More Than One Truth

Crossposted from Antemedius

Glen Ford writing at Black Agenda Report said on Wednesday "We Are Cornered: There's No Way Out Without A Fight": "Obama and his Democratic legislative allies have successfully shielded their Wall Street masters from anything worthy of the name financial reform.", and "The pace of finance capital deterioration quickens, accelerating the timetable of the Right's offensive. As the hunger grows, Wall Street's servants become more aggressive and demanding, and there is nothing in the Democratic Party, as presently constituted, to stop them."

Ford closed his essay with: "One truth remains: only a massed people can defeat massed capital. If the American Left is capable of bearing that in mind in the critical times ahead, it might just escape the cul-de-sac and make some modest contribution to the world."

Robert Scheer noted on Tuesday:

It is Obama's continued deference to the sensibilities of the financiers and his relative indifference to the suffering of ordinary people that threaten his legacy, not to mention the nation's economic well-being. There have been more than 300,000 foreclosure filings every single month that Obama has been president, and as The New York Times editorialized, "Unfortunately, there is no evidence that the Obama administration's efforts to address the foreclosure problem will make an appreciable dent."

The ugly reality that only 398,198 mortgages have been modified to make the payments more reasonable can be traced to the program being based on the hope that the banks would do the right thing. While Obama continued the Bush practice of showering the banks with bailout money, he did not demand a moratorium on foreclosures or call for increasing the power of bankruptcy courts to force the banks, which created the problem, to now help distressed homeowners.

...foreclosures are behind Tuesday's news that U.S. home sales reached their lowest point in 15 years and that there is unlikely to be an economic recovery without a dramatic turnabout in the housing market. The stock market tanked Tuesday on reports that U.S. home sales had dropped 25.5 percent below the year-ago level.

-- Foreclosure

Ford is right about many things, but Ford is wrong about one thing.

There is more than one truth.

"Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I will move the Earth"
-- Archimedes

There is a enormous and powerful difference between millions of people not voting for a particular party, and millions of people saying loud and clear to that party: "we guarantee will give you millions of votes, more than enough to tip the scale...... once you have done a or b or c or d or any combination of those things, and as soon as we see that you've done that you can relax in the confidence that you have won even before election day arrives, otherwise you've already lost and you might as well tell your corporate donors now that their money has been pissed away for absolutely nothing and that you were an utter and pathetic waste of their time, and quit campaigning".

It takes planning, and it takes a determination to make decisions not out of fear but out of the power and leverage you know you have, but have only if you use it.

The best that can happen with this approach is beyond your wildest dreams, and the worst that can happen with this is that if nobody else does it while you do you won't be defending yourself after the fact for having voted for people who could have done their jobs but wouldn't.

The majority of responses that message draws from Democrats boil down to "but... but... republicans!!!"

Much of the remainder of the responses it draws are some attempt to justify "give them more time", to justify waiting on a supposedly incrementally arrived at ultimate reward at some undefined future date that continually recedes, like heaven, after death.

The Democrats won the 2006 midterms effectively by running on an end the Iraq war platform. The first major thing they did afterwards was to betray the voters with the first emergency supplemental war funding passed by a democratic congress after eight years of Repblican congressional control. The result was a folding of hands by the fake democratic antiwar movement who showed themselves to be really only interested in democratic wins, but not in progressive results.

The incrementalists have already lost all the ground they were afraid of losing while the Democrats have had years to "incrementalize" their way into producing good progressive results. They haven't done so, and the result is now an effectively Republican and corporatist congress and president who are Democrats in name only.

That Democrats are politicians, and being politicians will do whatever it takes to win the votes they need means that the fear of republicans or the fear of losing ground is a phantom fear if enough people threaten all Democrats with extreme loss of votes unless and until they all realize that they will all face political oblivion unless they all band together and do something useful to win those votes back, which they will do because they are politicians and they need those votes to survive politically.

It's an eyeball to eyeball poker game right down to election day, and it cannot be a bluff from the voters.

People have to be strong enough to say to the Democrats, "Look, if you're going to ACT like republicans then we're going to let republicans have your jobs you fools - now get busy and PRODUCE some useful progressive legislation or you're history. Come back when you've produced, and I guarantee you my vote" - and mean it.

All Democrats, being politicians, will do it for the votes they need, and if on the off chance they're too stupid to do it then they aren't worth your vote anyway.

It's called voting for results instead of promises.

