282 Comments
Jul 22, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

Robert Reich, anybody in any district could be proud to have Donna Edwards as their congressional representative and she falls victim to this duplicitous bull shit. The greed culture is not going to be happy until they have it all, money, power and total control of the working class. Clueless frigging right wingers 'carrying water' for wealth they can't even imagine, beautiful!

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"Anybody in any district could be proud to have Donna Edwards as their congressional representative."

I lived in Hillandale, Maryland when she represented our district. I lived in Montgomery County.

She undermined Al Wynn, a real progressive, her predecessor and former employer to get elected. He had sponsored a bill that I was interested. I met with her. Not only would she not co-sponsor the bill, she opposed it.

In no way was she progressive, merely a striver.

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Jul 22, 2022·edited Jul 22, 2022

Daniel as usual I trust and have no doubt of your experience, my comment is of the experience and knowledge I have of her, that is outside of yours. My statement stands.

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Good information to know Daniel.

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Agree. Donna Edwards is not reliable. Seeks this position, then that one. Resigned from some position she was elected to about 10 years ago to take something else. Waste of time.

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founding

@Daniel. But better than Ivey, right?

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I don't know Ivey.

I met Edwards. I was her constituent. I do not like her.

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Why not?

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Have faith and scream at stupidity: I'm with you. Things fall apart, incoherence has its own false god, fighting entropy is aerobic, composting is the power of rot to produce life. "You can't take it with you," applies to wealth, not silly ideas. May they rot in peaceful pieces.

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AIPAC Works against progressives BECAUSE progressives are willing to admit the brutality of the Zionist cult that controls Israel and that will work to continue America's blind acceptance of their apartheid regime. What that support might do to undermine our democracy and stability is immaterial to them.

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No shit! Greed will destoy the world.

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I was wondering why I had seen a clear uptick in attacks against "the squad" and even trolls/bots as bold to claim Bernie Sanders is an anti-semite. Too much money and idle hands I guess...

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Please do not make it seem like it’s solely a Jewish “Zionist cult” [YOUR phrase, NOT mine!] Please realize an Evangelical Christian Zionist movement plays a huge role. Christian Zionists believe the state of Israel needs to include Palestine in order to be the size required to meet their Prophecies for their Messiah to return. Southern GOP politicians whose parents and grandparents are likely to have been KKK members are ardent supporters of unlimited aid to Israel.

Hitler used the Spanish Civil War as a proxy war to test his tanks and planes before blitz-invading Poland, BeNeLux and France, lest his army got bogged down in WWI-type trenches. The Military Industrial complex loves having Israel for its proxy war, testing the latest advances in anti-missile technology. That is why Putin wanted to be in Syria, to observe the most advanced technology, so he could develop hypersonic missiles that could outmaneuver it. And, I recognize that Israeli hawks and AIPAC are taking advantage of the GOP’s Evangelical base’s support for the larger state of Israel as a means to get seemingly unlimited aid.

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Thank you so much for bringing this up. I’m scared of the evangelical right wing conservatives making gains in November. I don’t understand how they have fan bases. Once you throw one organized religion into government procedures, I don’t think the majority of Americans will appreciate their goals.

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Excellent points. Thanks for the reminder.

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Hi Mitch,

I referred to it as a "Zionist cult" because it don't encompass all of the Israeli or the larger world-wide Jewish population. It is extremist, violent, and appears to accept any means to accomplish its ends. The Christians (and I consider myself a follower of Christian teaching, but not Christ) also suffer from their cults, and one of the worst is the one that embraces Zionism (while condemning Jews who do not accept Christ) in order to fulfill their misguided interpretation of prophecy (again justifying any means to accomplish their goals).

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Per Wiki:

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Протоколы сионских мудрецов) or The Protocols of the Meetings of the Learned Elders of Zion is a fabricated antisemitic text purporting to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. The hoax was plagiarized from several earlier sources, some not antisemitic in nature. It was first published in Russia in 1903, translated into multiple languages, and disseminated internationally in the early part of the 20th century. It played a key part in popularizing belief in an international Jewish conspiracy.

Distillations of the work were assigned by some German teachers, as if factual, to be read by German schoolchildren after the Nazis came to power in 1933, despite having been exposed as fraudulent by the British newspaper The Times in 1921 and the German Frankfurter Zeitung in 1924. It remains widely available in numerous languages, in print and on the Internet, and continues to be presented by neofascist, fundamentalist and antisemitic groups as a genuine document. It has been described as "probably the most influential work of antisemitism ever written".

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Many progressives are Zionists who support a two-state solution.

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I question the message that a "two state solution" provides given that Palestine, which has existed since the time of Jesus, and whose people have been ethnically cleansed, and murdered, with the minority remnants of their populations being held in the concentration camps of Gaza and the West Bank. I suggest Israel retreat to its pre-1946 borders.

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It is better to state the truth: demand that Israel retreat to its pre-1946 borders as all of the land it now claims was stolen from the people of Palestine.

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Excellent point, I must heartily agree!

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How about a Jewish Judea returning to its borders before the Romans exiled the Jews after Masada, ~70 A.D.?

Jews and Arabs lived together peacefully in Spain and northern Africa for many, many centuries while post-Roman Europe was in its Dark Ages. Here's an excerpt from Katz:

https://katz.sas.upenn.edu/resources/blog/what-do-you-know-sephardi-vs-mizrahi

While living under Islamic rule, Sephardi Jews participated in the intellectual, artistic, and scientific achievements of the ninth and tenth centuries, a period that would later be termed a “Golden Age.”

