Yes Men Target “Better Deal” #DNCTakeBack Scam

The fact that the Yes Men have made the Democratic Party into a pet cause is yet another proof that the party is now an appendage of Corporate America and fully deserving of ridicule. Another proof is its sinking status. Lambert included this chart yesterday in Water Cooler:

The Yes Men’s target is the Dems stillborn-looking turnaround plan, the fauxgressive “Better Deal” scheme.

A Yes Man masqueraded as the DNC Deputy Vice Chairman of Civic Engagement spoke at a at a DNCTakeBack town hall last week. These meetings are yes another ruse by ostensibly to soliciting input to make the “Better Deal” even more snazzy. But these are really just large focus groups to help come up with new and improved marketing buzzwords. The Democrats have no interest in changing their program, such as it is. As Nancy Pelosi :

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) agreed, explaining in a separate interview that the new focus “is not a course correction, but it’s a presentation correction.”

I must confess that I haven’t gone to the effort of shredding thin “Better Deal” concept papers because the whole thing was so lame and obviously elite-serving that I was sure Team Dem would abandon the initiative and come up with something at marginally more plausible sop to middle and lower class Americans. Even if they haven’t seen their standard of living decline, they know that their hold on their economic position is insecure and are correctly anxious about it. Silly me! Never underestimate the ability of Democrats to think turning up the volume in their echo chamber is a solution.

In addition, the group that is supposedly behind these gatherings, DNCTakeBack, is obviously astroturf. It looks as if an existing party appendage was upgraded, since it got its first full time president only as of July 10. I’m sure this it was just a coincidence that this corresponded with the maiden voyage of SS Better Deal. And the staffers are party hacks :

Our organization was formed and is run by individuals who understand the political process from the inside out, and are now seeking to educate people about the power they have to shape the process from the outside in. Our staff members have participated in elections of all shapes and sizes across this great nation. Rather than standing idly by as those who seek to buy political favor continue to exert a disproportionate impact on our political process, we are determined to educate and engage the citizens of this great land who are both disenfranchised with and disgusted by the entire political process.

So how credible is this? A top down process (“educate”) for voters to better party shock troopers by convincing them that improved followership is the road to greater freedom?

If you think I’m exaggerating, the proof is in the video, where the Yes Men show that the Democrats are incapable of even putting their old wine in something that could be mistaken for a new bottle. I was cringing before the video had even hit the 25 second mark. The journalist who was leading the session (and of course it was a journalist, to give a veneer of independence) was incapable of using anything other than fake egalitarianism (“conversation”) and effectively told audience members that questioned what Team Dem was trying to sell were stupid:

As you all know, the Better Deal was announced earlier last week, though there are some elements of the Better Deal that haven’t been fully understood…

I’m sure readers will highlight their favorite moments. The interviewer can see that the Yes Man is going off script at 2:35 when she gets twitchy and fiddles with her pen even before he makes it obvious that the Better Deal is an exercise in hypocrisy. And some of the phrasemaking is great.

The one thing missing is that this is so obviously what the Democrats ought to be doing that there is no shock from the audience at the speaker repeatedly saying that corporate donors have prevented the Democrats from acting in voters’ interest and the party has therefore decided to throw them and the older leaders over the side. And presumably by virtue of being too well housebroken, the moderator goes along. Perhaps she thought this was just a test of some more “radical” messages.

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54 comments

  1. Richard

    Yves, this is so awesome, thanks for the yes men!
    I always feel little bad for the audience in these things, someone putting them on like that. But then again, it was probably a better time than what they’d steeled themselves for.
    I loved the common sense renderings, that highlighted how simple it might really be for a reform party hit big in this country (Follow Jackson mayor, not Ossoff, Medicare For All). I wonder if anyone in the audience thought there actually was a layer of leadership in the Demo party that could sweep in and institute policy based on voter needs and electoral results. How awesome would that be?
    I’d be interested to read follow ups of this ‘provocation”, in NC of course!

