trump-obama-handshake-570x380

What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted Dems And Clickbait Complicit Media Who Got Us Here?

Will Rogers very famously said:

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

That was made sometime in the 1930’s I think, but it is enduringly true.

So, where will the Democratic party go now that they have had their ass handed to them by Trump? Who will lead the Democratic party going forward?

The calls are already ringing out. Liz Warren! Bernie Sanders! Keith Ellison (Sanders has even issued an email ask as to Ellison)! But there is a serious money people and Clintonian push for Howard Dean. Which is truly mind numbing.

Howard Dean is moldy cheese that needs to be taken out with the next non-recycle trash dump. He did neither himself, nor the party, any favors in the 2016 election clownshow cycle. Seriously, in the 2016 election cycle, Sarah Palin may have been more reserved and credible than Howard Dean.

Dean’s 50 state op got Obama elected in 2008, but he is smelly garbage now. Screw this always retread manure. Dean needs to dry up and go away.

And the Democratic Party needs to extricate their head from their ass and move to the future.

New blood. Dems CANNOT be the same old constantly revanchist assholes every time they lose bigly. And, boy did they lose bigly.

The Dem go to kleptomaniacs like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rahm Emanuel not only did not help the party expand but set it back in serious ways in places like MO, KS, AZ and the entire United States.

And, while we are at it, the high holy “Senator Professor Warren” ain’t immune either. She had a moment and a shot, and she cowardly whiffed. Maybe it is something she just truly did not want, and, if so, fine. But don’t tell me that someone that is little more than a year younger than Hillary, and who consciously forfeited both her, and Bernie’s, shot in 2016, will be the Democratic holy savior in 2020.

Don’t do that. This is the same ignorant reset idiocy that got Democrats here today. That time is done. If Democrats do one thing ever, it ought be to build the bridge for the young’s of the United States to clean up the shithole we left them. Liz Warren and Bernie Sanders can be a huge part in doing that. But only as bridge builders, not as the man or woman who will be the avatar in 2020. We need them terribly, but not themselves as the embodiment of the future. That kind of thinking is the idiocy of the past.

There is a future. Although CNN’s Jeff Zucker and Trump/Breitbartism’s Steve Bannon are brothers in clickbait cuck arms that birthed, literally, President Trump, and will not easily give up their money raking news cycles.

The “new normal” is that CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, New York Times, Washington Post, and an endless roll call of dying, wimpering subservient media jackasses, who rode Trump’s clickbait train to a place in hell, will find it’s new Stockholm Syndromed place and start lecturing us how it is all good and just a “function of normal democracy”. It is already occurring, just watch any Wolf Blitzer on CNN or Chris Matthews on MSNBC moment. They are getting climax happy legs on Trump and Giuliani fascism as we speak.

That is one vision, and the early reality, of what the “press” will do in the coming Trump Presidency. The competing vision, which is what I hope and ascribe to, is that the media extricates their heads from their asses and brings real scrutiny to try to mitigate the hell they helped gestate. Are there enough Brian Stelters and Jay Rosens to get us there?

The brokenhearted Dems have some serious soul searching to engage in. So do the currently unapologetic and furiously rationalizing media and “pundits” who so helped get us here.

“Balanced” is NOT fair. Honest is fair. Accurate is fair. Truth is fair. Putting on panels of bickering loud mouthed bought and paid for political assholes as “news coverage” is NOT fair. Nor is it “balanced” news. Jeff Zucker makes Roger Goodell look like a piker in terms of the pantheon of American assholes.

While the media, especially cable, has a circle jerk field day congratulating themselves over their “wall to wall coverage”, and “looking forward to the transition”, just remember how the Trumpism and fascism germinated. Not shockingly, it germinated the same way it always has. When the gatekeepers of a rational society become more about themselves and their money than their jobs representing society.

There is a lesson here, too, for the Dems in media interaction. You got played and hosed royally. Don’t be the brokenhearted, be the, for once, party that learns from its mistakes and failures, and does better.

Just once, do this. If you can.

UPDATE: Commenter GK James posted something below that I think crystallizes much of what I was trying to say far better than I did, even if from a slightly different perspective.

Sure, but doesn’t that effectively absolve the demos that does the choosing? Aren’t Democrats up against a larger problem, one that they’ve had to wrestle with since Reagan? How do you advocate a progressive worldview when the majority of an aging, increasingly atomized, entertainment-addicted population doesn’t want that? It’s easy enough to say, after the fact, that Clinton should have focused more on those disadvantaged by globalization, or that, had they only chosen Sanders, the Democrats would have won. But recall that, without moving to the center, Bill Clinton would never have made it. A lousy bargain in retrospect, but not a crazy one at the time.

Yes, the DNC needs new blood. But assuming someone is found who can articulate a crisp clear message of what Democrats stand for—and who’s telegenic, personable, and entertaining to boot—how would that change the stranglehold that Republicans have on state governments, state legislatures, and the US Congress? The clear majority likes the status quo, having no problem with gerrymandered districts, voter suppression, or bought-and-paid-for legislators who enjoy an incumbency rate of 90%+. And the infotainment complex is likely to help keep it that way by making sure that its customers are never overtaxed by complicated thoughts. There will still be people, adults, who read, think, and have constructive ideas about matters of public import, which they’ll express in complete sentences. But they’ll be increasingly outnumbered and marginalized in a Twittered world.

