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I'm going to ask you to try to look at the last thirty-plus years in the U.S. through a purely empirical lens, if you could.  Try to put political partisanship aside, just for a few minutes, and just look at a series of events and see if you can discern a pattern.

You may be familiar with the repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act in 1999, with the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (aka the "Enron loophole"), with the passage of the  North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, with the passage of the Iraq War Resolution of 2002.

Then there have been literally thousands of ALEC-written laws across the entire country basically striping U.S. citizens of all kinds of human and workers' rights, and pushing laws like conceal-carry, stand-your-ground.

Then there is the growth of the private prison industry, the privatization of public education, curtailment of habeas corpus, mass media conglomeration into he hands of 5 or 6 corporations (the result of deregulation), the government claiming the right to detain citizens without charge and indefinitely, the right to assassinate citizens extrajudicially (a "right" that it has already exercised at least two times), a relentless assault on labor unions which has resulted in the lowest level of unionization in modern history.

And then there was the wholesale looting of the nation's coffers (i.e., your money, your wealth, your retirement, your safety net)  by the Wall Street racketeering criminal cartel, and the appointment of the same folks implicated in the crimes to top government positions, all done with in-your-face chutzpah, and total impunity.

There are thousands of other data points that can be identified in this trajectory, but the above description gives you a pretty clear idea...

In the meantime income inequality has reached the highest level in recorded history.

Now, all this is a clear trajectory of the system as a whole.

Now, let's take a step up from the root level and get back into the political level.

It's basically a circus.  You are given two "choices."  To the right you see a crazed guy, drooling, spewing all manner of lunacy  while wielding a machete in one hand and a AK-47 in the other (the Republican party).  To the left you see a nice-looking guy, nicely dressed, well-spoken, and seemingly reasonable all the way around.

You are offered the option to choose between those two guys as a leader in charge of solving the nation's problems.

Under those circumstances, the choice is a no-brainer, of course.

I call the whole thing a con.

It's time to organize and start a real social justice movement!

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Comment Preferences

  •  Except maybe the kind of social justice... (5+ / 0-)

    that some push for has an Orwellian character, that will be shoved down our throats for our own good. No thanks.

    Theory almost always surpasses reality, but that does not mean it will come to pass in reality.

    I agree with the theories but to often have come to see that the advocates are better at theorizing than in implementing, except when they get the spoils.

    •  We've Got Half a Century of Some Pretty Decent (11+ / 0-)

      examples in the mid 20th. We brought the 1% down to their nadir in the late 60's when the 99% --a number of demographics excluded, it must be admitted-- hit their all time economic high water mark.

      Compressive progressive individual taxation of various sorts, anti trust restrictions on business and media, public service programming requirement for broadcast media, cheap to in some cases free higher education, far greater rights for unions,

      We could close maybe 2/3 of our widening gap with the developed nations with just cut-and-paste from the history books.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:12:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Examples? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, Dianna, kharma, Josiah Bartlett

      Can you provide some context, and name a few "advocates" that were better than theorizing than implementing?
       

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:38:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If I had the motivation, but I do not. (0+ / 0-)

        The point was a larger one anyway.

        Surely you are not trying to say that theorists, those that "advocate" a theory, are known for dealing with the nuts and bolts of implementation. One place to find examples is in the field of human rights and human rights institutions.

        I was talking more about social justice and how it is defined. You may not disagree with the way some attempt to implement social justice, but I do, because it means something else to me.

        Of course, you are free to believe as you wish. The point of view is no less valid because I declined to get into a back and forth over the issue.

        •  No one said it was--why so defensive? (8+ / 0-)

          I asked for some examples. I wasn't asking for a dissertation.

          I was talking more about social justice and how it is defined.
          Yes, you were. And surely it wouldn't be hard to name a couple examples, which surely must have sprung to your mind on some level, otherwise you wouldn't have had any incentive to even comment on it.

          But, suit yourself. Your point of view would probably be more appealing with more context, because yes, "social justice" means different things to different people.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:40:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why? Because it's easier to call things... (3+ / 0-)

            ...self-evident than to prove it.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:58:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  How about this one (0+ / 0-)

            A not-for-profit hospital, (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) claiming it's 14th Amendment equal protection rights were being violated when the City of Pittsburgh took them to state court to challenge their not-for-profit status. I understand that they (UPMC) were not the originators of this defense, factory farm companies under attack from environmental and zoning challenges by local governments (who were trying to keep them out of their neighborhoods in central PA) started it. Corporate personhood trying to apply amendments meant to curtail state abuses of former slaves, actual human persons, seems to be the very antithesis of social justice. Corporations have no feelings, and can never be altruistic, if publicly held...

        •  I think that's the vaguest comment I've ever seen. (0+ / 0-)

          Can you tell us what the heck you're talking about?

  •  Do you mean a new political party, or (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizenx, lunachickie, mookins, Wee Mama

    a movement that would not be offering candidates? A group of people like an NGO or foundation  to push back against the entrenched powers? I'm a part of nearly a dozen, and we get results, too.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:07:03 PM PDT

  •  Community Guidelines, per Kos (19+ / 0-)

    8-23-13:

    The core of the Daily Kos behavior guide is simple: don't be a dick. While we go into some depth below about sanctionable behavior, it's not an all-encompassing list. There are always types of behavior that while not listed below, rise to the level of "dickishness", and as such are actionable.  

    But below is a list of some of the more common violations, as well as things that are not actionable....

    14. Third-party advocacy
    Daily Kos is dedicated to building a stronger, more progressive Democratic Party from the outside. We are not a party committee, we are base Democrats pulling the party to a more populist mainstream orientation. As such, we do not allow advocacy for any other party, whether it's the GOP, or the Greens, or anyone else. The exception is in states with fusion voting, where third parties are working in concert with Democratic-party endorsed or nominated candidates. But any party looking to harm the electoral prospects of Democratic candidates run counter to our mission, and must take that advocacy elsewhere. Lucky for them, it's a big internet!

    If you want to advocate for a better Democratic Party, fine.  If you want to talk about abandoning it altogether, the Boss says it's not welcome here.
    •  I totally agree with that. I think the best way (15+ / 0-)

      of accomplishing this:

      Daily Kos is dedicated to building a stronger, more progressive Democratic Party from the outside. We are not a party committee, we are base Democrats pulling the party to a more populist mainstream orientation.
      is by organizing a strong social justice movement capable of pulling the party to a more populist mainstream orientation.

      I think that's how's been done in the history of the country.

      Thanks for sharing that; I'm totally on board with it.

    •  I read it as a call for a new movement, careful (4+ / 0-)

      in not saying anything about a third party, though it does state that our party is not worth fighting for, even if it is the right choice ("under the circumstances".)

      “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

      by jeff in nyc on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:15:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Is this a Democratic site... (0+ / 0-)

      or a progressive one? Seems to me it's more the latter.

      What would be done of a progressive Republican ran against a conservative or moderate Democrat?

      Guidelines can say whatever, but the proof is in the way people act when it comes to their partisanship.

      If one does not understand that many here could care about the Democratic Party, he or she is kidding themself.

