Welcome Van Jones (VanJones.net), (RebuildTheDream) and Host SouthernDragon (FDL-Lakeside Diner)

Rebuild The Dream

“Sept 17. Wall St. Bring Tent.” With a simple tweet to its email list Adbusters, an anti-capitalist magazine based in British Columbia, launched a movement which would soon inspire people across the world.

Occupy Wall Street brought to the limelight the consequences of failed and/or misguided/guided, depending upon your point of view, economic and domestic policies, but the Occupy movement isn’t about electoral politics and progressives need a movement that is deeply involved in and committed to electoral politics. In the early 1930s the US had strong organizations that influenced the politics of the day. The socialists, communists, and the trade unions (before the disgrace of the AFL/CIO came along) were powerful forces which were primarily responsible for many of the social programs the right is still trying to destroy today. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 began the systematic destruction of the labor movement and union leadership blindly helped. By the 1950s, the unions and the McCarthys had driven the socialists and the communists from the arena.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Today we have any number of groups who represent any number of interests. They raise funds, recruit members, send out petitions, operate phone banks; but when it comes to putting progressive candidates in office, they can’t seem to organize themselves for a common purpose. Enter Van Jones’ Rebuild The Dream. Jones has some ideas on how to build a movement with enough power to make things happen. It’s not a dogmatic blueprint, but rather a template that can be molded to meet the requirements of local, state, and at some point, national progressive campaigns. It’s difficult in a short introduction like this to summarize a book of this nature, but in the book’s Introduction, Jones writes, “The aim of this book is to prepare citizens and community members at the grassroots level to see their own power differently – and to exercise their own leadership more boldly.” In the main portion of the book he shares his ideas as to how we can organize to accomplish that.

We’ve talked of alternatives here at the Lake for a long time; but the harsh reality has been, and continues to be, there isn’t a progressive movement that can pull together the resources of all the interest groups out there and at the same time have those groups maintain their identity, independence and continue their activities.

Van Jones looks at three movements, Obama For America, the Tea Party, and Occupy Wall Street. I think we’re all pretty familiar with Occupy Wall Street so I won’t go there. In 2008 Obama For America helped get Obama elected and was promptly co-opted by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for its own use after the election. I think most of us have gotten email requests for money from Organizing For America. In 2009 the Tea Party launched. No charismatic leader, just a set of principles that were acceptable to a vast number of people: small government, free markets, individualism, all that cool libertarian stuff, and funded in large part by the likes of the Koch brothers, or as they’re fondly known hereabouts, the Kochroach brothers. One thing both the Tea Party and Occupy were able to do was bring together all these separate groups, over 3000 groups self-affiliate with the Tea Party, under a common banner, a Meta-Brand Jones called it at Netroots Nation last year.

This is the gist of Rebuild The Dream. We have to build a sustainable progressive movement if we want to see any form of social or economic justice, not just for the 99% but for 100%. All the years I was in the streets against the Irak war I was repeatedly asked, “I know what you’re against but what are you for?” The Tea Party has a set of principles it has set forth, the Contract From America, not that different from the Contract for America from 1994. The Rebuild The Dream movement also has a set of principles and it’s called the Contract for the American Dream. Quite a difference between the two. This is the American Dream of Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, not the dream of the Ownership Society.

The Rebuild The Dream movement isn’t exactly new. It launched this month a year ago. Van Jones has been a major spokesman for the movement, not surprising since he’s a co-founding president of the organization. This isn’t a single issue movement, unless one considers putting people in positions to effect meaningful change within their communities and beyond a single issue, be they Greens, Democrats, whatever. As they strapped Joe Hill to a chair in a prison yard in Utah to be shot to death, he said, “Don’t mourn. Organize!”

Van Jones is a long time advocate and activist for green energy and jobs. In addition to Rebuild the Dream he is the co-founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All, all of which have been very successful. He worked as the green jobs advisor to the White House in 2009.

[As a courtesy to our guests, please keep comments to the book and be respectful of dissenting opinions. Please take other conversations to a previous thread. - bev]

318 Responses to “FDL Book Salon Welcomes Van Jones, Rebuild The Dream”

BevW June 16th, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Van, Welcome back to the Lake.

SD, Thank you for Hosting today’s Book Salon.

Everyone:
Please keep questions and comments focused on the discussion with our guest and be respectful of dissenting opinions.  Take other conversations to a previous thread. – bev

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Van, welcome to Firedoglake. Thank you for sharing this time with us. This was an interesting book.

To start with could you discuss the irony of the Tea Party’s ability to collectively organize versus the progressive’s inability to do so.

dakine01 June 16th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Good afternoon Van and welcome back to FDL this afternoon. Howzit Southern Dragon!

Van, I have not had an opportunity to read your book so forgive me if you address this in there but how does the Occupy movement forestall the co-optation efforts of the Veal Pen groups?

It is not a surprise that OFA was co-opted by the DNC since it was an off-shoot of the election of Obama (although it can easily be argued that in fact OFA more co-opted the DNC than vice versa.)

I would also suggest that the Tea Party being largely funded by the Kochs rather sets them at odds with a largely leaderless group such as Occupy IMNSVHO.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:04 pm
In response to BevW @ 1

Well, the Tea Party was willing to go from protests in 2009 to political/electoral action in 2010, even primary-ing moderate GOP officials. Our year of protests in 2011 (from Wisconsin to Wall Street) did not yield effective electoral action. That to me is the core of the problem. We must combine protest with smart political action.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 3

I do not see any groups – Veal Pen or otherwise – trying to “co-opt” OWS. Most of the established progressive groups have pivoted to the election, and that is not something that OWS is focused on. I do think that OWS and established forces can converge on the question of getting big money out of politics. That would not represent co-optation, but cooperation.

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 2:07 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 4

In your discussion of “The Grid” you show the interrelationships between protest and action. Could you expand upon that? I’ve managed to find an image of The Grid from the book if that would help.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Do any of the groups mentioned focus on immigration?

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Welcome to the Lake, Van.

Does smart political action inevitably involve one of the two major parties?

Democrats seem terrified at the thought of primarying any incumbent. We here at FDL think back to Rahm Emanuel’s reaction to the efforts to primary Blanche Lincoln, who was an obstacle to healthcare reform.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:10 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 3

I agree that the big money capture of a huge section of the Tea Party is a negative development. But there is still a large part of the Tea Party that is independent and authentic, and they have been more effective than some their counterparts on the left, so far. But don’t forget: the Wall Street protests of 2011 are not even a year old. It will take time for the full range of progressive forces to find solid footing again.

antoine22 June 16th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I clicked on the Rebuild The Dream link, and browsed the Contract for America. The Contract does not mention trade agreements, which in my opinion are one of the largest causes of our economic decline, and current unemployment crisis.

Namaste,

Antoine

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:12 pm
In response to SouthernDragon @ 6

I will get carpal tunnel if i try to write too much about it. (Fortunately, I already wrote a ton on this topic. The book covers this very well, so buy or borrow a copy!) … The main point is that a successful movement must be able to deal with the Head Space (policy ideas) and the Heart Space (compelling narratives), on one axis; and the Inside Game (electoral politics/lobbying) and the Outside Game (grassroots activism), on the other.

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 2:13 pm
In response to antoine22 @ 10

The Tea Party’s Contract for America or Rebuild The Dream’s Contract for the American Dream?

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:14 pm
In response to RevBev @ 7

Rebuild The Dream works closely with the Center for Community Change and other groups with a progressive immigration agenda.

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 2:15 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 11

I was afraid of that and have tried to figure out a way around it since I read it in the book. The concept is very enlightening from an organizing point of view.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:16 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 8

The Working Families Party has a very smart “inside/outside” approach to the Dems. It is an independent party (very strong in NY state), but it can endorse Dems when it wants to. That let’s it be a threat, and exert real leverage and pressure – without having to go on kamikaze missions every time, to make its point. I wish more people would use this model.

antoine22 June 16th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Does Rebuild the Dream address the economic decline caused by trade agreements and our membership in the WTO?

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 2:17 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 13

Thank you….

thatvisionthing June 16th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Reply to mod: Subject is rebuild, name of book is Rebuild. Foundation is essential to rebuilding. Think it was a fair question.

Van Jones looks at three movements, Obama For America…

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

How do we go about changing our messaging? The right has developed this machine that cranks out its messages and we’ve got squat. How do we make social media and the internet work even more in our favour?

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:18 pm
In response to SouthernDragon @ 12

Rebuild The Dream led a process engaging and involving 131,000+ people to create the “Contract for the American Dream.” I agree that it is light on the trade question, but we do support the present legislation to stop giving tax breaks to corporations that offshore American jobs.

dakine01 June 16th, 2012 at 2:18 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 15

I think NY is alone in the ability for a candidate to appear on multiple line items of a ballot. (FWIW, when I have lived in NY, I have voted under the Working Families, Socialist, or Liberal party lines as much as any other.)

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:21 pm
In response to antoine22 @ 16

We do. But the funny thing is that the USA is not fighting hard enough today to use the PROTECTIONS allegedly afforded by WTO membership. For instance, China is dumping artificially cheap solar onto the world market, for the clear purpose of killing off the solar industry in the USA. I understand that much of this action is WTO-illegal, but we are doing to little to protect American solar. Sometimes it seems that we get all the downsides of being in the WTO, but none of the upsides, in this country.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

So, Van, how come you didn’t get out front and call for true progressive primary challengers to Obama, Pelosi, Schumer, Durbin, etc?

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 2:23 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 15

From the point of view of organizing alternative candidacies, how do you distinguish between applying pressure and going on a kamikaze mission?

The conservative movement in the GOP since the 1970s has been a continuous primarying moving the GOP ever more to towards their objective. The Tea Party movement has continued that except when incumbents sought cover. But the problem is that to move forward, candidates have to win office.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 2:25 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 5

Maybe we differ on the definition of co-opt or Veal Pen–do you deny that Move-On has attempted to feed off of Occupy?

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:26 pm
In response to SouthernDragon @ 19

In my book, I talk about messaging at great length and detail. My main point is that we have to stop letting the people who have a wrecking ball agenda for the USA call themselves “patriots,” while those of us who are defending America’s best values EVERY DAY act as if we can never use the term. Who is fighting to defend “America The Beautiful?” Progressive environmental activists. Who is defending the pro-immigration values of the Statue of Liberty? Progressive activists. Who is fighting for “liberty and justice for ALL”? Progressive activists. We are the advocates of “deep patriotism,” fighting against promoters of “cheap patriotism.” We should take the flag BACK from the wreckers of the nation.

antoine22 June 16th, 2012 at 2:27 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 22

Do you have any idea, or opinion, as to why the U.S. does not avail itself of the WTO protections you mentioned?

Scarecrow June 16th, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Welcome Van, and thanks for being here today. In your NN12 speech, which was well received by many there, you made the point that there were two priorities — to get rid of the crazies (which you linked to the Tea Party) on the other side, and then, after the election, to hold the President accountable. It was left a bit unclear to me how this happens.

Yesterday, DREAM/immigrant groups won an apparent victory, and one can argue that their success was a function of keeping pressure on the Administratin BEFORE election, implicitly arguing that if Obama wants their support, he needs to deliver now, when they have some leverage. There may not be any leverage after the election.

Can you react to the efficacy of these two views? Thanks.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:31 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 24

I think it is important for people to experiment with different ways to strengthen progressive elements within and outside the Democratic Party. I don’t have a formula in mind for distinguishing between smart and dumb ways to do that. I do think that we should take lessons from the Tea Party’s courage in challenging its elected officials at the ballot box. That said, we will differ even in this conversation about WHO should be challenged. For instance, I think Pelosi was the best speaker we ever have ever had, especially given the ideological diversity of her caucus. She may not be popular on this site, but I respect and appreciate her.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 2:31 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 26

Where were all the activists in Wisc? There seems to be some inertia that keeps us from getting organized….even after we were effective in the’08 election. Maybe we are in shocked disarray from how that turned out.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Van, you say (in comment #26)

Who is fighting for “liberty and justice for ALL”?

and

We should take the flag BACK from the wreckers of the nation

How do you rationalize that with support of Obama’s re-election? How is that a viable plan of action when it is Obama and his DOJ and his Dem cohorts in Congress who are passing the NDAA, ending habeas corpus, enriching the fat cats on Wall Street, assassinating Ameircan citizens without any due process? Isn’t Obama the one wielding the wrecking ball?

zapkitty June 16th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Hello, Van Jones, you gave three examples.

One was assimilated by the Dems and is now pretty much useless for any actual, y’know, progress.

One has been pretty successful in resisting such assimilation and actually has gotten some things done for the public good… but they don’t do elections.

And the third primaries the shit out of anyone who crosses their party lines.

… now, which parts of the above did you think progessives should emulate?

greenwarrior June 16th, 2012 at 2:34 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 11

Would you give some examples of compelling narratives for electing progressives? I’d particularly like to know how you recommend getting the narratives out to the public, given our current mainstream media.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 2:34 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 22

Mahalo, Van for spending time here at the Lake…!

