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View Diary: So how depressed are you?/Update x 2 (156 comments)

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  •  You are right on. (12+ / 0-)

    I would support a third party today if a third party could be immediately viable.

    The problem that I see is that as poorly as our extant Dems have performed...and I speak as a lifelong Dem...the Repub alternative is so much, much worse.

    My feeling is that we should all vote Dem in 2012 and then if we are not satisfied with the results, we should start developing or supporting an existing 3rd. party early in 2013.

    If we go the 3rd. party route, we should be prepared to adopt a long term philosophy because it will take time for a 3rd. party to take root.  If the Dems cannot take care of those that brought them to the dance, then , in my opinion, we will have no choice other than to take a longer term approach and cultivate a third party.

    Keep on keepin' on, my friend.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Ghandi

    by Randolph the red nosed reindeer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 at 07:41:51 PM PDT

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    •  I don't think we have any choice. Settling for (26+ / 0-)

      a candidate who is the lesser of two evils is no way to live.  We talk about Obama not having any courage, but when it comes down to making hard choices we have caved, also.  That is why the Obama supporters keep pushing the meme "Well, I hope you'll like President Perry."  They know it works.  Keep us scared and then we'll stay in line.

      I think it's time to face the truth: we are in a fight for the soul of the Democratic party.  If we postpone this fight, then we will probably have waited too long.  The Progressive party might cease to exist by that time we get the courage to fight back...because make no mistake, Obama and the Third Way are trying to destroy the progressive arm of the party.

      •  I keep on pushing the Perry thing... (3+ / 0-)

        ...because I genuinely don't want another Republican President in my lifetime, and even a Mediocre Democrat (which I don't think Obama is) is a great alternative.  It's damn simple: the outcomes from failing to hold the line against Republicans and failing to match the commitment of conservative voters come at too steep a cost.

        I mean, I would have given the world to keep the Congress in Democratic hands.  I knew that if Republicans got a majority, or even a major increase in their minority, the consequences for policy would be appalling.  And they have been.  But people still turn around and go after our own first and foremost.

        Look, you can either take the long view on things, and not just chase around the immediate political fights, or you can let every political defeat become an electoral defeat, and every electoral defeat a policy disaster.  If I thought I could trust a Republican  not to send my country screaming to hell in a handbasket, I could tolerate a lot more small jaunts to the wilderness while our party gets its act together.

        Unfortunately, I think our opposition has gotten apocalyptically stupid and incompetent, perhaps even in a literal sense.  If we end up like the folks in Mad Max, it will be because of Republicans.

        In the face of that, even a Blue Dog Democrat who might make us look bad is better than a Republican.

        Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

        by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 05:27:26 AM PDT

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        •  Our POTUS continually seeks "compromise" w/ crazy (13+ / 0-)

          people.  He golfs w/ them.  He holds repeated meetings w/ them behind closed doors in the WH.  He gives speeches where he tells people to call their MOCS and ask for "compromise."

          There is universal agreement on this site that the party of Bachman, Palin, Perry, Boehner, and Cantor has totally lost its grip on reality.  That agreement begs the question as  to why anyone who was smart enough to head Harvard Law Review and to teach Con Law at a tier 1 law school would devote so much time, energy, and effort seeking common ground w/ crazies.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 06:28:04 AM PDT

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          •  Yes, and while they wail and cry like two year old (0+ / 0-)

            children, he will seem like the adult.

            He's not bargaining with them to help them. He's bargaining with them to get vital legislation out of Congress, like Debt Ceiling increases.

            Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

            by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 03:28:11 PM PDT

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        •  You have to look at the bottom line: has life (1+ / 0-)

          changed for the better under Obama's leadership?  No.  Have the wealthy gotten richer?  Yes.  Has Obama shown compassion for the poor and suffering?  No.  Has he broken every promise that he made on the campaign trail?  Pretty much.  Is he a democrat or a republican?  It's hard to tell the difference.

          I am absolutely revolted by the thought of having another republican president, but there is a real danger in continuing to support Obama.  There is a lot of anger against him right now.  Almost every newspaper is loaded with people screaming about how much they hate him...and that is not good for the Democratic Party.

          Everyone on this site keeps recommending that we fight to elect more progressive leaders in Congress...I agree that it would help, but realistically, what is more likely to happen in 2012 is that Obama wins reelection and many Democratic congressmen will be kicked out of congress, so that Obama ends up running the country with a Republican congress...

          ...and I find that unacceptable....because of his tendency to side with the Republicans it might end up looking just like a republican administration and that would cause long term damage to the Democratic party.

          If you want to talk about long term goals, then how about we start fighting to ensure the survival of the progressive arm of the democratic party.

          •  Your bottom line, as you see it. (1+ / 0-)

            Things did get better under this president, objectively.  An economy that was screaming for the abyss recovered somewhat, and people got some help.

            You just have to take into account that there are people who would see him lose no matter what, and as such, have mounted an unprecedented campaign of obstruction.

            You're so worried about what people think that you fail to consider things in a more active way, changing what people think, instead of trying to adapt to deal with it.

            The Republicans will always find a way to turn the screws on us, even when we do everything right, and they're really not letting us do everything right, either.

            So, we have to approach this more rhetorically, less trying to win on substance the Republicans strangled in the crib on purpose.

            Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

            by Stephen Daugherty on Tue Aug 16, 2011 at 03:31:23 PM PDT

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            •  I'm sorry, but I disagree, and I think it's odd (0+ / 0-)

              that you chose to say this:

              You're so worried about what people think that you fail to consider things in a more active way, changing what people think, instead of trying to adapt to deal with it.

