Outside the Asylum

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Come outside.

I usually don't respond to other people's essays in my Open Thread, but a recent essay on the front page dovetails nicely with a few things I've been thinking about. So I'm breaking my rule. (Will she regret it? Tune in next week and see!)

Back in the 50's, there was a column in the Ladies' Home Journal called "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" The recurring argument that everybody to the left of Bob Dole has been having since 1992 basically asks that question about the political marriage of the Democratic Party and the left. Should lefties work within the Democratic party? Should they try to reform it? Will the Democratic Party ever change? Or will it stick to its terrible, abusive bad habits? Can this marriage be saved?

The argument has been going on for twenty-five years now, and here's the funny thing about it: its essential points never change. The names change, details of political outcomes and political gossip change as difference characters take the political stage, but the meat of the argument is the same now as it was when Bill Clinton was first running for office. One side says the Democratic party is terrible, supporting abusive, right-wing policies, in thrall to a bunch of billionaire psychopaths, absolutely not on the side of anyone who has assets worth less than 50 million dollars. This side also says that the Democratic party is historically resistant to change, and that every attempt to change it has not only failed, but has failed rather spectacularly. Why do they say that? Well, because after each attempt at change, the same people remain in charge of the Democratic party and America proceeds on the same political path it was on before, going the same direction, farther and farther into authoritarian right-wing corporatism.

The other side says that the doubters and naysayers and Negative Nancies are the problem. If only everybody would get on board behind the current changemakers, maybe their movement would have enough fuel to actually change things. Instead, these malcontents sit on the sidelines, taking potshots at the good people who work within the system to make change, wasting their own votes on third-party candidates. Some have ceased to vote at all, showing their total indifference to the well-being of their fellow man. If only they would vote for the good Democrats, those politicians would succeed and bring their virtue to bear on the American political process, to the great gain of everyone who isn't a billionaire psychopath.

That's the part of their argument that stays the same. The rest of this side's argument varies depending on which politicians they are supporting.

Sometimes they say that the naysayers expect too much; they are "purists" who won't accept that the real world is imperfect, or they are fools who don't understand how correct Otto von Bismarck was when he said "Politics is the art of the possible."

Sometimes they say that the naysayers are cruel and unfair in their judgments of the political leaders trying to change things. They are mean people attacking the kind and the virtuous who have done so much for all of us. They are conspiracy theorists who think that those political leaders might not be sincere.

Sometimes they say that this time the movement for change is real, it really has a chance to succeed, because there is some difference between what's happening now and what has happened repeatedly over the past twenty-five years.

(Just as an aside: It's a little odd to hear liberal reformers, including the late, great Ted Kennedy, quoting Otto von Bismarck, who was a conservative Prussian prince with a penchant for starting ugly wars that expanded German power and arguably led to World War I. It's also a little weird that liberal reformers give the power to define political reality to a rabid anti-socialist who only started a welfare state so that he could prevent socialism from succeeding in Germany. Apparently lefties should all listen to a dead imperialist bastard who was really good at co-optation.)

Hmm.

The most important thing about this argument is that it never changes. The argument itself freeze-dries left-wing political life and seals it neatly in a packet. Someday we will slit the packet open and add water, and then the policies we want will emerge, flowering, from the dust. But not today.

Instead of immediately diving into the argument, and taking a side--which more and more often feels like reciting scripted lines, these days--let's look a little bit at the way each side makes its case. I'll try to come up with names for the two sides that are not perjorative. Let's call one side "The Optimists" and the other side "The Disenchanted."

How do the disenchanted make their case?

They usually rely on a rational analysis of politics and history. (By "rational," I mean the kind of analysis people are taught at university: an argument based on logic and evidence). If you bring them proof that they are misrepresenting the historical record, they will listen, and if enough facts are on your side, they will sometimes change their minds. They talk a lot about power. What is an accurate view of the political systems we inhabit? Who is running those systems? If you want to change those systems, you will have to get power away from those people. How will you do it?

Their immediate aim is to create the most accurate account possible of the politics we inhabit. At their darkest and worst, they accuse others of being idiots.They want their audience to question assumptions and present hypotheses based on facts: to engage in rational analysis alongside the author.

How do the optimists make their case?

They usually rely on faith: faith in political leaders; faith in the American political system; faith in people power and the movements that try to muster it. They talk a lot about character. Are their leaders really bastards or con men, like some of the disenchanted claim? Or are they good people who just need the support of loyal footsoldiers? If people refuse to be loyal footsoldiers in these movements, aren't they really withdrawing their loyalty, not just from politicians, but from the country and its suffering populace--or even the world? Who is sincere? Who is virtuous?

Their immediate aim is to persuade the doubtful to give up their doubts and join them in their faith. At their darkest and worst, they accuse people of being traitors. They want their audience to either become believers, or stop talking.

The recent front-page essay on this subject is from the optimist view, which can be easily demonstrated:

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.

Who should be trusted? Are our leaders sincere?

Most responses have been something like "We've seen this before in 2008 and 2016."

Like I said, when the disenchanted make their case, they rely greatly on history.

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.

Now, though the words "empirically prove" are used in that sentence, note that the aim is to convince doubters to give up their doubts and believe. The aim is not to get people to form their own hypotheses or question anything, but to assent to the rightness of the optimists' faith in their leaders. And how does the essay conclude?

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.

Remember when I said they either want their audience to become believers, or stop talking? This is the part where the nonbelievers stop talking. The non-believing portion of the audience is being told what it can and cannot say in future arguments. Specifically, it is being told that it cannot use recent political history as evidence. It's like a prophylactic is being placed on the site's discussions.

Now, of course, if it really has been "empirically proved" that 2008 and 2016 are irrelevant to the 2020 electoral process, then any rationalist should welcome moving on from making dead-end arguments. In fact, as I said at the beginning, the most notable thing about the argument between the optimists and the disenchanted is that it never moves on. That's why this argument is not a debate. Debates end.

So you'd think a rationalist would welcome dead-end arguments being consigned to the trash bin once they've been "empirically proved" to be false. The only question is whether the 2008 and 2016 elections have actually been empirically proved to be fundamentally incomparable to the 2020 election season.

2008 is easier for the author to deal with, because the idea here is that the failure of the Obama movement came about because of Obama's untrustworthy character. The fundamental question about 2008 is: Did he con us? Associated questions are: Was he trustworthy? If so, why not? Were we bad people for following him, or good people? How can we be better people? How can we tell whom to trust? These questions place the 2008 election squarely within the preferred discourse of the optimists: they like to talk about morality, character, and faith.

