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Ear to the Ground

Building a Powerful Left in the United States (Update)

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Posted on Jan 31, 2011
Flickr / Luis Argerich (CC-BY)

Where is the tea party of the left? Pacifica Radio is running a weeklong investigation into America’s missing movement. Truthdig is pleased to have collaborated on a special episode, which will air on Pacifica stations Tuesday morning. Be sure to catch it and other installments of this important series. More details here.

Update: Our special aired. You can listen to it here.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment

The President’s job approval rating is now at 53%
http://www.politicususa.com/en/obama-momentum-poll

as of Jan 12 2011

Just 38 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of Palin, while 53 percent see her unfavorably.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/19/cnn-poll-palin-unfavorable-rating-at-all-time-high/
as Jan 19 2011

The most conservative statement that can be made as that their approval ratings are almost equal.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

RayLan, Some reality to chew and digest.

-

I neglected to include the following.

Gallup Poll
by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ—Barack Obama averaged 44.7% job approval during the seventh quarter of his presidency. His average approval rating has declined each quarter since he took office, falling by more than two percentage points in the most recent quarter to establish a new low.


None of this speaks to the issue of the reality that Sarah Palin has, for some time now, drawn larger crowds than does President Obama.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

The Tea Party does not promote a unified ideology - even less that the GOP.

What unites them is visceral hatred of anything
government- some on the Left have the same feeling.

The claim that certain formal Republicans ‘belong’ to the Tea Party begs the question of what makes the Tea Party an identifiable platform.

Washington, D.C. (Nov 7) – MSNBC has reported that Rand Paul will be unable to deliver on one of the Tea Party’s core beliefs, a Strong Military.  A quote from MSNBC reads, “GOP lawmakers must be open to cutting military spending as Congress tries to reduce government spending.”

There you have it, Rand Paul, the Tea Party, and the GOP admits to not only needing to cut military spending but to needing to increase the national debt.  This is not words from “some liberal” writer.  The above is a direct quote from MSNBC.

A strong military is very expensive – you cannot have both a strong military and no funding for it.  As anyone who has ever served in the armed forces will tell you, “The military survives on its stomach.”  No food, no power.

Additionally, Rand Paul supports an amendment to the constitution requiring a balanced budget.  Once again falling in line with the GOP, Rand offers only political speech with no concrete plan as to how to go about doing this.

America will experience another 2+ years of economic stagnancies while Middle America suffers.

NOTE:  For all those who say that a strong military is not a core belief, kindly check your own website, http://www.teaparty.org/about.php.  It is taken lock, stock, and barrell from your own rhetoric.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

RayLan - Some reality for you.

President Obama’s unfavorable ratings at an all time high 51%. - McClatchy News. 11.010

What was your point?  That President Obama draws larger crowds?

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Washington, D.C. (Nov 7) – MSNBC has reported that Rand Paul will be unable to deliver on one of the Tea Party’s core beliefs, a Strong Military.  A quote from MSNBC reads, “GOP lawmakers must be open to cutting military spending as Congress tries to reduce government spending.”

There you have it, Rand Paul, the Tea Party, and the GOP admits to not only needing to cut military spending but to needing to increase the national debt.  This is not words from “some liberal” writer.  The above is a direct quote from MSNBC.

A strong military is very expensive – you cannot have both a strong military and no funding for it.  As anyone who has ever served in the armed forces will tell you, “The military survives on its stomach.”  No food, no power.

Additionally, Rand Paul supports an amendment to the constitution requiring a balanced budget.  Once again falling in line with the GOP, Rand offers only political speech with no concrete plan as to how to go about doing this.

America will experience another 2+ years of economic stagnancies while Middle America suffers.

NOTE:  For all those who say that a strong military is not a core belief, kindly check your own website, http://www.teaparty.org/about.php.  It is taken lock, stock, and barrell from your own rhetoric.

The Tea Party does promote a unified ideology un- even less that the GOP.

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By ardee, February 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 2 at 1:32 am Link to this comment

Third-parties may develop but will not carry off a national election.

But they do not have to do so. If a third party wins a handful of seats in the Senate they will have a greater influence upon legislation than their numbers would indicate. Votes there come down to the wire rather frequently and thus a progressive agenda would have spokespersons and leverage both.

Each election cycle the Green Party gains more ballot access nationwide, wins more state and local contests as well. I think it inevitable, especially given the growing dissatisfaction among voters, the worsening economy and the inability of either major party to put forward a coherent plan. Every new foreclosure, every lost job is a potential Green Party voter.

