Democrats

SOLD! Democrats Reverse Ban On Donations From Fossil Fuel PACs

  ‘Absolute Failure’ By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (8/10/18) Just two months after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was celebrated by environmentalists for banning donations from fossil fuel companies, it voted 30-2 on Friday to adopt a resolution from Chair Tom Perez that critics said effectively reverses the ban and represents “an absolute failure by the DNC.” The Huffington Post‘s Alexander Kaufman tweeted Friday: @AlexCKaufman Replying to @AlexCKaufman UPDATE: resolution passed in a 30-to-2 vote. from DNC epic: “After hearing concerns from Labor that this was an attack on workers, this resolution acknowledges the generous contributions of workers, including those in energy, who organize and donate…

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Memo To Liberals: Please Figure Out How To Truly Help & Win Back The Working Class

  By Thomas Frank The Guardian (7/27/18) The other day I noticed, with something of a shock, that Brett Kavanaugh, the supreme court nominee, is almost exactly the same age as me. I have always scoffed at those of my generation who cynically hitched their star to the conservative movement but now, as I take my leave from this space, it occurs to me that maybe they played the game right after all. I started out in journalism in the orange-fingered sunset of the Reagan era. The rise of the right, I felt back then, was the most consequential development of…


Hey, Democrats! Take A Hint From British Labour & Ocasio-Cortez — Move Left To Help People

  The Democrats need to go much further than simply revealing a new slogan.  By Tobi Thomas In These Times (7/26/18) On July 18, House Democrats unveiled their new campaign slogan ahead of the 2018 midterm elections: For The People. At first glance, the message may appear similar to “For The Many, Not The Few,” the title of the manifesto put forward in 2017 by the UK’s Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn. And while both slogans place the public as the center of political action, the Democratic Party still has much further to go in comparison to Labour, which embraced a bold, redistributive…


Hey, Dems, If You Want To Win: Progressives Are The New Silent Majority

  By Theo Anderson in These Times (1/17/17) Something remarkable has happened over the past few years: A new silent majority has emerged, decades after Richard Nixon made that phrase famous. Nixon meant the people whose values were, he said, dominant in American culture, but underrepresented in American politics. Calling them the silent majority was a way of channeling the white backlash against the civil rights movement. The new silent majority is defined by the broad consensus that has emerged in the United States around progressive policies. This consensus isn’t widely reported. In fact, it’s obscured by the oft-repeated idea…


Sen. Paul Wellstone’s Words Provide A Powerful Standard For Today’s Democratic Candidates

  One of the true progressive leaders of he Democratic party was Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone. He had a unique ability to connect with voters by bringing a humane, aspirational message to his politics. The following are a few Wellstone quotes you can use as  a comparison measure to the candidates vying for your vote this election season. The issue is not whether a particular candidate mimics Wellstone’s words and sentiments, but do they embody a genuine progressive message of humane and inclusive, positive vision and values. — Mark L. Taylor **** “This is no time for timidity.” ***** “The…


INTERVIEW: Bernie Sanders On Labor’s Future & Why Democratic Socialists Keep Winning

  By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (7/17/18) WHEN I ASK BERNIE SANDERS ABOUT THE SURGE OF TEACHERS’ STRIKES that swept the country earlier this year, he perks up, applauding the teachers’ display of working-class power. “The teachers may be the tip of the spear here,” he declares in his heavy Brooklyn accent. In many ways, the strikes illustrate Sanders’ theory of political change. He has long insisted that the key to moving the country in a more progressive direction is to make ambitious demands and build movements capable of achieving them. Striking teachers in states from West Virginia to Arizona…



Majority Of Dems Want Candidates More Like Bernie Sanders, Poll Finds

  By Tim Marcin Newsweek (7/11/18) Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders might have lost his 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he certainly won a number of supporters along the way. To wit: A new poll released Wednesday by YouGov showed that a majority of Democrats want candidates in 2018 to be more like the independent, democratic socialist candidate. The polling firm asked: “Do you wish the candidates who run for Congress this year will be more or less like Bernie Sanders?” A full 57 percent of Democratic respondents said “more like Bernie Sanders” in response. Sixteen percent said less while 27 percent responded…


Want Justice In America? — The Old ‘Be Nice’ Routine Won’t Get Us There

  By George Goehl OurFuture.org (7/9/18) We should be skeptical of the motivation and messengers behind calls for civility. We hear people say that what is happening to migrants in the United States right now is un-American. I wish that were true. Sadly, American history is full of periods where children of color were routinely taken from their parents. Resistance and organizing, on the other hand, are truly American. In fact, many of our nation’s best moments have been when we heeded the call to stand down hatred and racism. The Trump Administration has been off the rails since day one. But Donald…


