Monday, July 10, 2017

The End of the Party: Clinton/Obama Democratic Center Counter Attack

The split between the Clinton/Obama centrist and the Bernie left Wings only grows more bitter. See the article I recently posted: The Democratic Party’s Deadly Dead-End.
And also this op ed by Bernie:
Will there be a split in the Democratic Party and the growth of a new party? I think the articles below indicate there may very well be, but it will take a few election cycles for the process to work itself out. Think of the Whigs from the mid-1830s to the mid 1850s and the emergence of the new Republican Party from the ashes.
"the Whigs are best understood as an American major party trying to be many things to many men, ready to abandon one deeply held ‘conviction’ for another in the drive for political power."....
The articles below are examples of the Clinton/Obama wings striking back. The first oped appeared in last Friday's NY Times and I read it with my mouth ajar -- and by the way, our own UFT/NYSUT/AFT pretty well lines up with the Clinton centrist wing, which used and abandoned labor unions, especially teachers, no matter our union leaders' rhetoric.

Remember that the "new" Republican Party captured the presidency in 1860 by taking a stronger stand on slavery -- a radical position at the time -- and basically kept power until FDR in 1932 other then the Wilson years (1912-20) and 2 terms by Grover Cleveland, who was a conservative Democrat -- or a quasi Republican.
An ass looks to chew its own ass

The center Dems turned away from the New Deal, as indicated by the NY Times opinion piece by Clinton apparatchik Mark Penn and, holy shit, a dug up Andrew Stein. I mean, how desperate are they getting? Below that read the NY Observer piece on how they are running a primary candidate against Bernie in Vermont. That should end up well for the Dems. Note that Jared Kushner owns the NY Observer so anything you read there should be taken as working in the Trump interests.

Let's parse the Penn/Stein piece. My comments in red.

Back to the Center, Democrats

The path back to power for the Democratic Party today, as it was in the 1990s, is unquestionably to move to the center and reject the siren calls of the left, whose policies and ideas have weakened the party.
Really? How many state houses do the Dems have? How about the routes in Congress since the 90s when the Dems lost control of Congress in the majority of terms since then?
In the early 1990s, the Democrats relied on identity politics, promoted equality of outcomes instead of equality of opportunity and looked to find a government solution for every problem. After years of leftward drift by the Democrats culminated in Republican control of the House under Speaker Newt Gingrich, President Bill Clinton moved the party back to the center in 1995 by supporting a balanced budget, welfare reform, a crime bill that called for providing 100,000 new police officers and a step-by-step approach to broadening health care. Mr. Clinton won a resounding re-election victory in 1996 and Democrats were back.
Every issue cited was related to the Dems losing in 2016.
But the last few years of the Obama administration and the 2016 primary season once again created a rush to the left. Identity politics, class warfare and big government all made comebacks. Candidates inspired by Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren and a host of well-funded groups have embraced sharply leftist ideas. But the results at the voting booth have been anything but positive: Democrats lost over 1,000 legislative seats across the country and control of both houses of Congress during the Obama years. And in special elections for Congress this year, they failed to take back any seats held by Republicans.
This is a remarkable 2-faced turn of what really happened -- the Clintons did all of the above they are claiming Bernie did. And they attack Bernie with their other face by saying he didn't pay enough attention to identity politics and thus lost the black vote.
Central to the Democrats’ diminishment has been their loss of support among working-class voters, who feel abandoned by the party’s shift away from moderate positions on trade and immigration, from backing police and tough anti-crime measures, from trying to restore manufacturing jobs. They saw the party being mired too often in political correctness, transgender bathroom issues and policies offering more help to undocumented immigrants than to the heartland.
Wait a minute. They are saying this happened without the Clintons? Are they blaming Obama too? The world is turning upside down.

In the next section, they go right at the New Deal and join the Republicans in the attack on government. Astounding.
Bigger government handouts won’t win working-class voters back. This is the fallacy of the left, believing that voters just need to be shown how much they are getting in government benefits. In reality, these voters see themselves as being penalized for maintaining the basic values of hard work, religion and family. It’s also not all about guns and abortion. Bill Clinton and Barack Obama both won working-class voters despite relatively progressive views on those issues. Today, identity politics and disdain for religion are creating a new social divide that the Democrats need to bridge by embracing free speech on college campuses and respect for Catholics and people of other faiths who feel marginalized within the party.
There are plenty of good issues Democrats should be championing. They need to reject socialist ideas and adopt an agenda of renewed growth, greater protection for American workers and a return to fiscal responsibility. While the old brick-and-mortar economy is being regulated to death, the new tech-driven economy has been given a pass to flout labor laws with unregulated, low-paying gig jobs, to concentrate vast profits and to decimate retailing. Rural areas have been left without adequate broadband and with shrinking opportunities. The opioid crisis has spiraled out of control, killing tens of thousands, while pardons have been given to so-called nonviolent drug offenders. Repairing and expanding infrastructure, a classic Democratic issue, has been hijacked by President Trump — meaning Democrats have a chance to reach across the aisle to show they understand that voters like bipartisanship.
Immigration is also ripe for a solution from the center. Washington should restore the sanctity of America’s borders, create a path to work permits and possibly citizenship, and give up on both building walls and defending sanctuary cities. On trade, Democrats should recognize that they can no longer simultaneously try to be the free-trade party and speak for the working class. They need to support fair trade and oppose manufacturing plants’ moving jobs overseas, by imposing new taxes on such transfers while allowing repatriation of foreign profits. And the party seems to have forgotten that community policing combined with hiring more police officers worked in the ’90s — and it will work again today. It can’t be the party that failed to stop the rising murder rates in cities like Chicago.
Health care is the one area where the Democrats have gained the upper hand and have a coherent message about protecting the working poor from losing coverage. But the Affordable Care Act needs to be adjusted to control costs better, lest employer-sponsored health care become unaffordable. For now, the Democrats are right to hold the line in defending Obamacare in the face of Republican disunity.
No single payer for these guys -- let's continue the Clinton folly on health care. Do they forget that giving in to big Pharm and insurance companies is the main cause of costs spiraling out of control.
Easily lost in today’s divided politics is that only a little more than a quarter of Americans consider themselves liberals, while almost three in four are self-identified moderates or conservatives. Yet moderate viewpoints are being given short shrift in the presidential nominating process. So Democrats should change their rules to eliminate all caucuses in favor of primaries. Caucuses are largely undemocratic because they give disproportionate power to left-leaning activists, making thousands of Democrats in Kansas more influential than millions of people in Florida.
Twisting history --- hey, did Hilllary lose the Michigan PRIMARY to Bernie? No caucus there.
Mark Penn served as pollster and senior adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton from 1995 to 2008. Andrew Stein is a former Manhattan borough president and New York City Council president.
Both these guys are a joke.

