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As Dharmasyd essayed about today at Docudharma, Glen Ford writing at Black Agenda Report said on Wednesday "We Are Cornered: There's No Way Out Without A Fight": "Obama and his Democratic legislative allies have successfully shielded their Wall Street masters from anything worthy of the name financial reform.", and "The pace of finance capital deterioration quickens, accelerating the timetable of the Right's offensive. As the hunger grows, Wall Street's servants become more aggressive and demanding, and there is nothing in the Democratic Party, as presently constituted, to stop them."

Ford closed his essay with: "One truth remains: only a massed people can defeat massed capital. If the American Left is capable of bearing that in mind in the critical times ahead, it might just escape the cul-de-sac and make some modest contribution to the world."

It is Obama’s continued deference to the sensibilities of the financiers and his relative indifference to the suffering of ordinary people that threaten his legacy, not to mention the nation’s economic well-being. There have been more than 300,000 foreclosure filings every single month that Obama has been president, and as The New York Times editorialized, "Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the Obama administration’s efforts to address the foreclosure problem will make an appreciable dent."

The ugly reality that only 398,198 mortgages have been modified to make the payments more reasonable can be traced to the program being based on the hope that the banks would do the right thing. While Obama continued the Bush practice of showering the banks with bailout money, he did not demand a moratorium on foreclosures or call for increasing the power of bankruptcy courts to force the banks, which created the problem, to now help distressed homeowners.

...foreclosures are behind Tuesday’s news that U.S. home sales reached their lowest point in 15 years and that there is unlikely to be an economic recovery without a dramatic turnabout in the housing market. The stock market tanked Tuesday on reports that U.S. home sales had dropped 25.5 percent below the year-ago level.

-- Foreclosure

Ford is right about many things, but Ford is wrong about one thing.

There is more than one truth.

"Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the Earth"
-- Archimedes

There is a enormous and powerful difference between millions of people not voting for a particular party, and millions of people saying loud and clear to that party: "we guarantee will give you millions of votes, more than enough to tip the scale...... once you have done a or b or c or d or any combination of those things, and as soon as we see that you've done that you can relax in the confidence that you have won even before election day arrives, otherwise you've already lost and you might as well tell your corporate donors now that their money has been pissed away for absolutely nothing and that you were an utter and pathetic waste of their time, and quit campaigning".

It takes planning, and it takes a determination to make decisions not out of fear but out of the power and leverage you know you have, but have only if you use it.

The best that can happen with this approach is beyond your wildest dreams, and the worst that can happen with this is that if nobody else does it while you do you won't be defending yourself after the fact for having voted for people who could have done their jobs but wouldn't.

The majority of responses that message draws from Democrats boil down to "but... but... republicans!!!"

Much of the remainder of the responses it draws are some attempt to justify "give them more time", to justify waiting on a supposedly incrementally arrived at ultimate reward at some undefined future date that continually recedes, like heaven, after death.

The Democrats won the 2006 midterms effectively by running on an end the Iraq war platform. The first major thing they did afterwards was to betray the voters with the first emergency supplemental war funding passed by a democratic congress after eight years of Repblican congressional control. The result was a folding of hands by the fake democratic antiwar movement who showed themselves to be really only interested in democratic wins, but not in progressive results.

The incrementalists have already lost all the ground they were afraid of losing while the Democrats have had years to "incrementalize" their way into producing good progressive results. They haven't done so, and the result is now an effectively Republican and corporatist congress and president who are Democrats in name only.

That Democrats are politicians, and being politicians will do whatever it takes to win the votes they need means that the fear of republicans or the fear of losing ground is a phantom fear if enough people threaten all Democrats with extreme loss of votes unless and until they all realize that they will all face political oblivion unless they all band together and do something useful to win those votes back, which they will do because they are politicians and they need those votes to survive politically.

It's an eyeball to eyeball poker game right down to election day, and it cannot be a bluff from the voters.

People have to be strong enough to say to the Democrats, "Look, if you're going to ACT like republicans then we're going to let republicans have your jobs you fools - now get busy and PRODUCE some useful progressive legislation or you're history. Come back when you've produced, and I guarantee you my vote" - and mean it.

