I read your issue of The Commoner Call [1/23/17] last night.
I’m still furious! If you are so concerned about progressive values and concerned about restoring and moving ahead with progressive programs, why the hell are you beating up on Barack Obama? Why aren’t you trumpeting the fact that the nation just reached the longest consecutive job growth in history-(78 years statistic has been recorded) , the auto industry and all feeder industries were saved, many more people are now insured? Why aren’t you beating up on Trump’s cabinet nominees, or the deletion of climate change references on state and now national websites? Why not get the word out that our state Republican legislature quietly changed the law to make it easier for Enbridge Pipe Line to condemn private property under imminent domain adjacent to the firm’s easement? They also prevented local counties from requiring Enbridge to carry insurance to clean up any spills. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 1/22/17)
I think a twice weekly newsletter would be wonderful if it communicates the destructive policies of Scott Walker and Donald Trump. It isn’t helpful to criticize the very people who are working for progressive values. Perhaps you should run for office, or try being president to demonstrate how easy it is to accomplish a progressive agenda against a block of opposition.
The conservatives have an extensive network to constantly sway public opinion against Democrats. They have help from Fake News creators and possibly even the Russians. They don’t need the help of Democrats to tear down the Democratic Party, Democratic legislators or candidates . The Democrats, or progressives, defeated themselves by going after their own candidates.
I am convinced that you did your part to elect Donald Trump. With your propaganda in the Daily Call you reinforced what Republicans were saying about Hillary Clinton, weakening Hillary Clinton, and never pointing out her progressive accomplishments. By attacking the Democratic Party, the Establishment, moderate candidates, we now have Donald Trump. We will suffer for decades. All the things I care about are being dismantled by Walker, and now will be at a national level. Having Obama in the White House prevented so many bad things from happening, and really I’m amazed at what he did manage to accomplish.
Editor’s Reply: Well to begin with I need to be clear about where The Commoner Call is coming from. I am more interested in principle over party; either party. Especially the Democratic Party. The Republican Party is a lost cause; it has fallen to the fascists and at this point is irredeemable. If we are to thread our way through this dangerous passage we need to have a strong, vibrant and most all believable progressive Democratic Party alternative. While I can appreciate your loyalty, Betty, the current Democratic Party will never get to the point of being a competitive alternative to the fascists with the same old duplicitous Clinton/Obama/Hillary economic neoliberalism and never-ending neocon war policy (see Obama’s 8 years of war, drone murders and Hillary’s disastrous Libya adventures).
When you have many voters who enthusiastically supported Obama in ’08 and ’12 voting for Trump in ’16 there is a lesson to be learned. When 53% (some say 54%) of women, supposedly Hillary’s strongest bloc, vote for a crude misogynist ya’ gotta’ ask yourself what was wrong with your candidate.
When your candidate doesn’t do a single general campaign event in Wisconsin – a linchpin Midwestern state – you have to run for your dictionary to look up the definition of political malpractice.
Let’s take a look at those Obama numbers
While party loyalists scramble to point to the FBI and sputter about Vladimir Putin let us not forget that the Democrats have been in a downward spiral since ’08. Under the supposedly amazing inspired leadership of Mr. Obama the Dems have seen the loss of 69 House seats, 13 Senate seats and “Republicans now control about 56 percent of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats, up 12 percentage points since 2009.” (Emphasis added.)
Yes, more people have health insurance – which in way too many cases is too expensive, has too high deductibles to be used and was a photocopy of plan written up by right wing think tanks and enacted by then Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney. The plan purposely excluded a public option to give the insurance companies ultimate control. Many Democratic party stalwarts, like then Democratic Sen. Max Baucus and our very own Rep. Ron Kind did everything possible to protect the insurance companies by screwing over working families.
While Tea Party crazies chased Dems congress critters across parking lots, Obama never once called to mobilize the voters and volunteers of ’08 to march on congress to get real health care reform. The best one could hope for with Obamacare is that its inevitable collapse a few years down the road might have led to the realization that the only thing that could possibly work is single payer for all.
What we could learn about winning
You are right about the right wing media, Betty, and we will never out compete the fascists on that front. But Bernie Sanders showed us many things and two of the most significant are that you can mount a credible national campaign without millions in dirty corporate loot (the lifeblood of the DNC) and you can force the media to cover you if – and only if – you take a bold stand and have a candidate with credibility.
Of course we also learned that a corrupt and duplicitous DNC elite can sandbag a reform movement. (Don’t get me started on that one.)
Both Hillary and Trump were despised by the majority of Americans. Hell, Trumpolini’s approvals are in the basement. As the past few weeks have shown they both agree that they love Goldman Sachs. Hillary took a series of six-figure payouts for secretive speeches and Donald Trump has packed his cabinet with Goldman execs and his chief political consigliere, Steve Bannon, is a former Goldman hack.
Tell me again about the differences.
Look, I could go on. We could talk about the enhanced surveillance state powers that Obama pushed and has now handed over to Trump. We could talk about the vicious crackdown on courageous whistleblowers who brought to light war crimes and corruption and were relentlessly – brutally – persued by Obama’s “Just-Us” Department using the WW I Espionage Act. We could talk about the fact that Obama did not, despite mountains of evidence, hold a single top Wall Street bankster to account for the 2008 economic meltdown that devastated many of our friends, neighbors and communities. But we don’t have to bring that one up, do we?
What The Commoner Call Is About
I rest easy with my past work challenging the Obama/Hillary myth menagerie.
I feel completely comfortable with my past work taking on Trump and I will continue to do so. Your letter arrived just before the Monday edition went out in which we took a 2-by-4 to all things Trump. And you will see even more – like today.
But you will also see The Commoner Call holding the Democrats to account. Especially them. We will even give coverage to third party efforts. It will always be progressive principle over party at The Commoner Call because we have seen what has happened when the Democratic party betrays working class principles. Trump is as much a creation of the Democratic establishment as a product of his fetid and twisted imagination.
It’s one thing to be tough with your enemies. In politics it is more important to be tough with your friends; that is how they get better, stronger and most of all stay honest.
While everyone is welcome, frankly, The Commoner Call is not meant to be for everyone. It is meant for bold progressive activists ready to push the dems back to their working class traditions or, failing that, to create a whole new political party.
One final thought. You suggest I maybe should run for office if I think it is so easy. No thanks, I consider my job as a tiny gear in the machinery of the Fourth Estate – the press – to be a far better fit for my interest and skill. I really believe it is the press where democracy is defended and promoted. I am happy where I am. Besides, if I can piss of a Democrat like you, who the hell would vote for me?
Hope you can hang in there with us, Betty. You are certainly welcome to write in or forward news. We may not agree but I will post your concerns.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for writing.
Mark L. Taylor, Editor