Can’t argue with that, and don’t know the answers to the questions. But the Democratic party, if it is to continue (and I think it must), has to start finding those answers quickly.

Bmaz is a rather large saguaro cactus in the Southwestern Sonoran desert. A lover of the Constitution, law, family, sports, food and spirits. As you might imagine, a bit prickly occasionally. Bmaz has attended all three state universities in Arizona, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Arizona State University, and with significant post-graduate work (in physics and organic chemistry, go figure) at both the University of Colorado in Boulder and the University of Arizona. Married, with both a lovely child and a giant Sasquatch dog. Bmaz has been a participant on the internet since the early 2000’s, including active participation in the precursor to Emptywheel, The Next Hurrah. Formally joined the Emptywheel blog as an original contributing member at its founding in 2007. Bmaz grew up around politics, education, sports and, most significantly, cars; notably around Formula One racing and Concours de Elegance automobile restoration and showing. Currently lives in the Cactus Patch with his lovely wife and beast of a dog, and practices both criminal and civil trial law.
56 replies
  1. Phil Perspective says:

    The Dem go to kleptomaniacs like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rahm Emanuel not only did not help the party expand but set it back in serious ways in places like MO, KS, AZ and the entire United States.

     

     

    Can someone tell me what good does it do the Democratic Party when trash like Rahm Emanuel is constantly at war with what is supposed to be the party’s base?  Whose brilliant idea was/is that?  How the fuck do you think Bruce Rauner ended up as Governor of Illinois?  Quinn trashed his own base, thus depressing turnout.  Speaking of turnout.  I’ve seen some people wine on Twitter that only about half of the adult U.S. population voted.  Haven’t they seen the studies and whatnot pointing out why that is?  Part of it is that people feel alienated and that their vote won’t make a difference.  Of course there is also the GOP voter suppressing but that is only part of it.  It all goes back to the old saw.  The GOP establishment fears their voters, the Democratic establishment loathes theirs.

  2. Bill Michtom says:

    One thing I hope the Ds learn from the Rs is how to totally obstruct. At this point, that is the only hope for a sane judiciary.

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    My vote is for Michael Moore to chair the DNC.

    From a NYT commenter: Cheatin’ Donny

    Tax Cheat -you cannot declare losses on other peoples money.
    Charity Cheat -you cannot take credit for charity you have not performed or given.
    Marital Cheat -it is well documented in the press and courts.
    Business Cheat -he admitted bribing officials and business people in order to further his business.
    And like all cheaters he uses lies to avoid taking responsibility for his own behavior.

    Roger Clemens was the Texas Con Man, Donny is the USA’s Con Man.

     

     

     

     

  4. Jim White says:

    Okay, you baited me to come out on this one. As a young tyke, we drove past the Will Rogers Museum quite often on the way to our favorite fishing hole. But back in those days, they were making “Will Rogers Never Met George McGovern” bumper stickers to tout Nixon with a play on Rogers’ line that he had never met a man that he didn’t like.

    But that kind of hits on my real point. I was carping on Twitter yesterday about how we need to get people like Ellison, Warren and Grijalva to start a whole new movement that likely would have to be a new party. And my conversation on Twitter drove home even more my conviction that we need to do this outside the Democratic Party. I had folks making the comment, “Sure, go ahead and put those folks in charge for 2018 and watch them get slapped down”. The problem is that as much of that slapping would be coming from inside the party now as outside. Think about it. This party has spent its last 50 years punching hippies. Do you really think they will put the hippies in charge now without trying to undermine everything they try to accomplish?

    I’d love to see a new movement that is based on the idea of establishing a truly fair chance for everyone. That applies equally to fair chances on civil rights, economic opportunity and all of the other aspects of life which is now rigged entirely in favor of the ultra-elite. With its dependence on ultra-elite and corporate cash, I just don’t see the Democratic Party moving back to true equality. The entrenched leaders of the party went all-in on this route in the “economic boom” of Bill Clinton’s presidency and can’t imagine doing anything to turn off that spigot of support.

    The discontinuity created by a Trump presidency (and the social and economic chaos that awaits us) gives a narrow window to push for this move to real equality. Basic tenets of the movement should be things like a truly progressive tax structure, infrastructure investment that creates good jobs, ending corporate cash in elections, abolishing gerrymandering and strict limits on Congressional movement into lobbying. Most importantly, I think the movement has to be broad. It needs multiple leaders to not be based on a cult of personality. The level of disaffection that will develop from the Trump chaos when his supporters finally realize he was only in this for himself will create an opportunity for these folks to consider joining a new movement that is based on fairness and repudiation of further enrichment of only the ultra-elite.

    If this opportunity is missed, the “two party” system of catering to the ultra-elite will eventually crash in a social breakdown that will have people longing for the good old days of the Great Depression.

    I’m going to chew on this for a while, but I’m pretty sure that sometime around the first of the year I will change my registration to No Party Affiliation. I’m done with the Dems.

    • lefty665 says:

      Very nice Jim.

      My wife and I quit the Party in late 2011. We could no longer stand being told to sit down, shut up, and don’t rock the boat. We haven’t regretted it for a minute as the Dems have ridden “stand for nothing” down like the Titanic.

