Essay Norman Solomon

It’s Time to Engage With the Battle Inside the Democratic Party

Progressives made Trump’s defeat possible. Now we need to challenge Biden and other corporate Democrats before they marginalize the left once more.
[Matt Johnson / CC BY 2.0]

By Norman Solomon

The evident defeat of Donald Trump would not have been possible without the grassroots activism and hard work of countless progressives. Now, on vital issues — climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power and so much more — it’s time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Party.

The realpolitik rationales for the left to make nice with the incoming Democratic president are bogus. All too many progressives gave the benefit of doubts to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, making it easier for them to service corporate America while leaving working-class Americans in the lurch. Two years later, in 1994 and 2010, Republicans came roaring back and took control of Congress.

From the outset, progressive organizations and individuals (whether they consider themselves to be “activists” or not) should confront Biden and other elected Democrats about profound matters. Officeholders are supposed to work for the public interest. And if they’re serving Wall Street instead of Main Street, we should show that we’re ready, willing and able to “primary” them.

Progressives would be wise to quickly follow up on Biden’s victory with a combative approach toward corporate Democrats. Powerful party leaders have already signaled their intentions to aggressively marginalize progressives.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants,” Politico reports, “had a stark warning for Democrats on Thursday: Swing too far left and they’re all but certain to blow their chances in the Georgia runoff that will determine which party controls the Senate.”

Also on the conference call with congressional Democrats was House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who reportedly declared that if “we are going to run on Medicare for All, defund the police, socialized medicine, we’re not going to win.”

Such admonitions were predictable and odd, coming from House Democratic leaders who just saw shrinkage of members of their party due to the loss of “moderate” incumbents as well as the losses of avowedly “moderate” and widely heralded Democratic senatorial candidates in Maine, Kentucky, Iowa and elsewhere.

At the core of such conflicts, whether simmering or exploding, is class war. When Pelosi & Co. try to stamp out the genuinely progressive upsurge in congressional ranks that is fueled from the grassroots, they’re “dancing with those who brung them” — corporate elites. It’s an extremely lucrative approach for those who feed out of the troughs of the Democratic National Committee, the Senate and House party campaign committees, the House Majority PAC and many other fat-cat political campaign entities. Consultant contracts and lobbying deals keep flowing, even after Democrats lose quite winnable elections.

Biden almost lost this election. And while the Biden campaign poured in vast financial resources and vague flowery messaging that pandered to white suburban voters, relatively little was focused on those who most made it possible to overcome Trump’s election-night lead — people of color and the young. Constrained by his decades-long political mentality and record, Biden did not energize working-class voters as he lip-sunk populist tunes in unconvincing performances.

That’s the kind of neoliberal approach that Bernie Sanders and so many of his supporters were warning about in 2016 and again this year. Both times there was a huge failure of the Democratic nominee to make a convincing case as an advocate for working people against the forces of wealthy avarice and corporate greed.

In fact, Clinton and Biden reeked of coziness with economic elites throughout their political careers. To many people, Clinton came off as a fake when she tried to sound populist, claiming to represent the little people against corporate giants. And to those who actually knew much about Biden’s political record, his similar claims also were apt to seem phony.

It’s clear from polling that Biden gained a large proportion of his votes due to animosity toward his opponent rather than enthusiasm for Biden. He hasn’t inspired the Democratic base, and his appeal had much more to do with opposing the evils of Trumpism than embracing his own political approach.

More than ever, merely being anti-Trump or anti-Republican isn’t going to move Democrats and the country in the vital directions we need. Without a strong progressive program as a rudder, the Biden presidency will be awash in much the same old rhetorical froth and status-quo positions that have so often caused Democratic incumbents to founder, bringing on GOP electoral triumphs.

In recent months, Biden showed that he knew how to hum the refrains of economic populism when that seemed tactically useful, but he scarcely knew the words and could hardly belt out the melody. His media image as “Lunch Bucket Joe” was a helpful mirage in corporate medialand, but that kind of puffery only went so far. Meanwhile, the Biden strategists decided to coast on the issue of the pandemic, spotlighting Trump’s lethally narcissistic insanity.

But when it came to healthcare — obviously a central concern in people’s lives, especially amid the coronavirus — Biden largely fell back on Obamacare rather than advocating for a genuine guarantee of healthcare as a human right. Likewise, Biden talked a bit about easing the economic burdens on small businesses and families, but it was pretty pallid stuff compared to what’s desperately needed. To a large extent, he surrendered the economic playing field to Trump’s pseudo-populist blather.

Looking ahead, we need vigorous successors to the New Deal of the 1930s and the Great Society programs of the mid-1960s that were asphyxiated, politically and budgetarily, by the Vietnam War. Set aside the phrase if you want to, but we need some type of “democratic socialism” (as Martin Luther King Jr. asserted in the last years of his life).

The ravages of market-based “solutions” are all around us; the public sector has been decimated, and it needs to be revitalized with massive federal spending that goes way beyond occasional “stimulus” packages. The potential exists to create millions of good jobs while seriously addressing the climate catastrophe. If we’re going to get real about ending systemic and massive income inequality, we’re going to have to fight for — and achieve — massive long-term public investments, financed by genuinely progressive taxation and major cuts in the military budget.

With enormous grassroots outreach that only they could credibly accomplish, progressive activists were a crucial part of the de facto united front to defeat Trump. Now it’s time to get on with grassroots organizing to challenge corporate Democrats.

27 comments

  1. I think this is a questionable strategy. Even if you got somewhere, which would be hard, you would still face the hatred of half the country. A third party strategy would be even harder, but it has the possibility of attracting enough support to make real changes.

