Crotchety Progressive Rant

by: Chris Bowers

Tue May 18, 2010 at 15:49

I am outraged by this, because this is outrageous.

And yet, where are the street protests in response to this outrage?  No, not those protests--we need bigger ones.  There should be hundreds of thousands of people out there protesting this.  Every day.  In every city.

Even if there aren't ubiquitous, massive street protests over this outrage, there should at least be ubiquitous, massive street protests in response to one or more of the many other ongoing outrages.  Because those outrages are also outrageous.

Furthermore, the lack of appropriate outrage from the left on this is also an outrage.  In response, we need to put together two simultaneous protests--one against the outrage, and one against the outrageous lack of outrage expressed by the absent left.

This new, pathetic, absent left is a shadow of the glorious American left of the olden days.  What the hell is wrong with kids these days, anyway?

Back in the good old days, hundreds of thousand of lefties took to the streets every day, in every city, in response to similar outrages.  Further, these previous massive protests that took place every day in every city solved all outrages.  That is why the past was a left-wing paradise, far more progressive than our own times.

However, the protests stopped.  And so, we have new outrages.  This is because there is a direct correlation between the amount of outrages and the amount of leftie protests.

But the kids today just don't get this.  Their parents didn't teach them properly, and the country is going down the tubes.  Like all true lefties, I just wish we could return to the good old days.

Chris Bowers :: Crotchety Progressive Rant

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Don't forget that counterculture is gone (4.00 / 2)
and all of today's youth are just pro-establishment sheep!

Lol (0.00 / 0)
Wow, was that snark in response to a specific person or just attitudes in general.

The funny pert is the parentsvwho didn't teach us right are the old-lefties.

the old lefties, many of them are useless (4.00 / 1)
I know quite a few former McGovern supporters who are teabaggers now, fightin against that socialism and for torture.

[ Parent ]
Most of them sold out during the 80's... (4.00 / 1)
Pretty sad, really...

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!

[ Parent ]
And McGovern himself .. (0.00 / 0)
has gone around the bend as well

[ Parent ]
What? (0.00 / 0)
Do you have a link? I don't.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
McGovern came out against EFCA (0.00 / 0)
I think that's what he was referring to.  

[ Parent ]
I am an old lefty and (4.00 / 7)
if anything, I am more to the left than the so called progressives of today.  None of my friends that marched, that worked hard for civil rights, for women's rights, have turned to the right,
I hear this myth that the old hippies have turned.  Frankly I do not believe it.  

Many of my age group were right wingers all along....I am the same age as W, and more than a few things were thrown at us during marches in the sixties by those frat boys.  I think many of you don't really get that the there were a helluva  a lot of rich frat boys like W, Rove and their ilk.    

[ Parent ]
Agreed. (4.00 / 1)
Though I'm post hippie era, more mid-late Reaganite genocide crusade in Central America, through the Clinton administration, even the people who aren't sure of what to do now have the same values.

[ Parent ]
Agreed. Not sure how the diarist's snide tone is productive. (0.00 / 0)
I was in college while Reagan was President.  Our Campus Dems were outnumbered probably 3-1 by College Rethugs.  Frats were all the rage.  That being said, we were able to get a strong Environmental Center established; helped get Senator Tim Wirth (who really would be seen as a far left winger by today's standards) elected; and successfully block the CIA from recruiting on campus--all without the Internets or the progressive blogosphere.

Were those the "good old days?"  Hell no--as Gogol Bordello says, "There were never any good old days/They aren't today, they aren't tomorrow/It's a stupid thing we say/Cursing tomorrow with sorrow."  But, there was something tangibly different about the way that progressives organized and interrelated, that I think has been lost with the advent of the progressive blogosphere.  Direct action on the left is gone; and I'm not sure that politicians Inside the Beltway, and the mainstream media who support them, view the organization and action that takes place via the Internet as being a credible threat to their grasp on power.  As an example, the right wing organized the August anti-health care protests and the Tea Party, which succeeded (with the help of the MSM) in shutting down the public option and in substantially weakening health care reform.  Those were direct action tactics.  Meanwhile, across the blogosphere, we diaried and commented and e-mailed and called and faxed, and did our own whip counts; and the Progressive Caucus got their asses handed to them, and we were left trying to call the scraps of Wonder Bread we got with our shit sandwich a tasty and nutritious meal.