Now on to the Observer --

ote the headline.
Bitter Clinton Supporters Try to Unseat Bernie Sanders in Senate Race

Opponents believe his ‘divisive politics’ have split the Democratic Party


Though Sanders enjoys overwhelming support in his home state, his political opponents around the country have isolated and built up naysayers to diminish his popularity. In June 2016, NBC host Joy Reid did a profile in the Daily Beast on Al Giordano, an anti-Sanders troll who gained a sizable following of Clinton supporters on Twitter during the primaries. Giordano claimed he would run against Sanders in 2018 but has yet to file and currently resides in Mexico City. In February 2016, the Daily Beast ran a hit piece meant to perpetuate the whitewashing of Sanders’ presidential campaign. It featured an interview with a black Vermont resident who claimed Sanders ignored the black community in the state. In October 2016, Politico ran an article featuring quotes from several Vermont Democrats complaining that Sanders wasn’t helping Democrats in Vermont, despite the fact that Sanders made several appearances around the country to campaign on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Now Svitavsky, a Democrat from Bridport, Vermont, is trying to make another case against Sanders.
Vermont Public Radio reported, “Jon Svitavsky, 59, says he believes that Sanders’ ‘divisive’ politics have fractured the Democratic Party nationally and paved the way for the rise of Republican President Donald Trump.” On his Twitter account he has shared blog posts written by other Clinton supporters attacking Sanders. According to Svitavsky, he was recruited by a group called Organizing for Democrats-U.S.A to run against Sanders. The organization isn’t filed with the FEC and has a small following on Facebook. On its Facebook page on June 15, the day after Sanders voted against the bill that included sanctions on Russia and Iran, the group posted, “Today OFD represents the Democratic Party candidate for U.S. Senate in the State of Vermont. That’s the Sanders'(I) seat. And an actual liberal Democrat from Burlington, Vermont is running. After Sanders voted to protect Mother Russia today, the decision was made to make this declaration.” The day before, the organization published in another post that it is “time for Democrats to unite against the Bernie Bot elements.”
Svitavsky told Vermont’s NPR affiliate, “I think Sanders has hurt our country very badly with what he’s done.” He added, “So not only did Bernie divide the Democratic Party and what not, but he continues to bash them, even on the unity tour, saying that Democrats and Republicans are the same, and they’re not.” Though Bernie Sanders never said that or bashed the party on the DNC Unity Tour, Svitavsky’s biases are shared by several avid Clinton supporters, and he isn’t alone in trying to challenge Sanders.
Folasade Adeluola, a Clinton supporter based in Indiana, also announced she is running to unseat Sanders in 2018. Her campaign website features a selfie with her and Hillary Clinton. She only has to be a legal resident of Vermont the day before the election to be eligible for the Senate seat, capitalizing on the opportunity to represent people of a state she doesn’t live in.


  1. I couldn't believe that opinion piece in the NYT either. I was getting depressed about the "progressive" losses, but then realized that so many progressive ideas are now mainstream. The foolish centrists are going to be the Grover Cllevelands of the 21st century.

  2. Is the solution for Demmocrats to move closer to the center? Nowadays, it is virtually impossible to distinguish a Democrat from a Republican. Read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander for a concise explanation of the devastating racist effects of Clinton administration policies. Universal health insurance is not a Democratic issue. People screaming at their senators and representatives at town hall meetings all over the country are frequently not Democrats. Pelosi and Schumer do not have a prayer to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. At present, we are facing a second Trump term.

    Abigail Shure

  3. I saw the Observer piece, and others they ran like it. I take anything from Jared Kushner's rag with a grain of salt. That said, I agree with your piece.

  4. An article in Alternet took down the NYT piece (#5) My favorite line was "a useless, retrograde advice column wasted 800 words describing directives that could’ve been summed up in three: Just become Republicans."


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