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Update [2005-4-5 19:7:9 by georgia10]:: Obviously, I expressed some extremely unpopular opinions, some of which some commentators below think are unsupported by the facts.

A couple things I want to clarify. I am not blaming anything entirely on Dean. I understand he's been on the job for a couple months, but I still don't think that excuses the performance of the DNC in the meantime.

As for the website part of the diary, that's personal taste, take it as you will.

As for the writing style of this diary, I have to say, it's weird getting so many comments and emails about it. OK, so I'm having an off day! To be honest, I'm more suprised by my "on" days myself. :)

Anyway, I'm out until late tonight, but I'll try to respond to some comments when I get back. I appreciate all comments, both positive and negative, thus far. Thanks.

Update [2005-4-5 22:47:15 by georgia10]:: Well, read through all the comments. Interesting debate, it is. Thank to all who have read this diary, and all of my diaries.
**************************************

I was thinking of how to start off in a witty and catchy manner, or perhaps I should have begun by waxing eloquently about the how the Democratic Party  is a party of principle that stands as the barrier island against the crashing waves of right-wing facism that seek to erode our core American values.  But you know what?

Fuck the DNC.

I'm in a foul mood, with foul reflections on the current state of affairs, so consider yourself forwarned that I'm about to open a can of  some reality-based verbal whoop-ass.  DNC lovers? Brace yourselves. Deaniacs? Hold tight.  

Here is the question I've had on my mind for a while now that I wish I could ask the DNC.  Where the fuck are you?  Yeah, I know.  When your opponent is shooting himself in the foot, stay away.  Speak softly, carry a big Stick. Plan in the trenches, then launch the attack.  

Yeah, I know the DNC is faxing out press releases on a daily basis (but seriously, does anyone think those don't instantaneously get folded into origami swans in the news room?).   I know they're airing radio ads against privatization, I'm not saying they've been sitting on their asses watching The George Lopez show, sucking on their Cheeto-flavored orange fingers mulling over how to win more of the Hispanic vote.  They've been working. But have they been working effectively?

Let's take Dr. Dean.  He raised $3.4 million dollars in the first few weeks of his election as DNC chair.  Woo-fucking-hoo.  Besides a blurb here and there about calling Santorum a liar or saying Republicans are brain-dead, have the words "Democratic National Committee" gotten any attention at all?  Nope.  

Dean is out grassrootin' in conservative areas, like he's still on the 2004 campaign trail.  Wake up, Howard, wake up.  You're a national leader now, and need to take on a national role.

It's been five months since the election.  And yet, the DNC still has The Shittiest Political Website On The Web.  State chapters of the DNC have better websites.  You think I'm kidding?  Check out the new Illinois website. Go ahead.  See how much more inviting and professional it is?  But then again, look at the Florida Democratic Party page.  Or the boring, can-our-text-be-any-smaller website of the Colorado Democratic Party. Holy shit, with crap like that, is there any wonder why some aren't buying the party's marketing?  

Why the fuck isn't the DNC reaching out to these chapters, helping them with more professional and inviting designs, and hey, maybe even have each site have a "Daily DNC" section where we can learn what the fuck you're doing on a day to day basis without having to visit The Shittiest Political Website On The Web?

Image.  It's something the DNC just plain doesn't get.  

Speaking of image, my next bone of contention with the awol DNC.  You know, for once, I would love to turn on the TV and see *gasp* a Democrat on air.  An honest to goodness Democrat.  Not a liberal, not a progressive, but a fucking representative of the Democratic party.  

Check that.   I've seen the DNC representatives before, and they've gotten their asses handed to them when they try the pundit thing.  

I've mentioned this before, but the DNC needs a core group of blazing-heart liberals to launch an assault on the media.  Yeah, Media Matters keeps reporting about the conservative bias on panels, and I used to think it was a big bad RWCM ploy.  But I'm thinking it's also just pure incompetence on the part of the DNC.  Why in the world doesn't the DNC get on the phone and demand to have a representative on Hardball, or Hannity's show, or Wolf's attempt to dispense the news? Hell, call up O'Reilly and tell him you'd love to have a DNC representative on.  You'll even bring your own loofah.

But for the love of God, do something!  You talk about the right-wing noise machine but the DNC is just sitting there, humming to itself away in the corner, afraid to enter the fray.  What a pathetic state of affairs it is when the left blogosphere lights up when someone has the balls to call Hannity "stupid" on air. Oh, golly, gee whiz!  Someone (not affiliated with the DNC, btw) got a nugget of truth on the airwaves!  Woo-hoo!  Get ready for a Democratic landslide in 2006!!!

Get real.  

The DNC needs to get its shit together. And by "get its shit together" I mean fuck with the media the way it fucks with you.  Get the snarkiest, most intelligent, fiery bunch of libs you find (hey, Maryscott volunteers!) and get them to become the public face of the DNC.  Their sole job will be to be seen on show after show, shooting down lie after lie, proving that Democrats are smart and articulate and inviting, and can be damn enlightening too.

Ask any American who represents the conservatives (non-politicians) and you get Rush, Hannity, Dobson, etc.  The right has its pool of passion that it draws on to spread its message.  Where is ours?

<crickets chirping>

Damn straight.  We don't have one.  And I'll tell you why.  Because of the bubble.

Who listens to Air America?  Mostly liberals.  Who reads DailyKos and the rest of the lefty blogs?  Mostly liberals (and Gannon, who gets a rise out of googling his own name and tallying how much attention we give him). So all of this energy, all of this fact-finding, all the posts on Cornyn and prisoner abuse and Delay and paying pundits and blacklisting Americans, all of that is trapped in our own isolated existence.  We are like the deaf and dumb, who have a whole world inside ourselves that we simply cannot project outward.

And that is where the DNC comes in.

It needs to be that bridge, that pin that pops the ever-expanding bubble of energy and lets all that frenzy and passion and truth rush out into the open air of media exposure. It needs to have that core group of attack dogs I mentioned picking up talking points and gauging political impact from the blogosphere, and transferring that into the national media on behalf of the DNC and democrats in general.

The DNC needs to be the clearinghouse and amplifier for the left wing noise machine.

But no.  Instead of adequate representation in the national media, instead of a unified message, we get the occasional email, with a dozen fucking links to sign this or that and that goddamn huge "support the DNC" button that infuriates me, because when was the last time the DNC supported me?

The DNC is finally getting that it has to play ball, but it's playing soccer while the RNC is playing football.  It needs to realize this is a different game now, and new tactics are needed.

Dean can plant all the grassroots he wants, but with Santorum spreading his lies and Delay spraying his special brand of bullshit into the political arena, the Republicans have applied an excellent truth-killer which is also killing off any chance that Dean's grassroots are going to be enough to win in 2006 and 2008.  

Get your shit together, DNC. You're playing with the big boys now.

Originally posted to Georgia Logothetis on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That's right: NATIONAL committee (4.00)
    There needs to be a better DNC presence on the media, and IMO a push for a national primary in presidential elections.

    I'm going to see Dr. Dean next week at a fundraiser that I got invited to be friends far wealthier than I. Just supposing I got the chance to ask a question, what should it be?

    •  I would ask (4.00)
      When are you going to clean house over there at the DNC and get some trully masterful communicators to start getting the message out and take advantage of the numerous opportunities we have been missing in the the past five years?
      •  Narrowing it down (4.00)
        Can you think of any golden opportunities that are are currently missing or are about to?

        Like: At what point will the DNC start calling for an exit strategy.

        When will accountability for military contractors become an issue?

        Will the DNC ever begin talking about Poverty again?

        I personally am on the "national presidential primary all on one day" bandwagon myself.

    •  Ask him what the DNC is doing about (4.00)
      election fraud? As far as I'm concerned, if we don't fix that, we don't have a prayer.
    •  Please tell him (4.00)
      to get our guys on TV more.  That is the most important part!!! It is rediculous how everyone (politicians, anchors, pundits) just sit there and lie and lie and NO ONE calls them out on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Its not easy being a Floridian.

      by lawstudent922 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:33:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ask Dean if he knows who Georgia10 is, (4.00)
      what she had to say, if he's hired yet, and if not, why not?

      "Go in peace, errant sisters." -Horace Greeley, April, 1861

      by faithnomore on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:51:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I second that question! (none)
        You go girl!
        •  Hired? Hah! (none)
          I went into DNC headquarters the other day and the place was as empty (and as depressing) as a bombed out Kmart in Grozny. Just walking around I could see why we lost the last campaign. The place needs a complete makeover. What staff existed seemed bored out of their minds. Take them to task!

          The Book of Revelations is not a foreign policy manual.

          by Dont Just Stand There on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:19:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That bothers me (4.00)
            ...empty (and depressing) as a bombed out Kmart in Grozny.

            That is so sad.

            The DNC headquarters should be HUMMING with activity these days. I love to imagine the place staffed with 100% Kossacks--and then maybe something would actually start to happen!

            Welcome to America, Land of Esoterica.

            by MojoBombay on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:09:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We Should Stage a Sit-In (none)
              There.

              Where is this place, anyway? Oh, It's probably inside the beltway. That's a little hard to get to from Sunnyvale.

              Speaking of protests, we ought to stage a protest outside the TV offices in every city. That would be one way to get the message across. Instead of 100,000 people on The Mall we could have 100 people at 1000 TV and radio stations, newspaper buildings. Every reporter would have to cross a picket line to get to work. We could have a Truth In Media Oxymoron Protest day or something.

              Liberal Thinking

              Think, liberally.

              by Liberal Thinking on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:07:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Or Maybe a "Work" In (none)
                Instead of a "sit in" which sounds a little like what they are doing over there - maybe we should go over there and work just to get the energy level up.

                Let's start "Take a Constituent to Work" day at the DNC!

                Oh I don't want to beat them up - I just want them to act a little more inspired and be a little more inspiring.

    •  Well, the job description (none)
      as far as I know reqired that Dean not be a spokesperson or set party policy.
      I love Dean but part of the reason I didn't want him here is his Truman-like straight talk and charisma will not be fully realized as chair.
      In fact this very day I was trying to think of a way to organize getting Dean to run in '08. It makes no sense to me that our most powerful Democrat who unlike most frames the debate, is out of the running to allow Clinton to run. As with Kerry, Clinton will go down.
      •  the job description is wrong (none)
        There are reasons Dean was elected.  It was people wanted to see him be Dean.  If the whole point was someone who could master minimum competency than Mcaullife should have stayed.  The most powerful CEO's are not hired because they are wanted to fit within a tightly defined job description.  
      •  job description? (4.00)
        Well, the job description as far as I know reqired that Dean not be a spokesperson or set party policy.

        I have no idea how the DNC is organized or run, but is there really anything stopping Dean from tossing this job description you invoke out the window?  

