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Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:49 AM
Number of posts: 45,251

About Me

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5664118; https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5664129

Journal Archives

Democracy Within the Democratic Party: Presidential Elections - Part 2 of a Series*



Part 1 of this series ended as follows:

Democratic politicians have deliberately disassociated themselves from New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies and also from the Great Society programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson. They have, among other things, re-named themselves New Democrats, descried big government and targeted New Deal and Great Society programs for dismantling, much as had Republicans during FDR's era. Why? Because many politicians tend to aspire to be President of the United States and becoming President of the United States is much more difficult for a Democrat than it had been before Truman ran in 1948. Or so "they" have been telling us.

The language quoted above raises two questions: (1) Why did the Democratic Party worry overly about electing a Democratic President when Democrats dominated Congress for so long; and (2) Why, after holding the Oval Office for two solid decades, did Democrats run into problems electing Presidents?

As stated above, many politicians, especially those who are powerful within the Party, tend to aspire to be POTUS, rather than Governor of just one state of fifty or just one voting member of Congress out of 535. Politicians who want to be POTUS tend also to want their Party to maximize their chances of becoming POTUS. For those who seek to control federal government, gaining control of one POTUS seems much easier than gaining control of 536 disparate politicians. IOW, plutocrats, both in and out of government, focused increasingly on the Oval Office. (This issue also goes to the accelerating move toward a Unitary Executive, an undemocratic prospect that is, to me, quite frightening.) The answer to the second question is more complex. It is tied, as is so much in U.S. politics, to America's original sin: Racism.

Without intending to subordinate or minimize slavery, I see legal slavery as one especially heinous result of racism. Our original sin of racism caused, and continues to cause, one degree of suffering or other to First Nations, the Chinese, the Japanese, Jews, Arabs-- all people of color, even to those who just were not WASP. For example, Paul Revere's father changed his surname from Revoir, in an attempt to avoid anti-French discrimination by colonials. Joseph Kennedy, Sr. though wealthy, had been stung by anti-Irish, anti-Catholic sentiment.

While the Emancipation Proclamation ended legal slavery, the nation just cannot seem to expiate its original sin--legally-enforced racism did not end until a century after Emancipation and racism has never ended: Racism is certainly playing an overt role in the 2016 Presidential primaries, as it had in the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections. In reality, racism has likely played a more covert role in many elections, but I am getting ahead of myself.

Today, the Democratic Party, while not an exemplar of racial justice, is associated far more with racial justice, including for African Americans, than is the Republican Party. The roots of the Democratic Party, however, are, like the roots of the U.S. itself, horribly entangled with racism.

The very first Democratic President was President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner and infamous for many other things, including his treatment of First Nations. Democratic President James Buchanan virtually made the Civil War inevitable. Democratic U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate, Stephen Douglas, ran against Republican Abraham Lincoln on a platform of extending slavery into the territories, the parts of what is now the U.S. that had not yet become states.

This history of the Democratic Party, combined with the South's particular history of slavery, had resulted in the South's being solidly Democratic. However, Truman, who had once joined the White Citizens' Council as another politician might have joined the Rotary, created a Civil Rights Commission in 1946 and courageously ordered integration of the military in 1948--an election year. As a result, Truman faced, in 1948, a challenge from then Governor of South Carolina, Strom Thurmond, who changed from Democrat to Dixiecrat in 1948 for that purpose. (For unrelated reasons, Truman also faced a second so-called "third"-party challenge from FDR's one-time Vice President, liberal Henry A. Wallace, running as head of the then newly-formed Progressive Party.)

Although Truman narrowly defeated Republican Thomas E. Dewey despite two so-called "third"-Party challenges, he seemed unlikely to win in 1952, if he ran. It's difficult to tell whether his civil rights commission and his desegregation of the military were the reasons, or whether Americans thought seven plus years of Truman was enough. (The nation had just adopted a Constitutional amendment limiting Presidential terms to eight years, but expressly excluding Truman, without naming him. My guess is that emotions around the potential of a "President for Life" had run high preceding ratification.)