Therefore, it's unsurprising that the author makes a better case about 2008. He is on his own discursive turf. 2008 did not go as hoped because the electorate trusted an untrustworthy leader. That untrustworthy leader is not like the change agents now, because they don't take money from corporations and he did. Also, he spoke in vague, abstract terms, whereas their speeches are full of policy specifics. In 2008 you placed your faith in the wrong person: now place it in better people.

Now, it's debatable whether Barack Obama's poor moral character, even if he were the biggest schmuck on the planet, was the reason for the failure of the Obama movement. But let's just assume that if Obama had been an upstanding man full of civic virtue, that we would be living in a far better world--perhaps even a world that wasn't dying.

The problem is that one cannot analyze the 2016 election in the same manner. Bernie Sanders did not lose the Democratic primary in 2016 because he lacked moral virtue, or because his people did, or because his people were insufficiently loyal to him, or because "doubters" and negativists poisoned the political soup. Like the Bush "elections" before him, the Sanders "loss" sticks like a fish bone in the throat of customary American character-based political analysis. Sanders failed to become the Democratic nominee because of fraud: fraud that was repeated so many times in so many different varieties I thought the Clinton campaign was putting on a clinic to teach the American public what election fraud looked like. No one went to jail for any of it. The only legal actions concerning the fraud were dismissed or answered with open admissions of corruption. The 2016 election fraud was conducted with no possibility of punishment for the wrongdoers--and they knew it. Because of the fact that the wrongdoers were absolutely free to engage in their wrongdoing without consequence, the 2016 election fraud remains, not a failure of character, individual or collective, but the failure of a system.

Furthermore, this failure clearly cannot be solved by individual morality, or at least not by individual morality alone. This is a problem of power, that can only be solved by taking power away from the wrongdoers and their faction. And it has already been proved that running a good clean populist election is not the way to take power from those people. If it were, we would have had a Sanders vs Trump general election, and we would probably be talking about President Bernie Sanders right now.

We can talk about money in politics. We can talk about politicians' moral characters. We can talk about the difference between focusing on an individual and creating an entire movement with many leaders. We can talk about the moral character of the electorate.

But unless a progressive insurgency can prevent the Clinton faction, the Bush faction, or anybody else from committing successful election fraud, in a country where those who commit election fraud remain unpunished, just as those who commit financial fraud remain unpunished, it will not succeed in even getting its leaders into office, much less getting progressive policies turned into enforceable law. In order to do that, the corrupt must have their power taken from them.

At the root of most of the optimists' arguments lies the assumption that, if only people like me would stop being cynical doubters, if only we had sufficient faith, then virtue would prevail in elections. Power would be taken away from the corrupt via an electoral process, good policies would be instituted, made into law, those laws would be equitably enforced, and we could all get down to the business of trying to make this broken world whole. We just need to put our shoulders to the grindstone beside our fellows and we will, eventually succeed.

That argument sounds great. The only problem is that it has no basis in fact, does not rely upon logic, and ultimately provides a convenient set of scapegoats from the 99% to blame for any failures of that political method. As such, the argument is infinitely renewable, for as long as people want its comforts.

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This is a problem of power, that can only be solved by taking power away from the wrongdoers and their faction. And it has already been proved that running a good clean populist election is not the way to take power from those people. If it were, we would have had a Sanders vs Trump general election, and we would probably be talking about President Bernie Sanders right now.

I view this attitude as really effin lame.
I read it as do not bother to try taking power away from those who have it.
Of course those in power will try everything and anything to hang on to it.
Lie, Cheat and Steal are the touchstones of modern ethics in most areas.
That does not mean we should give up and stop trying!

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@jbob

is not an argument based in logic, unless it includes, in this case, specifics about how to prevent election fraud.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

@jbob @jbob
composed of enthymemes, depending upon how many unstated premises are embedded within it. I also think that there is a petitio principii involved, one or more, or at least unsupported assertions.

Why is it important to take the power within the Democratic Party from those who have it? Is that the goal, just to prove it can be done or something? If the goal is in fact not that, but to do things to improve the situation and conditions in this country, then arguing for the need to change the Democratic Party is definitely begging the question in the classic sense of petitio principii as opposed to the modern usage of "raising" the question.

Envision a large room made of impenetrable material which is theoretically accessible via a door marked D, and that you and others have been, for ages, alternatively begging those within to open it, and attempting to breach it with sledges and battering rams. Time and again, others point to the existence of numerous other, unlocked doors labelled "others" and suggest that all that needs to be done to bring about change within the room is for everybody lined up behind the D door to simply select and enter through one of those other doors and constitute, by fait accompli, a powerful competing party which can ignore the Ds and their power structure and go heads up against the Rs. You decry the seeming fatalism of ceasing to pound upon that one locked door, while joining in the self-fulfilling prophecy that nothing could possibly be gained by simply going through one of the other doors and by force of numbers reconstituting whatever party it ordinarily serves.

A secondary point is that beating on the same damn door year after yar might not be the best way to gain entry. The religious right gained ideological control of the GOP by simply no longer trying, by "giving up" as you would characterize it. They, in effect, sat out one election, or supported a spoiler candidate from another viewpoint. The GOP, being a bit more "pragmatic" and "rational" than the Dems quickly understood that they couldn't win without that block and ceded great power to in it order that they could once again win, even though they would henceforce have to ideologically kowtow to said RR - a strategy worthy of consideration by those who are true believers in the "only 2 parties" system.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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11 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lily O Lady's picture

@enhydra lutris

Dems didn’t get the message. Many stayed away from the polls in droves, but the Dems only cried, “Russia!” The chosen trend by TPTB is rightward. They won’t see anything to the left.

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10 users have voted.

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

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lily O Lady
past the Dem establishment. It has to at worst be disguised as being triangulated between the far right and left-center, whatever that allegedly is. It is better to portray stuff as rational-centrist or practical-scientific or some other made up shit.

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

Nick Branna is still working to develop a people's party.

From his recent email...

With inequality surpassing Gilded Age levels, health care and student debt skyrocketing, climate change roiling the planet, and 80 percent of Americans surviving paycheck-to-paycheck, life has become intolerable. With trust in government and institutions at historic lows and people fleeing the corporate parties in record numbers, the people have lost confidence in the establishment’s ability to solve their problems.

As the Democrats rig another election and a recession approaches, the opportunity to offer working people the fresh alternative that most already want will never have been greater. That’s why it is key that we keep building alliances and do the organizing that will make a political revolution possible in those rapidly-approaching decisive moments of crisis.

He is building partnerships with labor unions, the poor peoples campaign, XR among others.

We joined our partners at the Poor People’s Campaign Moral Action Congress and discussed MPP with their state groups. We livestreamed our debate watch party in NYC and workshop at Left Forum. Our new friends at Move to Amend invited us to speak at their national conference and we joined March on the Pentagon to plan Rage Against the War Machine.

We’re also thrilled to announce new partnerships with some of the most dynamic youth climate groups in the country! Including Extinction Rebellion U.S., Earth Uprising, and The Climate Mobilization. I joined organizers with our South Florida chapter at the Zero Hour Youth Climate Summit in Miami, which the could be underwater in 30 years.

I’m happy to say that we’re teaming up with Extinction Rebellion to organize what might be their most audacious U.S. action yet! The mass civil disobedience action is coming up this Tuesday on Capitol Hill and will demand that the U.S. join the U.K. and Canada in declaring a climate emergency. We expect this action to get national press coverage so come join me if you’re in the D.C. area.

He is also getting better media coverage...

We’re also killing it with the independent media. We met with Jordan Chariton, Katie Halper, Aaron Maté, and Richard Wolfe in New York, all of whom want to cover our growing Movement for a People’s Party. Rick invited us to his show hosted at the professional YouTube studios in Manhattan. At the Poor People's Campaign conference Nina Turner told us to keep up the great work.

On top of that, Lee Fang interviewed me in The Intercept on how the Democrats can activate the superdelegates and steal the nomination from Bernie again. These journalists see the growing number of people becoming independents and calling for a new party. They know that 2020 would be the third straight primary election that the DNC has stolen from working people and that it will trigger a political explosion in America with a massive demand for a party free of corrupting corporate influence.

My hope is Tulsi or Bernie walks out of the dim party to help Nick create a true People's Party. I know rainbows and unicorns, but the dims are beyond redemption.

Hope your doing well. You might want to browse my essay this week on diet and the myths we been told. All the best.

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16 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Wally's picture

@Lookout

Reminds me of how John Reed et al gave up on the idea of boring from within labor unions to create a bunch of new communist unions who would fight to overthrow capitalism.

How were they going to overthrow capitalism when they couldn't even overthrow the leadership of the accommodationist labor unions?

Add to that the pressing nature of the environmental crisis, we simply don't have the time to indulge in building a new party. If Bernie pulls off a miracle, fine. Go for it.

All out for Bernie in 2020 or we're phluckled.

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Lookout's picture

@Wally

(although I'm voting Tulsi in the primary and Alabama will most certainly give its electoral college votes to T-rump)

...but I think they will make sure he doesn't get the nomination...they are already doing all they can to insure it. Like CStMS essay suggests above...what has changed? If they cheat Bernie out of the nomination again as I suggest, would you support a 3rd party?
They are trying to smear him....

As to climate, disaster is already baked in IMO regardless of electoral outcome.

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15 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Wally's picture

@Lookout

. . . your vote for Tulsi is fine by me. Bernie won't get many delegates in Alabama, Tulsi any? But if I thought Tulsi could get all Bernie's votes, I'd be urging him to take a rest.

I'll always wish a third party good luck. I've been voting Green in Novembers given blue utter dominance in my state, but if Bernie doesn't stage a miracle in 2020, deal me out.

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Lookout's picture

@Wally

...but not me. I vote for the person I think is best rather than the one most likely to win. I know many people who voted for the $hill because they thought she stood the best chance of winning the general...a bad strategy IMO.

Wishing you (and Bernie) the best.

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15 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

Even a despicable fascist.

That's why I don't go around voter-shaming Hillary supporters.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

they want, it's not a democracy. Nor is it a republic.

And it shouldn't pretend to be.

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Lookout to piggyback on your comment and the notion in general that things in the Democratic Party haven’t changed, I find it even more troubling this time around that there doesn’t seem to be any discussion of how a President Sanders would be able to accomplish anything with things as they are now. The Republicans aren’t going to work with him. Does anyone really believe the Democrats will, when it’s almost universally accepted as fact they are trying to torpedo his chances in the first place? While I realize a third party Bernie would fare no better, I think a lame duck Democratic President Sanders would set progressive ideals back by allowing the Dems to say “see? Bernie tried all that and failed.”

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Lookout's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

which is highly unlikely. In the DNC suit they argued they are a private organization and are entitled to rig things as they see fit...and the Judge agreed. So all the talk of Bernie getting the nomination is at this point just talk (and also sadly unlikely).

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

We're facing, not just a corrupt political system, but a wholly corrupt legal system.

That's a hard nut to crack.

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17 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Lily O Lady's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

would the MSM follow his every word as they do with Trump, or would they mostly ignore him?”

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7 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Lily O Lady

he'll likely be reported on glowingly. And often.

But, if he does what DT did, and deviates from the so-called Washington Consensus on Economics (except for slashing income taxes/regulations), Foreign Policy, Entitlements, etc.--they'll probably do what Bob Woodward talked about, "assign an army of reporters to investigate him."

(The Washington Examiner has conservative Op-Ed Pages, but, I posted the transcript of WaPo's Bob Woodward telling the same info to Chris Wallace on Wallace's Sunday Political Program. IOW, the piece is factual.)

BTW, this same brigade of reporters continues to cover DT years into his Administration.

They were first assigned to him in May of 2016--a full six months before he was even elected.

Bear in mind--this is 'one' Washington DC newspaper.

See below.

OPINION: WASHINGTON SECRETS
Washington Post assigns army of 20 to dig into 'every phase' of Trump's life
by Paul Bedard May 11, 2016 11:51 AM

The Washington Post has built a sizable army of reporters to dig into every facet of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's life, urged on by new owner Jeff Bezos to reveal everything about the potential nominees.

Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward revealed Wednesday that the Post has assigned 20 staffers to Trump. In addition the paper plans a book.

"There's a lot we don't know," he told the National Association of Realtors convention in Washington. "We have 20 people working on Trump, we're going to do a book, we're doing articles about every phase of his life," he added.

Woodward, who has interviewed Trump, said that he has begun looking into Trump's New York real estate deals. "The New York real estate world is more complex than the CIA," he said.

IMO, if/when the PtB and MSM begin to take Bernie seriously--meaning, feels threatened by him--folks can expect to see a move similar to this, although, probably not quite as extensive. (Of course, that's just a 'guess.')

Mollie

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7 users have voted.

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

@Wally gee, do you guys tag team? lol

we simply don't have the time to indulge in building a new party

Who is this "we" you speak of? Not me. I have plenty of time to indulge in new party building, but none for propping up the dead carcass of a corrupt jack-ass party. so there

Still over 440 days to be doing something else besides arguing for the duopoly, or donating more money to mendacious millionaires. good luck

PEACE

P.S. Both Biden and Sanders shut down their institutional charity holes on the same day recently. Optics for Idiocracy is how that looks to me. PU they both stink.

