle of winning the nomination. I really doubt that any other candidate would even consider putting a man or woman anything like McKibben in their administration, even if they might be capable of beating Trump (which I doubt).

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orlbucfan's picture

@Wally Anyone who has kids, grandkids, etc. who doesn't vote. Too many out there. Pathetic. Rec'd!!

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" Our solutions to the climate crisis must match the demands of physics."
c/o truthout

Wally's picture

@orlbucfan

Or they're just a different brand of cranky old curmudgeon than me.

Maybe I'm wrong.

My selfie:

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Wally https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/20/joe-biden-age-2020-1374591

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Wally's picture

@Cassiodorus

Lots of good points in the article but istm Biden first and foremost wants to project an image of cool-tempered likability. I don't think Abe cares much one way or another what people think of him. I can't imagine Biden waving his fist at anybody or anything.

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Money is one of ingredients in the conflict among Nancy Pelosi and the four congresswomen. Nancy is always described as super fundraiser. She uses that money to get congress members to fall in line. AOC and the other three ladies raise their own money so Nancy does not have that power over them. I read that AOC pulled in over a million last qtr.

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It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. Carl Sagan

@chambord I read that AOC is the second biggest fundraiser in The House.

With No Time spent in "call rooms," incarcerated in the manner that the rest of the House Democrats are.

She doesn't owe much to The Speaker.

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NYCVG

So when someone claims to have evidence that yet another progressive is really a Trojan horse I consider the information very carefully as objectively as I can.

So far I haven't learned anything that makes me give up on her.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@entrepreneur

So far I haven't learned anything that makes me give up on her.

To whom do you refer?

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@Alligator Ed

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I just knew Obama would follow through with hope and change. Just knew. It's what we learned in school. FDR righted the ship of state, instituted new programs, made government responsive to the people. Obama had a blueprint for the economic meltdown and a way forward that had been forged 75 years before....and he put on an 8 year Mitt Romney impersonation.

I am not sure it's Bernie, maybe anyone putting forth his ideas would have been popular. Bernies Ideas are pretty small, but still he's labeled as Satan the Socialist.

Back to your point. OK. Who contributes how much to your campaign? What do they expect in return. That's the rock that needs to be turned over to see what crawls around in the light of day. As stupid as they think we are, the young today are the best educated and most tested by adversity since the great depression. The other side is the slow walking of both parties makes the time when things were better, when things worked for the 99% fades into myth. The personal history fades to be superseded by the 1%'s version of history.

As cynical as I am, I guess I have hope for the future...just not in my lifetime.

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lotlizard's picture

@Snode  
When I was in Philly, we drove to the Jersey shore with a friend. Retired now, well-educated, worked as a social services professional all her life. So we’re on the Expressway, and to pass the time the three of us in the car start talking politics.

First thing she says is, “So is Trump going to get in again? We [Democrats] don’t really seem to have anyone outstanding.” She thinks Biden has the best chance “by default” and inwardly I groan. I say I like Tulsi Gabbard but she knows next to nothing about Tulsi except that she’s from Hawaii.

So what about Bernie, I think to myself; surely she must like Bernie? But she more or less just dismisses him, saying, “Well, I’m Jewish, right, and in families like mine it’s sort of like everyone has a socialist uncle who you see at family gatherings, talking about what the country should do.”

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karl pearson's picture

As you pointed out, these grassroots movements, like Justice Democrats, grew out of the Bernie Sanders' campaign. The Dem establishment wants Bernie & The Squad to go away. Obama's campaign was a "fake" progressive campaign orchestrated by the Kennedy/Daschle/Durbin wing of the party. The 2008 Democratic primary was really a fight between 2 wings of the Democratic party, not Progressives vs the Establishment Dems. I didn't know it at the time. I guess I was like a lot of people. We were "shell-shocked" after Bush II, didn't want Hillary Clinton, and read too much into Obama's words. In all fairness to us suckers, the Obama campaign was quite a sophisticated marketing machine, so I understand the skepticism after that.

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@karl pearson @karl pearson split the Dem establishment vote, iirc. Obama got the majority of D senators' endorsements. So clearly Obama was no flame-throwing ultra liberal-lefty progressive of radical tendencies.

Dunno all the timelines of which D big name endorsed or encouraged him first, but Daschle had lost his re-elect just as Obama was entering the senate, and was considering a prez run of his own until very late in 2006.

According to one book on the 2008 campaign, Majority Leader Harry Reid may have been the first big D to encourage O to run, this in mid-2006, very early. Reid apparently called him into his office (O thought it was for a scolding) to tell him it was obvious he wasn't a good fit in the senate, and why not run, while he's young and the iron is hot, essentially. I think Reid above all others, the Majority Leader no less, was the most influential voice in O's ears that I'm aware of.

As for Ted Kennedy, recall that just before Iowa in 2008, Bill Clinton called him to get TK to back Hillary. Obama's name came up, and Bill unwisely offered some disparaging remarks, perhaps some along IdPol lines, that were not well received. This doomed Hillary's endorsement chances. (the Kennedy family overall split their endorsements between the two, O getting the big names of Ted and Caroline, while Kathleen endorsed Hillary. Can't remember who RFK Jr picked.)

Imo, the fact that Obama checked a few different progressive boxes, which in many cases made the white progressive left rather proud of themselves, and his fresh face and dynamic personality were overall too much for the relatively shopworn Hillary to overcome. But progressives went too swoon-y and lost their good judgment by overvaluing some superficial aspects. Most have realized the errors of their ways, but others are still smitten ...

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karl pearson's picture

@wokkamile I have also read that Harry Reid encouraged Barack Obama to run, but I have a feeling that Dick Durbin, Obama's fellow Senator from Illinois and Senate Majority Whip, whispered in Harry Reid's ear first. Probably Durbin had met with Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, Tom Daschle, and others from that wing of the party. These guys probably thought Hillary Clinton couldn't win the 2008 presidential election and Obama had a better chance. They were right.

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@karl pearson

were right. However, I believe, though, obviously, I cannot prove it, she cut a deal before she dropped out of the primary and not only with Obama.

BTW, I would bet my life that Pelosi also backed Obama, as did the DNC. I base my comment about the DNC on the DNC's penalties on Hillary for visiting Florida and one other state were draconian, I thought--and I was for Obama! I posted my thoughts about the deal once, but I don't feel like looking for it right now or recreating it.

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earthling1's picture

@HenryAWallace
for the SoS position to follow up with a POTUS run in 2016.
Or, her turn.
iirc.

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@wokkamile

supporting Obama. Among other "racially-tinged" things bubba said was that Ted was supporting Obama only because he was black.

Everyone in the Dem leadership was for Obama--Pelosi, Kennedy, Reid, Daschle, etc., supposedly because they thought she had too much baggage to win. So the DNC was also for Obama. Early super delegate leanings were for Her, until it became evident that she was not the pick of the power players. Then, many of them switched to Obama.

However, I would not be surprised if the power players also just didn't like her, as with so many voters. They weren't bowled over by her Billarycare efforts when she was First Lady, either.

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@karl pearson

as New Democrats (aka, DLC or Third Way types) and also both have described their policies as "progressive." The biggest two differences between them, from my perspective, anyway, were Obama's 2002 speech about Iraq, something on which he then had no vote anyway; and Obama's health plain supposedly was to have strong public option and no individual mandate while Clinton's plan included no strong public option, but did include an individual mandate.*

Moreover, Obama's first public act after the election was appointing Rahm, a Clintonite neoliberal thug if there ever was one, as his chief of chief, as had Bubba. There followed one appointment and nomination after another of Clintonites and Chicago machine cogs, including a Daley.
After that, it was mostly who I thought had the best chance in the general, because, after Bush and Iraq, who wanted a Republican to succeed him in the White House? In November 2007, I picked Obama; and 2016 proved me right on that point. I was, however, wrong about another Republican succeeding Bush.

Of course, Obama saved his announcement that he was a New Democrat until after he was in office, while Hillary, having been the ONLY female founding member of the DLC could not hide it during the campaign.

