Actually, Yes – I Do Want the Republicans to Win

We’ve tried plan B. That was the elite blogger pipe dream about electing better Democrats. That plan failed because there is no criteria for determining, especially in this Vaudeville act we call American elections, who is really better.

When it is the system itself that corrupts, it really doesn’t matter who you elect. Does it?

So plan B has failed. Got that? It failed. It will continue to fail. No criteria. No money to compete with those who purchase our politicians daily. No money or system to organize a counter-offensive to those who buy our politicians.

Did you read the New Yorker piece on the Koch brothers? The part about them alone spending more than 100 million dollars to shape American politics? That’s just two people. There are thousands of them. Not all on their scale of course. But the money is ridiculous.

We are not going to buy our government back. We can’t afford it.

So before we talk about plan C, can we at least have the fortitude to admit that plan B has failed? That we cannot elect “better Democrats” because even if they are saints, the system will not allow their sainthood?

One of the super big arguments the Democratic loyalists love to spit out is that Republicans are so much worse. To that I say prove it.

We just had two big election that changed parties and what do we have to show for it?

  • The same national security state inc. that was in power under Bush is still in power.
  • The same corrupt economic establishment that was in power under Bush is in power now.
  • The same entrenched corporate interests are still corrupting the very regulatory agencies assigned to police those interests.
  • The same judicial establishment, from all the same Ivy League law schools that was in power under Bush is still in power now.

    The only thing that has substantially changed with Obama and the Democratic Congress is the label. It’s as though they removed the Pepsi label and just stuck on a Coke label. It’s still, fundamentally, the exact same carbonated syrup beverage.

    Yes, I know there are some issues that the Dems are clearly better on. But those issues never have anything to do with money. Supporting civil rights doesn’t hurt Goldman Sachs’ bottom line. Does it?

    The Democratic loyalists love to use the word purity. This devious little term has two connotations. One, that our expectations are arbitrarily preferential – as though we are choosing one brand of biscuit over another. And two, that they are unrealistically high.

    But the reality is that we are at a crossing point. As David Degraw writes in “15 Signs American Society Is Coming Apart at the Seams“:

    The economic elite have launched an attack on the U.S. public and society is unraveling at an increased rate.

    There is no other way to put it. We are under attack. They are looting the people’s real wealth. They are sabotaging our environment and looting our resources. They have engaged in information warfare to manipulate public opinion. They are setting up a mass surveillance state using telecommunications technology and the internet. They have even taken over our most sacred democratic instrument: the ballot box.

    The Democratic party is complicit in all of this.

    They are now implementing so-called austerity measures in the US that the IMF and World Bank have been imposing on poor third world countries for decades.

    They have manuals for how to deal with the aftermath of austerity measures. It involves a massive police state. Mass cages. Mass propaganda.

    But it can’t happen here? Please. It is all around you. The public (now there’s a quaint word) coffers are being bled dry.

    They will not stop until we are a fully corporate controlled state.

    And the new Democratic president, with the ephemeral Democratic majorities in both houses have not slowed the corporatists advances one bit. To the contrary, they have accelerated those advances. The banks are more powerful now than they were before Obama took office. They are tightening the net. We are losing our democracy and our country, without a shot being fired.

    Now, I believe that when Republicans run for office, they should have to do so under the Republican banner. Continuing to allow Republicans to run as Democrats, and have all the so-called progressives rush out every election cycle to support them, is not only a mistake, it is catastrophic.

    And that is exactly what we’ve been doing. Electing Republicans under the Democratic label. This has two effects. It weakens the electorate by denying us real electoral options. And it dilutes the Democratic brand, making whatever is left of the ideological correlation between the Democratic party and progressive policy prescriptions nonexistent.

    In other words, it has rendered the Democrats as empty shells who believe nothing, and stand for nothing.

    The people, want a choice. The people, want an alternative to right wing corporatist economic insanity. The corporate controlled media does a damn good job of concealing this fact. But despite all their billions of dollars in public relations operation and countless media outless that the real left could only dream of, THE PEOPLE still want a government that will protect them, their jobs, their economic security and their communities.

    With both major political parties fully captured by the Amerika Inc., the people don’t have that choice.

