Do Dem Party Leaders Want to Increase Support from Independents?

Yves here. As many Naked Capitalism readers know well, the Democratic party has become the instrument of the professional managerial class and the tech/financial elites. The idea that it would take a genuine interest in the desires of ordinary people of any stripe, even ones they need to win over like independents, is quite a stretch. So the question then becomes whether the Democrats can snooker them and get them to come out and vote, or hope that continued citizen apathy and their presumed demographic advantage over time gives them enough wind at their back to stay their current bad course. Among other things, it seems presumptuous for the Dems to act as if they own the Hispanic vote (that very belief showing a failure to recognize that “Hispanics” are not a monolithic group).

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at God’s Spies

“I don’t care who people vote for as long as I get to choose the candidates.”
—Boss Tweed, who didn’t mind saying who’s in charge

The Apparent State of the Nation

Consider this relatively innocuous chart:

Bespeaks a “divided nation,” doesn’t it? A nation roughly split between two warring groups — the Democratic Party’s owners, paid system and media, and the mass of voters they target; and the Republican Party’s owners, their ecosystem, and their own targeted voters.

In both cases, the first two party groups — the owners; their ecosystem and media — have almost all the control. They choose the candidates, mostly, or curate who you get to chose among, which amounts to the same thing. (See Boss Tweed’s quote above.)

The controllers also choose where the money goes. All those donations gleaned from mailers and articles like this, “The Republican Party is now the most dangerous threat in the world”, and this, “Chuck Schumer’s Embrace of Mobs Is a Menace to Constitutional Democracy”; all those billionaire dollars; every dime that flows into party and lobbyist coffers; it all goes to party operatives to control.

If you’re a target of this messaging, as most of us are, you likely think one of the statements above is true, and find yourself glad to destroy the evil depicted. You may even be factually right.

But that aside, we still appear to be a nation divided, liberal “left” against conservative “right.” The chart above confirms these ebbs and flows. A commonplace wisdom, a given, a “what we all know.”

The Actual State of the Nation

Now consider a different graph depicting roughly the same data:

If you were asked to deduce from the chart above what’s really the divide in the nation, what would you say?

What does the data say? Does it say that since the seminal, crisis election of 2008 (my purple line above), when both sides claimed to stand on the side of the people, and one side was believed

…does it say that the betrayals of 2009 and later have divided the nation, not between “left” and “right,” but between those who still feel part of the party system, and those who don’t?

One sample of those betrayals could stand for them all:

Do they think we can’t see these things? Do they think its victims have no memory?

As Krystal Ball explains explains here and in second paywalled piece, most of these “independents” are younger voters, millennials and Gen-Z, who, naturally unaffiliated in their youth, have stayed unaffiliated longer than their parents, or even their older siblings. They’ve also stayed more disillusioned.

I’m not writing today about right versus wrong, or even right versus left. I’m writing about the country and its real divide — its perpetrators, its victims.

What Divides the Nation Is Trust

The nation is evenly split between those who think, with all the fervor they have, that one of our political parties still tells the truth, and those who don’t trust either to have their back. That split in 2022 was 56-42 in favor of the party trust.

If the latest Atrios piece is right, it’s now 50-50:

Driving the news: Gallup polling last month found that a record 49% of Americans see themselves as politically independent — the same as the two major parties put together.

  • By far the dominant U.S. party isn’t Democrats or Republicans. It’s: “I’ll shop around, thank you.”

While it’s true that among the “neithers” are those who lean, some to Republican prosecutorial virtue, some to Democrats’ sometime kindliness.

But a 50% voting bloc would control the country, if they would unite against both legacy parties and back a third. Not going to happen, of course. But dreams are still nice.

The Love They Take

Which leads to my main point du jour. Does the Democratic Party really think it will grow its love among the indie class by acting like this?

It would be one thing if Taibbi’s testimony before Congress were false, especially knowingly false. (Though “knowingly false” didn’t trouble James Clapper too much.) But the fact is, whatever you’ve come to think of the man, even that he “serves the Right,” the facts are on his side. Not a good look for the reality-based community, denying the facts.

And the circle below, by the perceived-to-be party-aligned Times, is impossible to square:

How do you defend these acts to those who don’t already believe that any act that stems the fascist tide is justified, even if the effort itself is questionable at best, and unconstitutional at worst?

How do you defend them to those not already convinced?

Waiting for Democratic Deliverance

I write this not to trash Democrats, some of whom display an honor honestly gained, but to weep for them, their wicked misleadership, and then to despair. Like dreams, hope is nice, but it’s not thick on the ground.

After all, Republicans, as they’re now misled, seem hell-bent on a Christo-fascist coup. But to trust Democrats to save us? An errand for fools, if past is prologue at all.

Feste: Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun — it shines everywhere.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. DJG, Reality Czar

    Tweed was being kind in the quote up top, for an instant. This is how Tweed worked, and it is how both political parties work in the US of A:

    “As long as I count the Votes, what are you going to do about it. say?” — attributed to William M. “Boss” Tweed in Thomas Nast cartoon, 7 October 1871).

