The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

I Trust It Is Now Clear Democrats Hate The Left

Now that virtually everyone of any importance, up to and including the President has told you that they hate you, that you are a bunch of unrealistic ingrates who need to be drug tested, I trust no one still thinks the White House doesn’t hate the left’s guts, and that it comes from the very top, from the President?

I’m going to write on this at greater length, but the point folks need to get through their heads and burrowed down into their hearts and spleens is that Democratic politicians as a rule, despise you.  This isn’t just about the White House, Democrats in the Senate and in the House have done everything short of spit in your face, over and over again, as when Nancy Pelosi snuck an up or down vote  on the catfood comission’s findings into the lame duck sessions.

Not just that, but for whatever reason, these folks either don’t care about winning elections or are so incompetent they can’t see the obvious.  Everyone with any track record of being, y’know, right, told them the stimulus was too small and every political consultant knows the economy is the most important thing to reelection chances, yet they passed an inadequate stimulus anyway.  In a midterm election where they need the base to come out, they have spent the last six months insulting the base and engaging in policy after policy meant to enrage it.  They could have, for example, put off filing a brief arguing that government secrecy allows the president to assassinate any American he wants anytime until after the election, but they chose not to.

It is, for whatever reason, more important to Democrats to “hippie punch” than it is for them to win elections. It is more important for them to serve Wall Street, even if Wall Street gives more money to Republicans, than it is to win elections.  Further, they are  very happy to do very non-liberal things, like restrict abortion rights, forbid drug reimportation, gut net neutrality or try and cut social security.

It is not clear how many of them somewhere deep in their shriveled hearts feel they are actually liberals, but what is clear is that it doesn’t matter, because they won’t act on it, even when they control the Presidency, the House and the Senate.

Incompetent.  Ideologically right wing, only moderately less right wing than the Republicans.

This is your Democratic party.  These people are the problem. As long as they are around, the problem can never be solved.  If it could be, they would have done so.  This means, sorry folks, that the only hope for liberalism and for America to avoid a complete economic meltdown, is for Democrats to be swept out of power and for as many Dems who aren’t reliable progressives to lose their seats as possible.

Yes, the Republicans will do worse things, but that’s going to happen anyway.  And in some cases, as with Social Security, it is better to have Republicans in power, because it is easier to fight Republican efforts to gut SS than it is to fight Democratic efforts to do so.

I know a lot of people don’t like this calculus, but the math is clear.  These Democrats cannot or will not deliver.  They cannot or will not do what needs to be done.  They have to go.

More on this in a future essay, for now just understand this: the people who control the Democratic party despise you.  Loathe you.  They think you’re the sort of frightened sheep who will keep voting for them, keep giving them money and help, as long as they promise to be just a little better than the Republicans.

Are they right?


Tax Cuts for the rich create jobs outside the US


Leftists Should Take Credit for Bringing Down Democrats


  1. Lori

    I think they really thought Obama was going to be our Reagan – a smooth jackal who could keep the base enthralled while doing only what Wall Street wanted. Reagan pissed all over everything the working class right claimed they wanted, but they never cared in the least with St. Ronnie. I think they’re shocked that we’re not just so smitten with Obama that we love everything he does. I think that’s why they hate the blogosphere so much. They probably really believe that if it wasn’t for Greenwald, Digby, Hamsher, and Madrak, Americans would still be oozing over our fearless leader. Certainly no one on tv stands up to him in any kind of substantial way.

  2. Z

    I’ll take it one step further, not only does the head pr man of the establishment not care about staying in control of congress, he’d much rather lose it becoz then it makes their kabuki theatre, which always ends up with pro-corporate legislation, that much easier to direct … in fact, they don’t even have to direct it then … becoz they can use the old clinton excuse: the republicans made me do it. It makes it easier to serve their corporate masters becoz then they won’t need all the elaborate inter-party bullshit like pulling a liebermann or a nelson out of their hat at the last moment to keep the demo-zombies riveted in their seats and voting/rooting for their heroes (the obamination administration).

    Now that they know that there will be big losses in the mid-terms they also want to use the progressives as scapegoats for them and use that to further alienate progressives from their demo-zombie followers and hence move the party further to the right. It ain’t a big tent, it’s invitation only and you got to be a demo-zombie that will vote democrat no matter what the hell they do … becoz that provides them loyal votes to keep their corporate serving politicians in power … or have big money to get in. We’ll be seeing a lot of shrugging from the pope of hope as he signs off the same type of corporate servile legislation that he drove when he had the house and senate, but this time he’ll claim that if only the damn progressives hadn’t realized how good they had it from 2008 to 2010.

