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It has been brought to my attention, recently, that a group called the "realistrati" has been formed, and that one of their members has posted a diary in that name as well.  (I'm sure that any resemblance to the "frustrati" group as begun by that icky Cassiodorus guy is without doubt coincidental.)  The primary purposes of this group are laid out in the diary:

   1.  Re-elect President Obama
    2. Take back the House
    3. Strengthen the Senate majority
    4. Increase Democratic representation at all levels of government

I presume, moreover, that the purpose of naming this group the "Realistrati" is to give the impression that this is a "realistic" approach to politics.  

That is the reason behind our name.  We are grounded in reality.
And, just to clarify here, let's take a look at a dictionary definition of "realistic":
interested in, concerned with, or based on what is real or practical: a realistic estimate of costs; a realistic planner.
and then you have this term borrowed from German: "realpolitik":
politics based on practical and material factors rather than on theoretical or ethical objectives
OK, this is probably too much information already.  And I do not dispute the "realistic" qualities of the "realistrati" in the immediate political realities to which they respond.  But let me make ten points about "realistic" politics as such, which I think will broaden the discussion far beyond what the "realistrati" have in mind.  For each paragraph, I have boldfaced the main idea, to make my points easier to skim.  To wit:

1) The idea of "realistic" politics does not say anything about a possible choice between different political objectives.  Being realistic means "interested in, concerned with, or based on what is real or practical" -- it specifies no single political objective that one need be "realistic" about achieving.  So I can be realistic, and at the same time stand for anything I want.

2) The "realistrati" want to do two things: re-elect Obama and elect more Democrats.  The applicable slogan here is "more Democrats," not "more and better Democrats."  Thus we have a specific political objective conducive to what David Mizner calls "Rubinism," or what I've been calling "corporate conservatism," the ideology of the Obama administration.  As Mizner himself suggests in that diary, the Obama administration's Rubinite notions of governance are themselves not entirely realistic.  It isn't really all that realistic to protect corporate profits in an era of declining global growth, for instance.

3) A lot of the sort of politicking that is discussed as "realistic" is work that depends upon money.  To be sure, personalities are important in electoral campaigns, and political experience counts for a lot.  But the big enabler is money.  Big pools of money make a campaign "realistic" because at this time there's no social movement afoot that can make a candidate "realistic" through solidarity -- so (under such conditions) if the people were in favor of a particular candidate, everyone would donate resources of some sort in lieu of money because nobody who supported that candidate could afford to donate money.  So Obama and Romney appear as "realistic" Presidential candidates this year because they are taking in large amounts of money, as befits an economic system that requires it.  Their agendas, then, are going to be the agendas of people with money.  Rubinism, for instance, is an ideology based on a "consensus" between the owners of capital, who have the real power and make the real decisions, and the people as a whole, who need to be sufficiently placated to feel that they have some sort of stake in the existing system.  This, after all, is the rhetorical intent of the sites linked on the "Realistrati" webpage -- the top 50 accomplishments, for instance, or the Obama Achievements Center page. They give the impression of making the government appear as a munificent charity even as it carries out its corporate mission.

4) As I've pointed out in this diary, and in this diary and this diary, corporate conservatism (or Rubinism) of the Obama variety implies a whole host of specific positions on issues.  In response to these positions, one can adopt the standard "I criticize Obama but I support him" pose, but only the last half of that pose counts as "realistic."  Realism, then, contributes to a number of conservative policy outcomes.  

5) In the present era, the Federal government today is contested by two conservative hegemonic interests: a) the "antipublic conservatives," who want to do away with public consciousness of "being a public" in favor of religious and/or individualist conceptions of ideological conformism, and b) the "corporate conservatives," who favor throwing a few bones to the working class to preserve the steady trajectory of corporate domination over the economy and the political infrastructure.  These are not the only possible hegemonic interests, nor are they going to remain in power indefinitely. One could, then, imagine a "third interest" emerging at some point in response to unmet needs for social change.  I'm not going to say when, but all great awakenings must have a time of preparation.