        I mean, part of the problem with the party (evidently) is an abject failure to inspire even its own supporters.  One reason for this is clearly a moribund deference to patently ineffectual ways of doing business.

        Job descriptions get us people like Kerry.  We need prophets who will set the joint on fire, not hacks who fall in line.  

        What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?

        by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:14:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I shared your worries, (none)
        besides I would give my left hypothetical nut to see him run again. However, he is building the base on the one hand, while increasing the number of Deaniacs on the other. Why? Because it is his charisma and ass kicking truth telling that hooks folks in the first place.

        If we win big in '06 under Howard's leadership, don't you think his now widely expanded base will clamor for him? And if the people really demand it, he will have to cave - as he is all about empowering us. I seem to remember that he wasn't that into being chair in the first place until he heard that his base really wanted it via conference calls.

        We are all wearing the blue dress now.

        by PLS on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:53:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's why Dean is there (none)
        What you are complaining about is exactly why I wanted Dean in his current spot.  The DNC needs a shakeup, and he's just the man for the job.  I'm willing to give him some time to get a firm grasp of how the DNC currently operates, and then decide what changes to make.  That's what any good manager would do.. I suppose he could go in with both barrels blazing, but he'd likely do more harm than good.

        And on your other topic, I think Hillary is far more formidable than you do.  She's a terrific campaigner, and she's smarter than any of the guys the repugs can send up in 2008.  And most important, she's already been through 50 kinds of hell, so she isn't afraid of them, and is more than willing to fight.

        "I don't want to bring politics into this, I'm just here for the drugs." Nancy Reagan, at a "Just Say No" event, 1986

        by Jack109 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:36:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But I Won't Vote for Hillary (4.00)
          until she decides to be a liberal. Which is, I suspect, never.

          I'm afraid I associate Hillary with Bill, which I associate with drifting to the right in order to win the Presidency. To me that's a losing strategy for the Democratic Party and how we got into the pickle that represents the green walls around us.

          OTOH, if she'd voted to decertify the Ohio vote or did something now that showed that she understood where the Democratic Party should be then I might reconsider. It would have to be a fairly radical change and one that showed a true change of heart. Otherwise, she's just another centrist to me.

          Liberal Thinking

          Think, liberally.

          by Liberal Thinking on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:14:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Say... (none)
      When you were elected, us on the left, who have been the most loyal base and supported the Democratic Party and YOUR campaign financially and with alot of time, expected now we would have a party that truly would battle Bush. Rather, we have seen little if any media change, and it seems "the same ol' DNC". Why is this? We need a change now.! Tell him that
    •  Print out this thread (none)
      put it in an envelope, and give it to him.
  •  Not Sure (none)
    I'm not 100% sure about all of this, but I definitely think that fighting spirit and enthusiasm need to be high up there on the list of priorities for the party.  I don't think the DNC website is so terrible, but -- the left is packed full of highly-motivated electronic activists, many of whom are whizzes at this kind of thing.  How about getting some volunteers on board to really wire the party and bring the whole thing online?
    •  Firefox & The DNC (none)
      The DNC website displays incorrectly under my copy of Firefox 1.0.2, as well as with Firefox 1.0.0, 1.0.1.  
      •  And since I (none)
        wrote a diary specifically on that topic, let me restate its "results."

        80% of people who answered had no problems viewing the DNC site with Firefox.  15% had very minor cosmetic problems.  I have huge problems that make the site completely unusable from Firefox on all major operating systems, and no solution.

        I think the layout is ok, and clearly it works for most everyone.

    •  Heres the thing (4.00)
      we do have the smartest young people, that's why they're liberals. What they have is money. A young conservative interested in politics has a job doing politics. The talking heads you see on TV? The dems are volunteers, the Repubs are getting paid. We've got to quit giving all the money to high paid consultants and start hiring field organizers and geeks. So maybe that's what I'd ask him, who you gonna hire?

      Pithecanthropus "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

      by johnmorris on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:51:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And That's All True Because (none)
        they own the United States of America.

        They own the economy, they own the information spaces, they own the culture, they represent religion, and they own the military.

        That gives them a considerable talent pool to craft message, a sizeable bankroll to pay spokespeople, and almost every square foot and pixel of the United States into which to deploy them.

        A nation isn't a collection of voters, it's the collection of power blocks, only some of which are voters. We have 1/3 of the voters and almost none of everything else.

        So we're not going to match their presence regardless of message, charisma or enthusiasm.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:59:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fairness in the workplace (4.00)
      applies especially to the DNC.  Screw the volunteer crap.  Hire someone who's qualified, who's already volunteered, and pay them the going rate.  Understand there's a few million left in the kitty.  They need to put their money where their mouth is.
  •  Actually the Illinois website (4.00)
    sucks ass. absolutely terrible design. too much stuff on the front page, and no real layout.
    •  And actually out of the three (none)
      The best base design i liked best was the colorado site. it needs more color and more pizzaz, but as far as the layout goes, its probably the best. Florida one isn't terrible, but it looks cheap.
      •  I should have just posted all of this at once (none)
        Now, if you want to see a really nice page, go to Tennessee's democratic party page: http://www.tndp.org/
        •  Now that's nice (4.00)
          Professional, with a link to the SS calculator.

          Compare with the CA site, which has a couple  links to Bush's Bushisms.

          /sigh.

          (besides that, I think the CA is better than most)

          •  Yep, I like this one (none)
            So far, I like California's the best. And I ended up reading a few Bushisms. The site was just snazzier. If that is a word.

            Fix the Problems, Don't create new ones

            by BarnBabe on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:02:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  while you were there... (none)
            did you check out the Bill Press link?  on his website, you would have found a column about the real Democratic problem.

            http://www.billpress.com/columns.html

            The DNC can only do so much and as has been stated in an earlier post, the chair does not set policy, a fact Polosi and Reid were only too quick to point out to Dean.  What the chair can do, and I have seen signs that Dean is doing, is help states develop infrastructure while he simultanously develops it at DNC.  He can't, although I'm certain he wants to, instill a backbone in the Congress... just as Barbara Boxer and the CBC can not carry the ball for everyone.

        •  That's good (none)
          I like that they have a nice big banner link to the social security calculator on the front page.

          Raise your hammers high And let the anvils ring! -the Animaniacs

          by Goldfish on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:50:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i do not know what county you come from (none)
          but my county in TN does absolutly nada on things.

          I signed up to work with them and I am always on call and mostly working at my job, but would do anything I could do to help them out( and I am independent to boot).

          All that was done was asign me to go out to talk to ppl in my neighborhood to get out the vote.

          I do not have the time to do that with my job discription and I am not making excuses, I just couldnt get any help to help me out, when I could do it.

          I found these ppl to be mostly lazy.  

          This is a red county to boot and I was told not to piss any republicans for that we worked with them on things here.  At this point I decided to go on about my life and not worry about them.

          Such a shame too.

          I never got asked why I quit, but I have to be fair, I never told them either.

      •  No way. (none)
        The Colorado site has ok navigability but looks pretty amateurish to me.

        And just try to get an RSS feed from it.  Really, try!  I'll wait...  I've emailed them several times, but no one in Denver seems to understand what I'm talking about, even the webmaster.  [sigh]

    •  Agreed. I actually thought Florida's was great (none)
      Illinois does nothing for me but repel me.  Perhaps the poster got them reversed or something?
      •  FL's is still a bit amateurish (none)
        but it's a vast improvement over even a few months ago. They've made an effort to make it more attractive and easier to navigate.

        They've also added a blog, but they don't keep up with it, unfortunately.

    •  sorry guys (none)
      I think all of those sites are pretty much butt-ugly.  Too text-heavy, use of serif-fonts, wacky layout, ugly-ass photoshop blends, pixellated images...
    •  I'm in complete agreement. (3.85)
      What's more, this screed is just a bunch of counter-productive loudmouthed snark. Why is it that  every time a familiar poster raises their voice in print at DKos these days, the chorus of 'recommends' appears regardless of substance.

      "Fuck the DNC" because georgia10's subjective design meter says its site is ugly?

      For me the DNC site is quicker loading and much cleaner than the Illinois site. The Illinois site is filled with an ant colony of little black links that are about as inviting as a frathouse party mix assembled in an ashtray.

      And then this:

      Dean is out grassrootin' in conservative areas, like he's still on the 2004 campaign trail.  Wake up, Howard, wake up.  You're a national leader now, and need to take on a national role.

      What's not 'national' about traveling through the nation, talking to Americans about Democratic principles?

      What the fuck?

      'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

      by Maxwell on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:39:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In opposition: (4.00)
        I agree with georgia10's comments about getting more volunteers involved. We have plenty of people who would absolutely love to square off against those talking heads we see all over the pundit shows. If only the DNC would start tapping them to go out and become our spokespeople. If only. I still feel like we're the piggy-banks of the party and that's all. I don't feel involved or invited. I'm sure a lot of people share my sentiment.

        Let Howard Dean grassroots all he wants. If Dean doesn't want to be the spokesman for our party by putting himself all over the airwaves (which is exactly where he should be), let's get someone with some fire under their ass to start taking down these right-wing morons.

        For you to focus on her comments about the various Democratic websites (which, in my graphic design opinion, are lacking in the visual areas) shows that you have little to offer in the ways she describes that we could be fighting back. Go ahead and pick out the littlest parts of her argument. You will keep missing the forest for the trees. Indeed, what the fuck?

        PS.  Just in case your forgot, she forewarned you that it was going to be snarky right at the beginning. You could have chosen to stop reading then.

        The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

        by Ghidra99 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:00:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever. (3.85)
          Georgia10 has done great work on this site in the way of research into electoral fraud and fakes news production, but today she is standing in a virtual corner and screaming. This is a diary chock-full of cliches of the most puerile sort: "You're playing with big boys" "wake up" "get real" "crickets chirping" etc

          She dismisses Air America (only liberals listen to it), though it's grown from 8 stations to 53 in a year's time. What's her solution? Let's replace our loudmouthed libs (like the ones she omits: Rhodes, Franken, Schultz, Jon Stewart, Garafalo, etc) with new loudmouthed libs? Huh?

          She complains about liberals talking to liberals in liberal venues...and where does she do it? In a fucking liberal forum!

          And then she complains that Dean is disappearing into grassroots red territory...places where we can't see him. Yikes!!! Could he be doing the real groundwork that we're avoiding here in gaseous libland?

          I get daily emails from six separate grassroots groups in my area. Dean recently visited and spoke to our regional gressroots group, and Wes Clark is comimg to speak next week. I'm contacted at least four times a week by the DNC, more than ever before. They seem fairly on the ball to me.