    Does anyone have a better explanation? Can they be this stupid to continually antagonize their base, their most passionate and demanding voters, right before the election? Has this tactic ever been done before in the history of american politics? Is there any poll whatsoever that shows this to be a winning strategy? And finally, when are the progressives going to figure out that you ain’t invited to the party unless you’re inebriated on their nonsense? And when are we going to start fighting back and begin the long and arduous work of creating a third party?

    One of the few things that obama did not lie about was that he was quite comfortable being a one-term president. What he did lie about was whose interests he was willing to serve to risk that. Hint: it ain’t ours; it’s the exact opposite.

    If we start a third party, we’ll be fringe for a while for sure, but at least we’ll maintain our dignity, pride and principles.


  3. anon2525

    They think you’re the sort of frightened sheep who will keep voting for them, keep giving them money and help, as long as they promise to be just a little better than the Republicans.

    Actually, they promise to be much, much better than the republicans, but they don’t keep their promises.

    They have said time and again that they can’t do anything because of the republican obstructionism in the senate. Since they are not going to get 65 or 70 senate seats, by their own logic, there is no reason to expect them to accomplish anything. And since they’re not going to accomplish anything, no one should support them except those people who benefit from the status quo — the same people whose lot has been rescued or improved the past two years.

  4. jcapan

    Bingo Lori–they essentially mistake us for the GOP base (people who vote against their own interests every 2-4 years b/c their feudal lords tell them to do so/plus the strong odds they’ll be rich too someday 😉 Damn those DFHs and their critical thinking skills and education–so inconvenient.

    Obama said this at UW today: “We can’t let this country fall backwards because the rest of us didn’t care enough to fight.” Yeah, we should keep fighting for you/your party the way you’ve been fighting to enact a liberal agenda in America? We should keep up the good fight in light of Gitmo/assassination/DADT/the HCR debacle? The way you’re fighting the MIC (record 700$ billion DOD budget for 2011)? Fuck, what a tone-deaf wanker.

    Agreed that the best thing that can happen to the Dems is to lose, and lose big. It’d be nice if it were only blue dogs/centrists, if Feingold’s seat were safe etc. but it may be bad for all dems, good and bad alike. Something about the company you keep springs to mind.

    The question, that I hope Ian will address in the post to come, is what course does it take from here. IMO the DLC tumor can only be properly eradicated when Obama loses two years from now. Losing congress is commonplace. A one-term president, at least in theory, ought to be a wake-up call to the party, that they’re adrift from their roots, that thereafter, wandering in Sarah Palin’s wilderness that they might want to consider, merely consider, mind you, the quaint notion of liberalism once again.

    Given the money in politics, however, I have little hope of this occuring. GOP shifts further right, and the dems will out DLC the DLC, thinking that they have to be right of Reagan to compete with Newt & Sarah. Progressives will wield power in American politics when they’re no longer sublimating their would-be movement within a failed party that nakedly runs counter to their interests, token slots here and there notw/standing.

  5. LorenzoStDuBois

    Great post and awesome thread going here.

    My only contribution is that I bristle when the Dems are called “incompetent”. You know the old question: if they’re so stupid, then why are they so rich….. They know exactly what they’re doing.

  6. David H.

    Obama has set the neoliberal train to run for another six years. After the Republicans win in November, he’ll have the excuse that the Republicans are obstructing & he can only stand by as they pass more legislation designed to fleece the poor & middle class & prolong the depression by attempting to balance the budget.

    Then he’ll run against the Republicans in 2012, where of course he’ll have to jettison the left-leaning because those communists will hurt his re-election chances. Of course it’s obvious he had this planned all along.

    So long as he got through the 1st two years w/o doing anything to help real people, (pretending that the health care bill did that,) and not being held accountable for that, then there’s no need for him to listen to anything left of Boehner for the next six years. And if he loses re-election, no big deal to him, he’ll still have his legacy as the 1st black president, turfed out on his ass because he tried to help the little people, or something along those lines. Funny how things work out.

  7. Formerly T-Bear

    Speaking for myself, I would not vote for “God” if it ran as a Republican. What makes anyone think there would be the slightest chance in hell I would place my vote in a “Republican Lite” or whatever the DLC wing of the democratic party is calling itself. The corruption of politics, government, and law is complete, there is no place for a fulcrum to place the leaver of change.

