At what point do progressives stop being Democrats’ whipped dogs and start acting like a movement capable of putting the Dems in their proper place as the party of the people? David Sirota wrote today about Obama’s latest call to increase war spending beyond its already ludicrous proportions.

How many of the extreme right-wing and criminal policies of Bush-Cheney has Obama adopted? How many of those extreme right-wing policies has he exceeded? Last month, knowledge that Obama has gone a step further than Bush, authorizing the executive branch to murder American citizens on the flimsiest of rationales. This sh__ has GOT to end.

My political activities now are focusing on the building of a viable third party as a tool of a reinvigorated and independent progressive movement. No efforts to reform the Democratic Party from within can succeed so long as the upper-level of the party establishment is able to crush dissent from within, as is explained here.

[T]the Democratic primaries will be where the action is … Maybe someone like Kucinich, Feingold … It will be a "good liberal," not a radical, advocating positions that are reasonable but declared "unrealistic." ("You’ll throw the race to the Republicans, we can’t have that!") The basis of the campaign will not be a sudden embrace of Bolshevism, but rather Obama’s embrace of Wall Street. It will be a mix of angry rank-and-file and disgruntled party machine.

The insurgent candidate will lose. The candidate will not call for a 3rd party, will support Obama after the primaries — will make a concession speech that would shame the Moscow Show Trials. Many of her or his followers will follow suit. The candidate will not personally work to create an independent infrastructure within the Democratic Party. Obama will probably win, not because of his impressive performance but because the foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans will be splitting. After the election, the Democratic challenger will not lead a 3rd party.

This has been the pattern for decades. There is no one within the Democratic Party willing to lead a progressive breakoff. The day Dennis Kucinich kisses all party support for his re-election to Congress goodbye is the day I will rejoice, but it’s not going to happen. So it’s on lay progressives to take charge, organize from the ground up, and lead the way to building both the movement and the political organization that will bring it to power within the halls of our nation’s capital.

This won’t happen overnight; it will take decades for a fully functional progressive political organization to be built, and we will be opposed every step of the way by Democrats, Republicans, and corporations now empowered to spend as much money as their executives want to sway public opinion against us. But we have got to start sometime, and now is as good a time as any.

Those who claim this isn’t the right time will not tell us that the "right time" is never going to come — there will always be the next election cycle to worry about, too much at stake to "risk throwing it to the GOP." Never mind that all Democrats ever do is throw elections to Republicans simply by behaving like they’re members of their counterpart political party. We must ignore such admonitions and press on. There is no such thing as perfection in politics, to be the enemy of good things that will never come to fruition so long as the existing political structure continues. And there is nothing more to be lost by doing what is right and necessary to take back our country.

The good news is that a Progressive Party already exists in some states. In Missouri, Vermont, and Washington, progressives began rebuilding the political party that bears their name from the ground up, and they used smart strategies and tactics to gain power first at the local level and then at the state level. They are now starting to branch out into national-level politics by running candidates for the House of Representatives, with a Vermont Progressive having run for the House of Representatives in 2008 on a platform that included calling for Bush’s impeachment. And David Sirota has written previously about New York’s Working Families Party, which has gotten results at the local and state levels.

So the foundation exists for progressives to rebuild our movement. The will is there. What’s lacking is leadership. If no one in the ‘netroots is willing to assume vital leadership roles, then it is up to each and every one of us to take charge and lead. Enough is enough. Progressives must stand up to the far right, which dominates both major political parties, and end its rule. No more excuses, no more capitulations, no more waiting. Let’s get it done.

Michael in Ohio

Michael in Ohio

I'm a political blogger from Ohio. My views are progressive. I don't believe in throwing them away under any circumstances — not for convenience, not for cowardice, not for anything.

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