Who Hijacked Our Country

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mitch McConnell Receives Millions of Dollars from Drug Cartels and Sex Trafficking Rings

The above sentence was not intended to be a factual statement.  But rumors like this are going to keep flying, and keep multiplying, as long as Mitch McConnell keeps fighting every attempt to provide campaign finance disclosure.

What are McConnell and his fellow sleazebags hiding?  The “reasoning” behind the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision was that unlimited “campaign contributions” (formerly known as bribery) were all fine and good, since voters could follow the money and see which politicians are owned by which special interest groups.  But we can’t very well “follow the money” when these bribes are anonymous now, can we.

Most voters are opposed to the Citizens United ruling that allows unlimited campaign contributions.  Among the people who are in favor of that ruling, most of them want full disclosure of who is bought and paid for and by whom.

Last Friday Mitch McConnell gave a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.  He lashed out at Republicans who are starting to “cave in” on campaign finance disclosure:

“I know that as November draws near, some of those running for office will feel the need to choose their battles.  There will be a very strong temptation, particularly among conservatives, to take this particular issue off the table, to make concessions. My advice is to resist the temptation. Because, as I’ve said, everything we’re fighting for is contingent on our ability to speak our minds.”

WTF???  “Our ability to speak our minds” is threatened if the public finds out who these secret donors are?  Who the fuck ARE these secret billionaires and organizations that nobody is supposed to know about?

Senator Chuck Schumer responded to McConnell’s speech with:

“…As Justice Brandeis said, sunlight is the greatest disinfectant. Senator McConnell is apparently now afraid of sunlight because the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent for his candidates and against the President, if disclosed, would create an enormous backlash.”

This is exactly why campaign finance disclosure is so important.  Corporations are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to purchase politicians, but they’re in danger of losing customers if the public finds out which candidates they’re funding.  Fortunately (for the plutocrats), corporations can make their political donations through the country’s largest money-laundering syndicate:  the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Politicians are bought, and the lowly public doesn’t know who bought them.

So let the rumors fly.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has received billions of dollars from North Korea and al Qaeda.  Mitch McConnell’s senate campaigns have been financed by the world’s largest child pornography ring.

Of course nobody can prove these accusations..  But slippery politicians can DISPROVE these rumors by DISCLOSING who owns them.

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35 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 18, 2012 at 6:22 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I guess why not disclose the sources The democrats blatantly disclose the fact that taxpayers donate to them unwillingly through public union dues.
Although I would venture to guess that more than 70% of Americans have no clue that their taxes are going to the Democrat's campaigns.
But we can thank the media for conspiring to keep that dirty little secret hidden.

June 18, 2012 at 6:25 AM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Mitch McConnell looks like a sex pervert. Probably an in-kind contribution.

June 18, 2012 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

Let's be honest here. A lot of Democrats don't want disclosure either. It's not just the Republicans.

We already know that Wall Street funds both parties. I read an article recently (sorry, no link) that reported that Romney's former company, Bain Capitol, in the past 4 years has contributed more to Democrats than Republicans.

As we move closer to the November election, the SuperPACs will go into full gear. The elites will pour hundreds of millions of dollars into smear campaigns. Do you really think Obama wants his henchmen exposed any more than Romney does?

June 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mr. C: Judging by McConnell's face, the only way he ever gets any is through a prostitution ring.

Trey: I can't speak for Obama or any other Democrats, but I personally want all campaign donors disclosed. You can't even sign a political petition without having your name made public (which I agree with), so by extension, anyone who contributes to a political campaign needs to be identified.

June 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Well he has not denied getting coin from these groups so we should be asking those hard hitting questions. It is only fitting, since they get their big boy panties in wads over unions and how much money they supposedly spend.

June 18, 2012 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

" since they get their big boy panties in wads over unions and how much money they supposedly spend"

It's not "how" much,but the fact that it's public money.

June 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

So Lisa, you are going to tell me that the sheetmetal, ironworker the pipefitter's union is public money then? Go ahead show me, with appropriate links, where it is and I will totally say you are right. till then you need to get to cerrar la boca. I hope I got this tense thing right from my Spanish book. Jolly or whoever was the Spanish guru can help me out.

