Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Rap On Nefarious DNC

It's fashionable among some lefties to talk about how awful Obama was. I guess he let a bunch of progressives down, what with not achieving world peace and universal health care and one thing and another, and he irked some of them even more because he supposedly got this free pass to be (gasp) moderate and escaped criticism because he was Black. Or something.

Yeah, that Black card can sure get you in the finest places.

Thought I'd share a little Obama story. A friend of mine is among the top dozen public health experts in the nation. She was in on the discussions Obama had when he was working on a health plan. I was dismayed at the time that O wasn't kicking the insurance industry to the curb and I whined to my friend. "Doesn't he support single-payer?" I said.

Yes, she said. He does.

"Then what..."

He can't get it through. He doesn't have the support.

What he had was the opposition. And, as you may recall, it was formidable. McConnell openly swore to obstruct anything Obama was for. And he had the votes. Obama did the best he could manage, and then tried to slip in that "public option." It was smart. If enough people chose to go with the much cheaper public option, the insurance industry would crumble away on its own.

Politics is the art of the possible. But even the public option wasn't possible. Not with the Republicans in there.

Well, the current narrative is that the Democratic National Committee cheated and shoveled in Biden when absolutely everyone preferred Bernie, who everyone knew would have won in a landslide, and doggone it, we're not going to vote for the "lesser of two evils" this time around. Hell no. "You can't change the system if you keep voting for the same thing," they say. Here's what else you can't do. You can't change the two-party system, or anything else you deride, by voting for a third party at the top of the ticket. What's the plan here? Explain your mechanism; show your work.

Of course it's pissing into the wind. Of course it will have no bearing on our future whatsoever unless it gets more Republicans elected. We've seen this play before, more than once.

We could have had a President in 2000 who, more than anyone, knew what we were up against with global warming. Who would never have invented an endless war in the Middle East to enrich his friends. He might not have been able to do everything he wanted--there would have been no end of obstruction. But now we've dug another twenty-year hole for ourselves, and we're twenty years closer to the apocalypse. A third-party vote for President in a two-party system will win you a nice righteous woody, and zip-all else. Oh wait! Guess what else that vote got us! Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito, followed closely by the Citizens United decision! That was the decision that purported to champion free speech, but instead favored very, very expensive speech. Way to stick it to the man and get that corrupting money out of politics, dudes. Thanks for that, hope you enjoyed the woody.

"But a vote for the Green Party will show the Democrats we can't be taken for granted," they say. Awesome! Maybe we'll have another twenty years for that valuable lesson to sink in before the last iceberg sinks away. Really. Get serious. Work for change, and channel your rage into something other than a tantrum.

I know. You're positive the DNC engineered the Biden win. You can't prove it, but you suspect it, and that's as good as gold in your cohort. But this wasn't that long ago--we still remember. We had a stellar lineup of candidates. I had a favorite, but there were several I'd have been happy with. I thought Biden was washed up early and was dismayed when he reemerged the leader. I thought voters were missing a bet by picking someone so moderate when what we needed was someone that could fire us up. But an alternative to the sexy theory that the nefarious DNC did all this is the following: there were lots and lots of voters whose sole motivation was to beat Trump. They were scared to death. I remember the conversations. The virus was still in the future: Trump was doing fine in the polls. Plenty of people were sympathetic with Sanders or Warren but terrified that they'd be too easy to run against; that the "socialist" label would scare off too many people. And these people made a calculated choice in Biden. Real people voted for him. In droves. Some of them were being strategic; some loved him.

We've seen all those memes tearing down one Democrat after another, ginned up by the right wing and shared by the cannibal force on the left. Obama screwed us out of single-payer health care. Elizabeth Warren sold out Bernie by dropping out of the race so she could be Veep. Kamala Harris's ancestors owned slaves (dude! The other name for those ancestors is rapists). Biden said something fifty years ago that doesn't sit right today. Keep it up! The fascists have been churning out these shareable banners of bullshit for years, trying to cling to power by mining gullible people for votes. They appreciate your help, and by the way what can you buy for a few rubles today?

Biden is only the "lesser of two evils" when you really want the Archangel Michael and got stuck with Noah. But they're both running against Satan. Get a damn grip.

You want to get any of your favorite plans going, you'd best get every Democrat you can find in office and then support the living hell out of them when they have to face down the Republicans. My God, we have so many fine people in the party now. All-stars. Plenty of our moderates and pragmatists will swing progressive if they know there's support, and only we can give it to them. We're the ones with the Green New Deal, not the R's. We get behind these people and we push them and we show up at town meetings and we write letters and we march.

It's not as easy as pouting, but that's our plan.


  1. Exactly. Real people, a lot of them, voted for Biden in the primaries. The radicals are basically saying those votes shouldn't count. This is, if anything, even more offensive given that it was overwhelming black support that helped Biden win (most blacks are moderates).

    No, electing Biden as president won't get us everything we want. Nobody ever gets everything they want. But it will lead to movement in the right direction. Leaving the Republicans in power will just mean further destruction.

    There's an attitude among a few radicals that it's better to let the Republicans make everything worse and worse because then eventually there will be a revolution which will usher in Utopia. Of course there is not going to be a revolution here -- certainly not a successful one -- but even if there were, these people are saying they're willing to subject vast numbers of people (not themselves, of course) to relentless suffering until it becomes unendurable and they revolt. They're monsters.

    1. Back in the early '70s when we freaks liked to talk about the Revolution, I remember a professor saying America would never have a revolution--because our slave labor was in other countries.

    2. As far as I know, no actual revolution has ever led to a utopia. They almost always lead to some kind of dictatorship at least as nasty as what they replaced (see Russia, Iran, Cambodia, and on and on). The countries that have the good stuff -- strong democracy, national health care, high minimum wage, strong worker protections, etc. -- got there by incremental change via legislation, not by revolution.

