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
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.)