I've been in a discussion in another diary about the reality of our party as it exists today. So that I'm not accused of misrepresenting what the discussion was, I'll link to the comment where it started and outline the subsequent comment thread here:
I don't want Hillary for personal AND political reasons. Politically, I simply don't believe that she's the best face of our party, especially at this time when we need a strong push to the left.But I'm not here to beat down Clinton. I have no interest in that.
Personally, geez, I'm 35 and I don't suffer from Clinton nostalgia. They've been around for most of my life. I'm tired of them. People my age have really known nothing outside of the Bush and Clinton dynasties. So it's just deflating to think of more.
What I want to address is the pushback I was getting from numerous other commenters about my decision to leave the party if HRC is the nominee.
To me, this is not controversial. Let me direct you to the comment I made regarding this decision, again, in the interest of full disclosure:
Well, as I stated downthreadNow, I want to be perfectly clear that this is NOT a diary about HRC.
I'm one of the progressives that stayed home in '12.[ed note: this should have stated '10, I did vote in '12 due to the Luna Law proposals] The only real election at the time in my district was between Walt Minnick and Raul Labrador. Minnick was beyond Blue Dog, he is a conservative. He stood with the opposing party on nearly everything, and, most egregiously, he ran what I believe was a racist campaign against Labrador.
So, I disagree that BDs are better than republicans and I wish that, as a party, we would quit allowing that attitude. When push comes to shove, the BDs are republicans. They're what republicans used to be when Democrats were Democrats. We have moved the center so far to the right that conservatives get Democratic nominations. That, to me, is what is truly untenable.
I am only loyal to those who are loyal to me. I'm 35 years old. I've never, ever had a chance to be in a Union, and unions were the reason my grandparents were able to provide for their family and live comfortably. Yet today we have far too many Democrats all too willing to crush Unions even more than they already are.
When I was a child, my dad went to school full time and my mom worked to provide for us. Can you imagine two twenty-somethings today being able to provide for four kids on the salary of a high-school dropout? People struggle to get by on TWO salaries in supposedly "middle-income" jobs.
This is the world I know. The only world I've ever known. To put this in perspective, because I think a lot of the people here forget this, consider my life, what has happened over the course of it. Carter was defeated when I was a baby. I grew up with Reagan, then Bush, then Clinton, then Bush, now Obama and people are seriously contemplating putting another Clinton in office.
And what has happened over that time frame? Wages are worse than stagnant. Our debt is sky-high and our savings are nil. This is not because we are lazy. Democrats talk about cutting our social safety net. People have been unemployed for years and have been cutoff. Sorry! Sucks to be you.
Meanwhile, the stock market is thriving so the rich keep getting richer and the poor are just dirt fucking poor.
This is the only life as an American that I have ever known, and my party loyalty reflects that. I'm tired of it. I am tired of being in the trenches, suffering, and the party that is supposed to stand for people like me has completely sold me out.
Clinton's welfare reform almost destroyed my family when I was a teen, because even by then , after the Reagan era, it wasn't possible for my mom to support all of us financially after the divorce. So what to many seems like a slow decline was rather rapid, in my view, and there were very few Democrats who cared or noticed.
P.S. I am not a crackpot.
by BoiseBlue on Sun Jun 29, 2014 at 12:38:19 PM MST
It's a diary about the democratic party, and HRC being the face of it.
WHY ARE WE DEMOCRATS?
This is an important question. Ask yourself: why are you a Democrat?
Me? It's easy. When I was kid, during the Dukakis/Bush election, I though Dukakis was a total n00b. I mean, really, I was in the fourth grade and let's face it, Dukakis was not appealing to that demographic.
So I was hanging out at my grandparent's house and the family dog was watching me eat a sandwich and begging for me to give her some. (Her name was Tigger and she was a wonderful dog, FTR.) I did what kids do:
Me: Tig, am I your favorite cousin? Moving sandwich bits up and down.Grandma was walking into the living room at that time, newspaper tucked under her arm, and upon hearing my manipulation at poor Tigger (who would have definitely been a Democrat sans sandwich hanging over her head), she wacked me with the newspaper and declared "We are DEMOCRATS in this house."
Tig: YES! Head nodding.
Me: Tig, does Grandma love anyone more than me? Moving sandwich bits side to side.
Tig: NO! Head shaking.
Me: Tig, do we want Bush to be our president? Moving sandwich bits up and down.
Tig: YES! Head nodding.
That's when I became a Democrat.
So, yeah, it wasn't an issue of policy or integrity or deeply held beliefs, it was an issue of not pissing off gram and gramps because I'd never done that before.
But I remained conservative for many years of my life. Yes, I used to be anti-choice. Yes, I used to be all for capital punishment. Yes, I was once against welfare.
Then years later, I said something negative about Clinton sitting in the same damn chair I sat in when I pissed off Grandma, like I never learn. I can't remember exactly what the comment was but at this time I was obviously older, and Tigger had, sadly, passed on.
Grandpa said, "you know, ya'aught to be grateful for this president. He's the reason [your young nephew] is getting fed right now."
To which, with classic conservative "logic," I replied, "Well, maybe if he didn't make it so easy for [my sister] to be a teenage mom she wouldn't have become one."
