Sunday, March 22, 2015

NYT Grants Anonymity to Basher of "Crazy Left"

Since becoming a national referendum on Wall Street Democrats, Chicago's contest between neoliberal incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanual and local county commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia has been heavily featured this week on the Paper of Record's homepage.

The coverage has been heavy on the rehabbing of Rahm's well-deserved corrupt image and equally heavy on dissing Garcia's alleged "vagueness." (shades of Occupy-dissing.) "In his first one-on-one debate with Mr. Emanuel," the Gray Lady sniffed, "Garcia appeared shaky when pressed for his plans to fix the city’s finances. His first campaign ad appeared only last week."

Oh no! Because as we should all know by now, political success and credibility and legitimacy can only be measured by the money and the marketing. You shall be judged not by the content of your character, but by the garish display of your cash.
In a debate last week, Mr. Garcia repeatedly attacked Mr. Emanuel as a tool of the “rich and powerful” in Chicago. He said Mr. Emanuel was interested only in the priorities of “millionaires and billionaires.”
Still, Mr. Emanuel has been moving up in the polls since he was forced into a runoff, and his advisers say the left will find it difficult to defeat him.
Mr. Garcia, 58 and known as Chuy, has been vastly outspent by Mr. Emanuel, but he flew to Los Angeles last week to try to drum up last-minute cash from donors. Whether he can raise enough to hurt Mr. Emanuel is an open question.
Mr. Garcia is starting to draw more attention on liberal email lists, but he has yet to draw a total of even $100,000 from small donors using the liberal fund-raising hub ActBlue. (A week of network television advertising in Chicago costs over $600,000.)
“Unless they get the crazy lefty money machine going nationally, it’s not going to matter that there’s a resurgent left,” said an adviser to Mr. Emanuel who did not want to speak publicly about strategy. “The liberals at Heartland Cafe in Rogers Park can think great thoughts and read poetry for Chuy, but nothing else will happen.”
We'll just have to wait and see whether poetry has more power than cash.

Meanwhile, shame on the Times for granting a cowardly apparatchik anonymity for purposes of impugning the mental health of anybody not in bed with the Big Money Boys. According to Rahm and his cronies, if you're not rich then you have to be nuts. Impugning the mental health ("gaslighting") of one's political opponents is the last refuge of neoliberal scoundrels like Rahm, who earlier this month crazily screamed at mental health activists for "not respecting" him.

It brings back fond memories of Rahm calling progressives "fucking retarded" in 2009 for not getting down with Obama's abandonment of a public option in his health care plan.

And if calling their mental health into question doesn't work, there's always the racial guilt approach. Because where would impugning the left be without the helpful input of Obamabots playing the corporate race card?  Millionaire TV host and professional pseudo-activist Al Sharpton does the honors in the same Times article:
Others on the left are showing ambivalence about campaigning against a candidate who has the full-throated support of the president of the United States.
“It would energize the progressive side of the party that many of us are part of,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said of a possible win by Mr. Garcia. “The apprehension is that the right-wing media would take it as some people abandoning the president’s endorsement. That’s why it gives some of us pause. We don’t want to feed into some of the hysteria against the president.”
Mr. Sharpton, the longtime civil rights activist, said that as he considered whom to endorse, he was faced with “a dicey choice.”
“I’m attracted to Chuy’s populism and his consistent progressive base. He goes all the way back to Harold Washington,” Mr. Sharpton said, referring to a 1980s mayor of Chicago. “But Rahm is good with the black business community, and he’s been good on some of the stuff when he was with the president as chief of staff.”
Got that? A vote for Garcia and a vote for your own economic interests would be a punch in the face to the president. According to Sharpton's convoluted logic, a crazy left wing vote for Garcia would also be a vote for the right wing crazies and their anti-Obama attack machine. This is just the latest example of the scourge of the Third Way: the ideological crusade of the plutocrats who use wedge issue divide and conquer techniques to keep the masses confused, the politicians bought, and the wealth flowing in an endless geyser to those at the very top.


