"Time To Move On."


First, no.

I’m going to be blunt: Democratic Party performance for labor and the middle class has been deplorable. Those of us all upset over the divide in the party need to realize that you created us.

Yes, that divide is a direct consequence of ongoing support for now failed “Third Way” and “New Democrat” neo-liberal economic policy.

Guys, it doesn’t work. I think we all need to admit that now.

Way too many Americans --a majority of Americans now, just can’t “move on.”

Why?

Failed economic policy. People aren’t getting what they need out of government, nor can they find jobs that make sense for their families.

This is a raw mess, and again, it’s time we admit that.

And before you all go and point fingers, I’ll be the first to admit to being complicit. I supported Clinton and Obama type Democrats with vigor! I totally thought incremental change would get there for everyone, and I fought against the naysayers over and over.

...until they were proved right!

It’s time to own that. This isn’t about who is evil, or stupid either. We meant well. I believe that. But about half of us today are wrong.

I am owning it, and I should have listened to my earlier self around the time of the ACA debates. That is when I got the first inkling something was wrong. --that it wasn’t going to work. Wrote, “Coin Operated Democrats” back then.

Know what else I wrote?

I wrote about funding our own politics, challenging the money with our money, and a bunch of other crazy shit! Back then, I could feel something amiss, but couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, and so I fought boldly on. Tons of us did!

Rightfully so too, I might add.

Then came Bernie Sanders. I know, fuck Bernie. Really, I get it. He has thrown a big wrench into the left, and it’s not pretty, but we need this. We need it bad.

We need to understand that progressive legislation, populist legislation, a return to more just economics is going to require we the people step up and fund the kind of politics we need.

I wrote that too, and was called crazy. Back then, I was.

But Bernie just did it.

There is no way I can shake what I saw this year. None. I now understand what it’s going to take to bring the left back into action and do what the left is here to do.

We can’t just “move on”, until we settle this fight! And I’ll tell you right now, I believe in the Democratic Party, but I absolutely do not believe in it’s current, established leadership anymore. Done. And because I want my party to perform again for me, my peers in need, and everyone like it once did, I am completely rejecting the old model.

It’s time for something new. It’s time we pool our money, unify as people and take ownership of our government and party back. It’s time for our money to compete with the big money and it’s time we secure real power and leverage for progressives and the left in general too.

Down with the old, in with the new!

Bernie is right. It’s time to reform the Democratic Party. It won’t be pretty, but if we do it now, and we do it together, the result will be something all of us can be proud of and benefit from.

A whole lot has been said, but these things stick in my mind from this election season:

The time to be talking about this stuff is right now. Bernie currently enjoys very significant support that likely exceeds the entire Democratic Party base, and is on par with the support President Trump has. (Hopefully, not for long.)

There really is no excuse to continue on with the current Democratic Party establishment leadership, given the seriously poor overall party performance we have seen to date.

Again, it’s just not working for enough people. Well intended, and all that, but not effective enough. Incremental change, moves to the right, endless compromises are leaving ever larger numbers of Americans out of prosperity shared by ever smaller numbers of Americans.

Some don’t like the idea of Bernie Sanders having a say in how the party is shaped. That’s fine, but let’s take a very coarse look at what that really means:

www.gallup.com/...

TIME GOP IND DEM
2016 Oct 5-9 27 36 32
2016 Sep 14-18 27 40 32
2016 Sep 7-11 29 38 31
2016 Aug 3-7 27 38 31
2016 July 13-17 28 42 28

Now, think about who is behind Bernie, generally. Among Dems, he won 22 States and got 45 percent of the delegates! Given what we've seen, that's half the party, flat out.

Among independents who could vote, he had 80 percent, so let's just call that 60 percent of Independents overall.

There were some Republicans too, 10 percent tops.

Do the math

DEM (28 * 50%) = 14, IND(42 * 60%)=25.2, REP(28 * 10%)=2.8

total = 42%

And that support trends YOUNG. Bernie lit up the future of the nation, filled stadiums and is currently doing it again on his book tour. Anyone seriously questioning who the rightful and best overall leader of the Democratic Party just shouldn't.

The Struggle Continues

Have you guys really looked at Bernie's subtle messaging? Bernie never, ever, puts a fail mode out there. There is always a primary thrust, but no matter what, there is always a build or contingency for the future too.

Why?

Simple! As long as America is in pain, as long as the middle class continues to shrink, as long as wages are flat, and as long as over half of us live in poverty despite living in the wealthiest nation in the world, there are simply no excuses!

Bernie ran a campaign for POTUS in order to kick off a movement. Now it’s time to reform the Democratic party and build that movement up to win elections needed to not only blunt the worst of what President Trump may do, but prepare the party, and independents, who support the great ideas the left has, to come back and win the Presidency in 4 years.

Nobody will do this for us either. If any of you expect seriously great change while depending on the same money, the same leadership and the same ideas that got us here, think again. It’s not gonna happen.


Never forget that.

We've all seen how "the money" corrupts things in that all the incentives are in the wrong places which results in policy not well aligned with the majority of Americans. We've also seen how "our money" can easily compete on a national level and how that empowers us to get involved in the political process.

Millions of Americans involved in the process means taking government back!

In particular, we must become government with the goal of securing real power and leverage to put behind our ideas improve Congress and hold President Trump accountable for that brighter future he was elected on.

Given his cabinet, we have a raw, bloody fight on our hands, and how many of you hold any confidence at all in our current party leadership?

Me? None really.

Revolution will cost us $27 per month. A while back, Bernie outlined a vision with three organizations in it:

Central Funding Organization

The primary purpose of this organization is to present one primary face to the movement for the purpose of collecting recurring donations needed to grow our movement, fund great candidates and win elections! This organization will publish funding goals, metrics, allocate funds to the other organizations and candidates as needed, and be a central place to see results and help winners take it to the people who elected them and secure longer term, sustainable funding of their own.

This is our money, and it's purpose is to enable us to compete with "the money", currently working against us, leaving ordinary people out in the cold, shut out of the process with perfectly understandable and unacceptable results!

Until such time as we have undone the damage caused by Citizens United, it is necessary for we the people to pool our money, time, energy and votes to insure our government actually does work for us, not over exploit us, or ignore us.

We raised nearly a quarter billion dollars for Bernie. Runs for Congress range from $100K to some millions of dollars, depending on where and who the challengers are. Do the math, and it's obvious we can run a few hundred people and given the broad support we have, win a lot of those races. We have more time, if we get this kicked off right now.

That is what this organization will help us do, and it needs to be the right kind of legal entity to make these things happen.

Strategic / Knowledge Organization

First and foremost, this organization collects all data we have from this election season, from the primaries, various Berniecrat campaigns and any interested others, such as delegates, phone bankers, volunteers and advocates willing to share what they know.

It will take this information, perform analysis and formulate election strategies today, well in advance of any future elections and distribute that knowledge among movement candidates. Little things like:

  • Deadlines in various states and elections
  • Early voting, absentee / mail in
  • Problem areas, short on machine, known troubles
  • Prep legal arguments, pleadings, have it all ready to go in advance
  • Recount rules, challenges, deadlines, costs

Think, fewer rookie mistakes + smart strategies known in advance of elections + accurate, reliable data = more wins!

