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Thursday, July 6, 2017


In the NY TIMES today, Mark Penn and Andrew Stein have an Op Ed column calling for the Democrats to shun the left-wing socialistic extremism of Sanders and Warren and return to the winning ways of Bill Clinton.  I am not going to summarize it.  You can read it here, if you have the stomach for it.

I think it is entirely possible that Hilary Clinton will make another run in 2020 [billed, no doubt, as her re-election campaign.]  Let us not be fooled.  Right now, the Clinton forces are the best organized, best funded, and most deeply embedded faction of the Democratic Party.  If progressives do not field a host of good candidates in 2018 and win a ton of races, we will see a replay of 2016.

If that happens, I can kiss progressive politics goodbye for as long as I figure to live.


Anonymous said...

Here's a case for Sanders as the 2020 frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. The gist is that, despite his age, he is doing all of the stuff we would expect such a frontrunner to do: setting up an organization, tinkering with his policy positions on stuff that isn't central to his political identity, etc.

Jerry Fresia said...

Pelosi, with her string of losses, is hanging tough. Let's not forget Obama. I'm sure he is involved. He trashed Jeremy Corbin and quickly moved to block the Sander's candidate for Chair of the DNC. I think it may behoove us to study how the Whigs divided in the 1850s to see if there may be a way of superseding the corporate Dems, not with a third party but with a new progressive second party. The key, if my reading of party history is correct, is finding allies in the ruling class. There seem now to be divisions between the oil sector (pro-Trump) and the security/defense-spending state (pro-Russian hacking meme) which would like to see more missiles built. Forget them. And given that finance capital seems to rule both parties, I see no ruling class element that would find a new New Deal base as a possible coalition partner. (Note how quiet the Dems are as Repubs crank up voter suppression). Therefore, progressives need to move past resisting Trump and focus on bottom up transformation, beginning with single payer, possibly at the state level.

Unknown said...

David Leonhardt of the NYT, in his newsletter today had this to say about that piece:

"To me, this diagnosis is too simple. There are indeed several issues (like immigration, guns and religion) in which polling suggests a more conservative stance — or at least more of a big-tent approach — could help Democrats.

"But whatever your own ideology, it’s hard to find much evidence that the working class wants Democrats to move to the right on economic matters.

"Donald Trump, after all, won the Republican nomination and the presidency partly thanks to moving his party to the left — albeit only rhetorically — on economic issues. Ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage keep passing, even in red states. Government health care programs, like Medicare and Medicaid, are so popular that Congressional Republicans can’t figure out how to repeal Obamacare.

"My view is that the answer for the Democratic Party is more complicated than either a Clinton-esque “third way” centrism or a pure Sanders-esque leftism."

s. wallerstein said...

There's a certain kind of Marxist for whom the logic of history or of reason (that's more Hegelian, I guess) will lead to socialism. It may take hundreds of years, but we will arrive there sooner or later, better sooner of course.

Although you call yourself a Marxist, that doesn't seem to be your position. For you socialism seems to be a contingent future, based on how politics plays out.

I've never been a Marxist myself, although I'm anti-capitalist for ethical reasons.

For those who believe that socialism, sooner or later, is the future, the current political situation is not necessarily depressing, since we're on the road. For someone with your position or what I see as your position, it looks depressing, not only in the U.S. by the way.

LFC said...

@Jerry Fresia

"[Obama] trashed Jeremy Corbin and quickly moved to block the Sanders candidate for Chair of the DNC."

With respect to the latter (the DNC Chair contest), Tom Perez (who won) and Keith Ellison are very close if not indistinguishable in terms of their politics. Perez was a v. progressive Sec of Labor who also happens to be, from what I can tell, v. well qualified to lead the DNC; I v. much doubt he's going to play favorites in a Clinton-Sanders rematch, if there is one, in the way Debbie Wasserman Schultz did.

Paul said...

I don't have the stomach for it. Fortunately, Charles Pierce digests it nicely here.

Anonymous said...

LFC, that's just false. Unlike Ellison, Perez after waffling said the Democratic party should continue to take Corporate donations. Ellison was against this. Progressives are against this. The Sanders wing is against this. Perez, Obama, Clinton, et al, are not. THIS IS THE VERY CORE of the divide between the Sanders wing and the Clinton-Obama wing. So no they are not "indistinguishable". MOREOVER, if they WERE DISTINGUISHABLE then what possible reason would Obama and the corporate dems have for swiftly moving to de-rail Ellison's bid? It makes no sense unless there's something to distinguish them.

Anonymous said...

For a keen analysis as to why your points are incorrect LFC, read here:

Unknown said...

I hope that neither Clinton, nor Sanders, nor Warren is the Democratic nominee in 2020. They're too old--which I can say because I'm older than any of them. The Democrats don't have much visible in the way of a bench right now, but then few had ever heard of Barack Obama before his 2004 speech. Corey Booker, Chris Van Hollen, Sherrod Brown come to mind. But the Democrats need new faces--including in the House leadership.

LFC said...

I doubt that that is "the very core" of the divide betw the two wings, but I will get around to reading the Intercept piece that you link.