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Add mine to the voices calling for the serious, long-term work and investments needed to rebuild the Democratic Party. That will take time. In the interim, I'd like to suggest that we were handed a gift this week by the Republicans, and it came specifically from the Ralph Reed wing of the party.

Reed, you see, wanted to not merely deliver the social conservatives' "values" votes this year, but to ensure that their pivotal role be made noted and respected -- broadcast and trumpeted, loudly and quite publicly. They didn't want to just win; they want credit and plaudits for scoring the decisive touchdown.

Awesome. The fact that this election - the first post-9/11 election, with a war in Iraq abroad and a changing economic situation at home - will be remembered by the we-need-it-simplified media as the "values" election, is Reed's great gift to us.

Why? Because I suspect that right now that the Wall Street wing, and the small business wing, and the defense industry wing, and the tax reform wings of the party are shuddering at the thought that Americans are being told that Bush got to 51 percent based on "values" voting. Would not the better "take-away" storyline from this election be that Bush won because the nation believes in Republicans' fiscal and defense policies, their steadfastness and leadership abilities? I'm meeting a lot Republicans (both conservatives and moderates) who do not want this election to be framed as the Ralph Reed Rout.

To understand their fears, flip the script for a moment, and imagine we had won and the emergent storyline right now was, say, how pro-choice single white women carried the day - that they were the newly-mobilized "swing voter" that proved decisive. That image would not merely oversimplify such a victory, but frame it in a way that would permit conservatives to demonize us through their usual tactics of villification and exaggeration. Indeed, have not the Hannitys and Coulters done just that to us, for years? (And we're the liars and haters, huh?) They love to claim, falsely but effectively, that our party is comprised solely of Hollywood elites, gays, the unmarried and childless, college professors, and minority welfare cheats.

Frankly, we don't angry enough about this depiction, and if we don't start raising our voices, pretty soon Sean and Bill and Ann will have the rest of America invoking as a referent, whenever they hear the words "Democrat Party," the image of a thirty-something, black, gay UCLA professor of postmodern studies who works a few hours a day indoctrinating his students with Che Guevara mantras, before knocking off early to go home for some hot gay sex with his unionized, Hispanic postal worker husband, as they watch pornography on the widescreen and their three adopted sons sit nearby taking notes. I exaggerate for effect, but you get the point.

And thus, the biggest silver lining of this election is how the GOP's victory is thus far being claimed, framed and explained. To that I say, "Let us join that chorus." And we should do so now, because there is immediacy in the post-election window of opportunity.

Marching order #1, therefore, is this: No matter whom you talk to outside our circles, begin to perpetuate the (false, exaggerated) notion that George Bush's victory was built not merely on values issues, but gay marriage specifically. If you feel a need to broaden it slightly, try depicting the GOP as a majority party synonymous with gay-haters, warmongers and country-clubbers. Because I, for one, am tired of hearing whiny complaints from conservatives that, not only do I not have values, but that I fail to properly respect the values of people who are all too happy to buy into, no less perpetuate, inaccurate caricatures of the 54+ million Americans who voted Tuesday for John Kerry.

Criticizing the GOP ain't gonna build us a new national majority. But the process is brick by brick, or perhaps, brickbat by brickbat. We didn't decide the rules of engagement, but that's what they are and so we may as well start firing away. Oh, and Ralph: Thanks for the help.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:37 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  begin? (none)
    I've been blaming the homophobic Jesus-freaks for years.
    •  blame this site (none)
      Wow, AP is breaking a story that Ohio handed 3k free votes to Bush because of electronic voting and diaries on the subject of electronic voting have yet to be promoted to the front page.

      We have all these crazy numbers and electronic voting issues.

      Instead of making the future postings by the elites who control the front page about "values" lets make it a referendum for electronic voting. Lets start a fund. Lets get some key lawsuits in place. Lets mass contact our Senators, Reps, and state legislatures.  

      This isnt about Kerry winning, this is about fair elections in 2006. Because the status quo of electronic voting isnt working.  And if the Dems do well in 2006, THEY will demand recounts and THEY will take on the electronic voting issue themselves, to our loss.

      •  DEMS NEED TO FORCE THE ABORTION ISSUE (none)
        The Christians conservatives put Bush over the top using gays/abortion.  The dmes should force the repubs to bring a bill to the floor to execute women who have abortions.  Reubs should not get a free ride on this.  They talk about abortion/gays to bring out the vote, but do nothing to back it up.  If the congressional dems everyday ask where the abortion bill is, then the people in the red states would take notice and wonder why the repubs are not passing their bills.  Dems need to ride repubs hard on this.  Don't let them get away with using the gay/abortion issue w/o having to do anything about it.  Or else in 4 years when the race is close, they will do the same thing, and you will lose again.
        •  THIS IS A TOP PRIORITY (3.00)
          This is not something the Democrats should even THINK of filibustering in the Senate. We need a FLOOR DEBATE and roll-call vote that officially makes abortion MURDER.

          Better yet, a Constitutional Amendment.

          •  double post (none)
            Amend the bill to include all "in vitro" as being murder - - rather like Charlie Rangel's call for a draft.

            Have Senator Reid introduce a bill to outlaw all abortion and in vitro fertilization as one package deal. If A is wrong, so is B.

            •  Come The Evolution! (none)
              At the same time lets force the creationism issue.  Introduce a bill requiring the schools to give it equal time.  In addition to the outrage it would cause in the scientific community, these kinds of moves would drive the wedge between Ralph and Rudy even deeper.  We should make every effort to exploit the schism that exists in the party of Lincoln.
        •  A Senate Resolution/Rider in support of Roe (none)
          Yes, we need to call the Fundamentalist Republican bluff on social issues.  No more whining, no more blaming the democrats; the Republicans need to produce results this time to keep their supporters happy.

          We should force the issue.  A rider offered on every bill regarding abortion.  Let's see who votes which way.  The Senators from Maine will have to decide if they really want to abdicate on this issue.

          •  This is the only way to make the red states (none)
            understand how they are being used.  Everyday Pelosi should be in front of the mikes saying when are the repubs going to vote to execute woman having abortions?  BTW, I heard rumors of Edwards taking over the DNC on CNN.  What do y'all think?
            •  Clinton as DNC head (none)
              Says Josh Marshall, who hopes that Hillary won't run.
              •  Howard Dean (none)
                I want a fighter with integrity to head the DNC.
                •  Those are all bad ideas (none)
                  The DNC head should not be a prominent politician.  It's a dirty job that involves carrying a lot of water.  The business of the party is to promote others who are actually running for office.  They make the real decisions and you have to speak for them.  You have to put into the record the controversial things that officials standing for election don't want to say, and your reputation gets battered over time.

                  None of those people want the job, I can guarantee you that.

                  "Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before." - President Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  by Trickster on Sun Nov 07, 2004 at 08:48:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I doubt it (none)
              Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer on Wednesday.  I doubt he'll be tackling anything so big this year.

              "We're makin' progress. It's hard work. We're workin' hard on freedom. And liberty. Hard work. ... Hard work. . . . um . . . is the light on yet?"

              by DrFrankLives on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:24:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  what about the men? (none)
              wack off the balls of all the men who rape and commit incest - same for any man caught making a these poor mislead women pregnant without the sancity of marriage. Excute the women that have the abortion but make sure the men own up to their responsibilty too and off with their heads!
          •  Try it the other way around (none)
            Instead of fighting a delaying action down a  slippery slope, go whole hog for a vote on our worst case scenario.

            Abortion and in vitro linked together as a package deal. See how Snowe and Collins vote on that.

        •  And in vitro fertilization (none)
          If its morally wrong to abort a pregnancy even in cases of rape, why should infertile couple be free to wash down the drain 9 or 19 fertilized eggs jsut so a 40 someting couple can have 1 live baby?

          If abortion is to be illegal, so to should ALL in-vitro fertilization be illegal.

          (Now, try and get a majority of Americans to support that!)

          •  I have always believed.. (none)
            ...that forcing an argument to its illogical extreme is a wonderful way of exposing its flaws.
            •  As a Catholic. . . (none)
              I believe abortion is morally wrong. It just isn't the state's G-d D-mn business.

              But flushing dozens of fertilized eggs to allow in vitro bothers me far, far more than letting some poor 17 year old who made a mistake avoid the back alley coathanger abortionist.  

              •  Does the catholic church agree with you? (none)
                They don't even believe in condoms.
                •  Condoms ain't murder. . . (none)
                  The priest said, "Please no birth control." He looked at the floor when he said it.

                  Then he looked us in the eyes. "But if you must, read about HOW the Pill works."

                  There's a difference.

              •  Egg flushing (none)
                I urge you to check out Peter Singer's book "The President of Good and Evil:  Questioning the Ethics of George W. Bush," particularly Chapter 3 on "The Culture of Life" in the first section titled "Life Before Birth."  As he points out there, what you call the "flushing" of fertilized eggs happens millions of times every year in the US.  "They die," he says, "as part of a natural process that has, as far as we know, been going on as long as there have been human beings.  Some scientists estimate that for every embryo that becomes a child, four fertilized eggs fail to make it.  Others think that the ratio is closer to one lost fertilized egg for every child born.  Even on the lower estimate, more than three million embryos die annually in the United States from natural causes." (p. 39)  Then he asks the pertinent question:  "Should we feel that this loss of embryos is a terrible thing, a kind of ongoing holocaust?  If each human embryo is 'something precious to be protected' [as G.W. Bush says and probably congruent with papal pronouncements], then surely that is how we should feel."  At the very least, Singer's discussion illuminates the real complexity of this issue and brings out its political character and structure.
                •  complex, but not contradictory? (none)
                  Wouldn't "natural causes" be God's work/judgement, but humans choosing to abort/flush is wrongly & evilly co-opting the work of God.  Only God can judge, especially life & death, that kind of thing?

                  Then there's the death penalty which Bush loves...

                •  I dunno about that logic (none)
                  Fertilized eggs and/or embryos are often spontaneously aborted.... so, induced abortion is therefore okay.  People who have been born often die of natural causes.  By the logic above, it would also be okay to kill them.

                  Or did I miss something?

            •  But... (none)
              Do you think that people would actually see that? I would be inclined to think that many people would not see the flaws and only see the proposals.
          •  Declaring a fertilized egg (none)
            a person is the only path that the anti-abortion folks will accept. Otherwise, state courts will be free to find their own way to a Roe v Wade decision under state consitutions even if the Suprme Court overrules it under the federal.
            •  Heh Heh! (none)
              Okay dude, explain exactly HOW birth control pills work. My priest did when my wife and I were engaged.

              (If you are going to use birth control, find another way, he said.)

              Okay, one package bill.

              No abortion but that also means no in vitro and no birth control pills. I mean we need to be morally consistent, corect?

              •  That is a good idea. (none)
                One of 2 things will happen.  They pass a bill, they get crushed the next election.  They don't pass it and the christians stay home-they get crushed the next election.  its a win-win proposition.
              •  The Morning After pill (none)
                We should press on this big time.  We can put Santorum in our gunsights on this one.
                •  Its the inconsistency. . . (none)
                  like crack cocaine vesus powder.

                  Rich white kid with powder? Lets look at treatment options;

                  Poor black kid with crack? Lock 'em up!

                  = = =

                  Let Harry Reid do it. He's a Mormon!

                  He says:

                  "I have long believed abortion and similiar issues were not the government's business even though (like many Catholics) I personally believe such things are immoral. But as Ralph Reed tells us, America has spokeN.

                  Therefore I offer this constitutional amendment to define life as beginning at conception and therefore ALL abortion, morning after pills, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, etc. . . shall become illegal. Nationwide.

                  Susan Snowe? Where do you stand?

                   

                  •  Susan Collins/Olympia Snowe (none)
                    Both need to stand and fight for reproducive freedom--or get out of the way!
                  •  bluespace is right (none)
                    we really really need our dems to do this. force these rethugs out inot the light. it's win-win for us, plus the political whirlwind it will create will drowned out whatever message the rethugs were planning on getting out.

                    trouble is, will our "leadership" listen?

                    No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

                    by maskling11 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:27:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Moral consistency (none)
                Yep, morally consistent, i.e.,

                Birth control (including condoms) is evil and should be outlawed. Therefore more people will die from AIDS.

                Abortion is evil and should be outlawed. Therefore more women overseas in developing countries will lose funding for family planning, hence will die prematurely from lack of hospital care during childbirth.

                This is the Catholic idea of moral consistency.

                •  Thaxter, learn jujitsu (none)
                  Screaming at them has failed.

                  Besides, no one is morally perfect. Not even Democrats.

                  Punish powder the same as crack. No abortion and no birth control pills and no in vitro. All or nothing.

                  Otherwise, the Red State types will cherry pick and outlaw abortions for poor kids while rich suburban-ites quietly swallow morning after pills.

            •  FORCE THE ISSUE (4.00)
              Paul Begala did the other day on Crossfire, and the republican had nothing to say.  He looked shocked.  Let the reds see that they have been sold a false set of goods.
              •  Did he really? (none)
                I usually watch Crossfire, but I've been too depressed to watch any news or political shows since Tuesday.  I don't even turn on the TV, for fear of accidentally catching a glimpse of the smirking chimp.

                What exactly did Begala say on Crossfire?

                "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

                by randym77 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:47:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  I thought I was the only one who felt this way!!! (4.00)
            If its morally wrong to abort a pregnancy even in cases of rape, why should infertile couple be free to wash down the drain 9 or 19 fertilized eggs jsut so a 40 someting couple can have 1 live baby?
            If abortion is to be illegal, so to should ALL in-vitro fertilization be illegal.

            (Now, try and get a majority of Americans to support that!)

            Abso-EFFIN-loutely. If a women gets preggers, even during rape or incest and  conceives......one can intrepret that as God's will. Since God was in this election, shouldn't HIS will be done?

            Well the converse is that if you CAN'T have a baby by NATURAL means, that is ALSO God's will.

            If they wanna play this game, we should give it back to them, WITH INTEREST!

            No abortion, no in-vitro, no fertility drugs.....

            Since in-vitro produces stem cells.....and reserach on them is against "the culture of life", the usual method of destroying them (incenerating them) does the same....the answer is produce no more stem cells!

            LOL.....since the public allowed this rabble to choose w/o examinig the whole story....perhaps they will go along qietly w/ this scenerio?!

            •  no viagra (none)
              it is not god's will...no pharmaceuticals. if g*d doesn't provide it in a natural or herbal form, then it is not g*d's will. Shut down all the pharmaceutical companies. No more prescriptions. no more over the counter medications.

              what do you say to the last republican who votes kerry instead of bush so as not to make another mistake

              by demnomore on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:04:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  and the Pill (none)
            The pill works by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting.  Especially the low-dose pills commonly used today.

            So oral contraceptives should also be banned.  Hey, Pat Buchanan wants to ban all forms of birth control, in order to increase the base of taxpayers.  Have at it.    

            "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

            by randym77 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:44:24 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Life at conception hooey (none)
            The problem with the whole abortion/embryo issue is that the democratic candidate claimed to believe that life begins at conception. Personally, as a moderate, non-religious, democrat-voting independent, I find this a bit of a slap in the face. I have no problem with a religious candidate, but face it, the idea that life begins with conception is an extremist view. Even I had trouble with Kerry's stance on this.

            If democrats are truly going to sell themselves as the party of science, they have to be willing to shun superstition. Otherwise you won't convince anyone.

        •  Here Here! I agree Let's have the debate (4.00)
          This is the way to go. Let's have the debate.  People generally agree with Bill clinton on this Abortions should be "legal safe and rare!"

          I am a democrat that is in favor of some restrictions like Inez Tanenbaum of SC who was running or congress.

          Let's back some parental notification with exception or cases of incest or rape. Partial birth ban with exceptions for the health of the mother; should be brought to the floor of the congress and passed immediately.   But watch the GOP does not want to loose their whipping stick. They will not pass sensible abortion laws; Because if that happens then the public support for them will go away.

          Let's push for sensible legal rights for gays and not marriage.

          We have also got to take the values issue to the people.  I know 99% of Americans do not know that Bush and congress passed a law that took away the child credit from people making less than $11000 a year.  The Bush administration has been attacking the poor for 4 years now and we have got to say that this is immoral.

          Many of the poor in the red states do not know how this administration is screwing them. We must be seen as defending the poor not trying to provide handouts to welfare cheats. The poor have no lobby and no 527 or political PAC. And Like Jesse Jackson said years ago the poor are actually work everyday.

          We have to also work to mobilize the poor.  My sister had gone 3 years without a job under this administration and her evangelical church convinced her to vote for Bush because of gay marriage.

          •  It is moral to support fertilty clinics (none)
            Our values are to support fertility clinics for those who want to have children.  

            We should make sure that fertility clinics are not regulated by the Federal Government. We need to support legislation that would ensure that parents, not the government, make the decisions regarding in-vitro fertilization and the use of embryos.

            The women in the Philly suburbs will go for it; Santorum will not.  He's up for re-election.  Bye-bye, Santorum.

          •  Um... (none)
            Either you totally missed the point or I did not understand your post at all.  The idea here is not to compromise but to give them exactly what they want, in spades!  Because they really don't want what they say they want and the choice of supporting it or fighting it is a lose/lose proposition for them.
            •  Must use wedge issues in practical way (none)
              Steve, I got your point--as well as that of everyone else here.  Yes, your idea, as is, is good fun to think about and to blow off a little steam here.  

              But I'm talking about bringing up something in real life in the Senate that will make us look moderate and them like the true radicals that they are.  We can't be the wild-eyed bomb throwers in the Senate.  Just which Democratic Senator is going to introduce a constitutional amendment to ban in-vitro fertilzation?  Never going to happen.  Let Begala take this take-no-prisoners tack in the media--and we can all follow suit as a debating tactic.

              But let's actually craft some votes in Congress to make the radicals declare and the Maine Senators take a stand.  Let's craft our own cultural wedge issues to split Ahnold and Rudy, and their followers, away from the Fundamentalist Republicans.  That's how they won the South; that's how will secure the Northeast (no more RINOs) and Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona in the West.

        •  Evangelists are power-hungry now (none)
          I think the simple-minded political analysis of saying the election was decided on values is fabulous for us. It publicizes the right's hypocracy on religious "values." They couldn't care less about religious people and we all know that.

          The oligarchy is resisting the idea that abortion will be outlawed. They don't want it outlawed but are under heavy pressure from the evangelists. They know if abortion is outlawed they are done for. They'll fight it. I just sampled CNN for a minute and Wolf Blitzer was reporting that Bush's top issue was "Stong Leader" not "Religious values." They are trying to influence the media to stop reporting the values issue mandate.

          Just look at the outrage over what Sen. Spector said today. http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/11/52004a.asp

          •  pogrom in the Senate (none)
            If (and it's not that far-fetched) Arlen Specter gets knocked down as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee because of opposition from the Christian right, we should all be yelling at the top of our lungs about a "pogrom in the Senate".  Or that it seems as though certain committee chairmanships in the GOP-controled Senate are, how does one say, restricted to Christian members.  When Gary Bauer talks about a 'liberal' Republican from Pennsylvania, I think it's pretty clear what 'liberal' really means.
      •  right now (none)
        they are raising money to get the blackboxes audited if you want to donate you can go to

        www.blackbox.org make sure you go to org  someone neocon taken the blackbox.com domain..

        Also I have just heard on Randi Rhodes that Nader is workng to get every vote counted ..

        didnt catch the website or the place to go help .

      •  You just pushed my #1 button (none)
        This is absolutely the most important issue we need to address ASAP. And by all rights it should be bipartisan. How did the Repubs ever sell their masses on the idea that it's OK to have unsafe, unveriable voting?

        We need the legal process to start now. We MUST have a voting system we can all trust.

        •  Wouldn't ABSENTEE BALLOTTING solve all this for us (none)
          Maryland adopted those awful Diebold boxes. And after I voted, and realized these machines were Windows-based with FLASH memory drives, I swore I would vote absentee every election from now on.

          There's a guaranteed paper trail.

          What about a concerted effort among Dems to get as many as possible to vote absentee in 2006 and 2008? Then the votes have to be on paper!

      •  Yes! (none)
        I am dismayed by the lack of action on the Democrats part regarding computer voting.  There is no more important issue right now and for the future.  With an electorate divided 50/50 it takes only a handful of stolen votes to win an election.  And it is wishful thinking on Dems part to believe that they can make significant inroads into the anti-abortion, no gay marraige crowd that will never base their votes on rational thinking, or even really genuine values.  You know, like compassion, honesty, etc.
        I have been emailing my senators for the past year on this issue and have gotten some very polite replies but no apparent plan of action.  I hope that some group like MoveOn or any of the others will take up this cause, because I have no faith that the Democratic Party mainstream is willing to get their hand dirty with it.
      •  Electronic voting (none)
        An entire issue of, I think, Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery, was devoted to electronic voting.  Their conclusion was that without a means of audit (presumably a paper trail) it was unworkable.  That's the science.
    •  No Tom Schaller (none)
      I don't like your main Marching Order in the way you are expressing it.  You want us to respond the way the Repugs do.

      I think we need to respond with tolerance as our theme.  

      The media is not our friend. We need change.

      by california jim on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:17:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  PEOPLE LIKE YOU (2.25)
        are the reason why dems keep on getting crushed.  It is time to call the repubs on their shit.  Either pass a bill to make abortion murder, or shut the fuck up.  Dont let the repubs keep on getting away with the same tired strategy that keep dems from winning red states.
        •  Sad but true (none)

          Otherwise they get to have things both ways. There is a price to be paid for such a strategy, however. Are we prepared to pay it?
          •  What Price? (none)
            If the repubs pass such a bill, they will lose 90% of women in both presidential and congressional levels, and they know that.  They have been in charge of everything for 4 years, but have not done shit.
            •  kalki is right (none)
              why troll rate him? this is political war. we will not win the culture wars if we don't fight them!

              the thugs passed a partial birth abortion bill during bush's last term. it contained no provision for the life and health of the mother, so dems wouldn't sign onto it and it was immediately struck down in the courts because it had no life/health provision.

              this is exactly what the thugs wanted to happen! now they can beat dems and "activist judges" over the head with it and have kept the issue alive! they never wanted that bill to pass!

              turn the goddamned swift boat around and head into the culture war! dems should pass there own PB abortion bill with life/health provisions. add a rider that the rethugs will find unnacceptable - making in vitro illegal, for example. they won't sign!

              THEN USE IT TO BEAT THEIR FUCKING HEADS IN! ABOUT 100,000 TIMES!

              No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

              by maskling11 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:53:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  they'll just strip the provisions they don't like (none)
                and force the dems once again to the same vote. nope. it would be better to paper the fundamentalist churches with flyers equating abortion and in vitro and accuse the supporters of the latter of being as "unnatural," "murderous," and "defiant of god's will" as supporters of the former.