      We supported Bernie in the primaries and voted Green on Tuesday. It was a start, but only a start. Us old hippies need to stand out of the way and support a new generation. Dunno what the answer is, but it starts today and we’re ready to work for actual change and the people of America. More same need not apply.

       

      • Jim White says:

        Thanks, lefty. Ironically, what makes me think that a real chance will be opening to overcome the corporatists comes from my previous life as an entrepreneur. I hired a CEO who had started off with the evil Monsanto and we came very close to cutting a major deal with them. In my study of Monsanto, I learned that their mode of operation was to seek out situations with major market discontinuities. Their reasoning was that proceeding within the status quo, increases of market share were limited to the 5- 10% range. However, during a discontinuity, changes of 30-50% or more were possible. They created many of these opportunities by introducing fundamentally different products (chiefly GMO) and working to eliminate the number of competitors by buying out smaller operations.

        When Trump demonstrates to his voting base that he cares about only Trump and not the people who voted for him, there will be a huge bloc of people looking for a new home. If we discard the truly deplorable among them and combine those who merely misplaced their anger with the disaffected Dem base, a very large chunk of voters can be united behind a new movement.

        And it is during the rearrangement that big stuff can be done. I’d add universal registration to my list above with ending gerrymandering and corporate cash. Without something new, the GOP will be allowed to stick to their false claim that Trump is a one-off exception and we are back to the market status quo where 10% shifts are the best we can do.

        • lefty665 says:

          Hi Jim, This certainly qualifies as a “discontinuity”.  Although, as just another in the procession of Dem losses it is also simply incremental.

          I hear you, this is the opportunity to dramatically increase market share. How do the rank and file take control of the Dems?  That I suppose gets us back to bmaz’s topic.

          My fear is that the elites will find a scapegoat for the loss like Comey then rationalize themselves right back into electoral la la land and still in control.  We (my wife and I) were local and state mid level “leaders” for about a decade. We found the folks running the Party absolutely intractable. They had things arranged the way they liked them and were hostile to “Emperors new clothes” observations like “Lost that election”, “Uh lost another, want to try another way?”.

          The Sanders phenomena was amazing. That a 73 year old gadfly could nearly win a corrupt rigged primary against the Party chosen candidate with a massive campaign organization gives me hope.  I think bmaz is right though that geezers like Sanders and Warren (and me) can facilitate a transition, but they’re not the future.

          The profound erosion of elected Dems at all levels, accelerated starting in ’92, leaves a sparse farm club of politically experienced younger talent. I’m not convinced the Dems have the people to achieve change and step into the discontinuity, although women like Tammy Duckworth and Tulsi Gabbard do come to mind.

          It seems possible this is like 1840 when the parties reformed and the Repubs came into being during another discontinuity. That would mean embracing the block of decent folks Trump has deceived and people (mostly unknown to me) who are leaders in that group. But you knew that already.

          There is no doubt that pathologically narcissistic sociopath Trump will soon demonstrate he cares only about Trump. The question is whether there will be a political entity there to step in when he does.  As you note, you have to be prepared to take advantage of a discontinuity, the window doesn’t stay open long. Time’s a wastin’.

          Don’t think I ever got a chance to send a message of appreciation for your analysis of Ebola. You had the course of the epidemic mapped correctly. Glad my fears that the profound spike in virus particles that make an infected person contagious in the late stage would make it nearly impossible to control were not borne out. Thank you.

           

    • Anon says:

      I agree. In many respects the problem is not who is at the top. The party as a whole is a corrupted structure that exists more as a fundraising vehicle for lobbyists rather than an actual organization to get things done. Even Dean found that to be an interesting wall when his 50 state strategy was not so much implemented as used, and then discarded for more focus grouping.

      As much as I think Ellison would be the best choice (of the very very thin bench) I don’t think he could impose all that much before the wheedling bastards who man the funding arm and the semi-independent groups like the DLC would find a way to undercut him at least in private as they have with Warren.

  5. Bay State Librul says:

    Need a legal opinion, BMAZ.

    Will Trumps’ lawyers settle on the Trump University suit?

    I think they will pull a Clemens and settle…. Clemen’s did not want anyone to see his e-mails

    with the Hendricks boys http://www.hendricks-sports.com/

     

    • bmaz says:

      Yes, I think they will. By my understanding, Dan Petrocelli, Trump’s lead atty, is well into trying to do so already.

  6. William says:

    My only reservation would be full time versus part time. I think Ellison would be great for the DNC, but is that something that can be done well while still being a legislator?

    • Phil Perspective says:

      I think Ellison would be great for the DNC, but is that something that can be done well while still being a legislator?

       

       

      We saw how well DWS did, didn’t we?  Nothing against Ellison but we need someone who will make it their full-time job.  Especially given that the DNC needs to be fixed from the ground up.  Given the state of many of the state parties, there needs to be better coordination between them and the DNC, for starters.

    • lefty665 says:

      Chair has traditionally been an elected pol. The full time staff has been the director and deputies. Think the three who exited with Wasserman-Schultz. That’s where the actual work gets done and where the change needs to happen along with the king pin.