    1. “Progressives would be wise to quickly follow up on Biden’s victory with a combative approach toward corporate Democrats. “
      Absolutely. Combative. With spine and teeth – signifying that mousey silence or mealy mouthed pitches —for harmony and peace is to stick your head in the Old Guard/Corporate Democrats’ maw and have it mashed into oblivion again —isn’t going to happen again.
      Standing strong and not taking any crap is the only way 1) to garner the People’s respect and trust; 2) to claim the authority of your intent and purpose for the People; 3) to signal to the Corporate/Old Guard that you are defining yourselves and will not tolerate being used as a patsy for the failures of their own shallowness, bullying, uncooperativeness, and self-service at the expense of the peoples’ real needs and the climate’s exigencies.

      1. “O would some god the power give us, to see ourselves as others see us”. –R Burns (Did folks know that the late Robert Hunter, blood brother to Jerome Garcia, was born Robert Burns, and was the great, great, (not sure exactly how many ‘greats’) grandson of Scottish poet Robert Burns?
        Only self-awareness can save us? “Know thySELF if wisdom ye seek”, saith the Oracle.

        “Progressives would be wise to quickly follow up on Biden’s victory with a combative approach toward corporate Democrats”.

        Really?? Geez …. You sound like a coupla’ Jews in Berlin in 1932. “Jews would be wise to to watch out for these Nazi fellas”.

        Yea … Okey doke …. You guys go over there and play in the Democratic Party’s sandbox. Stomp your foot and crybaby, and see if ya don’t feel Boss Pelosi’s lash across yer face, like the sassy AOC did. (And she sure calmed doqn that ‘sass’ ever since, ain’t she?)

        And best a’ luck t’ ya. We’ll be eager for good news of yer exploits.

        You folks just can’t ‘see’ yourselves in the context of the actual reality of ‘conditions on the ground’. Yer tellin’ us that yer gonna sweet talk the folks that did Libya, Yemen, Ukraine, Syria, (etc, etc, etc, etc, and so on), yer gonna sweet talk them nice folks into treating us Common People better?

        THAT’s your plan??? Yer gonna schmooze up close with them, to get them to change their minds about everything?

        C’mon, Skinny Joe already slapped you silly cross the face with a stinky dead fish. We demand Medicare for ALL! “FUCK you!”, Skinny Joe said back. That is paraphrased … I believe that this swamp slime lizard creature’s actual words were something like, “If Medicare for All comes across my desk as POTUS, I will veto it”.

        And you voted for him anyway, and now you are so delusional that you think these Thugs are gonna quake in their boots when you come ’round shaking your silly-ass fists at them?

        And we’re s’posed t’ be impressed t’ see y’all act this way. Like pollyanna fools.

        Okey doke, then. You boys ‘go get ’em … Keep us posted …

        Me?? Ahh … Well … I’m afraid I just don’t share your delusional concept of your imagined power ‘within the Democratic Party’.

        Who’s gonna pay for Alicia Garza’s $2500 hairdos, and all the Glamorous Ladies of BLM’s glitter, if George Soros not only stops paying BLM’s bills, but tells all his buddies they’d better stop too, if they know what’s good for them?

        Tell ya what ya oughta’ do. Get yerself a lawyer, and incorporate as a 501(c). Hire yourself as Executive Director. The patina on the business card will be crucial. Practice in front of your bedroom mirror. “Bond. Executive Director James Bond”. A firm shake. In the eye is crucial.

        Then you can schmooze around pretending these people, these people who have actual POWER, will be at all fooled by your ridiculous posturing.

  2. Progressives certainly should push the feckless corporate Democrats in the direction of the glory days of FDR and LBJ (minus the war). But they face an uphill challenge. Pelosi and the rest of the so-called leadership in the House have made it clear that they don’t even want a hint of progressive politics. They are using the Georgia Senate runoff(s) as an excuse, but if you think they will suddenly reverse course in February, I have a bridge for you.

    Couple that with their thinner majority and the Blue Dog Democrats, getting anything progressive passed in the House will be an uphill battle, then McConnell will make sure it dies in the Senate. The best they could do is pass lots of really great progressive legislation, make a lot of noise about it, then blame the Republicans for killing it. That’s something they’ve done before. But they aren’t likely to go that far.

    Another 2 years of their abandonment of the working class will give the populist right time and energy to mount a stronger campaign and regain control of the House. In 2024, we will have no viable Democratic presidential candidate (Harris? Are you kidding?) and the Republicans will be locked and loaded with another right-wing populist – but one with intelligence, political skill, strong ideological beliefs, and knowledge of government.

    The only hope for progressives is to abandon the Democratic Party en masse immediately and form a progressive coalition and do their best to elect Congress members and Senators from their ranks in 2 years. It’s a tall order, but we have to stop banging on the locked door of the Democratic Party and find an open window.

  3. “Progressives would be wise to quickly follow up on Biden’s victory with a combative approach toward corporate Democrats”…..ABSOLUTELY! Clearly. The heart and soul of Democratic purpose lies in the Progressive insistence that government respond decently and competently to the deep needs of the People. “a combative approach” is required. Absolutely! Cowering, passivity, and especially silence and/or weak kneed remonstrance to the Old Guard/Corporate Democrats’ attacks, blaming, and disparagement of the Progressive is to allow them to define who you/we are! . That time is over! Progressives must arm themselves with clarity, teeth, voice, spine, inspiration, determination and brilliance to confront – every time – the Old Guard attempts to evade their “come to Jesus” moment of accepting their own culpability by dumping undeserved blame on the Progressives. It’s time the Progressives begin envisioning claiming their rightful place as the head, heart, and voice of the Party. Progressives are the truth-seers and truth-tellers. Authentically serving the People.