    Now I have exhausted the “lesser of two evils” argument for many years now. People always fall back on, “but think how bad it will be under Sarah Palin, as though she has a chance in hell of reaching the White House (they like ’em dumb, but not that dumb).

    The perspective people should be looking through is that of the corporatist elites pulling the strings. Why do they need Democrats to win occasionally? What purpose does that serve?

    The purpose of the Democratic party, from the view of the ruling class, is to manage leftist discontent. That is why they backed Barack Obama and ALLOWED him to win. They needed someone to stop the tide of unrest and discontent that was reaching explosive levels in the fall of 2008. Obama rode that tide to the White House and then promptly killed it.

    The role of the Republicans, specifically the radical right like Beck and Palin, is to move the line of acceptable discourse so far to the right, that you have to sprain your neck to see the center. It’s called the Overton Window which is, coincidentally, the title of Glenn Beck’s #1 NY Times bestselling novel.

    Will some please tell me that you know you’re being played? Anyone? And I don’t just mean recognize that the Democrats are corporatist too, but actually grasp what the fuck I’m talking about here. That it’s all a charade?

    By all means. Rush out and vote Democrat. But all you’re doing is supporting the very system that is destroying your future. Talk about right wingers voting against their own interests.

    So what is plan C? Recently, it was stated that your vote is the only power you have left. In fact, it is precisely the opposite. The only power you have left is your willingness to not vote. Or, at least not vote for either of the two major parties.

    I will write in my dog’s name before I vote for another Republican disguised as a Democrat so that he or she may validate and provide cover for the continuous attack on my country.

    I will do everything in my power to deny Amerika Inc. its best weapon yet at weakening and silencing the real left in this country. No more.

    I fear for my life. I mostly fear for the lives of my children. I have little confidence that we can defeat this multi-billion dollar attack machine that has been assembled by psychopathic billionaires and their countless servants. They have done a smash-up job of rigging the game. I am in awe of it constantly. But I know my history.

    Every major shift to the left in the last century has resulted not from incremental steps by a compromised leftish party (much less a captured one).

    It has resulted from the excesses of those in power who just can’t stop themselves from taking so much that the people revolt.

    God help us. And Bill Gates owns a big piece of Monsanto now.

    So, when all is said and done, if I have to choose between a Republican winning an election, or a Republican disguised as a Democrat winning, I would much rather have the Republican. At least then we know what we’re dealing with.


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      • Edger on September 2, 2010 at 23:40

      You are being played again.

      They are counting on getting your vote by default, because they know that people are afraid that if they DON’T vote Democratic EVEN if the Democrats will not end the occupation they will end up with the rethugs back in power.

      Remember all the fearmongering that Bushco did? The Democrats are now using it against you.

      Cheerful prospect, hmmm?

      Think it through. Don’t vote out of fear. You have the power and the dems know you have the power. So they fearmonger.

      The only hope you reading this have, the only hope any of us have, is to threaten the Democrats with loss of support if they will not use the power they have to stop funding the Iraq occupation and force a COMPLETE withdrawal. Otherwise settle in for a never ending occupation if Iraq while you watch the death tolls grow.

      George W. Obama? Or Hillary R. Bush?, July 24, 2007

    1. of real 3rd party Congress Critters could bring back the power of the people.

      Think about it… Five(5) third party Senators, a couple dozen Reps and we can seize this thing back.  

    2. as it stands right now, is to bring the system down (preferably in a Constitutional manner).  The system we have to bring down, Capitalism, has already failed for most of us (one could argue it’s working perfectly well as the rich are dominating us as never before).  Boycotts are fine, as far as they go, but they don’t go nearly far enough.  A general strik would be fine, and has been discussed here, but the key is to cut the bosses’ supply of money.  The way to do that is to strike in key (if not all or most) sectors of the economy.  In addition, hold the bosses up to ridicule.  Make it clear to those workers who aren’t politically and economically savy enough to understand that they’re being played (exploited, etc.) that this is exactly what’s happeneing to them.  Educate the workers.  Educate your drinking buddies, womens’ groups, library groups, etc.  

      It’s time to actually start agitating.

