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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks about Syria during an event at the White House in Washington, September 9, 2013. REUTERS
Will Hillary Clinton represent the death or the opportunity for the rebirth of the left?
In a provocative article in this month's Harper's Magazine ($) (non paywall version here), Adolph Reed argues:
[D]uring the 1980s and early 1990s, fears of a relentless Republican juggernaut pressured those left of center to take a defensive stance, focusing on the immediate goal of electing Democrats to stem or slow the rightward tide. At the same time, business interests, in concert with the Republican right and supported by an emerging wing of neoliberal Democrats, set out to roll back as many as possible of the social protections and regulations the left had won. [...]

In the absence of goals that require long-term organizing — e.g., single-payer health care, universally free public higher education and public transportation, federal guarantees of housing and income security — the election cycle has come to exhaust the time horizon of political action. Objectives that cannot be met within one or two election cycles seem fanciful, as do any that do not comport with the Democratic agenda. Even those who consider themselves to the Democrats’ left are infected with electoralitis. Each election now becomes a moment of life-or-death urgency that precludes dissent or even reflection. [Emphasis supplied.]

In the Bill Moyers post on his interview with Reed, the commentary seemed to see Reed's analysis as vindicating their views that the modern Democratic Party, especially Hillary Clinton, has nothing for progressives. I strongly disagree. Indeed, it reflects a misperception I saw in the comments to my own post, Hillary Clinton and a left flank: How a Clinton presidency could redefine progressive governance—a focus on the pol as savior or devil. What I actually argued for is thinking about the issues and how to best forward the progressive (or if your prefer, liberal) position. Rather than embracing "electoralitis" (to use Reed's term), I was rejecting the idea the each presidential election will be the determinant of the fate of the progressive position.

In short, I think that while Reed's pessimism and diagnosis of what ails the left, the electoralitis, is accurate, I'm not sure that I agree with his prescription. I'll discuss this on the other side.

Reed argues that "When Democrats have been in office, the imagined omnipresent threat from the Republican bugbear remains a fatal constraint on action and a pretext for suppressing criticism from the left." I think this has been true and quite a mistake. But in that sense, Hillary Clinton would be the perfect president for a rejuvenated left. In my post last week, I argued:

[T]here is another benefit for progressives to a Hillary Clinton presidency, a less fettered ability to establish the left flank of politics outside a Democratic White House. [...]  I want to add one last, and I think, crucial point—which is in fact the title of my post, "Hillary Clinton and a left flank: How a Clinton presidency could redefine progressive governance"—a Hillary Clinton White House will not, by definition, define the left flank of the Democratic Party. The fact is President Barack Obama, THROUGHOUT HIS TIME ON THE NATIONAL STAGE, was and is perceived as more progressive or liberal than his policies have ever been. But that did not stop the establishment media from presenting President Obama as the left flank of American politics. [...]

A President Hillary Clinton will not be, nor be perceived, as the left flank of the Democratic Party. This permits, in my view, real arguments, initiatives and negotiation from strong progressive elements in Congress. There will be more room for independence, initiatives and influence. This was not possible in my view under the Obama presidency. In 2009, Chris Bowers wrote:

President [Bill] Clinton told the assembled bloggers that one of the best things they could do for elected Democrats is to function as a "counterveiling" source of progressive pressure. That is, he encouraged us to offer left-wing criticism of Democrats on key policy areas, and that we should urge our leaders and elected officials to favor further reaching, more community-focused public policy. In fact, he indicated that he would have wanted more such progressive media pushing him during his time in office.
I think this is a much more likely approach under a President Hillary Clinton than it was to President Obama. In the longer term, increased independence and, hopefully, influence, from progressive segments in and out of Congress would be a good thing that could be produced by a Hillary Clinton presidency.
Who on the left will be biting their tongue regarding their criticisms (from the left) of Hillary Clinton? What progressives will not be utterly suspicious of every initiative and policy a President Hillary Clinton will propose? What progressive will not be questioning Hillary Clinton about everything? What progressive will not be tough on Hillary Clinton about everything? "Suppressed criticism from the left" will not happen during a Hillary Clinton presidency. And this, I argue, would be a very good thing for progressivism.

It is rather ironic that Adolph Reed argues that there was some rose-colored nostalgia about the Bill Clinton presidency among the left. Anyone who lived through the 2008 primary season has to simply laugh at that. Indeed, Reed contradicts himself a few paragraphs later when he argues:

Obama and his campaign did not dupe or simply co-opt unsuspecting radicals. On the contrary, Obama has been clear all along that he is not a leftist. Throughout his career he has studiously distanced himself from radical politics. In his books and speeches he has frequently drawn on stereotypical images of leftist dogmatism or folly. [...] This inclination to toss off casual references to the left’s “excesses” or socialism’s “failure” has been a defining element of Brand Obama and suggests that he is a new kind of pragmatic progressive who is likely to bridge — or rise above — left and right and appeal across ideological divisions. Assertions that Obama possesses this singular ability contributed to the view that he was electable and, once elected, capable of forging a new, visionary, postpartisan consensus.
But what Reed overlooks is that a large part of Obama's appeal to the left was in fact the anti-Clinton nature of the argument. Obama was the anti-Clinton, at least in the minds of the left—a rejection of "neo-Liberalism." Of course, anyone who viewed the matter rationally (imo of course) could see that Obama was a perfect fit for 90s-era Clintonism. (An aside, I've often argued that Clintonism, Third Way, DLCism, etc., was a function of political calculus—Bill Clinton believed that to win politically he needed to portray and adopt center-right, Eisenhower Republican policies. Whether that was true or not then, it absolutely is not true today.) Reed sharply criticizes the progressives who gave in to these illusions:
[C]ritics, skeptics, and voices of caution were largely drowned out in the din of the faithful’s righteous fervor. Some in the flock who purported to represent the campaign’s left flank, such as the former SDS stalwart Carl Davidson and the professional white antiracist Tim Wise, denounced Obama’s critics as out-of-touch, pie-in-the-sky radicals who were missing the train of history because they preferred instead to wallow in marginalization. [...] Some who called for climbing on the bandwagon insisted that Obama was a secret progressive who would reveal his true politics once elected. Others relied on the familiar claim that actively supporting the campaign — as distinct from choosing to vote for him as yet another lesser evil — would put progressives in a position to exert leftward pressure on his administration.
Now, in all honesty, does anyone imagine the same occurring with Hillary Clinton? No way, no how, imo. Reed writes:
[T]he left operates with no learning curve and is therefore always vulnerable to the new enthusiasm. It long ago lost the ability to move forward under its own steam. Far from being avant-garde, the self-styled left in the United States seems content to draw its inspiration, hopefulness, and confidence from outside its own ranks, and lives only on the outer fringes of American politics, as congeries of individuals in the interstices of more mainstream institutions.
Perhaps, but I believe a new way beckons for engagement in electoral politics, and I think Hillary Clinton can be instrumental in this. For more so than any other modern national Democratic politician, she is distrusted by the left. Which, in my view, is absolutely the correct attitude. But I think it is an attitude that should apply to all politicians. My old refrain:
As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in. I am a partisan Democrat, it is true. But the reason I am is because I know who we can pressure to do the right thing some of the time. Republicans aren't them. But that does not mean we accept the failings of our Democrats. There is nothing more important that we can do, as citizens, activists or bloggers than fight to pressure DEMOCRATS to do the right thing on OUR issues.
And this is true in every context, I think. Be it pressing the Speaker or the Senate majority leader, or the new hope running for president. There is nothing more important we can do. Nothing. It's more important BY FAR than "fighting" for your favorite pol because your favorite pol will ALWAYS, I mean ALWAYS, disappoint you.

In the middle of primary fights, citizens, activists and bloggers like to think their guy or woman is different. They are going to change the way politics works. They are going to not disappoint. In short, they are not going to be pols. That is, in a word, idiotic.

Yes, they are all pols. And they do what they do. Do not fight for pols. Fight for the issues you care about. That often means fighting for a pol, of course. But remember, you are fighting for the issues. Not the pols.

Reed ends his article with an exhortation of sorts:
The crucial tasks for a committed left in the United States now are to admit that no politically effective force exists and to begin trying to create one. This is a long-term effort, and one that requires grounding in a vibrant labor movement. Labor may be weak or in decline, but that means aiding in its rebuilding is the most serious task for the American left. Pretending some other option exists is worse than useless. There are no magical interventions, shortcuts, or technical fixes. We need to reject the fantasy that some spark will ignite the People to move as a mass. We must create a constituency for a left program — and that cannot occur via MSNBC or blog posts or the New York Times. It requires painstaking organization and building relationships with people outside the Beltway and comfortable leftist groves. Finally, admitting our absolute impotence can be politically liberating; acknowledging that as a left we have no influence on who gets nominated or elected, or what they do in office, should reduce the frenzied self-delusion that rivets attention to the quadrennial, biennial, and now seemingly permanent horse races. It is long past time for us to begin again to approach leftist critique and strategy by determining what our social and governmental priorities should be and focusing our attention on building the kind of popular movement capable of realizing that vision. Obama and his top aides punctuated that fact by making brutally apparent during the 2008 campaign that no criticism from the left would have a place in this regime of Hope and Change. The message could not be clearer. [Emphasis supplied.]
There is much to agree with there but I cannot agree that the abandonment of electoral politics, as Reed seems to advise, is wise. Reed, it seems to me, like too many persons, sees elections as only the presidential election. The hard work to do necessarily includes electoral work, especially at the state and congressional level. And there is no better period than the coming election cycles.

Hillary Clinton, if she chooses to run, will be very difficult to beat for the Democratic presidential nomination. Indeed, if Elizabeth Warren does not run, as she will not, there is not even a credible left alternative. But I think despair is the wrong reaction to this realization. The left should see the opportunity.

More so than any national Democratic politician I can remember, Hillary Clinton will be met with that attitude of suspicion from the left. Finally, we will be able to openly see and say that pols are pols and do what they do. Certainly, if the left can defeat her with a genuinely progressive alternative (Elizabeth Warren) then that is the best of all worlds. But what if the left cannot? What if the left instead concentrates on winning hearts and minds—in the Congress and in the country? Will Hillary Clinton stand in the way? In my view, no. YMMV.

A Hillary Clinton presidency will present a unique opportunity to a resurgent and committed left, willing to take on a president and to fight to win battles in Congress and in the country.

Let's not let electoralitis stand in the way.

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Comment Preferences

    •  President Hillary Clinton (22+ / 0-)

      If folks don't realize by now that the House and Senate play a huge part on what gets proposed, made into a bill and passed for the president to sign, I really do wonder where they have been the last 10 years.  Give President Hillary Clinton bills she can sign and the progressives will be smiling for months.  No matter what the repubs say and do, compromise is really the name of the game.  Now we must need to get rid of the obstructionists.

      •  That's why Priorities USA is taking a pass on '14 (34+ / 0-)

        elections:

        The Democratic Party’s biggest super PAC, recently retooled as an early pro-Hillary Clinton effort, will sit out the midterm elections this year.

        A spokesman with the group, Priorities USA Action, confirmed to BuzzFeed on Wednesday night that it would not be involved in House or Senate campaigns.

        “House Majority PAC and Majority PAC are doing everything right and making a real difference. We fully support their efforts,” said the spokesman, Peter Kauffmann, referring to the main groups supporting Democratic congressional candidates.

        Granted, these comments were walked back a little given the controversy that ensued.  An organization that will, presumably, raise tens of millions of $ donating $500k is, however, a token face-saving gesture.  Like it or not (I hate it), the last 2 Dem presidents saw the party's overall strength visibly suffer during their presidencies, and I see no reason for it to be any different under HRC.

        Triangulation was the defining creed last time the Clintons occupied the WH.  Does anyone seriously expect anything different  this time?

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:08:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Obama's game as well (5+ / 0-)

          So we wouldn't be taking a step backwards. And at least Hillary voted to the left of Obama on most issues. (The Iraq war doesn't count, because Obama certainly looks in no hurry to end the bloodbath in Afghanistan.)

          I wouldn't feel like I'm settling for Hillary, not really. Elizabeth Warren (at this time) would have a hard time in the general--though maybe not, if the Republicans nominated Random Bat Shit--still, I could vote for Hillary with a clear conscience, knowing I wouldn't be getting Bernie Sanders but also knowing that Vermont used to be a Republican state (up to 1988, in fact).

          Sure, in 1988 I wanted Jesse Jackson--but Michael Dukakis would have made a great president. He (like John Kerry) majorly fumbled his campaign.

          And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

          by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:32:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Iraq War totally counts (15+ / 0-)

            When I see all the people around hear crying over the Ukraine, I gotta say where were you when the US launched a totally unprovoked attack on a nation thousands of miles from our borders leading to the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians?

            I wasn't with Hillary then and it's going to take a heck of lot to get me to support her in 2016.

          •  Whether HRC presidency would open space for left (12+ / 0-)

            is the question under discussion here.  I see no reason to expect that a long-time apostle of triangulation whose PAC is essentially sitting on the sidelines this year will open any such space.

            Whether or not HRC would make a better president than the incumbent is another question for another day.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:47:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  She did show she was willing (4+ / 0-)

              to triangulate her way in, and it failed--and she started winning those late primaries (e.g., South Dakota) when she (too late) adopted Obama's campaign strategy.

              As for, would she triangulate as prez? Most likely, though I believe, less than either her husband or Barack Obama. BHO, by the way, would have fared much better pre-2010 given an aggressive Harry Reid, rather than the "weak nuclear force" we had. ("OMG we only have 59 votes!" is not a winning strategy for anything.)

              And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

              by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:01:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Does she want to be perceived as a success (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RFK Lives, Pale Jenova, hooper, drdarkeny

                as defined within the parameters of the pundit class and serious people so that when the usual suspects write the Presidential bios she's checked off every box on the list?  (She'll need a nice little war to win on her list).  Or does she want to achieve something for the American people?  I'm not thinking the latter.

                •  No, she's long been sold to Wall St and the many (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  drdarkeny, skyounkin

                  other powers-that-be.  We'll be having no great left reform under Hillary.  Progress, maybe...climate, immigration, unemployment.  We can push for what doesn't challenge her base, which is the wealthy elite.

                  But trying to spin Hillary Clinton as somehow a boon for Progressives - because she's opposed to us - is too much of a stretch for me.

            •  This argument seems to me to be totally backwards (6+ / 0-)

              and also irrelevant. Electing somebody opposed to Progressive policies does not advance Progressive causes. We had more than enough of this kind of triangulation under Bill Clinton, who wrecked welfare, signed the repeal of Glass-Steagal, and did nothing to stop the Tech Bubble before it turned into the Tech Crash. He still brags about the Bubble as a time of increasing employment and balanced budgets, regardless of the price we paid.

              But that doesn't matter. What does matter is getting a groundswell of popular support allied with special interest support for Progressive causes, as with Marriage Equality right now, where we pushed President Obama to come out of the closet in support, thus giving many others permission to do the same. Business is coming aboard, too.

              The Drug War looks like the easiest next target. There is the injury to non-violent marijuana smokers and other users, dealers, and growers themselves, which is also an issue to some Libertarians; the unfairness of targeting Blacks and Latinos for draconian enforcement and mandatory sentences, a point that plays well with Progressives; and the costs, in contrast with the prospect of tax revenue, a point that is playing increasingly well with Republicans.

              Creating sufficient popular support on any issue requires organizing and energizing all of the groups injured by Republican policies, and showing everybody else how those injuries affect everybody.

              The simplest case of injury to all is on the environment, but it is also one of the hardest. On Global Warming specifically, we have a great ally in the markets that the Right so loudly professes to worship, because renewable electricity sources are cheaper than coal, and catching up to natural gas. We are not there on electric cars, biodiesel for long-haul trucking, or jet fuel, but we are moving in the right direction. When doing the right thing is profitable, no politician can stand in the way for long. Energy companies could be getting ready to make trillions of dollars in renewables. A few already are serious about it.

              Millions of people are getting health care under the ACA. Insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, big pharma, and medical device manufacturers want those millions of new customers. Hospitals want to get out from under the Reagan law requiring them to provide emergency room care even to those who cannot pay. Many millions of Republicans know that Republicans want to deny them health care by repealing the law, and by allowing Emergency Rooms and whole hospitals to continue to close.

              Walmart has started to realize that a minimum wage hike would help their customers.

              On guns, I have nothing at the moment, but the number of gun owners is decreasing, and most of them favor gun regulation. It is the ones who are buying ever more guns each who are the real problem. The NRA, which was negotiating with Sen. Manchin on a bill with universal background checks, is actually not at the heart of the problem. They got Tea Partied from the right by Gun Owners of America and the even nastier National Association for Gun Rights, and pulled out of the deal.

              We're winning on every issue, but slowly, and against major artificial obstacles, notably the filibuster, the blue slip veto on judicial nominations, the gerrymanders, and the Conservatives on the Supreme Court. Not enough of us take the long view, while racism, bigotry, misogyny, and hatred of science all go back to before the Civil War. Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:34:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  George W. Bush backed Hillary for president (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                No, that's not a joke.

                 President George W. Bush said today that Democrat Hillary Clinton has a better grasp of the "pressure" of the presidency than any other 2008 White House candidate because of her experience as first lady.
                 And to be fair, Hillary backed George W. Bush for president too:

                "I wish President-elect Bush well," Mr. Clinton said. "Like him, I came to Washington as a governor, eager to work with both Republicans and Democrats. And when we reached across party lines to forge a vital center, America was stronger at home and abroad."
                  - President Bill Clinton, December 15, 2000

                None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:58:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sounds like guilt by association (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sylv

                  After all, I can say John Huntsman would have made the best Republican nominee to face Obama, but that doesn't mean I would vote for Huntsman over Obama.

                  As for Hillary supporting W, it doesn't mean she voted for him over Gore. Just that the Clintons wished him well. McCain wished Obama well in his concession speech (before beginning the extended backstab along with the other Repugs).

                  And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

                  by Pale Jenova on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:36:24 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The quote you offer was from Bill Clinton (0+ / 0-)

                  not Hillary Clinton.  It is disingenuous to attribute a quote from Bill Clinton as Hillary Clinton's.  Besides, after an election that is standard fare "We wish him well as President."  You must not have been around when Bill Clinton campaigned for John Kerry all across the land against W, was by far our most visible arbiter, to the point of exhaustion.  

        •  Clintons looked for alliances with liberals (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cpresley, bronte17, ozsea1, Sylv

          They ignored or didn't understand the progressives.
          Liberals have a liberal philosophy, that is, they believe in supporting issues that aline with thier philosphy.
          Even Republicans can be liberal on gay rights but conservative on issues like
          fair wages and equality in general.

          Progessives on the other hand are more movement driven.
          Progress implies moving forward towards greater equality  and democracy in our society.

          I believe Bill Clinton unders this now. I know he regrets that Glass Steigal was undone under his watch. It did tramendous damage to the economy by removing a leg of
          financial accountability.

          Can we educate Hillary on this? I believe Bill already has.

          I would like to hear her speak about Occupy. If she really understands what they stood for, it will come out.

          •  This is painful to read! (0+ / 0-)

            Please, Citizenpower, use Spellcheck or proofread or go back to school or something, would you?  You make some good points, but you spell like a tea partier, and it distracts away from your points.

            align
            their
            philosophy
            understands
            Glass-Steagall
            tremendous

            Thank you.

            •  Please don't read my postings if you can't stand (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              my spelling. I tell my family that I spell phonetically but my son says that I spell fanatically. Family humor. Yes, I use spell check when I think it matters.

            •  Cut a person some slack... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skyounkin, blueoasis

              At least they're making an effort to contribute. If you can comprehend their point, let's not get too nit-picky regarding our community members' spelling skills. Spellcheckers can be extremely annoying to deal with depending upon the settings of their predictive text features.

        •  You are so correct (0+ / 0-)

          For Priorities USA to sit out the mid term election is like letting the wolves protect the chicken coop. Haven't they seen what happens when the Republicans control the House? Now think what would happen if they controlled both the Senate and the House. The Democrats do not have to lose the Senate and they can pick up the House if they focus on House races in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and yes Texas. FOX and the Republicans have fooled the Democrats and the media into thinking they cannot take the House and they cannot hold on to the Senate. Nothing can be further from the truth if a good Democrat runs and they are funded. The Democrats and the media let FOX set their agenda and for what reason? Remember when FOX set the agenda and Rove, on FOX, said that Romney had won Ohio and Florida. He was wrong so why pay any attention to FOX and Rove now?

      •  Completely agree. (13+ / 0-)

        The choice will be between Hillary and a Right Wing candidate.  Then Dkos will be presented a choice: a Democratic presidential candidate, while not perfect, shares many of their views on civil rights and health care.  Or a Conservative who will roll back many of the gains achieve during the last 5 years.

        In my opinion, and I know I'm in the minority, Warren will not be acceptable to middle America.  And she is not as perfect as some believe AS A CANDIDATE.   But she would make a fantastic Supreme Court judge.  And only a democratic president can make that happen.

        •  She is pro-corporate. How would that make (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryabein, shaharazade

          a fantastice Supreme Court judge?

          Sheesh.

          Citizens United III maybe?  Swell.