Part 1 of this Series is at http://www.democraticunderground.com/127710632

Democracy Within the Democratic Party: Presidential Elections - Part 1 of a Series*


Those who do not know their history are doomed not to know their history. To help save Democrats from terrible tautologies (and annoying alliteration), this post offers some history about the Democratic Party's War on Party Democracy, aka WOPD or DPWOP. (I know: I don't like the fake war labels or their acronyms, either, but will indulge, just this once.)

For reasons I've never understood, the following statement of irrefutable fact causes anger: Contrary to billions of July 4 speeches, the United States of America is not a democracy; it is a republic. Cross my heart. In a democracy, all citizens have the right to vote on all issues and actions. Just imagine being able to vote against war, against tax increases and for commemorating National Mocha Toffee Chip Day! American citizens who don't hold elected office don't get to vote on those things because their form of government is not a democracy, but a republic. In a republic, citizens get to vote nationally only on who represents them in Congress and in the Oval Office, using "represent" very loosely.

Often, voting for politicians who "represent" us has meant a choice between voting for "evil" or for "the lesser/slower of two evils" (aka, LOTE). Typically, Republican voters perceive the Republican candidate as the LOTE and also as the way to prevent election of the greater evil, aka, the Democratic candidate. Of course, Democratic voters perceive the opposite. Primaries are--were--the way in which Americans could at least help decide who the candidates of their respective political parties would be. Swell! Every little bit of democracy is good, right? Wrong! At least, wrong, if you are a professional politician. Which brings us (only because I say so) to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

FDR was arguably the most beloved President in United States history and indisputably the most elected. Why? Yes, he was Commander in Chief during arguably the last war the nation ever won, as well as the last war against a clear and unimaginably heinous foe to boot--a war even a pacifist could support. However, by the time that World War II began, Americans had already become unable to quit FDR.

A combination of Wall Street "crash," caused by massive fraud, and its reverberations, plus the Dust Bowl, had many American voters and their families headed en masse toward joblessness (or croplessness), then homelessness and perhaps foodlessness, aka starvation. From his wheelchair, FDR had grabbed them (and also Wall Streeters and bankers) back with his New Deals and his so-called court-packing plan, shouting "Not on my watch." What's not to re-elect? FDR's successor, President Harry S.Truman, supported what was left of the New Deals by the time HST had become President and added the Fair Deal.

The cumulative result of the New Deals and the Fair Deal was twenty consecutive years of Democrats in the Oval Office, ousted only a World War II hero-general, and Democratic domination of Congress, almost continuously, for forty years. Additionally, the nation, including the Supreme Court of the United States, had been pushed several giant steps and a couple of umbrella steps left: even Republican politicians dared not light out with their right out. What more could any political party have dreamt? Small wonder Democrats clung tenaciously to New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies, correct? Well, no.

Democratic politicians have deliberately disassociated themselves from New Deal/Fair Deal philosophies and also from the Great Society programs of President Lyndon B. Johnson. They have, among other things, re-named themselves New Democrats, descried big government and targeted New Deal and Great Society programs for dismantling, much as had Republicans during FDR's era. Why? Because many politicians tend to aspire to be President of the United States and becoming President of the United States is much more difficult for a Democrat than it had been before Truman ran in 1948. Or so "they" have been telling us.

*Some of you have seen this elsewhere. It's posted here for those who have not.

The Sit Down and Shut Up Award and Other Realities*


In a way, this post is about a chair and an award. However, it really is about us (the left). So, before I go further, I need to make some observations about the left/us that may not be popular.

Admittedly, this is a broad generalization, but please bear with me. The right does a lot of long-range, systematic planning, plotting and "fail-safe-ing," while the left tends to expect people to be good and things to go as they should. When expectations don't manifest, the left sometimes goes into laser-focused, reactive mode. On such occasions, we could do with more of taking a breath, stepping back and assessing the situation and the big picture. Twice. And, in general, we could do with more short-term and long-range planning. Lots. I freely admit that I am among the members of the left who are most in need of this advice.

Second, those on the right excel at framing and manipulation. In the short-term, we need to avoid buying into, and being constricted by, their framing. They don't have a right to chose the which game we'll be playing and which field we will be playing it on, and then restrict us to playing defense. In the long-term, we need to best the right at both framing and choosing the playing field--if we should play at all.

