Thursday, May 28, 2020

How Long Will the Actual Left Stay with the Democratic Party?


Former Minnesota prosecutor Amy Klobuchar’s comment on the “officer-involved death” (her phrasing) of George Floyd on May 25

by Thomas Neuburger

I have three points to make, which leads to a fourth point.

1. Black Activists to Biden: If You Pick Klobuchar, We May Not Support You

On May 23, Politico wrote that "more than a dozen black and Latino strategists and activists warned in interviews that selecting Klobuchar would not help Biden excite black voters — and might have the opposite effect. Klobuchar would “risk losing the very base the Democrats need to win,” said Aimee Allison, founder of She the People, which promotes women of color in politics."

The reason given was two-fold. High in the article, in the first sentence in fact, the writer announced, "Sen. Amy Klobuchar performed abysmally among black voters in the Democratic primary."

Later, in the third paragraph, the writer said that the Black activists "pointed to Klobuchar’s poor performance among nonwhite voters during the presidential primary as well as her record as a prosecutor in Minnesota."

Adrianne Shropshire of the Clinton-connected BlackPAC is quoted in the sixth paragraph as saying, “It [the activists’ concerns about Klobuchar] comes from her performance in the primary,” and Al Sharpton is quoted as offering this explanation: “It is not her [Klobuchar’s] fault, but she is in the middle of an ongoing battle from the last few presidential races.”

The writer herself helpfully adds, "Klobuchar symbolizes a strategic division within the Democratic Party: whether to focus on winning back white, Midwestern voters who flipped to Donald Trump in 2016, or on activating voters of color who were not excited to vote."

But the article is ostensibly about "Black activists" and their rejection of Klobuchar — it says so even the headline — not about Shropshire and Sharpton's ground-cover explanation.

The writer waits until the eleventh paragraph, a place few readers will get to, before she explains the real reason the activists are concerned — namely, that Klobuchar "would risk losing the very base the Democrats need to win" — and to explain the activists' comment "as well as her record as a prosecutor in Minnesota." There the writer references a Washington Post op-ed penned by those same activists, who write:
A choice such as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), who failed to prosecute controversial police killings and is responsible for the imprisonment of Myon Burrell, will only alienate black voters.
(Read this AP story to see all of what’s wrong with both the Myon Burrell case and Klobuchar’s handling of it.)

Despite all the obfuscation and Klobuchar-protection by Politico, the bottom line is clear: "Black activists" remember Klobuchar's record as a "tough prosecutor" of blacks and are threatening to fail to support her (and thus Biden) in November if Biden picks her for VP — a clear and open threat to his electoral chances.

In other words, progressive black activists are threatening to abandon the Democrat, Trump or no Trump, over this issue.

2. From George Floyd to Derek Chauvin to Amy Klobuchar

On May 25, this happened (account courtesy of the Minneapolis Police Department):
On Monday evening, shortly after 8:00 pm, officers from the Minneapolis Police Department responded to the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South on a report of a forgery in progress. Officers were advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence.

Two officers arrived and located the suspect, a male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step from his car. After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.

At no time were weapons of any type used by anyone involved in this incident.
That’s copspeak for “we murdered a guy and it’s not our fault.” Here’s what really happened (emphasis added):
The latest example of America’s racist police brutality problem was caught on camera in Minneapolis Monday, as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on 46-year-old African-American George Floyd’s neck for over seven minutes until he passed out and died. In its headline on its website, Minneapolis police described the event as “man dies after medical incident during police interaction,” laundering themselves of any responsibility. Chauvin continued his assault even as Floyd desperately pleaded that he could not breathe, while bystanders protested his brutality. “You’re fucking stopping his breathing there, bro,” warned one concerned passer-by. Even after passing out, Chauvin did not release pressure on his neck. Chauvin has killed multiple times before while in uniform, has shot and wounded others and is well-known to local activist groups.
Amy Klobuchar is directly connected to this “officer-involved death” via her history with Officer Derek Chauvin:
[A]s the state’s chief prosecutor between 1999 and 2007 … [Klobuchar] declined to bring charges against more than two dozen officers who had killed citizens while on duty – including against Chauvin himself, who shot and killed Wayne Reyes in 2006 and would later go on to shoot more civilians while in uniform.
There’s more:
At the same time, however, Klobuchar was ramping up the number of arrests as part of her tough-on-crime agenda, something which inordinately affected people of color. In her first year in office alone, the prison sentences for first-degree drug crimes doubled. Activists allege her embracing of the broken window-style policing was a deliberate strategy to win support in the white suburbs of Minneapolis, to the detriment of the city’s non-white communities, bolstering her successful run for senate in 2006. A case in point is Elsayed Salim, who was convicted of failing to declare a secondary income that put him above the threshold for welfare and food stamps. A judge sentenced Salim to 364 days in jail – deliberately attempting to protect him from deportation by keeping his sentencing under a year which downgraded the case from a felony to a gross misdemeanor. An outraged Klobuchar appealed the decision, lobbying for an upgrade and condemning the state’s judges for “letting offenders off the hook too easily.” Mr. Salim was subsequently deported.
If you’ve heard stories of how brutal Klobuchar is to staff, consider this a deadly extension of that conscienceless pattern. Definitely not the “Minnesota-nice,” unobjectionable candidate her image-makers in the press would have believe she is.

