As Donald Trump took the stage inside the lavishly decorated Quicken Loans Arena last week, much of the focus of major media outlets was on the crumbling Republican Party, a party that, we are told, lost its identity amidst the tumultuous rise of a billionaire reality television star.
Always appreciate your articles Jake. Thank you.
In the face of Trump, the D. party is revealing its own ideological AND moral bankruptcy.
Excellent and accurate analysis from Jake Johnson, IMO.
"Robert Reich asks "Does Hillary Get It?" and Matt Taibbi laments":
"The maddening thing about the Democrats is that they refuse to see how easy they could have it. If the party threw its weight behind a truly populist platform, if it stood behind unions and prosecuted Wall Street criminals and stopped taking giant gobs of cash from every crooked transnational bank and job-exporting manufacturer in the world, they would win every election season in a landslide."
The truth is the Dem establishment does not "get it" - Hillary Clinton, in her astonishing arrogance and blindness, does not get it, they will not shift to a Democratic FDR populist platform to bring justice and a sustainable future to the 99% - they will not really give to the Sanders/independent/progressive base and support the issues they/we demand - they are at this point a wholly-owned subsidiary of the 1% embodied in the candidacy of the latest Progressive fraud, Hillary Clinton & C0!. It IS maddening they are so morally bankrupt and blind to the danger of the Trump candidacy and how they could, as Taibbi writes, "win every election season in a landslide."!
The Democrats love to blame Republicans for everything. They point the finger while signing our future away in back rooms. They are their own worst enemy. If the Clinton's had not pushed the Dems to adopt the neoliberal policies we would be talking about something else but they did. Now we are looking at another Clinton in the WH and what do you think she will do?
The Dems have so elevated Trump as the arch enemy that fear has become the platform for everything they do. The constant drum beat for how horrifying Trump is has become comical. Like Jake so aptly put it, fear is the only thing they have left to run on. I am sufficiently scared now, only the fear is about Clinton and the dust bin of corruption that follows her everywhere.
When Bush was appointed it was clear to us the election was a fraud but no real tangible proof. Now, with the emails we can see and prove the primary was stolen. Where is the outrage? The whole country should be enraged about a stolen election but instead we talk Putin, Wasserman-Shultz. What about the damned election theft?
Excellent Democracy Now today! Julian Assange interview . . . . unless I got it wrong (due to bad radio connection) I think I heard J. A. compare Trump and HRC candidacies to voting for gonorrhea or cholera
People ARE waking up to the fact the democratic party is a sham. Despite endorsements from Obama, Biden, Warren, and Sanders, Hillary currently trails Trump by 4% nationally. The 70% of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck know all about the empty promises. Sure, the stock market is rising, but who has money to invest in it? Few things demonstrate how clueless the democratic party is more than having Mike Bloomberg speak at their convention. After 12 years of Bloomberg as NY mayor, with his pro Wall Street policies, half of New York City is living in near poverty. Is that something to be celebrated?
There are several notable paragraphs that deserve re-posting, but I'll stick with this one:
"Decades ago, John Dewey observed, "Whatever may be the convictions of individuals within the parties, the parties themselves are property-minded. In the clash between property interests and human interests, all their habits of thought and action fatally impel them to side with the former. They make concessions, but do not change the direction of their belief or behavior."
The nation was founded ON Property Rights. The Supreme Court's "Citizens' United" allots to those with the most property ($) the most in the way of "rights." Those rights being the "right" to purchase candidates and through them, ostensible policy determinations.
One thing missing from Mr. Johnson's otherwise right-on analysis is the role played by media and why campaign costs rose astronomically after Clinton opted for deregulation of the public's airwaves... thereby delivering them to 5 massive broadcast companies. Requiring air time, candidates were forced to raise ridiculous sums which in turn made them beholden to their fiscal sponsors.
It's a very clear quid quo pro and it's a major part of the calculus.
I don't resonate with articles that push the personality angle--that people sold out. I think a far more comprehensive and ACCURATE analysis results from understanding the mechanical logistics. What almost always FORCES people to sell out.
It's the current cost of running a successful campaign.
Those costs mean 2 things: Either one is part of the 1% and has the personal funds to run such a campaign, or else they will require donors. And those donors aren't interested in just parting with their money without some "investment" made in return.
