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Fri Jan 22, 2016, 12:31 PM

 

When waging a 'revolution' against the Democratic establishment, what stays in, what should go?

Last edited Fri Jan 22, 2016, 01:50 PM - Edit history (1)

The spectacle of Sen. Sanders and his campaign spokesman opening a rhetorical barrage this week against Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood highlights a reality about political revolutions. They're often indiscriminate in their effect and imprecise in their targeting. Moreover, there's always the potential of counterproductive, destructive effects when that political revolution focuses its efforts on intra-party politics.

We had a good preview of that revolutionary effort this week when Bernie Sanders and his campaign spokesman opened up a barrage of rhetoric against Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign, two Democratic-friendly organizations with progressive agendas.

here's Sen. Sanders on Maddow:



from the Blade:

“It’s understandable and consistent with the establishment organizations voting for the establishment candidate, but it’s an endorsement that cannot possibly be based on the facts and the record,” said Sanders campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs.

“So who knows what prompted the Human Rights Campaign to do what it does — I have trouble myself figuring why they do some of the things they do over the years — but I think the gay men and lesbians all over the country will know who has been their champion for a long, long time and will consider that as they make up their mind on support for his campaign,” Briggs said.


The complaints about these orgs wasn't based on, or prompted by policy differences - even though Sander's comment was couched in rhetoric about Wall Street - but on their endorsement of a political rival in our Democratic primary. Piqued that Hillary Clinton had received the endorsement of these two groups, The Sanders team went beyond defining their own record and worth and sought to discredit the organizations.

It's not as if they weren't prepared to accept any potential endorsement from the organizations, and would likely have done so without a word about including these institutions in their fight against the 'establishment.' Indeed, this campaign is the first time Sen. Sanders has seen fit to raise these concerns.

Despite his attempt to wrap his complaints around Hillary Clinton's 'long time' service in government, there's the glaring reality of Sen. Sanders' own establishment presence in Washington, D.C.; sharing membership, along with Sec. Clinton, as a longtime fixture of one of the most discredited political institutions in the country with dozens of committee assignments and chairs.

Point is, there is a record of service by Hillary and Bernie which is marked by the compromises inherent in our national legislature, and the effects of which haven't always comported with or adhered to progressive values. In my view, that reality doesn't negate their value as allies and champions of our progressive agenda.

Similarly, the two organizations which were the target of the Sanders campaign's ire may not always make progressively favorable policy decisions, but their mission and function remains vital to that progressive agenda. So where do we draw a line between our opposition to the status quo, or establishment, and those persons or institutions which remain as essential allies to our cause?

Maybe we could start by ditching the assault on the 'establishment' and make certain we're not advantaging demagogues in a broad brush campaign against established political institutions. Certainly we can refrain from that destructive effort in our primary election.

All that it takes is understanding that our progressive coalitions, our Democratic coalitions, are a necessary defense against right-wing extremism which is intent on their destruction. We seek political power through our collective efforts in advocacy and voting, much the same as our progressive initiatives and ideals advance in our political system. We bring our firm concerns to the political arena and are challenged to reconcile them with the myriad different interests and expectations from disparate regions of the nation. We are challenged to unite to achieve the necessary level of support to propel our progressive agenda into action or law.

That's not to say that we shouldn't hold firm to our own beliefs and expectations- many of the rights we are fighting for are immutable and not given to compromise - but that we should be mindful that we can't achieve political progress just among those of us who agree.

Bayard Rustin, a key organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, argued in his book, 'Strategies for Freedom', that for any movement to have a permanent and transforming imprint, it should have a legislative goal attached which will transcend the whims of the emotions of the moment. Describing a different struggle that America faced with the advancement of civil rights, he wrote that:

"Moral fervor can't maintain your movement, nor can the act of participation itself. There must be a genuine commitment to the advancement of the people. To have such a commitment is also to have a militant sense of responsibility, a recognition that actions have consequences which have a very real effect on the individual lives of those one seeks to advance."

"My quarrel with the "no-win" tendency in the civil rights movement (and the reason I have so designated it) parallels my quarrel with the moderates outside the movement," Rustin wrote in his book, 'Down the Line.'

"As the latter lack the vision or will for fundamental change, the former lack a realistic strategy for achieving it." he said. "For such a strategy they substitute militancy. But militancy is a matter of posture and volume and not of effect."