    The question with independents (and moderates) is whether they are part of some mythical center or if they are a segment — half — of the population that is un-politicized, not seeing a stake in elections or tuned out or too beset by economic troubles to worry about the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

    I’m not sure if the current torturing of Taibbi by the Democrats and the thoroughly depraved Stacey Plaskett is at the same level as what concerns independents. I have a feeling that economic issues trump First Amendment concerns.

    Likewise, foreign events, like, ohhhh, the proxy war in Ukraine and the quarter-million slaughtered Ukrainian soldiers (mainly men). I have been to plenty of anti-war demonstrations in the U S of A: If we got ten thousand at one or the other in Chicago, it was a great victory. Does foreign policy truly factor in? Which is why the Democrats have a foreign policy of beating the stuffing out of every smaller nation and any dissident party in said shithole countries.

    So what bothers independents? I am not sure. As a leftist, I am an “independent,” but here in Italy, I am part of the left that is standing to the left of the gattopardesco Partito Democratico. The situation isn’t the same in the U S of A.

    Are independents simply that half of the U S electorate that just doesn’t bother to vote?

    1. jefemt

      Voter turnout has been INCREASING. I don’t have any data to back up my supposition, but I believe, as an independent voter, this:
      non-party affiliated individuals, I and many others –hold our noses and vote against, and do the algebraic nose-hold.

      I’m quite confident that both majority organized parties are aware of this reality.
      They still plan on and get the votes.
      And the algebra is close vis a vis R v D …
      One of my oldest dearest friends often ended disagreement conversations thusly (neener neener)

      My vote cancels yours!

      I just finished reading The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates yadada yada by RFK, Jr.
      He is a smart cookie, litigator, who has worked hard for the last 45-50 years.
      He is painfully aware of T P T B and how things work. I think he could be an intelligent effective non-grifting disruptor, that would make Trump more clearly appear as the empty grifting vessel he is.
      Don’t take my word for it— read it yourself.

      Bottom line… one person is not going to change anything. It’s gotta come from personal individual action and choice in our every moment of living, and modelling behaviors, and demanding leaders get in line and help.

      The most exciting part is how much we all agree on what the problems are, and what the solutions should be!


      1. BeliTsari

        That’s the problem. I’d voted for PA’s Consumer Party, or whichever state/ local kleptocrats were likely to get a specific policy enacted/ enforced a half century back. Now, I remember snarking, here, “by ’24, AOC will BE Joe Biden!” In 2016 & ’18 I’d likely have voted for Rashida, Cori, Ilhan, Bernie or Fetterman… and we mostly ALL pretended to KNOW exactly what we were playing along with, to get legislation passed (like Obama’s GREAT 2007 anti-1099 employee misclassification Senate bill! Or, Medicare For All?)

      2. Carolinian

        And my brother never votes but is a fan of Team Dem. He says he pays taxes so why does he have to vote too.

        So that’s mission accomplished by the duopoly and their spectator sport politics. After all the fans in the stadium cheer lustily but don’t go down on the field. Meanwhile I do vote or always have in the past but in this state the chances of getting rid of Lindsey Graham seem just about zero just as the notion of an already addled Biden running for re-election seems absurd but he might even win.

        Democracy is our feedback mechanism and it isn’t working. It’s the system that the public needs to take on.

        1. some guy

          Does your brother never vote on referendums or initiatives or local/regional office-seekers either? Or millages? Or anything else?

    2. earthling

      There are lots of real Independents who vote, who simply vote for each office one at a time, regardless of party. Often it is just ‘who is least worst’. On the local level, it’s much more about personality and principles than ‘party’.

      This independent has finally given up on the process, after seeing how corrupt the parties are, how worthless will be both major candidates. I am joining that great mass of people who just can’t be bothered making meaningless trips to the polls to choose between the red shit sandwich and the blue shit sandwich.

      Most of the population is either brainwashed into never voting 3rd party, or is stymied by the major parties actively working to make it impossible for 3rd parties to get anywhere, even using lawsuits to get harmless 3rd candidates kept off the ballot. We might as well be in the old USSR as far as ‘choice’ goes.

    3. Adam Eran

      JFYI, if “Didn’t bother to vote” was a candidate, it would have defeated the major party candidates by a wide margin in 2016 (see this map)

      1. some guy

        That sounds like a possible inspiration for a possible movement for expressing disaffection. What if turnout approached 80% or more in elections, with half of the votes cast deliberately leaving the “President” space blank?

        How would the MSM be able to suppress the news of that many people going out of their way to take the time to vote “blank” on certain key parts of a ballot? And if the MSM did suppress, would enough people talking to eachother over time reveal to that many people just how many people voted “blank”? And once all those people were confident in the fact of eachothers’ existence, might they be further inspired and enhoped to begin long term organizing for whatever the purpose might be?

        At the beginning stages, such a movement would need a catchy 1-800 number for people to be able to call and find out stuff. I would suggest . . . 1-800-IVO-TENO. ( 1-800- ” I VOTE NO” ).

