99% there

I've ended my hyper-partisan allegiance to the Democratic Party. In moving beyond the past decade's partisan affair with Democrats, I am ready for a real revolution to happen in this country.

It has got to happen over the next two years, and its going to take progressives, libertarians, tea partiers, coffee partiers, conservatives... everyone that is not part of the problem (the financial/political/military elite). Get radical, first by moving beyond attachment to a single party or a political identity. Radicalize them both, go independent; whatever, and if that's not you too, then get out of the way.

This is a good video, and explains where I have arrived politically.

It's quite liberating, actually. We'll see where it goes next.

Tags: (all tags)




Its been a decision that I have been moving to for a while now. It was time to either get out of US politics all together, and just focus on working abroad, or evolve and change into having a perspective that was aligned with where I am personally.

There's a thing that happens to consultants that work in politics in DC over many cycles-- they get cynical, and do anything just to win for the party they belong too, regardless of the principle or positioning it takes.

Personally, I came from a 3rd party background of having voted for Ron Paul and Ralph Nader previously, and when I jumped aboard the Howard Dean train in 2002, turned into a partisan Democrat. We were building something a movement within the Democratic Party to transform the nation.

There's a moment in Crashing The Gate, where near the end of writing the book, I realized, and shared it with Markos, that we had referred to "progressive" without ever even saying what that meant for Democrats. What I realized was that it was trust and hope that held it together. Trust that the Democrats, once they gained the majority, would put the people ahead of the most powerful. The movement got the majority.

But once the Democrats decided that the banking cartel of Wall St. wealth deserved to be completly unhindered from any loss, by making the public carry their debt, and restore their credit by balooning the deficit with trillions, that trust was broken. Yes, it started with Bush, but the leadership of both parties has little different in those mis-placed priorities.

And what Obama Democrats have done with Afghanistan, by accepting the Pentagon's demand of an occupying force of over 100,000 troops and a deep war, while sending daily bombing drones into Pakistan; I just cannot turn a partisan eye to that debacle.

Nothing has changed in my personal outlook; I'm still interested in participating in politics by crashing down the gates with a revolution. I've just accepted that its bigger than the small-mindedness of thinking that Democrats are the only political solution any longer, and that its time to act different.


by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-30 07:37AM | 5 recs
RE: 1

I used to put diaries on MYDD defending the right of a person to vote third party and had diaris in defense of the Nader voters in 2000 despite the fact that I never voted for Nader. It was a matter of principle for me that a major party should not take voters for granted and that a third party vote was no worse than a no- vote by a voter staying home. I got attacked by many of the readers back then. It is funny that they did not realize I was probably defending your moral right to vote third party back then. I had no idea.

by Pravin 2010-10-31 06:36AM | 0 recs
RE: 1

I actually voted for Nader in '96 (Paul in '88), and voted for Gore in '00. Am really interested to see if 3rd Party votes inch up in these mid-terms. Recent polls show them doing so.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-31 11:34AM | 0 recs
RE: 1

Welcome to the emergent party movement. I left the Democrats by the end of 2007, when it became clear that they did not care about torture.

I have spent this election campainging for Warren Mosler, nominee of the Independent Party of Connecticut and author of the Center of the Universe blog.

As you say, leaving the party is indescribably liberating.

by Alice Marshall 2010-10-31 05:59PM | 0 recs
RE: 1

it's only liberating for a few years, IMO. Then you realize that you have no one that represents your views and that's unlikely to change.

So what would be liberating? Getting completely out of politics and never caring. But that's not who I am, unfortunately. So I vote for Greens when they're available and I vote for Dems when they're not a bad choice, or when there's only two folks on the ticket.

by likespolitics 2010-11-01 05:49PM | 1 recs
RE: 1

Good for you.  I've been exploring this path for the past several years.  Now, I'm pretty involved with the Green Party.  We've got a few state legislative candidates around the country which look like they're going to be elected, which would be our best year ever, and we've got some other strong candidates around the country.

I've also been involved with protest groups like World Can't Wait, which has done a good job of keeping up protests even while fewer and fewer people are willing to show up for them.

