The Journey


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Why the Democrats Need to Rebuild The Party from the Ground Up

Why the Democrats Need to Rebuild The Party from the Ground Up

I had been a progressive democratic activist inside the Party for the last decade. I fled in disgust after Clinton chose Ken Salazar to to run her transition team. If the Party is to rebuild it will have to do it without my efforts at this time. It will need to demonstrate that those we put in power ten years ago can be defeated so that new leadership emerges.

When Howard Dean became the leader of the Democratic Party he was progressive as evidenced by his 50 state strategy that lead to stunning victories in 2006 & 2008. The party rejected him after a few years along with his effort to organize strong local party structures. This election cycle the party was lead by generals (the DNC) that did not realize that there was no one in the brigades. Keith Ellison has connections to the Party’s base, has had for years and he fully embraces a 50 state strategy. Also, folks are independently organizing themselves outside of the Party, mostly for defensive positions against the onslaught that the Radical Republican Party is about to unleash, but also to win future elections. Marrying these two forces will return our democracy to the People.

The Democratic Party lost and the Radical Republicans won because the Democratic Party was too weak to block the shenanigans used to limit the votes of their base. Cross Check disallowed registered voters from voting. ID laws prevented others from even registering. Republicans eliminated opportunities to vote by reducing times and polling places.  And then faulty election practices kept the vote from being accurately counted. These suppression tactics worked because the Democratic Party was not strong enough to resist.

The Democratic Party lost and the Radical Republicans won because the Democratic Party was unable to counter unpredictable events. James Comey’s letters had a measurable effect on undecided voters the last week of the election. During the convention the DNC fired its leader and much of its top staff, because they cheated and got caught and that weakened an already weak party. The Party lost because the candidate’s campaign made strategic errors that the local parties were not strong enough to correct. 

I wanted the Democratic Party candidate to win this election because of the horrible things that the Radical Republican Party is about to do. I believed Sanders was a stronger candidate as evidenced by most polls. Ours is a two party system for winning elections. Third parties have a positive role to play even though they are in search of the same voters. For example the Libertarians and the TEA Parties revitalized the Republican Party, turning it into the successful if radical party it is today. 

The left is not responsible for 2016  election defeat. The left put the Democratic Party in position to be able to run a close election through our efforts in 2006, 2008, and 2012. And if the Democratic Party elites had enacted the Employee Free Choice Act and Single Payer Healthcare  in 2009 then the Radical Republican Party would not have had electoral victories  in 2010. Ronald Reagan and Bush Senior put a thousand bankers and politicians in jail after the Savings and Loan debacle. If the Obama administration had put bankers in jail, and had protected the 7 million families that lost their homes the 2010 election would have been different. 

This election was about Clinton only because 2/3 of the electorate did not like her. But that did not distinguish her from Trump who had worse ratings. This election was about the failures of the Democratic Party and its failure to standup for democracy. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Russia Did A Lot of Hacking - But Not of the Election

Russia Did A Lot of Hacking - But Not of the Election 

An exhaustive and believable account of how hackers, all evidence pointing to Russian sponsored hackers, broke into and stole information from various locations and how they were found out. I do not possess the capacity to understand this article. Reading this is very much like reading an advanced scientific paper, its all written in English but I lack the knowledge foundation to interpret the complexity of the issue. 

"How Russia Pulled Off the Biggest Election Hack In US History"

I do believe that Russia had lots of motivation to be involved, but I held that opinion long before any news of this hacking scandal came to light. It is interesting to me that Philip Breedlove was also hacked. He was the high military commander of NATO forces during the run up to the Ukrainian coup and was publicly working to harm the EU’s efforts to find a compromise solution. NATO-EU expansion into Eastern Europe including Ukraine was a Clinton policy also promoted by her appointee Victoria Nuland.

You don’t have to be a computer scientist to know that WikiLeaks wanted to harm Clinton’s campaign. Julian Assange publicly said so numerous times. Their publications were an information campaign designed to harm Clinton’s chances to win the election. It was not necessarily designed to harm the Democratic Party as a whole. Many in the American left believe that Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning ought to be feted as heroes, myself included. There are others criminalized by the Espionage Act that have also been unfairly victimized by our government.

Fb reminded me yesterday (12-21) that I have long known that he DNC was just an arm of the the Clinton clique. The only folks who were in the dark about that were the Clinton army foot soldiers. Many still non-believers. No need for a long expose about hacking to know that. Additionally, the general import of the content of Clinton’s presentations to Wall Street bankers was easily surmised, again by anyone except those in the Clinton army.

At the time that Obama asked Clinton to be his Secretary of State I thought it a stroke of genius to unite the Party to support his program against Republican opposition. (Not yet known as the Radical Republican Party) Now in hind sight I think that might have been a mistake to promote such a powerful clique inside the Party, a clique that brought us President Trump and Radical Republican Party control of all branches of the Federal Government and of most of the state governments. I don’t expect any statements of contrition from the Clinton Clique ever.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

All Those Claiming It’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee Time Again

All Those Claiming It’s Tweedledum and Tweedledee Time Again
So now my Fb page is filled with pleads to protest and sign petitions about the fact that the Republicans control all branches of the Federal Government. Folks even think that having the Electoral College not vote for Trump will some how keep him from the Presidency. As if the House will not elect him, or someone possibly much worse. 