        1. Old Ghost

          Wisconsin voters are allowed to “write in” an unlisted name n ballots.

          As an Independant primary voter, these are 3 of my favorites.

          1. None of the above.

          2. Mickey Mouse.

          3. Donald Duck.

          The general election is more serious. There I try to pick the best of the two.

          If there is only one candidate for an office, then “None of the Above”.

  2. Mark Gisleson

    It never hurts to remember that at each and every step into degenerate corruption, Democratic leadership backstabbed and then keelhauled the Left, forcing their party ever-rightwards into the hands of the most obscenely greedy and beligerently warlike people on earth.

    We don’t need a third party, we need two new grassroots controlled parties.

    1. Rolf

      We don’t need a third party, we need two new grassroots controlled parties.


      Amending the plot with the cited Gallup 2021-2023 polling data shows the fraction who declare themselves “Independent” creeping still upward at the expense of both Democrats and Republicans, particularly since the new year. I don’t know what this portends if the trend continues into 2024, other than over half refuse to affiliate with either corrupt party. Is there such a thing as a tipping point, particularly if triggered by events still below the horizon, where over half the country says, “$Family_blog ’em, $Family_blog them all!”

    2. redleg

      My hypothesis:
      Today’s Dems, on a sliding timeline, are the GOP of 10 years ago, give or take 2 years. So Ds of 1992 were approx Rs of ’82, D of ’04 = R of ’94, etc.

      Every single R that switches to D shifts both parties to the right.

      I’ve been an independent since 1992 and would rather vote for Mao’s ghost than either branch is the corrupt, conservative uniparty.

      1. some guy

        I used to sometimes say, in response to ” what are you? ”

        ” Well, I was a Democrat before they went Conservative on me.”

    3. chris

      I’d settle for one party that cared about the interest of the US as a country, does not even have to be grassroots lead. Just one set of leaders that can articulate that what is happening does not benefit our country at all. That’s all it would take to bring about a lot of change.

      1. some guy

        Such a party would have to limit itself to a small agenda of very important fixes, changes and repairs.
        The Establishment would try wedging it apart with culture war wedge issues. Which millions of people are passionate about in various directions.

        The only way such a party could defend and extend its own undestroyed and un-wedged-apart existence would be for all members at all levels to pre-agree ahead of time that the party existed specifically for a set laundry list of A Few Big Things. No one could join the party without accepting every single one of the Few Big Things. And anyone who accepted the Few Big Things could take whatever position he/she wanted on every other issue.

        So if Restoring all the New Deal Laws and Rules and Regs and abolishing Free Trade were among the Few Big Things. If antibortionists and probortionists and antigunnists and progunnists all supported the Few Big Things, they could be as much against eachother on everything else as they wanted, without any “party discipline” coming into play.

        1. JBird4049

          I forget the details, but Prohibition happened because the national of the movement put his political backing for or against any politician on whether they supported prohibition and only that. Eventually he got the constitutional amendment for prohibition passed.

          This suggests that it would be an effective tactic to have only a few goals for a party or even a movement to have. However, and this a gigantic, very important caveat, they either did not plan for or were not adequately prepared for the corruption, violence, and general unpleasantness including the ascension of the Mafia, due to Prohibition. Alcoholism was a very bad problem, but the solution wasn’t the solution. The solution actually created more of what it was created to solve. Right now, corruption is a very bad problem, but banning money would not solve the problem. Maybe abortion, guns, and drugs like meth would be better examples. The existence of them is not the problem. How much of them is not the problem. The environment that not only enables, but encourages their use is the problem. The social, economic, and environmental collapse, which has been caused by the massive amounts of corruption and incompetence creates by the current political economy is the problem. The solutions offered so far and just how they are implemented like banning abortion, guns or meth not only does not solve the problems, but methods like mass incarceration or a more powerful police state merely strengthened the conditions that causes abortion, gun violence, and drug addiction.

          Any simple or straightforward set goals or principles would have to be carefully considered, easy to support, and they must get to the actual causes of our problems or at least not make them worse.

          1. some guy

            Yes. It would have to be very carefully considered by many people and thought about first. And the Few Big Things would have to be very clearly recognized and recognizable as addressing the causes of a few basic survival problems that people from all sides of the different culture wars recognize eachother as being equally affected by in all the same ways.

            Such a Party Movement might only emerge after years of Teach Ins, Teach Outs, Teach Arounds, etc. Which is how the Original Populist Party-Movement arose in the late 1800s to begin with. And approached some success before trying to grab it all at once with its doomed alliance with a Democrat ( William Jennings Bryan).

            And the Few Big Things would have to make situations better, not worse. And that would have to be thought about in advance.

            My few Big Things might be restoring the Fair Deal-New Deal-Square Deal legislation and rules and regs to the level before their repeal or erasure or subversion. Repealing the Biden Bankruptcy Reform Act. Repealing a number of Clinton’s anti-New Deal pro Corporate Fascism Laws. Defecting from all the Free Trade Treaties, Agreements, and Organizations.