Another important point Rustin made in reference to unity among blacks within the movement rings true for our own diverse, progressive coalitions which have massed to march together in protest, and have advocated within and without the system (together or independently).

"In a pluralistic democracy," he wrote, "unity (among we who agree) is a meaningless goal. It is far more important to form alliances with other forces in society which share common needs and common goals, and which are in general agreement over the means to achieve them."

Achieving legislative solutions which will adequately confront the republican minority and cause them to move away from their obstinacy is no easy or certain task. That effort will, more than likely, take even more activism and advocacy, but, as long as we keep our legislative goals at the head of our demands, and form the necessary coalitions of support to advance those legislative efforts within the system, we can assume the necessary responsibility for the consequences of our actions and transform the direction of our movements from agitation to action.

Talking 'bout a revolution...what to leave in, what to leave out. That's something best done with a scalpel, rather than a cleaver.

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Reply When waging a 'revolution' against the Democratic establishment, what stays in, what should go? (Original post)
bigtree Jan 2016 OP
bigtree Jan 2016 #1
Hortensis Jan 2016 #8
bigtree Jan 2016 #10
Hortensis Jan 2016 #12
senz Jan 2016 #17
Hekate Jan 2016 #21
senz Jan 2016 #24
Bluenorthwest Jan 2016 #2
Prism Jan 2016 #4
bigtree Jan 2016 #6
Prism Jan 2016 #11
bigtree Jan 2016 #13
bigtree Jan 2016 #5
FSogol Jan 2016 #29
LineLineLineLineNew Reply .
bigtree Jan 2016 #32
FSogol Jan 2016 #33
Metric System Jan 2016 #19
TheBlackAdder Jan 2016 #3
bigtree Jan 2016 #7
NCTraveler Jan 2016 #9
uponit7771 Jan 2016 #16
bigtree Jan 2016 #14
bigtree Jan 2016 #15
senz Jan 2016 #18
Hekate Jan 2016 #22
senz Jan 2016 #25
bigtree Jan 2016 #23
senz Jan 2016 #26
bigtree Jan 2016 #27
senz Jan 2016 #28
Hekate Jan 2016 #20
FSogol Jan 2016 #30
riversedge Jan 2016 #31
senz Jan 2016 #34
riversedge Jan 2016 #35

Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 01:23 PM

1. kick

 

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Response to bigtree (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:52 PM

8. Paul Krugman on this: HOW CHANGE HAPPENS.

"Still, there are some currents in our political life that do run through both parties. And one of them is the persistent delusion that a hidden majority of American voters either supports or can be persuaded to support radical policies, if only the right person were to make the case with sufficient fervor.

You see this on the right among hard-line conservatives, who insist that only the cowardice of Republican leaders has prevented the rollback of every progressive program instituted in the past couple of generations. ...

Meanwhile, on the left there is always a contingent of idealistic voters eager to believe that a sufficiently high-minded leader can conjure up the better angels of America’s nature and persuade the broad public to support a radical overhaul of our institutions. ...

But as Mr. Obama himself found out as soon as he took office, transformational rhetoric isn’t how change happens. That’s not to say that he’s a failure. On the contrary, he’s been an extremely consequential president, doing more to advance the progressive agenda than anyone since L.B.J.

Yet his achievements have depended at every stage on accepting half loaves as being better than none: health reform that leaves the system largely private, financial reform that seriously restricts Wall Street’s abuses without fully breaking its power, higher taxes on the rich but no full-scale assault on inequality.""

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/opinion/how-change-happens.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region®ion=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:05 PM

10. I like this article

 

...heh, I was just wondering if there were any like minded editorials out there. Good for Krugman.

One thing I'd disagree with perhaps, is the notion that we've tried a Bernie Sanders in the presidency because FDR was a pragmatist. A Sanders presidency would be a singular event in our history.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:19 PM

12. I think you're right about that one.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:02 AM

17. Oh sure, he's so bossy.

 

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Response to senz (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:21 AM

21. You don't recognize the reference to Christ driving the money-changers from the Temple?

Google will have it.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #21)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:40 AM

24. Nah, didn't, this time. I may have a couple of months ago when I saw it in the New Yorker.

 

