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McKibben writes: "The Democrats were given one great gift last year. Even as they lost state legislatures and control of the Senate, even as they surrendered governors' mansions and somehow turned over the White House to a moral midget, one thing broke their way. And if they squander it now, as their establishment leadership seems inclined to do, then shame on them."

Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Keith Ellison speak during a news conference. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Keith Ellison speak during a news conference. (photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)


Democrats Shouldn't Squander Their One Advantage

By Bill McKibben, The Boston Globe

07 January 17

 

he Democrats were given one great gift last year. Even as they lost state legislatures and control of the Senate, even as they surrendered governors’ mansions and somehow turned over the White House to a moral midget, one thing broke their way. And if they squander it now, as their establishment leadership seems inclined to do, then shame on them.

That one great gift was the cascade of young voters that poured out in support of Bernie Sanders. Early in the primary campaign, I introduced the Vermont senator to a crowd of nearly 30,000 people in a big-city convention hall. They were almost all millennials, and they were roaring — any fear I had about the supposed apathy of youth vanished that night. That scene repeated itself across America. By the time primary season was over, Sanders hadn’t just swamped Clinton among young voters — he’d gotten 35 percent more young voters than Clinton and Trump combined. Nothing like that has happened in my political lifetime.

It demonstrates that an honest, bold message, paired with a leader who passes the authenticity test, can move young people into political action. And that should thrill Democrats. Broken as the party is at the moment, demographics means that, indeed, young people are the future. And cynical as they are about politics, they are not lost to the party.

Which is why it was exciting to watch Keith Ellison’s candidacy for party leader take off this fall. Not only did he work closely with Sanders (who remains America’s most popular politician) but he’s cut of the same cloth. Not literally — he’s short, black, and Muslim, instead of tall, white (and white-haired), and Jewish. But he speaks the same language and with the same urgency — he understands the depth of the problems faced by young and working people.

I got to watch him up close during the marathon hearings and negotiations over the Democratic platform last spring. Some of the participants in that process were, to put it politely, veterans of Democratic politics, repeating bromides that had perhaps worked once but no longer do. (Having watched that process, I was not surprised by the lackluster presidential campaign.) Ellison — a sitting member of Congress — was polite, respectful, and attentive. But he was also firm and urgent. He wasn’t going through the motions.

Which is, I think, why the most ingrained parts of the party establishment are now trying to break his momentum. They’ve put forward Thomas Perez, a perfectly good man but from the ruling wing, not the organizing wing, of the party (he’s never been elected to anything above a county council). And, sadly, they’re playing dirty, or at least cynical, digging up “controversies” like ancient parking tickets from Ellison’s past, or a newspaper column he wrote in college defending the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakahn. Voters in his congressional district have thoroughly rejected such nonsense, and so should the DNC members, but the same party machinery that clearly disliked the Sanders challenge (remember those e-mails showing senior officials debating whether it would be more effective to smear him as a Jew or an atheist?) is now trying to derail Ellison.

These insiders view the Democratic party as a club or an institution, not as an organizing platform. And we’re not in an age when institutions are particularly useful — we’re in an era when institutions, without an infusion of new blood and ideas, simply fade away. I know this in part because I’m a Methodist, once perhaps America’s most vital Christian denomination. But over time its energy bled away — despite plenty of vibrant local congregations, and despite sporadic attempts at top-down rejuvenation, it has steadily ebbed. The average age of a Methodist is now 57.

One way to imagine the Sanders campaign, then, is as a series of revival meetings, conducted in every corner of the country. There was nothing shallow about them — Sanders’ unique form of charisma stemmed from his slightly grumpy seriousness. And so the support he received demonstrated a fervent desire to participate, especially among young Americans. They were serious about change.

That energy won’t disappear — it’s already powering the new civil rights movement and the fight for climate justice. But it will disappear from the Democratic Party if the party doesn’t seize the opportunity that Ellison offers. It won’t be the fault of the Russians or the FBI. And it may not come again.

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+52 # mashiguo 2017-01-07 10:29
It is delusional to think that the whiners and diners of the current democratic power structure will give up their free ride on the gravy train for anything.

The sooner they are buried the better.
As the Republican primaries showed, there is a strong populist bent in the Republican party as well as the democrat party. Time to put together a third party that appeals to the majority of Americans, and not those just enamored with the discorporate shades of the past.
 