            But that might not be everyone else’s, or even anyone else’s . That’s why years of study and decision would be required first to set up a very broadly support-commanding list of a Few Big Things.

  3. jackiebass63

    You could replace Republican with Democrat and the article would be accurate. Money has always bought elections. After CUN it became more blatant. People don’t choose but the party makes the choice of who can run.There are many that claim to be independent but the truth there are very few truly independents. Turnout is the biggest sham in elections. It is so small that a small percentage of eligible voters chooses the winner. That is because too many people don’t bother to vote. Both parties falsely claim that they want every eligible voter to be able to vote. Then they do things to make it more difficult.A couple things might help getting more people to vote. Make it easy to vote by mail. Mail a ballot to every voter. They can mail it back or drop it off at a secure drop ff place. Have Election Day as more than one day and on the weekend.I don’t see change happening because money interest control our elections. We have the best democracy money can buy.

  4. Oh

    Masquerading as a black man (who grew up in a wealthy family and never lived in a ghetto) the guy put on an angry face during his speeches. It’s not “Yes, we can” but “Yes, I can. Family blog you”. What a lier and a crook!

  5. Alice X

    Howard Zinn noted that the rise of the Populists in the 1890s and the candidacy of William Jennings Bryant in 1896 brought out the big money to defeat him. It has been the same every since.

    In 2008 before the election I said it was Status quObama, Change you can pretend in. I vote for the Marxist, even though I think the anarchists have it right: power is the problem, no matter who holds it.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Howard Zinn noted that the rise of the Populists in the 1890s and the candidacy of William Jennings Bryant in 1896 brought out the big money to defeat him. It has been the same every since.

      Somewhat true. Before the near destruction of the American Left by the Woodrow Wilson Administration starting in 1917 and into immediately after the First World, even when leftist or reformist movements and faction lost, they pushed the country leftward, made significant reforms, and removed much of the society-wide corruption. Much of the time, even though they lost, they won.

      Despite that destruction, during the Great Depression, the former members of the Progressive Party that had been co-opted by the Democratic Party as well as the three American socialist or communist parties helped push through some of the same reforms that were blocked by the efforts of President Wilson and the Creel Committee. The American Left was again neutered after the Second World War because of McCarthyism, and the efforts of people like the Dulles Brothers and J. Edgar Hoover, but the Civil Rights Movement that started in the 1950s, as well as the Great Society effort by President Lyndon B. Johnson still enacted legislation that was extremely unpopular with what I call the American Ultras.

      All these happened without a successful breakout of a new political party, but leftists as well as reformers across the political spectrum were successful in using the agitation for change to get some of that change. What has happened since the about 1972 is the blocking of all reforms, the increasing atomization of the individual caused by the removal of almost all social organizations by destruction, weakening, co-opting or outright takeover of them, the emphasis of money above all, and the increasingly endemic corruption and incompetence, which the average American regardless of political, social, or religious ideology hates. It also explains the pathetic public response to the issues.

      The “latest” successful third party, the Republicans, formed after the United States was unsuccessful in dealing with slavery or the resultant nation-wide corruption, violence, and murder. The American Whigs, effectively ancestral party of the Republicans, broke apart because the leadership of the party refused to deal with the issue of the “peculiar institution” at all. I would argue that the Democratic Party survived because it temporarily fracture into two separate Northern and Southern Democratic Parties. They faced the issue and dealt with it. Yes, they did split, but the leadership made choices.

      Long term survival of either party will probably only happen to the party(s) that faces our many problems especially the corruption and incompetence head on; the party which does it first is the more likely survivor. If neither party does, I assume, or maybe I guess really, if the country actually survives, there will be two new political parties with elements of the former parties.

      I also assume that like the (First?) Civil War there will be open warfare among partisans, or by a general, increasingly violent, resistance against the government with a large majority of the population really hesitant to start an open conflict. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott Decision in 1857, arguably the two things that guaranteed the war happened eleven and four years before the war’s start. Of course, the open guerrilla warfare as in burning of towns and massacring of unarmed people in Kansas and Missouri was triggered by the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. You could argue that the Civil War started in 1854, not 1861; it was not directly supposed to be about slavery, but its ripples did by it accident.

      I am going to do some more reading about the times because not only does it have some connection with ours, is very interesting to me, it reads like a horror tale. An oncoming doom, that almost nobody wanted and no one could stop. Rather like today’s follies.

      After reading my comment, I also think that we will only survive or even just reduce the misery, if we revitalize the very institutions like say bowling leagues. Social interactions create social connections, which allow social change and survival. I do not think our increasing atomization is entirely do to chance.

      1. Rolf

        Absolutely! —

        I also think that we will only survive or even just reduce the misery, if we revitalize the very institutions like say bowling leagues. Social interactions create social connections, which allow social change and survival.

