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I think we can all agree that there has been much gnashing of teeth lately. Kerry should do this or that.  We should shut up or speak louder.  Kerry is doing terribly. Kerry is perfectly positioned.  The media won't give Kerry a break.  Kerry is sabotaging his chances with the media.  Kerry has a secret plan for his campaign.

What is going on?

This all stems from poor communication between dKos (and rank and file Democrats generally) and Kerry and Democratic insiders.  We honestly have no idea what is going on.

Let's take a single example for illustration.  If I turn on my TV and watch Judy Woodruff giving it to the Kerry/Edwards campaign with a strap-on for 90 minutes, what am I to think?  I have no idea.

Does the Kerry campaign notice that Woodruff is deliberately trying to kill their campaign?  One would presume so, but one has no idea.  When I read stories that Kerry doesn't answer reporters questions, I do question whether these people "get it."

When Chris Matthews got a little tough with Michelle Malkin, who one might note is neither a staffer of the Bush/Cheney campaign nor a Republican Party official, the GOP threatened to boycott Hardball.

Does the DNC make similar threats to Woodruff?  Does the Kerry campaign?  Do Carville or Begala personally complain to Woodruff or her producers?  We simply have no idea.  For all we know, they all go out to a cocktail party later that night.

Most Kossacks hate the media as much or more than Bush and Cheney.  At least one can understand why Bush and Cheney lie: to control the most powerful country on the planet.  The D.C. Heathers compromise their principles and undermine democracy out of petty spite.  "Who cares if Bush is an incompetent psychopath?  Gore and Kerry are so uncool."

So what are the Democrats doing to fight the media?  We simply have no idea.  This lack of information is profoundly demoralizing to Kossacks and, I suspect, is hurting the campaign.  Sure, we're all going to vote for Kerry, but so what?  During the primaries I predicted record turnout to throw Bush out of office.  People who had never before participated were motivated for change.  Is that still going to happen.  Bush has a finite number of people who will vote for him.  When people get depressed about the process, Democrats suffer.

Democratic insiders need to find a way to discuss with the base what they are doing to regain control of the media.  Maybe this can't happen immediately.  Maybe it can't start in the middle of the campaign, but it has to happen.

A related note.  Despite the fact that dKos has continued to grow, it has never felt less connected to the actual campaign happenings.  Is it too much to ask the Kerry campaign to post here from time to time, read the comments, and pretend anything we say means anything?  I can tell you that it would cut down on 90% of the bitching if somebody on Kerry's staff posted - just f-ing once - what they were thinking.

I know that Kerry has his own blog, but this is the most vital Democratic blog. Kerry and the DNC should respect it and not just treat the community like an ATM.

Originally posted to space on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 09:30 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't want (3.83)
    Kerry's folks posting here on this blog just to relieve our collective angst--I want them out busting their asses to win this thing in November by focusing their message, kissing up to the media so they start getting some favorable stories, and laying their GOTV plans. Neither do I want them revealing valuable strategic or tactical plans to us or any Bush supporter who happens to wander by dKos. Finally, I don't feel like an ATM, even though I've given more to Kerry and the DNC than I would have thought possible in January. I give it because I think the Democrats have a decent (but not guaranteed) chance of winning in November and I don't want to see my country go any further down the tubes than it already has under Bush.

    Bush belongs behind bars.

    by orchid314 on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 09:47:16 AM PDT

    •  well (none)
      Team Kerry can rollout their Top Secret Strategies anytime now.
    •  No, both (3.93)
      I want Kerry's folks posting on this blog AND busting their asses to win. I want them kissing up to the media AND distributing talking points to the rank and file. The Republicans seem to be able to do it, why can't we?

      And I do want them revealing their valuable strategic plans to us and everyone else -- the Republicans do that too and it works. Rove lays his cards on the table months in advance, so that all the little GOP people can get ready to fall in line when the moment comes and everybody's got the talking points memorized and the responses planned and the sound bites on the tip of their tongue. It's not some secret phone tree where they all call each other quick quick and say "ok you're on in an hour this is what you say..." The GOP strategies are all right there in the open, and the Dem strategies should be too.

      Too many lefties are waiting for the silver bullet that will kill the monsters all at once so we can all get on with our lives. It ain't gonna happen. The GOP is not ever going to go away or give up. We all need to have our fists in the fight, all the time, big people and little people, because even a superhero like Clinton can't stop them all. We can't pick and choose, or trust the all-powerful all-knowing Kerry campaign to have an ace up its sleeve. We are the ace.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
      Ow, my blog.

      by Corax on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  talking to us grunts (none)

        I want Kerry's folks posting on this blog AND busting their asses to win. I want them kissing up to the media AND distributing talking points to the rank and file.

        To be fair, there has been some of that, it's just that none of it's happened on Daily KOS.  I periodically lurk on Democratic Underground, and they've had numerous posts from someone called "Democratic Strategist" encouraging them to engage in different projects for the campaign (the most recent was asking people to start documenting via Tivo and their VCRs the most flagrant examples of media bias.)  For his or her trouble, said user has gotten blasted by about 50% of the posters for refusing to divulge his or her identity, even though the boards moderators have repeatedly vouched for him or her.

        I've gotten e-mails from the Multnomah County Democratic Party asking me to do the same, so there are elements in the party who are interested in mobilizing the grassroots and in using us as more than just a financial resource.  While it would be nice if some of them posted here, we're just barely under 9000th on - Democratic Underground, in spite of the fact that it's got a much worse signal to noise ratio than we do, is 6750th.

        The Devil crept into Heaven, God slept on the 7th, the New World Order was born on September 11th - IT<

        by tomaxxamot on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:49:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ahhh, The Media (none)
      Maybe, this is more of the insanity of which you speak, but I feel like I can parse out some strategy here. (Full disclosure: I work in corporate PR). This Chicago Tribune article,1,7884968.story gives a summary of recent interactions with the press. It's not that Kerry isn't talking to the press. Rather, he isn't talking to the national press. He's talking to local media.

      Advantage: with the polarized electorate reaching out directly to the local media can help with the undecideds. This is based on a completely unscientific assumption that a lot of these battleground states aren't particularly urban. You crack open the New York Times or you watch World News Tonight and there's all this stuff that seems important but too big to really concern you and your family (The Euro, Sudan, Beslan, natural disasters, you name it). However, seeing stuff on your local station with your local anchor brings the election down to your level. That may help GOTV.

      The risk is making the national media angry. They'll start quoting unnamed sources saying the entire campaign is in disarray. They'll start reporting anything they can get their hands on.

      Brings me to the final point. Media coverage will be like this as long as elections are covered by politics reporters. (I'm about to make some generalizations but stay with me anyway) Politics reporters care about polls, strategy, cloak and dagger stuff, not the issues. It's more like sports writing. This he said/he said stuff is a symptom of the problem; they're not interested in who's right. They're covering the maneuvers. Now if you were to build a team of healthcare/Pharma reporters, economics reporters, tech reporters, manufacturing, military reporters, etc. etc... These guys who spend every day knee deep in very specific fields/sectors will be far more willing to call people out when they're misrepresenting things. Probably not feasible at smaller regionals but the majors and wire services (where regional papers get much of their reporting anyway) have large enough teams to manage it.

      •  The media indeed (none)
        Probably not feasible at smaller regionals but the majors and wire services (where regional papers get much of their reporting anyway) have large enough teams to manage it.

        Of course they have the resources to do real reporting. The problem is that they have no desire to. They are part of the corporate elite who run things. Their mindset is that real issues and nuts and bolts policy are for them to decide. We little people don't need to know the details. If we did, we might be inclined to change things and upset the status quo of rule by the corporate elite.

        What kills me is all the criticism of Kerry that assumes a neutral media. Everyone assumes that they could do better, because they would start calling a spade a spade and call Bush out on all his bullshit. The problem is that the corporate elite who own the media like a good deal of Bush's bullshit. It hurts regular Americans but benefits them. So you start speaking up about corporate polluters writing our environmental laws and suddenly the swiftboat liars are getting a new round of exposure or you're getting criticized for wearing earth tones or looking French and your criticisms of Bush being a puppet of corporate polluters is simply not reported.

        The media needs to be democratized. I have no idea how to accomplish this, and I have no idea how Kerry should deal with a corrupt corporate media between now and November. But giving him advice that ignores the current ugly reality is probably not very useful to him.

        •  Is the campaign giving the media good food? (4.00)
          I'm dead serious.  Those fucking reporters turn into rabid dogs if they're not fed.

          If they're not fed well they turn sulky.  I'm not kidding, during the last campaign some journalist gushed about the great food on the Bush plane.  Gore served sandwhiches and they hated him for it, 'cause their colleagues got smoked salmon.

          I'm not being facetious in the least.  They really were jelaous of the Bush reporters because of the food.  In his book Trippi commented that during one trip the reporters couldn't eat because of a delay and the "journalists" were truly livid.

          Yes they're loathesome, treacherous, stupid, gullible, obsequious, snivelling fuckups who deserve to eternally wipe Satan's butt. Feed them. Just ignore all the horrible elements of this evolution, order copious amounts of the best food and drink possible, and pay the bill.

          The disgusting twerps will like Kerry much more for it.  They really will.

          •  And drinks! (none)
            Even more so than good food.  Liquor them reporters up.  Kerry's point of the day will look so much better to Mr. Blowhard Reporter after his third scotch-and-soda.
          •  Yeah, feed them... (none)
            Also, massage their faces, like they did at the RNC convention.

            Also, get them some dates.  Ya know, like, some Texas tuna?  

            And don't forget the blow.  Bush has connections, so we gotta get somebody to cough up some high quality snowflake, not that baby powder stuff.

      •  Agreed. (none)
        Bushit makes sure there are national cameras present on his brief, out of touch Republican't only dupathons.

        But as is often said, the national polls aren't actually where it's at; it's in the state polls.

        Kerry is on the ground, doing grassroots, directly to the actual voters (and has been getting impressive crowds).  And those aren't "invite only".

        Now, I don't watch Tv, so don't know what the ratio might be between state and national coverage of coverage of Kerry.  But it's certain not only that he's getting local coverage, but also that showing up "for" actual regular voters is a way to make contact -- many of his appearances are out-of-doors -- unlike Bushit's behind-closed-doors exclusivity.  (The latter has even pissed off some Republicans.)

    •  Wrong... (4.00)
      The media supports the republicans because every time they dare to question anything they get threatened with a VERY big stick.

      Kerry, and indeed all Dems need to storm the fences. Call your local TV station, and your local paper for EVERY lie they print. Only when we bang them in the head as hard as the repubs do, will we get fair coverage. Playing nice is WHY we are getting our asses handed to us.

      Gwad, we have been making these same arguments for over a year, and people STILL say, play nice, kiss up, they will give us a break.

      Again, this election is a street fight. If we do not start acting that way, and I MEAN LAST WEEK, we lose.

      I know, same argument, but isn't it funny that we play nice and nice things never happen, the other side COMMITS CRIMES and a threat or two to the media and the story goes away???????