 
+103 # Realist1948 2017-01-07 10:50
A strong populist bent in the Republican party? I question this. For sure there is a faux populism in the GOP (as well as fake Christian piety). But the real Republican agenda continues to be, as demonstrated by Trump's cabinet choices, one that gives ever more power to the elites of Wall Street and other uber rich. It is a 1 percenter agenda, cloaked in the appearance of populism that has fooled just enough red state voters to put Trump in office.
 
 
+19 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 11:01
Isn't the Tea Party the GOP progressive faction? They have been quite successful it seems, though it's not clear (to me at least) what their relationship is to TPTB. The TP has knocked out almost all the moderates in their party and forced the establishment to move even further right.

Imagine it was progressives within the DP who were primarying the establishment candidates, disrupting policy decisions and whatever-the-pr ogressive-equiv alent is to shutting down the government. Imagine we systematically knocked out neoliberal candidates, stopped legislation/nom inees we hated and moved the party to the left.

We can't denigrate right populism when we have failed to institutionaliz e our own movement. Neither should we discount right populism, which is changing their party. We should learn from their movement -- which has been effective in getting their candidates into office, gives the GOP establishment headaches and has gained concessions from their party.

Founded by the Koch brothers, are they genuine populists? Only insomuch as they are not under their founders' evil thumbs.

NB: I meant to say 'populist' in the first sentence. Sorry.
 
 
+38 # Henry 2017-01-07 11:35
Quoting librarian1984:
Isn't the Tea Party the GOP progressive faction? They have been quite successful it seems, though it's not clear (to me at least) what their relationship is to TPTB. The TP has knocked out almost all the moderates in their party and forced the establishment to move even further right.

We can't denigrate right populism when we have failed to institutionalize our own movement. Neither should we discount right populism, which is changing their party. We should learn from their movement -- which has been effective in getting their candidates into office, gives the GOP establishment headaches and has gained concessions from their party.

Founded by the Koch brothers, are they genuine populists? Only insomuch as they are not under their founders' evil thumbs.


Isn't the Tea Party the GOP progressive faction?

Answer: No, and it really isn't "populist" either. It's a made-up, herded bunch of sheep. Don't you remember the first time you saw them, protesting something or other? They'd been drummed up to do it obviously, by SOMEONE. You could tell by looking at them that they just didn't get it.

The "Tea Party" to the extent that it even exists is just some extra voters the Republicans have managed to corral to vote in their increasingly radical right-wingers. Members of the Tea Party are dupes.
 
 
+26 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 11:37
I do remember their early protests -- six or seven middle-aged white guys with tea bags stapled to their heads. BUT they have successfully ousted party moderates and often send their leaders around the bend.

They are not a grass roots movement, and so imo not genuinely populist, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from thir tactics.

I would caution against making assumptions about them (or US) by 'looking at them' and reading their intent or understanding. You may discount them as dupes but they are affecting the GOP more than progressives are getting concessions from the DP.
 
 
+31 # dbrize 2017-01-07 12:35
Quoting librarian1984:
I do remember their early protests -- six or seven middle-aged white guys with tea bags stapled to their heads. BUT they have successfully ousted party moderates and often send their leaders around the bend.

They are not a grass roots movement, and so imo not genuinely populist, but that doesn't mean we can't learn from thir tactics.

I would caution against making assumptions about them (or US) by 'looking at them' and reading their intent or understanding. You may discount them as dupes but they are affecting the GOP more than progressives are getting concessions from the DP.


The origin of the "Tea Party" began in December of 2007 when the Ron Paul presidential campaign ran a record setting "money bomb" fundraising campaign around the anniversary of the original Tea Party. Some of Paul's nonintervention policy proposals and resistance to bailouts was supported by left wingers like Dennis Kucinich and others.

In less than a year it was infiltrated by Paul opponents the Koch's, and essentially dominated by Koch money ever since.

And you correctly point out the significance of their movement and lessons that could be learned from it. Expect our resident neolibs to close their eyes and plug their ears amidst the bah humbugs! :)
 
 
0 # Tigre1 2017-01-07 22:39
I believe that Koch gave himself a plaque in '06 for funding the founding of the TP. Google it.
 
 
+4 # dbrize 2017-01-08 09:47
I'm sorry, I have done a search and failed to find this information. Perhaps you would kindly paste in here. If you are correct it would indicate the TP was operative before the financial meltdown.
 
