How’d That Work Out for You? 

Being Better Liberals
2

This is an important time for the progressive movement. It is a time for all liberals to work together for once. It’s a time for everyone on the left to organize and work together to fend off what could turn out to be one of the most trying times in the history of the republic. Half the population, if not more, will almost certainly face threats to their rights that we haven’t seen in many years. That means we will all have to work our asses off together to keep the damage to a minimum.  It also means we have to change. And that means NOW.

As progressives, we could ill afford 2016. We have been teetering on the edge of annihilation for decades, although the loudest and most visible progressives don’t seem to have noticed, given the way they act. We are not in a position to turn progressive politics into a small club that only a few can join. There are a lot of people to blame for this election, but there is no group that deserves more blame than unicorn progressives and the professional left. You see, the “fake news” phenomenon is not limited to the far right at all.

Take the Bernie Stans. Please. No, seriously, take them.

And no, I do not mean everyone who supported Bernie Sanders. The vast majority of Sanders supporters actually supported Hillary Clinton and, according to exit polls, voted for her. By “vast majority,” I mean about 90 percent. But the 10% who decided to whine and cry and claim that “Bernie would have won” need to be put in a time out. You don’t know that and I don’t know that. And it doesn’t matter, anyway. It never should have mattered. For chrissakes, you idiots: in what way is supporting and voting for Hillary Clinton NOT “progressive” in this election? And what did you children believe would happen? Did you think, if you screamed loudly enough, the Democratic Party was just going to say, “Oh, shit! We didn’t realize how great Bernie was! Let’s just ignore all those Democratic VOTERS and install Bernie as the nominee!”?? And what was the purpose of all of the negativity against Hillary Clinton, anyway? Hillary and Bernie were both on the same side! They were both trying to appeal to progressives. Hell; once he dropped out officially, she and the Democratic Party adopted almost all of his policy positions. (Source) Yet, the anti-Hillary rhetoric coming from the LEFT was overwhelming. More overwhelming was the “Well, at least she’s better than Trump” shit coming from the LEFT side of the aisle. It takes support to win, people, not just quiet acquiescence.

And yet, these Bernie Stan idiots want us to just forgive and forget. Well, fuck that. We are facing an unprecedented attack on rights for the next 2-4 years, and they are MORE to blame than the far right. Everyone knows the far right is batshit crazy; they are looking for an alternative. However, when BOTH SIDES are screaming about how bad Democrats and Hillary Clinton are, where’s the alternative? Once again, Democrats lost because a lot of people on the fence decided there wasn’t anyone to vote for so they stayed home. While certain people on the far left don’t seem to think they have any blame in this, as always, they’re wrong. It’s time we called out our own lunatic fringe and demand that they join the vast majority of progressives and work to make sure the Democratic Party wins every election. EVERY election. That includes working for Blue Dogs in conservative states and districts.

Yes, far lefties, that means we all have to work together. However, that does not mean WE have to join YOU. That would make no sense. It’s time for you unicorn progressives to join the real world and help US make progress with the Democratic Party. If you don’t think you need to change, consider what you have been doing for about 50 years now, and where we are now. In fact, Bernie Stans, let’s look at your favorite issues and see where we are as a result of your fanaticism…

Minimum wage of $15: Hillary’s promise to raise it to $12 wasn’t “good enough” and you trashed her for it for more than a year. Now, we’re facing the specter of a Labor Secretary who comes from one of the most odious fast good companies in the country, who not only thinks the $7.25 per hour minimum wage is too high, but who is at the forefront of using robotics to replace most of his workers altogether.

Free college: Yeah, Hillary was for debt-free college, but that wasn’t good enough. You guys held fantasies of going back to pre-Reagan California, where public college was free. As a result of your anti-Hillary rhetoric throughout 2015-2016, we now face an administration full of people who think the government should make money when it can and a Republican Party who has repeatedly even refused to cut interest rates on student loans, even as it cuts the availability of grants.

