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Working Within the Democratic Party? Is it worth it?  That’s what I’ve been asking myself for the past 30 years.   When I was in my 20’s, that was the last thing I wanted to do.  Like so many "radicals" (were we really all that radical?) I disdained working within the Democratic Party. I saw D’s and R’s as virtually indistinguishable and didn't see the point of choosing between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee.  

Working Within the Democratic Party? Is it worth it?  That’s what I’ve been asking myself for the past 30 years.   When I was in my 20’s, that was the last thing I wanted to do.  Like so many "radicals" (were we really all that radical?) I disdained working within the Democratic Party. I saw D’s and R’s as virtually indistinguishable and didn't see the point of choosing between tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee.  

Despite this, I did vote--for protest candidates. My first presidential vote was cast for Dick Gregory, Peace and Freedom Party.  People like me were responsible for Richard Nixon’s victory—although since Hubert Humphrey won PA, at least I wasn’t directly responsible.

For me the wake-up call came with the election of Ronald Reagan.  I realized there really was a difference between D’s and R’s and that it really does matter who wins elections.  A few years after Reagan’s victory I took the plunge and became a Democratic committeeperson.  I’ve been toiling away in the grassroots ever since.

Not until the victory of Barack Obama did I feel that all the work we  did to build the progressive wing of the Democratic Party was worth the struggle.  And I still feel that way.  I’ve lost patience with progressives who refuse to acknowledge how much Obama has been able to accomplish given Republican obstruction and the horrendous mess he inherited.

So yes, my answer to the question whether it’s worth working within the Democratic Party is yes— although the Philadelphia Democratic Party does test my faith. This week-end I attended my second PA Democratic State Committee meeting. The good news: we are making progress towards organizing a progressive caucus. I hope that  the success of this effort will inspire our Philly progressive Democrats to do likewise.  

The Philadelphia regional caucus was the one really depressing session. The meeting was dominated by complaints about insufficient street money and Philly committee people not getting enough respect from the candidates.

Of course, it’s not just grassroots committee people with their hands out, looking to politics as a way to make a buck.   I am sure there were some private meetings going on with well-connected lawyers talking about how they hope to get this contract or that contract if we  elect a Democratic governor.

To a social movement activist like me, the Democratic Party has been hard to adjust to. In my years working with Philadelphia NOW and now Southeastern PA NOW, none of the wonderful NOW activists volunteering their time have expected to make money from their political activism. Au contraire—many of us were donating far more than we could easily afford to feminist candidates/organizations.

Sure, we got our psychic rewards. For those of us in leadership roles, there’s the ego gratification; for all of us there's the high that comes from working with like-minded (and really nice) people for a cause we care passionately about. So yes, we get our rewards but we’re not looking for a financial pay-off.

My guess is the Philly Democrats complaining about the lack of street money are getting their psychic rewards as well. What I found really strange (and disturbing) was the meeting chair’s comment when he introduced state committee’s new young executive director "as someone who’s close to Bob Brady (the party chair) and therefore close to every one of you."  Sorry, I don’t feel this special connection to Brady and didn’t particularly like the assumption that all the State and local committee people shared that connection.

This party functionary was quoted in Mike Sokolove’s  recent NY Times article which a lot of  Philly folks seem to have missed:

One morning, I went to visit Lou Farinella, a top lieutenant on the Democratic City Committee under Representative Robert A. Brady, the chairman... I asked him how Sestak could make sure he comes out of Philadelphia with enough votes. "He’s got to get close to Bob Brady," he answered. "Real close. There’s not a person running for statewide office that doesn’t have to be extremely close to Bob Brady."
Brady and Sestak represent side-by-side Congressional districts, and I wondered why they weren’t already close. "They are, but they need to get closer," Farinella explained. And what would happen then? "Bob has a big stick that nobody can see," he said. "And somehow he manages to wave it in such a way that everybody knows the direction to go in. When he does that, we roll out the big numbers to the polls."

"A big stick that nobody can see?"  Huh? This cult of personality among the party diehards is one of the many reasons  talented young people choose not to work within the Democratic Party.

The article continues with a fascinating quote from Ed Rendell:

The day after I visited with Farinella, I talked with Rendell, who is nearing the end of his second term as governor after eight years as Philadelphia’s mayor. ..when I related my conversation with Farinella, Rendell sort of chuckled and said the party, in essence, is over. Sestak’s victory exposed the Democratic organization’s weakness as an Election Day force. "You can’t really say there’s a Philadelphia machine anymore, because if there was one, Arlen would still be standing," Rendell said. "We backed him, and the turnout in Philadelphia was less than 17 percent."  

