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Reich writes: "The ongoing contest between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party continues to divide Democrats. It's urgent Democrats stop squabbling and recognize seven basic truths."

Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich. (photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star)


The Life of the Party: 7 Truths for Democrats

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

22 January 17

 

he ongoing contest between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party continues to divide Democrats. It’s urgent Democrats stop squabbling and recognize seven basic truths:

The Party is on life support. Democrats are in the minority in both the House and Senate, with no end in sight. Since the start of the Obama Administration they’ve lost 1,034 state and federal seats. They hold only governorships, and face 32 state legislatures fully under GOP control. No one speaks for the party as a whole. The Party’s top leaders are aging, and the back bench is thin.

The future is bleak unless the Party radically reforms itself. If Republicans do well in the 2018 midterms, they’ll control Congress and the Supreme Court for years. If they continue to hold most statehouses, they could entrench themselves for a generation.

We are now in a populist era. The strongest and most powerful force in American politics is a rejection of the status quo, a repudiation of politics as usual, and a deep and profound distrust of elites, including the current power structure of America.

That force propelled Donald Trump into the White House. He represents the authoritarian side of populism. Bernie Sanders’s primary campaign represented the progressive side.

The question hovering over America’s future is which form of populism will ultimately prevail. At some point, hopefully, Trump voters will discover they’ve been hoodwinked. Even in its purist form, authoritarian populism doesn’t work because it destroys democracy. Democrats must offer the alternative.

The economy is not working for most Americans. The economic data show lower unemployment and higher wages than eight years ago, but the typical family is still poorer today than it was in 2000, adjusted for inflation; median weekly earning are no higher than in 2000; a large number of working-age people – mostly men – have dropped out of the labor force altogether; and job insecurity is endemic.

Inequality is wider and its consequences more savage in America than in any other advanced nation.

The Party’s moneyed establishment – big donors, major lobbyists, retired members of congress who have become bundlers and lobbyists – are part of the problem. Even though many consider themselves “liberal” and don’t recoil from an active government, their preferred remedies spare corporations and the wealthiest from making any sacrifices.

The moneyed interests in the Party allowed the deregulation of Wall Street and then encouraged the bailout of the Street. They’re barely concerned about the growth of tax havens, inside trading, increasing market power in major industries (pharmaceuticals, telecom, airlines, private health insurers, food processors, finance, even high tech), and widening inequality.

Meanwhile, they’ve allowed labor unions to shrink to near irrelevance. Unionized workers used to be the ground troops of the Democratic Party. In the 1950s, more than a third of all private-sector workers were unionized; today, fewer than 7 percent are.   

It’s not enough for Democrats to be “against Trump,” and defend the status quo. Democrats have to fight like hell against regressive policies Trump wants to put in place, but Democrats also need to fight for a bold vision of what the nation must achieve – like expanding Social Security, and financing the expansion by raising the cap on income subject to Social Security taxes; Medicare for all; and world-class free public education for all. 

And Democrats must diligently seek to establish countervailing power – stronger trade unions, community banks, more incentives for employee ownership and small businesses, and electoral reforms that get big money out of politics and expand the right to vote.  

The life of the Party – its enthusiasm, passion, youth, principles, and ideals – was elicited by Bernie Sanders’s campaign. This isn’t to denigrate what Hillary Clinton accomplished – she did, after all, win the popular vote in the presidential election by almost 3 million people. It’s only to recognize what all of us witnessed: the huge outpouring of excitement that Bernie’s campaign inspired, especially from the young. This is the future of the Democratic Party.

The Party must change from being a giant fundraising machine to a movement. It needs to unite the poor, working class, and middle class, black and white – who haven’t had a raise in 30 years, and who feel angry, powerless, and disenfranchised.

If the Party doesn’t understand these seven truths and fails to do what’s needed, a third party will emerge to fill the void.

Third parties usually fail because they tend to draw votes away from the dominant party closest to them, ideologically. But if the Democratic Party creates a large enough void, a third party won’t draw away votes. It will pull people into politics.

And drawing more people into politics is the only hope going forward.


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+67 # mashiguo 2017-01-22 09:24
If democrats don't change to open primaries they will never win.

It's lunacy to hold a primary for less than a third of the population and expect to win popular support in a general election.
 
 
+48 # grandlakeguy 2017-01-22 12:36
Until we fight for and achieve REAL elections we will never win!
 
