Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A New Political Dynamic: Authenticity Vs Inauthenticity


I don't want to spoil the good feelings because, like everyone else, I loved Michael Hopkins' OpEd for The Hill yesterday about how bright the future of the Democratic Party looks. He even used two friends of mine as the exemplars: Randy Bryce from Wisconsin and Andrew Gillum from Florida. "The next generation of Democrats," he wrote, "are currently working behind the scenes to bolster their resumes and build up their grassroots support. Current Democratic candidates for office like Randy Bryce and Andrew Gillum are laying the blueprint for what the next generation of Democrats will look like. It begins with authenticity." Yes! How wonderful is that! The whole piece is wonderful:
Best known for his viral campaign ad, Bryce has branded himself as a “man’s man,” featuring his hard hat and working class story prominently. Bryce isn’t just another Democrat looking to make a name for himself unsuccessfully challenging a big name Republican. Bryce fully intends on unseating the increasingly unpopular Speaker Paul Ryan and preserving ObamaCare for the people of Wisconsin. Bryce, with his tool belt and 1960 mustache looks every bit the part of union ironworker because he actually is a union ironworker. (Imagine that, running actual middle class people as candidates.)

It doesn’t get much more authentic than Bryce, or “Iron Stache” as many know him as.  Bryce is a veteran who served his country in the U.S. Army. He’s putting his blue collar roots front and center in his campaign. Bryce is the perfect candidate to run against Ryan. The lifelong resident of southeastern Wisconsin and cancer survivor has made his feelings about Ryan well known, famously stating, “Let’s trade places, you can come work the iron, and I’ll go to D.C.”

The optical contrast between Bryce, the middle class warrior, and Ryan, the establishment politician, couldn’t have been cast any better than if Steven Spielberg himself handed them these roles. Bryce fits the part because he’s the real thing. He actually is the guy you want to have a beer with. One can only hope that Ryan falls into the trap and succumbs to a Michael Dukakis moment for all of the Twittersphere to see.

Gillum’s greatest strength is also his authenticity. Voters can relate to him, an often underappreciated aspect of any successful campaign. Gillum, the son of a bus driver and construction worker, has a chance to make history. He was the youngest member of the Tallahassee City Commission at the age of 23 and has served as mayor of Tallahassee for the last three years.

Gillum is running for governor of Florida, an office that no African American in Florida has ever held. That doesn’t appear to scare Gillum one bit. He has unapologetically criticized Republican Wisconsin Gov. Rick Scott and President Trump’s response to issues like immigration, race relations, and repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Gillum recently endorsed the Medicaid for all proposal by Bernie Sanders.

A young progressive Democrat, Gillum has seen his support rise across large swaths of the state as he introduces himself to the electorate. His tried and true method of driving across the state speaking to voters has endeared him to many. Gillum has also openly and passionately spoken about the debate over removing Confederate statues and where he stands on the issue, explaining, “We owe it to our children and grandchildren to acknowledge that while we cannot change history, we do not have to glorify its ugliest moments with displays on public lands.”

In a conservative leaning state like Florida, calling for the removal of Confederate statues in the middle of an election is a risky move, especially for someone building up name recognition. Gillum isn’t shying away from decisions though. The former mayor has chosen to speak truth to power and ignore the political risks.

Bryce and Gillum represent the type of approachable and charismatic Democrat, that can win on the local, regional and national levels. Democratic candidates need to be just as comfortable on the campaign stump as they in a local bar or veterans center. Democrats need to win hearts before they can win minds. Our political system has become so toxic that voters inherently tune out opposing viewpoints. The only way to get voters to tune in is to convince them that Democrats aren’t the opposition.

Bryce and Gillum both have the ability to get voters to tune in to the conversation. Both are the type of candidates that the party would be smart to invest in and cultivate. Democrats can’t just expect another Bill Clinton or Barack Obama to pop up out of nowhere. Democrats have to focus on recruiting and equipping candidates to become the future leaders of the party. The blueprint is already there. It begins with authenticity.

