HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » merrily » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 59 Next »


Profile Information

Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:49 AM
Number of posts: 42,845

Journal Archives

Democracy Within the Democratic Party: Presidential Elections Part 3 of a Series.


Part 1 of this Series is at http://www.democraticunderground.com/127710632
Part 2 of this Series is at http://www.democraticunderground.com/127710635

By 1952, Truman's disapproval rating was 66%. Reasons cited include rising McCarthyism, corruption within Truman's administration and the "Korean Police Action," one of several "hot" wars of the "Cold" War Era. Although Truman's memoirs assert that he had decided not to run again well before the 1952 primaries began, Truman did enter the 1952 New Hampshire primary. The war-time incumbent lost all eight New Hampshire primary delegates to Senator Estes Kefauver. Not long afterward, Truman withdrew. (No flies on Harry!)

As his successor, Truman cannily sought General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower refused, later becoming the Republican nominee. Kefauver, a Southerner who had held hearings on organized crime, went on to win all but three primaries. Although Democratic primary voters had spoken clearly, Democratic Party bosses, including Truman, refused to support Kefauver because his investigations had revealed connections between Mafiosi and many big-city Democratic political organizations. Such was democracy in the Democratic Party in 1952.

The 1952 Democratic National Convention was held in Illinois. The Governor of Illinois was Adlai Stevenson II, scion of politicians, both maternal and paternal, who emerged as potential candidate. However, Stevenson waffled about running, to Truman's consternation. After a meeting with Joseph Arvey, the "boss" of the Illinois delegates, however, Stevenson decided to run.

Winning the nomination required Stevenson to defeat a field that included, among others, Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, a civil rights advocate, and Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, a segregationist. (A decade later, Fulbright became mentor to a high schooler named William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, whom Fulbright later employed and introduced to James McDougal, of Whitewater notoriety. Such is the plaited plutocracy!)

Stevenson was then considered a moderate on civil rights. Mindful of the "Solid South," Truman and few other political insiders chose as Stevenson's running mate Senator John Sparkman, a conservative segregationist from Alabama. The Democratic National Convention complied. Stevenson lost to Eisenhower by a landslide, carrying only nine Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

In 1956, Stevenson battled Kefauver in primaries until Kefauver had to withdraw for lack of funds. Kefauver did, however, win the Vice Presidential nomination, beating out Senator John F. Kennedy. Stevenson also nabbed the nomination from Texas Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and New York Governor Averell Harriman.

Against the incumbent, Stevenson did even worse than he had in 1952, winning only seven states, Missouri and six Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. No losing candidate had won Missouri since William Jennings Bryan in 1900. For his part, Eisenhower won Louisiana, the first Republican Presidential nominee so to do since Rutherford Hayes in 1876, during Reconstruction. In other words, the 1952 pick of the Party bosses took a "thumpin" in two consecutive Presidential elections.

Positing that Stevenson lost because Party bosses chose him, contrary to the wishes of Democratic primary voters, is very tempting. While that may have been a factor, other good reasons certainly existed. Eisenhower was a very recent, very famous war hero and former NATO commander. Additionally, he seemed much less of an elitist than did the erudite Stevenson, who was dubbed an "egghead." Also, Stevenson had divorced in 1949. Although several Presidents, including Jackson, had been married to divorcées when they ran for office, none had themselves been divorced. Although his divorce was not an overt issue in either 1952 or 1956, sources cite "a whispering campaign."

In the sixty years since 1956, the Democratic Party has not again nominated for President anyone who has been divorced or anyone who has lost a Presidential election. This seems to be a pattern for the modern Democratic Party: if a Democratic Presidential nominee loses the general election, the Party takes away "lessons" from the loss that may or may not have had anything to do with the loss and never again deviates from those "lessons."

Sanders and Trump were eyeball to eyeball and Trump blinked.

Trump: I'd love to debate Bernie--and I'd win!