    Absolute power has corrupted absolutely. That power, great as it is, cannot sustain itself; it will consume everything in its grasp, and like the monkey caught in the monkey trap, unwilling to release its clutch on the fruits of power inside the trap, will fall prey to greater forces that will destroy it.

    Should absolute power manage to survive the monkey trap, and having consumed all other wealth available. The nature of the beast cannot be quieted, its appetites stilled, will require sustenance and will have only that sustenance of itself which it will willingly consume, doing so until there is nothing left to consume, a snake swallowing its tail. At that point, problem over and the world can reconstruct itself from what remains, if there is anything remaining.

  8. Greg

    I am a Canadian leftist. I am used to having Liberals hate me.

  9. hidflect

    Pelosi’s husband is a mega-wealthy, multi-millionaire real estate tycoon with strong passions about his “homeland” Israel. Does that help explain recent policies?

  10. I think the hippie-punching is intended to increase turnout by stirring up conflict. As with “hope and change,” it may work. If it moves the party further to the right, so much the better for the conservative Dems.

    That said, the last time I heard about putting the Republicans in power because the Dems were almost as bad, we got Bush II. Let’s not go there again, hunh?

  11. jeer9

    Read Walter Karp. The behavior of the current administration comes right out of the Democratic playbook, from Roosevelt through Kennedy and Johnson. It’s old school.

  12. John B.

    well, we are really in a box here, us liberals that tentatively vote Dem. We were hoping that the Rethugs would be the party that would self destruct through and over their internal inconsistencies and demographics. I mean the point is in any war is to make the other poor motherfucker to die for his country and all that and here we are saying that we are willing to self destruct and give it all away to the other side as they have won all the power, the language, the framing and the country. I don’t disagree with that but I am just noting that we will be in the wilderness another 40 years and we have already been there for at least 30 if not more…

  13. Dems, heh. Here’s where I think we are: we’re in Room 1o1, arguing with O’Brien about how much reality conforms to faith. The current situation is unsustainable. The climate is falling apart, the health care system kills 45k Americans per year, income inequity is through the roof, and the Dems run around sucking up to corporate lobbies, to finance, to big oil, to coal, to Pharma, etc. They think it’s a game that they can play indefinitely: screw the base, get a big check, go into consulting. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The problem for them is that objective reality cannot be denied; it can be ignored, with increasing difficulty, but it really doesn’t care if you can’t get 60 votes. The ice caps will still melt, the droughts will still devastate our agriculture, and having a sickly population constantly thinned by illness and war, ruled by incompetent gilded age elitists, that will bring down the economy.

    I try to bring this point up to a lot of so-called liberals online, and they just don’t seem to get it. Your political affiliation doesn’t matter if you’re dead, if your country is in ruins. Voting ‘Dem’ might make you feel good, and perhaps stave things off a few, what, extra months?

    The one thing it won’t do is solve our problems though. The Democratic party doesn’t care.

  14. tatere

    “[T]he only hope for liberalism […] is for Democrats to be swept out of power and for as many Dems who aren’t reliable progressives to lose their seats as possible.”

    I see the general idea there but my immediate question is, who replaces them and where do they come from?

    Getting a different kind of candidate, from a different set of farm teams, is critical, I’d think. But – not by accident – those other sources have dried up over the last few decades. It will do us no good to trade one sweet-talking rich attorney whose friends all work in finance and media for another. I mean, it might be a good trade in individual cases, but as a rule it seems unlikely.

  15. John

    Mother Nature and Reality have been holding a caucus for the past few years and they are the Third Party. They hold the most campaign cash, all the chits and are about ready to make their move. Not that they are against listening to the Dems, Rethugs, Wingnuts and even the progressive Leftists, to whom they might just say: “sorry Dudes, there’s always collateral damage”.
    Their program is about Global Warming, Oil Depletion, Overpopulation, Depleted resources, absurd Squandering and Peak Everything.
    They say: yes, it’s a shame about torture, non judicial assassination, not taking care of the sick and the poor, but that’s really your thing. We have a large agenda and it may just be time to shut the oxygen off to the human panic room.

  16. Tom Hickey

    Punch the hippies is part of the Dem Establishment strategy of triangulation. They think that is it necessary to diss the left to win the center, which they see as scared of the left. They also presume the left has no choice but to vote for them because the alternative is so horrible to contemplate.

    While DFH’s may hate it, that’s where they think they need to be to win, along with sucking up to big money for donations and serving their interests when elected. Welcome to Amerika. Join the underground economy if you haven’t already, or emigrate to somewhere sane.