  4. “Now we need to challenge corporate Demoks” is to be interpreted as such: Now we can all kick back and take it easy again, because the status quo of camouflaged privilege and slave labor will be preserved, by the well-oiled functioning of the Demok party and its dutiful slave forces.

    Be sure to bid up the price of your California real estate to keep your privilege on solid ground! Nurture compassion for the short little latinas picking your cardboard-flavored tomatoes and scrubbing the scum off your toilet bowls. Ahh the spectacular beauty of “life goes on” at the 21st century pinnacle of western civilization. Catastrophic success beyond imagination. Authoritarian orgasm beyond the infinite.

    Fortunately the people still have everything totally positive coherently integrated with anarchism. Quite a spectacular whole, total positivity with the balanced equality and autonomy of anarchism. The vision is coming together nicely and the more it develops the more amazing it is.

    You have to participate yourself in this process of building the stable alternative that sticks with us permanently. Fountainheads don’t build your benefits for you.

  5. This from Norman Solomon is the class viewpoint of the archetypical ‘Liberal’, which Chris Hedges recently discussed with moaning lament, as well as his customary laser brilliance.

    “Love me love me love me … I’m a liberal” — P Ochs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etwykxCFEkM

    Mr. Solomon sets out a thesis:
    “Now, on vital issues — climate, healthcare, income inequality, militarism, the prison-industrial complex, corporate power and so much more — it’s time to engage with the battle that must happen inside the Democratic Part” ……….end quote

    … but then offers not one word to support or defend it. To a ‘liberal’, or at least to Mr. Solomon, challenging the deeply entrenched power structure of the Democratic Party Machine, on its own turf, where it makes the rules, cracks the whip, and controls the microphone.

    Why? Why does Mr. Solomon think that our best course of action is to play by the rules of the Democratic Party in a power struggle to take over the Party?

    Let’s see if I’ve got Mr. Solomon’s thesis straight. The DPM has already said it doesn’t give a shit about progressive policies and/pr ideas. Why should they? When brilliant folks like Norm Solomon votes for them anyway, even after they give him the finger and tell him to go frack himself.

    Biden already said if Medicare for All came to his desk as POTUS, he’d fracking veto it. What the frack are people like this Solomon fella even fracking talking about?

    (Pardon my ‘french’, but geez loueeezz).

    Ah … Big Norm an’ his boys gonna tell Capone’s Thugs they better watch out? Awwww … God bless his little heart anyway … I’m sure the Capone Thugs are staying up late to try to come up with their strategy to fend off the powerful Solomon Force, sweeping in upon them from the plains, like the Riders of Rohan.

    Does Mr. Solomon not see any other options for his powerful fearsome Progressive Forces, (now adjusting their skirts after the DPM has had its rather sloppy way with them … ahem), to advance against Capone and his thugs save by taking him on, on his own turf, where HE makes ALL the rules? Okey doke. Good luck with that, cowboy …. Be sure to keep us posted on how ya make out. Bated breath … and all

  6. Confusedous says, (or some ‘old guy’, anyway), he who votes for they who shit on him, does not win much sympathy with his cries of pathos, no matter how earnestly sad they might be.

    Not only is LOTE a completely idiotic self-defeating strategy, but Trump was the lesser evil, by FAR! Two evils to choose from. One is an oafus buffoon clown lone wolf, the other is a highly organized, well-honed, well-oiled, deadly MACHINE!

    Both represent the interests of The Enemy.

    And liberals are so hopelessly confused that they think the MACHINE is the lesser evil? Bless their little hearts anyway … They mean well …. I’m sure they’re doing the best they can.

    1. R Zwarich. I love your reference to some ole (wise) guy (who indeed is wise) and your whole attitude. As for the liberals thinking they’re doing the best they can – that’s the problem, isn’t it? That they use as a standard of measurement for their “thinking and doing”- the wrong reference. Mistaking “centrism” and “get along-ism” and “don’t rock the boat-ism” and “we know better what the people need better than the people do-ism” out of unconscious instincts to preserve their own elite positions and self-aggrandizement. A kind of psychic instead of ocular stigmatism bent toward corporate empire-ism. Not open hearted clear eyed steely minded sights on addressing the realities of the needs of the People and Environment.

      1. Well said, good citizen Ms. Sweet. When we will take the trouble to think our way into our predicament, as you so clearly have, and so deeply, we find all kinds of surprises among our thoughts. Reason is what separates us from the other beasts. but like them we’re alive, and life is Desire. And Desire is the Enemy of Reason.

        Reason lifts us from the mire. but it is Desire that makes us ‘human’. We are ALIVE! And that is a precarious, difficult, and often painful thing to be.

        Ahh … but the glories it offers us. The beauty. Love. being alive is a difficult and painful condition, but it has its compensations.

        It’s our human condition.

        Hamlet lamented: “this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire—why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me. No, nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.” end quote

        Macbeth cursed our human condition. “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps this petty pace from day to day. And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death. Out, brief candle. Life is no more than a walking shadow, a poor player who struts ands frets his hour upon the stage. Itr is a tale told by6 an idiot. Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing”.

        The words are burned deeply and true, They haunt us all, whether we ever even heard them or not.

        Ahh … But ole Willy Wordsworth came along to sing of joy and beauty. “And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy of elevated thought. A sense, sublime, of something, far more deeply interfused, whose dwelling is in the light of setting suns, and in the living ocean, and in the round air”.

