So, what have we learned?

It's a good question. It's usually asked of children. I am not trying to suggest any such mentality among my readers, but rather am trying to break down the most recent political events in a manner that simplifies the garbage spewed by the MSM into easily digestible and contemplated facts.

Fact one: The Democrats won an election with less than 25% of the eligible voters actually voting. That's PATHETIC as far as turn-out goes. My takeaway is that the vast majority of Americans honestly didn't give a fuck which corporate tool is running things.

Fact two: No policy changes are expected or proposed at this time. A lot of rhetoric is being spewed by the MSM about how the Democrats Morale is at an all time high, etc... but the fact remains that this type of high lasts until the first votes by the new Blue Dogs. Then it will of course be a matter of the other guys being worse, working with the other side, and aren't we morally superior?

Fact Three: Democrats are using this victory to redouble their attacks on the left. Of course, tweets are a horrible metric to base a policy on, but since the MSM has decided that memes are now newsworthy, I figure they count. Democrats are bashing "Berniebros" relentlessly for not having proper faith in the party, and demanding, as always that we must fall into line and accept that we have no power. Standard bullshit, etc.

What sticks in my mind is how victories in two states that went for Clinton in the last election, with minuscule turnout, somehow translates to the entire country. I remember once, about 25 years ago, wondering why the hell my show in Idaho was being pre-empted to talk about an election in New York. And then I realized, that it's a different world in the media. They only care about the people they deal with on a regular basis.

Corporate lackeys with steady paychecks are going to cheer for corporate lackeys with steady paychecks. Until the PTB start allowing working class folks the same kind of platform as the privileged "Oppressed" we will never get a change in policy. We will instead get a further disconnect from the reality that our rights continue to be eroded, our wars continue to be fought, and our people continue to sleep on the streets. All while the politicians lunch and solicit paychecks from the desperate.

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28 users have voted.

Comments

detroitmechworks's picture

Of people to be blocked by Centrists.

I'm always surprised to find that. I thought it was a big deal to be blocked by Salman Rushdie, but I scored the BIG prize...

I've been Blocked by Hillary Clinton, and I've never even interacted with her.

I think that my Public statements on C99 are officially being noticed. So with that in mind:

To the Democrat Handler Reading this:

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16 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

zoebear's picture

@detroitmechworks

What do you mean you've been "blocked" by Hillary Clinton? Blocked from what?

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7 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@zoebear On Twitter.

Which is honestly an honor. Smile

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8 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

zoebear's picture

@detroitmechworks

Blocked you from viewing HRC tweets because you posted here?

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6 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@zoebear I'm not worried about it. I happily pushed the Block button on her account when I noticed it. I figure the dislike should be mutual.

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10 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

zoebear's picture

@detroitmechworks

HRC's Twitter account block you because you were directly commenting on her tweets?

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4 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@zoebear But I have occasionally noticed very high profile accounts block me for no reason. Considering I only have about 500 or so followers, I just assume that I'm on a list somewhere, because there are people who set up lists of people to block.

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10 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

zoebear's picture

@detroitmechworks

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7 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@zoebear
of Twitter. It's more an honor (of sorts), really.

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5 users have voted.

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

@detroitmechworks YAY for us! I think that's just awesome personally. LOL, as if blocking someone just shuts down all conversation - I guess in sixth grader mentality it does.

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9 users have voted.
Hillbilly Dem's picture

@detroitmechworks

I'm old enough to remember when being on President Nixon's infamous Enemies List was one of the highest honors that one could attain. If you figure out a way to be on both Trump's Enemies List and Hillary's Enemies List, promise that you'll tell us how you did it. They are both loathsome and abhorrent.

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15 users have voted.

"Just call me Hillbilly Dem(exit)."
-H/T to Wavey Davey

Wink's picture

@detroitmechworks
I consider being blocked by anyone a victory. But Hillary? That's gold.

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7 users have voted.

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

thanatokephaloides's picture

@detroitmechworks

And I found out today I'm apparently on a list... Of people to be blocked by Centrists.

How did you discover that, DMW?