6) Thus one can be completely contrary to some of the Obama administration's positions while at the same time being realistic.  Moreover, in doing so, one would not necessarily have to support the hegemonic influence of Republicans over government, although one could be a "realistic Republican" as well.  One could organize a "third interest" (perhaps progressive or radical) that isn't captured by either (conservative) positions.

7) The fact that such a "third interest" is not (as of yet) organized politically in America presents a rather daunting practical problem, but one which it isn't unrealistic to overcome.  There are plenty of issues in which the public will is ignored by both versions of conservatism (as Noam Chomsky has observed), and what's required is that there be what Gramsci called a "historic bloc" to represent the public will in that dimension.  Obviously one of the main stumbling points to the realization of that vision is the problem of disconnecting "realistic" politics from the dependence upon money.  The top 1% already have two conservative interests in their favor -- they won't need a third one.

8) In organizing for a "third interest," one need not expect victory in the next election or elections.  Since, as I've suggested above, elections in America are dependent upon money, it might be at times harmful to the "third interest" to stake everything on a Presidential campaign, as one might observe in the unsuccessful Presidential candidacies of Ralph Nader.  All I feel I can say at this point is that conservatism is fatally flawed in its relation to the future, as the trajectory of capitalist development (now in its "accumulation of catastrophe" stage) will continually thwart conservative desires to retain the (corporate) prosperity of the present moment or to regress to imagined idyllic states of past existence.  I therefore expect that conservatism's inadequacies will eventually make it irrelevant.  In light of this, realistic planning, persistence in the face of challenges, and conviction in the face of doubt, would be requirements of organizing for a "third interest."

9) I have thus outlined a realistic path to power that does not conform to that path outlined by the "realistrati."  The question at hand is one of "realistic" politics.  Is it realistic politics to have a strategy for dealing with global warming that is a sop to natural gas interests, or a strategy for "education reform" that cheapens education for corporate interests, or a strategy for economic stability that  continually props up an unstable economic system?  Maybe it looks good in the short term to support people whose policies are backed by money but which lack a long-term vision.  Is that what counts as "realism" today?

10) I am not the person to organize the path to power suggested above.  I'm (as I believe I've shown over 250+ diaries here) a meaningful reporter and analyst.  Other people are going to have to pick up the numerous roles which will be necessary to form a historic bloc.  Certainly the Occupy movement has gone some distance in preparing the ground for such a historic bloc -- but the Occupy movement needs to continue on more solid ground than it has continued so far.  At any rate, if any of you feels the least bit of interest in taking the frame of "realistic" politics away from the conservatives who possess it today, or if you merely wish to complain that conservatism will last forever and that I'm wrong on everything, feel free to drop by and comment on this diary.

Originally posted to The Rebel Alliance on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Policy Zone and The Amateur Left.

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Comment Preferences

  •  So...speaking "realistically", (5+ / 0-)

    how do we "fix" these issues, and more importantly, how long will it take?  

    Republicans have had since 1964 (earlier if you count McCarthy and the birchers) to coalesce and enact their agenda. How long will it take to correct that, and do we even have the time?

    It's all well and good to talk about what's wrong, and discuss "third interests", but let's start talking about TIME.  

    Isn't it almost preferable to change an existing party structure from within as Republicans did?  

    For, if as you say, "they are much the same", shouldn't allowing the group that will do things the slowest while "throwing a few crumbs" be the party in power so as to allow such time to get this "third interest" to actually prevail, either separately or as an evolution of one of the two parties already existing?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:28:33 AM PDT

    •  1. We Don't Have the Time. (12+ / 0-)

      2. It will take longer than it took the rightwing because we have no profitmaking institutional power and not a single billionaire willing to back us. We don't really even have a movement yet.
      3. So whatever we can't stop from happening in the meantime, happens.

