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There’s a Big Hole in the Center of the Democratic Party


#1

There’s a Big Hole in the Center of the Democratic Party

Richard Eskow

“I mean, have you seen the other guys?”

That’s one of the slogans that was recently proposed by Democratic Party strategists, presumably in a lighthearted way. But the joke, if that’s what it was, reflects an underlying belief among party leaders that Democrats’ best bet is to stand in contrast to Republican extremism, rather than take strong, affirmative positions or moral stands on the issues that affect people’s lives.


#2

While I agree with the overall sentiments expressed in this article, I depart from the author in this sense:

The D-Party has no soul, no brand (except as defined by the right wing), and virtually no relevance.

The Ossoff campaign made clear that they plan to slice and dice the electorate and say anything to win.

They want to co-opt the grass roots movements on the left where all the energy is, but they can't.

I don't see them making gains in 2018, outside of an economic or national security cataclysm.

With that in mind, I'm eager for alternatives to fill the gaping void that the D-Party now amounts to. They talk unity but punch the DFHs--well, this DFH isn't playing along anymore. Common Dreams needs to start featuring more articles about organizing politics above and beyond the moribund blue half of the duopoly.


#3

The failure of the Democratic Party to to work for the common good has given us a Republican Congress and Donald Trump.


#4

Just give it up. Just give up on the billionaire bought-and-paid-for Democratic Party. All of these attempts (like the "Justice Democrats" "movement") are for naught. Those in control of the party have a death grip on it, and I say let them strangle it to death and give the rest of us mercy.

Please join me and millions of other fed-up and PO'd former Berniecrats in #Demexiting to the Green Party, an already established organ with ballot access in many states. We are being welcomed with open arms to help remake it as the new home of truly progressive people who stand for common people who care about the future of all life on this planet. We not only will NEVER take money from billionaires and lobbyists, we want to pass laws to severely restrict them, if not tax the super-rich out of existence! We are unconditionally for single-payer health care, gutting the defense budget and ending our military adventurism, doing everything we can to combat climate change, and using government generally to make the lives of the poor and working classes better (which the Constitution says we can do - "To provide for the general welfare"). We need good progressive activists to help organize and run for office. You will not get a slickly packaged "sit down and let the adults run things" talk from us. The Green Party is driven from the bottom up. It is our party, not "theirs". Please come and help us send the Democrats to the ash heap of history with the Whigs!


#5

We can help build a third party, but we should also stay in the Dem Party so that we are eligible to vote for the progressives who will be primarying the corporatist Dems in 2018 and 2020.

A great example of someone we should support is Paula Jean Swearingen, who is primarying the loathesome Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. https://justicedemocrats.com/candidates/paula-jean . https://youtu.be/Hm4IZrKr78U

We should do everything we can to support the progressive challengers, not bail on them. They are Berniecrats, too.


#6

Penn and Stein can dress up that neoliberal pig anyway they want, but it's all about not making corporate and big money donors nervous. Outside of a few progressive voices crying in the wilderness of corporatocracy, raising money is about all the identity and soul the party has left. The party remains stubbornly centrist and still has nothing more to offer voters going into 2018 other than they are not Trump. The party's centrists would rather blame the Russians for losing to Trump, despite the statistics that show they lost because voters in key Democratic strongholds stayed home. So far, 2018 looks to be a repeat.


#7

Until we start a 12 step program to shake corporate money addiction and get the Democratic Party to show up for meetings the Party will continue to be the functioning addict that it has been since the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) formation in 1985..


#8

There is only room under our system for two viable major parties at a time. The only solution to having a viable progressive party is for one of the other parties to die, and since it is the Democrats who pretend to be progressive, but definitely are not, it is they who must go. It's not going to be neat. It will take several election cycles to happen. the Democrats are not going to go away without trying to destroy the effort. There will be a period of time during their destruction where the Green Party will cause three-way splits that temporarily "help" the Republicans. This cannot be avoided if real, structural, permanent change is to take place. Hopefully, temporary pain will be rewarded at the end with a true, progressive "People's Party" that truly does reflect the needs of the majority.


#9

Recall that in September 2008, shortly after the GOP convention, McCain's campaign pivoted to the "success of the Iraq surge" that McCain had led the charge on. McCain shot up in the polls and Obama's numbers started to plummet because Obama never countered McCain's claims.

By the end of September Lehman Brothers' demise was the straw that broke the camel's back that enabled the crash to reach full velocity. Voters forgot the surge as they or at least one of their neighbors had a pink slip in hand, resulting in the party in power having near zero chance of winning the POTUS election as long as Obama didn't make any wrong moves while letting the clock run out.

Just as the media ignored Ross Perot's role in handing Clinton his victories, the media ignored the economic crash's role in handing Obama his 2008 victory.