      Pull out the brass knuckles, the bats, the knives, roll up your sleeves and FIGHT like our nation depends on it, or wake up November 3rd with Bush the winner and cry about it. There are no other choices. I mean that figuratively of course, though on November 3rd, if you all let us lose, it may be fighting in the streets for real. My Father, my mother-in-law and my Father-in-law all served in Korea to GUARANTEE that EXACTLY what we are seeing right now would never happen in our nation. I have three uncles who served in WWII, one was shot down and was a POW 22 months, SO THAT THIS CRAP COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE.  10s of thousands DIED in Europe, Millions fought. 55,000 dead in Korea, 10,000 dead in Viet Nam. All fighting to preserve the very values this Junta is destroying.

      GOD DANM IT! START ACTING LIKE THIS ELECTION MATTERS AND IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR.  Millions of GI's sailors, airmen, Marines and others put their LIVES on the line and many paid that price in blood. If we can not get angry enough to call these liars on their lies, and really protest, we shame every solder who ever put themselves in harms way.

      I was declared medically unfit or I would have served, (Probably still been in during gulf war 1.) Don't dishonor the patriots that formed this nation or fought and DIED defending it, by being worried about appearing too ANGRY. THAT IS WHY WE ARE LOSING, THERE IS SO MUCH TO BE ANGRY ABOUT that it is impossible for me to believe anybody with a pulse is not ready to literally bash heads. IT IS TIME TO BE ANGRY, THERE ARE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF ISSUES THAT <DEMAND> MORAL, RIGHTEOUS ANGER,

      It is like everybody is so scared of the bullies that no one realizes there are more of us then there are of them, and backing down before a bully only makes the bully stronger.

      I have nothing left to rant. Either we take the fight to the streets now, or we all admit surrender and I get to spend the rest of my life knowing that when it came my time to defend my country, I did not have the courage to do the job.


      A very angry, veins popping liberal

      Mr TeK

      Jim Roker

      Tucson AZ

  •  YES! YES! YES! (none)
    You said it all!

    The Kerry campaign doesn't feel beholden to us.  Look at the Dkos 12, they're always updating our community as to the goings on with their campaigns.

    The Kerry campaign isn't saying anything to anyone, but I noticed they hired yet another high-priced advisor today, Mike McCurry.  What they need to hire is a liason to the blog community!  To the grassroots!

    The biggest issue you raise is about why they aren't calling out the press and making threats to them like the Republicans do!  

    This is fucking serious!  The party represents us!    We are counting on Kerry and his advisors to win this election for us (with our efforts too, of course).  I don't think these folks realize that this election isn't about the Party and it isn't about John Kerry, it's about winning and creating a better nation for the people.  Howard Dean, give him credit, he got that.

    Ever since vanquishing Dean the Party has fallen back on it's old insular, weak-ass ways.  And they're fucking it up for the rest of us!

    Kerry served, Bush went AWOL. What the hell else is there to say?

    by Dmitri in San Diego on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 09:48:55 AM PDT

    •  asdf (none)

      other concern, perhaps already addressed, is
      what happens if the non-decideds just don't
      vote this year.  maybe that is why KE04 hasn't
      gotten into the mud.  

      Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

      by JoelK in AZ on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:32:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  See my post above.. (4.00)
        If we don't have the strength of our convictions to go after the rat basterds in the mud, those undecideds will NOT break our way. Sorry for all the swearing, but it is past time to play by civilized rules. We are trying to play by Marquis of Queensbury, and the opponents are playing all star tag team wrestling. If we don't start at least blocking the illegal blows the ref is not going to rescue us. He is not even in the ring, he is standing in the opponent's corner being told what happens to him if he interferes.

        The time for daisies, and sunshine and fairy tales that if we ran a clean campaign we could take the high ground ended in 1996. Actually the hand writing was on the wall from Nixon's time, but '96 threw ALL of the rules away.

        I can't help it. Our Nation is being dismantled, and people talk about staying on the high ground. Nero was on the high ground, fiddling. We are burning down the house, and we had better start fighting the fire, instead of pretending there is some honor in letting the house burn down as long as we don't get dirty.

        I am out of metaphors, but I have again made my points very plain. If we FIGHT, we can win. We stay clean and above the fray, and don't display anger WE LOSE, GUARANTEED. I know, many disagree, but that sentiment is why we are losing!

        Enough anger for one night, but I truly wish some of you would take this thing as serious as it is.

        Not intending to insult anyone, but if we want to get our base out, and if we want to have ANY chance at the undecideds, we have to build a major fire, and we have what, six weeks? To do it.

        Mr Tek

        •  asdf (none)
          i agree.  

          but i can't help think that Rove's strategy is
          to drive the negative tone sky high to suppress
          voter turn-out.  So I just don't want to help
          him out any.  

          But the alternative is not workable.  If hit you
          must respond with overwhelming force.  Even
          nasty below-the-belt force.  

          We agree... the question of what happens if
          undecideds decide to sit this one out just
          happened to run through my head.

    •  If Dean would have done it differently... (4.00)
      ...why doesn't he?  He's gotta be in with the Kerry campaign.  He could post here.  Or have one of his people do it.
    •  Well, maybe Dean would have done it differently, (4.00)
      but there's the possibility -- and here come the troll-ratings -- that he wouldn't have.  I know that it's not particularly "grassroots" or "ground-up" for Kerry to not take his talking points from the dKos community, but there is the matter of a highly visible, exposed national campaign to consider.  Dem candidates often tack left in the primaries with the implicit expectation that they will tack right in the general campaign.  Why should campaign attitudes towards blogs be any different?  I hate to say it, but if Dean was getting slammed every frickin' day on TV for being a Massachusets liberal -- or in his case, a Vermont one -- he might be inclined to moderate his connection to the wonderfully polyglot, mischieviously unpredictable dKos community.

      Some of the great milestones of Democrat legislation have been accomplished by presidents that could in no way be accused of coming from the grassroots.  FDR couldn't be further from such roots, and yet pressure from external movements and developments led him to produce the foundations of the contemporary welfare state.  The Democratic leadership is probably always going to be somewhat milquetoast, and will probably always distance themselves from the rabble.  What counts is that the rabble continues to put on the pressure.

      Michael Moore said something interesting recently.  He said something to the effect of, "well, the Democrats shouldn't embrace me too warmly.  After all, if Kerry gets into office, my guns will be trained on him."

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:50:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dean (4.00)
        Stands and Delivers. He doesnt apologise for who he is or who his supporters are. And THAT my friend is why Dean was kicking ass. Dean ran a campaign Of the people , By the people, For the people. At one time in america that was considered the Essence of democracy.

        And btw.. Dean is a moderate.

        "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:18:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Dean stands and Delivers (4.00)
          Yeah fine, and i admire the hell out of Dean for his campaign and what he did, unfortunately he was unable to bring it all together and even deliver the nomination for himself. Blame whomever you want for that, but that fact remains.

          We need to quit crying and whining and bring it all together to first elect a new president, and a new house and a new senate, and to never rest, to stay involved  and create the democracy of our dreams, the democracy of our founders dreams.

          "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion.

          by mickey on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 02:01:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dean got his ass kicked (none)
          "And THAT my friend is why Dean was kicking ass."

          Yes, that is why Dean was kicking ass, but also why the media kicked his ass, and why he's out.

          And they would probably do the same thing to anyone, Kerry included, who gets too uppity and promotes real democracy. Real democracy threatens the status quo - the corporate plutocracy that the media are part of. That is the double bind. Stand up for the people and get endlessly hammered for wearing earth tones or some similar bullshit. Face it. The corporate media has a de facto veto on any candidate who threatens their interests.

      •  Well (none)
        that is the job of progressives; to keep the pressure on the rest of the Party, in the time IN BETWEEN elections.

        "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

        by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:09:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What are you going to do? (3.20)
      How does you living in a past campaign help us or this country?  Perhaps Kerry doesn't have a blog liaison because he's doing what you're not, going around the country trying to be positive and affect the biggest change this country needs, new leadership.

      Who gives a rat's ass if you grace us with your presence?  Let me see, Kerry or Theoria ... who should I listen to?

      •  oooh dude (none)
        better watch it theoria is pretty popular around here, so expect some bad mojo shortly.  So i'll give ya some help to start ya off    :)

        "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion.

        by mickey on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 04:21:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Theoria. (none)
        I would certainly listen to Theoria before Kerry and certainly before you.

        Anyone who has a uid under 2000 and as good a reputation as Theroia has earned his chops and has a right to his opinion.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 04:38:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Theoria is pretty cool (3.33)
          And I admire what he's done and what he's posted and certainly the right to his opinion.  I just think his opinion in this case is wrong and destructive and I hope he will change his mind.

          If not, I hope other democrats will listen to me rather than to him.  That's what's so great about freedom of ideas.

          •  Yeah, Dean did a great job -- (none)
            but Kerry won the nomination over Dean.

            Got that?  Dean came in behind Kerry.

            So I guess those who believe Dean won the nomination is a small minority.

            BTW: no one need say, "I have a right to my opinion," because no one is challenging that.  What is being challenged is the content of the opinion.

            •  Yep (4.00)
              Through nice sleazy tactics. Question. Where is sleaze boy now?! You know,...when it matters?

              This thing has been the equivalent of knowing that you face down someone who plans on burning down the family house. So you duke it out amongst your siblings to prove who's best suited to fight to protect the home. You throw sand in your brother's eye and kick him in the balls while he's blinded.

              Then, having won the right to protect your cry because the real opponent isn't fighting by Marquis of Queensbury rules.

              •  Kerry won by "zleazy" tactics? (none)
                You mean Dean lost, right?
                •  No (4.00)
                  I mean staffers running around Iowa telling people that all the volunteers are paid st=udents (personally overheard). Or bagman Toricelli. Or the folks who "volunteered", stole the call lists, and coincidentally were at Kerry HQ a week later (personally seen). Or the late night robo-calls pretending to be from the other campaign.

                  Sleaze city. Not that you Tammany's care.

        •  uid under 2000 (none)
           ranks one as "earning his chops"?

          I'd say those folks with 1-2 or 3 digit id numbers might have earned a certain benefit of the doubt, but we've had ample evidence that even those folks who post regularly on the front page are not immune to a**holish behavior. (Including MarKos, I might add.)  

          "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

          by a gilas girl on Wed Sep 15, 2004 at 03:10:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  On your suggestion ... (none)
        thanks anyway but I respectfully decline.  I was unaware that this is a "no on free speech zone" or that I had forsaken the right to disagree with a fearless Kos leader.  As has been duly noted you are a respected luminary and as such certainly retain the right to your opinion.  As one of your minions I would hope to hold the same rights of offering my opinion.  

        Perhaps through reading the comments on this post I was worn down by the negativity and reached for the lowest common denominator in my response.  If that is the case I beg your indulgence.  Perhaps I assumed my misplaced remarks would fall on the ears of someone in command that would hold us all to a higher standard of discourse than your own seemed to imply.  If I was mistaken I humbly apologize.

      •  hey theoria (4.00)
        I really like you and your writings a lot but the "blow me "comment is uncalled for and if anyone else used it they would certainly be downrated for it.
        Dont take it personal, I rate comments and not people.

        "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion.

        by mickey on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 08:47:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't like the way some of this convo is going. (none)
      I'd like more Kerry interaction with DKos, but not because I think I need more attention.  That's just immature.

      I want Kerry to win.  I want Bush gone.  Hell, I'd like to see him on trial in the Hague.  Special attention to me is unnecessary and I would never want him to waste time on me personally.

