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View Diary: The case for a Democrat in every race (199 comments)

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  •  Too bad winning isn't everything (1+ / 0-)
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    Cassiodorus

    I remember how little anything changed when a disgusted public handed over the keys to the Dems.  It wasn't that long ago.

    Anyway, incredible that the only real response to someone suggesting that politicians stand for something is wholesale dismissal of the notion as amateurish and worthy of scorn.  From a certain point of view, that could be seen as an acknowledgement of defeat in terms of anything real.

    Or as Andrew Bacevich says,

    The purpose of Congress is to re-elect members of Congress.

    Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

    by geomoo on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 06:57:04 PM PST

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    •  Really, how little changed? (0+ / 0-)

      Lilly Ledbetter law, stimulus, Affordable Care Act, no trouble passing budgets or debt ceiling increases, confirmation of a whole bunch of people, etc., etc. Is your problem that you're looking so hard at what isn't happening that you can't see what is?

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 07:14:35 PM PST

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      •  Perhaps. Life and death issues concern me. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus

        Torture concerns me.  Killing abroad concerns me.  Wealth inequality exacerbated by bank bail-outs concerns me.  Flouting of the rule of law concerns me.  Promises of a candidate vs. what is delivered concern me.  You may want to dismiss me, but I worked hard, and I sent money all around the country so that the Dems could have control, and they did not deliver on any of the things that I worked so hard for them to be able to do.  I still remember the day that, teary-eyed, the House pretended they had ended the occupation of Iraq.  I was touched.  I believed Murtha and Pelosi.  I was a sucker and a fool.  I no longer accept calls from the Dem Party, because when they had the chance, they did not even come close to delivering what the country needed.

        Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

        by geomoo on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 08:03:52 PM PST

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        •  I don't dismiss any of that (0+ / 0-)

          But your well-founded anger about these things shouldn't be sufficient to make you act like Democrats and Republicans are the same today. Also, we should remember that the past was equally bad. President Johnson, who did more for civil rights than anyone else other than Lincoln, destroyed his presidency over Vietnam; FDR barred the door to refugees from Nazism, in one famous case resulting in them being actually returned to their deaths, had loads of Japanese-Americans interned in concentration camps, and collaborated with segregationists to get compromised programs through; Theodore Roosevelt (a Republican, but a Progressive) was horribly racist toward Native Americans; etc., etc. There have always been painful aspects of US government actions and policies.

          If Dr. King were alive now, do you have any doubt what he'd be doing and saying? He would be supporting all moves toward greater fairness and equality while condemning war, oppression, and predatory behavior by the banks, corporations, and super-rich. But I doubt that he'd be giving up to despair or considering himself a sucker for supporting President Obama against John McCain and Mitch Romney. Those were the alternatives, and in terms of Congress, when you compare any Democrat to the Republicans who've run the House into the ground and until recently were preventing the most routine confirmations from even coming to a vote in the Senate, it should be obvious what choice a practical leftist would make.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 08:24:24 PM PST

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          •  I am only interested in a choice with a chance (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sorry, but doing a little better is not good enough today, under these circumstances.  When the planet melts down, my grandkids won't be able to take solace in the fact that I voted for the party more likely to give lip service to tackling climate change in a meaningful way.  Obama talked about corporate influence over government, so he understood he issue--it was all lip service.  Once in office, the Dems tried to hide their meetings with lobbyists by doing it on the sly away from the WH, but it didn't change.  On important issue after important issue, Obama meets with corporate leaders to draft policy while shutting out the left.  Time and time again.  For the important posts, he appoints people any Rep president would be comfortable with.  Where is the difference in foreign policy?  There is none.  Just because there is a corporate astroturf group advocating insane policies, that does not mean right wing policies which exacerbate our problems are good enough.  The system is broke, it is inadequate, it is not up to the task of delivering what is needed to keep our democracy functional, our environment liveable, and our moral behavior palatable.  That is the fact, and a lot of us are saying it.  Mostly, we are dismissed as racists, or unrealistic, or whiners, or people who have to get our way, or as "fucking retards".  Our ideas are dismissed, much as Cassiodorus' excellent suggestion that we run people who stand for something was dismissed out of hand.  We are not at the table, and we should be, because we are talking about necessary changes to a thoroughly corrupt system in a time of drastic challenges on many fronts.  If the elected officials seemed to be trying instead of lying, I would still be doing what I could to support them.  Based on what I've seen, they are not trying in good faith to tackle any of our pressing issues.