      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 Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:41:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No (12+ / 0-)

      to answer your questions.

      We will never be able to reform our party as long as we make defeating Republicans our only priority. More AND better Democrats are two almost mutually exclusive goals in the short term.

      The reality is, power in America is not binary, between the Democrats and Republicans. It a tripartite arrangement with Big Money at the top and the two parties flanking it. Big Money calls the shots.

      This wasn't always the case. Back in the old days, Big Labor called the shots in the Democratic party - for the most part. But all that started to change in the 70s. Big Money figured out that they needed to infiltrate the Democrats and with groups like the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), that's exactly what they did.

      So eventually, we were left with this arrangement, our tripartite power structure,  where Big Money uses both parties like pawns on a chessboard. Why did the Koch Brothers simultaneously give money to Republicans AND the DLC?

      Infiltration. That's why. The Democrats play a critical role in moving this country to the right. As we have clearly seen with Obama, when one of "our guys" does it, it's OK. If Bush or McCain had tried to do some of the things Obama has, there would have been riots in the streets.

      So Big Money has a perfect little thing going. Finance the extreme right, like the Tea Party. And encourage them to be as crazy as possible. If any of it sticks great. But even if it doesn't, it still provides cover for the real shift in this country to the right by Obama and the Democrats, who seem relatively moderate in comparison.

      The whimpering, pathetic Left in this country doesn't know what hit them. But the evidence is unmistakable: Since the 2008 election, Wall Street has had a filed day. The criminals running the biggest banks are protected from even a real investigation, much less convictions. Their "too big to fail" banks are even bigger now. The casino economy of speculators and hedge funds with their trillions of dollars in unregulated derivatives is still racking up more trillions of unaccounted for fake money.

      And that's just the economy. All, and I mean, all of the most dangerous and egregious "national security" projects and policies of the Bush administration are now not only continuing, but are become more egregious and dangerous.

      So we're fucked. Big Money has us between a rock and a hard place. Hold Democrats accountable and purge the right wing, Big Money infiltrators from elected office, and the even bigger right wing assholes win.

      Or we can keep voting for infiltrators to lessen the evil and keep Republicans out of power as much as possible. That has been the strategy for a long time. I supported Bill Clinton under this strategy.

      But there's a fatal flaw in this strategy. It doesn't work. For what I eventually discovered is that the more right wing we allow the Democrats to be, the more right wing we are allowing the Republicans to be.

      And that's just part of the flaw. The biggest flaw is that every election the Left is forced to STFU.

      How the fuck did that happen? We're supposed to suddenly hold our tongues about the insanity we see all around us by both parties because "we might cause Democrats to lose"?

      Who on earth is stupid enough to believe that silencing the Left can ever be good for this country? The Left is the wing that isn't crazy. Remember? We're the ones who have kept us from destroying the world with nuclear weapons, created the middle class, liberated women and African Americans, stopped the crazies from turning our country into a toxic wasteland.

      I could go on and on about how, if it wasn't for the American Left, this country would be a complete hell hole.

      And we're supposed to "stop our whining"?

      But perhaps the most fatal flaw in the Lesser Evil strategy is that it makes it impossible to elect "better Democrats." How can we reform our party when our only standard is that they not be crazy Republicans?

      Under the current situation, a Democrat can murder American citizens without trial, sign numerous trade agreements that harm workers, cover up crimes by bankers by not even investigating them, sign a law that radically overturns centuries of legal precedent guaranteeing a speedy trial and legal rights of detainees, etc. etc. etc., and all we can say is, at least he's not a Republican.

      No. The Lesser Evil strategy only slows the craziness for the short term. In the long term, it facilitates it. It allows Big Money and right wing ideology to advance unimpeded and prevents us from holding Democrats accountable.

      Some people are so clueless about how politics actually works that they believe the way to get politicians to do good and actually serve the people instead of Big Money is to shower them with praise and money.

