Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Resistance is Democrats against Trump. The Revolution is ...

... actual progressives -- Berniecrats, #DemExiters, Democratic Socialists, Greens, and nonpartisans, the commonality being those who have been failed by the Democrats -- against the entire corrupt, corporate-influenced establishment.

This is part one of three regarding how the Democratic schism betwen the Resistance and the Revolution is going to affect the 2018 Texas Democratic primary, happening in less than sixty days, with deadlines for requesting a mail ballot and registering to vote closing fast.

If you read here regularly then you know my bias; there will still be some 'YMMV'.  Part two will flesh out the differences between Ted Cruz challengers Irasema "Sema" Hernandez and Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, and part three will expose some of the pros and cons of the various Democrats vying to take out John Culberson in CD-7.  I'll tease a bit of those two future posts below.

Once again for the record: being LGBTQ or an ally doesn't make you a progressive.  (Many of the members I know in The Caucus are as far from being progressive as any Republican on nearly every other issue other than the one most important to them.)  Being a feminist, a supporter of women's reproductive rights, an ally of #MeToo and #TimesUpNow, likewise does not convey automatic progressive bonafides by itself.  If you're both of those but think that the Houston firefighters lied on their ballot petitions last summer, for example... you probably work in Sylvester Turner's administration.  And that means you ain't no MF progressive.

The term 'economic and social justice' applies pretty well, but is not universal.  Progressivism is color-blind, gender-blind, identity politics-blind.  Progressivism fights the class war but calls for the end of all shooting wars, opposes the brutish, brutal aspects of capitalism and free markets, and discriminates harshly, but solely on the basis of ideas.

The premise of the title is to mean that the Resistance is comprised mostly of Clinton Democrats (aka neoliberals, conservaDems, Blue Dogs, and just a decade ago, Joe Lieberman Democrats).  A Resistor is the kind of Donkey who may vote for a progressive in the primary, but generally votes for a mush-mouthed moderate, too often the one who has raised and spent the most money or has the simplest name, and insists on voting a straight Democratic ticket in the fall, even when that ticket is populated by Texas *cough* Democrats *cough* like Grady Yarbrough and Jim Hogan.

A Resistance member -- beret tilted jauntily -- wants Oprah, or Joe Biden, to be the party's 2020 nominee as of this week.  In weeks past it was Kamala Harris or Cory Booker.  Next week it could be Julian Castro.  In short, the Resistance is about being a Yellow Dog Democrat.  Been there, done that, all I got was fleas and mange.  (From this point on I will Resist Talking About 2020.)

Repeating myself: the more money a Democrat raises, the less likely I am to vote for them.  This is the kind of Democrat who is NOT likely to be attentive to the concerns of the common people, but rather those of his/her donors.  One example is campaign language rooted in phrases like "access to healthcare".  Everybody has access to healthcare already, ladies and gentlemen (see 'emergency rooms'); not everyone has the ability to avoid being bankrupted by their hospital bills, by the cost of their medications like insulin and other life-saving drugs, or even by the co-pays and caps in their shitty employer plans.

And that's when they're not busy dying.  Because of the lack of affordable healthcare.

'Access to healthcare' is consultant-speak.  It is a dogwhistle to large donors -- or potential ones in the medical, health insurance, and pharmaceutical fields -- who prefer their medicine with a healthy profit margin, such as "Bob" O'Rourke. (And if the corporate media is going to keep up the candidate's pretense that Beto is his real name and not his nickname, then I'm just going to have to set off his birth name in quotes.)

Revolutionaries of tired of all this shit.

The Democratic candidates for governor, from top left: James Jolly Clark, Lupe Valdez, Grady Yarbrough, Andrew White, Cedric Davis, Demetria Smith*, Joe Mumbach, Thomas Wakely, Jeffrey Payne, Adrian Ocegueda.  
Courtesy/illustration by Sunny Sone/Texas Observer
Note: A more recent photo of Grady Yarbrough is here.

The best example lately of the friction between the factions -- it's a little under the radar, but you should trust that it hasn't gone away in the last year -- includes the developments in the race to challenge "MLK Parade Grand Wizard Marshal" Greg Abbott.  First, from the recent debate that featured most of the gubernatorial candidates -- even the one eliminated* because her filing check bounced -- in San Angelo this past Monday (the same night as the college football championship game between Alabama and Georgia, a surefire way to have everyone's attention.  The next one, no doubt, will be scheduled during the Super Bowl).

In a Texas Tribune event this morning, even as this blog post was composed, White pushed back on his reputation as being pro-forced birth, signaled that toll roads should be a solution to Texas' traffic woes, and reiterated his support for fracking, saying the process was "important to the Texas economy" and could be done safely, with environmental concerns in mind ("you can have safe fracking", LOL) but if local governments wanted to ban or restrict it, he'd be fine with that.