    •  What's the difference with what he's saying (11+ / 0-)

      versus Occupy?  The same things were said over two years ago which led to Occupy, a social justice movement of sorts.

      •  Despite pretenses (6+ / 0-)

        the powers that be here never really understood or supported Occupy. Just my view, and no, I'm not going to hunt down quotes from way back that I remember.

        And Occupy never supported the Dems.

        But on the other hand, Occupy wasn't a third party.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:06:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Occupy was never just one thing as can... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive, joedemocrat

          ...easily be ascertained by hearing the different views today, two years after it began, of those who actually participated in it. So saying that we didn't really understand or support Occupy is claptrap.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:02:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  How much time did you spend at Occupy? (0+ / 0-)

            Claptrap is a pretty strong word from some one who, as far as I know, had little to do with actual attendance to Occupy.

            There were certain common themes which were representative of Occupy, such as a strong streak of rejecting party politics. People like Jesse are to a degree outliers. People heavily invested as activists in the Democratic Party often seemed to miss the degree to which establishment party activism disgusted the typical Occupier.

            Now, I never claimed OWS was "just one thing" but there were some things it certainly was not, and being an arm or potential arm or even an ally of Democrats was absolutely widely rejected by the majority of Occupiers. I always got the sense many on dkos never completely understood how strong this sentiment was among occupiers. Dkos embraced some of its own members as the de facto "voice of Occupy" and thus ended up with a distorted sense of the movement.

            And the horizontal, non hierarchical approach to social and political organization was much more intrinsic and essential to Occupy than many here on dkos understood, and was a major catalyst that helped the movement spring up so quickly, which many people here either ignored or even ridiculed this aspect. Young people were ready for something new, and this approach was widely embraced far more than was represented here. Much of the approach which made Occupy so appealing to young people across the country were more or less ignored and not even much discussed on dkos (and by the way, most Occupiers I spoke with had never heard of dkos, despite being highly informed and internet savvy -- the voices on dkos were not at all as representative of Occupy as people here surmised).

            And when some of us tried to explain these aspects, there was a sense that our voices were marginalized as not representative of the movement. In this respect, there was a subtle, perhaps unintentional attempt to define Occupy on dkos and somewhat impose that definition on the movement, when most persons here were not even speaking for the majority in Occupy.

            Graeber, one of the key founders of Occupy, explains in his book (see link below) the essential elements that made Occupy take off so quickly:

            Almost every time I'm interviewed by a mainstream journalist about Occupy Wall Street I get some variation of the same lecture:

               

            "How are you going to get anywhere if you refuse to create a leadership structure or make a practical list of demands? And what's with all this anarchist nonsense - the consensus, the sparkly fingers? Don't you realize all this radical language is going to alienate people? You're never going to be able to reach regular, mainstream Americans with this sort of thing!"
            Asking why OWS refuses to create a leadership structure, and asking why we don't come up with concrete policy statements, is of course two ways of asking the same thing: Why don't we engage with the existing political structure so as to ultimately become a part of it?

            If one were compiling a scrapbook of worst advice ever given, this sort of thing might well merit an honorable place. Since the financial crash of 2008, there have been endless attempts to kick-off a national movement against the depredations of America’s financial elites taking the approach such journalists recommended. All failed. Most failed miserably. It was only when a movement appeared that resolutely refused to take a traditional path, that rejected the existing political order entirely as inherently corrupt, that called for the complete reinvention of American democracy, that occupations immediately began to blossom across the country. Clearly the movement did not succeed despite the anarchist element. It succeeded because of it."

            The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement

            by David Graeber

            http://www.akpress.org/....

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:55:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In short... (0+ / 0-)

              Most of the dkos denizens, were they to go to an Occupy general assembly or spokescouncil gathering, and suggest some of the common solutions/criticisms typical of dkos habitues, would find their advice and recommendations not finding any consensus.

              Dkos, for the most part, with the exception of members here who are typically far less fawning of the Democratic party, is simply not representative of Occupy.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:23:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  FTR, I spent a fair amount of time at ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Hey338Too

              ...Occupy Los Angeles and would probably have spent more if the movement hadn't been going on while I was engaged in an unamicable divorce. (I also talked face to face with people at Occupy San Luis Obispo, Occupy Denver, Occupy Boulder and Occupy Santa Fe.) I spent my time in Los Angeles listening intensively because I figured nobody wanted to hear about my own experience in previous movements even though I believe and still believe those movements have positive things to offer Occupy. For instance, one of things I did try to impart (and was told was irrelevant) was the likelihood of police infiltration and suppression, both of turned out to be the case.

              I agreed with much of what I heard. I didn't agree with other parts, in particular Graeber's view that it isn't important to put forth some kind of policy agenda that, indeed, such agendas are counterproductive. That unwillingness is something, I think, that hurt Occupy. Not initially, of course. At the beginning, that was a good thing. Turn the conversation upsidedown. Occupy did an excellent job of that and the entire nation has benefited. (I am not saying that was Occupy's only success, but it was key.) But when you say the system is corrupt and shouldn't be engaged with, something must replace it. It does't come about "organically." And on that score Occupy has not succeeded. I know that sounds like heresy and old-way thinking to many in Occupy. It's what my experience tells me. I shall be happy to be proved wrong.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:16:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your views (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Josiah Bartlett

                are within your right to express. And your views are quite common to older, seasoned activists who grew up in a different era than many of the young people attending Occupy. And your views are fairly well represented here on dkos, to the point that if someone were familiar with the sites predilections, would think these views representative of Occupy as a whole, while they are not.

                And since Occupy works by variations of direct democracy/consensus (a process that has been much misunderstood and misrepresented here, and thus maligned extremely unfairly), if your views were representative of Occupy, these views would have been reflected in decisions made within the movement. They were not. And thus no one here, with such views, has the right to act as if those views are representative of Occupy in any significant way. The people who comment here are a fraction of the voices found within the movement. But the use of the microphone here is controlled (decidedly not in the spirit of Occupy).

                The fact is, historically many movements had more success by using direct action than by limiting engagement to electoral politics. Working outside party affiliations keeps groups from becoming dominated by party hierarchies and elites. It also empowers and motivates the members by giving them a voice in how the movement will proceed. Once a group ends up going down the familiar paths of hierarchical structures, much of the steam is lost due to marginalizing its own membership.

                This doesn't mean groups like OWS can't influence legislation and government. Only that by remaining outside government, the influence can't be constrained, limited, coerced, co-opted, redirected, or controlled by the typical upper echelons found in traditional mainstream organizations.  

                Once legislative goals are adopted, time and energy and resources become so focused and drained by the effort needed to enact policy that the effort ends up co-opting the group, redirecting and channeling the effort into mainstream approaches which have failed over the last many decades. And this is how electoral politics typicality take the life out of dissent, by channeling dissent into a more muted and lifeless bog of top down bureaucracy. Many of us think it is deliberately designed by the country's founders to do just that.

                Basically, many of the seasoned activists wanted to take Occupy down exactly such a path. They wanted to cut in line to get their hands on the microphone, and then speak at length uninterrupted to share their vast experience, tell people how to proceed, and when that platform wasn't provided, they stomped off never to return, all the while acting as if they were speaking for Occupy in non-Occupy forums. They figured they were entitled to greater influence and (let's be honest) control, and the horizontalism frustrated them.