      This is mind-bogglingly dumb. They way to get politicians to behave is to hold them accountable if they don't. That is the only way and it has always been the only way.

      And as long as people choose to support politicians no matter what they do, for the simple fact that they're not the other party, politicians will do what serves their own interests.

      It may be better in the short term to vote for a right wing Democrat over a crazy right wing Republican. But in the not very long term, it only assures that the government, and even the populace becomes more right wing.

      What we need to do is put our foot down. To say, either you work for the people, or you don't work at all. Only then will we have the power, the leverage to reform our party.

      Only then will they be forced to listen to us again.

      It will be painful. There will be risk. Like I said. We are fucked. But I can guarantee this: If we don't put our foot down, and keep allowing the rightward shift of our party, the America we have known, which we see slipping away every day, will be gone.

      I have seen right wing, neo-liberal countries. Venezuela, Chile, Columbia. I know what the future looks like. You don't want to see it here.

      •  If you make it about "Democrats" and "Republicans" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, Nada Lemming

        you might push away many of the Democrats and Republicans who might otherwise be your allies.  I agree with your main points, but suggest a different framing.

        Rather, there are two conservative tendencies: antipublic conservatives, and corporate conservatives.  They correspond more or less to neoconservatism and neoliberalism, or PNAC and the Third Way.  They dominate the elite competition for power within American politics.  The parties are placeholders for this competition.

        "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

        by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 09:22:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I tell the truth as I see it (6+ / 0-)

          If that pushes some people away, so be it.

          I'm tired of the Left being so calculating and manipulative that they can't just tell the truth. Since when did we become Frank Luntz?

          I have watched modern American political culture morph into this PR machine, with focus groups and carefully crafted messaging designed to not offend anyone.

          It's banal and deceptive.

          Even you, for example, were careful in this diary not to offend. Even when the target of your critique is making the asinine argument that if one doesn't get on board with the whole, failed, elect Democrats no matter how right wing they are agenda, then one is not in possession of a grasp of reality.

          So you walked around on tippy toes and avoided the flame war. Was that good politics or cowering to bullies who will do anything they can get away with just to keep people from speaking their mind, including smearing people as "trolls" or HR-ing people's comments.?

          I actually don't know. It's a case by case thing. And I'm not suggesting people shouldn't use tact. I wouldn't have written this comment at any other site.

          But I actually reread my comment after reading yours and I have no idea how to re-frame it to avoid "pushing people away."

          Your model of "antipublic conservatives, and corporate conservatives" doesn't work. On multiple levels. Which I may be willing to discuss downstream.

          But for this moment, let me just say that it doesn't work because it simply doesn't apply to the arguments I was making.

          You have reduced the spectrum into binary modes of ideology. But I'm not talking about ideology. In fact, I don't believe ideology playes nearly as significant a role  in the machination of the elite power structure as people think it does. That's just a marketing technique. An illusion to feed to the TV people.

          Big Money only cares about making money. And there is no ideological framework that will interfere with that goal ever. You should know this from watching supposedly free market fundamentalist suddenly turn all socialist when it suits their purposes. Not to say there aren't true believers. But it's really easy to believe in something when by doing so ensures you greater fortune.

          Secondly, even if ideology were valid identifier, my comment wasn't about that. It was about the realpolitik of partisan Democratic strategy in an election year. Specifically, it's about the fact that the Democratic party label is now a facade, that our party has been effectively infiltrated by, not the ideological right, but by the corrupt, self serving right.(Hey, I can be reductionist too.)

          But when I speak of "the right", I'm not basing it on any identifiable ideology so much as manifest policies. Is it ideology when a gangster pays off a public official in a racketeering scam? Because that's what we're really dealing with here.

          Politicians love to talk about what they believe. Their values and such. But it is rarely belief that motivate a politician. What motivate a politician, far more often than not, especially a politician that has raised through the ranks, is self-interests. Nothing else.