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Wally's picture

@eyo

I really do wish it could happen. But to me at least, it's pretty obvious that there's even less chance of a 3rd party getting it together in time to deal with the climate crisis than there's a chance of Bernie miraculously winning the nomination. I'm outta the whole ballgame if Bernie et al can't pull it off this time around. And if Bernie wins, I wish the 1% that will constitute this new party good luck.

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lotlizard's picture

@Wally  
The contest is between duelling negativities.
Negativity about the usefulness of “brand Democrat” versus negativity about the prospects of 3rd parties.

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13 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@lotlizard

I've tried not to be negative but yea, come 2020 as soon as Super Tuesday, that might be where I'll be but I won't be posting if Bernie et al can't pull off the miracle. Political suicide AND Working class hedonism for me if it all goes to poopy.

Ah, I think I'm realizing that it's a bad idea (My apologies to Albert Camus) to conflate political suicide with actually killing oneself. There's a forth option beyond Albert's suicide, leap of faith, or recognition of futility/hopelessness. Maybe more options as well. And I'm thinking it was wrong of him to pose the existential dilemma in terms of the framework of the Sisyphus myth. We ain't all Sisyphean.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

that surely will be coming if they don't manage to quell him with Kamala Harris and identity politics.

He needn't tell me the details of his plan. Hell, he doesn't even have to admit that he was cheated last time, though his refusal to do so for the last three years is not encouraging. We're living in a political system where even saying that you were cheated can be twisted to redound to your own harm, regardless of how much evidence there is to support the charge.

However, he could speak in general terms, in the future tense, and reassure me and others that, going forward, there is a plan in place for dealing with such chicanery. He could even pretend that the only electoral fraud he's worried about comes from Trump or the Russians. Anything, as long as he acknowledges the possibility of the threat and tells me he's got a plan.

If he does that, I'll put my oar in one last time. I'll even give him money every month for the rest of the election season. Without that, he's merely asking me to participate in a scripted event with an inevitable conclusion.

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17 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

You wrote:

We're living in a political system where even saying that you were cheated can be twisted to redound to your own harm, regardless of how much evidence there is to support the charge.

However, he could speak in general terms, in the future tense, and reassure me and others that, going forward, there is a plan in place for dealing with such chicanery.

For me, his efforts to reform the party have been pretty straightforward. I wish he had a magic wand and the power to make the changes that are needed. I figure it's up to us, not just him. Some battles were won after the election, certainly not all.

Is it possible to support and vote for Bernie and work towards a third party at the same time? It doesn't seem like a tactical impossibility or absolute contradiction to me. Does one necessarily preclude the other? I don't think so. Maybe consider doing both? I don't see it as something for me to do, but if that's the route some folks want to take, I'm not going to be negative about it or try to discourage it.

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4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

has nothing to do with my idea that having third parties is a good thing.

My problem with supporting Bernie or Tulsi is that, when I participate in the Democratic primaries, I'm not really participating in an election.

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14 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Coz they'll screw third parties out of their legit votes, too.

So, is yellowjacketing or the like then the only option in your mindset?

Or alternatively, writing off both electoral and otherwise activist politics and being kind on a solely personal level to family and friends and the economically poor? If Bernie can't pull it off, that's the direction I'm going to be moving towards (not yellowjacketing but I don't want to discourage you or anyone from going that route -- and it will be entertaining to me).

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

I'm talking about cheating. Enforced results.

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
to move toward your position without reciprocating, that is, sincerely opening yourself up to be moved toward theirs.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Perhaps I should explain my position on being a broken record, a charge that could be brought against me as much as Wally.

If what you have is an verifiable fact (like those that indicate global warming, for instance) and that fact indicates that one course of action is either terrible or totally useless (or both), then being a broken record is your only recourse other than silence.

If what you have is not verifiable or not a fact, then being a broken record is an attempt to pound the table:

There is an old trial lawyers' saying “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on you side, pound the table.”

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11 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
an insincere, obdurate asshole is exactly what it takes to deal with the problem properly, either.

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5 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

[grin]

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4 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal lawyers' saying slightly differently: When the facts are against you, pound on the law. When the law is against you, pound on the facts. And when both the facts and the law are against you, pound on the table!

Same difference -- in the end the furniture takes a beating ...

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6 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@lotlizard

. . is making up strawmen,

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1 user has voted.
Wally's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

. . . is just very much at odds with mine although we hold much in common in terms of being in opposition to imperialist war mongering, social injustice, corporate hegemony over our political life, etc..

Antonio Gramsci and other left theoreticians/activists believed it is possible to counter that hegemony. I agree with him and them. At least for now.

I may come to more or less agree with your perspective soon enough or too soon. But when I get to that point I won't be writing comments or essays. But that's me.

Not much else I can say.

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

I'm going to keep talking as long as possible.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal don't you think? 35% if he starts out strong again and sweeps Super Tuesday; then it is all over except the counting... and who is doing the counting? MicroSoft. LOL good luck
In Gates, Ballmer, Nadella We Trust. Embrace Extend Extinguish

sieg heil USA

Front page of the Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung (AIZ) with a photomontage by John Heartfield showing Adolf Hitler taking money from an exemplary industrialist. Title: "Der Sinn des Hitlergrusses: Kleiner Mann bittet um große Gaben. Motto: Millionen Stehen Hinter Mir!" (The Meaning of the Hitler Salute: Little man asks for big gifts. Motto: Millions Stand Behind Me!)

Exemplary Monopolists
Double The Rent
Bankrupt The Losers
Do Not Pass Go
Get Out Of Jail Free

PEACE

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10 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@eyo

It's not Microsoft doing the counting. It's the Department of Homeland Security.

https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/313132-dhs-designates-elect...

They might outsource to Microsoft or some other Silicon Valley giant, though. Probably will. Big Data has designated itself the willing servant of such institutions as DHS.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ew nit picking... ew. pedants unite
Goodbye secret ballot, we hardly knew ye

Voters who cast their ballots at a polling center that uses ElectionGuard will receive a tracking code that allows them to go online and verify that their vote was counted and not altered. The system is designed to supplement paper ballots, rather than replace them. Voters receive a printed record of their votes, which they can review before placing it in a ballot box. The tools are compatible with Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller so that voters with limited mobility can cast their ballots, too.

omg wtf
Who is doing the counting? Don't misquote Stalin. okie-dokie

IBM owns RedHat so the complete capture of the open source community has been achieved, in my opinion. My ex-partner's dad was tattooed before he escaped Dachau, so I have seen a punch carded human with my own crying eyes, and I have lived with the inherited nightmares.
Auschwitz-Birkenau History of a man-made Hell

Edwin Black is the author of "IBM and the Holocaust, The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation," published by Crown Publishers in 2001 and by Three Rivers Press in 2002. This article is drawn from Black's updated German paperback edition which was published in 2002; it includes text from the first edition of his book in English.

