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David Dayen on the #BlackLivesMatter protest at Netroots Nation

I'll ignore O'Malley, who apparently melted down. First, the words of the protesters:

Now tweets in event sequence:

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nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

They have had six years under Obama and Holder to get this message out to those who could actually do something about it in real time. Why go after a candidate like Sanders who has always been a civil libertarian?

Not saying that the issue is not very important or that it doesn't need to be raised during the campaign, but that now seems a little late to be raising Cain with the wrong people about it. Just seems like this particular uproar is indicative of a misplaced frustration.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

PBO 'can't do anything' about the problem of massive numbers of Black citizens being slain in American streets because he is biracial.

Therefore, the issue would be too retroactive for him to tackle head-on, and not either take a tremendous personal hit, or have his Presidency greatly hampered, or both.

You can thank the Black Misleadership Class for that perception!

I predict that a huge number of the Black Community will sit out the 2016 election, UNLESS one of the Dem candidates tackles this issue head-on. And I mean as a separate issue.

Somewhere between this issue, and the blowback from the conservative community regarding the recent SCOTUS rulings, I suspect (and fear) that we could soon be looking at a Repub Prez.


nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

came through pretty loud and clear. I would be surprised if all of the Dem candidates aren't rewriting their stump speeches as we speak. The one with the most to lose would be Clinton, and she has gotten her Husband to apologize for his crime legislation already to be in sync with her prison speech.

I don't think we need worry about another R Presidency just yet; the clown car has been gutting each other with a rapacious glee that is a real pleasure to watch. Talk about a circular firing squad! Indies and moderate R's are fleeing the ship every day. They are going to be left with only the weirdest candidate left standing, and then they will lose in spite of getting one hundred percent of the wingnut vote.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I truly don't believe that any Dem Presidential candidate will tackle the issue of racial-motivated police slayings, directly.

(But I've been wrong before--we'll see.)

BTW, I have no dog in this fight (regarding Dem and Repub candidates) since I'm on the sidelines in this election cycle.

Regarding Repubs, the energy is mostly on their side--with the exception of Sanders' campaign. Now, Sanders' views are much closer to mine philosophically, but I'm convinced that the Dem Establishment/PtB would never allow him to win the primary. (Look at what they did to "centrist" Governor Dean, whom I supported.)

BTW, many folks are dismissing Trump. Maybe with the McCain comment, he'll finally be toast. But I can tell you, if you listen to C-Span, you'll find that the more that the MSM goes after him, the more the conservative activist base loves him.

Certainly, the corporatists/Establishment Repubs are terrified of him. Yes, the Repub Business Community wants immigration legislation, so Trump angers them, but it's really his position on Social Security, Medicare, etc, that "has them up at nights."

His position might be considered to be left of Sanders, since he would impose a sizable wealth tax on the One Percent to make the Social Security Trust Fund solvent for years to come, and lock box it. [At one time, this was listed in the "On The Issues" website.]

Other than Governor Huckabee, to my knowledge, Trump is the only other Repub candidate who has disavowed cutting so-called 'entitlements.'

(BTW, I'm in no way endorsing the clown, just stating his stance on an issue that we know causes the bipartisan PtB a great deal of anxiety. Just want to be clear on that.)

Hey, not trying to pick on you, NP. Just found your comments interesting.


Have a good one!

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I have to admit that I pay zero attention to the wingnut side of the equation; we have enough of their symps in the Democratic Party to occupy me. I didn't know that Trump was into a wealth tax! That's helpful.

So, why are you on the sidelines this time? I would have thought that now was the time to jump in.

Submitted by lambert on

#BlackLivesMatter, for whatever reason, was catalyzed in Ferguson (and I think social capital in the Ferguson area had a lot to do with it). BLM is new. However, there are a lot of people -- what Glen Ford calls the Black Misleadership Class -- are trying to make it old. This would also include the Obots, who had literally nothing to do with it.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

which is why Kos did not go, not did he support this years gathering in anyway.
From Oliver Willis
#BlackLivesMatter And Impotent Rage, Netroots Nation Edition

At its worst, protest can simply be an exercise in vanity, an almost childish temper tantrum with no goal or policy set in mind beyond the venal egos of the protesters.

This event appears to be the latter.

I’m sure Hillary Clinton is glad she skipped this sad show.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

but is there any truth to the rumor that the BLM group had tried to set up a meeting, and that the NN organizers refused to do so? If so that would explain a lot of the rather strange tweets that Lambert put up there.

Funny! One of the tweetists mentions how proud of her sisters she is that they disrupted the presidential debates. With that level of political awareness I am not surprised that they are angry at the very people who are most likely to agree with them whilst letting those actually responsible for their problems off the hook.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I fully expect this type of activism to continue to dog the Dem Party candidates on the campaign trail.