      The reason for the Kerry campaign to maintain dialogue with the liberal blogs is because in the last few days of this campaign, we all need to stay focused in getting the same message out there.  A lot of good ideas come from the blogs.  Likewise, discipline in the message can come from those close to the campaign.

      And it does help to reassure the troops, as any good general will tell you.  Generals that command only from the back lines don't inspire as high a morale as the ones that visit the front lines occasionally.

      Let's not frame all this in terms of what we deserve from Kerry.  The only thing we need from Kerry is that he win and get rid of that smirking ass.

  •  Kerry cowards (3.53)
    Good diary, but the scaredy-cats at the Kerry campaign have Kos on their ten-foot-pole list. Were you here a few months ago when Kos wasn't sufficiently mournful about mercenaries killed in Fallujah? The digital brownshirts brewed up one of their fake outrage teapot-tempests and the Kerry staff delinked from Kos. They'll still take our money, of course.

    The Kerryites will have nothing to do with Kos out of fear of association with the "loony left" or whatever. Get used to this style of "leadership" aka "caving."

    •  They can still keep in touch in other ways. (none)
      They can have people "close" to the campaign (but not officially OF the campaign) post here to reassure and share.  It's a very good idea.  

      And that's a great way to spread talking points and keep discipline on the message.  I wish they would do that.

      I respect the Kerry Blog, but I don't frequent it.  It, of necessity, is more censored than other blogs, like Dkos.  I also don't feel as free to make negative posts there because I don't want to bum the official site when I'm feeling bummed.

    •  Oh, for crying out loud (3.66)
      "They'll still take our money"?

      They take money from anyone who gives it to them, within the legal limits of course.  Did they ever come and ask this community specifically for money?   Did they ever make any promises here that they didn't make to every other American voter?  Do they know DKos as a particular interest group or community in and of itself?  Probably not - to campaign staff, we are probably best known as a lot of individual Democratic activists who happen to gather at a website for discussion.  

      Posts like this remind me why the Kerry blog does not have any formal connection with DKos: plenty of people on this site have been bashing the hell out of Kerry and calling him the same stupid, childish names since about last August, all the way through the primaries and with recurring frequency every time he makes a decision you don't agree with.  What the hell does Team Kerry owe you?

      We've got the American Jesus, he helped build the president's estate.

      by daria g on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:40:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Loyalty oaths? (none)
        Are you really trying to say that Team Kerry would be right to dissociate itself from organizations that didn't support him during the primaries?

        That's not how these things work, y'know?  You think they're avoiding the AFL-CIO b/c of all of its internal Gephardt support?  You think they're abandoning SEIU b/c it supported the monster Dean?

        There may or may not be a calculated effort not to reach out to the wider blog community (frankly I think it's more that Kerry's team doesn't think we need as much direct reassurance as other interest groups like, say, Catholics or working-class white men), but posts like this which cast it as some sort of primary-era payback are really counterproductive.  Why open up old wounds and restart rivalries that should have stopped 6 months ago?  All this does is help out Bush.

        George W. Bush: It's the Morning After in America

        by ChicagoDem on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:46:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not what I am saying at all (4.00)
          I'm saying the blog community, unlike SEIU or AFL-CIO or many interest groups, is extremely new, loosely organized, unproven on many fronts (fundraising being an exception) and just all in all a very different sort of beast that political operatives probably have not thoroughly decided how best to work with.

          I am not casting it as payback, I don't think anyone in Kerry's camp is vindictive.  I am wondering why there was so much outrage expressed by the original poster, expecting Team Kerry to go out of their way to cater to him, when in fact.. this site is a very new community that probably doesn't fit into any of the categories they use for understanding/dealing with such things, so it makes sense for them to be fairly skeptical/standoffish when they have enough to handle with the traditional Dem groups.  And, furthermore, at the time when the delinking was done, this site had a history of putting some pretty serious Kerry-bashing stuff right out in front.  I realize Markos has the perfect right to do that and I didn't see him getting all bent out of shape and expecting the Kerry people to get off-message by backing him up on that issue - there wasn't any prior relationship to stand on in that case, and it strikes me as disingenuous for people to get angry and start calling the Kerry folks cowards over it.

          Plus, I am generally highly irritated when people say "Dems are cowards" when what they really mean is "Dems won't do things my way."  

          We've got the American Jesus, he helped build the president's estate.

          by daria g on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:38:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  527 (none)
            this site is a very new community

            DKos is over 2.5 years old - on the scene as long as any 527, for instance.

            Swing State Project - Analyzing the 2004 battleground states.

            by David Nir on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 03:03:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  For several months I've got a phone call (4.00)
              at least once, and sometimes twice, per week from Kerry HQs asking if I'll come in and do calls to swing states, or do door-to-door in a swing or close state.

              How did that come to be?  I simply signed onto

              (For those interested: 3 PM, New Convention Center, 415 Summer Street, S. Boston, Kerry "rally".  Bring yerself, they have signs.  Or come with a good funky home-made with a short slogan.)

              When I get those calls, I take the time to update whoever calls (I can be engaging, inclusive, involving) on the current issues on the blogs I frequent, and what I'm doing on those issues.  (Today it was the IBM-affliated and other responses to and refutations of the wingnuts confabulations.  And the identities of the alleged "document experts" who declared the memos "forgeries" without having seen the originals.)

              If you are in some other state, and aren't getting calls, find your nearest Kerry campaign headquarters and drop in, volunteer.  You'll immediately feel conected and "appreciated," and learn the current "talking points" to be "messaged".)

              Hell, volunteer to be that "blog liason".

      •  IF (3.00)
        they want our VOTES, our MONEY, our SUPPORT they damned well owe us Everything.

        You see.. WE are the democratic base. WE are the democratic party. Not Kerry or any politician. You govern through the consent of the governed. Not Despite them.

        "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:20:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We're not the democratic base (4.00)
          We are a bunch of privileged white people with computers who mostly supported Howard Dean and are obsessed enough with politics to log into a blog every day.  Maybe there are even some minorities or poor people amidsts us to make us feel even marginally representative.

          But we fool ourselves if we think we're the Democratic base.  Pretty much, we need to get over ourselves.  

          Kerry doesn't owe me or this country or this party anything more than to do his level best, every day, to evict the tyrant.

          •  By we i certainly didnt mean Kossacks (none)
            I meant Democrats. If you dont think Democratic politicians owe Democratic voters (lifelong in my case) anything then ive apparently misunderstood this whole "democracy" thing. I thought the idea was that the Leaders served the people.

            "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

            by cdreid on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:58:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  If that's the case then you must allow . . . (none)
              If that's the case then you must allow that "we" the Democrats don't all agree on nearly anything, and that we are like herding cats.  He owes it to us to try to effect the most change that the most of us want.

              I think he's trying to do that right now.

              •  You'll note (none)
                my post was in response to daria basically telling us that Kerry doesnt owe democrats a damned thing and that we should shut uup and never ever ever criticisize.

                they want our VOTES, our MONEY, our SUPPORT they damned well owe us Everything.

                You see.. WE are the democratic base. WE are the democratic party. Not Kerry or any politician. You govern through the consent of the governed. Not Despite them.

                This was my response to that. And id say it of Dean, Gephardt, Daschle or any other democrat. In fact ive said it quite a lot of the corporatists, dlcers and pansies in our party. Authoritarianism has never, ever been  a hallmark of democrats. We work for them, support them, defend them. But they serve us. Not we them.

                "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

                by cdreid on Wed Sep 15, 2004 at 04:31:36 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Stephanie Dray (none)
            You rock, hardcore.  I was going to ask how communications law treated you, but I just took a look at your blog and saw that the answer is probably not a positive one.  Anyway, the posts from folks like you and Maryscott are really inspiring, in a common-sense, let's-get-down-to-business way, which is the best.  

            We've got the American Jesus, he helped build the president's estate.

            by daria g on Wed Sep 15, 2004 at 12:26:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tip of the Hat (none)
              Thanks, Daria. It's much appreciated.  I love this community, the Democrats, and even the squabblers amongst us.  I just try to dole out tough-love.

              As for the law, I was far too idealistic to enjoy it. I appreciate what politicians have to do all that much more I suppose.  I certainly wouldn't have the strength Mr. Leahy had, for example, in not jumping over my desk on the senate floor and pummelling Dick Cheney after he said what he did.

              Lack of anger-management is a serious drawback in the courtroom :P

          •  Re: We're not the democratic base (none)
            "We're not the democratic base"

            "We are a bunch of privileged white people with computers who mostly supported Howard Dean and are obsessed enough with politics to log into a blog every day.  Maybe there are even some minorities or poor people amidsts us to make us feel even marginally representative."

            "But we fool ourselves if we think we're the Democratic base.  Pretty much, we need to get over ourselves."

            Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity after reading through this thread.

            (I can't top daria g's response, so why try?)

            •  Well, Kossaks are losing their minds... (none)
              Just not for the reasons stated in this thread.  The stakes are incredibly high in this election, and we know it more than most people do.  So people are freaking out.  They are the same people who would freak out on a battlefield, in the courtroom, or in any crisis.  And as those who are not the 'freak out in a crisis' type know, it just can't be accomodated.

              Panicking is no way to handle anything this important.  When you're a doctor, you need not to freak out and bitch about why they haven't invented better scalpals until after you're sure the patient isn't bleeding to death.

              We have an operation to perform, lives to save, and it's not too much to ask our fellow democrats to be selfless for 50 more days.

              I will freak out on November 3rd or not at all.

              •  To use your analogy.. (none)
                So a surgical nurse should just keep quiet as the surgeon amputates the wrong limb to prevent the appearance of freaking out.

                The points brought up are not minor flaws in tactics they are strategic flaws that need to be discussed.  Granted I, and others, get a little to worked up about this but that is just a reflection of the passion I have for good government.

                We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                by delver rootnose on Wed Sep 15, 2004 at 03:38:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The wrong slant of the analogy (none)
                  Our part in the operation is getting out the vote and winning over voters.  That's the part of this thing that we have power over.  If we want to correct our own methodology, then fine.

                  But John Kerry and his surgical nurses are doing their own job, and when it comes to how they are doing their campaign, we are more like the idiot in the hallway who took a biology class once and wants to tell the doctor where to cut.

                  •  keep your 'WE' to yourself. (none)
                    I am not an idiot in the hall and neither are many of the people here.

                    I have seen many ideas and issues that have been far superior to what has been coming out of the campaign.

                    I know for a fact several people posting here are paid staffers of local campaigns.  I think they know better what is working and what is not.

                    Until recently I thought the national campaign was completely ignoring blogs.  Now they are only partially ignoring them.

                    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                    by delver rootnose on Thu Sep 16, 2004 at 10:19:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  *shrug* (none)
                      Then I hope the brilliant ones here get jobs working for a campaign instead of spending all their time typing on a blog.  As for me, my perception is that about 99 percent of what the people on this blog think is cool, effective, or brilliant, is utter crap.  But since I'm not a campaign expert either, I'm not arrogant enough to assume my evaluations are the ones Kerry should listen to either.
                      •  Well I see you are about as uptight at (none)
                        getting the last word, among other tings, as I am.  Must be the lawyer in you.  I however am done with it.

                        By the way I will continue to be critical of the failings of myself and the party.  I will not buy into the smile and shut up crowd.

