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Socialist Kshama Sawant will be on the next Seattle City Council.

Longtime Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin conceded to challenger Sawant Friday evening, after new election numbers showed her ever-widening lead of 1,640 votes in the race for Position 2.

Conlin Concedes in Seattle

A Socialist will sit where a longtime Democrat used to sit on the Seattle City Council.

Now, I could tell you that her name is Kshama Sawant. I could tell you that she is a brilliant woman of color. I could tell you that she came to this country from India to be an American and make a better life not just for herself but for everybody who struggles to get by. I could tell you that she has a PhD in economics. Or that she was an Occupy activist back in the day. I could tell you that her victory was a shocking surprise to the local political establishment in Washington State.  

I prefer to tell you something else entirely.

Who was Mike Tyson to her Buster Douglas.

She beat a 16 year Democratic Party incumbent, a man named Richard Conlin, who had not just the support of the Democratic Party establishment in King County but also the support of the Democratic incuments in all seven of the Seattle Legislative Districts. Here's the vexing thing. By almost all accounts that I have been able to come by, he is, and has been, a very good Democratic office-holder. He has not been a Very Serious Centrist. Nor has he been any kind of a Post-Partisan Triangulator. He's apparently not a Democrat who is in the back pocket of Big Business. There are a lot of people who traditionally vote Democratic who live in the area who are truly sorry that he lost this race, but, he lost. There was political room not just to maneuver, but to actually beat him, available on the progressive left of the spectrum.    

It is the sort of outcome that should merit a little pause, thought, and consideration.

What did she run on? What were the values and policy positions she offered the voters?

Her platform includes a $15 minimum wage, a millionaire's tax, ending corporate welfare, unionizing service workers, stopping the coal trains, GMO labeling, and rent control.
She won by having more of a claim on what should be the Democratic Party brand that the (D).

A good Democrat to boot.

Another little warning to the Democratic Party.

Local, State, and National. The '90s are over.

You have to bolster and maintain your brand to depend on it being there for you.

"This is new territory. There really isn't any precedent," said Stuart Elway, a longtime political pollster. "You think Seattle has a pretty liberal electorate, but you haven't seen someone who calls themselves a socialist win."

Sawant, 41, drew attention as part of local Occupy Wall Street protests that included taking over a downtown park and a junior college campus in late 2011. She then ran for legislative office in 2012, challenging the powerful speaker of the state House, a Democrat. She was easily defeated.

This year, she ran against Conlin, pushing a platform that appeared to resonate with the city. She backed efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15; called for rent control in the city where rental prices keep climbing; and supports a tax on millionaires to help fund a public transit system and other services.

"I think we have shown the strongest skeptics that the Socialist label is not a bad one for a grassroots campaign to succeed," said Sawant, who is on leave from her job as an professor at Seattle Central Community College.

Let's be brutally honest here. The "Socialist" tag is the media and establishment out.
She ran against Conlin pushing a platform that appeared to resonate with the city?
'Appeared to resonate'? Like David 'appeared to' slay Goliath with a slingshot and a little rock?

It would be really easy to just dismiss this as an outlier, an aberration. "It's Seattle".

Or Whatever liberal bastion you can think of. North Hampton. Vermont. Berkeley.  

The problem with doing that?

1. She didn't run as a hardcore Leftist. She basically out-Democrated the Democrat.  

2. Her campaign was populist, grassroots driven, and was fueled with ground-level retail politicking of what most Democrats around the country would proudly consider to be Democratic strong points. Lots of hardworking volunteers going out and knocking on doors and shaking hands and talking to persuadable local voters about the issues and what she stood for as a candidate.

3. A lot of people who are going to do that, in government and in the traditional media at large, either don't give a damn if a Democrat ever wins another election again, would prefer the Democrats to just be agreeable to whatever the obnoxiously assumed to be the natural ruling class of the country in the form of the GOP desires, or who prefer the Democratic Party to be the meekest, most terrified, and gratuitously unprincipled ball of self-hating panic of Grover Norquist's dreams. I give a serious damn about the Democratic Party brand.

She won because she had more credibility than a longtime Democratic seatholder in a Democratic enclave on what should be Democratic issues.

That's a warning. A little one. But a warning nonetheless.

You have a brand.  

You can lose your lead on what you think of as your political identity, you brand core.

That's a warning about the vital need to maintain and bolster your party and its political brand. It's not immortal. You should be the Social Services candidate. You should have the most credibility on certain issues. That doesn't mean you do. Not if you have left yourself open to somebody else having more credibility than you on those areas. You cannot assume that, as a Democrat, you just magically have the most credibility on progressive issues. You don't bolster and maintain your brand, and suddenly you wake up one day and you have no legacy credibility to fall back on. And you lose to upstart candidates you didn't really fear at all. Credibility. As a candidate and as a party you have to keep it up and maintain it. Always.

You can wake up one day and somebody else has more credibility on defending Social Security. Protecting Medicare. Preserving Food Stamps and other Anti-Hunger Programs. Housing. Education.

The media angle is that she calls herself a Socialist.

The 'very serious' pundits will, inevitably, sneer, minimize, and/or dismiss her for it.

Because nationally, but even in a local media market, you are supposed to be unafraid to run Right, and paralyzed with fear of being labeled as a candidate of the Left. It's as bipartisan as regressive freetrade agreements, brutal austerity, and overblown deficit hysteria.  

Democrats could just look at this, and shrug their shoulders, and say it doesn't matter.

But look at what her brand is.

Her platform includes a $15 minimum wage, a millionaire's tax, ending corporate welfare, unionizing service workers, stopping the coal trains, GMO labeling, and rent control.
If that is the 'dreaded' oh noes "Socialism" then I'm a country club Republican who didn't realize that he secretly idolized Nelson Rockefeller for all these years.

A successful outsider candidate running on solid progressive positions and having the ability to beat a longtime Democratic incumbent on what should be solidly big city Democratic issues. Good on her for calling herself a "Socialist" if that is what she sees herself as and is 100% owning it by being unafraid to boot. I hope she proposes socialist solutions that make a lot of Fox Newsers shit themselves. But man, it's pitiful that such traditional Democratic territory would even be seen as outside what is possible in our own party anywhere or that this slate of issues could be used to beat any Democrat in a big city anywhere in America.

This is a warning. It's a little one, but little warnings can be a godsend too.

Wake. The. Fuck. Up.

Don't just shrug your shoulders and assume it's an outlier. Maybe it is, but don't assume so.

I have nothing against a Socialist candidate running however they please.

Senator Bernie Sanders is a political hero of mine, and he caucuses with my party of choice. You can build alliances with people to your left and who are true moderates, and not those diet-Republicans who think they can dodge Koch Brothers funded Rove-Atwater smearjobs by kicking their own from Rightwing poutrage to poutrage.

This loss should bother Democrats because this should be Democratic ground.

It's not radical. It's not revolutionary. It's pretty mainstream liberal policy grounds.

There is nothing I see about this now-successful Socialist candidate that should be radical or outlier policy territory for a big city Democratic candidate or incumbent.

A Democrat losing on this ground should be a wake-up call to seriously think about the wisdom of just assuming you have a critical edge on certain issues because you have a (D) next to your name. You don't really want to find out you are oh, so very wrong about how much more credibility you have in certain areas when you lose your seat.

If you don't maintain your credibility and your edge to be able to just lay claim to certain political positions as 'naturally' the territory of a Democrat, and somebody else can, and will, come along and take those mantels right out from under you.

A Socialist will soon sit where a longtime Democrat used to on the Seattle City Council. Her name is Kshama Sawant. Congratulations to her. Good luck to her.

Maybe to some it's just a city council seat in the Pacific Northwest. It's so comfy.

She won fair and square and because she had more credibility than her Democratic opponent on Democratic Party issues. That shouldn't ever be taken lightly by any Democratic voter or party member anywhere.

A canary is just a teeny tiny little bird in a teeny tiny little cage somewhere in a coal mine.

Warnings about issues you might need to think about addressing can be massive or small.

