The Democratic TriParty (Part 1: The Players)

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Most of us are used to thinking about the current power dynamic within the Democratic Party in binary terms: Progressive vs Establishment.

Yet in the Byzantine world of big party politics, a dual-faction, 'us vs them' paradigm does a poor job of explaining the reasons for the endless shifting alliances and seemingly contradictory rhetoric of many Democrats.

I argue that instead of two, there are actually three major centers of influence within the Democratic party, and that recognizing the similarities and differences between them is essential to understanding the struggle for control.


THREE DEMOCRATIC PARTY POWER CENTERS

Please note: while I have used the logos of Presidential candidates to represent the various power centers, they are NOT synonymous. The power centers themselves each encompass a much larger group of like minded players whose collective influence is far greater than any single candidate or campaign.

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PROGRESSIVE

Messaging: Progressive
Policies: Progressive

  • Healthcare: Public (M4A)
  • Financial Reform: Strong Regulation (Glass-Steagall, Anti-Trust)
  • Environment: Systemic Change (Bernie's GND)
  • Foreign Policy: Diplomatic
  • IP: NO

Campaign Funding: Large # of Donors / Small Amounts

Progressive Democrats seek fundamental, systemic reform of institutions, policies, and leadership. Their policies and messaging both reflect that.

Progressives advocate for structural change on issues such as public healthcare, economic inequality, and environmental degradation. Progressives avoid Identity Politics, which they view as divisive and counterproductive. On Foreign Policy, Progressives favor Diplomatic over Militaristic options.

While popular with small dollar campaign donors, Progressive policies and rhetoric are antithetical to the interests of many of the Party's large dollar donors.

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REACTIONARY

Messaging: Status Quo
Policies: Retrograde

Issues:

  • Healthcare: Private
  • Financial Reform: Laissez Faire
  • Environment: Drill Baby Drill
  • Foreign Policy: Militaristic
  • IP: YES

Campaign Funding: Small # of Donors / Large Amounts

Reactionary Democrats oppose change to the existing societal order, and their messaging reflects that. Reactionaries embrace Identity Politics as a way to distract public attention from popular economic and social policies they would simply rather not talk about or are secretly working to undermine. On Foreign Policy, Reactionaries favor Militaristic over Diplomatic options in almost all circumstances.

Openly contemptuous of the Democrats' small donor base, Reactionaries rely primarily on large donations from corporate institutions and wealthy individuals for campaign funding.

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INCREMENTALIST

Messaging: Progressive
Policies: Incrementalist

Campaign Funding: Medium # of Donors / Small + Large Contributions

Issues:

  • Healthcare: Regulated Private (Obamacare)
  • Financial Reform: Weak Regulation (Dodd Frank)
  • Environment: Private Incentives (AOC's GND)
  • Foreign Policy: Diplomatic (Iran) + Militaristic (pick one)
  • IP: YES

Incrementalists attempt to ride the fence between Progressives and Reactionaries, providing weak tea reforms sanctioned by their large corporate donors and then promoting them to rank and file voters as great Progressive achievements. IP features prominently in Incrementalist messaging and is often conflated as a substitute for more robust policies in other areas. On Foreign Policy, Incrementalists favor a mix of both Militaristic and Diplomatic options.

As a result of this middling strategy, Incrementalists tend to attract a mix of Big Money donors as well as Small Money donors impressed by what Progressives would consider token policy gestures.

One important note: while outwardly portraying the appearance of reformists, Incrementalists behind the scenes remain fundamentally aligned with Reactionaries in serving Big Money donors' interests over those of rank and file Democratic voters.

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Next Time: The Democratic TriParty (Part 2: Areas of Competition)

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Comments

I thought your response back to me yesterday in the same vein was pretty much on point and really insightful.

It's worth adapting / repeating here to expand on your framework.

Name the players on the rosters of each team.

The only point I'd nitpick and find a bit off is calling the first team you mention "the progressives" for the reasons some folks have been discussing here and there on C99% the past few days at least. Let the second or third groups be called that since they want to be known so much as such. How 'bout Reactionary Progressives and Incremental Progressives.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Wally @Wally

It's only part one.

Not sure what the issue with the 'Progressive' label is, though. Can you elaborate?