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How about we all just retreat to prehistoric borders instead?

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Sephardic jews are second-class citizens in modern-day Israel. It's the Ashkenazi, who have NO historical connection to Palestine, who control Israel.

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I empathize with your concern! I would suggest that this is definitely a matter that must certainly be addressed between Palestinians and the Sephardic Jews. For though Sephardic Jews are treated like second-class citizens, Palestinians are treated like cockroaches, only to be exterminated. I would even suggest that Sephardic Jews outside of the besieged and occupied territories of Palestine, falsely called Israel, should unite for discourse and development of ideas on how to rid Palestine of their evil, murderous and genocidal Israeli occupiers. I believe that there would be no problem in Palestine for people of all faiths to live and be free to practice. I am not an Arab, but as one with Persian heritage, I point to the way that Cyrus the Great of Persia, now modern day Iran, provided asylum to the Jews who fled the attacks and invasion of the Romans. We must realize that any political leader after popularly elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1950, as been a CIA puppet, be it the Shah who was installed in the covert CIA Operation Ajax coup d'etat fo Mossadegh in 1953, or even the idiot Khomeini who was used to displace the Shah once he actually demanded to be free of his American puppet masters.

In a new Palestine, Palestinians can begin to try to undo horrors of their genocide of the last 90 years, and with input of other members and stakeholders with ancient ties to the land, like Christians and Jews before them, can create a just, peaceful and rightfully managed nation.

To you and your loved ones, I wish you peace and blessings!

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I will not "suggest" but protest loudly that Israel return to its pre-national borders as all of the land that is under Israeli rule was stolen from the Palestinians.

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Somehow I don't associate progressives with Zionism.

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There are plenty of what's called American "liberal Zionists," who support a two state solution. They want Israel to remain a Jewish state. The most recent version of Israel's Nation-State law says that Israel is a Nation-State for the Jewish people. It states that “the right to exercise national self-determination” in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people.” It also establishes that “Jewish settlement as a national value” and mandates that the state “will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.” Finally, It establishes Hebrew as Israel’s official language, and downgrades Arabic to a "special status." This Nation-State law is an expression of Zionism that is supported by may liberal Zionists, who believe that Zionism is compatible with democracy. However, I see no evidence that Zionism is compatible, as it discriminates against Palestinians, whether Muslim or Christian.

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I agree. I’m Jewish and that sounds like chauvinism to me. People should live and let live.

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Quite similar to many of the Muslim nations surrounding it.

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Exceedingly few actual progressives support a two-state 'solution,' which amounts to creating more bantustan Gaza's stripped of all resources with even the water under their territory siphoned off by Israel, and their external 'borders' entirely under Israeli control. The only actual solution would be a single state stripped of Zionist racist provisions with a one person one vote mandate. That would take major international intervention or a foreign war. So no _actual_ solution is imminent, certainly as long as the USA funds and cheers on Israeli intransigence.

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Good point, considering that the current citizens of Israel who participated in destroying the houses of Palestinians and rebuilding over them will likely reject the demand to pay reparations that they owe considering the egregious manner of their treachery. However, I would not support any measure that was not designed to make the injured, robbed, slaughtered and nearly erased Palestinians whole again, because they have suffered the conditions that can only be described as akin to the Holocaust, aside from gas chambers, and--so far as I know--in humane medical experimentation, etc. Yet they have been suffering for the better part of a century! If Nuremberg trials, military tribunals and other extreme measures could not stamp out such behavior after WWII Germany, then we must strive to make a clear example for future generations that there will be zero tolerance for such ethnic cleansing and theft of homeland. People are still working to return stolen property of Jews in WWII to their descendants, even though they are the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the victims! Thus, if we do not make a clear example for such perpetration of evil, I fear that we can only expect to see this type of atrocity regularly. Like the extermination of the Bosnian Muslims in the 1990s, and the Chinese "reprogramming" of the Muslim Huighars that continues to this very day!

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Not sure what you call progressive. Checkout the Two-State Solution Act cosponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, among other members of the Progressive Caucus.

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It isn't up to Americans to decide what happens to Palestinians. It's up to Palestinians. Right now the populations are equal in number (in truth, though Israel claims former citizens who have left and no longer live there) and the Israelis are not reproducing fast enough to maintain a stable population. That's why they are killing Palestinian children--so they do not reach puberty.; Ironically, they greedily bought up more than their fair share of vaccines and now have a bioweapon in their bodies that will, in time, lower their population further.

It has nothing to do with "the Holocaust". The theft of Palestine started before WWI. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis was (illegally) instrumental in its nativity. Among other Americans. Learn some history. Real history--not the Disney version that passes for history of Israel in this country.

Others have invaded and subjugated Palestinians for millenia. This too shall pass. If the Askenazi want a homeland, they should go back to where their ancestors came from--Georgia, Ukraine, etc.

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Note I didn't say 'all.' What I dispute is your usage of 'many.' The large majority of actual progressives do NOT support a two-state solution, and that inclination is near universal amongst the younger progressives in or seeking Congressional office which AIPAC has been looking to defeat at this time.

