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A Progressive Plan (Towards a Progressive Majority in the Democratic Party)
Filed under: General, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 1:43 pm

A Progressive Plan
(Towards a Progressive Majority in the Democratic Party)

by Brad Parker, Ahajamu Makalani
and the Executive Board of the CDP Progressive Caucus
August 2006

Many members of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CDP) understand that more Caucus members and other Progressives must be elected as Delegates to the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) at the upcoming Assembly District (AD) Caucus elections and the next County Central Committee (CCC) elections. Progressives must be elected as Executive Board Representatives in particular from both of these bodies. Progressives must be elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from California, which Executive Board Representatives will do in 2008, as officers of the CDP itself, which DSCC delegates will do in 2008 and as CCC members, which will happen in 2008 as well.

To this end, the Progressive Caucus calls upon Progressives throughout California to assist us in collecting Party election information, making it easily understood and widely distributed. As the vital first step in this process be aware that anyone wanting to vote or run for delegate to the DSCC, from the January 2007 AD Caucus elections, MUST REGISTER AS A DEMOCRAT BEFORE OCTOBER 23rd. Following that, we need your help in gathering information about the AD Caucus elections to be held the 2nd weekend in January. We need details about who is calling them, their contact information and where they will be held. That information is due by December 1st to the CDP. As soon as we have this information, either from the Party or by our own efforts, we will then publish the information and distribute it statewide.

As a starting point for organizing this action, the Progressive Caucus proposes the following Plan to move towards a Progressive Majority in the CDP. With this information in hand the Progressive Movement will be empowered to gain voting majorities at every level of the California Democratic Party. With the election of Progressives as representatives and officers in the various levels of the CDP apparatus we will increase our power, implement Progressive policies and elect Progressive candidates in California and then across the nation.
Why a Progressive Plan?

Vast numbers of Democrats, past and present, have lost confidence in the Party leadership and direction. The Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, in coalition with the broader Progressive community, intends to rectify this situation. Herein, we offer a Progressive Plan to accomplish just that.

Before we lay out the plan let us examine the Democratic Party as it now stands, why it should be and how it can be transformed. John Zogby noted in a recent column in the Huffington Post, (August 6, 2006), that discontented Democrats, now the majority of the Party, are in a mood to demand bold ideas and a return to principled leadership after the DLC led corporate crony policies of the last 20 years which have been a stupendous flop at the polls:

“…the Democrats will have a tough time convincing (Americans) that they are ready to take back control of Congress without offering any clarity on the Iraq War.

Let’s just look at the numbers from my [July 21] national poll. Overall, only 36% of likely voters told us that they agree that the war in Iraq has been “worth the loss of American lives”, while 57% disagree. But the partisan splits are more revealing: only 16% of the Democrats polled said the war has been worth while 82% disagree and only 26% of Independents agree the war has been worth it while 72% disagree. On the Republican side, 64% said the war has been worth it, while 23% disagree. The war has been the principal cause of the nation’s polarization in the past three years. The polling evidence shows the degree to which Iraq has become a Republican war. And these latest numbers are also noteworthy in that they show that about one in four Republicans have now pretty much given up on the war.

All of which is to suggest that Democratic candidates will now probably be emboldened to take a stronger stance against the war. If principle doesn’t win the day, at least the polling numbers are pretty clear what their base wants. Indeed, the polling numbers were pretty clear what Democrats and Independents wanted in 2004 - and the fact that they didn’t receive the opposition to the war they were looking for from their standard-bearers is the main reason that they lost both the Presidency and did not pick up seats in either house of Congress.”

Finding Our Progressive Voice

In the years following 2004 Progressives began mobilizing inside the Democratic Party. We achieved some notable successes including “Out of Iraq” resolutions across the nation. However, even with our rising strength, including the outcome of the Lamont-Lieberman Senate race in Connecticut, the Progressive Movement shouldn’t be throwing confetti. Progressives lost most of the races they entered in the recent primaries. We were out-maneuvered by the entrenched political machine. We still don’t have enough seats at the table of Democratic Party leadership to put the Party to work for our candidates. We have our work cut out for us.

Creating a Progressive Democratic Party

This political struggle is for “power”, political power - the ability to persuade the voters and implement policy. It is a struggle between those who don’t have it, those who do and the career politicians, electeds, appointeds and big donors who control it. Rather than being dispirited by the current state of affairs we should be motivated. It defines who we are and who we aren’t, how we need to organize and what’s at stake if we don’t.

So, where do we go from here? We strategize, energize and organize the Progressive Movement. We take the Progressive Movement from outside of the Democratic Party into the Democratic Party. We form a coalition of all of the Progressive Movement’s diverse national entities outside of the Party. We inform this coalition as to the why, where and how of our Progressive Plan for becoming the Progressive Majority inside the Democratic Party and together we make it happen.

Our hope is that many of those now arrayed against us will come to understand our principled positions and join us in reinvigorating the Liberal Ideal they once stood for, thereby, propelling the Democratic Party forward and enhancing the Party’s social relevancy to the majority of working and middle class Americans. There is no justifiable neutral position in this epic search for the soul of the Democratic Party. The vote to adopt a neutral position on Clean Money Campaign Financing by the California Democratic Party was the center of contention at the most recent Executive Board meeting of the CDP this past August. Support for Clean Money, (Proposition 89), was defeated by a coalition of Democrats whose power to choose candidates and influence the party would be threatened by the passage of the proposition. This group included some union leaders (not rank & file members), electeds, consultants and big donors. They may think that this fight is over but their action to crush Clean Money has only provided all voters, no matter their partisan bias, the proof of its value and the impetus for making it happen.

We have been working on a broad outline of this Progressive Plan for the last year. We offer it here to all Progressive citizens working together to move the Democratic Party forward into the 21st Century. We believe that this can only be accomplished when Progressives are a voting majority at every level of the Democratic Party. Therefore, we are focusing our efforts on electing delegates to the State Central Committee, its Executive Board and the County Central Committees. If you read either your county’s Democratic Party by-laws or the State Democratic Party by-laws they are clear as to when the delegates are elected. However, what is not clear, with regard to the Assembly District Caucus elections for delegates to the State Central Committee, is how many in total are elected, where they are elected in each particular AD, how and when names are put in nomination and the contact information for the person calling the meeting. Other than the fact that registered Democrats in primary elections elect delegates for County Central Committee, little information is known by the general public about the process or its importance in Party operations. Further, none of the processes at any level for becoming an appointed delegate are readily available nor is there a standard for appointment. This creates a situation where elected officials and leadership can control the outcome of Party votes by the number of appointed delegates regardless of the will of even an overwhelming majority of the Party membership.

