Do Corporate Democrats Like Charles Schumer Belong in a Progressive Movement Against Trump?

Jerri-Lynn here: I by no means agree with every point made in this lengthy Real News Network interview conducted by Paul Jay with Henry Giroux, a Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest at McMaster University and author. His latest books are ‘America’s Addiction to terrorism’ and ‘America At War With Itself’. But it’s a starting point for further discussion of What is to be done? And I’m not sure the answer has (much) to do with pink pussy hats.

PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay.

Well, the day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States last Saturday, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of women and men and children and all kinds of people marched on streets across America and the world to protest “He’s Not Our President,” which was one of the main slogans of the day. It was for women’s rights, it was also for many other issues people were raising, including the environment, and economic justice, and various other things. And it was a kind of taste of what a broad front movement might look like against what some people are calling a neo-fascism or a growing authoritarianism.

But also in this movement, and certainly on stage at the D.C. rally, were many people very closely allied with what a lot of people call corporate Democrats. People like Chuck Schumer were not on stage, but they were out marching, but onstage were people that reflect a lot of the same kind of politics that Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer represent. And a lot of people suggest that it was exactly those kinds of politics and economic policies, including those of President Barack Obama, that tilled the ground that led to a Trump presidency in terms of the growing inequality and such during the Obama administration, and certainly kicked off by the Clinton administration, and put into hyper-drive by the Bush administration, and then maybe even hyper-hyper-drive in many ways by the Obama administration.

So, then just what is the role, of people like corporate Democrats like Chuck Schumer, for example, who now is the main face of the Democratic Party and, in terms of his own history, very closely aligned, very much a representative of Wall Street and finance, quite a hawk on many of the foreign policy issues and such, certainly very closely aligned with AIPAC and U.S. policy towards Israel.

Where does someone like him stand in this broad front against Trump and growing authoritarianism? What should be the attitude of this growing movement towards such people or such a political class?

Now joining us to discuss all of this is Henry Giroux. He’s a Professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest at McMaster University and he’s an author. His latest books are “America’s Addiction to Terrorism,” and “America at War with Itself”. Thanks very much for joining us, Henry.

HENRY GIROUX: Hi, Paul. It’s a pleasure, always.

PAUL JAY: Recently there’s been protests or rallies in defense, for example, of social security or of the Affordable Healthcare Act, and you’ve seen some leading progressives, including Senator Sanders, sometimes on stage with Chuck Schumer. I don’t want to just pick on Chuck Schumer here. He represents a whole type of politics and economics. But he’s the face of that now, and you watch the Sunday morning shows, and because of his role in Congress as the Minority Leader in the Senate, he is the face now of that Democratic Party. What do you think? How do you build the united front and what attitude does one take towards corporate Democrats?

HENRY GIROUX: I think that what needs to be made clear is that we should certainly welcome their criticism of Trump, because it just makes all the more visible the kinds of problems that the United States is now facing under this somewhat deranged authoritarian leader. But I think, at the same time, we need to be very careful and make sure they don’t become the voice of the movement. We don’t want to fall into a certain kind of paralyzing political purity or a sort of moralism that seems to suggest you’re either in or out. But I think when it comes around to the question of leadership, when it comes to the question of who speaks for this movement in terms of defining this movement not as something that is concerned with simply reform, but is concerned with something that’s actually changing the political and economic infrastructures of the country itself, I think that we just need to be very careful and not allow these people to speak for the more — I think — democratic and radical element of the movement.

PAUL JAY: Well, I guess this question relates, and can frame it in another way, for the Sanders movement and many people who supported Sanders, and those many who want to continue this fight within the Democratic Party and the corporate Democrats — sometimes they’re called the establishment Democrats — they’re “the enemy”. And in the sense that there’s class divisions in the Democratic Party and there’s a strata within the Democratic Party that really represents finance and perhaps Silicon Valley and other sections of billionaires and Big Capital that gravitate more to the Democratic Party — and they want to have their political representatives control the Democratic Party machinery. And then there was this insurgency, the Sanders insurgency that challenged all that and said, “You know, we don’t need billionaire money to run an election campaign,” and that was an amazing breakthrough to be able to show that was possible.

But you kind of have these two things happening at the same time — a fight that many of those people want to continue within the Democratic Party, which includes primarying right-wing Democrats, you know, upping the critique of corporate Democrats. At the same time, social security, Affordable Healthcare Act, who knows, the wall, I mean, all the things that… the Supreme Court nomination, a broad front against those things. How do you see the relationship of those things?

HENRY GIROUX: It’s important to recognize the contradictions within the party itself as, as you’ve mentioned. But at the same time, we have to remember the Democratic Party has a long history of caving in in spite of those contradictions. And that basically they’ve, in many cases, not only have they been on the wrong side in the long run, but they’ve promoted policies that are neo-conservative and oriented towards a neo-liberal set of assumptions. So I think that yes, we’d like to see people fight within the Democratic Party for doing the right thing, for implementing reforms that in the short run will save people’s lives – you know, saving social security, not allowing Medicare to be eliminated, not allowing Medicaid to be eliminated. You know, resisting policies that in some way are detrimental to the environment.

But I think in terms of the long run, once again, I’d be very hesitant about pointing to those contradictions as a way to suggest that the Democratic Party has the possibility to become a Democratic Socialist Party. I don’t believe that. I don’t think it’s ever going to happen, and I think we really need a very different party with a very different set of assumptions, a very different leadership, raising and asking very different questions. One that provides an alternative sense of what the possibilities are, allowing the United States to move away from this now neo-fascist government, but at the same time not to allow itself to fall into a party still controlled basically by the financial elite, however liberal they might sound.

PAUL JAY: I think the argument would be that, yes, the Democratic Party will never be that party. But to get to a party that might be that party, at least large sections of people need to go through that insurgency, the Sanders-type insurgency to it’s logical conclusion, which means if you had, for example — it might even be Sanders himself again in 2020, who knows, or someone of a similar type of politics — actually be poised to win a nomination, and Sanders wasn’t that far away from it, I don’t think finance would ever give up its control of the party machinery if there’s any possible way that it could prevent that from happening, and who knows if they would self-destruct the whole party I think before they would let that machinery be taken over by such an insurgency.

That being said, at that point, these people leave and form a new party, one way or the other that fight within the party, I think, is a constructive thing for people who want progressive change. But what I’m getting at is, it’s like there’s a real concrete fight or debate taking place right now, for example, on 2018. Do you focus on just electing Democrats who supposedly will stand up to Trump — and I take your point, on many of these issues, they will not — or do you wage this fight in the Democratic Party and primary these right-wing Democrats and put your efforts there? Even if you’re accused of breaking or somehow splitting the anti-Trump opposition?

