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With all that has been going on recently with the Democratic Party I've become increasing frustrated that the party is no long standing for many of my core values.  These are values that drew me to the party to begin with.  I support women's reproductive rights and rights for medical decisions that affect her body.  I support capitalism but with a regulated market.  I am a capitalist.  But I also feel that there needs to be protections because the market is not there to better the people, it is there to make money in any way that it is possible.

Lately I've seen the Democratic Party fall apart on many of these core issues.  The two most recent have been a woman's rights over her own body and protections of consumers.  In PA, the governor has asked that two pro-women's reproductive rights candidates drop out of a senate race in favor of a member who doesn't support a woman's right to choose while PA has a pro-choice republican senator in the Republican Party.

I've seen a significant number of members vote for a bankruptcy bill that in all honesty was meant to force middle and lower income people to maintain all their debts no matter what the circumstances and allow those with wealth to avoid paying their debts.  This was a desperate attempt to squeeze as much money as possible from those who can't always afford the burdens that are placed upon them.  I saw Democratic senators vote on anti-consumer legislation regarding class action lawsuits that are a last resort of the people to hold businesses accountable for their actions.  Too many times recently some senators in the party have sided against the better interest of the American people.

This is something that I've been tossing around in my mind ever since last years November's election.  I know some of you may think that I might be making knee-jerk reaction to recent events but as I listened to Katherine Lanpher this afternoon on the Al Franken show she explained that these recent events are why she doesn't like to affiliate herself with a specific party.  It then reminded me why people like Michael Moore also don't affiliate themselves with the Democratic Party.  The party isn't supporting as a whole what I feel are core values of progressives.

I'm not going to leave the cause of following progressive candidates.   I still think there are a lot of great people in the Democratic Party.  I think people like Ted Kennedy are reminders of those core values I talked about above.  But it's hard to me to want to be a part of this party when even I'm not sure why they're an opposition party when they vote on the same issues as the party they are supposed to be opposing.  Hate him or love him, everyone on both sides knows what George Bush stands for and what the Republican Party stands for.  I know what the Democratic Party should stand for but I honestly don't know what their stance is.

As I said before, I am not giving up on progressives and liberals.  I'll still vote and I will still support candidates that have these values and stand for the things that I do and I also realize that I won't see eye to eye on every issue with the party.  I accept that reality but I feel that these issues I've talked about here are just too big to ignore and it seems this party doesn't represent me.

Originally posted to RobNYC on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:04 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A party is not like a football team. (none)
     You're never going to get 100% representation from any party unless you're the only member. I personally have switched parties. My political discourse is much better now, though.

     In the end, do what's best for you, although I hope you'll still show up at the Kos.

    If he really thinks we're the devil, then let's send him to Hell!

    by Anderson Republican on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:52:09 PM PST

  •  Just remember (none)
    that a vote for a third-party candidate allows the worst guy (the republican) to win.  Spliting the votes only helps you at that moment.

    Change the party.  It is the only way and it is a very, very long view.  the republicans have been planning this takeover for decades.  

    We are taking baby steps and do not have the right peole yet in Congress to be courageous enough YET.  But there are good and honest people working on it.

    That is my only hope.  Voting for third party candidates does nothing to help our country.

    •  You assume (4.00)
      that the only way to do politics is to do electoral politics. I would suggest that you get a hell of a lot more bang for your buck by engaging mainly in extra-electoral street politics that threaten the stability of the status quo (e.g. anti-war protests and civil disobedience).

      I agree that the U.S. electoral system is stacked against third party efforts, but the most effective movements have been those able to exercise independent power in the streets.

      "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

      by Christopher Day on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:12:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Threatening the status quo?" (none)
        Anti-war protests threaten the status quo?  Really?

        Seems like they actually help enforce it in today's cultural environment.

      •  Ludicrous (none)
        Just ridiculous, really.  So misguided it's hard to know what to say.

