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Perez Chosen as DNC Chair

2017 February 25
by Ian Welsh

Ellison, of course, was the left-wing choice, endorsed by Sanders, etc.

I’m going to have a lot more to say about the Democratic party, neoliberals, Obama, and Clinton later. For now, I simply note that the most important thing, for those who control the liberal party, is retaining control over the liberal party.

I note also that they genuinely believe in neoliberalism. They genuinely don’t want a $15/minimum wage and will only grudgingly give on something as basic (and really, minor to them) as that.

They want Americans poor. They want the poor to stay poor. They want the middle class to decline.

I mean this exactly as I say it: The policies they prefer make the middle class poor, and make the poor poorer, and have done for 40 years.

This is who they are. This is what they want.

They are the enemy of all people who prioritize any form of kindness to other human beings.  Whether they are better than Trump is irrelevant, they’re just another group of enemies.

More on this later. Perez is only an occasion to mention it, and nothing major: He’s just another sign that, no, they don’t want people who favor decent policies in charge of anything, ever. They would certainly far rather lose elections to someone like Trump than allow the left power.

Enemies.


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62 Responses
  1. Hugh permalink
    February 25, 2017

    From my comment in the last thread:

    “Tom Perez got elected to head the DNC ensuring that the Democratic party’s march into irrelevancy will continue. It’s funny that the Democrats response to each new defeat is to double down and dish out even bigger helpings of more of the same. Some might say that this is because they don’t get it. I think they do get it. They just don’t care.

    I forget the commenter, my apologies, but he said recently that we are going down because we can’t get it together anymore to do obvious things.”

    This also applies to the Democrats. The bottom 80% is getting killed by the status quo. So what do the Democrats do? They ran on and continue to run on the status quo. Progressives have great programs and great energy. So what do the Democrats do? They tell them to STFU, and pivot right. Back in 2008, Obama had the beginnings of a great grassroots organization that could have won state legislatures and he stifled it as soon as he won the election. He could have passed universal single payer for healthcare and he went for the Republican-inspired Romneycare, redubbed Obamacare. In 2016, the Republicans nominated their worst candidate in twenty years. A ham sandwich could have beaten Donald Trump, but the Democrats ran the one candidate who could lose to him. And they didn’t just run this candidate. They rigged the whole nomination process to get this candidate. They have lost the Presidency and the Congress. They have lost at both the national and state levels. And their response? As always, more of the same. Rather than cleaning house of the deadwood, they have put the deadwood, Schumer, Pelosi, and now Perez, at their head. They won’t organize and they won’t back programs popular with voters. Much like Hillary Clinton, their whole game plan appears to be that they are not Trump. And we know how well that worked out in the election. You can not beat something with nothing. And nothing is all the Democrats have to offer voters. As I said in the last thread, they encourage others to protest and to leave their blood upon the floor, but as always they will leave none of their own there.

    My advice is to forget the Democrats and the Republicans. Start a movement, have a vision for the country and the programs to achieve it, create a party and run people from that movement. They don’t need 30 years experience in government. We run people based on the program not the person, we run at all levels, and we fight, win or lose. I have to think that a lot of people are sick to death of voting for Republicans and being sold out by them, and then voting for Democrats and being sold out by them, back and forth. Trump is already selling his supporters out on a hundred fronts. We either sink or we start something new. Why not start now?

  2. Greg T permalink
    February 25, 2017

    Well written, Hugh. This is the essence of the Democrat Party. Winning elections doesn’t matter to them. Oh sure, they’ll take the win, but the party elites will be damned to Hades before actually listening to their constituents. If they have to spend several election cycles out of power, to them, that’s an acceptable price to pay. Besides, they know the Republicans will screw things up eventually, and that will be their ticket back to power.

    I suspect this game is about up. For the party elites, this is a no-lose undertaking. But the population is literally dying from the neo-liberal policies wholly embraced by the Democrats. Trump’s election was an attempt to throw a wrench into the system. It’s doubtful Trump will have the requisite sagacity to improve the lives of his voters, so citizens will be left with no recourse within the political system. Organization outside the system is the next step.

  3. V. Arnold permalink
    February 25, 2017

    “They want Americans poor. They want the poor to stay poor. They want the middle class to decline.” Ian

    I like this post very much; all of it. You posit some very simple truths which Usian’s seem loathe to accept or understand.
    The evidence is clear with almost every comment offering nonsense solutions; year after precious year; ad infinitum…
    If there is a solution; I have no idea what that would be. But knowing and understanding the reality on the ground, gives a firm place to stand.

  4. Peter permalink
    February 25, 2017

    This is one of those precious moments in time when things come together and reality is exposed for all those willing to see. This should lead the Clintonite party from a steady decent to an all out nose-dive politically.

    The new call to action is #DemExit showing the shell shocked but still human refugees a direction away from this sinking rat ship and their moneyed enablers.

  5. sglover permalink
    February 26, 2017

    I’m actually rather pleased. I hope that next week and beyond any lefties still kinda sorta hanging on to the Dems realize what’s what, and walk away. If there’s ever going to be a real Left Populist party here, that a necessary precondition.

    Because of the distribution of senate seats, 2018 is already looking grim for the Dem senate wheezers. At the state level, of course, they’re hopeless, so there’ll be little change there. I’m hoping the final stake in the Dem zombie will be a crushing rout in the congressional races. They’re already pretty damn useless as an opposition (“The Resistance” — what a fucking joke!), so a few dozen less Dems in Congress won’t make much difference in its day-to-day fever dreams…..

  6. marku52 permalink
    February 26, 2017

    “Get the money out of politics”. Well at this point you’d have to be deranged to give the Dems any. They don’t control anything north of dog catcher, why give them a red cent? Maybe lack of funding will finally put them out of their misery…

  7. Tom permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Fare thee well Democrats. Don’t let the door slam you in the ass on the way out.

  8. Some Guy permalink
    February 26, 2017

    I guess for the left the question remains whether to takeover the Democratic party (some signs of this in progress) or start a 3rd one. Despite this latest item, my vote is with the former approach generally, and especially in the U.S. context, but to be honest, I think about climate change, antibiotic resistance, a re-escalating nuclear arms race, etc. and it is hard to get too worked up about it.

    Some days the only philosophical manifesto I find persuasive is that of Perry Farrell:

    (youtube link)
    We’ll make great pets

  9. Max Osman permalink
    February 26, 2017

    >Guy wins position
    >Guy immediately appoints Bernie’s candidate as deputy chair literally within minutes
    >Bernie supporters still flip their shit about “the establishment”/shills/etc

    Never change guys.

  10. V. Arnold permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @ Max Osman

    Oh, rest assured; they won’t…

  11. Herman permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Wasn’t Perez a pretty good Secretary of Labor, all things considered? Lately I have been coming around to accepting that even Blue Dog Democrats are worth supporting. The Republicans have moved so far to the right that it makes sense to support even moderate Democrats just to stop the bleeding for working people. For example, the Democrats may not give enough support to labor unions but the Republicans want to completely destroy them. To me that is a big enough difference to at least hold my nose and vote for the Democrats come election time.

    Here is another example. I have seen some people online say that a progressive should primary Joe Manchin, the Senator from West Virginia, because Manchin voted to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. But can a Berniecrat really win in West Virginia? Manchin is probably the best we can get out of West Virginia and he is pretty good on a number of economic issues like protecting the pensions of retired coal miners.

    Even if the Democrats are only marginally better than the Republicans that margin still means a lot to many people and is enough for me to accept Perez even though I would have preferred Ellison. Whoever can do a good job implementing a 50-state strategy, increasing turnout, helping Democrats at the state and local level, and fight GOP voter suppression and gerrymandering is fine with me as DNC chair. I am willing to give Perez a chance even though he was not my preferred choice.

    Left-wingers should keep up the pressure on the Democrats though and not get discouraged. The Democrats were never a left-wing party and only moved to the left when the labor movement, the civil rights movement and other social movements forced them to move left. Today left-wing movements are weak but you never know what will happen in the future. How many people thought Donald Trump would become president?

  12. Steeleweed permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Joe Bageant nailed it years ago in this interview:
    :
    “I don’t believe the U.S. really has a political left. It just has personalities who consider themselves leftists and make an identity gig of it.

    The U.S. has a cottage culture industry called the left. And it has a body of middle class professionals and semi-professionals who cannot bring themselves to associate with Republicans, so they call themselves “liberals.’” But liberals are too comfortable. So they deny reality. They are not going to do anything so long as they are comfortably insulated in the middle class. They are not going to wade into that hate filled ditch of political action, real political action that requires sacrifice, to battle for America’s soul – not as long as they are still living on a good street, sending their kids to Montessori and getting their slice of the American quiche.

    What I’m saying is that until we get a real left in this country, one capable of creating change through radical action, one willing to risk everything for what they believe, we should not be talking about what our pseudo-left should be doing. Our pseudo-left is doing exactly what it should be doing: posturing, bickering amid itself and boring the hell out of the rest of America.