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Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger

"I'm sorry to say this" ... Submitted by Linda Wood on Sat, 09/14/2019 - 2:03pm

"For some, "progressive" means what "liberal" meant in the" ... Submitted by HenryAWallace on Fri, 09/06/2019 - 7:56pm

https://caucus99percent.com/content/what-does-it-mean-be-progressive

I wrote a comment not too long ago but now I can't find it. I argued that progressives throughout US history going back to the turn of the 19th-20th century have often prescribed their own middle class values as a solution to working class problems. This is what Biden did with his comments about middle class folk needing to teach black folks that they need to listen to the record player more. I also argued that Bernie folks should forego calling ourselves progrsssives because the likes of Hillary and Joe et al seem so determined to use it to describe themselves that we might as well let them have it. And that we boldly call ourselves socialists coz that's what we're going to get blasted with day in and day out anyway and no matter what if Bernie looks like he has a real chance of winning the nomination. It's happening already but it's going to intensify.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Wally

Hillary and Joe et al seem so determined to use it to describe themselves that we might as well let them have it.

define the term in the first place?

Giving into Big Donor framing is never a way to win. So what's next, Hillary decides to call herself a Socialist which means we then have to call ourselves something else again?

The time is long past due for Progressives to establish our own definitions and fight for them, instead of letting Big Money continually co-opt our language.

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Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger

Neither will Warren.

I just recalled where I had read an interesting critique of 19th-20th century progressivism. I'll try to dig up the book tomorrow morning and come up with some quotes.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

The time is long past due for Progressives to establish our own definitions and fight for them, instead of letting Big Money continually co-opt our language.

Amen!

Biggrin

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

@Not Henry Kissinger

I posted the boxed comments on the Tulsi thread and would pose now, after some morning coffee, that the problem historically with progressivism is that it has laregely been a crusade limited to finding fault with workers and working class culture and imposing and applying a middle class ethos and capitalistic reforms.

So you can call me Ray or you can call me Jay, but you doesn't have to call me a progressive. I prefer to consider myself and to be called a democratic socialist.

I'd say that both populism and progressivism as they've manifested themselves historically and today seek reformist economic and political solutions within a capitalist economic framework whereas socialism has sought and now seeks to fundamentally transform that unfair and oppressive framework. Of course, socialism can carry the characteristics of different levels and forms of authoritarianism or democratization. That's the best I can do before I have my morning coffee.

These articles might be helpful (although I'd quibble with some of the points made):

https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-populism-and-vs-pro...

http://www.differencebetween.net/miscellaneous/politics/difference-betwe...

Edit/add: But when it all comes down to it as far as I'm concerned, all this philosophizing will be moot and a futile intellectual exercise if Bernie doesn't pull off a miracle and win the nomination. I really like Tulsi but she doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination, nor will she seek to head a third party ticket, nor will Bernie. They've BOTH signed a written pledge to support the winner of the Democratic Party nomination "process." Bernie's the chance of our lifetime. I really don't think such a golden opportunity will ever come again. So it goes.

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways—the point however is to change it" -- You know who

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Wally

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways—the point however is to change it" -- You know who

For those who didn't "know who", that's Karl Marx.

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

Centaurea's picture

@Wally

"We're for progress, going backwards!"

Biggrin

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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

@Centaurea

A Victrola in every home. And a chicken in every pot.

Then again, I've always thought vinyl sounds better.

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Centaurea's picture

@Wally
The point I was reaching for in my comment was that "reactionary progressive" is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.

Now that I think about it, "incremental progressive" might be an oxymoron, too.

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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

@Centaurea

Maybe the problem is with the dualistic and maybe even contradictory nature of US progressivism as manifested througout it's history. Hopefully, I'll find a book this morning which makes some of those criticisms and come up with some quotes from it here.

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Where Bernie and Byedone fit on the Venn Diagram is obvious. They're diodes at the two ideological poles. So is Tulsi, but she's been exorcised as a bruxa Lefty-apostate who (also) threatened Bernie's hegemony as the shaggy kept animal (sheepdog) of the Leftwing of the Democratic Party.

What about Kamala? She seems to straddle the safe space at the center, an Identity Politics hodgepodge but a nice strategic fit, which accounts for why she was originally one of the anointed alternatives, (with Booker, the alt-alternative Identity candidate), just in case.

Warren - she's a bit of a misfit. Like Hillary, a former Republican. Like Obama, a corporate figure who professes a troubled conscience. Her economic persona is like Barney Frank, another liberal misfit with a mission to save capitalism from itself.

Are any of these three corners really significantly far apart from the safe center to make a difference . . .?

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@leveymg

Where do the candidates fit?

in later parts.

Part One is to simply get people thinking in 3 dimensional terms. The players and their roles will be filled in later.

One caution though: as I try to intimate up top, the candidates are not always perfect facsimiles for the factions they represent.

For example Biden, while running as the heir to the Obama's Incrementalist legacy, aligns far more closely with the Reactionary camp, while Warren, tacitly supported by Reactionary Hillary, aligns more closely with the Incrementalist Camp.

This lack of proper political alignment is a big problem for both candidates, as we will see.

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Peace Sells

Alligator Ed's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger besides Regressionalistic. He is in that third stage of life, neither crawling on all fours nor walking on two sturdy pegs, but holding onto the invisible and diminishing connection with a world which he is now departing--the Long Goodbye.

The Camel, the Indian, quarter-blood black person (quarter-person white) has made her mark as a poorly prepared, opportunistic hustler. She has made her mark, so to speak, as "the Cop"--not a good move given her Draconian record. She will never be a true Progressive. Anything else is just fine with her.

Beta Male O'Rorke has nutritional deficiencies which plague his brain, preventing a coherent set of policies except those which are most extreme, the chief one of which is his delusional belief that he will occupy the White House on anything other than Tour Day. But the Rose Garden does have some lovely soil, quite tasty compared to Tejano sod.

Since our gracious author will not populate his Venn Diagram until a subsequent essay, it should cheer him that there will be less Kandidates for the Klown Kavalcade by then.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Alligator Ed

For example Biden, while running as the heir to the Obama's Incrementalist legacy, aligns far more closely with the Reactionary camp, while Warren, tacitly supported by Reactionary Hillary, aligns more closely with the Incrementalist Camp.

Here's a third:

Harris is a textbook Reactionary.

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Peace Sells

@leveymg
Not perfectly aligned, but mostly.

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Sanders-Gabbard 2020 !

@The Voice In the Wilderness Obama was. She's also essentially conservative and wedded to the illusion that all the system needs to be saved from itself is someone like her running it.

It's a lot like the Kennedys. The same veneer of The Best and The Brightest. RAND. Systems guys like McNamara running wars. They're all Harvard professors - what can go wrong?. The Clintonites embraced some of that illusion, as did Obama and his circle.

Trump is the reaction to that after it went bad. The Empire of merit has lost it's Mojo. So has it's reaction. Sorry, none of that works, anymore.

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@leveymg was that a simplistic, crude, insecure and poorly educated fellow suddenly became president and after a decent interval gave us the VN War. That was his decision, not that of the so-called B&B. Elites like McNamara -- who attended Berkeley btw -- merely implemented the marching orders the best way they knew how. JFK turned out to be right to worry about Lyndon ever becoming president. And David Halberstam who did not intend the term he made famous as a compliment and who completely misunderstood or misled about the decision-making process under LBJ, got the war he preferred when non-elite Lyndon came in.

So imo it's a great compliment to compare Liz to the Kennedys. And who wouldn't prefer some solid competence and intelligence after Trump and previously 8 yrs of the ignorant GWB admin? Politically too being compared to the Kennedys would not lose her any votes.

Generally however, most who seek the top office have egos such that they feel that all the country needs is their sure hand and ability sitting in the Oval Office. It's just that a lot of men chafe at a woman who displays this strong ambition. That recent Politico article I linked to recently -- the sexism by some in the Obama camp towards Liz is on full display. There is a strong sense that emerges of Liz being seen as too uppity and ambitious -- and maybe a role as Cheerleader for the CFPB entity she created, and not its actual leader, should be all she should expect.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@wokkamile

Generally however, most who seek the top office have egos such that they feel that all the country needs is their sure hand and ability sitting in the Oval Office.

There's a centuries-old tradition which states that anyone who wants to be Pope is automatically, ipso facto, unfit to hold the office.

As voters, perhaps we ought to maintain a similar view of the Presidency?

Wink

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

TheOtherMaven's picture

@thanatokephaloides

This does, however, pose the problem of how to have candidates for an election. Maybe some kind of "citizens draft" whereby someone is chosen at random from (a reasonable selection of) the public to serve one term and then leave?

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@TheOtherMaven

was once big in Athens and Renaissance Italy.

The Athenians believed sortition to be democratic but not elections[5] and used complex procedures with purpose-built allotment machines (kleroteria) to avoid the corrupt practices used by oligarchs to buy their way into office. According to the author Mogens Herman Hansen the citizen's court was superior to the assembly because the allotted members swore an oath which ordinary citizens in the assembly did not and therefore the court could annul the decisions of the assembly. Both Aristotle[5] and Herodotus (one of the earliest writers on democracy) emphasize selection by lot as a test of democracy, "The rule of the people has the fairest name of all, equality (isonomia), and does none of the things that a monarch does. The lot determines offices, power is held accountable, and deliberation is conducted in public."[9]

...

