Today is primary day and 3.5 million Flori

Monday, May 28, 2007

Conversations on Independence

Writing on the wall in California: Swiftspeech! is "seriously considering" changing party affiliation because of the failure of the Dems to carry out an anti-war agenda. I say, Go for it, Swiftspeech! The California Progress Report tells us that nationally in 1961 independents (or in California, make that "decline to state", in New York unaffiliated voters are called "blanks"...) were 1.6% of the electorate--now independents are 21%. As a matter of fact, a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll put the number of self-identified independents at 42% on the day before the midterm elections in 2006. How closely is that increase tied to an anti-war vote? Plenty. But it's also tied to the fact that we keep electing Dems and Repubs and Dems and Repubs don't do what we elected them to do, whether it's fiscal responsibility or stopping "unpopular", illegal or immoral imperialistic wars...

Independents don't care for parties either--big or small. That's why Swiftspeech! rightly proclaims: Welcome to the independent movement!

Another Day in the Empire is flabbergasted that folks think there's a difference between Dems and Repubs and that the DP is the anti-war party--Pelosi's a sell-out....
Back in November, besieged with emails imploring your humble blogger to at minimum urge Americans to vote for Democrats, in order to grease the skids to get rid of Bush and the neocons, I responded by declaring my long held belief there is absolutely no difference between Democrats and Republicans—a vote for either side is a vote for tyranny and feudalism—a fact left out in the open for all to see. Now we have Nancy Pelosi pedaling a “freshened” version of NAFTA, that is to say a brand of neoliberal globalism that will eventually turn the planet into a slave labor gulag based on the Chinese “economic miracle” (or a miracle for loan sharks and financial sector swindlers).

I wholeheartedly sympathize--that progressives keep voting for the Dems because of the Dem message that the Repubs are scary, and then being really put out when the Dems escalate bad wars is not enough. But I daresay independents didn't go to the polls on November 7, 2006, "swinging" the election to the Dems, thinking that the Dems were going to lead us to the promised land of democracy and accountability. It was a statement, not a blank check. And that's what being an independent affords.

And speaking of checks, There Is No Blog in "Democrats: The Party of Pork!" gives this analysis of the current state of the Dems:
So amazingly spinelss was the the Democratic stance in essentially giving away the store to Bush and his merry band of Neocons that some in the traditional media have been forced to look at this bill not as a dead giveaway, but rather as some sort of compromise. After all, why capitulate so dramatically on an issue where the will of the people is so clear? As best as they can tell, the apparent "compromise" was in ramming through some "domestic spending" priorities--which the vast majority of Americans will read as Pork, regardless of its inherent legitimacy or lack thereof.

As skippy says on Independent Bloggers' Alliance (thanks for everything, kos) of the unofficial appologists:, we don't think markos is to blame for the dems' caving on the iraq funding bill (he is, however, obvioulsy responsible for the virginia tech massacre). but we do think that his pointed efforts to "play to the middle" at the expense of actual convictions, plus his obvious work for getting anyone elected that claimed to be a democrat, is indicative of the core problems with the entire party....

Right. Ultimately, it's the American people who are responsible. We've tried, god knows we've tried. The good old fashioned General Strike has become turn-of-the-millenium Office Space (riseupeconomics has some wise advice on MyDD: "I actually think that it would be easier to build a movement for economic security than it would be to take on the corporations head on and force them to give us good jobs....")

Yeah, Politics sucks, make Politics suck less...


Stella by Starlight said...

Honestly, I'd be happy to see non-NAFTA supporters Sen. Mike Gravel, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, or Gov. Bill Richardson sit in the Oval Office. They seem to be more Independent in standing up for their principles than the Democrat frontrunners.

What do you think, Nancy? And, yes, I agree that "Nancy Pelosi [is] pedaling a “freshened” version of NAFTA," that supports loan sharks and financial swindlers.

Great blog. Hope you don't mind if I add a link to you.

Nancy Hanks said...

Stella - absolutely! Thanks for the link.

Unknown said...

hi hanks, both of you!

i'm wondering how difficult it would be to set up a national recall center, so anyone from any state could easily find out the steps involved in putting together a recall campaign for their senators and/or congress people.

just an idea.

Nancy Hanks said...

Skippy - thanks for your comment. It would be great fun to have "instant recall" the day after the election if politicians don't enact their platforms. On the other hand, they'd just blame it on the other party -- or their own -- for not being able to do it. But I do like your idea of a national effort to connect the disgruntled. To draw from riseupeconomics' point, I think it would be easier to build a movement for political reform than it would be to recall elected officials who are kept in office through good ol' boy party structures, redistricting, and a host of other tools in their tool boxes... It was the grassroots movement in many forms during the sixties that finally forced Nixon's resignation. What will bring people together?

Also, I was thinking a little more about Stella's question. Yes, I think the candidates who aren't going to win the nomination have a little more freedom to speak out. I thought Mike Gravel did a good job during the first Dem debate in South Carolina. That's the trouble with our "winner take all" political system, and culture. Us outsiders have to be willing to lose and lose and lose until we win!