At Death's Door: Archivist Finds IBM Site Near Auschwitz
By EDWIN BLACK

The infamous Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM number.

In August 1943, a timber merchant from Bendzin, Poland, arrived at Auschwitz. He was among a group of 400 inmates, mostly Jews. First, a doctor examined him briefly to determine his fitness for work. His physical information was noted on a medical record. Second, his full prisoner registration was completed with all personal details. Third, his name was checked against the indices of the Political Section to see if he would be subjected to special punishment. Finally, he was registered in the Labor Assignment Office and assigned a characteristic five-digit IBM Hollerith number, 44673.

The five-digit Hollerith number was part of a custom punch card system devised by IBM to track prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, including the slave labor at Auschwitz.

And idk wtf is going on in Israel/Palestine today, it ain't humanity showing its face again, not in my opinion.
opensourceteaparty.jpg
Sponsored by RedHat, Inc.

PEACE

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12 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Wally

In almost every essay in recent days. Is that intentional?

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8 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

Voted for him and supported him wholeheartedly in the last election, despite his bad foreign policy. That leaves me open for an actual character attack based on something morally problematic I actually did, in case anybody wants to take that one up (it would be easy to say that I didn't value Iraqi lives, Syrian lives, Yemeni lives, etc., because of that wholehearted support).

I think Bernie is a good person who about as honest and virtuous as anybody in government could be at this point, though Tulsi is showing that he could do more on the foreign policy front.

But unfortunately, there's some problems that can't be avoided, because if you ignore them, they render all your other actions meaningless. If your elections are fraudulent, it seems pretty damned weird to blame the voters for the political situation. Did the voters rig the 2000 election? The 2004 election? The 2016 election?

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15 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Wally's picture

@Anja Geitz

. . . like some other folks who always seem to be knocking him?

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1 user has voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

It seems clear to me that the parliamentary system they have in Europe works far better than the system we have here.

However, those third parties will have to come up with a way to counter the election fraud that will surely be used against them, should they overcome the systemic unfairness built into the system to protect it from challenge.

Nick Branna at least sees that election fraud is a central issue.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

The aide [later identified as Karl Rove] said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore.” He continued “We’re an empire a movement with new, young leaders who don’t take corporate cash now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/17/magazine/17BUSH.html?_r=2&ex=125566560...

Partisan positions don’t have to make sense anymore, just have faith in the righteousness of your side. We’re girded for war like wonderful president George W. Bush was, except now we’re the good faith-based D empire going to war against the bad faith-based R empire. We’ll win because they’re all racists and fascists. As Russiagate has proved, the reality-based need not apply.

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

Hell, I wish I could say I were wrong. I don't enjoy believing what I believe. But that's not enough for me to change my beliefs. I have to have new data, evidence that really proves that I am wrong, and in order for any data to do that, it must address the actual way Bernard Sanders was prevented from getting the nomination last time. Which I think he would have.

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13 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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8 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

century politics.

I revisit it every few years, too. Never stops being prescient.

Love this essay; so on point. Faith vs rationality is a great breakdown. My breakdown is based upon who is the handler and who is the dog being trained.

The Optimists believe that the politicians are the handlers and the people are the dog to be brought to heel. Politicians give the people cookies when they are good.

The rationalists understand that the people are the handlers and the politician is the dog to be brought to heel. People give the politicians cookies when they are good.

This is, as you mentioned, an unbridgeable gap. Any attempt to bridge the gap is like connecting a positive and negative wire with a piece of copper - all you get is hot sparks.

I'm done with that shit.
@lotlizard

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16 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@k9disc

I like your analogy too. There's a lot more to be said about that. There has been a strong shift among liberals to blaming "the voters" or "the people." The most recent development of this idea that the people are to blame actually exculpates Trump and makes "the people" the ones who are the bad guys:

I almost did a whole essay on this clip.

So not only do we the people get cookies from the politicians when we're good, we get bad results like Trump when we're bad, bad dogs.

And they say that Trump is an existential threat to our democracy. The same people who blame the bottom 80% of the economic ladder for everything bad that happens consider themselves champions of democracy. Spiffing.

Kind of like Carlos Maza's claim that it's not Steven Crowder that's the problem. It's YouTube that's the problem. YouTube is a "platform for monsters." Monsters, plural, including some vague assortment of YouTubers whose crimes against him and others he does not specify.

Actually, I'm listening to the clip from Jimmy Dore again now, and I think I might have to write an essay on it.

Donny Deutsch: "We have lived through an assault on our democracy."
Jimmy Dore: "You can't live through an assault on something that doesn't exist."

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

At the risk of sounding like a high fiveing member of the echo chamber, I couldn’t agree with you more. This has been the situation for my entire voting life, though it took me until the 2000 fiasco to realize it. I can’t wipe the slate clean with the Dems and pretend whatever year you want to mention didn’t happen because this stuff keeps happening! It’s Lucy and the football with the Dems as Lucy and we are Charlie Brown.

I am not someone who thinks things can’t change. On the contrary, I think things can’t go on as they are. But the Democratic Party isn’t going to be a vessel for that change because that’s not it’s function. I don’t think it ever really has been, certainly not in my lifetime.

And while the Bernies and AOCs of the party may be completely sincere, the effect ends up being that of herding voters back into a dead end party. They may intend to change things but with out a complete overhaul of the entire party, what can they do? Yeah it’s great that we’re talking about some issues that we weren’t. But from where I’m watching, it seems that’s just giving the mainstream Dems a chance to co-opt the message without doing anything.

I could go on, but I think you said it all. My problem is I can’t abide by a faith based political party. “Trust us” doesn’t work for me because I don’t and I can’t. The Democratic Party won’t change unless it wants to change, and frankly, it doesn’t.

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16 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

the mainstream political system, the mainstream communications system (media) and, most horrible of all, the legal system.

The judiciary basically said, Yeah that's right, the Democrats can choose whomever they want in the primary--they don't have to care what the voters think.

If I had wanted to, I could have started my argument from there. When the legal system and judiciary vigorously assents to a primary system of back-room deals run by party elites, how can anybody claim that voters have the power over who wins the primary? And if we don't, then how can our moral character and choices be what determines political outcomes?

