Is the Democratic Party still the “lesser evil”? If so, in what sense?

Is the Democratic Party still the “lesser evil”? If so, in what sense?

To answer these questions, we have to look at the policies of the Obama 2.0 Democratic Party through three separate lenses:

■ How are they on “identity issues” like minority rights, women’s rights, immigration, and so on?

■ How are they on economic policies — wages, the fast-growing wealth and income inequalities, the loss of manufacturing, the loss of union jobs, and so on?

■ How are they on war, the military, the national security state and the militarization of civil police forces?

I maintain we cannot see the Democratic Party clearly — including the brand new Obama Democratic Party — without looking carefully — and separately — at all three questions.

That was then and this is now — Obama 2.0

During the last election there was a lot of conflict between progressive voters on the question — “Should we vote for Democrats?”

On one side were those who basically said, “Democrats do what Republicans do, only slower, so why bother?” On the other side were those who argued, “Well, Democrats may be the Lesser Evil, but that’s still something. For one thing, it keeps the Greater Evil out of power.”

Now the election is over, the fiscal bargain has been struck and signed, Obama has given his Inaugural Address — to rousing acclaim on the left — and his campaign organization OFA (which went from “Obama for America” to “Organizing for America” to “Organizing for Action“) is leading the charge — among progressives — to “enlist his supporters to fight for his policy agenda.”

And to my eyes, many progressives, especially progressive activists are responding positively. Especially compelling was the rousing progressivism in his Inaugural Address, for example:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

Great stuff, widely praised, and rightly so. And because of stuff like this, speeches and real policy changes, there’s a new optimism about Obama and Democrats in general. As a result, it looks like we — progressives and Democrats — are entering a new era in our dealings with each other. Many progressives are giving Obama and the core Democratic leadership a new chance, a second bite at the progressive apple. And it also seems that Obama and his administration are preaching progressive values instead of trashing-talking those who hold them.

We’ll see if the truce holds. But there does appear to be a mutual seduction going on, a mutual second date. So let’s look at this with fresh eyes ourselves. In light of the three parameters listed at the top, how does Obama 2.0 measure up? Are they still the lesser evil?

Don’t conflate Democratic social policies with Democratic economic policies

On Identity Issues, the elected officials in the two political parties are now poles apart. Top Democratic office-holders — Including Obama, candidates lower on the totem pole, and even a great many of the corporatists — have discovered that being full-throated in support of minority rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights  and other rights issues for identity groups is not a hindrance to electoral success, but an asset. Even gun advocacy is turning into a rights-type issue — the right not to be killed at school — here too, Dems are coming on board.

At the level of elected officials in leadership positions, this is fairly recent, but it’s a significant change. In fact, it’s not only safe for a Democrat to be “rights” advocate, it’s almost required. The wind of public approval is so strong at the back of candidates who embrace and voice these values, that now there’s no reason for elected Democrats not to embrace them.

At one time, remember, only Democratic voters and some elected Democrats held those views.

Two examples of how drastic this societal change has been should suffice. First, recall that as recently as 2004 it was still possible for Republicans to use anti-gay ballot measures to gain electoral advantages. Today the president can conflate Stonewall and Selma to huge acclaim and no damage. Second, in 2012 the issue of women’s rights has turned so toxic for Republicans that they are now giving each other “sensitivity training” sessions. It’s truly a new day in the country and in the leadership of the Democrat party on these issues.

But on economic issues elected Democrats are still Rubinites. There has been no repudiation, no change at all. Obama still wants to cut the safety net. The party as a whole is still billionaire-driven — it’s just that Dem billionaires are saner on social issues. No banker has or will be harmed by this Democratic administration. The party still want free-trade rules that benefit only capital. They still want low wages so their billionaires can make U.S. workers compete with Asians. And I swear Obama still wants Keystone.

He did say some nice thing about the climate lately, but we’ll see. Climate is an economic issue — it threatens billionaire wealth and profits. So watch the Keystone pipeline. If it’s approved, Obama goes on the Climate Criminal list.

What about foreign policy?

Those are domestic issues listed above. On foreign policy, militarism, the kill list and the national security state, I think the evidence is clear — Obama is still to the right of Bush.