        What in the hell good does "threatening the stability of the status quo" do in today's environment?  The Republicans have made it very clear that they don't give a shit how many people are on the streets shakng their fists.

        While you were out protesting and threatening destability in 2004, they were meticulously cultivating and organizing their voters.  Look what happened.

        What you're basically saying is that the rule of law and the principles of democracy should be disregarded when they don't suit you.  Well, tough shit.  That'd be great if we lived under an authoritarian regime and had no alternative.  I'd be right with you in that case.

        But here's a newsflash: despite all the horrible things to be said for Bush, we still could have gotten rid of him if we had focused more on the gruntwork of electoral politics (myself included) and less on worthless and counterproductive "protests".  

        You can laugh/A spineless laugh/We hope your rules and wisdom choke you - Radiohead

        by strannix on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:34:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ludicrous? (4.00)
          Remember Vietnam? Protest went a long way towards stopping that war. And remember Ukraine? Overturned a fraudulent election.

          Henry Thorough  was a strong advocate of civil disobedience. Was he rediculous and misguided?

          It doesn't always work, but protest is an American tradition. And it has worked many, many times in our nation's history.

          So you should reel in the attitude a bit eh? Since history and facts are not on your side.

          Now I would entertain an argument that the effectiveness of street protests have been diminished in the TV age. And that regardless, structured political organization may be more effective than even the most effective protests. Those would be points worth considering.

          But I can hardly justify your insults.

        •  The Republicans have also made it clear (none)
          They are in this for the long haul.  Like you say, look what happened. The rules of law and the principles of democracy lost in 2000 along with the rest of us.  What's your alternative?  From what I've seen the Democrats sure aren't presenting one.

          And how did those worthless and counterproductive "protests" work out for Ukrainians?

        •  Take the Long View (4.00)
          First, yes anti-war protests DO threaten the status quo. Roughly half the population in this country is against this war. The more people get into the street and say so the harder it is to maintain the false appearance of consensus.

          Of course these are difficult times and protest is demonized. But to draw the conclusion from that that it reinforces the satus quo is absurd.

          Second, you have a pretty fragile vision of "the rule of law and principles of democracy" if you think they are threatened by strong protest movements. You want an opportunity to test your "I'd do it if we lived under an authoritarian regime" approach? Well just keep on disparaging the free exercise of your rights and your opportunity might come quicker than you think.

          Finally, maybe John Kerry would be President if everybody sold all their worldly posessions and gave them to the DNC or gave up beer for a year or stopped wasting time watching sports or who the hell know what else. The suggestion that it was protest activity that distracted people from the "real" task is puerile. I know a ton of people who have busted their asses as protest organizers who busted their asses for Kerry just to watch the chump refuse to even put up a fight over Ohio, because guess what? -- he too is scared of people in the streets.

          "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

          by Christopher Day on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:21:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh really? (none)
          The Republicans have made it very clear that they don't give a shit how many people are on the streets shakng their fists.

          "Brooks Brothers riot" mean anything to you?  If Republicans don't give a shit for street fighting, fist shaking, explain the team they sent to Florida to stop the recount? Protests in Greece stopped our very own Secretary of State from attending the Olympics.

          Protests can show us what the media does not.  How about the pro-Syria protests in Lebanon? Put a little different face on Dubya's rhetoric, now didn't it?   Protests in Chili, Canada, Germany, France, the U.S... all showed the world that Dubya is not beloved and all is not well in the free world.

          You sit in front of your computer on March 19th.  I'm takin' to the streets.

  •  That's funny (4.00)
    I respect your thought process and certainly whatever decision you choose to make.  However, I'm a lifelong non-joiner, and I've been strongly considering joining the party of late.

    Not because I think it's flawless.  Not because I'm in agreement with every plank in the platform.  Only because I see a genuine opportunity for the first time for honest, grassroots progressives to steer the party in the right direction and help it realize its true potential.

    I couple this with a perception that I think we all share, which is the need for an organized and powerful opposition, and I don't see a fragmented version being nearly as effective.