Bernie: Bring it, bozo!

Trump: My debating Bernie would not be appropriate. (BLINK)

Reference: http://blogs.cfr.org/lindsay/2012/10/24/twe-remembers-eyeball-to-eyeball-and-the-other-fellow-just-blinked-cuban-missile-crisis-day-nine/

"did not turn up among the emails released by Clinton."

Cover up of something Bill said. Cover up. Made infamous during Watergate. In which a much younger Hillary was peripherally involved, thanks to Bill. Odd how history sometimes folds in on itself. Perne in a gyre.












And there's lots more where those came from

Democracy Within the Democratic Party: Presidential Elections - Part 2 of a Series*


Part 1 of this series ended as follows:

Democratic politicians have deliberately disassociated themselves from New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies and also from the Great Society programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson. They have, among other things, re-named themselves New Democrats, descried big government and targeted New Deal and Great Society programs for dismantling, much as had Republicans during FDR's era. Why? Because many politicians tend to aspire to be President of the United States and becoming President of the United States is much more difficult for a Democrat than it had been before Truman ran in 1948. Or so "they" have been telling us.

The language quoted above raises two questions: (1) Why did the Democratic Party worry overly about electing a Democratic President when Democrats dominated Congress for so long; and (2) Why, after holding the Oval Office for two solid decades, did Democrats run into problems electing Presidents?

As stated above, many politicians, especially those who are powerful within the Party, tend to aspire to be POTUS, rather than Governor of just one state of fifty or just one voting member of Congress out of 535. Politicians who want to be POTUS tend also to want their Party to maximize their chances of becoming POTUS. For those who seek to control federal government, gaining control of one POTUS seems much easier than gaining control of 536 disparate politicians. IOW, plutocrats, both in and out of government, focused increasingly on the Oval Office. (This issue also goes to the accelerating move toward a Unitary Executive, an undemocratic prospect that is, to me, quite frightening.) The answer to the second question is more complex. It is tied, as is so much in U.S. politics, to America's original sin: Racism.

Without intending to subordinate or minimize slavery, I see legal slavery as one especially heinous result of racism. Our original sin of racism caused, and continues to cause, one degree of suffering or other to First Nations, the Chinese, the Japanese, Jews, Arabs-- all people of color, even to those who just were not WASP. For example, Paul Revere's father changed his surname from Revoir, in an attempt to avoid anti-French discrimination by colonials. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. though wealthy, had been stung by anti-Irish, anti-Catholic sentiment.

While the Emancipation Proclamation ended legal slavery, the nation just cannot seem to expiate its original sin--legally-enforced racism did not end until a century after Emancipation and racism has never ended: Racism is certainly playing an overt role in the 2016 Presidential primaries, as it had in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections. In reality, racism has likely played a more covert role in many elections, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Today, the Democratic Party, while not an exemplar of racial justice, is associated far more with racial justice, including for African Americans, than is the Republican Party. The roots of the Democratic Party, however, are, like the roots of the U.S. itself, horribly entangled with racism.

The very first Democratic President was President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner and infamous for many other things, including his treatment of First Nations. Democratic President James Buchanan virtually made the Civil War inevitable. Democratic U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate, Stephen Douglas, ran against Republican Abraham Lincoln on a platform of extending slavery into the territories, the parts of what is now the U.S. that had not yet become states.

This history of the Democratic Party, combined with the South's particular history of slavery, had resulted in the South's being solidly Democratic. However, Truman, who had once joined the White Citizens' Council as another politician might have joined the Rotary, created a Civil Rights Commission in 1946 and courageously ordered integration of the military in 1948--an election year. As a result, Truman faced, in 1948, a challenge from then Governor of South Carolina, Strom Thurmond, who changed from Democrat to Dixiecrat in 1948 for that purpose. (For unrelated reasons, Truman also faced a second so-called "third"-party challenge from FDR's one-time Vice President, liberal Henry A. Wallace, running as head of the then newly-formed Progressive Party.)

