This is an updated reblog of a 12/2018 post, “Dems have To learn How To Fight To Win In 2020/ Welcome Competition Of Ideas From Left To Right”
This is the time for Democrats, Independents and GOP as ex-GOP Never Trumpers from the left to the right, conservatives to progressives, to band together to vote for Democratic candidates in 2020, to get our US democracy back on track where truth, decency, the ‘rule of law,’ evidence based thinking/ evaluations informing policy; ‘freedom of the press,’ carry the day.
I do NOT want to hear about purity of thinking from progressive leaders to where others’ ideas are blocked out and discounted as having no value, because that is no different than the US House GOP ‘freedom caucus’ members who do likewise.
I do not want to hear about Democrats eating their own, like supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders downplaying the prospects of a future star, Beto O’Rourke. As per a 12/7/18 BuzzFeed report, “Progressive activists linked to Sen. Bernie Sanders have an early 2020 message for the Democratic establishment: Don’t rush to coronate Beto O’Rourke as the presidential nominee-in-waiting.”
Link to entire article: Bernie Sanders Supporters Want The Beto O’Rourke 2020 Talk To Chill
I do not want to hear about House Democrats avoiding the I-inquiry because they think they can take on a wanna-be tyrant like the republican President Donald Trump without getting a bit bloody. Their Chamberlain appeasement / avoidance of the powerful tool granted it by the US Constitution may very well be what helps President Trump win reelection in 2020. If President Trump wins reelection, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can kiss her Democratic Party majority position in the House, good-bye, that was based on the 31-33 House Democrats from Trump country flipping red states to blue in 2018 by laser -slim margins due to record voter turnout, including young activists and our Black sisters.
As per a 12/22/18 NBC News report by Robert Windrem, “Building support for Stein was one of a “roster of themes” the Moscow-sanctioned internet trolls “turned to repeatedly,” report says.
Two days before the 2016 presidential election, an Instagram account called @woke_blacks posted a message in support of long-shot Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
“The excuse that a lost Black vote for Hillary is a Trump win is BS,” it read. “It could be late, but y’all might want to support Jill Stein instead.”
“According to a report commissioned by the Senate, the account was a fake, part of the Russian campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.”
“But the (2 leaked )reports contained another finding that was largely overlooked — the Russians also focused on boosting Stein’s candidacy through social media posts like the one from @woke_blacks.”
I DO WANT to hear from all democratic candidates from the left to the right to allow for the competition of ideas. I am looking forward to learning about their plans on how they would wage a winning strategic battle against the republican President Donald Trump, if he hasn’t already exited the White House. Americans are tired of listening to political speak to where they’re beyond hungry to hear ideas about how the candidates plan to deliver on an agenda that favors meeting the needs of average Americans.
As per a 6/18/18 Crook and Liars blog by Ramona Grigg, “Some days I’m beside myself with anxiety. Most of it comes from the awful realization that Trump is still president and the GOP is still pretending everything is hunky dory, but much of it comes from the Democrats and their wistful insistence that TrumpCo is so bad it can’t possibly go on much longer.”
” I’m longing for the good old days, when Dems were primarily the protectors of the poor and disenfranchised, the champions of the working class, the supporters of unions, the caretakers of our lands, and the nemeses of the power brokers.”
“The people who took on those tasks weren’t wimps, they were fighters. Fierce fighters who knew their missions were the right ones and didn’t veer from their convictions. Sometimes they won the battle, sometimes they lost, but we always knew where they stood. They stood with us.”
“I submit the Republicans are winning because the Democrats are losing. And the Democrats are losing because they’ve lost touch with the very people they traditionally fought for. If people think you’re not fighting for them, they’re going to look somewhere else for help.”
Here is the rest of the story…
On December 19, 2018, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse argued the following in an op-ed piece for the blog, Crooks and Liars, “STOP LOSING: A SENATOR’S BATTLE PLAN FOR BEATING THE RIGHT”
“Victory has traits. Victory must be organized. Organization requires strategy, preparation, tactics, training, and teamwork.”
“Losing has traits, too. As Democrats, we offer better and more popular policy positions, and we have flamboyant heroes. Yet, so often, we lose. Now we have won back a foothold on power, and the question is: what do we do with it? I’m sick of losing. I’m particularly sick of our “loser traits.” It’s time we faced up to them.