 
+4 # HowardMH 2017-01-22 14:37
Phone Numbers of House of Rep all states: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/01/03/1616776/-The-simplest-resistance-tactic-is-right-at-your-fingertips-and-it-only-takes-a-minute
Trump to cede 13 Million jobs to China over next 4 years, in clean energy Jobs.
Anonymous to expose 1,000 KKK members. YES, GO ANNOVMOUS GO! I hope they also exposé all of Trumps business deals with Russia – I bet they will in the coming weeks if not days.
Bush ethics attorney: “Trump will be in violation of Constitution when he takes oath on Friday if foreign money not removed from organization”. I wonder how many law professors and other lawyers are all ready volunteering to assist the Ethics Attorney and anyone else who has the backbone and resources the mount a class action lawsuit against Trump?
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/27/1440999/-Anonymous-to-expose-1-000-KKK-members?Salzillo
 
 
-6 # JJS 2017-01-22 15:29
Neither democrats, nor republicans for that matter, decide if there are open primaries or. Individual states decide whether to have open or closed primaries.
 
 
+7 # sean1303 2017-01-22 23:24
Quoting JJS:
Neither democrats, nor republicans for that matter, decide if there are open primaries or. Individual states decide whether to have open or closed primaries.


Not true, the party, state by state, decides whether or not to have caucuses or primaries (sometimes both) and whether or not primaries will be closed, open, or semi-open.
 
 
-1 # JJS 2017-01-23 14:06
Sorry but the state sets the laws for the parties to conduct their primaries.

Parties do decide some rules but not whether state primary elections are open or closed or semi-, .... unless the state has passed laws to allow the parties to set their own type primary, like Alaska.
Primary election laws, rules and procedure still starts with the state, not the parties.

More important is that you look up your own state and know the rules which apply to your vote so you can effectively vote for your candidate or attempt to affect change in the law.
http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/primary-types.aspx

"...primary systems are governed by a complex web of state law and political party rules." Read the rest of the article for more details:
http://www.ncsl.org/blog/2016/07/25/state-primary-rules-are-all-over-the-map.aspx

"States set many rules of primary elections; they choose the date and determine if the primary will be open or closed." http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2015/09/who-controls-primary-elections-and-who-gets-to-vote/
 
 
0 # Caliban 2017-01-26 01:11
You seem to forget that state politics is just as Party - dominated as national politics.

The work of reforming the electoral system will have to start at the state level, but at the moment the states are very much the GOP's home turf.
 
 
+1 # JJS 2017-01-23 14:58
Here is another good resource of the primary election processes, rules and laws.
http://ivn.us/2013/10/22/how-do-primary-elections-work/
 
 
+1 # JJS 2017-01-23 08:08
What? You have alternate facts that Dems and Reps decide whether a state is an opened or closed primary state?
 
 
-16 # ericlipps 2017-01-22 17:00
The trouble with open primaries is that they open the door to an organized campaign to flood the polls with fake members of the [insert name here; this applies universally] party who'll help steer the nomination toward a candidate the other party considers beatable.

Of course, this can backfire: Republicans were thrilled when Obama was nominated in 2008, because they figured the white majority would race to the polls to vote as a bloc against a n****r. But that's not something to count on.

If Bernie Sanders had been nominated by the Democrats, Trump would have had a field day whipping up the mobs against a socialist New York Jew.
 
 
+13 # grandlakeguy 2017-01-22 17:17
Bernie Sanders always openly admitted to being a...
DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST!
Just like FDR!

Why must you keep dishonestly distorting an easily confirmed fact?
 
 
+4 # JJS 2017-01-23 14:48
I think eric may have meant that Bernie would be characterized, falsely, as a "socialist New York Jew."
I wish Bernie was chosen in the primary as the Democratic candidate. As much as I wish for a redo, it ain't happenin'. Let's work to get it right next election cycle. I like that ethics lawyers are going after Trump for unconstitutiona l foreign business payments (YAY!). Let's keep the pressure on. I think he'll crack before the year is out.

It makes sense to me to have closed primaries for the reason eric mentions and more, but I also feel it is up to the people to get their state's laws to reflect their will. If the people are willing to take the risk of open primaries, so be it. This can (has to) be accomplished through state legislation.
 
 
+5 # rural oregon progressive 2017-01-23 23:29
No, that is not what eric meant... He has steadfastly insisted that because Bernie self- identified as a Democratic Socialist, that Americans would have rejected him in a general election. He has stated this falsehood repeatedly over the past year. He ignored poll after poll that showed that Americans support Democratic Socialism (postal services, fire departments, social security, Medicare, police, public roads and so on: all Democratic Socialist services). He ignored polls that showed Clinton losing to Trump. He insists that Trump would have beaten Bernie (when all evidence suggests the contrary). He is a Hillary zealot who cannot even acknowledge facts on the ground. He, and others like him helped to give us Trump... But will go to his grave insisting that it is all that "Socialist, Bernie Sanders" who is at fault for our current predicament. I have now broken my New Year's resolution to ignore ericlipps. I resisted until now, but have failed to live up to that resolution... Sorry RSN readers. I will try to do better.
 
