Imagine a future where 50% of our killer robots are programmed by women
September 21, 2017 4:50 AM   Subscribe

Welcome to Centrism.biz We oppose extremists on the right who want to murder all non-whites, ground their bones into dust and build a perfect Aryan union fueled by a hatred unimaginably pure. We also oppose equally extreme movements on the left who want a higher tax rate on incomes over $200,000.

FAQ
Make an indifference on their Take Inaction page.
posted by mediareport (70 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
 
Those don't sound equally extreme to me, buddy. Neo-nazis vs higher taxes for rich people? What kind of equivalence is that?
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:07 AM on September 21, 2017 [9 favorites]


I think that's the joke, Anticipation.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 5:09 AM on September 21, 2017 [47 favorites]


*smacks forehead*

Sorry, 2017 has completely broken my sarcasm detector.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:15 AM on September 21, 2017 [54 favorites]


I really wish this were like 15% better-written.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:16 AM on September 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


Like a mediator. OR A GOD. Or a referee. OR A GOD. Or a peacemaker. OR YOUR ONE TRUE GOD.
posted by doctornemo at 5:17 AM on September 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'd click on that Take Inaction link, but it seems like a lot of effort
posted by chavenet at 5:19 AM on September 21, 2017 [15 favorites]


Oh no. I just realized that we're the problem.
posted by djeo at 5:25 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


I hope we can all unite behind centrism's most inspiring slogan: A BETTER WORLD ISN'T POSSIBLE
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:48 AM on September 21, 2017 [40 favorites]


I'm not sure about this... has anyone confirmed this with a Verrit post number yet?
posted by codacorolla at 5:48 AM on September 21, 2017 [16 favorites]


I really appreciate this; I have a co-worker who is super, SUPER centrist and it makes me nuts (we are generally work friends even though we fight a lot). In theory we're on the same side because he is a very staunch Democrat but in practice we argue a lot about politics because he doesn't want to DO anything.

I think this captures some of the worst part of him not wanting to do anything which is how he acts like he's more mature than I am (I am like seven years older than he is) because he sees his positions as nuanced because he believes that the truth is always somewhere in the middle on anything that isn't Free Speech is Good* without seeing how that's both wrong and harmful. He's basically the contemporary version of the white moderate MLK describes in Letter from a Birmingham Jail, where he is ostensibly on the side of liberalism and he feels good about himself because he believes himself to be socially progressive or whatever but he spends a lot more time telling me I'm too radical because I say things like"I think the police perpetrate a lot of racist violence" or saying "I think abortion is fine" and not "I think abortion is wrong but I reluctantly support keeping it legal for the poor, pathetic creatures who need it" than he does working on behalf of democratic goals, and when I try to talk about things that I think are wrong and need fixing (e.g. white supremacy) he shakes his head and says "I don't want to talk about this" in a tone that really sounds like "I can't talk to you when you are like this, please calm down if you want to be taken seriously" as if that weren't a testament to his supreme privilege.

What I'm saying is that the website in this post is real people and I sometimes feel like I'm banging my head against the wall trying to engage with people who are ostensibly on the same side as I am but who think my radicalism (for saying we shouldn't give air time to Nazis) is the real problem (rather than that people keep giving air time to Nazis) and sometimes I worry I'm the crazy one because I definitely do get emotional about this stuff and when the person on the other side of the discussion maintains a smug air of reasonableness like they're the real grown up it's easy to feel like I'm crazy and I appreciate having a chance to step back and be like "oh, right, this actually is what they're saying under their veneer of pragmatic liberalism and I'm right to be angry and frustrated". Thanks for posting!

*Literally tweeted about this this morning before I saw the post.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:52 AM on September 21, 2017 [80 favorites]


There really are people like this. I both know someone like this in real life and have seen them online.

However, I'm also finding this rising trend of screaming "CENTRIST!!!11" at anyone who supports the left but criticizes seemingly anything about it tiresome. There are legitimate issues to be raised and questioning things like the efficacy of approaches or strategies is valid yet, even on this site, it's often met with "Oh, so both sides are exactly equal, huh? Centrist bullshit!"
posted by Sangermaine at 5:58 AM on September 21, 2017 [32 favorites]


As far as strawmen go, this one at least got a chuckle out of me, so there's that.
posted by AdamCSnider at 6:08 AM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


I really wish this were like 15% better-written.

