Bernie Sanders may have brought people into the movements, but at the end of the day, the Dixon/Black Agenda analysis of Sanders being a sheepdog stands. And Bernie Sanders played that role well, which is why there is currently so much resistance to fully breaking from the Democrats. Electing progressive Democrats will result in capitulation and co-optation, and more will be ready to come over and help to build a new political party.
In his version of the Texoblogosphere rundown this week, Gadfly linked to this rambling report on last weekend's Left Forum in New York, courtesy of The North Star. The Forum provided a lot of critiques, positive and negative, on left political movements including the Green Party of the US. In its final paragraph, the report references the same Bruce Dixon Black Agenda Report column to which I linked last week. Here is a slice:
From an editorial in today's Chronicle, where Pulitzer winner Lisa Falkenberg is now the editorial page editor [paywall]:
“I think it’s unacceptable that a member of Congress is not being admitted to see what’s happening to children whose families are applying for asylum,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, on the Facebook Live video of the incident.
The story of immigrant/refugee families forcibly separated at the border and put in cages right here in the Good Ol' USA is heart-wrenching for anyone capable of empathy. It's opening whole new horizons of cruelty. Even the UN Human Rights Commission is shocked.
Here's the kicker though: The worse this Republican administration and Congress get, the worse the Democrats can comfortably become.
Merkley is one of the relatively good guys in the Senate. His progressive voting record is not perfect, but from what I've seen it's reasonably consistent. On the House side, I'm lately developing an appreciation for Connecticut's Chris Murphy, as well as Hawai'i rep Tulsi Gabbard. Apart from her weirdness on US-India relations, I find myself agreeing with about 95% of Gabbard's positions.
Finding a few fresh apples in the basket of Democratic Congresscritters is refreshing. It doesn't mean that the whole party, at the national level, is worth my time, money, or votes.
Barack Obama's apologists in the media are saying, "Sure, Obama deported millions back to countries overrun by drug gangs, & he locked whole families in private prisons, but at least he allowed them to stay behind bars together." Democratic legislators keep voting for War & Wall Street, and they can still say, "At least we're not THOSE guys!" as they take turns being the "progressive" face of their party.
This is not a matter of expecting ideological purity from politicians, as some Democrat-leaning friends of mine would insist. This is a matter of Democrats' complicity in some truly evil shit.
[Insert "I wish I knew how to quit you!" photo here. I'm having trouble getting Meme Generator to work today.]
If it were easy to just up and quit identifying with the Democratic Party, a lot more American voters would have done so by now—Progressives in particular. Codependency with an abusive political partner is a painfully difficult state of existence. The ever-present fallacy of false alternatives is downright cruel: "What, you're gonna leave me? Where are you gonna go—to the Republicans?"
Stop it, Democratic establishment. Just fucking stop it. Of the millions of us who no longer identify as Democrats, some of us have gone to the Republicans. Others have joined smaller parties like the Greens. The huge majority have given up on partisan politics entirely, including the largest cohort of all: those who don't vote, even in presidential elections.
Awesomeness, except for somebody at GNN misspelling "Baraka." Please invest the 34 minutes, more if you need to watch any of it a second or third time to let it sink in properly.
...and I have no patience
for either of you (major political parties).
Happy Saint Valentine's Day, comrades.
BTW, there's an update at the bottom of this entry.
Yesterday, minutes after I had posted a link on The Facebook to the Redacted Tonight VIP interview with Sandernista Nick Braña of draftbernie.org (below the fold), some algorithmic magic displayed for my perusal a link to a group called Progressive Army against Trump and Republicans. I was intrigued enough to click through, but the pinned post at the top made me recoil. Run-on sentences aside, it was bad enough that I had dropped in on several #Resistance groups' meetings, including Socialist Alternative, at which working with the Democratic Party was considered an option. For this group, the Democratic Party is the One True Vehicle of Resistance.
Regular followers of dbcgreentx, here or on Facebook, know that I've become a drooling fanboy for Caitlin Johnstone. I'm not going to say she gets everything correct, and sometimes she offers glimpses of a paranoia that makes my own appear mild by comparison. But she's a cracker-jack progressive analyst, writer, and memester, one who traffics in chunks of uncomfortable truth.
In her Newslogue entry this morning, Caity included the photo assemblage below. At left, in case the face is unfamiliar, is Cenk Uygur, Sultan of The Young Turks, proponent of curing the rot in the Democratic National Committee through a grassroots takeover by Progressives. At right, of course, is Green Party standard-bearer Dr. Jill Stein, on whom I have lavished much praise in previous posts. The photo symbolizes how #DemEnter and #DemExit might work in concert to bring about effective reforms and create an opposition party that represents The People.
It's a laudable goal, but is it feasible?
It happened again last night, and this time I didn't expect it. At a gathering hosted by uncloseted Socialists, I heard the (D) word way too much.
Houston's branch of Socialist Alternative convened a gathering of progressives of various stripes at the Montrose Center last night. The theme was building popular resistance to Donald Trump and his minions in the White House and Congress. SA needs to book a bigger room next time: About 80 people showed up, twice what Room 112 can comfortably accommodate.
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