The Democratic Party as a whole supports a two-state 'solution' because it seems a compromise between the outright 'transfer,' i.e. ethnic cleansing practiced and preferred by Zionists and an actual one person, one vote outcome; a one-eight measure which some in Israel would support which leaves Palestinians with even less than they have now. And because all progressives are currently the Democratic Party, some choose for reasons of personal strategy to support (mis)leaderships position on a two-state outcome. Well, that's on them: it's a horrible position which expects Palestinian surrender on just about everything including living in a viable nation-state. Which is the point: a broken one-eight state resulting from any 'two-state' solution would push many more Palestinians into emigration and exile.

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Not all progressives are in the Democratic Party. Many are Independents or members of minor parties

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Agreed indeed, and you're corresponding with one. I haven't voted for a Democrat for president in 30 years. I've consistently voted Green, and very occasionally voted Democrat for other offices. I happen to have been represented in Congress by two of the most progressive Representatives in the last 40 years (I live in Downtown Seattle), so that's an easy ask. Our two Democrat Senators here are a 30 year dud, and a corporate water carrier. I'm having to think as of this hour whether or not to blacken an oval for the former, a thoroughly disagreeable exercise.

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Hard to find one on this site!

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(A separate, second post, so each one can get independent replies)

I am disturbed by folks casually using the word APARTHEID, or embracing the Palestine cause without any reservations about Hamas.

I hesitate to APPEAR to be a supporter or defender of Israeli politics, because I’m not. I’m just trying to present different perspectives to consider. Israel’s existence and politics are complicated by Iran’s support of Hezbollah, Hamas and Syria. Hamas and Hezbollah operate out of residential buildings so they can use civilians as human shields. Neither Iran’s Ayatollah nor not Hamas nor Israeli hawks nor Christian Zionists want a 2-state solution. Realize that Israel’s government and political alliances shift because Israel has a significant voter base that opposes the hawks.

I have many relatives and friends of various faiths and politics who have traveled to Israel, or who oppose Israel. Some are from families of holocaust survivors; some with family who perished. Some are Christian Zionists (my other post) who believe the state of Israel needs to absorb Palestine in order to be the size required by their Prophecies for their Messiah to return. Sadly to me, some are single-issue tax-cut-lovers who partially rationalize their GOP support because theRUMP moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, pulled out of the Iran deal which Bibi opposed, brokered the Abraham accords, and sacrificed Western Sahara to get Morocco to recognize Israel.

When my wife and I turned 50, she suggested we each do something we “would not do” to celebrate our birthdays. (We took a 3-week vacation in Spain & France for hers.) I went to Israel to see historical places and take a bicycle tour hosted and sponsored by Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. Arava’s motto is that Nature Knows No Boundaries. It trains a diverse group of Israelis, Jordanians, West Bank Palestinians, and other Arabs [, and Americans] so they can work together to resolve environmental issues that cross borders. In countries without official diplomatic relations, they can work behind the scenes.

When I went there 14 years ago, Arava also had students from Gaza. They had to keep their studies in Israel hidden from their families and friends lest their their families be executed for spying and collaborating. Because of this, I don’t think Gazans go there anymore. I am disturbed by this.

I do not support AIPAC. But I support Arava.

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Israel facilitated the creation of Hamas to undercut the existing leftist resistance movements amongst Palestinians, so maybe you should take your concerns on that to the Israeli government. And I'd recommend that you study more deeply the history of how Israel has profoundly exploited collaborationism within Palestinian and Arab communities to put in perspective concerns amongst Palestinians regarding the implications of with whom and how some amongst them study, travel, and work. No one should see their families threatened or harmed, regardless, but concerns about Israeli manipulation are constantly demonstrated as justified. And while we're talking about families being assaulted as guilty by association, Israeli collective punishment and arrest and abuse of family members of many even with no affiliation is an institutional practice. I'm disturbed by THAT. Can you say the same?

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First: Thank you for assuming I am such a wise, networked person that leaders and foreign governments discuss their policies with me. While one of Cuba’s senior leaders met with me and others in Havana in 1994, it was not due to my presence. It was to thank Global Exchange for sending people to protest the Embargo. So, no: foreign governments don’t engage in dialogues with me.

Second: You ask me for a reply to a direct question. It is a deeper issue, and I cannot give a simple yes or no. I think there is nothing I could say that would change your opinion, and I've seen nothing from you have persuasive skills that can change my opinions. Furthermore, while I can respect how you've drawn your opinions, I've seen nothing to suggest you would even "agree to disagree" with me. So, perhaps we should end this conversation.

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We are on different paths; regrettably, I'm compelled to agree with you conclusion, Mitch. That said, I hear a reasoned position in your remarks, and I will always remain oriented to a good faith disagreement from facts. The situation regarding Israel is too complex and full of wounds for any simple summation. I have to go with 'do the least harm and the most justice to the most individuals,' from which ALL of my perspective follows.

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Bravo!

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In what sense is Israel NOT an apartheid state? The International Criminal Court defines apartheid as an “institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group.”

Are you aware that a leading Israeli human rights group, B’Tselem, says that Israel is an apartheid state. B'Tselem issued a report that says while Palestinians live under different forms of Israeli control in the occupied West Bank, blockaded Gaza, annexed east Jerusalem and within Israel itself, they have fewer rights than Jews in the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. B’Tselem argues that by dividing up the territories and using different means of control, Israel masks the underlying reality — that roughly 7 million Jews and 7 million Palestinians live under a single system with vastly unequal rights.

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Agreed, Nina. The current state of Israel is a definitional apartheid regime.