Whichever candidate first develops a policy to address (specifically) this issue, will likely get the nomination, IMO. I think it is impossible to win without the minority vote.

Remember, in November 2012, for the first time since voter turnout statistics became available, the African American community had a higher voter turnout (percentage-wise) than the White community. IOW, percentage-wise, this community's turnout was higher than in the historic (as in electing a biracial President) 2008 Presidential election.

Apparently, PBO lost several million white votes that cycle, but the African American Community put him over the top (by the increase in voter turnout).

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

I remember seeing that and thinking that the black vote increased BECAUSE the white liberal progressive vote was clearly going to decrease. That may account for the ugly tweets, now that I think about it. The only reason that Clinton got his second term was because of R attacks, it would not be surprising to see that O got his because of liberal ones.

In that vein, the crazies are running those in the Republican Party that are still capable of embarrassment out en masse. The Greens and lots of former non-voters are flocking to the Sanders campaign. There may be pickups there that will counter any of the black vote that stays home. We may be looking at a whole new political coalition.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

is all that is left of the Dem Party (that I can see).

And I'm sure that the Dem Party Establishment probably saw it coming--that the progressive vote would take a nosedive in 2012.

Remember the "Grand Bargain" negotiations? IMO, the Black Churches/Black Misleadership Class probably succeeded in convincing many folks in the Black Community that it was really the dastardly Repubs--not PBO--who were trying to slash Social Security and Medicare.

Sigh . . .

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Green Party-leaning vote, had he not assured Stephanopolous a couple of months ago that he would endorse the Dem Party candidate, regardless of who it turns out to be.

Many leftists/radicals/socialists/very left Dems simply will not support anyone who is willing to support a corporatist Dem Party candidate.

That was an insurmountable deal breaker, for some.

Personally, Mr A and I haven't decided what to do--regarding voting, or not voting. We have decided, however, not to actively participate in any candidate's campaign.

(Sorry to be a 'Debbie Downer.')

Hey, best of luck to those who are actively engaged in a campaign!

We certainly don't begrudge anyone who still wants to work inside the system. We simply believe that the political/party system, as it exists today, is beyond repair. And, for the time being, are remaining on the sidelines of electoral politics.

Of course, we will still advocate for some issues--especially stopping the 'striking of a Grand Bargain.'

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

Anthony Noel, who started New Progressive Alliance (, and blogged about it at, reported that Democratic Party candidates were being required to pledge (IIRC, in writing) that they would support the eventual nominee in the general, if they lost in the primary. This actually makes a lot of strategic sense, for any party; however, it obviously hinders, somewhat, attempts to disrupt the Democratic Party, and to exploit the electoral system for reform.

Thus, Sanders almost certainly had no option but to agree to support the eventual nominee.

Now, that in no way means that Sanders supporters must automatically transfer their support to Clinton. Indeed, Sanders supporters who could never back Clinton (vs., say, a Green or other non-Republican) in a general election, should organize and loudly proclaim their affinities.

Furthermore, at Sanders' age, he's not likely to want to run, again. Thus, his support can be tepid, indeed, (if you catch my drift.), and not effect his future ability to re-execute the same strategy.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

if I've ever heard one. (Just kidding!)

Seriously, that's true, except that he could have used the almost two years that he "talked about" possibly entering the race, to have been organizing and creating a campaign infrastructure (ballot access, etc.) that would have allowed him to run as an Independent. (Debate participation, aside.) That he chose to delay entering the race for so long, considering the obvious advantages that Former Secretary Clinton would have regarding funding and infrastructure, has long puzzled us.

[After all, the "Ready For Hillary" PAC just spent more than two years organizing for her in Iowa, NH, and probably other states--a fact surely known to Senator Sanders.]

Hey, agree that a Sanders supporter is not 'obliged to' support the eventual Dem Party Presidential Nominee (if it's not him)--even if he loudly and enthusiastically endorses said person, which I would expect him to do. And, many of the more nonpartisan leftist and politically savvy activists may not endorse any of the other Dem candidates--all of whom are former DLCers [except Chaffee].

The problem is that many very young and first-time voters--or very recently reengaged ones--may not be able to discern the vast difference between Sanders and the other corporatist Dem candidates.

Also, from my observations, Sanders appears to be elevated equal to, or above PBO, in the minds of many of his supporters. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that these same supporters will blow him off if/when he appeals to them to support the Dem Party nominee. We'll see.

As a matter of fact, won't he almost have to campaign for the eventual Dem Party nominee, making appeals to his formerly loyal base of supporters to support him/her?

But, hey, your point is well-taken that some Sanders' supporters would not throw their support behind any of the corporatist candidates. The concern for some leftists is that many supporters who have spent hundreds of hours working hard to elect Sanders, would not want their time and energy to go to waste, and would therefore rationalize a "lesser of two evils" vote.