    Buying organic toilet paper and voting for evasive Democratic hacks just isn’t going to cut it.”

    http://coldtype.net/Assets.05/Essays/01.Joe.interview.pdf

  13. February 26, 2017

    @Herman
    Yeah, that makes sense. Republicans have moved so far right that it makes sense to support the new Republicans who call themselves Democrats. Support the policies which we have long opposed merely because they are now espoused by people wearing the clothing that we’ve always supported. And we wonder why the middle class is suffering.

  14. Will permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @ Herman: Appalachian culture is a puzzle to outsiders at times. Manchin isn’t a perfect rep for WV but he is a hell of a lot closer than what modern democrats would provide.

    Just what interest would these folks have in modern identity politics when they are lumped into a “privileged” group? Exactly how would it do anything but hurt them?

    Hillbillies don’t trust big government or big business. It goes back to the original Scots settlers. The obstinate adherence by Democrats to identity politics is what has lost the Appalachians to them. Now they’ve managed to turn THE strongest union state in the country into a right to work mess.

    In one generation. Congratulations.

    I tell friends on both right and left that identity politics is radioactive. It is the tool TPTB use to bludgeon sensible government into submission. It is why so many on both right and left vote against their interests.

    Until the modern democratic party stops being besties with neoliberalism and identity politics the Appalachians are lost to them. And it is there fault not the hillbillies they’ve repeatedly knifed in the back.

  15. February 26, 2017

    Is it possible for The Left in America to win some local elections and provide proof of how their governing approach makes people’s lives better? The liberal enclaves in America I know about tend to be rich and white which makes it difficult to determine if it’s really the liberal philosophies that are making things better or just the fact that they’re well off by other means.

    After all, Brownback’s Kansas is providing proof that conservative minimal government principles don’t improve the majority of the populace’s lives. Can we have a counter-example where the Left makes it work well?

  16. Peter permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Its always interesting, but especially after a revealing incident such as the Perez story, to read the liberal/leftist bloviating negatively about the party they support when they stop putting on the theatrics and step down from their soap-box. Then there are those who are trying to minimize any importance even symbolic of the Perez/Clinton, Obama, Saban Crusade against the congresses only Muslim.

    Another story that intersects with the Perez story is the massive coverage of the Ali Jr fake news, more than likely drug related. How the media managed to sit on this story for weeks until it was needed to deflect attention from the power play at the DNC and the fact that it is fake news shows just how much control the Red Queen and her quislings still exert. I compared coverage of these stories and the DNC story produced one page of reports while the fake news Ali Jr fable produced more than I could count.

  17. February 26, 2017

    they’re just another group of enemies.

    I’m going to try that line on my “liberal” friends. They are basically the Rockefeller Republicans that I grew up with. Their eyes glaze over when I talk about economic justice issues like a BGI or living wage or Medicare for All.

  18. marku52 permalink
    February 26, 2017

    “Is it possible for The Left in America to win some local elections and provide proof of how their governing approach makes people’s lives better? ”

    Yes, but only if they work locally and ignore the corrupt and incompetent national party. Here is a fine example in TX, of all places, for Dems to win.

    http://harpers.org/archive/2017/03/texas-is-the-future/

    Notice that the article points out that once elected, Dems have to actually *do* what they promised. Trump makes an obsession of doing what he promised (at least visually). Obama was the crown prince of promising the world and never lifting a finger to do any of it, and was a major reason why the Dems got destroyed in the last election. Of course, HRC saying one thing and being revealed in email to intend the other was another nail in her coffin.

    “Politicians all lie” Trump aint lyin. He’s doing what he said he would do. There is a big piece of his popularity.

  19. Herman permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @Will,

    I agree with you about identity politics. It is not working and it turns off many whites who don’t like being painted as privileged or racist. Even if you think white privilege or male privilege exists it is a bad narrative to use from a strategic standpoint because it turns off potential white voters and it fuels the right’s narrative that liberals hate whites. This is why the “demographics is destiny” strategy is so wrongheaded. It promotes a dangerous form of tribalism and is really a kind of anti-politics if you ask me.

    I am way further to the left on economics than most Democratic politicians and the party’s neoliberalism angers me but I also wonder if the country is really ready for social democratic policies. There are some signs that such policies would be popular. For example, from what I understand there is a lot of support for true universal healthcare. But I think the stumbling block is that relatively affluent people tend to vote more and to be politically active and this makes the Democrats unwilling to put forward a more left-wing platform. They are afraid of angering that block of voters who are liberal or moderate on social issues but relatively conservative on economics. These voters dominate the Democratic Party now. The Democrats look at the failure of the single-payer ballot initiative in Colorado and the losses suffered by liberal Democrats like Russ Feingold and Zephyr Teachout and say “we better stay moderate or move to the right.”

