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Thu Jun 2, 2016, 11:17 AM

 

A PARTY DIVIDED

I see the Democratic Party at a crossroads.

The non-progressives, powered by the Wealthy 1%, have taken control of our Party. To fight back we need to know exactly who we are fighting. I would like to have a discussion here to get input as to what we are facing as a foe.

I found the following in DU2 and think it's a good place to start.

The following was part of an OP posted by G - http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x1500508

The Democratic party appears to be divided into two main camps:

- Social DEMOCRATS: Liberals and Progressives representing the ideals of the New Deal social welfare.

- Corporate DEMOCRATS: New Democratic 'moderates' and 'centrists' of the No Deal corporate welfare.


I think that is a good start. In that thread, in post 4, welshTerrier2 (DU2) added the following http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x1500508

Ideologies Versus Tactics

I frequently see allegations made that the social democrats put ideology ahead of winning ... this is intended as a criticism and is a charge usually made by centrists (corporate democrats to use your jargon) ... one person even told me that "politics has nothing to do with morality" ... sorry, i just couldn't get my head around that one ...

So, it seem there is not one but two factors to consider as to how the Party is divided ...

On one plane, we have the traditional left-center divide ... but there's this second plane that seems to divide the Party between those who perceive themselves as pragmatists (the big tenters) and those on the left they label as ideologues ...

Of course, when centrists label those on the left as ideologues, the intention is to suggest that putting beliefs ahead of winning is somehow a bad thing ... they often overstate the real positions of those on the left by trying to ascribe to them a rigid inflexibility and an extremism ... these generalizations are rarely supported with the facts ... they are little more that "debate tactics" ...

Anyway, there does appear to be a divide between those who want to win regardless of what must be compromised and those who believe it's not worth fighting if we're not fighting for something worthwhile ...

It remains a mystery to me why it is that those in the center also happen to more often adhere to the "stretch the tent too thin win at any cost" philosophy ... nor do i think they have demonstrated that taking strong stands on the issues, or left leaning stands, is not a way to win ... they regularly point out the bad old McGovern days ... but to say that the Party cannot lean left because it fared poorly in the past is not adequate ... many differences exist from the days of McGovern ...

The wishy-washy center has no right to claim they are, or will be, more successful than those on the left ... their track record does damage to that defense ... and this last election was most instructive ... call it the media, call it the right-wing meme, but it was not easy for Democrats to make a strong case on Iraq, terrorism or even tax cuts because the public's perception was that the differences between the two parties was not that significant ...

One last point ... this business of the corporate Democrats trying to "shove Liberals and Progressives out of the party" ... from what i've seen, at least here on DU, this is not at all the case ... i see great disdain shown to progressives who announce they are leaving the Party ... the sad truth is, what the corporatists really want is for the left to be disorganized, powerless, voiceless but to have them remain in the Party and continue to contribute their time and their money ... and therein lies the rub ... it's coming to a head and the risks are very, very high ... ABB held the left this year ... it will not hold in 2008 without major reforms ... a rupture in the thinly stretched tent will do great harm ... of course, sometimes the old structures must be broken down before they can be rebuilt

I agree very closely with the above (except the last paragraph) and would like to hear other opinions.

By the way, I think those looking to leave the Party are making a big mistake. Here I disagree with welsh Terrier2 in his last paragraph. The Corporate Wing of the Party would like nothing better than drive the pesky Left from the Party. They need neither our money (they have the Koch Bros and Goldman-Sachs) nor our votes (they can manipulate the election process). We must fight for control of our Party. If we can't drive them out we won't be able to keep them from buying control of any new party we might create.

The Peoples Movement is just getting started.

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Thu Jun 2, 2016, 11:25 AM

1. thank you rhett o rick, excellent commentary, recommended

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Thu Jun 2, 2016, 09:43 PM

2. I, on the other hand, think that it's imperative that progressives leave the Party.

 

Corporate elements control every lever of power in the Party. There is no practical way for progressives to gain access to those levers of power - the rules have been written precisely to prevent such a thing. Any attempt to stay in the Party and create positive change is doomed to fail because the "go along to get along" contingent will always outnumber progressives in the rank-and-file. Propaganda works.

It would be better to build something new. It won't be easier, but the path of least resistance is not always the best path forward.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 2, 2016, 11:56 PM

3. I hear you but if we can't or won't stop them from buying their way into the Democratic Party

 

leadership, how will we stop them from buying the leadership of whatever alternative we come up with.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 3, 2016, 08:50 PM

4. isn't this rather like what Martin Luther faced with the catholic church?

This is what reform movements do at long last.

They finally rise up and face the Establishment and in so doing they find everything in the establishment is stacked against them.

Martin Luther tacked his list of objections onto a church door. Sanders has called out his objections to throngs of people who cheered them because they already feel the same way.

The path to recognition and influence will take winning some elections. But we don't need to win majorities in every legislature in the land. We only need to win a small groups upon which the success of others depends. When we have that, the others will lobby and court influence.

Influence (and donor support) attracts politicians, it's what their livelihood depends on. Others will seek what wins for others.

At the federal level, we need about 5 US Senators, we need around 20 Congressional representatives.

We look to be already 1/5th of the way with the Senate with Feingold who looks good to be elected in Nov.

This is a doable problem if 'we' hang on and work together judging success over longer timeframes and across larger geographic areas than voters typically work.

If the 2018 midterms look healthy for reform, it will look even better in 2020, '22, and '24.

Epiphanies change thinking in an instant, reform takes a little longer

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Response to rhett o rick (Original post)

Tue Jun 7, 2016, 09:13 PM

5. committee member elections

I think what needs to happen is that progressives should run for committee member positions in every county and in every state Democratic Party. Once progressives have sufficient majority in any of the parties' committees, they should move to amend the by-laws and re-write to make them more open and inclusive, as well as make it so that changing the rules cannot be done in secrecy and with ease.

I think a concerted effort can be made towards that goal. I don't know if anyone is already trying it or not, and if not, can something like this be put in motion?

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