Yeah - I dropped that because I was trying to figure out how you might have interpreted my remark. The hot potato part of my comment was trying to point out that executive power is passed back and forth and note the need to alter the game since radical progressive change is required to deal with our fundamental problems and without that the opportunity of power is lost. But it might have come across as claiming that Democrats in power actually wanted to make fundamental change or that Republicans don’t make the best of their opportunities in power to further their agenda.
It would be more accurate to describe Skeptic Tank’s method of argumentation as one which 1) attributes many of society’s current problems to right-wing thinking, and 2) points out (quite rightly) that the leadership of the Democratic Party is nearly as right-wing as the leadership of the R Party.
Skeptic Tank’s argumentation is eminently reasonable. On most practical issues, the leadership of the Democratic Party is far to the right of the mainstream of U.S. society. If cannot begin to solve society’s problems until it moves to the left and stops copying the failed policies of the Republican Party.
Why doesn’t the D Party leadership move back toward the country’s political center, toward the left? On this point, again, Skeptic Tank’s arguments are entirely valid. The D Party leadership does not move toward the left because it is being bribed by the same right-wing interests that long ago bought out the R Party leadership.
That was basically my interpretation, hence my response, which I’ll clarify.
The hot potato is passed more often than not on the basis of a party getting punished and/or who the public would rather have a beer with. My point is that it’s been one hell of a long time since the potato was truly passed leftward – it was passed to a center right Dem when it was passed from Bush 1 to Clinton, and the same turned out be true when it was passed to Obama, who had me hoping that he’d be center left.
Now I know that my “center right” classifications of these last two D administrations will rankle many. But that’s my standard and I hardly think that I’m alone. I’d maintain that the last time the potato was passed leftward was 1960. I wish I could say that it was 1976 – but Gerald Ford was liberal as hell judged by today’s shift in the Overton Window.
I think the classification of the Democrat Presidents as Center Right is perfectly reasonable - but saying that Obama was to the right of Bush is ridiculous. You have to bend over backwards to cherry pick the record of the two administrations for that kind of conclusion. The left felt jilted by Obama because many were so enamored with the idea of a black President that they failed to listen to what he was actually saying on policy matters or misread his statements because he had an eloquent way of saying them. To me, he governed about as I expected in 2008 but I recognize the power of profound disappointment from those that took the “hope and change” slogan to heart.
and yes - I would still debate any arguments you might have implying that Trump is somehow better on any dimension.
I’m not saying that Obama was to Bush’s right – I’m saying that we didn’t move to the left.
In that case, we went from right to center right, but not to the actual left.
Trump, by the way, were it not for the pandemic, would have won in a landslide:
I note that the number of people with health insurance rose even after the individual mandate was removed from RomneyCare. I mean ObamaCare.
And I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on Biden being to Trump’s right on foreign policy and the progress Trump made on ending the longest war in US history. Again, Trump’s no peacenik, but I could make an argument that he’s also extricated us from Syria.
Of course, who cares what people think about that, right?
I see too many folks saying they will vote third party as a protest vote because they’re angry at the DNC nominating their puppet…
Well I’m angry too but I can do math and 8th graders can tell you that if 15% vote for a third party candidate, it gives Trump the win.
The DNC must add The Green New Deal and a couple of other Bernie policies to Biden’s platform… to get the millions of angry progressives to vote for Biden.
Or, doesn’t the DNC care who wins…I don’t believe they do.
They may not - I am not a mind reader.
But it doesn’t really matter, does it, because what matters is to remove Trump, and that is the electorates’ mandate.
Trump may not leave, even if removed on the ballot - then what ?
I don’t see so many folks choosing to vote third party because of DNC shenanigans, although DNC shenanigans are a source of anger.
Mostly, I see lots of people who have seen decades of the Democrats moving right, kowtowing to the same corporate donors as the Repubs, passing Repub bills like Romneycare and welfare reform, and not just taking progressives for granted but openly scorning us.