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3 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

detroitmechworks's picture

@thanatokephaloides Just noticing a trend among people who have blocked my account. They tend to be centrist politicians, and twitter actually has features which allow group blocking of accounts, people who have liked accounts on the list, etc. They've had them for over 2 years.

https://blog.twitter.com/official/en_us/a/2015/sharing-block-lists-to-he...

So, yeah, no idea if I'm actually on Hillary's enemies list, or where that particular list resides. But I'm 99% certain that she or her social media managers use all the tools at their disposal.

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7 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

@detroitmechworks Centrists.....1/2 republican, 1/2 democrat? kinda like the Borg?

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2 users have voted.

@detroitmechworks

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3 users have voted.

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

@detroitmechworks
It's unseemly.

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3 users have voted.

@detroitmechworks

Wow! Congrats! And the song is perfect and I do hope the point of that is felt by the pricks.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

less than 25% turnout, So many people with no reason to show up.

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12 users have voted.
Wink's picture

@Snode
an Off Year. Some places didn't have enough ballots. My rinky dink precinct was Shocked by the turnout. And, Never watch him, but even Joe don't-bother-me-I'm-collecting-a-paycheck-here Scarborough gave credit where credit was due, expects 2017 to be indicative of what happens next year: yuuuuge turnout, more Dems elected.

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7 users have voted.

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

@Wink Awesome! That's good news.

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2 users have voted.

@Snode

Only if that got Progs in and weren't supporting and 'justifying' Corporate Dems!

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

edg's picture

Ed Gillespie, the GOP candidate, is a tired old establishment retread who wasn't even born in Virginia. He ran against native son Ralph Northam, the incumbent Lt. Governor of Virginia. Nobody should be surprised that Gillespie lost.

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9 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@edg Does not surprise me though.

Considering they're screaming about how Trump "Threw him under the bus" as an attempt to get more Rethugs to abandon him...

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4 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

@edg
Now explain why a Republican veteran legislator of many years who introduced Virginia's version of the bathroom bill lost to a transgender Democrat.

Off year elections always have low turnouts. This year the Democrats were higher than usual and Republicans lower. If turnout had been average the governor's race would have been razor thin.

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

What sticks in my mind is how victories in two states that went for Clinton in the last election, with minuscule turnout, somehow translates to the entire country. I remember once, about 25 years ago, wondering why the hell my show in Idaho was being pre-empted to talk about an election in New York. And then I realized, that it's a different world in the media. They only care about the people they deal with on a regular basis.

I believe gjohnsit cited a poll which showed that, despite all the legitimately horrible things about Trump AND the insane media circus keeping the Ain't Trump Awful going at full blast 24/7, if the election were held again today, Hillary and Trump would be neck-and-neck at 40% each.

Um.

Democratic morale at an all-time high? Well, OK. I guess if you've lost 1,000 seats over the past few years, winning a couple of elections must look like winning the lotto.

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16 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal and wins a couple hands of penny-ante.

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12 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks "I do about average, maybe win a little bit more than I lose."

Heh.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

zoebear's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

What sticks in my mind is how victories in two states that went for Clinton in the last election, with minuscule turnout, somehow translates to the entire country

They're hoping we don't notice that it doesn't translate to the entire country.

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9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

NPR interviewed Raul Grijalva this morning for the sole purpose, apparently, of reminding him that it was not progressives who won but "centrists".

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12 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@Azazello that only an NPR interviewer can do justice, no doubt.

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9 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Big Al's picture

didn't learn a thing. I already knew that most people here never really abandoned the dem party, they were just waiting for "progress" and inroads against the hated Clinton wing. I already knew that the 2018 election will probably surpass the 2014 election with the lowest voter turnout in history. And I already knew that the media would make people consider everything relative to the duopoly, which is typified by this site.
Which is why I didn't pay any attention to any of it.

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

@Big Al @Big Al Dmw's screed above is basically saying Ain't nothing gonna change because those Democrats won. It's followed by a lot of comments agreeing Yeah, ain't nothing gonna change because those Democrats won.You interpret that as "I already knew that most people here never really abandoned the dem party, they were just waiting for "progress" and inroads against the hated Clinton wing."