A Progressive Call to Action

The Progressive Caucus calls upon Progressives throughout California to assist us in collecting Party election information, making it easily understood and widely distributed. With this information in hand the Progressive Movement will be empowered to gain voting majorities at every level of the Democratic Party.
Deteriorating living standards for working and middle class citizens, along with the outrageous appropriation of wealth and political power by the entrenched ruling elite have been the driving force behind our demand for change. However, the emotions of the last decade that propelled all of us to speak up and show up cannot create the changes we had hoped for by themselves. We must engage in the hard work of political organizing and working with others more effectively to achieve political gains within the Democratic Party. Our successes during the movements for Civil Rights, Against the Vietnam War and for Gender Equality were never translated into an ongoing political process and structure that would insure a Progressive American body politic. This cleared the way for the DLC, Neo-Liberals and moderate to conservative Democrats, to subvert the soul of the Democratic Party. We cannot afford to make the same mistake this time. We must move Progressive politics from the margin of the Democratic Party to the core of Party policy and action. With that in mind, we offer the following Plan.

Introduction to the Progressive Plan outline…

The first page of this outline lays out the basic elements of the Plan…

- A singular goal agreed upon by consensus
- An overarching strategy to achieve that goal
- A cohesive set of tactics to implement the strategy

That is followed by a brief explanation of the goal and an analysis of the current makeup of the Party. Next, a graphic shows the old paradigm of political power versus the new. The open exchange of ideas, available on the Internet, is inverting the “Pyramid of Power”. Citizens are reclaiming, “the consent of the governed”.

Page two is a cursory analysis of the elected and appointed members of both the government and the California Democratic Party at every level. These members all have voting privileges. In the Democratic Party, appointed members have if not a majority at least an equal number of votes. That is how the elected members, especially the leadership who do most of the appointing, maintain their power. The Party with a voting majority in each level of the government, local, state and federal, controls the floor of each body of the government and thereby the vote and the outcome of each vote. The wing of the Party in power that has the majority of the voting members in the Party at each level controls the floor of each body of the Party and thereby the vote, the outcome of the vote and the direction of the Party as well as the government. To effect change in America we must control the vote in one political Party and make that Party the majority party in the government.

Page three starts with a brief outline of the upcoming electoral calendar both in the Democratic Party and in general elections. In order to move America in a Progressive direction we must first have a Democratic victory at the polls in November and take back the Federal legislature. However, that won’t do us much good unless we follow it with a Progressive majority elected to the Democratic State Central Committee, which happens in January 2007 in each Assembly District caucus.

It is critical that every citizen who wishes to participate in that process as either a voting member of the Assembly District caucus or who wants to run for delegate to the DSCC from those Assembly District caucuses MUST REGISTER AS A DEMOCRAT FOR THIS NOVEMBER ELECTION: BEFORE OCTOBER 23rd. We have included a proposed coalition meeting of the Progressive Movement in 2007. This would probably be most effective in the fall of 2007 and include representation of all of the Progressive Caucuses in each state’s Democratic Party plus representative’s of the major national Progressive organizations. No electeds will be allowed to campaign there and no celebrities invited to opine. We should concentrate on group inter-working and refining the Plan as to strategy and tactics. To be effective this meeting should be less talk and more walk.

Finally under tactics we have assembled what we know about the make-up of the various governing bodies of the CDP. As you can see the appointed members control the balance of power. So, we need precise information as to the how, when and where of becoming the electeds so we can then do the appointing and achieve a Progressive Majority of voting members in the Democratic Party.

Following this explanation is the outline of the Progressive Plan: a starting document. We encourage everyone’s input and participation. However, time is of the essence. These electoral cycles are ongoing and we need to be prepared for each one and then the next and the next. This process of creating a Progressive Liberal Democratic Party and America will not be easy. It will span at least a decade. Liberals, who we believe are the new center in the Democratic Party, are our natural allies in this endeavor. DLC-Moderates are our opposition but in the spirit of “recycling”, which we embrace, we should leave an open door for them to join us when they come home to their principles. We are often asked, “Who is a Progressive?” We offer this guideline: A Democrat is any citizen who votes for Democratic Party candidates. A Liberal is any citizen who believes in the Liberal Ideal as espoused by Americans for over two centuries (e.g. favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded). A Progressive is any citizen who is actively promoting the Liberal Ideal in the political process. However, before action can commence a Progressive must have an understanding of the historical analysis of the prevailing social construct and socio-economic reality as it relates to those who are systematically disenfranchised. With that shared view the Progressive Movement can unite Progressive citizens to create a coalition that brings transformative political policy back into the Democratic Party.

The Progressive Caucus Platform, 2006

The Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party has formulated four policy areas to concentrate on at this time. They are in brief:

1 – Out of Iraq
- Immediate withdrawal and renunciation of preemptive war
2 – Universal Healthcare
- Single-payer healthcare for all Americans
3 – Election Integrity
- Election Protection (count every vote as cast)
- Clean Money (public financing of campaigns)
4 – Poverty
- Eliminating its causes
- Alleviating its affects

If you agree that these are priority policy issues among the many serious issues of the day then you are a Liberal. If you are actively working to make them happen then you are a Progressive.

Even we though we all may differ as to the nuance of our solutions to these and other problems facing society we must overcome our personal investment in our own ideas and create a consensus that is put into action. We must join with our natural allies, Liberal Democrats, and even though we may know many Democrats who are right wing or cooperating with Republicans and Establishment power brokers we must remain inclusive and welcome them back to their principles as well. As we sweep the DLC cabal from office and the Democratic Party we should leave open the possibility of growth for every Democrat. Our Progressive Plan begins in California, proceeds to every state in the union, and culminates in a Progressive Democratic National Committee. Join with us. Your democracy depends on your participation.

Now is the Time. This is the Place. We are the People.

Stand Up. Show Up. Speak Up.

Signed by:
The Officers of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party

Mal Burnstein Mayme Hubert Jeffrey Killeen
Dotty LeMieux Ahjamu Makalani Narges Niedzwiecki
Jo Olson Brad Parker Joye Swan

Progressive Plan - Progressive Voice - Progressive Action

Progressive Liberal Democrats must have the three essential elements of politics clearly defined for the Progressive Movement to make the transition from outside of the Democratic Party to inside. Those elements are:

- A singular goal agreed upon by consensus
- An overarching strategy to achieve that goal
- A cohesive set of tactics to implement the strategy

To form a majority in the Democratic Party, Progressive Democrats must align with the new center, Liberals, to wrest control of the Party from DLC Moderates who are the new Right Wing of the Democratic Party.

