Monday, February 13, 2006

We’re Hyperventilating From Sucking It Up

We’ve been suckered into believing that there are but two ways to look at the upcoming mid-term elections, strategically and philosophically. Strategic advice is coming from the political party hacks and the incumbents who will be defending their seats, and their advice is, don’t run against us and don’t support primary challengers because it will hurt the Party. How exactly do you hurt a dead donkey? Philosophically the incumbents have got nothing, they have long since abandoned any progressive ideals they may have once possessed. If the primary challengers can develop a winning strategy to match their progressive message, we’ve got a winner, a philosophy of governing packaged for mass consumption.

There is a lot of anger and frustration in the left wing of the Party and this is what primary challengers are hoping to cash in on and what has the party hacks a little scared. Just like Republican candidates can’t win unless the Fundamentalist preachers can drive their flock to the polls, Democrats can’t win without us. Up to this point they have been able to browbeat us into submission with fear mongering and name calling, but now we’ve had enough. We’re willing to make you lose to get a little respect, how about that? This ain’t a game of chicken, we’re serious this time.

Party unity requires negotiated compromise and up to this point, we on the left have been kicked to the kid’s table while the “adults” have made all the decisions. There hasn’t been compromise, there’s been dictation. We have compromised enough of our ideals in order to further the DLC’s great moderation experiment, and it hasn’t worked. We’re tired of being bullied and we are no longer content to be seen and not heard. We’ve tried it your way and your way sucks, time for something new.

We on the left are the true heart of the Democratic Party. We are the keepers of the flame, the protectors of the values and defenders of our greatest achievements. When all we hear from the American people is that the Democrats have no core values, no plan, no forward thinking agenda, who better to turn to than the left wing of the party for the ideas and the message that will resonate with the people. We are the center, we know exactly what we stand for and we are the solution to our current minority status.

Every time the pulse of the American people is taken by pollsters, the responses indicate that the country is headed in the wrong direction, that healthcare costs are out of control and eating into our disposable incomes, employment is a big worry as we watch our jobs outsourced to the far reaches of the globe and our production of goods decline steadily each year and we are growing tired of being an occupying force in Iraq, a boondoggle that is draining our national treasure at an alarming rate. The American people are rightly worried about our economic future and we have been brought to the critical edge by Republican policies and Democratic complicity. Republicans are on the wrong side of the issues and if incumbent Democrats want to hold onto their seats, they better get on the correct side, and fast.

The big problem for incumbent Democrats is that there are plenty of good primary challengers. So far the advice from the Party has been that we on the left need to suck it up and support the incumbents lest we lose the seat to a Republican. God forbid the incumbent Democrats should have to explain their votes in support of the Bankruptcy Bill, CAFTA, the Patriot Act and authorization of the use of force in Iraq. If they can’t sufficiently defend those votes, they must face reality and accept that they have not been on the side of the people for a very long time. If they lose in the primary to a progressive candidate with real values, a real agenda and a message that resonates, what exactly is the problem? Are centrist Democrats going to abandon the party and vote Libertarian? Perhaps they should take their own advice and suck it up and support the nominee, whoever it is?

There is no reason to believe that a progressive candidate would have a hard time going head to head with a Republican. In fact, the opposite is true. Paul Hackett ran for Congress in a predominately Republican district in Ohio on a solidly progressive agenda and he almost won (damn those Diebold machines). There is every reason to believe that this will be a winning strategy all across the country. Progressive candidates can show every voter how our philosophy of governing will benefit them directly. More money and benefits for them, a shift in the focus of government from protecting corporate profits to protecting the American worker and less government infringement on our freedoms. And that’s just for starters.

Unlike incumbent Democrats, progressives will take on big Pharma and give us a prescription benefit that makes sense and will save billions of taxpayer dollars by negotiating bulk prices. Progressives will tackle the healthcare crisis and push for single-payer healthcare that will cover all Americans and make our paychecks go twice as far. Progressives will stop regressive tax policies that favor the wealthy at the expense of the poor and the middle-class. Progressives will put money where their mouth is and fund the research and production of alternative energy sources. Progressives will divert money currently wasted on imperial exploits in the Middle East toward massive public works programs that will re-build our infrastructure and put Americans back to work at decent wages. Progressives will fund education in order to make our children the best and the brightest again. And progressives will strengthen the social programs that provide a safety net for the most vulnerable among us. After all, we are the ones who instituted them in the first place.