    Two-step, lockstep, goosestep: Herr Busch's three-step plan to a righter tomorrow.

    by The Termite on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:58:38 PM PST

    •  Thank you... (none)
      And as someone who also has gotten involved int eh struggle to take back the party I can only beg you to act on your thoughts...

      We are having some success, but honting like we would if everyone who says they want to chage things actually goes out and does it...

      Our strength is not evenly distributed. In some places we are having a cake others, we are not only shut out but are received with hostile reactions..

      Anything you can do, even if you think it is not enough will help further the reform effort.

      Truth is, we can not start talking about policy issues until we have truely reformed the party to be receptive to such stimuli...and those who are walking away now are only ensuring that nothing will get done.

  •  Only two parties (none)
    In the end every vote not cast for the Democratic Party helps the Republican Party.

    There has to be way to fight for liberal values without abandoning the Democratic Party. I am not sure how. But we are talking about real stakes here. If we dont support the Democratic party, we could easily end up with a one party state like Britian where one party dominates without fear of challenge, or worse like Russia.

    It would be different if we lived under a parlimentary system, where you could vote for Greens knowing it wouldnt help the Republicans, but we live with a two party system. Its Bush or the Democrats, its Karl Rove or its the Democrats. Its the end of abortion, the end of social security or its the Democrats.

    Please reconsider, the Party needs people like you.

    Strengthen what remains

    by litero on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 02:59:45 PM PST

  •  well that's a productive response (4.00)
    You have to do what you have to do, but what's your alternative? Yeah, those Greens are really going to be able to advance our national agenda in the next few years.

    Look, we have to be in this for the long haul. And there are going to be some ugly votes in the next year or so. There are going to be some ugly votes because we are so far in the minority. There are a few truly massive battles we have to fight. Battles that will affect not only our party but the whole country for a long time to come. Social security is one of those things. Federal judges are another. That's where the energies of our federal legislators have to be focused. That doesn't mean not telling our Senators and Reps what we want them to do, and letting them know when they do something that really pisses us off. But at least recognize that they are not the enemy.

    Goddamn it, we're just going to have to toughen up. Things are just ugly and they are going to be ugly until we can make some legislative gains. Leaving the party isn't going to do a damn thing to help. Better to become active in your own precinct and start working where you can make a larger difference.

  •  I'm starting to feel the same way. (none)
    I was an independent for over 20 years, but after the election of 2000 I called the DNC and said that if Gore fought the Florida results, I would join the DNC.  Well, Gore didn't fight as effectively as some would have liked, but he fought it.  So I re-registered as a democrat.  When Howard Dean entered the 2004 democratic primary, he got my early attention.  And, for the first time I felt like a real democrat, prepared to fight.  I gave money to his campaign a number of times.  It was the first time I ever donated money to a campaign.  When Dean was attacked by the media and, I believe, by the powers that be in the DNC, I thought about registering, once again, as an independent, but I didn't.  I was uninspired by Kerry, but I really thought he was going to win.  When he conceded so quickly, I was ready to leave the DNC.  But then Howard Dean announced his intention to run for the chairmanship of the DNC, so I stayed.  I agree with Dean that we need to build the party from the bottom up, but I am overwhelmed with disappointment about the lack of party unity in the senate.  The vote on the bankruptcy bill has me once again thinking about registering as an independent.  I want to see something from the party that makes me proud to be a member, but each time they offer a carrot, it seems to be followed with an even bigger stick.  What can we do?
    •  You guys pay too much attention (4.00)
      Seriously.  That's your problem.

      Every day there is one more thing that you see which just makes you discouraged.  And I think you're paying a lot of attention to these negative things, and ignoring the positive.

      The positive isn't as easy to quantify, but it's out there.

      "If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied." - Rudyard Kipling, 1918

      by Steve4Clark on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:05:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What we need is Democrat Drill Seargent... (none)
        You gonna quit you slime ball!!!!

        Ring that bell!!!

