We lost, what should the left do now?

So what do we do now?

For a start, we must be brutally honest.

Several Democrats, including many on this site, will tell you working class people voted for Trump because they liked his racism and/or misogyny. They are largely wrong and need to be told as much.

The racism and misogyny of Trump’s supporters, fed by him, distracted us. Because we were so obsessed with the Trump’s latest tweet, or the latest vile t-shirt a Trump supporter wore at a rally, we missed the far more dangerous arrow aimed right at the heart of our appeal to the working class.

We got trapped in our own outrage machine, an echo chamber of disapproval that included most of the media. And we proved Trump’s point, that we are more concerned with tweets and t-shirts, “political correctness” than with ensuring people have work which lets them feed their families and live with dignity.

In our candidate’s transparent flip-flops on TPP, in watering down a $15 minimum wage, working people saw an unwillingness to stand firmly for their interests. We will have to work to regain their trust.

Call me crazy, but I do not think we can regain their trust by calling them racist misogynists.

So sadly, for the left, our first task is to combat those Democrats who will surely seek to blame working class people for voting in their economic self-interest. They will want us to believe the same working class and union households who voted for Obama, twice, in 2008 and 2012, suddenly woke up in 2016, looked in the mirror and decided they really were racist misogynists all along.

We must fight them on this. These people are wrong and we must make no bones about it. They were wrong to pivot to the right and try to appeal to Republicans. They have nothing but an identity politics hammer. So everything looks like a gendered or colored nail to them. We must combat them because their thinking will destroy the Democratic party.

That hammer was useless. The electorate was 52% women, that is down from 53% women in 2012. They voted for Clinton by a 12 point margin. This is virtually identical to Obama’s 11 point margin in 2012. One additional percentage point from women. One additional point for a woman running against a man who boasted about sexually assaulting women.

Pantsuit flash-mobs do not win elections. Working people know that viral videos won’t put dinner on your table or pay for your kids books.

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Inevitably, our honesty will be misunderstood and mischaracterized. Centrist Democrats will tell us we are pouring salt into wounds that are too raw. Thing is, salt is used to stop infections from spreading. Yes, it’s painful. It’s purpose is to prevent the entire body from rotting away. So let us pour salt into these wounds with urgency, because our coalition is rotting away.

The party must take this medicine as soon as possible so we can re-group and be ready for any local elections in 2017 and Congressional elections in 2018.

We can be understanding and tactful towards well-meaning Hillary Clinton supporters who expended enormous energy on her campaign. We should, they are with us.

But under no circumstances should the reckoning be delayed.


DID DEMOCRATS HAVE TO LOSE TO CHANGE?

There’s a valid argument to be made that political parties (indeed any organization) is unlikely to reform itself in the absence of a crisis. In political terms, this would mean Democrats had to lose, and lose very badly to shift decidedly left. This conventional wisdom was applied to Republicans in this cycle:

“At some point, parties tire of losing,” says Wehner. “It happened to Democrats in the ’80s. What happens? Along came Bill Clinton and the New Dems. Same thing with Tony Blair and the Labour Party in England.” These leaders reversed their parties’ losing streaks, Wehner argues, with “policy changes, stylistic changes, and key moments that signaled to the country that they were a different kind of party and a different kind of candidate.”

In a sense, we got lucky. If we’d won, Democrats would have avoided this necessary reckoning. If we had won, Republicans would likely have had to face the task of removing the racist xenophobic misogynists among them. Instead, they will now form a more emboldened part of the Republican base. There in enormous risk in that, which is why we have to continue to combat their hateful agenda.

But we now have a chance and momentum to reform ourselves and the left should grasp it with both hands firmly. Remember that Bill Clinton and third-way Dems worked within the Democratic party. They were ready to take advantage of the crisis when it occurred. They took over the Democratic party and silenced all its New Deal and anti-trust leaders. The left must return the favor.

That is the task ahead. The Democratic party needs to be either decisively wrested from pro-corporate neoliberals, or it needs to be abandoned. From Elizabeth Warren to Nina Turner, to the Occupy alumni who took the Bernie campaign supernova, there is a stronger field of coalition-inspiring progressive leaders out there than at any point in my lifetime. We are “leaderful”, as many in the Movement for Black Lives. — Naomi Klein

The left NEEDS to bring PoC into the fold

While we work on retaining working class voters and restoring our coalition, we also need to get better at reaching out to minority voters. Since minority voters are a large component of the working class, this should be natural. But it will mean building alliances at the person to person level, and helping support minority candidates.

We must admit this weakness. And admit that it was not a weakness for the Clintonites. If we can blame Third-Way Democrats for failing to maintain links with union members and the working class, we must likewise blame ourselves for failing to build the right relationships with PoC who form a core part of the Democratic base. If Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are going to lead the party, they need to expend energy on developing strong links with POC right now.

Our policies might be in the best interests of POC, but they, especially those in the South, have a well-earned distrust of idealist lefties who don’t understand the deep and entrenched racism they face. We must genuinely do better.

We also have to learn how to more effectively defeat charges of racism supposedly reserved to defeat the right against progressive candidates. We need a strategy to effectively defend against the next generation of David Brock paid trolls employed to malign Bernie supporters as racist misogynists.

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As we do all this, we should not forget that many prominent Democrats made it their mission to tell Democratic primary voters Bernie was a white racist from a 98% state who didn’t want to do anything for black people and might never have known any. They derided his courageous activism in the 60s relentlessly. The Clinton camp brought out John Lewis and the Congressional Black Caucus PAC to hold a press conference. Lewis expressly questioned Bernie’s Civil Rights work. He later had to back track as pictures and video of Bernie getting arrested came out. This was done ahead of the South Carolina and other southern primaries in March. It was one of the dirtiest things in the primary. The Clintons and their allies went out of their way to malign a man who had been a reliable progressive ally and had put his body on the line when it mattered.

They were wrong to do it, and it is the one thing I will never forgive them for.

It must be our mission to make sure they either see the light or are shown the door. And we must remember what they tried to do, who they got to try and smear Bernie as an uncaring white man, or worse a racist, and how it played out. We must protect our flanks from these attacks and find the right way to discredit them when these arguments are made. This means really, really working with minority communities across the board, who are natural allies of the left anyway.

THE DNC NEEDS TO BE SWEPT CLEAN

Top to bottom. That means DWS and Donna Brazile should go, as should anyone else who did anything to compromise their integrity and that of the DNC. We do not need lobbyists on the DNC. We should reinstate Obama’s ban on lobbyists funding the DNC. We should be firm and relentless in this pursuit. The people who compromised themselves to side with the Clintons and their third way politics need to be put out to pasture. Don’t feel bad for them, they will find plush jobs in the corporate or lobbying sector. That is a better fate than the one facing all those who are now at risk thanks to Republican control of Congress and the White House.

We should clean house at the DNC with urgency and immediacy. This will not be easy and we should expect no help from centrist Democrats. The Clintonites will fight to retain their positions and access to power. We can see it already, the Clinton campaign staff are blaming everyone but themselves, and most of the DNC are applauding Donna Brazile for her “positive message”. But it must be done. They’ve shown us they can’t deliver on more Democrats. They have never wanted to deliver on better Democrats. They just lost to the most unpopular candidate in history. It is time for them to go.