This organization should also be responsible for creating necessary infrastructure, such as phone banking tools, voter list management, competitive analysis on likely targets, and anything else deemed necessary to empower our movement nationally as well as locally:

  • Voter List Software
  • Campaign / activism tools
  • Competitive Arguments by region, issue
  • Tools for smaller / regional / county groups to use
  • Specifics on targeted races!
  • Demographics, and a ton more I can't list right now

As elections and campaigns run, that data is added to the repository such that future elections always run with the best data and strategy available all the way down to local dog catcher type campaigns.

Most importantly, there is no way we will just blow our money on consultants, ADS, and the like. That stuff will be needed, but this investment is about not only reforming the Democratic Party, but literally prying it out from under big money, proprietary software, and handing it to the people, for the people, run by the people for the longer term!

Here is the beauty of it: Should we do this, and do it right, we will also build up a huge amount of issue / activism type power and leverage! All of the great advocacy we know how to do will get multiplied by having people in Congress working for us.

Think: Not buying a campaign that wins or loses. We are funding the politics we want, the better future we want, and the means to get there, step by step. Our kids will benefit from these investments!

Media / Production Organization

This organization will produce great Bernie Style political ads, featuring positive, compelling messaging and it's charter will be to empower anyone willing to run on people money to do so with well produced, clear, compelling media production at their disposal.

Think: Campaign in a box!

Positive Politics is distinctive and having an organization capable of consistent and compelling production will serve to unify our movement and make our campaigns, ideas, people well differentiated and successful.

This frees our people to get out there to work the crowds, shake hands, visit homes, hold town halls, and any other thing they believe will help build support for and advance our ideas.

Campaigns can also submit local issues for production, and or get their own staff trained up to do it better, faster, more live, more local, more relevant! This allows for their region / district as well as their need to position themselves personally as needed.

This org will work closely with the strategic organization to insure messaging is on target and available as soon as any campaign requires it. Our ideas are clear, well understood, and a lot can be produced and ready to roll into the action when it's election time. However, some of it may be used to build name recognition well in advance of any election, targeting bad votes, or statements made by the targets to be replaced too.

Advance activities such as strategic media buys and allocations, production of collateral, banners and many other things the movement campaigns will need can be allocated, reserved, or bulk purchased to maximize impact, and or leave options open where needed.

New Leadership Is Needed, This Is How We Get It

I'm done guys. What I saw this year, I can't shake. To us, Bernie, and millions of Americans today, the corruption is unacceptable, and we need to fight it face on, or we may never get the opportunity to do so.

Why?

You bet your ass they saw it too, and I'll bet they are worried sick at just what the progressive left, and like minded friends of the ideas, are looking to do.

Just think what we are capable of if we start pooling our money now and put it into a plan like this!

We must become government.
New blood is needed. That means some of us, and perhaps some people out there who really can step away from "the big money" and join us. Some will do that, and the better our plan is, the more effective they believe it will be, the more likely we are to capture them.

If we do not do this, I expect we will end up with the same career politicians, all shuffling problems around, all still plugged into their lobbyists, "the money" and the most we are likely to get is lip service to ideas long past due for legislation.

After what I saw this year, no way. We can, need, should, want to do better!

Our money can insure our people we elect are empowered to work for us, and are free from working call center duty too.

Right now, Democrats spend nearly HALF their time in a grubby little room, with a handler who basically forces them to make phone calls to wealthy people, dialing for dollars. That handler has a spreadsheet showing how much they have to raise for the party machine, how much they need to get reelected, and how much might be needed otherwise.

Right now, that machine is running, and polluting the next elections as we speak. The new people are already getting dragged in there, indoctrinated. We will lose them as they succumb to the non stop promises and non stop chatter from upper class people.

We can end that cycle. I believe we must.

Instead of time in the call center, our people can be holding town halls, engaging with local voters, business and other leaders to better understand how we can improve life for everyone, not just the one percent. We can offer Americans a better choice. Our people will be able to do the work needed in their hometowns and districts to be the best representatives they can be.

Winners of their elections will continue to see funding from the primary organizations, but will be required to build their own local, sustainable funding so that we may continue building our presence in government, free from big money and all the obligations that come with it. The organizations help with that too. Insure success.

This breaks the cycle and insures our people can remain true to the people.

This is government of the people, for the people, by the people as is necessary in these difficult money in politics times.

It goes without saying our goal is to be rid of money in politics, but until such time as we secure the power and leverage needed to accomplish that, we must fund the kind of politics needed to improve the lives of everyday working Americans.

It is time to fight. The left needs to talk about money. We can put our ideas in business terms as well as people terms. We can speak to everyone and build on our already massive support. Support that is just itching for something to latch on to.

"Where do I put that $27?"


It is time to begin this work and form these organizations.

Many of us stand ready and willing to begin our recurring $27 per month donations as well as encourage others to do the same.

Despite all the election problems we are aware of today, many elections are reasonable and winnable. Election reform is a high priority, and many of us will say it's a top priority. Winning the elections we can win will put us into a position of strength and independence the left has not enjoyed for a very long time.

It is time to take government back for the people. Reform is long overdue and new leadership is needed. This vision does not require anything other than our time, money and votes to succeed.

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potatohead's picture

Thanks for your support. As most of you know, we all sort of spread like the progressive seeds we are, landing where we landed.

I've poured a lot into http://wayofthebern.com and for that reason only have not spent too much time contributing here. I do read though.

Should anyone want to share, republish, riff on, or expand this, please do. It's a vision Bernie mentioned once or twice, and I couldn't shake it. So, I've expanded on it with some detail in the hopes it will spark much needed discussion and action.

Please forgive me for gaffes, formatting and such. It's been a while since I used this platform. Also tags. What works? Are you an admin? Help! Tag this thing for me, please. Biggrin

No matter what, ONWARD!

Biggrin

Since I'm actually logged in, I'll keep the tab open and maybe get to exchange words with some friends here I've missed.

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elenacarlena's picture

Not an admin, but I've noticed when you go into tags, you can start typing and options will pop up, so you can see what's been used before.

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potatohead's picture

Thanks! I'll seek an edit soon. Will give that a go.

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elenacarlena's picture

Maybe something like this? Biggrin

elephant potatohead article-2299953-18F2B589000005DC-637_634x399[1].jpg

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Older and Wiser Now's picture

Have you ever seen a blue snowflake before? I think it's very "special," lol.

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~OaWN

Pricknick's picture

If it hasn't been said, welcome.
You have ideas that are worth discussing. Some are better than others, but where else do we start?
Please cross post here or come on over and stay.
Again, welcome.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

potatohead's picture

I will make some time. We got all spread out!

As for some better than others, yeah! Truth right there. But, it's the dialog and growing consensus we all seek. Happy to do my part. Don't care when I'm wrong.

FThumb is always hounding me. Got a bump or two from Steven too. Now you.

Biggrin

It's nice to be appreciated.

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reflectionsv37's picture

Nice to see you here!

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“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
George W. Bush

potatohead's picture

Thanks, and appreciated.

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polkageist's picture

I remember your posts on Reddit. They were good. Please post here as often as you can. We need each other.