All Democrats, being politicians, will do it for the votes they need, and if on the off chance they're too stupid to do it then they aren't worth your vote anyway.

It's called voting for results instead of promises.

In the face of a movement of millions of poeple, more than enough to tip the electoral balance, Obama and the Democrats will finally wake up and realize they need the independent and liberal votes they've thrown away since inauguration day last year, and that all the corporate donations in the world aren't going to save them without those votes, and start producing some useful progressive legislation and pass it in time for the midterms.

They could have independents and liberals all across the country rewarding them for results instead of turning their backs on empty promises and the largest landslides in history this November with just a few simple moves.

Creating and passing an actual, real, universal single payer health care bill and rolling back the bailout of the insurance industry for example might do it all by itself, for example.

Although they could probably sew it right up it for themselves by also starting torture and war crimes trials for Bush and Cheney, while withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and breaking up the big Wall Street investment banks and doing Ken Lay numbers on Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and Magnetar's Alec Litowitz, while firing Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, and Rahm Emanuel, and Robert Gibbs too.

They've got two whole months, after all.

Democrats are smart people. They should be at least half as smart as all those independent and progressives who won't vote for them unless they begin to do those things.

After all, Obama and the Democrats can't possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that independents and liberals are stupid enough to vote to continue being screwed by them, can they?

And really, all they really need to do is start just one of those things and the republicans would be history in November.

This is not a sport we're talking about. It is, however, the future of America, and a choice of who rules it. Bought and paid for politicians. Or voters.

The Democrats will hate you for saving their asses this fall.

"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
-- Lucius Accius

There is an election coming up...

"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse... Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature would be on the contract".




Originally posted to Edger on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There will be (22+ / 0-)

    a major political realignment in November.

    One of power taken back by voters, or one of leverage lost forever by voters because it wasn't used.

    Who is going to play the other like a violin this fall? Democrats? Or Voters?

    Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

    by Edger on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:02:13 PM PDT

  •  believing in something doesn't make you... (10+ / 0-)

    a purist, or a dreamer.

    Believing in nothing except "winning" makes you a %$&@*&&$ fool, standing in the way of getting anything done.

    Not caring if anything gets done makes you an amoral removable object.

  •  Edger I greatly sympathize -- (12+ / 0-)

    but this strategy isn't going to work on the Obama faithful here:

    People have to be strong enough to say to the Democrats, "Look, if you're going to ACT like republicans then we're going to let republicans have your jobs your fools - now get busy and PRODUCE some useful progressive legislation or you're history. Come back when you've produced, and I guarantee you my vote" - and mean it.

    The Obama faithful already have a strategy -- accomplished without our help -- and it consists of two things:

    1. point to Obama's huge resume
    1. rally the masses behind Obama's huge resume

    Which means, of course, that if you say you want Obama to PRODUCE, they well all point to the resume and say "HE'S PRODUCED already.  Get off our fkn backs!"

    Of course, it doesn't occur to the Democratic faithful here that having a big resume doesn't necessarily mean that you've achieved anything that's adequate to the tasks at hand.  Thus I've counterproposed this:

    1. Demand something effective
    1. Do something real in at least an attempt to get it

    I think that if we of consciousness united around a demand of that sort we might actually have a shot at breaking down the "big resume" defense.

    "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:35:29 PM PDT

    •  you have more faith than I do (8+ / 0-)

      I think that if we of consciousness united around a demand of that sort we might actually have a shot at breaking down the "big resume" defense.

      Would you ever trust a candidate again? One who offers "change"? Even if we got everyone at dKos to agree, it still wouldn't affect policy.

      I just do not see how we can get real power behind doing what's right for the common good. There seems to be an unending supply of politicians who look good but who revert to type once they get to be Senator, or President.

    •  The "faithful" (7+ / 0-)

      are lost, without independents and liberals, Cass. Independents and liberals are who elected Obama. Not the faithful.

      Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

      by Edger on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:42:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "independents" (9+ / 0-)

        have deserted Obama, because for the most part few of them know how bad Republican rule is; the "liberals" still support him to the tune of, what, 70-80%?  And they will be brought back into the mirage of Black Hoover by that "the Republicans are far worse" appeal.  It's "Obama or the Republicans" because this is how Obama has stage-managed and framed America's political turf.  This is what we must take away from Obama.

        Obama-politics will not win us anything -- it will bog us down in the debate between those who hold up the shiny resume and those who are bitter that the resume has nothing effective upon it.  So the Obama "faithful" are lost.  They seem quite happy to publish diaries like this piece of idiocy while the analysts predict a Republican Congress by year's end.

        "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

        by Cassiodorus on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:56:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is what we must take away from Obama. (7+ / 0-)

          Is exactly what this diary is talking about, Cass.

          Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

          by Edger on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:59:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But your strategy -- (7+ / 0-)

            That Democrats are politicians, and being politicians will do whatever it takes to win the votes they need means that the fear of republicans or the fear of losing ground is a phantom fear if enough people threaten all Democrats with extreme loss of votes unless and until they all realize that they will all face political oblivion unless they all band together and do something useful to win those votes back, which they will do because they are politicians and they need those votes to survive politically.

            is simply not going to gain traction.  "Just wait until we release our attack ads," they will say.  "You will all see the light and band together to prevent Republican victory."  They don't feel they need to do anything more than that, when after all they have such a big resume to which they can point.

            We really do need something like Zapatismo in this country.

            "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

            by Cassiodorus on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 08:11:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What you call my "strategy" (7+ / 0-)

              is  a description of what will happen, what the result will be, if what I described does "gain traction". As I said above, it is a description of what can be done if leverage is used en mass.

              Do I expect that leverage to be used? No, I don't. I expect it will be thrown away. And as Ford explained, it will then be too late to regain that leverage. The country is lost to the corporatists, unless enough people use that leverage before it is lost.

              Regardless, I'm not going to reword the whole diary here. It's clear enough up above.

              If I were pressed to make a prediction, it wouldn't be a positive one. Most people make decisions out of fear.

              I think republicans will take back congress in November, unless this idea does "gain traction".

              I do not expect this diary to convert any of the "faithful", if that's what you think my purpose was here tonight.

              Perhaps though, it will help one or two incumbent Democrats realize that they are going to lose congress in the fall for one reason. As a group, Democrats did not produce enough results to regain the independent and liberal votes they need to retain congress.

              Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

              by Edger on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 08:34:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  the big resume (7+ / 0-)

      is like the emperors new clothes, it doesn't exist. It is all an illusion/delusion that is only credible through belief. i don't even think that most even care if it's just an illusion they truly think that the only thing that matters in politics is the perception. They have found the perfect object to pin their delusions on in Obama. He's articulate and no matter what he does they can believe this is what he said he would do. the rest of us lefties weren't listening correctly. There is a lame excuse for every thing this administration does or does not do. then they complete their reality by believing that the problems the Democrat's are having with the voters and the base are because were bad Democrat's, extremists or the new one 'leftists'. Gibbs is right they say.

    •  I've looked at the oWiki list... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, Edger

      (and they really did a fine, outstanding job there) to see if I'd missed anything regarding my pony, Finreg, and I hadn't. (And some of the info on that list is wrong, or at least premature - for instance, the tax evaders negotiation with the Swiss is not a done deal by any means. Only this past week, new delays have cropped up. Too soon to rate that one an "accomplishment," though I'll give Obama a pass on that one. The difficulties involved are huge and the effort on the part of this administration has been sustained.) The thing with the Finreg bill that was passed and enacted: it doesn't really mandate any changes on the things it claims to have addressed. Rather it's all pushed onto the various regulatory agencies, councils, and committees. In other words, whether we get any reform or not gets filed under "To Be Determined."

      As for doing something real, we already gave that one hell of a shot on the PO.

      I've been saying all along not to vote for Obama or the dems who sold us out. Your take, and Edgar's are equally valid, though it depends on being able to reach our elected representatives and move them off the dime.