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Jul 22, 2022·edited Jul 22, 2022

It’s hard to carry through on a 2-state solution when the half of the other state’s government, Gaza’s Hamas, and its patron Iran's Ayatollah, are committed to the annihilation of the larger state by whatever means necessary, including suicide bombers who are certain they’ll be rewarded in heaven with 71 virgins. Hamas uses residential buildings as human shields for bombs and missiles. Even Egypt has agreed to tough measures to try to make sure weapons don't go through its border with Gaza

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Many of us wish our states could pass meaningful gun-access laws to limit violence against children and other innocent victims. Israel's problem wasn't shootings, it was suicide bombing. Sadly, it passed extreme measures to eliminate them.

Every year, as part of the Jewish New Year services, our prayer books remember the Holocaust victims and ancient martyrs who gave their lives to honor our Lord. In the services I attend at a nearby University's Jewish student organization, we read a supplement citing one of its alumna (~2000) who went to Jerusalem to study for a year, only to become an innocent victim of a suicide bomber. Why? Why? Why?

The military-industrial complex has made peace unattainable, and made draconian measures necessary to assure its population's safety. I really don't have any good suggestions how to deal with a neighbor dedicated to one's annihilation by any means necessary

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Jul 22, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

You’re right Mr. Reich, we must elect people who are willing to pass campaign finance reforms, it’s the only way to stop this madness.

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Let's dream a little dream. No campaign contributions, large or small. Only public financing, at the same level for each party, along with their members' subscription. A dream?

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Philippe, we need to get here. Money IS the problem that creates corruption. It must be addressed after we win mid-terms!

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I lived in California where I was an independent. I found myself voting for the person…not a party. Public financing of party causes me pause. I have always preferred candidates who are willing to focus on issues and constituent concerns regardless of party affiliation.

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Here’s the problem with that now, the Republicans have veered so far into the extreme that it would take a lot for me to vote for one now. The only ones I would even consider these days are the very few who denounce Trump and the parties extremist views.

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Actually you are illustrating my point. Many of us have lived long enough to see political leaders who bring shame to themselves regardless of which party they belong. While I respect those who choose to vote party, I don’t believe that party affiliation supplants my responsibility as a voter.

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Voting for a person vs. voting for a party? What about voting for policies? As long as politicians will be bought, neither the person nor the party does matter (though Republicans are arguably way worse than Democrats). Public financing of campaigns is crucial. It means that everybody runs on the same leveled field and that the person (politician) and the party must win on conviction, not prostitution.

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Does anyone have policies anymore?

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Better expressed than I. Thank you.

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Yes, a dream, but a good one.

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Jul 22, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

I will not knowingly support any entity or PAC that supports the Republican agenda as it is now.

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If I may plagiarize a bit; I will not knowingly support any entity or PAC that supports the Republican agenda as it has been in the past, as it is now, and as it continues to be in the future. The Republican platform, in my lifetime, has always been and continues to be the party for the wealthy, for corporate America and for taxes going primarily for humongous defense budgets (with no oversight) and sweetheart contracts for the wealthy and well-connected. I call it the YoYo party - You’re on Your Own (for everyone else in this country.

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Paula Mandell: I totally agree with you. I am a senior and have witnessed the Republican Party policies since the time of John Kennedy. Since they DON'T represent the majority of Americans, they have always used emotional issues of the day to reign people in for votes - such as bussing, gays, abortion, immigrants, etc. - and ALWAYS religion. In recent times they have used every dirty trick they can think of to suppress voting. Campaign Finance Reform will never pass in Congress by any Republican vote. Big Business owns our country, the Rich own Big Business AND own the majority of Congress, including many Democrats. Lobbying should be eliminated, since they mainly consist of Big Business lawyers, who design and write laws for many members of Congress.

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👏👏👏

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Paula Mandell ; YoYo party ! Hahahaha! Reagan's 'Work Or Starve" motto. Yes, that is my impression of it too. Some Republicans over the expanse of time (short expanse of American history as it is), Some Republicans did good things. Eisenhower had the national highway system (Quite a few farmers and homeowners lost out on that), but he did warn us about the 'military/industrial complex' too. Of course, there's Abraham Lincoln's contribution toward a 'more perfect union', that took bravery, no doubt.

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Laurie, Lincoln’s Republican party bore no resemblance to the 20th and 21st century versions. I don’t think it’s possible to draw analogies between the parties of that time and later. Everything was so different then.

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Paula B. Yes, I know, and the Democrats were 'Dixiecrats' who were closer to what Republicans are now. That was my point ; that there are (were) Republicans and there are Republicans. And Democrats were different then, too. With unlimited money in politics now, everything negative and undemocratic is magnified. Now there is the foreign influence, too. Think of it as a comparison, not analogy.

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😀

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Well the Democratic campaign committees in Congress including the one controlled by Pelosi were only too happy to work with AIPAC submarining progressive candidates ALL YEAR. It only became news when AIPAC turned on Nancy and buried a primary candidate she actually supported, who was by no means progressive but was at least reliably liberal. So practically speaking, that vow would mean one wouldn't contribute to the Democratic Congressional campaign committee or party funding processes. Which is exactly right: contribute directly to _the candidates_ you support, and cut the Gerontocrats in Congress out of the loop. They'll siphon off your funds to support their pet center right (im)moderates and pro-Israel lackeys while sending not a penny to the progressives who actually work to improve the lot of most at home and abroad.