Sanders did pave the path to a 3rd way: Only those politicians who are GENUINE and really speak to the working masses will win millions of small donations. Sanders proved this route is possible.
Mr. Johnson reminds me of Chris Hedges in this paragraph:
"As the Democratic Party came to rely more on business than labor, its ideological center of gravity shifted rightward. Motivated by material interests and political ambitions, Democrats abandoned the language of class and accepted the free market Washington Consensus as axiomatic, effectively joining the side of those who emerged on the "winning" end of globalization."
One other thing hits me: If Trump had 13 million votes and Sanders also had about 13 million votes, that's 26 million being held up to represent a nation with 300 million citizens? Essentially, both Sanders and Trump show the favor of about 12% of citizens, each. And since Hillary's numbers are the product of all sorts of contrivances, I won't even list them.
If 13 million out of 300 million like Trump, then all of the pundits that use his followers as a barometric pressure reading are focusing on a rather small swath of the American population pool. Conclusions thereby reached are anything BUT an accurate picture of the portrait of the whole nation.
Most knew this to be sure but for those few diehards I am sure more revelations to come.
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I totally agree Emphyrio, lt's as if Jake Johnson has emerged as the Only commenter speaking truth to power accurately right now... Many thanks to Jake Johnson.
Bait and Switch is the name of the game, for both parties. This time both parties made a show of having outside challengers. Only Trump made it through the gate. There is a possibility Trump represents change. At least the globalists appear to be worried about their ability to control him. He's rough around the edges, but it will take a General Patton to punch through the web of corporate lies and controlled media. What we need is a multipolar world, not a world run by a global elite. The US maintains 660 bases in 150 countries. They are fighting for empire, not for our freedom. The US Constitution says We the People, NOT We the corporatists/globalists /monopolists. Who is better placed to lead the fight than Donald Trump? #EndGlobalism
True Dede, now let's see what Bernies response is this evening. Will the real Bernie Sanders show up?
Tonight the person I supported because of my beliefs is going to try to convince me to support someone who opposes my beliefs - and shafted him - because someone else is so bad that we need to vote against him.
Bernie, I respect you and appreciate all you've done. You framed the dialog of the Democratic race. You brought progressive issues to the fore and I will always be grateful for that.
But I will never vote for Clinton.
I hope your new initiative to get progressives down ballot is successful. I hope we can bring about change longer term. But I am not going to tell the DNC that abandoning the working class is okay. I'm not going to tell them selling the party to the highest bidders is okay. I'm not going to tell them attacking you while pretending to be impartial is okay.
And Clinton hiring DWS after Debbie's DNC resignation clearly shows her disdain for progressives and anyone else who supported you.
I think you're supporting Clinton because you're thinking long term, but in the short term it feels like a betrayal. Like you're asking us to go against everything you said throughout the campaign season - and throughout your life.
I hope we can bring about change in the future but I was really hoping we could do it in the present.
Don't pick your poison, pick your cure. Dr. Stein 2016
Sat down at computer a couple of hours ago with morning coffee as per my usual routine. Caught this article first and am only now ready to move on, 2+ hours later! I agree with every one of the comments expressing excellence of this article. I've taken a number of side journeys to check out embedded links, also excellent pieces.
The tough thing is, I and many others have agreed with the accusations against Dem, we've known about it. I and many others have cited 'Listen LIberal' and other strong analyses for several months at least. Or we've independently drawn similar conclusions and shared our thoughts. Yet - if others experience what I experience - the obtuseness of comfortable 'sidewalk level' status-quo Dems matches that of their elites. My hunch is some among those I talk with believe "Trump can't happen" because they are passionately deep into 'positive thinking' as an approach to life, and for them this rules out the unimaginable. "Frankly", (yes, happens to be a pun in context of the article), even years back when I tried to interest them in Barbara Ehrenreich's 'Bright-sided', they smiled graciously and changed the subject to something more pleasant.
Trump enthusiasts in my neck of the woods emphasize 3 key points, each individual focusing on a single one: fear of being attacked while walking down the street; generalized hatred of 'the government'; or economic struggle caused by liberal elites. In all cases, to them, Trump can and will fix the problem because he's willing to name it. (Sanders, they insist, is a danger due to his socialism - and, I catch similar issues with 'socialism' from comfortable Dems!)
Interestingly, some of both these groups - complacent cheery liberals and angry fearful r-wing conservatives, share homes and social life! But they don't discuss politics - it's "not productive" and puts relationships at risk.