        Have we not ALL been, at some time, “disturbed” with joy, with “elevated thought”. We rutting stinking beasts, we humans, have been bequeathed a gift from the gods.

        We can REASON!

        But we ALIVE, and throbbing with the passionate burdens of life. Life is Desire. Reason is a gift. Forever they will clash.

        Can we bear up under our Desire to Reason our way out of our deadly predicament?

        Yer one ‘a the Really Good Ones, good citizen Ms. Sweet. Thank you for your deeply thoughtful comments. Caliban is now in your debt, and will always be eager to repay it. Never hesitate to ask should need arise.
        RZ

      2. Senor Zwarich….You gifted me and the others of us here richly with the fields of gold through which you travel so well….lamentations, curses, songs of beauty and joy- bringing us into the poetic throb and rhythm of Soul…remembering us back into the juice and spice and dolor of La Vida de Alma. The unmatched splendidness of it All. Shakespeare and Wordsworth hefting a beer together;taking in the paltry scene of brittle Old Guard/Corporate Dems flinging their crooked moth eaten feathered arrows as the Shining Good Witch nimbly snatches them mid-air and flings them right back. No kidding! Better watch out. The script is changing. And, it’s good to know Caliban lives!

      3. Yea … good lass … Yer lucky I’m such a decrepit old fart, and married at that, (47 years to the SAME ole girl, she somehow endures me), else you’d be in BIG trouble, ’bout now. (That’s Paul Newman’s old joke, but it suits an old grandfather, who still has an eye for the fairer gender’s charms. Don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but one compensation of old age is flirting with absolutely NO impending consequences.

        Yer a Really Good One, bonnie lassie Ms. Sweet.

        I’m afeared that old Bernie has just been like a common Railroad Boy, He’s taken another girl upon his knee, and he tells her, what he won’t tell THEE.

    2. Does she REALLY believe that ole Bernie was ever SERIOUS?
      Yes, this other “she” knows Bernie was serious “enough” about his vision to propagate it even in places where the soil could be unforgiving. Successfully. That is his “kiss” to millions either too young or old and amnesic to remember the’20’s, ’30’s, ’40’s ’50’s ’60’s – his “kiss” woke them to some sense of their own power in numbers and the righteousness of their desires/needs. Bernie is not stupid; he assuredly knew his nomination was a looong shot; he knew the gold plated teeth he was challenging. No buffoon he, except in the eyes of certain beholders.That said, Caliban you old earthy snorting dog – a pleasure to see what you bring up from the dead alive long buried to play with – with as serious an intent as the dog with a fresh bloodied bone which later, once stripped of its saboroso juiciness, becomes a magic of flinging joy and swishing delight.

      1. Yea ,.. well .. quien sabe? You may very well be right, amiga. Bernie’s a good ole guy, But he cares more than anything what he Senate buddies, like Skinny Joe, think of him,

        You know, I had the most curious experience. I saw the announcement LIVE, when ole Squnity M’Goo announced his candidacy for this time around, (after he had played the Sheep Dog role so perfectly last time).

        All the usual platitudes poured forth. he’s been practicing his schtick for a VERY long time, after all. Then, when his announcement speech was complete, he ‘fielded questions’ in a mock ‘news conference’ set up. Of course, the questions were ‘staged’, asked by ‘ringers’.

        The VERY FIRST question that ole Squinty had his ringer lob at him was, if you attempt to win the Dem Party nomination is not successful, will you consider an independent bid?

        That’s the FIRST dang question that he actually PLANNED for his ringer mock news conference to ask him.

        I saw this live. I couldn’t believe my ears. (geezus lord god, the FIRST thing he wants to make clear is that he will be a good dog when he loses? …A hour later, when I went back to his web site to transcribe his exact words of fawning obedience, and they were GONE! Erased from History. The whole announcement was there ‘on tape’, and the mock newser, but that FIRST question, and Bernie’s Sheep Dog belly-up, paws in the air, submissiveness, (classic canine ‘pack behavior), had been deleted.

        Guess some sharp hot-shot staffer realized just how bad ole Squnity M’Goo sounded by promising to be a good dog when he lost, even as part of his announcement that he was running.

        Geez … It wasn’t ‘up’ for more than a few minutes, but I saw it with my own eyes.

        I think ole ‘Bern’ knows where his bread is buttered. He licks the hands that feed him, and then lick-spittle shines their boots. They nurture these kinds of ‘assets’, sometimes for decades, just as they are with AOC now.

        They’ve already taken ‘Sandy from the Block’ and made her into a glamor girl in $5000 (or more) power suits. They will manufacture her as a cultural icon, and use her to influence young Latina girls for decades hence.

        There was a moment, not long after she was first elected, and was still as sassy as can be, when Boss Pelosi caught her square across the face with her lash. You could see young AOC’s eyes go wide with the shock of it, (the surprise, more than the pain). She’s been MUCH less ‘sassy’ since. Much more a team player, and they’ve shown their appreciation with fame and glamor.

        What’s a girl to choose. A lifetime of leather stinging lashes scarring her beauty? Or a designer suit on the cover of ‘Vanity Fair’? (irony anyone? “Vanity is my favorite sin” –Pacino as The Devil).

        You may be right, good citizen Ms. Sweet … Quien sabe? … I don’t think bernie Asanders is stupid.

        He KNOWS that he has played his Sheep Dog role to perfection, and he now expects his rewards. Sec of Labor, is what they’re saying.

        The Enemy won. The Democratic Party Machine, doing the bad guys’ bidding, effing WON! And ole squnity is just so doggone happy that his cheeks are cramping from smiling.

