Some Lives Matter: The Bizarre Politics of the Modern Democratic Party

 

NN15_OMalleyAs Ricochet member Doug Kimball mentioned earlier, Bernie Sanders brought his moldy message of 19th-century economics to Phoenix this weekend. The Vermonter joined fellow presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on stage for Netroots Nation’s raucous townhall event. When I typed the previous sentence, autocorrect changed “townhall” to “downhill” which is a decent summary of the progressive confab.

While former Maryland Governor and Baltimore Mayor O’Malley was answering questions from moderator (and illegal immigrant) Jose Antonio Vargas, African American activists jumped on stage, grabbed the mic, and “shut [expletive] down” to use their elegant phrase. Fellow activists cheered, others booed, and while O’Malley grimaced, the chants of “black lives matter” drowned out any message the candidate had planned to share.

Trying to regain control, O’Malley responded to the protest by saying, “black lives matter, white lives matter, all lives matter.” The protestors were shocked. Gasps filled the audience. You almost could hear a scratching record echo through the hall.

Excepting Planned Parenthood representatives, who could possibly object to someone saying that all lives matter? Welcome to the bizarro world of Democrat identity politics.

The “black lives matter” movement began in 2013 in protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, in Sanford, Fla., and became a rallying cry for demonstrators in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., in 2014 and Baltimore earlier this year. “All lives matter” has been used by some in response, angering those who say such a reply misses the point.

“When some people rejoin with ‘all lives matter,’ they misunderstand the problem, but not because their message is untrue,” Judith Butler, a comparative literature professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told the New York Times earlier this year. “It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter, which is precisely why it is most important to name the lives that have not mattered and are struggling to matter in the way they deserve.”

Butler added, “Claiming that ‘all lives matter’ does not immediately mark or enable black lives, only because they have not been fully recognized as having lives that matter.”

In today’s Democratic Party, it is actually controversial to say that every person’s life matters. Consider that.

After O’Malley fled the stage Bernie Sanders shuffled out, but he too was soon exasperated by the mob. “Black lives, of course, matter,” he said. “I spent 50 years of my life fighting for civil rights and for dignity, but if you don’t want me to be here, that’s okay. I don’t want to outscream people.”

He then rolled into his tired stump speech, citing Obamacare as one of the ways he helped people of color. “We can’t afford that!” a protestor screamed. Do tell.

By stoking the division of identity politics, the Balkanized tribes which comprise the progressive movement are tearing into each other. Lily-white Bernie fans are lecturing black activists about MLK. Hispanics are upset that trans persons are getting too much stage time. Union members are trying to stop Uber as wired millennials look on with incredulity. Liberalism is eating itself.

Despite the media’s insistence that leftism is ascendant, Democrats continue to climb further out on a crooked limb of the crazy tree. And when average American voters see a seemingly mainstream candidate apologize for saying the obvious truth that “all lives matter,” they’re going to give the GOP another look.

Update: Heh. It appears Ricochet member Quinn the Eskimo beat me to the headline. Well done!

There are 25 comments.

  1. Nick Stuart Inactive

    The rocket-propelled handbasket is another day closer to hell.

    I should be concerned, I am concerned.

    But if it wasn’t for schadenfreude, I wouldn’t have no fruede at all (at least politically speaking).

    • #1
    • July 20, 2015, at 5:34 PM PDT
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  2. Profile Photo Member

    We must have been on the exact same page at the same time.

    • #2
    • July 20, 2015, at 5:34 PM PDT
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  3. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Judith Butler, quoted in the article is quite a piece of Progressive work. From her Wikipedia entry:

    Judith Butler (born February 24, 1956) is an American philosopher and gender theorist whose work has influenced political philosophy, ethics and the fields of feminist, queer[2] and literary theory.[3] Since 1993, she has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is now Maxine Elliot Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Program of Critical Theory. She is also the Hannah Arendt Chair at the European Graduate School.[4]

    Academically, Butler is most well known for her books Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity and Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”, which challenge notions of gender and develop her theory of gender performativity. This theory now plays a major role in feminist and queer scholarship.[5] Her works are often implemented in film studies courses emphasizing gender studies and the performativity in discourse. She has also actively supported lesbian and gay rights movements and been outspoken on many contemporary political issues.[6] In particular, she is a vocal critic of Israeli politics[7] and its effect on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, emphasizing that Israel does not and should not be taken to represent all Jews or Jewish opinion.[8] She is also well known for her difficult prose.[9][10]

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    • #3
    • July 20, 2015, at 5:47 PM PDT
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  4. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Chief
    Jon Gabriel, Ed. Post author

    Quinn the Eskimo:We must have been on the exact same page at the same time.

