Occupy the Democratic Party say misguided writers at The Nation

pics on Sodahead

Writers at The Nation magazine are calling for progressives to occupy the Democratic Party and take back control of it from the evil-bellied ones who control it now. Honestly, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the futility of their attempt.

How they plan to do this is unexplained. And really, who would want the rotting, corrupt, co-opted shamble that is the Democratic Party anyway? Also unexplained is how to take it over without also becoming slimed. And just how you Occupy the Democratic Party?

The primary writer at The Nation, “T.R. Runner”, is too timid to use his real name and also too timid to call for substantive change. All the change must happen within the Democratic Party. Third parties are evil, wicked, mean, and nasty. His faux rebellion appears tissue thin. It sounds like he wants a nice, orderly change of power with the Blue Dogs agreeing to politely exit their positions of power in the Democratic Party. Good luck with that.

Think3 Institute.

We see here how far Runner will go, and it isn’t far enough. The writer’s contempt for third parties on principle is plain enough. Runner is willing to risk driving “Blue Dogs” and other unprogressive Democrats out of the party, but is not willing to take a chance on a progressive exodus from an unreconstructed Democracy. In Runner’s imagination there can’t be a “real second party” in a multi-party system. Readers may infer that a progressive bolt must not happen no matter how often progressives fail to take control of the party. Runner, at least, wants nothing to do with the “wilderness”

Believing the change can come by reforming the Democratic Party from within is a fool’s game.

Peter Camejo wrote The Avocado Declaration in 2004. It details how a prime function of the Democratic Party is to siphon real protest into itself, where it then renders it inert. This has been going on for quite some time. After all, the Democratic Party back-stabbed the Populist Party in the 1890’s.

From The Avocado Declaration, which eloquently explains how both parties work to chanel dissent into it where it will be neutered, with the Democratic Party playing soft cop to the Republican hard cop.

For over 130 years the two major parties have been extremely effective in preventing the emergence of any mass political formations that could challenge their political monopoly. Most attempts to build political alternatives have been efforts to represent the interests of the average person, the working people. These efforts have been unable to develop. Both major parties have been dominated by moneyed interests and today reflect the historic period of corporate rule.

Every major gain in our history, even pre-Civil War struggles –such as the battles for the Bill of Rights, to end slavery, and to establish free public education– as well as those after the Civil War have been the product of direct action by movements independent of the two major parties and in opposition to them.

The Democratic Party is different. They act as a “broker” negotiating and selling influence among broad layers of the people to support the objectives of corporate rule. The Democratic Party’s core group of elected officials is rooted in careerists seeking self-promotion by offering to the corporate rulers their ability to control and deliver mass support. And to the people they offer some concessions, modifications on the platform of the Republican Party. One important value of the Democratic Party to the corporate world is that it makes the Republican Party possible through the maintenance of the stability that is essential for “business as usual.” It does this by preventing a genuine mass opposition from developing.

Neither party can be reformed from within because the apparatchiks and those who they are beholden to will not allow it. The change and pressure must come from outside their structures.

Imagine 200 Occupy Candidates This Year…

Imagine 200 Occupy candidates running for Congress this year –- independent of the Democrats and Republicans.

Imagine if these candidates were not careerist politicians, but activists and ordinary people, running as accountable representatives of a real, fighting movement of the 99%.

Imagine homeowners who are facing foreclosure running against local sheriffs, and pledging to stop all evictions.

Imagine teachers fighting union-busting; debt-ridden students fighting for free education; low-wage workers fighting for a living wage; and environmentalists fighting big oil.

Imagine them all running with tens of thousands of Occupy activists backing them up: going door-to-door, rallying, protesting, and using these candidates to build the power of our grassroots mass movement.

Last year, the Occupy Wall Street movement showed that when the 99% speaks up, the seething anger of millions can transform into social power and change the whole political landscape.

But, this year, the 1% is making a comeback, using their domination of electoral politics. Had hundreds of independent working class candidates run, it would have been a different story.

And that’s why it’s absolutely crucial to support the few candidates who are running and challenging the two-party corporate duopoly this year.

Credit: capitolhilltimes.com

In Seattle, Occupy activist and Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant – a teacher – is running for State House against the most powerful legislator in Washington State, Democratic Party leader and House Speaker, Frank Chopp.

For the rest of the article, please visit The North Star.

Why the Democratic Party is in trouble

“There’s no there, there.” The Democratic Party seemingly has few core values it will stand and fight for. Instead we get endless and craven compromise. Worse, the Democratic Party, having abandoned its traditional values, no longer appeals to those who would have supported it in the past.

