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EDITOR'S NOTE: I originally posted this with a satirical intent. I thought the headline made that clear. But after 26 years of blogging, you'd think I'd have learned by now that satire does not come across well in plain text. After several people attacked the premise of the piece -- which was not my actual premise -- I realized my error. By then, the banning autobot of DailyKos had axed me from the site. I've now been reinstated and I will refrain from satirical posts in the future. I toyed with deleting this Diary but decided that would be dishonest. I posted it. It was a mistake. I should not be able to hide from that. So instead, I'm re-posting with this apology and explanation. The first paragraph is still correct and conveys the point I really wanted to make in the piece: Liberals may need to get over their trepidation about protesting in the streets with a sitting Democratic President because popular protest may be the only way to salvage our democracy.

I've been wondering for the past decade why we haven't seen masses of people taking to the streets in a populist uprising. After giving it a lot of thought, I've concluded that at least part of the reason might well be President Obama.

Why do I say that?

Because I suspect a lot of Lefties like me are reluctant to break into open opposition to a regime headed by a Democrat even when that Democrat seems to be far more of the pro-corporate persuasion than of the pro-worker persuasion in most if not all of his major policies. It's just not done. Even though he's pretty far to the right of anything that could be called Liberal, he's noticeably less conservative than what passes for a Republican mainstream these days.

So what if we Liberals stay home in 2016, let the GOP hang itself by electing an ultra-conservative President (any candidate you care to pick would fit the bill) and then see how fast the American peoples' native populism takes over and we can finally take back our democracy from the plutocrats?

I'm only sort of half kidding here. Sure, a conservative President could do a lot of damage in a fairly short period of time, particularly if he's backed by a conservative majority in the House and perhaps even in the Senate. There are few if any openly moderate Republicans left to stand against the insanity of the Right.

But, hey, I figure we survived eight years of W -- though not without much battering and bruising -- so we can probably survive a couple of years of an ultra-Right presidency before we stage enough of a national protest to force him (or her) to step aside.

It may also be time for those on the Left who really care about this country to begin observing the line between pro-corporate and pro-worker elected officials. It's not about Republicans and Democrats. It's only barely about conservatives and liberals. It's about which side of the Class War (which is part of our social reality, like or not and call it what you will) of inequality the politicians come down on.

I realize this is a radical idea and probably if closely analyzed one that falls apart. But the underlying question with which I began remains: how do the American people, who constantly show that they are more liberal than all but the most liberal of their elected officials -- get their agenda back on the front burner again if not by taking to the streets non-violently?

Originally posted to Dan Shafer on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, ord avg guy, slowbutsure, Satya1
    Hidden by:
    Nattiq, DAISHI

    Dan Shafer Techno-Spiritual-Political Aficionado Author of "The Power of I AM" and 50 Tech Books

    by Dan Shafer on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 02:55:56 PM PDT

  •  Ha Ha Ha. Not funny. (19+ / 0-)

    Here are three reasons that a Republican nut job in the WH for the next 8 years will be a disaster:

    Scalia  78 years old
    Kennedy 78 years old
    Ginzburg 81 years old

    If you let a Republican president choose the next slate of SCOTUS Justices and cement extreme conservative ideology  in the judicial system for years to come......Well, all I can say  enjoy!

    Queror Ergo Sum. -- Rene Descartes Shakshuka

    by The Revenge of Shakshuka on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:22:17 PM PDT

  •  Wow. Just wow. (16+ / 0-)

    What is with this spate of recent kossacks blurring the lines between the two parties?  Like the guy yesterday who said there is only a 2% difference between the parties?  Not if you're gay, female, poor, black or brown.

    What if the Republicans use that extra rope you're eager to give them to not hang themselves, but to hang more of the poor, the sick, elderly, unemployed, send more service members to stupid wars and deny benefits when they return, oppose LGBT rights, deny healthcare for women, kill innocent prisoners, pollute the environment.... all the stuff they have been doing with the rope given so far?  What a dangerous proposition you make only "half jokingly."

    I myself am vulnerable to such a scenario, as are my friends and family.  I know people who have lost jobs due to the sequester, and face homelessness.  But please, from your position of relative privilege, do put us all in jeopardy in your parlor game of brinksmanship.

    "We" didn't survive W.  You did.  Many thousands died and continue to do so because of his policies.  Your lack of awareness sickens and saddens me.  Wake up.  In the fictive words of Dr. Zhivago when the revolutionary burned down a village to make a political point: "Your point.  Their village."  And please don't speak on behalf of Liberals.  Your game is seriously dangerous, and not funny at all.