                We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

                by yankeedoodler on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:30:49 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  yeah, that's a good one too. (none)
                  myself, i wouldn't mind seeing a reasonable PBA ban. it's a rare procedure, usually only performed for life/health reasons.

                  No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

                  by maskling11 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:51:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  This is the essential trick- (none)
              1. Get elected, claiming that you will stop abortion.
              2. Once elected, push through your pro-big business, anti-environment package.
              3. Blame the other guys for stopping your anti-abortion package.
              4. Say, "We need more of a mandate!"
              5. Repeat.

              This will get religious people to vote for you, even while you hurt them, economically.  Cool!

              So they will never do shit about abortion.  They will just talk about it louder and louder.

          •  Price to be paid (none)
            But can it get any worse than it already is?

            If this be treason, make the most of it.

            Republican Fever!: reports from a new world at Principall Navigations.

            by BrooklynRaider on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:34:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, but the sad thing is... (none)
            ...we are just telling the truth about the Republicans while they lie about us. I don't know why so many democrats are afraid to fight for what they claim to believe in, even when truth is in their side.

            I've been caling out the fascist bastards that run this country for five years now. When I tell Americans how many of these right wingers families supported Hitler and tried to have FDR assassinated, they look at me like I'm crazy, then I tell them to read War Is Racket, etc. It's scarey how many Americans don't know anything about fascism. If corporate values are more important than individual values, if they try to get God in government, If democracy is being replaced by an economic system (Capitalism) then it's freakin' fascist! Every Republican I meet that get's political on me, I ask them why they want to destroy America, then explain all of that to them in argument and through Bush's actions. I enjoy pissing them off. Because they are destroying our country and I am going to make damned sure they know it.

            Why the hell would I worry about Osama Bin Laden? George Bush is going to destroy America long before Osama does.

            The right wing SCLM has succeeded in tainting the word fascism to mean conspiracy nut, so we need a new word(s) to describe them. How about the "Corporate Values" community? I mean, they are the ones pushing the, "you're either with us or against us meme." They divided the country on social left wing, right wing values issues, so lets take it a step further and divide into pro-individual vs pro-corporate government. You're either with the people or against them. Use the get government out of marriage as a step as shown by Juan Cole and Kos's post earlier.

            Of course, this should be relatively easy for us, because that dividing line exists. We just need to get out that big liberal highlighter and make sure everyone sees it. Then when they call class warfare, we call it "freedom" warfare. About's the people not being oppressed by Walmart, by HMO's, etc. Why are they against our freedom?

            MAKE THEM DEFEND THEIR POSITIONS!!!

            OK, I haven't started reading Lakoff yet, I'll start this weekend :D Then I'll really know how to frame this argument. ;)

            Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

            by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:47:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  what about "debased christians" (none)
              rather than "corporate values community"? just using the word "values" lends cachet.

              "debased christians," "betrayers of christianity," and "idolators of greed" have a more biblical resonance. "rightwing pharisees" maybe?

              yeah, i like "debased christians," because it points to the lack of love and tolerance among this segment of those who claim to believe in jesus. "fundamentalist" and "evangelical" do not clarify where the problem is. there are evangelicals who believe caring for the poor and taking care of the land is as much a part of god's work as anything else and not less important than the issues of abortion and gay marriage. there are also evangelicals who truly believe that forgiveness is inseparable from christianity and that a christian god is capable of forgiving anyone. those who are not able to embrace the love and tolerance part of the doctrine are perverting it. they are the "debased christians."

              We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

              by yankeedoodler on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:49:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Not Sure There's A Price (none)
            to be paid at all.  The Republicans are hoping they get O'Connor out and let their next judicial nominee do the work of overturning Roe in a "states rights" kind of way, so the resulting shit storm doesn't land on their Congress, and then they can outlaw abortion in all the red states right off and then take the battle to the blues.  If we force the Republican Congress to vote NOW, there are still 5 Supreme Ct votes to declare it unconstitutional, but the "oh, they won't really go there" wing of the Republican party (including my libertarian-leaning neighbor down the street who voted for Bush) will be forced to see their true colors.  Not really a price at all.
        •  A Seprate Resolution re in-vitro (none)
          I absolutley love the idea of forcing the cultrual issues.  But we have to bring up stuff we believe in to keep credibility.

          We should have a Senate Resolution that Reproductive Freedom allows couples to store, discard or donate their embryos to other couples as they see fit.  Make this the law of the land.

          Bring this up and watch the Senators from Maine squirm.  Who would want to vote against something like this?  Who wants to shut down or regulate fertility clinics? Watch Santorum oppose it.  Let's get him on record of being against fertility clinics.  How will that sell in the Philly suburbs?

          I just love this idea!  Let's win the values debate.

          •  Credibility? (none)
            To a true pro-lifer there is no difference; an embryo is an embryo.  There's nothing wrong with saying, OK, you won!  You get everything you want! and then letting them decide whether or not to take it.  It's time to back their asses into a corner and make them either piss of their fanatical base or piss of their moderate supporters.

            The issue is their credibility, not ours!  We've already been constructed by the media as having no credibility.  That's one of the reasons they won this time.  The only way to get ours back is to destroy theirs.

            It just sucks that we have to use abortion to do this but I can't think of another option that will have the same effect.  Everything else has many possible shades of gray.

            •  Okay--but who will introduce it in Congress? (none)
              Steve, I see your point--but the only guy who I can see pulling this off in the Senate is Shumer.  He is very smart, tenacious and tough. He could do a Charlie Rangel.

              But will it really win us the PR points we want or will it be seen as a stunt?

    •  how to stop their gloating. (none)
      My father-in-law was gloating about the Bush victory and so I politely told him that if redneck bigots were banned from voting Kerry would have won easily. That shut him up. They're not so proud of their victory when they look closely at their constituency.
      •  My small pleasure of the day (none)
        how to stop their gloating

        I was up the street at the nearby Walgreens where they know me well.

        The (Kerry voting) cashier was ribbing the (Bush voting) manager. "Pretty soon we'll have to pay you to work here."

        I chimed in and just said "faith based economics does not work and never will". "Our dollar today is at a 12 year low against the Canadian Dollar and very near an all time low against the Euro."

        This is South Florida and we get lots of Canadians this time of year so this had impact.

        The manager looked stunned, lost for words, like I hit him with a baseball bat.

        •  right on! (none)
          those are the same arguments i like! when you start talking about the money, thet gets right to their mammon worshipping little hearts!

          i like to say "why have we turned over our security to the chinese? what if they stop buying our treasury bonds? they can pull the rug right out from under us! and they are godless communists!"

          when you start talking about debt and currency, it's hard for them to pull away from your frame.

          No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

          by maskling11 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:01:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  turned over our security to the chinese (none)
            nice post maskling. We can't oppose the Chinese in geopolitics, they have too much power.

            This also fits in with the idea of government health insurance. Europeans beat us in global trade because their corporations don't have to pay for health insurance. The cost of a General Motors car versus the cost of a Toyota - GM isn't making money on cars anymore, they are making money on financing cars, they can't produce a real manufacturing profit. All due to health insurance.

    •  I have found the evidence (none)
      Read this LA Times Commentary (before you eat your dinner - you won't be able to keep dinner down after reading this):

      November 5, 2004

      Christian Conservatives Must Not Compromise
      Voters reject liberalism, an evil ideology.

      By Frank Pastore, Former major league pitcher Frank Pastore is the afternoon host on the Christian talk-radio station KKLA, 99.5 FM.

      Christians, in politics as in evangelism, are not against people or the world. But we are against false ideas that hold good people captive. On Tuesday, this nation rejected liberalism, primarily because liberalism has been taken captive by the left. Since 1968, the left has taken millions captive, and we must help those Democrats who truly want to be free to actually break free of this evil ideology.

      In the weeks and months to come, we will hear the voices of well-meaning people beseeching the victor to compromise with the vanquished. This would be a mistake. Conservatives must not compromise with the left. Good people holding false ideas are won over only if we defeat what is false with the truth.

      The left must be defeated in the realm of ideas, just as it was on Tuesday at the ballot box. The left hates the ballot box and loves its courtrooms, which is why it hopes to continue to advance its agenda through the courts. This must end.

      The left bewitches with its potions and elixirs, served daily in its strongholds of academe, Hollywood and old media. It vomits upon the morals, values and traditions we hold sacred: God, family and country. As we learned Tuesday, it is clear the left holds the majority of Americans, the majority of us, in contempt.

      Simply, a majority of Americans have rejected John Kerry and John Edwards and the left because they are wrong. They are wrong because there are not two Americas. We are one nation under a God they reject. We remain indivisible despite their attempts to divide Americans through their relentless warfare against class, ethnic and religious unity.

      We still believe that liberty and justice is for all. In 1946, there were those on the left who believed the Germans and the Japanese were incapable of democracy and liberty. Today, many doubt democracy can be birthed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Like their forebears, they too will be proved wrong.

      The nation has now resoundingly rejected the left and its agenda. We do not want to become European. We do not want to become socialist. We do not want to become secular. We are exceptional. We are unique. And we are the greatest force for good in the world, despite what the left, the terrorists or the United Nations may claim. It is for these reasons that we remain the last great hope in the world for freedom.

      We continue to be that shining city set on a hill. And we fully accept the responsibility; we are proud to be the envy of the world.

      I know I should just provide a link, but I felt this had to be read to be believed.

      •  We are one nation under a God (none)
        The minute a country has an official state religion, that's the end of religion. Educated religious leaders know this.
        •  Interesting comment. Could you expand? Thx (none)
          •  state religion destroys religious belief (none)
            A state religion is very dangerous and the religious scholars know this very well. It's shown througout history at least in Europe.

            I did a search and found this from Texas Baptists: http://www.txbc.org/2003Journals/Oct2003/Oct03WhatTheEvidenceSays.htm

            ... the church develops credibility problems when it becomes too intertwined with the state. Virtually every state will at some point adopt policies that some segment of its population dislikes. When such a disconnect develops between the state and a segment of its population, that group of citizens is likely to question not only the government's concern for the group, but also the concern of any church closely aligned with the state. Over time, numerous groups will be alienated by various government policies, and the lack of trust in the government will carry over to the government's favored church(es).

            •  Interesting (none)
              So they each end up cannibalizing each other.

              While it's kinda funny to think about (Bush and his fundies cannibalizing each other), the implications for this country continue to be dire.

              Sounds like an excellent wedge issue to me! Let's promote this information far and wide! Let the cannibalizing begin! (Before it's too late.)

          •  Religion and state mix=TNT+match (none)
            History shows time and again that the mingling of these institutions inevitably corrupt both....it's happened in almost every country and religion it's been tried in. The Founding Fathers had to look no further than the Puritans of the 1690s for proof of this....the Salem Witch Trials are a perfect example of how the mixture of religion and state combust. Of course, at the time of the Salem, there was no US, just a tiny colony of Britian founded by people who came here to escape the Crown's persecution of them....that's right, the then and now Church of England.

            The Founders, who had almost 100 years of intervening history after this incident to reflect, delibrately choose to NOT have a "state religion" such as the country they were freeing themlseves from. The intention was VERY clear!Not only did they conclude that a "state religion" is intolerant to dissent, in either religious or political beliefs, but that the mixture had an adverse affect on the areas of science and humanitarian advancement....all the great docs of that period (Articles of Confedration, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and various pamphlets) are representative of their age, ie The Age of Enlightenment.

            Just using the Protestant (note the protest part) tradition, which itself comes as a reaction to Chruch (Roman Catholic) and state(s) being intermingled, there is incident after incident of both being muddied by the other. A look at the present day adherance to the state religions in Europe shows clearly that people are largely divorced from the official Chruch and religion in general. (It's very arguable that American Catholics are more conservative that Italian ones, et al)

            When Religion and State are mixed, both can be cynically used to manipulate the populace by convincing them to do things against their own interests, yet in the interest of the powers-that-be. From our recent election, exmaples are clearly evident.....you have preachers telling people who are potentially facing or already in financial crisis to vote for the very candidate who has (arguably) created their plight. They are convinced to morgage the futures of themselves and their families to vote on things which do not DIRECTLY affect them. How can some schmo sitting here in Ohio, who's job has been or will be outsourced, vote against their personal interests for things which don't concern them? Is keeping two guys/girls from marrying, a gay person being fired just for being gay, or some poor woman's decision to have an abortion worth having YOUR kids undereducated and in poor health? This is where manipulating something that CAN be a source of good (a person's faith) to do harm to oneself and others is toxic......this is where BOTH religion and government become institutions of oppression instead of liberation....which is what the REAL intention is of both things, IMHO. It not only oppresses others, but themselves.

            This "madate" has the potential to return this country to the 1690s....

            Of course, not all people who are believers will allow their clergy to dictate how they should behave politically nor their politicans to tell them how to worship (if at all)....in fact, you've always had people object to either "chruch" (in quotes because this isn't just a Christian issue) and state mixed.

            This history is long and complicated, cuts thru every religion and culture, and has ultimately failed wherever tried.....but it has cost the world lots of lives, suffering, and created distrust for both government and religion.

            LOL...just to add in a bit of MY religion, I'll end w/ a saying I firmly believe in. "Do not involve yourself in things which do not concern you."

    •  Looks like Tom's right: David Brooks NOT happy (none)
      Check this out:
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/11/6/15924/3659

      Brooks isn't happy with all the credit for the Bush victory going to the religious right.  We have a fight on our hands, and I think it would be nice to encourage that.

      Visit the Diary of the Lying Socialist Weasels, for commentary from the Original Progressive Web Warriors!

      by Jonathan on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:54:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  56 million and growing (4.00)
    We must get all of these people out to vote again in 2006.  Kerry got more votes than anyone else.

    GOTV starts today

    blindly following an unelected leader does not make you a patriotic american, it just makes you a good little german.

    by kennyc on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:38:37 PM PST

  •  Progressive Values are Moral Values (3.72)
    Some friends and I in Austin, Texas are starting a meta-campaign to re-frame the values debate and take our country in a progressive direction.

     We want to share our slogan with everyone across the world so that it picks up steam.

     We are making t-shirts, buttons, signs, etc. that say "Progressive Values are Moral Values."  The trademark is a purple "V" (for Victory, peace sign, vagina, whatever) with the slogan above it.  Inside the "V" we are going to put personalized symbols--a cross, a peace sign, a flag, etc.

     This is a great slogan because it can be personalized in any way to fit a person's identity or feelings.  In a demonstration we can chant,
     "I love my partner, progressive values are moral values!"
    ---
      "I am a Christian Democrat, progressive values are moral values!"
    ---
      "I care about poverty, progressive values are moral values!"
    ---
      "I hate war, progressive values are moral values!"

     It's plain, simple, and powerful.

     Please help pass this meme on.  Let's take our country back.

     To become a part of this campaign contact: moralvaluescampaign@hotmail.com.  We will soon have a website, a yahoo group list-serv, and we are working on a national database of progressive groups to network through.  If you have suggestions, contact us.

    "Far better it is to dare mighty things..."

    by politicsistheater on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:38:41 PM PST

    •  We Are the Party of Tolerance (none)

      If I didn't read and think for myself, I could be a Republican

      by bonddad on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:17:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'd love to agree, but... (4.00)
      I like the initiative and am sure it's a cool looking slogan.  However, I question its basis.  

      Words like "progressive", "partner" and others have been (unfortunately) codified in our society.

      Before we continue standing behind them and shouting them out to the world, I think we need to understand how they could be interpreted by those outside of our immediate (and like-minded) groups.

      Above all else, this is playing right into the age-old trap the GOd Party loves to set:  "Here's the rules, now play by them."  It's the good ole, "me too" game, which never works.

      I'm sure Lakoff would have a few things to say about this.

      Instead of embracing "moral values", I think that we should pretend that exact phrase doesn't exist.  Get to the heart of what about it really sticks with people and exploit that.  Isn't that more along the lines of framing?

      Bumper stickers and catch phrases are great for the choir, but not necessarily the prospective parishioners.

      Instead of the word "values" (which it seems is well on it's way to being codified alongside "liberal") what about claiming the word "freedom" and working really hard to define it a la Jefferson or Franklin.  Those are names that still mean something to everyone in this country.

      It's important to celebrate, but now is the time to strategize and recruit.

      Who can we look to for help with messaging?  Libertarians?  Greens?  Both?  Neither?  Dean?

      Keep the spirit, defend the cause and never surrender!

    •  Yes yes yes (none)
      I've said it before and I'll say it again: The democratic platform is the more "moral" platform. We don't need to pander to the religious right's prejudices, we just need to be prouder about our own ideals.
  •  Mmmhmm. (none)
    Right. We didn't define the rules of engagement. They reduced the nation's values to semantics with fancy words like "sanctity" and "liberal".
  •  Goddamn it (none)
    I don't want to have both parties willing to make misleading simplifications in order to trick voters into voting for them.

    But the people have spoken, and that's what they want. :(
    •  That's politics monkey (none)
      Its always dirty down i the trenches.  Exaggerate, spread nasty (ideally true) stories about you rcompetition, steal signs, dig up dirt...that's the way you win.  Truth is on our side...but the truth and a baseball bat beats the hell out of just the truth.

      "That government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from the Earth."

      by TheGryphon on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:44:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the truth (none)
        Exaggerating plays into the evil bastards' hands.  The independents and moderates will ignore us, and hate radio has a huge head start.

        We are right on principles and issues.  We've been beat by the RR and the media.  Getting real discussion going is honest, and will serve us better in both the short and long run.  

    •  Misleadning simplifications MY ASS (none)
      The people who voted because of the gay marriage issue may claim they aren't bigots. But think--this is the same protestation that was heard when people who thought they had no prejudices said that it was a damn shame those "nigras" were being bothered by the KKK and by the sherrifs and what not, but that's what they got for "not knowing their place".

      I'm sorry, but just because they cannot see their prejudices does not mean they have no prejudices. It's time to show them how deep their anti-gay prejudices go, and if that means using words like "bigot" and "homophobe," so be it.

      •  When did America start backpeddling on rights? (none)
        Why hasn't this country codified Equal Rights for Women?  Why have women stopped making a stink about this?  

        The effing ERA is introduced every year and every year is held up in committee.  In 1983, it actually went to the floor of the house, but only 30% of the Republicans voted YES and 85% of the Democrats voted YES.

        People might say it doesn't make a difference to the woman of today, but it does.  If 70% of Republican politicians are against it, that says the leadership of this country does not think that women are smart enough or able enough to have equal value in society.

        Yes, the majority of women vote democratic, but the other 47% are voting for subjugation.  What gives?

  •  I couldn't agree more (3.66)
    Here's my initial response sent out to my Ernest Becker newsgroup...

    [T]he turnout was high in Ohio as there was an initiative on the ballot that would not only ban gay marriage, but deny all partnership benefits to any couples who are not man and woman married.

    I repeat.  The initiative intends to deny any and all partnership benefits, including those already given in Ohio, to gay couples.  That goes far beyond just defining marriage as between man and woman.  And it passed with flying colors, even though the Republican governor and both Ohio senators opposed the measure.

    It worked, however, in getting out the vote, as
    cultural conservatives were fired up to go vote, no matter their qualms with Bush, because the institution of marriage and morality were at stake from 'the gay agenda'.

    The strategy by Rove and the GOP nationally to get out the vote by gay bashing worked like a charm.

    It sets a terrible precedent, and we all should be
    ashamed.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:42:40 PM PST

    •  sent that out on Wednesday (none)
      To me, it's pretty clear.  They got a big turnout this time due to gay bashing, but it's not clear they'll be able to repeat that next time, and, in the interim, we can point to places like Ohio and ask, "Is it necessary to hate gays in order to win elections?".

      All their arguments were overblown.  There is no 'gay agenda' in the Democratic Party, and denying partnership benefits to gays isn't even being advocated by President Bush.  But Ohio went for the grand slam and denying all benefits to anyone except man and woman married couples.

      free the information

      by freelixir on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:45:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes the Republican Crotchal Issues (none)
    Always in your underpants checking out your values.
    •  ya know (2.50)
      all my dirty mind could process was having the GOP looking down your pants to make sure you're not a Jew -- unless you're Jesus of course. Because the first thing Christians hate is gays, the second is non-Christians.
      •  Please be more careful about the word Christian (none)
        There are a lot of Democrats who are Christians too, and many of them are pro-choice.
        •  Took the words outta my mouth (none)
          You need to be careful characterizing any group unless you define them functionally (i.e., Bush supporters) since most other groups are not as homogeneous as you think.  For example, I am a theologically conservative Christian, upper middle class physician, gun owning hunter, and veteran living in a red state, but I worked my butt off campaigning for Kerry.  

          Complain about "the bigots that supported Bush," but don't tar demographic groups unfairly--it's alienating to people that might become our allies.

          -- "Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."--Sam Adams&l

          by Otter on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:46:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Another example of codifying and spin (none)
            This is a great example of another codified word.  "Christian."  It has seeped into our subconscious that "Christian" is synonymous with narrow-minded, sanctimonious individuals spewing hate from the pulpit, trumpeting morality while trolling for hookers while nobody's looking.  Why is this?  Because the most vocal claimants to the word have been the worst examples of it.  Moderate Christians need to stand up and challenge these poor examples of their faith and say, "How dare you call yourself a Christian when you don't espouse the most basic tenets of Jesus' teachings?"

            That church and state intermingling another poster mentioned is starting to happen.  Fundamentalist Christians are starting to be the tools of the state that they are trying to influence.  When your church gets into my state, my state will get into your church.  It's like a Reese's cup, only without the chocolate.

  •  Marching Order Number Two (3.44)
    Instead of 'values' say 'bigots.' Never, never say this election was about morals. Don't ascribe positive value to bigotry. Our goal is to make them ashamed to admit they voted Republican: they sure ought to be.

    A nice phrase: 'the bigot ballots.'

    Some sentences: "Wow, we Democrats really got our asses kicked by the Bush bigots."

    "We sure didn't expect the bigot ballot turnout. I guess Rove is a boy genius."

    "When Bush gay-bashed his way into the White House ..."

    "Mandate? Kind of an ironic word, considering Bush's man-date was all about hating gays."

    How about: "John Birch Republicans." Are "Christofascists" and "The Talibush" too extreme to be effective?

    •  See my sig? (none)
      I like your thinking.