                        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                        by delver rootnose on Thu Sep 16, 2004 at 12:31:26 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  PS. Keep fighting the good fight (none)
              I noticed you doing the same in other threads.
        •  WE??? ... (3.50)
          Is that a pistol in your pocket?  WE should probably speak for thyself.  WE are democrats who are voting for Kerry because he is an honorable politician running for the presidency against a tyrant and a family who have hijacked our coutry.  

          Kerry is doing this so we don't have to and WE are proud and grateful.  WE also know he will serve us well.

          And one last thing ... WE will win despite your WE.

          •  Let's see, we were ORDERED not to make (none)
            the link between "honorable discharge" recipients Bushit and "DC Sniper" because the person giving the order would be offended.

            No, his imagined "We" would be offended.

            I, for one, am notorious for not obeying the dictates of self-important tyrants.

            There are those who whine that they are "we," but that no one will seek them out, while they sit on their buts and wait, in order to make them a "we".

            Sometimes one must get off one's ass and got to the "we" in order not only to be part of that "we" but also to get a clue about what "we" are up to.

          •  Hmmm (none)
            If the ideal behind the democratic party is that the people serve the politicians.. i am apparently in the wrong party.

            If however the idea is that the political leaders serve the people.. i am in the correct party.

            "I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job." - pRresident Bush | My other Drunken ravings

            by cdreid on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:50:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  beg to differ... (none)
      Kos was a little more than 'not sufficiently mournful'. He basically said "fuck em, they got what they deserved".

      Whatever your opinion on that peice of blog history, that kind of statement, however passionate and well reasoned, however much it was honest and based on Kos' past experience with war/mercenaries etc, that statement was a political 3rd rail for our nominee. Anyone can see that. Can you imagine if the widows of the guys burned and strung up were asked about Kerry's 'links' to web sites with that kind of opinion?

      I get real sick of everyone telling Kerry to be 'more media savvy' then puffing up with outrage when he does something that's a no-brainer. Country first, blog loyalty (a close) second.

      and FYI, Markos, I you immensely, but don't agree with every word out of your mouth. God bless america.

  •  Weird Election - Bizzarro World Actually (4.00)
    Hello.  I would like your diary post to be my first ever comment on Dailykos - a site I have been lurking on for almost a year now.

    This is a bizzarro election.  Think of what you would do if you were Kerry.  I recall - in April, I believe - when Bush had one of the worst weeks of a Presidency in several generations.  A hundred soldiers died that week, the Dems were united and the message was getting across.  The jobs numbers were negative that month.  The pre-buzz on F9/11 was starting and the 9/11 Commission really started slamming Bush and Condi was begging off answering questions and a slew of books from former staffers came out slamming the Pres.

    His numbers held.

    F911 came out.  His numbers held.

    The DNC happens.

    His numbers held.

    The Swift Boaters came out with an almost laughably obvious smear campaign.

    The media treated it as a legit story.

    The RNC turns out to be a hate-fest, with so called "moderates" like Schwartzenwhatever calling those who have fallen behind the 8 ball economically "girlie men" and Gulliani saying that the FIRST FREAKING THING HE SAID AFTER SEEING THE WTC GO DOWN was "Thank God George Bush is President."  Not "Oh my god, those poor poor people."  Nope - "Thank God George Bush is President."  Don't get me started on Zell Miller and the increasingly insane (and perhaps drunk) Cheney.

    Meanwhile, the wholly factual and LEGITIMATE questions about Bush's service are met with a near instantaneous "the documents were fake" response which CNN is treating as the single most important story in the history of newsmaking.

    Every week something happens that should make you say "OK, that does it.  NOW the public and the media will wake up and realize that beyind being merely incompetent, Bush is indeed perhaps insane and dangerous."  What's Kerry supposed to do?

    America was attacked 3 years ago, right in the heart of our most vital city and most vital industrial sector (inernational finance).  This event alone gives most Americans the pretext needed to completey shun any of the normal responsibilities of being an American (you know: belief in freedom, belief in democracy, belief in truth, belief in being a moral example).  Maybe those things don't/didn't exist in practice, but people at least paid lip service.  

    But no more.  We were attacked.  And that gives us the pretext to be the aggessor, to lash out in a blind fury, to kick ass and not take any names (so to speak).  It reminds me of my late father's grudging admiration for the former Soviet Union.  He truly believed that since they were evil, godless commies that they were therefore unrestrained in the use of their military - that they didn't have their "hands behind their backs" like the good old moral US of A.

    The USA has become, and I am appallled, my father's naive vision of what the USSR was in the Cold War era: a nation completely unfettered by morality in its affairs both dometic and abroad.  We don't care if Iraq was in NOI WAY involved in 9/11.  They look like the folks behind 9/11 and that's good enough for a bloodthirsty, vengence minded elecrorate.

    Better pray that that Kitty Keley book swings this race, because it ain't Kerry's fault folks: its the cowed and terrified and vengeful American voting public.

    •  Thanks for contributing (4.00)
      You make several excellent points.

      You ask the following: "What can Kerry do?"

      Increasingly I realize that I can't know what Kerry can do until I know what Kerry is doing.

      And I don't want to make this all about Kerry.  This is a problem that goes to the heart of the Democratic Party.

      •  turn it around (4.00)
        "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you-- ask what you can do for your country."

        - John F. Kennedy

        •  someone has to run the ship (4.00)
          as we discovered in Iowa (where is that Kerry?) you can have the most volunteers and the most rabid volunteers, but unless someone knows what to do with the warm bodies or the money, it's just so much agitation with little forward motion. There are a lot of things that people can do, but in this type of exercise, the people running Kerry's campagin matter, and they do matter a lot.

          I'm happy with my $20 of influence

          by JMS on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:28:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't know what Kerry is doing -- (none)
        and, of course, saying -- it's because you are tuned out.

        And that is your decision and responsiblity, not Kerry's fault.

    •  So right... (4.00)
      That would make a fantastic diary post.  Go ahead and cut and paste it into one.

      The part about comparisons with the USSR struck me.  I can't help but notice that Putin, in Russia (no longer the USSR, supposedly a "democracy," yeah) is about to use the Beslan school tragedy as an excuse to recentralize a great deal of power, just as he has used Chechen terrorism already to justify a number of moves, such as monopolization of the media.

      Putin and Bush are two of a kind in this opportunism in the face of tragedy.  I really do fear for our democracy if Bush gets four more years.  Bush does not share the same values that I grew up with as a schoolchild here in America, reciting the pledge of allegiance.

      The media is a huge part of the problem.  I, too, noticed how the attacks on f911 and the spring advertising blitz didn't hurt Kerry, but everything is interpreted in terms of a media narrative about a Kerry meltdown based on selective interpretation of the most extreme polls.  There is literally nobody to say "hold on, the game isn't over yet."

      The Republicans used to have the same problem.  They learned to get around it by

      1. Running against the media.  They could criticize the media mercilessly in their campaigns and always be assured of rousing applause.
      2. They created their own alternative media.  Fox is the most obvious example of this, but before Fox, there were smaller entities, junior Foxes like the 700 Club.
      3. They created media watchdog groups that fiercely criticized the media, daring it to air their opposing views -- something that was very successful.  This helped create a sense of guilt and a fear of being unprofessional if they didn't cater to Republican "viewpoints."
      4. The media was co-opted by the mainstreaming of far right viewpoints through all of the above.  Now, we see Scarborough reporting the news from the DNC convention on an NBC affiliated cable station, as if Scarborough has ever been trained or is capable of being anything remotely similar to a journalist.

      We need to shape up.  The problem isn't Kerry.  It's us, our laziness, our lack of focus, our ignoring a cancer that has grown unchecked.  

      Where is the rest of the democratic party operation?  Why aren't they organized to beat the crap out of Judy Woodruff whenever she quotes a Time Poll but leaves out the CSM or Rasmussen polls?  Why aren't there fire-breathing democratic pundits ready to go on talk shows and knock the crap out of the Ann Coulters and Ed Gillespies?  Why do they send out people like that tranqulized lump Donna Brazile?  Why isn't there a Democratic-biased Fox Network running 24 hours a day on all cable providers?

    •  Thanks for saying it. (4.00)
      This would be easy if the media would do its job for once and ya know, actually inform the public.

      I read a study last year that horse-race coverage was becoming a major problem. The news reports more about polls than it does about the issues at stake.  Even worse, the news often gets it wrong when they do attempt at covering the issues. Soundbites are now shorter than they have ever been before. Even political advertisements are vastly different. In 1960, a JFK ad ran for 5 minutes long. FIVE MINUTES.  The world is faster and quicker and "soundbite-ier."  It's not condusive to an educated public. If the public were educated and knew what was up with the Bush admin, they'd be lining up behind KE04 like the 9/11 widows are.

      This election would be easy if the media held Bush accountable for what he says and what he does.  There's been very little of that.

      Ideally, the media should be about truth and facts.  That's not what it is right now.  It's all horserace coverage and cherry-picked soundbites.  There's so little fact-checking that it drives me nuts.  The media has also been doing a complete white-washing of all the BC04 ish, and they go after Dan Rather/60 Minutes like pitbulls.  I didn't see that same attention paid to SBV"T," and some in the media are still talking like SBV"T" are truthful, whilst anyone with a right mind know that SBV"T" are the biggest bunch of sick lying phonies.

      That's the difference between this blog and most of the American electorate. We're here and we're educated on the issues.  The American electorate is getting filtered news and half-truths. I mean, why else would so many Americans think that 9/11 and Iraq were directly connected? Those kind of things are in no way the fault of the Democrats.  The Democrats should do a better job of getting their message out, but it's not their job to factcheck the media on Iraq. The media, in an ideal world, would fact check themselves.  Perhaps, it has by default become the job of Democrats to factcheck on Iraq. The unfortunate part of that, is that the media in it's quest for "balance" will just have a Republican on to rebut facts with lies, and the media will report both the Democratic facts and the Republican lies as though they're the same. This election was never going to be easy for many reasons, but this is a major one.

      Here's what Kossacks can do: GET YOUR FRIENDS TO DKOS.  Engage & educate :-)  Send an email taking Bush to task for his awful presidency; be succinct and biting.


      And a word about those "Kerry/Edwards should do this! But they won't! I don't get it! I'm pissed! I'm not giving anymore money!" posts... I can't tell you how many bad ideas I've seen on this blog that look good on the surface (and will make left-leaning partisans feel good), but on second thought, won't work in reality.  Then, people get mad when KE04 doesn't do what they want them to and start criticizing KE04 campaigners for things that they, in reality, may have little or no control over.  Are there things that KE04 should have done but did not do? Yes. Have they made some mistakes? Yes. Are there some good ideas on this blog? Yes. Do the majority of dKos posters know better? No. Are there people here who have worked on campaigns (at higher levels than just regular volunteers) or who have studied this stuff (I would be the latter))? Yes, and these are often the people with the coolest, calmest heads here; if you've been around long enough, you'll be able to spot the people who have the right expertise or who know more than the average person. Don't get frustrated or mad with KE04 or other Dems for not doing everything you want them to. Remember, you are partisan, and probably know very little about stagecraft or what goes into it. I'm not saying you shouldn't criticize or have a voice; I certainly have posted criticism on this blog. I am suggesting that quite a few dKos posters want certain things that just won't work (particularly in the way the race has been framed recently), and those posters shouldn't be surprised to see their suggestions go unused. If you have a catch phrase and KE04 isn't using, then, you go ahead and use it in your letters and ask other Kossacks to use it. Emailing KE04 every idea in the book isn't effective either. They get thousands of emails a day.  Post it once on a blog. They'll see it there.

