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View Diary: (LA-04) Daily Kos political posers should feel pain and shame (170 comments)

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  •  Out of curiosity, taking a look at (7+ / 0-)

    the rest of the Democratic caucus, how many other seats would you happily give up?

    If Paul Carmouche had won tonight, he might remain in that seat for many, many years.  One of those years may be a year when, after we lose some luster in the public eye, the number of seats we hold outside of LA-04 may drop to 217.  Will you decide to care only then?  If so, will you apply your caring retroactively?

    We want every seat we can get.  You never know when they will come in handy.

    •  I respect your line of thinking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      but I don't want seats.  I want progressive voices.  I'm happy Jefferson lost.  And I just don't care that much whether Carmouche lost.  If it was a progressive like Trauner, I would have made calls.  Indeed, if a more moderate voice, like say former CT Republican Chris Shays were running as a Dem in LA-04, I would have made phone calls.  There has to be a threshold where we ignore the letter after their names and look at their policies.  

      •  Yes, there is a threshold (4+ / 0-)

        Carmouche is clearly above it.  Whoever is elected from that district is going to be anti-abortion, pro-gun, and pro-drilling.  The electorate demands it.  You need to look past that and figure out if he was good enough otherwise.  He clearly was.

        •  After reading some of the comments (0+ / 0-)

          and thinking about it, I find it hard to imagine vocally pushing an anti-abortion, pro-drilling candidate...or putting my money behind him (which is also pumping money into that very same community.)

          Anti-abortionists stand for taking away women's rights. Pro-drilling advocates are anti-environmentalists and backers of Big Oil. Do we really want to compromise on these two issues (and if we do, how many other future candidates will think they're entitled to our support just because they have a "D" after their names?)

          One of the things that impressed many of us about candidates like Paul Wellstone and Barack Obama was that they won over voters who didn't always agree with them on these very issues. Paul Wellstone especially was known for winning over hard-core conservatives in his state. They respected his honesty and sincerity...they trusted him. So we KNOW it CAN BE DONE without compromise.

          While I think this is a worthwhile diary and certainly a discussion worth having here at DKos, I'm not sure this particular race was one we should have put our considerable oompahs behind. YMMV.

          •  Who do you think should represent LA-04? (0+ / 0-)

            Arguably, we can say that we should impeach the entire local electorate or something, but failing that, they will vote, and they will vote pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-drilling.  Given that, is it really of no concern to you whether their representative -- who is truly representing them in these ways -- votes with or against us on health care, on Iraq, on unemployment benefits, etc.?

            If so, I think that you consign us to a permanent minority status, and we already know that that doesn't work.

            Carmouche turned down an easy, guaranteed path to Congress because he refused to run as a Republican.  That should be all that one needs to know about him to be convinced that he earned our support.

            •  If the Republican candidate was pro-choice (0+ / 0-)

              and anti-drilling, would you still feel the same way? I'm guessing yes...and here is where we will always differ. I'd vote Republican if they supported my beliefs and the Democrat did not.

              I'm not a Democrat first and progressive second. I can't imagine convincing some stranger over the phone to vote for "my guy" because he's anti-abortion, pro-gun, and pro-drilling.

              I can't imagine donating my hard-earned money from a very VERY hard-earned career (female in a male world) to someone who wants to curtail my healthcare rights and the rights of my daughters.

              Sorry. It's not apathy. You're expecting us to act in ways that go against the very ideals that have brought us here.

              •  Honestly, it would depend on the likelihood (0+ / 0-)

                that choice and drilling would be significant issues in the foreseeable future and on their mix of other issue stances.  I'd have to ask myself: why is this person a Republican.  I can imagine a satisfaction answer.  (I think that Joseph Cao has one.)  But I would also weigh that against the possible damage done to the Democratic Party, which I favor not because I am a Democrat but because I am a progressive and do not believe that we have any other realistic vehicle for social change.

                By the way, the word "because" in your second paragraph is mystifying.  Do you think that I'm suggesting that those are his selling points?  "Will support Barack Obama" is his selling point.

                If you hold to your single-issue beliefs, you will end up voting against some very fine Democrats, which in the House -- where they don't vote on judicial appointments, which is where this issue is settled -- is pretty pointless given the low likelihood of significant abortion legislation.  And you end up with an anti-abortion Republican in office, in this case.  It sounds like it is just important to you that you can say that at least you didn't vote for someone.  That strikes me as selfish.

                And, by the way, in times when the Constitution is not being shredded, choice is my #1 issue, so don't bother arguing that I'm disparaging women's rights.

                •  There are three issues, not one (0+ / 0-)

                  The bottom line is that I can't advocate that candidate's position on three very important issues. One issue I could probably swallow but three? And then make phone calls to people and make them feel as if I support these issues?

                  Don't think so.

                  •  I defy you to find more than 20% of the (0+ / 0-)

                    Democratic House delegation with whom you could not find three substantial issues on which you disagree.  Would you really be satisfied with only 10% of the House, only the purest of the pure, so long as it left you personally unsullied?

                    Not me.  I want candidates who agree with me as much as possible, but in the end, if they are among the better representatives that can be expected from their districts, then let me be as sullied as necessary in the cause of better policy.