      "Why Is the Christian Right Obsessed With Sex Issues?"

      by joojooluv on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:48:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Christian right IS obsessed with sex (none)
        The day after the election, the NY Times ran a column about a couple of young guys trying to address internet porn use among conservative Christians.  They cite a number of like 40% of Christian ministers who are avowedly "porn addicted," and seeking help from software that doesn't just filter porn sites, it reports porn viewing to the guilty Christian's support partner who will sit him/her down for a chat about how Jesus doesn't care for pornography.  Point is, though, they have acknowledged that all these gay sex-obsessed folks are just plain sex-obsessed themselves, and have such a problem with viewing porn (which they consider a sin) that it's infiltrated nearly half the clergy.  Christians, heal thyselves here.  

        Incidentally: why is it that gun enthusiasts have what amounts to a fetishistic, erotic fascination for instruments of death and yet get a free ride without anyone challenging the mental health and stability (and, yes, "moral values") of a group that blatantly eroticizes guns?

        •  Read... (none)
          The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich and you will have some more insight into them. I'm not saying it's definitive, but it does provide insight.

          Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

          by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:54:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  sex-obsessed values (none)
          fascinating information milton.

          Puts me in mind of Bill O'Reilly. Thesmokinggun was the first pornography I've read in years.

        •  Escorts and dancers.... (none)
          ...I'll just to add an interesting little note to this, being that our PotUS is from the so called "buckle of the Bible belt". LOL....you'd think that NYC, Vegas, LA would be the US center of the most active prostitution, wouldn't you? But wrong you'd be....Texas, espcially Dallas and Houston, are to hooking/dancing what Paris is to clothes. Not far behind....Oklahoma City, Atlanta, etc....! Get the pic?

          The "buckle of the Bible belt" is full of so called conservatives who love nudie bars and working girls.

    •  aoeu (none)
      I think the last two are too extreme.

      no haikus now,
      join your local democratic party.
      There are fights in 2005 coming up.

      by TealVeal on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:48:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely (none)
      It's funny - I was saying the exact same thing to my wife this morning - and I plan on dropping it into as many conversations as possible:

      "(shaking head) I can't believe that bigots decided this presidential election."

      Try it. It's fun.

      Disgusted at Bush's "One Finger Victory Salute?" Salute Back!

      by aftk2 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:02:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Framing (4.00)
      "We democrats got beat by war mongers, gay bashers, and religious bigots."

      BTW, I always thought that the attack on Bill Clinton was led and fed by jealous men with limp dicks.

    •  Bigots is a great word (none)
      Up above, I mentioned intolerant as well.

      If I didn't read and think for myself, I could be a Republican

      by bonddad on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:19:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Omigawd No! (none)
      So we're going to sweet-talk 'em back to our side by smackin'm upside the head? sweet mother of jeebus, what a grand notion!

      seriously, i don't think that's what Lakoff was addressing at all ...

      vote early - vote often

      by wystler on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:59:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Christian Right (none)
      A co-worker is a Goldwater Republican, with a green streak.  I'm a Dianne Feinstein Democrat.  We are in CA.  I theorized to him that we can take the West on the personal freedom issue.  We gotta give up the gun control crap cause it kills us, but personal freedom covers civil unions, the Patriot Act repeal, and the freedom to get Morning After Pills or RU-486.  Nevada massacred an anti-abortion proposition on the privacy issue.  

      He agreed that this would play well.  Think Ken Salazar, Harry Reid, and Jeff Bingaman.  

      •  Exactly (4.00)
        We need to be Liberaltarians.

        First-drop gun control.  NOW.  All of it.  I want a 100% NRA rating from our next presidential canidate (Harry Reid is close (not that he's gonna run for president, or that he would be the right choice if he did)).

        Second, drop anti-anti-union stuff.  Regulations that exist purely to perserve union jobs (and for no other reason)-like the banning of plastic pipe in residential construction.

        Third, we need to be anti-war, but pro-defense.  We need to be more isolationalist in the world, militarily speaking.  We fuck with nobody, but if somebody fucks with us, we nuke 'em until they glow and then shoot them in the dark. (Um...not literally...)

        But we keep healthcare for all, enviromental restrictions, a good minimum wage, etc., and we don't turn into supply side tax hating crazies.

        What do you think sirs?

  •  Not sure that I agree. (none)
    "I suspect that right now that the Wall Street wing, and the small business wing, and the defense industry wing, and the tax reform wings of the party are shuddering at the thought that Americans are being told that Bush got to 51 percent based on "values" voting."

    Frankly, I don't think these guys give a crap why Bush got his 51%, just that he won.  At the risk of reading too much into it, but the DOW has gone up 300+ points since the election.

    This is what's so dangerous about this iteration of the Republican Party.  You've got the cynical, greedy money makers who want to deregulate and privatize everything (represented by the Cheney faction) aligned with the Christian "moral" fundamentalists (Bush, DeLay, etc.).  The Cheney-ites don't care who gets the attention, they just want the rewards.

    •  Market (none)
      The market would be going up regadless of who won.  Everyone just wanted it to be over.  The uncertainty of late is what was dragging it down.  I doubt this surge will take off.  It is just a sigh of relief that this isn't going to court.

      I would guess that there are a fair number of Reps who don't want all that religious crap of Bush's being implemented but they put up with alot so they can get their tax break or whatever else they expect.  This "mandate" may push them over the edge.

      •  Market went down when early exit polls came out (none)
        showing that more people voted for Kerry.

        Again, I don't want to read too much into it.  But if the claim is that traditional fiscally-minded conservatives will be turned off by this "morals" driven victory then that implies that their "morals" outweigh their greed.  I'm sure that there are many in that camp but also just as many, if not more, who would rather make big bucks off exploiting the environment, workers, etc. And I guarantee you this, the Cheney faction in the Administration will see this as a mandate for pillaging everything in sight.

        •  However (none)
          the currency markets are very, very worried about Bush. Things are getting more difficult but there is a significant chance of a Depression-scale financial meltdown this term.

          Key: Divide the Republicans -- the Christofascists from the crony capitalists. Somebody upthread suggested forcing Congress to vote on outlawing abortion. Next get them to vote on usury or some other anti-modernist Dominionist that will terrify Wall Street. Strategy, people!

    •  Bill Safire seems nervous (none)
      I agree that many Republicans may be nervous about the monster they have unleashed.  Safire'a column yesterday betrayed some concern about the Republicans overplaying their hand.

      There will be a backlash...but hopefully before too much damages is done.  And if Roe v. Wade is overruled, the Dems will rule forever in every Blue state plus gain in the Goldwater-West states of Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and of course Arizona.    

      •  Who's next? (none)
        I think Safire's anxiety goes beyond partisanship. On the same NYTimes Op-Ed page, Tom Friedman wrote, "What troubled me yesterday was my feeling that this election was tipped because of an outpouring of support for George Bush by people who don't just favor different policies than I do - they favor a whole different kind of America. We don't just disagree on what America should be doing; we disagree on what America is."

        Maybe, just maybe, it's beginning to dawn on these administration suck-ups that Christian authoritarianism threatens more than just gays and unmarried couples. The new elephant in the living room is the question, How Christian can American be without becoming (openly) anti-Semitic?

        •  The Rapture Crowd isn't anti-semitic. (none)
          At least not in the traditional sense.  They love Jews and the state of Israel because they think they are part of some divine master plan for the 2nd coming of Christ.  And isn't it just too bad that the Jews (and all the others who failed to take Jesus into their hearts) will have to perish in the process?

          I've had several encounters with Christian "Friends of Israel", including in Europe of all places, and they scare the living crap out of me.

          •  Naw, They Don't Love Jews (none)
            The love having jews in israel ... but they don't want their daughter marrying one, and they don't want 'em moving in next door ...

            they're looking for a red heifer now ...

            vote early - vote often

            by wystler on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:03:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They support Israel (none)
              But only in order to speed the End Times along.  IOW, they're trying to hurry the Jews to hell.  

              "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

              by randym77 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:07:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Jews and Israel as opposed to Jewish people (none)
                This whole fascination-obsession that some evangelical Christians, most notably on the Christian White (Blacks don't seem nearly as interested, tho some are to a lesser extent), have for "the Jews" and Israel has always struck me as strange. On TBN, I've actually seen Jewish prayer shawls being given as "prayer gifts" (translation....a gift you get for pledging $$$$S). Tho I'm not Jewish, I was actually offended by what I saw as taking what someone holds sacred and using it in a context that it was clearly NOT intended. I wondered, and eventually asked people who believe this, "if Jews are so great, why aren't you Jewish? What does all this have to do w/ you as Christians?"

                Although I've heard plenty, this fascination usually came across as a mish-mash of a belief in a particular understanding of "Revelations" and some sort of need to be in touch w/ Jesus' Jewishness (Jesus, if I understand correctly, never let renounced being a Jew).

                Well I asked some of my family and people I know who share these ideas about it and from their mixed answers I came away w/ something like this...."the Jews are the timeclock for the return of Jesus. That they are constantly disobident to God and have been given chance after chance.....it's their fate to be the spark that sets off the return of Jesus and the Rapture." I may have not gotten all the details straight, but this was the impression I was left w/.

                I have often wondered why Jewish people, especially in America, have been so eager to court these people simply because they support Israel? After all the centuries of anti-semitism in Christendom, why all of a sudden would they do a 180? While they are not anti-semites by the traditional standards, pogoms or the Holocaust, they HARDLY are interested in the Jewish people as human beings or their welfare, at least IMHO. It just seems as if Jews/Israel are some petri dish for their doctrines.

                To date, it SEEMS that people in Israel (as opposed to the US), haven't allowed themselves to dragged into bed w/ these people.....wisely so, IMHO. I just wonder if American Jews have simply chosen to take their support of Israel w/o looking into why they support it?

                •  Christian fundamentalists and Jews (none)
                  There are a lot of American Christian fundamentalists who are doing things like raising money to send American Jews to Israel.  Not, as some might think, to get them out of the country, but because they believe all the Jews coming together in their own nation is a necessary step toward the End Times.  Hence they are bitterly opposed to the idea of a Palestinian state; that would be a step backward, in their view.  A lot of people think Bush is coddling Ariel Sharon to court the Jewish vote, but I think he's doing it for his base, the Christian fundamentalists.  

                  I sometimes read Ha'aretz, and they seem to see the problems inherent in accepting aid from Christian fundamentalists.  But it's a leftwing paper, at least by Israeli standards.  I gather many Israeli groups welcome American funds, regardless of the reason they are being donated.  

                  The oddest "contribution" I've heard about is a Texas tycoon who has invested millions in an attempt to breed all-red cows.  They believe pure red cows are necessary to consecrate the Temple Mount and rebuild a Jewish temple there.  

                  If they actually try that, I fear they will succeed in their goal of touching off Armageddon...  

                  "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

                  by randym77 on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 07:17:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Strange bedfellows. (none)
                  "I have often wondered why Jewish people, especially in America, have been so eager to court these people simply because they support Israel?"

                  It's really only the right-wing Israeli and American Jews who have been courting the American Rapture crowd, with the goal of putting pressure on American administrations from within to support their policies in Israel.  They're not idiots.  They know why the Rapturites "love" them and while they may see them as revolting and anti-semitic, they are willing to take their support if it helps them accomplish what they feel is necessary.  You know, the whole "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing.

                  It's also a matter of how much Israelis have been increasingly isolated in the world.  Israel has few friends left (not that it had very many to begin with) and a great many Jews in Israel and abroad are deeply conflicted about the Palestinian situation.  Before the first intifada and the escalation of violence with the Palestinians, Jews in America were, by and large, proud to be supporters of Israel.  

                  Israeli society has changed a lot in the last 30 years.  It used to be a fiercely secular state comprised of Jews who trained themselves to be tough and felt that they couldn't trust anyone else. (With good reason.)  Now you have a huge Orthodox population that sees things through the same biblical world-view (without the whole Christ is the messiah thing, of course) as the fundamentalist Christian crowd.  And that is scary.  

          •  pogrom in the Senate (none)
            Well, right now the Senate is being flooded with phone calls from irate Christian fundamentalists demanding that Arlen Specter (who is of the Jewish faith) not be given the chair of the Judiciary Committee because he doesn't adhere to proper Christian fundamentalist doctrine.  Effectively, they're saying that only a proper Christian (as defined by them) can occupy that post.  I feel that this has very strong anti-Semitic overtones.
            •  Disturbing.... (none)
              I had heard they had issues w/ Spector because he's for keeping them on a tight leash, but the fact that he's Jewish is being thrown into the argument already is extremely disturbing, IMHO

              (I didn't know Spector was Jewish, BTW......all I knew was that he was a conservative Repub. If they are eating their own so soon, what the hell's gonna happen?)

        •  If they are suddenly upset, tough. (none)
          Choices carry consequences and what they now see in George Bush and this election was made possible by people like Safire and Friedman. Everyone KNOWS the religous right and neocons use Bush as their sock puppet. I guess they should have been more careful with their wishes.

          Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

          by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:58:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  or rather (none)
          anti-anyonenotChristian or even anti-anyonenotofaspecificsectofChristianity

          Our 4th estate is actually the 5th column. :: Lick Bush

          by voltayre on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:12:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Inmates are Running The Asylum (none)
          in the Republican party. The Repubs made a Faustian bargain with the Southern Strategy to pander to the bigots for an easy voting block. Now, with Bush II, they've taken over. The money wing of the Repubs should be very, very worried, as our dollar and debt are in the hands of China, Japan, and Taiwan, our oil supply is in the hands of any nut in the Middle East with enough plastic explosive, and our military is being blown up vehicle by vehicle in Iraq. Thanks a lot, guys.
          •  They will over reach (none)
            Good for the Democratic party-VERY bad for the country, and the planet.  Now that they think the entire country is on thier side, they are going to be trying to hit a home run every time-they are going to over reach big time.  And since they are fucking crazy, they are going to do lots of fucking crazy things, now that they aren't even going to try to pander to those in the reality based world.

            The first fucking crazy thing I think they are going to do is invade Iran.

          •  Already seeing the results (none)
            We were discussing at work yesterday the problem Bush may have created for himself in catering so much to the religious right--they may actually expect him to continue to cater to them, and he may have created a monster for himself that pushes him and his agenda more to the right than he would wish.

            Case in point, in today's New York Times,
            a front page article about how Arlen Specter is being bashed by the conservative right over his comments about judicial appointments(he said he thought bush should be careful about appointing someone with an anti aboriton agenda, or something to that effect).  They have been faxing and calling the white house to ask that Specter NOT be appointed head of the SEnate Judiciary committee.  Look what Bush has already wrought.

            Day two of his new presidency.

        •  A tiny note to Safire (none)
          Let the William Buckley conservatives get branded with the Texas Rapture perfume they so richly deserve.  You lie in bed with the bigots, you wake up stinking like them.  There is no rapprochement in this battle, don't delude yourself.  I can well understand why you would desire it as it would be so much easier to lead under such conditions, but that was not the battle you conservatives engaged in.  You brought your message into the churches of America.  Left it packaged for them in the form of a DVD that showed the "Passion of the Bush".  We saw on Nightline your "faithful" followers weep that "he is one of us", and so he is and so you ALL are.  You're the party of the walking zombies who  "will be lifted out of their clothes and transported to heaven".  Enjoy your moment in the house of horrors, the word "conservative" is about to become as maligned as the word "liberal", ain't payback grand?
      •  I'm not so sure about that (none)
        So, imagine they repeal Roe v. Wade at the level of the Supreme Court.

        How does that help the Democrats?

        Sure, some people might vote for the Democrats as punishment, which gives us one election, but many more might easily reason that it's a lost cause and the issue is off the table.

        The problem with hoping the other side overreaches is that they might succeed, and that to the extent they do, real people suffer. We have to block everything they do, rather than relying upon outrage to finally turn the public against the Republicans. All of these calls to confront the right-wing agenda by having Democrats introduce right-wing bills to force moderates to make decisions and bring radicals out of the shadows is deeply dangerous. What if we do that and LOSE the vote anyway? We shouldn't do any of their work for them. We should fight them every step of the way and let their arrogance and nastiness in defeat turn people against them.

        Proud citizen of the provisional Canadian province of Cascadia since November 3, 2004

        by seaprog on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:53:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is zero chance they will repeal Roe v Wade (none)
          I had this convo with evangelical lawyer friend of mine who was flirting with voting for Bush bases on him packing the S Ct. If they overturned Roe v Wade it would destroy the Republican party- remember only 33 percent described themselves as conservative not 51 percent - they know this- and we know this- this is why we need to start calling their bluff
        •  fight fight FIGHT! (none)
          "...and let their arrogance and nastiness in defeat turn people against them.."
          That doesn't seem to be working.
               Instead of being obliging "obstructionists"  I too say drop our 1/2 of the tug of war rope for a while and let the redpublicans begin the painful process of hanging themselves with it.
          Roe/Wade comes. Roe/Wade goes. Roe Wade comes again.
          And by the way..short term (a generation?) Roe/Wade IS gone. Lets not kid ourselves.
    •  Exactly (4.00)

      There's no shuddering going on. There's no handwringing over why the neocon agenda won the day. The very groups that are being discussed are results oriented where the ends justify the means.

      And don't forget, there's apparently a growing fusion between the ideology of the ultra-conservative religious right and the ideology of the neo-conservatives who see great merit (and profit) in the concept of global hegemony. Throw in your dominion theocrats who see people and the resources of the earth as tools to be used and discarded, and you've got a bunch who are damned happy with the way things are.

      You could reason night and day with them about the long term risks and damage being done, and frankly, they just don't give a damn as long as their P&L sheet looks good for the next six months.

      The original poster is continuing the problem of vastly underestimating the right-wing conservative agenda.

    •  They want to do this (none)
      without fear of their rights to do this being hindered by a rabid theocratic state- the minute they realize the alliance is turning on them- a la Ralph Reed and the other social conservatives who have started to ask for their pound of flesh even before the blood is dry on the paper, you can bet these guys (and gals) being pragmatist will turn on them- it's not a question of if, its a question of when
      •  That implies that the fundamentalist leadership (none)
        doesn't know or care which is the hand that feeds them.  A major part of why the "moral" conservatives helped carry the day for King Shrub is that they vote as a block and take their marching orders from above.  Ralph Reid is a manipulator.  He understands that his Christian Coalition needs the money-minded republicans.  Again, once side is using the other.  So far it's working for both.  By the time one or the other or both get to the point where they don't need each other or can no longer be aligned it'll be too late for the rest of us.
    •  Exactly (none)
      Are you kidding? The military/industry/free market wing of the party is thanking their holy stars that Ralph Reed got millions of people to vote against their interest and be doomed to four immediate years and then a bleak future of economic woes and a terrible environment. They don't care about abortions or gay marriage, they just want to stay in power. And now that millions of people believe in some manufactured god in order to help them, they couldn't be any happier. The best part of the deal is that the more these people suffer, the more power they'll give up and the deeper they'll dig themselves. It's a fully functioning semi-fascist movement nurtered for 30 years by the evangelical right - which for the last 15 or so has been Ralph Reed. A lot of work needs to be done, and we're not going to get any help here.
    •  kinda funny........... (3.50)
      how the christians helped the money changers in this election!

      Just like Jesus did, right? Isn't that what the bible says - Jesus helped the moneychangers?

    •  Yes you're right (none)
      Right now, the business wing of the Republican party thinks they can control the Christian fundamentalists, who keep voting for Republicans against their own financial self-interest.  Eventually, something is going to give, and the social conservatives are going to wise up and start demanding things of the party that might not necessarily be in the best interests of Wall Street.
  •  Values, indeed (3.66)
    I agree with this approach.

    The two friends of mine who voted for Bush did so, they claim, for economic reasons.

    I jumped down their throats and thanked them for joining the movement to make me - and others like me - less than equal, and enshrine that in the Constitution.

    I got the, "But we didn't mean it personally," response. I assured both of them I took it personally.

  •  Easy (none)
    I think it's fairly easy to help get everyone saying that the gay marriage is what won it for Bush.   But then what do we do with that mindset?  Many of them will be proud to claim it their victory.  Bush will use this as divine sign that he should implement his faith based ideas.  I am afraid that too many will be happy to see money coming into their church.  Even left-leaning churches will.  Maybe it would be good to get govt money.  After they start using that money for their activities it is likely that the congregation will give less money to the church.  If the govt is giving them money then the govt will want to see books and such to make sure the money is being spent on what it is supposed to be.  I wonder how many people will be tempted to embezzle this money.  it already happens with charitable donations, I'm sure it would be more likely if it was just govt money.  
  •  These are the folks we're out of touch with? (none)
    •  This is ammo (none)
      Email this article around.  We need to put a face on the so-called Bush morality vote.
      •  BIGOTRY (none)
        Bush didn't win on morality. Bush rode this election on the backs of BIGOTS.
      •  Careful though (4.00)
        We need to distinguish between the whackos and your average religious American. The last thing we need is an excuse to be labeled anti-religious at this point. We've gotta be pro-religion-as-a-source-of-strength-or-whatever, anti-radical-fundamentalist-American-Taliban-types.
        •  Agree 100% (none)
          I didn't mean to imply that we should associate all Bush supported with this wacko.  In fact, the point is to show the moderate Bush voters that the are aligning themselves with guys like this.

          My point is that we should use this as ammo to show the true ugly face of the anti-gay movement, and the true face of the so-called moral values that they are pushing.

        •  Whackos (none)
          Fair point. But these whackos need to be exposed for who they really are. This story just stands on it's own -- the fringe look a little wild eyed saying it themselves don't you think?
        •  Expose the Christofascists. (none)
          If Jerry Falwell can tar all gays with his videos of leathermen in Gay Pride parades, why can't we hit back at the Christofascists with Falwell's and Fred Phelps' sick sermons?

          What has happened is that the gay rights movement has evolved encouraging queers to not segregate themselves from "mainstream society".  Now instead of queers being exotic, strange people who live in San Francisco or one neighborhood in your city, they're your neighbors and co-workers.

          We want to portray the Christofascists as hateful people who hate the "new queers" and want to keep them from getting married - and also compare them to fundamentalist Muslim terrorists.  It's the fanatacism that creates terrorism, not the particular religion.

    •  NO. I draw the line... (3.85)
      I am a Christian. I am a youth pastor in Florida in a conservative area. I am a liberal. I support gay rights without exception or reservation. And my wife and I worked our asses off for the Kerry campaign.

      NEVER associate all of Christianity with the Phelps. Pastor Phelps regularly holds signs up in high-press areas reading "GOD HATES FAGS". He does not represent Christianity, and he does not represent me. Do not alienate me and other Christians like me who are supportive and active in the progressive movement.

      Yes, I am disheartened by the way some other Christians toss about beliefs that run contrary to progressive values, even human rights in some cases, but they are not speaking for all of Christianity. Look at Gene Robinson and his supporters in the Anglican Church. He's a homosexual who was just ordained as a bishop. Yes, there is a firestorm over it, but there was also enough support for it to actually happen. These are Christians who have nothing to do with a hateful man like Phelps and his followers.

