On The Shoulders of Giants

I’ve had this tweet open in a tab for a couple of days, the video is really good, and I think we need to discuss because there is a legit BOTH SIDES here:

We get into discussions like this —now and then!— in the comments. Let’s have a free-for-all!

The thing is, there is an Establishment and there are Young Upstarts. The Establishment were the upstarts once, too, and I think that gets lost.

It wasn’t that long ago that The Establishment was the Dixiecrats who got replaced by Civil Rights-era Democrats (when the Dixies went to the GOP); they got replaced (eventually) by the Clinton-era New Democrats.

Right now, we are living through the changing of the guard again as the New Democrats leave the stage and whoever it is comes next.

You want a socialist in office, you gotta elect one. And that brings us to The Establishment.

Here’s the institutional Democratic Establishment and here’s the roles that they play:

  • The DNC raises money for the candidates and to put on the National convention. They do NOT set policy. They will raise money for AOC as well as for a Blue Dog. If you are running as a socialist in a district that is +40R, they will probably not greatly support your suicide mission if the money is needed somewhere winnable. They are strictly about getting a Democrat elected. It’s only numbers. 
  • The DCCC raises money and defends incumbent representatives in the House. If the incumbent loses the primary, then they support whoever the Democrat is who won. AOC got DCCC money for the general campaign. (Not much, however, as there is no way her district +40D will go Republican.) And again, it’s all numbers.
  • The DSCC does what the DCCC does, just for the Senate.

So yes, the Establishment defends the established unless there is no incumbent. But once there is a candidate for the general election, they go all-in for that candidate, and that’s how it works. It’s politics.

Yes, I wish that we had more progressives in office, but here’s the fly in the ointment: the progressive candidate has to be elected. The secret sauce is having a candidate who matches/reflects the district.

AOC comes from a fantastically left congressional district, and her challenge worked. She matched her district; she would be clobbered anywhere in W. Virginia.

Joe Manchin matches his state. If someone comes at him from the left and wins the primary, then that Senate seat will go to a Republican. It’s a freaking miracle that a Democrat is in that seat.

So if we had 54 Senate seats (instead of the 50 we have) then primary Manchin and Sinema with abandon, but until then, they are all that is keeping the gavel out of Mitch McConnels reptilian hand.

So to a point, Whoopie is right. The next gen is standing on the shoulders of giants, just as these kids will be when their children come for them.

Hasan Minhaj is right to be uninspired, I certainly was uninspired at his age, and I don’t think in my lifetime that my first choice candidate has even once been the nominee; why just this century:

  • I supported Howard Dean in 2004.
  • I supported John Edwards in 2008 (before his spectacular implosion; but his 2- Americas speech inspired me).
  • I supported Bernie in the 2016 primary and switched on a dime to Hillary when she became the nominee.
  • I supported Warren in 2020 (as I think everyone knows), and went all-in for Joe.

I might want things to be different, but my candidates did not have the winning argument. It’s the way democracy (little dee) works: majority rules.

I would hardly say that my politics is third way (Lieberman-esque, tho I have been accused of that on Twitter) and given my track record, I am hardly supportive of the Establishment (I do NOT donate to the DNC and never have).

I’m probably closer to the Dude in sentiment than in age, but I think Whoopie has it exactly right: don’t piss on your own team, save that for the Republicans.

(H/T @iamChanteezy is a wonderful follow on Twitter.)


This entry was posted in The Small Print. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to On The Shoulders of Giants

  1. antiscience says:

    Whoopi, bringin’ it. Damn. Inspiring.

    Liked by 4 people

    • antiscience says:

      To be clear, I love Hasan Minhaj and think he’s a force for good in the world. But still, he’s young, and he’s got stuff to learn. Good to see him getting an education. I look forward to him 30yr from now, schooling the young’uns.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This precisely, except I have no fucking clue who Sinema thinks she’s representing.

    Arizona will gladly elect a Blue Dog like her, but even they have to tend to their left side; her obstinancy on the Filibuster and the imaginary ‘bipartisanship’ she’s chasing that simply doesn’t exist any more, is really hurting her on the D side, and while the R’s love her now they’re just fattening her for the slaughter.

    (hell, dark money from the likes of Koch and Karl fucking Rove are running teevee ads praising her and castigating Mark Kelly as some kind of Chicom socialist collaborator…and he’s most DEF a bluedog, much like Gabby Giffords was. )

    I remember calling Gifford’s office daily during the runup to Obamacare begging for at least some kind of public option. She said yes, then voted no to the public option.