…for the clear purpose of killing off the solar industry in the USA.

Now, that is not exactly true, what really motivated our pursuit to condemn China, was because the cost of Solar panels were making it extremely affordable for people to buy PV systems, hence challenging the Big Oil/Coal/Power Co’s hegemony…! 8-(

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:35 pm
In response to realitychecker @ 25

I love Moveon. They were one of the main groups that helped get Rebuild The Dream off the ground. So I was surprised that Moveon came under such intense fire from some quarters on the left, just for trying to support Occupy. Moveon is still the biggest progressive force on the left, with 7 million members. I would have been angry with Moveon ONLY if it had NOT stood with the protests and done everything it could to spread them. Moveon is not the enemy. Major progressive organizations that did NOT stand with the protests should be challenged, not those who stood with the protests. A movement of the “99 percent” would – by definition – include probably 99 percent of Moveon’s membership, which is mostly working and middle class folks.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Thank you for joining us Mr. Jones and thank you for hosting SD. Mr. Jones, does your book cover the growing gulf between Progressives and Party line Democrats? I’m curious to know if the Party establishment is aware of just how disappointed Progressives are in the Party orthodoxy and how tenuous our continued support of mainstream Democratic candidates. Also many Republicans vote for a candidate purely out of party affiliation. In your opinion, does the DNC expect left leaning persons to behave that way? Because if I’m honest, if I see a Party member involved in organizing, I’m inclined to be extremely skeptical of their motives.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 2:36 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 29

I think Pelosi was the best speaker we ever have ever had

The same Pelosi who took impeachment off the table? The same Pelosi who caved in on HCR without a Public Option? The same Pelosi who has come out in favor of Simpson-Bowles? How can you reconcile her actual positions and actions with your statement about her greatness?

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 2:37 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 22

This ruling,as recently as yesterday may be of interest: (Excerpt)

WTO backs U.S. in case against China duties on steel

By Tom Miles and Doug Palmer

GENEVA/WASHINGTON | Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:47pm EDT

(Reuters) – A World Trade Organization panel on Friday handed the United States a victory in a case against Chinese imports duties on a specialty steel product primarily made in two presidential battleground states, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

“With respect to each of the 11 programs at issue, the panel concluded that China had acted inconsistently” with WTO rules governing the use of countervailing duties, which are used to counteract unfair subsidies, the panel said in its ruling.

The case involved Chinese duties on potentially hundreds of millions of dollars of “grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel”, a specialty steel product made by AK Steel Corp (AKS.N) of Ohio and ATI Allegheny Ludlum (ATI.N) of Pennsylvania.

“Today’s victory is important not only for steelworkers in Pennsylvania and Ohio, but also for American farmers and workers in other sectors that export to China,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a statement.

WTO backs U.S. in case against China duties on steel | Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/…/us-usa-china-steel-idUSBRE85E0XP20120615
1 day ago – … victory in a case against Chinese imports duties on a specialty steel product the Chinese market, but he hoped the United States would win the case and …

bearman June 16th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Van you seem like a good guy and I share many of your views, however I do not believe the Democratic Party or President Obama shares or even cares about those views. I do not believe there is much difference between the two parties. I point out the treatment Jamie Dimon got this past week both parties fell over themselves catering to him…another point is the coming Bowles Simpson Obama Grand Bargain plan to gut SS and Medicare. The progressive Caucus had a much better plan that saves SS and Medicare yet Team Obama ignored this plan.

I am sorry but I cannot support Obama this time and I am not voting for Romney either. I will buy your book but I think you should spend more time reforming the Dems and.or building grassroots movements that allows for open primaries and 3rd parties and of course getting money of DC

If things don’t change soon we are headed to the bottom yes the GOP is horrible but look at the Dems too..neither care about the 99%

Thanks

Kevin Gosztola June 16th, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Hello, Van. Your book provides a good summary and presentation of some of the work progressives have been doing. I appreciate how you put focus on progressives’ failure to mobilize on issues and push the president on key issues.

Now, I’d like to ask you about Occupy, which I think was a godsend for progressive NGOs that were too afraid to take action that might make operations in the White House more complicated. As you’ve already said in the chat, you think Occupy needs to get involved in elections like the Tea Party. Why are you convinced this is where they must go to create social change? Couldn’t they create real and lasting change by simply continuing to call attention to “economic casualty groups” that you talk about in your book through direct action (e.g. Occupy Your Homes)? That seems to be having a real positive impact on individuals in communities.

Couldn’t people who call for Occupy to get into electoral politics just get involved in Democracy for America or MoveOn and let the Occupy movement continue to achieve success without playing the currently rigged game of electoral politics? Why not just let this movement exist separately and work with a less NGOized manner?

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 26

I agree, messaging is extremely important.

But look at SD’s question to a commenter:

The Tea Party’s Contract for America or Rebuild The Dream’s Contract for the American Dream?

Even the names of the regressive and progressive plans are almost indistinguishable.

How about Contract to “take the flag BACK from the wreckers of the nation”. Let’s call a spade a spade.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:39 pm
In response to Scarecrow @ 28

I think the main lesson of the Obama era is that activism WORKS – when we use it. Often when Obama does something brave, it is the result of popular protest and struggle from the left. The LGBT gains, the Keystone Pipeline decision (due to 350.org and Native American fight-back), the more populist tone on the economy (thanks to OWS clearing the way) and now the Dream Act success – all point to the same reality. “If you don’t fight for what you want, you deserve what you get.” I think now is the time to push Obama to publicly VOW that he will NOT extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which will help us win the budget battle of December and beyond; it is also good politics in the swing states. There may be other areas where he can be pushed to take action now, and people should think those through carefully.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 2:41 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 15

Hard for me to take them seriously as progressives when the wfp endorses right wing democrats like Andrew Cuomo and Hillary Clinton.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 2:42 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 42

The gays and the hispanics literally threatened not to vote for him. That was the key to there power. They didn’t just protest things. They presented a credible threat of not voting for Obama if he did not do certain things.

greenwarrior June 16th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 42

Ahem! Vows from Obama? The man who said he would never vote for FISA?

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 2:43 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 42

There has been quite a bit of push back about war/drones and even Manning. How well is any of that working?

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:45 pm
In response to RevBev @ 30

You are right that that national progressive movement was largely MIA in Wisconsin. The local forces fought with incredible courage. But they were up against 13 BILLIONAIRES, only one of which even lives in WI. … When we put our minimum effort nationally up against their MAXIMUM effort nationally, we lose. We will see the same thing happen in Ohio, Nevada, Florida, etc., in November if we keep doing the minimum – sitting on our hands and wallets. We need more progressive fight-back in the swing states – and more national grassroots support for the battle in the swing states, especially in low-income communities and communities of color.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:49 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 31

I don’t compare Obama to the almighty. I compare him to the alternative. I have spoken out on national TV against the “Kill List” and other outrages. I will be intensifying my opposition to these offenses, and I encourage others to do so. But if Obama loses, Romney will stack the Supreme Court with Justices who will proclaim all of these outrages “constitutional.” If Obama wins, at least we won’t have two more Scalia rubber-stamps to approve the very abuses we seek to correct.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 2:50 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 47

I don’t believe Barrett was a good candidate for unions. He is an acolyte of Rahm Emanuel so he probably would have started a lot of non union charters, and passed laws against collective bargaining as well. He is a dem, so most progressives would go along with it, rather than fighting him like they do Walker. If progressives were serious they would have chosen someone different.

Scarecrow June 16th, 2012 at 2:51 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 42

Well, here’s a problem. The successes you rightly cite, each had an identifiable group whose support Obama needs in the election. But once you get beyond such focused or “single issue” items to something generic like “end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy” who is the discrete group whose support can be withheld as leverage? What about unauthorized wars, or extra-judicial killings, or prosecuting the banksters, etc. The problem is, once you think this through, the effected electorate that needs to put pressure on the Administration to do the “right” thing is the entire Democratic Party, and any Independents and non-crazy GOP who still care about the rule of law, poverty, inequality, unemployment etc.

How do you make these broad groups put pressure on Obama, because they don’t fit the pattern of successes you outline, as far as I can see. The pressure would have to come from the leadership of the Dem party, basically saying, you are not our candidate, unless . . . And yet the chances for that are zero.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to greenwarrior @ 33

I hate to keep deferring to my book, but I have a whole chapter in there called Occupy The Heart Space. I run down a whole list of ideas for messaging, plus a formula that incorporates the messaging wisdom of Obama 2008, Occupy Wall Street and even the Tea Party. Again, buy or borrow a copy!

lakota June 16th, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I apologize for not having read the book, but I hope you can expand on Kevin Gostola’s comment in regard to the progressives failure to push the president on key issues.

From my point of view, as an African American Democrat; why did anyone need to push the president on any issues. Progressive issues and African American issues are one and the same, Jobs! Jobs! Jobs, among other things.
Out of the past presidents, he mentioned Ronald Reagan as opposed to FDR or JFK. Is Barack Obama “The Brother From Another Planet”?

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 49

I don’t think Barrett was a good candidate, period. We’ve got to do better at fielding candidates than we’ve done in the last couple decades, if not longer.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 2:52 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 48

But it will turn women off to the republican voting in its entirety, since it will be the only way conservative prochoice women can preserve their choices, and Obama’s halfway measures will be discredited so people will prefer progressives over third way candidates.

Maybe some of us, don’t limit our vision or alternatives as much as you.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

if Obama loses, Romney will stack the Supreme Court with Justices who will proclaim all of these outrages “constitutional.” If Obama wins, at least we won’t have two more Scalia rubber-stamps to approve the very abuses we seek to correct.

Scalia-types? You mean like Elena Kagan who, as Solicitor General, argued to SCOTUS that a lawyer trying to prove his client wasn’t a terrorist would be guilty of providing material support to terrorists?

And what makes you think that the current SCOTUS majority won’t overturn Judge Kennedy’s NY Circuit decision overturning parts of the NDAA dealing with indefinite detention?

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:54 pm
In response to zapkitty @ 32

Not sure I understand this. Sorry!

sunshine June 16th, 2012 at 2:54 pm
In response to RevBev @ 30

The election day in Wisc was the first day of the new repub drawn districts. And what a travesty the system is that allowed them to draw the districts. The elections and rules are broken and in great need of repair.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 2:55 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 34

I disagree, but it is an interesting perspective. We have not fought hard enough yet to protect US solar. I am glad that the Commerce Secretary has finally taken up the battle, but the whole country should be outraged.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 2:56 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 47

See that’s the part I don’t get: the idea of keeping their hands off, of ceding elections red states and so forth. The DCCC failed to support Francine Busby in CA 50 in 2006 for Duke Cunningham’s old seat for example. Another example would be the Party supporting the Blue Dog Ed Case instead of the very progressive and very popular Colleen Hanabusa, thus allowing Republican Djou to take that seat. When is the Democratic Party going to stop running away from some fights and completely mishandling others?

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 2:58 pm
In response to lakota @ 52

lakota, I have bemoaned many a time here as to how the Democrats have relegated FDR to the dustbin of history. Truly disgraceful,imho.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
In response to Margaret @ 36

Seems like you are creating a Catch-22 for mainline Dems. If they don’t adopt our progressive causes, you are disappointed. If they do, you are suspicious. That does not seem fair, somehow. … I don’t think the mainstream Dems really understand how disappointed and pissed the progressive base is. But I think they are starting to get the message, as this enthusiasm gap persists. That said, I think the threat from a Tea Party trifecta (with crazy ideas governing all three branches of government) is real enough that progressives should start fighting back, sort of like we did in 2004. We were not particularly inspired by Kerry, but we were sick of Bush. For many, many progressives who get involved this time, I think 2012 probably will be more about stopping the Tea Party than rescuing Obama.

zapkitty June 16th, 2012 at 3:00 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 47

“We need more progressive fight-back in the swing states”

Yes, but you keep saying we can’t actually fight back against a president and party leadership who are determined to implement the agenda of those 13 billionaires.

I.E. Obama’s custom-crafted catfood commission, Bowles-Simpson, should be a tremendously powerful rallying cry in those swing states this November if the people were told the truth about what it would mean.

Do you think we should tell the electorate exactly who was responsible for it? You think we should tell them exactly who is pushing it?

greenwarrior June 16th, 2012 at 3:01 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 51

Thanks for your response. I could buy or borrow a copy. And I’d have more incentive to do that if you were willing to share some of the details in the book so I could make a judgment about whether it’s a good investment of my time and money.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 38

Thanks for sharing! That’s good to hear. I still hate the WTO, though. Got tear-gassed in Seattle along with everyone else in 1999. Who would have thought that THOSE would be like the GOOD OLD DAYS – compared to our ecological, economic, spiritual, social and political situation today ??? The election of 2000 wound up being more consequential than anyone thought at the time. We should keep that in mind, this year, I think.

bluewombat June 16th, 2012 at 3:03 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 61

I don’t think the mainstream Dems really understand how disappointed and pissed the progressive base is

After their routinely taking our votes, money and enthusiasm to get elected and then providing Nordstrom’s-like service to the people who are stealing us blind?

