Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Orwellian 1984-style memory-hole revisionism at the California Democratic Party?

Today, August 10, 2011, I noticed that Vijay Prashad's excellent article in support of a progressive primary challenge to Obama, formerly at , is missing (404 error) from the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus website.

Luckily, the Vijay Prasad's article is still available at Counterpunch:

Similarly, Joe Garafoli's CDP primary challenge reportage, formerly at , is also gone ---

but is available at:

I can only speculate as to the reason why these disappearances from the CDP Progressive Caucus website have occurred, but Orwellian 1984-style memory-hole revisionism, done under pressure from the Democratic powers-that-be at the national and/or state level, is what comes to mind. (It's worth noting that at the bottom of the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus webpage is this telling note: "Paid for by the California Democratic Party"). If they have succumbed to pressure, one must wonder about the courage, the commitment to social justice, and ultimately, the worth, of the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus, as well as the mainstream party itself.

Shades of Orwell. Next up, Soviet-style purges? If the Democratic Party, national or state, thinks that making written disaffection disappear will make such feelings disappear, or will prevent organization in support of opposition, they are badly mistaken. Such action by the Democratic Party simply tells us that opposition within their traditional party structure is likely a waste of time --- so we must focus our efforts (and any monetary donations) elsewhere. For me, and I believe many other lifelong Democrats, it only redoubles our commitment to work for true, progressive alternatives that cannot be pressured or co-opted --- and we will work outside of an apparently irrelevant party structure if need be, as seems to be the case.

Fred Drumlevitch

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Progressive Challenge to Obama

As many progressives are aware, the California Democratic Party Progressive Caucus recently called for a primary challenge to Obama:

I applaud them. And their action brings to mind President Lyndon Johnson's dramatic March 1968 announcement: "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President."

I'd like to hear something similar from Obama, delivered early enough that a progressive candidate has enough time to wage a winning campaign. It is his only honorable option remaining.

But I don't expect that. Obama either doesn't really understand how badly he screwed up what was, in 2009, a golden opportunity for implementation of a progressive Democratic agenda --- which, it should be noted, would have benefited the poor and middle class of all political stripes --- or else, he does know full well, that failure was in fact intentional, and he needs a second term to finish paying off what he owes the investment banks and corporate sector for their support in 2008, lest their enforcers leave a horse's head in his bed. Or possibly, as I've said before, he still suffers from "battered politician syndrome", and still believes that if he just tries hard enough, he'll be able to get the Republicans to love him. If so, I can only wonder what it would take for him to actually break free of their abuse.

Regardless of the explanation, my support for him evaporated long ago; as a progressive, it was an exercise in delusional masochism for me to keep wishing that he would demonstrate proper leadership. Back in 2008, "hope" and "change" had a very optimistic, very expansive meaning. Now, after more than two-and-a-half years of absurdly bad presidential leadership, my horizons have become much narrower: I just hope I'll be able to find some spare change under my couch cushions.

As for Republican politicians, no matter how many religious rallies they attend, or how frequent and intense their profession of faith, morally they are utterly bankrupt.

The only reasonable course of action left to those who care about this country is to support a progressive primary challenge to Obama, or a third-party general election candidate. That is the only reasonable course of action, but history teaches us that reason is often thwarted, and decency ignored.

When self-evident truths in matters of basic human rights and social justice are ignored, the course of human events becomes predictable --- though not in the way that government might wish it to be. That was the case for the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and many others. In the national political theater that currently passes for government, the unrelenting assault on the poor and the middle class by the wealthy, the corporations, and their Republican political lackeys, and the mismanagement, cowardice, and complicity shown by Democrats, will most certainly have consequences for the future of both our failing, socially-unjust economy and our manipulated (though ostensibly democratic) political structure. The revolution may or may not be televised, but it will not be controllable.