HENRY GIROUX: I think the real issue here — I don’t want to suggest that’s the wrong question, as much as I want to suggest that it smacks of a kind of reformist orientation. And that is the real issue here is we’ve got to change the consciousness of the American people in ways that allow them to believe that capitalism and democracy are not the same thing. That, in fact, there are reforms that need to be made that can improve their lives and that those reforms are reforms that have to be waged outside of the Democratic Party. And that while, in the most immediate sense, policies can be enacted that will benefit them, in the long term, they won’t.

So I think you need to take that risk. I mean, that argument is endless. It goes on endlessly. Every year, every four years, every eight years, we hear the argument, “Well, you know, the Democratic Party, we have to vote for them because they’re the strongest party, they’re the people who basically have the power right now,” until we make the break, you know, until these politicians link up with other social movements, until the unions are being taken over by workers an not given over to some party apparatchiks, it seems to me we’re in trouble. We’re in the same boat. And I think that the real question is, do we really have time to afford that policy?

I mean, it seems to me time’s running out for the planet, time’s running out for people who are suffering endlessly, time’s running out given the fact that you have a 1% that is completely indifferent to the needs of the American people.

PAUL JAY: You think there is a shorter way to get to some political change, even reformist, than going… than the fight that Sanders waged in the Democratic Party?

HENRY GIROUX: I don’t think…

PAUL JAY: There’s a faster thing than that?

HENRY GIROUX: I don’t think the question is whether or not we get it faster or not.

PAUL JAY: Well, it is because there’s a very, very short window here or small window here. Both in terms of climate change and in terms of what you’re calling the growing authoritarianism. There’s a very small window here.

HENRY GIROUX: Well, I think if you’re going to talk about restructuring the very nature of political power, political and economic power, maybe the issue is to think in terms of long-term strategies and not just short-term advantages. You know, given I understand the argument that the planet could end in a couple of years, maybe — I don’t know — but at the same time, I mean, what’s the price you want to pay for that? What kind of risks do you want to take? I would argue in the short-term we should do everything we can to promote the reforms that will benefit people immediately, but in the long-term, we’ve got to think about what time means in terms of actually implementing a Democratic Socialist revolution.

PAUL JAY: Yeah. But do you think, given the limits of Sanders’s social democracy — and there’s clear limits in foreign policy terms and in economic political terms — a lot of the things he was raising are kind of almost normal kinds of policies and — or at least were in Europe and to some extent still exist in Canada, some — but they weren’t that threatening to what the capitalist order and such. But that being said, in terms of political education on a mass scale, you can tell me something that was more effective in recent years than the Sanders candidacy?

HENRY GIROUX: No, I… I wouldn’t. See, the Sanders candidacy fail. I mean, politically, it failed. It didn’t fail educationally.

PAUL JAY: Well, you were talking educationally. You were talking about consciousness-raising…

HENRY GIROUX: No, I mean, it certainly raised the kinds of consciousness that suggest that we have a potential movement around young people that offers, in many ways, an enormous amount of hope. But I think if you’re really talking about seizing power, I mean, he ended up supporting Hillary Clinton. And I think that in that sense he could’ve started… he could’ve sort of opted out for a third party movement, which would’ve been far more productive, it seems to me, in terms of what we’re facing now.

PAUL JAY: Oh, I don’t think so. I think he… Trump would’ve won even more so and he would’ve shouldered lots of the blame. I think would’ve buried that movement for a long time. I mean, you write about this Trump presidency as neo-fascism. This isn’t something you can just say, “Okay, let’s start a third party and we’ll have neo-fascism for a while.”

HENRY GIROUX: I’m not arguing that starting a third party is going to solve the problem. I’m arguing that we need a social movement that understands the limits of the Democratic Party and is willing to take risks — just as we’ve seen in Spain, just as we saw in Greece, and just as we’re seeing in other countries. I mean, it seems to me, how do you want to imagine, in some way, a different kind of political and economic and social configuration that truly in some way will challenge in the long run the Republican and the Democratic Party stronghold over matters of wealth, power and representation. How do you want to do that?

PAUL JAY: Well, we’re living in the United States. This is like the heartland of the empire, the heartland of imperialism, if you will, where the media is virtually — corporate media and a lot of the public broadcasting media — is like an extension of the state apparatus, as are the Democratic and Republican Parties. And if you want to talk to a mass audience right now, there was a fissure, a real crack in that state apparatus, which I would include the media in, and there was a crack in the Democratic Party — and mostly because that form, that structure, was never created with the idea that you could raise millions and millions of dollars without going to the financiers, and that changed something. They might figure out a way to close that hole in some way, but the party structure wasn’t built for that. So there was a real… you know, there was a moment of a real tear in the fabric that holds this social order together.

Now, whether Sanders supporting Clinton or not — and you can argue and debate that, and I don’t see the point of it at the moment — the more important point is what that movement accomplished in terms of threatening the control of that Democratic Party machine.

And let me just say again, I have no illusion that that Democratic Party could ever be turned into a people’s party. But it could be split, and that experience of the people and fighting within that party, that took on mass proportions that nothing, any third party is not even imaginably close to in the United States.

HENRY GIROUX: I mean, what are the implications of the split politically for you?

PAUL JAY: If there was… if that split was pursued in 2018 and 2020?


PAUL JAY: Oh, what I said. If you had a candidate that could get to the level of Sanderesque and more so, which I think is possible, especially… I think a lot of people, the coin now has dropped, the extent to which the Obama administration was responsible for the success of the Trump candidacy — how those hyper-capitalist neo-liberal policies of Obama led to Trump. Number two, a candidacy that actually speaks to African-Americans and takes that card away from whoever is the corporate candidate in 2020…

HENRY GIROUX: So you’re suggesting…

PAUL JAY: …I think you could have a candidacy that could threaten and come close or maybe on the verge of winning the nomination — and, as I say, Sanders wasn’t that far — and then I think that’s where a split will take place, because I don’t think the elites will allow the Democratic Party to be taken over, but then you have the real conditions for a third party.

HENRY GIROUX: So you’re suggesting, if I’m reading you correctly, that the contradictions within the Democratic Party could certainly heighten awareness of the problems that the country is facing, that we could mobilize more and more people to, in fact, become a part of that narrative, and that while it doesn’t suggest that the Democratic party will solve the problem, it offers the possibility for the conditions for a new party to address those issues.

PAUL JAY: And… yes, and fight on that… it can’t be another corporate Democrat that becomes the anti-Trump, and start this whole cycle again.

HENRY GIROUX: No, I… I thought that’s what I was saying. But I…

PAUL JAY: Well, no, the difference I’m saying is that… you know, while there needs to be all kinds of forms of organization, I’m suggesting, and movements in the streets, and all kinds of organizing, the fight within the Democratic Party right now is a very important one. And I’m not sure I would have said that in other years. Sometimes it’s hopeless to do anything with the Democratic Party. But right now, that Sanders moment, it created a different kind of terrain for the struggle.

