Liberal Politicians hide in moneyed bunkers and move phantom armies

Like Hitler in the last days under Berlin, neoliberal/neocon Democrats have completely lost touch with reality. They are convinced that one more try with Russiagate (or now Khasshogi-gate) will bring victory over the hated Trump. They fantasize that "we're not Trump" is going to raise a voter army from people who were screwed over by Obama, demonized by Hillary, and shut out by the Democratic Party insiders. In short, it is quite clear to anyone with a brain that the so-called party of the people is merely a bunch of inside-the-beltway grifters trying to sell their non-existent voting base to TPTB for next month's rent.

We here at c99p have long known that. However, as the 2018 midterms are upon us, it is worth asking what progressives (a placeholder word for those of us who are really leftish) can expect when the election reveals that the corpo-Dems have shot their bolt. The best the Dems can hope for is some marginal control of the House, which will be instantly undermined for all but ideological/kabuki purposes by the sellout DINOs and newly minted CIA-Dems.

To be realistic, we can expect more environmental and regulatory rollbacks, more climate change denial, more corporate looting, more tax cuts, more warmongering, more military spending, more neo-McCarthyism, more corporate censorship, more voter suppression, more racism.

At some point, then, one must ask oneself how much more of one's limited lifespan (many of us at c99p are older) one is going to throw into the lost cause of the Democratic Party, or of formal democracy (as opposed to street demonstrations - or something new, like one day job actions, that actually works) in a completely corporatized, neoliberal-ized, and militarized America.

Why do I say "lost cause"? Because all I read anymore are one defeat after another for common sense, decency, fairness, cooperation, and compassion. Today alone, I read about Apple's lawsuits against the right to repair, and about private equity looting and bankrupting grocery store chains . In the past weeks, I have read about the real "fake news" - the deep sociological propaganda that is twisting our collective awareness: fake Enlightenment by the lying, neoliberal sophist, Stephen Pinker, Bank of Sweden (fake Nobel) Prizes that praise fake environmental activism while ignoring genuine environmental economists.

I won't bother to recite any dismal anecdotes about our out of control military spending, which is supported by both parties - some recent bill to expand the military was approved by 93-7 in the Senate. Thanks, so-called peace loving Dems.

But, it is the rapidly growing censorship that makes me completely lose heart. Its hard enough to get most overworked, over-stressed people to acknowledge that a non-mainstream news source might be telling the truth, and not be simply dismissed as CT. Apparently, that's been happening too much lately for TPTB, so they have taken the "fake news" tactic to its logical conclusion and started censoring anyone who bucks the mainstream propaganda line, whether they be right or left. When censorship kicks in, countries start to look like Soviet Russia or East Germany or "social credit" China (thanks for helping with that, Google). Neocon Democrats are completely on-board with censorship: Leading US House Democrat demands that Ecuador’s president “hand over” Julian Assange Under censorship, there are severe consequences to even the most private and casual of "free speech" utterances. Censorship is the end of democracy. Politics goes on, but it is the politics of the bazaar - making deals, peddling influence.

My heart says this censorship must be fought or its all over. My brain says it is already all over; thinking that it is not over is bunker thinking. The only people fighting censorship are Trump's people, and they are doing it, as usual these days, for all the wrong reasons. The so-called left are the one's pushing censorship, pushing the divisive, identity politics-driven, public bad behavior. Neither side is trying to save the Bill of Rights, they're just using it as a club to beat the other side with.

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At least until the election, I can just barely continue to believe their might be a way out of this dead end for democracy. After that, I think I will just stop writing about politics and start making personal plans for the collapse of middle class America that is already baked in to our delusional stock and real estate markets, our zero-interest savings accounts, our sadistic student loan laws, the endless looting by Wall Street, the bullseye drawn on Social Security and Medicare, and the trade and Cold Wars that Trump has started. Its quite clear that TPTB have written off the US. They treat us like some third world country (which we have become) to be stripped of its resources (fracking, mountaintop mining, offshore drilling everywhere, private equity looters). Once they get their hands on Social Security, which they will in the next Congress (because President Hopey-Changey was all for "reforming" it, and so are all the other frauds in the Democratic Party), they will cash out what is left of America's financial resources and let the whole rotten edifice of democracy fall down from starvation and abuse.