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Occupy DEMOCRATS to keep the momentum going nationwide

Bernie’s campaign reinvigorated the old left and embraced an entire generation of activists. In and of itself, that is an accomplishment for New Dealers, Lefties, and yes, Democratic Socialists, many of whom had begun to wonder whether they were destined to be a small minority within a third-way Democratic party.

Though elections are where the action is, parties change due to work done in the quiet periods to build allies for our positions. That’s why it’s heartening that Bernie and others within his campaign helped establish Our Revolution. Everyone who wants to take back the Democratic party should play a role in this.

Remaking a party requires building from the ground up, and there is a lot of room for progressives to contribute resources. That starts in your state and within your state party. We need more progressive challengers to centrist Democrats in primaries, to field-test our own ideas and make leftist candidacies viable.

And this is not purely an exercise. State laws and policy have enormous impact on people’s lives. Conservative “think-tanks”, legislative factories and lobbyists have focused their attention on state legislatures, getting them to pass a largely conservative agenda. We need progressive state legislators and local politicians to help counter this trend. States are also where we protect voting rights.

And we all have a lot of organizing to do. We need to make sure no one forgets the lessons of this election:

  • Integrity and Financial probity matters
  • It’s the Economy Stupid.
  • Income Inequality is the biggest issue in the country.
  • The media’s verdict is less than useless
  • Bad foreign policy can lose elections
  • We have to present a positive message

Integrity and financial probity matters

It’s more important than A-list fundraisers, A-list concerts and universal pundit approval. It’s unfortunate that it took a charlatan to demonstrate just how much the appearance of pay to play politics can hurt a candidate.

During the primary, I wrote a post about a now forgotten episode that forced Bill Clinton to put his ex-presidential office in Harlem. He initially wanted a space in one of the most expensive buildings in NYC. That turned into a scandal since it would have been the most expensive office space leased by the government, and he was forced to look at Harlem. The NY Times had this story:

another top executive, a rare Democrat in the real estate industry, took a dim view of Mr. Clinton's original choice. ''It was a disgrace,'' said the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ''It was space for a tycoon. And he's a Democrat.''

Every time we nominate someone who can be painted as a fancy blue-blood, we lose. Al Gore lost, John Kerry lost, Hillary Clinton lost.

If Democrats want to be viewed as allies rather than manipulators by the poor and working class, we will have to insist that our politicians “start flying coach”. Democrats can no longer limit themselves to Martha’s Vineyard, Manhattan penthouses and the glitzier zip codes in Florida, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Seattle.

This election demonstrated that big money matters far less than lobbyists and bundlers at $10,000 a plate dinners tell you it does. Indeed, it can become a liability if a candidate is perceived as having been bought by donors. That lesson must not be forgotten.

It’s the economy stupid

29% of Latinos voted for Trump, that’s 2% more than voted for Romney in 2012. Some around here will call them self-hating fools, or we can remember that like most Americans they or their ancestors came here to make a better life for themselves. If we cannot deliver on that promise, or appear to be working against their material interests, we will lose them too.

Though Democrats under Obama managed to bring us back from the brink of the Great Recession, the gains such as they were, were unevenly distributed. Many people never fully recovered from the foreclosures and job losses they suffered during the recession. They believe the elite who caused the crisis got away with it because they hob-nob with and donate to the political class. They aren’t wrong.

Now, it’s not entirely Democrats fault. There was a bipartisan consensus in favor of clemency, greased by campaign contributions, friendships and revolving doors. But we are supposedly the left-leaning party. It’s our job to look out for the working class. We have been remiss.

income inequality is the biggest issue in the country

Or maybe folks actually do sort of understand FDR economics, but then get confused because both parties have claimed for decades that FDR economics sucked. — katiec

Neither Democrats, nor Republicans, have proposed a simple answer to the extreme inequality in our country. This gross inequality leaves 20% of our children in grinding poverty facing food insecurity while an ever smaller number prosper. I am fortunate to be among that small number, but it is a cold comfort. Unless we have a meaningful answer for the economic insecurity so many of our fellow Americans feel, you can expect to see your politics roiled again and again. They may be tinged with other disgruntlements, but at their core is dissatisfaction about material outcomes.

Centrist Democrats do not know the country they wish to govern. Worse, centrist Democrats are terrible at selling progressive economic policies because they lack conviction, which makes for a bad salesperson. Which is why they are now telling us there was no way to win the voters in Ohio. The fact is, they can’t win the voters in Ohio, unless they accidentally run into a genius on the stump like Barack Obama.

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs. — Robert Reich

It’s not just income inequality. We on the left own every other good issue too. Just think about the ways Bernie’s politics differ from Hillary’s third-way politics:

  • His message on trade was far more labor friendly.
  • He hit all the right notes on Women’s Rights, including equal pay, family leave
  • His foreign policy was far better. He would not have been assailed on support for various wars.
  • His focus on income inequality was spot on.
  • His tax policy was far more progressive.
  • His views on the outsized impact of the financial sector on our economy and politics resonated.
  • His attention to money in politics and Citizen’s United was critical.
  • His rhetoric and thinking on all the following were inspiring:
    • poverty
    • especially childhood poverty
    • racial justice
    • unabashed advocacy for single payer health care
    • free/low-cost college
    • a living wage

These are the right positions for Democrats to hold. We do not need binders full of legislative proposals from lobbyists right now. Instead, we need to do the hard work to introduce and sell these ideas to the broader public. While we do that we need to keep it simple. Once we have the support and win, the detailed legislation can be written.

These issues are winning issues in many parts of the country. We have lost those parts because we allowed third-way Democrats to repudiate the New Deal. As we move forward to reform the Democratic party, don’t be disheartened. We are the change the country needs.

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The media’s verdict is less than useless

As this cycle demonstrated, universal media affirmation is toxic. Every newspaper in the country endorsed Clinton, because she was familiar. And she lost.

BAD FOREIGN POLICY CAN COST ELECTIONS

We must repeat and emphasize that poorly thought out wars (like the Iraq war and our many “interventions”) have real costs. Certainly in terms of hundreds of thousands of brown people killed overseas. But also in terms of political losses at home. Earlier this month, the NYT tried to explore why Clinton trailed with veterans by 19 points:

In interviews with more than three dozen veterans, many praised Mr. Trump for candidly criticizing the costs of war, an issue they see few politicians in either party taking on. And they are unconcerned with how or when he arrived at his positions.

“The Iraq war was a disaster,” said Dustin Stewart, a former Army captain and Iraq veteran. “He is at least not trying to tiptoe around it. And I think some of the other Republicans were afraid of it.” [...]

Mr. Stewart grew up in a conservative family in Texas, where Rush Limbaugh’s show often played on the radio. In 2000, he cast a proud vote for George W. Bush. But six years later, he was leading an infantry platoon outside Ramadi, a hotbed of the insurgency then enveloping parts of Iraq. Mr. Stewart returned home alive but disillusioned. He supported Mr. Paul in the 2008 Republican primary race and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee, in the 2012 election.

“I don’t want pity. I just want people to care,” said Mr. Stewart, adding, “Do you know what your politicians are sending us to do?”

The anti-war left may never be able to speak to all these voters. But many of them won’t they hear out a centrist hawk they believe is enthralled by defense industry lobbyists and generals lusting for new toys.