3. A Tale of Two Protests

On May 26, the Minneapolis black community erupted in protest:

If you click through the images, note this one, my personal favorite:

Now contrast that image with this one, from a Michigan protest a few weeks ago:

It’s almost like blacks live in a different country than white people.

4. “I Don’t Think Progressives Will Stay After November”

If you add these three points together, you’ll see this piece isn’t about Amy Klobuchar at all. It’s not even about Joe Biden.

It’s about progressive activists, the sleeping mass of progressive voters (and non-voters) who are starting to wake, and the potential beginning of the end of progressive support of the Democratic Party.

Recall the opening point: “Black activists to Biden: If you Klobuchar, we may not support you.” That’s a threat for this time, for the 2020 election.

Will it actually happen this way? It could. After all, Biden himself gladly gave the country Clarence Thomas, and allowed an African American woman, Anita Hill, to be trashed in the process:
If Sen. [Alan] Simpson [R-WY] so eagerly wanted Angela Wright to testify, as he has repeatedly said, why didn’t he force her to do so? … “Because,” he says, “she had an attorney who chose to tell us she didn’t care to come. And Joe Biden said he didn’t care to have her. And I didn’t care to have her. She was going to say some vicious things about Clarence Thomas.”
It's not like Biden has clean hands in the matter. But what about next time, after 2020, regardless of the winner?

There’s no question knee-jerk Democratic voters, and also some thoughtful ones, will line up to support every bad mainstream Democrats (because Republicans!), but the real resistance (hashtag #RealResistance) is not to Republican rule, but to donor class rule and devastation by both parties.

How long will actual progressives — let’s call them “FDR voters” or #RealResistance voters, those who used to flock to Sanders every time he spoke — continue to flock to Democrats at the ballot box, simply because they’re Democrats no matter how bad?

Marianne Williamson thinks the day will come soon when the actual left will abandon the Democratic Party.

"I pray with all my heart that we will defeat Donald Trump in November. But the work that needs to be done starting the next morning is the same, whether it's Donald Trump or Joe Biden who wins. Because progressives have been sidelined. The progressive voice as a serious political force has been suppressed ... even within the Democratic Party.

"So the Democratic Party will make its own decision. It will continue to suppress and sideline progressives — in which case [long pause] I don't think progressives will stay after November."

• Will the Democratic Party's service to their donors, and disservice to their voters, be tolerated forever, or will people seek real change outside donor- and media-approved channels on both the left and right?

• Will black voters and activists take murder-by-cop lying down? That seems unlikely.

• How long will they tolerate the world of difference between the way police — the military arm of the state in every community — tolerate armed white protests and punish unarmed black and left-inspired ones, like Occupy?

• How long before the white underclass, like the black underclass, decides, in Covid-forced unemployment times, that they've had enough? Has that day dawned already?

• And finally, how long before the nation's obvious anger spills outside its "safe" electoral bounds and a brutal Establishment response sparks even more anger?

Marianne Williamson may be onto something. But if she is, what's next?

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At 9:30 AM, Blogger davidchop said...

When will "real progressives" realize they're not the actual left?

At 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will progressives actually, you know, hold progressive values? Clearly they do not now.

"Black Activists to Biden: If You Pick Klobuchar, We May Not Support You"

*MAY NOT*? You mean after a lifetime of racism, racist lege advocacy and ratfucking Anita Hill so that Clarence fucking Thomas could soil the court, 'Black Activists' haven't already stopped supporting him and his fucking fuck of a party?

"Marianne Williamson thinks the day will come soon when the actual left will abandon the Democratic Party."

Marianne will be supporting the democrap party forever. If she were actually progressive, she'd have abandoned it and started working toward a truly left party years ago. She hasn't, ergo, she is not progressive. She's tribe first and only.

