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August 08, 2011 11:19 PM UTC

Progressive Democrats Of America "banned" me for talking about an Obama Primary

  • by: John H Kennedy

I am a 46 year Democratic voter who was recently “banned” from the ACCOUNTABILITY & JUSTICE DISCUSSION GROUP (a google group) run by the Progressive Democrats Of America.  I was a long time member of that PDA group and had organized over 150 Impeach Bush-Cheney protests in Denver, CO and published the website.

MY CRIME?  I posted the following email to the PDA google group  and was immediately “banned” from the group.

National Officers of PDA have said that they have not yet decided whether PDA will support Barack Obama for reelection…in fact they go so far as to say that “only the members” can decide that… however, my “banning” by these officers seems to suggest that “they” will not tolerate any threat to their standing within the Democratic establishment or any threat to Obama’s reelection.

Censoring of PDA member’s speech or banning of certain topics from discussion is certainly not something any Democrat would expect PDA to be involved in.

I get the impression that PDA Officers will fight against a Primary regardless of what any member wants.

Perhaps the part of PDA that is “inside” the party has now become part of the Party establishment. and is no longer as tolerant as when we were the “big tent” party.

The email that got me banned:


[PDA Accountability] We need to discuss a Democratic Presidential Primary for Obama

Thursday, July 21, 2011 3:18 PM

From:”John H Kennedy” protestinthestreet

To:”PDA A&J” pda-accountability

I believe we should discuss finding a primary challenger for Obama.

Information is coming to light that indicates that Obama has planned to cut our Nation’s Social Safety Net for a long time, since before 2008 by some accounts and certainly since right after his inauguration.

Defending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are ‘the’ key planks of the Democratic Party.  If Obama pushes to cut them, it suggests he was Never a true Democrat.  Voters and the rank and file of the Democratic Party need to understand before Nov. 2012, Just ‘What Democratic Party Principles’ Obama will Pledge to support and fight for, if any.  It would be best for the political health of the party if this is accomplished in a Democratic Primary.

The ‘only’ way we can determine his position on issues is to have him challenged by a Lefty Democrat.  Someone who is not necessarily a nationally known figure but more important someone who is well spoken and well versed in defending liberal and progressive issues.  The idea is to force Obama to reveal to voters just which party he aligns with and force him to take positions on our platform issues.

With the general disappointment with Obama, a well spoken challenger might have a chance.  At the very least such debates would go a long way to helping our rank and file understand Obama’s positions on issues important to us and would very possibly force Obama to move Left on some issues.

I would very much like to hear what you all think about this.  I realize it is a touchy issue but I believe the time has come for all of us to deal with it openly.

John H Kennedy


720-384-7084 A lifelong Democratic voter.



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Has anyone else had a similar experience with PDA?



21 thoughts on “Progressive Democrats Of America “banned” me for talking about an Obama Primary

  1. I know I may be at risk of incurring your wrath by disagreeing with you, John. But, when I offer criticism, especially that which is meant to be constructive, I put my name on it.

    In my opinion, it is not what you are advocating that makes people turn you away or turn away from you, it is your approach to doing so. And there are a lot of different examples that I could point to, but in the interest of brevity, I will focus on one point.

    For as long as I have known you or known of you, I have never seen you work in support of anything, I’ve only ever seen you oppose things.

    Now, I am not a part of the group that you are referencing, so I can’t say for sure, but I would imagine that you were removed because you have demonstrated a continuing pattern of attempting to damage the party in order to accomplish your personal wishes. Your latest campaign to seek a primary challenge against the President is just another example of this.

    And on that point, if you want respect, you have to show it. Refer to the President as the President, or President Obama. He is the President of the United States, and if you can’t respect him, at least respect the office.

    If you want people to actually listen to you, put your time and energy towards supporting something or someone that you believe in, instead of simply opposing the anything and everything that doesn’t live up to your standards and expectations.

    When you fight against something, people will often stand beside you, but only by fighting for something will people stand behind you.

    Find something or someone to fight for, John. You’ll be happier and more successful that way. At least, that’s my opinion.

      1. …Why not actually post it, instead of just your side?

        I know, it’s a radical idea, but it’s just crazy enough that it might work!

  2. (and been banned from one or two) And I gotta say, your post is incomplete. It doesn’t go into your history with the group, whether or not they warned you, whether or not they gave you a reason for the ban, and whether or not you ever actually participated in what they were doing instead of complaining about Democrats.

    I mean, I got a ton of sympathy for lefties. I’m pretty left wing myself in a lot of ways, and I think the world could use a few more angry liberals to balance out the angry neocons. But dude, you’re one of the best advocates Republicans have on Colorado Pols. You manage to exclusively trash Democrats AND make Democrats look like nutjobs by being one while acting like a nutjob.

    Maybe they overreached, but I kinda doubt it. Honestly, I’d ban you too for being an unwitting Republican recruiter!

    1. by trying to denigrate one of the few rank and file Democrats who are trying to push the Democratic Party elites to fight for the Base and our platforms????    Eh?

      Commenting when you have “absolutely no experience” with the particular situation just makes YOU look foolish.

    2. It seems like a dead certainty you came across there as just as much of a deranged crank as you do here.

      See, what you don’t get is that the First Amendment protects not only expressing a view, but the right to associate with those whose politics you agree with.  So, what a shocker — you vocally oppose a democratic president and a “Democrats” group doesn’t want to play with you any longer?  Experiments for you:

      * Join Greenpeace and crank out on their listserv about how climate change is bullshit.

      * Join Focus on the Family and pen odes to gay rights on their listserv.

      I was going to end with “you get the point” – but I’m sure you don’t get it at all.

        1. We just have different ways of getting there. I think Andrew makes an excellent point. People are attracted to positive movements, not negative. People want to be inspired into a new direction; not looking through the rear-view mirror, or attacking another driver’s handling of the wheel.

          Your heart is in the right place. You care a lot — it’s just the anger that scares people. I think the world of your daily fight against the US using torture, among other things.

          I know you disagree, but I personally believe our President’s heart is in the right place, too, although his actions may not be as far left as many of us want them to be. I think he is a good man. JMHO.


          1. Lawyers..GITMO’s still open, didn’t stop the Wars which are bleeding our economy..etc, etc.

            The Democratic rank and file is angry that we donate to and work for the election of a Democratic President who rules as a Moderate Republican.  What is the point of voting?

            Thanks for also changing the subject and attacking the messenger.  But that is not surprising for someone who helped Obama steal the 2010 Colorado Democratic Senate nomination for Wall Streeter Michael Bennet

            1. I’ll say again I respect your passion and your principles. I feel the same way you do on most, if not all, of the issues. Where we disagree is how to get from here to there. I don’t think it is realistic to demand a farther-left President. I think he is pretty much centrist in the Dem party, whether we like it or not. He listens to both sides, compromises, and mediates. I’m willing to live with his style. In the short run, it is frustrating that he listens to the other side so much. In the long run, I believe it is about changing the partisan toxicity of government for him, rather than about getting his way. Clearly, you don’t agree. I hope someday you and I can agree to disagree.  

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