We've got the change that, though.

by rossl 2010-10-31 11:52AM | 0 recs
RE: 1

My problem with the Greens is that they never seem to want to win an election -

Here's hoping that this has changed!

by mwfolsom 2010-10-31 02:41PM | 0 recs
RE: 1

This is why I support the LibDems.

by BingoL 2010-11-01 08:45AM | 0 recs
RE: 1

Cool - just checked and they seem alive again - I seem to remember the last time I looked their web site hasn't been touched in years.

Here's their blog:  http://liberal.posterous.com/

by mwfolsom 2010-11-01 11:08AM | 0 recs
RE: 1

Again, thanks for this -

I'm prompted to recount a recent experience with a hard core tea bagger I've known for years.  After talking/arguing for a while we both were forced to admit that we agreeded on many issues.  My concern however is that he was more interested in the the things that we differ on that the things we agreeed on.  In that I mean to say he was more concerned with social and imigration issues than reigning in the Big Banks and Wall Street.  He totally agreeded with me that both parties were "owned" by Wall Street and the Big Banks but didn't seem interested in working that issue.  He certainly would not agree with creating more regulations to reign them in -

I bring this all up to suggests that we cannot count on help from the Tea Party folks "en masse" because most are just repackaged social conservatives that are still focused on "guns, god & gays".  While the issues of Cororate Control of the Gov may be near and dear to the hearts of the founders of the Tea Party sadly that isn't the case any longer. Today it seems that the Tea Party folks are either uninterested or unaware of what can be done to yank ownership of the GOV back from Corporate Interests and now their focus is social interests and a blind hatred of GOV and desire to cut the budget execpt for the areas that they care about.  So now the Banks and Wall Street are now off the hook.

In short we can't expect much help from the Tea Baggers - they are just another part of the Republican Party.

by mwfolsom 2010-10-31 01:02PM | 0 recs
RE: 99% there

I never realized why a subset of liberal democrats like Feingold and others didn't form their own "tea party" of sorts where they publicly repeatedly hammered the same easy to grasp in a newsbite message that government needs to be held accountable. More than small government, the message that resonates with the average person is ACCOUNTABLE government. People are divided about government size which is a tea party obsession. But people are united about government accountability.

This is where I think people of different ideologies can find common ground.

by Pravin 2010-10-30 07:40AM | 0 recs
RE: 99% there

Yep. Me too. Finished being whipsawed.

Watch how fast you lose "friends" and how fast you are categorized the same as TeaBaggers. Nothing short of astounding.

Wait 'till former friends look you in the face and tell you that you are wasting your vote. And then the blank look you get back when they are informed that that they are wasting your vote.

by Tboy 2010-10-30 10:06AM | 0 recs
RE: 99% there

Two thoughts.

First, I think John Daily said most of what i thought when BO went on his show. 

Second. Every through i sent serious money to BO and will so again i will never forgot BO and his crowd twisting the words of HRC and BC and then call them rasist!!!!!! 

What we need around here is some clinton like politics instead of a prez who seems invisible and totally disconnected from the country.  Seriously it is the "economy stupid" and BO does not seem to understand that.  He is moving into Jimmy Carter land.

by giusd 2010-10-30 10:21AM | 1 recs
Yep; BO said that "jobs, jobs, jobs" would be his #1 priority

and he then proceeded to ignore the economy for two years. He showed more interest in the projects/issues which he felt would secure his place in history (health care, Cap and Trade) than he did in the pocketbook issues which affect everyday Americans.

With real unemployment exeeding 17%, it's clear that the President exists in some kind of alternate reality, divorced from the concerns of this country's citizens. Ultimately, history will be kind to Barack Obama: it will forget him.


by BJJ Fighter 2010-10-30 12:19PM | 0 recs
Moving On

Looks like I'll be moving on from MyDD.

This is not the MyDD I signed on to.

Good luck wherever life takes you.

by susie 2010-10-30 01:00PM | 0 recs
RE: Moving On

On the contrary, MyDD is back from the dead.

It used to be a Progressive blog that endorsed a temporary partisan strategy, then people stupidly conflated the Democrats with a vehicle for real change, rather than a less evil version of the GOP.

Obama has that effect on people...

