Why are Democrats still fighting the Battle of 2016? Aren’t there better things to argue about? As it turns out, there are.
This article is a nice collage of desiderata, but it amounts to so much insider baseball; unless and until the big-donor class no longer determines most political outcomes, tinkering with bylaws is merely cosmetic.
Neither of the allowed parties is going to cut off its life support system. So it’s left to us.
For those determined to try to reform the Democratic Party, I’d suggest Wolf Pac - dedicated to removing money from elections and only electing progressive candidates (under the Democratic Party) that share true progressive values, and getting rid of all establishment corporate big-money Democrats from power. Read up on it.
For those who think reforming the Party from within is impossible and going Third Party, that’s the boat I’m in as well.
Yeah, and that’s part of a much larger problem. Too much discussion about all the nice things we would like to have, and no discussion about how to actually get those nice things. Activists have been trying to democratize the Democrats for fifty years and yet no one cares to discuss the reasons every previous attempt has failed.
Eskow pretends that self-interest will persuade neoliberals to make concessions, and yet neoliberals show time and again that they would rather lose elections to the Right than allow leftists any meaningful influence in the party. Eskow admits that there are serious ideological differences between the leadership of the party and those who support universal government services and oppose imperialism. Neoliberals have also shown time and again that they will break the rules when the rules don’t work for them. Brazile lost her CNN position for doing just that, and now she’s calling out the Clinton campaign for other transgressions.
“My suggestion? Look to movement activists. They’re smart, they’re committed, and they get things done.”
This is the only useful bit of advice about how to obtain any of what Eskow is advocating for. Democrats support a $15 wage ONLY because of the Fight for $15 movement. Some Democrats now claim to support single payer ONLY because of the strength of an independent national movement for single payer.
Political parties serve power, not good intentions. If movements are strong enough, the Democrats will respond. Because if they don’t respond, the Republicans will. If neither party responds, another party will replace them.
Eskow is going about it precisely backwards. Stop wasting time democratizing the Democrats. Build independent power. Then Democrats will give you whatever you want.
Right now, I’m operating on the hypothesis that for all intents & purposes, the Dems have given up on the idea of actually governing, & instead serve 2 purposes:
They serve as a conduit for the energy of resistance & discontent to be channeled into useless & even destructive activities, such as demonizing Russia, Progressives & ‘the Left,’ & lionizing our psychopathic military institutions.
They collect donations from well-meaning old school Dems like my mom who think the party still stands for the New Deal & Great Society. Those donations fund the careers of apparatchiks like Brazille, Wasserman-Schultz, & maybe the useful idiots like Bernie Sanders.
My hypothesis is based on observations of the Dems for the last 30 years of course, but especially the last year.
Right off the bat, Richard Eskow sets up a MSM cover, deflection, and downplay article: “Aren’t there better things to argue about? As it turns out, there are.”
Aside from this “play/write it safe as possible” PR blather, in relation to Donna Brazile and ongoing corruption within the DNC, this whole related context demands “things to argue about” – vehemently, but not in the MSNBC/CNN-style of Scripted/pre-approved Talking Point presentations – fulfilled upon Staged Productions.
“And she’s quick to pronounce the DNC innocent of actions, including her own, that are . . . widely known.”
Right there, we have a bottom line, a core, and the overriding Truth.
Yet, he immediately follows this up with two sentences which destroy his and the article’s entire credibility:
“Still, Brazile is right on the particulars. And it’s hard not to admire her courage, book promotion or not.”
Sickening. Just literally sickening: “it’s hard not to admire her courage” – while discounting the PR campaign for a Book Tour ($1 million dollars profit?).
Here’s an example of Donna Brazile’s courage:
Quote: “As a Christian woman I understand persecution, but I will not stand here and be persecuted because your information is totally false.”
Next: “Don’t re-litigate the past.” This time around, I couldn’t agree more. Let’s litigate the future instead.
Yes, “We must look forward, not backward.” Wait! That sounds so familiar! And, didn’t that mentality help us to right so many critical wrongs that were done on the world stage – thus, actually enabling them to exponentially propagate?