          And so this idea of electing "better Democrats" without a serious point of leverage to force them to be better is just a child's fantasy. It's Romper Room.

          The fact is, sometimes ideas are painful. They cause friction. And sometimes it's just better to face that head on. This is a partisan, Democratic website. A lot of people are loyal Democrats. They self-identify. And that means criticizing Democrats causes them pain.

          That's healthy. People, especially here, in this little bubble of self-affirmation, need to be challenged. I've never seen a new idea that that was worth anything that didn't hurt a bit. It sure as fuck hurt me, and does so still, when I realized that my party, the Good Guys as I always believed, was actually, in a very serious degree, the enemy of its own constituents.

          And that was back in the 90s. Now, it's unspeakable.

      •  Yeah, but what's the plan? (0+ / 0-)

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 11:47:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  First, retake the party and remake the platform (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nada Lemming, PhilJD

          As James suggests, there are significant components of the party that are essentially corporatists.  If you accept that premise then the strategy is to focus on getting a few high profile progressives into office and remake the party structure, rather than focussing on reflecting "more" democrats which invariably means sinking effort into Noe Liebermans and Ben Nelson's

          It also means that the focus must be on the wider debate and not on the elections.  If we win elections by stifling progressive arguments, we are sowing the elements of future defeats because then RW talking points go  unrebutted.  

  •  A long-winded smear piece. (0+ / 0-)

    You didn't do anything you claimed in #9 unless your smear in #2 is accepted.

    And you also advocate for a 3rd party, which is expressly against the site's FAQ.

    I'd HR but your tone was polite enough. Other's mmv.

    Today, strive to be the person you want to be.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:52:35 AM PDT

  •  being "realistic" means aligning with big money... (23+ / 0-)

    interests.

    wealthy candidates who can self-fund are considered to be "credible" or "realistic" candidates and are often preferred by party organizations over candidates who are more ideologically aligned with the (stated) goals of the party.  the most "realistic" candidates in an electoral environment where money = speech and money can shout down others, will always be those candidates that can align themselves with the interests of the wealthiest individuals and institutions.

    so, i guess if the "realistrati" are just a bunch of rich guys that are frustrated because a bunch of relatively low-rent malcontents on the internet can get a word in edgewise, i guess their group makes sense.  if on the other hand, they are a bunch of average folks who have an agenda other than making the already wealthy more wealthy and powerful, then they are kind of blind or deluded.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:59:22 AM PDT

  •  The challenge is to organize class interests (6+ / 0-)

    that are opposed by the sources of money and influence in either party.  A third party will not work in the constitutional system we have; Teddy Roosevelt is not the model that will save us.  Realists vs frustrated is not a useful dichotomy since the same actors can organize in the civic realm while compromising in voting booth.  The right figured this out.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 07:15:07 AM PDT

  •  Realistically, if we don't address climate change (15+ / 0-)

    nothing else will matter much.

    Hard to be real excited about incremental change as the tipping point approaches... if it hasn't already passed. Here's the future: tens of millions of Americans fleeing inland from the flood-waters of the rising oceans, into a withering heartland unwilling and unable to support them... prodded along by fully-armed drones authorized under the aegis of martial law.

    Fun times. Can't wait...

    and while the Dems are no doubt far more responsive to impending climate chaos than are the Thugs, they still are, so to speak, pissing in the ocean.

    Sometimes hair on fire IS the "realistic" approach.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 07:23:16 AM PDT

  •  Republished to Progressive Policy Zone. nt (6+ / 0-)

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 07:36:38 AM PDT

  •  The amoral majority (6+ / 0-)

    I think that's a realistic description of the problem.

  •  Or stand for nothing at all. (13+ / 0-)

    1) The idea of "realistic" politics does not say anything about a possible choice between different political objectives.  Being realistic means "interested in, concerned with, or based on what is real or practical" -- it specifies no single political objective that one need be "realistic" about achieving.  So I can be realistic, and at the same time stand for anything I want or stand for nothing at all.

