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Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons
Artwork/Political Cartoons

If we don’t come at the Democratic establishment right now like a horde of rabid Tea Party piranhas, demanding an independent audit of the 2016 “Democratic” primary (performed 100% transparently by a blue-ribbon, internationally-composed panel — with proportionate representation determined by population, including all nations — overseen by Pope Francis, Bishop Tutu, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, Randall Robinson, Mahmood Mamdani, Naomi Klein, and Noam Fucking Chomsky!) we will be in the wilderness for a very long time. We need to come at these Deep State/Wall Street-conjoined frauds — and I mean HARD — for conducting a biased farce of a primary, wherein millions of voters were systemically disenfranchised, and one corrupt official after another was scandalized and fired. Letting a rigged primary stand sends an unambiguous signal to independents and conservatives that we, on the left, don’t actually give a damn about the integrity of elections in America. And if we’re talking about the DNC, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and the “New” Democratic Party, the record is clear: they don’t. They unequivocally do not actually give a damn about the integrity of elections in America… or Honduras, Egypt, Brazil, Haiti, Ukraine, Syria, Palestine, Venezuela, Greece… anywhere, really. But if we let them get away with this, they are going to shit on us and shit on us, and end up cutting so many fucked up deals with Pres. Trump that you will lose all faith in humanity… But way too late. NOW is the time to bare our Tea Party fangs — or remain toothless forever. Your indifference to such matters is what’s putting the future in doubt… and all of us (and our most vulnerable friends) at risk.

STEP ONE: Change your voter registration from Democrat to whatever and then write the DNC a handwritten letter telling them why you did so, and that our presidential hopefuls for 2020 are Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Kshama Sawant… unless they want to draft Amy Goodman... Here is their mailing address:

Democratic National Committee
430 S. Capitol St. SE
Washington, DC 20003

Last call, friends...

The response to Trump’s election — with anti-inaugural gatherings of smug hypocrisy and angry denials of reality — is playing exactly into the oligarchs’ hands. The neo-fascist .1% want us unhinged, Divided and Conquered! And that’s where we’re being incomprehensibly stupid, giving them just what they want. We would be much better off touting our common ground with the anti-establishment, grassroots right (and, ironically, the PEOTUS) and demonstrating our reasonable willingness to work with our counterparts where we agree (like Bernie has said) — rather than leading with obstinate, deranged, red-baiting fury that discredits us and loses us the sympathies of mainstream Americans.

If we continue in this vein, the left will be truly DEAD — for many, many years to come. The establishment will have gotten its new Cold War (or worse) and “No Fly” zone in Syria, and it will be, in part, because we pushed for it, unhappy about the election result — beside ourselves that a dark money-fueled, primary-rigging neocon wasn’t able to acquire the White House! Meanwhile, the infrastructure, economy, and rule of law will continue to crater because we never pushed President Obama to do anything not in the tradition of Bush/Cheney.

In that environment, how will we fare under the dictatorial powers that have been seized by the last few presidents? THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE TO SEIZE THE MOMENT, MY LEFTY FRIENDS: All we have to do is stop bullying and hating and calling millions of Americans “deplorables,” just because it feels good. We also need to stop refusing to recognize the opportunities presented in a new, establishment-loathed president who apparently wants detente with Russia — and infrastructure investment, Wall Street regulation (the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall) and drug reimportation from Canada (and a few other genuinely positive policies). Who also, by the way, hates the slavery-overlooking/regulation-nullifying Trans-Pacific Partnership (and NAFTA, TTIP, CAFTA, etc.) and is harshly critical –and even a little informed — when it comes to al Qaeda-supporting regime-change wars: the neocon agenda.

Goddammit, there is opportunity in this moment, and we are fucking blowing it!

The truth is that most Trump voters are just like most lefties: more scared and ignorant than anything else. Only the hysterical left (in this uniquely disorienting and traumatic moment) have been doing nothing but preaching hate and behaving like infantile, badly-spoiled children — and when it comes to the Clinton-Obama fans, outrageously hypocritical ones.

But it’s time to reach out and work together, if we care one whit about the future — either that, or stop pretending we’re superior. LOVE trumps hate. Either we understand that elementary concept, or we don’t. Mockery and loathing — and a desperation to delegitimize Trump so potent that we’re willing to embrace the radical right — adds up to a surefire formula for catastrophe.