        Do it...No one's stoppin' you, private!

        Seriously, though we need to stiffen' up.  Do you think the Republican's core supporters WILL EVER BACK DOWN?  Seriously.  

        We have to stick it to our leadership when they deserve it but we can never leave the party.  The party is much bigger than any class of congress.

        If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention

        by mapKY on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:54:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for understanding my post. (4.00)
          I will continue to vote and I'm sure I'll be voting for the democrat.  The problem is that I feel disheartened by the inability of the party to speak with one voice on many important issues.  
          •  Please don't (none)
            remember, all across thsi country we have made great strides in changing the party.

            But the people who created this situation in our party are still there, waiting for the first sign of weakness...ready to pounce.

            They expect all of us to quit. They don't respect us...they truely believe that if they just bid their time, that we will give up and go home.

            Don't let the bastards win!!!

            Do what I do....every time something like this happens, quitely take down the name....set it aside for a later day, and work even harder at getting rid of the idiots at the reforming the party so that they no longer dominate it!

            Do this and you'll feel so much better...once we have democratized the party, then we can pull out that list of names and go to work....

            But not until we reform the party!

          •  Hey, it's completely understandable (none)
            If we didn't occassionally feel like that then we wouldn't be passionate about our beleifs would we?  I go through a phase every election cycle when Democrats lose further and further ground in Kentucky and the South as a whole and I ask why I even care about politics which depresses me so regularly.  

            Then, I remember what the options are: leave politics or support Republicans and commit myself to eternal damnation in Hell or continue to support Democrats and commit myself to eternal damnation on Earth.  I'll take damnation on Earth and just pray, hope, and fight for a turn around in our luck.

            If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention

            by mapKY on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:29:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah that's it (3.33)
        We need to think happy-thoughts.

        The Democratic party, under the stewardship of entrenched millionaires and corporate hacks, has abandoned the working people of this country. It's only natural that the People would abandon them back.

        The largest labor union in the country, SEIU, has just abandoned the Democratic party. Their president, Andrew Stern, has been on nation media advocating voting for a third party, " the independent party".

        As far as I can tell, and I read dKos daily, this has not even been addressed here. No front page, recommended diaries, or not recommended for that matter.

        This is a huge blow to the Democrats and should raise a big red flag to anyone concerned about the Democrats winning back the country and no one mentions it.

        I think we've had enough happy-thoughts. While apologists for the Democratic party may prevail here at dKos, I assure that is an exception. Out in the real world, Democrats are teetering on the edge of extinction.

  •  Interesting (none)
    We appear to be in a no win situation.

    We have Democrats leaving the party in droves because of a handful of activists position on Abortion.

    And now we have activists threatening to quit because we talk about moderating our stance.

    Not sure on this bankruptcy thing, I listened to two lawyers talking about it and they were just confused.  The one contended people could still file, it was just going to cost them more in legal fees.

    If only we have a clearly defined message, then it'd be a lot easier.  But we don't.  We've been letting the Republicans define the message, throw out the tar babies and our activists punch them eagerly making themselves look like fools.

    Here's your challenge...

    What do you think the Democrats message should be such that it makes everybody happy?

    "If any question why we died, Tell them, because our fathers lied." - Rudyard Kipling, 1918

    by Steve4Clark on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:03:18 PM PST

  •  Chose what is important to you (none)
    I look at the Democratic Party like a parlimentary coalition government.  If you join the coalition you won't get everything you want but you will have a voice in at least one issue that is important to you.

    I would rather be with the people of this blog, than with the finest people in the world!

    by Blue Neponset on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:08:49 PM PST

  •  A lot of us are felling like that today (none)
    I think the bankruptcy bill and seeing that
    Reid was going to be serving up the same old crap has been very discouraging for those of us
    who were beginning to hope that the Dems would finally develop a spine.

