In an interview published in the latest edition of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, US president Barack Obama defended the right-wing credentials of his administration, insisting that everything he has done and intends to do is in the interests of corporations.
Feb 15 2010
Jan 15 2010
While it is true that our system has a winner take all voting system, which means the candidate with the most votes wins irrespective of whether they have even 50% of the vote, and it is true that by voting 3rd party the candidate you least like might win, it doesn’t mean you are not having any effect. You can still use your third party vote to purify the major party of a corrupt candidates, which can make a difference in the long run. Also if enough people vote for the third party it can replace one of the two major parties which is what happened in the 1850’s with the republicans replacing the whigs. Third parties can also win. Look at Jessie Ventura.
It is true that you can agitate to change the voting system, but you must go through politicians that were successful with the old way to get something new. Not a likely prospect in my view.
It is true that you can technically run primary challenges, and get some changes, but if those are so easy to run, why hasn’t anyone run them on a mass scale, that I believe is needed to get reall changes? In reality there are tremendous structural barriers to runnng any kind of primary fight, otherwise people would do more than talk and threaten them. This talk of running primaries has been happening for ten years, and nobody in the final analysis does them.
The people who voted Nader in 2000 may not have helped but they didn’t hurt anything either. The war probably would have happened either way. Lieberman was Al Gore’s pick for vp. Martin Peretz was Al Gore’s mentor. Many dlcers like Gore voted for the Iraq war resolution including Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and John Edwards. Obama claimed he would have voted against the resolution, but Obama has claimed to be for, or against many things, that didn’t pan out in reality, because of his commitment to dlc policies. For instance, during the campaign, Obama claimed to be against mandates and excise taxes on cadillac plans. How did that work out in reality. He claimed to be against fisa but voted for it. He claimed to oppose corporate lobbying, and the revolving door, but hired a bunch of Goldman Sachs employees to serve him in his administration. He also claimed to be against the Iraq war, but never missed an opportunity to vote for war funding.
Nader voting changed nothing, in my view, but it did offer and opportunity to vote for someone who told the truth. I so wish I hadn’t bought the lesser evil bs and wasted my vote on Gore, than Kerry and now Obama. The democrats have mislead people for far too long. Obama proves Nader was completely correct, and those of us who sympathized with Nader literally wasted 8-9 years working our butts off for democrats who hate us, and think we are idiots.
While it is true that Lieberman is a leader of these bad dems, it is not true, that lessor dems like Coakley who take money from the insurance companies, and who support mandates bare no responsibility. By only targeting the big sharks, you let little sharks like her off the hook and they continue to vote for the wrong things. You partisans claim that not giving them a 60th seat will be permission to move to the right, but they are already moving to the right so it looks like the mere act of putting right leaning dems in office is permission enough. You claim we don’t vote for Coakley we wont’ have another shot at reform for a generation, yet we are suppose to believe you will come back and improve the bill later on? Come on! We aren’t self-defeating. We are beaten down by corruption! Beating us more won’t help!
reposted from my blog http://dameocrat.blogspot.com
Aug 26 2009
Crossposted at Daily Kos
I’ll keep this relatively simple.
In memory of Senator Kennedy, hear me roar.
Per DKos diarist slinkerwink’s Reclisted diary from yesterday, the DLC is trying to justify losing the Public Option in healthcare reform via there bullshit third way think tank.
And frankly, I think that sucks ass.
Therefore, I have decided to share my thoughts with the DLC and other like-minded organizations, as well as you, my most welcome readers.
Just to clarify:
Once upon a time before I discovered teh blogs I made a few contributions to the DLC..
That is why I wrote this. I haven’t contributed anything in over a year, but I am sending this to them and to everyone I know who does contribute, or who cares about the Public Option
More below the fold . . .
Aug 31 2008
What exactly was the point of last week’s announcements for vice presidential picks? On one hand we have a shell of a candidate promoting “change” but doing everything in his power to establish himself as an establishment candidate, picking a Washington, D.C. insider with a record of corporate whoring and unquestioning support for U.S. imperial policy. Small wonder Barack Obama is either neck-and-neck with or trailing John McCain in the polls; he insists on turning off the very people he needs to put him over the top, including the Clinton supporters. On the other hand we have the Republican candidate picking a “hockey mom,” with even less political experience than his Democratic counterpart (the very thing he chides his rival for), just so he can pander to the bloc of Clinton supporters inclined to vote for McCain out of spite.
In all the hype and bluster, though, one important question remains: what does either VP pick actually add to the ticket? Joe Biden, a typical DLC insider with a hawkish foreign policy record and a habit of voting for bills that hurt working Americans, is just the sort of candidate likely to further alienate progressives – the very people Obama needs to put him over the top against McCain. Assuming progressives will get behind the Democratic nominee simply because he and his followers choose to deny any other alternative exists has always been a recipe for disaster. Just ask Al Gore and John Kerry. Obama has done everything he can to blow this election by turning off all those who put their faith and hopes in him thinking he represented a departure from the DLC. Picking Biden, though it allows for a tough yet compliant attack dog in the general election who makes up for a perceived lack of experience, really does nothing for the Democratic nominee’s chances.
