Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Yes, The Democratic Party Can And Will Survive The Scourge Of Corrupted Centrism


It was impossible to log on to DWT yesterday without knowing that woke iron worker and union activist Randy Bryce had announced his candidacy to bring new representation to southeast Wisconsin and oust the radical Republican Speaker of the House from Congress. The Democrats now have the ideal candidate to run against Paul Ryan. If you know anything of the history of the DCCC and this district, you’ll know they will not just do nothing to help, they are likely to work behind the curtains at their regular sabotage. Picture Pelosi and Hoyer, Crowley, Lujan and Wassermann Schultz, Bustos, Denny Heck and Rahm Emanuel calling their contacts and hissing into the phone that they will consider contributions to Randy’s campaign an unfriendly act. Do you want to be considered unfriend by these assholes? Here! Randy isn part of a long, proud tradition of Wisconsin progressivism. It’s tragic that powers within the Democratic Party fear that instead of embracing it.

Over the weekend, Conor Lynch, writing for Salon blasted the “third way” centrists for standing in the way of progressive policies both in the U.S. and in the U.K. Is was talking about Tony Blair’s Conservative wing of the Labour Party (New Labour) and the Clintonian Republican wing of the Democratic Party (the New Dems and the Blue Dogs). This month Corbyn, an “old-school socialist, triumphed because he ran an effective grassroots campaign with a compelling message that offered principled leadership and a progressive platform to galvanize the working-class and young people of Britain. Though Labour clearly benefited from May’s poorly run campaign, there is little doubt that Labour’s progressive manifesto was essential to its parliamentary gains.”
The snap election that was supposed to have crushed Corbyn-- and the Labour Party-- once and for all has instead re-energized the British left, while throwing serious doubt on the Conservative Party’s future. When Theresa May arrogantly called the election in April, polls indicated that her Conservative Party would win by a historic landslide, and the British press-- which has been fiercely against Corbyn since he was elected as leader of the Labour Party two years ago-- ran giddy headlines predicting the death of his party. There was no doubt whether May and the Tories would win a majority; it was only a matter of how massive that majority would be.

But if we have learned anything over the past year, with the election of U.S. President Donald Trump and the “Brexit” referendum result last summer, it is that absolutely nothing is certain in this populist age. May was expected to “Crush the Saboteurs,” as the Daily Mail’s front page read after her announcement in April, but instead she ended up crushing her own party, which lost its majority in the House of Commons after leading by more than 20 points just a month earlier.

Meanwhile, the unconventional and “unelectable” Corbyn, who has been smeared and misrepresented by the British media for the past two years-- and who has faced repeated mutinies within his own party-- generated the highest turnout for a U.K. election since 1997 and won a larger share of the popular vote than Tony Blair did in 2005. It was an even bigger upset than last year’s Brexit shocker.

Even Labour Party members and Corbynites had been resigned to the Tories winning back their majority; their goal had been simply to keep that majority as slim as possible and to not be completely humiliated. But Theresa May was the only one humiliated on election day, while the leftist Labour leader was clearly vindicated after years of abuse.

…Like Jeremy Corbyn, Bernie Sanders was seen by the commentariat as a fringe socialist kook who was completely unelectable-- and like Corbyn, he created a mass movement that appealed to working people and young voters in particular. Sanders was by far the most popular candidate among millennials in the 2016 election, while Corbyn’s Labour Party won 63 percent of aged 18 to 34 and increased voter turnout for 18- to 25-year-olds from 45 percent in 2015 to about 72 percent last week, according to exit polls from Sky data. Similar to the scenario in the U.K., the majority of Americans tend to support Sanders’ social democratic policies, including his support for Medicare for all and raising taxes on the rich.

Of course, there’s at least one obvious difference between the two progressive politicians: While Corbyn has been personally unpopular in his country, Sanders continues to rank as the most popular politician in the United States. Moreover, Sanders consistently outperformed Hillary Clinton in the polls against Donald Trump last year and would have likely defeated the Republican billionaire handily-- barring a major spoiler candidate like Michael Bloomberg.

This reality continues to infuriate many establishment Democrats, who have inevitably tried to dismiss and downplay Corbyn’s success in Britain, noting that Labour still didn’t win a majority of its own. If a centrist Blairite were leading the party, they insist (with no empirical basis whatsoever), then he or she would have been elected prime minister, say centrist Democrats. The same people who were gloating about Labour’s anticipated ruin just a month ago-- and using it as evidence that a populist shift to the left would be disastrous for the Democratic Party-- are now spinning Labour’s historic accomplishment to fit their narrative. Clearly there is a lot of denial going on here. The Blairites and Clintonites cannot bring themselves to admit that “third way” centrism is a relic of the neoliberal 1990s. They refuse to see the writing on the wall, even as it stares at them directly.