HENRY GIROUX: I think that’s… I don’t disagree with that. My only concern about that argument is that it needs to be supplemented by another, it seems to me, narrative. And that is, while it might be useful to do everything in one can to make sure that split becomes even wider, and a candidate emerges that can mobilize people in ways that speak to a better… a more democratic future, there also has to be organizations being developed that are creating alternative ways of understanding politics where, you know, organizations that basically are both local, national and international, organizations that are imagining and making clear different ways for people to engage in social relationships, different understandings of how a university can be run, different understandings of what it means to have free healthcare, different ways to sort of empower communities, different ways to speak to communities, alternative media being developed. I mean, I think that there certainly has to be infrastructures that make that question about what an alternative society looks like concrete.

PAUL JAY: Yeah, I agree completely. A vision of a society where you don’t have the 1% owning all the wealth, and you have real public ownership and public planning and so on. Yeah, I don’t think you can build a movement without a vision for the future, and it can’t just be noodling around the edges of what there is.

HENRY GIROUX: No, I mean, I think the United States lacks a commanding vision. I mean, I think that in part that lack of commanding vision is due to the fact that you have a civic culture that’s collapsed. And we’re not just talking about the institutions — the commanding institutions, whether they be economic or political or social — we’re talking about the fact that you have a country that’s drowning in civic illiteracy. You have a country that basically is now talking about fake news, alternative universes, post-truth, which to me represents a collapse of what I would call the radical imagination and a willingness and an ability to sort of make education, as I’ve said repeatedly, very central to the notion of politics itself.

PAUL JAY: And to answer… the thing is, you started asking me, then I’ll answer the question I asked you — does Chuck Schumer belong on such stages? And I would say no. This is what I’m saying, that this fight to expose corporate democrats should not be muted because of the fights that are going to have to take place in the Senate and in the House. That being said, I can imagine maybe someone like Bernie Sanders who — when it comes to actual legislative fights, and they do matter — he may have to have a somewhat different attitude to how he treats Schumer. But I think, on the whole, the criticism of Schumer should be withering and the fight against corporate Democrats should be withering, in spite of the fact, on some specific legislative issues, there may well be to have to be some convergence of interest there.

HENRY GIROUX: I’m with you. I mean, I think the real issue here is understanding the totality of what these people represent, and not sort of being seduced by the fact that on some issues they may sound very liberal, if not even more so. I mean, overall, these are representatives of a corporate financial structure and they’re going to protect it. They’re not talking about eliminating inequality. They’re not talking about some notion of justice regarding foreign policy with respect to the Middle East. But, at the same time, I think you’re right about somebody like Bernie Sanders. I think Bernie Sanders is also in the process of being educated. I mean, even more so politically in light of what he went through in the last year or so. He built a massive following. Young people are enormously concerned about what it means to be able to identify with people who include them in the script of democracy, and they’re also looking for ways to redefine both democracy and politics in ways that is inclusive, international, and is on the side of justice and not injustice, on the side of dignity and not humiliation, that’s on the side of hope, that’s on the side of bridges and not on the side of walls.

PAUL JAY: All right. Well, thanks very much for joining us, Henry. We’ll continue this conversation.

HENRY GIROUX: All right, thanks so much.

PAUL JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

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    1. BeliTsari

      Schumer’s ‘corporate Democrats’ will fork up to the circling sharks again, this time devoid of big unions or Black, Catholic or Jewish politicians with clout and the whole world will be watching; a digitally re-mastered reality infomercial, spun to set well the Koch’s armed, brainwashed, ever more desperate Sturmabteilung on us? The notion of half the country loathing Bush, then 1/3rd of the nation itching to water the tree o’ liberty, led to yet another good cop/ bad cop election, where whomever prevailed, so terrified the great preponderance of voters, it became difficult to turn on a TV, anywhere without a splif in one shaking hand and a good stiff drink in the other? There ARE no sides in this all, just another disgusting feeding frenzy.

    2. Waldenpond

      People are about to lose rights for non-elite blacks, non-elite lgbt and non-elite women. The Supreme Court will be gone for decades. I have to idea what marketing strategy Ds are going to repeat next time now they have been stripped of pandering on social issues.

  1. nobody

    The bit that really stood out for me was where Giroux spoke about the need for

    organizations being developed that are creating alternative ways of understanding politics where, you know, organizations that basically are both local, national and international, organizations that are imagining and making clear different ways for people to engage in social relationships, different understandings of how a university can be run, different understandings of what it means to have free healthcare, different ways to sort of empower communities, different ways to speak to communities, alternative media being developed.

    Different ways for people to engage with each other and to run institutions… I immediately thought back to Daniel Barenboim piece mentioned in the discussion of James F’s post:

    One day I might write a book about what I lived through between 1991 and 2006: four times a year, I would go from formerly Communist Germany and the Staatskapelle Berlin to Midwestern America—Chicago—and it was schizophrenic. I learned a lot. The attitude to culture, to knowledge, to education was actually far superior in the East than in the West. The musicians of the German orchestra understood democracy because they practiced it in their daily life, even under the Communist regime. They chose the musicians themselves; they appointed their conductor—they were far more independent than American orchestras. In Chicago, I had the feeling that everything that was achieved in America was achieved through legal means, not through human means. It was always the contract. Never human contact.

    So, how get an organization going that is grounded in human contact, that functions in such a way as to change the consciousness of its members and participants, using a model that can readily be adopted by other organizations, and from there spread to the critical mass point quickly enough that time for the planet hasn’t run out already (assuming it hasn’t already)…

    1. nobody

      And about that “alternative media being developed”… Maybe there was a glimpse of what is possible (or emergent) in a comment (by Tom) in yesterday’s links:

      It’s not so much social media that threatens the legacy media’s monopoly on the “news”, but the underlying structure of the Internet that has democratized information access — including access to extensive archives of video, audio and print documentation.

      The result is that individuals can not only educate themselves about and fact-check claims made in the legacy media, but to also publish alternate interpretations or analysis supported (in the best cases) with meaningful links to other factual records, documents, videos, etc.

      At its very best, like at sites like Naked Capitalism, it brings together people from a wide geographic, demographic, philosophic, political, etc. range of experience and viewpoints to produce peer-reviewed analysis of events, policies, etc. that are more vigorously researched, vetted and argued than much of what passes for news or analysis on CNN or MSNBC.

      I guess its sorta like crowd-sourcing the news, or building a supercomputer by wiring together a couple thousand people together.