          Georgia10 seems to be freaking out that she isn't seeing liberal Dems on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Meet the Press. You know what the collective audience for those networks and shows are? Less than 2% of the American public.

          The reach of Air America alone trumps that by millions.

          Liberals talking to liberals is agood thing, when the left audience is growing by the day.

          Take a breath. Have patience. And let's get back to work.

          'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

          by Maxwell on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:19:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Voice (4.00)
            Regardless of how many people watch MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, it's always important to have sane, compitent opposition to those viewpoints that are being espoused. When was the last time you could turn on CNN and not be disgusted by the absolute inanity that is spouted? The DNC and the Democrats need to have a voice. Someone that we can turn to and have them back us up. I understand how busy Dean is, getting the groundwork set up for the Democrats. Let's get him to find someone to speak for us on the television. Let's get him to find someone to speak for us in the newspapers.

            I get emails daily from various progressive/liberal groups, including the DNC. The main subject of those emails is to give money.

            georgia10 wasn't recommending replacing anyone, so I'm not sure where you got that idea. What she wants is someone putting up a fight for us, where we can see it. She wants to feel hopeful (as do a great many of us). Tangible evidence that someone is willing to stick his/her neck out for their liberal/progressive viewpoints.

            Liberal talking to liberals is great, but what about liberals talking to all those undecideds or people questioning the Republicans/neocons? Al Franken is doing great things with Air America, but we need to get a face on television, too. The Daily Show, IMO, is too short to be an effective liberal/progressive output (which is not its intended purpose anyway).

            Stop being hyper-critical of her writing style as she forewarned you what this diary was going to be. Her diary was aimed as a rant at us fellow liberals and she definitely has gotten her intended reaction. Where do you want her to post it, on Little Green Snotballs?

            The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

            by Ghidra99 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:35:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe you should read the diary again. (3.00)
              georgia10 wasn't recommending replacing anyone, so I'm not sure where you got that idea.

              cf "Speaking of image, my next bone of contention with the awol DNC.  You know, for once, I would love to turn on the TV and see gasp a Democrat on air."

              And then she goes on to admit that she has seen DNC reps on the air, but, oh, those guys sucked. So let's get new ones:

              I've mentioned this before, but the DNC needs a core group of blazing-heart liberals to launch an assault on the media.

              Then she admits, oh, MediaMatters is doing that, but only b/c the DNC isn't. Ad absurdio...

              Most statements of Dem incompetence or invisibility are followed up by a statement of qualification...oh, that's right, these folks are doing that, but...anyhow...they're insufficient, incompetent, broke, etc...

              I just don't see the value in this sort of iterative complaint.

              I get emails daily from various progressive/liberal groups, including the DNC. The main subject of those emails is to give money.

              I just looked at my email folders for the last three days. Of sixteen emails I received from progressive groups, six told me about upcoming meetings and events and nine wanted me to sign a petition or voice my opinion in some way. While five gave me the option of donating, only two were sent for the express purpose of solicting donations.

              I think the "treating Dems like an ATM" thing is itself a meme that has a grain of truth to it but isn't wholly accurate, but nevertheless it gets trotted out when convenient....like when folks are feeling frustrated, impatient and neglected.

              'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

              by Maxwell on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:17:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed... (3.60)
            Georgia is off the rails on this one.

            Dean helped by making a video appearance at our County Party fundraiser dinner this year, which with DNC and state party moneys are building an infrastructure for the 06 mid-terms. Deaniacs like Jenny Greenleaf have been newly elected to he DNC from our county party and have met with the chair on more than one occasion and is working with the state party (DPO), the county party (Multnomah Dems and other Portland area county parties, even across the state-line into Clark County WA) as well as the DNC... in concert to build the systems and infrastructure to plug grassroots activism into the local parties and be a permanent place where the rubber meets the road on a precinct level, connect PCPs to the county, state and national.

            We are working every day to build a fully integrated online infrastructure throughout the state of Oregon, which dove-tail with national, and work all the way to the ground in individual precincts.

            This is an off-the-rails rant with tired cliches that are not borne out by the facts. I respect georgia's efforts on many things here at dKos, I can only hope that this misguided rant is simply venting.

            cheers,

            Mitch Gore

            Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

            by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:55:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your Tone (4.00)
              The tone of your comments are infuriating. You guys speak down to her as if she was a child. She may be young, but she has a hell of a grasp on what needs to happen for our party and what is going on around the country.

              It's a rant, pure and simple, which may not be so off-the-rails because I, along with others, agree with it.

              Your dismissive tone is exactly what breaks the party. Instead of trying to be inclusive and help everyone know what is going on, you dismiss those people who want to see results.

              It's frustrating and not very constructive.

              Seeing as how georgia10 stated that this diary was going to be rant-like right off the bat, you should have known this.

              The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

              by Ghidra99 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:04:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I wasn't speaking 'down' to her at all (4.00)
                I have no idea about her age, nor do I care. I know many old fools and young brilliant people.

                My 'tone' is simply stating that she is railing against things not borne out by the facts

                You can try and divine something about  'tone' all you want, but it too would be a misguided rant.

                Furthermore, I am not sure how praising and stating the respect I have had for georgia's efforts and contributions here on dKos is talking down to her at all.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:09:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  "You guys" (3.00)
                The tone of your comments are infuriating. You guys speak down to her as if she was a child. She may be young, but she has a hell of a grasp on what needs to happen for our party and what is going on around the country.

                Since you address 'us' in the plural, I assume you are addressing anyone criticizing this diary.

                I have no idea what Georgia10's age is, nor did I know her gender until recently. You're the one personalizing your defense of this poster. That seems a little patronizing of her, no? She seems more than capable of defending her own diary.

                Your dismissive tone is exactly what breaks the party. Instead of trying to be inclusive and help everyone know what is going on, you dismiss those people who want to see results.

                You have got to be kidding me. Georgia10's whole post is about how our party leaders are ineffective, incompetent, and not up to the task (can't play with the "big boys"). It's the most dismissive diary I've read here by a respected DKos diarist in weeks.

                Now, when a few of us disagree, embracing the efforts of our party leaders and leftist orgs, and suggesting they're making decent strides...now, we are the ones "breaking the party"? You're joking, right?

                Instead of trying to be inclusive and help everyone know what is going on...

                We are being inclusive precisely by taking Georgia10's comments seriously....regardless of age or gender or whatever else you seem to be suggesting here.  Many of the posters criticizing this diary have championed her posts elsewhere.

                'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

                by Maxwell on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:31:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Dismissive? (4.00)
                  "You have got to be kidding me. Georgia10's whole post is about how our party leaders are ineffective, incompetent, and not up to the task (can't play with the "big boys"). It's the most dismissive diary I've read here by a respected DKos diarist in weeks."

                  I think she was just trying to light a fire under their big league asses.  They need it, along with the fresh air that I hope Dean brings.  We can't be "just as good" as the Republicans in organizing, we've got to be better than that.  We're playing 20-year catch-up.

              •  Don't have a clue about her age. (4.00)
                My gripe is the criticism of Howard Dean.  If anyone had listened to a single word he said in speeches and interviews leading up the chairmanship, they would know what he is doing.

                It is petty to think he could change what has been happening for years in just two months.

                I am very critical of certain elements of the party, and I do not apologize for that.  We fought hard to get someone in help make the party more people-friendly.  Seeing him attacked like that after less than two months is just too much.  

                He lives away from home most of the week, he travels constantly, he meets not only in rallies and dinners with the states but with state party leaders.  Most of April is filled with trips to Arkansas, Seattle, Vancouver, and several others yet unannounced.  Someone got mad at him at the DU site because he did not come to their county.  

                I still don't know her age.  No one ever worries about hurting the feelings of me, a grandmother, a senior citizen.  

                "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

                by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:29:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I appreciate your comments (4.00)
              But again, let me reiterate a couple things.

              (1) Is it shitty writing? Cliches? Yep. I never professed to be a Hemmingway here.

              (2) Why are so many taking this as an attack on Dean and the whole idea of grassroots?  That is not what I said.  Again, I said that the DNC has been working , it has made great strides.  But how many times have we patted ourselves on the back and then found that we come up short?

              The progress you cite in Oregon is fantastic. But that is sooo not the point of the diary.  My point is that the DNC is, in my opinion, floundering when it comes to marketing itself on a national scale.

              Again, I appreciate your comments.

              •  Well... any gander at my writing will quickly (none)
                inform you or anyone else that my prose is not exactly destined for the library of congress or the book of the month club.

                I was commenting about the cliches of the DNC just taking the money and run, not the quality of the writing, which, even on your worst day is often better than mine at my best...

                I think that much of the problem and frustration you might be feeling is that we are trying to build our basic megaphone to our own base and establishment of our own 'alternate media' that hits on all levels.

                We already know that most of 'our' message is simply not going to be put out and trumpeted in the 'MSM' by and large at this stage, because that is bought and paid for by our opponents and their finical backers.

                Many of the models and systems we are working furiously to build will be that missing component that will allow bidirectional communication from the grassroots to the top, and vice-versa. Allowing the message crafting to be touched and framed at a lower state/county/district/precinct level.

                Think of it as a print-on-demand model with editable fields and custom (localized) text blocks.

                That is what we are trying to get in place in order to being pushing crafted message, that are not simply edicts and pronouncements form on high, but relevant, useful CUSTOMIZABLE communication pieces to key communicators (i.e. the grassroots volunteers and activists) to transition form mouse-pad to shoe-leather (which is where the Dean campaign failed somewhat, because it was an ad hoc on the fly effort built in less than 6 months, whereas a party can and should be positioned and be the permeant structure to build that missing conduit).

                In short (I know.. too late), I guess I am saying that we need to keep at it, and not let the lack of readily obvious 'immediate' progress be the yardstick by which you judge the DNC, the state, or local parties.

                I never knew until getting personally involved to just what extent the party(s) had atrophied. Hell in the 'Democratic stronghold' of the Multnomah County, we didn't even had training materials on what and how to canvas, be a precinct person, etc. leading into the 04 campaign cycle.

                We had to make it up and organize ourselves from scratch. We learned a lot this past election. What needs to happen, what needs to happen to connect with state and national, and we have moved many of the grassroots people up into the DNC less than 3 months ago.

                It will take time to successfully build that bridge and conduit between national and the state parties,, and between state and county parties down to the precinct people and the volunteers and a grass-roots activists.

                I know you are not railing against grassroots, but I would plea for some patience as we are in fact working very hard to bridge those canyons that have developed over years of neglect between national and state, and establish systems that allow coordinated message delivery and localized customization of messaging.

                cheers,

                Mitch Gore

                Nobody will change America for you, you have to work to make it happen

                by Lestatdelc on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:43:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Twice (none)
                We have patted ourselves on the back and come up short twice.  Change the outcome of either 2000 or 2004 and virtually all of the anger would be nonexistent in this forum.  Change the outcome in one of those two years and most of the people frequenting this forum would be doing something else.  We are here because of those two outcomes - and because we don't want them to happen again.

