OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

David Cobb, the spokesperson for Move to Amend and previous Green Party candidate for president, came to Houston recently to barnstorm. He addressed a crowd of just over 100 people about the need to amend the Constitution to codify that money is not speech and that corporations or legal entities are not persons. The group included Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Libertarians and Socialist Democrats.

Anyone who is privy to David Cobb’s barnstorms knows it can get very exciting rather quickly. He is passionate about hammering the message about corporate encroachment on every individual’s freedom overtly and covertly. Citizens United and the McCutcheon cases make the necessity for the above-mentioned constitutional amendment that more urgent.

In the near term there is an even more dangerous concern. The loss of net neutrality, if not reversed, will kill our democracy. The fight to move to amend the constitution would be made that much more difficult with one more powerful organizing tool crippled.

Cobb made many Democrats in the Houston audience somewhat uncomfortable after singling out actions taken by the Democratic Party that would seem anathema to its core constituency. Yet he once worked for Jesse Jackson. He was once a party loyalist.

As a card-carrying, sustaining member and unabashed Democrat, I knew exactly where he was coming from. Move to Amend is a nonpartisan organization. Cobb coming down as hard as he did on Democrats seemed unfair to many in the room. But that discomfort is important and healthy, as I'll explain below the fold.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Both Cobb and I serve on the Move to Amend leadership team. He ribs the Democrats on the team all of the time about their loyalty to the Democratic Party. That ribbing is a good thing—it doesn't shake one from being a Democrat. It does something much more important: It makes you re-evaluate why you became a Democrat in the first place.

When you question your party affiliation, there are several results. It first forces you to check if the basic tenets of the party have changed. Secondly, it makes you examine whether the party is living up to its ideals.

The reality is the Democratic Party is orders of magnitude better for the middle class than the Republican Party, if only for its simple belief that collectively, we can make a difference. Government can be good. Government can work. Government can provide that safety net that mitigates the intrinsic inhumanity of capitalism. The Democratic Party’s codification of tolerance and implicit diversity within its platform makes it the place for everyone.

However, rather than singing all the praises, every Democrat should be frank and acknowledge where the party has failed. The grassroots must push the party to live up to its ideals.

Many corporatist Democrats, while still Democrats, have acted like corporatists first. Wealth extraction has not been limited by party. Support for policies that hurt the middle class has not been limited by party. Glass Steagall and NAFTA occurred under Bill Clinton, a Democrat. The push to fast track the Trans Pacific Partnership is occurring under President Barack Obama’s administration, a Democrat.

No one is looking for absolute purity in a party’s doctrine. That said, one must guard against a slow drift that in real time seem marginal. In the aggregate, the sum total of marginal changes is rather profound.

That is how we got President Clinton making the profound statement that "the era of big government is over," as if big government was America’s existential problem. That is how we got President Obama supporting chain CPI instead of increasing the Social Security cap. That is how we got a stimulus bill heavy on cuts even though it is fact that spending is more stimulative than tax cuts.

In Houston, Cobb pointed out many of these negative realities and many others. He did not have to mention any about the Republican Party, given that it continues to live up to its own destructive policies.

As the 2014 and 2016 elections approach, it is imperative that Democrats reaffirm what they stand for. It is not enough to simply win—it is important to differentiate. It is important to ensure voters know that when they pull the lever for a Democrat, they are voting for a Democrat who will govern with the tolerant middle-class centric values who will work to implement those policies accordingly.

Democrats should embrace the criticisms from activists who are pointing out where the party has failed to live up to its ideals, its tenets and its platform. The embrace would mitigate the rightward creep that makes policies, once anathema to the party, somewhat plausible.

Extended (Optional)

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.