June 18, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I was speaking of Public Unions but good try Jess always painting with that broad brush. Or you can use less proper Spanish and just say you need to callate la boca.
cerrar is present tense so it works. Although I am sure you knew that already

June 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Idiot, you said public union dues and as far as I am concerned, unions have the public working for them. According to you idiots, ALL unions are the same and don't go denying that fact. You pigs want ALL unions to be disbanded so don't go getting all shy about it, now you have been called out for your bullshit. I swear I don't know why I keep feeding your ass, you torque my tits and not in a good way.

June 18, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Good point made excellently, Tom.

I maintain that if this democracy-killing disaster is allowed to continue, it's only a matter of time before we find out our president and some senators and representatives have foreign countries and interests to thank for the offices they hold. I have to wonder how some of the conservative Republican super patriots and tea party crazies in Dixie, Texas, Arizona, etc., would feel about McConnell, or even a President Romney, being in hock up to his eyeballs to communist China's government, to the Saudi royals, maybe even to some Russian billionaires with connections to organized crime. Or, both of them to all the above.

That kind of thing can easily happen. Thanks to our Supreme Court and Republicans' willingness and ability to block reform with filibusters, I predict it's only a matter of time.

Before someone wonders why I mention the potential for selling out to foreign interests in terms of Republicans, I can explain it in three words that for 30 years have described Republicans' approach to politics: anything to win.

June 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Trey Smith wrote, "A lot of Democrats don't want disclosure either."

The names of those Democrats and your proof are . . . ?

June 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: Oh come on, don't you get it? These lowly blue collar workers have ruined America with their living wages, health benefits and retirement pensions. But if you say anything critical about CEOs and their 7-figure salaries and bonuses, you're waging Class Warfare and you hate America.

SW: I agree, "democracy-killing" is a perfect description of these multi-million dollar secret donations. Personally I wasn't that undone by the Citizens United decision 2 years ago, since I assumed the public could follow the money and see who owns who. But now with these huge anonymous donations, we can't even do that. This doesn't bode well.

June 18, 2012 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

SW,

My proof is called logic! If Wall Street is the chief funder of both parties, it is logical that neither party wants the identities of their sugar daddies exposed.

How would this kind of exposure help Democratic candidates? All it would do is show that they are as unprincipled as their GOP counterparts. Since the Dems still rest on the political mythology that they represent the poor and working class, disclosure would be an unmitigated disaster for them.

June 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

"you said public union dues and as far as I am concerned, unions have the public working for them"

You really don't get it so I won't even bother trying.
Or you do get it and you don't want to bother trying.

June 19, 2012 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

I thought George Soros was the only one funding the Democrats... ;-)

(Sorry, I had to bring up his name because nobody had done it yet. Those who would be most likely to mention him appear to be falling down on the job, and of course his name belongs in every discussion such as this.)

June 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

George Soros already seized control of the democrat party now he's out there getting richer.

Soros spent over $20 million trying to defeat George Bush for president in 2004 and has contributed to such groups as the Democratic National Committee, MoveOn.org, and candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Soros, in short, is a major financial backer of the Democratic Party and will be in a position to collect on these debts if Hillary or Obama wins in November. Their election may depend on further substantial erosion in the national economy. It is possible that the financial activities of Soros could make it more likely that the economy will go into a complete tailspin.

What a great guy. But hey he's your great guy so that's a good thing.

June 19, 2012 at 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

FFS Lisa. the kochsuckers are funding all kinds of groups and have committed 300 million just by themselves to get rid of PO. But hey, let's not bring facts into this shit, because you saw that Soros gave some coin.. both sides do it.

Snave, you knew this fuckin moron would come back didn't you and you did this so she would have something to add that had nothing to do with anything. You are a prince among men, for showing the stoopit, that is fright wingnuttery :)

June 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Trey Smith wrote: "My proof is called logic!"

Your logic isn't proof; it's what's called supposition.