 
+4 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2017-01-08 13:03
Time magazine published an examination of the early development of the Tea Party, with the lede of a personal account by the author who was a consultant to the early Tea Party.

http://time.com/secret-origins-of-the-tea-party/
 
 
+4 # dbrize 2017-01-08 13:48
Thanks. Interesting rundown. I found the following excerpt telling:

"As luck—or careful, strategic planning—would have it, just such a highly leveraged network with these very pillars was in place as the Tea Party movement appeared to emerge from nowhere at the start of President Obama’s first term in office. That Tea Party movement looked an awful lot like the efforts the Kochs’ CSE had led in the Clinton and Bush years—just with more money, broad state-based causes, better-trained leaders, and a willingness to integrate and coordinate more efficiently with each other."

We are left to our own conclusion; either the TP was a spontaneous movement that latched on to (or was taken over by) an apparatus already in place, or it was a pre-planned operation waiting for the precise moment to be unveiled.

I choose the former. In fact, either position is somewhat moot since we all agree the Kochs are currently in charge.
 
 
+32 # Majikman 2017-01-07 11:45
Ya mean those rabid folks screaming "Keep your government hands off my medicare"?

the tea party wasn't any sort of grassroots organization, but a Koch funded and directed group of people whose only talent was in shrieking and demonstrating.
 
 
0 # GreenBee 2017-01-10 08:42
They obviously have talent at getting peple elected to Congress.Quoting Majikman:
Ya mean those rabid folks screaming "Keep your government hands off my medicare"?

the tea party wasn't any sort of grassroots organization, but a Koch funded and directed group of people whose only talent was in shrieking and demonstrating.


Well, the TP clearly has a talent for getting people elected to Congress.
 
 
+15 # JJS 2017-01-07 17:25
Quoting librarian1984:
Imagine it was progressives within the DP who were primarying the establishment candidates, disrupting policy decisions and whatever-the-progressive-equivalent is to shutting down the government. Imagine we systematically knocked out neoliberal candidates, stopped legislation/nominees we hated and moved the party to the left.

Not to be adversarial or combative, but instead of imagining disrupting policy decisions within the DP, progressives need to DO IT!
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-01-08 15:15
Agreed, comrade!
 
 
+11 # lfeuille 2017-01-07 18:18
"Isn't the Tea Party the GOP progressive faction?"

No. It is right wing faux populist. Progressives are mostly left wing populists. There is a big difference.

Maybe the word you are looking for is insurgents. They are the GOP insurgents, but that has nothing to do with ideology. We should be the Dem. insurgents.
 
 
+39 # mashiguo 2017-01-07 11:07
Trump ran on a platform of saving medicare, social security, medicaid and bringing jobs back to America, and installing tariffs that Reagan took away. Essentially he was running as an old democrat.

Quit the identity politics, quit thinking about power structure and look at what the voters are responding to.

forget the republican professional politicians: they are toadys to the wealthy at best and scum at worst.
 
 
+41 # CDMR 2017-01-07 11:38
good points mashing -- "Trump ran on a platform of saving medicare, social security, medicaid and bringing jobs back to America, and installing tariffs that Reagan took away"

I'd add his call for better relations with Russia and an end to the global war on terror.

These are the issues that unite the left and right wing populists. It is a fragile unity and could easily be broken by a campaign on classic wedge issues (guns, bathrooms, abortion, etc.)

Trump was very, very, very crude in his articulation of all these points and he'll be pushed in the wrong direction by the Randian Fascists like Paul Ryan in the House. Trump needs the socialist left and Sanders supporters to push him the hardest. I'm on the socialist left and I will not be turned against the populist right or teaparty in the pursuit of the issues named about just because some "progressive" bring up the bathroom crisis.

There's a slim chance of overturning Reaganomics now and the neo-conservativ e wars. We all need to push that. For this reason, I'm skeptical of the protests that are mounting for Trump's inauguration. I support the protests but they need to be demands to fulfill his promises to end neo-liberal trade policies, end the war on terror, strengthen social security / medicare, and hold corporations to account for off-shoring jobs.
 
 
+27 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 11:51
Yes, great points. We cannot be sidetracked by identity politics. While we never compromise on our commitment to marginalized populations we have to be for ALL workers, all families, all children.

Notice from another thread that eight more states are going for the bathroom issue and we know why. It gets GOP voters to the polls*. We have got to fight this smarter and, as George Lakoff says, that is NOT how we frame it -- or allow it to be framed.