    Holy cow! I’m adding a link to your story to mine since you beat me to the headline!

    • #4
    • July 20, 2015, at 5:47 PM PDT
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  5. AldenPyle Member

    That’s one way of thinking about what happened in Phoenix. Another way of thinking about it is to look at the facts on the ground. A well-organized group shut-down a prominent speech by a rising challenger to the Democratic party elite’s anointed candidate. That’s not evidence of fracture, that’s party discipline in the extreme.

    Is anyone else curious about the group that no one has ever heard of before with the astro-turfy name (“Black Alliance for Just Immigration”) and the sufficient funds to have a national coordinator (Tia Oso). Who are these guys? Where do they get their money? 

    • #5
    • July 20, 2015, at 6:05 PM PDT
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  6. Hammer, The Member

    hahaha – watching the inevitable happen to democrats is a bit like watching a titanic sink… if the ships engineers were warned of the disaster, rescue boats lay waiting, and only the engineers were on board, crying all the way down that the idea really should work!

    • #6
    • July 20, 2015, at 6:14 PM PDT
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  7. Flagg Taylor Member

    Judith Butler won Dennis Dutton’s now defunct “Bad Writing Award” for this gem:

    The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

    • #7
    • July 20, 2015, at 6:34 PM PDT
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  8. Eustace C. Scrubb Member

    If he were running today, Bill Clinton would say, “I have deep respect for Sister Souljah. She’s awesome. I’d hit that.”

    • #8
    • July 20, 2015, at 7:26 PM PDT
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  9. blank generation member Inactive

    I live in rich liberal terrority. I would like to leave a Sanders bumper sticker under every windshield wiper I see at the parking lot where I go hiking. Where can I get some of those?

    • #9
    • July 20, 2015, at 7:51 PM PDT
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  10. Hugh Member

    Ryan M:hahaha – watching the inevitable happen to democrats is a bit like watching a titanic sink… if the ships engineers were warned of the disaster, rescue boats lay waiting, and only the engineers were on board, crying all the way down that the idea really should work!

    Naw,

    If they do it to Hillary then the Democrats are in trouble. This is strategic.

    • #10
    • July 20, 2015, at 7:57 PM PDT
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  11. Boss Mongo Member

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:NN15_OMalley

    By stoking the division of identity politics, the Balkanized tribes which comprise the progressive movement are tearing into each other. Lily-white Bernie fans are lecturing black activists about MLK. Hispanics are upset that trans persons are getting too much stage time. Union members are trying to stop Uber as wired millennials look on with incredulity. Liberalism is eating itself.

    But will the Republicans have the entry-level skills to exploit these fault lines? I doubt it. I despair that the GOP will still lose to this keister-clown parade.

    • #11
    • July 20, 2015, at 7:59 PM PDT
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  12. Mate De Inactive

    Drag queens were banned from a gay pride event in Scotland because they may offend trans people. That is the epitome of Leftism eating itself

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/drag-queens-banned-from-pride-event-because-they-may-offend-transgender-people-10403198.html

    • #12
    • July 20, 2015, at 8:49 PM PDT
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  13. Douglas Inactive

    The Bizarre Politics of the Modern Democratic Party

    Or as I like to call them, the Oppression Olympics:

    It’s Feminists in the lead, but look out! Here come the Raza, elbowing Black Liberation off the track! Right behind them are Asi… Gay Pride takes the lead! Gay Pride takes the lead! But feminists are scratching and clawing their way back to the front, and, Oh! Look Out! Here comes Transsexuals! They’re neck and neck with Gay Pride! Gay Pride wins by an Adam’s Apple! This match goes to Gay Pride, and… what’s this? Black Liberation is complaining that they were cheated out of victory. Black Liberation, Raza, and Gay Pride are fighting on the track! Feminists are pouting! And this just in, NAMBLA has officially protested being disqualified from the match. And now Raza is bragging that one day the match will be all theirs anyway. What a contest! What a race, folks! 

    • #13
    • July 20, 2015, at 8:51 PM PDT
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  14. Lash LaRoche Inactive

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:He then rolled into his tired stump speech, citing Obamacare as one of the ways he helped people of color. “We can’t afford that!” a protestor screamed. Do tell.

