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Saturday, December 04, 2010

NEW DEAL: A MANIFESTO

Should Obama face a primary challenge? A growing number of internet pundits embrace the notion. As the previous post indicated, we don't have a candidate -- yet.

But we can start a movement. Once a movement gets going, candidates will come forward. Build it and they will come.

Construction starts today. Keep watching this space.

That's right: An eccentric and notoriously cantankerous writer running a third-tier blog -- a dweeb who would much rather crawl into an attic and draw pictures all day -- actually intends to start a movement to remake the Democratic party.

Fortunately, I'm not alone. More about that later.

The name of this movement? New Deal.

You may have heard that term before. Why re-invent the wheel? And why hide from a proud history?

New Deal Democrats. If you don't feel comfortable with that phrase, maybe you need another blog. Another party. Another nation.

The new New Dealers will soon have a website. A forum. With luck, we'll have a news magazine. If all goes well, the site will soon feature lots of good writing by people other than yours truly.

The trick, of course, will be to keep contentious factions together: The Hillary hailers, the Gore groupies, the Kucinich kids, the friends of Feingold -- not to mention people like my ladyfriend, who has always had a soft spot for Carol Moseley Braun. There will be those who say that the best strategy for the new party is to go radical; others will prefer a more centrist approach.

What will unite us is this slogan: Anyone but Obama in 2012.

No. I tell a lie. It has to go deeper than that.

This isn't about a presidency; it's about an entire party that has taken the wrong direction.

Right now, we are led by a president who talked like a populist before the election then gave the economy over to Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. In all the controversy over health care "reform," single payer was refused even a moment's consideration. Our Senate leader took money from Abramoff and our House leader sold out on the public option. Only Hillary Clinton called for a new HOLC to keep people in their homes -- and then she was shunted off to the State Department.

Have any Democrats really pushed to end outsourcing? Have any Democrats pushed for tarrifs on cheap imports? Have any Democrats proclaimed that unfettered trade is a failure? Have any Democrats called for government investment in new American factories?

How many Dems would dare to tell you that Toyota would still be a minor maker of looms if not for the massive help it received from the Japanese government?

Today, the Dems are poised to cave on tax cuts for millionaires, even though polls show that the majority of Republican voters don't want such cuts.

The Democrats now stand damned as "socialists" -- yet they continue to run from the FDR legacy. Health care was given over to the insurance vampires. Dems may soon fulfill Dubya's dream of destroying Social Security. We continue to spend our treasure on needless military adventures. The congressman who will probably be the leading Dem on the House Communications Subcommittee wants to end net neutrality. The architects of the Iraq debacle remain uninvestigated and unpunished. Democrats on the intelligence committees never investigate the agencies they should be overseeing. Warrant-free electronic eavesdropping continues.

When citizens facing foreclosure woke up to the fact that the mortgage holders don't actually possess the required paperwork (due to their incessant financial shennanigans), the Obama Dems did not side with the little guys. They sided with the bankers.

The "stimulus" bill was really a tax-cut bill, not a jobs bill. Yet our propagandized citizenry has been taught to view it as a "Marxist" measure. If Democrats are going to take that kind of heat, they might as well have something to show for it. They should have produced a bill that actually puts people back to work.

We need Democrats who will boldly say that capitalism can work only if money is siphoned away from the Swiss bank accounts of the Wall Street vampires and put into the wallets of the struggling many. People who lost their $18 an hour jobs are now competing for $8 an hour jobs. If the average person has no spending power, how will the economy recover?

We need Democrats who will boldly say that those who control 90 percent of the wealth should pay a commensurate share of the taxes. The top tax rate under Eisenhower was, in fact, 90 percent -- and the country did great. Under Reagan, it was 50 percent. Today, it is 35 percent. Strange as it sounds, anyone advocating a "return to Reagan" policy would now be labeled a New Dealer.

How did this happen? Why is the previous norm now considered unthinkable?

We allowed the most radical conservatives to commandeer the national conversation. This must stop. We need Democrats who will regard Republicans, libertarians, secessionists and theocrats as blood enemies.

The GOP has been taken over by tea party fascists who simply do not believe in democracy. They talk about secession. They speak of violent revolution. They have mired themselves in the tar pits of fanaticism and Birchite conspiracy theories. They don't believe in taxation with representation. They have written their own history books -- bizarre revisionist histories which recognize no substantive difference between West Germany and East Germany, between Swede and Soviet.

Until the Republicans cull these monsters from their midst, there can be no bipartisanship.