 
+3 # JJS 2017-01-23 08:11
Rather than demonizing demonizing open or closed primaries, Independents need to be educated to the ACTUAL fact that if they live in a closed primary state they need to join the party of their preferred candidate in order to vote for that candidate in the primaries. Otherwise, they need to persuade their state to change to an open primary state.
 
 
+2 # Bruce Gruber 2017-01-23 11:21
With overall participation at as little as 30% in many areas, it would appear that 'representative democracy' is pretty unsuccessful in motivating citizen action OR concern. Party domination of 'procedure' seems, in large part, to be a function of available money ... most of which for BOTH the DNC and GOP 'establishments comes from sources OTHER than the majority of 'average' voters. Both Parties are directed by their funding sources, and the other 99% of us get to argue over the "special interest" candidates we are afforded.

Bernie and Trump reflect the animosity of the vast majority of Americans to the insider system. If the corporatist/plu tocratic/financ ial profiteers aren't careful, they will not have a USA to exploit. Another FDR or ANTI-exploitati on revolution might be much worse for their heirs than combining a little egalitarian empathy in their display of 'control'.
 
 
+4 # Moxa 2017-01-24 18:45
I am a New York Jew and I was a volunteer in the Sanders campaign. Many people in liberal Manhattan expressed the same fear about Americans not voting for a Jew. Interestingly, I believe all the people who said that were Jewish. I think Jews have been persecuted for so long that there is the ingrained expectation that it will happen again, whether there is evidence of it or not.

As for the socialism part: Everybody knew Bernie was a socialist. It was the FIRST thing they ever heard about him. And his poll numbers kept rising because it didn't take much to get past the S word and realize that you actually loved his policies. Even his critics admired his integrity. Unlike Hillary he had no baggage, only a reputation for telling the truth and serving the people for 30 or 40 years. His favorability rating was about 25 points higher than Hillary's and about 35 points higher than Trump's. The independents would have made him the Democratic nominee and he would have wiped the floor with Donald Trump, in a way Hillary could never do. As corrupt as Trump was, so was Hillary. Not so Bernie. With an open primary we wouldn't be in this mess.
 
 
0 # Brice 2017-01-23 23:34
That has absolutely nothing to do with anything ... the reason Democrats lost in the last election is simply that so few Democrats turned out to vote.
 
 
+32 # vilstef 2017-01-22 09:47
Historically, even wishy-washy Democrats have been better for the country than Republican who pretend at Populism. A policy of welfare for the rich and the free market for the poor is just a recipe for inequality. This is what we have had since Reagan and even before. If anyone expects this to change under Trump, I have some land to sell to them in Florida.
 
 
+11 # mighead 2017-01-22 12:56
I hope for the best...
I fear the worst...
I'll SETTLE for NO WAR WITH RUSSIA AND/OR CHINA!!!
 
 
+53 # Winston Smith II 2017-01-22 10:37
Robert Reich is slowly getting the point. But he does not articulate the points far enough. He needs to be much more specific.

1. change in the democratic party means an end to the control of the Clinton, Podesta, Center for American Progress, etc.

2. Populism means an end to the policies of neo-liberalism or corporate control of government. It also means and end to neo-conservatis m or permanent war.

Sanders is a great leader for the new Democratic party. There aren't really all that many others. But once the old neo-libs and neo-cons bow out, FDR/socialist democrats will rise to the top. The reformed party must be a Democratic Socialist party to counter-balance Trump's right wing populism.
 
 
+14 # GoGreen! 2017-01-22 10:58
The Democratic party CAN NOT BE CHANGED. Face that fact and investigate other options. The two party system only allows us to choose which of the two is not as bad as the other.

Thanks a lot. I don't want the lesser of two equals. I want more choice. There is no reason that we need political parties anyway. We need to elect people who will vote as their constituents instruct them. That is what democracy is. The people we elect must truly represent us or kick their asses out of our government.
 
 
+27 # mighead 2017-01-22 13:02
As I remember it...
The Dem Party did ALL they could...legally AND ILLEGALLY to DISALLOW THE ONLY PROGRESSIVE VOICE THEY HAD: BERNIE'S!!!

They also did all they could (including rigging the FL voting machines?!)...t o make sure that one of their BEST PROGRESSIVES... and the only one besides Bern that refused big corporate money...Alan Grayson...was DEFEATED in the DNC primaries...by yet another big money stooge: Patrick Murphy. So of course, the FL Senate seat went to GOP's Rubio.
 
 
+7 # isafakir 2017-01-22 13:22
without electing people, you cannot reform anything.

there are no perfect compromises, so there always will be lesser evils - government which is not dictatorial is consensus.
 