    1. Richard

      Oops, substitute ‘would sweep in’ for ‘could sweep in’ please. Because you know they actually could…

    2. MtnLife

      This was fantastic! I’m interested to know if they revealed the duplicity that night or if they let those people think the Dems were actually going to do something. My favorite parts are all the looks on the face of the “journalist” (priceless!) and how fast her head snapped around at some of the more radical ideas.

      1. Richard

        Yes, that’s kind of what I meant about follow ups! I want to know what those people thought, were any annoyed, amused, energized, provoked in any way by what they saw? Did any go home genuinely thinking they’d just seen the world’s greatest democrat?

    3. flora

      +1.

      adding: The vocal differences between the moderator’s opening, which sounded like she was speaking to small children, and the yes man’s talk, which sounded like he was addressing adults, was telling.

      1. flora

        adding: if the moderator Jennifer Prediger is this person then she’s got the DNC “conversation facilitator” act down perfect. The mannerisms, the slightly chirpy condescension to the Dem voters. I actually thought she was a real DNC person. Excellent punking of the DNC .

  2. Eclair

    Here in Jamestown, a decayed industrial city on the banks of the Chadakoin River, a seven mile long stream emptying Lake Chautauqua (yes, whose banks host the famed Chautauqua Institute, so beloved of well-off neoliberals) into Conewango Creek and then into the Allegheny River, I paid $15 for a one hour “Lucy Tour” of the downtown area. It was my husband’s idea and I went along to preserve our marriage.

    Jamestown, as I have written here before, starting in the early 1800’s, was once the premier furniture manufacturing center of the United States, with over 150 factories. Water power (from the swift-flowing Chadakoin), virgin forests and then thousands of immigrant Swedes, who thrived on long snowy winters, were experts at felling timber and loved working long hours, all melded into fashioning a working class city of 50,000. Oh, and the Italians arrived too, to take the jobs even the Swedes wouldn’t do.

    The furniture companies relocated to more union-resistant and pollution-friendly locations, the Erie Railroad, offering passenger service since 1860 between Jamestown and Hoboken, NJ, suspended service in 1967, and the city settled down to the business of falling apart, brick by brick (all manufactured in Jamestown from Chadakoin clay.)

    Oh, Lucille Ball was born here in 1911.

    The City needed a Renaissance and they decided that Lucy, who left Jamestown as a teenager, would be their ticket to economic revival. And, in the late 1980’s, the Lucy Desi Museum and Center for Comedy, the weeklong annual Lucy Comedy Festival, and the tours, were born.

    Four other people were on the morning tour; two former Jamestown residents and two Canadians (one with a portrait of Lucy tattooed on her upper arm). We walked for an hour, passing blocks of boarded-up stores, empty lots, musty-smelling bars and brick-built old hotels and office buildings that have been converted into SRO’s and apartments. The residents, many leaning on walkers, congregated in chatty groups on the sidewalks in front of the entrances, fanning themselves in the humid noon sun. Bronze historic marker plaques adorned crumbling buildings, bearing witness to the city’s former glories; the first furniture factory, the block destroyed by fire in the 1840’s, the law offices of Robert Jackson, Chief US Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, a Democrat appointed by Franklin Roosevelt.

    Chautauqua County, whose main population center is Jamestown, voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016; 58.8% to 34.77% for Clinton.

    Interesting factoid from Wikipedia (NOT mentioned by the tour guide): Lucille Ball registered as a Communist in 1936 and 1938 in California. She later repudiated this to the House Un-American Activities Committee, saying her grandfather, who was a Socialist, made her do it.

    Maybe the Yes Men can make an appearance at next year’s Lucy Comedy Fest.

    1. ambrit

      Well, Lucy was married to that ‘shadowy’ Cuban. That obviously means that Fidel was behind her ‘un-american’ activities. Oh, and everyone knows that Moscow was behind Fidel. So, Lucy was a stooge for Putin! (That evil genius was a precog!!! Where’s G.I. Joe when we need him? Or Nick Fury, or Doc Savage, or the Generals?)
      I can see the Yes Men ‘appearing’ at the Lucy Festival as “Organizers.”
      “Welcome to this years’ festival! This years’ theme is; ‘Comrade, can you spare a kopeck?’ Sit back and enjoy!”

