Nov 14 2018
06:00 am

On her first day in Washington D.C., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of the progressive left and newly elected congresswoman from New York, decided it would be a good idea to protest outside Nancy Pelosi's office.

“This is not about personality, this is not about rebuke, this is not about confrontation — it’s about making sure that we are getting the job done,” she declared, moments before she spoke to young activists who staged a sit-in to demand a Green New Deal to address climate change."

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s noisy Washington debut, and her uncanny knack for grabbing the spotlight, underscores the difficulties that await Democratic leaders as they try to unify an unusually diverse incoming class. Newcomers in both parties descended on the capital Tuesday for the start of a biennial Washington rite — freshman orientation — that seems unusually freighted with seriousness in the age of President Trump.

I'm all for bringing in new blood to Washington. Is it really a good idea to add to the Republicans disdain for Pelosi?

Alex_Falk's picture

this is why she won her primary and her seat

all the diversity & fresh faces in the world mean nothing at all if the party does not make a drastic shift away from the corporate / neoliberal ideology of the new democrats.

politicians (young or old) who answer to capital interests with a sprinkle of identity politics on top are wholly inadequate to fight the rising tide of reaction & combat catastrophic climate change.

the party will return to class politics & refuse continued control by the donor classes, or it will fail.


bizgrrl's picture

There are nearly 250

There are nearly 250 Republicans in the House. Why pick on a Democrat as your first activity?

Mike Daugherty's picture

Dems won big in the mid-terms

Dems won big in the mid-terms by taking over the House, 6 or 7 governorships, and gaining over 300 seats in state legislatures. Now is the time for Democrats to be united and plan for future pickups in 2020 and winning the Presidency. There is a excellent chance that many things on the progressive agenda will be passed in the near future and many things on Trump's agenda will be halted if Democrats will work together. With the nation's demographic makeup changing in places like Arizona, Texas, and Georgia, the only thing that can stop Democratic success is self destruction. Of course, some people cannot stand success.

jbr's picture

To me the Democrats need to

To me the Democrats need to jointly work on the big picture, get folks elected, so they are even in the game at all, and aside, work on the changes they want within the party.

To me, those kinds of changes would happen at House level, both state and Congressional.

You have to pick your battles.

Redistricting (dismantle gerrymandered districts) seems like a huge part of making the kinds of changes lots of folks want to make. Make it known your next vote factors in objective redistricting
in your next voting decision.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Ocasio-Cortez needs to focus

Ocasio-Cortez needs to focus on helping Dems accomplish goals instead of selfish grandstanding. Women and Progressives were very impressive in mid-term campaigns. The closeness of elections in Texas and Georgia were very encouraging for Democrats but what really won the House for Democrats was the recruitment of good candidates that fit their districts. Women and veterans that were moderate and could compete for the votes of Independents gave Democrats the edge. Ocasio-Ortez should realize the reality of politics. Democracy is about compromise. Getting half of what you want gets you a lot closer to your goals than getting nothing. I agree with Ocasio-Cortez on many issues but Democrats are a lot more likely to achieve their goals if they are united instead of divided. Nancy Pelosi has been a great leader for the Democratic Party. The first woman Speaker deserves to be elected again to that position. The success of women will continue in future elections until they hold the seats that reflect their 51% proportion of the population. I look forward to women providing more ideas and leadership in Congress. The influence of women will eventually give Congress the needed balance on policy that has always been needed.

Alex_Falk's picture

"selfish grandstanding" lmao

Ocasio-Cortez did not organize the action, she appeared at the action to support the groups' message and encouraged Pelosi to listen to them. Pelosi welcomed the action. Ocasio-cortez said she looked forward to working with Pelosi.

fighting for a vision of the future / attempting to steer the party is not when you chose to compromise.

it seems to me that y'all are offended that someone has dared to engage in left politics inside the dem party. supporting the message of these activists is "grandstanding"?

Somebody's picture

There's the left-right

There's the left-right dynamic you're thinking about, and then there's the newbie overstepping their bounds dynamic. Even H. Clinton put her shoulder into it and did the work as a freshman Senator, not overplaying her eight years as First Lady. Barack Obama got a lot of side-eye for running for President before finishing a full term in the Senate. Had he not pulled the straight flush and won, he'd still be struggling to get decent committee assignments and an office that's not in the basement.