    3. The corporate state was given the green light by the supreme court, and its marriage to the military has now been cemented by the Bush/Obama imprimatur. His speech last night said it all. And the new number 60 in the Senate cripples any attempt for even mildly progressive legislation.

      The Post FDR Democratic Party is dead. Labor has been crushed, and with Obama, like LBJ, the Party has taken on another friggin war of absolute stupidity. I even hear that they’re going to continue the Bush tax break so the billionaires don’t revolt.

      I predict a horrible Democratic turnout, simply for the reason that the pulse of the Democratic party has stopped.

      No reason to vote for a corpse.

    4. … want the Republicans to win.

      But I am rec’ing this essay because I strongly believe the Dem party response against those who don’t toe the line either politically or rhetorically is dangerously in need of rebuttal.

      I don’t want the Republicans to win.  I don’t think their winning will accomplish some miracle of the left rejuvenating itself and rising from the ashes.

      I wish I did believe that.  But I don’t.

    5. So no one can mistake it as the position of this blog.

      It is a decent intellectual political argument, but other than that it is nihilistic, egotistical, unempathic bullshit, and pure wankery.

    6. The most radical antiwar candidate in the US is not Dennis Kucinich or Rand or Ron Paul or any of the usual suspects.  It’s a 42-year-old Vermonter named Dennis Steele, who is running for governor of his state as an open secessionist.  From what I can tell, Steele is just an average dude.  He wears Carhartts and a baseball cap and drives a pickup truck and lives with his wife and two kids in a little Vermont village called Kirby (pop. 500), off in the wild hills of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.   On occasion, he feeds his family by hunting deer and butchering the meat himself.   He served three years in the US Army – working for “the Empire,” as he puts it – and he tells me his main reason for running is that he doesn’t want his kids serving in the Army.  Or any other branch of the Empire.   He wants the Empire to drop dead.   And he thinks the best way to start that process is by getting Vermont to secede from the union.  Destroy the empire by undermining it from within.  That’s the goal.


      Unsurprising that Steele, who views Sanders and Leahy as “collaborationist,” is shut out from the debates about the political future of Vermont.  Still, he’s not so lone a voice as might be expected.  His running mate, for the position of lieutenant governor, is an ex-Subaru salesman named Peter Garritano, who keeps it short and simple in his campaign statement: “I do not want my tax dollars,” says Garritano, “being used for war and killing.”  Seven other secessionist candidates are contending for seats in the state legislature (these include a consultant to Oracle, a former U.S. Army lieutenant, and an executive from one of the largest solar energy companies in the Northeast).  A professor emeritus of economics from Duke University, Thomas Naylor, 74, a Southerner by birth and a bombthrowing contrarian by nature, is the white-haired intellectual voice of the movement, founder of the thinktank Second Vermont Republic (the name is homage to the fact that there was a first Vermont republic, founded in 1777 as an independent nation and enduring for 14 years, until 1791).   The secessionists have partnered with a successful publishing base, the Chelsea Green Publishing Company – the company’s founder, Ian Baldwin, is a raging secessionist – and they have a bi-monthly newspaper, Vermont Commons: Voices of Independence, with a circulation of 11,000, the latest issue of which features on its cover a pig attempting to fornicate with a sheep (the caption reading “Wall Street Hog Jumping Main Street Sheep”).   They even have their own silver “independence coin.”  And they have a surprising degree of support from the street: when last polled on the matter of secession, in 2007, 13 percent of Vermont voters were for it.

    7. the endless wars, the agribusiness clusterfuck, the wall st. pandering to kill the middle class, the attempt to gut social security, the health care fail, the failure to secure equal rights for women, muslims, lgbt and the list goes on….

      the gov’t is now a complete failure. no amount of voting in better dems is gonna change any of it. it is true…they are a parliament of whores. simple really. k street owns.