        Really interesting comment, JBird. Lots to think about in these details, thank you.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        “Of course, the open guerrilla warfare as in burning of towns and massacring of unarmed people in Kansas and Missouri was triggered by the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854”

        And you could say it continued until 1876 and ended with the failure of the James-Younger gang’s raid on Northfield, Minnesota. The Jameses started out fighting with Quantrill, the guerilla leader. My fictional ancestor, Henry Moon, was Quantrill’s cook. ;)

  6. The Rev Kev

    Unfortunately the American political system is becoming dysfunctional and people opting for being independent rather than Democrat or Republican is a sign of this. Earlier today I was listening to The Duran where they made some solid points about this dysfunctionalism. They were talking of how the present system will involve other countries for short-term local political gains at extreme long-term international costs. One example was Russiagate which was an effort by Hillary and the Democrats to explain their loss to Trump by claiming that the Russians did it. The trained seals of the media amplified it to the point that if Trump tried to negotiate with Putin to ease tensions, he was called a traitor. And all this made it possible for the US to go full ahead with a proxy war against Russia in the Ukraine and probably lots of Americans will view this as payback for getting Trump elected as President. So maybe no Russiagate, no Ukraine war? Just wait till the present system tries to involve China in a Democrat-Republican d*** measuring competition for short term political advantage.

      1. some guy

        Maybe a way to make it go viral would be to put it into fewer simpler words . . . . easier to say.

        Trained media seals?

        Trained MSM seals?

        MSM trained seals?

        ( also, presstitutes).

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      I think the “becoming dysfunctional” trope is a big part of the problem (not accusing you, just stealing your language), the notion that there was some previous referent time when the system was “functional” for most people that we can use to compare to today and possibly as a model for what to aim at going forward. I don’t think this is true. The Golden Age was a golden age for some USAmericans, certainly it was better than now for many/most?, but for many many USAmericans and large parts of the rest of the world it wasn’t in the least golden, and to the extent it was relatively prosperous, that prosperity was based on military Keynesianism, the promotion of an auto-based suburbanization that destroyed most American cities, entrenched anti-gay, anti-Black, anti-woman politics and attitudes and what now appears to be a one-time era of productivity growth (combined let’s not forget with virtually no immigration) that helped to paper over much of the dysfunction/malice of that period.

      The upshot is I don’t see any “aha” moment where masses of people will finally realize how f***ed we are and turn to some better alternative, based on either the (imagined) past or some version of the (imagined) future. Many individuals will of course have their own aha moments but I see no reason why they will generally trend in a similar, hopeful direction instead of in every direction possible including Trumpist and/or various other inconsistent real and imagined conspiracies. Neuberger seems to suggest (through his pessimism) that the anti-party half of the population has or can be brought to have shared interests or outlooks and that there could be a politics that addresses their concerns in a way that could challenge the status quo. This is delusional to me.

      1. JBird4049

        The system was functional enough to deal with crisis, and most people were reasonably comfortable with the expectation that if they weren’t their children would be. Today, our system can not deal with anything accept threats to The Grift. That it can do very well. Also, a majority of Americans, I believe that things will not get better, it is not the fault of their neighbors, nor even the fault of the average person “on the other side” whatever side that might be. Even if you hate the gays or the libs, MAGA or Baptists, just who is cratering the economy, getting us into endless wars, botching Covid, and always finding new ways to give money to the wealthy while making everyone else poorer?

        That is probably the difference between now and thirty years ago. People might hate the other, but it is not the other that is hurting those that they love, and they realize that. This might not be enough to form coalitions that can rebuild our society, but it is enough to threaten the survival of the American Regime and all its myriad of factions.

  7. Pat

    I think some level of cognitive dissonance may be behind the increase. Not having been of conservative leaning, I cannot come up with the obvious breaks between words and actions for Republicans, but just like the Biden quote and his actions in the railroad strike, the Democrats are rife with examples where rhetoric fails to translate to policy. It isn’t usually so blatantly obvious, they often try smoke and mirrors to disguise it, see rotating villains like Manchin, or just do something that they know will either be immediately overturned or won’t make it past the courts like half baked student loan relief. But most of the time they just forget things until they need to campaign again. Think abortion. Even after the Supreme Court blew up the tenuous status quo, the Democrats cannot get their act together enough to pass any real protections, despite having fund raised for four decades on it. And clearly not having realized the sea change had to change SOP, in the first election following that decision the Democratic elite chose to support multiple anti abortion candidates over qualified but less corporate friendly pro choice Democrats during the primaries. Even as they were screaming about the need to vote Democratic to save reproductive rights. It might not have been noticed how often they were two faced about party support for abortion rights were when it wasn’t in danger of going poof entirely, but for anyone who was awakened from complacency it probably was lit by neon lights now.

    Both parties have actively discouraged voting and alienated people from belief in the system I don’t know how it will all go. But I do think that as things get worse, the parties may regret having gamed the system because it will be blown up figuratively or literally for not providing the change people demand.

    1. Hepativore

      Part of the problem too, is that the Democrats really are not motivated to try and garner votes from “independents” because winning elections has not been their priority since before Clinton. When the neoliberal Democrats took over the party during the Clinton years, their top priority was to make the Democratic party into a fundraising engine.