There are 535 people in Congress, all jockeying for attention and power. Freshmen legislators who get a reputation for pulling stunts without first doing their homework are often surprised to turn around and find that there are knots in their tails.

R. Neal's picture

What works for Ocasio-Cortez

What works for Ocasio-Cortez in NY14 doesn't work in TN2 or lots of other places in "flyover country."

Alex_Falk's picture

y'all should check out the jacobin article i linked

something i should add in response to your original post bizgrrl:

supporting real action on climate change, trying to pull the party back to class politics or any other attempt to steer the direction of this party through activism has absolutely zero to do with the GOP, it does nothing to "add to the disdain for pelosi" on the part of GOP voters

inside their media bubble, GOP rhetoric will continue to paint pelosi and other neoliberal dems with the same shade of "socialist red" they've always used -- despite the fact that they are as much servants of capital as their GOP counterparts.

however: the bankrupt liberal politics that figures like pelosi represent does need to be met with disdain by anyone who would like to see the reactionary right defeated, corporate power opposed and climate change mitigation implemented before the seas boil

Up Goose Creek's picture

Big Tent

The Democratic party can be a big tent with various perspectives. I find the idea that everyone should be in lockstep disturbing.

You may see it as grandstanding but I wonder if Ms O-C will play the role of Court Jester from the olden days. I don't mean this as an insult - there needs to be someone who can be outspoken about uncomfortable issues. And I say this as a moderate who may not agree with many of her platforms. Though I do agree wholeheartedly we need to make responding to climate change a priority.

bizgrrl's picture

I agree with most everything

I agree with most everything you said. I also agree climate change is a huge priority. Just don't agree with Ms O-C's first day tactics. Maybe it's a message, sort of like Burchett's aw shucks message. It's just he didn't start off on the attack, especially against the party that brung ya.

Oh, well. Life is short. What's the president done today?

Alex_Falk's picture

a twitter thread all of you should read

i do not follow this person (and expect i do not agree with all of his politics) but this thread from yesterday succinctly identified tendencies that i have often noticed in knoxviews users and have been trying to formulate:

conservative rhetoric (even conservative ideology) does a huge part in informing the liberal worldview

John Stoehr's thread here:

Alex_Falk's picture

thread 1/3


1. Something happened at the Capitol Tuesday to reaffirm my long-held view that liberals should stop believing what conservatives say liberals believe.

2. One of the biggest obstacles in the history of American liberalism has been this tendency among liberals to accept as true things liberalism’s enemies say about it and them.

3. Newly elected members of the US Congress arrived for orientation. @Ocasio2018 spoke at a sit-in featuring about 200 people outside Nancy Pelosi’s office.

4. The “protest,” as it was called, was organized by an advocacy group aiming to raise awareness about climate change and to advocate for more green-energy jobs.

5. This was manna to Ocasio-Cortez, who made history as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress after unseating US Rep. Joe Crowley, the former No. 3 in the House Democratic leadership.

6. The 29-year-old Latina has been stumping for liberal candidates across the country, making liberal arguments in unapologetically liberal ways. That she spoke with activists demanding action from leading liberals should have come as no surprise to anyone any time anywhere.

7. But then came this bit of disinformation from the spokeswoman of Paul Ryan to Capitol Hill reporters, which set the tone for the entire day: "Huh, well this is unconventional," AshLee Strong wrote in an email. "The incoming speaker is getting protested by one of her freshman."

8. From this point onward, Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t doing what a young dynamic liberal legislator does. No, no, no! She was “protesting” Pelosi!

9. AshLee Strong paved the way for every Capitol Hill reporter to tell a story they had been wanting to tell even though the narrative” was based on a falsehood: that this unruly mob can’t be controlled.

Alex_Falk's picture

thread 2/3

10. This “narrative” drew the ire of liberals who would have otherwise cheered Ocasio-Cortez. It rekindled the battle between the youngs and the olds, between “centrists” and “leftists,” and between “insurgents” and “the establishment.”

11. Worse, it inspired some liberals to trot out the old (often vaguely sexist) nomenclature: Ocasio-Cortez was grandstanding. She was showboating. She was this, that, and whatever. Too many liberals accepted as true what liberalism’s enemies said about it and them.