Slowly I turned, step by step I advanced….Ahhh Abbott and Costello.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

GYRM
‘We should deal with the world as it is.  Not as we wish it to be. “
What exact statements are these sources supposed to be supporting?

That Palin attracts more people than Obama? Her approval rating is at an all time low.

Washington (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that 56 percent of all Americans have an unfavorable view of Sarah Palin, an all-time high for the former Alaska governor. That 56 percent unfavorable figure is up seven points from just before the midterm elections, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday morning.

Some reality for you.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

I agree with many of the solutions you raise.  I disagree with some of your solutions.  But you missed the point.

While we may disagree on various solutions, health-care, for example, our goals remain the same.  Affordable, quality health-care for all in need.

Imagining vast numbers of Americans to be brain deficient, or heartless, or ignorant, or demons due to differences in solutions is not the way.  Not only is this never the best way to address and achieve our mutual goals, it’s not even real. 

Global warming

I think there can be no doubt that too much carbon in the air has a deleterious effect on the entire planet (as does dumping waste in the ground and water).  I am not, however, convinced by a long-shot that carbon is the cause of the planet’s warming trends.  In 2011 I have found no group of human beings who can claim, with any level of certainty, how the oceans operate.

Carbon as a pollutant is to be addressed by me and you alike.  We can do that and still disagree on cause and effect.  We can disagree on some solutions. But convincing ourselves that the other must be brain deficient, setting aside incessantly repeating that opinion, is so clearly not the way to go.  It’s not real.

Abortion

I believe abortion of any type is killing another human being. I believe the way in which many Western nations handle the issue is deplorable.  I believe it should almost always be of last resort.  I believe abortion’s effects on the black population, in the United States in particular, is a crime.

You likely believe, with little reservation of your own, in a woman’s right to choose less those same reservations. I believe in that same right with a great many reservations and with tremendous caution.

With birth rates being what they have been for the last 60 years the black population this very day should be nearly double the Caucasian population if not for abortion.  Instead it’s only half.

Should I assume you to be a murderous racist for so steadfastly and persistently supporting abortion?  Or perhaps only brain deficient for not understanding the very real effects on an entire race of human beings? - You tell me.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 2, 2011 at 4:13 pm Link to this comment

Do you really hold the same goals I do, GRYM?  Do they? 

Do you and the Tea Partiers support Social Security and believe
it ought not to be messed with nor privatized? I believe healthcare
legislation passed last March ought not to be repealed?  Do you? 
Do you believe in eliminating earmarks completely?

Do you believe the underprivileged, the poor and the low-income
aged, deserve adequate health care guaranteed by the government
and that pharmaceuticals need to have their profits controlled?  Do
you believe every worker deserves government mandated decent
wages?

Do you believe gays deserve the same equal protection and rights under
the law as you and I already have? Do you believe women ought not to
be discriminated against and have the absolute right to determine if
they want an abortion or not? 

Do you believe regulation of the financial industry is the only way to
help curb its corruption?  I do not want across-the-board wholesale
reduction in spending.  Do you too? 

Do you believe carbon emissions is having a deleterious effect on this
planet and that emissions trading must be rejected, but that emissions
control must be federally mandated? 

Naw, I don’t think you or they do.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, - “I think all these are brain deficient.”

-

Is this because conservatives, moderates, independents, libertarians, and Blue
Dog democrats fail to see the world as you do?

Understanding that only 20% of Americans describe themselves as liberal, perhaps it would be better to cease demonizing and belittling all these people who hold the same goals as you and I do.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 2, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps, GRYM I make a mistake, but “The Tea Party, made up
of conservatives, moderates, independents, libertarians, and Blue
Dog democrats has effected contemporary American politics from
coats to coast.”
  I think all these are brain deficient.  While not
a socialist, I support all social programs, and I believe in fully
funding them through government, I believe military spending must
be cut by billions and that the rich needs to be taxed up the wazoo.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous,

The Palm Beach Post, the Iowa independent, the Boston Herald, the Miami Herald, The L.A. Times, The New York Times, The Times Picayune, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, ABC News, MSNBC and, interestingly enough, Amy Goodman via Democracy Now have all reported the same in the year 2010.

I am no great fan of Sarah Palin, however, that does not change the fact that Ms. Palin draws larger crowds than does President Obama.