(BTW, O'Malley was a campaign event 'stand-in' for Former Secretary Clinton, especially in New Hampshire when she ran in 2008. IIRC, Webb was also a DLCer. Chaffee, of course, didn't have to bother--he was a Republican, flat-out, LOL! And, of course, Clinton was one. If I've left out anyone, sorry.)

Anyhoo, as I said earlier, 'good luck' to those who are working on any of the campaigns. For now, we are content to continue advocating for issues--both avenues are important, IMHO.

Have a good one!

metamars's picture
Submitted by metamars on

As a matter of fact, won't he almost have to campaign for the eventual Dem Party nominee, making appeals to his formerly loyal base of supporters to support him/her?

Even if that's the case, if his "support" is tepid enough, they will, of course, disinvite Sanders, or not invite him in the first place. E.g., if Sanders repeats the line "Well, I support Hilary,even though she'll never support a transaction tax, preferring to decimate the middle class still further via increased taxation, to pay off some of the ginormous public debts that Democrats have helped generate. " more than once, they will make sure that Sanders is nowhere to be seen at any Democratic campaign event for Hilarious.

But, hey, your point is well-taken that some Sanders' supporters would not throw their support behind any of the corporatist candidates. The concern for some leftists is that many supporters who have spent hundreds of hours working hard to elect Sanders, would not want their time and energy to go to waste, and would therefore rationalize a "lesser of two evils" vote.

My point, which I guess I didn't make explicit enough, is that voters should engage in the electoral process in a strategically cunning way. To be quite blunt about it, it's just plain stupid (or, at best, merely tribalism) to support a candidate's party in a general election, due to mindlessly automagically tranferring allegiance to the eventual nominee. On the contrary, voters should be eager to use their votes punitively, ESPECIALLY when they don't have the numbers and/or organization required to use their votes positively (i.e., FOR candidates that they respect).

I've written quite a bit about intelligent voting strategies, but mostly at Many of those diaries are still viewable.

I've also written about the never-ending inadequacy of 'activists', here in the US, at least when fighting against the plutocracy. You can 'see' (at least if you're good at seeing 'negative space') this in all it's appalling mindlessness in the 'fight' against TPA, where no 'activist' that I know of (present company excepted) bothered to ascertain whether their anti-TPP messages were making it into the public mind, at large. (This I've diaried about here at Certainly, though, another aspect of activists incompetence is that they're not educating the public about the simple mathematics (that a 10 year old can grasp) about the electoral chink in the armor of both the Democratic and Republican parties (which occurs at primary time, NOT the general election, due to gerrymandering.)

BTW, I hope to release 2 specs ("requirements documents") this week for 2 new web-based software tools to empower the electorate, which I described in My Email to the Trump Campaign (Requests to fund 2 pro-democracy tools, which will also help Trump win One of the tools to emphasize Congressional primaries, and use social networking to generate enthusiastic "posses" (negative voting blocs) who will "vote the bastard out of office".

The re-election rate of Congressional incumbents, in the last general election, was about 90%, and the recent results of my own "polling", shows that about 90% of Americans (at least here in NJ) have no idea what TPP is, much less that it's a looming disaster. THIS IS A FORMULA FOR DISASTER. (BTW, the second tool is to help facilitate meme propagation, quite outside the corporatistic, plutocratic constraints of main stream media).

In this vein, please check my diary output, this week, especially with a view to helping out by appealing to your contacts for volunteer computer programmers to step forward, NOW. (Also, perhaps most importantly, contacting potential "influencers" NOW.) I've basically abandoned appeals for significant $$ donors to make this happen, though they could still make all the difference in the open source route by hiring programmers to contribute (even if they'll have no ownership stake in the final product, which is probably a good thing.) We have about 4 weeks to develop these tools, and then about 4 weeks to - somehow - facilitate a massive adoption of them by 10's of millions of Americans.

Neither effort is terribly likely to be successful on such brutal time scales, but I don't see any other options.

BTW I recently encountered a very good video intro to votizen (which, tragically, is no longer available, having been acquired and, AFAICT, neutered and disemboweled by, here.

It would have been an easy matter, indeed, for votizen's platform to be tweaked to accommodate negative vote blocs. I suspect something rotten went down.....

Submitted by lambert on

... then I'm all for it. If it turns out that Sanders and O'Malley are the only ones targeted, and Clinton is not -- a LaRouche-ite already got into one of her rallies in NH -- or, worse, is able to deliver a scripted response, then I think the partisan dynamics are pretty clear.