The local party desperately needs new leadership. Bob Brady’s machine is probably on its last legs; after all he and Farinella aren’t getting any younger. (But by the time Brady and Farinella leave, I’ll probably be too old and tired to remain politically active.)

And the current constellation of political parties won’t last forever. My guess is that at some point there will be a new party for those who are socially liberal and fiscally conservative—a group which doesn’t fit easily into either party.

I want a political party that is both socially and economically liberal/progressive. However, since the left wing of the Democratic Party is not large enough to form a viable party,   for the foreseeable future the only alternative I see is building the progressive wing of the Democratic party—although that nagging question, "Is working within the Democratic Party really worth it?" will no doubt continue to crop up.

Originally posted to kbojar on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:17 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A dose of reality for the Democratic party (15+ / 0-)

    I've been a member of the Democratic party since 1972.  My husband is a yellow-dog Democrat who cast his first vote for Harry Truman.  

    Our daughter recently registered to vote. She registered as an independent.  

    It isn't as if she didn't hear enough about the Democratic agenda growing up.  She did.  

    She registered as an independent because the Democratic party isn't saying anything to her now.  

    There's a message there.

    The only thing that will save the sorry asses of the Democrats is the Republicans.

    by ThAnswr on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:27:03 PM PDT

  •  More Like This, Please! Reality Matters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, blueoasis, ETF, ozsea1

    I think the problem I have with a pretty high percentage of those who feel called to comment as if they had real expertise, is that many don't actually offer their own actual experience in the reality of political work.

    This is one of the very few that really comes from a long term, committed perspective and thus, has something to offer worth serious consideration.

    The portrayal of the problem seems to me to ring true, because I have seen the same people in the same positions in other states and the same dynamics.

    The truth is that younger activists tend to be horrified by first impressions and go off wishing that things were different because they seem pretty bad.

    If the alternative to Republicans with cobwebs between their ears is Democrats with cobwebs between their ears, what is that alternative?

    I think the kbojar indicates what it is:  Get in there, be a factor.  The more progressives get in there and become factors, the more the story will change.

    It won't be easy and it won't happen quickly.  But it could happen.  

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:28:36 PM PDT

    •  The problem is that we have blowing the same (8+ / 0-)

      BS up each others asses for more than 30 years.  If we just try a little harder, work a little more than things will change.  Instead of getting more progressive, our Dem's are getting more and more like Republicans ...they have become the moderate wing of the Republican party.

      And you know why that has happened......it is because it is not about the issues or helping people it is because once we elect these guys...it's about the power.  It is a heady experience and the perks are fantastic.

      We have to understand this....these guys will say anything and do anything to stay in office...just look at Lieberman, just look at Dodd.  We supported these guys, we voted for these guys and look at who they turned out to be.  

      TheAnswer, your daughter is not an anomaly, she is what is happening to many young people that supported D's in the last election, she can see what the rest of us refuse to see because we still need to hang onto hope.  Her vote will be given to the person who earns it and not because of some "pseudo" identification that means less and less with each passing year.

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:52:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the democratic party isn't the socialist party. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99, ETF, ozsea1

        if that is what some people want it to be then they should just say so instead of complaining that the new democratic party is the old republican party.  especially since the new republican party is actually the old democratic party(dixie crats).  oh, yes, they call themselves the tea party now.  

        •  So you admit that everything has shifted right so (0+ / 0-)

          the Socialist Party is actually the Democratic Party at least the one that we support based on our values.

          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:07:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i would say that the dem party is a big tent (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sebastianguy99, ETF

            and most of the people who are serious about governing in this country are in our party

            i do not think our party is held together by any particular ideology to the dissapointment of many ideologues

            is that bad?  i don't think so.  but i'm not an ideologue for a reason.

            •  It also means that you will be satisfied with (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hannibal, codairem, m00finsan

              gridlock.  We have to have a core ideology that we can all agree on otherwise what you have is a money pit....people who need money to run come to the D's for money and legwork and then do whatever the hell they want once they are elected...basically what we have seen over the last two years.

