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View Diary: Time for Liberals to Go on the Offensive, and Stay There (254 comments)

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  •  The jugular of our political system has (7+ / 0-)

    Big Money flowing into Politicians.

    We don't start getting democratic outcomes until that particular line is severed. I'd ideally want corporate and big private money entirely out of the system, but of course the politicians will NEVER vote that.

    So, realizing that every faction of the 99%, from far right to far left and the vast middle, recognizes the enmity Big Banks hold for the USA I say ...

    start here to actually Crash the Gates, not symbolically or rhetorically...

    and do it this year, not bye and bye....

    Take the stand, ten or twenty million voters:
    Take Banker Bucks, I Don't Vote for You.

    We'll need that many so politicians do the math and see taking the Banker's money costs them more votes that it buys them.

    Seriously, without breaking the bribery-flow, I don't see how we get anything but speeches we like better, or laws with no teeth but good names.
     


    Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

    by Jim P on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 06:27:32 PM PDT

    •  Banks are a house of mirrors. (4+ / 0-)

      Just don't walk into them, and they hold no power.  The drive toward credit unions was a powerful demonstration of this principle.

      Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

      by Troubadour on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 06:40:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly the Too Big Too Fails (6+ / 0-)

        are criminal organizations which routinely launder drug money; defrauded investors; defrauded millions of home-buyers; create bubbles which drives up the cost of housing; speculate in oil and food driving up their costs; take money from the Fed (itself a TBTF) at practically no cost and then buy bonds which pay interest from the Treasury (read: us); bought legislation which let them continue wild gambling without real restraint; refuse to extend credit to small businesses and people costing recession; and are forcing austerity measures in the US and through most of the world.

        The drive toward credit unions didn't hurt them at all, or not much more than a mosquito bite. If it had hurt them, why are they still deciding what happens economically?


        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

        by Jim P on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 06:53:49 PM PDT

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        •  We can take them on head-on, or... (4+ / 0-)

          we can take them on through tax policy.  Or both.  Or one and then the other.  If we reinstitute progressive taxation, there is far less liquidity among the idle classes to be spent on stock speculation, which limits the power of the banks and makes them vulnerable to reregulation.

          Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

          by Troubadour on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 06:57:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Who is going to pass legislation (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Troubadour, magicsister, Nada Lemming

            to reinstitute progressive taxation? People getting money from the Bankers who are united in opposing higher taxes on the rich. Prognosis: ain't happening.

            Not while that money-flow keeps happening.


            Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

            by Jim P on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:36:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Chicken and egg. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jim P, ardyess

              The only solution to such a problem is to widen the context beyond the Ouroboros of corruption.  Unfortunately, banking is not a politically resonant issue with average people even in hard economic times - the issues become too abstract beyond a few very basic matters they can relate to like checking fees and fraudulent overdraft charges.  It's a pickle, there's no denying.  Perhaps there needs to be some committed studying done on the subject.

              Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

              by Troubadour on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:42:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Troubadour, Troubador (4+ / 0-)

                My man, you're usually so savvy.

                Banks: Number 5 in most hated industries in America. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                Remember that "move to credit unions" you cited? That wasn't from love and respect.

                If you want to replace Banks with Healthcare or Oil & Gas, that's fine with me.

                But there is no going outside the Ouroboros of corruption if the worm keeps getting fed. There will be no laws changing this. There cannot possibly be laws changing this, if the politicians count on corrupt money while still getting votes.

                There is no leverage possible -- and if you see someplace else, please tell us -- outside of cutting the Gordian Knot with "Dump X's Money or Lose My Vote." None. Really.

                And I think you underestimate the public's sophistication and/or memory. They remember the (still on-going) bailouts.


                Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

                by Jim P on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:55:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hated when asked on a survey. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  histOries Marko, Jeff Simpson

                  Not as a matter of personal initiative.  There's a big difference between what people select on a multiple-choice questionnaire and what goes on independently in their thinking when making choices.  The same is true of things they support, which is why there aren't millions of people in the streets demanding the liberal priorities they overwhelmingly support when asked.

                  We should demand support for reinstituting and expanding Glass-Steagall, as well as more detailed plans for rolling back Too Big To Fail, but if banks want to give money to a leader who advances that agenda, let them.  Simply refusing to take their money in an environment in which it flows without limits just means the balance goes to the other side, and progressive messages would be completely drowned out by propaganda.  There's nothing progressive about ignoring reality, and that's not what I'm recommending here.

                  Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

                  by Troubadour on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:26:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But Congress will never deliver these things. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Nada Lemming

                    And the Banks give money to both sides, so they win whatever happens. Which is why Congress will never deliver these things.

                    And the last "banking reform" we saw -- heck we had President Obama insisting that the most effective things be pulled out, and a Democratic leadership that complied.

                    Why?

                    We can organize, protest in our millions, send letters and telegrams -- as we did with the Iraq War Crime -- and we'll be ignored. Sure, you'll get some rope-a-dope rhetoric and swiss-cheese laws, but nothing real can change until we have people in office who are not beholden to Big Money. Certainly we can't dream that there'll be anything like meaningful campaign finance reform, even if the Supreme Court ruling gets changed or overridden by law.

                    As you say, it's not progressive to ignore reality.

                    Reality is that no matter what you or I or millions of others do to pressure politicians to provide change, they'll never deliver it. We are not their constituency.

                    We have to force them to choose between us or big money if they want to get elected. I myself don't think President Obama, say, is so stupid or greedy that he would prefer losing ten million votes in exchange for being in debt to Banks.

                    We have to destroy the political classes cover story: "Um, we need the bribes, er, campaign finances, in order to win votes."