And, if I’m not sounding too cranky, what do you mean by “mainstream Democrat”? I read that as “corporate Democrat.”

dakine01 June 16th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 61

Van, I think one of the problems that many folks have with today’s “mainline Dems” is not that they are not adopting progressive goals so much as they seem to be working directly against not only those progressive goals but directly against the policies and issues that the Democratic party has supported and embedded in the party platform for decades.

bluewombat June 16th, 2012 at 3:04 pm
In response to Margaret @ 59

When is the Democratic Party going to stop running away from some fights

Does the name “Scott Walker” ring a bell?

EdwardTeller June 16th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Van,

Welcome to fdl book salon.

I moderated a candidate forum yesterday in Palmer Alaska between the Democratic Party primary candidates, seeking to run against our sole congressman, Rep. Don Young. All four noted their dismay that the Democratic Party statewide and national organizations have come to endorse the national security state, loss of personal freedoms and forever-at-war mentality that we had so abhorred in the Bush administration. Have you heard other challengers to incumbent GOP congress people noting the same?

applepie June 16th, 2012 at 3:06 pm

By throwing it’s weight completely into the fight for the center the Democrats have made a predictable error. Predictable by the GOP and TPers. It amazes me how myopic the Dems really are on this issue. Fact is, Mr. Jones, I feel abandoned by this President, and ostracized by the Dems because I push for a non-militarist democracy, reigning in transnatl corporations, and environmental sanity.

Kind of difficult to watch as you are being made the example of this all by FDLakers, but what do you expect? I am surprised you are still defending them after the way they treated you. I don’t want to sound too cynical but reforming the Democratic Party seems to me to be a task that is not even remotely possible given the stranglehold of the energy sector, Pentagon hacks, the drug companies, and Monsanto/ADM. I kind of feel we need to move far past the Dem party as quickly as possible. I don’t feel represented by them.

You don’t have to respond, but I hope you do read this. I think you are one of us. I wish you the best.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to bearman @ 39

You raise some really good points. As progressives, we have to develop enough “carrots and sticks” to make DC care. I was on the outside of the system, before I was on the inside of the system, before I was on the outside again. I don’t think we as progressives use our power in smart ways; that is why we get even worse outcomes than we could. We don’t want to learn enough about the system to be able to make it work for us and the country. At the same time, our opponents use every trick in the book. I talk about this in my book, at some length.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 3:06 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 48

Comparing Obama to the “alternative,” which we hear endlessly from Obama supporters, means that the speaker refuses to or is incapable of thinking beyond the current election cycle. That seems to me to either indicate shortsightedness, or an inability to accept any framing that might ever depart from the standard two-party model. That is problematic because we got so deep into the crapper with that kind of thinking, and are clearly headed even deeper. Why should we stick with that stunted view, or follow the advice and guidance of anybody who does? I don’t want to be disrespectful, but that seems to be a question that really needs a definitive answer. I would also note that Kagan’s early embrace of the opportunity to trim Miranda really diminishes your Supreme Court point.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:07 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 61

Since the tea party is just Bush on steroids, how did our actions in 2004 to elect another uninspiring leader in 2008 stop them? Maybe they will just morph into something even more dangerous and Obama and other centrists will give in to them some more.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 3:07 pm
In response to Margaret @ 59

Another example would be the Party supporting the Blue Dog Ed Case instead of the very progressive and very popular Colleen Hanabusa, thus allowing Republican Djou to take that seat.

That’s a bit of a stretch, Peg, Hanabusa isn’t very progressive(She was the former State Senate Leader), a lot better than Case, but…! It was actually a showdown between the DNC/DLC and the State Dem Party apparatchik led by kingpin Dan Inouye, six months later Hanabusa did win the seat, when Inouye told the DLC to stay away…!

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 3:07 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 66

Bingo….and in many ways FISA was the “tell” for things to come. Simpson-Bowles is more of the same. This is not to say the Rs/& Romney are better. Rock meet hard-place.

thatvisionthing June 16th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 48

I don’t compare Obama to the almighty. I compare him to the alternative.

In the two-party system, Obama occupies THE space of the counter to the alternative. As long as he’s the head of the Ds, there is and can be no effective counter to the Rs. And it leaves all the lefty parts glueless and less than their sum of their whole. He neutralizes opposition. How can you rebuild anything on that trustless foundation?

Of note, I said essentially the same thing in my first comment, which has been disappeared here. Do you find that shocking in a forum for open dialog and transparency, or do you support what is known on this site as veal pen messaging?

Mod Note: If your first comment had been as polite as this one, it would not have been “disappeared.” It was instead, confrontational and rude and off point of the Book written by the guest.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:12 pm
In response to Kevin Gosztola @ 40

I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU!

I have never said that Occupy should do electoral stuff. They are doing direct action and direct democracy. That is hard enough. I also agree that they were and are a Godsend.

I am saying that the REST of us need to take electoral stuff more seriously. Occupiers are only a small part of the 99 percent of us who are getting screwed. The whole MOVEMENT has to figure out how to get the political system to be more responsive, not just the Occupiers.

In the 60s, people “occupied” lunch counters and “occupied” segregated buses for the Freedom Rides. But they also figured out ways to help Mississippians to “occupy” the ballot booths. Freedom Rides without Freedom Summer would have left racial apartheid intact.

Today, elements within the GOP are consciously and deliberately trying to push black, brown, young, elderly and poor people out of the ballot booths. Occupy does not have to take this on directly. But the REST of us should and must.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Exactly. I don’t things will get better till our candidates our on our side. Why fight for people that won’t fight once you elect them, or even worse will fight you instead of the republicans, which is what I feel Obama has done.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:13 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 49

You are 100 percent right. Too bad Feingold did not run. He would have won, and we would be a lot happier. At the same time, maybe everyone will fight harder now in the swing states, since we can see what happens when the national grassroots progressives sit on our hands.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Van — Still waiting for an answer about Pelosi-the-Great. And why you didn’t lead a movement for progressive challengers to Obama, Pelosi, etc?

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 3:14 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 70

We don’t want to learn enough about the system to be able to make it work for us and the country. At the same time, our opponents use every trick in the book. I talk about this in my book, at some length.

I am guilty of that, and I think you have convinced me that I want to read your book. That said, I think the system is broken. Just look at the Senate Banking Committee meeting with Jaime Dimon. Past and present committee members, Dem and Republican, all with pockets stuffed with donations from JPMorgan. Their staffers, in and out of the revolving door. There is no reason for them to change the system at this point, and every reason not to do so.

I’m not sure that the uniparty is the answer any longer.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:15 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 76

What if I think the best way to make the system more responsive is to get a more responsive democratic party? What if I think that they are what is broken? The people we elect don’t do things we elected them to do.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 3:16 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 61

OK, let’s accept your premise of a Republican sweep leading to the imposition of all those “crazy” Tea Party ideas. Imagine they are now all the law of the land. Do you then want to argue that the American people are so stupid that they will not recognize the “craziness” of those ideas, and mobilize against them in a meaningful way, maybe even more meaningful than would result from following the guidance you and all other established Democrats and Obama supporters are urging on us? If not, why not? These are key questions, and I would really appreciate direct and forthright responses to them. We need to know how you really think about them, given your political resume, and also because these are among the wedge issues we argue about all the time around here.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:17 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 78

I won’t fight for right wing democrats like Barrett. You want me to fight for someone, than you will nominate fighters for issues I care about.

lakota June 16th, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I realize your peculiar situation Mr. Jones, but I didn’t put you in this fix, and you didn’t choose to be in it; you have my sympathy.

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 3:18 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 26

I agree that messaging is essential..as such, and perhaps it is just me,but contract has,in my mind a negative connotation.(Sounds too corporate and can easily be satirized into a contract “on” America.)

Additionally,what have been or are the consequences for those who violate the contract?

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

When an election is occurring within a corrupt political culture, exerting an electoral strategy need not be reduced to helping some candidate get out the votes. What sorts of tactics do you think might help change the political culture for this election cycle without folks necessarily having to declare support for one candidate or another?

I’m particularly thinking about how to blunt the framing shitstorm that is going to come with the billions of post-Citizen United media dollars and the increasing use of paid workers in GOTV activities.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 81

Do you have in mind a way around/thru that dilemma? You certainly describe it well.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 68

I think a lot of the progressive base is feeling the same way. As a human rights attorney, I am going to speaking out much more forcefully against the normalization of these threats to our civil liberties and rights – and the drone strikes, etc. We can’t be screaming in the streets when a GOP president does it, but then happily cheering along when a Dem does the same thing.

CarolynC June 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Van, thanks for visiting.
I would like to ask you where you personally would draw the line, where you would simply refuse to vote for someone? What would he/she have to do to cause you to remove your support?
Let me be very frank. Obama has been a disaster for this country. By adopting and expanding the Bush administration’s worst policies, persecuting and prosecuting more whistleblowers than any other President in history while making sure leaks of classified information occurs when it benefits him politically. Abusing the state secrets privilege to shroud our government in deeper secrecy and protecting government officials who break the law.
Fomenting greater and greater hatred for the US abroad through drone attacks, killing innocents across the world, having a “kill list” and authorizing signature strikes. Bailing out Wall Street while letting hundreds of thousands of families be shut out of their homes.
Ignoring the pressing needs of the inner cities and inhabitants there who have no jobs, go to lousy schools and endure crime-ridden streets. I could go on and on.
All of these policies, thanks to Obama, are now the bipartisan consensus in the US. Opposition to them has crumbled since his election. Where is the anti-war movement? Where is the environmental movement? Who supports reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and who wants to bring the Wall Street criminals to justice? No one, it seems, in DC.
Yes the Republicans are very bad and I understand why some will vote for Obama as the (supposed) lesser of two evils. But I believe that the disaster that has befallen our democracy is due to LOTE voting behavior.
So I repeat, where would you draw the line, Van? What behavior is so atrocious that you can no longer support the Democratic nominee for President?

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 76

The whole MOVEMENT has to figure out how to get the political system to be more responsive, not just the Occupiers.

Occupy Hilo, of which, I’m actively engaged with have been occupying our County Council, last nite, we hosted three sitting Councilors and 4 other candidates running for State offices, we’re getting their attention, and, forcing them to pass bills that are responsive to the Community…!

sunshine June 16th, 2012 at 3:19 pm
In response to Scarecrow @ 50

Van, the issues in this post are so important to me that I will not hold my nose and vote for Dem’s who act like Rebubs just because I don’t want Repub’s to appoint SCJ’s. That scare tactic doesn’t work any more. I plan to spank the Dem party that I have been part of my entire adult life by voting for a Repub.

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
In response to lakota @ 84

I agree, lakota. Thank you, Mr. Jones, for being here.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 61

That does not seem fair, somehow.

Thank you for the response. That is a legitimate point but fair or not, it’s the Democrats’ own doing. They have been locked in this “pretend to be conservative” mode for so long and there have been so many betrayals of progressive causes and so much badmouthing and dismissal of progressive activists from the Party Dems that my suspicion isn’t unwarranted. I guess what I’m saying is that I, and many others, don’t vote for candidates based on Party affiliation. Just because they have a “D” beside their names doesn’t automatically entitle them to my support. Isn’t what you’re saying just another version of “we suck less”? They expect us to “come home” if they throw us a few bones. As I see it, it’s that attitude that is going to hurt the Democrats more than the teabaggers. After the Democratic landslide in 2008 I said that the only people who could save the Republicans from themselves are the Democrats. I’m sorry to say, mission accomplished….

nycterrierist June 16th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to CarolynC @ 89

Great comment. Thank you CarolynC.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:21 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 73

You would know better than I of course but I was speaking relatively.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 3:23 pm
In response to CarolynC @ 89

where would you draw the line, Van? What behavior is so atrocious that you can no longer support the Democratic nominee for President?

Awesome question, preceded by awesome framing of the situation!

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
In response to applepie @ 69

Thanks for the kind words. (And don’t worry: I am not offended by any of these comments. You should read what they say about me on the Tea Party sites!) I think we need BOTH inside reform efforts, AND outside pressure and real alternatives, rooted in our own values. I have never bought the argument that we could not have both. We must be as sophisticated as the system we are trying to change. In my young radical-activist days, I still voted in every election. So did my radical friends. In part it was because so many ISSUES (not just candidates) were on the ballot in CA. But we just didn’t want to surrender on any front. I still don’t.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:24 pm
In response to sunshine @ 91

So they will move to the right to accomodate you. Vote green, or justice party, if you want to tell them to move left.

Voting republican because the democrats are too right wing in incoherent!