AIPAC's interference in primaries against progressives is no surprise, however disgusting. Progressives uniformity oppose Zionist apartheid: THAT is the issue for AIPAC. That they are using Republican money to achieve their agenda is genius in a way but a clear indication of the shift we have watched over the last 20 years. Zionists in particular and Israel in general are now allied _to the Republican Party,_ not to the USA at all. That is a major problem, of which the larger American public is entirely unaware, but which will have large implications in time, especially since a significant sector of the Republican Party is working actively to suborn the institutional structure of our country also. For now, Israel's open intervention in American electoral politics is one more plain assault on the democratic (small d) fabric of the USA, only with foreign actors now stepping up to aid the Republican agenda in subverting the legal structure and institutions of our country.

So here is a fact, now demonstrated even more openly than in the past, of which the larger public is also unaware: Israel is the greatest ACTUAL enemy of America bar none, by the conduct of its own governments (serial and plural) directly against the interests of our country. The American position regarding Israel is one of the most delusional inter-state interactions in modern history, and will be the source of major case studies in time to come. For now, it is a huge problem for our country as a whole. This initiative by AIPAC is simply the tip of the iceberg. And I don't mean vague conspiracies, and this has nothing whatsoever to do with Judaism. It is about power, and concrete, inimical, actions, one more of which we now see.

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Richard Kline ; I don't give to the DCCC or the DNC either. I am aware of the duplicity in the Democrat party and am unenrolled in my state, except for primaries. Citizens United made a bad situation worse. The Electoral College was bad enough along with gerrymandering and the filibuster.

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Understood, Laurie. It was not my goal to single you out, but there was a larger point to make, which was my purpose.

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After everything you say about AIPAC boosting right-wing, corporate, candidates against progressives with popular positions on social policy, you neglect to follow up the deserved criticism with the fact that the Democrat leadership also support and assist the same candidates. Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn, et al regularly go and campaign for the worst type of candidate. Perhaps most egregiously of all was there recent support, which went above and beyond especially in this moment of history which has seen the overturning of long fought for rights, such as the Freedom to choose in Roe v Wade, of the right-wing, conservative, Henry Cuellar. An avowed anti-choice, anti-union, anti-medicare-for-all, anti-taxing the rich and anti-corporate windfall tax, supposed “Democrat”. In the same week that the Dems send out begging/fund-raising emails to “help fight for codifying Freedom to Choose”, they managed to get Cuellar over the line. A man who has and will vote AGAINST that same bill.

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This is incredibly sad. Progressives aren't going to be perfect, and mainstream Democrats are NOT Progressives. But Republicans in the current time are anti-Democracy. They are fostering authoritarian and outright fascistic models of government run by big- money, for the luvva pete. Sucks massively, but we have to choose not only our battles, but which Monsters we hold most fearful for the future. Get the Republicans out of control of the levers of local governments ( where they make the rules for how we actually mange our democracy) and we can put the good people into office without this obscene influence crafted by the R’s over the last four decades (since they began their pattern for take-over back in the Reagan years, as anyone who has been paying attention would know — commentary since the 80s has stressed how the Right waged a long patient campaign to gain control from the street on up, to control our system). They continue to do it, enacting state laws to restrict our democracy and keep money in power. We DO need to put Democrats on notice about their policies, as well (anybody paying attention knows, too, that the Clinton 90s were NOT the Democrats’ finest hour in the sphere of decency and social justice!), but be really careful people that you don’t kill the only champions you have because they are mot perfect. Make them more responsive to the people, but don’ t let the R’s win the whole enchilada because you are pissed at some on the Left. Be MORE strategic, or we will get another Age of McConnell and you SEE what he did to the Supreme Court. Do you think wd would REALLY have a six-vote majority of atavistic conservatives if we did not get a Trump presidency? Do you think we would have a drive in state’s now to put Legislatures in charge of choosing our President!!!!? I wanted to elect Bernie…I live in Vermont and know his principles and skills quite well, thank you…and I hated the Dem machine weighting the scales for Hillary, but even Bernie knew she was not going to outright kill our Democracy, but Trump would try to do just that. An ounce of pragmatism is definitely called for. If you want a chance to vote for government by and for the people, dont be an idiot and kill your champions because you are so pure you can only vote tor perfection. (And support both Israel AND Palestinian rights…they are not incompatible. AIPAC must not buy our elections.)

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This is the crux of the problem. We do not have a democracy when critical thinking dies. Most of us understand where the Republicans are coming from, but while they seem to be implementing radical systemic change, the Democrats tell us we should be satisfied with "incremental" change. It is their incremental change, and the enabling of it out of fear of those nasty Republicans, that have put us in a position where the planet is burning up, over 20% of the population is in COLLECTIONS for medical debt (prior to the ACA that was less than 4%), we are at perpetual war which is now a proxy war with a nuclear superpower enthusiastically supported by liberals, police continue to shoot unarmed black men in the back unabated, over half the population has zero savings in the bank, and liberals turn a blind eye to Democratic Party support for the most heinous of regimes while freaking out about Putin and reviving McCarthyism. Last I checked, Democrats have the majority however slim and this is a two-party system. I have been phonebanking for candidates like Jessica Cisneros only to have Democrats and AIPAC pour resources in anti-abortion, anti-labor, pro-gun candidate Henry Cuellar to defeat her. As for the local level, Obama lost a record 1,000 Democratic legislative seats during his tenure with his "incremental change" which has proven to be incrementally worse. I am not here to protect Decmocrats, they are supposed to be protecting me. To cower in the corner from crazed Republicans only enables the Democratic Party to continue lurching to the right. I will always support Democrats who do not take PAC/corporate donations, but I have nothing good to say about Biden, Harris, Pelosi or the cabal that has failed to protect us from any threat and ushered in the era of Trump. Holding Republicans accountable when they could care less what you think while walking on eggshells when speaking about Democrats gets us nothing but what we have right now.

