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View Diary: Democrats and silos: What to fight for? Hint—everything (200 comments)

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  •  Are you kidding--not sexy? (6+ / 0-)

    Maybe in 2007 it wasn't sexy, or even 2008, but since the crash, anything that involves decent-paying stable jobs is the ultimate in sexy. To voters, anyway.  Additional benefits such as getting us off fossil fuels or rebuilding schools, bridges, roads, rails, just gives a nice warm civic glow on top of the delight at actually finding paying work and feeling that someone in your society actually gives a shit that you're sinking.

    This is plenty sexy, if framed rigt.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:00:26 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  stay away from "help the environment" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, claude

      Try to be the grey, boring, technocratic Democratic Party of the 21st century. It's all about JOBS, and the purely economic values of doing the right thing. This is purely for the percentage of the right that will buy the more expensive product if the cheaper product is labeled "help the environment" but will buy the cheaper product if it's not.

      Don't rub their noses in the fact that us hippies have been right all along about the ecological consequences of industrialism.

      If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

      by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:06:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm having a hard time figuring out (3+ / 0-)

        if you mean this or if it's snark.

        I am a big fan of the Green Jobs meme, and feel that the only reason it didn't work is because it requires that the government, or somebody, spend money to create said Green Jobs, and the 1% doesn't wanna, and the government doesn't wanna do anything that upsets the 1%.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:12:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think jgnyc is talking tactics. (4+ / 0-)

          Doing green jobs without calling it that.

          If I read this correctly, I understand the point, but it also empowers the Right to demonize "green" the way it demonized "liberal."  I would like to keep our terminology and keep its meaning and vibrancy, toward the day when those terms will be ones that all want to claim as their home.

          •  but why fight that fight? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, dance you monster, AoT, lotlizard

            It's about winning elections near term. Liberal got demonized because the Dems decided to triangulate right as the Reaganauts decided to take no prisoners. And, of course, the Civil Rights victories which tribally pissed off a large portion of the frankly racist white working class.

            Nothing wrong with "green" (unlike "the 1%" which I think is a real negative) but stay away from it appearing that the hippies are winning by making it seem we're forward looking economic warriors and of course there's a green component because it's good for business and the Chinese are doing it (they sort of aren't but they do have faster trains) and the Europeans are doing it and if we want to BRING AMERICA INTO THE FUTURE tm we have to do everything possible - and that requires maximizing our industrial management strategies (read - cut down on waste and pollution).

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:43:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I get your point, really. (4+ / 0-)

              Your approach works better in the short run.  Mine is aimed at the longer run, to reclaim ground we've been losing.  We're about to run out of ground and vocabulary on our side, and for a change I'd like to see us push the other side on its heels, not beg them for a dance.

              •  I don't believe it works better in the short run. (5+ / 0-)

                We've been trying and trying to placate "the other side" and we've gotten exactly nothing out of them. Nothing that involves money, that is.

                They don't care what words we dress it up with. They want all the money and resources, and they want us to have none. It really is that stark. It took me 26 years of activism to finally realize it, but that's really where they're at.

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:16:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's not placating "the other side" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kj in missouri

                  it's making common cause with them. Writing off the entire Republican base is counter productive. Some of them are religious or ideological dead enders, some of them aren't.

                  If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                  by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:40:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Will they vote for money to create jobs? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy

                    Will they vote for the necessary climate protections that will secure our food and water supply? Will they vote for putting Wall St back behind a wall of laws that keeps them from wrecking the world economy?

                    That's what needs to be done to secure our future, that and trade agreements that don't destroy our workers and businesses.

                    Things are too dire now. People who don't want to get on board with the basic things necessary to our survival are not people that it's any use to make common cause with. That's what I mean by "the other side." And actually, I believe that there are both Reagan Democrats and Republicans who would get on board with all those things. The ones who won't, well, we've been chasing them long enough.

                    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:28:28 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  sort of (0+ / 0-)

                      >Will they vote for money to create jobs?