      And to address another issue:
      "No one watches cable news networks and they don't matter." WRONG WRONG WRONG. You may bleeping hate the cable news networks, and don't want to watch them, but that in no way makes them unimportant or uninfluential. While a relatively small number of people watch the cable news networks, the people who do watch are often opinion leaders--other media or a very influential member of a family, group of friends, or workplace.  Moreover, the cable news networks often force other media to cover something a certain way or to cover something more than they should (SBV"T" anyone?). There are relatively few people watching, but do not underestimate the importance of cable news.  

      And Chris Heinz does spend time surfing the internet. He's posted at Democratic Underground, and I believe that a Kossack did say that Heinz admitted to reading dKos.  

      •  And two more things.. (4.00)
        I posted a diary the other day requesting that Kossacks email news organizations asking for balance on another issue. I even provided emails.

        I got very little response. There's lots of talk here about how awful the media is, and when there was a chance for Kossacks to get on it, there was very little action. I've seen it also when other people write the same kind of diaries. And then, I go read the "recommended diaries" section and sometimes I really start wondering what dKos priorities are.  That's probably unfair and I'm sure I'll regret the comment, but it's how I often feel.  

      •  And we can do, instead of merely sitting (4.00)
        on our asses about how Kerry/Edwards shuld do it instead.

        I've mde no formal study of politics, and by nature am not a joiner, so have never worked with any campaign.  But my first political awakening was at 8-9 when I first learned of Lincoln, and his, "Everybody equal under the law."  At that moment I became a vocal activist for civil rights.

        And a (Lincoln) Republican.

        Then Cassius Clay came along (I was a boxing fan -- had to watch in effort to figure out how anyone could volunteer for pain!), and all the racist shit he took kept me going until JFK came along.  That was my second political awakening (attempted atholic -- I -- and same state).

        So I never shut up.  Then Viet Nam came along, and as a reader reading Twain, I grasped the underlying issues of that.  My pacifism crystalized.

        I never shut up.

        Upon being graduated from high school I went full time active "against" US involvement in Viet Nam.

        I've been around a long time.  I'm not politically "sophisticated" -- well, not "polished".  I even say things critical of Democrats and the Democratic party (some don't like it; fuck 'em).  I simply remain "normal" and down-to-earth, as demonstrated by my post about the conversation with the pro-Bushiter.

        And am persuasive and successful in that.  All of it based upon first-hand experience, expresing my actual views, and talking, talking, talking -- and listening.

        Wherever I go (when not in bed sleeping) my head is full of current issues and events.  And rarely do I talk about what isn't on my mind.  And I talk, talk, talk -- to anyone and everyone.  And am persuasive a-- and successful.

        I haven't time for sitting on my ass and doing nothing.  Premise and practice: when I stop by a friend's bike shop, I might grab a broom and sweep the floor.  (Unless I don't feel like it.)  Why?  Because a thing needs doing it one does it.  Nothing more to it than that "Zen".

        Though I have no intention of ever dying (unless I decide to do so), most say life is short.  So, just in case, I pretend like it is by wasting none of it.

        Kerry's doing fine.  He'll do better if I pitch in and share the burden and effort.  

        And one learns from all that experiencing how enjoyable it is to like and be pleasant to people.  (Which doesn't bar my now and then biting off a head or to.  Especially those of whiners.  But as they  aren't using them, they won't be missed by them.  Right?)

  •  Thanks (none)
    for articulating what I've been feeling.

    Having lived under TWO terms of Ronald Reagan, I can assure you, the average american is a fucking idiot that votes republican.

    Only in drastic times has that been different.

    And unfortunately, the Bushies have framed this debate as "un-drastic", and the media goes right along with it.

    It depresses the crap out of me.

    But I remember saying 4 years ago.... on the bright side, Doonesbury and Jon Stewart are MUCH funnier when there are republicans in charge.

  •  Thanks...or not (4.00)
    I've got to canvas in my neighborhood for Kerry in a week or so.   So, if I go by this, I should just say, vote for Kerry `cause he's not Bush? Yikes!  Work with me here.  ;-)

    Actually, I see your point.  I've been pursuing dkos to get talking points.  I shouldn't have to look here for them.  They should already be clear and concise enough to be on everybody's lips.  

    Having said that, I feel confident in a Kerry presidency.  He may not be smooth, charismatic or Teflon like Clinton, but he's solid.  I just hope his campaign gets it's damn act together.

    •  what to say (4.00)
      1.  Its the economy, stupid
      2.  Oh yea, Health Care too
      3.  Change vs more of the same

      "I just live forever, there just is no end / I just trust the oppression like I trust yr friends." (I got a) Catholic Block, by Sonic Youth

      by Demosthenes on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:28:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd Reorder Your List (none)
        I'd put "Change vs. More of the Same" at the top of the list and link it directly to Iraq.

        Whenever the war is at the top of the news, Bush's numbers go down. The administration vulnerable on the occupation because they have handled it so badly.

        Kerry doesn't have to lay out a 20-point plan, it would just get picked apart, but he has to do better than just a vauge "We can do better."

        One of the best surrogates for Kerry is Holbrooke. I've watched him on the chat shows over the course of the summer and he always starts with a devastating critique of the administration's policy and then lays out a few alternatives.

        This isn't the 90s and Democrats need a credible, hard hitting and simple response to the national security challenges that we face today.

        I listen to wingnut radio so you don't have to!

        by Sharon on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:23:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  . . . and when those calls come, I also offer (none)
          my suggestions.

          And they listen.

          Today: Kerry needs to talk about Iraq.  But not attak Bushit.  Include as part of speeches detail of the facts on the ground in Iraq.  Don't attack Bushit, expose him.  "Last night Bushit said, "We are winning in Iraq.'"  This is from this mornings [local paper name, "Last night 3 more US soldiers were killed, and today Bush let another town slip into the hands of Iraqi fundamentalists, who alread control all of Iraq west of Baghdad . . ."

          Will that idea be used?  I don't know.  But I'm certain they are given no few ideas to sift through.

          OK, I also posted it on this blog.

    •  I grant that you shouldn't have to look for them (4.00)
      They should be more obvious and more prominent everywhere.  I think that John Kerry's site is a better resource than the dailykos for talking points about him and the good things that he does and is.  The dailykos is definitley a better resource for what's wrong with Bush.

      How about this:

      Kerry is a true American hero, and not because of what he did in Vietnam, but because of everything that he's done since and everything that he wants to do for our country.

      He is not afraid to stand up to power--he has faced gunfire, the Nixon Whitehouse, the banking industry, and the military-industrial complex that sold armaments to terrorists in Iran to get money to fund terrorists in South America.

      From the time he was 27 years old, he has known that America is greatest because she is always on the path of self-correction.  America could admit its mistake with slavery and come to be the bastian of freedom throughout the world.  America always refines its promise decade after decade, generation after generation, and John Kerry has helped it do that for the past thirty years.

      He is not afraid to lead America through turbulant times as he did when he was a young man--helping to end the Vietnam War.  Helping to put criminals behind bars as a young prosecutor.  Helping to ease the hearts and minds of veterans by getting a full accounting of POWs with John McCain after the Vietnam War.

      Unlike George Bush, John Kerry does reach across the aisle.  He doesn't try to alienate those who don't agree with him, but knows how to compromise and find solutions that more Americans can agree with.  We need that right now.

      And his plan to reach out to our allies to shift the burden in Iraq is going to help ease some of the pain and divisions in our country and theirs.  His plan to lift the disproportionate tax burden off the middle class is going to help protect us as a nation of citizens and families instead of a nation of corporations and the powerful.  His plan to import drugs from Canada is going to help break the pharmaceutical cartel in America so that our generation does not break its promise with our grandparents and rob them of the care they earned through a lifetime of work and paying into the system.

      John Kerry has followed the rules all his life and is fighting now to make sure that America keeps its contract with its citizens.  Remember the 1990s and what a prosperous and hopeful nation we were?  That's the tolerant America with increased opportunity that John Kerry will restore.

      •  Today (all day) all my kitchen cabinets (4.00)
        were replaced.

        On of the workman was pro-Bush.  But we had a good running conversation.

        I woud up detailing Kerry's investigation of Contra-cocaine, which led to Iran-Contra, which led to BCCI.  And he did it despite continuous resistance from both parties, and being ignored by the Reagan justice department.

        So persistent in that investigation was he that, when he got no support from anyone in DC, he got the support of the AB of NY!

        Pointed out how that's what we want our politicians to be.  And underscored that (it was lengthier, and both thoughtfully worded and carefully delivered) summary with that it made obvious:

        "Kerry is a stand-up guy.  He may be 'stiff,' and perhaps a prig, but he's a stand-up guy."

        I then immediately followed up with brief (longer than this) description of how McCain and he worked for ten years on the MIA issue.

        He was sufficiently impressed by the end of the day that when I mentioned the coming Kerry "Rally," he said: "You should speak!"

        Will  he vote Kerry?  I don't know.  Will we have more to think about than he had before our conversation?  Yes.

        What was that about "talking points"?  Don't such things consist of the actual facts?

  •  the problems (4.00)
    are not just with Kerry--or perhaps they are about Kerry inasmuch as Kerry is "generic Democrat" (as he has been for much of the campaign). The Democratic party has just not had "winner" (with the exception of Clinton) in its actions or body posture in a long time. This sort of caution and defensiveness seems to be the only way they know how to campaign. Perhaps it extends down to the Democratic primary voters, who after all, selected Kerry for some of these very features. Since we're already in the hole, I'd like to "save this game" then play out the scenario where we go out hell bent for leather. Of course...I guess the world doesn't work that way...

    I'm happy with my $20 of influence

    by JMS on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:20:13 AM PDT

    •  The Pathetic Truth (4.00)
      Excellent opinion piece here
      by Michael Tomasky from the American Prospect.

      Heres just part of it  
      George W. Bush has a record the Democrats should have made mincemeat of. Right about now, the media should be writing, and American voters should be thinking: Golly, a million jobs lost, millions more in poverty, manufacturing down; no WMD's, 1,000-plus dead, Iraq on the brink of civil war, al Qaeda larger than ever and still recruiting, acts of worldwide terrorism on the rise, North Korea and Iran responding to the cowboy routine by going nuclear. This should have been easy.

      The dems need to suck it up and start calling a duck a duck.And they should definitely start acknowledging the progressive base even just a little, even if its on the sly.

      "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion.

      by mickey on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:23:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good article (none)
        and he makes a point that a lot of people here seem to want to miss too... They behave as if educating people or presenting the facts, in and of itself, is the answer, when it might change the minds of--what 2% of people or something? No, the Dems (not Kerry himself, who has good reasons to look presidential and stay out of the fray--one of Dean's problems was that nobody on the Dem side was as good at attacking as Dean himself--he needed his own Dean) and or their fellow travellers, just aren't good at blustering. And it would seem that Americans like bluster. Wishing that it were otherwise doesn't make it so, and the type of education campaign it would take to make it so would take generations, if it ever worked at all. Where is Bob Toricelli now, one wonders? If we have to be associated with a guy like that, why can't we sic him on the enemy?