So, as we prepare for demonstrations marking President Trump’s inauguration, here’s the kind of REASONABLE, PRINCIPLED, CONSTRUCTIVE MESSAGING necessary for the left to get back on our feet and ultimately win (unless we’re bound and determined to go the way of those who “battle monsters”):

to end “trade pacts” and permanent war!

Work with Russia to defeat ISIS?
Good idea, Pres. Trump!

Trump wants to negotiate lower drug prices — DEMOCRATS, take note, and take on PhRMA!

We will GLADLY work w/the PEOTUS and grassroots-right to:
– Repeal NAFTA and other “trade” pacts
– Restore Glass-Steagall and protect taxpayers
– Protect entitlements from cuts/privatization
– Demand clean water for all Americans
– End legalized bribery in U.S. campaign finance
– Restore auditable, transparent elections in the U.S.
– Modernize America’s infrastructure (w/open bidding, transparency)
– Free the U.S. military from “regime-change” wars in the Middle East
– End U.S. support for Salafi-extremist militias and their GCC sponsors
– Restore transparency and accountability to Washington, DC

To the so-called “Deplorables” —
Thank you for knocking off not one but TWO
Appallingly awful Political Dynasties!

To the so-called “Deplorables” — THANK YOU

Modernize U.S. infrastructure
and put Americans to work!

Make the CRIMINALS exposed pay for their crimes!

To the so-called “Deplorables” — WE RESPECT
your principled vote against the deeply corrupt establishment.

To the so-called “Deplorables” — THANK YOU
for voting against Wall Street tyranny and the MIC!

To the so-called “Deplorables” — WE SHARE
your contempt for the Corporate Media!
(which, btw, is anything BUT “liberal”)

Gen. Mattis is RIGHT:
Torture does NOT work!

No more voting for the “Lesser” Evil —


Restore habeas corpus!
Repeal the 2012 and 2017 NDAAs!

Pres. Trump: Keep your (sane) promises to
the American People or… YOU’RE FIRED!

Keep your word, Pres. Trump: ADVANCE DETENTE WITH RUSSIA!
MSM hacks: Quit peddling Neo-McCarthyite “WMD/Hacking” BS!

Release the Senate Torture Report!

End the “War on Drugs” and the New Jim Crow TODAY.
Either Black Lives Matter or America is a LIE.

Dems: Embrace the GOP’s best idea in years:
Restore Glass-Steagall in Trump’s first 100 days!

Pardon the truthtellers:
– Pvt. Chelsea Manning
– Edward Snowden
– Thomas Drake
– John Kiriakou
– Jeffrey Sterling

Dear MSM hacks: Principled, anti-establishment conservatives
KO’d both the Bush and Clinton dynasties — THANK THEM.

Thoroughly AUDIT the 2016 Primaries & General Election!

No more UNELECTED “City Managers”
Restore democracy in Detroit and Flint!

Save the U.S. $350 billion/year:

Note to the MSM and Establishment “Left:”
PEOTUS Obama ALSO chose to surround himself with
bankers, privatizers, self-dealers, and neocons…

Keep President Trump to his word:
NO CUTS to Social Security or Medicare!

Help Pres. Trump repeal NAFTA!

Help Pres. Trump restore Glass-Steagall!

Bring back Habeas Corpus and Posse Comitatus!

Don’t use the Espionage Act like Obama did:
Protect honest whistleblowers & journalists!

We hope/pray Trump does well, whatever our fears.

Or we can continue with our Trump-immolating effigies and hypocritical mobs of hate, because the “wrong” race-baiting, sexist, deeply corrupt, warmongering right-wing demagogue came out on top of the 2016 presidential election… even though doing so will make it easier for the neo-fascist establishment to co-opt Trump and utterly crush us, long after we’ve exhausted the sympathies of mainstream Americans.

SECOND PRONG: Include a bunch of “#DemEXIT” signs to pressure the establishment-Left (if interviewed, talk about how “#DemEnter” is a fine strategy, but not viable if the Democratic Party leadership remains the same and continues to rig primaries and pursue the corporate — neoliberal and neoconservative — agenda).

David Swanson is an outstanding anti-war progressive who I met in 2008 at the CODE PINK House in Washington, DC. He has been an essential voice of morality and clear-thinking in the post-9/11 era, and I highly recommend his blog:

This recent Facebook post of his simply took my breath away. It’s been nightmarishly sickening watching the left self-destruct in this way, betraying our principles over neocon propaganda and hysterical pee-pee ravings.