Progressive – Liberal – DLC Moderate


In order to form a more perfect Union, Progressive and Liberal Democrats must Strategize, Energize and Organize the Democratic Party at every level. Only then will a Progressive Liberal Democratic government come into being in America.

Pyramid of Power

President Citizens

Vertical Horizontal new pyramid
(Past) (Present)

Citizens President

Political power rests in the citizens who are elected or appointed (selected) to seats in the leadership of political parties (i.e. voting members) and in citizens who are elected or appointed to official offices at the various levels of government.


- Executive
- Legislative
- Judicial

- Executive
- Legislative
- Judicial

- Executive
- Legislative
- Judicial

- Executive
- Legislative
- Judicial

Democratic Party

- Executive
- Legislative (members)
- Ex Officio (Superdelegates)
State (CDP)

- Executive
- Legislative (Central Committee)
- Ex Officio (Superdelegates)

- Executive
- Legislative
- Ex Officio (Superdelegates)

- Executive
- Legislative
- Ex Officio (Superdelegates)

- 2008 Nov. General Election
- 2008 Democratic Convention
- 2008 CDP Convention
- 2007 Progressive Movement Coalition Meeting
- 2007 CDP Convention
- 2007 Jan. AD Elections
- 2006 Nov. General Election

CDP – Democratic State Central Committee
– Approx. 2826 members
- 960 (elected by ADs)
- 933 (elected by CCCs)
- 933 (includes nominees {& their appointees}, electeds {& their appointees}, State Party Officers {& their appointees}, DNC members

County Central Committees
- Size differs with each County
- Most elected from ADs?
- Others serve ex officio (appointed)

CDP Executive Board
- Approx. 314 -?
- 80 (elected by ADs)
- 104 (elected by CCCs)
- 35 Committee Chairs (appointed)
- ?? Includes DNC, State Constitutional Officers, State Party Officers, Caucus Chairs

Brad Parker, Ahajamu Makalani
and the Executive Board of the CDP Progressive Caucus
Reprinted with the permission of the Progressive Caucus of the CDP - 2007
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Go Loco? or Go Local…
Filed under: General, Politics, Technology, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 9:21 pm

California is a curious place - full of dreamers, boosters, garrulous grifters and raconteurs. Many are madly striving, in search of Wallace Stegner’s infamous “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” Many more are lost in the shuffle and grind, ebb and flow at the Western edge of the Western World. Among these earnest seekers and sinners are the various members of the Left Body Politic. They range from conservative Blue Dog corporate enablers to the end of the world Socialist, Communist and Anarchist monkey wrench gang. Somewhere, lost in the mix, are the Democratic Party regulars and pusillanimous Progressives. As the sun rises in the east, over the majestic Sierras, they find themselves in the same boat, drifting down the river of no return, in the midst of a thick San Francisco fog. Sideways is the new direction for this bundle of believers, these frustrated yet sunny souls. Status quo has wrapped its stony fingers around the electoral apparatus of each ardent constituency. We are in a stall, a dead calm sea. And the natives are restless, very restless. But before we muster up the courage for a new direction, let us take a deeper look at the state of the State.

The California Democratic Party, the Progressive Caucus of the CDP as well as Labor, Environmental and other factions within the broader California Left have divided along regional lines, North and South. This was the inevitable stepchild of success in the 2006 and 2008 electoral cycles plus the simmering disputes from the last decades, like Water policy. All of this internal strife, such as the Union’s ongoing Civil War, has degenerated into turf battles and been exacerbated by the disconnect from the National Democratic Party - DNC, the various National Progressive Movement Organizations with their East Coast orientations and our general malaise brought on by little progress on Big Ideas across the board. Let’s face it folks - we’re in a funk.

The past is very persuasive; it is comfortable in expectation and in outcome. Better to wrestle the demons we know than to venture out to meet new demons, putative leaders of the factions sing in tremulous chorus. That is the conventional wisdom, which is the refuge of the rear-view mirror crowd. But that tired cant is insufficient to buoy this coterie, to bring us out of these doldrums. The future, as frightening as it has become, like true democracy, beckons. And the future requires a new organizing principle - since the mechanisms of the past are stuck in the mud of ladder climbing and feather fluffing, while the cities crumble. I put forward to all concerned that the current Marshall McLuhan predicted globalization, stealthily achieved by the virus of the Internet infecting every form of communication, has wrought a new possibility; change the world without leaving home.

Now, take a deep breath and consider this; there is a simple and bold way to go further. Remember - the future must never concede to the past what it knows to be true; and that begins with the cure for what ails us - Action & Change! We must act in a manner that will realize tangible results not bogged down by endless procedure and committee examination or the overreaching control from larger aggregations. Ergo, we must discover the scope or range of manageable expectations and coalesce around them to create progress that is achievable. The most direct route to that outcome is to act locally. The pawns must wake up and realize that old street saying - We Got The Power! - right in our own back yards, right down to your very own purchasing power. Don’t let the man get you down has morphed into don’t let the struggle get you down; act in a brand new and curiously old-fashioned way - act for change in your neighborhood.

Here in Southern California, we have come to know each other through the last decade of organizing; that includes, elected officials, their staffs, Democratic Party leaders from every level, grassroots activists, clubs, chapters of national Progressive organizations, Labor leaders and members, writers, artists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs and a cross section of citizens from every demographic description. It is time to form a coalition, here in SoCal, among ourselves, to work on the local issues that most vex us and that we can directly influence and change - energy policy, conservation, water policy, transportation etc. Change begins here, with each other, in our daily lives that are inextricably connected. Let us come together, as John Lennon proclaimed, and demonstrate to the world what local action can achieve. Then we can hook up with like-minded individuals, groups and regions, through the Internet, and across the state, nation and planet to create a vibrant grid of citizens in action.

Although this essay blooms from the California scene its solution can be applied around the world. The globalization of the Internet gives us all access to tools locally that were unattainable heretofore. The Democratization of Information broadens each individual’s reach. We can now affect our local politics, development, economics and environmental interests in concert with our statewide, national and global interests. And more importantly, the process can and should begin at home - locally first.

So, embrace your frustration, and do something about it. Imagine a new local, sustainable, renewable and humane life. Then, join with your neighborhood and create it. Don’t go Loco - go Local!