    Your at least the fourth person to mention it - the
    best that I saw was:

    •  And they don't feel like they have (none)
      to tell us a damn thing.  Why the cloture vote?  Why not filibuster this bill.  Well Harry Reid voted for it.  I've been trying to find out why.  Posted my conversations with his office elsewhere.  Long and short, he has a statement but it may, or may not, be posted on his site. We are not children.  If there were good reasons to support this bill then tell us.  I mean aren't they accountable to anyone?  
  •  If you feel lonely and without a voice now..... (4.00)
    Imagine a life where your voice IS TRULY NOT HEARD.  That's your choice.  I'm a pro-life Democrat and we obviously disagree on that issue.  I'm used to be squeezed by both sides--on one side you have "pro-life Repubs" who represent nothing that relates to being "pro-life" and then you have the hardcore pro-choice supporters of the Democratic party.  So, I think you are being a little bleak in your assessment of how you fit in the party.  But it's not place to argue how you feel so I'll plead for your better angels---DON'T LEAVE!!!!

    I'm not leaving so you sure as hell better not.

    If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention

    by mapKY on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:17:44 PM PST

  •  every guy like you we lose (4.00)
    is that much more strength for the non-progressive forces in our party.

    "Calmer than you are, dude."

    by Sheffield on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:23:46 PM PST

  •  Personally (4.00)
    As long as I am engaged in politics, I am a Democratic.  The real threat occurs when I just stop caring because my party is so weak and incompetent.  It's no real mystery why no one is a fan of the Washington Generals fan.  You need to win a few games every so often to inspire a little hope.  

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by johnny rotten on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:33:18 PM PST

  •  Rob, there comes a time in (4.00)
    every life when one MUST give up some ideals to support more important ideals.  I have to assume that you're under 30 and single.  My most pressing concerns are my kids; I have been an indie for about thirty years, but no longer.  

    The Rs are now wholly without patriotism, without rational thought and without justification; we MUST band together and point that out to the rest of the FAUX-fed country.

    "Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?" Joseph Heller, Catch-22

    by wozzle on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:35:27 PM PST

    •  We must band together (none)
      But the band does not have to be the Democratic party.  We can work together to force change in a number of ways.  MLK didn't for office, or try to work within the political system.  He took it to the people and he changed this country.

      I'm proud of the nurses in California standing up to Arnie.  I'm proud of the teachers in Washington standing up to WalMart. I was not born to follow blindly, rather to call truth where I see it.  With the corporate political system we have, I ain't seeing too much of it.

      •  DebraZ, I have seen and admired (none)
        so many of your posts; please remember that the point is to band under potential and feed it.  Dems have not done this for a long time.  I'm hoping that Howard can pull this together.  If not, I'll join whatever cause comes about.

        "Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?" Joseph Heller, Catch-22

        by wozzle on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:40:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  wozzle (none)
          We don't have to pick one or the other.  If we share a purpose, why should we turn anyone away? Independents, Greens, even dare I say, Republicans should be welcome to join a coalition for change.  The bankruptcy bill is one example, there will be others.  Without the nasty, nationalistic implications, we are Americans first.

          My family's roots are Ohio Mennonite, or as I like to say "electric Amish".  Mennonites were abolitionists and helped along Ohio's Underground Railroad.  Think they would have turned away Quakers or Amish or any other group working to end slavery? Think that black and white abolitionists refused to cooperate based on race?

          Common purpose brings us together.  Artificial boundaries, red state/blue state, party affiliation, conservative/liberal divide us.

  •  let me say it (4.00)
    Too many people here don't seem to realize that RIGHT NOW is put up or shut up time for the Dems. Far too many people in this country have already given up on politics in general. And if the Dems don't do something, like yesterday, to show that they are an actually opposition party - and a progressive one, at that - then more people will give up on them and the political process. And as far as I'm concerned, if they keep playing the same old game, good riddance. They've been holding the American left back for decades by appeasing their corporate masters. It's depressing to be on this site and realize how few people see this.
  •  So, then, what do you stand for? (none)

    I don't mean this as a critique, just as a question you need to answer for yourself.  Because you really don't suggest a strong sense of the comprehensive question, what this "core values of progressives" really means to you.