How very critical it is that we get this moment right. But Swanson says it best:

“If the new fascist misogynist racist president comes in and ends Obama’s cold war and slows the nuclear weapons expansion of the liberal Nobel-Peace laureate, and the peace movement doesn’t have the walk-while-chewing-gum sophistication to support that move without feeling like racist sexist Republican Exxon Mobil backers, it ought to go back to preschool and try to start over. This is not that complicated. It just requires acting on principle rather than party. Our principles ought to include peace. They ought not to include professions of undying faith in claims of the CIA. This ought not to need saying.”


For what it’s worth, here’s my ebullient response, lauding Swanson’s sound advice:

Emphatically, yes! WTF is wrong with the unhinged left today, championing the CIA, neo-McCarthyism, and genocidal neocons??? Good progressives now stand with lying warmongers in Washington and the Deep State. In a horrifying display of contorted/inverted values, good progressives are buying into the corporate media’s Democrat-absolving, outrageously hypocritical demonization campaign, marked by rage, rage, rage… and not an iota of common sense or rationality. The leadership of the left — including some people I love and deeply respect — seem to have lost their minds… and their principles. We’re witnessing a wholly self-inflicted disaster for the real left — not the establishment liberals and closet hawks, but the actual, once-principled LEFT.

Your post today, David, feels lifted from my stream of consciousness. “Fuckin’ A, right!” I said to myself, reading it, and immediately shared it with my wife. Over the last year, we feel like we’ve been living a nightmare, watching our best liberal friends and bona fide progressives move smoothly and without question to the DARK SIDE of U.S. politics, supporting the extreme-right and a new Cold War because… identity politics? The MSM said so? Pee pee?

There will be much to protest — on principle — over the next four years (this is in no way a defense of Trump or what he represents), but these protests are not cathartic; they’re FUCKING SUICIDAL for the left, and not even CODE PINK seems aware of this simple fact. This is a complete and total nightmare we’re living, so thank you, Mr. Swanson, for providing a voice of sanity… though it must be damn lonely.

In 2005, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s close friend and fellow activist, Harry Belafonte, offered the following prescient words: “We must look through the ravages of the Democratic party to see if there is anything worth salvaging.” As 2017 dawns, it seems to me that Mr. Belafonte’s advice is more poignant and timely than ever. In the wake of the recent string of calamities befalling the Democratic Party (virtually all of them self-inflicted), the American left is debating whether or not to stay with the former party of FDR.

Two options, too often presented as mutually exclusive, are being considered:

Option A: Grassroots progressives, our organizations still brimming with energy from the Bernie Sanders movement, should #DemEnter the party across the country, and take it over from within, returning the Democrats to progressive/liberal values, starting at the community/local level (Bernie Sanders’ preferred course); and

Option B: Progressives and liberals should decisively and conspicuously remove ourselves from the corporatized Democratic Party, continuing the #DemExit that began when the party’s leadership and dark money donors decided to rig the 2016 Democratic Primary for a deeply flawed candidate who didn’t remotely represent the party’s traditional base or values.

Personally, I’ve been disappointed and more than a little worried by the acrimonious discourse suggesting that we’re in an “either/or” situation. Because #DemEnter vs. #DemExit doesn’t have to be a zero-sum proposition and shouldn’t be.

While I feel that the current leadership of the Democratic Party is entirely hopeless (composed of bona fide authoritarians with neo-fascist priorities and values), I strongly approve of the efforts underway to elect as many “Bernie progressives” as possible into positions in the Democratic Party — at all levels — to see what influence can be made “working from the inside.”

My guess is that we’ll find some sympathetic fellow travelers. After all, not all Democratic Party insiders, at all levels, favor slavery-permitting/regulation-nullifying “trade” pacts, Wall Street-appointed presidential cabinets, or the neocons’ endless regime-change wars, fought by Salafist, neo-Nazi, and mercenary proxies. Not all Democratic Party insiders, at all levels, condone what the party has become. (How could they?) So let’s see how many of them we can inspire with a progressive agenda not authored by plutocrats and lobbyists for the MIC, mass-incarcerators, the fossil-fuel industry, PhRMA, and the usual corporate suspects.

That said, if we fail to invest in Plan B, making the threat of #DemExit real, then we won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of altering anything in the neoliberal party of Wall Street, war, and neo-McCarthyism. In short, we have no choice but to continue working on the third party exodus strategy — or we’ll be right back to the LOTE/abused-spouse syndrome, voting (out of fear) for an ambiguously “lesser” evil that only assures more rightward drift and outright corruption, while the planet burns.