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Crony’s Triangulating Fog: Grifters, greed and the gullible Americans
Filed under: General, Politics, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 12:32 pm

Crony’s Triangulating Fog:
Grifters, greed and the gullible Americans

By Brad Parker
February 2010

Part I - A Tempestuous Bamboozle

Creeping across the heartland on velvet feet it came. Silent, maleficent and grinning it entwined the body politic - first to the right and then to the left. Decade upon decade it imperceptibly seduced the callow crowds, here and then there, a few at a time, building to a crescendo in the year 2000. Poised to render all in its path mere puppets in a tempestuous bamboozle, it had finally struck with all of its might. But by then the stupefied masses simply embraced the needle of narcotics like any willing junkie. The dope of greed and over-consumption had already done its job. Without alarm or notice, the grifters slithered from room-to-room, city-to-city, unseen as they sucked the nation dry. Comatose, the governed and the government were bound in a blanket of malignant fog. Thus begins the strange, sordid saga of the silent overthrow of both major American political parties over the last four decades. It is perhaps the greatest swindle ever perpetrated on the suckers born every minute - us, the gullible Americans. This is the story of Crony’s Triangulating Fog.

Our cast of characters, or perpetrators, is a small gang of big time swindlers. They are out to reverse the new order of the ages - Novus Ordo Seclorum - on the original Great Seal of the Republic of the United States of America. They are unhappy with the New Deal, Great Society and Liberal Ideal that took hold in America from 1932 to the present. Their strategy is fear. Their tactic is advertising. Their target is the government, local to federal. Their accomplices are the American people - in their somnambulant apathy. Their goal is the absolute control of money - all money. To a great extent their laconic racket has been successful. However, as in most plots, successes have bred complacency, inefficiency and now border on collapse. Our scam artists are known as Crony - crony corporate interests, aided and abetted by the lobbyists and politicians who represent them. Their names are probably unfamiliar to you. So, for our tale of willfulness and woe the only names to remember are - Lynde and Harry Bradley. First though, let us examine the background of this crime of the century.

Crony has one goal in mind - the marketplace: dominate and control the entire marketplace, if possible. Left to their own devices, it is a natural corporate objective to monopolize the market because it is the only way to sustain ever-expanding profit margins. Unfettered markets with no government regulation always consolidate power to fewer and fewer players over time. This is greed at work on the macro economic level. The current Healthcare system is but one glaring example of the Crony theology at work. Post World War II and through the late 60’s, this market consolidation was working well for the new American corporate giants - Crony. Then, beginning with the Civil Rights movement in the late 50’s, followed by the Peace movement of the 60’s and culminating in the Women’s Liberation, Farm Worker’s and Environmental movements of the late 60’s, the pressure to reform American governance began to erode public confidence and compliance with corporate objectives. It was during this time that Crony support was thrown to the Republicans, almost exclusively; in an attempt to maintain the hegemony of profits at all cost. It almost worked with Nixon but the counter culture kept gaining strength with its vision of Peace, Love and Understanding. Crony strategists needed a new plan to regain control of the markets and that is when the Triangulating Fog was first imagined. Here is how the fog works.

First, Crony bought up the Republican Party and forced all of the Liberal Republicans to the curb. Next, they began in earnest to “message” the new paradigm - “government is not the solution to the problem - government is the problem.” Neo-con Messiah, Ronnie Reagan was the perfect messenger. As a former actor and advertising pitchman, he had just the right tenor to convince the gullible Americans to privatize the government. By privatizing the government, the Neo-Cons - new conservatives organized around corporate hegemony - could shrink it down to a manageable size and loot the taxpayers on a regular basis, legally, and with the pliable assistance of the Congress, White House and the Supremes. Reagan was the man for the job but the job was not getting done because of the Democratically controlled Congress. So, the Crony corporatists hatched another plan: buy the Democratic Party. With both parties Carny-barking the same business friendly campaign ads the public would be triangulated into only one possible choice - profits before people - while believing it was the other way around. Thus, the charade of a choice would create a fog cloaking the true objectives of the men behind the curtain. The search for a smooth undetectable method to bribe the Democrats became Crony’s focused rumination.

To pull off the purchase of the Democratic Party machine, Crony needed to craft an ideology that the cowering Liberals in the Democratic Party would swallow. So, they funded a little known group of mostly Southern Democrats who said they knew the way. These fine fellows, led by Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, formed the Third Way Foundation, which in turn spun off the Progressive Policy Institute and then the Democratic Leadership Council - the DLC, home of the Blue Dog Democrats. One of the most sizable contributions to get this ball rolling came from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. The Bradley Boy’s contrivance, along with other charlatans and gangs loosely aligned in the Crony corporate cartels, pumped money into these astro-turf Democratic think tanks, just as they had the Republican ivory towers, with one goal in mind - control the government and the legislation. The premise presented to the agitated voters was that these were the new Progressives who would make the Democratic Party more palatable to business and then use that new relationship to bring about social change. Of course, these New Democrats were neither Progressive, new or interested in social change. They were in it for the big bucks. They were Crony in Liberal clothing. Hos and Pimps as an organizing archetype had graduated from the streets to the suites. Now, the warm entrapping fog was beginning to work in earnest.

Let us look at this shell game from another angle. In order to steal the government from the citizens, you have to get the citizens to go along with the theft. That is how the grift works. Every flimflam man worth his salt knows that. The mark does the work. Here is the setup: finance the campaigns of select members of both parties, Democratic and Republican, then, finance think tanks that support these candidates and provide them with position papers and expert analysis. Most importantly, make sure that the candidates and organizations all fulfill the same pernicious mandate - privatize the American government at every level, in the name of the People. The privatization scam will seem to come from both sides of the political spectrum. The grift will appear to be a grassroots effort. The fog will set in disguising the outrageous theft of the assets of the nation that are held in public trust. Oh man, these crooks are organized!

Part II - Appearances Are Deceptive

At the center of our plot is advertising. Advertising is the principal tool in the Crony box of tactics. We tend to think of advertising as benign radio, print, Internet or television commercials for any number of products and services that we can ignore. However, advertising agencies realized many years ago that any information pumped through any media outlet could become an advertisement for any of a number of purposes beyond the product on display. Focus groups and demographic studies can then be used to sharpen and disguise the message and the source of the advertising funding at the same time. Finally, the Massage - messaging, propaganda or programmed disinformation - can then be consumed through any medium without the consumer becoming aware of its true purpose - Lie, lie big and lie all the time. Advertising theory now dominates Mass Media information in all of its categories. Politicians were successfully sold this bill of goods as the most reliable means to their end of - Permanent Incumbency. Hence, the Ad Men take-over of political campaigns in the 60’s.

Over time, Ad men and advertising agencies morphed into campaign consultants. They knew that the outcome of the consumption of information could be influenced, or polluted if you will, by the carefully disguised introduction of strategic themes. If you have enough money and clever creative staff, almost any result can be achieved. All that is necessary to succeed, as every artful dodger knows, is a gullible and greedy mark; Pavlovian dogs conditioned to accept less as more. The preconditioned pigeon or target of the crime can then be persuaded to participate by activating their weaknesses. Fear of the “others” is at the top of the list. This primal fear, shared by every human, is ginned up by politicians, talking heads on radio and TV and in editorials throughout print and Internet media. Fox news is the most obvious purveyor of this type of fear product. Eventually, the message in the information became imperceptible: hidden in the all-encompassing environment of advertising - an Orwellian twist on McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Massage.” The same fear-inducing memes were embedded in political policy advertising and woven into campaign slogans, speeches, movies, religious broadcasts and mass media outlet’s infotainment shows. Crony made sure that the context of the advertising - messages, news, policy and opinion - always said that all government is bad and all private, free and unregulated enterprise is good. Both Republicans and Democrats joined in the merry spewing of the fog over the timorous and twitching crowd.

Next, the deception required that front groups on both sides of every issue propagate false paradigms promoting the virtues of private versus public social structures. Charter schools and voucher education are the most insidious of these types of deceits. For-Profit Healthcare Insurance is another. These front groups then play upon deep-seated fears and prejudices at the heart of gullible working class and poor Americans. Most importantly - every tactic is aimed at inducing White (European) American Male queasiness and rage at the rapidly changing demographic makeup of the heartland of America. It is the new and improved Huey Long populism Redux, George Wallace’s ghost and Sarah Palin on steroids. Conservative Infotainment outlets are poking a sharp stick into this fear every day. Rally the People, while you pick their pockets - the old Three Card Monte, evil and effective.

Obviously, if you were a member of the Crony cartel that wanted to control the American government you would not advertise the fact that an assets theft was your true objective. Whenever you did advertise your grand plan for reigning in the government, you would claim that you were acting in the public interest. If you were in on the con then only you and your associates would ever know the truth behind the lie and its real purpose. At least that was the plan with our gaggle of casino racketeers, grazing in the halls of political power. Then unexpectedly, along came the true modern Progressive movement with the power of the Internet and the whole gerrymandered contraption began to disassemble and founder. That friends, is where we are today. The fog is clearing, revealing both sides of the political aisle in Congress to be in league with Crony and not the people. So, Crony, ever the resourceful extortionist, has decided, in a panic, to plump up the fog to an even greater thickness.

Barack Obama was swept into office on a monumental wave of fear surrounding the neo-liberal financial swindles caving the global economy, disgust at the George Bush neo-con policies of imperial war with homeland neglect and the possibility that we could at long last - look forward to believing in the hope for change. A soft Left turn was underway. What was the response from our privatizing pals at the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation? Pugnacious Crony fought back. They switched sides once again, and started funding Freedom Works and the Americans for Prosperity astro-turf groups, among others. These are the folks that brought us the Tea Party, Bagger, Deather, Birther and No Government Healthcare outrages of the summer of 2009. Once again, Crony ginned up the gullible Americans through racial, social and economic fear baiting and set them loose on the new Democratic Federal government. Add in a dash of true Populist Rage borrowed from the Progressive Left and a dollop of Wall Street bashing, turn up the heat with Palin parties and voila - you have a perfect gumbo that looks like the people want to throw out the government - from the grassroots on the Right and the Left! But wait - who is that we see leering at us from the edge the curtain?

Appearances are deceptive. Recall where our conversation began - the one constant behind all of this apparent “political” theory and commotion eructed by the corporate ad men is a much more craven economic animus - recapture the markets that they just destroyed. As you can see, Crony is neither Left nor Right on the political spectrum. Political parties and politicians are only the shills trapped in the fog covering the cannibalizing objective - control the government, downsize the government and privatize the government. Reap the harvest of the working-class citizens taxes for Private Interests. Pillage the land for Profit. To this ignoble end, politics, mass media, even religion are mere tools for the false advertising employed to fool the manageable marks. The Bradley Foundation is only one of numerous organizations and individuals who are riding the grift train in America. This is no penny ante grift either, sisters and brothers. These scam artists are out to get everything we hold sacred, from the Constitution to your family’s fortune and future.

So, there it is fellow suckers. Crony bought the Republicans, then the Democrats and now pimps the fakeroots. Everyone is triangulated and down in the new Foggy Bottom. Government as the “problem” is the product of a very successful advertising campaign. All sides of the political spectrum have bought into the fog. Remember - Dick Cheney thought he had triangulated the fiscally conservative Republicans to go along with his imperial war machine. Before that, Bill Clinton thought he had triangulated social liberals into going along with his let us help the business people finance our New Democrats machine. In fact, they were both tools of a larger more insidious triangulation by the Crony corporatists to monopolize the American and then global markets and harvest all wealth into the bank accounts of the chuckling elite. Americans, behavior-modified to trust advertising, swimming in the dead pool of propaganda environmentally disguised as benign advertising and Infotainment, continue to cop to the Triangulating Fog Machine’s all sizzle no steak obfuscation. The only question left to ask, now that the confidence game is more widely known, is - will they keep buying it like a beaten dog or wake up and demand their money and government back? Stay tuned.

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Left Turn Only Goes North
Filed under: General, Politics, Technology, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 1:02 pm


The LTO book tour continues with stops in Santa Barbara, Davis, Benicia, and Sacramento. Please join me at one of these Left Turn Only book signing and discussion events this February. Ahjamu Makalani will be joining me for the NorCal swing. We’ll be discussing the Power of the Positive Progressive Proposal including “How to Renovate the Democratic Party” and “Progressive Economic Principles.”

~ Many thanks to Jeeni del Rio Criscenzo for the SRO at UCSD and to Paul Burke, Dana Dean and Shirley Hunley for the NorCal events. Also, thanks to Lois Hamilton and Jon Williams for the PDASB gig!If you would like us to come to your hood let me know and we’ll see what we can hook up…

I hope to see you on the road with LTO!

