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If the GOP acted like we are acting, it would be history by now.
1992 - GOP failed to re-elect Bush Sr.
1996 - GOP failed to unseat Clinton
1998 - GOP failed to remove Clinton

We are doing exactly what Neocons want: internalizing and accepting the death of the DNC" this is a FALSE history the Repugs are trying to write about us. They are telling everyone we suffered a "massive" defeat and we are enabling them.

What kind of "massive defeat" is this, if Kerry only got 2% less votes than Bush ? This was not a Mondale race!!

We all walk around dazed and confused fighting against each other, trying to shoot the ones "who made Dems lose" and rethinking our whole reason to be DNC, like we were beaten senseless!

Look at us: We welcome all the nay sayers, we believe all the half-a$$ed analysis that it was "values" , gays, Kerry's face, Edwards tie etc... And we keep on believing it after each theory is thoroughly debunked. We listen to any 1-800-GOP-Psychic Network wacko who tells us how we came to our misery. What freaking misery ?!?!

Wake up people!!!! You are letting the GOP do to us and US something even worse that 4 years of Bush could do

Never give a receipt for failure
After 6 consecutive years of failure, did they announce the death of the conservative movement ? Did they expel Henry Hyde in disgrace ?
Did the GOPpies covered their head with ashes and WELCOMED a bunch of criers to mourn it's death? Did the GOP decide to pack out and leave or to start being democrat ?

NOPE, they came back fighting harder than ever! They went even MORE radical on their positions.

Our defeat was NOT shameful
It feels like it, because we wanted so much to win. But it was not a "Mondale" race. Kerry got 49% of the vote dammit!!!

Incumbents always have the advantage
Add their virtual lockdown on the media, rah-rah patriotism and fear mongering and you see we were severely handicapped.
And we still got 49% of the votes. And Barbara Boxer, Obama kicked butt!

Catastrophic Success
Of course Bushies will yell "victory". Bushies call any f*ckup a victory! How long have they been saying "Mission Accomplished", "catastrophic success" and the like about their quagmire in Iraq ? Have they ever come close to admitting defeat anywhere ?

We are not losers. We lost but ONE battle
Wake up! We had the White House, fair and square, twice in the last 12 years. They tried to impeach Clinton and LOST. We got majority JUST 4 YEARS AGO

And don't forget: All this mourning and soul searching can be EXTREMELY FUTILE and in vain, if we lost not on the voters hearts, but on the dark alleys of vote fraud...

Poisoning the voter's image of Dems
All this "massive defeat" talk is poisoning our own self image of the DNC AND poisoning the voters perception of our party. We are meekly accepting the "massive loser" tag  and  the "victory of Religion over 20th century culture" and whatever else the neopundits throw our way, like it was true!!

Pretty soon it WILL be true, because as we have just learned, to undo a perception in the mind of voters is hard work. It CAN NOT be accomplished if we ourselves believe "the enemy"!

Update [2004-12-12 1:4:7 by lawnorder]: Peaceful Resistance:
Believing that *the* paper clip was invented in Norway, the Norwegian people wore paper clips in their lapels during WW II to denote solidarity and unity ("we are bound together") in opposing fascism .. "paper clip" is literally translated from the Norwegian as "binder", and we should now all be bound together by the common goal of restoring our nation to sanity.

There is now a growing underground movement to show our own patriotism and solidarity in the desire to take this country back from the fringe right wing

By wearing a paper clip on your lapel, collar, several clips linked as a bracelet, or in any other creative way you can think of you are letting other people know that we are all "linked" in this common cause.
http://www.timbuk3.com/clip.htm

Also from Tim: How to fight back

1) Be PROUD: First, hold your head high.
2) Be LOUD!: Write your congressman
3) Let your money talk: Stop spending and supporting an economy that is turning into a war machine and not much else. This is only prudent, as you may need it soon
4) Get off the defensive: "Liberal" is NOT a dirty word.. stop apologizing. Let THEM explain which democrats have "belittled their values" or "looked down their nose" at them. THEY are the ones in power, now, and THEY are belittling US.

Originally posted to lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:01 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You do have a point (none)
    Kerry's loss, although it was sad, was nowhere nearly as bad as the repudiations that Mondale, McGovern, Carter, and Dukakis received.
    •  Yep and we act like it was the end of DNC (4.00)
      That's EXACTLY what the GOP and Rove want: Make it the end of the DNC.

      We can not fight them if we believe them, can we ?

      "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:00:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We can't give up! (none)
        Just because we had a setback does not mean that we can not still take back our country! It will just take longer and will be more difficult, but think of how sweet it will be.

        I like a good challenge. What about you? That is what makes life interesting.

        Just say no to appeasement! Just say N O!

        But, this also shouldn't mean that we should not learn from some obvious mistakes. For example: Letting Bush define Kerry before Kerry could define himself. Don't allowing them to intimidate us or make us timid. I felt Kerry was too timid at times even after he started striking back in September. You know, as I am typing this, it sounds exactly like what Howard Dean was good at not doing.

        Bush was fantastic at repeating his point over and over ad nauseum. Kerry would only say someting once or twice and move on to another topic. People learn by repetition.

        Also, we still need to frame the issues better in terms of values because that is really how people make up their minds. That is what I tell my collge students how you reach someone with persuasive writing.

        We are correct about the issues as recent polls have shown. We just need to do a better job of selling it.

        An engineer who believes that facts still matter

        by shark on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:14:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  DNC had no "issues".. (none)
           
          "Correct about the issues?"  What issues are those?  All that the Kerry/Edwards campaign did (under the careful coaching of the DNC professionals) was to run away from any issues that might have distinguished them from the Republicans...or they simply embraced the Republican positions on those issues.  

          The war in Iraq?  Kerry/Edwards never opposed the war in Iraq.  On the contrary, they both signed off on it, leaving it up to GWB's best judgement on whether to pre-emptorily invade a sovereign nation.  Never during their campaign did they condemn the invasion as a terrorist/criminal act.  Given the opportunity to do so, even after the WMDs and the Al Qaeda connection were proved to be bogus, Mr. Kerry did no more than criticize GWB's tactics.

          Equal marriage rights?  Again, Kerry/Edwards were careful to stake out a wishy-washy middle ground that should have signaled that they were willing to compromise any principle in order to appease the knuckle draggers whose votes they coveted so slavishly.  The knuckle draggers saw through it.  Liberals and members of the gay community voted for a ticket who made it clear that marriage should be limited to one man and one woman.  

          Kerry/Edwards/McAuliffe and their accomplices squandered all the resources contributed by progressives (who were scared shitless of a second Bush term) convincing the electorate that they weren't THAT much different from the Republicans.  Issues?  They had no stinkin' issues to "articulate", "frame", "sell" or otherwise put forth; because they had no issues that they dared to stand on.

          Anybody who thinks this DNC is worth supporting  ought to go off and join the Republicans and simply work at making that Party kinder and gentler.  Today's DNC cares not a whit for issues, principles, or the well-being of grassroots voters.

          The once-proud Party of Jefferson is now moribund; and it deserves to be, because it no longer exists for any purpose except to offer careers to the hacks and "advisors" who control it.  They eat their meals from the same trough as the Republicans and are reduced to doing little more than to criticize the table manners of their fellow pigs from the other party.

          We NEED--and DESERVE--a genuine opposition party.  The DP ain't it.

          "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

          by aybayb on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 12:38:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  To heck with Mondale, etc. (none)
      It was nowhere near the spanking that Herbert Hoover and Barry Goldwater got.

      Oh, yes, I forgot.  This is all about payback for Goldwater losing.

      The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

      by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:32:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And unfortunately ... (none)
        Goldwater looks good at this point. Sigh.
        •  Conservative candidates (none)
          Is this the implicit order from least worst to worst:

          Less worst: Goldwater
          Nixon
          Bush I
          Reagan
          Worst: Bush II

          The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

          by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:19:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (none)
            Goldwater was an honest man, unlike the rest of them. A lot of people who voted for Johnson later regretted their vote.
            •  Honest? man with strange friends (none)
              Being in South Carolina, I was a Goldwater supporter based on his support for a strong defense (remember, this was before the consequences of Vietnam).  Then Strom Thurmond started campaigning for Goldwater.  By then, I understood what the civil rights movement was about and that Strom Thurmond was no friend of civil rights.  By extension, all of that good stuff that Goldwater was saying about liberty and opportunity was only meant for certain people.  Now I was one of those certain people, but the hypocrisy of calling it patriotic really was offensive to me.

