This is what I kept hoping for during the Occupy movement
: Something serious, something not initiated by smirky young hipsters. Let's make it real...
As Obama struggles to achieve his second-term domestic agenda, a more liberal and populist voice is emerging within a Democratic Party already looking ahead to the next presidential election. The push from the left represents both a critique of Obama’s tenure and a clear challenge to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the party’s presumptive presidential front-runner, who carries a more centrist banner.
This story pitches the movement as a Warren-v-Clinton thing. Obviously, the Establishment has its own reasons for promoting this "push from the left": Weakening support for Hillary Clinton.
But I'm not worried. Hillary is good at co-opting things like this. Besides, the whole point of this movement is saving Social Security, a cause that soars far above horserace politics.
“The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 — at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors — is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch,” Warren said recently on the Senate floor, announcing her support for a bill that would expand the program.
Liberals say Social Security is one example of how Democrats are likely to face sustained pressure in coming months to move in a more populist direction on a host of issues.
In addition, liberals have accelerated their push for a higher minimum wage — successfully persuading Obama to support a $10.10-an-hour proposal after he suggested $9 an hour this year. They also are making a case for tougher financial regulations, specifically targeting massive banks they would like to break up.
More broadly, liberals argue that the nation must do more to narrow economic inequality, to expand the safety net to help those who have lost jobs to globalization and to relieve some of the burden of student debt — goals that the president generally shares.
All of these steps take us in the right direction. I'll be very amused when pundits try to draw a false equivalence between these cautious, sensible goals and the teabaggers' ninny-noodle reactionary radicalism.
But this "movement" has not progressed beyond the germinal phase. It isn't real -- not yet.
First, we need a name. Something new. Something bold, but not too threatening to moderates.
We also need structure, hierarchy. The Occupy movement tried do without structure and hierarchy, and the whole thing devolved into a steaming glob of bull diarrhea.
I would humbly offer these further pieces of advice:
1. NO HIPSTERS IN THE LEADERSHIP. Do not trust anyone under 40. Children are to be neither seen nor heard. The leadership must be a goatee-free zone, filled with people who stopped following pop music after Madonna. I don't want to see any hoodies and t-shirts. I want blazers and shirts with buttons.
2. Anyone who breathes the word "consensus" must be killed. Killed
No: First tortured, then killed.
No: Such a miscreant must be made to watch while all of his or her loved ones are tortured and killed before his or her eyes, and then he or she himself/herself must be tortured and killed. (Sentences like the previous one were a lot easier to write in the days before feminism.)
3. Do not treat Democratic politicians as enemies. Treat them as servants. When they misbehave, beat them -- in primary elections, if need be. (This won't happen very often, since the motivating issues -- Social Security, the minimum wage and so forth -- have popular support.)
4. There will be lots of ninnies and undercover ratfuckers who will insist that all Dems are far too impure and therefore we need to go the third party route. (Splitting the liberal vote will, of course, make the GOP invulnerable). Third party purists deserve the same treatment meted out to the advocates of consensus -- except the torture must be even worse
5. The movement must be anti-libertarian by definition, though only on economic issues. Libertarians love to infiltrate. They always seek to seduce people with attractive talk about non-economic matters; be aware of this tactic, and never fall into that trap. Make it crystal clear from the very start: This is an Ayn-free zone
6. Leave gun ownership out of the discussion. That issue has nothing to do with the battle against libertarian economics. Similarly, don't get distracted by identity politics, by race, by religion, by immigration, by pot legalization. There are a lot of dimwits out there who think that gender issues trump all other concerns; don't listen to them. Avoid anyone who insists on discussing genitalia and the manifold uses thereof.
We're in a class war, and our side is losing. The only way to prevail is to stay focused on economics.
Let that song from Cabaret
play in your head continually: "Money money money money money
..." Concentrate on that. The other stuff will take care of itself.