*ETA: And, of course, Obamacare is more like Hillary's campaign description than Obama's; and it's hard to imagine how he could have endorsed her warmongering more than by appointing her Secretary of State and bombing the hell out of the entire Middle East, except for our most favorite oil-producers, like the Saudis and Kuwaitis.

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Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

I haven't yet come across any thorough expositions on what donors of Clinton or Obama are giving what to which candidate in this Democratic primary towards the 2020 nomination.

I've seen lotsa Clinton heavyweights switching from Harris to Warren over time. Looks like a lot of Hollywood is anteing up for Warren. I gotta wonder if it's just a game for the moneybags and New Dem ideologues to pit the two women against each other, making sure Biden doesn't have enough delegates on the first ballot. I don't believe Obama was completely a New Dem during his campaign. I'm guessing Rahm and Hillary were part of the deal in Hillary dropping out. And then he just didn't have the backbone to challenge them after that.

Then there are Obama folks predominantly but not exclusively financially supporting Biden who I guess was pretty much a New Dem.

I'm just hoping against hope that Bernie can take advantage of this divide this time around. Hopefully, the Democratic elite in the DNC have outsmarted themselves by encouraging the large field of candidates which they were sure would act to Bernie's detriment. Let's face it, they ain't the sharpest tools in the shed.

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@Wally

However, even if he was, Obama filled many slots with Clintonites.

Other than being deceptive, I am not sure what it means not to be a New Democrat while you campaign, announcing it only after you are safely in office. Moreover, little Obama did as an Illinois Senator or a US Senator was inconsistent with being a New Democrat.

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@Wally as we're talking about 11 yrs ago and my memory is not perfect. Didn't Hillary drop out at the very end of the primary voting, whereas the delegate count months before her departure spelled doom for her campaign. So, get her to drop out? Did you mean not take her case to the convention?

As for backbone, regardless of any deal making, it was a no-brainer for Obama to bring in the candidate who got about as many primary votes as he did, to appease the Hillary backers and get them safely on board with him, party unity, especially after he decided not to choose her for his VP. This is just basic politics to bring the sides together after a tough primary contest.

But on the rest of the appointments, well didn't he seek input from Citibank, essentially allowing them to pick his economic advisers? Yeah, quite a backbone. So was keeping on the old spook from the Poppy Bush camp, Repub Bobby Gates, to be his SoD. I remember how Doris Kearns Goodwin got all weepy about this Team of Rivals cabinet, but it was a disaster for the DP and about as bad for the country. But Obama, Kearns and other bleeding heart bipartisan types patted themselves on the back for their bipartisan efforts at cuddling with the Rs and the big banks and corporations, and we were all supposed to applaud.

You would think Obama had won in a very narrow JFK-esque fashion, where he was almost compelled to include some Rs and conservatives. But Obama didn't win narrowly. He should have been more clear in the campaign that, if he won, he would be governing as a hybrid Demican/Republicrat, and we who voted for him should have been more clear-eyed in seeing the early signs.

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@wokkamile

News "leaked" into some mass media source or other that Obama and Hillary had had a very "secret" meeting at Difi's house at which Obama promised to help Hillary raise funds to pay off her campaign debts in return for her dropping out.

The news of a leak was itself a joke, inasmuch as the only ones who could have leaked the meeting and terms would have been the Clintons, the Obamas or Difi; and, reportedly, even Difi had left Obama and Hillary alone in her living room to negotiate.

However, if you believe those were the terms of the deal, I have an inventory of stunning and/or historic bridges in which I'd like to interest you. And, don't forget: Hillary's announcing that McCain and she were ready for the 3 am call, but Obama wasn't had inspired the PUMA movement, who rooted for the Alasakan twit after McCain chose her as his running mate.

At the time, I was posting on a supposedly bipartisan board owned by a woman who had been a Clinton fan and a daily defender of Democrats in general. She went full Republican after Hillary lost the nomination, even praising Bush for the rest of his term. I soon left that board as a result.

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Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

I'm enjoying a few beers in all this damn heat (no ac for me) and I'm not sure I have it in me to respond.

Rahm was a Clintonoid long before he was an Obamanite but yea, their relationship may well have been consensual on it's own given the Chicago connection:

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/clinton/interviews/emmanu...

So much wheeling and dealing goes on behind the scenes that we're never privy to . . . all us peasants can do is speculate.

Thanks to you both. I really enjoy and am informed by your insights.

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joe shikspack's picture

i think that your observations are completely fair.

i have seen no evidence that the current crop of corporate-money-eschewing democrats are not in earnest about their desire to reform the party and reorient it from corporate whoredom to serving their human constituents.

in determining whether there will be a difference this time (not in intent but in outcomes) the question seems to me to be whether this small movement can gain enough momentum quickly enough to overwhelm the party apparatus.

while it is quite comforting to see some people who think decent human being thoughts gain political stature, wielding the sort of political power needed to make real change is still quite a ways away.

then there is also the question of whether these folks will wind up being as radical as we need them to be, but perhaps that's another argument.

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@joe shikspack

I agree there is intent, difference,and energy. Is it enough?

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

orlbucfan's picture

@dkmich change. If not, bloody explosions like late 1780s France will seem like kindergarten.

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" Our solutions to the climate crisis must match the demands of physics."
c/o truthout

polkageist's picture

@joe shikspack
First I have seen little to convince me that these people are phonies or agents provocateurs. I like the fact that they take small donations. I agree with most of their decisions but recognize I will never find someone with whom I agree on every point and that everyone makes mistakes. It is important to watch carefully and to not allow our emotions based on suspicion to get the upper hand.

One thing people on the left do easily is savage their own. I think it basically comes down to authoritarian vs. non-authoritarian personalities. Right wingers have no problem following leaders. Lefties are more suspicious of those in charge. A positive trait until it becomes paranoiac. (By the way, to save myself from being hung from a figurative lamppost, I'm not accusing anyone here of being paranoid.)

Finally, we are facing an extinction event. Once again authoritarian people find it easy to follow people who tell them it isn't so and who minimize the danger as do the frightened, unobservant, disinterested, and stupid. I'm an old man and consort mainly with other old people. It's very disheartening to discover so many who think they are still living in 1950 or 1960; who think newspapers and TV tell them the truth; and consider the U.S. government to be what they were taught it was in the fifth grade. In short, we had better take some risks on new, young people who have humane ideas rather than be grumpy old men.

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

@polkageist Agree with all your succinctly made points. You should post here more often.

Extinction event indeed. You and I aren't the only ones thinking in these terms, along with a few others here (but not all). Prof Jason Stanley of Yale, author of recent book How Fascism Works, John Nichols at The Nation, Thom Hartmann podcaster, Jordan Chariton (Status Coup podcaster), and even, unbelievably Joe Scarborough and Donnie Deutsch, two confirmed centrists of Morning Joe -- all have called out Trump for his latest racist and fascist activities, using the Fascism word in all cases, and all but Nichols calling it reminiscent of Naziism. Robert Fisk of the UK Independent also is sounding the alarm.

I also take to heart Trump's former atty, testifying before Congress a few months ago, to the effect that, in his opinion, Trump will be likely not to follow our democratic traditions and laws and will not be inclined to give up power.

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lotlizard's picture

@polkageist  
for example the Greens, who historically were the anti-authoritarians and doomsayers, are like, “Trust the structures of authority, trust Merkel and the Christian Democrats and the E.U., everything is awesome, there’s a little problem with the climate but don’t worry, there’s plenty of austerity to go around, we just need some tweaks to these global agreements and trade treaties and you’ll see, kids, it’s all going to be great.”

The Greens are in the opposition in parliament. But in order to avoid the appearance of cooperating with the right-wing populist AfD who are the biggest opposition party, they aren’t really offering any opposition to speak of at all.

So, on the other side of this weird inversion, it falls to the populists, the supposed Nazi-minded authoritarians, to be the ones most sounding the alarm about mass surveillance, online censorship, middle-class impoverishment, trade treaties, banking, billionaires, U.S. tech monopolies, NATO, military adventures, the U.S.-Saudi-Israel anti-Iran war alliance, biased media, etc.

