How does one get through to "liberals" blinded by privilege?

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31 comments posted
Very true about Dukakis

I had pretty much forgotten that tid bit of the run. And yes, losing ever since. Clinton managed a few things, he did, but the reality was the bookends: on either side of his adminsitration is a Bush and War.

It cratered for years and now the system is really broken. And to be frank, as the Dems spin their wheels (and I did appreciate both Feingold and Durbin today, I truly did) the liberal/left/progressive side is spinning its wheels as well.

Lots of frantic-ness but ...

I hope Gerri's very sad story spreads... it is one way to honor her and her family.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 6 February 2006 - 11:15pm
Maybe it is Ideological Purism

From Bad Feminist:

When feminist bloggers call the right to choose a matter of autonomy over our bodies we may be telling the truth, but anti-abortion policies don't deprive women of physical liberty the way draconian drug laws do. Anti-abortion policies don't deprive women of physical liberty the way inferior research dollars, which allow women (and especially poor women) to physically deteroriate, do. Anti-abortion policies don't deprive women of physical liberty the way abusive partners, who control every aspect of their victims' lives, do. Anti-abortion policies don't deprive women of physical liberty the way that street harassment and fear of violence deprives each and every one of us of the ability to freely move in our own neighborhoods. So why is the right to choose abortion the essential feminist issue? Perhaps, abortion's preeminence is a matter of "ideological purity." It's been so central to the second (third, fourth) wave agenda for so long that it's hard to look past it sometimes and to become innovative about the new issues begging for our attention. If we open our eyes a little wider, however, there are life-and-death struggles waiting for our combined feminist energy around every corner. While I understand that movements need to prioritize, maybe we'll find that abortion isn't our top priority any longer.

Bad_Feminist's picture
Posted by Bad_Feminist (not verified) on 8 February 2006 - 10:08pm
OMG is my meme spreading?

In that other thread I talked about insisting on "ideological purity" as being counterproductive in the struggle for women's rights. I think it's important for me to point out that I did NOT mean that the right of choice should not be a top priority or an essential feminist issue. I can't think of an issue that would be any more important to women than their right to make decisions about what happens to their own bodies. So if I gave that impression, it was not my intent. I myself am 100% pro-choice.

But there are many people in this country that aren't pro-choice, and they are currently in control of the government. My point in that other discussion was that if you try to map out a strategy for success in getting this state of affairs changed, you don't help your cause by saying that you will only support those who are 100% committed to your view in all instances. In the real world, you have to accept compromises in the short term in order to accomplish your goals for the long term. It may be distasteful or counterintuitive or seem hypocritical, but history has so far demonstrated that that is how democracy works.

Or at least that is one way. The other way was demonstrated by the French Revolution, the American Civil War, and to a certain extent the Civil Rights movement. If the established order is not responsive to your views and asking nicely gets you nowhere, you may have to take up arms against it in order to get its attention. I don't know whether you feel like you've reached that point yet (though I do see signs that it might be drawing nearer).

So by all means, remain uncompromising if you feel that is the only way to proceed. You are in good company; Patrick Henry, John Brown, Malcolm X all felt the same. But on their own they did not accomplish the changes they fought for; they had to accept alliance with others of perhaps lesser committment or different priorities in order to achieve the critical mass needed to get things done, and in the end what resulted was not all that they had hoped for.

Let me return to addressing the parent post directly. It is a mistake to characterize the Democratic Party as having given up on women's rights. Quite the contrary: you will find many more supporters of women's rights in the Democratic Party than you will in the Republican. But you are quite right that the Democrats have shied away from the label of "liberal". Ronald Reagan successfully persuaded the public to equate the term "liberal" with dissolution, hedonism, profligacy, and weakness. Dukakis was not strong enough to fight this (nor was Mondale before him, or McGovern before that); the country had already accepted the notion of "northeastern liberals" and "tax-and-spend" Democrats as being un-American in all but name, and to this day has not changed its mind. It is not so much the failure of the Democratic Party to articulate its message, as it is the success of the Republican Party in providing an alternate one that appeals to the majority of Americans (or at least a majority in enough electoral districts to get control of the government). And of course the Republicans have become masters of gaming the electoral system and "working the refs" of the mass media, which has been amply chronicled on other blogs. I have to point out that Bill Clinton, a Democrat, won two elections not so long ago; it's not impossible for a Democrat to succeed in this environment. But that Democrat has have broad appeal across the spectrum of belief in this country; he or she can't be tied down to a handful of strongly-held beliefs that are not at least tacitly agreed to by a majority of the voters, and those voters may make their decision to vote based on other issues than those strongly held by the candidate. Do you see what I'm driving at here?