We must have a positive message

In a strange way, Trump's message was one of hope. And half of all Americans voted for that. Make America Great Again was left deliberately vague. People invested that with whatever they felt used to make their America Great but was taken away from them. It meant different things to different people. It might have meant a steady job that got shipped overseas, or a house that was foreclosed. For some it was undoubtedly a yearning for an America where their race was supreme. It was, a way of saying "I feel your pain".

Running a largely oppositional, fear-based campaign, even against some as reviled as Trump was a mistake

We have a hopeful message. We have a progressive message. It is far better than anything the Republicans or third-way Democrats have. Let's keep working to make the dream real.

I’ll end with Michael Moore whom I agree with almost entirely. Except that I think the electoral college and our federal structure are fine:

  1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.
  2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn't let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must "heal the divide" and "come together." They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.
  3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn't wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that's about to begin.
  4. Everyone must stop saying they are "stunned" and "shocked". What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren't paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all "You're fired!" Trump's victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.
  5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: "HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!" The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don't. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he's president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we'll continue to have presidents we didn't elect and didn't want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there's climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don't want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the "liberal" position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

Let's try to get this all done by noon today.
-- Michael Moore

And in case you need some musical inspiration today.

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Bisbonian's picture

I think the obvious first step is the guillotine for Trix and all followers.

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

See, I tell ya', they think we're the Manson gang over at TOP.

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Azazello's picture

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It didn't have to be this way.

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

PriceRip's picture

          Calls to rebuild the Democratic Party are getting a bit old (as in dead rotting corpus old) for some of us. In Nebraska it takes the form of a fresh face from the "Nebraskan's For Peace" group showing up in town. They have never bothered to become schooled in the loooong history of "left leaning" actions and so they try to motivate using the same old tired rhetoric.

          The same is true of the calls to "We have failed! What should WE do to fix the problem." at the national level. "This is getting old....", you bet. We are not going to pull the Democratic Party left, it is just not going to happen. We need to come up with a plan to create a coherent (as much as possible) true left in this country.

          Certainly a literary exegesis of the Democratic Party may provide some useful information, but the notion that "we" are a part of the problem as in "we lost" is just insulting.

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

dance you monster's picture

The motivation to turn things to another path is not.

Subir, if you're posting these diaries at TOP, please create a version for c99p that reflects its different audience. There's more than one "we" in this universe.

That said, a broader "we" do need to look to what to do, now that things are not going to go well for anyone that the New Deal Democratic Party or the Left in general should be wanting to protect.

I am hardly of the opinion that any substantive improvement is likely to take place in the current Democratic Party. The signs of that are simply not showing up, just the opposite. Maybe if the Democrats fire everyone, pronto, then "we" can try to see if there's any common ground between us to consider working toward a better society through that party. Or through another. That the general "we" need to do something is apparent, however, and somethings of any significance are better done with greater numbers of people.

So, Subir, I wish you luck in convincing the Dems, those with some resources and position, to change. Then it would be reasonable to see if we in c99p, for instance, have common ground with what emerges.

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PriceRip's picture

          If I may add: For every success in which I played a part, each step involved achievable goals leading to an objective. Who was it that said, "Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"?

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Bisbonian's picture

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"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

I post pretty much the same thing on C99 and DK. I alternatively get shit on or applauded.

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@subirgrewal

dance you monster's picture

(though your ease of flipping from pro-Sanders to pro-Hillary to Sanders enthusiast suggests you do modify them quite readily with or without an audience).

I'm suggesting that you, like any good writer, consider your audience and write with the wording that will acknowledge their part in the conversation. Any one audience's context may be different than another audience's, and the phrasing can reflect your recognition of that.

Or ignore them as unimportant to your expressing yourself. Your call.

I'm genuinely trying to help you here. But you don't have to accept that.

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Hawkfish's picture

The bit about pansuited flash mobs cracked me up too.

But the point is that communication includes those being communicated with as well as the communicator. I read your post by popping four ibuprofen and pretending I was still at TOP and I think it is perfect for over there.

Over here, we already know and accept half of this stuff, but are less sanguine about reforming the Democratic Party, so a rewrite with that in mind might have been nice. Not to change the content particularly but to enter the conversation more smoothly.

Still, it seems like a massive piece of work, and I can see the prospect of rewriting would be daunting. Add that to the fact that links to over there are unlikely to be used compared to other media sources, and I'm willing to forgive the unedited cross-post. In future, could you at least take a moment to clean up the presentation a bit (the quotes have all these strange characters in them etc. Thanks.

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

Steven D's picture

Bernie did reach out to people of Color, far more than Hillary did. His best and most popular surrogates were Nina Turner and Rodario Dawson. Rep. Keith Ellison and Rep Raul Grijalva supported him, endorsed him and were among his closest advisers. His press secretary was a black woman. His supporters included everyone from Cornel West to Killer Mike to Black Men (and Black Women) for Bernie. He had Spike Lee speak for him in New York. Let me tell you, Spike Lee doesn't do political endorsements for old white men very often.

more importantly, the more people of color heard him speak, unfiltered from the disinformation campaign by the Clinton camp and the mainstream media, the more their support for him grew, especially among younger African-Americans and Hispanics. The issue wasn't his outreach, it was the media lies and distortions about his civil rights record and the many people of color who did support him.

So, please, retract that part of your statement or a least educate yourself on Bernie's record past and present and and his outreach efforts. Then compare it to Clinton and the DNC who cozied up to the old style leaders of those communities, while avoiding and evading and sometimes outright scorning people of color who demanded more from her than mere platitudes and her coasting on their supposed solid relationship with those communities which in large measure was a canard.

Some folks who supported Sanders you should be listening to:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgLOUuOriTqtH6be73oBDJLC_XoVtgt_5
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMCioqY4zblWt7Uw0E0VTGA
https://www.youtube.com/user/TimsTakeLive

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

Cachola's picture

And I would like to add Shaun King, who is active with BLM and writes for NY Daily News. At the end and after Bernie capitulated Shaun supported Hillary because he was really afraid Trump would win but he was Bernies staunch supporter.

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Steven D's picture

I forgot about Shaun, but yes, he was a big Bernie supporter.

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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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

lotlizard's picture

Using your own store of memories is not “constructive,” citizen.

It is your obligation in this time of crisis to confine yourself to citing only those memories and entertaining only those thoughts certified as Approved for the Moment™ by mass media.

It is important that we allow the ruling elite to do that black-marker redaction thing on our own memories and speech — as they do to public records whenever anyone tries to investigate what in hell they are actually doing in our names.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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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

Lets try to have a serious conversation about what we can do now to protect ourselves from Trump and his killer clowns. I think we mostly all agree that it starts with killing the existing Democratic Party and replacing it. Replacing it because the shortest route is a functioning two party system. Together, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson barely got 5% of the vote. I would like real change before my grandkids get old and die.

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

Big Al's picture

And you're right, it would be nice to have a serious conversation about it. If people could get out of their little boxes.
I'm being sarcastic because it just never seems to get anywhere except back to working within this political system. And that is getting us nowhere.

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There was some good conversation in there, and there's been several deep discussions in other essays.

It takes time for things to percolate. It's a crazy, fast-moving time in some ways, a little like the 60s in terms of the intensity and occasionally surprising twists and turns.