                The message is, essentially, that Occupy failed, and that it failed because the Occupiers didn't listen and follow these sage voices.

                If these older activists had had their way, Occupy would never have been founded. Have you read the history of how Occupy got its start? There were groups which tried to create Occupy and impose these traditional hierarchical structures, and a group in attendance at the first meeting rather spontaneously rejected that approach and went off to another place, held their own meeting based on horizontal principles, and Occupy was sparked off as a movement. If not for this, Occupy would have been the same old top down group dominated by a few seasoned, celebrated elites, herding all the people into the same old formulas of activism which have failed. Occupy succeeded because this path was rejected.

                And I see this as the first wave of a new era. More of this will return. It isn't a matter of if, but when. Other approaches may be tried, but this isn't over by a long shot. And I said as much from the dawning of the movement. I knew it would be of short duration, but I also knew it would likely come in waves.

                By the way, in Portland (which reportedly had perhaps the largest camp in the entire movement) the activists, although younger than you for the most part, were very well aware of the police and of police infiltration. This was not an area in which the lacked experience.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:22:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  What a completely dismissive post... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... I don't agree with a lot of MB's politics.  But, if I were starting or building a movement, and he offered advice -  based on his background I would be grateful for it.  I would pick his brain, take notes, and refer to them as the movement progressed.

                  I wouldn't have inferred that the "seasoned activists" were trying to "cut in line" to get their hands on the microphone.  What kind of "thinking" is that?  If that truly was the mindset of the OWS organizers when they were approached by "older activists", then I would argue that they were guilty of ageism and received the fate they deserved.  And the subsequent waves your refer too will end the same way unless the organizers can modify their behavior - they must be able to distinguish the difference between "passing the torch" and "compromising the movement".  Your comment makes the movement sound as if the MIC check was actually just an echo chamber.

                  Looking through the bent backed tulips, To see how the other half lives, Looking through a glass onion - John Lennon and Paul McCartney

                  by Hey338Too on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:45:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Utter nonsense, and a monstrous strawman (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Josiah Bartlett

                    No one told MB he couldn't have his say at an Occupy organizational meeting. Quite the contrary, not only is MB welcome, but so is everyone who is interested in protesting/challenging Wall Street hegemony and other issues.

                    What the Occupy direct democracy approach IS saying is that MB has to share the microphone with everyone else, and that he won't be given special privileges because of who he is. In other words, people are treated as equals. Plenty of older people were involved (I'm not exactly a spring chicken).

                    Thus, what you're really criticizing is treating people as equals. You're basically stating is you've somehow determined MB's voice is worth more than the voices of other people at these gatherings. With that approach, celebrity, popularity, who you know, can win over more authority than is deserved. The point here is that the people have, collectively, the final say. If people were to build a solar array, of course experts would be brought in. But the experts aren't given absolute authority. The people can listen, think, weigh the data, and decide.

                    If we are to take your approach, how do the people, in a egalitarian community that uses a horizontal system, decide who has more worth than the rest? People in OWS can lead, and can have influence, and sometimes that influence can be rather strong. What they can't have is absolute dominance, using a hierarchical structure that can be manipulated by cliques and back room alliances to create a more or less permanent power base for people gifted in the art of persuasion, to the exclusion of others.

                    In Occupy, everyone gets a chance to put forward plans and projects or set policy. This takes time to sort out, and over time and with practice people get much more efficient at this process (Occupy was just getting started), and good thinkers with good ideas are expected to find support, but what we won't do is allow a group of elites (who may not even be gifted or particularly wise, but who use their influence and assets to win control) have complete dominance rendering the majority into unequal, subservient followers. With the horizotnal system, qualified people who would often be dismissed or unheard by elites (think of good economists, some of the best, who never are heeded by people in office) get a far better opportunity to affect policy.

                    When Occupy does elect or appoint delegates, those delegates are subject to immediate recall, and are mandated by the delegating group. No one has a term of office in which they have complete dictatorial control, from which they can set about to use their position of authority to arrange a cabal of protective supporters that insure such persons never lose power.

                    If you think such structures tend to lift the better leaders to the top, think again. Just look at history. Was Bush the best we could do? Or is Romney or Trump a good leader of a corporation? Are the oil company execs the right choice for determining energy policy? Should Monsanto CEOs determine agricultural practices?

                    Or should the people whose lives are affected by these policies have the final say?

                    What some of the seasoned old-timers wanted was privilege. They wanted to push aside others, and be ushered in to positions of authority based on their resumes, rather than win over people with the worthiness of their ideas.

                    It's a different way of thinking, and a better way to self-manage a community.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:30:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  I don't understand several points of your... (4+ / 0-)

                  ...criticism here:

                  • I never attempted to take any leadership role in Occupy. I never approached the microphone. As I said: I listened. I'm not responsible for anything others of my general political point of view, experience or generation may have done.

                  • I never said my views were representative of Occupy. I said I spent my time listening to what people deeply engaged in Occupy said to me and what they told others in small groups at Occupy sites and at the microphone. I presented in my comment a couple of points of view that I heard expressed frequently in Los Angeles where I spent quite a bit of time and at other Occupy sites that I merely visited.

                  If you're saying that I only heard a small portion of the panoply of views being expressed by Occupy participants, I could scarcely disagree. Indeed, that's what I said in my first comment—that different people engaged with Occupy have different assessments of it on the second anniversary of its emerging into public view. How could I have heard more than a small proportion of the views of the thousands of people involved? I was never at OWS or Occupy Oakland or dozens of other Occupy operations. I didn't, however, as you seem to imply, misrepresent what I actually heard expressed on the ground and from the microphone by a few score people.

                  • SDS worked initially via direct democracy/consensus. And it always, until the Weather split, continued some element of this in its political decision-making. The concept and name of "participatory democracy," after all, came from SDS, however imperfectly it was carried out in practice.

                  It's not as if older generations of activists have no experience with such direct democracy approaches, or are unfamiliar with the advantages and disadvantages.

                  Many feminists in SDS, in the organization and in the groups they founded shortly before and after SDS collapsed, pushed this approach even more. They had objections about male-based hierarchy. I was in one of those groups—the New American Movement. (There were, as I am sure you are aware, criticism of patriarchal behavior in Occupy as well, including a predilection for male voices at the microphone.)

                  • I have never suggested that Occupy (or any street-politics organization) should itself engage in party politics or adopt vertical leadership structures. While that may be the path that some seasoned activists sought for Occupy, it's not one I ever suggested. Rather, my approach all along has been: Occupy has vigor, it has changed the national narrative, let's see where this goes.

                  • For the record, not all the old activist approaches failed. Some did. But most had both victories and failures. I think that is exactly what happened with Occupy, some victories and some failures. I am pretty sure you don't believe this, but the way you're saying what you're saying here seems to imply that Occupy only succeeded.

                  As for this just being the first wave? Huzzah. Even if I'm watching from my wheel chair at some nursing home, I'll be cheering on any activism that weakens or wrecks the plutocracy and gives voice to people who have none.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:17:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think we're getting into the weeds (0+ / 0-)

                    We were discussing this:

                    Despite pretenses (5+ / 0-)

                    the powers that be here never really understood or supported Occupy. Just my view, and no, I'm not going to hunt down quotes from way back that I remember.