But apt as the analogy is in one sense, in another it's not. Jesus knew who he was; as soon as he began his ministry, people noticed that he "spoke with authority." Bernie doesn't see himself that way. He says repeatedly, in effect, that we can't put this nation aright again without a large movement of committed people. Jesus just went ahead and did it himself. He was humble in some ways but definitely knew he was called. I don't think Bernie's self image works that way. I think he sees himself almost as a cheerleader, at this point. Even when he becomes president, he'll pursue the goals he speaks of, but I don't think he'll behave in an aggressive manner. He is an extremely reasonable human being.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:05 PM

2. Oh the precious wailings of the privileged straights. So sick of this bullcrap.

 

I'm sorry but this is a Party that asked me to listen to absolute garbage about LGBT rights for years out of every candidate they have offered me including Obama and Hillary Clinton. The HRC has endorsed Republicans over Democrats, supported anti choice candidates and betrayed the transgender community over ENDA.

Your part of the Party has asked many of us to endure a great deal of nasty and very pointed rhetoric about ourselves and our families and even about our spiritual lives. The anti Bernie crowd has no standing to ask for kid gloves nor to complain about critical statements. If HRC does not want to be seen as the establishment it should not endorse Republicans, not betray transgender people and stop the massive salary draw taken by the same executives who constantly beg for our money. 35 board members of HRC made that endorsement and those 35 are comprised of 'community and corporate leaders' meaning not all of them are from the LGBT community but from the corporate sponsors of HRC. It's not your place nor the place of your fellow Bernie haters to declare that 35 Establishment persons speak for the LGBT community.

Go break your own toys.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:25 PM

4. This straight poster has had this explained to him

 

Multiple times. He does not care what LGBTers think. He only wants to use us as his political bludgeon.

We're not people to him. Just tools.

His lack of self-reflection and insistence on dismissing LGBT views in order to promote his own politics is proof of that.

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Response to Prism (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:44 PM

6. you do realize that there are LGBT individuals associated with HRC

 

...there's isn't a monolith of opinion regarding the worth of HRC.

Also, you don't bring your beliefs to a democratic debate or discussion and insist that only LGBT individuals have a right to voice an opinion. I'm certainly not denying you your own.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:15 PM

11. Just keep talking, man.

 

I'll just note you don't exactly see a glut of LGBT Hillary supporters rushing to talk about how awesome the HRC is. There's a reason for that.

But you do you. Support a transphobic organization with a history of sexism and racism.

Knock yourself right out.

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Response to Prism (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:25 PM

13. you keep reading

 

...this isn't a Hillary support post, nor am I a Hillary supporter.

Such wasteful, political myopia.

NARAL (that racist homophobic org )weighs in:

Sadly, establishment is anti-choice forces out to end legal abortion & contraception, not our friends @PPact & @HRC https://t.co/lqA2OWC9rZ
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) January 20, 2016


Planned Parenthood responds:

We respect @SenSanders. Disappointed to be called "establishment" as we fight like hell to protect women's health. https://t.co/kiimTsVw2x
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) January 20, 2016



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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:38 PM

5. I'm not privileged or sheltered

 

...I don't come to these issues in some isolated bubble. The LGBT community encompasses family members and friends; even without that association, the rights and benefits afforded those who seek protection under the law benefit us all, when achieved.

Moreover, NONE of our rights advance without the participation of ALL of us. In my own state, marriage equality protections, for example, advanced through a referendum which passed overwhelmingly with the votes of 'straights' and members of the LGBT community. It makes absolutely zero sense to assume those rights can be defended and preserved in our democracy without the input of people who may not share your own particular issues of concern, but are willing to lend their voices in defense.

It's not unnoticed that the first time Sen. Sanders made any complaint about HRC was when he was spurned by them. Our party is a coalition. That's something that should be encouraged, not chiseled away at because of some political pique over an endorsement.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 09:15 AM

29. +1.

Our party is a coalition. That's something that should be encouraged, not chiseled away at because of some political pique over an endorsement.

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Response to FSogol (Reply #29)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 12:14 PM

32. .

 

Martin O'Malley@MartinOMalley Jan 17

We cannot keep talking past each other. We are one. We must help each other if we want to succeed. #DemDebate

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Response to bigtree (Reply #32)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 12:49 PM

33. Despite being the youngest candidate, O'Malley certainly is the wisest.

PS. That quote would make an excellent OP.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:10 AM

19. You don't speak for LGBT members such as myself.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:12 PM

3. Did you reference F. A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom" and William F. Buckley when writing this? nt

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 02:45 PM

7. what are you talking about?