In Athens, to be eligible to be chosen by lot, citizens self-selected themselves into the available pool, then lotteries in the kleroteria machines. The magistracies assigned by lot generally had terms of service of 1 year. A citizen could not hold any particular magistracy more than once in his lifetime, but could hold other magistracies. All male citizens over 30 years of age, who were not disenfranchised by atimia, were eligible. Those selected through lot underwent examination called dokimasia in order to avoid incompetent officials. Rarely were selected citizens discarded.[11] Magistrates, once in place, were subjected to constant monitoring by the Assembly. Magistrates appointed by lot had to render account of their time in office upon their leave, called euthynai. However, any citizen could request the suspension of a magistrate with due reason.[12]

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Peace Sells

thanatokephaloides's picture

@TheOtherMaven

This does, however, pose the problem of how to have candidates for an election. Maybe some kind of "citizens draft" whereby someone is chosen at random from (a reasonable selection of) the public to serve one term and then leave?

Ah, just like classical Athens! Seemed to work for the Athenians for quite a while, didn't it?

Biggrin

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

@wokkamile But, his Alma mater is neither here nor there. What is important is that McNamara was fully convinced of the superiority of his analytical methods, qualifying him the one to make "hard choices." But, he was completely wrong about Vietnam. More than anyone else, Mac the Knife was responsible for selling the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to Johnson and Congress; along with McGeorge Bundy (another towering Brahmin), he authored the bombing campaign and troop escalations that followed. Wiki:

Records from the Lyndon Johnson Library have perhaps indicated that McNamara misled Johnson on the attack on a U.S. Navy destroyer by allegedly withholding calls against executing airstrikes from US Pacific Commanders.[34] McNamara was also instrumental in presenting the event to Congress and the public as justification for escalation of the war against the communists.[35] In 1995, McNamara met with former North Vietnam Defense Minister Võ Nguyên Giáp who told his American counterpart that the August 4 attack never happened, a conclusion McNamara eventually came to accept.[36]

President Johnson ordered retaliatory air strikes on North Vietnamese naval bases. Congress approved, with only Senators Wayne Morse (D-OR), and Ernest Gruening (D-AK), voting against,[37] the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, authorizing the president "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the U.S. and to prevent further aggression." Regardless of the particulars of the incident, the larger issue would turn out to be the sweeping powers granted by the resolution. It gave Johnson virtually unfettered authority to expand retaliation for a relatively minor naval incident into a major land war involving 500,000 American soldiers. "The fundamental issue of Tonkin Gulf involved not deception but, rather, misuse of power bestowed by the resolution," McNamara wrote later.[38]

In January 1965, McNamara together with the National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy co-wrote a memo to President Johnson stating "both of us are now pretty well convinced that our present policy can lead only to disastrous defeat" as it was hopeless to expect the unstable and corrupt South Vietnamese government to defeat the Viet Cong who were steadily "gaining in the countryside".[39] Bundy and McNamara wrote "the time for has come for hard choices" as the United States now had the alternatives of either negotiating with North Vietnam to "salvage what little can be preserved" or resort to intervention to "force a change".[40] Both Bundy and McNamara stated that they favored the latter, arguing that the commitment of U.S troops to fight in South Vietnam and a strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam were now required.[41] In 1965, in response to stepped up military activity by the Viet Cong in South Vietnam and their North Vietnamese allies, the U.S. began bombing North Vietnam, deployed large military forces and entered into combat in South Vietnam. McNamara's plan, supported by requests from top U.S. military commanders in Vietnam, led to the commitment of 485,000 troops by the end of 1967 and almost 535,000 by June 30, 1968. The casualty lists mounted as the number of troops and the intensity of fighting escalated. McNamara put in place a statistical strategy for victory in Vietnam. He concluded that there were a limited number of Viet Cong fighters in Vietnam and that a war of attrition would destroy them. He applied metrics (body counts) to determine how close to success his plan was.[42]

The worst miscalculations are often made by those who are utterly convinced that they are somehow the Best and Brightest, and nobody else is qualified to tell them otherwise. That's the irony in Halberstam's book title. A lot of people have misgivings about Prof. Warren for the same reason. It's not her degrees, or where she teaches - there's something messianic and unsettling about her. Personally, I have the feeling that by convincing others that capitalism can be saved, she is just making the problem worse.

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@leveymg part right. Berkeley grad who later went to do some things at Harvard.

Dunno where your cite is from, which I'd be happy to look at further if I had a link, but it's misleading to suggest McN was either dictating policy to Lyndon or misleading him about the Gulf of Tonkin.

On overall policy -- it's quite clear from at least NSAM 273, which using subtle language reversed JFK's NSAM 263 which formally began the policy of withdrawal of military advisers, that Johnson was staying in Nam and would be making more of a military commitment there.

