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View Diary: Dems to the barricades? Bullshit (136 comments)

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  •  Roemer would be a great choice (2.33)
    I still see that Kos is again speaking ill of the DLC. Well, Kos (if that is your real name), I have posed a question to you and your liberal friends several times, and have not gotten an answer. I won't repeat it because you won't answer it, but if the Democratic party is to go anywhere in this country, they simply must moderate their message. Tim Roemer, Evan Bayh, Joe Lieberman and others who represent the DLC are the only ones who will have a chance to move the party out of the old, stale, out of touch ideology that has been prevelent in the party. And no, moderating the message is not turning into a Republican. Both parties are sorely lacking when it comes to getting moderates to come over to their side. We have to make inroads into the south and intermountain west if we are to take back the White House from a president who has to be one of the biggest losers to ever steal a second term. Liberals don't understand that they are rapidly bringing down the party. Bill Clinton was a moderate who didn't go overboard with the spending programs after the health care debacle. Clinton learned that you sometimes have to talk to the Republicans if you want things done, but he didn't give up his core beliefs, and that's what the Democrats have to do. What Kos and others want to do is declare war on the Republican party and have so much blood spilled in the hopes that the Republicans become so bloody that all the liberals have to do is  clean up after them and kick them out the door. Well, it didn't work in 2004 and it won't work in 2005, or any other year. We tried it your way and lost twice. Now it's time for some fresh faces in the party and not the old guard. Again I ask, do you like what you see in Washington? Don't change, and the voters will keep on voting in Republicans. GUARANTEED!!!!
    •  ha ha ha! (none)
      I always like it when the opposition takes such a sincere interest in helping us decide what direction we need to take.  Responding to this is ludicrous on the face of it, but, I suspect, somewhat irresistable to some.  I'm looking forward to the responses here.

      The chips are down. Find your outrage.

      by sj on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 10:43:29 AM PST

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    •  Things have changed. (4.00)
      Clinton learned that you sometimes have to talk to the Republicans if you want things done, but he didn't give up his core beliefs, and that's what the Democrats have to do.

      Clinton learned that it doesn't matter what you try to do with the Republicans; they'll still block hundreds of judicial nominations with anonymous procudural votes in the hopes of eventually someday regaining access to the White House.

      Thank you for your advice, and please go back to your Party and try to turn it into something sane.

    •  no substance (4.00)
      I've heard this time and time again.  And this argument is baseless on the ground that it was the DLC NOT THE LIBERALS who are in charge and who doomed the party.

      Liberals are the base of the party as the Radical Right is the base of the Reps.  So stop chastising your F-ing base because without a foundation the Dems are nothing.

      Putting all these anti-gay rights, anti-choice candidates in the spotlight isn't going to win over rural voters.  Republicans didnt just make a policy pronouncement and all of a sudden won the South.  This took years and years of careful planning and groundwork.

      While I consider myself a progressive, I am no liberal.  However, I do feel that liberals should still have a voice. I think "moderating our message" means altering our policies.  

      While those on here may agree or disagree with the right to abortion I think we can all agree that actually having one is not the desired outcome.  I agree with Clinton when he said aboritons should be "safe, legal and rare".  Who wouldn't?  So it's mainly about marketing, messaging, infrastructure and (for God's sake) STANDING UP FOR SOMETHING.  

      These issues are systemic.  What does Roemer know about grass roots organizing?  Dean started DFA!  And DFA has been successful with electing their candidates in the reddest of red states!  

      It should be "'nuff said" on that alone.  However, when we "moderate our message", it effectively means nudging our policies over to the right.  This results in the Democrats becoming a mere echo of the Republicans.  Which means that Rightward is the preferred if not correct direction.  This sends a message that if Right is best then why not vote for a true Republican instead of Republican-lite?  

      What the Dems have to do is rally the base while not offending the middle (sound familiar?)  So why is our base bringing down the party while the Republican base isnt?  I think the answer is because too many people are chastising our base and blaming them for the problems that are systemic to the Democratic Party.

      We need ideology, message discipline, reform and major overhaul of grassroots organizing.  We need to take unpopular stances, apropos, if the Dems stood up to Bush against the Iraq war instead of following DLC dictum to vote for it to appear "strong on defense" we might not even be having this conversation.  

      The party needs to change, and a part of that is to nullify the influence of the DLC.  If you're looking for blame, blame the people driving, the DLC. They have been in charge, they have been holding all the keys, they have been driving us all off a cliff.  

    •  We have an opportunity here... (none)
      ...and I think the DLC model is missing it. Their message, to moderate the message enough so that just over 50% vote for us, is flawed.