That, my friends, is a winning strategy. Mealy-mouthed incumbent Democrats cannot challenge the Republicans on any of these issues because they too have been instrumental in dismantling the social safety net, instituting policies that benefit corporations over people and sending our young people to fight in an immoral and unnecessary war. Centrist Democrats have lost their credibility with the American people while Progressives have been out of power so long that our message will sound almost new. We can toot our own horn and remind people of what we have accomplished in the past, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the forty hour work week, workplace protection, fair housing, civil rights, voting rights, coal mine safety, school lunch programs and the list goes on. Most of the good that government does has come from the left, while the centrists don’t even have a horn to toot. It’s time we vote our conscience and support progressive challenges to entrenched power because it’s not only philosophically sound, it’s also strategically smart.

20 Comments:

Anonymous roberta kelly said...

Let me see if I can get it all straight ~ first we have blackmail ~ which people are subjected to by wiretapping (the current number is around 80,000) and this list can't be released by the US Attorney General because it is "classified information." But the bet is, there are NO terrorist names on the list. Quite bluntly, Bush's critics are the wiretapped terrorists.

The gag order is in place, however this is not a "direct order."

Our first obstacle is now identified: A Democratic Party who is rendered powerless because they do not want their private lives smeared in a campaign by Karl Rove, et al.

Let's get on to the next one: The Architects of the War on Terror are determined to wage World War III, now especially since they are going down fast. Thus, wars without end entangle the entire USA and that means we're guilty by association and must be the working class slaves needed to keep the war fires burning.

Now let's deal with the media: It's owned by those who want our economy to be the super power on the entire Earth and therefore Ruppert, Buffett, et al., support whatever force it takes to keep their billions of dollars working for the super rich and what better way than to support THEIR governing body of war mongering thugs.

Thus, we limp along with all our limbs fractured and our economy is flushing down the toilet BUT we continue to believe consumerism is the daily prayer that will save us and those who have all the gold know our weakness.

Stop spending any unnecessary money and the madness will stop. Money does not talk, it screams.

*references for stories about our economy and the pending war against Iran can be found at www.globalresearch.ca and www.counterpunch.org ~ look for Paul Craig Roberts "Nuking the Economy" and his piece on "Who Will Save America?"

godsmadmen has ongoing data with respect to the global economy. Greed/Money and Power ~ this is the giant problem we must solve and unfortunately the longer this Cabal is in control, the worse for every human being it gets.

Check it out ~ www.vheadline.com/main.asp
and pass it on!

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Robert B Godwin said...

I was raised an FDR/Truman Democrat, but in recent years have worked for the election of Eugene McCarthy, John Anderson, Paul Tsongas, and Howard Dean, because they were outsiders (even Sen Tsongas was, in a sense, an outsider, as one of the founders of the Concord Coalition - predecessor of the Apollo Project).

The Democratic Party has become irrelevant, for it is nought but a subset of the centrist section of the Republican Party.

I will not support any of the Democratic incumbents currently giving themselves off as "our" representatives.

I will support any maverick progressive Democrat running against an incumbent, or even a third-party candidate.

3:13 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

I'm with Mr. Godwin, perhaps with some tough love we can make the Democratic Party look like the Democratic Party again.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Uh huh. Vote your conscience, I hope that helps you sleep at night when Rudy Giuliani is president from 2009 - 2017. Frankly, I am just hoping to stop the bleeding. We need to stop Bush & Co, the only way to do that is to accept the lesser of 2 evils. Even if you believe the Democrats are basically centrist Republicans - aren't centrist Republicans a much better choice than the honchos currently running the show?

The left wing is why we have Bush in office in the first place. The lefties had show they were "independent" and wouldn't kowtow to the centrist Democratic party. And what happens? Nader takes enough votes away from Gore to give the presidency to Bush...

Now, Gore may not have been a great President (though it is ironic some lefties are now hoping Gore runs in 2008), but he certainly wouldn't have been the utter disaster that is the Bush presidency. So ask yourself, what is worse - you biting the bullet and voting for a flawed Democratic candidate or decades more of Republican Presidents & Congresses?

How many more wars are you willing to go through just so you can sit at home and say you voted your conscience? How many more tax cuts for the wealthy? How much are longer are you willing to take a President who ignores the existence of global warming? If those issues aren't important to you, by all means let the Republicans keep control for the next 20 or 30 years. See how much progress we get on those and other important issues with these a-holes in office.