You don't have to "get through to liberals blinded by privilege." Liberals are the choir, already agreeing with the principle of women's rights. What you have to do is work to give those liberals the ability to put your principles into practice, by helping them secure the votes they need to get bills passed in Congress. You do that by doing whatever it takes to get liberals in positions of leadership in a party, and getting that party into the majority of both houses of Congress. I don't care what party that is, Democratic, Green, Blue, or Flying Spaghetti Monster; but the Democratic Party is already there, already has credibility as a national party, and already has liberals in or close to leadership positions. As long as Democrats that support your principles are a majority of the Democratic Party, it doesn't matter so much whether individual members support one principle in particular; and the larger the majority the Party enjoys, the better it will be able to tolerate individuals going "off-message" or even voting with the other side. The important thing is getting that majority and making it as large as possible. Can you see that?

If you can't, if you can't bring yourself to be pragmatic and try to balance the undeniable (and understandable, and justified) outrage you feel about what appears to be a relegation of women's rights to "just another issue" against the possibility of securing those rights by being a little flexible, then there's not much I can say. I hope you accept that I'm not against you or trying to dissuade you of the importance of women's rights. I am simply trying to point out that I think you are hurting yourself and your cause by lambasting kos and myself for being wimpy, weak-kneed pseudo-liberals blinded by our privilege as men in a man's world. If you would work with the larger movement rather than against it, I think you would be better able to accomplish your goal (which, as I've said, we really do share with you). The choice is up to you.

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 9 February 2006 - 2:54pm
That's precisely the point

Many liberals don't see any importance regarding equality, because they think everything is fine in that area. And many liberals, like Kos, think they can be better dividers than the Republicans, which I feel is a fool's errand. Nobody's going to out-divide the Republicans.

But that's what is happening in the Democratic party. What are forced pregnancy candidates but dividers? Their whole position is based on the premise that women are not entitled to equal rights -- women are just too different and so are only entitled to limited rights.

And still the Democrats lose. For some 20 years the DLC has been pursuing the "pragmatic" approach you are advocating. Look where we are. The Democrats cannot change their losing paradigm until they start standing up and saying, in the face of hot Republican hyperbole, "No, the world is not that way." Trying to win in a political climate where Republicans are defining not just the agenda but the values against which the agenda is measured is futile. And only fools will, in the face of repeated failure, try and try again and expect something different to happen.

The Democrats need to mobilize voters, rather than try to appeal to Karl Rove's well-massaged base. As successful as Rush may be on radio, more people cannot stomach listening to him than people who love him. It's time the Democrats woke up, instead of trying to weasel some more, hoping to be effective by mubling nonsense, offering no vision and taking no stands on anything.

Why is John McCain so popular? Because he speaks his mind. Many people who say they'd vote for him don't even believe in his politics. But they want leaders, and not hedgers, weasels and wimps.

As for Kos, he made his own bed. He doesn't need any help from me.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 10 February 2006 - 12:26am
rob wrote:

rob wrote:

"...but the Democratic Party is already there, already has credibility as a national party, and already has liberals in or close to leadership positions. As long as Democrats that support your principles are a majority of the Democratic Party, it doesn't matter so much whether individual members support one principle in particular;..."

What adamantly pro-choice liberal is in a leadership position in the Democratic Party at this time ?

[cricket noises]

Unfortunately, there is a strong disconnect between what the majority of Democratic rank-and-file profess to want and what their leaders give. Witness Kerry's ascendancy. The man is a fucking hawk who led a party where the majority opposed the war-- led them straight into a wall. Of course, he wiggled out of the way first after he pocketed their money and stole their time. The asshole. He goes merrily on his way, waffling every time he opens his mouth and gleefully collecting privileges that most of us either have never had or are on the verge of losing-- because of his conniving and that of the rest of the DLC's agenda. Make no mistake. These are not misguided or spineless people. They are bad people. Period. They have your party in a deathgrip and they will never let it go.

The Democratic Party is run as a top-down, undemocratic organization, and that is why what the majority of its members want is irrelevant to its leaders. It's also why I've bolted, and I won't be back.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 10 February 2006 - 4:14pm
A problem
The Democratic Party is run as a top-down, undemocratic organization, and that is why what the majority of its members want is irrelevant to its leaders. It's also why I've bolted, and I won't be back.

This is one of my pet peeves lately; to hear progressives, frustrated with the party, shout and claim their taking their toys and going home. I do not agree with LiberalRob, and his notion that you do whatever you have to to win elections - ignore reproductive rights; get in the pockets of big pharma or the big telcos, etc.

Reproductive rights -- health care rights -- aside from being basic human rights are good for the intellectual and economic wellbeing of our country. For those who see this as a necessity to abandon the only party with a hope of protecting those rights is unconscionable.

