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Hopefully the Occupy Wall Street and all affiliated 99% vs. 1% activist and street movements will continue to grow.  

Having been active in lefty-progressive economic populist (and admittedly also the intellectual elite version) politics since my teens in the mid 1970s (and for what it matters blogging here since 2004), I would have one goal for the movement:

And that is for us to take over the Democratic Party.

Not to just vote for it. Not stay home.
Not complain about Obama or triangulation or Neoliberalism (fyi: at least since Carter).
Not to complain about the Tea Party or Fox or the rest of the corporate mainstream media.
Not to go off to ego stroking but does nothing third party-ism.
But not to give in to just "more and better Democrats" within the terms of the party as it is.

Take over the Democratic Party.

Work with fellow economic populists to run candidates and work for those candidates at every level, from local council and school board, county, city and state representatives, to the House and Senate.

Primary, and otherwise run as internal opposition, against every centrist, neoliberal or otherwise compromising Democrat in your home area.

The obvious model is the Religious right and the Norquistian plutocracy/kleptocracy and Randian sociopaths who took over the Republican party.

Precinct by precinct. District by district. County by county.

Any Democrat who does not make income stagnation and wealth inequality priority number 1, gets rejected.

Any Democrat who talks about the deficit as the priority, get rejected.

This is where the connection between the building street movement and politics is to be made.

Even if we lose some marginal seats in the short run.
Even with Hippy-bashing and Red-baiting.

Even if the Democratic supporting banksters and the ghost of Tony Coelho get their feelings hurt.

Put some fear into the Corporatcrats... and then put them out of work.

Survey for comments: Who among State or National level Democrats is worthy of NOT being primaried or otherwise challenged?

Originally posted to DrSteveB on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 01:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  My mother totally agrees! (15+ / 0-)

    She's got too many medical issues to be in New York (she's 75), but she'd love to see this happen. She started a blog about it, even.

    Take over the Democratic Party.

    Everybody is buzzing about what Occupy Wall Street should do. Or what other "mad as hell" folks should do. It's simple: Take over the Democratic Party.

    It's waiting there, rotten and crumbling, just waiting for you to take it over and use it to good purpose.

    The Tea Pee people just took over the GOP. So why don't the good guys take over the Democratic Party?

    And this is so easy to do. I know because in 1968 a handful of us took over the Democratic party in one of the most populous counties in the USA. We were young and progressive and grassroots, while the establishment Dems were lazy and older and all about themselves. It was a piece of cake. We then proceeded to put into office good solid liberals who stayed clean of big money and lobbyists, who fought for families, social justice, equality for all, and the environment. Some of them are still in office, fighting the good fight. One of them is a Congresswoman who is among the few respectable members of Congress today.

    There's lots more.

    I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

    by Grassroots Mom on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:00:12 PM PDT

  •  With the way OWS is growing, we might have (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, DaleA, mdmslle

    a framework that could threaten to replace local government for start, if they don't start listening to us. All politics is local.

  •  Yep. And it starts local. (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrSteveB, bula, martini, DaleA, Justus, BYw, Neon Mama

    On the third Thursday of every month (or whenever), occupy your local party meetings.

    When they ask for volunteers, occupy the committees, occupy the group that drafts the party platform, occupy the endorsement team.

    Occupy the table at the farmer's market or the town's fall festival, pushing progressive ideas and candidates, and occupy the polling booth when it's time to pick a progressive Democrat for city council or school board. Make sure you bring some friends to occupy their own polling booths.

    Occupying Wall Street is great and important, don't get me wrong, but until we occupy our local party apparatus too—and make it clear that we're not going to go away—we're not going to get the people we need in office.

    And we can't afford to completely ignore electoral politics, because that means we're betting the whole farm on massive, systemic change—which means that if we fail at that, we're stuck with the same shitty status quo.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:12:57 PM PDT

  •  Purity tests: Blech (0+ / 0-)

    More and better Dems.

    Nothing wrong with centrist Dems.

    Something wrong with DINOs like Blanch.


    •  purity test in rejecting neoliberalism... (8+ / 0-)

      Purity test I am perfectly comfortable with:

      No more: flatline minimum wage, campaign run on basis of not scaring bankster funders, rotating door of banksters running economic policy, tax cuts for rich, deregulation, crony capitalism, shock doctrine capitalism, privatization of government function, declaring government the problem, declaring era of big government over, cat food commissions, declaring the fedeal deficit the number one problem, declaring entitltements the number one problem.