      On reflection, I think we need to do both. Push them on agenda items and demonstrate that they need to achieve in order to get our support, with sanctions for those who don't won't.

      On reflection, though, I wonder if democrats will come to the conclusion that it's better to try and get votes on the right to replace ours than to try and appease us.

      Time will tell. I'll stay vocal.

      What has a "political realist" done for you lately?

      by papicek on Sat Aug 28, 2010 at 09:40:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very classy of Glen Ford... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, RiaD, Cassiodorus, soms

    to use slavery imagery in referring to Obama's and his Democratic allies' "Wall Street masters."

    :-p

  •  good thinking (11+ / 0-)

    I was just reading this piece at FDL.... about Blue Dogs and conservadems positioned to lose their seats in Nov.

       In other words, the Blue Dogs and their conservadem fellow travelers engineered their own downfall by putting their simplistic (and highly selective) "fiscal conservatism" ahead of the well being of their constituents and the country as a whole.

       It's a pity they're not self-aware enough to realize that opposing the public good can have adverse electoral consequences, because it's something they really should keep in mind when it comes time to vote on the Catfood Commission's recommendations to gut Social Security.  And Obama might want to think about it too, before he signs anything into law.

       Simply put, the best way to survive a backlash election is to not invite one.

    Question. Why do they even bother drafting a Party Platform? Do any of those politicians ever actually read it? I mean the 2008 Dem Platform is really not very far off from stating my wish list.

    Good essay edger, sorry Im kinda tired...

    postscript.... lol....

    A great nation now demands that its leaders abandon the politics of partisan division and find creative solutions to promote the common good. A people that prizes candor, accountability, and fairness insists that a government of the people must level with them and champion the interests of all American families.  A land of historic resourcefulness has lost its patience with elected officials who have failed to lead.  It is time for a change.

    We can do better.  
    source

    "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work." ~Mark Twain

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:57:14 PM PDT

    •  Platform comparison (5+ / 0-)

      Leadership on these issues has been sorely lacking these past eight years.

      Democratic Party Platform of 2008

      In this time of unprecedented economic and social distress the Democratic Party declares its conviction that the chief causes of this condition were the disastrous policies pursued by our government since the World War.

      Democratic Party Platform of 1932

      OK. Two different versions of how responsible the other side was. They have failed to lead, or, their disastrous policies directly caused it. Now what do we do?

      The only hope for improving present conditions, restoring employment, affording permanent relief to the people, and bringing the nation back to the proud position of domestic happiness and of financial, industrial, agricultural and commercial leadership in the world lies in a drastic change in economic governmental policies.

      Democratic Party Platform of 1932

      We will provide an immediate energy rebate to American families

      Democratic Party Platform of 2008

      Honest to God: they list the rebate first.

      Families working longer hours are pressed for time to care for their children and aging parents. Gas and home heating costs are squeezing seniors and working families alike.

      Democratic Party Platform of 2008

      That kinda sucks. I'm sympathetic. Maybe a rebate would help?

      They have ruined our foreign trade; destroyed the values of our commodities and products, crippled our banking system, robbed millions of our people of their life savings, and thrown millions more out of work, produced wide-spread poverty and brought the government to a state of financial distress unprecedented in time of peace.

      Democratic Party Platform of 1932

      Drastic change in economic governmental policies is the only way.

  •  By the way -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GiveNoQuarter, Edger

    are you coming to the Anticapitalist meetup tomorrow at 3pm PT/ 6pm ET?

    "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 07:59:05 PM PDT

  •  I waffle on this one. Tonight (:) I feel voting (11+ / 0-)

    won't change a damn thing that matters and we need citizen movements against imperialism, big banks, and corporatism.  The democrats have had a clear mandate for 4 years, the Presidency only two because of timing, and those issues haven't been addressed.  I don't see how keeping the democrats in the majority another two years would change that, why should it.  Could it get worse with the Repubs?  The trajectory of what's happening leads me to believe it now does not matter.  Maybe 10 years ago it did, but I don't think it does now. Things are too deep, ingrained, institutional, and monolithic to change without major protest from common democrats and republicans.  