Credit to Kossack Sarge in Seattle for breaking the story the other day about Kshama Sawant's widening lead in the ongoing ballot count of the Seattle City Council race votes. This diary is an expansion of a comment that I made in his comment thread.  
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (176+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, gulfgal98, Dallasdoc, Great Ape, SoCaliana, Horace Boothroyd III, blueoasis, RFK Lives, bsmechanic, Free Jazz at High Noon, DeadHead, DGreenCPA, Kombema, Ian Reifowitz, MKSinSA, Mother Mags, Chi, cosmic debris, mookins, poopdogcomedy, Chaddiwicker, millwood, PhilK, NoMoreLies, vigilant meerkat, Anima, wildweasels, Simplify, pat bunny, leonard145b, rovertheoctopus, poliwrangler, Gowrie Gal, Liberty Equality Fraternity and Trees, Mike Kahlow, AoT, Railfan, ratcityreprobate, Nada Lemming, m00finsan, AZ Sphinx Moth, Colorado is the Shiznit, myboo, afox, yoduuuh do or do not, GeorgeXVIII, Ray Pensador, Desolations Angel, Panacea Paola, chrississippi, Nulwee, quill, Jim P, Wreck Smurfy, xaxnar, DawnN, TAH from SLC, 420 forever, scribeboy, wader, CJnyc, Rachael7, tofumagoo, oldpotsmuggler, Shockwave, HedwigKos, Shahryar, wu ming, maggiejean, Preston S, WheninRome, tardis10, roses, Oaktown Girl, BlueInARedState, congenitalefty, JesseCW, pgm 01, decisivemoment, aliasalias, dinazina, White Buffalo, anodnhajo, high uintas, Odysseus, Miss Jones, puakev, MJ via Chicago, kurt, pcl07, randallt, Danno11, skod, joedemocrat, GleninCA, Tool, praenomen, ichibon, HCKAD, JayC, edsbrooklyn, WisePiper, Situational Lefty, Meteor Blades, cinnamon68, Johnny Q, 2dot, chuckvw, AllisonInSeattle, GAS, camlbacker, geebeebee, catilinus, skybluewater, LaFeminista, dradams, Lucy2009, Simian, thirty three and a third, Creosote, caul, carpunder, PhilJD, lotlizard, HeartlandLiberal, eeff, Wolf10, Vico, maggid, snacksandpop, Bluerall, movie buff, Egalitare, betterdemsonly, rat racer, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, caryltoo, scyellowdogdem, Airmid, rapala, Aaa T Tudeattack, NBBooks, jm214, RandomNonviolence, maryabein, LarisaW, JimWilson, Involuntary Exile, MBramble, aboutmri, rustypatina, irate, hlsmlane, ChemBob, scorpiorising, Geenius at Wrok, Lost and Found, sable, Curt Matlock, LSmith, Sam Hill, codairem, quagmiremonkey, Medium Head Boy, conniptionfit, tegrat, Nova Land, Things Come Undone, Box of Rain, CF Perez, Eric Nelson, splashy, glitterscale, RockyMtnLib, indres, jessical

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:42:04 PM PST

  •  A lot of things to think about today (63+ / 0-)
    At least 39 Democrats haven't learned a thing from history by digby

    Are House Dems abandoning ACA? 34 Dems voted against passing it in 2010 -- 5 more Dems backed Upton bill today. (39 Dems voting yes)
            — Ari Melber (@AriMelber) November 15, 2013

    And I'd just make the same point I made the other day: of the 34 Dems who voted against Obamacare in 2009, only five are still in congress. A few looked at the polls and decided to spend more time with their families and the seat turned over to the GOP but the vast majority were defeated in 2010 by Republicans. The stragglers were taken out by progressives in primaries in 2012.

    Democrats can run but they can't hide. They need to make it work, not sabotage it. It's their only hope.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:43:48 PM PST

  •  I love this diary (43+ / 0-)

    for many reasons, including the way that LeftHandedMan can tell it like it is, like no one else, but mostly because of this:

    She basically out-Democrated the Democrat.
    When Democrats behave like real Democrats and support traditional Democratic positions, they WIN!  The big problem with most Democrats today is that they are "pragmatic" which means they move to the right.  And that is not where the public is on issues when polled.  Being a populist is much better and definitely more effective than being pragmatic.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

    by gulfgal98 on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 05:57:04 PM PST

  •  She Has the Advantage Over National Politicians (10+ / 0-)

    in talking policies that could actually pass at the local level.

    It's tough to ask national and most state dems to put out a progressive message about policies that can't pass for the foreseeable future. The most progressive messaging for the national level may be best timed in between races so that voters aren't promised too much that is not subsequently delivered.

    But this is great news and consistent with what we've been seeing in many places. The 90's are indeed over. I'm tempted to say so is 2008.

    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 Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:04:30 PM PST

    •  To me (16+ / 0-)

      the Democrats have a golden opportunity, thanks to demographics and younger voters being more open to liberalism, but I also think that you can squander an opportunity if you don't take advantage.

      The GOP could very well be viable for many years longer than they should be because they cheat, but the GOP could be viable for many more years than they should be because they are not really facing an ideological counter argument against Movement Conservatism.

      It's like you can have conservatism, or a kind of diet conservatism that is dosed humanely to you over time so you can build up a pain tolerance to the misery.

      There is a real opening out there for something other than Movement Conservatism or conservatism adapted to produce liberal outcomes. The Democrats should be on the verge of a golden age if they just grab the opportunity that is staring them right in the face.

      Make an argument. Take back every inch of political real estate that should be yours.

      What bugs me the most about this story from Seattle is that this Democrat was not a bad guy, he got out-Democrated by a non-Democratic candidate.

      He's being a good Democrat makes me concerned that he took it for granted that he had more credibility on the issues the outsider ran on that he did, and he only found out he was wrong when he lost.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:21:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  2008 has about six more months to go (24+ / 0-)

      When Washington shuts down (though how could we tell?) to go a-campaigning full-time next spring, the Obama years will be just about over from a practical sense.  He'll quack here and there as a lame duck, but politics will soon start moving beyond him.  

      Republicans have to fight their civil war, and find new bogeymen on the "other side."  Democrats have to try to win a second-term midterm, not to mention start positioning for 2016, deciding who's going to be Hillary's challenger and what side the rest will come down on.

      The new Left is stirring, mostly at the grassroots and beneath the notice of Beltway gasbags.  It should probably be focusing on state and local minimum wage initiatives, pushing it up to the $12-15 range depending on local standards of living.  The Left should leapfrog Washington Dems' posturing over $10.10, which they know they won't pass in this Congress.  Millionaires' taxes and local infrastructure projects could also be successful Left wedge issues.  State ENDA and immigration reform efforts are more obvious political opportunities.

      Obama is a transitional historical figure, not a transformational one.  The transformation has yet to come, but you can hear it in the distance, heading our way.

      We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

      by Dallasdoc on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:23:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. Now all we have to pray for is that the (19+ / 0-)

        ACA corporate shit sandwich doesn't scuttle any potential actual progressive gains -- which at the moment it very much seems destined to do. Of the many things I think Obama owes the country an apology for (illegal wiretapping, conservative neoliberal economic policies, prosecuting whistleblowers and the press, etc, etc.), I think it was a huge tactical error to apologize for the "you can keep your insurance" thing. It's just magnifying the GOP sabotage efforts, and causing Democratic ninnies to abandon ship on ACA support just when they need to most buck it up.

        As always, this administration has a tin ear for politics. Let's hope they don't yet again set the stage for a midterms electoral disaster.

        "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by Kombema on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:32:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Infuriating (16+ / 0-)

          that the same kind of Democrat who dictated that the ACA was the "only" way to go, is now exactly the type of Democrat who is pandering to the GOP poutrages and fake fixes crowd and the Democrats who were told to stifle are now put in the position to be the ACAs paladins.

          Infuriating, or, more likely exactly why so many in DC cannot seem to wrap their heads around what not making an argument against Movement Conservatism and trying to push the nation in a different ideological direction ends up in.... a mess. Where heads you lose, tails they win.

          Movement Conservatism is bad policy and bad politics.

          Everything that is a nightmare about the ACA has its roots in the assumptions that Movement Conservatism makes about how things work, or bad faith from the GOP, or just overestimating the competence of the Very Serious.

          I'm betting that ten more FreedomWorks ads run, rather than ten less, down Sen. Landrieu's way in the Bayou State because of the pander to the poutrage.

          If Mary Landrieu loses her seat in 2014, it is because she failed to learn that Blanche Lincoln is not a role model.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:15:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so (8+ / 0-)

        I worry that Obama was the last chance for a progressive transformation. You see a transformation coming and so do I, but between Big Money strangling democracy, voter suppression, and climate change, the transformation could be still born.
           We stand on a knife's edge. I have hope, but not optimism.

        "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

        by SouthernLeveller on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:07:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit. (11+ / 0-)

      There are many states where Democrats could do a much better job of running as progressives/liberals/or just plain Democrats and they run Republican light.

      If Grayson can win then lose then win a district in Florida with his brand of the Democratic Party, then many more could. He's not a perfect Dem by far, but at least he isn't afraid to speak his progressive mind.

  •  I saw her this evening (23+ / 0-)

    On Chris Hayes's show. When asked she defined her socialism in contrast to today's capitalism, which serves to benefit only a tiny elite.

    What came to my mind after she finished was this summary:

    Capitalism, unregulated capitalism, begets inequality. Socialism is the remedy. Socialism begets equality.