12. Thing is, when you actually listen to the women, a different picture comes to light. Not only was Ocasio-Cortez doing what young dynamic liberal legislators are supposed to do—bring new energy and new ideas to the table—

13. she was charting her own course while forging alliances with established powers. She created a bridge between an energized under-30 base & the party’s leadership. She’ll likely be an invaluable ally as Pelosi plots a way forward.

14. Few can say they’ve accomplished more on their first day.

15. Bloomberg reported the incident was a challenge to “party unity.” The Times said earlier these renegades may be unwilling to “toe the party line.” Fox’s Laura Ingraham thrilled at the sight of Nancy Pelosi trying to wrangle newly elected “insurgents.”
None of it was true.

16. As is the case when women rise to power, people are eager to project onto them what they want to see, and are not listening to what they are actually saying.

17. Reporters can be trusted to frame politics in conservative terms. That’s what happened. Right-wing media can be trusted to cement the view that the Democrats are “a mob” and risk “overplaying their hand.” That’s what happened. But liberals ought to know better.

Alex_Falk's picture

thread 3/3

18. Here is what Ocasio-Cortez said to activists:
“Should Leader Pelosi become the next Speaker of the House, we need to tell her that we’ve got her back in showing and pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has ever seen.”

19. Later, to the news media:
“AOC: One of the things I admire so much about Leader Pelosi is that she comes from a space of activism and organizing. And so I think that she really appreciates civic engagement. What I’m here to do is to support the folks who are here. …”

20. AOC: This is about uplifting the voice and the message of the fact that we need a Green New Deal and we need to get to 100 percent renewables because our lives depend on it. ***We are here to back [Pelosi] up.***

21. To which, Pelosi said: We are inspired by the energy and activism of the many young activists and advocates leading the way on the climate crisis …

22. Pelosi: We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy.

23. Um, yeah, no. This was not a protest, as Republican AshLee Strong said. It was activism. This was not disunity. It was unity.

24. This isn’t the Tea Party. This isn’t a conservative party. It’s a liberal and democratic party. Reporters should cover it as such if only for the purpose of accurately representing reality.

25. But liberals weren’t listening either. They should have been. Instead, they accepted as true what liberalism’s enemies said about it and them.

yellowdog's picture


for posting these comments. We need to try thinking strategically and not paying much attention to what Republicans say.

JR01's picture

Pelosi is practically on a breathing tube.

She’s almost 80 years old. Mr. Ocasio-Cortez is showing America that the younger generation’s voice needs to be heard. We want change, and electing the same person to serve a previous role does not align with our wants and needs.

Mike Daugherty's picture

I am excited about the new

I am excited about the new young members elected to Congress as well as more women and minorities. It is about time that they had more influence in decision making in Washington, D.C. In saying that, there is no substitute for experience. It seems to be the trend that too many people that are inexperienced think they can jump into a job without being mentored or trained to be good and excel at their job. This trend appears to include most occupations whether it be electrician, plumber, teacher, member of Congress. or the current President. Arrogance is not a good quality. As far as thinking that Pelosi cannot be effective because of her age, there are many men and women older than her that have been great political leaders and have accomplished much more than colleagues that have been a generation or more younger . It seems that on the one hand you are being critical of those that you think discriminate against young people and do not respect them and at the same time, you are discriminating against older people and disrespecting them. Ben Franklin was an elder statesman and valuable delegate at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. At 81, his experience and contributions were invaluable to the gathering, much more so than the youngest delegate Jonathan Dayton. Dayton later became a very accomplished and distinguished leader in the Federalist Party. Nancy Pelosi is a great leader and deserves to be elected Speaker! I am sure some of the newly elected members of Congress will eventually become great leaders, but now is the time for a proven leader.

JR01's picture

You make an excellent point.

However, I don’t think that people who will be dead before climate change has any disastrous effects need to be making decisions related to it. Experience is very valuable, I just have a hard time believing that people past the traditional retirement age (65, give or take 5 years) are very worried about the future since they don’t have that much of one. Baby boomers in particular, who ran for office at young ages and took over governments by storm have been passing legislation benefiting themselves for around 30 years now without thinking of future generations’ consequences. It’s time for the “lazy millennials” to do the same thing, but with a more thoughtful approach. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez is a perfect example of the kind of person we need right now. All these jokes about her clothes and how she can’t afford to live in DC are going to turn around and bite her naysayers in the butt one day.