                    No one who calls (with rare exceptions) knows or cares what you think personally.  Your calling for a candidate does not endorse their entire platform.  Your position is one of someone who thinks themselve above it all.  I'm not.  I'm part of it all.  And that is why I will try to get the best candidate possible out of each district without feeling that it reflects poorly on my purity of soul.

                    •  I can't help but think that just encourages (0+ / 0-)

                      mediocre candidates who will say or do anything to ride Obama's coattails. There's no guarantee these politicians will stand behind Obama when he really needs them.

                      I'm not a purist and actually my biggest issue is not choice but healthcare reform. That said, you cannot separate out woman's healthcare issues (things such as Bush's latest effort to allow pharmacies and doctors to deny women birth control under the assumption that birth control equals abortion) from other healthcare issues.

                      From what others have said, this is a Democratic district...how on earth could we not have found someone "less Republican" to run on our ticket?? THAT is where I'll be happy to be a part of the system and willingly give money and devote time to finding and developing better political talent.

                      •  It was an R+6.5 district (0+ / 0-)

                        that hasn't had a Democratic rep in, at least, many years.  I'm not sure who said otherwise, but they were mistaken, and the mistake is telling.

                        •  Glad you replied (0+ / 0-)

                          because I've been thinking about this all day off and on at work.

                          I've got two points.

                          First, our movement (progressive netroots, DKos in particular but certainly including others) has been and continues to gain political weight. If we start, as a matter of "political expediency" supporting candidates that are so incredibly far away from our ideals -- just because they have a "D" after their name -- we weaken our power. Period. We become closer and closer to being a junior DLC. I don't want that.

                          Second...here's why I'm against ANY anti-abortionist at this point in time (Dem or Rep.) And it leads back to the Healthcare reform we WILL have during this next administration.

                          Healthcare reform WILL go through...the Republicans can't do anything to stop it without risking losing even more seats in 2010. So what will they do?

                          They will summon all "Pro-Lifer's" and they'll tack on ad infinitum amendments to any Healthcare proposal that helps not only to prevent KNOWLEDGE of legalized abortions being available but will try to reduce sex education as well as access to birth control.

                          At that point, do we want to be fighting Republicans (YES...because they will be seen as voting strictly partisan) or do we want to have to be fighting members of our own party (A HUGE NO....)?

                          There is nothing so magical about the number 60 that it can't be fucked up by a Blue Dog Dem.

                          Obama is and will continue to be a popular politician...he will have all kinds of nutcases and/or wiley politicians trying to hang on to his coattails (regardless of policies.)

                          We're not here to imitate the DLC or even the DNC.
                          We are here to be who we are...and there's no one running in this district that represents us. Period. End of story.

                          I'm not lazy, I'm not apathetic...I just don't have any viable options -- as a progressive who enjoys exercising her netroots power -- available to me in this specific election.

                          •  I'll tell you why that won't happen (0+ / 0-)

                            It's called a conference committee.

                            Yes, especially in the House, "pro-lifers" may be able to get some amendments that undercut abortion rights into the health care bill.  It's less likely that it will happen in the Senate.  However, once the bill goes to conference, they'll be gone -- because we control the leadership of both parties and can direct them not to include such measures, on pain of ... serious pain.

                            We have such control because we elected, along with the Reps you and I agree with, a lot of people who are "pro-life," pro-gun, etc. who are with us on other issues.  Without that, we would be beautiful losers and our republic would quite literally now be ending.

                            Anyway, I recognize that this is disagreement within a larger agreement, so: peace.

                          •  Paul Carmouche (0+ / 0-)

                            our candidate, was the dedicated Caddo Parrish District Attorney for 30 years.

                            John Fleming was a candidate that ran a typically dirty GOP campaign.  And he got away with it.

                            Even as a conservative Democrat, Paul Carmouche is much better public servant that John Fleming can ever hope to be.

                            Here in the Ark-La-Tex, we will help Democrats everywhere win.  Even if individuals such as yourself consider us unworthy.

                            Barack Obama for President '08

                            by v2aggie2 on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 08:18:17 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sorry -- this is a reply to eltee (0+ / 0-)

                            Barack Obama for President '08

                            by v2aggie2 on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 08:19:03 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Seneca Doane

                          the Republicans have held this seat for 20 consecutive years before this cycle.

                          Barack Obama for President '08

                          by v2aggie2 on Mon Dec 08, 2008 at 07:35:57 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

      •  Carmouche was with us on healthcare (6+ / 0-)

        Where we will desperately need every vote possible to pass.    

        •  And Iraq (5+ / 0-)
          and that's no small victory for us from a candidate from this area.

          He's a smart, good man. And he was asked to run for Congress on the Republican ticket and that would have guaranteed him victory, that and he's a really respected D.A. But he told the Republicans no, ran on the Democratic Party ticket, and that cost him votes.

          He could've said yes to the Republican Party and would've have been elected tonight. But he said no, that he's a Democratic and that has to say something about the man.

    •  If he's not a crook, he's better than a Repug (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane

      Carmouche's vote on guns or abortion wouldn't have mattered anyway. He would've been a backbencher,  but he also would've had more clout getting goodies for his district. They appreciate that in Louisiana just like everywhere else.  Now 04 has a guy who'll be yapping to his hometown papers about evil Washington liberals.

      "Only poets know how many poems end up as pies."

      by DJ Rix on Sun Dec 07, 2008 at 02:06:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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