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Sun Jan 25, 2015, 02:24 PM

Pitchforks Against Plutocracy

Patrick Walker 1/17/2015

...Today's Democratic Party faces an urgent crisis, one that simply can't be settled by compromising for sake of party unity. The plutocrats, militarists, and climate destroyers already own a party--the Republicans--and there's plenty of room for Hillary and her donors there. It's not merely as if Warren and Clinton are matter and anti-matter, incompatible to the point of mutual annihilation if confined to the same space; it's actually worse. If Hillary Clinton becomes president, plutocrats' agenda simply wins, for Clinton will have every means--not just distracting wars--for sabotaging Warren's program. For example, does anyone think for one second Clinton will actively stump for "Warren wing" Congressional candidates, providing the electoral coattails needed to enact Warren's populist agenda? Hillary's plutocrat donors would undoubtedly clamp shut their spigots of cash if she did. A Clinton presidency would likely mean a Congress dominated by Republicans and "Blue Dog" Democrats--the ideal monkey wrench for sabotaging Warren. Only Warren herself--or a Warren-wing candidate strongly endorsed by Warren--can produce populist electoral coattails, paving the way for Warren's urgent reforms.

Letting Clinton become president will be an unmitigated disaster for those policies. As the only progressive politician powerful enough to stop Hillary, Warren must be made to see that. A large minority of united activists from different causes--united in refusing categorically to vote for Clinton--can help Warren to see the folly of endorsing her saboteur, who, dancing on donors' puppeteer strings, can do nothing conceivable to gain our trust. The Pitchforks Against Plutocracy movement is now considering launching a massive pledge to vote against Hillary, even if that means abandoning Democrats and voting third party. To show your support for such a potential pledge, please like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CitizensAgainstPlutocracy

Warren may fear appearing a political traitor by withdrawing her support for Clinton, and that may pose the chief obstacle to her candidacy. A forceful popular refusal to vote Democratic if Clinton's the nominee could force Warren to rush--from duty not rivalry--to her party's electoral rescue. If you'd love to see Warren run for president--or someone like Bernie Sanders run with her endorsement--we strongly urge you to like the Pitchforks Against Plutocracy page and prepare to sign our upcoming pledge against Clinton.


Politico: The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats
July 2014 Nick Hanauer

You probably don’t know me, but like you I am one of those .01%ers, a proud and unapologetic capitalist. I have founded, co-founded and funded more than 30 companies across a range of industries—from itsy-bitsy ones like the night club I started in my 20s to giant ones like Amazon.com, for which I was the first nonfamily investor. Then I founded aQuantive, an Internet advertising company that was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for $6.4 billion. In cash. My friends and I own a bank. I tell you all this to demonstrate that in many ways I’m no different from you. Like you, I have a broad perspective on business and capitalism. And also like you, I have been rewarded obscenely for my success, with a life that the other 99.99 percent of Americans can’t even imagine. Multiple homes, my own plane, etc., etc. You know what I’m talking about....

...But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.


I wish I was on FB to add my name there, be another tine on the pitchfork!

10 replies, 4211 views

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pitchforks Against Plutocracy (Original post)
RiverLover Jan 2015 OP
Martin Eden Jan 2015 #1
RiverLover Jan 2015 #3
Martin Eden Jan 2015 #4
RiverLover Jan 2015 #5
yallerdawg Jan 2015 #6
RiverLover Jan 2015 #7
yallerdawg Jan 2015 #8
sabrina 1 Jan 2015 #9
Enthusiast Jan 2015 #2
RiverLover Feb 2015 #10

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 02:56 PM

1. "even if that means abandoning Democrats and voting third party"

I would do that in a second, if we had Instant Runoff Voting.

Barring that, a sizable chunk of progressives voting third party would almost certainly put a Rethug in the White House.

I shudder when I think of the damage that would inflict, and wonder if the potential benefit of a political sea change in the aftermath would be worth it.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 06:07 PM

3. I think alot of damage has occurred from Republicans passing themselves off as Democrats.

To our party and to our country...and to our planet.

And the switch we saw between candidate Obama & president Obama only echoed what happened with the previous Democratic president~

...As one of them said to the Washington Post recently, inequality “just didn’t exist then as a public issue.”

But of course it did. It existed then more sensationally than at any time until the second George Bush brought it back in full force in 2008. In 1992 the country was basically in flames over the economic effects of Reaganism. That year, Jerry Brown, Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan and, yes, Bill Clinton all ran as populists who would rescue the declining middle class by one method or another. On the campaign trail, Clinton reportedly carried with him and quoted from a copy of a three-alarm best-seller called “America: What Went Wrong?” Get it off the shelf today and you’ll find that its first two sentences run as follows: “The wage and salary structure of American business, encouraged by federal tax policies, is pushing the nation toward a two-class society. The top 4 percent make as much as the bottom half of U.S. workers.” And here are the first few paragraphs of a New York Times story that ran in May of 1992:

When Bill Clinton wants to galvanize his audience, he thunders from the podium that the top 1 percent of families got 60 percent of the gains from economic growth during the 1980s and owns more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.