America’s ‘Justice Democrats’ Show How A Newly Energized Left Can Challenge Corrupt Power & Win

  By George Monboit The Guardian (7/11/18) Even at first sight it is exhilarating. The overthrow of one of the most mainstream and senior Democrats in Congress by a 28-year-old Democratic socialist with a radical programme and one tenth of his funding is, you might think, interesting enough. But since Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th district (meaning she will almost certainly enter Congress in November), I’ve been interviewing some of the people who lit the fuse that caused this detonation. What has emerged is just how marginal and improbable their movement was when it began, and…


Democrats Still In Deep Denial About The True Nature Of What We Are Up Against

It would be wrong for the Democrats to seek reconciliation while the Republican Party organizes government to recognize only its ideology as legitimate. By Kaitlin Byrd The HuffPost (6/3/18) Democratic politicians have a seemingly endless well of good faith for their Republican colleagues. Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and even Bernie Sanders all speak with the language of decency, full of assurances that Republicans will be heard, understood and engaged. They offer appeals to morality, norms and shared values as if saying it often enough will make it true. But there is no salvaging the Republican Party. Its leaders are beyond…


This Country Was Born In Incivility. Simply Being ‘Civil’ Won’t Save It Now

Neither will burying the truth under false equivalences between bad words and racism. By Charles P. Pierce Esquire (6/21/18) I was saying to a friend on Wednesday night that what was sustaining me in this time of trouble and woe was reading the works of my favorite uncivil Americans—Tom Paine, Mercy Otis Warren, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, late-period Mark Twain, a touch of Mencken here and there. Thus, I was able to read this incredible pile of piffle in The New York Times with comparative equanimity, which is to say without lighting my laptop on fire. Mr. Trump’s coarse discourse increasingly seems to…


DNC To Ban Fossil Fuel Company Donations

  By Lorraine Chow EcoWatch (6/13/18) The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted unanimously over the weekend to no longer accept campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies, Huffington Post reported. The proposal was reportedly introduced by Christine Pelosi, a member of the DNC and the daughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. “Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels represents an existential threat to civilization,” the text states, “and Democrats committed in our 2016 Platform to curbing the effects of climate change, protecting America’s natural resources, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for current and future generations.” The resolution cites President Obama’s…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes: Don’t Repeat You-Know-Who

For a long time now, one thought has gnawed at me regarding media coverage of the present administration.  George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science, helped  me a great deal with an article he wrote. “When you repeat Trump, you help Trump”, he writes.  That is why Trump has chosen tweets  to reach the masses.  Every time he tweets something, no matter how outrageous, we obsess over those words.  Through them, he controls the cable news panels, the newspapers, and all of us.  We do exactly what he intends: We spread his message of divide and conquer. What Dr.Lakoff said bears…


If Democrats Want A Viable Party They Need To Stop The Corporate Rigging Of The Primaries

  By Heather Gautney The Guardian (6/11/18) Ask countless Bernie Sanders supporters, and they’ll tell you a big reason he lost the Democratic party primaries is simple: the process was rigged. In one state after another, the votes by party elites – so-called “superdelegates” – counted more than those of regular members. And arduous voting requirements meant that countless people who would have voted for Sanders were denied that right. If the Democrats want any hope of voting Trump out of the White House, it is urgent they fix this broken system before the next election. As a member of Sanders’ campaign, I’ll…


Yes, Trump Is A Monster, But — Really — What Does The Dem Establishment Offer America?

    By Paul Street CounterPunch (6/8/18) Yes, He’s Awful Much of what liberals say about Donald Trump and the chilling political moment the Trump presidency represents is true enough. Trump really is the arch-authoritarian malignant narcissist that liberals say he is.  Trump thinks he deserves to rule the nation like an absolute monarch or some ridiculous Banana Republic dictator.  He believes he’s above all the law, consistent with Louis XIV’s dictum L’etat, C’est Moi (“the state is me”). The notion that Trump can pardon himself from any crime really is the height of imperial arrogance. Trump really does value…


Ralph Nader NAILS Why Democrats Lose To Republicans

“Democratic Party, stop scapegoating and look in the mirror.” (Editor’s Note: Until the democrats get this message and get behind a genuine program to enact it, we are tied to the GOP sinking garbage scow. — Mark L. Taylor) The Humanist Report (5/20/18) Ralph Nader had some harsh words for the Democratic Party and spoke about how they should be “landsliding” Republicans. Link to 8-Minute Video