-

You make a terrific mistake in belittling the Tea Party.  The Tea Party, made up of conservatives, moderates, independents, libertarians, and Blue Dog democrats has effected contemporary American politics from coats to coast.  Most especially the status quo of the republican party. - It is undeniable.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 2, 2011 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

GRYM - just a reminder that of the long list of media sources you
provided, you gave no exact date of the information sought. 
That is not a minor lapse. Therefore, the list offers nothing really.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

RayLan,

The Palm Beach Post, the Iowa independent, the Boston Herald, the Miami Herald, The L.A. Times, The New York Times, The Times Picayune, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, ABC News, MSNBC and, interestingly enough, Amy Goodman via Democracy Now.

We should deal with the world as it is.  Not as we wish it to be.

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Shenonymous's avatar

By Shenonymous, February 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment

Well to be perfectly factcheckual, only 32% of the total Tea Party
candidates won the November Congressional seats.  Senate 50% of a
total of 10, House out of 130, 40 TPers won.  So they put in a lot of
steam and got just a few spurts.  And regardless of the artificial
sugar faces they put on about Tea Party political aspirants, the Grand
“Old” Partiers are not really too happy and will be doing some behind
the scenes reconstruction. 

If Democrats get their poopie together for 2012, they will counteract
bigtime the expected losses of mid-term.  That is the way it always is. 
So the next election will tell how much purchase TPers have and
Democrats also.  Coffee Cuppers Unite!  Hahaha When the old
conservatives see how their benefits are in jeopardy, they will bail and
vote Democratic.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment

In the 2010 elections, Republicans who were backed by the tea parties (“TP”) won several races but some of the major TP candidates lost. The GOP landslide was very large on both the national and state levels, and apparently exit polls showed 4 in 10 voters expressing support for the TP movement. However, those who voted skewed older; more younger people voted in 2008.

The so-called ‘backing’ just supplied an incoherent angry rhetoric to what was basically a Republic platform. I repeat - the TP (representing nothing but visceral hatred of the administration) is of no political consequence, in itself. They pumped up the volume - but the message was the usual Republic cant - about government spending.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 12:33 pm Link to this comment

GYRM
“Sarah Palin draws larger crowds than does the President of the United States.”
What’s that based on?

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm Link to this comment

ITW
I might grant Bachman - but the TP membership of the rest? Let’s not confuse membership with sympathy. What does TP membership mean? It’s not on the ballot.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 2, 2011 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

RayLan:
Are you kidding? Scott Brown in Mass, Rand Paul in Kentucky, Rick Scott in Florida, Jim DeMint in SC, Michelle Bachmann in Minnesota, just to name a few.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

RayLan,

If you look more closely Bachmann was elected and, subsequently, gave the so-called Tea Party response to the State of the Union.  Sarah Palin wasn’t running for office. wink  BTW: Sarah Palin draws larger crowds than does the President of the United States.

You too make a terrible mistake in belittling and demonizing this tremendously effective third party which is challenging the status quo all across the United States.  A position the liberal set in America, after years of attempting to belittle and minimize, is now highly envious.

We should deal with the world as it is.  Not as we wish it to be.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, February 2, 2011 at 5:58 am Link to this comment

The Tea Party is an angry footnote to the economic disaster. Other than that it is of no political consequence - none have been elected. Like Palin and Bachman, they are the clowns of the media circus.

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Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, February 2, 2011 at 3:48 am Link to this comment

The Tea party saw it’s roots in Sept. 2008.  During the closing months of the Bush administration (deficit spending and billion dollar bailouts).  Only short-sighted bigots, those unable to see past racial lines, see the Tea Party as an effect of the Negro in the Oval office.

-

Historical notes: The most flagrant and unapologetic racist remarks and attitudes concerning candidate Obama found it’s roots in the democratic party primaries in 2007 and 2008. - Harry Reid’s notice of Obama’s on again off again negro dialect, Joe Biden’s attitude of Obama being the first fresh, clean and articulate black man and Louis Chude-Sokei in the L.A.Times wondering if Obama was black enough and the unwarranted attacks on Former President Clinton for perceived racist remarks, etc..

The ONLY tangible evidence of politically motivated racial violence in the past two years is the episode of SEIU thugs beating a black vendor at a Tea Party rally.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, February 2, 2011 at 3:30 am Link to this comment

Namgnuoythgirog, February 2 at 3:33 am,

The Tea Party is only a Right-Wing squabble faction between conservative EXTREMISTS within the Right’s political party, not an institutionalized equal political party with separate leaders representing a whole and separate constituency. 