Seems like that comment would be more applicable to gjohnsit's diary in which he asks "c99 skeptics" if they can really disbelieve in a progressive insurgency, now that those Democrats have won.

It's fairly clear that some on this site are exactly as you say: people waiting for the Dems to get better. They're mostly Berniecrats or democratic socialists or both. It's equally clear that these people are not in the majority. For every comment about how we're going to rise up and change the Dems, there's at least three comments that want to watch the Democratic Party burn to the ground, and two more that state that we're never going to be able to succeed under this political system.

Most people write about the partisan soap opera either because they're still pissed at the Dems and want to watch them burn, or because there's nothing else going on to write about. We'd have to invent it. That's hard to do.

You persistently characterize people on this site as Democrats waiting to go back to the fold, even though most here left, have not returned, and apparently have no intention of returning. It's like you need to see people here as lameass liberals trying to reform the unreformable, instead of accurately seeing them as political independents with no political vehicle who think things are pretty hopeless.

But I could count on my fingers the people who post here regularly who are waiting for Bernie and the leftiest Dems to fix the Democratic party. I don't want those people to go away; I like some of them. Also, I believe in people being able to say what they think. But they're not the majority. I don't know why you see them as such.

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15 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Big Al's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Are you seeing all the comments saying "we" when referring to the democratic party?

"Nothing else going on to write about". Are you kidding me?

Whatever, it's why I'm not posting, again. If this site wants to go fully partisan because the lead writer is a democrat and most of those commenting and reccing are democrats, it's not my call. One of the mods admitted to me the other day that since the duopoly is the only game in town, "we" have no choice but to play and try to push the dem party to the left.

I wrote an essay about that last night but pulled it because right now I feel like it's useless to try to discuss that, like your comment illustrates.

And as far as the rules, I don't think I'm being a dick unless of course contrary opinions are considered dickish now.

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

@Big Al Gjohnsit is the "lead writer" because he writes the most essays. Aside from the mods and the admin, he puts the most time and energy into the site. So he has influence because he's the one doing the most work, and he writes well. I disagree with him on the issue of whether or not to support Dems, but his analysis otherwise is smart and cogent (that's my opinion). He's a Democrat. So what? He believes the Democrats can be reformed. I (and many others) disagree. So what? It's a website. Different people have different opinions.

As far as your essays go, seems to me they always get a lot of comments and often front-page status, so how the hell is this site "fully partisan?"

Then there's the reason I keep fighting with you about this, which is that your assessment of the situation completely erases all those of us who are not partisans and who would never join the Democratic Party again. There are a lot of us here. We've been shit on by all sides. I don't know why you insist that we don't exist, but I don't like it much. Why do you do it?

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13 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

SnappleBC's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Like you I'm not exactly hopeful of a Democratic reform. But what I'm certain of is that no internal reform will succeed without SUBSTANTIAL external pressure applied. I do, however, acknowledge that Democratic reform is one possibility on the future possibility tree and should that come to pass then I'd be happy to sign up again.

What I'm not going to do is expend my effort trying to make that reform happen. I want to see a new party form. As I've noted many times though, those two goals support each other rather than conflict.

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4 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@SnappleBC When they did this:

nevada_7.jpg

It became never. For me.

Nothing that looks like that can be saved. You'd have to tear the entire structure down, rebuild it, and call it the Democratic party. That's possible, but I'm not sure why we'd bother, given that the label "Democratic party" is not very popular.

https://www.newsmax.com/Politics/cnn-democratic-party-favorability-ameri...

Being outside the Democratic party means a lot of legal obstructions to ballot access for candidates. That's the sole reason I can think of for running under their aegis, and it's not good enough to counter this image and what it implies:

nevada_7.jpg

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al It's also damned weird to be having this fight with you at the same time that people on the other side of this issue tell me I'm not a progressive and I don't care.

I guess when you get attacked by two opposing sides at once that's when it's time to back off and pursue other things. I'll be limiting myself to my OT for a while.