              "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

              by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:30:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  what we've seen for the last 2 years? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sebastianguy99, ETF

                for the last 2 years we've seen more progress than in the previous 28 years combined.  i don't understand what realistic standard could be used to evaluate the last 2 years as failures.  even the republicans know that the last 2 years have been successes for democrats.  that's why they are running against our successes.  only the left seems to think we have been failing.  it's amazing to me.  

                i have to give serious consideration to the idea that the people on the left who are losing heart after these 2 years of success do not have any personal experience succeeding at overcoming serious challenges in their own lives.  i don't know anyone who has spent years accomplishing something who doesn't look at the last 2 years as successes.

                •  Are your kidding...we are about to flip both (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Picot verde, FeDhu, m00finsan

                  houses of Congress because we have been so successful.  The American public absolutely does not agree...they think that they have been screwed and they hold the democrats responsible.  I do not know how you can qualify that as success. That is like saying that I was successful at my job but I am being fired because my boss doesn't agree.

                  "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                  by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:15:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i am talking about successfully governing (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ETF

                    the democrats may not have fulfilled the dreams of liberals in the last 2 years but they have successfully governed

                    consider everything that has happened the last 2 years and tell me that democrats have poorly governed

                    you may not like that they haven't transformed the country in 2 years but they were not elected to transform the country.  they were elected to govern the country and that is exactly what they did.

                    •  change (0+ / 0-)

                      change was about competent governing as opposed to idiotic governing that we had experienced for 8 long years and 30 long decades of partisan gridlock

                      Obama and democrats said they would get things done.  they have.  they have not gotten everything everyone wanted done, but they has gotten done what they said they would get done with few exceptions all of which they have continued to work to accomplish.

                      •  I think people would quibble with the idea (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lakehillsliberal

                        that the Dems have 'gotten done' what they said they would get done. They 'got done' a fraction of what they said they would and failed miserably on several other things. It's like someone owing you $25 and giving you back $5 and then asking for another tenner based on the fact that they 'paid you back' even though...they didn't, not really.  

                        •  They overpromised and underdelivered and not (0+ / 0-)

                          only that, they got caught playing footsie with the same people that inflicted all the pain and suffering in the first place.  To be fair, the House D's did their job...but the Senate totally betrayed us on everything.

                          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                          by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:14:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  The problem is the American public doesn't think (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FeDhu, m00finsan

                      so...but we will have to wait until November to settle the argument.

                      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                      by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:48:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  this is silly (0+ / 0-)

                        the country is 50 states filled with diverse people and groups.  there is no 'thing' that the public thinks.  when we have an election in 2012 then we will know something about what the country as a whole thinks, but the mid terms are all local elections.  i've been around this country enough to know how different people think.  the reasons some democrats will win and some will lose are going to be different.

                        i live in a pretty liberal city in washington state, but i can go 5 minutes out of town and i might as well be in kansas.  i listen to the talk radio around here.  liberal in the morning.  libertarian in the mid day.  independent in the afternoon.  conservative in the evening.  all on the same news channel.  all for the same region.

                        if democrats want to have a party in power we have to accept that some of us are going to be different from others and we have to learn to cooperate and compromise instead of demonize each other.

                        •  Yeah....just like our Senators cooperated to kill (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Picot verde, FeDhu, m00finsan

                          real financial and healthcare reform...the Senate where good legislation goes to die or get gutted.....by wait for it...Democrats.  

                          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                          by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:15:32 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  they didn't kill 'real' reform. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            N in Seattle

                            they didn't reform the way you wanted them to.  the way some democrats in the senate wanted to, but others didn't.  that is called compromise.

                            if you don't think you need to compromise in government then you are as deluded as the religious right

                            this is the problem with ideology.  you think that just because you believe in it that it has some authority.  it's just ideas.  made by regular people like you and me.  the ideas are not sacred.

                          •  You keep ignoring that fact that the majority of (0+ / 0-)

                            Americans disagree....but I guess you will have more excuses  after the D's lose in November.  They were send to reform the system and the perception is that they capitulated to both Wall Street and the insurance industry and for that they will lose the opportunity to do anything else.  It has nothing to do with what I want or believe....what their mandate was for was pretty dam clear and they pissed it away.  

                            "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                            by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:08:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the majority of americans are not ideological. (0+ / 0-)

                            they are either moderates, independents or not involved in politics at all.

                            two minorities in this country are ideological.  liberals and conservatives.

