Friday, August 16, 2013

So Cory Booker Won

Won big.

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.

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.
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.

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.
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."

Horse hockey.

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...
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.

And if that makes me a bootlicking vassal of power, well then pass me the fucking the A1 sauce.


Anonymous said...

I... actually like that Booker was talking about raising the social security age, that he is in close with finance and tech. That's the future of the party. I like that both he and Obama are moving them there.

In fact, one of the reason I voted for Obama was to tackle entitlements.

So I don't get what all the fucking fuss is about these two. This is what the party is now. Don't like it, go cry me a fucking river and see how the Republicans treat your dumb ass. Like it or not, this is the best you're going to get.

steeve said...

I have a theory. It's that America can't stand to be a one-party system. So drive the republicans in the dirt, kick them when they're down, and make sure they never get back up, and we'll get our "third" party.

mahakal said...

The thing is, Cory Booker's already won this thing. The Republicans have nothing. Who is going to vote for Steve Lonegan? Maybe a dozen or two percent at best. So of all the instances where we need to invest lots of progressive effort to elect a shitty Democratic candidate to prevent a shittier Republican from getting in, this isn't one.

D. said...

There was a Rescue from Gilligan's Island?


W. Hackwhacker said...

Now that TBogg is stepping away (hopefully for the shortest time possible), make sure you keep doing what you're doing. We need as much of your rationality on the left as we can get.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have to hold my nose to vote for this President either time, and am still breathing clearly.
Then again, I spent the prior eight years choking on tears of rage.
Considering I heard several on the left expressing their disappointment within months of the Usurpers taking office, both sides of the coin are still looking as different as they could possibly look.
It's too bad the Magic Black Man couldnt fulfill everybody's fairy tale dreams of the Jesus returns to the White House expectations club.
Mine were a little more I am doing just fine with him.
Of course, I also realize a few things:

The President can't spend money congress does not allocate.

The President cannot enact policies the congress does not allocate money to pay for.

The President cannot unilaterally bypass existing laws.

These are things I thought were common knowledge until this particular President took office.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Magic Freedom-Sharting Unicorns run on Water Engines, of course. It's the only way to get to a TRUE Progressive Millenium.

eddie said...

That guy in your street, with the machete, howling at the moon? He's an actor hired by the same guy that's telling you to stay indoors.

mahakal said...

I do think the ZLM hot air dipole could be useful.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Of course, mahakal's link is completely different from the ones he posted previously, and has nothing to do with the Magical Water Batteries he was yammering about. I guess he is hoping that nobody notices that his links change all the time.

And he claims I am the liar.

Nitonol is interesting, from a materials science standpoint though. Although nobody seems to have used it to make a viable energy source, it has a lot of other uses. Wikipedia is more helpful in this instance than mahack's link, which is an aged and credulous pop-news "magic energy is around the corner!" Piece, that blames the shadowy "eNergy industry" conspiracy for killing it. Rather than, as it seems, a complete lack of practicality, due to the cost to make the stuff.

mahakal said...

I never post the same link twice. Too many fun things to share. My links don't change, they are links to different things. ZLM is still and always a liar.

mahakal said...

Nitonol isn't a real thing. Nitinol however is, and it isn't very expensive to make or acquire at all. You can even buy it on eBay.

driftglass said...

alt energy comments will be rejected on this thread as of now.

alt energy feuds may be resumed here at your leisure:

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

You got it, maestro.


mahakal said...

No, that blog is not accepting comments at this time.

driftglass said...

"No, that blog is not accepting comments at this time."


mahakal said...


Anonymous said...

Well, your first comment says it all.

Anonymous said...

The professor is trapped on a tropical paradise with a beautiful starlet, a lovely farm girl, an old married couple and two gay sailors (little buddy indeed) at a time when nerds weren't cool. Why could he build a radio out of a coconut but couldn't build a boat? He didn't want to get off the island. Damn you Cory Booker!

mahakal said...

Steve Lonegan: not just a shitty Republican, a shittier Republican.

jurassicpork said...

Well, sorry, Drifty, but this is the very same exact post that made me lose complete and total respect for Chuckie and I haven't read a word he's written since despite the fact he's blogrolled me. I voted for Jill Stein last November and that was by far the best vote I've cast from a conscience standpoint. It's incredibly stupid to not vote for a candidate because, in your opinion, they're not viable.

It's the same brand of corrupted thinking that shapes and colors the debates and the ridiculous rubric they have for "viability", i.e. campaign fundraising. You don't raise at least $2,000,000 in a certain amount of time, you're caned off the stage. And both parties do it. When you pull a candidate off a stage, you decrease their visibility, hence cripple their ability to raise contributions. It becomes a self-fulfilling philosophy.

Pierce's pooh-poohing of Jill Stein just because she wasn't politically viable is of that same self-fulfilling prophecy mindset. "I didn't vote for her so why should anyone else?"

And people certainly DID vote for Obama out of fear of Romney. I did not. I voted my conscience because that man lost my support back in 2009. And, until Liz Warren came along, that was the proudest vote I ever cast.