We frame it as an equal rights issue. We learn to invoke dear-to-their-h eart constitutional and patriotic language to protect EVERYONE's rights -- including minorities, immigrants and special populations -- and we don't let Republicans define the terms or the arguments any more.

We are definitely the underdogs at the moment but the screw always turns. We need to act in a way that is strong, unequivocal -- and smart.

* We also need to get Dems AND ESPECIALLY INDEPENDENTS to the polls for the midterm election. This is a real weak spot for Dems, and the leadership is wrong if they think neoliberal ideas and candidates will bring people out in 2018.
 
 
+1 # Saberoff 2017-01-07 12:14
Yes but as soon as we do that, our camp will come by to undermine us: Our Democrat Party.
 
 
+6 # economagic 2017-01-07 16:19
People will vote for Democratic candidates that address their (our) issues. A lot fewer will vote for establishment Democrats, though some will vote on the basis of their wish to believe the BS.
 
 
+30 # Realist1948 2017-01-07 12:56
IMHO there is a major problem when citing what "Trump ran on." The problem is that you cannot EVER believe anything he says or tweets. His assertions do not appear to reflect any deeply held convictions; they are always self-serving, and often made in the moment in order to dismiss a critic or humiliate someone who has not bowed before him.

Never forget Trump's basic nature: that of a thin-skinned narcissistic con artist.
 
 
+16 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 14:35
True but there were a few things he repeated over and over and we need to keep reminding everyone of those promises. Pin them to him -- help him accomplish the ones we like and nail him with the ones we don't.
 
 
+4 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-08 19:59
@Realist1948 - Your focus is wrong. It is immaterial what TRUMP meant. What is important is what people THOUGHT he meant. When he fails to deliver on what his supporters believed he was saying, whether he meant it or not, they will turn against him. They will be disillusioned. And then we can give them Bernie who is STILL lobbying for the very things THEY want.
 
 
0 # Phillybuster 2017-01-09 15:05
Some Trump supporters will turn against him but many will find a way to rationalize whatever Trump does.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-01-09 16:58
I think that's why what we perceive as rational argument doesn't do a damn thing. We've all been there -- totally not wanting to admit something that is plain to see. 'Facts' don't make a dent.

Trump promised them good jobs and a painless transition away from ACA. He promised them security. Let's see.

Will the DP have an alternative ready to offer.

I think the first party to guarantee expanded Medicare for all, just insure EVERYONE in one fell swoop -- they'd have a loyal following for a long time.
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2017-01-07 18:03
Well, he didn't run on saving Social Security and Medicare. He stated, as an aside, that he didn't favor cutting them, but he did not put high priority on this. The jobs thing and anti trade stance were what did it for him.
 
 
+2 # mashiguo 2017-01-07 20:43
Quoting lfeuille:
Well, he didn't run on saving Social Security and Medicare. He stated, as an aside, that he didn't favor cutting them, but he did not put high priority on this. The jobs thing and anti trade stance were what did it for him.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inF18GdYtbw
 
 
0 # kyzipster 2017-01-09 13:57
You're cherry picking Trump's platform while ignoring the identity politics of the GOP base, the identity politics that clearly gave Trump the WH.

Trump ran on the resentment and fears of right-wing voters. Fed to them through their own media for years on end.

Maybe his populist message swung the election in his favor, maybe he didn't need to say a thing about trade and factories. We'll never know. One thing I'm sure of, we're stuck in identity politics because the Conservative Movement is still thriving because of their divisiveness and they're not about to abandon it.

It doesn't mean the left should play along but it's delusional to believe these mostly rural, mid-America voters will ever vote for a progressive candidate in the near future.

'Winning them back' is a fantasy imo. They're steeped in their identity; anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-Muslim, anti-liberal, all the rest.

The solution is basically the same, progressives need to campaign for the interests of all workers but it's the Democratic base that needs to be won back, or won over by a third party. Whatever works.
 
 
0 # GreenBee 2017-01-10 08:46
Quoting mashiguo:
Trump ran on a platform of saving medicare, social security, medicaid and bringing jobs back to America, and installing tariffs that Reagan took away. Essentially he was running as an old democrat.

Quit the identity politics, quit thinking about power structure and look at what the voters are responding to.

forget the republican professional politicians: they are toadys to the wealthy at best and scum at worst.

I clearly remember DT saying he opposes SS on"moral grounds" and that wages in the US are too high and when pressed said it is the minimum wage that is too high.
 