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11 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

detroitmechworks's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Taking a break is both healthy and wise from a mental standpoint, and no judgement upon anyone for what is said today.

Sometimes I think we just need a day where nothing we say counts. Kinda like an airing of grievances... without consequence.

Should be right after election day. Emotion Purge day. Smile

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11 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks I like that idea. Smile

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8 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Big Al's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal but it is damn weird isn't it. I do believe you're in a similar place as me relative to the duopoly and this political system. I didn't mean to generalize and indicate otherwise.
Me too, except for the OT part.

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

@Big Al What it shows, I think, is how hard it is to articulate a non-establishment political position. What's happened since last year is that the political landscape has been carved up in such a way that it's difficult for anyone who doesn't sign on to the duopoly to even express a view. And yes, you and I are in pretty similar relationships to the duopoly. I have a little more hatred of the Hillary camp, perhaps, because my association with the Democratic Party is more recent than yours, and the wounds inflicted during that association are still fresh, so I'm still angry.

I'm glad you weren't attacking me. Sorry I saw it as such.

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11 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Big Al I enjoy reading your posts and I don't post or comment very often but I read here just about every day and man a few for sure but most I'm not seeing it. As far as the low turnout I would think you'd be happy about it as appears it is heading to the total boycott of elections you write about so often. What I'm seeing though as long as there are even a handful of ( 3 or more )voters someone from the duopoly will still claim victory.

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9 users have voted.

@pro left cares at all if we boycott it? That's my biggest heartburn with the idea that we can simply overturn them by not voting. I think they'll just install who they want then, personally. And while I completely agree that they DO need to be overthrown in their entirety, what replaces them? History is full of ugly ways that turns out.

And I am in NO WAY saying I'm waiting around for a Dimocrat to do one damned thing. While it may be good to see some progressives winning, I wonder how long many will hold out when that big money gets waved in their faces. I'm not trying to insult these people at all, but human nature being what it is, they have one hell of a tough road to hoe.

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

@lizzyh7 In addition to the juicy carrots, there's also a whole pile of sticks.

Even assuming we could get good people in, we have no plan for how to support them or protect them when they enter that wretched hive of scum and villainy, and no way to hold them to what they once believed. Any decent ones who get in there are basically isolated once there and surrounded by sharks.

Lefty Dems and lefties who occasionally vote Dem in hopes of accomplishing something don't have a plan for this, usually don't even discuss it. It's all framed as being an exercise in getting people of good moral character and throwing the bums out. That's not a helpful frame, IMO.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@lizzyh7 100%

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

@pro left What I'm seeing though as long as there are even a handful of ( 3 or more )voters someone from the duopoly will still claim victory.

It's all about pushing a story. They will buttress it with whatever scraps of evidence they can, and if they can't find any, they'll invent some.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

thanatokephaloides's picture

@pro left

the total boycott of elections you write about so often. What I'm seeing though as long as there are even a handful of ( 3 or more )voters someone from the duopoly will still claim victory.

And then wield the corresponding power.

This isn't just happening here. It's happening in Catalonia and in several African locales as well. Folks boycott elections, the elections are held anyway, and the winners of those elections take everything anyway.

Thus, if you don't vote, you essentially are voting for who/whatever those who do vote choose. Interesting little fix there, n'est-ce pas?

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8 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

detroitmechworks's picture

@thanatokephaloides After all, power derives from the consent of the governed. When we buy into their shitware, we grant our consent.

When we don't consent, they can't enforce. I see it already with Pot laws. The original legalization laws were very stringent and invasive. What did the people do? They stopped listening when it became obvious that the feds were going to do whatever they wanted regardless of the public opinion. As a result, there are no records kept to help the feds.

Of course, I'm a registered Pirate, so as far as the Dems are concerned, I'm a lost cause anyway.

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9 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

@detroitmechworks
are you ready to try the same strategy with the taxes they say you owe for causes of which you disapprove?

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2 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@FuturePassed Because any time you challenge the PTB openly and loudly as an individual, they jump down your throat with both feet.

Collective action is the only thing that works. However, any details are not a discussion I would ever have online.