I think the two protesters actually invented the #BlackLivesMatter hash tag which is pretty impressive. But that won't prevent Democratic regulars from being opportunistic.

nippersdad's picture
Submitted by nippersdad on

Think about it, only a third of the electorate showed up for the mid-terms. Fifty percent of those will not vote for a Democrat. That is only fifteen percent of an increasingly energized electorate that largely swings Democratic.

So if we assume that more people would show up for a Presidential election than for a mid-term and that only the wingnuts are energized on the other side, seems like there is a lot of opportunity to expand the pie amongst previously underserved Democratic constituencies. The anti-war voters, the environmentalists, the Occupy Wall Streeters........I think you can cut those numbers fairly significantly, though I don't really see why either the latino or black vote should drop off precipitately. The Trump brigade should bring them out in large numbers as well, just as a matter of self preservation if nothing else.

The SC Primary should tell the tale.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

If it weren't for the recent SCOTUS rulings, I would agree 100% that the PBO Coalition could be thrown out the window this election cycle.

But, I'm thinking that far right-wingers (conservatives, evangelicals, etc.) have one advantage this election cycle--sheer anger, as an incentive or a motivator.

From what I've garnered, there is definitely a candidate (or 2 or 3) that would thrill most any segment of the Repub Party's Base.

And, if the anger--over the Confederate Flag kerfuffle and SCOTUS rulings--is as strong as I'm understanding, I believe that the Repubs could pretty readily unite behind any one candidate, if/when their ideal candidate is eliminated.

That was not the case for the past two election cycles when fair numbers of evangelicals stayed home because 'liberal' Repubs like McCain and [Morman] Romney were nominated.


Again, I don't have a crystal ball. You may be right.

Submitted by lambert on

I really think Sanders' staff fell down on this. He should have been prepped. Assuming he was preppable, and if he isn't, that's a problem.

albrt's picture
Submitted by albrt on

I was at the Bernie rally in Phoenix, but definitely not at anything related to NN.

I thought Bernie made it quite clear that he doesn't give a shit about the traditional democratic coalition. He specifically asked people in the crowd to do outreach - to working class republicans, not to identity splinter groups.

Bernie is the only major candidate who explicitly supports reducing racially disparate prison populations and holding police accountable. His rhetoric and his record are far better than any mainstream democrat, especially Barack Obama and Eric Holder.

Folks can either get on board and work with the only candidate who is remotely serious about helping working people, or they can leverage their splinter group messaging skills for a first class seat on the neoliberal sellout train. Those are the choices and it's really not any more complicated than that.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

bringing the so-called Reagan Dems back into the Dem Party fold. But I believe that this is (partly) because some of the other Dem candidates will target and micro-target the Obama Coalition. And Dem Party politicians (generally) believe that many currently Republican working-class voters might be won over with a populist economic message. IOW, this is partly a tactical decision designed to help the Dem Party's electoral chances in 2016, as well as his own campaign.

And, yes, Sanders has talked about this at length in progressive magazine interviews for the past couple of years--pointing out that he is speaking in Alabama, Georgia, etc. IIRC, I've posted excerpts from a couple of them, here.

Actually, several years ago Jim Webb attempted to tackle prison reform. Please see the WaPo excerpt below.

With Daring Prison-Reform Proposal, Sen. Jim Webb Tries to Make Each Word Count

By Manuel Roig-Franzia
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, July 6, 2009

. . . Webb's gifts as a wordsmith -- occasional kerfuffles aside -- afford him a platform unavailable to less literary senators.

When he decided to propose a massive reexamination of U.S. prisons and criminal laws this past spring, he gave the usual floor speech. Whereas other senators may get confined to that usually empty chamber and its daytime C-SPAN audience, Webb went on from there to state his case by writing a Parade magazine cover story titled "Why We Must Fix Our Prisons," talking directly to its 30 million-plus Sunday readers.

"Our overcrowded, ill-managed prison systems are places of violence, physical abuse, and hate, making them breeding grounds that perpetuate and magnify the same types of behavior we purport to fear," the writer wrote. . . .

[Pointing this out, BTW, is not intended to dismiss Sanders', or any other candidates' efforts on this issue. Webb, like many politicians on both sides of the isle, has been interested in this issue, partly, as a fiscal matter--not just as a social justice issue. However, I do tend to believe that Sanders' motivations would be more oriented toward the social justice side of the equation.]

For now, I prefer to pursue working on various issues, but good luck to you working on Senator Sanders' behalf.

Once the Dem Party debates begin, I hope to get up a bullet-point post comparing the policies of the Dem candidates. Some may be a bit surprising.


Submitted by lambert on

... that the #BlackLivesMatter demand -- "They're killing us now, so what are you going to do about it?" -- is pretty hard to argue against with "increasing employment," say. That's distinct from whether they're being co-opted, used, or whatever.