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Member since: Wed Nov 17, 2004, 02:00 PM
Number of posts: 2,544

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Now that Bernie's expected endorsement has come, focus is now on getting BASE to support Hillary

At least with an especial focus on all the swing states (if voters in MA or CA, or on the other hand, in OK and ID, choose to vote for Jill Stein, that's much less of a concern), hopefully all the damaging things that have been said and done can be overcome, and those voters (I question whether the single poll finding that EVEN BEFORE THIS ENDORSEMENT, 81% of Bernie voters were already lined up behind Hillary) who are alienated from voting for her against Trump can be successfully brought into the fold for November

I am a Bernie supporter from day 1 who always agreed with Bernie's fairly consistent position that he would support the Democratic ticket whether he got the nomination or not, and I fully support Bernie's position now without reservations. However, especially from what I see on the web (which I know is not representative, but surely among the slice(s) of the public that supported Bernie, all the opposition to Hillary that continues must be more than marginal within it/them. The point of misunderstanding is the recognition that Trump really IS much worse for progressives and for America and the world than Hillary; many try to finesse that issue. I hear claims even about how it wouldn't have made much difference if Gore had been president rather than W (WHA?) or that working for a Democratic Party victory from July to November this year somehow precludes the same people playing a central role in developing a serious progressive left opposition BOTH WITHIN AND OUTSIDE the Democratic Party. Many insist along with Kshama Sawant and many others that the Democratic Party, at least other than Bernie & figures like him, is in totality a waste of time and a dying institution. Such an assessment is premature. Had Bernie not run WITHIN the Democratic Party primaries, his candidacy would have been a footnote in history, even a footnote of the politics of this year's election, and his opportunity to help lead a progressive left opposition after November would have been minimal.

Although some (and not just a handful) will never forgive Bernie for endorsing Hillary consistently with his position from day 1, that will NOT I believe make it difficult or impossible for him to use his development of a base, donors, networks, contacts, etc to really put together something serious -- the most important such development since the Rainbow Coalition faded about 25 years ago -- for progressives to mobilize for progressives to mobilize, INCLUDING WITHIN the Democratic Party, in the years to come.

I also support the efforts of groups like Socialist Alternative in areas like Seattle that are overwhelmingly dominated by the Democratic Party, which includes within over 90% of the large and medium sized cities in the US, and more.

A Hillary victory would be the perfect opportunity for the relatively progressive wing of the Democratic Party to mobilize autonomously, like the Teabaggers of the right do, against neoliberalism. With Trump in, as under W, the felt urgency will be primarily for Democrats as a whole to moblize against the atrocious leadership dished up by the GOP
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jul 12, 2016, 02:17 PM (37 replies)

Latest Sign of Change in Harlem: Its Congressional Candidate

Source: NY Times

As Washington Heights rejoiced on Wednesday over the apparent victory of Adriano D. Espaillat in the Democratic primary to choose a successor to Representative Charles B. Rangel, the scene and tone could not have been more different a few dozen blocks to the south.

There, in Harlem, black political leaders and residents began to grapple with the end of a run of more than seven decades during which the neighborhood was represented in Congress by one of its own. The primary results also draw the curtain on an era — already a long time in passing — in which Harlem was the center of black political power in New York City and beyond.

“It’s the end of a culture,” said Rudy Williams, 63, a substance abuse counselor, who was sitting with friends in folding chairs on a sidewalk on Malcolm X Boulevard. Wearing a bright yellow newsboy hat and matching pants, he worried about what Mr. Espaillat’s win would mean for the neighborhood. “Harlem is a far cry from Washington Heights,” he said.

Reginald Jones, 51, chimed in: “We have no more face. It’s a perpetual loss of ground, a loss of the black community having identity.”