              It was as offensive as when my classmates in high school cheered when the principal announced that John Kennedy was dead.  As offensive as the results of this election.

              The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

              by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:13:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Goldwater and gays (none)
                Goldwater actually supported gay rights (one of his grandchildren is gay) and spoke out in favor of gays in the military, saying, "You don't need to be straight to fight and die for your country.  You just need to shoot straight."  

                He was also pro-choice and no friend of the Christian right.  Chances are, he would've hated to see what the GOP has become.

    •  Had Nixon had a record (none)
      as bad as GWB's to defend, McGovern may have won.  Had the hostages in Tehran come home before election day, Carter would have won.  Mondale was a weak choice, but for me Dukakis was the absolute worst candidate Dems have run in the past fifty years because he lost to a weak GOP candidate when the country was tired and bored with the GOP.  Had GWB played it a bit more conservatively in his first term, Kerry would have lost in a landslide.  Therefore, your historical comparisons fall flat as far as I'm concerned.
      •  What's With Smart Dem's (none)
        And the girls who love them?

        If not for Gary Hart's downright bizarre behavior concerning Donna Rice, he might have been the nominee in either 84 or 88, with a good shot at winning in '88. A western Dem in '88 would have changed the political deck furniture a great deal.

        And I don't mean bizarre behavior with Donna Rice. I remember reading the NYTimes Mag (I think) piece where Hart tells the reporter to follow him around because he had nothing to hide.

        Risky business on the Monkey Business indeed.

        •  Hart was and is arrogant. (none)
          He was also a warhawk.  More of a Scoop Jackson Democrat (the one who gave Perle his start in politics) than anything I would want to support.  He would have pushed the DEM Party to the right faster than we have managed to do without him.
          •  I Don't Remember (none)
            The details of Hart to disagree.

            But a younger, newer, Dem model in '84 would probably still have lost to Reagan, but the dynamics might have been very different.

            Mondale, the VP of the previous Dem President, really gave the Party the appearance of being yesterday's news. Like they couldn't come up with anything new (nothing against Mondale here, just talking political dynamics). Hart was from Colorado and would have created a different dynamic in the Southwest/Sun Belt demographics, that's all.

        •  Agree (none)
          See my comment downthread about how Clinton's dick also damaged the Dems beyond repair.

          Two dickheads in my opinion.

          What were these guys thinking??

          (dont answer. Iknow...)

  •  Amen, brother! (4.00)
    I've been thinking this for weeks!

    Thanks for saying it with such passion and clarity.

    How dare we allow ourselves to let them decide what our victory or defeat looks like.

    I've been thinking a lot lately about the abolitionist movement ... that was a struggle of decades, with a little advancement here and then great steps backwards there. Yet NO ONE stopped fighting. No one turned into a bunch of crybabies and gave up.

    I don't recall reading in history about constant infighting among the abolitionists about tactics and framing and "winning over the slave owners" or compromising with them.

    When you've got right on your side, it's not a defeat.

    So things take a little longer than we'd like. Waa waa waa. We're in it for the long haul, we had a great showing in the presidential race, national polls say the electorate is actually on our side on the issues.

    This is not defeat. This is a time to catch our breath for the next round.

    And you cite the perfect examples ... the GOP was stuck out in the hinterlands for many election cycles. It didn't make them quit. It didn't make them compromising. It made them fierce.

    (Sorry for stealing your boldy style. Just seemed appropos.)

    •  Not to nit-pick, but... (none)
      ...the abolitionists were quite factioned.  Societies split all the time regarding whether black or women abolitionists would be allowed, exactly how to free the slaves (many did indeed try to "win over slaveowners"), if black people were indeed equal, what to do with them when freed, etc.  
      •  Agreed ... (none)
        But they didn't (a) let it paralyze them; and (b) didn't give up because of a few years of setbacks.

        They realized what they were working toward could take generations to come about, and they were willing to not label themselves as "losers" in the meanwhile.

  •  This is exactly what I've been saying (none)
    since the election.

    An incumbent war president should have expected to win by a landslide, but we didn't let that happen.

    I'm very unhappy that we didn't win, but I still think we did a good job and we aren't losers unless we give up.

  •  Forgot to add ... (4.00)
    If anyone had told me in say, March of 2002, when Bush's approval ratings were sky high from the 9/11 patriotic fervor that the Democratic candidate would come within 2% of defeating him, I would have been elated. I would have thought someone making that prediction was out of their ever-lovin' minds.

    So I call what Kerry pulled off a victory.

    •  Back when Dean was looking good in the fall (none)
      and I still hadn't been following the news very closely, my father (who I believe was a Deaniac, though he never told me) said he thought it was possible for Dean to unseat Chimpy.  I remember the look I gave him that day, and how I laughed, saying, "Dad, Bush is going to win with 80% of the vote.  There is no way we can win this one."

      I will admit I thought we were going to win as I went to sleep on November 1.  And yeah, it's been verrrrrrrry hard to accept the warmongering idiot is still in power.  But I was so devoid of hope, so sure we had no chance in hell just one year ago, that it does show how far we came.  Not enough, obviously, but more than I ever dreamt.  I agree we shouldn't give up, but for some of us newbies, it's been rough, and we're still licking our wounds.  Don't worry -- we're not going anywhere.

      •  Fall 2003 (none)
        You can infer this, but I was speaking of Fall 2003, when my dad asked me to consider the possibility of a Dem win.

        I think ABB support at that time was a sizeable minority, but definitely not as much as what Kerry made out with.  There is room to work here, definitely.

  •  More serious than that (none)
    At the timeframe you are quoting, the Republicans gained in Congress while they lost the Presidency.

    The Democrats, however, have lost in Congress at the same time they lost the Presidency.

    It is serious. I feel it is time people outside the inner circle started making their voices heard. It is time for people like Howard Dean to step up and be given a chance. People like Gephardt and Daschle have utterly failed us.

    •  Nope (none)
      Not in 1992. We had Congress then.

      And we DID NOT lose in 2000. We got a wafer thin majority.

      And we can get it back in 2006, IF we refuse to lay down and die of shame for our so called "massive defeat"

      "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:36:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tip Jar (4.00)
    Have some gingerbread cookies

    "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

    by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:34:34 PM PST

  •  The thing is... (none)
    This defeat takes place in the context of an existing leadership battle.

    The 1992-1998 trajectory you're talking about is different in that the ideological core of the party was steadily gaining ground despite the setbacks.  The Democratic party isn't in that position.  We're fighting between entrenched Beltway Democrats and various outside groups.  There's an ideological and strategic contest going on here independent of the national political battles.  In a context like that, it's only natural that each side would use a defeat to bolster its own position.

    The other thing is, we have to be clear about how much our party's influence has declined.  I don't care if it doesn't feel good, we have to be realistic here.  We went from unchallenged control of both houses of Congress and a good shot at the Presidency to total irrelevance (when the GOP can seriously contemplate taking away the opposition's right to filibuster, you know things have gotten really bad).  We need to figure out a way to respond and just saying "but we ALMOST won" isn't enough.

    •  1998 - we were gaining ground (none)
      you said it yourself

      2000 - We get Senate majority for the first time in ages and get the popular vote.

      Are we supposed to just lay down and let the GOP bury us because we've had a setback in 2002 and 2004 ?

      Sheesh!

      "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:51:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course not (none)
        My concern is that some Democrats think that we've got this automatic majority looming ahead of us, and if we just settle down it'll fall into our laps.  Either they think the burgeoning number of minorities or a Republican economic collapse will save us.

        But that's not true.  If we don't change anything, we're not going to be able to capitalize on the major changes when they do come.  We saw this in 2004, as Bush's share of the Hispanic vote increased dramatically.  If we stand still and the GOP keeps refining its strategy, it's easy to predict who wins.

        I mean you're right, we're not losers.  And of course we need to stand up and fight for our beliefs.  In fact, that's what I think desperately needs to change: we SHOULD actually be fighting for our beliefs.  I think it's only this idea that we're somehow entitled to win that keeps us in this Joe Lieberman/Harry Reid sedation.  The bottom line is, in my opinion we do need some internal reform.  And the first step in solving a problem is admitting it exists.