I wish I could just leave it on that high note. I really do. But... damn, I hate to be the skunk at the picnic. But the picnic is being sponsored by, as one of my persistent anonymous commenters loves to put it, "the Democraps." Pelosi and Hoyer have chosen the most corrupt Democrat in the House-- literally, the most corrupt-- to take over leadership when they go: Joe Crowley. There's no one less authentic in Congress. And the Democrap leadership keeps shoehorning the worst possible candidates into key nominations. Schumer picked the Blue Dog with the absolute worst voting record in the House-- Kyrsten Sinema, whose middle name is "inauthentic"-- to be their Arizona Senate nominee and then he and Reid tried their best to find someone as bad for Nevada-- and nearly did: Jacky Rosen.

And in the House, when Pelosi was challenged for not allowing younger members to rise in leadership all she could pull out of her ass was another godawful phony-baloney Blue Dog, Adam Schiff, who she said she's grooming for a leadership role. More inauthenticity. And then there's the professional former potato chip taster who won the lottery, making him the DCCC pick for the red Orange County congressional district where Hillary did the best last year, knowing full well that he would have no shot against Royce but happy to take some of his millions. I'll go back to thinking about Andrew Gillum and Randy Bryce while you contemplate Gil Cisneros, the multimillionaire who lives in a 10 million dollar mansion on the beach and who really, really wants to be elected to represent a middle class district that doesn't have a beach-- or $10 million mansions.

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At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Atta boy, DWT. You're inching toward your epiphany. Keep crawling. Maybe you'll get there a nanosecond before it's too late.

"Democrats can’t just expect another Bill Clinton or Barack Obama to pop up out of nowhere."

Actually, that's exactly what they're counting on. Someone in their party will show an eagerness to be bribed and a fealty to those who pay them, just like the Clintons and obamanation. And of those, they're counting on someone emerging who can charm the barely sentient rubes who still bother to vote for their own ass-raping time and again. Slick willie and obamanation could do that. $hillbillary could not.

"Democrats have to focus on recruiting and equipping candidates to become the future leaders of the party. The blueprint is already there. It begins with authenticity."

Laughably stupid statement. Authenticity is important. But the first and only requirement to get voters excited, some of them after being long dormant, is to be truly progressive, liberal, altruistic and empathetic. We've already suffered the Clintons (and their cabal) and obamanation being authentically corrupt, neoliberal, dishonest and corrupt... did I mention corrupt?. Sure they could ACT authentically progressive (except $hillbillary). But they clearly are not.

The democrap authenticity as neoliberal, dishonest and corrupt is what gave us the drumpfsterfire (,pence, ryan, mcturtle, sessions, devos, pruitt...) for 4 or 8 years.

DWT, you'd be well advised to flush just the authenticity thing. The left party has to be truly left. fucking period.

The democrap party will never ever again be truly left... no matter how adamantly they SAY they are. They're lying. They've been lying. They'll continue to lie.

And you know this is true. You write it often.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

I have the creeping feeling they're gonna' run Clinton again.

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

At 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ap215, I read that article. Poorly written. Did some intern just pound this out from notes on cocktail napkins?

It intimates that the cronies of Ellison and Perez might be of differing philosophies. I have my doubts. Perez is a Clinton shill for sure. But Ellison, despite his "rep", is utterly corrupt as well.

It also does not name anyone that was/will be elevated to occupy the vacuum. So it intimates that Perez is sort of 'cleansing' but it does not support that with any real data.

If they run $hillbillary again, they'll do what voters should have done since 1982 -- kill the democrap party.

aside: Who will DWT support then? No more purpose in life? Maybe he'll try to resuscitate the corpse of the party with 4 or 5 decent candidates in 2024.

Of course, nbc is not a journalism outfit. Hasn't been for decades. If they form complete grammatically correct sentences about politics, they've exceeded my expectations. Truth would just be a happy accident.

At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Democrats are just as corporatist as are the Republicans. Look at how much the Clintons have been paid for their private speeches. Look at how much Obama received in his "royalty advance", which was really the payoff of the bribe he was offered to betray those who believed "Yes We Can" would deliver necessary change into America. Look at how Joe Biden is now being talked up as the 2020 candidate after his many years of protecting the credit card industry from We the People.

The Party will ensure that the likes of Randy Bryce are either corrupted or neutralized should they manage to win office. It's already happened to others, like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown and Al Franken. There is no hope that the Democraps will ever change for the better.

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:06, first thanks for the validation.
second, you don't need to look at just the open bribery. Look at what they actually DID and what they refused to do when they were in a position to affect change.


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