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  •  There is a "Left" in U.S. politics. They are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kombema, FG

    ineffective because the suffer from chronic bad timing, and an unwillingness to invest in a "long campaign". The main problem is that whenever there's an opportunity to shift public preferences leftward, they declare all out war against those in favor of incremental change. It becomes a "purity" contest, and everyone in favor of "more" liberal policies loses.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:31:36 PM PDT

    •  How has the "long campaign" worked? (0+ / 0-)

      Can you claim any victories?

      "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 04:47:53 PM PDT

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      •  From my experience, they've never tried it. (0+ / 0-)

        As I wrote previously, the "Left" always attempts to undermine anyone not sharing their ideologically "pure" position (see the Healthcare debate leading up to the ACA).  Everyone with a different pov is "a traitor, a corporatist, a dupe or a shill".  At the end of the day, the "Right" has very little work left to do.  Just look at how poorly the ACA polls because those on the "Left" deny their support even when it's the only game in town.  The same can be said of the Presidential approval polls.  Stop "letting the perfect be the enemy of the good" and things will "work" a lot better.

        "Because I am a river to my people."

        by lordcopper on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:03:24 PM PDT

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        •  OK, so if you can't generate enthusiasm (0+ / 0-)

          for a "long campaign," what does that say about the idea of a "long campaign"?

          "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

          by Cassiodorus on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:06:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As I stated in the previous post, it's never been (0+ / 0-)

            tried.  I don't know how old you are, but most of the voting age public has been indoctrinated to fear the "Left".  When I was in High School, a required course was "Americanism vs Communism".  The title still makes me laugh, but the non-thinking individual swallows that shit hook line and sinker.  So the first thing you need to recognize is this predisposition in the American character.  

            If you accept the idea of incremental change and stop adopting the worst excesses of the right wing astro-turf movements (the idea that you're going to achieve progressive policies through a putsch), we would have been further along.  Think of Teddy Kennedy in his quest for universal coverage turning down Nixon's support for an "employer mandate".  That's better than the ACA, and just think how we could have built on that.

            The other thing I would suggest is to jettison the stridence.  It turns people off, makes enemies of those who share common cause, and empowers right wing ideology.  Accept that ideological bent of the country id against you and realize that you have to "persuade" in order to make positive change.

            "Because I am a river to my people."

            by lordcopper on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 05:20:04 PM PDT

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            •  Most incremental change post-1973 (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nada Lemming, lostinamerica

              has been toward the neoliberal "paradise," which is of course hell for most of us -- replacing the protections offered by local markets with poverty under globalization, replacing AFDC with TANF in the (1996) "welfare bill," replacing progressive education in the 1970s with standards, testing, NCLB and RttT today, replacing affordable rent with a housing bubble (which itself collapsed, destroying the savings of millions of people), replacing Glass-Steagall with Gramm-Leach-Billey.

              And then you have that "incremental change" which the neoliberals DON'T like -- the declining global growth rate, from 4.9%/ year in the 1960s to barely alive today.

              I can't call any of this "progress."  And I don't think any of it, at all, can be blamed on strident, fire-breathing liberals.  Lastly, I don't think any of it can be blamed on a "predisposition in the American character."  Majorities of the American public approve of significant portions of what conservatives call the "liberal agenda" -- but said majorities have never been given a chance to enact any of that preference.

              "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

              by Cassiodorus on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 06:08:50 PM PDT

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              •  You've just described the result of the infighting (0+ / 0-)

                between the "Left" and "Liberals".  We're never able to consolidate gains (no matter how minor) and it's always an all or nothing proposition.