            "Practical" means doing things that actually work.  Neither the Obama administration nor Congress is doing things that actually work.  This is so even if the insanity would have a different flavor under the Reps.  Democracy will not survive if power continues to be concentrated in a secretive executive branch that ignores the law with impunity, if concentration of wealth and income continues to increase, and if the nation continues to pour its blood and treasure into war instead of improving social conditions at home.  If democracy perishes, it is nearly certain that climate change will not be addressed.  All of the issues I have mentioned have gotten worse during the Obama administration, including worsening during the years when Dems had more control.  In fact, the problems are getting worse with the enthusiastic support of Dems.

            It is not practical to support a hopelessly corrupt system in order to have minimal influence on how much damage it does.  If I were in prison, and had to choose between joining two brutal gangs, I suppose I would sign up for one in order to survive, even though I held both in contempt.  But this is not prison, and I don't have to support one corrupt, lying party because they are the only game in town.

            Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

            by geomoo on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 10:45:04 PM PST

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            •  Do you have a practical suggestion (0+ / 0-)

              for a way to get the US government (not to mention governments in countries like China and India) to do the things you believe are necessary, or would you rather everyone just despair and give up trying to vote for the much-less-bad party because we're all doomed?

              As for the difference in foreign policy, though: If you really see no difference in foreign policy between George W. Bush and Barack Obama, I really don't know what you're looking at.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Mon Dec 16, 2013 at 11:45:59 PM PST

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              •  No, I don't have a practical suggestion (0+ / 0-)

                How to magically counter the obscene concentration of wealth and power protected by a largely secretive entrenched intelligence and military apparatus with a proven record of anti-democratic behavior.  Gee, I wish I did.  But contrary to popular belief, having all the answers is not a prerequisite to pointing out that the strategy being engaged is a hopeless one.  "Nothing else works so I'm doing this" is hardly an argument.

                That doesn't mean I am despairing.  If I were despairing, I wouldn't be spending time in conversation with you in a thread no one else will ever read.  My belief is that the only hope left against such concentrated power is solidarity; so I start with conversations like this one, hoping against hope to open someone's eyes.

                What I am seeing in foreign policy is continuation of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, stepped up drone strikes, hypocritical condemnation of human rights abuses in other countries, spying on allies. the coming TPP, operations of JSOC continuing unabated, continued renditions, continued Guantanamo (complete with continued torture there), bombing in Syria, talking Yemen into keeping a journalist jailed, and general self-righteous poking around in the affairs of sovereign nations on behalf of commercial interests.  That's what I see, and it is not different than what a Republican would be doing, even though the lying rhetoric is a different flavor.  

                Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                by geomoo on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:11:04 AM PST

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              •  I already suggested a practical alternative. (0+ / 0-)

                You rejected it.

                "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:52:21 AM PST

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                •  Try again (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't remember seeing anything I could understand that made sense to me.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:46:45 AM PST

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                  •  #1 (0+ / 0-)

                    Run in every race.

                    #2 Primary the Blue Dogs.

                    #3 Force the Democratic Party to stand for something by out-organizing the moneybags, especially in the races they have forsaken.

                    "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                    by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:53:01 AM PST

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                    •  That's certainly understandable (0+ / 0-)

                      I am not seeing how it addresses the pessimism expressed by geomoo, though.

                      And no, I don't agree with primarying the very small number of Blue Dogs in R+ districts who are still in Congress. That's a way to get more Republicans into Congress.

                      Your #1 and #3 are great, in my opinion.

                      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                      by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:12:16 PM PST

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                      •  If your event horizon does not extend (0+ / 0-)

                        past the next election, you will not adopt the strategy of running the right candidates until they stop losing, and the end result will be that you will get the wrong politicians, from here to eternity.