      The Republican Party has worked very hard for 40 years to move the middle line to the right, and ever more to the right it goes. When it wasn't as far right as it is now, to adjust this or that message to woo some of those just over the line to our side made good sense (if only short term sense).

      Instead of battling to move the line back to the left, the DLC continues to want to move party to the right. The problem with this is that we are becoming the ME TOO party, and become ever more susceptible to arguments that we stand for nothing and have no leadership. At the same time, the GOP goes all out to brand us as unacceptably liberal ANYWAY, just to keep its base excited.

      How much more to the right are we supposed to go? I liken this strategy to the Fed's strategy of lowering interest rates almost to nothing. You can drop them from 20% to 18% for a big effect, but dropping them from 3.25% to 3.0% won't do a whole lot.

      Dean and Rosenberg are about moving the line back leftwards. That Dean can even remotely be thought of as a liberal by members of his own party is proof that we have gone way too far with the appeasement strategy.

      "A riot is an ugly thing, and I think it's just about time we had one." - Young Frankenstein

      by Doug in SF on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 11:06:14 AM PST

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    •  Ok....I'll respond.... (3.80)
      Here's a response from an (extremely heterodox) Kossack.

      You simply assume that one wins elections in the center.  What evidence do you have for this?  The GOP met its greatest electoral defeat since WWII in 1964 when they moved firmly to the right.  But since then, they've largely continued to move to the right....and they've won over and over again.  

      Did Clinton win because he was a "moderate" who didn't go overboard with spending programs?  His most significant piece of fiscal conservatism, the tax increase of his first term, was probably the single largest contributing factor to the Dems losing Congress in 1994.  And under Dubya, federal spending -- and the federal deficit -- have grown enormously...yet the GOP keeps winning elections.  Whether or not fiscal responsibility is a good idea, it doesn't win many votes.

      You're absolutely correct that one cannot win elections merely on hatred of the other party, and that the Democratic Party has, to a great extent, tried to do that, especially in 2004.  But I don't see how this is an argument for running to the center.  Indeed, running principally against the hard right has if anything, been a way to avoid running a positive, aggressively liberal campaign.

      Finally, the Democrats have run nothing but old guard moderates for the last several cycles, including 2004.  Since 1989 the party has been run by centrists (and even Dukakis was in many ways the mainstream alternative to Jesse Jackson's surprisingly strong 1988 primary campaign).  Any electoral argument in favor of continued (and it is continued_) Democratic centrism has to account for the entire record of the last fifteen years, during which time the party did manage to win three (three-way) presidential races, but lost control of both houses of Congress.

      Roemer is backed by all the powers that be in the party. He's the ultimate business-as-usual, insider candidate in all ways but one: he is significantly to the right of the party on a number of key issues, including social security and reproductive rights.  Do you really think that destroying Social Security and opposing reproductive freedom will win Democrats elections? Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that both these positions have their constituencies, but they are small (if fervent) and firmly in the pocket of the GOP.  The Democrats are not going to find the extra few percent of the vote they need from the Christian right and the very wealthiest.  

      At its best, embracing a candidate, Roemer, who watns to destroy Roe v. Wade and the nation's most successful social safety net resembles George Wallace's fateful decision, after losing an early election to a loud white supremacist, to "never be outniggered again". But Wallace, at least, had a winning electoral strategy when he embraced white supremacy.  If the Democrats move farther to the right, they will manage to help further wreck this country. But they won't win any more elections.

      Finally, gentlejoe, if you're really interested in responses, you might want to drop the trollspeak, e.g. "Kos (if that is your real name)." Although Kossacks can certainly scream at each other, dKos is a generally constructive place, and serious thoughts, even those against the dominant view around here, get responded to.  Trolling does not.  "Kos" is Markos Moulitsas.  His bio is available on this site. His picture is frequently published.  No need to attack him for his none-too-mysterious nom-de-plume. I assume "gentlejoe" is not your given name. And we all know a heck of a lot less about you.

      Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

      by GreenSooner on Mon Jan 03, 2005 at 11:10:03 AM PST

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    •  Roemer would be no choice at all (4.00)
      Does he bring the ability to raise ridiculous amounts of money? Does he bring the ability to marshall unbelievable amounts of grassroots energy? Does he bring the imperative for the press to cover what he says because they know he's always good copy?

      That would be "no."