Tammany Tiger June 16th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Van, at Netroots Nation you called on attendees to re-elect Obama and, after the election, hold Obama accountable.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how we can hold accountable a politician who would be termed out and whose name won’t ever appear on a ballot again.

billyc June 16th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Mr. Jones, did the thought ever cross your mind that YOU could have been the challenger to Pres. Obama during this year’s primary season? What better way to articulate a progressive challenge and be a part of the 24/7 news cycle? Did you feel that if you challenged Obama you would have been committing political suicide? I feel a viable challenge to Obama would have been a marvelous way to put his feet to the fire!

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Once again I appreciate you taking the time to be here with us. You’re a better person than I would have been if the administration had treated me like a leper at the least sign of “controversy”. I switched my support in the Primaries from Clinton to Obama after a green energy and technology speech, (yes, I’m a tree hugger), he gave and other than some progress in LGBTQ issues, I have regretted that ever since. I knew the guy wasn’t a Progressive but I never knew he was running for Bush’ third term.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Mr. Jones, Do you think the Pres. has any appreciation of the depth of frustration and disappointment? Is anyone telling him? Do you think he cares?

bluewombat June 16th, 2012 at 3:31 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 98

I’m with you. I’m voting for Rocky Anderson.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:31 pm
In response to realitychecker @ 71

I respect and admire progressives in the Working Families Party and the Green Party and other places, who are actively trying to build an alternative to the Dems and make it work. Over the long term, I hope that their efforts pan out – either in making the Dems better or (failing that) in giving the people a better, viable alternative. That said: this is 2012. We are in the middle of a massive, billionaire-backed backlash to repeal the 20th Century. And I do not see anything on the horizon today that is ready to take up the mantle and win this fight, without somehow including the Dems in the effort.

And at this point, I reject the idea that we should stand back and let the Tea Party take over the country, just because the Dems let us down (in some predictable ways and also in some shocking ways). If that disqualifies me in the eyes of some, I can live with that. But having fought these guys close up, and having seen what they did in WI and OH, I don’t want to live in a country that the Tea Party governs. And we could be living in such a country in six months, if we are not careful.

zapkitty June 16th, 2012 at 3:34 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 76

“I am saying that the REST of us need to take electoral stuff more seriously … The whole MOVEMENT has to figure out how to get the political system to be more responsive, not just the Occupiers.”

Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

The “electoral stuff” only works if the politicians know that there will be a real price to pay for non-performance or outright betrayal… and yet you keep saying that we can’t punish Dems because the GOP will be worse… and thus the Dems keep getting worse because they are not punished.

Someone, somewhere inside that Beltway Bubble should try to understand that a lot of lifetime Dem voters really are going to get off of that merry-go-round come November.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to Margaret @ 95

No slight intended, Peg…! Just wanted to point out that Paradise ain’t quite the Democratic bastion(and/or Progressive) as many make it out to be…! ;-)

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:35 pm
In response to sunshine @ 91

I plan to spank the Dem party that I have been part of my entire adult life by voting for a Repub.

While that may be personally gratifying, it will only make things worse. The Dems won’t get the right message and all they’ll do is move further right or were you not paying attention in 2010? Along with death and taxes, there are two other hard, fast truths: “punishing” the Democrats doesn’t work and under our system always = rewarding the Republicans. There are alternatives to the two big parties.

Kevin Gosztola June 16th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 76

Thanks for your answer. Just to push you a bit—

You don’t think Occupy is and has pushed back against a GOP that has “consciously and deliberately [tried] to push black, brown, young, elderly and poor people out of the ballot booths”? What was Occupy ALEC?

I think the issue here is that if we expect people to follow Occupy’s lead and join a “99% Movement” that acts as a counter-balance to the GOP we are accepting a left-right paradigm in politics that I think ignores the fact that Democrats are complicit and even partly responsible for all that is wrong in society.

Take the example of voter suppression. This has been a profound issue since at least the 2000 Election (we might even take it all the way back to when African-Americans first earned the right to vote because surely there were efforts of harassment and intimidation even though they had earned voting rights). Democrats had 2000 and 2004 to raise the issue of disenfranchisement of voters and chose to look forward instead of back. This effectively granted immunity and impunity to Karl Rove and his gang.

Now, while I could ask a question about supporting Democrats here, I think the more critical question is the following—When are Americans, especially progressives, going to confess that President Obama’s commitment to moving forward and not looking back is unacceptable and has only made matters worse for citizens in this country? There are profound issues of injustice that he inherited, which Bush largely created, that need to be dealt with or inequality, lawlessness and lack of trust in institutions will only continue to grow.

Phoenix Woman June 16th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 15

The Working Families Party has a very smart “inside/outside” approach to the Dems. It is an independent party (very strong in NY state), but it can endorse Dems when it wants to. That let’s it be a threat, and exert real leverage and pressure – without having to go on kamikaze missions every time, to make its point. I wish more people would use this model.

So do I. You can tell the ones that don’t use that model; they are not only quite happy to be used by the GOP to be spoilers, and not only are a lot of them propped up by GOP/conservative money, some of them are actually run by GOP operatives.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Is it the radical in you who is still hopeful? Because one view would see the Pres. as the low-point that provokes the pushback and change in direction. I was so moved and inspired by the election of our first Black Pres. That seemed so promising. Even Caroline used the line of reminding her of her father. She has been pretty silent since then. But the threats he has orchestrated may be the impetus for once again some radical, 60s-style change. Who knows?

Greg Palast June 16th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

V, just jumping in with my half-assed half-British perspective. Registration dropped In Wisconsin by 240,000 18-24 yr olds, about 100,000 minority voters centered on Milwaukee. Rove went in massive in Wisconsin with his DataTrust data base and the Koch’s with Themis. How do we fight the theft of 2012?

Phoenix Woman June 16th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to zapkitty @ 105

The “electoral stuff” only works if the politicians know that there will be a real price to pay for non-performance or outright betrayal… and yet you keep saying that we can’t punish Dems because the GOP will be worse… and thus the Dems keep getting worse because they are not punished.

We’ve tried that in most every election, most notably in 1980 and in 2000. How did that work out?

There’s a reason Van’s brought up the Working Families Party: They know how to exert leverage without doing self-defeating moves that may make one feel good but hurt in the long run.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 104

Every election during my lifetime has been an apocalyptic one to keep the dems from rolling back the 20th century and none of the elections the dems one have stopped this process in anyway. To paraphrase Jill Stein. By voting lesser evil we have created the very events we have feared. The tea party controls this country already and is rolling back the 20th century with much help from conservative democrats including Obama. The trouble with your idea that there is no solution without the democrats is that I do not believe there is any solution with them, particularly conservative dems.

I sincerely do not believe things will get better till the two faced dems are replaced. I will fight for dems who fight for me, but the ones that don’t can just lose. I have better things to do.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to realitychecker @ 82

I think there is always a strain of thought on the left that says, just let things get bad enough and THEN the people will rise up. I think that is very dangerous. There was a little of this in the water the last time we had Dems in power (1992-2000), and much of the left (myself included) did not take the danger of a Bush presidency seriously. The argument “the two parties are practically identical” had real purchase then. But eight years of Bush cured me of that way of thinking. We let Bush get close enough to steal it, and he bankrupted the nation and violently occupied an innocent country. The differences now are even more stark: the Dems often function like a center-right party, while the GOP has become a far-right party. I don’t think we can afford to make the same mistake twice within 12 years. Whatever disappointments we have with Obama, the Tea Party GOP would wreck our nation in ways we cannot imagine. I honestly feel that we need to be in a broad front that includes the Dems, even as we develop alternative models and programs.

bluewombat June 16th, 2012 at 3:39 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 104

I don’t want to live in a country that the Tea Party governs. And we could be living in such a country in six months

Ah, so we can’t vote our consciences this time. Maybe some time in a future as elusive as the green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock, but not now…Sometime in the future maybe…

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

I get that Obama is limited in what he can do in light of opposition, but what he can do is be sure our laws are “faithfully executed.” As one who has benefitted from the full weight of our criminal justice system, I am annoyed that truly outrageous criminals get pensions and bonuses and such. If I vote for Obama, wouldn’t that be an endorsement of this?

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:42 pm
In response to zapkitty @ 105

Not trying to have it both ways. I have said that progressives should primary Dems we don’t like. We won’t agree in this conversation who those are. But we have to be willing to use some sticks – both electoral and protest – to get the DC Dems to act right. Our problem, as progressives, is that we get so mad and discouraged that we don’t patiently build up the actual mechanisms to “reward and punish” the Dems into behaving better. We “vote unconditionally and fume,” or “refuse to vote and fume, ” but neither is a winning strategy.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:43 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 109

What good do they do when they endorse guys like Andrew Cuomo and Hillary Clinton?

Phoenix Woman June 16th, 2012 at 3:44 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 118

Who were their alternatives? Or as Van Jones just said:

“I think there is always a strain of thought on the left that says, just let things get bad enough and THEN the people will rise up. I think that is very dangerous. There was a little of this in the water the last time we had Dems in power (1992-2000), and much of the left (myself included) did not take the danger of a Bush presidency seriously. The argument “the two parties are practically identical” had real purchase then. But eight years of Bush cured me of that way of thinking. We let Bush get close enough to steal it, and he bankrupted the nation and violently occupied an innocent country. The differences now are even more stark: the Dems often function like a center-right party, while the GOP has become a far-right party. I don’t think we can afford to make the same mistake twice within 12 years. Whatever disappointments we have with Obama, the Tea Party GOP would wreck our nation in ways we cannot imagine. I honestly feel that we need to be in a broad front that includes the Dems, even as we develop alternative models and programs.”

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 3:44 pm
In response to Greg Palast @ 111

I hope you get an answer…..See 2000 & 2004. We have to be smarter than we appear.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 104

I note that you did not respond to my question about what the American people would do in response to all your Tea Party horribles. No Obama supporter ever does. I really wish you had. You just lost me, sir, because I don’t feel you are willing to be straight with me.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 114

I voted for Gore as a lesser evil in 2000. 4 years of Obama has cured me of the notion the dems will govern differently than Bush, so many of us have learned the opposite lessons.

Gore’s vp was Lieberman and his advisor was Martin Peretz so it is likely he would have fought the Iraq war too. The establishment dems are full of neocon war hawks. That is why Obama kept it going so long.

bearman June 16th, 2012 at 3:45 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 70

Please comment on this: We know about the Koch Bros and the GOP…would you speak to the relationship of Pete Peterson to the Dems and Obama? Why does Team Obama embace Peterson’s right wing agenda? Peterson has heavy relationship w/ Bill Clinton and Obama is following the same path. IMO Obama has taken the worst of Clinton and melted to the worst of Geo W don’t forget Clinton deregulated Wall st, NAFTA and so on…yes Geo W was horrible but Clinton helped pave the way. BTW I have heard the story that Clinton was sorry for wall st already…that is not good enough has he stood up for bringing back Glass Stegel? NO

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:48 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 119

In Andrews case Howie Hawkins. In Clintons it was Nader or McKinney. I don’t deny the phenominon you call spoiling and I call losing. I don’t care whether third parties make sellouts lose! The democratic party either changes or dies!

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 113

I understand that. Is there a group or strategy that appeals to you at this point? At RebuildTheDream.com, we are attempting to build up a force that can be both tough and smart. It is harder than it looks, but we are trying.

Which group out there appeals to you, nowadays?

Phoenix Woman June 16th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 113

Got ten billion dollars to a) found a nationwide major party from scratch, and b) buy a TV network that will promote it (as no existing TV network that the American masses actually watch in large numbers will do so)?

Because that’s what it would take to create a viable alternative to the Democrats as an opposition party — especially one that intended to field candidates in any elections within the next two election cycles.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:49 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 114

But this is just more rationalizing of the Democrats’ drift to the right and polishing the “we suck less” meme.

When given a choice between a Republican and somebody who acts like a Republican, the people will choose the real Republican, every time. Harry Truman

Those words are more meaningful than ever in 2012 and somebody needs to convince the Democratic Party of that and right now, before it’s too late. In this country there is a reliable third of the electorate that will always vote conservative and a reliable third who will always vote more liberally. That leaves a third of so called “swing voters”. “Swing voters” are a misnomer. Generally speaking, they are for common sense “liberal” social policies. They don’t vacillate between voting right or voting left, they almost always vote left when they vote. It’s giving them a reason to go to the polls that the Democrats aren’t getting. If all the Democrats are offering is “Republican lite”, running on a “we suck less” platform, then they are going to just stay home or vote for the actual Republican, just like in 2010. One would think that over twenty years of blue dog failure and the drumming that caucus took last cycle would have put an end to the conservadem/third way myth.

Phoenix Woman June 16th, 2012 at 3:50 pm
In response to Dameocrat @ 124

Cynthia McKinney? In New York? Recall the demographics of that state, please.