Third, when very young, I heard an expression from an older person that has stayed with me, even if I have not lived it: "Believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." As an adult in 2016, I don't recommend believing even half of what we see.

Now that I have alienated everyone whom I love, I will get to the (drum roll) lifted chair debacle.

A. Was the "chair lifter" an actual supporter of Bernie? Are the people making the threats actually even supporters of Bernie? How can we tell?

Whatever the chair lifter did or did not do, who knows if he is even a Bernie supporter? The Hillary campaign (including PACs) has used a number of different false flag ops. An early one that hit the news was fake Twitter and facebook fans, something I thought no candidate would risk after Newt Gingrich got outed for hiring facebook "likers." Another op, one that Brock announced, is a million dollars worth (at least) of pro-Hillary internet trolls.


A third false flag operation is one that some of us spotted as early as 2014. A phalanx of fake Bernie supporters, aka Bernie Butters,™ would mechanically announce "I support Bernie Sanders, but...." Then, the poseurs would criticize Bernie or defend or praise Hillary. They never criticized Hillary. They rarely, if ever, complimented or praised Bernie. Or, they might compliment Bernie on one vaguely-worded category. Then, at some point, one of more of them would find some lame reason why he or she simply could "no longer support Bernie," such as the data breach (as if Bernie had been at the computer). Later, one or more would find that he or she just could not continue to support Bernie because of--wait for it--the behavior on Twitter of his supporters, the [strike] Obama boys [/strike] Bernie Bros. It was like dominoes.

When outed for having faked their support for Bernie, they would lash out and flail. Meanwhile, in each instance, the true supporters of Sanders would have been goaded and provoked, which would invariably go unmentioned. This pattern/op, now known as #BernieLostMe, has appeared on message boards, in social media and in the press. I have, however, never once encountered it among people I know "in real life."

So, with all the false flag operations that we know about, is it really far-fetched to wonder if someone may have hired people, perhaps actors, to disrupt in person?

B. When a new story erupts and consumes media oxygen (and therefore the attention of the general public), we need to notice which news stories our attention is being diverted AWAY from.

C. We (the left) either need to learn media or raise enough money to hire someone knowledgeable.

D. We need to find some way to discourage media from disseminating one side of a story.

This would have been the non-event that it should have been, had it not been for media breathlessly and incessantly reporting Lange's version of events as though it were (a) the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; (b) VERY important; and (c) conclusive proof of the one-sided, misandryist and utterly bogus [strike]Obama boys[/strike] Bernie Bros propaganda that media has been catapulting. [url]http://www.npr.org/sections/ombudsman/2016/05/18/478579787/fact-checking-nprs-reports-on-vegas-violence[/url]

Does establishment media collude with the political establishment? I believe it does. Either way, however, establishment media is disserving the country. For its precipitous, inaccurate, inflammatory and possibly collusive coverage, media richly deserve a Sit Down And Shut Up Award.

*Some of you may have seen this post elsewhere, but it's here as well for those who have not.

TODAY is the DEADLINE to REGISTER in California. Register Dem, not NPP. Tell everyone!

[QUOTE]Bernie Sanders for President


A massive haul of 475 pledged delegates will be up for grabs in California's June 7th election. We hope to win a big majority of those.

Since this is a people-powered campaign, we're asking for your help – in any of the following four ways – to do that!

1.Call some California voters now. We're working to get as many Californians as possible registered to vote for Bernie before the voter registration deadline this Monday. Lots of voters – even those in other parties – are looking for the strongest candidate to beat Trump, and polls consistently show that that's Bernie. (merrily says: Tell them to register Democratic, not NPP - http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280198869

Make calls to California now [url]https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/caphonebank/[/url]

2. Sign up to call California voters later. Since California offers online voter registration, we'll be making calls right up through the deadline Monday evening. And every voter we can register, or re-register as a Democrat (or "no party preference", is another potential vote for Bernie.

Sign up to make some calls later [url]https://go.berniesanders.com/page/s/get-california-registered?source=em160521-full[/url]

3. Share our California voter registration page on Facebook. If you have friends in California, tag them and ask them to spread the word too. Voter registration numbers are already trending up this year in the Golden State, so let's keep that momentum going!

