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!
Left Turn Only
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…
Left Turn Only