 
+45 # Emmanuel Goldstein 2017-01-22 11:06
Well said, Professor Reich!
The Democratic Party needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom, starting with the corrupt DNC that was bought off by the Clinton forces before the primary season even began. The party needs to get rid of fossils like Pelosi and Schumer and find new, younger blood. Make Bernie the head of the party. Take populism seriously. Notice the kinds of issues Trump exploited. Stop embracing neoliberal/neoc onservative policies and get back to the party's roots in the working class. Etc.
 
 
+4 # isafakir 2017-01-22 13:26
the dnc was corrupted by the last administration which purged the left and served the banks under the direction of the president.
 
 
0 # Caliban 2017-01-26 01:19
Not true.

Barak Obama is an honest man and was a fine President who was rightly elected twice.
 
 
+15 # neis 2017-01-22 15:11
Agreed. A total house-cleaning of the DNC might signal a new beginning. barring that, it's just business as usual.
 
 
+33 # Femihumanist 2017-01-22 11:07
The "Democratic Party" is dead. Either it becomes "reborn" with the same name and a different mantel OR a new party must emerges to fill the gap. Otherwise our descent into HELL is complete.
 
 
+19 # mighead 2017-01-22 13:04
Hopefully, that 'new party' will be Bern's Revolution!
A "revolution" against the DEM ESTABLISHMENT is certainly what is needed here!!!
 
 
+30 # BobboMax 2017-01-22 11:19
Concerning " Democrats also need to fight for a bold vision of what the nation must achieve – like expanding Social Security, and financing the expansion by raising the cap on income subject to Social Security taxes; Medicare for all; and world-class free public education for all."

On the subject of "Medicare for all," France has a health care system that's generally considered to be world class, both in terms of both user satisfaction and outcomes. It costs them 1/2 as much per capita as ours does and produces noticeably better results- the French are healthier and happier.

So, we're wasting half of our health care dollars. Granted, one person's wasted health care dollar is another person's middle class income, or a CEO's 1% income, but the point is clear- we're not doing a very good job on health care and the French (among others) are doing a reasonably good job.

So now the big question... Did this point ever come up in the recent presidential campaign? If not, why not? Conservatively, we're wasting $3,000/year on 250 million people- that's $750 billion/year. We could build a lot of roads, educate a lot of kids, cure a lot of diseases for that kind of money.

References: www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0006_health-care-oecd
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/11/14/24-7-wall-st-countries-spend-most-health-care/75771044/
http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.XPD.PCAP
 
 
-2 # Old School Conservative 2017-01-22 18:15
We spend so much on healthcare because we are a bunch of fat asses. From Wikipedia: Obesity in the United States has been increasingly cited as a major health issue in recent decades. While many industrialized countries have experienced similar increases, obesity rates in the United States are among the highest in the world.[3]

Obesity has continued to grow within the United States. Two out of every three Americans are considered to be overweight or obese. During the early 21st century, America often contained the highest percentage of obese people in the world. Obesity has led to over 120,000 preventable deaths each year in the United States.[citatio n needed] An obese person in America incurs an average of $1,429 more in medical expenses annually. Approximately $147 billion is spent in added medical expenses per year within the United State
 
 
+7 # RLF 2017-01-23 10:08
You conveniently neglect to mention the affects of farm and food policies of that very same obesity. We throw government money at farm policy that creates fat people but do nothing to push anything healthy because it is big business getting the subsidies for creating this problem. Dig a little deeper and maybe, if it is possible for you, you might learn a thing or two.
 
 
+16 # Jayceecool 2017-01-22 11:37
Unfortunately, Mr Reich, the Huffington Post recently published a piece describing the contest for DNC chairman and how the hundreds of members had no interest in dealing with the issues raised by Bernie Sanders. Are you one of those DNC members?
 
 
0 # Robbee 2017-01-23 00:05
Quoting Jayceecool:
Unfortunately, Mr Reich, the Huffington Post recently published a piece describing the contest for DNC chairman and how the hundreds of members had no interest in dealing with the issues raised by Bernie Sanders. Are you one of those DNC members?

- read what reich says again! - it is aimed directly at slow establishment dems
 
 
+36 # futhark 2017-01-22 11:53
"Hillary Clinton...did.. .win the popular vote in the presidential election by almost 3 million people."

This statement cannot be contested, but it makes one wonder how much greater the popular vote margin of victory could have been had the Democrats nominated a candidate who provided a clear alternative to Mr. Trump in reforming government policies to provide a truly sustainable prosperity more widely accessible to all.
 
 
+3 # Robbee 2017-01-23 00:08
Quoting futhark:
"Hillary Clinton...did...win the popular vote in the presidential election by almost 3 million people."