So, I am not calling for a return to the "good old days;" but, I think the lesson to be drawn from this is that, while the Internet has proven to be a valuable tool for the exchange of ideas, and for raising money, there remains a place for direct action, of the marching en masse in the streets variety.  The right wing gets it--and we should, too.

[ Parent ]
lunch pail liberals and the "cheese" factor (4.00 / 1)
Well, there is a big difference between progressives of old and today. Way back in the day, there were the lunch pail liberals, like, say, the Long brothers, who were racist as hell, but realized that a lot of the things that were hurting poor Blacks were also hurting poor whites, so there was a strange bedfellow thing going on there in the world of "old school politics". Old school politics has lost to moneyed corporate interests.

The reason that there were so many protesters in the 60's is that many, if not most, were trying to get laid. This is not to downgrade what was done in the 60's, but let us not downgrade the party factor.

Well (4.00 / 1)
who were racist as hell, but realized that a lot of the things that were hurting poor Blacks were also hurting poor whites,

Before civil rights these racists were often assured that whatever progressive changes are made would not go to benefit blacks. (i.e Social Security, WPA), now those racists know that blacks will benefit, often more than whites since they're more in need, so why bother supporting them?

Civil Rights may have lost the South for the Democrats, but it lost the country for the liberals.  

[ Parent ]
You're kidding, right? (4.00 / 3)
The reason there were so many protesters in the '60s was they were trying to get laid?  Good couldn't have had anything to do with the draft could it?

[ Parent ]
Hold on (4.00 / 4)
there were successful marches on May 1st for immigration reform.  And yesterday, Unions rallied on K Street and Chicago.  Sure we can use more protests but there has to a be galvanizing message or issue because the effectiveness of marches wears thin when one group protests one issue one day and other group protests another the next.  IMO, the protests should focus on JOBS.

These marches/protests are not getting the media attention that a couple hundred teabaggers get.  

RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

Yeah (4.00 / 14)
It's too bad the much of the netroots opposes direct protests. Markos has said he doesn't like antiwar marches because the "freaks" come out and makes "progressives" look bad. Me, I think Markos makes progressives look bad.  

[ Parent ]
I think we are missing a lot by not marching. (4.00 / 5)
There needs to be a strategy and balance.  There are huge segments of the population that are being missed by only protesting online or at some blog.  And then on top of that have voter registration drives at staging and end of march - wow.  

So what if "freaks" come out - it adds to the numbers and as long as we have most of the people protesting on same one issue who cares about the "freaks".  

RebelCapitalist - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

[ Parent ]
Agreed (4.00 / 3)
And the intangible effects on the people in a movement--like (parody this!) empowerment, solidarity, etc--yield large tangible benefits.  

[ Parent ]
none of the major lefty blogs are independent of the dems (2.00 / 2)
if the peace civil rights groups of the 60s were as closely tied to the dems as the modern ones are they would be pathetic too!

See dtozones comment above.  He resents the civil rights act!  He is the mainstream leadership of the democratic party.  Completely worthless from the perspective of a left activist.  Just a bunch of self serving careerists with no values, who don't want the same thing as us!

On the front page of todays buzzflash blog, they asked with we should nationalize bp.   Since Obummer will never nationalize bp, why was the questioned asked.  He isn't nationalizing anything or holding anyone accountable, or listening to those of us who want these things. Then the next article the published on their blog begged us all to vote for Obummer because he is better than the alternative.  Why in the world do we support a man that simply doesn't  want the same things as us?  It is so baffling!  He speaks left but governs like Bush.  The left supports him anyway!  Why would Obummer listen when all the left does is beg like a dog.  We laugh at beggin dogs!

My blog  

[ Parent ]
I resent the Civil Rights Act?!?! (4.00 / 4)
How dare you!

I pointed out that the Civil Rights Act may have lost the country for the liberals, but I never, ever, EVER, said that I resented it and I would never ever EVER say it should never have passed. It's because of the Civil Rights Act that many of my loved ones are even alive today.

It may have hurt the progressive cause, but I'll be damned if I would wish it never happened! Some things are worth the damage it causes politically.  

[ Parent ]
This is what Chris was snarking (4.00 / 1)
baby boomers who complain about the lack of protests invariably ignore the large scale protests going on today, unnoticed, about the Iraq war, immigration, and any number of things.  