      1. Eclair

        Touring the Lucy exhibit in the former train station, we learn that Desi had a privileged childhood; his father was Mayor of Santiago de Cuba; his mother’s family ran the Bacardi rum company and they owned numbers houses and ranches.

        This was pre-Revolution and in 1933, members of the family were jailed for a time, and then fled to Miami. So, not exactly pro-Fidel Cubans.

        Helps to explain why Lucy was so eager to disavow her Communist party affiliation; her then-husband would have been adamantly anti-communist. Well, that and being hauled before the infamous House Committee.

        1. Procopius

          Wait a minute, Communists didn’t have anything to do with the revolution in 1933, that was when Batista seized power with encouragement from our State Department! From Wikipedia,

          1934
          The US ambassador to Cuba reports that the new government is very unpopular “with all the better classes” and supported by the military only.

          The Communist Party was legalized in 1942.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Silly upstate NY, the future of furniture is sending Siberian virgin wood to Chinese factories to become flatpack tables. Much better for the environment. But don’t worry, I hear Chuck Schumer is going to give them all the skills they need for better jobs.

      1. Eclair

        There must be a for-profit educational outfit that will retrain former furniture makers to become stand-up comics.

    3. JCC

      Not to change the subject away from the takedown of the Dems too much, but when hearing about Lucy it brought to mind my hometown of Elmira, NY, right down the road from Jamestown. I’ve often heard the Lucille Ball/Jamestown fact over the years.

      Elmira has it’s own claim to fame, Sam Clemens married a girl from Elmira (Olivia Langdon) and spent many of his summers there writing some of his more famous works like A Connecticut Yankee… Huckleberry Finn, and a couple of others.

      Elmira also used to be a major railroad center between Buffalo and NYCity that ran along the PA Border through the southern part of NYState and was a major mfg center with American Bridge, Remington Rand, Bendix Brakes, Kennedy Valve, Schwiezer Aircraft, and more. It was also a large shipment point for a booming agricultural area, tobacco, apples, grapes, wheat and dairy that would ship to NY City, Philadelphia, etc. It was a solid Business Center in Upstate NY until the very early 70’s, known as the Queen City of the Southern Tier.

      Plus it is pretty famous as a place where Mark Twain lived and where he and his family are now buried.

      Now, of course, it’s deader than a doornail and has about half the population it had when I graduated from High School. All the above mentioned businesses are long gone except for Bendix (now Puralator), Hardinge, Inc. and one or two other small mfg companies and the county has the same population it had 45 years ago – absolutely zero growth (which is in some ways rather nice – housing is pretty inexpensive – unfortunately there are no jobs).

      In order to try and drum up some business every summer during the tourist season they like to leverage some of the more interesting facts of the area like the fact, for example, that Mark Twain wrote some of his more famous works in this town and is buried here. Plays, festivals and conferences on Mark Twain are a dime-a-dozen.

      After the Yes Men get down with Jamestown, I’d love to see them swing through Elmira. They might be able to take advantage of the fact that one of America’s greatest satirists and anti-Empire critics, Mark Twain, lived here for many years and is buried here (I mentioned that, right?)

      Those who have traveled along NYS-17/I-86 between Jamestown and NY City know exactly what I’m talking about, of course. And Chemung County, a former working class Dem stronghold, voted for Trump, too.

      It’s a little sad that these citiies’ primary claims to fame are famous dead people, just about all these cities have left, and the capitulation to Wall St. by the Dems is right up there as one of the reasons.

      1. Eclair

        Yes, JCC, the Democrats, once the support of the working class, have sold out to Wall Street. Which has gutted these once prosperous and vital cities of New York State. After our Lucy Tour yesterday, I was talking with the tour guide, a man in his 60’s, who told me that New York was a tough state in which to do business. Like they should allow continued pollution of the Chadakoin, lower safety and health regulations for workers and make NY a ‘right to work’ state. And not have a minimum wage law.