This statement cannot be contested, but it makes one wonder how much greater the popular vote margin of victory could have been had the Democrats nominated a candidate who provided a clear alternative to Mr. Trump in reforming government policies to provide a truly sustainable prosperity more widely accessible to all.

- no one can ever pose a clear alternative to rump - it is simply not possible to pose a clear alternative to a chameleon
 
 
+19 # kalpal 2017-01-22 12:03
During the past few decades the Democrats exhibited a lassitude that indicated no desire to struggle to retain power. I am not sure why that is so but I have observed it with alarm. Bernie Sanders demonstrated that it is possible to encourage young voters to commit to improving the nation. That can happen again since young people are the future for democrats just old people are the future for the Republicans.
 
 
+8 # Diane_Wilkinson_Trefethen_aka_tref 2017-01-22 18:05
Quoting kalpal:
...old people are the future for the Republicans.
Just wait a cotton picking minute you young whippersnapper! Old people don't usually take as active an interest in politics as young ones do but that does NOT mean they are the bread and butter of the future Republican party. More and more Boomers are retiring AND living longer than people over 65 used to live. The Republican meme of pinning the ills of the country on SS & Medicare is NOT playing well with this group. They have spent their whole lives paying into the annuities we call Social Security and Medicare. Given the paucity of decent business pension plans, seeing Republicans gleefully throw SS & Medicare under the bus just so the richest SOBs can keep more tax dollars will make this group turn STRONGLY against a GOP that would treat them so badly. In fact, you are already seeing "buyers remorse" in that group.

If the Republican government acts quickly on Price’s and Ryan's plans to screw the elderly, and the chances are excellent that in their ideological and $$$ blindness they’ll do that, you WILL see a dramatic change in the voting patterns of older Americans in 2018 and 2020.
 
 
+4 # JJS 2017-01-23 15:12
As an old(er) gal myself, I feel we need to make changes in taxes to save SS and Medicare, and even expand to Medicare for All.
Take away the earnings cap on FICA payments and maybe add a tax on stock trades or earnings after a certain amount of capital gains.
Like you say, with no pensions some older folks depend on their meager portfolios, if they have one, to keep afloat.
 
 
+28 # mighead 2017-01-22 12:27
IMO: Corporations are now in charge of our government.

Everyone in Congress except Bernie and Grayson are paid employees of one or more corporations and thus, do their bidding.

Like HRC...thanks to her Foundation...th ey are 'for sale' to the highest bidders.

Unless the (incredibly corrupt!!!) 'pay to play' system of US government is changed; we will forever be led by the representatives and slaves of Big Money and THEIR INTERESTS. And of course, prominent among those is our American War Machine; not to mention Banks, Wall St, Pharma, Telecom, Ag and the many other groups that make our laws and treaties.
 
 
+7 # MindDoc 2017-01-22 15:01
And speaking of "pay to play" government, does anyone remember the Donald asserting that a first priority would be imposing term limits on Congress, to address that phenomenon? Maybe that's 'rhetorical', as he went on Day 1 to tell the "Nazi" CIA that nobody loves them more than he, & to deliver a bizarre ego-centric rant about 'fake news' and undercounts of *his* inauguration. Then came stories about other priorities, like the intention of de-funding NEA, CPB, the arts & humanities, etc. - the last vestiges of "society" we've attained thus far. Just saying... How about we keep the Donald's pledges handy for when he does the exact opposite? (Like installing the greatest concentration of .01 percent pay-for-players ever, as his cabinet!)
 
 
0 # Robbee 2017-01-23 00:13
Quoting mighead:
IMO: Corporations are now in charge of our government.

Everyone in Congress except Bernie and Grayson are paid employees of one or more corporations and thus, do their bidding.

Like HRC...thanks to her Foundation...they are 'for sale' to the highest bidders.

Unless the (incredibly corrupt!!!) 'pay to play' system of US government is changed; we will forever be led by the representatives and slaves of Big Money and THEIR INTERESTS. And of course, prominent among those is our American War Machine; not to mention Banks, Wall St, Pharma, Telecom, Ag and the many other groups that make our laws and treaties.

- true! - still a dem senate filibuster is our only hope to stop rampant fascism - we best hope dems find something worth blocking! - sorry!
 
 
+1 # Caliban 2017-01-25 00:05
Hi, #mighead -- I'm thinking this "slave" list looks like everybody except maybe the Salvation Army.

So, I have to wonder if all these actually have the same policy interests and thus can really be considered a "bloc" vote on the issues.

Any thoughts on that issue?
 
 
+1 # Kiwikid 2017-01-22 12:43
The problem with populism is that it promotes demagoguery. Whether of the left or right it will still ultimately leave us all in a worse place as it appeals to the darker side of our natures. We need to be very careful if we're going to buy into this as a strategy. Whoever sups with the devil (in whatever guise) needs a long spoon.
 