As the bike riding Captain America once observed:

These people are getting their shit together.

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Big Al's picture

Not really though. Actually speaking of the 60's, I wrote an article recently about the Weather Underground in the 70's. The purpose wasn't about the violence they used, but that they were fighting for the same things and same reasons we are today - the political system was corrupt, capitalism was evil, war and imperialism must stop, etc.
So as far as time to percolate, I think we've had enough. We just keep doing the same shit over and over.

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I recently saw a video interview of Ayers. Still tough, defiant. I'll admit admiring many of those people when I was young.

Again, as Captain America said, "I'm hip about time." We don't have a lot of it. There are some things, though, that you can't hurry. That sure doesn't mean that we can't begin making significant changes in our own lives and neighborhoods.

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Big Al's picture

And no final decision needs to be made now.

Nearly a century ago, Progressives outlined a whole new vision for the country. But they didn't take over the government. FDR just stole their agenda. That could happen again. Or the Dems could go the way of the Whigs instead. If you think you're utterly certain exactly which way things will go in the future, then you'd have to be just as deluded as Hillary.

Want to build a new party? Join the Greens? Reform the Dems? Whatever. At this point, how can it hurt to have people pushing the Dems to the left at the same time alternatives are cropping up? It might be pointless, but are you really ready to exclude and insult people who have simply made a tactical decision to try fixing the Democratic Party?

I mean, I voted for Stein, but I don't think this place wants to be called Caucus1percent.

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Big Al's picture

I can get into it too if you want.

And yes, I'm excluding those working with the opposition, the ruling class apparatus called the Democratic party. If they want to work for the establishment that's up to them of course. But they ain't on my team right now. They can join up if they want, or they can stay there.

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From the people you want to work with. They're not excluded from working with anyone else.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

"trying to push the Dems to the left," let me say that you guys are, of course, free to spend your time however you wish. But I won't be there, and you probably won't be working with me if you're spending most of your energy trying to reform the Democratic party.

I'm not sure what you mean by "exclude;" is somebody kicking people off the site? Exclude from what?

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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

I did a point by point down below. What's yours?

I think our first discussion and decision is on third party or the second party of a two party system since it is what we have. I know this will be a doozy because we have no faith that the Democratic Party can be reformed even if we drive a stake into it. Assuming we can take over the "other" second party spot, do we agree that it is more advantageous than being a third party in the US which can only grasp the concept of two?

@Goin South I was not criticizing. You have tried as have others. I know everything in its time and in its place. But we need to perservere and keep coming back.

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

Why not? That gets as old as calls to work within the Democratic Party to be honest.

Bluntly: you seem to be hinting and implying a revolution is in order but can't quite bring yourself to say it. Just say it already.

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Big Al's picture

"We need a Revolution".

There you go.

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Taking pot shots at folks on a blog who think we aren't yet ready for revolution isn't helping you convince anyone, or ignite one.

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PriceRip's picture

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

And I apologize to my fellow C99-ers for re-posting it, but I would like a response from you, especially in light of your call for the Left to "bring POC into the fold."

Why do people here not consider themselves part of this "we" of which you speak, please read this snippet from a long-time Kossack in one of ExpatGirl's purge diaries:

But it is difficult because I see the racial and religious animus rising within both parties now. I see myself, once a tough-minded and persevering person losing hope. I see myself being white having no place in our society anymore because I am a liberal and the people who are of color and liberal do not trust me or like me and the people who are of my skin color are by a majority conservative and don’t trust or like me. I am getting old. I am getting tired. I am really tired of being abused and discounted.

And just in case someone is going to swoop in and say, “yeah, so what. we all deal with that.” I am going to respond in advance that the think that breaks my heart into pieces more than anything is that people are more likely to want to exact pain on others than they are to look for ways to reduced pain for everyone. That is where my faith in humanity is most taxed and is nearing empty. I’m at about 5% faith left now. ExpatGirl doesn’t have to worry too much. Her dreams will come true and us white people will die. She can stomp on our graves when we do. Too bad that won't stop the next ascendant majority from abusing their fellow brethren.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/11/10/1596053/-WTF-Is-Wrong-With-Yo...

The Coalition of the Ascendant crap that Democrats have been consoling themselves with for 20 years as they shrank and shrank has now so deluded some people that they think they're going to win elections with around 25% of the voting population. They have drunk so deeply of the kool-aid that they think a coalition of AA, Hispanic and Asian voters will put them permanently in power as if those groups were monolithic and all that able to get along with each other in the first place. Since the main spouters of the CoA bromide are elites who congratulate themselves on the diversity of their milieu while laughing at anyone, white, black or brown, who doesn't drive a Tesla, it's clear that the Democratic Party will follow Identity Road all the way to Whigville. They distract from class-based politics because they themselves are quite comfortable occupants of the Valued Servant Class of the 1%. Those people are not my allies on issues of war and peace nor of class. They never will be.

I know I voted against every Democrat on the ticket, Green where I could and Republican where I couldn't. A stake needs to be put through the heart of that corrupt institution because it currently stands as the biggest impediment to progress in the country if not the world. Once the Dems are done, we can take on the Republicans who have very nearly destroyed themselves in this election.

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In the US, 53% of Mexicans self-identify as white. The Latino population in the US includes people like Rita Hayworth and Cameron Diaz for crying out loud.

I come from a place with a decent number of Spanish people. From what I've seen, give a family three generations in the US, and they won't be able to speak any more Spanish than Hillary Clinton. One friend of mine is bummed that neither he nor his wife know how to make any of the dishes his mom and grandmother used to make.

What's interesting is that whether they retain only a little Spanish identity or a lot, identity politics doesn't cement them to the Democrats or to progressivism. Even Latinos that aggressively over-pronounce their surnames (this is something I find to be ridiculously poseur when TV anchorpeople do it, having a non-English surname myself) may be centrist, conservative or Republican in their leanings. And they don't necessarily feel solidarity with black people, to put things mildly.

The Ascendant theory is doomed.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

Just one - two at most - if the ethnic group is sufficiently aggressive about assimilating. I had to learn Italian from opera librettos and intentional study - can read it passably but can't converse in it. (Wouldn't even be doing that well if I hadn't taken Latin in high school!)

Mom can't speak or understand it at all - she tried to learn it but she was too old and the "new language' pathways had ossified.

Her father was sort-of bilingual - predominantly English with some vestigial, garbled Irpino dialect. (He was born in the USA.) But he didn't marry another Italian (grandmother was part-Irish, I'm not sure how large a part) and didn't pass the old tongue on to his children.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

politics. And PoC are very receptive to that. All countries have class based and identity politics.
I've never pushed anyone away because of the color of their skin. But, if you demand PoC listen to you, you should be willing to listen back. Which would actually do a whole lot of good because our concerns are the same. I'e said before that the left has always been the most staunch ally PoC have. One of the Clintonites' biggest faults is the attempt to fracture us.

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@subirgrewal

Bollox Ref's picture

Note to author. This is a non partisan site.......... certainly not Democratic.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

movie buff's picture

It means people can support any political party, or none. If C99 becomes a place where it is verboten to even say anything constructive about the Democrats, then it will have become the perfect mirror image of Daily Kos, and just as rigidly doctrinaire.