                So, as someone said above quite eloquently, "Take a breath. Have patience. And let's get back to work."

                Focus your anger on the opposition.  Focus your efforts on making us stronger.  At least that's what this amateur thinks.

          •  Put me in the Air America ROCKS column. (none)
            We need Air America cable television, imo.
            •  we sure need SOMETHING on cable TV (none)
              We have GOT to have an unabashed liberal channel on TV.  Unabashed and unapologetic.

              I'm hoping some enterprising bloggers with a little technical know-how, some video equipment and a wicked sense of humor will provide Al Gore's new cable channel with a new generation of lefty commentators.

              Betcha anything those commentators will eventually get a higher percentage of viewers than Hannity, Limbaugh, et al.

              Some of the Kossacks here would be formidable commentators on the air IMO.  Funny and fiery.  

              ...Just planting a few seeds....

              Welcome to America, Land of Esoterica.

              by MojoBombay on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:34:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Questions for georgia10 and Kos people: (none)
                Hi all:

                1. Who here knows about GTV network?  If you do, why is that. If you don't, why do you think that is?

                2. Who here has contributed to or used DemSpeak.com? Do you know that it is phase 1 of a portal site for values inventory, message identification, message development, media-choreographed deployment strategies, and -----

                MEDIA TRAINING of Capitol Hill Legislators and liberal pundits ?

                If not, why don't you know that?

                3) Has anyone here read reports I have written and posted to DailyKos re meetings held in DC last month with DNC (and with DFA?)  If so, what are the issues and concerns I have blatantly stated after having met with Dean's right-hand man Tom McMahon, Exec Director of DNC?

                If you don't know, why not?

                4) Who here has heard of the development of a Citizen Thinktank, which will be funded with paid staff -- called ProgressiveStrategies ?

                If you haven't, why not?

                .
                .
                .
                Did you know that this thinktank works with initiatives like epluribus media?

                .
                .

                Here is my point: I don't expect that you HAVE heard of any of these. And that in itself is a real problem, and one we all better address.

                5) Did you know MoveOn and DFA won't work together?

                If not, why don't you know that?
                If so, what do you think about that fact?

                .
                .

                I actually agree with many of georgia10's criticisms and concerns expressed with what I think of as 100% VALID PISSED-OFFNESS. At the same time I challenge her and everyone else here:

                Stop being so insular.  The answers don't all converge at DailyKos. This is, in my opinion, the strongest, best, most inventive online progressive community, period. 2nd place is distant.  However, until there is more alignment, coalition-building, collaboration, and much better cross-channel communications betweenst and amongst hundreds of grassroots orgs re who's doing what, then we're all driving with the brakes on.

                rh+

                •  Great Points; Great Questions; (none)
                  Now, please help move us forward with some constructive suugestions.

                  Put them in a diary and let's get it up on the recommended list ... or better yet front-paged.

                  dKos is a wonderful community, with many strengths, and an excellent platform for activism.
                  But it is a big world and there are many efforts  being made. The more cohesive and united we progrssive liberals can be, and the less fragmented, the greater the impact and the gretaer the potential for truly making a difference.

        •  And why do you think the corporate media (4.00)
          would ever  give the DNC Deaniacs beneficial media exposure, when what Dean is trying to do they view as being against their (Bushco-neocon) interests?

          Out of the goodness of corporate media's hearts??

          •  Yes, that is the crucial point that so many miss. (4.00)

            Which is puzzling to me... do folks really think it is just a 'coincidence' that the Sunday morning talk shows are so dominated by right-wing voices?  do folks really think that Democrats other than Joe Leiberman don't WANT to be on these shows?  Look at mediamatters.org  -- can you seriously say after looking at all that evidence that the bias is not intentional? that it is because Democrats aren't 'aggressive enough' about making their points or trying to make their voices heard?

            WHY does General Electric own NBC and co-own MSNBC?  To inform the public? To provide balance in the political discourse? Or to increase the profits of the parent corporation?

        •  "Piggy banks of the party" (4.00)
          Oh yeah...ain't that the truth. They just keep asking for money but what the f are they doing with it? A representative of the DNC(telemarketer reading a script) called the other night and asked for my financial support. I said sorry, I am no longer willing to dig into my pockets until the party reps start showing up. She said, " I can understand that ", then continues reading the script. I said "You tell Dr, Dean and company that they need to get to work and until they can prove they prove they are worthy of my check writing skills don't bother calling, emailing or writing me anymore."

          That may sound harsh to most of you but I am tired of paying someone to do a job that they are not doing. I'm with you on this one georgia10 especially when it comes to the need for great communicators on tv. Joe and Joe show is pathetic. Those two do not represent my veiws but a mere 2% of the time.

          The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

          by Alohaleezy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:30:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Odd (4.00)
            So many folks said that they wouldn't give the DNC one cent unless Howard Dean was elected chair.

            Now some folks won't give the DNC a cent until Howard does more work.  Sounds like moving the goal posts to me.

            Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

            by Ed in Montana on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:41:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've donated (4.00)
              and I'll keep donating to the DNC, despite my frustration.  And you know why?  Because I know the organization is necessary and that it can do so much for this nation.

              God, judging by the responses on this thread, you'd think people thought I wrote the DNC off entirely.  Hardly.  If I did, I certainly would not have taken the time to express my thoughts about how to improve it.

              •  You have a right to be frustrated (4.00)
                And a right to rant. It just seems a little premature when a reform democrat took over the DNC. It's like ranting against ourselves since we haven't made enough progress in a short period of time.

                Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

                by Ed in Montana on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:34:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I understand your frustration (none)
                But in response to your criticism of Dean, I'm thinking of a survey done in the heat of the 2004 race that revealed that good old fashioned face time was significantly more effective than advertising. That's what Dean's doing: Going out on a tireless mission to talk to people. It can seem frustrating, just because it's not the kind of campaign that will get regular national exposure—especially not from the corporate media—but that doesn't mean it's ineffective. If the survey was right, it's the most effective thing he could be doing, especially in those areas where the Democrats are weak.

                As for the corporate media, I can't help noting that Fox is the only channel that knows how to do propaganda. Murdoch's a past master, and Ailes is an excellent lieutenant. But the more Fox-like CNN becomes, the more eyeballs they lose. Given this, I'm perfectly content to actually pull those remaining liberal voices out and leave the networks to scream their way into obvious irrelevance. They can get a clue, or they can wither and die. Even Clear Channel is getting wise to liberal programming. Actually, I think Fox clued into this early on: The Salon.com liberals, and many others, have given Fox props for years for their entertainment programming (e.g., the Simpsons). That's the sweetener that makes the "news" go down easier.

                Since we no longer have taboos, we have Abus.

                by oldjohnbrown on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:12:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not so Odd (none)
              Evidence isn't necessarily a moving goal post. It may be shortsighted of us, but sometimes we like to know that we're fighting back.

              Dean as DNC chair was paramount. No one else would do. Now, tell us what he's doing and what we can do for him (besides give more money).

              The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

              by Ghidra99 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:58:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Some folks may have (4.00)
              said that, I am sure you are right. I just happen to NOT be one of the. Look, I live pretty much pay check to paycheck but since pre election times, I have been giving as much as possible every time I am asked whether it is/was Kerry, DNC, NOW, Boxer's pac, I do what I can. I am more than happy to contibute not just menetarily but GOTV canvassing, making phone calls etc.

              I will continue to contribute when my budget allows and the people asking (ie Boxer) are working to get the job done and stand up to the republicans at every turn.

              The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

              by Alohaleezy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:32:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's too bad you said that. (none)
            You see, to say Howard Dean is not working is just not true.  

            "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

            by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:07:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Didn't the Deputy Chair (now Vice Chair) drop by? (none)
            I do recall Susie Turnbull the now Vice Chair of the DNC dropping by a couple of times before asking for ideas from us.  (Also note that she didnt ask kossacks to do anything in particular to support her candidacy for vice chair or ask for money, just asked for ideas).  I spoke with her the other day when she came down to my school to speak and she said she would try to get back sometime soon.
      •  A few points (4.00)
        (1) The diary is not solely about site design; and it is admittedly subjective, but the point was that even its web design, the DNC is lacking unity or a unifying theme.  I'm from IL so I'm more familiar with it.  If you or someone else thinks the DNC site is beautifully designed like a Jimmy Choo shoe, then  that's your opinion, and you are certainly entitled to it.  But to distort the diary so to make it solely about website design, when in reality it touches on much broader marketing principles, is unfair.

        (2) To you and everyone else on this site:  if you think my writing or my diary is shitty, don't recommended it!  In fact, I'd appreciate the honesty.  I could give a flying fuck about recommends (I appreciate them, but I'm not begging or whining for them, nor do I post tip jars for diaries like these).  

        (3) Dean is a national chair.  Yes, it is reaching out to the nation by going to small communities.  But notice my diary is asking about effectiveness.  What is more effective, travelling and getting a snippet of coverage in a local paper or at the very least combining that with a national presence?  

        Here's the deal.  Democrats now have no one to take a hint from.  No single leader.  Reid?  Yeah, he's doing well, but as recent critical votes show, it's hard for him to keep all his ducks in a row.  Pelosi? Please. She tries, but falls woefully short.  Kerry? Kerry and Reid can't agree on where to attack, let alone how. And at a time when the DNC should be projecting a single, coherent message, we get nothing.

        Counter-productive loudmouthed snark? Or an average Democrat, venting some frustration over the defening silence?

        •  Noise (3.60)
          But to distort the diary so to make it solely about website design, when in reality it touches on much broader marketing principles, is unfair.

          I'm in internet marketing and I don't see the broader marketing principles you're referring to. Had you presented a detailed critique of the first two months (it has only been two months since Dean's election after all) of the DNC's organizational strategy in action, and not merely ranted on and on about the Dem's ineffectiveness and facelessness, pehaps I'd take this diary more seriously.

          And isn't it distorting my post a bit to suggest it only mentions your design comment, when half of it mentions your criticism of Dean's presence in red states?

          But notice my diary is asking about effectiveness.  What is more effective, travelling and getting a snippet of coverage in a local paper or at the very least combining that with a national presence?

          Give me a break. Have you done any fundraising for a large institution? I mean seriously...a museum or a university or a large organization like the DNC?

          This is a four year campaign, and Dean is two months into it. You try to do more to develop a coordinated marketing strategy involving radio, tv, online and print...plus coordinate a fifty-state grasssroots network...plus schedule media interviews and appearances...plus organize fundraising...plus coordinate with state and federal party leaders...

