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Take it over or blow it up

By Owen Paine on Tuesday September 19, 2006 05:40 PM

In comments, Dan R writes:
It all stems from a basic misunderstanding of what the "Democratic" Party is. Rather than being an imperfect but accessible instrument of the people's will, it is a maze designed to keep the people's will out while ensuring that the center of the maze is always occupied by the dollar.
That sure does capture the operational result, Dan, but not the structure, I think -- not at the national party level, which is what may lead to you going too far with your next line:
Talk of reforming the Dem Party makes as much sense as "reforming" the Mafia -- the institution does not exist to do anything other than hurt the people....
And why is that off track?

Because this institution is not a single structure with a top-down design, nor a single control tower. It's more like a slime with a network of interconnected lumps. And right now and for many years back (to say 1977) the core controlling the whole sprawling mess are lumps(more or less loosely interconnected) that push a "new Democratic"/neoliberal program.

It's prolly much like the structure of K street -- an infestation of like-minded, self-interested parasites passing themselves off as symbiotes.

But this party network core has no cast iron unified characteristics; like a maze, it can be broken up because lumps can be set against other lumps. And what's more, after a controlling core breaks apart, obviously the operational program can be supplanted with a new one.

Yes, reform of this nasty posse of badgers is impossible; but they can be overthrown.

Could it be anytime soon, though? Soon, as in before the '08 prez run? I doubt it -- more and more every day I doubt it. But then, is this core's overthrow necessary for social progress?

Who knows? Perhaps all we need do is blow up its core. Hell, it may blow itself apart -- even though one has to think with a little taste of power like House rule the chances move toward super slim.

But still, there is precedent for remarkably fast changes of control. The radical overthrow in 1896 seemed to come out of nowhere. As if in a flash, the gold dems entrenched at the party helm for 22 years were overthrown totally. They even left the party for a few years, and the overthrowers didn't even need to win -- in fact they lost 2 prez elections in a row, and then really took a breather, before regaining control in the next cycle, only to lose again, and not finally win till 1912, over a split Republican party.

Then there's overthrows that do get reversed fast -- like in 1972. The insurgents, such as they were, held power for about 6 months. And yet the damage that overthrow did to the regular core effectively spelled the end of it -- the end of the old Truman to Johnson regulars.

They may have restored themselves, but much like the Bourbons, not for long or not for real. Nope. Instead, the party was reformed -- if that's the word -- incrementally over a few years into the hodgepodge pushmi-pullu monstrosity we still face today.

At any rate it's clear to me what has to be done -- attack the party's left flank and if possible, destroy it. Hack away at the so-called real progressives clinging inside the party today. Bust up the prog caucus. Vow to expose them and defeat them in '08, with a wave of real outside progs that split votes and send 'em back to private life. Show their feckless herd of guileless supporters the farce and humiliation these clowns live with. Expose the merciless neglect and episodic battering their ilk take at the hands of the lib-prags. Notice the obvious corporate plants inside their caucus -- hell, Tom "the tassel-toed Tartuffe" Lantos is no more a progressive than Ollie North.

Anyway, you get it. The target theme for the ridicule blitz: "Faux donk liberals and the progs who love them." Force those party progs to show they're not the real thing. Force 'em to jump ship, commit political suicide to save their reputations. Demand they denounce every liberal in sight, even the Roosevelts, and they damn well better refuse to caucus with the warchiefs and the robin-redbreasts of legal torture.

I for one am starting with those NY/NJ interloping carpetbaggers, Barney and Bernie, the sugar plum twins of maple and cod country fraudulence.

Some of us (not the sea-green incorruptibles like Father Smiff of course, but some of us) are still big party focused -- up to a point -- but I would rather the party burst into a zillion flecks of shit, rather then retard the progress of American job holders for another generation. Nope, the jobbery can't wait.

Comments (2)

Dan Raphael:

Okay, point taken. Another way of expressing it is that the Dem Party is one frat house in the Greek system. Its competition with that other frat house is real enough, when it comes to the desire for power and the perks that go with it. However, it's the Greek system itself that churns out the nastiness--the Dems just absorb and pass along their part.

Still, with that metaphorical concession made, it still remains a fact that the DP has an identifiable hierarchy and internal rules that govern delegates and elections. It's all skewed towards preserving the power and wealth of those who already have, and making it very unlikely that those without, can mount a serious challenge. In the event that the unthinkable occurs, then there's the pout, the walk, and even voting for that other frat party. I know, I was a McGovern delegate to my county convention. It was most instructive to see how the regulars ran the thing. It was also instructive to be one of the people at the McGovern for President headquarters in the downtown area of my home town. Silent and empty as a grave.

At least, I had no illusions when it came to election day.

So, slime, Mafia, frat house...it's a rigged deal and serves the same paymasters as that other party.

Thanks, Ralph. Truth ain't popular.

js paine:

dan R
" the DP has an identifiable hierarchy and internal rules that govern delegates and elections. It's all skewed..."

again its more a heterarchy
and the core network makes up the rules
to help the core
and the systemic flinch when
an outside threat arises....

well as u point out
try running outside it
as a third party
that will drain off a section(s)
of its base voters ..!!!!!!

all lumps will turn on you
even the battered omega lumps

just read my pal bobby reich on ralph's run
speaking of ralph
2000 and ralph was nothing
if one wants to see hell fire
one thinks of the job done
on the wallace boys

henry and george
or on huey long
andway earlier on tom watson
if you're looking
for one stop shopping
i'd take you to say goergia in the 1890's
tom watson's home ground
check out the populists vs the dems
in that state
and you'll see the jack asses
real fightin side
fightin for jim crow as much as itself
so you can be george wallace or his polar opposite henry wallace

you are a fiend to be ripped to shreds

big D trumps little d

party of principle

even "process" principle

a non parallel to the national party
that fits your formal modelfar better
would be the AFL-XXX
with its duchy system

the dems once looked like that

the state party level was
usually a duchy
when us senators were elected by
the state legislatures

and the senate
was like a controled free for all

ah i yammmer on

so much detail

but your main point still holds
thru all this hugger mugger

the donk party is right now
and has been for a very long time

an insiders game
a rigged casino
and the insiders
are corporate fed monkeys

as a handy case in point

your ramhbo-schooom catch
shows this off to perfection

""As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Emanuel teamed with Senate campaign chair Chuck Schumer to tap uncharted donor fields in the financial industry. 'We're working outside of traditional banks,' he says proudly, 'into the private-equity world, the hedge-fund world, the distressed-debt world.' These 'worlds' know they are talking to a guy who not only runs the campaign committee, but who could be in the majority of the key financial committee—and maybe even majority leader..."

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