Sunday, March 13, 2011


The following article, which I am reproducing whole here, came from a March 7 posting over at former Labor Secretary Robert Reich's brilliant blog "". I have taken the liberty of bolding where I felt necessary. My own comments will follow this piece at bottom and will appear in bolded italic. Enjoy!
The Birth of the People’s Party
Monday, March 7, 2011

Look at the outrage in Madison, Wisconsin. Look at the crowds in DesMoines, Iowa. Look at the demonstrations in Indiana and Ohio and elswhere around America.

Hear what they’re saying: Stop attacking unions. Stop making scapegoats out of public employees. Stop protecting the super-rich from paying their fair share of the taxes needed to keep our schools running.

Stop gutting the working middle class.

Are we finally seeing average Americans stand up and demand a fair shake in an economy now grotesquely tilted toward the wealthy and the privileged? Are Americans beginning to awake to the fact that our economy now delivers a larger share of total income to the very top than at any time in living memory? That big corporations are making more money and creating more jobs ABROAD than in the United States?

That this concentration of income and wealth has so corrupted politics that corporations can extort whatever they want from the government — tax breaks, loan guarantees, subsidies — while the super-rich can take most of their income as capital gains (taxed at 15 percent), and the rest at the lowest top rate in 25 years? And that because of this our kids are crowded into classrooms, our streets and highways and bridges are falling apart, and our healthcare bills are out of control?

The Tea Party grew out of indignation over the Wall Street bailout — an indignation shared by the vast majority of Americans. But the Tea Party ended up directing its ire at government rather than at big business and Wall Street. Was this because billionaires Charles and David Koch and their like funneled money to the Tea Party through front organizations like Dick Armey’s Freedom Works, and thereby co-opted it?

Now we may be seeing the birth of a genuine populist movement. Call it the People’s Party. Like the Tea Party, the People’s Party doesn’t have a clear organization or hierarchy or single address. It doesn’t have lobbyists in Washington. It’s not even yet recognized by the mainstream media.

But the People’s Party seems to be growing in numbers and in intensity. And it’s starting to push elected officials — first at the state level — to listen and respond.

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY support this creation of a new PEOPLE'S PARTY! I say, let it become as powerful and influential a faction within the Democratic Party as the Tea Party has become in the Republican Party! Conservative Republicanism failed this country way back in the 1920s. Foolishly, today's reactionary Republicans stubbornly cling to those thoroughly discredited, unfair, and HARMFUL "supply-side" and "free market" CRAZY economic beliefs and practices! Blue Dog Democrats, too cowardly or too conservative to behave as REAL Democrats used to, (being a strong force for econpmic change and fairness), have dragged the Democratic Party down. They have saddled it with heretical corporatist ideology. They have undercut the President's more progressive planks and weakened him politically, forcing him to make unnecessary and damaging overtures to, and compromises with, the reactionary Repulicans.

People are understandably frustrated. I share that frustration.

NEITHER PARTY REPRESENTS THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION ANY LONGER. The Republicans are ALL bought-out, corporate shills and represent only the religious right, big business, and the wealthiest 2% of the country. Scott Walker and his reactionary Republicans' actions in Wisconsin prove that this miserable party is bound determined to attack American workers to aid the rich. The Democrats have become impotent and no longer represent the poor OR The middle class, either. They, too, have become plutocratic puppets who are completely compromised by the oligarchy this country has become. Only a handful of progressives, notably Vermont Senator BERNIE SANDERS, Minnesota Senator AL FRANKEN, Ohio Senator SHERROD BROWN, and Oregon Senator RON WYDEN have shown any gumption at all, by consistently voting in favor of "normal, everyday, working Americans" who make up most of the remaining 98% of the population.