    That’s pretty funny.

    • #14
    • July 20, 2015, at 9:00 PM PDT
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  15. The Forgotten Man Inactive

    Where the heck was Hillary Clinton anyway?

    • #15
    • July 20, 2015, at 9:32 PM PDT
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  16. Profile Photo Member

    Boss Mongo: But will the Republicans have the entry-level skills to exploit these fault lines? I doubt it. I despair that the GOP will still lose to this keister-clown parade.

    Yes, yes. What can we do to help?

    • #16
    • July 20, 2015, at 9:46 PM PDT
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  17. Petty Boozswha Member

    Hillary has a lot of problems in ’16; but the general public does not grasp that these are the people she’s going to empower, so what should be one of her biggest problems has been cauterized by our correct emphasis on her greed and sleaze over the last four decades. If Repubs try to sell the low information swing voter on fear of these nutjobs it will blow up in our face – people will vote for her because she can always turn to Bill in a crisis, they do not see her as an Alinsky-ite. Hooray for feminism.

    • #17
    • July 20, 2015, at 11:03 PM PDT
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  18. Joseph Eagar Member

    I decided five years ago that if identity politics ever won in America that I would emigrate to Europe. The good news is that I’m still here, and it looks like we may have hit peak identity-politics-insanity. I certainly hope so.

    Frankly, I’m getting sick of this entire game. We live in a country where people self-censor to an extent reminiscent of 1984, while the elite are seemingly running a campaign to punish the innocent on a mass scale. It is completely absurd.

    • #18
    • July 20, 2015, at 11:54 PM PDT
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  19. WI Con Member

    Nice to know they have their problems but I wouldn’t get too cocky on our side – we’re just as likely to blow up.

    • #19
    • July 21, 2015, at 5:45 AM PDT
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  20. Old Bathos Member

    Speaking as someone who spends part of every summer assisting OJ Simpson by looking for the real killer(s), I find this rude behavior by white racists like O’Malley and Sanders especially hurtful.

    You suburban tuna-on-white, SPF-50-just-to-drive-the-Prius-to-the-mall white people just don’t get it. In much the same way “bad” can actually mean something positive in our urban patois, “lives” actually means “deaths”. (Some) Black Lives (Deaths) Matter (if they advance the cause).

    If “all lives matter” then Trayvon, Michael and Freddie each lived and died in a pointless, bathetic fashion and nobody wants to go there, especially because it’s true.

    • #20
    • July 21, 2015, at 5:52 AM PDT
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  21. Old Bathos Member

    Flagg Taylor:Judith Butler won Dennis Dutton’s now defunct “Bad Writing Award” for this gem:

    The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.

    Ironic use or quotation of language deconstructing the totalities of patriarchal oppression structures is rape.

    • #21
    • July 21, 2015, at 6:03 AM PDT
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  22. Guruforhire Member

    The sad part is there is always a republican around to throw a poor white guy onto the bonfire, like nerd bringing a bag of Cheetos to a party he wasn’t invited too.

    • #22
    • July 21, 2015, at 6:05 AM PDT
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  23. HeartofFLA Inactive

    Despite the media’s insistence that leftism is ascendant, Democrats continue to climb further out on a crooked limb of the crazy tree. And when average American voters see a seemingly mainstream candidate apologize for saying the obvious truth that “all lives matter,” they’re going to give the GOP another look.

    I doubt it. These voters are the “white guilt” type. They’ve totally bought it into it.

    By the way, any voter who still stands with a candidate that has absolutely no guts to stand with their original statement (especially in this case), gets what they deserve: a candidate with no stomach for tougher calls. This was a test. O’Malley failed miserably.

    • #23
    • July 21, 2015, at 5:14 PM PDT
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  24. Boss Mongo Member

    Joseph Eagar:I decided five years ago that if identity politics ever won in America that I would emigrate to Europe.

    Yeah, ’cause Europe is ever so much saner than we are.

    • #24
    • July 21, 2015, at 9:55 PM PDT
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  25. TKC1101 Inactive

    This may have sent the signal average folks needed. The real racists are the ones yelling racism at the op of their lungs.

    Time for a candidate with the guts to announce “if you cannot handle a color blind society, I am not your candidate”

    • #25
    • July 22, 2015, at 9:33 PM PDT
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