Clear too is who is in charge -- in an unmistakable phone call with his SecDef in Feb '64, cold warrior LBJ, a firm believer in the Domino Theory, lays down the law to McNamara on not abandoning the military effort in VN (hearing the actual call is even more striking as to LBJ dictating orders to McN):

McNamara
[Pauses.] Yeah, the problem is what to say about it.

President Johnson
All right—I’ll tell you what I would say about it. [Unclear comment by McNamara] I would say that we have a commitment to Vietnamese freedom. Now, we could pull out of there, the dominoes would fall, and that part of the world would go to the Communists. We could send our Marines in there, and we could get tied down in a third world war or another Korean action.

Notice that Johnson also mentions Kennedy's withdrawal plan, and says

I always thought it was foolish for you to make any statements about withdrawing. I thought it was bad psychologically. But you and the President [Kennedy] thought otherwise, and I just sat silent.

On the GoT, recalling only from memory, it was apparently a CIA op that was put in motion earlier in '64, approved by Johnson, to provoke the NVN military into making an attack, clearly intended as a basis for a casus belli for the US. My take: in part Johnson wanted some political ammo going into the fall election in case the Repub nominee made a charge that the US was looking weak over there. A retaliatory attack by the NVN in response to our provocations would give him justification for seeking essentially a blank check from Congress as to using military force going forward, which is what he got, the beginnings of the war he sought.

Finally on McN and Johnson: McN was more the cold warrior than JFK but not a fervent one as LBJ was. McN always believed his duty was to carry out the president's orders and not step out of line or influence policy. He disagreed with Kennedy's decision in the fall of '63 to pull out by '65, but he loyally began carrying out that policy, with great resistance from the Joint Chiefs.

Under Johnson, he quickly sensed (either by NSAM 273 in late Nov '63 or by the time of the Feb '64 phone call) that LBJ intended to stay in, despite the quagmire risks, and so went about carrying out Johnson's policy. Sorry, but there is no passing the buck to relieve poor non-elite Lyndon of responsibility here -- it was clearly his war, not McNamara's, much as Lyndon tried to reassign blame.

So Lyndon got his war, which his political benefactors in TX greatly appreciated (esp the Brown Bros, founders of Brown & Root construction) and which the elite NYTman Best and Brightest David Halberstam at that time must have appreciated, as he like Lyndon knew the risks but thought such risks were outweighed by the calamity that would ensue if the communists were allowed to take over another country.

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@leveymg @leveymg of prior months of US military provocations off the coast of NVN, formally approved by LBJ. The incident itself or both of them, early Aug '64, were a scramble of confusing reports from the ship involved, with retractions of the attack then a retraction of the retraction. Also, US intel got involved in relaying messages back to policy makers, including McN, in D.C. and decided to withhold key information. So perhaps McN was working with incomplete information.

But Johnson didn't seem at all phased that he might have been misinformed about events in the Gulf.

The president might have knowingly lied to the public, as his harshest critics insist, because a retaliatory strike gave him a way to rebut Senator Goldwater’s charges that he had been “soft” on North Vietnam. Or Johnson might have genuinely believed at first that the attack had occurred.

If the latter is the case, Johnson quickly came to doubt what he had said publicly. Shortly after the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed, he told Under Secretary of State George W. Ball: “Hell, those damn, stupid sailors were just shooting at flying fish.” But Johnson never shared his doubts about the events on the night of August 4 with the American public.

Most of the rest is just commentary in the footnotes, afaic. The Tonkin event was going to happen eventually, and before the fall election. (notice that it happened at a politically ideal time for LBJ: just after the Repub convention but before the Dem convo that year, giving Johnson a national spotlight to show he was tough but not unreasonable. Such particularly useful political timing rarely occurs by accident.) That is clearly what was being set up to happen with OPLAN 34A (military intel plan) earlier in the year, ordered up by Johnson. Whether it was a real event that night, our boat being shot at, or not didn't seem to matter to Lyndon. He got the result he clearly wanted and had a chuckle at the "stupid sailors" to boot.

(edit: sorry for getting into a quagmire discussion of VN; last post on this in this thread. On elitism, I've spoken -- let's not either misread the past or underestimate the folly and disaster of uneducated simpletons and con men (LBJ, GWB and Trump) running the country with their crude ideas in foreign policy.)

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg

Endorsed Hillary in 2016 and in 2019 says we need dark money to be "all in" to "win this fight" against Trump.

Those things together make her position pretty clear.

Just like Bernie except for the part where she kisses aristocratic ass.

For those playing along at home, Warren just said candidates need to take large amounts of money in secret from big donors to beat Donald Trump.