                            the majority of people in this country wish that ideologues would stop screaming fire all the time.

                            the majority of people in this country do not measure the performance of democrats or republicans by how much they adhere to their ideological principles except in a negative light if they are too extreme.

                            both liberals and conservatives who BELIEVE that the majority of the country wants them to govern ideologically are DELUDING themselves.  

                          •  the majority of americans (0+ / 0-)

                            wish ideologues on the left and right would stop immobilizing government with their constant fight for power

                            if you don't think i'm right about this just ask yourself why people like dennis kucinich never have a chance in hell of winning a national election

                            and don't give me the nonsense that the media is out to stop the real true heroes of the left.  Obama came out of nowhere to win and he's black.  he won because he was not an ideologue.  the majority of people in this country do not want ideologues to govern.

                          •  No they want results that improve their lives.... (0+ / 0-)

                            and that is what the D's failed to deliver.

                            "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                            by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:37:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  no, the D's didn't fail to deliver (0+ / 0-)

                            they haven't delivered every solution to every problem in this country in less than 2 years, but they have not failed to deliver

                          •  Candidate Obama came to Iowa during a time of... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...change.

                            Obama came out of nowhere to win and he's black.

                            Four months before the Iowa Democratic Caucus, Iowa had its first legal same sex marriage.

                            It was kinda' big news here in Iowa at the time.

                            Iowans saw change happening around them, and along comes a candidate with change as his slogan.

                            People here saw change happening, and they had hope, and the message of change resonated well with what was happening here on the ground.

                            The destruction of marriage is scorched earth politics.
                            They can pry the wedding rings from our cold dead fingers.

                            by banach tarski paradox on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:56:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i don't know if you kept following the 08 electio (0+ / 0-)

                            but winning iowa did not win Obama the presidency

                          •  And losing Iowa did not win Edwards and Clinton.. (0+ / 0-)

                            ...the presidency, either.

                            Your point?

                            The destruction of marriage is scorched earth politics.
                            They can pry the wedding rings from our cold dead fingers.

                            by banach tarski paradox on Mon Sep 27, 2010 at 07:15:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  my point is that your point is bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                            i understand your point to be that Obama only won because he tapped into a wave of change.

      •  Well, I know my daughter is not an anomoly. :) (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lakehillsliberal, FeDhu, m00finsan

        We make the assumption that because the millenials are more interested in activist government and social issues, they'll flock to the Democratic.  They will only if the Democratic tells them what they want to hear.  

        It isn't happening.  As the Democrats move right, they will lose more and more of the millenials and not to the GOP.  

        There will be changes to come and maybe, instead of "we'll get 'em next year, we will be in a different party.

        The only thing that will save the sorry asses of the Democrats is the Republicans.

        by ThAnswr on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:21:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am certainly considering it. I am not a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Picot verde, m00finsan

          Corportist and unless some major changes are made in what the Democratic party has been doing , I cannot continue to support them no matter what...I guess I will join the millenials.  

          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 04:35:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, enjoy being superior and impotent (0+ / 0-)

            because the only thing you will gain from leaving the democratic party is a feeling of self righteousness while you lose all possibility of making any real difference in this country

            •  If the last two years taught you nothing.. it's (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Picot verde, m00finsan, ThAnswr

              that our elected officials will do absolutely everything they can to maintain the status quo but you keep working with people that pick your pocket and pat you on the head and tell yourself that you are doing something important.  You are...you are making sure that nothing ever changes and our elite is truly grateful to you.  

              "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

              by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:21:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  how have the democrats moved to the right? (0+ / 0-)
          •  Do you know your history? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lakehillsliberal, m00finsan, ThAnswr

            Look up what a Democrat was in the 1970's, even in the early 1980's before Reagan began the relocation of the center. We used to be a party that did not equivocate on our basic foundations such a women's right's or worker's protection's for a couple of votes that never seem to actually be there when it matters. We used to be different, we used to believe some issues are sacrosanct, now, eh...not so much.

            Remove BP's corporate charter for environmental terrorism.

            by Picot verde on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:22:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  name when we voted against those thing (0+ / 0-)

              in the last 2 years

              •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                How about allowing the exclusion of abortion in the insurance bill? How about calling the cowardice of this cave out for the sell out that it was. It's about equality, either you believe in it or not. You either put your self out there  and stand up for the party's foundations or you crawl under the rock with the rest of the revisionists.