    The decline of union membership has also been disastrous for the left because we no longer have a large number of people who are involved with and educated by organizations that exist specifically to advance the cause of working people. Without that involvement and education people gravitate to scapegoating minorities, conspiracy theories and identity politics, including the kind of identity politics that the GOP utilizes.

    I think we are going to be stuck with neoliberal Democrats for a while, at least until a strong organized left can develop outside of the party apparatus and push the Democrats to the left by mobilizing working-class and poor Americans. Right now huge numbers of working-class and poor Americans are completely alienated from politics. They don’t vote and they don’t get involved with politics because they don’t see anything in it for them. We have to change that.

  20. Willy permalink
    February 26, 2017

    At least Ellison made vice chair suggests the DNC establishment has moved beyond the denial stage.

  21. February 26, 2017

    Not vice chair. Deputy chair. Probably in charge of refreshments.

  22. realitychecker permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @ Herman

    You seem to be a thoughtful person, but if your final conclusion is to continue voting for the lesser evil, as you indicated in your next-to-last comment, then you have gone astray somewhere in your thought process.

    How about we first focus our concentrated efforts on destroying the liars who promise to work for specific things and then don’t do it (or even make an honest effort to do it)?

    Their betrayal makes a mockery of the whole ‘democratic process,’ simultaneously destroying the basic ingredient of legitimacy, i.e., the ‘consent of the governed,’ as well as the mechanism by which we pretend to implement that consent in a measured and responsible way, i.e., ‘representative government’ (emphasis on representative). That makes fools and dupes of every single one of us regular people.

    Without showing some determination to totally eliminate these known betrayers from the political arena, we will always be limited to slowly killing ourselves by selecting one “lesser evil’ after another ‘lesser evil.’ Just as the advocates for the malefactors keep telling us is the ‘only’ rational thing to do.

    Any fool should be able to do the math on where that strategy gets us. But let me spell it out: Each step on that path takes us one step closer to pure evil.

  23. Duder permalink
    February 26, 2017

    What an ironic and poetic end for the party of Andrew Jackson. History does have a wicked sense of humor.

  24. Brian permalink
    February 26, 2017

    I’m not sure it’s accurate to interpret the DNC chair race as a proxy for neoliberal vs progressive conflict, even though Ian and much of the internet seems to see it that way. The two men have pretty similar views both on issues and on what they want to do with the party. They have spoken positively about each other in public.

    From everything I’ve read about the two men, I think David Corn is basically right:

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/01/why-tom-perez-strong-competitor-against-keith-ellison-democratic-party

  25. S Brennan permalink
    February 26, 2017

    “…neoliberalism angers me but I also wonder if the country is really ready for social democratic policies…the stumbling block is that relatively affluent people tend to vote more and to be politically active Democrats..are afraid of angering that block of voters who are liberal or moderate on social issues but relatively conservative on economics. These voters dominate the Democratic Party now.”

    They dominate the Democrat power apparatus, not the primary voters, in spite of all the anti-democratic provisions to ensure that they, a minority, use to control the party. These vicious neoliberal/neocolonial Democrats [in name only] stole the party in the 80’s by ensuring that true Democrats lost elections and then; were not able to get “holding jobs” at “think tanks”, “lobby groups” et al which would have kept them in the game.

    Kendrick Meek is an excellent example of what happens to boilerplate FDRists.

    http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/black-floridians-shouldnt-vote-for-hillary-until-she-apologizes-to-kendrick-meek-8320267

  26. Peter permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @RC

    I did a rc on this public display of party power and direction and it seems to show two agendas.

    First, they are announcing that they don’t need or care about the so called left of the party. Most will follow blindly enabling them to maintain control in their liberal strips of the country. They probably realize they are not likely to grow or capture the presidency but who else are the retards going to vote for, the Greens? If this #DemExit meme does anything it may show just how small this resistance is.

    The other and I think more important agenda is that they can run disruption campaigns continuously against Trump with the full backing of the media, talking heads, deep state and intelligence hierarchy. This resistance already has the smell of a color revolution and I imagine that stink will only increase.

  27. Bill Hicks permalink
    February 26, 2017

    The Democrats are NOT better than the Republicans. I think the past 8 years have shown that a wolf in sheep’s clothing is far more damaging than a plain ol’ wolf.

