Monday, January 15, 2018

The Fire Next Time

 A meme from the "Sanders or Bust" camp after the primary.

by Gaius Publius

I want to keep this short because it's really simple (emphasis mine throughout).

Stuff like this...
Taking Short Break From Denouncing Trump Authoritarianism, House Dems Join With GOP to 'Violate the Privacy Rights of Everyone in United States'

Democratic leadership in the House—who say that Trump is currently abusing his power to go after his political enemies—just helped him pass dangerous domestic surveillance powers.
...explained here...
45 Republicans looked at the stinky FISA bill on Thursday and could not pull themselves to vote YES. That means that had Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn held their caucus together, it could have been defeated. Instead, it passed 256-164. How the hell did that happen? Well, start with Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn; they all voted for it. In fact 65 Democrats did-- basically the Republican wing of the Democratic Party, pretty much all the Blue Dogs and all the New Dems and their fellow travelers. 119 Democrats voted NO and 65 voted with the GOP. All the garbage Dems were over on the other side of the aisle as fast as they could get there[.] well as stuff like this...
If Democrats Want the Support of Millennials, They Should Cut Ties with the Fossil Fuel Industry

...Oil and gas executives strive to maintain company profits, which means holding back this very transition [to 100% renewables]. They are adept at using their deep pockets to pressure politicians into carrying out their pro-fossil-fuels agenda. If Democratic candidates choose to let Big Oil ride the Blue Wave this year, the prospects for action at the scale we need are grim. partnering with these oil and gas executives would not only be disastrous for our society’s ability to stop climate change, it would also be deadly for millennial voter turnout.
...produces anger like this...
I Promise To Sabotage The 2020 Campaign Of Any Establishment Democrat

If the Democratic party tries to run a pro-establishment presidential candidate in 2020, I, Caitlin Johnstone, promise unequivocally and unconditionally that I will do every single thing in my power to sabotage their candidacy and make them lose the election. ... I don’t care if it’s a transgender Muslim eskimo with a Senate seat and their own talk show — I will do my very best to ruin them, and I will do my very best to recruit others like me to help....

[I]f the Democratic party doesn’t run a very solid anti-war, pro-environment, pro-economic justice candidate in the next presidential election, there is at least one very loud voice out here who will relentlessly dedicate all available resources to making sure that it hurts. I will find every scrap of dirt I can find to help ruin your campaign. I will throw my support behind a third party candidate. I will shamelessly collaborate with conservatives. Everything legal and truthful that I can do to bring you down, I will do. You cannot manipulate me onto any other path. I will not compromise, and I will not stop. You have my most solemn word on that.
She closes, "America has become the central nesting space for an unelected power establishment which is threatening the existence of our entire species with ecocidal neoliberal policies and a neoconservative new cold war, and the Democratic establishment has been actively facilitating both. ... The only way to get change is to force it, and the only way to force it is to make enforceable threats."

A plus B results in C. The eager screwing of Sanders (A), plus the eager and cynical Party self-branding as complicit faux-resisters (B), produces the happy-to-sabotage anger of people like Johnstone (C).

Make no mistake. In the world of the betrayed, she is not alone. Some may not sabotage, as she will do. Some may just stay home — with pleasure. This is the fire the Party is playing with.

Is the Democratic Leaders' "Resistance" Entirely Cynical?

Is Democratic leaders' "resistance" entirely cynical, or only partially cynical? Let's consider: If Trump is indeed a blackmailed agent of Russia, as Nancy Pelosi, surely speaking for Democratic congressional leadership, seems to think, why on earth is Nancy Pelosi handing Trump (and Putin) expanded surveillance powers, as she absolutely did, as did such noted Heroes of the Resistance as MSNBC regulars Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell.

Again: "Democratic leadership in the House—who say that Trump is currently abusing his power to go after his political enemies—just helped him pass dangerous domestic surveillance powers."