          202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

          by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:17:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Warren is so useful in the Senate (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chmood, milkbone

          It would almost weaken the Senate to take her away.
          Besides, the Supreme Court has become as partisan any other wing of government. She wouldn't be able to speak out the way she does now.

          •  Without filibuster reform, (0+ / 0-)

            I think that is inaccurate, since nothing can get through the Senate as long as it exists in its current form. How useful is anyone in the Senate?

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:39:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That pretty much sums up Obama 2012 (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mostserene1

          Hillary reminds me a whole lot of Obama--he certainly isn't perfect, often left me feeling disappointed and even at times downright mad. BUT...I would rather see that man crowned Emperor of the USA for the rest of my life than to see a Mitt Romney presidency. It's probably safe to say I'd feel the same about the alternative to Hillary.

        •  pipe dream (0+ / 0-)

          "[Warren] would make a fantastic Supreme Court judge.  And only a democratic president can make that happen."

          Sure, sure. The Democrats will get to that after they enact meaningful electoral reform that breaks the political duopoly that they are a part of, and after they pass laws to restrain the people who paid for them to get into office... who do you think you're kidding?

          Putting aside the question of whether Warren would be, or could be, a Supreme Court Justice, I'd say that only a non-Democratic president can make that happen.

      •  Bully pulpit... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, Patango, jbsoul, aliasalias

        It used to be that presidents appealed to the public, making arguments to support their agenda.

        Presidents were also known for playing hardball with congress behind the scenes.

        Now, they all work for the same lobbyist represented groups.

        Nothing to fight about, really.

        Now, they're tired actors trudging out on stage to put on a show everyone is tired of.


        The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. - Pangolin@kunstler.com

        by No one gets out alive on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:13:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Presidents are a product of their moment in time. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coral, Sylv, sydneyluv

        I firmly believe that the American electorate is in fact drifting left. So if Hillary or any other Democrat wins the White House in 2016, then that Democratic President will govern as far left as the electorate wants, and legislate as far left Congress will allow.

        Furthermore, with the apparent collapse of Chris Christie, the GOP dosen't have a candidate that can even come close to winning 2016 election, which means that Hillary will not need to be the moderate "third way" Democrat that Bill was back in 1992.

        "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

        by Blue Silent Majority on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:31:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's true that presidents respond to the public (0+ / 0-)

          But they can also fight progress.

          None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

          by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:00:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Congress is key (0+ / 0-)

        brabc1, Congress is key to how any Presidency is successful. If the Democrats don't rally around their candidates in 2014 and 2016 in order to give Hillary a Congress that is willing to pass legislation that furthers the cause of the working American and the middle class, than they have done Hillary, the Democratic Party, working Americans, and the voters a grave disservice. Just think how much more President Obama and Congress could have accomplished if he had had a Congress that was willing to work together for the good of the people instead of obstructing any programs that would help the REAL economy.

    •  At Netroots Nation 2008 Hillary agreed with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chmood

      The presidential candidates were at Netroots Nation in 2007.  They shared the stage and then they had break out sessions with each candidate.

      At her breakout session, Hillary Clinton said something interesting and important.  She was asked how can we be sure that you will really promote the progressive policies you say you are for?  Her response was to gesture to her audience and say the guarantee was "You". That the Netroots and the left would hold her to it, that she expected her audience ( the metaphoric progressive left ) to hold her feet to the fire and make sure she does it.

      Basically she was agreeing with Armando.

      At the time I was a Clinton supporter. I saw Barack Obama as the neo liberal he really is and now I think many people see that as true.  Back then very few people saw Barack Obama that way.  Unlike Hillary, he had the Netroots and progressives in the palm of his hand.  Even if they wanted to push him, which they didn't, he had the freedom to ignore them.  Hillary did not and she knew it.

      However i think we progressives need to start now.  We need to set up progressive markers for whoever the Dem prez nominee would be. We need to have those to present to Hillary as this is the Democratic solution. Just as raising the minimum wage by a lot more is now the only acceptable Democratic policy.  That came from a lrigressive movement, nit from the Obama administration.

      We  need to put forward REAL progressive solutions to the reversing inequality, not the neo liberal ones the President is prone to. In his december speech on inequality  there was a lovely 4 page analysis.  There was a oage of "solutions" most of them were neo liberal ones that worsened inequality, like more Race to the Top charter school reforms. The only ones that worked,  like the minimum wage, came from the movement.

      That is what we need to do.. Don't fall in love again, don't wear rose colored glasses as most did with Obama in 2008.  Looking at someone with clear eyes.

      The progressive movement  shoukd define what the it stands for....politicians whi want to be elected should be aiming for those principles

      Debra "But what I have concluded over the years is that talent is universal, but opportunity is not." SOS Clinton

      by debcoop on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:42:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The same answer FDR gave...and Obama - (0+ / 0-)

        and y'know?  maybe we've done a poor job of holding our current prez to the better angels of HIS nature if WtP were more demanding of progressive measures and pragmatic solutions and long-term big-picture strategies.

        Might caution us, as you do, to stay clear-eyed and undeflected.

        I agree that we sadly lack focus, are too reactive, and too backward-looking and conciliatory in our "search" for progressive goals and solutions;  I think this hurts us in Congress, and it hurts us with the public:  the biggest weapon in the Alex Jones voter-disaffection arsenal is idea that the parties ARE the same because no matter how bad the Republicans get, the Democrats let them get away with it.  That weapon succeeds against us every time election turnout slumps:  where's the public's motivation to push for us, just 'cause we're not THEM?

        The talk-radio and fox-news segment of the votership - and the people who listen to THEM - are pretty universal in their conviction that liberals/democrats/progressives are spineless, unprincipled liars, and as long as it remains true that no matter how bad the Republicans get, the Democrats let them get away with it, there will be no change anywhere on the right;  they believe we are unprincipled because we act as if our issues ARE our principles, and we don't fight hard enough for any of them for the average voter to even notice.  (I only mention the view from the other side because WHILE things remain locked-up as they are, this nonsense remains in our way;  being more true to our progressive roots will win us far more support than most of us imagine.)

        I nominate "Punish those who manipulate the system to the public harm, for their own private gain" as such a principle.

        Great comment, thanks!

        trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

        by chmood on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:49:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Get Buyer's Remorse Now, Avoid The Rush nt (23+ / 0-)

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:37:14 AM PST

      •  We can't afford her (59+ / 0-)

        Other bidders can pay far more for Hillary than we can, and are already doing so.

        This site is a part of the problem, Armando.  Our supposed focus on electoral politics exacerbates the "electoralitis" that Reed and you bemoan.  The real problem I see is that the Democratic party has subsumed left interest groups within it, and coopted them into its own drive to elect its adherents.  This is most problematic with Organized Labor, but it is equally problematic with progressives.

        The Left would be much better served, I think, if Labor and other groups gave the Democratic party less automatic support, but instead conditioned support to specific candidates on support for a specific platform.  We have seen the success of this approach, in miniature, with the success of Marriage Equality.  It is no accident that marriage equality efforts started achieving real momentum almost simultaneously with announcements by major LGBT funders that the GayTM would be shut down until some concrete accomplishments came to pass.  That was about the time the DOJ announced it would not defend DOMA in court; and subsequent "evolution" by the party's leaders was not far behind.

        It is very clear that the Democratic party takes unconditional support (and unconditional supporters) for granted.  Given the broad popularity of progressive issues, a more demanding, arms-length approach to the Democratic party from its traditional supporters would be good for the party and the interests of its supporters.  It would be even better for the country at large.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:06:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not quite the correlation, though. (6+ / 0-)
          It is no accident that marriage equality efforts started achieving real momentum almost simultaneously with announcements by major LGBT funders that the GayTM would be shut down until some concrete accomplishments came to pass.
          What you forget is that over the last generation or so, we – LGBTs that is – have had to first get our very existence as a group accepted even within the Democratic coalition. It's only ten years ago that nice, solid Democrats were perfectly content to tell us to sit quietly at the back of the bus and "the time isn't right yet" for any betterment at all, let alone marriage; twenty years that many Democrats or for that matter the broader Left were perfectly happy to stand by during the genocide of the AIDS epidemic. In 2000, Ralph Nader infamously talked of "gonadal politics".

          That's where we come from. To misappropriate Mittens, what we have today, we built that. It all looks inevitable in retrospect; it wasn't.

          Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

          by MBNYC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:36:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I forget nothing (29+ / 0-)

            I've been working for gay rights since the 1970's, when I worked on Harvey Milk's campaigns in San Francisco.  We didn't "get our very existence accepted."  As a group we pushed and died horrible deaths and protested and donated and came out and did the hard work of changing minds across the country.  We keep doing that today, and we had to do the same thing to finally get the support of a Democratic administration and a Democratic party content to mouth platitudes until their funding was threatened.  We're going to have to keep doing it to get sexual orientation and identity added to civil rights legislation, to combat the latest efforts to enshrine Bigots' Rights against us.

            We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

            by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:43:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, I'm sorry. (6+ / 0-)

              I apologize, I didn't know the history. Wow :-)

              It just seems to me sometimes that folks think it's always been white picket fences and cocktail receptions on the way to the altar, when the reality was and largely still is blood, sweat and tears in the shadow of half a million dead.

              Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

              by MBNYC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:55:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I attended meetings in Harvey's camera shop (37+ / 0-)

                I marched in the candlelight vigil the night he was killed.  I decided not to go participate in the riots the night Dan White's verdict came down.  I coordinated the first AIDS clinic in my medical school, as a second-year student.  I spent time on Ward 86 at San Francisco General in the 1980's as a resident, treating AIDS patients in the bad old days and witnessing the Procession of the Saints -- selfless heroes in the community who took care of folks, who got drugs from buyers' clubs and fought the politicians.  I protested Ronald Reagan when he showed his face in Boston, when he wouldn't even mention the word AIDS as those people were dying horrible deaths.  I took care of AIDS patient before and after protease inhibitors started saving lives, too late for many. And in doing so I negotiated with ActUp protesters holding die-ins in the driveway of the heath center I ran.  I've been active in local gay rights efforts in later years, and went to my state capitol to talk to my reps recently when bigoted legislators tried to write a law institutionalizing bigotry in marriage in my state where marriage laws were gender-neutral.

                The LGBT rights struggle is a story not often enough told, and its heroes and victims not often enough celebrated or mourned.  Politics isn't about who wins elections, at bottom.  It's about who lives and who dies.  Who eats and who starves.  Who sleeps warm at night and who shivers on a grate.  The Left needs to remember this, and realize politicians are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.

                We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

                by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:10:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oh wow. (7+ / 0-)

                  Thank you for sharing that. That's amazing.

                  I'm doing a lot of work these days with ACT UP/New York, not so much on the streets as online; and because I'm a big believer in money correlating closely with power, I'm almost at the point where I can hand Sean Strub a check for eighty grand for SeroProject.

                  But none of that would be possible without the work that people like you did back in the Great Death, and you have no idea how deeply I appreciate it.

                  I'm heading to SF in the spring, we should grab a drink if you're still there.

                  Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

                  by MBNYC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:44:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for your ongoing work (12+ / 0-)

                    I honor it, and am grateful that you're doing it.  Money and street politics are both needed, as they were in the 1980's.  It's an object lesson more widely for politics.  The more we work inside the party the more safely we're shut up inside the veal pen, safely corralled against causing trouble.  

                    I'm long gone from San Francisco, where I was born and grew up.  Being there for the 1960's and 70's and some of the 80's was one of the greatest privileges of my life, and to a large extent made me who I later became.  Have a virtual drink with me -- I'll lift a glass with you in spirit.

                    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

                    by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:49:21 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Hi (9+ / 0-)

                  I just had to give you a thumbs up for all your hard work. I works as a HIV screener in what we call "Special Disease" Clinic in the 1980s. Part of my responsibilities was giving and explaining results, as the parent of teenage sons  it was the most heart breaking work I have ever done because at that time it was a death sentence for young men just a few years older than my sons. It has had a life-time affect on how I look at disease.  I agree that people need to remember and learn that issues like AIDS are not about something as simple as being gay, but more about how those issue affect all of us and what happens when you try and believe that it is not your problem.  Thank you for all your hard work.

                  •  Thank you for your work as well (14+ / 0-)

                    The stigma attached to AIDS patients in the 1980's fell on those treating them as well, as often as not.  One vivid memory I have from those days was a wonderful woman from Oklahoma who came to San Francisco when her son was dying with Kaposi's sarcoma, in Ward 86.  Most families stayed away, many wrote letters to the patients telling them they were paying for their sins.  This wonderful woman was a simple Baptist indistinguishable from her bigoted neighbors, except that she would not abandon her son.  She stayed and took care of him, and took care of the other patients on the ward as a volunteer.  The term "visiting hours" did not apply to her.  

                    After her son died she left, but came back a couple of weeks later.  She'd gone home to bury her son, and felt the sting of judgment and hate and fear from her neighbors and friends.  She came back because she found that ward and that city more welcoming, more home than the place she'd spent her whole life.  She was given a job so she could afford to stay, and remained there after I moved on.  

                    Thank you for your work in the 1980's.  I was there because I had no choice, really.  Others who did have a choice but stayed anyway were part of what Richard Rodriguez called "the Procession of the Saints."  An apt term, because they were the closest thing to living saints I've ever come across in my life.

                    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

                    by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:04:23 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your welcome (0+ / 0-)

                      I have always looked back on my years in that clinic as one of eye opening personal growth. In many ways it was the most gratifying work I did during my career.  I hardly consider myself a saint for doing that job, it had to be done and I have never been uncomfortable with people who are different than me, in fact I like it - for me it adds color to the world.  So to me they were just people in crisis given what was then a death sentence.  I have always felt I should have thank them for making me a better person. What I learned was incredibly helpful throughout my life. It helped when HIV did become personal when my mother-in-lawed died from AIDs contracted from a blood transfusion,  and as much loved family members began coming out of the closet.  

                •  DallasDoc, it really *isn't* often enough told. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dallasdoc

                  I had no idea you were so involved. I want to say thank you, and hope that doesn't come off as shallow -- sometimes it's hard to express things well. I have to go looking through your diaries to see if you already have, but I'd love to see you diary more about it. There's a conversation going on right now about the position of the left flank in the Democratic party, and whether our role is to shut up and be supportive of anyone with a (D) after their name, or whether there is in fact a viable, effective alternative to either "throwing away" your vote on a third-party candidate or sitting the election out. I read your past few comments through that lens, and for me it was a valuable reminder that yes, change can be effected within the party. It costs. In time, in blood, in political risks, in lives at times. But it can be done. Thank you for that, and for all you've done.

              •  Hardly any of us think that (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DeadHead

                including those of us who are straight.  The fact that you didn't know DD's personal history should have made no difference to you evaluation of his ideas, it was only your ignorance of that which lead you to try do discredit his ideas by a personal attack.  And further, you lie when you say that the broader left was unconcerned with the awful tragedy of the AIDS epidemic.  Many of us did all we knew how to do, we worked with Face to Face here in my community long before we even knew how it was being spread.  The right wing and the Reagan Democrats (Read Hillary types with their ex-republican background and that bunch) certainly didn't give a rats ass, but we did.

                I watched too many friends waste away to nothing while they tried to crap themselves to death.  Wasn't just Gays either.

                75534 4-ever or until dk5

                by NearlyNormal on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:02:02 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hardly (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ozsea1

                  a personal attack, though. I have a metric fuck-ton of respect for DD, and I suspect he knows that, it all being in the public record.

                  As far as the failure of American society as a whole in terms of the AIDS epidemic goes, I stand by my statements. It wasn't just the Left, absolutely, and I appreciate the heterosplanation – to coin a phrase – but I do recall that specific systemic failure and far more recent expressions of homophobia in some detail.

                  Some of us can pass, you know.

                  Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

                  by MBNYC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:41:14 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your condescension is amazing (0+ / 0-)

                    I think you might need many kinds of "splanation" and probably some reading skills as well.  Point out to me where I defended the failure of "American society as a whole" and the notion that it wasn't "just the left" is a nice rhetorical shot, but it is just a argumentative tactic, it means nothing, not only was it not, "just the left" it was not the left.

                    "Some of us can pass"...that is really pathetic.

                    75534 4-ever or until dk5

                    by NearlyNormal on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:49:55 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I can't agree. (3+ / 0-)

                      As a gay man who lived through that entire, horrific period, I can say with certainty that gay men with AIDS were abandoned by pretty much everyone, including the "left," whoever they may have been.

                       We survived by helping ourselves and by fighting back. We cared for each other because almost no one else gave a shit. I certainly don't recall any organized effort by the Democratic Party or straight, leftwing groups to help us survive the epidemic.

                      Maybe you can point me to something I've overlooked, because as a witness to that era, your statements and my memory don't agree.

                      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                      by FogCityJohn on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:31:28 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You know what? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Denise Oliver Velez

                      I've been in too many true-blue Democratic/Progressive environments where f----- was still a term of derision, with all the attendant "jokes", to not laugh my ass off at your whiny bullshit. And there's a reason for that.

                      Because I don't set off the usual alarm bells unless by deliberate choice. I walk like a dude, I sound like one, I talk like one. Except I'm stronger, faster, smarter and hotter than a lot of y'all. Not all of us are so lucky.

                      Unlike FCJ, I didn't witness the first wave of AIDS, not at close quarters, so I have to rely on eyewitness accounts oral and written. But 2004? Yeah, I remember that, pulling in tens of thousands for Kerry, going to Ohio on my own dime and still being told "the time isn't right" for whatever issues might even distantly relate to my dick.

                      Or DOMA. DADT. Remember them? I do. You can tie Hillary to them if you want, go ahead.

                      The fact remains that Americans by and large started caring about me and mine because we left you no other choice. Don't think for an instant that we don't know that.

                      Power is taken, not given, maybe it's time for some on the Left to learn that lesson, instead of expecting it to be handed to us as a matter of right.

                      Make no mistake: I love and am grateful for all my straight friends, and there are many. And still I have a hair trigger for leftie self-exculpation. I don't which way DD tends, nor does it matter, what matters is that he had the guts to do what he did and he does.

                      That, I respect. Oceans of gratitude; his specific politics don't matter. What I think of your comment, you have enough imagination presumably to figure out on your own.

                      Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

                      by MBNYC on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 03:46:33 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  heterosplanation? ohhhhh ppllllleeeeeaase. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

                    by swtexas on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 09:44:50 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I've long aruued for selective support (5+ / 0-)

          Indeed, that is what I am arguing for Hillary Clinton.

          Don;t support her. Leave her to do it on her own.

          There are plenty of candidates who will say the right thing to get progressive support.

        •  So what can you realistically do? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alice Olson, mightymouse, PhilW, Sylv

          Obviously stopping people from voting isn't something that's going to work, as most progressives would reject this.

          Second, I totally disagree with this:

          It is no accident that marriage equality efforts started achieving real momentum almost simultaneously with announcements by major LGBT funders that the GayTM would be shut down until some concrete accomplishments came to pass.  That was about the time the DOJ announced it would not defend DOMA in court; and subsequent "evolution" by the party's leaders was not far behind.
          What happened on LGBT was not funders, but decided shift in the country among the population, followed by a shift among the views of corporate leaders who were responding to the shifts among the population.

          LGBT didn't win the funding war and never could under the best of circumstances. What they did was won the argument with the people, and that's what settled the matter.

        •  You got it 100% right (19+ / 0-)
          It is very clear that the Democratic party takes unconditional support (and unconditional supporters) for granted
           I don't think even Hillary & Obama supporters doubt this.
             The attitude is simply"where else are they going to go?"
          Which is why the Ralph Nader Myth was invented, to make sure there is nowhere else for the left to go.

            That's why we need a left version of the Tea Party. At least the GOP has to listen to the Tea Party, even fight them at times.
             That's something the democrats don't have to do.

          None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

          by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:21:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where else are they going to go? (16+ / 0-)

            Away.  The party should have learned that lesson in 2010.

            The basic job of a political party is to earn enough votes to win an election.  If it can't do that, it's a shitty party.  By definition.  The Democratic party takes its base for granted, and the base protests by not showing up.  The base gets blamed, but the problem is that the party isn't doing its damn job.  If we want the Democratic party to represent us, rather than its donor class, we have to learn how to pick up a big enough baseball bat to hit it right between the eyes.  That's what it seems to take to get its attention.  The party symbol isn't a jackass for nothing.

            We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

            by Dallasdoc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:27:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Democrats are counting on identity politics (8+ / 0-)

               Let's face it: the fact that Obama is black is a big reason a lot of people voted for him. He's the first minority president, and people felt it was time for one.

                Now we have Hillary. She'll be the first woman president, and a lot of people think we are long past time for one.

                That being said, these are both "one off" elections.
              If the GOP hadn't taken a turn from far-right to crazyland in 2010, Obama probably would have lost in 2012.

                And you are right, the Democrats have it wrong on "where else are they going to go". That's why I did this diary.
                 The working class because Republicans, even when doing so hurt themselves. Or they simply won't vote.