                    And Occupy never supported the Dems.

                    But on the other hand, Occupy wasn't a third party.

                    And you answered with this:
                    Occupy was never just one thing as can... (2+ / 0-)

                    ...easily be ascertained by hearing the different views today, two years after it began, of those who actually participated in it. So saying that we didn't really understand or support Occupy is claptrap.

                    And you also answered with this:
                    I spent my time in Los Angeles listening intensively because I figured nobody wanted to hear about my own experience in previous movements even though I believe and still believe those movements have positive things to offer Occupy. For instance, one of things I did try to impart (and was told was irrelevant) was the likelihood of police infiltration and suppression, both of turned out to be the case.
                    Your comment seems to indicate you felt at lest a bit marginalized. You might not think of it that way, but that's how I read your comment.  It seems to me, based on your comment, that you felt that your influence wasn't entirely accepted.

                    In fact, this is what you stated: You felt "no one wanted to hear [your] own experiences." So, it seemed to me you were expressing what so many others have who were, like you, experienced activists, and who were frustrated that they couldn't get the group to listen or value their experiences.

                    I actually felt this way too, on occasion, so the sentiment isn't entirely lost on me. Often my age seemed to get in the way. But I stepped back and tried to cooperate, because I saw a growing movement attempting to use an entirely different approach, and that this approach was worthy as a goal in itself. In fact, in my view it was goddamn marvelous.

                    And thus, I decided quite consciously that expressing my individual experience more extensively could wait. I perceived that the young people had become fed up with older folks dictating the terms of the universe to them, and they knew their energy at that moment in time was a precious commodity, and that older people had in recent years largely removed themselves from this particular equation. Many old stalwarts on the left quite determinedly gave up on direct action. The young Occupiers knew the day was theirs, and the momentum was theirs, and that the rest of us, for the most part, weren't really contributing to the momentum until they came along. I understood this, and thus wanted to urge them to go forward with my participation and support, which I provided as much as I could. I went to meetings everyday, or as often as possible within my economic circumstances.

                    I said all this much better here:

                    There was a feeling here of renaissance, as if these young people were expressing a new evolution of the human genome, or at least a step forward in social intelligence. I remember, long ago when I was in my early teens, reading similar words from one of the iconic voices of the sixties who tried to explain the youth of those times. Was this happening again?  Some sort of new era beginning?

                    Perhaps that is saying too much and I can hear the chorus of people having a gag-reflex. Got it.  But these musings were among the thoughts which fleeted through my mind, and reflect the sense of something special going on in the faces of these free-flowing youth, who were peaceful, yet determined, breaking through the inertia of our complacency, but willing to take us along with them, even willing to listen to us, to respond to us, to show us they are thinking this through, that they will make mistakes, but more than ready to learn from us if we can refrain from lecturing them. They've heard the lectures before. They know the tone. And they know we have failed.

                    The one thing they are not ready to do is let anyone co-opt their energy. This is their moment. Their momentum, their brave new world to face. Sure, they'll let us give them some advice, point out some things, throw in a word or two. No problema. Unlike the kids of the sixties, they respect their elders. They respect the cops (well, some of them, and more so than in those days), they respect their parents, they respect working people. They seem to care about their world, but they know in their bones the world is broken. And they know who broke it. They know it will remain broken if they don't do something. They know the old ways haven't worked. That much is evident everywhere they look. They don't know how to fix it, at least not yet (they're getting to that) but they want to say, "Please hear us, we're hurting, our parents are hurting, the world is hurting, and no one is fixing it."

                    Others have commented much as you have, to the point that your remarks seemed to me to reflect the same attitude I've often seen, that Occupy should have adopted legislative agendas, been more traditional with using an electoral political approach.

                    You did write this:

                    I didn't agree with other parts, in particular Graeber's view that it isn't important to put forth some kind of policy agenda that, indeed, such agendas are counterproductive. That unwillingness is something, I think, that hurt Occupy. Not initially, of course. At the beginning, that was a good thing.
                    And this:
                    But when you say the system is corrupt and shouldn't be engaged with, something must replace it. It does't come about "organically." And on that score Occupy has not succeeded. I know that sounds like heresy and old-way thinking to many in Occupy. It's what my experience tells me. I shall be happy to be proved wrong.
                    That can't be dismissed as just Greaber's view, because it was part and parcel of what Occupy was all about, and what set a lot of the members on fire. The alternative approach seemed to be what many wanted at that point in time, and Occupy tapped in this.

                    This is what I'm referring to when I made the remark that prompted you to respond:

                    Despite pretenses (5+ / 0-)

                    the powers that be here never really understood or supported Occupy

                    Your remarks, in my view, support my statement, as least to me, and in my experience with Occupy. That you wanted Occupy to take a different approach is tantamount, in my views, as not understanding Occupy. And this view you have is pretty much the dkos view as expressed by front pagers and many members here.

                    And yes, I realize other movements used various direct democracy approaches. My god, this goes back to the Paris Commune, and Anarchist regions in Spain involving millions or people, as well as the Makhnovists in the Ukraine, and among other groups in various venues all around the world. It certainly isn't new. Never said it was. But it is new to many of the Occupiers, and I watched them come alive with this approach unlike anything I've seen in many years. It deserved to be supported.

                    I'm sorry, but no, I don't think you understood Occupy. You feel you did, obviously. I think we're allowed to disagree, are we not?

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 04:37:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One thing about writing back and forth... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LeftHandedMan

                      ...is that a lot can't be dispensed with in the rapid as in the case of face-to-face conversation. Perhaps someday we'll have a chance for that face-to-face conversation.

                      But I do want to reply to three things where you are misinterpreting my views:

                      You say:

                      You felt "no one wanted to hear [your] own experiences." So, it seemed to me you were expressing what so many others have who were, like you, experienced activists, and who were frustrated that they couldn't get the group to listen or value their experiences.
                      • No. That's not at all what I felt nor the sense I meant to convey in my comment. I purposely help back except when asked directly. Because I didn't want, in any way, as you wrote "co-opt their energy." My point was that I wanted to understand where the Occupy participants were coming and show them the respect they deserved for being participants by not "get[ting] the group to listen or value [my] experiences." I didn't have some dying need to be in control or be looked up to or anything of the sort.

                      You say:

                      Your remarks, in my view, support my statement, as least to me, and in my experience with Occupy. That you wanted Occupy to take a different approach is tantamount, in my views, as not understanding Occupy.
                      • Having differences with the approach Occupy took is not the same as not understanding Occupy. The idea that one can only get it, can only really understand if one fully agrees with everything being done and the process by which it was arrived at would mean I don't really understand, say, fascists.

