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Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 22,707

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives


If we feel that the party has been casting about for a good transformative strategy, and permanently establishing trust, this review can save us reading time over the next 60 days.

O’Neill writes a fine summary of Hersh. He further gives timely, important advice to unify and permanently establish the Democratic Party as the natural basis of good governance and protector of equality and rule of law for Americans.

His review is also about how we win in 2020 and every election after.
(This is a paraphrased summary of his review. I've bolded what I believe are key points.)

Review of Joseph O’Neill in NY Review of Books

From Politics Is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action and Make Real Change by Eitan Hersh (Scribner 2020)

"“Partisan” does not connote gratuitous animosity against one's political opponents. It refers to embracing a party, and a party identity, as the prime means to advancing a political agenda. It involves identifying the opposing party (rather than its supporters or even its leading figures) as your stated adversary, and waging a perpetual campaign of negative partisanship against that adversary.
(as when Margaret Thatcher/John Major retained power for almost 20 years by consistently characterizing the rival Labour Party as "unfit for power;" and as Republicans have explicitly bashed Dems for years with some success).

“Ideology," in this sense, isn’t exhausted by the concept of a policy agenda. But if Democrats want to win elections repeatedly, the must enact policies that are both effective and popular with Democrats.
It’s an insight that’s been mislaid by the left but not by the right: an American political party can’t consistently win elections, mid-term and state-level races in particular, without the sustained and vigorous grassroots participation of its base.
Which means swing voters, shrunk to small numbers lately will support you if the big outcome) — jobs + economy in particular — are favorable, and your branding strategy (positive and negative) is strong.
Base turnout won’t happen unless the grassroots identifies strongly with the party, is united by a common purpose, and is determined to win.

Dignity galvanizes a moral claim to power that’s fresh, clear and collectively shared by young progressives and the oldest moderates within the party. The politics of dignity (as opposed to the Republicans’ politics of spite) brings progressives and moderates together to close the deep social divides across the country.

It opens a new way to solidarity that requires the next big thing: reckoning with the urgency of overcoming the injuries of race and gender and also class. “Dignity” is defined in Article 1 of the Univ. Declaration of Human Rights. Even Democrats from Biden to Ocasio-Cortez to Sherrod regularly use the concept in their public remarks, though it’s only peripheral in liberal left discourse.
Dignity synthesizes issues of justice & recognition, tax & economic policy, statehood for DC. It links working class whites’ struggles with struggles of American minorities. “Dignity” can unify the Big Tent requirement of finding a generalizable, unsullied, instantly usable theme; “dignity” is as actionable and inspiring as any.

Charismatic political issues — those that involve violence, sex, or anti-social or hateful behavior — generate a lot of excitement, but the excitement is confined to those specific issues.

If your goal, as a Democrat, is to create a successful partisan movement, this habitual distributing of emotion and eyeballs is not ideal. You want millions of political hobbyists directing their power in support of the Democratic Party and against the Republican Party.

Hersh tells a highly instructive personal story. In 2016 he approached his local Democratic Party organization in Brookline, MA, and offered to do year-round community outreach on behalf of the party. He was met with a “hard no.”

The local Democratic committee focused exclusively on mobilizing voters shortly before state elections. Hersh persisted, offering to help raise turnout for municipal elections. Again, he drew a blank. Hersh writes:

'For the Democrats to get their vote out even when their candidates are weak but the stakes are high, such as in that 2010 special election [when Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat was won by a Republican, denying Democrats a Senate supermajority], communities such as Brookline need robust, long-term party engagement. That’s what they lack in communities all around the state and country.’

… the difficulty Hersh ran into wasn’t political hobbyism. It was the inadequacy of the local Democratic Party — specifically, its refusal to confer agency on a volunteer itching to show ordinary constituents that the party cared about their concerns. This is a structural problem.

A flurry of studies have shown that this kind of grassroots neglect has been devastating to Democratic electoral performance. You see a lot of discussion, especially on the left, about the need to implement policies that effect structural change. What’s often overlooked is that the two American parties are themselves structures, with extraordinary power. Change them and you change a lot.