      Number one short term problem is jobs
      Nuumber one longerm problem is income stagnation and wealth inequality.

    •  bullshit. 99% pure = NOT a sell out. kind of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, mdmslle, Neon Mama

      complicated, huh?

      MORE dems my ass, especially the ones who've been chasing the RIGHT WING definition of "centrist" and "independent" and "moderate" for the last 10, 20 and 30 years.

      IF you ain't on the side of the bottom 99%, THEN you're on their side -

      so go publicly work FOR them -

      instead of being a back door back stabbing fucking sell out.


      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:57:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  also, it is good to stand for something (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, DaleA, seabos84, BYw, mdmslle, Zydekos

      that way people can tell the difference.

      One reason why post-2060-2008 meltdown ended up with the same policies and same folks running the show who made the mess, was they were too much in bed in both the Dems and Repugs.  While 99% of Repugs are in the wallstreet/bankster/plutocracy/kleptocracy, so are at least half the Dems. Hence deregulation of wall street by Clinton and the hiring of all the wrong Clintonians by Obama to run the economic team.

    •  wrong, how about we just hold them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, Zydekos

      to the official party platform, for starters. eh?

      that's not a purity test. that's choosing a political party.

      if you want to be on the side of big business, be a republican. If you want to fight for working class people, be a democrat. it's not a purity test to actually EXPECT those who label themselves democrats to, you know, VOTE in accordance with the democratic party platform and LEGISLATE according to it.

      Problem is being a politician is a sweet gig  if you just go along to get along. our party is NOT pushing democratic policies anymore. It's disgusting. We sound like reagan circa 1980, for fuck sake.

      I've become re-radicalized. Thanks a lot you bunch of oligarchical fascist sons-of-bitches. But once again, I have no choice. Bring it the fuck on.

      by mdmslle on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:59:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Rightwing Revolution Started This in Repub (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrSteveB, martini, DaleA, Justus, BYw

    party 45 years ago, but it was all organized by rich rightwingers, pundits and such, and soon they mobilized fundamentalism to turn it into rightwing religion, and that element did much of its own organization.

    You need more formal organization to do that to a major party than ad hoc movements can put together.

    Become members of local and regional Democratic party as a poster mentioned above was done in 1968, which can be fairly loosely approached, but then you have to have a system to create better candidates and that's going to take some political moxy. Candidates have to be not just acceptable to the takeover group but electable in general races.

    It's not impossible, it is what ultimately needs to be done, but it's not easy and not the kind of flexible rapid-response flash mob kind of activity that street theater is.

    Both are needed, though, absolutely. We spent 40 years doing almost entirely politics, and here we are. We needed more pressure from outside the adult conversation and we're getting that now.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:20:13 PM PDT

  •  This is the real deal (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrSteveB, Chi, martini, DaleA, Justus, BYw, Neon Mama, Zydekos

    If you have been around long enough to see two or three election cycles become more like a dozen, you see patterns that repeat.

    Why did rank and file people who were the voters and the delegates to the precinct, county and state conventions vote for people like Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, etc. over and over and at the state level as well?

    I think that there are a lot of elements to that recipe.  But the prevailning sentiment as I remember it was a fear of losing that created a lot of caution.  

    What we are seeing is the results of that era clashing with a new era in which it seems obvious that caution may not always be the best approach to problem solving.

    I am tempted to think that the breathtaking big thinking and Can Do spirit of the early 1960s was both literally and figuratively killed.  

    After the violence of the 1960s I think a collective fear of sticking one's neck out too far resulted.  

    This current situation may well cause that to wear off.  We see the evangelical right taking over the Republican Party.  This too is a left over psychology from the 1960s and 70s.

    This is about a fear that progressive reforms of the 60s and in the 30s really went to far and created damage to American society that had to be reversed.  Thus, Republicans are mostly pandering to the part of the population that does not understand what is going on and wants someone to promise to turn the clock back.  

    Democrats have to be as bold as Kennedy ever was in facing up to reality and dealing in solutions that require big thinking and progressive instincts.  

    The only way that is going to happen is for more people who think progressively to to what Steve B suggests.  

    Occupy the Party.

    That is the core of all these issues.  