Somebody's picture

Al Gore is 70. The retiring

Al Gore is 70. The retiring Paul Ryan is a comparatively young 48. Which one has done more on climate change?

Concern about climate change isn’t just a function of personal self preservation. Suggesting that people beyond a given age have no value is just as shortsighted as are the suggestions that all Millennials are lazy, emotionally fragile and incompetent.

Those baby boomers you’re claiming don’t care are the 60s generation. They wrote the book on modern progressive youthful political activism. Then a bunch of them did what every generation does. They got older, more conservative, and more concerned about people getting off their lawn. But not all of them.

Getting bogged down by generational divisions is one of those side show wastes of time that the older folks could teach the younger folks if they’d work together. Factional infighting is an unforced error that lets the other side win. Don’t do it.

Rachel's picture

Climate change.

Umm, I take offense at that statement. I'm getting tired of people bashing baby boomers. Most older people have children and grandchildren, and certainly care about their futures.

Even childless me, at 66, cares a great deal about climate change.

The gap between who doesn't care and who cares about the future is not an issue of age. It's an issue of who believes in science and wants a better planet versus those who only cared about their short-term gain.

Treehouse's picture

What do you mean "we" white man?

Being 80 is certainly not a disqualifier in this Congress. Ocasio-Cortez may be young but she's not a Mr. Nancy Pelosi is an experienced quarterback and welcomes the young folks who need to listen and learn a little first.

Knoxoasis's picture

Don't oppress JR with your

Don't oppress JR with your ageist rhetoric.

Alex_Falk's picture


it has been made clear by many commenters on this thread that those of us who have lived only half our lives (or less) are to:

* sit down & shut up about our concerns + ideas
* respect the established hierarchies of power
* take as gospel the accumulated conventional wisdoms which have led the party to [ the innumerable stunning successes of the previous three decades ]

i am curious, then:
what *would* be an appropriate cut-off age for someone to retain political leadership in your party, if not 80? 85? 90?

P.S. ~ today's tidbit:

R. Neal's picture

This is the same type of

This is the same type of dialogue that damaged this blog in 2008 and pretty much finished it off in 2016. It is also why Trump is president.

Rachel's picture


Amen! to what Randy just said.

Nancy Pelosi should retain the Speakership because she's just about the most effective tactician Capitol Hill has ever seen. We need her to get stuff done.

The leadership does need to expand to include more younger people, both for their perspectives and as training for the future. But you can do that w/o going after the Speaker.

Alex_Falk's picture

criticism of the failures of liberalism

being critical about the failures of liberalism is the reason why trump is president?
explain that one to me.

R. Neal's picture

No, being strident,

No, being strident, condescending and intransigent towards fellow big tent democrats.

Alex_Falk's picture

finger pointing

"trump" (rather, the GOP) has power because of the failures of liberalism.
certainly, inability to enthusiastically rally for bad candidates who offer no compelling vision of the future is one major effect of that, but is by no means the root cause.

R. Neal's picture

I am having difficulty

I am having difficulty parsing your comment.

At any rate, it's a big world with lots of people holding lots of different opinions and ideas. Better to work for consensus, and even compromise when necessary, to actually get things done and make progress and get along.

Alex_Falk's picture


did this forum host a PUMA vs obama supporter showdown in 2008?

R. Neal's picture

did this forum host a PUMA vs

did this forum host a PUMA vs obama supporter showdown in 2008?

I don't think so. Is that some sort of litmus test?

I do recall covering the convention in Denver. I think we had some photos of PUMA people there.

More inspiring was being there in the arena when Hillary Clinton came out on the stage and moved to suspend the roll call vote and nominate Barack Obama by acclamation.

One of the great moments in politics, and instant party unity.

Alex_Falk's picture

not at all

no, just curious -- first thing that come that came to mind re: intra-democrat arguments in 2008

bizgrrl's picture

2008 ended up being a

2008 ended up being a wonderful year. The preceding months were rough, but people came together. Obama hired Clinton because she was highly qualified. Once again, everyone pretty much came together. Pelosi helped push through Obamacare, because they worked together with the enormous amount of knowledge and experience they brought to the table.