  •  And how, pray tell, do you get undone the damages (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Republicans you help get elected do before your dream of macho rebellion goes forward and you discover that all those Second Amendmenters are only too prepared to fight back.

    Seriously, this  supposedly principled refusal to participate for Dems in the  2010 midterms is part of what is now getting all women in this country suppressed and abused,  and pols in national news  seriously debating why slavery was a good thing, because you folks with 'principles' failed to turn out and the Rs who got principles, made in Hell but principles, went to the polls.

    And you who got 'principles'  and found something else than vote to do in 2010 are not taking responsibility for facilitating the damage the Rs have done since '10 either. Or fixing any of it. For you, it's on to the next principle, it seems.

    How you gonna fix the elimination of Medicare and Medicaid and  social security or any pensions at all, or gynecological care of any kind for women, or the deportation of Latinos who have been here since the 1580s, or curtailing of voting rights for those in blue states only,  or whatever else nonsense happens. You are not prepared to learn from the Hastert rule as applied to date, and it will be me and mine that pay for your refusal.

  •  You'll never convince anyone you're right (4+ / 0-)

    by hurting them on purpose.

     I agree with your premise - this is no longer a working peoples party and it has drifted so far to the right that many Republicans have come over without having to change a single one of their views.

    But you can't change that by intentionally empowering a Republican President.  Walking away from fights and then saying "see how much losing sucks?" isn't going to magically lead to victory.

    Throwing in the towel before the fight starts isn't the answer to defeating the center right OR the far right.  We have to fight it out, every time, even when the odds suck.

    Because when we don't, the result is that the public starts to see the most common sense ideas as Radical.  "Not even any Democrats are fighting for a new CCC....", ect.

    Taking back the Democratic Party for working people and forcing it to address our concerns is the answer - and we have to do that both by seizing the party apparatus from the ground up and by calling out affluent members of our party who, for some reason, think they can speak on our behalf better than we can speak for ourselves.

    Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

    by JesseCW on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:34:15 PM PDT

    •  This is a documented strategy of the old line (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, tarkangi

      Communists, for example in Catalonia, where the Socialists had beaten off Franco's forces for a time, as documented by George Orwell in Homage to Catalonia. Then the Communists gave up the Socialists to Franco, on the theory that successful Socialism would hold back or even prevent the true revolution, which Franco and the rest of the Spanish Fascists would advance through murderous repression.

      I'm not the one making this up.

      Can anybody point to an actual Communist revolution anywhere in the world? That means one that resulted in something other than tyranny and, in many cases, an eventual embrace of oligarchical capitalism.

      Why would anybody think that it would work better for promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and so on?

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

      by Mokurai on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:45:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to nitpick, but the history is important (0+ / 0-)

        Especially when it has been so badly distorted when it comes to anarchist history and accomplishments. It isn't really completely accurate to say the "socialists" had beaten off Franco's forces. It was primarily the anarcho-socialists who began the push-back against Franco's fascist forces. The socialist POUM was certainly part of this, and a new Republican army gradually was formed.

        The anarchist part of Spain was fairly large, encompassing the most heavily industrial sections of Spain, which was collectivized for almost three years.

        Orwell's account is excellent, but one criticism I would have is the uninformed reader won't get a sense of how important the anarchist involvement was, since Orwell mainly describes his participation with the POUM. He does state in the book he would rather have fought with the anarchists, and he describes the anarchists region with admiration, saying it was worth fighting for. But most readers would not get the sense of the enormous historical part played by anarchist unions (CNT/FAI) in being the group which, rather than sit by paralyzed into inaction (as occurred with the Republic), began an organized resistance forming anarchist militias against the fascists, while simultaneously implementing a social revolution.

        In anarchist theory, it is senseless to fight wars for political control without also implementing a social revolution while you're at it, using the bottom up, horizontal organizational structure throughout. The Stalinist Spanish Communist Party followed Marxist notions of only pushing for political revolution first, and thus fought against the anarchists (as well as the POUM).

        It's quite a story.  

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:01:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And to add to this (0+ / 0-)

          Countless examples exist historically that show the failure of gaining political ground in terms of gaining electoral numbers, while losing the battle on actually implementing socioeconomic changes. Marxist parties in Europe gained more and more ground in electoral numbers only to become steadily more and more neoliberal. The hierarchical model tends to corrupt the elected members of the elite, wherein they serve the elected body and its members rather than their constituents.

          Some knowledgeable about the Spanish Civil War claim if it weren't for FDR allowing Ford and other corporations to give massive assistance to the fascists in the form of selling thousands of needed trucks, enormous credit, and petroleum products (violating the non-interference law), the fascists would have lost the war. And if the western democracies had stood up for democracy, even if socialist, the odds would have been even better. And vastly better if they had armed the resistance. But they basically either did nothing, or helped the fascists.

