This past week, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced that he would enter the Democratic primaries to run for President. Given the amount of buildup, leaks, and hype before this in various sectors of the press, it was one of the least surprising announcements since Hillary Clinton’s announcement. In the build-up to this, and now after the announcement, various “progressive” sites have been swooning over it. One of the common threads through them is that even if – and they’ll admit it’s more likely than not – he doesn’t win the nomination, he’ll “push Hillary (or whomever is the nominee) to the left.” There’s also a lot of chatter about the need to keep pushing the nominee to the left, to make sure they stay there. All of which is fine, except for what they ignore: It doesn’t really matter how far to the left a presidential candidate is.
One of the first blog posts I wrote here was titled “No True Progressive,” which looked at the ever-shifting goalposts used to determine just who (or what) was “progressive.” I said back then that
You can see this on various left-wing blogs, if you look at the posts and comments. “President Obama is not a progressive, he hasn’t” – fill in with whatever the writer thinks is the progressive stand. “Senator (name) voted for this bill, they’re not a progressive!” When it’s pointed out that on other issues the given politician is progressive, the goalpost will be moved to a new position which excludes that particular issue. “No true progressive” would do/vote for/say this!
I was reminded of that reading a recent post by Milt Shook over at his blog, “This is why we lose, Progressives.” He’s taking on a Daily Kos diary that supposedly takes to task some Senators for not being “Real Democrats.”
In the South Pacific, there’s a set of beliefs which are known as “cargo cults.” While they may seem ridiculous at times to Westerners, they make sense in terms of a society attempting to explain something in terms of that society.
Since the modern manufacturing process is unknown to them, members, leaders, and prophets of the cults maintain that the manufactured goods of the non-native culture have been created by spiritual means, such as through their deities and ancestors. These goods are intended for the local indigenous people, but the foreigners have unfairly gained control of these objects through malice or mistake. Thus, a characteristic feature of cargo cults is the belief that spiritual agents will, at some future time, give much valuable cargo and desirable manufactured products to the cult members.
Many of the rituals mimic what they saw during various times, particularly World War II. There are “airfield,” “control towers,” and so on, all designed to influence the gods to redirect the cargo to them. So what does that have to do with politics?
I haven’t done one of these in a while, but I thought I’d put together various “stub posts.” Those are created when I have an idea for a blog posting, but just not the time to, or sometimes interest in, get them fleshed out.
Back in the heady days right after the 2008 election, there was a lot of gloating going on in various Democratic circles, particularly on the progressive blogs, about the Republicans whining about what “could happen.” One of the sayings thrown back at them was the title of this post, “Elections have consequences.” It can be put more rudely as “We won, you lost. It sucks to be you.” There was a lot of chatter about a “permanent Democratic majority,” and on the state scene here, discussions on how Democrats could take the last two Republican held seats in Congress. Looking back over the past 4 years, that was hubris, the “pride that goeth before a fall.” You see, despite saying that elections have consequences, they didn’t believe it.