  28. February 26, 2017

    @ Herman
    Apropos of what realitychecker said, I would recommend Sheldon Wolin’s book “Democracy Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Spectre of Inverted Totalitarianism.” He was Chalmers Johnson’s prof at Princeton. His contention is that we already live in an inverted totalitarian regime. The current state operates with the Archer Daniels Midland motto “The consumer is our enemy; the competition is our friend.” Substitute “citizen” for “consumer” and “other party” for “competition.” Their is a scary chapter on the how neo liberalism gots its big boost from the bowels of the U of Chicago. There is not really a way out through the political parties. Cooperative movements are one way for direct democracy. Coops like the old Granges of 100 years ago help foster mutual aid. A mutual aid society of coal workers in Britain was the model for their National Heath care system. There is the area involving freedom where we may have mutual areas of agreement. How can we keep our maximum amount of individual freedom while maintaining a community? Conservatives may be right about too much regulation and top down domination by the Federal government. Too much money sloshing around in D.C. At least you know who the local cronies are in your town or county and can get in their face or shame them a bit. We might have lost our way when we abandoned our original Confederation and replaced it with the top down central government constitution of 1786 (another coup in our history).

  29. realitychecker permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @ Montanamaven

    I agree that locally controlled organizations have their appeal, but they will always still have the Federal government cracking the whip over them; witness the Fed response to local legalization of marijuana.

    The Feds are always the 800 pound gorilla in the room-we can’t seriously or credibly speak of freedom until that gorilla is responsive to the People. The best we can say re a contrarian local ‘autonomy” is that we haven’t been noticed yet.

  30. Montanamaven permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Aren’t the Republicans about 3 state legislatures away from being able to convene a constitutional convention? Maybe they will work on a confederation. Instead of the 800 gorilla. We will have a bunch of chimpanzees.

  31. Herman permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @realitychecker,

    If the only realistic voting options for me are a Republican and a Democrat I will usually choose the Democrat because they will likely be better on a number of issues. For example, if you care about maintaining labor unions in some form, would you vote for a party that supports right-to-work laws or the one that does not, even if they don’t really go out of their way to help unions that much? If I have to pick between the party that wants to kill me while I am down or the one that simply ignores me, the latter is preferable if I have no other realistic choice. I can at least continue to exist and maybe regroup and fight back at some point.

    Adolph Reed, no friend of the neoliberal Democrats, made similar points during the 2016 election.

    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/08/18/vote-lying-neoliberal-warmonger-its-important

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xveDowt0BUQ

    I am in favor of pushing more progressive candidates if they can win. But there are strategic reasons to sometimes support a moderate Democrat if the only other realistic option is a Republican who is likely to be worse. Could a more progressive Democrat than Joe Manchin win in West Virginia?

    @Montanamaven,

    I agree that much work needs to be done outside of the normal political process. But conventional politics is still useful in creating breathing space for these experiments to work. What good will cooperative efforts be if the government ends up being controlled by those who will attempt to destroy such efforts, especially if they become popular? Voting and conventional politics is just one realm of action and perhaps the least effective realm. But I don’t think it is time to give up on mainstream politics yet, if only to provide people some breathing space to act in other realms.

    The thing that the left has to face is that we have almost no institutional clout right now. Our organizations are weak and disorganized. Maybe things are changing now that it is becoming clear that the Third Way is a both a political and socioeconomic failure.

  32. someofparts permalink
    February 26, 2017

    “As I said in the last thread, they encourage others to protest and to leave their blood upon the floor, but as always they will leave none of their own there.”

    amen

  33. Willy permalink
    February 26, 2017

    I’ve tended to see R as bullies, D as bully enablers (with of course a puppetmaster manipulating both). Which is worse? There was a guy who blogged about bullying. He didn’t forgive the Columbine shooters, but tried to explain why they targeted enablers instead of the bullies themselves. I’m still not sure how effective that approach was. I’d rather cut the head off the snake.

  34. February 26, 2017

    Perez supports a $15 minimum wage. He said so back in August of 2015.

  35. Herman permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Here is an example of even a moderate Democrat being better than a Republican:

    Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issues executive order to expand Medicaid.

    http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_a035f7fd-fa48-5df6-9333-b3f1ceaa184d.html

    Can we really say that there is no difference between Edwards and the former governor Bobby Jindal who refused Medicaid expansion?

    This is why I say that it is not true that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. There are differences and even if these differences are marginal they are still significant for many people. The margins matter.

  36. S Brennan permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Here is an example of a Republican being better than a Democrat “moderate”:

    “Syrian war fever has seized much of the U.S. political establishment. A climate in which Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but not Donald Trump…called for a no-fly zone in northern Syria as part of a greater U.S. military involvement to remove President Bashar al-Assad.

    What stood out about this ad…[was] the ad’s sponsors…the ad and its supporting on-line petition were the handiwork of the Internet phenom activist organization Avaaz.org. With the claimed number of 43.1-million members (anyone who has ever signed an Avaaz petition is considered by the organization to be a member)…officially launched in 2007 by the U.S. online powerhouse MoveOn.org Civic Action and the little known global advocacy group Res Publica. With initial significant financial backing from — and some blogger critics allege, continued influence of — financier and liberal philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Foundations (then called Open Society Institute).