      Since then, the party leadership does not care how much this causes the Democratic party to fail electorally, because they can still vacuum up huge gobs of money from wealthy donors and PMC liberals. This is also why the Democratic party is so resistant to change and refuses abandon neoliberalism, as there is nothing the electorate can actually do to punish them that would impact it in any meaningful way if losing elections causes it to simply shrug and fundraise money off of empty “Resistance” platitudes on social media and elsewhere when it is the minority party in Congress.

      Even if people did get angry enough to vote independent end mass against it, the Democratic Party would have no problem changing the electoral rules mid-race along with the Republican Party to effectively disqualify any burgeoning third party candidate who represented a serious challenge.

      1. BeliTsari

        “…since before Andy Jackson!” There, fixed it. When my grandfather’s coworkers at Pittsburgh’s Criterion or PG, called Liberals, “racist reactionaries,” in the 1950s, DAMN, was I ever confused & perplexed? Hazel Garland’s Courier had to break the Auschwitz-Birkenau story & Unions invariably broke strikes, since WAY before the rank & file broke into hardware stores to steal rifles & ram locomotives into roundhouses full of company thugs, a century before? It was a tag-team kleptocracy & interference cost DEARLY.

  8. hk

    I think Neuburger is a bit delusional if he thinks the dominant party in US today is “I’ll shop around.” I fear that the dominant group is increasingly a bit more cynical than that: I don’t trust these suckers and I won’t bother participating in politics,” or worse, “I’ll happily help whoever that promises to burn everything down.”.

    1. barefoot charley

      They’re “A pox on both their houses” voters, and I am too. Not making a choice, avoiding the stench.

  9. leaf

    don’t forget Biden’s job on the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act and then pretending to then advocate for student debt forgiveness later

  10. Watt4Bob

    It’s not a co-inky-dink that the pressure/control exerted by the donor/investor class has coincided with the systemic rot that surrounds us on Main street.

    The go-along-to-get-along aphorism that constitutes the PMC’s prime directive, has led to an inevitable choice to abandon the working class in favor of the guy who signs the checks.

    So, it’s also not a co-inky-dink that all those recent tech lay-offs intended at least in part to demonstrate to the investor class that your organization intends to deliver the ROI they expect, might have unintended consequences like last weeks MS Office 365 services outage that left thousands of companies without access to basic cloud services, including email.

    Our masters destroyed the country’s manufacturing base, for personal profit, they created a “new, ‘information‘ economy” that relies on Big Tech, and they made a lot of money on the Big Tech build-out.

    Now they are targeting Big Tech with the same bust-out tactics they used to profit so much in its application to the manufacturing, transportation, housing, and healthcare sectors in an effort to squeeze yet more blood from rocks.

    I can’t help but think they are like the guy who puts all his eggs in one basket, and then decides the eggs are safe lying on the ground, so he sells the basket to buy a beer.

  11. John k

    Seems only chance is to take over greens. Jfk jr has great environmental chops, but running as dem… odd.

    1. barefoot charley

      Running as a Green he’d be even more marginalized, if you can imagine that. (And he’d be running against the others trying to take over the Greens, which is where most national Green energy goes . . .)

    2. some guy

      His family was Dem. Its an old family tradition.

      Why would he allow a party of hopeless dilletantes to benefit from his putting his fame and his name on their ticket? Why wouldn’t he begin the process of trying to reconquer the material and political assets and positions of a party whose assets are worth conquering, if such conquest is possible?

  12. Sue inSoCal

    The underlying issue imo is complete corruption within both parties and the courts. The trend (this is anecdotal) toward registering Independent seems like a mini-rage -against-the machine or strike against the Empire of sorts. The Independents I do know vote and trend progressive. Clinton sealed our collective fate with completely ending significant safety nets (and more), and NodramaObama was useless in my opinion. Not unlike Harris’s stint as CA AG, the present administration continues the model of collecting fines without jailing the enormously wealthy bad actors. The corporate grifter schtick is to blame a sub or third party and they’re so wealthy this so called fine punishment is equivalent to a parking ticket. And the beatings, uh beat, go(es) on with employees or gig workers taking it in the shorts. I don’t see things changing. With Citizens United, the huge (charities!) PACS make it impossible to effect any real change. (And let’s not even talk about the Democratic Party’s coincidental (not! at least it seems to me) spanners in the works that arise repeatedly, the latest being Feinstein who is ready to come back and wander the halls while asleep. Two corrupt parties. Double double, (no) toil and (lots of) trouble…

  13. Lex

    It’s all so very late Soviet. There’s just two parties instead of one, but that hardly makes a difference in outcome. I gave up on voting in 2022. I would still vote in local elections but they’re pointless because it’s a town of 20,000 with an old fashioned political machine and a preponderance of PMC liberals. Most local elections only have a single party on the ballot.

    I’m still willing to go to the polls to vote for millage proposals to fund the schools, library and senior services. And I need to because the same PMC liberals will vote against them out of greed. But I simply cannot vote for anyone who associates with either American political party anymore.

