The system done them in
All of this points to a very sick policy environment. It’s also frankly antidemocratic. Rather than work toward creating the best possible policies we can through public debate, critique, and reform, the name of the game is messaging and information control, including within Congress. If this nightmarish process actually generated good policy that was put into law, maybe you could forgive people for engaging in it. But in reality, it keeps generating extremely broken policies that mostly don’t pass anyway and that fail to live up to expectations even when they do.
Poor Matt was credulous about transforming the Democratic Party when he was young-and-upcoming. You can see in his article how he thought federal policy-making could involve a transparent and participatory kind of democracy.
In general, over time, it’s a sorry thing to observe progressives getting disillusioned and then “pragmatic” and then cynical.
Did you know that Nancy Pelosi had been viewed as a progressive when she was young-and-upcoming? Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham entered the 1972 George McGovern campaign from the left. Prior to that Hillary had been working with the righteous Saul Alinsky.
Ralph Nader shoulda stuck with Norman Thomas.
Bernie. Sad old Bernie. Shoulda stuck with Debs.
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Wise younger Bernie warned against having any faith in the Democratic Party:
“It has been my view for many years that what we need in this country is what Jesse Jackson calls a Rainbow Coalition — but it has to be done outside the Democratic Party.”
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Sanders. Kucinich. Both of the Clintons. Obama. Nader.
The system done them in.