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"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." --Noam Chomsky

Bollox Ref's picture

Just getting a bit tired of the Democratic navel-gazing.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

better get engaged or left behind. We wanted Clintons to lose with the hope it would blow up the Democratic Party and give us an opportunity to create something new. Here it is....

I do wish Sabir would replace we with the Democratic Party. It may work o dailykos where he double posts, but it only confuses the issues here. c99 is smart enough to overcome it and respond from where we live.

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

Bollox Ref's picture

Thing is, if a certain candidate had been given a fair shot for the nomination and then on into the General, we would likely not be in this situation.

All the essaying seems beside the point and just an attempt to restrict conversation to the confines of the moribund, so-called 'People's Party'.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

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@subirgrewal

Steven D's picture

I good so annoyed when people call me Steve D or Stephen D! Outrageous I tell you.

[Place Snark button here]

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

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

but honestly? It's really amazing that anybody on the left is willing to stay in the Democratic party after the way they've been treated during the past ten months. For me, the Nevada caucus was the bridge-burner. You're welcome to say "Well, that's just *you*, CSTS--not everybody has to feel that way" and you're right. But I wonder if people really understand the full implications of the DNC trying to portray people as dangerous thugs. There's really only one reason to do that. We can see the implications just fine when it's being done to POC, but for some reason if it's not aimed specifically racially, people just act like it was rude behavior, or mean behavior (not really dangerous, not something that indicates enmity, certainly not!)

I beg to differ. As someone who has done the march-in-the-streets thing fairly frequently, applications of the "dangerous thug" meme means only one thing to me, especially when it's based on lies. Someone who does that isn't just to the right of me: he or she is threatening my safety, or at least the safety of my allies.

There's no going back from that. From my perspective, any discussion of "staying within the party" is crazy--you might as well try to work with George W Bush, because the Democratic party is just as much your enemy as he is.

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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

blazinAZ's picture

Clinton was never my candidate.

If "we" is defined as human beings, then yes "we" lost. But that's as far as I'd go in agreeing with you, Subir. Clinton was never on the side of the people, and neither is Trump. "We" were going to lose either way.

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There is no justice in America, but it is the fight for justice that sustains you.
--Amiri Baraka

and respond from there. You are not being forced to accept anyone's definition or logic

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

Azazello's picture

for Treasury Secretary ? Truly, there was no way to vote against Wall Street in this election.

P.S. - A few of us will be meeting for lunch tomorrow, 1 o'clock, at Red's Smokehouse on University. Stop by and meet us if you dare.

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It didn't have to be this way.

Crider's picture

I saw a Michael Moore clip and he said there were 60,000 Michigan ballots where everything but President was filled in.

Now I hear that Trump has appointed Pence to be his Dick Cheney and fill the staff openings in the executive branch. Compared to Cheney, Pence is a lightweight. He'll recruit wingnut Christianists and ALEC cronies for the things Trump doesn't pick. I have a feeling that Trump doesn't exactly have many close friends from the political arena. Biggrin

Anyway, Trump got many fewer votes than Romney did. He didn't win as much as Clinton failed to gather interest. She also got way fewer votes than Obama did in 2012. Apparently she never offered the VP slot to Sanders. He got a lot of votes and she was unable to capture enough of them and, frankly, didn't even try.

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Steven D's picture

He or his advisers made a deal with the bigs on Wall Street to let them know Trump wasn't serious and this was the price Wall Street extracted from Trump.

It may not end up Jamie Dixon but someone just as bad.

And voila - on Monday, the US stocks rose as if nothing had happened.

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

lotlizard's picture

Evidently there is no change to be had within the American system, if it involves even slightly diminishing the power of Wall Street.

Meanwhile, on the streets, the “Wall Street plus identity politics” team says, come on, let’s everybody march or even riot for the latter, as smoke screen for the former.

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Phoebe Loosinhouse's picture

Its the Enron of politics. It's corrupted and compromised from top to bottom. It has "control fraud" - an atmosphere coming from the top where everything and anything that helps those in favor or in control is promulgated regardless of the collateral damage to society or individuals.

The mask is off. They're charlatans and frauds who pretended to be the faithful defenders of the poor, working and middle classes while they worked feverishly behind the scenes to do the opposite. They could care less about their base and probably have a work group on how to dispense with elections altogether.

They drove the progressive wing out with the spurious accusations of racism and misogyny, so why would any liberal/progressive even care about rejoining them? Who wants to reconstruct them? To what end? It would just be another waste of time when both the planet and the 99% don't have any left.

It's their Party. Let them have it and try to figure out how to sell themselves in the future.

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" “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR "

It is about your strategy to replace them. What is it? Do you do it with a third party or do you help drive a stake through their heart and make your new party the second party in the two party system. The Democrats need to go to Whigville. How do we get them there?

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

and they can cry if they want to , cry if they want to, cry if they want to.
You would cry too, if it happened to you.

stein - baraka
2020

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We didn't lose, the Clintons, the DNC, the DLC, neoliberals lost.
We defeated a corrupt, criminal, greedy, arrogant cabal. This hideously manipulative group of people wouldn't listen to anything they didn't want to hear. Not interested in hearing anything about them. Haven't been a "member" of the Democratic party since it was taken over by the Clintons, DLC, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, pharma lobbyist Howard Dean.

If the Democratic party continues to exist as it is, will continue not to give a flying fuck what they say or do.

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movie buff's picture

but I do want to say that I peeked over at Orange State the day after the election, and a couple of your diaries there were the highlight of my day. You were ripping them a new one and I salute you for it. It was beautiful to behold.

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"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." --Noam Chomsky

riverlover's picture

But I am a 63 y/o woman with a falling-down-my face black eye and an e-cig. Lol.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Sexist/Racist :- needs to go away. Name calling everyone who disagrees with you is not helpful. If it were true, that would even be one thing. But it is such bull shit, it adds insult to injury.

Lose to Change: - OMFG YES - why do you think so many of us were #BernieOrBust and stuck to our guns. Do you think we wanted Trump and his cabinet of killer clowns? We have just as much to lose as the sell outs that caved and supported Clinton. All they wanted to do was kick the can down the road, take no power, and continue the enabling so they could die slowly instead of fast. We fucking stood up and bit the bullet. You're welcome.

POC: - Which ones? The DOV? Hell no. The Black Caucus that betrayed Bernie? Fuck them. Bernie had support from POC, just not the old black religious folks down south, which is why the primary moved there right off the bat. I am also opposed to bringing in POC in a way that divides. BLM took an important issue and immediately turned it into turf and spent the rest of the time explaining and defending their name. I am not going to replay the numbers or percentage of whites, native Americans, and blacks that have been victimized by the Clinton crime agenda. This is an issue that crosses all socio-economic lines, thanks to the war on drugs and the "get tough on crime" mentality that has us charging 6-year-olds with felonies.

DNC: You bet our ass they should be fired. WTF have they won??? The state's belong to the GOP as does the House, Senate and now WH. This trend has been going on since bubba sold the party to Wall Street. I want a real progressive i charge - no Howard Dean for old time sake. He is a lobbyist for big pharma, conservadem, and Hillbot. Bernie wants Keith Ellison, and I say we back Bernie. Keith is first a good man and a real progressive. He is also black and a muslim. I'd support Keith all of the way.