Edited because of the spellchecker.

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-Greed is not a virtue.
-Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.
-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

potatohead's picture

Thanks and appreciated.

I will make some time.

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elenacarlena's picture

ever, so you have mostly a different audience here.

I like your ideas. Since I do visit DKos, I am getting discouraged about taking the Dem party back. They seem determined to blame Her loss on anything other than Dem donors and strategists, most notably the left wing who refused to follow in Her footsteps. I'm still even seeing anti-Bernie diaries, as if he never campaigned for her!

So although I don't think I have a firm opinion yet, I am leaning toward using all this time, energy and money on a new party, not reforming the old entrenched resisting one.

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potatohead's picture

I think you could be right. It's a genuine ambiguity in my view.

So, maybe we do it the Bernie way. Make this reform effort a thrust, but also build for the future and get power and leverage needed either way.

If we do reform Dems, great! Some of us were wrong, and can remain critical. Ok fine.

If we don't, well. Fuck 'em. We will start something and pick that fight.

Never a failure mode. Just work and progress.

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Oldest Son Of A Sailor's picture

We need more of your kickin ass here...
You packed a bunch in that one diary...

I'm sure the defenders of the indefensible at The Orange Stain will have something to say in a little while when they get home after closing time...
It brings out the best in them...

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"Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."

~John F. Kennedy~
Economic: -9.13, Social: -7.28,
potatohead's picture

Incoming!!!

Biggrin

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Big Al's picture

and part of the oligarchy establishment. Reforming it is futile. But good luck. Some of us will be working against you because we're opponents of the Dem party, I hope you know that.

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The way to get money out of politics is to put money in to politics? First, nope. Fuck that shit.

Bernie knows his $27 primary was mostly funded by the deplorably unemployed. Now he's back touring for more, with no mention about overturning Citizen's United first and foremost because "That's the system." Soak 'em if you got 'em I guess. Good luck to all.

The world is not my enemy.
Peace

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because the power is held by those dependent on the corporate bucks. You HAVE to fight them with citizen dollars.

However, I'm afraid that Our Revolution is just and effort to skim the little guys IN ADDITION to the big guys.

I, personally, will only donate to those who will accept only a reasonable upper limit, say $150. That figure isn't cast in stone but whatever the figure is it has to be less than $1,000. No working man can contribute $1000.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

but certainly not organizations that funnel money, labor, and time into the Democratic party. Or Democratic candidacies.

I'm done with that, forever.

Just can't get this out of my head:

nevada.jpg

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Older and Wiser Now's picture

Does it remind you of Tienanmen Square too? That image is haunting to me.

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~OaWN

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

of the line of tanks (Wow! That guy....words fail me.) But sort of like that image's kid brother.

and yeah, I don't like it much.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

SCOTUS. Constitutional amendments that lean left are not a realistic hope.

http://caucus99percent.com/content/lets-amend-constitution

With Trump in for the next 4 to 8 years, we will not see a new SCOTUS that will overturn Citizens United any time soon. He has a head start with Scalia's seat to fill, Ginsburg is frail and elderly and Breyer is no spring chicken, either.

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Not "The only thing". Hope not.
California Proposition 59, Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question (2016)

The California Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question (Senate Bill 254), also known as Proposition 59, was on the November 8, 2016, ballot in California as an advisory question. It was approved.
A "yes" vote supported advising the state's elected officials to use their authority to overturn the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, potentially through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Be sure the state rep.'s are getting right on that. Uh-huh. I remember the Move to Amend people at our Occupy camp way back when, they were devoted. Keep going. Cheers
https://movetoamend.org/frequently-asked-questions

Aren't there other ways to solve the problems created by Citizens United?

Certainly, the 2010 Citizens United v FEC Supreme Court ruling was widely criticized. However none of the proposed responses except Move to Amend’s “We the People” Amendment directly confronts the fact that Citizens United was only the latest in a long history of problematic “corporate personhood” rulings. The problem with overturning only Citizens United is that not enough would change. We actually support most of the proposed legislative responses to Citizens United, especially publicly funded elections. But none of the proposed laws address the core problem: the illegitimate legal doctrine that courts use to allow corporations to overturn democratically enacted laws. To learn more, read “What is Corporate Personhood” below, and see this growing library of corporate rule stories drawn from today’s headlines. [...]

https://movetoamend.org/

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to say to me. However, the state ballot initiative did nothing. Overturning Citizens United would take amending the Constitution and advisory state ballot initiatives is not the way one amends the Constitution. If it is supposed to be calling for a Constitutional convention, that's a horrific idea and a Constitutional convention, thank heaven, is just not going to happen. Please see the essay linked in my prior post.

And the second part is just completely wrong on the facts and again, seems to speak to amending the Constitution, which was covered by the essay linked in my prior post.

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potatohead's picture

That's OK.

Frankly, it's a risk. All things are.

What I find most notable about Sanders style politics is the lack of a failure mode. The run for POTUS was to get a message out, begin a movement. POTUS failed, but the movement work was a great success.

Now, the push to reform Dems is a similar thing. Should we do this work, reform may happen, or may not. Won't matter much in the end, because we will have secured some real power and leverage. The left needs this badly.

All of that will roll up into something, new party, run for POTUS, whatever, but we will keep building along the way.

Oppose. It's fine. As long as we can stay behind the great ideas, we will make some progress.

Biggrin

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The main problem with the Democratic party is that it has lost its connection with everyday working class people.What use to make Democrats strong was their support of bread and butter money issues that put money in working folks pockets,like overtime rules,tax deductions for home ownership etc,The party is fractured in so many groups and these groups work for their issues and most of them dont apply to putting money in working family's bank accounts.Thats what made UNIONS work for their members the UNIONS goal was to improve earning power for ALL members, everyone in the UNIONs main goal was to make more money and improve working conditions.Making a living is working folks main issue and everything else comes second if the Democratic party wants to survive they better start to focus on these issues that will help working folks make more money

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DW

Feed the 0.01% and it will trickle down. Democrats are just Republicans that support LBGT, BLM, open borders and similar social issues. They support environmental issues as long as they only inconvenience ordinary people (recycling, crappy little gutless cars etc.) but not the big issues that hurt corporate profits.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

potatohead's picture

The rank and file are roughly divided on this.

Current leadership is "third way", "new democrat" and is corporate all the way through. No question at all on this.

However, in the greater scheme of things, support for Sanders platform exceeds the entire Democratic party base, and is on par with current support for Trump.

We have a very good shot at getting reform. However, if we don't, the power and leverage this plan would bring progressives is badly needed, and useful regardless of the party reform outcome.

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Wink's picture

and the light. I knew it a year ago, it still holds true.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

snoopydawg's picture

Nice essay, but I don't think that the DP wants to change anything and get back to representing the working class like they used to.
If they did want to change then the would have gotten behind Bernie instead of staying with the 3rd way of the Clintons.
Starting in 06 when they ran on rolling back the Bush abuses, yet first to Impeachment off the table and then said they were keeping their powder dry.
For over 10 years they have had numerous opportunities for hitting back at the republicans for their policies, obstructionism and their continued rolling back our social programs.
The republicans say that they want to cut $40 billion from the food stamps program and give even more tax breaks and subsidies to the big farms, and instead of blocking their agenda, they agree with it, but decrease the amounts.
Obama countlessly could have used signing statements to defend the poor people from those draconian cuts but opted not to.
There are too many examples of how the democrats didn't bother to try to stand up to the republicans.
But the best example is when they let the republicans rant on all summer about death panels which they knew that they were lying, but not one person from the WH or the DP came on to tv in a press conference to set the record straight or tell the truth of what that part of the bill meant.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

potatohead's picture

"The DP doesn't..."