              Doesn't that negate the argument that Obama has been helpless because he can only work with the political reality that he faces?  

              I agree with David Sirota:

              According to the Washington Post, the president's advisors say the only "responsible" thing for the president to do is to "explore policies that have a chance of passage, rather than making a political statement." Translated into plain English from Washington-ese, this is the White House stating that the president will only consider job-related legislation that congressional Republicans already support, and that the president will not push a proposal that the GOP right now opposes. Hey, the administration is saying, the president is binded by the political reality of today's GOP intransigence -- and there's nothing he can do about that, other than work within that reality's confines.

              Except, of course, there is something he can do. He can stop pretending to be an innocent bystander, and instead acknowledge what he really is -- an active participant, and likely the single most powerful one, in the political process. In Washington-ese, he can reject the notion that having "a chance of passage" is the opposite of "making a political statement" -- and realize that the two are complementary concepts. In short, like other legislatively successful presidents, he can use "political statements" as a means of changing the political reality, thus giving other legislative alternatives "a chance of passage."


              •  He has to deal with the Republicans directly... (0+ / 0-)

                ... and they have purpose built their system to take him down.

                We, on the other hand, can do something he can't do by himself: win an election, and bring back a Democratic majority, so the people who want to see him lose are less powerful, less in control of the agenda.

                See, what David Sirota's hidden premise here is, and what I don't think you would agree with is that Republicans are reasonable enough when pushed that they would yield the President a political victory.  That's what you, and far too many people on this site believe.  You want Republicans to behave like Democrats did in the past.

                I think it's far too soon to expect that.

                Additionally?  I think the President's a bit more agile than people give him credit for.  I mean look at the Lame Duck Session last time.  He exploited the pressure Republicans put themselves under to get a number of items I was personally worried wouldn't get through, like DADT repeal and the START Treaty, things Republicans had been blocking for so long.

                I think he's an opportunistic fellow, not just passively waiting for things, but creating opportunities that confound his enemies despite the high ground they often occupy.  People say he's a bad negotiator, but Republicans must be far worse, since they not only sacrificed a lot of political goodwill to push the deal, they also failed to get the kind of Spending cuts, balanced budget Amendments, and whatever else, simply because they would not accept any diminution of the tax cuts.

                I think he plays the long game, rather than performing and posturing, and I think in the long run we will see more change in the way things are done, simply because of how Obama did things.

                Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

                by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 05:33:38 AM PDT

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                •  The republicans are sharks; they have proved (0+ / 0-)

                  that repeatedly and anyone who believes that they can be trusted to act in good faith is a fool.  And because that is their nature, many of us have urged the president not to compromise with them.  You never negotiate with people who are trying to destroy you.  But Obama is arrogant.  He has always believed he could persuade them to reach compromises because he is a smooth talking guy and he has always been able to move people in his direction with words... but it hasn't happened yet...and it never will.  

                  He is not a good negotiator.  In fact, he looks like a novice up against the republicans.  That is why he always comes up on the losing end of negotiations when he tries to compromise.  They just keep moving the goalposts until his position becomes their original position.

                  And only the most naive person can look at what happened during the debt ceiling debate and not realize that it was an abysmal failure for Obama.  He wasn't brilliant and what he did turned millions of people against him.  He should never have placed social security on the bargaining was a cynical move that will always come back to haunt him.  He might have looked more reasonable than the republicans, but for many people my age (boomers), he proved that he can't be trusted.

                  I have always tried to support the democratic candidate no matter how flawed he/she is, but I can no longer support Obama and every time one of his followers on this site taunts me, bullies me, or calls me names, it only reinforces my dislike for him.  I have yet to see any of his followers show compassion for people who are hurting.  They just don't give a damn about anything accept getting Obama reelected.  AND THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE that will become apparent during the 2012 Democratic convention.

                  •  Look, it works like this: (0+ / 0-)

                    We can't put pressure on them, but folks from the center and from the right can put pressure on them from two different directions.

                    The President's game, it seems to me, is to use the rigidity of the GOP against it.  I mean, take a look at the last two votes the Republicans forced on the Government Shutdown and the Debt Ceiling.  Doesn't it strike you that Obama essentially bargained them out of immediate entitlement cuts, out of benefit cuts, out of frontloading the budget cuts?

                    More to the point, he bargained them out of having the Default weapon to use again until after the next election.  Put another way, he succeeded in making the next few battles much more about Republicans wanting to cut benefits, while Democrats move for revenues.

                    Both votes had significant numbers of Republicans, especially the new tea partiers breaking away, forcing Boehner to take an insufficient majority and supplementing it with Democrats.  I don't think he got those votes for free from the Democrats.

                    And I'm sure that turning to the Democrats has pissed off many in the Tea Party.  They don't know they've won, they believe they've lost.  How many losses are they going to take in stride, with their lack of patience?

                    The Republican's insistence on being so hardline has left them in a very strained position, in my opinion, and for all their ability to force short term concessions, if their long term power is diminished, if the voters aren't enthusiastic about showing up next year, their majority can easily become our majority, and all the austerity they forced on us can be reversed, or changed to a form that better suits our purposes.

                    Responding to rhetoric is the worst way to conduct politics.  Obama's pitting the Republicans against each other, to weaken them and their candidates.  We shouldn't be doing the same here.

                    Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

                    by Stephen Daugherty on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:25:58 AM PDT

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