As Johnstone writes elsewhere: "This same president who Democratic representatives like Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell have been loudly claiming is a treasonous Russian agent has been granted uninhibited surveillance powers by both Schiff and Swalwell, as well as House opposition leader Nancy Pelosi. They do not believe that Trump is a Kremlin asset, and they do not oppose him."

What should a sane and thinking person make of that, other than the obvious — that when it comes to their own claims that Trump is a Russian agent, no one in Democratic leadership believes a word of it. 

The Fire Next Time

We may be headed for a national crackup of epic proportions thanks to current Democratic leadership. The next electoral opportunity for the failed electoral revolt of 2016 to succeed is the congressional election of 2018, yet Democratic leaders seem determined to turn one more wave opportunity into another squeaker, just as they did in 2016.

To be clear, all of the anger exemplified above comes from potential Democratic voters — the next wave, if you will, of what would have been their new base — a group of voters now so disgusted with both parties that they may well stay home in droves for most of a generation. Having watched the Democrats casually and deliberately screw over Sanders, then crow about their win ("not a Democrat; not one of us; deserves what he got"); having watched Democrats, time and again, prove they've not changed at all — many of these potential voters have settled in neither camp, hating both and trusting no one at all, save maybe Sanders.

In fact, many of these voters are solidly in the impossible-to-achieve we-want-a-third-party camp. Both mainstream parties, of course, have solidly closed that door.

A Progressive Leadership Coup, or More of the Same?

So much for the wave election of 2018, if these voters have their way. Democrats may still win Congress back, but it won't be in a wave. And lord knows what their complicit-with-Republicans leadership will field in 2020 as a presidential choice. Another neoliberal with the right identity credentials and a superficial, "populist" cover story? Or a true hero of the people — for once?

Unless current progressives in Congress stage an actual coup, replacing those leaders with their own, we're almost certain to see a series of 2016 reruns. Until enough of the nation loses patience, of course, and stages a real revolt — a situation no one will enjoy.

In 2016, Democratic leaders' hubris guaranteed a squeaker. So too it will in 2018, and barring the coup imagined above, in 2020 as well. For independent voters who are not tribally loyal to Team Blue, it's just that hard to like them.

Will I be proved wrong? Will the Democrats field so many unpalatable mainstreamers that no one will want them? We'll know in just a few months, and 2020 is just around the corner.



  1. It's not about Sanders, it could have been any other non-corporate dem. Though the retards are complicit in Our Tea Pot Dictator’s utter rending of the social fabric, the weasel democrats are as culpable. Had the democrats not chosen to disregard the tens of millions of voices yelling from the tops of their lungs DON’T DO IT! and run a candidate because “it’s her turn” that couldn’t beat the friend of the family who was actively campaigning to get her elected we wouldn’t be in this situation. If they hadn’t run Clinton, Trump wouldn’t have made it past the first debate, if he were in it at all. It is/was not about Sanders.

  2. I would add that I feel pretty much the same as your millennial, though probably her grandfather.

  3. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Same here, TTB. I will do everything I can to aid Caitlin Johnstone to achieve her goal. Why? Remember Nancy Pelosi's putdown of the college student? "We're all capitalists here"? There is thus no hope that the DINO-Whigs won't once again deliberately snatch defeat from the jaws of victory to ensure that the corporate bribery doesn't come to an end. They cannot be entrusted with the security and well-being of the body politic.

  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Heard a CBC (Canadian) radio interview from the granddaughter of a WWII German citizen. Her grandfather was a business owner and, given the choice between Hitler's Nazi party and the communist party, held his nose and voted for Hitler because he was clearly more pro-business and the lesser of two evils.

  5. Anonymous4:30 PM


    Your history needs revision. Hitler lost the only election he stood for. He was APPOINTED to the Chancellorship by President Hindenburg, who was under pressure from the German version of today's Republicans to do so. They thought (incorrectly) that giving the man responsibility would lessen his very radical rhetoric. How'd that work out again?

  6. Anonymous4:40 PM

    Good piece. Excellent comments.

    Amen, Caitlin Johnstone, though even your view is myopic.