[ Parent ]
Closer. (0.00 / 0)
Closer than the pile on to be sure.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
one more thing (4.00 / 2)
nobody gives the teabagger more attention than progressive media.  

[ Parent ]
... (0.00 / 0)
What progressive media?   Moderate to conservative media is more like it.

[ Parent ]
I was talking about the netroots, the Nation, etc. (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
If those were successful marches (4.00 / 1)
Then they would have gotten media behavior.  It's not about finding the correct issues to focus on; it's about finding a protesting style that the media can't help but cover.

Find something over the top and outrageous that seems unique.  Marches have been done to death.  Do something provocative that causes the cops to turn out in riot gear and maybe you have something.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
I don't really want to say this outloud (0.00 / 0)
but it's probably time we actually broke things  

[ Parent ]
You don't necessarily have to break things (0.00 / 0)
But it's not necessarily a bad thing to try and convince the media that you are capable of it.

Here's an example.  Maybe someone might want to organize some sort of pro-labor demonstration in Chicago.  If so, maybe you can start calling it Haymarket II.  Not that I advocate throwing bombs or rioting, but the media will almost have to cover just in case.  And there's always the threat that law enforcement will respond with news-worthy over-reaction.  But maybe nothing happens and the media, having sent camera crews, will be forced to go ahead and use whatever footage they have to soak up airtime on a slow news day.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
The difference can be seen in the signs (4.00 / 1)
40 teabaggers can show up with a sign that said "We came armed this time" and they get far more attention than the 500 who show up with "Public Option Now!" signs.

Who's gonna get the attention?

[ Parent ]
That's the fault (4.00 / 1)
Of people on the left making boring signs.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
On further thought (4.00 / 1)
the marches may not be getting the attention they deserve because they haven't ever translated into votes. Even during the Iraq War, we could put thousands on the street, but couldn't elect anti-Iraq war representatives to Congress in 2002.  

[ Parent ]
I'm 30 and I fully attribute the shortcomings of the Democratic party to baby boomer Clinton loyalists (4.00 / 2)
so yeah

;-) (4.00 / 6)
Jesus, Chris, how did you manage to run into a Trotskyist in this day and age? If it's any comfort to you, please be assured that despite our misgivings about the current state of electoral politics in the U.S., not all of us old geezers think that we did any better than you're doing. We may be nostalgic at times, but we're not delusional -- not about politics, anyway.

Well you should seen the (4.00 / 1)
Marxists in the 30s, and the populists in the 1870, man, did they rock...

But seriously, folks, the country was in much better shape economically in the 50s and 60s -- surely the left deserves some credit, yes?

[ Parent ]
yeah but mainly the left from the early 20th century (0.00 / 0)
by the time it got to the 50s and the 60s, it was fait accompli.

[ Parent ]
A qualified yes (4.00 / 4)
The social democrats of the New Deal were definitely responsible for real social and economic progress, but as everyone and his dog has pointed out by now, they were also cowed by Dixiecrats into restricting the benefits of both to whites.

They also practically fell over themselves to claim ownership of the Cold War, and callously presided over the purge of the remaining socialists in the Labor Movement. (Harry Bridges' willingness to ally himself with Stalin's foreign policy didn't help, of course, but I'm convinced that the purge would have taken place even without it.)

If you had to pick a moment when social democracy became the military-industrial complex, I'd say look to 1947-49, when the left and labor were under attack, the Department of Defense and NATO were created, and the Marshal Plan, which guaranteed our indefinite hegemony over Western Europe was maneuvered securely into place. People who know only the Republican Party of today express surprise that it was Eisenhower who first warned us of the consequences. Actually, if you know the history of the period, it isn't surprising at all. Those who'd always felt uncomfortable with foreign entanglements, and government interference in the rights of capital had suddenly been confronted with a fusion of the nanny state and the imperial state, and it made them extremely nervous.

They got over it, of course, which is why we are where we are today.

[ Parent ]
Not bad, esp. this line (4.00 / 8)
In response, we need to put together two simultaneous protests--one against the outrage, and one against the outrageous lack of outrage expressed by the absent left.

But I've seen a lot of parody rants like this -- there a staple of the Daily Kos neo-progressives. In fact, I've seen more such parody rants lately than actual rants, and I'm a little outraged by it.  

david (0.00 / 0)
That's an outrageous comment.

