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Booman should run for Office

by Frank Schnittger Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 12:54:10 PM EST

[Cross-posted from the Booman Tribune]

With Booman off on his holidays to consider his future, I thought I might contribute an outside perspective which he may, or may not, find of interest.  All of us have benefited greatly from his analyses here, and the platform he provides for further discussion and debate. For me his is the go to site for insights on US political developments. But maybe the time has come for Booman to consider entering the fray directly, rather than just being an informed commentator and bystander.

By chance I recently found myself waiting in a surgery idly looking through the first few pages of Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope". In it he describes his somewhat crazy decision to run for the Senate as a more or less no hope outsider. He justified it to his long suffering wife as a one last shot at making a difference in politics. She reluctantly agreed but didn't promise him her vote. She wanted a greater contribution from him towards family life and raising their kids.

However the dysfunctionality he describes in US public life has been amplified many times since the election of Donald Trump. If ever there was a time to take responsibility and attempt to lead the US out of the swamp it has entered, it is now. The long odds really aren't the issue. It is the principle that matters. So why should Booman run for office?


Looked at from afar, the political crisis in the US has manifold causes, but a few stand out. First of all, globalisation has been good for many in the US economy, but many have also lost out and have little hope of redemption.

Secondly, the rising tide of minority population growth and immigration has led to the traditionally relatively secure white working class voters feeling beleaguered and unrepresented by the two main parties.

Thirdly the dominance of big money, big corporations and media organisations has resulted in the political system basically being hijacked by the ruling class.

Fourthly, the neo-liberal dream of making the world safe for American "democratic" rule has gone badly off the rails. Many people feel that the system no longer works for them and that the USA has lost at least some of its leadership in the world.

Hillary didn't seem like a solution to any of these problems, and so in desperation, many voters turned to Trump, a political outsider, in the hope he might be able to replicate his apparent business success in politics. Many are not even yet prepared to admit they got it wrong. Generally, telling voters they got it wrong last time out is not a good political strategy. You have to offer them something new.

At the moment the Democratic party is still riven by "we told you so" blame games between the Hillary and Sanders camps with the establishment focusing on the Russian collusion story almost to the exclusion of all else. This strategy is useful insofar as it divides and weakens the Trump/Republican administration and prevents them implementing much of their agenda. But it can also get in the way of a deeper analysis of what Hillary got wrong and what needs to be addressed if Democrats are to start winning elections again.

It must also not be forgotten that Republicans won both Houses of Congress, often taking seats in areas not won by Trump. Democrats therefore have much deeper structural issues to address.

In fairness to Booman he has been at the forefront of attempts to craft a political strategy which can attract parts of the disaffected Trump/Republican base without compromising core Democratic values: Chiefly an emphasis on the importance of re-enacting anti-trust laws to prevent global commercial monopolies crushing all local enterprise. I don't think that that strategy, on it's own, will be sufficient to swing political momentum back to Democrats, but perhaps it can in combination with the sheer incompetence of the Trump/Republican regime and the disasters it has not yet visited on the American people.

Chief among these are the impending debt crises where a failure to raise the debt ceiling, leading to a default, could crash to US economy to the point where most Republicans, of all stripes, become unelectable. A miss-calculation leading to a serious war in Korea would be another possibility. Attempting to impose sanctions on European firms trading with Russia could also set up a very damaging US/EU confrontation.

But that would be to rely on Republicans losing the election for you. First the Democrats need to address their own divisions between the Clinton and Sanders wings of the party. As both Principals are unlikely to run again due to advancing years, that task may fall to a new generation of leaders. In the meantime, Booman is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. I think he should run for Office. He supported Hillary as the more likely to win the general election, but wasn't overly invested in her. His time may now come.

Display:
I haven't. I haven't looked at that site since once or thrice in 2007.

< wipes tears >

And As a rule, I'd really much prefer if you'd deal with your issues with BT on BT, not on ET.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 05:46:29 PM EST
<sigh>
This is a cross post from Booman.  I opted not to adapt the text for an ET audience as the context should be clear...

And I don't have any issues with BT. I do have issues with how US politics is developing and think Booman could make a positive contribution.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 06:31:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, then, electioneering at eurotrib is perfectly reasonable considering the number of eligible US voters who infest this EU communnity.  
< wipes tears >
Have you considered setting up a Paypal link for "Booman" campaign treasury?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 07:49:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but I'm sure you will contribute generously...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 9th, 2017 at 08:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< wipes tears >

You would be wrong. I have never "donated" my money to any campaign treasury.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Aug 19th, 2017 at 12:45:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps my sarcasm wasn't obvious enough...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 19th, 2017 at 02:04:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compliments to you Frank.