WATCH YOUR MOUTH! You May Hate Him, But Here Is How You Help Trump Every Day

  By George Lakoff George Lakoff Blog (12/16/18) Without knowing it, many Democrats, progressives and members of the news media help Donald Trump every day. The way they help him is simple: they spread his message. Think about it: every time Trump issues a mean tweet or utters a shocking statement, millions of people begin to obsess over his words. Reporters make it the top headline. Cable TV panels talk about it for hours. Horrified Democrats and progressives share the stories online, making sure to repeat the nastiest statements in order to refute them. While this response is understandable, it…


Color Me Naive: Torture Debate Gave Me A Surprise Political Education

(An earlier cartoon on bipartisan acquiesce on torture, 3/19/18.) “We can’t allow ourselves to descend down the rabbit hole of unbridled partisanship for partisan sake.” — Mike Quigley By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/21/18) To begin, I must plead guilty. I have long opposed the role of torture in American policy. Since adolescence I have written letters, published cartoons (above), joined the ACLU, dutifully sent donations off to human rights groups, signed an endless stream of petitions and paid attention to the bipartisan torture policies of American foreign policy, which has often meant reading personal accounts that have…


While The Party Remains Silent: Four Democratic Senators Roll Over & Sign On To Bipartisan Acceptance Of Torture

  By Igor Bobic The HuffPost (8/15/18) WASHINGTON ― Gina Haspel is on track to become CIA director after two key Democratic senators announced they intend to support her confirmation. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that he will support Haspel because she had satisfied his concerns in public and behind closed doors about her views regarding the CIA’s so-called enhanced interrogation program, which she helped oversee in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. In a letter to Warner on Monday, Haspel wrote that the agency shouldn’t have undertaken the controversial…


Formula For Failure: The Democratic Establishment’s War On Progressives

By Richard Eskow OurFuture.org (3/30/18) By supporting corporate-friendly candidates and policies, Congressional Democratic leaders are be moving closer and closer toward open warfare with their party’s base. There is a real need to raise money, of course. But the party’s leaders have chosen to raise and spend money in ways that conflict with voters and render it all but ineffective as a force for much-needed change. Under the best-case scenario, the party’s establishment is heading toward a Pyrrhic victory.  And other, grimmer scenarios are possible. Democrat vs. Democrat A majority of Democratic voters, led by black, brown, and female Democrats, told…


Secretly Taped Audio Reveals Democratic Leadership Crass Strong-Arming Progressive Candidate To Drop Out Of Primary Race

[Editor’s Note: Hmm, ‘nothing personal’? What is this, a lost episode of the Sopranos? — Mark L. Taylor] By Lee Fang The Intercept (4/26/18) STENY HOYER, the No. 2 Democrat in the House of Representatives, has for years been a prolific campaigner on behalf of current and potential members of Congress. It was no surprise, then, that December found him in Colorado, where the party has hopes of knocking off Republican incumbent Mike Coffman. Before Donald Trump had even been inaugurated, local resistance groups began deluging Coffman’s public appearances, pressing him not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and putting him back on…


What’s In A Name — Are You Really A Progressive Or A Liberal?

How a vital term in U.S. political life lost its significance—and could regain it today. By Win McCormick The New Republic (4/20/18) What distinguishes a progressive from a liberal? This is one of the more pervasive ambiguities in contemporary American political discourse. In a recent issue of the journal Democracy, the historian Sean Wilentz addressed it head-on: Liberals, he argues, recognize the flaws of capitalism, are dedicated to remedying them, and have great achievements to their credit in that regard, notably those of the New Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society. Progressives are meanwhile “emphatically anti-liberal”—because they are hostile to capitalism and, “deep…


Black Agenda Report: Democrats Prepare To Pimp Their Own Lefties For 2018 & 2020.

By Bruce A. Dixon Black Agenda Report (4/26/18) Every two years, Democrats need a Big Black Vote, along with impressive turnouts of Latino and Latina voters, the elderly, students and young people to maintain their status as a national party. They need this turnout of their base constituencies to elect governors, members of Congress and state legislators, senators and of course the president. So while the commanding heights of the Democratic party remain securely in the hands of the representatives of capital, empire and the deep state, Democrats must allow self-identified leftists a certain amount of room to campaign for…


Trump Is Still The Most Unpopular President Since Polls Have Been Kept; But It May Not Matter In 2018 Or 2020