When a separate political party is founded that is equal with the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, its many representatives will not sit with either of the two political parties; it will be necessary for separate housing appropriations to be made for separate representation within the Congress and the House of Representatives for that new party’s equal leadership to be able to hold private caucuses separated from both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.  That hasn’t happened.  Where does the Tea Party representatives caucus?

What the Right’s Tea Party did on the Right is what I was hoping through Gov. Howard Dean’s Movement the Left would do to gain balance for the Left within the Democratic Party by pulling the Democratic Party farther Left, in like manner as the Right’s Tea Party pulled the Republican Party even farther Right, but President Obama squashed the Left’s Movement as soon as he got into power, which was the 1st clue Obama was not going to represent the Left, and has only represented a Conservative Right Agenda at the expense of the Left, the 70% Majority Common Population.

Presently there are only TWO political parties, the Left-Wing and the Right-Wing, names of the Left and Right Wings are irrelevant,  all other non-institutionalized political parties are only factions on the Left or the Right of either one or the other of those TWO political parties.  Just because a political faction of the same political party calls itself a political party doesn’t make it so.

Currently there are 70% of the population, the majority common population, the Left, NOT being represented by either political party, as both political parties are representing only the Right.  There needs to be a powerful movement of the Left, as the Left constitutes 216 Million unrepresented citizens in the United States.

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By Shenonymous, February 2, 2011 at 3:26 am Link to this comment

My point is that no third-party has won a national election.  While
there are those historic incidences of third party politics affecting
elections, and government, in conspicuous ways, as you recount
anecdotally for us ITW, I don’t deny that they have had their
“occasional” effect. But in spite of the influence of the Teabaggers,
the current Republican Congress is still one of the two major parties
with the Teabaggers operating under the cloak of Republicanism
regardless of their not really too different interests.  Tea Partiers
are conservative Republicans by another name who are louder in the
MSM.  We all know Republicans never win elections by speaking their
plans to the voters about their real plans, that is. To watch them bob
and dodge to evade any comprehensible description of their intended
action is wonderous theater to behold. 

Republicans never intend to curb spending, their prime reason to exist
is the perpetuation of their political power which is fortified by an erotic
love affair with big business and special interest lobbies. Their strategy
is to saccharinize to the public what is most important to all of the
corporations that ply their electorial coffers and peddle fear and
anxieties to their base as well as the general public in anticipation that
those fears will attract more of the comatose to their ballots. 
Republican claim to be fiscally responsible and small government but
had a major paradigm shift in the 80s when they more or less glided to
the center becoming pro-big government and insane spendthrifts
especially on behalf of their crony owned armaments industry.  They are
beguiled by corporate dollars and prostitute themselves verbally and
use their Congressional votes to guarantee their financial support,
subvent their existence.  Republicans are a coalition of insincere fiscal,
social, religious, and military conservatives that fossilized under Ronald
Reagan.

GRYM, even though I see the common sense in having a fiscally
responsible government, I am constant in my criticism of the anti-
liberalist Tea Party and their parents, the Republicans. 

”...if you use the term Left in the traditional sense—the party of
peace, freedom and equality.  One cannot achieve peace, freedom and
equality by fighting and defeating other people.”
  I guess, Anarcissie,
if one is a purist that is true.  But then there is nothing that is really
pure or absolute.  I don’t see liberals as dogs lying down in the face of
the imbalance of resources that describes this country.  As I watch the
Egyptian insurrection, I hear the protestors, many of them, articulate
their desire for a redistribution of the wealth as one of the reasons for
the eruption.  The utter disparate of resources that have kept that
population in the thrall of the wealthy elites has had enough.  The time
of the pharaoh is over.  We don’t need to read Orwell to intuit that of
the political parties, it often seems “impossible to say which is which.”  I
think that is a gross exaggeration that suits the intellectuals who lean
into extreme libertarianism.  While I am adamantine in the necessity of
individual freedom, I do not believe in absolute freedom.  I think in the
face of economic disequilibrium this country needs a strong state
presence.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 2, 2011 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

Only once that I know of has a 3rd party successfully supplanted an existing party: when the Republican Party replaced the Whigs.

However, there are several instances where 3rd parties have instituted significant change in one of the two major parties, sometimes as a friendly takeover, sometimes hostile.  Here are a few:

1) The Populist Party.  It was absorbed by the Democrats in 1896, and, while it vanished, it changed the character of the Democratic party to seek an inflationary monetary policy (back the dollar with silver rather than gold).