              None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

              by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:37:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  What many of our esteemed fellow (4+ / 0-)

              progressives forget (or willfully ignore) is that a dollar bill can't walk into a voting booth and pull the lever. Sure, having scads of money makes it a hell of a lot easier to win an election, but only in the absence of information. An informed voter, made aware of the real agenda of a given pol, is that pol's scariest enemy. Our task, as political activists, is to educate the average voter about the power of the only weapon they hold, and help them find the courage to wield it.

              In 2006 Obama explicitly ruled out a 2008 run for president and declared he would remain in the senate until his term expired in 2010. Encouraging Elizabeth Warren to run in 2016 is the right thing to do.

              by WisePiper on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:48:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  George W. Bush's choice for Democratic nominee (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WisePiper, aliasalias

                No, that's not a joke.

                 President George W. Bush said today that Democrat Hillary Clinton has a better grasp of the "pressure" of the presidency than any other 2008 White House candidate because of her experience as first lady.
                 And to be fair, Clinton backed George W. Bush for president too:

                "I wish President-elect Bush well," Mr. Clinton said. "Like him, I came to Washington as a governor, eager to work with both Republicans and Democrats. And when we reached across party lines to forge a vital center, America was stronger at home and abroad."
                  - President Bill Clinton, December 15, 2000

                None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:04:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Whoa there, Sisyphus (0+ / 0-)

                "Our task, as political activists, is to educate the average voter"

                I take it you've never attempted to educate the average anything.

            •  that wasn't actually what happened in 2010 though (7+ / 0-)

              There have been tons and tons of diaries about this - the "base" showed up in normal numbers in 2010.  What happened was reduced numbers of "moderate" Dems and increased turnout among republicans.

          •  We go into the streets (4+ / 0-)

            and mobilize people into a nationwide social movement that no politician can ignore.  Change is built from outside the political system.  Politicians react to social change. Civil rights, women's rights, gay equality are all examples of social movements that have or are affecting political change.

            "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 Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 02:54:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah! (0+ / 0-)

              It needs a catchy name. Something like... uhhh... Occupate! We could reject the corrupt political system, and make our own laws and institutions in a totally horizontally democratic way, and-

              Oh, wait, we tried that. It floundered, especially after police started hitting it with sticks.

              What else you got?

          •  Where else are we going to go? (0+ / 0-)

            Gee, I dunno. Somewhere else. I voted for Stein in 2012. If she runs again in 2016, I will probably vote for her again.

        •  We can't afford any pol, but we can.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbsoul, Dallasdoc, GreatLakeSailor

          .. form the parade and set the agenda.
            Pols striving for office at any level can't afford not to follow endeavor to lead that parade of activism if it's noisy and coordinated well.

          And for this work;

          I've been active in local gay rights efforts in later years, and went to my state capitol to talk to my reps recently when bigoted legislators tried to write a law institutionalizing bigotry in marriage in my state where marriage laws were gender-neutral.
          major Kudos, for all of it. That's real deal
    •  I'm way ahead of you (12+ / 0-)
      Get Buyer's Remorse Now, Avoid The Rush
      The question is can the Democrats even fake enough energy to get its base to the polls. It'll be hard to do when they will offer the base absolutely nothing except "not Republican".

      None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

      by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:16:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More like (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      his panic, TracieLynn, jarbyus

      "Vote for Clinton because you'll hate her so much it'll force you to organize a resistance movement." Bah!

  •  it's why i preferred her to obama in 2008 (15+ / 0-)

    i knew they'd be essentially the same on policy, and they'd both be centrist to center-right, but i assumed far more democrats would give him a pass than her. and far fewer democrats would be disheartened by her than him, because with her the performance would have met expectations.

    on the federal electoral level, the real battle is congress. a more democratic congress will make for a better president obama and a better president hillary clinton.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:37:26 AM PST

  •  it doesn't seem so much a surrender of the left (25+ / 0-)

    to me...as it is a surrender of the people of this country.

    Perhaps it's the pessimism in me going  into this fall's elections with the electoral headwinds clearly against the Democrats, but, increasingly, it seems to me that the American people are the ones who have given up.

    We're lucky to have a bare majority of voters actually get out and vote..on occasion...during presidential election years.

    The problem is this: When Democrats take over Congress and the White House, the new game plan becomes...protecting their majority...instead of doing what's best for the People regardless of future consequences.

    The same is true when Republicans take over Congress and the White House.

    And when we have split government, this country pretty much just stays where it is, with a few possible minor incremental changes here or there (not always benefiting the People...oftentimes these incremental changes mostly benefit corporations, big business and the plutocracy).

    It's just a never-ending pendulum swing back and forth, with one or two progressive or one or two conservative ideas providing the momentum either way.

    A permanent Democratic majority in this country? That's hardly likely...ever...least of all a permanent progressive majority (virtually an impossibility, in my opinion).

    A permanent Republican majority in this country? Equally unlikely...they blow it every time, too.

    •  Good comment (8+ / 0-)

      But I think surrender is the wrong term.

      •  The People have surrendered to (17+ / 0-)

        "politicians will do what they do".

        Everyone hates them, knows they are dirty, don't work for us, have too much money, in a bubble, on and on and on.

        Every single person I talk to (most of whom are not political) have no use for our government.  It hasn't worked logically, or for them, in decades.  The apathy we see with voting reflects that.

        I don't know if anyone can change that dynamic in a big way, but we all need to try in our small ways.  Too many people have not even realized the transfer of our public money into private hands.  I make so much progress with people when you just boil it down to that.  

        I don't know what to think about Hillary Clinton.  I do know our efforts need to be concentrated on Congress and our local races, and changing people's minds about what makes America great.

        Listening to the NRA on school safety is like listening to the tobacco companies on cigarette safety. (h/t nightsweat)

        by PsychoSavannah on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:16:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Democrats haven't done a very good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TealTerror, mightymouse

      job at this if you look at history (1994 and 2010)..

      The problem is this: When Democrats take over Congress and the White House, the new game plan becomes...protecting their majority
      That's one thing that bothers me. When we win, we have to figure out how to keep our majority.
      •  Keeping the Democratic majority (11+ / 0-)

        does not seem to be in their plans. The Dems were voted a majority because of the Bushies and they did not use it to counteract or mitigate the damage done to our captured broken government. Instead we got the mother of all kabuki shows wherein majority rule was twisted like a pretzel until 60 became not enough to get anything through. Reed and Pelosi sucked at being the loyal opposition and they sucked worse at being the majority leadership. They blew off their majority by not doing what people elected them to do.

        Lot's of Dems here blame liberals/progressives for the 2010 fiasco.  No Nader to use as an excuse the Dems. overtly blew off their majority power or did they? Perhaps they got what they wanted Austerity and Bowles Simpson and endless war.  As though voters could not see that the change they voted for was nothing but a lousy kabuki show that was freaking insulting to most of the country. Congress has a 13% approval rating and the D players that wield power could care less. Leaves most Democrat's with no choice but to 'embrace the suck' and hope that the down ticket Dem. candidates they vote for aren't as corrupt as their non choices on a national level.

        Of all the Democratic candidates I've supported in the last decade the one I do not regret is my Senator Jeff Merkley. He did not run as a flaming liberal progressive but turned out to actually work for Democratic governance. My point being that high profile Dem, 'stars' are not often what they are touted and sold as. Down ticket is almost as slippery to navigate as the big name pols. What choice do we have other then not letting the RW lunatics gain power. Crazy thing is they still run the show once we give the Dems. a majority.                  

    •  Well, its hard to have a government that is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotActingNaive, greenbell

      more enthusiastic and moral the people it represents. Electorally, it never pays to blame people for their own problem. In the real world, however, I agree, the virtues and education of the people doing the electing matters. Which is why, throughout the world, we have seen some pretty nasty people elected. Democracy isn't a great form of governance, it's just a better form generally than autocracy.

      As far as our democracy goes and the left specifically, we need some young blood. We're talking about Hillary Clinton, for christ sakes. An old timer, and after her and the outgoing Obama, there's probably not another Democrat in the party with enough national proiminence that a not particularly political person would recognize their name. The Republicans don't have that problem.

      And despite the clusterfuck that is the Republican party, they do have many more nationally recognizable names on their side. In part, because they're not electing only people who are chasing or past their 60th birthday and regardless of age have the energy to actually say stuff...you know...in front of a camera.

      Imagine if Hillary Clinto dropped dead tomorrow. The Democrats would be screwed. No one republican dropping dead tomorrow would screw democrats as much electorally as Hillary having a heart attack tomorrow would screw democrats.

      I think that fact alone should indicate something about the quality of the people WE LEFTISTS are electing and sending to office.

    •  i understand why people have given up (11+ / 0-)

      it's because it doesn't really matter who gets voted in.  policies still largely favor big business and plutocrats.  polling consistently shows that the 99% want substantially more progressive action, but our gov't no longer cares what they think.  studies show that our gov't is responsive only to the concerns of the wealthy.

      obama has chipped away at some progressive issues, and, admittedly, an obstructionist congress has limited his ability to accomplish much in the way of legislation, but the rich are getting richer and he's done nothing but tinker at the margins for the benefit of the 99%.

      i believe there are systemic reasons that have allowed our gov't to become captured by the wealthy beginning with an outdated constitutional design that provides far too many choke points that can be purchased by the wealthy.

      these days our national gov't is virtually incapable of doing anything other than serving the interests of the 1%.

      as durbin said of the banisters;  frankly they own the place.

      and, yes, i know many here will cite judicial picks as a compelling argument for pulling for D.  i agree.  it' s a good point.  a sad consolation prize given the milquetoast picks made by obama to the bench, but better than the raving lunatics appointed by repuglicans.

      i agree that the best thing the left can do is come to grips that they are essentially powerless in the current system and start strategizing on how to gain it.  i believe that there efforts will be best made at the local level and, most importantly, fundamental gov't reform of campaign finance.

      If you didn't care what happened to me, and I didn't care for you, we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain, occasionally glancing up through the rain, wondering which of the buggers to blame, and watching for pigs on the wing. R. Waters

      by No Exit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:37:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly it's process over principle (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Portlaw, snacksandpop
      The problem is this: When Democrats take over Congress and the White House, the new game plan becomes...protecting their majority...instead of doing what's best for the People regardless of future consequences.
  •  If only (10+ / 0-)

    being progressive was the exact same thing as being a liberal.

    Maybe that was true at one time, but that is not the case today. These are two different mindsets which happen to have a number of things in common.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:41:22 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure what the difference is (12+ / 0-)

      I've always called myself a liberal and always will, because it irritated me that the term became a pejorative in the 70s and 80s.  I feel that progressive, while a nice sounding term, originated as a way to circumvent to dreaded L word.

    •  I've never understood the definitions (4+ / 0-)

      Care to elaborate?

      •  It's less "definition based" (24+ / 0-)

        than it is steeped in what each stands for today. As I said, both have a lot in common, but there's a point where what they don't have in common absolutely separates them. And that separation has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade.

        I don't think anyone who actively supports corporatism should ever be considered to be either liberal or progressive. I'll let this guy explain it, because he does it better than I can:

        Just because your party is not Conservative doesn't mean it is, somehow by default, progressive.  If your party is corporatist, it is not progressive.  If your party doesn't champion progressive principles, it is not progressive.  If your party doesn't support decarbonizing our nation, it's not progressive.  If your party doesn't have genuine proposals to sharply reverse the forces of inequality, it's not progressive.
        (note: the writer is Canadian, but that doesn't mean what he is saying does not apply to the US.).

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:53:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll tell you (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sgruver, greenbell, coral, AlexDrew

        Progressives are liberals who don't want to be called liberal.

        •  Not true--again, it may have been (6+ / 0-)

          at one time (because I don't dispute that "liberal" was smeared by the Right so very badly). But no more.

          Today it's largely based on the idea that corporatists have, that they are perfectly entitled to hijack the word "progressive" and apply it to themselves under any circumstance.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:01:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, progressive is not a bad word to use (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greenbell

            It obviously connotes a forward thinking, modern, look to the future mindset.  There's a reason there's no "Regressive Insurance."  But if someone asks me I identify as liberal.  

            •  I'm not saying it is a bad word to use (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lady Libertine, cany

              at all.

              This is perfectly reasonable,

              It obviously connotes a forward thinking, modern, look to the future mindset.
              Until you apply it to a "corporatist liberal".

              At that point, it becomes quite unreasonable. Wrong, even.

              This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

              by lunachickie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:12:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But liberal was forced out of use by the (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                atana, greenbell, Sylv, dougymi

                right.  It's not like liberals woke up one day and said, let's call ourselves progressives.  It's because Reagan and Bush and Limbaugh and Hannity turned it into a dirty word, into librul--tax and spend, careless, not responsible. The opposites were always liberal/conservative.  Now they are progressive/ conservative.  Why?  And, all due respect, when you inject "corporatist liberal" into the conversation I think you're just hewing to site disagreements and imposing them on the terminology.  Call yourself a progressive if you please, I'm a liberal

                •  Sure! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GreatLakeSailor
                  Reagan and Bush and Limbaugh and Hannity
                  They all smeared the word "liberal" long before Corporatists hijacked the Democratic Party.

                  You, personally, can call yourself whatever you want. But if you support corporatists Democrats, you should be honest enough to stop appropriating the word "progressive" to describe yourself--and simply call yourself a Democrat.

                  This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                  by lunachickie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:30:23 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are trying to attach "corporate" (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sylv

                    to liberal and Democrat for some reason.  I don't know why.  You don't know my politics.  You don't know who I support and why.  Where have I ever said I support "corporatist Democrats"?  Link please. You seem to be starting some kind of blog fight for some reason.  I owe no explanation to you about why I want to call myself a liberal and you a progressive.  And not to pull rank, but I guess I am, I was a liberal when you were probably in diapers.  

                •  So funny, I called myself a progressive in the 90s (3+ / 0-)

                  because it was pretty clear that I wasn't a liberal, as denoted by the liberal Demoncratic Party.

                  I've always thought Liberal to be somewhat economic too - free market crap - Progressive, for me was about separating myself from the corporate sponsored free market Democratic liberals that were the rage during my political coming of age.

                  I didn't run away from the liberal sneer nearly as much as I ran from the economic policies.

                  Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                  by k9disc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:15:52 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  This is propaganda and completely wrong. It (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lunachickie

                  is one of those RW memes that will not die.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:36:25 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's pretty lame, actually (0+ / 0-)

                    IMO. Nobody forces words "out of use" like that--if words like "liberal" aren't being used, it's simply because people have stopped using them. I use it now sometimes, just to poke the righteous righties in their idiot judgmental eyes.

                    That's why I used the word "smear" in my follow-up, upthread. I agree that the right smeared the hell out of the word "liberal". But that doesn't mean we can't choose to use that word anyway, long as we do so appropriately. They can all FOAD if they don't like it--that lot has been bastardizing and propagandizing our language in a huge way since about 1970.

                    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                    by lunachickie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 07:37:00 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I have no idea how the whole meme started, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      lunachickie

                      but I suspect some spoiled lazy kid decided not to do a H.S. research paper and simply made this history up out of whole cloth. Perhaps his or her instructor liked it and started spreading it, and it gained currency. The GOP and other righties loved it because it showed that libruhls were chickenshit, and many self styled liberals also started spreading and perhaps believeing it because it showed that self styled progressives were simply less stalwart liberals who couldn't stand a little taunting.

                      The reality is that "progressive" is a term of long standing on the left. There was once a mainstream party that even won votes in mainstream elections. There was the less mainstream Preogreeive Labor Party, aka PLP that was active in the fifties and sixties on campuses and such.

                      Liberal denotes generosity, and progressive a quest for perpetual progress. The growth in use of the term progressive by lefties is in part due to the fact that some self-styled liberals claim to be such because of "liberal positions" they hold, like abolition of slavery, womens franchise, stopping Jim Crow in the south,(but not necessarily defacto segregation in the north), etc., all of which aren't current, foreward moving issues.

                      More to the point, a goodly number of self styled liberals attacked much of the rest of the left, joining in with the red-baiting in the fifties, and, in the sixties, trying to silence or distance themselves from those who could be targets of red baiting. At demonstrations, rallies and pickets they'd tell those of us to their left to cool it lest "they" paint us all as commies or socialists. They joined the establishment media in labeling us "radicals" and eschewing our views and activities.

                      Though they were but an unknown fraction of those calling themselves liberals, or so called by others, the term was eschewed by a lot of the left, those they identified as radicals, in favor of damn near anything else. They became an object of derision, not merely among ordinary lefties, but were on occasion mocked by the likes of Dick Gregory, Lenny Bruce and others.

                      Apropos:

                      Fair or not, justified or not, the "radicals", "reds", "pinkos" and "hard left" they despised, demeaned and avoided were not about to self identify as any shade of liberal, and "progressive", with its history and socialist as well as progress oriented connotations was an obvious choice.

                      For shorts, I call myself a progressive, but when appropriate, such as honest political polling I explain - I'm a sixties radical with no current option but to vote Democratic.

                      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                      by enhydra lutris on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 10:45:09 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Heh (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        enhydra lutris
                        The growth in use of the term progressive by lefties is in part due to the fact that some self-styled liberals claim to be such because of "liberal positions"
                        Yup. And I still say the push to appropriate it outright--even though it really does not apply to most of our own pols right now, other than on 'social issues'--has escalated since the last election.  They damn sure haven't been "liberal" OR "progressive" on our economy.

                        That's why, until I draw my last breath, anyone trying to apply that label to some milquetoast corporate toady Democrat is gonna get called on it. Every time.
                         

                        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                        by lunachickie on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 03:44:01 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          lunachickie, blueoasis

                          That's why, until I draw my last breath, anyone trying to apply that label to some milquetoast corporate toady Democrat is gonna get called on it. Every time.

                          Amen!

                          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                          by enhydra lutris on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 04:20:11 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

  •  I think that in general . . . (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, TealTerror, mightymouse, coral, Sylv

    we tend to be too preoccupied with the personality of the officeholder and what is going on inside their head. Presidents, members of congress, governors -- do not have indiscriminate power. There's been an argument going on at Lawyers Guns and Money over whether it is proper to say that Richard Nixon was the last liberal president. My take on that question is that I don't so much care whether he was happy about the relatively progressive domestic policies that were promulgated during his presidency. He undoubtedly was not. But as much as he wished he were a dictator, he was only a president. So, what I'm really saying is, of course Hillary Clinton will be subject to criticism, and pressure, from the left, especially if the composition of congress gives the left some leverage. But there is no reason why Obama can't receive the same treatment.

    One more thing -- I'm a bit sympathetic to electoralitis simply because the Republican agenda right now seems so radical and dangerous. It's got people scared into a defensive posture. Maybe that is short sighted but it's understandable.

    •  the idea of nixon as liberal (8+ / 0-)

      is a facepalm.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:46:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think of electorlaitis (7+ / 0-)

      is being a problem not in the caring about elections, but in the caring about elections to the exclusion of all else.

      •  and this is exactly the problem (4+ / 0-)

        seems to me, unless Im still not really grasping this whole approach correctly.

        ~ In order to further our progressive goals, we need to detach ourselves from wanting to get progressive people elected into office ~ ...? I mean,its quite zen-like in some ways and totally Orwellian at the same time.

        Yes Im exaggerating that a bit to stress my point but... Im just not, erm, limber enough to simultaneously electorally support a horrible corporate third way beltway insider blablabla hawk pol with a (D) by her name, while fighting those exact same horrible policies in some other alternate non-electoral realm.

        Better brush up on my DoubleThink I guess. {shrugs}

        If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

        by Lady Libertine on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:37:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find your comment perplexing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lady Libertine

          What does that have to do with my argument? You either did not read my oiece or did not understand it.

          •  I do need to re-read both (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, 420 forever, greenbell

            this one and your previous one. I admit I am having a very difficult time grasping the strategy because, at first glance, it makes zero sense to me.

            If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

            by Lady Libertine on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:44:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I was trying to evidence (5+ / 0-)

              that Hillary Clinton will not be perceived as progressive and will not define the Left Flank and that permits the Left to fight to define the Left Flank and argue for those policies even against Hillary Clinton.

              •  so... thats a big IF (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenbell

                and I see some other comments challenging the idea that

                A President Hillary Clinton will not be, nor be perceived, as the left flank of the Democratic Party. This permits, in my view, real arguments, initiatives and negotiation from strong progressive elements in Congress. There will be more room for independence, initiatives and influence. This was not possible in my view under the Obama presidency.
                Yes, maybe... IF this sort of reaction is not only tolerated but actually encouraged on "Lefty" blogs and arenas such as DKos. Which is obviously what you're hoping to do here, I get that, Im just not sure it will fly, even here.  But Im open to re-thinking that assumption on my part.

                So lets just pretend it does fly, my next question I guess would be... just how much influence or weight could we - this Left that challenges President HRC - hope to have then? I just dont see us as being very credible...

                Dont answer, Im going back to reading, heh.

                If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

                by Lady Libertine on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:17:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yea, I have to say that is just rationalization of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                greenbell

                tactics.

                "You don't go into politics with the pol you want, you go with the pol you got."

                While I agree that she will allow the Left Flank to be defined by itself instead of calling Obama a Socialist - I guess that's good at least we're back in some kind of non-bizarro world, but it's terrible strategy.

