Monday, February 2, 2015

The Prophet Charlie Pierce

I posted something a while back that said I wanted to hear more from Jim Webb.  I haven't completely changed my mind on that one, but I'll say straight out this ain't what nobody needs to hear nobody say no how.  
"I think they could do better with white, working people and I think this last election showed that," Webb said, referencing the 2014 midterms where Republicans took control of the Senate and added more power in the House. "The Democratic Party could do very well to return to its Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Andrew Jackson roots where the focus of the party was making sure that all people who lack a voice in the corridors of power could have one through the elected represented...You are not going to have a situation again where you have 96% of the African American vote turning out for one presidential candidate. ... We need to get back to the principles of the Democratic Party that we are going to give everyone who needs access to the corridors of power that access regardless of any of your antecedents. I think that is a fair concept." --Jim Webb
Take it, Charles:
There is no question that the Democratic party has done a god-awful job of explaining to white working people who's screwing them and why. Most of the people who have tried that have found themselves marginalized, and not always by Republicans, either. Senator Professor Warren is one of the few of them who has managed to explain these matters in such a way that they are both easily understood, and in such a way that she doesn't sound like she's talking down to anyone. And she still has a long push up a dirt road before she moves the political dialogue to the point where white working class voters actually act on what she's saying to them. Sooner or later, it's up to the voters to decide to stop being stupid about their own self-interest, and to stop falling for scams about how the Poors and Browns are the ones stealing all their money.
It's hard to say some of the things Webb is trying to say, and to make it all understandable in a way that prevents about half of the audience from immediately putting buckets on their heads and running around crashing into walls and shit.  

We gotta find candidates who don't just have the guts to say the things that are hard to say; but candidates we can count on to figure out how to say those things in ways that let us understand the core truth while not making us feel threatened or guilty or lied to; and who aren't just pandering to one group or another, trying to manipulate the crowds, etc etc etc.

One of the first things Webb's team has to figure out is that no matter what he says, he's speaking from a position deep inside the Dominant and Over-Privileged power structure.  

So say what you're saying, Mr Webb, but I gotta call that shit strike one - you're not going anywhere if you don't say it way better'n that.

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