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View Diary: A Democratic Karl Rove (249 comments)

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  •  But (none)
    your first post was arguing ignore politics.

    I like this comment much better.

    I think timing is what we arguing about.

    The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

    by Armando on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 09:12:23 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Defining Politics (none)
      My first post wasn't for ignoring politics, but rather presumes a different definition of politics. Progressives can not afford to limit their definition of politics to what occurs in the electoral arena for the simple reason that this is an arena where the rules are written by those who already posess power and in such a manner to preserve their possession of power.

      There are all sorts of structural features of the national electoral system (campaign financing, winner-take-all, the Electoral College, the structure ofthe Senate, super-delegates, obstacles to voter registration) that are essentially anti-democratic firewalls against the real exercise of power by the poor and working class majority of this country. This means that a good deal of the political activity of the effectively excluded must take place OUTSIDE the confines elections, that is to say in the form of social movements and the counter-institutions that support them.

      If a Democratic Congress or a Democratic President acts to get us out of Iraq in a manner that doesn't lay the foundations for fascism it will only be in the context of a massive social movement that compels them to do so. We can't afford to wait to build that movement until the 2006 elections (because as soon as they pass the same argument will be made to wait until 2008 or 2010 or ...). In fact this is one of the de facto FUNCTIONS of elections in this society: to channel popular discontent into acceptable (toothless) forms and away from forms that are more threatening to the powers that be.

      In short the correspondence between electing Dems and winning progressive victories is not a simple one. Sometimes social movements produce Dem electoral gains that may or may not consolidate victories won in the streets. In others they generate backlashes that produce Republican electoral victories that may or may not end out consolidating the gains of the social movements as well. Many of the greatest gains of the movements of the 1960s were written into law under Nixon.

      You can blame Jane Fonda for the rise of the Republican right if you want, but a more honest account would assign the "blame" to Rev. Martin Luther King. It was the Black struggle for civil rights more than anything else that shattered the the alliance of Southern white supremacy and Northern urban political machines that constituted the Democratic majority. An argument quite similar to yours re: Iraq was made repeatedly against the militancy of the civil rtights movement and in favor of a more patient go-slow approach to dismantling racial inequality. Thank goodness Dr. King and the other leaders of the civil rights movement didn't heed this counsel even though many "liberal" Democratic Party officials did. The same can be said of the present moment. I have no illusions that the Dems will show much courage in coming out forcefully against the war. But I fully expect the anti-war movement to grow in numbers, militance and in its insistence that Dems to the right thing, and eventually they will be compelled to do so.

      "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories" -- Amilcar Cabral

      by Christopher Day on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:00:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your assumption is flawed (none)
        The assumption that the only way to create a stable Iraq is through the use of military power on the part of the United States is flawed. By any stretch of imagination, no Dem will withdraw 100% of the troops pronto. The Dems actually have been arguing that the US needs to do one of two things. The press continually neglects to adequately report the Dem's argument.

        Dem's have argued that we need to either send enough troops and commit enough resources to do the job right or quit playing with our selves, and get out.  But, no Dem in power is suggesting that we let Iraq implode. The Dems buy into the whole "pottery barn rule."

        Also, Thomas Frank's analysis, that you so nicely condensed is not entirely acurate (first Dr. Martin DID take the go-slow approach, I am not entirely sure which approach you were suggesting that he heeded). But you work under the assumption that a backlash is a product of the movement, which it is not, the backlash is the product of the resistance to that movement, which is present from the very begining. Take the depate on creationism (which i think we should stop framing as a debate on darwinism), the current backlash is nothing new, it was the same resistance that said the world was flat, or heliocentric, its always ALWAYS been present. Its a mistake to view it as new, or as a product of progress. If progress always produced suck an result, it wouldn't produce any results, the resistance is mutually exclusive to the progress, think of it as tug of war, sometimes the other team wins...

        I've killed people for less...

        by patsprouseyo on Mon Nov 28, 2005 at 11:32:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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