Writing in, in an article called "Is Wisconsin the Real Republican Waterloo?", E.D. Kain says, "In Wisconsin, Democrats are already promising to step-up recall efforts. But the recalls are only a small part of what is likely going to be a huge anti-Republican backlash across the nation, as working Americans finally realize what that party actually stands for: a playing field heavily tilted toward the rich and powerful, toward corporate power, and against worker rights...And now conservatives have chosen public-sector workers and teachers as their hill to die on. They have followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and elected Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and various other Tea Party candidates. Heavily funded by big campaign donors like the Koch brothers and other corporate interests, the Republican party has made a concerted effort across the country to take on unions, public pensions, and social services for the poor...Republicans have a long history of union-busting and anti-labor rhetoric, but taking on teachers and cops is a big mistake. This blatant effort to weaken the Democratic party will have precisely the opposite effect...Now Scott Walker has given progressives their chance. This is the Democrats' chance to recapture that narrative, to turn the discussion back to the dignity of the middle class, to the importance of policies that do not simply push power and capital ever upward. THIS is the Republican’s Waterloo." PRETTY ASTOUNDING OBSERVATIONS FOR ONE WRITING FOR FORBES.COM!

NOW IS THE TIME! People are fired up and are now starting to recognize the threat the conservative Republicans pose to us all. This country needs President Obama and ALL Progressives to wean Democrats away from the timid Blue Dog and conservative influencees and unite under a new, MUCH more responsive, pro-labor, and progressive PEOPLE'S PARTY. The time is ripe for all progressives to flood Democratic Party caucuses next year and slowly replace the corrupting influences within, eventually filling them with progressive-minded PEOPLE'S PARTY activists instead! This would not only ensure the President's re-election, but it would free him from the confines he's been forced to operate under. When this occurs, I'll bet we see an invigorated President who will actually be able to accomplish just what voters need and really want, and what they expected when they elected him in 2008. Remember, the President started out with a much more progressive agenda. After lukewarm Democratic support and no support at all from Republicans, he grew more timid in his approach. I believe that, with an overwhelming new Democratic majority composed of a strong PEOPLE'S PARTY faction, he will return to the form he showed right after he was first elected.

Like Robert Reich, I, too, believe this to be a growing, GENUINELY populist movement in dire need of an activist launching. Will you join me in this push for a truly progressive alternative to the phony, Koch brothers-financed ultra-conservative Tea Party? Will you attend next year's Democratic caucuses, write repeated letters to the editor of your local paper, TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS, and post info about what you're doing to attract others on Facebook and Twitter? By doing so, we may just be able to completely reverse this long downhill slide the conservative Republicans have had this country on for the past 30 years!

This is NOT a move to radicalize the Democratic Party. Rather, it is a way to RESTORE it to the party it once was: a party deserving of respect, which will again actually deliver for its constituents (and the entire country), as it should!



Tim said...

Great Post Jack! I'm with ya except the Obama thing. If anything he has become more Republican than I could have imagined. I wish he'd recapture his roots and beliefs. In other words, be more like Bernie or a Kennedy. I'd say it's up to him, which path he follows. Unfortunately,
He's seems to have set his course and that doesn't set well with me.

Holte Ender said...

This is excellent Jack agree with every word, have it given a big credit over at MMA.

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you, sir. I share your frustration, but I do believe once re-elected, Obama will have nothing to fear. And with a newly-invigorated, REAL Democratic Party behind him, he will again press for more progressive programs. We'll just have to see, that's all, but one thing is certain: WE CANNOT STAY HOME AND CREATE NEW SCOTT WALKERS IN THE PROCESS!
Holte Ender,
Good hearing from you again. Thank you, and we simply MUST push for what we want, and not leave it all up to Obama.

Oso said...

Jack,God bless you for this.You did the legwork and connected the dots, and offer a viable alternative. I'll have to digest this a bit - not meaning to weigh good and bad, rather something thought provoking and viable that bears reading several times.
You gave me, hell you gave US some hope, Jack.

Darlene said...

Good job, Jack. I'm certainly with you. Thanks for a great post.

Oso said...

FB shared, had some difficulty, had to share the homepage and mention the post name, but since it's the top of the page people will see it - assuming you don't put up some Twins spring training post in the meantime.

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

You're a delight~! go Jack go. Who's better than you. The Obama thing is a bit grating, but you know, I think you're hitting the right chords. Arrgh! Go Jack.

Morgan said...

This is really a good post, Jack. The time is now for people to take charge of where the country is going.
We don't see eye-to-eye that Obama is the man for the job but if he would or could be converted into doing the things that he campaigned on, I'm all for it.
A lot of good constructive thoughts in this one.

Jack Jodell said...