Sir, would you like your order of ideological conformity with ethnic and gender diversity garnish, or without?

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polkageist's picture

@lotlizard
Political calculation may well be our bete noir. The U.S. is in bad shape because of the foolish calculations of our politicians since at least Reagan's Presidency and certainly since Bill Clinton gave us neoliberalism. Why should German politics be any different? It's wearying.

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

magiamma's picture

I am also with you.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

smiley7's picture

Thank you, gj.

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mimi's picture

@smiley7

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Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

Centaurea's picture

@mimi @mimi

move into the future and leave the past behind, hopefully.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Alligator Ed's picture

@Centaurea I don 't know about her marrying her father. The only photo of her with her supposed husband also contains other male persons. A picture of her with her brother proves nothing. But charges of campaign funding violations in 2016 and 2017

Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar has been ordered to reimburse her campaign account about $3,500 and to pay a fine of $500 after an investigation found she illegally used campaign funds in 2016 and 2017, a report said Thursday.

The illegal donations date back to when Omar, who represents a district in Minnesota, served as a state representative.

They include a $1,500 payment to a law firm that her campaign hired to respond to unproven allegations that she married her brother as part of a “immigration scheme,” the Star Tribune reported.

Can you please show evidence of Ilhan's productive House career to date? I mean like all the bills she's proposed or co-sponsored. Did you say she's backing M4A? Where's the bill--it doesn't matter how much she or any other pol flaps their jaw, how about some action? Abolish ICE? Oh please tell me about her No Border stance's effect on legislation. Voting against the humanitarian aid bill, which is not ideal but helps out with the quasi-emergency at the southern border.

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Centaurea's picture

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed

Ilhan Omar's official record of actions as a congressperson may be found here:

https://www.congress.gov/member/ilhan-omar/O000173

To summarize, she's the original sponsor of 6 bills, 1 resolution, and 4 amendments, and has co-sponsored 355 bills.

The bills she has originally sponsored include: H.R. 3448, the Student Debt Cancellation Act of 2019; H.R. 3366, the No Shame at School Act of 2019 (to prevent schools from publicly humiliating students who can't pay for lunch); H.R. 3004, the Protect Democracy from Criminal Corporations Act (got to love the name of that one); H.R. 2832, the Frank Adelmann Manufactured Housing Community Sustainability Act; H.R. 2561, the Brunei Human Rights Act; H.R. 1467, the Protect Against Unlawful Lobbying (PAUL) Act of 2019; H.R. 780, the Federal Worker Childcare Protection Act of 2019; H.Res. 496, Affirming that all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts in pursuit of civil and human rights at home and abroad, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution; and House Amendments 593, 516, 418, and 170.

With respect to Medicare for All, Omar has been vocal about her support for it and actively campaigns for it. Just this past week, she co-hosted an M4A town hall with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who wrote H R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019. Rep. Omar is a co-sponsor of that bill, as is Tulsi Gabbard.

I can understand the need to be skeptical. In fact, my motto is "Question Everything". I figure that's essential right now, not just in politics but life in general.

You know those lines from Joan Didion's poem "Slouching Toward Bethlehem"? It goes like this:

the best lack all conviction,
while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

That's what being a "progressive" has felt like to me for the past several decades. The rightwing has had no qualms about speaking out forcefully, and bending the world to its passionately intense will.

Meanwhile, people anywhere to the left of center have seemed essentially neutered. Afraid of their own shadows. Scared to make a "peep" about anything. Seemingly lacking all sense of conviction that what we want is worthwhile and doable.

Finally, the American psyche seems to be stirring itself. People are starting to speak up and speak out, with a sense of passion and conviction, on behalf of the things we say we want and value.

What sense does it make for us to immediately rush toward those people who are finally speaking out, beat them over the head, try to tear them down, and scream about them being self-centered frauds and sheepdogs? How does it help to start out assuming the worst about them?

I don't worship Ilhan, or Tulsi, or any politician. We need to keep our eyes open and hold them accountable to us. But if they can help us deal with the problems we're facing, and create the kind of world we want to live in, let's use them for that purpose.

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25 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea

does make you vulnerable.

When it comes to reps from districts other than my own, I cannot vote for or against them; and I am not donating to them. So, I'm not sure how much it matters whether I support them, oppose them or adopt a "wait and see" position.

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@HenryAWallace either but I do think it's important to support them, moral, vocal support and with contributions or whatever. They are more than just technically representing only their districts -- they represent a refreshing new wave of Dems in their principled stances and outspokenness, who have chosen not to follow the old feckless ways of keeping their heads down and speaking only when spoken to.

They have the potential to grow their small numbers and revitalize a long-dormant Progressive Left -- but only if those of us with similar political leanings decide the grim times are too urgent and consequential to sit back passively and wait, but instead speak out in their behalf.

Again, they aren't perfect -- who is?? -- and sometimes their remarks strike the wrong tone. But they are generally doing the good work, putting themselves on the line publicly, with a name and a face and a target on their backs, and shaking things up in the Dem political establishment, which badly needs shaking up and replacing.

They get my public support and some will get my donations. Meantime, my rep, one Ted Lieu, will get nothing, including my vote next time. I consider him another status quo backer, moderately moderate-soft liberal Dem, safely center-left, neither a mover nor a shaker he. Ignorant Russiagate proponent too. If you have some mostly worthless rep like this supposedly repping you in your district, consider taking the few pesos your local rep might have received had s/he been better, and tossing them towards some of the Gang of Four.

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9 users have voted.

@wokkamile

. As far as vocal supportI'm not sure how much good it does, given that I live nowhere near their districts and don't know anyone who does. Moreover, until I am confident about these people, I am not going to cheerlead for them. Been there with other politicians, done that, lived to regret it. This time, I'll wait and see. Besides, incumbents have such an advantage, they'll probably get re-elected based on that and their hype alone.

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3 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace We have a different attitude about them and the overheated events swirling in their midst. Mine is one of more urgency. These are national figures, no longer merely representing their narrow districts. They are no longer local politicians. And they are under fire. Death threat variety. Not the time, imo, to sit back and carefully weigh their progress with the pad and pencil in the home study.

In any case, sending money is just one way of supporting them. And this is not an argument about incumbents getting re-elected or the likelihood of that. It's about the urgency of getting behind them now, even at the relatively slight risk one or two may later disappoint. They're pols and human beings after all, and are bound to disappoint sometime. Goes with the territory.

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5 users have voted.

@wokkamile

members respresent themselves; and should the political climate change, will weathervane.

For example, at one time, Capuano and Lee were the furthest left members of the House, IMO. Ayana Pressley unseated Capuano by pretended to be to his left. However, Kerry has supported her since her entry into politics and the Boston Globe endorsed her over Capuano with the lamest endorsement editorial I've read in my entire life.

I am willing to be persuaded otherwise, but I'll wait and see. If Obama 2008 taught me anything, it was not to be seduced by rhetoric.

But yes, we come from two very different places. I am a leftist and you are Blue, no matter what or who.

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0 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

. . . and when figures in, too. The where is national.

Why? Coz I figure we and the planet are all soooo phluckled if we don't support Bernie now.

And with a focus so that my money will only go Bernie for now, not members of the squad although I have sent AOC and Omar each $27 previously.

I have no qualms though with HAW in terms of determining how to vote in the primary. That is, waiting to see if Bernie has a chance of winning in this or that state. If no chance, why not vote for Tulsi or Gravel? It won't make any difference in that state. Strategic voting has always made sense to me on a state basis.

But if Bernie doesn't pull it off and get the nomination, I see no reason to vote anymore.

I just came across an excellent article by a climate scientist from Syracuse University that I will probably share and discuss via an essay in a day or two.

In it he makes the argument that Bernie represents our only and last chance to combat climate catastrophe. Makes sense to me.

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1 user has voted.

@Wally

readily. Nonetheless, in some cases, their posts make it unmistakeably evident, anyway.

So far, Bernie Sanders has not been a Democrat in his very long activist and political career, other than the months during which he has now run twice in the Democratic Presidential primary. Hence, being for Bernie is most certainly not an example of being blue, no matter who.

