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Decisions, decisions

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday August 10, 2006 05:25 PM

Rowan commented on an earlier post, re Lieberman:
Wait, wait - which do we want, the party to split or the progs to win?
It's an interesting puzzle.

Lieberman's long-time puppet masters don't seem to be willing to give him up without a fight. (I don't feel I know exactly who all those puppet-masters are, but the Israel lobby is certainly among them, which is just about enough for me.) Not that they care about him, as such, but I don't think they want the Helots of the Democratic Party getting the idea that they can defy the Spartiates' will. I'm starting to get the impression that in some influential quarters, at least, Connecticut is coming to be seen as a no-pasaran. These nobodies think they can deflect the Democratic Party from the course we have chosen for it? Think again, O foolish and presumptuous rabble.

Now if the four-star Orcs of the Democratic Party Mordor have decided that Connecticut needs to be a decisive battle, something in me says that it would be nice if they lost it.

On the other hand, I have sworn a great and terrible oath, solemnized in a cypress grove at midnight in the dark of the moon and sealed with the blood of an albino jackass, never to vote for another Democrat. So I can hardly urge anybody else to do so either.

In one way, I would like to see the firm of Schumer, Rattner, From, Pelosi, Clinton and Reid, LLC, reassert control of the party and put an end to any delusions that it can be wrested from its masters. But there is a disagreeable whiff of the-worse-the-better about this.

Then, too, I get very excited imagining the chagrin of Vile Joe if he fought the election with all kinds of Wall Street and Lobby muscle behind him, and still lost. Never deny yourself a pleasure needlessly.

Help me out here, folks. What's a poor lefty to do?

Of course -- no one would disagree that we should only have many more such quandaries, right?

Comments (3)

J. Alva Scruggs:

There's a "heads they win, tails you lose" quality to this. The Lamonties aren't going to take a victory for Mordor as a sign they should ditch orc rule. They'll grumble a bit and then vote for the next good hair candidate. A Lamont victory in the general election will satisfy them even after he turns out to be a dud. A defeat of both Lamont and Lieberman in the general election is proof that the party must unite under strong leadership. If there were a genuine third party candidate who won, that would be meaningful. As it is, I can't see getting worked up about this at all.

js paine:

well i for one want a split
and expect a split
but i still say the tactic that builds split strength is to fight
all the way
to take over the party hq
till you're forced out the back door

a split takes the best of the party legacy with it i contend
even if its swamped like the barn burners of yore
in a merger with rad independents
and various third party elements
in whatecer new real alternative
emerges to be america's next



I've been (happily) reading here for a couple months or so -- I found my way here via the comments section of some progressive blog or another. (Berube?) Anyway, this is my first shot at commenting here.

What's a poor lefty to do?

My personal position -- arrived at after spending several years of plunging full bore into local electoral politics in my home state -- is that electoral politics is of limited utility as far as changing the social/political landscape goes.

This poor lefty (old acid-dropping hippie war protester born in 1949) has arrived at the conclusion that the urgency of our current circumstances requires a MOVEMENT, not the convoluted arcana of electoral politics.

Participation in electoral politics is first and foremost an act of consenting to the approved official frame for political action -- it is an act of assent to the preservation of the status quo.

Change at the level of electoral politics always happens AFTER societal changes are achieved by bottom-up movements. (look to the Woman's Sufferage and Civil Rights movements for two very stark examples) Participation in electoral politics in its present U.S. incarnation ultimately perpetuates and preserves hierarchical/plutocratic frames. We look for "heroes" to ride in and save the system, instead of doing the really dirty work of evolving the system altogether.

It took me a long time to come to this viewpoint. I've been a lifelong Democratic voter, I never missed an election from the time I was old enough to vote. (I couldn't vote for McCarthy in '68 because they hadn't changed the voting age to 18 yet, but I got to vote for McGovern in '72)

There is SO much more wrong with this country than can be changed by electoral politics absent a highly focused, well-organized movement dedicated to smashing conventional wisdom and the Official Approved Narrative of the corporate media and the militarized Security State.

It's inefficient and ineffective to split your focus. Define the goal and work relentlessly toward it -- don't get distracted by the kubuki theater of electoral politics. Electoral politics, after all, operates strictly in the realm of elite-approved activity.


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