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I agree. Enough with the incrementalism. Republicans don’t do it. Why should we?

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I think that's the Democrats' excuse for doing only what their donors will allow.

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The Progressives I support don’t agree with blanket “incrementalism” as an excuse, either. I sure as hell don’t. Easy enough to tout “progress” and incremental change when you’re not the one behind the eight ball. So, screw incrementalism as some sort of POLICY. BUT there are a hell of a lot of people you have to convince to vote along with you, or you will just keep losing and losing and losing. I hear your purity against the crap that centrist Democratic Leadership Council types dish out, but I don’t hear A PLAN to get people to understand and vote your way. If you don’t have a two-pronged tactic, FIRST hold the line, AND AT THE SAME TIME make progress — and we didn’t have that this century, or we wouldn’t have the 6-3 Supreme Court we have now, and we would not be looking at worse coming down the Republican Pike — then HOW do you propose to get enough people to understand the fix we are in and vote with you? Or do you expect to maintain your purity until we’ve lost our democracy and we have to stage a rebellion to get it back. [HINT, rebellions don’t typically produce the results the rebels are hoping for — look around.]

I hear a lot of ostensible WHY you won’t hold your nose and vote in this conversation, but I am still at a loss to hear a HOW you will change the landscape of our politics in this argument.

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Aaaaagh. I do recognize the futility of saying to Democrats “we won’t vote for you unless you mend your ways” if they just think, “Yes, you will because you have no choice.” That’s how they shot down Bernie, and even he went along with Hillary to try to avoid the absolute devastation of Trump. But we got Trump anyway, and it could be the end of anything resembling a representative government. The threads of decency are what we are seeing in the Jan. 6th Committee, and I hope we get Trump charged with a crime and disallowed from ever running again, which could buy us some time. But the “street” needs a strategy for getting responsive representatives into the game and up in the system high enough to challenge the DINOs. How do we do that? Not by being energized once every four years, for sure.

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I’m not “pissed at some on the left”, because the corporate Dems aren’t on the left. They are fiscal conservative, socially liberals. Big difference. The might be TO the left of the GOP but they’re not ON the left.

I didn’t say, anywhere in my comment, NOT to vote for them. I was pointing out the bits Richard Reich left out is all. One of the things that puts people off politics is the partisan commentary where it’s always the other team’s fault.

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We have a MASSIVELY partisan system — the guy with one more vote than the other guy gets to set the agenda and call most of the shots, for crying out loud. We used to talk about bipartisan, knowing the reality of that meant negotiation and compromise, but now the idea of negotiation is “play for time,” and there’s no such thing a compromise. Witness Mr. Manchin. My point was to take note of the realities. I used to see legislators work out agreements that we could live with. Now, there’s little compromise, it’s all forced capitulation. Makes me very angry, but if we don’t see how we got here [the R’s planned it for forty years], we won’t see a way clear to get out of this mess. I’m not genuflecting to our founders, but they were prescient in many ways, and they knew parties would create serious difficulties in our system. Sadly, they did not form a parliament that works with numerous parties, and we have managed to craft a system that puts only two parites in total control. We need to work within our reality, and maybe work to change it.

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AND, Armyjay, I agree with you about the establishment Democratic Party, but you call it “fiscally conservative,” and I call it “in the pocket of Wall Street,” because I see fiscal profligacy in many ways [war budgets and corporate “welfare” for some]. I criticize them all the time. In the end, I want Progressives to be MORE pragmatic, see the long-game {I HATE calling a a game], and start to turn this around, instead of needing to be pure. If I have to reach down in the muck, I will, but eventually, like you, I want to get rid of the muck. We need a plan for that, and we don’t have one.

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Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama called themselves "pragmatic progressives." How did that go? The only "purity" progressives are looking for is candidates who do not take PAC/corporate money. Democrats consider that a "purity" test because they cannot get their lips of the teet of the very industries that have indeed killed our democracy and millions of poor black and brown people here and across the globe. And purity would also be the truth, instead of lying about the things we need like a national health care system to benefit their owners.

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I wonder if you think that, in the absence of finding someone who does not have anything to do with any PAC, you will not vote for a candidate who is viable and at least holds some policies you can live with, and would keep the entire enchilada out of the hands of Trump Crazies [where it was for four years, and you can see that they used the time to kill the Supreme Court and lots of other courts]…What is your prescription for getting our government back then? Complaints are easy. Solutions are tough.

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You have my vote, Pat! A progressive pragmatist and realist. We need people like you running for elective office!

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HA! I am seventy five years old and, while I’ve heard that before from people who know me, I don’t have a broad constituency. I do like to write, though, so I do what I can.

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Absolutely the case, and this is an example of how "pragmatic progressives" tell half-truths and spread misinformation. Although certainly bringing the heinous mission of AIPAC into the light is a very important half-truth.

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Jul 22, 2022Liked by Robert Reich

Excellent piece, Mr. Reich.

Being a Marylander, I saw the Edwards smear campaign ads on TV every evening for weeks and weeks. To be honest, I did not know who was funding those awful ads (and I am not a resident of the county she ran in.) Thank you for yet more enlightenment this morning.

