If even 1/10 of the progressives writing online would become... involved and demand that the institutions of the Democratic Party be accountable to the progressive base and the well-polled progressive preferences of the majority of Americans, it would be a boon to our political system. This is why Howard Dean asked us to do it… [O]n one side, we have a Republican Party that has descended into sheer, outright nihilist lunacy… And on the other side, of course, we have a very flawed Democratic Party, far too beholden to the interests of Wall St. and wealthy donors, far too fractured in its coalition, far too fearful of offending hopeless voters who will never see reason, and far too willing to seek "compromise" with the nihilists on the other side of the political chasm… For various reasons locked into the nature of our winner-take-all Constitution, we have a two-party system, not a parliamentary one. That is very unlikely to change... Which means that for better or for worse, the Democratic Party is what we have to work with… As with so many other things in life, it just means doing the best with what you have to work with, making the best possible choices from a poor lot, and setting oneself up to have better choices in the future.There is certainly nothing wrong with focusing on direct action or community organizing or single-issue campaigning if one finds the compromises of partisan stakeholder politics too aggravating or the pace of reform through governance too demoralizing. But too many seem to devote the whole of their political effort to the disdain of partisan politics and legislative reform without doing anything of substance in other forms, usually in ways that have little impact at all except to divide and demoralize the more progressive party and its efforts at progressive reform to the direct benefit of the more reactionary party and its efforts. It is one thing to oppose a presidential policy and propose a better one, ideally in a way that proposes an actual path to its realization given the current composition of government, but quite another to condemn the president in a sweeping way that discounts differences that make a difference between him and actual alternatives or amounts to a disdaining of the executive branch as a vector of change altogether.
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Like It Or Not, In the US the Two Political Parties Are Indispensable Vehicles for Change
David Atkins is talking sense: