Democrats and Republicans resort to strong-arm tactics


7 comments posted
you miss the point. i am a

you miss the point. i am a democrat because i want to be one. i need them to use my data to make sure nothing funny happens. they are not invading the privacy of proud members who are a part of their organization. they need to use all the tech possible to help turn us out on election day and get donations. hillary is ust leading on the issue. she knows what needs to be dona and dean should listen. hillary knows how to win.

billy's picture
Posted by billy (not verified) on 8 March 2006 - 9:19pm
One of the things I heard happened the end of the 2004 election is that the Dems took back all those Palms they gave out to the volunteers for them to network into the communities and get out the vote.

The Dems cut off their biggest boosters, the people who were working for free and sharing of their contacts, in order to save a few bucks.

And now they want to give Joe Insider millions of dollars to build a data mining network to do what they could have done with the people in place and even Open Source solutions.

I don't miss the point. I see that they are being stupid, and it arises out of contempt for the real grassroots. Contempt and mistrust and perhaps a little fear.

Hillary knows how to win? Well, she can win in NY. We'll see about nation-wide. So far, every time she talks I think she loses supporters. Whatever focus-group-tested talking point she's on this week, I don't know if she is lying or not, because I don't think she really believes anything she says. A lot of disillusionment on the part of many people when it comes to Hillary.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 8 March 2006 - 11:36pm
Coming at it all backwrds

Leadership on issues is not done by focus groups. Surely we do need to get the pulse on things and focus group let us know if we are saying things understandably, but that does not mean we cave in.

I go back to John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address (1961) and he speaks to this,

To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required-not because the Communists are doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If the free society cannot help the many who are poor, it can never save the few who are rich.

emphasis mine

Articulating clearly, the antithesis of what later would be called Reaganomics, Kennedy understood that leadership was not the result of focus groups, though he was wise enough to know which issues had to be fought for.

To tailor message to mass market appeal is not the hallmark of a leader, it is the stock and trade of the propagandist - the manipulator who seeks to rule through spin.

Conservative have a home court advantage. The conservative view is that things should stay as they are. Progressives have to make the case for change.

The part that is ironic is, in the midst of all the conservative rhetoric, the changes they have brought to the Republic are monumental. The progressives, for all their talk of change, are playing the old cards.

The value of the data is to learn how to weave messages that will get people to vote against their own best interests.

If there ever were leadership of the caliber of JFK, we would see a very different political landscape and a much more interesting election.

We'll see if that will ever come to pass again.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 9 March 2006 - 11:26am
NDN and Democracy Alliance

I wrote a little ditty about the history of how this came to be.

The Dreadful Alliance of out of step DLCers and the Bleating Blogging Boyos who want to "BE THE ESTABLISHMENT".

Rosenberg and NDN lead the way forming the Democracy Alliance

Now Democracy Alliance is helping Ickes Hilliary PAC manager to privatize the Democratic database giving Hilliary and who ever happens to have enough money to buy it a leading edge... or it can be used to keep out the rift raft, which is Rosenberg true forte

Simon Rosenberg, the former field director for the DLC who directs the New Democrat Network, a spin-off political action committee, says, "We're trying to raise money to help them lessen their reliance on traditional interest groups in the Democratic Party. In that way," he adds, "they are ideologically freed, frankly, from taking positions that make it difficult for Democrats to win."

A Business-Led Party


Privately funded and operating as an extraparty organization without official Democratic sanction, and calling themselves "New Democrats," the DLC sought nothing less than the miraculous: the transubstantiation of America's oldest political party. Though the DLC painted itself using the palette of the liberal left--as "an effort to revive the Democratic Party's progressive tradition," with New Democrats being the "trustees of the real tradition of the Democratic Party"--its mission was far more confrontational. With few resources, and taking heavy flak from the big guns of the Democratic left, the DLC proclaimed its intention, Mighty Mouse–style, to rescue the Democratic Party from the influence of 1960s-era activists and the AFL-CIO, to ease its identification with hot-button social issues, and, perhaps most centrally, to reinvent the party as one pledged to fiscal restraint, less government, and a probusiness, pro–free market outlook.


To many up-and-coming politicians, NDN's events are heaven-sent forums at which they can strut their stuff and ring up contributors. Case in point: Tom Carper, the newly elected senator from Delaware. Last year, NDN raised $55,000 for Carper's Senate race. But it provided an intangible benefit as well. "He's a believer," says Rosenberg. "In addition to all the support we gave him, he'd come to a lot of our other fundraisers, and he was able to meet a lot of new people and develop new contacts. That's one of the reasons why so many elected officials come to our events." For politicians like Carper, NDN is a pipeline for campaign contributions. For donors, NDN provides precertification that none of the politicians are noisy populists. "The candidates are validated to people in the room as New Democrats," says Rosenberg.


To ensure that liberals don't slip through the cracks, NDN requires each politician who seeks entree to its largesse and contacts to fill out a questionnaire that asks his or her views on trade, economics, education, welfare reform, and other issues. The questions are detailed, forcing candidates to state clearly whether or not they support views associated with the New Democrat Coalition, and it concludes by asking, "Will you join the NDC when you come to Congress?" Next, Rosenberg interviews each candidate, and then NDN determines which candidacies are viable before providing financial support.

There is no way that NDN aka Democracy Alliance and Ickes aka Hilliary's Bud will use this information for ALL of the Democratic party. It will be just another tool in Rosenberg, NDN, DLC arsenal to weed out those pesky libruls in the Democratic Party along with their issues and ideologies.

parker's picture
Posted by parker (not verified) on 9 March 2006 - 5:08am
I cannot believe that Democrats and democrats

...and even Kosniks would not find all this rather creepy.

