What it means to be a leftist in the U.S.

It's hard to imagine just how completely the political leadership of the left-wing has failed us until they try to do something. For example, progressives in the Democratic Party are only now trying to create a comprehensive foreign policy stand.

the failure of the progressive wing to talk about foreign affairs has circumscribed the range of acceptable policy options.”

When even a centrist Democrat complains about progressives not speaking up you know the problem isn't just the Democratic leadership. It's a problem of the quality of the progressives being elected as well.
Another example of the failure of elected progressives is the recent promise of proportional representation on five key House committees. You would think that they would have insisted on it from the start, but it's even worse than that.

But finding enough progressives to sit on those committees has thus far proven difficult, The Intercept has learned. CPC members who already have committee assignments of their own on less powerful committees are reluctant to switch, as they would lose the seniority they’ve built up over the years. Separately, they worry about the jockeying that would be required on the new committees, which would put them in confrontations with centrist members that many would rather avoid for internal political reasons.

Really? Do progressives, other than this freshman class, have any fight in them at all?
Part of this problem comes from the habit of corporate centrists calling themselves liberal or progressive, and thus watering-down the terms until they appear meaningless.
The words aren't meaningless, but they appear that way because of the way they've been misused for so long. For modern Washington politics, it's part of a larger trend.

it’s an indictment of the old guard of the Democratic Party and its financiers—who gave up their right to call themselves the adults in the room when they proved that they couldn’t come up with a plan to defeat a carnival barker who can’t stop telling everyone how badly he wants to have sex with his own daughter. What we are witnessing with the Clintonian wing of the party in the Trump Era is a modern reenactment of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
The Clinton legacy is making the Democratic Party more conservative and more focused on style than substance.

What happens is people hating labels based on phonies misusing them.
For instance, Hillary Clinton liked to call herself a progressive, despite the fact she was on the center-right. The whole Democratic establishment and the GOP agreed with her that she was a "progressive", so if you weren't paying close attention you would think that progressives are neoliberal warmongers.
What you wind up with is oxymoron terms. Specifically I'm thinking of Trumpenleft.

The Trumpenleft (or “Sputnik Left,” as it is also called by professional anti-Putin-Nazi intelligence analysts) is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is a gang of nefarious Putin-Nazi infiltrators posing as respectable leftists in order to disseminate Trumpian ideology and Putin-Nazi propaganda among an assortment of online leftist magazines that hardly anyone ever actually reads. The aim of these insidious Trumpenleft infiltrators is to sow confusion, chaos, and discord among actual, real, authentic leftists who are going about the serious business of calling Donald Trump a fascist on the Internet twenty-five times a day, verbally abusing Julian Assange, occasionally pulling down oppressive statues, and sharing videos of racist idiots acting like racist idiots in public.

The Trumpenleft is determined to sabotage (or momentarily disrupt) this revolutionary work, mostly by tricking these actual leftists into critically thinking about a host of issues that there is no good reason to critically think about … global capitalism, national sovereignty, immigration, identity politics, corporate censorship, and other issues that there is no conceivable reason to discuss, or debate, or even casually mention, unless you’re some kind of Russia-loving Nazi.

Obviously that quote is heavy with sarcasm, but it also says something about what many consider to be "the left".
Possibly the greatest damage that Clinton Democrats did is redefining "the left" into something that leads with identity politics while embracing neoliberal economics. This is the opposite of leftist politics from the French Revolution to the 1990s.
So you can either agree that Clinton Dems flipped leftist politics on its head for all time, or you can recognize the obvious, that Clinton Dems were never part of the left.

To give you an idea of just how badly the Clinton Democrats messed up by shifting to the right, consider this truth bomb that got mentioned on Fox News, and why the Clinton Dems have no response to it.

During a rare segment on the closing of major GM plants across Trump country, Fox Business Network host Charles Payne expressed his concern that the company’s decision to fire workers amidst “record earnings” would turn America towards “socialism.”

“And again, it's not like they're in dire straits,” he said. “Now, they're trying to get ahead of things, they want a big fat cash flow. But this is why, I think, capitalism in and of itself is in a lot of trouble in this country.”