        Must we really choose between adequate compensation and safe workplaces, a clean environment, and industries that produce useful products (like food, clothing, machines, furnishings) and a total demolition of our productive capacity?

        I don’t want to bring back the past, because there was certainly horrible exploration of workers as well as a callous disregard for the environment in our old industrial base. But there must be some middle ground. Comedy weekends, artists and yoga teachers taking over old factories, and Mark Twain festivals are interesting and lively and creative … but we as a state (or a nation) can’t live on that. We need meat and potatoes. Dessert is lovely but not if that’s all there is.

        And, the whole of Western NY as well as the Southern Tier is ready for a main course; but will the current Dem establishment be ready to provide it.

        1. JCC

          They haven’t yet, and they haven’t tried for years. Lots of lovely words, but no action whatsoever.

          To give people who are not from Upstate NY an idea of what it looks like, here are the Fed Census population numbers for Chemung County (Elmira is the County Seat):

          1970 – 101537
          1980 – 97656 – 3.8% drop
          1990 – 95195 – 2.5% drop
          2000 – 91070 – 4.3% drop
          2010 – 88830 – 2.5% drop

          Upstate NY took the biggest hit during the Clinton/Dem era, which helps to explain HRC’s large, no, huge loss there. Upstate NY has always been a Dem stronghold but people remember.

          Chautauqua County looks very similar, as does the rest of Upstate NY.

          Other than a few pockets, Buffalo, Ithaca, Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and NY City area, most counties in NY went for Trump. What a shame.

          I love ’em both dearly, but Mark Twain and Lucille Ball just don’t cut it.

        2. r.stolte

          NYS was done many years ago now through the joint efforts of the dimms and repubs. I grew up there decades ago, loved it but left when i realized the decadence of its politics. After being settled for so long now in a non-threatening environment, I’m absolutely amazed that there are any people left in NY, except for the sanctuary beneficiaries of course. NYS when I grew up was at the top until the political slime took over, the same level of slime that has brought this entire country to its knees. Corruption is everywhere now with the only difference being that the filth have learned to polish their lies enough so that the dummed – down voters keep them in office. We have allowed these weasels to gain the upper hand at both the state and national levels, which our founders tried so hard to guard against in our precious Constitution. We have allowed this to continue for far too long, and now a reversal requires a very strong commitment by everyone who treasures liberty. At this point, Trump is our only hope, but allowing for the fact that he is not cut from the same cloth as our forefathers, we must be forever vigilant of his actions, and firmly nudge him along the necessary and correct path in order to preserve our rights and freedom. Unfortunately, we’re farther over the edge than most realize, so don’t just read this and go about your business because we are beyond that critical point already.

  3. ambrit

    “Better is just not good enough.”
    I liked the expressions on the faces of the audience members shown. The audience was agreeing with the Yes Man. Such a “response” shows that a “True Democrat Party” is a possibility.

  4. John Wright

    I viewed the entire video and thought the speaker did a reasonable job of describing how the Democratic party got to the current decrepit state..

    It seemed to be a fair assessment of the problems with donor/corporate/lobbyist influence and the Dems forgetting they were a party of the middle/lower class workers who had pictures of FDR in their living rooms.

    But the unasked question is how the Democrats can possibly change their party away from their current funding model.

    If they plan to replace their current revenue stream with small donors, how can they possibly convince the small donors that the Democrats truly merit the investment of the small donor’s cash.

    It is not as if the Democrats have a recent record of taking care of the plight of the “we want your vote and then go away” supporters.

    It is easy to see the Democrats hooked on their current funding model and they are not about to go cold turkey.

    The Democratic party won’t change until the donors/corporations/lobbyists abandon the Democrats as not worth the investment because the Democrats have no influence.

    But by then there may be nothing to salvage.