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue

[ Parent ]
A foreign substance is introduced into their precious bodily fluids! (4.00 / 3)
And the loss of essence results in fatigue and a feeling of emptiness. No doubt about that!

And we had to walk 5 miles in the snow to the protests. (4.00 / 2)
In flip flops. And we liked it.

Save Our Schools! March & National Call to Action, July 28-31, 2011 in Washington, DC: http://www.saveourschoolsmarch...

I grew up in this generation (4.00 / 2)
I'm a little bit older than Gen Y, but I grew up among them.

This is a very malaise generation, passionate about little and whatever they are passionate about only grabs their attention for a short time. It's a live and let live generation, which is fine for social issues like gay rights and abortion (let gays get married, I don't care, let women have abortions, I don't care), but also bad for other things (let the government torture, as long as they leave me alone).

In the end this is a generation that may support stuff like LGBT rights, immigrant rights, abortion, gun control, universal single payer healthcare, more government regulation, etc....but they're not going to go to the mat for it. It's just not that important to them

Plus we live in a time where those who stand up for an agenda are bashed as ideologues, partisan hacks, or unable to think for themselves, while moderates and independents who can go either way are smart, intelligent, independent rational thinkers.  

One thing this could be in response to (0.00 / 0)
Though there are plenty of examples of this kind of thing, is this from David Roberts at Grist:

Don't get me wrong, the left doesn't have a true independent movement and needs one, but to act like there's no left response is disingenuous, or otherwise David Roberts is watching too much TV, which will definitely lead you to think that only the right is on the march.  'Crude Awakening', civil disobedience over immigration, recent K street/Bank of America protests.

Again, not saying that's enough, or that it's knit together as a comprehensive movement, but then, David Roberts wasn't saying that was needed either.  He mostly just said, "hey, why aren't people more amped and in the streets for Kerry-Lieberman?"

Which is as ironic a conclusion for a post titled "Where is the Left?" as I can think of.  I think he answered his own question.

Figuring out how to be a progressive college graduate transplant to Ohio:

Surely, you must be joking (0.00 / 0)
It clearly can only be blamed on the apathy of kidznowadays that massive street marches are not spontaneously erupting everywhere, given the fiery and inspirational charisma of Joe Lieberman.

[ Parent ]
also (4.00 / 5)
Why haven't you written a post on that really important outrage that is being ignored by the progblogs?

Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

have I missed something? (0.00 / 0)

My blog  

[ Parent ]
It is an outrage that I have not done that (4.00 / 1)
And no one is more outraged by my lack of outrage than I am.

[ Parent ]
You're supposed to call it poutrage (0.00 / 0)

I mean, if you want to do the mockery of lefty ourtrage to the letter.  

[ Parent ]
Freedom for Mumia is looking very bleak indeed... (0.00 / 0)

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

Damn kids! n/t (4.00 / 2)

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

Well put (0.00 / 0)
Speaking of which, have you got your drivers license, yet?

[ Parent ]
I've got my permit! (4.00 / 2)
I could get my license, but it requires so much driving or being 18. And everyone knows anti-American liberals like myself don't drive cars anyways.  

John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

[ Parent ]
Someone needs to get laid (4.00 / 1)
I'm not saying who exactly but that's what I'm feeling...

What a difference a draft makes! (4.00 / 2)
GrDavis hit it upthread: I turned 18 the last year we had a draft.  Through the 60's and early 70's, every young adult theoretically faced a tour in VietNam, and there's nothing like the prospect of dying in a jungle halfway around the world to focus the mind.

And once you reach that critical mass, street protests in general become more spontaneous.


Agree 100% (0.00 / 0)
more than I disgree.

Anything less would be an outrage.

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

Iraq war example (4.00 / 1)
Weren't the protests against the Iraq war the largest ever, and worldwide? Yet they recieved less coverage (in U.S. media) than some one campground teahadists promotions.

The reason protests work for the right wingnuts and not for thinking people is media domination by right wing corporations. All the news that is good for the corporation, and nothing else.

And it doesn't even have to be true... What a deal!

The corporations may allow some left movement on social matters, but the economic direction must be flow from the many to the few.

I believe our job has gotten harder with corporate and capital consolidation and removal of regulations... They have simply rendered some of the old ways ineffective.

Government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob..... FDR


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