                        "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                        by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 05:18:08 PM PST

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                        •  That's not the way it works (0+ / 0-)

                          I thought McGovern was great. Did it help the Democratic Party to nominate him in 1972? Show how that helped.

                          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                          by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:33:52 PM PST

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                          •  Enjoy the wrong politicians, then. (0+ / 0-)

                            You seem to think that single elections mean something all by themselves.  People with principles, on the other hand, are in it for the long haul.

                            "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                            by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:41:18 PM PST

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                          •  I've got principles (0+ / 0-)

                            You prefer to ignore that. But one of them is to avoid being a mirror image of Jim DeMint. If you'd prefer 30 really liberal Democrats in the Senate with veto-proof Republican control for an extended period, I beg to differ. I don't believe in making my ideal of Swedish-style socialism the enemy of whatever half-measures we might be able to get with more Blue Dogs in Congress in place of Republicans.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 06:53:00 PM PST

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                          •  Forty years of neoliberal policy (0+ / 0-)

                            is what the Democratic Party has earned itself with its focus-only-on-the-next-election myopia.  The Democrats can all be corralled to vote for someone like John Kerry, whose actual voting record of 2004 is synopsized in the link.  But hey, if you prefer to view one-and-a-half degrees to the left of George W. Bush as a half-measure to Swedish-style socialism, be my guest.  Over half of America supports single-payer, but if you prefer to elect politicians who declare that it's "off the table," and fully in keeping with your philosophy of electoral realism, then I guess you can pretend that's a half-measure to Swedish-style socialism too.

                            The Democrats don't get to stand for anything if they aren't willing to risk individual elections for the sake of standing for anything.

                            NB: Sweden doesn't have anything close to real socialism.

                            "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                            by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:25:45 PM PST

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                          •  I live in Manhattan (0+ / 0-)

                            I have no difficulty in being able to help elect candidates who support single-payer. Try doing that in districts that routinely elect Republicans. I'm very frustrated by your inability to understand the way things are, or perhaps your unwillingness to allow yourself to acknowledge that truth.

                            As for your remark on socialism, I'm a social democrat. Countries like Sweden have heavily taxed and regulated capitalism whose productivity is harnessed for the benefit of the people to a large extent. And if even that isn't satisfactory to you, seeing how far the US is from that now, well...

                            Have a nice night. I think we long ago really exhausted any usefulness in a dialogue.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:40:23 PM PST

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                          •  Sure. (0+ / 0-)
                            I'm a social democrat.
                            Whatever makes you feel good.  We're all neoliberals until we can actually organize for something better, instead of making excuses.

                            "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                            by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:29:58 PM PST

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                          •  When you are able to elect a majority of the House (0+ / 0-)

                            by yourself or even have one vote in a majority of the districts, get back to me. Have a good night.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:55:49 PM PST

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                          •  Yes, it's me and only me (0+ / 0-)

                            who is advocating this.

                            "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                            by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 09:04:39 PM PST

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                          •  I might add-- (0+ / 0-)

                            that the ONLY time in the neoliberal era when the Democratic Party has been able to get anything out of Congress with the FAINTEST WHIFF of progressive policymaking has been when the Republicans have failed so thoroughly (see 1992, 2008) that the Democrats have actually had to promise something other than more Republicanism.

                            "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                            by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:37:14 PM PST

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                          •  Those were times (0+ / 0-)

                            when Democrats had control of both Houses of Congress plus the White House. That's what's needed.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 07:41:30 PM PST

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                          •  And you only get that because of Republican (0+ / 0-)

                            failure -- that should have been your first sign that the "expert" strategy wasn't working.

                            "I wish I could change the ways of the world/ Make it a nice place/ Until that day/ I guess we stay/ Doing what we do, screwing who we screw" -- Lily Allen

                            by Cassiodorus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:04:03 PM PST

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                          •  In a binary opposition (0+ / 0-)

                            A Democratic electoral success is a Republican electoral failure, and vice versa.

                            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                            by MichaelNY on Tue Dec 17, 2013 at 08:54:41 PM PST

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