Now we can return to fighting for actual change; you'll know it's real when you see the Big Banks and the MIC howl in agony. Until then, it's just for show.

by Paul Goodman 2010-10-30 05:53PM | 1 recs
RE: Moving On

MyDD has become a carbon copy of "No Quarter".  It is truly sad. Luckily its hits have made it an almost non entity!

by waldo 2010-10-31 02:04AM | 2 recs
RE: Moving On

another roving royalist enforcer who comes to strut and insult.

the rise of this new Obamacratic Party is the third party this lifelong labor dem who Im ready to go to the mattresses over.

by changeagain2012 2010-10-31 03:38PM | 0 recs
RE: Moving On

another roving royalist enforcer who comes to strut and insult.

the rise of this new Obamacratic Party is the third party this lifelong labor dem who Im ready to go to the mattresses over.

by changeagain2012 2010-10-31 03:38PM | 0 recs
RE: Moving On

another roving royalist enforcer who comes to strut and insult.

the rise of this new Obamacratic Party is the third party this lifelong labor dem who Im ready to go to the mattresses over.

by changeagain2012 2010-10-31 03:39PM | 0 recs
RE: Moving On


by changeagain2012 2010-10-31 03:39PM | 0 recs
RE: Moving On

Amen, brother.


I rarely come to mydd, but you guys keep this kind of talk up and I'm might just become a fixture around here. I'm interested in real progressive change not this deluted thousand year plan for progress the current Democratic leaders use as their guide.

I am beyond ready for a third way-sign me up.

by GeeMan 2010-10-31 07:46PM | 0 recs

One of the hardest things to do is break away from the tribe.  Both political parties count on human being's natural tribal instincts to keep them in the fold.  And yes, once you cast off on your own, as I did last year, it's incredibly freeing.  

I'm not all that optimistic about where this country is headed, but the only way we're going to get there is by recognizing that the elite in this country - across institutions (economic, educational, political, industrial) do not have the best interests of the rest of us.  Once you realize that, then all of those puzzling questions about why the Democrats cave in to conservatives or why union leaders support Democrats that gut unions vanish because the answer becomes obvious - they do it because that's what they want to do.  

by BDB 2010-10-30 01:10PM | 0 recs
99% there

I'm an old white guy who identifies as a liberal Democrat.  No experience with blogging.  I supported Obama and the rest of the Dems but not the Blue Dogs.  I've been convinced the Tea Party had the right idea, that our government is not working for "we the people" but agreed with whoever said their guns were aimed in the wrong direction.  I'd love to see this gain traction.  I'd love to see it get to the prominence where some of the liberal Dem office-holders would come over.  Like Feingold, Leahy, and let's not forget Sanders, and others.  If done right, I can see Tea Partiers coming over as individuals, not Tea Partiers.  I think this blog-site is an excellent place to start.

by tosimmonds 2010-10-30 01:57PM | 0 recs
RE: 99% there

This is an interesting idea -

What if the folks that run MyDD go to some of the founders of the Tea Parties that are still concerned with Corporate ownership of the US Governement and invite them to post - would that start the process of forming bridges?

I'm not so sure that this is possible but it would be interesting to find out -

by mwfolsom 2010-10-31 01:26PM | 0 recs
The Ron Paul types have no incentive for a coalition until after 2012

When the GOP bosses the primary so as to marginalize Ron Paul, and governs as Bush governed, then the Paulites and the Progressives will be ready for coalition in 2013 and beyond.

It's sad that we had to lose so many crucial years, when we could have done this in 2009.

by Paul Goodman 2010-10-30 05:56PM | 1 recs
As a generalized sentiment

... I don't see what's especially remarkable here: it's hard, I think, to say, just now, what "supporting the Democrats" means in terms of substantive policies or issues to be addressed. That's one of the key, obvious reasons the party is struggling just now, and it's frustrating most, I think, for people like Jerome, who have invested considerable time, energy and thought into developing a successful approach for liberal activists eager to see political action.

That said, I think what's here is woefully short on specifics, or much in the way of a concrete alternative; in particular, I think Jerome, who I admire, probably has to do some fleshing out of just what, on a thinking level, all of this disillusionment means. "I'm done with them" is the talk of the guy quitting on the spur of the moment, and "I've had enough" or "That's it, I'm out of here"... the question is, to where, or what?