I think of the concept of co-dependency in power dynamics of human relationships - the kind of co-dependency that results in an abused hanging in with an abuser. In interpersonal relationships in most cases change doesn't happen until the abusee recognizes they're enabling, gives up trying to make the relationship work, and leaves. The abuser may or may not grasp why the disaffected went away.
"And so it goes", I guess.
The fear of Trump has been hyped by the media and orchestrated by the DNC to keep progressives from voting third party. But, is that fear really rational? If you vote third party and Trump does win, what then?
Trump is not omnipotent -- he will have opposition to his domestic policies both in the congress and among the people. His supreme court nominee will have to be confirmed by the Senate, and extremists won’t be confirmed. Trump will not be able to get much done -- Bush couldn’t get social security cut, but Obama did! In fact, Trump hasn’t proposed much that Obama and Clinton are not already doing, from immigrant deportations to building anti-immigrant “walls.”
In foreign policy, Trump has promised to finally break from the neocons; roll back NATO spending; reject TPP, TTIP and NAFTA; and deal rationally with Russia and China instead of provoking and threatening them. Hillary is the greater evil because she will push every safety net cut and regime change war through a compliant congress. Fear of Trump should never stop anyone from voting third party!
People who posit rigid "either-or" equations TEND to be Conservative. George Lakoff delineated the analogy between this stance and the Conservative Family System.
Oftentimes when I speak out about the differences in relative power between say the elites today--who OWN the political system and those on the receiving end of its endless BAD policies, I get this same castigation!
This idea that I am not holding individuals responsible.
When the Koch Brothers and others fund think tanks that come up with clever ways of inverting culpability so that instead of THEIR massive, politically empowered efforts to thwart investments in GREEN energy, focus is instead placed upon the INDIVIDUAL consumer, INDIVIDUAL automobile driver, or that all time Conservative favorite--Personal Responsibility... I smell a rat.
It's a rat because POWER (to effect change & policy) is not equivalent..
By the logic of "Personal responsibility" used to trump all other phenomena (much of them organized forms of sophisticated graft, lawlessness, and malfeasance), you could also argue that:
Palestinians are not organized or fighting back of taking "personal responsibility" for their status
The Black community is not organized, is not fighting back, and is not taking "personal responsibility" for its status... that which is based on systemic racism, a criminal IN-justice system that targets their members, and an unforgiving Prison-Plantation system waiting with eager arms open for any who MIGHT fight back.
I could provide MANY more examples.
Start with systems.
Systems represent the parameters of conduct.
If a System is based on corruption, graft, cronyism, and sucking up to power... and those within it adopt those methods, you can fault them for their individual flaws. But that would mean virtually faulting EVERYONE in that system.
Or wisdom suggests that the SYSTEM must be changed so that GOOD people have a shot.
Think of the individual as a swimmer and the larger system as the CURRENT the swimmer must navigate across.
It's FAR easier to swim with the current than against it. Only the strongest of stamina, heart, and soul can manage that. And since decent people either can't summon those traits on a 24/7 basis (to stand up to the systemic graft, i.e. the POLLUTED current), the system basically favors those with no problem swimming IN filth, corruption, and assorted sins against nature and humanity.
Can you process what I've said?
Honestly, the Conservatives who post here (pretending to be Progressives or "leftists") seem unable to identify with anything outside of very rigid, limited polarized (or polarizing) categories.
However, some here do get it. And THAT is who my comment is aimed at.
Ye olde ears were atuned aright
Hillary likes to portray herself as a progressive who gets things done, Scratch the word progressive and substitute neoliberal, Husband Bill got things done by reaching out to Newt and the gang to pass NAFTA, repeal of Glass=Steagall, the Telecommunications Act, welfare reform act, etc.
They are two different types of horrific, of evil. Would you rather be poisoned or shot?
If you think that HRC is significantly better than Trump, you must be getting way too much MSM. You need to lay off of that stuff. It is toxic to the human brain.
On a more serious note, we know that some leftist elites have decided to endorse HRC and have urged those on the left to vote for her, while other leftist elites have come to the opposite conclusion. Who knows what complex web of relationships each individual elite has to negotiate with in determining what public statements to make? We all ultimately have to decide for ourselves what is the best course based on the totality of our own experiences and our understanding.