"...the sleeping mass of progressive voters (and non-voters) who are starting to wake, and the potential beginning of the end of progressive support of the Democratic Party."

ACTUAL progressive voters who have the potential to awaken already have and have been either sitting out or voting green for years.
Anyone who thinks they hold progressive principles but still votes democrap... for the past 40 years... is either too fucking stupid to live or they are absolutely NOT progressive.

WRT non-voters, we'll only know *IF*, as opposed to when, a truly left party emerges and they emerge, as the Cicadas, to resume participation in our vestige of the illusion of democracy.

It is logically inconsistent to "be" progressive and still "be", vote for or support democraps.

Therefore, all who claim to "be" but still vote for democraps are either dumber than shit or are not progressive or possibly both.

Since the likes of Marianne, Bernie, Elizabeth, AOC, Pramila, etc. are not stupid, they cannot be truly progressive. They are all party first and only.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger Gaius Publius said...

Thanks for the comments. I clarified the title.


At 10:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NYT interviews with black Milwaukee voters who didn't vote in 2016 show that the Black community is drifting away from the Democratic Party despite South Carolina. It's easy to see that the Democrats have NOTHING for the Black community, and the Black community knows it.

What helps that movement is that so many White voters are now seeing that they're in the same boat as Black voters, with the exception that they don't risk summary execution at the hands of the police. Considering how the corporatist elites have destroyed the economy, this isn't going to be much of an "advantage" very much longer.

What has to happen now is to prevent the corporate elites from driving a wedge between us using the tired "law and order" tropes. With the Internet being throttled and impeded as much as it has started to be in the last month, we need better means of communicating between us. To use the existing means will only provide the authorities with plenty of advance notice, courtesy of the NSA snoops the "Democrats" just helped to reauthorize with the recent renewal of the "Patriot" Act.

At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Bill said...

Cenk Uygur isn’t giving up on the Democratic Party.

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He will be standing with them without me. I am already gone. Never again.

At 4:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

then Cenk isn't a true progressive. party first and only. period. might as well be a biden delegate.

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous RetiredPatriot said...

Instead of "leaving: the Democratic Party, progressive, FDR-voters need to engage in, take control of and run out the corporate elements from party leadership. The country has had only 2 real parties since 1860 (yes, the Socialists almost became real until 1919, then they were all jailed). Our tradition and system simply will not support anything other than Dem & GoP; examples from the last 50 years abound from the Reform Party to the Libertarian Party to the Working Families Party to the Green Party. What did the Christian/White Nationalists figure out after years playing the Reform/Libertarian game? Fight from the inside, take over the party apparatus from the bottom up, chase out any countervailing forces. What happened in the Democratic Party after Nixon cleaved it along racial/class lines, take over from the bottom with DLC/Third Way youngsters, promote them upwards and chase out any remaining FDR-voters. What must today's progressive voters learn? Get Involved. Run for and gain local party control. Work upwards through state party control and take over the brand from the inside. Chase the corporatist "Democrats" away (let them go back to the GoP from whence they came after being forced out by the christian/white nationalists)! This is what some progressive leaders (Sanders, Warren) are trying to achieve. Candidates like Robin Wilt (NY25), Nate McMurray (NY27) AOC(NY14) and so many others are proof that when progressives stop bitching and start fighting for their place at the table they will begin to gain back the party they thought they had.

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RP, what voters have proved over the past 4 decades is that they are unwilling to insist on taking over their party.

The few anecdotal successes have utterly failed to change the fascist vector of the party. And the nom of biden over Bernie, given the current prez and times, should hammer that home.

The Nazi party wasn't taken over as much as it found a hate issue around which to coalesce -- hate of the black face in the white house. The Nazis are not the libertarian hate party today. they are the same old hate-based voters who could not care less that the party still serves the money and only the money. They didn't change. They only refocused their hate.

The democraps are a completely different critter. They are evangelically corrupt neoliberal and fascist. It's always far easier to corrupt human beings than it is to DE-corrupt devotedly corrupt human beings. and American voters are far too stupid, lazy and gullible to ever make that happen.


At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Retired Patriot

If you need a good example of why your strategy has already failed is the recent declaration by AOC that nuclear power remains a viable "green" option for America.

The atomic portion of the American electrical generation capacity is where the partially-enriched materials needed for the planned and announced nuclear arsenal upgrade will have to come from. Can't let the corporatist fascists lose THAT, can we?

It only took 18 months to corrupt AOC into being a compliant and docile asset for the MIC. And you still think that "Democratic" Party can be taken from within?

To quote one of my favorite Steely Dan songs, "Only a Fool Would Say That".


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