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If the Democrats Don't Learn This Lesson, They Deserve to Lose Forever


#1

If the Democrats Don't Learn This Lesson, They Deserve to Lose Forever

Charles P. Pierce

Progressive candidates can win anywhere. Contest every race.

"There are now two mayors who’ve proven that progressive candidates can win just about anywhere. Learn that lesson or you deserve to lose forever," Pierce writes.

#2

If a socialist can win in Jackson then the lesson to be learned is that anything is possible. So now is not the time for the people complaining about the Democratic Party selling out to shut up and dance. And if Our Revolution does sell out they should also be criticized.

If anything is possible then there is no reason that citizens should not be able to demand that candidates finance their campaigns with small contributions. There is no reason that citizens that want small contribution candidates can’t join with other citizens that want small contribution candidates and create an organization that demands candidates finance their campaigns with small contributions- a sort of a Union for Politics.

There is no reason to continue to support or work with the Big Money candidates/organizations of any party. They need us more than we need them.

The organization mentioned above is ready and waiting for citizens to participate. It time to stand up and make demands- not shut up and dance.

A good start would be signing this petition to Ralph Nader and visiting the One Demand website for more information.


#3

I have never been able to join a political party perhaps just because I am not a joiner. That being said, I have joined causes from time to time as no badges were required for entry. George Washington abhorred the establishment of political parties. He and his fellow founders knew the history of governments and how human “nature” perverts them. Now we stand at a time where we pretty much have the government those founders feared. The (metaphorical) blood of corporate and corrupt political tyrants is greatly needed to revive Jefferson’s tree of liberty!


#4

Maybe centrist Democrats are befuddled and confused about supporting “socialist” candidates and will fail them, but those of us who are progressive and have rejected centrism will certainly support them, black, white, or purple. Though things look bad right now with Trump at the helm, I have strong hopes that the Supreme Court will knock out the majority of partisan gerrymandering, and beginning in 2018, our boat will gradually right itself.


#5

I like Pierce a ton, but Biden was just in Alabama stumping for Jones, raising money, and recording phone messages. He’s been there twice now. Joe Trippi is managing the Jones campaign and the DNC shared its voter files already. The DSCC hasn’t jumped in because it has to defend 10 seats, a hugely important thing, in the upcoming election and Jones is a clear longshot. The party ain’t gonna send Obama, for obvious reasons, but the support is there, just under the radar.

More to the point, Trippi explains Jones is running a locally-focused campaign in the article and explicitly trying not to nationalize it. Why? To win in Alabama you need Republican (white) votes. They are trying to take advantage of low Republican enthusiasm during an off year election to win. The Washington Post had a more detailed article about the campaign and what its trying to do. You nationalize the election and Jones is going to whither.

Plus, to compare the Alabama Senate race to two local urban mayoral races feels like a really big stretch. I’m glad those candidates won, but lets be real here. Jackson Mississippi is nearly 80% African American, is a city of less than 200,000 people, and Hines county, where Jackson is located, is a blue island in a sea of red. It went massively for Clinton in 2016 and is the Democratic part of the state. For a Democrat or socialist or any non-Republican to win there is predictive of zero. Rather, that’s where they should win.

File this article away in the overstuffed “Democrats should” file.


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#6

Apparently Mr. Pierce has never been within the city limits of Jackson, MS? The city is 80% black, with leftist-black-nationalist sentiments very popular there. It it totally unlike the adjacent white racist suburbs and most of the rest of white-racist USA.

The same applies to Birmingham to only a little less a degree.

The district starting a couple blocks south of me will be having a special election to fill resigning Republican Murphy’s seat. The core of the area is white, generally affluent and suburban to exurban. Once, this area was very different - it was UMWA coal mine country, home of reformist UMWA martyr Jock Yablonski and solidly Democratic - but those days are for the history books. Until things change back, the further left a Democratic candidate runs here the worse he or she is going to do.

BUT democratic candidates should still be uncompromisingly left. It’s just that we should not expect to win…this time. You lose, you lose, you lose, then you win. The key is organizing, organizing, organizing and especially, organizing that 60 percent who don’t vote in the 2-year House elections at all. It is no accident that the Republicans put so much effort into making voting more difficult. Where are the efforts by others to get poeple voting - knocking on doors - providing rides…


#7

That is the heart of the problem right there. The Democrats are treating politics like a capitalist business. What “investments” are needed? You only need the money for perhaps 50 to 100 full-time paid organizers for a couple of months - and do everything else with volunteers at the neighborhood level. And, most importantly, organizing continues between elections.

I do realize that our internet communication culture has made effective local organizing more difficult (yes, really) so that many propel don’t even answer door knocks or unidentifiable phone calls. But surely, something can be figured out to by pass this.

A look at how the Corbyn-led British Labour Party (or the way parties are run in other countries more broadly) would be very instructive.