        •  I'm not against reform. (4.00)
          I'm against this defeatism. Stand up and fight or at least stand UP, dammit!

          I really believe the Republicans ARE manipulating the country AGAIN and making another memme stick: Dems are losers. Dems lost the culture war. The Dem philosophy is dead. "If you want to win anything more than county dog catcher..."

          This memme is, IMNSHO, way more dangerous and poisonous than "flip flopping", Swift Vets for Truth or anything else the GOP used in the campaign.

          As Arnold said right after Bush "won"

          "Why should I listen to losers ?"

          Why should anyone ?

           

          "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

          by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:09:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fighting for reform = Battling defeatism (none)
            I'm against this defeatism. Stand up and fight or at least stand UP, dammit!

            Admitting we are in a tough special situation is not the same as being "defeatist." I simply acknowledge the fact that we have some very serious issues to contend with now and that this party needs reform.

            2004 was no landslide, we did a good job of GOTV, better than before, but not good enough for a win.  Unfortunately in this close election we lost a lot  due to the special circumstances - the Supreme Court is just one glaring example.

            However acknowldeging these facts does not mean I am buckling down, not by a long shot. Fighting for reform is my way of fighting back, of not being "defeatist."

            In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act. ~George Orwell

            by assyrian64 on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:03:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  There is no Democratic Party (none)
            >>>>I really believe the Republicans ARE manipulating the country AGAIN and making another memme stick: Dems are losers. Dems lost the culture war. The Dem philosophy is dead...
            >>>>

            The "Democratic philosophy" didn't lose this election.  The fact is there was no "Democrat" running, just two timid candidates running on a "Republican-Lite philosophy"...same as in 2000.

            By the same token, it wasn't the "Democratic philosophy" that WON in '92 and '96.  It was one very accomplished huckster who was able to run on a similar "Republican-Lite philosophy"...and sold it.

             

            "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

            by aybayb on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 01:02:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think the latest (none)
          reports said Hispanic votes for Bush didn't increase.  He might have even lost some.

          Correct me if I'm wrong. (Need I have offered the invitation?)

          Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act. -Orwell

          by TracieLynn on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:48:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, No Dice (none)
        2000 - We get Senate majority for the first time in ages and get the popular vote.

        Actually, the Republican had the majority in 2000 based on Cheney's tiebreaker. It was 50-50.

        The Dems got the "majority" when Jim Jeffords bailed on the Repubs to become an Independent and caucus with the Dems.

        And I agree with several other posters. The Dems didn't "almost win." Bush has one of the worst records of any President in the history of the country and had a disastrous debate performance in the first debate. The Dems need to regroup in a serious and substantial way, like the Republicans in the decade after Watergate. IMHO the rise of Dean was the tip of the spear.

        •  "like Republicans after Watergate" ?!?!? (none)
          Just listen to yourself!

          We did NOT have a candidate almost convicted of blackmailing!

          We are not being FORCED to leave in shame like Nixon and his GOP

          We are being tricked into it. We have nothing to be ashamed of!!!!!!

          This is NOT Watergate. This is NOT Dukakis. This is NOT Mondale.

          Stop acting like it's the end of the world. Stand up and BE PROUD of what we achieved. An incumbent during wartime and we get 49% ?!?!

          Sheesh!

          "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

          by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:14:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Uh, No (none)
            Dems had a President who got a blowjob under the desk in the Oval Office, lied through his teeth about it, and then got impeached by the House.

            Should I write blowjob in bold type to make it a little simpler to understand?

            And more to the point, what I was referring to is that in the decade after Watergate the Republican Party was transformed by a grassroots uprising led by, and riden by, Ronald Reagan, probably the most important transformative politician in the country's history since Andrew Jackson (although you could make arguments for either of the Roosevelts as well).

            Reagan took over the Repub Party from the outside-in and broke some pottery on the way. But he presented the electorate in 1980 with a Republican playing some new angles. The Dems are still trying to come up with a good response to what Reagan wrought. I firmly believe now's the time (and god knows that after 8 years of Bush Jr there'll be enough problems that a chunk of the electorate will be willing to look at a new Democrats in a new way).

            PS: Nixon's crimes didn't really have anything to do with blackmailing.

            •  Clinton stayed until 2000 (none)
              Should Clinton have resigned ? Hell No!

              Reagan stayed on after getting caught selling arms to terrorists. After that, the GOP had some nerve to expect a private affair was grounds for resigning.

              Clinton didn't leave in 1998. The GOP tried to get him out and failed.

              Did they cry like babies ? Nope! Did they crucify Henry Hyde, Ken Star and Newt ? Nope!

              10% of votes is not the same as 49%. A basketball coach who loses 22-24 has an entire different adjustment to make than the coach whose team loses  2-24. Now is not the time to sell out the coach and all players. Just some of them.

              Worse, since our "game" is played in the minds of voters, we can not let the "enemy" paint us in a corner where we can't get out. And accepting this "massive loss" schmeal is doing just that: Painting us in a tiny corner where we won't get out any time soon.

              "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

              by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:41:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  With All Sincerity (none)
                I'd respond to this if I could make any sense of it.

                And talking like this doesn't make it any easier to figure out!

                •  Let's try again (none)
                  Clinton's BJ was peanuts compared to Reagan's Iran-Contra.

                  The DNC attitude, Gore included, was to distance themselves away from Clinton. The GOP attitude was radically different. They simply forgave Reagan and highlighted his "positive" side.

                  Same thing with failure: GOP failed to get majority in 1992, failed to re-elect Bush Sr., failed to stop Clinton in 1996 and failed to get Clinton out of office in 1998's impeachment.

                  Instead of crying and moaning the GOP kept at it. Instead of discarding every "principle" they had, in order to be more palatable to voters, they set on in a massive PR and media work to win voters to their side. And they succeeded.

                  I propose we do the same: Instead of crying and moaning we keet at it. Instead of discarding every "principle" we have, in order to be more palatable to voters, we set on in a massive PR and media work to win voters to our side.

                  And absolutely never ever let the GOP define who we are or what's the status of our fight to win this country back from the Theo cons. We did not lose shamefully and we should not be ashamed of who we are!

                  "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

                  by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:56:48 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's Legal and There's Political (none)
                    Clinton's BJ was peanuts compared to Reagan's Iran-Contra.

                    Not poltically. To the average voter Iran-Contra was this complicated thing where Ollie North was talking to some of those Arabs and then to some guys from some country in South America and . . . oh, it's really complicated.

                    Having the President look you in the eye (via live television) and say "I did not have sex with that woman." and then in the months following getting to talk to your 12 year old daughter about what "semen stain" and "oral sex" are tends to be alot simpler to the average voter. Clinton lied, personally, then apologized. Reagan let Ollie North take the fall, then apologized. Big difference.

                    Clinton/Lewinsky was as damaging to the Democratic Party as Watergate was to the Repub's, on the Presidential level. And Gore was in a Catch-22. It's easy now to say he shouldn't have distanced himself from Clinton, but a big chunk of the electorate was really tired of the Clinton soap opera, and not just Repubs.

                    As far as

                    And absolutely never ever let the GOP define who we are or what's the status of our fight to win this country back from the Theo cons. We did not lose shamefully and we should not be ashamed of who we are!

                    Hey, that's why I'm a Dean Democrat.

                    •  If Clinton was so damaged ... (none)
                      then why did he have 80% approval ratings during the impeachment?

                      He remained as high or higher than Reagan. I don't think this jives with your take that people were pissed at him for looking in the camera and lying.

                      •  One Thing American Aren't Very Good At (none)
                        Is understanding people can hold two somewhat contradictory opinions in their head at the same time.

                        Most people were angry at having to know who Monica Lewinsky was and what the President was doing with her (while also eating up every detail).

                        They were angry at Clinton for doing it. They were angry at the Republicans for never shutting up about it. They wanted it to go away.  They wanted the Republican to stop talking about it and they wanted Clinton to go away when his term of office was over.

                        And Clinton's approval rating was never at 80% (if you think otherwise, find me a link). I think. Bush I after Gulf War I and Bush II after 9/11 are the only Presidents who have gotten that high. Opposing impeachment is not the same thing as approval rating. People opposed both impeachment and Clinton's behavior at the same time.