    But the Democrats pushing away their donors/corporations/lobbyists in the near future?

    Not gonna happen.

    1. ambrit

      I can see the Sanders wing small donor model being co-opted and expanded to fund a “radical” faction of the Democrat Party. A “parallel institution” dynamic is in play, possibly within the Democrat Party. So, we will soon be faced with the choice of supporting either an “official” Party apparatus, backed by big money donors, or supporting a “reform” Party insurgency, we being the donors, the movers, the shakers up.
      As ‘things’ stand now, the near future will need some “radical” actions for us to survive as a recognizably pluralistic and technically sophisticated culture.
      One aspect of revolutions that gets scant recognition is that the eventual “winners” of said historic upheavals are often the groups that were already organized and ready to go when the existential dislocations occurred. Organize now and be ready for power when you stumble across it lying “in the Street.”

      1. Mark Anderlik

        I like your thought here on parallel institutions. It is vital that we are not simply satisfied with torches and pitchforks, but also that we have developed the skills and practical wisdom that comes from self-government and self-management that can be gained through parallel institutions. Or the attempt to build such.

        1. ambrit

          I have often wondered why the American political parties didn’t have “Loyal Oppositions” with attendant shadow cabinets, etc. These institutions, as shown in parliamentary systems, provide depth and survivability to parties, and the nations they govern. It can be argued that such “shadow” party apparatuses act as pressure relief points for party and polity politics. Otherwise, the system in use is prone to sudden and often catastrophic failures. America has been lucky. Were it not for Franklin Roosevelt and his “Progressive” coalition back in the 1930’s, America would be in much worse shape than it is.
          FDR saved Capitalism by “reforming” it into a hybrid Capitalist Socialist system. A good overview of the dark possibilities inherent in that time is shown in a Bill Moyers program about Hitlers’ and Roosevelts’ political and economic policies and programs in response to the Great Depression.
          I do not know why, but the Bill Moyers site does not offer this show for viewing. The program was part of a series called “A Walk Through the Twentieth Century” on CBS. Other entries from that series are provided entire on the Moyers site, but not the Hitler Roosevelt one. Curious. Short bits are on YouTube, very short bits. The only source for the entire show that I could find was this site, ‘Facing History and Ourselves,’ which seems to be a “progressive” social studies entity.
          For what it’s worth, ( a sign up is required, about which I am conflicted, so, no endorsement implied.) See:
          For a look at rent seeking at its best, check this out. A source for the series, but, look at the prices!

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Cat herding. Senators and governors of California (pick the historically larger states) likely don’t want to share power with peon Congressmen. An MP from hick towns in Scotland is theoretically the same as an MP from London. It would be absurd to compare a Vermont or Wyoming to one of the larger states.

            Since the governors can become President without organizing the Congressional caucuses there Is less incentive for a shadow government because the governor can point to their “executive experience.”

            I also believe Washington selecting non-Congressmen to make up the Senate was never intended long term, and Washington’s bizarre idea about avoiding parties created an institutional obstacle to a shadow government. Did the Congress include any prominent group of non-Federalists? As I feel Jefferson led more of a rejection of Hamilton and the first couple of Congresses than functioned as a political party.

            I don’t know anything about the development of the shadow government in the UK/England (I don’t know it’s age). I feel like I should know something.

            1. ambrit

              Interesting history to politics where ever you are.
              I have been ‘socialized’ to view the Jefferson Hamilton split as an Egalitarian Aristocratic philosophical divide.
              Of course, the idea of a ‘shadow’ government implies professional politicians, with all that goes along with them. Didn’t Jefferson and his ilk believe in a form of the Philosopher Kings concept based upon a landed aristocracy? The amateur theory of social governance met the professional technocratic model with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Did efficiency win, or did it have success ‘bought’ for it by the wealthy owners and managers class?
              The divide between the Presidential race and the lower down office races highlights the “Big Star” system of choosing Presidents today. Kennedy was supposedly ‘chosen’ for president by the people after he showed up better on the televised debates with Nixon. No one mentions the ‘stolen’ election in Illinois, courtesy of Daley and the ward politics ensconsed in Chicago at the time. Like Trump, Kennedy won the Electoral College and lost the popular vote. So, party organizations can and have exerted strong influences on politics. By focusing on HRM HRC this cycle, the Democrat Party became the Clinton Claque. Sanders is wise to subtly disparage the tendency to enshrine him as the “Dear Leader” of a Democrat Party ‘radical’ insurgency. He seems to recognize that a Party needs to stand for something and not for someone.
              Enough incoherent ranting. It’s the middle of the night.

