Progressive Democrats: Resist And Submit, Retreat And Surrender

Hillary has blood on her hands protest DNC from PhillyMag

By James Petras for Information Clearing House – July 13, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Over the past quarter century progressive writers, activists and academics have followed a trajectory from left to right – with each presidential campaign seeming to move them further to the right. Beginning in the 1990’s progressives mobilized millions in opposition to wars, voicing demands for the transformation of the US’s corporate for-profit medical system into a national ‘Medicare For All’ public program. They condemned the notorious Wall Street swindlers and denounced police state legislation and violence. But in the end, they always voted for Democratic Party Presidential candidates who pursued the exact opposite agenda. Over time this political contrast between program and practice led to the transformation of the Progressives. And what we see today are US progressives embracing and promoting the politics of the far right. To understand this transformation we will begin by identifying who and what the progressives are and describe their historical role. We will then proceed to identify their trajectory over the recent decades.

What Is ‘The Resistance’ Anyway?

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By Danny Haiphong for Black Agenda Report. The 2017 Left Forum made “resistance” the central theme of the annual gathering of left thinkers, activists, and organizers. The term has become increasingly relevant in the midst of the instability surrounding the Trump Administration. “Resistance” has become the catch-all phrase for any force that opposes Trump. Only a small segment of those who attended the Left Forum attempted to spell out the dangers of such “resistance.” Yet an important task of any self-proclaimed “left” movement is to define what the word resistance actually means in this period of confusion and crisis.” Any conversation about “resistance” must start with the state. The state, better known as the interconnected institutions of governance, is the central force that manages oppression in society.

Millenials Are Sick Of Capitalism

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By Lee Camp for Redacted Tonight. During a CNN Town Hall, Democratic House Rep Nancy Pelosi was caught off guard when a young man told her that more than half of Millennials aren’t exactly fans of capitalism. He had the stats to back it up: A Spring 2016 Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 3,000 Millennials found that 51 percent of them held this view. It’s no surprise this many Millennials shun capitalism given their massive student loan debts and difficulty in finding high paying jobs and affordable housing, among other struggles. But when he asked her if Dems could go farther left of right-wing views on capitalism, Pelosi’s reply only proves that her party needs to acknowledge how capitalism is destroying the world and its future if they want any hope of appealing to what could become one of the largest voting blocs in America. Lee Camp digs into Pelosi’s faux pas and more on the latest episode of Redacted Tonight.

Attack On Net Neutrality Can Be Stopped By Mobilized People

Pro-net neutrality rally at the White House in years past.

By Jon Brodkin for US Senate Democrats today vowed that they won’t let net neutrality rules be eliminated without a fight, and they urged citizens to make their voices heard by lawmakers and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. “Remember that two years ago, nearly 4 million Americans offered comments on the Open Internet Order,” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said at a press conference this morning (video). “That’s by far, by a factor of at least two, more than any comments on any rule before the FCC in history.” But if Congress and the FCC try to eliminate net neutrality rules, there will be a “political firestorm that will make the 4 million who communicated several years ago look like a minuscule number,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said.

We Need To Attack Dem Establishment In Front Of Liberals

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By Caitlin Johnstone for Newslogue. We need to take away the dominance of political discourse away from liberals. We need to fight it, and fight it hard, because if we don’t we can kiss this whole revolution goodbye. You can’t have a grassroots movement that you’re not allowed to talk about. A progressive revolution cannot possibly coexist with a conspiracy of silence. They are mutually exclusive. How do we fight it? We speak the truth, even when our voice shakes. We publicly share our perspectives, and when our liberal friends close in, we tell them why they’re wrong. We can be polite (if we feel they deserve it), but we must be unyielding. We speak our truth wherever we’re at, whenever we can. The foremost battleground for the progressive awakening is in your own social circles. If we can only speak about this in hushed voices, with a select few woke friends or in secret Facebook groups, then our movement dies here. Kiss it goodbye. So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight. We will never be more than a fringe movement if we’re not able to openly and directly resist the political establishment.

Liberals Are Marching Right Past Their Democratic Leaders

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Clearly, protesters have some feelings about President Donald Trump.

By Jennifer Bendery and Ryan Grim for The Huffington Post – WASHINGTON ― On April 15, 2009, a wave of populist protests swept across the country, pegged to tax day. John Boehner, who was then-House minority leader, was curious how they’d play out, and joined one in Bakersfield, California with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). What he saw there stunned him, and he immediately knew that if Republicans could harness that energy, he’d become speaker of the House. As he told his staff in his typically salty manner, “They are fucking furious and we’re going to win.” Boehner was right on both points, and he vowed that day to make sure he channeled the rage he was witnessing into campaigns against Democrats the next fall.

Mocking, Marching, Stopping Hate, Dumping Trump Are Not Enough

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By Bruce Dixon for Black Agenda Report. If we aim to build a movement that cannot be co-opted by Democrats again and again, our hashtags, memes and messages have to educate our people, not just eviscerate Trump. Sure denouncing and hitting the streets to make fun of Big Cheeto is just that. It’s fun, and maybe theraputic too. But as good as they make us feel, storms of ridicule failed to drive Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush from office, and our scorn of Reagan didn’t prevent two presidents Bush or Clinton either. Our mocking of “W” didn’t hold Obama accountable either. Big protests, especially the permitted kind that take place on weekends, marching through canyons of empty office buildings, sometime with hilarious puppets, some of us being chased by police are routine, almost traditional pageantry by now. Mass protests don’t have magical powers.

