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Still Getting It Wrong: How Media Pundits Keep Steering Democrats into the Shoals


Still Getting It Wrong: How Media Pundits Keep Steering Democrats into the Shoals

John Atcheson

In his Monday column at the New York Times, Paul Krugman said:

These days, America starts from a baseline of extreme tribalism: 47 or 48 percent of the electorate will vote for any Republican, no matter how terrible, and against any Democrat, no matter how good. This means, in turn, that small things — journalists acting like mean kids in high school, ganging up on candidates they consider uncool, events that suggest fresh scandal even when there’s nothing there — can tip the balance in favor of even the worst candidate imaginable.


Ignore the pundits who can’t see past the “conventional wisdom”. While under our system only two major political parties can be truly competitive, it does not have to be the same two parties it has been for the past 165 years. The Democrats have become totally corrupted and unreformable, and it is time to end them. The Green Party already exists, does not, and will not, take money from the rich or lobbyists, or corporations, will not have PACs or Super PACs, and is organized from the bottom-up and not the top down, meaning it is our party, a true People’s Party. We are also the only alternative party with significant ballot access.

There is no need to reinvent or create a new party, or launch guaranteed-to-fail attempts to dislodge the toadies running the Democratic Party who do the bidding of their super-rich masters. Please come join us in the Green Party and help us run a united progressive effort to destroy the totally corrupted and unreformable Democratic Party and replace it with one which only answers to us, the common people who will run government for the benefit of us and all forms of life on this planet, and not for the rich or corporations. We can do this. We must do this or life as we know it on this planet will end. #Demexit to the Green Party #2017!


Correct, John Atcheson. Thank you.


This is actually a very poorly conceived and written article. The title itself states that the MSM “steers” the Democrats, whereas I think it’s the big money that steers both parties and the MSM. The MSM does not care about ideology, right or left, right or wrong, justice or injustice; the MSM cares about profits based on ratings. The MSM would legitimize and delight in Joe Arpaio if he ran for president (or Richard Spencer, or David Duke, or…).

Put another way, the MSM isn’t steering candidates, it’s walking arm-in-arm with them. Once the powerful “fourth estate,” the MSM is now nothing but a sales tool and a weather report. It can’t and won’t help us. That was made patently obvious from the way Sanders was mistreated during the last election.

If you want to know why we’re “still getting it wrong” (from the title), it’s because we think voting will restore our “democracy” from its current (true) state, which is plutocracy. Sorry to say, once under the plutocratic rule of oligarchs (from both parties), there is no voting our way out of it. I personally don’t think plutocracy can be defeated without an insurrection and revolution, and I don’t think we’re up for it.


Mr Atcheson’s articles are always based on the premise that the Ds want to correct their course and resume their status as a viable political party with a working class constituency. I assert that they don’t want that at all.

They abandoned their working class constituency long ago. Instead they’ve coddled Wall St, ended welfare as we know it, promoted anti-worker free trade agreements, passed mass incarceration laws, enacted RomneyCare while telling us single payer will never happen, and openly touted their pursuit of moderate Republicans.

As far as being a viable political party, well, they’ve been on a decades-long losing streak relegating them to all but irrelevance. In fact, they only make headlines these days when they cut deals with Trump.

Which brings me to changing course. If there’s anyone outside of our resident apologist dead-enders who believe the Ds are going to magically transform themselves into a bunch of Bernie Sanders, I ask you this: How do you explain the optics of Obama installing Tom Perez over Keith Ellison at the DNC with one hand and stuffing his pockets with Wall St cash with the other?

Here’s why this former D voter abandoned the party, Mr Atcheson. I won’t:

  • Support a party who holds my views in open contempt
  • Put up with a party who continually follows the Rs rightward
  • Remain tethered to the cowardly position that this calcified farce of a duopoly is the best we can do
  • Fool myself about reforming the Ds from within when it’s perfectly clear that they need to be replaced


The Oligarchy now owns almost all mainstream media. They set the agenda and we are all supposed to follow like lambs to slaughter. How can we have democracy under the rule of Mammon?

Blockchain Democracy


Cowardly is surrendering to the neoliberals that rule the Democratic Party in spite of the greatest opportunity for progressives to take the party back and win.


You should have quoted my final bullet point.

The D-Party is a dying brand. It’s very name taints it in the minds of large swaths of voters. It’s public faces–Pelosi, Schumer, Perez, the Clintons, Obama–epitomize out-of-touch plutocrats and corporate sock puppets. The candidates being touted for 2020–Harris, Booker, Zuckerberg, Hickenlooper–are a who’s-who of the same.