                Remove BP's corporate charter for environmental terrorism.

                by Picot verde on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 08:51:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  what in the world? (0+ / 0-)

                  federal funds cannot pay for abortions, period.  there was no exclusion.  there was upholding the law.  

                  as for everything else you said.  apply that kind of thinking to anything else in your life and see where it gets you.  i'm serious.  think the way you do about politics and apply that kind of thinking to friendships and cleaning your house and doing your job and living with your family and driving your car.  just try it out and see if it works on anything in life.  cause it's NEVER worked in politics.

          •  queer rights? women's rights? war? (0+ / 0-)

            the environment? the economy? education? science? name an issue where they haven't moved to the right.

            •  every single on of those issues right there (0+ / 0-)
            •  who got us into ww2, korea, vietnam? (0+ / 0-)

              FDR, Truman and JFK/Johnson

              •  in case you didn't know. democrats all. (0+ / 0-)
              •  Who gave us SS Security, Medicare, Glass Steagall (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Picot verde

                Civil Rights, our commitment to science through the launch of the Space Program, Freeing women through Roe V Wade, Pell Grants so that poor kids could afford a college education, affirmative action, the Disabilities Act....our current democrats would never be able to accomplish even one of these achievements.  They don't have the courage and truth be told, I am not sure they even believe in these things.  They believe in the markets, they believe in protecting our corporations, our banks, our insurance companies....these are the things they are committed to....are they as extreme as the Republicans, no...but they are certainly not the caliber of the Democrats that did the great things that I have listed.  

                "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

                by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 07:32:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I agree. I am a professor, but I am also a vegan (5+ / 0-)

    feminist environmentalist LGBT-supporting guy. And if voting Dem means not throwing away a vote, which would empower more wingnut crazies, I'm voting, and I'm voting Dem.

    The overwhelming consensus of 2,000+ scientific experts from the IPCC& 18 US scientific assns: climate change is happening and is a growing threat to our wo

    by Cenobyte on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:33:51 PM PDT

  •  Look, there's Coke and there's Pepsi. Is it (8+ / 0-)

    easier to take over one of these corporations, or set up a rival drinks company?  Same deal with American political parties.  They are just labels, and if you grab control, they will stand for whatever you want them to.  Remember, the GOP used to be AGAINST corporate trusts.

    Work within the Democratic Party, or reinvent the wheel.

  •  "Is working within the Democratic Party... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ybruti, ETF, ozsea1, flhiii88

    ... really worth it?"

    Yes.

    And those of us that are doing it would appreciate and benefit from more help.

    Peace,

    Andrew C. White
    Stephentown (Rensselaer County, NY) Democratic Committee Chair

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 02:42:56 PM PDT

  •  If you're still asking (3+ / 0-)

    that question after 30 years, you're ignoring the obvious answer. Simply NO.

    My mother who retired in Florida 15 years ago is a life long dem. She tried to work in the party but the obstacles and cliques made it difficult for her to get involved.
    A friend mine who is Green suggested after the 2000 elections that the values I espouse are in the Green Party and to stop kidding myself with the dems. It took 10 years but I got it.

    Building is hard work and we may not live to see the maturation of the seeds we plant. That is a choice I believe liberals and the left have to make however when we switch to Green.

    As Einstein said about insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is what happens when we vote dem and continually reep the same set of disappointments.

  •  in the land of the blind (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ETF

    the man with one eye is king

    it's amazing to me that people actually ask if Obama is playing 11th dimension chess.  it is a sad sign of how adrift from serious governing we have become that anyone mistakes standard political strategy for 11th dimension chess.  it's like they have never seen anyone get a group of people to work together for a goal without cracking a whip over their heads.  it's like Paul writting in the bible to believers that they are like children who still need milk because they can't handle meat.  they are still fighting over the basic concept of cooperation and can't begin to handle the responsibility of governing.  

    •  You know that is interesting that you bring that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, ozsea1, m00finsan

      up.  I just saw the new "Wall Street" and it led me to go back and listen to some of the testimony before Congress and in the middle of that testimony was William Black who basically accused Timmy Boy and the SEC of complicity in the Financial Meltdown.  He was one of Bill Moyers last interviews and he listed all of the people in the Obama administration that have ties to Goldman Sachs.  People complain that we have not tried Bush for war crimes, well ladies and gentleman, we have not tried anybody for financial fraud either.  Can anyone explain to me, why is that?  11th dimensional chess maybe...the question is,is the chess game designed to secure progress or to prevent it.  