      What the Vermonter secesh present is something altogether more serious, a new paradigm in American politics: the rise of a left-wing populist peacenik secessionist movement, a leftism that rejects big government, that seeks not a take-over of the federal center but an end to centralized power altogether.  Call it a kind of Green Tea Party, shorn of the gun fetishism, the blind rage, the know-nothingism.  Or call it the thinking man’s secession, arising as a reasonable answer to the cold facts of our national impasse.  What’s gone wrong with the US government, argue the Vermonters, is that it has been totally captured by the corporatocracy, corrupted to the core, a lost cause, unreformable.  Its laws are written by and for the rich and the powerful, whose predatory business models – Walmart, Monsanto, Goldman Sachs et al – operate against the interests of average Vermonters.  It blows Vermont’s precious tax dollars in bailing out insolvent banks and piratical financiers, bombing children in Pakistan, kidnapping and torturing foreigners, slapping military bases on every continent (over a thousand of them across 153 countries), etc. etc. ad nauseum.  The Vermonter secesh see no good future for the US.  Instead, the country will likely flush itself down the toilet of its own corruption and hubris – ruined by unsustainable debt, unwinnable wars, military overstretch, pathologic dependence on cheap oil.

      • Diane G on September 3, 2010 at 02:22
    8. My summation of it all is that the system is broken, and that the oligarchs know it, and rather than trying to fix it for the next generation of oligarch progeny, they’re simply using the brokenness to plunder the remaining wealth, private and public, white collar looter rampaging in the suites.  The political system excludes from participation and consideration those forces and ideas that might have fixed things before the failure became irreversible.  I believe that the events of September, October and November 2008 were the ones by which we crossed the line into irreversibility.

      I hate seeing people putting so much time and energy and money and resources, and passion and emotional commitment into their efforts to work within the system, or fix the system.  First I hate it because I always hate seeing people waste the best of themselves, their best selves, in fruitless pursuits; secondly because it is precisely those resources, those energies, those passionate commitments that we need to begin building the successor system within the shell of the old, and I’m afraid that once they exhaust themselves on their fruitless pursuits, very few will have anything other than bitterness and cynicism, useless for a project of renewal, and antithetical to the idealism that making something akin to a social revolution will require.

    9. whether the Republicans or Democrats ‘win’.

      Nothing will change either way.  

    10. But your conclusion is that you want the Republicans to win.

      I’m afraid that doesn’t make much sense to me.

      IMO, the only logical conclusion is to support the primacy of neither the Republican nor Democratic party. Stop shivering in fear about Republicans winning, but don’t support Democrats just because they’re not Republicans, either.

      Regarding fear of Republican dominance: if you’re progressive, you should be looking to throw some Democrats under the bus. And then having a public victory celebration when that happens.

      Over the last few years, I’ve posted a few times about the success of a political game theorist named de Mesquita, and asked/suggested that progressives hire somebody like him. Nobody has ever said “yeah, that’s a great idea”, or something similar, except for Nathan Aschacher (who posts at FireDogLake)*. Not coincidentally, I’m sure, Aschbacher has actually studied political game theory.

      I’m sorry to say so, but progressives may be in such a sorry mess because they’re too stupid to have done better. They’re ‘thinking’ tends towards the tribalistic, and as the Democratic tribe and the Republican tribe are the dominant tribes, as they come to realize that neither tribe’s leaders is friendly to their interests, they tend to spout nonsense. In general, they don’t seem to be able to map out anything like a long term strategy that has no emotional attachment to the ‘Democratic’ label.

      So yes, Virginia, tribalistic ‘thinking’ afflicts progressives, just as surely as it afflicts D-bots and R-bots. The manifestation of it is somewhat different, but it’s limitations are, to me, just as obvious. Progressive are happy to spend years agonizing over how bad things are, how evil those big bad Republicans are, and (nowadays) how evil those slick Democrats are. But where is their long term plan for changing this? One that doesn’t think in terms of just the next election cycle or two? If there’s any thought given to this, at all, it’s usually in the form of what I’ll call a Magical Consciousness Raising theory. “Raising consciousness” has worked, at times. Overall, though, it’s seems a massive fail over the last 30 years. I mean, what life-sustaining activism has worked, over the last 30 years, except in spots here and there?

      I would suggest that people who have lost all hope for a way out of this mess listen to Gary Null’s political commentaries for inspiration. While he also seems too invested, emotionally, against both D’s and R’s, at least he can passionately argue for overcoming this mess.

      I wish he were more interested in the opportunities for facilitating change that are sort of unique to him and the Progressive Radio Network. I even wrote a sort of high level manual, of about 70 pages, on how to go about this, and personally delivered it to his office. But, he is what he is. Maybe he’ll get it, later on.

      * If I recall correctly, I said that corporations and especially lobbying firms probably hire political game theorists, and Nathan said that “they’d be stupid if they didn’t”.

    11. is my voting preference. I think the only change were going to get will come from the too big to fail, failing. Gravity alone will bring it down. In my life? Who knows. I do agree that supporting the one party and it is just one, is an exercise in futility it keeps the lie alive. People will get to the same point they did with the bushies, as oligarchy, the corporate state by it’s nature goes to far.

      Bait and switch, works because people believe in the bait. They accepted the deal based on hope, and ponied up their votes for change. Fear of bogeymen be they terrorist’s, right wing lunatics, or falling bankster’s can’t hold a populace together when the reality they live in becomes this intolerable. The shock doctrine stops being effective if the shock/fear wears off. Reality cannot be disguised when a government goes austerity, and tries to scare you into accepting this as the way things are, better then or inevitable.          

      A pew poll said that 70% of the country thinks the TV news is bs. That gives me hope. Like buhdy I will play it as it lays as the future is if nothing else is up for grabs. It is not static and the oligarch/corporate/military/big nastiness cannot sustain consent when it becomes scarier then the bogeymen it congers up. Personally I want the whole centralized federal government to fall apart it’s just too big and if it broke apart into bio-regions Cascadia would be a good place to live.

      I am putting my political energy into local, community and state. On this level people can affect the future and the present. I am still a registered Democrat because primaries even on a state level along with local ballot measures are the only place your vote can make a difference. I’m lucky my district is radically liberal and is building a sustainable community. Political parties are a means to an end and if I find a vehicle that can get us to different end I’ll use it. The Republican’s winning seems to me to be a road that we already went down, and it did not end well. The Democrat’s are a devil I know and understand better so I’d rather deal with them knowing full well that they are the same poisonous concoction with a different label.            


    12. There has not yet the year round work required to elect “better Democrats”.

      Sure, there’s been a lot of idle chatter by internet conversation junkies, and sporadic, unorganized, individual efforts to elect “better Democrats” … but no, we have not tried “Plan B” yet.

      And as far as the clever suggestion that the best way to fight those pouring billions of dollars into the system is to behave precisely as they wish us to behave … I do not believe that the habit of behaving the way that the rich and powerful wish us to behave for whatever clever reason is a habit we will be able to quickly abandon in unison when “its time” to take action.

      The habits of working together and fighting together are far more likely to lead to the capacity to act together when “its time”.

    13. Maybe it is because I believe that the only real solution to our problem is the French solution — selected guillotineing of the rich.  Until we take them out, I don’t see anything much changing.  And I don’t see that happening.

      State session will not solve the basic problem of corporate greed run a muck. Neither will third parties. Neither will a revolution that pits some of the poor against the remaining poor.  I see the taking of rich heads as the only solution.  And we are far from that ever happening because the rich control the media who tell most of America the problem is something else.  Most of America is just too dumb to figure it out.  The rest are too scared to do anything.

      So until then, I will take Democrats over Republicans because they are corporate whore lite which is more tolerable than corporate whore heavy.  I would rather live in a state of  severe disappointment (Obama) than in a state of being totally pissed off all the time (Bush).

      • sharon on September 4, 2010 at 06:20

      i am so tired of fighting with “democrats” who are unwilling to think beyond a label that has essentially become meaningless.  i won’t go so far as to vote for a republican, but i know my rep will win the district and he’s one of the better guys (nadler), but i won’t lift a finger to support him or another lackluster “democrat”.  just can’t.

      maybe if the republicans win, we’ll all fight together again on the left and, while this may get me into trouble, chances are we the people will find comradery with the disgruntled on the right who realize having repugs in office isn’t serving them all that well after all.  

      this is possibly the most depressing time i have lived through.  that it comes as the result of a historic democratic presidency used to make me feel furious.  now it just makes me feel ill.