Yes I am totally distraught that the military-billionaire cabinet and the huckster President will destroy much of the social, environmental, racial, voting rights, and on and on rules that bring a modicum of equality to our society. A good friend now in her 60’s was told 50 years ago by her middle school teacher that the Social Security System would not be around long enough for her and her classmates to enjoy its benefits. Well the American people just elected the government that will make that prediction come true. 

Grow up. There are no good cabinet appointments coming. There will be no good laws or rules coming out of Wa DC. Now we can sit on our thumbs or twinkle our keyboards but until we overthrow the Democratic Party establishment and elect progressive-hell raising delegates we will not have change. Until we are in the streets demanding that our local and state governments defend our social, environmental, racial, voting rights we will not have any. I have no special love for the Democratic Party, I left it after Clinton, in her dream of a landslide, told us all to F-Off and appointed Ken Salazar to lead her transition team. But the dynamics of our electoral system really only allow for two parties. 

This Libertarian inspired Dickensian nightmare we are entering does not have enough Scrooges that will find redemption and come and save all of us Bob Cratchits. The fact of the matter is that we absolutely cannot pull this off without every person that voted for both Clinton and Trump, a third party candidate, and those that did not come out to vote at all. Our voting system is hacked by those who have written rules that inhibit people from voting, and by us who vote for candidates that are beholden to moneyed interests. 

Rise up the Sans-Culottes break out the guillotines.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Putin’s Tit for Reagan’s Tat-Our New Cold War

Putin’s Tit for Reagan’s Tat-Our New Cold War
I read recently in a blog/article, that the Cold War was not really a competition between equals. The Soviet Union, Russia, had lost 20 million people, had much of its country occupied, and its industrial base destroyed, while we in the USA were able to build up our industrial capabilities during the Second World War. The real threat of the Soviet Union was its nuclear capabilities. Our presidents from Kennedy through Bill Clinton tried to diminish this mutual threat to civilization through treaties that reduced the number of these weapons. 

The Soviet nuclear capability was the basis for the Cold War. It put an imperfect check on Western imperialism, an unhealthy competition that is gone since their collapse in the 80’s. We are now in a New Cold War, though those living in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and much of Africa might not think it so chilly. 

The collapse of the Soviet Union was hastened by its by competition with Western Imperialism, or in the claim of the Republican Party the person of Ronald Reagan. Some have lauded that interference in Soviet Affairs. 

The real source of their demise was their inefficient economic system, centralized control, that was hindered by their international adventurism. Our new global economy mimics, with its concentration of power into a few hands and its inability to meet the needs of the many, the failings of the old Soviet Union. And the consequent wars of domination, required to maintain this new global economy, also mirrors the Soviet’s international gambits.  

Now we have tit for tat, Putin dethroning the Clintons, the Field Marshals of the Wall Street Commanders in Chief. Norman Solomon ponders a new McCarthyism in this article. Combined with our corporate run media - a propaganda machine whose true function was exposed this passed election from the primaries through the general, we are in for a rough ride unless we organize and make common ground with unlikely allies.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Thinking of the future of the Democratic Party

When I think of the future of the Democratic Party I see only two possible outcomes.  It dies a horrible and final death or from its dead body comes the basis of a New Democratic Party. Both the Republican Party, the dominate party in American politics now -thanks to Obama’s 8 years in office- on local, state, and national levels, and the Democratic Party are tools of our governing elites. In FDR’s terms the Economic Royalists (ER). The ER, the financial, media, and industrial elites bet on being able to defeat Donald Trump once they had built him into the Republican candidate. The ER and their media chose to be all in for Clinton from the early days of 2015. She was the most qualified presidential candidate in the last seven decades and had demonstrated her commitment to act in in their interests. 

They bet wrong. It wasn’t all the fault of the Clinton folk that she lost to Trump however. The Obama administration’s hostility to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, in David Axelrod’s term of derision the Professional Progressives, was much to blame. Ronald Reagan and George H W Bush put thousands of bankers and some politicians in jail for the Savings and Loan melt down. But Obama and Attorney General Holder could not find even one to scapegoat, to hold responsible for the laying waste of the Great American Middle Class. Obama and establishment Democrats for 8 years pushed aside progressive policies that would have benefited the millions badly hurt by the fraud and deception of the financial elites. The 1%, the rebranded Economic Royalists, were not held accountable but were rewarded for their contrivances of greed.

Many people are in morning, visioning a greater diminishing of our democracy, of more destabilization of international relationships in general, and fear a greater loss of peace and environmental sustainability in particular. Trump will delegate most of his responsibilities to others. His ignorance of particulars will be masked by this delegation of responsibility. But to those he is delegating, they are bent on a faster paced change from a government supported  by a middle class to a government run by a coterie of oligarchs lead by the captains of finance. We will now be vassals to very same forces that plunged the world into an unprecedented depression and tumult.

I believe that Madelene Albright advised President Bill Clinton, there is no point of having a strong military if you won’t use it. Hillary Clinton accepted that advice and donned the garb of Attila the Hun evidenced by her support of the devastation wracked across the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe in support of the ER. It is still unclear what the Trump Administration’s foreign policy initiatives will be. Democrats are more reluctant towards militarism, environmental destruction, and the unraveling of the social safety net and might have been a check on another Clinton presidency. 

But the Republicans are now completely unrestrained. Might the Republicans overreach, move too quickly, and cause the backlash that allows a New Democratic Party to rise up from the corpse of Clinton’s Party? Is that now pathetically Human Civilization’s only hope for survival? Will Our Revolution come as Sanders optimistically proclaims?