  17. nihil obstet

    Democrats vs Republicans is the NFL for the audience. The players don’t care who they play for.

    For most members of Congress, it’s all about personal comfort. So, do the people you are around all the time flatter you? That’s the lobbyists, the big money people who have money to give you. If you’re for the ordinary person, you just don’t get it. It was the poor blacks who caused the economic meltdown by taking loans they couldn’t afford. It’s the teachers, particularly the teachers’ unions, who are failing our children. It was the unions with their legacy costs that brought down the auto companies. It’s the greedy old geezers who just won’t face the facts about retirement that are bankrupting our country. And so on. And every one of these statements has a selection of anecdotes as proof. I hang out with a liberal crowd, and am constantly amazed at how unthinkingly knee jerk the “Let’s be reasonable, every problem is the fault of immoral powerless people” thought process is. For your Congress person it’s got to be a hundred times more ingrained.

    Meanwhile, there are few election fears for the Congress. About 95% of Representatives and over 80% of Senators are reelected. This means that the legislators are quite comfortably ensconced as favored servants of the upper class, with all the illusions that courtiers live by. How many courtiers will inconvenience themselves for the field hands? How much do they worry about anyone else? I suspect it’s about as much as most Americans worry about the average Iraqi.

  18. tBoy

    I used to think that the Democratic cabal that is in DC now was simply incompetent, timid, and even cowardly. Then after watching the healthcare sellout very carefully it became obvious that they were simply getting bought off. One way or the other – bought and paid off.

    Then the BP blowout where the Dems spent more time and effort diminishing BPs liability than trying to ever determine the extent of the damage.

    If anyone is looking for a metaphor here it is – you know when the first sentence states that NOAA & BP have partnered to answer some eight graders’ questions that nothing good will follow. Here’s a quote to whet the appetite: “A rubber ducky also went into the spill, representing oiled birds.” *NOAA.Rubber.Ducky* All in the same place at the same time.

    Please read, retch, and pass on:

  19. ally's gift

    Exactly so, Ian and John. Rm 101 for sure. I’ll probably go to the polls out of habit, but it’ll be for the Greens, not Dems, for the first time in my life.

  20. Incompetent. Ideologically right wing, only moderately less right wing than the Republicans.

    Or, as I’m starting to think of them, the Other Party of Hoover.

    They might have saved themselves on the stimulus by insisting that they would revisit the issue of the economy every few months, and see if more stimulus was needed. That would have given a bit more hope to us pessimists, and would have laid the groundwork for some political recovery later. They didn’t even do that.

    They are useless, and we’ll be well rid of them.

  21. Raven writes:

    That said, the last time I heard about putting the Republicans in power because the Dems were almost as bad, we got Bush II. Let’s not go there again, hunh?

    We tried it your way in 2008, and got Bush III. In fact, it’s fair to say we’ve never really tried to just vote as a block for what we wanted. Nader received 2.7 percent of the popular vote, which, in the end, wasn’t even enough to swing Florida. Vote suppression and crappy ballots both contributed enough to W’s relative vote score to put him over the top in Florida. That 2.7 percent is about a tenth of progressives in this country, and not enough to matter in most political calculations.

    The Democrats are right, they can punch you folks, kick you, and then piss on you and tell you it’s raining, and you’ll keep coming back, because you’re always going to be more afraid of the Republicans than you are of them.

  22. Ian Welsh

    I think the Gore/Bush argument may well be wrong, anyway. Unless you think Dems would have won 20 years in a row, a Republican would have gotten in in 2004, and might very well have done the same things. Certainly, the patter of “let the Democrats clean up the balance sheet” then loot the hell out of it, would have occured. Republicans wanted a war against Iraq and the Neocons were well embedded, and the same people would have made the same decisions about torture etc… You have to argue that the next time a Republican got in charge, his apparatchniks would have been a totally different set of people.

    The election which really mattered was 2004, not least because it cemented right wing control of the supremes. 2008 was essentially irrelevant. On the key economic and civil rights policies Obama is Bush III.

  23. anon2525

    The election which really mattered was 2004…

    Um, so, if history were different, then history wouldn’t be different?

    I’m not sure that this is a worthwhile discussion since people can come up with any number of “this would have happened”, “that wouldn’t have happened” scenarios. For example,

    – If Gore is in office, following Clinton’s close attention to the attack on the U.S.S. Cole, etc., then does he take his eye off the ball, as bush/cheney did? And therefore are the 9/11/01 attacks prevented?