 

...if this is some sort of character attack, spare me.

Buckley? Please.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 03:02 PM

9. "Some of these groups are, in fact, a part of the establishment."

 

1) He and his campaign are fighting against what they view as the "establishment."
2) He is well aware a huge portion of his supporters view the "establishment" as the enemy.
3) He instinctually called PP a part of the establishment.

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Response to NCTraveler (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:02 AM

16. Yeap, kicking at PP and HRC isn't ....... progressive at all

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Fri Jan 22, 2016, 07:15 PM

14. kick

 

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 04:59 AM

15. kick

 

...just drove home from work through the metro Maryland snow storm.

So glad to be here!

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:07 AM

18. Bernie is NOT "waging a revolution against the Democratic establishment."

 

He is not the least bit interested in that. You are making it up. It is called a straw man argument.

It is a weak, dishonest form of argumentation.

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Response to senz (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:24 AM

22. Then why does he keep saying he is? Did he bring his own straw man with him?

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Response to Hekate (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:42 AM

25. He has never said he's waging a revolution against the Democratic establishment.

 

Never.

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Response to senz (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:36 AM

23. don't try and play me for a fool

 

...the entire movement behind Bernie Sanders has nothing but contempt for the Democratic establishment. Here at DU the animus is so rabid that even the progressive caucus was treated like pariahs for endorsing someone other than Sanders.

If Bernie Sanders and his crew can make leaps of judgment to envelop and declare anything associated with Hillary 'establishment,' and a target for his revolution, we can certainly justify making our defense just as broad-based.

What Sanders and his supporters want is to roll over anyone in our party not aboard his political revolution, and the rhetoric is becoming reactionary and intolerant of dissent, like the way most partisan revolutions devolve. No one in our party unassociated with all of that has to put up with any of it.

You want to talk dishonest? Take a long look at that denial of yours. Sanders' epic pout at not being chosen by PP and HRC has no intrinsic value to anyone, save his own campaign. It's not only weak, it's a cynical and self-serving exercise which has zero to do with any of the needs and concerns of Americans.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:48 AM

26. Oh for Pete's sake.

 

Bernie does not set his sites on anything as small as the Democratic Party.

He is trying to get the people of this country to take back the reins of government from wealthy individuals and corporations. He's talking about government of, by, and for the people.

The "Democratic establishment." Honestly.

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Response to senz (Reply #26)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 06:00 AM

27. you're so caught up in amusing yourself

 

...that you can't see the obvious.

No one here gives a damn about defending anything other than our Democratic coalition. Our Democratic institutions shouldn't become casualties of a primary campaign, deliberate or not.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #27)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 06:15 AM

28. Like I said, Bernie's target is NOT the Democratic Party.

 

He is interested in democratic institutions, not, as you put it, "Democratic institutions." He is not trying to change the Democratic Party. That's absurd.

The democratic institutions that interest him are the ones given to We the People by the U.S. Constitution but that have been corrupted by those who possess great wealth. Bernie wants to return the running of these institutions to the citizens of the United States.

Bigtree, I am very, very sleepy right now and so must sign off. I think it would be lovely if you could try to take the long view, to step back and see the big picture. You might find it interesting.

Now good night.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 05:18 AM

20. KnR. Collective efforts. Cooperation. Alliances. Compromise with allies on common goals....

Thank you for a good essay, rational and well thought out.

From your post:
All that it takes is understanding that our progressive coalitions, our Democratic coalitions, are a necessary defense against right-wing extremism which is intent on their destruction. We seek political power through our collective efforts in advocacy and voting, much the same as our progressive initiatives and ideals advance in our political system. We bring our firm concerns to the political arena and are challenged to reconcile them with the myriad different interests and expectations from disparate regions of the nation. We are challenged to unite to achieve the necessary level of support to propel our progressive agenda into action or law.

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 09:17 AM

30. K&R. n/t

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Response to bigtree (Original post)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 09:23 AM

31. This dissing of PP & HRC is consistant with Sanders wanting to primary Obama

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Response to riversedge (Reply #31)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 01:42 PM

34. You know that's a falsehood. You know it.

 

When that's all you've got, you're lost.

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Response to senz (Reply #34)

Sat Jan 23, 2016, 01:55 PM

35. Well, I do not believe you.

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