Are pseudonyms matched with IP addresses with browser cookies to develop political profiles of people who visit these websites? When you give money using an aligned website, is your credit info integrated into the database, too?

When the parties seem to have so little respect for privacy when it comes to their own aggrandizement, one has to wonder: In this day and age of unrestrained executive power, what's to keep the parties to use this info against citizens? We hear "litmus test" bandied about on the Big Box Blogs all the time. What is this data mining but an effort to profile everyone's political views?

You find in the mail--
Hi, Robin!

We see that last week you participated in an online discussion about abortion! (We know you were being anonymous. Your secret is safe with us!)

We're delighted to have signed you up for our abortion newsletter! You don't need to do anything! $250 will automatically be deducted from your bank account every month!


[small print]To opt out of this program, visit and fill out the detailed application to get de-listed. Your appeal will be reviewed by the Authorities for correctness of views. If approved, you will be unsubscribed from this program in 8-12 weeks, and will cost you only $400.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 9 March 2006 - 8:40am
Garance Franke-Ruta alluded to this crap last month

What people are failing to see is that not only will the data be for "Their Eyes Only" it will also be used to set the agenda and tone of the Democratic Party.

In the great debate about how Democrats can stage a comeback (beyond simply waiting for the coming Republican implosion that never seems to arrive), American Environics rejected some of the more popular recommendations out there. Rather than focusing on reframing the Democratic message, as Berkeley linguistics and cognitive science professor George Lakoff has recommended, or on redoubling Democratic efforts to persuade Americans to become economic populists, as another school of thought suggests, the American Environics team argued that the way to move voters on progressive issues is to sometimes set aside policies in favor of values. By focusing on “bridge values,� they say, progressives can reach out to constituents of opportunity who share certain fundamental beliefs, even if the targeted parties don’t necessarily share progressives’ every last goal. In that assessment, Shellenberger and Nordhaus are representative of an increasingly influential school of thought within the Democratic Party.

By the beginning of fall 2005, American Environics had presented its data to key Democratic leaders and a who’s who of Democratic interest groups: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the NDN (formerly the New Democratic Network), Third Way, Planned Parenthood, the Center for American Progress, People for the American Way, the Economic Policy Institute, and OMB Watch. They did so quietly, swearing their viewers to silence. (They will be releasing the data publicly early in 2006.) Few media outlets saw the presentations, but the Prospect was given an early copy of their research.

The data contradicted the slew of polls that show Americans to be strong supporters of Democratic issue positions, such as universal health care, despite voting habits that have made Republicans the dominant political actors. Instead, American Environics’ extensive plumbing of Americans’ attitudes laid out a darker, more nuanced vision of what the nation actually believes. Far from being a purely dour assessment, though, in it can be found the seeds of a new understanding of the interrelationship of culture, the economy, and politics -- broadly defined -- that should give progressives hope.

It just so happens that data collected by Mr. Mary Maitlin polling firm says that Democrats should be more like Republicans and no one is interested in their issues and ideologies.


The new data have convinced even the most skeptical that an approach that worked in the industrial age is not as suited to the new, globalized information-era economy, where isolated voters look first at character as they assess candidates. Last August, for example, the Democracy Corps political polling firm released a memo that sharply diverged from the firm’s usual reports on such generic Democratic concerns as jobs, prescription drug benefits, and heath insurance. In focus groups held among rural voters in Wisconsin and Arkansas, as well as disaffected Bush voters in Kentucky and Colorado, pollsters Karl Agne and Stanley Greenberg found that concerns about a stagnant economy, job security, health-care costs, and the war in Iraq were consistently trumped by questions of values. [ARE YOU BEGINNING TO GET THE PICTURE]

“[A]s powerful as the concern over [economic] issues is, the introduction of cultural themes -- specifically gay marriage, abortion, the importance of the traditional family unit, and the role of religion in public life -- quickly renders them almost irrelevant in terms of electoral politics at the national level,� Agne and Greenberg wrote. “Particularly among non-college educated voters, cultural issues not only superseded other concerns, they served as a proxy for many voters on those other issues.�

When it came to defining themselves in the nation’s ongoing cultural battles -- such as the battle over “family values� -- Democrats had virtually ceded the field to Republicans, presenting an uncertain face to the public. Voters, the research showed, were looking to cultural and lifestyle markers to determine whether or not a candidate was, in fact, going to do right by the economy, the Democrats’ one persistently strong area. The Democracy Corps pollsters concluded that voters saw traditional Democratic economic concerns as having little to do with them, being mainly “manifested in costly government social programs or political alliances with labor unions and minorities.� The party’s inattentiveness to cultural matters had, paradoxically, left these voters with “absolutely no sense that Democrats have a viable alternative vision that would truly promote broad economic growth or increased prosperity for working Americans.�

In otherword "He who owns the data gets to make shit up"

parker's picture
Posted by parker (not verified) on 9 March 2006 - 9:12am
Surphised ? Why ?

I'm not. As a voter for an Indy candidate in 2004, the fact that the Democrats are capable of strong-arm tactics is not news. Let's not forget their attempts to pass measures to close the field to outsider candidates at the statewide level as well. This has already been done successfully in OR.

Why should anyone keep letting Dean off the hook for all this shit, anyway ? Does he have any power at all in the DP or is he just a straw boss meant to provide cover for DLC sleaze-as-usual ? If the latter, why doesn't he just step down and take his supposed liberalism and expertise elsewhere, if he cares soooo much advancing Progressivism.

What a joke.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 9 March 2006 - 12:13pm