    14. Does anyone seriously believe that the Democrats, except for the few who haven’t completely sold their collective souls to their would-be corporate masters, care if they remain the majority party?  

      Think getting voted out of office is a problem? Let’s see, the retirement benefits for ex-congressperson’s is pretty generous, and then, as long as they have faithfully carried the water for Big Money, they will land lucrative board and lobbying positions, not just for themselves, but for family members and friends as well.  

      On the other hand, I’m not sure that Big Money would be rushing to pay off the likes of Bernie Sanders.

      Actually, letting the Republicans take control would allow them to solidify the vise-grip around the throats of the middle class, perhaps to the point that it could not be reversed by non-violent means. And, do you really think your handguns will frighten the Blackwater commando types when they approach your home with their Blackhawk helicopter gunships?  

      Life for surviving Dems wouldn’t be that bad either. Whatever pressure exists for them to act like true Democrats will change completely, now that they don’t have the votes to actually inflict any damage on the rich and powerful. They can return to acting like progressives, knowing that they won’t have sufficient votes to upset their benefactors, with a wink and a nod.

      Anyone ever wonder why the Dems don’t seem to care?  Maybe it’s because win or lose, current Dems in Congress, with few exceptions, win either way.  

      We still face an uphill battle even if the Dems retain majorities in both houses, an extreme unlikely outcome. But at least a few of them may listen to us, but they have to be in office to do anything. If you let the Republicans take over, try calling them when you want them to support a position and see if you even receive any response whatsoever.

      How anyone can think that life under another Bush-Cheney-like regime will be a good thing is completely beyond me.  Once this false start for the Dems runs its course, which will likely happen in November when droves of former Dem voters commit hari-kiri by either sitting on their hands or not voting on election day. By doing so, they will be voluntarily surrendering whatever power they may have to the Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann types, and worse yet, will have no one to blame but themselves.

      Bush-Cheney on steroids?  No thanks.

    15. …FWIW..

      Another day, another disappointment for progressive Democrats. We learn from former auto-industry car czar Steve Rattner that Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said “Fuck the UAW” during tough takeover talks – just like he called progressives “fucking retarded” for contemplating primary challenges against conservative Democrats.

      Credit:  Joan Walsh article in Salon.

      Knock knock!

      Who’s there?

      Fucking retarded, Fucking United Auto Workers..

      Does anybody care?

      Yes WE care,

      And we will take this monstrous system DOWN!

    16. Many of us are rightfully furious with the Democrats, but how can we reasonably anticipate a better outcome if the Republicans are returned to complete domination of Congress?

      Have many of us already forgotten what life was like under Republican rule?  

      Those would would wish a return to absolute Republican rule are not unlike those who would have voted for Hoover in 1932.

    17. Hear me out. The regular folks in the Tea Party are worried about the same stuff we are- jobs, kids, medical care, their parents, their communities. Because of their socio-economic/religious backgrounds the answers they orient to are different from the ones we do, and they in general have not recognized the Oligarchy- the combo of gummint and corporations. To them the government and corporations are separate, gov’t is bad/corrupt but corporations/free market myth is good.

      Now, I am not talking about the folks busily co-opting the tea party to their own nefarious ends, I am talking about regular folks. Until us regular folks and those regular folks recognize that we have more in common under the oligarchy than we have separation, nothing will truly change.

      So the idea of the republicans being in charge has merit- only when the republicans truly screw the pooch will people be forced to open their eyes. All evidence suggests hey won’t hear it from us, because we are still “the enemy.” Their side has to be clearly guilty for the scales to fall from their eyes.

      The fact is that the oligarchy is riding a dangerous edge, because the shift in perception and understanding that would bring regular folks together and unite us against TPTB is a small one. There is already massive discontent, and it is only through maintaining the false dichotomy of left/right politics that the house of cards does not tumble. Because when it tumbles, it is the violent wing of the tea party that will haul out the guillotines and go after the rich.

      It will be a few years before this necessary shift can occur, I’d guess somewhere in the 2012 – 2015 range.

      • mplo on September 10, 2010 at 21:14

      the only good thing about having the Republicans in office was the fact that we were all united in the fight against a common enemy.  That doesn’t seem to be happening now, since Obama’s election as POTUs.  

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