I'm glad you found some value to it, Oso my good man. We DO have alternatives in this tricky world of politics, and we can't always rely on one political figure to the job for us. It's up to US too!
Thank you kindly, and keep up the good work over there at Darlene's Homepage!
Thank you. We don't have to endorse or even accept Obama's objectionable positions. We just have to make damn sure a conservative Republican isn't installed by the Koch bastards as President come January 20, 2013. Most of all, though, my point is that it's up to US to turn the Democratic Party around and keep it from being "Republican Lite" any longer! Let's DO IT!!!
Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words and optimism. I'll just say that Obama has already proven he may NOT be the right guy for the job. But since there are no viable or realistic leftist challengers, and the Republican ones are unthinkable and wholly unacceptable, it is up to US to force Obama back to the left where he originally started from - and to keep him there! I think it's worth the gamble, especially considering the despicable candidates the GOP is putting forth!

Stimpson said...

You have a good heart, Jack, and that's what makes you one of my favourite bloggers.

I can't agree with your assessment of Obama. I think he's a marketing product, not a progressive in any meaningful way, a 'centrist.' But otherwise I love this post.

I'm puzzled at how someone who uses words like "hard left Obama haters" at his own site (you know who you are) could say he agrees wholeheartedly with this post. It seems to me that your post recognizes that the Obama administration has disappointed, and recognizing that is a far cry from calling people with heartfelt and legitimate criticisms "haters".

tnlib said...

Applause. Will share on FB as well, if the damn thing works.

"It's up to US too!" Exactly.

Yes, Stimspon. I know who you're talking about and have been talking about in several places. Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth shut and show no irnorance, than to open it and leave no doubt.

Stimpson said...

Actually, tnlib, I have not been talking about this in several places, so I find your remark puzzling.

Tom Harper said...

Great post. It's definitely time for a People's Party. Whether it's organized or even whether it has a name, I think millions of middle class people have been jolted out of their stupor by the events in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Texas...

We all need to wake up and realize that each individual has the power to make a difference in some small way. My favorite recent example is the Wisconsin Firefighters union members all withdrawing their money out of a bank in Madison that had been one of Scott Walker's largest campaign donors. The bank had to close early that day after $800,000 got abruptly withdrawn.

The original Tea Party founder (I forget his name) is furious about how the tea party got hijacked by Republicans and corporate interests. He founded the Tea Party for one reason -- to protest the government bailout of Wall Street. He called the newer corporate-funded teabaggers "a bunch of douchebags."

Snowbrush said...

I love it--that last paragraph especially.

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you for your kind words. I guess only time will tell who is right, but the fact remains that American progressives hat just sat back on their asses far too long and must now grab this opportunity to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN!
Thank you, Leslie. Our biggest challenge as lefties will be to advance our progressive agenda without without causing an unnecessary divisive fight within the Democratic Party or alienating others who also have a voice and who are needed for this struggle. Surely, if FDR could weld conservatives, moderates AND liberals together on a ubifying platform of economic opportunity for all for several generations, we can do the same thing. Our futire are at stake, so try we must!
Thank you, sir, and we DO need to act now that we're out of our stupor! That Wisconsin firefighters union vs the bank story is fabulous, and all of us could and should end our associations (if any) we may have with big banks who fund teabaggers and Republicans by taking OUR funds out and redepositing them in neighborhood credit unions! We CAN and MUST do something each in our own way! Keep those ideas coming!

Jack Jodell said...

Thank you. It is vitally important that the Democratic Party be repaired and restored to what it was before Reagan started it and the whole country down the destructive road to corpocracy. Now IS the time for all good persons to come to the aid of their party!

Morgan said...

I truly hope that it is the Blue Dog Dems that are to blame for what seems to be Obama's failures. I like the man, and he just might listen if the right pressure is applied. I am willing to give him the chance to do what needs to be done.

We need to keep up the momentum and activism, until these goals are realized.

Great post!

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks again, Morgan, and I share your optimism. There is so MUCH each of us can do in our own individual as well as collective way! I heard talk today of a May1 nationwide "day of rage" being organized to show solidarity against the corporations who are trying to dominate us all. Keep your eyes peeled here and elsewhere for more details.

Manifesto Joe said...