    2. justanotherprogressive

      Sorry, but Yves has it right. As someone who has been trained in “interview and interrogation” techniques, it was obvious by his many “tells” that he doesn’t believe a word of what he was reading – and yes, he was “reading” this stuff – it didn’t come from any heartfelt spot in his psyche….it was just a new set of “memes” that he’s trying to get YOU to believe….. (Hey, let’s throw this against the wall and see if it sticks……)

      As far as his “apology” for what went wrong with the Democratic Party? Yea……he sounds just my kids did when I made them apologize to someone they wronged – they didn’t really want to do it and didn’t really feel it, but mom would make their lives difficult if they didn’t do it…….

      The DNC isn’t going to break its ties with corporations – ever. As many, many people have pointed out, that “universal basic income” idea is right out of the corporate playbook. Think what it would do to reduce their labor costs!

      1. justanotherprogressive

        OMG – I just “got” this…..I didn’t know who the “Yes Men” were until just a few minutes ago (I thought Yves was just referring to DNC’s hoard of “yes men” who will lick the boots of anyone with money…..)……ignore the above post…….I’ve been too busy lately to keep up, I guess…..

        1. BillC

          I’d never heard of the Yes Men either. After scratching my head while watching the first 2 minutes, I went to Wikipedia, then went back. Surprising how much a bit of background changes one’s interpretation … kind of like priming a pump.

          I sure hope this kind of mocking criticism has significant impact on the credentialed class “leaders” who are on the DNC.

      2. Code Name D

        I don’t even think its about getting you to bleave in the new narrative. As much as convicing the donner class that you bleave the new narative. When you’re modle is influence peddeling, what happens when you run out of influence?

    3. XXYY

      But the unasked question is how the Democrats can possibly change their party away from their current funding model.

      I think one misconception is that voters fund “parties.” Voters generally fund candidates. We saw this dramatically in the case of Bernie Sanders, who raised sufficient money to run a credible primary campaign for US president entirely via his own fundraising operation. Sanders got no help whatsoever from his “party”, which was busily undermining him and laundering party money to his opponent. (This is of course not to say that parties never give money to candidates, but we should be wary of, and eschew, candidates who are primarily funded by a party since they will obviously represent the party’s interests.)

      So, I don’t think we need to somehow remake the entire Democratic party from the ground up in one fell swoop, including purging all the grifters and hangers-on who staff the national party apparatus. We just (!) need to run individual candidates who have a sufficiently attractive program that they can raise enough money directly from their own voters to get into office. Once enough of such candidates have been elected, the cruft that makes up much of the party now can and will fall away.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That isn’t correct. Both parties have centralized fundraising to a very large degree. Recall how Clinton basically sucked up all the $ out of state-level fundraising that was joint but billed as largely going to state candidates? This also was a violation of campaign funding rules, but the wronged parties (the state candidates) would never dare sue Clinton.

        It’s gotten way worse than the situation depicted in this 2011 post:

        http://cfdtrade.info/2011/04/our-polarized-and-money-driven-congress-created-over-25-years-by-republicans.html

        Moreover, the DCCC provides research, subscriptions, advertising, a very large amount of campaign funding. and other support to candidates. And they have cut off people too far to the left like Alan Grayson. Matt Stoller, his former staffer, told me in real time how much damage that did to Grayson’s ability to do his day job as well as his campaigning.

