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View Diary: Markos's Barbaric "Yup" (132 comments)

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  •  To me, the question is simpler (0+ / 0-)

    Blue Dogs are no great admirers of progressive netroots.  Because despite the diversity of opinion here, there seems to be at least some consensus that there are some major ideological differences with the Blue Dog caucus.

    Yet we're supposed to act as an ATM of last resort for them?  Since when?

    And I thank Markos for having the honesty to state why he, while of course wanting Murphy to succeed, was choosing to direct his resources elsewhere at this point in time.  I thank Markos for having the honesty and integrity to let people know that this particular candidate has plans to caucus with the Blue Dog Coalition and therefore people could make their determinations regarding donations/calls/volunteering with that information being known.

    Showed more integrity than multiple diarists who left out this inconvenient fact while advocating for Murphy.

    With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

    by GN1927 on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 03:31:19 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  So you would not donate to any of these people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Team Slacker

      regardless of how tight their race was:

      Jason Altmire (PA-4)
      Mike Arcuri (NY-24)
      Joe Baca (CA-43)
      John Barrow (GA-12)
      Marion Berry (AR-1)
      Sanford Bishop (GA-2)
      Dan Boren (OK-2)
      Leonard Boswell (IA-3)
      Allen Boyd (FL-2)
      Bobby Bright (AL-2)
      Dennis Cardoza (CA-18)
      Christopher Carney (PA-10)
      Ben Chandler (KY-6)
      Travis Childers (MS-1)
      Jim Cooper (TN-5)
      Jim Costa (CA-20)
      Henry Cuellar (TX-28)
      Lincoln Davis (TN-4)
      Joe Donnelly (IN-2)
      Brad Ellsworth (IN-8)
      Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8)
      Bart Gordon (TN-6)
      Parker Griffith (AL-5)
      Jane Harman (CA-36)
      Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD-AL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration
      Baron Hill (IN-9), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy
      Tim Holden (PA-17)
      Frank Kratovil (MD-1)
      Jim Marshall (GA-8)
      Jim Matheson (UT-2)
      Mike McIntyre (NC-7)
      Charlie Melancon (LA-3), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications
      Mike Michaud (ME-2)
      Walt Minnick (ID-1)
      Harry Mitchell (AZ-5)
      Dennis Moore (KS-3)
      Patrick Murphy (PA-8)
      Glenn Nye (VA-2)
      Collin Peterson (MN-7)
      Earl Pomeroy (ND-AL)
      Mike Ross (AR-4)
      John Salazar (CO-3)
      Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
      Adam Schiff (CA-29)
      David Scott (GA-13)
      Heath Shuler (NC-11), Blue Dog Whip
      Zack Space (OH-18)
      John Tanner (TN-8)
      Gene Taylor (MS-4)
      Mike Thompson (CA-1)
      Charlie Wilson (OH-6)

      Funny, I see a lot of familiar names in there from DKos funding appeals.

      I guess that you want to be a minority party again.  Well, starting at the top, I'm very glad that Jason Altmire beat Melissa Hart, that Mike Arcuri beat Ray Meier ....  Some, like Dan Boren I could take or leave, but many won tough races with progressive support and -- what do you know! -- do vote with us a good portion of the time.

      So, Markos: we're supposed to hope Murphy wins in NY-20, but not donate to or work for him? Yup?

      by Seneca Doane on Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 04:34:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. At this point in time (0+ / 0-)

        with solid Dem majorities, in fact I would not send any politician on your list a nickel.

        We have more Dems.  I'm moving on to the Better Dems portion of the mission, and am taking as many people as I can convince with me.  Those who would continue to advocate for Blue Dogs can do as they so choose.  Free country.

        With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

        by GN1927 on Sun Apr 05, 2009 at 12:25:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Out of curiosity (0+ / 0-)

          how many seats would we have to lose to change your mind?  Our margin (assuming that we win the races to replace Emanuel and Solis, and lose NY-20) is 256-179.

          That means that -- assuming we hold other votes and get no Republican votes -- we can lose 38 Dems and still win, so we need to attract only 13 of the 51 Blue Dog seats.  If it gets down to 226 seats, with all of the losses being to Blue Dogs, we can afford to lose only 8 out of 21 remaining Blue Dogs.  How do you think progressive legislation is more likely when we'd need 62% rather than 25% of the Blue Dog Caucus to win?