 
+35 # Moxa 2017-01-07 10:58
You may well be right. The Democratic establishment showed their colors in their mass rejection of Bernie Sanders and mindless support of Hillary Clinton. You would think their appalling failure to win against as weak a candidate as Donald Trump would make them at least reevaluate their tactics. And though they seem unwilling to do even that, much more than that is necessary: a reevaluation of their whole raison d'etre; why they are in politics in the first place.

I think if Bernie were to spearhead a new party, there MIGHT be a chance of success. Otherwise, I fear there would be what there has always been: a lack of faith that anything outside of the 2 party system would have any chance at all of succeeding; and the inevitable splitting off into small parties, each with its own gradations of policy differences and adding up to nothing of any significance. Bernie IS the most popular politician in America, but I don't think he has any desire to start a new party. He has said he wants to transform the Democratic party. Failing that, I'm not too hopeful of anything else. On the other hand, his hopes for this rely not on changing the corrupt establishment but on the energetic will of the citizenry, especially the youth.
 
 
+17 # MidwestTom 2017-01-07 11:23
HRC spent more than $1.2 Billion, money raised mainly form Wall Street, while Bernie got his money from individuals. Trump spent $500 million, she of his own and the rest from small donors.

It is a if the two parties have exchanged their cores. Bernie should have been the nominee, or Biden, either would have won.
 
 
+9 # JJS 2017-01-07 18:17
Bernie has spearheaded a progressive platform for a new direction for the DP Platform. That's hope and change I can believe in.
 
 
+28 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 10:48
1) Right now the DP is organizing for the next two years. We have heard the establishment neoliberals have been abusive and tried to marginalize progressives, though any rational person can see that the tide has turned.

Progressivism is offering the party a remarkable opportunity -- that so far they seem uninterested in.

2) I am of mixed mind on Ellison. He is entirely too pro-Israel and pro-MIC/surveil lance state for me. But this is an instance where I'll follow Sanders and McKibben.

3) Until we HAVE a third party we can still operate as a bloc. If we can maintain cohesion and communicate our demands and intent clearly we can be a force before we have a party, and work with progressive party members to achieve our goals.
 
 
+8 # lfeuille 2017-01-07 18:12
Well, I have heard Ellison being entirely not pro-Israel. That is just political cover since he is a Muslim, and the DNC chair is not a policy position. He will not be deciding those things. He will make sure that the candidate selection process is neutral which is what has to happen if we are ever going to be able to defeat the neoliberals. The other declared candidates will be status quo, ie. tilt to the neoliberal candidate, but this time hire a competent cyber-security firm so we are less like to find out about it.
 
 
+2 # librarian1984 2017-01-08 15:17
Agreed he is the best of the runners.

As I said, I have concerns but am willing to follow Sanders in this instance. Wish it was Gabbard though, or Nina Turner.
 
 
+12 # HowardMH 2017-01-07 10:54
Go here and join the protest group against Trump. Even without much publicity over 675,000 have accessed the site. We are just getting started.

Sat. Morning update the new number that have accessed the site is 1.7 MILLION. This is OVER a million more in JUST 2 Days. Thank you Rachael Maddow and all the people so very much.

http://www.occupy.com/article/indivisible-practical-guide-resisting-trump-agenda#sthash.JrOQ45dY.dpbs

Thank Daily Kos and go here to get the phone number of ALL in congress and CALL, CALL, CALL.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/3/1616776/-The-simplest-resistance-tactic-is-right-at-your-fingertips-and-it-only-takes-a-minute
 
 
+10 # Thinking 2017-01-07 11:04
Thanks to Bill McKibben for his wise (and evidence backed) analysis and advice. So the need of the moment is for us to advocate to our elected officials for Keith Elliot!

In some counties new blood is taking control of the Democratic power structure. But how wide spread is this?

For reference to his Methodist example (with an average age of 57), the average age of Americans is 37.9 (Wikipedia). Of course a group can find a way to become relevant again.
 
 
+17 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 11:16
"In some counties ..."

Scott Galindez has referenced this phenomenon as well but we are also hearing anecdotes of abuse and marginalization in the counties. People should attend a party meeting just to see what they're up to and what their plans are, find out who's in charge and get contact information. It will come in handy in the next two years :-)

Bring a few friends and make yourself heard.

I want to hear from Scott and others about what is happening at the state and county level. ARE progressives gaining genuine influence or not?

imo the answer to that question seals the fate of the DP.
 