Occupy: Will get their heads busted, but if they are willing, I'm all for them if they stay non-partisan. While we're cleaning house, I think we also need to clean out and expose the veal pen. I'm done with splinters and the professional left pretending to be progressive when they are just ambitious and self-serving whores and political junkies. This includes Kos. He had plenty of money from his other businesses. He didn't need to sell DailyKos to the Democratic Party.

Integrity: I agree that perception is reality, but reality is reality too. I don't know how Tulsi Gabbard and Keith Ellison fly, but they walk the talk and that is what matters.

Equality is the biggest issue: Economic heads the list but it includes equal justice and opporutnity. The excuse that "everyone wanted to look forward" is bull shit, and if Obama wasn't such a loser, he would have insisted on equal justice because it was the right thing to do.

Media: As my husband would say, "useless as tits on a bull". The media and the banks need to be busted up. We need to enforce the anti-trust laws in a big way. I couldn't believe that I had to go to right wing media sites to find out what was going on in the Democratic Party.

Foreign Policy: We need to butt the hell out. We are not the world's unpaid cop. Defense needs to be cut and able to pass an audit. The military is not a jobs programs and needs to be turned back into the last resort.

Positive Message: Yes, ut our actions will speak louder than any slogan on a t-shirt.

As importantly as what is how. How do we make anything happen?

I am tired of the splinters. We need to coalesce and clean house and kick ass. I am willing to follow Bernie if he will step out and lead AS AN INDEPENDENT.

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

just thumbs up this! dkmich mic drop!

Edited for "if".

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O.k. When is the next meeting for the revolution?
-FuturePassed on Sunday, November 25, 2018 10:22 p.m.

I am tired of the splinters as well.

Bernie's already an independent. But he does caucus with the Democrats. Unless we can deliver a third-party caucus in the Senate, that's the only game.

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@subirgrewal

Folks, WE are in this mess whether we are Democrats or not.

Lets try to have a serious conversation about what we can do now to protect ourselves from Trump and his killer clowns. I think we mostly all agree that it starts with killing the existing Democratic Party and replacing it. Replacing it because the shortest route is a functioning two party system. Together, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson barely got 5% of the vote. I would like real change before my grandkids get old and die.

I can't help myself I just have to say it one more time and then I am done. Subir we tried it the "Kos" way and it didn't work. I was all in in 2008 for the hope and change BO. Following his first term I saw the light then, knew he wasn't what he said he was but, I and many others, voted LOTE. Then Bernie comes along and we tried very hard to get the Kos crowd to see the light during the primaries. Almost every GD poll said she would lose in the general. Still. Wouldn't. Listen.

So now if the Kos crowd wants to be able use labels like "liberal" and "progressive" you're gonna do it our way or go the way of the dodo bird, or the many other species that have gone extinct due to climate change. We all will.

So go sing your tune on Kos. I know I am not one of the brightest and profound commenters here. If fact I don't have much confidence in my writing ability at all. But you know what? There is no one here attacking or insulting me or telling me I am not good enough. That is what Kos crowd needs to learn. Tolerance and acceptance. And to not look down at people who may not have your skills, talents, abilities and possibly affluent background. To me the elitist "Democrats" are really no better then Republicans.

As for what to do now. I say call your democratic representatives and tell them NO to Pelosi as House Minority Leader; NO to Schumer as Senate Leader (may I suggest Sanders); NO to Brazil and her ilk in the DNC.

And while I support protest these protests could mean SO MUCH MORE it they would get behind NODAPL. This is, I think, the living example of what the fuck is wrong in this country. A Corporation stealing land from indigenous people, the government complicit it the protection of a private corporation using OUR tax dollars to protect this private corporation. Arresting protestors and journalists who are exercising their constitutional rights while Talibundy goes free.

And while catchy slogans like Love Trumps Hate may inspire some, then live it and get behind a long abused and forgotten people and show that.

I love this site and I find great inspiration and comfort from all of you. But it seems everyday we re-hash the same thing. Now is time for a real plan and real action. And maybe what I suggested and am doing isn't the best or brightest but at least I am trying to DO something.

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O.k. When is the next meeting for the revolution?
-FuturePassed on Sunday, November 25, 2018 10:22 p.m.

Everyone should be attaching blame directly to their Democrats on twitter and FB (calling too) for creating President Trump and his killer clowns. We need to be slamming them with the responsibility for this mess. Warning them we will continue to fight them at the polls if they don't fall into line. If we sit here on our little blogs rehashing the same old bull shit and refusing to move on, nothing will change.

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

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@subirgrewal

Arrow's picture

Lets be clear - I did not loose.
The rotting corpse of failed neoliberalism lost.
Brexit and Trump are only symptoms of a deep economic stagnation that neoliberalism has wrought.
There is no need to dwell on the minutia of a failed/broken political system. (I've called this the 'Stockholm Syndrome' that is the American two party system.)
Incrementalist approaches won't fix what is a failure of global political economy.
The change needed to fix it will be long and painful.
A parallel might be the anti-apartied movement. (Remember how long Nelson Mandela spent in jail.)
What we can do is organise, support one another, and oppose the rising fascism. We need to do this in every sphere of society.

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I want a Pony!

reflectionsv37's picture

Once again you've posted on the wrong site. I'm certainly not going to waste my time reading anything this long from you. If I want to read your stuff, I'll go to TOP. And I really don't want to read your stuff.

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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

Azazello's picture

How's that thread going ?

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It didn't have to be this way.

katchen's picture

It's what both parties do, but Hillary Clinton most of all: keep voters looking left/right, left/right, as if they're watching a ping pong match. Blacks/whites, men/women, gay/straight, urban/rural, educated/"deplorable," radicals/realists, adult hold-your-nosers/childish 3rd-party spoilers...

For a short while, in large part thanks to Sanders, people stopped looking left/right, left/right, and they looked UP/DOWN. When they looked up, they saw a small number of fuckers lolling drunkenly in mounds of cash; and when they looked down they saw themselves amid huddled masses of the fucked.

The phrase I keep hearing on the MSM since Wednesday, over and over again, is "We Are A Deeply Divided Nation." No we are not. I think we are more unified than we have been in a long time. The "deeply divided" crap was a campaign ploy promulgated by the Clintons--promulgated all too successfully, despite her loss.

The first thing "we" have to do--we the 99%--is recognize that we're not deeply divided. That recognition would give us enormous strength and hope. Almost everyone on the Hill and in the MSM is working overtime to help ensure that we don't do that dangerous, miraculous thing.

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mouselander's picture

To my friends on the left: Hillary Clinton is not the enemy

from your Halloween diary, needs to be shouted from the rooftops. So very true, Hillary Clinton is most emphatically not the enemy! Hillary Clinton was the enemy - or more correctly, one of the enemies - but now, thankfully, she's been defeated. She won't be a candidate for anything ever again - except, hopefully, a long prison sentence at the Federal penitentiary in Leavenworth. That is, if there is any true justice in the world, which is doubtful.

As for this crap question, why "we" lost - which seems like a rather clumsy attempt to fold back into the Party all those disgruntled Bernie supporters so very recently derided as whiny losers and unicorn chasers - I don't think "we" lost at all. I think America lost, not because Trump won and Clinton was defeated, but because its political system has devolved to the point where the "viable" options were limited to a corrupt, lying warmonger and an unhinged, racist and misogynist buffoon. In a country of 320 million people, this is what our great democracy manages to vomit up?