Not that that comparisons matter. If Bush were somehow given a third term starting in 2017, he’d be to the right of Obama. On foreign policy and the military state, it’s pretty safe to say that almost every president has been to the right of the last one. Even Carter is tarred — do some research on East Timor sometime.

So is the Democratic Party still the lesser evil?

I think if you are swept up in the identity-politics and rights-policy goodness (and it’s genuine goodness), you’re probably inclined to cut the Dems a bigger break than you may have been a year ago.

And trust me, the Democrats know that and are using it. How do you know I’m right? Look at how they’re now selling themselves — as kings and queens of “we care about the disadvantaged” — in other words, on rights-issues only. Or simply read the Inaugural speech again — but this time, look for references to labor — to “Lowell, Pullman, Flint, Memphis” along side Selma and Stonewall. That list has gone missing. I didn’t see EFCA (the unions’ big care-about in 2008) passed, addressed, or even mentioned.

Labor and wages are economic issues. Neoliberal Democrats like Obama (and most of the others in leadership positions) are for unemployment benefits, but not higher wages. As near as I can tell, the only use Democrats as a party have for unions is at GOTV time.

Yes, that’s harsh. But yes, it’s also right.

And yes, if you look past “rights” issues at the whole suite of others, Democrats are still the lesser evil — and “lesser” only because of those genuinely good “rights issue” positions. They’re also not Republicans, but that’s a mighty low bar for “lesser evil.”

What’s the bottom line? Your call, but be careful. Me, I’m just trying not to be confused and lost in the fog. Hope you’re doing the same.

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • scott

    the democraic party never was the lesser of two evils. they have earned the name tax and spend party.
    and the anti america party tittle goes too!… the dems. taking democracy out of they u.s.a. one freedom at a time

  • political economist

    PLEASE analyze Obama as a moment in history. History is a DYNAMIC process. When the “left” party assents to what the right has done–as with economic policy or military policy (think drones)–it is not better or worse but part of the historical movement to the right on economic and military policy! In other words, Obama and the Democrats have solidified the movement to the right. This is not better or worse than what the Republicans have done but merely the “left” leg following the right leg towards the abyss!

    Now, it could be argued that the Democrats by solidifying the movement to the right are worse because they have sold out the 99% while the Republicans honestly represent the 1% (and trickle-down LOL). OR, it could be argued that the Democrats are better because they do not venture as far to the right but merely solidify the gains of the right. BUT either way: the DEMs do not deserve support.

  • bob

    Republicans create jobs, fix the economy and protect the country. Democrats create poverty, destroy the economy and sell out the country. Democrats are the only evil.

  • Kim_Kaufman

    I don’t know if there’s any point in writing a comment so long after a post but I’m catching up on my reading tonight and feel like commenting. My suggestion would be for folks to sign up for the new OFA to try and put pressure on them from within. A group of us tried to do that after the 2008 election. The health care fight was just getting going and we went to advocate for single payer but it was clear their position was, “oh, I’m sorry, the policy has already been decided and we’re here just to help Obama get his (wretched) policies passed.” They were really condescending and, in fact, in the Hollywood group that I went to… the “leaders” just hated me. :) Of course, on the way out, a few individuals would come up to me and say they appreciated what I said — but they wouldn’t speak up. :( The groups fizzled anyway. My learning experience was not to go to these groups alone but to always go with a couple of like-minded folks so we could team up with similar messages. It’s much more effective than one lone dissenter (and less stressful on the lone dissenter).

  • Ford Prefect

    Are you trying to make a point, beyond, “Radicalism is bad because….. Stalin!!?

    You seem to be arguing that positive change occurs gradually and not in sudden bursts, but history disagrees with you. After the Civil War, it took another century before African-Americans had the right to vote and not sit in the back of the bus. But it was the Civil Rights movement that made it happen in a fairly short span of time after a century of brutal oppression at the hands of “moderates.”

