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Member since: 2001
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A Few Simple Rules for #BlackLivesMatter

Because I am a lifelong Caucasian who thinks black people are okay and considers herself highly knowledgeable about the black experience of life in America based on the number of black friends I have and more than three months on a mostly black dorm wing during my college years a few decades back, I feel free to let all you #BlackLivesMatter folks know that you're doing it wrong.

In the spirit of helpful, allied cooperation, because, really, your agenda is my agenda, we totally want the same things: Police need to stop feeling free to kill black people. It reflects REALLY BADLY on America, on America's communities, and on everybody who lives in them including us white folks, so it should really stop.

See? I'm on your side.

So I know you'll take this constructive criticism in the helpful spirit it is given.

Oh, and by the way, if I need to present any more credentials about why I'm the right person to be telling y'all how to run your movement, keep in mind that in addition to being well-intentioned and knowing a lot about the black experience, I'm kinda old and I've been around and seen, like the Civil Rights movement and stuff. I even marched with SNCC and did some heavy-duty sign-making back then, so you know I know what I'm talking about, okay?

Alrighty, then.

See, here's the deal: Y'all are defeating your own ends, going about this thing all wrong. We all want you to succeed, so if you just adhere to these few simple rules, it'll all work out, jiggety-split. And no, that was NOT a racial epithet, STOP BEING SO SENSITIVE, OKAY? That's, like, rule one:

1. When someone not-black tells you they're not a racist, BELIEVE them and totally give them the benefit of the doubt if they inadvertently or accidentally exhibit racist behaviors or privileged assumptions. You hurt their feelings when you call them on it, and is driving away your allies any way to win? Of course not.

2. Don't scare anyone. Really, when you get all loud and assertive and show up in numbers with grim expressions on your faces and make demands, what do you think that says about how you're going to act if you get what you want? You're just turning people off, being scary. Try being nice, instead. Sit down strikes or something like that, especially with smiles on your faces and maybe flowers and few waves for the camera will totally work better. And signs. Really creative signs. They're good, too.

3. Don't make ANY mistakes. Seriously, y'all. Take some time to plot and strategize and get your acts together and establish clear lines of authority and recognized spokespeople so that you never do anything that's not one hundred percent perfectly timed, with all the most effective language and only the right kind of actions taken at the best possible places. The only civil rights movements that ever worked were completely mistake-free, so get it together and never fuck up AT ALL, or this is just toast and there'll be no way at all to stop the slaughter.

See? Only three rules, and they're REAL EASY. You can do this. And I'm totally behind you, and isn't that what really matters? My approval?


Anyone who doesn't recognize the here, please check in at Irony Central for a new meter.

If I were Karl Rove...

...and thank fate and any/all deities I'm not! But still, if I were...

Him or some other GOPpie weasel helot of our Beloved Oligarchs... I imagine this fantasy scenario:

Oligarchs' Bagman: Karl, yer letting us down.

Karl: It's not MY fault we got sixteen losers all fighting for a piece of the action. Why don't you guys send someone around to, uh, 'talk' to a dozen or so?

OB: Seventeen. And yeah, that's what we'd do, if there was only six or eight, yanno? Send along some fixers, buy 'em out or, uh... 'adjust' things. But seventeen? Too big a rat, people would smell, if they started dropping like flies. Even Roger couldn't spin that one. You know we can't blow it now. People still think this is a democracy, and we gotta go along. For another few years, anyway.

Karl: OK, I lost count. So sue me. But whadda you expect me to do, if you and your fixers can't take care of it? I mean, I got a little dirt on Marco and Rickie, but, seriously... like anyone would NOTICE?

OB: We EXPECT you to do what you do best, Blossom-boy. Take out the opposition. Then it won't matter who ends up with the nod.

Karl: Think about it, willya? We have been throwing everything we got, real or imagined, at Hillary, for better than twenty YEARS now. Unless she gets caught on camera biting off kittens' heads while getting a muff job from a Kardashian, we haven't got much to work with at this point.

OB: Hillary's not the only problem. That commie Sanders is pulling major crowds. Better to solve that problem while it's small and solvable, we think.

