The Left Waits For Crisis, And That Has To Change

trayvon_424

For a long time I have lamented the fact that the left is stuck in reaction mode. As the right has set itself up for an assault on our society at the state and national level, the left’s victories have often come in reaction to right-wing encroachment.

Look at the recent victories in favor of same-sex marriage. Sure, it helps that societal attitudes have experienced a seismic shift in favor of tolerance, but these new victories have only come after the right passed one oppressive law after another at the state level.

We’ve seen the same thing now with renewed focus on the asinine “stand your ground” laws which regressively impose the standards of the old west on modern society. Why has it taken years of these laws being shoved down our throats by extremist groups like ALEC before we react? Even better, where has the progressive effort been at the state level to impose sensible gun violence prevention measures? It took Newton for this to happen in solidly blue states like Maryland and New York, when this could have been done long ago.

In the arena of think tanks and media watchdogs, the left has been able to surpass with Media Matters and Center for American Progress what the right had a multi-decade head start with at Media Research Center and the Heritage Foundation. I don’t see why we have to wait for jobs, liberty, and lives to be attacked by ALEC, the Koch Brothers, and others before we act at the state and local level.

For the sake of the country, we need to be even more proactive and aggressive on all fronts, never ceding ground and always advancing on the ideological and social battlefield.

  • racehustlers

    In the case of the Zimmerman/Martin tragedy, the left created the crisis.

  • http://sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/mtbwelcome.htm RepackRider

    Screw “concealed carry.” I think every adult Black male in the United States should start packing a loaded hog leg openly displayed in a holster strapped for quick draw.

    Second Amendment works for me.

  • Vic78

    Everybody has to be on the same page. The democrats have to accept that the GOP has abandoned sanity and stop playing. There’s no reason that Sully or Huffington should be hanging around democrats. Campaigning as if you’re trying to win won’t hurt either. Stop wimping out whenever the right wing barks(that birth control episode was embarrassing). Stop shitting on your supporters(Rahm Emmanuel as Chicago mayor). Fuck the past. We live in 2013 and have to deal with 2013 issues(the Senate and their comity). There’s much more to be said. If there’s no serious united front, don’t worry about things getting better. There’s no reason anyone should be associated with a quack like Michelle Rhee. It undermines voters’ trust. You’ll need that to bury the GOP.

  • Anthony Mays

    Oliver forgets that the asinine “stand your ground” laws helped free Roderick Scott a black man accused of murdering a white teenager in December 2009 – where similarities with Zimmerman/Martin case exists. Google Search: Roderick Scott shooting.

    No wonders this country has problems because people like Oliver put their business model above the truth. I am sure if Oliver were to ask Mr Scott how he feels about being free because of the asinine “stand your ground” laws, Mr Scott would probably be appreciative for them. However, asking Mr. Scott this would go against Oliver’s business model.

    So I will ask you Oliver. Should we put Mr Scott, an innocent man in my opinion, in jail? Accordingly to folks like you, Zimmerman was guilty of something, anything, right? So a reasonable and logical (even decent) person using your logic could only conclude that Mr. Scott is a criminal – guilty of something – regardless of what the Courts of EACH STATE have to say.

    So I will ask you directly. Should Mr Scott have been found guilty and why? Remember, he was freed on the asinine “stand your ground” (self defense) laws that freed Zimmerman (which was not a stand your ground case – a fact you fail or simply cannot understand – but a self defense claim: FACT).

    Further, no Civil Rights charges were levied against Mr Scott. If you want fairness, explain why NOT?

    Good day, sir.

    • BillAndersoot

      Are you saying that the asinine “stand your ground” laws make sense to you? If what you’re doing appears suspicious to some gun-hugging vigilante lunatic like Zimmerman and he challenges you and your response makes him feel threatened, he should be able to murder you with impunity? What are we, Yemen? People like you seem to be pushing for the U.S. to achieve Third World status. Truly asinine.

