Doomed, delusional, divided and corrupt: How the Democratic Party became a haunted house

Bartholomew Gallacher

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The first American president who died during his term was William Henry Harrison in 1841. This event lead to a dispute, because the American constitution had no regulation for such an event.

In 1967 the constitution was finally amended with a regulation that covers such a case. It took only 126 years to do so.

This is one of the problems with the American constitution - slow changes, if ever.
 
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Aeon Jiminy

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Really good article, as much as a nuclear truth-bomb can be a good thing. I find myself agreeing with almost everyone.

As I was writing this, Beebo Brink dropped her opinion, and I have to agree also. In this place and time, any new party that would arise and find success would quickly fall into its own trap of power " Greed, dominance, selfishness, vanity ".

On the flip side, there is still kindness, compassion, honesty, generosity, trust, and help growing like weeds in all of our lives.

Why do we choose to unite around the worst of us and demand a ritual that they show us they're not afraid to lie, cheat, steal, and kill? I have no idea.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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The first American president who died during his term was William Henry Harrison in 1841. This event lead to a dispute, because the American constitution had no regulation for such an event.

In 1967 the constitution was finally amended with a regulation that covers such a case. It took only 126 years to do so.

This is one of the problems with the American constitution - slow changes, if ever.
In all seriousness and practical experience, it is far easier to herd actual cats, than it is to try and get the same number of human americans to do anything, even when they get along.
 

Beebo Brink

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America is a loose conglomerate of states that have only grudgingly ceded some of their local power to a central Federal agency. At times I feel that the United States is itself an empire -- a diverse array of societies and cultures ruled by a single government. Washington DC is our Rome.
 

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The thing is, we're stuck with the Democratic party. First Past The Post means that you will always end up with two parties, and a realignment to where a third party could take over as a primary party would take decades. Decades where due to vote splitting the Republicans end up in control the entire time. We can't afford that. It needs to be taken over from the inside, but the old folks in charge are stuck in their DC bubble.

The Democrats currently in charge never got over their PTSD from this.

That makes more sense to me than saying "oh, they're boomers". For one thing, a fair amount of them aren't, they're members of "the greatest generation". Boomers have to be born 1946 or after. And boomers are not monolithic, especially with the age range of these generation of labels.Someone born in 1964 will most likely not think the same as someone born in 1946, JMHO from observation.
 

Han Held

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That makes more sense to me than saying "oh, they're boomers". For one thing, a fair amount of them aren't, they're members of "the greatest generation". Boomers have to be born 1946 or after. And boomers are not monolithic, especially with the age range of these generation of labels.Someone born in 1964 will most likely not think the same as someone born in 1946, JMHO from observation.
Someone born in 1964 would also not be a boomer -they'd either be an X'er or a member of Generation Jones; depending on which of several definitions you believe. So even less monolithic.

I agree that simply swapping out the dems and republicans for two different parties won't help, that's a given. What I mean is that we need more choices, and power needs to be held by more than two parties. We have a duopoly, and I believe that's a major factor keeping any meaningful change from occurring.
 
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Han Held

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Putting the current crisis in government on the Dems just plays into the fracturing of this country. Trump is a non-partisan catastrophe and he could not become that loose cannonball without the corruption and disintegration of Congress across all party lines.
Which means that they are a part of it, and to the degree (and for the reasons) that they are, they need to be called out on it.
 

Romana

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Someone born in 1964 would also not be a boomer -they'd either be an X'er or a member of Generation Jones; depending on which of several definitions you believe. So even less monolithic.

I agree that simply swapping out the dems and republicans for two different parties won't help, that's a given. What I mean is that we need more choices, and power needs to be held by more than two parties. We have a duopoly, and I believe that's a major factor keeping any meaningful change from occurring.
1946 to 1964 is the first thing that came up in Google, so that's what I put.
Full disclosure: I'm nominally a "boomer" and I resent being lumped in with all the jerks that happen to be born in the same 15 year span. TBH, I've always abhorred broad generalizations of any sort.
But back on topic, that a Dem politician is younger won't fix anything if they're just a younger jerk (they do exist). The message is what's important, not the messenger.
 

Han Held

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But back on topic, that a Dem politician is younger won't fix anything if they're just a younger jerk (they do exist). The message is what's important, not the messenger.
Amen to that -I'd go so far as to say the message (and actions) are what's important.
 

Han Held

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Focusing on the Dems right now is like speaking sternly to a brush fire while an entire forest is engulfed in raging flames. Let's start with the GOP.
What am I supposed to do about the GOP if the Dems are basically going to sit on their hands?

That's why I shared this -we need to understand that the Dems are not doing what they need to, why, and from there pressure them to do the right thing or replace them with folks who will.

Or accept that fact what we do won't matter at all, and say "fuck it".
 

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The thing is, we're stuck with the Democratic party. First Past The Post means that you will always end up with two parties, and a realignment to where a third party could take over as a primary party would take decades. Decades where due to vote splitting the Republicans end up in control the entire time. We can't afford that. It needs to be taken over from the inside, but the old folks in charge are stuck in their DC bubble.

The Democrats currently in charge never got over their PTSD from this.

Yeah, the two party system may not be in the constitution but it may as well be. There is actual legal stuff around the majority and minority parties .... nobody tries to even put a figleaf over a 3+ party situation. Often we do have other parties represented but in practice they caucus with one of the two major parties anyway.

We really need multiple parties too, especially since the two major parties are alike more than not. Since you can probably attribute the Ds being more socially forward to wanting to attract progressives it really comes down to one is the party of conspiracies and the other usually can hold a rational conversation.
 
