The Future of the Democratic Party

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BostonBeaneater
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:11pm
BostonBeaneater wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:09pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 2:29pm
I have no idea how to quantify it, and 2016 seemed to escape quantification. I do know that most of the Bernie supporters I know aren't voting for Biden in November, but I have no idea how statistically significant that is.
Biden is an uninspired choice but for Bernie supporters to boycott or protest vote in this election really seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I unfortunately think this will happen and will help shore up another 4 (or more) years of Trump. I understand being principled to a degree but a boycott will likely eliminate any chance in hell that Socialist ever get anything they want.
I don't think it's about principled abstention, actually. It's more about demonstrating that not appealing to the left means that you do not gain their votes. That would at least give the Dems some incentive to move left.
My concern with this tactic is that another term of Trump would give the GOP the opportunity to cripple voting rights and civil rights to the degree that we would be looking at one party rule for the rest of our lifetimes.

This all said, I think Bernie would have had a better shot at beating Trump.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

Post by eumaas »

BostonBeaneater wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:18pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:11pm
BostonBeaneater wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:09pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 2:29pm
I have no idea how to quantify it, and 2016 seemed to escape quantification. I do know that most of the Bernie supporters I know aren't voting for Biden in November, but I have no idea how statistically significant that is.
Biden is an uninspired choice but for Bernie supporters to boycott or protest vote in this election really seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I unfortunately think this will happen and will help shore up another 4 (or more) years of Trump. I understand being principled to a degree but a boycott will likely eliminate any chance in hell that Socialist ever get anything they want.
I don't think it's about principled abstention, actually. It's more about demonstrating that not appealing to the left means that you do not gain their votes. That would at least give the Dems some incentive to move left.
My concern with this tactic is that another term of Trump would give the GOP the opportunity to cripple voting rights and civil rights to the degree that we would be looking at one party rule for the rest of our lifetimes.

This all said, I think Bernie would have had a better shot at beating Trump.
In a fair election, or one that goes off the popular vote, definitely. But it's important to remember that there is a class dictatorship behind the democracy and a socialist, even as mild as Bernie, probably never had a chance to begin with. I mean they just ousted Morales for winning a free election, why not try it at home?

The Republicans are a highly effective political party who know how to win elections, whether outright or by rigging. The Democrats are more like a money-making institution for think tank people.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:08pm
I actually do think the presidency is very important for moving the party to the left because it sets the agenda for who the party backs in the other races, and that has a lot to do with where the money is going to go. Since getting involved in electoral politics I've seen how the money machine backs establishment candidates and drowns out left alternatives in the primaries. I mean Cal Cunningham just won the primary here and I don't think it's a coincidence he's flooded with money. I wouldn't be surprised if the small crop of lefties in the Dems end up getting ousted.
And yet, the crazies took over the Republican Party starting in the 1970s not by seizing the presidency right away, but building up. Again, none of this is to say it's easy—clearly the left has lost far more than it's won in America—but looking at things with a narrow lens is beneficial.
I see no reason to think Biden can be pulled left especially given he's reiterated his opposition to M4A even in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. If there was ever a social event that could push a candidate left on healthcare, it's the pandemic, and yet he won't budge. I also have my doubts that he would even pick Warren for running mate as a concession to the progressives. As far as the Supreme Court, he does not have a good record there either and has made noises about reaching across the aisle since the start of his campaign. I think the people who aren't going to vote (at least for president) in November don't see enough chance of long-term gains with Biden. None of them are confident that he would actually appoint a liberal justice for example. His messaging on policy probably doesn't help anybody having qualms. He also told young people that he had absolutely no empathy for them and their plight and has told people that disagree with him from the left not to vote for him or even to vote for Trump. It doesn't seem like he is interested in young people's vote.

Of course I could be wrong about all of this. Always worth having humility about one's judgment.
And that's all I suggest. Certainly that Biden will lose or that he'll be an absolute disaster is as dubious as saying he's easily going to win and launch a progressive agenda. Few in 1932 would have believed FDR would initiate a welfare state. Hardly anyone would have thought LBJ's landslide in 1964 was actually the last gasp of active welfare state policies. Events are greater than individuals, and our certainty about individuals is often confounded by unforeseen events. Under normal circumstances, Biden is as terrible a candidate as the Democrats could ever put up, but it's safe to say that the future is exceedingly cloudy, so I can't rule out how he'd respond to future crises, especially if polling suggests strong public favour for more progressive policies.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:28pm
And yet, the crazies took over the Republican Party starting in the 1970s not by seizing the presidency right away, but building up. Again, none of this is to say it's easy—clearly the left has lost far more than it's won in America—but looking at things with a narrow lens is beneficial.
But the Republicans have the advantage of not challenging class rule. That's already on a much better footing than any left movement could ever be. The wacko right still promise to protect the bourgeoisie.
And that's all I suggest. Certainly that Biden will lose or that he'll be an absolute disaster is as dubious as saying he's easily going to win and launch a progressive agenda. Few in 1932 would have believed FDR would initiate a welfare state. Hardly anyone would have thought LBJ's landslide in 1964 was actually the last gasp of active welfare state policies. Events are greater than individuals, and our certainty about individuals is often confounded by unforeseen events. Under normal circumstances, Biden is as terrible a candidate as the Democrats could ever put up, but it's safe to say that the future is exceedingly cloudy, so I can't rule out how he'd respond to future crises, especially if polling suggests strong public favour for more progressive policies.
Again, I just point out that we are in a crisis that one would have every reason to think would push Biden left, but it isn't having that effect at all. It's fine to have some humility about one's judgment, sure, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't say what you think. My assessment is there is little to make me think that he would move left, especially given how triumphal his team has been since he started beating Bernie in the primaries.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:10pm
Local stuff may be easier in some places but here in Orange County the real estate developers and landlords who run the local Dems have a hard lock on the offices and real progressives/socialists have found it impossible to make much headway, especially on affordable housing, which is the chief problem in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Never underestimate the enemy's power!
Yeah, there are definitely particularities in each town/county/region/etc. that need to be taken into account. The beauty of returning to a more local focus is people can sort that out for themselves and for their area.

Speaking only for my own region, It was municipal election day for a lot of Colorado yesterday and it pained me how many local elections were outright canceled because of lack of candidates. I kinda wish some more energy had gone into a few of those than the Sanders campaign, tbqh. Some of those towns would have been tough fights, but some would not have been. Maybe I'm wrong and none of it would have mattered, but it seems to me like there was some power there for the taking if someone was interested.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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We also have the example of Obama to suggest that Democrats will not only accept the grievous policies of their predecessors but build on them. It's important to remember that Obama put children in cages, prosecuted more whistleblowers than any prior president, extended the war on terror, caused the immense disaster in Libya, and deported more immigrants than any prior president.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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Several of my Never Biden friends are POC and women and one is a Muslim woman of color even so it doesn't seem to be comfort and privilege under Trump driving the abstention either.
I feel that there is a fascistic element, for example, in the Rolling Stones . . .
— Morton Feldman

I've studied the phenomenon of neo-provincialism in self-isolating online communities but this place takes the fucking cake.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

Post by JennyB »

BostonBeaneater wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:09pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 2:29pm
I have no idea how to quantify it, and 2016 seemed to escape quantification. I do know that most of the Bernie supporters I know aren't voting for Biden in November, but I have no idea how statistically significant that is.
Biden is an uninspired choice but for Bernie supporters to boycott or protest vote in this election really seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. I unfortunately think this will happen and will help shore up another 4 (or more) years of Trump. I understand being principled to a degree but a boycott will likely eliminate any chance in hell that Socialist ever get anything they want.
I agree with this. Biden isn't even close to the top of my first choice, but there is too much at stake with SCOTUS. I will work on behalf of more progressive candidates down ballot, but I will also hold my nose and vote for Biden. I hope he picks Abrams as his running mate. I also don't think there is the seething hatred of Biden like there was with Clinton in 2016. I still think he has a chance.