Only that last is even marginally acceptable.  The other positions are simply incompatible with Democratic policy, and White's belief that fracking is safe is just delusional.  It represents neither an informed reading nor a sane comprehension of the science.  The Texas Lege has, of course, already cut the guts out of local control -- from fracking to plastic grocery bags -- so a (thankfully fictional) Governor White would be reduced to a veto of future legislation.  The rest of us would remain at severe risk from the other hot gases billowing from his lips.

By this measure, a service dog is qualified to be a candidate for governor.  But still not White, as all he's got going for him is his father's name and the money he's made as a financial advisor.  Yet the corporate media seems to think White is/should be a front-runner, while castigating Democrats as Bum Steers for their generational ineptitude.  This is what is known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The state of the TDP being what it is, however ... should White make a runoff for governor, I'll be shockedIsay, but not surprised.  (See Grady Yarbrough and Jim Hogan above.)

Update: As predictable as an Austin lobbyist with a concealed carry license (to avoid the long screening lines at the Capitol, doncha know), the Texas Tribune tosses White's salad for calling for the end of the death penalty while soft-pedaling his "deep, personal" anti-choice views.  Progress Texas' Ed Espinoza gets credit for an assist.  Not so much as a peep from the greasy, fossil-fueled Trib about fracking.

White's policy positions (he does have a good idea on raising teachers' pay and how to do it) are considerably more disclosed than alleged/anointed co-frontrunner Lupe Valdez has managed to this point, as Gadfly has blogged.  Valdez gets an 'I' for Incomplete as of today.

You should already know that my candidate is Tom Wakely, who has extensively detailed and unequivocally progressive populist policies, has barnstormed the state, yet still fails to get much in the way of corporate media mention.  I will point out that Joe Mumbach is a second option.

As an aside to David w/r/t his passive aggressive screed from a couple of weeks ago, a Texas gubernatorial candidate does not need to have a position on Yemen.  That's outside the purview of the Texas Governor's responsibility and accountability.  Nobody on the 2018 ballot needs a position on the Jewish-Palestinian question either, unless they are running for federal office.  We all have enough to evaluate in keeping the focus on the people and the issues that matter, so avoiding pointless distractions by the ones that don't is crucial.

I just don't know why Greens do this same dumb thing over and again.  Anyway ...

Next week the Harris County Democratic Party will host several statewide candidates in an event that sounds more meet-and-greet and stump speech than debate.  (I'll try to attend but will live-reTweet if I don't, and if it's relevant beyond the typical pom pom-waving.)  The event is billed as a Johnson-Rayburn-Richards dinner kickoff; it's free but it's promoting the county party's most important annual fundraiser, which fetes as its keynote speaker this year ...

... wait for it ...

... Nancy Pelosi.  Pelosi is about as popular as shingles, as everyone knows, and that's without comparing her to Bernie Sanders, so it's no wonder some journalists have characterized Texas Democrats as *ahem* demonstrating reluctance to embrace the nation's most popular politician (remember, he's not a Democrat) and his movement to help Democrats get elected.  Note that the Chron's Austin bureau reporter writing the article at the link-before-last has just a few clues about the goings-on within Team Lone Star Donkey, and repeats every single bromide that I've refuted above, but does find some of the acorns that a blind hog would.

More coming, sooner than later, on the US Senate and the Congressional District 7 contests, and with this same prejudice in favor of the progressives and against the not-so-muches.  I've enjoyed my blogging respite more than you know, but with the primary elections a short sprint away, it's time to put some of these tired, diseased Blue Dogs out of their misery.

And ours.


Gadfly said...

Good post here and I'll link back.

Gadfly said...

On Pelosi, don't forget that in the name of "The Resistance" and "Putin Did It" bullshit, she just signed off on spying on Americans again.

dbcgreentx said...

Your point re state candidates' hypothetical position on Yemen is well taken. I admit, it was a crappy example. I'll even cop to being passive-aggressive.

That said, I still want self-identified progressive candidates to advocate for peace and against imperialist prick-waving.

PDiddie said...

That is -- as it should be -- one of the first questions on a Green Screen. Employing one example, a Texas governor should not be willing to commit state guard troops to the southern border for any purpose other than a humanitarian one. And in that true purpose, no guns are needed.

You might recall the flood of children from Central American countries in the summer of 2014. It seems a far cry from where we are today w/r/t to how we think about refugees, asylum-seekers, and those who are seeking not just to stay alive but some semblance of a better life. What this country was founded upon.

Digression on immigration aside, a state militia to protect property owners and preserve "Law-n-Odor" is where I draw the line. I have no use for weekend soldiers who want to play cops and robbers with the po-po. From what I read the locals have enough military hardware gifted them by the feds as it is.

This would be a great place to nail down a gubernatorial candidate on his policy regarding several issues in the news lately. Something like:

"What should the National Guard's role be with respect to the border?"

And wait to hear the buzzwords he or she uses in his/her answer.