          •  We have the clear majority (0+ / 0-)

            Old arguments about subsuming ideological considerations are now null and void.

            A lot of people have waited a very long time to stop hearing excuses from the Democratic caucus regarding their failure to:

            1. Have any effective response to the GOP (with the exception of social security privatization) save acquiescing to the GOP's bullshit, on their terms
            1. Actively and aggressively promote progressive ideas, framing, language and policy

            I've been patient.  Now that majorities are in place, my little drops in the bucket will in fact be going towards progressives, only.  Any Blue Dog who can't figure out how to save her or his seat is frankly out of luck.

            It's time for the disempowered, not well organized portion, resorted to blogging in sheer frustration, portion of this party to STOP acting as ATMs for every "conservative" Democratic politician who stumbles in to figuring out how to use Act Blue.

            Again, I would send no politician on your list a nickel.  And I will be encouraging other small donors to be smarter about their donations too.

            With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

            by GN1927 on Sun Apr 05, 2009 at 02:35:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, you're position is clear (0+ / 0-)

              I think that we will get more progressive legislation where we only have to attract 25% of a Blue Dog caucus than 62%, and given that the races in districts which will elect Blue Dogs are likely to be the closest ones, it seems obvious to me that they should get at least a substantial fraction of our money, at least once nominated.

              Reasonable people can disagree, but I'd feel better about your disagreement if you indicated some understanding for why one would think otherwise based on the desire for more and better progressive legislation.

              •  "your" position (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know why I don't proofread these things more.

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

                results from a more progressive caucus, one in which concessions don't have to be made in advance in light of the predictable resistance from people like Gillibrand and Murphy and the remainder of the Blue Dog caucus and its senatorial counterpart.

                (And don't worry about any typo, silly, I don't care and already know you're pretty much a genius, just wrong on this one.)

                With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

                by GN1927 on Sun Apr 05, 2009 at 02:46:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Right -- a more progressive caucus (0+ / 0-)

                  But what does that mean?

                  (Thanks for the kind words, by the way; I corrected that spotlighted typo just for the record.  This is a good conversation to which I expect I might later refer; now I can correct it without feeling dishonest.  But back to the argument:)

                  A progressive caucus is one that is most likely to be able to put together a majority for progressive legislation (and investigations, etc.)  With a sympathetic President, that means which caucus can get to 218 votes.  So let's think it through with an oversimplified (but still useful) model:

                  Let's say you start with 200 Democrats.  That's not enough.  You need to add some -- but the low-hanging fruit among Democratic districts is probably already taken.  So how do you get to 218 on various votes?  You're going to have to add people to the caucus who will lower the progressive nature of the caucus on average but who will make it more likely that there will be enough votes on any given occasion.

                  So let's start by adding 20 votes of people who will be with us 75% of the time.  That puts us in the majority, which is important!  But without Republican support, we'd still only expect 215 votes (200 x 1.0 + 20 x .75) on any given occasion -- not enough to get what we want.  And, of course, it has come at the cost of a less progressive caucus on average, even if it is a more progressive caucus in aggregate.

                  So let's add 20 more, people from even more conservative districts who will only be with us 50% of the time.  Now we can expect 225 votes on average -- still not much of a margin, but one we can work with.  Unfortunately, it gives those 20 "50%ers" a whole lot of leverage, which they may use to our detriment, and which makes it more likely our legislation will be watered down.  Can we do something about this?

                  Well, let's add 20 more, from even more conservative districts, who will be with us only 25% at the time.  We expect 5 votes from these people on any given vote, but that's enough to raise our margin to 230.  Now, instead of needing to get getting 8 of the 20 "50%ers", we only need 8 of the 40 "50%ers plus 25%ers" -- which is a lot easier to arrange (and which allows people who would vote for us if necessary to cast strategic "no" votes so that they are perceived as better representing their districts.)

                  In other words, the average progressiveness of the caucus is not necessarily the better metric.  In many ways, the aggregate progressiveness is.