The Republican base has become indistinguishable from the followers of Francisco Franco and Mussolini. FDR treated fiends of this sort contemptuously and ruthlessly, and we must do likewise.

We need Democrats unafraid to call right-wing zealots by their proper name. If Coughlin deserved to be called a fascist, then so does Beck. The F-word must re-enter everyday political discourse.

Our enemies wrap themselves in the flag and speak of patriotism, even though they seek to end the democratic experiment and turn this country into a Dubai-like hell-hole of indentured servitude. Libertarianism is the true road to serfdom -- yet the Tea Partiers demand a libertarian dystopia at any cost. As Milton Friedman's grandson stated in an unguarded moment, libertarianism is not compatible with democracy. Judson Phillips, a leader of the tea party movement, has called for removing the voting rights of anyone who does not own substantive property. The main funders of the tea party movement, the Koch brothers, are anarchists who believe that the United States government should be abolished. "Dominionists" have actually called for a return to slavery.

Can we ever make peace with the mad zealots who think this way? No.

Bipartisanship equals appeasement. Obama, Pelosi and Reid refuse to let go of Neville Chamberlain's umbrella.

They're not the only ones carrying brollies. The "new media" organs which created the cult of Obama are run by libertarians-in-disguise and by snooty, cappuccino-sipping Whole Foods shoppers who disdain the working class. Look and see: Markos Moulitsas, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Sullivan. These are the people who have helped to ruin the Democratic party.

We need a return to Roosevelt. A return to principles.

A new New Deal.

The Obama Democrats -- a breed which long preceded the advent of Obama himself -- have always allowed the Republicans to frame the issues. This damnable blundering must cease. Our enemies never begin with concession. They always seek to reconstruct the terms of debate.

In 2008, as the economy collapsed and the full scope of free market theft became clear, the world suddenly understood the dire results of unrestricted laissez faire. Pundits said that the Republican party would either become more moderate or fall into dust.

Today, the apostles of Ayn Rand stand poised to take over all three branches of government. How did they accomplish this task? By changing the terrain. By refusing to accept the political landscape as it then stood.

We must do likewise.

Right now, we are in the germinal stage. Your help is needed.

What should be the ten guiding principles of the New Deal?

(As a postscript, let me add this personal note. I intend to help the New Deal movement get started -- and then I'll step away. An eccentric and ornery writer should not form associations. Blogging becomes no fun when one must watch every word for fear that an unpopular opinion may taint others. So fair warning: Once the tyke can stand on his or her own, I'll be a runaway father. But that's a consideration for the future.)
Comments:
One possible guiding principle might be:

The most for the most.

It's insane how much of the income in this country goes to the fewest people.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com
 
"The people who build the shopping malls must be paid enough to buy in the shopping malls."
 
Our problem is not to find a non-Obama. (Almost any decent half witted Democrat is.) We have to go back to Ohio and Pennsylvania. We may even want to go where Howard Dean wants to go, to New Orleans and Bimingham Alabama.

We have to remember that we had a hero after FDR, this is Cesar Chavez. We need to support migrant workers and not only engineers (the so called middle class).

We need to stop hating Palin and Fox TV; Tea Party mobs and Israelis. There is way too much constructive work to do.

Until then, bring in the orgsnizers. A leader will come out of the process (hopefully); there is no need to resurrect Gore or Clark.
 
Go for it! We need an economic justice party.
 
Here's a three plank, nine word platform that will provide a rock solid foundation to your effort(via danps):

1. Medicare For All.
2. End The Wars.
3. Soak The Rich.
 
!!!
 
One of the basic axioms of the new New Deal should be:

Government is the only solution to the problems we created by treating government as the problem.
 
And what Anglachel said, "Fairness, Dignity, Respect."
 
Policy alone won't do it. Constructively replacing Obama requires an electoral strategy.

A strategy with a real chance to succeed requires two words and roughly two "deals." The necessary two words are: Prosecute Torture.

Those are the words that will allow any "New Deal" candidate to start with a large segment of Dem primary voters. Torture is the wedge, the euphemedia catnip, and what really is the fundament of all the rest. Nothing else will sufficiently tap the latent anger.

Any number of recognizable names could take up the mantle (Dean, Gore, Webb, Hagel, Feingold, Clark), but without the anti-torture stand, it's likely a non-starter (sorry wonks).

Secondly, the "New Deal" must be offered beyond the Dem party. The campaign should start with the Dem primary, but must make it clear that it will continue into the general.