    But it got Obamacare passed, didn’t it. (and damn if Joe wasn’t right, it WAS a BFD…just had to last long enough to make it exceedingly painful to knock down)

    Arizona, thanks to we-the-stinky-pipples has a non-partisan redistricting commission. The current Gov is trying to pack it with GQP folks, but thanks to TFG’s fuckup of the Census…AZ isn’t getting any changes, but the fact we have “competitive” districts (AZ2 has been represented by both Gabby Giffords and Martha McSally) somehow means we get Blue Dog Dems and bugfuck-bonkers Republicans like Gosar, Debbie Lesko and Andy Biggs, (who are all former State Lege leaders, from the Teabagger-era bugfuck-bonkers wing of the party) and Raul Grijalva. (whom I wish was my rep but isn’t. 2022 is gonna be a nuthouse here since it’s an open seat, since Ann Kirkpatrick is retiring)

    Liked by 4 people

    • MDavis says:

      I blame Reagan for Sinema. He made it so much harder to get mental health-care. Manchin – he’s a calculator. Not wing-nut enough to be a Republican in his state, so he ran as a Democrat. Sinema – she should be palling around with Greene and Boebert. They’re peas in a blender, those three.


    • CalicoJack says:

      Howdy Bruce!

      Sinema is gearing up to pull a Palin. She’s just burnishing her brand for the next few years. I don’t think she gives a fuck about anything but publicity. My two cents.

      I did read that her office is overrun with pissed off constituents trying to give her a piece of their mind over obstructing Biden’s agenda. That’s good. Keep calling. It might get her to modify the filibuster… that is if she cares about anything other than her own brand.



  3. Wesley Sandel says:

    This requires reflection. The one time I tried to run for office my advisor told me to go after median landscaping maintenance. I was like, I give a f-ck, I live in public housing. But I was talking to someone who was a seasoned democratic political operative. You have to mix/dilute ideals with practical considerations. As long as someone doesn’t suggest that human rights are negotiable.


  4. Ten Bears says:

    My experience from fifty years ago is we wasted our time.

    I have written before about how my generation dropped the ball. There’s a bit more to it but balls on a monkey: Nixon quit; whoopi! the War is over! Now lets all cut our hair, finish our law degrees and buy BMWs and million dollar houses on the High Desert. Not all of us cut our hair, finished our law degrees and bought BMWs and million dollar houses on the High Desert, but that is moot in the generally accepted vernacular, a boonedoggle, beside the point.

    I didn’t drop the ball, my generation dropped the ball. We were gonna’ change the world, ‘cept we didn’t. Not necessarily my generation. In 1967 while all those Billy Clintons, Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warrens 18, 20 and 22 year old college kids were dodging the draft, making all that groovy music, protesting the War and injustice, platituding all those groovy platitudes – We Can Change the World! It’s Dying! If You Believe in Freedom, If You Believe in Justice! – I was a twelve year old runaway, sleepin’ with the Angels, the bastard nobody wanted. As a participant at the time, it was a waste of my time.

    Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.

    There’s only one way out of this …

    Liked by 3 people

  5. T_Reg says:

    “don’t piss on your own team”. Well, the corporate Dems aren’t my team. NONE of the death-cult capitalists are my team. And this ain’t a football game.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. roket says:

    The younger generation has always been at war with the older generation and the older generation has always been at war with the younger generation. The only thing that can change that is a 24/7 open line of communication. And a dash of social studies wouldn’t hurt.


  7. Pingback: Conservative Race Theory, Bi-Parted, Execute Dems, GOP Defund Police, CRT – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  8. CalicoJack says:

    Howdy y’all!

    The look on Minaj’s face when Whoopi says, “Fuck you! What are you inspiring?” is just priceless. He just might’ve been inspired. A bit.

    Whoopi makes the point that we changed apartheid. I was in college then and did the divestment thing. Our university eventually did divest. But, like Ten Bears, I realized that we were going through some lunchbag let down. The generation immediately before us had the whole Viet Nam War to protest and Civil and Women’s Rights to march for. What did we have? Apartheid, trickle down economics, and Grenada. As a youth hoping to join in on the turn on, tune in, and drop out action, I got… well, Mondale.

    The thing is there was plenty in retrospect to do to fight Reagan. He was the beginning of the GQP authoritarian grab. He was the counter-offensive to FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society. If we’d had an establishment class like John Lewis served as for the youth today, we might’ve faired better. There wasn’t a national visionary Democrat anywhere to be found… until Bill Clinton showed up and inspired us to move to the center where the votes were.

    I learned in working with people with AIDS and their families during the 80’s and 90’s that we rise to the occassion. We rise to the challenges put before us. We didn’t have challenges before AIDS. And, most of us didn’t feel like AIDS was a galvanizing social cause.

    Luckily, we do rise to meet our challenges. We rose to meet the challenge of Trump. We’re rising to meet the challenge of the GQP in their authoritarian movement.



Comments are closed.