Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Progressives and Machine Democrats

progressives and machine democrats in Chicago/cook have the same goal in campaigns and elections: to put together the right coalition of blacks, browns and whites to win.

A post over at SoapBlox Chicago.

It's true and startling to a guy like me who grew up admiring Paul Douglas and Leon Despres.

If progressivism only means winning elections -yes, I know, that's important- it just doesn't seem very progressive anymore.

Wade through the post and comments and you'll find few Progressives questioning this mating.


Pat Hickey 8:21 AM  

There is, Bill, a huge difference between being a progressive and an 'honest guy' like Senator Paul Douglas.

The progressive is 'smarter than any one else' and tells every one within ear-shot why 'you' are so much more bigoted, unfeeling, out of timely, socially unaware, and under control by forces more evil and brutal than even 'they' can imagine.

The honest guy operates from a strong moral and ethical sense of his political duty and the progressive co-opts whatever the man does as part of a 'grassroots movement.'

Bill, in my very un-Chomsky world-view, I have yet to empiracally encounter a progressive with any decent manners or a heart that would give a penny to a starving, blind, crippled homeless kid. Rather, they will form a coalition to exerecise shame on a brutal police force - witness the Lakeview Coalition's recent skreel in last week's Sun Times.

Hey, just open you wallet, co-op owner, and buy the kid some socks and underwear; pay for his/her tuition/take him/her into your home where they will be safe from the 'brutal homophobic police.'

Instead - Progressives play at politics and keep losing. The real effective political professionals ( Rep. and Dem.)actually accomplish something.

So-Called Austin Mayor 9:34 AM  

Pat and Bill,

Congratulations on your victory over that mighty straw man. I wish you continued success.


Pat Hickey 9:36 AM  


Not mighty, just pesty! BTW, one does not win over progressives; one endures.

Skeeter,  9:55 AM  

Good point, Bill and Pat.

The regulars -- Daley, Stroger, Beavers, Steele, Lipinski -- have done a great job running things. The County is in fine shape under their leadership.

crash-dev 10:09 AM  

Ok I'm offended by 2 things, well with the comments 3.

1) You grab a post off of soapbox by someone who is frustrated that Stroger won and is looking for how to change that. His or her analysis is along race lines, which apparently all political junkies look at. Then you generalize this to be the progressive message. I understand that this is just the mirror of a fiscal conservative looking at percentages of culturally conservative voters and trying to figure out how to win primaries. Does that make the fiscal conservative morally bankrupt?

2) First the progressive suck for loosing, Dean, Cegelis, and Lamont. Now they suck for looking at demographics and what it takes to win. We can all run on our as third party candidate, only getting votes from people who are 100% with us, and fight to try to get 5 percent of the vote and call that a victory...but that somehow doesn't feel right either.

3) Pat Hickey, it is nice to meet you, I'm a progressive. Me and some of my progressive friends hopped in the car last winter around the holidays and went and camped and worked gutting houses in NOLA. We were the only organization working in the upper ninth ward, I saw 1 red cross truck the entire time I was there, and they were just driving around deliverying food. The only compassionate conservatives I saw were the people we were helping as the only community leaders of value were the parish ministers. My job won't let me go this year, so I'm back in the camp of not having manners and not practicing what I preach.

Pat Hickey 10:23 AM  


Lose thelast clause - it makes my point.

God bless you for doing a great comfort for the hurting. That's enough. It's what you do that matters.

Stay close to home. Plenty to do right here in Auburn Gresham/Englewood/Lawndale and Grand Crossing. It don't take a coalition neither.

Good on you, Crash.

Bill Baar 11:26 AM  

I thought the first sentence in the post (the one I quoted) was pretty unrelated to what followed.

I was surprized it went unchallanged.

I remember when Jesse Jackson unseated Mayor Daley's delegation to the convention.

Times change.

Pat Hickey 11:50 AM  

It's a giant straw-man, Bill.

The thing is progressives can't win without the help of the 'vile and unwashed.' Now, winning seems important. Independants form coalitions - how is that independance?

Ah, go figure. I'm just a dumb-as -dirt Regular Dem - I know I'm dumb, 'cuz when Skeeter puled his latest insight, I took it without the labored irony. Wazzatabout?

I got to wonder if Brendan Reilly appreciates Skeeter's peeing down the Mayor's Wellington's?

crash-dev 11:54 AM  

I don't know anyone who appreciates Skeeter's rants, and it is upsetting because it always takes the emphasis off of actually discussing anything. And most importantly learning anything, which is the reason why I read this blog. I know there is more to Republican's political ideas than O'Rielly's and Rush's rants.

Pat Hickey 12:01 PM  


Any person who jumps into help hurting people knows more about politics than anyone needs to know.

You're doing just fine. Keep watch on the political pros - Mike Madigan, Mary Flowers, Jim Durkin, Dan Cronin, Henry Hyde, Pat Quinn ( an honest guy), Tom Dart, Dan Hynes, Rahm Emmanual, Terry Peterson, John Daley, Bill Beavers (one of the funniest and good hearted guys in the game) and the Mayor - don't the guy but like the guys that do. Simple, direct and effective - that is politics - no side-shows like Moore ( exploding liver tricks & etcs).

Skeeter,  12:08 PM  

For the record --

I support Reilly as an alternative to Natarus, but I don't work for his campaign and never have. I've got a full schedule in the next few months, so I don't intend to.

Second, the point stands. The regulars have given us Beavers et al. They have given us the current state of the County.

Change needs to be made. It needs to be made in the City Council and in the County. As long as the regulars keep appointing family members, things are not going to change.

There are some great "regulars" in the party, which is why I vote for most of them. But nobody can look at the current City Counsel and the current county government and conclude that things are being well run. They aren't. We need change.

Finally, in response to Crash -- I haven't insulted you. If you don't like the point I'm making, then attack the point. This shouldn't be personal here.

One final note Crash -- Are you really accusing me of being a Republican?

Pat Hickey 12:14 PM  

'We need change.'

You need oxygen - Lots of it.

Everybody Hates Pat,  3:54 PM  

*I* appreciate skeeter's "rants," which have the advantage of being grounded in reality, rather than the ethics-free fantasyland Pat likes to inhabit. Mike Madigan is as big a hypocrite as they come--saying he voted for the 7% property tax cap while working constantly behind the scenes to undermine it (after all, he's got his highly successful, property-tax-appeal-focused law office to protect!). Disgusting. And Bill Beavers and Mayor Daley? One shamelessly defends patronage--and, as of yesterday, successfully practices its nepotism variant--and the other shamelessly benefits from it, while denying it's been much of a problem at all on his watch. Paragons of virtue, both--and what a surprise it is to see Pat defending the thoroughly rotten status quo.

Pat Hickey 5:18 PM  

Hate is the path to real reform ?
Hard not to like you.

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