Man, have you forgotten how to dream? I'd shoot for 16%, maybe 16.5%. (I really want 16.7, but I'm trying to be realistic.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:16 AM on September 21, 2017 [21 favorites]


It is patently disturbing that all of the "jokes" on that website could be unironic statements from most of the liberal pundit/media class. The inability to acknowledge their own ideology is particularly staggering.

Hopefully, satire like this will help well-meaning non-pundit liberals to see how disinterested the MSNBC/Trevor Noah types are in creating actual economic equality.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 6:17 AM on September 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


It's valuing politeness and "reasonability" over everything else. Kind of like when you realize the kitchen is on fire and you shout "HOLY SHIT! THE KITCHEN IS ON FIRE!!" And your roommate is like "excuse me, but you are being loud while some of us are trying to sleep, and was that profanity really necessary?" And then you notice that your hair is burning, too.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:50 AM on September 21, 2017 [35 favorites]


It's valuing politeness and "reasonability" over everything else.

There are a number of things with which I've been acquainted in one way and another for years that I feel like I hadn't really wrapped my mind around until recently, and one of them is the phrase "the master's tools will never destroy the master's house" (also the song "For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield). I had a sense of what it meant, but I didn't really KNOW until I saw stuff like the idea of senate comity being used to prevent Senator Warren from talking about how effing racist Jeff Sessions is, as if saying Jeff Sessions is racist is worse than Jeff Sessions being racist.

Politeness and "reasonability" are the master's tools and people who genuinely believe they are acting in good faith, and get upset and defensive when you suggest maybe they are wrong, are employing them aggressively to defend the master's house.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:57 AM on September 21, 2017 [39 favorites]


Politeness and "reasonability" are the master's tools and people who genuinely believe they are acting in good faith, and get upset and defensive when you suggest maybe they are wrong, are employing them aggressively to defend the master's house.

It's also a "typical" male vs. female interaction.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:05 AM on September 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


However, I'm also finding this rising trend of screaming "CENTRIST!!!11" at anyone who supports the left but criticizes seemingly anything about it tiresome

We can't call you "Nazi sympathizers", we can't call you "appeasers," now we can't even call you "centrists" without being considered "tiresome"?

What are we allowed to call the people who insist that they're liberal, but then continue to insist that we have to be appealing to the right wing voters who want to destroy us?
posted by explosion at 7:11 AM on September 21, 2017 [40 favorites]



It's valuing politeness and "reasonability" over everything else. Kind of like when you realize the kitchen is on fire and you shout "HOLY SHIT! THE KITCHEN IS ON FIRE!!" And your roommate is like "excuse me, but you are being loud while some of us are trying to sleep, and was that profanity really necessary?" And then you notice that your hair is burning, too.


despite living in the same house, and occasionally using it this is not my kitchen. my kitchen is hidden away somewhere

and besides the fireman will come for me first when MY kitchen burns because it is ultimtely an ordered and fair society
posted by lalochezia at 7:12 AM on September 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


We can't call you "Nazi sympathizers", we can't call you "appeasers," now we can't even call you "centrists" without being considered "tiresome"?

What are we allowed to call the people who insist that they're liberal, but then continue to insist that we have to be appealing to the right wing voters who want to destroy us?


I suspected my point would be made for me, but I didn't think it would happen so quickly.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:13 AM on September 21, 2017 [22 favorites]


#sheetcaking
posted by otherchaz at 7:17 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


This site should be wearing a red sweater (with solar panels).
posted by lmfsilva at 7:21 AM on September 21, 2017


Love that the Take Inaction page is just a request to follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Ouch.
posted by mediareport at 7:26 AM on September 21, 2017 [23 favorites]


I think that part of the problem in the US is the huge effort to break working class identity. Everyone except the most marginalized, expects, on some level, that they will someday live in the Master's House, and don't want to see it destroyed.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:33 AM on September 21, 2017 [9 favorites]


"The most effective kind of democracy is the one where we vote with our dollar, because it rewards the most hardworking people with extra democracy."
posted by likethemagician at 7:37 AM on September 21, 2017 [20 favorites]


hey, it's funny and a good, short test to see who will say "fuck you, got mine"
posted by eustatic at 7:40 AM on September 21, 2017


If you need Doritos, you are willing to go bankrupt to get Doritos, because you will die if you don’t have Doritos.

It's funny 'cause it's true.
posted by asperity at 8:05 AM on September 21, 2017


What’s good for business is good for everyone, so we must not bite the invisible hand that feeds us. Even when the food it's holding is also invisible.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:07 AM on September 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


Imagine a future where leftists didn't sound like smug assholes who jack off to their own jokes.

(And no, I'm definitely not a centrist.)

We can't call you "Nazi sympathizers", we can't call you "appeasers," now we can't even call you "centrists" without being considered "tiresome"?

Who here did that? Did I read too fast?
posted by asteria at 8:17 AM on September 21, 2017 [11 favorites]


What are we allowed to call the people who insist that they're liberal, but then continue to insist that we have to be appealing to the right wing voters who want to destroy us?

Democrats.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:39 AM on September 21, 2017 [15 favorites]


The best way to end oppression is to very politely ask oppressors to please stop oppressing you. Also, consider getting them a gift certificate for The Cheesecake Factory. Oppressors love The Cheesecake Factory.

"Let them eat cheesecake." - Marie Antoinette
posted by ProtectoroftheSmall at 8:43 AM on September 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


"We demand," yelled Vroomfondel, "that demarcation may or may not be the problem!"
- D. Adams, Part 4 of the Hitchhiker's Trilogy
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:50 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Imperial, technocratic market capitalism that turns a blind eye towards white supremacy can't be an ideology! I'm reliably informed that it's just the correct worldview, surrounded by a structure of allowable arguments.
posted by The Gaffer at 9:00 AM on September 21, 2017 [13 favorites]


I had a sense of what it meant, but I didn't really KNOW until I saw stuff like the idea of senate comity being used to prevent Senator Warren from talking about how effing racist Jeff Sessions is, as if saying Jeff Sessions is racist is worse than Jeff Sessions being racist.

Or using the justice* system to hold the police accountable for their crimes.
posted by Emmy Rae at 9:03 AM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


Or using the justice* system to hold the police accountable for their crimes.

I've got a FF addon that changed words out. Millenial = Snake People or Police Officer = Government Agent. It really changes the tenor news stories in a thrilling and orwellian way.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:08 AM on September 21, 2017


However, I'm also finding this rising trend of screaming "CENTRIST!!!11" at anyone who supports the left but criticizes seemingly anything about it tiresome

We can't call you "Nazi sympathizers", we can't call you "appeasers," now we can't even call you "centrists" without being considered "tiresome"?


I feel like people are talking past each other here. I might be wrong, but isn't the issue that people who support mostly leftier policy like increased taxes and DACA but also aren't far-left in that they, for example, feel that the problems in the financial services industry are ultimately fixable without deconstructing it entirely are being conflated with this hollow, fact-free idea of "centrism"?
posted by mosst at 9:24 AM on September 21, 2017 [21 favorites]


This reminds me of the people in the short story, Some of us had been threatening our friend Colby, where they are more concerned with the music and catering of an execution than the execution itself. Sure, Republicans want to deny us lifesaving medical care, deport families, and allow police to beat and kill innocent people but what's important is how our attitude offends them.
posted by domo at 9:26 AM on September 21, 2017 [7 favorites]


I enjoyed the subtler humor of the stock photo for "NONVIOLENCE" and the punctuation and footnote markers in "We 'support' human rights for all* people†."

One addition I would make to the enemies list: violent pro-genocide movements that scare otherwise moderate populaces into louder, lefter activism.
posted by brainwane at 9:51 AM on September 21, 2017 [4 favorites]


If workers don’t like a job that pays minimum wage, they should be free to choose another job, like Homelessist, Hunger Technician, or Bindle Assembler.

