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One step ahead makes you a leader…

…two steps ahead makes you a martyr.

So, in recent appearances at Virtually Speaking on BlogTalkRadio, Ian Welsh and Stirling Newberry, not to mention Stuart Zechman, all seem to be on board with the concept of rejecting the current batch of Democrats in order to reclaim the left.  They now believe you won’t get the Democrats’ attention if you complain bitterly about their antics but vote for them anyway.  It’s nice to see they have finally come around after three years.  They are now *exactly* where we were in June 2008.

Check it out here.  Someone must be reading it because that post is one of our top hits even three years later.

Of course, this will not stop the Ian, Sterling and Stuart types from running away from us screaming like we have cooties.  That’s because both parties did a number on the word PUMA, which stood for “Party Unity My Ass”.  Party unity my ass is pretty much the attitude I’m picking up from Ian, Stuart and Sterling now.  Correct me if I’m wrong guys.  When you say, “Oh, no, we’re not like you at all”, please show me where we now differ.  It would behoove them to pay attention to the faction they are writing off. Maybe they could even read the post to see how close we really are.  Or they could read all of the posts from 2008 and see how we evolved from loyal Democrats just watching the primaries starting in January to disenfranchised voters in May 2008. (I can almost see them squirming in their chairs)

We were once Democrats.  No one represents us now.  I think the proper term for us is “unaffiliated Liberals”.  We are not Tea Party people.  Nope.  Not even close.  We never signed onto the birther fiasco.  We didn’t like the way the left was demonizing Sarah Palin because it was sexist, boorish behavior that wasn’t going to change anyone’s mind.  It’s a pointless distraction and she plays her role as a shiny object to lefty magpies very well.  Nevertheless, we don’t support her or her politics.

If there was a new independent labor movement, we would be likely to join it, right there beside Ian, Stuart and Sterling.  I don’t think it will spell the end of the Democrats.  If a labor movement could seat a significant number of candidates in 2012, it could start pulling the Democratic party to the left again since presumably, those seats are going to come out of the Democratic Party’s ass.  It’s worth a shot.  But if the Democrats fail, there’s going to be a power vacuum and someone will step in to fill it.

Consider us the vanguard martyrs.  No, no, don’t thank us for taking the gratuitous hit from our own party.  We wouldn’t be in this mess if you had paid attention three years ago.

21 Responses

  1. Read the book Cosmopolis as it is about this very thing. Opposition is just absorbed. We have to do something different.

  2. Ahh,, how sweet it is. The accusers now become what they once condemned–those Dems who refused to be compromised, snookered, told to fall in line.

    Little late to the party, boys!

    The damage has been done and continues as we speak. The Democratic Party is dead as a doornail. Once you sell your soul, you don’t get to renegotiate or say: Oy! I could have had a V8! That train has done left the station.

    We’re still Dems wandering the wilderness. And this band of geniuses can look in the mirror and see why.

    So, excuse me if I don’t feel warm and fuzzy now that the Democratic intelligentsia [self-proclaimed] is beginning to see the obvious. They worked to elect a mirage and now they’re surprised it didn’t work out.

    Am I bitter? You’re damn right I am. And frankly, I don’t trust johnny-come-latelys.

  3. It’s so frustrating! Did they really say this:

    When you say, “Oh, no, we’re not like you at all”, please show me where we now differ.

    ??? What do they mean???

    • It’s just a general thing. They avoid us like the plague. At this point we only differ in thar we supported Hillary. Other than that, we’re the same.

  4. And on the third anniversary of that ill-starred RBC meeting. I still remember, I’m still pissed and I’ll never trust faux librul dudes as far as I can throw them again.

    My husband and I have often had this argument. “You have to admit Obama ran a brilliant campaign.” “No, I don’t. I don’t have to admit a thing. It’s not true and I’m not admitting it.”

    • Axlerod may have run a brilliant campaign, Obama never did anything but go along for the ride. If there is any truth to accusation of over running the caucuses with thugs then yes it was brilliant.

      As stands now Obama-crats will have control of the party for a generation. After they die out or retire there will be room for the FDR Democrats, if there is a party left.