        He looks like a silly-ass quisling old man t’ me, rubbing up on Skinny Joe, praising his ‘character’, even as ole Joe told his bald-faced lie about Medicare for All.

        How can we EVER afford a system that has been PROVEN to cost HALF as much? Don’t ask Squinty M’Goo. When they asked him, he was too busy praising his buddy Joe as he lied about the whole thing to give a coherent answer.

      2. I guess I kind of flubbed my ‘punch line’ on the Bernie campaign announcement story.

        Ole Squinty answered the lobbed softball question by promising to be a good obedient dog and support the Party’s nominee.

        That was the FIRST thing ole Bernie wanted folks to be sure to know.

        There he was, stallion rearing under him, his sword slashing the air over his head. “Follow me to victory and glory!”, this brave warrior cried out to inspire his troops to charge into battle behind him,” or else we promise to support our Wall Street Enemy, should the Dems ‘crooked vote somehow go against us”. (Surprise, surprise, somehow it did).

        LOL … It was just about THE most ridiculous posture I’ve EVER seen a politician adopt.

        “Vote for ME! Follow me to GLORY!”, (sez ole Squnity, as his stallion rears up, pawing at the air with slashing hooves, as his rider’s sabre cuts the air as courageously, “or else I pledge my fealty to The Enemy”.

        When people are desperate to ‘see’ what they WANT to ‘see’, they are often blind to reality. “When a man loves a woman”, (an old tune some may recall), he’ll be the last to ‘see’ when she’s doing him wrong.

  7. So many entered this election deeply unhappy with both candidates. Once again the DNC offered up the person they needed, not the one the people wanted. Time for a third party. I’ve heard this many many times from across the spectrum. I congratulate AOC for refusing to be blamed for the failure of the party. I watched Pelosi stomp for the most conservative Democrat (voted with Trump almost all the time) against an amazing Progressive.
    Our voices for a healthier planet and people, livable wages, etc. must be heard. Biden is not our friend. Nor is Harris. We need to be shown a way to bring about change as peacefully as possible, as soon as possible. Change is scary, but it is also imperative and we can survive change.

    1. “We need to be shown a way to bring about change …” you’ve been around the block a time or two, Carol….so you know about change, changing, and changed. We need to learn your knowings. In another time, when people came together, it was understood that each one brought to the others what was missing and altogether made the gathered, Whole. We need you more than ever. And, a personal thanks for showing up here. Oh, and it’s been said that sometimes it’s difficult to know whether this feeling is “scared” or “excitement.” Sky Diving and Spelunking come to mind. Coming down to earth with inspirations; Diving down deeper into the Mystery and rising with the Nothing that wants to become Something. Understandings; insights; intuition; knowledge. Wealth, for sure.

    2. “It is always exciting to witness when an angel gets its wings”. Some fairy tales that warm children’s heart can warm a grow woman’s or man’s heart as well.

      It’s always exciting to hear and witness as a fellow citizen’s consciousness expands. They sometimes make groaning sounds, like glaciers do on the still waters of a cold deep fiord.

      But sometimes they awaken, with an audible ‘crack!’ like dawn itself over a lonely night, or they arise in selfless righteousness like thunder and lightning, “J’Accuse!”

      Congratulations to our good citizen Ms. Tuveson … A ringing statement … Clear thinking … well expressed …

      Just one last leap she has not yet taken. Does she REALLY believe that ole Bernie was ever SERIOUS?

      Ole Caliban thinks he understood his key role well, from the very outset. He is now grinning his cheeks into cramps, expecting his cabinet-post reward.

      They have perfected the “Sheep Dog Candidate” gambit. (Some call it the Judas Goat Gambit). Ole Bernie played this role to Hollywood-casting perfection. But when he was asked to explain how we could possibly ‘afford’ a health care system that would cost HALF as much as we ALL pay now, he flubbed his lines. (As did ole Lizzy Warren as well).

      And Biden rode that flub to ruthlessly gun down Medicare for All with his Masters’ Big Lies. He will veto it, because our nation cannot afford paying HALF as much for health care that is universally available to anyone who has a pulse. (Per capita costs. The data is very definitive. And their outcomes are much better. Universal (Socialized) Health Care costs HALF as much for demonstrably better care.

      You think Biden doesn’t know? You think he hasn’t accessed the data? Really?? These people lie as easily as they breathe, and ole Skinny Joe and Squinty M’Goo Sanders are great good buddies. These’r good ole boys t’ each other. Squnty M’Goo said so himself. He actually vouched for Biden’s ‘character’ even as Skinny Joe told a bald-faced lie to defeat Medicare for All. Say what? Yea … He DID! (Look it up, fer crissakes).

      It’s not an easy sight to ‘see’, but once you do, you will never ‘unsee’ it. You may choose the Blue Pill again if you wish, but even in The Matrix, dreams in the night will disturb what you saw. Our minds do not ‘forget’. The rascals just play tricks on us. Desire sits on every living shoulder, as the mind tries its best.

      The power of the human mind to deceive itself knows no bounds. Ole Bernie’s cheeks seem to be cramping up, frozen in a ghastly smile, to hear mention of a cabinet post. Yea … Labor … Perfect … Bury him where he can preach to the choir, as he’s always voted down.