                How are we going to attack her failed conservative policies? They come from a Liberal President - nearly the most Liberal president in our lives... almost a socialist.

                And she's going to roll out the same shitty corporate sponsored public policy we've gotten over the last 22 years.

                meh. Can't get anywhere near on board with this line of argument, Armando.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:22:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I think you are discounting the power of the (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Portlaw, maryabein, aliasalias

                machine.  Unless HRC's Presidency is a miserable failure and the establishment abandons her, the Clinton machine will permit no tarnish to the perfection of the legacy they want to build in the minds of the public and the pundits and most especially the serious people.  

                The left is not going to be shutdown by FOX.  it's going to be shutdown by the Democratic Party and the House of Clinton that rules it.  

                You can tell that by how much pressure there is already for people to STFU, wait for your marching orders, your positions on the issues will be delivered with your marching orders.

                •  The power of the machine is in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Sylv

                  getting elected.

                  They adopt policies to get elected and reelected.

                  Not to dictate policy.

                  This is your major misunderstanding.

                  •  okay wait (0+ / 0-)

                    forgive me, Armando Im a huge cynic with an optimist streak.

                    so ... if they adopt/promote/enact policies that suck, that their base thinks suck, then they should start losing elections (& that power), no?

                    And 'lesser' (but still electable) pols who advocate better policy concepts, with credibility, should start gaining power and winning elections, yes? (thats the optimist me)

                    I think, the cynic me, thinks the power is in the money, Big Money. Period. How do we combat that?

                    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

                    by Lady Libertine on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:27:48 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think (0+ / 0-)

                      we should look for candidates who will push hard about big money and races where big money is badly spent.

                      At the moment, money is being wasted on anti-ACA adverts

                      The internet is crazy. It is like people arguing about what kind of cheese to throw at a portrait, in order to destroy it completely

                      by GideonAB on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:47:37 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Not just to get elected, to get rich (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    maryabein, aliasalias

                    You think this right of center plan to funnel Social Security to defense contractors is about getting elected?  No, it's about making sure the people who fund the campaigns get paid off and pay off.   The machine is about corruption.

      •  Then you need an organization (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv

        other than an election-oriented organization through which to gather strength, educate the public about the policies you advocate, and lobby the politicians that hold office.

        The labor unions, the black church, some environmental and women's organizations, and liberal think tanks do various aspects of the above. As well as some blogs (like this one) and media outlets.

        Problems of the left, for decades, if not an entire century:
        1 big money is always going to be aligned against an economically/labor-oriented left
        2 split between social progressives and economic progressives and between upper middle class progressives and working class labor activists
        3 strains of racism and sexism that tend to split the left at crucial junctures
        4 government/police action against progressive organizations, sometimes overt, sometimes covert

        The above makes it very difficult to maintain a cohesive and effective movement for meaningful change, unless you organize within the Democratic Party with a focus on electoral politics. Especially with the decline of labor unions.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:12:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two good posts on that: (5+ / 0-)

      Gary Younge on how many claiming to be on the left have been infected with belief in the great man theory:

      http://www.thenation.com/...

      Ezra Klein on why "the President doesn't matter (as much as you think)"  (also see the excellent study by Steinmo he refers to:

      http://prospect.org/...

      In my estimation (paraphrasing Younge) it is near indecent for us to have yet another discussion about Hillary when 2014 has primaries this month.  Where does all this "from the top down" belief come from?  What about the critical place of Congress and the primaries for a change to move progressives forward?

      I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

      by Satya1 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:01:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Presidential power (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sylv

        I think the president has less power to enact progressive legislation than we would like to believe.

        The president probably has less power to rein in the military-industrial complex that we would like to believe.

        Congress can exert a great deal of power, for good or ill, if matched with a like-minded president, and an acquiescent  Supreme Court.

        So I think an electoral strategy focusing on getting more and better Democrats elected can be very useful. I miss Dean and his 50-state-strategy. It was a big mistake to abandon that.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:17:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  As much as people think (0+ / 0-)

        the Republicans will go the way of their forebears, it is actually the Dems who are behaving in the manner of the old Whig Party, which only "got it together" for elections, and mainly Presidential election years at that. Sound familiar?

        "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

        by bryduck on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 12:20:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Hillary Presidency will send a message (39+ / 0-)

    ...to any Democrats in Congress with national ambitions, that the best way to get ahead in this party is to piss on your base, stand for nothing, pal up with Wall Street, embrace the conventional wisdom of the beltway, and buddy up with the  DLC/3rd Way folks who Kos laughably asserts are irrelevant in between posts about how we must all bend over and accept their goddam poster child as our Party's Presidential nominee.

    "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

    by GrimReefa on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:44:54 AM PST

  •  I cannot agree with the premise (29+ / 0-)

    that the media and the public at large will see Hillary as centrist and leave room for a left flank. It would be neat if it happened that way, but I just don't see it.  The media always paints every Democrat, no matter how far right, as a raging socialist leftie. That's just the way it is with our corporate media.  And the vast bulk of semi-informed public opinion inevitably follows the propaganda presented.  So rather than defining the center and leaving open a new left flank, I think the election of Hillary will actually be quite the opposite.  Her election will instead be a massive shift of the Overton window far to the right - she will define the new left flank and there will be no actual left at all. Imho.

    •  The evidence is quite clear (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilW, Sylv

      that that is PRECISELEY how she is being reported and covered.

      My statement is not a premise, it is a fact.

      •  So, are you agreeing with Rachel7? That's the... (0+ / 0-)

        ... point, I think. (Rather than arguing premise/fact; that's like soup/art.)

        I'm assuming you'd find the situation full of opportunities whereas she sees it as too redefining, so much so that the result may be less room for us, not more.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:11:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps that is how she is being covered NOW, (8+ / 0-)

        but if she gets elected, you can be sure she'll become a marxist, socialist, Acorn-loving commie by the day she's sworn in. Painting her as a centrist now serves the purpose of deflating and dividing the base, as can be seen abundantly well on this site. But if and when she is actually elected, the narrative will instantly change to paint her, if not as the left flank, then as the very leftmost that can actually be elected. Either way, the real left is marginalized and the Overton window shifts inexorably further right. I wish you were right, I really do, but the Clinton-opening-up-the-left-flank premise just seems like wishful thinking to me. Bill Clinton was far right of the previous Democratic president and despite his blatant and avowed triangulating corporate centrism, the general idea at the time was that he WAS the left. That was the whole point of the DLC, to redefine what the left is. How will putting the very model of DLC corporatism in the bully pulpit NOT redefine the left flank as the DLC position?

        •  Nonsense (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilW, Sylv

          Her image is so well developed that that won;t happen.

          Look, if you make up what will happen that is entirely contrary to what is the case now and has been for more than a decade, then sure, but if you rely on evidence, then no.

          •  I think you underestimate the press (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            maryabein, Rachael7, Sylv
          •  Nonsense indeed (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn, dharmafarmer, Sylv, aliasalias

            I am no more "making up what will happen" than you are; we are both making predictions, just based on a different set of assumptions. I think your assumptions are flawed for two reasons:

            1. I think you underestimate the media's ability to u-turn on a subject, not to mention their ability to hold simultaneous contradictory positions (ie, Obama is a bumbling incompetent and also a ruthless iron-fisted tyrant).

            2. Even if you are right, and Hillary does continue to be portrayed as a moderate, it is naive to think that will be a good thing. There are so many ways that her election will work against us. There is the "she is the most liberal that can be elected argument", which we will have just proved for them with real evidence and whatnot. Then there is the direction of perceived movement - right or wrong, Obama is portrayed as a flaming liberal, so Hillary will represent a move back toward the center. The narrative from the right (and inevitably picked up by the MSM) will be that the country had enough of Obama's liberalism and decided to go back to its center-right roots.

            By the time the media is done spinning, Hillary's election will serve as a rebuke of liberalism, not an opening for it. I get the desire to make lemonade out of lemons, as some other diaries on the subject have suggested, and that is a laudable goal. But to suggest that electing another corporatist is actually a good thing for the country or the progressive movement smacks of either naivete or trying to placate the restless natives.

      •  A fact, eh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rachael7

        Was it a fact that Hillary was a big Liberal a few years ago?

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Oh, perhaps the Socialist Kenyan Barack Obama pulled the party so far left that Hillary is now a centrist?

        Your premise is based on garbage information (corporate propaganda angle of the week) and that makes your fact not quite so clear cut. That narrative can change in a moment.

        You can't really believe that she'll be allowed to be a centrist in the media after she's elected can you?

        The media doesn't counter any RW narrative that leads to electoral hay and election year payola.

        BTW, I'd like to mention this - I would like you to be right here. As a Leftist I would like to not be lumped in with neoliberal corporate sponsored pols, but it never happens.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:35:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  yep (5+ / 0-)

      It seems incredibly myopic to believe that the country views Hillary as 'centrist' more than 'leftist.'  We can go on about these distinctions here in our little bubble but go door to door in this country and the vast majority won't know what the hell you're talking about.   Just tell them to draw the spectrum of right to left politics and they'll stick Hillary way out on the left.  

      When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

      by Sun dog on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:42:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sun dog, mightymouse, TracieLynn, Sylv

        In the general Zeitgeist, however inaccurately, Democrat = liberal. Ergo, whoever the Democrats run as a presidential candidate IS the exemplar of the liberal position. Logically flawed, of course, but that's the perception. The further right the Dem candidate for president, the more room it opens up on the right of the spectrum, not the left, unless one wants to make the argument that a further right Dem makes a 3rd party more feasible, which doesn't seem likely either.

        •  The evidence is opposite to your assertion (0+ / 0-)

          But I think your belief is evidence proof.

          •  What evidence? (6+ / 0-)

            Seems like either side is equally difficult to show evidence for, but simply having been around since Carter's time and observing every Democrat painted as a liberal would seem to be enough to me. Remember when getting Joe Lieberman together with the Republicans made a bill "bipartisan"? As if Lieberman represented a different portion of the spectrum? It has always been the case that every pol with a D after their name is treated as a liberal in the media and usually with the public at large. I didn't even think that was a controversial assertion. It is what my college physics professor would have called "intuitively obvious to the casual observer".

            Frankly, I resent the accusation that I am immune to evidence - I consider myself quite rational. You might well be right that Hillary is being presented as centrist now; I'm not arguing that. Where you slip from fact to premise is supposing that centrist characterization will continue after her theoretical election, and that even supposing it does, that electing a known centrist somehow opens room for a new left. That is clearly a theory, not fact. Testable only by electing her, unfortunately, but history does not seem to suggest that as a likely outcome, imo.

            •  It's quite easy to show evidence (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rachael7, PhilW, Sylv

              Here's a query for you - is the Media speculating about a moderate challenge to Hillary Clinton?

              If not, why not? I mean if there is ambguity about whether she will be portrayed as the Left candidate, as you posit, seems like there would e room for a moderate challenge.

              Answer that question and I'll give you my thoughts on your immunity to evidence.

              •  Fair enough question (5+ / 0-)

                I would suggest there is no speculation about a moderate challenger because it doesn't make for good news.  The media has two goals: one, to make money, which means going with whatever story they think has the most appeal; and two, serving the interests of the companies that own them. Painting Hillary as centrist at this point in the cycle serves both of those goals admirably.

                1. Speculating about new, exciting liberal candidates is an appealing horse race story. Speculating about whether a milquetoast centrist will run against her would be boring. Hillary is well-loved, but she's also familiar well-covered territory. Anyone new, especially if perceived as liberal, would make for exciting commentary.

                2. Painting Hillary as centrist serves goal two by dividing and deflating the left. Telling us it is inevitable that we are getting a centrist candidate might make the base stay home. That helps the right, which is, generally speaking, in the financial interest of the companies that own the media.

                So I suggest a more likely scenario is that the story line is Hillary=centrist through the primary season. Presuming Hillary wins the primary, that leads right to the story about disappointed liberals and "will the base sit this one out?" Then, if she wins the general, the story becomes "well, they wanted a more liberal candidate, as we saw in the primaries, but the country just wasn't there. This is a center right country and Hillary is as far left as the swing voters will tolerate."

                Of course, both your premise and mine are speculation about the future, and inherently impossible to prove at this point. So lets look at the historical evidence. When has the election of a centrist Democrat ever opened up the left flank? It certainly didn't under Bill Clinton. Quite the opposite - that was when the left seriously started to be defanged. After Reagan, the Democrats had to move right to get those swing voters, remember? Bill Clinon's triangulation/centrism was well documented while he was in office (and after), but it didn't open up any room on the left. So since your premise is counter to historical observation, what is makes the hypothetical Hillary Clinton presidency different?  What has changed that would make the effect of this centrist on the Overton window exactly the opposite of the effect of the last centrist?

      •  The opposite in fact (0+ / 0-)

        Look, evidence won;t sway you on this I know.

        So there is no point to this discussion.

        •  Evidence might sway me, though. So, what ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sun dog, TracieLynn, Sylv

          ... evidence supports room opening up to the left of a Democratic candidate/President who is centrist/liberal?

          I really don't care how the media regards her political position at this point, for media memes are evanescent phantoms. For me, HC is the anointed inevitable Democratic candidate in 2016, a sad thing in March 2014 but a future truth cultivated by many Democrats. Only more fuel from those old files - a water torture release if there ever was one - or bad health is likely to sidetrack her.

          I do worry that turnout might be reduced, excitement being harder to achieve for a sure-thing candidate, just as R7 argues.

          My own sense, however, based on some evidence on how Clintons have reacted in politics in the past, is that it's Hillary Clinton who will suck the air out of political/Congressional running room on the left, not the media.

          2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:22:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What evidence? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sylv

          What the heck?  

          Look, evidence won;t sway you on this I know.
          You don't know me.  I'm not a 'famous' person like you.  But you just have my number and know there's no point in even trying to be rational, eh?  What cheap little strawaman.  

          When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

          by Sun dog on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:55:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Dynamics of partisanship (8+ / 0-)

    I think a lot of what we've seen with the instinctual defenses of Obama and portrayal of him as far more liberal/progressive than he really is a result of partisanship. This study--depressing but not the least bit surprising--shows how easily partisanship trumps ideology in discussions of policy because much of people's understanding of policy comes from partisan cues. I don't see why that would change under HRC. And the professional centrists in the media would have no problem portraying HRC as the "left"; intellectual honesty or consistency is not their forte.

    And another problem under Obama has been not the hesitancy of Democratic politicians to criticize him on foreign policy. I don't see why they would suddenly be more open with criticism (if they even have any) under HRC.

    I do, however, agree that Reed's prescriptions are rather fatalistic. Electoral politics, although not the be-all end-all, is still important, and people need to understand that all elections, not just the presidential one, are important for change and agenda-setting.

    •  Of course it is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv

      I think Hillary provides an opportunity for ideological partisanship from the Left like no other Dem pol has provided.

    •  I don't see this as a non-participatory action for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv

      elections.

      It's more along the lines of 'stop looking to elections for power', and I think we're there. I really do, I mean I'm out of the "elections as benefit to my politics" - it's just not going to happen.

      I think that provides some breathing room and an opportunity to get a little perspective. We could use that for getting our shit together to make a difference.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:38:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I understand your argument (14+ / 0-)

    But I don't agree with your premise:

    What progressive will not be tough on Hillary Clinton about everything? "Suppressed criticism from the left" will not happen during a Hillary Clinton presidency.
    She hasn't even declared she's running yet and already a lot of people here are defending her. And it's not limited to DailyKos--this article is from more than half a year ago but is still relevant.

    I've come to the view that there's a contingent of the Democratic Party who--for varied reasons--will vociferously defend a Democratic President no matter who s/he is. In this regard, I believe a hypothetical Hillary Presidency would be just like the Obama Presidency has been.

    I wish you were right, but I don't think the evidence supports your thesis.

    "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

    by TealTerror on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:50:50 AM PST

  •  Armando thank you for writing both (14+ / 0-)

    diaries giving us some interesting perspective...

    I think Hillary is almost certain to be the nominee. I agree that Elizabeth Warren isn't running. I don't think Sherrod Brown or Bernie Sanders are. If anyone challenges Hillary, it would likely be someone such as Mark Warner, Martin O Malley, or even Andrew Cuomo and their politics would be the same but they wouldn't be as likely to win the general election.

    I've always said progressives will have won when we move public opinion to the left. That is, when what is progressive today is mainstream tomorrow. That's what happened with conservatives - they pushed the debate further and further right. That's one reason Daily Kos is important.

    What I don't like most about Hillary is trade, jobs, and the financial industry. At present, Hillary is very much status quo on these issues. I don't see her doing anything to promote fair trade. I don't see her doing much to stop the offshoring of jobs. I don't see her doing much to reverse deregulation of Wall Street.

    I will add that I will vote for her. I think the 2016 election is imperative. The current and next President will shape the Supreme Court for the next few days. Do we want almost every piece of progressive legislation the last 100 years sent back to the state level?  

    •  Hillary on trade (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coral, snacksandpop

      http://www.issues2000.org/...

      Though Bill supported it, Hillary opposed NAFTA. (Oct 2007)
      Voted against CAFTA despite Bill Clinton’s pushing NAFTA. (Oct 2005)
      Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006)
      Voted NO on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005)
      Voted YES on establishing free trade between US & Singapore. (Jul 2003)
      Voted YES on establishing free trade between the US and Chile. (Jul 2003)
      Voted NO on extending free trade to Andean nations. (May 2002)
      Voted YES on granting normal trade relations status to Vietnam. (Oct 2001)
      Voted YES on removing common goods from national security export rules. (Sep 2001)
      Build a rule-based global trading system. (Aug 2000)
      Rated 17% by CATO, indicating a pro-fair trade voting record. (Dec 2002)
      Extend trade restrictions on Burma to promote democracy. (Jun 2007)

    •  I would be very excited to see a woman President (0+ / 0-)

      and I think Hillary Clinton would probably be a more progressive president that Obama or, for that matter, Bill Clinton.

      Many of her ideas on dealing with the financial crisis, especially for helping homeowners in foreclosure or with underground mortgages, were much better than Obama's. She has been a very strong advocate for health care and for children's and women's issues. And when women do better, the whole society does better. She is extremely good on LGBT rights and has been for some time.

      She is not afraid, she is tough and persistent, and very very smart. She is able to engage opponents without alienating them.

      If there is an active, engaged, progressive opposition to Democratic centrist policies, it will have some leverage--especially if it has allies in Congress.

      The opposition shown to her on Daily Kos has always bothered me. You actually don't see that kind of opposition to Bill Clinton on the left, and I wonder why, since Hillary's positions have always been more progressive than his.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:31:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watch the third parties and the younger vote. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, k9disc

    If the younger voters support left wing third parties I see potential for a much faster swing to the left where the Democratic party becomes the actual conservative party and the GOP dwindles into an extremist group on the far right. If that swing were to happen I think corporate cash would come to the Democrats.

    As it happened those third parties on the left would caucus with the Democrats to get agenda's in play until they had enough members to stand alone.

    Watch any member who says they are independent. I could see the likes of Bernie joining such a left wing party, and Republicans that switched to independent joining the the Democrats.

    It all depends on the kids.

    •  I'm not a believer in 3rd Parties (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      muddy boots, TRPChicago, PhilW, emelyn, Sylv

      The only third parties that work in our system are those intended to displace one of the 2 major parties.

      It is much easier in my opinion to move the Dem Party to your views than to displace it.

      •  I am not a believer in believers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, dfarrah

        I was a member of a third party in NZ that started third parties rolling there. They arise when the majors become too inflexible. It is a means to bring voices to the table and deliver real options.

        In reality I doubt it would change the two major parties, but that is really up to the GOP whether they want to stay in the game.

        Regardless the Democrats are the only party with any actual agenda, but they are impotent because of the pieces on the board. Change has to go faster. Third parties could help this.

        Again - it all depends on the kids. My kid voted Green, then just packed up and moved to NZ...

        •  How did that party turn out? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse, coral, Sylv

          The history of 3rd parties in the Us has as a best example the Republican PArty which displaced the Whigs in 1856.

          •  It died and became the Green party (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, tb mare, dfarrah, The Dead Man

            Google NZ Values Party. It arose within the University system and published a paper manifesto openly admitting it cared more about the policies than holding power. It never held a seat, but almost all of its manifesto agenda came to pass. It made NZ nuclear free, for example.

            I see the Occupy movement could do a very similar thing here. I see many signs as socialists getting elected in city elections. Citizen United WILL get fixed. The question is how, since the moneyed interests have such a hold on the system. I would also like to see higher voter turn outs. In fact a higher voter turn out by itself might enable Citizens United to get sorted.

            The Values Party lack of electoral success later lead to massively retooling the actual electoral system in NZ. And now there are other third parties there.

            What they are, are voices speaking to power in place of power. The US lacks this currently in the worst way. Voices are drowned by only two parties and the election process.

      •  And third parties sap strength. THAT, we don't... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        muddy boots, PhilW

        .. need.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:27:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          I know you are thinking of Nader, and I agree that was unfortunate for the Dems and the US at the time. But that was a larger failure as he definitely had a following and those voices needed to be heard. He exposed failings in the system other than just his policies. That needs to be a learning experience.

          There has to be opposition for there to be strength. The Democrats are poisoned by the system currently. We have to get outside it some to fix it. The divisions in the US are extreme and rigid currently. You don't fix that by smashing the opposition, you fix it by taking small pieces.

          The healthiest way is through 3rd parties. No need for nuclear options which are really indicative of a systemic collapse. Just chip off the pieces.

          And the key is the kids. I keep saying this. The future is theirs and it starts here and now. They better grab hold of it if they want one,because it is fading by the day;.

          •  2014 is a turnout election, trite but true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sylv

            Really important, too, for Democrats to have anything more going for us than a batch of Presidential vetoes in the next two years.

            And in 2016, full of our favorable demographic trends as we rightfully are, we gotta get people to the polls for Democratic candidates, so Democrats can get workable majorities.

            I get the debate between winning elections year-by-year and winning advancement of the Progressive agenda. I'd like to beat our Blue Dogs with Progressive Democrats, however unlikely that may be, but there is almost a zero chance with a 3rd party Progressive. In marginal districts, it's a heckuva risk, it seems to me, much as I would like more Warrens and Sherrod Browns. (The polarizing Alan Grayson is fun to listen to, sometimes, but I'll take Ellison and his leadership style any day.)

            Nader's candidacy - and he is, as we speak, prospecting for new Naders - was more than unfortunate. It did not move the ball. I view 3rd party challenges as energizing for a small interest group while undermining the larger cause they rely on drawing support away from. There is no political advantage to be gained by sacrificing Democrats who can win in elections where a Progressive stands little chance.

            Let the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot.

            2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:48:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Liberal Democrats in the UK (0+ / 0-)

            Has become the party of kingmakers, they get enough votes to swing the election the way they want and put them in power.  Now they are in bed with the Right.  Which is funny because the supposedly believe in

            ... working to build a stronger economy in a fairer society, enabling everyone to get on in life.
            •  Politics is messy (0+ / 0-)

              There will always be some chaos and conflict. But at least those voices get to the chambers of power. Maybe they are not so skilled at delivering results, but I can't fault them for being willing to try.

              •  They chose the Conservatives (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                muddy boots

                because the Conservatives promised a national vote on Alternative Vote, which the LD hoped would allow them to get more votes in the future...it went down in flames.

                The United Kingdom alternative vote referendum, as part of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement drawn up after the 2010 general election, was a nationwide vote held on Thursday 5 May 2011 (the same date as local elections in many areas) to choose the method of electing MPs at subsequent general elections. The referendum concerned whether to replace the present "first-past-the-post" (simple plurality) system with the "alternative vote" (AV) method. The proposal to introduce AV was rejected by the electorate.
                 via wikipedia
        •  That kind of thinking maintains the status quo (0+ / 0-)

          and I'm a bit tired of living in Gilded Age Part II.

          Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

          by The Dead Man on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:16:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I can imagine the GOP splitting (0+ / 0-)

        The tensions between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party are very high.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:34:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's fun to laugh at the Tea Party causing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    the Republicans to lose. But what happened when the 60s and 70s progressives took over the Democratic Party? Neil Ambercrombie and a few others are still rolling. God bless em. Otherwise not many sterling examples of how to play the game. But winning is still paramount.

    Number one, we're fighting a tsunami of disinformation. Most folks i know actually believe that gas would be two bucks a gallon if not for the liberal environmentalists.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:54:41 AM PST

  •  You're right, we cannot abandon electoral politics (7+ / 0-)

    That's the thrust of your message, and it is correct. It's not just about the White House, either, something the other side never forgets.

    One tangential point I'll make about the cult of the pol. It is important in the long run for our electoral prospects for the Obama presidency to seen positively, if indeed there are positive accomplishments (and there are). It hurts the GOP that GW Bush was their last president, and it helps them inspire their base (albeit less every year) to be able to point to Reagan. We should keep criticizing and pushing Obama left, but we must not demonize him, both because he is so closely identified with liberalism (and yes, he is, among the American people at large) and because of what he represents to African Americans as the first black president.

  •  The GOP is going to fight every progressive notion (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Lysis, PhilW, coral, Sylv

    by any and all means and Hillary is a skilled fighter. You
    can't micromanage a boxing match.

    I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it'-FDR

  •  Problem with the left. (6+ / 0-)

    No balls.

    Read about Chris Lehane in today's NYTimes Mag. Gore's press secretary in 2000, Lehane wanted to fight the theft of the presidency in Florida, and Gore shut him down. Lehane hasn't got over it yet.

    His motto: "Everyone has a game plan until you punch them in the mouth".

    Let's have more like him.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:00:47 AM PST

  •  I just received a leaked version (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, cybrestrike

    of Hillary '16's campaign slogans:

    She's the one you've ACTUALLY been waiting for.

    Admit it, we were right!

    Yes SHE can!

    May the revisionism wars begin!

    (Btw I basically agree with you...I think.)

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:01:11 AM PST

  •  Success for Progressives built on ... distrust? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, Laconic Lib, tb mare
    ... I believe a new way beckons for engagement in electoral politics, and I think Hillary Clinton can be instrumental in this. For more so than any other modern national Democratic politician, she is distrusted by the left. Which, in my view, is absolutely the correct attitude. But I think it is an attitude that should apply to all politicians.

    [and]

    What if the left instead concentrates on winning hearts and minds—in the Congress and in the country? Will Hillary Clinton stand in the way? In my view, no. YMMV.

    A Hillary Clinton presidency will present a unique opportunity to a resurgent and committed left, willing to take on a president and to fight to win battles in Congress and in the country.

    Well, we might feel better and more secure in bucking Hillary who exemplifies Establishment politics and is a board-certified corporatist. But the other shoe - that President Hillary Clinton would not stand in the way of more liberal forces against her?

    Are you suggesting she'd yield her strategy to achieve her programs and policies so that the more liberal left can push the ball even farther than she wants to go or thinks is realistic? Man, if you see that in President Hillary Rodham Clinton, you are truly a visionary.

    (BTW: I agree, she will likely be the Democratic candidate in 2016, barring more from that litany of the past that HC apologists insist is just old news, and assuming no health issues. And I'll vote for her. But I have no illusions that she'd be any less stubborn a President as she was as designated First Lady in-charge-of-health-care reform in the '90's.)

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:01:49 AM PST

    •  Absolutely distrust (0+ / 0-)

      It is essential.

      the rest of your comment is not coherent to me.

      •  I'm saying she will stand in the way... (4+ / 0-)

        ... or better said, is likely to stand in the way.

        That is her history with health care reform realism and the Obama nomination. I see her - as you say, YMMV - as being quite stubborn when she's "the king and in the situation." And the people and forces she will surround herself with will salute with nearly Christie-like loyalty. There isn't likely to be much room for moving her.

        If I'm right and she stiff-arms challengers from the left to her policies and strategies for getting things done with Congress, Progressive interests are not likely to be furthered. Our advocacy may give her a bit more credibility to move her agenda, but that's all I foresee in it. Achieving more for us will take Congressional-level change that other commenters here have suggested. And that is a longer game, unfortunately.

        2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:23:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "health reform realism?" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lysis, PhilW

          IU do agree that if you believe she'll stiff arm SUCCESSFUL progressive alternatives, by all means, she must be stopped.

          I find that view fantasitical.

          Hillary Clinton, a POL, will stand in the way of successful progressivism? That's ridiculous imo.

          •  She pushed her health care agenda to failure. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, tb mare, dfarrah

            Not because it wasn't a great idea (I've quite forgotten the details), but it was a thousand-plus page fait accompli she delivered to the Hill. That strategy, backed by the best and brightest minds in Clinton, couldn't push that package uphill. (I don't say that's an analogy, just a really good example.)

            As for my vision, there wouldn't be room for Progressive success if she stiff-armed it. You're assuming Progressive success and I don't think we'd get out of the box in a Democratic Congress without her permission.

            That admitted bias of mine about HC isn't intellectual. It's based on what I believe is her demonstrated approach to practical politics. She is not going to leave room for us to occupy. We'd have to succeed in spite of her. I guess I think the future under Hillary would be a lot like the past under Hillary and Barack. Opportunities to move the Progressive agenda come from more Elizabeth Warrens, not another Clinton.

            2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:48:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's also a really good eg of why liberals fail (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilW

              that fail is a great eg of why progressives have lost so many times the last 20 years.

              at that time, as now still, the left had no clue or completely ignored the fact that 1000 radio stations were blasting the country with anti single payer lies and myths that even recently were used again to reactivate much of the same opposition (now called the tea party) to not only ensure single payer was perceived as politically impossible but also to successfully defeat the public option.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:07:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  OK. It's 3AM, and the phone rings... (0+ / 0-)

            Corporate Profits or Progressive Policy...

            It comes down to that choice, what does Hillary do?

            You telling me she chooses Progressive Policy?

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:52:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Cheap trick(s) (7+ / 0-)

    trying to convince progressives, that electing a non progressive, is the progressive thing to do.

    Your Mommy's all right
    Your Daddy's all right
    They just seem a little weird
    Surrender
    Surrender
    But don't give yourself away
    Hey, heeeeeey
    •  Nice substance there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat

      Obviously nothing there for me to respond to.

      So you provide an empty set of a comment.

      •  I'm reading the Harper's article (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        whizdom, Sylv

        I definitely agree we must rebuild the labor movement! I think this is absolutely imperative.

        I also agree the Republicans have found a way to block any progressive legislation when they aren't in office and they simply argue the next election things are bad. We've got to find away around GOP obstruction.

        I think it is time to go on the offense against neoliberal policies, but in a non-counter productive way.

      •  Not quite as hollow (4+ / 0-)

        as rallying the progressives to lay low this cycle, in the interests of progressivism.

         I don't have the same confidence that HRC is as electable as assumed.   For several reasons, none of which have anything to do with interfactional democratic politics.  And I am appalled at the idea of skipping the primaries and going straight to a nomination.  Primaries are where progressives and minorities get a voice and contribute platform planks.

        HRC is a problematic candidate because:

        1.  She lost once.  America don't like losers.
        2.  She isn't that likeable, really.
        3.  Her record in public service is only remarkable for its lack of achievement.
        4.  She won't resonate with the youth, she isn't now.  Her age is a factor, but not the only one.
        5.  America likes underdogs, and wants politicians to fight for our votes, one by one.
        6.  This election, like most recent presidential elections rely on convincing the independents.  And motivating them to vote.  
        7.  Through no fault of her own she is associated with controversy, often unjustly, but it follows her and has defined her.
        8.  She needs the progressive wing to help get out the base, to do that, she has to give us some progressive policy objectives.  And more than gender and marriage equality, as important as that is.  But she can't give us anything on energy or income inequality, anti trust, or the environment because those are counter to her neo liberal tradition and donor base.

        If she gets through the primaries against credible opponents, I will fully support her candidacy for the presidency.

        It will diminish democracy to prospectively coronate her without a vigorous primary.

  •  Too early to tell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, whizdom, Sylv

    I don't know whether Hillary will be progressive or not.

    One of my reasons for voting for Obama was that he and Michelle had been closer to real people time wise than Hillary and Bill.

    An advantage for Hillary over Obama is Bill Clinton is more able to explain progressive issues in a favorable and way that can be easily understood than Obama.

    Bill Clinton was able to sell his ideas way better than Obama mostly.

    On the other hand Hillary and Co ran a truly crappy campaign last time and I thought they did a piss poor job of selling their ideas.

    I do think that Hillary would not have the racisim as a factor that Obama did, and that would be a plus.

    However the right truly hates her and because of her history I think they would have more scandal and hay to make as far as investigations and stuff than Obama. I could see a whole new Whitewater 2 sort of investigations start.

    Also because of the history I think that smear against Hillary would have more traction than something like Benghazi or Fast and Furious. So that's a downside.

    However I also think at least during Bill Clintons presidency while he was more to the right like we all complain about, the middle class fared WAY better than under the slightly more progressive Obama.

    As others have said though if the republicans keep the seats they have, and maybe gain in the senate I can see a Hillary presidency getting less done plus having way more scandal hearings to tie them up.

    But I have no idea what Clinton stands for other than a champion of gender issues.  She could be a real champion of the middle class or her presidency could be more like her SOS tenure where she just played it safe and it would be impossible to point to any significant thing she got done.

    The issues I would like to see her speak on would be inequality, the min wage, how she would modify the ACA to improve it. How we are going to bolster Social Security and retirement security? Reducing energy consumption and improving infrastructure like internet and public transportation.

  •  Great (5+ / 0-)

    I'm super enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton -- I'm going to contribute lots of money and spend hours volunteering to get out the vote for her -- because I don't trust her.  

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:10:20 AM PST

  •  So far, I am waiting to hear a "progressive" (6+ / 0-)

    policy stance from Ms. Clinton, or any of the "Me Too" neo- liberal myopic representatives we have in the Democratic  Party, but I doubt this will happen.  Where's the outrage and counter attack of the party to the egregious bills and attitudes that are floating about the halls of DC like a bad passage of gas?  Where are their voices?  Where are the voices that the people of this country want and so desperately need to hear to counter the legislative insanity that is taking over this nation?  Populism has never been demonstrated to be poor tactic and strategy when the majority of the commons are feeling pain and suffering in their daily lives at the hands of the minority wealthy that run the show.  Maybe our Democratic Party officials and representatives are complicit because they too are the political wealthy elite as well?  Well, hate to break the news to you, but they are.

    Where is the outrage?

    Meet the new boss:  Same as the old boss.

    I used to be a 100% progressive optimist, but now after seeing so many elections come and go, I long ago joined the ranks of voting for the lessor of two evils, and that's getting a bit hard to swallow.  The Progressives and Liberals of the Democratic party along with the Latino, African American, Native American First Nation peoples and other minorities vote have become the token expected vote always hoping that this is their time but with nothing in return in terms of policies over the past years.  

    Same S**t, Different Day.

    This attitude of "who else would they vote for"  cynical approach by the Democratic Party is now upsetting many that are just getting tired.  Yes, some "liberal " policies are being enacted, but there is big "Liberal" money behind such new laws, but the majority in this country don't have those deep pockets or rub shoulders with those high dollar folks to be able to "play the game".  What do they have that eases the frustration?   The only empowering action that is left to many:  A lack of voter turnout fueled by that very cynicism and distrust.  

    You reap what you sow.

    Again I ask:  Where is the outrage?

    Enjoy the balance of the weekend, and be safe out there.

    "LC"

    “My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there." - Rumi

    by LamontCranston on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:10:47 AM PST

    •  That's not germane to my post (0+ / 0-)

      Or rather it is in the sense that the perception, accurate imo, is that Hilary Clinton is not progressive. She should be resisted on every issue unless she adopts the progressive view.

      I'm not sure if reading is difficult, but try to read my post again. You apparently did not.

  •  Not necessary (12+ / 0-)
    Who on the left will be biting their tongue regarding their criticisms (from the left) of Hillary Clinton? What progressives will not be utterly suspicious of every initiative and policy a President Hillary Clinton will propose? What progressive will not be questioning Hillary Clinton about everything?
    You don't even have to leave the confines of dKos to answer these questions.  Out in meatspace they're even easier to answer; it is difficult to find democrats who are sufficiently informed to appreciate HRC's corporatist leanings (at least that's my experience in MI).

    I admire your effort Armando, but your argument is too heavy a lift.  The crux seems to be that to advance a progressive agenda, we must not elect a progressive.  Yet we've repeatedly tried that for decades.  When was the last progressive president we elected?  Carter?  LBJ?  So we've had Reagan, Pappy Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to test your theory.  Now you say we need to try another Clinton and then maybe we'll see the progressive movement flourish.  

    Indeed, it reflects a misperception I saw in the comments to my own post, Hillary Clinton and a left flank: How a Clinton presidency could redefine progressive governance—a focus on the pol as savior or devil.
    That's a blatant strawman.  Kossacks fully understand that a president cannot enact a progressive agenda alone.  The question is, do we want a president who is amenable to the progressive cause, who can be persuaded or is perhaps even willing to step to the left when progressives push her?  Or do we want a president who is hostile to progressives, who seeks out "Sista Souljah" moments, who views us as "fucking retards"?  

    If we get stuck with the Goldwater republican hippy puncher, I agree that it is not the end of the world, or as you say "the devil".  But I'll be damned if I'm going to vote for the Wal*Mart candidate in the primary.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:11:14 AM PST

    •  You misstate my argument (0+ / 0-)

      I am addressing the current situation with a sui generis candidate, not applying a general rule..

      Your comment is a blatnat strawman.

      •  You're saying, (5+ / 0-)

        this time will be different, because nobody would mistake HRC for a progressive.  Which is obviously not true to anyone who spends even a little time at dKos.

        Recall that by Clinton's second term, progressives began to realize he wasn't one of them.  Instead of thriving, the progressive movement deflated, some abandoned dems for Nader, and we ended up with Dubya.  Granted, HRC is not her husband, but it's a good example of the dynamic between a centrist president and the progressive movement.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:45:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obviously not true? (0+ / 0-)

          This is pointless.

          •  If someone tells me the sky is green (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not going to cite evidence to tell the person the sky is blue.

            If you bothered to read comments at dKos, you would know that there is a faction here who believe HRC is a true progressive, just as a faction believes Obama is progressive at heart.  You'll have to wade in amongst the unwashed masses yourself, I'm not going to hold your hand.

            Furthermore, I suggest you read your own diary.  You claim nobody could ever possibly mistake HRC for a progressive.  Do you offer evidence?  Or is it only a requirement for those who dare question your superior argumentation?

            Pointless, indeed.  

            "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

            by Subterranean on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:20:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  HRC's record (0+ / 0-)

      It would be really nice if you backed up what you say about HRC's record.

  •  I enjoyed the Reed article (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, dfarrah

    Some of it mentioned (too briefly) concerns of mine like militarism.  Some of it was awful and seemed naive to me.  Some of that was even laughable (Gore also would have invaded Iraq).  I think he hit good points 40% of the time but missed about 60%.

    His dismissal of electoral politics is wacky.  Committed progressives can do MORE than only chew gum and walk at the same time.  They can hold cogent conversations with people at the same time too.  Amazing!

    My family is involved in electoral politics, our union work as well as various organizations within the progressive coalition.  Our cause is civil rights and social justice.

    As for Hillary, I can't vote for her but am doing what I can NOW for 2014 primaries this month.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:13:30 AM PST

  •  Why not just lose the election, then? (8+ / 0-)

    Then we'll be REALLY unified and committed.  

    I'm sorry, but I don't see how a HRC candidacy/presidency will have any different result than the last two times we've had centrist Democrats in the White House: disappointed Democrats, rabid, fire-breathing Republicans.  You act like some minor change in the way the media portrays the Democrat (which I'm not seeing, btw) is going to resonate all through our base and we'll...what, now?  We'll ride that minor change to political victories all over the nation  because...um...media...uhh...oh, fuck it.

    Their side thinks ideologically, our side just looks for the D on the ballot and checks the box next to it.  That's why the Republicans are currently governing from minority status.

    •  Why not lose the election? (0+ / 0-)

      Bush presidency. That's why. If it can get worse, it will get worse.

      Losing elections does nothing to further a progressive cause. I've heard that over and over again, for many decades. And when you lose elections, you lose momentum, you lose previous gains, you lose access to the ballot box, you get gerrymandered out of existence.

      That's why electoral politics has got to be part of a progressive toolbox.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:45:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have NO doubt Hillary would redefine progressive (9+ / 0-)

    Her cheerleaders here are already doing it for her.

    The problem is not that we need to redefine progressive governance. The problem is that we elected a progressive and got a conservative, a situation that can only be expected to get worse electing MOR Hillary.

  •  Ha ha ha ha ha ha . . . oh my (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, dfarrah, GreatLakeSailor

    I'm done with being co-opted to vote against my best economic interests.  I'll vote for Hillary - never.

    Smoking some hopium?

  •  Once Hillary Clinton is elected (8+ / 0-)

    And she starts governing as a corporatist, this site will be filled with people hitting her critics with "this is what she ran on. She's doing what she said she would do."

    Imagining a politician will be MORE Progressive once elected to POTUS is a nice fantasy, but after Barack Obama, I don't think many are going to fall for it again.  

  •  Approaching Perfect Storm (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, mightymouse

    How will Madame President handle these three impending crisis?

    - Economic stasis. We are now at an average GDP growth rate of 1.75%. about 1/2 of our historic average of 3+%. We have structural issues having a lot to do with Wall Street. Income inequality requires income redistribution. Hillary gets a projected D+.

    - Global Climate Crisis. We are facing a world population peak of 10-11 billion people followed by a massive die-back and the sixth large-scale species extinction. The solution is an all out, world-wide, project to transition from a fossil fuel era to a sustainability era. I will give Hillary a C+ as I think that she might rise to the challenge, although I don't know how vigorously she will push entrenched energy industry executives. The US is a world-wide laggard on this issue.

    - Demotion to third place. By the end of her presidency the US will have the third largest economy, behind China and the EU. This entails lots of changes in who we are and how we perceive our role in the world. We believe in US exceptionalism and are the self-appointed global policeman. We will have to transition from this to the role as one member of the world's leading states. Can Hillary do this? She can't sell this domestically and get elected. Will she be realistic in guiding the ship of state? I'm not hopeful and I would give her a C, but I am willing to upgrade this considerably as she does have a great deal of pragmatic experience as Sec of State listening to leaders around the world.