Sorry, natureboy, but the path of political reform is looking more and more likely to bypass the Ds completely.


If I could like your comment multiple times, I would. Very well stated.

These 15 Billionaires Own America’s News Media Companies

Long gone are multiple locally owned and operated newspapers and media outlets catering to the communities in which they were based and in which their publisher, editors, and reporters also lived. The news that’s fit to print today is dictated from on high, and is meant to keep We the People misinformed or uninformed, The press ignores their constitutional duty while benefiting from constitutional protections.

This is plain for all to see. Trump isn’t all wrong when he lambasts the press for fake news. Had the press been doing their job properly for these many years, the public would be able to tell the difference between what’s real, what’s propaganda, and what’s fake.


Arguably, the largest purveyor of ‘news’ is social media.

As such, Mark Zuckerberg is the billionaire who controls the Facebook news monolith.

And, as I mentioned above, he’s seriously being considered as a D candidate for president in 2020.

EdsNote couldn’t be more accurate: plutocrats own the place, voters have nowhere to turn.


Re “Voters have nowhere to turn:”

That’s simply not true. We COULD elect a Green president in 2020 if enough of us had the vision and the courage to reject conventional wisdom as presented to us by corporate media. Even if we didn’t succeed at that, we would still throw an existential scare into the political establishment and the donor class.

Since we aren’t allowed to vote “none of the above” (the true nature of “bipartisanship”), I have long advocated testing the system to failure by voting exclusively Green, independent or write-in. Refusal to vote—whether on principle, or out of apathy and disgust—is actively encouraged by the 1%. Don’t fall for it.


The writers who the author cited are all part of the oligarchy’s fake news cabal.

Trump tapped into that concern by putting fake news into the discussion. Unfortunately Trump failed to mention that he and the GOP are the world’s most prolific fake news originators with Roger Alles’ Faux news being the undisputed champion.


I absolutely agree, but the insurrection and revolution will have to be non-violent and be prceded by decades of organizing movements, communities and political parties that can exercise enough power to be successful. There are no short-cuts, even though climate change, nuclear weapons/waste and toxic wastes have the biosphere as we know it on a speeded-up apocalyptic clock.


Not voting is voting. See 2016 for evidence.


Excellent, spot on article-- it is all about appearances, language, words–period!


Wall St and oligarch money and Israel steer the Democrats and the DINOs.


I doubt Atcheson is suggesting there is something we can do to get the MSM to help us. I assume he’s suggesting we don’t listen to them (and most of us here don’t anyway) and advocate for others to get their news elsewhere (as we do also). I realize he is implying an opposite point of view from you about the Democratic Party - that they are still a useful lever if we can get them to fight for us instead of their donor class. I understand why some Green voters view this as futile and I’m rarely interested in talking anybody out of it (though I made an exception last November for my friends in CO who I tried to talk into voting Clinton even though I voted Stein in CA). But I am still in Adcheson’s camp - we can change the Democrats back to where they were under FDR, Truman, and LBJ - not perfectly moral actors by any means, but willing to act for the common US welfare as opposed to the neoliberal mess we have now starting with Carter and cemented with Clinton. (Cement can be broken)


“we can change the Democrats back to where they were under FDR, Truman, and LBJ”

Does that mean you want to get the southern segregationists back into the Democratic Party? Is that really the type of party you want to recreate? The solid South for the Democrats?


What kind of argumentative tactic is this? What does a push for progressive values and a break from undue corporate influence have to do with segregation now? I try to be fair with you, but now you are just being annoying.

I am well aware of the downsides of each of the presidents I mentioned (e.g. internment camps, Hiroshima, Vietnam), but the analysis that looks at their view on domestic progressive matters (e.g. as done by Thomas Frank) convinces me that the Democratic Party got off track a while ago and righting it is an important thing to do. Since I know you are not for abandoning the Democrats in favor of the Greens, you must be happy with the status quo - what are you doing here then?


With regards the photo in the article (long lines for a caucus), I am completely with Jimmy Dore on how caucuses make absolutely zero sense when you want to be a party inclusive of working people who don’t have the time for a caucus, but do have the time to vote (if you give them something to vote for - and allow vote by mail or early voting). Democrats can have all the participatory meetings on platforms, getting to know candidates, etc. that they want, but when it comes to selecting the candidate in a primary - caucuses have to go (and I went to a few of them in Colorado when I was there - interesting, but way too long of a commitment for most people).