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The Democrats Ignore the 500-Pound Lobbyist in the Room


#1

The Democrats Ignore the 500-Pound Lobbyist in the Room

Michael Winship

In all of the 35 single-spaced pages of the Democratic Party’s platform draft, there is just one mention of lobbying.

One.

Oh, it says some fine uplifting things about voters lacking a proper voice in government, about money and politics and the need to overturn Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo, two of the Supreme Court decisions that unleashed a deluge of dollars into our electoral system.


#2

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. it is it’s natural manure."
--Thomas Jefferson


#3

It is time that principle guided our strategy always and in everything and that principle is the Golden Rule, found throughout all time, all cultures, all life. Let's become more conscious of applying and remembering it. One way we can unify all the serious and sincere efforts toward the well-being all that exists is to share our pledge/petition/proclamation worldwide. It would offer us all great strength and unity toward greater and greater good.


#5

Bernie voters will decide the election. Politicians are afraid of Trump mainly because he could cut off their Wall Street bribes. That could be the one thing that would make Bernie voters throw the election to Trump.


#6

Unfortunately, Bernie did not make Lobbyists part of his crusade. The Destroyers (1%) will never change unless pushed - HARD


#8

Thank you, Mr. Winship for this most excellent essay, particularly the statistics on how many leave Congress and head right through the Revolving door, and this:

"And you thought Congress never got anything accomplished! And then wondered why plutocrats can still skip through yawning tax loopholes and the military still gets billions for weapons systems it doesn’t need and the health insurance industry gets away with murder and pharmaceutical prices are ruinous, to name but a few of the heinous ways the influence of deep pockets shafts the rest of us."


#9

I am coming to believe that democracy, like the new testament, has become no more than an ideal useful only to placate the masses. It has become painfully obvious that we have no more control of events than a soldier in the heat of battle.


#10

All true but it usta was a different thing and lobbyists were like mice in the woodwork. Now they have the size and scruples of raccoons and they breed like aphids.


#11

There's no integrity to protect. Government is business. What government does is out of our hands, beyond our control. We can roar and stamp our feet, if it makes us feel better, but government does what they want to do. Citizens United has some liberal opposition, and I would wager that maybe 2% of the population has any idea what Buckley vs. Valeo is about. People are still wondering what a Benghazi is.

Decades of research confirm that most voting choices come down to economic issues. This is why Democrats already lost 2016. The Dem voting base had long consisted of the masses -- poor and middle class, workers and the jobless, for the common good. That voting base was split wide apart by the Clinton administration. Many viewed the Obama administration as the last chance to repair this split. It was worth a try, but just didn't happen. Democrats chose the most distinctly anti-poor neoliberal candidate available, confirming that the split is permanent, ensuring a 2016 Dem defeat. In the end, the 5000 pound jackass was far more destructive than the 500 pound lobbyist.


#12

The New Testament isn't about placating people, but about stressing Christians' responsibilities to follow Christ's teachings -- all that stuff about working for peace, aiding the poor, "protecting God's creation" (the environment), etc. It also stresses humility, which requires recognizing our shortcomings as individuals.

Our form of government (which isn't clear) does give most the right to vote. Ideally, we vote for people to represent us in government. The catch is that when no one represents you, for whom can you vote? For example, Republicans represent the rich. Today's Democrats represent the middle class and rich. No party, no candidate, represents the masses of poor.

On power: Because the Dem voting base is split, and the poor were completely alienated, shut out, the Democrats' power has been significantly diminished. As a candidate, Obama often stressed that the only way we could see change is if people organize, figure out what they want, get to their feet, and DEMAND it from Congress. What we learned is that we don't agree on much.


#13

So. Between information like this article's and Bernie's nosedive, I'm leaving Bernie and switching to Jill. I implored Bernie to tell us how he can say that trump is worse than Hillary, and no one has answered. I see differences between T and H, but I see them as equal dangers. I can't stomach the thought of either of them in the WH. If enough of us insist that Hillary and the damn dems cannot be trusted and we move most, if not all, berners to Jill, we send a powerful message that we're done accepting crumbs, that we have momentum and hope for substantive and systemic change, and that IF the country isn't annihilated by another one of Hillary's wars by 2020 or trump's foaming-at-the-mouth aficionados, Jill and the Greens just might be a more viable force. ALL ABOARD!!!!