I don't deny too many Democrats have their hand out to big-money interests. In aggregate, compare the legislative track records of the two parties and you don't need a degree in political science to tell which party does a better job of looking out for the nonwealthy. Not perfectly, not unfailingly, but substantially and consistently much better.

Some of the Dems accepting money from wherever they can get it will tell you that if they didn't do that, they'd be out of Congress, and Mitch McConnell and John Boehner would have some more Republicans and tea party crazies to bolster their already lopsided numbers. That would mean Senate control for McConnell.

Is this hoe it is because Dems taking money where they can get it are evil and don't care about the rest of us, or is it because Mr. and Mrs. Restofus will be damned if they'll break loose with a few bucks for some politician's political campaign.

The truth — and logic — are that these things don't lend themselves to overly simple harsh and blanket judgments.

June 20, 2012 at 1:48 AM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

Actually SW, logic is built upon prepositions, not suppositions.

I find your argument to be built upon the classical argument of "lesser evilism." It appears in your mind that, since the Dems are the lesser evil, this somehow transforms them into good guys in white hats. I take the opposite viewpoint: a lesser evil is still evil.

Your argument is also one of the ends justifying the means. When Republicans accept money from the wealthy elite, this is bad, bad, bad. When the Dems are caught doing the same damn thing, somehow it's just slightly bad. They don't want to do it, but they were forced into it! Bull!

The Dems do it for the very same reason the GOP does it. So, if you're going to call out one party, you need to call out both of them. If not, you end up sounding like nothing more than a partisan hack.

June 20, 2012 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Trey Smith, when the absolutely perfect, virtuouus, ideal-in-every-way group of politicians become an option, I will choose and support them. It will be wonderful.

Those haven't come along yet, so like most practical people I'm stuck with doing the best I can with what's available.

You evidently believe that if politician A takes money from corporations and the wealthy, and proceeds to favor those interests over the rest, nonstop and in every way, and at the expense of the rest, while politician B takes money from some of the same interests but devotes as much time and effort as possible to serving the needs of the rest of the population, that A and B are equally "evil."

I think that is flawed reasoning and extremely bad judgment. The solution it points to, at least in the short run, favors pols like politician A and makes things even harder for politicians like B. This is what's known as shooting yourself in the foot.

But ah, the purity of it.

June 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

SW,

You are using a typical straw man argument. There are very few, if any, politicians that fit option B! If there were, I might support some of them.

Please remember that Democrats along with the GOP gave us NAFTA, the Patriot Act, the NDAA and drastic cuts to the social safety net while maintaining deep tax cuts for the rich. Very few Dems voted against "war" with Iraq & Afganistan and most of them continued to vote for funding of these wars all along the way (while, interestingly enough, declaring their opposition).

Recently, a bipartisan group of 44 Washington public servants (22 Dems & 22 Republicans) sent a saber rattling letter to Obama supporting the crazy idea of going to war with Iran. And very few Dems have questioned Obama re the secret wars in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and several other locales, while applauding the drone program which is fanning the flames of terrorism the world over.

You see, you're offering a FALSE rationale when you say that one party "devotes as much time and effort as possible to serving the needs of the rest of the population." Neither the GOP nor the Democrats meets the definition above.

June 20, 2012 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

Here's the point I don't understand. Liberals state that they believe in certain principles. These principles are at odds with conservatives. When a Republican offers an opinion or legislation that goes against these principles, liberals are up in arms. "They will ruin the country/world" or "The GOP is only concerned with the 1 percent."

However, when it is Democratic Party leaders who offer an opinion or legislation that goes against these same principles, liberals too often throw their own principles to the curb and avidly support the Dems. All of a sudden, those lofty principles don't mean anything.

To my way of thinking, if an individual firmly believes in a principle or position, you hold politicians accountable REGARDLESS OF THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION. If it's the other party, you fight against them. If it's your party, you fight against it too and, if need be, you withdraw your support.

By and large, liberals steadfastly refuse to do this. They will support their guy or gal...even if it means running like lemmings off the side of a cliff!