Greg Palast June 16th, 2012 at 3:50 pm

How can progressive create a force to lean on the Democrats – the rewards and punishments you mention- and what is the “punishment” in punishment and reward you have in mind. No spanking jokes please, I’m British.

BevW June 16th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

As we come to the end of this lively Book Salon discussion,

Van, Thank you for stopping by the Lake and spending the afternoon with us discussing your new book and rebuilding a progressive movement.

SD, Thank you very much for Hosting this great Book Salon.

Everyone, if you would like more information:

Van’s website (VanJones.net) and book (RebuildingTheDream) (website-RebuildingTheDream)

SouthernDragon’s blog – every weekday – Lakeside Diner

Thanks all, Have a great weekend.

Tomorrow: Bruce Schneier/Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive; Hosted by James Fallows

If you would like to contact the FDL Book Salon: FiredoglakeBookSalon@gmail.com

bluewombat June 16th, 2012 at 3:52 pm

I note that you did not respond to my question

For whatever reason, I haven’t gotten a response to my question @65, either.

Phoenix Woman June 16th, 2012 at 3:53 pm
In response to Margaret @ 127

Those words are more meaningful than ever in 2012 and somebody needs to convince the Democratic Party of that and right now, before it’s too late.

A-yup. I suggest that Van take a copy of this thread and show it to anyone in the White House who might listen, and explain to them that they have a LOT to do to even have a prayer of winning back the progressives that helped them in 2008.

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 3:53 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 117

We “vote unconditionally and fume,” or “refuse to vote and fume, ” but neither is a winning strategy.

I am guilty of this. Especially when I’m called a ret*rd who needs to be drug tested. They hate me but I should support them since the other side is worse that ten Hitlers?

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:53 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 125

I believe that voters can hold bad dems accountable if they are patient and get rid of bad dems over multiple election cycles. I don’t think the changes will be immediate or that there is a quick fix. Just voting out unfaithful dems over multiple election cycles, with third party candidates. You call it spoiling. I call it losing.

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thank you, Van, for graciously giving us your time today. I’ve enjoyed this discussion.

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Thank you, Bev, Van, SD and for all the thoughtful comments.

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Thanks Van, SD for a lively discussion.

Kevin Gosztola June 16th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Is that really necessary? “You just lost me, sir.” Van Jones is a guest here, who came to chat with us. I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything he is saying but do some of you commenting need to make the jabs and digs against him that you are making? There’s nothing wrong with pushing him on whether or not one should support Democrats, but it seems crude to get disgusted with him because he says something that doesn’t fit your worldview.

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

If that is all it takes to lose you, then I probably never had a chance! I hesitate to even respond, because it feels like giving in to some kind of head game or effort at emotional manipulation.

That said, I will say this: I don’t know what people would do. They might rebel. They might hunker down for a very long time. It is very hard to tell. In some countries, after a right-wing counter-revolution, people hunker down for years, reeling from the loss and absorbing the punishment. I don’t want to have to find out.

That said: In the meantime, i DO know what the Tea Party would do. They would do to America what they did to WI and OH. And we would be playing defense for a long time, and then spend decades cleaning up the mess.

Dameocrat June 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 128

Cynthia McKinney for president. I am not playing to win at this point. I am playing to make a more loyal party. Better dems only, not more.

dakine01 June 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

What SD says…

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thank you Mr. Jones for the lively and informative conversation and thank you Southern Dragon for hosting.
Namaste

Van Jones June 16th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Thanks, everyone! I have to go. I really enjoyed the time together. I am very sorry that I did not get a chance to respond to everyone. Have a great weekend!

Coach Bill June 16th, 2012 at 3:56 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 42

“… the Keystone Pipeline decision …” was strictly political and merely postponed until after the election.

The pipeline is a when question not an if question and you can bet the house on it.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Mr. Jones….I hope you will come back with a blog/a thread; we could continue the conversation. Many of us are talking about the same vision & goals.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 132

Yep. And lock out those voices who will insist that they don’t need a bunch of filthy hippies in 2012. Rahm is gone but his legacy apparently lives on…

gesneri June 16th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
In response to Phoenix Woman @ 132

Well, I’ll tell you for sure that they’re not “winning me back”. How does it go–fool me once . . .

Thank you, Mr. Jones, for your time. I enjoyed hearing your views.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

How about getting disgusted with the guy because he completely ducked answering a series of hard questions put to him by myself and others? That good enough?

And on a greater scale, why should we be soft and play nicely with people in positions of influence that we regularly see as selling us and our values out? We need to get rid of this idea of decorum and polity and politeness; we need to be just as confrontational and direct when we are speaking to so-called leaders as when we are talking about them. A sack of shit is a sack of shit.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Mahalo Nui Loa, SD, Van, and Bev…! Another excellent Salon…!

marymccurnin June 16th, 2012 at 4:01 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 149

A sack of shit is a sack of shit.

Unnecessary, regressive comment.

dakine01 June 16th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 149

Uh, one of the reasons the FDL Book Salon is able to get guests as diverse as Tom Ridge, Van Jones, Bob Woodward, Bil Black, Mark Penn, Charles Pierce, Chris Hayes, John Dean and people from all parts of the political spectrum is that politeness. It is possible to express disagreement with the views of the guests without being rude about it.

Or do you really want FDL to turn into someplace where it is all insults all the time?

zapkitty June 16th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 117

Great!

In seven months, should Obama retain the office, he is going to use the failed Simpson-Bowles plan as a structure to cripple SS and Medicare and leave it for the corporate wolves to devour at their leisure.

Obama has already devouted considerable time and effort to making sure it happens.

Can you suggest any other option to forestall him than voting third-party?

Kevin Gosztola June 16th, 2012 at 4:02 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 151

And basically affirms my point.

SouthernDragon June 16th, 2012 at 4:02 pm

.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 4:03 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 114

Apologies for my #121, I lost the chronology and thought that was the response to my #82. Having said that, now that I see your actual response to my #82, I am even more disappointed. Both parties are out-and-out corporatist. We all know that here. The wonderful Dems went along with the Bush adventure in Iraq. Your response seems disingenuous at best, and does not seem to reflect an awareness that this is not 1980 or 2000, the differences are legion. We have seen a complete abandonment of the Rule of Law, and repression of our right to peacefully protest. I guess you are telling us the people are such sheep that they would never rise up against the “crazy” Tea Party government you insist we will get if Obama loses. I say that is our only chance to get them to rise up. You lose the point by default, since you chose not to address it in any meaningful way.

bluewombat June 16th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Is that really necessary? “You just lost me, sir.”

THAT strikes you as rough and tumble? I’m not going to get petulant because he didn’t respond to a single one of my posts, but the quote cited here is a very polite way of expressing irritation.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:03 pm
In response to gesneri @ 148

Well I’m not going to cut off my nose to spite my face but the Democratic establishment needs to know that’s a two edged sword. This is the crux of the problem: we are not taken seriously and we are treated incredibly disrespectfully. They would rather badmouth us for their defeats than praise us for their victories. Your frustration is absolutely understandable.

dakine01 June 16th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

de nada. :})

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

It was a very good discussion even if it did not answer all the questions; no guest ever gets to them all iirc. Really informative imho, and we owe some respect to a guest for showing up, visiting our home as it were.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 4:06 pm
In response to marymccurnin @ 151

I disagree. We have to stop living with this fantasy that the neo-liberal Dems who sell us out are somehow nice but weak or simply misguided people. They’re evil, just as evil as Bush or Cheney or Rove or Walker or Ryan or the Kochsuckers.

If you could go back in a time machine and talk – freely and safely – face to face with Hitler, what would say? Would you tell him that, “Well, I guess we have to disagree about the Final Solution to the Jewish Problem”? Or would you tell him that he was the most evil murderous motherfucker history had yet produced?

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:06 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 159

And also to you both; good to see ya’. Have a good evening you 2.

Prairie Sunshine June 16th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

When the language of government became the language of the corporation, “contract with…” “hire/fire political officials” we ceded our democracy.

Take back the language: vote.

billyc June 16th, 2012 at 4:09 pm
In response to RevBev @ 160

Hear! Hear!

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

O/T, but aren’t you Louiza’s hooman? If so, how is the Intrepid Snow Kitty? (She is sooo cute.)

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:09 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 161

Im not defending anyone, but surely you can agree that ss=ss is not a useful or informative comment. It really contributes nothing, say as compare to 161.

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Thank you Mr. Jones for stopping by and I wish you great success. I worked my butt of in ’04 and ’06 and ’08 to get all the pieces in place. Now I’m looking at a Republican health care plan, unchecked Government wiretapping and indefinite detentions, mechanized doom for Americans by their own Government, Banksters wearing Presidential cufflinks to Senate Hearings, Billion dollar check kiters getting off scott-free, robo-signers falsifying federal documents getting retro-active immunity etc. I didn’t vote for this, and it would be nearly impossible to get me to vote for it again.

lakota June 16th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Does anyone remember the Trojan Horse?

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

No, Kevin, I was just being honest about my own feeling. The question I asked was an important one, because we don’t know who to trust anymore, and I was giving the guest a chance to demoinstrate that we could trust him despite his past affiliations in D.C.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:10 pm
In response to billyc @ 164

Thanks….;)

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:11 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 161

I just don’t think the language was necessary to make your point. I wasn’t going to get involved in this but comparing anybody in the Democratic Party to Hitler is waaaay over the top. Unless you know of a strategist or a politician who has systematically exterminated over 9 million people and plunged us into a world war…

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:12 pm
In response to RevBev @ 160

Well put Rev!

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

With so much energy here, one would think we surely could come up with an action plan: goals and efforts. Some direction. I think something like that should be doable on this site.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:14 pm
In response to Margaret @ 172

Thanks…;) I thought we got alot out of it; doesn’t mean everything or agreement, but alot.

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 4:14 pm
In response to Oilfieldguy @ 167

Very well put, I think, Oilfieldguy. The cufflinks…..I don’t know what to say.

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 4:15 pm
In response to RevBev @ 173

wave

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Am I wrong or was Citizens United not mentioned once…

How can you have a 2 hour discussion about U.S. politics without mentioning that.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:16 pm
In response to RevBev @ 174

I’m hoping Mr. Jones got something out of it too. Like our frustration at the Party Dems!

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Mr. Jones, just to be clear, I find you immensely likeable and impressive personally, and wish I could feel trust for you, but directness is the counterbalance to spin; we are choking on spin, and I, for one, need directness before I can trust that someone from politics is not just trying to “handle” me again.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:17 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 177

Sorry we failed you eCAHN. You could have brought it up though.

applepie June 16th, 2012 at 4:17 pm
In response to RevBev @ 160

I agree, this was a good discussion, even with the cheap shots and pointless flames. The trend of these FDL book salons gets better and better each week. So, is this thread going to be the longest one after the guest has left?

Hope Syriza wins tomorrow!

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:18 pm
In response to Oilfieldguy @ 176

Thanks, Guy. How ya’ doing? I had not made the cufflink connection; yikes. Was going to look it up. Ugh…pretty dense.

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 4:18 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 177

13 billionaire backlash was mentioned. I do believe that was an oblique reference to Citizens United. Also see my question about the coming “media shitstorm”.

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Glad someone else thinks like me.See my comment upthread @#85.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 4:19 pm
In response to RevBev @ 166

Again, I disagree. People like Van Jones who urge us to vote for the lesser of two evils are still urging us to vote for…EVIL. That makes them…EVIL. And we need to stop pussyfooting around that distinction. We need to treat these back-stabbing, lying, turncoats even more harshly than we would Mitt or Newt or Rove or one of the Kochsuckers is we had a chance to converse directly with them. We need to stop giving these people deference by virtue of their prominense or position; instead we need to reserve deference for those who have — and act on/support — the right principles.

We often speculate here as to whether Obama or other Dem leaders have any idea the degree to which they are hated/loathed/despised/distrusted by us and other true progressives. Yet when we have a chance to tell someone with direct access to Pinocchio and his administration what we really think, we are advised to sugarcoat it, tone it down, be respectful. This effectively MUTES the message. And every time we mute the message we should not be surprised that it doesn’t get through and/or is not taken seriously.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:20 pm
In response to applepie @ 181

Thanks…Sure showed alot of interest and energy, didn’t it? That’s all good, huh?

zapkitty June 16th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

My take: Jones can’t make a coherent case for voting Dem as he can not or will not admit what the party leadership has been and is actually doing.

He’ll cop to some of it when under pressure but he just ducked the biggest issues altogether.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 4:22 pm
In response to Margaret @ 178

It’s a one-way street. He tells us what to say and we repeat the talking points.

Bet he’s on the phone with Rahm right now, whining about the DFHs.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:23 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 185

Again I want to point out that I’m not going to take someone who is badmouthing me very seriously, regardless of the legitimacy of their point/issue/cause. Why would you expect anyone else to?