*          *          *


As we #DemEnter and work to see if the party can be saved, let’s also endeavor to bring establishment-friendly Democrats back to sanity, with regard to the warmongering hysteria centered on allegations of “Russian hacking” of the U.S. presidential election. Glenn Greenwald was excellent on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now!” program, last week, talking about the lack of substance behind these allegations — and the fact that his propaganda-debunking journalism has provoked more savage attacks from the establishment than at any time previous in his career (translation: not even the pro-Iraq War goons were as hostile to journalism as the folks pushing the anti-Russia narrative today… actually, they’re pretty much the same people — literally, the SAME people who lied to us the last time — only they’re more brazen today and aligned with the Democratic Party rather than the incoming Republican administration).

Here’s the Pulitzer-winning Mr. Greenwald, brilliantly illuminating, as always (where would the world be without journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman?):

And here’s David Swanson’s superb overview:

Frighteningly, today’s propaganda campaign makes the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq seem like an exercise in measured, rational thinking, with very little “groupthink” — that’s the kind of nightmare America’s in. This topsy-turvy political reality features the nominal Left — and virtually all of the “liberal” media, marching in lockstep — attacking an arguably neo-fascist president-elect FROM THE RIGHT, urging him TOWARD war!!! (A war Trump consistently says he doesn’t want, indicating he’d rather cooperate with Russia to roll back ISIS and al Qaeda…)

It bears repeating: today’s neoliberal Democratic Party and the corporate media are urging the greatest “wild card” president-elect in American history TOWARD WAR, on the basis of a pack of anonymous, evidence-free claims coming from the same intelligence agencies and war-hawking miscreants who’ve repeatedly lied to the American public during major propaganda campaigns of the recent past…

Another factor to consider: Didn’t President Obama sign the 2012 NDAA, which effectively repealed the venerable Smith-Mundt Act, which for over six decades prohibited the government from propagandizing the American public? Sadly, he did. That’s also a part of the present political reality in America that should be a part of today’s “Russian hacking” discussion.

We are witnessing nothing less than the collapse of mainstream American journalism and much of the American left, so the situation couldn’t be more critical. Whatever doubts I hold about the future, I desperately hope that we succeed in pulling the Democratic Party back to its historic values and back from the brink of warmongering, post-election insanity… because right now, we’re losing it.

In any case, I hope the articles I’ve linked here (and elsewhere), will help progressives and liberals sort truth from fiction in the current blitz of propaganda — and help us drag the Democratic Party to Trump’s LEFT, where it belongs. If not, we won’t have any choice but to #DemEXIT for good.

(I wrote the following words the day after the U.S. presidential election. More than a month later, I stubbornly persist in thinking it would be nice if the establishment, left and right, could focus on something more constructive than recklessly promoting a new Cold War and legalizing censorship of the media. Rather than getting sucked into the society-fracturing neo-McCarthyite hysteria du jour, maybe we should ditch these establishment hacks and take matters into our own hands, at the grassroots level.)

My fine friend, Boris Huntley, texted me this morning his response to yesterday’s election results: “I trust you have a contingency plan worked out for these circumstances.”

Actually, the plan is the same one that was in place for President Clinton II: do everything we can to keep our terrible new president from becoming completely co-opted by our even more terrible establishment.

Uniting the grassroots on the left and right remains our best strategy for influencing any new president away from the monstrous corporate agenda that threatens us all. IMO, it’s up to the OWS/BLM/Bernie-booster left (the activists) to reach out to the grassroots/Tea Party right. Rapprochement is long overdue and we need to recognize the enormous areas of common ground we share with the right, and stop with all the anti-working class bigotry, mocking so-called “deplorables” and conflating all populism, right-wing and left, with racism/sexism. (America’s problems with racism and sexism are bad enough without establishment liberals cynically exploiting them and crying “bigotry” as a tactic, whether or not there’s justification — like they did to Bernie with the manufactured “Bros” meme.)

The good news is that most Trump voters hate the GOP as much as liberals do… and Wall Street… and the neocon wars… and the corruption of our government/institutions by the .1%. Most are motivated by a healthy distrust of the establishment that’s been preying on us over the last several decades.

Honestly, this election result is very easy to explain (many of us saw it coming): most Americans simply are not so tuned-out, complacent, brainwashed, or obtuse that they don’t perceive the rampant corruption that’s all but rotted-out our system — and Sec. Clinton happens to be the perfect, self-serving emblem of that corruption and the extreme hypocrisy of our faux-liberal establishment.

