The idea that if there is no floor fight over the rules and platform, the Democratic Party convention will be hollow and no more than a vanity project showcasing the likely nominee Joe Biden is about as egregious an example of small circle thinking as I can think of. It misses the overarching importance of Democrats — President Obama, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, and Joe Biden and his Vice Presidential running mate to name a few — laying out their case against Trump and the Republican Party, while making a case for Joe Biden and other Democrats down the ticket to an audience of tens of millions watching on national television.
I don’t think we should spend a lot of time cooking up clever schemes and catchy slogans or reminding others of the advantages of socialism or even expressing righteous outrage to whoever will listen to us. That’s not the challenge. The challenge is to do everything we can individually and through our social and organizational networks to force the Trump administration and Congress to marshal together and throw the full resources and weight of the federal government behind the effort to combat a spreading heath care and economic catastrophe. Each of us can do something, even if seems insignificant.
My first take — and only that — is that Elizabeth Warren, who I supported with my very small voice, and Bernie, who I would have supported had he won the nomination, misread the moods of tens of millions across the country. Or, perhaps to be more precise, their reading was only partly right.
What they missed is that people’s thinking (and again I’m talking about tens of millions) is far more complicated and contradictory than both candidates allowed for in their campaign themes, messaging, and slogans. How impactful was this misreading on primary voting? I would say a case could be made that it shut the doors of both to winning the nomination and an opportunity was lost.
This may sound a bit harsh, but both were, despite their tireless campaigning to a wide audience, guilty of small circle thinking, too closeted in their own political ecosphere.
Just watched Nancy Pelosi on Morning Joe. She was impressive and the contrast with the occupant in the White House couldn’t have been starker.
That Trump, McConnell, and the Republican right have a special and vile animus toward her is understandable. But the ill feeling directed at her on our side of the political spectrum is less easy to explain. Even where she isn’t harshly criticized, she’s damned with faint praise or dismissed as not a blue dog.
In any case, such characterizations strike me as examples of not seeing the forest for the trees.” They fail to mention, forget about acknowledging, Pelosi’s crucial role in unifying Congressional Democrats and the larger movement against Trump at this moment of crises and in the run up to the elections. And that makes me wonder if their profession to people’s front, coalition politics is anything more than a rhetorical gesture. The substance, after all, is awol.
If Trump acknowledged the realities of covid-19 on Sunday, it is only because he concluded that if he didn’t it would impede his reelection chances.