By John Atcheson Common Dreams (4/7/18) Trump recently bragged that his approval ratings were higher than “Cheatin Obama” at this point in his Presidency.  As it turns out, only Rasmussen – a right wing polling organization that has consistently put Trump’s approval ratings above those of other polling organizations – had Trump approaching a 50 percent approval.  The rest put him somewhere well below that, with two placing his rating below 40 percent. As a Party, the democrats are completely devoid of a set of coherent policies based on values.  But to anyone who navigates through the world using facts, reason, and critical…


The Dem Party Establishment’s Long, Ugly History Of Sabotaging Progressives Candidates

By Branko Marcetic In These Times (4/5/18 – May issue) In February, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) attempted to undermine Democratic primary candidate Laura Moser out of fear she’s too far left. The Houston journalist and activist is running in Texas’s 7th District on a platform of single payer, gun control and reproductive rights. In a move typically reserved for Republican opponents, the DCCC—whose mission is to fundraise for Democratic House candidates—posted opposition research it had conducted on Moser. Citing her recent move to Texas from Washington, D.C., and her campaign’s payments to her husband’s D.C. research firm, the memo portrayed her as corrupt…


The Denver Democratic Party Platform Now Has An Anti-Capitalist Plank, Thanks to Socialist Activists

By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (3/28/18) In a sign of how far left the political axis has shifted since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, on Saturday the Democratic Party of Denver officially ratified an anti-capitalist plank in its platform. The move was spurred by members of the Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) who petitioned Denver County Democratic Assembly delegates to vote for an amendment to the official party platform. The language states: “We believe the economy should be democratically owned and controlled in order to serve the needs of the many, not to make profits…


French Economist Thomas Piketty Has Counterintuitive Idea For How Democrats Can Retake America

By Martin Cizmar The Raw Story (3/27/18) Would Bernie Sanders have won? French economist Thomas Piketty seems to think so. The author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a New York Times best-seller and the most-bought book in the history of Harvard University Press, has published a paper that uses exit polling data to argue that embracing economic populism would power the left toward huge electoral wins. The paper is called “Brahmin Left vs. Merchant Right: Rising Inequality & the Changing Structure of Political Conflict” and it’s a book-length 174 pages with references and charts. Piketty says that both parties now appeal to elites in…


“What Velveeta Is To Cheese”– Bill Maher Delivers Spot On Critique Of Democrats Lack Of Political Courage

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (3/19/18) One can quibble with some details of Bill Maher’s critique of democratic candidates and the party, and I wish he would stop with the snarky generalizations about Trump supporters, but his central argument is spot on: “Republicans, they’re all claws and sharp teeth and fangs when they fight,” said Maher. “The Democrats? Their weapon of choice is adaptive coloration.” Maher further claimed Democrats were “to political courage what Velveeta is to cheese.” Link to 6-Minute Video ***** The Mall Of Hypocrisy: Kimmel’s Shopping Spree At Trump’s Store Turns Up Potential Violations…


From Pushing Empty ‘Thoughts & Prayers’ To Dissing Medicare For All, Dem Leadership Called Out For Sabotaging Progressive Demands

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (2/27/18) Progressives found new reason for dismay on Tuesday after internal documents revealed efforts by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to squash support for Medicare for All and a separate attempt to curtail demands for stricter gun control following the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year. “It’s becoming evident that the DCCC—and the billionaire donors and revolving door consultants that make up the Democratic Party establishment—believe Democrats can only take back Congress by running on a watered down message…instead of the basic values of decency and fairness that voters demand,” said Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats…


Democrats Call For Gun Control At Home, While They Join GOP Pushing Bloody Arms Deals Abroad

  By Adam Johnson In These Times (2/22/18) In the aftermath of the shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 dead, many Democrats in Congress are once again calling for gun control, as they have for decades. But all too often, this concern for the unchecked spread of weapons ends at America’s shores. Last week, top Democratic senators, such as Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), expressed outrage over the lack of action by Congress to stop gun violence in America. However these same senators voted against an effort in 2017 to end the U.S. arming of the Saudi Arabian government—a flagrant human rights…


Why Are Democratic Party Thinktanks Still All Squishy On Universal Healthcare For All?

