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Progressives Have Raised Expectations, and Democrats Have Fought Desperately to Lower Them


Progressives Have Raised Expectations, and Democrats Have Fought Desperately to Lower Them

Jake Johnson

When Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2008, expectations were high.

What occupied the minds of the president-elect's advisers, however, was not how to live up to those expectations, but how to temper them.


The Democratic Party Leaders have Subverted and Undermined the Obvious Will of the Millions of Members they are supposed to Represent, not Own.


"As Matt Karp has noted, Bernie's endorsement of Clinton does nothing to negate the fight for economic justice that his campaign brought to the national stage."

Other than to throw it into the third party arena for anyone who wants representation on this issue and effectively burying it as far as the Democrats are concerned. Bernie's endorsement effectively took it off the table as a Demo campaign issue. I'd say that does a LOT to negate it.


I think this posits cause in the place of effect:

"Commitment to the New Deal tradition, a tradition that utilized mass politics to force progressive change, was thus transplanted by pragmatism — a fancy word for sterile, business-friendly centrism — in order to ensure that the left was kept in check by a powerful center."

In other words, in order to curry favor with those Deep Pocket Business Interests, the left HAD to be held in check.

It wasn't that the matter was political as much as appeasing the Pay-Masters who required it in the same way that entities like Pete Peterson and & Koch Brothers fund elaborate networks of think tanks that continuously blame the downtrodden and poor for BEING poor while pushing narratives that favor that same 1% that now OWNS both parties.

This way they control the agenda.

It really is about Money and Power... those are the causative agents. The politics OF the Left is secondary, so long as its most charismatic and vocal members are silenced, demonized, rendered invisible, and sometimes "taken out."

Where does a particular "perception" come from?

The answer is that it's generated by the same P.R. specialists who work for the corporations that pay lobbyists to bribe politicians into getting with THEIR program.

Mr. Johnson lends credence to the perception without digging deeper: To where it comes from, who sets it into motion, and who does it serve:

"Democrats have, per usual, done their best to lower expectations, to insist that the goals of the Sanders campaign are unreachable, that the best we can hope to do is manage the decline.

"The job of the left is, and always will be, to combat this perception."

Ideology follows the MONEY stream. It's as simple as that. In order to get access to those billions (of campaign cash "contributions"), no politician can tell the wealthy that he or she intends to make policy that will spread the wealth--or goodies--around.

Instead of relating the obvious, they construct political arguments and purported strategy statements that essentially dance around the truth.

Pundits who analyze these stated postures grant them greater credibility.

It may be harder to counter perception than to institute campaign finance reform that once again blocks ridiculous legal largess like "Citizens United" of all misnamed travesties.


It's imperative that the deregulation of the mass media (the PUBLIC'S air waves) be added to this list since without control of the Narrative, too many citizens just might see through the smoke and mirrors and the gaps between politicians' stated policies and what they actually produce:

"Instead, Clinton, while still paying fealty to progressive causes, hit the nation with welfare reform (called by a former Clinton ally "morally and practically indefensible"), NAFTA, and Wall Street deregulation."

Also, I think this is WAY too kind. It walks away from MOTIVE:

"The goal of Clinton Democrats, once they achieved power, was simple: To demonstrate that the Democratic Party had adapted to the times."

Was that really the goal? I think it was FAR more sinister, and anyone who watches documentaries about the Clinton DRUG MACHINE in Arkansas and the way dirty money was used to win favors and build political coalitions realizes there's nothing NEUTRAL about the Clintons, particularly Bill.

"No longer would they conform to the typical perception of the Democratic Party as the party of higher taxes and "big government." Instead, they would embrace a variety of interest groups and take an ostensibly neutral stance toward business and labor. All too often, however, their favor was heaped upon the former."

Guess it's my turn to play Helen Thomas here: WHY? Why did they take that supposedly neutral stance?

Sorry. This is a tepid analysis.

Jake: Did you miss out on Molly Ivin's material? The idea about needing to dance with them that brought ya?

It's all about the MONEY and you never mention that!

"Presenting the conservative movement as a powerful force that must be stopped at all costs, Democrats began to focus less on articulating an ambitious social agenda — one that, if implemented, would improve the material conditions of the population — and more on doing just enough to counter the Republican threat."

The costs of major elections are now astronomical. That means candidates have to dance for those donor dollars. And guess who has most of them? Hence, dancing in a way that caters to the 1%.

THAT is the core of the issue which might be entitled "Systemic Flaws: Why Candidates Sell Out."


It is time for 'The Left' to leave the Democratic Party. Long past time actually. We should have left after the first term of Bill Clinton. Time to build a true Leftist Party.
But that all never happen until middle and upper middle classes understand they must turn off their TV, put down their digital time and energy wasters, stop buying prestige purses and logo clothing and green washing , open their damn eyes and and get to actual work. Not the hours put in in their nice offices but putting in some long difficult hours in their communities fomenting real and massive changes, putting up roadblocks to corporations and self satisfied bureaucrats who are destroying the lives of so many. A few committed people can pat themselves on the pack when they are active but they are really unwitting dilettantes not true agents of change despite their commitment. Instead it is is going to take MASSIVE amounts of these people to fight. I repeat - MASSIVE numbers.
Personally I don't see that EVER happening. And the working classes cannot do it alone except by violence and basically by revolution. So we are where we are......


Like so many Republicans, Trump has forced Sanders to be in a very bad position. You see Republicans endorsing Trump while repudiating everything he says. But that is the wrong moral choice. Because Trump is completely unacceptable as a candidate and is obviously extremely dangerous for this country and planet Sanders had to endorse Clinton despite all his disagreements with her about corporate funding of campaigns, etc. But Sanders made the correct moral choice. Morally he did the right thing. He correctly felt the most important thing is to stop a a racist and authoritarian and climate change denier from becoming president even though it meant compromising a lot of his political principles to make the endorsement. It came down to morality and he came through.


