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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,179

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It means that our society is shallow.

That appearance means more to way too many people in our society than the content of anyone's character.

It's a sickness, the need to judge people so.

It's also something to fall back on if your chosen candidate can't win on issues. They can fail the issues, but be a figurehead, substituting "looking" for "being."

And that's a damned shame.

The label "Democrat"

is meaningless if it doesn't stand for something; and it has to stand for something I can support. I'm a Democrat.

I want the label to represent people, not corporations, and positive change, not the status quo.

That's why I think Bernie is a better democrat than the current dlc/centrist/"new dem"/3rd way/neo-liberal "leadership" in our party, and why I support him over that leadership's preferred candidate.

I assume

that somebody, somewhere along the line, suggested that they wouldn't vote for HRC in the general. That's a pretty standard primary thing.

So is the line of people scolding, cajoling, demanding, reminding, threatening, etc., etc., that people need to get in line after the convention. That's also a pretty standard thing.

To be honest, I find it all tiresome, and a great distraction from the actual issues that should be under discussion.

That's how I choose candidates in the primary and in the general. On issues.

The status-quo camp, a bit stung by the popularity of the populist, is bringing everything they've got, including the monolithic party structure, to bear to make sure that the other side knows they can't win.

The grass-roots for change camp isn't giving ground, although they know what they are up against.

I generally see the tiresome distraction of "support for the nominee" to be just another version of bullying. From one camp it's an effort to bully people into shutting the fuck up and getting in line.

From the other it's using what they've got; a threat to the status quo.

I'm a Democrat. That doesn't mean that I toe ANYONE'S line. I think the party is better, and stronger, when dissent isn't silenced or crushed by the status-quo. And my vote is earned, not owed. AND I don't give a flying fuck who is offended by that. It's my right as a citizen to hold my government and my party accountable for their positions and record on issues, and to vote my conscience. I WILL go toe-to-toe with anyone who wants to erode that right.

I also know that both sides, if you remove the bombast, the hyperbole, and the efforts to intimidate, have a point. I'll acknowledge both points, if this stupid distraction can just be retired so we can focus on actual issues.

Political Revolution

I was doing some reading this weekend about the Constitutional Convention. I came across some quotes, one familiar, two maybe less so:

...That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that wnever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it... --The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, 1776

It is a general maxim in every government, there must exist, somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, absolute and uncontrollable power; but this power resides always in the body of the people; and it never was, or can be delegated to one man or a few. --=The General Court of Massachusetts, 1776

...those deluded People. King George III, 1775

I came across them in Palmer's The Age of the Democratic Revolution: A Political History of Europe and America, 1760 - 1800.

It struck me that this is exactly what Sanders is calling for when he talks about a political revolution: altering our nation, our government, to remove the destructive influence of big money. That when he says he can't do it alone, he's telling us that "the body of the people" must rise to get the job done.

And that conventional wisdom in our nation and in our party leadership reflects King George III.

What George didn't "get," and what those clinging to conventional wisdom today don't get, is that every effort to contain unrest, to soothe it with platitudes and false hope, or to put it down with force, simply fans the flames of determination higher.

It seems to me that many clinging to that conventional political wisdom simply fear the risk involved in stepping forward to be active agents for significant change. Of course, some, like the Loyalists, don't want that kind of change. They support the status quo.

According to John Adams: We were about one third Tories [Loyalists], and one third timid, and one third true blue.

I wonder what he'd say about today's Democratic Party, and about the whole nation?

For myself, I've been reflecting on the fact that, on the issue of big money in politics and government, Democrats, and DU, are fairly unified in opposition, at least on the surface. I ask myself, if not now, when? I think that, as long as people are afraid of that revolution to remove the destructive influence of big money from our government, as long as the body of the people don't rise, we will continue our march to destruction.

What I've learned about

politics right here on DU over the last 13 years:

1. Any talking point can be spun any way to support a Democrat.

2. If your candidate and/or politician of choice has changed, he or she is "evolving." In this case, evolution is a good thing. If your opponent "evolves," though, then it's "flip-flopping," and can't be trusted.

3. Democratic voters are expected to evolve/flip-flop on issues along with their candidates/politicians.

4. Issues don't really matter. Only winning elections matter. Winning issues is not a priority.

5. If you criticize a Democrat, you want Republicans to win.

6. It's understood that nothing said in a primary race is supposed to leave that primary race or be acknowledged outside of the primary race. That would be disloyal, and,

7. Partisan loyalty oaths are part and parcel of every primary race.

8. There is no hope in electing anyone worth electing, so shut up, get in line, and vote for the CCC: the "current corporate candidate" supported by the DNC.

9. The Democratic Party is not exempt from race and gender wars, even though the party is supposed to support both racial and gender justice.

10. Partisan politics IS a team sport which takes priority over issue integrity.

Families aren't the enemy.

Families come in all shapes and forms, and my family means more to me than anything else on the planet. Yet I didn't come from a traditional family, grow up in a traditional family, raise my kids in a traditional family, and our family is a wonderful, if small, eclectic mix today.

I think that's the OP's point; the Pope's statement that was quoted is general enough to include all kinds of families. It's open to interpretation. I don't know if that was deliberate or not, but I suspect it was.

I am not Catholic, not Christian, but I'm watching this Pope with interest, because he carries weight across the globe. I don't expect that any Pope could step into his office and immediately turn thousands of years of doctrine and policy on its head, but he's certainly moving in that direction, one step at a time. Whether that will eventually include doctrine involving women and sexuality is still to be determined. It's early days yet, so I can hope it will, for now.

He's begun by reminding people about the socialist nature of Christ as recorded. That's a step in the right direction.

I don't remember, in my two full readings of the Christian Bible, Jesus teaching people to subjugate women or to see homosexuality as a sin. If the Catholic Church were evolving to become more like the recorded Jesus, real or not, the Church, and the world through its followers, would be a better place.

I've been listening

to the "radical" left. I usually do, since I agree with them more often than not. In most cases, I don't really consider them radical, which is why I put the quotes around it. The only thing I really see that might be spun by some to be "radical" is that they exist outside the two-party system; rogues, as you will.

Many of those "radicals" are going to vote for Sanders in the D primary. In states with open primaries, they'll vote for Sanders and then vote for someone else in the GE if he doesn't get the nomination. In states with closed primaries, they'll register D to vote in the primaries, and then vote for someone else in the GE if he doesn't get the nomination.

That's what I'm hearing.

It tells me two things: First, Sanders, based on this and on other reports on other groups that don't usually support the Democrat, will pull many more crossover votes from outside the party than Hillary Clinton can ever hope for. The biggest challenge for the Sanders campaign is to get the nomination. If he does, I think he's got the GE.

Secondly, his primary campaign is bringing people back to the Democratic Party, and bringing in new people. He's growing the party. If he's nominated, then the hope he's offered, that people are coming to the party to find, will keep many of them here, strengthening the Democratic Party in the long term. If he's not nominated, then it's a short term gain that won't be sustained.

Given these two things, one has to question why the Democratic Party establishment is so determined to shoot him down. A win in the presidential election, a growth in people coming to the party...those are positives. The only reason I can think of that they might not WANT this is that they don't want the Democratic Party to be the people's party; they wan't to please their corporate masters.

And THAT is the third big reason Democratic voters should be determined to nominate Sanders. It's a chance to reclaim our party for the people it is supposed to represent.

Thank you for making this an OP.

Your response is thoughtful, accurate, and powerful.

I think you nailed something important about the envy. You are responding to statements about the Clintons and Obama, but I think that envy extends to many of their supporters, as well.

Not all, of course. But many. That's why, in my view, there are so many "sour grapes" posts that don't do anything to rebut Sanders on anything, and why so many repeated attempts to mislead, to make something out of nothing, or a mountain range out of a hummock, appear here daily. They're bitter before a primary vote has been cast.

It's not too late. They haven't missed their moment, if they can let go of their own pre-conceived perceptions and conventional "wisdom" about the coming primaries and GE. They can join the revolution, and I think some will. The stronger Bernie gets, the harder it will be to resist.

I've been reading about the changes that Democrats want for 13 years now on DU, and about how they can't ever be achieved because we can't elect those who are best on issues, or because we can't effect change without more Dems in Congress, or...there are always excuses.

