Posts tagged Democrats

On Ferguson, no words from Hillary Clinton

Two reporters called out questions to Clinton about her thoughts on Ferguson after she had wrapped up at Books & Books on Main Street in Westhampton Beach, a store owned by former Simon & Schuster executive Jack McKeown. (Simon & Schuster is the publisher of her new book, “Hard Choices.”)

Clinton ignored the questions and kept walking toward a rear entrance of the book store.

The result of all this polarization is that the ideologically rigid have come to dominate the electoral process, taking a more active role in elections out of enthusiasm for their own side or hatred for the other side. They elect candidates who are more attuned to partisanship and less open to negotiating. Voters who want moderation and compromise become disillusioned and withdraw from politics, which further strengthens the hand of the hyper-partisan voters.
What is the end game on all this? It’s tough to say. Self-reinforcing cycles like this are hard to break, and so long as each side has a reliably large base of voters, the cycle will keep on churning. The Republicans, though, are already pushing the extremes of ideological purity — they just kicked out their conservative majority leader in favor of a libertarian crank whose policy positions are rooted in Ayn Randian fantasy. It’s possible they’ll isolate themselves so badly (they’re base is aging and emerging voter demographics are trending against them) that they’ll achieve rump party status and undergo a forced recalibration. You can only lose so many presidential elections before realizing something’s wrong.

 (via Extremist lunatics are ruining Congress — and a new report says it’s our fault - Salon.com)Didja catch what Malloy did there? He gave you solid analysis from inside the Two Parties Are All That the USA Can Handle paradigm box.
For the sake of honesty, working in support of any political party when you are not either donating or being paid money is a waste of your time. The system is not responsive to needs of people who don’t pay (damn, I don’t know where to find that academic study that proves it). It’s also constructed to prevent real partisan plurality. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to see things work needs to fix the system, not the symptoms, first. The media and content generators (consider the secondary role that political officials, partisan hacks and spin doctors have) have a stake in the stasis of the political hegemony, too.
Pundits and journalists will always scoff at the notion at any more than 2 parties in the USA because 3+ parties mean more work for journalists to do an adequate job on covering politics. Pols will scoff at it because it would mean losing power and more work for them to legislate.

The result of all this polarization is that the ideologically rigid have come to dominate the electoral process, taking a more active role in elections out of enthusiasm for their own side or hatred for the other side. They elect candidates who are more attuned to partisanship and less open to negotiating. Voters who want moderation and compromise become disillusioned and withdraw from politics, which further strengthens the hand of the hyper-partisan voters.

What is the end game on all this? It’s tough to say. Self-reinforcing cycles like this are hard to break, and so long as each side has a reliably large base of voters, the cycle will keep on churning. The Republicans, though, are already pushing the extremes of ideological purity — they just kicked out their conservative majority leader in favor of a libertarian crank whose policy positions are rooted in Ayn Randian fantasy. It’s possible they’ll isolate themselves so badly (they’re base is aging and emerging voter demographics are trending against them) that they’ll achieve rump party status and undergo a forced recalibration. You can only lose so many presidential elections before realizing something’s wrong.


Didja catch what Malloy did there? He gave you solid analysis from inside the Two Parties Are All That the USA Can Handle paradigm box.

For the sake of honesty, working in support of any political party when you are not either donating or being paid money is a waste of your time. The system is not responsive to needs of people who don’t pay (damn, I don’t know where to find that academic study that proves it). It’s also constructed to prevent real partisan plurality. That’s why I suggest that anyone who wants to see things work needs to fix the system, not the symptoms, first. The media and content generators (consider the secondary role that political officials, partisan hacks and spin doctors have) have a stake in the stasis of the political hegemony, too.

Pundits and journalists will always scoff at the notion at any more than 2 parties in the USA because 3+ parties mean more work for journalists to do an adequate job on covering politics. Pols will scoff at it because it would mean losing power and more work for them to legislate.

Democrats' & Obama's Pyrrhic Victories

Those really don’t mean anything until you fix income inequality. Democrats seem too interested in generating victories and wins and statistics that look good, you know, the little victories, then putting them in a context toward the big win. They don’t have the integrity to remind people that these factoids could be pieces to fix a larger problem.