      •  You're right... (none)
        You don't associate all of Christianity with this anti-gay movement.  You associate Bush's victory, bouyed by the anti-gay amendments, with this anti-gay fringe.  
        •  Tricky... (none)
          Bush's victory came on the backs of 19 million evangelical Christians who got their votes out for him. I have yet to see a way in this thread to frame this that does not delineate between a regular Christian and a bigot. I can see it now, when I am approached by my Republican friends: "You vote with people who call you a bigot? Nice." This is not far fetched because the way things are shaping up in this thread, every Christian is being associated with being a bigot. Check out a great progressive Christian resource before framing Christians in general as bigots in general.

          Sojourners: Christians for Peace and Justice

          •  i would hope most people (none)
            here are aware of the differences among christian sects. when i rave about the christian right, i'm referring specifically to the dominionists, who are nuts, and hard core fundamentalists, who want to teach christian doctrine in public schools, i.e. creationism. they have their churches for that, why do they have to impose it on everyone else?

            and as much as i rave and spew about rightist christians, i have more than once considered becoming a quaker, but i realize i don't really fit the bill. i have problems with pacifism.

            No member of our generation who wasn't a Communist or a dropout in the thirties is worth a damn. Lyndon B. Johnson

            by maskling11 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:39:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're our ace (4.00)
        We need you and people like you.  I'm a latte-sipping blue-stater with no accent who reads too much.  I will never convert a self-identified Republican to a Democrat, no matter how I try (and I do!)

        We NEED to peel off the values crowd.  Specifically, we need credibility in the "progressivism as values" arena.  This is, from my understanding of Christianity, what "Christian Values" are all about.  You can make this argument - you can win them over.

        What can I do to help?

        -Fe Wm.

        •  Hmm... (4.00)
          If you live in Florida you could support my as-of-yet unannounced bid for State House of Reps. in '06. Starting tomorrow I'm canvassing every house I can find with a Kerry sign in there yard expressing my dissapointment that Dems didn't run anyone against the Rep incumbent and intention to return to them in the coming months for support with a petition for me to be included on the ballot.

          And anyone else here who lives in District 8 (Southwest Jacksonville and Jax Beaches/Northwest St Johns County), let me know what you think. I am certainly running on a values platform, framing it against the so-called Rep values without subjecting most resident Christians to this current topic of liberal "shock and awe". I can run a positive campaign while at the same time stripping the opponents' "morals/values"-based arguments from beneath them.

          There is nothing moral about Greed.
          There is nothing moral about Fear.
          There is nothing moral about Lies.

          •  This is the right campaign (none)
            Sadly, I'm in a bluish area of Virginia, so it would be tough to volunteer for a Florida state congressional race.  I think your message is correct, though, and I think it's the message the Dems and progressives need to take to America.  The Dems are the party that sticks up for the little guy - this is the heart of progressivism.

            Please keep us posted about your efforts.  Without knowning anything specific about you or your district, this sounds like a promising start.

            -Fe Wm.

        •  Values Crowd (none)
          We NEED to peel off the values crowd.

          No, we don't.  We need to seal off the values absolutists, and get to work on the people who care about "values" but don't approach it as a euphemism for "strangers' dirty sex habits."  Progressivism-as-values isn't going to work on Ralph Reed's crowd, but it might work on the much larger bunch just to their left, the live-and-let-live Main Street Republicans.

          •  Well... (none)
            ...I probably miscommunicated.  I know we'll never pull away homophobes and zealots who cloak their bigotry in talk of "values".  But we DO need a well-articulated and consistent "values" framework that sells.

            It's there, we just don't talk about it.  We stick up for the little guy, and we champion the oppressed and powerless.  Our party ideology embodies the values of tolerance, self-sacrifice, compassion, truth, skepticism, fairness, generosity and kindness.

            This SHOULD sell with Christians, I would think.  We've just cloaked our message in policy prescriptions for too long.  Ideology needs to take center stage.

            -Fe Wm.

      •  I understand what you ane saying... (none)
        ...I know people like yourself. There are many Good Christians in this country. But with these issues, I know I'm not speaking about people like you and we do have to be careful to not say "all", or appear to be implying all, etc. But thre are groups twisting religion for their own power, I call them God Nazi's, because that is exactly what they are. They are people who use fear to power their beliefs, not love. And they are to be feared. They must be exposed for what they are. Cowards and Bigots. Before it is too late.

        Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

        by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:05:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for a great post (none)
        We need to build a strong and vociferous Progressive Christian Movement. In the 1960s we had voices like those of Thomas Merton and Dan Berrigan and of MLK. Where are such prominent teachers now? We (progressive christians) have allowed the  Evangelicals to make Christianity synonymous with bigotry.

        Christianity and Progressive ideals are highly complementary. Specifically, we need to emphasize the issues the evangelicals tend to ignore--specifically the rights of the Born, equal opportunity for all, religous freedom, etc.

    •  Even Kansans... (none)
      ...can't stand the Phelps family.

      This is one family/cult from Topeka led by patriarch Fred Phelps who have been loudly anti-gay since the late 80's.  They are a very small group of people who have tried for years to get national attention without much success because they are completely insane and most evangelicals wouldn't want to be associated with them.  They show up at funerals of AIDS victims with neon signs saying "God hates fags" (even though the rumors are that two of the patriarch's sons are gay, live in California, and don't want to have anything to do with their abusive family - poor fellows).  

      One of them told me I was going to hell when I went to see Izhak Perlman perform in Topeka. They protested an Izhak Perlman performance!  That's how insane they are.

      These are extremists who don't deserve any attention.  Forget about them.

      •  I want to say you're right (none)
        But do the GOP ever forget about the single googly-eyed wild man burning a flag on the fringes of a huge and peaceful progressive demonstration?  No.  They focus like a laser on him, and tar every one of a hundred thousand with his taint.  And that stains the progressive movement as a whole.

        I'm sorry, I know that there are Christians of good faith out there, but until I hear loud condemnations of Phelps from the mouths of evangelicals, I consider him one of them.  He is Exhibit A.

        Republican Fever!: reports from a new world at Principall Navigations.

        by BrooklynRaider on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:40:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Told My Son (4.00)
    ...that it's sort of like having on an all night drunk.  If I were one of th eold line conservative "manstreet" Republicans, when I woke up the morning after the election, I might feel good about the result of th eevenings festivities, but I would be more than a little nervous about who I found myself in bed with.
  •  why don't we just drink their kool aid? (none)
    Wouldn't that solve everything? :-(
  •  problem? (none)
    Frankly, we don't angry enough about this depiction, and if we don't start raising our voices, pretty soon Sean and Bill and Ann will have the rest of America invoking as a referent, whenever they hear the words "Democrat Party," the image of a thirty-something, black, gay UCLA professor of postmodern studies who works a few hours a day indoctrinating his students with Che Guevara mantras, before knocking off early to go home for some hot gay sex with his unionized, Hispanic postal worker husband, as they watch pornography on the widescreen and their three adopted sons sit nearby taking notes.

    Ummmmmmmm, other than the kids watching and taking notes, what is wrong here?

    Let's stop worrying about who will lead us in 2008 and instead work on who we'll be 2005.

    by pHunbalanced on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:49:34 PM PST

  •  Bigotry and hatred (none)
    are NOT Christian values.

    They are trying to "frame"us and you are right we have to break out of it.

    Unfortunately, Clinton is once again playing into their hands.

    We can lick our wounds until Friday--President Bush will get one day of bipartisanship.

    by Genf on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 01:49:56 PM PST

  •  Bravo! (none)
    There needs to be a serious smack-down of the demonizers on the right.  They are on the airwaves, 24/7, trashing and marginalizing Democrats.   Hapless Democrats appear on their programs and don't smack back.  We allow ourselves to be defined and demonized by the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter and we allow "faux" Democrats like Estrich and Pat Caddell to give limp assent to their lies.

    The time has come for Democrats to scream "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"  

    And I also agree that we need to use the same weapons against them!  Mockery, ridicule and hyperbole at every occasion.

  •  VAdem (none)
    The Cheneyites love their gay daughters, and value their gay workers.  I don't think it was an exageration to say it was gay-bashing that was an important part of their strategy.
  •  Thanks Ralph! (none)
    "The Republican National Committee announced today that the Republican Party is changing its emblem from an elephant to a condum. The committee chairman explained that the condum more clearly reflects the parties stance today, because a condum accepts inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives a sense of security while you're actually getting screwed."
  •  Amen (none)
    The GOP is the party of bigots and religious zealots -- it's time to say it and make people uncomfortable.
    •  The word bigotq (none)
      has been used by several people to describe Republicans.  We need to use it more and more.

      I want to hear Al Franken use it on the air.

      If I didn't read and think for myself, I could be a Republican

      by bonddad on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:40:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, thanks Ralph! (none)
    But thanks to Tom too for putting in perspective.
  •  let them overplay it (none)
    I've been thinking along the same lines - Richard Viguerie has been saying the same thing as Reed.  In an interview on Salon today and with Bill Moyers on NOW last week, he asked "If we can't enact our conservative (i.e. anti-secular) agenda with a Republican president and a republican congress, when can we?"

    They are going to declare war on the republican moderates (Rudy, Ahrnold?  Are you listening?).  I can't think of a better way for them to turn this Man Date into a high water mark...

    •  Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative (none)
      Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative
      Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative
      Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative
      Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative
      Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative
      Socially Liberal Fiscally Conservative

      If I didn't read and think for myself, I could be a Republican

      by bonddad on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:41:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Divide & Conquer (none)
    is the overall strategy for the next four years.  Split the true conservatives who want to debate issues off from the hating whack-jobs.  And maybe supply their own version of Ralph Nader.

    • Ralph's gift is one way to do it.

    • Gay marriage ban as federal control is another.

    • Or the deficit and fiscal policy in general... I know for certain that I was driving some conservatives nuts with this cycle by pointing out that the Dems stood for fiscal responsibility.

    So just think of ways to split them.

    •  I'm thinking (none)
      We should find a bunch of fundamentalists who'll vow to do all sorts of horrendous things when they get in office, let them complain about how the GOP are a bunch of lily livered pseudo-believers who talk the talk and don't walk the walk, and run them 3rd party in red states. We should just sponsor them, in the name of democracy. Give the people what they want! Or the logical extension thereof.
      •  Excellent idea (none)
        I hope we remember it come election time.
      •  Candidate Phelps ? (none)
        They petitioned for Nader? We petition for Fred Phelps (May His Name Be Erased Forever!, as the jewish say). For information's sake, put him in a Repug primary to see what the bigot count is. For spoiler's sake, make him the candidate of some fringe party.

        Nah, it all reminds me of a joke about replacing lab rats with lawyers: there are some things I can't do in good conscience, and even uttering that guy's name makes me feel dirty. Let alone petitioning for him.

        Fact is, as dimwitted as we consider the redneck bigoted right wing stereotype to be, they're pretty good at the 1+1 logic of "He'll never win; vote for Bush". That should say something about all the liberals that voted for Nader on principle. Something like: drowning in a self-imposed sea of principle.

  •  Which Republicans? (none)
    You talk about Repubbies who abhor the Ralph Reed tag but bought the package anyway and how to reach them. Are these Washingtonians (I seem to recall you are a denizen of my old neighborhood of Adams-Morgan) or are they "real people" who live in Bay Village, Ohio or the northside of Atlanta (places filled with traditional, somtimes moderate Republicans)? Washington folks of both parties are a breed apart and you beltway types forget that, regardless of politics. Perhaps, this inbredness is why the WaPo editorial page is such a waxworks of predictable crap and lazy research, except for EJ Dionne and Harold Meyerson (who lives in LA and recycles columns from LA Weekly or Am Prospect). My Washington was the DC of George Pelecanos rather than Alan Drury and I think informed opinion about who can be reached and who is really troubled by these people requires some long distance calls or at least some acquaintances in god forsaken parts of the Capital area like semi-rural Maryland, well-off parts of Baltimore County, or places like the techie and horsey areas near Dulles.
    •  You need to spend a little time studying the enemy (none)
      they as big tent as the left with a variety of conflicting interest working together- an effective loyal opposition can exploit this. I am not sure the current leadership gets this- they are trying to hold on to the small power that they still have rather than going for scorched earth
    •  ironic (none)
      did you grow up down South (the Republican stronghold)? I did- do you want to know what  my neighbors would call you- do you want know how I even know the word (b/c of my Republican neighbors from where I am from). They are all good Christians though. So you go ahead- feel better that you have posted this post here. I will tell you what I told a Chinese friend who had that word painted on his door- sometimes you have to realize a truth and stop living in denial- not all the world is the same as you see it. I don't believe all liberals are good, or all conservatives are bad. But folks like Ralph Reed- he doesn't give a shit about you- he reps those people I know down south- and not someone like you- don't realize that too- or better yet do- I really do like ironic outcomes- its the writer in me
  •  We've got to get... (none)
    their party to divide over this issue. Whose party is it? The Christians or the Rich?
  •  Unfortunately for us... (none)
    Unfortunately for us, progressives and liberals have a difficult time lying to make their points.  There is a tendency among leftists (at least the ones I know and work with) to strive for honesty and truth in everything they do---which always hampers our efforts to appeal to "Ma and Pa America".  Nobody likes honesty and reason, they like to be scared with lies and exagerations, but we're always reluctant to stoop that low.

    Do we want to become exactly the kind of lying, cognitavely dissonant moron that we so strongly oppose?

    Is there any other way to win?  

    If we abandoned our values and our dedication to truth and honesty, could we even call it a "win"?

    •  What is there to lie about? (none)
      It's not about changing positions on any issues, or being deceptive in any way. It's about using a language people can understand.
    •  re: unfortunately for us (none)
      You said: Nobody likes honesty and reason, they like to be scared with lies and exagerations...

      I don't think it's true that people necessarily like to be scared. But, if they really want to be scared, then we can scare them with the truth:

      *the corporatization of Social Security will do nothing but make the investment bankers richer

      *the government is taking away your civil rights and imposing on your personal freedoms with the Patriot Act

      *the government wants to legislate your bedroom

      ...etc. There are plenty of aims of the Republican Authoritarians that are both truthful and frightening. Red staters want fear? We can give it to them!

  •  New Legislation (none)
    Democrats must call on republicans to introduce legislation that bans gay marriage. Force the issue. Force the republicans to stand up and vote for the bullshit VALUES they won this election on.

    If the republicans won't introduce the legislation - let the democrats introduce it and start the ball rolling. Force the issue. Make them take a stand - either way. Throw the red meat to their supporters.

    Maybe some religious legislation too. Let's require our public schools to hire religious teachers to teach religions - all religions. And provide religious facilities in public schools - chapels, synagogues, the whole shebang. But provide no federal funding for these religious programs. Let the locals pay for them.

    Let's get all of their VALUES out on the congressional floor for votes. Make them back up their words with their actions.

    And then let America and the world decide what to do next. Let's show the whole world what we (or at least 51% of us) stand for these days.

  •  Please pay no attention to the man behind the curt (none)
    My first post ever so I'm new here but I have been following this site for the last two tension filled months.  You are all  looking in the wrong direction.  There is nothing wrong with the Democratic agenda--it has gotten a lot of people elected, Clinton for one.  But how about if you weren't worried about getting elected. . .if you knew you had that locked up tight--you could say anything you want...you could be some right wing wacko who wants to kill doctors who perform abortions. . .  It doesn't matter because the fix is in.

    There is no restructing the Democratic party can do that will get them elected as long as Diebold counts the votes.

    This is not about politics.  This is about a coup.

  •  As opposed to most o fyou here... (none)
    I encourage you to consider leaving the US.

    You can pursue happiness on your own by packing your stuff and moving to Canada for example. Canadians welcome all those who are liberal minded and do not mind living in a diverse society.

    In fact, the course of events in the US right now, mimics what happened in my country in the mid 90s. After being pushed to the fringe I realized that it is futile to attempt to change a theocratic society in a single lifetime and moved to a place where my views were accepted by the mainstream.

    You see, I'm an ardent atheist who was born and raised in an ultra-Catholic country. Living amongst people blinded by their dogma was both frustrating and discouraging. My viewpoint was condemned openly by friends, family and strangers alike.

    Soon, politics followed the societal trends: abortion was banned, homophobia was rampant and the Church got huge tax breaks and was able to pursue a number of dubious land claims. In the end it came down to sticking it out with the other 10% of open-minded, progressive people who saw the tragedy looming or cutting my losses and trying to build a new life in a place that is less extremist in its worldview and its politics. In the end, after careful deliberation I decided to move to Canada.

    I recommend that every one of you give emigration a serious pondering as it is very unlikely that the sectarian half of the American society is going to embrace your differing points of view.

    •  Which country was this? (none)
        •  Well it is clear that (none)
          the leadership didn't follow the Catholic Church on one issue- the Iraq War.
          •  Poles are actually against the war (none)
            But let me assure you that the only reason why Polish people are not in support of the Iraq invasion is because they were told so by the Pope. In Poland everything comes down to what the Pope thinks of any given issue. I can guarantee you that if the Pope sanctioned the war all Poles young and old would have invaded Iraq by themselves without America even helping! That guy is like a de-facto president of the country. Thank goodness he happened to be in favour of the EU enlargement.
    •  The problem is... (none)
      ...that most of us really, earnestly desire change and won't bolt until it's too late.  We want to try to change things where we are.

      You may be right; it may be hopeless.  But in the end, I think that rather than actually pulling up our roots and leaving, we may decide on secession, perhaps in combination with union with Canada (the blue areas are noncontiguous, but all border Canada).

      However, even if this does happen, it probably wouldn't be for 25 years or so, after we've tried everything we can.

      Proud Member, Controversial Daily Kos Extremist Group

      by DC Pol Sci on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:25:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We understand Northeast.... (none)
        ...although I very much doubt it will ever become a part of Canada! I can't imagine any US government allowing that to happen without a major (military) confrontation.

        Trying to make a religious person open up to a differing point of view is futile. You will never persuade them about individual rights when they always refer to their holy book (whichever it happens to be) to justfiy the reason why such rights should be restricted. And if you rebut their holy scriptures they will fight you by quoting... more holy scriptures. It's circular logic. I think this short story illustrates the point rather well. For those people, change must come from within or they will die convinced how lucky they are to be born into the one true Faith.

        Unfortunately it's much easier for a society to pick up a religious momentum than a secular one but I have never witnessed a rapid swing the opposite way.

    •  Not that easy (none)
      Canada has standards, you know.   It's not easy for Americans to get in.  For a vacation, yeah, but permanently?  Maybe if you can find a Canuck who wants to marry you...

      "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

      by randym77 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:30:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Easier than you think... (none)
        Visit the immigration Canada home page.

        Canada has had an active immigration programme for many years now and it is the most comprehensive immigration package of any country in the world.

        Even if you don't qualify under any of the federal immigration programmes there is also a couple of provinces (namely New Brunswick and Manitoba) that have their own immigration criteria.

        Also every American is a member of NAFTA, something that makes it a virtual formality to get a Canadian visa once you manage to secure a job in Canada.

        Bienvenue au Canada!

  •  My estimation of the Bush coalition (none)
    The mean, the selfish, the faith-based, the ignorant, and the scared.
    •  Faith Based (none)
      We need an alternative to "faith based" but I'm not sure what. The people you're describing aren't really "faith based;" they're using what they call "faith" as a shield to hide behind to promote their meanness, selfishness, ignorance and fear. In Christian terms, they're the ones who will be surprised when they end up on the left hand of Jesus and He says to them, "Go away, I never knew you."

      Hypocrites, perhaps? Jesus despised hypocrisy and attacked it at every opportunity. And those who profess to be His followers but don't feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and instead use their religion to perpetuate their own place in the status quo are the very people He was railing against.

      Yeah. Mean, selfish, hypocritical, ignorant and scared. That sounds better.

      If this be treason, make the most of it.

      by Our Man In Redmond on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:59:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tolerance without acceptance (none)
    "Tolerance without acceptance."  I think that this is a middle ground that middle America can live with on the issue of gay rights for now.

    Show that the right is for zero tolerance and that the left isn't for forced acceptance.  But don't vilify Christianity.  That just shows people that the left is a bunch of hypocrites who preach tolerance but don't tolerate religious folk.

    Still, I think you are going too far.  Had Kerry won, a lot of his voters would have been similarly dissatisfied if the election had been cast as a victory for peacenik hippies.  And the anti-war crowd would be desparate to cast the election as a referendum on Iraq, so don't say that wouldn't happen.

  •  hehehe (none)
    even better attack the GOP relentlessly in the next years with only one point, they don't match up tp their values.

    If they want a new bill that criminalizes some abortions ...

    deny the bill and push for one that would reduce the number of abortions, a job law for single mothers, partnership courses, stick to the talking points.
    "We want to reduce the abortion rate! Republicans just want to make symbolic laws against it!"

    ... if the say that gay marriage will kill hetrosexual marriage, offer tax credits to married couples,  beat them with it, find new solutions, but never step back from any "values" discussion

    ... talk about values every time you hold a speech, never stop.

    ...use the same techniques the gop used in arguing for a balanced budget ( can't spend what you don't have in your pocket blablabla ) frame it as a values discussion, when the war against terror ( or anything else ) costs another 200 billion ask in congress for a tax hike, because the war should be won by us and not our children, frame it as a values thing, if a gop candidate has a marriage problem attack him for lacking family values.

    Never defend always attack.
    We can win any values debate.

    •  Defense of Marriage (none)
      So if it's so important to defend marriage that we have to keep the gays down, what about divorce? When are they going to put an amendment on the ballot for that? What's their excuse, except that the religious right gets divorced far more than the Liberals in Massachussetts? Pin them down.
  •  The other side. (4.00)
    I think both Bush and Kerry were right when they talked about the need for healing in America, and the need to come together as a people. And the Left should take great advantage of this, and try to reach out, as much as possible. And if we are reproached, we should turn the other cheek.

    But we should not be silent--rather, we should be vocal in our support for the traditional and common American values that we should all espouse and share. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; equality, freedom, compassion--the list goes on and on. It is a simple choice, a choice between love and hate.

    Jesus did not say "Hate thy neighbor". Jesus didn't even say "Hate thy gay neighbor", or "Hate thy Republican neighbor". He said "Love thy neighbor". And we need to remind everyone of those values--values of unity, and not of intolerance.

    So please, "Don't Be A Sucker". I don't want to see fascism in my lifetime, and neither do you.

    •  The fact is (none)
      we a rebeing caricatured and demonized.  We have to caricature them back to create an alternate narrative, and to create awareness for the extremism that has teken over the R party.