This is crucial to garner the None of the Above portion of the electorate. And to insure "relevancy" by providing an option for independents and disaffected Repubs come the general election.

That's were "deals" with existing third parties should be made -- to run as their anti-DC candidates. Ideally one would be with the Greens -- offering them control of environmental policy. The other(s) deals would be less clear, but something might be workable with the Libertarians or others. But having the New Deal candidate as the nominee for as many "outsider" groups as possible will reinforce the change/policy message.

---
 
At least three of the principles had better be Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

As before, It's the economy, stupid.

By 2012, discounting a miracle, it will be even more so.

And I still think Hillary is the most credible competition. She already got more primary votes than Obama did. Had the press celebrated her strong wins at even half the volume of his dubious ones, she'd have had the momentum.

As for Wikileaks, the type of naive progs disturbed by realpolitik were in the Obama camp anyway, and she still almost won.

By 2012, the pendulum will be swinging back to blue. Rational Republicans are already horrified by the pending Tea Party caucus. Indys will be too. I can see them eager to nominate someone with guts enough to be a strong counterpoint. And just as in recent elections, lots of former Obama enthusiasts will decide to stay home.
 
>>We have to go back to Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Ohio, Ted Strickland is already planning a move to bring back progressive policies.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/03/ted-strickland-john-kasich-ohio-next-steps_n_791212.html

Ed Rendell is from Pennsylvania, and I wish we could talk him into running a primary against Obama.

I like jm's three points, but rather than "soak the rich", we might want to say that the the rich should pay their fair share. Since they own more, they use more governmental services. So they should pay more.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com
 
I like Anglachel's
Fairness
Dignity
Respect
 
OooooOOOoo! Cue the Twilight Zone music. It looks like we're all feeding off each other's thoughts. Spooooky. I swear I didn't see this post until just now. I beat you to the domain name ForDemocraticReform though. yep, we took it back in 2008. Just consider us ahead of the game.
 
Riverdaughter, FDR is a great name for a site. If you (or anyone else on your team) want to participate in the New Deal site, please please do!

I snagged www.NewDealDems.com. Right now, there's nothing there. But a week from now...

And I'll say to you what I said to Dakinikat and others: I don't want to run this thing, at least not for long.

When you are in charge of a project, you have to be nice to people. I am, by nature, a surly ass. It's part of my uncharm. For the past couple of weeks, I've actually tried to be NICE to everyone (mostly because of the Chalice project) -- and it's freakin' KILLING me!

If the New Deal project takes off, and I think it will, it would be nice to have it in the hands of people who are not necessarily honkified penis-monsters. So that's why I tell you and others -- I don't want you to JOIN the New Deal movement. I want you to LEAD it.

Personally, I would prefer to curl up in an attic and draw comic books. God DAMN Obama and the teabaggers for forcing me to get involved with the outside world.
 
One more thing, riverdaughter -- the New Deal movement is going to have to include a lot of people who never liked Hillary. This is meant to be the left-wing version of the tea party movement, and you can't build a thing like that and remain exclusionary.

We'll need numbers. Among those numbers will be a lot of people who have pissed off you and me.

I don't think that Hillary will run. She said that she is done, and I believe her. But if she DOES run, then the New Deal movement (assuming that there is such a movement) should support her whole-heartedly.
 
I'm staunchly independent and would prefer no political parties myself. But it seems to me that there may be enough disillusioned Democrats that may be willing to support the green party Ten Key Values of the Green Party http://bit.ly/faWUzX
 
Here's a few links that may be helpful to draw from or for ideas. I've marked those from my blog. There's no advertising, sign-up or any other method for me to profit from any of these links. Being new here I figure my best role would be just to provide resources for others, and I can learn more about you as the project unfolds.

Green Party Platform: Democracy - Powered by Google Docs http://bit.ly/ezgpaT

My blog: Radical campaign finance and election reform http://bit.ly/bX5SCO

My blog: World View http://bit.ly/3MzEhP

My blog: Nobody asked me, but here’s my solutions http://bit.ly/g6AJ1I

My Blog: Campaign Finance Reform In Less Than 140 Characters http://bit.ly/cHOPYV

http://www.facebook.com/TeapotParty

http://www.facebook.com/americanprogressiveparty

Let me know if you have any questions or would like additional resources.

I'm on twitter at http://twitter.com/emperor_bob don't send me a direct message, never read them.
 
Alan Greyson and Dennis Kucinich in 2012...And God be with them!!!
 
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