                      • As for being in the weeds, really understanding Occupy or any movement requires going there, does it not? The failure to do so by the most visible critics of Occupy in the past week or so on this anniversary has led to their shallow analyses.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:21:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh, and regarding the "predilection for... (0+ / 0-)

                    male voices" at the Occupy microphone, I've spoken at length with my female partner about this assertion, long ago, and she says that in Occupy Portland, she didn't observe this. In fact, some of the favorite facilitators at OP were women, and they were so much in popular demand and were so talented at facilitating along the horizontal approach that they finally had to take breaks to rest. Maybe Portland is different (and that wouldn't surprise me) but we didn't see the alleged racism and gender bias that has been said of New York, or other areas.

                    The people in Occupy aren't perfect, and mistakes will be made, but frankly, with the horizontal system it is much more difficult than in such organizations as the Democratic party, congress, the senate, to discriminate.

                    So... although there were some complaints in some areas, this would be far less a problem than it would be in the Democratic party.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 06:14:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  I don't want to appear to be defending Ray here (34+ / 0-)

      who seriously rubs me the wrong way most of the time. Mostly because he talks to his audience like they're children, and, frankly, insults them in doing so. For example, this diary has it's prerequisite insult in the first sentence:

      I'm going to ask you to try to look at the last thirty-plus years in the U.S. through a purely empirical lens, if you could.
      OK, Ray. We'll try.

      But you guys playing thought police, waving the FAQ around, is one of the most blatant failures I've ever seen in only movement building.

      If you want to advocate for a better Democratic Party, fine.  If you want to talk about abandoning it altogether, the Boss says it's not welcome here.
      That bit, aside from just being kinda creepy, reflects what I would suggest is the main reason why this site is hemorrhaging participants. Honestly, I don't know if "crashing the gates" plays any part in the agenda here, or if it ever did, but when you constantly have to censor people from your "movement", then your movement is shit.

      But most important, it is internally inconsistent with the stated objectives of this site. Do you know nothing of history? Political strategy? Politics?

      Being willing to abandon the Democratic party is precisely what will save it. Somehow, you geniuses got the idea that the way to elect better Democrats and advance the cause of progress, is to shower them with gifts every election and run PR spin in the interim.

      Can anything be more idiotic? We know from history that politicians, including Democratic politicians, are only as good we we force them to be.

      Do you think FDR and the Democrats in congress passed the New Deal because we "had their backs"? Or because we "elected better Dems"?

      No. History is clear. They passed the New Deal because a whole lot of people told them if they didn't, they would throw their sorry asses out of office. Starting with FDR.

      It was the mere threat of a 3rd party, or independent vote, that made the Democrats, who were just as beholden to Wall Street then as they are now, suddenly get all progressive.

      And what was the result? Generations of Democratic hegemony. Generations of Democratic voters. Oh, and a middle class.

      What's been the result of your strategy of appeasement where all someone has to do to win your undying support is to put a D by their name?

      I'll tell you: electoral failure, policy failure, and a country that every single year moves further and further to the right.

      You geniuses haven't seemed to figure out that by electing increasingly right wing assholes just because they have a D by their name, has actually HELPED Republicans.

      If, as the FAQ says, the agenda of this site's administrators is to elect more and better Democrats, then maybe the "Boss" should spend more time focusing on how to make comment replies easier to find. Or better yet, he should stick to what he started when he advocated allowing Bob Kerry to lose in the general.

      For a brief moment that day, Daily Kos got kind of smart.

      •  Whoa (10+ / 0-)

        I have to rec this for sheer nerve. And the fact that you really don't pull any punches.

        You make a lot of sense in places. I just really wish you would have omitted your first paragraph. It wasn't necessary. In fact, the endless meta--and this new habit of others following certain diarists around and verbally shitting in the comments--or trying to make them "open threads" is goddamn tiresome and rude.  It also seems way more important to some of the "regulars" than "electing more and better Democrats" is.

        If this place is  "hemorrhaging participants", one would be dishonest with themselves to not admit that the meta worship is a big reason why.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:32:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  great comment James Hepburn ! (7+ / 0-)

        You have expressed just about every thought I have had lately when I visit this site.

        I wish I could rec your comment 1000x  (hope it's okay if I copy it sometime).

        In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

        by lostinamerica on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:39:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suspect James and you are, to some degree, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostinamerica, kharma

          in sync with my sig line:

          This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

          by WisePiper on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:32:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, I disagree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lunachickie

            I believe the evidence is clear. By lowering the bar, we've actually lost more elections than we've gained. This assessment was inherent in my argument about FDR and the Democrats being forced to pass meaningful reforms that benefited working people. That was a serious raising of the bar. And in the long run, the party won big time as a result.

      •  Righteous :) (16+ / 0-)

        There is never going to be a revolution in America, and you'd better hope there never is.

        For such drastic change to occur, things would have to get so unimaginably bad that millions would already be homeless and starving, and we would be living in a literal police state. Some folk might think we are already some way down that path; to those people I say use your imagination :)

        The problem is that there is just too much inertia built into the system, deliberately. In a Parliamentary system government has to be more responsive to needs and demands, because if they are not then the whole lot can be changed, usually, because politics naturally drifts to some kind of center, with not much in the way of a "swing"

        A few percentage points either way and governments swap flags, with complete and total authority.

        That cannot happen here for a number of reasons. First, the States have too much power. Sure they should manages their local affairs, but the powers they have to frustrate the Federal government, and the Balkanization of this country, effectively makes change very hard to accomplish.

        Second ... while all House seats are elected every two years (something that is nuts, by the way), only one third of Senate seats become vacant, and even if you cross those two hurdles, the Supreme Court is a branch of government, and they are elected by no one. We appoint them to be lifelong dictators, and we get stuck with their politics.

        It might be possible for a new social movement to effect change, but there are quite a few already, and while they are doing good work, the structural problems in the country are still getting worse.

        The movement with arguably the most influence are the Tea Party ... which is not so much an organisation, more a loose confederation of like-minded sociopaths, yet even with the support of maybe sixty or seventy Congressmen, they are still pretty powerless to do anything much.

        If the Tea Party really did have the mass support of the American people, then they would have every right to be deeply pissed at an obstructionist Senate and President.

        Equally, and similar movement from the Left would face exactly the same issues. Long term maybe a third party could gain traction, but can we wait forty or fifty years?

        The answer is make the Democratic Party in our own image, or at least as close as we can get. But politics is also "The Art of the Possible", and we can't make ANY changes unless we win power. SO in the interim we sometimes have to put a warm body in a seat, because that seat might determine committee chairs, etc.

        These are not "sell-out" compromises. They are a recognition that while we need revolutionary level changes, in the meantime we also have to protect our fellow citizens from the worst excesses the other side would visit on them.

        And yes, we do have to work from within, and we do have to let those DINOs know that we can and will primary their asses if they don't start voting for the people who voted for them. We can't take them all down in one go, but we could hurt one of them badly enough to put the shits up the others.

        Realistically .... It will get worse, before it gets better. At least in many States it will.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 08:10:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Politics is the art of the compromise. (11+ / 0-)

          But the representation is purportedly one of principle(s). That's why our two parties - each of which represent a hefty spectrum along the right-left political scale - have platforms. Issues and positions on those issues that are strongly pro or con.

          These new 'neolibs' are basically indistinguishable from neocons. I think both [real] Republicans and Democrats got left behind awhile back. Many are just recently becoming aware of the depth of the disconnect. A few cycles ago the voter registration in my state became majority Independent. There's a reason for that, Republicans and Democrats should be paying attention. But they're not. Who else have we got to vote for?

