Dept. of Missing the Entire Point


17 comments posted
Forgive me if I don't remember...

but how do you stand on the Green Party? We can't win rigged elections, so maybe women should take the long view and join the Green Wave?

Support the Women's Autonomy and Sexual Sovereignty Movements

Morgaine Swann's picture
Posted by Morgaine Swann on 20 February 2006 - 1:28am
Simon Speaks
The Democratic Party today has not one idea or plan or initiative or position to offer the people except:

"We're against the Republicans ... at least some of the time."

Find the plan

But given that in Mid-February the President has dropped below 40 percent, their weak agenda has nowhere to go, foreign policy and security issues are as likely to be as damaging to them as helpful, and the criminal cases against their leadership will spread and deepen, I think even the skeptics have to now acknowledge that 2006 is likely to become an historically bad year for the governing party.

And that's why we need to stay focused on the big prize here - weakening the capacity of the GOP/conservative coalition from implementing their reckless agenda that is weakening our great country.

"We dont need no stinking plan... or leadership...let's just watch them implode and.... weaken them a little bit"


postdated's picture
Posted by postdated (not verified) on 20 February 2006 - 9:12am
I'll Be Voting Green...

...for Governor this year. The Demos can take their scare stories about the Right-wing clown who almost won last time and is itching to run again and cram them. Maybe if the clown wins, more complacent liberals obsessed with looking sensitive so long as they don't have to pony up any time or money or interact with us scary "fringe" types will finally get up off their duffs and DO something !!

Besides, nobody is holding a gun to the Demo voters' heads and ordering them to choose between staying home or voting for the usual colorless panderers again. I'm not the one "spoiling" things by taking a stand;They're the ones "spoiling" their own party by refusing to take a stand.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 21 February 2006 - 3:38pm

the sweet sound of marginalization.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 21 February 2006 - 4:09pm
Beware the Margins, Mr. South...

I sense that you are as frightened of the supposed powerless fringe as your masters are. Otherwise, you wouldn't be here trying to sweet-talk an increasing number of discontented, betrayed women roped and tied to your misogynist superiors.

However, I am always happy to serve as a bully's online doormat. Sure, the pay isn't worth shit, but at least I can set my own hours and have long lunch breaks.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 21 February 2006 - 7:06pm
fight or flight ?

You can run to another party or stay and fight for control of your party. However, you might want to think about how hard it is for a 3rd party to win in the United States (virtually impossible). You might also want to think about why the Greens have never been successful. What do you think will miraculously change?

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 22 February 2006 - 12:10am
If You Think That 3rd Parties Change Nothing... are woefully, and willfully, ignorant of U.S. History. Go Google Alice Paul, Eugene Debs, Bob LaFollette. Learn something, and stop regurgitating the version of history doled out by the duopoly, for they are the "winners" in modern life. Winners get to write the most accessable version of history, but in the internet age, there is no excuse for accepting their bland, pre-chewed pablum as the only meal in town.

Get over yourself, Southy. There is no "my party." What part of "I don't belong to the DP" don't you understand ? There is no hope for these people. Scumbags battle for "control" and scumbags get control. Why would I want to be one of them ?

The Greens have been unsuccessful because too many liberals have no guts and too many non-voters are too discouraged to take a chance at jumping into the fray. As for you, I think you need to make up your mind: You snicker at my "marginalization," and yet you are here talking to me as if my absence or presence in the shit-filled "big tent" meant something. You can't have it both ways. Either the "margins" can be ignored because they cannot aid in victory-- or they are essential to victory and must be given something of substance before they will return. Which is it, Southwind ?

Are feminists necessary to victory for the DP ? Your leaders don't seem to think so. They are abusing women and daring us to walk away. I already have. Let's see how many others do, since it's more clear with each passing cycle that DP leadership cares nothing about them.

And again, you are clearly scared of "the margins" or you wouldn't be talking to me. A creature doomed to utter insignifigance would be beneath your notice. But here you are talking to me. I also gather that you approve of 3rd Parties being made to jump impossible hurdles due to the new measures being peddled by opportunistic fuckwits like Barney Frank. You are all about democracy-- as long as it's kept strictly for the Big Two.

I'd rather be on the margins than utterly bereft of morals, as you obviously are. If I can't have a Party of my own, may I live long enough to see yours get the drubbing and death that it has so richly deserved for so long. May I live long enough to have some small part in its death. Your party is hurting and killing people like me. It deserves punishment, and plenty of it.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 22 February 2006 - 11:36am
Clinton won thanks to third parties

Third parties are a reality. The only drawback is that our winner-take-all system doesn't allow for coalitions.

But Clinton would never have won either election without Ross Perot. And I daresay Clinton's successes would not have happened without Perot's pushing on the insanity of Republican spending.

Who's our Ross Perot today? Bush makes go-deeper-into-national-debt Reagan look like a miser by comparison. Who's going to save America from the Republicans this time?

Hillary Clinton? Who cannot take a stand on anything?

Warner, mister I-got-lucky-on-telecom?

