Sep 15 2011
On the Open Salon version of my previous entry, some right-winger who supports Obama kept trying to lay the blame for next year’s results on the left for failing to properly support the candidate who has done far more to pass the Republicans’ agenda than any GOP office-holder could have.
I am about certain Obama will be a one term president–and that one of the Republican clowns will win in 2012.
Most of the blame for that will fall with the unrealistic expectations and shortsightedness of people devoted to a progressive agenda.
Sep 09 2011
So now we’ve heard Barry’s big “jobs speech” and it turns out to be the exact opposite of what is needed to rescue the crumbling nation. No surprise there.
Obama’s so-called “jobs plan” is huge cuts in the payroll tax that are designed to manufacture a real future shortfall in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which will then be used as the rationale for imposing deep cuts on, or even the elimination of, all three programs. Corporate tax cuts will drain even more revenue from the treasury, which will make extending unemployment insurance for the unemployed who currently qualify, not to mention infrastructure repair, highly unlikely.
Sep 05 2011
Salon.com has a piece up urging Democrats to dump Obama and go with a candidate who will restore their party to its New Deal era politics. According to the column by Matt Stoller, there are a number of reasons why they should, including:
If would be one thing if Obama were failing because he was too close to party orthodoxy. Yet his failures have come precisely because Obama has not listened to Democratic Party voters. He continued idiotic wars, bailed out banks, ignored luminaries like Paul Krugman, and generally did whatever he could to repudiate the New Deal. The Democratic Party should be the party of pay raises and homes, but under Obama it has become the party of pay cuts and foreclosures. Getting rid of Obama as the head of the party is the first step in reverting to form.
This is an institutional crisis for Democrats. The groups that fund and organize the party — an uneasy alliance of financiers, conservative technology interests, the telecommunications industry, healthcare industries, labor unions, feminists, elite foundations, African-American church networks, academic elites, liberals at groups like MoveOn, the ACLU and the blogosphere — are frustrated, but not one of them has broken from the pack. In remaining silent, they give their assent to the right-wing policy framework that first George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama, cemented in place. It will be nearly impossible to dislodge such a framework without starting within the Democratic Party itself.
In other words, party inflexibility has a price. If the economy worsens going into the fall, and the president continues as he has to attempt to cut Social Security, Democrats might be facing a Carter-Reagan scenario. Reagan, at first considered a lightweight candidate, ended up winning a landslide victory that devastated the Democratic Party in 1980. Carter wasn’t the only loss; many significant liberal senators, such as George McGovern, John Culver and Birch Bayh, fell that year.
Stoller nails it by pointing out the extreme inflexibility inherent in the Democrat Party today. Its leaders have decided that they want it to be the party of Big Business, and they don’t care what base voters think – so long as the Republicans are content to be the party of overt extremists, as opposed to the Democrats’ “covert” extremism, they reason, voters will at the end of the electoral season either shut up and vote for them anyway or else not vote at all. Either way, that suits Democrat Party leaders just fine, wanting all the perks of power but none of the responsibility. Stoller continues toward the end of his column by writing:
Obama has basically endorsed every major plank of George Bush’s administration, yet Democrats still grant their approval. What we’re finding out is that Obama’s pathologically pro-establishment and conflict-averse DNA was funded by party insiders and embraced by liberal constituency groups in 2008 for a reason.
Political parties need to be flexible enough to allow for new ideas to come into the process, or else third parties or civil disorder are inevitable. All it would take to provide this flexibility are well-known Democratic elders who understand that rank and file Democrats deserve a choice, and a few political insiders who realize that they can increase their own power by encouraging a robust debate. I don’t think this will happen.
Stoller rightly points out that the disastrous presidency of Grover Cleveland necessitated the removal of him as the Democrats’ candidate in 1896 in favor of William Jennings Bryan, who pressed for many populist reforms and began laying the groundwork for both the Progressive Era of the early 1900s and the New Deal Era of the 1930s and 1940s. But for that to happen, there had to be widespread acknowledgment within the party that the path being taken could only lead to its ultimate collapse – self preservation instinct had to take over in order for the party to save itself, and in the 1890s, that realization rose and was accepted by party leaders.
