Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite Save As Favorite View Article Stats
51 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

On Occupying the Democratic Party

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 5   Well Said 4   Interesting 2  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H1 11/27/11
Become a Fan
  (19 fans)

opednews.com

Can the further Left (Occupiers, anarchists, and Socialists) work, in some fashion, with the nearer Left (progressive Democrats, Labor, and groups like MoveOn.org)?  Can the Occupy Movement work with allies without feeling co-opted?

Apparently not. As reported here, leftist commentators such as Christopher Hedges and Glenn Greenwald are adamant that the Democratic Party, unions, and groups like MoveOn.org are too corrupted to be reliable allies. Occupy GAs are protective of their independence.    In Occupy the Democratic Party? No way!, Socialist politician and author Dan La Botz says: "The Democratic Party exists to bind working people, the poor, and small business to the program of corporations and banks."   I think he overstates the case, ignoring the extent to which FDR, LBJ, and even Bill Clinton (on some issues) embraced progressive ideas and policies.

Mike Coday writes

Obama was elected, an FDR moment was handed to him, and he performed like Hoover. He threw away the opportunity of a lifetime on Mr. Geitner's bank bailouts and a corporate makeover of healthcare, when we needed a WPA job program for energy independence, for infrastructure and Medicare for Everyone.

The Dem party might survive if it could elect an FDR or LBJ every 30 years. By my count, we are now close to 50 years without that kind of elected Dem leader. In that situation, the party is toast.

This is what's so frustrating about Obama. He was handed an FDR moment, and judging from some of the things he said during the 2008 campaign, he could have delivered. He would have had huge support.  He could have prosecuted some of the bastard criminals in the Bush Administration and ridden a wave of anti-GOP anger to make real change. Instead, he sold out or wimped out.

He wouldn't have succeeded on all counts, because the GOP are extreme and because the Blue Dogs are nearly as bad. But it seems he barely tried.



The Divided Left by Don Smith

There are many progressive Dems, and the populace support many progressive policies. But so far neither conditions nor the grassroots Dems have forced the Democratic leadership to stop selling out, while the GOP has become even more conservative and more uncompromising.

But reforming the Democratic Party will still be easier than starting a viable third party. And whether the post-partisan, decentralized, "no-concrete-demands" approach of the Occupy Movement has any lasting effect remains to be seen.

As Randi Rhodes said on air: "Who's more powerful? One voter? Or 3000 non-voting protesters?"

One can also ask: "Who's more powerful? One thousand people who belong to a non-viable third-party (or advocacy group)?  Or one person who works to elect progressive party leaders in the Democratic Party?"

The Tea Party pushed the Republican Party to the right, so why don't the Occupiers push the Democratic Party to the left? Are they afraid of having to compromise? Of getting their hands dirty?  Of fighting centrist Dems?  (Yes, fighting centrist Dems IS unpleasant!)

Sure, the Tea Party was funded by people like the Koch brothers; it's been co-opted; and many of the Tea Party activists hold incoherent views. But it's undeniable that the Tea Party movement expressed some real populist outrage at corrupt government. It's also undeniable that it has pushed the GOP further to the right.

The Occupy Movement is post-partisan and post-political. It views the current system as beyond repair.  But what's the path forward?  Do they expect a revolution?  A new constitutional convention?   Ain't gonna happen until things get a lot worse -- and things might get a lot worse.

Sigh. Had Obama been even moderately more progressive, the Democratic Party and the Left in America would now be in so much better shape.   It seems he intentionally alienated some of his most valuable potential supporters.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://waliberals.org

DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See http://WALiberals.org and http://TruthSite.org for my writing, my (more...)
 
Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The myth that the Dems are as bad as the Repugs

Failure to prosecute: why Obama is having trouble passing health care reform

Undividing the Left: Hard-core and Soft-core progressives

"They're out to get us!" On trust, distrust, and organizing for change

The Battle over I-1098 in Washington State

Why Abortion Isn't Murder

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
29 people are discussing this page, with 51 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
This week's New Yorker has an article about the or... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 1:46:57 PM
Should probably just keep reminding everybody of t... by BFalcon on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:12:19 AM
please see this:   http://www.youtube.co... by Marek Kotowski on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 2:25:39 PM
because we know it's temporary and our partners ar... by Cornelius Brantley, Jr. on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 3:02:35 PM
OWS is going to be what the people make it. I hop... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 3:29:58 PM
"The Occupy Movement is post-political. It views t... by Michael Dewey on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 3:30:53 PM
Personally, I do think that we can push the Democr... by Gordon Peterson on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 3:34:06 PM
Absolutely yes!!!! The corpocracy has been occupyi... by Gary Brumback on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:01:38 PM
Don, a perceptive article. I have just two que... by Gary Brumback on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 3:55:34 PM
But the $6,000,000 question is: whose group unites... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:45:08 PM
"There are many progressive Dems"...???A progressi... by Not Chomsky on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:08:20 PM
I believe Dennis Kucinich has questioned if some o... by R.A. on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:31:12 PM
This really gets to the heart of the matter. Just ... by Not Chomsky on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 5:50:02 PM
Sorry...but I have followed Kucinich for a long ti... by Christopher Lunn on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:13:44 PM
The  main  priority  of  ANY&n... by joell lewis on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 8:02:22 PM
You declare a statement, then justify it by believ... by Christopher Lunn on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 9:33:05 PM
click here:"I asked the question as to whether tha... by Not Chomsky on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:03:53 PM
"I believe Dennis Kucinich has questioned if some ... by Maxwell on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 1:58:09 PM
"Targeted assassinations violate well-established ... by Not Chomsky on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:23:44 PM
There are many individuals within the Democratic p... by R.A. on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:21:32 PM
Don, I think you need to refine your vision of w... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:59:01 PM
"They have made it clear that they are not going t... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:20:20 PM
Occupy Empire."The Coming Insurrection" by the "Mu... by Alan MacDonald on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 4:59:47 PM
Here's one of my comments to Kevin Zeese of Occupy... by Alan MacDonald on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 5:07:28 PM
The leadership of the Democratic Party has alienat... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 5:37:25 PM
You write in your reasonable and articulate post(w... by Jack Hickey on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 6:14:12 PM
...as your Pelosi daughter tale. I was, for two el... by Christopher Lunn on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:55:35 PM
The Stranger is reporting in  Occupy Seattle ... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:24:11 PM
In a 2009 Gallup analysis / poll, "40% of American... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 7:58:59 PM
The Democratic Party is controlled by corporate in... by Bill Samuel on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 8:08:06 PM
Carl Davidson had this to say on the PDA list (I q... by Don Smith on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 8:47:36 PM
I propose the formation of a list of Democrats tha... by Gustav Wynn on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 9:41:16 PM
If there is any hope to change the Democratic part... by Philip Pease on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 9:47:24 AM
... "Surprise!"... by David Kendall on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 9:41:36 PM
..were not that surprised. They were, almost to a ... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 11:20:16 PM
... and as your comments and the cited article sug... by David Kendall on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:42:01 AM
The Dims are a bunch of treason lovers voting to e... by Mike Preston on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 9:45:14 PM
The assumption that Occupy are Democrats or allie... by Larry Kachimba on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 11:57:21 PM
As you can guess from some of the comments, many o... by Paul Repstock on Sunday, Nov 27, 2011 at 11:59:53 PM
But it would only compromise Occupy to align with... by Larry Kachimba on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:55:13 AM
Unfortunately, rhetoric is not the same as reality... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 1:17:27 AM
What is being exhibited here is exactly why the De... by Dennis Kaiser on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:35:01 AM
understands that the occupations do have concrete ... by John Sanchez Jr. on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 7:42:07 AM
In order for the valid demands of the Occupy Movem... by Don Smith on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 10:20:05 AM
by calling attention to the problems and reorderin... by John Sanchez Jr. on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 1:43:34 PM
...Obama screwed the pooch.  Several times.... by Amanda Lang on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 12:20:47 PM
only way he did that to progressives was the same ... by zon moy on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 1:56:26 PM
and all the other thugs in our political system. &... by Lester Shepherd on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:17:31 PM
One difference between the OWS movement and the Te... by Maxwell on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 2:23:09 PM
the occupy movement starts picking democrats and w... by zon moy on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 6:29:26 PM
Near Left, Far Left?From the perspective of Libert... by Atlas Collins on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 10:07:02 AM