This is precisely what the effort is about. If we talk to the rank and file, there is massive support for Progressive ideas.

The DP has a very serious leadership and money corruption problem. It's on us to compete, or that will remain true.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

thinks of its rank and file.

But work where you will, and good luck to you.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Anja Geitz's picture

You made some very salient points but I'll be honest, I have my doubts about reforming the Democratic Party. I think our best chance at reform is with a new party. And although I don't yet know how we will birth a new party, I am certain it is in an embryonic stage.

Thanks for posting. The idea of heads exploding at TOP is always welcome.

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

potatohead's picture

You may be right.

Frankly, proving that is totally worth doing. This plan accomplishes that proof without wasting the money, time and effort.

Winning elections, funding people, securing real power for progressives will bring us great options we do not have today.

Could be we reform the party successfully. Could be we lose out too.

Either way, we've got people in Congress, and could form a party, or caucus, bloc, or some other structure that gets things done for us.

None of that is on the table, unless we seek it.

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Hawkfish's picture

Thanks for the cross post.

A number of these ideas have been tossed around here in the context of a new party, but you have done a fabulous job of organizing them and connecting then to the Democratic Party and its existing infrastructure.

If you guys can do this, then great. I personally will not give them any money until they kick the financial sector to the curb. OR has some problems with a lack of restrictions on funding sources, but maybe they can clean that up (or I am mistaken?) And if not, Tim Canova has an organization called Progress for All that has similar goals but may have a cleaner funding model.

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We can’t save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed.
- Greta Thunberg

Correct leaders STILL don't include the reforming Democratic Party, which still insists that if they rearrange the deck chairs again, the Titanic won't sink. Keeping the same failed leadership -in some cases with new faces- in all leadership positions isn't going to work. New Blue Dog Dems are Quislings! They will sell us out every time!

However you feel about Jill Stein's recount effort, note one thing. Even major corporate news sources are reporting that she raised over $7 million in just one week! That is a sign from We the People that we are still out here. That is a sign that a real leader who reaches us and is working toward our desires still is viable.

I backed Bernie. I think Bernie backed himself into a corner with his very visible and enthusiastic support of Hillary after the Convention. He still is saying the right things. He is still correct in taking the message to the people. But he isn't going to win another race. His place -if place remains- is to play the role that Ted Kennedy played after 1980. Be the Lion of the Senate. Keep the fight alive there.

To wind this up, Stein is the only leader real progressives now have, and we should support her efforts rather than squander them on "reforming" a corrupt and still-powerful Democratic Party which just bought new boots for kicking us fucking hippies of the Professional Left to the curb if we don't blindly follow Schumer and Pelosi to another round of electoral disasters.

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Vowing To Oppose Everything Trump Attempts.

for recount. Her new goal is $9.5 million. Most of her "donations" are coming from deluded Hillbots, hoping Her Heiness will become president. Bernie is a puzzling heartbreaker who says one thing then does the opposite. And, truth be told, I'll take actions over talk any day.

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Wink's picture

missed Bernie's fingers crossed behind his back as he -ahem- -cough- "endorsed" Her Highness. Instead, Bernie played HRC like a fiddle (and she knew it). He ended up Berning her.Bernie going nowhere, still around fighting the good fight. Jill? Remains to be seen.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

firecrackers under the butts of Dem "leadership, including the wannabees like Ellison, Shumer, Booker, Warren, Gillibrand, Pelosi, then maybe you would nudge them out for good, but I doubt it. As has been often said but bears repeating: there is no way to reform the Dem party in the American people's image. They are corruptible, so they are incorrigible. That makes them horrible.

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potatohead's picture

Ok, let's say for sake of discussion you are right about all that.

You could be, right?

What is the plan then? Do we just give up?

I believe it's time for the left to fund it's politics. Secure real power and leverage. We need to quit asking, build a monster, and take some back for the people.

If we don't do this, what do we do?

I'm very interested in any positive, action oriented ideas that hold the potential for real change.

It's not enough to say who is horrible. We need positive politics, things for people to vote for, donate for, work for.

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Wink's picture

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

"What is the plan then? Do we just give up?"

Yeah but just me, feeling disenfranchised. No money no vote, back to the same. Sorry if I harshed your buzz. I understand the need to feel a part of something positive. Cheers.

Solidarity

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gulfgal98's picture

I went over there to recommend your diary. It was a very brave thing to post over in the echo chamber. I do wish you would write more here. While we pre-date the great migration by one year. Yes, we actually existed before the primaries even geared up, Shok we experienced a huge bump in membership in early 2016.

Personally, I do not believe that the Democratic party can be reformed from within. They are addicts to big money and will refuse to give it up even when their numbers have been decimated to the party being a totally defanged tiger. Look at who they chose to be their leaders in Congress. Chuckie (Wall Street) Shumer for dog's sake!

My personal belief is that if we want real changes, we must look outside the organized political system and work through social movements. Politicians are the guardians of the status quo and only change once a social movement becomes too great to ignore. Writing essays here (we call them essays), is one great way to spread the word and I hope you will continue to share more essays with us. Your voice is one we can use. Welcome!

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

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

Damnit Janet's picture

It's been so clear that there is just one party and we are not invited to it.

IF it were to be resuscitated... it can't be from within. Sometimes you have to start over.

We've decided on two main issues in our home: Hunger (it shouldn't be happening in this country ever) and rebuilding our schools.

Americans are just too ignorant nowadays. You can't lead a nation with fear and hatred if they are the best educated.

Cops, Politicians and the 1% are my enemies. I will not try to fix the politicians because the fix is already in. What we need is Justice. Not separate laws for the rich or badged.

Edited for work day morning multitasking madness...

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"Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

The Whig Party died. The Democratic Party split North/South over slavery. The Republican Party was born as a reform Party.

Someone grounded in history needs to look at this, how it happened, what were the mechanics that took the Republicans from a few cranks meeting in parlors to control of the White House and Congress for several generations (until they turned into the Whigs)? That's our model. How did it happen? What's the message for today? What's the detailed blueprint?

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Wink's picture

as that. We had none except "My Turn." Some Dem voters had had enough of the Clintons and turned to Trump for Hope & Change. Message wins every time.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

different, I am not sure looking back is that useful. I am no Doris Kearns Goodwin, but there's a lot we all know about that particular aspect of the past, if we stop and think about it.

For one thing, they formed around opposing slavery, a huge, just cause that had been building steam in this country since the first slaves got here, which was very early, maybe Jamestown and Plymouth. So, the cause had built steam for well over 200 years. And that cause had been preached from many a pulpit, including some, though certainly not all, in the South. The Dred Scott decision was a galvanizer.
They took a narrow position on it--just not extending slavery to the territories. They didn't ask anyone to give up slaves where the economy was already dependent on them. Meanwhile, Democrats had been the party of slavery, the KKK, cross burnings, lynchings, etc. Not very attractive to decent people.