    …widely regarded as liberal Avaaz stands for an escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria — just as before [when] it was campaigning successfully for a no-fly zone for Libya, with subsequent disastrous consequences for that country.”

    https://consortiumnews.com/2016/04/12/the-lure-of-a-syrian-no-fly-zone/

  37. Hugh permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Herman gives the usual disjointed defense of lesser evilism we have become used to. Progressives have no clout and should vote for bad or the less bad Democrat even though this ensures that they will have no clout in the future.

    He cites the loss in the universal single payer referendum in Colorado. Did the Democrats in Colorado support that initiative? Why no, they didn’t. Michael Bennett the senior Democratic Senator from Colorado who was running for re-election came out against it.

    He cites expanding Medicaid as a positive reason to support Democrats. He doesn’t seem to understand that many voters who benefit from expanded Medicaid still don’t like Obamacare and voted for Trump because they’ve seen all the good jobs go away. They’re not looking for handouts and will vote against their immediate interests if they are angry enough and want change enough. The Democratic message of status quo, status quo, status quo doesn’t play at all with them. Why should they vote for a party that doesn’t listen to them? Why, for that matter, should progressives?

    And it is precisely for this reason that a POS politician like Manchin in West Virginia would be vulnerable from a progressive populist, because he would be vulnerable to a populist of any stripe.

  38. nihil obstet permalink
    February 26, 2017

    If every moment were unconnected to what comes after, it would make sense always to choose the lesser evil. But if in choosing the lesser evil, you save some good now at the expense of that good and more in the future, it’s a bad idea. Over thirty-five years now, we’ve experienced a constant ratchet towards more evil that we’ve enabled with lesser evildom at each separate election. We’ve let Democratic Party leaders know that they can end welfare, make incarceration the means of dealing with any unpleasantness including mental illness, throw money at banks and screw debtors, and operate the whole apparatus of a police state, and we’ll still vote for them because they’re the “lesser evil”. If we had put paid to this evil twenty years ago, we’d have lots more good now. Reread this post by Ian for a better explanation.

  39. Will permalink
    February 26, 2017

    Appreciate the real one Herman, thank you.

    I will say this: Bernie had a large and enthusiastic group of supporters in WV. He won the state as a matter of fact. He and his policy stands were very popular. And for good reason. Clinton was seen for the duplicitous thief that she is.

    This is a time of upheaval and it is easy to both see things that aren’t really there and to miss things that are blindingly obvious. But I will say this: Trump ain’t what a lot of hacks say he is. But keep stifling the populist center and you’ll eventually get a real dangerous situation.

    The system is trying to force change. For 10 years it’s been flashing warning signs. The status quo might have been the lesser of two evils but in times like these it can be lethal. But don’t expect those in power to see it, they are always the last to see and recognize the need for change.

  40. February 26, 2017

    Hugh,

    I never thought I would see a supposed progressive describe something like health care, a basic human right, as a “handout.”

  41. February 26, 2017

    I see we’re going to go into another round of Punishment Theory. Progressives have no clout because, as far as I can tell, they are all into punishment theory and cannot deliver reliable constituencies that turn out to vote. You can deploy the stick if you also have a carrot. Progressives have no carrot and the other side (even the other side in the Democratic party) also has a stick.

    What’s weird about this whole Ellison vs. Perez relitigation of the primaries, at least around here, is that people here find it oddly rather difficult to see that Clinton actually had a grassroots constituency of people who actively wanted a Clinton presidency and were excited about Clinton. Not as a lesser evil or some second-best electable because they thought Sanders was better, but couldn’t win. I certainly wasn’t excited about Clinton, but I can empathize properly with those who were. And yet, hardly anyone here can genuinely appreciate or empathize with Clinton supporters — it’s pure contempt as far as the eye can see.

    Clinton supporters see Sanders supporters as demanding support for their candidate while refusing to reciprocate. Clinton supporters may have been skeptical about Sanders, but they probably would have voted for Sanders over Trump. A lot of Sanders supporters claim to have stayed home or voted for Trump, because they wouldn’t vote for Clinton. From this perspective, why should any Clinton supporters give ground to a proxy Sanders candidate inside the party? What was there, for any level of Clinton supporter, to be excited about Ellison that they can’t get from Perez?

    Again, Clinton did not have a grassroots public capable of delivering her an EC majority, but she had enough popular supporters that they can’t simply be dismissed by the lens used in the OP or the rest of the comments. Or she wouldn’t even have won the primary.