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18 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

k9disc's picture

above the law. Or to quote Judge Dredd,"I AM the LAW!"

IMO, pushing on the Suits, and that terminology as well, is a great way to draw attention to the manner in which we're controlled by good looking, smooth talking suits while we're being robbed and enslaved... by the Suits.

Ilhan Omar, a persona non-grata to the Optimists and the Republicans, is NOT a suit. All the Suits point at her and suggest that she is to be feared either for her naivety or her dangerous profit killing peace mongering and desire to regulate in the interest of American citizens. The Suits have spoken, and she's NOT a suit. Put a target on her, and spin the people around then give them a stick.

Suits are NOT our friends. Suits don't "work for us". Suits don't have our interests in their heads, let alone their black little hearts. Bezos, Gates, Soros, Blankfiend, Buffett, and all their think tanks and periodicals stuffed with Suit propaganda - They are all part of the problem and all NOT our friends or champions.

You can't trust a Suit, unless you expect them to take your money and use their wealth to put you over a barrel so it's easier to extract money from your hide.

I trust them to do their best to steal from our national and personal wealth and to stymie any attempts to rein in Suit-Privilege.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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16 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal “...and you may ask yourself, how did we get here?”

Heh.

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

MY GOD! What have I done?

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9 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

For more than one stretch, young “Karim” was homeless. But for the moment, the “tough love” approach now seems to come to a happy end. (in German)

https://taz.de/Ankommen-in-Deutschland/!5607599/

In the U.S., many migrants can fall back on a pre-existing, if somewhat “ghetto-ized,” community of earlier immigrants with a similar cultural background. That doesn’t apply to migrants from Africa or the Middle East to northern Europe, where ethnic ghettos are not acceptable and integration into mainstream society is demanded. It’s hard work. Good intentions and virtue signalling from afar are not enough.

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6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

That's one tough language, though not as difficult as some of the non-Indo-European languages. I hear Finnish is a real bear!

I stick to Romance languages, which are comparatively kind and forgiving.

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8 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

World map graphic displaying each country’s area as proportional to its population

For me the size of Nigeria always comes as something of a surprise.

Humanity is not sleeping; it’s in an induced coma (Caitlin Johnstone)

Psychedelics seem to have been an indispensable part of the Sixties-Seventies social and spiritual ferment after all. The anticipated great consciousness revolution or awakening was derailed; instead the winds of change brought a renewed faith in American exceptionalism and a return to plutocracy characterized by wage stagnation.

Line out of mind?
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=israel+wall&iax=images&ia=images

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6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/25/how-us-flooded-the-world-with-psyops/

Please, Mr. CIA agent, help me counter the "Vietnamization" of America! I hate it when large left-wing movements in the streets criticize my wars.

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12 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
things have reached the point where they can even reach down into our individual online lives and subject each of us to our very own personalized psyop, custom tailored to our profile and data history . . .

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6 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

Between the "Optimists" here and the "Disenchanted". As someone who has been described on this site by other members as a doom and gloomer, depressed, miserable, and cowardly because I no longer have faith in the electoral process, I appreciate your even tone.

As a general rule, pejoratives used to describe my politics on a message board don't usually irk me in any consequential way. However, as someone who is afflicted with bi-polar, I know full well what will trigger my own depression, and I don't care to have my mental health issues politicized because it is someone's belief that "giving up" on the electoral process will inevitably lead to depression.

My apologies for personalizing the argument, but the arrogance of that assumption really steamed my ass.

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16 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Anja Geitz

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

enhydra lutris's picture

The guy on the left is working from within, looking to gradually bring about the groups acceptance of their fellow citizens:

N_2009_1_2

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13 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@enhydra lutris  
“Don’t like the Mafia? Join and work to change it from within”

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11 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

1) First past the post wins regardless of whether the leading candidate obtains a majority (ensuring a two party system;

2) The Electoral College for Presidential elections; and

3) The complete and utter dominance of corporate and wealthy donors over both parties

makes it impossible to achieve real political change, change that actually results in representation by our elected officials (at both the local and national level) of the interests of real live living human beings, rather than their representation of moneyed interests. Only a political crisis on the scale of the Great Depression would change the status quo in my view.

And there is no guarantee that such a crisis would produce an outcome favorable to the majority of Americans, or one that I should say would lead to policies that preference people over large corporations. It could easily, in our present circumstances, result in a Fascist takeover of the government similar in many respects to what occurred in Germany during the end of the Weimar Republic.

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15 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Steven D

it's still good to "see" you, Steven.

up
11 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lotlizard's picture

@Steven D  
Some folks here (laurel?) were just asking about you the other day.

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7 users have voted.
Steven D's picture

@lotlizard Been struggling with my autoimmune disease more than I would like this past year. Nothing destroys motivation to engage in life more than fatigue, nausea, chills and lack of sleep due to too many steroids.

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12 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

enhydra lutris's picture

@Steven D
at all possible, but a lot of that seems to be luck.

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Steven D's picture

@enhydra lutris to help my condition. I've come to accept that until we have a government run, well regulated healthcare system, this will never happen, because it benefits insurance companies to steal my premiums and then allow only the worst that medical science has to offer for people, like me, who suffer from chronic illness. And of course, those premiums are pure profit until I meet my deductible. All the more reason to force the cheapest medical options on me to delay having to pay anything on my claims.

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9 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

detroitmechworks's picture

Nothing else much.

I gave up pretty much on politics. I'm sure its very important, but since I know they don't count my vote anyway, there's no point in my participating. I vote. Every election, my ballot returns with "None of these candidates are acceptable" written on every single write in. I would vote for Nobody, but since Nobody is running in every state and local election, I really think there are other places that could use the wisdom of Nobody running the joint.

I have a few short positions that I believe in voting for, but since nobody is running on them, why bother? I'm sure that their staff would be happy to explain how it does apply, but I'm not interested in hearing technicalities on moral deals. If that was the case I would have went to law school.