          ...and do more in two month's time. Why don't you help rather than snort and spit at your allies?

          Democrats now have no one to take a hint from.  No single leader. Reid?  Yeah, he's doing well, but as recent critical votes show, it's hard for him to keep all his ducks in a row.  Pelosi? Please. She tries, but falls woefully short.

          You concede the strengths of those you cite as examples, but dismiss them anyway b/c they're currently in a minority position and can't change things at the moment. Um, yeah. So wait a minute, you're criticizing them for something they can't control? That's like telling someone who's fighting against cancer (and doing so with aplomb): "What? You still sick? Weak!"

          And at a time when the DNC should be projecting a single, coherent message, we get nothing.

          Nonsense. The unified Democratic opposition to "Social Security reform" and the "nuclear option" are two single, coherent positions that get trumpeted in the press daily.

          You want cliches? Choose effective ones. Like:

          Choose your battles.
          Say it, don't spray it.

          Counter-productive loudmouthed snark? Or an average Democrat, venting some frustration over the defening silence?

          Not both? I haven't heard any "deafening silence" in a long time. The noise is too persistent and it's very, very loud.

          How about clear, patient and succinct instead? Don't respond to a shout with a shout. Soon no one's listening at all.

          'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

          by Maxwell on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:47:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure... (none)
            why you feel the need to make your points with rude insults and an air of superiority.

            The tenor of your comments renders any validity in them moot. Unproductive.

            Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

            by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 09:55:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unbelievable. It's the tone police. (none)
              I believe that you're the last person who should be talking about "rude insults", disturbing "tenor" or subjective perceptions of 'superior' tone.

              You embrace the "Rude Pundit". You've frequently attack posters dead on with whom you disagree, using strong language liberally, and have defended the practice. Some would, and have, said your tone is often supercilious. Moreover, you write an extensive harangue about abuse of troll ratings.

              But someone speaks his mind to one of your pals, and you drop the troll-bombs with ease?

              I responded directly to a diarist using strong language to criticize Dean, the DNC and others with equally direct and strong language. And you penalize my dissent in the most hypocritical fashion possible, given your previous comments on 'trolling'.

              In fact, you've given me my first "one" rating (three of them, no less) in a year and a half. Cheers. I can take it.

              Though I'm no troll, Maryscott. I've been a respectful member of this community since Kos launched the site in summer of 2002, when Tacitus, Billmon, Soto and others roamed the pre-Scoop plains. I comment selectively, but regularly.

              If you're gonna preach, at least keep the book open. Let me direct you to a couple of your passages:

              But I, for one, embrace the fact that you can write the diary or make the comment and I can read it and we can hash it out. Sure, we get emotional and start yelling and swearing -- but that speaks of our passion and our deep desire to see clearly and solve problems. I welcome this, and it often stuns me back to the Stone Age when I witness the flinging of troll ratings on people who are not trolls....

              I troll rate trolls. Period.

              Wow. Lakers-like reversal. Okay. Here's the score:

              Score one for the cult of personality, Maryscott. Score another for selective decorum.

              Score zero for dissent and candor.

              It's dittoheads and hall monitors all over again.

              'Fie upon the Congress' - Sen Bob Byrd

              by Maxwell on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 01:11:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Amen (4.00)
        I usually agree whole-heartedly with georgia10 but on this one I can't see eye-to-eye (am I mixing metaphors?).  

        If the DNC were doing a full-on top-down mission, lots of national message, big honchos on TV, we'd all be bitching about how Dean paid lip service to the grassroots and then sold us out.  Now he's out doing what he said he would and investing in local parties (who he trusts to design their local websites to appeal to their local constituents -- do you think the same site will fly in Montana that works in Mississippi?) and letting Harry Reid et al. handle the national spokesperson job.  

        Are we saying that grassroots building was never a good idea in the first place?  Or just now that they're doing it, we don't like it any more and want national unity rather than local control?

        Please take this as a respectful disagreement with georgia10, who I do respect -- I had to double-check this wasn't written by an impostor (say, "goergia10 or "george10") that automatically hit the recommended list when people thought they saw that familiar handle.

        •  Thanks for the words (4.00)
          and the disagreement.  I must say, it's refreshing to get into a debate on dkos (no, not a dig that it's an echo chamber, just that I personally haven't had one in a while).

          Let me make this clear.  I am not saying to abandon grassroots.  Not at all!  But why does it have to be JUST Dean going around the nation?  I feel like he thinks it has to be, and I'm not so sure about that.  

          You can have both grassroots and a national presence at the same time.  Which, in fact, is what the RNC had leading up to the 2004 election. They had their men on the ground, AND they had a national presence reinforcing that message.

          •  it's what he does (4.00)
            What can I tell you -- we wanted Dean, we got Dean, we have to live with Dean!  What he did in his primary campaign, what he did with DFA, what he's doing with the DNC is to leave decision-making local.  

            How much can be done with local groups, BPOEs, Rotary Clubs, local pols on the local news -- if we spend a couple years organizing like that, can we get around the "inverted pyramid" problem Bradley pointed out?  Can we have a broad nationwide local base that will support interchangeable talking heads on the big national media?  

            I understand your anxiety - he seems to have the DNC focused SOLELY on local organizing at the cost of national speechifying.  Is that wise?

            My feeling is the DNC has (as you pointed out) pretty much sucked at handling national media for some years now, despite the best efforts by some really smart people.  It would be the summit of hubris for Dean to think he could come in and by virtue of sheer charisma turn that around.  So I like to think of this as a humble approach -- not trying to out-do what so many have failed at before, but rather trying a totally new (even revolutionary!) tack.

            But, yes, you may want to take some Dramamine to get through the next few years.  It is a risky strategy, and it may be a bumpy ride.

            •  I would have little problem (none)
              with the current DNC strategy if the other national dems would step up!  But given that there is no unified Democratic theme coming from Congress (except on Social Security, thank god) my expectation was that the DNC, which represents Democrats nationally, would step in and fill the void.  Sadly, in my opinion, it has not.
              •  Check the front page (none)
                Reid's been doing a good job keeping our message in the news. The DCCC and DSCC have both been good at making sure they get a word in on stories that relate to their mission.

                I think we could do a better job getting on the Sunday shows, but I'm not sure if that's our fualt or not.

                In short, we're getting a national message out. But it'll take time to get it to where we want it to be. Expecting everything to happen now ignores the fact this is an uphill battle, and always has been, and well be for the foreseeable future.

                Raise your hammers high And let the anvils ring! -the Animaniacs

                by Goldfish on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:19:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Really?? What IS our message? (none)
                  Reid's been doing a good job keeping our message in the news.

                  Hunh?

                  Did you know that the method the DNC is using to DEFINE "our message"is antithetical to the wise findings of the Right Reverend George Lakoff (little joke there)? That is it say: Lakoff couldn't have made a clearer case re the Democratic party method of defining "message" and what actually works.

                  And yet -- having done that now -- with hundreds of thousands of progressives now having been exposed to his different paradigm where message definition follows a very deep values inventory (and so on... ), do you know how the DNC is developing "the new Democratic party message?"

                  • Add one part Pelosi and Reid and the usual supsects called "Congressional Democratic Leaders" (never mind that most know next to nothing about the Lakoff paradigm other than two buzzwords: "values" and "framing")

                  • Stir in the 50 heads of the State Democratic party orgs

                  • Heat for 20 minutes then sprinkle in the opinions of the new 50-state Grassroots Liasons Dean & DNC are hiring

                  • Throw in reconstituted Labor "issues" (remember, their issues must be part of the message because that's the way it's been done for 50 years +)

                  • Be careful to keep all ingredients contained behind closed doors.

                  • Take care to avoid holding town hall meetings where CITIZENS can express their values and concerns

                  • When done, open the door and tell everybody the new & improved message.

                  .
                  .
                  Gimme a break. Reid, compared to most, is a god. But message? What's his message exactly. I'm going to challenge you to state it here.

                  Sorry, but i just find comments like that very underinformed... even though well meaning.

          •  I would say (none)
            there is a lot more going on than you know

            and THAT is the problem!

            How do you judge the DNC?  What you hear the DNC is doing in the media or on the internet right?

            what if its being done and no one knows about it?

            Maybe that is a problem to hone in on?

            •  That's EXACTLY the problem (none)
              I'm a known Democrat, and my name and address are in the hands of many Democratic institutions, including the DNC. But I have NO idea what the DNC's up to. The messages are not getting out to the public. If you live in one of the cities Dean has been to, and are high enough on the totem pole to be invited to a meeting, great. But that doesn't do anything for the MASSES, the people who actually have to vote in 2006/2008. Hell, not only has the DNC not put out any messages that I'm aware of, but they haven't even asked me for money. If you can't rally your BASE, dedicated "1s" who WILL vote for you, and will help your cause, how can you expect to welcome new Dems to the fold? Where is the activism? All the momentum we had going into November seems to have completely dried up.

              And I think that's what Georgia's ranting about... no one really gives that much of a damn about website design.

              •  Momentum was wasted (none)
                after the election.  Two nights afterwards on, November 4th, I met with a group of other Dems who were shocked, dismayed, but damn ready to fight.  
                MoveOn had a hell of a base built in the swing states and the framework used to build that could have been used in the other states.  It was all put away in the cupboard.
                I personally sent a proposal to several organizations, MoveOn included, within days after 11/2.  It addressed the "bubble" georgia refers to.    As I have commented many times here WE DO NOT realize how many people out there do not have the time or the access to the internet and independent, unfiltered news.
                We have got to get the real deal out here to everyone at the grassroots level and as wonderful as computers are, it isn't enough.  It is going to take a LOT of us to get off our asses and get the message out.

                "The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Einstein

                by Oke on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:49:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  National (4.00)
        What's not 'national' about traveling through the nation, talking to Americans about Democratic principles?

        This is a very good and interesting question and raises complex questions of national identity and the media.

        I'll take a stab at it.  I think this sort of grassroots contact isn't really national because it's not on television.  Is it authentic?  Yes.  Is it valuable?  Yes.  Is it a good long-term strategy?  Yes.  

        But is it national?  Not so much.  It's too piecemeal to be considered national.  The national effort that I think Georgia10 has in mind is a media game.  

        The two aren't mutually exclusive, of course, which I think is Georgia10's point.  While Dean talks to people head by head by head across this great land of ours, someone else (several someone elses) needs to be on the television, keeping it all together.  That way, when Dean arrives at the next town, the people will have been primed for his coming and his message so it won't seem so foreign.  

        Does this make sense?

        What sort of insects do you rejoice in, where you come from?

        by weeping for brunnhilde on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:26:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed, it does such much ass. (none)
      I assumed the "professional" praise was a joke.  The site is useless.  The Florida and Colorado sites are positively brilliant in comparison, and the DNC still better.