But we don’t need a memoir to know that, comparatively speaking, two things can be said about her tenure at the State Department: first, that in fact she accomplished very little; and second, that both before her appointment and during her service, she consistently came down on the hawkish side of debates inside the administration, from Afghanistan to Libya and Syria. She’s also taken a more hawkish line than Obama on Ukraine and the confrontation with Russia.

In the brief excerpt that’s been released by her publisher, Clinton notes that as secretary of state she “ended up visiting 112 countries and traveling nearly one million miles.” But what, if anything, did she accomplish with all that to-ing and fro-ing? Not a lot. She largely avoided the Israel-Palestine tangle, perhaps because she didn’t want to risk crossing the Israel lobby at home, and it’s hard to see what she actually did, other than to promote the education and empowerment of girls and women in places where they are severely beaten down. And, while it’s wrong (and really silly) to call Clinton a neoconservative, she’s more of—how to put it?—a “right-wing realist” on foreign policy, who often backed military intervention as a first or second resort, while others in the White House—especially Obama’s national security staff and Vice President Biden’s own aides, were far more reluctant to employ the troops.

In that vein, it’s useful to explore the memoirs of Robert Gates, who was secretary of defense under George W. Bush and then, inexplicably, under President Obama, too. In Duty: Memoir of a Secretary at War (which could also be the subtitle of Clinton’s own memoir), Gates says several times that he and Clinton saw eye to eye. (This has also been extensively documented by Bob Woodward, if more narrowly focused, in his 2010 book, Obama’s Wars.) In Duty, Gates says that he formed an alliance with Clinton because both he and her had independent power bases and were, in his words, “un-fireable”
For the record, I’ve lost friends over my willingness to criticize Barack Obama, going back to the 2008 primary. Only yesterday, the true-blue Obama precincts of Twitter were raging against me as an enemy of the president.

I don’t so much defend the administration as defend the country from Republicans who cynically turned on their own ideas – the individual mandate, cap and trade legislation, immigration reform – once a Democratic president embraced them. I’m almost equally appalled by lazy Beltway wags who can’t see the radicalism of today’s GOP and reduce everything to their own “both sides do it” false equivalence.

You’ve got to see the tweet attacking Walsh:

It is nothing but amazing to see this from partisan Democrats. This rise of the Democrat with an intolerance of dissent in their own ranks shows the incapacity to win legislatures in the USA. If the dissent in the ranks of those who are left-of-center (think ideology, not partisanship) isn’t effectively directed to electoral goals, Democrats will continue to be losers.

Don’t run, Hillary. Don’t run.

Now, we are in a moment of existential crisis as a country. As we recover slowly from the Great Recession, we’ve discovered that we don’t much like what we see. Only 28% of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction. Some 67% are dissatisfied with the wealth distribution in this country. And as corporate profits soar to new heights, working folks get the shaft sharing in virtually none of the gains of the recovery.  In fact, 95% of the income gains over the recovery years have gone to the top 1% of income earners.

It is clear now that we have two economies: one for a thin slice of educated elite and one for everyone else. That is the moment we are in now. So I ask you, does Hillary Clinton sound to you like the right person for this moment?

In a time when corporations have hijacked our politics enabling them to reap all the profit without feeling any compunction to do right by their workers, is someone who sat on the rabidly anti-union board of Walmart for six years the right person to restore worker’s rights?

In a time when we are still reeling from a global financial disaster brought on by foolhardy bank deregulation, is someone who recently took $400,000 to give two speeches at Goldman Sachs the person we need to wrest control of the asylum back from the banking inmates?

Keep in mind that at those paid speeches, Clinton wasn’t giving tough love to these masters of the universe. On the contrary, she said that “the banker-bashing…was unproductive and indeed foolish.” Of course, it was her husband, former President Bill Clinton, who did much of the deregulating that got us into trouble including ending the Glass-Steagall prohibitions on mixing traditional banking with speculative investment banking. 

More to the point though, in a time when we badly need to be inspired, rallied, and made to believe that America can once again be true to the American dream, we desperately need someone who is mission driven. We need someone who is clearly passionate, who is living and breathing and feeling in their bones the plight of the worker and the middle class, and who is unafraid to stand up to the Wall Street titans. That person is not Hillary Clinton. It is Elizabeth Warren.