Going forward: Unfortunately, the Bernie fundraising model cannot be successfully adopted for general use by Democratic Party candidates, because very, very few politicians have anything close to the cred that Bernie built up through a lifetime of advocacy on behalf of the little guy versus the power elite. And rare is the aspiring office holder who would embrace the kind of ascetic sensibility that's required in order to be willing to forego all the perks and privileges enjoyed by those willing to fasten their little snouts to the corporate teat.

Inasmuch as the basic fundraising model of the Democratic Party won't change, its core neoliberal ideology won't change either, because the one begets the other. What we will see is a change in rhetoric, a few meaningless token gestures, and a lot more business as usual. When Chelsea brings Mommy's political ideology back to Congress in a few years, she will feel right at home.

Anyone aspiring to be an agent of meaningful change has to embrace the reality that the Democratic Party is spoiled beyond any hope of redemption. There are systemic barriers that prevent it from being a credible advocate on behalf of common folk. A completely new political paradigm is needed, that has to be developed outside the existing two-party system. It will have to involve, on the one hand, a massive citizen education campaign, and on the other, an electoral option so obviously and transparently superior to those currently existing that a critical mass of those who are terminally disillusioned with the existing model will be inclined to say: "What the hell - why not give it a shot?"

As has been pointed out before, a few years ago Greece's ruling Syriza Party was barely a blip on the political radar screen. Things can change in a hurry when people are angry enough. The US system makes it much tougher for alternate political movements to gain a foothold, but that's not to say it is completely impossible. At any rate, the practical choice involves either attempting to work within a completely corrupt and dysfunctional system that has time and again proven totally resistant to meaningful change, or going outside that system and trying something new and different.

For those who may have forgotten, or never heard, that oft-repeated definition of insanity, good luck if you happen to choose Option 1.

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inactive account

Roy Blakeley's picture

It gives minor parties a fair shot at growing. The US system does not. Electoral rules were once fairer in the US, hence the eclipsing of the Whigs and the ascendancy of the Republicans. Electoral laws now make it almost impossible to win or even get a few electoral votes as a third party. I wish it were different. I have contributed to the Green Party since 2004 and I voted for Stein. I am a registered Democrat because I want to vote in primaries and, frankly, my state and local Democratic legislators are good people and they vote like I would. Our options are awful and time is short. The specter of anthropogenic climate change looms and will not wait for the development of a third party. Fascism is a real worry. The current leadership of the Democratic Party is clueless, and to the extent that they are sentient, they are malevolent. The media (corporate and NPR) are a cruel self parody. Because all options are bad, all are easy to criticize, but some are a little more plausible than others. After this election, that has thoroughly discredited the DNC, I see replacing the DNC leadership and reforming the Democratic Party as a long shot, but probably more realistic than the other options.

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mouselander's picture

If an independent candidate for US Senate like Bernie Sanders or Angus King can be viable, why can't a non-duopoly candidate for any other office? The Green Party was successful in getting their presidential candidate on the ballot in 44 states this year, probably encompassing 90 percent or more of all voters. What specific rules have changed that make it harder for a third party to gain a foothold now, as opposed to the Civil War era?

I see the Democratic Party as being broken beyond any hope of redemption, but if you disagree than by all means try to reform it. I personally won't be involving myself in that effort, because I don't believe it's possible. Just as you apparently don't believe it's possible to develop a viable political structure outside the two-party system. Which is perfectly okay with me. It's not possible to get everyone pointed in the same direction. Every individual will have to make a determination as to what course of action makes the most sense to them.

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inactive account

Have to compete at every level. And if you think the right way to do this is with the Greens, that's great. But let's not wait till 2020.

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@subirgrewal

mouselander's picture

that the Green Party only ran a candidate for President this year. On the national level, GP ran 5 candidates for US Senate, and 26 for congressional seats. That's in addition to many more running for office at the state and local level.

I'm not necessarily committed towards trying to build up the Green Party, just to finding an effective way to work outside of what I consider a dysfunctional and dead-end two party system that is explicitly designed to serve no one's interests other than those dedicated to preserving the status quo.

As I said above, if you genuinely believe that the Democratic Party can be remade in a way that makes it responsive to the needs and interests of average citizens, then by all means have at it. I really have no quarrel with those who wish to remain within the DP framework, that's just not the choice I've decided to make for myself.

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inactive account

riverlover's picture

NY still has me as a Dem, they don't update their lists too often. But I am a loose cannon, still shopping. And disappointed at the Stein percentage (aren't we all? c99ers only?). I must be courted and convinced, fooled again by Bernie. But I am not angry with him. I voted D locally.

Just signed, scanned and re-emailed the papers for the sale of my Canada disaster zone. Moolah next month! Crazy with sadness and relief. I will dream about that spot on the shore forever.IMG_0052.JPG

This is from the ferry dock. Welcome to Lake Ontario! And my first photo to transfer over. Should have put it in the cloud essay.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Short version.

1. Forget reforming Dem Party.

2. Use existing Green Party as the vehicle.

3. Ranked choice voting, ranked choice voting, ranked choice voting. This is the key.

4. Honest and long term approach to deal with AA loyalty (90%) to traditional Dem Party.
Baraka will have a big job to do, if he wants it.

5. Is there any one else who can compare with 2016 Green actions in support of PoC?
DAPL protestors in particular/

Why not the Green party? Who out there is better than Stein?
If we want in, there is the open door. Or we can wait for ... Who?What? Something better?

Nope. It is a chance for honest work, and I just might see if they are hiring. We need to get going.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

saying,

Anyone aspiring to be an agent of meaningful change has to embrace the reality that the Democratic Party is spoiled beyond any hope of redemption. There are systemic barriers that prevent it from being a credible advocate on behalf of common folk. A completely new political paradigm is needed, that has to be developed outside the existing two-party system.

[My bolding of mouselander's words--for emphasis.]

I've been pretty much appalled by what appears to be the so-called 'lessons learned,' as a result of the [near] blowout electoral defeat of the corrupt corporatist Democratic Party.

IMO, it's a Fool's Errand to think that corporatist Dems will suddenly fold, and allow the Party to be drug to the left, much less, taken over. If anything, the opposite is likely to happen--just look at the quick move to hint that Governor Dean may soon be taking over the DNC.

According to today's news, it appears that DT is already folding like a cheap suit--preparing to reach across the aisle to work with corporatist Dems on several of their toxic neoliberal policy prescriptions.

(Less than 3 days after his victory--gotta be a record!)

As I see it, the greatest obstacle that 'progressives' have is that they need to free themselves from their shackles of fear and risk aversion.

IOW, 'grow a pair.'

Wink

Look at what the Republican Base just did--took someone, who many would say was a bozo, and who totally functioned outside the realm of politics, and put him in power--achieving an almost electoral landslide.

If they can do it, why can't we?

Reminds me of a line from the Anthony Hopkins movie I saw recently, entitled, 'The Edge.' As Hopkins prepared to take on the task of luring and killing a Kodiak bear that was stalking them, he insisted that his pessimistic and reluctant partner, Alec Baldwin, repeat and affirm the following phrase,

"What one man can do, another man can do."