  42. February 26, 2017

    And the contempt I mentioned, by the way, is a weird mirror image of the contempt that some people have for Trump supporters. The latter, of course, is a contempt that is considered (probably rightly) to be a failure mode for progressive politics at least when taken too far. The former is, however…?

  43. February 26, 2017

    Herman:
    Is Edwards better than Jindal? Yes. It’s a pretty damn low bar to clear though. It’s not a long-term driver to the polls though. Not in enough numbers.

  44. Steeleweed permalink
    February 26, 2017

    @Duder: The Democratic Party of Jackson is utterly different from the modern Democratic Party, just as the Republicans of Lincoln’s time were utterly different from modern Republicans. When you consider 1828 vs 2016, one can even make the point that Trump is Jackson’s modern equivalent in terms of destroying the political tableaux of their respective times.

  45. February 26, 2017

    Had Obama been willing to name, shame and punish the banksters in ’08, the Democratic Party could have finished off the Republican Party for a generation (maybe forever). Instead, he lavished funds and favors on them, to the detriment of everyone else, even paying off stupidly overvalued derivative bets that should have been nullified and then banned.

    Remember when he joked that he was the only thing standing between them and the pitchforks? That’s the day when I started calling myself an Independent.

    Obama literally turned the gun that could have mowed down the Republicans onto his own party, instead. It was a collective suicide.

    Last year Bernie gave the golem Dems a chance to rise, but they were too greedy to take it. It’s hardly surprising that they won’t change now. Just like the Rs, they’re all about money and lies.

  46. Hugh permalink
    February 26, 2017

    NR, as I have been trying to get across, it is about listening. The Democrats simply talk past most of the white working class. They are by and large hard working and fiercely proud. They don’t like being talked down to and treated as if they’re stupid. And they aren’t asking to being given anything. So the Democrats talk about programs, and the white working class talks about having a life. The Democrats say be nice to us, we gave you Expanded Medicaid. And the white working class says, what we wanted were decent jobs. We may have to take you Medicaid, but we don’t have to like it, and don’t expect us to be grateful.

    Saying that healthcare is a basic human right is just words, another kind of speak for “programs”. It only takes on a meaning if it can be integrated into how people view their lives.

    As I have said many times, liberalism is not New Dealism. To understand it, you need to go back to Wilson. When you do, you see that neoliberalism is a return of liberalism back to its Wilsonian roots. Wilsonian liberalism was elitist, paternalistic, rabidly as in Red Scare anti-populist, pro-corporate, and pro-interventionist internationally. Hillary Clinton is the personification of liberalism/neoliberalism. And it is why she and many other Democrats played so negatively with the white working class. Both in form and content, they did everything possible to alienate this group, and guess what, they did. In so far as progressives ape the Democratic approach, they will lose this group as well. But they don’t need to. Much of the progressive message is popular with them, but not if we talk down to them and refuse to listen to them.

  47. February 26, 2017

    Calling health care a “handout” isn’t talking in the language of the white working class, it’s adopting a bullshit right-wing frame. Health care is a basic human right. If progressives can’t even agree on that much, the movement is never going to get anywhere, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  48. Hugh permalink
    February 27, 2017

    NR, again you would rather be politically correct than actually communicate with your target audience. You start talking to them that way and what they are going to hear is blah, blah, I know better than you. Good luck with that.

  49. Tom permalink
    February 27, 2017

    @NR

    That is not how you sell Healthcare to Working Class Whites. Instead you sell it this way.

    “If your sick and don’t have coverage provided by the state like the roads and schools, you’ll die a horrible death, leave your family destitute and preyed upon by lenders, and then forced into bankruptcy. Likewise without universal healthcare, you’re at a higher risk of diseases spread by your fellow citizens and will pay higher prices at the stores as companies pass the costs of their sick workers onto you.”

    These people need to know how Universal Healthcare works for them, not slogans.

  50. V. Arnold permalink
    February 27, 2017

    Mother of the gods; I cannot belief the dialog going on here…
    Get a grip, get grounded, and get in touch with reality…

  51. realitychecker permalink
    February 27, 2017

    @ V. Arnold

    Right-e-o, self-exile to the sex tourism capital of the world, aka the Pedophile Paradise, cheerfully live under a military dictatorship, and put all your excess energy into reaching back to endlessly criticize the goings-on in the place you fled from. We should all follow your example, amirite?

    You are a role model for the ages. We’re all coming to be your neighbors.

    (The prostitutes will probably raise their prices when we all get there. Supply and demand. File that under, “No good deed goes unpunished.)

  52. Willy permalink
    February 27, 2017

    Who cares about beauty points when progress is being made.

    If I’m not mistaken, the oligarchy used pleasing and common sense sounding phrases such as “job creators” to help get concessions from working class whites, which apparently were countered with a political correctness they ignored, instead of simple reality-based cause-effect logic (or other well aimed phrases)?