                Since

                Majorities of the American public approve of significant portions of what conservatives call the "liberal agenda" -- but said majorities have never been given a chance to enact any of that preference.
                then why has the Conservatives agenda advanced at the expense of the Left/Liberal agenda?  Why are extremist Conservatives in control of the House?  I'll tell you why.  Because fear is easier to sell than hope.  "No (fill in the blank)" is easier to sell than a long series of statements explaining why "(fill in the blank)" is right for the country, (it fits on a bumper sticker and it's easy to remember).  Thwarting progress has always been easier than bring about progress.  That's why it's so sad when the "Left" engages in that practice

                "Because I am a river to my people."

                by lordcopper on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 06:28:29 PM PDT

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                •  It's the conservatives that sell fear. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lostinamerica
                  and it's always an all or nothing proposition.
                  Always?  Nobody was demanding anything more for welfare when Bill Clinton signed the welfare bill in 1996.
                  why has the Conservatives agenda advanced at the expense of the Left/Liberal agenda?
                  Because the conservative 1% can buy politicians, whereas the liberal 1% claim to look liberal just to look good (while maintaining their class interests).  It's the 1% who are in charge of the political process now.

                  Electioneering today has very little to do with the popular will.  The 2012 Presidential election is a case in point -- Obama won through an intensive anti-Romney campaign in the swing states, whereas most of Romney's voters didn't care who he was as long as he wasn't Obama.  The popular will isn't served by heavy reliance on "lesser of two evils" voting practices.  And, yes, this has to do with "selling fear" -- but not by liberals.  Neither Obama nor Romney is a liberal.

                  Today the politicians are free to do whatever conservative things their financial handlers please, as long as they can stay in power by appearing less worse than their opponents.  And even if they don't stay in power, their financial handlers can still grant them appropriate private sector jobs so they can "stay current" on policies which said handlers would like to see enacted.

                  That's how it works, now.

                  "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

                  by Cassiodorus on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 06:41:05 PM PDT

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                  •  Claiming that all the politicians are bought and (0+ / 0-)

                    paid for is a cop out.  It's no more compelling than saying grass is green.  In any event, it is what it is.  If you want to change the rules, you have to win first.  What are you willing to do to win and propagate your ideals?

                    "Because I am a river to my people."

                    by lordcopper on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 07:04:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The topic at hand -- (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Nada Lemming, lostinamerica

                      was one of why the conservative (read: neoliberal) agenda has triumphed in this era.  I provided an explanation.  I await your detailed history of how the "strident Left" made all of the legislation I cited possible, by undoing the hard work of heroic incrementalists.  Let's see it.

                      "Coal is a rock in the ground. Only under definite historical relations did coal become fossil fuel." --Jason W. Moore

                      by Cassiodorus on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 07:21:52 PM PDT

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                •  These Great U-Turn policy results ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cassiodorus, isabelle hayes

                  ... are most decidedly not the result of "infighting between the 'Left' and 'Liberals'".

                  They are the result of a political shift that decreased the clout of both taken together. And the role of domestic Peak Oil shouldn't be discounted in that. Under the West Texas quota system established in the Great Depression and continued through to 1970, production quotas expanded and contracted with demand for crude oil, in order to maintain stable oil prices.

                  Under that system, and with the exception of some individual oil millionaires who put their wealth in support of some ideological agenda, most of the Oil establishment was aligned with the Democratic party and supportive of full employment economic policy.

                  In 1970, two years after the domestic peak arrived in 1968, the West Texas oil production quota was raised to 100% and crude oil pricing power passed out of the country. The result was the stake of Big Oil in full employment economic policy was broken, and it did not take many years at all for the bulk of political support of Big Oil to shift from the Democrats to the Republicans.

                  Remember that Texas went for Humphrey in 1968, for Carter in 1976, but for Reagan in 1980 and then for the Republican Presidential candidate in every election since.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 07:03:29 PM PDT

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                  •  With all due respect, I think you're making this (0+ / 0-)

                    more complicated than necessary.  I would argue that the "shift" you're speaking of has far more to do with a backlash from Civil Rights legislation, thus cultural factors, than economic factors.

                    "Because I am a river to my people."

                    by lordcopper on Sun Oct 13, 2013 at 07:10:03 PM PDT

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                    •  It has quite a lot to do with ... (0+ / 0-)

                      ... that backlash, but that alone is an underdetermined explanation, since equality of funding of investment in amplifying and mitigating moderate middle class white suburban resentment would have led to substantially different outcomes than the outcome we have had, were those exploiting that resentment have for half a century had a massive advantage in the funding of free-standing institutions crafting and promoting their ideological messaging.

                      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                      by BruceMcF on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 05:16:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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