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Showing posts with label Caucus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Caucus. Show all posts

Saturday, January 11, 2020

A.O.C. and the Self-Important Caucus - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
01.01.2020

A.O.C. and the Self-Important Caucus


I heard the representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez complaining about former Vice President, Joe Biden the other day.

She offered her insight regarding his candidacy, stating that in another country the two of them wouldn’t even be in the same party. I think that she meant it as some kind of scathing rebuke of Joe Biden, who is running against her preferred candidate Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President of the United States.

Of course Bernie Sanders is not a democratic, he is an independent running as a self-styled democratic-socialist. Ocasio-Cortex is a democrat but she styles herself as a democratic-socialist as well.

There is no Democratic-Socialist Party in America, maybe there should be, but there isn’t, there are a few minor political parties, like the Green Party and the Libertarians, they hold a few seats in local governments around the country. The United States remains a two party system, with the Democrats and the Republicans holding sway.

Like it or not that is the way it is.

It is true, what she said, that in another country she and Joe Biden would not be in the same party. The insight her rebuke lacks is this: in those other countries the party she would find herself in would at best be a minor part of a governing coalition.

Her comments also fail to appreciate how she came to represent her constituents. She was elected to office as a Democrat, had she run as a third party candidate or an independent, it is not likely she would have been successful.

She ran as a Democrat in a democratic primary and unseated the incumbent, who was a member of the Democratic Party leadership. Her opponent accepted his defeat, allowing her to use all of the tools the party had to offer to win the seat for real.

That is the way the Party system works, and it worked for her.

Now Ocasio-Cortez wants to campaign for her pal on the notion that the Democratic Party should have a smaller tent. In this election year we have to stay focused on the positive, talk about the ideas, tell me what you stand for.
If your team is spending political capital telling us why they are against the Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg or Michael Bloomberg it only confirms that your preferred candidate will not be able to come into power with a strong enough constituency to accomplish any of your legislative goals.

We do not need ideological puritans holding office with their precious “integrity” intact, while they sit around out of power with their so-called progressivism stuck in reverse, because the other team has won.

Keep your eye on the prize people, in 2020 its not just the white house on the line, its redistricting, and no matter who wins the nomination we all have to work together if we are going to get past this moment in time.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Voting – Heart vs. Head - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

03.05.2016

Voting – Heart vs. Head

I went to my caucuses last Tuesday night. I showed up to vote for Hillary, and I did, as I said I would. I am proud to have done so, proud to be casting this vote for the person I expect will be the first woman to hold the office of the president.

The caucus site was disorganized. There were three different precincts voting at Jefferson Elementary, and there was not much clarity about where you were supposed to go. However, once I figured that out, matters proceeded in an orderly fashion.

I was expecting something different from what I experienced. I thought there would be a period to persuade and convince the other voters, but there was not.

I showed up; received my ballot, marked it and put it in a box. Many people left after that point. Fewer than one-hundred, of six-hundred stuck around. I did.

I listened to the organizers, tell us the rules of the caucus. They went over the agenda. We elected people to committees. I was elected as a delegate to the endorsing convention for DFL Senate District 61.

I listened as a number of ballot resolutions were introduced by various party activities. Most of the measures I supported. There were some that I was disinterested in. There was one that I spoke against. The measure I spoke against passed, and I was the only person opposed to it. It was a call for a constitutional amendment to reform campaign financing, the issue that was articulated seemed that it could be gotten too much sooner through the normal legislative process, or through the courts; than through the more onerous, and more dubious process of a constitutional amendment.

There was little, actual opposition, to any of the resolutions that were offered, though I sensed that there were real opposition that simply went unspoken.

Many of the resolutions had a “daydreaming” quality, “pie in the sky” realism.

It set me to thinking about some of the conversations I have had about my support for Hillary.
My precinct went for Bernie at a rate of about 4 to 1 (a little better). Minnesota went for Bernie in the final count. Here in my neighborhood, at my job, and among my friends I have definitely felt like I was in the minority.

When asked about my support; my response begins with this: “I have always supported Hillary Clinton. She is smart and capable, and will prove to be an effective manager of government.

“While I agree with the idealism that Bernie Sanders expresses, I do not believe that idealism and politics should mix.”

This seems counter-intuitive to most of the people I have spoken with.

There is a well-established, but uncritical norm; vote for the candidate you like, for the candidate you believe is right. Vote for the candidate that speaks to your heart, for the one that make you feel good.