                    Seriously, it might be uncomfortable, but here on earth until the money-flow is severed we're going to keep getting the shaft. There is simply no way around that. And the only leverage I can see is our vote.

                    I don't think one can be realistic and say that anything else will change the disastrous course we are on.


                    Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

                    by Jim P on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 07:48:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  ...and YET...VOTES are the ONLY things (0+ / 0-)

                      that can derail the Money Express (barring the classic 'torches & pitchforks').  But we must get it done!

                      As for inundating Congress w/ the ol' cards-and-letters, NEVER FORGET that the red-state types are doing this several days a week, EVERY week, not just every now and then.

                      I have a lot of respect for your diaries and comments, Jim, but I believe that in this case, you're supporting the most effective voter-suppression meme there is:  the notion that WE can't do anything against THEM, 'cause THEY have the money and the media and the churches, while WE are just rabble.

                      "Kenyan-Muslim-Communistic-Expialidocious!"

                      by chmood on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 07:05:22 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You misread I think. We have VOTES. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        chmood

                        In fact, that's the only thing we have which the political class needs. I don't see any other possible leverage on real political outcomes (not rhetorical nor loophole-law outcomes) than forcing politicians stop taking the bribes (and that's what they are, whatever the call it) and having bribe-givers as their true constituency.

                        I'm not saying give up on protests and letter-writing. I'm saying without a threat to their vote-getting we get nothing but pigs with lipstick. The decay of the nation will continue apace.

                        I don't see how that can be argued.

                        PS: Thanks for the compliments.


                        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

                        by Jim P on Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 01:16:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  The only way to get money out of politics is with (9+ / 0-)

      Campaign Finance Reform.  It, CFR, is absolutely necessary to get corruption out of politics.  IOW, If you need $1B to campaign for office, you're going to end up being beholden to someone.  

      "There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” ― Ernest Hemingway

      by TriciaK on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:10:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Congress will never pass CFR in a meaningful (0+ / 0-)

        way. It would be cutting off their own income. Ain't gonna happen. Like it hasn't for the last 40 years we've known we need real CFR. I can't imagine a scenario where they would do that, unless they had previously been untethered from getting the Big Bucks.

        No, it is voters who will have to force Campaign Finance Reform, and directly. That means using our votes to force politicians to decide if they want votes or money.


        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

        by Jim P on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 07:39:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I totally agree with you that we MUST have (0+ / 0-)

          Campaign finance reform (in the form of Publically Financed Elections) AND that it's not going to happen as long as the politicians who get campaign funds with the status quo are NOT going to vote to change it.
          But Darlin', when you force politicians to decide if they want votes or money, THEY WILL ALWAYS DECIDE THEY'D RATHER HAVE THE MONEY.  Always.  And there will ALWAYS be more money on offer from those who are willing to buy the politicians than there are "no" votes from those who are willing to deny votes to politicians who take that money.  The only way to make your suggestion effective is to have complete buy-in from every voter, and being that this is an imperfect world, it ain't never gonna happen.
          You're absolutely right about your diagnosis.  But we need a real world solution.  What else ya got?  Cause I sure don't have any workable solutions either.  Keep thinking.  I will too.

          •  you're living in a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VetGrl

            right wing talk radio paradigm. you can't imagine getting that passed because you have lived in a world that would not pass it- because an entire party is afraid of the limbaugh's and their dittohead army and a bunch of other 'underpopulated' talk radio states have way too many blue dog senators.

            fix that radio and the impossible becomes possible. they quit dominating and have to join the real word because their alternate reality just lost its loudest cheerleader.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Sat Apr 07, 2012 at 11:34:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm all for that. (0+ / 0-)

              How?  I'll get on board, but I need to see some possible path to winning.  My magic wand is on the fritz.

              •  well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RockyMtnLib

                since you asked....

                i still think (and have for many years) they depend on their dominance of talk radio to create and maintain the alternate reality that enabled and continues to enable this disaster.

                that is finally  being challenged somewhat, with pressure on limbaugh sponsors. the lessening of power and credibility of their radio gods and their megastations will reduce their ability to message over everything progressives do. all the left had to do was challenge their best weapon and that's finally happening. if a few universities pull sports from RW radio or demand balance many more will follow and that could do what legislation can't. it will be a 'free market' solution they can't scream about as an infringement of their (corporate coordinated) 'free speech'.

                IMO all reform efforts by progressives will be worth much more if they can't scream over us and cover the country with coordinated lying. without that RW radio monopoly we wouldn't have had bush, horrible supremes, citizens united, nationally organized voter suppression, iraq, wall st. deregulation, billionaire tax breaks, drug company-dominated health insurance, and global warming action obstruction.

                we've always had money and corruption in politics and democracy was working, giving us steady progress in all areas, but 20 years ago RW radio happened and the left ignored it and gave the right's think tanks a free speech free ride to short circuit the normal feedback mechanisms democracy depends on. those right wing radio stations are the backbone of this perverted new republican party and if an organized opposition to it finally materializes this election year it will make a huge difference.

                IMO the best work liberals can do this election year is to talk to the RW radio local sponsors and universities and protest those stations.

                This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

                by certainot on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 09:43:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Be the change, dude! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, magicsister, Matt Z

      Run for your local party office.  Change from the inside is hard.  Change from the outside is near impossible.  Change from both sides is... Irresistible!

      •  Yeah, we need more grassroots candidates. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        magicsister

        For me personally, I can't do it - I'm not a leader so much as a "seer."  But people who really, truly, believe they can implement a strategy better than the people already in politics should go for it.  At least a few of them may actually be right about themselves.

        Technology is a compromise: You can use whatever tool you choose, but be assured it will use you back.

        by Troubadour on Sun Apr 08, 2012 at 04:29:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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