      And he has no idea how ghastly that smile appears. The man sure looks a bit ‘too happy’ to me.
      Caliban

      1. Dear R Zwarich, I’ve taken to wondering if one of your eyes hasn’t become impaled by a splinter with the initials B.S. inscribed thereon. And like any good ole dog similarly afflicted, you keep pawing at it, digging it in further. Heaven forbid! Ouch!! Ouch!! Please, tell us, had B.S. not ranged so deeply and persistently into the public square yelling, Wake Up Everybody! You Matter! We Matter! Time to fight for Medicare for All, free tuition for school, the Green New Deal et al, who would you have tipped your wooly hat to, encouraging them to enter the ring? Who would have carried the potency of his major message to the lengths he did and beyond, Sir Galahad-like continuing unstoppably until her or his hand firmly grasped that Holy Grail? Who would not have disappointed you so deeply? One who is alive today?

      2. These are VERY good questions.

        Bernie played his part to perfection. He said all the right things. He stabbed the air with his finger with great conviction.

        But it’s like he was reciting from a book he read in school that he really liked. What matters to him most is his acceptance by his peers. That priority is much higher in him that his convictions are deep.

        Praising Biden even as that old bootlicker told the Big Lie health care scam? We can ALL see that Biden has been a boot-licking errand boy for Big Money for his entire career. The guy lies just like an honest man breathes? And ole Bernie praised his character?

        Well … Yea … People believe what they want. It’s very obvious to me that Bernie is a bootlicker in a big club of bootlickers, and more than anything, he wants all his bootlicker buddies to think well of him.

        When asked to explain how we could possibly afford a system that ALL data show would cost HALF as much, he somehow flubbed his lines, and his good buddy Biden rode his flub to promise to veto Medicare for All.

        This old man went down to completely ignominious defeat. Why is he so happy now? Big Money just whipped his hind end raw and bloody, and he’s smilin’ like a lick-spittle cracker errand boy? C’mon …. What’s wrong with this picture?

        Do folks really not understand the ‘steam valve’ concept? Hedges touches on this a bit. This is a much more cunning brand of totalitarianism. You control the Mass Media, but you allow the opposition an ‘outlet’. If you’re pumping for war, that drumbeat will play on every station, save one. One station will be allowed to oppose, and long as the dominant drumbeat can easily drown it out.

        Do we not understand that the concept of the Judas Goat Candidate, called ‘sheepdog’ by many? A sheep rancher will put a goat out to graze with the sheep, because the goat will come back to the barn when the rancher rings the bell. The sheep are too stupid to respond to the bell, but they WILL follow the Judas Goat, to barn or the slaughterhouse, either one.

        This judas goat ruse is a variation of the ‘steam valve’ concept. Give the idiot sheep progressives something to shout and cheer about, but make damn sure the goat is a well-trained Judas.

        If Bernie Sanders was a full growed man of courage and conviction, he’d either be dead by now, or else he could have WON!

        Who would follow? THAT is an excellent question. Do we really understand what happened to Jack and his brother? And Dr. King? And Malcolm?

        In ’84, I served as a body guard for Jesse Jackson. I was a young father with three babes at home, but I would have died for that man with not one instant’s hesitation.

        I thought he was the real deal. I thought he was carrying Dr. King’s torch. He was there. He was on that balcony. He was, quite literally, baptized in the blood of our nation’s greatest prophet, (thus far).

        But look at poor old worn out Jesse now. He had a choice to make. Do any think he would still be alive had he chosen to actually carry that heavy mantle? Dr. King saw it coming. “I may not get there with ya….”, he had said, just days before.

        Jesse could steal ANY fair lady’s breath. Tall, strong, more handsome than a mere man, he was beautiful, like a young tiger, or glorious healthy young lion. Wait … What? Give THAT up?

        You think Jesse had forgotten what happened to Jack and Bobbie and Dr. King, and Malcolm, (Fred Hampton, et al)?

        When we draw our swords, it must be for purpose, not for show. A sword’s purpose is deadly. Bernie was never playing any game but ‘patty-cake patty-cake baker’s man’.

        That’s NOT the ‘game’ The Enemy is playing folks. You draw a sword, you BETTER be ready to fight for your very life itself.

      3. Dear R Zwarich,
        Gosh, such a moving reply….so much stirred up as I read along, and still percolating….hurt came up upon your total belittlement of Bernie – projection? is some part of me identified with him? is it from sensing into yours- the disillusionment upon heroes revealing feet of clay at times of ultimate follow through? is it from sensing into Bernie’s growing up time when the seeding of his heart in the “decent” cause happened – and the woundings occurred (that happen to us all) and the need to be liked (common to us all) intensifies. His achievements as Burlington mayor were significant. And, he supported others running for office as he’s tirelessly done since.I sense he’s a genuine man. True to his convictions. And, worked his ass off. I admire his tenacity, his kindnesses and support of the younger ones. I sense he genuinely likes Biden. Unlike Obama, he remains loyal even when he knows others will shame him for not being their version of pure. So, this becomes a territory of all or nothing thinking. Of course his not doing “the truly heroic” act of starting or joining a 3rd party or charting a further, independent challenge to the Old Guard/Corporate Democrat Donor-centered sell outs to the workers disappointed. We cling to idealizations at every age until we become wizened or ensnared in cynicism. Your transparent despising of him is too exaggerated not to have a big chunk of yourself entangled up in it. When he chose the conclusion he did, so many tarred and feathered him with their unexamined and unmediated condescension and absolutistic standards. Perhaps our extraverted society’s too absorbed in Marvel characters, supermen, and the Michael Jordan’s to compensate for felt unbearable personal impotency in charting a hand-made unique course that dares the conventions set by the corporatocracy. Gone is the common collective understanding and with it a compassion for the fact – that to be human is to be flawed, not perfect, but tending toward wholeness. The role the “flaw” “woundedness” plays in the making of a “hero” interests. Lincoln afflicted with “melancholia”, a “depressive” and FDR with polio come to mind. How might that hone a soul into being equipped to handle the enormous tensions inherent in being a wise, talented, superior President? Thank you Caliban…I value your sharing. Deep and True.