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:26 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 188

Probably true but I’ve never been so weak as to throw up my hands in surrender when things seem hopeless. If I had been alive and living in Nazi occupied Europe during WWII, I just don’t believe I would have made it to one of those camps alive.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 4:27 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 185

Yes, should be obvious. Politics ain’t bean bag (remember that?), and it ain’t doily-arranging, either.

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 4:27 pm
In response to RevBev @ 182

Jamie Dimon’s cufflinks.

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 4:29 pm
In response to Margaret @ 189

So, because they dissemble and lie and spin, we have to dissemble and lie and spin?

Would it have been okay if, instead of using the term sack of shit, I had told Van directly that he was a lying, unprincipled, sellout without the guts to really stand up to Obama or for what he (Jones) professes to believe in?

And BTW: did you notice how he ducked my questions on primarying Obama, or about Pelosi, whom he praised as the “best Dem Speaker ever”?

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Guess I haven’t learned how to link with my mac yet.

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Mr. Jones’intro to his book states:

“The aim of this book is to prepare citizens and community members at the grassroots level to see their own power differently – and to exercise their own leadership more boldly.”

I suspect Mr. Jones now realizes the unerring aim and unmistakeable boldness of many grassroots activists here at FDL!

applepie June 16th, 2012 at 4:30 pm
In response to zapkitty @ 187

Well, remember the Jones was picked by the Obama WH to fill a role after all. Not to cast any aspersions on his hard work but he must be learning, painfully perhaps, that this government doesn’t represent him. One thing I can say is that if a bunch of neo-facsists attacked one of my friends I would have their back and stand with them to the end, unlike Obama and the Dems.

Now, that said, would any establishement pol choose me for a role, doubtful, and the same for most of us especially the punk rockers in the crowd. Where does that leave us?

BeachPopulist June 16th, 2012 at 4:30 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 195

Zing!

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:32 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 193

So, because they dissemble and lie and spin, we have to dissemble and lie and spin?

How the Hell did you get that when clearly what I said was that I don’t respond well to being badmouthed and I don’t expect anybody else to? That’s some great irony though, spinning the crap out of my comment while insisting that’s what I’m advocating.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:33 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 185

Hey, Im really too tired for a rant. But I do think the Lesser of 2 etc is still evil claim is absurdly simplistic. A false equivalence if Ive ever seen one. Disregards shades of or reality. Re: 189. I think the point is about not calling names. That really does not advance an arguement…insults, curses, etc. Does not make a point.

twobeers June 16th, 2012 at 4:35 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 88

as a human rights attorney, I am going to speaking out much more forcefully against the normalization of these threats to our civil liberties and rights – and the drone strikes, etc…

That’s comedy gold, Van, gold, I tell you!

billyc June 16th, 2012 at 4:37 pm
In response to Oilfieldguy @ 194

Hey Ofg, I think I know what the problem is with your link – I tried to link to it twice and failed. I think you inadvertently typed http:// twice which confuses browsers. Easily rectified. I am interested in Dimon’s cufflinks. :>)

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 4:37 pm
In response to Scarecrow @ 28

Yesterday, DREAM/immigrant groups won an apparent victory, and one can argue that their success was a function of keeping pressure on the Administratin BEFORE election, implicitly arguing that if Obama wants their support, he needs to deliver now, when they have some leverage

They were obviously able to deliver a message effectively. What can we learn from that and apply it on a massive scale?

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 4:39 pm
In response to RevBev @ 199

Not disagreeing, but just saying that “You just lost me, sir” is the politest way I know to tell somebody that they just lost me. ;-)

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 4:40 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 195

I suspect Mr. Jones now realizes the unerring aim and unmistakeable boldness of many grassroots activists here at FDL!

*heh* No doubt…! ;-)

Tho, civility is paramount in encouraging our guests to face the buzz saw…!

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I didn’t find that offensive. No one likes to hear it, and it isn’t really comfortable to read, but I didn’t think it was rude.

twobeers June 16th, 2012 at 4:40 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 195

he must be learning, painfully perhaps, that this government doesn’t represent him

I doubt it. His statements sound as if he — like most Democrats — is a victim of his own cognitive dissonance.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 4:41 pm
In response to OmAli @ 202

OR, maybe O was just doing some election season “marketing” to a group that has some big numbers?

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:41 pm
In response to billyc @ 201

Then here ya go.

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

That is probably nearer the mark.

You can fool me more than once, I fear.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 4:42 pm
In response to twobeers @ 206

He certainly hit on the “we suck less” mantra a lot….

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 4:44 pm
In response to Margaret @ 210

*heh* Clap harder, I can’t hear you…! ;-)

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 4:46 pm
In response to BeachPopulist @ 185

The election has to do with policy. In order to change policy, you have to win enough seats in the legislative body who are committed to changing policy, regardless of the party label. And you have to either have the executive (mayor, governor, or president) willing to change policy or enough legislative votes to override a veto. That’s just the way the system works.

IMO, the “lesser of two evils” argument gets to be kinda strained moralism when applied to elections. Because no matter how you vote or don’t vote, the winners will set the policy, and the policy will either be evil or it will not be. Or as more often the case, some policies will be evil and others good, or policies and actions will range over the good-evil scale depending on which policy you focus on.

I would not assume that Van Jones has direct access to the President to the point that he can be heard as to what is going on. After all, Jones is a former White House adviser. Jim Messina, on the other hand—yes, the Jim Messina who was the legislative go-between on the Affordable Care Act — certainly does have the access to tell the President bad news, but not the motivation.

Don’t live in the illusion that you are either doing good or avoiding evil any way you vote this fall (or don’t vote). You, like the rest of us, will be making a tough decision and doing the best we can. The consequences as they play out in history are the judgement, regardless of whether we have the “right” principles or not.

As to whether the President and other Democratic leaders have any idea the degree to which they are hated/loathed/despised/distrusted by people who formerly supported them, my guess is that they don’t. And it is because of the political communications systems they have established for their offices (most likely designed by some consultant) that engages only in messaging and reading polling and other statistics and never engages in listening to folks without a check of a certain size in their hand. They do not realize that the system is broken, and so they go blithely on doing what they have always done. They’re successful politicians–right? Tragic self-imposed insularity.

Van Jones doesn’t need to have his views privileged more than any commenter on FDL, IMO, but he does need to receive the common courtesy that we extend to each other in our forceful and passionate arguments. Courtesy never mutes the message if it is passionately expressed.

yellowsnapdragon June 16th, 2012 at 4:46 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 204

This forum could even be described as the belly of the f@cki!ng r3t@rd, considering so many of us loathe just about everything our guest stands for. I thought this was a very decent salon, considering.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Sounds like you’re right about that….I don’t think my comment was for you, iirc. Thanks….

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 4:46 pm
In response to RevBev @ 199

Have you been in the white lightening this afternoon? You comment makes no sense. Van Jones is a tool. The most important and relevant question posed to him in this salon was made by CarolynC upthread. How did Jones respond? Crickets!!! Jones avoided any of the tough to-the-point questions (especially about the greatest speaker alive). Also it is very disturbing that two of thatinvisionthing’s comments were disappeared. Why is fdl censoring comments? That is probably more disturbing than the tool Jones ignoring the important and relevant questions.

Oilfieldguy June 16th, 2012 at 4:47 pm
In response to Margaret @ 208

Thanks Margaret. Cleaning up my messes. I saw him on the teevee machine and noticed the cufflinks right away. Dudes got sack.

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 4:47 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 177

It WAS mentioned by Tarheel Dem at #86:

’m particularly thinking about how to blunt the framing shitstorm that is going to come with the billions of post-Citizen United media dollars and the increasing use of paid workers in GOTV activities.

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 4:49 pm
In response to twobeers @ 200

Don’t pass judgement until you see whether he does it.

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 4:49 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 204

Civility while simultaneuoslygreasing the tumbrel wheels!

billyc June 16th, 2012 at 4:50 pm
In response to Margaret @ 208

Thanks, Margaret! Since JD is a man of wealth and means I don’t think those cufflinks he’s wearing are the replicas a tourist in DC can purchase from a street vendor. *g*

OmAli June 16th, 2012 at 4:51 pm
In response to bludog @ 215

That was rude and uncalled for.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:53 pm
In response to bludog @ 215

Sorry you didn’t love it. I stand by my view about the lesser of 2 evils…simplistic; and, yes, name calling easily tuned out. We shall agree to disagree, I guess. No points for the insults that you intended.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 4:54 pm
In response to OmAli @ 221

Nice…;) Thanks, Om.

applepie June 16th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

VJ @ #35 was the low point for me:

“I love Moveon.”

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 4:57 pm
In response to OmAli @ 221

What was rude about the comment or why was it uncalled for in your expert opinion?

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:01 pm
In response to billyc @ 220

Dunno anything about the cufflinks other than what the website said. All I did was clean up the link. :)

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:03 pm
In response to bludog @ 215

Why is fdl censoring comments?

Because they were in violation of stated policy. The policy one agrees to in order to comment on this forum.

Emocrat June 16th, 2012 at 5:03 pm
In response to Van Jones @ 70

As progressives, we have to develop enough “carrots and sticks” to make DC care.

Esteemed Mr. Jones,

I’m quite certain that you mean well. You are also a very talented person. But this sentence strikes me as rather odd, given the fact that both parties are now fully bought-and-paid-for institutions of the corporatocracy. Within the Beltway, carrots and sticks are measured in Dollars & Cents. It is simply not possible for progressives to pony up the kind of cash needed to compete.

Additionally, having worked for the Democratic Party, I can attest to the kind of loathing that Democratic Party elites have for anything resembling “populism.” You, of course, understand that better than most people. Anti-populist sentiment was a dominating theme among state executive directors, state and national chairs, more than 20 years ago and its only gotten worse since then.

As such, the Democratic Party is where progressives and populists go to die, not “get results.”

Obama’s excellent DREAM Act decision reflects nothing but the fact the WH deep polling showed he was losing that constituency, not because they would vote Republican, but because they weren’t going to show up on election day. He made a remark, without any force of leadership, suggesting marriage equality would be good… only to say that ultimately, it’s a “state’s rights issue,” only because certain BIg Money donors were pissed off.

The bottom line in all this is that “smart power” can only exist outside the Democratic Party. I say this as one who has been registered as a “D” since 1978 and worked on Democratic campaigns professionally from ’87-’93, and did other work after that for a number of years. I was a team player who paid his dues, in other words.

Personally, I would like you to expound on this notion of “smart power” and how that would work outside the Party structure. Because it certainly can’t work within the Party. I would also love it if you could explain the Party’s disdain for labor, the environment and the National Interest, given Obama’s TPP initiative. If you’ve read Wolin’s Democracy Incorporated, I think you know what I’m talking about. Ditto for the vast majority of work by Tom Ferguson and Walter Karp.

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 5:06 pm
In response to Margaret @ 227

What were the violations?

hackworth1 June 16th, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Well, Van duked it out (and ducked or obfuscated the key questions) longer than Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton did.

But Van is a self-proclaimed progressive while those other two are (what did Van call them?) Mainstream? Regular Corporate Warmonger Flavor?

How do you apply pressure AFTER you’ve elected Keystone Pipeline Simpson Boles?

Don’t know.

How about Super Pelosi, Moveon, and the SupCrt?

Van is going to talk about the destruction of our Civil Rights more after Zero is re-elected.

Yippee!

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 5:08 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 217

Heh. THD typed Citizen United and I did a search for Citizens United, which is why I didn’t catch that.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 5:12 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 219

Or, while unsheathing our stilettos…! ;-)

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:12 pm
In response to bludog @ 229

I have no idea because the comments were taken down. I’m just a commentator, just like you. We come here and agree to behave ourselves and trust the moderators to make the right decisions. I don’t always agree with them either but like I said, I’m just a commentator. If the system seems excessively arbitrary or partisan to you, there are other blogs. Personally, I like the fact that this place isn’t like Huffington Post for example, where a few ideologues who have nothing better to do than hang out at the website can completely control the conversation. It’s up to you though.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 5:14 pm
In response to bludog @ 225

Your sarcasm is certainly uncalled for. And if you don’t know rude when you use it or see it, some brief explanation is not likely to inform you. I want to say something about sorry you were never taught, but you may not get that either.

Tammany Tiger June 16th, 2012 at 5:17 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 230

Van Jones’s argument is the political equivalent of an infinitely recursive function. He says, “yes, you have a point, but the upcoming election is so critical that you have to wait until afterward to raise it.” Problem is, every election is “so critical” and, as a result, the point–that the Democratic Party is selling us out–never gets raised.

In the words of Sam Goldwyn, “include me out.”

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 5:20 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 232

MY stilletoes of choice are Jimmy Choo’s!(Come to think of it,they can be pretty deadly,too..when wielded properly.)

hackworth1 June 16th, 2012 at 5:22 pm

IMHO, Van walked away from this Forum feeling like he performed a job well-done (for Obama).

