Thursday, May 08, 2008

The peace 'posers'

The House will take up another emergency war spending bill today, and the antiwar movement is growing restive.
"In 2006, the voters of this country gave Congress a clear mandate to end the occupation of Iraq through a stunning Democratic electoral victory," Tim Carpenter, executive director of Progressive Democrats of America, said Wednesday.
"But now, in 2008, we're still waiting for the war to end, while conditions get worse both here and in Iraq," he said. "To put it bluntly, if this Congress won't stand up and put an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq, and start addressing our needs at home beginning with a national single payer healthcare system, then we'll elect Democratic candidates who will."

The above is from Matthew Hay Brown's "Iraq bill in House; activists restive" (Baltimore Sun).
Isn't that cute, Pathetic Democrats of America wants to pretend they're against the illegal war -- really, really against it. Of course, that's hard to do when you've gotten into bed with counter-insurgency but brains don't fuel the rag-tag crew.

For nearly four years, Dennis Kucinich was the Sweetheart of PDA but, you'll note, they did not endorse him for the Democratic Party's presidential primary. They stayed out of it, so 'high minded.' Such little back stabbers.

Then the leadership made an endorsement that ticked off the membership and it's been non-stop pathetic for Pathetic Democrats of America. They endorsed Barack Obama who will not call for mercenaries out of Iraq and who supports counter-insurgency and has staffed his advisors with those who do including Sarah Sewall who oversaw the Field Manual.

So having done nothing to end the illegal war in months, Pathetic Democrats of America's Tim Carpenter shows up to pretend he gives a damn about the illegal war. He's shocked that the Democrats in Congress aren't ending the illegal war! He probably is genuinely shocked. Though it's been obvious to everyone paying attention, Pathetic Democrats of America doesn't pay attention. They're too busy running from cause to cause and, of course, some "Democrats" are actually Greens so they have even more causes to run to.

But most of all, they have a counter-insurgency embracing, Blackwater covering, corporate toady to ram down America's throat. So they ignore Iraq day after day. And then want to show up before they lose their 'anti-war' cred -- it's lost. You cannot endorse a candidate who supports counter-insurgency. It's askin to, in 1972, endorsing a candidate with Kissinger on their advisory board. It's not about peace, it's not about ending the illegal war.

It is pathetic and that's what Pathetic Democrats (and Greens posing) of America remains. Forever.

From Lance Selfa's "Wading in the Democratic Party’s 'muddy waters' PDA: A retreat from independent politics" (ISR):

But whether the PDA can genuinely claim credit for these events (and anyone who has visited its Web site will know that it isn't shy about doing so) is beside the point. The most important role that PDA plays lies elsewhere. That is in its creation of a political space so that activists who might otherwise be building a left-wing political alternative to the Democratic Party can be pulled back into the Democratic "big tent." What's more, the existence of PDA (and other organizations that share its politics like the Independent Progressive Politics Network) helps to give shape to the idea that activists can win their issues like national health care or an end to the war in Iraq by working within the Democratic Party. Admittedly, it does this in a more activist-friendly way than organizations like Democratic Socialists of America or the Campaign for America's Future, whose starting point is a rejection of activity outside the Democratic Party. PDA leaders say the organization would, in certain circumstances, support Greens, socialists, or other third party candidates. But this is window-dressing at best.
One of the political analyses underpinning PDA is the assessment that the vote of almost three million people for Ralph Nader in 2000, rather than representing a positive declaration of independence from the two corporate parties, represented a disastrous split among progressives that allowed Bush to steal the White House. The official press release announcing PDA's founding included this quote from Lu Bauer, a Maine Democratic Party leader:
While there are some efforts to win those voters back, they have not emerged from within the anti-war, progressive camp. This time around, it will take former Nader voters to win over real progressives and help defeat Bush. Kerry can't do it, because his position on the war remains out of sync with most progressive voters, let alone with early and strong opponents of the invasion of Iraq.
This helps to explain the prominence of leading Greens in PDA events. Cobb, whose campaign was largely invisible through the 2004 election, thrust himself into the center of the controversy in Ohio. Benjamin, the Green Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate in California in 2000 and a leading advocate for Cobb in 2004, has even made fundraising appeals for PDA. Clearly, there is a symbiotic relationship between the organizers of PDA, who want to pull Green-leaning activists and voters into the Democratic Party, and the "anybody but Bush" (ABB) current in the Green Party that believes the party should be little more than a pressure group on the Democrats. Benjamin tries to have it both ways. After Kerry went down in flames, she wrote in the Nation that:
Many of us in the Green Party made a tremendous compromise by campaigning in swing states for such a miserable standard-bearer for the progressive movement as John Kerry. Well, I've had it. As George Bush says, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."
For those of you willing to keep wading in the muddy waters of the Democratic Party, all power to you. I plan to work with the Greens to get more Green candidates elected to local office.

But by March 2005, she had put her wading boots back on, issuing a fundraising appeal for PDA urging support for the PDA's effort to "take over and transform the Democratic Party." She squared this circle by claiming that PDA is not really the Democratic Party, to which Peter Camejo, a Green who wants to build an alternative to the Democrats, responded:
In the fund appeal for the PDA she says the PDA is not the Democratic Party. It is like saying the Panama Canal is not Panama. I'd have to say it's still in Panama. The Progressive DEMOCRATS of America are not the Democratic Party but they're in the Democratic Party. In fact they are the front line fighting to prevent an independent force from developing against the two parties and clearly in competition with the Green Party. Part of their goal is to co-opt the Green Party back into the Democratic Party.
Camejo is completely correct—not only about Benjamin's double-talk, but also about PDA's intentions.