And as much as the far left will not like hearing this, there is a huge antisemitism problem (this doesn't dismiss antisemitism on the right, but I am not on the right). I see it every day on Twitter. It's insidious and it's evil. And it's driving people like me, someone who has dedicated her life to progressive causes, away.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

Post by Dr. Medulla »

eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 3:33pm
Again, I just point out that we are in a crisis that one would have every reason to think would push Biden left, but it isn't having that effect at all. It's fine to have some humility about one's judgment, sure, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't say what you think. My assessment is there is little to make me think that he would move left, especially given how triumphal his team has been since he started beating Bernie in the primaries.
I'm saying that there's a difference between being a candidate in a crisis and governing in a crisis. Neither Lincoln nor FDR, notably, governed in ways that their candidacies would suggest. And, again, I'm not saying that that is predictive, only worth considering when making predictions.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 4:52pm
And as much as the far left will not like hearing this, there is a huge antisemitism problem (this doesn't dismiss antisemitism on the right, but I am not on the right). I see it every day on Twitter. It's insidious and it's evil. And it's driving people like me, someone who has dedicated her life to progressive causes, away.
You've said this before with respect to Bernie's campaign. Could you provide some examples of what you mean?
I feel that there is a fascistic element, for example, in the Rolling Stones . . .
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

Post by JennyB »

eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:08pm
JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 4:52pm
And as much as the far left will not like hearing this, there is a huge antisemitism problem (this doesn't dismiss antisemitism on the right, but I am not on the right). I see it every day on Twitter. It's insidious and it's evil. And it's driving people like me, someone who has dedicated her life to progressive causes, away.
You've said this before with respect to Bernie's campaign. Could you provide some examples of what you mean?
John Cusack's posts (that he doubled down on and issued a tepid "apology" for). If you recall, he tweeted an image with a quote from white nationalist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. The tweet suggested Jews were in control and were not allowed to be criticized. This is one example. The Dyke March. Purity tests of whether one is a good Jew (renouncing Israel) or bad Jew (those of us who believe in its right to exist) - I have witnessed this personally in my work. There are other examples that can be easily googled. Then, like in the UK, we are told by non-Jews that this isn't antisemitism. We are being gaslit because of course, I can't be antisemitic, I support the Jewish guy (which is no different from antisemitic Trump supporters who say he can't be an antisemite because Ivanka is Jewish). The tokenizing of the tiny percentage of anti-Israel Jews who use their platform to bash the rest of us. I criticize the Israeli government constantly, but I still don't pass the purity test. And I didn't even mean to get into a whole Israel thing.

I think your post also illustrates this (I am not calling you an antisemite) - you seem not to take me for my word. I feel like sometimes that we are the only group who isn't allowed to decide when people are working against them. I really wanted someone like Bernie (though not necessarily him - we don't need another old white man). I don't have any agenda to discredit the left. I want to *be* the left. I just don't feel welcome in these spaces.

Again, I am in no way trying to minimize the antisemitism on the right. I know it is much worse. But we expect that from the right. They have always been antisemitic. This is all new for me.
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:27pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:08pm
JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 4:52pm
And as much as the far left will not like hearing this, there is a huge antisemitism problem (this doesn't dismiss antisemitism on the right, but I am not on the right). I see it every day on Twitter. It's insidious and it's evil. And it's driving people like me, someone who has dedicated her life to progressive causes, away.
You've said this before with respect to Bernie's campaign. Could you provide some examples of what you mean?
John Cusack's posts (that he doubled down on and issued a tepid "apology" for). If you recall, he tweeted an image with a quote from white nationalist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. The tweet suggested Jews were in control and were not allowed to be criticized. This is one example. The Dyke March. Purity tests of whether one is a good Jew (renouncing Israel) or bad Jew (those of us who believe in its right to exist) - I have witnessed this personally in my work. There are other examples that can be easily googled. Then, like in the UK, we are told by non-Jews that this isn't antisemitism. We are being gaslit because of course, I can't be antisemitic, I support the Jewish guy (which is no different from antisemitic Trump supporters who say he can't be an antisemite because Ivanka is Jewish). The tokenizing of the tiny percentage of anti-Israel Jews who use their platform to bash the rest of us. I criticize the Israeli government constantly, but I still don't pass the purity test. And I didn't even mean to get into a whole Israel thing.