1. Fuck war.
2. Fuck Corporations.
3. Fuck politicians as soon as they accomplish one and two.

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10 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks

Also:

It ain't no joke I'd like to buy the world a toke
And teach the world to sing in perfect harmony
And teach the world to snuff the fires and the liars
Hey I know it's just a song but it's spice for the recipe
This is a love attack, I know it went out but it's back
It's just like any fad, it retracts before impact
And just like fashion it's a passion for the with-it and hip
If you got the goods they'll come and buy it
Just to stay in the clique

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow, if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer's shunned
You might as well be walking on the sun

Twenty-five years ago they spoke out and they broke out
Of recession and oppression and together they toked
And they folked out with guitars around a bonfire
Just singing and clapping, man, what the hell happened?
Then some were spellbound some were hell-bound
Some they fell down and some got back up and
Fought back against the melt down
And their kids were hippie chicks, all hypocrites
Because fashion is smashing the true meaning of it

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow, if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer's shunned
You might as well be walking on the sun

It ain't no joke when a mama's handkerchief is soaked
With her tears because her baby's life has been revoked
The bond is broke up, so choke up and focus on the close up
Mr. Wizard can't perform no godlike hocus-pocus
So don't sit back, kick back and watch the world get bushwhacked
News at ten, your neighborhood is under attack
Put away the crack before the crack puts you away
You need to be there when your baby's old enough to relate

So don't delay, act now, supplies are running out
Allow, if you're still alive, six to eight years to arrive
And if you follow, there may be a tomorrow
But if the offer's shunned
You might as well be walking on the sun

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

I disagree.

It seems to me there is something missing in your analysis of 2016 Dem nomination process.
Sanders was cheated and had to know it. Yet he said nothing - went out to campaign for HRC.

He did not have to do that. He chose to do that. Stein begged him to take the Green nomination and he snubbed her. Had he explained to the people what the DNC did during primaries, his move would have been accepted.

Bernie had half the Dem Party with him in July and they were his in November. He would have been opposed by by Clinton and Trump, two terrible candidates. I really think he might have won the election. Failing that,the stage was set for an independent run in 2020.

We will never know, but I think the stars were aligned for us in 2016. The Clinton cheating was the key which could have made it work. That Sanders refused to jump is a tragedy, in my opinion. We deserved that that chance and Sanders denied it to us, not the DNC. I am still not over it.

In the same position, I believe Gabbard would have acted differently.

This one goes out to Bernie at his lake house.

"I could be wrong, but I'm not. No,I'm not."

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11 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@irishking

You wrote:

Had he (Bernie) explained to the people what the DNC did during primaries, his move would have been accepted.

I have no reason to think that you don't honestly believe he would have won as a Green party candidate.

I honestly disagree.

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2 users have voted.

@Wally

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1 user has voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking

have nothing to do with it. I meant that when wrongdoing that extensive and toxic can proceed unimpeded by opposition, punishment, or any other consequence from the political system, legal system, or, failing that, from journalism, what you've got is a systemic social failure. People who just want to support a candidate are not paying attention to that systemic failure. They're trying to act as if the system is still viable. It isn't. When people bring that up, most of the optimists try to kill the messenger.

Now, having said that, yeah, Bernie failed at that moment: a personal, individual, moral and political failure. God only knows what might have influenced him toward that decision, though I doubt it was the lake house. I think a bribe to throw the election would have to be significantly bigger than that (not that I think he was bribed; I think he was intimidated). He made a wretched decision, and the fact that I'd still be willing to give him my support now shows how far I'm willing to compromise in this cesspool of an era. I also still think he's a good man, because even a good man can be intimidated with the right threats. But unless he has a plan for how to deal with that crap differently this time, he's not leading me anywhere other than a dead end.

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8 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

for what Sanders has now as a big time Dem.

Of course I don't know what happened either. It may have been a "plomo o plata" choice.
I don't think he is a bad man.

I agree that the system is rotten to the core. That is why it hurts to think that Sanders might have succeeded but refused. A similar chance might not come again. The chances of government overthrow are so small.

Though you don't mention it, some say Sanders pledge to support Dem candidate explains and excuses all. Don't think that pledge was binding in light of cheating in the primaries.

I will watch Gabberd with interest.

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7 users have voted.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal short of literal fanatic. The lake house -- I don't care (tho I don't recall the controversy, if any, surrounding it). Unlike some on the left, I don't expect our leaders to live in a one-room, candlelit Lincoln log house w/dirt floor and outhouse. Even a two-room log house wouldn't cause me to take to the fainting couch -- even if supplied with electricity!

Also I take far less objection to his endorsing of the Hill. It was a stark political choice, and he probably had the next election in mind, seeing how well he did in 16, and wanted to keep his viability intact. He decided to pick his fights, even though he had to know the Dem and MSM systems were rigged against him.

As I step back a bit, though I back Tulsi, I'm getting the feeling the Bernmeister may be our best hope to go up against the Don and give him a long overdue old fashioned whuppin'.

If the DNC pulls another one, the SD-picked nominee won't be considered legit by half the party -- good luck with that. (Edit): Done once, and exposed, the chances of it's being done so systematically and effectively next time are very slim. Which is why it is likely not to happen again, at least beyond the usual small fry shenanigans of no consequence.

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2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking @irishking

Bernie had half the Dem Party with him in July and they were his in November. He would have been opposed by by Clinton and Trump, two terrible candidates. I really think he might have won the election. Failing that,the stage was set for an independent run in 2020.

We will never know, but I think the stars were aligned for us in 2016. The Clinton cheating was the key which could have made it work. That Sanders refused to jump is a tragedy, in my opinion. We deserved that that chance

And this is partly true:


Sanders denied it to us, not the DNC.

No. Sanders and the DNC denied it to us. And I don't think there's any question who started that shit.

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10 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Given the DNC cheating, the ball was in Bernie's court. He could have accepted Stein's offer and run Green. That is what I refer to.

That he didn't was his doing. Some may think that he made a good call.

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6 users have voted.

@irishking corrected, but I don't recall a massive groundswell from the grassroots calling on Bernie to go 3d party. HRC was always the presumptive nominee, and probably most of his backers were surprised and delighted with how close he came to winning. I was anyway.

Of course, on the timeline, it's probably the case that most of the inside info about the DNC rigging came well after the fact, so his supporters, while they may have suspected mischief, didn't have adequate basis to carry that torch too far.

3d party he must have felt would have Naderized him. Blamed for Trump getting elected, a pariah in the DP, nowhere left to go but the marginalized small 3d party route. Never a good position from which to launch a presidential bid in our peculiar electoral system.

As opposed to his HRC endorsement decision, falling on his sword, I'm much more disappointed in his current range of soft and not very courageous FP stances, especially with Tulsi out there showing the type of fortitude that is needed in this area.

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@wokkamile

3d party he must have felt would have Naderized him.

I posted (at EB) several excerpts from transcripts of him saying he would "not be a spoiler"--meaning, run as a third party candidate.

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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4 users have voted.

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

@wokkamile

I still wish he had taken the plunge.

But Russiagate,etc.
can't accept that.

contrast with Gabbard is striking.