Factchecker's picture

I wouldn't want to be a troll

I wouldn't want to be a troll on this blog. Also, Nancy Pelosi is by far the most qualified to be SOTH and has a stunningly successful record. Her name has been demonized only thanks to Republicans who fear her and trolls like the one we have here.

Alex_Falk's picture

not taking pleasure, sounding an alarm

you may think i am trolling for kicks, but IMO harsh criticism of liberalism is absolutely required if the right is to be stopped & catastrophic climate change mitigated in my lifetime.

we need a party that serves the interests of the working class instead of capital. it needs to provide a compelling vision of the future. it isn’t doing either of those things, and if it does not it will continue to cede ground to an increasingly fascistic right.

as we head into crisis, the right will not hestitate to make cynical appeals to “populist” economic sentiment. the US needs a popular left politics, or the future is toast. :(

Factchecker's picture

You must have interesting

You must have interesting definitions for words like liberal and progressive. And for words like "progress."

If you think Bernie Sanders or anyone else has done more to combat climate change than Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, than you and Susan Sarandon can keep voting for candidates that reliably get beaten by Trumpism. The obstacles to addressing climate change are almost all on the right. How do you plan to get around the Blackburns, the McConnells, the Cruzes, the Rubios, et. al.? They are the problem and they remain popular. I'm anxious to hear your plan to get around democracy.

Alex_Falk's picture

capitalism = climate change

since you threw out "Bernie Sanders," -- sure, he is a step in the right direction. towards class politics and away from our current position of having ceded practically all political (economic) power to the market. he represents a small step, which is the kind of step liberals seem most comfortable with.

I can't speak to what you might be referencing by "Susan Sarandon", as I don't keep up with celeb culture.

Sure, the obstacles to addressing climate change are all on 'the right" -- if you include "The Third Way" / the New Democrats and their legacy on the right -- if you correctly identify liberalism & capitalism as largely distinct from and contrary to left politics.

You certainly do not mean to imply that It was purely a project of right wing christian culture warriors to unleash laissez-faire transnational capitalism at "the end of history," do you?

Factchecker's picture

You'll have to parse out that

You'll have to parse out that last question a little better so I can understand it. And also answer my question before I answer yours.

Your plan seems to rely on name-calling and other division tactics including age discrimination (though you of course give a pass to your god Bernie). Some of the boomers are part of the problem. Other boomers have learned lessons about organizing and effecting change that arrogant people like you are willing to throw away to bet everything on inexperienced people like Ocasio-Cortez. I hope she earns my support, but so far she has little cred and keeps putting her foot in her mouth regarding important details like facts.

One little lesson I can clue you in on is that as soon as people like Ocasio-Cortez take on more responsibility, they will become more political lightning rods than Nancy Pelosi ever was. It's because they would then threaten the GOP status quo more, and they (and corporate influence) would effectively mobilize accordingly. So by your rules, then she wouldn't be qualified. That circular firing squad is exactly what Newt Gingrich introduced to the GOP. And now you want to make the same mistakes within the Democratic party because you're too naïve to know what you're doing.

Knoxoasis's picture

Ahh,and now I'm getting

Ahh,and now I'm getting nostalgic for the environmental paradise that was the Soviet Union..

I know, I know. "Real Socialism™". Until it works, it's never been tried.

Alex_Falk's picture

typical liberal redbaiting

honestly, i completely understand skepticism of skepticism of capitalism.

i am curious — what are your ideas about a politics that can address the crises of the 21st century? is it market liberalism, a stronger welfare-state capitalism or something similar?

Factchecker's picture

There you go limiting

There you go limiting solutions to some that fit your precept. There are pathways that don't require blowing up the government or overthrowing Republican legislators that would never sign onto your socialism and who are popular among their voters. You don't have a feasible plan beyond imagining some revolution behind someone like Bernie or Ocasio-Cortez. They are lightweights without a real track record of doing anything.

Project Drawdown is one such pathway.

Alex_Falk's picture

You throw “Bernie” and “AoC”

You throw “Bernie” and “AoC” repeatedly back in my face, as if (1) their politics were particularly radical and (2) as if they were the source of my criticism of liberalism or otherwise thought-leaders to me. Neither are true.