I think your post also illustrates this (I am not calling you an antisemite) - you seem not to take me for my word. I feel like sometimes that we are the only group who isn't allowed to decide when people are working against them. I really wanted someone like Bernie (though not necessarily him - we don't need another old white man). I don't have any agenda to discredit the left. I want to *be* the left. I just don't feel welcome in these spaces.

Again, I am in no way trying to minimize the antisemitism on the right. I know it is much worse. But we expect that from the right. They have always been antisemitic. This is all new for me.
Wasn't about not taking you at your word, just wanted some examples because I hadn't seen anything personally.

I don't follow John Cusack on social media and I was unaware of that post. I also had no idea he was involved in the Bernie campaign. See, that's why an example is useful. Now I know Cusack is anti-semitic.

I'm sorry that asking for clarification and examples crosses some kind of line. :huh:
I feel that there is a fascistic element, for example, in the Rolling Stones . . .
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

Post by JennyB »

eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:39pm
JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:27pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:08pm
JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 4:52pm
And as much as the far left will not like hearing this, there is a huge antisemitism problem (this doesn't dismiss antisemitism on the right, but I am not on the right). I see it every day on Twitter. It's insidious and it's evil. And it's driving people like me, someone who has dedicated her life to progressive causes, away.
You've said this before with respect to Bernie's campaign. Could you provide some examples of what you mean?
John Cusack's posts (that he doubled down on and issued a tepid "apology" for). If you recall, he tweeted an image with a quote from white nationalist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. The tweet suggested Jews were in control and were not allowed to be criticized. This is one example. The Dyke March. Purity tests of whether one is a good Jew (renouncing Israel) or bad Jew (those of us who believe in its right to exist) - I have witnessed this personally in my work. There are other examples that can be easily googled. Then, like in the UK, we are told by non-Jews that this isn't antisemitism. We are being gaslit because of course, I can't be antisemitic, I support the Jewish guy (which is no different from antisemitic Trump supporters who say he can't be an antisemite because Ivanka is Jewish). The tokenizing of the tiny percentage of anti-Israel Jews who use their platform to bash the rest of us. I criticize the Israeli government constantly, but I still don't pass the purity test. And I didn't even mean to get into a whole Israel thing.

I think your post also illustrates this (I am not calling you an antisemite) - you seem not to take me for my word. I feel like sometimes that we are the only group who isn't allowed to decide when people are working against them. I really wanted someone like Bernie (though not necessarily him - we don't need another old white man). I don't have any agenda to discredit the left. I want to *be* the left. I just don't feel welcome in these spaces.

Again, I am in no way trying to minimize the antisemitism on the right. I know it is much worse. But we expect that from the right. They have always been antisemitic. This is all new for me.
Wasn't about not taking you at your word, just wanted some examples because I hadn't seen anything personally.

I don't follow John Cusack on social media and I was unaware of that post. I also had no idea he was involved in the Bernie campaign. See, that's why an example is useful. Now I know Cusack is anti-semitic.

I'm sorry that asking for clarification and examples crosses some kind of line. :huh:
Not your fault - My hackles have been so raised lately that I see everything as an attack, and I didn't mean it that way. Also, it's hard to convey over writing. You're all good. :mrgreen:
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

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How much of the constellation of anti-Semitism, I wonder, would reverse itself if Israel elected a left-of-centre government? That is, would right-wing evangelicals withdraw their nominal tolerance and would those on the left shelve their ugly rhetoric? Which is to say, how much of current anti-Semitism is informed by political convenience rather than something more ingrained?
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Re: The Future of the Democratic Party

Post by eumaas »

JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:42pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:39pm
JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:27pm
eumaas wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 5:08pm
JennyB wrote:
08 Apr 2020, 4:52pm
And as much as the far left will not like hearing this, there is a huge antisemitism problem (this doesn't dismiss antisemitism on the right, but I am not on the right). I see it every day on Twitter. It's insidious and it's evil. And it's driving people like me, someone who has dedicated her life to progressive causes, away.
You've said this before with respect to Bernie's campaign. Could you provide some examples of what you mean?
John Cusack's posts (that he doubled down on and issued a tepid "apology" for). If you recall, he tweeted an image with a quote from white nationalist and neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom. The tweet suggested Jews were in control and were not allowed to be criticized. This is one example. The Dyke March. Purity tests of whether one is a good Jew (renouncing Israel) or bad Jew (those of us who believe in its right to exist) - I have witnessed this personally in my work. There are other examples that can be easily googled. Then, like in the UK, we are told by non-Jews that this isn't antisemitism. We are being gaslit because of course, I can't be antisemitic, I support the Jewish guy (which is no different from antisemitic Trump supporters who say he can't be an antisemite because Ivanka is Jewish). The tokenizing of the tiny percentage of anti-Israel Jews who use their platform to bash the rest of us. I criticize the Israeli government constantly, but I still don't pass the purity test. And I didn't even mean to get into a whole Israel thing.

I think your post also illustrates this (I am not calling you an antisemite) - you seem not to take me for my word. I feel like sometimes that we are the only group who isn't allowed to decide when people are working against them. I really wanted someone like Bernie (though not necessarily him - we don't need another old white man). I don't have any agenda to discredit the left. I want to *be* the left. I just don't feel welcome in these spaces.

Again, I am in no way trying to minimize the antisemitism on the right. I know it is much worse. But we expect that from the right. They have always been antisemitic. This is all new for me.
Wasn't about not taking you at your word, just wanted some examples because I hadn't seen anything personally.

I don't follow John Cusack on social media and I was unaware of that post. I also had no idea he was involved in the Bernie campaign. See, that's why an example is useful. Now I know Cusack is anti-semitic.

I'm sorry that asking for clarification and examples crosses some kind of line. :huh:
Not your fault - My hackles have been so raised lately that I see everything as an attack, and I didn't mean it that way. Also, it's hard to convey over writing. You're all good. :mrgreen:
Yeah, I was genuinely asking.

I mostly see Israel popping up in postcolonial/decolonization discourse on the left. I have seen people on the left step over the line in criticism of Israel before (this more like ten years ago tho), like suggesting total decolonization, which like any policy focused on big population transfers seems pretty bad to me. There are many generations of Israelis who have grown up there--just as completely decolonizing the US would be pretty impractical and horrendous, though I think the US could stand to give back a lot of land to Native Americans. The tininess of Israel doesn't compare well to decolonization proposals for the US and Canada.

There's also this anti-semitic trope that Zionist Jews control the US and are the reason for American policy towards Israel, which gets it rather reversed in my opinion--Israel is dependent on the US to some degree and ends up having to accommodate American policy, not the other way around.

For Israel the two-state solution seems dead in the water given the settlements. I would guess scaling back the ethnonationalism put in place by Likud and the ultraright would be the start to an equitable path forward.

I do agree with defenders of Israel who point out that the surrounding Arab states have done little for Palestinians, although I don't think that absolves Israel of human rights abuses either. But it's pretty awful when rich Salafist states complain about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians while doing little to help them materially.

Neil, re: the prospect of a leftier government in Israel, I am not really optimistic. Israel seems to follow the overall global trend towards the far right. From reading Israeli media in English, which admittedly makes my access limited, there seems to be a real siege culture over there right now. I would love to see a peaceful path forward for the Israelis and Palestinians under leftist governance but that seems like a pipe dream.

Anyway none of this has to do with the Democratic Party anymore. Thread drift!
I feel that there is a fascistic element, for example, in the Rolling Stones . . .
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I've studied the phenomenon of neo-provincialism in self-isolating online communities but this place takes the fucking cake.
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