    A season of protest in the street can be useful in creating some momentum, but that will be lost unless a lot of people use that inspiration to rebuild the Democratic Party.  

    Great diary, Dr. Steve

    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 Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:25:08 PM PDT

  •  Especially if you are out of work --- run (8+ / 0-)

    for office.  Any office at local level.  Especially if your skills fit the job.  Especially if you have better ideas.  

    Or find/support good candidate. Work your way into paid staff?  Learn the game with the goal of correcting the flaws you find.  No job is too small.  

    Start working to eliminate tax giveaways to places like Chamber of Commerce.  Study how much is spent to lure carpetbag businesses to your area.  Then lobby your home grown companies on the unfairness of giving their full tax bucks away to "alien" firms who'll leave once their perks end.  

    Attend meetings local govt/school board to see what really is getting done and how.   Watch some trials to get familiar with "let's make a deal" justice.  

    Look up the low tax rates on huge acreage owned by folks like Koch Machine --- compared to tiny plots of homeowners.  

    Nobody is too poor to pay attention to SOMETHING.  Start small.  Find your niche.  Make it a hobby even.  WE are the people we need.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:27:07 PM PDT

    •  Need infrastructure to track how tax money is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaleA, Neon Mama

      being misspent to lure cartbaggers.  Infrastructure that suppors real crowdsourcing of the data, pulling this "commons" idea that's occuring in Liberty Plaza into online forums focused on tracking who (at city, state, fed) is giving away the farm to the 1%.

  •  Alan Grayson should go back & the rest should go. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, DarkestHour

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 02:53:45 PM PDT

  •  we get new people in (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, DaleA, Chi, Neon Mama, Zydekos

    and corrupt old school party "strategists" and consultants get a hold of them and performs some kind of psychic lobotomies on them.

    we need to purge the consultants!

    smash the chair, bust the needle !

    by stolen water on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:32:58 PM PDT

  •  Yes, a "no excuses" take over of the party. No (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, arlene, Chi, Justus, DrSteveB, Zydekos

    compromise on core principles. No cover for corporate,pro-war, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-environment  people under the false cover of "Big tent".  And convert it into a populist,labor party. Right now, the capitalists have 2 parties and the masses have none.

    Just saw Prof.Richard Wolf on the Occupywallstreet live feed.Boy , he went there - Marx, Communism (where it went wrong, what it got right) and all that and criticizing capitalism. Expect the red baiting to begin.  Maybe FBI, CIA are on red alert now. I am hoping some anti-capitalist experts here will do a diary on his speech.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 04:01:06 PM PDT

    •  Non-Marxists Criticise Capitalism, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Reminder for folks - criticizing "capitalism" does not equal Marxism.  From a diary published a few months ago:

      In the USA, the most significant non-Marxist critique of late 19th century capitalism was penned by Thorstein Veblen.  Veblen’s reputation over the years has been besmirched by defenders of the status quo from the FBI to the hacks of academe.  He was called “the man from Mars” by his most famous biographer.  In spite of the fact that there is not a scintilla of evidence from his writings, Veblen has even been called a “Marxist” by the clueless who assume that everyone who lived after Marx and found something wrong with capitalism MUST have been influenced by him.
      •  I agree with that. But think of our society in (0+ / 0-)

        general. Especially because Prof. Wolf says good things about marxism and criticizes capitalism in the same speech, he is a ripe target. As the movement grows bigger, the elites and the misguided teabaggers and people on the right, even "mainstream" Dems will try to discredit the movement in whatever way possible. Because the 2 capitalist parties are dominated by neo-liberals.

        NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

        by Funkygal on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 05:09:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Finally got you added to the mothership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks for writing a diary!

  •  before elections you must do the intra-party work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    just trying to jump in and primary moderates in elections will only assure you lose. Groundwork must be done in communities and precincts before you can move up to electing liberals.

    You would need to attend precinct meetings and get elected as delegates and then move up to elect State committee men and women. Then up to national committee.

    At the same time you'll be able to write and fight for a platform at the state and national level and begin building a fund raising arm able to compete with the entrenched moneymen.

    Of course since the democratic base is mainly minorities and labor you'll need to get them onboard which will mean giving them some power and a place at the table. Within each constituency you'll need to build a base of support and recruit leaders and grassroots supporters.

    Then after doing all that and keeping it all unified you'll have to find good candidates who can win elections. Simple.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:01:53 PM PDT

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