      We're not Jesus.  We're a political party.  If your goal is to get crucified, then turn the other cheek.  If you want to make a difference in the lives of working people, restore civil liberties and justice at home and to our foreign policy, then be as cunning as a fox while pure of heart.

      •  Is it now. (none)
        We are being caricatured and demonized; we need to clearly demonstrate how false that caricature actually is. Caricaturing them back will not do that, it will do the opposite. Let them caricature themselves; we will clearly show to the vast majority of Americans who we really are, and why they should stand with us.

        John Kerry won the endorsement war, gaining endorsements from prominent conservative newspapers and figures. And each time, these self-same figures were torn down by the most far-right and radical segment of the Republican party, calling them RINOs and traitors and worse. We need to take those people in, and show them that we will listen to their concerns instead of resorting to childish name calling and reprehensible character assassination.

        Jesus won by being crucified. Because the people saw it, and saw that it was wrong. How could you crucify such a great man, without being evil yourselves. That's what this is about. We need to show people the inner goodness of our goals and our agenda, the pureness of our intent. And when we are attacked for doing so, it will be clear to them which side they belong on.

        You know who is cunning as a fox while pure of heart? Ghandi. Martin Luther King. Barack Obama. They knew that hate was not the answer. We need to as well.

        •  rhetorical non-violence (none)
          will maintain us as a pemanent minority.  I agree, we need to seize the moral high ground, but you also have to have someone else on your side who is willing and more than able to break some political kneecaps.  That's human nature.

          This is not India under the Brits, nor is it South Africa under apartheid.  Your idelaism is admirable, but your historical analogies are misapplied.  To believers, Jesus' victory was not temporal but spiritual  His followers, under Constantine, were anything but non-violent.  They were ruthless and murderous.

          We won't be murderous, but we will be figuratively violent in attacking their frames and failures is were are going to be effective in restoring justice, equality and civil rights.

          The Bhagavad Gita has a wonderful tale in it of, I think it was Arvedui, who had great misgivings in going to war.  Go toi war, the gods told him, for it is the natural order, and all is well in the end.  The tale captures something essential about human nature:  we are violent animals.  That's not all we are, but to deny the aggression in human nature is folloy, and self-deceit.  So let us use our aggression to good ends.  This culture war is real, though not a physical war, in the bodily violent sense at least not domestically).  But we cannot be afraid to fight in order to win.

          In fact, it is precisely the Democrat's squeemishness with this elemental part of human nature that leads many Americans to instinctively distrust us.  Bush is a simple minded, ruthless sonofabitch.  And that's why his followers like him, and trust him with their security.  And that in part is why the gay marriage issue is not completely about man-on-man sex, but about the stereotype of the Deomcratic party as unmanned, and unable to be aggressive in the service of security.

          I admire your spirit.  But you are badly mistaken in your political approach.

          "Make each day your masterpiece." -- John Wooden

          by Pachacutec on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:10:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Screw that (none)
      I am not going to sit down and take it while America is hammered into the ground by wingnuts, lunatics, and fascists.

      The future of this country is at stake. And for the future of the country, we need to go right back to war.

      No turning cheeks. No quarter. No reconciliation. No forgiveness. We keep going until we're in power and then keep going again until we've restored our place in the world.

      •  I understand your frustration. (none)
        Do not "sit down and take it"; fight. But be smart about it, man. Calling them names will just validate their lies about you.

        We will keep going, and we will restore our place in the world. We won't do that through hatred. I didn't say forgive or forget--I said, kill them with kindness.

        •  If I could give you a "5" (4.00)
          I would.

          You're exactly right.  The particular group of Christians that voted for Bush is a minority, but if we go on the attack, we risk offending mainline Christians (which includes me), and cementing the Republicans as the party of God.

          Once upon a time, the majority of Christians in this  country were convinced that the Democratic message was the message closest to their own beliefs.  It still is.  Where we have failed is in how we have worded and delivered our message.

          If the Republicans have been allowed to gain a foothold within religious groups, it's our fault.  We have not fought hard enough to keep our grip.  And to do so, I don't believe we have to bend one plank of our platform.  We just have to show them that our platform is the platform best suited to reach Christian goals.

          For those ready to write these groups off as an "American Taliban": You think these evangelicals don't care about the poor?  They do.  You think they like war?  They don't.  You think they're stupid?  They're not.

          However they are ignorant, ignorant of how the Democratic message and the Christian message are in tremendous harmony.  And there is no one to blame for that but the Democrats.

          •  i posted higher up in this thread (none)
            but will repeat here. it's important to differentiate christians who act in an unchristian fashion from christians who do their best to practice christian love and tolerance. let's please not assume all evangelicals and fundamentalists are the same. there are some who are driven more by bigotry and meanness than by the urge to live by jesus' injunction to "love they neighbor as thyself."

            just as we can say neo-con, moderate republican, libertarian, liberal democrat, moderate democrat, rightwing democrat (i don't know what else to call zell miller), we can differentiate between christians who embrace the doctrine of love and tolerance and "debased christians" who act as though they believe more in sadistic punishment than in redemption.

            cloaking oneself in the mantle of christianity does not mean other christians have to defend one. doesn't it say somewhere in the bible "by their acts shall ye judge them"? by their acts. not by what they call themselves or by the invocations behind which they try to hide. if your actions are base and you invoke christ to justify them, there's no question in my mind you deserve to be called a debased christian.

            nope, i'm not a christian of any sect. but i was taught that jesus set the bar pretty high for love and forgiveness. if that's not what you're aspiring to as a christian, maybe you took a wrong turn somewhere.

            We get a lot of advice. We tend to listen when somebody's won something. - Joe Lockhart

            by yankeedoodler on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 06:33:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  amen to that (none)
              It's important not to see religious people as a monolithic group, but rather to identify which segment of that group is unreachable, and adjust the way we present our values to the rest of the group.  This is not to say that we abandon our core principles as Democrats (this, of course, requires determining what those core principles actually are), and present them in a short, simply-worded way.  Oh, and it's important that we don't just start taking the message to the people 18 months before the election.  The message has to be pushed constantly, starting now.  Did Republicans stop pushing their message when they were completely out of power between '92 and '94?  No, they pushed it harder than ever.
      •  I'm afraid you're right (none)
        Turning the other cheek doesn't work.  Kerry took the high road, and now everyone's saying it was a mistake.  He should have used the convention to bash the hell out of Bush.  

        Negative politics works.  You cannot fight it by turning other cheek.  Not least because it makes you look weak - something a political party cannot afford during wartime.

        "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

        by randym77 on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 05:18:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Woohoo! Right on! (none)
    Sounds good to me. And it's true of course. All of these Republicans who voted for Bush are radical right wing neo-cons with plans for World Domination!  

    Crazy gay hating wackos.

  •  I agree (none)
    The "true" GOP has been able to successfully exploit the religious right in an effort to enlarge their base by pandering to their "values-oriented" needs.

    Now that 2 or 3 elections have been handed to the GOP thanks to the unholy union of Rove's strategy and Ralph's minions, it's only natural that the religious wing of the GOP would start to want more than just lip service.  

    It'll be very interesting to see whether the party can suppress a messy power struggle between the traditional conservatives, the neocons, and the religious right.  If they do manage to keep it down in 2006, I don't think they'll be able to sustain it through 2008.

    All speculation, of course, but if I was a religious conservative, I'd start to wonder why the party hasn't really delivered on any of its major promises.

  •  The other opportunity this poses for us (none)
    I posted something like this on another thread so forgive if you're reading it twice, but we should take note that "small town values" is not the same thing as "small town needs."

    The Republicans have a deplorable record at recognizing and dealing with the diminishing jobs, health care, and economic opportunities in small towns.

    We could successfully split the issue of small town success from small town values and own the first one, thereby making inroads into the second.

    We can raise the extinction of rural towns as America's most compelling issue.

    Since John Edwards will have some time on his hands, I'd love to see him go back to his hometown and run for mayor. Okay, that's probably not going to happen. But he could become a very visible, national proponent for saving small town eocnomies. He could form a consortium of leading economists, physicians, businesspeople, etc. who are in touch with rural needs. With his visibility, testifying to Congress, hitting the talk shows, he can use his example to start to change public perception of Democratic "values."  

    Make Democrats the people who are finding a real way to recruit rural doctors. Lobbying for a loan program for small-town entrepreneurs. Being the party that champions small business opportunities for women, even multi-level marketing organizations for stay-at-home moms. (I think one of the rarely told success stories in America is how women have resurrected small town economies by opening antique stores, coffee shops, candle shops, etc. on town squares.) Understanding where new economy entrepreneurial opportunities are and showing clear support for them. Figuring out ways to keep the kids from leaving. Finding ways to de-regulate small businesses in ways that don't jeopardize safety or integrity. Strongly backing anything that will save these towns from extinction. They need it desperately, and no one else is doing it.

    Democrats can and should own the future of small towns as their chief concern.

    Talk about speaking in the language of "values." Let's be evangelists for small-town America.

  •  Tom (none)
    Update your diary to include this article:

    http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/NEWSV5/storyV5HATE09W.htm

    It's the first round of ammo for this attack.  It puts the correct face on the so-called "morality" vote.  We need to get the media to go out there and interview these people, and get their "values" (read: hate) on record for all moderate Americans who voted for Bush to see who they're aligned with.

    Credit to the Kossack up-thread that posted this link.

  •  Sorry, I don't think so (none)
    > I'm meeting a lot Republicans (both
    > conservatives and moderates) who do not want
    > this election to be framed as the Ralph Reed
    > Rout.

    This is very similar to the "grown-up Republicans will keep Bush under control meme".  I don't buy it.

    First, I met a lot of old-line Republicans who told me they weren't going to vote for Bush.  Looking at the returns in my (red) state, when they got into the voting booth they couldn't bring themselves not to vote for the Republican.  So now you have two constituiencies:  the commited, and those with nowhere else to go.  Guess who gets what they want?

    Second, George Bush was from the moment he entered the race in 1998 the creature of the Big Business wing of the Republican Party.  They control him utterly.  And they don't care what the fundamentalists do in church or to various soocial laws.  In fact, a good dose of church helps keep the worker bees in line.  The only thing they care about is controlling the EPA, OSHA, Justice, and the DoD.  And they have that.

    So don't look for any sudden split in the Republican Party.  If Kerry had won, yes.  But not now.  Everyone has what they want.

    sPh

    •  So, put Reid in the Spotlight (none)
      and drive the moderates into the Democratic party with the phrase

      Socially liberal, fiscally conservative

      If I didn't read and think for myself, I could be a Republican

      by bonddad on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:49:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  On the "mission" already (3.66)
    My well meaning, Republican voting parents just dropped me line basically saying, "it's done, time to move on."  In responding, I congratulated them for being in the party of the Rapture group, a term that they are totally unfamiliar with, so I included a few excellent paragraphs from Bill Moyer's speech "Journalism under fire".

    As neither of them are religious in the least, this is sure to rub them the wrong way.  Besides the statistics I provided them showing how significant a part of the base these "the world is going to end" folks are, not to mention the Christian Evangalists, my point is also driven home by many UK newspaper headlines, such as the one that said "Moral Majority on the March."

    Couldn't agree with you more, let's rub it in their faces.  Always did think that Kerry made a mistake when he chose the high road.  If it had been me up there, as soon as Bush came out calling me a "Massachusettes liberal", I would have come back calling him a "Texas fundamentalist".  One of my favorite sayings is "what's good for the goose, is good for the gander," so I'm all for branding them with the wide brush.

    •  I agree whole heartedly (none)
      The brush strokes need to be as wide as possible. The other side plays dirty, very dirty, and all progressives do is complain about them.
      It's high time we expose their hypocrisy. Show the world their true face. Stop behaving like sniveling children and grow some cajones. Only then, when we can be seen as resolute in our anger as they are towards us, will you see the vast middle begin to migrate.
  •  Preach It, Brother! (none)
    Somebody say AMEN!
  •  They are a MINORITY (3.50)
    I agree entirely.  We have to remember that these right-wing evanglicals, the Cult, are still a minority of voters, and a minority of Americans.  That they have become the keystone of the dominant party doesn't change that.

    Yes, we need to learn to talk about progressive values.  But we must also be able to denigrate the right-wing fundies at will.  Make "Christian conservative" the kind of slur that "liberal" used to be.  And the more we point out that Bush won thru gay-bashing, the more it will seem self evident to most Americans that gay-bashing is bad -- because we'll be using it, unapologetically, to hammer our enemies.  Just like the GOP used to do with "liberal."

    Bush won thanks to the bigot vote.  Pass it on.

    Republican Fever!: reports from a new world at Principall Navigations.

    by BrooklynRaider on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:00:06 PM PST

    •  Do we know that? (none)
      I'm sure they are a minority. But they've been growing. I've read something like 40% of something...Bush voters maybe? Whatever it was, I recall it was a LOT more than I thought it would be.

      Does anyone have any reliable stats on this?

      •  22-24% (none)
        There's the now-famous 22% of 2004 voters who said "moral values" mattered most to them.  pastordan looked at exit polls and came up with virtually the same number: 24% of voters who could be identified as "hard-core" Christian conservatives.

        So in an election with extraordinarily heavy conservative christian turnout, only a quarter of voters fit that description.  About the same percentage of people who self-identify as "liberal."

        So why can't we do to them what they've done to us?  

        Republican Fever!: reports from a new world at Principall Navigations.

        by BrooklynRaider on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:18:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why not call them "Dominionists"? (4.00)
          Remember, they always call us "Radicals" as if we want to nationalize the steel industry.

          But Dominionists is their own word for themselves. Every Dem should start to use it. Eventually people will start to ask for definitions. And their own definitions explain what they mean, and mark them as scary.

    •  Exactly (none)
      And they will have their day -- for about four months. After that, we'll find that even most republicans don't feel comfortable with the politicization of religion. Recall the Suskind piece about the budding civil war within the republican party. They have overreached, just like they did in the "contract with america" era.
  •  They Are (none)
    the American Taliban.
  •  reframing the debate.... (4.00)
    Yeah, get on board, the right wing has called Dems and progressives things like commies for years now. In Texas, Austin specifically, Republican reps refer to Austin as a Soviet Republic. Whatever. Put it back on them -- a fascist is a fascist. It's simplistic, it's stupid, but clearly, such black-white definitions work.

    I'm all on board the bus that says that moral values include peace, concern for poverty and health care, love of others, etc. Problem is, a lot of us on the left of the divide don't know much bible quotes, though I'll be reading up a bit and having a nifty chart of peace, poverty, hunger, war, exploitation quotes at the ready.

    Leviticus my ass, that's old testament, Jesus is all about the new testament, he was peace and love and all that jazz. If you blast gays for what's written in Leviticus, any man who shaves or eats pork or shrimp is just as doomed.

    If the right can shamelessly exploit evangelical rhetoric (and face getting bitten on the butt for it -- ye reap what ye sow!), then surely the left can use the written word in old and new testament, and koran, and wherever else, to show that Yahweh, God, Allah, Christ, etc are on our side just as much as on the right's.

  •  Wedge issues (none)
    Fiscal responsibility will be big and the idea that the GOP has abandoned it would be a good countrepoint to the Ben Wattenberg, Zell Miller et al "my party left me" crap.

    Science as an engine for economic progress will get the techno-types many of whom often vote Republican and include lots of tiresome pseudo-Libertarians (people who talk Libertarian after having completed eductaions lavishly subsidized by taxpayers) who would vote for other Dem issues.

    Health care a la Kerry's plan. This had some appeal to employers.

    Small business people who are being squeezed by Wal Mart, etc. The main street crowd gets lip service ("X,Y,Z will crush small business") but little real help. Look at tax breask that work for them while bringing back things like the estate tax that don't help them but were advertised as a good thing for small biz.

    Find a way to reach those nice Episcoplians who support planned parenthood and take hikes on Sunday, but had "W" stickers on their cars. These are folks who can help address "spirituality" w/o appealing to snake handlers and they will like the idea that birth control will stop the snake handlers from propogating (much as they used to support it as a way to stop this among Catholics).

  •  What I'm wondering (none)
    is how we got caught so off guard by this whole "values" thing (i.e., gay marriage in particular).  It completely slipped under the radar and bit us in the ass.  

    Sure, there was the uproar over Mary Cheney after the 3rd debate, but I for one did not realize it was such a huge issue until this terrible Wednesday.  For the most part, I thought the issues of abortion and gay marriage were just background noise compared to the Swift Boat crap, etc.

    How did the election manage to get framed this way?  Is it just media hype fomented by Rove, or were we really not paying attention in our own echo chamber?

    How seriously should we take this?

    (Apologies if this is slightly off topic, but it's been bugging me all week).

    •  stealth campaign strategy (none)
      I heard a great discussion on CSpan radio today moderated by E.J. Dionne and it featured Tony Fabrizio, a Republican pollster as well as a Democratic pollster and Malinda Somebody, a political analyst for Newsweek.

      In it they discussed Karl Rove's stealth campaign this time to the evangelicals and how it was all conducted through mailings. Because there weren't TV commercials, it went largely unnoticed by those who weren't targeted. So we really didn't see it play out and weren't really able to respond to it.

      A couple other great points made in the panel that I think go to the heart of this thread:

    • Dems need to put their issues (the war, economic issues, etc) into a frame of "morals".  We CANNOT let the right co-opt and "own" the word moral.
    • Dems need to stop vilifying small-town/middle-america types who go to church. they hate us not because of our values, but because we condescend to them and think they're stupid. I'm seeing a lot of that happening in this thread.
  •  How can Democrats be this stupid? (none)
    How did we NOT get on their lists?

    For cripes' sakes, can't someone in a swing state (OH and FL) who sort of fits the demographic get on the list? Join the NRA, give a little donation to the Republican party, whatever.

    My god, the party didn't think of this?

  •  I Should Have Done a Better Job of Listening (none)
    As you can see from my signature, I torture myself a couple of days a week listening to AM wingnut radio. I listen but I've been focused on the policy stuff, the war stuff not the cultural stuff.

    Well, I listened this week and you know what I heard? Rage. Yeah. Even in exulting in a win for Bush these guys were pissed. The hosts were pissed. The callers were pissed. The e-mails were pissed.

    Why were they so mad? They were angry because they belive with all of their hearts of hearts that liberals think that they are dumb.

    They identify with Bush. When we called him a chimp. We called them chimps. They are joined at the hip with Bush. Not the policy. It's what's driving them deeper into the arms of the GOP.

    You know I missed it. It started with regan really. They love Regan. And they've been looking for someone to transfer all of that passion to.

    Not all of these voters lead  with their hearts, but they saw every attack on Bush as an attack on themselves. It is Bush's very ordinaryness that cemented the bond. All of that alienated-angry-white-guy stuff didn't disappear. It just attached itself to Bush. It's not the sole source of the support. It's mor complex than that, but when you can get an investment banker and a truck driver on the same page that's saying something.

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

    by Sharon on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:41:05 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

  •  Vilification (none)
    we condescend to them and think they're stupid. I'm seeing a lot of that happening in this thread.

    OK, condescension like this might happen on threads on DailyKos.  Much worse is said about liberals and Democrats on Free Republic and Little Green Footballs, not to mention across the radio spectrum and in syndicated columns.  

    People who think that churchgoing small-towners are being trashed, and harbor grudges about it that influence their voting, aren't really thinking about Democrats.  They're thinking about Hollywood.  Democrats are getting punished for things the party doesn't do.

    •  what the fuck is wrong with having hollywood libs (none)
      on our side?  my extreme christian overdrive repug friends always say it's so sad that all the stars are dems, and even tried to boycott movies as long as they could.  libs shrink when the bullies rant about the hollywood libs, but they protect rush/hannity/o'reilly/coulter like a mother bear.  we need hollywood to get out our voice.  we have no media to speak for us.  i like the fact that springsteen, mayor, and other talents are for us.  have we let the repugs fool us into being ashamed that hollywood is for us? it's what they are terribly, terribly jealous of.
      •  Vilification vs. Shrinking (none)
        I hope you're not identifying me as one of the shrinking liberals.  But it annoys me that the Democratic party has become the whipping boy for a set of cultural attitudes that have almost nothing to do with the electoral process.  

        Conservatives have managed to come up with a winning branding strategy that unifies, under the label of "liberalism," the Democratic party; gays, feminists, blacks, Jews, criminals, and hippies; the news media; TV commercials; and Hollywood moguls, along with a bunch more I'm sure I'm forgetting.  Sure, a lot of these people probably vote for Democrats, but the party has a lot more to say and do about things like prescription drugs and international law and other, you know, policies.  Who is doing all this mocking and hectoring that wounds them so badly?  Not John Kerry.  Not Hillary Clinton.  But I know they think TV treats Christians as the butt of jokes.  

        Republicans are attracting support by saying that a vote for them is a vote against filth.  The Democratic party per se is not an engine of whatever filth it is these people perceive.  

        But, hey, if that's the way it's going to be, I'd like to see an effort made to identify the Republican party with the vileness of the puffed-up moralists and the corporate plunderers and the other assorted bigots and tycoons that drag this country down.  If we're going to be treated like an un-American enemy, they're going to have to reap the whirlwind they've been whipping up for 50 years.

  •  There was no debate (4.00)
    Ralph Reed practiced this two years ago here in Georgia. The 'debate' wasn't a debate, but a sermon. The public debate was just for show. It meant nothing. That's why everyone was so shocked when Cleland lost. All sorts of 'voters' were not reading newspapers, watching TV, or any real source of news.

    These last two years, many (not all) preachers/pastors/ministers, with no knowledge of the Arab world, have spewed out simplistic notions of Arabs and Islam in their weekly newsletters and in the pulpit. Many (not all) attacked homosexuals as evil sinners that brought down Soddom and Gamorra. Because this was done in a private religious setting, and not in the public sphere, it could never be countered with a rational discussion. Or really even measured. So after a year of this propoganda, all it took was a few one-liners by Bush for millions of people, with their only background on a subject created from numerous sermons, to react positively to Bush.

    We think there was a political debate. We didn't have a clue. The whole thing was done completely under the noses of the media, and most importantly, millions of American people. For if the debate was done in the open, a completely different Arab world would appear (where shockingly, they turn out to be PEOPLE, not targets.). If the gay/lesbian issue was debated openly, and not just in the pulpit, people would realize we were talking about PEOPLE (not dirty sinners). That's why the instant attack on Kerry for mentioning MC. This discussion had to be kept to a minimum in the public.

    The right wants to frame this about the left not understanding the average American. I don't agree. We just didn't understand where the argument was being held. Anyone that gets their understanding of a different people from the pulpit, will have a strong belief in that. Just like we here on Kos get a strong 'groupthink' on many topics. It doesn't make them stupid or evil.
    But it is something that we have to be able to counter (at least minimize). After all, only a few percentage point change would have meant a victory for us, not them.