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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

thanatokephaloides's picture

@leveymg

Are any of these three corners really significantly far apart from the safe center to make a difference . . .?

Only one: the one our Essayist labels "PROGRESSIVE". The Venn diagram he used was drawn to be illustrative of the Essay's principle, not the actual proportional position of the three factions' positions, at least in my own humble opinion. Again IMHO, a Venn diagram which would be proportionately accurate would describe the two bottom factions as occupying almost identical space, with small independent spaces around the edges of each. But that would seriously mar the illustration of what NHK was trying to illustrate.

And, as NHK reminds us, there's still quite a bit more material to come! Smile

Many of us would like to see that top sector torn off and rendered into a political party all its own. Alligators are particularly good at this sort of thing, and I notice that Alligator Ed has weighed in to this thread..... Wink

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

@thanatokephaloides progressive-populists. That's surely where Tulsi belongs, like George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy, before her. Maybe, that's why it has been so easy to peel her off the 2020 candidates map, despite her strong, bipartisan appeal and committed following. I can't think of anyone else in this race, not Bernie Sanders, who seems to have a similar anti-war focus.

Peace may be popular out there in the grassroots, but it's treated like poison by the Democratic Party Powers That Be.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@leveymg

Perhaps there should be a fourth quadrant - the Antiwar progressive-populists. That's surely where Tulsi belongs,

In my humble opinion, there's no "fourth quadrant". Ordinary voters and small donors belonging to Not Henry Kissinger's "PROGRESSIVE" sector/faction are nearly all antiwar. Bernie Sanders' bird -- the symbol NHK used for this faction -- is a reference to a wild bird who landed on Bernie's podium during the 2016 Democratic Primaries and of whom Bernie said: "The bird of Peace! No More Wars!"

That Bernie was less than perfect in his subsequent acts supporting these ideals has no impact on the fact that his supporters still maintain them. Moreover, a case can be made that Bernie himself only resorted to these actions due to political pressure approaching the level of duress.

As you said:

Peace may be popular out there in the grassroots, but it's treated like poison by the Democratic Party Powers That Be.

And I wouldn't put it past the said "Democratic Party Powers That Be" to threaten to end Bernie Sanders' political career -- or worse -- to keep their Military-Industrial Complex Gravy Train a-running!

Bad

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

snoopydawg's picture

@thanatokephaloides

How long would a peace president last if he stopped the wars? He'd be MLK'd in a heartbeat. I had a problem with Bernie's foreign policy last time and got flack from people who didn't care about it. None of his policies back then could work as long as the military budget was so high. I read that our weapons are crap compared to Russia's because theirs are for defense and ours are for profit.

End the wars not only for the money spent on them, but for the amount of fuel they use every damn hour. And for the pollution from bombs.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@leveymg

just one with brown skin.

Of course, she might talk differently than that now. But I bet, once in the Oval Office, she'd be more like Bill Clinton than Barack Obama.

Warren's an incrementalist.

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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

I'm not sure Hillary's financial policies are laissez-faire, although that is the classic description of neoliberals.

When she ran in 2008, she said she approved of everything her husband had done, although her supporters tried to disassociate her policies from his in 2016. However, "I take her at her word." Also, she said gleefully during the 2016 general that he had been good with money and she planned to put him in charge of it when she became President.

Do I see repeal of Glass Steagall and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act of 2000 as mere de-regulation? No. I see them as doing whatever the banksters requested. If their requests had been bolder, they would have gotten more. Because the Clintons are all about the Benjamins and the Benjamins ain't coming to them from people like me.

And, of course, the combination of those two Clinton-era "mere deregulations" opened the barn door for the economic collapse of a number of nations, including ours, n 2008, something even Greenspan admitted after the fact, but Clinton denied when asked on national TV.

And let's not even get started on how much the banks got protected and pandered to during the Obmaa administration. Bush out-maneuvered President Elect Obama into giving the go ahead to disburse Tarp II; banks got protected from lawsuits, etc.

I didn't mean to relive all that. Back to what I was saying: I appreciated your post.

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17 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace
The issues in parentheses are simply illustrative examples.

Feel free to add others you think also fit the mold.

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6 users have voted.

Peace Sells

snoopydawg's picture

@HenryAWallace

NAFTA, glass steagal, welfare reform and many other legislation couldn't get the democrats on board so Clinton worked with republicans and they were only to happy to vote them in.

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20 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 If not his creation, alone (the Stephen Bros. provided the money and Mrs. Bixby-Churchill-Harriman gave them entre to polite society) the Clintons were sworn into Bush's CIA during the Mena-Rose Law Firm days, and both have had protected status ever since. They are literally untouchable and were anointed.