    Bad policy is bad policy - regardless of who signs it into law.

  •  Rhetoric is cheap without action to back it up. (8+ / 0-)

    Work to get progressives into the House and Senate, and then we'll get hardcore progressive policy. I'd love to see stuff like single payer come about, but I understand that with the current Congressional makeup, all the rhetoric and arm-twisting in the world won't get it passed. If the President was all talk without being able to act on anything, he'd be bashed for that. It's lose lose. Some action is better than nothing. Disagree all you want, but that's fact.

    Y'all can either try and enough good progressives into Congress, or try for that "third interest" thing that was mentioned throughout the diary. By all means, "third interests" are proven winners in American elections. It's why we're a multi-party system today, right? Just be careful not to advocate that "third interest" here too much.

    •  Really? (5+ / 0-)
      Work to get progressives into the House and Senate, and then we'll get hardcore progressive policy. I'd love to see stuff like single payer come about, but I understand that with the current Congressional makeup, all the rhetoric and arm-twisting in the world won't get it passed.
      The Administration pushed single-payer off the negotiating table at the beginning of its discussions of health care reform.  What moved the gears was the ACA, a series of subsidies and mandates to fill corporate coffers with new insurance rate-payers.  I don't see, then, how it counts as any sort of possibility that can be gained by working to get progressives into the House and Senate.
      Y'all can either try and enough good progressives into Congress, or try for that "third interest" thing that was mentioned throughout the diary. By all means, "third interests" are proven winners in American elections. It's why we're a multi-party system today, right? Just be careful not to advocate that "third interest" here too much.
      The idea that history is going to be like the past is, well, it's a fundamentally conservative notion of history.  This diary, au contraire, attempted to identify an alternative to hegemonic conservatism.

      "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

      by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 02:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  um.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade, Nada Lemming, chipmo
        The idea that history is going to be like the past is,
        Rather, the idea that the future is going to be like the past is a conservative notion of the future.

        "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

        by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 02:25:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You miss that our system is deliberately (0+ / 0-)

        structured to favor centrism and stability and is extremely difficult to alter, by design.  Each major party establishment fervently hopes for a third party movement on the other side to peel off the ideologically inclined and thereby cement their own victory.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 03:45:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not everyone who disagrees with you is a (8+ / 0-)

        conservative. Of course you consider everyone who isn't quite as far to the left as "conservative," but you seem to be using that label just a bit liberally (no pun intended). Just sayin'. If I were to compare y'all to the tea party for playing Constant Contrarian all the time to try to push the party to the left, I'd be blown off this site by 30 HRs. But implying that I'm part of "hegemonic conservatism" because I crated a group contrary to yours advocating for a more Democratic America in a different way than you is a-okay. Cool.

        I think the administration realized that single-payer wouldn't get through Congress if a pack of corgis delivered it to Capitol Hill themselves. They decided to go with what would pass, instead of making a symbolic gesture that would end in failure. I'm good with that. Is the ACA all that we need? No, but it's a damn good step. Positive action is better than tough talk.

        Thanks for affording me the opportunity to rebut you guys, just as we were rebutted in the diaries over the last few days. Not being sarcastic, I legitimately appreciate it.

        •  Putting 2 and 2 together... (6+ / 0-)

          we get 4.