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

Cole - SOSD

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

YOU did. Obama did, Bill did, Hillary most assuredly did, the Media certainly did, the DNC lost when they decided it had to be "HER TURN" and dumped Bernie. Every ConservaDem out there DID THIS. Your arrogance and condescending dismissal of the left did this. Every single Repuke voter for the last 50 years did this. And while I'd love to blame only them as your party will incessantly whine, this is your fault as much as theirs, and now they've been allowed to have that final say.

Mr Obama had people out there voting for change and he shit on them. You poohpooed the young struggling among us as nothing other than basement dwellers wanting "free shit." And you came over here and tried to shame every single one of us with arrogance and dismissal into voting for everything we stand against. This one belongs almost entirely to the Democratic party, period, end of discussion.

And you think that party can be reformed? I'm sorry, I don't, and I'll readily admit I did not bother with this entire diary. You can try to analyze it all you want, but people are mad as hell and really struggling and you simply dismissed them. You reap what you sow.

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

detroitmechworks's picture

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

you have a credibility problem.
Most of what you just said Bernie supporters have been saying for a year.
Where were you? Telling us that we had to support Hillary.

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Azazello's picture

I think subir was Berner 'til they flipped him.

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It didn't have to be this way.

I'm still with him. Trump is a real threat.

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@subirgrewal

detroitmechworks's picture

Fuck Hillary. "Scary Trump" does not convince me of shit.

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

Cassiodorus's picture

But Bernie, now doubt, couldn't tell us that because he thought he might have had a chance at an effective committee chairmanship if only he could get the Democrats to take back the Senate and keep the White House. That was his plan. It didn't work. Its expiration date was last Tuesday. What's Bernie's new plan, by the way?

Remember that Bernie's ideas of politics are based on a rather ruthless notion of pragmatism, one that has gotten us to the nasty fix we're in now as the "best possible option." Well some of us here at c99% think we need something more pragmatic than pragmatism. I've suggested a new party, for instance. So we disagree with Bernie sometimes.

We're also interested in a more realistic view of politics than the one offered by Clinton supporters. The Clinton supporters are all like "things look grim now." News flash: things started looked grim a long time ago.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

solublefish's picture

You and Mouselander have convinced me. I did not see that diary of yours when it appeared - I just left a comment there in case the thread reawakens.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

The "we" I'm part of lost in June.

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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

unlike so many folks around me, i'm not freaking out this week, because my freakout has been "baked in", as the financial markets folks like to say, since June -- when it became almost certain that either Trump or HRC would be elected in November.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

formulating many things to say in reply, too many, in fact, for a reply. I would like to make a few brief points all the same.

1. To turn this nation and the world around, we need as many people and agencies, industries, power structures and the like working together as possible. Thus, if the Democratic Party USA wishes to turn itself around and participate in a joint effort to make life better and to make the US a better place, that is all well and good.

2. The Democratic Party USA must make that change, and it must join all the other persons, groups and entities that have been working in that direction. They need not join it and they can stop with the "take it or leave it - our way or the highway" approach. The goals are not their property and never have been, in fact, they pretty much never have been their goals.

3. Authoritarian cadres are to be eschewed, so the Democratic Party USA might as well forget about re-establishing command and instead seek to participate.

4. It is dangerous and wrong thinking to speak of "bringing POC into the fold". They were never ejected or rejected. The history of this country is a history of racism, slavery, segregatoin and the like, but parts of the early labor and farmer union movements were integrated. The civil rights movement was somewhat integrated as well.

The "Black Power Movement" was a response to a tendency of a predominantly non-black left to try to organize, run, coordinate and supervise everything. It was not a cry for separation or segregation, but an assertion that actions principally concerning POC should be organized, coordinated and run by POC and that actions of universal concern should inclusive of all at all levels. They were not movement outsiders, but were participants asserting that the movement had evolved into one where most organizing cadres were non-black.

It should be made clear that the left is inherently, by purpose ideology and nature, inclusive and integrated. To the extent that POC feel excluded, then it needs to be emphasized and clarified that they are not, and that we must be a coalition of all who are interested in some or all of the same goals of justice, equality, peace and civil liberties for all in order to have any chance of success; but that very ideology and goal prohibits any such thought process such as some sort of free standing lily white us "bringing POC into the fold".

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

lotlizard's picture

A lot of white people don’t feel privileged; they feel excluded too — isn’t that one of the strongest messages voters were trying to send this year?

Elsewhere people have talked about a long comment at TOP by “inclusiveheart” about being made to feel that whites are not welcome in the movements incipiently forming.

Some PoC seem overly absorbed in some kind of “my personal vindictiveness is historical vengeance” thing, deriving great satisfaction from telling white people to go away, or to sit down and shut up.

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Borkrom's picture

I have had a major problem with your tone and "insights" about this election, the chosen candidate and your party. That is why I do not care about any of your previous articles and this one. (Yes, this is a terrible and douche bag thing to write, but I am hoping it will wake you up).

Point of advice- When you are shouting at an audience that is not willing to listen to your message or you are not willing to listen to the audience then guess what, you have failed and nothing is working. Therefore, seek to understand and adapt the message.

Nearly all the people that are regulars on this site care really give a shit about all the important things in life, society, our country and this community, but when they speak up and provide great insights and feedback to others they are ignored or dismissed- well guess what, we are right about freaking everything!!!!! This makes me happy and makes you look foolish- this opinion is harsh but real. This site is the place for enlightenment, truth and knowledge. Stay around and learn a few things.

So instead of providing a plan from your perspective ask us what is the best course of action. Work with us instead of lecturing and waging your finger at us.

To me, the Democratic Party left me and is in the wilderness, and I am freaking happy. To watch the circle firing squads and the poor ass excuses for the election loses is wonderful. To blame all the results on race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender is wrong and inexcusable, it is damn right hypocritical. I laugh, because if this is the party of inclusion, it sounds exclusive to me; therefore, I want nothing from them.

Until the Democratic Party wakes up, they will be the minor party in this country for a long time to come. Psst, look at the number of governor and state legislatures they control about a quarter of them. They need to get rid of the leadership scum (just like stagnate water) and focus on truly understanding what is it to be a liberal (FDR, Kennedy) and live and embody their message.

I hope you read and understand my harsh points, but I do not put a lot of faith in it.

Peace and blessings.

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You will never get rid of the neoliberals who hold power. The people who hold power and will hold power are the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Schumer, long time democratic party lawmakers, and rich donors. No Bernie like Sanders-movement will remove them. Pelosi who went out of her way to tell the banksters that Warren does not speak for the democrats will have her office forever. The NY delegation to Congress looks to be in the pockets of Wall Street as was Hillary. Patty Murray of WA is totally in the pocket of the MIC. Wyden and the entire Oregon delegation except for Merkley supported TPP.

Obama quite frankly didn't give a shit about gay rights. His DOJ defended DOMA with the most vile reasons. He only supported gay rights because of a massive movement. He was forced into taking a pro-gay position.

How about the democratic mayors who helped with the violent crackdown of OWS?

I could go on and on, but the point is that the agents of change will be movements.

Maybe now those who hold power in the democratic power be scared of the left, rather than arrogantly presumptuous of the left. The national democratic party will not have some sort of fantasy flushing out of its establishment. Rather that point is to make them scared of their political (and with it economic and social) lives so they do the right thing.

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