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Political Shakeup Coming pt. 1: Democrats

A political realignment is in the works. I’ve alluded to this in a previous blog, but now there’s real news on the topic.  AFL-CIO has started playing hardball with the Democrats, and may wind up building an organized version of the TEA Party for the Left. This is only one of several undercurrents that are shifting in America today. Let’s get into what’s going on, and why I think these schisms will eventually be beneficial to America.

This will be the first in a three-part series on the political changes in America, addressing the Democrats’ situation. I’ll talk about Republicans and secular trends and issues in the upcoming installments. Here are the Democrats’ fault lines in the coming political earthquake:

First, unions and Democrats have had a schism in this state for a while. Union leadership has become tired of inaction with their money, setting up a DIME PAC here in Washington State, and in the current economic turmoil, at least some democrats have returned the favor.

The national political landscape is being moved as well. Public unions have been the one type of unions that have grown in the last decade, but is one of the less-universally-supported types, and it is giving unions as a whole a less palatable flavor politically. Unions have been the largest contributors to Democrat SuperPACs, but the fact that DEMOCRAT SuperPAC’s exist bothers many on the Left. The Huffington Post Reports on the divide between those who think SuperPACs represent what Democrats oppose, and those who are going to use them because Republicans are.

There are several issues tearing at the Democratic coalition. Group these problems under “Union Malaise.”

Secondly, and more importantly, President Obama isn’t working out. Heaven has not come to earth, the rise of the seas has not been halted, social programs are being ruled unconstitutional, soldiers are still getting killed downrange, and pragmatism doesn’t work when you view it as incongruent with Hope. Losing takes a toll on coalitions, as factions (much more divided in the Democrat party) view each other suspiciously, and re-examine their role and relationships within the American political realm.

This is key, because one Democrat strategy in the past had been to assimilate a cause, and co-opt its leadership to partisan political operatives. There is now real tension felt by members and leadership of unions, minority groups, women’s rights groups and LGBT activists, between their stated goals and the demands of the Party.

Thirdly, interest groups themselves are being challenged, and not in the way that rallies everyone together. Feminists have to confront the concept of prominent female conservatives. The vicious attacks felt by Sarah Palin (the early-on ones, during the 2010 campaign, not the ones she earned on her own later) were indicative of the threat she posed to the political solidarity of women’s rights groups. Feminists found themselves pushing against air, fighting nothing. There was no argument on the Republican side as to the qualifications of a woman, and therefore no reason to fight, nothing to rally against. Democrat interest groups cannot continue asking for money and supporters without a bogeyman, and the internal re-tooling of various rights groups to reflect the new age will diminish the Democrat Party. This is good for the interest groups: they have won, in many cases. Women and minorities have run for office, legitimately, and hold a serious place in the conversation. But it’s very bad for the current Democrat coalition: Republicans can’t take the blame anymore, and there’s less to dish out overall.

Expect targeted moderation by Republicans to splice the factions in the Democrat Party, and a continued love-hate relationship between unions and both parties. Once unions break ranks, they will see a nuanced world out there, and new political opportunities on a case-by-case basis. My money would be on these two fault lines breaking at the Democrats for the next three years. We’ll examine the Republicans next, and how Democrats could sink their whole battleship.


A cowboy, a rich guy, a girl and a crazy old man all walk into a poll…

And come in as statistical ties with Obama!!!

Seriously though people must be pretty sick of hearing about how hard presidentin’ is and how it’s everyone else is to blame for the malaise that we find our country in.  How else can you explain why people would rather listen to some crazy, pedantic, old guy rant and rave about the FED than see Obama in office for another 4 years?

Funny Pictures - Cats and Rat, Soon

A visual representation of the candidates and the incumbent.

Pleased to meet you, hope you get my name…

Howdy there folks! Looks like Mike is attempting to class up this joint a little and he invited me along to add a certain je ne sais quoi. Just think of me as the long time room mate that you’ve always had lurking around that grunts and makes rude noises, but life just wouldn’t be the same without me. Oh and your girlfriend probably hates me too, but that’s just because she doesn’t understand

Pollution: remember me?

