my impression is that the democratic malaise goes back at least as far as George McGovern, in 1972, but you’ve got to start somewhere…
Can’t Hit the Snooze Button No More
October 9, 2018
by Marc Salomon
In 1980, when I turned 18 and first voted, John Anderson sounded the alarm about the duopoly rot. The Democrats hit the snooze button and Reagan won.
In 1984, Gary Hart sounded the alarm and the Democrats slapped him down, again in 1988, and hit the snooze button, nominated the execrable Mondale and Reagan won.
In 1988, Jesse Jackson sounded the rainbow alarm, the Democrats hit the snooze button, nominated the hapless Dukakis who ran with the odious Bentsen and Bush I won.
In 1992, Jerry Brown v1.5 sounded the alarm, the Democrats hit the snooze button and nominated Bill “Rapey Bubba” Clinton who won but rammed NAFTA through and forfeited the Congress to the Republicans.
In 1996, Nader sounded the alarm. the Democrats hit the snooze button. The Republicans impeached Rapey Bubba. As a parting shot of gratitude, Clinton I deregulated Wall Street.
In 2000, Ralph Nader sounded the alarm, the Democrats hit the snooze button and lost to Bush II (the previous Hitler on the Potomac) and instead of taking stock of their failure, raged at Nader.
In 2004, Howard Dean sounded a weak alarm, the Democrats hit the snooze button and nominated the patrician Kerry who lost to Bush II, blaming the Greens again.
In 2008, Obama sounded the alarm as a trojan horse, got in running center-left and governed center-right, throwing away historic strong majorities in the Congress to the Republicans.
In 2016, Bernie Sanders sounded the alarm and the Democrats hit the snooze button so hard that they broke the alarm clock and nominated a neoliberal warmonger candidate who was as unpopular with the electorate as she held them in contempt ushering in Obama’s true legacy: Donald Trump. And here we are.
Do you want to know why there is a Justice Kavanaugh? That’s why.
These Democrats are not stupid. They claim that they represent the meritocracy. Yet in what meritocracy do losers like this rise to the top and stay there after losing election after election?
This “meritocracy” selects for those able to appeal to and manipulate the elites into being allowed to be temporary custodians of power on their behalf.
Their reward is a lifetime of sinecure and wealth.
The only way that these Republicans can win is when these Democrats willfully and maliciously manipulate the electorate into acting against their best interests.
None of those Democrats who sounded the alarm had any real intention of making the kind of structural change needed to put us on a different course, they were playing the angle.
Nader who would have followed through, Sanders, less so, were the exceptions.
But they all did tap into an increasing resentment amongst the voters as to the failure of the duopoly to be responsive to popular sentiment.
When Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party arose, the Republicans welcomed the Tea Party into their midst while the Democrat big city mayors, coordinated by the Obama Department of Justice brutally and violently repressed the encampments.
Politics in this model is not symmetric.
If politics is warfare by other means, the Republicans have torn up any treaties that might have been in place and adopted a policy of total war.
These Democrats still do not know what hit them and they have proven themselves strategically incompetent of ever getting out from behind the eight ball.
The only way to work our way out from under this mess is by creating independent grassroots democratic organizations that can mobilize mass movements to make the elites offers they cannot refuse.
If people with access to many fewer resources than we, facing death squad governments and apartheid, can organize to win, then we have no excuses.
Our primary impediment in this task has been the Democrat Party which views its base, not the Republicans, as its opponent, and leverages its patronage network against independent popular organizing.
The veil of delusion is strong with the Democrat base, they are at a point where they have been made as impervious by MSNBC to logical arguments as any Fox [sic] News addict.
We are going to need to pierce that veil to shake some sense into them and more importantly organize outside of our usual comfort zones where the Democrat spell is weak, where people are wise to their bait and switch and have voted with their feet by staying home.
None of this will be easy, but it is not rocket science, others who have come before us have made these heavy lifts.
We have no excuses.