      1. BeliTsari

        That’s why David Brock’s K Street trolls had to go after the smaller lefty blogs, so dissent could be stomped out without any place to get out of the echo-chamber? One after another of the liberal blogs were turned; journalists replaced with social networking solutions interns, trolls & obvious sock puppets all utilizing Rick Berman’s tried and true playbook; applying some of the exact same tropes used against fracking, GE monoculture, militarized “law enforcement” and FIRE Sector protestors: entitled, out of touch hippys, basement-dwelling millennials, silly nihilistic anarchists… god KNOWS Brock, Mook & Debbie were nothing, if not consistent? Kind of hilarious to see Washington Post, The Guardian, Atlantic or Mother Jones descrying Fake News after the Acela Primary! I’m waiting to see just how our betters silence, criminalize or SEO us down Google’s memory hole this week?

  2. Brian Daly

    Well, I find the notion that a new socialist-democratic party, that has significant political power, could be established in the US to be ridiculous. In the foreseeable future anyway.

    I live in Madison, WI, which had strong support for Sanders. In my neighborhoods there were plenty of Sanders signs, virtually no Clinton or Trump signs (even in the general).

    The liberal/progressive culture of Madison, which fit right in with Sander’s movement, is like the epitome of what rural Trump voters of WI despise (apparently). I cannot see this constuency going for lefty candidates in big numbers, because of the cultural alienation that has grown between the urban and rural communities in this state.

    Many of my friends here thought it was going to be a slam dunk to recall Scott Walker, it really didn’t even occur to them that folks in rural areas wouldn’t agree. They were shocked at the outcome (the recall was a total failure).

    Even though Walker is a dreadful, doctrinaire, republican, who relies on gobs of corporate money to win, the voters of rural WI didn’t fall I line with the hopes of the left wingers, here our little bubble. My friends in town were stunned that rural areas “voted against their own interests.” That’s because they were obvious to the cultural resentment against the “Madison liberals!”

    WI has some history of progressive government, and maybe that’s part of how Sanders won the primary, but overall the Republicans have thoroughly grabbed control over the entire state government, and seem to have a firm grip on it.

    It’s telling that the first sort of “anti-establishment” president we have elected, in forever, is a reactionary billionaire. Trump defies any categorization, but the fact is, he won because he got enough of the establishment Republican machinery behind him.

    I’ve never seen any reason to believe that Trump has any genuine concern for the “forgotten working class,” because he has not demonstrated any genuine concern for any other human beings, of any stripe, in his public life. (Outside of maybe his family).

    He has an instinct for the worst form of demagogueic politics, coupled with a twisted charisma. My theory is that, basically, he is an asshole, and he successfully tapped into a strain of latent assholishness on the part of a culturally disenfranchised demographic. These cultural losers saw in him the validation of there own grievances, real and imagined, against people who were different than them, and successfully enabled them to project the cause of their own dislocation onto designated “others” (Basically, the increasingly diverse urban populations, immigrants, colored people, elites, bankers, college professors, lazy welfare recipients, gays, stinky hippies, etc…)

    So, the demographic that has actually pulled the trigger for a non-establishment candidate in significant numbers is Right Wing, not Left! This is a very different demographic than the Benie supporters.

    An anti-establishment minded third party would need to find a way to form a coalition between these demographics. It’s not impossible, but it seems very unlikely to me, as the values and cultural styles are quite different.

    Trump has so far, in one short week, to be worse than I feared. In the meantime, the “Establishment” has not gone anywhere. Trump is so far looking like he is going to give the right wing of the establishment everything they want, and more.

    Unless the Democrats can pull together a viable coalition soon, I think the Republicans are going to run the show for a long stretch.

    1. Outis Philalithopoulos

      One passage from this comment made me wonder – supposed you were analyzing a candidate you didn’t like, who had received large amounts of support from a particular racial or ethnic demographic. Would you have similarly written:

      “…he/she successfully tapped into a strain of latent assholishness on the part of a racially disenfranchised demographic. These racial losers saw in him the validation of there own grievances, real and imagined, against people who were different than them, and successfully enabled them to project the cause of their own dislocation onto designated “others”…”

      1. aletheia33

        correction to outis’s quotation from brian daly at 9:35 a.m.:

        “he/she successfully tapped into a strain of latent assholishness on the part of a racially disenfranchised demographic. These cultural [not racial] losers saw in him the validation of there own grievances, real and imagined, against people who were different than them, and successfully enabled them to project the cause of their own dislocation onto designated “others”…”

        1. Katharine

          No correction needed. He was posing a hypothetical question, the changed language being intentional.

      2. John

        This is the exact place where class AND race intersect in America since Nixon’s 1960’s Southern Strategy. Both/and not either/or.

      3. Brian Daly

        My comment on “cultural losers” has a double meaning: i.e. refering to a group, loosely defined, whose culture no longer holds a preeminent position in the US. And it is lightly derogatory, in that I think poorly of some of the cultural attitudes that I perceive in the small town/rural Trump voters that surround the city I live in.

        Specifically, I think poorly of people who hold what I think to be irrational and destructive political views. In WI, it is the rural areas who have supported the Republicans, and who have allowed them to lock down control over the state government fore the foreseeable future, aided by gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics. It’s a complicated issue, but part of it I think is a desire to prevent resources from flowing towards Milwaukee, out of a dislike of the black population there, and resentment of the people who work for the state in Madison. WI is a very racist, small minded state IMO, even in my liberal hometown.

        This underlying resentment towards the urban residents has been given voice through
        the Trump movement. I think Trump is a horrible person, an asshole through and through. So when people express the sentiment that they like Trump because they see him as some kind of truth-teller, piercing the liberal bullshit PC stuff, my interpretation is that they feel validated in their assholish attitudes.

        I know it sounds like I’m being snarky, but I’m not. I really think this is part of Trumps appeal. Everyone has assholish aspects within their psyche, but IMO, part of being a decent person is keeping them to yourself. Is it really such a burden to be “PC?”

        I quite empathize with some of the frustrations rural folks have here, but I’m very unhappy with how they have chosen to express it.

        If it were simply the case that such voters were voting “their interest,” I would have no issue with that. That’s very understandable. But they are not voting their interest, in any way that I can see. They seem to support Republicans out of a “tribal” allegiance, more than anything. Now, Trump, the attitude almost seems to be, fuck it, and fuck you, I don’t care if shit goes down the toilet. We got it bad, so everyone else should too.

        I don’t know. I don’t know how to reason with people who have had their life saved by the ACA, getting insurance for the first time in a long while, and who will rag on Obama care, just because they hate Obama.

        Anyhow, to your point about “racial losers” I don’t think I would use such a term, as I don’t have a strong sense that it would match my perception in any situations I could think of. In some sense, you could think of African Americans as being the “racial losers” in our still quite racist society, but that’s a different kind of thing (race is something we have no choice over, but culture we do). But I don’t find black culture to be offensive, and they have had a mighty struggle to overcome the outrageous abuse they have suffered in the US.