And no, national is not when "blue no matter who" matters. For one thing, it almost never matters if you vote in either a solid blue or a solid red state. For another thing, it doesn't matter if, in truth, the blue candidate differentiates from the red candidate primarily on pc issues.

This should have been evident from, among many other things, the number of Presidential hopefuls in Congress who voted for the Iraq invasion and Hillary Clinton's urging Trump to bomb Syrian airports, her putting a Constitutional amendment to overrule Roe v. Wade on the table, speaking out against same gender marriage until (suspiciously) very shortly before the SCOTUS ruled it unconstitutional and other things.

I note the differences and have tired of being accused of the opposite. Therefore, I was happy to see a post on another board that put it in a way to which I can subscribe: It is not a matter of whether Republican and Democrats are the same; it's a matter of whether they are on the same side. (Or words to that effect) Far too often, they are, no matter what they say in public.

Hell, even Wall Street knows Democratic politicians, because of their base, have to have "a public position" and "a private position." Accustomed to "the bottom line, denizens of Wall Street ignore public bloviating and look only to results. It's past time we did the same--and stopped accepting Democratic excuses for why they just couldn't do better by us.

Of course, my original comment was not addressed to you, so I know you did not take it personally. I probably will not vote for Gravel in the primary because it's unlikely that he will still be on the ballot by then and I personally see no point writing in when write in votes get reported to the FEC and almost nowhere else, ever. The same may or may not apply to Tulsi by then. In that case, Bernie will get my vote, no matter how far behind he may be in the polls: Even if he can't win, I want him to make as a good a showing as possible.

However, IMO, there is always reason to vote for someone on the ballot in a Presidential election. For one thing, a Green vote tells people you want something to the left of Democrats--which, based on what you say, is indeed what you want. Why keep that a secret or let someone chalk it up to your being too lazy to get to the polls or, perhaps worse, too satisfied with the status quo?

And, for newer parties, ballot access is always an issue. So, if you care about helping a newer party break through the stranglehold Democrats and Republicans worked together to create, that's a reason. Besides, a pile of stuff is down ticket.

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1 user has voted.
Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

Yesiree. And it's the last electoral go-round for me unless there's a Bernie miracle.

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1 user has voted.

@Wally

But, let your conscience be your guide. You're the one who has to live with it. For better or worse, I only have to live with my own.

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0 users have voted.

@wokkamile Andrew Gillum was on a panel and he made the same point as you. They are not just representing their constituents, they represent all those who are sick and tired of the status quo.

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7 users have voted.

It's simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back. Carl Sagan

@chambord @chambord

Political kabuki is a high stakes game at which professional politicians are far more skilled than we are.

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1 user has voted.

@Centaurea

the lines you quote are from "The Second Coming" by W. B. Yeats.
Joan Didion lifted a line for the title of her essay collection.
Such a great poem.

By Nick Tabor April 7, 2015
On Poetry

The widening gyre of heavy-handed allusions to Yeats’s “The Second Coming.”
yeats

An undated photo of Yeats by the Bain News Service.

A recent Russia Today headline suggests that Europe is “slouching towards anxiety and war.” According to the title of Robert Bork’s latest best seller, the United States is Slouching Towards Gomorrah. A new book by W. C. Harris, an English professor, claims we’re Slouching Towards Gaytheism. A casual reader might wonder why the nations of the world have such terrible posture; is it that the earth is slouching towards bedlam? Have things fallen apart?

The only thing not doing any slouching these days is the “rough beast” in W. B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming,” the 1919 poem from which the phrase originates: “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

But Yeats’s beast, it must be said, isn’t deteriorating or dying in its slouching, as the many references to the phrase would have you believe; rather, it slouches in steady, dedicated progress toward a goal. It’s actually a terrifying sight: the poem’s narrator intuits that the beast is coming to wreak some untold havoc. (At least one blog got this subtlety right in a headline about the 2012 election cycle: “Romney slouching toward GOP nomination.”)

“The Second Coming” may well be the most thoroughly pillaged piece of literature in English. (Perhaps Macbeth’s famous “sound and fury” monologue is a distant second.) Since Chinua Achebe cribbed Yeats’s lines for Things Fall Apart in 1958 and Joan Didion for Slouching Towards Bethlehem a decade later, dozens if not hundreds of others have followed suit, in mediums ranging from CD-ROM games to heavy-metal albums to pornography. These references have created a feedback loop, leading ever more writers to draw from the poem for inspiration. But how many of them get it right?

Here’s “The Second Coming” in full:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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14 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@irishking Thanks for the clarification and for posting the entire poem.

I'm kind of embarrassed that I didn't remember the original source. I've read that poem so many times over the years. "The Second Coming" is one of the poems that speaks to me most deeply, along with Eliot's "The Hollow Men".

I guess it's a good sign that so many people have "borrowed" the poem, or riffed off it (used it to create derivative works), since that must mean it's speaking to a great many people.

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12 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea

I agree with what you say-

What sense does it make for us to immediately rush toward those people who are finally speaking out, beat them over the head, try to tear them down, and scream about them being self-centered frauds and sheepdogs? How does it help to start out assuming the worst about them?

and I think your reference to the line "the best lack all conviction" is apt,fwiw.

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16 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@Centaurea

What sense does it make for us to immediately rush toward those people who are finally speaking out, beat them over the head, try to tear them down, and scream about them being self-centered frauds and sheepdogs? How does it help to start out assuming the worst about them?

I'm not opposed to being critical of their politics and exploring their political shortcomings, but sometimes the vehemence of the personal animosity is offsetting, especially when so much of it is based on speculation.

I'm not at all prim and proper and puritanical, but I'm not so sure we want to become full of the same kind of "passionate intensity" we see in Trumpsters.

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15 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@Centaurea @Centaurea

redacted Yeats poem

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6 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@Centaurea

Meanwhile, people anywhere to the left of center have seemed essentially neutered. Afraid of their own shadows. Scared to make a "peep" about anything. Seemingly lacking all sense of conviction that what we want is worthwhile and doable.

Because if they say anything critical of Omar (or the rest of the squad), they will be accused of racism and fascism.

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1 user has voted.

dfarrah

Alligator Ed's picture

@Centaurea I am too busy cogitating about things to do research. My brain circuitry is hampered by too few neurons, making too few synapses. This slows my thought processes to little beyond the "see it--eat it" mentality which I usually espouse.

I don't worship Ilhan, or Tulsi, or any politician. We need to keep our eyes open and hold them accountable to us. But if they can help us deal with the problems we're facing, and create the kind of world we want to live in, let's use them for that purpose.

I love Tulsi but, having been disappointed so many times (i.e., every time in the past when supporting politicians), I use the once bitten, twice shy approach. So her pedestal is not any taller than I can jump. I won't hesitate to take bites out of her when she displays neoliberalism or warmongering.

In honor (?) of my past political disappointments, e.g., political betrayals by once-supported pols, I present, for your auditory enjoyment--and certainly mine own:

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

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4 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@Alligator Ed

to get better acquainted with what Ilhan is doing. There's so much going on, it's impossible to be "in the know" about everything.

I've found that congress.gov website and database to be a handy thing, especially for a research "junkie" like me. For Reps and Senators who've had lengthy careers, you can see everything they've ever done. Also, you can quickly track legislation to find out its status.

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3 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Alligator Ed @Alligator Ed remember about the 4 is that they are women of color, and, by definition, if you criticize them or question, them, you are a racist and fascist (just like Obama!! Recall the immediate accusations of racism, etc,., when Obama was criticized?)

Like they have reminded the public at least two times, they must be treated with deference because they are women of color.

Say it: they are women of color, they are women of color, they are women of color, over and over, like follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road.

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3 users have voted.

dfarrah

Alligator Ed's picture

@dfarrah

Like they have reminded the public at least two times, they must be treated with deference because they are women of color.

...because...Racism. We can say anything because we are correct and you disagreeables are ipso facto racist. And furthermore, any men who dare disagree with the Squad's Delphic orations are misogynist, even if they support a female for president.

