Fire In The Belly – Pt 3: Progressives & The Democratic Party

(6 PM – promoted by TheMomCat)

Journalism professor Jeff Cohen of FAIR and the Park Center for Independent Media on the struggle within the Democratic Party, starting from the Viet Nam War:

There’s no doubt that there’s an awakening. What concerns me is that the liberal base, the Democratic Party base, has never been more educated, in my view, and that’s because of the independent media. The democratic base is against an imperial foreign policy. The democratic base is for real medicare for all, or at least the strongest public option that would really hurt private insurance. There’s an understanding of history, and again it’s largely because the independent media is giving us the news in real time, every day when we click on the computer and we watch Real News, we watch Democracy Now.

What hasn’t translated is while we have this boom in independent media on the Internet, we don’t have a boom of independent politics.

What I believe are needed are new groups, that will be on the Internet, mobilizing the millions to make the kinds of demands of the Democrats that the right wing base, which has clearly transformed the country, the right wing base in the Republican Party not only took over a major party, they haven’t let up on that party until their agenda is put in place, whereas on our side we don’t have that.

What needs to happen, this is what a few groups are doing, Progressive Democrats of America is one, the idea is we need to take over that major political party.

When people talk about change, and then they deliver only for insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street, you vote them out. You primary them. You know this is what the right wing has done for decades. It’s what they’re doing now.

What we get from MoveOn historically and other groups is apologies for democratic office holders who have faked left with their rhetoric and then governed for big business. And what we need is to primary these people.

Frankly… I would love to see a primary challenge to Obama when he’s up for re-election.

Because unless you build a base through elections and then you hold the officials accountable, then you’ll never get anywhere.

Real News Network – February 6, 2010

This is Part 3. Part 1 of this interview is here. Part 2 is here.

Part 4 is still to come…


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    • Edger on February 6, 2010 at 15:24

    we need to take over that major political party

  1. if the orange is dead when it comes to real organizing, then does DD or some collection of other blogs come to the fore?

    if you cross post, then i go there to rec and comment.  i’m not against that, i just don’t understand what the ultimate result of such a strategy would be.

  2. . . . and a third-party challenge if the primary challenge doesn’t work.  One way or the other, the Democratic Party has to become as scared to death of us as it is of the Republicans.  Or, rather, more scared of us.  It has to be so scared of us that it not only talks left but governs left–as my congress critter, Jane Harman (CA-36), does sometimes–in seasons (as now) when she’s facing a strong primary challenge from real Democrat Marcy Winograd.  They should all be facing primary challenges all the time.

    • RUKind on February 7, 2010 at 02:00

    For the same fucking reason.  Came pretty close, too. Unfortunately, the corporations had their way. The good news is go back and look up Teddy’s numbers. The people who voted for him in 1980 are a natural part of a newly organized Progressive base.… (from American Rhetoric Top 100 Speeches

    Take a few minutes to listen to it. Full transcript included.

    A bit ironic that the TPP is showing us the way.

    • Big Tex on February 7, 2010 at 03:36

    from progressives on the Democratic Party from both inside and outside of the party.  The teabaggers seem to understand this, because they’re putting pressure in the other direction on the Republicans and the Republicans are responding to that pressure.

  3. huh … what is this f’king idiot saying?

    Only Vote FOR People!

    do NOT vote for people you don’t like,

    (vote for yourself!)

    do NOT vote for people who sell you out,

    (vote for your granny!)

    do NOT vote for people who are ineffective,

    (vote for your neighbor!)

    do NOT vote for people who lie to you,

    (vote for your daughter!)


    BTW –

    Only give time, money, or a mix of each

    to people you’d vote FOR!

    the schumers? dodds? clintons? kerrys? murrays? cantwells?

    fuck ’em – do NOT vote FOR them! ta da!  

    they want to persue and appease a phake right wing defined ‘middle’ of 8 or 12% of the people who are overwhelmed with slick marketing slogans, or who are wannabee storm troopers – go right ahead.

    WE pissy moany whimpy snivelly “progressives” do NOT make people pay for shitting on us, so, they shit on us.

    in a child care center, you’d better be loved instead of feared.

    in big money politics, you’d better be feared over being loved.  (see The Prince.)

    make the liars and losers pay, and they’ll either quit being liars and losers, or, you’ll replace them.

    DC is filled with selfish brats, but, it ain’t childcare.


  4. … but Jeff Cohen lays out some really good stuff, some heavy stuff, things we can build with.  So I read this thread and it’s still got a lot of general cheerleading, you tell ’em, Cohen, them Democrats sure are bad.

    But the normal course for progress would be to go from the general (Cohen) to the specific, take pieces of what he says and WORK with them.  There is a rampant pathology here.

    He notes that the left is extremely well-educated, knows its history and all, and points out the contradiction between its seeming sophistication and its utter impotence.


    He talks about primarying Obama and all the rest of the bastards.


    We cheer Cohen on yet embody the very pathology he exposes.


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