Mr. Espaillat, a state senator, was seeking to become the first Dominican immigrant to win election to Congress. He held a lead of 1,236 votes over the closest competitor, State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright, an African-American like Mr. Rangel, who endorsed him.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/30/nyregion/latest-sign-of-change-in-harlem-its-congressional-candidate.html?ref=todayspaper

The first Dominican in the US Congress -- this is a milestone for NY City and for America

It's curious that this important election hasn't drawn more attention in general here on DU
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Thu Jun 30, 2016, 04:32 AM (4 replies)

Jeep That Crushed Anton Yelchin Had Been Recalled

Source: NY Times

The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled backward down a driveway and killed the actor Anton Yelchin early Sunday was a model that Fiat Chrysler has recalled for a gearshift issue that has confused drivers, leading them to accidentally leave the car in neutral when they think it is safely in park.

Los Angeles Police investigators and the carmaker said on Monday that it was too soon to determine the cause of the accident. But Mr. Yelchin was killed after he got out of his Jeep and it rolled down his steep driveway, crushing him against a concrete-reinforced mailbox, a police spokeswoman, Liliana Preciado, said.

Ms. Preciado said she did not know if the vehicle’s transmission was in neutral. But Mr. Yelchin’s Jeep was part of a recall by Fiat Chrysler in April of almost 812,000 vehicles including the 2014 and 2015 Grand Cherokee models. That recall was prompted by an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after complaints by car owners and reports of dozens of related injuries.

Fiat Chrysler has been a prime target of the government’s efforts to penalize automakers for lax safety practices. Last year, federal regulators accused Fiat Chrysler of failing to conduct recalls and complete repairs in a timely fashion, and hit the company with $105 million in penalties.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/business/jeep-that-crushed-anton-yelchin-had-been-recalled.html

If this is the cause of Yelchin's death it is truly shameful, and hopefully there would be more than the usual posturing in DC as a result
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Tue Jun 21, 2016, 03:48 PM (21 replies)

Specifically -- what are the views of fellow Bernie supporters out there in SWING STATES ...

of what to do if Hillary is the nominee.

I believe that hanging in there, first struggling over the platform (with many ideas that a lot of grassroots supporters of Hillary among the delegates should be likely to join in on, unless there is an incredible obedience-machinery afoot), and then, after doing the best if Hillary is the nominee to fulfil Bernie's promise to support the Democratic nominee in any case, and THEN, starting day 1 AFTER the November election to use all the resources (contax, etc) gained in the campaign to seize the opportunity to mass mobilize progressives into an opposition (NO MATTER WHICH CANDIDATE WINS) makes the most sense

Note that the appeal to Democrats who may not have supported Bernie in the primaries but who have progressive leanings on many key issues will be MAGNIFIED if Bernie supports the nominee and platform in this election. Those who insist on, say a 3d Party approach here are not going to slog it out over time within the Democratic Party anyway. And Bernie & his base can and should mobilize BOTH within AND outside the Democratic Party, eg having progressive candidates in solid Democratic districts primary nonprogressive Democrats, and in some cases seek the endorsement of a Green or other platform to challenge the Democrat in that setting in the general. (We are NOT talking about situations where any "Trump-like" candidate has the plausible chance of being handed victory thereby -- and there are a LOT of such situations politically, especially increased as a result of systematic gerrymandering.

Note also that if HILLARY is in the White House, there will be much MORE reason, given the means and the effort by Bernie and his supporters to beging with, for the (relatively) progressive wing of the Democratic Party at the grassroots to mobilize to PUSH the party & the country in a progressive direction. Just as we had sometimes more than one RW response televised to the SOTU addresses by Obama, so there should routinely be an opposition televised in the mainstream in response to the SOTU from the LEFT of a neoliberal Democrat. Under Obama, many factors worked against such a major opposition ELECTORALLY being put together in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. For one, there was no significant portion of the African American community ready to join a progressive opposition to Obama on any issue or series of issues, and of course, other progressives would have difficulty mounting a mass movement of white lefties challenging Obama, which would (not without reason) be pilloried. But with Hillary in the White House, even with overwhelming black support (which Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and John Kerry all also had) failures on issues to be strongly progressive -- and one could more or less count on there being plenty of such failures -- would NOT yield anything like the same resistance to progressive autonomous mobilization.

