Dear Neoliberal Punditry: The Gaslighting Must End

The Clinton machine embraced gaslighting from the very beginning. Triangulating to effectuate his “Third Way” policy of “talk left, walk right,” a charismatic Bill Clinton led Progressives down the primrose path. A few examples:

  • Welfare reform
  • Weakening the Glass-Steagull regulatory schema for division of investment & commercial banking (Financial Services Modernization Act)
  • Bullying Haiti, the Caribbean & Africa for trade concessions

Although Hillary’s second Presidential election loss should clearly indicate it’s time for a new candidate and a break with the Clintons, the Democratic Party steadfastly refuses to conduct even a modicum of introspection.

“Purity” politics

“Bros For America” (formerly “Bros For Hillary”) put out yet another screed deriding Progressives. “In Order To Win Elections, Democrats Must Vote Together” brings to mind “I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me.

Rachel Murphy Azzara started in right out of the gate:

No doubt this is going to ruffle some feathers, but it’s long past time for a collective wake up call. And being woke means not only understanding what’s happening, but understanding what needs to happen and how to achieve it. There is no learning curve and there is no time to waste stuck in an ideological quagmire that has no practical application to the current political climate.

Barreling forward with righteous noblesse oblige, Azzara proceeded to DemSplain the utter irrelevance of any point of view outside of Neoliberal status quo: Trump’s victory came down to election “interference” & ideologues on the Left.

Erasure of Progressives

Azzara follows the centrist “New Democrat” perspective, borrowing a page from Saul Alinsky’s playbook in an ongoing quest to marginalize Progressives.

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

Azzara applied this “muddying” tactic to delegitimize.

There is no “pure” progressive ideal. There are only platform benchmarks that we collectively associate as generally liberal or conservative. ‘Left’ and ‘right’ are really just words, subjective descriptors. Left of what? Right of what? The GOP did everything they could to stonewall President Obama, and now they will dismantle his every last achievement. They won’t stop there. Every act of destruction erases those benchmarks of progress and moves the partisan dial further right.

Alinsky inspired gaslighting AND implying that Obama walked on water only to be stymied by the evil GOP: We have entered the realm of political fiction.

Pièce de résistance

In closing, Azzara hits condescension overdrive:

There was nothing normal about this election cycle. Personally, I believe Bernie did a disservice to his supporters by letting them believe this country was ready for a far Left “Revolution,” that moderates and centrists were the enemy and lacked integrity. That said, I think that division and misdirection were very much by design, initiated and exacerbated by the GOP and Russia’s active measures.

So: 1. Bernie is bad, 2. His supporters are dumb, 3. “Moderates” & “centrists” are model citizens, 4. The evil GOP & Russia are in cahoots

It’s hard to know what would have happened without those factors weaponizing us against each other. But, it is time to shake off those influences and come together as a coalition with undivided purpose — winning elections. We can’t do this by dividing our support among candidates who reflect our personal ideologies, but by the tenets of democracy. It’s time to show what a cohesive majority can do

So: 1. Forget any beliefs you may hold & join the people who have reviled & disparaged you, 2. Join the Groupthink focused only on “winning,” 3. Your personal beliefs were not democratic, 4. Bow down to the “cohesive majority”


Sadly, Azzara is just one of many Dems holding these views. Progressives must avoid losing everything they hold dear to a group of Neoliberal corporatist bullies. There can be no solidarity with people who continually piss in your face & tell you it’s raining.