    Here’s what MLK had to say about “moderates”:

    Over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.”

    http://coreyrobin.com/2013/01/21/the-white-moderate-the-greatest-threat-to-freedom/

  • Badgerite

    The world does not become all of a sudden good or all of a sudden evil. With props to Lincoln, the outcome of the Civil War and the new course charted for this country ( a rebirth of freedom) did not depend solely on him. It was a national effort. There were people who came before him and there were people who came after him and all made that rebirth possible. Forty percent of the Union army recruits were comprised of mid-westerners. Immigrants and the children of immigrants who were not going to settle for a country with slavery as a founding principle. It is true that justice deferred is more truly justice denied. But those who cannot accept that the world does not suddenly become all good usually end up putting in power people like Stalin. And Stalin ended up destroying his wife’s family. The family of activists that had sheltered him from the authorities when he was on the run from the Czarist secret police. They were true believers and very good people, as people go.

  • Ford Prefect

    Also GP, you might find this essay from the American Political Science Assoc. (APSA) journal, called, Corruption As Duplicitous Exclusion, which describes this type of political malpractice defined thusly:

    The point here, however, is a simple

    one: political corruption attacks democracy by excluding

    people from decisions that affect them. The very logic of corruption

    involves exclusion: the corrupt use their control over

    resources to achieve gains at the expense of those excluded

    from collective decision-making, or organization of collective

    actions.

    http://www.apsanet.org/imgtest/psoct06warren.pdf

  • htfd

    Yes, it is past due to re-brand these politicians as ‘merchants of menace’ by name. Public scorn is a very effective way to change them by holding them accountable for their actions.

  • Ford Prefect

    Agreed. I’m sick of wondering about the mechanics of these things. They rely on secrecy to keep critics at bay. Merkley did us all a huge favor.

  • GaiusPublius

    Really sweet find, Ford. Thanks! I was looking for that list of names. Carl Levin, Max Baucus, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Barbara Boxer, Mark Pryor, and perhaps Jack Reed and Joe Manchin

    And note that anger with Merkley for daring to not fall in line with the leadership, something I’ve been looking for Dems to do for a damn long time.

    The club protects itself. We needs someone inside to un-protect the club.

    GP

  • Ford Prefect

    Here’s more grist for the mill. D-Day came out of retirement with a righteous takedown of the Dems sellout on the filibuster and take a look at who’s looking really duplicitous–oh, Merkley is worthy of massive praise and I hope he gets it.

    Quoted in his piece:

    At Tuesday’s closed-door caucus meeting, Merkley was upbraided by Reid for breaking unspoken Senate rules and naming specific senators in a conference call with Democratic activists last week, according to sources familiar with the exchange. “He’s pissed off so many in the caucus,” said one Democratic aide piqued at Merkley. “He has been having conference calls with progressive donors and activists trying to get them energized. He’s named specific Dem Senators. Many are furious. He was called out on Tuesday in caucus and very well could be again today.”

    D-Day responds:

    I’m not in the Senate, so let me call them out. Carl Levin, Max Baucus, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Barbara Boxer, Mark Pryor, and perhaps Jack Reed and Joe Manchin. You can go back and forth on why these mostly old lions did what they did. Maybe they were concerned about “protecting minority rights” in the instance that Democrats return to it. This is a B.S. argument. The Senate aide who said “Roe v. Wade might be dead and Social Security would be private accounts” in a filibuster-less world apparently doesn’t know that Roe v. Wade was a court case and that private accounts in Social Security, the last time it was introduced, didn’t even come up for a vote in the majoritarian Republican-led HOUSE, let alone the Senate. The main usage of the filibuster in its early history was to block anti-lynching legislation. It’s been employed most vigorously to stop civil rights laws. The history of the filibuster is a history of blocking liberal progress. And even if it weren’t, there’s a very direct and determined hatred of democracy here.”

    The rest is terrific.

    http://d-day.blogspot.com/2013/01/senators-against-democracy.html
    And even if it WASN’T, there’s a very direct and determined hatred of democracy here.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    I suppose they are, but that really doesn’t count for anything if you ask me.

    Barack Obama cares more about a Clintonian legacy than doing what’s right in this country.

  • nicho

    In tatters — by design — after a 70-year effort to destroy them.

  • nicho

    And “they” would be who?

  • GaiusPublius

    Yep. I think that’s a lost cause, but you might address your question to John. There were some great discussions — I didn’t archive them personally, just the original posts. Sorry.

    GP

  • caphillprof

    We’re talking about progressives, not the long discredited lunatic left.