Maybe some good ol' forced-pregnancy Dixie Dem who'll make all the big-money Texans feel comfortable on their 100,000 acre ranches?

What do the Democrats stand for, anyway? (I keep asking, and nobody ever has a credible answer.) If they don't stand for anything, then why should John Q and Jane Q Public vote for them? Why?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 22 February 2006 - 10:42pm
How about some definitions?
What do the Democrats stand for, anyway? (I keep asking, and nobody ever has a credible answer.)

What would constitute "a credible answer"? Could I possibly give an answer you would consider credible? Could Southern Male?

Is your definition of "credible answer" one that 100% of Democratic candidates support? I can't think of anything that would fit that criteria; no broad-based political party is so monolithic, not even the Republicans, because all Americans are widely varying in their values. The best you can do, in my opinion, is say "here are the values and principles the Democratic Party, in general, stands for". Individual Democrats will stand for more or fewer of these general principles; the decision each voter must make is which party or which candidate best represents their personal values, given that it is highly unlikely that the correspondence will be 100%. In some cases it might turn into a choice between one candidate who agrees with you 10% and another who agrees with you 20%. I don't think it's constructive in that situation to decide to stay home. I'm not lecturing, I'm just giving my opinion.

I hate the winner-take-all system too. I think the country would be much better served, and the people would be more engaged in their government, if we went to a proportional-representation system of some sort. The fact however is that we have a winner-take-all system this year, and for the forseeable future; and I would much rather see Democrats take all than Republicans, if those are my only two choices.

I don't think that Democrats "don't stand for anything". I think all candidates stand for something. Some of them (apparently) stand for getting re-elected or doing the bidding of corporate lobbyists; those candidates should be rejected, no matter what party they are attached to, and I think in general they are. But what constitutes "standing for something"? Does it mean falling on your sword when faced with a losing vote, even if it means going against your constituents' wishes? How far must one go in order to "stand for something"? Does "standing for something" mean you never compromise, never try to form coalitions, never horse-trade votes? I think there are very very few politicians who will "stand for something" in that way. I'm not even sure that the late, lamented Paul Wellstone, whose voice is sorely missed in the Senate, was such a 100-percenter. Maybe that says something about our political class more than anything else; but again I have to ask, what is the alternative? Do we wait for the revolution, or try to make do with what we have?

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 23 February 2006 - 3:47pm
The alternative is this

Don't vote. That's what more people do than vote for either party. Such is the underwhelming appeal of these establishment institutions. And you know what? Sneering at them and beating up on them are not going to get them to go out and vote for your party.

It takes vision to win, and vision is something the Democrats have shied away from since Bobby Kennedy. We've seen the results: one two-term president in 5 decades.

What does the party stand for? Your suggestion that they're not supposed to stand for anything is quite curious, but I suppose it explains why you're a party booster: Little things like values and principles and fundamental issues don't seem to interest you.

I think most people think differently.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 February 2006 - 4:32pm

Has anyone noticed how oddly the debate over voting for the Democrats has evolved. There are four options available for the disillusioned. First, shut up and vote for Dems under the umbrella of party unity. Not particularly appealing to the disillusioned. Second, join or form a 3rd party. Not terribly likely to be effective. Third, don't vote at all. Even less likely to beffective as the Dems don't need your votes to stay in power as a powerful opposition party. (and yes many of the power hungry will accept second place) Fourth, concentrate all of your resources on overturning the established Dem power structure. This doesn't mean voring for all their candidates. However, it will require contact with the party.

I find it ineresting that no one is really considering option 4. It worked rather well for the neocons and is the most likely path to power. It is much easier to take over an existing power structure than it is to create a competing one. Especially in the US two party system.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 23 February 2006 - 5:20pm
And how would one do that?

By voting for right wingers and their ilk?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 February 2006 - 5:46pm

The democratic party is extremely vulnerable in their primary system. The establishment is not set up for long hard fights against determined opponents in primaries. This is especially true, becuase only the most hard core voters turn out for a primary. Thus, a small group can have an inordinate impact in the primaries. This is why the Dem leadership spend so much of its time trying to keep the primaries stable. Their greatest nightmare is multiple strong primary challenges to current Dem incumbents. Most candidates are not well funded for a primary fight and are rarely well prepared.

You will have the best chance of electing candidates that agree with your position by focusing on the more liberal Dem strongholds. Ignore the swing states. Concentrate on removing Dems from the so called safe seats and replacing them with those that will support your ideology.

The demographic characteristics of the liberal voter base will actually work to your advantage. Liberal voters tend to live in demographically dense urban areas. This makes it much easier to organize a strong primary voting bloc. The Dem party is actually rather weak internally. I'm quite surprised that the liberal base has not tried the same kind of internal party revolution that the conservative base did to the Republicans.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 24 February 2006 - 1:08am
I Live In A Liberal Stronghold

Or so they tell me, robbie. Watching how that's working out for the less privileged here in town is a big reason why I don't believe your strategy is worth very much. A big trouble with modern liberalism is how readily it welds the appearance of love for humanity with an equal love for cutthroat economic values that actually undermine the humanistic values it claims to champion. Thus I am so often treated to the sight of "liberal" Democrats wanting the cops to crack down on the homeless, but not wanting their precious taxes to go up to pay for homeless shelters. My "liberal" state has regressive property tax laws that don't bill a guy who owns ten paper factories a bigger percentage of his income than they bill me. This leads to no end of entertainment every year when school funding comes up. These are just a couple of examples.