Walking Away from Fights
“Our worst trait as Democrats is our willingness to lose once we’re in a fight. What do I mean? We’re the party that achieved great field position on 3 key issues—immigration, climate change, and dark money—and all 3 times we walked away and conceded defeat.”
“On immigration, we had bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform passed in the Senate. It was August of 2014, and an election was looming. The House speaker was a Republican, but we had the White House and the Senate, and the Senate had done its job: a bipartisan immigration bill. Immigration was a terrible issue for House Republicans because it divided their caucus bitterly. The speaker’s expedient? Refuse to even bring the issue up in the House. No hearings, no amendments, no votes.”
“The Constitution gives the president the authority to “convene both Houses, or either of them” into special session. The Democratic president could have called the House into session, even repeatedly; disrupting the August recess, pressuring the Republicans, driving the news cycle, and spotlighting the popular bipartisan Senate immigration reform.”
“Would we have won had we fought? We will never know, because we did nothing. Fox News drove the election news cycle to Ebola, ISIS, and the Central American children fleeing to the United States; and Democrats took an epic November beating. That session of Congress ended, and the bipartisan Senate immigration bill expired, never to be resurrected.”
“Earlier, back in June of 2009, Speaker Nancy Pelosi had pushed through the House the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill to address carbon emissions. Some Democratic House members took career-ending votes to make this possible. Democrats then controlled both the Senate and the White House. This time, it was the Senate that never took up the House bill—or any other bill that would have gotten us into conference with the House to do something on climate change. There were bipartisan Senate climate bills then, but we did nothing.”
“I remember being told at the White House as I lamented their decision to walk away, “Sheldon, we’re just not going to take on any fights we’re not sure we can win.” If you only take on the fights you’re sure you can win, you’re gonna miss a lot of fights, and most of the important ones.”
“In January 2010, the 5 Republicans on the Supreme Court gave the fossil fuel industry the Citizens United decision; the industry instantly turned its new political weaponry on the Republican Party; and bipartisanship on climate change was stamped out by fossil-fuel threats.”
“Which brings me to the third fight we declined to engage: In the wake of 2010 Citizens United, all that newly-unlimited political money swiftly found its way into dark-money channels. The most prevalent dark-money channels were probably illegal under IRS rules, and simple clarifications of those rules could have eliminated any doubt. Because the political use of these IRS-regulated entities was probably illegal, the dark-money outfits filed forms with the IRS that were often false, or at least materially inconsistent with forms they also filed under oath with state and federal election officials. This was all done in plain view.”
“Democrats controlled Treasury and the IRS, and also the DOJ, which ordinarily prosecutes false statements. The public hates dark money, and with good reason: it corrodes democracy. The law was on our side. And we had the power to settle any doubt through these agencies. But we did nothing. No rule, no regulation, no clarification; not even investigation of what the explanation was for the inconsistent statements made under sworn oath. A grand jury could have had a field day investigating that.”
“Not only did we walk away from this fight, we failed at the “teaching moment” this episode provided. We accepted the false Republican narrative that a wicked IRS was being used to hurt conservative groups—nothing else to see here folks, move along. Dark money has been the bane of our democracy ever since.”
“House Republicans made persistent efforts to press their narrative (later exploded by an Inspector General report), and to harass and intimidate the IRS Commissioner; repeatedly threatening impeachment, so that he would be unlikely to take on their dark money operation. Democrats left him to twist in that harsh gale.”
“For what it’s worth, we also never took a serious look at bringing a civil RICO action against the Big Oil climate denial operation, despite DOJ having won a civil RICO action (under Presidents Clinton and Bush) against Big Tobacco for its tobacco health effects denial operation. The similarities abound, and the government won the tobacco case, yet we walked away on climate denial.”
“Those are pretty big fights to walk away from.”
“Messaging has its role before, during, and after political fights, but it shouldn’t guide strategy or policy, and it can’t replace being willing to stand and fight. If you’re walking away from fights like the ones we walked away from, messaging won’t help you. Come home with the prize, or else with a bloody nose and black eye from having given the fight your all, and there won’t be much doubt about your message. You earn the right to have a real message, and you earn it by doing your damnedest.”