    • watertiger says:

      Full-time. This can no longer be a part-time, crony payback position. This person has to focus on ALL of the candidates, not just the ones guaranteed (or not, in Clinton’s case) to win, which is what lazy DWS did.

  7. anon says:

    Great potty mouthed screed, but “literally” does not mean what you literally think it means.  Also, ‘revanchist” has me scratching my head.  Does that mean Howard Dean has been crying “54 40 or fight”?

    Anyway, the party will not take away any such message.  As in 2000 they won the popular vote and they got pretty close in the (newly minted) swing states.  That’s not losing bigly, unless you are comparing to how well you think they should have done..  They won’t try a major self reform when they know in two years, assuming we still have a democracy, there will be a swing against trump and the R’s.  At which time Nancy will assure us there will be no recriminations for anything the trumpkins do between now and then.  Expect marginal changes in posture, and business as usual (unless/until the whole sheebang comes crashing down via trump or a collapse of the financial casino).

    • bmaz says:

      For the record, I did not say fuck once in the post, and said shit only once and in the course of describing the “shithole”. And if the word asshole offends you, then you just may be one.

      lit·er·al·ly
      ˈlidərəlē,ˈlitrəlē/
      adverb
      in a literal manner or sense; exactly.
      “the driver took it literally when asked to go straight across the traffic circle”
      synonyms: exactly, precisely, actually, really, truly; More informal used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.
      “I have received literally thousands of letters”

      I would respond further to you, but I literally do not want to waste the time. “Potty mouth”?? Hahahahaha; what, are you fucking Miss Manners or something?

      • anon says:

        Apparently you think I am offended by four letter words,  when I use them in almost every other sentence.  Or that heads in asses and screw are not offensive to the miss manners of the world because they don’t have four letters.

        and for the record I think miss manners is very funny, and miss potty mouth (blow job) wheeler rocks

        I guess the word great at the start of my post was too ambiguous.

        And men cannot literally give birth to anything.  Only the late Mrs. Trump ever gave birth to preznit trump.  That was a figure of speech.  Literally is used when a figure of speech is literally true, like if these guys grew uteruses and birthed out the Donald.  If you’re going to be a writer or a lawyer , maybe you should learn what words mean.

        still the hypersensitive sore head you always were, I see.

        • bmaz says:

          Still the sanctimonious purveyor of clap and crap, and not necessarily relevant commentary, you always were, I see.

          But there is a real discussion to be had here if you would like to engage in it as opposed moralizing about your instant host. I hope you do, I think you might have something to add.

    • Phil Perspective says:

      They won’t try a major self reform when they know in two years, assuming we still have a democracy, there will be a swing against trump and the R’s.

       

       

      I’m not willing to bet on that.  Are you?  Have you seen how many Senate seats the Democrats are going to have to protect in ’18?  Are you going to bet on that given what’s been going on with turnout?

  8. GKJames says:

     
    Sure, but doesn’t that effectively absolve the demos that does the choosing? Aren’t Democrats up against a larger problem, one that they’ve had to wrestle with since Reagan? How do you advocate a progressive worldview when the majority of an aging, increasingly atomized, entertainment-addicted population doesn’t want that? It’s easy enough to say, after the fact, that Clinton should have focused more on those disadvantaged by globalization, or that, had they only chosen Sanders, the Democrats would have won. But recall that, without moving to the center, Bill Clinton would never have made it. A lousy bargain in retrospect, but not a crazy one at the time.
     
    Yes, the DNC needs new blood. But assuming someone is found who can articulate a crisp clear message of what Democrats stand for—and who’s telegenic, personable, and entertaining to boot—how would that change the stranglehold that Republicans have on state governments, state legislatures, and the US Congress? The clear majority likes the status quo, having no problem with gerrymandered districts, voter suppression, or bought-and-paid-for legislators who enjoy an incumbency rate of 90%+. And the infotainment complex is likely to help keep it that way by making sure that its customers are never overtaxed by complicated thoughts. There will still be people, adults, who read, think, and have constructive ideas about matters of public import, which they’ll express in complete sentences. But they’ll be increasingly outnumbered and marginalized in a Twittered world.
     

    • bmaz says:

      No, I think you have hit every nail squarely on the head. This is exactly the conundrum. And I have no good answers to those questions, but they need to start being found. Excellent comment. I am going to add it into the main post.

    • Phil Perspective says:

      But recall that, without moving to the center, Bill Clinton would never have made it.

       

      Where is the proof for this?  He was a DLC Democrat.  Which means he really was a corporatist at heart.  You saw his post-presidential income, right?

      • GKJames says:

        Recall the times, though. “Liberal” was an epithet. People on public assistance were deemed moral degenerates and assumed to be entirely African-American. Clinton (and Blair in the UK) had to find a “third way” to overcome public skepticism about “tax-and-spend liberals”. And to have a chance in the race for big money to finance campaigns, compromises were (and, in my view, had to be) made. As for whatever money Bill Clinton has made since, I don’t see that as a liability; he continues to advocate centrist, reasonably sane policies … though clearly not effectively enough.