    If Democrats have to call themselves Socialists to reflect their actual intentions in representing their voters, not just the 1% fundmeisters, the more the merrier. Now it's Portland's turn, Eugene, Ashland, Eureka, Sacremento, SF and on down the Coast until we can get somebody down here in Baja Arizona.


    Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection. ― Wendell Berry

    by cosmic debris on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:24:04 PM PST

  •  I'm glad nobody told her (20+ / 0-)

    that the top-two ballot system has destroyed the potential for independent candidates.  If only she had known she was doooomed.

    Politics means controlling the balance of economic and institutional power. Everything else is naming post offices.

    by happymisanthropy on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 06:32:51 PM PST

    •  And I'm glad she wasn't counting on the (10+ / 0-)

      support of the largest, most influential lefty political blog in the country to spotlight her campaign and platform. Had any kossack dared to promote her candidacy, s/he, per site rules, would have been banned.

      Our "Gate Crasher" has spoken: Promoting a grass roots demand for Warren to enter the 2016 primary is to be ridiculed, even if, presumably, said demonstrated demand might encourage another like-minded progressive to throw their hat in the ring.

      by WisePiper on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:03:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Will be interesting to see what happens in the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, maggid, Dallasdoc, LeftHandedMan

        near future. People have been banned for such, but there have been exceptions. I would've publicly supported and voted for Ms. Sawant over the incumbent, but would've done so in the manner of this diary...without lies about the Democratic incumbent and by promoting her "socialism" as representing Democratic goals held by the majority of Democrats (if not most office-holders).

        Of course, I come from 4 generations of socialists voting with the Democratic party. Then again, most of the kossacks I know are socialists who vote with and support the Democratic becoming what it should be.

        Yes, supporting a 3rd party candidate against a Democratic party member is bannable, but....

        The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

        by catilinus on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:31:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Godwin analog: in a discussion of 3rd-party runs, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      … over time the probability of 2000 and Ralph Nader being dragged in approaches one.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 02:59:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Capitalists are the Criminals of Society. (6+ / 0-)

  •  I wish we had such candidates (12+ / 0-)

    all across the country, no matter what label they ran under. I think they could win on those kind of platforms in nearly every district.

    "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

    by SouthernLeveller on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:02:09 PM PST

  •  BAN THIS DIARIST! (5+ / 0-)

    Third-party advocacy! Heresy! How dare you!

    Oh wait, the outcome was actually good? Hmm...

    Eh, kos? What about it?

    Not tough

    this is a Democratic site. That's my party, and that's what I'll work with.

    You want third party shit, I'm sure there are other places for that.

    by kos on Fri Nov 08, 2013

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:03:05 PM PST

    •  Although I did not support Sawant (3+ / 0-)

      And have explained my reasons for doing so in other diaries on this subject, you can't exactly call her a "third party" when in Washington there are always only two candidates on the general election ballot. As such this case doesn't fit in the spirit of Kos' statement; it's acceptable in a race between a Green and a Democrat to support the Green. Supporting the Green in a race that includes a Democrat, a Republican, and a Green though can potentially be dangerous for progressive goals.

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:07:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm... I don't think so. (13+ / 0-)

        In a race between a Dem and anyone we can't write diaries in support of anyone, just the Dem.

        The exceptions are those politicians that have already succeeded in breaking the mold - like Bernie Sanders. But he's an exception. Just like this woman is turning out to be an exception. How many exceptions will it take before we have to change the rules?

        •  I think I see what you mean (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LeftHandedMan, caul, angelajean, Dallasdoc

          The contrast here is short-term progress vs the long term reshaping of a national party. Sanders, for all practical purposes, acts as a Dem in the sense that he caucuses with the party, and in return the Democrats support him in his reelection bids.

          Sawant represents an actual third party (she isn't an Independent like Sanders), which makes her in direct opposition to the Democratic party. Still, I think if we are following the spirit of the site (to reshape the Democratic party for positive change), we do have a number of options in cases like these. One is to support the Democrat no matter what. But other possible options I can see is (should the SA party become powerful enough) a merge or alliance between it and the Washington Democratic Party. I'm reminded of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, where the Democrats merged with the Farmer-Labor Party, which had managed to gain strength locally.

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:45:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Did I actually advocate (10+ / 0-)

      for a third party?

      All snark and sarcasm aside, or digs at the powers that be for other past frustrations and head-buttings, I thought I was advocating for the Democratic Party to reclaim it's brand and it's political real estate and offering my sincere congratulations to the winner.

      She didn't run a hardcore leftwing campaign.

      She ran on what should, I believe, to be a Democratic platform of ideas.

      As I said, if her platform, as it is, is Socialism, then I'm a Rockefeller Republican and nobody told me over the last two and a half decades that I should be very, very impressed with Chris Shays and Bob Dole.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:23:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pretty sad comment from Kos (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, Dallasdoc
      •  That has been his editorial position (7+ / 0-)

        since the day I got here in 2004. It hasn't changed.

        I would say that the banhammer used to drop a lot faster on Third Party advocacy in the past, but that may have been because it was a smaller site and there were fewer of us to community moderate.

        In Kos' defense, he has been willing to be absolutely brutal on ConservaDems and Blue Dogs, and nobody had as much piss and vinegar for Joe Lieberman and Lanny Davis and their ilk since the day I arrived.

        If we like Elizabeth Warren in the US Senate, Kos should get some of the credit. She didn't really want to run for that seat. She had to be cajoled and pushed and prodded and sold on the idea, and Kos played a part in that.  

        I know the 'this is a Democratic, not a liberal' blog stance really frustrates a lot of people who have come and gone over the years.  

        I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

        by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:36:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Kos' "brutal" treatment of Conservadems (6+ / 0-)

          means squat, as long as his editorial position remains that they must be supported electorally if they're not successfully challenged in a primary.

          As long as we refuse to hold our candidates accountable for their actions, they will continue to ignore our concerns and continue to do the bidding of the PTB.

          As for giving kos credit for Warren's election?

          She didn't really want to run for that seat. She had to be cajoled and pushed and prodded and sold on the idea, and Kos played a part in that.

          Where's that kos now? Huh? To date, Ms. Warren has repeatedly stated she doesn't intend to run for President in 2016. So fucking what.

          There are a host of reasons why she wouldn't necessarily want to tip her hand this early in the game. One of them might be to gauge the breadth and depth of support for her potential candidacy.

          So, why isn't our fearless leader cajoling and pushing and prodding and selling Ms. Warren to throw her hat in the ring this time?

          Not only is he not employing his well earned influence to give weight to a draft Warren movement, he is actively discouraging and ridiculing those who do want to rev up support for her candidacy.

          [Got to reread "Crashing the Gates." The answer must be in there somewhere.]

        •  Kos has energetically supported Blue Dogs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I remember his full-throated support for Jon Tester, just for one example.  Great, we got a Democrat from Montana, but he's been easy pickings for corporatist influence-peddlers.  There have been quite a few more.  He's never been a strong advocate for leftist primary challengers, to my memory.  Even Ned Lamont wasn't really a leftist, just somebody trying to replace an apostate Dem.

          Kos isn't really a gate-crasher.  He's a Democratic operative, in practice if not in title.  He's trying to motivate a certain segment of the electorate to fall into line.  That's why this blog has never realized its early potential, and why it fritters its energy away on pie-fights and pointless petition campaigns.  

          The proprietor has shown over and over again that he's motivated much more by party than by ideology.  He graciously allows more ideologically-driven members to post, as long as they don't stray too far from party orthodoxy, but that's plainly just for clicks.  I stay here for the same reason I stay in the Democratic party, mainly for lack of a good alternative and out of vestigial hope.  But Markos' website, like his party, had better wake up and smell the coffee, or it will find itself shitcanned into obsolescence someday soon.

          We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

          by Dallasdoc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:39:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  the race was "non-partisan" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, aliasalias, caul

      No party labels on the ballot, no "official" party nominee.

      I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

      by N in Seattle on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:42:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The race was non-partisan (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        N in Seattle, Odysseus, caul, gulfgal98

        but, having lived in Nevada, another state that has non-partisan elections that are filled with partisans and partisanship, "non-partisan" as an election designation doesn't mean that the races aren't partisan, the people running are not partisan, or party affiliated, and there are not partisan outcomes to the results.

        I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

        by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:03:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, that's true, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 main point is that the word "socialist" didn't appear on the ballot.

          The positive side of this race is that Conlin never ever attempted to use the "red" card. Whether that's because he thought he was a shoo-in or because he's above that sort of inflammatory behavior doesn't matter.

          Then again, our Congressman is "Baghdad" Jim McDermott, who's been publicly accused of communism and more. That doesn't seem to affect his usual 80% vote every two years.

          I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

          by N in Seattle on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:27:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see your point (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            N in Seattle, aliasalias

            but I also tend to think that people in liberal bastions tend to be more aware of such things, even if you do make a good point that "Socialist" wasn't actually printed on the ballot. Given Kshama Sawant's penchant for referring to herself as a Socialist, and she makes no bones about it, I tend to think that a lot more Seattle residents who voted had more than your average low-information voters grasp of who, what, where, why, and when. That might be my biases coming into my reading of the battlefield. I admit.

            Certainly a lot of people who voted knew the incumbent was, in fact, a Democrat. And he, apparently, took it for granted that he had nothing to worry about because he certainly didn't do much to defend the ground he was beaten on.

            She beat him on what I consider to be solid Democratic issues ground, and he didn't see it coming.

            I think my point still stands in that, well, she didn't actually run a hard leftwing campaign and he shouldn't have lost if he had the superior credibility and public confidence in him as the better choice he thought he did. She ran a perfectly reasonable Democratic policy slate, and I am sure that a 16 year incumbent Democrat was widely known to be one. If he had the brand and personal political strength he thought he had, he wouldn't have lost. He shouldn't have lost.

            I give him all the credit in the world for not red baiting her. As I said in my diary, he apparently was a good Democrat who had a career to be respected. This is why I think there is a meta branding issue to see as a warning.

            His getting beaten by such an upstart candidate, I tend to believe, came from his overestimating his credibility and his political ownership as the progressive candidate, and assuming his past and his party affiliation was enough to assure when it wasn't.

            I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

            by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:56:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, Conlin used to be... (3+ / 0-)

              ...the avuncular enviro guy, but no more. Until recent years, his signature achievement on the Council was defining municipal code to permit homeowners to keep chickens and goats on their property.

              But in recent years he's begun to spin more the downtown-business-corporate way. Not the most conservative member of the Council (Seattle's "conservative" is equivalent to what most places call "liberal"), but neither is he the principled progressive he used to be.

              I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

              by N in Seattle on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:17:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Well yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, WisePiper

      this site is about the Democratic Party, not democratic values or ideas.  There are other places for that

  •  I'd say she was in for a rough time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, aliasalias, Dallasdoc

    but I think that the national news media has a much bigger stake in making Bill DeBlasio miserable for as much of his first term as NYC mayor as they can.

    I'm betting that a lot of Villagers are pretty freaked out that he won by such a landslide, and Socialists and other "political impossibilities" winning elections are just a cruel sort of frosting on that cake.

    Forget Hippy Punching. Done.

    Centrist Punching?

    Now there is a hot trend I could get used to.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:47:15 PM PST

  •  I'm hoping she gets to do more tv (6+ / 0-)

    and encourages others to get involved in public life.

    She has quite a tale to tell.

    Sawant, 41, grew up in Mumbai, India. She says she realized early on she was a socialist who hated the Indian caste system she grew up in.

    "I never bought into it. I was completely and I remain completely against the caste system," she said.

    She believes that alone she won't change City Council, but she'll be part of a movement to bring change.

    "There's a real unrest in the American population for change and things are going to change more  rapidly in the coming years," Sawant added.

    She apparently got her PhD in economics in North Carolina, so she's seen and been a part of an interesting introduction to America from the South to the Pacific Northwest.

    I don't know how big the city council is. If it is quite large, I wonder if she has to caucus with the Democrats of if the council is so small she can keep her own council.


    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 07:55:28 PM PST

    •  Wikipedia is our friend. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, Odysseus
      The Seattle City Council is the lawmaking body of the city of Seattle. Its nine members are elected to four-year terms in citywide nonpartisan elections.
      •  WikiPedia is our friend (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GleninCA, Dallasdoc

        until some folks who are not our friends re-write it and it goes a while before somebody flags it as vandalized. ;)

        I've gone to more than my share of Wikipedia pages I wouldn't just accept at face value. Thanks for that info.

        I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

        by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:20:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  actually, that's changing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeftHandedMan, Dallasdoc

        There will be another election for all 9 Councilmembers in two years.

        In this election, Seattle also voted to go from at-large to a hybrid system (7 districts, 2 at-large). So all of them will have to decide which way to go -- district or at-large -- in 2015.

        One type will be elected for a 4-year term, the other type for just 2 years (I think it's at-large who will have to go before the public again in 2017 and district Councilmembers in 2019, but I might have it backwards). Once it's fully established, we'll alternate between voting for the at-large members and for our own district member. They'll all have 4-year terms again.

        I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

        by N in Seattle on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:41:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's great news (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          N in Seattle, LeftHandedMan

          I remember in the 1970's when San Francisco went to district elections for their Board of Supervisors:  we got Harvey Milk and a distinctly more leftist board, with a bunch of downtown-business deadwood swept aside.  Congratulations to Seattle, and take full advantage of the change!

          We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

          by Dallasdoc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:42:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dallasdoc, LeftHandedMan

            Though there's a bit of consternation among the change-fearers hereabouts. As in:

            • "No one will think about the whole city, just their district".
            • "With districts, we'll start electing Republicans to Council." This one's laughable, especially when they can't agree on which district is the conservative one. We're not going to see a Dan White in Seattle.
            • "It was funded by a Republican, therefore it's bad." The first half is correct, but the second isn't ... and most of the campaign workers were progressives.

            I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

            by N in Seattle on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 10:26:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  And we could not have written a diary in her (12+ / 0-)

    support before the election because she was a third party candidate.

    Democrats need to wake up in many places.

    •  Yes, I suppose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, angelajean, Dallasdoc

      you could have written about her, but in a way that had not advocated for her election.

      I don't really see Kos budging on those matters. I've been here for almost ten years now, and he's position is as it was when I first got here.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:10:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If more and more Dems lose in races like this (4+ / 0-)

        he'll have to change his mind.

        If Dems get smart and start running on the issues that really matter again, then he won't find a need to revisit the decision.

        Hopefully his pressure and the pressure of other Dems will make a difference. I have my doubts.

        Seemingly unrelated but not really - just watched a show from 1981 where Phil Donahue interviewed a well-known homeschooling advocate. The issues then with public schools and the public opinion of homeschooling are exactly the same as they are today - more than thirty years later. And yet homeschooling has exploded in numbers compared to then. I sort of see the Democratic party like the public schools and the third party candidates like homeschoolers. The latter fly under the radar but they make ground with every election.

    •  yes we could (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, angelajean

      The Seattle City Council election is officially non-partisan.

      I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

      by N in Seattle on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:42:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The takeaway: If the Brand doesn't deliver the (14+ / 0-)

    customers walk away.

    It is -- if the entire conventional politics thing represented a democratic process even a little -- it is impossible that nobody, no Party, no leadership element isn't out there 24/7/365.25 talking about the massive jobs stimulus plan.

    It's been 9 years now that 'Jobs' polled by majorities in the top three concerns, five where it's polled as the top concern by majorities, two-thirds, three-quarters and more.

    Where's the plan? I raised this in another diary and somebody always comes back with the '09 stimulus, and the 2011 campaign plan.

    Both were between absurd to ludicrous, in that they largely depended on big-business cooperation (hire for tax incentives, etc). Well, its big business (especially bankers) which created this mess, and they don't seem to mind.

    So where's our Public Words Administration, our Works Progress Administration, ...?

    Seriously, how can you say you are a Democrat and not a) Repudiate Trickle-Down, Deregulation, Jobs-Offshoring incentives, etc and b) offer a massive jobs stimulus?

    The spit-for-brains bleat 'oh golly but the Republicans would never ever do that and gosh we just have to have deals made, because that's what politicians are for'  ...

    Well, no. You propose it to give the voters what they want (hello? anybody understand the Party with the most votes wins?); you propose it to have the Republicans prove themselves the obstacle to what's needed.

    Then, you don't have to deal with Republican majorities. (Although in the Senate you might still have to put up with Democrats handing control of the Senate over to a minority like they keep doing.)

    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:18:02 PM PST

    •  Hopefully (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, gulfgal98, Dallasdoc

      the age of using Movement Conservatism repurposed to achieve liberal outcomes is over. At least that.

      There was no reward for the ACA. None.
      There was no reward for post-partisanship. None.
      No reward for all the hawkish foreign and domestic security policy. None.

      I wouldn't like it, and certainly wouldn't advocate it, but I could at least understand being a Neoliberal if it worked. At all. To check or roll back Movement Conservatism.

      All it does is further entrench Movement Conservatism as the baseline for where discussions begin.

      It just tells the GOP and the Movement Conservatives to double down. Showing weakness. Taking them seriously.

      So much Movement Conservative policy, so little in return.  