    The Party is in another, perhaps last (perhaps not), outbreak of latent conservatisms.   If you feel there's an awful lot of thinking and finessing and hem-hawing in your stances, you're also dealing with the same thing yourself.  If you feel you really have a completely sincere, broad/comprehensive, and principled set of stances covering multiple issues, and they don't give you anymore nagging discomforts, then you're getting beyond it.

    It's easy to complain, we all do it, and it's all a phenomenon up and down the ranks.  But adulthood is defined by ability to manage uncertainty in reasonable ways and ability to give care and comfort to the apparently undeserving.   There's no point in being childish now or accepting the tacit hysteria.

    The partisan argument of the present is not about "capitalism" or abortion rights in a larger sense.  It has ultimately very little to do with 'socialism' or 'individualism' or 'selfreliance' or 'conservatism' or 'terrorism' or 'Christianity'.  It is about one Party working hard to destroy every possible aspect of the 14th Amendment, ruining the particulars and spirit of equal protection of the laws and right to due process under any pretext the foolishness of the People admits.  It is about the other Party- Democrats- letting go of its particular favoring of and investment in the non-equal and undue behavior by government.

    It's that little, it's that much.

    Renewal, not mere Reform.

    by killjoy on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 03:57:35 PM PST

  •  I sympathize (4.00)

    I mean, I felt a bit betrayed by the bankruptcy bill.  Not because they didn't win, not just because they didn't fight, but because they don't even seem to be playing the same game!

    Still, reading your diary made me realize that we've gotta stop waiting for the leadership to get a clue.  The best they can come up with "lets take what the Republicans do, and add our special sauce".

    And yet, 3rd party is a deathwish.  Just ask the 2000 Nader supporters.  Yeah, yeah, they can say "we told you the dems were corporate sell-outs".  Great.  And yet, if you'd held your nose and voted for Gore, wouldn't you be a hell of a lot happier now?  Wouldn't more of your agenda passed?

    So, what can we do?  Leaving the party is just volunteering to live in darkness, with the sad comfort that at least we aren't wasting energy fighting it.

    And supporting the party isn't a picnic either, when the de-facto leader of the dems jumps off a bridge going after campaign contributions because "everyone else is doing it".  That's not leadership, thats cowardice and group-thinking.

    We all want a leader that understands.

    So lets take the 3rd option.  Let's piggyback this sad old party to success.

    We've got two problems:

    • We're in the minority
    • We're unhappy with 20-30% of who we do have.

    Now, conventional wisdom says that without fixing the 1st problem, we're screwed -- so support the party as-is to achieve a majority.

    But is that really our only option?

    In the spirit of "everything new is old" and "history repeats itself", lets look at recent history for that 3rd option...

    Notice how the Right Wing took over its party?  A loud and annoying minority (remember Bob Barr?) became the whole damn party.  The moderates are being targeted and destroyed by their own party.  They welcome everyone into their big tent, promise them concessions in return for support, then lop off their heads when a more suitable candidate comes along.

    So, instead of leaving the party, consider joining it at the grassroots.  Change won't be as easy as doing it Top-down Republican style, but still its worth doing.

    Work on local races.  That's the equivalent of funding the farm team.  Too often it looks like the Dem strategy was to solve things at the highest level possible (courts first, then D.C. legislature, then states).  Sure, that's the most efficient and fair, but its also cost us the opportunity to shape public opinion to support our policies.  Remind folks Dems are supporting them by showing them local congressfolk who actually do support them, and they won't buy into the "evil liberal DC Democrat" bogieman nonsense as easily in the future.

    Support the D.C. candidates.  Winning the majority is important.  And support them well.  Make them want our backing.  Its not just about money, its about delivering votes.

    But whenever there is an open seat, or a Republican incumbent -- get one of our Democrats to oppose him.  This is where frankly we tell the Dem leadership to shut the hell up and prove they can get someone elected, or get out of the way.  I actually think this was Dean's plan, so that shouldn't even arise as an issue (DLC excluded).