 
+13 # isafakir 2017-01-22 13:50
governor dean, senator sanders, senator warren, mr ellison are not appealing to any dark side. the usa is defined by the constitution, as ruled on by john marshall whose constitutional law was validated by the 13th 14th 15th amendments, as we the people by the people for the people - the states do not define us. neither do parties. we are the usa, and we as a people must decide, and the party, or parties, that is rooted in the people cannot go off into the dark.

it's the transformation of the parties into corporate controlled and maintained institutions which have created zombie rule

it's corrupted parties who've installed grossly corrupted judges

it's up to us to change that, as proven by dnc dean, senator sanders, al smith.
 
 
+11 # lfeuille 2017-01-22 14:47
I don't remember any demagoguery coming from Bernie. It's happening whether you like it or not so you better hope it is the leftist democratic version that prevails. The other version is Trump.
 
 
+8 # lfeuille 2017-01-22 14:51
Very good. An entire article from Reich without one mention of the Russians. I hope he keeps it up and maybe gets more specific in the future.
 
 
0 # Bruce Gruber 2017-01-23 11:37
The oligarchic establishment perceives 'populism' as demanding that the fruits of labor accrue to benefit the society through which they are achieved - even including all of mankind in its MOST populist humanitarian application of Judaeo-Christia n (and other prophetic incantations).

Taxpayers (US) are the enemy of those with the skills, influence, wealth and/or power (THEM) to tilt the table of life toward their pockets, convenience, and luxury.

We are forced to FIGHT for a shared part of the pie of production/inve stment/ and consumption. THEY are aggregating resources, replacing 'labor' with technology, and bending the "rules" to limit their contribution and control their authoritarian institutions to prevent consideration of climate, environment, and humanity as matters of "public" policy.

WAR against individuals as human beings has effectively been declared.
 
 
+21 # Saberoff 2017-01-22 12:55
Bob, the Democratic Party has been taken over by the devil. It will never "radically reform itself."

Note: Thirteen Democrats killed Sanders' Prescription Drug Bill.

Michael Bennet - CO - 202-224-5852
Cory Booker - NJ - 202-224-3224
Maria Cantwell - WA - 202-224-3441
Tom Carper - DE - 202-224-2441
Bob Casey - PA - 202-224-6324
Christopher Coons - DE - 202-224-5042
Joe Donnelly - IN - 202-224-4814
Martin Heinrich - NM - 202-224-5521
Heidi Heitkamp - ND - 202-224-2043
Bob Menendez - NJ - 202-224-4744
Patty Murray - WA - 202-224-2621
Jon Tester - MT - 202-224-2644
Mark Warner - VA - 202-224-2023

Here's THIRTEEN truths for the Dem Party (Hey Bob, why not call up these folks? - tell them about your seven truths)

BTW, Twelve Republicans voted FOR the bill (would have carried, if...)
 
 
+4 # mighead 2017-01-22 21:21
Great List...
THANX!!!
 
 
0 # Robbee 2017-01-23 00:24
Quoting Saberoff:
Bob, the Democratic Party has been taken over by the devil. It will never "radically reform itself."

Note: Thirteen Democrats killed Sanders' Prescription Drug Bill.

Michael Bennet - CO - 202-224-5852
Cory Booker - NJ - 202-224-3224
Maria Cantwell - WA - 202-224-3441
Tom Carper - DE - 202-224-2441
Bob Casey - PA - 202-224-6324
Christopher Coons - DE - 202-224-5042
Joe Donnelly - IN - 202-224-4814
Martin Heinrich - NM - 202-224-5521
Heidi Heitkamp - ND - 202-224-2043
Bob Menendez - NJ - 202-224-4744
Patty Murray - WA - 202-224-2621
Jon Tester - MT - 202-224-2644
Mark Warner - VA - 202-224-2023

Here's THIRTEEN truths for the Dem Party (Hey Bob, why not call up these folks? - tell them about your seven truths)

BTW, Twelve Republicans voted FOR the bill (would have carried, if...)

- 13 dem senators providing cover for 12 repugs to feign public interest is the best recent example of the corrosive effect of big pharma money on congress

when will bernie propose public funding of elections by constitutional amendment? - if not now? when?
 
 
+1 # Jim Young 2017-01-24 19:55
Be aware it seems part of the reason Republicans put so much attention on State legislatures seems to be as ready as they can to initiate an Article 5 call for a Constitutional Convention based on the 2/3rds of States instead of 2/3rds of Congress basis. Seems a long shot but they are at 31 States already, and I can just barely imagine what outrageous total remaking of our Constitution would look like if it was left up the the State Legislature in such a coalition of states (instead of the US Federal Legislature).