Then: “A reformed Democratic Party should . . .” blah blah, blah blah = As If!
Why “As If?” For one among multitudes, See “The DNC picked a bunch of sleazy lobbyists as superdelegates, can’t figure out why no one is donating.”
And, if you wish, Watch an Overall Summary:
Within these Controlled confines, nothing has changed, or will change – beyond reworkings of Scripts, Narratives, Presentations, and Staged Productions.
"Granted, nurturing new talent is easier when you can raise large sums of money in a single evening. But the Democratic Party will need new generations of capable staffers to sustain it. Who will build that deep bench? "
One direct way is to use free encrypted online voting for Democrats instead of relying on Big Money to support their elections.
First Eskow says Dems & Progressives should stop “re-litigating the past”.
Then he says what Ds & Ps need do is litigate the future.
Fine, cuz that’s all that matters.
Then he suggests all the reforms we Progressives have said need be made.
(… well at least most of the reforms … anyway …)
While I agree with his prescription it begs the initial question - how to get the Old Guard Dems to make these great reforms we Progressives want made.
In other words, we’re right back where we started.
The ‘old guard’ has no intention of changing their corrupt ways, nor will they share power with bona fide progressives, much less willingly allow them to set a doable agenda.
In many cases (Feinstein, Steny Hoyer, Pelosi, etc.) they’ll quite literally have to die off in order to be replaced.
Die off or lose a primary … whichever happens first …
It is good to see an article giving some consideration to the need for the Democratic Party to participate in a democratic nomination and election process, or something of the sort.
A good next step would be to start to grapple with how that is to be accomplished in a party that did all the following in one single election season:
- Swindled money from its own state and local candidates
- Partially funded the nomination of an eventually successful opponent
- Sold audiences with a sitting president to fund one primary candidate over another
- Colluded with the commercial press
- Accepted campaign funds from at least 5 foreign governments, also funders of ISIS, presumably in relation to foreign policy promises.
The laws governing this have to change. The people responsible for the cascade of travesties have to be taken out of power. How can this be done when party officialdom clearly does not want democratic elections? How can it be done when no official within the party has yet been willing to begin to stand for such change or call into question the ever-nebulous and information-free “Russian interference” myth?
On other occasions in somewhat similar circumstances, groups have rallied within political parties to change the leadership of a party. This is done by concentrating on local elections and gradually building to national politics.
In this case, though, it is questionable whether it is of any advantage at all to be working within the party as opposed to outside it, since it has shown itself willing to thieve wholesale from its own loyal candidates, even with little in-party challenge on the local levels in sight.
Those who do wish to build within the party ought to be looking to replace congresspersons, senators, governors, state senators, school board people, and so forth, and willing to vote down Democrats with Republican values.
I must say, though, it looks to me easier on the outside.
I have to say after reading the comments on Medium’s posting of the open letter from HFA that condemns Brazile, that I really appreciate our Clinton supporters here. Thank you that you have not stooped to the nonsense I saw on Medium by Clinton supporters there.
They are asserting she is mentally insane, a Russian puppet, and that she is a traitor who belongs in prison. Also they seriously claim that Bernie only wanted to hurt the Democratic Party by running for president. They don’t just support Hillary but actually seem to worship her.
So, again, thank you to you Clinton supporters here for at least making cogent arguments that it is possible for me to disagree with and respond to instead of just wanting to throw my hands up in the air and scream.
There will be no democratizing of the Democratic Party. The Clinton wing has already purged the DNC of most of the Bernie supporters.
The D-Party has made it clear that my views aren’t welcome in their big tent.
And for those who advise that I look at their party platform, I suggest that you look at actual performance while in office. If politics is the art of the possible, reforming the Ds is clearly impossible.
I don’t understand why Matt Taibbi left out the real reveal in this article that it wasn’t just about money laundering, but that the Clinton campaign had a MOA with the DNC giving them control over everything the DNC did from approving staffing to controlling communication.
— More #BernieBotBS.