Because the majority of comments and q’s were polite and deferential, he could report perhaps 20 percent general FDL disapproval of Obama’s policies (in a known “hard left” venue!). (But Obama’s still so likeable!)

“They’ll fall in line”, he’ll say.

“Besides, they’re aren’t enough of them to worry about.”

“And I told them that Pelosi and Moveon are wonderful!”

“And the Supreme Court! And the success of stopping The Pipeline!”

What are they going to do?

Vote For Romney?

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 5:24 pm
In response to Margaret @ 233

Why is it you just accept that comments were taken down because they did not comply with the rules when, in fact, you have no idea as to the content of the comments? I actually saw the second comment that was disappeared and there was absolutely nothing in the comment that was offensive. It was referencing the comment in comment #1. It was taken down because the moderator (I am sure it was not S.D.) did not want the frivolousness of the issue to be apparent. So, perhaps you might want to moderate your critical comments to those issues in which you have personal knowledge of.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:25 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 237

Probably but we can’t even presume that conclusion after the fact. There were people here presuming it before they typed out their first comment.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 5:25 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 236

*heh* I’m a big fan of Chamber pots, too…! ;-)

Gitcheegumee June 16th, 2012 at 5:26 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 240

You win ,C Tut!! *G*

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:26 pm
In response to bludog @ 238

So, perhaps you might want to moderate your critical comments to those issues in which you have personal knowledge of.

Great way to win friends and influence people! I have been nothing but polite and respectful toward you. I don’t deserve your scorn and I’m not going to put up with it.

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 5:28 pm
In response to RevBev @ 234

You have not yet explained what was rude about the comment. Your comment made no sense whatsoever. Perhaps it was my reference to white lightening. Frankly your comment made so little sense that the only explanation would be that you were into the white lightening. If you have some other reasonable explanation I would love to hear it.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 5:29 pm
In response to Margaret @ 239

Many of us were disheartened by Van’s poor showing at NN ’12, it set the stage, as it were…!

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 5:33 pm
In response to bludog @ 243

I explained my comment at 222. You’ve repeated your insults. Do not address me again. Moreover, your grammar is terrible.

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 5:33 pm
In response to tammanytiger @ 235

I do believe the point that the Democratic party has been selling the voters out has been raised a lot for the last two decades and more and more Democrats are coming to that conclusion.

Where exactly did he say that you have to wait until after the election to raise it?

What he did say is that when it comes to voting, this is not the year to bolt. As as for every election being critical, you have a valid argument. But there are two years until the 2014 election and four years until the 2016 election. What are folks going to be doing between now and those elections? His point, IMO, was that there is no way to raise the point after the primary season and that has passed without significant progressive primary challenges. You might debate that point but it is different from your generalization.

IMO, from a practical perspective, that point gets raised effectively first at lots of local elections and even in efforts to replace precinct officers of the Democratic Party. Don’t underestimate how difficult that might be; it is very difficult except in red states where the Democratic Party has atrophied. And it is OK to hang it up with the Democratic Party and go for local wins with a third party. Both of those actions communicate the message we want communicated. And when they take place on a geographically wide enough scale, the Democratic Party leaders start to take notice or on a wider geographical scale those leaders are gone.

And, in a post-Citizens United world, it is much easier to get folks elected to local offices with a short lead-time and smaller budget.

It is an infinitely recursive function unless there is intervention, and that in a representative democracy is easier done from the bottom up. Even if it is developing a third party from the bottom up.

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 5:34 pm
In response to Margaret @ 242

You have been respectful of me and are not going to put up with my scorn. Give me a fucking break. You have neither been respectful of me nor have I visited any scorn upon you. You just cannot respond to legitimate questions.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:34 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 244

As was I! Are you implying that I’m defending the guy??? You know better than that. And you also know my commitment to accurate, empirical data. All I was doing was pointing out that:
A) We can’t assume that he went away with the opinion hackworth described and that
B) Some of the commentators seemed to decide he was going to leave with that opinion of us before they commented.
One of these things is empirically true, the other is objectively true and neither in any way defends or implicates Van Jones in any way.

Margaret June 16th, 2012 at 5:36 pm
In response to bludog @ 247

Obviously you are incapable of conducting yourself in a manner that promotes rational discourse. Please refrain from addressing me again.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 5:37 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 246

Local elections are much cheaper to buy in a post-CU environment.

Besides Mr. 50 States has joined the loyal opposition (i.e. corp tools).

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 5:41 pm
In response to RevBev @ 245

You addressed my so-called insults? Really? And my grammar is not up to your standards? Really? Perhaps you would like to give me grammar lessons. You have not yet explained how I insulted you or how my grammar is not up to your standards. Perhaps you would be kind enough to explain how I insulted you and the problem you have with my grammar.

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 5:44 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 250

But someone has to have the incentive to buy them. The system is broken, but IMO not yet irreversible. But it could very well become so if the corporatists get their permanent majority.

And if it turns out to be irreversibly broken, nothing short of total societal collapse will bring the revolution the romantics are seeking. And it is not clear whether that will result in a more progressive result.

In other words, if there’s nothing to be done, just shoot me.

EdwardTeller June 16th, 2012 at 5:45 pm
In response to RevBev @ 245

RevBev rocks

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 5:46 pm
In response to Margaret @ 249

Just wow…it’s TarBaby, perseverating….;) (You know who;) Have a good evening.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 5:46 pm
In response to Margaret @ 248

My humble apologies, Peg…! I wasn’t implying that, my point was that, once again, the Book Salon had another timely, Author/Book featured, and, they have to the run the proverbial gauntlet…! It is imperative that we are Civil to them, while we agree to disagree with ‘em…! *g*

twobeers June 16th, 2012 at 5:46 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 218

Thank you for the sanctimonious response.

bludog June 16th, 2012 at 5:47 pm
In response to Margaret @ 249

Obviously you are incapable of conducting yourself in a manner that promotes rational discourse.”

You love making these irrational statements. Just how is it that I am, in your opinion, incapable of conducting myself in a manner that promotes rational discourse? Apparently you are the arbiter of “rational discourse”.

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 5:48 pm
In response to twobeers @ 256

And that particular track record regarding human rights is what?

marymccurnin June 16th, 2012 at 5:49 pm
In response to twobeers @ 256

Links please.

karenjj2 June 16th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

interesting discussion; would’ve liked a comment re info @ gregg palast’s comment #111.

we all assume that the privatized black box computer tally will reflect a true “vote” result.

if there’s a way to write in “none of the above,” i think i’ll do it just to see if the black box tally shows it in local results.

RevBev June 16th, 2012 at 5:51 pm
In response to EdwardTeller @ 253

;) Thanks. We got a bit off track…Not sure how that happened. Cheers, up there. B

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 5:53 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 252

My point is, doing local first is not going to work any way you look at it. Towit: Wisconsin. If you start smaller, hoping to stay below corp interests’ radar, it is not scalable bc once they become aware of it, they’ll make massive efforts to fight it on every front.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Personally, I’m in favor of yet ANOTHER allegedly lefty org, to which we can all contribute $10/month.

twobeers June 16th, 2012 at 5:56 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 258

Uh, I’m talking about his track record as an apologist for the Great Betrayal.

He can wag his finger at rights abuses all he wants, but if he won’t take on the perpetrators of those abuses, than his rhetoric is for naught.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 5:57 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 262

Well, M’dear, I’m trying my dangest to do Local first, especially, stuck out on a rock, in the middle of the Pacific…! ;-)

twobeers June 16th, 2012 at 6:00 pm
In response to twobeers @ 264

correction: his rhetoric serves to corral cognitively-captured progressives in the veal pen.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 6:01 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 265

You can certainly make a diff locally with political activism, esp if your local is small.

I was making a diff point, though not very articulately, which is you can’t start locally and expect that after a long & difficult effort it will make any diff nationally.

hackworth1 June 16th, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Which killer did you like best at FDL – Van Jones (Buzzkill), Harry Reid, Hillary, The Wilsons, or John Dean?

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 6:06 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 262

There are 3080 counties and 192,480 precincts. How much are they willing to spend to hire GOTV workers in 3080 counties? Which places will they ignore? Lots of local races will bleed them faster than 470 or so national races. Wisconsin was one high-profile state race that was considered proxy for a national races. And they spent a extraordinary amount of money to get a six-month stalemate.

Their strength is their money. There are several ways they can use that money: buy media time, buy lobbying, contribute to candidates, hire GOTV workers, buy ballot initiatives. There are tactics that can reduce the impact of each of those.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 6:08 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 268

All of the above.

When I used to care, I asked John Dean how he personally benefited from turning in Nixon.

He actually answered me, explaining about how it was his civic duty, blah blah blah.

The real A is that he turncoated on his client so that he could come out smelling like a rose.

I was explaining this to a friend who has no interest in political matters. She asked me: They didn’t take away his lawyer’s license?

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 6:10 pm
In response to twobeers @ 264

I understand your point. I’m prepared to watch him and see what he does. I was just wondering if you had more specific information that I did not have. It’s not going to affect what I do one way or the other.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 6:11 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 269

There are tactics that can reduce the impact of each of those.

Most especially when the Locals get in the face of of those 3080 Counties Officials…! ;-)

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 6:14 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 272

Mahalo CTuttle. Glad to get one hopeful data point.

You bring up a good point. You don’t have to elect candidates if the current incumbents feel the heat enough to change. What all that corporate money buys is electoral insulation from the electorate.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 6:17 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 270

To be sure, eCAHN… …With his conviction for felony offenses, Dean was disbarred as a lawyer, so could no longer practice law….

I did enjoy John Dean’s several appearances the most…! ;-)

hackworth1 June 16th, 2012 at 6:23 pm

I shall remember Hillary, Harry and Van getting pelted with questions they didn’t like. Especially Harry who was totally flabbergasted.

And the warmongering of the Wilsons – especially Valerie.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 6:23 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 274

Didn’t know that. Never bothered to read his wiki.

However, he did come out of the Watergate mess with the best reputation of anyone involved.

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 6:24 pm
In response to hackworth1 @ 275

The one Hillary appearance I remember, she lasted about 20 minutes. Is that your memory too?

Blessedly I missed the Harry thread.

juliania June 16th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Many thanks to FDL for this Book Salon, to Mr. Jones for spending time with us, and to Southern Dragon for hosting. And in particular, huge thanks to the earnest participants in the conversation. To my mind with very few exceptions you conducted yourself admirably given the circumstances and subject of the discussion. I myself knew that I would have very little to contribute, and that in fact my responses in many areas of the arguments would probably cause an inevitable impolite disruption. We are so badly served by this administration, and I think in many ways that point was made excellently.

Indeed, the two questions by Mr. Palast, for instance, which were not answered, especially the last one, perhaps could not be answered since they answered themselves. I do think the conversation was our attempt to bring some message to those who will not hear, and if our 2008 vote was not pressure for change, what on earth WAS it?

The analysis of the gay and immigrant concessions was particularly insightful. We are going to be thrown some crumbs, and some things will happen that would not have happened had we all remained silent. My bottom line is the record of these four years, and it is a dismal one. Nothing can fix that. It has been Bush Three and we didn’t deserve that. I will never vote for any of the people who have participated in this ongoing horror, even passively – and they all have. (I hung up on a young lady calling to ask support for Obama – I could not bear to speak with her even.)

That’s the bottom line, people. Sorry if it sounds rude, Kevin; I love you.

twobeers June 16th, 2012 at 6:32 pm
In response to TarheelDem @ 271

With all due respect, you don’t see my point. His track record as an apologist tells you what he will do in the future. Political science is easy: watch what they do, not what they say. It’s foolproof!

What’s the point of your “watching.” What are you “watching” for? When will you determine you have “watched long enough.”? And what will you do then? I’ve “watched” and waited decades for a progressive Democratic Party, and it simply doesn’t — and won’t ever — exist.

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 6:32 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 277

*heh* The Boxer, Harry, was game enough, but, he was Punch Drunk after the pummeling…! ;-)

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

twobeers @ 279 Political science is easy: watch what they do, not what they say. It’s foolproof!

As a Poly Sci major, it hasn’t steered me wrong, but, as a History major, as well, I realize that it takes the apathetic masses to finally get a clue, to make sh*t happen…! Unfortunately, it’s usually through violent and bloody means, to realize said change…! I’m trying my damnest best, to make Non-Violence the manner, but, the current regime is making it as difficult as possible…! 8-(

TarheelDem June 16th, 2012 at 6:53 pm
In response to twobeers @ 279

People do have the capacity to change their opinions and act differently. What a person does in the past is not a deterministic predictor of what they will do in the future. He said that he would be doing something relative to human rights. We should watch to see if he follows through. That won’t take more effort than not watching him.

I don’t have to do anything relative to Van Jones (or the Democratic Party either). My political action is independent of them.