                        •  Two things ... (none)
                          Actually, the problem with Americans is we can and do hold contradictory opinions in our heads all the time ... witness basing your desire to bomb the hell out of Iraqis while calling yourself a Christian ("Thou shalt not kill.") And we do understand that other people do this too, believe it or not.

                          Second point ... you're right. Clinton was not at 80%. He was at 73% in the aftermath of the impeachment ... higher than Ronald Reagan ever reached, mind you. Here's the link:

                          http://edition.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/20/impeachment.poll/

                          So I still don't buy that the American people were outraged at Clinton. Sorry.

                          •  Ah, Polls (none)
                            You're right, Clinton was higher than I thought. But polls are tricky things:

                            Job approval directly relates to economics and foreign policy," said Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll. "It's been that way since (President Franklin D. Roosevelt)." The New Jersey- based Gallup Organization has surveyed Americans about politics for the last six decades . . . Other polls show underlying problems. A majority (51.8%) of likely voters are ashamed to call Bill Clinton president, Zogby found. That's up from just 31% in July.

                            The Polling Co. found only 22% of Americans say they're "proud" of Clinton - 20 points less than April '97. Some 48% are embarrassed. The rest feel "in between." . . . "Most ominous," said Zogby, "is that if a candidate voices support for Clinton, voters are 2-to-1 less likely to vote for the candidate. Among independents, they're 4-to-1 less likely."

                            The polls are clear about one thing, Bowman said: Roughly 35% to 45% of Americans think the president should consider resigning.

                            For instance, a New York TimesCBS News poll found Clinton had a 66% job approval rating among all registered voters. Only 39% of registered voters said they back Republicans, while 44% back Democrats.

                            But "most likely voters" - those who voted in both '94 and '96 and are paying a lot of attention to the current campaign - give the GOP a 12-point edge. Some 53% back Republicans. Only 41% back Democrats.

                            Among that same group, 49% disapprove of Clinton's job performance. And 48% approve.

                            Impeachment or no, the untold story may be felt by Democrats in elections November 3rd.

                            http://www.tipponline.com/articles/97_99/ibd/Pl101298.htm

                            Bottom line is that people felt good about their economic position and thought impeaching the President might hurt it. But feelings were all over the map and 49% disapprove among "most likely voters" probably tells some of the tale from 2000.

                            I stand by my argument that Clinton hurt the Dem Party pretty bad, especially amongst independent swing voters.

                          •  Now I Have To Go To Bed (none)
                            My kids won't be that impressed with my blogging come 7:00 tomorrow morning. Nor will I, I'm afraid.
                      •  Dont forget (none)
                        that that 80% necessarily had to include a lot, maybe a majority of republicans. Their approval was undoubtedly of a different kind then Dems.

                        I am sure they highly approved of the way Clinton's unforced error suddenly exposed (irony intended)him as the lying, cheating sex maniac that they themselves couldnt quite pull off themselves despite gargantuan efforts.

                        He played right into their caricature of him, and the ensuing circus damaged Gore and gave Bush a clear formula for victory in his campaign: the anti-Clinton.

                  •  DNC better do some serious soul searching (none)
                    >>>>
                    We did not lose shamefully and we should not be ashamed of who we are!
                    >>>>

                    Well, maybe you can tell us just exactly who "we" are.  I certainly don't identify with John Kerry or Al From or Terry McAuliffe.  I think it's about time for the DP to answer that very basic question.  I gave up on the DP when I realized that it was no place for a self-respecting liberal/progressive.

                    I voted for the Green Party candidate in the last three elections.  WE did not lose shamefully, because our candidates ran up-front and honest.  I voted for them, because they represent the principles that the Dem Party once espoused (openly and proudly).  

                    To me, the DP is hardly worth rescuing...ONE Republican Party is more than enough.

                    "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

                    by aybayb on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 01:21:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  We are liburrals (none)
                      And damn proud of it.

                      Terry McAwfull was an idiot! Kerry? TBD. His bio and his work on the Senate are much better than what his campaign showed us, but the stupid guy chose a Republican mole to run his campaign!

                      Didn't Kerry ever think that husbabd & wife MIGHT tell each other secrets ? Why getting someone who was married to a proeminent Repug ?

                      Sheesh!

                      Proud to be a Liberal!.. only the GOP could think something derived from Liberty is bad

                      by lawnorder on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 03:32:13 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (none)
      The problem is that that the Democratic Party should have suffered those declines earlier than the 1990s.

      What kept the Democratic Party dominant so long in Congress was the fact that long term incumbents in Southern states still were in office. Incumbents like George Stennis, James Eastland, Claude Pepper, Sonny Montgomery, Jack Brooks, Jamie Whitten, Charless Benett, and William Natcher had been in office since the 1950s and the 1960s.

      Although their states and districts had been voting Republican for president and for other offices for decades, what kept them Democratic was the popularity of their incumbents. When they finally died or retired these seats finally turned to the Republicans. These incumbents were postponing the inevitable.

      By the late 1980s and the early 1990s age and fate had caught up with them. And these seats finally turned to the GOP even though they probably should have been Republican decades earlier.

      •  Ok... (none)
        Then how do you explain GOP gains in New York, Massachusetts, and California over the last 10 years?  There's clearly something going on here outside of some pre-set historical dialectic.
        •  Do you mean control of the (none)
          Governships? A lot of that has been due to poor candidates.
        •  How to you explain a Dem in Chicago ? (none)
          And Hillary in New York ?

          You are cherry-picking defeat examples. Why ?

          Because that's what the GOP has been selling: Dems are losers. Even you bought it a little.

          Don't!

          Do a Bush: "We are wining", regardless of reality. It worked for him, didn't it ?

          "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

          by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:13:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm all for confidence (none)
            I guess the problem I have with this attitude is that there ARE major changes I think need to be made within the party.  I think too many of the people in charge have totally bought into the idea that we're losers that absolutely cannot win.  So I think there needs to be a major leadership change.  But if we just say "well everything's ok, we don't really need to change anything", nothing changes.  And we keep simpering before the Republicans and acting like hard-right ideology is the only thing Americans want.
            •  Hear, Hear! (none)
              "too many of the people in charge have totally bought into the idea that we're losers that absolutely cannot win.. I think there needs to be a major leadership change"

              That's the spirit!

              "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

              by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:16:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  GOP gains (none)
          were only at the statewide level, and with candidates that made concessions to match the electorate by shifting left, while at the same time dems have been holding steady or gaining at the local level. as for ahnold, he is the only statewide GOP officeholder, and won 42% in an election with a terrible dem candidate and the vote split 135 ways, with a strong showing by the green candidate, peter camejo.

          in the south, by contrast, we're losing local and congressional seats, which suggests that the area as a whole is shifting right.

          the other shoe waiting to drop are the northeastern moderate republicans.

          •  The shoe won't drop itself (none)
            I guess that's the attitude I'm scared of.  We're not entitled to anything, y'know?  If we just sit on our asses, we're going to lose no matter how terrible the situation.  The Northeastern Republicans are a great example of that.  They're a total anachronism, the few remaining relics of the pre-Nixon Republican coalition.  Yet they get re-elected all the time.  Why?  Why is it that Bill Nelson gets so strongly identified with Ted Kennedy, but Lincoln Chaffee isn't as strongly identified with Trent Lott?  The answer is strategy, message, and organization.  The ground shifted under the Northeastern Republicans 30 years ago-- today Lincoln Chaffee's positions would not be unwelcome in the Democratic Party-- yet they're still around b/c the Democrats haven't gotten their shit together enough to oust them.

            Power never just passively flows to the opposition.  We need to seize it.  If we don't actually get together and work for a political re-alignment, we'll never get it.  Today, most voters agree with the Democrats on most issues.  We're more favorably seen as a party than the GOP.  John Kerry won all the debates, and both Gore and Kerry were blatantly labeled "more Presidential".  We have the raw material here.  But we need to make some major reforms in order to pound that raw material into a winning coalition.  We're so close I can taste it, but if we stop and sit on our laurels now, we'll lose it.  We do need to work a little bit harder.  I mean we whine about losing the House a decade ago, but we still don't even try to compete for many of the seats every year, even in "blue states".  Ten years after the GOP took Congress, we still don't have a coherent message about why things would be better with Democrats in charge.  We're still split between opposition and appeasement.  It's time for us to say "this is what we stand for, we're going to fight for it, and we're NOT going to compromise our basic moral values".

