Friday, January 26, 2018

Part 4: The Resistance against The Revolution

(Parts one -- the Texas gubernatorial candidates, two -- Sema Hernandez versus Beto O'Rourke, and three -- the seven TX-07 candidates, my Congressional scrum -- posted previously.)

As much as I enjoy being mean to Democrats who insist on losing, their way --  destroying the party, alienating every potential ally under, or recently exited, their big tent -- Ted Rall always tops me.

Leftists want to change the world. They want peace, equal income, equal wealth, equal rights for everybody.

Democrats are not part of the Left. If Democrats have their way, the fundamental inequality of American capitalism, a system in which 1% of the people “earn” 82% of the income, will never change. Democrats apply identity politics as a distraction in lieu of systematic solutions to class-based discrimination. Democrats demand more women directors in Hollywood, more African-Americans admitted to Ivy League schools, transgendered soldiers in the military so they can join the slaughter of brown people in other countries.

Donald Trump represented a rare opportunity for the Left. After eight years of fascism with a smile, the American system got a figurehead as visually and tonally repugnant as its foreign policy (drones, aggressive wars, coups, undermining popular elected leaders) and its domestic reality (widespread poverty, crumbling infrastructure, no social safety net, for-profit healthcare and education). “Hey,” the Left could finally say, “the U.S. is a disgusting monster headed by a disgusting monster. Let’s get rid of that monster!”

It has become painfully apparent that Democrats have hijacked the anti-Trump Resistance.

This is going to really sting, Donkeys.

Definition of revolution: “a forcible overthrow of a government or social order in favor of a new system.”

At those very same marches, however, (establishment Democratic) speakers like Nancy Pelosi and Kirsten Gillibrand urged women to run for office (presumably as Democrats) and to support Democratic candidates (whether they’re women or men). Even if you think that is a beautiful and important idea, it is not revolution.

Running for office and validating the status quo by voting for major-party candidates is the exact opposite of revolution.

It gets worse in more specific ways from there, so if you're not already a Resister grinding your teeth -- or a Revolutionary nodding your head -- go ahead and click over and finish.

But maybe you dismissed Rall a long time ago.  If so, then you won't care what Ryan Grim and Lee Fang at The Intercept wrote about the DCCC's debacle in PA-16 as a microcosm of the problem, either.  The excerpt following doesn't do justice to the depth of the festering neoliberal cancer that has metastasized nationwide.

Christina Hartman, by the Democratic Party’s lights, did everything right during the last election cycle. She worked hard, racking up endorsements from one end of the district to the other. She followed the strategic advice of some of the most sagacious political hands in Pennsylvania, targeting suburban Republicans and independents who’d previously voted for candidates like Mitt Romney, but were now presumed gettable.

“For every one of those blue-collar Democrats [Donald Trump] picks up, he will lose to Hillary [Clinton] two socially moderate Republicans and independents in suburban Cleveland, suburban Columbus, suburban Cincinnati, suburban Philadelphia, suburban Pittsburgh, places like that,” Ed Rendell, the state’s former governor and titular leader of the state party, had predicted to the New York Times.

Hartman, with the energetic support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and EMILY’s List, used her fundraising prowess to go heavy on television ads to drive her moderate message, confident that the well-funded Clinton ground game would bring her backers to the polls.

It did not.

Hartman was swamped by Smucker by 34,000 votes, badly underperforming even Clinton, who lost the district by about 21,000 votes. Trump and Smucker had indeed picked up some blue-collar Democrats, but not enough Republicans switched over to make up for the loss.

After spending $1.15 million in 2016, she had finished with 42.9 percent of the vote. In 2014, a terrible year for Democrats, a little-known Democrat spent just $152,000 to win almost the same share, 42.2 percent of the vote.

In July, Hartman announced she would make another run at it in 2018.