    Use the hell out of the Senators and Congresscritters who disregard us and betray us.  They're good for getting a majority, but that's frankly about it.  Consider them seatwarmers until we get our guys into position.

    And when we can afford to, pick some of them off.  Flex a bit of muscle.  In a safe Dem district, run  one or two off the road in the primaries.  Remind the rest to reconsider who again it is they support.

    It won't happen overnight.  Neither did the Nightmare called the neocon-GOP.  But if we enjoy our little successes along the way (esp the local races), take back a majority, and shape the majority to serve, I dunno, say voters, maybe we can tough it out.

    The perfect place to start this is at the two ends of the spectrum.

    • The bluest states.  NY, CA -- we own the states, so lets be a bit choosier about the candidates.  We don't even have to tear down our seat-warmers to win the primaries.  Just put up our own candidates, and have them proudly state what they stand for -- use issues where the Republicans can't touch us, but "our guy" crossed over to the wrong side.

    • The reddest states.  TX, old south -- the party seems to have given up there.  We've got room to show them just how much we can do without their misguided too-centrist corporate-serving schemes.  For heavens sake, you don't order imitation pizza when you're in Chicago -- why expect voters to vote for a less authentic, less powerful version of the Red Republicans they already have?  Give them a real alternative and see.  There are already some running (with the support of Kossacks, even).  Remind them why we support them, and have some faith they'll remember us when they get to D.C.

    I just have to believe there is an alternative to giving up (going 3rd party) or giving in (accepting this very disappointing Dem performance).
  •  The bankruptcy bill (none)
    should have logically pitted protection of individual interests against further encroachment from corporate campaign contributors brazenly engaged in the exercise of flaunting their quasi decision-making powers. The fact that this dichotomy never developed, as well as the strong support in favor of this industry-authored legislation among Democrats in the Senate, reinforces the often stated creed pertaining to little difference existing between Democrats and Republicans.

    I've changed my registration to the Green party and have sent $36, a rather nominal contribution for which I receive party membership, the national newsletter and full standing. The meme pertaining to voting for third party candidates being a vote for a Repug is hogwash. Greens picked up 74 additional local and state offices in 2004 and I hope that number continues to rise as the party is gaining some truly outstanding candidates.

    Granted, becoming a contributing member of a forward-thinking progressive party with no corporate strings attached for its own sake isn't everybody's cup of tea; nevertheless, I feel more empowered than I have at any time in the last quarter century as a registered Democrat. Futhermore, I'm in no way restricted from voting for any particular Democratic candidate in a general election.

    Bottom line: it's my wallet and vote. Whether it be Green or Democrat, both count and will go were I wish: Neither will be wasted in the process regardless of my choice.  

  •  I'm a green (none)
    It's not easy being green.

    I vote Dem in almost all cases anyhow, because our stupid winner-takes-all system makes a vote for a 3rd party a throw away in most cases.

    "The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State, because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government" - Teddy Roosevelt

    by mrboma on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 04:25:37 PM PST

  •  Your premise is right on (4.00)
    Rob,  I am a hard core Dem, and in fact gave money to Castor in the last election cycle.  You are right on.  

    The party has no soul, and the reason we loose elections is the great number of voters in the middle believe there is no real difference to them between the parties, but the Republicans are at least less phony. Before anymore posts about the problems with Republicans (and how they are destroying our democracy) consider this - The average american is not worrying about the lies of Rice and Rumsfield, they are worrying about their jobs and paying their bills.  And from where the average american sits, the Democrats will sell them down the river to the special interests just as quickly as the Republicans.

    After a vote like this, how can any working American think that they are better off with a Democratic Majority.  This bill is terrible, and the only rationale for supporting it is the credit card money.  