Does the Democractic party represent progessive ideals? Hell No; yet, neither did the Republican party represent the ideals of Christian Conservatives in the 60's, 70's, or most of the 80's. Religious conservatives gained control of the party by organizing, funding their own candidates and think tanks. If we are not willing to take control of the situation, then things will be much worse for all of us, but particularly for womem.

sjk's picture
Posted by sjk (not verified) on 10 February 2006 - 9:46pm
sjk, you insist that we take

sjk, you insist that we take control. I insist that those running the Democratic will not allow it. IOW, there is no "we" in the sense that everyone is together under the tent, forgetting our petty differences in Some Great Cause.

What there is are masters and servants. The masters make the rules in the Democratic Party. If would-be reformers would rise to the top in such a structure, they can only do it by aping the masters and turning on other servants.

Liberals have been trying to "reform" the Democratic Party since the heyday of Jesse Jackson. Their attempts have gone exactly nowhere because the power-brokers want obedience, not reform. And they get obedience. No matter how grevious their crimes against their own base, the base stays. A carrot without a stick is worse than useless. You claim that you're unhappy, yet you stay. Why should they take you seriously ?

You can continue to call the DP our friend, but I will not. There is no "we." The people running the party are my enemies. In fact, a bill passed in Oregon recently that attempts to make it impossible for 3rd-Party or Indy candidates to gain ballot access in even local elections. This was a bipartisan bill. Democrats are now engineering a similar monster in Wisconsin. Helpless to stop Republican fraud and disenfranchisement, or perhaps unwilling to stop it, they will instead bully and gag anyone on their left who dares to show them up for the corrupt and corrupting shitheels that they truly are.

I will not do anything to further their hegemony and security, because they ceased to believe in my own humanity --if they ever did-- years ago. Your lofty talk of human rights is nothing to them, S. It's only another layer of scented makeup that they slather on a corpse over and over again hoping that nobody will notice the stench of decay.

I am nobody's servant. Fuck the DP.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 11 February 2006 - 11:46am
Oh PUHLEEZE...

My issue, and there is nothing "pet" nor "peeve" about it, is the pup tent the Dems are trying unsuccessfully to sell. It is too damned small, rickety and sparsely furnished out side of bluff and puff election cycles (tho they run all the time) and the interior is crowded with men, off line and on line alike, in a pissing contest.

Frankly the pup tent is fetid and malodorous.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 12 February 2006 - 8:09am
Glory Days - faded Democrats

The "glory days" of the Democratic Party were when the "solid South" was solidly Democrat, until people who could recall Reconstruction passed into history. At that point the Republicans (putting Nixon's Southern Strategy into action) convinced the South to vote Republican.

Strom Thurmond, one time Dixiecrat darling, went Republican in 1964 and after the 1972 election, the solid South has been "red."

The great era of Democrats was not very long. Wilson in 1912 when the Republicans split over Taft and Teddy Roosevelt - and Wilson served two terms.

Then FDR on the heels of the Great Depression - four terms of Franklin whose wife was his social conscience - with Truman finishing FDR's fourth term and getting elected once in his own right.

JFK may well have won because of ballot box stuffing, and Nixon let it slide. LBJ finished JFK's first term, won a second, and could have run for a third term (because he served less than half a term upon JFK's assassination) but Vietnam broke him and broke the nation. You can't have guns AND butter - so we got guns, forget butter!, and Nixon won two terms as the nation "crashed."

We got one term of Carter and two of Clinton. Other than that, it's been the Republicans in the White House.

The real shift has been in Congress. Labor was once powerful, and now its not.

Reagan turned Marx on his side, and said the government had never produced anything - it was the workers. Marx, of course, made the same parallel between capitalism and the workers - but since Communism was not taught in school, the voters fell for that line when Reagan employed it in behalf of the capitalists.

What are the Democrats saying?

Well, in part, they want to ape the Republican message.

If a nation's people do not have the will to support social reform, its leaders won't push it.

Unless the Democrats can articulate a vision, why vote for them?

Reagan asked the people if they were better off than a generation before, and the voters - sick of the oil crisis and tired of the fractures of Vietnam - vote for "morning in America."

The Democrats could now ask the same. Are we better off?

Until that perception changes - that we are better off under Republicans - the Democrats are going to lose, and lose, and lose - no matter how much they follow the Republicans, for Republicans are better at being Republicans than just about anyone.

When the Democrats figure out who and what they, themselves, are, they will be able to challenge the Republicans, but not until.

Or, as a good friend's father once said to us, "don't get into a farting contest with a horse's ass."

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 12 February 2006 - 10:05am
Yes all of that happened.

But all along the way the Democrats declined to redefine themselves - they jsut stumbled along, little to nothing beyond a charisma challenged, quasi technocrat, sort of, Dukakis type of nom or Clinton who was, sort of, "a better Bush", as Sully put it long ago when he was young and smarter.