      • There will not be a real Democratic party left. It is already split with half being Obamacrats or tag-a-longs, and the other half defiant or turned Indy. The biggest proof was last November when Dems took a clobbering and lost very valuable senior Dems and traditional seats. It will be worse in 2012. The party cannot survive with only 50 to 60% of their voters. They cannot win elections with only minorities and Obamacrats. The party has to be purged before it can go forward as some kind of re-incarnation of Democrats. Obama is the party killer.

        • Yes, yes, yes!

        • Precisely. I keep telling people that the demographics just aren’t there for the party right now and until the party starts talking to working class voters like Hochul did in NY-26 then the party is going nowhere.

          You can’t win an election with just AA votes and Whole Foods Nation.

  5. Partly it is the timing of this step ahead and I believe there is also the dude component.

    You know they aren’t a bunch of hysterical women crying foul because women just don’t understand that politics is like sports where the brilliant campaigns are “manuvering” not cheating and we were all vagina voters anyway…

    • You might be on to something. I mean, look at the number of bloggers who get to speak for the rest of us who are dudes. Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein get gigs in major outlets, Kevin Drum is hired by mother jones, Greg Sargent goes from tpm to the Washington post plum line.
      Which of our lot who are female have that kind of pull?
      So, we shouldn’t be surprised when jay ackroyd call on the same guys over and over again for virtually speaking. Oh, sure Susie madrak has her own show but it’s not the same, is it?

      • Yeah, I think it is what my husband says about consulting (where there aren’t any women he knows of in the “super tech” jobs at his place of employment. They are confined to PM or HR). Sending out a guy to a client site is easier because the clients assume the guys have credibility.

        Sometimes the testosterone bath causes the manly men to think there are good reasons besides perception for the difference in acceptance of the message.

      • And even “dudes” aren’t necessarily welcome. As Paul Street said in the live blog at Corrente (almost a year ago! My, does time fly!) in reply to a question about why he doesn’t appear on tv or radio: “Well, the left has its own star system and its hard to make the team.”

  6. If it’s important to sit around and figure out who was first, how about props to Ralph Nader, who was six steps ahead of everybody in 2000 and is still paying the price? Cynthia McKinney, who’s been right on target more or less since the day she started. We could stretch back right through the late 1800s at least.

    I mean really, I get being angry, I think everyone who reads the site has got to be angry and just wanting to vent that at anyone and anything. But is the end game recognition or change? There’ll be no allies if they’re at constant pains to think the knife will be coming from the side.

    Obama won the primaries in 2007 because Axelrod just simply outplayed the field: Here’s Paul Street
    (always worth a read):

    “Oh, I saw the Obama machine at work out here in Iowa, and it was something to behold. They took the market-based micro-targeting to a new level. Their advertising operation to sell Brand Obama was historically unmatched — quite extraordinary. Different appeals crafted for different market/electorate sectors with scary precision: they sold Obama as antiwar to campus town hippies, as a trade unionist concerned about NAFTA to labor union members, as a green to environmentalists, as an intellectual and man of deep thought to university professors, as a man of empire to militarists, as a religious centrist to independent evangelicals, etc. Edwards was out here rallying the traditional progressive troops with fighting economic populist rhetoric; Hillary was out here with huge $ squandered on catering and largesse; but Obama was out here with the Wall Street money invested in the latest and best techniques of blank-sheet image creation and niche-marketing.”

    No props to them from me, I find them despicable, but if anyone thinks Hilary wouldn’t do the same (if her campaign hadn’t been over-reliant on the the old Clinton machine), they’re deluded. That’s true if one thinks Hilary would have pursued essentially different policies as well – there was a hair’s breadth of difference between the two (and yes, I read the policy papers, and checked the voting records, and slogged through the interminably say nothing speeches).

    Did Axelrod play the race card? Of course (he is basically the Democratic Karl Rove). Is that alone sufficient to explain the win? No.