    If you listen to Pat Cadell (Carter's Pollster) on any of the gabfests, he will tell you the Dem's have become a bunch on money grubbers, and the voters know it.  While the Repug's are as well, as least they are not phony about it.  I used to think he was just a bitter old man, but now I see he was right on the mark.

    While the choice issue may be equally important to you, I can at least see how someone can support the ideals of FDR and also be pro-life.  There is no justification for any Democrat supporting this bill as written other than the money.  When you sell out your core ideals for money, you have nothing left. While we frequently cite the ignorance of the average voter on this site (after all, how could 58 million vote for Bush?), the average voter is informed enough to understand this!  

    It needs to get worse before it gets better - a lot worse.  This is one Florida Dem not voting for Nelson in 2006, but I guess it really doesn't matter to him as he will just become lobbyist for MBNA.  

    •  You're on to something there (4.00)
      We know the republican voters are just blind to what their elected officials are up to.  So why is it the dems have a credibility problem?

      The Republicans at least make up a phony story for their constituents before selling them down the river.

      So is it a compliment or an insult that the Dems only tell us, after the fact, "well, we have to do this... its politics"

      On one hand, they aren't lying to us.
      On the other, they don't feel the need to give us any explanation at all.  We're lucky they vote for us sometimes, I guess.

      Again, standard disclaimers that some Senators/Congressmen are excellent human beings, and some are just human beings who will sometimes make mistakes.

      But what's the Party's excuse.  At least it could have taken a stand then said "Hey, some of our guys bolted, but the party is with you"

      After being played by our own party, its gonna be harder to do the one-on-one groundwork with a straight face.

    •  Hammer meet nail (none)
      You hit it right on the head.  The Republican party is the hammer, the Democratic party is the nail.  And the American people are getting pounded.
  •  Don't believe knee-jerk fear-speak (none)
    I voted for nobody for president in 2000 because I couldn't pull the trigger on Ralph Nader. I saw some Perot-like personality problems.

    However, I had no problems at all gladly pulling the trigger on David Cobb in 2004.

    In Congress, fortunately, I can vote for Eddie Bernice Johnson, but if Texas Dems nominate anybody half as bad as Sanchez in 2006, I'll vote Green for Senate then.And I already am at 50-50 on my perceived odds of voting Green for President again in 2008.

    So, stand up and speak out, Rob.

    I did in the fall of last year, and got flamed and troll-rated here, I'm sure by knee-jerk Democrats. Some may have been knee-jerks with guilty consciences, knowing that Kerry was sadly, tragically wrong on the war (and his foreign policy views behind that, at times, and ultimately, voting for war in 2002 because he voted against in 1990 and was already planning his presidential run).

    For all of the above, once it was down to him and Edwards, I wasn't voting for them. And no, Dean's progressive veneer was just that.

    So declare yourself unaffiliated. Or Green-leaning. Or Socialist-leaning. Or whatever. Don't buy the knee-jerk arguments of fear thrown at you.

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

    by steverino on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 06:03:36 PM PST

  •  What if Free Soilers said in 1848 (none)
    "A third party is a death wish"?

    We would have had no Republican Party founded. No Lincoln. No emancipation, at least as and when it happened.

    Again, Rob, don't buy the fear. Party line Democrats need to be pushed.

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

    by steverino on Fri Mar 11, 2005 at 06:05:52 PM PST

  •  Oh quit it (none)
    everyone on both sides knows what George Bush stands for and what the Republican Party stands for

    This is such bullshit.

    Do Republicans support or oppose big government?  What is their stance on deficits?  Do they want to rein in entitlements or expand them?  Do they want more bureaucracy or less?  Do they support nation-building abroad or not?  

    I can't stand it when liberals fall into RNC spin.  There is nothing consistent about Republican policies or ideology.  

    •  Ask the same questions (none)
      of the Democrats and don't give the party spin.

      Do Democrats support or oppose big government?  What is their stance on deficits?  Do they want to rein in entitlements or expand them?  Do they want more bureaucracy or less?  Do they support nation-building abroad or not?  

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