Tortured Argument from a Straight Talker: On Democrats, Progressives and Centrists

“Two parties can never do justice to the diversity of thought in a polity. By restricting virtually all dialogue to false either/or, win/lose dichotomies, they can only ossify the division between the powerful and the people. The actions of a bipartisan oligarchy are necessarily restricted to a very limited palette, the colors of which the ruling class chooses. Thus, we wind up with “health care reform” lacking a strong public option, despite such being very popular among the voters. Robust publicly funded health care, let alone a single payer system, is ruled out out of hand by the leader of the allegedly “progressive” half of the oligarchy.”

Tragic Farce

I’m in the middle (or hopefully, at the end) of a much more involved debate than I was expecting on Twitter with a fellow named Milt Shook, who operates a blog called, colorfully enough, Please…Cut the Crap. It’s on a topic that is bound to get a reaction from me: the question of whether progressives harm Democrats’ chances with centrists and other purported persuadables by criticizing the party’s standard bearers. He puts his case in a nutshell in the last graph of an article he calls “Stop Complaining About Dems. In 2014, Voters Will Still Only Have 2 Choices: Them or Disaster“:

Voters have two choices every November, and these days, the choice is between competence and disaster. When you trash “the Democrats” mercilessly, the Republicans gain. And if you don’t think we lose when Republicans gain, then you haven’t been paying attention. And we cannot…

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DemocraticUnderground and the Fracturing of the Democratic Grass Roots, Part I

Seems appropriate to repost this, somehow…

Tragic Farce

A couple of days ago, I accidentally stumbled upon a fascinating American subculture I was not well aquainted with:  the prickly, stranger-shy cluster of rightist (though many self-identify as “liberal”) Hillary Clinton voters who were so enraged by the alleged (not to imply falsely alleged) chicanery between Team Obama and the DNC during the 2008 Democratic primaries that they picked up stakes and headed for any hill they felt sure Obama or the Democrats hadn’t defiled with their presence.

In my ramblings on the internet over the last few years, I have encountered many a Clinton supporter of the left who was driven to internet purgatories where other disaffected or disaffiliated Democrats gathered to share solace and critiques of Obama’s America with lefties (Greens, Naderites, Marxists) who had given up on the Democrats as the best hope for progressives long, long ago.  Indeed, I’ve lately felt much more…

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Gary Wills: GOP Tactics Echo Antebellum South’s Secessionism

Gary Wills has a very enlightening new piece in the New York Review of Books about the debt-ceiling/shutdown crisis manufactured by the Tea Party wing of the GOP. I can’t add anything to it, Please just go and read it. It’s an opinion of the American present deeply informed by the American past.

Here’s a taste:

Republican leaders in Congress are too cowardly to say that the voting restrictions being enacted by Republican-controlled state legislatures are racially motivated. They accept the blatant lie that they are aimed only at non-existent “fraud.” They will not crack the open code by which their partners claim to object to Obama because he is a “foreign-born Muslim” when they really mean “a black man.” They will not admit that the many procedural laws adopted to prevent abortion are in violation of the law as defined by the Supreme Court. They go along with the pretence that all the new rules are “for women’s health.” De facto acts of secession are given a pseudo-legal cover.

Thus we get people who say they do not want the government in control of women’s health under Obamacare—just after they order doctors to give women vaginal probes the doctors do not consider medically necessary. Or that they do not want the government telling Americans what they should do about their health—just before they prohibit “navigators” from even discussing choices about their health. The same people who oppose background checks for gun purchases now want background checks for anyone the government authorizes to explain the law to people. This is a gag rule to rank with antebellum bans on the discussion of slavery.

So we have one condition that resembles the pre-Civil War virtual secessionism—the holding of a whole party hostage to its most extreme members. We also have the other antebellum condition—the disproportionate representation of the extreme faction. In state after state in the 2012 election, there was a large vote for President Obama, but a majority of House seats went to Republicans. In Pennsylvania, for instance, Obama won 52 percent of the votes cast, but Republicans got over twice as many seats (13 to 5), thanks to carefully planned gerrymandering of districts by Republican state legislatures. This advantage will be set in stone if all the voter restriction laws now being advanced block voters who might upset the disproportion.

The presiding spirit of this neo-secessionism is a resistance to majority rule.

(My only comment on all this I said a little over two years ago,)

Bear with Me While I Tinker with the Look

I’m trying to make the joint more reader friendly. I’d appreciate your feedback. Did I take a step in the right direction or go off the deep end?DicknJane

I’ll tell you what I like about this new look: I think the posts are more readable. It had been bothering me for a long time that the block quotes were low-contrast. It was even difficult for me to read them. With this design, the type is at least a bit larger. I just don’t want it to look too Sally, Dick and Jane, if you know what I mean. You’d tell me if it did, wouldn’t you?

I’m not crazy about the background color. Don’t be surprised if it goes from very dark purple to very light yellow in the click of a mouse. I’m going to tend to want it very light so the text in the margins is readable.

Any other comments you’d care to share, I’d be delighted to entertain.

Add your thoughts here… (optional)

Middle America Reform Team

Jefferson hair on fire 3 with webpage3
http://wp.me/p1fQnO-lA

First, what is sortitioned leadership?

Sortition is where science meets politics.  Sortition is a voluntary citizen draft to federal political office. Sortition is a grass roots finding tool.  It mathematically and scientifically duplicates, in smaller populations, the larger America.  Sortition chooses leadership by lottery.  It does not discriminate, period.  There is no gender, ethnic, economic, religious, or political discrimination.  It goes a big step further. There is also no discrimination by “resume”, “education”, “intelligence”, “beauty”, or “charisma”.  Sortition finds 100% grass roots America, the bottom line, the common sense, the no-holds-barred America.

The primary mission of government is to set priorities.  Priorities determine law, policy, and enforcement.  Faulty priority creates failed law, bad policy, and misguided enforcement.  Faulty priority leads to failure.

The primary mission of sortitioned leadership is not law, policy, or enforcement.  It is the input and maintenance of proper government priority and genuine grass-roots civilian culture…

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