Governor Clinton, the likely Democratic Presidential nominee, had been searching for months for facts to illustrate his claim that America’s middle class benefited little from 12 years of Republican rule. The explosion of riches at the top struck him as a perfect vehicle. Not only did the widening gap between the rich and the rest of Americans conflict with traditional notions of democracy, but it also went right to the pocketbook sources of middle-class discontent.

In 1992, one might conclude, the nation chose to reverse the plutocratizing effects of neoliberalism. What we got was something else—a soft Reaganism that admitted, “the era of big government is over.” And that’s why, in the months and years to come, we will see Clinton loyalists do all they can to delete that New Gilded Age from memory even as they rail against the current New Gilded Age. Were we to judge Bill Clinton by the standards of 1992, his presidency was something of a failure, eight years of deregulation and New Economy platitudes. If we judge him by the rich rewards that his booming stock market showered on the wealthy, however, his term in the White House was a towering success.

The original Gilded Age ended when Democrats and Republicans came together around the old populist program of financial regulation, antitrust enforcement, income tax, and legitimacy for organized labor. This time around there is no end in sight, because Republicans and Democrats have come together on a program that is almost the opposite
—dismantling the regulatory state at the behest of the One Percent while assuring an ever angrier public that they feel our pain, that they’re Putting People First, that they’d be great to have a beer with, that Yes We Can. The heart sickens at the thought of these many long years of fake populism, and the stomach turns to imagine how little time there is before we are swept up in it all over again.


We need Democrats to be Democrats once elected, otherwise, what is the point of having 2 parties? Lets just call it what it is, one big corporate party with different colored jerseys.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 08:21 PM

4. You'll get no argument from me on the content of your post

However, it still doesn't refute my point that a Rethug POTUS (especially with a Rethug legislature) would likely inflict a lot more damage than the likes of HC.

Don't get me wrong. IMO our most important political objective is to remake the Democratic Party into a political entity that actually represents the interests of the 99%. I will never vote for HC in a Democratic primary and I would seriously consider voting third party -- if I can be convinced it would lead to better results, not worse.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 08:55 PM

5. Yeah, I hear you Martin E.

When/if the dreaded time comes & I have to chose between a Republican & a fake Democrat, again, who knows. I'm just getting really tired of having the choice between someone for the 1% or someone who at least has to pretend to be for the 99%.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 09:32 PM

6. Tonight, on 60 Minutes...

McConnell and Boehner were interviewed together after State of the Union.

Scott Pelley: Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent, gasoline prices are down, the stock markets are up. The economy grew by five percent in the third quarter. That's the fastest rate in more than a decade. You don't congratulate the president for that?

Mitch McConnell: Look, things are getting better. But the point is who is benefiting from this? This has been a top of the income recovery-- the so-called one percent that the president's always talking about have done quite well. But middle and lower income Americans are about $3,000 a year worse off than they were when he came to office.

Scott Pelley: Is income inequality a problem in this country? Is it a problem that Republicans want to address?

John Boehner: It is. And frankly the president's policies have made income inequality worse. All the regulations that are coming out of Washington make it more difficult for employers to hire more people, chief amongst those, I would argue is Obamacare-- which basically puts a penalty or a tax on employers for every new job they create.

Now, they know a populist message when they see one!

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 10:11 PM

7. That makes me want to puke.

I guess this article was right~

Republicans follow Obama’s lead on inequality after the State of the Union

Which was really Warren's lead~
Why Republicans Should Take a Cue from Elizabeth Warren in 2016

The public doesn't trust their elected leaders for a reason, they must really think we're all pretty dense.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 11:30 PM

8. I know, right?

We want a popular progressive populist message, and now the Republicans are stealing our message!

What's that Chinese curse - "May you live in interesting times"?

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 26, 2015, 02:29 PM

9. Good article and another reason why Hillary's nomination would be a disaster for the working class.

She's been so silent on so many issues right now. Makes you wonder, since others, like Bernie and Warren are outspoken about issues that concern the working class, if they're trying to figure out how she can SOUND populist enough to fool enough voters to accept her but realize the people are no longer just listening to WORDS, they've been there already, they are looking at background and records, voting records. And at who is funding who.

It must be hard, knowing the old tactics won't work anymore. The results of the disastrous effects of deregulation are already known AND felt now by millions of Americans.

What, eg, has she had to say about the TPP? I know what Bernie and Warren think about it, but have no idea where Hillary stands.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Sun Jan 25, 2015, 06:04 PM

2. Kicked

and recommended!

I won't do Facebook.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Tue Feb 17, 2015, 08:04 AM

10. fyi, Pitchforks Ag Plutocracy has just started "Progressive Hammer" campaign

This article explains it

Here's the facebook page posted 15 hours ago~

Seems like its in line with readyforsomeoneelse. Great minds.

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