  8. it is quite remarkable how history and sociology are entirely ignored by amerikans—in any case US academics “technicians that serve power with a thin understanding of everything”. R Hofstadter only lie,,,amerikans, among the most xenophobic peoples, rarely read anything unless censored by their professors
    otherwise they would be fully aware that US progressives are more freedom hating and right wing than the conservatives
    there are no cures for amerikans. By 1969 Lewis Mumford was fully aware that amerikans were a shallow immoral cancerous dinosaur that could only be narcotized or euthanized

  9. One who is alive today?

    I like this AOC filly. The girl can run. She had a bad stumble. I think she’s maybe confused. She’s obvious ‘star’ material. History beckons her with wizened finger and beguiling smile.

    Will she? That’s only one question. CAN she?

    The girl’s got a LOT to learn.

    She is in the right place, at the right time. She should forge alliance with Tulsi Gabbard. At some point girls like that might grab that lash, pull that skinny old hag close, and look her REAL deep in the eye.

    Pelosi’s gang o’ thugs need these fierce young spirits a LOT more than vice versa.

    Respectfully, I don’t agree that the Democratic Party Machine can be ‘reformed’. But it CAN be dethroned.

    If you don’t believe in True Democracy, then DON’T call yourself a True Democrat.

  10. I have to have a chuckle at Solomon’s post and the comments that follow – all this stuff said about the DP has been said by the GP for at least a couple of decades, yet time and again, when ot’s crunch time, we are told and “convinced” that because of that awful Rep, sigh, sigh, we have to vote LOTE because “3rd parties can’t win” and they are “spoilers”, so we have to stick with the Dems and then “push them” – the political version of Groundhog Day. It would be hilarious, if it weren’t so destructive of a progressive agenda.

    All that stuff about Sanders. e.g. as “sheep dog”, “Judas goat” – I’ve seen that stuff before on other sites, years ago – nothing new or original here, though the language is more flowery.

    And the “we need 3rd parties” is also an oft repeated refrain – yet when we have a 3rd party on the ballot, and we have had one for at over a quarter of a century, with a full progressive platform re both domestic and foreign policy – we don’t vote for ’em – I have voted 3rd party for Pres since ’96, if more of us had voted in ’00, ’04, ’08 etc. for it in ever greater numbers, we’d have a “green” gov’t by now, whether as Green or a truly “reformed” DP who would have gotten the message – but we chicken out, snowflakes indeed.

    If all that wonderful energy and all those donations wasted on Sanders had been directed toward strengthening and supporting the GP – we could have gone far – Stein was far and away the best candidate on the ballot in ’12 and ’16 – but all the money and enthusiasm was spent on Sanders (that’s what he was there for, to take the wind out of the sails of any 3rd party challenge from the left). If folks want M4A, a GND, out of our wars, etc. it oughta be clear by now they won’t get it from the DP, not even rhetorically. But that stuff has been the backbone of the GP platform for years.

    I have been watching and talking about all this stuff on various “progressive” sites for years – have seen the same stuff, over and over – so folks, it is time, indeed way past time, for folks to put up or shut up …. otherwise it’s just more yadda, yadda, yadda …. which frankly, and sadly, is what I expect …

    1. These are very perceptive comments from our good citizen SH.

      I know that the good citizen missed the point I was trying to make (the other day) about ‘third parties’ in a two party system.

      It is our primitive ‘winner take all’ political system that defines itself as a two-party system.

      Under our system, if the party you favor, because it represents your views, wins the election, then your views, your interests, will be represented in government. If your party loses, your interests will NOT be represented at ALL.

      This is ‘cave-man’ democracy. This is the most crude form of democracy there is.

      In a proportional representation system, every citizen’s interests are ALWAYS represented. If there are 100 seats in the decision making body, and a party gets 37% of the vote, it gets 37 seats. If a party gets 7% of the vote it gets 7 seats.

      A winner take all system becomes a two-party system because in a winner take all election a third party will split the vote with the party closest to it in terms of views and interests, and thus a third party will grant power to the party furthest from it on the spectrum of political views.

      We all surely know this. I’m just reviewing here, to make sure we’re ‘on the same page’.

      We are never going to a build a true democracy in our nation under this system. This system was not designed to be a democracy. The people who designed it were The Elites of the American colonies. They greatly feared Democracy. They would do as far as the Magna Carta mandated, and not one inch more.

      Our constitution defines a ‘republic’, not a ‘democracy’. In a democracy, the Common People directly participate in decision making, (in some organized fashion). In a republic, the Elites govern “with the consent of the governed”.

      Well … In Rome, when it was still as republic, the Common People were organized into Ten Tribes, and each tribe elected a Tribune. Senators were chosen by the Elites from among their own class, but the Ten Tribunes each had complete veto power over any measure passed by the Senate. Each one. Each tribune. Each tribe.

      Now that was effective “consent”, and it worked pretty well, for a few hundred years. The Elites ruled effectively, with any excesses of their own desires checked by the Tribunes’ consent or veto.

      What means do WE have to give or withhold our consent, as The Elites rule over us without ANY restraint at ALL on their raging Greed and Lust for Power? Casting a vote in these Mass Media Clown Shows? THAT’s our ‘power’ as citizens?