They never (re)defined themselves as a national party, as events overtook them. They also NEVER opened a populist dialogue with the south, never bothered. Never expanded voter rolls past a small opening post Voting Rights Act, they did not seek to preserve the expanded numbers... they fully abandoned the great civic strides they had been, however reluctantly, a party to... deadly. It leads to selling out elections, selling out the vote... selling out.

The greatest danger is that we have one corrupt party, but they hold all power and we have a confused, powerless, out of gas party.

Immense danger. The Democratic party believed so little in the modern advancements of the post war era that they did not embrace them. And htye sure never delivered anything of National Health care (might have been part of a populist dialogue), sell out all the way. Thanks Kennedy... LOL, Thanks Hillpac Thanks Bill thanks to so many.

The party well deserves to fail.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 12 February 2006 - 1:11pm
Well said!

Too tragically true.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 12 February 2006 - 7:17pm
It's fun to be all outraged and angry and stuff
What adamantly pro-choice liberal is in a leadership position in the Democratic Party at this time ?

[cricket noises]

Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee

Senator Charles Schumer, Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader

Governor Bill Richardson, Chairman of the Democratic Governor's Association

Congressman Rahn Emanuel, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Colorado State Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, Chairwoman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

That's all from this page, the listing of the officers of the Democratic Party.

I know you feel betrayed and disillusioned by the continued inability of the Democratic Party to win "the big ones". But please tell me, what is your viable alternative? Because unless you have some other way of beating the Republicans and taking back control of the government, you're just shooting yourselves in the foot. Not only will the Democratic Party keep losing elections, the Republicans will keep winning them; and more and more of our rights will get flushed down the toilet.

Here's your problem. 44% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in some or all instances. All the Republican wingnuts have to do is find another 7 percent who agree with them on other issues strongly enough to override their pro-choice feelings to give the anti-choicers a majority and therefore control. Yes, I know this is a vast oversimplification of the process and there are regional differences. The most recent viable third-party challenge to the Democratic/Republican duopoly was the Reform Party in 1992. They got 18.8% of the popular vote and didn't win a single state for Ross Perot. Is Progressivism, with no national party structure, and no real national "name identification" seriously going to do better? I don't think so. The establishment is painting us as essentially a bunch of well-dressed hippie granola types with a few blogs. I don't think you can seriously say at this time that Progressivism has any other alternative than to work within the Democratic Party.

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 12 February 2006 - 10:53pm
You fall back to the old song

You rant at the choir, and ignore all the people outside of your church. Most people don't worship at the altar of the Democratic Party. Most people are looking to see what the politicians stand for.

You talk about this mythical 44%. Where do you get this from? How was the question asked? By whom? In what context? To all voters? Likely voters? Everyone who could vote? When was this? And who was speaking out for reproductive rights? Who was being heard? Some jerky boy announces new laws to enslave pregnant women and he's on the front page of the newspaper. Democrats don't say "boo." And the advocacy groups get no press attention. So how do you evaluate a supposedly popular sentiment that got dug up in such a propagandistic environment?

Also, last I checked, 44% was a minority percentage, so I fail to see why veering to the radical right and embracing forced pregnancy and breeder slavery is somehow supposed to be wise political calculus.

You make a huge mistake pointing at Perot. Because that was the heyday of the DLC. They could not get Clinton elected without Perot. And Perot didn't help the STFU strategy when it came to Congress, which the Dems lost.

And this was after the Dems abandoned progressive principles and values.

You say all we need is different flavored Kool-Ade. But it's still the same dreck: powder dissolved in water, with no nutritional value.

The Democrats have not been a progressive party for 20 years, and during that time it's been on a long long slide into obscurity -- to the point where even with a fuckup like Bush and fucktards like Frist and DeLay running the opposition, the Democrats can't get elected dogcatcher.

So why is more of the same a good strategy? You've studiously ignored this question over and over. So has Kos and everyone else espousing the DLC-plus strategy. You deny you're pushing DLC strategy, but you can't put "netroots" in front of the same old warmed-over rhetoric and call it something new.

As for changing the Democratic Party from within, well, it's a nice idea. But that is entrenched power financed by the same interests that underwrite the Republicans. How do you propose to do that? It has been made very clear that we are not welcome, that we are to just shut the fuck up and make sandwiches for the Big Boys, that we're just being petty for caring about things like human rights and opposing things like forced pregnancy and breeder slavery laws.

So go ahead and espouse the merits of regressive democracy. Go ahead and tell us how you can be kinder, gentler Republicans. And be sure to mention how you're going to appeal to all those voters who smell nothing but pandering bullshit from the Democratic Party that won't take a stand on anything. Inquiring minds want to know.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 12 February 2006 - 11:25pm
Interesting thread

I have a question. If progressives are not strong enough to reform the Democratic party, how can one think they are strong enough to create a viable third party and challenge the Democrats? The current Democratic party primary and fundraising structure is heavily biased in favor of single issue groups. This has always been the main complaint of the elites you despise. If progressives are incapable of taking over such a weak internal party structure, and the Dems are internally weak, then the progressive movement must have a lot less advocates than everyone is claiming.

