The Progressive Circular Firing Squad

Don't shoot yourself in the foot
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot

Once again, we see the far left’s tendency to try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  This election year, we have a unique opportunity. On the Republican side, we have the weakest presidential candidate in the history of the Republican Party – someone who makes 1964-edition Barry Goldwater look like Abraham Lincoln – and here we have almost the entire professional left calling for the head of no less than Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the head of the Democratic National Committee. As if that is a factor that voters will consider in November. “I’d like to vote for Hillary, but that damn Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still head of the DNC, so I’d better vote Trump.” Who thinks shit like that?

Yes, that’s right. In the middle of an election year in which we should be making sure Democrats beat Republicans at every level, lefty political junkies apparently believe that the key to the whole election is to replace the woman at the head of the committee that holds the party’s purse strings.

You do realize that’s pretty much all the DNC does, right? The DNC coordinates processes and raises and distributes money. It provides each campaign with donor lists and other information, and they schedule debates and joint appearances. That’s about it. The campaign’s handle everything else. If you imagine that DWS picks a candidate and gives that candidate a bunch of advantages in the primary,  you should know she can’t do that. And yet, the Bernie Stans blame her for everything and they have made her a target,  just like they targeted Blue Dogs in 2010 and 2014. And didn’t that work out well for us?

We elect the best president we’ve had in most of our lifetimes in 2008 and their targeting of Blue Dogs  saddled him with a slovenly Republican Congress that seems unable to do anything but name post office buildings and court houses. Great job.

imageEven if you think Wasserman Schultz hasn’t done the greatest job, the time to replace her as DNC chair is next January, not in the middle of an election year.  Demanding her replacement now just makes it look like the Democratic Party is in disarray, which makes people once again believe there is no difference between the two major parties, which makes people want to stay home in November. And if they stay home in droves again, the Republicans have a chance to salvage their own party. In a year when they should actually be dead. Like I said, Trump can’t possibly win in November, but we can lose, and this would be a key.

Let’s get real here.

Bernie Sanders didn’t lose the nomination because anyone cheated. His campaign was terrible. He has been giving the same stump speech and giving the same answers to questions for over a year now.  I mean, the guy is asked what he would do about North Korea and he answers by demanding “income inequality.” His surrogates and campaign people, particularly Jeff Weaver, are abrasive and obnoxious dicks, as are many of his strongest supporters. I can’t tell you how many people who used to like Bernie now can’t stand him because of the way his campaign acts. I know the Bernie Stans think he’s “just like Obama,” but he’s largely been the opposite of Obama. Obama embraced everyone; it was an inclusive campaign. “We are the ones we are looking for” was the hallmark of the Obama campaign, while the Sanders campaign is largely narcissistic, more like “We are the ones YOU have been looking for and we are going to save you from yourselves.” Obama never implied that anyone was stupid for not supporting him, but the Sanders campaign implies that every day. Sanders’ strongest supporters are bullies and they think they’re smarter than everyone else and they imagine that being progressive is much like being part of an exclusive club. The only problem is, in a democracy, you need the most votes, “exclusive clubs” don’t do very well.

imageThere are also complaints about the debate schedule. There weren’t enough debates? For whom? The DNC scheduled six of them at first and there were nine altogether, not including the town halls. And by the end of the last debate, anyone who had watched even just the news coverage of each debate could recite what each candidate would say in answer to every question by rote. In 2008, there were more than 20 debates and even those of us who love politics were sick of them and the DNC wanted to avoid that over-exposure again. The purpose of debates is to show the public what each candidate thinks about certain issues and there is the law of diminishing returns to consider. Clinton outperformed Sanders in nearly every one and he didn’t really gain ground on her after any one of them.

And as for debate scheduling, which is another common complaint, well, all I can say is, if you can’t understand the wisdom of scheduling these debates on weekends on major broadcast networks, then you don’t get the Democratic Party at all. The Democratic Party is a party for working people, the poor and minorities. Putting them on broadcast networks is the best opportunity for the people who need to see them to see them. And on the weekend, at the end of a day off, actually makes them more likely to watch, not less. Yes, I know; prime time on Fridays and Saturdays on broadcast TV has become a wasteland, but that is only because they are only looking at viewers who are 18-49, white and with higher incomes. Think about it.

If you are part of the DWS firing squad, stop. All that will do is help the GOP, and we can’t afford to do that. We have the best chance ever to just get rid of them once and for all, and we can’t let PUBs and the professional left blow it for us. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is not a problem. Citizens United is the problem. I know you all lionize Howard Dean as the perfect DNC chair, but he didn’t have to deal with the post-CU landscape. She does.

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  1. A “very-left” candidate won’t accomplish shit, because the country isn’t “very-left”, and people worry about getting re-elected.

    It is only stupid Republicans who make the mistake of thinking the Framers, who were coming off a revolution when they wrote the Constitution, were looking for a repeat. (Of course, Republicans as a rule have zero knowledge of the Constitution, despite braying about “original intent.”) They were looking to establish a strong central government which was deliberative, and which would not move in bold strokes. They wanted efficiency, but not anarchy. Hell, even Sam Adams, the quintessential revolutionary, when asked about the insurgents who took part in Shays’ Rebellion, said that those who defied the laws of the republic “should be put to death.”

    Not exactly a revolutionary sentiment.

  2. I’m also really tired of hearing people say, “I want major changes, not just incrementalism!” Well, guess what, the Senate is perhaps the most deliberate democratically elected body in history…and it was designed to be that way. It has kept us a successful democracy all these years without major turmoil (except the Civil War of course..and we survived that too). The US government is built for incrementalism. Unfortunately, increased polarization has made this even more the case these days. But realistically, we can expect a center-left president to get as much done for the cause as a very-left candidate…perhaps more because the center-left president may be willing to compromise for the greater good.

  3. Well said, Milt. Well said.

    What also brings my blood to boiling is this notion of “Well, Hillary is really a warmonger and she’ll start WW III in the Middle East, so I’m going to vote for Trump because he’s the lesser of two evils”. I honestly have to say that hearing this from people calling themselves true “progressives” makes me wonder what they hell they’ve been smoking.

    We have a vital election to win this year and the target should be the blowhard over on the GOP side (and the GOP itself, for that matter), and yet some on our side of the fence insist on shooting at the wrong target.

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