        • Avedon says:

          “Liberal” was an epithet because the DLC Dems joined the Republican chorus and sang backup on their every refrain.   The GOP had been trying and failing to make “liberal” a dirty word for decades and had failed because Democrats defended it.  Then, suddenly, they didn’t, and the Republicans started winning.  Enter Bill Clinton…

  9. bevin says:

    “..How do you advocate a progressive worldview when the majority of an aging, increasingly atomized, entertainment-addicted population doesn’t want that?”
    I must have missed something: Cold War russophobia; eternal war on behalf of wahhabism; governing for Goldman Sachs; privatising social security; identity politics; confrontation with China; proud memories of Libya; the record of Clinton’s, NAFTA, mass incarceration and ending welfare programmes; etc etc.
    And this is part of a ‘progressive world view’? It looks like part of a thoroughly reactionary anti-social programme to me. And I’m very happy to have seen it rejected. I’m sure Will Rogers would be too.

    • lefty665 says:

      Nice post bevin.

      Another Will Rogers quote is “I used to worry about what he thought, but here recently it’s what he knows for sure that just ain’t so that scares the hell out of me.” Funny, he never met rugger9, wonder how Rogers got so prescient?

    • GKJames says:

      No question Democrats have lost their progressive way. I simply argue–based on the premise that our politicians follow rather than lead–that that’s a function not of their being craven corporatist reactionary hacks under a progressive-sounding veneer, but because they believe their constituents require it. And that constituency has been moving right for a generation, making progressivism a hard sell.

       

       

       

       

       

       

  10. rugger9 says:

    Well, bevin, most of those examples were done with GOP help and leverage with filibusters but you do flesh out the earlier discussion about what ails the Ds.  It’s the Third Way triangulation crowd, trying to be “better” on social issues but not so dangerous so that the big money donors would be less willing to give to them.  This is why we have TPP, NAFTA, Goldman Sachs speeches, but the quixotic quest for conservative voters was stupid from the beginning.  Rs vote for Rs, not “R-lite” Third Way types.  This is also where the DFH bashing came from, in some ways it is similar to TP management by the Rs (happy for the votes, but no place to make policy) but unlike the Rs the Beltway Ds maintained control of their party.  A housecleaning of the establishment is needed for the Third Way types to realign the Democratic Party to be the progressive force it needs to be and once was.  Ellison I think would be a good choice.

    Saying that Warren blew her chance assumes that she was interested in running for POTUS, but she is not.  She’s quite happy in the Senate and very effective as is Franken and Duckworth will be in pointing out GOP hypocrisy.  Whether the filibuster survives the new Congress’ writing of the rules remains to be seen, my expectation is that McConnell will trash tradition for a power grab.  The GOP will not miss this chance, especially considering that the long-dead Fairness Doctrine will not interfere with the messaging to swamp the opposition.  I fully expect Net Neutrality dies as well, all the better to control inconvenient websites.

    While Donaldus would be uninterested in press availabilities, he will be happy to let the surrogates handle the press side which I think will lead to a more craven groveling for access.  I’m also curious about how Fox or CNN (Faux lite) or “TrumpTV” will handle the shifts in the so-called “talent”.  I  think if the kids launch TrumpTV, Hannity comes over to headline it.  Limbaugh will come over for a paycheck.  Ailes will run it since despite his otherwise disqualifying personal habits, he is a proven winner for ratings.

    Russophobia has well grounded reasons to exist.  If Putin hadn’t been acting like the KGB colonel he was, perhaps a step back would be in order.  However, I do not think that now is that time, and since the Russian government admitted to interfering in the USA election by coordinating with the Trump campaign (in violation of our law, so much for “law and order”) bevin really needs to open his eyes to the threat that has been acted upon.  Sudeten-like comments regarding the Baltics (also in NATO) don’t help, and will be used to justify another annexation.  Unlike 1939, Trump will be bought off and will let it go.

    So, bevin, how many countries should Putin be allowed to take over before you say it’s enough?

    The last note has to do with “TrumpU”.  Even though this particular case is a civil case, there is also criminal activity here, which is why Kamala Harris in CA and the NY AG are investigating it.  If Trump really did have a defense he wouldn’t be desperately trying to settle this now, he’d ride it out instead.  I do not think the NY AG (Schneiderman) will be willing to let this go, because we are talking about millions of people defrauded.  Even though the pay-to-spike scandals in FL and TX would be themselves quietly buried, there is so much slime under the rock that will ooze throughout the rest of the term.  It is also why Ryan and/or Putin will leverage decisions in line with their agenda, since all Paulie Munster would have to do is start impeachment proceedings to force Donaldus out of office, with a lot to talk about.  That gives the Rs a President Pence which was their goal all along.

  11. lefty665 says:

    Wow! Wonderful bmaz. My hat’s off to you, what I’ve been thinking but better expressed, much better.

    The Dems indeed need a new generation, us boomers have screwed the pooch too many times. No more aging “progressives” and “liberals”.  You are right, Bernie and Warren are transition figures only, Dean goes in the ash bin of history and Brazil is out today at the DNC.

    Go back to basics, radical New Deal commitment to the people of America that Dems have abandoned since Clinton in ’92. Recall FDR to the effect that “bankers/wall st hate me and I welcome their hate.” No more quarter million dollar an hour chats to Goldman-Sachs. No more public and private policies on every issue. No more hiding the public’s business on private servers to subvert FOIA.

