AlterPolitics New Post

Progressive Leaders’ Call For ‘Democratic Primaries’ Is Really Just A Q&A Session For King Obama

by on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 4:32 pm EDT in Election 2012, Politics

There’s no better way to bury all chances for a REAL Democratic presidential primary contest — though the odds of such a challenge was highly unlikely — then to call for “Democratic Primaries”, with the assurance that the sitting incumbent will “emerge from the primary a stronger candidate as a result.” 

Yet that’s exactly what Progressive leaders, led by Ralph Nader and Cornel West, did when they unveiled their proposal to challenge President Obama in a 2012 Democratic Primary contest.

The group is sending a letter out to prominent progressives to encourage them to run. It hopes to select a ‘slate‘ of six well-recognized, highly-qualified candidates — each representing fields where Obama has betrayed progressive values, and instead, bent to the will of the corporate right. The fields would include: labor, poverty, military and foreign policy, health insurance and care, the environment, financial regulation, civil and political rights/empowerment, and consumer protection.

Their intent is to force the President to answer to his base; to ‘seriously articulate and defend his beliefs to his own party’, since a significant portion of progressives believe Obama pulled a ‘bait-and-switch’ after being sworn in as President in January 2009.

The letter explains the rationale of the six-person slate as opposed to a standard primary challenge from the Left:

The slate is the best method for challenging the president for a number of reasons:

  • The slate can indicate that its intention is not to defeat the president (a credible assertion given their number of voting columns) but to rigorously debate his policy stands.
  • The slate will collectively give voice to the fundamental principles and agendas that represent the soul of the Democratic Party, which has increasingly been deeply tarnished by corporate influence.
  • The slate will force Mr. Obama to pay attention to many more issues affecting many more Americans. He will be compelled to develop powerful, organic, and fresh language as opposed to stale poll-driven “themes.”
  • The slate will exercise a pull on Obama toward his liberal/progressive base (in the face of the countervailing pressure from “centrists” and corporatists) and leave that base with a feeling of positive empowerment.
  • The slate will excite the Democratic Party faithful and essential small-scale donors, who (despite the assertions of cable punditry) are essentially liberal and progressive.
  • A slate that is serious, experienced, and well-versed in policy will display a sobering contrast with the alarmingly weak, hysterical, and untested field taking shape on the right.
  • The slate will command more media attention for the Democratic primaries and the positive progressive discussions within the party as opposed to what will certainly be an increasingly extremist display on the right.
  • The slate makes it more difficult for party professionals to induce challengers to drop out of the race and more difficult for Mr. Obama to refuse or sidestep debates in early primaries.

Ralph Nader has a long history of running as a third-party Presidential Candidate. In doing so, he bucked heads against the establishment wall, time and again. So he fully appreciates the antidemocratic tactics used to marginalize would-be challengers. The lessons he learned are fully reflected above in making the case for this 6-person ‘debate slate‘.

But think about the message this sends to the millions of Americans, already cynical about their representation in Washington: to get their voices heard in the establishment’s media arena, the candidates of their choice must first vow to not actually pose a challenge to the sitting incumbent’s nomination. Even if the incumbent has been a colossal failure in the eyes of those Americans.

In other words, if they first sign away their rights to democracy, the establishment MIGHT allow them a debate or two.

Ralph Nader appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnel last night which I highly recommend watching.

In it he tells Lawrence:

A slate by definition is not a challenge to his nomination. It’s a challenge to his conscience, a challenge to his backbone.



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It will be interesting to see if King Obama and his royal court will even allow these public, and potentially embarrassing, debates to happen.

WATCH: Jon Stewart Blasts MSM For Trying To Marginalize Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

by on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 2:56 pm EDT in Politics

Last Saturday (August 13), Presidential candidate Ron Paul came within 152 votes (behind Michele Bachmann) of winning the Iowa straw poll, only to find himself completely ignored and marginalized by ALL the mainstream media outlets who covered the contest.

Here are the straw poll results:

1. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (4823, 28.55%)

2. Congressman Ron Paul (4671, 27.65%)

3. Governor Tim Pawlenty (2293, 13.57%)

4. Senator Rick Santorum (1657, 9.81%)

5. Herman Cain (1456, 8.62%)

6. Governor Rick Perry (718, 3.62%) write-in

7. Governor Mitt Romney (567, 3.36%)

8. Speaker Newt Gingrich (385, 2.28%)

9. Governor Jon Huntsman (69, 0.41%)

10. Congressman Thad McCotter (35, 0.21%)

On the Sunday morning political shows that followed, not a single news network invited Ron Paul to appear. Nutter Michelle Bachmann appeared on all five major networks: NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, ABC’s This Week, Fox News Sunday and CNN’s State of the Union. Tim Pawlenty (who received less than half the votes cast for Paul) appeared on ABC This Week, and Shit4Brains Herman Cain (who came in 5th, receiving less than a third of Paul’s votes) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union”.

Politico’s Roger Simon wrote yesterday: “Ron Paul just got shafted”, and he pointed out that most of the major newspapers’ coverage of the event, either completely ignored Paul, or trivialized him with a side note: 

A Wall Street Journal editorial Monday magnanimously granted Paul’s showing in the straw poll a parenthetical dismissal: “(Libertarian Ron Paul, who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second.)”

Again, Paul won second place (out of ten candidates), and Michele Bachmann only beat him by 9/10’s of a percentage point to win first place.

To me, this just highlights the deep-seated contempt the elite media holds for democracy itself. It doesn’t care who the American people believe to be the best candidate(s) in a given race. The corporate media believes itself to be the custodian of the US political process, entitled to thin the pool of candidates down to the ones it deems ‘suitable’ for consideration.

So the logical question would be, “What is it that worries the MSM about Ron Paul?”

The MSM aggressively promotes ‘establishment narratives’ on a whole host of issues, which in turn become the ‘acceptable public discourse’ for ‘serious candidates’. Be it narratives on US Middle East policy, torture, Bush war crimes, the Federal Reserve, WikiLeaks, the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, etc — the MSM will not allow a candidate who doesn’t walk the line on these narratives to get the favorable exposure they need to win an election.

Makes no difference whether the candidate in question is from the right, like Ron Paul, or from the left, like Ralph Nader. 

Personally, I disagree with Ron Paul on most of his ‘free market, anti-regulatory’ domestic initiatives, but this MSM ‘blackout’ serves as a great example of how the establishment marginalizes popular Presidential candidates who refuse to walk their line.

This Jon Stewart video is a must-watch. Stewart takes the MSM to task for their brazen effort to bury Ron Paul as a viable Presidential candidate: