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Gender: Male
Member since: Wed Jan 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
Number of posts: 5,477

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Let's spell out the difference between Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, etc on the one hand...

...and Sarah Palin, Ben Carson, etc. on the other.

Or not, because I don't think I need to spell that out to this site.

When it comes to "Identity Politics" or "tokenism", Republicans have us beat by a long shot. And let's not forget, of course, the basically explicit Angry White Male Identity Politics of Donald Trump and his die-hard supporters.

So: am I supposed to believe that more men and women, whites and PoC with low-wage, nonunion jobs...

...many if not most of them part-time, which forces them to work even longer hours and take multiple jobs - is some sign of "economic recovery" or "social progress?"

Furthermore, am I supposed to believe that more women and men, whites and persons of color going into tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt so that they can get college and post-college educations and then spend decades paying those loans off is a sign of "progress?" Am I supposed to believe that working class women - especially many single mothers - taking shitty jobs because their husbands or boyfriends have been all but driven out of the workforce by deindustrialization (which has been a huge source of genuine humiliation for what these men have traditionally prided themselves on having - strong work ethic, productivity, and being apple to support a family, or in other words, what they were taught all their lives were the signs of a MAN) is a sign of "progress?"

Help me out here, Sanders Group, because I'm confused. Maybe you are too.

Remember when Bush "looked into Putin's soul and saw a good man?"

Yeah, I think Trump is still there while the rest of us have long since wised up.

Re: Russia: it's absolutely critical that we are as careful and accurate about Putin as possible.

Any exaggerated, overly simplistic, distorted, misleading, and most importantly, just flat-out false claims about Putin and other centers of power within Russia are not merely bad for getting more people to take their threat to America and the world seriously.

Worse, getting it wrong empowers Putin and his allies in Russia and elsewhere and puts dissidents within those countries in even MORE danger than they already are facing.

Again, this is extremely important for us to remember - all of us, myself included.

Republicans sure love ignorant celebrity Presidents who are painfully out of touch with reality.

In other words, titular celebrity monarchs who think that being President of the United States is simply playing leading man for eight years in the most popular show on Earth.

One of THE central issues in our health care system is the fact that it's a consumer product.

Rather than a public good.

Health care is essential for all of us, whether or not all of us realize that truth. But since so much of our health care system is privatized and for-profit, those in control of this necessity that is in practice, a consumer product - insurers, providers, pharmaceutical companies -
can charge our country's aging, increasingly unhealthy population whatever they want. Because if given the choice between financial bankruptcy and not dying (or saving the lives of family members), what do you think most people will choose?

Of course, there's always the "go to the emergency room without insurance" option. Yeah, that never cost anyone anything And neither does financial bankruptcy or higher premiums for people who can at the very least, afford some form of health insurance.

It'd be like if drinking water were mostly privatized - shh, let's not give them any ideas. Too late?

Rebuilding, strengthening, expanding, and disciplining the grassroots: how do we move forward?

Important disclaimer: No, my intention is NOT to bash President Obama or any other Democrat in this post. But I honestly do think mistakes were made that had critical negative consequences in regard to maintaining and growing the energy within and around Barack Obama's successful 2008 campaign for President (and to a lesser extent, his 2012 re-election campaign) and that this is more relevant than ever now under the Trump Presidency, Republican control of Congress and a strong majority of state legislatures, and an increasingly reactionary right-wing Supreme Court (and many lower courts for that matter).

For some recent historical context, a couple of excerpts from the in-depth, New Republic article by Micah L. Sifry, "Obama's Lost Army" (February 9, 2017)

Obama’s army was eager to be put to work. Of the 550,000 people who responded to the survey, 86 percent said they wanted to help Obama pass legislation through grassroots support; 68 percent wanted to help elect state and local candidates who shared his vision. Most impressive of all, more than 50,000 said they personally wanted to run for elected office.