All that Democrats can do to change the GOP is to defeat it. Reduce it to electoral rubble and force it to rebuild itself as a party that is basically competent and doesn’t pose a threat to organic and democratic life on Earth.

But how do you change the Democratic Party into a partisan movement that is capable of inflicting such a defeat?

You can’t simply exhort ideology into existence. Democrats have to cohere around the principles of dignity and grassroots power. It requires action by three main stakeholders:
— the Democratic Party apparatus — the DNC in particular
— Democratic elected officials
— potential and actual supporters of the party, ordinary civilians across regions

Of these stakeholders, the institutional ones have the most immediate agency — the power to generate partisan coherence by action. What they must do: gain the trust and loyalty of the younger, more progressive cohort; keep the trust of the more centrist party failthful, make swing voters trust Democrats more than they distrust Republicans.

To do that, they must take these seven steps:

1. Embrace the principle of dignity a a central partisan theme. This theme will not only help unify and enrgize the party through this campaign, but provide a powerful and protective narrative for future partisan action.

2. Appoint figures trusted from the left to senior positions in the Biden administration & party organization. The Progressives (younger) Wing is almost completely without representation in the congressional and DNC leaderships. It’s a scandal and must be fixed right away. The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Forces (producing joint policy recommendations in various areas) are a good step in that direction.

3. Biden’s administration & allies in congress must take the strongest legislative and executive actions possible to do what Dems, younger ones in particular, want them to do. A Green New Deal — w/ a jobs component, not some pro forma one — will be crucial. Taxing the rich a lot more will be essential. An historical leap forward in health care is essential. Doing stuff Democrats like will be powerful in creating partisan loyalty — more than saying stuff Democrats like.

4. Substantiate the narrative of Dignity by reforming police and ICE, fixing voter suppression, fast-tracking immigration reform. These actions are supported by the majority of Americans, and urgently are awaited by party loyalists of color. A narrative of acted upon Dignity — applied to the economically progressive measures outlined above — will enable a wide range of liberals to support these measures.

5. Enact reforms that correct dangerous electoral advantages enjoyed by the GOP. Statehood for DC, and restoring the Voting Rights Act are no-brainers. Scrap the Senate filibuster rule if need be. Criminalize voter disenfranchisement, intentional or accidental. Expand the Supreme Court, if necessary to give legal permanence to these changes.

6. Start thinking about 2022 midterms from day one. These are won by base turnout, and Democrats must rebrand the party as a party of grassroots organizers toward 2022. That means more than a PR campaign: it requires funding, empowering, privileging grassroots orgs, and putting the DNC apparatus at their disposal/ Primary challenges should NOT be discourage. Faction disputes must be viewed as good-faith differences of opinion — unless they undermine shared partisan purpose and mutual respect that the party ethos of Dignity requires.

7. Stoke negative partisanship. Americans must go to the 2022 and 2024 polls with a strong and valid fear of letting the GOP back into power. Always be negatively branding the GOP in the eyes of swing and persuadable voters. Approaches are arguable, but the master narrative is: The Republican Party can no longer be trusted with power. Repeat this endlessly, verify this narrative with public record misdeeds. Brand the Republican Party as the party of misdeeds, not just as current aberrant Trumpist corruption that defines their current platform.

Call the disastrous Republican economy that Biden will inherit “the disastrous Republican economy.”
Call the Republican pandemic crisis “the Republican pandemic crisis.”
Always trumpet the success of Democratic initiatives.
Always trumpet the danger of letting Republicans back into power.

Never repeat the mistakes of 2010, when Democrats apologized for the Affordable Care Act and took ownership of the Republican financial crisis.
Democrats must comport themselves as the natural party of government so that they will be perceived as such and win more future elections.