Martin himself from his retreat somewhere in nature ... must have satellite reception. ;-)

Listed @BooMan

by Oui on Mon Aug 14th, 2017 at 09:47:29 AM EST
I think that must be almost the first time Booman has recommended a diary of mine.  We have been on opposing sides of the argument a few times - chiefly when he has ventured to comment on things Irish or European from what I considered not a very well informed perspective. Sometimes I have felt he has drifted too far towards an establishment Democratic party perspective when reality and political imperatives have cried out for a more radical approach.  You can get lost in the weeds of incremental tactical political manoeuvring at times.

But mainly I have found him a well informed and insightful analyst.  The question now is whether he wants to move past that role.  Perhaps his recommendation is a first hint that he might be thinking along similar lines...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 14th, 2017 at 10:24:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A seat at the NLC?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 12:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
or the Advisory Council of ambassadors?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 12:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know.  It really is up to him what he might choose to aim for.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 01:55:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Booman, i.e ... Martin, is a fucking idiot who can kiss my ass.

Signed,

The Doctor.

My allegiance to the human species ends at the California border.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon Aug 14th, 2017 at 09:47:04 PM EST
Perhaps you might like to elaborate on what he has done which has upset you so much?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 14th, 2017 at 11:17:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he certainly couldn't do a worse job than many of the people currently sitting in DC. And I don't just mean the collection of failed humanity sitting on the republican side.

but the problem is that the feeder mechanism for the democrats seems to be broken. The republicans work hard at all levels of government. The have national strategies to fill up representation from local dog catcher to mahoralty to state house representative and on to DC. At every level they fight and fight hard cos they know that with control of a region, they control the mechanisms. They worked out decades ago that if you control the mechanism, if you control the counts, you control the results.

But democrats only seem to get off their arses to put somebody in the White House. which is good, but then they are hemmed in on all sides by the GOP who are vastly over-represented considering the size of their support.

I know dKos have made a start on addressing this, but for reasons that I don't really understand, their efforts always seem to focus on the wrong people in the wrong place. Maybe Booman could move the site from being oppositional (which in this age of Trump must be a dastardly and dsipiriting task I agree) to being functional. The Democrat national machine has failed to work at anything other than DC level, so it's time for a new institution that laser focusses lower down.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Aug 15th, 2017 at 02:31:09 PM EST
A NEW! 50-State Strategy?
?
"We need a return to a 50 state strategy"
If not anarchy in the ASDC,
< wipes tears >
then mo' better farm implements at the DNC.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 12:26:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is from afar, but I think that the internal power balance is for the Democrat leadership prioritised over actually getting new seats. So they rather run right-wingers who win or lose won't upset the current leaderships position then open up to people who might oppose their leadership position if elected.

On the Republican side, the various factions are more accepted, as long as they bring seats. And the factions have organisations - churches, chambers of commerce, Koch brothers and other billionaires - outside the party that recruits, funds and rewards the persons running for school boards etc.

I think both of these factors are important in why various grass-roots initiatives founder. Without acceptance from leadership, trying to recruit and run candidates is a hopeless task as the best will be sabotaged. Without and outside organisation that puts your run for school board in a greater struggle, running for school board is pointless (unless you enjoy school board issues).

I hope Justice Democrats and similar post-Sanders initiatives have more success as they enter more with an assumption of leadership malice then leadership incompetence. I think Nevada was very instructive.

by fjallstrom on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 01:30:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the problem last time out was that Hillary was the establishment choice and heir presumptive from a long way out, and so Sanders or any other candidate who threatened her coronation was, by definition, the enemy.

Next time out there won't be any obvious establishment choice at national level, although there will, of course be incumbents for many lower level offices. However the Dems have been so decimated at all levels, there will be huge numbers of seats with no Dem incumbent and no shortage of targets.

However it is interesting that Trump essentially won through an insurgent campaign against establishment Republicans whereas the Dem establishment triumphed over the insurgent Sanders, who wasn't even a Dem Senator.

With the Dems out of national office, I would expect an insurgent campaign to triumph next time out.  Obama was Hillary's greatest enabler.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 02:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that with the GOP all representatives are already sold to the plutocrats of one stripe or another. So long as they pledge to deliver tax cuts for the wealthy, any other enthusaism will be indulged.

Wheras Democrats have actual opinions and often clash with the senior hierarchy who are still (far too) plutocrat friendly. So they take more care in ensuring docile (but useless) candidates

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Aug 16th, 2017 at 02:07:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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