        •  Are you sure about GOP gains in those (none)
          states? Mass and NY have a long tradition of liberal republicanism and have never been solid blue, except in Pres elections.

          Ditto Cali, especially Southern Cal, which turned rightward during the Reagan Gov years and stayed there during the Reagan Presidency.

          Since then Cali has been trending Dem.

          In fact, many hard core Red areas of the South, ie the 'Burbs are beginning to trend Dem as older conservative Southerners replaced by more moderate kids and transplants from MW and NE. Plus growing minority populations (Latino, Asian) that tend to vote Dem. This movememt is still small but noticeable, even in DFW burbs. See Burnt Orange Report for details.

          •  My point is... (none)
            The GOP is making consistent gains in areas we've been thinking of as "our base".  I mean come on, we've had two consecutive Republican mayors of New York City now.  The Dems simply can't offer

            And yeah, ok, maybe it's b/c they've made liberal concessions.  But a) some of the most conservative Democrats are from unabashedly liberal areas (Lieberman!) and b) even Democrats that are very accomodating to the right have lost throughout the South.  I think it's very clear that the GOP is edging us out right now, and that we need to make some major changes in order to really turn the tide.

            I'm not saying we're defeated or dead or anything.  I am saying that we need some work, and that we can't just be complacent about demographic changes and the like.  The GOP has either made inroads or maintained historic advantages in strongly Democratic areas, and we should be thinking about why that's happened and what we can do to reverse it.

      •  What about Clinton ? (4.00)
        Was he a long timer too ? Nope

        Stop looking for reasons we didn't deserve to win. Start looking for what we did correctly.

        The GOP is trying to bury us with this "mandate" of Bush. A "mandate" they NEVER ADMITTED it was an issue when they didn't have it.

        Unlike the gOP, we admit weakness and we even embrace it. We are going willingly to the tomb the GOP is digging for us. We will have no one to blame but ourselves when everyone treat us as "dead".

        "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

        by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:02:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's about Clinton... (none)
          The momentum he should have gained for Democrats thru his brilliant politics never extended farther than the back of a certain intern's mouth.

          If you are looking for reasons look no farther than the bottom end of his zipper.

          Hopefully, Hillary took care of his "legacy" w the blade of a sharp knife. And I am a dude, dude.

          Has anybody ever damaged his party more over something as silly as a blow job? Jesus, what a brilliant idiot.

          •  So naive! (none)
            Ken Starr spent $80 million dollars and years looking for dirt.

            Do you still have the naive illusion that w/o Monica Ken Starr wouldn't peddle something else ?

            Sheesh!

            "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

            by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:44:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who is naive? (none)
              Clinton knew full well Starr was after his ass for years. Starr spent $80 million and could hang nothing on him.

              Clinton spent his wad and managed to hang Al Gore.

              •  Clinton was an idiot. But even IF he wasn't (none)
                Starr would have cooked up something.

                Do you disagree ?

                "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

                by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:58:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agree that Starr (none)
                  was doing a lot of cooking, but he never really got to feed the beast.

                  I mean even the impeachment didnt take.

                  I just believe in my gut that Gore would have carried at least one teensy weensy southern state
                  w/o all that mess paraded before the public.

                  The hilarious thing was, what, three congressional republicans got taken down for committing the same sin, but of course nobody made any big deal about that....

                  I do agree w the main point of your diary, however. I think Iraq has great potential to sink the Republicans in '08, although I wish we could sink them with something a lot less tragic, like catching Condi giving Rummy a hummer, or playing house w Gwen Ifil, or something like that.

                  Its too sick to root for disaster on the scale we are witnessing...

                •  Yea, I Do (none)
                  Starr was on his last legs when Clinton handed him Monica on a silver platter.

                  And whatever Starr was gonna get was going to be either old or complicated, or both.

                  Everyone knew Clinton slept around before he was President, so the Arkansas harem wasn't going to have that much of an impact. Lots of voters had "forgiven" him after he and Hillary did 60 Minutes, but getting head from someone his daughter's age in the People's House, well, it kinda went over the line for lots of folks.

                  Whitewater and all that was just too complicated to do serious damage. "I'm shocked, shocked, to find gambling on the premises!"

                  Clinton did some stupendously stupid and arrogant, both on a personal and public level. He was the leader of the country and the Dem Party. and he decided a quickie was more important than either of those two things.

                  So yea, I disagree.

                  •  Actually (none)
                    a lot of the old Arkie stories were made up by David Brock, as he now freely admits.

                    Clinton probably read them and said Sheeit, man, what am I missing, and got busy with it in his second term.

                  •  God I cant believe (none)
                    that I am actually dissing a fellow human being for recving oral gratification.

                    But man, why couldnt he just wait a few more years until he was out of WH and Hillary was in the Senate?

                    Proving once more that even a Rhodes scholar is susceptible to wrong headed thought, if you know what I mean.

                    •  Two consenting adults. No one died (none)
                      Reagan and his ilk sold arms to terrorists and helped launder drug money. How many died from those bullets and drugs ?

                      And if Reagan didn't know, he was dumber than a Bush!

                      Proud to be a Liberal!.. only the GOP could think something derived from Liberty is bad

                      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 11:47:56 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, (none)
                        I dont disagree w your point on Iran Contra at all. The Repubs get a free pass and the Dems simply have to watch our Ps and Qs, seemingly at all times. Doesnt seem right, but aint it America??

                        Likewise, sex is bad and war is good. What can you say?

                        Those two consenting adults were committing adultery, and lying about it. I believe thats at least two mortal sins each, which just isnt going to play in the US, sorry to say, at least for Pres candidates.

                        This isnt Italy or France, as much as we wish our citizens could be as tolerant and realistic towards sexual expression.

                        The point is Hart and Clinton are two of the brightest Dems ever. They surely knew better and still couldnt control themselves, greatly damaging our party's pres prospects.

                        Hart would likely have crushed Bush I in 1988, imho, w/o the Rice fiasco hanging over his head. His haughty response did him in just as much as the incident itself. Ditto Clinton's "lawyerly evasions" in the Lewinsky affair.

          •  Clinton (none)
            The really funny thing about it is that I was a rep until the Clinton impeachment hearings, and I was so disgusted with the hypocricy and waste of time and money that I swiched parties for the first time in my life.  That does not mean that I approved of Clinton and Monica, but frankly I didn't really give that much of a damn about it.  
  •  You are delusional (none)
    Republicans will love that you accept a "moral victory" of Kerry's getting 49%  (actually probably 48%) of the vote. If that was not bad enough, Dems also lost senate seats.

    This was widely considered "the most important election of our lifetime." and we LOST.

    It does not matter if we lost by 500 votes or 3 million. We lost.

    Now is not the time to play word games and say "we failed to win." Now is the time to say what democrats stand for and how this agenda will be advanced in the next 2-4 years.

    My mantra now is that we have to be for liberal/progressive values (as have been well-outlined before here). We cannot just be against Bush, we must be for progress.

    Do not accept any loss. It makes Dems seem wimpy. Stand up tall and say what we'll do to WIN.

    •  Do not accept any loss. It makes Dems seem wimpy. (none)
      My point EXACTLY.

      49%, 48% is not 10%.

      We still represent roughly HALF of the country. Let's not abandon that half just because the GOP says we "died".

      "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:53:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How come you call me delusional (none)
      if you are proposing EXACTLY what I'm trying to get us dems to do ?

      • Do not accept any loss. It makes Dems seem wimpy. Stand up tall and say what we'll do to WIN
      • Now is not the time to play (or cry)
      • Now is the time to say what democrats stand for and how this agenda will be advanced in the next 2-4 years.

      We need to stop acting like Mondale voters and move on AS WINNERS, or at least as fighters, not like someone who has just been buried.

      "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 05:57:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I call you delusional because... (none)
        You say things like:

        • We lost but one battle when we actually lost many more. We lost ground in congress and we are worse off now than before.

        • You seem to think the republican victory was just another republican "F-up." Actually, they got this battle plan right. Winning this election was planned for four years, and they did it.

        • You do not see that in politics (at least in this case) 48% was essentially the same as 10% of the vote.