    But once you understand where the debate was really held, you can see how Bush can sit in a cozy chair on TV, and say he has nothing against civil unions, while knowing full well Rove and Reed had set in motion events that would ensure him millions of votes while denying millions of gays and lesbians their basic human rights. Bush can say he made no mistakes in going to war in Iraq, knowing full well he was hell-bent into taking Saddam out, without any regard to the Iraqis, our troops, or anyone else other than his own desires.

    Solution:

    We assert the religious right is going after beer next. They did it before, they will do it again.

    What is more scary? A gay person who you may or may not even see sometime in the next month/year, or not being able to have a beer while watching football?

  •  Teasing The Issues Apart (none)
    I think there are two distinct issues here that need to be approached and addressed in very different ways. The first is secular centrists who are uncomfortable with the implied mixture of Church and State, as Tom discusses.

    The other is a direct engagement of socially conservative Christian voters, who broke against us this time, on their own terms in a discussion of the broader implications of Republican rule. We failed on this front in 2004 and we would do well to learn from that mistake rather than focus more animosity on religious Americans. That way lies madness... well, that and continued Republican victories.

    Let me give you an example. My wife's mother and brother live in a West Virginia trailer that is about two steps up from a tar paper shack. She's a Christian and she voted for Bush despite her admission that she could have really used a tax refund, herself, and worries that her son will be drafted and sent to the middle east. Why? "Values." The mantra "it's the economy, stupid" fails to engage voters like this, voters who feel that they have a higher power to answer to. That said, they could very well respond to economic issues that are framed in terms of moral values, using the appropriate language.

  •  Texas (none)
    The Party of Bigots and Religious Zealots wins again.

    AP reports:

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Board of Education approved new health textbooks for the state's high school and middle school students Friday after the publishers agreed to change the wording to depict marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

  •  Yes and no... (none)
    The fundies and business class of Republicans don't care who gets the credit, as long as they get the goods. They'll both get what they want.

    The business class has always been appalled at the snake handlers, but are willing to work with them toward the greater good of power.

    What the snake handlers don't realize is that the Demon isn't Liberal thought. It's the forces of the 'market'- pushed by the business class elite- that fosters all of this porn and violence and materialism and crap living standards that they 'hate'. Their 'leaders' know this damn well because that's how they derive their power. But convincing them of that is one very tough row to hoe.

  •  Thanks Tom (3.50)
    The same thing dawned on me yesterday. I wondered what some woman sitting on a trading floor on Wall Street must have been thinking when the "base" of her party morphed into a group of red-state evangelicals.

    Whoa. That'll shake your day. I was telling my paleocon boyfriend that I thought that this fundie triumphalism would leave Democrats an opening to poach some of the grown-ups in the republican party.

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

    by Sharon on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:05:49 PM PST

  •  Exactly Right (4.00)
    Much of the post-mortems by liberal commentators involve redefining liberalism based on "values".  The more misguided think we should move to the right on values, to compete for the evangelical vote.  

    In fact, what we should do is work on stopping the rightward drift in values, which involves defining progressive values in a positive, compelling way, but also framing those values against the intolerant reactionary "values" of the Republican base, as is suggested here.

    It's said that the Democrats have lost the Culture War in this election, but really, the Democrats have never fought the Culture War.  It's been a long while since the Democrats have articulated a strong, compelling defense for choice, enviormental protection, civil rights, and the like.  Most of the time, they simply tried to change the subject.  By being so feckless, they let the Republicans turn "liberalism" into a caricature of permissive decadence.  The Repubicans are equally passionate mounting a strong case for this "culture of life" and lambasting "cultural elites."  Republicans aim to persuade on culture; Democrats just try to change the subject.  

    To reverse the trend, we not only need to redefine (or define clearly) what we stand for, but we need to re-brand the evangelical Republican base into a caricature of witch-burners -- but without demeaning mainstream Christianity.  Rebranding is vital, and it's ultimately the smarter long-term strategy.  Folks who are born post-1970 are much more socially liberal than the electorate at large, including their attitudes about gays and gay marriage, and their numbers will only expand in the electorate in the coming years.  

    What's really happened is that Democrats have been routed in branding wars in Middle America.  If the Republicans can be re-branded as the party trying to turn the clock back to the 1840s, and if the Democrats can talk about progressive values in a "mainstream" language and with conviction, the Republicans will eventually lose their "values" advantage.  

    The Republicans have spent 30 years hammering at the "values" issue.  It's time to stop ceding the issue and fight back.  

    •  Yes, eactly.. (4.00)
      "Much of the post-mortems by liberal commentators involve redefining liberalism based on "values".  The more misguided think we should move to the right on values, to compete for the evangelical vote."

      I'd give you a 4 if I knew how to rate. The dems have been so cowed by this, they actually internalize it and believe it themselves. Witness the huge number of posts on various blogs where they are doubting themselves or expressing guilt.

      Total bullshit.

      The democratic party, at least since Reagan, has been a party of reactionary politics. They thought(wrongly) that if they moderated the "Liberal"- brand- and every nasty epitath that goes with it- would be 'neutralized'. Yet, the opposite has occured...there is an entire industry devoted to its perpetuation.

      Rather then fighting the BS with hard work and taking their lumps for a while, they have just tried to accomodate that which can not be ever accomodated by definition.

      •  Reactionaryary Politics (none)
        The word loser has been taunting the Democrats for two days.  I've heard it on every channel, I've read it in the newspapers ... Hell, I got up today and the headline screamed, "Democrats are 'losers', why would I listen to a bunch of 'losers'?"  First our governor calls us 'girlie-men' and now we're 'losers'.  So what do the Democrats do?  We react.   I think we need a 'support group' to teach us how to proactively get our shit together.  

        If moral values are going to war and killing over 100,000 innocent people then surely we can find a way to say, uh ... I don't really think that's morally right.  If moral values are allowing assault weapons on the streets and in the hands of our youth I think there must be a way to frame nonviolence as morally correct values.  If moral values are allowing our children to go hungry then there must be a way to point out that the morally expeditious way would be to keep the school lunch program in schools.  

        For every moral value/social issue the Democrats have been on the right side for let's see ... forever.  We don't have to go far to figure out who the Democratic Party is on moral values/social issues.  It is what our party was founded on.  

        We have been running away from ourselves for decades believing the way to win elections was by becoming more Republican than not and saying we'll get back to our beliefs soon.  Well the Republicans gave us a gift, they kicked up in the butt and said, the time is now.  

        The frustration of the past years has lingered on long after the campaigns are over.  It is only when we are pushed against the wall with the most radical extreme staring us down that we finally say enough.  Wednesday morning we finally uttered the word ... enough.

        "Winning the war is the military's job, winning the peace is the president's job." John Kerry October 8, 2004

        by caliberal on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 04:34:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  absolutely right (none)
      We need to take back the morals debate. Democratic values are moral values on so many issues: healthcare, poverty, education, equality, war, crime, etc. They should not be allowed to get away with stealing the word "moral."

      One front of the culture war where we should fight them is on defending marriage. Marriage is not under threat by man-on-man monogomy. Marriage is under threat by a culture that churns out "extreme makeover" and "wife-swap" shows and by not supporting families in the workplace. Marriages and families are strengthened by policies like a decent minimum wage, overtime, family leave and portable health care. We can win the battle to defend marriages by redefining it.

      •  It won't be that easy. (none)
        By now, the fundamentalist voters are conditioned to think that society's problems (and theirs) are due to abortion and gay marriage, fronted by the proxy of "moral decay".  Changing that association would take consistent and prolonged reassociation and re-education, and they have no incentive to look for or listen to the real answer when they think they have already found it.  One of the characteristics of the fundamentalist mind is that it's closed; another is that it's rigid.  Both are due to the latent (and sometimes not so latent) insecurity of the person who is attracted to a fundamentalist faith.

        One thing we can do, however, is play to that insecurity.  Laugh at them.  Make fun of them.  Other Christians don't really like fundamentalists either, so they'll be laughing at them too.  Don't show mercy, or pity, or remorse.  Hold them up to scorn and ridicule.

        Wouldn't it be great to have a President who did the right thing as the automatic choice instead of a grudging last resort?

        by DemInTampa on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:20:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like this. (none)
    Even though it contradicts the thesis I put out in my diary today, I like it.

    I can just see myself saying, "You want RALPH REED to run the country?"

    BTW, Ralph has run into some ethical problems related to his representation of an Indian casino group.  Gift #2.

  •  A slightly different framing... (none)
    I posted this comment on JamsB3's diary the other day...

    You won't be abandoned on my watch...

    I just think we need to do a shitload of regrouping and take back God and values from these psychos.
    Anecdote:

    I spoke to my sister the Christian Republican this morning (it's a long and sad story) and she asked why I thought John Kerry lost.  I gave her a whole list of my speculations with the last one being that the hate amendments drew out huge numbers of evangical anti-christians to vote.  She was a little taken aback and said something about how the desire to protect marriage wasn't about hating gays.  I then went on to tell her to be careful of the poison of her party--that there was a time when the "moral highground" and the Bible were used to justify some pretty ugly things in the history of this country, including slavery and anti-miscegenation laws.   She stopped midsentence in her comeback--she didn't change her mind right there, but my argument was simple enough and direct enough to give her pause...

    My sister is not a hateful person, but like so many people who are Christian, she feels out of step with the left.  She doesn't feel like her faith is welcome here but I am convinced that if she were being engaged by a minister or priest who talked about progressive ideas in addition to faith, she'd be right here with us.  I think the Christian left is going to have to help move the gay rights movement forward the same way it did during the civil rights movement.  I think the Christian Left needs to be empowered again in this country to preach the words of tolerance, kindness, fairness, and peace.  The manipulation of the "Word of God" is what let power hungry hateful people steamroll this country before and it was only when the agnostic and atheist left worked with the Christian left that we made real progress.

    I don't know that's just my two cents...

    I think it's the same idea as yours--that we need to expose how these are the values of the Republican party- intolerance, hate, xenophobia and greed.  As a liberal, I hate offending people, but as a woman and a minority--I sure as hell am not going to stand silently by and let Fifty years of progress be undone by the re-emergence of the same old shit...

    •  argghhh.. (none)
      "I think it's the same idea as yours--that we need to expose how these are the values of the Republican party- intolerance, hate, xenophobia and greed."

      I disagree here. Calling people bigots isn't gonna win them over, especially when so many are not. There are people that are susceptable to being led down the path to 'victimhood' wherein they can easily be convinced their unhappy lot in life is caused by Liberalism.....

      There's an entire culture of backlash. Always has been, always will be. Our current problem is the power they hold thru an alliance with business and republican elites who use them for their own purposes and then blame us(Liberals) for the state of the world.

      •  I think I understand your point... (none)
        And maybe I am being too idealistic in thinking that if people realized that the same argument of "God and Country" was used to justify slavery and anti-miscegenation, they might not be so quick to embrace it.  

        However--just because what we are seeing now is the backlash against empowerment of blacks and women of the 60's and 70's doesn't mean to me that we shouldn't expose it.  I think that the faster that ship is sunk the better, but maybe I'm missing your meaning...

      •  Calling them bigots (none)
        It's not a matter of calling anyone a bigot to his face.  It's pointing out that those goofballs he's hanging around with are a bunch of bigots, and you'd hate to think that he's one of them, because you know him and he's better than that.
    •  But I don't WANT God. (none)
      They can have god, the bible-thump, the ignorance, the fear, the bigotry, and tear down all of Enlightenment all they wish. I don't want it.

      But I will NOT cede our moral ground. While they frit and fretter about everyone's private "values", I think we would all do well to be a helluva lot more concerned about the nation's PUBLIC morals: IMMORAL WARS, immoral criminalizations, UNFUNDED EDUCATION (for god's sake), no access to health care...

      They can keep their bibles and golden-plated visions of heaven and pearly gates. I don't need the fear of some afterlife god to know the difference between right and wrong before our eyes right now.

      They can have the fucking bible. I'd rather beat them over the head with the reality before our crying, rage-filled eyes.

      "For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." -Patrick Henry

      by TX Unmuzzled on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:50:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I don't mean to offend you. (none)
        I guess I need to explain myself more clearly--  I don't think you should have God if you don't want it/him/her/whatever.

        I'm not advocating that people start talking about God, but that we take a cue from the Christian Left during the Civil Rights movement.  Expose the hate for what it is and stop the masquerading behind "God and Country".

        End the "traditional values"  bullshit. Slavery was a custom handed down through generations--is anyone interested in celebrating that tradition?

        To me it's just a matter of reframing the argument to those who are religious, but who aren't hateful.  I could care less about those who are hateful pretending to be religious.

  •  Bad advice ... (none)
    ... if we become like them, we have lost.   Whatever we do, we have to stay in reality -- which means, be truthful and do not distort.  Nor is this necessary, to make our points with punch: our foes are already a self-caricature.
    •  a self-caricature with (none)
      the House, the Senate, the Presidency and the Supreme Court, for a generation, at least.

      So, you know, bvelittle them all you want, but they're kicking our ass.

      "We're makin' progress. It's hard work. We're workin' hard on freedom. And liberty. Hard work. ... Hard work. . . . um . . . is the light on yet?"

      by DrFrankLives on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:20:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Must disagree (4.00)
      Adopting their strategies has worked very effectively in the past, as it will this time.

      The GOP set out to demonize the word "liberal" and they succeeded.  So much so that I suspect it is a large reason why people refuse to identify themselves as "democrats".  If we can manage to equate "Christian fundamentalism" with "Republican", then many more people are going to be joining the skunk party and planting themselves clearly as "Independents".  

      This really is a gift we should not throw away.

    •  We've already lost (none)
      We must be lying, cheating, nasty fucking bastards to win.

      We haven't really won a presidential election since 1964 without special circumstances.  That's forty fucking years.  We're too fucking nice.

      Clinton won because of help by Perot, plus he was willing to be a nasty bastard when needed.

      Carter won because of Nixon and Ford's pardoning thereof-the nation, for a second, needed a nice guy.

  •  Think of young voters... this is our deal-sealer (none)
    The young people are so appalled and against homophobia.  We need to ingrain in them the UNEXAGGERATED TRUTH that the GOP IS A PARTY OF ILLOGICAL ARBITRARY REPRESSIVE HATRED.

    Make young voters- and young people not even old enough to vote yet- REMEMBER FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES which party it was that won despite their massive lies and failures because they were so willing to machiavellianly exploit the utterly unwarranted predjudice of homophobia.  

    What media outlets do young straight swing folks most often read/watch/listen to?   Our groups need to start putting ads to this effect there now.  

  •  Will they PLEASE define their terms (none)
    What are "family values" according to Ralph Reed and his ilk?

    If their definition rests solely on family values consisting of believing that homosexuals are an abomination and that abortion is a sin, it's too silly to honor it with credibility.

    The phrase has been tossed around with nobody coming up with a real definition that can be used in an election platform.

    But surely having family values must entail not lying, cheating, deceiving or sending troops into an unnecessary war. My family values also includes not wearing a hidden teleprompter device during debates, owning up to one's mistakes and never ever ever smirking on national TV.

    What about yours?

  •  Dude, I think you're on to something (none)
    a thirty-something, black, gay UCLA professor of postmodern studies who works a few hours a day indoctrinating his students with Che Guevara mantras, before knocking off early to go home for some hot gay sex with his unionized, Hispanic postal worker husband, as they watch pornography on the widescreen and their three adopted sons sit nearby taking notes.
    You should totally pitch this to Fox as a sitcom.  Comedy Gold!
  •  Time to Out-Right the Right... (none)
    [Some future 527 ad.]

    Fade in.

    "President Bush says he believes in the sanctity of life."

    Slowly zooming in on smiling baby.

    "But in the seven years of this Bush administration..."

    Cut to close up of abortion clinic.

    "...9 million babies were murdered."

    Slowly zoom in on church threshold as newly married man and woman exit in traditional dress, bouquet, rice, etc.

    "President Bush says he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman."

    Cut to close up of gay couples standing in line to be married.

    "But under President Bush's watch, more gay weddings have been allowed than ever before."

    Zoom in on Bush's face.

    "George Bush and the Republicans have failed to support America's values.  Do you really think they should be protecting yours?"

    •  That sucked... (none)
      That ad sucks.

      It's too tame.

      A giant crucifix with a giant American flag and Rambo invading Fallujah.  All in the same frame.

      Then shots of Bush with the presidential seal forming a halo around his head and gesturing in such a way that looks like a benediction.

      And a voiceover: "George Bush saved America!  Now let Rick Santorum save the world!"

      "Paid for by Democrats for God, 2008."

      Now we're talking. Yeah.

  •  wait wait wait.... (4.00)
    slow down tiger...don't you see? If you let Reed decide what debate we're having, he automatically wins? You're assuming that he wants to secure political power for Christian interests WITHIN the G.O.P. But if you believe Christians want more than just political power, you might want to think twice about parroting their spin on what won the election for Bush.

    Let's assume for a second Ralph Reed and most of the Christian right philosophical branch is actually sincere about their goals and that they want political power not as the end but as a means to the end. In that case, if he's able to convince political thinkers on the left and right that he, the gay thing and the evangelical thing are what swung the election, don't you think that helps him more than in the GOP? Seems obvious that he wants to convince not only his party but democrats as well to pick up an anti-gay, pro-apocalypse agenda. Either way, he comes closer to his ultimate goals. Brilliant.

    As any good salesman knows, it's easy to sell the fridge when you get a couple to argue about what color it should be and not whether they should buy a fucking fridge.

  •  The 10 Commandments for Democrats (4.00)
    We don't have to be like them.  We don't have to join them.  We just have to play the game better -- but by our own rules.

    ---------

    The Ten Democratic Commandments

    I. Know that the Democratic Party is the party of all Americans. Never accept that there is any region, ethnic group, issue, or cultural faction beyond our reach.

    II. Thou shalt not subjugate your beliefs to the expediency of the moment, or follow those who would lead you away from your principles for a temporary gain.

    III. Thou shalt not speak evil of the party, its leaders, or thy fellow Democrats.  The party will not soon forgive those who harm it from within.

    IV. Remember those who support your cause and neglect not to help those who are in need.  Take not your base for granted.

    V. Honor the Democrats who have come before you.  Do not fear to invoke their names, and never hesitate in defending them against those who would tarnish their legacies.

    VI. Thou shalt not fear to force the media to tell the truth, nor allow a lie to go unchallenged, for a lie left fallow will surely breed others.

    VII. Craft thy message carefully, but deliver it with simplicity.  Thou shalt never fear to be blunt, or to wrap your arguments in patriotism, faith, and family.

    VIII. Remember the greed, pettiness, and craftiness of your opponents, and give them no quarter.

    IX. Thou shalt never give up.

    X. Thou shalt win.

    ----------

    I posted this to a diary earlier today (where it promptly vanished into the diary sea).  Those that commented mostly picked on commandment #3, which is a variant on the old Republican 11th commandment ("Don't speak ill of your fellow Republican").  Please don't think #3 excuses either ineptitude within the party structure, or exempts turncoats like Zell Miller from critique.  You can read #3 as "don't air your dirty laundry in public, and when you get a bug like Zell, step on it quick."

    Of these, I actually think #1 and #7 are the most important.  We should never believe that there's a group, even "conservative gun-toting evangelicals" that is beyond the reach of the Democratic message.  In fact, I'll lay you odds that, when party labels are removed, you'll find the majority of those folks have beliefs that are really closer to the Democratic positions than the Republican on most issues.  Where we have messed up hugely in cultivating a clear, simple message that makes an emotional connection.  We don't have to change our positions, we have to explain it better.

    Oh, and I'm fond of #5 as well.  The next person that says something bad about Jimmy Carter while I'm around may find my pacifist fist upside their nose.

    Fear not!  Lo, though we walk though the very dark valley of Bush, yet shall we rise up and beat the holy tar out of these people.  Yea, verily.

  •  Why it won't work (none)
    Personally, I'd be delighted to live in a country where happily married gay couples had closets full of assault weapons. - Glenn Reynolds

    Maybe instead of telling lies, you guys might try telling the truth once in a while.

  •  Play up the bigotry line? Amen (none)
    And let's out some gay GOP foot soldiers while we're at it.

    "There is no god, and I am his prophet."

    by steverino on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:27:21 PM PST

  •  why REBUILD? (none)
    lets dismantle the party -- throw out all the spineless weakings like dashle and his ilk and build a NEW party.  

    the democratic party has really lost me over the past 6 years.  i am through with them.

    •  Fresh Start (none)
      Most major social movements have come from outside of the government and they were started by people of faith before they were adopted by people within the government.  The first activists for abolition of slavery & women's sufferage  were Quakers.  Gandhi & Martin Luther King were strongly men of God, guided by the principals in the Sermon on the Mount.
      A few ideas:
       Today, more than ever,  we need to hear from religious progressives who can speak from the heart about family values, which include compassion for the poor, stewardship of the environment, justice and peace, as well as the `moral' issues.   By re-framing the issues in a way that clearly demonstrates compassion and inclusiveness we can reach out to right-wing radical. Example:  when you get into the subject of abortion w/an RWR first determine where in the spectrum they stand - use Lakoff's example of an American service woman raped in Iraq.  Should she have access to a safe abortion?   For the RWRs who are against stem cell research & all abortions - point out the the foster parent systems in all of our states are in crisis.  Whould they be interested in helping a living, breathing child who could benefit so greatly from being raised in a Christian home.  It helps to follow up on this - you have either exposed a hypocrite or recruited a foster parent.
      Within the same dialog, we must also de-bunk the myth of the `liberal elite' , identifying  and re-framing to make public the entities that really profit from the `moral decline' in America - big Media, ADM, Wal-Mart, etc.
      On that subject, why has no one commented on the major beneficiaries of the close & divisive  election:  big Media?    Our billions in contributions that went for ads also lined their pockets.

      What did Gandhi do with salt?  How much of Bush's mythical `economic recovery' can be attributed to consumer spending?  What would happen if just half the progressive families in America drastically reduced discretionary spending and refused to buy the products of  major Republican contributors?  What would happen if half the progressives moved their investments away from corporations of  major Republican contributors?  

      What happens if the fabled productivity of the American worker started to take a nose-dive?  We work harder and harder so Bush can finance his Crusades whilst our neighbors across the pond work less for universal healthcare, preschool & college for their children.  Someone should point out what is wrong with this picture and start talking about radical changes to improve our quality of life.  In Norway a woman is paid the equivalent of her salary to stay home with her baby - that's family values - putting a real value on motherhood.
      Re-frame and refuse to support the true beneficiaries of the RWRs.