Although Truman narrowly defeated Republican Thomas E. Dewey despite two so-called "third"-Party challenges, he seemed unlikely to win in 1952, if he ran. It's difficult to tell whether his civil rights commission and his desegregation of the military were the reasons, or whether Americans thought seven plus years of Truman was enough. (The nation had just adopted a Constitutional amendment limiting Presidential terms to eight years, but expressly excluding Truman, without naming him. My guess is that emotions around the potential of a "President for Life" had run high preceding ratification.)

Part 1 of this Series is at http://www.democraticunderground.com/127710632

Democracy Within the Democratic Party: Presidential Elections - Part 1 of a Series*


Those who do not know their history are doomed not to know their history. To help save Democrats from terrible tautologies (and annoying alliteration), this post offers some history about the Democratic Party's War on Party Democracy, aka WOPD or DPWOP. (I know: I don't like the fake war labels or their acronyms, either, but will indulge, just this once.)

For reasons I've never understood, the following statement of irrefutable fact causes anger: Contrary to billions of July 4 speeches, the United States of America is not a democracy; it is a republic. Cross my heart. In a democracy, all citizens have the right to vote on all issues and actions. Just imagine being able to vote against war, against tax increases and for commemorating National Mocha Toffee Chip Day! American citizens who don't hold elected office don't get to vote on those things because their form of government is not a democracy, but a republic. In a republic, citizens get to vote nationally only on who represents them in Congress and in the Oval Office, using "represent" very loosely.

Often, voting for politicians who "represent" us has meant a choice between voting for "evil" or for "the lesser/slower of two evils" (aka, LOTE). Typically, Republican voters perceive the Republican candidate as the LOTE and also as the way to prevent election of the greater evil, aka, the Democratic candidate. Of course, Democratic voters perceive the opposite. Primaries are--were--the way in which Americans could at least help decide who the candidates of their respective political parties would be. Swell! Every little bit of democracy is good, right? Wrong! At least, wrong, if you are a professional politician. Which brings us (only because I say so) to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

FDR was arguably the most beloved President in United States history and indisputably the most elected. Why? Yes, he was Commander in Chief during arguably the last war the nation ever won, as well as the last war against a clear and unimaginably heinous foe to boot--a war even a pacifist could support. However, by the time that World War II began, Americans had already become unable to quit FDR.

A combination of Wall Street "crash," caused by massive fraud, and its reverberations, plus the Dust Bowl, had many American voters and their families headed en masse toward joblessness (or croplessness), then homelessness and perhaps foodlessness, aka starvation. From his wheelchair, FDR had grabbed them (and also Wall Streeters and bankers) back with his New Deals and his so-called court-packing plan, shouting "Not on my watch." What's not to re-elect? FDR's successor, President Harry S.Truman, supported what was left of the New Deals by the time HST had become President and added the Fair Deal.

The cumulative result of the New Deals and the Fair Deal was twenty consecutive years of Democrats in the Oval Office, ousted only a World War II hero-general, and Democratic domination of Congress, almost continuously, for forty years. Additionally, the nation, including the Supreme Court of the United States, had been pushed several giant steps and a couple of umbrella steps left: even Republican politicians dared not light out with their right out. What more could any political party have dreamt? Small wonder Democrats clung tenaciously to New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies, correct? Well, no.

Democratic politicians have deliberately disassociated themselves from New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies and also from the Great Society programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson. They have, among other things, re-named themselves New Democrats, descried big government and targeted New Deal and Great Society programs for dismantling, much as had Republicans during FDR's era. Why? Because many politicians tend to aspire to be President of the United States and becoming President of the United States is much more difficult for a Democrat than it had been before Truman ran in 1948. Or so "they" have been telling us.

*Some of you have seen this elsewhere. It's posted here for those who have not.