      As for a revolution in the US, remember that most of the people with guns in this country are right-wingers. That pretty much tells you how it would turn out.

    3. That revolution is about as likely as the rapture that some right-wingers believe will save them. And just as ridiculous when put forth as a political plan.

    4. So in 1776 we had a War of Incrementalism?

    5. 1776 was a war of national independence, not a revolution, despite the terminology we use. It remains true that actual revolutions almost always lead to some kind of dictatorship at least as nasty as what they replaced, and that almost all actual improvements in the human condition have been achieved via peaceful action and legislation, not revolution.

  2. Murr, I really, REALLY hope that people listen to you. Voting for a third-party candidate in a two-party system will only keep the opposition in power. and I'm one of those people who -- at this point -- just want to beat Trump. I've heard people say that Biden doesn't have all his faculties. Well, I'd rather vote for someone with half his wits than someone with absolutely no scruples. What good is it to have a president with all his wits if he is a fucking sociopath? That just makes him all the more dangerous!

    Oh, and your comparison of Trump and Satan: Oh, please! Satan can only aspire to be as evil as Trump.

    1. Oh, and I, too, had heard the same as your friend: that Obama actually wanted single-payer medical insurance, but couldn't get it through. The right-wing is interested in keeping the insurance industry right where it is -- lining their pockets.

    2. Heck! The D's couldn't even get Mitch to let the Senate vote on a Supreme Court Justice nominee, let alone anything like single-payer medical services.

    3. That last one is still capable of producing brain steam.

  3. I see on the news this morning that Kanye West is actually on a ballot somewhere. I think he is known for hanging out with strange women, but that isn't much of a presidential qualification. I voted for Biden in my first and his first election in 1972. Think I'll carry on the tradition.

    1. Delaware boy! All I think of when I think of Delaware is stunty little trees near the shore. Must've made an impression on me.

    2. Delaware has a lot of really beautiful and amazing birds. Also gardens. And DuPont estates that have been turned into museums. But I digress. Biden is the exact right man for this moment.

  4. Thanks. I say this all the time to my friends in the Bernie cult. People voted for the other candidate. Their disrespect for those votes is matched only by their ability to hold a grudge.

    1. Outrage is self-perpetuating and is rarely as useful as its victims imagine.

  5. I fear a repeat of '16, when the DNC was a circular firing squad.

    1. The Democratic Party is full of cannibals but at the moment we have SUCH a fine squad. Katie Porter in particular is making my heart sing.

    2. She made DeJoy squirm. I heard someone say that there are 9 million ways that the Democrats can screw this up, and I won't exhale (figuratively) until Biden's confirmed. But what a mess to inherit.
      At the start of the covid outbreak in Australia the Labor party (somewhat lefties) said to the ruling Liberals (right wing but not too far) that they could spend whatever it took to combat the virus. No quibbling over details. To their credit the govt leapt into action and doubled the unemployment, helped employers with wages and a number of other measures. Of course it wasn't perfect and there were some stuff-ups, but I was impressed. And they stopped flights from China a day before Trump did, so he wasn't the only nation to do that.
      Just when I was giving them kudos for all their measures they started slipping fracking and gas and coal things in and trying to limit journalists powers and...back to their old tricks.

  6. Hey, Infidel973, what about the revolution that gave birth to this country? We're not a utopia by any means, but we don't belong in the same category as the other countries you listed.

    1. I'll preface this quote from William Rivers Pitt by saying I have ancestors in every group he mentions, so I'm not pointing fingers just sayin' that the US was more mercenary than idealistic from the beginning, and it continues apace. The stagecraft today is in convincing the poorest, least educated and most gullible that the GOP is on their side through fair means and foul, and to divide those who can't be convinced of that into "better or best" camps. Here's Pitt's quote: “Instead of a thoroughgoing democracy, Americans have settled for democratic stagecraft. It is all of a piece, the centuries-old notion of this country as a paycheck for the few at the expense of the many. British colonialists sought to peel the land using kidnapped Africans and impoverished Britons, slaughtering and displacing Native peoples wherever and whenever they were encountered. Wealth must be compounded with wealth, power must be held by the few to wield against the many. The fiction of democracy provides an illusion of freedom to obscure the looting that was the whole point of the endeavor to begin with.”

  7. And then they need to vote in person, not by mail.

    1. Well, I have no choice but to vote by mail, which would have been my choice anyway. I would suggest one register for a mail ballot NOW and then use a ballot drop box to deliver it. I've heard there's a virus going around.

  8. I'll be an election judge (poll worker) this year for the first time in my life. I've been to one training class so far and learned a lot. COUNTY workers, not the federal government, not the state, runs elections. Our county, like others, is running two elections: one by mail, and one by in-person voting. The processes are totally unconnected and will only deliver a result after the mail election is counted.

    One thing people need to know is that if you have requested a mail-in ballot, don't change your mind and decide to vote in person. The system will flag you and you will not be able to vote. You might be able to fill out a provisional ballot; these take even longer to process as their processing has additional steps.

    1. What are your duties as an election judge?

    2. Kudos to you, Susan. I admire you so much for going out to work at the polls at a time when most people can't even be arsed to get out and vote.

    3. The duties are assigned just before early voting, which will be 4-5 weeks from now. It's basically helping people to sign in, checking their voter registration, and vote. I'm kind of excited. It's been a while since I encountered many faces other than my spouse and the mirror.

  9. Biden is only the "lesser of two evils" when you really want the Archangel Michael and got stuck with Noah. But they're both running against Satan. Get a damn grip.

  10. I'm late chiming in, but this is perfectly said!

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