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Gender: Male
Current location: northern California
Member since: Fri Jan 26, 2007, 08:20 PM
Number of posts: 4,775

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Right, they will attack her for being duplicitous

and having no core, as the OP does, but not for using her "flexible" campaign positions as disingenuous marketing tools to get her quite solid corporatist core elected, because they're part of the same core and do the same thing but feigning the other side of the carefully filtered campaign issues.

And it's good to notice how the corporatist intersection of the two parties is precisely where the approved punditry always suggests the serious politicians will unite to "get things done".

We don't want, or need, those things done. Their whole game is to narrow down that intersection to corporate interests so that's all that can be accomplished with bipartisanship (TPP, Heritage/Romney/Obamacare, entitlement "reform", austerity programs for the 99% liquidity programs for the "job creators", military adventurism to guarantee corporate access to global resources, etc etc).

Bernie's aware of this. To some extent he is part of the same old game, but to a smaller extent than any other serious candidate in recent memory. He will seek out common ground and ways to get things done outside of that corporatist intersection between the parties. Increasingly, there is oppportunity on the right wing (citizens more than politicians, but that's where it starts) to be receptive to such, and Bernie is exactly the right person to lead this.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Oct 9, 2015, 05:43 PM (1 replies)

Well done Bernie

I had been disappointed the previous night with how Chris Hayes had led Bernie into the soft-on-guns frame, but got no such impression from this interview, and Bernie seemed much more prepared to discuss the issue.

Personally I like his stance on guns. I am somewhat conflicted on the issue. I despise guns personally, but lean towards giving individuals as much personal freedom as reasonably possible rather than controlling everyone's behavior. Background checks and closing loopholes seem like good places we should be able to reach agreement and pass legislation, also banning assault weapons and limiting the quantity of guns or ammo seems reasonable.

My overall take on the issue is that many of these killers are people who need more love and support in their lives, they are often isolated and don't fit in. Our society has become far more socialized than it used to be, and it's harder on the outliers. We've done nothing on the positive engagement side of reaching out to such people before they become violent, instead we wait until they show signs of acting on their inner frustrations, then we reach out in largely humiliating and punitive ways to remove the blight on our society, when many of these people could have been helped at an earlier stage if we bothered to care about those who didn't really fit in.

Some of this involves mental illness, but a lot of it is just people who for whatever reason things didn't work out well for them. Most such people just live in quiet despair, but a certain percentage of them turn their despair outward in hate. In a society with so much joy and opportunity for a lot of people, there is far too much despair for a significant number of people, far too little compassion for their fate, and virtually no positive outreach to such people.

I see a gun grab as mostly another brick in the wall to such people, more likely to escalate than to prevent mass killings. Let's work on demilitarizing our culture in general, legalize herb to help chill us out, frown upon rather than glorify conquest and warfare, and learn how to help each other a little more. A strong safety net would also help a lot, so people could feel like they'll be ok when times are hard. As things chill out and the culture changes, it will be easier to reduce the presence of guns in society.

Re TPP, Bernie has this issue well rehearsed and he's been consistent on it forever, it is from his heart and it aligns with the interests of workers, Bernie at his best, corporate Democrats and Republicans at their worst.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Wed Oct 7, 2015, 03:02 AM (0 replies)

Bernin' down the House!

Many many people are so disillusioned with the Republicans and the faux alterrnatives pushed by corporate-owned Democrats that they no longer feel like any of them are worth getting behind.

Bernie completely changes that.

If he can win the nomination, we can have authenticity and people-power behind our party once again, which will lead to many of the "ex-pat" independents coming to the Democratic side, where any reasonable person belongs if we can just get control of our party back from the third way types.

Good God, we're up against Republicans, who in no way repreent the interests of anyone other than the very very rich, and we struggle to defeat them running third-way corporatist Democrats.

Most people don't feel the Democrats are much better, you know, "they're all crooks". Change that, and you change everything. Bernie changes that, Hillary doesn't.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Thu Oct 1, 2015, 07:55 PM (2 replies)

We certainly get that

I've posted about it myself a few times. It's not about Bernie at all, much as I love Bernie, it's about reclaiming our country from the large corporate interests. The large corporations can serve the public interest, or at least not subvert it, if we can get control back, reregulate them, and revoke their charters if they won't work to benefit the greater good.

I don't see it happening in 2016, I just don't think we'll have other candidates in position to run on a Bernie-like platform. If he can win election, or even just the nomination, he can prove the viability of throwing off the corporate shackles, and that the people will get behind those who do. Ideally his coattails would drag a lot of like-minded candidates to office, but the party is too entrenched at this time, there isn't a candidate pool ready to jump in that breaks away so cleanly from our recent history.

