Tag Archives: triangulation

Solidarity Forever and Pavlov’s Dogs: Why Is Elizabeth Warren Being Ignored?


A well known form of insanity involves attempting to correct basic factual errors on the internet.

I generally don’t, but sometimes it’s hard to resist the temptation.

That was the case last week when a meme circulated suggesting, as one tweet put it, that because Elizabeth Warren “clearly thinks about the issues beyond pandering & has actual policy plans and ideas . .  . she would be the front runner and would be receiving most of the press.”

At least  that would be so-and here we are to imagine a muted low brass chord as the narrator ominously intones . . .  “if she were a man.”

This was Pavlovian red meat dangled in front of identity politics addled liberals sure to induce a wave of frenzied clicks.

Continue reading Solidarity Forever and Pavlov’s Dogs: Why Is Elizabeth Warren Being Ignored?

Stand with Ilhan Omar and Win: It’s not Complicated

That the New York Times  is somewhat less of a sewer than it has been is primarily due to the presence of the two Michelles, Alexander and Goldberg, both whom reliably and effectively articulate a left/liberal perspective on its op-ed page.

Though they represent an improvement, a significant point of continuity should be mentioned: the Times remains a Bernie free zone. Neither endorsed Sanders in 2016. Their having failed to do so is an indication of their maintaining the “this far and no further” tradition of Times liberals of years past.

This was personified most notably by Anthony Lewis who famously referred to our genocidal conduct in Southeast Asia as “blundering efforts to do good” thereby distancing himself from irresponsible radicals of the new left who regarded the war as “an obscenity, a depraved act by weak and miserable men.”

Goldberg’s recent column on Ilhan Omar can be seen as more of the same pox on both houses philosophy. Thus, Goldberg correctly savages the right’s cynical weaponizing of the anti-semitism smear.  But at the same time, she accepts the fundamental basis of their charge that Omar’s remarks were indeed anti-semitic.

That they were nothing of the kind should be apparent to anyone capable of minimal objectivity. Furthermore, by now we have decades of experience with the consequences of deploying this well worn triangulatory gambit.

A surefire way of losing to the right is to criticize their positions while conceding their underlying factual premises on which they are based. Whether on crime, austerity, the environment, health care, or education, every time we have done so, we have lost.

Sometimes politics isn’t complicated. In fact, it almost never is.

The only thing that needs to be said about this affair is very simple: #IstandwithIlhan.

NY 19 From the Left: Who to Vote for and Why

A few of my Hudson Valley friends who read my political postings have asked for my choices in the upcoming Democratic primary in Northern Dutchess County.

I’ll be happy to provide them in the following, albeit at the end. You’re welcomed to skip to them but I hope that you will consider engaging in what I regard as a more important conversation than who we pull the lever for on June 26: how one should negotiate this and other biennial and quadrennial “electoral extravaganzas”, as Chomsky refers to them.

Continue reading NY 19 From the Left: Who to Vote for and Why

Congressman Ro Khanna to DCCC: Stop Triangulating on Gun Violence

Thanks to its having been forwarded by Congressman Ro Khanna, the petition above has been widely circulated, one indication out of many that the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) extremist positions should mark “a clear line in the sand and key difference between Democrats and Republicans for the 2018 midterms.”

Khanna concludes that it should be “a no-brainer” for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to take the step of withdrawing its endorsement from any candidate receiving NRA contributions.

But those familiar with the DCCC’s practices, including Congressman Khanna, know that it won’t be.

Continue reading Congressman Ro Khanna to DCCC: Stop Triangulating on Gun Violence

A Visit to Planet DCCC

Those relishing a depressing journey to the past and, perhaps, but perhaps not, the future, can click here to transport themselves to Planet DCCC, the website of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. On Planet DCCC, or D-trip as it is known to insiders, it is always 1988, an epoch when, as those of us of sufficient age will recall, neoliberalism was not only not a bad word, it was enthusiastically embraced by leading Democrats.  Among those doing so were Senators Paul Tsongas, Bill Bradley, Gary Hart and, most notably, then Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, all of whom proudly accepted the label and successfully based their campaigns on it.  While they have (mostly) long since departed, on Planet DCCC, their spirit  is alive and well.  And if the term itself is now avoided,  the philosophy of neoliberalism remains an article of faith, recognized as the key to the party’s electoral prospects.

The evidence for this is everywhere on the DCCC site, perhaps most conspicuously in the Red to Blue project undertaken under the DCCC’s auspices: 24 key races which it hopes to flip in the 2018 midterms.  Their time honored recipe for competing contains one main ingredient: triangulation.  Triangulation, as first defined by Clinton’s somewhat infamous campaign advisor Dick Morris involves locating the center wherever the Republicans choose to define it, no matter how repressively reactionary this point is, and then positioning the Democratic candidate one degree to the left of it.

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