    GKJames gets things wrong in making questionable assumptions, asserting them as fact, then building his case around them.  Bill did win in ’92 while abandoning Dem principles, but there is no way to know if he would have prevailed as a real Dem. The Repubs were done with Poppy Bush (“read my lips” was fatal). Perot was the wild card that let Bill win with a plurality, perhaps despite his disgusting DLC, right wing policies rather than because of them. ’88 was Dukakis, a poor policy wonk who made Bush seem dynamic. In ’84 Mondale was running against incumbent Reagan during economic recovery and “Morning in America”. In ’80 it was Reagan’s treasonous scheming with Iran on hostages that beat Carter.

    James’ assumptions about what people want are opinion, not fact.  The argument for traditional Dem politics are compelling following this election. 90% of the country has not had a raise since 1978, that’s grandparents, parents and now no prospects for kids. Hillary and the 1% elites are lucky that all they got was Trump, they have not been burned at the stake, yet. The Dem path is, as you forcefully advocate, through younger people and programs/policies that serve the 90% of the public that has been screwed for the last 36 years.

    Congress, state, and local governments are a hard case. They have been abandoned by national Dems since ’92 (thanks Bill, Barak, et al). It has been a long term slide and will take decades to recover from, there is no quick fix. But, it is possible, and it comes from Dems standing for something and providing a vision of governing that works for people. “I’m from the Gubmint and I’m here to help you” becomes, as it was during the Depression, a lifeline instead of a Repub joke.  Seat by seat, office by office Dems can recover, but it ain’t going to be easy or quick.  It will take guts, commitment and Dems who believe in the American people, helping them, and are willing to stand for those beliefs.

    The conventional wisdom of “responsible people” is what gave us Hillary and Trump. So f**k that nattering nabob of negativism and his cynicism that gets us only more of the same.

    Today is the opportunity for the Dems to wake from a 24 year nightmare. Kennedy gave us the frame in his inaugural address in ’61 “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation…”

    Thank you again for a wonderful post. It is a new day. Carpe Diem Dems, time’s a wastin’.

     

    • bmaz says:

      Welp, GK James goes at it from a pretty different perspective than I do. But I posted up his comment because it ultimately reaches the same conclusion, and I thought it useful to getting there.

      I have incredible respect for Hillary Clinton, and think much of the book against her is seriously deranged. But below that scrum are the centrism policies that really do disaffect people on their own. See marcy’s latest post for a bit of that.

      Either way, Clintonism is dead. And the Dem party, if it wants to exist as a viable entity, needs to move on. And, yeah, that also includes probably mopes like us.

    • GKJames says:

      Democrats, by definition, start with the same long-term aim: a measure of broad justice, economic and social. A consensus on how best to get there remains elusive. My only point is that, in the chase for votes, to focus solely on the salesman is to take us only half-way. Without a close look at the buyers and their ever-changing whims, lack of discernment in their decision-making, negligence in participation, and zero effort to know how things in fact work, makes it a steep mountain to climb for any Democrat.

      It’s common now to say that Trump won because people rejected Clintonian neo-liberalism and “elitism;” had she but focused on Main Street rather than Wall Street we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Maybe. First, only a portion of those who swung to Trump were economically disadvantaged. Second, the 115th Congress will look like the 114th (state legislatures, too, will continue to look the way they do). Hardly evidence of a broad public demand for real change. Third, Clinton did, indeed, propose an economic program, and a centrist Democratic one it was. Few bothered to examine it, seduced as they were by Trump’s child-like simplicities and prejudice-stoking, and by the usual peddling of rumors and half-truths about Clinton. Fourth, until the public agrees that campaigns should be publicly financed–the chances being slim-to-none, of course–it’s going to take big money, Wall Street money and Silicon Valley money, for Democrats to have a chance. Clinton meant a robust Dodd-Frank regime, but that wasn’t good enough for those who wanted to hang her for “being in bed with Wall Street”. Trump, of course, means zero restraint on Wall Street’s (re)jeopardizing the financial system.

      Democrats have always been the adults in the conversation, generally–if imperfectly–focusing on governance. They’ll forever be at a disadvantage to the glib con of Republicans whose interest is power for the benefit of the few, but who tell a more digestible (albeit bullshit-to-the-core) story to people who can’t be bothered to do the hard work that an informed civic society requires. THAT’s the (expensive) needle that the Democrats are having to thread.

      As for the broader issue of inequality, a problem decades in the making: Only one side sees it as serious enough to do something about. The other, including the many negatively affected, will continue to adhere to the rising-tide-will-lift-all-boats delusion (and shout down as “Communists!” anyone who dares mention the problem). Measures that might substantively address the problem would demand a re-wiring of both the US economic model and the American mind itself. What would happen to the Democratic candidate who proposed (i) a national hourly minimum wage of $15; (ii) a limit on executive pay; (iii) a prohibition on employment agreements for the few or, alternatively, a prohibition on at-will employment for the many; (iv) reinvigoration of labor unions; (v) publicly funded day-care; or (vi) equality of funding for all public schools? You may be convinced that those are dead-bang winner propositions for Democrats. I’m not so sure.

  12. lefty665 says:

    I hear you, and I probably fall in the deranged category.