Having studied the trajectory of the Rainbow Coalition and similar efforts at "reforming" the Democrats I have reached the conclusion that you might just as well try and "reform" the Catholic Church or Wal-Mart by infiltration from the ground-up-- or whatever catchy buzz term you want to use. The DP is not itself democratic. It is a top-down organization hopelessly addicted to corporate money. It is all too ready to stomp on outside challenges to its power even as it stumbles toward yet another Diebold-rigged debacle on par with the last one.

It's not worth my time to save it, because it doesn't represent me. Any pretense of doing so is fading a bit more with each passing day. Do you really think that the DP masters don't know that queers, feminists, Union members, etc. hate being treated this way ? That it's the fault of the rank and file in these groups that they are treated so poorly because they just haven't made it clear enough to the likes of HRC and Biden that their interests are being served ? That they just haven't ponied up enough time in the trenches ? Enough cash ? They just aren't deep enough in the party infrastructure to exert meaningful influence ?

Bullshit. We're being treated like shit because A) Our would-be reformers/leaders from various groups are more interested in "access" to power, with its prestige and attendent perks than they are in aggressively pursuing real change that might anger DP leaders-- thus shutting off the spigot; and B) No matter how much AFSCME, NARAL, NOW, etc. raise for Democrats, it can never hope to compete with the vastly larger sums raised by corporations. Don't believe me ? Go spend an hour on next time you have an hour to kill.

In short, the DP is being spoiled with too much forgiveness and too much kindness. It doesn't need any more coddling. It needs to be called out.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 24 February 2006 - 12:11pm
There's a difference between "calling out"

and "calling for extermination".

I agree with you, there are many instances of "liberal" Democrats supporting illiberal things. And we've taken some steps backwards in the past 25 years (some giant ones). We've also discovered new injustices to deal with; outsourcing, LGBT discrimination, declining power of unions, increasingly unaccountable leaders, these things weren't the huge issues they've become in the last 25 years (as far as I know, tell me if I'm wrong). The influence of big money on the political process has been an issue since before the Revolution, I doubt we're suddenly going to fix that one this fall.

I don't have the answers for all these issues, I'm just one computer programmer in Dallas. What I do say, is I think it's going to be far easier to work within the system to change it than to go outside it and call for another Revolution. That's all. I think the injustices are fixable, maybe not all at once, and probably (OK, certainly) not as fast as we'd like. The first step in that process is to get people who Don't Vote to become people who Do Vote. I don't care who they vote for, write in Kermit the Frog, whatever, but be a part of the process and figure out what you want your government to do; I think most people who Don't Vote don't think about that stuff, and at least one of them is one of my co-workers. I'm working on him all the time. The second step is to think about how best to get your governmental agenda implemented once you've figured out what that is. I happen to think that there is enough support within the Democratic Party to do that, or if not it can be guided that way, and you don't. That's fine.

But that's also the disunity we keep hearing about; if only your side would support the efforts to work within the party, my way would succeed, and if only my side would accept your view that the party is useless and we need to start fresh outside it, your way would succeed. So here we are, arguing against each other because we support the same thing. Meanwhile the Republicans are laughing all the way to their cherished daddy-state. How do we get out of this one?

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 24 February 2006 - 12:49pm
I have my answers then

Q: Is your definition of "credible answer" one that 100% of Democratic candidates support?

A: Yes.

Q: Does "standing for something" mean you never compromise, never try to form coalitions, never horse-trade votes?

A: Yes.

Thank you! Now I know where you stand. I don't have to waste any more time figuring out why when I said "no broad-based political party is so monolithic, not even the Republicans, because all Americans are widely varying in their values" you heard a "suggestion that they're not supposed to stand for anything", and how "I think there are very very few politicians who will "stand for something" in that way" translated into "Little things like values and principles and fundamental issues don't seem to interest you".

I had this whole big essay ready to post on why I think Not Voting is not a good approach. But really, if you don't buy in to the political process in the first place, there's no point trying to convince you. If you don't believe in American democracy, not only does Not Voting make sense, but I think you're advocating armed Revolution because by definition that's the only way, the ONLY way, you're going to get your agenda implemented. If the established order is so corrupted as to be irredeemable, it's just pointless masochism to sit there and take it.

Have fun!

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 24 February 2006 - 12:07pm
Do You Really Think...

...that the DLC is not also laughing at us, right alongside their Republican colleauges ?

I guess you're all right with calling out people who hurt us. Hurting them back, though ? That's wrong.

Enjoy your rehabilitation project, rob. I'm not interested.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 24 February 2006 - 2:52pm