Many disaffected Democrats still presume to think that they can take back the party from the corporate interests that have seized it. But not one of them has dared come up with any serious roster of candidates willing to risk political suicide by running against Obama next year. Corporate money, and therefore corporate influence, is so entrenched within the Democrat Party that it is now beyond all hope of repair. Thomas Hartman does offer advice for retaking the Democrat Party from the corporatists, but it’s probably far too late for that. The party has so alienated and disillusioned voters with its pro-war, anti-labor, anti-civil liberties, pro-corporate, anti-democracy nature that it is now highly unlikely that enough citizens trust that their activism will result in any significant reforms.
A serious effort to build a strong, viable third party organization can send the needed message to Democrat leaders that they can no longer take voters for granted, that we do have alternatives and we will turn to them if Democrats keep refusing to live up to their obligation to represent the public interest. In 1992, H. Ross Perot’s strong showing of nearly nineteen percent of the vote in that year’s presidential election demonstrates that it is possible within our own era to gain significant votes to fundamentally alter the political landscape. Progressives, laborers, and traditionally oppressed citizens can and should begin building that third party effort now, while the iron is white hot. While we are doing that, remaining progressives within Democrat ranks can begin their takeover of the party by gaining precinct committee seats, especially executive committee seats, to obtain more control over the candidate-nominating process. Sun Tzu admonishes students of warfare not to fight on multiple fronts, but to instead force the enemy to do so, thereby dividing his forces. In World War II, Nazi Germany lost because it faced the dual military threats of the Allied forces in the West and the Soviet forces in the East, each of which operated in tandem with the other to close in around their mutual enemy and destroy him. In politics, the same strategies and tactics apply.
Now, Democrat Party loyalists will cry foul, claiming that any attempt to run a primary opponent against Obama or draw voters to third parties will almost certainly result in a Republican victory next year. But the way their party is doing things now, that result is practically inevitable regardless of what progressives do. Obama and corporatist Democrats at the top are leading their party off a cliff, and no amount of hope will cause them to deviate from their chosen path. What’s more, Republican vote-rigging is already well underway with highly restrictive ballot access and voter ID laws to prevent poor and minority voters from exercising their right to vote. By running as the party of continuation with George W. Bush’s extreme right-wing policies, Obama and his sycophants are guaranteeing a close enough electoral result that Republicans will easily be able to steal 2012, just as they did in 2000-2006. That they have such enthusiastic help from Democrats themselves makes GOP electoral “victories” all but inevitable.
Sep 01 2011
Barry Obama has conceded the 2012 election for U.S. dictator more than a year before it even takes place. According to a story posted on Yahoo News, Obama has rescheduled a planned jobs speech in order to avoid upstaging a Republican dictatorial debate, forcing him to compete with the NFL for viewers.
Obama agreed to schedule his address on Sept. 8 after [John] Boehner balked at the president’s request for a Sept. 7 speech.
Obama’s address still gives him a grand stage to unveil his economic agenda, though it falls on the same evening as the opening game of the National Football League season. White House officials were working on the precise timing of the speech in hopes of avoiding a conflict.
The change will allow a planned Sept. 7 Republican presidential debate in Simi Valley, Calif., to proceed without Obama upstaging it.
If Obama won’t even fight for his right as the occupant of the Oval Office to decide when he will deliver a speech, instead allowing the opposition to determine the time, why should anyone waste time volunteering on his re-election campaign or voting for him? He obviously has no interest in winning, or he would be telling the GOP to stuff it. Oh, hey, Barry? I heard that Boehner will next object to your even being on the ballot at all next year. I guess this means you’ll drop out now so you don’t hurt the Republicans’ feelings. You’re gonna have to order Democrats not to bother running in any elections next year, too. After all, the GOP will probably object to them being on the ballot, too.
Never before have I seen a sitting occupant of the White House bend over to please the so-called opposition like this guy has. Even Bill Clinton, unless I have totally missed something or forgotten it completely, didn’t reschedule a speech just because the Republicans demanded it. And Bill Clinton loves to suck Republican cock – he always has and he always will.
Don’t bother bitching about third parties gaining votes Democrats think they’re entitled to next year. Obama is clearly going to throw in the towel no matter who else tries to run for the office of president.
Aug 11 2011
Cross-posted from Progressive Independence.
Earlier this spring, the Miami New Times published two articles about a teenage runaway who posed as a then-nineteen-year-old stripper from Nevada for Internet porn giant Reality Kings. According to news reports, last year the then-fifteen-year-old stole the identity of Tyler Chanel Evans, who had helped her out only to have her identification card – and her entire identity – stolen. The runaway delinquent then proceeded to rack up a criminal record using Evans’ name, causing the victim to be arrested several times for crimes she did not commit.
