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How the Democratic Party Establishment Suffocates Progressive Change


How the Democratic Party Establishment Suffocates Progressive Change

Thomas Palley

The Democratic Party establishment has recently found itself discomforted by Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign to return the party to its modern roots of New Deal social democracy. The establishment’s response has included a complex coupling of elite media and elite economics opinion aimed at promoting an image of Sanders as an unelectable extremist with unrealistic economic policies.


I agree with this statement by Thomas Palley, and I am going to repost it since it should be obvious to honest readers of the C.D. forum that there is a high percentage of posters who work 24/7 to demean the Democrats and make THEM into the greater evil.

I am not a Hillary Clinton supporter; however, as a Feminist, I find it startling that a so-called Progressive forum would feature lots of posters calling Mrs. Clinton a bitch and a whore, or using violent imagery in how they’d like to deal with her.

Sexism and violence, particularly when coupled together suggest ANYTHING BUT a Progressive set of values.

This forum is full of Trojan Horse posters!

“Every progressive knows about the opposition and tactics of the Republican Party. Less understood are the opposition and tactics of the Democratic Party establishment. Speaking metaphorically, that establishment is a far lesser evil, but it may also be a far greater obstacle to progressive change.”

This quote should be used in alliance with Mr. Sanders’ goal to get Big Money out of politics. So long as Big Money funds the majority of candidates and decides who gets media/face time and who does not, both parties will find their players tainted by the quid pro quo deals contingent upon the “largesse” of deep pocket “donors.”

“Progressives must surface the obstruction posed by the Democratic Party establishment.”


I’ve made this point before, yet I think it really needs to be implemented because the TERM “Progressive” has been stripped of meaning.

If war-hawks, including “liberal hawks” can be placed into the Progressive Camp, and if those who support trade travesties like TIPP and TPP can also be lumped into this same allegedly Progressive Camp… what does the word mean?

The way elections SHOULD operate is that every candidate’s name should be hidden, but he or she should sign a covenant with the American people. And that covenant would include their STATED positions on everything from a willingness to liberate the MIC and its war profiteers to endless profits from profligate weapons’ sales to the preservation of Social Security.

Voters would receive a ballot with the same 20 questions and they would answer those questions with their own preferences. Then computers would match up the majority of their answers to that candidate whose own policy promises line-up with each voter’s policy choices.

In this way, instead of People Magazine style “Celebrity Politics,” candidates are HELD to policy commitments and win support on the basis of voters’ agreement or disagreement with those positions! A candidate that departs from more than 3 positions is shown The Exit (as in a failing grade).

Just as students are given passing grades without showing total mastery of a subject, I would allow each candidate 3 areas where they could show “evolution,” as in a change in stated position as new facts and events emerged.

Krugman is a CENTRIST or Status-quo holder; and since today’s status quo ONLY favors corporate elites, the MIC, and the 1%… he is NOT a Progressive, nor is Queen Hillary!

"For years, Krugman has mockingly used the term “very serious people” to attack Republicans opposed to President Obama’s policies. Now, he un-ironically revokes the credentials of all who do not support Clinton by declaring that “every serious progressive policy expert on either health care or financial reform who has weighed in on the primary seems to lean Hillary.”

Alas… the Ancient Greeks knew a thing or two about the “self-fulfilling prophecy” and the corporate (anything BUT Progressive) media uses this enduring tool to its own advantage:

"The extremism gambit explains the persistent linking of Sanders and Trump. Whereas Trump is an egotistical demagogue and businessman with a disreputable business history, Sanders is a thoughtful social democrat with a long history of public service through high electoral office.

“The unelectability charge pivots off the extremism insinuation as follows: Americans will not elect extremists; Sanders is an extremist; ergo, Sanders is unelectable.”


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It’s because the ‘Democratic Party’ is no longer democratic – but Republican (as we used to know it). More and more people are becoming progressive and realizing the Democratic Party, as it is now, does not represent them – except for a rare few like Bernie and Alan Grayson…


So, what exactly are the 20 questions on policy that you propose matching voters and candidates on?


The Democratic Party has always been an enemy of the working people of the United States, and it always will be. The concessions of the New Deal were liberal reforms meant to stave off a revolutionary overthrow of the corrupt oligarchs of the day and “save capitalism” as FDR put it.

Capitalism should have died long ago. Not for nothing are the Democrats known as “capitalism’s second most enthusiastic political party” and you should strive to never forget that their primary agenda is to blunt any social movement that might seek emancipation from exploitation and wage slavery.

The Democrats are your enemy pretending to be your friend. Watch closely what the sneaky bastards do and you’ll realize what they really are.


Economic freedom should be the goal. Sanders has drawn a few lines in the sand. Healthcare as a right.And a $15 minimum wage are a move in the right direction----and the $15 minimum needs to happen now not 5yrs from now. I would also add affordable housing.