                      If pitched correctly yes. More sell the voters on a vision, a Way Forward, putting America Back to Work.

                      > Will they vote for the necessary climate protections that will secure our food and water supply?

                      No. The Republican tribe will not at least I'm very doubtful.

                      > Will they vote for putting Wall St back behind a wall of laws that keeps them from wrecking the world economy?

                      Sort of. I think mainstreet is ready for a transaction tax but I doubt any House candidates next year will bring it up. Hope I'm wrong as it's a moral high ground winner.

                      If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                      by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:12:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Frankly, I think the American people would be (6+ / 0-)

              fine with green jobs as long as they exist and pay a decent living wage, because the American people would be fine with any job as long as it exists and pays a decent wage. It's not a problem of framing; it's a problem of no one being willing to pony up the money to create the jobs, for a variety of reasons.

              In other words, whether you frame it in a way that they can say OMG the hippies are winning or whether you frame it like an Archie Bunker screed, in the end it doesn't matter: in the end you will need money to create those jobs, and money to create jobs ain't on the menu unless there is some specific reason for it (such as:  the powerful want Keystone XL to go through; Keystone XL can't go through without pipe being laid; therefore somebody has to lay the pipe; therefore there have to be about 1,000 temporary jobs).

              Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:15:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  the government can print money (2+ / 0-)

                See: Keynes, John

                The problem is breaking the ideological gridlock. The other sides' base has been convinced there's an economic rational for the divide but their strength is from the culture war. The solution is in the history books under FDR

                If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:43:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, but it's not just Republicans who are (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  congenitalefty, Noodles

                  keeping this from happening. It's most of the Democratic party too. The ideological gridlock extends from center-left types like my congressman, Chris Van Hollen, all the way over to Paul Ryan. And it's worth considering the wealthy who are standing behind them influencing the conversation. FDR does have the answer, but FDR and the New Deal and Keynes are all verboten--at least as much in our party as anywhere else. And Obama is leading the way on that.

                  How do you intend to deal with that? Is your idea that you will sell the Reagan Democrats on Keynes and thus pressure the Democratic party back in the right direction?

                  Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:38:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  jobs jobs jobs (0+ / 0-)

                    Just keep saying jobs jobs jobs and assume we've won all the culture war stuff. We haven't, there's miles to go, but take a page from the extremist right book and declare victory via settled moral high ground. Then say jobs. Don't mention Keynes, mention FDR if a candidate is feeling it. Obama's not running again. Shift the discussion to jobs all the time.

                    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                    by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:04:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  I'm refering to a recent study (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando, AoT

          no link sorry too lazy and harried but it was on the front page around here - that showed there was a reverse effect with light bulbs. If conservatives were just shopping just on cost effective they chose a certain light bulb, if the bulb was (accurately) labeled 'better for the environment' or 'save the planet' etc ... they bought the other one. The tribal tug of not giving the hippies any victories outweighed self interest.

          Another thing, and this has always been flame bait but here goes: retire the "one percent" thing. It was only ever preaching to the choir and some of us always found it annoying and not good meme starting. As Krugman pointed out the math points more at the .01 percent, a friend says it's about the 26 percent who got theirs and are afraid of losing it, and "Wall Street" says it much better. Remember the goal here is to chip off some of the right wing working class base (and I understand the phrase "working class" is not good advertising). Because without a significant electoral presence we'll never get anything real accomplished and without breaking through their tribal barriers the numbers are too depressing to realistically contemplate.

          If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

          by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:38:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, the right wing working class (6+ / 0-)

            seems to have gotten the idea that the government and the banks are working together in a corrupt way that screws over the working man.

            The 1% works fine for me--not with every audience, of course, but no meme works fine with everybody.
            It says something real, and people grasp it.  And I'm not sure what you mean by preaching to the choir, when there was a pretty eclectic group of people out at those encampments and events--everybody from Ron Paul supporters to left-wing Democrats to socialists to independents who weren't particularly political (in their minds anyway) but who had just lost their homes or their jobs.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:19:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've watched Reagan Democrats laugh about it (0+ / 0-)

              all night long. "We are the 99 percent" when Occupy, for better or worse, read to them (and me FWIW) as the usual suspects.