When was the last time you heard the word “Pollution”?

BP oil spill? that’s what I thought. How about before that?

We’ve been so distracted by the premise of Global Warming that we’ve completely forgotten about the original reason for the Green movement. And by ‘we’ I mean I haven’t heard it in the news/national conversation. Aside from the ANWR reserve, I assume we must have moved on as a nation, but I’m not ready to do that.

I still don’t want mercury in my salad, thanks. How about we refocus on things we can affect? Not that CO2 is great, but it’s nowhere near as bad as EVERY OTHER POLLUTANT. Remember CFC’s? Remember Lead? Remember carcinogens?

In our quest to keep the Earth a clean environment for ourselves, let’s focus on things that we can change and things that can hurt us. CO2 is a joke by comparison.

The Best apology to Chris Brown Ever

Here’s the link, this guy beats the hell out of an abuser, and I salute him for it.

Repost: Are you calling me a Marxist?

Are you calling me a Marxist?.

Take Heart, Teabagger!

TEA Partier, listen. I’m talking to you.

I know you’ve been down as of late, looking at a debt deal that didn’t go far enough, worried that the mixed results will be blamed on you and not where it should be, squarely on the shoulders of Liberal Democrats and slightly less fiscally liberal Republicans, who argue over which thing to spend too much money on. Possibly you look at the new round of attacks, saying that you threaten the Republican coalition by not playing nice and that Boener almost lost the farm back there because of you. Worse, you still get misconstrued as the favored child in the room, who the adults have been careful to indulge while still ‘doing the work ‘ that must get done to move the nation forward, a complete reversal of reality.

I want you to relax for a minute.

What the TEA Party has done is nothing short of extraordinary, and before you jump up and tell me I’m placating, listen. We on the Right haven’t institutionalized movements the way those on the Left have. “Rules for Radicals” has really nothing for us in terms of policy. But human, grassroots movements share some similarities, whatever their origin. Let’s examine them.

A real movement comes from people who cannot take the status quo any more. These people must have two things to be a real movement: integrity and community. By integrity I mean that no matter how many (or few) other people are out there, the reformer can no longer go along to get along. This doesn’t mean they want to tear the system down, it usually means they love the system so much they won’t let it descend to ugly depths anymore. This is TEA party to a tee. Having communications and relationships is what makes the movement an actual movement, and can be seen in the small groups meeting regularly around the country.

Those on the Left who dismiss TEA parties as “Astroturf” are probably split down the middle between people who have an ideological impairment to believing that a conservative can organize/would believe in something strongly enough to organize, and those who are scared to death because they recognize a movement when they see one.

 Every movement has a few stages it goes through. First, people decide to be themselves, with their vote and their voice, and not live divided internally anymore. This has happened in America as many have said “Enough, taxes and debt will not solve our problems, only pass them to our children.”  These people found themselves outside of the system, but still love it and want to change it.

In the second stage communities are built as these principled people find each other, coalescing into larger groups and passing information and support to each other. A movement begins to takes shape here.

Thirdly, These groups go public. They take flack, gain enemies, and stay as strong as they can, continuing the conversation with people who hopefully go from unawareness of the problem, to hatred of it, to uneasiness with it, to complete comfort and acceptance of the new ideas. THIS IS STANDARD! Evey new idea has entered the public conversation in precisely this way.

And lastly, they get a seat at the table. The system changes a little bit to accommodate them. Before you go around dogging John Boener and the lack of progress, look at the progress! While we are in the thick of arguments about debt, the argument is ABOUT DEBT! Take heart, oh TEAbagger, your ideas are here, and news organizations can look at them and judge them with the same lenses they look at mainstream policy, because you are now mainstream. Congratulations.

Don’t rest on your laurels, of course. I am not part of a TEA Party, but I can opine along with everyone. What you need now is to kill the vampire that’s been draining our national blood: the economic beliefs that debts don’t matter, and that centralized control helps us get out of recessions. Take this last part for what it’s worth, but stay strong, stay hopeful, and keep it up!