Second, they had Abraham Lincoln, a genius, a dynamite speaker and a Mount Rushmore level President--and the very first President to be assassinated--all that helped, including the assassination. (Look how many things are named Kennedy now and how LBJ used the assassination to get civil rights legislations passed. And, sadly, by then, assassination was not a one off.)

Third, a civil war conquered the opposition into submission and abolition destroyed their economy. That would have left Democratic politicians poor, too.

Fourth, the money it takes now to even get elected dogcatcher. No vast nation to criss cross on the stump. No incredibly expensive broadcast media. Just lots less money to get started and to operate in general.

Fifth, we were a smaller nation then. geographically and not so bitterly, almost insurmountably, divided ideologically.

Sixth, they were used to more than just two parties then. And on and on.

The situations are not interchangeable and, to the extent they are, we today come up short Among many other things, we don't have a Lincoln and we won't be fighting a war. Our opposition is not even handily concentrated in one region.

On the other hand, they could not raise money via the internet in 1854.

I will say--Americans liked the more liberal party (then, the Republicans) very consistently for a very long time. However, once Lincoln was elected, they did also stay squarely within the duopoly for a very long time. They still do, for President and, for the most part, for all federal offices. Even Rand Paul, son of a perennial Libertarian candidate for POTUS, ran as a Republican to make it to the Senate.

I think we have to ponder as well not only the new party of 1854, but also the 30-35 year history of the Green Party, which once ran Nader, an already famous and squeaky clean icon. It's performance to date has been pitiful, even with Nader at the top of the ticket. And Perot, who, with all his billions and infommercials, did not win a single electoral vote.

I am not saying give up the idea of a newer party. I am saying, we'd better be very realistic and committed and practical and organized and prepared to spend and to keep spending and to raise money and keep raising it and to work and keep working. And have it take some time. In all likelihood, a new party is not going to capture the Oval Office in six years after it forms, as did the Republicans/abolitionists.

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Because the populist message is not scorned there like it is by the Democrats. There is absolutely no hope for the Democrats. There is hope to wean the new republican voters away from the movement Republicans.

Why can't the Democrats understand that common people want economic security? The Republicans do, however the Right wing pitches bogus solutions, but at least they acknowledge the problems. Clinton, Obama, Schumer, Wassermann-Schultz, Brazille -- pardon me while I puke!

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

They understand perfectly what we want. It's not rocket science; they're not stupid; and they have pollsters up the yin yang.

BTW, I didn't say "Forget about a new party."

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

People want jobs that are safe to work and that pay a living wage. They want to know that, no matter what happens to their bodies or their money, they will never lack shelter, food or medical care, even if its only survival level.

They want their kids to be able to go to college without graduating with $150K in debt before they even have their first adult job.

The above is just basic. If they could be assured of the above, they might start thinking about other things, like.....

They want reasonable access food, air and water that doesn't hurt them.

They want companies they deal with to do business with them relatively honestly, so they don't get robbed blind.

They want their votes to count. They want equal treatment under the law, even if they can't afford to hire the most expensive legal team.

They want cures for cancer and similar conditions. They want frickin' wars to end (though getting rid of the draft made this a lower priority for most people.)

Is any part of the above beyond the ken of your average Rhodes scholar, like Clinton, or Harvard Law grad, like Obama? Didn't both of them know enough of the above to make appealing speeches? Doesn't every Democratic politician who gets elected to a major office know enough about the above to say the right things?

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Wink's picture

We are the party we wish to reform.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-2.1) All about building progressive media.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

the Democratic party.

That's what the bit with changing people's voter registration info so they couldn't vote in the Democratic primaries amounted to: it was a purge of voters, not off the rolls, but out of the Party.

That tells me as much as I need to know about the Democratic party and its relationship to its own rank-and-file--even if I knew nothing about Nevada and what went on there.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Damnit Janet's picture

My son and myself helped people get registered to vote... and we ended up being effed over by the Democrats in the primary.

I'm done with Dems. They're dead to me.

Their message was "it's HER turn"... nothing about the working class, the poor working class or the poor. It was just all Hillary all the time.

The corruption stank to the highest rafters.

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"Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

potatohead's picture

My personal belief is that if we want real changes, we must look outside the organized political system and work through social movements.

I very strongly agree with this.

However the Princeton study implications are clear. Passed legislation has almost no correlation to public support. It is directly correlated to money.

Even a big movement will have a tepid impact at best. On social issues, this works. We've made it work, and I'm a believer.

Sadly, economic issues are a near complete fail for us.

Like the run for POTUS to get a movement started, this effort will secure real power and leverage for progressives. Social movements + people in government working for us stands a significantly better chance than movements alone do, and it's due to the impact of money in politics today.

Secondly, there are movements to change it, but if we make those a prerequisite for our progress visions, we put ourselves on a long time line, and we have not hedged our risks.

Could go 10 years and fail. What then?

Done this way, we may not be successful in reforming Democrats, and I am completely open to that outcome, but we will also have options and can exert meaningful influence on policy, which is something progressives and their like minded indie friends do not have today.

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shaharazade's picture

with this 'we will also have options and can exert meaningful influence on policy' no we won't. What we will get is victories for compromise. I'm not 'sniping' at you potatohead but there is no way in hell that the rotten to the core Democratic party can be reformed. This is not a partisan site nor is it a pol supporters fan site. I think Bernie was a sheep dogger and if his only reason for running was to push the party left then he is a lair to boot. I don't believe for one minute that Our Revolution or any org. that runs Democratic candidates is anything but astroturfing and veal penning the self righteous lefties.

Even on a local state level the Dem. party including so called 'progressives' are corporate, crooked and corrupt. I think the current usage of progressive is an insult to the real progressive movement that took on the elite !% back in the day. If you come here selling this partisan baloney which most most of us reject your going to get push back that is not 'sniping'. The 'progressive caucus. and the black caucus during the primary and general showed their true colors. They all kissed the ring and folded like they always do.

The reason for this is that they too are in the bag and are neoliberal neocons who are slightly better then . They are part and parcel of the New Democratic establishment they are marginalized and powerless. They do not fight the party machine and they are only the token left. The good cops to the bad. They talk populist but never hold their ground. I haven't been a Democrat since 2011. I think Obummer's policy and agenda was worse then Bush. I want them gone daddy gone like the Whigs or the Dodo.

As for Bernie forget about it. His war criminal 'foriegn policy' alone is enough to make my hair stand on end. Too little to late for everything else. I wanted to know what was in The Mad Bombers e-mails. Once I read them it was everything I suspected and more. What kind of a liberal progressive caucuses with these criminals? The speeches showed the private face of all elected Dems. despite their lip service to democratic policy and basic human rights. Good luck to you as your intentions seem decent. Me I'm going to look for movements and common ground with the people globally who are standing up globally and resisting this madness that has nothing to offer but a softer gloved version of the iron fist. It's a duopoly and there really is no good cop or bad cop in a global anti-democratic lawless oligarchy. A pox on both houses.