Karl: Socialist. Sort of. If you're talking about Bernie. I thought we were gonna let NetanYahoo spring a surprise on him at the right time?

OB: Whatever. Bennie's losing steam, though. He turned the screws on Chuckie too hard, too soon, the idiot.

Karl: Well, I toldja he wasn't controllable.

OB: We never thought he was. Useful, though. Up to a point. Back to the matter at hand. We need to keep Bernie from gathering any more momentum, too. YOU need to do it, that is.

Karl: (rolling eyes) Of course. That'll be easy, because he's got so many dust bunnies under his bed.... NOT. Any ideas? He taken any big bank cash? Done any water-carrying for Big Pharma? Backed out on any spankings for libbie crusaders? ANYTHING you can hand me to work with?

OB: That's your problem. You're the weasel.

Karl: Yeah, right. The only one. Sheesh.

OB: You want us to find someone else to get creative and end up with this Cayman account?

Karl: No, no... I'll take care of it. Relax. I'll need some front money.

OB: Already transferred.

The bagman leaves, and Karl calls in some minions.

Karl: All right, you guys. Larry, you work on the Hillary problem. Curly, you work on the Bernie problem. Moe... (Karl fumbles at his zipper.)

Moe: Hey, boss... howabout we take out both problems with one solution?

Karl: (pauses) Elegant. I like it. How, genius?

Moe: Can we get Hillary to do the dirty on Bernie?

Larry: She can play hardball, everybody knows that. Maybe we offer some bait for her to work with?

They all look at Curly

Curly: I got nothin'! I mean, okay, the guy did a little horsetrading here and there, but nothing that'll stick with the lefty base, not without WAY more inflation that we could get away with. Or Hillary could get away with.

Karl: She's too wily to go there. Okay Moe, it was a good idea, but... (Karl unbuttons his waistband)

Moe: No, wait, wait! Boss, this could work! You've done it before....!

Karl: (clearly skeptical) How so?

Moe: Boss, how many times have you said "It doesn't matter what they DO, it matters what the morons THINK they did"?

Karl: hmmmm..... Lemme think about this. Get outta here, you guys.

An hour later, the minions are in his office again.

Karl: Here's the deal. Larry, you gotta get me a coupla tame schwartzes.

Larry pulls out a little black (of course) book and starts thumbing through it.

Larry: What kinda? We got homophobes, we got the ones who voted for Watts...

Karl: Nah, they're all too old. We need some youngsters. They gotta pass for beelims.

Curly: Beelims, boss?

Karl: Yeah, the ones makin' all the noise now about a few bad apples in the law enforcement community.

Moe: My god, boss, YOU'RE the genius!

Karl: I know. Now explain it to these two numbskulls.

Moe: Oh, man... it's a thing of beauty. Seriously beautiful, boss.

Karl: We can get to that later. Enlighten your friends.

Moe: Don't you get it, guys? We use some of our ops to be these beelim-types. And they make a big public stinkeroonie on Commie boy. SO big, and SO public, that everybody's positive it's gotta be a put-up job. And who'll get blamed?

Larry: Jesus. Of course! Hillary! Two problems, one solution. You ARE a genius, boss.

Curly: Man, I'd-a never thought of anything that smart!

The others roll their eyes.

Anyway, that's what I imagine.


The Penny Drops...

I admit, sometimes it takes me a while to figure things out. I do not doubt that many folks are already way ahead of me on this one, but I do get there eventually.

See, the thing is, I want a Democrat to win the next Presidential election. I haven't made up my mind which one yet-- there are things I like and dislike about most of them. But every one of them is so exponentially better than anyone running for the GOP nomination that I'm fairly sure they'd do a lot better as President.

So I look at the records of each Dem candidate, try to plow through the hype and the spin, look at what others like and dislike, and try to make up my mind how to order my preferences and express my support. And the thing that kept baffling me was not the people pointing out the manifold excellencies of their own preferred candidates. Nor was it those who compared their preferred candidates to other Dem candidates in explaining why they liked them better. That's pretty standard primary fare, and while it's not always helpful, it's generally not doing any harm in terms of the most important thing: Keep the White House out of GOPie hands for another 4-8 years.

