Lady of the House
- Sep 24, 2018
- SL Rez
- Joined SLU
- July 8, 2008
- SLU Posts
Funny to be lectured about this in a thread literally entitled "2020 U.S. Presidential elections." If this was "The US electoral system" then I could see the point about not discussing important progressive wins.What I find so aggravating is the focus on the presidency. As others have said, notably including Isabeau's explicit statement, is that what really matters is promoting progressive voices in the other governmental chambers. In large part the folks who complain about the presidential race are mostly quiet about this. For example, very little has been said about important victories like Jamaal Bowman's upset primary win. Nothing is going to get done without that support, and it does not matter who is the president. Without such support a more progressive president, and most certainly Senator Sanders in particular, would be a lame duck the day after being sworn in.
He's not being criticized for merely getting things done, but for the destructive nature of the policy choices he's made.What I find most ironic about this bizarre focus on the President, is that former VP Biden is being criticized for his long record of getting things done (even if I do not like them) while not being the President. It is a bit discordant to be continually scolded about how we will have to "demand" more from Biden because of what he will do as President. That is nonsense. Biden is going to do what he is going to do, and as President we have little to no power to impose anything on him. The only way change will come is from pressure from the legislative branches, and that will require a focus on supporting people like Mr. Bowman or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and other progressives. This constant drumbeat of being told that Biden will not do anything we want is silly because it is beside the point and a silly distraction. The issue is not what Biden will do but who we should turn to for leadership. Constantly tearing down Biden does nothing and is a tedious distraction.
But here we get to the crux of the issue, at least between you and I and not speaking for anyone else. We have differing views on power, and how to wield it. You think that we have little power, and in a broad sense that's true. Yet, if we really had no power, then you all wouldn't bitch at me for the alleged attempts to get people to not vote (which, as I have already said a number of times, is not my goal), because it wouldn't matter. No, we have the power of the vote and you choose to give yours away without asking anything for it.
Some people want something for their vote. Every other organized group gets this. Some of them exercise power through money, which is why Biden has assured his donors that "nothing will fundamentally change." They like the status quo, and that's what we're going to get, short of a wave of strikes (or something worse) that forces our representatives to, you know, actually represent our interests. The monied people pretty much always get something for their vote. People without money only have their vote, since money doesn't vote, and a mass of them can force change if they are willing to let the candidate lose. Giving your vote away incentivizes your needs, your voice being ignored. Browbeating voters for withholding their vote to demand change instead of encouraging the candidate to move is, to me, nonsensical unless you don't give a shit about things changing in this lifetime.
The focus has been on the president because presidents have become de facto leaders of their parties, unlike in the past where the party bosses have wielded more leadership and influence over the party's direction. The president sets the agenda, and as Biden has shown with regard to Medicare for All, may be the most difficult obstacle to getting legislation passed. The veto requires that we have a 2/3 supermajority to get anything done. That wouldn't be such an issue if we had a president who chose to lead in a way that reflects the will of the base of his party and - more importantly - of the American people more broadly. It's probably easier to get a charismatic president that will lead and can do things via executive order and a simple majority in most instances than it is to get 2/3 of the Senate to endorse progressive issues.
Yes, we need to walk and chew gum and do all these things, and it's great that the Squad will be growing. But that group of people and progressive politicians in general requires a longer discussion, in their own thread, to do it justice.