        1. Inode_buddha

          Wouldn’t it be wonderful to behold all the wronged state canidates bring a class-action suit?

    4. manymusings

      The Democratic party won’t change until the donors/corporations/lobbyists abandon the Democrats as not worth the investment because the Democrats have no influence.

      The democrat party having no influence is a perfectly fine return on investment for the donors/corporations/lobbyists. It’s a feature not a bug, as Yves often says.

      The job of the democrat party at this point is to act as the black hole for policies that are obvious, simple, and popular. What the donors pay them to do is take good ideas that are popular and easy to implement, lard them up and twist them around into something more “innovative” or “practical” that ensures large revenue streams and profits to the benefactors, and then to techno-splain (with oozing, overpaid condescension) how this shiny new over-complicated mess of an idea (which is *not* really a new idea) is actually better (or at least more realistic) than what people said they wanted to begin with. Winning would be nice, but it’s not really the point. Stop thinking the DNC or its donors are fixed on winning, and the situation snaps into focus (but still not easy to solve).

      There’s no point in waiting for the money to dry up or for the democrat power base to emerge from denial — the money is paying for that (faux) denial. Negotiating with them doesn’t work; being right and then run over by the corportists isn’t going to change. This reality makes other compromises and risks necessary. Which means rethinking whom might be persuadable and what differences can be tolerated (in what circumstances) to forge new alliances and coalitions — where to get the votes that are the only way to defeat the money.

      Maybe it means pedaling single-payer in inhospitable red districts, hoping to throw behind whatever candidate (from any party) that grabs hold, and then living with the candidate’s other baggage or bad ideas. Maybe it means talking about immigration and trade in the same conversation, without virtue-signaling. Or talking about government spending on public services and the priorities and fears of conservative Christians — again, without virtue-signaling or other trained reactions. Or looking past some regressive policy ideas or stark contradictions, if the source is earnest about helping people (realize may not be too many of those…..).

      Realize I’m preaching to the converted among NC readership … the point is, gotta scrap old compromises and strategies and try different ones — even uncomfortable ones. There’s no clear, cost-free, or certain formula to cobble together a non-money electoral force.

  5. BoycottAmazon

    Is it Me Or Is Some Ugly Manipulation by Google’s YouTube To Help The DNC Going Down?

    When I posted a comment in Links 8/04/17 with a links to the Yes Men’s DNC Takeback video, at the time the video showed 5646 views and 272 likes and 1 dis-like. Unfortunately I didn’t take a screen capture, but I remember because I gave the video a like, as was suprised at the low numbers. Today I went back to see how many views it had gotten by today, the numbers remained unchanged. I flushed my browser cache, but get the same number. What’s really gotten under my skin is when I gave the video a like, the counter clicking up one, but today it’s back to 272. Maybe it’s my computer, so I’d like to know what numbers anyone else is seeing when they visit..

    1. justanotherprogressive

      Or maybe some of the people who “liked” the video changed their minds after they thought about it or rewatched it…..the views are going up gradually so I don’t think this is something Google is doing (although I could be wrong…..)

    2. ambrit

      Some of the “unfashionable” blogs on the YouTube have mentioned seeing the same thing happen to their blog rankings. One fellow had his viewership figures “shrink” several times over several years. Google “manipulating” the statistics of blogs is longstanding practice. Soon, it will be crowd sourced and self replicating.
      YouTube Heroes. See:
      “If the dogs won’t eat the dog food, make them starve!” Conformism at its’ bestest.

  6. Mike

    Ray Charles wrote the real Democratic platform – “Born to Lose”. Only “Born” should be “Paid”.

  7. Cat Burglar

    Time to rebrand the “Better Deal.”

    I vote for “The Beige Revolution.”

    At least we have proof the DNC provides jobs for former Onion staffers.

    If only Jaroslav Hasek were still alive — his Peaceful Party Of Moderate Progress With The Limits Of The Law would have already used both slogans.