Perhaps I am misinterpreting media girl's logic, but I just don't see how an interest group too weak to establish their viewpoints in the Dem. party could have a chance at opposing both them and the Repubs in the polls.

Southern Male's picture
Posted by Southern Male on 13 February 2006 - 1:06am
Single issue groups = minorities

First, let me say, I think the comments of liberalrob, media girl, and Southern Male - though they may seem at odds - are wonderful! They frame the issue.

Walk away, we lose. Fall for the reactionary rhetoric, we lose. Focus on "narrow issues," we lose.

America has its myths. One is that "we are a strong nation because we have a two-party system." Another is, "America has no ruling class." A classic is "our system has checks and balances." Yet another is, "your vote counts."

How is it that the Republicans now control all three branches of government?

I did not vote for Perot, but he truly showed something. True, he did not win, but he held up a lot of myths and smashed a few of them. There are people out there who showed they were ready to vote for someone who could articulate a vision.

I agree that Third Parties are difficult to start. The Republicans were once such a "Third Party."

As to 44%, in Lincolns time, ask the population if slavery was just, and there would be a sizable number of people who you say "yes." And Abolitionism was a "single issue." The "right to bear arms," is also a "single issue," come to think of it.

My question is, "where are the American people?" Will Rogers once said, "what this country needs is the best politicians that money can buy." He may have been right.

But more to the point, the American people seem to have come to the collective conclusion that our system is based on a zero-sum-game. That is, if you win, I lose.

While Perot may or may not have also believed in a zero-sum-game, he was the "reform candidate." That's what they called people who called politicians to responsibility back at the beginning of the last century.

But when people do not believe there is anything to reform, then they will vote for those in power and the Republicans seems to be doing a good job at looking good, polls not withstanding.

I am not sure I have a golden answer, but electing Democrats who tow the Republican line, is NOT a two-party system.

I suppose it began with Reagan - a joke of a man - and some people loved him, and the right-angle turn America made started then and continues.

The Democrats have traditionally won on bread-and-butter issues. The Republicans fight for a Balanced Budget Amendment, until Clinton balanced the budget - then the Republicans got in power - and that was pretty much forgotten, until the Republicans tried to rehaul Social Security. The Republicans talk economic reform, and the Democrats seem unable to snatch the issue away.

But the seeds of doom are in taking on Republican positions. Why?

Well, its because many people believe that there is no difference between the two parties, and when the Democrats prove it, they prove the (apathetic) voters, right.

In all my born days, I never though that MY United States would openly acknowledge that they torture prisoners. That there was not total outrage over this, suggested something very dark has happened to the Republic.

More and more, we become less and less of ourselves. In fighting the "enemy," we become like him, and worse.

Is this what Kos and others are doing to win elections? What have they won? The right to sit in the seats of power and do what their predecessors have done all along?

My question is, "who ACTUALLY runs the government?" It's like "the beast" in the film "Nixon."

I say the politicians have truly become just front-men, mostly millionaire lawyers. I am not sure that is the American Dream that we learned about when we all liked Ike.

As I said, I have no "golden answer" to what I see, but most of what I see is tactics whose strategy is to elect someone. Hardly inspiring.

Strategies, in turn, support objectives. What are the objectives?

There is a deepening cynicism in the country, and it comes from the top. The people reflect it back - and it has to be more than winning elections, for if that's all - as Orwell ended "Animal Farm" - "the animals looked from pig to man, from man to pig, and from pig to man, again; but it was already impossible to say which was which."

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 13 February 2006 - 4:56am
I know one answer, but you won't like it
In all my born days, I never though that MY United States would openly acknowledge that they torture prisoners. That there was not total outrage over this, suggested something very dark has happened to the Republic.

This bothered me too. What in the world was the Cold War for, if not to oppose Soviet-style authoritarianism? How could it come to pass, that so many things we reviled the Soviet Union for doing and at the time called "un-American" would become our national policy and we would hardly bat an eye? We have met the enemy, and he is us, indeed.

My greatest hope is that the system is still susceptible to being reformed from within, and the American values I learned in Civics class restored. If only we can convince enough people to work for change, to see that their fundamental rights are being trampled and join our cause, we can still save what America is supposed to stand for.

