And even though I hear he personally engineered the rescue of every castaway on Gilligan's Island, Cory Booker is far from an ideal Progressive candidate.
At least, that's what Internet Quitter Tbogg tells me. And trapped as I am here in Illinois beneath piles of Daleys and Madiganseses as well as various Disgraced Governors and Congresspersons and their Alderspouses coming and going from our nation's fine correctional institutions, I do so rely on kindly strangers to tell me whither the (rest of the) Republic.
Now that Cory Booker, whom the progressives tell me is just Barack Obummerdroner in blackface, has secured the Democratic nomination for the open Senate seat in New Jersey, people are making plans for what to do, oh lordy, what to do. The Blue America people at Down With Tyranny have decided to sit this one out, not that Booker will have to gobegging for scraps, and will instead devote their energies to helping Barbara Buono take on Chris Christie. Their case:The rest of us, especially those in New Jersey, need to get behind Barbara Buono and dump Christie. That’s a priority! Barbara was born in Newark to parents who immigrated to this country from a small town right outside of Naples. Her dad was a union butcher and her mom worked two jobs to make ends meet. “We lost dad,” she told me “when I was 19, but I never forgot how hard he and mom worked to provide for our family. I had to put myself through college while working three jobs to make ends meet. My husband Martin and I are parents to six amazing children, all of whom are grown now. But we raised them with the same can-do attitude that my mom and dad raised me with.”The quest to elect Buono is well intentioned but, much like Ahab’s similar determination to nail the whale, doomed – but the progressive heart wants what the progressive wants so whaddya gonna do? I mean besides finding other worthy progressive candidates throughout the country who are at least within spitting distance of actually being elected thereby helping to create a solid base of card-carrying progressive members in Congress who could advocate for a better America. There’s that.
Meh. Sounds like work.Instead, right out of the gate, the first commenter at DWT has a plan that just… could … just … work … this … time...
Of course this is just short-timer hogwash from a man who already has one foot out the door and on the beach. All real Progressives know what to do when forced to deal with less than ideal candidates under less than ideal circumstances.
Step 1: Alienate everyone in your coalition who does not see things 100% the way you do on your particular issue. And make sure you Pay It Forward! by insulting them it in the most maximally denigrating and assholish way possible so as to avoid any chance that those people might be willing to trust you ever again. This is necessary because on the way to Progressive Utopia you must first...
Step 2: Run as many people as possible out of the Democratic Party. Why in the world would you do that? Silly Liberal. It is because (repeat after me) there are absolutely no critical differences between the two parties when it comes to your single issue and anyone who cares about any issue but your issue is a Bootlicking Fascist Stooge of Power! And remember: the louder you shout it, the faster you will drive those electoral numbers down! This is critically important because,
Step 3: The only way forward to a bright, Progressive tomorrow is by guaranteeing that the Party of Limbaugh and Gohmert and Cruz goes on to win many more national election and accrue even more power than they already have today. Because it is only by driving the entire apparatus of federal and state power into the loving arms of Hannity and Coulter and Walker can we...
Step 4: Induce the Magic Freedom-sharting unicorns to finally come and something something Third Party! something something break the seventh seal and unleash the Progressive Millennium.
At least that's one man's theory:
This is clipped from a much longer Q/A Mr, Greenwald did at the University of Wisconsin in 2010 right after the tea party nutjobs swept to power. In the longer edition (available here) there are things with which I agree, and things with which I disagree, such as Mr. Greenwald's defense of the Citizen's United decision:
In order for the government to be able to tell corporations, “You cannot spend money to express your opinions about political candidates.” to me is to abridge free speech in exactly the way the First Amendment says you can’t.and his applause for the Tea Party's tactic of "acting threateningly", using intimidating rhetoric and showing up at rallies strapped with machine-guns in a way that instills "really genuine and intense fear" in lawmakers, because that is what made the teabagger's movement effective.
When I read the First Amendment what I read is, “Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.” I don’t actually see anything in it about persons.