    “You’ll Take It And Like It.”
    “This Is How Little You’re Worth.”
    “They Will Let Us Give You Just This Much.”
    “Be Grateful For It.”

  8. Synoia

    “though there are some elements of the Better Deal that haven’t been fully understood… ”

    Yes I’m positive that is correct – however I have my suspicions as to their nature…..

    What they are not:

    Breaking up the banking monopoly..
    Breaking up the internet monopoly…
    Medicare for all…
    Ending the MIC’s rule…
    Addressing climate change…
    Eliminating ISDS and Regulation harmonization, so protecting sovereignty…
    Repealing Taft-Hateley…sorry Hartley…

  9. Synoia

    As long as the Democrats are in a minority they can get the perks of power (Iron Law of Institutions), without pissing off donors, sorry donor$, and trying to avoid blame…

    Oh we’d love to do X, but it’s complicated….

    Not complicated at all..follow the money…

  10. John Beech

    I began watching the video whilst totally unaware of the Yes Men and that this was a farcical video (Yves, a warning would have been nice). Unbelieving of what I was hearing, I did a quick search (while still listening) regarding Yes Men and immediately learned of this duo. Subsequently, I sat back and enjoyed the rest of the video (tongue firmly in cheek on their behalf). Thing is, I could be converted from my Republican voting pattern (unbroken since 1980). Frankly, I only voted for Mr. Trump because I gagged at the thought of supporting Hillary Clinton. However, had Crooked Hillary’s machine (to include the DNC itself) not played dirty I suspect Senator Sanders would have been the Democratic candidate and the results would have been quite different because if I could bring myself to vote for him, so could a lot of Republican voters. Finally, I continue to support President Trump. Don’t like the man but do hate the swamp – and you’d better believe I’m not alone in this. Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if the President pivots to Medicare For All once he realizes the Republican strategy is to marginalize him further. So far, he seems to believe McConnell and Ryan are in his camp.It will be interesting to see what happens when he finally realizes he’s just being used.

    John, sadly shaking his head at what cold have been

  11. Brian L.

    I suspect the “journalist”/actress was in on it.

    The pics at sure look like this “Jennifer Prediger.”

    1. Brian L.

      Further, I suspect #DNCTakeBack and its account is part of the “operation” as well. Anyway, loved it. More of this kinda stuff would be great.

    2. manymusings

      Ha, wondered same. Even that it’s hard to tell is to her credit (if acting). Her seemingly unconscious, slightly nervous “note-taking” during odd moments in the opening monologue, that was either real or it was genius.

  12. Jeremy Grimm

    Some district should draft a yes man to run for Congress. At the very least it would lead to some entertaining government.

  13. ChrisPacific

    Wow. Pelosi really said that? Nothing is going to change except the presentation?

    Yeah, good luck with that one.

  14. john

    Schumer has said on national TV on numerous occasions,
    we need to get the message right.

    Not we need to do the right thing for the people,
    but WE NEED TO GET THE MESSAGE RIGHT.

  15. Northeaster

    To keep in perspective, were it not for former MA AG Martha Coakley being such a bad politician, MA would have a Democrat as Governor instead of Democrat-light Charlie Baker, and as always a super-majority State Legislature.

    We all remember Coakley from the Fraudclosure days right?

  16. Ian

    There was a yes men movie i watched probably 15 years ago. I recommend the reburger and the imf spoof (similar to DNC one).

  17. Ned

    What a bunch of washed out punks…

    They should be the first ones that are harvested by the Tumbrals.

    At least the Republicans don’t pretend to be on the side of the people.

  18. soulipsis

    Look. When is NC gonna start talking about the Dems’ loss of government positions at all levels and in all jurisdictions as a FEATURE not a BUG in their program.

    The Dems have been a good cop foil, and not even that, for the Repugs for many years now.

    It’s time to stop taking any effort the pretend to make seriously. There is a plan, and that plan involves neocon/Repug supremacy.

    1. manymusings

      Actually IMHO NC hits the “feature not bug” point about the democrat party consistently and well.

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