Share on facebook and tag some friends

4. Contribute to support our campaign. We don't take money from super PACs, and have shocked the political establishment by showing that Americans just like you are eager and ready to fund a grassroots campaign that's not beholden to wealthy donors. Your donation will help keep our political revolution rolling all the way into the Democratic convention in July.

Contribute to support our campaign ( DU donation link https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie )

We're staying in this fight all the way to the convention, because we know that Bernie is the strongest candidate to beat Trump in the fall. Every state we win and every vote we earn strengthens our hand in delivering that message at the convention in Philadelphia, and signals to the political establishment that we will not accept the status quo of a corrupt political system that holds in place a rigged economy.

In solidarity,

Team Bernie[/QUOTE]

Tips on phonebanking http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280172731

Check your own registration and get a screen cap. Tell your friends to do the same. NOW http://reg2vote.today/
See also http://jackpineradicals.org/showthread.php?11792-The-most-important-thing-you-can-do-in-California-today&p=73688#post73688

There is are several so called third party runs, including Johnson/Weld and Jill Stein

in the Libertarian and Green Parties, respectively.

IMO, we need to stop using the term "third party."

First, it is hopelessly inaccurate. Many national political parties exist besides the two largest. In 2008, six parties ran a candidate for President: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Independent, Libertarian and Republican. In 2000, it was Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian, Natural Law and Republican. I am not sure what, if anything, the Working Families Party did those years.

Second, using it again and again as though it were accurate keeps re-branding in our minds the falsehood that the two largest political parties are the only ones, unless someone suddenly pops up to tilt at windmills.

We needed to wake up back in 1985, but we didn't. Now that the Democratic Party chooses its Presidential nominee eight years in advance, and has fensies on incumbents, we really need to wake up, look around and stop reinforcing falsehoods in our own minds.

So, what made the news yesterday?

Ex-Aide to Hillary Clinton Testifies About Email Server


WASHINGTON — A former aide to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state testified behind closed doors for two hours Wednesday in the first in a series of depositions that are likely to raise more questions about Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server just as she prepares for an election campaign against Donald J. Trump.

The former aide, Lewis A. Lukens, testified under oath about his knowledge of Mrs. Clinton’s private email system as part of a lawsuit brought against the State Department by a conservative legal advocacy group, Judicial Watch.

At least five other officials — including two of Mrs. Clinton’s top aides at the State Department, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin — are also scheduled to testify in the lawsuit over the next six weeks in what promises to be an unwelcome distraction for the Clinton campaign.

The last deposition is set for June 29 — less than a month before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, where Mrs. Clinton is widely expected to win her party’s nomination for president over challenger Bernie Sanders.


What was the big topic of discussion yesterday, though? The NOT throwing of a chair, supposedly by a supporter of Sanders.

And before that, what was the big political news possibly affecting the primary?

Notify Californians to register DEMOCRAT, not NPP

My best understanding:

1. Voters who are registered as not affiliated with any political party (indie) seem likelier to vote in the primary for Bernie than for Hillary.

2. In California, voters who register as not affiliated with any political party are referred to as NPP (No Party Preference) voters.

3. In California, each political party decides if NPP voters can vote in each primary.

4. The Democratic Party is allowing NPP voters to vote in the 2016 Democratic primary, BUT

5. Poll workers will be giving only provisional ballots to NPP voters who request a Democratic ballot.(hat tip madflorian)

6. I just emailed everyone I know in California to be sure they are registered Democratic, not NPP. (I had emailed them only last week, telling them that being registered either Democratic or NPP would work.)

Here is a link to more information about California's NPP voters, which is quite unusual. If you are in California or communicating with anyone there, PLEASE read it. [url]http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/political-parties/no-party-preference/[/url]

MAY 23 is the deadline to register to vote in the California Primary and May 31 is the deadline for absentee ballots.
Other info: [url]http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/june-7-2016-presidential-primary-election/[/url]

If anyone knows of better information that is in this post, please post on this thread and I will edit the post as I learn more. Thank you!

Here's the video revealing that the instruction about the provisional ballot is in the manual used for training poll workers.

Dear Bernie Group. I must come before you very sorrowfully...again.

