It is with a bit of dismay that I read his piece How I Could Quit the Democratic Party from yesterday and today's follow-up There is no Democracy, just Clinton and Obama.
So it is as a friend and comrade in arms that I enter into this discussion saying...
"Chris, you ignorant slut!"
First of all I am just surprised that you let your anger, disgust, ad frustration get the better of you to then point where you wrote what is essentially a GBCW.
Dude! Things aren't any worse today then they were yesterday, then they were in 2004, then they were in 2000.
In reading your GBCW, not surprisingly, I found that I agreed completely with your view of things. The system is broken. Democracy is good. Oligarchy is bad. Where we diverge is your conclusion.
Why do you think you were elected a precinct captain and subsequently a state democratic party committeeman?
It's because you are a leader. And who and what do you lead? You lead people that want to change/fix the broken system. You lead change. That's your job. No backing down now. No matter how pissed off and frustrated you get. We need you where you are doing what you are doing.
The electoral process in this country is broken. We know that. 2000 showed it all too clearly. Management guru Tom Peters is fond of saying...
"If it ain't broke, you haven't looked at it yet."
How many of us really ever considered hanging chads, butterfly ballots, recount procedures, and the like before Florida 2000? How many of us considered the role of super delegates before this years ever so close presidential primary?
Systems been broken for years. It's just that we are now seeing aspects of the broken process because all of a sudden things are close enough for them to matter.
How broken is the system, I can't count high enough to count the ways...
Partisan Elections officials are broken. The Electoral College is broken. Gerrymandering is broken. Primary scheduling is broken. Florida and Michigan are broken. Iowa and New Hampshire are broken. The caucus system is broken. DRE's as voting technology is broken. Partisan purging of voter rolls is broken. Campaign finance is broken. Media manipulation and propaganda networks is broken. Phone jamming and push polling is broken. Swift boating is broken. A severally weakened legislature is broken. A partisan supreme court is broken. A politicized Depart of Justice is broken. A politicized FEC and FCC is broken. The unitary executive concept is a broken concept.
Half our battle today is against right wing authoritarianism. Half the battle is against right wing ideology and legislation. Half the battle is against corporate and plutocratic dominance. Half the battle is against simple blind greed. Half the battle is just your standard run of the mill power struggle between the republican and democratic parties.
But half the battle is within the Democratic Party. Has been for years. The party that foisted an incredibly weak John Kerry and incompetent Bob Shrum and other beltway consultants is broken. A corporate and plutocratic dominated DLC is broken. A progressive caucus that is the largest caucus in the party and also the weakest and most ineffectual is broken. A small blue dog caucus that is powerful because it sells out the rest of the party to the right wing instead of being neutralized and marginalized for doing that is broken. The primary scheduling system is broken. Super delegates are broken.
We've a lot of work to do. Clinton and Obama are not going to save the day. There is no magic fix. You know that as well as I do. You expressed it well in your concern of the cult of personality surrounding the push for Al Gore. We have work to do.
You my friend are well placed to do some of that work. The last thing we need you to do is quit the party when you are one of the few of us that is as well positioned as you are on your state committee.
The super delegate process is broken? Guess what. Pennsylvania hasn't voted yet. As a state committeeman you are in position to move your state committee and your states super delegates to do the will of the democratic electorate. Exactly how that will should be determined and expressed is up to some debate but you are in good position to make that debate happen. Since that will hasn't been expressed by the voters in PA yet you can't be (accurately) accused of having partisan purposes rather than democratic ones.
We need you to move the discussion forward. Addressing the super delegate situation now is simply a band-aid to a broken process. A long-term democratic fix to the entire process needs to happen as well. You can't do it alone. This is why we urge activists everywhere to get involved in their local democratic committees. We need new, reform minded, blood at every level in every state in order to fix the massively broken system. In the legislatures... and in the party.
The American Experiment is badly broken right now and it is our job to fix it. It is our generations responsibility... but it is also that of every other generation. It is a constant process. The system is based on maintaining certain tensions. They skew one way then skew another. Leaning one way or another is par for the course but right now it is badly skewed toward plutocracy and opening the door for authoritarianism. We have work to do.
You know as well as I do that the Democratic Party is the only viable vehicle available to us to fix this mess. In the process we need to fix the mess that is the Democratic Party as well.
Get pissed. Yell and scream. Go break something.
And then get yer ignorant ass back to work.