Apr 30 2011
For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.
Sound familiar? We are repeating the past. Roosevelt went on:
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace–business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
What was true in 1932 is true today, and has been for going on thirty years now, but especially the last ten. We saw 9/11 happen on the Shrub’s watch, with the election-stealing chimp sitting on his ass and let a major terrorist attack kill nearly three thousand people. We saw that same dictator brush off warnings that hurricane-wrecked levies, allowed to deteriorate for years, would not hold up under the weight of rising floodwaters, and New Orleans drowned. The Shrub presided over the largest financial meltdown since the First Great Depression, and the current dictator enable the bailout of the very same corporate criminals who caused it. Barry Obama, Hopey McChangerton himself, sat by and let the Gulf of Mexico die from BP’s criminal negligence. Now the Obamassiah is waltzing through the devastation left behind by ever more extreme tornadoes as a result of Global Warming, spouting empty words, as is his pattern, but fully intending to do absolutely nothing to help the survivors.
Apr 07 2011
My last entry at FDL, which is the last because I’ve been banned, has been restored to visibility. As I pointed out in my previous entry, my account and diaries were flagged as spam and hidden from view.
FDL moderator RBG’s comment at the bottom of the entry suggests that he (or she; I don’t know RBG’s gender) was the one who banned me, but in truth, the decision to remove me could have been that of any one or all of the FDL moderating team.
FDL’s methodology in banning people was explained by Sebastos:
Deviousness of Firedoglake banning and blocking practices
I agree entirely, Rusty, about the sneakiness of banning without leaving any record. The same applies to this practice of temporarily blocking all of a banned user’s diaries by marking them as spam, then restoring access after several days. It sends a powerful message to banned users that they’re allowed on Firedoglake on sufferance, and that anything they write that offends the moderators can be removed at any time. Yet a casual visitor to the site notices nothing amiss, and even if informed that the diaries had been temporarily taken down, may not grasp the significance, and may even think the banned user is overreacting. It all serves to give an impression of greater openness than is actually the case.
The problem with gatekeeper blogs like FDL and Daily Kos is not only that they are overtly hostile to the left, but that they love to employ police state-style censorship to enforce their official policy of never actually challenging the right-wing Democrat Party. Sure, we’re allowed to complain, so long as we dare do no more than that. But step over a pre-drawn line, and one is gone.
Below the fold is the full text of my last entry from FDL.
Apr 01 2011
Note: I originally posted a version of this at FireDogLake.com, only to see it flagged as spam and my account deactivated. I guess certain persons don’t like having their lack of any moral foundation challenged. Oh well.
In my previous two entries, I discussed why it is important for people who call themselves left-wingers to have a solid moral foundation. To sum up, one cannot call one’s self a progressive or a liberal and support the extreme right-wing policies of those in government. To support Obama’s continuation and expansion of Bush-Cheney fascist policies, whether directly or by refusing to challenge him electorally, or by simply remaining silent in the face of ongoing crimes and usurpation of Constitutionally delegated powers, is immoral.
But what is morality, and how should the American left apply it to politics?
Mar 30 2011
Cross-posted from progressive-independence.org.
Earlier today I posted a diary at FDL in what was a continuation of an argument on morality in politics. A few minutes ago I responded to a comment in another thread only to find that the comment in question was hidden pending moderator approval, a sure sign that I’ve been banned. And just as was done to Rusty1776, my entire account has been designated as spam and my entries hidden from view.
That this happened is not even remotely surprising. The right-wing gatekeepers who run FDL do not like talk of morality in politics, as it has the effect of exposing them for the amoral, power-driven shills for the corporate-owned Democrat Party they truly are. What else can you expect from a blog run by ex-Daily Kos goons? The difference between the two web sites is that at least Kos lets you know up front that his is a site of, by, and for only Democrats and that anti-Democrat discussion – as well as challenges to the party and its hacks – will not be tolerated.