Bill Neil said...

Yes, Karen I was trying to follow Sharpton's logic here too - and having a great deal of trouble doing so - when I read it this morning - another friend on the left had sent me a similar critique of the Times' coverage.

Meredith NYC said...

Karen.....Ideological spectrum? The dirty words of our politics, that need defining. Stays hazy enough to be used for any purpose. Rahm disparages it, saying he pushes what works--he's a ‘pragmatist’. I once commented, where does Krugman really stand on the ideological spectrum? A reply from a mathematician said that the spectrum is 'more than 2 dimensional'. Too deep for me.

The article also says Eliz Warren—also a millionaire btw?--- has not stepped into the race, and others on the ‘left’ are ambivalent, since Rahm has obama’s support. But it couldn’t get a quote from Warren, only from Sharpton.

If he’s scared of the rw saying Garcia’s supporters are abandoning Obama, somehow, this shows how the rw sets the standards, and directs everything, and the left just has to watch their step. Everything has to conform to the 2 parties, so it strangleholds positions. No other place to go. But Sharpton also does say a Garcia win would energize the progressive side of the party.

That Rahm was Obama’s ally –means what? That Rahm is more liberal than portrayed, or that Obama is more conservative? Our shadowy spectrum, distorting our politics.

Maybe only after the finish of Obama’s term, will a more realistic picture emerge of where the nation is politically. One less element—race—will feed rw hysteria.

But otoh, there are varied aspects to this----what does it mean that Rahm did add full day kindergarten, free community college, improved train service, and, crucially helped raise min wage? All these sound Deblasio-ish, or maybe even beyond him.

Meredith NYC said...

Can't resist copying in this,m from

BREAKING: Boston Globe calls for Warren to run

Today, the editorial board at the Boston Globe, one of the nation's largest newspapers and the leading publication in Elizabeth Warren's home state of Massachusetts, called on Senator Warren to run for president.

It's a potentially game-changing development—and comes on the heels of four months of powerful organizing by MoveOn members and allies as part of our Run Warren Run campaign.

Take a look at this excerp from their piece:

Some of Warren's admirers feel she'd be better off fighting for those causes in the Senate—but her opportunities to enact reforms there are shrinking, which should make a presidential run more attractive. As a member of the minority party in the Senate, her effectiveness is now much more limited than when she first won election, since Republicans control the legislative agenda. Democrats face an uphill challenge to reclaim the Senate in 2016 and face even slimmer prospects in the House. For the foreseeable future, the best pathway Warren and other Democrats have for implementing their agenda runs through the White House.

A presidential campaign would test Warren as never before. Her views on foreign policy are not fully formed. And on many other important issues—climate change, gun control, civil rights—Warren could struggle to articulate clear differences between herself and Clinton. That's a risk she should be willing to take.

If Warren runs, some Massachusetts voters are bound to see it as abandoning the state that sent her to the Senate—but that shouldn't discourage her either. Senators Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry pursued their presidential ambitions without suffering much of a backlash at home. If Warren runs with conviction, and can clearly articulate voter unease with the widening divide between the 1 percent and the struggles of middle-class Americans, her candidacy will be welcomed.

Pearl said...

In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas

This is an interesting article about more than college rape problems. In line with some of the recent discussion about women's role in speaking out and how they are censored.

Kat said...

Crazy? Well what sane politician thinks appearing to hump the back of a chair in public is a good idea? I thought this guy had formal dance training.

annenigma said...

May I add a comment going back to the topic of Occupy? The American news media didn't really cover this revelation, but documents showed that the Occupy movement didn't just fizzle out but was the target of a coordinated crackdown, and the banks were at the heart of it.

From the Guardian:

'Revealed: How the FBI Coordinated the Crackdown on Occupy - New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent'

"The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens."

Zee said...

Sadly, questioning the mental health of one's political opposition ( e.g., “crazy lefty”) is a fine, longstanding, below-the-belt tradition in American politics.