Joe Biden will be crucial in all this. Biden is broadly viewed as earning bipartisan political capital and personal honor over his 50 years of public service. He is responding to this moment of historic need and opportunity. There could be no more credible messenger against the GOP, no more reassuring leader in an era of transformative, partisan legislative action, than Joe Biden. "

These are not rallies. These are militia parades. They are NOT caravans. They are truck battalions.

Do not use right wing euphemisms for what is clearly troop rallying.

The armed are threatening death. Not chest beating.

Paint ballers mark their marks. Photograph their targets.

The most threatening militia know police have their backs. Militia have uniformed backup.

The constant drumbeat of right-wing conspiracy theories and hateful political rhetoric has found its way into a sizable portion of the U.S. military’s rank and file.

We need to see that any coming skirmishes are versions of 'The Apprentice,' when you consider that Trump sees current generals as weak and replaceable. Why not with civil war winners.

Recent polling shows that among military veterans, approval ratings for Trump are higher than among the civilian population. In my experience, the support for Donald Trump among a large segment of the U.S. military is downright cult-like.

None of this makes sense. Trump is everything the U.S. military should despise: a draft dodger, adulterer, flabby, lazy, unread, a tabloid joke for decades, and TV reality show star. During the 2016 campaign, Trump sought to brandish his non-existent national security chops by insulting Barack Obama’s generals. “I know more about ISIS than the generals do. The generals have been reduced to rubble. They have been reduced to a point where it’s embarrassing for our country.” He hinted that as president, he would fire them. “They’d probably be different generals,” he said at NBC’s pre-election Commander-in-Chief Forum....

... reputational carnage of highly decorated American generals associated with Trump continued as H.R. McMaster, John Kelly, and James Mattis all tried to bring coherence to Trump’s policies. Instead they were subjected to his tantrums and humiliation, and ultimately left the administration. Never had access to decades of military and national security experience been so squandered and abused by an American president.

... The extent of the visceral hatred much of the military feels for Democrats, the “deep state” and the “fake news media” is a new phenomenon. The belief that there is indeed a coup being orchestrated against President Trump is a weapon Trump has in his arsenal, depending how far down the road to authoritarianism he decides to go. But Trump would need to deeply fracture the military first, and that is something to watch for. Most members of the armed forces are honorable, patriotic Americans who would never take part in such a scheme, despite their support for Trump. But a significant portion just might.


When we really see the positioning going on, we're seeing more than threats to non-whites and liberals. We're seeing a military watching which battalions to draw from. Which to ally with. If Germany can see the terrain of election rigging, so should we.

Know the relative power terrain and positions.
See our relative strengths, weakness, and prepare accordingly.

The last thing we should be seeing is "caravans."

The first thing we should be seeing is who orchestrates the positioning, participants and outcomes.

This Is America

This is America
Don't catch you slippin' up
Don't catch you slippin' up
Look what I'm whippin' up
This is America (woo)
Don't catch you slippin' up
Don't catch you slippin' up
Look what I'm whippin' up

This is America (skrrt, skrrt, woo)
Don't catch you slippin' up (ayy)
Look at how I'm livin' now
Police be trippin' now (woo)
Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy)
Guns in my area (word, my area)
I got the strap (ayy, ayy)
I gotta carry 'em
Yeah, yeah, I'ma go into this (ugh)
Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla (woo)
Yeah, yeah, I'ma go get the bag
Yeah, yeah, or I'ma get the pad
Yeah, yeah, I'm so cold like yeah (yeah)
I'm so dope like yeah (woo)
We gon' blow like yeah (straight up, uh)

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
You go tell somebody
Grandma told me
Get your money, black man (get your money)
Get your money, black man (get your money)
Get your money, black man (get your, black man)
Get your money, black man (get your, black man)
Black man

This is America (woo, ayy)
Don't catch you slippin' up (woo, woo, don't catch you slippin', now)
Don't catch you slippin' up (ayy, woah)
Look what I'm whippin' up (Slime!)
This is America (yeah, yeah)
Don't catch you slippin' up (woah, ayy)
Don't catch you slippin' up (ayy, woo)
Look what I'm whippin' up (ayy)