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:25:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The rewards come later (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Clintons are worth $100 million.  Chris Dodd isn't missing many meals, and Billy Tauzin makes a fine living working for PhRMA.  

        I think you're looking in the wrong place for the rewards.  The ex post facto bribery system is alive and well.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:44:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  alternatively. (4+ / 0-)
      Seriously, how can you say you are a Democrat and not a) Repudiate Trickle-Down, Deregulation, Jobs-Offshoring incentives, etc and b) offer a massive jobs stimulus?
      Since the Democratic part is in favor of trickle-down, deregulation and offshoring, so the question is, if you are opposed to those things, are you a Democrat?
      •  Sure you are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just like you can be the most heinously selfish and hateful person on two legs and be a Christian.  The label doesn't denote content.  That's why the emphasis in the diary is on restoring the Democratic brand.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:46:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention the TPPA Trade Agreement. (3+ / 0-)

      How's that for a jobs bill!

      Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:44:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is an inspiring diary (4+ / 0-)

    It brought up a lot of memories and connections. Very well written. Hope you write more here.

    Another Bernie Sanders Gay Democrat.

    by brunoboy on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 08:54:41 PM PST

  •  Good diary, but it's not just Democrats failing (7+ / 0-)

    to live up to their principles. There is a genuine interest in socialism out there.

    For all the obvious reasons (failure of the U.S. economic system, increased information sharing via the web and social media) people are rethinking things and more and more open to alternatives.

    A Generation of Intellectuals Shaped by 2008 Crash Rescues Marx From History’s Dustbin

    A Young Publisher Takes Marx Into the Mainstream

    Apparently nothing will ever teach these people that the other 99 percent of the population exist. —George Orwell

    by ukit on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:16:53 PM PST

    •  You raise a very good point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, gulfgal98

      my interests may be in the fortunes of the Democratic Party, and my frustrations about losing a race because somebody else has more credibility than the Democrat on what I consider to be core Democratic positions may be my point, but. But that is not to suggest, at all, that the success of, and rising interest in, Socialist candidates out there isn't coming from real support and curiosity from Americans who want more options.

      As a Democrat, I have concerns that my party is already pre-celebrating "victories" that are assumed to be a done deal due to demographics that they haven't actually won yet.

      There is no reason to assume that, for example, if there are essentially two Republican Parties, a Movement Conservative one, and what essentially amounts to a Rockefeller Republican one called "the Democratic Party" that some force will not come along and make inroads into Democratic strongholds and cut into Democratic ranks by running to the (D)s traditional areas of policy strength, not just to the left in a sweeping way, in elections.

      I do not advocate for voting for Third Parties, I am interested in pushing the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction. But at some point, Democrats either have to bolster their brand and make sure they still have the same strengths and credibility they have had in the past, or ready themselves to make caucusing arrangements with people who eat their lunch because they have opened themselves up on traditional areas of Democratic strength as well as opening up space to their left.  

      I just want the Democratic Party to leave the self-loathing 1990's era behind them and start realizing that a lot of their brand credibility comes from the past. The New Deal and the Great Society. They are bargaining the gains of those eras, instead of bolstering those gains, as well as bargaining off hard fought victories in the abortion rights and access area, like bargaining chips that have magically left behind permanent credibility to be exploited. As if your brand is immortal. No matter what you do. Democrats often act as if they have ownership of certain political real estate that they can't assume they just own and don't have to maintain that credibility to keep deferring to it.

      We just dodged a second Great Depression, and, unfortunately, in its wake, it could still happen again.

      The Republican Party makes messes, and the Democratic Party sometimes helps them do it, or, more often, cannot fix Republican messes in a timely fashion because they play by Republican and Village media rules.

      This is going to encourage people to look elsewhere.

      As I said, the Democrats have a golden opportunity to appeal to a huge number of new voters coming down the pike, but they can certainly squander that opportunity.

      Democrats who ignore that people are running, and winning, on ideological grounds that 1990's era American politics thought was unthinkable and not politically possible do so at their peril.

      I have no doubt that there are traditional Democratic strongholds where, say, Socialists could run, and win, House seats that Democrats take for granted will always be Democratic seats because the Democrats have always held those seats for ages.

      The Democrats are getting little wake up calls.

      I see too many of them ignored or explained away.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:37:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may be contradicting yourself here (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        socindemsclothing, LeftHandedMan
        I do not advocate for voting for Third Parties, I am interested in pushing the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction.
        I see few other ways to push the Democratic party in a more progressive direction.  The party is at present pretty thoroughly managed by corporatists using it as one more unit in the Public Relations Division of the Oligarchy.  Until the party is threatened by extinction by the rise of parties on the left, I just don't see them loosening their grip.  The 1930's showed us how it works.

        I can understand your delicacy given the editorial stance of this blog, but surely you're smart enough to see that.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:49:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I may be, I fully recognize that reality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I will, because I'm trying to be intellectually honest as I can with people that I hope clearly can see I consider fellow travelers for the most part, openly admit that the editorial stance on this blog, meaning that you will be banned or suspended for posting certain ideas related to using outside forces to push the barge leftward, kind of forces me to stay in certain boundaries. That doesn't mean I don't see the possibilities in what cannot be spoken of. I get it. My tactical thinking is a lot more nuanced that 'my party right or wrong' or everything that can be done will be done via the Democratic Party as the sole conduit. I'm following the site rules. Which certainly cuts certain logical discussions about tactics and strategies to force the Democratic Party in a more progressive direction externally off at the knees. No argument there. But I can't duplicate this tool, even if I didn't love this community, if I was just a cyborg-like pol thinking coldly like a political hitman about the future.

          I would like to believe that the party can be fixed from within. I readily admit I may be wrong. I openly admit that things are going to happen that Democrats may not be ready to deal with, like it or not. Ready or not.

          Arrogance, thy name is establishment Democratic Party.

          It could be a very messy new landscape if there is not a third party to worry about, but independent wildcards who are not Movement Conservatives that the Democrats help to spawn via neglect and assuming that they have an endless amount of space to pander right and not think about looking in any other direction as they do so.

          The negative consequences for the Democratic Party are often self-inflicted because they choose to ignore clear evidence that they are dealing with bad faith, or that things are changing in ways that they need to shore up before it is too late.

          I think establishment Democrats don't reclaim their brand, and bolster it, and they have bigger headaches on the horizon that the Lanny Davis crowd can handle.

          We may wake up one day and find ourselves hoping and praying that an increased number of Socialist or liberal independent Reps and/or Senators in liberal bastions of the country are willing to do the now traditional, and maybe taken for granted as well, route of caucusing with the Democrats rather than choose to be a wildcard from vote to vote and policy fight to fight.

          The caucus power balance shifts if the number of independent non-Conservatives goes up in both bodies.

          If there were several Bernie Sanders, and they acted more like Blue Dogs, the Democratic establishment has a new reality to deal with. I think heads would explode all over Washington DC. The answer is, as far as I am concerned, if you are who you are supposed to be, you don't have to worry about a brave new world that could have easily been one that you dominated. That is one of the risks of Democrats blowing their brand credibility. There are things that can happen that you cannot triangulate your way out of. The people you want to hippy punch have to be in your party to hippy punch.

          You ignore the warning signs at your peril.

          I also am deeply troubled by trying to reconcile it being forbidden to advocate for certain tactical or strategic moves while it is perfectly acceptable to consider Bernie Sanders 'your favorite Democrat' when he is not a Democrat. If there is a crappy Democrat running against Bernie Sanders, will I be banned for sticking with Sanders? It could happen. Sanders is clearly vastly superior to the overwhelming majority of his caucus peers. I respect the site, I respect it's mission, I would have a hard time sleeping the night after a bunch of users were banned for standing up for Sanders in the face of a Blanche Lincoln or Colleen Hanabusa-esque official Democrat making a run at that Senate seat. He is doing right by the people of Vermont as well as acting in a way that works out to doing the Democratic Party a favor. If there were not two or three, but ten or fifteen independent Senators, even four or five for that matter, the politics of the Senate that the establishments of the GOP and Democratic Party are so worshipful of go right the fuck out the window.

          And it would be hard to argue that it wasn't the Democratic Parties own fault. Dereliction of duty and wanton neglect creating headaches is a self-inflicted wound. The worst kind of political malpractice.

          Clearly one of the factors that I am dealing with, well, rather badly, is that I see signs that the Democratic Party could see a part of their taken for granted base implode on them via brand erosion and credibility collapse. And they are doing more of the fail, not recognizing they are letting themselves go and living on past glory they don't recognize has faded due to neglect and governing out of fear of conservatism's tactical blows and not conservatism's corrosive damage to the nation's fabric.