        We might not agree on what got us here, but maybe we agree on what to do now. Start FIGHTING BACK, harder then ever.
        •  Wait a Minute... (4.00)
          Republicans did not gain a SINGLE Senate seat in a "blue state."  Unfortunately, due to geography and the Republicans' power in the many small states in the west plains states, we're going to be disadvantaged in the Senate for many years to come.  Also, while winning Democrats tended to win by huge margins, we gave fight in states like KY, OK, and NC, keepin git awfully close.

          In the House, it was basically a break-even proposition, with our only major losses coming as a result of Texas' redistricting.

          Is the result disappointing? Yes.  Is it Apocalypse Now for the Democratic Party?  Absolutely not.

          •  And we won Colorado Senate seat (none)
            That is a Republican western state. We also won the Montana Governor's office. That is an extremely Republican state!

            The point being is that we can win in their territory. We just need the right plan and we need to learn what we did wrong and what we did right where we won and where we lost. We did things wrong and right in both instances. We are human we make mistakes, fix them and move on and we WILL be better next time if we learn from these mistakes and make a long term plan.

            An engineer who believes that facts still matter

            by shark on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:31:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  State legislatures (none)
              Colorado has become bluer; in addition to Salazar, Democrats made gains in the state legislature.  They also took over the Oregon legislature, and, as I understand it, other state legislatures as well.

              There was a great story in the Nation about Democratic gains in Rocky Mountain states that is also encouraging reading.  For one thing, Salt Lake City (!) is shaping up to be a left-wing stronghold.

              Here in New York, GOP control over the state legislature continues to slip.  Our attorney general has announced his candidacy for governor, which means that in 2006, New York is likely to gain a Democratic governor.  

              We really need to focus on getting back control of Congress in 2006--or at least grabbing some more seats.  Meanwhile, good Democratic candidates can continue to run at all levels of government.

        •  You don't learn to ride a bike (none)
          without getting a couple of scrapes.

          The GOP lost and lost and lost and kept comming back for more. Did you for a minute think that their loss didn't "sting" ?

          Yeah, losing to the Chimp stings. Seing half of the country RED stings.

          But it's not the end of the world. We came back after a lot worse defeats. Need I remind you of Reagan ?

          We can not let the GOP paint 2004 as "the year the Dems lost the culture war"
          And that is EXACTLY what they are doing. And all our soul searching and berating is enabling them.

          If we let the GOP get away with this one, we might as well give up. Because no one listens to a loser. Particularly one that puts on the loser "uniform" himself...

          "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

          by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:27:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not as much back biting now (none)
            One interesting thing is that there is not as much back biting as in previous losses. The left and the center seem to be more in unison now than in the past. We just have a fight between the status quo and the reformers. That is exactly where we need to fight.

            At the same time we can not let the GOP define us. We have to define ourselves! I thought that Nancy Pelosi did a poor job of defending us just after the election, but maybe it was just the shock that affected her. We have to keep these politicos honest when they acquiesce to the GOP framing. That has to be part of our mission.

            An engineer who believes that facts still matter

            by shark on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:38:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Bush's 3% margin over Kerry (4.00)
      was one of the closest re-election wins in history.  The last president to win re-election by such a small margin was Woodrow Wilson in 1916 - a Democratic President in a largely Republican era.

      I think 1992 was a re-alignment year.  Look at all of the states that have gone Democratic for four straight elections: New York, Pennsylvania, California, New Jersey, Michigan...At the same time, the Southwest, once considered solid GOP territory, has become competitive.  

      I agree that we should not accept any loss, but that doesn't mean we should adopt a doom-and-gloom attitude.

    •  I'm curious about whether (none)
      or not you have been around for many elections.  I apologize if you have. Many elections are seen as the "most important of our lifetime".  That is nothing new.  And, it sure does matter how close the win or loss is.  The next election, it will matter whether or not we have to bring 15 million back to the democratic side or 2 and a half.  

      Politics is an evolving process.  Sometimes there is a changing of the guard. Sometimes that takes a while.  You seem to think that if you're not working toward tearing down the whole party to build it back up your thinking is defective.  Wrong.  It is just another point of view.
                                                    Down thread you or someone else mentioned that we lost some ground in California.  I remember clearly when California was Republican and totally different than it is now.

      Just because a person has an optimistic view of the future rather than feel in the depth of dispair, doesn't mean that they aren't at the same time considering ways to make the party better.  

      The idea that you have to be totally down and out and at the same time disowning, and criticizing every person in the party or you are delusional and not capable of moving forward is just crap.

      •  easily the most important of our lifetime (none)
        "Many elections are seen as the 'most important of our lifetime'."

        I hear this occasionally on the MSM, the subtext being (there, at least) that whoever suggests that this election is more important than previous ones is being unreasonably strident.  I've been intellecutally involved with every presidential election since 1964 (I supported AUH2O), and I disagree completely.  

        Several impending crises that threaten the US and the planet need to be addressed now.  These crises are of unprecedented magnitude, and the threats they represent could well be on a scale not sen in 10,000 years.  And Bush isn't just ignoring them; he's making things worse.  

        Possible crises include: potentially catastrophic changes in worldwide climate patterns due to global warming; rapid depletion and continuing pollution of fresh water resources, resulting in famine and war; the unforeseeable consequences of worldwide deforestation and species loss; the great likelihood that global oil-producing capacity has already reached its maximum, and that from now on production of oil will decrease (with increasing rapidity) even as demand continues to increase; increasing/spreading global geo-religious warfare; and the increasing likelihood that any, all or more of these impending environmental and geopolitical disasters will occur simultaneously with a global depression if/when the dollar plummets and oil production dimishes.

        This is by no means an exhaustive list.  We won't know for a long time what or when the tipping point was that changed a sober prognosis for earth from cautious optimism to realistic fatalism, but at the very latest it's roughly now.  Bush is fucking up the planet in the worst way at what is almost certainly the most critical time in human history.  

        Or maybe things will just take care of themselves.

    •  Did we lose? (none)
      Actually, I haven't accepted the fact that Kerry lost yet.  I believe that if we had the election today and there was no voter fraud or supression that Kerry would win
  •  The harder they fall (4.00)
    And IF one accepts another Repugnant paradigm, that John Kerry is the most liberal member of the Senate, then you'd have to conclude that for such an extreme liberal to come so close to winning the White House is remarkable, especially given that the incumbent has been such a valiant defender of America.

    Seriously, Bush had everything going for him: all 3 branches of government, a compliant and servile media, a "war presidency", plus all the free advertising and other perks & levers of incumbency itself.  Yet in order to win he had to resort to the most massive campaign of voter suppression in US history, not to mention some very funy "anomalies" in the vote count, both of which likely cost Kerry anywhere from 1-4 million votes.  

    Kerry is smart, patient and courageous; I hope whatever his game plan is that it involves taking Bush down by any and all [legal] means possible.  And I mean 1) out of power, 2) into public disgrace, and 3) permanently in the eyes of history.  He's earned nothing less

  •  59 million voters (4.00)
    When 59 million voters support your candidate out of a total vote of 122 million, especially after a one-sided media war, you have not lost.  Imaging what would have happened if the media told the truth.

    Now we need to talk to those 59 million people and ask what we did right and how we can build on that for the future.  They are the future of the party, not the DNC Chair, and if the DNC Chair is not working for them, we are in trouble no matter who it is.

    The revolution starts now--in your own back yard, in your own home town

    by TarheelDem on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:37:07 PM PST

  •  We may literally not be losers... (4.00)
    What's Ken Blackwell trying to hide?
  •  Push back against the spin (4.00)
    Sure, we suffered a defeat.  Barely!  This is a trough for the progressive, social movement.  I really don't think it will take so long to reinstall progressive values in our government.  The next two years are all about Republican victory.  If we can forestall it (we must) we have political arrows to throw at them in '06.  Take the president and one chamber of congress back in '08, maybe '10.

    We have to play the long game and wallowing in self pity won't help it. Reflection, though, is essential and will help us build momentum.  Harry Reid will be beneficial to the party.  Even conservatives are sounding the alarm about Reid warning: WorldNetDaily link:

    Has conservative euphoria over Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's toppling begun to subside? Hope so, because here's a reality check:

    His supposedly "mild-mannered" replacement, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, could become a bigger headache for Republicans and conservatives than Daschle ever was. He's misunderstood by the opposition, and the political machine he built in Nevada provides great insight into what may happen nationally.