This sort of vague "I'm just disillusioned" talk mirrors, really, what the Tea Party angst has been for  the right: as a generalized expression of frustration with change, or waste in government, or government tself, the "Tea Party idea" attracted many without dealing in specifics; as specifics emerged - marking "Tea Party" as an exercise as an exercise in fairly far right, fringe-y extremes, the appeal grew narrower, and the lack of organizing in a central way allowed a number of prominent conservatives to reshape the "Tea Party" definition to suit their purposes. And my point is just that a similar, vague, unhappy exit from organized Democratic Party involvement isn't really a guide to an alternative. It's attractive, in a generalized way... but the devils lie in the details, the specifics, and the how and why of what comes next.

This shouldn't be construed as some kind of defense of the Democrats; I am registered that way, but am looking to vote in some alternative way (not Republican, or Conservative) for Attorney General and Comptroller in New York State, because I don't care for the partty's choices. I've been dismayed by my state party's doings for years. And years. Where I've gotten involved, it's been for candidates I could care about, and ideas I could support. That's what led me to Howard Dean. And Hillary Clinton. And even, as 2008 rolled to a close, to work for Barack Obama in Pennsylvania. The alternative - which, let's recall, was John McCain and Sarah Palin - was simply not acceptable. And still isn't, to my liberal ways of thinking.

Until there's more and better definition around the amorphous "neither party" plan, I, for one, plan to stay pretty much put - as a Democrat, not entirely thrilled with the Party, but waiting to see something else develop before I say I'm giving up on what's already there. I think we will lose in a few days because we should, because the Democratic Establishment has lost sight of its organizing prinsiples and central purpose. And hopefully we will learn from the loss, and find new leaders, and start to rebuild. It won't be easy, and it won't happen tomorrow... and maybe, just maybe, some third way alternative will show up. But if Jerome has a better idea of what that is... I don't see it here.

by nycweboy1 2010-10-30 06:00PM | 1 recs
RE: As a generalized sentiment

I'm for radicalizing them both. The more they both get shook up with populism and radicalism, even if it is edgy, the more likely of something different emerging after the inevitable cycles of disillusion. I think the point of it is to check out of the partisan game --that I am no longer a part of all of that and its rules of inclusion-- and yet I will still stick around, continue developing and continue to participate. Like I said below, the post is spur, but its no surprise. Blogging at times is cathartic in that way.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-30 08:39PM | 1 recs
RE: As a generalized sentiment

"Populism"... "Radicalism"... "Edgy".... these seem more like an extension of buzzword thinking more than a workable plan. "Check out of the partisan game?" I've always tried not to check in, not to be driven, as so many are, by easy definitions of either/or. But at the same time, in these hyper-partisan times, I don't think you can just say "I'm not going to play" and consider the debate solved; there is a far right, it does have extreme views that are antithetical to those of most liberals, and opposing them is both kind of basic for those claiming to be left/liberal/progressive, and yes, part of our organizing principle.

If there's a different organizing principle... what is it? If there's something useful a lefty/liberal progressive type can get from conservative ideas... what are they? I'm all for creative destruction and hybridization and heading off in a new direction... but there's a lot of work to be done before we just head off, quixotically to tilt at the Establishment windmills.

And I guess my final observation is this: it's easy to both say "both of the major parties suck" and, as you say, keep hanging around as a sort of gadfly/critic of the Democrats. After blogging for several years, I've realized when my writing boils down to "I don't like that, either" I'm only getting the work half done... it's not just what you're against, it's what you are for, and after that, it's how you see some sense of getting what you want done, well, done. I wish you the best in figuring out the next steps, and I'll always be interested to see where that leads... but I think you've got your work cut out for you in figuring out how to get there. And I would suggest that, even now, it's more likely that the things you want to see happen are more likely to happen out of left/liberal approaches than elsewhere. That's what made me a Democrat, and kept me there, all these years, even when at times like this, I know the people in charge are seriously messing it up.

by nycweboy1 2010-10-31 06:07AM | 1 recs
Good luck

This step was a long time coming, based on your recent writing history.


I will be curious to see what you do next.  Will this blog become a platform for issue advocacy ?

by Ravi Verma 2010-10-30 06:47PM | 0 recs
RE: Good luck

I doubt it; I'm not a sidelines sort of person. But then again, when I go on campaigns I stop blogging too.