“Because these companies keep posting record earnings and they keep firing people. They keep posting record earnings and they buying back billions of dollars of their own stock. The American public is going to get hip to this and my fear is that they're going to end up electing, not a Democratic Socialist, just a straight-up socialist because of these kind of shenanigans. They should have saw this coming a long time ago.”

Before Payne could make capitalism sound any worse, anchor Bill Hemmer quickly changed the subject to this week’s bounce back in the financial markets.

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Pricknick's picture

as they would lose the seniority they’ve built up over the years

Why should I elect a new senator or representative if they are to be treated as lessors due to their time in office? No sitting congressperson should have more power than their cohorts.
I say that all assignments should be renewed by vote or replaced every two years. That would help greatly in reducing the powers of those dinosaurs that we currently have.

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

@Pricknick
We tried something like that in the '70s with the House. Suddenly, rather than having to spend a million bribing the Speaker to prevent a bill from getting out of committee all you had to do was give a freshman representative $10,000 and he would be able to do it for you. And by making it cheap and easy and effective to bribe any old representative quickly they all became corrupted.

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On to Biden since 1973

Pricknick's picture

@doh1304 @doh1304
hence I will vote for none of them.
Had a great year with proposals and referendums in Michigan without actually voting for anyone.
And can you possibly name some of our reps that aren't corrupted in one way or another?

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

video on the truth bomb, he says a Whole Lot more than that! I'm surprised that Let him Get to the 'scary socialist' part at All.
When the buffer folks start not only seeing it, but discussing On Air?
Hang On!

fuck

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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

@Tall Bald and Ugly
that they were being screwed.
He was much less concerned about the screwing itself.
It would be such a tragedy if the workers realized how capitalism was failing them and the workers responded logically and in their self-interest.

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@gjohnsit
he simply doesn't grasp -- cannot grasp -- the imperative mathematics of geometric growth. the system to which his heart is bound requires that the more successful an enterprise becomes, the even more successful it must become next year -- necessitating, eventually, that an ever-increasing share of the revenues be diverted to pay the ever-rising vigorish on the ever-rising "principal".

there has never been -- could never be -- a moment in GM's history when its future hasn't been to eventually perish on the mathematical shoals of geometric growth. the only question is: how long and hard will it bleed its workforce on the way to its own heat death?

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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.

coming up with a progressive policy position as a negative. If it goes counter to the current dem leadership and mainstream party, even better. When there is a choice, they could peel off mainstream dems, and eventually be in a position of having some influence on legislation. Even better better is if leadership tries to squash dissent. The P's should have their own policy positions on everything.

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@Snode
The negative is NOT having a progressive foreign policy for all of these years.

Speaking of no progressive...

In a bid to move the party's leadership in a more bold direction, progressive groups and activists mobilized urgently in recent weeks to pressure House Democrats to elect Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) as the party's next Caucus Chair.

But, ultimately, their campaign was not enough to overcome the party establishment's support for the more "moderate" Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who was elected on Wednesday by a vote of 123-113. Because the election was conducted by secret ballot, there is no roll call.
...
"What is there to say anymore? The Democratic Party establishment needs to be primaried into oblivion," Margaret McLaughlin, a member of the Metro D.C. branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), wrote on Twitter.

While Jeffries is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), critics and reporters argued that his overwhelming reliance on big money donors and his positions on major issues raise serious questions about his commitment to the kinds of bold policies that swept "the most progressive freshman class" in U.S. history into office in the November midterms and gave Democrats control of the House.

"Jeffries is a big money Democrat and a member in good standing of [Gov.] Andrew Cuomo's New York machine," noted Huffington Post reporter Zach Carter. "There is no way to spin his victory over Barbara Lee as a sign the party is moving in a progressive direction."

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@gjohnsit I channel my inner Emily Litella at the most awkward times.

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@gjohnsit @gjohnsit Or something like that.

Regardless, it is getting tiring.

We've been writing about this for the last 10+ years.

These Centrist "Progressives" are the new Tammany Hall and they have proven to be quite effective (Russia Russia Russia) at holding on to power by any means necessary.