    ==

    Let's shatter some myths: One, he isn't the bipartisan-division-healer the press has made him out to be. His recent mean-spirited slam against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on "Meet the Press" ought to shatter this faulty perception.

    Two, the low-key image he's created is exactly how he wants to be seen. It's to disguise a very experienced operative in the art of political hardball, a skill developed across years of getting Nevada's good ol' boys to do exactly what he needed.

    Most of all, he isn't a moderate (or laughingly, a "conservative" as the New York Times labeled him recently). Aside from some pro-life positions held until recently, due to his Mormon faith, his voting record is liberal.

    This hasn't wavered: In 1996, Americans for Democratic Action, a leftist group, gave Reid a solid 85 out of 100 approval rating based on his votes. The American Conservative Union consistently rates him in the single or low double digits on a scale where 100 reflects full agreement on bills. He's not far from Ted Kennedy territory. National Journal has given him liberal marks especially on economic and foreign policy issues. Waffling on the abortion issue to appease the party base is the one recent change.

    Reid doesn't give a strong first impression and you wouldn't notice him walking toward you in even the lightest of pedestrian traffic. But I think that's just the way he wants it. Harry's busy consolidating power and working on media control at the same time he's characterized as unassuming. If he attempts to reinstate the FCC's former Fairness Doctrine to muzzle talk radio once and for all, I will be the least surprised person in the country.

    Sounds like a good start.

     

    Don Rumsfeld: the new Marie Antoinette

    by lapin on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:45:26 PM PST

  •  Kerry came within a few percentage points... (4.00)
    ..of winning despite being seriously accused of being a traitor, and embracing the demonization of the word "liberal" while fighting with Bush to win the conservative vote. (which while understandable, made the conservative agenda appear to be the new mainstream, and silenced much of the Democratic base while costing him his credibility).  

    Think about that.

    Despite refusing to stand up for his beliefs, he nearly beat the most aggressive, most intelligent political machine the world has ever seen, and it's entirely possible that it was only because he was a Democrat.

    Stop trying to frame the issues. Paint pictures instead.

    by Toto on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 06:52:59 PM PST

    •  Came within a couple of percentage points? (none)
      How do you know that when there has been no audit?

      Judging from the shamefully suspicious and ILLEGAL behavior of Co-Chair of the Ohio Bush/Cheney campaign, a/k/a SoS Blackwell, there is much to hide.

      Let's hold off on the rebound efforts of self-flaggelating until we've got our facts right, particularly, on the eve of the Electoral College, which can refuse to name the winner until ALL the votes are counted, and when it is just weeks away from January 6th when our Senators can refuse to certify this election until an investigation has been completed.

      Auditability equals Legitimacy

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 10:57:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  94 (none)
    the GOP won big in 94.  They didn't go on some huge losing streak starting with 92.  And they would I think accurately define "winning" with the impeachment scandal as simply tarnsihing Clinton and blurring the stunning success of Clinton on the economy with his personal failures.  That forced the wedge b/w Gore and Clinton in 2000 and allowed Bush to run on a "fresh start" "outsider" campaign appealing to all those who were tired of "Clinton fatigue," which the GOP themselves created while Clinton was creating jobs.  

    In 98 the GOP won simply by moving the national dialogue to Clinton's personal failings.  That's their game plan.  Its not to win these big debates about jobs, health care, and education.  Its to successfully blur these issues and change the subject as much as possible.  Then, once in power, they can comfortably pursue agendas on these issues radically out of touch with what America wants.  

    I agree we're not losers.  But we have been losing a lot lately and that's because all that really binds us together is nothing more than an agreement that dems should be in power and the gop shouldn't.  That's really the extent of our vision.  I say lets figure our what our party stands for first, and THEN worry about making that vision appealing to swing counties in ohio, rather than letting the need to appeal to swing counties in ohio and florida at the same time prevent us from having ANY vision.  

    "If he who bases his hopes on human nature is a fool, he who gives up in the face of circumstances is a coward." -Albert Camus

    by jcbhan on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:28:55 PM PST

    •  GOP was painted as losers in 92 (none)
      If you read the editorials in 1992 then you would get the idea that the Republican party would be a minority party for a very long time. Guess what. They weren't! They came back with a vengenance and a pretty darn good plan. We can do the same.

      The GOP is aggressive by nature. We also have to be.

      An engineer who believes that facts still matter

      by shark on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:42:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right (none)
        But what did the GOP do after 92?  THey went radically to the right with the Contract with America and the Gingrich Revolution.  And they've had a solid control of the house ever since and probably won't lose it until at least after the next redistricting.  After 92 the GOP figured out what they stood for and how to package it Frank Luntz style.  Smaller Government, less taxes, moral values.  Pretty simple.  They figured that when they did things like raising taxes (like Bush I) and fighitng in mulitlateral coalitions, they kind of came our looking like dems- and they lost.  So they distinguished themselves from the dems while redifining themselves.  And it worked.  What are we about as a party?  IN what way exactly are we different from the GOP?  We desperately need leadership in our party right now as we collectively answer those questions.

        "If he who bases his hopes on human nature is a fool, he who gives up in the face of circumstances is a coward." -Albert Camus

        by jcbhan on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 07:52:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely: GOP didn't sell out for votes (none)
          Instead of moving "left" to be more palatable they worked at convincing voters they were correct.

          We should not be ashamed of the word "liberal" and sell out the gays and minorities to get votes. We won't get any from conservatives and lose a lot from our base.

          But the GOP's attempt to paint Bush's "squaker victory" as a major loss for dems is trying to do just that: force us out of the area we fight best, into thir territory, where they can win easily!

          "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

          by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:07:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's a perfect example of loser think (none)
    When exit polls showed that a large segment of voters cast their votes based on "moral values," we immediately assumed -- with the help of the media -- that this meant "Christian conservative beliefs," as if our side can't claim the mantle of moral values.

    This is bullshit.

    Now if I'd been asked that exit poll question, I probably would have said I voted on "moral values" because it is against my moral value system to:

    Lie

    Kill innocent people

    Torture prisoners

    Reward the rich at the expense of the poor

    Etc.

    Why were we so ready to cede to their spin, that it was "Christian values" that people were expressing? That immediately gets into the hand-wringing stage of ... oh, oh, oh ... how do we appeal to conservative-leaning Christians?

    Folks, that's exactly where the GOP wants us ... wasting all our time and energy hunting down a population segment that (a) probably is not as large as it is reported to be; (b) will never vote for us anyway, come hell or high water.

    That's loser think, in my book.

  •  DNC still needs a rework (none)
    Yes, the infighting needs to stop (it won't, though...).

    But here's the thing. We're not the obvious winners, either. We cannot continue with the status quo, whether you think we won the last two Presidential elections or not (I certainly think we did -- we did win the first, and I'm pretty sure we won 2004 too). We need an overwhelming advantage to win against the neofacist Republican machine. They basically control the media.

    A 1% margin does not a loser make, but it sure doesn't make a winner either. The Republicans did in fact go through a quick period of soul searching when Goldwater tanked, they figured out their strategy, and got on with it. That's what we have to do.

    Repeat: it doesn't matter whether Kerry is in the White House next year for the purposes of the DNC. We do need to radically reform the DNC, regardless of the outcome of this election. There's too much at stake, the neofacists are too good at manipulating the media, and the DNC isn't helping even a little bit.

    The calls for going back to the root values (justice for all, populism, etc) of the Democratic party are those that resonate (with me) the most, because there's no better way to convince someone of your sincerity than to actually be sincere and project your actual beliefs, rather than hiding behind a psuedo-Republican facist agenda. The DNC is RNC-lite, and does need reform.

    •  Agreed. (none)
      But the kind of reform changes when you are rebuilding a broken team who can not win and you are dealing with one of the finalists in the world series.

      Now is not the time to sell out WHO WE ARE. Sell some players, fire the coach but keep most of the team and the trainers...

      "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

      by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:14:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  reform dnc, but don't burn the village to save it (none)
      This last post resonates with me.