Left Turn Only
Dispatches From The Progressive Underground
Book Tour
February 2010

February 17

Progressive Democrats of Santa Barbara
Wednesday ~ 6:30 pm
Venture Tech Building
402 E. Gutierrez Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

February 26

The Avid Reader
Friday ~ 7:30 PM
617 Second Street
Davis, CA 95616
Tel: (530)758-4040

February 27th

Saturday ~ TBD
Benicia CA - before the Solano County Dems Crab Feed
Location TBA

February 28

The Avid Reader at the Tower
Sunday ~ 2PM
1600 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818
Tel: (916) 441-4400

(If you have the book already :: Please consider writing a review on Amazon ~ ~ many thanks!)

Brad Parker

Left Turn Only
available on Amazon & Kindle:
and on Createspace:

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Change the Rules at the California Democratic Party, the DNC and across the Nation…
Filed under: General, Politics, Technology, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 1:41 pm

Change the Rules at the California Democratic Party, the DNC and across the Nation…


Recently, I got this question on a discussion group. here it is with my reply ::

Dante wrote:Brad, just so I know…what Central Committee rules are you specifically interested in changing? Do you mean the DSCC, or County Committees?

Here you go Dante…

Three Important CDP By-Law Changes

As Progressive Democrats we are as interested in getting more
Democrats elected to office, at every level of government, as anyone
in our Party. However, I believe that the processes for crafting
policy, endorsement and democratic representation within the central
committees needs reform.

1 - Replace the appointed members of the DSCC and Executive
board of the DSCC with twice as many delegates elected from the
ADs to both. Selected members with a vote equal to elected
members is undemocratic and amounts to continual rigging of the
votes in favor of the status quo. (We all remember Bush v. Gore)
Elected officials can still vote their 1/3 of the votes and the members
will have 2/3 of the vote. The best idea will carry the vote and this will
create new enthusiasm, involvement and investment of time and
energy from every AD. Also, the composition of the new AD elections
would be: 24 delegates (12 women, 12 men) and 2 E. Bd. Reps. (1
women, 1 man) creating balance and diversity within both the DSCC
and the E. Bd. The current system is undemocratic and non-
representational. It is fostering mistrust and apathy.

2 - Eliminate the pre-primary endorsement system by the CDP. This
system has created huge animosity in every large and most small
districts. It is counter-intuitive to encourage factions within the Party
to fight it out for the endorsement within the Party in the primary and
then expect them to come together in the general - they don’t. This is
fostering deep divisions in every AD. This is not about the
Progressives - it is Party-wide. Let every candidate win on his or her
merit in the primary. Let the voters decide. I would apply this to every
County Central Committee as well.

As proof of the efficacy of this proposal I submit the following:Attorney General Brown and Mayor Newsom have since responded. Both of them have agreed in writing that they will not pursue the Party’s pre-primary endorsement so long as other Democratic gubernatorial candidates play by the same rules. From Chair John Burton to DSCC delegates onBurton Sep. 10th, 2009.

3 - Change the venue for the DNC elections to the DSCC from the
E. Bd. 3000 people would elect and more representative and
balanced board than 300, especially with the first by-law revision.
Again, this change would foster greater interest, participation and
representation on behalf of the entire Party membership. The current
system is stagnant. Millions of Democrats deserve change not the
status quo of the same faces every four years. Even more Democratic and Representational would be to elect DNC members by AD or CD throughout the state.

As for the DNC :: ban any member of the DNC from work as a Campaign Consultant or Lobbyist during their term. There are far too many of these activites by DNC members. To Them, every GOTV effort is a “Profit Center.” To the Party members it is about Policy not Profit. This is a clear conflict of interest.

There are other changes that would of equal value in getting more
Democrats elected, like a minimum contribution from the CDP in
every state level race in the 58 counties but we can save that for
another day.


Brad Parker
Valley Democrats United, President
Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles, Steering Committee
CDP-DSCC, Delegate, 42nd AD
Progressive Democrats of America, Board of Trustees
A.F. of M. Local 47

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Holiday Shopping 2009: The Customer is Always Right!
Filed under: General, Politics, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 2:56 pm

Art Torres once famously told us - as he shuffled our resolutions off to Buffalo - that the Democratic Party is a Business. Progressives know that there is a lot more to life than business, especially in this Holiday Season. But let’s follow that logic for a moment and see how things are working out.

Well, in business, “the customer is always right” is a motto you live and die by. Take Wall Street. We are their customers - at the end of their income stream - the business end. They are not putting out Goods & Services that we believe in anymore. They stopped delivering a reliable Product some years ago. They went so far as to lie, cheat and steal. Not good business practices. Hence, no confidence from the customers. Same for the Sickcare Insurance companies. They have become obsolete and irrelevant by their price gouging and willful refusal to deliver Goods & Services. We, the customers, no longer believe in them either.

Now it is the Democratic Party that is failing the “Customer is Always Right” test.

We elected this Federal government. We elected it Democrat. We, the customers voted for: Healthcare Reform, End to the Irag & Afghanistan Wars and Wall Street re-regulation. We are getting none of that. So, the Goods & Services that we paid for are not being delivered. How many times would you go back to a store where you paid for a Product and never received it? Fool me once etc.

If our former Chair of the CDP was correct, that the Democratic Party is a business, then it follows that it is also just another in the current line of American businesses that can’t or won’t Stand & Deliver on it’s Goods & Services. The Customer, who is always Right, or Left in our case, will drift away and eventually the store will close. Check out the current Democratic Party registration numbers in decline. The fact that the Republicans are deep-sixing even faster is of no solace.

To be fair there are some in the management of the Business of the Democratic Party who are competent and reliable. Also, the workers are a pretty good group. Unfortunately the top brass, the suits in the suites are precariously dancing on the edge of collapse. They don’t get that the business is failing and that they are responsible for this turn of events. But, they are taking their marching orders from their big donors, Crony corporate folks, and as I said earlier, they don’t get it either.

So, Progs, hang in there. Be of good cheer. This is not bad news - it is just the beginning of the good news. An era of Progressive Economics is already underway. If the Business Democratic Party wants to survive then they will have to adapt to it or they will perish. One way or the other - the Times they are a Changin’.

Take some time to spend with your friends and family this Holiday Season. Be thankful for what we share with each other and remember - there is a future and you are a big part of it.

Here’s to us!