2) The Progressive Party. Teddy Roosevelt nearly repeated the GOP’s success of the mid-19th century, relegating the GOP to third place in 1912.  While the influence of the Bull Moose didn’t last beyond that, the GOP had to change to accommodate it.

3) Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrats.  Effectively moved the Democrats to arms-length from FDR’s New Deal and prevented the Democrats from becoming anti-Segregationist.

4) George Wallace’s American Independent Party.  By far the most successful 3rd party since the Bull Moose, winning Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama , and Georgia. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” was, in part, to counter that, offering a refuge for the Southern White Racist whom the Democrats had abandoned with LBJ’s pushing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  The redneck vote marched straight into the GOP so that by 1980, they were solidly in the Reagan camp.

5) The Teaparty.  They have been incredibly successful in just 2 years in hi-jacking the GOP. They are able to claim they gave the GOP the House in November.  As lame-brained as the House and Senate GOP have been, nothing has prepared us for anything like this—the rise of the knuckleheads to dominance.

So, my thesis is that for a 3rd party on the Left to be successful, it must follow the Teaparty’s tactics and methods to take BACK the Democratic Party from the spineless babble-spouters, like my own state’s Senator Menendez.  He’s typical of (usually) going along with the leadership’s caving in to the GOP (He voted for the MCA), and when challenged about what the Dems have done, responds with a laundry list of government give-aways that has you yawning by the 6th item. (Dems never learned that you have 3 or at MOST 4 bullet-points, all big-picture, appealing and emotional.) The Teaparty challenged such nit-wits in the primaries, and challenged them HARD—and won.  Even John McCain had to sweat out his primary!

So that’s how I see it. A “hostile takeover”, just like the TP did to the GOP.

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By Anarcissie, February 2, 2011 at 12:00 am Link to this comment

The Tea Parties arose because the Republican Party fell apart in 2008, partly due to the present ideological incoherence of the Right, and partly because of the monumentally bad performance of the Republican President.  This situation led the American people to perform the incredible act of electing a Black man president.  But then nothing changed.  Then the proggies (long since dropped off the Black president’s bandwagon) became disheartened, while the Right, at least that part of it not attached to the established order, became restless and gathered in nervous groups.  That combination certainly affected the election: the proggies stayed home and the remainder elected some rather odd people. 

It is incorrect to suppose that the proggies have paid no attention to the Tea Parties; in fact, they’re quite jealous of them, but unlike the Tea Partiers they are unable to break away from their leadership and get into the streets.  While the Democrats may not be able to pass good legislation or win elections, they have been very good at paralyzing most of the leftish elements in and near their party.  If Mr. O loses in 2012, however, there is some chance there may be a breakout.  But I think it’s also highly possible that major events will simply roll up the present confused, depressing political era before then.  The times have become… interesting.

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By Anarcissie, February 1, 2011 at 11:20 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, February 1 at 7:19 pm:

‘I don’t know why but ”powerful” Left sounds like an oxymoron. ...’

Because it is, if you use the term Left in the traditional sense—the party of peace, freedom and equality.  One cannot achieve peace, freedom and equality by fighting and defeating other people.  The party of power, authority, social status, wealth is the Right.  And, as Isabel Allende observed, ‘The winners always win.  It is their métier.’

On the other hand, if you mean Left in the sense of style, the Left, say, of Lenin and Mao, well, then you can win; but first read the closing lines of Animal Farm.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Shenonymous, - “Third-parties may develop but will not carry off a national election.”

-

I think the Tea Party just effected the entire 2010 election cycle. Everything from School Boards, City Councils, State Houses to Washington.  As much as I disagree with Michele Bachmann the Tea Party had it’s own nationally televised and widely reported State of the Union response in 2011.  When did a third party last accomplish as much?  And in just under four years.

You and others are still making the terrific mistake in constantly belittling and attacking the Tea Protesters.  Attacking the type of third party activists you call for yourself is, well, not entirely “inclusive” of moderate, independent, libertarian and so-called “Blue Dog” democrats who help make up this, so far, demonstrably effective third party.  Your open disdain only stiffens people’s resolve. - Perhaps simply listening would be more effective.