Terrible advice. Everyone knows you can't even get a job as a Bindle Assembler anymore without at least a masters in Bindle Science (and, really, you want Bindle Engineering) and, like, three years of unpaid internships. You'll never pay off your student loans that way.

Young people need to be looking for skills the market actually demands, like growing donor organs. It's not like you need both of those kidneys. In fact I'm not sure why we let people with two of them receive Federal benefits; they're pretty clearly just freeloading.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:52 AM on September 21, 2017 [16 favorites]


It's valuing politeness and "reasonability" over everything else.

The politeness thing is kind of changed in the last year because we have a president that doesn't really value politeness at all, so there's always a weird question hanging in the air if by being impolite we're just only normalizing his own behavior. I'm tempted to say this is a case-by-case sort of thing, but am I just being centrist polite then?
posted by FJT at 11:14 AM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


One is reminded of the religion Ethical Entropy, outlined in Eric Flint's novel The Philosophical Strangler. The three stage path to - well, not enlightenment, exactly - is Languor, Torpor, and Stupor.
posted by Bruce H. at 11:30 AM on September 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


Young people need to be looking for skills the market actually demands, like growing donor organs.

Congratulations I just somehow spit and inhaled tea.

This seems very fitting on a day when I foolishly decided to wade into my local FB Stronger Together page because someone was calling on the left movement/protestors to "stand with the cops" (whatever that even means.) Which, as far as I can tell means, "be nice to the cops just in case this somehow manages to convince them to be on our side, which they will continue to support as long as we don't ask them to reform themselves in any way," which is an awful lot like making sure to be extra polite so your boyfriend doesn't hit you again.

Maybe I should just link them to this.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:34 AM on September 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


This is funnier than I thought it would be.

What are we allowed to call the people who insist that they're liberal, but then continue to insist that we have to be appealing to the right wing voters who want to destroy us?


Morons?
posted by aspersioncast at 12:54 PM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's funny, but, seriously, if weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, there would be no Democrats in power anywhere ever, and leftists don't get to dictate the terms of the alliance, either. The people who think that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump have simply no idea what corporate America (which is for better or worse now a "centrist Democrat" redoubt) would have done (would have felt it had no choice but to do) if they were facing him as a possible President. (I think they might have led some kind of actually-effective revolt against Donald Trump's nomination and we'd have Mitt Romney as President now, but who knows.)
posted by MattD at 1:05 PM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


It's funny, but, seriously, if weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, there would be no Democrats in power anywhere ever, and leftists don't get to dictate the terms of the alliance, either. The people who think that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump have simply no idea what corporate America (which is for better or worse now a "centrist Democrat" redoubt) would have done (would have felt it had no choice but to do) if they were facing him as a possible President. (I think they might have led some kind of actually-effective revolt against Donald Trump's nomination and we'd have Mitt Romney as President now, but who knows.)

Shutting up and getting in line behind your corporate masters is not at the very top of leftist priorities.
posted by The Gaffer at 1:21 PM on September 21, 2017 [10 favorites]


if weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, there would be no Democrats in power anywhere ever, and leftists don't get to dictate the terms of the alliance, either.

I mean, this sentence can be used in a lot of different ways. If it weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, we wouldn't have provided Trump and Sessions with an easily accessible database of undocumented kids they can now round up and deport at their leisure. If it weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, we wouldn't have gotten 'welfare reform' in the 90s. If it weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, we might not be fighting to preserve a health care bill that explicitly props up the for-profit health insurance industry.

If leftists don't get to influence the terms of the alliance, then what use is the alliance to leftists? Centrist Dems can't demand leftists fall in line at the ballot box while also demanding that policies only reflect centrist priorities.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2017 [14 favorites]


Leftists certainly get to influence the terms of the alliance, and do, even if they can't dictate it.