Then there’s Sarah Palin. I get that she was tapped to be McCain’s veep because of her youth and sex, but those are really the only two things she has going for her as a candidate. As Michael Moore explained to Keith Olbermann the other night, McCain’s cynical pander is based on the assumption that American women are stupid – that they’ll vote for a woman because of her gender and not her politics. Her record and positions are typically extreme right-wing: opposed to abortion rights, opposed to gay marriage, supports tax cuts for the wealthy and police state thuggery, among other horrendous policies. None of those qualities, however, have won a presidential election – not for the past sixteen years, anyway (the last two were rigged, so they cannot be counted on as legitimate examples of right-wing extremism winning anything). Women who actually care about their reproductive rights and are offended by Stepford wife-type politicians may be galvanized to vote against McCain and his so-called “hockey mom.” There’s also her firing of Alaska’s public safety director, Walter Monegan, for refusing to fire her former brother-in-law. This scandal is so outrageous there that the Alaskan legislature is investigating what the Washington Post is dubbing Palin’s own “trooper-gate.”
This may be the first time since George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton that a Republican candidate blew an election by dubious virtue of being dumber than his Democratic counterpart, but don’t count McCain out yet; there are plenty of caging lists, hackable electronic voting machines, and bought state secretaries with which to steal this election, along with a Democratic rival who insists on replaying the Kerry campaign.
Aug 11 2008
If there’s one thing that should have been learned by the Democratic Party over the last thirty or so years, it’s that running against the base is a recipe for failure in elections. This lesson, however, has been repeatedly ignored by most of the party’s politicians. When one goes over the electoral cycles since 1980, it’s clear that the DLC’s “run-to-the-right” ploy has never actually won an election.
“But,” you tell me, “Bill Clinton won in 1992 and 1996.” This ignores the fact that independent candidate H. Ross Perot pulled enough votes away from the Republican nominees those years to swing the elections in the Democrat’s favor.
After Democrats lost control of Congress in 1994, the party was unable to win it back until public disgust with the GOP had grown to such proportions that their defeat in 2006 was inevitable. Since winning back the Legislature, however, Democrats have for the most part continued to piss away any chance they might have had for shoring up their victory and securing a lasting majority. They’ve kept funding the illegal occupation of Iraq, have continued to rubber stamp the shrub’s dismantling of the Constitution–even going so far as to protect him from impeachment for high crimes including treason, and basically let down the public on every issue of importance.
Barack Obama isn’t even trying to win vital states such as Ohio; in the heart of the state’s Democratic stronghold, the campaign hasn’t even bothered to set up telephones for phone-banking–volunteers have to use their own devices to call voters. Furthermore, instead of going after frequently voting Democrats, Obama has his people reaching out to Republicans, most of whom have stated flat out that they have no intention of voting for him. I know this through several Democratic volunteers who’ve put their efforts into Obama’s campaign. They are the eyewitnesses on the ground.
There’s a reason Ohio’s GOP voters did not deign to put J. Kenneth Blackwell in the governor’s mansion: he’s technically black. It didn’t matter to them that he supported every bug-eyed insane policy and social position they did; his skin color was darker than theirs, so he could not be allowed to become governor. That Obama insists on trying to reach the still-strong bigot bloc, forsaking his own party’s base in the process, is absolute stupidity. He’s going to blow it for us again, just as John Kerry and Al Gore did before him. McCain will cheat his way to the dictatorship created by the shrub and his gargoyle, all because Obama wants to “play it safe” by running to appease the very wealthy.
How long shall Progressives continue to hold on to the fantasy that we can somehow reform the party from within? Yesterday I happened upon a diary at you-know-where that states flat out what I’m sure a majority of Americans are thinking: that it is foolishness to continue remaining a registered Democrat as long as the party’s conservative wing controls it. And make no mistake, Obama is very much part of that conservative wing despite whatever denials his followers choose to engage in.
Sooner or later the Progressive base of the Democratic Party has got to wake up and realize that it is pointless to remain with people who always denounce, marginalize, and campaign against its interests. One might say that now is not the time to dump the Democratic Party, that there is too much at stake. To that I say that it’s never going to be the “right time,” because there’s always going to be “too much at stake.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said:
The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. The millions who are in want will not stand by silently forever while the things to satisfy their needs are within easy reach. We need enthusiasm, imagination and the ability to face facts, even unpleasant ones, bravely. We need to correct, by drastic means if necessary, the faults in our economic system from which we now suffer.
This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.
I agree with the Kos diarist: it’s time for the Progressive base of the Democratic Party to face the unpleasant truth that we cannot and should not continue to waste our energies trying to reform from within a political party that long ago decided it wants to be something that runs contrary to everything we stand for. The stakes are indeed high, but we have to ask ourselves if it’s worth another four to eight years of frustration as we watch our beloved country and our world fall further in the hellish pits of fascism and ruin. If Democrats as a whole will not represent Progressives, then we need to break away and form our own party so that our movement has genuine representation. If nothing else, it will send Democrats a wakeup call: they cannot continue to dismiss and ignore their party’s base with impunity.