My greatest fear is that it is too late, that we are already headed down the path to a second Civil War that will only be decided by bullets and blood and is only part of a larger struggle. I see the possibility of another World War being fought this very moment, not over national borders but between competing ideologies. It is a multi-sided struggle between the religious authoritarianism of fundamentalist Islam, the plutocratic authoritarianism of the Western Right, and the Enlightenment Liberalism that is anathema to both. I know that sounds melodramatic; but in the past these tensions were reduced by the difficulty in communications over great distance and the enormous expenditure in resources required to prosecute such a conflict. Now global communications are quickly becoming commonplace and technology has made it possible for any sufficiently motivated group to reach out and touch anyone anywhere.

This sounds like Bush and Bin Laden talking, doesn't it; but while they say "you're either with us or you're against us" I say "there's room for all to live in peace, if you allow it". They both subscribe to the zero-sum game you spoke of. They think the mere existence of any other thought is a loss to them, and anything less than total victory is unacceptable. You can't argue logically with such people. All you can do is whatever you can to weaken them and their hold on whatever power they have. And it's hard, because they are a self-fulfilling prophecy to each other: GWB is right that OBL means to keep blowing up Americans, and OBL is right that GWB means to spread Western democracy as an alternative to Islamic theocracy.

Well, I'm way off the topic. The bottom line is, in this country, we can either try to work within the system or go outside it. Evolution or Revolution. I see no Third Way.

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 13 February 2006 - 7:27pm
I think you're a little confused

There are special interests who finance the Democratic Party. They are corporate interests like MBNA, the insurance companies, the pharmaceuticals, and so on. Then there are the "single issue groups" who really have no voice in the party, do not hold any major purse strings, as you allege.

You create a straw man and then dash him to the ground. Very impressive, but not convincing.

The simple fact is that what people can spare out of their diminishing after-tax incomes to give to political causes is nothing compared with what corporations can give out of pre-tax revenues.

Also, you seem to be talking out of both sides of your mouth, because first you say that progressives should be powerful enough to change the Democratic Party, while at the same time arguing that progressives should always vote Democrat. But Southern Male, the power is in the vote. That is why the Democrats have been losing all this time -- because they do not appeal to anyone anymore, and their only campaign slogan is, "I'm not as bad as a Republican!"

You also fall into the trap of thinking that it's all a zero-sum game, when in fact all this is a struggle over about half the voters. The other half haven't been moved to vote. Maybe they smell bullshit and don't see the point.

Whether it's a Democrat or a Republican establishing state-run breeding programs doesn't matter to me. That's not America anymore. Slavery was abolished nearly 150 years ago.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 13 February 2006 - 8:45am
What's the point?

I suppose some of us are asking, "what's the point" of electing a Democrat?" There is an unspoken assumption that things will be different with a Democrat ... but that's yet to be shown.

No issue (single or otherwise) seems to have ignited the voters. People feel numb, powerless, and cheated. At least that's what I feel. I feel like the wife who finds out her husband is/has cheated on her, and she simply stops worrying about if he'll be home for supper or not. Who cares?

Maybe I have to endure this for the sake of the kids, but it will never be the same, again.

I feel that way about the Democrats. They're in bed with the Republicans - and I'm not talking political compromise, by that. The Democrats sold out long ago.

Until there is a REAL opposition party, it's all about choosing between Tweedledee and Teedledumb, and I have a real hard time taking the "you've got to vote for a Democrat" people, seriously.

To what end? To what purpose? What have the Democrats done for me ... lately?

Honestly, I can't think of a thing.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 13 February 2006 - 9:24am
"Shot Where ?"

Shot in the foot, Rob ?

Please. Try shot multiple times and bleeding in the gutter. The Democrats have been doing this to their base for years. As I mentioned above, you are more than welcome to use whatever strength you have left to fawn over them as they prepare to play clay pigeon with you again;Lofting you in a splendid arc so as to make you the perfect target for Bush and his courtiers. Me, I've decided to go with the demolition model. Any reasonably coherent and thoughtful Lefty who comes along can have my vote. If I lived in MD, I would gladly vote Zeese. California ? I'd be proud to vote Chretien.

Bear in mind that it is your blind loyalty and sad lack of imagination that keeps 3rd Parties starved and anemic, not the inherent flaws of 3rd Party candidates. As I said, carry on with your path. Have a swell time trying to slap ten band-aids on a thousand bleeding holes. I'd prefer to bite the hand that starves me and bite it as hard as I can. "Dying but fighting back," as some poet once said. Somebody should have warned these DLC assholes long ago that trapped and abused animals will eventually turn mean.

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 13 February 2006 - 2:08pm
The sheep skin is bleeding

that this guy has ripped from the poor sheep and is wearing on his back.

You want to be disgusted by a "Democratic" candidate, I give you Marcinkowski of MI-8 in some campanging thread at Booman Tribune yesterday-- and thre is a side conversation inside the thread wth a candidate and his wife for an IND seat - a minister recruited to run, good lord his wife already wants to lecture to women but not listen!! ...

GMAFB, it is clear to me, formerly a life long Democrat, these poeple, all three, want to run however on whatever ticket, talking to hapless voters is hardly what they wish to do.

