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Growing Discontent with Democrats & Access-Bloggers Leaves an Opening for Progressives

Michael Wilk's picture

Lately there has been a spate of diaries at such web sites as FireDogLake and "Open" Left wherein lay members — typically under attack from site moderators, who act as Democratic Party hacks and gatekeepers — have sought ways to bring back the Progressive Party, or join the Greens, or build up some other institution, that will allow progressives to act together as a cohesive political unit. (I posted an entry there myself, only to end up being attacked by site moderators, threatened with banishment, and ultimately banned when I refused to back down against their incessant bullying.)

FDL's iphelgix explains the reason for leaving the Democrats.

Fellow FDLer TalkingStick points out the wisdom of studying the teabaggers for ideas about how we progressives can rebuild our own movement.

Mason calls for progressives to join him in building a Progressive Party from the ground up, apparently not aware that it already exists in states such as Vermont and Washington, and as Green Party affiliates inMissouri and Wisconsin. He is joined in this effort by MadHemingway, who posted the 1912 platform the Progressive Party ran on.

FDL members are not alone in Left Blogsylvania in expressing their utter disgust with the Democrats; at "Open" Left, such lay members as Arthur Lukas gripe about where progressives are and asks where we should go from here. Even at the Daily Obama, whereupon I also post, a poll I put up asking if it is time for progressives to break away from the Democratic received a fifty percent yes-vote.

Such discontent is often met by moderators and site owners with derision, insults, threats, and banishments of the "offending" members. Nevertheless, it has grown more difficult for the access-bloggers to bully progressives into submission, a lesson FDL's Jason Rosenbaum refused to learned after the beat-down his contemptuous post before the Massachusetts special election received. In short, no one on the left is buying into the Big Lie that Democrats are any different from Republicans in terms of substantive policies, nor are we responding to threats and insults anymore for "failing" to be bullied into supporting Democrats no matter what.

This discontent and refusal to be bullied has created an opening for progressives seeking to organize the left back into a cohesive and more importantly, effective movement in opposition to the far right. There are angry voices aplenty, people outraged by the betrayals of the man they though they were electing president in '08 and the endless capitulations to the GOP made by Democrats. Here we have an advantage.

The only thing lacking in the new political environment is effective leadership among progressives. We will not find it among the self-appointed "leaders" of the 'netroots, the access-bloggers like Chris Bowers, Markos Moulitsas, and the aforementioned Rosenbaum whose only real goal is to gain access for themselves — and only themselves — to the inner circles of "serious" political power and corporate media recognition. It is therefore up to us to take on leadership roles and organize the left.

If we can take charge, we the progressive base, then we can finally begin the work of taking back America from the fascist elements that have usurped it for their own ends to the detriment of everybody else. The Full Court Press is one tool for doing that, and it's a very good start.

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ntoddpax's picture
Submitted by ntoddpax on

Fellow FDLer TalkingStick points out the wisdom of studying the teabaggers for ideas about how we progressives can rebuild our own movement.

I love how whenever I bring up NV tactics, somebody (usually a Kossack or somebody else invested in their inertia) will remind me that the Teabaggers--GASP!--use the same tactics! Holy shit, I guess we'd best just sit on our asses and blog with impotent outrage instead! That'll show Richard Nixon...

Submitted by lambert on

From ql at Lord Eschaton's:

Quite Telling that Kimberly Fletcher, of the Abigail Adams Project strongly recommends that when trying to convince people to vote for the Tea Party candidates, they not discuss specific issues. She says, keep it general, like Scott Brown did. Discuss smaller government, lower taxes or putting Americans to work. I guess if they discuss specific issues like health care reform or admitting they want to do away with Social Security, they lose.

My suggestion would be to focus on conversion narratives. That seems to work.