Brad Parker
Left Turn Only

“That’s Just The Way It Is”
Filed under: General, Politics, Music, Technology, Internet, Futuring, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats, Society
Posted by: riozen @ 12:59 pm

Dear Democrats,

You may accept the Democratic Leadership Council’s conclusions, assertions, attitudes and game-plans as promulgated by Bill Clinton, James Carville, Chuck Schumer, Rahm Emanuel and any number of growling Blue Dogs but I do not. To me, as a Progressive Democrat and a Liberal American, that is a failure of imagination. Bruce Hornsby wrote, in his song “That’s Just The Way It Is”:

That’s just the way it is

Some things will never change

That’s just the way it is

Ah, but don’t you believe them

Now, that’s where I am coming from.

Most of my very large and diverse family comes from and lives in the so-called Red districts. All of my life I have worked on changing their minds about the truth of the Liberal Ideal. It has been and remains fruitful. One by one they have taught me never to concede to the past what the future knows not to be true. One by one they have changed.

As Progressives, we came together to reactivate the oldest and truest American virtues of tough-mindedness and innovation that breakthrough impossibilities and create new realities. We came together for dramatic Change.

The DLC/Blue Dogs make a lot of noise about their version of the facts. They say - That’s just the way it is. They haughtily claim that there are so-called Red districts, where the people are backward, religious, uneducated and prejudiced and that we must concede to that definition of these people and act accordingly. As I have said many times in the Progressive Caucus and anywhere I go - They are wrong, both in their characterization and in their approach to our fellow citizens. Every American has the potential to change. It is the great narrative of our history.

When I was a boy, in the Midwest, Far West and the South, Segregation was “the way it is.” My grandmother was a Suffragette, who was told that Women should not and will never get the Vote in America and that “that’s just the way it is.”

When Barack Obama once famously said that there is no red America or Blue America, only a red, white and blue America, I recognized all of the allusions he was referring to and I agreed. But that remark is only true if we rid ourselves of the illusions promoted and reinforced by Republicans from without our Party or Blue Dogs from within our Party. Among all of those illusions, continuously ginned up by Crony corporate lobbyists, the greatest is, “That’s just the way it is.” Say’s who? The men and women behind the curtain? It certainly serves to maintain the status quo. Again, that statement and political stance is a failure of imagination. It creates and maintains a monoculture that lacking diversity, even of thought, leads to dissipation and dissolution.

I lived for many years in Solano County, in the 10th CD. Many members of my family still do. The mantra there, for the last 30 years was that the 10th is a Red district, a conservative district. This accounted for Ellen Tauscher’s Blue Dog mentality and the reality that she had to do, in her own words, “a kabuki dance with the Progressives.” So it is with many Blue Dogs. To them everything is and should be a pretense, with both their constituents and the rest of us. On the one hand they pretend to be Democrats on the other they vote Republican. That’s just the way it is, they say - we must be pragmatic.

Suddenly, it seems, the dance is over in California CD 10. John Garamendi is the Representative. John is openly Progressive on Healthcare, the Wars, the Environment and a host of other issues. How is it possible that a Prog replaced a Blue Dog? Did the district change radically? I’ve spent considerable time there every year since 1970 and I would say no. These are middle class Americans with about the same traits that we see all across America. What changed was the reality that the leading candidate, who the Party could not refuse, is a Progressive Democrat who knows how to talk with everyday folks and show them the truth of Single Payer, Withdrawal from Iraq etc.

I believe that the only hope we can believe in is our Progressive Plan for the future. Let us, as Democrats and citizens, disenthrall ourselves from the old tired notion that “That’s just the way it is” and imagine, create and promote a new way - Progressive. Let us imbue that Progressive mandate with all of the vigor that makes America the land where Change is possible. Most importantly, let us take that message out, from the genial warmth of our Progressive organizations, to the People, all of the People. Let us never give in to the DLC-Blue Dog-Republican theology. Let them have one Party and let us have the other and then let us see who shall prevail. Never negotiate with yourself on principle. Always, Collaborate on the Positive Power of the Progressive Proposal.

Now, about those Superdelegates and Appointees to the central committees…

Brad Parker
Left Turn Only

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The Walled Garden: fading away at the CDP
Filed under: General, Technology, Internet, Progressive, Left Turn Only, Democrats
Posted by: riozen @ 12:14 pm

Like Dorothy and her intrepid trio of lovable dreamers arriving at Oz, the Progressive Movement barreled into the Democratic Party in 2005 with high ideals and even higher hopes. Now, four scintillating years later we realize it was all a mirage of our own creation. The Party of the Left has been reduced to an incumbency business commandeered by Crony Corporate Pirates off the coast of reason and principles. With some notable exceptions like the 2008 CDP Platform, the Net Neutrality Resolution and the Out of Iraq Resolution our Party is fast becoming a dog and donkey show. The drawbridge is being pulled up and the leadership is retreating into a Walled Garden. The Democratic Party is risking irrelevancy as Decline To State registration increases. More and more it appears that as Gertrude Stein once famously remarked about Oakland, California - there is no there, there. Or so it seems.

Today, our Progressive beachhead inside the Party feels more like washing up on the island in the TV show LOST. You can never tell who is on your side or what year it is. Winning the last two election cycles has only made matters worse. A crazy mad circus of ascendancy is consuming the body politic. In the center ring of the circus, the Blue Dogs are squared off against the Progs in an epic struggle for the soul of the Democratic Party. On the periphery Crony, grasping to maintain status quo hegemony, is manipulating as many ambitious pols as possible. Washington, Sacramento and your local City Hall have become closed systems operated more by lobbyists, consultants and big donors than citizens. The Party is hunkering down in arrogance and obstinacy, while the members clamor for a bigger piece of the pie. What then shall we do?

First, I think we can and should all agree that Democrats want to make this a better world. Yes, some are only in it for the money but most Democrats really want to improve life for everyone. They do. If we believe that to be true, then we must ask ourselves, how could so many good intentions come to so ill an effect? Why has our success, as Progressives and then Democrats, come to this agitated impasse?
Maybe it’s because toxic preconceived notions have been ginned up into a pandemic struggle for illusory power. The palpable fear of change is creating inertia at the top and undeniable need for change is creating anger at the bottom of the Party. Personality is once again more important to too many people than policy. Perhaps there is an underlying problem that if it can be perceived, can be solved. Let us take a walk around the Walled Garden of the CDP and scrutinize the landscape.