      • Anthony Mays

        Take everything you are saying and apply it the Roderick Scott case. Then come back here and lets discuss. Google Search: Roderick Scott shooting.

        Hopefully, by doing so, you will be a little more educated.

        • brif

          You should educate yourself first. The roderick scott shooting took place in new york which does not have a stand your ground law. If you want an example of how racially biased & assinine stand your ground is, look up the case of marissa alexander.

          • Anthony Mays

            The Zimmerman case was not a stand your ground case. Zimmerman did not invoke that right in court and his lawyers proceeded with a self defense case instead. FACT. And thus, my comparison to the Roderick Scott case – which shows, at least 1 comparison, that the self defense laws being applied are done so fairly.

            Hence, if you really knew what you are talking about, you would understand that my claim (attempts to) makes, a legal challenge to the Stand Your Ground Laws as being unnecessary, since, the Self Defense Laws are sufficient, and, has shown, in most cases, to be non racially applied – hence my comparison to Roderick Scott.

            So, you are simply arguing the point wrong – in my opinion. Never attack the application of a law with opinion. Attack the law with law and when doing so provide examples – which is what I am doing. Get the point now!

            All you are doing is providing examples with no appropriate replacement for an existing law. So, if you want to act like a lawyer, you had better learn how to fight like one.

            But if you want to throw around 1 case as proof to the racist nature of the stand your ground law, then why not talk about Jordan Davis. He was really innocent in my opinion.

            Personally, I think Jordan Davis was a better case for this than Trayvon Martin. The reason for no media attention, in my opinion, is because everyone was too busy with Zimmerman, a Self Defense Case, to notice and the Police arrested Michael Dunn immediately.

            So if I were you I would point to Jordan Davis instead of Marissa Alexander. She is not a good example – strictly in my opinion.

            I always try to educate myself. Thanks for the pointer though.

          • brif

            You’re contradicting yourself. Yesterday you said stand your ground helped free scott which was false. Today you say it was self defense. Which is it?
            Beyond that, I’ll point to marissa alexander. She is a good example – in my opinion

          • Anthony Mays

            Yes I did didn’t I. They are both Self Defense cases.

            Then be sure to add Douglas Jordan to your list.

          • Pawtrax

            Anthony, you directly contradicted yourself because you didn’t know the facts of the Scott case. You’re also ignorant of the facts in the Zimmerman trial. The judge specifically evoked the stand your ground law in her instructions to the jury on what factors to consider in rendering their verdict:

            If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

            Here’s what you’re also missing along with every other conservative who’s been citing the Scott case:

            1) Scott caught a group of teenagers actively breaking into and rifling through a car. He didn’t see them walking down a sidewalk and assume they were up to no good. They were in the process of committing a crime when he saw them. Trayvon Martin wasn’t doing a damn thing when Zimmerman profiled him as someone suspicious.

            2) Scott was immediately arrested and indicted by a grand jury for manslaughter. Zimmerman wasn’t arrested or charged within anything until two months and a national outcry later. If Zimmerman had been charged with manslaughter as quickly as Scott had been, the case never would have received any national attention at all. It was the lack of charges that lead to the national attention in the first place.

            Once again, a conservative relying entirely on conservative sources for his news doesn’t know a damn thing about anything but feels righteous enough to use all caps to type fact. So typical.

          • http://frothslosh.typepad.com/ Ol Froth

            SYG was invoked in the judge’s instructions to the jury.

      • Anthony Mays

        And Bill. You really need to get a command of the facts. That’s obvious.

        • BillAndersoot

          The facts are George Zimmerman murdered an unarmed kid who was walking home from the store with a bag of candy and some iced tea. And under Florida law, that’s perfectly legal. Are there some other facts I need to be aware of? You think the Scott case somehow justifies this sort of insanity? You’re nuts.