If they ever got that far, I'd be all for the biggest states (that put more into the federal coffers than they take out) seceding and letting the small states they hold small majorities in (and out sized percentages of state representatives compared to popular vote percentages representative) try to form a function country with out us.
 
 
+5 # Inspired Citizen 2017-01-22 13:06
Reich writes, "If the Party doesn’t understand these seven truths and fails to do what’s needed, a third party will emerge to fill the void. Third parties usually fail because they tend to draw votes away from the dominant party closest to them, ideologically. But if the Democratic Party creates a large enough void, a third party won’t draw away votes. It will pull people into politics. And drawing more people into politics is the only hope going forward."

#ProgressiveOrBust strategies aim to accelerate that process. Either the Democrats run progressive candidates or else we "bust" them by writing in the names of the progressive candidates, where allowed, or voting Green. Revolt Against Plutocracy co-founder, Patrick Walker, wants to attempt this in 2018, and the organization that launched the #BernieOrBust strategy will do so in 2020 if and only if a progress worthy of support runs in the primaries against the neoliberals of the Party.
 
 
+7 # DudeistPriest 2017-01-22 13:20
Waiting for Democrats to change, has the same outcome as "Waiting For Godot." It's never going to happen. The candidates for DNC chairman, are stabbing each other in the back, as they scramble to suck up to Podesto and Soros.

Just start a new party already or join with the Democratic Socialists of America.
 
 
+5 # Jaax88 2017-01-22 14:25
Agreed, something certainly has to change in the political realm to turn America away from trump's faux populism. Can Bernie lead the way to victory? That would be great gauging from current and past positions. However he is 75 years old. Can he last? Could he at 79 stand up to the rigors of the presidency? I certainly do not know the answers to those questions, but would like to say yes. This situation points to the need for new faces. For a party leader, 3rd party or the revised Demo party, try outs need to start now. Sanders, Ron Weyden, Al Franken, Warner, others? The progressive public should not let the power structure and old time Demos determine who that will be.
 
 
+6 # Saberoff 2017-01-22 17:05
Tulsi Gabbard.
 
 
+2 # Radscal 2017-01-22 19:08
Nina Turner has seen the light and has the fire, along with some national recognition now. I don't know why we're not hearing her name in the competition to be DNC Chair, but she may be the best Democrat out there.
 
 
+1 # librarian1984 2017-01-23 13:44
I would LOVE to see her head the DNC, not only because she's a tireless and articulate representative of the progressive agenda but because the DNC hates her. Remember they wouldn't let her nominate Sanders at the convention even though he'd requested it?

In that NT interview you recently linked to, she said it might have been the only time Sanders raised his voice in anger during the election, when he was told Turner couldn't take the stage. She had once supported Clinton but had switched after she heard Bernie speak -- and she was being punished -- even as DWS was getting a new post after having to resign.

If Turner were DNC chair Ellison could keep his seat. I suppose she was vetoed by someone somewhere, more's the pity.
 
 
+2 # rural oregon progressive 2017-01-23 23:51
And this is the problem progressives are up against. The DNC gave us Trump, yet cannot seem to realize their folly. Nina would make a wonderful chair... Uncorrupted, articulate, smart and a powerful speaker.
 
 
+1 # Radscal 2017-01-24 00:16
Yes, on all fronts. Did you watch all four parts of her interview on Real News?
 
 
+13 # gaga1996 2017-01-22 14:41
A quote from a Course In Miracles says it best -- "When a situation is dedicated wholly to the truth, peace is inevitable". When the Democratic Party owns up to their deceit and outright fraud against Bernie Sanders during the primaries, then, and only then, will the healing of the divide begin.
 
 
+7 # neis 2017-01-22 15:08
"If the Party doesn’t understand these seven truths and fails to do what’s needed, a third party will emerge to fill the void."

No -- if the Party doesn't understand and do what's needed, it needs to simply go away and stop sucking resources from true opposition to the continuing oligarchy.
 
 
+17 # willsud24 2017-01-22 15:19
Here's a 10-point plan for the Dems:

1. Stop the deification of Barack and Michelle Obama. Worship of leaders is an authoritarian action and the Dems need to become a DEMOCRATIC party, not an authoritarian one. Admit that Obama was not the messiah.

2. Come to terms with Obama's failed right-wing policies. We lost 1034 seats nationwide and got Trump as a POTUS because Obama failed as a President, not just because Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate. Obama continued the Bush tax cuts, took us from two wars to eight wars, pushed the T.P.P, and filled his cabinet with executives from Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

3. Move to the left. America deserves a true liberal, progressive party.

4. Get rid of the neoliberals! Corey Booker, Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken and all these other faux liberals need to go!