That's an advantage that even Liz lacks, although she seems to have been embraced by many within the same circles. She's not formally endorsed. None of them are, and so it's not clear who has the nod, as even the Agency and the Georgetown Set aren't what they once were.

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15 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@leveymg

president and they teamed up to get people to donate to the Haiti earthquake fund which the Clintons then raided and used to put their friends and family into sweet deals that never helped the Haitians. Hillary used her position as SOS for many nefarious things along with her chief of staff Cheryl Mills who was also her lawyer and was involved in the Clinton's foundation. What they did to Haiti should have landed them in prison and the money in their foundation given to the people. Oh yeah. One of Hillary's friends got caught trying to steal 33 kids from Haiti who she said were orphans. Surprise! Many of them were not. Hillary came to her rescue and I have no idea what happened after that. Just where were those kids going?

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16 users have voted.

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

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@snoopydawg

of the late Twentieth Century.

Looking back now, the photographer should have won a Pulitzer.

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14 users have voted.

Peace Sells

snoopydawg's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

Is that little George looking in the window? "Hey daddy why is Bill sitting in my seat?"

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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

Centaurea's picture

@snoopydawg

George Bush the Younger has referred to Bill Clinton as his "brother from another mother".

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10 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

@snoopydawg Stephens and the Saudi money intertwine through both, and avoiding the Boland Amendment made some strange but lasting bipartisan configurations. Mena Airport and the Rose Law Firm were nodes in a web that went back to CIA Director Bush and Prince Turki's 1976 Safari Club deal that set up BCCI -- and its narco-terrorism subsidiaries -- as the funding vehicle of a privatized international intelligence partnership set up to evade Congressional oversight of the CIA.

The contemporaneous collapse of the Savings & Loans created bank looting and distress real estate buying opportunities across the American oil patch and mid-west. The narco-spook banking complex, which ran the crack cocaine trade (as the late Jim Webb catalogued), was an irresistable draw to billions of petrodollars looking to cash into the U.S. banking system through predatory middlemen like Jim Baker and the Bush family. All this was very bipartisan. Democratic fixtures like Clark Clifford, Jim Wright, and the Keating Five made themselves eager accessories to the deal.

This was several mega-scandals ago, but it remains a cornerstone of the wall of corruption that that is American politics and finance.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@leveymg

in the S&L debacle but did know about Mena and the Clintons. Did just the low level crooks go to prison during that? This explains why no person who has been in the game for so long are never charged with anything.

Today a judge in the first Epstein case denied people being able to go after the person's involved with it. More details coming.

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3 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 partners, scooping up a number of big and small banks in the process of cornering the oil patch during the 1980s. It's all laid out in this thread, (when DU was good): https://www.democraticunderground.com/1002941658

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0 users have voted.
polkageist's picture

Your post is an excellent summary of the main political positions in the U.S. I just hope that more people will understand the definitions and the people the definitions fit. If we don"t get it right pretty soon we will get fascism and climate catastrophe. If so, we will have worked hard to deserve it.

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14 users have voted.

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

This is getting wilder and wilder. Seems Obama folk are really seething at Warren now.

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Wally

One tweet has a graphic in it that says when Bernie went to bat for Liz Obama picked up a glass and said that's the problem with you progressives. You see this glass as half empty.

Sure wish Bernie had followed through and primaried Obama.

ETA that I'm blocked from seeing this tweet. I must have been too honest in my criticism of Warren. Guess that's like being hr'd on ToP...

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14 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
Opposing Obama would have caused way over 50% of black Democrats to never vote for him because he was "the man who tried to stop the first black President".
Obama has the untouchable status of George Washington.

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4 users have voted.

Sanders-Gabbard 2020 !

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Wally

all one big, happy, united family. Or, you know, not.

I take it Liz won't be claiming to want to 'fulfill the legacy of Barack Obama' any time soon?

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14 users have voted.

Peace Sells

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

given that Warren, for all her Obama-like attempts at folksy connection to the masses, is actually the Clinton-backed candidate, maybe not so weird after all. There is a (for the most part) non-policy-based power struggle going on between those two factions.

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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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wally

but I've learned to be very careful when Obama and his people start using the word "sanctimonious."

That's a favorite word of the MIC, particularly the spooks. Turns up a lot. For Obama, it turned up here:

even before I came into office I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we did some things that were wrong. We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.I understand why it happened. I think it's important when we look back to recall how afraid people were after the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon had been hit and the plane in Pennsylvania had fallen, and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent, and there was enormous pressure on our law enforcement and our national security teams to try to deal with this. And it's important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.But having said all that, we did some things that were wrong.