No, the thing that kept baffling me was the folks who, rather than explaining why they like their preferred candidate, or even why they prefer them over other candidates, seem to focus primarily on slagging off other Dem candidates.

Finally, the penny dropped: They don't have the same agenda I do.

They don't see the need to keep the White House, with all its associated Supreme Court nominations, Cabinet posts, Federal budget preparation responsibilities, diplomatic responsibilities, and other functions, out of the hands of wackjob puppets for selfish, mindlessly destructive Oligarchs. At least, that's not the most critical priority, to them.

They're focused, rather, on the short-term, myopic, desperately imporant battle to be CORRECT about their very specific policy agendas. And while those agendas actually do overlap greatly with my own, their individual, micro-level focus places so much more importance on those specific policy positions than on the broader goal of keeping the White House out of GOPpie control, they're willing to damage that broader goal in the pursuit of short-term victory.

Short-term victory for policy positions I generally agree with.

So, why does it disturb me so much?

Maybe it's because I've seen a good many electoral cycles during my life. And because I've got a keen interest in history and the evolution of social policy and human progress. And so I've seen, far too many times, the price paid by short-term victory for profound policy changes, as they're subjected to distortion and conflict and pushback and subversion from within. All this, while structural and institutional tools are quietly subsumed into the Oligarchic machine and painfully-achieved progress is rolled back using the unspectacular levers and wires embedded in the machine.

So I've come to a tentative working hypothesis about those who concentrate on slagging off "the other" candidates. They're either idealistic but in fundamental disagreement with me about methodology, or they're actively and knowingly working to damage my key goal of keeping the White House out of GOPpie hands from 2017-2021 or 2025.

And if you're someone who falls in the first category, may I respectfully ask you to perform a thought experiment?

Because if you are in that first category, you're my friend, you're someone I agree with on many things, and we have a common overarching goal to advance human evolution and social progress. So, please, consider this thought experiment:

You carry on slagging off any candidate that isn't yours. And, because you're such a vigorous and effective advocate, and you find and/or frame the information you're using as negatively and damagingly as possible, a lot of it *sticks* to those other, no-good, very bad, horrible not-your-candidates who are, let's face it, tools of Bad People and not in any way as good as your candidate. You damage them.

But-- you still do not manage to get your Highly Superior Candidate nominated.

In fact, one of those now-damaged candidates gets nominated, dragging the mud you and everyone else who's seen them for The Scum They Are has tied to them, into the ring with them, to face the GOP's best shot. A best shot that's so much lower and scummier than they are, it seems impossible that anyone could look at them without retching. But.... they have the Six-Headed Big Media Hydra behind them. And the Oligarch's unlimited spending purse. And the traditional GOPpie willingness to fight dirtier than anyone else.

What are the GOPpie operatives going to reach for, first?

Whadda you think?

Because I think that what the GOPpie operatives are gonna reach for first, is the damage already inflicted, during the primary, by other Democrats. "Hey, look! Even the libtards know what a vile tool this candidate is!"

So, here's the pitch: I'm not asking anyone to refrain from pointing out what they disagree with on any candidate. You think Candidate A's vote on this particular issue was terrible and reflects different priorities than you embrace? Don't be shy about that. It's well within the latitude of primary contention.

But... passing on sleazy rumors? Using "alleged" dirt dug up and distributed by GOPpie operatives? Personal attacks about who you assume anyone's in metaphorical policy debt to? Please, just think twice, or three times, before going there, okay?

Yes, it's fine to point out that Candidate B has a whole lotta campaign contributions from people you dislike or disagree with. But don't automatically assume that means that Candidate B is the willing shilling tool of scum, because if there's any truth at all about electoral politics in America, it's that NO ONE stays bought all the time and forever. It's ALL horse trading, no one is simon-pure and every elected official must make hard compromises on some policy positions to achieve larger agendas.

Please consider my agenda, too: Whichever candidate we send to the ring against the clown who's managed to push the others outta the car, let's try to ensure they arrive with a strong, viable reservoir of popular support as well as money from the Oligarchs who will be hedging their bets, as always. Because yes, we want whoever it is to be indebted to popular support as much as possible.

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