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Wink's picture

@Snode

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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.

Pretty much the same thing, historically.

With the death of FDR, the Democratic Party permanently lost its progressive bearings in foreign policy. Truman was the worst thing that ever happened to the Left. He's the titular (but by no means intellectual) father of the Cold War, the Loyalty Oaths, and the purge of real Leftists from positions of any power in the Democratic Party.

We can go back to the 1944 Democratic Convention and the Harold Ickes maneuver that substituted a little Pendergast Machine Pol from Missouri for Henry Wallace, ridding the country of the opportunity it might have had to put a real Socialist in the White House and to end the Cold War before it began.

Then, there is the other legacy of Harry Truman - instructing the US delegate to cast the deciding vote in the UN General Assembly to recognize the State of Israel. This permanently wedded the Democratic Party to that small country, come what may, and to its backers. It's like when you marry someone, you also marry their family. For better, or for worse, the Dems created AIPAC and the Party is beholden to and dependent upon it.

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@leveymg The democrats assuming the mantle of FDR policies, but only giving it lip service. When anybody points it out, the answer is always "but it's right there in the platform, of course we support it!" they just don't actually do anything about it.

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@Snode I changed from D to non-affiliated on my voter registration. I'd read the Dem platform statement (which generally sounded positive), and then look at what they actually did (or more likely didn't do) and figured "why bother identifying with a party that doesn't even give lip service to their own platform?"

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Tweet from a Matt Binder re-tweeting some from Markos M. on Bernie Sanders...

https://twitter.com/MattBinder/status/1067904698223607809

Matt: Imoa ya picked the wrong day to tweet this one. (referring to vote in Senate on Yemen)

Markos: It is amazing how irrelevant Bernie has been to the Resistance. And that's a good thing.
Cult of personalities don't make for long lasting movements.

Regardless of what one may think of Bernie post-primary, he has always put issues and policies before his personality and ego. The implication of course is that Markos, and I think it is fair to say, TOP believe M4A, free tuition, end of drug war, increase of min. wage are aspects of a cult of personality.

What we have here is how NOT to be a leftist.

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@MrWebster
to be wrong about everything.
And not just substance, but timing as well.

dkos_1.PNG

kos.PNG

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

Saudi Arabia passed the senate? Oh how far this fake progressive kos dude has fallen. But so has his site. They don't even bother to cover war anymore. Just Russia Russia Russia and hanging on to every word Mueller utters.

edited

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

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

Dan Bongino, a Secret Service guy speaking at Freedom Center Restoration Weekend 2018, last week. He takes the Russia probe and the Mueller investigation apart — piece by pathetic lying piece. He presents the view from inside the big hoax. Names all the names. Very engaging — although you and I have uncovered much of this already. You might enjoy this live autopsy.

START AT 4:13
STOP AT 29.29

Get a pencil. He cites documents, too.
Plus, he implicates people and events we knew nothing about. Some real surprises.

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

@Pluto's Republic

Watched it a few days ago.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Pluto's Republic

In his latest informal chat with the New York Post from behind the Resolute Desk, the president threatened once again to retaliate against Democrats if they try to "play tough" by investigating him - this time by declassifying a wide swath of "devastating" documents related to the Mueller probe, which he had initially planned to do in September before changing his mind.

"If they want to play tough, I will do it," Trump told the Post in an interview Wednesday. "They will see how devastating those pages are."

According to the Post, Trump would hold on to the documents and release them when it's time for a "counterpunch."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-28/trump-threatens-declassify-dev...

What a bunch of fools those people are. The ones who are not there for the laughs.

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____________________
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
— Voltaire

snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Trump has always had the power to blow up Russia Gate from the minute he became president, but he hasn't. Why not? Is he in on this huge distraction from the other issues congress is doing behind the scenes or something else?

Declassify the original FISA warrant to see what the FBI based it on. If it was the Steele dossier or the fact that the U.K. was spying on his campaign. I thought that he made a deal with democrats that they wouldn't block Kavanaugh's confirmation and he wouldn't release the FISA warrant.