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5 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

snoopydawg's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

When he said that I was just flabbergasted! Yeah we tortured some folks... then we bombed some more folks and even used depleted uranium on some folks as well as white phosphorous and then to top it all off we screwed some folks and bailed out some folks.. and then we gave some folks crappy health insurance and then we prosecuted some folks for blowing the whistle after I promised to protect some folks and then we deported 3 million folks as well as children to send parenty folks a message and then we overthrew some folks and gave some more folks a dictator and then we bombed even more folks...and now some folks think i was the best president in their lifetime and now some folks are paying me lots of money because I stood in front of some folks..

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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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@snoopydawg

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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

k9disc's picture

globalist?

I really do like the three teams, though. I think you're on with that, for sure, but what are they playing at?

How do we operate in this tri-polar political format? Can it be a caucus thing?

Can't wait to see what you've got coming...

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14 users have voted.

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

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

That out of the way, I do want to address this:

"Progressives avoid Identity Politics, which they view as divisive and counterproductive."

This SHOULD read as:

'Progressives recognize "Identity Politics" for what it is, a genuinely Orwellian repackaging of precisely the right-wing nationalist ideology that is (now finally) called out for what it is when Republicans do it, a kind of petulant, cliocidal, scorched-earth retaliation for the genuine paradigm-shift threatened by Occupy Wall Street.'

I dunno. Why do I feel like I'm actually in some 4th-or-5th circle...?

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13 users have voted.

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

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

Reactionaries embrace Identity Politics as a way to distract pubic attention

Funny thing is the original works too, especially after Epstein.

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10 users have voted.

Peace Sells

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat @The Liberal Moonbat @The Liberal Moonbat

Why do I feel like I'm actually in some 4th-or-5th circle...

in Circle 8:

Bolgia 5 – Barrators: Corrupt politicians, who made money by trafficking in public offices (the political analogue of the simoniacs), are immersed in a lake of boiling pitch, which represents the sticky fingers and dark secrets of their corrupt deals.[81] They are guarded by demons called the Malebranche ("Evil Claws"), who tear them to pieces with claws and grappling hooks if they catch them above the surface of the pitch.

Always thought Bolgia 5 would make a great name for a punk band.

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10 users have voted.

Peace Sells

thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

I dunno. Why do I feel like I'm actually in some 4th-or-5th circle...?

Naw, we c99ers are outsiders looking in. Like Timothy Leary.....

Biggrin

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8 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

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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

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal ...but what's your avatar/screenname about?

The best I can think of when I hear "Macedonian signal" is the historical legacy of Alexander the Great. Not much else has ever come out of there, and the Greeks, according to my old (Ukraine-SSR-born, career Eastern Europe expert) history professor, continue to regard Macedonians as "a bunch of ignorant country bumpkins."

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2 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

was that Macedonian hackers had messed up Hillary Clinton's day and wrecked her election chances.

It didn't last long, and few remember it, but at the time, it exasperated me enough that I became Can't Stop the Macedonian Signal. Just to call attention to the idiocy of the claim.

As my Polish massage therapist said: "Macedonians? How many are there, twelve?"

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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

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Is that YOU in the flesh, or...?

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0 users have voted.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

From the movie Serenity.

"There is no news. There is the truth of the signal. What I see. And there's the puppet theater that the Parliament jesters foist on a somnambulant public."

"They can't stop the signal, Mal."

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0 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

Pluto's Republic's picture

...and keep winning re-elections with deep pockets — I think the pro-Israel-Foreign-Policy-Action Democrats deserve a shoutout. They follow a special ideology that affects what is possible domestically.

I didn't compile the names, but these updated charts do:

See How Much AIPAC Spent on Perks and Trips for Your Representative

PRO-ISRAEL PAC CONTRIBUTIONS TO 2018 CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES
and
CAREER CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
and
THE OVERALL TOP TEN RECIPIENTS

And, then there are the enormous private contributions from operatives like Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer.

NEW POLL: “Visit your district, not Israel” 65.7 percent of Americans tell Congress

It matters.

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12 users have voted.

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

@Pluto's Republic but I'm sure her cut of the Awan action is much more impressive. Terabytes to Pakistan.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Apparently one DP group chose Warren over Bernie, but I don't know exactly what happened yet. The working party I think endorsed Liz.

But for Liz to say that Joe Manchin works hard for his people is a blatant lie. He votes with republicans most every time and they don't pass legislation that helps any of us. And he voted for Kavanaugh for gawd's sake! Kavanaugh will vote to screw us on many things! Well done Liz! This should show everyone who she is!

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5 users have voted.

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