Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Futility of Norman Solomon (Ava and C.I.)

Last week, Norman Solomon showed up on KPFA (Thursday's The Morning Show) and he was almost rational. He didn't spit on people and he wasn't hyping Barry O.

If you only half-listened, you might think he could be welcomed back into the house. But if you really paid attention, you grasped that he's still not house broken.

When a caller floated the idea that, with the most recent round of all the broken promises from the Democrats, maybe it was time to focus on building a new political party, Norman immediately dismissed it. To his credit, he didn't promote his organization (PDA) in the heavy-handed manner he usually does, but he did insist that the answer was to elect "progressives."

He insisted that the idea of a new party just wasn't feasible and that it had been kicked around forever. Instead, what needed to be done, Norman explained, was to "change the party from within."

And Philip Maldari didn't object (and the caller was off the line).

Normy shot down a new party saying that idea had been kicked around forever and wasn't feasible. But he wants to work on changing the party from within?

Though many may not know this, that's been the plan forever and a day. Back in FDR's time, he big tented and many Communists and Socialists hopped on board (not all) with the plan that they would change the Democratic Party from within. During Vietnam, the "New Left" was convinced that they could, yes, change the Democratic Party from within. People tried in the eighties, in the nineties and today.

It's actually been tried continuously, seriously and repeatedly for at least seventy years.

By contrast, a viable third party or new party has not had the same efforts or imagination applied.

We're not saying anything Norman doesn't already know.

And there's a lot more Normy's not saying.

For example, seniority rules in Congress. What does that mean?

Let's say that, over the next five election cycles, PDA managed to get 20 "progressives" into the House. Those are newbies. They won't be put in charge of committees.

But they can vote!

Uh, we saw that health care vote. Just like we saw the appropriations votes for funding the Iraq War.


We hear the big talk, see the press releases issued, watch people chew the fat with Amy Goodman and then?

And then watch them slink in for the vote and . . . do . . . exactly what Nancy Pelosi tells them to.

Want us to get on board with putting more PDAs in Congress, Norman? Then encourage the ones that are in Congress to give us a reason to send in reinforcements.

Until then, Norman can keep hopping his high horse but, reality, the caller was right and Norman's response was less than honest.
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