In fact, the long game of American politics over the past 100 years has basically consisted of leftists gradually changing the terms of debate first for Democrats, and then for everyone. The number of long-game conservative wins are few indeed -- holding out against Communism until self-destructed being the only big one I can think of. Most other things that look like wins were really much bigger forces at play, like increased global competition cutting back the power of manufacturing unions. Or, to make it more concrete -- compare Hillary Clinton's 2016 platform to Bill Clinton's 1992 platform.
posted by MattD at 2:39 PM on September 21, 2017 [6 favorites]


Democrats are doing a fine job from removing themselves from power and influence just as things are, TBH.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


One thing I didn't expect to see when I came into this thread was MattD making an argument that electoral democracy in America is inherently controlled by the bourgeoisie, and that therefore, I suppose, the establishment of real democracy requires extra-parliamentary revolutionary means.

but I guess that's the world we're living in now.

Here's the shit, though: he's not wrong. The electoral "democracy" present in the United States is in fact almost entirely controlled by money power, and there's no clear legal/electoral path toward establishing an actual democracy here.

If money power's desires weren't so inherently destructive — if we weren't on a burning drowning planet, and if the interests of the rich weren't best served by the manufacture of poverty and desperation among the rest of us — this would be a tolerable situation. Unfortunately...
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2017 [8 favorites]


It's funny, but, seriously, if weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, there would be no Democrats in power anywhere ever, and leftists don't get to dictate the terms of the alliance, either.
...
In fact, the long game of American politics over the past 100 years has basically consisted of leftists gradually changing the terms of debate first for Democrats, and then for everyone.


I don't get the defensiveness here? Progress requires agitation, or "changing the terms of debate" as you said, of those who would comfortably settle for the status quo. And this general air of "if it weren't for us, none of your leftist policies would get passed, so stop being so mean to us!" overlooks the fact that, if it weren't for said leftist agitation, those ideas that are politically viable nowadays would never have become so. How many centrist Democrats in the early-2000s were telling queer people, "civil unions are the only politically viable option right now, stop bothering to demand marriage rights and lower your expectations of us!" The centrism of Hilary and Obama in '08 is not the centrism they display today. Leftist demanding that the terms of yesterday are not good enough for the terms of today is how shit gets done.
posted by ProtectoroftheSmall at 5:06 PM on September 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


What are we allowed to call the people who insist that they're liberal, but then continue to insist that we have to be appealing to the right wing voters who want to destroy us?

Democrats.


Wait, but I remember after the election that Sanders supporters accused Clinton of losing because she didn't appeal to more right-wing, 'economically anxious'/white voters? Or are you lumping Sanders supporters under 'Democrats'?

(both genuine, non-snark questions)
posted by imalaowai at 9:35 PM on September 21, 2017 [3 favorites]


Ah yes wonderful, another chance to relitigate the primaries, how starved we have been for these
posted by ominous_paws at 11:40 PM on September 21, 2017 [5 favorites]


Certainly anyone harping on about the inherent elevtability of moderates should re-examine the situation since moderates do not actually get elected.
posted by Artw at 11:54 PM on September 21, 2017 [2 favorites]


We are at an aporia; the tangle of competing forces at play in contemporary politics are mutually incompatible and leave no way forward whatsoever, but nevertheless time keeps ticking and so we must somehow move forward.

As MattD has cogently identified, there is no escape from the rule of money power within electoral politics; pretending we live in a democracy requires an act of willful naïvety. No political scheme that isn't approved by the moneyed classes (and few political schemes that don't originate in the moneyed classes) will ever be implemented. The institutions that nominally realize democratic government actually serve money power; expecting to prise them away from money power is about as realistic as someone in the old Soviet Union trying to get the soviets to implement a plan against the desires of the Party.

For the people who think it's meaningful to play the game of analyzing the primaries, I'd add that you should consider that money power has more defenses than just its control over the institutional apparatuses of the Democratic and Republican parties. For example, if the Sandersite democratic insurgency had succeeded in taking the Democratic Party nomination, Bloomberg would have entered the election as a third party candidate. The Democratic Party insiders would have backed him, much like, in 2006, they backed Lieberman on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket instead of actually supporting the Democratic Party nominee.

Meanwhile, money power is revealing itself to be — not to put too fine a point on it — blitheringly stupid. Solutions to the deadly problems facing us as a civilization, problems that could remove the conditions of possibility for capitalism and democracy both — foremost among them environmental catastrophe, nationalist warmongering by nuclear powers, and the ongoing process of global wealth hyperconcentration — are apparent and popular, but because these solutions involve the reduction of money's power to rule, they are impossible. The moneyed classes would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven, and as such they are choosing to make this world a hell.