    “There will still be people, adults, who read, think, and have constructive ideas about matters of public import, which they’ll express in complete sentences. But they’ll be increasingly outnumbered and marginalized in a Twittered world.”

    This didn’t seem to me to be at all where you came out. Maybe I didn’t understand you, it could be those complete sentences thingies.

    Thanks again for your post. I’d like to see you work in court sometime:)

     

  13. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    Desperate people elected Obama in ’08. The country continued with its neoliberal policies.

    Four years from now, the desperate (and guaranteed, there will be even more of them than there are now) will figure out that Trump isn’t the answer. So there’s certainly an opportunity for the Democrats to bounce back. But actual leftists are going to have to fight like hell to take the party from the neolibs who’ve run it for a generation. One thing that bmaz is certainly right about is that Warren ain’t the answer. She’s good on one issue, and it’s an important issue, but on everything else she’s a run-of-the-mill corporate dem. People like Ellison and I don’t even know who else will have to really lead and motivate.

    An actual left can succeed in this country, because people — even a lot of Trump voters — are and will be desperate enough to try it. But Adelson’s storm troopers and every other part of the establishment will be lined up against it. It’s going to be a brutal, ugly and quite possibly bloody fight. I just hope the youth — who were scared of Trump’s name written in chalk — are up to it.

        • Bitter Angry Drunk says:

          Trump will be absolutely zero percent better on Israel. If he indeed killed TPP, you’ll be able to say, “at least he stopped TPP before he fucked the world.” I’ll give him credit for that, but I’m not expecting to give him credit for anything else, ever.

          • lefty665 says:

            He can’t be any worse than Schumer/Clinton would have been, but I hear you, any improvement may be marginal.

            He may keep us out of a war with Russia. I’ll give him credit for that if we’re around to be passing out props. In that vein it looks like he’s already inspired Obama to actually start fighting ISIS/al Qaeda in Syria. Pretty remarkable after five years of arming and supporting them. I’ll give him that too.

            Along with TPP that’s about the list of credits. Debits on the other hand will be a thick stack.

  14. dimmsdale says:

    Something nobody’s mentioned so far that might be germane to the discussion is that two of the most successful progressive politicians, Sanders and Warren, ran on principle first and “getting the job” second. They did not bend their principles to get contributions, and that stubborn hewing to principle is what people saw, admired, contributed to, and ultimately voted for. Not to minimize the difficulties of running an entrenched establishment political party, where maybe you DO need to tailor the message a bit to attract “those” contributors (hedgies, Wall Streeters, whatever), I can’t help feeling (as some here have already said) that the Democratic party needs a return to principle first, and f*ck big-money guys and K-street contributions.

    I’ve been pissed all along that the party seemed to have nothing substantive to say about jobs, other than that they would magically flow from ‘somewhere’ (unspecified) when Hillary was elected. Look at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation: a collection of guys with marginal jobs, living close to the bone in devastated parts of the country, surrounded by ‘no hope.’ Give them a gun, and a cause, and amplify their butt-hurt via RWNJ media, and look what you suddenly get! One of the tragedies of the Democratic Party is that it never seemed interested in reaching out to those people (ps, black folks live there too and experience the same thing) and harnessing that wasted energy, imagination, and passion in order to build something useful–one of the ‘principles’ I hope to see the party waking up to, in place of mealy-mouthed vagueness calculated to avoid pissing off big corporate donors. (tl:dr–there’s something wrong with a country, or a party, that’s OK with so much of its citizens’ talents and energies going to waste.)

    Hate to say it, I see the same thing here in NYC, where jobless people are hugely f*cked (there’s very little out there) and neither party has a scrap of hope for them, either. Here at least we’re surrounded by hope. Out there, not so much.

  15. dimmsdale says:

    (ETA–we’re ‘surrounded by hope’ in the sense that conspicuous success is everywhere; elusive as ever, but at least you can see it and point to it.)

    • bloopie2 says:

       

      1.  Heard it on Sirius recently, so, no.  But I’ll listen again so you won’t feel so useless today.  And it is a really good tune, thanks.

       

      2.  Speaking of Sirius, you know that your brainpower has been wasted when you can listen to Sixties On Six for several hours straight and know all the lyrics to all the songs.

      3.  You can tell how many clicks you get on the video?  Yikes, I didn’t realize I was being surveilled to that extent.  Is this something new under Trump?

  16. Peterr says:

    I took Senator Professor Warren at her word last year and repeatedly since when she said she didn’t want to run for president. Just a WAG on my part, but I think her desire is to be the new Teddy Kennedy in the US Senate, both pushing hard to get progressive things done within the Senate and pushing hard to get progressive things done and progressive people elected outside the Senate.

    I don’t think she whiffed at all.

  17. Denis says:

    By gawd there are some great zingers in this one. I am putting “revanchist assholes” at the top of my list of phrases looking for a reason to use them. And bonus points: no jury could possibly consider that defamatory b/c none of them would know what the hell “revanchist” means.

    bmaz: “For the record, I did not say fuck once in the post. . .”

    Bingo! Give the man a fucking Kewpie doll!

    Stranger: There’s just one thing, Dude.
    Dude: Yeah, man, what’s that?
    Stranger: Do ya’ have ta’ use s’many cuss words?
    Dude: What the fuck ya’ talkin’ about, man?
    Stranger: OK, Dude. Have it your way.

