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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:10 AM

David Sirota: Two 2016 Prospects Spotlight Democrats’ Identity Crisis

from truthdig:

Two 2016 Prospects Spotlight Democrats’ Identity Crisis

Posted on Feb 22, 2013
By David Sirota

Despite its success in recent elections, and despite the image of unity it projects, the Democratic Party is in the throes of an epic identity crisis pitting its corporate money against its stated principles. The recent actions of two of the party’s rising stars—Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren—tell the deeper tale of that crisis. It is a microcosmic story, suggesting that the 2016 election may be a decisive turning point in the party’s history.

The money side of the schism is embodied by Hickenlooper. As the new vice-chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, the former petroleum geologist and beer mogul represents a cabal of Democratic politicians whose brand couples moderate positions on social issues with hard-edged corporatism on economic ones.

Corporatism, of course, is a vague label - but in Democratic politics it typically refers to helping campaign contributors bust unions and dismantle environmental regulations, with the expectation that servile labor and environmental leaders will sit by as their movements are decimated.

Hickenlooper’s actions this month show how the formula works.

On labor issues, after a summer of staging media events to thank firefighters for combating wildfires, the Colorado governor publicly threatened to veto legislation that would enshrine the right of those firefighters to choose to form a union. Of such basic legal protections, Hickenlooper flippantly declared that he does “not believe it is a matter of state interest.” ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/two_2016_prospects_spotlight_democrats_identity_crisis_20130222/

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Reply David Sirota: Two 2016 Prospects Spotlight Democrats’ Identity Crisis (Original post)
marmar Feb 2013 OP
xchrom Feb 2013 #1
mcgarry50 Feb 2013 #2
Blanks Feb 2013 #3
dreamnightwind Feb 2013 #4
Blanks Feb 2013 #5
dreamnightwind Feb 2013 #6
Blanks Feb 2013 #7

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:13 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 09:44 AM

2. democratic party


i recently was asked by the local washington state dem party for a donation. i responded that i think that they have lost their vision, that they are now becoming corporate whores. they want to raise the taxes on gasoline here, which is all ready one of the highest taxes in the nation. to add to the problem i live on whidbey island which is connected to the mainland by a bridge with a refinery under 30 miles away and we still pay 30 to 50 cent higher than on the mainland. that cost in turn reflects on the food and all other products and the democrats want to raise the taxes even higher. they have lost their vision. but i donated to elizabeth warren today for her level the playing field pact. we need to take our party back to the people not the corporations.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 10:20 AM

3. Part of the problem with politics...

is that politicians represent the people who elect them. If they make bad choices; sometimes it is because that is what the people who have their ear tell them they want.

If we really want change; we have to be specific about what it is we tell them we want.

As long as the 'money people' have their ear; they will be the ones who get what they want.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:23 AM

4. "As long as the 'money people' have their ear"

"As long as the 'money people' have their ear"...

As long as the politicians need the money of the money people, they will represent them, not us. Lip service for the electorate, legislation for the 1%. We certainly should make our voices heard as much s possible, but even so, they tend to listen to the money, so I guess I reject your position that it's about us. It's not about us, that's the problem.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 02:49 PM

5. Reject whatever you want.

All politicians have to be elected by a majority. Everyone was doing hand springs because Obama got 53% of the vote, but if you have a room full of 100 people and 53 of them support one candidate and 47 of them support the other; how hard is it to flip that if you are dealing with issues instead of personalities?

There are people here that are very passionate about certain issues, and indifferent to issues that other people are passionate about. I support unions, but I'm not (and haven't been) a union member. The educators don't get overwhelming support from the non-educator crowd. The folks that aren't enthused about the 'occupy movement' don't support them. The LGBT community - same thing.

The point is: we don't all throw our whole body into the effort on any one individual issue and that's why the monied interests have so much control over politics. We are all passionate about our own issue; when we can't get others to support 'our issue' then it falls by the way side and the banks get bailed out, or some state passes an anti-gay rights law, or teachers get laid off, or whatever.

These things wouldn't happen if the politicians knew that they'd get tossed out of office if they voted for the legislation. That's why they (the money people) are the only ones with any influence; because we never stand together on any single issue.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:04 PM

6. Well, I don't disagree that it's good to strongly

advocate for the issues that are important to us. So I'm not sure what your point is. Having each other's backs? We all believe that. However, we all have different important issues, to some degree, and it will always be that way.

What I've noticed is that the issues where we've gotten some results from the corporatists in power are the issues that aren't any threat to the overwhelming power held by the corporations. So they'll let us have gay rights if we fight hard enough for them. Same for immigrant rights, it doesn't really damage corporate interests to make a path to legal residence for them, and they'll even include a caveat that allows people willing to serve in our military to get citizenship later (Dream Act), serves the MIC just fine to have an endless supply of foreigners to fight in their resource wars.

But just try that with issues that fundamentally challenge corporate interests. Campaign finance reform, single payer healthcare, protection of labor and good wages, climate change, reform of the financial industry, public works over private profits, defundding the war machine, etc. They've mostly rigged the elections so we rarely get a candidate who fights for these things. We can vote out the offending politician but he/she is replaced by someone else from the party pipelines that just does the same thing. One approach is to work the primaries to get better people to vote for, that's worth a lot of effort, though I just went through that where I live, supporting a good progressive candidate for the U.S. House of Reps in the primary, who lost badly to the much better funded corporate Democrat. It's a worthwhile fight, but there are few victories.

I guess my main point is that money usually wins, no matter what we say or think. So I think removing private money from elections is the one fight to rule them all. Until that happens, I don''t see any real reforms happening that would fundamentally fix the problems we are facing as a country and as a planet. We can simultaneously work on other issues, and we should, but we won't get real change until we eliminate corporate money from our elections.

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Response to dreamnightwind (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 06:39 PM

7. Removing private money from elections probably is the issue that makes the most difference...

and was; if I understood it correctly, the #1 issue for the occupy movement.

However there isn't really a one step process to removing money from politics. A lot of people got together with the same issue and it didn't make a lot difference.

If 99% of the country said "get the money out of politics or we will vote you out of office" it would have looked different.

If that's the number one issue; then it needs to be the number one issue for an overwhelming majority. It isn't, and that's why we don't get any representation; we won't all agree that it is the most important issue.

The fact that a majority believe it is the number one issue isn't enough unless there is some agreed upon act of solidarity and elections aren't frequent enough to make a difference. That's what needs to happen; everyone either take an action, or refuse to perform an action until there is some movement on the issue.

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