  14. spud

    again the problem i have with the author is that he repeatedly fails to understand what happened, and how to get out of it.

    carter and reagan started this mess in earnest, but it was bill clinton and barack obama that cemented this in concrete so hard, that its impossible to reverse under normal circumstances, and even in collapse, it might not be reversible.

    lincoln basically reversed jackson, FDR basically saved america from woodrew wilsons fascism, i see no democrat who will or could reverse what bill clinton did.

    really the only way out is to cut off the financial parasites from the rest of the world. the rest of the world is doing that right now, and they may or may not be successful.

    but then we have to contend with them here. the republican party is the party of the country club rich, and are not up to what it takes, besides, they know what they bark and bray is pure nonsense, they know it, but that is how con artists operates.

    however, the bill clinton democrats actually believe, and feverishly believe that pure economic nonsense, so in reality, he is right in one thing, not much hope is how i see it.

  15. KD

    After all, Republicans, as they’re now misled, seem hell-bent on a Christo-fascist coup.

    Which is why only 27% of the Country is registered Republican. I have opinions on why the Democrat’s extreme social positions are more dangerous than the GOP (and I may be wrong), but there are plenty of wingnuts on the GOP side selling a product that no except a handful of extremists want.

  16. marku52

    “It’s all so very late Soviet. There’s just two parties instead of one, but that hardly makes a difference in outcome.”

    Even down to the line of old grey men (and women). Is Biden or Feinstein more on the ball than Yuri Andropov?

    I enjoyed the comment of some African PM: “America is also a one party state, except in typical extravagance, they have two of them….”

  17. TimH

    If only independents could convince people to vote for any one of candidates 3 to 6, as opposed to not voting.

    That would be noticed by both parties.

  18. JBird4049

    IIRC, and I am very hazy on this, during the process of becoming independent, the Irish created institutions, especially the courts, that were run along with and separate from the British’s. A parallel state inside a state. Even with something I know better, the reform movements in the United States, they were often done with little help or with active opposition to the political parties. Look at the Civil Rights Movement. Heck, the Republicans formed when much of the Whigs just left and formed their own party.

    If a nation can form its own government or at least some of its own separate institutions, despite having an existing hostile government and legal institutions with an entire military to work with, why can’t we? It is extremely hard work requiring a lot of social interactions, debates with ample screaming matches, plus the ample use of government spies and occasional government assassination. But it can be done because it has before. Honestly, I would rather try and fail horribly, than wait for the whatever kills me and my nation or even the planetary civilization. Really, it is up to everyone, no matter how insignificant. What does anyone have to lose?

  19. some guy

    This article is about the National Democrats. Is it also true for every one of the State Democrat Parties? I know that here in Michigan, the Democratic candidates ran on some things, got both houses and the governorship, and then did those things they ran on. State-legalized abortion, repeal Right To Work, etc.
    So there would appear to be some legitimacy at the Michigan State Democrat Level. That might not extend to the Michigan State Division of the National Democrats.

    Normal people have to earn a living and live their lives. Professional paid politicrats are payed to do their politics and their politics is their lives, very well paid for. That is an advantage Them has over Us, and Them work very hard to keep Us from developing legitimate National-reach parties of Us’s own.
    So Us have to remember that any political party-movement Us try to grow will have to be grown in the teeth of Them’s obstruction.

    What? No “we”? No. No “we”. There is only Us and Them. Only a kumbaya liberal would believe in “we”. As Yoda would say . . . . ” We? No! Us or Us not. There is no ‘we’ . ”

    So Us will have to include enough people to be able to crush and destroy Them. And without a sincere platform of Crush Kill Destroy, no non-sucker will be foolish enough to join an Us Liberation Party.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I think this is the fear of national Dims. The UK Labour Party is purging membership because of the fear they might win. They need to stop this or they may be forced to pass policies by outcomes. In the US local committee Dims wield real power, but they simply insist the Mark Warner types are on their side. Without them, the Warners lose.

  20. Rip Van Winkle

    What was the rationale for the Michigan government’s ban on buying garden seeds, supplies and nursery plants about 3 years ago?

    1. some guy

      I live just close enough to the back of the cave that I did not even know the Michigan government had done this, if it really had and this is not just a misunderstanding of events.

      A link to an article about this would be a nice thing to have.

      Meanwhile, I can only speculate that if this really happened exactly as described, and if it happened early in the Covid Wildfire Spreading process, then it would have been to prevent people from gathering in covid superspreading crowds and bunches in garden seed/ supply/nursery plant stores just like the governor tried to stop crowds of covid spreading people from assembling anywhere else . . . like restaurants and churches.

    2. The Rev Kev

      People getting into gardening and refusing to get themselves wrapped around the axle of politics would be a threat to any government. People who are more tranquil and feed themselves? That is a clear and present danger that. :)

      1. some guy

        Or even if they feed themselves without being more tranquil. Still a threat to the food-for-money order.

