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


  1. Which types of candidates would you support? Who would you want to see? Not so much a specific person, but what qualities would make someone electable to you or to other progressives?

  2. What type of candidate would I support?

    Someone with a long history of taking progressive stands --- ideally even when those stands have been unpopular with a substantial chunk of the electorate, so that I can be sure that his/her rhetoric is genuine; unfailingly honest --- with the voters; I don't care how honest he/she is with Republican politicians, who probably wouldn't be honest with him/her; with a great deal of persistence --- better yet, stubbornness, on the important progressive issues; willing to admit mistakes, but not be paralyzed by them, whether looking backward or forward; excellent negotiating saavy; with the ability and willingness to make an inspiring case to the electorate --- often necessary to apply pressure to legislators in support of an agenda; in reasonably good health --- so he/she is capable of surviving eight years of stress.

  3. Thank you for your answer. I ask mostly because I am a 25 year old US citizen and have toyed with the idea of running for the House of Representatives. (especially since my district has a Republican Rep) I strongly believe in a government for the people, by the people and of the people. I believe in creating a sustainable lifestyle for all mankind. The human race has all the tools to prosper on all levels yet we constantly misuse or ignore them. The only problem is that the political climate here is one of money, greed and corruption. This scares me away from involvement, but I want to be a force for GOOD.

  4. Excellent post, Fred. I hope you are right and this deep seated disaffection that we are hearing from the progressive blogs will not be silenced or discouraged by the Democratic Party itself. I have come to believe that there are two political forces in politics today. Sadly, most of our elected “representatives” belong in the former group. It concerns me that groups like Move-On which progressives have been tricked into supporting in the past are supporting corporatists. Karen Garcia had a good post on “ the Veal Pen” showing up the faux Progressive groups for the tricksters they are.

    I agree that we need someone with a record for standing up for the Middle Classes and the Lower Classes. I am thinking Dennis Kucinich, who I once saw as an idealist with no chance of winning, fills the bill. I really think if he challenges Obama in the Primary there will be a lot of support for him – If voting counts for anything anymore. I wish Ralph Nader were younger - I think he would get A LOT more support this time around. There is a section of the American public (let's hope it is bigger than we think) that isn't taken in by rhetoric anymore - They can see and figure out what is happening before their eyes. And they can see that the only difference between the Democratic and Republican parties is the speed to which they are moving to kill the Middle Class.

    I think many of us were taken in with Obama's rhetoric and we will be more careful in the future about the politicians we support. They have to have a proven record of speaking truth to power.

    Black Swan, for you this means starting at the bottom of the political food chain - at least at the state level. I know your heart is sincere, but you would have to garner a lot of financial support to make a run for the HOR. Do you know where you would get that kind of support? Another idea is for you to get involved in the campaign of someone with more experience and become known in local and state political circles. I certainly wish you luck and don't want to rain on your parade, but these, unfortunately, are the financial realities of running for public office these days. Another – less glamorous - place to start are City Councils and School Boards. These areas are small enough for you to go door to door and to speak to small groups who would form a voting base. I knew a guy who ran for city council who stood out on a very popular intersection, rain or shine, with a sign waving at the passing cars. Sometimes he had supporters, but mostly he did it on his own. He had name recognition at election time and started his career there. He is now a State Rep.

  5. The two forces in politics today that I referred to are Corporatists and Anti-Corporatists.

  6. Thanks, Valerie. Especially for your answer to Black Swan regarding running for office. You said basically what I would have said (but I've been busy and didn't get around to saying it). And you said it all very well.

    I think there are two main issues in running for office --- and both argue for starting at or near the bottom: 1) the money, name recognition, and political savvy needed nowadays in order to wage a successful campaign, and 2) the abilities needed, when in office, in order to successfully confront the entrenched political and economic power structure. Both areas increase exponentially as one moves higher up the political food chain.

  7. Balck Swan,

    I just came across a video that I think would interest you. It is about the importance of school board elections to a community.

    If I were still living in the States (I live in Australia with my Australian husband), that is the route I would go if I wanted to run for public office. I know school board members who are now State Representative in my home state of Washington. It is a doable place to start and as the video shows, it is a really important place to start.

    Good Luck!