          There is an assumption that you don't have to engage in partisan politics, and do the icky things that come with it, because... demographics! That is like celebrating a touchdown you think you should score easily in some future game. The thing is, games are not won on paper you have to play them. Favorites lose all the time. Upsets can have major, and grave consequences.

          The fundamental nightmare of that self-inflicted outcome is that the Movement Conservative Rightwing, irony of ironies, would be in a position to capitalize on the vacuum on the other side. Nothing makes it easier to abuse the system like suddenly waking up one day and finding that the only people who can check you are suddenly institutionally in freefall.

          Clearly I would hope that a Meteor Blades, Hunter, or even Kos himself would be willing to see that I went above and beyond in respecting the site rules in my writings. But I also hope they are nuanced enough to see that, clearly, the Democrats stay the way they are, and squander what they could very well squander, and the ways of viewing the landscape, and how to operate on it, will have to change.

          I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

          by LeftHandedMan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 03:42:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suspect they see the reality (0+ / 0-)

            Markos is insisting on party fealty mostly, I think, because he wants to maintain the partisan wing of his readership.  He won't go too far in insisting on party orthodoxy for fear of alienating those of us more faithful to ideas than to parties.  

            We completely agree, I suspect, about the debased nature of the Democratic brand, and of the active destruction of that brand by current and recent Democratic leaders.  It's hard to say what the Democratic stands for anymore, other than keeping crayzee Republicans at bay.  That's what I call the "We Suck Less" agenda.  It's not enough, and it won't earn the party lifelong converts.  

            At this point I don't much care what happens to the Democratic party.  If we can bring it back to the side of everyday folks, that'd be great.  If not, some other political party will arise that will stand for the 99%, and the Democratic party will either fade away or metamorphose into a conservative party once again.  I'm much more interested in Ms. Sawant's ideas getting enough political currency that they can tap into the deep dissatisfaction with our politics that runs throughout the electorate.  Somebody's going to catch that lightning in a bottle and change this country.  Whether that person is called a Democrat or something new, I don't particularly care.

            We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

            by Dallasdoc on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:26:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Is Working Families party relevant? (8+ / 0-)

    I vote for as many Green Party candidates at the local level.  Most of the Democrats in Chicago are part of the machine and there are rarely any Republicans on the ballot at all.

    It seems like both parties are fracturing under the corruption of billionaire's influence.  I'd love to see Democrats act like Democrats, but they are too beholden to their masters.

    •  I just wanted to be fair (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maggid, betterdemsonly, Dallasdoc

      and remind you that advocating for a third party will get you banned from this site. I can't say if that party is relevant or not to be honest with you, I just want to steer people to safer ground so they don't get punished for violating the site rules.

      I don't want people to lose their membership on this site over responding to anything I have written's comment thread. I would feel awful, frankly.

      I was very careful to keep my diary soley on Democratic Party grounds to avoid, as best I could, putting people who are truly frustrated with the Democratic Party (on a multitude of grounds) in a position to risk punitive moderation.

      I hope you understand my sincere request that you steer clear of anything that might strike a mod as third party advocacy. Even if that infuriates, frustrates, or rubs one the wrong way it is the rule.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:04:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's more than that to her election. (7+ / 0-)

    It's a very simple class war argument that was put forth, and the voters, said they aren't losing this war. Dems, for whatever it's worth, have refused to truly take up this battle. If it takes a Socialist to do it, and to wake up the voters, and present it as black and white as that, and win, then both the Dems and Repubs need to take notice.

    If she does well, and sticks to her values and votes accordingly, there could be a huge groundswell over the next decade that would make the 1% shudder.

    It is every person's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what they takes out of it. - Albert Einstein (edited for modern times to include everyone by me!)

    by LeftieIndie on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 09:59:17 PM PST

    •  I'm sure there is (3+ / 0-)

      but it is what is most directly related to the Democratic Party and its fortunes, and that is why I focused on it.

      There are signs, all over the nation, that the Democratic Party does not have the rock solid brand on social justice, the social safety net, and upward mobility, that many in powerful positions in the party simply assume they have.

      Like the brand is immortal, or, once you have done something, you always have that credibility to fall back on in the future, even if you have done things to neglect or compromise the brand.

      I am sure Kshama Sawant's success politically and personally has a myriad of other factors to it. I'm only concerned with how the Democrats are getting warned, time and time again, that they need to bolster their brand, not assume that it is timeless and that they can always assume that they have the most credibility in the room.

      I agree that the Democrats have refused to take up this battle.

      My argument is that the Democratic Party, foolishly, is assuming they don't have to because past successes are timeless successes, like there is no such thing as decay or decline over time when it comes to credibility and brand strength in the Democratic Party universe, and they will always have the ability to fall back on them to win a fight.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:10:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My own viewpoint (8+ / 0-)

    on where the parties like today based on my own historical perspective (say - Great Depression to Reagan):

    Todays "Tea Party" and libertarian/free market apologist Republicans are yesterdays whacko-bird John Birchers.

    Todays "mainstream" Republicans are yesterdays hard-right (but not tin foil hat wearing) Republicans.

    Todays "mainstream/3rd Way" Democrats are yesterdays centrist Republicans.

    Todays "liberal" Democrats are yesterdays centrist Democrats.

    Todays Greens and Socialists are yesterdays "mainstream" Democrats.

    * I rank myself somewhere in here - in between the Greens above and the old-school hippies I mention below.

    Yesterdays "ultra liberals" that were as far left as todays Tea Partiers are far right - the  "don't even hurt a blade of grass or cut down a single tree hippies" kind -  basically no longer exist as a discernible political force in this nation.

    YMMV, but that's my current scale.  So for a "liberal socialist" to beat a mainstream Dem, for me, is a win for actual, moderate liberalism over centrist, 3rd way nonsense.

    Surely, not everyone will agree with this assessment, however, that's the beauty part of opinion - it's opinion, so it's personal point of view not fact, so 100 different people might see things 100 different ways.

    •  What is interesting about your scale (5+ / 0-)

      is that the more your ideal policy outcomes are likely to massively fail, and fail inhumanly catastrophically on a grand scale, the more likely that your assumptions about how the economy, foreign policy, and institutions work are going to be so wrong as to provoke historic collapses and long-term fiscal calamity, the more viable you are politically.

      It's like a twisted carnival mirror where mountains of money makes failure and incompetence appear as triumph and surgical acumen.

      Movement Conservatism has a track record worthy of being resigned to the dustbin of history. On all fronts.

      I cannot think of a single area where Movement Conservatism has been vindicated. Not on foreign policy. Not on domestic security. Not on economics. Not on public works. Privatization vs Public works. Not on Deregulation vs. Vigorous Oversight. Not on institutional management.

      We live in a nation where tens of millions of people go hungry, live on a razor's edge of poverty, and spend their lives crippled with debt and limited upward mobility so that very rich people can sit on more money that does not trickle down or job create or make America great.

      Great nations don't fade away, they implode and collapse.

      I consider offering up a robust ideological counter-argument to Movement Conservatism to be a national security issue. Al Qaida cannot destroy the United States of America. It can't. Movement Conservatism can. Over time. Like a corrosive acid can dissolve a metal bar that a man cannot bend, or erosion can turn rocks into dust.

      Even vast amounts of wealth cannot sustain a great nation whose foundation, it's middle class, has been eroded away by graft, greed, and surrender to the overclass.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:34:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well stated. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Unless the nation changes course, I believe you are correct that we are doomed to fail, and fail hard.

        What is so maddeningly frustrating about it is that most people in this nation simply cannot see the simple truth that todays current "rah rah hooray capitalism!" fealty by our political system to wealth and business is the problem.

        You'd think it would be a simple matter of people asking themselves "What is best for me?", but instead of doing that, the political machine and the media have people thinking things they know inwardly aren't helping them will help them eventually if they just stay the course.  It's almost a pathological need for parochial leadership telling you to eat your proverbial veggies.

        Why people cannot see the cumulative effects of 30 years of tax cuts, endless armed conflicts, union busting,  etc., and figure out that perhaps this path we've taken over this period of time is the problem is beyond my ability to comprehend, because it seems to clear to me.

        While not every truly liberal idea can or will work, the difference is that when things don't work, we acknowledge it and try to fix it in a way that will help the vast majority of Americans.  We devise such fixes by looking at overall facts and data without discarding those we don't like because it doesn't fit our ideological viewpoint.  Unlike Republicans (or todays 3rd way Dems), we don't simply bury our heads in the sand and say "If we just do this a little bit longer...."

      •  Everywhere, great nuggets (3+ / 0-)

        like this:

        Great nations don't fade away, they implode and collapse.
        I believe the public instinctively feels this is what is happening because they are seeing it with their own lives and no one is answering their calls.  The top issue as polled is JOBS and yet it is being systematically ignored by both parties.  The Democrats can and should be fighting for a living wage and a federal jobs program.  Even if these proposals cannot pass the Republican House, the Democrats have fought for them and the people see that. The idea that somehow we can cut our way to prosperity is ridiculous and the people know it.  So why do Democrats seem to always give away their strongest position up front?

        The landslide election of DiBlasio in NYC and now this election of Sawant in Seattle are warnings to the pragmatist wing of the Democratic Party.  This country is at a tipping point and it is high time that the Democrats recognize it and meet that challenge, or they will fade into obscurity.

        "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "It was a really naked declaration of imperialism." ~ Jeremy Scahill on Obama's speech to the UN

        by gulfgal98 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 04:56:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I mean, I keep rolling this around (7+ / 0-)
    Her platform includes a $15 minimum wage, a millionaire's tax, ending corporate welfare, unionizing service workers, stopping the coal trains, GMO labeling, and rent control.
    If we have moved so far to the Right that this is the territory that is the natural stomping ground of politics described as the habitat of dreamers, radicals, and revolutionaries to any of the non-Republican powers that be?

    You can ideally be a Movement Conservative, or you can be in the mold of Michael Bloomberg if you can't be a Movement Conservative, or you can be really really frustrated and upset but stifle yourself until your soul is bleeding out of your eyes?

    Bloomberg bought himself a mayorship. He bought himself out of having to obey the rules governing the office he held. You can't have a huge soda, but you can fuck the world up if you are rich enough? You have to live with getting harassed if your skin is darker than a spray tan on a white kid heading to the Jersey shore?

    No wonder Bill DeBlasio won by a landslide.

    New York City needed it's heart, head, and soul back.

    America does too.

    Movement Conservatism deserves an argument.

    The Democratic Party should be that alternative ideological delivery device.

    There is a yearning for a world beyond what the Koch Brothers to Lanny Davis thinks is possible. You can see it. You take advantage of it, and you are the natural governing majority party of this nation.

    To me, this is one of many little warnings that the Republican Party and the Movement Conservative Right have pushed the middle to a place where the Democratic Party needs to stop, tactically reset, and strategically re-position themselves institutionally.

    Even a majority of the most conservative of Republicans supports raising the minimum wage. Why not go after corporate welfare but for the reality that you take their donations in massive amounts too?

    Not recognizing that the 1990's are over is leading to a rash of political malpractice that this country doesn't deserve anymore than it deserves Movement Conservatism to be the jumping off point for what is possible in American politics.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 10:53:21 PM PST

    •  I would have thought that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeadHead, gulfgal98, Dallasdoc, LSmith

      1993-2013 would have made a much bigger impression on my party by now.

      Sometimes I truly wonder.

      How bad, how truly fucking odious and awful and reactionary, would it have to get to be a wake-up call that makes the Democratic Party question and re-evaluate everything from top to bottom?

      Can you imagine what the 2014 election cycle would be like if we had had that so-called "Grand Bargain" come to pass after the 2012 vote?

      Your reward for taking the deficit hysteria seriously, for embracing austerity, and shredding your brand with a dose of Chained CPI is... you get a freakshow Tea Party Senate Majority that will go along with the freakshow Tea Party House Majority that already wanted to impeach you over whatever made up shit they can sell as impeachable to Chuck Todd.

      In many ways, we are lucky that the Tea Party freakshow is so fixated on the idea that anything but 100% victory might as well be a loss and so nothing goes. Imagine where we would be if the GOP took 'yes' for an answer?

      You could be adding decades to the number of years that the GOP remains viable despite demographic shifts from coast to coast.  

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:04:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've had people respond with puzzlement (5+ / 0-)

        to comments of mine wherein I said, in so many words, that the Tea Party saved us from "our" own Grand Bargain.

        Subsequent comments attempting to explain it to them didn't pan out.

        Just mumbles of "Well, he ready doesn't want C-CPI. He's just dealing with such an unprecedented degree of Republican intransigence that he had to offer it."

        Or, when expressing concern that it ain't over yet...

        "Has it passed? Is it law? Huh? Huh?"

        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

        by DeadHead on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:29:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Seattle City Council is full of little (3+ / 0-)

      Bloombergs. What's happening in NYC and described here is happening in Seattle.

      •  And Paul Allen is Trump (0+ / 0-)

        read the story in the seattlepi about the personal behaviors of the disgusting and despicable Allen siblings.  That is who is building SLU and if you just review the Seattle Times articles of the last 20 years, it's clear that they bought the land (cheap) and then proceeded to buy the government and use our tax dollars and the value of our land to subsidize them.

        Last and worst thing was giving them the land where the oldest public housing community is located to do with as they please, so long as they put all those poor people in one of the towers.

  •  As big a story as Sawant's victory (3+ / 0-)

    Is the machinists' no vote on Boeing's ridiculous, retrograde contract offer. It took a lot of guts. Every one of them knows the risk... We will have to learn to say "NO, FUCK NO!" before things are ever likely to get better. It won't be easy.

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

    by chuckvw on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:46:35 PM PST

    •  HeardBoeing is going 2 relocate Puget Sound plants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan, chuckvw

      to Utah. WTF? If they want to really screw the little people why don't they relocate to Texas???
      TEXAS - the most wonderful place you'd never want to set foot in. Or at least that's what I hear.

      Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

      by fourthcornerman on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 11:59:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And consider just how much capital... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, LSmith, chuckvw, LeftHandedMan

        ...will have to be expended to move operations to Utah. It's not like you simply "crate up" an existing factory, put it on trains and trucks then reassemble. And even that would be a princely sum.

        I'm just wildly guessing here but I would lay a lot of my own meager cash that Boeing will spend multiple times the initial position of the Unions projected over a couple of decades in this refusal to reasonably compensate skilled employees.

        Clearly this is not about any sum of money: it's about control verging on the divine right of Capitalists.

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:04:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm sure Boeing will have Utah pay for most (0+ / 0-)

          of the site construction and relocation costs, in the form of free loans and subsidies. They teach business majors in them fancy colleges how to get done that real good.

          Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

          by fourthcornerman on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 05:23:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The party that may implode and be reborn could be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Democratic one, not the Repubs. From what I can tell the Dems are far more tolerant and supportive of varying and evolving strains of internal political activism than the Repubs are. The Reps seek out and destroy all variants among themselves. This keeps the Reps "pure" but obviously is a path to self-extinction. I highly doubt this Repub party will ever be "reborn". Thus the dynamics of each party would seem to support the idea that individual Dems, or people who consider themselves a type of Dem but not a nationally-defined one, are  allowed to work and build and strive to make a new party out of the stagnating parts and historical memories of the old one by actions that define new directions and goals for it. This evolution could produce a great populist party that does much good for the US and its citizens.
    Evolution has happened before. The Dems of the early 60's were shouldered aside by RFK followers, the outspoken left, McGovernites, anti-Viet Nam activists, etc --- and in a decade's time it became a very leftist (relatively) party that drifted away from the mainstream.  You'd be hard-pressed to call today's Democratic Party a copy of the one of 1978.  

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:18:34 AM PST

  •  The Democratic Party Platform is wonderful.... (4+ / 0-)

    The problem is that far too many Democrats don't stand for or represent it.

    I think it's wonderful that a Socialist won and knocked out a Dem. We need people running all levels of govt who represent US, and the middle class, and the 99%.  If the Dems aren't interested in being Liberals anymore, then thank god someone else is.

    Corporations before people.... it's the American way!

    by Lucy2009 on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 01:18:20 AM PST

  •  When the people govern, petty potentates turn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    into public servants, but political parties or factions are anachronistic. The future of the Democratic and Republican parties is uncertain. It is more uncertain than that of the bankers who can go back to the boring task of keeping accounts.
    To the extent that politicos are into being power brokers, their function is passé. Because, when we the people rule, there is no power to break. The genius of real democracy is that power is dispersed, only to be assembled for emergency. Which suggests that our standing military is also an anachronism. But then, we've known that since Eisenhower made the point.

    Rumsfeld said "the wars of the future will be fought in cyberspace."  I don't think he meant people would be content to be pretend warriors on the internet, but that may well be the case.
    Virtual, bloodless warfare. If anything deserves to be rendered virtual, it's war.

  •  left wing populism is a winner (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, LeftHandedMan

    lanny davisism isn't

    Sarah Palin is a disgusting racist pig.

    by memofromturner on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:00:45 AM PST

  •  If you feel it should be the Dem brand then go (0+ / 0-)

    ahead and work on making it so. Writing on a blog trying to get others to do the heavy lifting will not work.

    He who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.

    by Sophie Amrain on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:23:21 AM PST

    •  How obnoxiously arrongant of you (0+ / 0-)

      to assume that you know me, and what I do on my own time, or that all I, or anybody else here does, is "write on a blog".