        It’s like the NRA says . . . ” If gardens are outlawed, only outlaws will have gardens.”

  21. Gulag

    If I was a uniparty operative I would be feeling quite good.

    Many sectors of the national security bureaucracy realize that the institutional structures that exercise real power (surveillance, propaganda, and economic and financial priorities) are now in alignment

    Most public resistance/dissent is artificial ( created by these same institutional networks).

    To get a sense of our collective present and likely future take a listen to Walter Kirn and Matt Taibbi.

    Over the past six months or so they have gone from “this can’t be happening, this is surreal, this is insane, independent journalism is dead, I never really thought the security state was so involved with Big tech, things are really getting vicious, they seem to want to destroy us, here comes the IRS and now calls for imprisonment for supposedly lying to Congress, to I hope I will be back next week!”

    The drift of their comments says it all.

  22. Tommy S

    Correct me , if so, but I never see these types of articles point out the number of eligible voters that don’t bother to register. (at least 70 million) and then the turnout of actual VAP. Barely 57%. I rarely see even basic overall numbers from FEC stats….by journalists, to show paltry turnout, let alone ‘potential turnout’……Just ‘party registered’ football team facts. The truth is, a huge part of the country doesn’t bother with either party, or even to register ‘independent’. That is the organizing base I am interested in. And somewhat involved within, even though I vote like three times a year in SF.

    1. some guy

      Some Confucian rectification of terms might be in order. Those who have gone non-registered for so long that they not even registered to vote anymore are not Political Independents. They are Political Dropouts. Or maybe Electoral Dropouts. They may have 70 million good reasons for dropping out. They would need 70 million better reasons for dropping back in.

      They might be the people most ready for Survivalism if it is clearly relevant to their Survival needs.

  23. JR

    In looking at total outstanding Federal debt (, student loan debt ( and total debt (, it would appear that we are in, or at least pretty close to, the situation described by Professor Hudson where outstanding debt starts to choke the economy, even if delinquency rates remain low, albeit with a slight uptick most recently (

    I would argue that this debt overhang (which many people use to fund their lives), together with the predatory nature of our rentier economy create an inarticulable , undirected angst and fear in the population. Things are unsettled and people know it, and they unconsciously know that the UniParty no longer has the answers, which is part of the reason why more and more people are identifying as independents. Moreover, people are afraid of the “Rabid Red Menace” of republican culture warriors, the Tax and Spend Wokism (tho I guess I really should change the order to spend and tax) of the centrist democrats, and the predatory nature of basically all economic interactions. However wrong or off-putting that may be, that is my view, at least for right now.

    So, what to do? I would argue that those reading here should consider getting involved in local electoral politics if they haven’t already done so (and, yes, I am aware of the numerous arguments about why that is a waste of time).

    In my neck of the woods, the democratic governor, county executive, and local municipality have in their wisdom all decided to raise property taxes very, very significantly. These significantly increasing property taxes are really going to hurt people on fixed incomes and renters (as the burden of property tax is generally borne by renters).

    Because of this, I decided to go to a meeting of my small, local municipality and tell the Mayor and Council that they were spending way too much money on capital expenditures like million dollar City Hall renovations, cars, and other items and that significantly increasing property tax increases would really hurt a lot of people.

    My comments seemed to generate nothing more than an eye-roll from the Mayor and Council (who I at this point see as typical centrist democrats), but before I knew it, I was making common cause with many of my neighbors (most of them progressives) who saw the tax increase as a real problem. Funny, progressives fighting tax increases (just another example of what I have in the past called “New Centrism” here at NC).

    Our little band is reaching out to many different people and is trying to build a coalition with other like-minded people from many different societal segments. On a personal level, I have made many new acquaintances and got to know my neighbors better.

    These are all good things, and, for all I know, it may lead to even more good things. So, my answer to the point of this article is kind of obvious and boring, but it is to get up from the chair and get out there and try to make things happen.

  24. Glen

    I came to the conclusion after Obama in 2008 that I would only vote FOR candidates which supported the policies I wanted, and had a track record to demonstrate that they were honest.

    I do not vote for the lesser evil.

  25. Fastball

    Look it’s very simple. You want me to vote, and more especially, vote for you or your party, you gotta do stuff that I understand, that benefits me and/or causes I care about (like minimum wage increase), don’t virtue signal, don’t pander and get it done. Politicians don’t get to come to me and lecture me about civic duty if they actively refuse to do theirs. I don’t care about excuses, Manchin, Sinema or the rest. Get it done or shut up and don’t even ask me to vote for you, or even TO vote at all.

  26. some guy

    Apparently the House Republicans have just suggested 22% cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaide and Veterans Benefits as their price for “permitting” an “increase” in the “debt ceiling”. A veteran with disabilities has shown up on a World News Video in response to this. If Democrats in office accept this, they will lose support they still have, though if they are promised that they personally will be paid millions of dollars apiece for supporting these cuts, they may all decide to pass the cuts, leave politics, and take the money. I suppose we will just see.

    Anyway, here is the link.

Comments are closed.