Meanwhile, no solution outside of electoral-parliamentary politics is presenting itself. Although there's glimmers of hope for organizing — the rise to prominence of BLM, the rapid growth of DSA, the nationwide movement for 15 dollar an hour minimum wages, the Sandersite insurgency, the various anarchist/anarchosocialist groups successfully organizing to physically confront neonazis and thereby scare them back into their basements, and even the liberal organizing happening under the Indivisible umbrella — no organization is in any sort of position to take real power. The fantasies of left revolution displacing bourgeois rule are, at the present moment, just that: fantasies. America in 2017 isn't Russia in 1917; it's not even Russia in 1905. And meanwhile, the cargo cult strategy of pretending that everything is normal, and pretending that the liberal order will return if we simply do what the nicest fraction of money power tells us to do, will get us nowhere, because there is no remaining popular base whatsoever for capitalist liberalism. Liberal institutions aren't vital anymore, and socialist organizations aren't ready yet.

There is no way out. We have to find a way out.

The radical centrist position — the position that MattD is taking in this thread, that the 2016 primary analysts of various stripes are falling into, that the original post nicely parodies — is not adequate to deal with this crisis. We can no longer say that it is fine that money power rules. We can no longer pretend that if we just don't notice how everything is falling apart, everything will stop falling apart. And we cannot pretend that there is any one-shot way out of the crisis (be it Sandersism, revolutionary socialism, clapping harder for the return of liberal order, finding a strongman to rally behind, or whatever).
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:16 AM on September 22, 2017 [9 favorites]


Or to put ProtectoroftheSmall's excellent point another way: you don't get things done if you only have polite, palatable leftist centrists, because they will not move unless they are harried into doing so...

....but you also don't get things done with only radically demanding leftists that upset and panic majorities at first, too. We need [the white mainstream historically simplified views on] Martin Luther King and Malcolm X both to achieve change. You give them the palatable, "polite", "nice" option only after making it clear that the only alternative is the radical edges snarling from the background, increasingly openly demanding that we make things all very not-nice indeed.

Agitators on the left who expect more shouting at centrist, comfortable, but powerful center-left people to get off their asses and act in line with their stated morality is how we have accomplished every major social change of the past two hundred years in America. Agitators alone don't accomplish much without an audience that can be shamed into listening... but that audience won't do shit unless the brave hold them to account.

There's a poem from 1915 by Alice Duer Miller on women's suffrage in the US that encompasses it nicely:

Said Mr. Jones in 1910:
"Women, subject yourselves to men."
Nineteen-Eleven heard him quote:
"They rule the world without the vote."
By Nineteen-Twelve, he would submit
"When all the women wanted it."
By Nineteen-Thirteen, looking glum,
He said that it was bound to come.
This year I heard him say with pride:
"No reasons on the other side!"
By Nineteen-Fifteen, he'll insist
He's always been a suffragist.
And what is really stranger, too,
He'll think that what he says is true.

posted by sciatrix at 6:51 AM on September 22, 2017 [11 favorites]


Wait, but I remember after the election that Sanders supporters accused Clinton of losing because she didn't appeal to more right-wing, 'economically anxious'/white voters? Or are you lumping Sanders supporters under 'Democrats'?

There's more to the Dem party than Clinton and Sanders, and more to Dem history than the last presidential primary.

Which sort of underscores the problem Dems have had - state/local elections for the past 10 years might as well not even exist. They've run few candidates and haven't been doing enough to support local efforts.

Republicans control 34 states. Of the states that Dems control, how many have 15/hr minimum wage ? Or pick your favorite leftist position - the point is that even when Dems have control, they don't do what they can for the people, but rather concern themselves with delivering results to the donor class.

Which is how we get to Dems who are absolutely allergic to expanding Social Security or Medicaid/care, for example. There's always money for Freedom Bombs, but giving grandmothers an extra few hundred bucks a month is ZOMG BERNIEBRO COMMUNISM. And when Dems do advocate for this - it's some Rube Goldberg Means Tested scheme instead of "raise taxes, give olds more [$STUFF]".