          • Anthony Mays

            The answer to your question is No. And for you to ask the question shows that you still do not understand my point, or, trying to make, what you may think as, a clever attempt to duck it.

            Either way, glad you took sometime to read up on it. Now, we can discuss my point. A speculative question has been asked: what if the roles were reversed? Many black people here that I talk to say, ‘If the roles were reversed Trayvon would be in jail.’. Its speculative, but, a respect for case law has an answer for this. One that is, usually, unpopular; and, vaguely known – as I suspect it was with you – but, highly important none the less. Besides answering this question, it shows, at least in one example, that the Self Defense Laws saved a black man from going to prison; thus, demonstrating, at least in one case, the system or an unpopular law was NOT RACIST – my main point.

            Now to my underlying point, since I have no choice but to explain that one as well.

            I wanted to know from Oliver, if the roles were reversed, would he remain consistent is his point of view, ignore me, try to justify it, dismiss it, or simply not get it – as you have done.

            So, after reading up on the case, would you classify Roderick Scott, a black man who shot and killed an unarmed white teenage, as a gun-hugging vigilante lunatic and a MURDERER?

            Yes or No?

            Further. Stating your OPINION of what you would like to believe happened is NOT FACT. By the way, I gave no opinion on the Zimmerman/Martin case. It is none of my business, but, the law is.

            Let’s continue the discussion. Reason: I am curious about any other point of view than my own.

          • BillAndersoot

            You really thought I would waste my time reading your little novelette, didn’t you? Silly you.

          • Anthony Mays

            And so the problem continues … thanks for your contribution.

  • BillAndersoot

    It’s like juggling cats, man. While one’s clawing at your eyes another one’s going for your nuts. The Republicans have so many destructive projects going at once that it’s hard to keep up. Add the lack of cohesion and direction that comes with being the “big tent” party and it’s hard to stay focused. Just about the time you think you’re making progress on an issue, a bunch of people show up who want to sell Nicaraguan hemp Grateful Dead t-shirts or something. The party’s in constant disarray, I tell ya. Disarray.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Which is why you stop reacting to the Republicans. Instead of frantically trying to put out a fire here before scampering over to put out a fire there, etc, the left should stake out a direction and position and just go with it

      • BillAndersoot

        Well, I think we’ve done that, haven’t we? The problem is, national organizations like the NRA do their dirtiest work state-by-state and community-by-community. So it’s always going to be like fighting wildfires. At this point, the unions are probably our most reliable organizers at that level. Which is why Republicans have worked so hard to kill them. It’s always about powerful, narrowly-focused organizations that are willing to take on every battle at any level. We need more of those.

  • Pope Ratzo

    Hey, if we’re not going to react to ubiquitous surveillance, extrajudicial murder by the executive branch, secret courts, secret laws and secret warrants, nobody’s going to react to anything. We’re wasting our time with penny ante social issues, while the police state grows apace.

    We’ll have gay marriage and abortion and racial equality, but we’ll all be living in a panopticon where everyone’s freedom is conditional.

  • brif

    Does oliver forget that Democrats largely supported the Defense of marriage act? It’s been the state supreme courts & the U.S. Supreme Court in particular doing the heavy lifting in same sex marriage victories.
    What does trayvon martin have to do with this post? Zimmerman never invoked a stand your ground defense at trial.

    • Claude Weaver

      He was originally released from police custody on the basis of Stand Your Ground. It wasn’t until people complained to the police that he was arrested again and formally charged.

      • brif

        You are wrong

        On March 12, 2012, Police Chief Lee turned the investigation over to the State Attorney’s office for review. [98] Lee said there was not enough evidence to arrest Zimmerman. “In this case Mr. Zimmerman has made the statement of self-defense,” Lee said. “Until we can establish probable cause to dispute that, we don’t have the grounds to arrest him.”

      • Anthony Mays

        @Claude. More people like Oliver who do not know the facts pretending to be something they are not!

