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Enough waiting. Let's rebuild the Progressive Party of the United States.

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
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At what point do progressives stop being Democrats' whipped dogs and start acting like a movement capable of putting the Dems in their proper place as the party of the people? David Sirota wrote today about Obama's latest call to increase war spending beyond its already ludicrous proportions.

How many of the extreme right-wing and criminal policies of Bush-Cheney has Obama adopted? How many of those extreme right-wing policies has he exceeded? Last month, knowledge that Obama has gone a step further than Bush, authorizing the executive branch to murder American citizens on the flimsiest of rationales. This sh__ has GOT to end.

My political activities now are focusing on the building of a viable third party as a tool of a reinvigorated and independent progressive movement. No efforts to reform the Democratic Party from within can succeed so long as the upper-level of the party establishment is able to crush dissent from within, as is explained here.

[T]the Democratic primaries will be where the action is ... Maybe someone like Kucinich, Feingold ... It will be a "good liberal," not a radical, advocating positions that are reasonable but declared "unrealistic." ("You'll throw the race to the Republicans, we can't have that!") The basis of the campaign will not be a sudden embrace of Bolshevism, but rather Obama's embrace of Wall Street. It will be a mix of angry rank-and-file and disgruntled party machine.

The insurgent candidate will lose. The candidate will not call for a 3rd party, will support Obama after the primaries -- will make a concession speech that would shame the Moscow Show Trials. Many of her or his followers will follow suit. The candidate will not personally work to create an independent infrastructure within the Democratic Party. Obama will probably win, not because of his impressive performance but because the foaming-at-the-mouth Republicans will be splitting. After the election, the Democratic challenger will not lead a 3rd party.

This has been the pattern for decades. There is no one within the Democratic Party willing to lead a progressive breakoff. The day Dennis Kucinich kisses all party support for his re-election to Congress goodbye is the day I will rejoice, but it's not going to happen. So it's on lay progressives to take charge, organize from the ground up, and lead the way to building both the movement and the political organization that will bring it to power within the halls of our nation's capital.

This won't happen overnight; it will take decades for a fully functional progressive political organization to be built, and we will be opposed every step of the way by Democrats, Republicans, and corporations now empowered to spend as much money as their executives want to sway public opinion against us. But we have got to start sometime, and now is as good a time as any.

Those who claim this isn't the right time will not tell us that the "right time" is never going to come -- there will always be the enxt election cycle to worry about, too much at stake to "risk throwing it to the GOP." Never mind that all Democrats ever do is throw elections to Republicans simply by behaving like they're members of their counterpart political party. We must ignore such admonitions and press on. There is no such thing as perfection in politics, to be the enemy of good things that will never come to fruition so long as the existing political structure continues. And there is nothing more to be lost by doing what is right and necessary to take back our country.

The good news is that a Progressive Party already exists in some states. In Missouri, Vermont, and Washington, progressives began rebuilding the political party that bears their name from the ground up, and they used smart strategies and tactics to gain power first at the local level and then at the state level. They are now starting to branch out into national-level politics by running candidates for the House of Representatives, with a Vermont Progressive having run for the House of Representatives in 2008 on a platform that included calling for Bush's impeachment. And David Sirota has written previously about New York's Working Families Party, which has gotten results at the local and state levels.

So the foundation exists for progressives to rebuild our movement. The will is there. What's lacking is leadership. If no one in the 'netroots is willing to assume vital leadership roles, then it is up to each and every one of us to take charge and lead. Enough is enough. Progressives must stand up to the far right, which dominates both major political parties, and end its rule. No more excuses, no more capitulations, no more waiting. Let's get it done.

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sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

I'm SICK of screaming at my computer, I'm SICK of waiting for "someone" to speak truth to power, I'm gonna do it! I will be an Independent candidate for US Rep in the ORIGINAL HOME of "Reagan Democrats"' (WETF that means). I'm gonna lose, but GLORIOUSLY, and I WILL NOT BACK DOWN. I won't care if I'm elected, or hurt the feelings of the so-called "liberal' dems in my district. I HAVE to do this to maintain my self-image as a moral person.
Any advice, hints (let me tell you, FEC regulations are a BEAR-anyone have help with those?), will be welcomed.

"Rule number one: pay attention"-Ded Bob

Submitted by lambert on

... is the person to talk to, eh? And of course, you'll get national coverage, at least at the blog that everybody hates and nobody reads!

Also, I would simply post your questions. Put the questions out there, and let's see what happens.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

I also look forward to the wonderful bounce I'll get from the exposure on this site(let's not sell ourselves short). Not to mention the first incendiary quote from moi :-).
Thanks for the support, lambert!. Many questions to follow...I am going to sleep now after a hellish 24 hour weekend in the ER. (Great full moon, anyone else see it?)