Although I agree that the Democratic Party is in disarray and desperately needs new leadership, now is not the time to abandon ship. If you do, you are playing right into Karl Rove & Company's hand.

Dave

7:28 PM  
Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

My fear is that people will only result to good, progressive ideas such as these when the shitheads have made things so goddamn bad they figure it can't get any worse. Which is, of course, a point which has already been reached.

8:39 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Dave--I am of the opinion that if Gore would have run as Gore rather than pandering to the middle, he would have won decisively and there would have been no need for a re-count. And if the Democrats put up another centrist corporate "lesser of two evils" candidate in 2008, it will be the same thing, an election close enough to use the ace in the hole for the Republicans, corporate owned voting machines and vote tabulators. Don't we deserve better than "not quite as evil as this crowd"? I think we do.

Neil--I fear every day that you are right.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Do we deserve better? Damn straight we do. But, there needs to be some realism here. Getting progressives elected in the middle of a war is not likely in most of America. Sure, in places we can get progressives elected - in Seattle & San Fran we should fight those fights, but those are few and far between. Realistically there is no way Alabama, for instance, is going to vote progressive.

Getting a progressive government will take many years, perhaps decades. So, to me what is important is to stop the bleeding first - block the conservative juggernaut by giving them a real opposition party that controls at least 1 branch of gov't.

I see stopping the conservative monopoly on gov't as the first step to creating a more progressive gov't.

And no, I don't think it is as bad as it can get. I see a possible war w/ Iran (nuclear?), a potential draft as a result and Justices Suter, Stevens & Breyer, Ginsburg aren't getting any younger..

11:33 PM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

Folks, our parade has already been rained on.

Should the Bush Cabal continue on the path they're on ~ wars in Iran, Syria, and so on, we're doomed. Our hope at this juncture is that China will not finance another of America's wars.

A bronze bust was recently presented to GWB, I believe it was the Naval Academy, and it had the date of his "2000 parachuted in presidency by his father's Supreme Court"; however, there was NO end date! That was a very frightening moment for me as I am a sculptor and to see a bronze bust of an insane dictator with the date of his first stolen presidency and no ending date on it. Well, this statement is indeed terrifying.

Think about it. All the military war hawks need war just to give credence to their existence.

Thus, without our focused intention, as many people as possible, to STOP the nuclear attacks in Iran ~ ". . Similar to the Iraq war, military operations against Iran relate to the macroeconomics of 'petrodollar recycling' and the unpublicized but real challenge to US$ supremacy from the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency."

Iran is preparing to detach from our dollar which is exactly what Saddam Hussein also did.

The reason for these wars without end is because our dollar is being detached from oil and this will cause the US to become bankrupt.

We are facing a double-edged sword.

As Americans we either get used to our dollar being worth very little, or we continue to have wars so we can live the lifestyle which Dick Cheney says ~ it's not an option to consider giving up. He would rather kill off every human being who stands in America's path to all the natural resources on the planet and suffer global warming and World War III, than practice conservation.

So what's our choice at this time?

One task at a time and stopping the War in Iran is our priority. March 2006, in the event nuclear weapons strike Iran via Israel and Turkey (the USA really), then the world will definitely change and 9/11 will seem like child's play.

Cheney is planning another 9/11, here in the US, "STRATCOM", to put GWB into the office of the president FOREVER, by way of Conplan 8022-02.

Think of that bust, it was NO accident!

Spend every moment from now until the War in Iran is stopped, screaming at the Evangelicals (Dr. Rick Warren and "the pastors") and the multi-billionaires (get the names and addresses in Forbes), to stop Bush from committing genocide in the Middle East and ultimately, the demise of our species and global warming is the planet's way of recycling the chaotic energy.

We have a choice and conservation is the best option, really.

I apologize if this appears rude because I sincerely do not mean to be disrespectful ~

You young people are the hope of the future. Without you all getting on the same page, immediately, your future will be one like what Kenneth Deffeyes has said:

". . By 2025, we're going to be back in the Stone Age."

Spend time studying what it means to be a conservationist and prepare for a world without oil.