      "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

      by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:04:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good flick. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99, ETF

        i completely forgive shia for transformers.  

        but seriously, the left needs to realize that short of grabbing pitch forks and torches and hanging the super rich in this country we are going to have to figure out how to live with them in a way that is as mutually benificial as possible.

        that's reality.  

        the film nailed the reason for the super rich having so much power on the head.  everyone is drinking the same koolaid about getting rich quick in this country.  as long as we believe that we have a short cut to success then we are going to fuck ourselves over and over and over again.  

        our country's problem is not the super rich. it's wishful thinking.  we won't stop believing our own bullshit.  until we start looking at reality and acting accordingly we are going to be a major thorn in the side of the rest of the world who are moving on into the future without us.

        •  We don't need to hang the superrich....we just (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Picot verde

          need to convict them of fraud when they violate the law.  We also need to re-instate Glass Steagall, it is the single biggest reason for the financial fraud and unless we do that, it will happen again.  The other thing we can do, is to start class action lawsuits against these investment banks...if the government won't try them then maybe a civil suit with huge damage settlements is as good as it gets. Black also made a very good point, if the Supreme Court defines a corporation as a person....then let's treat them as one in terms of criminal prosecution with a three strikes law.  Our courts treat corporations one way for liability and another way for all other rights.  Scotus has basically eliminated the protections of incorporation by giving them personhood.  People can be given the death penalty....the same should be true of companies and corporations that are essentially criminal enterprises.  

          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by lakehillsliberal on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:43:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is a very long term goal (0+ / 0-)

            if we are going to actually do that then expect decades of work.  and the odds of doing this are about how much money they have to how much we have.  so, we might need to have a plan B just in case.  

  •  I know the feeling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m00finsan, Willa Rogers

    I have been in and out of the Democratic partyu for a long time. I have tried to work for change within and encountered many road blocks. I left in the late 90's in anger at the way that they had drifted so far off the path. I voted for Nader in 00. I have no regrets about that. The Democrats had not earned my vote at that time.

    I tried the Greens but, found them unrealistic and too ideologically  rigid for my taste.

    Like you, I also have the street level cause background too. Anti-globaliszation, Unionism, environmentalism all the good fights to to fight.

    I came back after the war and I was shocked at how far Bush had gone. I have to admit that I came back only because, I felt that there was not time to start a new opposition organization. I came back in with the Dean insurgency and had high hopes that maybe the party had changed. The last few years have shown me that they have not. Back to the same old roll over and play dead tactics.

    So, I do work for them but, I do many times wonder what the Hell am I doing here?

    I work for them more as a necessity than with any hope. But is just stopping the right enough? I do not know. I wish that we could spend more time defining ourseleves and having some core principles.

  •  I disagree that the Democratic wing of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irmaly, blueoasis, m00finsan

    party is not large enough. In the House, the CPC and CBC are well over 100 members.

    (The Senate, eh .. well .. that's another discussion. Later.)

    Leadership is the problem.
    Not membership.

    Not blaming Pelosi: she does not wield the power behind the scenes, it's Steny Hoyer who does that. Once in a while, Nancy is actually able to get something done in the House, but you can sense the pushback happening, the tension. I suspect she's constantly fighting with members of her own leadership team.

    Gonna make one hell of a book when she steps down, if she wants to write it.

    Encourage others to register! Deadlines coming up fast! http://tinyurl.com/2ck77p http://tinyurl.com/28sykel

    by shpilk on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 03:53:54 PM PDT

  •  The Democrats have failed the future. (0+ / 0-)

    If this party cannot/will not pass meaningful legislation in regards to climate change than why do they matter at all? It's not even a question of whose side are they on any more it's a question of why do they think generational genocide is a winning proposal. The answer could come out of a Republican mouth with the same words. They have done NOTHING to prepare this country for the near future. Instead they seem to playing a hail mary so that they have a place in some Hollywood version of the last spaceship out. It's beyond disgraceful, it's criminal.

    I'm with Gore. Fight for the future by any means possible. If you have kids this is not the party that is willing to create a viable future. Neither is the Republican party so either move to another country or work for the third.

    Remove BP's corporate charter for environmental terrorism.

    by Picot verde on Sun Sep 26, 2010 at 05:14:27 PM PDT

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