So for the first two years, he'll need to do what he can, put the right policy positions out there, get a few choice pieces enacted when possible, and fight like hell to make sure the public knows who is blocking the rest of them and why. I have complete confidence that Bernie is the right man for that, he's been doing it his whole career.

When the policy direction is well established in the public consciousness, momentum will shift, he'll have a lot of support from the people and a lot of anger will be directed at obstructive incumbents. That will enable the wave to start. My hope is we'd get it going for the 2018 midterms. We'll need new candidates (or genuinely reformed old ones) who don't accept the constant dialing-for-dollars and corporate lobbyist model of governing.

It's a heavy lift for sure, but it's what needs to happen. Defeating big money is the key, and our only weapon against that is massive citizen participation, which we're seeing already with Bernie's large activist base.

The people of this country, many of them anyway, DO care, they just lack non-cynical leadership to mobilize their participation. I have no idea if we can pull this off, probably not, I have seen too many good things die because they weren't what the monied interests wanted, but it's really our best and only chance, and if enough of us get on board it can actually happen.

I know that makes me a naive fool in the eyes of many, but sometimes though the truth really is simple and all it takes is enough people to let go of their cynicism and lend a hand. Climate change is the radicalizing catalyst, change HAS to happen, major change, and we won't get there by electing corporate-backed lessor of two evil third way types. I think it's bigger than the Democratic Party, the coming collapse is motivating people to get it right before it's too late.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Sep 25, 2015, 05:06 PM (0 replies)

Suggested reading, better to know than not IMO

Wow, just wow. Anyone who thinks we all just want the same things but support different means of getting there needs to check it out.

From what I can tell, they truly hate the progressive left, not just Bernie or his supporters. It's third way all the way, with healthy portions of identity politics thrown in for leftish flavoring. Systemic reform so things work better for everyone? Off the table as always.

I was quite surprised how personally viscious their posts were about some excellent Bernie supporters. In their own echo chamber, their true nature reveals itself, very very ugly.

The fact that they use their DU handles tells me they speak with the consent of DU's admins, or at least they have no worries about them. If I were DU, I wouldn't want their DU handles associated with those kind of personal attacks, it reflects poorly on DU. It also reflects poorly on Hillary, I imagine at least some of them are associated with her campaign and its money.

What greatly saddens me, though, is that Bernie's campaign is truly focused on the right issues, and is doing it the right way, without all of the corporate money. It's the ideal that I always assumed our party stood for, though it obviously falls well short of that with its candidates and results. I can see arguing that it is hard to win that way, without the large funding and without representing the interests of the powerful, but I can't see arguing that it is wrong-hearted or wrong on the issues, as many of those posters seem to think. The world they want and the world I want seem to have little in common.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Sep 25, 2015, 04:14 AM (2 replies)

Thanks, it is easy give in to cynicism

I'm as cynical as anyone, doesn't mean there is no value in fighting to make things better though. Many of the gains from fighting for the right thing are at first unseen, and bear fruit later.

I hate to think of the things Hillary would accomplish with congress, the issues they could agree on are not ones I would want to see enacted, they would be the ones their donors want, IMO.

Did you watch the clip in the OP? Chris goes over examples re how Bernie actually knows how to work with opponents and get things done that still serve the interests of the people. His issues aren't driven by what his large corporate donors want, since he doesn't have any, and he manages to find ways to actually get amendments passed that help people (such as he got funding for community health clinics added the Obamacare as a condition of supporting the legislation).

Re your last paragraph, I think Bernie is just too polite to say that Obama used the grassroots to get elected, then abandoned them once in office, so instead Bernie says he would be different than Obama by staying connected to his mobilized electoral base to drive change. It will of course be difficult, in the first place to get Bernie elected, and in the second place to support him once elected. I doubt he has specific plans for that activism, but I don't doubt that he will use any tools at his disposal, one of the main ones of which is us, to push for change once he is in office.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Sep 11, 2015, 09:57 PM (1 replies)

Wow, that was hilarious

It's been very sad to me over the last few years to watch Chris growing more and more into an inside the beltway pundit (edit to add I used to find him capable of insightful analysis, with a razor-sharp eye for seeing what was wrong with something, now I see him more as a useful tool to provide a safe tokenized leftish viewpoint that gives undue credibility to the general media dreck without being allowed to challenge it). Then later in the interview (5:45 into it), Chris talks about the forces that act on him in exactly that direction. Chris says he discovered there are all kinds of institutional incentives that pull him as a journalist, basically away from his lefty roots.

This was a wonderful exchange between him and Bernie, and yet another example of how, when an honest candidate makes a run, it changes what gets talked about, and people look at other things, not directly related to that candidate, in different ways.