Thirty years of Reagan neo-conservative social policy and twenty years of Clinton neo-liberal economic policy have inevitably collapsed and taken all of us into the pit with them. It was a giddy ride that has as its lasting elegy, “…the fetish that Washington entertains for a centrism that converts everything to mush.” (What’s Wrong with Washington? by James Wolcott - Vanity Fair - May 2009) We all know that the venal tautology of Fixed News and its co-bobble heads, led the Republican Anarchy Collective into the quagmire of a wilting Empire America. But why were so many Democrats involved and will the Party now use the political impetus of 2008 to boldly go against the grain of Beltway Babble? Maybe there is hope. There are some Party leaders and elected Democrats who want to “change” but without significant changes in the actual mechanisms of the Party structure itself, they will not prevail. If the Walled Garden is not opened up then change is not possible.

Over the last thirty years, since McGovern and Carter, the Rules and By-Laws of the DNC, the CDP and your local County Central Committee have been re-written to “control” the Party at every level. The Liberal Ideal has been under attack inside the Democratic Party. The CDP Progressive Caucus reported on this reality in the 2006 Progressive Plan ( The key to control inside the Party is how the CDP maintains its status quo of entrenched leadership and incumbency-only interests through the Rules committee. The DNC operates in a similar manner.

Rules are kept in place, at every level, to keep the walls of the Walled Garden high enough to be a barrier to change. Here is the rational: Change would come as a result of the rabble (i.e. loony left, progressive swarm, membership, citizens etc.) being allowed to have a majority vote on the floor of the Central Committees of the County, State or National Parties. That would lead to putting principles before pragmatism and “losing elections”, or so the current leadership proclaims. PLEOs (Party leaders and elected officials) go further in stating that the Party only exists to win elections not to create policy. That is a relevant premise, worthy of debate, so let us examine its validity.

Voting members of the CDP Central Committee are roughly divided into three groups: elected officials (statewide electeds plus County Central Committee members), delegates elected in ADEM elections and most importantly - “appointed” and ex-officio members. Each group has about 1/3 of the votes on the DSCC and its Executive Board. The elected officials appoint the appointed members, thus securing a majority and thereby controlling the outcome of every vote. The theory behind that is: elected officials are elected by all Democrats and should have the right to appoint enough voting members to make the voting, at the DSCC and its Executive Board, turn out the way they see fit. ADEM Delegates are only elected by several hundred people at most and should not have an equal say in voting matters of the Party. Activists get to be a part of the proceedings but not a determining participant. In this way, PLEOs maintain control so they can smartly represent all Democrats. Order is perpetuated and all is well. In a nutshell, that is their argument. The DNC rationale is much the same.

The obvious question that arises is; why have anyone else besides the elected officials in the Central Committees if you want total control? Why the charade of democracy? That is quickly followed by, what is to be done when the elected officials don’t represent the informed consent of the members, citizens or voters? What can and should be done when the electeds defy the people, like they did on the issues of Invading Iraq in 2003, Clean Money in 2006 or Impeachment in 2007? What recourse is there in this scheme? Run someone against them if you don’t like their votes, bellow the PLEOs. Yeah, right. With the current system, replacing an incumbent is institutionally next to impossible and they know that. A Walled Garden works for the establishment and relegates the worker bees into being just another brick in the wall.

The missing piece in the PLEO rational is that a closed system is like an echo chamber - it only repeats itself. It is a rigged game. It is like a pond with no source of fresh water. After a time, and that time has long since passed, it becomes self-aggrandizing, out of touch and eventually fails under the weight of its inflexible, rigid and stiff orthodoxy. Without the fresh air of new ideas and faces the mighty machine rusts and dies. Here is the proof.

Between 1994 and 2006, the multi-billion dollar, DLC led Democratic Party lost both houses of the Congress, the White House and consequently the Supreme Court - all three branches of the Federal government. You can throw in a whole bunch of state houses to that mix, including ours. How is it possible that the PLEO controlled and extravagantly lubricated CDP let Gray Davis be recalled and replaced by a grade B actor? How is it possible that the massively funded and consultant heavy DNC let two Presidential elections be stolen? If the theory of letting the PLEOs, the smartest people in the room, with the wheelbarrows of cash and plethora of votes, control the show is so sound, what accounts for these stupendous flops? And most glaringly what accounts for taking the whole thing back in 2006 and 2008? It certainly can’t be because the machine, or business as some prefer to call the CDP / DNC, suddenly sputtered to life.

We, the Progressive Swarm, have the temerity to assert that bold ideas, big ideas and the people who organized around them achieved these victories. The modern Progressive Movement began to stand up, show up and speak up in 2003. By 2005 Progressives were at the forefront of “change” inside and outside the Democratic Party. Joined by unions, minorities, independents, students and yes, some PLEOs, Progressives helped to forge the winning coalition that allowed Senator Barack Obama to overcome and defeat the Clinton Establishment within the Party and the tottering Republican contraption in the nation as a whole.

In the Age of Information the power is in Ideas.

Like President Obama, when he was a junior Senator running for the nomination, it has been said by many Democrats that the Progressive Swarm is just a bunch of emailing, speechifying and lofty language idealists who go to meetings. However, like President Obama, Progressives do get people elected. Ask Debra Bowen (CA, SOS). Ask Rep. John Hall (NY-19). Ask Rep. Donna Edwards (MD - 4). Ask Al Franken or Norm Coleman for that matter. I could go on but you get the point. The Progs didn’t elect these people by themselves but were part of the coalition that did, a vital part.

The underlying problem is that without Progressive policy proposals from candidates that inspire people to volunteer their time, donate their money and encourage others to do the same - the Democratic Party will become a relic of the past.

Every rule of the Democratic Party should be reexamined and rewritten if necessary to elect not select who represents the membership. Access, openness, accountability and transparency are not merely slogans that came out of the modern Progressive Movement. They are the best paths to getting elected. Money ain’t everything folks. For those of us who have been doing the shoe leather work of precinct walking and phone banking for many decades, finding a reason to believe other than reelecting incumbents was the key to the future. If the Democratic Party wants to thrive it needs to abandon the top-down Walled Garden approach to political action and broaden its horizons. The Party must embrace Progressives, Obama organizers, big ideas and bold action or risk entropy and decline.

Lastly, a word of caution to the Progressives: sitting in our corner of the Walled Garden, smug in our righteous indignation and unwilling to reach out to those who disagree with us will not achieve a different result than the fate that awaits the DNC and CDP if they do not adapt and change. Collaboration and facilitation are the bywords of the Internet driven reality we now live in. Let us embrace them. Let us remain flexible and innovative. May we always be prepared to reach out, give the people a reason to believe and then a lofty task to achieve. All together now…