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By Shenonymous, February 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

Third-parties may develop but will not carry off a national election. 
Again, this has to be repeated apparently on every TD forum, there
have been 55 political parties founded in the US and only the
Democratic Party and the Republican Party have survived to make
government policy. Of course it is your choice to PITW.  I suggest
you third-partiers check out the forum conversation on the Hogwash,
Mr. President, for various perceptions and positions on third-parties. 
You will find some comrades there.  And some who are not.  Nader
had his chance a few times and brilliant as he is, he is not the shiny
ornament the voters wanted.  He merely siphons votes.  Isn’t there
anyone else who has come on the scene than old Ralph? That is not
too promising.  Better to reform the Democrats starting now and
prevent the conservative/teabaggers from taking even more than they
already have.  They are the real opposition.  All else is magician ruse,
sleight-of-hand trickery by Republican shills in sheep clothing who
haunt Truthdig to divert the attention. I’m doing my part and letting
the organizations know my sentiments precisely how and what I think.

berniem, you seem to think you know what the people of this nation
want and what they ought to do.  Why don’t you start the
Progressive agenda and get them, enough of them, to give a good
prospect for success?  There’s magic in numbers also.

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By prisnersdilema, February 1, 2011 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Rah Rah Tea Party destroy the Republican party with disunity and internal warfare, audit
the Fed…etc..

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By ardee, February 1, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Yet another fairy tale from our purveyor of such, brother Grym

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47YujkXkOao

On the issues the majority is progressive, massively so says Cenk!

http://www.campusprogress.org/articles/young_people_strongly_progressive_despite_how_shallow_the_nyt_says_the/

and the young are even more so…

eat your heart out Grym old boy! I doubt there are many left here who cannot see right through you by now. If you would only start your posts with..Once Upon A Time. There is no fact that Grym cannot distort, no truth he cannot try and pervert. You gotta begin to feel just a touch sorry for the guy, really.

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By MarthaA, February 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

prisnersdilema, February 1 at 10:15 pm,

prisnersdilema said:  “Contrary to much of the sentiment regarding the Tea Party, there are progressives that support it.”

Tea Party Conservative EXTREMIST Republicans are far more EXTREME that Conservative Republican EXTREMIST and both are FASCIST, adhering to corporate governance.

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By prisnersdilema, February 1, 2011 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

No, Obama ran as a progressive, then he betrayed progressives. Those that voted for him, especially independents are still looking for a voice.

Contrary to much of the sentiment regarding the Tea Party, there are progressives that support it.

When you have a political party with leadership that betrays the partys membership, that party will not be able to advance its agenda.

Those at the top of the Democratic party, as correctly pointed out by Repbulicans, are controlled by special interests. The special interests groups have been allowed to control the progressive agenda for far too long.

The central issue of the Democratic party is its control by special intersts, this is the reason why many millions of American’s turn away from it. Because they see the agenda’s of those special intersts as alien to them.

Unfortunately, party leadership, return again and again to special intersts, while ignoring, the voice of independents.

Republican’s have been more able to present themselves as favoring independent voters in the past, even when this is an outright lie.

When Rush Limbaugh, disses feminists as Feminazi’s, and environmentalists as tree huggers, he thumbs his nose at those special intersts. The Democrats are unable to counter this, until they do, they will be unsuccessful.

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By berniem, February 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

What people of this nation need to do to establish a viable Progressive agenda is align themselves with the International Socialist movement and develop a platform clearly defining what are truly human rights not subject to the vagaries of the capitalistic profit motive. Basic human needs should be universally met and all resources necessary to the common good should be held by the public sector. Corporations should be first and foremost accountable to the commonweal with profit ensuing only after all debts current and future are factored for. Public services should be provided by actual civil servants hired according to law and not alloted by corrupt political officials to their private sector benefactors who are so prominent in their contributions to “governmental” fraud and waste. Finally, the tax code should be made truly progressive. There is no rational justifiction for a small percentage of the population to continue to consume the natio’s wealth because they are insular and connected. FREE BRADLET MANNING!!!

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By bpawk, February 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment

You had your left movement in the form of ralph nader but you squaundered it - you choose the democrats in cowardice and now you have nowhere else to go but obama who can act anyway he wants as you have nowhere else to go. good luck!

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By Laceration, February 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The left right dialectic needs a synthesis into a new paradigm.  Your standard issue Democrat, such as Obama and your standard issue Repub have more in common than those who challange the staus quo, such as Ron Paul on the right and lefty Ralph Nader.  Their intersection, eloquently expressed in their recent appearance together is what can galvanize a movement.  The left is too attached to divisive issues to ever gain a foothold.