        I’m generalizing horribly here, I know, and painting with a very broad brush. It’s not “black and white” by any means, I’m just trying to express a subtextual aspect to the latest developments that I find very troubling.

        Thank you for the comment.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > So when people express the sentiment that they like Trump because they see him as some kind of truth-teller, piercing the liberal bullshit PC stuff, my interpretation is that they feel validated in their assholish attitudes.

          Outis may wish to respond further, but you give the opportunity to deploy this from William Gibson:

          “Fortunately,” he said, “it isn’t about who’s an asshole. If it were, our work would never be done.”

          (Notice the self-licking ice cream aspect of this formulation.)

          As for the ACA, what would be your characterization of people who call their Congress critter to #SaveACA without mentioning Medicare for All? What would be your characterization of people who organized and scripted those calls? I can think of one…

      1. BeliTsari

        Thank you… It’s not Wisconsin, but I can’t help feeling our education’s been remiss, leaving us with a nagging, disorienting sense of deja vu? I frankly LIKE the premise of Trump’s product being assholiness. This week Pennsyltucky’s “Great American Outdoor Show” fires up where I’m staying. I’ve been advised to park by the motel’s office so nobody will back their Cummins RAM or F-450 over my car, then shoot me with 40-50 ZombieMax or Hydra-Shok® rounds for damaging their chromium plated “brush guards” or 8″ diameter exhaust? This year’s show is fixing to be a real hoot!

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Trump has so far, in one short week, [proved] to be worse than I feared.’

      Ditto, bro.

      What could interfere with Repubs running the show for a long stretch is economic recession. Radically reshaping the US economy is not going to happen without one, any more than new engines can be retrofitted onto an aircraft in mid-flight.

      The business cycle is relatively independent of the party in power, being driven more by credit dynamics and the Federal Reserve. Although it’s not really intellectually honest to blame a recession entirely on the presidential incumbent, I might have to abandon my scruples this time round and flail the Orange Flake for wrecking the economy.

      1. Katharine

        A propos of the economy, here is some thought from one of my favorite economics blogs on what tariffs might really do:

        The take-away is:

        In summary: Most US imports from Mexico are intermediate and investment goods, not consumer goods. A tariff on Mexican goods is more likely to raise costs for US businesses — including for US exporters — than to lead people to substitute American-made goods for Mexican ones.

        The post characteristically lays out the argument clearly, in language non-economists can follow and supported by tables with hard numbers; what I like about Mason is that he uses data in rational arguments, maintaining a remarkable level of calm and openness to correction or another point of view. I am only sorry I have come to see this as unusual in the profession.

        1. Jim Haygood

          Thanks; good essay. Another factor diluting the impact of a potential tariff is the startling depreciation of the Mexican peso against the US dollar. In the past two years, the peso has shed 28% of its value against the USD, offsetting most of the proposed tariff. Upward direction corresponds to a weaker peso in this chart:

          The last time the US tried Trumpnomics in 1930, it got stuck as an uncompetitive, strong-currency island in a competitively devaluing world. Not until Frank Roosevelt devalued the dollar by 41 percent during 1993-34 did the pain stop.

          Guess they don’t teach no economic history at Wharton. Or else the Orange Flake thinks his sheer “twisted charisma” will produce a different result this time. Fat chance.

          Just bought some cordless shades that were assembled in a maquiladora across the border from San Diego. I love cheap stuff — no apologies!

          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            Check back in for further Mexico material for tomorrow’s Links. I bumped a link to the JWMason piece and a couple of other Trump/Mexico things to tomorrow, due to an overabundance of links today. Rather than dividing the Mexico material, I opted to run it all tomorrow– it’ll give readers a chance to see related articles, and will I hope spark some interesting discussion.

    3. aletheia33

      @Brian Daly
      January 29, 2017 at 6:14 am:

      isn’t it important to distinguish between the higher income and lower income trump voters? they would seem to have distinct grievances, as rich and poor usually do. as lambert is always pointing out, class matters, and needs to be considered. when it is not mentioned, a second look is warranted. brian daly’s post mentions “grievances, real and imagined.” surely the unemployed, impoverished trump voters who have lost family and friends to overdoses have real grievances; the higher income ones maybe more imagined ones. (not to say that “imagined” grievances can’t be very powerful determinants of one’s political orientation.) it would be interesting to know what proportion of each of these 2 trump voter income groups voted for him with greater reluctance.

      1. flora

        +1. It would also be interesting to know what portion of the Trump voters voted for Bernie in the primary. Bernie was talking jobs and economics, too.

        1. Brian Daly

          It would be interesting to know this. In my thesis, there wouldn’t be a strong overlap between Bernie voters and Trump voters, but I haven’t seen any statistics. in WI, the rural areas have become solidly republican over the last 20-30 years. Scott Walker has handily won re-election here by bigger margins than Trump won the state. I think Trump probably lost some republican voters here, actually.

    4. Quite Likely

      In what sense do the Democrats not have a viable coalition? They’ve won the popular vote in 6 out of the last 7 elections and demographic factors are only moving their way.

      1. Big River Bandido

        The purpose of a political party is to win elections and thereby control government and policy. In 8 years Democrats have gone from controlling the executive and legislative branches in DC and about half the states…to controlling virtually nothing at any level of government.

        Your question is easy, then, to turn completely on its head. How *are* the Democrats at all viable when they can’t win elections OR control policy?

    1. Vatch

      Ha! When I saw this article, my first impulse was to post a one word comment like yours. You beat me to it!

  3. casino implosion

    What was so progressive about that rally? I was there with my wife and saw a lot of affluent folks having a good time.

    Union presence was nil.

    Every day that goes by, I’m happier that I voted for Trump, which I did with little hope that he’d act on his promises.

  4. Boatwright

    The Democratic Party. as we knew it, doesn’t exist. It died the day Bill Clinton played his sax on the Arsenio Hall Show.