My grandpa never raised his voice at me until that day, when he said, "You know, maybe you're right. Maybe you have a point. Maybe he makes it too easy. But do you really want to punish [my nephew] for your sister's actions?"
No. I didn't.
And thus, my march towards progressiveness began in earnest. The thing is, both of my grandparents came from nothing- especially my grandma, who was orphaned at an early age, under cruel circumstances. She was an unwed, teenage mom in the fifties. This at a time when most women in the same situation were forced to give their babies up for adoption.
Grandpa came from a very small town in Nebraska at a young age during the Great Depression. His dad got a job at the railroad and brought his oldest son to Idaho to help him out, and when grandpa grew up, after having to drop out of school in the eighth grade, he began work at a power plant in a Union.
See where this is going? As Al Franken said, you can't pull yourself up by the bootstraps if you have no boots.
My grandparents had boots.
The boots became increasingly diminished as our family aged because, as noted in my comment above, we had the Reagan/Bush/Bush era in between. And I don't think that many of you realize how severe that has been for us as a people.
Now, with Obama and HRC as the de facto face of our party, I'm increasingly dismayed and I'm not getting anything from those of you here who insist I should continue to be a faithful voter.
YOU CAN'T SELL A NEGATIVE.
The arguments I get are as tired as I am. SCOTUS! Women's rights! Etc, etc. All of this may be true, but you can't sell me on voting if all you have are threats of a worse situation.
Our opposing party is in a meltdown right now and we should be throwing them an anvil. Instead, we're making excuses for our own party and using the meltdown on the other side dictate what we expect from our own.
It feels like a collective shrug from our party. They are in meltdown so let's let them meltdown and not tend to our own fire. But we have to tend to our own fire.
Our party is not getting more progressive. It's a center-right party, a weak alternative to the far-right lunacy that is currently the republican party. It's not enough for us to let them burn each other- we have to be a valid and promising alternative.
Come on! The DLC has taken over our party as much (if not more) than the "Tea Party" (ie, Kochs, Inc) has taken over the republican party. Is it really worth our time to nitpick about how fucking crazy they are if we're not willing to acknowledge the sell out of our own team? Isn't that like the speck in the eye versus the log? Or some other crazy metaphor that I'm missing right now?
Sell the idea of voting to me as a positive. Don't tell me about all the negative the will happen if I don't. No has ever sold a Ford because Dodge sucks. So don't try to sell me on the idea of voting straight D, or voting at all, by pointing out the bad things that will happen. I'm a grown ass woman and I know what the opposing party stands for. The problem is I don't know what OUR party stands for.
If you want to get me back on board, inspire me. Don't threaten me. That is how you sell a product.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GAFFES AND POLICY POSITIONS
HRC kind of made an ass of herself on this most recent book tour. She is trying to be relate-able and electable but has done the opposite. This is not a small problem.
Let's view this through the lens of Joe Biden. Full disclosure, again: I'm a huge Biden fan. Why? Because his supposed "gaffes" show me that he really is on my side. Biden's "gaffes" are more along the lines of "wow, the beltway doesn't like this, what a clueless shit he is."
That, to me, is pretty harmless. I think Joe's a good guy, all in all.
When HRC makes "gaffes" it speaks as much about her as it does about Joe, but, IMO, they're not flattering. We know- we all know, that "gaffes" are really just "eh, this politician said what he/she really thinks/believes."
Sometimes it's disgusting (macaca) and sometimes it's cool (big fucking deal). It's all about perspective. But in my view, Hillary has not done herself any favors while on her recent publicity tour. I think she's a pretty cool lady, but I don't want her as president because she's made it clear to me that she's not at all in touch with me and my struggles as a working class American.
So gaffes are helpful in that they expose the person making said gaffe. And it's not unreasonable to think that the person making said gaffes won't act on that in policy.
Maybe the Clintons were millions of dollars in debt when they left the White House. But one can't be millions of dollars in debt in they don't have millions of dollars in income. We, as a society, are painfully aware that our debt reflects our income. I amke thousands of dollars a year and I'm thousands of dollars in debt. And the less money one makes, the harder that burden becomes.
LET THE RIGHT BE CRAZY.
Yes, the right wing is absolutely insane right now, but that doesn't mean that we need to fashion ourselves as a reasonable alternative to their insanity. We have to be a clear and viable alternative.
This goes back to trying to sell a negative. Yes, they're all waving guns and they're paranoid and weird, but all we have is knives. Can't we be sporks instead?
Their craziness is the manifestation of what they've been pushing as long as I've been alive. It stands on its own.
Our job is not to point out the crazy like it's some sort of distraction. Our job is to present a clear alternative to the crazy.
We've all been held hostage for long enough. Our votes essentially come down to "Do you want a more conservative rabid SCOTUS?"
The people that we need to get out to vote don't care about SCOTUS. They're just struggling to survive and we are not helping.
So let's start helping. Let's get back to the left of the center and state clearly what we believe in. I'll point to another comment I made because I'm clearly full of ego tonight:
The reality is, I think we all do, and it's incumbent on all of us to force our Dems to be Dems. If they don't listen to us, why would we vote for them?