        The other, somewhat more tragic and more cynical possibility is that the Dems just care about their own comfort--not about winning. It's not that they don't care about the issues we care about, it's just that if it involves letting things hang out, or challenging the Republicans, or being uncivil, that's too high a price to pay.

        I'm happy with my $20 of influence

        by JMS on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:49:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is possible to challenge the (none)
          Republicans civilly.  The issue isn't attacking (I actually don't want Kerry or the Dems to "attack" Bush, I just want them to tell the truth), its challenging.

          I think the problem is that many in the Dem grassroots, here at dKos and even in the press corps are simply looking for the ONE issue/story that will bring Bush down. Each time a story or an issue proves not to ring the death knoll, it gets dropped.

          "Consult the genius of the place in all things" - Alexander Pope

          by a gilas girl on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:46:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Winner (4.00)

      We've got the American Jesus, he helped build the president's estate.

      by daria g on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:47:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  good job. (4.00)
    yep i agree.  I would be so happy if the
    democratic strategerists (sic) would get their
    collective heads out of their asses.  

    Case in point ... the recent CBS papers ...
    potentially very dangerous for the president so
    what do the Rovians do? "Look! Bright shiny
    thing over here!" That bright shiny thing being
    another potential scandal ... a "forgery."  

    Bingo...problem nullified.  Bush supporters are
    given the cover they need to dismiss the letters
    without thinking and the SCLM is given a new
    juicer scandal that it can sink its teeth into.  
    Now no one is talking about the real ssues...but
    fighting about whether the documents are real.

    Rovians win that war even if they lose the
    battle.  My point: do you really think any
    democratic strategist could accomplish the
    same? No f'n way.  

    Although I think there is an argument to be made
    that the SCLM are in bed with the GOP of late.
    Still ... it is a matter of understanding how
    the media operates and making every decision
    based on playing the media to your advantage.
    I've seen no evidence KE04 has a clue how to
    do that.

    That's the end of my rant.

    Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

    by JoelK in AZ on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:22:20 AM PDT

  •  I also think (3.50)
    Blogs are starting to show their dangers .  Not places like this, necessarily, but as we've seen with the whole CBS ordeal, blogs have the scary ability to allow totally unsubstantiated claims to become acceptable news stories. (stovepiiping?)

    this post at MyyDD makes a lot of good points about the power that the right wing blogosphere is somehow stirring up.  Definitely read it.

    BTW, Keep an eye out for a new smear that will start out on blogs and will spread to your news channels:  Kerry shot and killed a fleeing/retreating teen in the back.

    Blogs are powerful tools for everyone.  But the capability to use them to push these garbage stories into the mainstream scares me.

    For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken

    by contrapunktus on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:35:02 AM PDT

    •  Blogs? (4.00)
      I totally disagree.  The corporate media are the one's responsible for making the forgery question into a story, and they are entirely capable of vetting blog reports based on credibility.   The system has the potential for greatness; blogs can be started by anyone, and report anything deemed worthwhile by their creators, however insane they may be.  The media can sift through the blogs for gems and elevate them to national prominence.  

      The media's lack of stringent filters when reporting on blogs isn't a problem novel to blogs.  It's a manifestation of the same pathology that leads the media to uncritically report the latest RNC talking points, and to let right-wing bloviaters on camera to spew utter nonsense and anti-facts.  Eliminating blogs wouldn't solve the problem, it would just force the right wing propaganda machine to resort to other forms of manipulation.

      "One god, one market, one truth, one consumer. Just a quiet peaceful dance, for things we will never have." --Zack De La Rocha, "Down Rodeo"

      by Subterranean on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:52:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  of course (none)
        blogs shouldn't be eliminated.  It's just that the right blogosphere is much better aligned with their masters, in terms of disinformation and smearing goes...  

        For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken

        by contrapunktus on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:35:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  fleeing teenager (none)
      already debunked by the oped pages in the Chicago Tribune.

      Fear and smear-it's a (Bush) family tradition!!!

      by Ga6thDem on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:24:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Salon had an article (none)
      that said that a GOP PR firm had a press release out that used the right wing blogosphere's stuff.  The press release was sent to media outlets and got them to look into the 60 Minutes memos as forgeries.
  •  First point.... (4.00)
    I'm sure Kerry could make his entire campaign about dKos readers because really, it's all about me, me, me.

    Second. this is a country with roughly 110 million voters.  FoxNews viewership runs about 1 million per day, CNN gets about 600,000.  Yes, less than 1% of voters actually watch cable news.  NYT Times and WaPo circulation, probably far less than this.

    Kerry is fighting a pretty effective ground game.  He recently drew 50,000 people to a rally in Portland.  50,000 people would overflow the Oakland Coliseum near my home.  He's drawing record crowds nearly everywhere he goes.  The local press writes largely positive articles about him.  (See the rcommended diary post from the guy who went to the Edwards rally in Tucson yesterday....I asked him to post newspaper articles post-rally....all were positive).

    People read their local papers, they don't obsess over CNN or weblogs.  

    I have seen no indication the Kerry campaign doesn't know what they're doing.  The pundits talk trash because that's what they're paid to do.  Infotainment sells.  Not that many people pay that much attention to them.

    Have a little faith, Kerry isn't an idiot.

    The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

    by cls180 on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:45:40 AM PDT

    •  Finally (4.00)
      Someone is rational. You site hard proof: 50000 supporters at rallies in places where there are barely 50000 people that live there. Who cares about the media. No one watches CNN. It's a tiny percentage of voters. Kerry's not listening to Dkos because he doesn't need to. I wouldn't if I were him. There's a small percentage of voters to get and he's going after them.  No, true, the GOTV thing is huge and thats where we should come in, but basically, he's got bigger fish to fry.
      •  Kerry is.... (4.00)
        ....running an under-the-radar of the national media stealth campaign.  These guys do nothing but criticize, claim Kerry's campaign is in disarray, etc.  Yet there is no overt signs of panic coming out of Kerry's camp.  He hasn't seriously changed his methods at all.  If they were sensing any serious trouble, you'd see it reflected in his tactics.

        I think their own internal polling, voter registration results, local enthusiasm are telling them they're running well.

        Kerry is running a mature, adult campaign.  He can play the juvenile games the Bush camp has played for 4 years but that leaves him sullied if he wins the office.  If he wants to unite this country behind his cause he can't stoop to the level of the RNC.  I'm really quite impressed with the overall tone.  Outside of the rabid, foaming at the mouth FoxNews crowd, I'll bet in the end it will be remembered on Nov. 2 and appreciated that John Kerry doens't scare us half to death.

        The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

        by cls180 on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:23:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  right (4.00)
          Kerry is not doing the knee-jerk reacting to media attention that Gore did. The way the campaign is being run is not a problem.

          Yes, Bush got a bounce, and even though its size was mysteriously over-reported by statistically illiterate reporters, it wasn't at all unexpected (we've been talking about the post-convention bounces for how many months now?) and it's been eroding in the daily tracking polls. That's what bounces do.

          And Kerry is well aware that it's not the national horserace that matters so much, but instead the battleground states. And the campaign has been doing well enough there for a win in November.

          I do feel like there hasn't been enough communication down to the grassroots level saying "we're doing fine, here's why, etc". People are just so damn fired up that they're champing at the bit for some action, but they're also buying the Bush spin about the campaign falling flat, and they're worrying.

          The campaign's email list is massive, and they could easily spread more specific and detailed reassuring words with it. But they don't. Their emails tend to be begging for alms or "sign up to volunteer", when they should be communicating more. Specifically, they should be slightly chatty rather than stilted, and they should be cleanly and clearly:

          • Projecting confidence -- we're doing well, and here's why
          • Providing newsy updates -- Newsweek reported a poll that looks bad on the surface, but its numbers don't match up with reality
          • Giving guidance -- here's what we want you to do this week: register a student to vote

          Either they don't realize that they should be communicating that way, or they are avoiding it deliberately (perhaps so as not to reveal strategy?). Unfortunately it's probably the former.

          PS: I got a phone call from the Kerry campaign today with regard to canvassing neighborhoods in my area, and they signed me up to get training for it. Yes, they called me, rather than me calling them. I live in Ohio and I've been working on registering voters on the weekends with a local group, but this is the first Kerry-related activity I'll be doing. I take that as a sign that the campaign is really kicking into gear... and honestly, given that they are neck-and-neck and we've just entered the general election, it's precisely the right time for it.

          •  Never before the Kerry campaign (none)
            have I ever received calls from the campaign.

            And yes: as I've said a number of times: Kerry is under-the-media/polls radar.  Out ahead of the polls.  The record crowds indicate not only "Surprise" on November 2, but also (as I've also said) the national media deliberately call a "close election" because it's keeps people tuning in and buying papers.  Under the radio, as the crowd sizes show, it is not close.

            And what crowds does Bushit get?  Fixed number, Republican't only.  If he'll only preach to the fathful -- his "base" -- he loses.

            But he's a coward when it comes to the possibility of preaching to a crowd which includes any who are unscreened.  (Hell, any time they catch a Democrat at one of their events, they escort him out, and at minimum threaten him with arrest, as if attending a political rally without "permission" is a violation of law.

            Bushit is more paranoid than Nixon.  And for those who don't know it, Nixon was paranoid.

    •  minor issues (none)
      1) i think you are discounting the impact that
         the news media has on public perception and
         the secondary and tertiary effects their
         "reporting" have on the minds of those that
         don't watch but instead listen to others.

         that is, i contend there are many people
         influenced by the news media that don't
         even watch but, instead, here the CW from
         those that do watch.

      secondly, and very minor in point:

      2) only 105,586,274 people voted in 2000

      Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

      by JoelK in AZ on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:29:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm hoping for more voters.... (none)
        ...this time around!

        I'd like to see how much impact these TV news shows and political comercials really have.  Young people especially have very finely tuned bullshit antenna.  Even the cable news shows point out the manipulations of each side on a regular basis.  Is it clear that people are so naive they are swayed by this stuff?  Or have we become much more savvy consumers in a world where marketing and selling permeate our lives?  I'm not sure random polls give much information in this.

        Either way, if Kerry is given a choice between talking to a rally of 50,000 potential voters for an hour or a 2 minute interview with Judy Fucking Woodruff.....I can safely say he shows much more common sense than he's given credit for.

        The conservative definition of "right-sized" government: Somewhere between big enough to fit in a corporate boardroom and small enough to fit in a womb.

        by cls180 on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:39:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just curious (none)
        Do you know why Alaska + Montana have a %Reg of Vap higher than 100%?
    •  So? (none)
      Second. this is a country with roughly 110 million voters.  FoxNews viewership runs about 1 million per day, CNN gets about 600,000.  Yes, less than 1% of voters actually watch cable news.  NYT Times and WaPo circulation, probably far less than this.

      You cite hard numbers, then fail to acknowledge a simple fact: that 1% goes into work the next day and talks about the latest CNN story around the watercooler/coffee pot.  And ALL they have is the CNN perspective.  That's where the real damage is done - by sharing on a limited, televised, distilled viewpoint with people who probably didnt watch the news at all.

      Do the 50k people who turn up to Kerry rallies go into work the next day and rave about it around the coffee pot?  Holy crap, I hope so..

