Saturday, November 14, 2020

Neoliberalism Is Not Your Friend-- But What Can You Do About It?



When it comes to discussing the dangers of neoliberalism to the Democratic Party, Adolph Reed is amazing. (Politico should have asked him to interview neoliberal Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) instead of Tim Alberta.) Look, I hate and avoid zoom, but please watch this enlightening video of Katie Halper's show above (or you may never understand what "McWokeyism" is). "A famous organizer," Reed said in reference to Jane McAlevey (also on the show), "once made a distinction between mobilizing, which is going to your standing constituency and getting them to do stuff, and organizing, which is building a constituency that you don't have." Do you think anyone at the DCCC has ever had a thought like that cross their mind? Or is it always just about raising money? I hope you're been reading DWT enough to know the answer to that already. And that the Democrats who lost their races-- both incumbents and challengers-- raised and spent far more-- in some cases two, three and four times more-- than the Republicans who beat them.

Just focusing in on Blue Dog losers from the class of 2018, defeated after one Republican-lite term:
Joe Cunningham (SC) raised $6,278,942 and was defeated by Nancy Mace who raised $4,891,696.
Xochitl Torres Small (NM) raised $7,509,987 and was defeated by Yvette Herrell who raised $2,498,130.
Max Rose (NY) raised $8,350,467 and was defeated by Nicole Malliotakis who raised $3,052,007.
Anthony Brindisi (NY) raised $5,359,636 and appears to have been defeated by psychopath Claudia Tenney who raised $2,053,931.
Kendra Horn (OK) raised $5,465,349 and was defeated by Stephanie Bice, who raised $3,089,972.
Ben McAdams (UT) raised $5,137,258 and appears to have been defeated by Burgess Owens, who raised $4,021,248.
Remember, in theory, every congressional district-- Montana has more and is about to be split into 2 districts-- has the same number of voters. But they don't really. Some districts have a culture oof participation and are filled with civic-minded citizens who make a point of voting. Other districts have really small turn-outs. Although ballots are still being counted, only 15 candidates for Congress (in contested races) had over 300,000 votes:
Barbara Lee (D-CA-13)- 327,278
Diane DeGette (D-CO-01)- 331,453
Joe Neguse (D-CO-02)- 316,916
Neal Dunn (R-FL-02)- 303,879
John Rutherford (R-FL-04)- 308,447
Daniel Webster (R-FL-11)- 316,958
Nikema Williams (D-GA-05)- 301,847
Matt Rosendale (R-MT-AL)- 335,214
Deborah Ross (D-NC-02)- 310,979
David Price (D-NC-04)- 329,679
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-04) 342,458
Dusty Johnson (R-SD-AL)- 321,984
Don Beyer (D-VA-08)- 301,454
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07)- 386,321
Mark Pocan (D-WI-02)- 318,492
Who had the most votes of anyone standing for a congressional seat anywhere in America this cycle? Pramila Jayapal, who didn't even have a series opponent, is co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and very much one of Congress' top organizers. That's her background, something she brought with her to the Washington state legislature, honed there and then brought it to Congress. She once asked me if I knew which members of Congress run anything other than a fundraising effort on their campaign side. Jamie Raskin sort of does, although not the way Pramila goes about it. Her campaign efforts on that front are mammoth and should be studied closely and emulated by the DCCC. The idea of her replacing Pelosi as Speaker is mind-boggling but-- with the power of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party (the New Dems and Blue Dogs)-- almost unimaginable.