Lisa Page told congress that she and Strzok talked about how there was 'no there there' meaning that they didn't see that Trump had done anything wrong during his campaign.

Golly there is so much information about this Russian phooey that has already shown that it's a farce and yet here we are still discussing it. Enough already. Crap or get off the pot, Mueller!

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

snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Why the f'ck are the democrats going to investigate his tax returns. Trump Jr.'s blocked number to see if daddy called him or vice verse and the other things that they are going to be wasting their time on when Mueller and the IRS should be the ones doing it? Congress has spent enough gawd damned time on this phony crap already.

Yes I do know why they are doing it. So they don't have to do real work like the rest of the sane people, but even the Russian Gaters should be asking those questions.

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

@snoopydawg

Why the f'ck are the democrats going to investigate his tax returns.

To call attention away from the Clinton Foundation's books.

Lionel and Charles Ortel on Hillary Clinton and Targeting the Unprosecuted Clinton Crime Cartel

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

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

@MrWebster I read that twitter thread earlier this evening, I follow a couple of those people, it was pretty funny to read. They seem to find ol Markos pretty amusing without even mentioning his latest jihad against white males. He is the epitome of a right wing lefty if that makes sense. He'd be more at home back with the Republicans that spawned him.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@MrWebster

Markos: It is amazing how irrelevant Bernie has been to the Resistance. And that's a good thing.
Cult of personalities don't make for long lasting movements.

Regardless of what one may think of Bernie post-primary, he has always put issues and policies before his personality and ego. The implication of course is that Markos, and I think it is fair to say, TOP believe M4A, free tuition, end of drug war, increase of min. wage are aspects of a cult of personality.

What we have here is

...... a classic textbook case of Freudian penis envy. Neither Markos nor his political masters the Clintons can command the power, guts, support or love that Bernie Sanders does routinely. Especially after Markos blasted that .45 caliber perforation into his own foot on March 15, 2016 (the Ides of March).

Wink

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"US govt/military = bad. Russian govt/military = bad. Any politician wanting power = bad. Anyone wielding power = bad." --Shahryar

"All power corrupts absolutely!" -- thanatokephaloides

@MrWebster make for long lasting movements." So says a cult of personality wanna be.

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Wink's picture

@MrWebster

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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.

k9disc's picture

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

@gjohnsit @k9disc Here's some inside NY insight:

Joe Crowley was the #4 person in House (D) leadership. He was and is, still, Chairman of the Queens County Democratic Party. Crowley was re-elected to that post after he lost to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And even though Crowley and his family haven't lived in Queens for decades. His kids all went through school in Virginia.

The Queens County Democratic Party in conjunction with the Bronx Democratic Party along with their patron saint Governor Cuomo control a great deal of what goes on in NYC. Patronage in the form of jobs for their extended families, contracts, vast amounts of money.

When Crowley lost to AOC in June a plan was created to retain the connection to the New York banking and real estate interests. That plan was to put their chosen guy into Crowley's Leadership position. Crowley may have lost his congressional seat, but little else as far as I can tell.

Which brings me to Hakeem Jeffries. He is a corporate robot who speaks in talking points and sound bites in a longwinded monotone. A perfect DNC front person. It took a lot of money and power to snatch the #4 House Majority Leadership position from the long time progressive Barbara Lee. Barbara had the votes going in and then enormous pressure produced a 10 point loss. Think about the threats made to House Members who yielded to the Mob Boss Crowley and his minions.

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NYCVG

Wink's picture

Berniecrats just got
@k9disc
elected. That's 8 or 9 more than the current lame duck Congress,
replacing red seats with blue seats.
And here in NY we're finally going to get some of those blue toys we've been hoping for. In all ways measurable 2018 was indeed a blue wave!

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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.

but if this whole Russia drama turns out to be a big Charlie Brown/Lucy foot ball thing, the one big thing the democrats were pinning their hopes on turns around and discredits them. We may actually see ol' Hil in jail after all.

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Wink's picture

Hillary a Beltway Untouchable.
@Snode
And DWS, apparently, too.
Is why she walks by us peons with her nose in the air, filled with disgust that she must suffer our presence.

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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.