Humane immigration policy: Both Hillary and Bernie were in favor of creating a path to citizenship, but Hillary’s wasn’t good enough because it didn’t include blanket amnesty and because she didn’t include enough refuges in the mix. Now, because of your anti-Clinton rhetoric and your lack of support, our government is about to be run by people who have already announced a ban on immigration from countries they deem that they are unable to control, whatever the hell that means.

Climate Change: Seriously, there were pretty much zero differences between Bernie and Hillary on climate change, yet, to hear the Bernie Stans tell it, you would swear that she was going to allow fracking on the damn White House lawn. OMG, you people shouted, she advocated fracking in countries with no energy infrastructure! How dare she! She will undo every advance we’ve made during the Obama Administration when it comes to alternative energy sources. You people even bitched loudly when she apologized to coal country for some of her statements, even though we as progressives should have nothing against coal workers at all. Now, we’re looking at the likelihood of having an EPA chief who is against the EPA and who is actually fighting the EPA in their efforts to curb the thousand-fold increase in earthquakes in his home state of Oklahoma. Good job.

Single-Payer health insurance: You spent the entire 2016 election screaming at Hillary Clinton because she wasn’t full-on in favor of “single-payer health care,” and said her advocacy for improvements to Obamacare weren’t good enough. Now, look where we are. We are now on the defensive, not just on the Affordable Care Act, but on Medicare and Medicaid, as well. We now face the very real possibility that as many as 20-30 million people could lost their health insurance. Paul Ryan is already talking about pushing a Medicare replacement as we speak. Given that the only way we will ever get to “single payer,” if we get there at all, is in steps, moving backward may be the worst thing to happen to health care in a long time. Again, good job.

As progressives, we should always be evaluating and re-evaluating our message and our strategy. But the basis cannot be intention, but results. Most progressives have evaluated the results of our startegies this election, whereas the unicorn groups seem intent on ignoring the results and instead going to “I told you so” as a strategy. They seem intent on propagating the belief that they know more than anyone about politics, even though they never win and the results of their strategies has been disastrous for a generation. How many more years of Republican rule must we endure before they get a clue.

Demand better. And unicorn progressives, look at the results of this election and join the vast majority of progressives, including Blacks, Latinos, Asians, immigrants, LGBTQ and women in resisting the soon-to-be regime and prevent 2016 (and 2014, 2010, 2004, 2000, 1988 and 1980) from happening again. If your political strategy doesn’t bring good results, it’s time to change it.

Twenty years ago (to pick a convenient starting date) we on the Left understood that we were the Vanguard of the Party and that if we played our cards right then the Party would – ultimately – follow our lead and everyone would prosper. This kind of thinking got us through the dark years of the Bush/Cheney administration.

Then a funny thing happened: Barack Obama and the Democrats swept into office on an historical tidal wave of support and immediately set out rescuing the country from the disasters inflicted by the Republicans. This included passing – with zero votes from the determined Republican obstructors – the biggest health reform package in half a century, since LBJ pushed through Medicare.

But this wasn’t good enough for some people. They demanded everything, they demanded it as fast as they wanted it, and they wanted it exactly as they had imagined it. No room for the intrusions of painful reality, not in their bubble world. So these people split.

Some demanded the destruction of the perfidious Democrats, aiming to create a vacuum into which an army of leftist revolutionaries would flood and overwhelm all opposition to the post-capitalist Utopia. I’ve been hearing that crap for fifty years, it hasn’t happened yet because it’s never going to happen.

Some pretended to stick with the Party, trying to “improve” the thinking of the leaders by occasional sabotage and naked attempts at intimidation. These people flatter themselves that they are The Party Base, scorned for their leftist purity by the elites, but this idea is retarded. It doesn’t pass the stink test. As Milt observes, these people are the fringe of the fringe and the only reason they have influence outweighing their numbers is that we – as a party – foolishly allow them entry into the coalition where they can stab us in the back by attacking unguarded interior critical points.

Milt is right: keep these people at arm’s length where they can no long work their spiteful and destructive schemes.

Congress
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Crap Cutting 101
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Being Better Liberals
3
Incrementalism: It’s How Politics Works

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