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4 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@detroitmechworks Smart guy.

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Wink's picture

@Big Al @Big Al
always will be. That is the framework. We can dream all we want about building a 3rd party or joining the Greens, but at the end of the day it's Blue vs. Red.
As for Bernie, he need not lift another finger to be The One recognized for fucking the DNC in 2016 and striking the match starting this "movement," wherever it ends up. He should be honored for that alone by Dems placing a statue of him in the halls of Congress in my view. Will never happen, but doesn't matter. His Primary fight is duly noted, he doesn't need to do another thing. Is up to those interested to continue what he started. And that effort - to elect more progressives - does continue.
I just hope the living breathing Oligarchy had their Shittin' Pants™ on last night.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlqnjeXREO4
'cuz a lot of 'em must've $h!t their pants.

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1 user has voted.

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

Big Al's picture

@Wink Wink.

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3 users have voted.

@Big Al
I'm interested in changes in policy. I suspect you and I would agree for the most part on policy issues.

If I can get closer to those policies by voting for a Democrat I will. If I can get closer voting for third party or independent I will. If a Democrat is moving policy in what I consider the wrong direction I'll vote for a Republican to give somebody else a shot down the road.

I've spent decades drowning in all the stuff that won't work. I don't have any great ideas either. When you come up with a plan that is more likely to move policies in the direction you prefer, which I suspect I will prefer, PLEASE write an essay. In the meantime it seems to me that you're coming down pretty hard on people who agree with you on policy and are having the same struggle to find something that works politically. Where I come down in the struggle varies day to day and race to race. Sometimes my mind changes hour to hour.

People can play with ideas here and get constructive criticism. They may just want help seeing where something leads. It's a big part of what makes this a special place.

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7 users have voted.
Big Al's picture

@FuturePassed

Nah, this isn't the right place for me. I've tried writing essays and it appears I haven't been able to explain myself well enough. I think this place has become an echo chamber, all democratic party all the time. Same thing as Daily Kos only from a different angle. I'm getting a lot of criticism now for complaining about the move toward the democratic party. Fuck that.

I don't want to play anymore.
Problem is, I've become addicted, like I did with Daily Kos. There, I could do a GBCW and they banned me so I couldn't comment or write anymore, which was good. Here, JtC won't do that so I'm going to have to do it the hard way.

I'm not interested in policy changes, I'm interested in bringing down the criminal class that enslaves us. The democratic party is part and parcel of that criminal class, therefore to me, supporting the party is akin to supporting the criminal class.

That's the way it is. Told you this place ain't for me. Not like it is now. And I was an original member, number 12 I think.

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7 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

@Big Al Because I know that it isn't easy to publicly hold an unpopular opinion, OR what you think is an unpopular opinion. (Sometimes people surprise me, but it is an actual surprise...)

I've taken multiple breaks when things got too crazy for me and I felt that I wasn't being heard or appreciated.

Stay safe no matter what you do, and I do appreciate your voice.

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9 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

Big Al's picture

@detroitmechworks @detroitmechworks
Ya, I know the drill. Been doing this a long time now which is part of the reason I'm cutting to the chase. Part of the problem is that my opinions about the democratic party and supporting it are unpopular here. I'm actually pissing some people off. What is that saying about making people uncomfortable? Forgot.

Be glad to meet you if another beer and pizza is organized in Portland.

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6 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@Big Al

In my view you not only belong here, but your voice is vital.

Not everyone here agrees with the whole "democrats are going to be reformed and save us" idea. But I do not have the time, energy or knowledge to write on the topics you (and Joe, and a few others) post about. Your essays (collectively) are what keeps this place from becoming a dem party echo chamber. Some who push that agenda seem to have endless time on their hands. We need other viewpoints here. Do not let yourself be discouraged or pushed out, please. Your presence here is valuable and valued, probably a lot more than you realize.

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7 users have voted.

@Big Al
I've learned from you and will miss your opinions. I suspect we agree more than you think.