A fake populist, even one as flawed as Trump, always had an excellent shot at beating Clinton, because THIS ESTABLISHMENT SUUUUUCKS.

There’s elitism in the manner that establishment liberals are trying to simply write-off Trump voters as nothing but a bunch of racist savages. The truth is that — while it is disturbing that Trump voters were able to discount or overlook his appalling sexism and demagoguery (much like Clinton voters did for their bigoted nightmare of a candidate) — racism is not what made Trump a viable candidate: neoliberalism, the MSM, and the electioneering DNC did that.

So let’s be honest in our post-mortem of this election. The percentage of racists in the Republican base/America hasn’t suddenly shot up (that’s fear-mongering horseshit from the same people who brought us Identity Politics and Divide & Conquer, in the first place). The GOP’s base has been mostly racist for a long time, just like a significant chunk of the Democratic Party’s base. America hasn’t “suddenly” turned racist, any more than America’s police have “suddenly” become minority-targeting thugs. We’re just seeing more of what’s long been under the surface… now that neoliberalism’s effects are visibly unraveling the society.

This really does represent the last call for the American left, if we want to survive: surrender your pompous claims of cultural superiority and UNITE WITH THE SENSIBLE, DECENT, GRASSROOTS RIGHT (understand that good Christians and good progressives sometimes have a great deal in common). Together we can work to push President Trump to make good on his few sensible promises (especially the ones that put him consistently to Sec. Clinton’s left): diplomacy with Russia, fighting ISIS/al Qaeda in Syria (rather than arming and backing them), scaling back Washington’s genocidal wars, protecting entitlements, rebuilding our infrastructure, putting people to work, and ending corporation-exalting/slavery-permitting “trade” pacts.

However hopeless this list may sound, we don’t have much choice but to fight for the future — and we’re talking about policies backed by overwhelming majorities of Americans. If we resist letting ourselves be divided and conquered along racial and cultural lines, we might actually stand a chance at reversing the corporate coup de tat and reclaiming our government.

Conversely, if we don’t organize, President Trump promises to do exactly what the establishment and President Clinton II were going to do to us, once he’s brought into the fold (as happened so quickly with Obama): Trump will expand the neoliberal assault on our institutions and continue the neocon wars, bankrupting the U.S. (further) while doing nothing meaningful to slow or reverse the wholesale collapse of the environment… only Trump will do it all with terrible hair and a bunch of KKK morons applauding his every move, even though the policies won’t have changed one whit.

Although every day gives us LESS reason to believe the evidence-free CIA/MSM claims of “Russian hacking,” let’s suppose it’s all true. Let’s suppose that the Kremlin DID reveal (by disseminating 100%-authentic documents) that the leaders of the Democratic Party are bigoted, corrupt, anti-democratic, primary-rigging authoritarians with the ethics, values, donor list, and policy priorities of the worst Republicans…


It should mean something to decent, principled liberals that no one has denied the authenticity or accuracy of the leaked documents (so damning, revealing so much festering rot in our nation’s corporatized political-media establishment).

My question for the Left: at what point did THE TRUTH become less important to us than mere partisanship (in the service of the failed candidacy of a blood-soaked Wall Street neocon, no less)? Don’t you feel the least bit silly — as a liberal — carrying water for warmongers, “trade” proponents, neo-McCarthyites, and our democracy-overthrowing CIA? (In short, acting like a foot-soldier of the far-right.)

Before we embarrass ourselves any further, here’s some of the best JOURNALISM I’ve encountered concerning the allegations of the “Russian hack” (including a few voices who’ve been consistently right over the years — those who’ve steadfastly refused to drink the Washington “Kool-Aid”):






Fair questions remain. Despite all the appearance of an orchestrated propaganda campaign, maybe it WILL turn out that the Kremlin did something to affect the 2016 U.S. presidential election. IT’S POSSIBLE. But even if it was a Russian hand that pulled back the curtain revealing the corruption within the Democratic Party and U.S. election systems, I’D RATHER KNOW about the rot within our system than remain ignorant of that reality.


Sad, but true. (And if we’re going to try to rebuild the Left, we need to start from a place of TRUTH. Virtually everyone at the top of the Democratic Party, CNN-NBC-WaPo-NYT, should be fired or demoted. This swamp needs draining ASAP and we need to start listening to the marginalized folks and progressives who’ve been getting it right all these years.)