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View Diary: Challenging the intentions of the Republican Party (75 comments)

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  •  I think the Democratic Party (20+ / 0-)

    acts as if that winning an election, or election cycle, because the GOPers are so bad that they create a climate where you win by default of not being a Republican is as good as winning the election or election-cycle by winning an argument.

    It's not.

    It's the difference between winning a round, and winning the fight.

    If the Democratic Party was a character in a horror film, it would think that knocking the ghoul off the roof until it lies motionless on the ground or stabbing it in the chest until it doesn't move has killed the monster. And, as our hero is walking away, what happens? The monster, with everybody in the audience screaming and pointing that the ghoul is going to get up, gets back up and is coming to murder our hero from behind.

    Winnng by default means you haven't won the argument by making a better counter-argument and discrediting their bad ideas, and the GOP will be back making the same bad arguments and advocating the same failed policies because they are still non-discredited and therefore politically viable ideas.

    I don't want purity.

    I never have.

    I want a Democratic Party that wins by winning the argument, not by waiting until the GOP fucks things up so badly that being a non-Republican is all you need to have appeal.

    If you ask most Americans, "Are you better off now, than you were four years ago?" the answer you would get is "no."

    The Democrats have a shot because the GOP has sucked so awfully that they are winning by the virtue of not being Republicans.

    Which means the GOP, and their wretched ideas and policies, will be back.


    •  Further (20+ / 0-)

      The Movement Conservative Rightwing has never been in a better position to be as awful as they can be and still win.

      They have Citizen's United now, to go along with the Village and the echochamber they have enjoyed in the past.

      To many, Ronald Reagan was unelectable.
      To many George W. Bush was unelectable.
      We could very well wake up one day and find that we have met our new unelectable who ends up in the White House if we don't start winning arguments instead of winning by default.

      Paul Ryan gave us the opportunity to pivot, and, here we are negotiating major Medicare cuts with people who walk out and make fools of everybody talking to them as if they are serious and interested in governing because they will not raise taxes under any circumstances after getting Democrats to put billions on the table first.

      Killing Bin Ladin was a pivot point, and, again, we were timid rather than bold as a party.  

      I don't believe the Democratic Party has made a national argument for the superiority of progressive policy over the wretched ones of Movement Conservatism in my lifetime. In many cases, we adopted the Republican position because it was easier to try and take fights off the table than to fight them, which only led to our politics moving further Rightward.  

      You have to be partisan, and you have to make pointed arguments and pick fights, because it's the only way to change the game by winning the argument with the Right. People don't know liars are liars if you won't call them liars, or act like they are liars when you sit down with them.

      The alternative is to keep having the options of available policy choices available to govern the nation reduced with every election where the GOP is the baseline jumping off point for policy and our national priorities.

      I think this whole era, 2006-2011 has been a bracing referendum on the cult of bipartisanship and endlessly chasing the middle as a method of countering Movement Conservatism. It's an indictment of the strategy.  

      It's been great for Movement Conservatism.

      We are like a movement that treats a thief to negotiations where we earnestly tell them we won't call the cops if they only agree to steal half of our stuff instead of all of it.

      •  Just wait (8+ / 0-)

        If there are spending caps, triggered or otherwise, and automatically triggered cuts in place (of course, only for the social safety net or for non-defense spending) after the debt ceiling negotiations or the 2012 budget fight, it's going to be the greatest gift to the GOP since the Democrats adopted supply-side tax cuts, but only if they "are targeted", in the 1990's.

        If things don't change, there is going to come a day where the only policy that is possible comes from the Right, because all other options will have been made impossible, via past policy adoptions, to attempt.

        Either because you can't pass them, or they are prohibited.

      •  the Dem Party can't argue ideology with the Repugs (5+ / 0-)

        because nearly everything we've passed ---from HCR to the surge in Afghanistan to (I presume) cuts in social net programs--has been warmed-over Repug ideas.

        To argue over ideology, one must first disagree about ideology.  But in economics and the national security state, there is no argument. They want mandates, so do we.  They want the PATRIOT Act, so do we. They're willing to cut social spending, so are we.

        The only areas we differ in are social issues--and even there the Dems are only mildly liberal, and only if it doesn't offend anyone. Obama, after all, opposed gay marriage when he took office. The only time we take a strong liberal stand--such as opposing the Iraq War or repealing DADT--is when we're forced into it by popular pressure.

        If only we had a LIBERAL party that really COULD take the ideological fight to the wingnuts.  But alas, what we have is a Compassionate Conservative Party opposing a Heartless Conservative Party.

        Not much of a contest.

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