". . That's it. I can now refer to the world oil peak in the past tense. My career as a prophet is over. I'm now an historian." Current Events ~ Join us as we watch the crisis unfolding ~ February 11, 2006 ~ Kenneth Deffeyes
www.princeton.edu/hubbert/
current-events.html

5:50 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Dave—Folks in Alabama are not going to vote for Hilary Clinton either, but that doesn’t stop the centrists and elitists in the party from supporting her, so that logic makes no sense. The south used to vote Democratic and I think they will again if they are given a distinct choice and some authenticity. Bush believes in what he says and that is what many people respond to. How can Democrats who have no real values and who continue to say they don’t support the Republican agenda yet vote for it anyway, convince middle of the road voters that they are better if they can’t even convince me, their base?

Some straight, tough talk from candidates with credibility will fare much better in the so called “red states” than any incumbent Democrat who can’t even defend their votes. And I don’t see how electing Democrats who say they will continue the war, just execute it differently, will help stem the bleeding. What I hear from incumbents is “words, words, words” and they have long lost their meaning. No one will vote for that, not southern folks, not Dixiecrats, not soccer moms, not Nascar dads, not Reagan Democrats and not progressives. “Staying the course” will lead to more losses, plain and simple and I love my country too much to sit back and watch this bunch of criminals shit all over it and have Democrats hand them the constitution with which to wipe their spoiled asses.

8:43 AM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

Mollie, you are so awesome! Your statement about this party nonsense is truly inspired. Paul Hackett dropped out of his race for the Senate and the story about this is quite interesting, with respect to "Democrat party loyalty."

9:20 AM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

Roberta--I'm working on a post about the Hackett mess right now in fact.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You do realize, don't you, that it is the fervent hope and prayer of every conservative republican that you actually DO run "genuine progressives" (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) in upcoming elections.

The hope is that then and only then will you realize that the ideas of progressives suck. You will be trounced at the ballot box, and come to the realization that moonbattery is not the way of the future in the U.S.

What date should they have put on the bust? 2008? Bush could die, he could be assassinated, any number of things could happen before 2008. But I do find YOUR explanation for the open date extremely amusing.

What happens when you run real progressives and they lose? How long are you going to blame other factors than your sucky platform on your serial losses at the ballot box?

You've been rejected by Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public. Deal.

SAHMmy

12:56 PM  
Blogger The (liberal)Girl Next Door said...

SAHMmy--Americans love progressive public policy, why do you think we have term limits now? Because they couldn't defeat the appeal of progressive ideals as exemplified by FDR.

And however much Republicans hated Bill Clinton (not that he was a real progressive, but still), without term limits, he'd still be President today (what with approval ratings above 70% at the very moment enraged Republican lunatics were impeaching him). So forgive me if I'm not interested in taking strategic political advice from your side that rely on poll taxes, racial intimidation and electronic voting machines owned by your friends to win elections.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Roberta Kelly said...

Sammy, thanks for the card. Larry says give you a big wet one for the chain between your breasts.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal Girl, it's okay, I never dreamed in a million years you'd listen to reason. It's part of the syndrome.

Roberta, Larry can keep his big wet ones to himself.

Good to see you didn't marry outside your sphere.

Excuse me but after that imagery I feel the need to bathe.

SAHMmy

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

It is ironic that Anonymous should claim that it is the liberals and progressives who are unwilling or unable to listen to reason. She or he coming from the party of faith based policy making and all. I wonder if anonymous has seen the polling data lately? Like the fact that by 47% to 38% (if memory serves) that the nation is saying that they are going to vote for change in 2006. I think by change they mean that they intend to vote out the republicans. Or that Bush’s favorability rating is stuck in the high 30’s. Or that the American public, by a sizable margin, says that the country is heading in the wrong direction.

I also took note of Anonymous’s failure to list impeachment as a reason that the end date for Bush’s presidency is not listed. Not that I am for impeachment. I would rather he finishes his term. Nothing could help our party in the long run more than to allow his failing policies to fester in the American voter’s side for another 2.5 years.

Bush’s policies are failing spectacularly. And they are failing because they are based on his “gut” feelings and not facts, data, and thoughtful consideration. The American people are catching on and the longer Bush is in office the worse things will get and in 2008 the American people will really be in a mood to exact revenge on republican politicians. I can’t guarantee that they will limit their actions to the voting booth. Let us hope they do. We don’t want no lynchings around here.