      Really, if you don't go to the Illinois website to look up your local representative - by fucking district number, mind you - then what good is it?  At least the Florida and Colorado sites offer relatively recent news.  Colorado even has a few "read me and do this" messages.

      If the criticism was based on looks, well, that's pretty shallow.  If anyone really doesn't like the DNC website, send them a new stylesheet.  (That such a simple fix might change the entire look of the site is praiseworthy in itself.)

  •  Oh yeah, for the 1 millionth time (4.00)
    Dean said, i think correctly, that the DNC was not going to be involved in policy. that he was going to leave that up to congressional eaders.
    •  If the DNC doesn't get involved in policy (none)
      than what are the national policies of the party?

      I'm still waiting to see that list.

      It clearly wasn't protecting Americans from phony "tort reform", or phony "bankruptcy reform."

      I think it's a mistake not to have more national unity in the Congressional delegation. The GOP has absolute discipline on certain votes. Anyone who opposes their core positions, they run a candidate against them in the GOP primary.

      Where is the discipline in the Democratic Party? Even the idea of social security privatization that we are so gleefully celebrating an apparent victory on was floated by Democrats in 1998.

      I'm pissed at the DNC because I think the party's statement of values has to be made clear and the party has to find a way to get some teamwork and discipline; some unity around core principles like protecting the poor and the middle class. There should have been unanimous Democratic votes in opposition to bankruptcy reform.

    •  .. and you actually believe that? (none)
      Oh yeah, for the 1 millionth time (4.00 / 4)

      Dean said, i think correctly, that the DNC was not going to be involved in policy. that he was going to leave that up to congressional eaders.

      You underestimate Howard Dean when you actually seem to think you are adding clarity here.  Howard is learing the gamesmanship of politics... If he has any chance of opening up the windows and clearing out the DLC cobwebs and glue gumming up all the works, do you think he can achieve that by -- upfront, out the gate -- fighting with Pelosi (worthless: someone explain why we were all so exited when this alleged "SF Liberal" was given Gep's role?) and Reid when they tell him: "young man, you stick to infrastructure and leave the message to the experienced pros".

      Don't be fooled at all by that. Howard is WAY smarter than that. He just needs to go along to get along for the time being -- but you can bet your ass he's going to start influencing the Democratic Party message... It may be a year from now, but for the 1000th time, don't believe everything you hear or read...

  •  Ummm... (4.00)
    they ARE getting their shit together.

    In the short time since Dean took over I have stopped receiving constant requests for money and instead have been asked to write letters to the editor, been given info on DeLay's scandals, been informed about a rally supporting Social Security, and several other information or activism based emails.

    In my book they have come a LOOOOONG way since the time, less than half a year ago, when all they did was ask for money incessantly and ignore the grassroots.

    Man, I am sorry, but I completely disagree. I had given up on the DNC before (and still have on the DCCC and DSCC) but they have done what it takes to get me back. I have some cirticisms still (the Social Security rally in NYC was poorly organized and I am wondering where they are in the OH-2 special election) but having cirticisms is different than condemning them. They have initiated letter writing campaigns to the media more than once and they have focused on DeLay. It is a fucking good start. If they don't continue improving, well, then maybe I will have issue with them. But it is a BIG change in a short period of time.

    By all means send them your criticism, but if you want to be heard, maybe you can frame it more constructively and maybe you need to recognize the very real reform that has already happened.

    Now, of course, it will take some elections to show how effective their changes are, but for now, good for them!

    Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

    by mole333 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:28:16 PM PDT

    •  They've been working (3.55)
      As I mentioned.  And you cite some positive examples.  I am more disappointed in the media/outreach aspect so far.  They're working their asses off, yeah, but effectively?  I don't know.  
      •  The fights right now are legislative (4.00)
        especially in the Senate.

        Dean's out there laying groundwork for the "50 state" strategy, which is IMHO the single most vital issue for the survival and growth of the Democratic Party.

        Bush's approval is dropping. He's losing on Social Security. The noose is tightening (at least politically) around DeLay. Frist is getting heat, not just from the Reid and the unified Democratic Senate, but also from corporate America, who fear the nuclear winter the Dems have promised if Frist pursues the nuclear option.

        The whole Schiavo thing -- Dems didn;t impede it, but they didn't grandstand on it either, which made it a GOP pogrom and it's blowing up in the GOP's collective faces.

        There are some fights I wish the Dems had fought that they ducked, but they appear to be winning the battles they've chosen since the 2004 elections.

        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

        by Bill Rehm on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:48:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  g10 (none)
        Sent you an email. Just an FYI.
      •  I'm disappointed in "awareness" too (none)
        I think the senate is doing a halfway decent job, and there's some internals that are starting to really solidify. I also get the impression that Dean will need a few months just to get everyone on board and turn his vision into a coherent plan.

        But I'm definitely pissed that we're not on the news as much as we should be, in the face of every lie, correcting every little mistake, and making the reporters shit themselves when they even THINK of reporting a right-wing talking point.

        And progressives definitely run the risk of insulating ourselves from outside opinion -- both receiving and retorting to common concerns.

    •  I agree with you (none)
      but somebody needs to be smacking down the Cornyn's in this world who make radical statements and people are believing them. Why isn't the DNC doing that? Just my 2 cents...

      Blue guy in a red state.

      by txbirdman on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:49:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure (none)
        But really it should be individual Congresscritters doing it. And us in letters to our Congressional Reps and to the media. We need to be carrying a part of that responsibity as well.

        Again, sending the DNC criticism is good. Condemning them is, in my opinion, uncalled for when they are in the process of making the very changes we called for.

        Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

        by mole333 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:05:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree! (none)
        I wrote to Chuck and Hillary today and demanded they do just that!
        •  Ah! (none)
          The tepid duo represent me as well. They are okay, but for supposedly "tough guys" they sure have failed to lead the opposition.

          Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

          by mole333 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:35:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (none)
      I udnerstand Georgia10's comments, they can always do better...

      but they have been doing amazingly BETTER Than the Terry Mac days ...

      I would say give him the 05 elections and they you'll see how much he's done.

      •  Speaking of 2005 (none)
        I was going through my Hotlist and found that Democracy for America (the Other Dean) already has started on 2005:

        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/29/112747/056

        I sent some money to a couple of these candidates.

        And for any and all New Yorkers, our big 2005 race is to BOOT Bloomberg out of Town:

        www.bootbloomberg.com

        Been helping them recruit and network.

        Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

        by mole333 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:41:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The DNC (4.00)
    has to be better at playing offense.  I understand not wanting to play politics with the Schiavo case, for example, but couldn't someone have come out and said "it's a private matter, lets stay out of it?" Why aren't they hammering Delay's ethical shortcomings? How about the fact that we're STILL at war?  We can't just keep reacting to the Republicans, we need to come out fighting.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:29:31 PM PDT

  •  You know, Georgia10, this was (4.00)
    actually quite tactful....and I agree, time for some higher profiles, already!!  Re what question to ask Dean, I'd basically collapse all of the above into, "Where's the DNC, we don't see you, and what are you going to do about it in the next month?"

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:29:49 PM PDT

    •  I quite agree (none)
      I stare at the TV for about an hour every morning, and I never see them, but I do see their counterparts on the other side. I don;t listen to the sound, though.

      Dean has a great talent for getting on TV and getting attention, I want to see more of him coming out of the idiot box.

  •  Thanks, georgia (none)
    You (and MSOC) say all the stuff I'm too polite to say. :-)

    Liberal: "I still think it's a respectable word. Its root is "liber," the Latin word for "free," and isn't that what we are all about?"--Mary McGrory

    by mini mum on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:34:27 PM PDT

  •  My probably unpopular two cents (4.00)
    After Howard Dean assured Harry Reid he would acquiesce to others being the mouthpiece for the Democratic Party, the DNC has been relegated insignificant in promoting the liberal agenda. As much as I admire Reid for the few principled stands he has taken, he isn't getting the message out with his vaunted "war room"
    •  The War Room (4.00)
      Looked good on paper, didn't it?  

      They're trying, but it sure doesn't feel like a "war".  Feels more like a pillow fight, actually.

      •  Your Diary Kind of Fits (4.00)
        With an idea I had to start a grassroots lobbying agency.

        My idea is similar to this site except that the diaries would be targeted to specific client causes. For instance:

        1. Mass e-mail campaigns: instead of sending one, form written email to congress or whomever, a cause could solicit like ten or twenty different email templates to choose from. This would make the message more personal to people and it would show a greater individuality of opinion about why the cause is important.

        2. Speech writing: Instead of using the same, tired example of "I met with Joe American, and he said..." targeted inspirational or testimonial writing could be used by a potential candidate to continually update his or her stump speech to creat a greater sense of freshness in the overall message. I've seen great diaries here about people and their real experiences of how political policy affects them as individuals. This is the kind of authenticity that voters are looking for in an overall message.

        3. Press Releases: Instead of just putting out one simple press release calling attention to an issue, wouldn't it be better to fire them out in spurts until somebody is almost forced to start reporting on them. A site that has dozens of copywriters and editors would be able to write multiple versions of a press release, continually update them through the life of a story, and individually market them to small market news outlets throughout the country. A small team of inhouse copywriters would never have time to reach the number of outlets that a geographically spreadout grassroots agency would.

        These are all things that could be done from the web. Obviously, there would be hurdles to overcome, the biggest being that most of us aren't professional copywriters and those that do it for a living aren't going to work for free. But you don't have to be a professional to generate great ideas and that's 95 percent of the battle. The rest is something that can be learned with a little instruction and practice.

        I'm working on a business plan for a site that would offer such options to political causes. If anyone is interested in helping me out with ideas or criticism, check my Diary page and drop me a line on my public e-mail link. I'll send you what I've come up with so far.

        It's not my intention to whore this, but it certainly fits the bill as to ideas that could make a real difference in the way liberals do messaging.

        Hey, at least I'm trying.

        25 page views a day since yesterday The Tom Joad Society

        by TheChanMan on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:55:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Now THAT'S a pet peeve. (4.00)
        We here at dKos wet our collective pants when "The Stick" started showing up to post here. But has anybody heard word one from them about the impending "nuclear option?"

        I mean, if you can think of something that ought to be of more concern to Senate Democrats, I'd like to hear it.

        Yet, the vaunted Stick is nowhere to be seen. And when they are seen, it's a one-way affair. Three cheers for the guys who come to the blog to issue a press release, and then head back to the office! Yeeha! Meanwhile, we have some solid work to share on the nuclear option, and does anybody here have any idea how to send communications the other way? Does anybody know where to send a message to the SDCC?