    When evaluating your party choice, you cannot presume that even a very good prez/veep ticket will do any good.
    1) remember obamanation/biden. rabid wolves in sheeps' "fleece".
    2) also remember that it is congress that passes and refuses to pass shit. And congress will be, even if the democraps take both chambers, under the tyrannical boots of Pelosi/hoyer/Crowley/scummer/cliburn... and 220 more names... all of whom have sworn to the money that nothing needed is ever done. Bernie and Elizabeth may say truthful sentences. But nothing will come from congress to cause any of it to happen.

    3) always, ALWAYS reflect on 2006-2010 when presuming that electing the lesser evil means anything gets BETTER. It does NOT mean that. period. The same tyrannical leadershit will be doing exactly the same things (and NOT doing the same things they refused to do) for exactly the same money.

    And a musing on the DNC ratfucking of Bernie. Perhaps it was for the best. After all, he then exposed himself as a total hypocrite, poser and opportunist. And the DNC and the entire democrap party, again and still, exposed itself as a complete tool of the money, utterly corrupt and as crooked as the Rs when it comes to rigging elections.

    But it appears the epiphany is still not widely distributed.

    GP, it is THIS capacity for denial and delusion that dooms humankind to extinction. The method may be world war or climate or something else. But the basis is our psycho-emotional flaws that allow us to be dumber than shit in spite of all that proof.

  7. Anonymous7:28 PM


    The post just pointed out someones grandpa utilized lesser of two evils logic and deemed the Nazi party as less evil.

  8. Anonymous6:17 AM

    7:28, you must remember that in the mid '30s communism was feared, mostly irrationally, by every capitalist nation and society. The Nazi party were seen as a firewall, during the 5-figure inflationary period of the Weimar republic, to prevent the public from turning to Communism as a last resort. The Nazis were also seen as a firewall to prevent the trade unions from striking to get better pay to palliate their misery due to the inflation.

    And never forget that the degree of organic anti-Semitism was already pretty high.

    a human society in distress is always easy pickings for a charismatic demagogue. They weren't mass murderers nor aggressive warmakers yet.

  9. Anonymous7:34 AM

    To build on 6:17's comments, Soviet Russia was seen as the next investment boom area up until the Third Commintern repudiated all foreign debt in 1923, especially that of Western investors. It wasn't a month later that Western investment money began to show up at the offices of a certain "workers party" which overtly opposed the political philosophy of the Soviets. I'm SURE that was JUST a coincidence.

    So why was Russia such a plum to pluck as investors saw it? The Tsars kept Russia isolated in order to maintain their version of medieval slavery and the property rights of the elites. Western investors drooled over the prospects Russia represented, but the elites prevented any investment. Once the Bolsheviks took over, these wealthy refugees spread their vitriol across the globe over their economic losses, and the reputation of Communism was locked in place. The elites of other nations became fearful that the same thing could happen to them. That didn't, however, stop certain Western investors from sinking money into Russia anyway, did it Fred Koch?

    So despite the "official" view that the Soviets were hostile to money, some people were able to make large profits off of them. They just wanted more, as their greedy selves desired.

  10. Anonymous8:54 PM

    Back to the piece:
    GP, I honestly don't think most of the disgusted disaffected want a THIRD party. What we want is a truly left party that seeks to represent the 99.9%.

    If such a party coalesced, it would replace and supersede the current fake left party. Those in that shit party who are truly left would emigrate (voters, Jayapal, Lieu and a handful of others in DC). Those in that shit party who have more in common with the Nazis will don the brown shirts and swastikkkas.

    But Independents, 40% of the total electorate, would then have a decent reason to cast a ballot -- actual hope that those who they elect would really give a shit.

  11. Anonymous5:28 AM

    7:34, whenever there is upheaval, there SHALL be opportunists to make money from it.

    Not a new idea. it's the entire thesis of "The Shock Doctrine".

  12. Anonymous12:24 PM

    I throwing in with a JohnStone into their $hithole! DEMand a Third MAJORITY Party; 0R throw DEM teh T'URD !