This time, there aren't any. The opportunity is before us. We can take it, or reject it, but those who reject it ought not to complain when the nation continues it's staggering journey into fascism.

With the enthusiasm that Sanders is generating, if we get him nominated, I think he'll have some really long coattails in the GE. That's what I'd like people to understand. As he says, it's not about him. It's also not just about the presidency. The political revolution needs to occur, and will occur, at all levels. His leadership is generating the energy and enthusiasm to make that happen, and all of us who want to change the nation's direction need to be on board and busy, taking advantage of this opportunity.

Gentrification’s Ground Zero

In the ten years since Katrina, New Orleans has been remade into a neoliberal playground for young entrepreneurs.

As a teacher, I was aware of what happened to the public school system in NO after Katrina; it's mentioned in this article. I didn't know about the rest. This was well worth reading, and highlights why I oppose neoliberalism regardless of what party is promoting it.

The radical downsizing of public employment and more stable blue-collar jobs in favor of an economy clustered around creative enterprises progressively narrows employment opportunities for working-class residents, who will be forced to rely on service and tourism sector jobs — both known for low wages and just-in-time scheduling practices.

This manifestation of neoliberal expansion also diminishes the political and economic power of working-class residents. Start-up culture condones and encourages the anti-union, non-salaried ideology already prevalent in tourism-driven economic models, exalting job instability and impermanence as the new economic model of growth.

This is the real legacy of post-Katrina reconstruction. As education profiteers, speculative developers, and tech companies continue to gain in both capital and power, their success and maintenance necessitates the subjugation of working-class residents and regressive use of public resources. The creative economy only exacerbates the impact of revanchist policies that undermine social welfare and public employment.

In aiming to finish its nearly half-century-long project of making New Orleans’s workers invisible, the urban elite has reclaimed its place on the crest of the city’s new sinking levees.


I don't really understand what you mean

by "weaponizing" racism.

I disagree with you about "little individual focus." I think there was quite a bit of focus over those 50 years, just from a more integrated perspective than some want it. I also think that the "little individual focus" you refer to is MORE than you'll find in the record of the other candidates, and I wonder why you are focused on Sanders' perceived weakness, and not the rest.

I agree with you about it being okay to critique a lack of outreach to minorities. I think it's disingenous, though, to hold one candidate to a higher standard than others, to critique a lack of outreach, and then reject that outreach when it happens. To demand something, to get it, and then to reject it tells me that there's something more than just wanting a candidate to listen and respond going on. I'd rather those critiquing be up front and open about that.

I agree with you when you say that a failed message is a legitimate topic for discussion. What I haven't seen are comparisons of that message with other candidates', and discussions of why one is better or more valid than another. Maybe those discussions are happening, and I just haven't been around at the right time. No matter when I AM around, though, I see a hell of a lot of discussion WITHOUT explaining why one candidate's message is stronger or weaker than another's.

I'm a strong Sanders partisan; I've never pretended anything else. That doesn't mean I think he's without flaw. It just means he is the best candidate, on issues and record, for what I want in a nominee and a POTUS. What you see as a weakness on many levels, I see as a learning process for me, and for him. For him? I see that he moved quickly to address that weakness, and I appreciate the fact that he listens, that he's open, and that he reaches out. For me? I realized that I wasn't paying enough attention, and wasn't listening. I'm trying to rectify that. I think I'm making progress. I know that I have not earned the vicious vitriol slung my way because I am a white female Sanders supporter.

I'm okay with people pointing out my candidate's weaknesses. I haven't blamed anyone for doing so. I think there would be more honesty and integrity to that process if it were happening to all the candidates. I also think that some pointing out those weaknesses need to be able to tolerate criticism of their methods to the same degree that you want Sanders partisans to tolerate criticism of Sanders.

I disagree with you when you say "Trying to pretend those weaknesses are the fault of those pointing them out just shows how deeply that weakness penetrates their candidate." Sanders hasn't been trying to pretend anything. If any of his supporters are, that's on them, not him; it's their weakness, not his.

If a message is important, it's important to analyze it, and its delivery, to address weakness, and to strengthen it. This is true for candidates' messages, and it's true for the message BLM is delivering.

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