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.