There’s that old assertion, and it never seems to stop being true:
“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”
Woodward has Trump on tape saying he wanted to assassinate Assad but was stopped by Mattis so I don’t see him as trying to extricate us from Syria - the best you can say is that he bumbled his way into the current situation.
As for Afghanistan when Obama became President there were 36,000 US troops there. He instituted a surge in our involvement by increasing troop levels by about 50% and accelerated a drone campaign by a factor of 10 over Bush levels. A few years later he started talks with the Taliban and then began a drawdown of troop levels. The talks were on again off again and he ended his Presidency with 8400 troops (about 1/4 of where he started) proposing to withdraw the rest in about a year. So Trump takes over with 8400 troops in Afghanistan. He instituted a surge in our involvement by increasing troop levels by about 50% and accelerated a drone campaign by a factor of 10 over Obama levels. A couple years later he started talks with the Taliban and then began a drawdown of troop levels. The talks were on again off again and he currently has troop levels back where he started but has scheduled further withdrawals down to half of where they are by election day and hopes to be out of Afghanistan in a year.
Wow - your case is made - the difference is obvious.
Actually you make my case for me.
In eight years Obama tried and failed.
In four years, Trump tried and is close to success.
When history is written who will get the credit?
And Medea Benjamin paints a different picture than you:
So where is your evidence of a success? If your evidence of success is that Trump has announced success then I’d reject that out of hand. Trump has done exactly zero different than Obama in Afghanistan except for making different pronouncements - and there has never been any reason to believe any of Trump’s public pronouncements on anything ever.
The only reason to think he may get out of Afghanistan is because he has no desire to build a hotel or golf course there and he wants to move those 8600 troops to Saudi Arabia for his planned war against Iran.
Right now, in Qatar, Afghanistan peace talks are taking place between what passes for an Afghan government and the Taliban. Did you read my link from Foreign Policy?
It’s in comment 65. Here it is again:
I did read that earlier - and I’m not doubting that we will eventually be kicked out of Afghanistan by the Taliban because the so-called Afghan government will be militarily defeated pretty soon (I’m not at all convinced that a smooth U.S. withdrawal will occur). Meanwhile the money allocated to the Afghan war will be diverted to build Trump’s wall and to fund the troops he will move over to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. This is just a classic case of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic - don’t fall for it.
I’m not sure what you think I’m falling for.
Trump has outflanked his Democratic opponent in this arena from the left. Twice.
He is winning the public opinion battle in this arena. Again.
Meanwhile, the Dems have moved to the right on matters of war and peace, going so far as to embrace PNAC.
Those aren’t things I’m falling for, they’re all simply true.
And here’s how Obama could have stopped Trump from doing it: beating him to the punch on Afghan peace talks. But he was bullied by the Republicans and couldn’t stand to look weak.
I know the Green Party won’t win. I am still going to vote for Hawkins because I want to do whatever little I can to strengthen the party. And force the DNC to listen to progressives.
Also, I could easily argue the case for either one of them to be the worse. I really don’t know if Trump or Biden would do more harm. Slightly different harm. But harm nonetheless. I will not choose between them. I will do what I can to stop both of them. If others choose not to join me, that’s on them.
Too bad the DNC voted no to legalizing Cannabis. That would be a winner so why in heck did they vote no?
Have you looked at the Green Party candidates for local, state, and lower federal offices? Check out Lisa Savage, running for Senate in Maine (a ranked choice voting state- Lisa’s candidacy is really taking off after her recent great performance in the first televised debate in that race). Check out Jake Tonkel, running for San Jose City Council (running against a Republican with no Democrat opponent). Check out Fred Horch running for Maine state representative on a brilliant clean government campaign (he won’t take money from me or anyone out of state - but writing a letter to the editor saying how you wish there were candidates like him in your state might help). Check out John Anthony La Pietra, an active commentator here on Common Dreams for many years, running for state representative in Michigan.
I think the Green Party will be strengthened most by building the party from the ground up and creating a cadre of local leaders that form the scaffold upon which to build some national prominence.