Restating my thesis from earlier: american liberalism is in large part informed by american conservative rhetoric and ideology. not only, i think, in the liberal imagination of what is possible, but even what should be possible.

Alex_Falk's picture

wake me up

wake me up when “green capitalism” is implemented by the boards of directors.
surely they’ll do the right thing this time.
after all, they’ve already had two decades to read Hawken’s work.

Alex_Falk's picture


this piece just went up from one of my favorite podcasters, who has alot to say about the world of non-profits, environmental reform, (green) capitalism, and ultimately the nature of power and what it means for the future. in lieu of repeating myself anymore in this space out of frustration that you all still can't clearly see the future we see, please read tarence's writing here because he expresses those ideas far better than i am.


Factchecker's picture

You still can't lay out how

You still can't lay out how you scrap the economic system we have in favor of socialism or democratic socialism, whatever it is you want.

I provided merely one blueprint, and not one that's run by corporations, at least AFAIK. I don't endorse it and have not read deeply into it to see if it's propped up by Soros or whomever. Just know that it and others exist that do not rely on government overthrow.

You seem to have overlooked the pesky fact that the U.S. is no longer the primary GHG emitter and thanks to Trump, who probably wouldn't be in office had Bernie Sanders supporters possessed any degree of pragmatism, the U.S. is hardly even a major player in international policy going forward. It will require experience and statesmanship to win back the major powers of the world. Which DS leaders, other than the two you are sensitive about, do you look toward doing that?

When you state "liberalism," I believe you mean neoliberalism.

Alex_Falk's picture


“i dont endorse it and have not read”

u can stop there

Factchecker's picture

tl;dr on your link. Nobody's

tl;dr on your link. Nobody's going to wade through that and such fringe doesn't have a prayer of getting into the mainstream. Try again when you have something that can get some backing. Have you thought about where the money to propel your movement is going to come from?

Alex_Falk's picture


tldr your reply

Alex_Falk's picture

irony win

i am amused that you didnt read my link and then still replied assuming you knew what it must be and how to attack me for posting it. (1) it isnt an environmental policy blueprint (2) “thinking (being critical) about where the money comes from” is the very story that the piece tells, had you read it before describing it as “such fringe” that can’t “get backing” ....seriously funny stuff

Factchecker's picture

While you're yelling past me,

While you're yelling past me, you fail to get my point. I skimmed your link. I don't "endorse" mine, as I haven't donated to, participated in, or evaluated it carefully enough. I was showing that there are concrete movements that are more organized than your plan to do...???? (what?) How do you plan to get from A to B? And what is B? You won't answer beyond trashing "liberalism" and vaguely hinting at a major revolution that has no political legs.

Alex_Falk's picture

i was already aware of eco-capitalist initiatives

lmao, who is yelling past who here? I at least read, think about, and respond to everything you've written -- something I cannot (at times, hilariously) say about you.

while you are hyperventilating about that fact that i've yet to link a cheerily optimistic green-capitalist technocratic listicle (about how, for example, a proclamation suggesting that earned income tax credit schemes aimed at reducing emissions can be politely placed at the feet of Capital and prayed over by non-profits and foundations); i am trying to get you to ZOOM OUT and see that the embedded contradictions our current system will not lead to any meaningful solution that prevents climate disaster in my lifetime.

snap out of it, history didn't end when the berlin wall fell. liberal democracy and transnational capitalism are not The Final Form of politics. we have to take first steps toward wresting control of politics back from the captains of capital or the seas will boil. even fukuyama admits that "socialism ought to come back" in some sense.

Factchecker's picture

You've also failed to respond

You've also failed to respond to any of my other points. You sound like a confused, frustrated young man. Glad you're passionate and sort of on our side. It's not all about you and your movement, though.

Alex_Falk's picture


you did correctly make the assumption I am male. young is relative, but in popular parlance i am getting pretty close to "over the hill"

curious -- what is it, exactly, that you think i am confused about?

Alex_Falk's picture


and randy / bizgrrl: thanks for hosting & letting me post!

Factchecker's picture

Ready for prime time?

