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Here’s a Reality-Based Battle Plan for the Midterms and Beyond


Here’s a Reality-Based Battle Plan for the Midterms and Beyond

Sonali Kolhatkar

Many analysts of our current political landscape are seduced by the idea of a dichotomy of ideals, a polarized electorate neatly cleaved into two sides: conservatives versus liberals, as symbolized by the Republican-Democrat split.


Kolhatkar sez: “Our next task is to hold Democrats’ feet to the fire with as much fervor as we demanded an end to Trump and Trumpism.”

There seems a jarring disconnect between the optimistic headline and the commentary that follows.
Electing candidates shod in asbestos footwear, with the strategy of holding their feet to the fire after the fact, is akin to “hoping” for “change”.


I almost gagged when I read that insipid phrase—without irony quotes!—dressed up as a “battle plan.” Who will bet against me that Brand D will nominate Rottenhams again in 2020?


A completely ass-backwards strategy.

You don’t hold a party’s feet to the fire right after you endorsed their policies by voting for them.

You do it by repeatedly demonstrating that you won’t vote for them until they change their policies.

Meanwhile, the author is telling us to vote for:


Last sentence of first paragraph: “All that Democrats have to do is not be Trump and they can expect to sail to victory.”

Yes, I too dismissed the rest of the article and simply skimmed once I got to that statement as I’ve had enough of the simple black and white viewpoints offering the same simple black and white solutions.

Is that honestly still the viewpoint of mainstream Dems? That they only have to be “not Trump”? How has that been working out for ya so far?

Although I’m fairly certain, most current Dems in Congress have seen their own personal fortunes increase quite nicely during the time of this Administration, so … for whom is this party actually working? (rhetorical, of course)


Even if two-thirds or an unbelievable three-fourths of DamnocRats were NOT just as beholden to the Big Banks and/or Big Insurance and/or Big Oil and/or the MIC – and no more deserving of our support than 99.44% of the RePoopLickens – just how do you propose to accomplish that?   Sheesh, what a waste of bandwidth for CD to publish this pablum.

The DamnocRats have been a MAJOR part of the problem at least since JFK committed the U.S. to supporting the utterly corrupt government of South Vietnam way back in 1961 or '62.  The biggest reason Tweetle-Dumb is in the White House is because the DamnocRats, seduced by “campaign contributions” from the wealthy inter­ests mentioned above, abandoned the middle class and working people of this country and allied themselves with the greedy “elites”.   Need proof?  Who let the Banksters off the hook in 2009 — O’Bummer and Peloser.  Who was in control of the party in 2016 — Dirty Debbie and their haughty, out-of-touch candidate, Her High­ness Hilliary.  Yes, there are a few decent democrats deserving of individual support, but we should not don-
ate one single dime to the DCCC, DNC, DSCC or to the DAMNocRATic party itself.


The problem for the “few decent democrats deserving of individual support” is that their positions on issues are watered down or simply dismissed by the greater d-party apparatus.

$15/hour was dismissed as pie-in-the-sky by establishment Ds.
Hillary told the base that single payer was “never, ever going to happen.”
Pelosi said we have to look forward not at the crimes of the recent past.

If anything, a few decent democrats merely highlight the futility of getting liberal policy on the d-party agenda.


That’s why I have sent small donations (I can’t afford large donations) to Jeff Merkley, Russ Feingold, Liz Warren and a couple of others who are clearly progressive & outspoken against the powers-that-be, but
I cannot in good conscience support the party itself and will not do so.


Besides nominating a candidate for president with negatives of 60% to match her opponent’s negatives of 60%, what exactly does the Democratic party stand for? Republicans, on the other hand, will be very eager to vote with the establishment of a conservative Supreme Court.
It’s very foolish to put much hope in a dying political party.


Manchin will be voting for Kavanaugh----real democrats in West Virginia should NOT vote for this guy. Send a real message by letting this seat go to the republican.

It will be Susan Collins who puts this guy over----with two other women senators sitting behind her as she makes this announcement----what a message to women----


I gagged, too, on the “hold their feet to the fire” BS. The author’s credibility went right out the window with that one. Hold their feet to the fire is code for vote Democrat and bend over, yet again. Didn’t work with Obama, but it’s supposed to work now? Who’s holding those Democrat feet to the fire, today? Schumer? Pelosi? The only fire the Democratic establishment fears is the corporate donor fire and that one is a bonfire.


Everything said before “but” is simply an attempt to win you over for the real thing of which the speaker wants to convince you.

Here’s what the author wrote after her but: “Vote for Democrats.”

By the way, the Democratic Party has not been a peace party ever except for the campaign of McGovern. It definitely shook off the McGovern mentality when former anti-war John Kerry (He actually came to political prominence as the leader of Vietnam Vets Against the War!) voted to support George H.W. Bush’s Gulf War. It then became fully the War Party it had been under LBJ and Truman and FDR and Wilson.

Democrats gave us the Pentagon. Democrats gave us the CIA. Democrats made the FBI a real force and appointed Hoover.


The only ones holding their feet to the fire are those of us who tell them to their faces that we aren’t voting for them until they represent our interests.


Looking towards a somehow-happy ending costs Kolhatkar clarity here. She acknowledges the need to take stock; perhaps she just still needs time.

She sees that the Democrats criticize Trump from the warlike right over Korea and from the corporatist right over NAFTA.

That is something.

But the Democratic leaders have no lack of “fighting spirit.” That’s a tired myth. They prove that by fighting progressives and voters, dissuaded neither by legality nor, often, by political risks. They prove it by being petty and combative even in criticisms of Donald Trump, surely a man who could be criticized accurately and seriously seven days a week if someone cared to do it.

By the observations that Kolhatkar makes, she should see that divisions over liberal|conservative ideas have nothing much to do with those over Democrat|Republican factionism. It makes little sense to identify a conservative agenda as a Trump agenda, though of course he’s included.

Consequently, Democrats in 2018 in a general way offers no response against a conservative agenda unless an individual candidate does and can make it believable. And with Ocasio-Cortez endorsing Andrew Cuomo and Gillum campaigning in association with Hillary Clinton in Florida, a lot of us are asking whether any Democratic candidate can be authentically progressive.

For years and some we have gotten waves of propositions promoting variations on an “any blue will do” position. The pattern seems to be that a bare scrap more of the party’s problems get acknowledged in each new wave, though with no impact on the conclusion.

At this point, Kolhatkar acknowledges enough to amply disprove the conclusion that she wishes to draw. I am willing to accept her metaphor of Obama as an abusive boyfriend. Yet she appears determined to insist that we leap into the arms of the next.


There has still been no substantial examination of the frauds of '16 nor of the data accompanying that evidence. There has been no retraction of guilty parties other than Wasserman-Schulz, who was immediately rehired. There has been no revolution, Ours or otherwise. And the apparent left candidates have in at least some cases unilaterally opted to endorse conservatives who are diametrically opposed to their spoken policies.

The question here for many of us is not whether to follow an all-blue scenario. It is whether, given the extent to which Democrats have opted to stick together despite deep corruption and extremely oppressive and warlike policies, one can reasonably vote for any Democrat whatsoever.

No. A reality-based plan would involve voting for people who espouse reality-based policies. Compromise is fine, but there are still only a few Democrats who might qualify. And the insistence on support for corporatist warmongering makes me strongly suspect that I was misled about them.


It is surprising that a columnist from Truthdig has such a pragmatic view. Obviously unless one is in favor of white supremacy and autocracy it is necessary to vote for Democrats. Sadly, that is what it has come down to. I never thought that such a choice would be occur in a US election but that is where we are at. The US is divided into two camps at the most fundamental level. Needless to say, this is a very serious situation and iid t unclear how it can be resolved. People are going to have to conclude that in the end we are all US citizens and need to work together in some manner even though we have many disagreements. Two groups with entirely different ideas of what the US is about is not going to work well if they both pursue competing goals. The country cannot be both white supremacist and inclusive of all people regardless of race and religion and it cannot be both an autocracy and a democracy. .


At this point not to vote straight Democratic shows callous disregard for those being hurt or threatened by the Trump regime (workers, women losing access to birth control and abortion, victims of hate crimes, some victims of gun violence, immigrants, gays, transit users, people losing health care, seniors/soon to be seniors whose medicare/social security is under threat due to the deficits created by the tax giveaway to the rich, and, wildlife too…the list goes on) We all are also at risk from the threats to our remaining democracy from attacks on the press, voting rights, and the stacking of courts with right-wing zealots


Both political sides have brought the people to the position they now hold which is powerless. All that is left to clean up is the scraps of opposition. 9-11 and the aftermath became the ultimate stripping tool of freedom and justice.


She actually acknowledged that to bed not quite right farther on–I think: The entire article seems more confused than merely wrong.


Yes, and I will be doing the same between now and the election, in addition to a few paltry contributions earlier. NO money to elected Democrats demanding money for “Democrats.”


I would say three: The “Conservatives,” who are anything but conservative, the “Democrats,” the party loyalists who have been stabbing democracy in the back and everywhere else for most of the time since the demise of FDR, and the rest of us, who (unlike a regular poster on another web site who uses it as a handle) “want real democracy.”

Unfortunately I, like many in this last group, will vote much as Ms. Kolhatkar insists we should, not because of her urging but because we see no other path by which we might make our way out of this deep hole–as you suggest in the sentence before the one quoted, and despite the fact that we have been doing much the same since–well, the demise of FDR, or whenever we were born. I have voted for dark horses (NO relation to “dark money”) as many times as they have been available. I voted for Ross the Squirrel in '92, not because he would have made a good president but because there was a chance that he would break the hold of the duopoly. I voted for Jesse Jackson in the primary in '88 (?) for the same reason, and Kucinich in 2004 for the same reason. I voted for Clinton in 96 because Bob Dole had gone off the deep end and because of Republican dirty lies less than a week before the election.

Short of throwing bombs where the fat cats congregate, what else can we do? That is not a rhetorical question, but one I am going to be asking within my small circle for the unforeseeable future.