Look how I'm geekin' out (hey)
I'm so fitted (I'm so fitted, woo)
I'm on Gucci (I'm on Gucci)
I'm so pretty (yeah, yeah)
I'm gon' get it (ayy, I'm gon' get it)
Watch me move (blaow)
This a celly (ha)
That's a tool (yeah)

On my Kodak (woo, Black)
Ooh, know that (yeah, know that, hold on)
Get it (get it, get it)
Ooh, work it (21)
Hunnid bands, hunnid bands, hunnid bands (hunnid bands)
Contraband, contraband, contraband (contraband)
I got the plug on Oaxaca (woah)
They gonna find you like blocka (blaow)

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
America, I just checked my following list and
You go tell somebody
You mothafuckas owe me
Grandma told me
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Black man (one, two, three, get down)

Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody
You go tell somebody
Grandma told me, "Get your money," black man
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Get your money, black man (black man)
Black man

You just a black man in this world
You just a barcode, ayy
You just a black man in this world
Drivin' expensive foreigns, ayy
You just a big dawg, yeah
I kenneled him in the backyard
No proper life to a dog
For a big dog

VOTE Like There Will Never Be Another Burning Man -- Because There Won't!

270 To Win August 29 Electoral Map


Based on these state polls.


Another nice warning to MAGATs

I see you all regardless
I know what lies are like
I might've been born yesterday, sir
But I stayed up all night

I see you all regardless
I know these times of fright
We might've been born yesterday, friends
But we stayed up all night, right

I'm a young man, I'm unhappy
We deserve that, dream collapsin'
I'm just one man, so damn angry
Truth confusion, scared with truthers

Hide your foil, hide your face
Say hi horsemen, higher stakes
Hi again, well, how about that?
Well, how the fuck else can I react?

I see you all regardless
I know what lies are like
I might've been born yesterday, sir
But I stayed up all night

I see you all regardless
I know these times of fright
We might've been born yesterday, friends
But we stayed up all night, right

Hell you're too preachy, you don't reach me
Right and wrong's hard, you say easy?
Okay maybe, I was normal
On some rap shit, up raw backspin

Paws collapsin', back to windmill
Innocent thrill, some old-fashioned
Moral D-Ray, I'm no different
I wish my whole still existed

From the blades, necessitate shit
Lifespan program, final digits
You're my daddy, you'll protect me
I need guidance to live correctly

I can't fight you, fear of the ether
I'm the servant, you're the teacher
What the fuck man? Oh, so sorry
That's the implant talking for me

I see you all regardless
I know what lies are like
I might've been born yesterday, sir
But I stayed up all night

I see you all regardless
I know these times of fright
We might've been born yesterday, friends
But we stayed up all night, right, right, right

Given That Courts Support Qualified Immunity, It's Time For Govts To Dismantle Police Depts.

No more white supremacists in blue uniform. No more "back the blue" murders. No more stigmatizing and threatening the lives of 1A protesters and their allies.

Restore justice, peace and tranquility.

It's Time To Start Dismantling One Of The Nation's Oldest Racist Institutions: Law Enforcement

Those opposed to defunding police departments (that's most police officials and officers) say it can't be done without ushering in a criminal apocalypse. Police departments demand an inordinate amount of most cities' budgets but law enforcement officials refuse to agree money should be steered away from them even as cities prepare to redirect some calls cops normally handle to other city services.

Cops believe they're the "thin blue line" between order and chaos. They believe they're the only thing standing between good people and criminals. But that's just something they say to make themselves feel better about the babysitting and clerical work that consumes most of their working hours. Josie Duffy Rice's excellent article about the long racist history of American law enforcement brings the receipts. What's standing between us and supposed chaos is barely anything at all...