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Kara Spengler

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This is exactly it. The Boomers got us here, more of the same will just keep us in the same place.

The Dems are weak on the ground at the local level in many places. Where they are not, they must get out the vote. Protests are for morale but elections are for effectiveness.

People don’t want to understand the coup has already happened with a non majority party in control of the Senate, judicial system and most police. Anyone who is poor, POC, or unpopular with the hard Right is *already* living in a theocratic police state. It’s not just job loss that hangs over people’s heads - it’s prison, deportation, denial of medical care and shelter, and community sanctioned violent scapegoating.

We are in the prison world and it’s run by preachers and their followers working for the fossil fuel rentier class. We are only pretending to be a Western democracy.

I think AOC and Bernie see this clearly, but their ilk simply don’t have the numbers compared to:
1) religious voters
2) people who still think they have to appease theocratic voters

The structure of the problem was already clear under the younger Bush.

But I’m not saying this to tell people to stay home. We live under a coup, but should vote anyway. Clearly see what real grassroots organizers are dealing with:

https://www.justsecurity.org/66201/constitution-day-2019-the-hidden-domestic-surveillance-crisis/

Can anyone tell me what happened to all the Ferguson organizers who were found burned in cars?

The revolution will not be televised, but local and small organizers, local media and so me, and state level defensive legal actions will be our actual resistance. The DNC cannot lead and must follow.
I am just waiting for when AOC is old enough to run for president. You just *know* enough people will want her to run years before she even has to make a decision that an exploratory committee will almost be a waste of time. By that point not only will many of the current youth be past the voting age but the 'minority' communities will be even larger. I am sure the D and R leaderships are both shitting themselves over this situation.
 

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The Dems are not docile. The white middle class voters over 50 are docile, but I don’t see younger people being docile. They are, however, having to organize *around* middle class Dems. Around, as in going around barriers.

But you can’t say nobody is protesting when so many teenagers came out for the Climate March!
Not all over 50s! Ok, I am not exactly as energetic as I was in my 20s but am more that willing to offer my experience to youth leaders then do whatever they decide is best. I have tilted at enough windmills to know how to get around the more annoying ones that people put in place decades ago and which other ones just have to go to get anything done.
 
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Kara Spengler

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The Dems are not docile? I disagree. The world is burning and they aren't doing much of anything. Yes there is Bernie and Elizabeth but then there are most of the rest of them in the House and Senate that aren't really doing much of anything. As far as the Climate March, I had even heard of it until you mentioned it above. When I searched for it all the headlines talk about protests around the world, not here. Apparently a couple 100,000 people assembled in NYC. That really isn't very big.
There were things going on here on Friday and today but DC is used to big events. Even the most successful ones barely rate on the local news. Look at the women's march, half a million people and DC just took it in stride.

To make a HUGE impact you need to play the politics game. All you need is, oh, 100 people going to every senator's office and you wIll have much more of an impact than 500,000 people marching. I have seen it done more and more recently but it is not as sexy as protest marches.

A few other tactics too, like going to the senate/house galleries for a few hours. You can not interact with legislators from there (or even wear slogans) and they are not supposed to notice you .... but anyone who thinks politicians will fail to notice a crowd of voters is kidding themselves.
 
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Aribeth Zelin

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Not all over 50s! Ok, I am not exactly as energetic as I was in my 20s but am more that willing to offer my experience to youth leaders then do whatever they decide is best. I have tilted at enough windmills to know how to get around the more annoying ones that people put in place decades ago and which other ones just have to go to get anything done.
Same, I don't have the physical health I had when I protested in my twenties, but my spirit is still fierce.
 
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Someone born in 1964 would also not be a boomer -they'd either be an X'er or a member of Generation Jones; depending on which of several definitions you believe. So even less monolithic.

I agree that simply swapping out the dems and republicans for two different parties won't help, that's a given. What I mean is that we need more choices, and power needs to be held by more than two parties. We have a duopoly, and I believe that's a major factor keeping any meaningful change from occurring.
Right, definitions for generations are a bit hazy and tend to differ between sources. Gen X is generally the mid 60s to wherever the end point is, making me an older X but well beyond the cutoff for boomers.
 

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1946 to 1964 is the first thing that came up in Google, so that's what I put.
Full disclosure: I'm nominally a "boomer" and I resent being lumped in with all the jerks that happen to be born in the same 15 year span. TBH, I've always abhorred broad generalizations of any sort.
But back on topic, that a Dem politician is younger won't fix anything if they're just a younger jerk (they do exist). The message is what's important, not the messenger.
Yes, Stephen Miller was born in 1985 and Paul Ryan 1970. They are two architects of some of the most inhumane policies we have ever seen.
 

Han Held

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Right, definitions for generations are a bit hazy and tend to differ between sources. Gen X is generally the mid 60s to wherever the end point is, making me an older X but well beyond the cutoff for boomers.
This is probably a different conversation -but I think it's more interesting to look at the recent acknowlegement of "generation jones"..the cohort right before our generation (people born in the early 60's, basically).

Though for the sake of perspective I have to point out that a lot of the talk of "generations" is mostly branding -I think demographic attitudes are probably universal (IE old white GOP X'ers aren't signifigantly different from old white GOP boomers etc)
 

Han Held

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Yes, Stephen Miller was born in 1985 and Paul Ryan 1970. They are two architects of some of the most inhumane policies we have ever seen.
Then there's Senator Breadbags...yep.
Politically speaking, I'm deeply ashamed of my Xer peers.