                  Now, in point of fact, the numbers are much better than this.  The first, second, and third tranche of Blue Dog caucus members above 200 Democrats would not be 75%, 50%, 25% support, but probably (I'm not looking it up) more like 80%, 70%, %50% support.)  At that point, I hope that people do give them money, even if -- for whatever reasons, good or bad -- they want to wear the Blue Dog patch on their Democratic uniform.

                  I don't know if we're ever going to agree, but at least this explains the math of it.

                  •  Again (0+ / 0-)

                    Your mathematical model is a worst case scenario snapshot of the prospects of getting progressive legislation through a caucus watered down by Blue Dogs, some of whom might have helped themselves to netroots resources and small donor funding (due in part to concerted efforts on the part of netroots advocates to somewhat obfuscate the ideological realities of candidates, but that's a subject for another day---diary after diary touting Murphy with almost none telling potential small donors that Murphy planned to join the Blue Dog caucus and was so eager that he'd already submitted an application).

                    The question to which I have yet to receive an answer: why should small netroots donors sacrifice attaching an ideological currency to our collective donations, rather than refusing the atm-of-last-resort role, and becoming known as a source of funds exclusively for those politicians who have signalled their intent to eschew the Blue Dog axis of the party?

                    We most certainly do NOT need to financially support fiscal conservatives, Blue Dogs, whatever.  Our donations would have far greater impact were it known in advance that these small netroots donations will give a leg up to progressive politicians who generally lack access to the business as usual sources of campaign funds that conservative Dems have less of a problem accessing.

                    With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

                    by GN1927 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:30:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here's where you above comment is wrong (0+ / 0-)

                      (1) It's not a worst-case scenario by any means.  It's pretty accurate.

                      (2) You read too much into his PR ("I'm going to be just like Gillibrand!") as oppose to the substance of what his joining the Blue Dogs would actually mean to his voting.

                      (3) We would support Blue Dogs in close races because it would make it more likely that we would pass progressive legislation, because the caucus improves by its aggregate progressivism (i.e., summing it all up), not its average progressivism.

                      (4) Who said anything about "exclusively"?  My donations skew left, just not entirely -- especially when races are close and there's a clear difference between candidates, as there was in NY-20.

                      (5) We're not going to blackmail someone like Murphy into running far to the left of his district (which is what you're really asking for) just to get our paltry contributions.  However, our paltry contributions are enough to demand his attention later on as he decides for whom to vote.

                      (6) You assume that this is about finite resources.  In a special election held early in the cycle, it's more like purely discretionary spending.

                      •  Actually, small donor contributions (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Seneca Doane

                        volunteering and phone banking don't seem to have had much of an impact regarding Murphy's decision to join the Blue Dog Coalition at all.  Which is his right and which is in fact predictable.  Which is why the netroots needs to begin to concentrate on reserving resources for those contests featuring a progressive.  Or not.  And then we can keep complaining about feeling like atms when politicians to whom we send our precious nickels don't seem to care about even hearing progressive alternatives and ideas once ensconced in their seats.  

                        I prefer a more proactive role.  I'd rather not knowingly donate to politicians who I do not believe serve my personal goal of enhancing the Democratic caucus' progressive leanings, only to become upset two and five years down the line when those politicians prove unresponsive to a progressive agenda.  No thanks.

                        I believe strongly that the Democratic party's long-term ability to retain the WH and both chambers of congress will hinge upon responsiveness to the economic needs of average Americans.  Why in the world would I toss money at people who will do nothing towards that?  Makes no sense.

                        And IMO there is no such thing as purely discretionary spending when it comes to ordinary blog readers who have budgets and finite willingness to toss money towards boutique elections.  And in fact, I suspect that there may be a corrosive effect on willingness to donate when there are scenarios such as known Blue Dogs repackaged as something else and then touted on blogs by advocates who choose to not disclose all facts.

                        With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

                        by GN1927 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 01:44:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We've both presented our positions by now (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          GN1927

                          I'm willing to stand on what I've said; I assume that you feel the same.

                          It was (and I mean this non-ironically) nice debating this with you.

                          P.S. You're still wrong.  ;7)

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

                            We can agree to disagree on this.  And agreed also that this was a normal, civil debate.  Have a great evening!

                            With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. - President Obama

                            by GN1927 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 03:32:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

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