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1 user has voted.
mimi's picture

@Centaurea

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2 users have voted.

Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

Centaurea's picture

@mimi @mimi

There is no guarantee the human race is going to survive. There is no guarantee about anything (except Clint Eastwood's proverbial toaster).

There's a whole spectrum of possibilities between "giving up" and "guaranteed". I see hope as being one of the early steps away from giving up. Hope isn't a particularly powerful mindset, but at least it's not throwing its hands up and saying "never mind, forget it".

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8 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

mimi's picture

@Centaurea

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2 users have voted.

Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

Centaurea's picture

@mimi

in your comment. I'm not sure where you were going with it, but I think this thing about hope and cynicism is about power. Our authority as sovereign individuals, to accept our power and act powerfully, or to deny our power, be afraid of it, be afraid that we can never get what we want. So we give up, and even turn against those who are acting with power.

(I'm talking about the collective "we", we humans on Earth at this time.)

There's another comment of yours just now, in the thread about Meghan McCain, where you said she has PTSD. I replied that I think most humans do have PTSD at present. I believe that to be true, and I think it plays into what we're commenting about here.

(By the way, I edited my previous comment to change the title. Upon re-reading, I thought my original title was a bit contentious with no need to be so.)

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9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

mimi's picture

@Centaurea @Centaurea

I think this thing about hope and cynicism is about power.

Lately (since I came back to Germany) I lost all my power I had before. Since then I became hopeless and with some inner cynicism which I try to cover up with jokiness. But it's all there.

I can't have the old angle's views anymore. As much as I wished I could.

I had never lost my hope in my life before... but lately the hits were too hard and too many. I feel like Joe Luis in 1936, when he was knocked out by Max Schmeling.

So, frigging insanity, I wanna be out of here. My only hope is that there will be many angry people, who will finally do the right thing.

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7 users have voted.

Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

Centaurea's picture

@mimi to know this, but you're not alone in feeling that way. My life experiences are different from yours, but I can relate. From what what I can tell (not just here at C99 but elsewhere, in "real life"), there are plenty of us around. People in general seem to be having a hard time emotionally.

I can't have the old angle's views anymore. As much as I wished I could.

Same here, and it is challenging. Try this on for size:

The world has been operating from certain mindsets, patterns of thinking, values and belief systems, whatever you call it, for a long time now. It is literally killing us and the planet. In order for the human race to survive, we have to change those mindsets (get rid of the old BS - Belief Systems), and it has to happen quickly, in a short period of time.

That means no one will be able to view things from the old angles anymore. The old angles are disappearing, because they have to.

This kind of change is very difficult for us humans, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Especially when the change is so sudden and radical.

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9 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

mimi's picture

@Centaurea
before to grasp it correctly (distracted by life's inconvenient moments).

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0 users have voted.

Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

@Centaurea

"I replied that I think most humans do have PTSD at present."

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1 user has voted.

dfarrah

TheOtherMaven's picture

@dfarrah

if not the outright expectation, of imminent nuclear annihilation. It leaves psychic scars.

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7 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Centaurea's picture

@dfarrah @dfarrah

posting a full essay about this. I can point to recent events, of course, but I think it goes back much further. I've done so much genealogical research and learned about the power of family patterns over generations. Add to that my own experience with PTSD and my research into it. Over the past 15 years, I've also gotten interested in the new scientific fields of psychoneuroendocrinology and epigenetics.

I'm not a professional expert in these subjects, by any means. It's just something I've been ruminating about for a while now. You may have just given me the push I've needed to start writing something about it.

Edited to add: As a teaser about the events precipitating PTSD, consider the impact of Edward Bernays and his ilk. We as a society have been continuously and deliberately brainwashed, gaslit, and mindf*@ked for over a century now. That's the kind of thing that causes PTSD.

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6 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Wally's picture

@Centaurea

You wrote:

There's a whole spectrum of possibilities between "giving up" and "guaranteed". I see hope as being one of the early steps away from giving up. Hope isn't a particularly powerful mindset, but at least it's not throwing its hands up and saying "never mind, forget it".

Does the threshold to earnestly deal with global heating come in 12 years? If so, well then, we sure as hell better mobilize for Bernie or it's curtains. it ain't gonna happen all at once so if no Bernie come 2020, we are phluckled.

Maybe we've even passed the threshold in which case, as far as I'm concerned, maybe hedonism is the best way to go. For me, that would only amount to working class hedonism which would entail enjoying a few beers every now and then, satisfying relationships with family and friends, etc.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Centaurea
not yet following. But hope dies last, so I understand where you are coming from.

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4 users have voted.

Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

smiley7's picture

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1 user has voted.
mimi's picture

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2 users have voted.

Ich schreibe was mir paßt - in memory of Steve Biko

smiley7's picture

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2 users have voted.

the normal, expected political missteps and imperfect statements from a new bunch of congresspeople, this Group of Four, not backed by big money interests, is a sorely needed breath of fresh air for a badly aging, out-of-step, bought off and cowardly cautious party, at least wrt to the leadership in both houses and many of its centrists.

Thanks again gj for your remarks here and all the rest.

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27 users have voted.

@wokkamile @wokkamile four expect to be treated with deference because they are women of color.

Didn't you see during the interview (with Gayle King, I believe)? The one in which that Tlaib said that if Nancy Pelosi is talking about them or with them, she needs to remember that they are women of color. And that was after they objected to Nancy's criticism of them saying that they are women of color.

That is almost a direct quote.

Not only are they oh, so very special because they are women of color, but NP can forget about her minority status as an Italian American. Apparently, being Italian American doesn't count; maybe some of the idpol drenched here can explain the differences.

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4 users have voted.

dfarrah

smiley7's picture

@dfarrah
and just because it's been used widely by racists doesn't change its true meaning.

The group of four expect to be treated with deference because they are women of color.

~ dfarrah

Respectfully wish you refrain from racist innuendo in future.

The congress women you attempt to shame are long on courage and i salute them.

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16 users have voted.

@smiley7

Is another man’s unvarnished truth. Pelosi attacked ideology, and AOC turned it into a racist attack. Then the master of chaos stepped in and became the biggest racist of all. In a news cycle, the brown kids in cages didn’t matter. AOC did this. No one else.

You are entitled to your opinions, Smiley, but so are others. This reminds me of Dee Oliver and the race wars at DailyKos. If you don’t agree and toe the liberal line, you must be a racist.

Those females are simply people. Not villains, not heroes. Well intentioned maybe, maybe not. Their color is immaterial. Their status, fortune, and humanity is not.

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5 users have voted.

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

smiley7's picture

@dkmich

The same author goes on to call them racists in his vile comment below. And, i am not playing i'm serious. Racism can not stand anywhere.

This reminds me of Dee Oliver and the race wars at DailyKos. If you don’t agree and toe the liberal line, you must be a racist.

~dk
You insult me in comparing me to your memories of dkos folks. But that's your opinion, you live it.

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11 users have voted.

@smiley7 @smiley7

So sorry, didn't know that. What do you think you do to other peoples feelings when you call them or their comments racist? Love how people are always entitled to their hurt feelings and umbrage but never give what they take.

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2 users have voted.

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

smiley7's picture

@dkmich @dkmich
they hang children, rape women and castrate men, dk; you are wrong here and growing more insulting by the post.

Next you may say that Cadillac women isn't a trope or agree with Trump that "there were good people on both sides in Charlottesville."

Read Maya's poem posted into today's OT. It is there on purpose because Omar chose it in response to trump's racist catcalls and it can be a guiding light for those who choose to understand it.

Your initial response to me above carries similar language to a PM i received from another c99er earlier today ... no blind sheep here. And you essay ready to fly after bating me into a response.

Truth is what it is and asserting black privilege is one of the oldest, subtle, tropes in our country's history.

I'll none of it.

edit for sp

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@dkmich

Pelosi attacked ideology, and AOC turned it into a racist attack.