  • YesMan4

    The “Left’s” biggest problem is DC-funded apologists for the National Security State like Willis and Bob Cesca. There are no discernible values one can get from reading these blogs, and therefore you’re in no position to call for any social change.

    • BillAndersoot

      Yup. National Security State. Scary stuff. Trilateral Commission. Skull and Bones. The Illuminati. Shriners. Those ladies in the red hats. Scary, scary stuff.

  • John David

    The left’s biggest problems revolve around mainstream democrats. I’ve given up on the Democratic Party as a platform to advance ideas and take charge of the debate.

    You’re absolutely right….most of the left have become reactionaries flipping from outrage to outrage. The right wing assault has many fronts.

    But there is hope…

    Take the “flat-tax” idea. Right wiingers love it. I say the left should embrace it, too. But only for the corporate tax code. The left should start pushing 10% flat corporate tax bills through the Senate immediately. I guarantee a lot of small business owners (who don’t have the access to the kinds of resources that companies like GE & Verizon benefit from) would support such a plan. There’s no good reason why Verizon should get a multi-million dollar tax refund when Joe’s Small Company with 15 employees has to pay 30%. You get big business to bite on it by offering a 5% tax haven opportunity to bring home the billions a lot of major corporations have sitting idle overseas.

    A proposal like this would have business owners talking. I’d be willing to bet it could generate a lot of support, and split the business community. Canada did something similar years ago (they set a 20% rate), and have been very, very successful. They actually collect more taxes as a percent of GDP.

    Progressives in the Senate could then implement (with a straight face) a campaign for 2014 that promises “America is Open for Business Again”. This would also give the left a great opportunity to extol the benefits of the personal progressive income tax code.

    A bill that will be successful should have ZERO subsidies or other specific industry perks. It’s got to be simple so Joe-Six Pack Construction Company Guy can understand it, and no more of the “pass the bill so you can see what’s in it” BS.

    In short, the left needs to learn how to create simple ideas again. We used to be able to do stuff like this back in the 1930s and in the 1960s. But, over the decades a lot of mainstream democrats have been bought off or are scared to upset the status quo.

    The opportunities to go on attack, and set the agenda are there. Our fricking mainstream democrats need to put down the phone and stop the non-stop fundraising and get to work.

    • BillAndersoot

      You’re talking about applying a lefty version of the Buckley Rule to the Democratic Party. Probably not going to happen. Believe it or not, most Dems are centrists. By choice.

      • zombie377

        Because you are a Patriotic American who loves his community and his family and will gladly pitch in a few dollars to make them better.

        • BillAndersoot

          I’d love to know what you do for a living, Mr. This-Is-So-Simple. Very obviously you don’t own a small business or you’d understand why that statement is both condescending and simpleminded. I’m already pitching in a few dollars. I provide employment in my community and I support other local businesses. You don’t think that’s enough? Start your own business. Do it your way. You don’t have a clue.

          • zombie377

            Never mind, go buy some teabags. A response like that negates any good things you said below. Patriotism is not good enough? That’s “both condescending and simple-minded?” Why is the very idea of putting all people who work hard on the same scale simple-minded? What I do for a living is completely irrelevant to my statement. I might as well ask you why you’re such a bitter old man. Don’t bother replying, your story has grown tiresome.

          • BillAndersoot

            Pussy.

          • http://frothslosh.typepad.com/ Ol Froth

            Moocher

      • Tyro

        Why do you hate Flat Taxes and support our complex tax code which is Hundreds of Thousands of Pages Long? Why do you hate America and our founders?

        • BillAndersoot

          Why do you love logical fallacy?

        • Zython

          Edit: Nevermind.

    • Patrick Grady

      “The left should start pushing 10% flat corporate tax bills through the Senate immediately.”

      Brilliant.

      Article 1, Section 7: All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

      But this administration and its various tentacles haven’t shown any regard for the Constitution up to now, so we can probably expect this very thing in reasonably short order.