#8

I support the concept of supporting Jones. However… While certainly inspiring and deserving of credit for that reason, the arguments made in the op-ed are easily shown to be false equivalencies by political professionals without even being concerned over a dismissive attitude or not.

The two provided lead examples are urban elections, and NOT state-wide red state elections. Just look at Texas to see the greater equivalence. Most of Texas’ urban centers are blue dots in a red state. The city elections for mayor do not involve red rural voters. I’m sure similar examples can be found of Republicans controlling offices in local red areas of blue states. Indeed in California there are some US House and state legislative districts which tend toward pretty solidly red while both senators and all statewide offices are blue.

I’m convinced Jones can definitely win if he abandons the stock Democratic campaign and goes for an “Alabama Cheerleader” approach. Dump the classic progressive educated inclination toward “facts and issues”. Rather get out there and go for the gut. Be uplifting and inspirational to Alabamans who are the only people he’s asking to vote for him. Force Moore to be the depressing negative whiny clown voice. In short, make Alabamans feel (emotionally) uplifted when they see him, and feel depressed whenever they hear from Moore. Shove Moore into the “more of the same depressing politics” camp.


#9

Yunzer, read my comment above your’s. The Post had a good piece on the Jones campaign. Hell, even the Daily Beast article was okay (Post was much better though). I like Pierce a lot, but he’s being a little too forceful here about things.

By the numbers, Jones has to win an unusual percentage of whites (Republicans) to win for a modern Democrat and get a high African American turnout. The campaign is counting on unenthusiastic Republicans too. Joe Trippi, his campaign manager, states explicitly that they are running a locally focused campaign. They aren’t going to win a big nationalized contest with Democratic-affiliated groups screaming about their donations and advertising.

Trippi is flying under the radar, while hoping to spur donations I strongly suspect. Biden has been there twice, the campaign has the DNC’s voter file, and it’s got a well-connected campaign manager. Not everything is as it appears, Jones is a long shot in a sea of red, but their campaign strategy seems sound from the outside. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trippi has Pierce’s article posted on his wall while watching individual donations come in to support the “unsupported” campaign.


#10

Excellent article.

The pendulum seems to be reaching its rightward apogee.

Enjoy the ride back to sanity.


#11

Further, we can begin to think about government without parties and party machinery. Why would we need political parties or professional politicians when we can have e-democracy, grassroots, direct and decentralized?


#12

Gotta love Charlie “No Bullshit” Pierce!


#13

From your lips to the goddess’s ear.


#14

Educative, KC2669!


#15

Bernie Sanders has been raising money for the DSCC. That is based on e-mails that I have received. Is there really a difference between progressive Democrats and those considered more centrist? He also enthusiastically supported Hillary Clinton for president. I am not sure this us versus them among Democrats really has substance. All the so-called more centrist Democrats who are thinking about running for president have endorsed single-payer (e.g., Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker). Perhaps this division is being played up by people for selfish purposes and there is really is no good way to draw the line between the two wings of the Democratic party.


#16

It may be that Bernie knows politics. It may be that Bernie knows that nothing progressive will happen with Republican control of Congress. It just may be that Bernie knows that the only way to make this happen in the next 2-4 years, is the re-unification of the Democratic Party and a return to its roots, meaning at least some movement to the left.

I know that I will get pushback on this. That’s okay. I trust Bernie’s political instincts. If we are unable to compromise and coalesce, we have no chance for positive change, at least not in Bernie’s time frame.

I respect those posters who are passionate about a third party. I think that will take too long to succeed, considering the convergence of critical, even existential matters that cannot wait.


#17

You absolutely speak the truth. Politics is about coalitions and the right has the more unified one currently. They are also exercising their power to perpetuate it. I honestly think the right has a much better view of the big picture, the nature of institutional power, like the role of the courts, than the Left.

My tea party congressman can be beat, but it will take third party supporting progressives and independents to get out of their shells. He was nearly beat a few years back but idiots like me threw out votes toward a sure loser. We could’ve had a congressman who at least leaned towards our interests and been a sure vote against stuff like Paul Ryan’s budget. But, you know, pragmatism is another word for selloutism and all that. To this day, I regret my stupidity.


#18

“Centrism” = “backwardism”


#19

Reptilians say you are not allowed to talk about gun control just after a mass shooting. Reptilians say you are not allowed to talk about climate change just after a hurricane. The paid-to-lose Demoncrats say you are not allowed to talk about aggressive socialist policy too soon after a progressive wins office. The Reptilians will do all they can to sabotage gun control, climate deniers will keep on rolling back regulations, and the DNC will keep undercutting progressives candidates. To all you people who think the Democratic Party can be saved; “thoughts and prayers.”


#20

In this country, Centrism=Possibility of getting elected. You may not like that, I may not like that, but that is a fact.