    1. Emma

      …..And it’s a relief alternative non sequitors exist based on yours Boatwright…..
      And a HUUUUUGE relief Bernie Sanders does too. Sanders has tried to stop Americans from falling under the influence of the promotion of a barely distinct two-party choice which exploits popular preconceptions about democracy. Sorry, but there’s bugger-all to divide a US Congress which is well-paid on to increase and uphold the power and autonomy of the state, along with the monetary security of its propertied elite. Above and beyond the hoi-polloi ie. It’s the ‘protect-the-rich-and-police-the-poor’ rule of ‘Don-Thumbs’.
      Last weekend millions of Americans and global citizens the world-over lent a helping foot so-to-speak on the matter and then some. And many of them didn’t simply march the streets for so-called “Democratic” leaders ie. Chuck Schumer and Corey Booker etc. etc. to go vote YES on all of Trumps nominees. So far, the Democrats have overwhelmingly cast c.180 votes IN FAVOR of Trump’s nominees and a meagre c. 50 votes AGAINST. What about the Republicans? Have they all stuck with the flock too and curtailed to Mr Trump? Or do some of them, unlike many of their Democrat brethren, exude genuine concern for where US democracy is headed?
      Like Tim Canova, Tulsi Gabbard, Nina Turner, Zephyr Teachout, and the Greens/Jill Stein, and a growing number of others who “GET IT ON”. Heck yeah! These leaders show us all what being defensive means, say no with conviction, and strive to perfect the values of inclusion and tolerance which extend beyond a basket of deplorables. They bring together affected citizens and recognize that an attack on one special-interest group is an attack on all. They don’t screw around with the ID politics all the time either. They are a competent and credible ‘left’ today in America. They know what being offensive actually means.
      Like a Tea Party.
      So you know what? If Mr Booker, Ms Schumer et al quit on their overdose for the people they’re supposed to serve instead, they might get that huuuge rise Bernie Sanders gets. Because going half-way with male VPs who bat the way the wind blows doesn’t cut mustard in the face of a Trump.
      Finally, Sanders with hindsight, did the right thing by aligning himself with the Democrats. A party takes a considerable amount of effort, and most importantly, time, to build. You need the ‘infrastructure’ and the Democrats still have that……just. All the while the Huuuuge Dude still abides along with this growing support……

    2. B1whois

      What are you trying to say? Why do you focus on that act as being the cause? Please advise because I have an unpleasant theory. Or are you just a troll?

  5. John

    Chuck Schumer leads the Chuck Schumer Party. Its symbol is a wetted finger upraised to feel the prevailing wind.

    1. Liberal Mole

      Schemer (great auto correct) saw the huge rallies Sanders brought out with 48 hours of internet notice all over New York, as compared to the few hundreds Clinton could gather. He’s trying to play to both sides, his donors and the Sanders voters. If the Democrats hadn’t done electoral fraud, a closed primary, limited party switching, and voter disenfranchisement, Sanders probably would have won the NY primary. There’s no better proof than Schumer’s behavior; he’s hugging Sanders to himself like Linus and his blanket.

      1. Ivy

        Schemer Schumer also needs an appropriate measuring device, along the lines of the Obamamometer. What do readers recommend?

  6. Eureka Springs

    In reply to questioning whether or not Sanders should have continued to run as a third party (presumably Independent) candidate post convention.

    PAUL JAY: Oh, I don’t think so. I think he… Trump would’ve won even more so and he would’ve shouldered lots of the blame. I think would’ve buried that movement for a long time. I mean, you write about this Trump presidency as neo-fascism. This isn’t something you can just say, “Okay, let’s start a third party and we’ll have neo-fascism for a while.”

    I don’t think Putin would’ve allowed that. /s

    But seriously, That’s what it’s going to take… and it’s going to take a Trump-like character (candidate and the peeps) in the sense they will own the blame of doing their level best to usurp the current system / failures and simultaneously place blame squarely back on the Clinton / Shumer types, or as Trump did to Jeb!

    The term ‘corporate democrats’ is perhaps one of the most obnoxious oxymorons I’ve read in a while. It’s Luntzian. Sounds right on some misguided level, but it’s misdirection. Corporations are not democratic in process, nor is the democrat party or our constitutional system of governance. To pair the two words even in jest is less than helpful.

    The United States Senate was designed to keep democracy from happening. Therefore a senator of any kind is the embodiment of anti-democracy.

    Progressive isn’t necessarily democratic in process either.

    Every sitting “progressive” is against democratic process as well. Why aren’t scores of House Progs on stage, backing a Sanders type at every opportunity? Why weren’t every self proclaimed prog /super delegates in primary season doing everything they could to promote Sanders? When is the last time you saw three or more Progs stand up and demand actual progressive taxation upon the rich?

    Progs are as big a lie as Shumer with a prog.

    Somehow, when a new party worth a damn is created it must focus on issues with binding platform polices established in a democratic process… which makes this constant cult of personality – a person/ individual / leader far less important.

    Otherwise y’all might as well nominate Madonna/Shumer ’20 now.

    1. Waldenpond

      Paul Jay’s attitude in that instance seems to be what gets us neo-fascism…. The peasants will vote for corporatism and neo-liberalism or be punished with neo-fascism.

      Call out: Ds are R-lite. Call back: That’s right!
      Call out: Liberals are conservative lite. Call back: That’s right!
      Call out: Progressives are liberal-lite. Call back: Wait, what?

      Schumer is within the broad progressive framework….

  7. simjam

    Trump engineered a hostile takeover of the Republican Party. So there is a model for a populist takeover of the Democratic Party. Events are moving fast. The 2020 landscape will be radically different from 2016.

    1. Art Eclectic

      Agreed. It is not impossible, not at all. The key, though was the media exposure. Trump’s a-holishness and publicity gimmicks guaranteed him media exposure and clicks. It was like we were watching the national political version of Jerry Springer. That will probably never be repeated, so in order for a Dem populist takeover we have to be able to fund media buys. And we need to do it without dirty money that’s being spent in order to hijack legislation for corporate benefit against the benefit of the citizens.

  8. PH

    Amazing to me that the long gabfesr misses the biggest issue: rural America.

    Only half of Schumer’s claim to fame is bringing in Wall Street dollars. The other half is where he spends it.

    For at least 20 years, the Schumer formula has concentrated on how to win in “purple” states, which usually means states with a rural component. Take Wall Street money, find a moderate Republican who calls himself a Democrat, and run a rightish campaign. It worked in the sense that it elected Dems during the bubble years. It failed profoundly in other ways, not least in that it wrote off all deep red rural states and abandoned a populist identity in rural areas.

    To win, progressives must show that they can win in rural areas. Find a message, and not trip over cultural obstacles like religion and guns.

    I guarantee that the smugness of Schumer is deeply rooted in the idea that only McCaskill, Tester, Warner, Stabenow, Manchin and Heitcamp can win in those states.

    Splitting the Dems to compete in coastal states as a third party leads nowhere.

    Progressives have to show they can win in flyover country. William Jennings Bryant led the charge against banks once. But he framed his message in terms that resonated with his audience.

    That will be a cultural challenge for a lot of progressives. Not many have driven a tractor is my guess.

    I have, by the way.

    1. oho

      >Progressives have to show they can win in flyover country.

      Lost cause for the near-term. The Identity Politics Professional Left vastly outnumbers/outspends/”is cooler” than the Economic Politics Professional Left in urban areas.

      Just the messenger.

    2. Michael

      As a person who lives in flyover country and in a county of conservative Republicanism in a “progressive” state, I can see ways of reaching disenfranchised Republicans. IMHO the trick is to address their local issues, not demonize them, and gently talk them off their anti-“socialist” rants. The latter is a long hard struggle, that takes a lot of patience.