Remember when I sadly informed you that your candidate had ended an interview with a reporter? http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1280&pid=151508

Well, I have much worse news now. Apparently, you are a very clueless lot, bless your hearts,* despite every media outlet drumming this into you. I must solemnly inform you (brace yourselves): Every Presidential hopeful does not win a Presidential primary. One wins; the rest lose. The same is true of the general election. Even if you keep donating, Bernie may not be President and the only thing you will have gotten for your money will quite a few incredibly wonderful sea changes in U.S. politics. (Please see "Sea changes in US politics, thanks to Senator Sanders and his supporters" http://www.democraticunderground.com/1280109865 )

Only a few primaries and caucuses remain in 2016. Bernie is behind in pledged delegates. On the other hand, California alone has hundreds of pledged delegates to apportion. Also, something or other about Hillary or Bill may finally convince the Party PTB that Hillary will be a weaker candidate in the general than they had imagined. (BTW, Today Show this morning reported that Trump is only 3 points behind Hillary nationally. I'm guessing that's in the neighborhood of margin of error.) There is even a chance that the Democratic nomination could end up being between Bernie and Biden at the Convention in Philadelphia. Who knows? If people can nominate Trump, anything is possible this year, but, again, there is no guaranty Bernie will win, even if you keep donating.. There is also no guaranty he will lose. After all, Bernie did start out 65 points, hundreds of endorsements and millions of dollars behind and, for some reason, one state party after another has been falling short on that whole "fair elections" thingie. Yet, Hillary still is not the nominee.

Finally, when donating for any cause, please use common sense and don't send the only money you have for groceries or rent or the mortgage. I know that I don't want that for you and I very much doubt Bernie does.

Are we crystal?

As for me and mine, we are with Bernie and his sea change agenda as long as he wants us and then with whoever takes up his torch. And I am still donating. (To all internet altruists: I have it on good authority--several, actually--that I am capable of deciding how I wish to spend my own money and I know I am better able to decide how to spend my own money than someone who has never met me, so relax, k?)

What you do or don't do is entirely up to you. However, if you do want to donate, the minimum donation is $1 and here are the links:

DU ActBlue Link https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/duforbernie
JPR ActBlue link: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/jackpineradicals4bernie

*Although I have lived only in three Northeastern states, I am, of course, using this brief prayer that God bless your heart as condescending snark. I don't know why you lot did not give up on your candidate when I told you that he had literally ended an interview with a reporter. I certainly hope you've finally learned your damned lesson. And speaking of lessons, I leave you (for now) with a variation on a Third Way classic: Never let a tiny turd in the punchbowl become the enemy of no turd at all.

People didn't know about this? A lot of the cameras on streets are equipped with audio.

Thank you, Homeland Security!

Also, the government developed microphones that can listen from outside buildings like, oh, I don't know, your HOME, from outside. I learned of this technology when I read something--don't remember where--about Justice Brennan's telling a someone to lower his or her voice and explaining that they could be overheard. I don't know when he said that, but he died in 1997, so I imagine the technology to be much more powerful than it was whenever he mentioned this.

They can also plant bugs, read your emails, follow your online activities, tap your phone, un-encrypt your phone, follow and/or film you as you perambulate the streets of your city or town (think all the pics you've seen of the Tsarnaevs as they traveled parallel to route or the Boston Marathon), track your car with a GPS device and do lots of other great things, often with no warrant or a warrant obtained after the fact. And then, there are all those private security cameras in every store, many workplaces, etc.

It's just like Paul Revere and all our other heroes who demanded that the Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution always said never, "If you're not doing anything wrong, what the fuck is your problem with all this crap?

Dedicated to the Fourth Amendment, with love and respect.

Well, the origin was a conservative group in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

that was horrified by Nixon's plan of an employer mandate and no individual mandate. Then it became the Heritage Foundation Plan, then Billarycare, then Romneycare, then Obamacare, with Rahm overseeing the process. Then, much as DU loves to blame Lieberman, the people cited upthread made it even worse.

Where were the great policy reasons supposed to come from? But, never let a stuff on shingle sandwich become the enemy of no sandwich at all!

Remember how it was supposed to be the first step toward Medicare for all, but now Medicare for All is impossible and shame on Bernie Sanders for pretending otherwise? Good times.

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