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By Shenonymous, February 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know why but ”powerful” Left sounds like an oxymoron. 
The most they can hope for is holding hands occasionally and skip
to m’loo.  They are a fractured group, as in fractured fairy tales
(please…no offense meant for gays!) Those were very comic cartoons
a few decades ago.  I heard Lao Tzu, that old maybe never existed
Chinese Philosopher said “He who controls others may be powerful,
but he who has mastered himself often trips going up the stairs.” 
I’ll attribute this next one to Albert, “The attempt to combine wisdom
and power has only rarely been successful, and then only while on the
toilet!  May forcing be with you!”  Hasn’t power been vetted enough? 
I guess the opposite of power is impotence.  Don’t they have drugs for
that these days and aren’t the pharmaceuticals making a fortune on the
runaway sales of them?  Hey were are the virile Democrat guys? Or
Independents, or Third-Partiers?

Nice bio HC, but if you “don’t see any reversal of the underlying
operands of a society,” does that mean you don’t have any ideas to
countervail against the “powerful” Right?

Well if the Right has won the social clubs, then the left…and liberals, if
they cannot get their collective asses together then individuals need to
just chip away at the tea cups and steal the silver service.  I know I
know…. But if anyone can figure a way to coalesce the fractured
Democrats, history could be made.  Progressives and liberals could find
some coffee cups.  I have a coffee spotted T-Shirt!  Coffee Cuppers
Unite!  Let’s take back the coffee grains!

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By HC, February 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Personal reflection, for what it’s worth… My senior year in high school coincided with the first Earth Day.  I think the entire day was spent in wide-ranging discussions on the environment, ecology, society, economics, and more.  There seemed to be a sense that larger issues could be and should be addressed, with an important role for government, in other words, some sense of optimism and national resolve and purpose.  This seemed to exist as a carry-over of the diminishing but still present Great Society and what the Viet Nam war meant to that and the nation beyond.

Skip ahead ten years and I’m getting my MBA (don’t yell “traitor!” just yet).  Lot of bright, intelligent people.  But I can’t help but get a feeling that all that intelligence and talent has become unhinged from that earlier sense of purpose and optimism I felt ten years earlier.  Rather than business school providing answers to questions of “how can we get this done?” instead the questions became iterations of “what’s the market here?” and “how much can we make off it?”  In other words, I was dismayed at the way large issues were being redefined, comprehended, and acted upon.  There was, and still is, a disturbing crassness and cynicism to it all.  Of course, this was also the beginning of the Reagan era, and I do see a connection, which briefly stated is the assault on government, the exaltation of the market as arbiter in society, the repudiation of intellectual inquiry, and the perpetuation of the myth of the individual as a wholly self-governing, self-reliant, and sufficiently wise and knowledgeable unto himself to participate in society’s decisions.  In other words, fundamentally selfish and tightly circumscribed characteristics antithetical to being “liberal.”  For certain, the underlying tenets of the Reagan era have not changed since, even during the Clinton years, which may have nudged the flight path a bit, temporarily, but essentially kept to the established trajectory.  (Dumbya accelerated the downward path, Obama can’t change the slope.)

Something happened to “my generation” between that day in high school to graduation from business school, and I’m embarrassed for it.  Some may lightly toss it off as “Woodstock meets reality,” and there may be something to that, but I also think something more is in evidence, the recasting (or perhaps the reassertion?) of life in America as “what’s in it for me?” as opposed to “a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor” (a line from LBJ’s Great Society speech). 

I don’t see any rebuilding of a powerful left in America.  The Right has won, by propaganda, manipulation, fear mongering, cheating, lies, deception, thievery, and mostly through greed and hatred, in other words by appealing to and exploiting the baser instincts.  I don’t see any reversal if those are the underlying operands of a society.

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By Frank, February 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “Left” doesn’t have the financial backing the teaparty does!

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By prisnersdilema, February 1, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

There is no left because so called progressive leaders no longer support the practical
concerns of the people. They have sold out labor for years, and have betrayed working
people time and again. The leadership at the top function more like Republicans.
Meanwhile the Republican party has been more effective in using working class
Values to sell conservative programs, while at the same time betraying those values to
big business. Working class Americans rightly see many of the lefts most valued
programs as anti family. The Republicans have successfully capitalized on this, by lying
through their teeth.

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By Anarcissie, February 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

What would ‘a powerful Left’ mean?  Wildly different things to different people, I suppose.  For some people power, political power, is a delusion, a mental disease; for others, it’s a serious mistake and the source of many of our problems.  (I belong to at least one of these schools of thought.)  For others, I suppose it ranges from revolutionary tribunals to bigger Welfare checks to saving the whales.  Since the concept of leftist power is so diffuse, it is hard for me to see how any progress can be made towards it, or why people want to carry on extensively about it.