              > Ron Paul supporters to left-wing Democrats to socialists

              See above. And there's nowhere near enough of that demographic to sway elections.

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:46:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, when the Reagan Democrats lose (5+ / 0-)

                their houses, they might feel differently about people trying to help them save their houses. Or maybe not.

                But we've been chasing "the Reagan Democrat" since they voted for Reagan, mostly by trying to sound conservative. And I don't see that at the end of the day that that's put us in a good position, as progressives. We have less power than we've ever had.

                I suggest advocating for the preservation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the creation of jobs, and making Wall St stop messing with people's mortgages--and hopefully bringing them to justice under the law. And hammering those points and sticking to them. If the Reagan Democrats don't come on board for that, they won't come on board for anything.

                Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

                by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:13:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  exactly (0+ / 0-)

                  > advocating for the preservation of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the creation of jobs, and making Wall St stop messing with people's mortgages

                  And stop there. We win the culture war stuff anyway down the road and reap maximum benefit from it already. Don't balance the budget on the backs of America's seniors. That's a message that could get into the weeds next year.

                  If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                  by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:08:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  that said, on *specific* issues (6+ / 0-)

            like trying to sell lightbulbs to people, I don't mind dropping pro-environmental stuff off the label. But selling people lightbulbs is different from selling them politicians or policies.  We've tried since 1988 to sell them politicians and policies by muting anything that sounds like it could be a hippy or be related to a hippy, and it has landed us in the shit, pretty much, economically, ecologically, and politically.

            Also, it ain't 1988 anymore, and I don't see the point in seeking to please the people whose influence is dwindling because too many people alive now couldn't care less about hippies because hippies are some weird thing their grandparents used to be--or because too many people now couldn't care less about Communism or Socialism as a bogeyman, because the Cold War ended 24 years ago--or because there are a lot more black and brown people being born than white people. Historically and demographically, this particular ship has sailed. Hippie-baiting isn't a threat anywhere except within the Democratic party, where it's used as a way to keep lefties in line. Outside, where the voters live, most of them don't give a damn.

            what they do give a damn about is decent-paying jobs, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, healthcare and, if they have kids, education.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:28:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  because I don't think waiting another 15 years (0+ / 0-)

              for the hoped for demographic shift is a good idea.

              I think the left of center could get on the street (not the idiot or far left mind you - I mean the style of the current elected Progressive caucus) with more moral credibility on economic issues now, I mean for 2014.

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:49:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  as one of "us hippies" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, jgnyc, mightymouse

        who were "...right all along about the ecological consequences of industrialism.",   I have to agree.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:18:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Look, fwiw, I wish this were true. (6+ / 0-)

          But the hold-up is not in the opinions of the American people, though their opinions are not great on this issue; the hold-up is where the money is. In a capitalist system, it requires money to make these kinds of changes, to create green jobs, etc. The money is in the control of people who have no interest in investing the money in any jobs, much less jobs that will change our energy economy.  Trying to win by placating folks with a nice non-hippy message is not going to work. I know this because we've been trying it for twenty years--what do you think the cap-and-trade thing was supposed to be? It's a goddamned market, like a stock exchange, where carbon has a freaking price put on it, and guys in suits buy and sell the right to burn carbon as a commodity. Does that sound like Woodstock to you? It was designed as a business-friendly, industry-friendly mechanism. Emphatically not hippy.

          So, API and AEI, and all the other Koch-funded organs just made it into a hippy thing. It became a left-wing fringe socialist hippy destruction of our way of life because they said so.  It was the same with Romneycare, btw. And so it goes.

          Unless you intend to change the media in a fundamental way, you can't win that fight that way. You can't win by trying to dodge the term "hippy" like a bullet. "Hippy" will be whatever they want it to be. Kind of like "terrorist."

          Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:41:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever truthful message works. But it... (7+ / 0-)

        ...should not be forgotten that plenty of Democrats, plenty of progressives don't put the environment high on their priority list unless it connects with jobs. Getting the message across that the environment and the economy are not too separate entitites would help, but too many folks who are good on other important matters on the progressive agenda just don't get that.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:31:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jgnyc, AoT, mightymouse

          No need to hide the jobs light under the environmental bush.

          this reminds me of the criticism I would receive for arguing that torture is not effective.

          I was told that should not matter.

          I responded but for the politics is does.

          •  Armando, as long as the jobs materialize (7+ / 0-)

            and are at a good living wage, and as long as people are trained to do them so they can actually get these jobs and earn the decent living wage, it won't matter if I call them "Purple Fandango Tutu" jobs.

            The environment is not a bush. You're buying into this whole notion that the problem is that our choice of messaging is "too hippy" or "too left." There are two reasons this is wrong: 1) the American people want good jobs with decent wages, pretty much no matter what, and 2) the media will make whatever you call your policy, project or politician into something "too far left," no matter what. If Romneycare didn't teach us that, I don't know what will.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:46:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  How about if we torture (0+ / 0-)

            Republicans until they give us good jobs?

            "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

            by bryduck on Tue Jul 02, 2013 at 09:03:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  21st century industry will be "green" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando, kj in missouri

          because it's really good for business. And, initially, a jobs program. Rather then being the Greenpeace eco-warriors our programs should be boring really good ideas that just happen to lower the carbon footprint because it's good for the business at hand.

          We have an INNOVATION GAP with the Chinese (not really but sell the sizzle not the steak). They have faster trains, they are jump starting solar because the government is investing. Let's Rebuild America for the 21st Century (tm)

          Grey candidates in suits talking jobs for American families might chip off some of the other side. Because if we don't chip off some of the other side we're waiting around to see if all the demographic optimism comes true for the next decade. The ecology is non-linear and, I hope, more resilient than worst case scenarios, but ocean acidity is worrisome near term and carbon, fossil fuel, fraking etc are going to take a long time to restructure. Sooner is better for a post industrial America and we have to break through the tribal barriers or it won't be sooner.

          If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

          by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 12:50:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We'll see. One big problem is that we've just ... (10+ / 0-)

            ...wasted four-and-a-half years during which upgrading our dilapidated infrastructure with green replacements could have been accomplished with cheap borrowed money thanks to the Fed's downward pressure on interest rates, something that  (despite the first quarter's 1.8% annualized GDP growth) seems destined to no longer be the case.

            The idea of bolstering the economy with green jobs is not exactly new. We were talking about this in the late '70s. And by "we," I mean that literally in this case. I was then at the Solar Energy Research Institute (now NREL), and we often noted that the new industries coming from renewables would provide lots of good jobs and a thriving export market if the United States was the leader in the field, which, at the time it was even though solar cells and wind turbines were primitive and incredibly expensive by today's standards.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:30:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah the low interest rates are a missed moment (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kj in missouri, Noodles, lotlizard

              Although to the entrenched interests that may be a feature not a bug as when the civic will comes together they'd rather have it financed at higher rates.

              Green jobs isn't a new idea. I was bringing it up in the context of focusing electorally on jobs - with the green along for good business - instead of the security state or culture war issues. Obviously the blogosphere can walk and chew gum at the same time  but the imagery of common sense technocrats makes more sense to me than crusading culture and economic warriors. Granted that's exactly the image that the bland center and center right of our party work but I think/hope progressives could get more mileage down ticket as we may have slightly more moral credibility with Jane Thevoter not that that's a very high bar.

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 02:37:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The tribal barriers we have to worry about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            congenitalefty

            aren't the conservative voters as much as the people who control the big money that needs to be invested in the changes.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 01:47:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Agree, they're linked (0+ / 0-)

          Back in the day, Veep Al Gore made a good casefor that.

