Creative corner

    The Way Forward

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/can-the-democrats-get-organized

    This strikes me as the smartest, most clear-eyed analysis of the direction progressives/liberals should take now. Well worth reading it all.

    Comments

    At least that I've read thus far.


    FYI, article refs like this should be "In The News" items.


    Okay, sorry.

     


    Very good interview.

    Democrats are the little d democracy party, they have many agendas and are diverse, ever critiquing each other.

    Republicans are the flame throwing party of liars, race baiters, phony patriot flag wavers, haters and hypocrites, who aim for and attract voters who want authoritarianism. Their base has been inculcated with hate and intolerance for 25 years or more by hate radio and Fox News, and they seek total power, not compromise. Compromise is surrender and failure. That is why Trump was able to succeed, he outdid the other candidates, as 'the one true leader'.

    Example, how can the Democrats match this fanatical rhetoric on the judicial decision stopping the Trump 'travel ban':

    NRA's Wayne LaPierre: travel ban ruling a 'molotov cocktail to US constitution'

    when the facts are:

    Homeland security intelligence finds little evidence to back Trump travel ban

    The only thing that will in the near term threaten our one Party government and hand total control back to the Democrats is another economic collapse or major downturn. An event that is almost certain, although the timing is not.


    I'm hoping it won't take a collapse or down turn. I'm hoping that when Trump can't bring jobs back, his infrastructure bill doesn't pass or is a give away to the rich, or he can't replace Obamacare with something better that enough will turn away from him. Whether the travel ban is a good idea or not is irrelevant to his supporters. With a few tweaks he can put something in place that will pass constitutional review and they will love it. 


    They seem to be suffering from some odd intellectual paralysis in that respect, as they cannot get outta their own way and produce a sustainable process in an area where the President has practically unlimited discretion, except not the discretion to step on his own dick and then try to take first base as a hit batsman, to mangle metaphors). 

     

    Somehow even when they have advance notice of the test the court will give them, they still can't bring themselves to write the appropriate bullshit essay answer--which surely was Bannon's specialty in college, Miller's too I would think.

     

    You'd think at some point they'd get the advice of a friendly Federal Judge--I can see Trump on the phone to Alito as we speak.  Or his sister, fer crissakes! (parenthetically I will never forgive Obama for not recess appointing her)


    Ha. I never thought of Obama recess appointing Trump's sister. That would have been hilarious.


    I'm hoping the same.

    However, I'm talking 'total control' by the Democrats, like we had in 2009. (1) 60(+) Senators, (2) House, (3) Presidency.

    A moderate or mild economic discomfort with things getting just somewhat bigly worse (GOP talking points-'worth it as we weren't killed by Mooselims', 'could have been even worse blah blah', 'needs time to work', or just blame it on the %$##$% Borg Queen, Nobama etc) could swing the House.

    It will take something much worse to do all 3 above, with our polarized, overly distracted low information/fake information electorate. Without full control, Democrats won't be able to make much legislative progress.


    The filibuster is on a death watch imo. One side will end it soon. If democrats use it even half as much as the republicans did republicans will kill it quick. What worries  me is that Trump's supporters will be satisfied if Trump just fucks with enough people. I'm hurting but as long as Trump causes enough pain to other people I'll continue to support him. The president has enough power to fuck with Muslims entering the country and illegal immigrants in the country. It's not unlimited and it's subject to court review but it's enough to hurt a lot of people.


    It's like living in some dystopian novel. Madmen in the White House, the Turtle and Ryan shuffle around with plans to turn our tax system and country into a fiefdom of serfs owned by the 1%. 'Minority' Party has no power whatsoever, a defect remedied in more modern democracies. Reprogrammable deplorables now are OK with Putin and crave more "maniacally focused" and senseless authoritarian edicts. Watch the language they use.


    I'm still puzzled about the large absence of women in this debate or its framing or just-another-barwly-mentioned-interest/identity-group to be subordinated to some more priority. And still wondering what people think Hillary did to earn those 66 million votes if her messaging was so bad. At least twice we saw her go from a dead heat in tthe polls to open up 70 point leads, and then back again, with the polls shifting sharply her direction in the last 3-4 days (if polls predict actual voting to some extent, 3-5 more days would have given her the election).

    Was she really such a pawn of the news cycle? Did she really get up at rally after rally and say nothng of interest for 30-60 mins? Did those 66 million just fall in line from name recognition, Trump fear or voting one's uterus? Because to read all this post-mortem and prediction, a woman spoke for 1 1/2 years getting the 2nd largest support in history, but said nothing of value, and shouldn't even be considered in the discussion over the future of party policy, messaging, etc. 

    I also get riled to see phrasing of "Obama-Clinton control of the party" when Hillary was largely powerless during her time at State and Obama controlled the messaging and actions, including letting the Republicans get up when he had his boot on their neck, and appointing the dreadful Debbie Wasserman-Schulz, and a lot of other dross. 