The Sit Down and Shut Up Award and Other Realities*

In a way, this post is about a chair and an award. However, it really is about us (the left). So, before I go further, I need to make some observations about the left/us that may not be popular.

Admittedly, this is a broad generalization, but please bear with me. The right does a lot of long-range, systematic planning, plotting and "fail-safe-ing," while the left tends to expect people to be good and things to go as they should. When expectations don't manifest, the left sometimes goes into laser-focused, reactive mode. On such occasions, we could do with more of taking a breath, stepping back and assessing the situation and the big picture. Twice. And, in general, we could do with more short-term and long-range planning. Lots. I freely admit that I am among the members of the left who are most in need of this advice.

Second, those on the right excel at framing and manipulation. In the short-term, we need to avoid buying into, and being constricted by, their framing. They don't have a right to chose the which game we'll be playing and which field we will be playing it on, and then restrict us to playing defense. In the long-term, we need to best the right at both framing and choosing the playing field--if we should play at all.

Third, when very young, I heard an expression from an older person that has stayed with me, even if I have not lived it: "Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." As an adult in 2016, I don't recommend believing even half of what we see.

Now that I have alienated everyone whom I love, I will get to the (drum roll) lifted chair debacle.

A. Was the "chair lifter" an actual supporter of Bernie? Are the people making the threats actually even supporters of Bernie? How can we tell?

Whatever the chair lifter did or did not do, who knows if he is even a Bernie supporter? The Hillary campaign (including PACs) has used a number of different false flag ops. An early one that hit the news was fake Twitter and facebook fans, something I thought no candidate would risk after Newt Gingrich got outed for hiring facebook "likers." Another op, one that Brock announced, is a million dollars worth (at least) of pro-Hillary internet trolls.

A third false flag operation is one that some of us spotted as early as 2014. A phalanx of fake Bernie supporters, aka Bernie Butters,™ would mechanically announce "I support Bernie Sanders, but...." Then, the poseurs would criticize Bernie or defend or praise Hillary. They never criticized Hillary. They rarely, if ever, complimented or praised Bernie. Or, they might compliment Bernie on one vaguely-worded category. Then, at some point, one of more of them would find some lame reason why he or she simply could "no longer support Bernie," such as the data breach (as if Bernie had been at the computer). Later, one or more would find that he or she just could not continue to support Bernie because of--wait for it--the behavior on Twitter of his supporters, the Obama boys Bernie Bros. It was like dominoes.

When outed for having faked their support for Bernie, they would lash out and flail. Meanwhile, in each instance, the true supporters of Sanders would have been goaded and provoked, which would invariably go unmentioned. This pattern/op, now known as #BernieLostMe, has appeared on message boards, in social media and in the press. I have, however, never once encountered it among people I know "in real life."

So, with all the false flag operations that we know about, is it really far-fetched to wonder if someone may have hired people, perhaps actors, to disrupt in person?

B. When a new story erupts and consumes media oxygen (and therefore the attention of the general public), we need to notice which news stories our attention is being diverted AWAY from.

C. We (the left) either need to learn media or raise enough money to hire someone knowledgeable.

D. We need to find some way to discourage media from disseminating one side of a story.

This would have been the non-event that it should have been, had it not been for media breathlessly and incessantly reporting Lange's version of events as though it were (a) the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; (b) VERY important; and (c) conclusive proof of the one-sided, misandryist and utterly bogus Obama boys Bernie Bros propaganda that media has been catapulting. http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2016/05/18/478579787/fact-checking-nprs-reports-on-vegas-violence

Does establishment media collude with the political establishment? I believe it does. Either way, however, establishment media is disserving the country. For its precipitous, inaccurate, inflammatory and possibly collusive coverage, media richly deserve a Sit Down And Shut Up Award.

*Some of you may have seen this post elsewhere, but it's here as well for those who have not.

TODAY is the DEADLINE to REGISTER in California. Register Dem, not NPP. Tell everyone!