She quickly found the support of the state’s Democratic establishment, led by Rendell. “I’m proud to support her run for Congress in 2018. With her track record of success, we can count on Christina Hartman to show up for the people of PA-16 and to be part of the solution to end Washington gridlock,” Rendell said.

Along with Rendell came failed 2016 Senate candidate Katie McGinty ...

And on it goes.  Down With Tyranny (you won't like this, either, establishment Dems):

If you've been paying any attention since around 2006 or so, DWT has been blasting away at how the DCCC, and the Democratic establishment in general, rigs primaries against progressives in favor of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party -- Blue Dogs, New Dems, "ex"-Republicans, self-funders, anti-choice freaks, homophobes... the whole panoply of candidates who make voters scratch their heads and say "what's the difference?" Nothing deflates turnout from the Democratic base like the DCCC and EMILY's List and associated groups offering a lesser-of-two-evils strategy. It doesn't work, but the DCCC is incapable of learning the lesson. Sure, their shit candidates can be sometimes swept into office -- as they were in 2006 -- but in the next midterm they are invariably swept back out of office (as they were in 2010) when Democratic voters realize they've been tricked -- and stay home in droves.


The DCCC still blatantly lies about not getting involved in primary battles. They do it every day and in every way. And the whole purpose is the kill progressives in the cradle. Their own Red to Blue website currently lists 18 crap candidates they are backing, almost all of them also backed by the New Dems and/or the Blue Dogs and almost all of them in hot races with progressives. As Grim and Fang reported, "the Democratic Party machinery can effectively shut alternative candidates out before they can even get started. The party only supports viable candidates, but it has much to say about who can become viable."

Look for the Emily's List-endorsed candidate in a Congressional race, and more often than not you'll find a conservative, corporate Democrat ready to blow lots of cash and lose.  (In TX-07, that candidate is Lizzie Pannill Fletcher.)   The DCCC claims neutrality using the same reverse psychology that Ajit Pai and Ted Cruz do with regard to the Internet.

In Texas, where everything -- especially the Democrats' losing streak -- is bigger, over the past quarter century Team Blue has managed to nominate bold progressives (LMAO) like Victor Morales, Gene Kelly, Ron Kirk, Paul Sadler, and David Alameel for the US Senate; and Tony Sanchez, Chris Bell, Bill White, and Wendy Davis for governor.  In 2018 the Democrats' nominees are once more being pre-selected well in advance, and strictly on the basis of how much money they have raised, by the corporate media and party and labor bosses.

Pass.  Not falling for that banana in the tailpipe thing again.

Sadly, it gets worse.  Case in point: even with every single card in the deck already stacked against her, US Senate candidate Sema Hernandez has attracted a crew of Resistance smear merchants working overtime.

You'll need to click on these to read them clearly.

I have about 15 more screenshots of this thread.  I like to know who my enemies are.

So let's review.  If you're the kind of Democrat ...

-- That thinks Russia hacked the election (nope, still no proof);

-- That wants to see Trump impeached (ain't hap'nin' unless you flip the House and Senate, and that ain't hap'nin' if you're spending all your time hating on Bernie Sanders and all of his supporters who #DemExited last November;

-- Thinks a "deeply, personally" pro-life elder in his Presbyterian church -- which harshly condemns homosexuality and gay marriage -- who sees no conflict in his personal views and how he might govern; who holds no experience in government save being the son of a former governor (but does have the ability to self-fund his race) is a front runner for the 2018 gubernatorial nomination;

-- That supports a three-time loser running for TX-07 who still doesn't live in the district, and still proudly supports fracking ...

-- That thinks hosting Nancy Pelosi as keynote speaker for the county party's most important fundraiser was a great idea;

-- That is making excuses for Chuck Schumer, et. al. as they leave DREAMers twisting in the wind again, and again, rather holding on to that silver lining ...

... then you're part of the Resistance.  Or as some call it, the McResistance.