    – Without the attacks, the retaliation in Afghanistan never happens — hundreds of billions of dollars and countless lives saved. And there is no Guantanamo. And no revoking the right to appear in a court where evidence must be presented against you as reason for your imprisonment.

    – Without the attacks, there is no DowningStreet Memo and so on that leads to an assault on Iraq. There is no Cheney “stovepiping” of “intelligence.” No V/P feeding Judy Miller his paranoid theories. (Even cheney would not have been cheney had there been no attacks.) Trillions of dollars saved and hundreds of thousands of civilians not killed.

    – No bush/cheney means that there is no president/vp to push through a decade of tax cuts for the rich and no appointment of Bernanke to the economic council or as a successor to Greenspan. Gore is too much of a DLC-er to throw away the “balanced” budget that Clinton handed him.

    – Without the attacks, there is no patriot act and without the assault on Iraq there is no Abu Ghraib or kidnapping (“rendition”) and secret prisons and torture. And no revoking the 4th amendment.

    – With Gore in office, would the republicans bothered to pull their “medicare part D” stunt, where they twisted arms in the middle of an all night session to get their drug company patrons the hundreds of billions of dollars in profits, only to have Gore veto it?

  24. Ian, And war in Iran? And Sarah Palin becoming President? Really? And, you’re right, 2004 probably would have been very bad, even if Gore had become President. We are undertaking stopgap solutions, and we need to be organizing.

    cujo, if believing really hard would create a new party in the USA, it would have worked a long time ago. I do think we’re going to be creating a new party that in the next decade, but it will because it has become possible, not because the activist minority of the minority of activists has voted as a bloc.

  25. anon2525

    And a note on nomenclature: Obama is the third Bush term, but bush was — thanks to cheney/rumsfeld — the third Nixon term. Cheney was the last chance for that third term. We can see from Obama’s embrace of the clintonians, that — given a chance — people will come back into power to pick up where they left off. The longer they are kept out, the older they get and the less chance there is for them to do the damage that they’ll do with a “do over.”

  26. anon2525

    And, you’re right, 2004 probably would have been very bad, even if Gore had become President.

    No, he isn’t. What is right is that many things would have been different and that we wouldn’t know. What is right is that historical re-writing is silly.

  27. Bernard

    it is amazing to see so many “Democrats/liberals or non Republicans” lol, say the Republicans are so bad we can’t ever vote against Democrats. well. this tirade against Obama selling out the people who elected him is such sweet music. it means the left/DFHs have a lot of power if they stick to their beliefs.

    and that is what the Progressive need to be in order to have some input in the Corporate America we live in. i just don’t think there is much good to be done until the “fall/reconstruction” of America comes.

    for 40 odd years the Right/Republicans have used PR to “brainwash” those who felt threatened by the Rise of the Other. Blacks, Women, Latins, Gays. the Other has been the PR gambit that worked for over 40 years. Southern Whites, especially, learned to hate Blacks, Gays, Latins, Women as a “threat” to their America.

    if Progressive give up their anger and vote for Obama/Democrats that screw them time and time again, the Progressives deserve the tire tracks they choose to wear.

    one thing is sure though, the moderates will trust the Right before they trust the Left.
    Moderates are terrified of the Left. they have been told for so many years now to avoid the Left…. the left being gays, women, blacks, latins, now Muslims. the absurdity of the reality does nothing to assuage the fear the Right has used to control/scare the Moderates.

    living with Moderates, i can tell you they will NEVER trust the Left. NEVER.

    seeing Obama lose this election will be sweet. i won’t count my chicken until after the election.

    the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is the speed with which we drive off the cliff. the triangulation of the Democrats show how the lesser of two evils is still quite “EVIL.”

  28. Liz

    This whole fantasy of “The moderate dems will lose power and the republicans will eff it up and THEN we’ll win…” is as ridiculous as the parallel fantasy on the right of “We’ll give the rich people some MORE money and they’ll spend it and then it will all be ok…”

    We tried this already, remember Jimmy Carter? How did 20 the Reagan-Bush era work out for America? And then we almost had it fixed after Clinton, but Gore had to tack left… and what happened again? Remind me? Did the United States suddenly realize they really needed the Dems? Or did they just trudge along while everything got worse for the next eight years?