Charleston resident Henry Earl becoming a late night talk show punchline and the subject of nationwide ridicule. Earl was arrested more than 1,500 times -- almost always for public intoxication. Every two or three days, cops would pick up Earl and toss him in jail for three to five days. This happened over and over again for fifty years. And for what? What was the societal net gain of arresting the same man 1,500 times for a low-level violation? Well, it kept the cops paid and they got to look like they were doing something to earn their paychecks.

This is how the "thin blue line" actually operates. And it bears no resemblance to the lofty statements they make in defense of their own profession. Most police work is busywork. But in this nation, the busywork tends to negatively affect certain people the most...

Strip down police departments. Make all police re-apply. Include background -- social media and policing records -- checks. Local governments must make all police EARN qualified immunity status.

Two more links on the story of Charleston's Henry Earl and his 1,500 arrests:



No more white power sickness.

A Closer Look at Liberalism, and Why Liberals Last For Centuries and Fascists Don't

1. Some thoughts:

The power that fascism promises is appealing. But it's a false freedom, which is why fascists don't run nations for long. Fascists never last for a good reason -- Antifascists -- liberals who allow live and let live governance -- appeal to the drives of the most humans for just freedoms, not "conferred" freedoms.

Humans always resist dominators.
Evolution does not support fascists' domination. Evolution supports liberal cooperation.

Deep down, humans know who the enemies of humanity are.

2. Today's skirmishes:

Friend-of-a-friend's tweet on the appearance of where things stand in Kenosha.

" Love that the liberal takeaway from the Kenosha shootings is "Nobody needs an AR-15" rather than "oh my fucking god the police are working with and protecting militia members."

You guys are utterly helpless in the face of fascism."

My Liberal response:

Liberals know that fascism is an ideology and an abstraction.
Liberals know when they face fascists.
To be antifa, liberals know to be anti-fascist, not anti-fascism.

Liberals DO attack access to the tools of fascists.

So this criticism is bogus.

Liberals have lasted longer than fascists for a lot of fucking good reasons. Knowing how to live and let live is only one of them.

Seattle friend's FB post:
The Kenosha government’s fatal flaw is thinking they can appease these people.
It means now they own you, and if you ever want to gain control again you’re going to have to take severely drastic measures.
Kenosha police and government have made a grave error.
This is a small early skirmish in what is clearly a civil war already underway.
Unlike the last civil war, this one is going to drag on for decades.
Just like our wars in the Middle East.

My Liberal response:

This skirmish came from insurgents who seek power over justice, and use an unjust killing to put on a "show" of power.
Real thinkers know how to control insurgencies so that they don't develop into civil war.

Politics is civil -- as in civilized -- war.

It is how the players play that affects the outcome of the game: win-win (both without too much loss of face) or win-lose (killing off competition of ideas and the people who produce them).

One side really wants freedom, justice and empowerment for everyone; the other side really wants freedom only for themselves, unjust order and power for the few.

Actual weapons are the refuge of the stupid and fearful. Those who think better than they can beat them and their weapons.

Yes, Kenosha government has more thinking to do. No flaws are "fatal."

3. Why Liberals Outlast Fascism
Momentum only appears to be toward civil war in the U.S. Don't believe the hype. These skirmishes are provocations.

The Liberals' homework preparation, openness and consistency of their accomplishments are what people prefer to the secrecy and unpredictability of mad power abusers.

Human momentum is still toward LIB, the base meaning of FREE.

Liberals read Sun Tzu and prefer reality. Fascists don't read and prefer stories.

The Battleground State Formula -- 270 to Win

Right now it's Wisconsin.

1. Police kill a black person -- cameras, guns
2. BLM and/or allies protest the police abuse -- no cameras, no guns
3. Armed white supremacists hijack protests with breaking and burning -- media, guns
4. Trump sends in militias -- campaign ads
5. Fearful voters vote for Trump

Fascists vs Protesters of Fascism

If you don't know when you see video of police giving water and appreciation to an armed far-right militia guy who’s about to shoot and kill black men protesting police killing an unarmed black man in front of his kids... Now you know.

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