If a person ONLY stands on principle when it's convenient OR you can score partisan points, then it ain't no principle. It's just a talking point devoid of any type of substantive meaning.

June 20, 2012 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

". . . if an individual firmly believes in a principle or position, you hold politicians accountable REGARDLESS OF THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION. . ."

Swell. Bill Clinton erred big time with NAFTA, and he's too vain, stubborn or feckless to admit it. From your remarks, I suspect you agree. So, how's it coming with holding him and all those who voted for NAFTA accountable?

Then, there's George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The Iraq invasion was an act of aggression undertaken on trumped up charges. To top it off, as John W. Dean has explained, Bush failed to comply with a requirement Congress attached to the resolution authorizing the use of force that enabled the invasion — an impeachable offense. The Bush administration's torture of POW's was a violation of the Geneva Conventions and statutory U.S. law. How's it coming, bringing Bush, Cheney et al to justice, holding them accountable?

Between Obama and Romney, only Romney has repeatedly made reckless public noises indicating he's not only willing but anxious to take military action against Iran. Your refusal to support Obama for his lack of principled purity will be helpful in seeing to it this jingoistic clod, a chickenhawk pol who, like Bush, will have no qualms about sending other people off to war, will be elected.

So, you will punish Obama for his lack of purity by rewarding Romney. That, despite the fact Romney by his own statements and every conceivable indication will be completely unprincipled, will tell any lie and accept any donation to get what he wants. And, make no mistake, what he will want from day 1 of his presidency is to get himself re-elected in 2016.

This is accountability? This is how you would reduce the chance of a disastrous war with Iran? This is how you would keep the nonwealthy from getting hurt worse than they already have been to ensure the rich get ever richer no matter what it costs everyone else?


". . . If it's the other party, you fight against them. If it's your party, you fight against it too and, if need be, you withdraw your support."

If it's one party notably less than the other, and that less-offensive party is your own, turn your back on it in an election year so the thoroughly unacceptable candidate of the other party will win. In this way you will will teach your own party a lesson?

Better I should go sit on a mountaintop in Asia, contemplating my navel and repeating over and over, "Wow, did I screw up!"

June 20, 2012 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

SW wrote, Swell. Bill Clinton erred big time with NAFTA, and he's too vain, stubborn or feckless to admit it. From your remarks, I suspect you agree. So, how's it coming with holding him and all those who voted for NAFTA accountable?

Do I think Clinton erred big time? You betcha! Don't you?

And why was Clinton not held accountable? Because people like you gave him a free pass. Why should Dem candidates stand up for progressive values when they have supporters like you who don't require them to stand up for much of anything?

Then, there's George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The Iraq invasion was an act of aggression undertaken on trumped up charges.

True, but the Democrats went along with the lie. Many in the alternative media pointed out the lies at the get-go and yet the Democrats ignored them! They voted for much of what Bush (and they) wanted. It only was AFTER public opinion started moving the other direction that many of these Dems changed their tunes.

The Bush administration's torture of POW's was a violation of the Geneva Conventions and statutory U.S. law. How's it coming, bringing Bush, Cheney et al to justice, holding them accountable?

Why haven't they been brought to justice? You can thank the so-called progressive Barack Obama for that. He took that option OFF the table before he was even sworn in.

Remember, he said we should look forward, not backward. Yet, when it comes to Bradley Manning, Obama wants to look backward, not forward. Hmm. Interesting how that works.

Between Obama and Romney, only Romney has repeatedly made reckless public noises indicating he's not only willing but anxious to take military action against Iran. Your refusal to support Obama for his lack of principled purity will be helpful in seeing to it this jingoistic clod, a chickenhawk pol who, like Bush, will have no qualms about sending other people off to war, will be elected.

You should watch the news more. Obama has done a lot of saber rattling on his own!

So, you will punish Obama for his lack of purity by rewarding Romney.

Punish? He hasn't earned my vote! Besides, I didn't vote for him in 2008. Why didn't I vote for him? Because he has turned into the kind of president I expected!