          But implying that I'm part of "hegemonic conservatism" because I crated a group contrary to yours advocating for a more Democratic America in a different way than you is a-okay. Cool.
          a) "realistrati" is largely a group for the re-election of Barack Obama

          b) Barack Obama is a hegemonic conservative

          I think it would be meaningless for me to issue any sort of standard-issue put-down of conservatives.  Instead, I think it would be a vast improvement even from their perspective if the conservatives on this blog would admit to being conservatives.  Doing so would put them in line with many of the administration's most important initiatives: maintaining the military-industrial complex, keeping the health insurance companies afloat through the ACA, doubling down on NCLB with Race to the Top, bailing out the banks and "regulating" them with a structure (Dodd-Frank) that allows them to continue speculating with great gobs of private debt, saving capitalism from a "depression" (this is Tim Geithner's claim about the Obama administration -- I appreciate his sincerity in this regard), environmental policy that favors corporations (e.g. natural gas), and so on.  They would be able to claim, honestly, that corporate hegemony is the best way to go, and so they wouldn't be obliged to backtrack on the claim that their politics are really "liberal" or "progressive" or "leftist."  

          Life fighting the antipublic conservatives could be thusly made so much more comfortable than it is now, when they are obliged to tell one audience that they are genuinely liberal and another audience that they are not in fact "socialists."

          Now, I've consistently argued that conservatism is not adequate to the problems facing us in the 21st century.  I do recognize, however, that the audience for this argument is in fact conservative, so I need to be consistently polite and respectful.  I am, after all, vastly outnumbered.

          "I've seen the flame of hope among the hopeless/ And that was truly the biggest heartbreak of all" -- Bruce Cockburn

          by Cassiodorus on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 05:10:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Frankly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, sarahnity, Mets102

        this is where you massively fail:

        This diary, au contraire, attempted to identify an alternative to hegemonic conservatism.
        To label those that disagree with you as conservatives is pure absurdism.

        Let's get our facts straight. 87% of Liberal Democrats support this President. 91% of Democrats plan to vote for him. Check the latest Gallup and latest PPP poll.

        Not meant at all as an insult, but frankly these numbers puts you on the fringes of mainstream progressive/liberalism, at least as far as the polls are concerned.

        And if you're point is that Mets102 is a conservative, well that simply isn't a credible claim. I only know two things about Mets102. 1) He is a proud Jew and 2) He is a dyed-in-the-wool  liberal.

        Sorry. FAIL

    •  Cripes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, Mets102

      WD, I think its even simpler than that. If we worked to even get lowly state legislators elected, the world would be much different (gerrymandering districts, SYG laws, voter suppression laws, union busting, Planned Parenthood defunding, on and on and on.)

      We can't even do that.

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, chipmo

      But one cannot elect progressives by tearing down progressive idea in the interests of electing "pragmatists" which is itself a righ wing frame reinforcing the notion that progressive and liberal ideas are. It practical and not realistic.  By adopting that frame you play right into their hands.  We may win the battle, but we will decidedly lose the war that way

    •  Where you go wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chipmo, Bob Guyer

      Is in ignoring the deep importance of the conceptual frames people use in determining their choices.  Rhetoric is incredibly important.  Study literature and history and you will begin to understand that the mechanics of elections is about GoTV and the like, but the real fight is on the plain of values.   This is a culture war, and if you don't present and alternative way to understand the world then your opponent who does will win.  So in many ways rhetoric is the Main thing that matters.  

  •  Thanks Cassie (5+ / 0-)

    I followed the trail of crumbs left by the realist group which led to your excellent dairy. Mets102 self identifies as a liberal but so do I and so do many of my off line community from the Green's and Indies to the Clintonites free market Dems, and the yuppies.

    I think the problem lies in the fact that many simply refuse to let go of the false spectrum we are told is right center left. That and the fact that they actually believe the rhetoric and refuse to look at the policy, direction and agenda of The Third Way Dems who now run and own the Democratic Party. They have in short learned double think and believe that two legs are in fact bot only better but liberal. They are also unable to see beyond Axelrods inevitable 'world as we find it'.

     

    •  I've shown some of my Repub friends roll calls (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassiodorus, Bob Guyer

      on voting records foe Dems and Repubs, their heads explode when they see how the majority og both parties vote together in legislation that big money favors.

      And yes, many Dems can't handle it either....

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