      •  Who are THESE people you talk about? (none)
        600,000 thousand people watch CNN, PER DAY!!!  If they are going into work the next day, then the odds are they were at work the day before.  Which means they only probably got to watch CNN after 5 pm.  After they fight traffic home, and after they eat dinner.

        600,000 people PER DAY!  That's 12,000 people per state- if they were distributed equally between state.  I'm sure there are more than 12,000 offices in any state.  That also assumes that all 12,000 people per state drink the Kool-Aid and speak about the latest CNN story and not about Monday Night Football, or Everybody Loves Raymond, or about the fact that Oprah gave brand new cars to everyone in her audience.

        This also assumes that everyone at the water cooler not only listens to this person, but also allows them to sway their viewpoints.  How many of these people just nod their head, make polite conversation and then head back to their desk too busy caught up in their own thoughts because they have a deadline to meet or their children are sick?

        Finally, this also assumes that everyone has enough money to have cable and watches channels like CNN or Fox News.

        I really think Kossacks need to stop taking such a myopic view of the world.  Just because you fret about these problems doesn't mean 110 million other people do.

        Wanna read about the day to day grind of a Congressional Campaign? read here

      • MyBlog

        by rgarza15 on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 03:38:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  200 million (none)
    The most recent census data indicates that there are approximately 200 million people of voting age who have the franchise. And I agree wholeheartedly with your remarks about cable TV, etc., which are only amplified by the fact that even more people can vote than you'd surmised. While there is a Fox Effect throughout TV media, the non-cable networks generally don't behave so blatantly partisan as Fox. Kerry strategy of sidestepping the Big Boys and distributing their message to the mid-level stations in the communities throughout the nation is actually very smart. I discount most polls and most news stories these days because Kerry has employed Guerilla marketing strategies that will, I fervently hope, get his message to the people who need to hear it most, i.e., not your average Kossack. Thanks for your remarks. All the best.

    The 1969 Mets; World Series champs. Whodathunkit? Kerry will win.

    by lepermessiah on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 03:05:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    Thank you for saying so eloquently what many of us hold in our hearts, the faith that Kerry and his campaign know precisely what they are doing.  Did yesterday's news about Wolf Blitzer and AIPEC reach any ears or eyes here?  This me, me, me is going to keep doing what I've been doing ... writing endless Letters to the Editors and keeping up my steely determination and resolve that we, as a nation, are going to win this fight.
  •  From the DFA blog (4.00)
    via NYCO in my Dean diary:

    I've been thinking (which doesn't happen often) about the fatigue I'm feeling with politics these days. And I've concluded that it come from the difference between fighting FOR something and fighting AGAINST something.

    During the primaries, I was so energized and so hopeful because I was working towards a goal. I was working to get Dean elected.  Now, I'm simply working to get Bush defeated. And that my friends is a big difference. Defeating Bush is fatiguing. Working for Dean is energizing. I guess I never realized how much more energizing hope was over anger.

    This sums it all up, and is, I think, what you're talking about.

    I must not think bad thoughts. --John Doe

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 10:54:24 AM PDT

  •  sad, sad, sad (4.00)
    A diary trashes Kerry and the Dem party and goes straight to the top of the recommended diaries. Then the comments are filled with righteous outrage. I guess this is how it's going to be around here for a while.

    Attorney at Arms said it best in a diary below: If I read one more suggestion for the Kerry campaign, I'm going to vomit.

    Yes, please Kerry campaign, please spend your time writing dKos diaries -- and if you don't, that just proves that you have no real progressive values and just take us true progressives for granted. (Where-o-where is Dean???)

    Next up: selling clothes pins on dKos to the righteous among us. Yeah, we're the real progressives over here. Listen to us.

    Honestly, I don't know what is more irritating -- the fact that Kerry is not ahead by 10 pts or the fact that the loudest and most respected voices on this blog spend more time tearing down Kerry and the Dem party than even Bush & Rove do. Well, actually, I do know what is more irritating since if Kerry was 10 pts up I'd feel better about our future. It is disappointing, though, to see how people on this blog are reacting to a tough campaign.

    "I don't want to wake up on Nov 3 with George Bush still president and ask myself if there was anything more I could have done." -- Moby

    by lapis on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 11:26:48 AM PDT

  •  Are you kidding me? (4.00)
    This really astonishes me--that major players here, and in the Democratic party have such a hard time being positive about our nominees.

    In part, it's because we aren't like the Republicans.  We don't suck up any propaganda thrown our way to give blind allegiance to a dear leader.

    But we have our own problem, and that is our messiah complex.  We don't just want a candidate, a standard bearer to hold our flag.  We want a messiah to cure all our world ills and if he should fall short for us  on any level, we say that we have to hold our nose to vote for him.

    I wonder how we can possibly encourage our young people to run for office when this is not only how America treats them, but how our own party treats them.

    Kerry is a good and decent man who has done some brave things in his life--a damn sight more for his country than me, or I wager, most Democrats have ever done for America.  He has fought some great foughts, won some, lost some, and perhaps been on the wrong side of some.  

    He's going up against the most corrupt and evil regime in my lifetime, and who has his back?  People whose 'heart isn't in it'.

    Well, that's certainly a recipe for success.

    Screw that.  My heart is in it.  My mind is in it.  My life is in it.  Perhaps some people didn't listen to Dr. Dean very carefully.  We don't need a messiah.  We have the power.  We just need someone to hold the flag.

    John Kerry is holding it and I'm pretty horrified by those of you who are adding your bullets to the hailstorm that is already coming his way.

  •  Here's the thing about Dean (4.00)
    His campaign PAID ATTENTION to what the bloggers, silly as some of them were, said. When common and correct themes emerged they corrected their course.

    This ATTENTION translated into a whole lotta money and a whole lotta GOTV and everything that retail politics wants to have happen.

    I don't need the Kerry campaign to post here, I just want them to have someone with a mind read here and see it show up in action taken by the campaign.  Christ, they don't need to hire friggin' focus groups - we ARE one.

    If you read here on a regular basis you know who's got their political smarts hat on. If a common theme emerges from a blog that gets hundreds of thousands of hits a day isn't that better than the conventional wisdom the glut of consultants is regurgitating to the campaign?

  •  The enemy is not the Kerry campaign (4.00)
    THE ENEMY IS THE OWNERS OF THE MEDIA.  They control the message completely.  It's clear the lines have been drawn.  Wolf and Woodruff and their ilk are getting more and more shrill in their defense of the indefensible record of Bush.  Bush's lies are now spewing from their mouths without a thought.  It is disconcerting but they can be beat.  We just have to work ten times harder.  It's not an easy task the Kerry campaign has been given - make no mistake, Bush and his neocon fundamentalist pals will do ANYTHING to maintain power.  Anything.

    The battle has begun.  I think Kerry realizes this.  He is rallying his forces now.  Don't fall apart at every hit from the media - THEY ARE NEVER GOING TO STOP.  Don't falter at hitting back hard.  IF WE DO NOT HIT BACK HARD, we prove that we are the wimpy Democrats they say we are, and WE LOSE.  If you don't have the cojones to step up and get dirty, then step out of the way.   I have no qualms whatsoever.  Fuck them.  The country our forefathers envisioned has been hijacked by proto-fascist religious fundamentalist.  If we fail in our mission to oust this regime, we fail our history, our country, our children, and the world.  

    "Go to hell." - Bush, when asked what he would tell the Jews on his first visit to Israel. Austin American Statesman, 12/1/98

    by reef the dog on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:43:06 PM PDT

  •  You are assuming they have something to say. (none)

    George's classmates on his performance at Harvard, "...completely out of his depth." (and 2 more decades of drug and alcohol abuse haven't helped.)

    by NorCalJim on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 12:45:03 PM PDT

  •  People losing their minds vote at higher rates (4.00)
    A story in today's Washington Post about people with dementia who vote (noticably using absentee ballots a lot).

  •  I would settle for Kerry listening to his own Blog (none)
    I mean people have been posting there for a long time that Kerry needed to take a stronger position and what happens.  They get their userid revoked and their posts disappear.  It is very PC all the way.  I suggest to all those who are sick of the constructive criticism here should go there.  They'll fit right in.

    Does anyone know the Kerry Edwards event schedule.  I'm having a hard time finding one on his web site.  Am I blind or stupid or both.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:05:05 PM PDT

  •  I don't know what you're complaining about. (none)
    I get an email update from the campaign at least once a day.  Then I just relax.
  •  organization is the key to success (none)
    Actually,  I think Space has a very good point, as do many in this thread.

    The bottom line is that there is a great resource here - and it is not being used.  

    The problem is, it's a full time job keeping up with dkos, much less all the other blogs out there.  So if I got hired as the blog liason for Kerry, the first thing I'd do is ask a few bright, active contributors to suggest categories and condense the information and suggestions into a less time-wasting format, and submit each category information on a regular schedule.

    As blog coordinator, I would then coordinate all categories from all blogs and submit the info on a regular basis - then provide feedback to the individual blog coordinators to be published as she/he sees fit - and this might include requests, such as logging media bias or informally polling friends and neighbors or some such.

    Another important task that could be passed on to us netfreaks is monitoring the conservative blogs in a similar, categorized manner.  

    But it is pretty hard for us to demand better organization from the campaign when we have taken no such steps to organize our output at the same time.

  •  This thread is another cannibalizing anti-Kerry (4.00)

    If anyone should get their act together, it's the people on this thread who are acting like children. not grown-ups.

    I can't even believe the stuff I'm reading down here below. If this is the sentiment, let's just quit right now, because our disorganized petty butts don't deserve to win with this attitude.

    "Can we do something for the Middle Class this time?" GWB, at a cabinet meeting discussing more tax cuts for the rich, as reported by Paul O'Neill.

    by upstate NY on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:14:42 PM PDT

  •  Kerry doesn't move the polls (4.00)
    You do, when you convert one more voter to voting for Kerry.

    Democrats will not be able to fight the media until they have both houses of Congress and the Presidency.

    The only practical thing that Democratic insiders can do at this point is boycott the national media and shut up about the inside game.

    This has gotten to be a feeding frenzy that is being covered by the media and feeding back into the blogs.

    Rove must be laughing his butt off.

    Stop with the circular firing squad.  Now!

  •  I like the dKos atmosphere (4.00)
    Everybody should have their opinions heard.  Whether you disagree or agree with someone is entirely up to you.  I like open debates.  It is productive.  Do we have all the answers?  No.  Do the Democrats in general? No.

    Dems can't openly come to Kos because like everyone knows the Dems don't stand behind their own with the fervor of conservatives.

    Kos made a statement that got him booted from the democrat party blog establishment.  Was it warranted?  I read the statement and I fully agree with Kos.  Too many people think it was too harsh.  So Kos was persecuted for voicing his opinion.  

    I also blog on and the same things that are said in here are said over there, with the same result...Cahill, McCauliffe and the rest don't give a shit about what we are saying.  They have a plan and they're sticking to it, for good or bad.

    It all comes down to choice.  Vote for Bush.  Vote for Kerry.  Blog here or blog somewhere else.  Captain Krunch or Cheerios.  Meat or vegi.  Jehovah or Allah.  Rice or beans.  War or anti-war.  No child left behind or every child who isn't rich left behind. NY Times or Weekly Standard.