  •  Evangelical Party (none)
    From this day forward I refuse to speak the words Republican Party. I will ONLY refer to it as The Evangelical Party.

    JH

    •  And you know what? That won't work. (none)
      You are using Evangelical Party in s derisive manner.

      People are proud to be evangelicals. They don't like people looking down on them. It spurs them on.

      Not to mention there are Evangelicals who vote Democratic all the time.  

      There's nothing necessarily wrong with most of those people who are evangelicals and vote Republican.  What's wrong is that they've been brainwashed and misled, and what's wrong is their party leadership.  

      •  Precisely: They are the corporate elite (none)
        They are the anti-freedom party. They want the government to tell us what we can read and can't read. They want the government to not protect us from/or in the work place. They want to make sure we have no power, which is why they created the anti-patriot act and want to make sure we don't have the right to sue them when they kill our children.

        Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

        by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:11:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't think of an elephant (none)
    And quit using the word "values". Instead try "rights".

    The government doesn't to get to decide what your rights are, the constitution does.

    •  Once they have their judges on the supreme court.. (none)
      ...they can change that. Prepare for biblical rule. Religion for Social control and corporations for economic control. Fascism is on the march!

      Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

      by Alumbrados on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 03:13:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Moving forward (none)
    Kos,

    You have to ease up. We are all pissed but the Repubs read these blogs too. Gay marriage
    and to a smaller extent Al Gore's saying Bush was not religious was offensive to too many people. While from a moral standpoint I understand where we stand we need to be less radical about making things happen. For example this killed us:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/05/politics/campaign/05newsom.html?ex=1100322000&en=9ded53d30652b db9&ei=5059&partner=AOL

    We need to define a base set of morals that define us and convey that message. We need
    to address God, guns, gays and abortion. Let's make a plan to meet the Right half way on
    this issues so don't keep being issues in every election. For example:

    1. God - Basically our faith and reading of the Bible.
    2. Gays - No marriage unless at the state level and advocate civil unions.
    3. Guns - Not sure we can make somthing up.
    4. Abortion - Pro-choice but no partial birth except for rape, incest and mother's health.

    We have to get these issues lower on the radar.
    •  Partially Agree... (none)
      Social issues are losing issues for us.  I say this with a heavy heart, but it's clear that social progressives are not a majority of Americans.  We're going to have to "agree to disagree" with the rural/heartland folks on these.

      It's very easy for those of us who live in coastal urban liberal enclaves to become convinced that there are more of us than exist in reality...  Yes, 85% of NW DC, Manhattan, and the Bay Area agree with us... but it's useless to pretend that social progressives are a majority.  That's also part of being in the "reality-based community" -- admitting painful truths...

      I'm GregP and I approve this message.

      by GregP on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:44:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  a fool's errand (none)
      Why? Because we are talking about fundies here. You think it's enough to ban gay marriage? Nonsense. In every state where these laws passed there will be court challenges on their consitutionality...both in each state and in some cases(if taken up) on the Federal level.

      You can't hope these issues will go away over time or distract them with issues more favorable to us. Things like gay marriage ammendments have to fought for what they are: bullshit wedge issues to divide and distract us, pushed by zealots who will never be satisfied.

      You are wrong to think fundies will be happy with limiting reproductive freedom wrt abortion. If they overturn Roe, the next step will be birth control, or some other wedge. Their whole ethos is THERE ALWAYS NEEDS TO BE A FIGHT(sorry for the caps, don't know how to italicize)and it doesn't even matter to their leaders if they lose because by actually winning it makes their leaders useless.

      •  There may be a way to neutralize the whole (none)
        gay marriage issue.  Civil marriage is basically a contract between two people that has standard terms and conditions.  I am no lawyer, but what's to stop two men or two women who want to commit their lives together from just rolling their own civil contract and agreeing to it, spelling out t's and c's for everything surrounding marriage but doing it civilly?  I realize that gays want (and deserve) full recognition in our society, but by going the court route to force the issue they've set themselves (and us) back ten years.  Wouldn't they get the same commitment and legal rights this way, and present a much more diffuse target in the bargain?

        Wouldn't it be great to have a President who did the right thing as the automatic choice instead of a grudging last resort?

        by DemInTampa on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 07:07:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No Dice. (none)
      I am not meeting the Right halfway on squat.  They don't believe in compromise, they believe in crushing us.  Offer them an olive branch and all they do is pull further and further to the right so that "halfway" falls where "crazy-ass extreme" used to.  I am digging in and saying, "You shall not pass."
  •  asd (none)
    I agree that the CW is converging on the idea that "moral values" determined the outcome, meaning homosexuality and abortion.  It is true that the Republican coalition is vulnerable in this regard, since it includes libertarian capitalist types and just plain greedheads who might want abortions for themselves, their daughters or wives.  It obviously creates a problem for Andrew Sullivan, though he represents a constituency of approximately 9.  

    However, I don't think we should underestimate the cynicism and shameless hypocrisy of the big Wall Street, Silicon Valley and corporate media supporters of the Repubs.  They know that no matter what happens, they will always be able to have sex with whoever they want and get abortions for their womenfolk, as rich people have always done.  Bill O'Reilly isn't going to pay any penalty for being a libertine, as an obvious example.  They are happy to exploit the obsessions of the religious right because they aren't really personally threatened.  They know what's going on, there's no real cost to them if Ralph Reed wants to take public credit for the victory.  

    Personally, I think that the culture is likely to continue to evolve.  We aren't going back to the 14th Century.  The backlash against the Enlightenment will recede, and reason will prevail in due course.  It's painful in the meantime, to be sure.

  •  This reading may translate pretty well (none)
    My seventy year-old father, from whom I never thought I'd hear the words "gay marriage" in any but  a disparaging tone of voice, gave me a big earful after the election on how the Republicans were bigots, their win was based on drumming up bigotry against "gay marriage! and abortion!" Remarkably, I did not hear the slightest twinge in his voice on the "gay marriage!" part of the speech. For Dad, that's saying something.

    Dad also can go on, and on and on about the "weird" religious groups of America with their creepy fish decals, and downright antichristian behavior, including (apparently in his area) refusal to socialise with people from other churches. ( Ie. hostility between DIFFERENT EVANGELICAL SECTS. He includes the mormons down the road, too. He was a little relieved when they gave up on recruiting him and my mother and stopped coming around, but was still peeved that once he was ruled out as a convert he was also ruled out as company. Quoting an outraged Dad: "these people only socialize with the people in their church group: there's no sense of community here, none at all". )

    •  It's a narrative that fits together... (none)
      He was also very interested to hear that the Republican Party essentially peeled off the whole white-supremacist Southern Democrat demographic after the civil rights movement in the sixties. (Or that this bloc fled the Democratic Party for the Republican Party, probably a better way of putting it, and have been working on consolidating their power there ever since).

      (Not an American, he hasn't followed the fine points of the country's last 40 years' history).

  •  Gay marriage...right issue, wrong time? (none)
    "If you feel a need to broaden it slightly, try depicting the GOP as a majority party synonymous with gay-haters, warmongers and country-clubbers. "

    I hate to say it, but they'll eat that shit up.  "Gay-hater" is no epithet in the United States.  I'm sorry, but it isn't.  There are lots of Americans who are utterly repulsed by the concept of two men in a reltionship.  They hate the concept.  They hate that it could be happening right now, down the street.  Recasting "gay-hater" to have the same weight as, say, "racist" is a tall order.  It may not be THE issue that gave Bush his second chance, but it is a divisive issue that plays more strongly to their base than it does to ours.  I have to ask myself, are Democrats clinging to the gay marriage issue like a lead life preserver?

    I value equality for all people and the gay community has a 100% legitimate case, but if gay marriage really was the issue that made the difference, we lost everything for it.  Is gay marriage worth more than a coherent strategy in Iraq?  Is it worth more than regaining respect amongst our peers worldwide?  Is it worth more than fiscal responsibility at home?  Is it worth more than a Supreme Court sympathetic (or, at least, not hostile towards) progressive ideals?  By taking a stand on it in this election, could Democrats have opened up a critical weakness?

    Again, I'm not convinced gay marriage/civil union was the #1 deciding issue (there's an article on Slate that makes a good argument that it was not), but if it was...was it really worth sacrificing the entire platform for?

    I hate myself for even asking that question, but it takes only one issue to lose everything.

    •  In the most important voting bloc, gay-hater=bad (none)
      Think of the young people and how much they are on our side about this and how much we need to keep and expand their vote for us in the future.  Whether or not our pitch to the nation as a whole should be GOP=gay-hater, it should be our pitch to the youth, along with GOP=censorship of free speech and popular culture and GOP=repression of personal choice and sexual freedom.
    •  Keep in mind also (none)
      That Dem politicians as a whole and the K-E ticket aren't even pro-gay marriage.  They just aren't against it as Republicans.  It would be a mistake to move any further to the right on it- which would make us identical to the GOP.  This is because I really think the tolerance and equality issues are one of the biggest reasons young people support us.  We need to keep their votes for the long term, not give them up for the short term.  And it is short term too as Americans are gradually coming around on this issue, they just aren't ready to go as far as marriage this particular year.
  •  Republican Values (none)
    Pro life = Enthusiastic support for the murder of 100,000 Iraqi civilians.

    Support the troops = Forced re-enlistment

    Patriotism = Destroy 1/2 of your own country - The 1/2 that disagrees with you.

    Personal responsibilty = Something to be preached about - not practiced, silly!

    Compassion = We hate fags

    Bipartisan = Shut the fuck up and do what I tell you.

    Democracy = When it suits our agenda.

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." GWB

    by JoeWPgh on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 02:46:48 PM PST

  •  Conservative elite (none)
    I've been thinking for a while that we need to get this catchphrase out there, as a counter to the Repub attack phrase "liberal elite".  Enron executives holed up in their mansions after screwing working men and women out of their pensions.  Damn conservative elite, with their country clubs and diamond watches!

    This could be a very effective meme.

  •  Replace neo-cons... (none)
    Well I'm sure I didn't think of this (probably saw it on Kos somewhere) but I've been trying to spread it's useage the past few days: Theo-cons
  •  Let's reframe Christianity (none)
    By using the extreme evangelicals, i.e. Fred Phelps, to paint them with a broad brush stroke.  This is how they have succeeded against the "outside of the mainstream liberal" b.s.

    I would show Fred Phelps picketing with his "God Hates Fags" sign and say "This isn't the Christianity I grew up with in America."  We become associated with the "common sense" American Christians, and they are the nutjobs that have hijacked the Republican Party.

    •  Good idea (none)
      Let's get some ads with progressive Christians expressing their views and values, including their sadness at the way people like Fred Phelps have hijacked public debate.  Emphasize the biblical teachings (compassion for the less fortunate, etc.) which are central progressive principles.
      •  It's being done (none)
        Check out Sojourners website. They are a progressive Christian site. They ran "God is not a Republican or a Democrat" ads in USA Today, and just started a new campaign calling for a new confession of Christ after Falwell was quoted as saying "Blow them all away in the name of the Lord" refering to the war on terror.
  •  Republican values (none)
    Can we stop claiming that Republican appeals to "values" swung the election?  The "values" they used were homophobia and an indifference to the suffering caused by poverty, rape, lack of access to health care, day care, quality education - all the reasons that prompt prospective parents to choose abortion.  Can we now begin to substitute the true meaning when we speak of "values" so that we write, "Republican appeals to homophobia and cruel indifference turned the tide in the recent elections."  When we use the term "Republican values" we have already been spun.

    Mark Milstein
    New York, NY

  •  I read all the way through this thread (4.00)
    ...and I'm amazed that no one cited the Thomas Frank (What's Wrong With Kansas) Op Ed from today.

    Tom Schaller is mostly talking about more triangulation.

    And yet, Democrats still have no coherent framework for confronting this chronic complaint, much less understanding it. Instead, they "triangulate," they accommodate, they declare themselves converts to the Republican religion of the market, they sign off on Nafta and welfare reform, they try to be more hawkish than the Republican militarists. And they lose. And they lose again. Meanwhile, out in Red America, the right-wing populist revolt continues apace, its fury at the "liberal elite" undiminished by the Democrats' conciliatory gestures or the passage of time.

    ....

    To short-circuit the Republican appeals to blue-collar constituents, Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. They must dust off their own majoritarian militancy instead of suppressing it; sharpen the distinctions between the parties instead of minimizing them; emphasize the contradictions of culture-war populism instead of ignoring them; and speak forthrightly about who gains and who loses from conservative economic policy.

    What is more likely, of course, is that Democratic officialdom will simply see this week's disaster as a reason to redouble their efforts to move to the right. They will give in on, say, Social Security privatization or income tax "reform" and will continue to dream their happy dreams about becoming the party of the enlightened corporate class. And they will be surprised all over again two or four years from now when the conservative populists of the Red America, poorer and angrier than ever, deal the "party of the people" yet another stunning blow.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/05/opinion/05frank.html

    •  How true.. (none)
      Nafta gets blamed on Clinton by my Sisters who's one of those Evangelical Relative Moralists while the Repunks get a free ride on outsorucing to China. You see, Relative Moralism works both ways. Bash gays, and the poor are poor becasue of their own failings.
    •  yes (none)
      he hits it exactly on the head. If you read the dlc's analysis of why we lost when it came to 'values'(they don't even question the validity of this argument) they are already laying the groundwork for the 'need' to move to the center' on moral questions.
  •  professor (none)
    I know I'm way late to this thread but....

    thirty-something, black, gay UCLA professor of postmodern studies who works a few hours a day indoctrinating his students with Che Guevara mantras

    Don't laugh.  I work with a 50-something white Canadian UCLA professor of education who works a few hours a day indoctrinating his students with Che Guevara mantras.

  •  How do we organize? (none)
    I've seen a lot of good ideas here but the key is working together to get them rolling. Where do we start? Kos, do we have petition drives ready? List of write to the editor newspapers? Why don't we picket Evangelical churches the way they picket abortion clinics?
    •  Don't picket -give an alternative (none)
      Thomas Frank hit it when he said that the RWRs found the perfect tool to advance thier ideology in the rabid anti-abortion crowd.  Those people need to be reminded over & over & over that there are millions of already-born babies and children that need their help.  They need to justify to the rest of us how they can ignore the plight of the already born.  
      There are plenty of us religious folks out here that are angry that the RWRs have hijacked the term 'religious'.  The day after the election our Interfaith group met and re-named an upcoming workshop "Larger Family Values".  Anyone who shows up thinking they're in for gay-bashing and keeping women barefoot & pregnant is in for plenty of discussion on real moral values - compassion, inclusion, peace.  By all means, write to newspapers - anytime so-called 'moral issues' come up & re-frame.
      Unfortunately, the tide will turn for the worst of reasons:  people love their own children.  When more & more of those children come home in caskets the predominately low & middle income mothers will do what we did in the 60s and start standing up to the Crusaders.  
  •  My dad's name is Ralph Reed (none)
    But he's always gone by his middle name, it's kind of a family joke. My dad went door to door for McGovern in the 70s, the anti-thesis of the other Ralph Reed.  

    As my dad likes to say "The Moral Majority is neither"--Ralph Reed

  •  asfsdf (none)
    so in other words talk shit(that's what we call it in the not so affluent highly principled communities) to rethugs and screw that candyass "I won't stoop to their level" crap.

    Right on.

    work on simplifying the message guys.  you aren't the ones that should be going toe to toe with the rethug grunts, we (non punch pulling lefties) should.  Give us some irrational but highly inflammatory to conservatives talking points and we'll handle the rest.

  •  Beg to differ (none)
    We will NEVER get the libertarians on our side -- NEVER.  At least not until there's an economic collapse and they realize that they can't eat theory.  For these guys (and most, from what I can tell, are guys), economic issues always trump social issues.  Always.  

    This means we gotta go after the religious people.  Not the nuts and the hard-right church leadership--that's a lost cause--but the moderates, and the potential moderates.  And we have to do it without "moving to the center"--instead, we have to trick them into becoming liberals, while letting them keep their faith as they like it.  Oh yeah--we have to be willing to compromise a bit.  This will be hard, but it can be done with proper framing.  The first step is to stop insulting them.  The second step is to build a progressive media echo chamber in the fast-growing red and swing states--i.e., the south and west.

    You remember what happened when Alabama's Republican governor tried to push through a tax restructuring using a moral argument?  He was shellacked.  Even though it would have lowered taxes for poor people, the Christian Coalition came out against it.  Of course, the business groups didn't like it either (thanks libertarians!).  And because the churches and TV talkers were all preaching the same line, the people who it would have helped the most actually rejected it.  That's right--poor people voted against a tax reduction for themselves!  All in all, a big loss for the reality-based community.

    This is the kind of disaster that happens when there is no effective counterweight to the right wing echo chamber.  There badly needs to be a message and a medium.  This will take cash. But do rich democrats who are tired of getting beat up have any alternative?

  •  This Is The Single Best Analysis of The Election (none)
    Absolutely.  Nothing's more de-ligitimizing that the meme that Bush got a bunch of sheep churchgoing nuts to vote for him because of opposition to gay marriage.  Who want's to fund that as a long-term proposition.  Indeed, it seems that Rove mortgaged the long-term future of the GOP for a short-term victory.  What's even better is that Bush and the Republicans get tarred with every failure they created--and the Democratic president who follows can blame Bush for anything that goes wrong in the first term.  
  •  The Truth about Ralph Reed (none)
    I went to University of Georgia in the early 80s - there was a small group of insane right wing Christian fundamentalist students who would pray in the dorm lobbies and corner you with their cult like zombie smiles in the rec room to try  to convert you to Their Christianity.

    The leader of these crazie fundies was Ralph Reed.

    In the early 80s the school newspaper The Red and Black decided that because of Reagan Revolution they should balance out the left leaning journalist school type opinion pieces with one from the right . they enlisted Ralph Reed.

    Ralph's right wing op eds stuck out like a sore thumb in a paper that was written mostly by students of the well regarded Journalism School of UGA (the Peabody award is given from this school).

    But in the name of balance, the paper continue to publish Reed's screeds.

    Well wouldn't you know that Ralph's op ed were  actually pretty well written == a bit too well written turns out all of his op eds were PLAGARIZED yes Mr. Moral Majority was ripping off other writers to come up with his op eds. This lead to a very embarrassed newspaper-- a high profile firing of Ralph Reed and a very public apology from the newspaper .  There were also implications that Mr Reed falsified his transcript to get into UGA but not sure if those stories are true (but i wouldn't be surprised).

    So basically the leader of the Religious Right was fired from Student newspaper for plagiarizing .. and yet I have never read ONE story about this-- it would be so easy for a reporter to go to Athens Georgia walk into the University Library and do a quick search of microfilm of the Red and Black in the Periodical Department in the basement of the library.

    Hello Journalist ???

    •  Reed -- RNC? (none)
      The Party of Bigotry and Religious Zealots strikes again!

      Just heard on NPR (Marketplace) that Ralphie-boy is now on the short list to head the RNC.

      If the premise of this diary is true, than this plays further into our hand.

      We need a better name than The Party of Bigotry and Religious Zealots....way too hard to type...

  •  The Fundementalist marker and the Repub pay off (none)
    Why? Because I suspect that right now that the Wall Street wing, and the small business wing, and the defense industry wing, and the tax reform wings of the party are shuddering at the thought that Americans are being told that Bush got to 51 percent based on "values" voting. Would not the better "take-away" storyline from this election be that Bush won because the nation believes in Republicans' fiscal and defense policies, their steadfastness and leadership abilities? I'm meeting a lot Republicans (both conservatives and moderates) who do not want this election to be framed as the Ralph Reed Rout.

    To understand their fears, flip the script for a moment, and imagine we had won and the emergent storyline right now was, say, how pro-choice single white women carried the day - that they were the newly-mobilized "swing voter" that proved decisive. That image would not merely oversimplify such a victory, but frame it in a way that would permit conservatives to demonize us through their usual tactics of villification and exaggeration. Indeed, have not the Hannitys and Coulters done just that to us, for years? (And we're the liars and haters, huh?) They love to claim, falsely but effectively, that our party is comprised solely of Hollywood elites, gays, the unmarried and childless, college professors, and minority welfare cheats.

    This is what, I believe, will cause the ineviatble friction, even a possible spilt, between the liberal/moderate/neocon/traditional conservative wing of the party and the fundie Christians.

    Traditional Republicans believe in SMALL goverment, lower taxes, and fewer regulation, not more......."faith based initiatives" and the like create bigger government, more taxes, and more regulations, by definition.

    Just like tradtional conservatives are voicing grave reservations over the neocon philosophy.....ie imperial ambitions and deficit spending, it's only a matter of time before non fundie Republicans express dismay over this development. It cuts against the grain of basic Republican stands on small government and federal interference.

    As a registered Independent who has gone more Republican than Democratic in my time, I can easily put myself in their shoes. Considering that the majority of Republicans are NOT fundementalists Christians and most are socially moderate, having these people "holding a marker" as it were, can and should be viewed as a scary thing for Republicans who DON'T share these values.

    My prediction is that there will be a big ideological war w/in the Republican party. Now everyone is basking in the glow of victory, but eventually the dust will clear and they'll have to evaluate just WHAT was won and who won it. I don't think most will like what they see.

  •  Limerick (none)
    It's been said George Dubya hates queers.
    Not a leader but vessel of fear
    Denies others their rights
    Always keen for a fight
    His best feature a right-wingers sneer
  •  Awesome !! (none)
    today is the first day since the election i have seen some fucking fire in this blog !!

    Ok, now. I think Kos is 100000% right !!

    We need to smear, jeer and slander the Republicans with the extremism of the  christian right wing.

    While these fundies were enough to put bush over the top, they dont make up half the party. And i bet just like us, the half that isnt a jesus freak is just as worried about living in Jesusland as we are.

    Jesus was just one of the groups that gave bush the win. We dont need to move in that direction, we need ot get the moderates with our sound fiscal message and scaring them about living in Jesusland, where instead of buying a lexus, they gotta give Jesus a tithe.

    When they put out flyers saying we want to ban the bible, we put out flyers saying thay want to ban the pill. We put out a message that they want a Jesus Tax.

    These right wing evangelicals have bitten off more than they can chew, and more than America will stomach. Lets ram their shit right down their fucking throats for the next 4 years. We dont pander to their values, we skewer them with them. THEY ARE closed minded, dark ages, BIGOTS.

    I also agree with the posters who say you want social revolution ? BRING IT ON. lets put an abortion bill out there with the IVF poison pill...lets see if they got the balls, and prove that they are just pandering once and for all.

    excuse my french, I am ready to fight these EVIL people to the very last ounce of RED WHITE AND BLUE blood i have.

