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Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:19 PM

In response to the recent threads promoting Third Way, I say "Balderdash!"

I posted this earlier in another thread, but I think it merits its own OP.

[font size=4]Balderdash![/font][br /]by markpkessinger

You have fallen into the very trap the GOP has laid for you, by accepting the spin that the current mid-point between the two parties is the political "center" where "moderation" abounds. I'm not sure how old you are, but I'm guessing you are under 45. The reason I say that is that most of us who are over 45 are aware of the rightward ideological shift both parties have taken in recent decades. We know that the center of the American political spectrum is NOT what happens to be the current ideological midpoint between the two parties. We have a Republican party that has not only moved to the right, it has gone off the rightmost edge of the Earth into batshit crazy radical extremism, and a Democratic Party that occupies ideological turf on which moderate and liberal Republicans of 40 years ago would feel perfectly at home. In other words, we now have a center-right party, and a radical right party. The ideological midpoint between center-right and extreme radical, batshit crazyland is most certainly NOT a point of "moderation" by any stretch of the imagination. No, the midpoint between center right and extreme radical right is -- wait for it -- FAR RIGHT.

In response, the Democratic Party, for its part, should have vigorously held and defended its historic ideological ground as the voice of labor, the poor and minorities of all types. Instead, having fallen under the sway of DLC/Third Way types, sold much of the party on the idea that every time we lose an election to Republicans, that means we should move further in the direction of Republicans. Well, we tried that. As the GOP got more and more insane, Democrats began adopting positions that had previously been considered right-wing, conservative positions. Did it make the party more popular with the electorate? No. It resulted in much of the electorate coming to see Democrats (and not unjustifiably) as a bunch of spineless weasels who talk a good populist game but who, in the end, are just as beholden to corporate paymasters as the GOP -- the only difference in their eyes being that Democrats whine about it more. The country elected President Obama wanting and expecting a departure from that kind of spineless accommodationism. I submit that many of the difficulties with public opinion that President Obama experienced in the first 2-3 years of his first term resulted from a perception that he was unwilling to fight for many ot the things he claimed to support during the 2008 campaign. Now, that may or may not have been an entirely fair criticism, but it was how it was perceived by many. And the President's poll numbers consistently rose whenever he appeared to be returning to his more populist positions and appeared ready to fight for them.

The late Senator Ted Kennedy saw this coming back in 1995, in an address to the National Press Club in which he excoriated many of his Democratic colleagues for "sheepishly acquiescing to GOP efforts to cut the social safety net." As Kennedy said:

"Sometimes the task of a great political party is to face the tide, not just ride with it, and to turn it again in the direction of our deepest convictions. . . . If Democrats run for cover, if we become pale carbon copies of the opposition and try to act like Republicans, we will lose, and deserve to lose."


You are correct that many voters simply see Democrats as the "lesser of two evils." But if you can see that, I don't understand how you can fail to see that what you are calling for is a recipe for maintaining that less than optimal public image.

Another aspect of your post with which I must take serious issue -- and it runs throughout your post -- is the way you repeatedly posit some sort of enmity between the left and business. The left (at least in this country) has never been the "enemy of business," as you suggest. The left does not, as you dishonestly suggest, want to see the business community fail, nor does it have a problem with business owners/shareholders reaping a reasonable profit. (That entire line of argument, frankly, amounts to little more than a Fox News talking point.) What the left does want, however, is for businesses to fairly compensate their employees (i.e., at a level where a person working a full time job can actually afford to feed, clothe and shelter himself/herself, and with benefits that enable that person to receive medical care when needed and to retire with a measure of dignity). The left does want businesses to provide clean, safe working conditions for their employees. The left does want a robust regulatory structure when it comes to the nation's food and drug supplies, and vigorous regulatory oversight of the financial sector. The left wants businesses to succeed, but to do so in a manner that does not despoil the environment and does not endanger people's health. But here's the thing about the business community: they're greedy fuckers. They'll take as much and more as anybody will allow them to. And as soon as anybody proposes anything that might force them to spend an extra dollar or two, they'll howl at the moon over the injustice of it all. But you know what? If we don't give in to their howling, eventually they'll stop howling and get back to their businesses. And lo and behold, they will discover that even with all those "burdensome regulations" imposed on them by those evil left wingers, they are still able to make a decent profit.

Finally, as for what "the American people want," the American people, by and large, are so confused by the disinformation that emanates from the right-wing propaganda machine that they aren't really sure what they want. What they do know is that Washington has ceased to work for them. They do know that when push comes to shove, they have been shafted by both parties in recent decades (slightly less often by Democrats, but since the Democratic Party purports to be on their side and then still throws their interests under the bus in favor of corporate interests, it is a more bitter pill to swallow when the betrayal comes at the hands of Democrats).