Sanders has shown how pathetic the dem. party has become.


This is a great, simple video on outlining the “ills” of capital/capitalism and what each one of us can do to overcome the exploitation and oppression of capital/capitalism and it does it without ever mentioning the “S” or “C” words.

The following snippet directly addresses the content of the posted article by Common Dreams:

The fight for the political independence of the working class means a struggle against all those middle-class organizations, including nominally “socialist” groups, which claim that the Democratic Party can be pushed to the left through mass pressure. This position is aimed at preventing the working class from establishing its own independent political party.

In fact, the Democratic Party long ago abandoned even a nominal commitment to social reform. The rightward movement of the Democratic Party has been accompanied by attempts on the part of its middle-class supporters to promote all manner of lifestyle issues and identity politics as a means of obscuring the question of class and social equality.

Source: http://www.socialequality.com/about/political_independence


When I first heard Bernie talk about running I PRAYED he’d run as an independent. Figured early on that the DNC would kneecap him at every turn and that has proven to be quite true.

Bernie still has a chance! He can drop out of the Democratic primary charade and launch an independent campaign.

He’s shown he can build a campaign on small donations and grassroots organizing and he wouldn’t have to kiss Debbie’s ass.


I am less concerned about establishment pundits, and Krugman has enthusiastically enrolled in their ranks, than I am with the consistent reports of the Democratic establishment in various states tilting the scales toward Clinton.

Look at shots of Clinton’s rallies. No miles of lines of people waiting to get in, no pans showing massive crowds filling huge auditoriums. No enthusiasm.

Totally the opposite of Sanders rallies.

And we keep seeing reports that Democratic turnout is down - which should mean that a candidate generating enthusiasm would enjoy huge leads.

Yet in most states where Clinton wins, we read about voting irregularities. Reports that are never followed up.

It makes me seriously wonder if Clinton isn’t using the party apparatus to steal the nomination.


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The entire existence of the (Un)Democratic critter known as the superdelegate is about tipping the scales in favor of, and retaining in power, the existing Democratic establishment. Superdelegates, who consist mostly of Democratic members of the House and Senate, Democratic governors, and other prominent party apparatchiks, now comprise approximately 20% of the delegates at the national convention. And while they are, in theory, unpledged to any particular candidate (unlike the other delegates, who are pledged based on the caucus and primary votes), in reality they will tend to back the establishment pick because they themselves ARE the establishment.

There is something truly perverse about the fact that sitting Democratic office holders – in a party that fancies itself the party of the people, no less – are afforded a ‘freedom’ at the convention that effectively permits them to ignore the will of Democratic primary and caucus voters by tipping the delegate count in favor of the establishment pick. Even if one tried, it’s hard to imagine how someone could design a better hedge against real, grassroots reform.


And this:

“November will be a time for Democratic voters to come together to stop whoever the Republicans nominate”

is how Dr. Palley becomes yet another in a long list of Democratic Party operatives suffocating progressive change.


Good point. This is one I’ve been making for some time, Democrats are their own worst enemy. Since they have wandered from the New Deal Democrat ideals they have become more and more like Republicans and more and more opposed to real change. That’s why Obama gave us half-assed efforts on changes. Couldn’t have single payer, oh no, HE took that off the table. So instead it became a gift to the Insurance industry. These new Democrats are pushing against change and moving to the right on many, many, issues. Now the Dems and Repugs are giving us political theater instead of real discussions and debates.


Empty rhetoric? You mean like your unsubstantiated allegation about Sanders?


You may want to look over the book, “Progress and Poverty,” by Henry George. Here is the link for its table of contents:

http://www.henrygeorge.org/pcontents.htm That spells out the historical inseparability of “progress” & poverty. They are two different names for the same collections of social-cultural things. Economists hate that book.

As for all the vitriol, I can empathize with them because so many of the so-called left are simply and extremely poorly educated, and know little if anything about civic responsibilities and practices. They confuse respect with that stupid culture in the academic world which precludes the professors and grad students from telling the truth where it might bother some one else’s sensitivities/neuroses.


Absolutely. The ONLY way to achieve progressive change is to make sure Hillary NEVER becomes POTUS by working hard to DEFEAT her in November. Yes, we will probably have to suffer through four years of Trump-Hell, but better than eight years of Hillary and her Borg-like steamroller of “resistance is futile” tactics and shouting of her “inevitability” to be the nominee. Trump will be an ineffective bumbler, unable to get much of anything - good or bad - done. Hillary, on the other hand - does know enough, and have control of enough of the machinery of government, to do further harm to what is left of our republic. If it can’t be Bernie, it must not be Hillary, no matter whatever else happens. We start with a clean-slate in 2020, and hopefully an emerging, young, attractive woman of color who is truly a progressive.


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