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View Diary: Data point on Clinton and the Left Flank (58 comments)

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  •  It's a positive because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lady Libertine, CenPhx, buckstop, Penny GC

    progressives get to define the left Flank, not centrists.

    Today, Obama defines it. He's a centrist.

    As for whether it would be better to have an actual progressive president, well duh.

    But I don't think Clinton is beatable in a primary. Maybe a credible progressive candidate thinks so. We'll see.

    I doubt it.

    So the question will become how you react to the Clinton candidacy.

    I look for constructive approaches.

    •  Priorities USA bailing on 2014 races isn't exactly (5+ / 0-)

      a positive development on this issue.  Obama's heaviest hitters have now moved over to HRC, and those hitters will be keeping their powder dry until 2016.    It's not really a surprise--I don't recall Team Obama doing much for Senate and House candidates in 2012.

      As a recovering political junkie, bobswern's "Deep State" diary reconfirms my existing questions about the efficacy of my decades of political involvement.   One thing that I have no questions about is the lack of commitment here to the party as a whole.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 07:14:57 AM PST

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      •  I thought the thinking was (0+ / 0-)

        Priorities wanted to get out of the way for 2014 and felt its activities were diluting the effort?

        As for the commitment to the Democratic Party, I'm not sure what you mean. Are you advocating for a third party approach? I think that doesn't work in the United States given our current system.

        •  Priorities USA is hoarding its $ for 2016 (5+ / 0-)

          I'm not a big Steny Hoyer fan, but I agree w/ him here.  

          I didn't say anything about a commitment to the Dems.  My concerns at this point are about the ability to meaningfully affect the Deep State through our existing political system.  This snippet from the Moyers interview of Mike Lofgren illustrates my core concerns:

            It costs $400 by the time the Pentagon finishes paying contractors to haul one gallon of gasoline into Afghanistan. That’s a real extravagant amount of money. In both cases of the national security state and the corporate state, they are sucking money out of the economy.

              As our infrastructure collapses, we have a Tinkertoy power grid that goes out every time there's inclement weather. Tens of millions of people are on food stamps. We incarcerate more people than China, an authoritarian state with four times our population. Does anyone see the disparity between this extravagance for the Deep State and the penury that is being forced on the rest of the country? That isn't a natural evolution. Something made it happen.

              We're having a situation where the Deep State is essentially out of control, it’s unconstrained. Since 9/11 we have built the equivalent of three Pentagons around the DC metropolitan area, holding defense contractors, intelligence contractors, and government civilians involved in the military-industrial complex. There are over 400,000 contractors, private citizens, who have top-secret security clearances.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:00:38 AM PST

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    •  Defeat is a constructive approach? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, sny, CenPhx, aliasalias

      I swear the one and only way you get progressive policy is to elect progressives.  

      My data point is the 2010 election for governor in Minnesota.   The party had some centrist ready to run.  Can't even remember who.  Dayton, a liberal with access to lots of his own money, decided to run a lot of TV ads saying if you elect me I will tax the rich and do a bunch of other liberal stuff.  All the stuff the establishment party has schooled itself not to say out loud.  This prove amazingly popular with the base and so the centrist was defeated in the primary.  

      He was elected governor (right across the border from WI) in 2010.  Compared to the wacko Republicans the folks thought he made common sense so they rewarded him by throwing the Republicans out of both houses in 2012.  He then signed bills to add another tax tier for the very wealthy, froze tuition, passed some labor laws, and passed marriage equality.  Even the centrists in the party followed his lead when they saw he could get away with it.

      I believe he's polling about 58% now for reelection which even resulted in the notoriously risk averse centrist Senator Klobuchar actually sending out e-mails saying he makes "smart choices".   Wow!

      That's what you get when you primary the centrist and elect a progressive -- progressive policy and cowed centrists.

      •  Defeat? (0+ / 0-)

        Only if you make it so.

        I propose a different approach to the battle for the issues, not the pols.

        You are hung up on the pol, not the issues.

        •  I agree with what you want to do but (0+ / 0-)

          I believe electing Clinton makes it more difficult.   Yes, we need a stronger more cohesive left in and out of Congress and the statehouses but electing Bill Clinton didn't make that happen so I don't see that electing Hillary is going to do it either.

          I mean look what happened to Gore.  Clintons didn't want a challenge to Bill's legacy.  They didn't want Gore going off to the left.  So he wound up running a risk averse nothing campaign that the Clintons probably loved.  It defeated him but it didn't challenge the House of Clinton.

          •  It wasn't (0+ / 0-)

            the Clintons. It was the news media that trashed Gore's campaign.

            It's the policy stupid

            by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:56:10 AM PST

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            •  I don't tend to blame the media (0+ / 0-)

              They follow and of course they're increasingly corporate agenda driven but the candidate has to be able to penetrate that barrier and communicate directly to the people in a way that they find understandable and convincing.  Gore seemed to be held captive by his campaign.  Clinton and Reagan were unusually good at selling any message.  The Obama campaign is an example of a campaign well designed to sell a candidate who is really not that great at speaking directly to the people.  The campaigns were works of art but he has trouble in press conferences or speeches to the public.   I don't blame the media for that.  I mean, yeah, Fox, but otherwise no, you have to be able to talk over their heads.

              •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                you're actually backing up my claim that it was not the Clintons. I'm also not saying that Gore didn't make mistakes he did but the press put out something like 2/3 negative information on him and 1/3 on Bush.

                I agree with you on Obama's inability to speak to voters. The whole speech thing left me cold in 2008. Nothing wrong with making speeches but it seemed that's all there was.

                It's the policy stupid

                by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:47:34 AM PST

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      •  Good for MN (0+ / 0-)

        But unfortunately what works for MN does not work in other states. You have to take it on a state by state basis with that kind of thing.

        It's the policy stupid

        by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:20:55 AM PST

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        •  I think it would work more often than centrists (0+ / 0-)

          tell you.  You do need the right candidate and access to money to promote the message.

        •  What you are ignoring (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenbell

          Is that populist, progressive positions poll extremely high, across the board. If a politician were to run on these positions, instead of making excuses for why they can't, I think that politican would win in a landslide. In other words, stop sliding towards the "center". People may call themselves republicans or centrists, but the positions they support are populist.

          Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.

          by CenPhx on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:42:13 AM PST

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          •  Even here (0+ / 0-)

            in GA? That is kind of my point. It might work in some or even most but certainly not all. I know those polls are NATIONAL polls that show that but I would like to see one state by state.

            It's the policy stupid

            by Ga6thDem on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:52:56 AM PST

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    •  So what? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell

      I'll grant you the argument that the progressives will be able to define ourselves, but what does that get us?  The pundits and the talking heads are ultra-right leaning for the most part, with those centrists out there being labeled as "liberal."

      Hillary Clinton has no incentive to espouse anything progressive -- she would end up being a modern version of her husband: a business-friendly DINO whom the Republicans will hate only because she didn't come up through their ranks.

      -9.88, -7.44 Social Security as is will be solvent until 2037, and the measures required to extend solvency beyond that are minor. -- Joe Conanson

      by wordene on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:46:22 AM PST

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    •  But you don't need to win, to win (0+ / 0-)

      You just make sure she has some strong competition from the left.  They don't need to win.  They just need to move her leftward, in the process creating a credible future progressive candidate.

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