    "To the mediocre, mediocrity appears great" Indian proverb

    by BigAlinWashSt on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 08:04:35 PM PDT

  •  Good diary. (7+ / 0-)

    The tactical line proposed here had a chance to succeed back when myself and others in the progressive blogosphere were pushing it during the town hall screamathons last summer.  

    That was the time for a united front to hold the line on the "robust" public option (Medicare +5), prescription drug reimportation and bulk purchasing, a national exchange, protection of female reproductive rights, etc.  But no matter how much we pushed we couldn't get so-called the Gatecrashers on the front page here and elsewhere to draw the line.  Markos himself initially took a hard-line position, only to fold under pressure soon after.  This handed the initiative to the active saboteurs in the mainsteream media, people like Ezra Klein and Jonathan Alter and other Obama court scribes who were basically telling us to shut up and be satisfied with whatever came out of the whole corrupt process.  Then you had people like Ed Schultz who, reapeating after Kos and other supposedly progressive reformers, started out talking tough, and then caved when subjected to a little pressure from the his bosses and the Dem establishment(and now his show, which started out carrying a liberal-left ideological banner, is little more than a cheerleading hour for whatever bullshit Democrats are selling on a given day).  And Rachel Maddow, who although critical on certain issues, like the huge resriction on reproductive rights, ultimately fell in line like a good little Democrat.   Olbermann held the line up to a certain point, but recently said that the special comment he made about the bill being "not about health, or care, or reform" was a mistake.  So all this dithering and wishy-washiness in the blogosphere and by our erstwhile "progressive" media allies filtered down to Congressional Progressive Caucus, which took all this as a free pass on their commitment to us.  And of course on top of all this we had the President and his Administration actively seeking "bipartisanship" and backroom deals with implacable enemies like the Republicans and the insurance, drug and hospital lobbies.  

    And now the diarist's proposed strategy appears moribund because the Democratic Party leadership (Hi Rahm!) believes liberal Democrats will fold again, because they have no real core convictions they're willing to fight to the last man for.  Now, he may be wrong about that, but that is exactly how the leadership of the party is thinking, and thus adopting a united front strategy around a series of issues at this point won't have the practical effect that it would have had we stood firm.  

    So Rahm wins right?  Nope.  The contradictions between the leadership and the base of the party are real and are accelerating.  Rahm's strategic calculation that liberals will fall in line and support the Democrats in November is not being borne out all in the polls.  I believe a substantial portion of the base will stay home in November and won't be good news for Rahm's strategic line.  

    The supremacy of finance capital over all other forms of capital means the rule of the rentier and of the financial oligarchy -- Lenin (1917)

    by GiveNoQuarter on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 08:37:18 PM PDT

    •  I've been pushing this since 2007 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, lotlizard, RiaD, Sydserious

      With little success. Which is too bad. It could have been used to force defunding of and an end to the Iraq occupation before the 2008 election.

      Antemedius: Liberally Critical Thinking

      by Edger on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 08:45:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see that. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, mightymouse

      Rahm's strategic calculation that liberals will fall in line and support the Democrats in November is not being borne out all in the polls.

      Rather, it appears that the liberals will indeed fall in line -- as shown by the polls -- but that the so-called "independents" who voted for Obama won't.

      Now -- as to why this is happening -- I'm sure that anecdotal theories about shifts in political polling are a dime a dozen.  But my guess is that some voters are less fazed by the notion of a Black President than others, and that accounts for the shift.

      "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

      by Cassiodorus on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 08:57:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't take into account the fact (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, lotlizard

        that many independents are ideologically left.  And you don't address the substantial enthusiam gap between Democrats and Republicans.

        The supremacy of finance capital over all other forms of capital means the rule of the rentier and of the financial oligarchy -- Lenin (1917)

        by GiveNoQuarter on Fri Aug 27, 2010 at 09:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The November election (6+ / 0-)

    is going to be a bloodbath for Democrats. Not just on the federal level but the state level. Corporate America is staging a coup.

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