I'm still going to give your nasty party one more chance this year ... despite the fact that you pretty much hate me and everybody who thinks like me.  But those second chances have breaking points.

And without something on the order of 10-15% of your former base vote, you're probably not flipping anything in November except your wig.  Again.  You gonna blame Jill Stein and the Green Party for that?  Again?


Gadfly said...

The Intercept piece was great.

That said, per Our Revolution Texas holding its convo this weekend, it is a #fail as well for no foreign policy issues.

That's as Bernie considers another Prez run and his actual Our Revolution has little more transparency than the Clinton Foundation.

PDiddie said...

You're making the same mistake David Collins is making. What is it that causes you to believe that Our Revolution Texas needs to have foreign policy positions? If I recall previous conversations correctly, you wouldn't be agreeing with Bernie Sanders' record anyway.

I refer you to Cait Johnstone's Tweet, recently in my stream. Paraphrased: "Focus on 2018, not 2020."

Yesterday on Facebook I read some New Blue Dog Democrat pimping Tammy Duckworth for VP. "Well, if we can't have Oprah ... " Somebody mentioned Tulsi Gabbard, and that was quickly replied to with a 'screw that Russian plant'.

I'm not giving a fuck about 2020 just yet. It's a mental health consideration.

Unknown said...

First off, PD, this is some top-shelf bloggage.

Second, I wish that Lizzie's surrogate at the Gulf Coast Our Revolution meeting had a chance at even a 90-second explanation of why Lizzie is a progressive choice for TX-7, other than possibly being a shade to the left of Cargas.

Now, as to our "mistake" of insisting on some foreign policy positions: My mistake earlier was expecting foreign policy positions from candidates for state & county offices who style themselves as Progressives. In my view, if OR is trying to develop & promote Congressional candidates, it needs to grow beyond the Bernie Platform & articulate progressive positions on international matters. If it can't, then it is clearly just another sheepdog operation.

The US's expensive worldwide military presence, combined with its bullying trade profile, siphons funds away from necessary domestic programs & hurts our people. Populism/progressivism on domestic issues alone is insufficient.

PDiddie said...

First: thanks. Never thought you needed to apologize for your original p/a post.

We agree that ORTX's federal candidates should have clear foreign policy positions articulated on their website or in their head, ready for a screen/questionnaire/forum query, etc. Statewide, county, statehouse candidates get a pass (we might disagree here).

OR (national) absolutely should have foreign and domestic policy positions. Whether they go farther than Sanders, their godfather, is their business. If they're sheepdogging, we agree.

Sanders hasn't been the pacifist I'd like to see in the White House. He sold out on the F-35, to use just one example. IMO there is nobody that people like us can elect president who's going to be able to stop the wars, end -- not just cut -- Pentagon spending, and all the rest. It's a nice conversation that weak-minded nellies like George Reiter like to sit around and have; a few Green Party nominees have been the only ones to articulate it, but as we know the party, nationally and state, is stagnant, not having hit 5% since Nader eighteen years ago.

Without Googling, do you know the DSA's foreign policy positions? I don't.

World peace remains a beloved fantasy until someone can articulate it clearly enough for the corporate media to give it traction, and the mass of the non-voting public public finds itself motivated to get on board.

The old saw is that people vote their pocketbooks, which is why domestic concerns occupy (no pun) so much attention. In 2018, watch what the economy does; Trump will brag tomorrow night about stocks, jobs, etc. We are indeed at the start of a global economic boom. This improves Republicans' fortunes, and I'd be surprised if the GOP and their candidates don't start harping on it.

But oil and gas prices are rising steadily, the Fed is targeting three rate increases this year, and inflation is going to be a thing sooner than later. The best task for liberals and progressives is to keep the political focus on wages, employment losses due to automation ('seizing the means of production' is going to mean taking over the robots and AI) and the absolute crisis of wealth inequality.

The military is a jobs program for the poverty class, more so than ever. That's not an excuse. It's a fact.