You have stated that many times here in numerous essays and I have never agreed with it. I don't remember her saying that Pelosi is a racist. The animosity towards AOC is bewildering. Yeah she could be a sheepdog or she could be someone that somehow beat Pelosi's wingman which would give Pelosi a good reason to not like her. AOC has done and said some dumb things, but she is fighting against injustice and not only at the border.

And bringing in DoV is low. Smiley did nothing close to what she used to do.

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7 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

Wally's picture

@dfarrah

I'm no fan of IdPol and I even agree with many of your criticisms towards the "squad" but I don't think supporting Trump and his brand of White Nationalism is the alternative. It's just the flip side of the same coin.

Bernie has taken a lot of flak for being critical of IdPol and emphasizing a politics grounded in class struggle (even though he has shown he also understands the importance of intersectionality).

Finally, being middle class Italian-American TODAY is very different than being a working clase or lumpenproletariat POC minority today. Sure, there was a time when Italian-Americans were getting lynched even more frequently than African-Americans. But overall, Italian Americans are no longer subject to the same vicissitudes today that POC typically find themselves confronting. Tu capisci?

And Trump is just a WASPy grown-up spoiled af Little Richie Rich.

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9 users have voted.
hecate's picture

@Wally
identity politics is the original; it predates all others, and by centuries. It remains the most powerful, and is why The Klansman is today in the White Power House.

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9 users have voted.

@dfarrah @dfarrah interview, but as to the response on the vastly more consequential racist, xenophobic Trump tweets, followed by Trump's Nuremburg rally and the chants of Send Her Back!, Omar et al were on point and clear.

Doesn't it bother you that your boy Donald is trying to divide this country along racial/ethnic/immigrant background lines? Or did you just want to keep the conversation about some brief Dem Party infighting, to distract from Donald's display of Naziism?

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6 users have voted.

@wokkamile @wokkamile

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2 users have voted.

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

"It’s been decades since Democrats had to confront a genuine challenge from the far left."

I guess I missed that, but then with the Overton Window dragged to the right the USA "far left" is what I think the rest of the world would consider not too far left of center and pretty much mainstream. But even that is being eroded in what might have been considered more enlightened/sensible parts of the world by the ongoing neoliberal onslaught.

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19 users have voted.

Are doing the corporocrats job of undermining the left. I think they probably stir up the whole Us Them around here for that reason.

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13 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain don't particularly care for the four. I believe they are as racist as any racist that exists.

IMO, between them and anti-fa, they are going to set back progressive causes for years, because there is going to be (actually, it has already started) a backlash.

I think the backlash could be as severe as it was in the '60s, when the radicals of those days created a backlash from which progressives/liberals didn't even recover until the early 2000's.

Remember how long 'liberal' was a dirty word?

My time line may be off some.

The radicalism of the four simply doesn't lend it self to accomplishment or working with others to achieve legislative goals. They are show boats all wrapped up in themselves who speak with so much condescension, it just drips from their lips.

It's unfortunate that these causes, such as medicare for all or single payer, have such obnoxious supporters. Nice, genuinely loving people like Bernie can make the sell, and they have made the sell. After all, it was Bernie who changed the entire conversation and caused the dem party to adopt some of his positions.

These obnoxious women can talk, scream, and cry all they wish, but I seriously doubt their ability to change one single mind to switch positions on the MFA or single payer policies (or for that matter, other policies). And changing of minds needs to happen if they want to get the policies they support implemented (even in the dem party itself).

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

hecate's picture

@dfarrah
you "believe they are as racist as any racist that exists"? That's fine. You can also believe that from your forehead sprouts a penis that is 300 feet long. But believing it, won't make that true, either.

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9 users have voted.

@dfarrah because it is worthless to waste a second talking to you.

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1 user has voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain

I thought he had a copyright on it.

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1 user has voted.

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

@dkmich because the same paid shills operated there with Markos guidance and coaching that operate here under the guise of being lefties.

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1 user has voted.

But not because Progressive Democrats moved the change to the left.
I think it is going to come from people who have no party affiliation.

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20 users have voted.
Centaurea's picture

@on the cusp The momentum that developed organically during Bernie's 2016 campaign, and the movement that coalesced from that, mostly did not come from Democrats. It came from long-time independent-minded voters (like me) and younger people who have never identified with any political party.

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15 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

gulfgal98's picture

@on the cusp and I believe we are approaching that critical mass that the politicians cannot ignore, unless they choose to do so at their own peril.

Politicians are the guardians of the status quo and the power of money. They only react to changes from social movements when those movements become too big to ignore.

While the majority of people in the US believe we should have changes that slant toward socialism, there still is not a real movement in that direction yet. But Occupy was the precursor and one will spring up eventually. In most cases, these serious changes appear to happen over night, but in reality, they were a long time coming. They have been a long time coming in the US and I believe they will happen soon.

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10 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

Pluto's Republic's picture

@on the cusp

I think it is going to come from people who have no party affiliation.

I can feel them, too. They will materialize out of the fog and gather. They are the ones who can bring change. They are unopposed.

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6 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
dervish's picture

There are a few people here who always piss and moan anytime there's a potential to take positive action. They love their fear and cynicism too much to ever hit the streets or challenge authority.

Ignore the cowards, and fight. We'll win 2020 or we'll wear yellow vests, or maybe both, but we're going to fight.

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16 users have voted.

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

Wally's picture

@dervish

We'll win 2020 or we'll wear yellow vests, or maybe both, but we're going to fight.

That gets me thinking beyond just giving up all hope come 2020.

But I still figure 2020 is it, at least for an old fart like me. High Noon for electoral politics.

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11 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@dervish

I'm also not too keen on tipping windmills, standing in front of armored tanks, or fighting in the streets wearing yellow vests against a government that has amassed all the tactical advantages in a deadly struggle for the sake of being memorialized in romantic poems after I'm taken out. If that makes me a "coward", then a coward be I.

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4 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Wally's picture

@Anja Geitz

Even if that doesn't work out, the limited effort will always remain right and just.

I don't have it in me either, to wage that kind of resistance, and besides I figure yellow isn't at all becoming to me.

But I'll still admire Sisyphaen heroism.

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Wally

I admire the ability to let go of your losses when staying at the communal table of betting will render you penniless. I'm also not surprised that my belief about the political system is in the minority. Giving up long held beliefs about politics and imagining alternative views to living, in the absence of believing politics as the vehicle for better living, is a personally unique road to travel. And as far as I can tell, unique never really garnered much of a majority. I'm ok with that. How about you? You ok with me doing what I feel is best for me?

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Wally's picture

@Anja Geitz

. . . but you do what you think is best and necessary for you.

I don't consider you the enemy.

Just please don't diss people who seem willing to politically resist.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Anja Geitz @Anja Geitz

It should only matter to you that you have that skill and discipline to limit your risk.

I am amazed that I have done as much as I have to bring human rights to the American people. It was not my original intention. But I have never for a moment regarded myself as an American. I'm happy to help, but I know where they end and I begin. This pile of dirt in the middle of the Pacific does not define me. I'm not indigenous to this land and I have no spiritual or ancestral connected with it. Indigenous people have those connections and they do not poison their waters and kill their lands. Those are the actions of invading alien armies. This is the orginal dichotomy; it's what tears the empire apart, and that's a war the aliens brought with them. It's not my war. I can leave.

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5 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Centaurea's picture

@Anja Geitz

You're putting your words and thoughts out there for the world to read. In my book, that makes you not a coward.

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4 users have voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Anja Geitz's picture

@Centaurea

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3 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

I will vote for Bernie or Tulsi, depending on what I then think is the best statement my vote can make. All the worn out "purist" bs to the contrary, I don't view either of them as perfect. Who is? Not I, certainly. But I don't view either of them as evil, either.

I think Bernie in particular makes the deals and compromises he believes that he has to make in order to continue representing the people of Vermont should he not win the primary. And get something done with Congress should he become President. I think the Democratic machine could crush him like a Cheerio underfoot if he didn't, fairly or unfairly.

Meanwhile, I will continue to support Greens. In the general, I will vote Green without a second thought because I would bet my life that today I know how my state's electoral votes will go. So, my voting Green is, in the words of Nader, a "no brainer."

