Socialism. It's scary just to say it, ain't it?
You might think that's a Bad Thing. I mean, hasn't everybody been shying away from terms like "liberal" and "progressive" and "socialist" because we've been taught they represent frightening, evil people and anti-American values? But in fact it's a Good Thing, and the reason is simple.
We need to scare the Dems. They need to be frightened, preferably of us. They have control, and we are a negligible factor. They think they've got us buffaloed. They think we will behave because we're more afraid of Sarah Palin and we'd vote for a Dem-type Palin with less meanness and not so stupid but exactly the same priorities as Sarah and her TP GOP. They've said it out loud: They don't care what we think because we've got nowhere else to go. The only solution to that kind of arrogance is to show them we do have somewhere else to go.
My friend Thomas Nephew thinks it's time to challenge Obama directly in the primaries. He quotes Michael Lerner to the effect that "that Obama has little chance of winning reelection unless he enthusiastically embraces a populist agenda and worldview - soon. Yet there is little chance that will happen without a massive public revolt by his constituency that goes beyond rallies, snide remarks from television personalities or indignant op-eds." Lerner of course goes on with the usual twaddle about what a disaster a Republican victory would be, as if Obama hasn't been even worse than Bush in every area but speechmaking. Thomas is prepared to challenge but even he isn't sure it would work.
Lerner believes — and I agree — that a challenge could galvanize activism on the left going into the 2012 general election. And the point need not be to sink Obama’s ship — it will be good just to board it for the general election campaign; that might mean, say, switching Vice Presidents, or getting commitments for other cabinet posts. And of course getting commitments to reverse the disappointing policies of his first term. If none of that turns out to be possible, though, there’s a real question in my mind whether electing a Republican in Democrat’s clothing is really all that preferable to electing one the left can actually organize against.
As fetching as that bolded part sounds, I doubt it would change anything or even threaten to at this stage. The DINO's of the Third Way control the party and they've proven they only have to crack the whip to get everybody in line. They won't surrender a thing. They don't have to. They know they can control whoever is elected. They have the donor list.
No, there's no way to turn the Democrat party left when their corporate sponsors are on the right by workiong from within. The challenge has to be a threat and the threat has to come from the outside. Thomas has no problem with that except that he doesn't see a "credible" 3rd party, a common complaint. It's probably true but it misses the point.
We don't need "credible". We need scary. We need to threaten them with a party they're scared of. Do you know what would happen if even one dreaded socialist candidate won and could form a duo with Bernie Sanders? Do you know how they would shake and fumble and fume if even one socialist candidate came close to winning?
Think of yourselves as guerrilla voters, backing a loser today to get a winner tomorrow and concessions the day after. This is a war and we're losing it. We need to start strategizing from outside. The inside is closed and the outside is all we've got left.