      In Minnesota we had a bridge collapse a number of years ago and the Republican Party tried to sweep it under the rug. That was a huge mistake for them, since the Democrats put up a referendum to finance highways and rebuild bridges. The Republicans lost the next election.

      Going back to the interview’s main thesis, ditching the Democratic Party in a state like Minnesota is difficult, since there are many very good Democratic politicians in our state, including the governor, who do stand for the people. There are also many corporate Democrats that I wish would join the Republicans. In Minnesota, a third party is a tricky dance.

      1. SpringTexan

        Yes. Similarly, most grassroots Republicans in Texas absolutely *HATE* toll roads, and often aren’t too happy about school testing either.

      2. Katharine

        I thought from your opening sentence you might be Minnesotan–nice to guess right!

        I’m curious, looking from outside, whether the fact that your party is still at least nominally Democratic-Farmer-Labor gives you any kind of help. I know names don’t mean much about present reality, but does being able to point to origins and suggest the coalition had value give you any help in your discussions, along the lines of, we had common interests and still have and need to elect candidates who will work for them?

        1. Michael

          I do not know if I’m a Democrat any longer. I caucused with the Democrats, supporting Sanders, and gave money to him. He won the state for the national convention, but the party leadership lined up behind Clinton. I was very careful not to donate to the DFL, as I was afraid Clinton would end up with the money.

          Certain Democrats such as the governor I do endorse, but it seemed that for the most part the state party candidates, lined up with the corporate group on issues such as TPP, the Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine, and US supported coups in various countries. Many who took the corporate stance and openly supported Clinton, lost the general election. Some did not.

          I think I am getting better able to identify the self serving corporate candidates, Amy Klobuchar, being one. She appears to grooming herself for the Presidency, and it appears to me at least that she is following the Clinton/Obama ideology of neoliberalism and neoconservativism. My verdict is still out on Franken, since while he did support the nominee, he appears to have his ear closer to the ground.

          I doubt that I will caucus or door knock for the Democrats any longer, and will only donate money for a person, not the party.

          If there were a third, more progressive party I may support that, but they would have to have their strategic and tactical act together. The Greens do not seem interested in organizing on a local level.

          1. Katharine

            >The Greens do not seem interested in organizing on a local level.

            That seems true everywhere that I know of. Once in a while you get a really fine candidate who runs as a Green, but if he has good organization, it’s his own, little or nothing to do with help from the local party.

            One of the things I like about Brand New Congress is that they don’t seem wedded to a party label, and have said they will support candidates who agree with them on essential issues regardless of party. It remains to be seen how that might pan out, but it’s a nice idea.

            1. sgt_doom

              Green Party is dead in the water, do not waste any further time with them.

              Your comments are spot on!

    3. Spring Texan

      really liked: “I guarantee that the smugness of Schumer is deeply rooted in the idea that only McCaskill, Tester, Warner, Stabenow, Manchin and Heitcamp can win in those states.”

      Yes, we need progressives and genuine respect for people and some actually liberal winners in flyover country. Not impossible at all. But difficult.

    4. lambert strether

      >Progressives have to show they can win in flyover country.

      Worth noting that airport protests aren’t going to have a whole lot of impact in the parts of country that are, literally, flown over. Bug, or feature?

  9. John Wright

    I remember some years ago when Chuck Schumer was approached about increasing the carried interest tax rate.

    Shumers’ response was that raising the carried interest tax rate was ok with him, providing they ALSO increased the real estate tax rate.

    So he was able to appear willing to change the carried interest tax rate, but he required a politically impossible high hurdle to be jumped over first.

    After I listened to the Paul Jay interview, with him actually listening to and strongly questioning his guest, I thought it would be good if Charlie Rose would take a vacation and let Paul Jay guest host the Charlie Rose show for a while.

    For starters, have Paul Jay interview Tom Friedman on the Charlie Rose show.

    Then have him interview HRC, DWS, Nancy Pelosi and the former Pres Obama..

    Not gonna happen.

    1. sgt_doom

      Charlie Rose was on David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission for many years — this is his payoff!

  10. John

    Chuck Schumer has flat out said the Democrats don’t have
    the right message to win.

    That’s all he cares about. He is as opposite of a populist
    as you can be. He works for the rich.

  11. Steven Greenberg

    I can’t stand it. Paul Jay does it again. He brings in an expert to interview, but Paul is more interested in convincing the expert to adopt Paul’s ideas that he won’t ask the expert what his ideas are. Paul should listen to himself. Whenever the words “But don’t you agree …” pass through his lips, he should realize he is going down the wrong track. He should change that sentence to “What do you suggest we do?”

    The point should not be to bring on expert guests to use as a foil to interview yourself.

    1. grayslady

      My sentiments also. I stopped watching Real News; Paul Jay’s op-eds disguised as interviews were part of the reason.

  12. Norb

    After long consideration, and much more detailed attempts to explain my position on the matter, I’ve decided that ex-PFC Chuck has taken the right path. Simple and sweet. No.

    As a working person, in a non-union environment, political sentiments are only allowed to develop on my own time. Without organizations for political discussion- the local tavern or bar aside- what chance do alternative social systems have to develop.

    I liked Giroux point that the opposition forces to neoliberalism need to start thinking long term and not obsess about the current lack of power. It is more critical that there is NO mechanism to power. A big problem is ideology. The left has failed to maintain modes of communication with the broader public. The “Made in America” movement seems like the perfect starting place to begin a more comprehensive movement to build a more sane society. At the very least, I would like to tell my friends,” Hey, the Social Democrats have a meeting once a week down at …some place… come join me.”

    If rich liberals were actually concerned about the welfare of working people, this seems like the only way- actually using resources to buy or control physical infrastructure and means of communication. All other modes can be subverted at a moments notice.

    Occupy died in my area because it was individuals trying to maintain it on their own, without broader support. I think the Left needs to think more like religious leaders. They get a following, a congregation, and support it, financially and physically.

    Build it and they will come.

  13. Vatch

    This week the Senate is scheduled to vote on the nominations of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to be the next Attorney General and Betsy DeVos to be the next grizzly wrangler Secretary of Education. The way that Schumer votes on these two nominations will tell us whether or not he is willing to provide any token support at all to the progressive agenda.

  14. DH

    Why are we talking about Schumer?

    Change generally emanates from the House and the State Legislatures. The fact that this discussion is about Schumer means that Democrats have given up on the House and State Legislatures and, by definition then, lost the war. The focus needs to be on changing the leadership of the Democrats in the House. The Democrats in the House need to figure out how to get blue collar workers back in the Democratic Party. Pelosi is not the person to do that.

    Democrats in the Senate are simply fighting a rearguard action using the filibuster and Senate procedures. They will need to be able to attract moderate Republicans onto their agenda at times. Schumer is as good a person as any to do that. Pushing a progressive agenda at all times in the Senate will not attract the moderate Republican the Democrats will need to stop the Trump-Ryan-McConnell wave. The Senate rearguard action will not retake the Hlll though. The Democrats in the House and States will be needed to retake the Hill.