17 replies, 2980 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply In response to the recent threads promoting Third Way, I say "Balderdash!" (Original post)
markpkessinger Dec 2012 OP
msongs Dec 2012 #1
markpkessinger Dec 2012 #2
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #3
hay rick Dec 2012 #4
Starry Messenger Dec 2012 #5
DeSwiss Dec 2012 #6
Populist_Prole Dec 2012 #7
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #8
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #11
defacto7 Dec 2012 #9
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #10
jsr Dec 2012 #12
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #13
raouldukelives Dec 2012 #14
Mnemosyne Dec 2012 #15
warrprayer Dec 2012 #16
Teamster Jeff Dec 2012 #17

Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:23 PM

1. there you go again, criticizing closet republicans lol nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:24 PM

2. Yeah, just can't kick the habit! ;) n/t

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Response to markpkessinger (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:42 PM

3. Me neither.

Excellent response to the Third Way/DLC post you linked to. All polls show that on the issues without the propaganda from Faux et al, the American people are far to the Left of their Government.

But money talks, and shouts down the people. I do think though that this is beginning to change. People are far more informed, (Thank you OWS and all the Progressive Organizations who are working hard to fight the Wall Street influence on our government) and information is as powerful as money when it is in the hands of the people.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 12:01 AM

4. Good rant.

Third Way is just the Wall Street wolf parading around in sheep's clothing.

K&R.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:18 AM

6. I only have two words for Third-wayers:

 

The first words begins with an ''F'' and sounds like ''puck.'' And the second word begins with ''Y'' and sounds like the word ''goo.''

Thus leaving us with: (F) __uck / (Y) __oo

- See? I CAN discuss DINOs without using profanity! Although I'll admit using profanity to describe these twits is much more fun!

K&R

[center][/center]

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 01:36 AM

7. A freakin men!

What good is the pursuit of the viability of the party as such if the party becomes as bad as the enemy's?

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:14 AM

8. I'm quite a bit past 45--and I have been frustrated by the constant rightward movement

of the Democrats since, oh, about 1981, when they repeatedly failed to stand up to Reagan, even though they had a majority at the time.

One of my least favorite words is "bipartisanship," because it always seems to mean, "The Republicans say 'jump' and the Democrats say, 'OK, but not quite as high as you want' instead of 'Like hell I'm going to jump. YOU jump.'"

And there's always an excuse:

2000: We've lost the White House, and besides, all those bad bills were going to pass anyway, so why vote against them?
2002: We've lost the Senate, and besides, all those bad bills were going to pass anyway, so why vote against them?
2004: We've lost the White House again, and besides, all those bad bills were going to pass anyway, so why vote against them?
2006: We've got the Senate back, but we still don't have the White House, and besides, all those bad bills were going to pass anyway, so why vote against them?
2008: Yay, we've got the White House, but we have to kowtow to the Blue Dogs, even though there are fewer of them than there are people in the Progressive Caucus.
2010: Oops, now we've lost the House. That means we shouldn't be too radical.
2012: Hey, we've kept the White House, kept the Senate, and gained in the House of Representatives, and we would have taken over the House if it hadn't been for gerrymandering, but we're going to be bipartisan anyway. Hey, Republicans, tell us what we should do.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:26 AM

11. the bipartisan 1983 social security amendments were what brought us to the present "crisis".

 

more democrats than republicans voted for them, & our supposed liberal stalwarts -- ted kennedy, for one -- managed to be absent for that vote, so they wouldn't have to take a position either way.

personally, i think the men behind the curtains were calling the shots, even then.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/tally1983.html

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:18 AM

9. Fantastic post....

It needs to stay kicked. This is what needs to be heard because it's the truth for damn sure.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:21 AM

10. kr.

 

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:27 AM

12. Amen. And Fuck That Shit.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:56 AM

13. Let me give a concrete example

 

Workers making 9.01 an hour are making gross pay of $17,299.20, gross pay.The Federal poverty rate for a family of four is $23,050.

These people cannot pay rent, bills, even food at times. They work hard.

Third way types would repeat what a libertarian told me, "get a better job, or start a business." Oh and regulations are dumb.

That is the place where we are...

Oh and we all know who...it's dumb.

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:58 AM

14. Kickin this!

Great rant!

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:25 PM

15. Needs K&R nt

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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:48 PM

16. Balderdash!

Balderdash!


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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:18 PM

17. K&R

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