In a column for the New York Times on Tuesday, Sen. Sanders wrote that the British election “should be a lesson for the Democratic Party” to stop clinging to an “overly cautious, centrist ideology.”

He wrote, “There is never one reason elections are won or lost,” adding, “but there is widespread agreement that momentum shifted to Labour after it released a very progressive manifesto that generated much enthusiasm among young people and workers… The  [Democratic] party’s main thrust must be to make politics relevant to those who have given up on democracy and bring millions of new voters into the political process.”

A few days earlier at the People’s Summit in Chicago, Sanders discussed the U.K. election during aspeech, noting that Labour “won those seats not by moving to the right” but by “standing up to the ruling class of the U.K.” He also reiterated that “Trump didn’t win the election, the Democratic Party lost the election.” It seems clear that if the Democratic Party wants to start winning elections again, it should pay careful attention to what is currently happening in Britain.

Goal Thermometer It isn’t a lesson a brittle Pelosi DCCC, in which perennial failure has been baked into the cake for over a decade, is capable of ever learning. Progressives who still believe in using the Democratic Party as a vehicle for the legitimate aspirations of working families have to work around an always hostile and corrupt DCCC. If you haven’t contributed to genuine progressive candidates like Randy Bryce (WI), Matt Coffay (NC), Jenny Marshall (NC), Tom Guild (OK), Katie Hill (CA), Doug Applegate (CA) and the other Blue America candidates, please consider doing so by tapping on the ActBlue thermometer on the right. The Democratic Party Establishment is no more likely to bring any tip-of-the-spear progressive policies to the fore than Paul Ryan or Donald Trump are. Values-free careerism has taken root at the top of the Democratic Party. Only by electing independent-minded progressives will we manage to save the party from its own worst instincts. 

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At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Fingers crossed that the tide will turn. At this point though, things look rather dire.

Will the American public wake up and see the ruinous Republicans and Trump for the evil they truly are? Tonight will know about Ossoff and Georgia.

My greatest concern is engagement in a war, which Trump and the Republicans will use to harness support despite their disastrous policies.

At 5:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read the title, was able to skip the body.

If the corrupt democraps survive, that means the usa, as anything reasonably close to a democratic republic, shall not.

If the choice is always between pure evil (the Rs haven't changed in over a century) and purely corrupt (democraps have not been anything else in over 3 decades and are getting worse every cycle), there will be nobody to vote for and eventually nobody on the left will vote.

When a "democracy" has only about a quarter of the electorate participating, it isn't democratic. It's tyranny of the evil few enforced by the billionaires and multinats (and some foreign players).

Continued belief that the democraps can be saved from themselves and their billions in donations and pac money is pure delusion.

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Democrats" are about to watch the GOP destroy the citizenry by passing Trumpcare. After the vote, they will line up for their checks for playing the losers.

At 6:27 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

... nobody to vote for ...

I wrote in None Of The Above.

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you grew up in Wisconsin, you very likely had parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents who supported socialism. And you grew up with these values that everybody was supposed to get help from the society and help each other. Then we had how many decades of being told to keep quiet about this. It was naive, and people might get socialism confused with something called communism, (which was really state capitalism,) or pretend to get it confused, so keep quiet. Oh, and hold your nose and vote for someone whose plans for America seemed, in comparison, cruel, and who was taking money from the wrong people, and who told lies.

How much would people prefer genuineness and a fair
shake? I think a lot.

List of socialist mayors:


At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Communism has always been despotic oligarchy enforced by fear and murder. It's only been capitalistic oligarchy since the '80s. China may have started their conversion a bit earlier.

If only those socialists had held to their principles instead of collapsed under the weight of McCarthy et al.

Since neoliberalism has clearly and unflinchingly failed, what's their excuse for their silence now? Why elect the likes of ryan and walker? Were they more socialist than their D opponents?

Or is it that the WI electorate is NOW majority evilidiofucktard and no longer just closet socialists?

Granted, their R candidates ARE the more genuine. Fair Shake? For the kochs only... maybe everyone in WI works for the kochs. I didn't know that.


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