The lack of message from the Democratic Party was made clear to me this weekend at a family event while talking to two relatives. We agreed the system is corrupt, the economy is in dire condition, bankers who should be criminally indicted haven’t been, way too much federal money has been used to bail out Wall Street without helping Main Street, and so on. Their anger was palpable.

This should be fertile territory for the left and the Democratic Party to organize and recruit in. But instead, both of my relatives are hardcore Romney supporters, see him as an agent of change, and Obama as a puppet of financial interests.

A few decades ago they would have been Democrats. But that was before the Democrats pissed in the face of their traditional constituency of the poor, unions, working class, and minorities and instead reinvented themselves as tepid, gutless alternatives to the Republican Party. But the Republican Party has deftly taken populist anger and directed it into their party. Meanwhile Democrats ramble on about making government bigger and how we need more taxes. And that’s no message at all, or at least not one that resonates.

One of those relatives I talked to is a high level tech executive, the other a systems consultant. They are smart, savvy, and well-informed. And they think the Democratic Party is composed of idiots and that Obama will lose. In the 1960’s, they would have been Democrats.

The rising populist anger in this country should belong to the left. But instead the collapse of the left has allowed the right to hijack this rising tide of discontent.

I’m a populist and discuss politics with people on all sides of the spectrum. We populists get along with just about everyone. Guess what, plenty of right wingers are pissed about the same things that liberals and progressives are.

But the Democratic Party is oblivious to this anger and what to do with it. Plus they have no real message.

Liberals think Democratic Party stands for what it did decades ago. Big mistake

Many liberals and progressives bemoan what Obama and Democratic Party does. They think the Democratic Party still stands for what it did in the 60’s; for the poor, the working class, minorities, social justice. But it doesn’t and hasn’t for years. Those who run the Democratic Party abandoned all that decades ago. That’s why they don’t fight for what progressives think they should. They aren’t progressives or liberals and are basically contemptuous or ignore of such views.

Look, LBJ had huge flaws but he wanted the Voting Rights Act passed and he twisted arms to do it. After it finally passed he said, “There goes the South for a generation.” I can’t imagine any ranking Democrat today taking such a bold move, unless of course it was to support the banksters and big business against the interests of the rest of us.

Many progressive Democrats are confused. They think Obama is somehow one of them who tragically went astray. He’s not. Neither was Bill Clinton, who owns direct responsibility for our financial collapse and recession because he presided over and encouraged the repeal of Glass-Stegall, the decades-old law that had limited the power of banks. Once the law was repealed, the insane speculation and plunder began.

My Scottish expat friend and fellow podcaster Steve Hynd says “Bush was America’s Thatcher, Obama is America’s Tony Blair.” Blair was no liberal and neither is Obama. Reform is not possible within the Democratic Party. Other alternatives must be explored.

Is Obama a wimpy disaster?

Well, they've already declared class war against us, haven't they?

While Obama has been a disaster for most of us, he’s been wonderful for the elites and has plenty of backbone when it comes to defending their interests.

Marc Cooper

The Democratic Party establishment has plenty of backbone. It is strong, not weak. It shows absolutely no fear whatsoever in promising its perpetually yearning constituencies one thing and then delivering mostly the opposite of what has been promised. The party pays the piper, period.

So, yes. We are, indeed, witnessing a fairly significant failure — perhaps a full-blown disaster– emanating from the White House. But it’s of one piece with the Congressional Democrats (or to be precise, with the overwhelming majority of them).I repeat one more time: we not only have a President that betrays the hope he engendered, but we have an entire dysfunctional and non-responsive political system at which to gawk in fear and loathing.

He adds that in most countries with high unemployment and growing disparities in wealth you would see peasants with pitchforks. Well, we are seeing that here but it’s not from the left, it’s from the Tea Party. Meanwhile, too many liberals and progressives wait for Obama to morph into the mighty Liberalman they are sure he really is. Good luck with that.

Louis Proyect

Over the next couple of years, the U.S. ruling class will be forced to sharpen the blades and become more aggressive in the class war. At a certain point, the appeals to Obama to stop acting so “wimpy” will ring even more hollow than they ring today. He is not spineless. He is not cowardly. He is not an appeaser. And he is no George McFly. He is rather a bold, combative and fearless fighter on behalf of the class that funded his grubby rise to power and nothing will stop him except a bloody nose—metaphorically speaking.

Remember, Obama was backed very early and with huge contributions by the investment banks.