Spare the rod, spoil the Democrats

The Republican Ogres are coming! This election is of colossal importance and is Very Important (see the diagram) and you must send buckets of money to Democrats then vote for them even though they’ve continually back-stabbed you. Remember, the Republican ogres are coming, so be scared, be very scared.

Newshoggers says hooey to all that cynical fear-mongering and hopes the Democrats get a good clobbering. Maybe it’ll knock some sense into their heads.

In 2010 the Dems need to take a cold shower. We finally need to break the vicious circle shown above and ignore guilt-trips about the most important election EVAH designed to get us to vote Dem even though they don’t deliver. We’ll get two years of worse pain than we might otherwise have but the end result will be Dems who are far, far more likely to listen to progressives in 2012 and beyond…and if we’re really lucky/work hard, an actual working-class political movement than can send working-class representatives to D.C. instead of fat cats with millions in their banks.

The Blue Voice wonders if progressives have the clout or the will to break from the Democratic Party.

Among even the Democrats most critical of the Obama Administration’s shortcomings on health care reform, financial regulation and the Afghanistan War – criticisms which I share – I don’t know of anyone pushing for an election boycott or third party protest voting. No labor unions that I’ve heard of. None of the major progressive bloggers, like Digby or the folks at Daily Kos or even those at Firedoglake, whose Jane Hamsher is often mentioned as one of Obama’s harshest critics on “the left.”

In my view, the left begins where the Democratic Party ends and continues leftwards from there. Rarely do the big liberal or progressive blogs ever speak about structural reform or that the Democratic party is as corrupt as the Republican Party. Instead there’s too much squeaking about what the Ogres are doing.

The Blue Voice also wonders if progressives not voting would lead to perilous or better times. Well, you never know until you try. And with the status quo quickly becoming untenable, new strategies and tactics are needed now. Unless you want to vote Democratic and have them bitch-slap you again for two more years, that is.


  1. So when asked whether you want to vote for the lesser of two evils, you would choose to let the more evil one win in the hopes that it will make the lesser evil even less evil?

    Think that through.

    What I see here is sloppy thinking. It makes Gibbs’ comments about the professional left look perfectly accurate. This author is the progressive equivalent of a tea partier, insisting that the way to win is to become even more extreme. Read some history, that just doesn’t work. Or is that the plan?

    • I suppose they said the same about Nelson Mandela, and Soviet dissidents too. Just work within the given system and expect incremental changes. Don’t rush things or get too radical, it could blow up in your faces.

      Had Mandela accepted that, South Africa would still probably be under apartheid.

      • Did Mandela ever say to boycott the political process? More sloppy thinking. You should spend less time defending this flawed concept and more trying to understand the implications. You are indeed like a left wing tea partier, insisting that only by moving toward the extreme can the left succeed politically. History shows this to be blatantly false. Please read up on it. You may want to google ‘nirvana fallacy’ as well.

        • I didn”t say boycott the political process. I said don’t vote for Democrats. Do you equate the two?

          Mandela was uncompromising and knew how to throw a political punch and mobilize millions. He didn’t continually cave without a fight like Obama and the congressional Dems do, squeaking fearfully all the while, then wondering why few respect, much less fear them.

          Actual liberals and political fighters like LBJ and FDR would be appalled at the timidity and cowardice of modern-day Dems. Had the investment banker CEOs told LBJ they couldn’t make that White House meeting because it was foggy and their private jets couldn’t take off, LBJ would have had them screaming for mercy. More to the point, they wouldn’t have even dared. But Obama meekly thanked them for calling in, which is pathetic, and a clear signal that he’s a pushover.

          I’m a left-wing populist. The system is corrupt, both parties are equally culpable, and major surgery is needed. But if you want to wait forever for the Dems to do the right thing, then have at it. But you better bring a sleeping bag.

          • Cave without a fight? You will need to provide a few examples. That sounds like hyperbole rather than reality. Accomplishments in the last two years are significant, yet you would pass them off as caving to the right? Investment bankers can make any excuses they want, the changes are still happening. Obama thanking them for calling in was merely politeness because the change still happened. The rules have changed. Do minor things like not making enemies of the bankers matter in the face of enacting legislation? Again, that is sloppy thinking. If your true intent is to move America to the left then you are doing it wrong. These silly complaints of yours pale in comparison to the true accomplishments. They sound like Republican talking points, so much so that I wonder if you are a Poe.

            By portraying the left as failed you make the right more powerful. You are dividing us and allowing them to conquer.

            Success comes through unity. You become part of the political process and vote to move things your direction. Exclusionary strategies and positions, such as saying that the left begins where the Democratic party ends, are the strategies of someone who wishes to fail. That is the tea party approach applied to left wing ideologies. It is doomed. Winners are inclusive, not exclusive. Please, please, please read some history. When an American political party fails in a presidential election and moves toward its radical fringe it loses the next election. I could cite examples but I think you will only believe this if you read it on your own.

            Claiming both parties are equally culpable is something that I think you would back off of if questioned closely. I think when challenged you would admit that the right is nearly always worse for your interests than the left is, yet you pretend otherwise. That is self destructive thinking, cynicism and not realism.

            Your kind always loses because you won’t let yourself win. You divide yourself from those who aren’t quite far enough to the left for you, exactly the way the radical right is currently behaving. Both sides are equally wrong.

          • Obama allowed the accounting rules to be gutted so the banksters could mark-to-fantasy not to market. This is a basic facet of control fraud, as delineated by Bill Black, whereby corporations and countries are looted by a few at the top. Obama’s tepid financial reforms pale in the face of this.

            And again, you equate being part of the process as voting for the Democrats and not for a third or independent party.

            I have read history. The Populist Party of the 1890’s was quite powerful for a while. They controlled state legislatures, had several governors, and a US senator. Much of their platform later became mainstream. But they thought they could play nice with the Democratic Party, work within for change, and got backstabbed for their efforts.

            Bill Clinton happily presided over and encouraged the revoking of the Glass-Steagall Act, and that opened the floodgates for the financial plunder to come. Like I said, both parties are culpable.

            What we are discussing is one of the oldest splits in politics, incremental centrists vs whole-enchilada radicals. I doubt we’ll resolve that here!

            Of course, centrists can always use that as a bargaining chip; you better deal with me or else you might have to deal with those crazy radicals. 🙂

  2. “I don’t know of anyone pushing for an election boycott or third party protest voting. No labor unions that I’ve heard of. None of the major progressive bloggers . . .”

    This person clearly doesn’t follow these kinds of things very closely then. Digby and Daily Kos are lost causes if you are interested in political independence. At Kos you’re not even really allowed to advocate for third party and independent candidates, or reforms that would weaken the two-party state. There are a fair number of Green Party activists who post regularly at FireDogLake, and others there who advocate voting reform etc. Labor unions have endorsed Green Party candidates across the country, candidates for state legislature, US House, and Senate I think. Earlier this year in North Carolina the SEIU began an organizing effort to found a new party and get it on the ballot to oppose a number of corporatist Democrats in the state.

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