          And now people point to that as if a failure of the resistance, all because the capitalist "democracies" preferred fascism over libertarian socialism.

          "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

          by ZhenRen on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:24:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was pointing to the failure of the Communists (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            to operate within reality. I appreciate that the rest of the history is for more complex, and I freely admit that I do not understand the rest of the relationships of the various ideologies involved on the anti-Fascist side.

            Perhaps the Anarchist contribution and the part the US played would make good Diary topics.

            Viva la Quince Brigada,
            rumba la rumba la rumba la.
            Viva la Quince Brigada,
            rumba la rumba la rumba la
            que se ha cubierto de gloria,

                ¡Ay Carmela! ¡Ay Carmela!
                que se ha cubierto de gloria,
                ¡Ay Carmela! ¡Ay Carmela!

            Pete Seeger sang a somewhat different version.

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

            by Mokurai on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:26:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  why don't we all vote Republican then? (8+ / 0-)

    you see, then the Democrats will realize that we're only voting Republican in protest, and that'll move them to the left, see?


    we could just all commit suicide, see, and then...

    my head is spinning with all this great logic.

    one thing we should NOT do is keep voting! that is only going to totally make things worse!

  •  That didn't work when Bush was in office. (11+ / 0-)

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." - John F. Kennedy

    by Dem Beans on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:51:26 PM PDT

  •  the problem is the money which wants to move right (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nattiq, JesseCW, terrybuck, skohayes, schumann

    if the Democrats keep the White House then the party leadership will move to the right. If the Democrats lose then the party leadership will claim it was because of the hippies and the party needs to move to the right.

    As long as money rules then the people (and what we want) will have little say about policy. A loss in 2016 means we get horrible Republicanism and then have no effect on 2020...I think.

    Dear NSA: I am only joking.

    by Shahryar on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 03:53:16 PM PDT

  •  When everything turns into a steaming pile of shit (7+ / 0-)

    Then they will say "yeah, that's because the new president wasn't conservative enough.

    Not a good plan.

    "He is Joe McCarthy, he is bad news ... I hope Mr. Cruz does not have a nice weekend." - Chris Matthews

    by lotac on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:11:25 PM PDT

  •  Those extended overtime pay grants (8+ / 0-)

    Obama just enacted were sure anti worker.

    by DAISHI on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:29:44 PM PDT

  •  Haven't noticed the militarization of the police (0+ / 0-)

    ...and their response when people have taken to the streets over the past decade, have you?

    The police are now formally networked into national deep state police, military, and intelligence agencies like federales in a lot of other countries.

    Welcome to managed democracy on a short leash.

    But it is smelling like the establishment Democrats are taking your advice in 2014 to clear the decks for 2016.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:45:48 PM PDT

  •  It's not a radical idea, it's a stupid idea. (9+ / 0-)

    It's been done to death by lazy voters who don't like the choices, say there's no difference between the candidates, and figure they'll protest by staying home, or voting for the spoiler.

    And then we end up with thoroughly evil shits like Bush and Cheney in the White House, monsters like Scalia and Thomas appointed for life to the Supreme Court, and countless thousands of our young people dead or mutilated in "wars of choice".

    Such rectal-cranial inversion is not a tactic. It's complicity.

    Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil. The other is gentle and good. The two dogs fight all the time. Which dog wins? The one I feed the most.

    by bakeneko on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:47:27 PM PDT

  •  The problem with the resulting chaos is where (5+ / 0-)

    we'll end up because of it. Think about the 1920's and 30's. Several countries went into the collective shitters and most that did ended up with fascist states running the places. Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, etc. There was one glaring exception in FDR. The odds aren't good that if we had the same (or worse) level of social unrest and upheaval that we had 80 years ago we'd get another FDR. I'm afraid we'll get a Mittler or a Moosalini wannabe only this one will have nukes and won't be afraid to use them. So, no, I won't let the Republicans win in 2014 or 2016, not without a fight and a hard fight at that.

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 04:56:44 PM PDT

  •  What do you mean "we survived W"? (9+ / 0-)

    Over 4000 troops died in Iraq, and over 100,000 Iraqis died.
    Millions of people lost half of their retirement savings in the crash of 2008, millions of others lost years of equity in their homes. We were losing 750,000 jobs every month at the end of George Bush's term and his policies created the deepest recession in the country's history and you think it would be a good idea to try that again?
    Dude, WTH is the matter with you?

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 05:58:01 PM PDT

  •  Didn't we already try that (5+ / 0-)

    with Dubya Bush?