I used to believe that America was salvageable from the neoliberals and neocons. But that hope died in 2008, when John Stewart took an offer he couldn't refuse and we got the Empty Suit as fake liberal president. At that point, leftwing online commentary was redirected, hijacked, smothered. Letting the banks off scot free was excused. We all saw that as we were kicked out of Democratic Underground and GOS.

I like c99p. I like the atmosphere. But I'm not an activist, so its really nothing more than a corner bar for folks like me - a place to unburden oneself of the cares of the day in the company of like minded people. I might still drop in for a pint every now and again, but I just can't face hearing the non-stop flood of bad news, unredeemed by any concerted pushback.

The US has no Jeremy Corbyn, who is about the only decent person with any power left in Anglo Saxon politics. It has no Labor Party to represent the 99%, just two bought and paid for duopoly parties. America has reverted to the violent, racist shithole that we were in the 1950s; only now we are poor, struggling, jobless, indebted racists (with way more guns) instead of "on top of the world" racists. And all the MAGA bullshit in the world can't hide that fact.

Sorry to be so negative. But I just don't see anything positive happening, and they will soon be storming the bunker of Social Security, which gives me the wherewithall to think and write as I do. So, pardon me if, post-election, I spend more time looking out for my own ass than fighting in the good cause. I think the good cause is lost. YMMV.

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Bollox Ref's picture

any day now. And if it doesn't, I'll just invent a 5th Panzer Army.

(Should note that it's Corbyn)

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref

The Biggest Political Delusion Of All Is In The U.S. Electoral Politics Itself
by Paul Street
Writer, Dandelion Salad
The Official Website of Paul Street
October 22, 2018

The United States is full of personally decent and caring, often highly intelligent people mired in political ignorance and delusion.

A smart and liberally inclined family doctor I know recently expressed concern over her high-income husband’s support for the malignant narcissist and pathological liar currently occupying the White House. “I can understand him being a Republican,” the doctor says, “but I just don’t get him backing Donald Trump.”

The problem here—what the doctor doesn’t get—is that Trump’s malicious persona and politics are darkly consistent with the white-supremacist and arch-reactionary heart and dog-whistling racism of the Republican Party going back five decades. It was just a matter of time until something like Trump happened: a Republican candidate who really meant the racism. Along the way, the Republican Party has become what Noam Chomsky credibly calls “the most dangerous organization in human history” because of its total disregard for livable ecology and its dedication to destruction and dismantlement of any institutions in place to address global warming. The Greenhouse Gassing to Death of Life on Earth is a crime that promises to make even the Nazi Party look like a small-time crime syndicate.

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

arendt's picture

@dkmich
From the article you snipped:

Any leftie who still thinks Bernie is anything but a sheepdog at this point is delusional.

I believe this JPEG is in reference to his F-35 support, his cheerleading for Russiagate, and his latest Tweet:

“Yesterday was a good day for Putin and the oligarchs in Russia. But it was a bad day for people in the United States and all over the world who believe in democracy and who are trying to understand what world our idiot president lives in.”

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@arendt

There's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I think we can rule this article out for nothing but the truth.

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

arendt's picture

@Bollox Ref

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arendt's picture

I think of Jacobin as a sheepdog site for folks who haven't woken up to the fact that any left wing site that is tolerated and not denounced is somehow complicit with TPTB. Still, they have published stuff on how reactionary our Constitution is, how it favors the power of the elites. The snip below comes from an article that denounces the SCOTUS as always having been in the pockets of the rich (e.g., Dred Scott, Jim Crow, Lochner Court, and now the Federalist Society Court).

On the afternoon of October 5, at 2 PM central, Maine senator Susan Collins began delivering a speech on the Senate floor where she announced her support for Brett Kavanaugh, assuring his confirmation. Fifteen minutes earlier, a Chicago jury had convicted police officer Jason Van Dyke of second-degree murder and sixteen counts of aggravated battery, one for each bullet he fired into Laquan McDonald.

The Van Dyke trial was the result of years of organizing, of moving thousands of Chicagoans into struggle against the Chicago Police Department, the state’s attorney, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel — agents of capitalism if ever there were any. The people of Chicago, particularly a black community that the city’s elites were used to suppressing and ignoring, forced the city to indict a police officer for murder, a first. And a movement that had made getting rid of the police superintendent, the state’s attorney, and the mayor who oversaw the coverup of McDonald’s murder as one of its key goals is likely to be three for three by May.