Warren is, for good reason, the public official most feared by Wall Street. Since coming to the Senate, she has aggressively questioned banking regulators on why Wall Street banks were not being vigorously prosecuted. She’s argued for expanding Social Security, for increasing the minimum wage, for using the infrastructure of the post office to provide basic banking services to the poor. Most recently, she pressed the Obama administration to nominate more judges who come from a background in public interest work rather than from big corporations. She’s been fearless, determined, and relentlessly true to her roots as an advocate for the middle and working classes.

Some argue that Warren is too liberal to get elected. To me, this analysis is both shallow and cowardly. The causes that Warren champions from consumer protections to expanding Social Security to increasing the minimum wage are quite popular. I would be proud to back Warren in a battle over the real future of the middle class, the working class, and the American Dream. I would be delighted to have that argument any day. And if I believed that Clinton was ready for that fight, I’d be all in.

I just don’t think that’s where Clinton’s heart is though. I think she is safe, careful, constantly evaluating her positions, drawn to the center, wherever that happens to be at the time. To be clear, I would back Clinton with all my heart against any Republican, and I would even support her over most Democrats. But she is much less than ideal.

Despite all her talents, Clinton is not the woman to address the deep inequality, corporate political capture, and middle class rot afflicting our country. So although I deeply admire and respect Secretary Clinton, I must say: Don’t run Hillary. Don’t run. 

So this is what Schumer is suggesting: let’s pass the bill now and don’t really follow it until 2017, so in the meantime, the “broken” immigration system that the Democrats continue to push will stay “broken” for another three years and we can still have record deportations and separation of families going on at a record clip. And yes, Obama earns kudos for record deportations.

Wow, how’s that historic 2012 Latino vote for President Obama and the Democrats really working out on the immigration issue? But hey, this is Schumer talking, the same Schumer who likes to call the undocumented the “illegals” on national television and no one says anything, because why upset those so-called immigration “allies.” And the same Schumer who is a border security hawk.

This is very simple: the Democrats think that the U.S. Latino vote is a lock because they aren’t feeling the pressure, and the Republicans don’t care about immigration reform. Meanwhile, deportations continue to occur every day at a record pace, and the community gets fooled.

In the end, Democrats have no backbone, national Latino organizations that side with Democrats have no backbone and it is the true immigrant rights voices out there that are trying to change the dialogue and focus. A note to the Democrats: stop leading with fear of Republicans and stop playing the U.S. Latino community. Don’t assume that we will side with you because the other team doesn’t get it. Democrats need to lead and be bold right now. Call the GOP’s bluff, because that is what it is, a bluff.
Sen. Chuck Schumer Reveals His True Colors with Bizarre “Meet the Press” Immigration “Compromise”

For decades, even as far back as Reagan’s dirty wars in Central America, Schumer has proven himself to be indifferent to injustices endured by Latin Americans.

The DCCC that I saw in 2006 and 2008 had a smart strategy of finding the right Democratic candidates that matched their district, and doing everything necessary to get these candidates to run and then give them the resources they needed to win.

Now, several cycles removed from Emanuel and Van Hollen, it seems that the DCCC and its leadership have completely lost their way. They no longer know how to recruit or back the right candidates. It feels like they are using a bastardized version of the ‘06 and ‘08 strategies, but like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy, it’s almost impossible to tell what the original actually was.

Now, the strategy seems to find the Democrat who’s the closest to being a Republican, and fully back them without doing do diligence or the hard work on the ground to find out who is the best candidate to win.

it’s people like Steve Israel who keep me from ever registering as a Democrat again.

Half the Republicans You Know Are Insane

William River Pitt writes an essay where Democrats are innocent of doing nothing and having disdain to interact with our nation’s interior, allowing the nation’s politics to fester.

"Liberals Break With Obama on 'Clean' CR - 218"...

from the Roll Call article:

…Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairmen Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Keith Ellison of Minnesota said they would whip their nearly 75 members against any CR that maintains the sequester.

“I think the stance should have been, ‘This is the time to turn around the economy, and this is what we need to do, it’s reflected in my budget, it was reflected in the original Senate budget,’ the president could have said,” Grijalva said. “I wish [Obama] had taken a different position.”

Liberal appropriators complain that Obama has become complicit in keeping the sequester in place.

“I disagree with the White House and I have told the White House that I disagree,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said. “$988 billion makes us complicit in the sequestration. … I don’t believe Democrats should stand for that [and] I think the White House should not be complicit either.”

Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., who like DeLauro is a senior appropriator and member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said Thursday he was “surprised” at the president’s position and that he was “wrong” to take that stance.