 
+3 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-08 20:07
I had planned to go to the CA Dem Party voting today but we're having the biggest rain event in over a decade and traversing a 4wd mountain road would not have been prudent. I REALLY hope our Progressive slate did well.
 
 
+1 # lorenbliss 2017-01-09 00:33
Rumor has it here in Washington state the neoliberals remain in total control of the Democratic (sic) Party, much as they have ever since Microsoft Democrat Booth Gardner took the governor's mansion in 1984 and neoliberal sycophant Robert Reich legitimized the Democrats' war against the 99 Percent via "Tales of a New America" in 1987.

(I say "rumor" because since I publicly declared my Marxianism, I no longer have many inside sources in the Democratic [sic] Party, and because the mainstream media, intent as always [like its nonprofit Josef Goebbels/Nazi Germsn predecessor] on maximizing the ignorance inflicted on the 99 Percent by televised mental enemas, no longer reports on political matters.)

Bottom line, we the people have no party, and in all probability will never again be allowed a party of our own. The defeat of Sanders accurately portrays the fate of any effort to overcome the power of Ruling Class wealth, and the Teabaggers were never more than storm troopers for the more shamelessly Nazified members of the One Percent.

Welcome to the thousand-year Fourth Reich, just as all the Nazi war criminals given sanctuary here after 1945 all intended.
 
 
+11 # Anonymot 2017-01-07 11:10
Bill, you've gotten your basic premise wrong. Most of those exhilarated people, young and old,who backed Sanders were not democrats and many could have cared less about the Democrat party. They were independants. Neither Hillary nor the clots who ran her nasty campaign understood that. But the CIA could not afford to let go of its carefully preened & primed asset, Hillary.

If you don't understand that yet, you've missed the boat. Hillary still doesn't understand. She thought she was the only boat afloat after she, Debbie, Podesta and the rest of that corrupt lot pulled the plug that sank Sanders. That's what the classic mindset thinks like.

"Let's go get Russia, guys. The girls will wait." Same for the guys in pants suits. Their rush to the no-fly zone got 'em. Their exposed method of screwing Bernie Sanders. Hillary & Bill's revolving door riches. The obvious lying out of both sides of her mouth for different audiences.

No. The Democrats never had them. Sanders had them. Sanders had them despite his shortage of foreign policy. Sanders had them, because he was honest and healthy. Sanders had them because despite his years in politics, he was not a political hack. Clinton's eating the proof!

I've been around a long time and never thought I'd not vote Democrat. I kept asking myself, "Can you vote Stein? Can you abstain?" with all that implied. And came the ballot box, I could not vote Hillary. We'll suffer 4 years of the other renegade, praying for a 3rd party.
 
 
+13 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 11:35
Agreed. There are two separate issues here: working and growing.

People say we can't possibly work with the GOP. I believe that's a mistake. There are factions within their party we can work with and we do need to talk them occasionally -- but the people we need to team with to empower the progressive movement are the Independents and, I suspect, many of the people who have dropped out of the political system and don't vote. THAT is where we find allies.

Sanders can pull some of the GOP economic populists but imo growth of our movement will come primarily from Independents and non-voters.
 
 
+4 # lfeuille 2017-01-07 18:25
Obama tried to work with the GOP. They played him for a fool. He pre-compromisd on just about everything and came out with very little. There are some progressive issues that appeal to certain factions of the GOP without compromise and we should definitely take advantage of that, but as a whole no. Distorting policies to the point that they are no long progressive for the sake of bi-partisanship is a losing strategy. It just makes us look like we don't stand for anything.
 
 
+4 # bardphile 2017-01-07 18:49
I think you're both right. Without kissing up to the GOP as a party, we (progressives) should work on peeling away as many blue collar Trump supporters as we can. They are our natural allies, and many of them will be receptive to a progressive message after a year or two of the Trumpster. It will only take a few thousand in each of the states that flipped for Trump to turn them back to blue, or to whatever color a progressive third party might adopt (green?).
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2017-01-08 20:28
I think we're saying the same thing. I am not for betraying progressive principles.
 
 
+8 # Inspired Citizen 2017-01-07 15:59
Praying for a 3rd party won't do a thing. We need to build one.
 
 
+5 # lfeuille 2017-01-07 18:14
Doesn't matter. The party has to attract left leaning independents to win general elections. Ellison will be more welcoming to them.
 