      The point I was trying to make is that a third party strategy in a two party system is a LOSING ‘strategy’. It could serve well, however, as a ‘strategem’, (a bit more generalized than a ‘tactic’).

      I agree 100% that voting for any Democrat is just stupid.

      Look, folks. Look around. ‘See’ what is there in front of you to ‘see’.

      Since the dawn of human civilization, every human society forms, by natural law, into two natural ‘parties’, into two basic political groups defined by their shared economic interests.

      Over on the Right, sit The Elites. And on the Left, the Common People.

      Obviously, in a two-party system, any concept of ‘consent’, let alone ‘democracy’, has no meaning at all unless one party represents The Elites, and the other The Common People.

      We ALL surely can see that both the Republican and Democratic Parties represent the interests of The Elites. The Common People have NO political representation in America. NONE! These Mass Media Clown Shows no longer in any way resemble a legitimate electoral process. It’s a game of who sweats least under the kleig lights as they all spout lies. Who’s the Best Liar on TV? We’re s’posed ‘t vote fer them?

      Who would deny this? They’d be laughed off the dais. In the United States of America the Common People have NO representation of our interests in government. NONE! Zilch!! Not a frackin’ speck. Our entire government has become a giant sewage scum swamp of legalized bribery.

      Ahh …. But we do still pay taxes, don’t we? You know, we actually HAD a Revolution one time. A real one. Guns shooting. Blood flowing. You know what lit their fire? Ya know which passion was strongest as they grabbed their muskets to go risk life itself? “No taxation without representation!”.

      Ahhh …. But wouldn’t ye know? TIA. (This is America). Here our Left, the heroes of the downtrodden, found a much better motto to fire the hearts of the Common People. “Hate all white people!”

      Ya know … It’s so tragic that ya hafta’ either cry or laugh. You hear more and more people looking at the ground and shaking theirb heads as they say, “You jes’ couldn’t make this shit up.” If it was a TV show, people would groan ’cause they thought it was too far-fetched.

      Ahh … But TIA. This is America, where the women don’t just hate their men, they hate manhood itself, and where the Left so cleverly deduced that a Race War is more fun.

      Look, folks. ‘See’ what there is, right in front of you to ‘see’. Look, and ye shall ‘see’.

      None of us are immune to this power affected over us. This is the power of Social Engineering, (and Gloria Steinem WAS a CIA operative, geezus h folks, it’s a proven fact

      It was so easy for them to do. At the very moment they saw the groundswell of rage over economic conditions begin to rise, the Floyd video was suddenly on every TV screen 24/7.

      Look folks. ‘See’. These people live by their cunning alone. ‘See’ how IMMENSE is their power.

      At the precise moment that the Common People were ready to Rise Up in rage against the Elites, the monumentally stupid American Left allowed itself to be goaded into a Race War. They had SO much fun, rampaging in the streets, yelling out ugly hateful things, burning and looting, and their adorable little ‘revolution’ was even ‘TELEVISED’. (Surely we ALL know that REAL revolutions are NEVER televised).

      BLM, financed by a Baron Oligarch, (quite a generous one, apparently, a little birdie told me that Alicia Garza’s hairdo cost $ 2,789.73), was the darling of Corporate America.

      And the American Left is SO stupid that it STILL hasn’t figured out ‘what’s wrong with this picture?’

      Here’s a clue fer all the big bad ‘revolutionaries’ out there playin’ their really fun ‘revolution’ game: when yer own Enemy helps ya out, and cheers fer ya, maybe ya oughta’ think a bit more on yer course of action? But noooooo …. Not These Bolshevik Marionettes, dancing their silly jerky dance, like mindless fools, on the ends of their own Enemy’s strings.

      Eh … there ya go… sorry …. I get ‘off track’ that way.

      What I was trying to say about a ‘third party’ course of action, is that it must be a part of a more highly developed strategy.

      The Green Party is going nowhere. It has no strategy. It has no plan. It’s just some folks entertaining themselves by playing the fun ‘politics game’. They’re not gaining ground. They’re losing ground. They’re OVER. They took a shot. Let’s respect them for that. But they were not able to project a Basic Message that had the power to command attention.

      Here’s my plan …. It’s not that complicated … The True Democrats are going to grab the Democratic Party Machine by the neck, slam them against a cold iron wall, look them REAL deep in their evil eyes, and let them know that they will NEVER win another election.

      Vercingetorix had Caesar defeated. His strategy was brilliant. It was the same as Fabius had used against Hannibal, or at least similar, but we don’t know if Vercingetorix even knew that story.

      They could not defeat these Romans in battle, but when the listened to Vercingetorix, wherever Caesar turned he only found ashes. The Gauls burned the crops. They hid whatever stores of grain they could deep in the forests and burned the rest. They burned every town in Caesar’s path to the ground. They burned every village. They wailed and moaned in sorrow, but they could ‘see’ that this was the only path to victory.

      It worked. Caesar was beaten. He was marching his half-starved army back to his Roman Province, where his reputation, and entire career, would have fallen in tatters.

      But Vercingetorix made a fatal mistake, He thought they could ambush the bedraggled Roman column on the march and annihilate them. (WRONG!)

      Anyway … The True Democrats first objective will be to burn the Democratic Party Machine to the ground. Wherever they turn, they will find only ashes.

      A third party in a two party system is a LOSER. The True Democrats will plan to remove the Democratic Party from the ground entirely. Let the Democratic Party be the third party if it wants to keep playing.

      The True Democrats intend to build a TRUE Democracy in our nation. That’s the whole ‘platform’.

      If you don’t believe in TRUE democracy, then DON’T call yourself a True Democrat.

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