But they never got that chance. In late December, Plouffe and a small group of senior staffers finally made the call, which was endorsed by Obama. The entire campaign machine, renamed Organizing for America, would be folded into the DNC, where it would operate as a fully controlled subsidiary of the Democratic Party. Plouffe stayed on as senior adviser, and put trusted field organizers . Most impressive of all, more than 50,000 said they personally wanted to run for elected office.

“Killing OFA reduced the possibility of competing for the hearts, minds, and votes of the Tea Party disaffected,” says Lester Spence, associate professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. It also “killed the one entity possible for institutionalizing the raw energy created by the Obama campaign in 2008.”

Edley, for his part, still can’t get over the opportunity that was lost. He admits that he probably alienated Obama’s top campaign brass with his earlier intervention, but he doesn’t think that’s why his idea for Movement 2.0 died. Mostly, he believes, it was an issue of control. “Our proposal would have required that members of the political team who had just won the nomination be willing to cede control of the grassroots movement and turn it more in the direction of policy advocacy and progressive advocacy,” he says.


How do we move forward? Because it's one thing to have a lot of popular "resistance" movements to Trump and the empowered reactionary Right - which don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing that we do have and that I by no means desire to undermine them. It's another thing to coordinate all of these movements, organize and unite them together, and empower millions of ordinary people within their own communities to get off their rear ends and take ownership of and responsibility for their futures, and that of their children and grandchildren. Unity of message, purpose, and values are key; in terms of practical politics and organizing, a decentralized, multifaceted, yet at the same time, well-connected and coordinated grassroots is important.

We are the Democratic Party and the liberals, progressives, and yes, leftists, damn it. WE should be the ones who are the most organized, most active, most coordinated, and most cooperative at the local, grassroots level - the level of the so-called "little people", those who have the most to lose if the existing forces of power and privilege in our world get their way, and the most to gain from again, empowering the underdogs of society. Yet as things stand...I hate to say it, but the political RIGHT is better at this shit than we are. WTF?!

This isn't meant to be discouraging, by the way; on the contrary, this is meant to be a necessary challenge, a helpful kick in the ass to all of us to redouble our efforts to stand up to the bullies and the bigots and the smug right-wing assholes and the reactionary shitheads who currently have so much power that it makes me physically sick to even think about it. We need to do better; but the optimist in me believes that yes, we CAN! ( ).

Any feedback welcome. Thanks in advance.

She's been the Democratic House leader for what, 14 years? What does she offer that others wouldn't?

Christ, at this rate the Democratic leadership will be passing on power to the next generation slower than the Soviet Politburo between the mid-60s and mid-80s. And what do we have to show for it, besides President Donald Trump and complete decimation of the Democratic Party at every other level of government?

One-party rule is usually bad. But it's made much worse when the ruling party is fucking deranged.

This observation is in no way relevant to anything happening today in the United States of America, of course. I mean that. Trust me. Trust...

Re: the view that race-based affirmative action mostly benefits wealthy students of color...

I've actually read that race-based affirmative action on an individual level helps students of color from poorer backgrounds MORE than it helps more affluent ones both because of the escalating financial cost of going to college in recent years as well as the fact that solidly middle-class/upper-middle class or above students of all racial backgrounds ALREADY have a significant advantage over working class and poor students in terms of having better educated parents and being far more likely to live in (comparatively, at the very least) financially households with two parents present who are married and have higher incomes and at least some measure of job security, as well as being more likely to live in neighborhoods with less crime, concentrated poverty, and low-performing public schools. All of this "cultural capital" absolutely matters in respect to young people's educational, economic, and overall life prospects.

That being said, it's plausible that students of color from more affluent and higher-status family backgrounds will as a group disproportionately benefit from race-based affirmative action, but as I indicated above I suspect that this has less to do with race-based affirmative action in and of itself than the broader fact that higher-status students of ALL racial and ethnic backgrounds are a lot more likely to both go to college in the first place as well as graduate from college, period. Doesn't necessarily seem like the best argument against this policy, IMHO.

What are your thoughts on this admittedly quite controversial topic?
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