IT HAS TO STOP, especially with imported stock on the dying hoof. The meat on offer is rancid.

Further there were two voters (Boston Joe) in the Marcinkowski thread who LIVE in MI-8. I am sorry, the disrespect for voters and the evident desire to shove off, from the candidates (oh they hang around but they are not direct, not real and the basic exhortation ALREADY is what the voter can do for them) and get back to peers inside the game is evident.

I think the promoters, such as the ever hapless Booman and conniving Kos, and others, and the candidates have seriously misjudged the anger and exhaustion in the electorate.

I hope '06 bites the Democrats on their very fat asses. Bites hard and like a dog hangs on for a few cycles. They do not learn by winning, not these fools and trojan horses.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 13 February 2006 - 7:03pm
What can I say that I haven't already tried to say
You talk about this mythical 44%. Where do you get this from?

Survey USA 09/12/05

56% of adults aged 18+ nationwide identified themselves as pro-choice (based on state-by-state results weighted by state population); and if you want more info on the poll than that you can ask SurveyUSA. I figure I'm doing you a favor by lumping the 38% who self-identify as pro-life and the remaining 6% as being "anti-choice" since they're not committed enough for you.

But it's all beside my point, which is that if you take reproductive rights as your overriding issue you have to get 51% going your way while all the Republicans have to do to defeat you is get 7% going theirs. I wish you success, but I think it's going to be pretty much of a long shot.

So why is more of the same a good strategy? You've studiously ignored this question over and over.

I've explained what I think is a good strategy, and I don't see it as more of the same. I see it as the best route to bringing into existence a government where the changes we want to make are possible. You have to admit that things aren't going too well with the clowns we have in there now, and they aren't inclined to suddenly see the rightness of our cause anytime soon. Can we afford to wait for the American people to become so outraged at the treatment of women that they rise up in righteous wrath? Is there any sign of that happening? And even more importantly, why wait for that to happen when there is another way to proceed that could get us where we want to go relatively quickly, if we just accept that we might have to work with a few people we don't see eye-to-eye with? That's what I see as so counterproductive about your adamant position that you won't support change except on your terms, those terms being you won't support anyone unless they front-and-center put women's rights #1. Why do that, when you might be able to get what you want by being a little pragmatic? Do I misunderstand what you've been saying?

As for changing the Democratic Party from within, well, it's a nice idea. But that is entrenched power financed by the same interests that underwrite the Republicans. How do you propose to do that?

By supporting candidates that would work for the same changes we want to make, directly or indirectly. Rick Santorum not only is one vote against our goals; he's one Senator towards keeping Psychic Surgeon Bill Frist the Majority Leader of the Senate. Casey doesn't support us either, on women's rights; I'm with you on that. But Casey is infinitely preferable to Santorum, not only because there are at least some progressive issues he'd vote with us on but because he's one Senator towards making Harry Reid the Majority Leader of the Senate, and Harry Reid won't automatically shoot down our agenda like Bill Frist would. At the same time, we can work to get rid of Republican-supporting Senators like Joe Lieberman and replace them with people more to our way of thinking. There's no reason not to do both at the same time! Howard Dean showed that you don't have to exclusively rely on big corporate money to finance campaigns; Ciro Rodriguez is doing the same right here in Texas. You'll never get rid of corporate money from the political process, there's too much of it and arguably corporations and the people who run them have a right to give money to whoever they want to; but you can make it less relevant, and hold politicians accountable for quid-pro-quos like the Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham scandals. I'm not saying it would be easy. But I think it would be a lot easier than trying for the umpteenth time to start from scratch building a third party, or waiting around for generations for the American public to wake up (if they ever do).

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll kos put up, Casey leads Pennachio 70-5. Not looking good for the ideologically-correct alternative candidate there.

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 13 February 2006 - 6:39pm
The Short 'N Sweet Version of Today's Strategy:

Shut up you stoopid purist bitches. We own you. Get the fuck in line and maybe if you look cute enough on your knees we'll let you have some rights after we win.

Golly. On one hand, the way to change is through pushing good candidates in primaries. On the other hand, don't expect anyone to take such candidates seriously because a platform that respects the rank-and-file doesn't matter and taking the time to educate the rank-and-file is too much time and effort. Only winning matters.

Guess what you can do with your strategy, Rob. You and Mr. Abortion-is-Horrible are on your own. You carry on as if you can win the day by treating women so poorly that we either sit out the elections or bolt to another party. Now you'll have a chance to prove what macho lone-wolf badasses you are. Have fun !

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 13 February 2006 - 7:03pm
A total misreading of my position

Good grief. I never knew I was such a misogynist, silly me.