Taibbi's contention that "the banks are back, ALMOST as big as ever" confirms how fast he is moving to the dark side.

The five too-big-to-fail banks controlled 25% of US bank assets when they crashed the economy in 2008. By the time Obama leaves the White House they will control 50% !!!

2x is not "ALMOST", 2x is WAY, WAY BIGGER.

According to the Government Accountability Office GAO report # 11-696, page 131, Congress put US taxpayers on the hook for $16 trillion in various bailout schemes for too-big-to-fail banks. About the same amount they estimated the first decade of Sanders' Medicare for All would cost !

Being so much larger, the next time those banks crash the economy the bail outs will be much larger and guess where that money will come from ? Can you say Social Security and Medicare ?


With all due respect, I believe you have the causal relations reversed. Sanders is credited with presenting perspectives that have been studiously ignored. What he is not credited with is the sufficient insight to run a campaign that has been shaped - from the outset - to 1) reveal the true faces of the other candidates; 2) To maintain that clear message AND FORCE THE R&Ds to deal with it 3) and, as he stated he would in the beginning, closing that campaign for this particular election having proven a number of things 1) that the public IS PAYING ATTENTION; 2) proving to the electorate that it IS possible to mount a campaign with grassroots funding and PEOPLE ARE READY TO DO SO.

Bernie's has been one of the most successful, sedately professorial 'hands on' master classes ever presented to the electorate.

"Armies of angles could rise up out of the sea, but if you're looking for a one-eyed giant you sail right through them without feeling so much as a freshening of the breeze. (Doris Lessing)


Disillusioned Berniebots take heart! James Comey and Loretta Lynch will undo what the compromising Bernie and all the fawning stenographer news journalists are attempting to accomplish. Skillfully edited excerpts of their non-testimony before Congress should be the back bone of the Trump political commercials for the coming election.

They will insure Hillary's defeat in the fall election. She and her opponent have already nullified any point to the upcoming conventions (except to examine who will be chosen by the already determined nominees as their VP assassination insurance policies and both are racing to make such proclamations before their coronations.

How ironic that Obama stonewalling toadies along with her pretend husband (remember that "chance meeting" that Bill had with Low-retta when they both "just happened to bump into each other" out in Arizona?) will be the force that collectively flushes Hillary down the toilet of political history in the US.

The outcome will be a Trump presidency with Republicans in firm control of both houses of Congress (as they already are in firm control of most state assemblies and governor's mansions). That state of affairs will bring about the race/class civil war for which the likes of Chris Hedges have been hoping and praying. (but not to God since Chris eschews such belief) Let's see if their gated communities can protect them then.

It's gotten so bad that Hillary is even channeling Nixon as she said in a speech that she wanted to "bring us together", which, for those who either did not remember or didn't know in the first place, was Nixon's theme in his victory statement after the '68 election.

So vote for Dr. Jill! (Maybe she and her party will get enough votes to receive federal matching funds or at least be able to get on the ballot in all 50 states). Then hunker down! It will not have been this much "fun" since you had Dumbya and Darth Cheney to kick around!


Check out Movement4Bernie to get directions for phase 2 of the revolution.

The revolution will not be televised.


Check out the surge in all facets of Jill Stein's campaign after Sanders' endorsement of Clinton. Yes, yes, yes--http://usuncut.com/politics/jill-stein-campaign-surge/


Thank you Mr. Johnson, this is accurate. In the Democratic platform it gave a little but kept a lot. I don't believe they will honor it much in the next four years but as Jake has said, what Bernie is doing is raising expectations of millions of people ready to fight to see them put into effect. It was never meant to be about him, but us. This fight is for us and we should not turn against anyone willing to fight with us.
We should be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. What he has done is historical and hugely important in the fight for our progressive ideas. He has also shown the Dems how many in this country are angry about the "New Democrat" agenda. It's like he has opened the door and is telling us to ram those ideals of his and ours through. Obama said something similar when he campaigned, he said he would need us to push him, of course he lied but I don't believe Bernie has done that.
His endorsement is hard to take and watching him campaign for her will be insufferable, but we will see when he goes back to the Senate whether he drops us like Obumer did or if he continues the fight he has waged all his life, only now with a lot more leverage and clout behind him.
I'm going to vote for Jill Stein and any progressive that comes on my ballot, that too will help push this Oligarchy into he hole they crawled out of.
Jill Stein is the woman that we could be proud calling the first female president.


Pretty standard troll tactic since forever.


The Clinton, Lynch meeting was Arizona.


The banks have the new law on their side. I think it's called opt in or something but it will allow them to keep our deposits if they go bust again. But you are correct we will be paying for it one way or the other.


Remember the DNC lawsuit that is still in play and I just signed a petition asking for an investigation into the illegalities, fraud, of this election. No one has forgotten.


All this talk of lowered expectations being the “reasonable” and “moral” choice makes me think of the George Bernard Shaw quote, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

The edifice of the duopoly has formed a small fissure. The Green party is on the ballot and is the wedge in the fissure. The Bernie movement is the force (the hammer). HIT IT HARD! If we get lucky it will open up the system to multi-party elections and change the game.


This is a complete misrepresentation of Chris Hedges. I didn't say anything the other day when HISTORY did a similar Hit on Hedges. But when the pattern recurs... yeah. I will call its False Witnesses to the mat!

And you clowns pretend to be Progressives.

You're just the Internet's version of armed guards controlling the perimeters of thought, allowable discussion, and permitted versions of truthiness.


Thanks for the fact check!