        And while I'm on the subject, the DSCC blog is an abomination. Frankly, it's an insult to Scoop. I've never seen blog software more suited to creating a vibrant community, and yet the DSCC blog is an absolute wasteland. Not only do they have nothing whatsoever on their front page about the nuclear option, but there's nothing on their front page that's been posted more recently than January! WTF?! And if it wasn't for the always active, always earnest Tim Tagaris, working on behalf of Chuck Pennacchio, there wouldn't be a damned thing in their diaries, either!

        We've had some tremendous success in repairing our relationship with the DCCC, thanks to their blogger Jesse Lee's efforts to actually use the power of Scoop, here at dKos, to let us know what's going on over there. Remember that next time the party organizations start hitting you up for money. For all the flash that went into launching the SDCC, and for all the high-fives the DSCC probably thought it was going to get for adopting Scoop as its blog format, only the DCCC has made any use whatsoever of the power of this community.

        And it kinda pisses me off.

        •  Here, Here! (none)
          Clueless?  Yes, indeed.

          But is there some test we can run to find out if they are INTENTIONALLY CLUELESS.

          There is a lot of corpocroc cash floating around to help people get amnesia.

          LL

          Lefty Limblog - It is time to WIN instead of "Appease and Cringe". Fight the Rethugs!

          by LeftyLimblog on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:29:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Contact the SDCC (none)
          • SDCC Phone #: 202-224-2939
          • SDCC Fax : 202-228-5776

          And Kossack cscs found an e-mail address:
          • Ari Rabin-Havt     Director of Internet Communications    
          • Ari_RabinHavt@reid.senate.gov
          Doesn't work directly from the SDCC website, though, which seems a pity.

          I agree they need to work on this. The DNC has at least 100,000 activists available on political blogs. How about a weekly diary on each site listing THE talking point of the week and 5-10 actions they'd like us each to take, with comments for "Done! in ____(town/state)"? Seems like an easy, cost-effective way to get a unified, cohesive message out across not only the blogsphere, but to newspapers and activists in each town across the US.

          Social Security privatization = God bless the child that's got his own

          by eleanora on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:44:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Corporation Games (4.00)
    You know, for once, I would love to turn on the TV and see *gasp* a Democrat on air.  An honest to goodness Democrat.  Not a liberal, not a progressive, but a fucking representative of the Democratic party.  

    You and me both, sister. You and me both.

    But you know what? TV these days isn't about money - it's about control. It's about market lock-in. It's about catering to your existing audience and not taking risks.

    Having a real Democrat on TV would, in the eyes of the content cartels, be bad for business. Viewers might have their comfortable, conservative worldviews challenged. The fact that they're not actually reporting the news might be brought to wider attention. Heck, people might learn that there's an alternative to the Republican party. And by this point, the content cartels have put all their eggs in one basket - they're afraid that, should a Democrat take control of the FCC, they might finally face reprisals for their blatantly anti-consumer, anti-democracy, pro-Republican partisan actions.

    You're not going to see a real Democrat on TV for the foreseeable future. TV's a corporate playground, and the big corporations are Republican all the way.

    We're not going to see Dean's power until the real start of the next election cycle. Right now, he's working on - slowly - reforming the DNC. Remember that the DNC is a pretty big organization, and organizations have a lot of inertia. Real change will take time.

    Though if he's not already got someone working on a replacement for that god-awful website, he needs a real kick in the pants.

    Monsters think it's all right to be a monster, after all. - Hitherby Dragons

    by RHunter on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:38:52 PM PDT

    •  Exactly, Big Biz owns the Media (none)
      Let's review...
      • Big biz is the customer of the Media. It buys the advertisements that fund the Media: TV, Radio, Print, etc.
      • Big biz profits handsomely from Repuke policies -- by wealth transfer from the Middleclass to the rich.

      From Business 101, rule number 1: "Don't piss off the customer".

      Without fair, trustworthy, auditable elections, it's NOT Democracy -- Period.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:54:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  An excellent frame! Let's see Real Democrats. (none)
      Repeat over and over: Let's see a REAL DEMOCRAT on your program! And mention WHO was available on each press release!
      DNC could go after the strawpeople on the networks & Republican Noise machines in this way. . .
    •  real liberals will get airtime (none)
      The left lacks media savvy people that know how to get their people on tv.  

      The MSM folks have no problem letting Ralph Nader and people like him on tv, because Ralph, when he has a book to promote, goes through a media savvy booking agnecy.  We on the left need to get media savvy, right now we are not.  Who has been a bigger critic of the corporate control of our politicians and media then Ralph Nader?  He gets to speak, so save the talk about the big bad media being controlled by the powerful, and realize that just maybe the left just doesn't have their shit together when it comes to dealing with the media.

      absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

      by jbou on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:14:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not sure if I can agree (4.00)
    You know, for once, I would love to turn on the TV and see gasp a Democrat on air.  An honest to goodness Democrat.  Not a liberal, not a progressive, but a fucking representative of the Democratic party.

    It's hard for somebody to have a good influence on the people when appearing on hostile media shows.  And a majority of the punditry shows are going to be hostile to Democrats.  Why?  I don't know, corporate ownership, conservative agenda, lack of Democratic power in Washington, whatever the reason, that's the case.

    What I wasnt to see is some sort of organization, some semblance of an overall plan that the DNC has it's shit together.  The problem with this is that it's hard to see concrete results from this until far into the future.  Rebuilding a solid base for Democrats rquires time and alot of work behind the scenes, out of the spotlight.  I can only hope that this is being done by Dean & company.  If it is, then the results will be seen at some point in the future, hopefully 2006, or at least by 2008.  If not, then we're fucked.

    I just don't know what I want to see right now that will make me happy.  All I want to see is success by 2006.  If that means doing nothing in the public eye for now, then unleashing everything in mid '06, then so be it.  But if we ramble along, float through the midterm elections with no plan, with no success, then fuck it, I'm done with the Democrats.  For now, I'll give Dean the benefit of the doubt.

    Strength without wisdom is a chimera, resolve without competence a travesty. - David Neiwert

    by SleepyG on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:46:38 PM PDT

    •  Sure it's hard (4.00)
      being on a histile show, but some people do it with a smile on their face. You have to keep trying, and you have to keep getting the face time, and getting your talking points out there, even if the assholes who are running the show try to humiliate you.

      The republicans turned around a press not only by buying them (and jesus christ, can't we do some of that too?), but also by relenlessly getting on the shows and spewing their luntz-script over and over until the damned sheep were hypnotized. If they can convince people by rote repetition to vote against their own best interests, we should be able to use the same tactic for the opposite result.

      •  crapola (none)
        sorry for the type-o's
      •  I wouldn't support that (none)
        Sorry, but I wouldn't support that method.  That would simply mean the Democrats become part of the problem instead of representing the solution.  The solution is to re-introduce critical thinking into the media and the population as a whole.  

        I don't know how this can be accomplished, but repeating talking point endlessly is not the way to do it.  Going down that road will ineveitably lead to abuses of power by the Democrats, same as we're seeing with the Republicans.

        I don't know what the answer is, but if this is it, I'm out.

        Strength without wisdom is a chimera, resolve without competence a travesty. - David Neiwert

        by SleepyG on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:33:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How Long Will That Take? (none)
          Can we innoculate beer commercials with critical thinking memes?

          The whole purpose of the media is to hypnotize, not wake people up.

          LL

          Lefty Limblog - It is time to WIN instead of "Appease and Cringe". Fight the Rethugs!

          by LeftyLimblog on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:34:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not saying it's easy (none)
            I'm not even saying it's possible.  I just don't feel right supporting the mindless brainwashing of people in order to pass legislation / rule the country.  Even if I agree with what's being done.

            I won't knock the effectiveness of such an approach, I just won't support it.  Not that that means anything, some jackass typing on the internet saying "I don't support this!!!"

            I'm just saying.

            Strength without wisdom is a chimera, resolve without competence a travesty. - David Neiwert

            by SleepyG on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:42:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I couldn't agree more. (none)
        "Propaganda" is neutral -- it's the MESSAGE that makes it good or bad.

        We need good fucking propaganda from our side.

        Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

        by Maryscott OConnor on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:05:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you! and a modification (none)
          We need to get our faces coming out of the box, point blank. If we have to put on the lipstick and plastic smile, so be it. ONce we get attention, then we can start chipping away ever so slowly at the ignorance and idiocy the currently prevails.

          You simply cannot ever get anyone to come around to your point of view until you have their attention. Hence I repeat my suggestion earlier: we need Models!!! Male MOdels, Female models, Shemale Models, just as long as they look fabulous on television. Personally I think Howard Dean looks excellent on TV, but we need more more more beautiful people to get our points across, to flirt with Chris Matthews and to smolder sexily on meet the press.

          Can't we have a talent search? Dr. Dean: you need an "Americas top liberal spokesmodel" competition, and fast!

  •  You're right that the DNC web page is awful (4.00)
    and the blog format is worse.  However, they do have a mail utility with lots of media addresses for letter writing.  There's a five address limit, but there doesn't seem to be any limit on how many batches you can send in one day.

    The DNC has a grand new complex in DC with TV studios and everything. But, getting the talent together to run that stuff takes time, not to mention money.

    The commercial networks and cable pick and choose whom they have on.  I think Howard put down his foot and said he wasn't coming back until they stopped using that scream shot to introduce him.
    Also, you do know that all the cable outfits and the broadcast networks are LOOSING  audience, big time.  Newspapers are in big trouble as well.  The Boston Herald announced a 24% cut in staff today.

    So far, the media seem to think that more entertainment will pull them out of the slump.  If that doesn't work, they'll go for deregulation.  Like somehow having to follow rules keeps them from making money.  The cable companies, on the other hand think their solution lies in "adult fare" which is why Bruce Eberle is big in the Free Speech Coalition.  Bet the Parents' Television Council doesn't know he's servicing both sides of the street.

    Anyway, until the traditional media shake out, we're probably going to have to rely on and develop alternatives.

    Yes, bloggers are only writing for each other, but I bet that there are a whole lot more readers than you know.  On our little state site it's usually about thirty visitors to one member on line.

  •  Jeebuz (4.00)
    Dean's been on the job for just two months now and has been traveling like crazy all over the country listening to the state parties. The New Chariman stayed out of the national limelight in the winter when the DC mediawhores would have loved to do nothing but feature Howard and the Scream every Sunday morning abd on hardball @ Faux every evening.

    Chill out, have a beer, send Howard another check and beat on your local democractic party to get him to visit. That's what I'm doing.

    P.S. The DNC website is lame.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

    by Ed in Montana on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:54:34 PM PDT

  •  I Was First, Georgia10! (4.00)
    I got pissed one month after Dean took over as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and posted this  poorly received diary.