And you are right, this is sorta ex post facto.

by Jerome Armstrong 2010-10-30 08:22PM | 0 recs
We have a two party system

I am clearly a democrat.  I am not interested in weakening the democratic party.  I am interested in weakening the republican party. 

Having said that, I am all in favor of trying to push progressive policies in the dem party while understanding that it must remain a big tent. 

I also support trying to find ways to give 3rd parties more power in our system. 

But most of all, I am in favor of trying to increase the numbers of people in our country who are progressive.  It seems obvious that the power of the conservative movement in the republican party is that there is such a unified conservative movement in our country.  This is what progressives need to do.

by zmus 2010-10-30 06:52PM | 0 recs
RE: We have a two party system

So long as they remain tied to the corrupt Democratic Party,* "progressives" will never have any effect on policy.  As I've said before, Martin Luther King didn't march for "more and better" Democrats.  Real change in this country has always come from the people and not its elected representatives, who go along with it only when they are scared not to.  To paraphrase Howard Zinn, it doesn't matter who is sitting in the White House, it matters who is sitting in.  So long as the "progressive movement" is limited to electoral politics, it isn't a movement at all.  It's simply a roach motel for what's left of lefty politics in this country.  More importantly, it will never rally the American people.  They may not know what socialism is, but they've damned sure managed to figure out that the Democrats no more have their best interest at heart than the Republicans do.  

Here's Chris Hedges on the Oct. 2nd rally in DC, which he dubs the March to Nowhere:

But Sharpton and the other speakers, too close to the power elite in the Democratic Party, did not call for rebellion. There was no war cry against Wall Street and the purveyors of death in the defense and health industry. There was no acknowledgement that unfettered capitalism and globalization are killing our ecosystem and creating a worldwide system of neo-feudalism. There was no acceptance that the corporate state must be dismantled if we are to save ourselves. Any effective resistance must begin with a condemnation of our political elite and liberal institutions, including the press, the universities, labor, the arts, religious institutions and the Democratic Party, for selling us out. But the speakers on the mall in Washington would not go there. And I suspect, for this reason, the Americans who are hurting most found nothing they said of interest.

*  "Conservatives" have the same problem with the GOP.  The GOP has dealt with this by creating the "tea party" to ciphon off the energy of its base and ensure it doesn't go into any kind of third party movement.  Just as the Democrats dealt with it by promoting Obama, letting progressives pat themselves on the back for electing an African American man president even as it was pretty clear that he was to the right of Richard Nixon.

Note: For purposes of this comment, I'm assuming "progressives" are people who genuinely occupy the political left, although personally, I think that's up for debate in terms of what I've seen from many people who identify themselves as "progressives".  But that's for another day.

by BDB 2010-10-30 07:26PM | 0 recs
Who did MLK vote for?

Look, protest movements are important, and if that is the role of this site, then so be it, but let's not get all confused and because those folks that think there is no difference between the two political parties. 


by zmus 2010-10-30 07:45PM | 0 recs
RE: Who did MLK vote for?

The difference is only on small issues and sometimes not even those.  It wasn't George W. Bush who issued an executive order making it more difficult to get abortions, it was the "pro-choice" Obama.  Ted Olson supports gay marriage.  Obama doesn't.

On the big issues, Obama has primarily enacted or continued GOP plans.  His healthcare plan was Bob Dole's with some McCain and Romney thrown in.  He's continued almost all of Bush's foreign and national security policies - from executive secrecy to illegal spying (voting for FISA immunity) to waging wars all over the world.  Bush proposed TARP, Obama whipped for it.  Obama has sided with Wall Street at every opportunity, just as the GOP does.  Democrats failed to enact card check and the Obama administration was quick to make sure that it was the UAW who took it on the chin in the bailout of GM (while structuring the bailout so GM was free to send the money to China).

Sure, Obama signed Lilly Ledbetter and maybe Bush wouldn't have.  But that's not enough of a difference for me to care about. 