    By the way, Paul Street, Black Agenda Report, several others (including Chris Hedges) were screaming in the wind about Obama – and have all been sacrificed on the altar. They spend very little time sideswiping at potential allies, because they get that we’ll all go down in flames if we do that. I found this site through Ian Welsh’s links (you’re one of forty-two links). So of all the thousands of links Ian could choose or not choose, you’re among the forty-two he selected and maintains. I don’t know that it’s a raging endorsement, but it isn’t Siberian marginalization.

    Lastly, I’m tired of the infighting (which is criminally self-defeating because the forces arrayed against liberal, progressive, heck even moderate democratic aims are vast), so if I see (which I have not yet seen) someone sideswiping this site, I’ll take it to e’m as hard – or point e’m out.

    • The race card worked majestically for Obama in SC. You can’t deny that.

      If Nader had actually RUN in the D primaries back in 2000 you might have a point about him but he doesn’t want to do that much work. He would rather be “crowned” by a third party and then go around trashing everybody. He should have actually competed in the arena of ideas but he didn’t.

      Too bad Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report gets such bad treatment. He makes some really salient points about Obama but he gets trashed by the Obots by pointing out that Obama really has no clothes.

      • Not sure I denied it. I didn’t even raise it really except to say generally that Axelrod played all cards available to him.

        Nader’s goal was to get 5 percent thereby laying the groundwork for public financing of a third party. He didn’t succeed, but to suggest he avoided doing “that much work”, particularly given the Sisyphean challenges he’s taken on and kept at over a lifetime of work, is I think, grossly unfair.

    • There’s a difference between and the Nader voters in 2000: we know that Obama didn’t win the primary. He was gifted delegates in Michigan, a state where his name wasn’t even on the ballot. Not only did the DNC give him uncommitted delegates, they gave him four of hillary’s delegates.
      Here’s the difference: the party screwed around with the numbers to meet a predetermined outcome and as a result wrote off 18 million voters.
      I’m at a loss as to why some lefties don’t get this yet. The Democrats rigged their primaries. I can forgive a lot of things but not that. And don’t tell me it was just politics or no big deal. I saw Jon Corzine give away the entire state of NJ’s delegates to a guy who came in second by 10 points.
      There’s an old story about George Bernard Shaw at a dinner party. He turned to a very elegant lady next to him and asked, “madam, would you spend the night with me for a million pounds?”.
      “yes”, she said.
      “well, would you spend the night with me for 10 pounds?”
      “no!”, she gasped, horrified, “what kind of woman do you think I am?”
      “we’ve already established the kind of woman you are”, he replied, “we’re just haggling over a price.”
      This is the way the party sees you after you did not challenge the way the primaries and convention were run in 2008. You allowed the most outrageous theft and manipulation of the rules stand in order to get your man. You took your million pounds. Now, they know what kind of left they’re dealing with. It’s the left that will sell out their friends in an instant. They’re just haggling over the price now.
      As for infighting, I was ready to bury the hatchet a couple years ago. But the left blogosphere continues to behave as if there was never a problem in the first place. And until there’s an effort to come to terms with what it did, we’re going nowhere. This problem is bigger than labels.
      And many thanks to Ian for including us on his blogroll. He’s one of the few that even acknowledge us. We’re like the crazy aunt in the attic. We differ with Ian on some things but he’s one of the few lefty bloggers who understands what’s going on.

      • That is the BEST response and summary of what happened I have ever read. Thank you.

      • I’m still curious about their numbers and why they had not only to steal delegates from Hillary Clinton but why 4!?

        • The final delegate count after Florida and Michigan were restored to full voting status had the two candidates separated by something like 17 delegates.
          That was enough to demonstrate Obama’s overwhelming triumph over Hillary Clinton. But if it turned out to be only a 4 delegate victory or 3 or even one, it still would have been an overwhelming and insurmountable victory for Obama and would have been used to justify rigging the floor vote and throwing all of the big state delegates who were for Clinton over to him.
          17 votes. Yep. And all of them from a state where he wasn’t even on the ballot. Then there were the superdelegates who got piles of cash for switching their allegiance.
          There’s no way to make the primaries of 2008 smell better or make Obama into a winner. Repetition does not change the salient facts of the matter. Clinton and her voters were screwed by some unethical and dishonest tactics. The left said that was ok.
          Hope they’re happy.

  7. Something Different …

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