This doesn't even address the fact that they are all war hogs who are burning up the planet for their masters profit. Shorter version forget about it, it's China town. The good news is that fear did not hold the day and people globally really have had enough. There is going to be resistance as people will take them down. I believe in the 99% percent solution wherein people refuse to consent to be governed by this NWO they call inevitable. The want to rule the world asshole always say that and they are inevitable and the only way forward but they always get taken down by ordinary people when they go too far.

This is not what democracy looks like.
where is my habeas corpus?

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Lookout's picture

but the Democrats are too corrupt . In fact I'm to the point where I think it takes movements like Standing Rock, civil rights, antiwar, etc to create change. It isn't going to come from corporate owned politicians nor their party.

I'm all for organizing around ideas...but the duopoly has already been purchased...and you (and I) ain't in the club.

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

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

is simply 'revamping' the Party's campaign strategy/agenda for this election cycle--which was Schumer's work, since I heard him articulate the 2016 campaign planks in a November 2014 speech. These policies were, generally, were the same ones that the Dem candidates ran on--with a few variations such as funding, etc.

In a nutshell, Schumer said in 2014--and his recent appointments of Warner, Heitkamp, Bernie, Manchin, and Klobuchar to new Dem Party Leadership roles, emphasize this strategy--that he was designing an agenda that the 'left, center, and right' of the Dem Party could get behind.

Translation: For corporatist Dems, it's all a matter of 'messaging.' And, IMHO, they have no intention of furthering any agenda--other than a uber-conservative/neoliberal one.

Period. Full stop. End of story.

Help

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit and therefore– to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

The SOSD Fantastic Four

Available For Adoption, Save Our Street Dogs, SOSD

Taro
Taro, SOSD

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

It's like Bill Cosby doing feminist outreach.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

potatohead's picture

Purchased...

Yeah, and doing that requires both dollars and votes. We currently work largely with votes only.

This is why we don't have anything to show on the economic fronts. When we combine our dollars and votes, we deny them opportunity to purchase, gain ground, real power, real leverage, and we will get more of what we want.

Reforming Dems may or may not be successful, but a bloc of progressives funded by people money is something we need to participate in a meaningful way on economic policy.

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kharma's picture

keep writing please.

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There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties.. This...is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.--John Adams

potatohead's picture

Thanks!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Great ideas, but I wonder if it can actually be realized. Bernie will make a valliant effort, but will TPTB allow the change? Doubtful, but you never know. I'm with Lookout - change will have to come from the people. For change to occur, chaos must ensue. Standing Rock will be that first test.

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

potatohead's picture

The very first thing to realize here is that we aren't asking. It's not whether they will allow the change.

It's on us to take power and leverage. Pool our money, run people who work for us, win elections, and suddenly we aren't asking. They have to deal with us.

Standing rock is a great test, and it's also an important object lesson. A serious movement to oppose oligarchy, corporate rule, may well succeed. It's expensive, but it must be done.

Now roll back the clock, and say we did something like this a few years ago. What would it look like today?

There would be a bloc in Congress able to resonate with the social movement and we may see a very different outcome.

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this diary.

First of all, you completely missed the boat, for years I might add, then you finally see the light, then you decide you should lecture everyone on what needs to be done.

What utter hubris.

But I am glad that you finally saw the light.

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dfarrah

TheOtherMaven's picture

Unfortunately, there's always somebody who spoils the mood by getting rude and nasty. Blum 3

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Deja's picture

Had a co-worker do that when a higher up sent out an 'atta boy' email to our department. Some people feel compelled, I suppose. This election season has been so strange!

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diary itself as rude, condescending, and lectur-y - even though it has an enthusiastic tone.

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dfarrah

Older and Wiser Now's picture

What Spud was trying to do was/is enormously difficult. Start up a conversation among those who are currently sniping at each other.

Every message is impacted by two filters: the filters of the speaker, and the filters of the listener. These filters often get in the way of the "intentions" of the speaker, of the message that they are trying to say.

If you spend time getting to know Spud, you would see a dedicated, passionate, and very smart person who SINCERELY wants to create spaces where everyone is free to speak their truth and engage in respectful dialog. He is one of the mods of WotB on reddit, where they have a policy of pretty much refusing to ban anyone, even CTR trolls, and yet if you go there the place is full of intelligent and respectful conversation. He'll share his views, yes. But he will also have great respect for yours too.

I don't know what else to say. I greatly admire and appreciate the efforts that both Spud and Thumb have made on behalf of the progressive cause.

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~OaWN

potatohead's picture

I get it, and take no offense.

In this comment string, "try to start a dialog with people sniping at one another" is pretty much spot on.

It's a mess.

I won't apologize for tone. Because it's a mess, some real and frank language is warranted.

What I will say to my critics is simple:

Got something better? Sell me man. Door is open. Biggrin

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would be a waste of your time and of the time of the would-be salesperson. Most likely, you'll continue doing the same thing as you've done throughout this thread when someone states a position different from yours; namely say something like "Good points, but let's do it Sanders"/my way anyway. What have you got to lose?''

I am not ready to articulate a full plan, though I have some ideas. However, IMO, just not throwing more time and energy and money into a lost cause would, for me, be an improvement; and the dream of reforming the Democratic Party from within is a lost cause.

One fundamental difference is that you think "the revolution" did something and will do more and many of us don't. (Here, I am distinguishing the "revolution" from Sanders' run for President, which at least spread the word.) When Sanders chalks a Shaheen victory up to his revolution, that's just silly, IMO. The people whom Sanders supporters would have liked to have seen elected didn't make it, like Tim Canova. And, news flash, a lot of Democrats of any kind did not get elected. To me, declaring the revolution a success to date is very odd.

I am not going to convince you that supporting Sanders revolution is throwing good money and energy after bad and you are not going to convince me that the Revolution is worth another five minutes of my time or another five cents of my donations. There's really not much sense pretending otherwise. Those who already think they way you do will agree with you and most of them already have on this thread; the rest of us won't. Some of us will say it flat out, as I am, while others have avoided doing that by being more nuanced However, both groups are ultimately saying the same thing. "I don't think as you do, but I certainly wish you luck in your endeavors.

It's not that we need schooling. We have been around and around these facts and these points and we've made up our minds months ago. It's just a matter of having different opinions about the same set of facts.

That said, again, my fondest political hope is that you prove me wrong and succeed beyond even your expectations.

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potatohead's picture

It's OK.

More important to build consensus. Some will oppose. That's fine. They can compete same as anyone.

Opposition without some material action plan is just opposition.

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Lots of people missed the boat for years including many of us here. I'm still not sure which boat to board.

Remember, this essay was written for people at TOP, many of whom may be part way along the thinking process described by the author. A lot of others are in denial and respond to essays such as potatohead's with considerable vitriol.

The essay wasn't written to lecture anyone here. It was posted at the request of some of our community who saw it at TOP.

Potatohead, the more time you can find to spend here, the better here will be.

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welcome to the late, great Banana Republic of Estados Unidos.