Gabbard by the way was at Standing Rock and went to Puerto Rico, no to prosecuting Assange, pardon Snowden,hands off Venezuela, talked to Assad, no to Iran sanctions,etc.

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7 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@wokkamile

He threw all of us on the sword too. And we didn't have a choice.

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11 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking

Good God.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

"Some may think..."

I wish he had done different.
But I allow that my judgment might be off on the whole thing.

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2 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking

but at the idea that his decision could be a good call. Politically, anyway.

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3 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

@irishking only problem is, it’s been Russiagate nonsense. How he can push that garbage with a straight face while declaring the 2016 primaries fair is something I can not understand. (And until someone presents decent evidence, I can not accept Bernie and/or his family was threatened as an explanation either. He’s had ample opportunities to speak out against what happened and he certainly didn’t have to push the Russia narrative, but these are the decisions he’s made.)

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11 users have voted.

@Dr. John Carpenter

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@irishking @irishking @Dr. John Carpenter

until someone presents decent evidence, I can not accept Bernie and/or his family was threatened as an explanation either.

[my italics]

For two reasons, as I've repeatedly said--there are too many 'tool's that federal administrators/supervisors/management/Party Leadership, whatever you want to call it, have to keep wayward employees--including lawmakers--in line.

Look at Andrew McCabe. As someone well-versed in Civil Service personnel policy (during our decades in the federal CS System, as well as two 'commissioned' stints for Mr M in two branches of the military), I can assure folks that there's either a rule already existing, or, one that OPM can 'adjust,' so that 'adverse personnel actions' can be legally put in place, if/when determined necessary. And, if all else fails, one can often be 'implemented' to take care of a particular circumstance.

[Edited: Deleted 's' in Andrew]

Most of all, it appears (to me) that when push come to shove, he's on the relatively compliant side with whatever Leadership wants him to do. Period. So, the idea that it's even 'necessary' to threaten his life or limb, much less his family's, is beyond the pale. IMO.

Having said that--it certainly doesn't mean that he's not sincere in what he portends to believe in, or stand for. I believe he is. (Just to be clear.) I'm 'guessing' that he believes that he has to do what he does, in order "to work from within."

Mollie

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5 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@irishking

responsible.

Reference,

We will never know, but I think the stars were aligned for us in 2016. The Clinton cheating was the key which could have made it work. That Sanders refused to jump is a tragedy, in my opinion. We deserved that that chance and Sanders denied it to us, not the DNC. . . .

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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4 users have voted.

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

ggersh's picture

and I have no doubt it isn't, then my thinking
tRumpolini being our last prez stands in spades!!!
Cuz anyone who thinks the R's cant do what the
clintons did are

Also the D's won't exist as a party after this
election

Sanders failed to become the Democratic nominee because of fraud: fraud that was repeated so many times in so many different varieties I thought the Clinton campaign was putting on a clinic to teach the American public what election fraud looked like. No one went to jail for any of it. The only legal actions concerning the fraud were dismissed or answered with open admissions of corruption. The 2016 election fraud was conducted with no possibility of punishment for the wrongdoers--and they knew it. Because of the fact that the wrongdoers were absolutely free to engage in their wrongdoing without consequence, the 2016 election fraud remains, not a failure of character, individual or collective, but the failure of a system.

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7 users have voted.

trump amerika's last president

Caitlin Johnstone

Anyone who's sure they know what humanity is and where we're headed is suffering from a psilocybin deficiency.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ggersh

Bush, Cheney and Rove committed election fraud, and racist election fraud at that, twice and got away with it.

Oddly, none of the "liberal" Democrats has any interest in remembering that now.

By the way, George Bush is our ally now. He told People magazine he doesn't like Trump.

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7 users have voted.

Actually, the issue at stake is patriotism. You must return to your world and put an end to the Commies. All it takes are a few good men.
--Q

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

ggersh's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal my intention was meant to be that tRumpolini
might just figure out he can pretty much do what he
wants for he has no resistance.

I don't think for a second that tptb will stop him
from running for a third time when that time comes

amerika has entered the twilight zone

imagine that dubya a hero of the liberal establishment
the way things are rolling tRumpolini is next to follow
that path

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4 users have voted.

trump amerika's last president

Caitlin Johnstone

Anyone who's sure they know what humanity is and where we're headed is suffering from a psilocybin deficiency.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

care of a couple matters, but, will see you Guys a bit later.

Late yesterday afternoon and evening were a fiasco (for me)--got locked out of the WordPress account/blog that I'm hoping to add the 'chat' feature to. Will be looking into that later this week.

Thankfully, after I spent 2-3 hours digging up info to verify my identity, about 2-3 hours after I submitted a shout-out for help--a WordPress "Happiness Engineer" came to my rescue. IOW, they helped me access my account again, allowing me to reset the 2-Step verification which went awry--and locked me out.

Just glad that I was looking to retrieve a photo, to post at Smiley's, or, I wouldn't have even realized that I had the problem, until, right before I showed up to see about the 'chat' plug-in. At least, got that problem out of the way.

Later.

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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2 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

the same thing (at another blog) when they sat on their hands when GWB ran for his second term. There were numerous articles written about it, IIRC. (in spite of the fact that he managed to win, without them)

Referring to your comment, that--

A secondary point is that beating on the same damn door year after yar might not be the best way to gain entry. The religious right gained ideological control of the GOP by simply no longer trying, by "giving up" as you would characterize it. They, in effect, sat out one election, or supported a spoiler candidate from another viewpoint. The GOP, being a bit more "pragmatic" and "rational" than the Dems quickly understood that they couldn't win without that block and ceded great power to in it order that they could once again win, even though they would henceforce have to ideologically kowtow to said RR - a strategy worthy of consideration by those who are true believers in the "only 2 parties" system.

If DT wins a second term, undoubtedly, this cohort will be mostly responsible for the win.

Two things--judges and repealing abortion--drive their deepest convictions, and voting patterns.

(Frankly, I doubt if there was a video of him attacking the latest accuser of sexual assault/rape--sorry, can never recall her name--that they'd turn on him. He's given them a list of things they've wanted that's as long as my arm, almost.)

Unfortunately, many (not all) Dems vote out of fear, therefore, are not willing to 'play the long game.' That's, IMO, how the corporatists/neoliberals have managed to take over the Party.

If polls are to be believed--and, not sure they should be--it may be happening again this election cycle. IOW, many Cable pollsters claim that the Dem Party Base doesn't care that much about issues--only, that they select someone who can beat DT. Even if he's a corporatists, or, so-called moderate like Uncle Joe.

Yikes!

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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4 users have voted.

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