    I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 06:59:27 PM PDT

  •  I don't think so. (5+ / 0-)

    See Wisconsin.

  •  You get these teabaggers totally running thngs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrybuck, Nattiq

    and there won't BE any more elections.

    Or Democrats--they will have locked us up in the camps.

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

    by zenbassoon on Fri Mar 14, 2014 at 08:46:14 PM PDT

  •  No, you're not kidding. That's the problem. (6+ / 0-)
    So what if we Liberals stay home in 2016, let the GOP hang itself by electing an ultra-conservative President (any candidate you care to pick would fit the bill) and then see how fast the American peoples' native populism takes over and we can finally take back our democracy from the plutocrats?
    "If things would only get bad enough, everyone would come around to my way of thinking".

    This is the problem with the "left". You think victory  can be achieved in one fell swoop, rather than committing to sustained action over a period of time.

    "Because I am a river to my people."

    by lordcopper on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:13:20 PM PDT

  •  I woulda thought the Dubya years (6+ / 0-)

    were ample proof that your premise (snarked or not) is just plain totally wrong.

    I don't love writing, but I love having written ~ Dorothy Parker // Visit my Handmade Gallery on Zibbet

    by jan4insight on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:23:43 PM PDT

  •  If it didn't work the first time..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, terrybuck

    why try again?

    Anyone endorsing war in the Ukraine should be flogged over the head with the fact that Iraq now approves child marriage. Full stop. Heckva job, Neocons.

    by blueoregon on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:24:06 PM PDT

  •  to be fair . . . . (0+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama would not have been elected (or even run) in 2008 if George W Bush had not served two terms in office first.

    Make of that what you will.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:28:19 PM PDT

  •  my understanding is what got you really (0+ / 0-)

    in trouble would be the lack of a 'satire' or similar tag.

    Der Weg ist das Ziel

    by duhban on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:32:56 PM PDT

  •  Delete the diary. Read other diaries, comment (5+ / 0-)

    on them, get a feel for the site. Then see if you feel you have to post this kind of idiocy to a group of people who have debated the whole thing for a long, long time.

    I don't know who you want your audience to be, but it needs to first be the members of this site, and only then the larger public that the site reaches. Otherwise you will shoot yourself in the foot every time.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 03:46:43 PM PDT

  •  Apologies for the thoughtless "no" (5+ / 0-)

    here is my full rebuttal, if you care to read it.

    Losing isn't a strategy.

  •  That's not snark. This is snark. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

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

    by Mokurai on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:50:07 PM PDT

  •  Okay, so your first diary here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was a COMPLETE failure. That happens.
    Since you're a new poster, and no one knows your writing style from Adam, you got hammered- and rightfully so, since you never once replied to a comment, or updated the diary to indicate that this was snark.
    And then there was this sentence:

    I'm only sort of half kidding here.
    I reserve judgement for a future diary.

    Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

    by skohayes on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:22:55 PM PDT

  •  I learned my lesson in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

    Seeing that we would be losing instead of busting my ass to get Dems in other states (I live in Brooklyn NY) to the polls I did nothing saying "well let them learn how bad electing Republicons will be for them."  I smack myself everyday for that.  Between voting rights, workers rights, women's rights, jobs & the economy, down to the difficulty Obama has had getting anything passed in the House were they just vote every week to repeal healthcare, and getting his nominees approved in the Senate, Ultrasound Governors and state legislatures I have vowed that anything I can do to more Democrats elected in 2012, 2014 and MOST CERTAINLY a Democratic President in 2016I would.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

    by Rosalie907 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:27:03 PM PDT

  •  Sarcasm and irony don't do well in print (0+ / 0-)

    Unless everyone is in on the joke from the start
    Next time post a snark tag

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:09:03 PM PDT

  •  Classy apology (0+ / 0-)

    so i rec'd.

    At DK there needs to be a snark tag.

    Also satire and snark need to be really well written here to get a positive response.

    I found that out with my very first diary.  Even though it was posted April 1, people weren't all quite awake to what that might mean.

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

    by Satya1 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 08:02:30 PM PDT

  •  Two words: Supreme Court (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    we can't let the cons take that over.

  •  well, i'm glad you got reinstated. (0+ / 0-)

    i read your diary and your apology and saw the ban when it happened and thought that perhaps the bot was being a wee bit oversensitive...

    and this is from a staunch opponent of "third parties" and "greens" for the damage caused by them.

    they only pull away like minded votes and give those views most in opposition the whole enchilada.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 09:18:53 PM PDT

  •  We clearly need a blast from the past (0+ / 0-)

    Here's how the process works:

    This Modern World, Feb 4, 2010

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