Bernie Sanders for President


A massive haul of 475 pledged delegates will be up for grabs in California's June 7th election. We hope to win a big majority of those.

Since this is a people-powered campaign, we're asking for your help – in any of the following four ways – to do that!

1.Call some California voters now. We're working to get as many Californians as possible registered to vote for Bernie before the voter registration deadline this Monday. Lots of voters – even those in other parties – are looking for the strongest candidate to beat Trump, and polls consistently show that that's Bernie. (merrily says: Tell them to register Democratic, not NPP - http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280198869

Make calls to California now https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/caphonebank/

2. Sign up to call California voters later. Since California offers online voter registration, we'll be making calls right up through the deadline Monday evening. And every voter we can register, or re-register as a Democrat (or "no party preference"), is another potential vote for Bernie.

Sign up to make some calls later https://go.berniesanders.com/page/s/get-california-registered?source=em160521-full

3. Share our California voter registration page on Facebook. If you have friends in California, tag them and ask them to spread the word too. Voter registration numbers are already trending up this year in the Golden State, so let's keep that momentum going!

Share on facebook and tag some friends

4. Contribute to support our campaign. We don't take money from super PACs, and have shocked the political establishment by showing that Americans just like you are eager and ready to fund a grassroots campaign that's not beholden to wealthy donors. Your donation will help keep our political revolution rolling all the way into the Democratic convention in July.

Contribute to support our campaign ( DU donation link https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie )

We're staying in this fight all the way to the convention, because we know that Bernie is the strongest candidate to beat Trump in the fall. Every state we win and every vote we earn strengthens our hand in delivering that message at the convention in Philadelphia, and signals to the political establishment that we will not accept the status quo of a corrupt political system that holds in place a rigged economy.

In solidarity,

Team Bernie

Tips on phonebanking http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280172731

Check your own registration and get a screen cap. Tell your friends to do the same. NOW http://reg2vote.today/
See also http://jackpineradicals.org/showthread.php?11792-The-most-important-thing-you-can-do-in-California-today&p=73688#post73688

There is are several so called third party runs, including Johnson/Weld and Jill Stein

in the Libertarian and Green Parties, respectively.

IMO, we need to stop using the term "third party."

First, it is hopelessly inaccurate. Many national political parties exist besides the two largest. In 2008, six parties ran a candidate for President: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Independent, Libertarian and Republican. In 2000, it was Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law and Republican. I am not sure what, if anything, the Working Families Party did those years.

Second, using it again and again as though it were accurate keeps re-branding in our minds the falsehood that the two largest political parties are the only ones, unless someone suddenly pops up to tilt at windmills.

We needed to wake up back in 1985, but we didn't. Now that the Democratic Party chooses its Presidential nominee eight years in advance, and has fensies on incumbents, we really need to wake up, look around and stop reinforcing falsehoods in our own minds.

So, what made the news yesterday?

Ex-Aide to Hillary Clinton Testifies About Email Server


WASHINGTON — A former aide to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state testified behind closed doors for two hours Wednesday in the first in a series of depositions that are likely to raise more questions about Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server just as she prepares for an election campaign against Donald J. Trump.

The former aide, Lewis A. Lukens, testified under oath about his knowledge of Mrs. Clinton’s private email system as part of a lawsuit brought against the State Department by a conservative legal advocacy group, Judicial Watch.

At least five other officials — including two of Mrs. Clinton’s top aides at the State Department, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin — are also scheduled to testify in the lawsuit over the next six weeks in what promises to be an unwelcome distraction for the Clinton campaign.

The last deposition is set for June 29 — less than a month before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Mrs. Clinton is widely expected to win her party’s nomination for president over challenger Bernie Sanders.


What was the big topic of discussion yesterday, though? The NOT throwing of a chair, supposedly by a supporter of Sanders.

And before that, what was the big political news possibly affecting the primary?
Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 59 Next »