Let’s see…. Democracy under attack. Check. Racism rampaging. Check. Misogyny mounting. Check. Rich Getting Richer, Want Tax Cut. Check….
You get the picture, right? “We”–as in the people– are at a critical juncture in history. If we don’t collectively push back, chances are even worse things are going to happen.
So what is it with certain so-called Democrats who continue to say and do stupid sh*t?
Let’s start with the ‘no principles’ people, via The Hill:
Democrats will not withhold financial support for candidates who oppose abortion rights, the chairman of the party’s campaign arm in the House said in an interview with The Hill.
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) said there will be no litmus tests for candidates as Democrats seek to find a winning roster to regain the House majority in 2018.
“There is not a litmus test for Democratic candidates,” said Luján, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman. “As we look at candidates across the country, you need to make sure you have candidates that fit the district, that can win in these districts across America.”
This isn’t about the party saying candidates can’t personally oppose abortion. It’s about people who want –and will abet– the imposition of laws governing women’s health. Those laws represent the tip of a very deep ideological iceberg going all the way down to support of patriarchy.
The argument saying Democrats win only if they pander to various reactionary blocs with simple economic arguments just doesn’t hold water.
NARAL National Campaigns director Mitchell Stille called Luján’s decision “bad policy that will lead to worse politics.” “Anyone who actually thinks that Donald Trump and the GOP candidates won in 2016 because of their opposition to abortion rights is sorely mistaken,” Stille said in a statement, adding that “Economic security isn’t possible without reproductive freedom. Gender equality isn’t possible without reproductive freedom.”
EMILY’s List Press Secretary Alexandra De Luca also stressed the link between reproductive rights and economic rights. “For many women, the most important economic decision they make in their lives is choosing when and how to start a family,” De Luca said in a statement.
Listen to Women… The difference between broad principles of unity and advocating for specific actions is discussed in New York Magazine’s Intelligencer (emphasis mine):
Political parties inevitably encompass multiple views on multiple things. But some are more fundamental than others, touching on values and mutual respect. In my pre-journalism career, I used to conduct a “value-based message” training for elected officials that made a big deal out of distinguishing between values and broad policy goals on which unity is critical, and programs or initiatives where diversity is not only tolerable but optimal. The conviction that women should have control of their reproductive health is clearly a value; protecting it is also clearly a policy goal. Exactly how to do that is another matter, and I don’t think any pro-choice Democrats are insisting on uniformity as to the details of abortion policy.
If Democrats continue, as they probably will, to argue about this topic, there is another level of self-discipline that Democratic men should exercise. The most appropriate slogan for progressive men is the one the late Dr. George Tiller adhered to, right up until the time he was murdered during Sunday services at his own church: “Trust women.” And if you can’t bring yourself to trust them with decisions over their own bodies, Democratic men, at least respect them enough to keep your own counsel about it.
Now, for the other side of the coin: the all-principles-all-the-time people.
California’s first term Senator Kamala Harris started getting mentioned as a possible 2020 Presidential candidate after she showed little patience for tomfoolery during hearings with various Trump minions.
The boys club over at the National Review was aghast:
Senator Kamala Harris emerged from confrontations with the three national intelligence chiefs and Attorney General Jeff Sessions with her reputation enhanced. Her manner of attack was praised and she was acclaimed as a victim of sexism on the part of her colleagues. Harris may lack the talent to fulfill her not-so-secret desire to emulate Barack Obama by parlaying a single unfinished term in the Senate into a successful presidential bid. But there’s no question that on the strength of these hearings, she can lay claim to a style that is the future of American politics: Her combination of incivility, bullying, and victimhood makes her the perfect reflection of our current moment.
Trump surrogate Jason Miller even went so far as to call Harris “hysterical.” A significant portion of fifty-one percent of the population thought or voiced “Did he just say what I thought he said?”
As the Women in the World column at the New York Times pointed out, words matter:
Why? Thousands of years of sexism. The word “hysterical,” as The Huffington Post points out, has a deeply sexist history. It was coined by Hippocrates and its root word, from the Greek “hystera,” means uterus. More recently, Sigmund Freud declared that hysteria was a “disease” that could only afflict women. It’s also one of the top five words women most dislike being used to described them, a study found last year.
Lo and behold, there are Democrats of a certain persuasion who think somebody like Kamala Harris is worthy of consideration as a presidential candidate.
Let’s face the fact much of the push back against the Trump administration has been led by women, they’re entering politics at every level in numbers that should scare the crap out of the #MAGA crowd.
EMILY’s List reported being contacted by 11,000 women considering running for various elected offices since the 2016 general election. If you take a look at footage of Indivisible town halls and other actions around the country, women predominate. Congressional offices reported 86% of the callers during the recent showdown over health care were women.
Sadly, although she hasn’t declared for any future office, Kamala Harris isn’t pure enough, according to Michael Sainato, writing at The Observer, ala “Clinton Cult Lines Up Behind Kamala Harris.”
He goes through the same talking points I’ve seen elsewhere about Harris being wrong on criminal justice issues, pandering to mortgage bankers, and –gasp!– receiving modest campaign donations from Republicans.
I’m not sure how much meat is on those bones, and I don’t really care now. I’m not wasting political ammunition on my side of the trenches. We’ve got serious work to do leading up to the 2018 elections. We’ve got serious work to do in our communities.
There will be plenty of time to sort through candidates qualifications. Right now these political attacks are little more than offering up aid and comfort to the enemies of everything we should stand for.
Sainato is the guy whose love for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders compelled him to write a Huffington Post piece trashing Michelle Obama as a selling point for what a great First Lady Jane O’Meara Sanders would be.
The author of the piece, Michael Sainato, has managed to create a specimen of cliché Bernie Sanders supporter so pure, it could have been extracted from the brain stem of an Obama voter and grown in a laboratory. What’s the only thing left for a Sanders supporter to do to alienate black voters after snippily lecturing them about civil rights? How about attacking Michelle Obama, does that do it for you?
>>>>[Quote from HuffPo article]
The past three first ladies; Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Hillary Clinton all share a common insincere, yet polished, demeanor inherent with an affluent lifestyle. Senator Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders provides an authentic alternative to the status quo of affluence inherent in Washington D.C.
Let me make two things clear at this point: Bernie Sanders shouldn’t be faulted for what some of his supporters say. And Kamala Harris is not my pick for a 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate (I don’t have one, yet).
I just happen to think this is the time we ought to be focused on the politics and policies posing an immediate danger to human beings. Like the Koch-based sludge that keeps being dragged up in the Congress. Like the rape kits in San Diego not being processed. Like the emerging slate of progressive candidates for down-ballot County offices. Like all the humans sleeping on the streets of America’s Finest City.
I know there is a very good chance in 2020 (assuming elections are still a thing) I’ll be asked to vote for a Democratic candidate who wasn’t my first choice, has said things I disagree with and is supported by people who I find less than desirable.
Am I thrilled about the idea? Nope. Will I yearn to fight another day? Yes, I will.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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