If it's one party notably less than the other, and that less-offensive party is your own, turn your back on it in an election year so the thoroughly unacceptable candidate of the other party will win. In this way you will will teach your own party a lesson?

Y-E-S. If you don't hold your own party accountable, then they won't be accountable.

Better I should go sit on a mountaintop in Asia, contemplating my navel and repeating over and over, "Wow, did I screw up!"

All this comment tells me is that you do not ANY bedrock principles. You blindly are married to a political party. Like a spouse, this party can cheat on you, lie, beat you up, and do whatever it wants and you will be the faithful spouse, nonetheless.

June 20, 2012 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

Let me try to go after this subject in a different way. I will tell you my beefs with Obama and then the rest of you, particularly SW, can share if these things bother you too.

1. His steadfast refusal to hold the Bush administration accountable for anything.

2. Pulling the Public Option from the health care debate BEFORE it even started.

3. Involving the US in a "war" with Libya without Congressional approval AND by declaring he didn't need such approval anyway.

4. His war on whistleblowers, particularly Bradley Manning (who I consider an American hero). His administration has gone after more whistleblowers than all other administrations combined! Even worse, he has refused to investigate any of the stuff the whistleblowers exposed!

5. His support of corporate bailouts. Corporate income is flying sky high right now and yet his big push to balance the budget falls on the shoulders of the rest of us (i.e., austerity).

6. The Drone Campaign. We seem to kill more civilians than anything else and all this is doing is generating more hatred toward the US. It's got to be one of the worst anti-terrorism policies around and yet he keeps escalating it. Pure madness in my mind.

7. His unilateral declaration that he has bestowed upon himself the right to serve as judge, jury and executioner for anyone he decides needs to be killed. No charges need to be filed. No due process is available. Foreigner or citizen -- it doesn't matter. His secret little confab can rub you out and there's not a damn thing anyone can do to stop it. (If Bush had made such a declaration, most of you who read this blog would have exploded in outrage.)

8. Almost no support for labor whatsoever. In Wisconsin, Obama was a no-show. He had a golden opportunity to stand up against Walker's implementation of the shock doctrine and he chose to sit on the sidelines.

I could list several things more, but I think this list is long enough. These items are not minor policy disagreements; many are big life-and-death issues.

If you agree with me on merely one-half the items I listed, why would you vote for this guy?

June 20, 2012 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

"Why haven't they been brought to justice? You can thank the so-called progressive Barack Obama for that. He took that option OFF the table . . ."

Wrongly, I agree. But you're pulling a switcheroo. Your comment and my reply was about what the individual citizen can/should do. I know why they haven't been brought to justice. What I asked you is, how successful have you and those of like mind been in bringing them to justice?

". . . I didn't vote for him in 2008. Why didn't I vote for him? Because he has turned into the kind of president I expected!"

I'm having a little trouble following your logic. You didn't vote for Obama in '08 because he has turned into the kind of president you expected. So . . . you knew in '08 what he turned into in 2012 or some other subsequent year? Maybe my problem is a lack of clairvoyance.

BTW, my comment, "So, you will punish Obama for his lack of purity by rewarding Romney," was preamble to asking, "This is accountability?" Seemingly a pattern in this discussion, you failed to answer the question. I think you dodged this question, again, because to address it leaves you standing in a corner surrounded by wet paint, so to speak.


I asked you, "If it's one party notably less than the other, and that less-offensive party is your own, turn your back on it in an election year so the thoroughly unacceptable candidate of the other party will win. In this way you will will teach your own party a lesson?"

And you replied: "Y-E-S. If you don't hold your own party accountable, then they won't be accountable."

So, again, your idea of holding Obama and Democrats accountable for their shortcomings and missteps is to help elect Romney and Republicans? And again I ask you, how will that make Democrats accountable, and at what cost to the country and a lot of already hurting people will it do that?

June 20, 2012 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

What I asked you is, how successful have you and those of like mind been in bringing them to justice?

Not very successful because of partisans like you. It's sad to say, but most of the Democratic Party faithful roll over whenever Obama runs afoul of progressive principles.

Maybe my problem is a lack of clairvoyance.

