Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Proyect on Primary Challenges to Obama


As usual, I'm tempted to chuckle whenever I read anything put out by the PDA. They sort of remind me of George McFly from Back to the Future: "Now, now, now Obama...". On the one hand, they have it tatooed on their foreheads that "we will dogmatically, till death do us part, always cave in and vote for Democrats". On the other, they expect the big wig Dem leaders to take their "threats" seriously. You've got to be kidding me. It's as if they're saying "Obama, you'd better not be so right-wing, or, or... we'll get really good and mad at you!".

Everyone and their brother knows that the Democratic primary is a race among a small crew of people who have raised the big money from the big donors. How the hapless, powerless PDA thinks they can actually challenge Obama, or any of the mainstream candidates, within the corporate-stymied presidential primary cycle is beyond me. It's delusional. I'm sure that many of the rank-and-file PDA members feel that they're doing the right thing, but at some point they've got to realize that they are wasting precious resources and political energy. They're doing more harm than good at this point. Whether they realize it or not, they are simply part of the effort to close the "enthusiasm gap" and corral frustrated progressives back into prison of the American duopoly.

And worse still, when the PDA doesn't get their way in the primary, everyone and their brother knows that they'll just cave in a vote for whoever the Democrats run for president. I'm sure they wouldn't think twice about spending all their time and energy getting out the vote for Erskine Bowles if he was up against Alan Simpson. They'd probably write letters to, say, The Nation exhorting us to believe that the Bowles/Simpson "face off" was the "most important election of our lives". Delusional.


Richard said...
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Richard said...

yes, the egomania of these people is incredible, you have hit the nail on the head

but, if I may make one suggestion, one reason that they keep holding onto the Democratic Party is precisely because of their exaggerated sense of themselves, because, to sever that relationship would require them to recognize their relative powerlessness in the US political scene

JM said...

I think their site has some good editorials there and they called out Moveon.org for it's decline(I know you'll disagree with that, Richard).

Richard said...

well, no, I wouldn't disagree, but it is their unwillingness to accept the urgency of a social, progressive politics independent of party constraints that creates problems for them

and, that is where the egomania comes in, as if the people who run the Democratic Party consider them as anything other than a group to manipulate

this also fits with the peculiar notion of a primary challenge as being a plausible means of bringing about political change, as if the only way to do so is to work within the confines of the electoral process

there's a lot that they could do between now and then, and, admittedly, they are probably doing something, but nothing too daring

and, just to make sure that we don't miss the obvious, like most liberals, they are rousing themselves to action after the horse left the barn along time ago

t said...

I'm sure they do, in fact, have decent editorial from time to time. In fact I've seen decent analysis put forward by PDA, so I can vouch for that.

But, for me, the fact that they advance reasonably good political views (e.g. advocacy of single payer) makes their dogmatic attachment to the Democrats even more perverse.

As far as I can tell, their function (whether or not they realize it) is to convince anti-war, anti-corporate progressives that they shouldn't abandon the pro-war, pro-corporate Democrats. As Richard points out, I don't think they see it that way: they have a delusional sense of their own self-importance from the looks of it. They really think they are fighting the good fight, but the perverse reality is that they are doing precisely what their own principles say that they shouldn't do, namely help maintain the dominance of elites over and above the masses of ordinary people.