Although there is great benefit to the Non-electoral oriented efforts of Occupy Wall Street & those many aspects of the Black Lives Matter Movement that are NOT oriented to working within the electoral system (whether candidates or ballot measures), it also makes sense going forward that a well-mobilized broad progressive movement COULD AND SHOULD use all means available, say, in fighting climate catastrophe INCLUDING electoral. In all these efforts, progressives will be in a much better position to develop an independent voice of importance in US politics if there is someone like Hillary in the White House than someone like Trump (putting us back into a neoliberal/progressive alliance of necessity against the right)
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Mon May 30, 2016, 11:30 AM (14 replies)

there are TWO wings of the Democratic Party @ the grassroots, & the conflict b/t them is VERY REAL!

There are two wings of the Democratic Party's base, epitomized by the CANDIDATES (not always the voters) Bernie and Hillary. To the neoliberal/mainstream Democrats, the other wing of the base are Greens & Socialists, rallying behind an actual Social Democrat, which is to them all the worse, especially with him getting some 46% of the vote this primary cycle. And don't think that the mainstream/neoliberals can count on the majority of blacks and latinos always supporting them -- the Clintons presided over unprecedented and broadly shared prosperity unlike any other period since the 60s, and are mainly for that reason widely popular as well as well known. Until about a month before Iowa in Jan 2008, Hillary Clinton was leading Barack Obama, in most polls until well into late autumn 2007 by double digits. I remember as an Obama supporter (hoping he would be a significant break from neoliberalism, even if straddling the two wings of the party) being very frustrated by this. But if Hillary became president, DON'T expect that loyalty to last like it did for Obama through his entire presidency. If large numbers of black and latino grassroots are turned off by triangulation, TPP and other similar deals (and the HUGE surprise that Hillary would only tinker modestly with these) and interventionism, in the context of less of a spectacular boom than the 90s, you could EASILY see the progressive wing become the solid majority of Democrats.

Are all the relatively progressive Democrats at the base as ideological as many on DU? Probably, as with ideological conservatism in the GOP, less so, but remember that Bernie HAS gotten 10 million votes and counting as it is.

Obviously the anti-Hillary sentiment will have to be more muted -- at least until the election, if and when she clinches the nomination and the campaign ends. But these concerns will not go away as they are very real within the Democratic Party

This is one reason that while I am happy with third party efforts like Socialist Alternative, and would like their Seattle performance repeated in dozens of major cities across America, I do NOT agree with those who would abandon the obvious advantages Bernie has shown of at least ALSO working within the Democratic Party, even as some like the OP think we are party traitors
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Thu May 26, 2016, 08:41 PM (0 replies)

Would ANYONE on DU suggest a Trump presidency is better or the same as HRC?

I am a total Bernie supporter, one who strongly favored him running -- and running AS A DEMOCRAT IN THE PRIMARIES -- even before he declared, and have supported him including with multiple (modest) donations since day 1. I also support Bernie in his apparent position that after fighting as hard as possible for the nomination, and in the process getting as many delegates as possible so as to maximize leverage at the Convention, and SURELY in some form continuing his autonomous progressive movement efforts beyond the November elections no matter who wins -- he would support Hillary if she is the nominee

There are I know many, including on DU (from the sound of it, a higher percentage on DU than among Bernie supporters generally) who insist on "Bernie or Bust", not supporting Hillary no matter what.

This raises the question -- particularly pointed for those who have the opportunity to cast votes in swing states -- would a Trump presidency REALLY not be any worse for the country, and for progressive politics in the US, than Hillary? Really? As for the argument that a Trump presidency would make the pendulum swing way to the left, beyond neoliberalism and into the arms of progressives, this "radical perversity" is belied by history. When Nixon was leading in 1968 polls, Leonard Bernstein predicted that a Nixon presidency would bring on the revolution. We got Jimmy Carter instead. Some said the same about Reagan -- again no dice. And the disaster of the W presidency was followed by a neoliberal only slightly more progressive than the Clinton presidency. So where's that pendulum?