          "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being in DC."

          by Betty Pinson on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:21:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Save the environment -- water, land and air (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard

        I wouldn't say "help the environment." Say it's a fight to preserve the future. Not a better future. Any future.

        We're literally using up our drinking water supplies. For me, this might be the worst aspect of fracking -- not the risk of inadvertent contamination, but the deliberate contamination of millions of gallons of water for each fracked well. I'm sure we can put scientists to work on synthesizing new water or finding a substitute.

        Also, we're destroying our oceans and overfishing, but I guess that can wait -- even if it means fishermen, fish product workers and fishmongers will all be out of work in a generation.

        Land? Garbage everywhere. We have to stop producing so much waste, because we're practically out of room to dispose of it.

        Air -- skipping past the health effects of pollution, lets just focus on saving the world for future generations. So, they can have jobs, too.

        There are solutions and, in fact, many of the steps we need to take on one aspect are steps we need to take for the other problems, as well. We need to stop producing so much GHGs in producing nitrogen-rich fertilizers and pesticides that are destroying our health and our water and oceans. We need to stop producing so many GHGs that are making farming almost impossible anyway. By eating local we can dispense with a lot of wasteful packaging....and we can start composting on a wide scale to produce fertilizers naturally, provide cover for soil to reduce GHGs, and reduce waste.

        Then, of course, there's the alternative energy sources, which will be less polluting, use less water, etc....and maybe provide reliable income and power for agriculture.

        And, all of these will offer jobs...but, I  gotta tell ya, that shouldn't be the best way to sell these things. The pitch has to go like this:
         

        "We've doing things the wrong way, and the good news is we now know there are better ways to do these things. We have run out of time to hide our heads in the sand.

        Our scientific understanding may be new, but the general ideas aren't new wisdom unknown to past generations of Americans and greatest leaders.

        People have resisted the promise of the new, greener economy, out of fear for their future...their economic future. FDR understood this -- that the thing we have to fear most is this fear, because it's crippling us. The only thing we have to fear about the future is no future.

        That's what we'll have if we keep pretending we can produce energy the old way, without regard to the consequences. That's what we'll have if we don't develop smarter uses for our water supplies, for disposing of our waste, if we don't take our role seriously as G-d's steward for the planet, and all the creatures on it. Because our ultimate prosperity and even our survival may rest on how well we do that job.

        We can't continue to live as we did when there was one or two billion people, most of whom were living in pre-industrial culture. We can't live as we did when fossil fuels were so abundant that our supplies were much bigger than demand and the resources seemed they would last forever...not as we did when we didn't know that burning fossil fuels to generate electricity and other power was sowing the seeds of a future climate calamity. We can't continue to consume as thoughtlessly we did then, or to dispose of our waste as thoughtlessly as if we believed there were no consequences.

        The thing is we can maintain the same quality of life, if we just live more consciously and conscientiously.

        The planet is at 7 billion people and possibly heading to 9 billion...and the third world is industrializing faster than we ever did here.  It's in everybody's interests that we find ways to use the Earth's resources more intelligently. If we lead the way in this effort, we might be the ones to benefit the most economically, but we will all benefit for having saved the planet's resources for our children and their children's children.

        It's going to take a collective effort. We can't have free riders -- not in other countries, and not here, either, because they're going to sink this effort for all of us.  We, as a nation, as a civilization, and as a species - we have reached a tipping point, Either we find the proper balance, or we're all going to slide into the abyss.

        Our fates are linked...intertwined. We have to work cooperatively to win the future for everyone. That's something the Founding Fathers understood when Ben Franklin said "We must all hang together, or we will all surely hang separately."

        This is a time of unprecedented peril to the environment that sustains us, but the solutions are within our power and within reach. All we have to do is agree to change our path away from the abyss, and to embark on this new course where the future will be just as bright as the past has been.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

        by FischFry on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 08:30:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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