Lest you think I’m angry about this, I’m not. What the trolls assume is that there is nowhere else to go. They’re deluding themselves if they think this. Just check out the column of links to the left of this entry for proof. I’m just letting you know what happened in case anyone has any questions about why I was removed from FDL, and that in light of their being exposed as a right-wing blog that silences dissent from the party line, I’ve taken the liberty of removing the link I had in the left-hand column. If you want to read stuff from FireDogLake, I’m happy to invite people to cross-post from there. I simply do not feel that the site is worthy of being promoted on a blog that is of, by, and for the left.
Mar 01 2011
In follow-up to a post I made regarding an entry by Rusty1776 at FDL, I want to let people know that the site moderators have falsely removed the entry in question as spam and banned Rusty from posting.
Rusty’s entry, which in no way violated site rules, argued that it is immoral for Democrats not to issue a primary challenge to Barry Obama in next year’s election for the office of the presidency. He was subsequently flamed by Bill Egnor, Rayne, RBG, Kelly Canfield, and a suck-up named newtonusr, who apparently took it upon himself to stalk Rusty across at least two threads with the intention of goading him to angry outburst. The plan worked, and the moderators got the pretense they required to ban Rusty from FDL.
That this happened should not be surprising. FDL is, like Daily Kos, Open Left, and other so-called leftist blogs, in reality a right-wing gatekeeper blog designed to neuter any real organization by the Left that is independent of the right-wing Democrat Party. Its moderators have proven over and over again that their sole purpose is to maintain an online environment wherein people may complain about how bad the Democrats have become, but are not allowed to do anything beyond that. People like Jeff Roby are similarly intimidated with the same tactics used to rationalize the banishment of Rusty1776, with the same message sent loudly and clearly: “You are here as window dressing for the veal pen. Dare try to be or do more than that, and you are gone.”
This is why it is so important for genuinely independent blogs and activism sites to be independent of the Democrats, or for that matter, any political party. As long as the Left remains tied to political parties, it remains subservient to the ambitions and interests thereof.
If there is anything positive about this latest abuse of power by a self-proclaimed liberal blog’s moderators, it’s that its agenda is now official, and now publicly exposed.
UPDATE BELOW THE FOLD
Sep 24 2010
The following Green Party candidates are running for U.S. Senate this year.
Jerry Joslyn – Arizona
John Gray – Arkansas
Midge Potts – Missouri
Duane Roberts – California
Bob Kinsey – Colorado
LeAlan Jones – Illinois
Natasha Pettigrew – Maryland– Deceased on account of a hit-and-run this week. Please send condolences to the family, if you want to help them in their time of need.
Colia Clark – New York
Cecile Lawrence – New York
Richard Weir – North Carolina
Mel Packer – Pennsylvania– Forced to drop out because of another questionable Democrat legal challenge to remove him from the ballot.
Tom Clements – South Carolina
Jesse Johnson – West Virginia
As far as I am aware, the other candidates are still running. Numerous candidates are running for seats in the House of Representatives. The link to the page with their info is here.
Finally, Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein has almost raised enough money to qualify for matching funds. You can donate by going here:
Dave Schwab reports that her campaign, at last posting, is $8,655 shy of the $125,000 needed, and phred updated that amount raised to $117,690 here. This means that less than seven thousand dollars is still needed by 4:30PM today to meet the deadline. Considering the short period of time that Ms. Stein has been able to raise money, she might be able to do it, but she needs your help.
So many progressives say that they will support progressive candidates if viable ones appear. Well, Jill Stein looks like exactly that kind of candidate. Her positions on the issues are a left-winger’s dream, and she has proven that she can raise a lot of money in a very short amount of time. Help put her over the top to qualify for matching funds in the Massachusetts gubernatorial election. This is the moment of truth. Let’s make it a reality as well.
Sep 23 2010
In my previous entry, I posted about Green Party candidates who are running for political office in Ohio. Before proceeding to the topic of this entry, I want to point out that a non-Democrat left-winger is running for U.S. Senate in Ohio. His name is Dan La Botz, and he is running as a member of the Socialist Party of Ohio. His web site is here.
Committee to Elect Dan La Botz
Cincinnati, OH 45210-9998
Rossl has, in his turn, posted about three Green Party U.S. Senate candidates who stand a real chance of doing well this year and who can certainly use your help to pull off wins or, failing those, enough of a showing to send a clear message where voters want Democrats to go. I should also point out that John Gray is running for U.S. Senate in Arkansas, and has a chance of winning as well.
John L. Gray
Candidate for U.S. Senate
P. O. Box 434
Greenland, AR 72737