However, I also know what is and is not empirical proof. And interpreting facts differently than someone else does is not proof.

2016 was almost entirely about Bernie Sanders.

All of the progressive insurgency groups were founded after the 2016 primaries ended.
JD was founded on January 23, 2017.
Brand New Congress was founded in late April 2016 as Sanders conceded the primary to Hillary Clinton.
Our Revolution was officially launched on August 24, 2016.

Exactly. Where were all these people before 2016? We could conclude that all these people suddenly sprang out of the woodwork because Bernie inspired them, even though Democrats and establishment media stonewalled him and then some and he lost, honestly or otherwise. And, that's one interpretation that I consider reasonable, but I can neither prove it nor disprove it. There is at last one other reasonable interpretation that I can neither prove nor disprove, though.

In the 2016 primary season (I would say 2014-15) Bernie did a few things that stunned the establishment. One of those things was his ability to fire up younger people, younger people being the future of vote getting. Another was his ability to raise money without big donors or PAC money (aside from one donation and some "in kind" stuff from the PAC of a nurses's union that supports Medicare for All that Hillbots laughably tried to equate with the PACs donating to her). That skill may have stunned and impressed the establishment even more than his large rallies because it's never been a secret to politicians that supposedly "free stuff" appeals to more people than lowering capital gains taxes.

Another thing was that Bernie posed a threat to 2016's most powerful political machine--despite attacks and almost zero endorsements from national, state and local politicians.

So, if you can raise money and GOTV, especially the vote of the biggest current US demographic (Millennials) despite a united front against you from Democrats, why not go into politics as something other than a Republican or a standard issue Democrat? For one thing, since we're talking money, Democrats don't even look at you for a position like the House unless (1) you can put up a million or two dollars yourself and (2) no Democratic incumbent is running for the seat.

And either way*, nothing says people cannot be and will not be corrupted while in office.

I am not saying that you are wrong and I am not saying that you are right. I am just saying that, right now, no one has proof, one way or the other. I'd certainly love a sea change, as would we all. And, as with so many other things, time will tell.

ETA: Either way, "Follow the money" (not actually said by Deep Throat) was the best and most succinct political advice ever.

*For a time before he passed, my father said only "either way" when offered alternatives. And, so often, it seemed like a reasonable response under the circumstances, given who he was, that we could not tell if he was actually understanding us or not.

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The people who contribute, the small donors, are fairly well off even if they aren't big Wall Street banks. The 10% has much different priorities than the rest of the US. I've liked AOC in that she does her homework and attends meetings, she doesn't phone it in. I could care less about some of her priorities and on other issues she want's to hurt my income and my ability to support my family.

So no, they aren't any better, or not much.

I'm still ok with Bernie, but I don't think he'd be able to enact much legislation, and legislation is where it's at. Also Sanders has given some ground to the nutty left, he needs wealthy cat ladies to donate and volunteer in the primaries.

I won't vote easy this time.

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@ban nock

and 2016 lied about donating or even people on welfare donated to Bernie; and more than once. I especially remember one impoverished, aged woman with a severely disabled daughter doing so because she was terrified about what would happen to her daughter once she (the mom) passed. For the same reason, she believed that she had to vote blue, no matter who, but Bernie gave her actual hope.

I'd hate to think she and those in similar shoes were lying about donating and I don't think they were. I was not in her shoes, but to say that I am nowhere near the top 10% is such a vast understatement it's ridiculous. But I donated..a LOT. And that is what hope, after decades of alt neoliberal cons, does to you.

I did it for Obama and regretted it, although he won. Initially, I did for Bernie knowing he would lose, but so I could help spread his message. After the Boston and LA rallies, I began to kid myself--and, yes, his fundraising emails helped me with that. But I still think spreading the message was valuable. Whether that results in measurable improvement, time will tell. for me, though, it was worth a risk.

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Centaurea's picture

@ban nock @ban nock
some sources to back up this assertion.

Edited to add: In fact, according to Bernie's recent campaign filings with the GEC, the employer with the highest number of Bernie donors is WalMart. Also in the top ten employers of Bernie donors are Amazon and the US Postal Service. Those donors do not sound like "fairly well off" people.

The people who contribute, the small donors, are fairly well off even if they aren't big Wall Street banks. 

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1 user has voted.

"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

smiley7's picture

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15 users have voted.

@smiley7

both Houses and the White House, as they did 2009-2011.

When Bush was in office, every public Democrat seemed like a kindred spirit because we were all spot on bashing Bushco and its deeds and inactions. When Obama was elected, however, even before he took office, seeing who was a Democrat and who was a leftist soon began getting very easy.

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6 users have voted.

Thank you for publishing one of the most significant and favorite poems in our culture.

It's easy to think the rough beast has already landed in DC, but the poem surely has a wider view than one orange fool.

IMHO, Greed will bring the total chaos. Possibly leading to a different future.

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8 users have voted.

NYCVG

ovals49's picture

in electoral success is the elephant in the room in this discussion.

Can the “loony left” out fundraise Wall Street sweethearts? Of course not. A few junior representatives have won office on populist platforms in left leaning districts, and now will face the ire of their own party for rocking the boat that keeps Nancy and her ilk afloat. Republicans and Democrats alike fear populism and will work together to stomp it out. Our two major parties own the system, and they will work across the aisle, not for legislation for the good of the people, but for preserving their own places of privilege, at the expense of the people.

The movement may spawn a few successful progressive candidates within the confines of one or another of our two major parties, but they will be unwelcome guests. A critical mass, enough to actually bring successful progressive legislation into existence, will require a Progressive Party. Even then money will be the stumbling block, same as it’s always been.

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11 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

“And an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable fantasy.” Caitlin Johnstone

Wally's picture

@ovals49

. . . that can win elections in locales across the country or even on a national level?

I think not given the imminent reality of the global environmental crisis that confronts us.

I know I sound like a broken record, but it's Bernie 2020 or we are mos' def' phluckled.

No other candidate has the kind of mass movement and critical mass that is making Bernie a legit and very, very, very, very feared contender for the Dem nomination.

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9 users have voted.
ovals49's picture

@Wally @Wally
when ExonMobil had enough solid data on the fossil fuel-CO2-global warming connection and what did they do with it? They sat on it.....because it would be “bad for business”. No good capitalist is going to put the health of the planet above corporate profits. Hell, there’s a lot of money to be made in times of war and in catastrophes!

No group of corporate backed capitalism embracing toadies is going to save us from the sixth major planetary extinction. It’s already baked in, barring a carefully orchestrated series of Krakatoa level eruptions to throw some shade on the planet for several thousand years. What might help is replacing those toadies with people who actually care more about each other and the rest of life on the planet than they do about the health of their stock portfolio. The Democratic and Republican Parties have amply demonstrated their fealty to capitalism. A new direction calls for a new Party.

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7 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

“And an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable fantasy.” Caitlin Johnstone

@ovals49 not be so pessimistic. The Donald will probably manage to destroy us before climate change does. War with Iran, next year, then Russia enters, then all Heck breaks loose.

And if we are so lucky and we manage to get him out of there, we can always look forward to the Apophis asteroid coming our way, first in 2029, then possibly fatally for the majority of mankind in 2036. Only 17 years out. Please be patient. Should be quite a show, and let's hope I make it through it.

Cheers ...

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ovals49's picture

@wokkamile @wokkamile
Your assessment of the disaster of the Donald eclipses my pessimism by an order of magnitude or two. At least my scenario allows for enough time to form a new third Party, for however much good that may bring. A third Party may become much more useful than I expect.

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3 users have voted.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” Albert Einstein

“And an uncomfortable truth is always superior to a comfortable fantasy.” Caitlin Johnstone

Wally's picture

@ovals49

. . . . what good is a new party gonna do now?

Look, I sent a few bux to the Peoples' Party (I forget what it's called now) in 2017 but I honestly just don't see that panning out in the limited time to effectuate the far reaching change we have to before it's simply too late. I've been voting Green in November more than a few times over the past coupla decades. I always make a point of voting Working Families Party otherwise. Or writing in this or that name in an effort to be at least a miniscule pain in the butt to TPTB.