    The Republicans took power in the 1980s by following the OPPOSITE of this delusional fantasy. Because politics is football – it’s a game of inches. At the end of the day you push further and further until you’re in the end zone. This is NOT a good plan. It is a dumb plan. Please think about how this would work a little more before you work against your own interests.


  29. anon2525

    This whole fantasy of “The moderate dems will lose power and the republicans will eff it up and THEN we’ll win…”

    1) You might have that fantasy. I do not. I expect that there won’t be any substantial change in the way the country’s economic system is run until there is a crisis. And it is by no means certain that the response will make things better for us, so I am not looking forward to the crisis either.

    2) They are not “moderate.” They are neo-liberal. Effectively this means that they believe that the democratic majority should give up its say in how the economic system is run, and should cede that power to groups of minorities organized around dictatorships, which they give the innocuous sounding name “companies.” In other words, give the minorities/dictatorships the “liberty” to do whatever they think is best (for themselves), and this will result in an outcome that is better for us all. Or, more succinctly, “greed is good.”

    We tried this already, remember Jimmy Carter?

    Carter lost for two reasons, both of them were mostly bad timing (or there was a conspiracy, if you prefer).

    1) the Iran hostage crisis — This happened because of the Iranian revolution, which was the result of thirty years of imperialistic (or, as you would say, “moderate”) intervention in their country in which the u.s. imposed a “moderate” dictatorship, after overthrowing a democratically-elected gov’t.

    2) The doubling of oil prices by OPEC, which triggered a significant increase in inflation.

    Had neither of these events occurred in 1979, or if they had occurred much closer to, or after the election, then Carter might well have served two terms.

    Blaming Carter’s loss on the left has even less validity than some people’s claim that Nader was to blame for Gore’s “loss.”

    And then we almost had it fixed after Clinton

    – Clinton, among many other mistakes, signed laws that planted the seeds for the financial crisis, as he himself has admitted.

    … but Gore had to tack left

    1) Gore picked joe “fucking” lieberman as his v.p. and wouldn’t let clinton campaign for him. How is this “tacking” left?

    2) Gore got more than 500,000 votes more than bush. What scalia/thomas/oconnor/rhenquist/kennedy did was to interfere in the counting of votes in a federal election. They committed treason. bush/cheney was an illegitimate usurpation of power.

    Remind me? Did the United States suddenly realize they really needed the Dems? Or did they just trudge along while everything got worse for the next eight years?

    Reminding you: Starting in 2003, when no WMD were found, people who had supported bush started criticizing him. This continued through a series of crimes, disasters, fiascos, etc. Starting in 2004, they began voting out republicans and began working towards replacing the politicians with a group of people who said “yes, we can!” “change.” But it turned out that those people were lead by a liar, whom they have chosen to continue to follow.

    Because politics is football – it’s a game of inches.

    I don’t accept your metaphor, but even if I did, it would not matter. We’re past politics where we decide who will get this part or that part of the pie. The pie is in the process of being destroyed. See these posts, above:

  30. anon2525


    P.S., it is the DLC and the republicans that have been willing to trash the country. The left has been proposing policies that would help the country and the population. Perhaps you meant your “signed” to be included in a message to the DLC and the republicans.

  31. Of course, if the Tea Party wins the Congress in ’10 and the Preznitcy in ’12, it will be Blackwater/ Xe/ whatever they’re calling themselves “policing” the streets.

    You think hippie punching is bad when Joe Biden mocks you while he dumps on you? Just wait ’till the ‘Merikan Taliban starts knocking your teeth out. Literally.

    Anyone who refrains from voting DINOcrat to “get the rogues out” deserves what they get. Not that Big Picture policy-wise the DINOcrats’ll be much better than the Rethuglicans. But people are much less likely to get tazed to death. Literally. And I do realize we are getting the juice under they DINOcrats; it’s going to be that much worse with batshit crazy neo-nazis in charge.

    I am far more cynical than you, Ian. I think the people that own this country aren’t going to let it go. I think they think they have enough guns, and bravos, and non-lethal weapons, and disinformation mills, and control over every aspect of life to force what they want down your throat.

    Just let them get in power again. They’ll make Bu$hie look like Carter.

  32. Eureka Springs

    kelly. As someone who drove down to see the BP fiasco early on in LA myself, I can tell you what disturbed me more than the spill itself or the noxious air was the overwhelming armada of police, even military, as far into the middle of nowhere as you could drive in a day in any direction… All to protect corporations.

    This country is simply one giant criminal operation in a sea of bankruptcy, theft, lies, secrecy, even false wars,….. how anyone can waste time and energy defending a perpetrator of so much criminality (whether a D or R follows their name) is simply beyond me.

