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View Diary: WaPo poll: America divided on Obama's uniting (79 comments)

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  •  I think I've pointed out on more than one (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, dougymi, BroadwayBaby1, wu ming

    occasion, on the front page, that the "independents" are a myth. The amount of actual, true, independent could swing both ways voters is perhaps 1 or 2%. The vast majority of so-called independents are in fact clearly ideological but reject party labels. There is really no point in appealing to them with, as Armando says, "post-partisan unity schtick" because these people have very clear views which almost always leads them to prefer one party over the other consistently when they get to the ballot box. Instead, push their buttons by running to your base, because that's what moves their votes. Clear distinctions, not blurring the lines.

    I was one of those who thought the presidents "no Republicans no Democrats" twaddle to be more about fundraising from elites than any sort of governing philosophy. On that point I was quite wrong. He actually does try to govern as if they country's clear preferences shown through voting doesn't really matter to him.

    •  I should also point out that a lot of people (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dougymi, TJ, wu ming, Heftysmurf

      confuse independents and moderates. I've pointed this out on the FP too. This is truly, truly wrong as the data indicates. The moderates, or people who are not particularly ideological but are just sort of 'good government' types, or folks fiscally conservative but socially liberal... those folks are now almost all uniformly Democrats. The Democratic Party IS the moderate party.

      There are no moderate Republicans. It is a party that has a Conservative wing and a crazy batshit radical wing. There is no point at all in trying to cross party lines and build coalitions with Republican politicians because they are beholden to a Conservative/Radical electorate. Independents know that and so do moderates. So really, who actually will be impressed by post-partisan schtick?

      The Washington elite and just about nobody else.

      •  I think you are correct about moderates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        there definitely is a group that is fiscally moderate to conservative, and at the same time socially progressive.  And I think whichever party captures that vote has a far better chance of being the majority party. I do not think that there is a majority in this country that is either all hard-right conservative on all issues, or all hard-left progressive on all issues.  Democrats need to appeal to these moderate voters if they want to have a governing majority over the long term.  That is what Bill Clinton did well, I think.  

        I also see a growing number of young people who tend to be Libertarian -- with the view that they want government, especially the federal government, to be less obtrusive in the lives of the citizens, both on the economic side and on the social issues side.  That vote is kind of "up for grabs," as this group may support Conservative fiscal issues and Progressive social issues.  

        I think where I differ from some here (perhaps including you?) is I think that if a party wants a governing majority, that party needs to bring in those moderate voters.  Some people here have no use for moderates.  

        •  Democrats don't need to appeal to them. (0+ / 0-)

          They are them. The Republicans doesn't have a socially liberal but fiscally conservative wing. Only the Democrats do. Democrats don't need to appeal to those people because they are those people already. All the data analysis I've read so far proved the theory I had correct in early 2010 when I wrote about it.

          So yes, you do disagree with me because the Democratic party already has those people. In fact, they are the majority of Democrats and that is reflected in the vote. Progressive Democrats are a minority in the Democratic party. So the party is already positioned to win that vote and wins it all routinely. Go look at the date on how self-proclaimed moderates vote. Democrats across the board.

          Where I disagree with you is in going beyond the moderates to keep reaching for conservative Republicans who keep moving further and further to the right. Those are votes I say we cannot ever win and in the meantime we keep giving away elements of our agenda that appeal to both progressives and moderates. My view is not to keep appealing to people we can't win (ruining our agenda and justification to govern), and instead, fight them.

          •  I think some in the Republican group (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            are trying to appeal to the "socially liberal but fiscally conservative" crowd.  That's the Libertarians.  For example, they generally reject government telling people who they can marry and also reject government telling people how they have to spend their money.  

            And while I agree that some of the Democratic party is moderate in the sense of socially liberal but fiscally conservative, those kinds of people are often berated around here.  And many around here want them out of the party or at least primaried.  

            •  Libertarians even smaller than liberals. (0+ / 0-)

              Libertarians are basically nobody. They've got bigger voices than they have votes. And their social liberalism is secondary to who they are, which is why they routinely side with Republicans. In the Republican Party, it is social conservatives who have the votes. Ron Paul made a lot of noise, but never got above 10% in a Republican primary. And even then only in very small rural states.