Hence, the inclusion of The Therapist in that wonderful catalog of blogospheric denizens, Flame Warriors:

“Therapist can be a highly annoying and therefore very effective Warrior. Instead of making a frontal attack, Therapist attempts to shift the focus of the conflict to the combatants' psychological motivations and problems. He will freely speculate about other Warriors' insecurities, personalities and relationships, but he will almost never directly engage the subject of the dispute.”

I've long since given up on commenting on articles that I find at TruthDig, TruthOut, and the like because any expression whatsoever of conservative, dissenting thought inevitably brings out Therapists in thundering, armchair-diagnosing herds.

In general, that is not the case here at Salon de Sardonicky.

Still, I was starting to feel lonely.

Glad to know that those of us to the “right” of things sociopolitical aren't the only ones subject to—and resentful of—psychoanalysis-from-afar.

Although I suppose that this means that I really should apologize for terms that I think that I have used in this forum in the past, including “looney right” and “looney libertarian[s].”

Oh, well: nobody's perfect. Or, for that matter, perfectly consistent.

Valerie said...

I detest Rahm and while his opposition sounds like a fool, I can't help but hope he wins. I have grown to hate the Democrats involved in the Democratic Machine more than the Tea Party types. No wonder there I so little voter turnout. What are our choices? Ideology we can't stomach or those selling one thing and delivering the opposite.

I would love for Warren to run, but I can't see her getting the money she needs to beat Hillary. And if she did, I would be suspicious of her selling out.

Not at all surprised to discover that there was an organised effort on the part of the FBI and probably Homeland Security to shut down the Occupy Movement. I suspected as much.

annenigma said...

An Elizabeth Warren, or even Jill Stein, don't have to run to win. Most of the Republicans don't run to win. They know they don't have a snowball's chance in Hell. But they do it anyway because it gives them more exposure and voice to their ideas on a national stage, however brief that might be. They capitalize on whatever they can get for future runs or to build a movement. It's also how you build power.

Democrats aren't crazy, they're just plain stupid. That's why many people respect, if not like, Republicans - they are strategic and they fight. Democrats settle, like for Hillary.

Why not develop a second string/bench for the team? The stars (Hillary) can get injured, then what are they left with? The Democrats don't have nor do they nurture others for the future. I guess that's the job of Wall Street who pays for the farm team for either/both parties.

Meredith NYC said...

Msnbc Laurence Odonnell starts show with guest from re Boston Globe call for Warren to run. Then shows Hillary’s speech today talking inequality and stuck wages. So HC is using some of Warrens message, says Howard Dean. As a pundit called it....a shadow primary?

Denis Neville said...

The Democratic Party has always known that progressive votes could be counted on before the elections even started. It was true in 2008 and 2012. Many progressives made it clear that they would vote for a Democrat who was as bad as, or worse than, George W. Bush on many crucial issues, undermining progressive causes. How did people expect the Democrats to take any notice when they had already given away the one bit of leverage they had? Democrats perpetrate the same scam over and over on their own supporters.

Are progressives willing to attack one of their own on free trade?

“Progressives, however, often have a blind spot for the Democratic Party, and especially for their “allies” within it. So let me put this plainly. This is about power, and winning, on the most important wealth distribution issue of the day. Progressives can punish Ron Wyden for even considering this deal — can tarnish his own “legacy” now — in order to back him away from “a path to yes.” Or they can get played, again, by one of “their (supposed) own.” Which will it be — victory, or another unfortunate (but self-imposed) defeat? Do we go soft on Wyden or not?”

So why should Hilary even bother going through the motions of pretending to care about progressive concerns?

“I WILL vote for Clinton, because I do not think we can find a progressive challenger who can win, and third party candidates just hand the election to the Republican,” will be the all too familiar refrain.

Democrats operate according to the Iron Law of Institutions: the people who control institutions care first and foremost about their power within the institution rather than the power of the institution itself. Thus, they would rather the institution "fail" while they remain in power within the institution than for the institution to "succeed" if that requires them to lose power within the institution.

“More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen

Glen Ford and Black Agenda Report really have Sharpton's number.