  • caphillprof

    My question is … where are the unions?

  • ezpz

    PS: The comment threads are still absent from the pieces you linked. There were some nice discussions there, and it really would be nice to have those comments brought back. I know you’re not the one in charge of that. Just saying (again) that all pre-changeover comments are gone. It would be great if they could be brought back.

  • ezpz

    Thank you for the detailed reply. Perhaps I misread or misunderstood or both, but I do appreciate your ‘setting the record straight’. Now I know.
    Peace.

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks, ezpz. Actually I very carefully did not advocate for his election. I discussed why some would do that, but also why others would not. I knew for example that I would never vote for him myself, and could not recommend that to others.

    Two pieces on the con side of voting for him, starting with this:
    http://www.americablog.com/2012/03/crossing-lines-of-consciencemasaccios.html

    Which segues into this:
    http://elections.americablog.com/2012/08/obama-crosses-john-cusacks-line-of-conscience.html

    Just setting the record straight. There were many who did advocate for voting for Obama. Some were bots, some were progressives with strong Dem loyalties, and some were cleared-eyed about Obama but who were voting strategically (Sam Seder for example). I never faulted the strategic voters so long as they saw him clearly, but never myself reco’d that position.

    It should be very clear from my writing, however, what I think of him and his team, the neoliberals and Rubinites who found him, rolled him out like a product, financed him, and got him the big job. I might even point to the piece above for evidence of that opinion. I never in my life thought otherwise.

    Again, not being contentious, but I do want to set the record straight.

    GP

  • ezpz

    WADR, while it may be true that you’ve been critical of the Democratic Party, still, unless I’m wrong, I believe you advocated for Obama’s reelection as the lesser evil on more than one occasion. I think you even went so far as to say something to the effect that first & foremost, he MUST be reelected, and then we can pressure him – or something like that.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    To say the least.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ppppffffttt

  • GaiusPublius

    I’m not sure who the you is in “You voted for Obama” or what “the blog has been a Dem mouthpiece” means. There are a number of writers here and no editorial policy that creates “the blog” as a single voice.

    Speaking for myself, it would be hard to find much that’s pro-Democratic party in my work. Just a suggestion — don’t lump us all together; we really do have separate voices and opinions.

    GP

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “I want Norquist’s bathtub program to be effected” Let’s start with baby Grover!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Brava! Reminds of an old song: “You say Gestapo, I say SS, Let’s call the whole thing off.”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Same here on all counts.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Excellent!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well, no this is not a fact or inescapable for a non Libertarian.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Let’s start with the little down arrow troll ghosting positive thread comments today.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    This is called 11ty dimensional chess! :)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Exactly Fool me once, er ah, er shame on you, er ah ah can’t get fooled again

  • Chathamization

    Political parties can be vessels for change, but at the end of the day they’re just collections of people, and act accordingly. Likewise, voting in a general election tends to be defensive by nature, especially in a national election. If you want to change things, you have to start much, much earlier.

    Personally, I think there needs to be more focus on local politics and not national politics. There just isn’t a strong progressive movement nationally. On the local level, we’ve seen the success of efforts to support gay marriage and legalize marijuana. We could push further there, getting states to adopt single-payer like Vermont has, bringing tax rates back up to the Clinton levels with local tax increases, carbon taxes, minimum wage increases – the list goes on. And the thing about it is, in many blue states, these are all very achievable. I’d prefer to get things done locally rather than hoping for something to eventually happen nationally.

  • ezpz

    Agree.

  • ezpz

    Because they (democrats) are the “more effective evil” as many have already said (though not so much here), they are the greater evil. Just like obamacare is a republican plan that got passed by democrats, so too will the democrats get away with gutting our safety net, which has been a big part of republican rhetoric.

    Ironically, it may be the unwillingness of republicans to work with this president that saves the New Deal.

  • lynchie

    The beatings are expected but not from somebody who is supposed to be on our side

  • lynchie

    Well said. This administration is less transparent than Bush’s.

  • lynchie

    I disagree. The blog posts. For the most part the people who post here have gone from happiness and energized by Obama’s win to pretty skeptical. Yes we got Obamabots visiting but for the most part I think there is unhappiness with his actions which don’t measure up to his words.

