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DO NOT ACCEPT NARRATIVES OF DEMOCRATIC WEAKNESS

Aristotle (again) said it:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit

The Ds are doing what they want to do. They are doing what they think is best.

Why is this so hard for people to understand and accept?

NOTE Sorry for the all caps in the headline, but the narrative of D weakness is so ubiquitous -- and I've contributed to it -- and so rancid, that I felt I had to shout. Please don't follow my example.

UPDATE And as usual, Arthur got there first.

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vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Shystee had it right long before I did:

http://www.correntewire.com/the_democrat...

[I]s it wrong to wonder whether blaming the process is just an excuse and that the politicians are not being entirely honest in their stated intentions?

I know it's not polite to question people's motivations. But I think it's only natural to question a person when what they do does not match what they say. Over and over again.

Submitted by Anne on

keeping the weakness theme alive - it was better, for a long time, to think their major flaw was weakeness overlaying general good intentions than to accept that it was never about weakness at all.

Here's another aspect of this that I think contributes to people's willingness to adopt the weakness argument: I've been a Democrat since I was old enough to vote. I'm not an authoritarian, not in love with corporate America, not a war-mongering, racist, misogynist, craven, greedy person - but if I accept that that's what far too many of our Democratic representatives are - what does that say about me? Especially if I keep voting for them? If you've found yourself saying, "Well, I'm not that kind of Democrat," you've at least stopped kidding yourself about what these elected Democrats really are, but there's a whole lot of denial still going on about that, and weakness is the best - and only - excuse left.

Which is another problem: one cannot make a compelling argument to keep voting for Democrats if one is honest about who and what they are, which is why we keep hearing, as Arthur says, about the "crazy" Republicans, about how "the other guys are worse" - that last being instrumental in ensuring that we keep racing to the bottom of the political shitpile. Sometimes I wonder just how bad it has to get before people finally draw the line and say, "no more."

And have you noticed that when you attempt to refute the "weakness" excuse, that the best counter argument the deeply-in-denial crowd can come up with is that you sound "just like the Republicans?" I've been getting that, and it just makes me laugh - and when you call them on this tactic, and ask them to please - defend, make a real case for, Democrats...they've got nothing but a whole lot of "uhhhhhhh" to offer.

Remember those 3-D pictures that were so popular about 10 years ago - the kind you have to stare at and let your eyes go out of focus so that you can see the embedded image? And once you could see it, figured out how to do it, it was a snap to see the images in every other, similar picture? Well, that's how I feel about this - once you can see these Dems for who and what they are, it's so clear, and one is somewhat chagrined at not having been able to see it sooner.

For me, now, the question has become: so, now what? And I don't have any answers for that one.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

Can I recommend complete disconnection from the legacy parties, and explore and invest your time and energy in a positive affiliation? Perhaps with the Green Party? (hint..I am a candidate for that party) I have found this party to be what I once expected from the "democratic wing" of the democrats.

gqmartinez's picture
Submitted by gqmartinez on

my personal experience with the Dems started with Bill Clinton when I became politically aware and began shaping my independent personal philosophy. As evil as the online left likes to paint him as, there were differences between him, most Dems, and the GOP. He stopped the govenment effectively for a reason (imagine how much more everyone would have hate him if he let team Gingrich kill medicare and starve more poor people?) Under Clinton, poverty rates dropped, people were working, and us colored people (black and brown) for the first time ever had a positive net worth.

In 2000, I voted for Gore not because he was the lesser of two evils, but because I thought he would have made a good president and a lot of shit would have been better. In 2004 I voted for Kerry for the same reasons. The same with lower level candidates as well. But something fundamentally changed in 2007-8. An election was rigged and you don't rig elections if you trust and care about what "the people" want. To me there seems to be no coincidence that the rigging of the 08 primary coincides with Democrats began to push GOP frames (on SocSec for example). Many people I trusted in Congress began to let me down after many years of struggles.

Some people seem genuinely entranced by Obama, some see him as a cash cow, some really do feel opposing him is racist, some have always agreed with his uber conservativism. But the Dems weren't *all* always marching in stride with the corporate hacks as they are now. Whatever the cause of the failure, Obama's "election" is central to a real, IMO, change in Dem behavior. And we ought to recall what Donna Brazille and Chris Bowers said about the change in base and priorities. Not only does the bad shit correlate with Obama, some of his biggest supporters said this would happen, that Dems would change priorities.

All this is to say that, just because someone is right *now*, doesn't mean they were always right. There was good reason to support Dems in the recent past. The recentness of this and the sudden nature of the change, in large part, contributes to the Dem's Legacy success, the Legacy Party Syndrome. But its fading fast even in light of the hurculean effort of the Village and their media enablers.

madamab's picture
Submitted by madamab on

Something really changed with Obama. The wrong faction of the D party got control of it and are corporatizing and fundie-izing it as fast as they possibly can.

That's why I call it the "Obama cancer." He is the face of Democratic evil, much like Reagan is the face of Republican evil.

tarheel-leftist85's picture
Submitted by tarheel-leftist85 on

as it's such an important idea. Also, maybe closely related to the weakness narrative is the one of ineptitude. They are, indeed, strong-willed and perfectly cognizant of what they are doing and whom they are servicing.

The banksters* control the D legacy party entirely, and that there are literally no good apples on the national level and probably even the state level and still very few at the local level--its officeholders, the career pwogwessives, and--maybe i'm casting my net too wide--anyone actively pushing the narrative that O is doing his best (let O be O, bro!) even if they're not getting commission like the career pwogwessives.

I'll consider voting for Green Party candidates (get 'em, sisterkenney!), but i still like the idea of a NPL--though without ties D legacy party. When all else fails, it'll be NOTA.

Apart from voting, it's us and our neighbors (here and in RL) v. the rentiers. Related to the threat on the convenience store post--yes, chat everyone up (especially people not "educated" at our neoliberal indoctrination centers). When you aren't pushing a party, and you really want to understand how the other person perceives what's going on, they'll engage almost always it seems. Make plans to buy local, grow food, trade (household tools, etc), move your money, turn off the teebee (or at least don't buy cable). I've enjoyed talking with plenty of people who didn't go to college, usually much more than my fellow classmates--the former are usually more open-minded about things like MMT (or at least the idea of deficit terrorism, as i'm still feeling shaky on how to explain or even if i sufficiently understand MMT), Medicare for All, the economics behind our foreign policy, etc than the "educated."

* It's not just banksters--insurance, mercenaries, etc.--but i'm also convinced that all roads lead to finance, in that all financial rentiers really have to do is change numbers on spreadsheets as a part of their "work." The other rentiers have to go to a little more trouble under the pretext of delivering a good/service.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

They don't need 60 votes. They can get rid of the filibuster in 20 minutes (a bit of an exaggeration, but not much), and then pass what they want with 50 votes plus the VP's. If they don't do it, they can't point to the Rethugs and say it's there fault. the whole charade is ridiculous.

dontpaycreditcardsdotcom's picture
Submitted by dontpaycreditca... on

While the Republicans appear to be imploding over unemployment, allowing Tim Geithner to reimburse Goldmans Sachs from the AIG fiasco was something the Dems are hated for. That big eared Fed mole, Geithner, duped the president as does Larry Summers, the lameheaded fellow who left Harvard broke.

The second major mistake was the never ending Afghan pipeline war. That is all it ever was, to build a pipeline to Halliburton investments in the Caspian Sea. The Dems love the neocons when it comes to oil domination. I called them the Demcons.

Hard to be elected as the party of the people when you bail out crony corporatist banks and then fight a neocon war for Halliburton.