          This is traditionally when an upstart party arises and rapidly gains power. It's kind of a stumper that it hasn't happened yet, perhaps a sign of the times and amount of control being exerted on the system at all levels.

          This is a "Democratic" blog, we are told. The vast majority of us vote Democratic and long have. But it's not like we don't know something's wrong. Other Democratically-minded blogs have long been talking about it. Drive it off DKos and pretty soon it'll be an also-ran, not the cutting edge. I gotta tell you, the heavy-handed censorship efforts recently are distressing. I'll live, of course. I just might not be living here if the situation isn't somewhat rectified.

          Nobody will miss me. But the site will miss more traffic than I represent.

          •  I would miss you, if I'm still around. n/t (6+ / 0-)
          •  You could run for office. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hey338Too, Joieau

            I'd vote for you.

            There are other Blogs, if the ethos of this one doesn't suit, but personally I would prefer that people stand and fight.

            There are very few rules here, other than don't be a dick and don't advocate for a Third Party. Everything else is just trimmings.

            I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
            but I fear we will remain Democrats.

            Who is twigg?

            by twigg on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:06:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do you see any irony in your comment? (7+ / 0-)

              If you learned enough positive about Joieau to entrust him/her with your vote, you wouldn't be able to advocate Joieau's election here on the largest left-leaning electoral politics blog in the nation if s/he ran as an Independent against a neo-lib Dem.

              This site most certainly is going to hemorrhage participants and potential influence if it continues to rigidly adhere to the "more" half of it's stated mission, without discriminating between good representatives of the peoples' interests and poor.

              While our party continues to move to the right, simply because all our reps have learned our votes are guaranteed (if they can squeak through those pesky primary challenges that are routinely sabotaged by the PTB), Daily Kos continues to enable that rightward movement. Instead of "crashing the gates" we tap timidly and beg admittance, while the gate keepers sneer "Bite me!" The threat of primaries is a sad joke - they do not succeed nearly often enough to advance real change.

              Yes, there are other sites that don't demand fealty to every Tom, Dick and Harriet with a D-suffix. There are other sites that recognize the most effective means of recapturing the party 99% of us support is to demand of our would-be Dem reps that they actually embrace traditional Dem values. It just seems such a waste that those other sites will end up taking the vanguard position enforcing accountability from our party reps, while DKos sinks into irrelevancy.

              This site's stated mission is absurdly contradictory. You don't get better Democrats by electing more Democrats. The latter is achieved by lowering the bar, not by raising it.

              by WisePiper on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:04:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do not believe (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WisePiper, mahakali overdrive

                that either Markos Moulitsas believes or demands this:

                This site most certainly is going to hemorrhage participants and potential influence if it continues to rigidly adhere to the "more" half of it's stated mission, without discriminating between good representatives of the peoples' interests and poor.
                The point is a very simple one ...

                If you vote for a candidate who does not caucus with the Democrats, then you split the vote and we get a Republican.

                That is the math, and advocating it is banned.

                No one has ever told you that you cannot use this site to demonstrate the failings in Democratic candidates and reps.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:16:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Never say never (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          twigg

          I think it's a bit hubristic to say flatly that the US can't have a revolution.

          OTOH, should such a thing occur, its reasonable to conclude that the shape and form it would take would be as unique and idiosyncratic as the structure and history of the US itself.

          You're quite right to cite the peculiarities of our Federal system and the challenges it poses for effective social, political and economic change. These structural questions have seldom, if ever, been addressed much less adequately analyzed by the Left. Instead, there has been a historic reliance on imported theories and models with little regard for their applicability to the actual material conditions of the US.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 06:16:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  When's the last time dailykos or anybody on (0+ / 0-)

          the left primaried anybody?  The Netroots got Lieberman, and the party flipped them off and abandoned the duly elected Democrat to support a third party candidate.  Then the democratic wing of the Democratic Party ran a primary against Lincoln in 2010, got scolded by establishment, and slinked away.    IF we were the Netroots we used to be, you might have a point.  

          Pelosi said on the Bill Press' radio show just a day or so ago that people needed to raise bloody hell to their Representatives to stop the government shut down.  She specifically said to "ratchet it up' because nothing for the people ever gets done if the people don't get angry and scream loud enough.  

          Yet let ten people on dailykos dare to criticize Obama's policies or politics and the lions show up.   I really have no idea what the purpose of this blog is anymore.  Does the Netroots still exist?     I don't know anything about bleeding kossacks, co-opted progressives, or voters saying "fuck it" why bother.  All I know is that I find it harder and harder to buy any of it.   Attempts to explore causes, options, and opportunities to force the Democrats left are shut down by any means possible - unless, of course, you would like to sign a petition.  

          I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

          by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:29:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You haven't noticed any criticism of Obama's... (7+ / 0-)

            ...policies here after the Syria affair? After the Larry Summers smackdown?

            Now, personally, I am willing to criticize Democrats quite heartily and have done so since 1964 when LBJ "compromised" so the segregationst regular Mississippi Democratic Party delegation could be seated at the Democratic Convention while the multi-racial Mississippi Freedom Democrats got offered two seats (which it refused).

            And I continue to criticize Democrats.

            The argument that nobody can do so is bogus.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:10:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did I say nobody can do it? If I did, it isn't (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lunachickie

              what I meant; and if I had said it, it would be bogus.   I thought what I said was that if you do do it, you get into hot water.   Not necessarily by admin, but by  others who also post here.   Isn't that what the rox and sux is all about?   Is it why all the fuss over Ray's writings?   You are an admin.  You don't catch the grief others do.  I think you can relate to it because lord knows you got enough of it when you were moderating the site, but it was a temporary situation and not a part of your daily dailykos life.

              MB, I have been here a long time.   I have watched people come and go and watched dailykos change.  I have regard for your political experiences and your politics, but I still seriously want to know if the Netroots does still exist?   I seldom hear it referenced; but then, I'm not around as much as many others.   All I know is that dailykos has become so establsihment that it is difficult, if not impossible, to try to spark the outrage Nancy Pelosi spoke of without catching a ton of hell in the process.

              I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

              by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Politics is a fight. It's a fight within the... (5+ / 0-)

                ...parties, including the Democratic Party, as well as in the movements outside of the parties.

                I have participated in both, always seeking to move things left, joining in common cause when interests among groups meshed. I have common cause with the Democrats because most of them, and the national party in general, opposes the worst elements of the right, of Republicans. Not, to be sure, on every issue. On economics, "free trade" and related matters, I have big problems with the DP. But at least they aren't out cutting food stamps. On other issues, I'm very much in line with the majority of Democrats.

                We had fights in the '60s in the DP when the old "seg" Senators from the South still held important committee seats and fought to keep Jim Crow alive.

                We had them in Students for a Democratic Society over political philosophy, strategy and tactics. We had them in the American Indian Movement in the '70s and '80s. We had them in the anti-apartheid and anti-nuclear movements (both weapons and commercial power plants) in the '80s. In the DP in the 1980s, we had a continuing internecine battle between "McGovernites" and what would become the DLC. Shrieks from some sectors greeted those of us on the left when Jesse Jackson (Sr.) ran for the presidency.