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By Go Right Young Man, February 1, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

Where is the tea party of the left?  Why did Keith Olbermann’s Prime Time cable ratings always sit in the shadows of Bill O’Rielly’s 5:00A reruns?  Why did Air America fold?  Why are the top 12 rated cable news programs on the FOX News channel?  Why does Rush Limbaugh enjoy 20 Million regular listeners?

Why has there been not a single major piece of legislation, proposed or passed since 2006, that enjoyed the support of the majority of Americans?

According to Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Any Goodman and every major polling aggregate in the United States all of the above can be answered in the following Gallup Poll.

-

Gallup Poll: 40% Of America Is Conservative, 20% Liberal

A new Gallup poll find 40% of Americans now identify themselves as conservative, while only 20% say they’re liberal.

Gallup reported:

Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group
Compared with 2008, more Americans “conservative” in general, and on issues

by Lydia Saad

PRINCETON, NJ—Conservatives continue to outnumber moderates and liberals in the American populace, confirming a finding that Gallup first noted in June. Forty percent of Americans describe their political views as conservative, 36% as moderate, and 20% as liberal. This marks a shift from 2005 through 2008, when moderates were tied with conservatives as the most prevalent group.

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By Wikileaks for Nobel, February 1, 2011 at 10:27 am Link to this comment

I am receptive to the idea of building a powerful left—something I have advocated my entire political life, which began before I could vote.

Labor had real power, then—but its suicidal attachment to the misnamed Democratic Party has led it to now be a weak shadow of what it once was.  With friends like these…and fools still applaud good old Al Gore, who cast the tiebreaking vote in the Senate that sent US jobs, ecological standards, human-rights concerns, all to the Great Walmart of China.  Gee, thanks, Al.

I could go on.  However, I want to end my saying we should not be sectarian.  The progressive-libertarian coalition that Ralph Nader endorses is urgently needed—because Beloved Leader in the form of the photogenic phony currently in the White House, is locking up the country tighter than a drum.  Have you noticed?  He’s worse than Bush, when it comes to the crucial issue of civil liberties.

Act while you still can.

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By RdV, February 1, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Where are they?
They are compromised by their continuing role of advising and apologizing for Obama- in the hopes that just around the next bend he will demonstrate his true progressive stripes. They must have the luxury of waiting—no economic pain while Obama yanks the rug out. They must be of the class that thrives at the suffering of the majority.

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By Robespierre115, February 1, 2011 at 6:53 am Link to this comment

People just need to read Chris Hedges’ articles here on Truthdig to know why there isn’t a “strong left” in America.

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By ardee, February 1, 2011 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Despite the deafening silence from the Left, despite the lack of an organized progressive movement, the fact remains that progressive ideas find favor with a majority of Americans.

The Right has rather a large advantage as it has prepared the ground for its seemingly successful propaganda war by purchasing the media, stripping out the voice of the Left, excepting for a few isolated instances, and loudly proclaiming that this nation leans right because only the voice of the right is heard.

As a life long leftist I do note the seeming inability found among us to make strong allies by compromising in order to form a cohesive front and a strong voice. I also see, when noting the trends in American politics, that there are cycles found there. Sooner or later the trending will turn back left, especially as the policies and practices of the right lead us ever further into hardship and ruin.

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By Shenonymous, February 1, 2011 at 12:19 am Link to this comment

Truthdipper me has been asking this question for some weeks now. 
It is about time a countervailing force on the left self-elaborates so
that the citizens of this country has a pronounced dose of those who
oppose the very visible and vocal ultra-maggoty conservative effort. 
Well yeah, maybe the common politicspeak tags liberal, conservative,
progressive, left-right, etc., are false hackneyed abstract nomenclature
but they facilitate talking and tend to give quick archetypical mental
images.  So while they might be threadbare and banal, they are useful,
that is one of the things abstractions are good for.  We might as well
have a circus on the left as well.

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By aacme88, January 31, 2011 at 11:40 pm Link to this comment

When there is an Egyptian/Philippine/East German style, even Russian style move into the streets to demand “our country back” it will happen. Not before. The good news is that as people are stripped of everything, it becomes inevitable. Everything has an arc. We are on the down stroke. We will hit bottom before the bounce.

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By heretical monkey, January 31, 2011 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

um.. just going out on limb here, but isn’t that the ideological ‘Progressive’ movement, that like the democrats, republicans and co-opted tea party’s also blind to the false left-right paradigm here in our once great country.

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