A Commoner Writes: Readers Need ‘Less Tongue, More Teeth’


This morning’s cartoon gets it right [9/10].  The main issue is Republican support for Trump.  After all, if the Republican president  gets impeached, we get Pence, another Republican president.  Arguably more dangerous, because more subtle and devious.  At least the current  Republican president is out in the open with many of his actions.  And he is stealing a lot of potential Democratic lightning and thunder, with his attacks on manufacturing job losses and foreign trade deficits and debt.

Please focus more on the mental and political state of Republicans, and name the names of feeble, flabby corporate Democrats like Rep. Ron Kind,  especially in Wisconsin and the Midwest, territory you know best. Granted, you talk a lot about Kind,  but you haven’t really showed us why he hasn’t gotten strong primary opposition, and why there is no long-term strategy to beat him.  My hunch from across our beloved Lake Michigan is that he would have long since retired if real democrats had developed a serious, mostly public,  strategy to weaken him, then beat him with a decent Democrat.
Here’s a question you have the ability to answer, but you haven’t answered it.  Why does Wisconsin elect Walker, and Kind, and why did Russ Feingold lose to Sen. Ron Johnson?   There’s where the Commoner Call should be obsessed.  Simple answer, needing sharp analysis:  feeble, flabby Dems and flabby Dem state and county parties.  The deep question is: Who surrendered Wisconsin to Republican money?  Republicans have always been the money party.  Let’s have less Trump and more Wisconsin (and upper midwest) in The Commoner Call.  We can’t beat Republicans on the money front, but we can win with good thinking, good ideas, good energy, and ample numbers of voters.  We have plenty of these, but we  need to think and mobilize.
You know enough to be critiquing the corporate flacks and DINOS inside the State and County parties and committees. Make The Commoner Call the go-to place for state and county party info.  Call out the rats by name and rank.  You have named the visible rats like Kind, and a few of the Dems, especially state level.   Now shine light into the  Democratic ratholes.
Republicans are perfectly content to see us obsess over Trump. Our frenzy may even reinforce their base.  (A debatable point for us Dems, but at least some truth in it.)  You are harmless to Republicans as long as you obsess over Trump.
The Good Lord gave us teeth as well as tongues.  For more than 30 years, Dems have been a party of tongues, not teeth.  That’s electoral arithmetic, not opinion.  Think Sen. Chuck Schumer and even Rep. Nancy Pelosi, giving no more than lip service to opposing the evisceration of the New Deal by the oligarchs, and diverting good Dem energy into the quicksand of militarism.  You can offer your own names to the Democratic rat pack list.
Less tongue, more teeth.
Dr. James R. Anderson
Editor’s Reply: Thanks for the comments and suggestions, Jim. I don’t know if you have visited the Commoner Call website but there is a well stocked — and always growing — archive of stories, history and analysis that address some of your concerns and suggestions for greater context. A few of the topics included in the archive is History They Don’t Want You To Know, American Fascism, American Socialist Tradition, Progressive History, Ron “Wall Street” Kind  and Rethuglicans & Democrats, among others.
Given the Commoner Call is a completely volunteer effort by a very small group running on self-funded out-of-pocket expenses, the kind of detailed, ongoing Democratic Party of Wisconsin insight and analysis you suggest is really beyond our resource of time. As with many, I have found attempts to delve into or even have a dialog with the DPW to be a whole different category of useless. When it comes to the top scummy layer of the DPW there’s only two things one needs to know: Money; and the campaign consultants who suck up that money. The DPW is hostile to anyone having the temerity to primary a sitting dem and they pull out the stops to hobble any such efforts. They have been and are likely to remain impervious to reform. If someone would like to dive deep in that cess pit and report I might be interested in some collaborative work but I see my work elsewhere.
I will admit to a pretty Trump-heavy focus in the Commoner Call but that is largely because I think it is absolutely the biggest story happening with a high likelihood to completely unravel the nation. Its effects reverberate all the way down to the township level. At the same time, I do agree we could use more coverage of Wisconsin politics and a recent cartoon and package of Walker stories was a small gesture in that direction. 
I’m all for ‘teeth’ over ‘tongue’ and actually feel pretty comfortable with the Commoner Call track record on that score. I can tell you the original cartoons and columns made available for free use and the stories posted have garnered a fair share of angry mail and comments from partisans on all sides. But I take your advice to heart and will always work to keep the Commoner Call as “toothy” as possible.
If you feel moved to contribute to the Commoner Call let me know.
Thanks for reading and writing.
Mark L. Taylor
Editor, The Commoner Call