Category: Progressive

Democratic Socialism and the Democratic Party

Democratic Socialists number 25,000

Democratic Socialists have just announced that they have 25,000 members, while the Democratic Party is still lamenting the loss of a ridiculous number of Governors and state legislatures to the Republicans during the tenure of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as head of the Democratic National Committee. It was Bernie Sanders’ ideology that brought many of these 25,000 on board. This is all happening at a time when Donald Trump’s favorability is plummeting and the Republican Congress hasn’t produced one piece of meaningful legislation in a seven-month period where they literally have owned the U.S. government.

Some of the Progressive agenda

You have to ask the question: What could Progressives have done in that period of time? Rather than trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, they would have worked on ways to improve it. They would have reached across the aisle and come up with immigration reform. Progressives would raise the debt ceiling reasonably without threatening a closure of the government. They would pass a $15.00 minimum wage. They would push republicans in their fight against income inequality and generally improve the middle class. A free college education for all and make the elimination of poverty a priority. And pass reasonable gun control. There are more, of course.

Democrats lose significantly at state and local levels

In the meantime, the West Virginia Governor switched Parties to Republican, once again reminding Democrats of their complete failure at the state and local levels. Here are the overwhelming facts…

  • “Republicans now hold 34 of the 50 governorships, tying the record for the most ever for the GOP. Democrats, who at the beginning of the Obama presidency held 28 governorships, have seen their ranks dwindle to just 15. At some point over the past decade, according to the Republican Governors Association, there has been a Republican governor in 46 of the 50 states.”

Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism…

But here come the mid-terms

It becomes even more unbalanced when you include state legislatures in the mix. “According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now hold the governor’s office and control of the legislature in 25 states.” The Dems have the total control in only six states. We can expect GOP losses during mid-terms both due to the fact Trump is a new president and also because his popularity has plummeted taking many of his supporters with it. Add to that the fact that the Republican Congress has gone nowhere, the stakes are high in 2018 and the momentum appears to be with the left.

We Progressives aren’t Democrats’ enemy

But the problem still exists where Democrats consider Progressives their enemy, there to tear down, not build up. And Salon’s Keith Spencer even said, “Peter Daou [Clinton adviser] is wrong when he says that Berniecrats are hijacking the party.” I agree and taking that further, what the Bern is really looking for is some cooperation from Democrats in order for the two factions to work out acceptable ideology that can get voter approval. Is that asking too much Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi? But hanging with what used to work seems to be their choice, which is exactly what the party did in 2016 with Hillary Clinton and lost miserably to…a Donald Trump.

Berniecrats are shaping their ideology

25,000 may not sound like much but when you consider the odds under which this membership has built, it is a giant step in the Progressive movement. Democratic Socialists are the core group from which the Berniecrats can shape their ideology, and my gut tells me that for every new Democratic Socialist there is one new Progressive. I base this on the fact that currently there is one Progressive for every Democratic voter in the U.S. There is no doubt that Bernie Sanders kicked off a revolution that has gained strong legs and is of concern to both Democrats and Republicans. Now if we can only get the Democrats on our side.



Progressives make significant strides in recent elections

It would appear that voters are finally making their voices heard, letting elected officials know they are fed up with conservative extreme politics.  You had to wonder just how long thinking Americans would allow this Bush/Cheney/Rove insanity to go on.  But apparently it is emerging at just the right time for the left, but must be nurtured even more to keep the momentum going. Justine Sarver, executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, says “…the other side has gone too far.”
One of the most blatant examples is the recall election of Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce which resulted in his defeat by a Republican moderate.  Pearce was even the Senate President.  There is now consideration to recall Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, even the forged governor, Jan Brewer.  And in Michigan, state Rep. Paul Scott (R) lost his seat due to opposition to teacher tenure and education funding.  He was also chairman of the House Education Committee.
Also in Michigan, Traverse City residents voted to keep on the books a non-discrimination law prohibiting discrimination for sexual orientation.  Openly gay and lesbian candidates across the country, themselves, achieved success by electing candidates in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Virginia and New Jersey.  A total of 53 of 75 candidates endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund won.
But the biggest loss by conservatives was in Ohio where Gov. John Kasich (R) took a big hit.  It was a bi-partisan effort, including Independents, totaling 60 percent of Ohio voters that defeated the issue to maintain the Governor’s restricted union collective bargaining rights of 360,000 public employees.  Even Kasich, in his first term, said it was time to pause, adding, “You don’t ignore the public.” 
In Mississippi a stupid “personhood” amendment was rejected that declared a fertilized egg a legal person and would have made it illegal for women in the state to use some birth control along with other restrictions.  It almost sounds as if the Catholic Church has infiltrated Mississippi government.  And Maine reinstated the right to register to vote on Election Day rather than a legislative requirement by the Republican governor for two days prior to the election.
But returning to Arizona where the politics have been so bizarre since sham governor Jan Brewer took office, there is energized hope that saner heads and enlivened progressives could prevail in 2012.  I use this state as an example, and as a prototype for the worst state government in the U.S., primarily because I live here.  Also, from my observation, it actually is the worst governed state in the country. 

There is a legislature controlled by Republicans that, with the help of an incompetent pretend governor, does as it pleases, regardless of how it affects the state.  Arizona’s Democratic Party contends that the recent recall of State Sen. Russell Pearce, author of the anti-immigration bill SB1070 and the state’s official bigot, is evidence of a shift from extremist conservative politics in the state.  President Obama has even said Arizona will play a “critical role” in 2012 where his grassroots group Organizing for America has been active.  And they are also focusing on the Hispanic vote by hiring Mexican-Americans to work the Latino community.

The Behavior Research Center said, “The impression of Arizona as a majority conservative state is more a reflection of gerrymandering and the historically superior strength of conservative forces in getting their voters to the polls.”  And if you have been following the recent redistricting dispute where mock Gov. Jan Brewer removed the Commission’s Independent member because the new map results favored Democrats, you can understand the gerrymandering charge.

So my point is, if it is possible for progressives to bring around the state of Arizona, at least partially, it is possible for progressives to win across the U.S.  The country will be eyeing the typically important states where election decisions are traditionally made in most elections.  But I bet a lot of people, including myself, will turn their attention to Arizona to see if it continues to qualify as the most politically laughable state in the nation.

Nasty Jack launches new blog for progressive critical commentary

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Critical commentary is necessary to keep daily living in perspective, particularly when it comes to politics.  But there is also education, healthcare, government and religion, to name a few major areas.  They all have their issues, and I plan to cover each and every one of them in this blog. 
To criticize is to find fault with, judge, and/or discuss the merits or shortcomings of a matter of importance.  Subjects that are crucial to all of us happen on an hourly basis and need attention to help in rooting out the problems in the system.  The latter is the daily environment in which we live and participate on an individual basis in our attempt to survive.

My intent is to point out these concerns and raise red flags, even create controversies when I think the system is wrong and needs fixing.  You as a reader can agree or disagree, but I will always welcome your comments regardless of where you stand on the issue.  Join me in making Nasty Jack a fixture in progressive thinking.