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Happy Days Are Here Again

Last week I asked who the Democrats should fire. This week we got the answer: no one. Everything’s coming up roses for the Party of the People, no need to change anything. Senate Democrats stuck with the flaccid leadership team of old white loser guys, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, leavened with a woman, Amy Klobuchar, who was given the role of Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, a group responsible for dealing with interest groups when forming compromises. Reid appointed Elizabeth Warren to a new post of policy adviser, obviously a sop for liberals. She will attend leadership meetings and offer advice to the same people who managed for six years to have no plans on which advice would be useful. Advising this crowd of losers sounds like a loser to me. Given the makeup of the Senate, probably this is about the best we could hope for, because most of the junior senators are corporatists like Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill and the independent Angus King of Maine.

There will be no change in the House either. Nancy Pelosi will remain as leader, despite the horrendous losses in the last election. Pelosi supports the incomprehensible policy of running the most conservative possible people against the crazy party, which she endorsed by appointing its driving force, Steve Israel, and then reinforced by offering him the same job after the debacle. Israel declined; he seems to want the post of Chair of the Democratic Steering Committee, which is currently held by the liberal George Miller, who is leaving that post. Israel has his defenders, according to the New York Daily News:

One Democratic strategist and former leadership aide said once the dust clears, House Democrats will appreciate Israel for outraising Republicans, boosting Democratic field operations and aligning messaging more closely with polling.

Nice quote from a “Democratic strategist”, who declined to be named, and who is apparently going to be strategizing for more losers in the future. It would be rude to point out that all that money went down the drain, and that Democratic field operations sucked, with turnout at miserable levels, especially among groups the Democrats need if they are going to win something sometime. And it would be even ruder to point out that aligning messaging with polling is a recipe for disaster in the absence of some demonstration that the party has some capacity to do anything at all for its supporters.

This is happening in the house, where 75 Representatives claim to be progressives. Apparently they are satisfied with the way things are. They certainly have no interest in accountability for that miserable loss, and no intention of insisting that the party run candidates who might join their caucus instead of the science project leftovers of the Blue Dogs and the corporate friendly Third Way crowd. Rump status is good enough for them.

As to liberal donors, they are perfectly satisfied that things are working out. Something called the Democracy Alliance met in DC to discuss things, and came up with their own strategy. These people, including “retired hedge-fund founder George Soros and Tim Gill, the country’s leading giver to gay-rights causes, as well as top labor-union officials.“ The group focuses its efforts on building party infrastructure. It created the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America. In other words, the wealthy donor crowd is interested in mechanics: their goal is a six-year plan to lead the way to 2020:

The plan, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, sets out four goals for alliance-funded organizations: to motivate progressives, persuade independents, increase funding for liberal groups, and “divide the right and reduce its funding and support.”

Policy is irrelevant to this group. Anyway, Chris Lehane, who led the efforts of the billionaire Tom Steyer to raise environment issues, was quite satisfied with his results, citing the increased turnout in Colorado, where the liberal Mark Udall lost to a genuine crazy from the right wing of the right wing party. Lehane still has a job.

The Democrats are taking tons of money from rich people who have a huge stake in maintaining the current state of the economy, or at least think they do. Self-examination is not the strong suit of the narcissist rich. They believe they know what is best, because, after all, if the professional left is so smart, how come they aren’t rich? They seem to think you can win without policies that threaten their political dominance and their morbid wealth. It isn’t true. The Republicans get their base out with surges of adrenaline driven by panic and fear, fear of Ebola, fear of ISIL (we’ll all be killed in our beds), fear of immigrants, and always those frightening Black People. What will drive people to turn out and vote for whatever neoliberal the Democrats nominate for any open seat at any level? Fear of Republicans?

And then the sickening reality hit. Harry Reid agreed to let the Keystone Pipeline come to a vote. It passed with bipartisan support in the House. I can’t wait to see which neoliberal Senators from the loser party vote for it on Thursday. The Kochs bought that vote fair and square, and screw the environment. What could be more important that giving them a victory lap in the lame duck session? What says bipartisan better than poisoning the planet?

I say we just strike up the band and join the song of cheer again. And pass me the soma.

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Happy Days Are Here Again

Last week I asked who the Democrats should fire. This week we got the answer: no one. Everything’s coming up roses for the Party of the People, no need to change anything. Senate Democrats stuck with the flaccid leadership team of old white loser guys, Harry Reid and Dick Durbin, leavened with a woman, Amy Klobuchar, who was given the role of Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, a group responsible for dealing with interest groups when forming compromises. Reid appointed Elizabeth Warren to a new post of policy adviser, obviously a sop for liberals. She will attend leadership meetings and offer advice to the same people who managed for six years to have no plans on which advice would be useful. Advising this crowd of losers sounds like a loser to me. Given the makeup of the Senate, probably this is about the best we could hope for, because most of the junior senators are corporatists like Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill and the independent Angus King of Maine.

There will be no change in the House either. Nancy Pelosi will remain as leader, despite the horrendous losses in the last election. Pelosi supports the incomprehensible policy of running the most conservative possible people against the crazy party, which she endorsed by appointing its driving force, Steve Israel, and then reinforced by offering him the same job after the debacle. Israel declined; he seems to want the post of Chair of the Democratic Steering Committee, which is currently held by the liberal George Miller, who is leaving that post. Israel has his defenders, according to the New York Daily News:

One Democratic strategist and former leadership aide said once the dust clears, House Democrats will appreciate Israel for outraising Republicans, boosting Democratic field operations and aligning messaging more closely with polling.

Nice quote from a “Democratic strategist”, who declined to be named, and who is apparently going to be strategizing for more losers in the future. It would be rude to point out that all that money went down the drain, and that Democratic field operations sucked, with turnout at miserable levels, especially among groups the Democrats need if they are going to win something sometime. And it would be even ruder to point out that aligning messaging with polling is a recipe for disaster in the absence of some demonstration that the party has some capacity to do anything at all for its supporters.

This is happening in the house, where 75 Representatives claim to be progressives. Apparently they are satisfied with the way things are. They certainly have no interest in accountability for that miserable loss, and no intention of insisting that the party run candidates who might join their caucus instead of the science project leftovers of the Blue Dogs and the corporate friendly Third Way crowd. Rump status is good enough for them.

As to liberal donors, they are perfectly satisfied that things are working out. Something called the Democracy Alliance met in DC to discuss things, and came up with their own strategy. These people, including “retired hedge-fund founder George Soros and Tim Gill, the country’s leading giver to gay-rights causes, as well as top labor-union officials.“ The group focuses its efforts on building party infrastructure. It created the Center for American Progress and Media Matters for America. In other words, the wealthy donor crowd is interested in mechanics: their goal is a six-year plan to lead the way to 2020: (more…)

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Happy Days Are Here Again

masaccio

masaccio

I read a lot of books.