5. Talk about expanding social security and medicare, not cutting it or privatizing it.

6. Discuss the worker-employee relationship and how it authoritarian and unjust in its nature. Reach out to workers and back workers movements that focus on worker self management, worker ownership, co-ops and better conditions and wages for workers,

7. Stop focusing merely on identity politics and start focusing on economic justice.

8. Fight the mass incarnation of non-violent, victim-less crime offenders.

9. Push for single-payer healthcare for all and a reasonable retirement age for all.

10. Finally, stop the endless WARS!
 
 
+6 # ChrisCurrie 2017-01-22 15:58
A major part of the Democratic Party's problem is that they have been hiring political advisors who were good at raising money from wealthy Americans and some corporations but were “ideologically clueless” when it came to actually winning elections. Donald Trump destroyed Ted Kruz’s bid for President by (accurately) labeling him “Lying Ted.” Democrats should have done same to (deservedly) to Donald Trump, but they didn’t (despite the overwhelming evidence available for doing so). So Donald Trump got away will uttering all sorts of likes that could easily been used DESTROY HIS CREDIBILITY! Unfortunately, too many American voters believed at least some of Trump’s lies and provably false promises, and they voted for him, largely because they were “turned off” by President Obama’s trade policies (especially his dishonestly promoted TPP/TTIP/TiSA mislabeled “trade agreements”). And they allowed Trump to get away with blaming “illegal immigrants” for the economic problems that were deliberately created by the Republican Party’s efforts to SABOTAGE our nation’s economy in order to make Obama appear to be a “failure.” So the Democratic Party’s own (ideologically clueless) political leaders and advisors were in no small way responsible for Trump’s win in November’s presidential election.
 
 
+17 # Radscal 2017-01-22 16:24
This is the most honest piece I've seen from Reich since before the Democratic Convention.

There's still more the Democratic Party has to acknowledge and then resolve, like election fraud, but this is a significant step back towards reality.
 
 
+3 # mighead 2017-01-22 19:19
IMO: they have to stop their endless wars and warmongering...
AND THEIR DRONES!!!
AND SAY NO TO CORPORATE FUNDING!!!
AND SAY NO TO SURVEILLANCE ON US CITIZENS!

I'll stop here...but my list is VERY, VERY LONG!!!
 
 
0 # Radscal 2017-01-24 00:18
Yep. As long as we keep pouring 1/2 of our discretionary budget in the military, it'll be impossible to find the funds to do the things the country needs.

And as long as we keep blowing up people and cities, we will keep creating both terrorists and refugees.
 
 
+1 # pkrumm 2017-01-22 19:30
This article misses the point. The reason that Trump won is that there was no unified progressive populist group to oppose his conservative populist view. The reason for this is that Bernie Sanders refused to bail on the Democratic Party, which because of it funding base will never do what is being proposed above. Had Sanders joined the Green Party in its attempt to unseat the status quo, and unified the populist progressives, we would not be seeing Trump as President.

There would be problems, as the Dems and Repubs would still control congress, but there would at least be someone in the presidency who was representing the people, and the change movement would be unified to force congress to move in that direction. As it is, the movement is split into Dem and non-Dem parts, and will have difficulty getting itself together to do anything. When Sanders bails, change will be possible.
 
 
+3 # citizenpaine 2017-01-22 19:48
Please, please, PLEASE forget reforming the Democratic party. It is fully owned by the Clintons, Pelosis, Schumers, Feinsteins and all their big corporate supporter. What part of "owned" don't you understand? Shall we talk about reforming the Church of Scientology? The Church of Latter Day Saints? The Roman Catholic Church? The Ku Klux Klan? Walmart? These are not yours or mine to reform. Need a new party. It's been done before. The time is right. We have four years to build an infrastructure and form alliances. Maybe we have much less. We can still complain and call the king a liar. Look at Turkey---they are past the point where they can do this. Bitch about Erdogan and you're labeled a terrorist. They're up shits creek. That's the point of no return, mark my word. Start some new parties. We can always create a coalition party between them.
 
 
+1 # candida 2017-01-22 20:29
Maybe the Democratic Party's problem is us. How many here are involved in their local DP?
 
 
0 # candida 2017-01-22 20:33
The YWCA organized my local Women's March and is now leading organizing efforts. People need to get involved in any way how. But taking over the DP is a MUST just like the Tea Partiers took over the GOP. State power is only possible through the party system. Or, hell, join the Greens. Maybe their time has finally come!
 
 
+8 # Street Level 2017-01-22 22:55
And the Dems think that putting up their new patsy, Cory Booker is going to grow the party? Among his many corporate donations he just voted against Bernie's Prescription Drug Act shooting down our ability to buy medications from Canada for Much Less.

Dems like Booker ARE THE PROBLEM.
 
 
+3 # Eljefe 2017-01-23 13:26
The DNC sold its soul. You can still smell the brimstone.
 

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