Wouldn’t it be great if Citizens United we’re overturned someday?

🌻

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Trump's and Jared Kushner's contempt for justice for Palestinians, their tampering with the traditional US embassy location, and their attempt to realign Israel's regional position through alliances with lawless dictatorships like Saudi Arabia were actions that may very well reflect consultation with AIPAC, which has long been a pernicious influence on American foreign policy, never advocating for meaningful diplomatic engagement with Israeli Palestinians, and suffocating any thoughtful criticism of Israel's embrace of apartheid policy toward Palestinians.

It might be helpful to add Jewish Voice for Peace to the organizations Professor Reich mentions as alternatives to AIPAC. It is an organization fully committed to justice and fruitful peace for both Israeli Palestinians and Israeli Jews; its advisory board includes Naomi Klein, the playwright Tony Kushner, and the distinguished historian, Howard Zinn, it is hospitable to the input of non-Jewish allies, and is deeply engaged with progressive candidates whose focus is working for better lives for the people of the United States, not just those of Israel.

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I am not pro-AIPAC, nor am I Republican. I do support a two-state solution. I don’t have much faith in that solution, however, as long as Hamas’s charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the total annihilation of the Jews, and few people call for the accountability of the Palestinians’ so-called leaders to improve the lives of their people.

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The Palestinians are being oppressed—robbed and murdered—under Israeli apartheid!

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Also Bend the Arc. They’re another progressive Jewish organization.

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thank you for sharing. Hurts my heart.

I wake up, shower, pee, and am ready to go back to bed.

More and more, it appears, USA politics is rich people fight among themselves using the rest of us as pawns.

not just a problem of "progressives" v "conservatives"

Both sides do it..

We need to find a way to stop it.

My heart is broken

I pray it is not too late.

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AIPAC seems to want to starve progressive Jewish lobbies in the US, likely by suggesting all Dems are anti-Israel to the big donors. Personally I'm anti-Netanyahu and anti any apartheid, including in Israel. My husband is Jewish and an accomplished Yiddish speaker (www.yiddislives.net). I love the Jewish people and Israel, but have separated from her since the influx of Russian/Eastern Europe jews so used to oppresion gladly afflict the Palestinians who lived there before 1948 and were pushed out of their homes before & after the 1948 war that they were not part of, much like US Japanese heritage during WW2, except the ones that survived were released and returned. Extemists heralded the release of a Rabin's murderer with open arms, and sabotage work & block public roads on Saturday. I'll return when the Palestinians do, as will my purchase of anything produced. Maybe they will prosecute me for boycott. Research that folks and know the history of the land that God kept giving to everyone, apparently. Any God worshipped in that land must have trouble with the distraction from the blood and religious hatred.

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For the most part, the right wing in Israel is comprised of:

1. Sephardic immigrants and their families who came because of Arab expulsions (especially in 1948), and

2. Ultra religious, some who refuse military service.

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So happy to see you on this . I

Stopped supporting AIPAC about five years ago when it became clear to me they it was a Republican shill.

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Democrats support it equally, and have also worked against progressives in many of these campaigns.

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Well, Robert, thank you very much for your revelations, which everyone needs to know—but AIPAC has always been unprincipled. It just seems it’s getting more underhanded. When it supported Israel openly, it supported Israel’s crimes, its apartheid state, its ongoing genocide against Palestinians. It should never have been supported by anyone. Your advice to AIPAC’s supporters, therefore, is a bit odd. You sound too sympathetic to them. No one should be interested in supporting Israel as it is, and I think your advice to AIPAC supporters should be to cut that out and quit supporting Israel’s crimes. J Street and IfNotNow are different. The latter is the more ethical of the two. On its website IfNotNow describes itself this way: “We are a movement of American Jews organizing our community to end U.S. support for Israel's apartheid system and demand equality, justice, and a thriving future for all Palestinians and Israelis.” That would mean that we shouldn’t be giving $3.8 billion of aid a year to Israel under present circumstances, period. The Jewish Voice for Peace is a strong opponent of Israeli apartheid and oppression of Palestinians.

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As soon as those folks recognize the existence of Israel.....

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What do you mean?

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Palestinians refuse to negotiate.

Hamas does not recognize the state of Israel. Palestinian Authority does not have the support of their own people....

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I thought it was illegal to take money from a foreign nation. When did Israel become the 51st State? I am not and never have been anti-Semitic. But I object to ANY politician taking a dime from any foreign entity

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Fay, AIPAC is an American organization that advocates for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, thus the name: American Israel Public Affairs Committee. (What Robert has written is all new not typical of AIPAC's mission...it is a bipartisan organization to inform both parties on Israel's issues and advocating for Israel.)

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It advocates with lies.

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Carol, unless you have proof, don't spread gossip. Thank you.

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Thank you, I thought it was jointly funded. There is no legal path then, just the hope of changing the way we fund elections. Since both parties feed at that trough, good luck with getting a change

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This is a mix of the right wing religious nuts and their idea that the Israeli Jews will convert to christianity in “end times”. We have always had a lopsided alliance with Israel in spite of apartheid for Palestine.

Another area in the US where the truth is muzzled by money.

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consider supporting “J Street,” the pro-Israel nonprofit group?

What crap is that? Support Zionist Apartheid?