      You don't know me. Or what I do, or do not do.

      I have been involved in GOTV and pushing my party of choice in a better direction for a long time now.

      the idea that all I do is "write on a blog" is the sort of vapid Tom Friedmanesque bullshit I expect from some fuckwit at the WaPo or NYT or on CNN who thinks everybody to the Left of Harold Ford lives in his parents basement and does nothing but troll comment threads and message boards.

      I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

      by LeftHandedMan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 03:47:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very proud ... (3+ / 0-)

    to have had the privilege of voting for her. And I didn't even realize she was a socialist ... that's icing on the cake.

    I took one look at her platform and went DUH! Another added bonus is the zest I look forward to her bringing to our pretty staid Seattle political scene. Wooo Hoooo!!!

    Down with False Equivalence! Truth over Balance!! Real Reporting, Please!!!

    by LarisaW on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:30:13 AM PST

  •  you left out the People's Republic of Cambridge (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, Dallasdoc, LeftHandedMan

    in your list of liberal bastions :-D

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:03:46 AM PST

  •  I don't see anything Socialist in her platform. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Unless we're letting Repugs claim the definition now. Was she 'Socialist' because she couldn't be 'Democratic' in this election?

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:19:55 AM PST

  •  I'm happy that she won (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kt in seattle

    The thing is, we shouldn't rely on outliers like "a socialist in Seattle" as a demonstration of anything.  

    Outliers don't prove anything.  Bernie Sanders, for instance, is in a position that is unique to him, based on his home state's population and demeanor.  


    by otto on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 06:29:41 AM PST

  •  Where were these values Democratic party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    values...during the New Deal? FDR was forced to take many of his positions because the strength of those radical labor groups that had socialist values. He adopted some of them. Then the party dusted them under the rug and worked to undermine them for nearly 70 years now. Austerity is the new brand. It's much worse than you make it out to be...LeftHandedMan.

  •  I'm not going to read this diary, because it (0+ / 0-)

    purports to be reporting an "event" that could only have "happened" in the mind of someone under the influence of powerful hallucinogens. As we all well know -- having had it carefully explained to us, right here on dKos by Very Pragmatic Democrats, often in short words with long interstitial pauses -- The American People are really very conservative, and they loves them their capitalism and their markets and their happy meals and HFCS and their 18mpg SUVs, and anybody who comes with a contrary message is going to get slaughtered in the polls by one of those Very Horrible Republicans.

    In fact it is the hallmark of Very Democratic Pragmatism, that it often puts "political" pragmatism in a place of priority over actual pragmatism. Thus, pointing out that our current system of social and economic institutions is not actually viable anymore -- is not pragmatic -- will earn one a dismissive virtual handwave: Well, The American People are Never Going to Accept That, so blah blah blah. Oh, and the fundamentals are solid, also.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 08:02:46 AM PST

  •  Rent Control Shouldn't be a Dem Brand! (0+ / 0-)

    Rent control does nothing to reduce the demand for housing that causes rents to rise in the first place. Rent control just makes it easier for wealthy incumbents to generate more wealth, the same incumbents that cause the housing shortage in the first place by setting height limits, minimum parking requirements, and restricting multifamily housing development.

    This blog post goes into more depth:

    Rent control is a child's logic response to rising rents: "Instead of charging more, they should just charge the same". The Democratic Party can't let itself be the Stupid Party for the Left.

  •  Want the old-school democratic party back? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Vote Socialist!  The name of the party in charge shouldn't mean a damn thing if people are voting their values.  Dems criticize Repubs all the time for pulling the lever out of misguided loyalty.  Well, it's high time the Dems stopped pulling the lever out of misguided loyalty and started caring more about the direction this country is headed in.

    Former Democrat Who's Had Way Too Fucking Much Of Neoliberal Bullshit

    "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

    by socindemsclothing on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 12:23:06 PM PST

  •  It seems some folks in the NorthWest are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Waking Up.

    The 1% are Purists: They only support Candidates that Deliver Results They Can Bank On. Don't they know they should compromise? /sarcasm

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 03:00:57 PM PST

  •  I attended a meeting/discussion last night at the (0+ / 0-)

    CUNY Grad Center across the street from the Empire State Bldg in celebration of Sawant's victory.

    There was a packed room, with a lot of engaged, elated and smart people, hosted by two young gentlemen who had a hand in organizing her campaign, both of whom had attended Occupy Astoria meetings in the past. One was a fiery orator who spoke of the great lineage of Socialism in American political movements and how much it is of the moment now when the tide is changing back toward this far more dignified and humanistic approach to economics, while the other was a pleasant, clear-eyed strategist and relayed the fascinating and exciting campaign process for the three candidates they ran this year (in the Minneapolis city council and Boston mayoral. neither of whom won but the former. Ty Moore, part of the Occupy Homes coalition to stop foreclosures in MN, came within 229 votes of winning!) and the incredible interest and support there is out in the country for candidates who speak plainly about the issues and pull no punches about the wreckage of economic inequality and offer solutions..

    They said once voters hear the clear populist platforms addressing foremost economic inequality and especially when they hear that the candidates a) refuse all corporate money, and only rely in many small donations and emphasize volunteer canvassing and b) all pledge to not take the salary given by the State but instead what the average income is for their locale - they're more inclined, as a workingman or middle class people disenfranchised, to believe in the integrity of the campaign. There was also a lot of praise for the Occupy movement for utterly changing the conversation and basically setting the table - the rhetoric, actions (Strike Debt, Occupy Homes, Occupy Sandy, etc.) and framing the debate of economic inequality and the 99 vs. 1% really opened people's eyes. The anger that Occupy identified and tapped into hasn't abated, and may have found it's outlet. As we were reminded, a recent survey of young people under 30 yrs old view Socialism more favorably than Capitalism. Given the stagnant climate of the past 6 years it's no surprise whatsoever.

    I was impressed.

    We met Sawant with the some of or friends in Occupy Astoria at a Socialist Alternative event and dinner hosted in her honor after she came to speak at the Greater Astoria Historical Society earlier this year. I found her charismatic, intelligent and passionate. I've always been curious about this much-maligned  and misunderstood system (through major propaganda campaigns over decades designed to denigrate it have all but scared off my whole generation). Upon further inspection American politics are  all the better because of the struggles of populists like Eugene Debbs and Upton Sinclair, fascinating, compassionate and deeply committed men who fought valiant battles to dignify the rights of workers when they too were being crushed by the oligarchy and plutocrats.

    Lastly, one of my favorite essays is the very moving Jack London one here, about his belief in Socialism as the most humane economic system devised. It will give you goosebumps and hopefully engage discussion.

  •  Pretty Well Nailed It (0+ / 0-)

    This SHOULD have Democrats considering seriously how much we hold our candidates to the platform.

    A few tidbits.  Democrats, many of them, voted 'no endorsement' for her opponent because we knew it was a courtesy endorsement of an incumbent.  The incumbent was pretty good on some green issues when first elected in the late 90s, but his anti-poor brand of liberalism has been pretty out there in votes and public statements supporting his votes to: Give barely any requirement that developers provide low income housing while raking it in; criminalize 'aggressive' panhandling; not expand and regulate homeless encampments because 'they should go to the suburbs'.

    So, one thing we need to consider is not 'giving away' courtesy endorsements to incumbents 'just because', in a city with non-partisan races, but where we know a person had to be an active Democrat to get anywhere in government.  The parsing of where people are really coming from gets into counting up all contributions to any Republican, but those are often ignored.

    I respect Sawant for standing for who she is and not playing the 'game'.  Mostly, she is articulating the politics, no matter the label.

    With that, Democrats, including officers of certain LD organizations, came out publicly as Democrats for Sawant.  Some sought to 'punish' these 'traitors'.  Most, including most of the leadership, said people have a right to endorse who they want, especially in a non-partisan race.  That maybe the party needs to look at itself.

  •  Plueeze (0+ / 0-)

    This is the most asinine article that I have read on the Sawant victory.

    The Democratic Party is the party of war, the pro-Wall Street, pro-banker, anti-worker party. It is just the left wing of the GOP. Every Democrat should be swiftly defeated by a socialist candidate, the more often that this happens, the closer we will get to attaining justice for the 99%.

    I am not surprised that Daily Kos, this site started by the neo-liberal piece of trash Markos Moulitas is lamenting a corporate Democrat like Conlin losing office, but to try to sound off a warning bell to the DEms and make them be something other than what they are? Pro-corporate, anti-worker, neo-liberal shills?


  •  Yes we must start going to the left of the (0+ / 0-)

    Democratic establishment.  That really is the only way to push for change now with Dems are so accepting of GOP dumb ideas.

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