  • Bulldog

    I get a kick out of the fact that in the writing of this piece the writer and, by extension, this website have the audacity to call themselves “progressive.” There is nothing progressive about the writing here or the editorial slant. This blog has been a lockstep Democratic mouthpiece since its inception, and it has taken as many anti-progressive/status quo positions against progressives as Obama. If there is to be any objective analysis on this issue, it won’t be coming from Americablog. Progressives know the difference between Obama’s rhetoric and his actions. You voted for Obama, i.e. four more years of the same crap, and that is what this country is going to get. I look forward to your defense of Obama agreeing to “reforms” of Medicare and Social Security as well as our participation in further military operations in Africa and the Middle East.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Short answer: Yes. They still are.

    While speeches do matter, actions matter much more.

    The Dems have had the opportunity to truly reform the Senate filibuster — and once again are opting for a few minor tweaks rather than the overhaul it’s needed since the last time they fracked it up, back in the 70s when they enacted the ‘virtual no-talking’ cloture version. We have a Dem executive whose law enforcement priorities, as ever, seem to be geared towards greater expansion of the security-police state, including secret laws and selective prosecutions of whistleblowers. We could have had a DADT repeal that included anti-discrimination measures, but this current president opposed it. We could have had prosecutions of the obvious crimes committed by banks and mortgage lenders, and have had none. And instead of holding the line on Social Security and Medicare cuts, this president and his party keep putting them on the table.

    This question, in other forms has been posed before, including your “what is your bright line?” post a few months back, Gaius. As in, what is the line beyond which even lesser evil cannot be supported. My answer is the same: The assumed right to kill anyone, anywhere in the world, for reasons that are never disclosed to anyone, even if the person merely happens to be standing next to a suspected terrorist.

    That is a power no one should have. No one. At that point, the evil stops being ‘lesser’ and becomes merely Evil.

  • lynchie

    The comment on SS does not mean he won’t go along with gutting it and Medicare. It is all just empty words.

  • dula

    The Democratic electorate emotionally and physically light up when they see Obama and other Dems. If they considered them the lesser of two evils they would maintain an indifferent attitude towards them.

  • Sweetie

    One inescapable fact, though, is that there is always the society vs. the individual and you, as an individual, will never find a situation in which you’re not being beaten somehow.

    That said, there is obviously a wide range of beatings, from the rather benign to the horrific.

  • http://twitter.com/WTHella Tornado

    They don’t all it GOPAmericaBlog for nothing.

  • Ford Prefect

    Exactly! I mean, how would the Democrats fare politically if they didn’t have the Krazy Kracker Brigade on the other side of the isle? They’d look horrible to most people. But with the KKB, they somehow look less horrid.

  • Ford Prefect

    Yeah well, if Obama is so enamored with Social Security, then why is he out to destroy it? Dissing Paul Ryan is all well and good, but it’s duplicitous of BO to use it, since he’s the one who put SS on the chopping block in the first place. It’s a nice head fake though and a pleasing one at that.

  • Ford Prefect

    One can only take solace in the massive pander that was the inauguration speech if one ignores the last four years plus. I don’t think anyone has done more to make rhetoric empty and meaningless than our panderer in chief.

    For Democrats, social policy is merely window dressing to make up–ever so slightly–for the massive damage being caused by their economic, “security” and war policies. DADT repeal passed with a massive bi-partisan majority for a reason, you know. In the end, it doesn’t interfere with the looting operation that is US economic policy, so it really doesn’t matter all that much to the MOTUs on Wall Street. In fact, I’m sure most of the WS donors are quite happy to throw the rubes the odd treat in exchange for their fealty on the stuff that really matters to them.

    Aside from tapping into emotions, what has he said this time around about actual policies? Very little. If he was going to scrap Keystone XL, he probably would have used that opportunity to announce it, even vaguely. But he didn’t, so he will go down as the worst environmental president in history when he gives the green light on that one.