#15

No surprise that the Clintocrats won't be doing anything about money in politics, Hillary would absolutely want to keep in place the system that exists today BECAUSE she would have won office using that very system. If she wins, she will be immediately thinking about how to win the next election in four years.

Does anyone really expect her to want to change the rules of the game she would have won with? That would take a dedicated reformer and she is only dedicated to her own aspirations.


#16

Hold Everything.

O.K., I just read the NY Times piece. It says:

Mr. Sanders’s endorsement is also expected to ensure that he has a
prominent speaking slot at the Democratic convention late this month,
the three Democrats said. They added that it was not clear yet when Mr.
Sanders would speak or whether the convention would include a full
roll-call vote on Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders as candidates for the
party’s nomination....

Mrs. Clinton is eager for party unity, especially since a sizable minority
of Sanders supporters is resisting her. With some of them planning to
hold events and demonstrations outside the Democratic convention in
Philadelphia, there is obvious value to Mrs. Clinton in making peace
with Mr. Sanders and having him in her camp....

...Asked if anything had changed to bring around Mr. Sanders around, the
three Democrats said that he wanted to see progress on his policy goals like
free public college, but that he was also going through a natural
grieving period for his candidacy after a yearlong, hard-fought race.

First, that "sizable minority resisting her" is US. They do read us here with their spy Robert Reict, Clinton's former labor secretary who shoved NAFTA down our throats and offshored all our jobs, just like TPP will do. So we do have an impact.

So what I see is that the DNC wasn't going to let Bernie even address the Committee with a prominent speaking spot unless he caved. (Dirty Debbie strikes again.)

As always, Bernie's issues making America better are more important to him than even what we think about him! What a man! :innocent: He's just let them put him up on a cross for all of us. Wow. He doesn't even care about his legacy. I've never seen a politician do this true-blue stuff (except maybe JFK.)

We should all be ashamed of ourselves for doubting his integrity. Now the fight goes on in Orlando and then Philly.

TJ


#17

Please, spare us your right-wing superstition. The New Testament is a work of omission and propaganda assembled BY THE EMPIRE. Emperor Constantine picked the scholars he wanted to conspire in co-oping the troublesome rebel Christian Religion. They threw away many of the radical texts we have found in caves, and only Cannonized and altered the passive portions you are so enamored with.

For example: There is another book of Thomas, banned from the bible, called Thomas the Contender:

Then the savior continued and said, "O unsearchable love of the
light! O bitterness of the fire that blazes in the bodies of men and in
their marrow, kindling in them night and day, and burning the limbs of
men and making their minds become drunk and their souls become
deranged... Woe to you, captives, for you are bound in caverns! You
laugh! In mad laughter you rejoice! You neither realize your perdition,
nor do you reflect on your circumstances, nor have you understood that
you dwell in darkness and death! On the contrary, you are drunk with the
fire and full of bitterness. Your mind is deranged on account of the
burning that is in you, and sweet to you are the poison and the blows of
your enemies! And the darkness rose for you like the light, for you
surrendered your freedom for servitude! You darkened your hearts and
surrendered your thoughts to folly, and you filled your thoughts with
the smoke of the fire that is in you! (Book of Thomas the Contender)

The gnostic content in the texts of the Nag Hammadi
trove can be argued to be often identical to Jesus' conceptual content,
but the metaphorical language and symbolism are strikingly different.
"The Book of Thomas the Contender" and its guidance in overcoming ego
"lusts/attachments" differs markedly with Jesus' gentler, more practical
psychological approach in the Four Canonical Gospels and The Gospel of Thomas.

Good stuff, huh? Beats that placating stuff you read from the Holy Roman Empire in Constantinople! It says to me: General Strike!


#18

If economic democracy could include the bugs and the bunnies, things would get much better.