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It has been suggested that they remove J from it's name and substitute P. They exist mainly to promote Palestinian interests and themselves. They advocate complete submission to the Palestinian narrative. Their positions parrot UN viewpoint including cessation of diplomatic protection.

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The Palestinians have no power and are being crushed by Israel. Daily, it steals their land. It keeps killing them, too.

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How many Jews are living in Palestine with an ability to enjoy medical treatment, vote, and protest?

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I don’t know what you mean. Palestinians have very few, or no, rights anywhere in apartheid Israel.

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I enjoyed reading your posts until now. You sound like a tRump supporter, completely uninformed. Try speaking to Monseur Abbas. He is currently the leader of the United Arab List and represents the party in the Knesset.

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If it ain't one goddam RepubliPAC it's another! Never heard of 'em. How much do they give to Manchin & Sinema. Naïve me. I thought I was pushing the envelope by suggesting Democrats register as Republicans to help primary candidates ol' Tweety endorsed. Sheesh! Thanks for bringing this up, Dr Reich!

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Thank you for exposing this! It is horrible.

Why does the Democratic leadership support yet another way of subverting their constituents during the Primary? This has been going on for years and results in milk-toast or worse Democrats elected. It is one reason more people leave the party and feel forced to chose between two evils.. I used to be a life long Democrat. As a lame gesture of resistance I became Unaffiliated. I live in Colorado so I can opt back to Democrat just for the primaries. I have been active in the campaigns of many respected Democratic progressives, only to be undermined time and again by The Party.

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Jul 22, 2022·edited Jul 22, 2022

What astounds me is that any group with such obvious ties to a foreign country can financially contribute to a US domestic election. FEC has strict rules on this point. But I do believe AIPAC's interest is still about Israel. Yes, it can be difficult sometimes to discern what is "Pro-Palestinian" and what is anti-Semitism. But no one can refute the inhumane treatment of the Palestinians by many (not all) of the Israelis. The Age of Easy Information (and MisInformation) has made many young people in the US aware of the plight of the Palestinians (n.b I have numerous dear Palestinian friends.) This is NOT anti-Semitism. And AIPAC most definitely pushed the envelope too far in it's efforts to defeat the BDS/Boycott Israeli Made Products when it convinced public officials to FORCE public employees to sign a pledge to NOT endorse or support the BDS movement. Think about that for a moment - AN American being FORCED to sign a pledge concerning the domestic interests of a foreign land to keep their taxpayer funded job! It IS the Progressives in the Democratic party that are COURAGEOUSLY standing up to Israel and who call out Israel's cruel treatment of Palestinians. Look what happened when Jimmy Carter published "Palestine, Peace Not Aparthied" - he was black balled. The suppression of any criticism of Israeli government policy is anti-democratic. My Dad was from the "north of Ireland" - so I'm well aware of the consequences of the British believing they can just "give away or award the sovereign land of another people" to those who they favor (see also: Kuwait.) I'm old enough to be amazed to see that NOW the Republican party is the pro-Israel party. But you are correct - I'll send a note to my congressional representatives to state my opposition to AIPACS outsized influence in the Democrat's primaries.

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YES, I thought about what BDS means to the Jewish state. It does not recognize a Jewish state. It effectively eliminates it in the international community of nations.

It focuses on Israeli abuses, while their neighbors are taught to commit murder, and martyr status is remunerated by HAMAS!

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BDS does recognize Israel. Here is their statement of what they are:

Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) is a Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality. BDS upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity.

Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with international law.

The neighbor states are not abusing the Palestinians but the Israelis clearly do. Don't forget Israel supported a lot of terrorism to become a state and it is well documented. Anyone with absolute power over another will abuse it. Israel controls just about all aspects of life in the Gaza strip. Israelis are no better and no worse than anyone with absolute power. The point is that no one should have that power over another.

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Israel just decided to occupy out of the clear blue skies. There is no history here according to their statement. bill Maher says it better than I can. https://fb.watch/eqEilKSkGV/

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I point you to the book The General's Son. Peled is a man who knows the history really well, as did his father.

A powerful account, by Israeli peace activist Miko Peled, of his transformation from a young man who'd grown up in the heart of Israel's elite and served proudly in its military into a fearless advocate of nonviolent struggle and equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis. His journey is mirrored in many ways the transformation his father, a much-decorated Israeli general, had undergone three decades earlier. Alice Walker contributed a foreword to the first edition in which she wrote, "There are few books on the Israel/Palestine issue that seem as hopeful to me as this one."

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BDS leaders use the rhetoric of religious and moral authority to condemn Israel in sermons, essays, press releases, reports, and other publications. Palestinians are portrayed as the weak, oppressed people who must be defended against Israel’s bullying and injustice. These anti-Israel sentiments are used to mask anti-Semitic attitudes.

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The Palestinians ARE oppressed! You need to get yourself informed. You are the one disseminating misinformation! My colleagues are doing a good job of trying to inform you. Again, I recommend the Jews Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein, Ilan Pape and Josh Ruebner. You are illiterate on the subject, Eadie!

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Without getting into the disinformation your comment makes, how long do you believe a country can survive if the rest of the world boycotted it economically and politically?

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Everyone is entitled to (erroneous) opinions, even if they are overwhelmingly subjective. This is not the forum to address your propaganda here. Just remember: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." And the Courts agreed, no American can be coerced to pledge allegiance to the desires of a foreign state in order to keep their public sector job.

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Your comment says everything I need to know about you. One man's propaganda is another man's facts. You provide alternate facts that I have little regard for.

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