      Yes, the DNC needs to shift away from accommodation and more toward defending the interests of its natural constituencies. But one of the important lessons of 94 - and more importantly, republican successes since 94 - is that they have developed far greater coordination and message discipline on their side. And while 94 was a sharply conservative message, they over-reached in 95 and were chastened by the experience. Since then, they have moderated their message in campaigns to get votes, while turning sharply to the right in office. (And they mask their most conservative actions in moderate language and Friday night announcements.)

      The main point is to compete vigorously within the party for a new direction, but let's not draw blood with our intra-mural debates. Most of us really share a common view that the Republican dominance is a disaster for our nation and the world. Let's reserve our sharpest vitriol for the people in power and not our own peers.

      There are reform elements within the DNC and if reform allies outside the party structure seem reasonable when we make our case, it might happen more easily.

    •  Well said, Whitenoise! (none)
       >>>>>
      Repeat: it doesn't matter whether Kerry is in the White House next year for the purposes of the DNC. We do need to radically reform the DNC, regardless of the outcome of this election. There's too much at stake, the neofacists are too good at manipulating the media, and the DNC isn't helping even a little bit.

      The calls for going back to the root values (justice for all, populism, etc) of the Democratic party are those that resonate (with me) the most, because there's no better way to convince someone of your sincerity than to actually be sincere and project your actual beliefs, rather than hiding behind a psuedo-Republican facist agenda. The DNC is RNC-lite, and does need reform.
      >>>>>>>>>>>

      EXACTLY!  The DNC Apparatchiks focused all their energies on finding some way to bamboozle people into voting for their candidate.  These folks have become just too cute for their own good.  As long as the DP continues to treat voters like chumps, their candidates will continue to lose.  

      This election was no mandate for GWB's policies; he won by default, because the DP put up a candidate who stood for NOTHING.  Had Kerry stood up proudly and unequivocally for progressive values, instead of dancing around the positions the pollsters dug up, he could have won resoundingly.  

      Voters were begging for ABB...but, with the timid Kerry they found that there simply was "no 'There', there".  The DP needs less triangulating and more "plain speaking"...that is, if they truly believe in liberal/pogressive values.  

      Kucinich or Dean would never have allowed himself to be boxed in by the consultants.  I think either one of them could have advocated convincingly for his positions, rather than adapting his positions to suit the "opinion du jour" as divined by the pollsters.  Isn't that what a campaign is supposed to do?

      "Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini

      by aybayb on Sun Dec 12, 2004 at 01:02:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  one way to improve our image... (none)
    "Poisoning the voter's image of Dems
    All this "massive defeat" talk is poisoning our own self image of the DNC AND poisoning the voters perception of our party. We are meekly accepting the "massive loser" tag  and  the "victory of Religion over 20th century culture" and whatever else the neopundits throw our way, like it was true!!"

    sorry, advertising a diary:Proposal: Democratic party holds bake sale to armor troops.
    by joshyelon

    an excellent way to (1)support troops (2)remind everyone the reason they need support is becuz bush & co. hasn't done it (3) media (4)get ALL ages involved (5) reach beyond party lines, this cause is deeper than the GOP, it could be the difference of life and death for some, i'd like to see them spin that

    if a guy wants to enjoy our cookies, then let him defend the bakery...never fuck an anti-choicer (-susan jane gilman)

    by morgie5912 on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 08:29:27 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure Kerry even lost! (none)

     I think there was massive cheating/fraud in Florida and enough in Ohio to put that state in doubt.
  •  Proud to be Democrat! (none)
    A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

    Joe gets up at 6 A.M. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised

    All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too. He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry

     In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

    Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government  subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

    Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

    Its noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

    Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

    He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

    Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

    Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have

    "This is just the beginning. 'To turn a big ship around it takes a lot of time.'" - Gerald Allen, Bush's book-burying czar

    by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 09:39:11 PM PST

  •  Want to meet a looser? Want to wonder about... (none)
    ...who might be getting out of the country right about now? Want to read about some scum?

    Check it out:

    http://bradblogtoo.blogspot.com/2004/12/e-tv-yang-attorneys-claim-no-wrong.html

    And, be sure to tune-in early am, 13 December 2004.

    Peace.

    "When Did Bush Know?"

  •  It's not enough to endorse Presidential candidates (none)
    We also need to work on getting more Democratic seats in the House and Senate.  Find out which GOP seats are vulnerable and run kick-ass candidates against them.  Try to lure moderates to vote for us.  Take back both houses of Congress so that we can regain a foothold even if a Republican wins the 2008 race.
  •  BEWARE EXPLANATION (none)
    Daily Howler

    We humans reason very poorly, to the extent that we reason at all. Consider the current attempts to "explain" Tuesday's election results.

    First, there may not be much to "explain" here. When the electorate goes from 49-49 (Bush-Gore) to 51-48 (Bush-Kerry), that is a very minor "change." Except on the micro level at which political pros work, it's not clear that there's anything much to explain here. And when a change in the vote is so small, almost any factor can be said to "explain" it. For example, how many points did Kerry lose because of the endless Swift Boat attacks?.. there will rarely be a way to "explain" such a change, although many aspects of Campaign 04 are, of course, well worth discussing.

    How does the press corps approach an election? First, pundits waste their time (and ours) for weeks trying to predict the election's outcome. And let's face it, these efforts tend to go very poorly... Hours later, predictions in ruins, pundits begin "explaining" the outcome--the outcome which they couldn't predict Of course, they can't explain it either--but in that case, there is no objective check on the high theories that they throw off.

    Why did this race end up 51-48? Most pundits can't answer to that question, and don't even know how to approach it. We make this suggestion: Beware explanation. Many aspects of this election are worth discussing. But most of the pundits you see on TV won't even know what they are.

  •  I waited 10 hours to vote (none)

    Proud to be a Liberal!.. only the GOP could think something derived from Liberty is bad

    by lawnorder on Sat Dec 11, 2004 at 11:56:57 PM PST

  •  Thanks Coach (none)
    Now what's the plan for the second half? [Anybody...meant for discussion]

    Gimme the roster:

    QB - ?
    RB - ?
    FB - ?
    TE - ?
    WR - ?
    LINE - ?

    D LINE - ?
    LINEBACKERS - ?
    SECONDARY - ?

    HEAD COACH - ?

  •  NO. Feel Shame and Horror! (4.00)
    We may not all be losers, but many of us are deeply ashamed at our nation, or at least the 50-51% (?) who voted Bushco.

    We are ashamed and afraid, not because of the narrowness of our loss, but because of the abomination embodied by our opponent.  We are appalled that a majority of American voters (apparently) gave plebiscitory approval to a litany of global political outrages that no one in the country could even have imagined 4 years ago.

    We are outraged that an administration grounded in a culture of deception curried such favor.  We are saddened about what this reveals about the weakness and avarice revealed in the contemporary American character.

    We are surprised and upset that the obvious and profound moral  and political failings of this administration was not enough to make a clear majority of American voters do the right thing.  If this is not over the top, we thought (trembling), then what would it take?  What would it take to get the Bush voter, from the terrorist-threat-addled to the ignorant-and-apathetic to the affluent-and-indifferent-to-others, to reconsider their support?  If they will not vote against this man, so clearly revealed as inept and incompetent in the "debates", when would they change?  What would it take?

    You have it exactly backwards.  The election didn't poison Dems in the eyes of voters.  No, it poisoned voters in the eyes of many of us Dems.  

    We don't see it as a landslide or as the end of the Democrats.  We see it as a revelation of the effectiveness of the most bland and pathetically blatant manipulation, empty patriotism, warmongering, fearmongering -- a sad and wan chest-thumping approval of a new American fascism.  We are angry and disheartened by this.  And we should be.  

    Wearing paper clips is not going to make any of this go away.

    We don't blame the DNC or our candidates, though we are irritated that a stronger pair couldn't have been found to aggressively and consistently call the Bush administration on the carpet for their misdeeds.  A pair who would have had the political courage to resist the war from the beginning.  A departure from the party's paralyzing and constant rush to the center of mealy-mouthed Republican Lite inertia.  Perhaps that is too much to ask, at least until the Party finally turns its back on the corporate overlords and re-finds its roots in populism.  We may not see that in our lifetimes.

    Again, we are horrified about the election because of the moral vacuity and intellectual emptiness it revealed -- not in Democrats, but in (apparently) the majority of American voters.  No amount of sweet talk can or should dull that blow.

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