The Democrats do more or less the same things the GOP does when in power.  They just don't sound as crazy.  In some ways, I think that makes the Dems more dangerous.  Look at what's happened to the antiwar and labor movements under Obama - they've become completely co-opted despite the destructive policies.

by BDB 2010-10-31 01:30PM | 0 recs
it's getting to be a habit


I land on the site as a refugee from the Kos Asylum, I send a few hundred bucks to MyDD, and wham, Jonathan Singer and the rest of the Obama cheering morons showed up - and Armstrong got tossed out on his ear.  I come on the site for a reality check and a taste of next week harvest and... there goes poor Armstrong again. Jerome, you'll have to settle down one of these days

I land on the site as a refugee from the Kos Asylum, I send a few hundred bucks to MyDD, and wham, Jonathan Singer became hyperactive and the rest of the Obama cheering morons showed up - and Armstrong got tossed out on his ear. 

I come on the site a couple of years later for a reality check and a taste of next week harvest and... there goes poor Armstrong again.

Jerome, you'll have to settle down one of these days.


by totoRULES 2010-10-30 07:29PM | 0 recs
RE: it's getting to be a habit

lets take this place back

by changeagain2012 2010-11-04 01:57AM | 0 recs
oops, kinda rusty here

Forgot a few thingies about posting and blogging. Sorry, folks.

by totoRULES 2010-10-30 07:31PM | 0 recs

My path has been from the serious hard / Marxist left to something quite a lot like what you describe.  We need real coalitions (not bullshit front groups like the ANSWER Coalition) to work towards genuine change.

I think there's a populist upsurge coming, and it could break either way (left or right.) I split my time between San Jose CA and rural Utah now. People in rural areas are getting seriously pissed about what's going on. They can easily be allies, except teh Democratic Party has basically ignored them for decades. The Republicans weren't that dumb. Read Joe Bageant's 'Deer Hunting with Jesus' for more on this.

Karl Denninger, co-founder of the Tea Party, just blasted its current incarnation as being about "pablum; guns, gays, and God" and not about what it originally was, which opposing the  "rampant theft of over taxpayer money propping up FAILED private businesses."

The near takeover of the government by financial interests has been aided and abetted by both parties. Certainly Reagan and the Bushes played huge roles in destroying regulation, but Clinton happily presided over the destruction of Glass-Steagall and Obama road to power was greased by the investment banks. Charles Gasparino's new book "Bought and Paid For" amply documents this.

In my view, this is what needs to be opposed, and we need people on all sides doing it. Thanks for a great post. 

by Bob Morris 2010-10-30 11:32PM | 0 recs
double wow!

I've been away from MyDD for a while now because it seemed to drink Obama's koolaide a bit too often so this post is nice to see.

Now the question is - what to do next?  Certainly its way past time to stop work or donations to the Democratic Party but a game plan is needed.

Congrats to Jerome for seeing the light - my hope right now is that others will follow.

by mwfolsom 2010-10-31 12:22AM | 0 recs
twas ever thus

Ah, the Joe Trippi route. I hope a compelling Democratic candidate brings you back.

Politics in a Democratic Republic is a slow, frustrating business. It is designed to snuff out revolutions and radical change of any type. You have to build and sustain broad coalitions to change the direction of a country with a couple hundred million people.

But I think some of the frustration from the left stems from a faulty analysis of American politics. The story is that corporate interests corrupt national politicians and fool the people through their control of the media. But this story discounts the agency of the electorate and gives activists an out from participating in politics. Obama has not been fooled or corrupted by 'the corporations', and he did not trick his supporters into voting for him. Most of Obama's decisions and policies are consistent with his campaign (civil liberties may be an exception), and he won because he convinced voters that he could move the country forward without changing the center-right trajectory of recent policy. The candidates who argued that we must change that trajectory to move the country forward did not convince enough people to vote for them.

Those of us who want to change that trajectory must work out how to convince more people. 


by tib 2010-10-31 01:45PM | 0 recs
RE: twas ever thus

I have often thought that the left was guilty of believing conservatives in the last election when they claimed that Obama was a far left.  In the election, Obama tried to make the case he was a moderate, and that's one reason I liked him as a candidate.  I thought he presented a more moderate face and was therefore more electable.  I guess it was inevitable that he would have to eventually engage one side or another. 

by zmus 2010-10-31 03:52PM | 0 recs
Losing sight of the Forest through the Trees

This is the same argument liberals have had since '68. Our leaders sold us out so we're going to start the revolution. Instead we got Nixon and the country has marched rightward towards this corporatist state we have now.