 
0 # whichwayforward 2017-01-09 10:28
Where'd you get that mouth, Anonymot?!
"the clots who ran her nasty campaign" OMG.

and, "Their rush to the no-fly zone"

besides pretty right on, you are hilarious!
 
 
+1 # Anonymot 2017-01-07 11:28
And Putin, Comey, Assange had nothing to do with it. At the very most they exposed what she was with her own evidence. She provided the rope on which she hangs. The rest is fake news from the American Titanic. Everyone who backed her is hysterical, 1% or 99, because they believed the race was fixed in their favor.

Of course Putin preferred Not Hillary. So did most of the leaders of the world. We need friends in the world. Not new CIA screwups. It's 23:59PM. We do not need more wars.
 
 
+3 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 12:09
Watching the intel heads before McCain's Senate Armed Services committee was interesting. The histrionic pols vowing eternal love for the CIA while self-righteous James 'perjuries-r-us ' Clapper accused Assange of lying -- surreal theatre!

Fake news fake politics fake hysteria fake outrage fake patriotism but LOTS of genuine self-interest and political backscratching.

The latest 'evidence' against Putin is video of a celebration about Trump winning and a reiteration that nothing like this would be undertaken without Putin's okay. THAT is the evidence. Their case is weak and at last I'm seeing a few 'respectable' characters denouncing it.
 
 
+5 # Stilldreamin1 2017-01-07 11:44
I think you meant 23:59.
 
 
+3 # Anonymot 2017-01-07 14:42
Thanks
 
 
+10 # diamondmarge7 2017-01-07 11:54
The only hope for the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party is to do WHATEVAH is necessary-WHATE VAG-to put Ellison in the DNC CHAIR. That is, IMO, the only hope for our DEMOCRACY. Otherwise, if the same corrupt Establishment that corrupted the whole process in favor of CorruptClinton, will sink us all, along w/women's righs, voting rights, fair wages, more peace/less war; more NRA/more mass murders, etc etc Librarian, I almost always shout "Bravo!" to your words, but I disagree w/u on Ellison's Israel stance. I think u r dead wrong. ELLIOSON/SANDER S/SHERROD BROWN, JEFF MERKLEY & other politicians who are using their brains instead of sitting on them--we need them as leaders of the Party-not Schumer & Pelosi.
 
 
+9 # librarian1984 2017-01-07 12:22
Hi marge, I agree with everything you say and go along with Sen. Sanders but I would say Ellison's relationship with Israel is complex. Here is an open letter he wrote to the Anti-Defamation League recently:

https://mobile.twitter.com/keithellison/status/804452986110013440

He also supported a no-fly zone in Syria and has other votes that suggest he is more hawkish than I would like BUT I support him based on Sanders' recommendation. That doesn't mean I'm not going to keep an eye on him though :-)

Regards.
 
 
+3 # Anonymot 2017-01-07 18:16
Those of us who didn't support Clinton on Bernie's recommendation need to be very wary of building back the Democrat's Party. The same old gang is already getting over their hysteria enough to start taking it back. I suspect the current Putin-did-it from the suspiciously united "intelligence" chiefs Friday is a beginning.
 
 
+13 # ReconFire 2017-01-07 12:16
Something needs to be done, and soon. You're right Bill M., Bernie did bring the millennials out of the woodwork in droves. And after Bernie took his right turn to support Hillary they disappeared. The Dem. party needs them, we need them.
 
 
+3 # dotlady 2017-01-07 12:25
Anonymo - maybe you meant 11:59 on the Doomsday clock to midnight?
 
 
+5 # Anonymot 2017-01-07 14:43
Proof that it's being read! Thanks
 
 
+9 # rivervalley 2017-01-07 12:46
I'm hoping that if the DP establishment pushes "their guy" through in Feb, the Bernie side drops them and starts a third party. A good opposition party will have enormous backing from a lot of people, and probably the best chance to win in years.

A local one term establishment congressman wrote on his FB page that we all needed to talk to each other and come together to win in '18 and '20. One of his followers, a well known local retail merchant, decried the "Bernie cultists", proving that he could care less about winning if we're part of the mix. Anonymot is right - the majority of voters are independents, not R's or D's and will vote for the right candidate.
 
 
+5 # Lucretius 2017-01-07 13:18
And Keith Ellison has also hopped on the bash Russia/Putin bandwagon. He's a safe humanitarian imperialist interventionist . He will do nothing that goes against the establishment politics either.
 