Just as one example of the many ways Bush has failed this nation. Roberta is spot on about the fate of the US economy under the stewardship of Bush and his ilk. The world (especially the Japanese and Chinese who have huge reserves of US dollars and US Treasury bills in their treasuries) is growing suspicious of the US dollar and its true value. The reason for this is mainly the budget deficit which Bush’s policies have helped spawn. The dollar is going to take a huge hit when Iran starts its oil bourse. And if the nations of the world start emptying their treasuries of US dollars it will be a perfect storm and the value of the dollar will crash. I have already taken steps to insulate myself from this. I have moved 70% of my 401K into international stocks and plan to do something similar with my non retirement assets. I am literally putting my money where my mouth is.

As for who we should support I am largely in the camp that Dave is in. I will support the Democratic candidates in 2006 and 2008. I will not be voting for any third party candidates. Would I support a progressive Dem over a centrist Dem in the primaries? Perhaps yes and perhaps no. That will depend on many factors. But I will be voting Democratic in the general elections.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Roberta Kelly said...

Sammy, Karl is proud of you and because you do such good work, you get to do him, too.

With that visual imagery you can take a shower and do him at the same time.

Now, with respect to politics. It is best you give it up because all you really want is the energy you get from those who (Liberal Girl) understand the true nature of the intellect.

Stop being the victim and get a life.

Aren't you sorry your Rove scheme didn't work. That's the way it is these days. Those of us who are altruistic are slow but gifted learners. It's tough being in a world where the beasts still want to be beasts.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Roberta Kelly said...

A few thoughts for you Anon aka Sammy ~ first, you're a female and this is an easy-no-brainer fact; second, you are a very, very disturbed human ego and again, I actually pity you more than you can ever understand. And, I pity those of us who must live with people like you who have no soul.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

No, the folks in Alabama aren't going to vote for Hilary Clinton, but she is perceived (wrongly) by the right wing base as ultra-liberal. But they might vote for a "New" Democrat. The only Democrats to win the White House since Kennedy have been Johnson (Texas), Carter (Georgia), Clinton (Arkansas). there is a pattern. Big time Liberals, whether Dean, Jerry Browne, Mondale don't win national elections.

Democrats supported the Iraq war for 2 reasons. One they were given bad intelligence, two, they had no choice. They vote against it, they lose in November and get replaced by a conservative who does support the war. You can't govern if you don't get elected.

How does electing these moderates help stop the bleeding? Simple, though it may be too late to stop the Iraq war, electing Democrats can help prevent the next war. There is no doubt in my mind, that had Gore been President in 2003, we wouldn't have gone to war in Iraq. Even though Gore may have been feckless, pandering, weak, boring or whatever, he clearly wouldn't have led us down the same terrible path as Bush. Incremental progress is better than no progress.

Democrats cannot win w/o the Progressives behind them - as of a couple of years ago - there are now more registered Republicans in the US than Democrats for the 1st since before FDR. This gives progressives, I feel, an opportunity to wrest the Party away from the centrists. However, the Progressives have no bargaining power if the Centrists have no power to lose. If we elect a Democratic majority, then the Progressive threat to leave the Party in the dust has some real leverage, forcing the Party to the left or lose power.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous roberta kelly said...

As long as our USD is attached to petro, it doesn't matter who runs for office in the US. They all knew and they all know, the USD was attached to the trading of oil in the 1970s and this IS our basic economy.

Trust your intution in knowing that something is very wrong in our "democratic" system and it is the fact that our USD is being detached, by other countries, to the trading of THEIR OIL.

The PNAC is in charge of the US government and as a matter of fact, the members who belong to the other facets of the PNAC (Federalist Society), decide who run the courts and this is why the Roberts and Alito nominations ~ were none other than already ~ by the time we all realized it was a done deal.

We must all march against the War in Iran. Should we not stop the warmongering, then we will definitely be sorry.

Bush told the entire rest of the world that the US intends to globally dominate. We proved it by going into Afganistan and Iraq and we're backing up the promise with the nuclear threat to Iran.

The plans of the PNAC were discovered by the rest of the world while they were being sympathetic with us for 911. Once the other super powers (Russia, China, Japan, India) realized what Bush & Co. + Blair & the UK had in mind, "Total Spectrum Dominance," they have told Bush, et al, that they will not tolerate our Empire seizing the rest of the planet's resources, lands, peoples, lives.

The people of the planet other than "Americans" do not make unreasonable requests on US ~ which is, to stop our gluttonous consumption so the wars end.

Conservation is the only answer.

4:15 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home