I find this to be a very interesting remark in light of all the various things you've said that a President Romney WOULD DO in the future. How come your clairvoyance works with Republicans, but not with Democrats?

I think you dodged this question...

No, I answered your question; you just don't like the answer.

So, again, your idea of holding Obama and Democrats accountable for their shortcomings and missteps is to help elect Romney and Republicans? And again I ask you, how will that make Democrats accountable, and at what cost to the country and a lot of already hurting people will it do that?

How will it make them accountable? Obama will lose. I don't understand why you're having trouble grasping this concept.

Though I don't think Romney has much of a chance, our nation would be far better served if he won. Why? Because maybe, just maybe, the Democrats would grow a backbone.

The problem we have right now is that a Democratic president is legislating like a Republican. Faithful party hacks like you don't want to criticize the prez too much for fear that it will swing an election to the GOP. So, you allow your guy to behave a lot like Bush with almost no protest whatsoever.

If Romney won, my hope is that you might get your voice back. I would much rather see a real Republican in the White House with a determined opposition party than a Democrat (who acts like a Republican) with too many progressives voluntarily sitting on the sidelines.

This nation is going to hell in a hand basket. Bush started it and Obama has hardly missed a beat. In many cases, he has out-bushed Bush. If he wins reelection, this process will merely accelerate. What's to stop it?

June 21, 2012 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

So, again, your idea of holding Obama and Democrats accountable for their shortcomings and missteps... (my emphasis, not yours)

I've been thinking about your choice of this word, missteps, a lot over the past 3+ hours. (If you hadn't noticed, I'm OCD!) I think this description goes a long way toward underlining our differing perspectives.

You see, I don't think most of Obama's divergences from progressive values are missteps. I think these are well thought out policy decisions. And this is why I didn't vote for him in 2008.

While many progressives deluded themselves into thinking that Obama represented their values, that's not the man I saw at all. I saw a conservative Democrat who embraced the Wall Street elite and was very hawkish to boot.

I will admit that my assessment was a little off: his administration has been even worse than my expectations! While I did expect him to back away from the majority of his campaign rhetoric, I was astonished at how quickly he did so. I also was a bit surprised that he has ended up so completely embracing many of Bush's worst sins and expanding on them.

In my mind, these are NOT missteps. This is who he is.

June 21, 2012 at 3:37 AM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Smith, I didn't see your comment at June 21, 2012 12:05 AM until after I published my last comment, FWIW.

In reading your comments, I think it a shame you haven't seen my blog posts criticizing Obama for exactly the things you find so unacceptable. The difference between us is that you at once lack depth of understanding of the whole picture and are willing to burn the village down to save the village, to use a Vietnam-era term.

If for no other reason, you should support Obama and vote for him this time because the next president will appoint the next one or two Supreme Court justices. Those appointments will be crucial to not bringing on complete oligarchy, to not seeing our democracy so subverted that it truly does become a democracy in name only. Supreme Court appointments tend to run for 20 to 30 years. Your insistence on teaching Democrats a lesson would surely come at a disastrous price.
(Continues)

June 22, 2012 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

You need to understand that the Democratic Party isn't progressive enough because it hasn't been competitive by being progressive enough. The Democratic Party is still a big tent party that includes moderates and conservatives. That makes it comparatively weak and divided in an era when Republicans have purged their party of anything but radical conservatives. This situation has come about because Republicans have been able to intensify, pander to and capitalize on the fear, resentment, prejudice and ignorance too many Americans harbor in a time of rapid change, uncertainty and declining economic fortunes.

Howard Dean, with considerable skill and effort, and the best of intentions, brought Democratic control of the House back to Democrats in 2006, after a dozen years of disastrous Republican rule. Speaker Nancy Pelosi undertook the most ambitious bout of legislating progressively since the mid 1960's. Most of the bills, more than 200, died in the Senate. Never got a hearing, much less a vote.