  53. S Brennan permalink
    February 27, 2017

    Can’t be said to often:

    “liberalism is not New Dealism”

    ======================

    “neoliberalism is a return..to..Wilsonian liberalism which was elitist, paternalistic, rabidly Red Scare, anti-populist, pro-corporate, pro-interventionist internationally”

    And I would add, Wilson was profoundly RACIST. Not it in the lame overused language of today, using the term “racist” as rhetorical weapon to obfuscate when the argument has been lost…but in the hard core racism of Jim Crow, demoting, firing, segregating facilities…indeed, a model that Adolf Hitler followed.

    Under Bill/Barack/Hillary, the Democrats have returned to their Wilsonian past. Yeah, the overt racism has seeped beneath the surface, but when Obama/Hillary “needed” to do regime change in Libya there was no hesitation in arming racist jihadis whose major goal was to “ethnically cleanse” Libya of all blacks through a horrific campaign of terror and death. And the media? Silent as the rocks of the Precambrian age.

    Overturn the foundation stonework of any elitist neoliberal and you will find that the slime of racism still resides, neatly hidden, but thriving in it’s concealed environment.

  54. V. Arnold permalink
    February 27, 2017

    realitychecker
    February 27, 2017

    Well, at least I acted; actually did something.
    As opposed to being an arrogant, judgemental, self important, strutting egoist; spouting impotent opinions, ad infinitum…

  55. realitychecker permalink
    February 27, 2017

    @ V. Arnold

    Yup, you went to where children are available for paid sex and a military junta sets the rules, and you are very proud and comfortable to be living in that environment while you criticize everything about this country.

    But where you live, I know you don’t dare make a fucking peep.

    Keep patting yourself on the back, asshole.

  56. JMH permalink
    February 28, 2017

    Setting aside the question of party direction completely, if we operate from the assumption that DNC is responsible for directing efforts to elect donkeys and that the chair is at the apex of those efforts, Perez seems a poor choice.

    IIRC, Perez has won only won elected office once, a position on a Maryland county board. And the other office he ran for, he was disqualified.

    And this is the guy they think will lead the party to greater electoral success?

    Of course, we know it’s not really about that.

    Spot on as always Mr. Welsh. Thanks for your work on this blog. Edifying.

  57. realitychecker permalink
    March 1, 2017

    @ JMH

    Wasserman Shultz was caught and exposed as being a thoroughly corrupt DNC chair.

    So they handed her position to Donna Brazille, who had already been exposed as a thoroughly corrupt person, but was still deemed by the party to be a suitable DNC chair.

    Braille was there to give a big hug to Perez as he succeeded her to the position that had just been held by two thoroughly corrupt people.

    What should your expectations be for Perez?

  58. realitychecker permalink
    March 1, 2017

    Not to mention that Wasserman Shultz and Brazille were openly in the bag for Clinton, and Perez has been openly presented as the Hillary choice.

  59. JMH permalink
    March 2, 2017

    Yes, I know all about that (but thanks, I guess?). Maybe I wasn’t clear – my point sets all of that aside and considers Perez’s electoral success, or lack thereof, as a lack of qualification in and of itself. Which illustrates all the more the actual reasons he was asked to run, and the reason why he won as well.

    I expect nothing from Perez beyond the continued impuissance and failure of his party. 😀

  60. different clue permalink
    March 3, 2017

    @Mandos,

    If it makes you feel better, I for one recognized the existence of many massed millions of committed devoted Clinton supporters. And said so several times in these threads.

  61. March 6, 2017

    >Guy immediately appoints Bernie’s candidate as deputy chair

    In charge of “outreach”? Into the wallets of those coveted marks on “Sander’s List”? To charge those little pre-paid 27 dollar cards in service of The Party That Must Not Be Over?

    I cannot tell whether Sanders has a Grand Strategy (and whether it would actually work) or whether he is just trying to walk a line that makes sense to him, but one would fervently hope that the man – or even somebody like Ellison, if worth a damn – would not have to degrade themselves to accept these “potted plant” gambits in service of meaningless political interior decoration.

    Gotta say, there are some for whom this game of surplus musical chairs appears to be convincing, though…

  62. Ann Thomsen permalink
    March 8, 2017

    Dems have painted themselves into a corner with identity politics. White America will NEVER EVER vote for a black president again… O was just too hostile to whites. That card trick won’t work twice.

    And blacks will never ever turn out for another white candidate. Latinos as always are split.. because they are usually compliant Catholics and have nothing in common with Gays or Muslims.

    So… 2020?… A Trans gender Honduran Imam?

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