The Dems we've had for the past 30+ years have sucked. And sure, to a certain extent, it is unfair to tar Hillary with the policy failures of Bill. But, she's been part of Dem leadership for decades and fair or not, she represents a Democratic party that got us to where 34 states are R controlled.

At what point, and in what way, do we get to hold the Dems who got us here accountable for their failures ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:56 AM on September 22, 2017


It's difficult. For the most part they are exactly who they want to be. Can't hold them accountable for failure because they don't want to succeed. Can't hold them accountable for never getting policy through and bipartisnijg everything away because that's exactly what they want to do. 3rd parties demonstrably do not work so heavy primarying of that shit is the only option - other than waiting for all the boomers to die and that's just going to be too late, there won't be a democracy in America or much of planet to have an America on anymore.
posted by Artw at 8:07 AM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


"This seems very fitting on a day when I foolishly decided to wade into my local FB Stronger Together page because someone was calling on the left movement/protestors to "stand with the cops" (whatever that even means.) Which, as far as I can tell means, "be nice to the cops just in case this somehow manages to convince them to be on our side, which they will continue to support as long as we don't ask them to reform themselves in any way," which is an awful lot like making sure to be extra polite so your boyfriend doesn't hit you again."

From photographing several labor rallies and counterdemonstrations by white supremacists Trump supporters, I've had more than a few conversations with the LAPD officers actually working these things, and, yeah, they almost universally would rather be somewhere else, doing something else. They get shit from both sides of the line, and it's pretty unfair that one of the constant lines of attack is that by preventing the black bloc assholes from smashing the Trump assholes, they're supporting the Trump assholes' ideology and belief structure.

One of the more frustrating things about this is that as a function of numbers and relative temperament at the rallies I've gone to is that the arrests on the left almost always wildly outnumber those on the right — there are more lefties there, but the Trumpies are much more effective at goading black bloc types into doing something stupid, like throwing rocks or trying to jump the line, and then the police have to swarm in and grab the protestor. It confirms the Trump asshole view that the left is violent, that the police are on their side, and the left belief that the cops are against them.

This obviously doesn't mean that there aren't serious issues with the LAPD, despite the progress they've made, but most of them are working stiffs who joined the police to make their communities a better place. Treating them as avatars of fascism regardless of context is dumb and counterproductive (see also: recent DSA freakout over one of their board members having helped police unions).

"It's funny, but, seriously, if weren't for rich and comfortable centrists supporting Democrats, there would be no Democrats in power anywhere ever, and leftists don't get to dictate the terms of the alliance, either. The people who think that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump have simply no idea what corporate America (which is for better or worse now a "centrist Democrat" redoubt) would have done (would have felt it had no choice but to do) if they were facing him as a possible President. (I think they might have led some kind of actually-effective revolt against Donald Trump's nomination and we'd have Mitt Romney as President now, but who knows.)"

Just to clarify, since I think you're one of our longest-tenured conservatives, is this advice about rich and comfortable centrists helping Democrats coming from someone who's still voting Republican? Thanks in advance.

"Republicans control 34 states. Of the states that Dems control, how many have 15/hr minimum wage ? Or pick your favorite leftist position - the point is that even when Dems have control, they don't do what they can for the people, but rather concern themselves with delivering results to the donor class."

Y'know, people say this, but I live in California, and if you think that our policies have been all about delivering results for the donor class, you're out of your damn mind.
posted by klangklangston at 5:31 PM on September 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


You're aware that police unions are basically there to ensure systematic racism and police brutality are encouraged and thrive, right?
posted by Artw at 5:55 PM on September 22, 2017


"You're aware that police unions are basically there to ensure systematic racism and police brutality are encouraged and thrive, right?"

That they often do that does not mean that is what they are there to do. That's like saying that defense attorneys are there to keep murderers on the street.
posted by klangklangston at 5:14 PM on September 23, 2017


Police unions are absolutely there to keep murderers on the street.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on September 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


Or to put it more clearly: Police unions exist to prevent any meaningful oversight of the police by the people being policed. Do you not see how this might be a bit of a problem for any progressive movement?
posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on September 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Wait, but I remember after the election that Sanders supporters accused Clinton of losing because she didn't appeal to more right-wing, 'economically anxious'/white voters? Or are you lumping Sanders supporters under 'Democrats'?