    Hillary already had "racist" unfairly wrapped around her neck. Had she or any other white woman run against the Obama legacy, she would have been labeled as vile and traitorous. Had she or any other woman run with the lack of detail as Sanders or Trump, she would have been labeled as unserious and unprofessional, just a talker (and that voice!). Had she gotten angry, well, that'd be shrieking and had she been unpolitic and let her true feelings out more, that would just show her to be insincere. Foreign policy? Appear tough but profess not to do anything militarily.

    The real problem in all of this is that we do have policy issues that are incompatible, that pit 1 constituent group against another, something that can be likely overridden through the personal engagement the article mentions - but the actual policy depth and "we'll do our best to cover both the needs or make up for shortfalls over time, it's a complex but doable process" is belied by the singular focus on my-way-or-the-highway purity tests. We're begging for a woman's touch, but we trash that touch from word go. 

    We say we want new messaging, but we're really looking for a new Obama to fill in like a Rorschach Test but will actually live up to his promise. And he will be male.

     


    I'll have to re-read the article to get a better view of it, but I'm surprised at how negative people have been--and not just here--toward the content in this interview. Sanders' people think it's just more deadwood from the DNC establishment whose principal figurehead is, in their minds, Hillary. And Hillary people (not you, but others) just pick up on the Sanders hagiography they perceive in it. Others--and this is a fairer critique--fault it for talking about organizing without laying out what we'd be organizing for.

    So, I'm kind of surprised at people's reactions, especially given this guy's pedigree (Ganz's), and the fact that it's just an interview. One doesn't normally get this much meat in an interview, in my experience.

    So I agree with what you and some others have said, but surprised that people aren't picking up on the useful things in the article. Maybe this is all old hat, and I just haven't been exposed to it before. Again, I'll have to re-read it to see what I think. Maybe everyone's right and it's just the way the article hit me when I read it.

    • I agree with you that Hillary had GREAT proposals, and I'm frankly stunned that every left-leaning person in the country didn't vote for her over Trump.

    • That said, Hillary suffered from what Clintons suffer from: Lots of program ideas, but nothing to hold them together in one, overriding and emotional-laden message which all the programs then support and derive from. Trump did. Make America Great Again...and everything fit that idea and supported it as long as the "big idea" as he articulated it grabbed you.

    • So this is one of Glanz's points, I think: Unity of message with a message that resonates at an emotional level. A message that "makes sense of it all" at some basic level. This alone, I think, was enough to get Trump through, if just barely.

    • Another point is our lack of organizational unity. Unfortunately, we constantly live up to Will Rogers's joke about the Democratic Party. We all hate each other for one reason or another. This is what came out so sharply in people's reactions to this article, again not here so much, but elsewhere. One person stopped reading it because it was too favorable to Sanders! That's insanity. Bernie lost. Hillary lost. Time to glean the learnings and apply them going forward. If Bernie or Hillary did something right...or wrong...that's good to know, right?

    • A greater focus at the local level. I'm getting the idea that the Democrats have simply written off large swaths of the country as unwinnable. In many races, we don't even have a candidate. That is insane, IMO. I remember listening to an interview with the head of the Democratic Party in S.C., I think it was. A black guy who seemed very smart and energetic. He said, "The Democrats have written off the South. We can win it back, eventually, if we just put in the resources for the long game." This seems to apply across many regions in the country.

    • In my memory, there wasn't a lot of discussion of the Democrats' weakness below the level of the presidency and Congress...until we lost the presidency. Having won the presidency so often, it blinded people to the rot lying just below the surface. But once we lost the presidency, it was clear we had nothing. In truth, we had almost nothing before, but suddenly it was crystal clear.

    • My question is...how did this happen? How and why did the Democrats lose or cede power in so many states? Maybe someone has written about this, but I surely would like to know.

    In any event, I'm hoping people can take some useful things from this interview and build on them.

     


    Sorry, I felt quite positive towards the interview overall - perhaps should have sprinkled in some praise.

    2 big things I got were 1) the personal engagement, past just the groundgame business, and 2) the separation of ideas advocacy from party - not burdening the party with all the activism when it's better done externally. (On #2 I think there's also been too much expectation that a Hillary or Obama will simply handle everything)

     


    Not a problem. My disappointment wasn't directed to you, PP. Just sort of a generalized "meh" reaction that surprised me, more than anything.

    I agree that we on the left, for many years now, have tended to put all our eggs in the one President basket. Sort of a savior complex. This may be because our side is more oriented toward the federal government rather than the other layers. By contrast, the right, with all its talk of federalism and local government, have an ideological bent towards those elections lower down on the food chain. I'm not glossing over the problems with the way "federalism" has been used to pursue racist and other agenda. I'm just saying they are focused in that direction to a much greater degree (I think) than the left is. Of course, one way to resist Trump's policies may be to invoke "states rights" not to bend to federal decrees. A bit like the sanctuary cities are doing now. And it is the right that's upset about localities resisting federal law on illegal immigration.


    "right" = "always upset", 24x7

    always hoisted by own petard, never acknowledging blatant hypocrisy and 180 shift of "principles".


    Latest Comments