"Rule number one: pay attention"-Ded Bob

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
Submitted by Michael Kwiatkowski on

My best advice for you is to get in touch with the Vermont Progressives via their web site and learn what their members did in starting out. A lot of the time, they simply ran candidates and benefited from the state's generous election laws (which allows a candidate to be registered with multiple parties) and then built up from there. If you're part of a Democratic or Green Party chapter, talk to disaffected progressives who feel the same way you do and are looking for other options. Meet with them, discuss goals, strategies, tactics. You can also check out your state's election laws to find out what you need to do to be recognized as a legitimate political party.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

I'll definitely check out their website, and maybe they can help me navigate the maze of fed regulations! "Independent-for you!" (how's that for a slogan? All suggestions considered!

"Rule number one: pay attention"-Ded Bob

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

They're looking for candidates and they've already established ballot access. Some state parties even provide candidate training opportunities.

You don't get a big party organization, but I think you may get some help in states that don't yet have a progressive party (although the quality of help and organization among the Greens seems very location specific).

OTOH, if you can establish a progressive party, that's awesome, too.

Just running, however you do it, is a great thing to do even if it's for local office (especially school boards, which are often a breeding ground for some of our more reactionary politicians).

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
Submitted by Michael Kwiatkowski on

Whether it's the Green or the Progressive Party, the point is to mobilize and get organized. The self-appointed "leaders" of the left in this country, the access-bloggers whose single, undeviating goal is access for themselves and little clique of hangers-on to the inner circles of power, aren't going to do it. It's up to us to get moving.

Slightly off topic: I'm really tempted to run for office myself, but I first want to help build the organization necessary for progressives to get elected, and I have an aversion to running for office on the basis of wanting power (never trust anyone who wants it). When and if I run, it'll be because someone truly progressive needs to and I see no one else able and willing to step up to the plate.

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
Submitted by Michael Kwiatkowski on

The trolls took over the FDL version of this entry, and guess who got threatened with punitive action? Not the trolls, I'll tell you that.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I saw this at FDL, and thought it was a fine diary. Who were the trolls who took things over?

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
Submitted by Michael Kwiatkowski on

RBG wasted what he claims is twelve hours trying to "convince" me that I, and not the others, should get the discussion back on track.

Submitted by lambert on

He's a shill! He's paid to do what he does. Know your enemies!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
Submitted by Michael Kwiatkowski on

Roseybum can be a shill and a site moderator and still behave like a troll, meaning that he is a troll regardless of whatever else he is called. The same goes for marcos and RBG, both of whom need to join Roseybum in growing the fuck up. They think they can bully progressives, threaten them with more GOP victories if we don't sit down, shut up, and keep the money and votes flowing to the Democrats — but that terroristic method wore out all effectiveness years ago, which is why the Republicans are currently the minority party. The only way they're gonna convince anyone to stick with the Democrats is to show substantial policies that benefit Americans. But they can't do that because they won't force the Democrats to make good policies into good laws.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm not against all forms of invective, obviously, but I think childish invective -- c'mon, bum??? -- makes the invector (if that is a word) look childish, and the invectee (ditto) look good by comparison. I know it's the style elsewhere, but I think it's an ineffective style.

Couldn't we stick to the old standards like Fuckhead and asshole? (I don't think mithras is childish when he calls me an asshole; I think he looks like an idiot, which is why I've curated him as a typical "diehard" Obama fan).

NOTE As far as "troll," you're just wrong. I don't know if this is one of the consequences of the general degradation of the discourse in the primaries, but one of the effects was that "troll" was turned from a term of art into an all-purpose insult, meaning "person not wearing my jersey." Obviously, admins and moderators need to term to work as a term.

UPDATE To be clear, this only about language, and not infantilization as practiced especially by "progressives."

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

I don't think marcos is a troll. He's just an urban anarchist. I've had good, lengthy exchanges with him and he's gotten into fights with Jane too, as have I. In fact, I'm not sure why I survive over there, but the static I get in discussions is good. There are still some marvelous commenters over there.

Submitted by lambert on

During a fundraiser?

That's, like, the best banning I've ever heard of! It's über-banning!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

Also, apparently being banned involves having any comments re: her lack of civility, and her misunderstanding of my posts clarified erased. (I had looked at the numbers of donations for THAT particular drive, she thought I meant for the whole PAC) (BTW, the money went right to PNHP) I'm also convinced that many of the SP supporters had their eyes opened by the whole exchange.

"Rule number one: pay attention"-Ded Bob

Michael Kwiatkowski's picture
Submitted by Michael Kwiatkowski on

Which is not unexpected; the trolls who run the site don't like people who stand up to them and expose them for the lying bullies they are. Fortunately, I can always sign up under a new handle from a different terminal and continue posting. What's more, sooner or later the clowns will realize that if they ban everyone who disagrees with them and who flings their shit back in their faces, it'll just be a handful of DLCers doing a circle jerk and getting nothing done.