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All good points and jump offs for debate, but as has been said above, good luck with the d's, them f@ckers is Shot!
I'm hoping that Standing Rock enables a coalescing of progressive groups to a critical mass(boom!) of a movement to act on a set of proposals such as you outlined.
My fear is the (boom!) will be the hammer dropping on us from the opposition(oh wait, that's US now).
The dems will roll with everything tRumph proposes while fluffing the country. Lip service is too tame a term for what it is.
The problem is going to be to get Good People to step up and run with the scorched earth politics of today. Smoked a joint in the past? Had an open container violation(bullshit)? A bitter breakup with a vengeful partner? Wrote a controversial thesis to play devils advocate on a term paper?
Any of these and so much more will cripple a nascent campaign(or movement), the whole discredit the messenger deal.
Figure out a way to nullify That and convince people to run(and donate) and we might have a shot. Notice I said 'we' cause I'm down with the idea.

peace

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
Now you know. . .
Sign at protest march

Thanks so much for creating and posting here.

Like most at C99, I am not encouraged by the lessons NOT learned by the Democrats. Given they have less than two years to win back the Congress, the future of Progressives is not bright.

I don't know what the answer is much less how we get there. All I can say is that I think I will know it when I see it.

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Steven D's picture

Good to see you here.

I don't have answers, but I find nothing wrong in exploring all of the available options because I just don't know, and I don't think anyone knows, which one will succeed.

But status quo, staying in one place with one side holding on to their incrementalist, keep Wall Street happy approach and the other throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, but doing little else makes no sense. So, whatever paths are taken toward a truly progressive party, whether some iteration of the Dems, the Greens or one that is new and not yet birthed, the effort you suggest we make has value to me.

In NY we have a working Class Party that is essentially useless, but often endorses Dem candidates so that the Dem runs as the candidate for both. What we need are organizations that are not parasitic, but symbiotic, even of that means at times the two come into conflict with one another.

Whatever new thing comes out of this "clusterfuck" it has to be built from the ground up with people not dollars and fancy parties and $250,000 speeches. Some may fight the idea of capturing the Dems from within, and I will not say they are wrong, but neither will I say fighting to change the Dems using the methods you suggest is wrong either. So long as people are fighting to change the system, of which the current Dem party is but a cog in the wheels grinding us into the muck for the benefit of the system, I will support that fight.

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

potatohead's picture

Hey Steven, nice digs!

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I think this is a matter of genuine ambiguity: "has to be built from the ground up with people not dollars"

People, I agree with, and our many successes on social issues seem to prove that out. I'm happy.

On economic issues, we haven't much to talk about. Little, subtle things are tells, like the fight for 15. It's been good, and some legislation has been passed. I followed up on that, and many of the legislative efforts have tiers and time built into them such that by the time people get the 15, it's been devalued to something more like what 10 does for them today.

While this is progress in many parts of the nation, it's still a weasel, something to minimize benefit to the people, while also preserving the notion of the current economic norms being OK, "just needs more work."

I reject that, and do so because I see no real path to a better state of things, while I also see some 60 percent of us living in some sort of poverty. (I derived that approximate figure by reviewing cost of living and wage data by region.) We can simply say too many of us and it's fine too.

Looking back on all that has transpired since about the 90's, it's clear that economic legislation is very closely tied to money, and that money to power and leverage, which we do not have. Take the Progressive Caucus, for example. Some good people on there, yet when it really counts, they will oppose sometimes, and get success too, sometimes. But, they really can't advance anything new.

They currently run on the same corrupt big money that everyone else is running on, and that means they really can't work for us with predictable and painful outcomes easily seen today.

By using our money, elected people can work for us, and most importantly, enough of them would mandate a lot of legislation would have to go through them too. When there are no big donors to call, no real threats of losing the next election due to funding problems, a real base of people invested personally and financially, our people could then afford to take positive moves, not just oppose and compromise.

This:

But status quo, staying in one place with one side holding on to their incrementalist, keep Wall Street happy approach and the other throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, but doing little else makes no sense. So, whatever paths are taken toward a truly progressive party, whether some iteration of the Dems, the Greens or one that is new and not yet birthed, the effort you suggest we make has value to me.

...is resonant with me too. It's a risk, but it's hedged in that we may not succeed in reforming Dems, but will still have secured power and leverage. Those things are the only real levers in the area of economic policy. Money talks, and some of ours will do us real good. Most of us could forgo something like coffee, and it's transparent. Honestly, that is what I did. Don't even notice now. And I just make some and it's good enough. Others can find their way, and some of us are in real trouble. Fine. There is a lot we can do that isn't just donating money, and it all adds up.

The left is good at that.

So perhaps we use the Dems, as I mentioned elsewhere here. We can go for the reforms, get people elected who work for us. And if the party gets pissy about it, fuck 'em. No joke. We can do a lot from a position of power and leverage, and one of those things could be to kick off a new party, while people are in office, secure, and all that.

We may find that threat to be material and very potent.

In short, we need options. New options. This is one way to get them. And the beauty of it centers on the fact that we would not be running a win or lose campaign. We do it Sanders style, meaning the main thrust is reforming Dems. Win or lose that fight, we will also have secured voices in Congress with real power and leverage behind them.

Look at the work the Greens have done. It's a lot to build a party. However, it's not anywhere near as much to run under one, get people elected. We may find some progressive party, and I feel something like "American Democratic Socialist" party very attractive. Could be we go Green too. Who knows?

But, the most important thing is to take some power back and use it to promote populist ideas and do so with real teeth!

Right now, we are all great advocates and activists. Point of pride with me actually.

Those things, plus allies in Government, potentially a bunch of Bernie types running around?

Count me in man.

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Cassiodorus's picture

And don't forget election fraud!

But here's a thought:

Take over the Democratic Party if you must. Its current leadership is super-busy these days granting the whole of government to the Republican Party, just to make sure we don't get any of it. Here are the statistics:

On President Obama's watch, Democrats have lost a net grand total of 939 state legislative seats, 30 state legislative chambers and a dozen governorships. When Obama first took office, Republicans held just 3,223 state legislative seats. After Tuesday's vote, the number stands at 4,162. There are now more Republican state legislators than at any time since 1920. And if Gov. Pat McCrory holds on in North Carolina, Republicans will match their all-time high of 34 GOP governors last seen in the 1920s.

Or consider this: Today, Democrats control both the governor's office and the legislature in just five states — Oregon, California, Hawaii, Connecticut and Rhode Island. By contrast, Republicans have total control of state government in 25 states — half the country.

They will continue to do this, as well. Remember that while you have plans, they have plans too.

Democrats Already Planning to Screw Up 2020 Presidential Race

Here's a quote:

The Washington Post cited Sen. Cory Booker as a likely front-runner for the 2020 Democratic primaries. What they didn’t mention about Booker was that hedge funds and Wall Street love him. Nor did they mention his record of desperate publicity stunts.

The good news, really, is that Obama is leaving. Fewer Democrats means less snake oil on the market. As Johnstone says:

A WikiLeaks release, which to this day has not gotten nearly as much coverage as it deserves, shows that before he was even elected, Obama’s cabinet had been hand-selected for him by an executive from Citigroup, the corporate owner of Citibank.

And even the nice Democrats, the ones you like, defend Barack Obama, the most smooth-talking snake-oil salesman ever to inhabit the White House.