In the face of a movement of millions of poeple, more than enough to tip the electoral balance, Obama and the Democrats will finally wake up and realize they need the independent and liberal votes they've thrown away since inauguration day last year, and that all the corporate donations in the world aren't going to save them without those votes, and start producing some useful progressive legislation and pass it in time for the midterms.

They could have independents and liberals all across the country rewarding them for results instead of turning their backs on empty promises and the largest landslides in history this November with just a few simple moves.

Creating and passing an actual, real, universal single payer health care bill and rolling back the bailout of the insurance industry for example might do it all by itself, for example.

Although they could probably sew it right up it for themselves by also starting torture and war crimes trials for Bush and Cheney, while withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan and breaking up the big Wall Street investment banks and doing Ken Lay numbers on Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein and Magnetar's Alec Litowitz, while firing Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, and Rahm Emanuel, and Robert Gibbs too.

They've got two whole months, after all.

Democrats are smart people. They should be at least half as smart as all those independent and progressives who won't vote for them unless they begin to do those things.

After all, Obama and the Democrats can't possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that independents and liberals are stupid enough to to vote to continue being screwed by them, can they?

And really, all they really need to do is start just one of those things and the republicans would be history in November.

This is not a sport we're talking about. It is, however, the future of America, and a choice of who rules it. Bought and paid for politicians. Or voters.

The Democrats will hate you for saving their asses this fall.

"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
-- Lucius Accius

There is an election coming up. There is an old movie scene that provides a metaphor  for how voters could be dealing with incumbent democrats seeking reelection - of how voters leverage can be used en mass:

"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse... Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains, or his signature would be on the contract".
-- Michael Corleone

Do I expect that leverage to be used? No, I don't. I expect it will be thrown away. And as Ford explained, it will then be too late to regain that leverage.

The country is lost to the corporatists, unless enough people use that leverage before it is lost.

But it'll never happen. It would take a few million people to actually stand up for them themselves and dictate to the democrats what they must do to win their votes. The problem with it is that people are not very rational, nor are they very good poker players, for the most part.

They won't do what it takes, IOW....

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  • Display: Sort:
    There will be (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Edger on Sat Aug 28, 2010 at 09:12:02 AM EST
    a major political realignment in November.

    One of power taken back by voters, or one of leverage lost forever by voters because it wasn't used.

    Who is going to play the other like a violin this fall? Democrats? Or Voters?

    Theme song here.

    "In the end, if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost."

    Barack Obama, University of Nairobi, August 28, 2006
    An Honest Government, A Hopeful Future

    To be fair, he wasn't speaking to an American audience...

    Three weeks later... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jacob Freeze on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 02:23:11 PM EST
    In the three weeks since you posted this blog, not much has changed between Obama and his "base," which is to say, the low-IQ liberals and progressives who believed his ludicrous campaign blather.

    From Paul Krugman, September 21...

    While the Obama's political problems are largely due to a lousy economy, it's also true that the administration seems to go out of its way to alienate its supporters.

    (Obama) seems to go out of his way to convey the message that although he rode to office on a wave of progressive enthusiasm, he and his people don't respect the people who got him where he is.

    "...the people who got him where he is."

    But Krugman doesn't bother to explain why those suckers deserve any more respect than they get from Team Obama.

    "We played you like idiots, and now you want respect?"


    And what was the real world (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 03:13:45 PM EST
    viable, alternative?

    We need to talk not only about the "suckers", but the REAL suckers: the people in this country who should've been organizing and networking all this time on the grassroots level to become an ignore-at-one's-own-peril force, the way organized labor did in the earlier part of this century, but instead have allowed themselves to used as pawns in the most drawn out, concerted, orchestrated, mind numbing, dumb-down campaign in American history; brought to us through the auspices of the wealthiest 5%, working through an increasingly consolidated media, the jackdaws of talk radio, anachronistic "faith based" religious movements and utilizing all the latest, cutting edge marketing and behavior reinforcement techniques at their disposal.

    Suckers. A good half of the country were already fitfully slumbering sitting ducks years before Obama and McCain came down the pike..



    The Progressive Caucus? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Jacob Freeze on Thu Sep 23, 2010 at 10:09:57 PM EST
    The Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives has something like 70 members, and why are they still tagging along with the DNC, which is cutting down everything except "national defense?"

    I agree with you that grass-roots organizing is essential, but if every left-wing politician with any kind of national profile keeps sucking along with the Democrats, it's virtually impossible for people on the street to develope any momentum.