    By Adam Gaffney The Guardian (2/25/18) On Thursday, the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic party-affiliated think tank, launched a proposal confusingly called “Medicare Extra for All”. For proponents of a Bernie Sanders-style single-payer “Medicare for All”, this might seem like a positive development. Well, yes and no. On the one hand, “Medicare Extra” is a step to the left for CAP, suggesting that the Democratic establishment is following the lead of its galvanized base. On the other hand, this new proposal would exact sacrifices from patients to placate the insurance industry, and could serve to divert…


The Clock Is Ticking — ‘Blood Clot’ Dem Leadership Not Up To The Tumputin March To Fascism

By Harvey “Sluggo” Wasserman Reader Supported News (2/3/18) The partisan uproar over the release of the infamous Nunes memo on FBI surveillance MUST be accompanied by the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns. If Trump is to be consistent about openness in government and the public’s right to critical information, releasing his tax returns is the least he can do in conjunction with this attack on the FBI. But of course that would be too much to ask of this White House, which has long since established itself as a fascist regime that hates democracy and is consistent only in…


Progressive Principles Can Be The Source For Successful Democratic Campaigns — If The Dems Are Willing To Change

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.com (1/24/18) Let’s look into the future. There will come a time when progressives and Democrats begin to acknowledge more recent (than the 17th Century) developments in the science of thought. Political communication will account for the importance of unconscious emotion in motivating our actions, and how language can effectively frame ideas so that people not only hear, but actually accept fundamental truths about the world around them. How powerful WOULD it be if all the candidates were focused on a new, better strategy – based on science? This vision of a better, more effective strategy is nothing…


Time For Deadbeat Dems To Finally Pay Up Their Dues To Labor

  Time for the Democratic Party to show gratitude & solidarity. By James Thindwa In These Times (2/6/13) The swift passage of Michigan’s so-called right-to-work legislation in December (2012) cemented a stark reality for labor: U.S. workers have been left without a national political party to champion their interests. Many local Democratic leaders—and a few members of Congress—still join the struggle for union rights, but aside from union-friendly rhetoric deployed around election time, the national party is disengaged. The fact is, the success of the American labor movement has always depended upon a welcoming policy environment facilitated by an allied…


A Warning For Democrats, And Indeed For All Americans

  By John Kiriakou Reader Supported News (1/11/18) Many Americans, at least most in my circle, are enjoying watching Donald Trump self-destruct. It’s bad for the country, but to some of us it’s as much fun as watching a train wreck. And maybe if the Democrats can get their act together, they can win back the House in 2018 and the Senate and White House in 2020. Trump is making it look like it might be easy. But I have a warning for Democrats, and indeed for all Americans. For God’s sake, don’t elevate the likes of former CIA directors…


Hey, Dems: Your ‘Trump, Bad. Send Cash’ Pitch Is Not Enough

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/1/18) In a Thursday [12/28] Morning Edition interview with National Public Radio’s David Greene, Jess O’Connell, CEO of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), addressed concerns that the party coffers are down to about $6 million while the Republican National Committee has banked some $40 million. Greene asked about that money gap and how much of an obstacle that is for the dems running strong in 2018 mid-term elections. Acknowledging the money issue was real, O’Connell gave an upbeat assessment of the “Democratic ecosphere”, pointing to recent election results in Virginia and Alabama. Putting…


How’s This For A New Years Resolution? The Democratic Party Is Yours. Take It

This and unionizing your workplace are good new year’s resolutions, if you don’t have one already. By Hamilton Noah Splinter News (12/29/17) Are you discouraged by our national political nightmare? Looking for a project for the new year? Great: Your local Democratic Party, which may not be worth a damn today, is just waiting for you to revive it. Do you live in “red” America? Are you surrounded by Trump voters? Have you spent the past year asking yourself what dark stroke of fate has plunged you into this nightmarish world, making you question whether your friends and neighbors are…


Thomas Frank: The Fury Around Donna Brazile’s New Book Is Symptomatic Of Our Broken Politics

  By Thomas Frank The Guardian (12/20/17) Donna Brazile has spent most of her life as a good soldier of the Democratic party, managing presidential campaigns, supporting the Clinton family, and (last year) stepping in to take over the Democratic National Committee after its chair was felled by scandal. But with the publication of her campaign memoir Hacks, this woman with a fondness for old-style cooking metaphors has finally succeeded in pissing off every last group on the country’s political spectrum. Supporters of Bernie Sanders were furious last year when a hacked email revealed that Brazile, then a popular CNN…


Bipartisan Stupidity & Blindness Have Destroyed Whatever Democracy The US Ever Had

Our Clueless Leader By Dave Lindorff Counter Punch (12/15/17) Okay, somebody has to say this, so it might as well be me. The American political system exists as it is because of two reasons: 1) The majority of Republican voters are either incredibly ignorant or are simply incredibly selfish, and 2)  The majority of Democratic voters are so blinded by their fear of Republicans that they will vote for the most puerile, manipulative, deceitful, greedy and/or feckless candidates, as long as they are Democrats, and will re-elect them even after having been betrayed by them time and time again. There, I’ve…