You seem to think I must be obligated to agree with you in order to understand your point. I don’t. Watch what they do might be foolproof, but extapolating that they will do the same things in the future that they did in the past is not.

tongorad June 16th, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I have a plan: buy my book.
Bor-ing

eCAHNomics June 16th, 2012 at 7:07 pm
In response to tongorad @ 283

There was an author on BS once who typed that in answer to every other question. Forget who it was.

sadlyyes June 16th, 2012 at 7:22 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 277

i feel like Echan…when i used to care, i even hosted a 600 people healthcare rally ,hiring musicians and all at my expense,now…i realize,they are all bought and paid for,the end

GDC707 June 16th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Mr. Jones’ little appearance here was all about . . . (drum roll) . . . selling. Primarily books. Secondarily he was selling his credibility as a good foot soldier for the Democratic Party so he can maintain access which continues to provide him a high profile which makes it easier for him to . . . sell books.

And so he serves as a perfect metaphor for the modern Democratic Party which purports to be about one thing, but
is actually about something quite different.

Good night

Valley Girl June 16th, 2012 at 8:42 pm
In response to eCAHNomics @ 284

eCAHN-

Eric Alterman- I remember it well.

http://fdlbooksalon.com/2011/02/20/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-eric-alterman-kabuki/

Gotta say John Dean’s appearance is still at the top of the list for me. He was so responsive. And, came back after with more comments.

realitychecker June 16th, 2012 at 8:48 pm

(Just testing, cuz I had trouble entering some comments earlier.) I think this was a good encounter. People, remind yourselves how these political people talk to each other, about us, off-camera. I don’t think we can shock them too badly. Mr. Jones revealed more about his true belief system by what he refused to answer than by what he said, IMO. That’s good, we learned, or at least some of us did. Some of us never will. That’s the arena this “game” gets played in. Thanks to all involved in bringing this Salon, and to all who participated.

tongorad June 16th, 2012 at 8:52 pm
In response to GDC707 @ 286

Exactly. FDL got rolled by this turkey. How nice that he descended from Mt Olympus to condescend to us. LOL, trolling for Nancy Pelosi, I’ve thought I’ve seen everything from “progressives.”

CTuttle June 16th, 2012 at 9:01 pm
In response to tongorad @ 289

FDL got rolled by this turkey.

Errmm, how exactly did FDL get rolled…? Did you even read half the comments, tongorad…?

Valley Girl June 16th, 2012 at 9:25 pm
In response to CTuttle @ 290

Hi CT- I agree- FDL commenters too smart to get rolled. I wasn’t there in real time, only read after, but peeps did well. imho.

Ready June 16th, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Van Jones, Obama is a tool for the criminal elite.

He’s proven it over and over and over and over again the past 3 and 1/2 years.

The Democrats are the same.

I have left the Democratic party for good.

Time you did too?

Ready June 16th, 2012 at 10:31 pm
In response to GDC707 @ 286

Of course that’s what he was doing—trying to sell books.

I met him in person recently at one of his book tour whistle stops and both questions I got to ask him were met with “buy my book and read it for the answer to that”.

Before Obama tossed you out the bus then backed over you I had respect for you Van Jones. Now, you’re just another apologist for Obama and his corporatist/fascist agenda.

EdwardTeller June 16th, 2012 at 11:00 pm
In response to Valley Girl @ 291

{{{{VG!}}}}

thatvisionthing June 17th, 2012 at 1:28 am
In response to bludog @ 215

Also it is very disturbing that two of thatinvisionthing’s comments were disappeared. Why is fdl censoring comments?

Hey bludog! Thank you! Actually it was three. But I can still see them in my history and I still think they’re all fair comments. And I truly do not get the distinction between my disappeared comments and others here that were not disappeared.

First disappeared comment: http://my.firedoglake.com/members/thatvisionthing/activity/952610
Second disappeared comment: http://my.firedoglake.com/members/thatvisionthing/activity/952722
Third disappeared comment: http://my.firedoglake.com/members/thatvisionthing/activity/952744

Also appreciate the fine irony of @146 — I posted that damned Obama sign three times after it kept getting knocked down in 2008, and now I get knocked down here going the other way. Good night.

bigchin June 17th, 2012 at 4:33 am
In response to Van Jones @ 48

I call bullshit on this to-be-expected Democratic Party propaganda.

And I’ll be voting for Jill Stein or Rocky Anderson or anyone truly progressive who doesn’t have a (D) next to their name, because I’m voting to destroy the craven Democratic Party, the party Van Jones just can’t quit, the party he puts before the principles he espouses.

The worst kind of hypocrisy.

bigchin June 17th, 2012 at 5:18 am

I find it hilarious that the folk here who are clearly gonna vote for Obama regardless of his criminal, violent behavior insist that those of us who are outraged by our murderer-in-chief be “civil” towards them.

I can not stop laughing…

this is politics folks and as they say… “all’s fair…”

I suggest you get over your moral concern for civility and put it towards a moral concern for morality.

lakota June 17th, 2012 at 5:48 am

I love FDL, and although FDL doesn’t know it; FDL loves me. I have never even met a person who thinks like I think, and now I am where almost everybody, or very many people at the least; think like I think.

Me and my African American neighbor are no longer speaking because of “Barack Obama”. Normally I would not include “race” in a statement because I detest that as a qualifying factor, but in this case it’s necessary. Both he and I are in the working class and have the same economic interests. After I pointed out that Barack Obama voted for the 700 billion bailout of Wall Street when he was Senator Obama; that was proposed by the Republican Party, and that since he’s been president, he has bailed out every street under the sun, except main street. I went on to point out that when he had the majority, he did nothing for jobs for the working class.

That’s when the man became livid, and told me not to hang my head over our common fence anymore. I consider that a good thing. By the way, we have been close neighbors for over 10 years, and he is a good man.

realitychecker June 17th, 2012 at 6:06 am

A fellow dupe! Love the sign story lol. ((thatvisionthing))

realitychecker June 17th, 2012 at 6:13 am
In response to lakota @ 298

It’s understandable, but still heartbreaking, that a group that has been so badly treated for so long would cling to the symbolic victory represented by simply having a darker-than-usual face in the White House. But it just makes me think of Clarence Thomas, who has done no good for his people that I am aware of. It’s a human failing to be so susceptible to tribal or identity politics, which turns tragic when the token is revealed to be a Trojan horse.

bludog June 17th, 2012 at 6:49 am

I actually saw the third comment before it was entirely removed. I stand corrected on the number of comments that were removed. The comments are not offensive. I believe they run foul of the certain mod’s politics. That is what is so disturbing to me that fdl would attempt to mod out comments that do not line up with his/her personal politics. Your Obama 08 sign is great. I have one of those but I don’t dare display it as the detractors probably would not stop with shredding the sign.

dakine01 June 17th, 2012 at 6:56 am
In response to bludog @ 301

Were the comments on the topic of the Book the guest was here to talk about? For Book Salons and other types of visits from guests, the long time standard at FDL has been off-topic comments are bounced (a lesson I learned the hard way a couple of times when I first started commenting at FDL)

realitychecker June 17th, 2012 at 7:17 am
In response to dakine01 @ 302

We are not potted plants, and political players advocating a particular course of action should expect some related questioning designed to illuminate their underlying beliefs and motivations.

SouthernDragon June 17th, 2012 at 8:03 am

It’s too bad so many people won’t consider reading the book because of their opinion of the author. The bulk of the book talks about how to organize an effective organization. Yes, there are some references to Obama but it’s not a rah rah Obama book. The answers to some of the questions, mine included, would take pages to answer properly. I know a little more about organizing having read the book. Learning something that may help us better organize, for me that’s always the object of the exercise, no matter whose ideas they are.

Here’s the image of The Grid I found. Does anybody have any idea what it represents or how these items are interrelated?

How many people here would read Lenin’s “What Is To Be Done” just to see what he says?

BeachPopulist June 17th, 2012 at 10:23 am

No offense intended, but if Van Jones knows so much about organizing, why didn’t he organize a primary challenge to Obama? This, incidentally, is one of the questions I asked him, and which he ignored rather than attempt to answer.

SouthernDragon June 17th, 2012 at 10:36 am

That’s quite the stretch. You assume that he, for whatever reason, would want to primary Obama. Based on what? Because you and others wanted him to? Wanted anybody to? Jones has given no indication since he left the WH that he was anything but an Obama supporter.

SouthernDragon June 17th, 2012 at 10:52 am
In response to BeachPopulist @ 305

In addition, regarding the primary thing, what makes you think Jones is under any obligation to explain his personal decisions to you?

independentvoternews June 17th, 2012 at 11:09 am

Van Jones = Sellout… Judas… Obamabot… Shill For A Corrupt Political Party

OWS = Scam [concocted by the corrupt Democratic party propaganda/brainwashing machine... part of the ongoning scheme to neuter/pacify progressives]

Censorship

CENSORSHIP: Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication. The practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts. Political censorship occurs when governments or thier agents hold back information from their citizens. This is often done to exert control over the populace and prevent free expression.

It’s HEARTBREAKING to see the reality of what has become… of those claiming to represent liberal/progressives.

independentvoternews June 17th, 2012 at 11:14 am

What a sad comment.

independentvoternews June 17th, 2012 at 11:24 am
In response to BeachPopulist @ 305

Keep speaking out… keep asking the tough, honest questions…

Please.

realitychecker June 17th, 2012 at 11:58 am

Well, if so, SD, then he is NOT A PROGRESSIVE, so why should we unquestioningly look to him for advice, given the history? Why should we not wait to be advised by someone who knows and resents that Obama is a corporate fascist that is destroying the Rule of Law, etc., etc.? Testing his true nature was very appropriate here, and I am very amused at all those (not you) who are pretending that we always confine Book Salon conversation strictly to the four corners of the damn book. What a crock that is.

SouthernDragon June 17th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Did you read my #304? You, apparently, can’t get past the author. That’s not my problem. You want to gripe about what authors the Lake chooses for Book Salon take it up with the higher ups.

thatvisionthing June 17th, 2012 at 12:24 pm
In response to dakine01 @ 302

See disappeared comment #2. My question in disappeared comment #1 was dead on target for this book salon. If we can’t ask and he can’t answer that, then what’s the point of the book or the salon? And then an answer to that question would have been more illuminating than removing my comment. And obviously it wasn’t a tea and crumpets party for other commenters whose questions were left unanswered and for those whose derogatory comments were left standing.

thatvisionthing June 17th, 2012 at 12:54 pm

It’s too bad so many people won’t consider reading the book because of their opinion of the author.

It’s a book salon! He came here to be asked! If we can’t ask and he can’t take broad questions about what we think the book is about and where he’s coming from and focus answers that get us thinking there’s a there there for us in his book, then what was this all about? I think you’re wrong, that our opinion of Van Jones makes us not consider reading the book. I wouldn’t have come to the book salon if I didn’t think I could learn something. Personally, I think he’s gifted, and that his gifts have been trashed by Obama, and that from that rich perspective he could have quite a lot to tell us. But that didn’t happen here, and not only because of extreme moderator intervention. So, disappointing.

thatvisionthing June 17th, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Plus, baseball. The hard pitches are the ones you can hit out of the park, if you connect. He had that chance here. But.

realitychecker June 17th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I did read your #304, my concern is to make sure VJ is not acting as another Trojan horse. I have no issue with the books presented, and thanks for bringing this one, but it is ludicrous to think that nobody will comment unlesss they have already read it, and will limit their questions to exactly what is in the pages. How often do we get to speak directly to an actual player? I don’t have antipathy for VJ going in, I wanted to evaluate him. I would love for us to have such a charismatic figure on our side, I just wanted to verify that he was. His actions here did not inspire any confidence on that point, frankly. If Karl Rove showed up here, would you want to automaticallt take his advice on our long-term strategy, without probing him to ascertain the depth of his sincerity? I have the same caution about anyone from the Obama world.

lakota June 17th, 2012 at 3:10 pm
In response to Gitcheegumee @ 60

It’s beginning to make sense in regard to why they avoid mentioning FDR. He was for the people, while Ronnie was for the corporations. Reagan is the perfect cover for their “shenanigans” with the corporations.

The day after Barack Obama got elected, he let the corporations know that he was open for business, and not to let that skin color thing fool them.

Expanding the war in Afghanistan, one of the most backward countries on the planet, sure didn’t hurt Haliburton. There is no way FDR would waste so much money on a dumb, stupid useless war against a “philosophy”; that’s what “terrorism” is. As many people in this country who are suffering like never before in my entire life, he expands that “profiteering” war in Afghanistan. That’s something Ronnie would have done.

Ronnie is the perfect cover when we spend a “gozillion” dollars for “terrorism” after some guy puts a bomb in his underwear that won’t even go off.

I’m having a hard time telling the difference between Barack Obama and the people who hate him.

BMWF June 17th, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Beach Populist wins and the clucking censorship hens lose, because he’s interested in the truth while they are not.

Sorry but the comments are closed on this post