    I bring these up, because the Left will need to push Madame President on these issues, and more. I think that it would help a lot if we can remain focused on a set of high-priority issues in which we can make a solid case. These are times that require a leader with vision and drive. Hillary has the drive, but we need to try to influence her on the "vision thing".

  •  Simple reply: No. (10+ / 0-)

    I will not redefine democracy to be vote for the person who does not represent you.

    The powers that be in this party know where to find me (Hi, spooks!).  When one or another of them fights for what my priorities are, I'll vote for that candidate...and no others.  And I'm hearing there are more like me in that decision.  Else you'd not be entreating us to do the illogical.

  •  Correct on all points Armando. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy, Armando
    •  I was hoping to engage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xarkGirl, PhilW

      with some thoughtful rebuttal to my points.

      Not seeing it at all.

      •  People are angry. (9+ / 0-)

        Progressives are angry the Democratic Party still has not brought itself to confront the economic establishment that is destroying the American Dream for millions of our people. Instead, our party leaders are playing nice with establishment. So I understand where the anger is coming from.

        But one must take a step back, as you are doing with great acumen, and look at the big picture. Demographics are going our way, and distrust in American institutions is at an all time high. This will bubble up into the halls of government because it is unavoidable. People die, new people take their place. The country is becoming more urban, more urbane, and recognition of the disconnect between the people and their leaders is increasing among the people themselves. Time is on our side.

        So what we have to do, most importantly, is win elections and keep reactionaries out of power so that progressive movements have the space to flourish. That is BEST done with Hillary Clinton, not a Republican, as President. Not ideal, but the best option among those realistically available. That wont sooth the anger out there, and that's a good thing.

        To some up, it is better for us to be on offense, fighting to reshape our own party than it is to be fighting rear-guard actions against Republicans. That has been the great blessing of the Obama presidency: it has given Progressive the space for which to fight forward, rather than backward.

  •  Also, on Reed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, allensl
    Reed, it seems to me, like too many persons, sees elections as only the presidential election.
    Gary Younge straitened me out on this some time ago.  Our conversations are so hung up on the Prez and that is incompatible with the party of "people power".
    ...there is the self-satisfied smirk of the pundit for whom the itch to say "I told you so" has become too irresistible not to scratch. Absent any other coherent political or electoral strategy that might get us from where we were to where we need to be, they got their disillusion in early to avoid the rush. Refusing to see any potential in the mobilization of huge numbers of young, black, Latino and union workers who took part in his campaign, they understood the energy and excitement as little more than a moment of mass delusion. Like a broken clock, they just had to wait until the moment when they could pronounce themselves correct. In the words of Friedrich Engels, "What childish innocence it is to present one's own impatience as a theoretically convincing argument!"

    While these two camps are driven by different impulses, they have two important things in common. First, they share a right-wing assumption, made famous by Thomas Carlyle, that history is made by "great men" rather than the far more complex interaction of people, time, place and power. Their ire is trained on one man and one alone. Not a system, institution or kaleidoscope of forces but Obama. If he were better, things would be different. If he tried harder, he could succeed. Such charges betray a devotion to a man and reverence for an office that is indecent in a democracy and incompatible with left politics.

    Second, it suggests that this "great man" exists as an abstraction, in the absence of other forces, constraints and material realities. What movements might support or oppose him and what events might distract him are, to these detractors, apparently irrelevant. They reduce politics from an engagement with the world as it is to an act of will to construct a new world out of whole cloth. In this world the need to get sixty votes in the Senate, and the compromises that might emerge from that reality, have no meaning.
    http://www.thenation.com/...

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:29:18 AM PST

  •  If the photo in the diary was selected to (0+ / 0-)

    remind readers they dislike Ms. Clinton--good job.

    Here's a suggested alternate:

    photo

  •  Let me say something that will be really unpopular (9+ / 0-)

    We need to be willing to do what the Tea Party has done: surrender an election cycle or three to put the fear of the people into our politicians.

    Yes, yes.  We all laugh at Tea Party luminaries such as Christine O'Donnell, the wicked witch of Delaware, or whoever that loser was who ran against Reid in Nevada.  

    But, what the Tea Party did with these elections is give a giant middle finger to the Republican establishment.  The establishment said that O'Donnell and company were unelectable.  And they were.  But the Tea Party responded with a rousing "we don't care", and voted for them anyway in the primaries.  The Tea Party sent a strong message that moderate Republicans like Mike Castle (who lost the primary to O'Donnell in Delaware) were unacceptable and that the Tea Party would accept defeat in the general eelction before acquiescing to the establishment.

    The Republican Establishment got the message loud and clear and moved even further to the right to fend off Tea Party primary challenges.  Oh, and don't forget, the Tea Party gets their own televised response to the state of the union speech now, separate and apart from the Republican Establishment speech.

    Until we demonstrate that we are willing lose some election cycles if the candidates are unacceptable, we will keep getting the Hillary Clintons and Chuck Shumers shoved down our throats.

  •  Progressives need to understand this clearly: (5+ / 0-)

    You are not the majority, either in the country or within the Democratic Party. For a progressive vision of policy to take hold among the electorate and within the party, the first, most important objective is to win elections. If you don't win the election, you never get to have any influence on governing. What you've got, in the most charitable viewpoint, is a concentration of views in a few very blue states on the coasts.

    If you believe progressive policies work, you have to demonstrate it by governing. That is the way you increase the 'liberal' identification from 25% to 50+. It does not matter that the country agrees with liberals on policy because people don't vote based purely on policy. We've seen this time and time again. You have to first implement the policy to win the hearts and minds, and you don't get to implement the policy unless you win the election.

    The way we win elections is a tough, dirty, rather nasty business. It involves, especially for Democrats, setting beliefs aside for the purpose of delivering the best realistic outcome. But it must be done. Only when you win the election can you have any influence over policy. And the more you win, the more influence you have.

    •  The problem with this argument is that... (4+ / 0-)

      ...those holding a progressive vision of policy are not winning elections.  Centrists are, because they currently hold sway (controlling pursestrings, messaging, and legislation) and protect that sway.  The only influence on governing will be that of the politicians who are winning, and they're not progressives.

      So as long as we embrace the crappy choices we have, and confine ourselves to the political arena that exists, progressives are prevented from gaining office and demonstrating that progressive policies work, and they cannot bring around public opinion to ensure that greater numbers of progressives are elected.

      It's a closed system.  You cannot work within it if you start outside it.

      •  You know who is the biggest fundraising Senator? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, allensl, PhilW, mightymouse, coral

        That would be Elizabeth Warren. And she does it without running hat in hand to every corporation in America. Why?

        First and foremost, because of who she is. But secondly, and almost just as important, is because she's a sitting Senator. How does she become a sitting Senator? First she has to win the election. How does she get through the primary? Well, it most certainly helps big time when you've got a sitting President behind you who can assist in clearing the field for you. Which means you need to win the presidency first.

        Power isn't a plant. It's a machine. It doesn't grow naturally, it has to be built. Piece by piece.

        •  Ah, Obama won her her seat. Really? (3+ / 0-)

          I supported that campaign at the beginning, and I remember a different history than you do.

          That said, I do agree that power is built piece by piece.  I disagree with your and Armando's arguments that progressives will win power by playing on the Centrists' court and to their playbook.

          •  That's not what I said. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PhilW

            But you can rest assured that she wouldn't have gone anywhere if he was against her. You tell me how she would have beaten the White House in Massachusetts with a sitting President against her and I'll sell you a bridge. Not in a million years. Especially in a machine party state like Massachusetts with the sitting Governor being one the President's and First Lady's best political friends. She won her race, no question.

            But my point is that its better for her if there is a Democrat sitting in that oval office, corporate or not. I suspect she would tell you the same thing.

    •  well said! (0+ / 0-)

      and of course, those who say we can't put faith in just elected leaders are also correct. Elect em, sometimes protect them, sometimes correct them! (sorry, I just couldn't resist that)

    •  Pragmatists need (3+ / 0-)

      to understand this clearly:

      The country has long supported liberal ideals and policies.

      The parties simply refuse to run candidates who support such policies; the parties are largely controlled by the moneyed interests.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:55:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kosacks love Hillary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Medium Head Boy, dfarrah

    As expected for the Kos blog, the author puts team Democrat above everything. But although Armando recognizes that Obama in 2008 represented a more liberal approach than the Clintons he somehow forgets how successful that was for Obama, and how overwhelming the support for real progressive objectives is in the electorate. Obama was not very successful when elected, because it turned out that his progressivism was just a facade, and Republicans wouldn't let him do much anyway. Armando also forgets that Obama virtually came out of nowhere - who would have predicted him to be the nominee even two years in advance?

    Progressives have every reason to hope for and work for a better candidate than Hillary for 2016 - too bad Kosacks are so focused on the obvious political moves.

  •  You could be right. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, maryabein, dfarrah

    My opinion, FWIW, is that we'll never know.  Three years from now Obama and the neoliberal Democrats are going to be so unpopular that Hillary won't be able to win as a conservadem.

  •  ya know.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, aliasalias

    I am just fucking tired of " oh noes what if  Republican (fill in the blanks) were elected"... in my life time Nixon/Ford/Reagan/Bush/Shrub ....

    and ya know What? I am still here.. you have a crazy Governor? a crazy State legislature? You are still here...
      In fact I will go as far as to say nothing organizes the left as much as a crazy Republican in charge...
       Hundreds of thousands showed up at times when Shrub was President... Drones? Pipeline? Fracking? NSA spying? Under Obama?
    Hundreds at best....
      Occupy was the next chance of a different generation.. and they gave the fuck up!

       Fuck it.. I will continue to to work with my local grade school .. "Learn after School" I will continue to be kind on a daily basis..
      I will never panic because I know where my towel is...

    "If you want to end war and stuff you have to sing loud"  A.G.
     

  •  By the logic of this article, we should elect a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike, tb mare, GreatLakeSailor

    Republican, that way the progressive base will be really energized. Instead of Hillary taking us halfway to Total Warfare and Zero Welfare, we can have Ted Cruz take us all the way there.

  •  Eh. Anybody in a position to be President has (8+ / 0-)

    already gotten through the Corporate Primary, and then, with money from that they enter the Media Primary (which itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate World.).

    Then we get to choose. The Corporate world doesn't give a shit about how we express ourselves, or our heritage, or who we fuck or anything like that.

    (There's exceptions: a large portion of the US Corporate World thinks themselves 'christians,' though not as much as say, 80 years ago.)

    Just as long as they get to call the shots on Money and War everything's fine. They just need to stifle anything which might be effective in changing how Power is done. Feelings? The people can feel whatever the fuck they want. They can 'like' or 'not like' forever, as long as it's not effective.

    The Corporate World 'left' and 'right' divide is whether the people should be stomped with a boot in the face forever, or whether the people should be somewhat mollified, so they don't make too much trouble. The common ground is based on 'there's too many people, and they make too much money. How best to change that?'

    If you really want to see things change, to align with what majorities to overwhelming majorities want to see -- that is, have a democracy (itself the essence of progressive/liberal) then we start with forcing a breakup, while breaking into, the mass-reach Media. Which is the most ubiquitous and effective propaganda/agitation apparatus in all history, and completely in the hands of the 1%. They form our political narratives.

    That means instead of another vacuous Campaign '14, Campaign '16 ('18...'96) we have to FORCE the candidates to speak about REALITY.

    Of the top of my head: that our Top Banks (and Central Banks) are rampant criminal enterprises which are destroying economies and democracy; that our politicians are largely bought by Multinationals; that our Foreign Policy of Hegemony is national suicide; that we live in a Stalker State; that our very institutions are rotted through and through... all these things are indisputable, and there's more like them.

    In short, we have to have campaigns about the Real World of Real Power.

    Unless we do that -- and the failure to do that has been the greatest blunder of the 'left' blogosphere, an historic failure -- then you can be certain that if, say, a 'liberal' like Hillary runs it'll be about more food stamps for the kids increasingly in poverty, instead of how globalization has destroyed our ability to not fall into poverty and how we can actually get people to work again.

    Beyond that, it'll be about whether this set of genitals or that set of genitals can kill foreigners more effectively, and who said stupid things, who has a scandal, and, key, who the Press likes hanging out with more.

    Like our elections have been since at least 1980. Void of meaningful content.

    As sure as the sun is hot, it won't be about any genuine benefit to the electorate unless we force new narratives in the mass-reach Media. Everyone should know this by this point; don't see how it's even a discussion.

    Target mass-reach media: force genuine political narratives into the mainstream. Our only hope.


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

    by Jim P on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:46:10 AM PST

    •  Senate, House, State races (0+ / 0-)

      Focus on those. Sometimes the corporate forces don't win, especially if the opposition has strong progressive backing and an effective get out the vote strategy.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 04:57:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Totally agree. Nonetheless, we win the (0+ / 0-)

        battles now and again, but we keep losing the Class War. Something at root has to change.


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

        by Jim P on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:02:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Very few Democratic officials/organizations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, GreatLakeSailor

    ...openly antagonize the Democratic establishment, which is why there isn't a well-organized progressive movement within the Democratic Party like the Tea Party is within the Republican Party. In fact, there's not that many progressive bloggers that openly antagonize the Democratic establishment on a regular basis like I do.

    Also, if you want a more progressive Congress, find primary challengers to Democrats like Jim Cooper, Ron Kind, and Dan Lipinski.

    There are three natural adversaries of the progressive movement: Republicans, the Democratic establishment, and the mainstream media

    by DownstateDemocrat on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:55:56 AM PST

  •  I think Reed projects an Imagined Past. (0+ / 0-)

    When were these "Golden Years of the American Left" that he seems to suggest we have fallen off of?

    The lynchpin of his argument, the erosion of labor unions, glosses over two facts:

    1. Unions have rarely been a grassroots-led operation. Rather, they have wielded their clout as a force not dissimilar from the Democratic party, and very often in close collaboration with it.
    2. It was barely two decades between the time unions were still racially segregated - and the time Reagan started dismantling them.  

    Also: Reed laments the Left's lack of clout, as if it was a recent phenomenon.

    Please, do tell me at what point in modern American history the Left was a power of the same magnitude as the Right. I will be happy to prove you wrong.

    There's a lot to do and a lot to fix, but in the world and in the way we organize. But hand-wringing and lamenting the fall from an imagined past, don't help anyone.

    •  A Left (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, GreatLakeSailor

      Well during the 20's and 30's there was a real left. during the 60's there was the beginnings of a left. Otherwise you're correct.

      •  McCarthyism killed (0+ / 0-)

        the left in the post-WW II period, quite effectively.

        Although the Civil Rights movement made great strides during the 1950s, and it was an extremely well-organized and effective movement, which pressured LBJ and a very resistant Congress into passing Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act into law. I still consider that a quasi-miracle, but it happened because of masses of people in the streets doing amazingly courageous things, many of them dying or having their personal lives destroyed.

        The anti-Vietnam War protest in the late 1960s was very effective, driving LBJ out of office and leading the end of the war in 1975. There were many factors in the end of the Vietnam War, other than the antiwar movement, but it kept the pressure on, leading to the end of the military draft.

        The LGBT movement has made huge strides since the Stonewall Riots--through sustained efforts both within and without the electoral arena. Now many states have enacted gay marriage, something that was unimaginable even a decade or two ago.

        What the left hasn't been able to do is sustain a movement for economic justice. The labor unions have shrunk and been disempowered. The Democratic Party has betrayed many economic justice ideals--and this includes Obama and Clinton--over and over again.

        I see a motivated, grassroots environmental movement that has the seeds of making a real difference in policy.

        What we need is an economic justice movement that can hold Democratic office holders accountable and that can pressure candidates to pay at least some lip service to economic justice issues. How do we get there? I have to admit, I think the prognosis is pretty dismal. I don't see any strategy working, or any power center able to sustain that kind of movement.

        Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

        by coral on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 05:14:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  A story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein

    Ed Schultz came out for the Canadian pipeline and was roasted by his fans.  He talked with the people involved for a week including Nebraska farmers being destroyed by the pipeline.  His last interview was with the Canadian ambassador who said we will cross your country with our shale in a pipeline, in a train or any way we like.  The candidate who will say Americans make the laws in the US and not NAFTA or the secret trade agreements will get my vote.  That we don't use eminent domain to take farmers land to allow Canada to cross and pollute our water and land with their garbage shale for sale to China.  Where is a politician of any party who will say that?  Maybe there is no one to vote for in 2016.  

  •  Anyone that thinks Hillary won't be portrayed (4+ / 0-)

    as a wild-eyed liberal in the 2014 election is dreaming. All one has to do is go back to Bill Clinton and how HE was seen... radical leftie, etc.

    I spent his entire two terms trying to explain  his relevance to the Centrist Dems, to no avail.

    The thought of a WalMart Board member, that is as pro-corporatist as they come, speaking to the need to reform and recalibrate Wal Street and banking in general is beyond laughable. It's tragic.

    Hillary has NO idea how the middle class, let alone the poor, struggle and she doesn't seem to give a damn about the relationship between the two and the uber wealthy.

    She also, as was President Clinton, is weak on the environment at a time we just cannot afford a president blindsided on the topic.

    NAFTA, which critics were exactly correct about, helped the rich pile onto the backs of the poor, undermined the environment, helped to destroy American jobs, undermined labor and brought manufacturing to its knees.

    And all we will get is more of the same with Hillary.  It's a disaster.

    As far as influencing her right-of-center ideology, I think that is just hopelessness looking for a kind word. Her right-of-center positions will be defended by supporters despite the need to elect more and better democrats. We might be electing more democrats, but not necessarily better democrats. Hillary is the poster child on the point.

    Maybe the phrase should more truthfully be more or better democrats to avoid straining all credulity.

    I will agree with your and Kos' assessment to the extent we need to focus on down ticket races. That's where my eyes are, as well, but if the top is right-of-center (or worse just plain right wing on some issues), I remain unconvinced it will do much good other than to maintain support for right-of-center policies.

    And I will absolutely NOT vote for a hawk.  

    The next ten years are going to just plain suck for someone like me.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:01:12 AM PST

    •  You're dreaming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emelyn

      Also too, the 2016 election.

      •  Sure I am. I'm dreaming about someone that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maryabein, aliasalias

        gives a damn.  That isn't Hillary.  And it isn't the majority of the democratic party, either.

        202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

        by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:12:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're dreaming that Hillaryu will be portrayed as (0+ / 0-)

          progressive.

          Look, this is obvious and I really have a hard time discussing this with folks who deny the obvious.

          •  Oh really? That is precisely how the right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Medium Head Boy

            wing media portrayed Bill Clinton. Limbaugh, for instance, portrayed Bill Clinton that way daily.  For years.

            And least we debate whether the right wing has a larger component in most media... do we need to have that discussion?

            If you think that doesn't matter, fine.  But to say it didn't happen is just untruthful.

            202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

            by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:24:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They portrayed him as corrupt (0+ / 0-)

              Not as a progressive. Slick Willy remember?

              You're just wrong. Completely so.

              •  They did portray him that way, but he was (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                aliasalias

                called out as a liberal by every right wing nut (and heaven knows, there a lot of them some with large audiences) daily.  Obviously, you weren't listening to Limbaugh at the time (which is actually a smart move!).

                202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:03:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

                  And it never stuck or infected the Trad Med.

                  I was aware of Limbaugh. But what stuck was Slick Willy, not commie!

                  You MUST know this.

                  •  I didn't SAY anything about commie! (0+ / 0-)

                    Read my post. I said Liberal.

                    And what's with even changing the topic from "liberal" to "commie"?  

                    That was unexpected from you!

                    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

                    by cany on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:24:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  my brother is a Limbaugh fan and 'Slick Willie' (0+ / 0-)

                was always tied to being a trait of liberals, at least that was what I had to deal with and I gotta say no way under the sun will I vote for Clinton.
                She will automatically be labeled as the representative of the 'left' just because she wears the letter D and as her neoliberal ideology brings further destruction of the poor and working class (same thing these days) it will be more of the 'see there how bad liberals are?'

                without the ants the rainforest dies

                by aliasalias on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:35:18 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  What I find dishearting is that we have over two (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    andalusi

    years to go before 2016 and yet we have basically been told that Clinton is it...so deal with it.  We are looking at polls 2 plus year out before any real opposition comes, before any whatever they got is put out there in mass ect and just saying because the polls say this in 2014 that she is all we have.  It's bull!  

    What happens if in late 2015, Clinton experiences a fall of some kind or even decides not to run?  Since we haven't looked elsewhere seriously nor spent two plus years building up anyone else, who do we turn to?  

    I will not embrace that Clinton is our only choice two plus years out.  I just won't. Matter of fact, I am not excited at all about her running and no one I know who is a progressive is excited either.  That is NOT a good sign.  We need excitement because that is how we win elections.  The enemy doesn't have that factor on their side, because they only choose rich, white lying men who are on the wrong side of history on everything.  Guess what?  Their base also holds them to the fire on that!  Every election cycle the tea baggers get more and more power within their party because they refuse to compromise.  One day, however, they might get excited enough behind one of their crazies that the establishment will be told to go to hell...and they might just win because of it.  Could you imagine a President Cruz!??  It should give you nightmares. But if they rally enough and refuse enough and except no compromise enough...their base might actually pull it off.  We should do the same.