I remember in 1980 when my folks were glad to be rid of Jimmy Carter. In four years, Mondale will run and will be rid of that fool from Bedtime with Bonzo. Now we're in the 30th year of Reaganomics and his policies are entrenched into all levels of our society. I don't know how many times I've argued with poor or working class people  about the wrongheadedness of lower taxes/less gov't philosophy.

In 2000, so many on the left said Bush and Gore were the same thing. I remember Bill Maher calling them Gush and Bore. The ensuing GOP takeover was able to push liberalism even farther away from the mainstream.

What is this strategy, Jerome that's going to lead to this left-right populist coalition? I see the problem but keeping the GOP from retaining power is one of the few things we can do to keep some of our rights and freedoms. Being unbeholden to the 2 party system doesn't do any good if the GOP wins. Every time the Republicans win elections they move the country rightward. They want to eliminate any and all forms of egalitarianism.

I recognize Obama and the dems as lackeys of corporate America and Wall St. but you seem to want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

by hnic357 2010-10-31 06:54PM | 1 recs
Not a party, A movement

I find it a bit astonishing that so many people are willing to abandon the Party only to recreate the constraints of an organized Party.

We don't need a party. Even from a purely progressive perspective it may be to our advantage to support a Republican in a deep red district. Say a challenger to Michele Bachmann who is a touch more open. Green Party, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Independents it should only matter who moves us in the correct direction. Let the various Parties come to us. Let us choose who to accept and when.

That is not to say there doesn't need to be structure and organization, just needs to be more dynamic and flexible.

by Judeling 2010-10-31 10:02PM | 0 recs
Can't say I disagree

I've been a cradle Democrat, I guess you could say, but I realize that pride is something that shouldn't matter.  

I think it was mentioned on meet the press yesterday that McConnell said the Republican's goals were to prevent Obama from getting re-elected.  Mentioning nothing about actual policy goals etc.  This discourse can be seen in the Democrats as well of course.  Its a bit sad when its more of a competition to see who is better/liked more than to actually make progress with the country.


by Chuckie Corra 2010-11-01 08:49AM | 0 recs
RE: Can't say I disagree

and its worth mentioning that, according to most polls, both party's approval ratings are below 50% so the popularity game bears no fruit.

by Chuckie Corra 2010-11-01 08:50AM | 0 recs
I hate to echo Nader 2000

But election stealing, DADT, carfood commission the Jane Crow amendment all cemented my decision from May 31, 2008.

I vote individual candidates - never a party anymore.

by Robbedvoter 2010-11-01 10:24AM | 0 recs
I'm interested...

... but like earlier commenters, I think if Jerome wants this site to be about forming a new "way" be it a party or a movement or whatever, then the site needs to be devoted to forming a plan and enacting it.

For example, David DeGraw insist that it needs to happen "in two years."  Why?  What exactly needs to happen in those two years?  How are you going to field candidates?  Are you even interested in starting a political party or is this just about protests and sit ins?  How would you ensure that any one politician you endorse or help elect doesn't sell you out again?  Do you need help from any established media or could you do it entirely through the interwebs?

I remember in 2006 reading Crashing the Gate right after finishing A People's History of the United States and the thing I found most surprising was how the two were in direct contradiction on this exact point.  Jerome said the movement should happen within the party, and Zinn said it could only happen from the outside. So reading this diary was particularly interesting to me.  Its too bad that the entire blogging community is only now having this debate rather than 2006-7, but there's no time like the present.

I hope Jerome (and others) can help flush out some of the questions that have come up in the comments...

by jlars 2010-11-01 01:43PM | 0 recs

something that BTD said over at talk left had a huge influence on me--it was about being loyal to issues and ever since I've decided that I'm about issues it's been a freeing experience. The fact that Obama is going to take a whupping in the midterms affects me none because he doesn't align with my issues but neither do the Tea Partiers. I refuse to be "scared" into voting for a candidate after what went on in 2008 and especially after what Obama has done in office.

by Ga6thDem 2010-11-02 12:40AM | 0 recs


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