                So none of the battling is new.

                I continue to be engaged in the DP and in street politics, although I am getting long in the tooth for both because it's in my blood, injected there first by my grandfather.

                Here at Daily Kos we obviously have battles, too, most of them involving people whom I respect even when I disagree with their specific point of view on something. (The next day, I may find myself in agreement with them on another subject.)

                Most of these disagreements are healthy, a few of them are not. However, when I hear people saying they're leaving DKos because they get so much grief for their points of view here—in this place with very few rules—and are going off to where more people will agree with them, I have to wonder how strong they will be in political fights that are more than just words. It's not hard to find people who agree with you. Leftists in the '60s did just split off from larger groups over and over again until, eventually, there were a few handfuls of people in each of scores of organizations, all of them nodding agreement with each other's views but politically far weaker than when we were banded together and arguing internally.

                As I've often pointed out, I always split my political time between party work and street-politics work (and have taken grief from people who are exclusive to one or the other of those for doing so). Right now, I think street-politics are more important, but they cannot be the sole focus. Because elections matter whether one's chosen candidate is really good or the lesser of two evils (as long as the evil isn't too evil).

                If there were a third party to the left of the Democrats that actually was behaving as a political party—doing the grunt work of recruiting voters and candidates at the local level and winning local offices and proving it could govern—I would, on that local level, probably give it my support.

                But where IS that party? All the third parties I have known in my half century of political work have put the vast portion of their energy into running symbolic campaigns for governorships, for senatorships, for the presidency—elections they knew they could not win but called "educational." But none of them have sought on a consistent basis to build a broad foundation of local party members with a goal of, say, electing 20% or so of a state legislature and really having an impact.

                Instead, it is THEY who have been involved in—as we like to say about Washington—kabuki theater. These third parties today are all bones or phantoms.

                I am personally willing to listen to anyone who shows me a reasonable path to power for leftists. That's what matters. That's what it's all about. Without political power, nothing we want, whether it's infrastructure banks or a scaled-down military-industrial complex or clean energy or equal rights for transgendered people, we got nothing.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:58:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks for taking the time to share that. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Meteor Blades

                  You may be right.  Maybe I'm not strong enough.    I often feel alienated and then withdraw from dailykos.  Given all the hours I've spent here and the fond memories I have of this place and Kos, I don't think I could ever leave and stay gone.   I keep hoping, however, that things can change;  and I can help to make it happen, a major stupidity of mine.    For a little tom boy with ringlets who just didn't want to be hurt; I've had to learn how to manage and cope with hurt because life is a bitch and then you die.   That's pretty hard for a little girl from a generation that was raised on "happily every after".    So far I've been equal to my challenges, but I would rather it wasn't that way.   I don't like the fighting, and I don't ever want to be strong enough to take it in stride.  

                  The whole thing for me is about who has the money and power.  With equality and adequate amounts of each, the social issues will take care of themselves.  I agree with you about third parties as a path, but I think they need to be explored and used as a bat tool.   I've been a Democrat all my life; and I absolutely feel like my party has abandoned me.   Nice talking to you MB...  

                  I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

                  by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:00:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  If the Dems can support a third party candidate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen

              to get to their goal, why can't we [netroots]?  Why is that defined as advocating for the establishment and abandonment of the Democratic Party?

              are shut down by any means possible - unless, of course, you would like to sign a petition.  
               I should have identified exactly who or what I was talking about.   I meant the site in general.  It could be a fellow poster or it could be admin depending on how and what is said.  

              You know what MB.  It doesn't matter, none of it matters, just like I said.

              I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

              by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:14:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Captains of the ship (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dkmich

                don't want the rank and file (seen as needing to be led) to think outside the party boundaries, even if they must resort to controlling speech.

                This way, dissent is marginalized and made to appear much less a factor than it is.

                Markos is a member of the owner class, and is behaving as such. He owns the microphone that the rest of us helped create.

                There is no "mic check" here. The mic, and the amplifier, is proprietary. It is property.

                "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 12:12:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have my beefs with the rules around here (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dkmich, Hey338Too

                  or more with the way they're meted out in a way to create a false balance, but I think for a website devoted to the Dem Party, people are pretty free to discuss all sorts of ideas outside of the current party platform, whatever that really is.

                  •  I would agree. Kos gives latitude. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Burned, ZhenRen

                    However, I used to feel as if I was accomplishing something by being here.  Now, I'm just hanging out.  

                    I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

                    by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:03:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  If the state groups were front and center (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dkmich, lunachickie

                      that would be helpful. The state takeovers are a pretty scary thing.
                      The NC and Wisconsin stuff that was posted felt strong and I felt useful in giving support and money, and it is invigorating to see people fighting back.
                      But I suppose it's up to us and not kos to make those front and center. That's the latitude that he gives that's most important.

                      I kind of wish there were 50 FP diaries a day, one for each state, with today in ___ and here's what you can do about it. Then it wouldn't feel so much like treading water just to keep breathing.
                      But then again, I wish I had the stamina to keep up to date with what's happening just in Georgia.

                    •  Additional comment re why I personally am here (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dkmich

                      It's still a great place to get news all in one place even if it isn't as far ahead of the game as it used to be.

                      •  That's very true. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Burned

                        Reading all of the diaries here definitely keeps me better informed.

                        I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

                        by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 01:30:48 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Think of it like a great outlier neighborhood (0+ / 0-)

                          that's changing over to those people that are finding gobs of money somewhere to buy those bigass useless houses that are fast replacing all the small ones, at least you still have your going on 30 years neighbors on either side to commiserate with about what was and what could be and how you "ain't never going to be that way."

                          Until you sell your place and move to the mountains along with all of your other neighbors. :)

                          (not a metaphor for DK... I don't think. )

                  •  I think that perception you have (0+ / 0-)

                    is determined by your own political box you live in. For those with rather less conventional views, there definitively is a sense of limitation here.

                    "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                    by ZhenRen on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 06:55:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't live in a box of any sort Zhen. (0+ / 0-)

                      The internet and how much a person puts out on it limits how much you can really know about anyone, unless you have your own set of boxes that you put people in using minimal input.
                      I think that comment was sort of a jab, so I'm going to forget you ever made it. :)

                      •  I've been feeling lots of jabs lately (0+ / 0-)

                        I suppose I'm a bit touchy.

                        But I know, there are no real jabs here, we're all luvy duvy.

                        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                        by ZhenRen on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:28:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  Elect more, More, MORE!!! (7+ / 0-)

        It was obvious from the reaction to my 1st comment on this site that dkos' mission was

        to elect MORE and better Democrats.

        (BTW, has anyone seen the national chairman of the Whig Party running around anywhere?)

        The Republicans were lagging only slightly behind the economy in 2008 in terms of collapse. W's heckuvajob on Katrina was fresh in everyone's mind. Plus, the fruit of Cheney & Co's Iraq War promises had finally fully blossomed into one of those horrific corpse flowers, and the stench of devious incompetence could not be washed out of the Republican's Brooks Brothers', no matter how many times they were sent out to the cleaners before Obama was sworn in.