              Second, yes those people are berated around her because...well, they're wrong. But Daily Kos routinely has supported candidates far more moderate than our members for the good health of the party. That doesn't mean they are going to be with us on everything, but we still would prefer them to a Republican. However, there are certain things that are non-negotiable. Like Social Security. That's just fundamental to who we are. We are the party of Social Security and Medicare. And Civil Rights & Voting Rights. And now Gay rights. So if you're against any of that, well then you're in the wrong party. Tent ain't that big.

              Finally, even our moderates have to be pushed in the right direction because, well, they're wrong. If we don't push them, you can rest assured Republicans have and will continue to push them to increasingly Conservative policies. That has been the history of the Democratic Party until Daily Kos and others came along and started pushing back. And that's been GOOD for Democrats. Both ideologically and electorally. Fact is, the party establishment is far more conservative than its base. From years and years of cowering in fear of the GOP, a more assertive and partisan form of Democrat is necessary to make sure the party actually represents ALL of its members, not just the moderates.

              •  Only Audible Because Amplified By Billionaires nt (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                happymisanthropy, 3goldens, Faito, quill

                We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

                by Gooserock on Sat May 25, 2013 at 07:31:28 PM PDT

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              •  I wish I could rec this 1,000 times: (13+ / 0-)
                Fact is, the party establishment is far more conservative than its base. From years and years of cowering in fear of the GOP, a more assertive and partisan form of Democrat is necessary to make sure the party actually represents ALL of its members, not just the moderates.
                (But for some strange reason, I can't rec this comment at all.)

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Sat May 25, 2013 at 07:49:48 PM PDT

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              •  Love your comment brooklynbadboy, you have (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sebastianguy99, Ishmaelbychoice

                hit the nail on the proverbial head. Sorry I can't rec it though, since today is Saturday and your comment was on Tuesday.

                "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

                by helpImdrowning on Sat May 25, 2013 at 09:59:05 PM PDT

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              •  Libertarianism is dangerous though, imo, because (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                METAL TREK

                so many young people are taken in by it.  This is our (Dems, progressives) future demographic and we shouldn't risk losing them on obviously stupid positions like enforcing ancient pot laws.

                Ron Paul's appeal was very strong to young folks but many were not yet voters.  That will change.  Before it does we should end the drug war, at least on marijuana.

                RP's other big issue - ending the Empire - is more difficult and politically problematic.  But both are a cover for corporate deregulation and ending progressive government programs, the real agenda of the Kochs and their father, Cato, etc.  

                Exasperation current politics makes this more dangerous.  Legalizing pot would go a long way towards diffusing this, imo.

          •  Do you have any proof that progressive Dems (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, Laconic Lib

            "are a minority in the Democratic Party"? I know it's convenient to believe so and say so, since progressive ideas get so little traction. But I think that the number of Dems who favor increasing taxes on the top 10% (surely a core progressive principle) is higher than the number of Dems who favor keeping those taxes the same or (ugh!) reducing them.

            However, that is merely my gut speaking. I have no data to back up my gut.

        •  Now you've done it (0+ / 0-)

          You pushed my false equivalence button.

          I do not think that there is a majority in this country that is either all hard-right conservative on all issues, or all hard-left progressive on all issues.
          We truly do have hard-right conservatives. I doubt very strongly that there's any such animal as a hard-left progressive.

          The term "progressive" isn't restricted to the political left or right and the implication that progressives are left wing belies the definition of the word.

          Speaking as one who was once a Republican and still admires the progressive Republicans from my youth, I hate to see the language distorted in that manner.

          Please allow me to speak very plainly on this issue. This kind of talk pisses me off.

          Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

          by Just Bob on Sat May 25, 2013 at 09:35:35 PM PDT

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    •  For 14 years (0+ / 0-)

      I was a registered independent.  (I still consider myself a progressive and not a Democrat although I usually vote for the Dem.)  I changed my registration to I could vote in my state's primaries.

    •  Sure it is, if you use a ridiculous definition of (0+ / 0-)

      independent --- ie, people  with no opinions, no principles, and no preferences.

      That is not the appropriate definition, but it is what most people use when they claim there are few independents.

      The reality is that most independents do have beliefs and opinions.  A natural result of that will be a party lean, at least to the extent that  parties have position.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Sun May 26, 2013 at 03:52:31 AM PDT

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