As Democrats Press For War, Left Must Demand Peace And Social Transformation

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By Glen Ford for Black Agenda Report – As is ordained by law, at the end of the week much of President Obama’s legacy will become Donald Trump’s powers, including the power to detain Americans indefinitely (forever) without trial or charge, an authority the First Black President secured from Congress in 2011. Obama’s wars become Trump’s wars, which, if Trump follows Obama’s example — and if he succumbs to the furious pressures of leading Democrats, old line Republicans and an openly aggressive and “politicized” national security establishment — will be expanded and multiplied. The most imminent threats to human survival under a Trump presidency flow…

Sanders, Single Payer And Death By Democrat

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By Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. Lori Kearns is the health policy advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). She’s been making the rounds in recent weeks telling single payer supporters that Senator Sanders will not introduce his single payer bill into the Senate next year. Why not? Because party unity is more important than single payer. Sanders apparently believes that single payer will get in the way of electing a Democratic Senate in 2018. Wouldn’t want to confront Democratic Senate candidates with the deaths of their constituents due to Obamacare, would you? One reason why Sanders soared during the primary was his constant refrain that we need to cover every American with a single payer health care system. This resonated with the American people…

Long Death March Of Dismal Dollar Democrats

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By Paul Street for CounterPunch. The bigger if related problem is the long rightward, neoliberal drift of the Democratic Party further away from any last commitments to social justice, democracy, peace, and environmental sustainability. Trump may be appalling and dangerous on numerous levels, but he wasn’t wrong when he pointed out (in his usual clumsy manner) that the Clintons and other Wall Street-captive Democrats sold the nation’s “forgotten” blue collar working people down the river in the name of “free trade.” The co-presidential Clintons’ advance of the North American Free Trade Agreement – a disaster for the U.S. working class – and Barack Obama’s championing of the arch-authoritarian and global-corporatist Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) speak volumes about neoliberal-era Democrats’ service to the nation’s covertly reigning Deep State Few over and against the Many and the common good.

Grassroots Democrats Are Making TPP Big Issue In Congressional Races

A protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the first day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)

By John Nichols for The Nation – Trade policy in general—and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in particular—has become a vital concern for Democrats up and down the ballot. Just ask Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind, one of the few congressional Democrats who continue to make arguments for agreements such as the TPP. Kind, who has served almost two decades as the Democratic representative from farm and factory towns of western Wisconsin, did not receive a warm welcome from Wisconsin delegates to this month’s Democratic National Convention.

Hundreds March To Stop The Trans-Pacific Partnership In Philly

TPP contingent at the March for a Clean Energy Revolution.

By Margaret Flowers. Philadelphia, PA – Thousands of people marched in the March for a Clean Energy Revolution on the day prior to the Democratic National Convention. Popular Resistance and members of the Flush the TPP campaign created a bold, bright and spirited “Stop the TPP” contingent to raise awareness of the threats posed by the TPP, put the Democrats on notice that the people oppose rigged corporate deals and to recruit more people to join the No Lame Duck Uprising. The TPP is a large international treaty that was negotiated over the past 7 years by the Obama administration. It was negotiated in secret with the help of hundreds of ‘corporate advisers’ from companies like Walmart, Monsanto, Pfizer, Exxon and more. Members of Congress were largely left out of the process.

Did Industry Ties Lead Democrats To Nix Fracking Ban?

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By Steve Horn for DeSmog Blog. Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) — the controversial horizontal drilling technique used to extract oil and gas in shale basins around the U.S. and the world — has sat at the center of the debate over the Democratic Party’s draft platform set for a vote at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) convention in Philadelphia July 25-28. That platform was drafted and debated by a 15-member committee, with four members chosen by DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, five by Bernie Sanders and six by presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. After a fracking moratorium clause failed in a 7-6 vote at the DNC Platform Committee meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri from June 24-25, an amendment calling for President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan not to incentivize fracked gas power plants also did not pass at the July 8-9 DNC Platform Committee meeting held in Orlando, Florida.

Safe States, Inside-Outside & Other Liberal Illusions

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By Howie Hawkins for Counterpunch. Bernie Sanders is on his way to an endorsement of Hillary Clinton, the candidate of War, Wall Street, and Wal-Mart. Sanders ran as a New Deal Democrat, but he will soon be campaigning for a plain old corporate New Democrat. To keep his troops engaged through this transition, Sanders will stage a few rules and platform fights at the convention. But rule changes are irrelevant to the real party power structure of candidate organizations and their corporate investors. Any platform planks won will be irrelevant as well. No corporate Democrat will feel bound by them. Faced with that demoralizing prospect, some Sanders supporters are recycling failed old strategies in an attempt to salvage Sanders’ “political revolution” without opposing the Democratic Party.

Democratic Leadership Is Missing In Action On Mass Incarceration

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By Inimai M. Chettiar and Ames Grawert for Brennan Center for Justice – Even though it now looks like Americans will be deprived the drama of a contested Republican convention, the gathering in Cleveland could hold at least one surprise. The Republicans are set to vote on an RNC resolution to reduce mass incarceration. The measure asks for “reforms for nonviolent offenders at the state and federal level” and urges “state legislators and Congress to…provide substance abuse treatment to addicts, emphasize work and education, and implement policies that cut costs while obtaining better outcomes.”