  33. Gleise 581g

    Just let them get in power again. They’ll make Bu$hie look like Carter.

    If one grants this as a premise, isn’t one forced to conclude that that the political system is now broken far, far beyond the capability of normal electoral politics to repair it?

  34. For years we have held our noses and voted for the lesser of two evils. How much lesser has it been? We have presidential power to declare war and commit troops with no input save from the arms merchants. We have presidential power to prevent fair trials and prevent evidence from being heard by the populace. We have presidential power to execute (also known as kill) citizens without charges filed or examined or legal representation. We have abandoned habeus corpus. We have presidential power to snoop in an unlimited way and to make privacy an antique notion, particularly at airports. We have abandoned principles of one man, one vote and included corporations as persons as defined by the Constitution. What is left??
    The invisible real rulers of this country may be beyond reach except in the case of total financial collapse, but the very least we can do is withhold our votes. Not by staying away from the polls, as that serves them very well, but by voting Green. We may be able to build a party with some integrity. We may not succeed, but we surely have not contributed to their ever rightward moves, and we may make them take an other-than -sneering look at the demands of the citizens.

  35. anon2525

    Just FYI, the link for Deb Shafto (‘electdebshaftoorg’) appears to be incorrect. The correct link is likely From her website I found that she is running as the Green Party candidate for governor in Texas.

    Thank you for running. I hope that you have good luck and lots of votes next month.

  36. marblex

    The elite are close to their goal now. They sold us Obama; they have infested the Democratic party with posers (you guys call them “Blue Dogs”) and whores who are quite happy doing the bidding of their corporate masters.

    FEINGOLD is in TROUBLE???? The one and only progressive in the Senate?

    Read the handwriting on the wall; Progressives have been SHUT OUT. And the elite have perverted progressivism as they perverted liberalism. It’s an ongoing propagandistic process and it doesn’t even matter if it actually works on all of us: It has the desired effect: it keeps us running.

    This year, we are fresh out of a strong progressive coalition. I am pretty much inclined to believe we’d be better to sit this one out and LET the crazies take over. Let’s face it — even with stunning majorities in both houses, the dems have managed to accomplish very little, and NONE of it progressive in the least.

    So let the crazies take control. You know it won’t and can’t last. All they can do ultimately is inspire true progressives to get off the dime and get truly organized. We will need to take control in exactly the way the GOP and their lunatic fringe have done: start locally and build upwards.

    This is a cycle. By 2020, with concerted efforts and direction, the dems/republicans can go the ways of the whigs and torys. And should. By then, the US should have had a rash of one term losers in the White House; a series of equally unimpressive, even if temporarily insane (a la McCarthy etc) congresses. The American people (those who haven’t left for greener, freer pastures elsewhere) will have had enough of the horrors of the global economy and will hunger for change.

    Obviously this is how Obama was packaged and sold. That is their one “fool me once.”

    We need to get serious about taking back control of OUR government and reinstating the Republic. Knee jerk running out to the polls to vote for the same sellouts or new, completely untested talkers and posers, solely for the sake of hanging on by our fingernails to a majority when in fact, that majority has failed to legislate and act like a majority at all and has cowed, cowtowed and been outfoxed by the minority at every turn is POINTLESS.

    Let it break. Let it break. We will rebuild it. But first, it has to break.

    I’m crying as I write this, but it’s time to let go. All things can be renewed but you can’t build new on the stench of a fetid, rotting corpse.

  37. Geraldo

    The problem with letting the crazies in is you guys have nukes and they really have hards-on for warfare. They are only too happy to start wars without really giving two shits about the consequences, just as they are only too happy to continue to add CO2 to the atmosphere while denying that global warming is a problem.

  38. marblex

    You think voting for the spineless, ineffectual dems is going to change that? If the ruling class decide to let the bombs fly there isn’t jack shit any of us could ever do to stop it.

    Wait and see.

  39. anon2525

    The problem with letting the crazies in is you guys have nukes and they really have hards-on for warfare.

    Perhaps this could be conveyed to the DLC, “blue dogs”, and left-wing republicans (oxymoron?). Perhaps they should reject their right-wing, neo-liberal/neo-con views and become more liberal. Otherwise, scary and awful things will happen.

  40. Tom Robinson

    Oh, I get it. We’ll form the New Democratic Party in the US, and never hold a majority ever. This is one crappy strategy you’re suggesting, IMHO.