This morning, Pramila told me that from the minute she got into Congress 4 years ago, "I was committed to running a year-round organizing effort through my campaign. What does that mean? It means instead of just having a fundraiser (or many of them) on the campaign side, I hired an organizer-- and depending on the time of year, several. We kept our thousands of volunteers engaged, not just on our race but on critical issues in the country, on ballot initiatives and on other critical races. I believe that is a big part of why we have such huge turnout here in the district-- because people stay engaged, they see me fighting for them all the time, and they have come to believe they can make a difference through their votes and their volunteering. That’s how we turned out the largest crowd for our healthcare rally in early 2017 when Republicans were gutting healthcare. Our volunteers played an important part in turnout for statewide ballot initiative on climate change and police accountability. They worked on Stacey Abrams' race in Georgia and on other swing district races across the country, like Katie Porter’s. And this year, in just 6 weeks, we trained over 600 volunteers who made over 140,000 phone calls into Pennsylvania and here in Washington state to turn out voters for Biden-Harris and other progressive candidates. When people donate to my campaign, they don’t just donate to keeping me in office-- they donate to the organizing we do all year to build leadership, to keep people engaged and to help drive the movement for progressive policies and candidates across the country."  
Pramila and AOC by Nancy Ohanian

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At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With "moderate" Republicans moving in to take over the Party from without, there is nothing to do but leave. There is no longer any chance of taking it over from within.

At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that has been true since slick willie et al formed the DLC and the party leapt at the chance to lay on their backs for corporate graft.

but as we already know, flora have no eyes nor feeling in their sphincters.

Here is a groaner: "we trained ... volunteers ... to turn out voters for Biden-Harris and other progressive candidates."

Someone needs to go to remedial english class. This implies that biden-harris are progressive.

They are the opposite of progressive. biden has been the opposite for 70-odd years... so long that he cannot even feign it any more. like $hillbillary.

do any of you potted flora discern a pattern here? no?

then the answer to the question in the title is: not one fucking thing.

At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking about this issue as well today. Remember in 2009, when the Dems cut $20 million in annual funding from ACORN -- a move that effectively sunk the organization. The conservatives understood the value of organization when they set up bogus and selectively edited "sting" videos that were then amped up by Fox News. The organization was not only registering voters; it was also providing community services, effectively organizing communities in between elections (providing affordable housing, financial literacy services, helping fight against predatory lending -- which is probably one reason that the Dems didn't defend them in a crisis). Just a tiny fraction of fundraising and ad spending in 2020, could have helped an organization like ACORN not only operate for years, but it would have allowed it to expand operations into more communities. I recall back in 2008, when Rahm and Obama gutted Howard Dean's 50-state strategy in one of the biggest acts of political sabotage, two years before a redistricting cycle. Or in 2017, when Obama once again effectively undermined an effort to turn the DNC into an organization that actually engages in party building at the state and local level. It leads to the inescapable conclusion that a lot of the people running the party are making their money precisely because they are effective at disorganizing movements and losing elections. We effectively have a one-party state, where a segment of elite interests call the shots regardless of who wins elections. I'm hopeful over the longer term that the tide will turn. You can see evidence of this in the House and in state and local elections. There are nascent movements and organization that have started to build up independent of the party in the years since 2008. But the unavoidable reality of the situation is that the party leadership is likely to continue to be an obstacle to these efforts for the foreseable future. Losing and underperforming expectations continues to be too profitable for them. If movements continue scoring victories in primaries and winning more elections, I think there will be a recalibration, but part of what that means is that we've got to win races with people like Andrew Romanoff consistently in states that are trending safely blue. It also means that movements have to build sufficient power to win in Senate seats that are genuine swing states. Right now, we are doing neither.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:46, a thoughtful comment with much good in it.

But you lost it with: "I'm hopeful over the longer term that the tide will turn."

Maybe this is why this shithole is never going to survive. You are clearly sentient, but cannot help yourself whiplashing back to loyalty and hope for the party that you just described and admitted is hopeless and cannot ever be fixed.

DWT asks "But what can you do about (neoliberalism of the democrap party)?"

The ONLY answer that has any possible efficacy is: QUIT ELECTING THEM and find a different party/movement/candidate.

"By their fruits shall ye know them". You elect corrupt neoliberal fascists... you affirm it.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

neoliberalism... not my friend?

but... but it's the enemy of my enemy (naziism)! It simply MUST be my friend.

The whole ethos ('lesser evilism') of the entire nation since the '60s depends on this 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' being true!

How can america ever go on without this fundamental truth?


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