Sanders supporters are Democrats. He enjoys strong popularity among Democrats. It's strange to assert that they blamed Clinton's loss on her failure to move right, but I think this comes partly from the press's confusion of the "economic anxiety" of the Trump voter with the genuine economic peril of the non-voter, and partly from occasional disappointing statements about "identity politics" from Sanders himself.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:40 PM on September 30, 2017 [1 favorite]


"Or to put it more clearly: Police unions exist to prevent any meaningful oversight of the police by the people being policed. Do you not see how this might be a bit of a problem for any progressive movement?"

That's bullshit. Police unions exist to represent the interests of their members. Just like teacher unions, firefighter unions — every union.

Do you not see how alienating a huge union membership that reliably drives votes might be a bit of a problem for any progressive movement?
posted by klangklangston at 12:33 PM on October 10, 2017


Do you not see how alienating a huge union membership that reliably drives votes might be a bit of a problem for any progressive movement?

This sounds pretty transparently like "Be quiet about when we abuse people & run torture sites or we'll vote Trump", which really isn't any better in any other context.

If meaningful oversight is enough to drive them away, they were hardly progressive to begin with and attempting any progressive agenda which *doesn't* have significant police reform as a core plank is hardly worthy of the term and is furthermore pretty much doomed to fail because leaving significant corruption in place at the core of the justice system will corrupt everything else.
posted by CrystalDave at 3:19 PM on October 10, 2017 [2 favorites]


TBH insistance that Police Unions are...

a) Just like other unions (they are not)

...and...

b) a possible source of votes for anything other than the most right wing candidates available

...is a perfect example of how distanced from reality and inherently worthless centrist, moderate both-sider ideology is.

Maybe we can bipartisan the police into doing less racist murders or something?
posted by Artw at 5:25 PM on October 10, 2017 [3 favorites]


"This sounds pretty transparently like "Be quiet about when we abuse people & run torture sites or we'll vote Trump", which really isn't any better in any other context."

Really? Because that's a bullshit distortion of what I said. If you think that's what it transparently sounds like, you're either dishonest or stupid.

"If meaningful oversight is enough to drive them away, they were hardly progressive to begin with and attempting any progressive agenda which *doesn't* have significant police reform as a core plank is hardly worthy of the term and is furthermore pretty much doomed to fail because leaving significant corruption in place at the core of the justice system will corrupt everything else."

"Meaningful oversight" is vague bullshit, too, and you're positing "meaningful oversight" and "police union" as inherently contradictory; they're not.

"b) a possible source of votes for anything other than the most right wing candidates available

...is a perfect example of how distanced from reality and inherently worthless centrist, moderate both-sider ideology is.

Maybe we can bipartisan the police into doing less racist murders or something?
"

The LA police union is endorsing a candidate for state senate who is the former national treasurer of the AFL-CIO, who supports sanctuary cities (and states), strong police reform (and opposed our more recent bullshit "reform"), who supports living wage ordinances, public housing, LGBT rights, increased public education spending, increased progressive taxes, increased environmental protections, obviously improved labor and consumer laws… on and on.

So, I'm going to take that as you not knowing what the fuck you're talking about on this, and showing how worthless a simplistic anti-police position is. Attacks on public unions — like teacher unions and government employees — in Michigan and Wisconsin have been opposed by police unions.

Seriously, you sound like the anti-Vietnam War New Democrats shitting on unions and stripping their protections because many blue-collar unions took strong anti-communism positions, and many at least tacitly supported the Vietnam War. And if you don't have at least the basic grasp of labor history to understand how and why we got police unions (it wasn't to support right-wing politicians), maybe save the sweeping statements for something where you have at least a little bit of competence on.
posted by klangklangston at 1:41 PM on October 13, 2017




Who does capital call when they want to suppress labor?
posted by melissasaurus at 2:01 PM on October 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


Why We Can’t Support Police Unions
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on October 13, 2017


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