Compare that to the resistance to Kavanaugh. Although the experiences of hundreds of brave activists who took arrests and occupied senators’ offices may well push them left and lead them to work toward building mass power, the campaign to challenge Kavanaugh itself, relied on appealing to and shaming senators in hopes of getting them to look to their heart and do the right thing. It fell flat.

As I marched with two hundred Chicagoans that Friday afternoon — as we forced a police cordon to back down, allowing us to shut down Michigan Avenue, celebrating this victory and continuing to press for further changes to a system that had long seemed immovable — I knew which vision of change, which strategy for moving a seemingly intransigent source of oppression, gave me more hope.

- Will Bloom, The Oligarchic Courts

The kind of organizing referred to here is the only thing standing in the way of a complete police state - they took on the Chicago PD and won a small, but important victory.

Now if only someone could figure out how to organize to oppose internet censorship. The problem is, any online organizing can instantly be censored.

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@arendt @arendt I agree with most of what you've said here and elsewhere on this site.
And, as a friend of both working-class folks *and* working-dogs, I have no idea what you mean by "sheepdog".
Your definition is apparently different than mine. And different even than the urban dictionary. None of their definitions seem to fit in the context you mean. Maybe it would help to find another metaphor?
Otherwise, carry on.

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arendt's picture

@peachcreek

Here's my definition. A political sheepdog is a candidate who supposedly espouses your positions, supposedly is fighting for you. But, when push comes to shove, they either fold, compromise, or completely sell out. Getting you to waste your energy on their candidacy is mission accomplished. They have "sheepdogged" you exactly where TPTB want you to be - supporting either a loser or a sellout. Cases in point: Howard Dean (loser), Barack Obama (fraud, sellout), Bernie Sanders (folded a winning hand, then sold out).

Clearly TPTB don't want people casually picking up this terminology. Eventually, using DuckDuckGo, I turned up this site, which still manages to be flannel-mouthed about it:

Our political system operates and thrives through subterfuge, the status quo remains fixed because the few who wield tremendous influence figured out that the best way to retain power is by rotating personalities. Every election cycle, we are fed the illusion of change even though the underlying policies never change.

This system of diversion and distraction works brilliantly in large part because it employs a large ensemble of dissembling pundits and politicians who have perfected the art of insincerity. On all sides of the political divide, you can find these two-faced charlatans pretending to be about the little guy when all along they are getting paid by the same purveyors of injustice they rage against.

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k9disc's picture

or something like that, aren't they?

They gobble up the votes and deliver the sovereignty of the citizen to the corporation. Votes to stakeholders or something... can't quite put my finger on it, either.

The NPC meme just hit my YT stream (careful what you watch on YT - might want to be a private window to open it...)

I think this is quite powerful, all the way around. It's gonna stick.

I also shared my wikipedia experience a few moments ago in another thread. Here you go:
Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 11.00.29 AM.png

This is the "Truth™ that Google sends you to when watching an RT Video, TeleSur, or Jimmy Dore video.

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

arendt's picture

@k9disc

But, thanks for making me aware of the whole NPC meme. Another trivial battle in the pointless, endless insult-fest to which politics has devolved.

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k9disc's picture

I think it is actual politics. The media and the people who parrot and ape the media are scary. And they do act and think like NPCs.

Daily Kos is filled with NPC types.

@arendt

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

arendt's picture

@k9disc

IMHO, the fake left (identity politics, Russiagate, antifa) has run a very successful "bustout" on the party formerly known as Democratic. They have trashed the legacy of the New Deal, the Great Society, and the color-blind Civil Rights Movement. When people hear DP now, they think of Hillary, Rahm Emmanuel, and all the other neolib/neocon assholes. The Democratic Party's reputation is mud among most thinking Americans, left or right. Mission accomplished.

So, I despise both the fake left and the Trumpers.

NPC is a perfectly acceptable epithet. I don't feel insulted by it, since I'm not a fake leftie. I'm a real leftie. My problem is that the label perpetuates "tribalism", a litmus test, a symbol. It keeps the ultra-partisanship pot at full boil. It allow the right and the fake left to scream at each other, and neither side has to acknowledge the existence of the real left at all. It sucks all the oxygen out of the debate about austerity, about corporatism.

That's why I see the whole thing as a deliberately-staged insult-fest.

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You've expressed my present thinking better than I could have.

Just don't try to go it alone. People need at least a few other people.

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