Depending on extrinsic factors to win is not a sound strategy and never will be.


#10

"Have you seen the other guys"?

Tweedle(D) calling out Tweedle(R) - two sides of the same coin.

The Democrats, like the Republicans, are self-perpetuating power aggrandizers. They will do anything the can/need to to remain in/take power. Any political movement led by career politicians will always be about the power and control of those career politicians.


#11

You yourself recognize that the Greens have no chance of winning for several elections to come! You also admit that during this time that voting for Greens will help elect Republicans. To you a new third party will solve the problem of the duopoly.

But you don't ever consider that the Greens might someday become as coopted as are the Dems by the need to curry favor among the campaign donor class!

Rather than help elect Republicans maybe Greens should help strengthen the progressive forces amongst the Dems. Kind of like a third party but within the Dems structure. Help isolate the conservative wing of the Dems in favor of generating greater support for the progressive wing?


#12

As I pointed out above, external factors will be all the Ds can count on in 2018.

They only run against their opponents, never in favor of anything likely to offend corporate donors.

As such, expect another bloodbath in 2018.


#13

It's not a third party if it's within the Dem structure.

Instead, it's a toothless subset of a moribund brand.

To be effective, the left needs to disengage from the D-party completely. If the woman running against Manchin cited above were running as an Independent, I'd send her money right now. As just another D, she gets nothing.


#14

Lol. I agree about Independents wholeheartedly. Maybe that is the way? Maybe there should be an official Independent wing of each party. I can't see the old guard going for that but who knows?


#15

" Behind Door #1 is a 1995 Chevrolet. Behind Door #2 is a 1995 Chevrolet. Behind Door #3 is a 1995 Chevrolet. As your honorable emcee, Mark Penn, I want you to think deeply about your choice, here. OK, Democratic voter, pick a door and win your unique grand prize. And, please, act hysterical and incredibly surprised. Got it? OK, here we go ( yet again ). " Coooonnnnggggrraattuulllaattiions!!!
" You've just won the automobile that will drive you over that bridge and well into in the 21st Century.
Now, just how exciting is that? ":wink: :wink:


#16

“That’s one of the slogans that was recently proposed by Democratic Party strategists”

Is there another job in which you can get rich and not ever lose your job despite being rotten and failing on every level? Their job is to think about strategies as far as winning and their ideas are consistently horrible, tone deaf, dated and have resulted in the party collapsing nationally.

This party is dead and since the people that killed it are still firmly in charge, refuse to step aside, change and refuse to stop being corrupt, and since the rot has grown so large, I don’t see hope in reforming it, and I realize what that means as far as policy. We shouldn’t pretend objective reality is something other than what it is simply because the consequences of that are something we don’t want to face. What is left of the left in that dying party should have left decades ago, where Penn’s ideas are still walking around with greying beards and worn out Nirvana shirts. If the left did, by now we might have an electoral alternative, instead we’re still debating whether to bring back to life that dead party and we’re going down with it, all the while our ideas are extremely popular. It’s absolutely crazy. There has been a mass exodus from both parties and the public agrees with the left on the issues, but it seems that people have entirely turned the system out. What a mess.


#17

Has Bernie, Warren or any other Progressive said not to vote for any politician that takes corporate and billionaire bribes, legal or not?


#18

Actually both Bernie and Warren said to vote for the biggest taker of corporate bribes. Bernie has dropped this idea since the Convention.

Oh, it's been NINE days since Warren said the next step is Single Payer.
Nine days for her to take action and introduce a companion bill in the Senate to HR 676.

Nine days that she hasn't walked her talked.


#19

Please examine the Ossoff campaign in Georgia v. the Gianforte special election in Montana. The money, the endorsements ( or non-endorsements ), the political demographics, etc.
It's between Ellison & Perez and the DNC to work out who to endorse.
Warrens' & Sanders' job is to make alliances ( friends hopefully ) in Congress, not to go around denouncing Democratic Congressional Wannabes.
That's our job here at CD and I, for one, need the work.:wink:


#20

Thank you for chiming in. The Democratic Party "leadership", which does nothing to innovate or lead, will not allow anyone reform minded to rise up to challenge their power. Pelosi and Co. should have resigned in disgrace by now if it were possible to bring in reformers. No, multi-millionaire Pelosi and the rest of the rogue's gallery of plutocrats stubbornly hang onto power at the behest of the people who've made them rich and powerful. Yes, it will take time to take the party down, and yes it will take sacrificing some elections to take them down, but it's the only way to permanently change the process. And if, someday, the Green Party becomes as hopelessly corrupt as the Democrats are now, then they too will have to be put out of their misery. Thomas Jefferson said that we needed a political revolution every generation, which has not happened up to now. It's way past time for one.