    I could go on, but you get the point. Feelings don’t matter, policy does. Fortunately for the Democrats, they can rely on people ignoring history in favor of a few minutes of emotional pleasure at their empty rhetoric. I read that speech (couldn’t bear to watch it) as an exhortation to “liberals” to go back to sleep. A few panders, an oddly appropriate lip-synching of the Star Spangled Banner (Obama lip-synchs “liberalism” rather well, doesn’t he?) and it’s off to four more years of horrid sausage-making.

    You’re right Obama is a Neo-Liberal. This makes all the difference when you interpret his words through the appropriate translator. When he says “freedom,” he means Neo-Liberal Freedom, which is all about economic choice. Of course, those choices are solely dependent on one’s Socio-Economic Status. It’s Augusto Pinochet’s definition of “freedom.”

  • lynchie

    Well I think it is too early to tell what Obama and the Dems will do. Last 4 years show his rhetoric did not match his actions. He gives grand speeches but does not communicate about the issues at all. Tell us the real story of the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling. Tell us that in the past it was rubber stamped. Tell us that Bush spent a $trillion on two wars. Tell us why no one on Wall Street went to jail. Tell us why the rich are constantly being bailed out and given special consideration on taxes. Tell us why American companies don’t pay taxes and yet get welfare from the government. Tell us why any American can shield his income in an offshore account and not pay taxes. Tell us why income on investments which is stll income isn’t taxed at the same rate as my pay check. Tell us why you continue to use drone strikes to kill inocents and Americans without trial. Tell us why no one in Congress has done a thing about jobs. Tell us why SS and Medicare are even being discussed as being cut. Tell us why the 1% continue to dictate to the 99%. I don’t want any more grand speeches they are sounding like an anthem from a metal band. We are adults, we can take the truth. You and the other 535 people we give the title of Congressman to owe us a straight truth to these issues and more. You talked about transparency in your first campaign. Your whole governing as been with tinted windows.

    I don’t want to hear the lesser evil bullshit either. Is that supposed to make the unemployed, the foreclosed, the poor and elderly feel better. I call Horseshit to that crap. Our congress is elected and paid rather handsomely to do the wishes of the people not the wishes the Kock brothers or NRA or the hundreds of other companies who own our congress. Our Congress is the evil, both parties, are just as guilty.

  • masaccio

    I generally agree, particularly as to labor. However, I’d note the screw you Paul Ryan note: Social Security doesn’t make us a nation of takers. There was the Elizabeth Warren “you didn’t build those roads” reference which was done properly this time. When he messed it up during the campaign, maybe it was because he had not properly internalized the ideas. I hope we will see some of both in practice.

  • nicho

    I suppose a lot depends on which end of the drone you’re on.

  • Anthony_JK

    I still follow the theory of Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford that Obama and the Democrats are not simply the “lesser evil” for the Left, but the “more effective evil”, because they are able because of their social liberalism to get away with their economic and foreign policy conservatism in ways that Republicans couldn’t get away with.

    That still doesn’t mean we don’t need an Independent Left in this country to fill in the abyss.

  • UncleBucky

    Hm. At this point, the GOP is winning this thread… ;O)

  • Don S

    I see the term “lesser of two evils” mostly associated with folks self justification for voting for Obama. When I see that, my psychologically trained mind reframes that as congratulating oneself for being beaten with a smaller hammer. We need to get over the self justification phase (though I didn’t vote for either of the major parties) and move on to dealing with the evil in front of us.

  • UncleBucky

    OK.

    I still say that IF the Alternative(s) to the Democratic Party want to be viable (Greens, Progressives, Democratic Socialists such as Bernie Sanders) but not destructive (Nader’s Campaign of 2000) then something different has to happen. There has to be a local, state and federal program of a separate party that caucuses with the Democrats. To do otherwise is to give advantage to the GOP/TPers, and I will kick and scream and mock those who want to do that.

    I want Norquist’s bathtub program to be effected _on the GOP_, not on the Dems, and certainly not on government.

    Lesser or Greater Evil is not the issue. Kneecapping our very chances to make the future better (no, simply possible!) IS.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/dameocrat Dameocrat

    The only improvement I see, on economic an labor issue, in his second term, is that he hasn’t been as condescending, thus far. I didn’t bother. I voted third party rather than not voting. I don’t view him as a lesser evil because of his tendency to smother real left activism, and thus far the dems have not given me a cause to regret not caring about them.

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