At any rate, I had to wonder why Bernie Sanders spent so much time on the party platform after having endorsed Hillary Clinton. Didn't he know what a worthless piece of paper the party platform was? Oh and the nice excuse that he was going to "hold Clinton to her promises" didn't hold water either. Generally, and with a few exceptions, Democrats don't hold their politicians to their promises -- they pledge eternal loyalty to the party and then beg for slightly better policy.

My most current guess is this: Democrats are in love with the illusion that their party is somehow going to bring about a better world. And currently the battle is between those who want the illusion to be stronger, and those who merely wish to take advantage of Democrats' love of the illusion.

So potatohead yeah go ahead and try to take over the Democratic Party. But if it fails you may wish for a backup plan. Here's my two cents.

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potatohead's picture

First, you have some interesting thoughts there. May I suggest we simply use the Democrats?

Why the fuck not? Run to reform, and win elections. If it sucks, we defect en masse and form a party from a base of existing power and leverage.

Biggrin

If you can't tell, I'm really done with the old model. It's time to get brutal. Progressives are no longer asking kind of brutal.

Now, Sanders.

He pushed for the platform as a base with which to do what I just put here. When we go up against Dems and Republicans with our people and our money, we can point to that and say they failed. Won't matter why, and we will know why in most cases too.

It's the money and the dialing for dollars and promises.

Our people can very clearly differentiate themselves and point right to the damn party platform to do it!

This was very clever. I'm a fan of that kind of thing.

The same sort of thing was to be used on Clinton.

At all times, Sanders has a push of some sort, right along with a hedged risk in the form of movement / organization building.

And that's actually new, particularly when combined with our money. A lot of this kind of thinking is in his book, which I very highly recommend.

Using the Dems, as I put above, is a straight up application of Sanders style positive politics, BTW.

If we can get people to grok that and move away from simple campaign win or loss politics, it's gonna rock hard. And that's why I put what I did in various places on the net this weekend.

Honestly, that plan will work very well. We get something out of it no matter what. There isn't a failure mode in the thing, other than lack of interest.

This is what I could not shake. Saw it in action, understood how he's playing the game and due to his independent status, has moves we aren't used to thinking about.

Do not take that as some sort of "sanders is god" kind of thing. It's not. But, how he chooses to do politicking is worth more than a passing look.

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than a "passing look" at Sanders. Some of us ended up still believing in him; some didn't. Some ended up thinking he was forced to endorse Hilary, others think he was a sheep dog all along; and some of us are somewhere in between.

Very honestly, you may or may not change the opinion of some lurkers. I doubt you will change the opinion of any regular posters on this board.

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http://www.salon.com/2016/12/04/want-to-win-the-working-class-vote-try-p...

The author above argues that working-class people (male and female, white and POC) are in favor of progressive policies. IMO a focus on progressive policies on the ground in each state would go far, whether implemented by Dems or by beyond-Dem Progressives.

I urge those who are trying to plan and implement a political way forward to read this article and use its information as a thinking-tool to design and support social safety-net programs that are not only anti-austerity but which offer positive support for all Americans earning less than $50K/Year (ie, 'working class').

Based on conversations some time ago with a number of impoverished white males, I suggest that these new economic policies, and the messaging around them, emphasize the fact that these new policies will apply equally to white males, the same as to other groups. I remember those men's (to me, shocking) resentment that 'safety net' programs excluded them while they were more easily accessed by POC and women with children. (I don't know if that differential applied to Food Stamps, but it certainly applied to Medicaid under Indiana's rules.)

If Progressive economic policies are developed and strongly communicated, care would have to be taken to ensure that states would apply these policies without too-stringent rules that would exclude subsets of the population. Such equally-applied policies would, imo, open the opportuniy to lessen the basis for poor white males' resentment.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

nobody seems to grant the voters a point of view. IOW, it's as if "the voters" or "the American people" are this insensate blob that hasn't been watching the Democratic party, and their candidate, for the past 10 months--something that cannot perceive an institution nor form an opinion about it.

Doesn't anybody think that perhaps wanting to take over the Democratic brand is a little like wanting to buy the formula to New Coke?

Then again, Donald Trump's heel performance is going so well that people are swallowing "Hillary equals anti-racism" pretty much whole. So for all I know, maybe those propagandized people will keep the credibility of the Democratic party alive for another few generations (if we have that much time).

Honestly, I'm getting to the point where I can't care about that anymore. Maybe I should write about that...

Sorry for the rambling response CW; it's been a long weekend.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The formula for original Coke was misappropriated by an officer of Loft, Inc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guth_v._Loft_Inc.

The formula to original Coke contained, well, coke, so it would be addictive. http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cocaine.asp When that became illegal, the manufacturer switched to caffeine, for the same reason. Coca Cola used to buy caffeine from Sanka (the last bit told to me by someone who once worked for Sanka).

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

in terms of addiction.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

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I'd like to see 'Progressive policies' promulgated both within the currently-elected Dems and as developing outside-the-Beltway organizations which may be able to become a freestanding, viable Third Party. Of course, people will have to discover where they believe they can put their energies to best use.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I thought that was what we were getting in 2009-2010, when we had the White House and large majorities in both houses of Congress. Instead we got Romneycare, an austerity pay-go budget, austerity economics preached to the masses while Wall St got bailed out big and then got a smaller but ongoing bailout through qualitative easing, 80% of the Bush tax cuts installed in perpetuity, Medicare cuts, threats of Social Security cuts, pipelines laid left and right, fracking all over the world, endless war with the one caveat (soon to be rescinded) that we wouldn't do anything that would bring on a nuclear confrontation between superpowers, normalization of assassination, torture, and mass surveillance, militarized police, an actual detention center in Chicago into which people are actually disappeared, abuse of the already-noxious Espionage Act--

OK, let me put it another way. What did we get out of Barack Obama that we wouldn't have gotten out of Bush? I'm sure there are a few things, and to show I'm acting in good faith, I'll throw a few out:

The Lily Ledbetter Act which gives women more time to file lawsuits over sexual harassment (mildly useful)
The Detroit automakers bailout (keeps some auto workers in their jobs at reduced wages rather than having all, or nearly all of them unemployed)
Better CAFE standards so our cars pollute less.
And here's the big one: the Iran agreement (see above re:not getting into a nuclear war)

Those are the good things we got out of Obama that we wouldn't have gotten out of Bush. Bad things we would have gotten out of Bush that we wouldn't get out of Obama--

Well, other than the reverse of the good policies I listed above, I don't know. Nothing springs to mind.

Here's the point of all this: Barack Obama was supposed to be the guy to put the Democratic party on a different track. 2006 and 2008 were supposed to be the years that proved the value of progressives in elections--and they did. Obama campaigned to the left of the establishment and won big. Democrats in Congress also won, twice, and the second time they won big as well.

If we didn't see progressive policies from elected Democrats then, we're not going to see them now. It's as simple as that. I don't think there's anybody you could get into a leadership position in the Dems who would actually stay true under the pressure that would almost certainly be put on them. And the Dems have shown what they think of taking a new direction: they picked Schumer and Pelosi to run the Dems in Congress and made Bernie "head of outreach."

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

No argument from me.

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