        The Republicans had lost Congress in '06, and they lost everything else in '08. They were in a freefall of their own devising. All the Democrats needed to do was take their shiny new Nobel Peace Prize winner and govern well. Prove to the American electorate that the Democrats, with all the reigns of power, would stand up and do the right things for America.

        And the most important place to start was Wall Street. The country knew that we (and the world) had been fucked, hard, by Gordon Gekko. So it was painfully obvious that the first order of business was to slap Gordon's ass in prison for his crimes (yes, fraud is a crime), take his ill-gotten gains from him, and break the behemoths he ran down to a healthy, manageable, productive size.

        While all that was happening, the trusty Democratic Congress could bust out some well-conceived, effective yet not onerous regulations to prevent those destructive shenanigans from happening again, just like the Democrats of old had done. Those long gone heroes of the Democratic party gave us half a century of safe economic growth, and a badass middle class to boot.

        Yep, once President Obama and his trusty Democratic Congress finished righting the economic ship, and justice had been served to the wrongdoers, the American electorate would know who the trustworthy party was, and who were the bumbling scammers.

        And when the Democrats proved their ability to govern, and had set the US on a path of recovery, the already floundering, hapless Republican party would have collapsed in on itself, and then broken up into factions.

        There would be the Evangelical party, the old school Corporate Republicans, the Libertarians, and the blue collar Tea-Baggers. Three or four distinct parties would be all that was left of the once Grand Old Party.

        But alas, who was the number one recipient of Wall Street campaign cash in the '08 cycle?

        Obama/Biden.

        President Obama chose to protect Wall Street from the pitchforks and torches (and pitched tents and marches), and thus the Democrats failed in the only test of national leadership and integrity that mattered in 2009. They were a corrupt joke. Americans saw it. Clearly.

        Then '10 happened. Republicans took many states, then used the census results to jimmy them for a decade. Nancy handed Boehner a huge Boehner, and at that moment, the Good Cop had saved the Bad Cop from himself.

        Because if you're corrupt, and you're playing Good Cop/Bad Cop, the worst thing that can happen to you is have the Bad Cop call in sick.

        So the Corporatist Democrats saved their Bad Cop buddies, the Corporatist Republicans, and the game continues.

        Now the dumbass Republicans have gone done it again. They let ole uncle Tea-Bagger McFumblenuttz out of the attic, and he won't go back in.

        They're gonna stop granny's Social Security check to kill Obamacare. And when that don't work, they'll risk ruining the good faith and credit of the United States of 'merica to kill Obamacare, and if that don't gitterdun neither,

        OBAMACARE WILL START WORKING

        and then they're fucked fifteen ways from Tuesday.

        The Republicans will once again be teetering on the edge of the Whig cliff. Ted Cruz breaks wind and they fall, and shatter into pieces.

        So, MORE and better Democratic faithful;

        How will President Obama and the Good Cop Democrats save the Bad Cop Republicans from themselves this time?


        "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

        by 3rdOption on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:10:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One of the most shocking facts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie, James Hepburn

          concerning the financial meltdown and the mortgage crisis to come out recently was that Bush and Paulson had actually successfully negotiated principal reduction cram downs that would have benefitted and saved who knows how many Americans from foreclosure and/or bankruptcy and President Obama CHOSE not to take up the option.

          The Fed, Bernanke,  and Geithner's solution was to print money night and day to "recapitalize" the swindlers while just letting the victims of the swindles go homeless and broke.

          The President and the AG have done nothing but run defense for Wall Street. The failure to investigate, prosecute and punish the financial miscreant fraudsters will be regarded by history as the greatest and most defining failure of the Obama administration. He let us all down and he let the future down because since nothing has really changed, we're guaranteed to have another meltdown sometime in the future.

          “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:13:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Facts and reality...... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie

          Ignore them because we must look forward and be grateful for the opportunity.

          I have three politically incorrect, straight, white male, grandchildren; and I don't care if you think they're important or not.

          by dkmich on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:34:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Look Forward, Not Backward" (0+ / 0-)

            The real Obama motto, not "Hope & Change".

            The Obama admin has been about unaccountability; for torturers, for violators of the Bill of Rights, and for Bankers.


            "Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession." - Barrett Brown

            by 3rdOption on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:50:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Pensador in 2016! (7+ / 0-)

    Who's with me?

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:13:02 PM PDT

  •  Who are you telling to start a movement? (5+ / 0-)

    Why don't you start one yourself so you don't end up thinking the guy running other ones are sell-out frauds under mind control from the 1% pandering to the sheeple?

    I'll donate.

  •  Pulling Only Works When a Party Is Largely (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bwren, lunachickie, twigg, salmo, kharma, dkmich

    in the right mind but deficient in some specifics. 60's Dems could be pulled on civil rights for example. But 60's Republicans could not be pulled toward the Birchers.

    The Birchers and their financiers realized that a movement had to be a conquest movement, it had to take over the party, replacing it from the inside, which is what's needed here.

    We need a program to be creating those better Democratic candidates.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:23:25 PM PDT

    •  All the better Democrats in the world (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, salmo, kharma

      won't help us if they're not on the ballots.

      And having "anyone with a D beside their name" on the ballot--or Democrats that people simply are not interested in supporting--does not "more Democrats" make.

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:43:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, What the RW Did Was Develop a Candidate (6+ / 0-)

        generating process. Recruit or otherwise create them, put 'em in for primaries.

        As for the popular support, work the local elections and the national midterms when the turnout is smaller and it's easier to push the envelopes where support can be mobilized.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:30:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is that a direct quote from Joe Biden? (5+ / 0-)
    To the left you see a nice-looking guy, nicely dressed, well-spoken, and seemingly reasonable all the way around.
    Biden:
    "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:00:05 PM PDT

  •  I stopped here; probably not for why you'd claim (6+ / 0-)
    I'm going to ask you to try to look at the last thirty-plus years in the U.S. through a purely empirical lens, if you could.
    argument from authority as the thesis statement.

    done.

    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

    by Murphoney on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:44:34 PM PDT

  •  stop playing the Carlin card... (5+ / 0-)

    he wrote a new hour of comedy every year. you write the same diary pretty much all the time.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:15:42 PM PDT

  •  There will be no progress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna, kharma

    without mandatory public financing of elections, and banning lobbyist handouts.

    In other words, there will be no progress without a complete meltdown of society, leading to potentially violent reprisals against the ruling class.  Which is why the ruling class is so interested in Fascism, and turning the USA into a Police state.

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:31:00 PM PDT

  •  What I really like (0+ / 0-)

        about Ray's diaries is why the simplicity of his intelligence is ALL about.
        To put it in a whatever it's called (where my mind is right now, who knows?) and not a very good one at that:
        If you know what the demon looks like, the demon no longer has power over US, even if the demon is still wrecking havoc. One must be reminded because it's when you DON'T recognize, or have been mentally beaten into complacency or don't organize for that matter, the demons then have power. The how, why, AHHH! will meld into a solution. Thankfully we have the internet & people like Ray, appreciated by those of US who have been there, done that, seen it over, over, over
                                     and over :)

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 11:31:35 AM PDT

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