Alex_Falk's picture

(please excuse repetition of

(please excuse repetition of catchphrases)

to answer your question regarding how to “get around” the popularity of reactionary far-right politics: to defeat the right and effectively deal with the coming crises of the 21st century, the opposition must present a compelling vision of the future that proves to be even more popular than populist proto-fascism. to have and present this vision, the opposition must move beyond the ideology which it has held to for over a quarter-century (neoliberal capitalism, in which nearly all political-economic power has been ceded to the market and politics is restricted to middle management), return to class politics and stop letting the market and the right define the terms of the game.

what i mean by my (rhetorical) question: climate change is an unavoidable result of capitalism, and capitalism was and is a bipartisan project. if it makes the audience feel more comfortable to “qualify” the “type” of capitalism with an adjective (crony, big, unregulated, transnational neoliberal etc etc) then fine, but IMO these are all inevitable end-states of the system itself. i agree that the GOP is an obstacle to be overcome re: climate change: they are an apocalyptic death cult. but dishing out more of the same kind of market liberalism that has been on offer for a quarter century will be ineffective both at dealing with climate disaster as well as regaining political power.

Alex_Falk's picture


finally, i won’t spend too much time responding to you saying that “bernie is my god” or that “all my bets are on AoC” because these assertions are just silly. they simply give us hope that there might be a future beyond the dominate ideology. i have plenty of my own skepticism about these specific figures’ ability to affect change beyond what they have already done by helping to get better ideas out in the wild.

R. Neal's picture

Lol. (link...)



Alex_Falk's picture


Laughing out loud at you laughing out loud at this.

Alex_Falk's picture


Factchecker's picture


Excuse this old codger, but what the hell is that link supposed to tell me?

Alex_Falk's picture


it is a well-formulated joke about the insufficiency of liberal politics as well as pinkwashing

Factchecker's picture

I'm done

Some people cannot be reasoned with.

Knoxoasis's picture

It has been my experience

It has been my experience that you cannot reason a person out of their religion.

Factchecker's picture

We try to do what we can, but life is too short.

That's been a hard lesson for me, but I've started to get it. On other social media platforms, I would be ready to block him by now.

Alex_Falk's picture

liberal orthodoxy

that's a salient point, knoxoasis :)

Knoxoasis's picture

A wonderful force for good

A wonderful force for good that nobody has ever seen but we know can solve all our problems if we believe in it hard enough? In my experience with people who espouse such beliefs that either describes God or socialism.

Alex_Falk's picture


interesting how any criticism of liberalism from the left causes liberals to put their fingers in their ears, close their eyes and shout 'you're crazy and you think you have all the answers and you're wrong'

Alex_Falk's picture

cultural mythology

but totally understable coming from any of us. we have all grown up in a culture steeped in over a century of anti-left propaganda

Knoxoasis's picture

At the risk of engaging your

At the risk of engaging your further I'd love to know what part of my description was inaccurate.

Alex_Falk's picture



Knoxoasis's picture

I'm not a liberal, except in

I'm not a liberal, except in the classical sense of the term. Your turn.

Alex_Falk's picture

fair enough

i definitely mean to make criticism of the dem party, american 'liberals' and 'progressives' in this space. if you are a market fundamentalist and/or part of any explicit right-wing political currents, then i know where we stand and no need to engage

Knoxoasis's picture

And of course not engaging

And of course not engaging means not answering my question, which seems to be something of a speciality of yours. Enjoy your bubble.

Alex_Falk's picture

“debate me!”

your “question” is to characterize everything to the left of American liberalism as a kooky religous belief in something intangible and then pound your chest and demand i debate you?

it doesn’t sound like a question made in good faith / or that you’d be particularly inclined to entertain anything I say anyway.

when i say i came here to criticize progressives / “american liberals” i am being honest, tussling with market acolytes (my assumption based on who usualy calls themselves a classical liberal, feel free to correct) is a waste of time for both parties i think.

R. Neal's picture

Incoming Rep. Katie Hill:

Incoming Rep. Katie Hill: “After a hard-fought election season, we need to hit the ground running on day one to ensure the communities we represent have health care they can afford and a government who is working for them. That’s why I support Leader Pelosi for speaker,” said Hill. ... “We don’t have time for internal squabbling,” Hill said. “We have to get things done.”

Alex_Falk's picture

pelosi is it

from what I understand, the largest actual threat to her near-assured leadership has been from her right within the party. it will continue to be important for those on her left to rhetorically challenge the kind of politics she represents as well as make specific challenges on points of policy

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