      The problem such DLCers have is, as I see it, two fold:

      1. They see the nation as a map, not an aggregate of human beings. DLCers seem to LIVE for that red/blue map. News flash: They're all purple states, dude. Yes, even Texas.
      2. The DLC "moderate" types don't actually STAND for anything. That's why "the south and the intermountain west" walked away, dude.

      Those folks in those parts of the map you feel the Party needs to "make inroads into" are smarter than you give them credit for. They see that people like you see them as voters who need to be tricked into voting for a candidate because she or he Isn't As Extreme As...someone like Howard Dean.

      Harry Truman. Moderate? Perhaps, by today's standards, but that is certainly nowhere on the list of reasons people voted for him. In that contest, Dewey was the DLC's man.

      Plus, your history glasses need cleaning. Bill Clinton was about...Bill Clinton. We knew that. It was the price we paid to get a whole raft of policies, environmental, what have you, but not inherently because he was a moderate but because of his personal appeal. Look up "personal magnetism" in yer Funk and Wagnalls sometime and see the Wall Street Journal's What-He'd-Look-Like-On-The-Dollar drawing of Clinton next to it.

      The party needs to be putting forward people who clearly Believe Something. Paul Wellstone was a Senator who clearly Believed Something and even though they hated his politics even the staunchest conservative knew he was a straight shooter. Paul Simon, from here in Illinois, same story.

      Oh, speaking of Illinois? Tomorrow the rest of the nation gets a big present from us here in the Land of Lincoln, when a former State Senator from here becomes our junior US Senator. Oh and that other Senator from Illinois, the new Minority Whip, is going to have a few things to say the next few years, too.

      Both Obama and Durbin, truly great guys I know from personal experience, are EXACTLY the kinds of people the Democratic Party needs to be putting out there. In fact, if they weren't from the same state, I think they'd make a hell of a ticket.

      On the other hand, that guy from the state I used to be from, Mr. Bayh, should take a page from his dad's book. His father, former Sen. Birch Bayh, was what his son will never be, the real thing. He was able to put on the overalls with the farmers in "red state" Indiana, without irony, and win. Only the growth of metro Indianapolis and Gary gave his son the numbers he needed to offset the farm area folks who knew someone who truly wasn't able to relate to them. Nice guy, but just too processed.

      Besides, how can you say the DLC would "move the party out of the old, stale, out of touch ideology that has been prevalent in the party"? You follow that with further proof that, with Clinton and his heir Gore - a sitting Vice President who certainly didn't run as any pinko - both Clinton and the DLC actually ARE the "old stale, out of touch ideology that has been prevalent in the party"!

      Remember this time, this very time, last year? What did you see? You saw Liberman, Gephardt and Kerry working together frantically to bring down Dean. Did you forget those fratricidal ads juxtaposing Dean with Bin Laden? Did you notice where all that came from? All the pre-caucus gossip in the Iowa media about Dean volunteers allegedly intending to crash caucuses and vote even though they were out-of-staters (which never happened, even once)? The fake break-in in the Kerry offices by alleged Dean volunteers (which they weren't)?

      And what did we get from all that filth? A DLC-friendly nominee who showed on TV like Al Gore without the charisma. A clearly honorable man who equally clearly left his beliefs behind thirty years ago.

      "[B]ringing down the party"? Too late. The DLC has already brought it down. Dean is just trying to build it back up, from the grassroots, from basic, historic Democratic values (like, actually caring for our impoverished fellow citizens). The only problem Democrats have in the post-McAuliffe/Clinton era is the DLC-framed Democratic Party itself.

    •  Ask Nancy Pelosi (none)
      Clinton learned that you sometimes have to talk to the Republicans if you want things done...

      They're going to slap her with an ethics violation while DeLay gets a pass?

      Your post is emblamatic of all that is wrong with the DLC approach.

      The "old, stale, out of touch ideology" you describe is the DLC ideology which has driven the party off an electoral cliff.

      As for Evan Bayh... I keep praying he actually runs in `08 so he can suffer the same fate in the primaries as his bosom buddy, Joe Lieberman.  He's the better-looking )but just as dull) Joe Lieberman.

      Bayh is a clown.  You'd think if he truly harbored presidential ambitions he'd know better than to slam rank-and-file Democrats on a regular basis.

      Another DLC loser...

    •  Roemer (none)
      Why do we want an anti-choise Chair that voted to privitize social security?  Those are the TWO BIGGEST ISSUES that will define Dems this go roand.

      While Dems MUST, MUST, MUST find their voice on security, it should not be at the expense of what we stand for.

      Didn't he leave the House because he was (a) sick of the partisainship and (b) sick of raising money?  Is Rove picking our Chair?

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