    And judging by the reactions at work, I am not alone in this feeling, even my moderate Rep friends are wondering what they have voted themselves into now. This is THE winning strategy.

    •  Absolutely (none)
      I, too, have been waiting to see this fire. I'm tired of the "we should stop being condescending, respect them more, and show them we understand values" stuff. I think your "they want to ban the Pill" idea is brilliant.

      This fight won't be won by moving to the right -- we have to draw much sharper distinctions.

      They're out on a ledge now -- we should shove them off.

    •  Over at MyDD (none)
      Awesome blog btw..

      http://www.mydd.com/story/2004/11/5/154845/775#readmore

      Same thoughts here. I think Chris Bowers reached his conclusion with data, I got there with my passion....but it looks like its a consensus, attack the religious right, and keep on attacking it. smear all republicans as religious out of touch biggots who only want jesusland.

  •  Not clear we need to help them self-destruct (none)
    A lot of great ideas on this thread and while I'm all for accelerating the process, I think the reality of the situation is that the GOP has painted itself into a corner and built a coalition that will ultimately topple all by itself.  

    The party pandered to the zealots and I suspect even Karl Rove is surprised by the extent to which they responded.  That leaves them with two alternatives.  First, they can actively pursue the fundamentalist agenda.  There are plenty of well-educated moderate republicans who would be horrified by that approach.  If that is combined with a continued lack of fiscal discipline by this administration, I believe these "northern republicans" will peel away in droves.

    The second alternative is to do what the GOP has traditionally done, pay the fundamentalists lip service while going about their more important neo-con business.  I think its clear that Reed and his ilk won't take kindly to being used any longer and that if the GOP takes this approach, they won't be able to fuel the voter turnout pump again.

    Bottom line, this is not a "permanent Republican majority," its an unstable coalition of the opportunistic and the bigoted.  

    •  dsf (none)
      yeah, only bad thing is those types of coalitions can wreak a lot of havoc on their way down.  

      also, there's that groupthink/goosestep factor as well.  Moderate republicans might hate the agenda, but could turn a blind eye if the pressure to conform from the zealots is great enough.  

    •  in the same vein (none)
      I had a eureka moment while standing in line at Wendy's this evening.  Why not take a page from the repugs own playbook and use similar rhetoric against them?  How about "big government conservatives?"  Let's say things like, "These big government conservatives want to use taxpayer money to pry into people's bedrooms, dictate to us how we should raise our kids and where we should send them to school, and promote values that don't conform to the mainstream--low wages, inadequate health care--to benefit special interest corporations."  Make them deny it.

      What do you all think?

  •  BRING IT ON!! It only helps the Left (none)
    Some Bush Supporters Say They Anticipate a 'Revolution'
    By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

    ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 3 - Exulting in their electoral victories, President Bush's conservative supporters immediately turned to staking out mandates for an ambitious agenda of long-cherished goals, including privatizing Social Security, banning same-sex marriage, remaking the Supreme Court and overturning the court's decisions in support of abortion rights.
    "Now comes the revolution," Richard Viguerie, the dean of conservative direct mail, told about a dozen fellow movement stalwarts gathered around a television here, tallying up their Senate seats in the earliest hours of the morning. "If you don't implement a conservative agenda now, when do you?"
    By midday, however, fights over the spoils had already begun, as conservatives debated the electorate's verdict on the war in Iraq, the Bush administration's spending and the administration's hearty embrace of traditionalist social causes.
    Conservative Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, were first in line to stake their claims, citing polls showing that a plurality of Bush supporters named "moral values" as the most important issue and arguing that a drive to ban same-sex marriage boosted turnout in Ohio.
    "Make no mistake - conservative Christians and 'values voters' won this election for George W. Bush and Republicans in Congress," Mr. Viguerie wrote in a memorandum sent to other prominent conservatives. "It's crucial that the Republican leadership not forget this - as much as some will try," he said, underlining the final clause.
    "Liberals, many in the media and inside the Republican Party are urging the president to 'unite' the country by discarding the allies that earned him another four years," Mr. Viguerie continued. "They're urging him to discard us conservative Catholics and Protestants, people for whom moral values are the most important issue.''
    Dr. James C. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and an influential evangelical Protestant, said he had issued a warning to a "White House operative" who called yesterday morning to thank him for his help.
    Dr. Dobson said he told the caller that many Christians believed the country "on the verge of self-destruction" as it abandoned traditional family roles. He argued that "through prayer and the involvement of millions of evangelicals, and mainline Protestants and Catholics, God has given us a reprieve."
    "But I believe it is a short reprieve," he continued, adding that conservatives now had four years to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage, to stop abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, and most of all to remake the Supreme Court. "I believe that the Bush administration now needs to be more aggressive in pursuing those values, and if they don't do it I believe they will pay a price in four years," he said.
    Dr. Dobson and several other Christian conservatives said they believed the expanded Republican majority in the Senate and the defeat of the Senate Democratic leader, Tom Daschle, put them in striking distance of both amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage and approving the appointment of enough conservative Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and other abortion rights cases.
    "I think it is a real possibility," said Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, a champion of social conservative causes. In the meantime, he said, he also hoped to pass other measures conservatives had campaigned for this year, including an "Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act" requiring some women seeking abortions to be offered anesthesia for their fetuses.
    Austin Ruse, president of the conservative Catholic Culture of Life Foundation, suggested that if Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist steps down, Mr. Bush could begin to repay his social conservative backers by naming Justice Antonin Scalia to replace him. "We'd love to see Scalia in that spot, and I think we have earned it," Mr. Ruse said.
    The strongest argument that Christian conservatives played a decisive role in the election came in Ohio, where a ballot measure to ban same-sex marriage passed by an overwhelming margin. Conservatives said the proposal increased conservative turnout and helped Mr. Bush win a narrow, pivotal victory.
    Phil Burress, the veteran Christian conservative organizer who headed the effort to pass the measure, said his campaign registered tens of thousands of voters, distributed 2.5 million church bulletin inserts and passed out 20,000 yard signs. His group called 2.9 million homes, he said, identifying 850,000 strong supporters whom it called again on Monday as a reminder to go to the polls.
    "The president rode our coattails," Mr. Burress said.
    Although the Bush campaign courted conservative Christians assiduously, the exact level of their turnout is not yet clear. Surveys of voters leaving the polls showed that "moral values" outweighed concerns about the economy or the war with more than 20 percent of the voters - more than chose any other issue - and about 80 percent of those voters supported Mr. Bush. But some pollsters cautioned that the multiple-choice format of the questions asked might have influenced the responses.
    Sarah Chamberlain, a spokeswoman for the Republican Main Street Coalition, a group of moderates within the party, argued that high-profile moderates on social issues also played a pivotal role for the campaign in Ohio and elsewhere. Those moderates included Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York and Senator John McCain of Arizona.
    "Frankly, he wouldn't have been elected without us either, and the conservatives need to remember that," she said.
    "Social conservatives are a very important part of the base, but they are not enough alone," said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and a conservative strategist close to the Bush administration, noting that in Illinois, Alan Keyes had taken a drubbing in the race for the Senate after running a vigorously conservative campaign on social issues.
    Mr. Norquist eagerly predicted the accomplishment of a long agenda of government reduction: repealing the estate tax, privatizing Social Security, restricting medical and other liability lawsuits, closing military bases, opening more government jobs to competitive bidding to lower costs and weaken unions, imposing new disclosure requirements on organized labor, and expanding health care and investment savings accounts.
    Most conservatives, however, agreed that among the three arms of the right - religious traditionalists, opponents of big government and foreign policy hawks - it was the religious right that pulled the most weight in Mr. Bush's re-election.
    Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, a group that advocates limited government, said the Bush administration's spending had irked many of his members. "My fear is that Republicans will learn the wrong lesson from this victory and say, hey, we can spend and borrow hundreds of millions of dollars and the voters won't hold us accountable," he said. "There were a lot of conservatives who really had to hold their nose to vote Republican."
    By all accounts, the war in Iraq only hindered Mr. Bush's re-election, renewing debate among conservatives over its wisdom, especially during the hours on Tuesday when early polls suggested that Mr. Bush might be headed for defeat. "We need a major national debate on, what kind of foreign policy is this country going to have?" said Paul Weyrich, founder of the Heritage Foundation and now chairman of the Free Congress Foundation. "Are we going to continue on the offense, where we make more enemies than we can defeat? Or are we going to return to the traditional foreign policy that we do not attack unless attacked?"
    But some of the intellectual proponents of the war known as neoconservatives called the vote something close to a vindication of Mr. Bush's policy of pre-emptive action against potential sponsors of terrorism.
    "The world saw this as a referendum on the Bush doctrine, and I think the world was right," said Charles Krauthammer, a neoconservative columnist.
    Kenneth R. Weinstein, chief operating officer of the neoconservative Hudson Institute, was more cautious "Certainly," he said, "we have avoided the blood bath in the Republican Party that would have taken place if Mr. Bush had been defeated."

  •  Absolutely spot on (none)
    For voters like my father, who voted for Bush in spite of my sister and I doing all but getting down on our knees and hysterically begging him in tears not to, they are waking up a lot uncomfortable.

    They did not realize that they would be victorious because of the religious right.  They did not realize that they helped the country be hijacked by religious extremists.

    I plan to make them regret it every step of the way.  

    And to every single democrat who gets on television or writes a column trashing our candidate instead of the campaign of division and bigotry run by the other side--they should be tarred and feathered.

  •  Norquist is a wee shite. (none)
    The fundies are about to be stabbed in the back by the libertarians.
    •  If this was going to happen (none)
      Why the fuck didn't it happen this election?

      Hell, Badnarik did worse than Browne did in the last one.  I see no evidence of him drawing of Republican fiscal conservative voters in any numbers.

  •  Democrats positions on moral values (none)
    I guess I should put it this way. I will stay involved in local politics but if we don't take moderate positions on these issues, God, Guns, Gays and abortion, I will feel no need to get involved in what will be a losing cause nationally. The country has a heavy Christen, Rural and Suburban population if we can't manage not to offend them and don't agree on a moderate position, I don't see the use. We will continue to get killed in national elections. Period
    •  We just need one of those issues (4.00)
      I choose guns.  Drop gun control.  I don't think the gun nuts are either fiscal conservatives, nor religious right whack-jobs-they just have a firearm fetish and don't want thier boomsticks taken away.  If our guy has a higher NRA rating than the Republican guy, they will vote our way-and it would be enough to tip the election.  They are single issue voters that can be peeled away easily.
  •  know the enemy (none)
    ralph reed is the new/next karl rove.
  •  Framing the Repubs (none)
    We do need to begin to frame these people consistently and continually:

    My slogan is: "Republicans - the party of believe what I say, not what I do"

    They should be called on their hypocrisy every time they open their mouths. They should be called on the fact that they talk a good game and do the opposite all the time.

    The should be continually labelled as the War mongering party of HATERS: they hate gays, they hate African-Americans, they hate Truth, they hate Freedom, they Hate Smart Women, they Hate Muslims, they Hate Education, they Hate clean water and air, they Hate corporate responsiblilty, they Hate open government, they Hate Peace.

    Their policies support all of those things and it is time that the rank and file be held responsible for supporting leaders that celebrate all the HATES.

    During the Clinton years the one new profession they created was that of the Professional Hater with rush limbaugh and ann coulter as their most celebrated masters.

    It is time for people to start to be embarassed to admitting they are republicans.

    In the category of "this is probably a bad idea but would be fun to do": I think all of us democrats should go out and arm ourselves. Can you imagine what the media would have to say about hordes of leftists buying guns and assault weapons? Don't get me wrong - I'm anti-gun in every way. And I'm not suggesting we use those guns. But wouldn't it be great to just scare the beejeesus out of the right? Talk about calling their bluff on one of their wedge issues. They're very comfortable with the notion of their folk having guns. But what if we did?

    BWA HA HA!!!!!

    •  Guns for all! (none)
      I like that idea, actually.

      Why not have guns?  We can defend ourselves when they come after us with their dogs and guns.

      There's nothing inherently evil about guns.  Just as there's nothing inherently evil about words.  A carjacker uses a pistol.  Ann Coulter talks.  

      Yeah, I think I want a gun.

      We were marching for the children, we were marching for the poor. Now we're marching for self-interest-- we'll march forevermore.

      by andlorr on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 11:17:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Opportunities (none)
    The original post is right.  If the Democrats are skillful about it (a big if) the religious right will become a wedge issue within the Republican Party, and could drive moderates and independents (which Kerry already won a majority of) away.  Especialy if the Repubs keep running up the deficits, enhancing the Dem image as the prty of fiscal responsibility.

    Three principles might need to be observed:

    1.  The intelligence, importance, and power of communities of faith must be respected.

    2.  The social conservative agenda of the Ralph Reed wing must be portrayed and widely accepted as extreme, bigoted, and hateful (through, in part, a redefinition of what is "moral," as suggested above).

    3.  The Bush Administration must be portrayed and accepted as captured by the socal conservative agenda of the Ralph Reed wing. Bush himself will be very tough to demonize, so must focus on the institutional power of his Administration and his party.

    A quick story.  I am in constant political discussion with a group of friends that include a libertarian, a moderate Republican, and independent, and a more conservative (but not religious) Republican.  The libertarian, moderate, and independent all decided not to vote for Bush (although not all voted for Kerry) because of the social conservative bent of the Bush Administration.  The conservative Republican voted Bush.  The day after the election, I started pounding the conservative with the theme that 40% of Bush's support came from the religious right, that there was no mandate for Bush's economic agenda, and that the decision to hand the keys of the party to the religious right would make moderates and independents uncomfortable if the Dems were able to write the storyline of the election as the takeover of the Republican Party by the polticial agenda of the religious right.  Earlier today he wrote an email back saying he was tired (already!) of the Dems portraying the election as the triumph of evangelicals.  :)

    The Reeds of the world will pretend they have a mandate for overturning Roe, denying gays legal rights, and restricting stem cell research.  But the majority of the electorate wants Roe to stand, supports legal protections for gays (yes, the initiatives notwithstanding), and wants more stem cell research (the California initiative is already laying that Republican fissure bare).  In the gap betwen the religious right's push of their purported mandate and the acual opinions of the electorate, lies a tremendous opportunity for progressives.

    As an aside, moderate and independent women voters in swing states might also be swayed by an effective marginalization of the Republican Party as one run by conservative white southern males.  It has the benefit of being true.

    •  opportunites (none)
      I think this is dead on:  every moderate and even fiscally conservative Republican I have talked to balks seriously at the Religious right taking over their party.  We have our major wedge issue, and the original post was right:  Ralphie handed it to us....
  •  bumper stickers I have in production (none)
    1. Here in the Red States, there are lots of tolerant people - Unfortunately we're outnumbered by homophobics

    2. The Red State Tourism Board - Come visit us, unless you're one of "those" people who make us feel icky

    3. Red States, saving the Blue States from Ourselves

    4. E Pluribus Secundus: Out of many, two - Homophobics and the other 49%

    I'd be interested in which work and which don't.

    "There's no limit to what he could do. He could destroy the Earth." - Klaatu (when asked about Bush's policies)

    by carneasadaburrito on Fri Nov 05, 2004 at 08:04:37 PM PST

  •  been reading this all day.. (none)
    http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

    Defines pretty well what we're up against.  
    Some of the intelligent republicans i know even look a little sick.  We've got a problem.

  •  we need a bumper sticker tag line (none)
    It needs to be crisp, biting, and not nasty like "Hate is not a family value" was crisp, biting, and non-nasty....

    In many ways, I hate bumper sticker politics, but then again I hate Hannity, O'Reilly, Scarborough, etc., too.  The people we need to reach--and this HAS been a problem for us--are the people who live by bumper sticker politics and who watch Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.....

  •  Mark Penn's Column in WP Today (none)
    Mark Penn, the pollster for the 1996 Clinton campaign, has an interesting column in today's Washington Post. He argues that Dems lost the presidency because Hispanics and white married women voted in greater numbers for Bush than last time.

    Just a thought when we are developing lines of attack.

  •  We need some people who can run smack (none)
    Let's be intellectually honest here.  We have taken the high road for years.  Forever.  It has not been successful.

    I think that Atrios had a brilliant idea, despite what his comments suggested.  If you look at taxation numbers in 2002 (the latest that the Tax Foundation, not exactly a bastion of liberalism had) then you see quite a picture of red states versus blue states in terms of what they produce in tax receipts and what is returned to each state.  The nutshell is that the blue states are providing for the welfare of the red states.  While that may be appropriate, I think it is also appropriate to use the word welfare when it comes to federal taxation and where the money goes.  It is not something that I would normally choose to dwell on, but it is a frame to which people can relate.

    Think about it.  Do you like the term "welfare queen?"  I don't think anyone does.  How do you think that the people of the US will react when it sees that the biggest welfare queen states are:

    1. North Dakota
    2. New Mexico
    3. Mississippi
    4. Alaska
    5. West Virginia
    6. Montana
    7. Alabama
    8. South Dakota
    9. Arkansas
    10. Hawaii

    You have to get to #10 before you find a blue state.  And this is according to the Tax Foundation, hardly a bastion of liberalism.

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/ff/taxingspendingupdate.html

    This is a frame we can use, be above board with, and press repeatedly.  And we better do it.  It's a phenomenal wedge issue.

  •  Check out the tax numbers... (none)
    I think that Atrios had a brilliant idea, despite what his comments suggested.  If you look at taxation numbers in 2002 (the latest that the Tax Foundation, not exactly a bastion of liberalism had) then you see quite a picture of red states versus blue states in terms of what they produce in tax receipts and what is returned to each state.  The nutshell is that the blue states are providing for the welfare of the red states.  While that may be appropriate, I think it is also appropriate to use the word welfare when it comes to federal taxation and where the money goes.  It is not something that I would normally choose to dwell on, but it is a frame to which people can relate.

    Think about it.  Do you like the term "welfare queen?"  I don't think anyone does.  How do you think that the people of the US will react when it sees that the biggest welfare queen states are:

    1. North Dakota
    2. New Mexico
    3. Mississippi
    4. Alaska
    5. West Virginia
    6. Montana
    7. Alabama
    8. South Dakota
    9. Arkansas
    10. Hawaii

    You have to get to #10 before you find a blue state.  And this is according to the Tax Foundation, hardly a bastion of liberalism.

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/ff/taxingspendingupdate.html

    This is a frame we can use, be above board with, and press repeatedly.  And we better do it.  It's a phenomenal wedge issue.

  •  "brick by brick" (none)

    Yesterday in Austin, the State Board of Education met to discuss textbooks.  One of the members, Terri Leo, R-Spring, made "suggestions" to alter the language of Junior High health textbooks to alter "stealth phrases" that supported gay lifestyles.  Why is this significant?  Texas is the second largest purchaser of textbooks and changes made here may be reflected throughout the country.  My point - we need to dismantle - brick by brick - the reactionary and fear based policies which are pressed upon us by people like Ms. Terri Leo.  

    See story
    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/10116033.htm?1c

  •  Thanks (none)
    Very useful page.  I've bookmarked it.  Wonder if they need civil engineers up there...

    "We share half our genes with the banana. This is a fact more evident in some of my acquaintances than others." - Robert Mays

    by randym77 on Sat Nov 06, 2004 at 07:03:38 AM PST

  •  Guns for all (none)
    You know I posted the thing yesterday about democrats all getting guns just to unsettle  and scare the Right and I mused on it all night, wondering where it came from.

    I think it has something to do with being tired of being seen as weak. I believe we're seen in a lot of places as the Nerds in Revenge of the Nerds. We're nicer, more tolerant of differences, with broader interests. The right are the meathead football players who beat up skinny little guys in glasses for fun. And while part of me is totally in with all these thoughtful, rational approaches to the situation, another part of me feels that one thing we all need is to, metaphorically I guess, FLEX OUR MUSCLES. We can't go gently into the good night.

    The fact that Kerry gave up as he did doesn't help. I'm in Ohio and I'm just livid that our Black Brothers and Sisters went through humiliation and crap for nothing.

    It's weird - I feel like the campaign never ended. We're right where we were 3 days before the stolection.
    Our lives are now going to be dominated by this situation for omigod 4 endless years. And we're exhausted now. But I think some of us feel a bit like our soldiers in Iraq who, when wounded, first and foremost want to get back to their unit and help their mates.

    Anyway, there's a lot of things we need to do, some practical and some still in the theoretical stages. But one thing is absolutely irrefutably clear: we have to resolve the ELECTION PROCESS.  I remember when the primaries started one of my major concerns was: how will we guarantee that this election won't get stolen? And I was somewhat relieved when Kerry finally announced that they were putting their teams of lawyers together and all of that. But, when you really look at it, it is clear that that response is REACTIVE and not PRO-ACTIVE. It pre-supposed that dirty work was going to happen rather than preventing it. And I'll be damned if I'm going to work my guts out another 2 or 4 years only to have it all washed away by republican dirty tricks.

    The repubs have no motivation to fix the election system because it is their backup -- if they can't win clean they can win dirty. This must be framed as an obvious, irrefutable issue that benefits all Americans and the republicans have to be made to look like the dicks they are if they refuse to deal with it. Perhaps somewhat similarly to the Jersey Girls forcing the issue on 9/11 and Bush finally caving (although the results, as we have seen, have been greatly diluted). But still.

    Republicans: the party of "believe what I say, not what I do"

  •  Technique (none)
    Bill Clinton developed a technique of "turning attacks around," so that they hurt the people who attacked him.  He has said publicly that he welcomed attacks.  Use of his techniques discourages the use of misleading attacks.

    Something more subtle happened this year.  Church-goers voted for the candidate who doesn't.  Both candidates opposed gay marriage and favored civil union but the issue worked for Bush.

    Gay marriage was an appeal to intolerance.  Civil rights and immigration are framed the same way.  We need a set of techniques to deal with appeals to intolerance, too.  There must be a way to turn this sort of thing around and discourage its use.

    I don't have a general answer.  I do suggest using religious language, though.  The Sermon on the Mount pretty much defines liberalism.  The Good Samaritan is a parable against intolerance.  Is there a reason not to use those words?  

    I know many are offended by religious language, but it seems to me that that's intolerance too.  Good language in a good cause should be used whatever its origin.

  •  I hope not (none)
    Framing the discussion like this is wrong.  The assertion that the issue of gay marriage won the election for Bush is a myth.  If we perpetuate this myth, we do real harm by empowering the anti-gay rights individuals within our own ranks and marginalizing those who advocate for equal rights.
  •  one man's values are another man's meat (none)
    I agree. Those who live by the propagnda shall die by the propaganda. Also, a grand religious civil war should be initiated...The "love thy brother" Christians vs. the "fags burn in hell" fascist christians.
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