    Like TBL, this post is a classic.  Perfect opening with Will Rogers, one of America’s favorite clowns, for it’s his world view that the Democratic Party either has to find its way back to, or else quit calling itself the “Democratic Party.”

    In the years after WWI Rogers recognized that the country had damned well better take care of the working stiff because that’s who fights America’s bloody wars. If he were here today Rogers would eviscerate those folks living in the Hamptons or in $6M Silicon Valley estates – today’s ersatz liberals.

    The Democrats need to recognize that it’s mostly recent high school kids growing up in minimum-wage or unemployed families in Tulsa, and Flint, and NOLA who are being sent to die for America on a small scale now, and who will be sent as an entire social class when the next big blow-out comes.

    Rogers’ message was that the working class had to be assured of a fair deal, if not out of a sense of what is morally right, then out of a sense of self-preservation because when push comes to shove, it’s the working class that gets butchered in America’s wars. The scam has only gotten worse since WWII, and it was particularly shameful during VN.   A disproportionate number of poor people bleed for the US because they are too poor to avoid the draft or because the military is the only pathway they see out of poverty.  And when that working class comes back from war, it is they who suffer suicide, homelessness, and chemical dependencies at rates enormously higher than those who don’t have a clue what war (or poverty) is all about.  And it seems to me that from the view on this Veterans’ Day that’s pretty much just fine with Republicans and Democrats alike.

    The irony is that when it comes to pushing traditional Democratic ideals – Will Rogers’ ideals – people who make their living as clowns – like Rogers and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert – aren’t the clowns.  The clowns are the people who make their living as politicians and as party leaders and hanger-ons. The Clintons, and Schumers, and Schultzes, and Brazils, and Podestas.

    Jon Stewart is one of the only people I can see with the charisma, appeal for the youth, and the gravitas to lead the Democrats back to the ideals of Will Rogers’ party. Just think how Stewart would have done against DTDuck in this election. Or in the next one.  Normally I disdain the idea of voting for reality-show hosts, movie stars, comics, and other paid clowns, but Stewart is an exception given the years he has invested engaging the difficult problems, domestic and foreign, that politicians are paid to resolve but only make worse. Unfortunately, the only mode we have seen Stewart operate in is attack mode.  But then, that didn’t keep the country from voting for DTDuck.

    Bmaz’s point is unassailable: a sea-change is required to get Democrats back on track. In my opinion, the politicians are not capable of that kind of change, almost by definition. The Republicans are smart enough to look outside the smelly litter-box of career politicians now and then. Again and again they have run demotic, populist entertainers and clowns, and won: Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Trump. This time the Democrats put up a morally bankrupt greed-hound pol in pant-suits. Last time they put up a jive-talkin’ Chicago pol who barely got elected in the aftermath of the worst recession in 85 years and then promptly lost control of Congress.

    The Democratic party used to be the party of common sense for the common person. Now it is neither.

  18. Evangelista says:

    Aprés le Deluges (of tears),

    Les Temper-Tantrums (in the streets.

    As usually, there is a silver lining.  In the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election case our silver lining is a vivid demonstration of the difference between Protests, seen in the Occupy Movements and the Standing Rock Protest demonstrations, and Temper-Tantrum in the streets by over-indulged (and badly educated) angry children, who didn’t get their way in an active example of democracy election.  An election in which the vast majority of the pissed-off and petulant pueriles rampaging and rioting, for being under-age, did not have legal right to participate in the first place (while any age for participation in voting exercises may be assigned, right down to any age at which a child may be capable of marking a ballot, herself, and so not be voted by another, such an assignment does not effect the age at which a citizen becomes an adult member of the United States population, responsible for him and her self and entitled to decide for him or her self, and, there through to participate in the decision-making processes of the government he, or she, as an adult one of The People, with the others of The People, owns).

    The age of personal and societal adult responsibility in the Constitutional United States is 21 years. This aget is, of course, a compromise age, and is less than the ages Constitutionally designated for representing others apart from one’s self.

    Two elections reforms we should work to effect in the wake of the 2016 U.S. Election are, 1. Common-pot campaign moneys collection (into which pot all contributions to campaigns would be required to go, and from which pot the moneys would be equally divided, to assure the electorate having the advantage in its decision-making of equally financed voice by all sides in every issue ( Citizens-United Corporate Contributors could dump as much money as they wished into the campaign-pot under common-pot,without tilting the presentation playing field),and, 2.separating the provisional, or practice voting ballots of the impressionable and not yet discerning or discriminating children, of the kinds we see today shouting and stamping and fussing (at least the ones not still babies at 21 years and older).

    Something positive for everyone to do?

    • John Casper says:

      You wrote “In the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election case our silver lining is a vivid demonstration of the difference between Protests, seen in the Occupy Movements and the Standing Rock Protest demonstrations, and Temper-Tantrum in the streets by over-indulged (and badly educated) angry children, who didn’t get their way in an active example of democracy election.”

      Have you learned your lesson?

  19. RexFlex says:

    Is Tulsi Gabbard too far to the left for the future of the DNC?

    She is my ideal candidate for POTUS and her leaving the DNC when she did was remarkable timing prior Podesta/WikiLeaks.

     

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