#19

Yes, it is hard to exclude lobbyists you don't agree with and permit the lobbyists you do agree with. Who are the "pigs" in this new, populist version of Animal Farm? -
This all looks to me like the beginnings of another one-party dictatorship - if you don't agree with our ideology, off with your head, or send you to Siberia for being a threat to us.
Yes, a few dictatorships figure it out - either support big business, or suffer the economic consequences. Case in point: China - from oppressed "peoples republic" , full of poverty-stricken small-stakes farmers to many modern cities with a rapidly expanding professional class, and rapidly growing businesses. Rational government is the first requirement of any society, not government that caves in to every loud, bullying minority.


#20

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#21

Really? We?

I never doubted Sanders' integrity, nor did others.

The modus operandi of the Dominator Society is to blame the ones on the receiving end of its lies, brutality, and malfeasance.

Examples:

A. The military drone pilots take aim and manage to kill entire wedding parties or grandmothers out with their grandchildren in the fields.

And the military calls these mistakes or brands the people terrorists or otherwise blames them for being in the wrong place.

B. Cops continuously shoot down Black men and boys and then LIE and insist they had weapons or were a threat.

The media will typically seek to dig up dirt about these people in an attempt to rationalize their cold blooded lynch-squad like murders.

C. Young females (now 1 in 5) are routinely raped on college campuses. Most colleges prefer to downplay this problem for two reasons: First, their reputations are on the line and second, they tend to PROTECT the male athletes and THEIR futures and view the attacks on females as a pesky little issue.

Sanders was CHEATED out of winning.

In several states independent voters were not allowed to weigh in.

In several other states, vote counts were off and ballots not counted.

All across the media, citizens who likely don't read or hear alternative news on the Internet kept hearing that Sanders could not win, and that Hillary was the presumptive candidate who had the nomination all tied up.

Similarly, all across the MSM the election was framed as Trump versus Clinton and the Black community has much to fear when Republicans have too much power. Ditto, Latinos.

To take all of the dirty tricks played on Sanders and then reverse the narrative into those of us who "questioned his integrity" plays right into typical mainstream media machinations.

Posters like yourself are pretty fine with Trump. And as I've called out--there are too many Trump supporters (than would occur naturally) in this Progressive forum. Therefore, anyone who called Sander's integrity into question came from the TRUMP support group.

There were some purists who ONLY saw merit in Jill Stein (regardless of the small odds of her winning any office), and they may have pounced on Sanders for NOT breaking away from the Democrats.

It's so easy for white males to bypass Trump's racism, sexism, and American Exceptionalism.... not to mention his uber-capitalist version of business (catered to his own naked self-interest).

But the rest of us who genuinely back Sanders never questioned his integrity. We understand the man stands between a rock and a hard place, and that when corruption is as deep as a river, a single individual cannot shift the current by himself.

For someone in the Philippines (?) your identification with this election is... more than amusing.


#22

Well SR,

The majority of the posters in "Battle Party's future" thread were posting sentiments of betrayal and dismay with Sanders which quoted the New York Times as saying Bernie is surrendering, maybe next week. "We" is just a rhetorical device to lessen the rebuke and emphasize that we are all on the same side.

I found it hard to believe that Sanders was submissive as that depiction of him suggested. Fortunately, another poster has posted this interview:

http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/bernie-sanders-this-isn-t-about-my-ego-719966787657

and clearly, the great man still fights for us. Separately, I wonder if you ceased being an American when you traveled overseas? A very silly comment by you. Millions of Americans live overseas and vote.

TJ
p.s., I agree with Sanders that Trump will be a disaster. He's anti-union, anti-social security and anti-EPA. But Clinton MUST abandon TPP for me to dump trump. Trump will plummet us into a world of hate and intolerance. That includes your single-voter-issue of Feminine Rights. Clinton pushed hard for TPP as Sec of State. That's why many of us don't trust her to keep her word.


#23

Well, it would be sweet if someone in the Clinton Camp were paying attention to us here on the reply boards of a semi-obscure website. However, it doesn't really matter to me. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter who will never give in. I voted for Hope & Change, and change I did. My eyes have been opened these last 8 years. As I have stated here before, I will NEVER vote for Clinton or Trump. As for Jill Stein and the Greens, they can't even get their act together here in liberal Minnesota, so forget them. I WILL write in Bernie Sanders on my ballot in November because of the courage he has shown and because he is the ONLY sane choice this election. I will do this even if he endorses Clinton, and even if write-ins are not allowed.