      I am sick and tired of waiting and begging and protesting and hoping and praying and pleading and waiting on the sidelines for the moment that years from now our party will maybe listen to its own base. They work for us, not the other way around.  

    Yes, I will support Clinton if she is "the one" standing in 2016.  I will not, however, call it inevitable two plus years out nor even stop hoping we can find a true representation for the backbone of our party.  

  •  This post is a start, but it doesn't go (0+ / 0-)

    far enough.  David Atkins has the right idea.

    Tapping into the backlash will require more than just a focus on winning elections, as voters no longer believe politicians can or even want to solve their problems. It will also require much more than the weak vision of progress that the New Left has been peddling for decades.

    It will require an acknowledgement of the trends that continue to destroy the middle class and send the working class into abject poverty, and a commitment to not only protect those falling furthest behind but to reverse the broader trend.

    Without such a newly energized, more determined commitment toward broad prosperity, the desiccated vision and goals of the New Left will be rightly abandoned by voters.
    I thought it was a disaster when the "50 state" strategy was abandoned by the official Democratic Party in the name of "efficient use of resources".  By far the most important resource is popular support for changing society to make it work for everyone.  We have to build that for the long run.

    Elections are a means to an end.  The end is broad based prosperity and freedom for everyone.  It does no good to win elections by triangulating to try to eke out a bare temporary majority, then be too timid to try to do real change.

    That does not mean we have to have the same rigidity as the Tea Party.  It does mean we have to aggressively push for and try to pass measures that really move to the ultimate end, and aggressively defend them.  Any Democrat who avoids any mention of the ACA because they think it is unpopular is damaging in the long run.  Anyone who says that the ACA is a starting point, let's look to make real improvements, or consider single payer, is starting the conversation that needs to happen.

    The time has come when the main task is to convince the American people that society and the economy need to be rebuilt.  If we don't do that, in a way that is actually progressive, elections won't help.  If we succeed in doing that, electoral success will follow of itself.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Thutmose V on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:02:00 AM PST

  •  An opportunity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Medium Head Boy
     I think despair is the wrong reaction to this realization. The left should see the opportunity.
     Yes, an opportunity to continue being ignored by the Democratic Party for another 4 years.

       Your point is that the left will continue to exist after Hillary wins. Big deal.
       I fail to see how that changes anything at all.

      Despair is exactly what I intend to do, and exactly what most progressives will feel.
       Once again, this coming election will be much closer than it should be because the Democrats will fail to energize its base. Why? Because it won't offer its base anything. Again.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:13:50 AM PST

    •  80% of the base wants her to run. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tomwatson, atana, emelyn, PhilW

      Progressives support her more than moderates or centrists.

      We will be very motivated.  My own sister, who rarely votes and tends to tire of my Democratic rants, mentioned out of nowhere yesterday that she hopes Hillary runs and she will make a point to go out and vote for her.  "She's smart and tough and I know she'll work harder than any president we've ever had."

      •  I don't believe you (0+ / 0-)
        Progressives support her more than moderates or centrists
        80% of her base are moderates, centrists and conservatives.

          However, I'm glad that you are motivated.
        Hell, in these days of identity politics, maybe simply being a woman is enough to energize the base at least once.

        None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

        by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:24:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're saying the polls are skewed? nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emelyn, Lysis
          •  Re: (0+ / 0-)

            I'm saying that its a good thing Hillary is a woman, because if it wasn't for identity politics the Democrats would have a very tough time getting the base motivated enough to win the presidency in 2016.

            None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

            by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:40:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think women have had it easy (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PhilW, Lysis

              running for president. I might be mistaken, but I don't think so.

              •  Women don't have it easy (0+ / 0-)

                That is true, but then minorities hadn't either until Obama.

                 That doesn't change anything.

                 Most people, even a lot of conservatives, will admit that we are long overdue for a woman president.
                  And that's what Hillary will run on more than anything else.
                  And you know what? She will probably win on that platform.

                None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:03:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's a good thing! (0+ / 0-)

                  I think we sometimes forget that we can't keep counting on a GOP catastrophe to forward progressive causes. The 2012 election was an even better election than 2008.

                  If we can win with 'about time' I'll take that and bank it. The fight to reshape the Democratic Party is on, and it helps tremendously when the party is in power.

                  •  Is it? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    aliasalias

                    What it is is "not a bad thing". Which is not the same thing as "a good thing".

                    The fight to reshape the Democratic Party is on, and it helps tremendously when the party is in power.
                    I disagree. Victory tends to keep things as they are, especially within the Democratic Party.
                       Hillary winning means there will be no effort to reshape the party. After all, who is going to mess with a "winning strategy", even if that strategy is simply "I'm a woman and not a Republican".

                     The Democrats will continue to march to the neoliberal tune.

                      I'm curious how well that tune will sound to Americans after we've turned into another recession, which we will before 2016.

                    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

                    by gjohnsit on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:21:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe, just maybe, DK != "progressives"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lysis

          American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

          by atana on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:22:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Are we going to do this every week? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, atana

    Armando or another front page poster puts up a clear-eyed, realistic approach to what is the current state of the presidential race:  an unprecedented groundswell of support for one candidate both among her base and the general population.

    Then we get four hundred comments arguing against a Hillary Clinton that doesn't exist in the eyes of the actual base or the American public.

    The users who flood the comment thread every time her name is mentioned need to stop fancying themselves as the defining voice of progressives or the Democratic base, who overwhelmingly see Clinton as one of their own and their preferred candidate.

    Learn the difference between someone being so popular that others don't want to run against her, and some powers that be trying to clear the deck on her behalf.

    She's wildly popular.  She's incredibly admired.  And women and men who don't normally vote Democratic, or haven't in a generation, or as eager to pull the lever for her as the dyed-in-the-wool progressives who will be standing on line with her.

    She's the most accomplished and admired woman in the history of American politics.   You want to run someone against her, go right ahead.  But you'll have a lot more success if you actually understand who you're running against.  Nobody's buying the unlikable DINO war-mongering unaccomplished loser line outside these comment threads.

  •  The Left and Clinton and Armando (0+ / 0-)

    Reed at least comes closest to the current reality. To suggest that Clinton, who has dropped her knickers for the Oligarchs and represents at best a representation of the DLC Democrat, or a moderate republican. The real argument is if there is any longer a Democratic Party in anything but name. And is there a coherent left that one might both identify and connect with? I would argue the ultimate pessimistic position that there is no longer a Democratic Party that represents fighting for labor, the poor, real safety net programs that can ensure access  to food, shelter, health care, living wages and an open classless society. Rather if one can bring oneself to be honest the present Democratic Party doesn't even match up with the old Northeast Republicans like Weicker, etc. We have lost. there is no identifiable or coherent left. What political fights that do exist are fights between how we screw the 99%, a little at a time or the hell with them.
         One might argue that Obama was never a progressive nor did he claim to be, but it is difficult to take almost any other meaning from "Hope and Change." If Obama had clarified and spelled out that those words were no more real than compassionate conservative then results might have been quite different. Basically I consider the rationale/argument that Obama was always clear that he was closer to a "third way" Democrat(another word for Republican) than someone who was going to bring about big change but simply one more example of an electorate both Democrat and republican whose realities are at the very best tenuously connected to actual reality.
         If there is ever going to be change or once again a real Democratic Party then progressives have to ensure the demise of those that pass as Democrats but are in fact part of the Oligarchic Dictatorship that now rules. That means like the TP refuse to vote for the Hillary's and Levin's,et. al. who now pass for Democrats. In short, until the ones masquerading as decent human beings are defeated can there be the recreation of a real Democratic Party.

  •  Most Democrats & liberals love Hillary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lysis, atana, emelyn

    It's pretty much impossible to get past this fact.

    Sitting here in early 2014, she's the choice of the party membership in addition to its leadership.

    BTW, I'm going back to "liberal" this year. The T-shirts are on order, may do some coffee mugs. Progressive was nice but it had a Teddy Roosevelt ring to it. And while he may have been the best Republican, he wouldn't be my choice for a Democratic  icon (will stick with FDR).

    I do think the next President Clinton, with a Democratic Congress and a huge electoral win, will be the most liberal President in terms of legislation since LBJ.

  •  Nothing would be more motivating than getting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, aliasalias

    simultaneously kicked in the balls and stabbed in the back by Dirty DLC Dems™ AGAIN in the hopes that if I scream loud enough, Hillary MIGHT be able to be convinced to use a smaller knife...

     The best way to prove the left hasn't surrendered is to: surrender to the Dirty DLC Dems™...AGAIN.

     The only possitive thing I can see about you making these arguments is that if the Clinton advocates have already reached the bottom of the "reasons to elect Hillary" barrell this far out from 2016, she is even less inevitable than the pushed narratives would suggest.

  •  The R's will run Jeb Bush in 2016 (0+ / 0-)

    smart money says.   How will the independents view HRC and Jeb?  

  •  I have some cats you can herd, Armando (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc

    ;)

    I get what you're saying, and I agree.

    For those who don't, what he's saying is this: progressives must be committed to progressive programs and policies--not to politicians. Not ANY politician. See Obama, who was hailed here in 08 as the new RFK.

    Anyone who is in office is going to be "pragmatic." It's silly that people think that's some sort of genius strategy. It's political survival--always has been. Obama has been a pragmatic president--so we've been told again and again. His pragmatism has been embraced by the same people who consider themselves great progressives. But they aren't. They can't be and look the other way because Obama is OK with something that, in progressive terms, is not OK. They're not great progressives but they are great Obama-supporters. There is a difference.

    Hillary has been in politics for so long--has therefore been necessarily "pragmatic" for so long--that there is no way on earth that progressives can project our ideals onto her, not the way a lot did with Obama in 08.

    Therefore, the left will be much less conflicted about advocating that a Hillary Clinton White House should support and enact progressive programs.

    That's what Armando is saying.

    Or do people really think that many progressives--those who hitched their wagons to Obama in 08 because they really thought he was progressive--have had no qualms about vocally pushing him to support progressive policies and criticizing him when he does not?

    Just look back at disputes during Obama's presidency here at DK on refusing to push hard for gay rights (which some "progressives" supported because Obama), chained CPI (which some "progressives" supported because Obama), offshore drilling(which some "progressives" supported because Obama), the death of the public option (which some "progressives" supported because Obama), etc etc etc.

    Then try to say with a straight face that all "progressives" here have been consistent progressives throughout Obama's terms.

    Some have. Many have not.

    Progressives will be less-invested personally in Hillary because they don't see her as one of their own as they did (mistakenly, I think) Obama.

    Therefore there will be less circling-of-wagons around her when she panders to the right--as there has been for the past five years whenever Obama pandered to the right.

    It's easier to see principles at stake when we aren't devoted to a politician. And when it's easier to see principles, it's easier to speak up as an advocate for those principles.

    That's all.

    "This is a center-left country. Democrats can act that way and win. In fact, they must." -- Markos

    by cassandraX on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:33:44 AM PST

  •  Power of the People (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Medium Head Boy, LillithMc

    There is no doubt that the 99% have little say on who actually ends up running for office.  In a 2013 study the Sunlight Foundation showed that literally just 1% of the 1% (31,385 individuals) richest people in the Country chose who will run for office via their cash donations (link below*).  I say, in spite of their power, those 31,385 individuals live in fear of the 99%ers learning just how powerful their combined efforts can be. Why else do you think they have worked so hard at ending organized labor and making it hard for targeted groups to vote?  The truth is, we would never have made any progressive advances without public out-cries and organize movements. How else do you think we won the: women's vote, Social Security, Civil Right Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Safe and Legal Abortion, end of the draft, and much, much more?  So the bottom line is we do have the power to fight and win battles and it is easier today to organize than ever before - thanks to the Internets. However, we only have that power if we chose to use it.  

    *http://sunlightfoundation.com/...

  •  This is a cute and clever premise but false (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias

    Yes there will be lots of open room out on the left with a President Clinton but that doesn't mean there will be any oxygen there.  

    When truth is only a matter of opinion, advantage goes to the liars.

    by Sun dog on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:44:18 AM PST

  •  let's talk reality here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc, aliasalias

    If you're saying that the 2016 Presidential election is lost already and that President Hillary will at least do less damage than a fascist, which is the certain choice - that a significant progressive movement in Congress could circumvent her obstructionism,  then all right. But it's a shit sandwich - quit telling me it's a gourmet artesian sandwich designed to enhance the flavor of an entree.
    We have to stop looking toward the Presidency for salvation, or even support. We have to fight from the bottom up. I get that.; I've been saying that for five years.  So say it!
    What you're really saying is that if we can build a strong progressive movement in Congress (with truth, facts, and public support on our side) we will be what the Tea Party pretended to be, and do what the Tea Party actually did - triangulate. Triangulation has been nothing but an excuse to give in to corruption, but that doesn't mean that it's mot a valid strategy.
    Also, the "Hillary is at least acceptable on social issues" argument holds, for what it's worth, but that is exactly because the "work from the bottom and force a Democratic President to go along, dragging his (or her) heels all the way" strategy works. And besides, the issues that will become indisputably life or death in this decade - the orwellian state, the ecological collapse and the end of Capitalism, cannot be effectively survived with an obstructionist Congress, regardless of the President, but hopefully they can with a congress that can be forced - as reality will force it - to adapt and respond, regardless of  an obstructionist President - as long as that President is not genocidally obstructionist.
    I agree that this is what we have to accept and so, just don't try to tell me its an opportunity = it's a forced move.

  •  This post is such a joke. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bailey2001, LillithMc, snacksandpop

    We need to face up to a few facts:

    [1] The teaparty-ers had no problem winning 30+ seats in Congress their first time out of the gate.  They stymied BO's agenda [what little it was].  They have had no problem achieving success at the state level taking over school boards, getting legislation passed, getting repubs elected for governor in dem-dominated states.  Where the hell are our tea party-ers?

    [2] Reagan and GWB went for broke and they didn't give a rat's behind about the other side, hence their success in getting much of their agendas passed.

    [3] The dems in Congress were completely cowed by Reagan-hence their stampede to the right.  Have the repubs ever been cowed by a dem since then? No, our presidents are far too busy promoting conservatives' agenda.

    [4] BO ran on CHANGE.  We didn't get change. Why?  First, BO didn't move quickly enough while he had a dem-dominated congress and second, because the repubs were doing what an opposition party is supposed to do. Oh, and let's not forget, BO didn't really want change after all.

    [5] The dems [except for a few] completely rejected progressive/liberal ideas since Reagan.  Dems side with the conservatives on economic issues.  Economics underpins everything, from the hollowing out of the country to the decline in tax revenues, resulting in the lack of $$ for schools, roads, libraries, etc, further leading to the sale of public assets to private interests.  Why wasn't the minimum wage part of the discussion until now?  Why weren't declining wages and their economic impact part of the conversation until now?

    Finally, I'm sick of the condescending attitude that you and the pragmatists have toward people who espouse liberal ideals; we are well aware that most dems in office are simply repubs.  

    I'm sick of being told we have to wait and wait and wait and that this is a 'long term project,' when obviously, Reagan, GWB, and the tea party-ers have been very successful with their agendas.  Why did BO offer up three judges to the conservatives? Oh, I know, let's just wait and wait and wait some more until some dem president far, far in the future nominates decent judges.

    And then, to top it all off, dems missed out on a lifetime chance to re-align the parties like Reagan did because, well, dems are too busy cowtowing to the conservatives.

    Bottom line?

    Liberalism/progressivism has been largely wiped out by the dems; dem leadership decided to become republican long ago, and we've failed at changing the dem leadership.  

    You and Daily Kos are now the gatekeepers.  You aren't liberal or progressive.  You refuse to face up to the fact that after 10 plus years, we have little to show for our efforts.  And now, we are told to get behind another neo-liberal hawk.  

    All of your boring dissertations asserting your 'rationality' and 'logic' cannot change the facts on the ground.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:54:26 AM PST

  •  to myself (0+ / 0-)

    hillary is only left because she and most dems are to the left of the gop but are right of center themselves.

    i mean the lefty have been intimidated into not using the term liberal anymore so how can i as a proud liberal expect them to fight for the things i want for all americans and america itself.

    i will support whomever is on the dem ticket but my enthusiasm is guarded at best and my view of the future is pessimistic to say the least.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  I will be curious to see what (0+ / 0-)

    strategies are offered if an when Hilary Clinton is the nominee and possibly, President.

    I suppose some fo you will have a lot to say if that happens.

    Today seems to be a day for insisting Clinton will be perceived as the most liberal person in the country.

    I find that pretty stupid personally.

    Have a nice day.

    •  I find this stupid... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog, aliasalias
      Who on the left will be biting their tongue regarding their criticisms (from the left) of Hillary Clinton? What progressives will not be utterly suspicious of every initiative and policy a President Hillary Clinton will propose? What progressive will not be questioning Hillary Clinton about everything? What progressive will not be tough on Hillary Clinton about everything? "Suppressed criticism from the left" will not happen during a Hillary Clinton presidency. And this, I argue, would be a very good thing for progressivism.
      Since the choice of Rahm, who, other than the electoralists, have been biting their tongue with Obama?

      What progressives, other than the elecotoralists, have not been utterly suspicious of every initiative and policy of Obama?

      What progressive, other than the electoralists, has not questioned Obama about everything?

      What progressive, other than the electoralists, has not been tough on Obama?

      I can guar-un-fucking-ty you that there will be a long line of people telling progressives 'stop demanding ponies' the instant Hillary starts picking staff and cabinet.

      You're completely high if you think the national media, and therefore the vast majority of the electorate, won't see Hillary as a raging liberal by the time of her inauguration.  As for the liberals, as I mention above, that ended for Obama, starting with the selection of Rahm.

      A truly disappointing bit of hypothesis and analysis Armando, supported by nothing but your opinion and insistence on not only 'that's the way it will be,' but also premised on a mischaracterization of 'that's the way things have been.'

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        Wow, you think Obama has been getting it?

        Oh wait, you say except for the first 3 uyears of his presidency. . .  See, Clinton will get it from the beginning.

        •  What? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aliasalias

          First three years of his Presidency?  I said nothing of the sort.  I said 'starting with the selection of Rahm.'  That's before his Presidency even began.  IIRC, even before the election.

          You're seriously going to sit there and say that progressives gave Obama a pass on his cabinet and staff selections?  That we sat back and applauded when he re-upped Bernake?  That he wasn't lambasted for tax cut heavy, too small stimulus from the outset?  That there wasn't rage at the behind door deals with pharma, then at taking single payer off the table for no reason, then snatching defeat from the jaws of victory on public option?

          Why the fuck do you thing he fought back with his 'professional left' comments?  Why did Rahm become so pissed off he called progressives "retards?

          What fucking planet were you on in 2009 Armando?  You're way off base.  You're weaving a  tale of history bereft of facts in order to establish your theory.  Either that or you bought the theory of the hand clappers that they are the 'true Progressives' and that's who you are talking about.

          Actual liberals, those who don't excuse Obama's actions because of the "(D)" after his name, have never felt the way you are saying they did.

    •  Also quite stupid... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog

      is the notion that, regardless of how Clinton is covered and perceived right now (I disagree with your opinion) matters.

      What matters is how she is covered and perceived come election time and into her Presidency.  And guess what?  The corporate makes no fucking money if they don't have conflict to cover.  Thus they will create the perception that best creates this conflict.

      So you really think the media is just going to sit around and say 'boy that Hillary is such a great centrist/moderate.'  Fuck no.  They will paint her as a  raging liberal so as best to generate ratings.

      You're placing far too much weight on the six months where Obama convinced many progressives that he shared their views.  THAT was the anomaly, and my guess is this entire meme you're trying to create is merely an outgrowth of 'I told you so-ism.'

  •  As long as democrats parrot the Big Lie that (0+ / 0-)

    the Govt's budget works the same as a household budget and therefore we can actually run out of fiat dollar tokens, Progressives will NEVER win. Americans will never accept tax confiscation approaching 30 - 40% of GDP like the social democracies of Europe. Besides its completely useless, we should be voting to make ourselves wealthier via a larger deficit not poorer by a balanced budget. If only progressives understood the monetary system. sigh

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

    by Auburn Parks on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:21:43 AM PST

  •  The elections leftists should be fighting to win (0+ / 0-)

    Union representation in fast food, warehouses, call centers, where the overworked and underpaid are massed together today in a hopeless grind.  Let's band together in new organizing teams dedicated to breaking the iron grip f capital.  We need to dispel the hegemony that beat the UAW in Tennessee against the will of VW from the bottom up, in a Mickey D's here and a help center there.  In the process of working with the preeviously powerless and unorganized, we can show them not only their own potential power, but who they can trust.  Once those new power bases begin to overlap, connect, then maybe an organizer that people have learned to trust by direct experience can run for state rep.  That's how the synergies happen.  It's not rocket science.  Hell, the Moral Midgetry and the Tea Party learned how to do this, so it don't take genius, it's a matter of getting it done.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:21:51 AM PST

  •  Priority #2: Win with a Progressive candidate. (0+ / 0-)

    Priority #1: Win.