Some of the House's progressive bills did get hearings and votes, some of those going under for lack of solid Democratic support. Some Democratic senators can be hard to distinguish from Republicans. Missouri's Claire McCaskill is an example. That's not because she's a rock-ribbed conservative. It's because she has certain things she wants to get done, most of them progressive things like pay equality for women, and now fighting Republican's assault on women's health care and basic human rights. McCaskill knows her electorate back home. If she goes whole hog supporting a vigorous progressive agenda on everything, she can say goodbye to her Senate seat and the chance to accomplish the things she wanted to when she first ran for the Senate. It's that way with some others in the Senate and House alike.

IMO, the country needs a grass-roots effort to build a strong, unified and motivated liberal/progressive political base, especially in places like Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and a few other states. Such a base could dominate the Democratic Party, maybe own it, and put up a much stronger fight against Republicans. With it, you'd see more assertive progressives in Congress. You might even see a truly progressive Democratic president spearheading a resurgence for the left the way Ronald Reagan did that for the right.
(Continues)

June 22, 2012 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

The old Democratic coalition of farmers, labor and small snall business came apart in the late 1960's-1980's. That unhelpful development coincided with the wholesale defection of Dixiecrats to the conservative/Republican side.

In that period, Jimmy Carter, who was progressive on some issues, conservative on others, and Bill Clinton, who's been a Republican-lite from the git-go, were the only Democrats to win the White House. Neither did a thing to bolster the Democratic brand or to build a new progressive coalition.

The conservative/Republican coalition consists mainly of the super rich, big corporations and their surrogates like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; free-market religionists and economic Darwinists who aren't rich; gun nuts and their NRA; Christian conservatives; southern racists; small- and medium-size business owners; and war hawks.

What does the progressive/Democratic coalition consist of? You have unions, most African Americans, most Latinos who vote, probably most government workers, some women's groups, most of the LGBT community, some college and university academics, and some individuals.

If you factor in how much influence the oil and gas, financial and tech industries can buy with their billions — something they're doing right now — it's a miracle, even in the aftermath of The Worst President in U.S. History, that a Democrat won the White House last time. As with Carter, he can easily become a one termer.

I don't know how old you are, but I'm old enough to well remember what it was like when Reagan replaced Carter.

I suggest that if you want a progressive Democratic Party, join the party and work and fight for that. Work in your neighborhood, community and state for that. Do what conservatives have been doing for decades to get what you want. Put your time and money where your mouth is. If you and others of like mind are willing to do

that, you can elect Democrats who will hold their hand out to you, not corporations, for campaign money, and will listen to you more and lobbyists less, in deciding their votes.

Or, you can sit it out, withholding your vote and money, condemning Democrats for being too conservative and too sold out to suit you. After all, it's all up to them to do right, and your only part in it is to complain, criticize and facilitate the rise to power of our next George W. Bush, Mitt Romney.

June 22, 2012 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

SW,

We're simply going to have to agree to disagree. FYI, I turn 55 a week or so before the November election.

I will comment on one thing you said: "I suggest that if you want a progressive Democratic Party, join the party and work and fight for that."

As a Green Socialist, I'm not that interested in electing a so-called "progressive Democrat." They died off long, long ago and, from what I've seen, I don't expect them to rise from the dead.

In my opinion, what we need is a viable party to challenge the two-headed corporate monster, but this can never happen as long as partisans like you refuse to break free of your self-imposed fetters.

June 22, 2012 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Smith, if a liberal party were to come along with enough horsepower to displace the Demcoratic Party, I wouldn't shed a tear. I would support it. But having that happen requires building broad, deep grass-roots support. I haven't seen the Greens doing that. What I did see was that they let Ralph "The Spoiler" Nader use their party in his bid to punish Al Gore and Democrats for not inviting him to the White House and heeding his infinite wisdom. With the bitter experience of 20/20 hindsight, I fail to see where or how Gore could've been 1/100th as bad for the country as George W. Bush was.

June 22, 2012 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Trey Smith said...

You can't blame Bush on Nader. Gore won the election and the two reasons that he didn't become president are a) the Supreme Court and b) he caved in. Sort of like the way Obama "caves in" as soon as the GOP says boo.

June 23, 2012 at 12:06 AM  

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