Or so goes the theory.
There is another, somewhat different theory of politics, which was articulated very well by Charles Pierce way back in October of 2012. It comes fairly close to my own views and (if you swap "Barack Obama" for "Cory Booker") explains why I would be lining up to vote for Mr. Booker if I lived in sketchy old New Jersey rather than the bastion of clean, Marquis of Queensbury politics that is the Land of Lincoln.
...Both theories have their spirited and persuasive defenders but I will freely admit to being deeply suspicious of revolutionaries whose gender, skin-color, education, personal circumstances and overall sense of entitlement permits them glide dirigibley above it all -- permits them the luxury of never worrying about what their wingnut governor has decided to do to their vagina or whether or not some Bill O'Reilly fan wandering the streets drunk on White Pride is going to sidle up to them one night and decide they''re too brown to live -- while demand that other people sacrifice what little they have on their extremely dodgy theories of revolution.
I am also going to vote for Barack Obama. Without enthusiasm. And without a sliver of a doubt in my mind.
However, I am casting my vote for him (again) because of something that Dr. Jill Stein said the other night on TV, when she was being interviewed in the wake of that third-party candidates debate that Larry King hosted. I've known Jill socially for some time, and I admire her, and I agree with her on a marginally greater percentage of the issues than I do with the president. I think a lot of the snark aimed her way is unjustified. She's not responsible for the wankerific fantasies of renegade "progressives." I do not, however, think she is any more likely to become president — or any more qualified to be president — than I am. For example, I take a back seat to nobody in my scorn for the president's apparent naïvete concerning the virulent nature of his political opposition. But, listening to Stein talk about the glories of the "Green New Deal" she's going to pass through a Congress that is unlikely to differ much one way or the other from the one we have now, well, that makes Barack Obama sound like Huey Long. Still, I thought long and hard about tossing her my vote, because I live in the bluest of blue states, and I felt that, in casting my vote that way, I would absolve myself of complicity in the drone strikes, and in the inexcusable pass given to the Wall Street pirates, and in what I am sure is going to be an altogether dreadful Grand Bargain while not materially damaging the most important cause of all: making sure that Willard Romney is not president. And I might have done it, had Jill not gone on TV and talked about how those people who are voting for the incumbent president simply to make sure that Willard Romney is not president are doing so out of "fear."
It is not fear. It is simple, compelling logic. We have two major political parties. Until that great gettin'-up morning, when purists on both sides of the ideological ditch manage to create workable third parties that look like something more substantial than organized unicorn hunts — which won't happen until we have proportional voting, and I wish you as much luck with that as Lani Guinier had — we always will have two major political parties. One of them is inexcusably timid and tied in inexcusably tight with the big corporate money. The other one is demented.
This is not "fear" talking. I watched the Republican primaries. I went to the debates. I saw long-settled assumptions about the nature of representative democracy thrown down and danced upon. I heard long-established axioms of the nature of a political commonwealth torn to shreds and thrown into the perfumed air. I saw people seriously arguing for an end to the social safety net, to any and all federal environmental regulations, to the concept of the progressive income tax, and to American participation in the United Nations, the latter on the grounds that a one-world government threatens our "liberty" with its insurance-friendly national health-care reform bill. I saw Rick Santorum base his entire foreign policy on the legend of the 12th Imam, and I saw Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann actually be front-runners for a while. I saw all of this and I knew that each one of them had a substantial constituency behind them within the party for everything they said, no matter how loopy. When you see a lunatic wandering down the sidewalk, howling at the moon and waving a machete, it is not fear that makes you step inside your house and lock the door. It is the simple logic of survival. Fear is what keeps you from trying to tackle the guy and wrestle the machete away from him. And, as much as it may pain some people to admit it, the president is the only one stepping up to do that at the moment.
It is vitally important that the Republican party be kept away from as much power as possible until the party regains its senses again...
And if that makes me a bootlicking vassal of power, well then pass me the fucking the A1 sauce.