I am particularly interested in ANY DUers from swing states who do NOT think that a Trump presidency would be no worse than HRC for America or for progressives
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Sun May 8, 2016, 11:55 AM (61 replies)

About the policy of "supporters only of the presumptive nominee" & accompanying "purge" of others

Full disclosure: I have been a DU member for over a decade, and well remember how bitter the primary election cycle of 07-08 was (as a staunch Obama supporter from the first months of his declared campaign). Of course, there were few if any supporters of Hillary Clinton that had any problem supporting Barack Obama on or off DU, as far as I could see. And indeed, the political climate was such that Democrats had much smoother sailing INTRINSICALLY as opposed to relying on how distasteful the GOP choices were.
This cycle, I supported the idea of Bernie Sanders running -- and running in the Democratic primary campaign rather than as a 3d party splinter candidate -- from before he even announced, and have backed him from day 1 with multiple (albeit modest) donations.
I plan to continue to support him all the way, and if Hillary is the nominee, then in that situation I plan to join Bernie, as he has promised, in supporting her. I also support every effort to get as many Democrats to defeat GOP candidates in both House and Senate races, and have already donated in a number of these to Democratic candidates.

But I am aware that MANY MANY Bernie supporters, both on DU as among others that I encounter on the web, say at least at this point that they have no intention of voting for Hillary ever. There are many who advocate for what I think would be the counterproductive approach -- one Bernie surely is too smart to indulge -- of splitting off and running an Independent candidacy for president or endorsing Jill Stein or something if he isn't nominated. One reason this is counterproductive FOR BERNIE'S OWN MOVEMENT GOALS (and those of supporters like myself) is that any further effort to mobilize the more progressive Democrats WITHIN (as well as mobilizing outside) the Democratic Party would be largely foreclosed; this would be especially true of efforts to reach out to those who are progressive leaning and who backed Hillary in the primary campaign.

At any rate, Bernie supporting the Democrats would apparently NOT be sufficient for a lot of "Bernie-or-busters". I would like to both try to win them over during the campaign (particularly if they are eligible to vote in 'swing' states) but if they are purged or silenced on DU, that won't be possible at least here. Some suggest just going to other venues (like Reich's FaceBook threads) but that is rarely if ever as good a forum for that kind of discussion as DU

I would like to open up debate about the 'purge' policy. At minimum, those who cannot (at any point from the Convention on) bring themselves to support the Party's nominee should at least have limited posting priveleges, if that can be cybernetically accomplished by DU) in certain fora or forum, where at least their political allies in the primary campaign who now support the nominee can debate with them. That would I think be more likely to further DU's goals. And if posting privileges are limited, the danger of somehow damaging the larger site can be obviated

Personally, even this goes against my very strong free speech principles, but it would be better than the status quo

DOES ANYONE out there think there is anything to broaching this discussion? Is it permissible?
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Thu Apr 28, 2016, 12:32 PM (16 replies)

OUCH!!! How do other Sanderistas respond to Tom Hayden turning against Bernie ...

... and endorsing Hillary IN THE PRIMARY CAMPAIGN?????!!!!!!


I think someone who has access to some kind of internet media (whether the Nation itself, or Talking Points Memo, or whatever) should put arguments here and elsewhere together into a rebuttal that actually gets published and distributed.
Posted by cloudythescribbler | Wed Apr 13, 2016, 10:24 AM (21 replies)

How can one appeal a decision to be banned from a group?

I know that literally HUNDREDS of other Bernie supporters have been banned from the Hillary group -- indeed many more DUers have been banned from the group than are members. So I have tried to be extra careful, while not bowdlerizing my criticisms -- a fine line to walk

I recently received an automated message that I had been banned from the Hillary group -- it doesn't even give a specification of a post or any reason or reference either to the group's SOP or to DU's rules. I would at least like an explanation (I sent a DUmail to the host who did the banning). As far as I know none of my posts have been hidden or put before a jury, so I guess neither that nor a warning is a pre-requisite

That strikes me as a very lousy system

At the very least people at DU should get some kind of explanation and reference to a post or posts that are at issue. That is only common sense.

Posted by cloudythescribbler | Wed Apr 6, 2016, 11:23 PM (1 replies)
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