Well, what's your alternative strategy then? I'm waiting anxiously to hear it. So far all I've heard is Democrats suck (I seem to have heard that somewhere else too) and Liberals are blinded by privilege, so I'm wondering who's left to form the winning majority on your side?

On one hand, the way to change is through pushing good candidates in primaries.

A great idea. I'm all for it! Chuck Pennacchio is trailing 5-70 in his primary in Pennsylvania, what's your strategy for pushing him through? I live in Texas with two of the suckiest Senators you'll ever find, in the 32nd Congressional District with a Republican rubber-stamp for Bush who took money from the corrupt Delay machine (just a smidge, not a lot and not multiple times) but is pretty much safe due to the redistricting fiasco here. All I can do here is yell a lot and cheerlead. What are you going to do?

Only winning matters.

Well, losing doesn't get you to the Super Bowl/World Series/promised land. How's not winning working for you so far?

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 13 February 2006 - 7:54pm
CLUE for you,

you are not doing any favors and the tone from you is tedious. Furhter the argument is resolutely one trick pony. Same old same old. Gather in the little heifers lest they do wrong.

Surely you have heard of what I call the Paul Weyrich model, withhold the vote. If necessary, you (PW) in your wheel chair get on CNN and inform the president you will be advisign your following to "not stand with him".

AFAIAC, liberal left should withhold the vote from the Democratic party for a few cycles. 3 at the minumum, '06, '08 and '10. Vote ONLY for local candidates who are liberal/left/progressive and can be vetted. Carefully vetted. And tracked forward and backward.

I have said all my life that that pols have to make themselves worthwhile to the electorate every single day. There is no carry over. And now there is NONE.

The party did not stand up to a president they presume to think is so bad, so lousy, so stupid. They did not. ANd they abandoned the base. The party, half of the DC elected officials are enabling and or believe (same thing) in the christian fundamentalist agenda of anti woman, pro war, pro biz. It is not jsut reproductive rights, that is a canary being snuffed out that indicates wehre this party is headed.

Oh and by the way, for your tone to voters at this site: FU.

Marisacat's picture
Posted by Marisacat on 13 February 2006 - 7:43pm
Message received

Alright, I'll drop it. It's y'all's blog. Again, best of luck and I hope you win.

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 13 February 2006 - 7:58pm
harry reid? get outa here!!!!

you say:

Rick Santorum not only is one vote against our goals; he's one Senator towards keeping Psychic Surgeon Bill Frist the Majority Leader of the Senate. Casey doesn't support us either, on women's rights; I'm with you on that. But Casey is infinitely preferable to Santorum, not only because there are at least some progressive issues he'd vote with us on but because he's one Senator towards making Harry Reid the Majority Leader of the Senate, and Harry Reid won't automatically shoot down our agenda

what's with the "our agenda"? And what smiling orange pitcher are drinking from? Harry Reid is bigtime anti-choice. You're coming onto a feminist blog using harry reid as an example of someone whos better for OUR CONCERNS?

laughable. you need to go back to the drawing board and work on your argument. harry reid is one of the main reasons i'm sitting out the next two elections.

harry reid is the democrat most responsible for alito on the court. you don't really believe that it's NARALs fault do you? oh sorry he was just keeping his powder dry wasn't he!

funny.

Harry Reid on Abortion

Rated 100% "pro-life" in the 108th congress (last report available) by the despicable Democrats for "so-called" Life organization.

harry reid .. really poor example. surely you can do a little better than that.

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 13 February 2006 - 8:02pm
I know that

I've said what I intended to say, and in my other posts explained my position. And it was rejected out of hand. No biggie. And now I'm shutting up about it. Onward!

liberalrob's picture
Posted by liberalrob on 13 February 2006 - 8:15pm
wrong again

you're argument is rejected due to circumstance. we, the women of this country, are the target of the forced-birthers, you arent. your autonomy isn't threatened . if it were, you'd be much more open to our truths.

thats the difference.

we see the forced-birthers taking over your party too.

plain as day. but rather than listen, you lecture.

you believe you can dance with the anti-choice devils without cost. all i see is that woman at the top of this post.

fine. you dance.

i refuse.

bayprairie's picture
Posted by bayprairie on 13 February 2006 - 10:33pm
"How's Losing Working Out ?"

I'm pretty sure in Kos-ville that winning and losing are one and the same, if you're a woman with any sense of self-worth. Or any one of those "special interests" who keep the party's sorry, bloated ass afloat with nothing to show for it every election cycle but a few less dollars in your pocket and a few more kicks in the teeth.

Do you think that rob wandered off to persuade the Kos-ians and Dean For Bullshitting America that they work for us, instead of the other way around ?

Nah. >: What fun is it to dog the powerful when you can guilt-trip the powerless instead ? Ho hum...

alsis39.5's picture
Posted by alsis39.5 (not verified) on 14 February 2006 - 12:10am