    Everybody has a choice on every action they take during a day or during a life.  It is up to each person to decide how they choose to act, who they choose to be.

    I choose to be here telling my opinions than just reading the newspaper or watching the nightly news.  I choose to write letters to the editor.  I chose to volunteer for the Kerry campaign.  I have made a lot of bad choices in my life but I have also made some good ones.  I can question the Kerry camp all I want as to their motives and plans but in the end, because I choose to support them, I have to respect their choice not to take advice from people outside their campaign.  I don't agree with it but I accept it.

    Everyone of us has the choice to be here.  I don't like having my opinions summarily dismissed by those who disagree with me but that is America.  I don't want a liberal party that marches in lockstep.  I want dissent.  I want questions raised.  I want to be corrected when I am wrong.  As all of us have the opportunity to grade and respond to others comments we are all on the same footing.  Sometimes we get high marks, some times low.  Sometimes we give high marks, sometimes low.  

    I don't dispute a word of what you are saying.  yes we do tend to go from excited and confident to positively full of despair.  We do blather on about trivialities.  We do all of the things you say we do.  Yet we choose to be here so we can have a few hundred peers read what we are thinking and tell us what they think.  Being able to come here an unload is what keeps us from going insane, letting our work slide, and becoming venomous attackers of our friends who are conservatives.  This place keeps me mentally challenged and keeps me mentally healthy.  I hate Bush with a passion.  Many of my friends and co-workers love the guy with equal fervor.  If I don't unload here I am going to unload on them and ruin friendships and the work environment of all those around me.  I love this place.  It is too bad Kerry doesn't come here and read what we are saying but if he had the time to go check out every blog then he wouldn't have time to do his job.  Bush has had over a years worth of vacation during his four year term, maybe he does have the time to go to freep central et al.  Anyway that is my opinion on the state of Kos (very good site) and this rant is over in 5..4..3..2..1..

    "I am a truth addict, I have to hate Rush" Rage Against the Machine

    by thebloviator on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 01:32:12 PM PDT

  •  Not an anti-Kerry diary, really! (none)
    A lot of people in comments have complained that this is "just another" Kerry-bashing diary.  I hope that people don't read it that way, so here are a couple of points I'd like to add.

    First, as I said in the diary, I don't expect change overnight, particularly during the heat of the campaign. So this is not a "Kerry's campaign sucks" diary.

    Second, my concern is with the corporate media in many respects.  The bias against the Democrats is merely one manifestation of that.  This is an issue that is important to me and other Democrats.  So while I don't expect immediate attention, I also don't appreciate being told that there is no time to discuss it during the campaign season. I imagine that Seniors wouldn't appreciate being told "we'll talk to you about Medicare when the election is over."  People who care about this issue should be treated with the same respect.

    Finally, nobody expects Kerry to personally read this blog and to implement all of our armchair-campaign-manager soundbites (Freebie: "Well, the first thing I'd do in Iraq is not ask the enemy to attack our troops.").  

    However, it is deeply disconcerting that they appear to be ignoring a valuable resource.  If they are the experts, then it would be nice if the experts told the amateurs what type of media criticism is most effective.  Do email campaigns help or hurt?  Phone calls?  Letters to editors?  To publishers?

    And, in all seriousness, do they even realize that Woodruff and Blitzer are trying to take them out?

  •  What we need to do (none)
    I think we'll need to start Democrat-party-wide boycotts of advertisers and make a big stink about it so Dems everywhere get the word.  We're too big a chunk of the country for these corporate profit-minded companies to handle the loss of millions of consumers.  

    We should also bombard networks whenever they say something pro-Bush.  The right does that to them already which is part of how we got to where we are.  We should not be nice about it.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that.  A thousand ANGRY emails and phone calls should be coming in every time they say something that sounds like the RNC would have said it first.  Working the refs, indeed.  

    Blogs like this one should be in the forefront of organizing and targeting media outlets and their advertisers.  

    "Every city is two cities, a city of the many poor and a city of the few rich; and these two cities are always at war."--Plato

    by Eclectic on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 02:35:54 PM PDT

  •  take heart! (none)
    Have you seen the new DNC 'Fortunate Son' video?
  •  Constructive Criticism (4.00)
    I've noticed a tendency towards shouting down any kind of criticism of Kerry, whether it's legit or not. I think that we need to be positive, but I also think that we need to be realistic. It's always painful/disappointing to see major Democrats make utterly obvious suggestions and statements in the media, when they're things that we've been talking about for weeks or even months. There's definitely a disconnect.

    And while there are many things we can do to help on an activist level, I think the frustration stems from so many things being beyond our control: the media, the seeming lack of party organization (few effective surrogates, etc.), the backbone factor (though that's improved by leaps and bounds), and so on. Whether it's accurate or not, I think there's a feeling that we're holding up our end, while the people on the higher-powered end are flailing.

    This isn't about "It's all about me", this isn't about echo chamber sniping or poll-inspired jitters: regardless of all that, I think people are afraid that the troops are present but the generals don't know what's going on.

    I think we have a very good shot at winning this thing, even with the unfairly-rigged circumstances...but no matter who wins, I'm hoping that the Democratic party will smarten up and make a serious effort to improve itself and come up with a long-term strategy to influence America.

  •  Here's the problem (4.00)
    We see Kerry and his ideas getting bashed every night on TV, with no effective response.  It's depressing and discouraging.

    So who do we blame?
    What can we do about it?

    The answer to the first question is that we don't know.  We blame the media personalities, Kerry's team, Kerry himself, the DNC, the democratic senators and congresspersons, the RNC ...  We have blamed them all, and it's a rotating blame game.  But we don't really know exactly why it's happening.  Some of you want more information from Kerry.  But it's not entirely clear that that would help, because knowing what Kerry is trying to do doesn't actually change what we are seeing on TV.  

    The answer to the second question is nothing.  We have no control over what appears on the TV or who spins everything in a pro-Bush light or who appears in Kerry's defense or what any of them say.  So we are helpless.  This may be something that we cannot change (but kudos to those who keep trying, by sending emails or making calls).

    he question is, what do we really need here?  We want to see Kerry's message get out there on the public airwaves in a positive way.  We want to see Bush called on his bullshit.  We need these two things far more than we need Kerry to explain his strategy.  

    Maybe the only way this message will go out is from person to person.  Maybe that's all we can do, and we'd be a lot better off turning off the TV (and internet), and getting out there to do it.  This means that we can't be the ones sniping the campaign.  If we are the only ones who can put Kerry's qualities in a positive light, and if we are the only ones who can diss Bush for his blunders, then IT'S UP TO US.

    If we criticize the campaign because the campaign is getting criticized on national TV, we are contributing to the problem.  We are hypocrites.  If we think Kerry should have people out there defending him, but we aren't willing to do it ourselves, then we are hypocrites.  

    WAKE UP.

    Democrats: The party of rights.

    by Katydid on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 04:40:00 PM PDT

  •  yea, but..... (none)
    I've noticed a tendency for complaining, then others offering optimism, then the complainers being pissed that they're not being allowed to vent and are being talked down.  It all has a rather boring sameness to it.  But to the extent that venting is therapeutic, then bitch away. But you're not going to convince me that it in any way helps our candidate.   He's not doing this, he's not saying's friggin' hard to unseat an incumbent President!  This could be Kerry's last campaign, let the man rise or fall and then get out the champagne or sharpen the knives on Nov. 3.  
  •  If dKos had existed in 1965 (4.00)
    Diary 1:  MLK is a cowardly pussy, and why Malcolm X is much better (165 new)

    Diary 2:  I can't TAKE it any more!  Bob Dylan version of "Blowin' In The Wind" kicks ass, Peter Paul and Mary version sucks ass (27 new)

    Diary 3:  Vietnam:  I'm not sure the idea was all bad?  (322 new)  [320 of these posts are devoted to the proper way to barbecue a whole suckling pig]

    Diary 4:  Confessions of an LBJ-hater (97 new)

    Diary 5:  Why, oh WHY won't King get off his ass and DO something?  (36 new)

  •  If you want grassroots democracy.... (none)'re in the wrong party.

    The GOP is an intensely top-down organization.  They pass out the talking points and the Mighty Wurlitzer booms into operation.  I'm sure you wouldn't want to be reduced to that.

    Unfortunately, while the Dems don't presume to simply pass out marching orders, they also aren't particularly interested in grassroots democracy.  

    Do what you will to get rid of Bush, but if the political culture of the Democrats frustrates you, try an outfit more committed to building from the ground up.

    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

    by GreenSooner on Tue Sep 14, 2004 at 07:31:45 PM PDT

  •  you are my favorite smartass (none)
    no one tells it like it is like you do theoria!
  •  I think Kerry DOES deserve to win. (none)
    Kerry is more moderate than I would have liked, but to be honest, I would likely be middle-far left in Europe, which puts me left of 90% of the US pop, and a great deal of my fellow kossaks.  Is Kerry my dream candidate? No. Do I agree with everything he does? No.

    But On election day, he stands close enough to me that I can PROUDLY say I will vote FOR John Kerry.  Yes, I would vote Mickey Mouse, rather than Bush, but I can respect John Kerry, and even accept the things he believes that are different from my beliefs. There are people out there that I would have had to have held my nose to vote for, But Kerry clearly understands the fundamental things that Bush, and Reagaon/Bush before him broke, and has articulated a good clear plan to at least try to fix them.

    I still would have liked to see the fire of Howard Dean, And Carol Mosley-Brown will likely be a force to be reckoned with when she has a few more campaigns and can make people hear her, but this year Kerry / Edwards looks like a pretty good team to me, warts and all.

    No anger this post, just the statement that we all need to be pulling FOR KERRY/EDWARDS. Bush MUST be gone, but if we just take any passing stranger, they would stop making things worse, but no guarrentees they would get better.

    Kerry strikes me as a man who sincerely, and passionately believes he can do better. Not the heart on your sleeve passion of Clinton, or the fire in your belly passion of Dean, but the quiet, lets get to work kind of passion this nation was built on. My Father went to work every day. I think he liked the work he did, but he went to feed his family and give my brother and I the chance to do better. (Ronnie Reagan stole that chance from both of us,) but my father did what was best for his family.
    What I have seen of Kerry leads me to believe he will do what he believes is best for the nation.  He will not shout out what he has done, that does not seem to be his way, but I think he will pour his heart and soul into righting this nation.

    I wish thee was a specific event that I could point to to illustrate why I believe this, but it is my impression of the man.  

    Now I have said over and over again, I wish he would fight back more. I understand the desire to run a clean race, but it is time to admit, if you run a clean race, but you lost because of letting the other side get away with dirty tricks, you lost.

    Regardless, I will be proud to vote for Kerry /Edwards, and think our country will be well served by them.


    Jim Roker

    Mr Tek

  •  Why the Kerry Campaign Doesn't Suck (none)
    I have a new diary that touches on some of the issues raised here called Why the Kerry Campaign Doesn't Suck.
  •  I think we're changing our minds. (none)
    I took a couple hours to write a journal entry for once and produced a long journal entry of my own about the need for us to work on this together.  (It was also sort of a response to a friend who says he's going to vote for a third party.)  

    After I posted it, I noticed a lot of other diary entries that were about the same thing.  

    "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry

    by tryptamine on Wed Sep 15, 2004 at 05:47:49 AM PDT

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