And here's Selfa from October of 2006, "READING BETWEEN THE LINES" (Socialist Worker):

On September 17, Carpenter presented Brown with a "Backbone Campaign" award as part of PDA-supported effort to reward Democrats who stand up against special interests, the Republicans and the White House. In Brown's case, the PDA was commending him for leading opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
A few days later, Brown's backbone crumbled. He was one of only 34 House Democrats to vote for Bush's torture bill.
Of course, Brown was in a difficult position. What's opposing torture and supporting the right of habeus corpus against the possibility of facing a Republican attack-ad melding his face with Osama bin Laden's?
The PDA continues to back Brown, which goes to show once again that liberal groups working within the Democratic Party end up as the "gofers." They work the hardest at inspiring people to vote for an uninspiring party, and receive little in return. Yet they redouble their efforts to elect the Democrats.

This is "Movie Tackles Two Party System" from the Ralph Nader campaign in full:

Eric Alterman
Theresa Amato
Patrick Buchanan
Barry Commoner
Phil Donahue
Todd Gitlin
William Greider
Greg Kafoury
Carl Mayer
Ralph Nader
Lawrence O'Donnell
What do these people have in common?
They all have pretty strong views about whether or not the two corporate controlled parties in America should be challenged.
And if so, how.
And they all have starring roles in a fascinating new documentary that questions two party corporate control in America.
The documentary was put together by Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan - the makers of the movie An Unreasonable Man.
We've broken it up into five parts - Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five.
Take a peek.
If you would like to receive more political movies like this, please contribute now to the Nader/Gonzalez Movie Fund.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
(By the way, in case you haven't seen it, here's a video promoting our West Coast tour, which starts Friday. Check it out. And hope to see you on the road.)
The Nader Team
Your contribution could be doubled. Public campaign financing may match your contribution total up to $250.

To be clear, I am not asking anyone to give money to any candidate or organization (or radio station or crap-ass 'left' organization). We're noting Team Nader in full.
They were in a snapshot earlier this week, as Elaine wrote about, and got pulled because Jim wants the topic to be the editorial at Third on Sunday. This post on Cynthia McKinney's campaign site is why, come Friday, if an announcement has not been made by Team McKinney, the community's done covering here. That is the idiot Ted Glick telling America that Cynthia doesn't think she can be president but she's only running for 5% of the vote. We don't have time for that nonsense. It became a very real issue to community members (read Elaine's post) over the weekend and that came from the community, not me. I know Green Party members feel that if she doesn't repudiate that claim (which she's not only allowed to stand, she's linked to with a "Ted Speaks For Cynthia!" headline) that they're looking at another "safe state" 'strategy'-- another election cycle where the Green Party plays handmaiden to the Democratic Party. (And certainly Glick -- supposedly supporting Cynthia -- running around making ga-ga noises in public over Barack nailed that fear down for many members.) If the issue isn't cleared up by Friday, McKinney is delinked by all community sites and probably will not be covered except when we all need a good laugh (and running kind-of, sort-of for president is always a laugh provider). Glick speaks for her, she says. Glick says she's not a real candidate. And the campaign links to him. We don't have time for that nonsense (except to laugh at it). So come Friday (the deadline imposed by community members, not me), if she hasn't cleared it up and stated she is running to be the next president, it's over. Already the bulk of the community that identifies as third party, independent or Green has moved over to Nader. That statement by Glick damaged McKinney's standing and only more so when her campaign linked to it with a "Ted Speaks For Me!" headline. Where do Hillary supporters in the community stand? Most were firmly in Cynthia's camp and Gina and Krista made that their polling question for this week's gina & krista round-robin. (I'm not playing tease, I don't know the results.)

Latrice notes "Clinton Campaign Announces West Virginia Women for Hillary
Over 500 Women Across the Mountain State Lend Their Support to Hillary
" (

(Charleston, WV) -- The Clinton Campaign today announced a list of over 500 West Virginia Women for Hillary from across the Mountain state who are helping make Hillary Clinton successful in the upcoming primary.
"Hillary Clinton has shown a long commitment to solving the challenges facing West Virginia families," said AFT-West Virginia President Judy Hale. "From working to get affordable health care for all, to strengthening public education, to creating stable, good paying jobs here at home, Hillary Clinton is the candidate who is ready to lead on day one and find real solutions for America."
The Clinton campaign will hold a West Virginia Women for Hillary phone bank and sign-making party tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Charleston Headquarters, 191 Summers Street, Charleston, WV in advance of Hillary Clinton’s trip tomorrow. The Fairmont for Hillary headquarters will also hold a West Virginia Women for Hillary phone bank at 6:00 p.m. tonight.
West Virginia Women for Hillary includes: Belinda Biafore, Vice Chair, West Virginia State Democratic Executive Committee Bonnie Brown, Member, House of Delegates (30th District) Marge Burke, Former member, House of Delegates Barbara Core, Circuit Clerk, Marion County Barbara Evans Fleischauer, Member, House of Delegates (44th District) Jean Ford, Mayor of Williamstown Judy Hale, President, AFT-West Virginia Elaine Harris, International Representative, Communications Workers of America Barbara Hatfield, Member, House of Delegates (30th District), Registered Nurse Linda Longstreth, Member, House of Delegates (43rd District) Cleo Mathews, Mayor of Hinton Marlene Middleton, WV Air National Guard, Ret. (Persian Gulf) Fayette County Teresa Kay Miller, Former Morgantown City Council Member Charlotte Moreland, Former Deputy Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Marie Prezioso, DNC National Committeewoman Phyllis Rutledge, Former Speaker Pro Tempore of the West Virginia House of Delegates Jenny Selin, Morgantown City Council Member Libby Stout, WWII Veteran, 110th Women’s Army Corps. Full list available upon request.

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