    I've yet to see anyone who can pull off number two. I hope that mysterious savoir appears soon. But if he or she doesn't, Hillary can achieve priority one, and that will have to do. In either case, a progressive Congress and local leadership must be a priority.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:26:36 AM PST

  •  hey american left, it's not your reps, it's you (0+ / 0-)

    instinctively i HATE the idea that we have this royal family that may be moving back in the white house, no matter what the political savy and ability and intent she/they have.

    i agree that it is more important to get the house back and keep the senate than go nuts over hilary not being liberal.

    but it's the 'left', including many who constantly blame their losses on the center right nature of the democratic party, who are to blame for this atmosphere in which the elizabeth warrens may not be electable.

    liberals who complain about the rightward corporate leanings in the democratic party have only themselves to blame.

    there are hundreds of progressive/liberal orgs and individuals working hard and doing great work but they collectively suck when it comes to moving the country left and creating the atmosphere in which liberal and progressives and their reforms and principles not only win, but are even perceived to be acceptable in the 'mainstream'.

    the left has allowed the right to define hilary as very liberal to most of the voters and media, just as we have allowed obama to be similarly defined. the left may generally consider themselves as left of hilary but we're going to have the same problem with hilary as with obama when we want national reform.

    we've lost two decades ignoring the right's best weapon, and that generally continues today as the 'left' allows ALEC and the GOP and the billionaires to launder and 'popularize' their corporatism through 1200 of the loudest radio stations on the planet- unchallenged.

    as long as the left ignores rw radio it will be impossible to have national fact-based discussions on ANY major issue and real reform will be very slow, maybe too slow for this planet,

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:53:26 AM PST

  •  The issue I have with this is (0+ / 0-)

    that people often conflate the social left with the economic left. In 2008 I always considered Obama to be on the social left, but on the economic center/center-left ( on foreign policy I suspected he was a pragmatic rather than a hawk or dove).

    I thought the goal of progressives on economic issues after 2008 was to push a public option onto the healthcare law, and to get card check passed, in other words push the laws from the center to the center left. On this I often got in arguments with those who wanted to go directly to Universal Healthcare, and organizing the South. I think that is why I'm not disappointed as much as others.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)! Follow on Twitter @dopper0189

    by dopper0189 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 10:58:42 AM PST

  •  Very good post. (0+ / 0-)

    Although I disagree with you that Reed's call to "admitting our absolute impotence" translates into "abandonment of electoral politics" as I think you seem to, the message I get is consistent - that we must be firm and organize for a coherent and strategic progressive mission and push the Democrats toward those goals. Missions and goals are not the same as candidates, don't win or lose elections, unfortunately. God knows Hilary would be pushed. Relevance requires relentlessness, never cheerleading. I look forward to a President we will readily and forcefully push on - actually be a "counterveiling" force - with no reflexive setbacks from the ubiquitous legions of defenders, no self dilution for the party to bank on.

    Relevance requires coherence which requires a high degree of cohesiveness across our essential energy, our core value, of diversity. Coherence allows a meaningful relevance, build to a wealth of relevance, instead of merely existing election to election like some live paycheck to paycheck.   As you say,

    a resurgent and committed left, willing to take on a president and to fight to win battles in Congress and in the country.
  •  i will almost certainly not vote for Hillary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, aliasalias

    she's too connected to the parasitic corporate-think that's been a cancer for decades.  

    the only way she would get my vote would be if she had a majority of actual progressives as advisors and part of her inner circle.  She'd also have to come out with an actual plan for helping rebuild Iraq and repair the damage she helped vote for.

    I don't see that happening.  I also don't think I could defend Hillary to my conservative co-workers and family based on MY values that I have been proselytizing over the past 25+ years.  

    I don't give a sh*t about any of the BS scandals, but I DO care about economic issues and, as far as I can tell, Hillary and her 3rd Way-ers have been part of the problem.

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:39:41 AM PST

    •  Rec'd because what you say IS definitely a problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      for the many of us who could not defend Hillary Clinton in '08 and are expected to now.

      I also don't think I could defend Hillary to my conservative co-workers and family based on MY values that I have been proselytizing over the past 25+ years.
      All of a sudden we tell everyone, "Oh, never mind what I said, what I believe, she's going "to make a great President."

      I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

      by KayCeSF on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:03:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The abandonment of electoral politics doesn't (0+ / 0-)

    mean not voting, it means attending to other means of influencing government than campaigns and such.  

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:49:00 AM PST

  •  It won't work. Liberals are hamstrung by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LillithMc, aliasalias

    too many Democrats and others on the left that buy into the marketing bs.  It's been this way since Obama was elected. Those that aren't bamboozled are then left to fight not only the right wing Republicans and Democrats but many of the people who, if they were honest, be fighting alongside them.

    It would be no different under Hillary.

    Instead of charges of racism to those opposed to his right-wing policies, it will be charges of misogyny to those who oppose Hillary's neoliberal agenda.  Charges of ODS just flip to CDS.

    Because ultimately, most Democrats are the same as most Republicans -- they look on politics as a team sport. And anything is OK when your team has the ball.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:02:17 PM PST

  •  I seemed that Reed was deploying a bit of.. (0+ / 0-)

    .. rhetorical hyperbole (emphasis/magnification) when it came to electoral politics to make the point that we should be more like political "horse whisperers" or "pol whisperers"

    There is much to agree with there but I cannot agree that the abandonment of electoral politics, as Reed seems to advise, is wise. Reed, it seems to me, like too many persons, sees elections as only the presidential election. The hard work to do necessarily includes electoral work, especially at the state and congressional level.  

     - emphasis added

    Make the politician come toward us at street level; find out what we're up to, not the other way around

    In the previous Diary;  Hillary Clinton and a left flank;.. it seemed that many commented thinking that the exercise/focus was about Hillary Clinton. It wasn't really - imo - but about choosing the building site and what actions should be taken by Dems to claim that ground.

    Reed's statement as I understood it..

    .."we have no influence on who gets nominated or elected, or what they do in office, should reduce the frenzied self-delusion that rivets attention to the quadrennial, biennial, and now seemingly permanent horse races"
    ..was all about the second half of the sentence (what I've bolded).
        The first half was more the use of a bit of rhetorical hyperbole to make a point. Iow's the rhetorical magnification for the mind to separate out what should be the focus, not that efforts mean that we will have zero control once the candidate is elected, but that we can beforehand, set the stage on what issues are the focus of the candidates platform and how 'leftward' a stance will raise the most enthusiasm within the electorate - us Dems - and how many others too

    We lay the foundation on the political landscape where we believe it should be. The candidate will have to prove that they can take that opportunity and build on it from there - or maybe more importantly whether they can afford not to.

    Thank you for the discussion Armando

  •  Issues vs Community (0+ / 0-)

    In one of your previous essays, you quoted "As citizens and activists, our allegiances have to be to the issues we believe in." I think that is the left's / progressives' / liberals' weakness. Rarely do we bridge our issues and support each other completely. Enviros don't show up to support Labor. Labor doesn't show up for Gay Rights. LGBT groups don't show up for Affordable Housing. We don't see ourselves in others unless they agree with us on our most important issues.
    I don't know a lot about what is going on in North Carolina, but I see the Moral Mondays as one of those hopeful signs that people can unite across the issues and work together as a community.
    If we view ourselves as community first, issues second, then it can be easier to unite across partisan divides, too. In Colorado, eliminating the prohibition on marijuana wasn't a liberal or libertarian issue only. People realized the futility of the position for many reasons and we are working towards a more humane and sensible set of laws.
    Now, given that example, I know that the Republican politicians have never supported the elimination of prohibition. I get that. But Republican voters have supported it and I think that's great. It's a model for how we can successfully go forward on issues like the minimum wage and I think many people have been doing just that.
    I enjoyed Reed's article and I think that you've articulated well some of what he missed. Thanks.

  •  Diary (0+ / 0-)
    But what if the left cannot( defeat HRC ) ? What if the left instead concentrates on winning hearts and minds—in the Congress and in the country? Will Hillary Clinton stand in the way? In my view, no.
    What I find a bit confusing is why people are insisting we can not win hearts and minds—in the Congress and in the country while we support someone besides HRC

    It kinda reminds me of the scolding we all got when we were demanding dems fight for medicaid for all , we were told to pipe down or we would ruin HC reform some how , you are just the professional left , and we are adults so you children need to shut up

    Great points Armando , thanks for putting that all together for us to read

    And I would like to put a diary together and break down what Obama ran on in 2008 , there are a lot of different takes on what he stood for , one glaring point about that is , look at the massive crowds he got in 2008 compared to 2012 , he was forced to run to the left of HRC , for sure

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 12:59:22 PM PST

  •  The left in the US (0+ / 0-)

    ...in the historical sense of The Left, the way the term is used to discuss ever other country, is about 2.5-5% of the voting population.

    Social Democrats, Socialists, Left Anarchists, Communists, of all stripes.

    Geographically clustered where if they don't turn out and vote Democratic, the Democrats win anyways.

    And that's the problem in a nutshell. It's not one August Bebel, or Leon Blum, or Eugene Debs could foresee.

    I'm not sure anyone has an answer for it, either.

    "Politics is not the art of the possible.
    It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable" J.K. Galbraith

    by Davis X Machina on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 01:42:55 PM PST

  •  Okay, I see your point now (0+ / 0-)

    I argued in your last post that the media will always present the Democratic challenger as representing the left wing of the party, no matter who it is, or what they believe.
    I still believe that to be true.
    However I see now that you are more concentrated on how progressives themselves will view Hillary, and not the media in general.
    After seeing how many on the left were fooled by Obama, despite him being quite clear about where he stood, I still believe that many leftists will also be fooled by the inevitable spin the HRC campaign will be churning out, but it will be a harder trick to pull off.
    I've already seen posters here making the argument that Hillary was always to the left of Bill, and once she is the candidate her true leftist colors will come out, so I'm not ready to concede the point entirely. But with this post I think I understand your point better, and think it is at least possible that the left will not be as completely fooled.
    Certainly the fact that the Clintons are so much better known than Obama was will make painting her as radical liberal a much tougher sell to the left.

     

  •  Many of us deem her to be extraordinary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BMScott

    One of the most astonishing aspects about surveying the comments in DAILYKOS and within the progressive blogosphere in general is the great number of those who deride the Clintons has having been deleterious to the Democratic Party. These conscientious voices yearn for the America of a former time, when FDR's New Deal and LBJ's Great Society were held in great esteem by the larger society.

    But what these purist pundits fail to acknowledge is the fact that the years of great social reforms in the administrations of these seminal Chief Executives followed cataclysmic events that mandated the resulting social action.  FDR, very much "to the manner born," became increasingly conscientious about the disenfranchised and dispossessed as a result of his own bout with polio.  But his New Deal followed the seismic turmoil of the collapse of Wall Street which anticipated The Great Depression.  The greater electorate was then demanding major government action, and there was a political realignment of epic proportions which afforded FDR with a huge congressional majority to help enact his reformist policies--although even then he was ever being frustrated by an antiquated Supreme Court determined to squelch his more dynamic efforts at alleviating the plight of the suffering masses.

    LBJ, who worshiped FDR and had been indeed a "Master of the Senate," as his great biographer Robert A. Caro has famously labeled him, could not himself have pushed through his great civil rights legislation were it not for the assassination of his predecessor JFK, as a result of which public sentiment for the unfulfilled efforts of a fallen leader were then very high.  Ironically, however, LBJ's success at achieving seminal Civil Rights legislation would also result in the still very racially prejudicial South becoming an electoral bastion for the Republican Party--a region which is only now becoming somewhat friendlier to Democratic reformist candidates.

    Jimmy Carter's election in 1976 was razor-close, and was very much owed to his being a Nixon antithesis--the candidate that had not pardoned the thirty-seventh President.  Still, Carter's election was only achievable because, as a Southerner, he could bring with him victories from states belonging to The Old Confederacy.  

    Bill Clinton's election was owed to a divided electorate, a very sizeable number of whom endorsed Ross Perot, whose entire campaign was based upon America needing to come to grips with fiscal responsibility--ergo balanced budgets, so long now the primary talking point of those aspiring to higher offices within the GOP.  And like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton (and his then Vice Presidential candidate Al Gore) brought to the ticket some guaranteed victories from states in the Deep South.

    So, if in retrospect the administrations of Bill Clinton were not in the progressive mold that so many of us of the liberal persuasion truly cherish, that is a result of the fact that, like it or not, all too many Americans at the time simply did not want him to assume that progressive role.  Still, he enlisted then First Lady Hillary Clinton to conduct the first effort at comprehensive health care reform since the years of LBJ—and concerning universal coverage, since the years of Harry Truman.

    And it was Bill Clinton's budget plan of 1994, passed without Republican votes, and which ensured a House of Representatives Republican rout that fall, that paved the way to economic prosperity for much of the nation through to the millennium, and not, as so many of his detractors maintain, because then Speaker Newt Gingrich was there to "hold Clinton's feet to the fire."  In every battle with Gingrich, it was Bill Clinton who emerged triumphant, even throughout the dark days of impeachment.  The President so many in the MSM and beltway media loved to disparage, along with scores of reactionary interest groups, left office with the highest sustained approval rating of any President since the years of JFK and Dwight Eisenhower.  It is small wonder that William Jefferson Clinton is called the Platinum Politician of our time.

    The point of this is that positive social change happens slowly, indeed methodically slowly, unless some seminal event calls for a revolutionary transformation.  And all leaders, not just American Presidents, can only be fairly judged in the reflection of their own time, without the luxury of the longer view retrospection.  Thus, transformative times make for transformative leaders, not the reverse.  

    Ronald Reagan was not then, nor is now in hindsight, a transformative leader except in the eyes of the Right-wing punditocracy that created him.  He did not "end the Cold War"; in truth, the Soviet Union collapsed by way of its own impotency, after long attrition.  Reagan's entire presidency can be summed up by the catch-phrase of the protagonist of Oliver Stone's emblematic film of the period, Wall Street: "Greed is good," along with the refrain of one of that era's most popular songs, "Don't worry, be happy."  

    Reagan was never more than a caricature, the product of General Electric by way of Hollywood, foisted upon Americans and the larger world by the Rupert Murdoch empire, its propagandist "news" network FOX, and the imagery of my former Warren, Ohio fellow native Roger Ailes.   Reagan was a stock figure by which a large segment of the generations which greatly benefited from Democratic economic policies, having "got theirs," and feeling that "everybody else should get their own," could now revel in their avarice, and no longer have any guilt for feeling that way.  

    But Reagan, who would soon fall victim to Alzheimer's, was no more in charge of this county than is now or ever was the American flag.  His handlers, through media operatives and outlets, pulled all the strings that sustained his movements and expressions, so that the whole of the presidential figure Ronald Reagan was no more real than a bedtime fairy tale.  Still, that caricature in The White House meant very real sustained and unbridled wealth for plutocrats and would-be plutocrats everywhere.  And that is why there is now a Ronald Reagan National Airport, and many other Reagan era symbols (evidently there has not been room enough for a Reagan face on Mount Rushmore)--the unbridled greed of happy, guiltless plutocrats have long needed a patron saint, and in the well-manufactured portrayal of Ronald Wilson Reagan, at last they have found one.

    It was in having to confront that unreality that both Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton found themselves enmeshed after Bill had been first defeated for his second term as Governor of Arkansas.  He would learn how to effectively listen to his constituents, so many of whom were then subsumed in the Reagan fervor; and Hillary, who had ever been a social reformer, particularly for women and children, would need to curtail some of her more dramatic efforts to fit the more modest type of what all too many Arkansans then felt should define a state house First Lady.   Still, Hillary’s reformative passions remained, indelible to her core, since she had first formally enunciated her credo, famously as a Wellesley College honor graduate.  The woman who had been a Goldwater Girl had found a personal heroine in the late First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, concerning whom a recent national poll reveals to be the choice of most Americans as the greatest of all their First Ladies.

    And that fact, of itself, ought to be enough for at least most of us who honor our liberal heritage.  Yes, Hillary has her corporate ties; her special alliances with Wall Street financiers.  Yes, as Senator from New York she opted to believe former General Colin Powell when he too ascribed to the belief that there had been found “weapons of mass destruction,” which then precipitated a war in Iraq.    But then again, so too did most of her Senate colleagues also elect to follow the entreaties of General Powell—and Hillary was one of just two senators on whose state soil the 9/11 attacks had occurred.   Nor is Hillary as properly invested in financial reform as is either Senators Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown and their like in the current Senate chamber.

    But she is also a forty year survivor of the vicissitudes of the American political process, and she has, for the most part, brilliantly held a set of national positions—from First Lady to Senator to Secretary of State—that is without precedent in our history.  For all of the political baggage of the past and for all of the reservations among the inveterately progressive, there is every bit as much reason to believe that she will supersede expectations if she chooses to run in 2016 and if elected then become a truly great American President.

  •  "Counterveiling"? (0+ / 0-)

    Sic? Really? Not "countervailing"? Spell-Czech has ruined us…

  •  Money always seems to have the edge. (0+ / 0-)

    If you're bellied up to a crowded bar, a crisp bill poking from between your fingertips will likely get you served quicker than snapping your fingers or calling for the barkeep's attention...

    Seems to work the same whenever you're dealing with pols too. Sign all the "petitions" and add your name to as many "Action Pages" that come your way but it's still the guys with the cold hard cash that bend the ears and are consistently catered to -no matter what side of the ideological aisle they find their seat at.

    We have to find a way to ensure that we have as many seats at the table as the monied interests. Labor still claims a stool, even if it's a rickety one that the rest of the crowd tries to kick out from under it. I think the author made a good point about generating greater support for Labor as a smart launching point to raise the rest of our collective ships...

    The Left needs to make a concerted effort to build support at state levels in order to undo the extensive damage the Right has done during their sweeps of state legislatures in the last two election cycles. Then, we set to work making states as labor-friendly as possible by whatever means we have at our disposal until we revive the strength of the Labor movement.

    We're gonna need a bigger boat -of money.

  •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

    "Reed argues that "When Democrats have been in office, the imagined omnipresent threat from the Republican bugbear remains a fatal constraint on action and a pretext for suppressing criticism from the left." I think this has been true and quite a mistake. But in that sense, Hillary Clinton would be the perfect president for a rejuvenated left."

    I think it has been true as well, and furthermore I agree with Reed that "electoralitis" - the abandonment of real progressive causes and long-term progress in favor of trying to beat a Republican every few years - is a critical part of that.

    What I couldn't read without choking on my own spit a little was your suggestion that the solution is to elect Hillary Clinton.

    Really? The cure for electoralitis and a lack of strategic vision is to vote for the exact same kind of "lesser evil" non-Republican that electoralitis and a lack of strategic vision would have us vote for anyway??

    "Who on the left will be biting their tongue regarding their criticisms (from the left) of Hillary Clinton? What progressives will not be utterly suspicious of every initiative and policy a President Hillary Clinton will propose? What progressive will not be questioning Hillary Clinton about everything? What progressive will not be tough on Hillary Clinton about everything? "Suppressed criticism from the left" will not happen during a Hillary Clinton presidency."

    How can you possibly be this ignorant? Nevertheless, I'll answer your questions.

    The same people who now refuse to criticize Obama will refuse to criticize Hillary. The same people who excuse and overlook and apologize for every war crime, every blatant violation of the Constitution, every failure to address the problems of ordinary people, every act of compromise and capitulation, and every failed opportunity to inject progressive ideas, vision, and energy into the national political conversation will not be suspicious of a President Hillary, will not question Hillary, will not be tough on Hillary.

    The same progressives, if that's what they really are, who accuse progressive third party candidates of being "spoilers" and "splitters" and make outrageous claims that the people who voted for Nader had more to do with Gore's 2000 loss than the people who voted for Bush, who claim with every election that we much compromise absolutely everything to keep a Republican out of the White House, who think that Hillary will actually be a good President and not a slimy, unethical, lying, bribe-filthy puppet for the 1% are the ones who will not criticize her, and they will be doing the lion's share of the suppression of the left.

    Perhaps I misunderstand you. Perhaps you feel, like I do, that these people are not progressives. But then I say to you, why would progressives elect Hillary just so they can get pissed off about her? By that logic, why not just elect Republicans by the handful and speed America towards the cliff? Surely that would be just as effective, and faster - and there would be plenty of jobs in the new America, rebuilding the infrastructure and taking it back from the crossbow-wielding Mad Max gangs who wander the wasteland.

    The left has forgotten how to fight. When you fight, you don't go in thinking only of your own defense, cringing and recoiling from every blow. You will, in all likelihood, get punched. Accept this. Anticipate it. Punch back harder. Be the last one standing. That's how you fight.

    We need to stop cringing and recoiling from the threat of Republican victories resulting from a lack of unity behind Democratic candidates who don't have our interests at heart, and support candidates who actually represent us whether they're Democrats or not. And if that means a Republican wins sometimes while we're still building out message and momentum, well... I figure four years of that will do a lot more to energize the left (both the real left, and the fakey Obama-loving kind) than Hillary Clinton ever will.

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