A feeling I often have about how much we lose when we just give in to centrist cynicism as "the best we can do", or "even if he gets elected, what can he accomplish with this congressional context". You can change a lot, just by showing up and being real about things, by fighting on the right side of issues, it really makes a difference. When giving in to centrist cynism, what happens is the other side (the corporate side or the RW side, depending on the context, and sometimes they are the same) gets validated when it should instead be ridiculed and fought on principle. Because, in so many ways, seen and unseen, it makes a difference.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Fri Sep 11, 2015, 06:44 PM (1 replies)

Well, the thing is, West's controversial remarks go right to the point of Bernie's campaign

I like how Bernie is so skilled at not insulting the corporate Democrats he caucuses with in the Senate, nor the ones he opposes in the POTUS primary. It's an excellent skill that serves Bernie, and the Democratic Party, well, even though the points of disagreement are substantial.

When West criticizes Obama, he does so without that well-honed political skill that Bernie has. So therein lies the risk. But when West criticizes Obama, or other people he (and I) views as corporate sell-outs, he truly has the nation's best interests at heart. West cares, a lot. He will call out what is wrong, and he'll do it without hedging. It's good that Bernie isn't that way, but it's also good, IMO, that he's brave enough to place correct ideology above political expediency.

Bernie's campaign is not about business as usual. If that's what you want, there are plenty of other candidates to support. We need a drastic change in this country, for a number of reasons, it is late and there is little time to correct our course. We need more change than electing one person to the presidency can bring. Which means we need to change the dominant political paradigm, the one that says you can get elected as a centrist candidate with corporate backers and just provide a more sane but fundamentally similar vision to the one a Republican would bring. We have to change the entire discussion of what needs to be done, and why. West is a voice for that. We won't get our course correction supporting lessor of two evils, we won't even avert disaster that way, it's the same path we've been on and it leads straight to oblivion, seriously, oblivion. Oh man I so wish it was not true, but that is really where things are at, it's extremely dire.

West gets it, as does Bernie.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Tue Sep 8, 2015, 10:25 AM (2 replies)

Good journaling of the crisis, almost nothing on what to do about it

Many of us know things are going to hell, without huge changes. It's why I will no longer support corporatists as the lessor of two evils.

His only remark about Sanders in this article (not that this is about Sanders, but electorally it is a choice we are faced with) is the following:

Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels “liberal” and “conservative” are meaningless in the neoliberal order.

He finishes the article with this:

Those of us who seek to create a world that has hope of viability have little time left. The neoliberal order, despoiling the Earth and enslaving the vulnerable, has to be eradicated. This will happen only when we place ourselves in direct opposition to it, when we are willing to engage in the acts of self-sacrifice and sustained revolt that allow us to obstruct and dismantle every aspect of neoliberal machinery. I believe we can do this through nonviolence. But I am not blind to the inevitable rise of counterviolence, caused by the myopia and greed of the neoliberal mandarins. Peace and harmony may not engulf the Earth if we succeed, but if we do not remove the ruling elites from power, if we do not overthrow the neoliberal order, and if we do not do it soon, we are doomed.

So nothing really, just overthrow the neoliberal order. I completely agree with that, by the way.

Our best chance, electorally, to make progress on this is to elect Sanders, not exactly the poster child of neoliberalism. Not a perfect vehicle, he has coexisted with our system for a long time, so some of it he has internalized, but by far the best realistic choice we have, and to some extent genuine vehicle for change.

We need a lot of others like Sanders or even more radicalized to win lower positions in government, I'm hoping the Bernie movement can begin that process, I don't think it's really about Bernie, and it would be a great step if the movement behind him is able to start cranking out candidates for other positions. The U.S. Green party has long shown itself incapable of effectively doing so, sadly, so maybe we need the umbrella of a major party to make it happen.

Apparently Hedges is advocating non-electoral revolution? I'm not sure that's his position but if so, that will go just great. I'm sure the large network of U.S. Marxists and anarchists have everything ready so they can roll out their new utopia when their uprising overthrows the U.S. government. Plug and play.

Seriously, what is his path forward? I agree with his diagnosis, and with the need to end neoliberalism, which as far as I understand it is basically about eliminating regulatory obstacles to corporate interests, to maximize profits in a system that doesn't subtract the externalized consequences of extraction and manufacturing from the corporate bottom line.

It is very dire. Hard to see a path to avoid the coming disasters. An awakening is happening, it is reactive though, and is behind the collapse curve when it needs to precede it.

There are groups like transition.us working to create viable small-scale local alternative systems, and I like (as does Bernie) expanding worker-owned businesses, though even there we need a mechanism that ties the greater interest of society (and more generally the greater interest of the biosphere) into the business model, not just the interest of the company's employees or stockholders.
Posted by dreamnightwind | Mon Aug 31, 2015, 10:12 AM (1 replies)
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