I see very marginal differences between the Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats occasionally throw crumbs. The Democrats extended unemployment insurance. The Republican majority in 2010 eliminated it. Systemically, when Obama failed to prosecute a single banker or even use the threat of prosecution to force down principal on some mortgages, extended unemployment insurance is a very small crumb. (Even Bush prosecuted bankers during the S & L crisis.) That crumb enabled my brother-in-law to keep his (and the bank's) house.

I want larger systemic change too. But I can't forget about people who need those crumbs to live.

You've helped me never to lose sight of the big picture. I think right now you're underestimating your positive impact on this place a great deal, although I now understand the toll it's imposed on you. I hope my comments have never hurt you. I never intended them to.

I wish you well. I will miss you. I hope you decide to come back. You can't burn your bridges to here. It's not allowed.

Peace.

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lotlizard's picture

@Big Al  

Respect the hell out of you

and

Stay safe no matter what you do, and I do appreciate your voice.
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4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Big Al As I've said before, there's a lot of people here who agree with you. Rather than leaving C99, I wish we would just stop spending energy on this particular fight, which will never go anywhere. We have a horrible grim truth and the other side has a much less grim illusion; we have the imperative to invent a new politics or form of action, ground-up, and they have a prepackaged easy set of political methods. Their way is more appealing than ours, for everybody who hasn't been burned to the core by having practiced the methods of the status quo and having it result in multiple betrayals, each worse than the last. We won't convince anyone who wants to continue living in that illusion. All we can do is follow our own moral imperative and act as we can. It's better if we act together rather than alone.

The real issue here isn't how we can convince Democrats to join us, but how we're going to muster the energy and resources to organize ourselves.

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2 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Wink @Wink "Duopoly" doesn't just mean "only two parties." It's a twist on "monopoly."

The problem with a monopoly--or a duopoly, or a cartel, which is what this thing really is, because the two sides work together most of the time--is not that there is only one business, or only one political party. The problem is that the power is concentrated into the hands of a tiny group of people who then control whatever system they inhabit because they have eliminated all alternatives. In a traditional monopoly, the system is the economy; in this case, the system is our political system.

You, and others, think we can overthrow the leaders of one half of this cartel. The plan you have for doing so is getting a bunch of people sympathetic to your views installed at the lowest levels of power in the cartel (because that's what new politicians occupy, unless they manage to become a governor, or President; in any legislature, the newest guys occupy the lowest rung of the ladder.) At that point, if not before, they will become dependent politically, economically, socially, and even psychologically upon the group they have joined.

It's a rare bird that can continue to stand against a group consistently, despite being dependent upon it for their well-being, over a period of years, while enduring all the punishments the group can inflict on any individual who refuses to toe the line. In this case, when such a rare individual does resist the group's pressure to conform, the Party can call in its allies, such as the corporate press, to ravage said individual's reputation and bludgeon them back into the private sector, where, unlike obedient members of the group, they will not drift gently to earth under a golden parachute and land at CNN, some expensive political consulting firm, or Wall St.

None of this will result in a changing of the guard at Cartel Headquarters. You would have to get your people not into positions as new Congressmen, or Senators, or legislators at the state or local levels, but into positions of authority and power within the party. We have, actually, already done this, when Howard Dean took over the DNC. Perez' semi-election, and the purges on the party committees, show that we are not going to be allowed to do it again, but even if we were--what happened last time? First, Terry McAuliffe drained the party's coffers before Dean got there, hoping that would hamstring him. It didn't stop Dean, but it did create a situation where Dean was constantly embroiled in fights with the other leaders (like Pelosi and Rahm Emanuel) who did everything they could to make sure they got available money and he didn't. A great many ConservaDems got elected, taking advantage of Dean's political prowess and small-donor fundraising ability, and many of those ConservaDems, like Jared Polis, called themselves progressives and got away with it. So essentially, the system took Dean's power and used it for themselves, and Dean and his followers got nothing, though we didn't realize that immediately.

Once these "victories" occurred and the Democrats took back Congress in 2006, we were told by the party leadership, which hadn't changed, that "Impeachment was off the table," and there was no upsurge of revolt from the new additions to the party. Probably there wouldn't have been even if they had all been progressives instead of many of them being ConservaDems. Once you get into office, you are the lowest-ranked member of a club upon which your well-being depends, and it's very unlikely you will rebel.