The slogan of the sanders campaign is not: Understand the Bern, analyze it, asses it, and know it. The slogan is Feel the Bern.

 Feel it.

I am not suggesting that we should not feel good about our votes, but feelings are more easily moved than reason, more easily preyed upon, and more easily misdirected.

While the appeal to idealism may articulate the place we want our society to be, when that appeal is fueled by the power of emotions it does not leave any room to negotiate, or compromise with those on the other side of the table.

Idealism is too easily transformed into fundamentalism, the uncritical sense of empowerment based on the belief that you are right.

Fundamental-idealism is a powerful force. It can motivate a lot of people, but it also brings out an ugly and even violent aspect of our human nature. This is true wherever the arrow of your idealism is pointing.

I have heard a lot of my sisters and brothers on the left side of the political spectrum tell me:

If Bernie loses they will sit out the election.

They will never vote for Hillary.

Hillary is no different than a republican.

Republicans and democrats are the same, that’s why we need a socialist.

Hillary is evil and she must be stopped.

This is the place that fundamental-idealism brings us to in our politics. This is the power of the heart over the head.

We suffer the machinations of the fundamentalists on the other side of the spectrum all the time. They have taken over the republican party. Their idealism has led them to name corporations as people, to curtain the voting rights act, to fear the immigrant, to religious intolerance, and too many other atrocious principles to articulate.


Though I am predisposed to supporting the agenda from the left wing, tyranny can also flow from those good intentions, but it will only flow from that idealism if it uncritical and fundamentalistic.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1st, 2016, Tuesday - Observation

Observation

The snow is mostly gone.

The sky was lighting at six in the morning; when I left for work.

There was a fresh dust of white on the ground, that disappeared in the first few hours of morning.

The green is coming to my lawn, pushing past the pale yellow blades, the gray and brown remnants of leaves, the twigs fallen from the apple tree.

My cat followed the white tail of rabbit with her eyes; as she rested on the couch, by the window bay, lucid, and dreaming of the hunt.

It is election day in Minnesota, caucus day, and there is a pensive energy in the air.

I am for Hillary, but I think most of my town is for Bernie.

I think Minnesota will go hard left as well.


My cat does not care, she wants to share my chicken.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Voting for Hillary, Part One - Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

01.30.2015

Voting for Hillary, Part One

I did a couple of things this week that I have never done before.

      1.      I made a financial contribution to a political campaign.
      2.      I committed to caucus for a candidate.

I took these steps in support of Hillary Clinton. I have been a vocal supporter of hers for many years, since I was first introduced to her, in her role as First Lady of the United States.

I favored the high profile role she played in the first Clinton administration. I was both disturbed and amused by the reaction the conservative talkers had toward her in those early years. Rush Limbaugh coined the term “feminazi,” in relation to her; in order to spread paranoia, and mistrust of her agenda, but not just of her agenda...they were afraid of her.

The conservative movement in American politics is afraid of women, of a woman’s independence, of a woman’s intelligence, and of a woman’s perspective on the world. This is not to overlook the fact that there are women in positions of leadership in the conservative movement, both in and apart from public office, but those women only succeed insofar as they are willing to undermine efforts to strengthen and support the role of women in our society, to undermine public policy in regards, to pay, health, privacy and self-determination.

In the twenty-four years since she became First Lady, through her eight years as Senator from New York, and her term as Secretary of State; those conservative talkers have relentlessly kept up their attacks on Hillary, and have succeeded in shaping the public perception of her in such a negative light, that the majority of the country sees her as “dishonest,” without being able to say exactly why (or exactly why she differs from any other politician for this quality). This is true even among those who support her candidacy for President of the United States.

I reject the efforts of conservative talkers to shape my view of this strong, intelligent, powerful, intellectual woman.

I support Hillary’s candidacy because I believe that she, and the team she will bring with her to the White House, have a better chance to advance the liberal and progressive vision for the future of our country than any other candidate. I believe she will protect the advances made by President Obama, and she will add to them. This belief is rooted in the notion that it requires more than talking points, more than speech making to enact the kinds of legislation that will be required to advance that vision. It requires a President that is not only willing to compromise, but able to do so in a manner that is adept.

On a more fundamental level I support her candidacy because I believe that it is time for a woman to hold the highest office in the land


Hillary is the right woman, at this time, to take on that burden.