I felt a glimmer of hope in something Dervish said about fighting on no matter what, so whether you go on in trying to pull together a third party or decide to don a yellow raincoat, go for it, I won't be busting your chops. But please vote for Bernie in the primary just this time.

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@ovals49 but not always determinative. And didn't Hillary outspend Donald?

If you build it, they will come. Build up the progressive forces already there and currently running, throw a few pesos their way. A lot of a little, per Bernie Sanders, can go a long way. Step up in other ways to support them.

The old guard will soon die out and before that -- it's already happening -- be exposed for the aging, geriatric crowd of the status quo set in their old dying ways that they are.

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3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@wokkamile

So your scenario does not envision a younger generation of politicians that are equally rapacious and power hungry as the ones currently in office?

Interesting...

Well, if the many years working down on Wall Street taught me anything, it is that the old guard grooms their young in a very special way. Akin to the Doberman puppies that were moved out of the barn and trained in the Big House, the young ones will be prepared to obliterate us just like the old ones.

I guess you could say I'm not quite as sanguine as you are that the old guard dying off will improve the political landscape in any consequential way.

This is of course my opinion. I do not speak for anyone but myself and I do not bring any citations to qualify my opinion.

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz a gross distortion of what I wrote.

I said essentially we have a group of leaders who've been in power too long. Note here that does not preclude the possibility of a young group coming in equally ineffectual and so forth.

We have to deal with the hand before us. Which happens to be on the older side. And they've been there too long. They are starting to remind of the old USSR leadership post-Khrushchev, one old guy after another, all stuck in the old ways, a system rotting on their watch.

Time for fresh blood.

But Bernie, age 70whatever, I would consider fresh blood even at his age, so it's not strictly based on age. It's attitude. And new ideas. Even ones recycled from the New Deal. That would pass for refreshing in my book these days.

Is that clearer for you?

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3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@wokkamile

And the power structure is going to be dismantled by new and better ideas, ushered in by new blood. I'll bet that's never been tried before, eh?

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5 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

There was at least one real progressive running; Dennis Kucinich. Back then, establishment Dems were equally as good at crushing progressives, it just wasn’t noticed by many.

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9 users have voted.

@tle
and certainly no organized movement.

In fact, what is happening now is a first in my lifetime.

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@gjohnsit In my youth, I remember just being a Democrat meant you were a progressive.

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@on the cusp your youth was, but in my day they were called liberals, not progressives (Wisconsin maybe excepted) and they didn't have to run from the label, as they later did in the 80s (Dukakis et al), which roughly was the beginning of the WimpDim Era.

Liberal Ds in the senate from Montana, Idaho, South Dakota, Indiana even. Incredible as it sounds. Not wishy-washy centrist Dems, but true liberals on most issues.

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6 users have voted.

@wokkamile True that "progressive" wasn't the label in the 1950's and 1960's. "Liberal" is not today's vernacular. "Progressive" has replaced the word.

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@on the cusp @on the cusp the racist southern Dems in congress, until the 80s when they became R. Also Dems had a certain crusty conservative, southern and non-southern corporate-friendly, hard cold warrior element -- typified by LBJ, his mentee Gov John Connally, Bobby Byrd, that oil-n-gas funded Dem senator from OK who helped (along with the powerful Arkansas rep heading Ways and Means) block JFK's Medicare plans, and a few others out west as I recall. Johnson for instance was squarely in the corporate-friendly/conservaDem camp from TX -- the so-called TX Democrats -- and they did not get on at all with the lesser in number TX liberal Dems, like Sen Yarborough.

Until the '64 landslide for Dems election, there was no working liberal majority in Congress. And the '64 CR bill only passed, after a record-setting Dixiecrat filibuster, because Ds could get enough Rs from their former moderate-liberal wing.

But yeah, liberal was the proudly used term then, not progressive. And liberals like JFK stood up and proudly defended being called liberals.

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3 users have voted.

@on the cusp
I'm sure that there was a progressive challenge to the establishment in 68-72, but I was too young for that.
I was politically engaged in 1980 and by then most Dems were running away from the label "liberal".

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@gjohnsit in '68, liberal SD senator George McGovern led point to change the party, certainly by the time of the '72 convention, when the changes were on full display. Before the term IdPol had been coined.

Didn't make the old Dem guard very happy. They'd lost some of their enormous power. Mayor Daley, Connally, the old union leaders.

Another example of Old Guard Dems (mostly up there in years, but certainly old in spirit) who needed booting out or a clipping of the wings.

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5 users have voted.

@tle

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5 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace
Yes, there were lone heroes back then.

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@gjohnsit and principled pols. Just that, the support for Gravel and Kucinich, you could fit them all into my house and we'd have a nice party.

And I'm well aware of how the MSM and debate mods tried to embarrass Kucinich with the ufo stuff. Tim Russet I believe was the guy. And Gravel was treated as the crazy aging uncle.

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5 users have voted.

@HenryAWallace Gravel was my second choice after Kucinich. Of course, he got the Crazy Uncle treatment from the media.

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Anja Geitz's picture

Of their heart to make a difference in the world, with all due respect, politics is the last place to go.

I speak, of course, on behalf of myself and bring no citations to qualify my opinion.

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7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

I have always thought that the greatest value of Bernie (and now others) is that he has created a movement around a number of policies. Will Medicare for All and free college tuititon every be off the table now? I remember from back-in-day TOP having people working in obscurity trying to bring universal health care on the table. People will win elections based on that.

By campaign I take that to mean the comings and goings of the democratic party apparatus, leaders, donors, etc. The democratic party is utter corrupt and cannot be fixed. Schumer recently met with the Progressive Caucus in House and told them he was surprised that the Senate border bill was immediately passed. He and affirmed by Merkely (OR) thought the House would pass a much better bill, and then negotiate with the Senate gop for better terms. To me, this is differnet type of corruption and that is moral corruption (and incompetent management).

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

I kid you not. Many a pie fight over there about Bernie's health care plan and ByeDone's build on the public option. People repeat Chelsea Clinton's trope that Bernie's plan will see millions of people kicked off their insurance plans right in the middle of their cancer treatments. I was just flabbergasted by reading how many people made excuses to stay on the hideously flawed ACA. Hey..weren't we told that it was a stepping stone towards single payer which Bernie's offering?

Oh yeah and there are people there who say that they like Bernie's plans better, but they are supporting someone else this time because of his supporters being so Bernie bro-ish. "I want single payer, but joe blow was mean to me so I'm supporting Harris this time."

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11 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg I think there is a group somewhere in the DNC or close organization that monitors TOP and then comes out to enforce DNC neoliberal orthodoxy in the comments section. I remember a few postings stating that Nader in 2000 did not cause the defeat of Gore. Within literally a minute or two, there were members who did no like me writing it--and I barely get responses unless they violated neoliberal orthodoxy come to think of it. When Booker voted against Bernie's resolution on drug importation, there was a hue and cry. Within a day came some substantial push back came in defense of Booker. That seems to be a general pattern--progressive ideas quickly get a bunch of boo-birds.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

about how you had been a secret Russian troll since you joined DK? On long term member there brought one of your Russian comments up and even linked to it. I think that was when you got banned? I don't remember how old your comment was, but just the fact that he bookmarked it so he could refer to it again is kinda weird don't you think?

Smile

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6 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg I know that after one Russia related comment some member replied that he had looked into me as a Russian troll. I think I may have left off an article or two which gave me away.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@MrWebster

I knew there was something I liked about you.

Your critical faculties.

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3 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus

@Pluto's Republic

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

give.

Read this week that only 8.5 million people are enrolled in an ACA Plan for 2019.

Supposedly, there are approximately 330 million US residents/Americans.

If my math if correct, isn't that roughly 3 percent, rounded up?

(Unless I figured it wrong--Mr M wasn't here, when I did it, and my math is lousy. But, it's close. Smile )

IOW, how likely is it that more than a handful of Kossacks would be enrolled, considering the stats?

I'd throw the figure at them, next time they start that song and dance.

Mollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.