    1. PH

      Agree need to focus on states — all the states. Also the House.

      But for the next two years, the only Democratic power is the filibuster in the Senate.

      House rules give no power to minority party.

      1. DH

        The filibuster is just a rearguard parliamentary procedure battle where you have to pick your fights very carefully. The Alamo and Thermopylae are only remembered because there was an army coming and the delay bought the needed time. I don’t see the Dems attempting to build an army in the states and the House in coming years, so Schumer’s Senate rearguard action holding the pass may just turn into another forgotten massacre in the coming years.

  15. Michael

    From my past experience caucusing with the Democrats in a small town in Minnesota, I noticed some social aspects that may be worthwhile. From my experience it seems that successful organized parties tend to be very tribal.

    While I was walking into a caucus I happened to enter the wrong door and found myself face to face with a neighbor who was a Republican. He invited me to caucus with the Republicans, and his invitation was similar to that of joining a bowling league, or a social group. Similarly, all of the small business people in town all are in the Republican Party, for business reasons and then seem to adhere to the party’s dictums.

    When I found the correct door for the Democratic Party, I was met by a lot of people who seemed to be advancing some self serving issue, or were looking for a job. There was little unity.

    A time of chaos may afford an opportunity to take advantage of such disharmony to forward the notion of rank order voting that was successfully advanced in the City of Minneapolis a number of years ago. This allows the “best people” to be presented to election irrespective of their claimed party loyalty. It is also how the founders imagined the governance of the Republic. Since then the city has had two very good mayors.

    On the state level such a ballot has not been successful as the party apparatchiks of both parties have killed any legislation for obvious reasons.

  16. Webstir


    You said “But it’s a starting point for further discussion of What is to be done? And I’m not sure the answer has (much) to do with pink pussy hats.”

    The following link is also a great start. I spent some time researching the JusticeDemocrats platform, and I’m in. I’ve already nominated to candidates, volunteered my legal resources, and chipped in with a modest donation.

    This video of Cenk Uygur interviewing Saikat Chakrabarti (the founder of the JusticeDems & tech guru for Bernie Sanders) is also instructive.

  17. pretzelattack

    i think the situation is getting very interesting. trump is moving a lot faster than i expected, and has provoked different groups against fighting back. i think this provides a lot of opportunities to delegitimize trump and the system he has roiled.

  18. DarkMatters

    Without a program, Chuck and the rest of the Dems can be anything they like. Contradiction has no meaning when political doctrine is so anemic and ill-defined. The nub of the problem with the “left” is that it has become a political movement with only the vaguest of principles; anything can be accomodated if expressed feelingly. But neither saxophones nor pussy hats will help the Dems recover the respect they lost in the last election. Giroux’s suggestion of developing a more specific reformist platform is like a breath of fresh air, but rank-and-file Dems, like Jay, seem to be bent on brushing intellectual coherence aside in favor of expediency and empathy. “Lack of commanding vision”, and “collapse of radical imagination”, in Giroux’s terms, were the very characteristics that led to the evaporation of the Occupy movement. We need to have a better idea of where we’re trying to go before setting off to get there. Only then will it be clear whether Sschumer and his ilk are allies, and why.

  19. Webstir

    As I said above, this is a good program. Climb on board mate:

    I spent some time researching the JusticeDemocrats platform, and I’m in. I’ve already nominated two candidates, volunteered my legal resources, and chipped in with a modest donation.

    This video of Cenk Uygur interviewing Saikat Chakrabarti (the founder of the JusticeDems & tech guru for Bernie Sanders) is also instructive.

  20. sgt_doom

    Here in Washington state, in Seattle, our governor, Jay Inslee, supports the offshoring of jobs and charter schools, while just recently our two so-called democratic senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, voted AGAINST lowering the costs of medicines!

    If faux crats are the answer, there is no question!

  21. Sally

    Back in June Schumer was asked at a press conference if he thought it was a good idea for Dems to turn their backs on blue collar working class workers. He said that for every Blue collar worker they lost, they would gain 3 moderate Republican voters.

    Someone should ram a microphone in his face and ask him how that tactic worked out?

  22. VietnamVet

    The new Democrats are out of power except in five States on either coast and Hawaii. Rural America is suffering from horrible economic despair and dying earlier. To survive people are returning to their roots. Republicans have pandered to ethnic and religious tribalism to seize control. The only way Democrats will ever return to power again is to provide medical care for all, free education, government jobs and redistribute wealth to revitalize the economy. Corporate media, plutocrats and bought toadies will do their damnedest to prevent this.

  23. Bernard

    The Vichy Democratic leader, Schumer, will do as told. Vichy Democrats are Republican in every way except for their name. Republicans say directly, an in your face. and authoritatively, that they will steal you blind. and Do. Democrats lie and do what the Republicans do.

    How can you have a leader, when the Democratic party is, besides being as ass, nothing but a mess of independent cats. Herding Cats, while Grifters/Trump/ are ready to become Caesers. Meanwhile Americans can’t afford medicine, retiring, find living wages, breath clean air, or drink polluted water.

    Vichy Democrats got us in this mess by selling us out for “3 moderate Republicans” Hillary didn’t get.

    Trust the Republicans, yes, they are getting us but GOOD! lol and the Democrats are right besides the Republican Grifters, enjoying the pillaging, looting and membership in the Club.

  24. Oregoncharles

    Why does it take so many words to say No?

    I’m not sure why, but I find Giroux unreadable. Every statement is so convoluted that it drives me right out of there.

    1. Adams

      Yeah, kind of reminds me of Adorno. Dense. Except if you spent enough time with Teo it was finally worth it. Ultimately, for this audience, it would seem a simple “NO” would suffice to answer the question posed. Or should we all go back to agonizing over dialectics? I never mention Schumer without the parenthetic (carried interest/ Israel uber alles). Nuff said.

  25. Skip Intro

    Sounds like Paul Jay forgot the election. The dem establishment did blow up the party rather than let social democrats take over. That threat is off the table, it already happened.

  26. lambert strether

    Two comments from processing krill on the Twitter:

    1) Chuck Scheumer was actually weeping at his presser. I’m not sure whether that outweighs Cory Booker’s passionate speech or not. (Kudos to Schumer’s staff for getting a black woman and a woman in the hijab into the background. Looks great in the photos!)

    2) I’ve seen a lot of photos of the airport protest, especially at JFK, SFO, SEA, but also Birmingham, and I haven’t seen a single pink pussy hat (and they’d be quite visible in the crowd shots, which are generally from high up). Silo-ed identities, much?

    Adding, the headline is a classic example of Betteridge’s Law.

Comments are closed.