 
+4 # anarchaos 2017-01-07 15:46
We definitely need to examine, dig deeper into Keith Ellison's history.
 
 
+4 # krallison 2017-01-07 16:08
What people seem to forget is that from the moment a public official is elected, it becomes his primary, perhaps his ONLY job to be reelected. These folks will do anything to glean the finances to run their campaigns in aid of that single most important job.
 
 
+5 # economagic 2017-01-07 16:47
I may be misreading the article, but McKibben's point seems to me to be simply that the Democratic Party as such has a "second chance" to avoid becoming as irrelevant as it was for five of six terms 1968-1992, and likely disappearing if it blows this one. And if it does blow this one, after the insults of its losses AND its "successes" since 92, I don't think anyone who votes for whatever it becomes has any claim to be called "progressive."
 
 
+2 # JJS 2017-01-08 08:02
“Don't let the perfect (or better) be the enemy of the good.” - Voltaire.
This is not the same as the lesser of two evils.
If you are waiting for a perfect candidate you will be waiting forever. "...form a more perfect Union, ..." not form an entirely perfect union.
 
 
0 # halva 2017-01-08 05:55
Can Bill McKibben comment on the statements made in this article?http:// www.globalresea rch.ca/demystif ying-the-climat e-change-debate /5566164 Could the campaign against fossil fuel use benefit from a campaign against emissions trading and from discussion of the findings of Professor Herndon?
 
 
0 # newell 2017-01-08 15:25
L84, anon both make some good points here, but none of the comments mention climate change. Reducing it is the prize and progressives are the only hope of doing so. McKibben and Bernie understand this but know a third party will not be powerful enuf to move the 1%. We, as progressives need to work with the Green Party while taking the DP away from the 1%'s control. A very good start is Ellison. He is not perfect, but then neither is Bernie or McKibben. But they are the best we have and time is running out for the planet and all its species.
 
 
+3 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-08 20:22
I don’t like that y’all are confusing the Republican leadership with the Republican voters. You don’t like being lumped in with the Dem establishment do you?

Have Rep voters been misled? Yes. Did Obama mislead us? Yes. I like to think that the Rep leadership has lied more than the Dems, but then I look at that video of the Dem Convention in Las Vegas and I think it’s a toss up. The leaderships of both parties are in it for power and money. Rep voters, like us, want what is best. Our idea of what is best is framed by what we know and sadly, Rep voters have less facts and more bullshit than we have.

If we are to have a united country, we MUST find a way to get better information out to ALL the voters so they can make informed decisions. McConnell corrupts everything American. He’s a freaking weasel. We have to fight him WITH HIS OWN WORDS. We have to turn the angry Rep voters against the REAL cause of their discontent, ie, the policies of their own party.
 
 
-1 # lorenbliss 2017-01-09 02:13
@Tref:

(Southern accent ON)

At thar McConnell might could be a roadside-zoo exhibit, living proof of all them stories horny Ku Klux Kountry boys do indeed have sex with little animals.

Not just chickens but even rodents too.

Yew look close at McConnell, ye cain't hep but see a suggestion a rodent ancestry.

And I hear them Southron barn rats get near big as woodchucks...

(Southern accent OFF)
 
 
+1 # lorenbliss 2017-01-09 02:30
Actually Obama -- Barack the Betrayer to the bitter end (and thereby proving beyond argument the Democratic [sic] Party deliberately facilitated the national transformation to Trumpian Nazism) -- has already squandered the Democrats' one chance to somewhat ameliorate the unspeakable savagery of what is to come.

That opportunity was the one-day opening for a Supreme Court recess appointment, precisely as touted on 29 December by RSN's very own Marc Ash,
http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/41087-will-obama-surrender-the-supreme-court-to-trump

Now there will be absolutely no mercy in Trump's genocidal war against minorities and those of us like myself -- elderly and/or disabled or chronically unemployed -- who are therefore condemned as "surplus population" because we are no longer exploitable for profit.

(Wonder when they'll chisel all that Big Lie propaganda off the base of the Statue of Liberty and replace it with "arbeit macht frei"?)
 
 
+1 # Phillybuster 2017-01-09 15:20
Yes. Obama stuck with his George H.W. Bush impression, "Wouldn't be prudent, not gonna do it".

Or as Dana Carvey (as Bush) would say, "Na ga da".

I waited all day to hear something on January 3. Not even mentioned in the MSM. Guess they all knew Obama would wimp out as usual.
 

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