Then we built, under Dean's leadership, a bigger wave in 2008 than we had in 2006, and what happened? Dean's people got purged out of the DNC and he got handed a pink slip. Yes, I know he didn't want to continue at the DNC, but the idea was that he'd be given a position of some power within the new Administration, especially since Barack Obama was one of the first Dean Dozen. Instead, he was sent back into the private sector, and didn't show up again until he was advocating loudly for the Clinton wing last year. He learned his lesson. To quote Madeleine L'Engle, "After today, he'll never desire to deviate again."

So you guys think we should do this again, and your justification for doing so is that we are powerless without the Party. When people like me say that we seem pretty powerless with the Party as well, you say we don't have a plan, as if anybody could have a prepackaged answer to all this in their back pocket. Nobody does. The only thing to do is come together and try to figure out--somewhere that is NOT the Internet--how to find like-minded people, organize them in a resilient political structure, and figure out what moves we CAN make.

That's not nearly as attractive an option as merely running out and knocking on doors for a candidate again, which is easy and simple. All the organizing is already done for you--you have a pre-existing political structure--and no invention of new methods is necessary--knocking on doors, phone banking, leafletting, rallying and getting out the vote are things we all know how to do. Easy peasey. You don't have to worry about keeping your activities secret from the police state either, because the police state is fine with you knocking on doors for a candidate. It even gives you an automatic group membership, albeit at the lowest levels, a team to root for and one to root against.

The only problem is the fact that neither logic nor experience suggests that this method will accomplish anything except the maintenance of an illusion and resources spent on the same people who are treating all of us like shit.

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3 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Wink's picture

@Big Al
down the criminal class that enslaves us. The democratic party is part and parcel of that criminal class... "
I think many here feel the same way, know that the Dem party is every bit as guilty as the Repubs. For many it still is about the 1% vs. the 99%. Nothing has really changed. We get it. But elections are going to come and go whether we participate or not. And while there may not be a dime's worth of diff. between the two parties, it still is enough of a diff. for us to trudge off to the polls. That effort may not be much in the grand scheme of Oligarchy vs. the rest of us or, hell, amount to jack. But it is an action to take until we grab for pitch forks and torches. Which, ultimately is the action we likely must take. I think many know that - including the Oligarchy - just that we're holding off, hoping it doesn't come to that - hoping elections are enough.

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3 users have voted.

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

@Wink ready for us to wield those pitchforks too. That's the part that I have real trouble with - just how are we supposed to overthrow the entire thing without resorting to violence? Non violence is the only credible way, but how in hell to get millions of people out in the streets to do it? And when we do overthrow it, what replaces it? All this talk about just getting rid of the duopoly is in fact what some hard core Libertarians of the Koch stripe are working towards by making government ever more corrupt and inefficient so they can come in and finally, once and for all, corporatize it. While what we have now is shit, what do we think corporate rule will bring?

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Wink's picture

@lizzyh7
Occupy should have been the ignition point, but "they" started too late. Most of us didn't get wind of Occupy until late August, early Sep., when kids were going back to college. Had it started in late April, early May, when kids were breaking from college (and the weather much warmer), it would have had a Much better chance of surviving the cold. No matter.
We're having a difficult time lighting this candle becuz, like Occupy, we're not yet ready. We cling to hope that we can avoid it. But the reality is the Oligarchy - TPTB - want us dead. Not pretend dead. Totally irrevocably dead. So... "just how are we supposed to overthrow the entire thing without resorting to violence?" Good question. "And (if) we do overthrow it, what replaces it?" Another good question. Questions we put off answering becuz we're not ready to light this candle. We're hoping we can avoid it. Kinda like 1772, 1773. Sam Adams and his buds knew it was coming. The only question was when. Very nervous times, but is great watching it unfold. I would hate to be a 20-something though. Whatever which way this goes they're living thru it for another 50, 60 years or more. Fortunately I don't have that many.

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1 user has voted.

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