I fear that it's all going to have to get a lot worse, Jack. I anticipate that by about the midterm elections of 2018, we'll see it finally come to that. The reason populist/radical movements were more effective yesteryear is that people were pushed to the point where they felt they had nothing much left to lose. There was a food riot in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1932 that is barely acknowledged as a footnote in history how. But such things were happening all over America back then. My mother actually had rickets because where she was growing up, people were living on beans and cornbread. Real "Grapes of Wrath" sort of stuff. I fear that people will have to be pushed that far, yet again, before the current powers will realize that their ruse can't last.

S.W. Anderson said...

Reich's post is excellent, as always. I tend to think this "people's party" idea, if it holds up and builds up, should focus like a laser on treating the Democratic Party to some serious housecleaning.

Third parties, no matter how fired up with enthusiasm and good intentions at the start, are recipes for election-day disasters. But as radical conservatives and, more recently, tea bagger dolts, have demonstated, major parties can be taken over and reoriented toward what those who've taken over want.

Jack Jodell said...

Manifesto Joe,
Thanks for your comment, and I hope you are wrong, though. I see evidence all across the country that people are sick and tired of being pawns in some rich hedge fund manager's game. I hope and pray, and I encourage, all to rise up and shout that "we're not gonna take it anymore!" One thing is certain: the Democratic Party has been derailed onto a perberse neo-liberal track. It is high time people like you and I push it back to where it came from.
Thanks for stopping by. I couldn't agree with you more. Third parties ARE a recipe for political defeat. That is why I am advocating for this People's Party to become a powerful faction in the Democratic Party, much as the teabaggers have become in the Republican farce. Rather than an abrupt housecleaning, though, which I believe would be devisive and counterproductive in the long run, I believe we should approach this gradually, leading up to a thorough conversion down the line. Now that so many people's eyes have been opened up by the radical move Scott Walker has taken, the time is ripe for us to lay some solid groundwork. Party caucuses are 11 months off or so, but we can and must do much to prepare now beforehand. That is why emails and Facebook postings are so crucial, along with calls to local congressional offices and letters to the editor of newspapers and magazines. The more each of us do beforehand, the easier and broader reaching the masses will become. Eventually, we WILL prevail!

tnlib said...

"That is why emails and Facebook postings are so crucial..."

The two problems I find with FB are that, if anything, nobody hears (or cares) what anyone else has to say because everyone is so busy shouting their own points of view, and there is almost mind-numbing repetition. Sometimes I feel we're just blowing into the wind.

This is why I think emails, phone calls and letters to anyone and every one carry a lot more weight.

Jack Jodell said...

I personally HATE Facebook, but it is a medium that is heavily used and it, along with Twitter (which I also hate) reaches a lot of younger people, and was heavily used to bring about the revolution in Egypt. I figure if it worked for them, it can work here, too. But the whole point is for us to act in some capacity...

mud_rake said...

People's Party. YES! That seems like the only hope for wshat's left of the Middle Class here in America.

Of course, we'll have to fight tooth and nail against the idiotic right-wing who roots for the CEO's election after election.

I wonder when [if] they will ever come to realize that they have been pawns for the uber-rich?

Jack Jodell said...

They've been buffaloed for far too long, and I think they're FINALLY - at long last - waking up to the fact that these corporate pricks don't care about them in the least and are actually trying to confine them into economic slavery!

Jolly Roger said...

The way the MSM simply parrots whatever the right wing tells them to parrot, what we'll wind up with eventually is a "People's Party" along the lines of the one Lenin introduced to Russia. If we insist on grinding the poor and the displaced long enough, a violent message will sound more and more appealing to them.

In suppressing all points of view but those of the super-rich, the super-rich sow the seeds of their own demise. History has shown us this over and over again. But, you know, Rushpubliscums aren't very good with history.

Jack Jodell said...

Jolly Roger,
Republiscums aren't good with history because all they're any good at is scapegoating and paranoia. They are indeed planting the seeds of their own eventual demise. I would prefer the People's Party, though, to simply restore the power of unions, get much fairer taxation, reduce runaway CEO pay, end corporate tax loopholes and shut down their Cayman Islands facade, keep American jobs here in this country, and grow the middle class once again (as opposed to setting up a Lenin-style dictatorship). Guess we've got our work cut out for us, hey?

Bobby Kearan said...

There are several movements going on that I find exciting. The Coffee Party, US Uncut and The Other 98% come to mind. I think we are rising up, but we do need a good central core to unify us into a bigger, more effective, cohesive group voice.