“Messaging leads to a related loser trait: poll-chasing. The messaging wizards look to polling to tell us what the public wants to hear; they feed that to us to feed back to the public. That’s bullshit. Great political parties do not subsist on the receiving end of public opinion, they lead public opinion. When we persist on an issue, and fight on an issue, we will drive up its importance in public polling.”
“Look at what the Republicans have done over the years on the estate tax: Only a tiny sliver of the ultra-wealthiest Americans ever pay any estate tax; but Republicans renamed it the “death tax,” and made it a thing, and they have steadily succeeded at reducing this tax for a few hyper-rich families.”
“If they can do that with the estate tax, think what we could do with a real issue like climate change, if we tried.”
Ignoring the Adversary Institutions
“On most of the issues where Democrats square off against Republicans, the Republicans are supported by a robust apparatus of (ALEC backed) dark money, science denial, propaganda, and persistent ideological conditioning through fake news. That apparatus is funded by billionaires and big-money interests who profit handsomely from Republican success on things like the reducing the estate tax and deregulation. The big-money interests hide behind front groups with phony names, and they hide for a reason. Their massive conflict of interests are a vulnerability.”
“In most conflicts, you try to identify and disrupt your adversary’s organization, supply chain, and chain of command. Not us. We have no institutional strategy for taking on this apparatus. We’ll tangle with its various tentacles, for sure, in our fights on other issues, but we don’t pursue outing and disabling the corrupt monster as a whole. I know because I’ve helped organize the few raids we’ve undertaken against this apparatus.”
“We spent a couple of days on the Senate Floor outing what we called the “Web of Denial“—the coordinated array of fossil-fuel industry front groups that lie and mislead about climate change. We hit a nerve. They were so rattled that they joined on one common letterhead to berate us for accusing them of being coordinated. When you poke a phony and get a yelp like that, it usually means you should poke them again.”
“We have no infrastructure to maintain this fight, however; none to systematically call out the 5 Republican appointees on the Court who give reliable political votes for big Republican special interests; none to systematically expose the money flooding our politics through dark money channels and bogus shell corporations; none to tell the American people the story of weaponized fake news, and who’s behind it.”
“Most Americans don’t know that the predicted ten-year cost of federal health care programs fell over $4 trillion in the seven years after the Affordable Care Act passed; most don’t know that the top climate denier at the Cato Institute realized he was wrong, publicly recanted, and quit; and is now working to try to solve the problem. If the reverse were true—a $4 trillion dollar increase in health care cost after Obamacare, or a leading legitimate climate scientist recanting—you can bet everyone in America would have heard about it. The apparatus would make sure.”
“Even Democratic Senators have only vague working knowledge of the array of billionaire-funded front groups that operate against us—how they were set up; who staffs them; how the money flows; who’s on their boards. We haven’t done the basic due diligence prosecutors do putting an org chart together against a criminal enterprise.”
“Without institutional forces on our side to persist against the institutional forces that persist on theirs, we are often a generation behind in the political arms race. Our Senate caucus meets twice weekly, and as we rolled into the 2016 presidential elections a constant topic, naturally, was the presidential race. Not once did we discuss the political technique of launching weaponized fake news through social and other media. Not only did we fail to fight back on that field of political battle, we didn’t even notice the field. We didn’t even really have a name for this stuff, so for want of a better term I called it the “flying monkeys.” Whether it was Facebook feeds about Hillary’s pizza-shop-basement child-sex ring, or right-wing “news” stories implicating her in the murder of a DNC staffer, or the election week cover of the National Enquirer screaming “HILLARY-Corrupt-Racist-Criminal,” we were blind to the systematic apparatus launching the flying monkeys.”
“Understanding and outing the network behind the “flying monkeys” is particularly important, because just responding to it with weaponized fake news of our own would be degrading to our democracy. Here particularly, we must expose their apparatus, not replicate it. And when we expose one, we expose all; because it’s the same crew behind packing the courts, denying climate change, running the dark money machine, and weaponizing fake news.”
Link to ‘MUST READ’ article: crooked.com/article..