    As usual, I don’t share your cynicism or your purity test on this, Ian. Democrats and Republicans are not alike — not by a long shot. Republicans would support an invasion of Iran, would set back gay rights all over again, and wreck the Supreme Court for the rest of the century. And they would dig an environmental hole that we might never emerge from.

    And, Marblex, if Feingold is the only progressive in the Senate, I guess I’m just another old sellout supporting Patty Murray to stop a spineless real estate fascist like Dino Rossi from representing Washington State in the Senate.

  41. anon2525

    As usual, I don’t share your cynicism or your purity test on this, Ian.

    Share his pragmatism. Left-wing solutions would actually solve problems instead of protecting the DLC/republican rentier-class. Write to your DLC/republican friends and make them aware of their pending losses for not moving to the left and of their failure to address the problems that the country faces. Point out to them that if they do not move to the left, then the scary right-wing crazy people might take over the country.

  42. Ian Welsh

    It’s not about purity, and if you think it is you have missed the point. As Anon points out, it’s about pragmatism. Whether you like winning elections or you want prosperity or you want freedom, doing the right thing matters.

    Having refused to be pragmatic for decades and driven the country into a ditch, maybe it’s time to try some pragmatism.

  43. Tom Robinson

    My point is that with Democrats in power, the [farther] left has a voice. With Republicans in power we are completely ignored.

    I write and I call my Democratic representatives when I see something stupid, like no single payer or a candy exec heading up ag research. That’s doing the right thing.

    Sitting out the election or allowing Republicans even another two years of one house, is not doing the right thing. That’s where I differ.

  44. Using a funny definition of pragmatism doesn’t make something pragmatic, especially not for voters who are confronted with a ballot.

  45. Ian Welsh

    The definition of pragmatic is “Pragmatic: the politics which led to the greatest economic crisis since World War II and to a decline in ordinary Americans wages are pragmatic and must be continued.”

    Okay, if that’s what you want. No skin off my nose.

  46. anon2525

    There’s also the definition of pragmatic: “Do not expect to have your interests represented in gov’t. unless you are paying to have your interests written into bills.”

    I mean, c’mon, be practical: Elections are for the little people; representation is for those who hire lobbyists to write the bills.

  47. So, Ian, I probably don’t need to tell you that “pragmatic” in any sense is entirely relative to who you are. Or, I didn’t think anyone would need to tell you that, but now I’m not so sure, since you’re conflating “pragmatic” as it applies to elected politicians with “pragmatic” as it applies to voters and to grassroots activists. But they’re obviously really different things, and it seems like you are applying the former to advise the latter…

    Let’s take a step back and examine the facts of the case:

    1. We know that most elected Democratic Party politicians with any real access to power are (and have been for decades) right-wing chundernozzles of the first order in the manner that they have acted and continue to act.

    2. We are currently observing that the well of crazy from which the Republican Party has to draw is quite a bit deeper than some liberals were once willing to believe. It seems to have surprised some people to the point of stunning them into incredulity and/or denial.

    3. We know that most mainstream media outlets—the ones that most people listen to or read (ie not liberal blogs)—are staffed, controlled, and funded by every manner of crook, blowhard, charlatan, and liar.

    As far as I can tell, Ian, you are proposing (or are about to propose?) that voters with leftist consciences should therefore respond to the above by not voting and taking responsibility for what will be, in real terms, a relatively mild bout of Democratic electoral dyspepsia—yes, even losing the House—something that in the long run won’t hurt the personal fortunes or well-being of any elected Democrat.

    Aaaannd…this will result in…? I mean, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to know.

    Now, the only thing even close to an answer I’ve heard from you is a reference to a game-theoretic negotiation model set in a surprisingly narrow universe of actors and incentives. Hrm. Rather oddly reminiscent of the tidy rational actor stories used by economists, don’t you think? And we all know how that turned out.

    The only thread I can see to pull in all of this is the bottomless well of Republican crazy part. And that, unfortunately, requires not allowing them to have a perceived victory/taste blood. But since saying this is apparently nothing but a manifestation of creative class sneering at the authentic moment of Tea Party populism and therefore inadmissible, I guess it’s time to build the blogging compound after all.

  48. Pesto

    Aaaannd…this will result in…? I mean, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to know.

    Democrats learning they can’t move forever to the right, confident of their left flank’s unlimited tolerance.

    Ian’s only said so about…oh…two dozen times, so it’s not surprising that it slipped your notice.

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