Newly leaked documents show Democratic campaign officials advised U.S. House of Representatives candidates not to explicitly support "concrete policy solutions" proposed by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and to limit the number of activists invited to campaign appearances.
When I read the memo - it seemed to basically say
listen to people, don’t say anything stupid, and don’t make any promises you can’t keep.
Rather typical advice to candidates I thought.
That’s what I thought, too. Lead from behind, don’t co-opt the movement for politics, it’s pretty standard stuff. Telling candidates to set up meetings with people is hardly smoking gun stuff.
Yes, BLM is now offcially off the plantation about Palestine. I think this is what this is about.
Where is Hillary the BS artist like Obama?
Yeah, right. Listen to the people, make them think you care, placate them just enough, let them go away believing they had some impact, then carry on with business as usual—after election day, what are they going to do about it, call a cop?
This is advice going out to all candidates regardless of their positions on the topics involved. The advice is basically not to make any firm commitments when you talk to people - that’s the advice I always hear coming from campaign managers for big campaigns regardless of intentions on the issues. These guys want to run everything through three polls and by four focus groups before they come up with a nuanced way to explain their position.
Earlier this month BLM released A Vision for Black Lives. I have not heard Hillary or for that matter any Democrat speak about this list of demands. It just doesn’t seem to be on their radar, at least as far as discussing the Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice. On the other hand, I would bet the FBI has BLM on their radar. The FBI, Fusion Centers, and local police forces have all criminalized activists’ speech and “right to gather” by investigating them, sending undercover agents among them even using provocateurs. The Occupy, Quakers, and Anti Fracking activists have all had their Constitutional rights violated by Obama’s DOJ. I have no doubt BLM is being closely watched and it would be shocking if the FBI wasn’t investigating them or worse.
Yep - Major party candidates are always told not to say yes to concrete proposals. That’s general advice - not at all specific to BLM. Campaigns want to control their own message and frame issues the way they want to.
Don’t make firm commitments else the public think you’re serious. This also goes by the term triangualtion—a Clinton specialty. Enough with the rationalizing and apologies for the party’s insincerity—not buying it.
I am making the distinction between support for ideas and principles with commitment to “concrete policy positions” because the latter is what is said in the memo.
I agree that these kinds of things make for a general blandness of major party candidates’ stated positions driven by a perceived need to give yourself wiggle room on every public statement you make. This memo reflects that - a general malaise we should all have with the two-party system and how it operates. It does not reflect a Black Lives don’t Matter attitude. It definitely does not discourage candidates from giving general messages of support - quite the opposite - as it tries to inform candidates on the positive ideas of the movement.
If the Party was hedging on embracing BLM way back during the primaries when BLM was focused only on racism, what is the Democrats current posture now that BLM has recently expanded its focus to include broader economic atrocities ?
Recall the establishment was tolerant of Martin Luther King only as long as he was focused on civil rights and racism. Once King became critical of the oligarchy and its military industrial complex that tolerance evaporated.
I do think your analogy to two people looking at two sides of the donkey is apropos. I don’t think you are seeing the whole ass and you don’t think I’m seeing the ass whole!
You have the logic wrong though. You said P = “I [will] support the issue/proposal concretely” but really P = "“I [will] support your concrete proposal”. Those are very different statements.
Overall, the most generous interpretation of the memo is that the DCCC was saying that best practice habits for a candidate is to avoid making commitments on specific concrete proposals during a meeting with BLM activists - but that you might make such commitments later after you’ve had time to think and discuss the specific concrete proposal at hand. While your interpretation is to take the most damning interpretation, logically my interpretation is in between. Remembering that this memo was selectively leaked so we are likely only looking at the most embarrassing thing on those computers - I just don’t interpret this as all that scandalous.
Well of course a politician can support any of the general issues raised by BLM and take concrete actions to have them addressed without supporting the current concrete policy proposals put forward. For example, take the issue of ending traffic-related police killings raised by BLM. A politician might agree completely with that general issue and the sub issue of avoiding high-speed chase deaths but disagree with the BLM concrete proposal to forbid high-speed chases unless a violent felony is involved. For example, the politician may see instances where a high speed chase could be necessary in the case of a non-violent felony such as a kidnapping. That politician may invite BLM activists to join a panel to provide a more refined proposal to address the qualms they have about the particular solution at hand. That politician may support another Police Department policy that addresses this issue besides the Milwaukee example supported by BLM such as the new Houston Police Department policy etc… (i.e. they might provide concrete support for the issue).
The BLM to their credit have provided a set of very concrete policy proposals under each of the issues they raise. Do you really see no difference between the issues and the specific proposals they put forward to address those issues.
So basically there was a self-important jerk somewhere issuing directions to people who are perfectly capable of deciding for themselves what they are going to do and what positions to take. The fools are those who allowed this SIJ to mold their positions for them.