    You seem to be unhappy because the 'Policy' Dems like Schumer and the DLC are still in charge. They have their dwindling power?base and corpocroc cash to protect. So many of them still fight rearguard actions against the Dem grassroots and attempt to 'Clear the Primary' in PA.

    However, since everything the DLC types do is counter-productive, soon they will be gone. I think it is starting to dawn on them that asswipes like Lieberman are really vulnerable.

    Has everybody forgotten how even Harry Reid admitted trying to get quite a few Dems to run against Howard Dean for DNC Chair? Harry was pretty gracious about his 'contendas' losing out to Howard, but Howard has gone to ground for a reason.

    Howard wants to help Harry 'win one' on Social Security and 'another' on the filibuster of the frightwing activist judges.

    Make no mistake, Dean is still an outsider, DNC Chair or not, like someone who has lived in a small inbred town for 'just ten years'. What's Dean know? Maybe after the Social Security and filibuster stuff goes 'our way', Howard will get some respect.

    The jury is still out on whether Dems have to have some more ass-kicking (and a Great Depression) to clean out the Deadwood Losers Cabal.

    However, wherever Dean goes, he is still greeted with standing room only crowds of people eager to meet him. Imagine people eager to meet Dean, who couldn't tell you that Pelosi is House Dem Caucus leader.

    So, tell me, Georgia10, how do you look on TV? Wanna send Howard an email and put together your 'media strike force'?

    I sure like your blogging, G-10, are you 'media-genic'? If so, go get 'em, tigress! I have seen Plutonium Page's picture and if she has a good voice and a sharp wit, I'd like to see her as a young female Dem voice. I have heard Armando and he sounds good.

    Me!?! I am a middle-aged fat guy. However, I am more handsome than the man Daryl Kagan is rumored to sleep with. But my honest self-appraisal is that the Dittohead in Chief has a better 'gift-of-forked-tongues' than I do.

    LL

    Lefty Limblog - It is time to WIN instead of "Appease and Cringe". Fight the Rethugs!

    by LeftyLimblog on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 12:58:50 PM PDT

  •  Recommended because... (4.00)
    the DNC needs to CONTINOUSLY hear that the grass roots is pissed off about their lack of national direction

    and that we want - demand - them to meet the RNC, Delie and rest of the far right head on - not soccer, not football but frigging RUGBY

    and that we are tired of requests for money that don't seem to do anything but pay LOSING consultants huge amounts of cash

    and that while Dean has a lot of respect for his fighting and efforts - just because he's Dean doesn't mean we can see that anything has changed!

    I posted a simular diary after getting the "give me some more money" letter from the DNC (I got one from the local office yesterday actually talking about Dean but not saying ONE DAMN THING about the two Republican Light - democratic senators we have down here and what to do to pull their chains.

  •  I thought this was the DNC. (4.00)
    Call me perplexed!
  •  Perfectly said, Georgia. (none)
    I share each and everyone of your frustrations.

    Like pygmies on the battlefield of history, we cower like whipped dogs in the face of political pressure. . . Robert Byrd 12/04.

    by Lords on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:09:27 PM PDT

  •  Give 'em enough rope (none)
    I agree that the DNC has been quiet but it's only 4 months into this term of Congress. Social Security privatization has been solidly opposed. I think to some extent the unpopularity of Congress will be a price paid by the GOP alone - you throw the bums in power out.

    If another 4 months go by without vocal opposition I would agree but the DNC may have a strategy we are not aware of that they will certainly not make public. Dean, Reid and Pelosi is a much tougher team than McCaulife, Daschle and Pelosi so I'll be patient for a bit longer.

    •  The problem is (none)
      that the American people have an attention span about the size of a split pea. And the MSM plays to that fact. Notice we haven't heard much about the SS mess that Bush is trying to create? The MSM has moved on to other things: Michael Jackson, the Pope...notice that Terri Schiavo has disappeared from the airwaves, though the issues raised will last forever.

      By 2006, the American people won't be thinking about Schiavo, or Social Security...the Republicans are going to pull out some glorious miracle, and tell the people that to keep the miracle going, they have to increase their representation. And if the Democrats don't start becoming more visible and remind the American people of the hypocrisy of the Repubs, we're going to be even worse off than we are now.

      Well written, georgia10; you used the profanity so I don't have to. Recommended...

      "It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously." -- Bill Bryson

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 10:08:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  some glorious miracle (none)
        I can't beat miracles but the GOP isn't going to gain seats with 100,000+ troops in Iraq, DeLay on the rocks, and Social Security privatization. Democrats are going to run on reform, reform, reform in 2006. You can't paint every Congressman as a flip flopping elitist like you can a Presidential Candidate - the GOP has real problems in '06.

        Expect more war drums from the GOP. A missile launch against Syria or Iran or a domestic terrorist scare are the only cards the GOP has left to play. It's a partisan Democrat's job to make sure the American people don't get bluffed again. It't time to call the GOP on their shitty hand and shitty policies.

  •  Time (4.00)
    Dean has been chair for, oh, 2 months?

    I agree we need to keep a cautious eye, but I am not going to micromanage the DNC month by month.

    I'll give him a year to make my assessment.

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds - Albert Einstein.

    by GregNYC on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:13:55 PM PDT

    •  7 Weeks, 2 days (4.00)
      10 hours and 30 minutes by my watch. Jeebuss some Kossacks demand immediate gratification. Give the guy a chance to find his desk, start his computer and find the men's room.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:38:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  2006 (none)
      By the time his first year is in, it'll be time to start gearing up to take back the Congress in 2006. Will he be ready in time? Will general Americans have heard about what the Democrats have to offer by then?

      In all honesty, I feel that we can't wait on Dean to get ready. We need to be ready (and fighting), yesterday.

      Why shouldn't we be coming out hard and fast against the Republicans?

      The New Deal is dead. We're getting the Raw Deal, instead.

      by Ghidra99 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:15:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Social Security (none)
    I want to know why there are not hundreds and hundreds of Dems at the POTUS SS events trying to get in and be heard.  And when they are denied, or removed, because of political affiliation, why isn't the DNC raising hell.  For the next month, we need to be lining the streets at these events so that the People hear the noise.  The noise must be continued and amplified by our selected and elected officials across the airwaves.  We need people of recognition trying to get into these events, and ask real, unscripted questions of Bush.  And we need to be demanding Bush start speaking without notes - to really demonstrate that he knows of what he speaks.  There is something glaringly wrong with a President who can not speak extemporaneously about a subject he supposedly is passionate about.

    When the People lead, the leaders will follow..(a bumper sticker)

    by just us on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:25:59 PM PDT

    •  i have to get going for a bit (4.00)
      but I wanted to take a sec and respond to your comment in particular, because this also addresses some of the other comments in this thread.

      The blacklisting of Democrats is something the DNC should have been up in arms about from day 1.  Some have said the elected representatives need to speak out, and I agree 100% with that as well.  However, a Senator or Rep. represents an entire constituency, whereas the DNC represents democrats.  And instead of comingout strong and holding a press conference or blasting the media about discrimination towards democrats at tax-payer funded events, the DNC was silent publicly (I say publicly because I don't know what they did behind the scenes).

      We say give it time.  Yes, Dean is new.  But does that mean the entire DNC grinds to a halt until he gets his vision or plan implemented?  Hell no.  And there will be no miraculous transformation of the DNC into a unified group with backbone until the organization realizes that it can't place it's agenda or its passion in a waiting room until the doctor is ready.

      Every story that isn't pounced on 100% is another point for GOP.  And you don't win elections by helping the other team...

      •  Good Eye (none)
        "The blacklisting of Democrats is something the DNC should have been up in arms about from day 1."

        I hadn't thought of that one, but georgia10 totally read my mind re: the DNC invisibility. I recently wrote Nancy Pelosi, my rep, that I fear her leadership position is in jeopardy if the bankruptcy bill passes, which it will.

        I mean, I just can't muster any energy for them right now. I feel like the grassroots takes one step forward, and the Senators take us two steps back.

  •  Briefly... (4.00)
    This diary seems a little bit too "outraged" to be taken seriously...
    After the GOP swamped us last November through massive voter outreach to church and exurban groups while ignoring the national media in favor of kinder local media, do you really believe that the number of quality zingers on CNBC is the measuring stick of DNC success?  
  •  It will take time. (4.00)
    The thing to do is to be patient with Dean. It's not going to take overnight to transform the DNC into a well-oiled machine. It's going to take months, even years, to get the DNC organized to the point where rank and file Democrats feel like they are part of the team.

    Regarding the cable networks, people are turning them off in droves. I suggest people are starting to see the bias in having Republicans on all the time, but not Democrats. Heck, the two best newsmen in the business now are a comedian (Stewart) and a semi-comedian (Olbermann). The challenge for Dean and the rest of the party is to find creative outlets for them to express their opinions and get their views out. We have several elected officials who have blogged here, including Feingold, McDermontt, and Boxer.

    I think the best way may very well be for rank and file people to regularly write letters to their local papers. I have looked in the Seattle-area (I'm thinking of moving there) papers, and there are some pretty well-written letters attacking DeLay, defending gay rights, and criticising the War in Iraq.

    The key is to give Dean a chance for his plans to work. He's only been on the job two months; he is working as a team with other Democratic leaders. Just since he's been in power, the GOP has made asses of themselves on the Schavio case, the Bush SS plan is dead, and the pro-business side of the GOP is demanding that Frist not follow through on his plan to eliminate filibusters.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Feingold08/

    by Eternal Hope on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:32:11 PM PDT

  •  And until they get their act together... (4.00)
    ....find a political board that's with a wide political spectrum and test market some of the great ideas you present here to the choir.

    For Dubya, REFORM=DESTROY, and FREEDOM=CORPORATE COLONIALISM

    by Doug in SF on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:37:52 PM PDT

  •  I would have loved to hear (4.00)
    just once during the Terri Schiavo mess, "We Democrats don't believe that the federal government ought to be in the business of interfering in personal, private family decisions, particularly one lawfully made within the context of a marriage."

    Instead, they just all sat there, said nothing, and looked complicit in the whole thing. Jerk-asses.

    •  No, sitting that out was the right play (4.00)
      Standing up and shouting from the roof tops about that mess would have given Republicans, desperately in need of a scapegoat, someone besides their own to go after.

      I found it far more gratifying to see fundie Republicans accusing Jeb Bush of murder then to see Reid stand up say our piece, and then immediately draw the wrath of the right-wing noise machine. That whole thing was a victory for us, and we did it with out firing a shot.

      I really hope someday that the more restless members of our community will learn that sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

      Raise your hammers high And let the anvils ring! -the Animaniacs

      by Goldfish on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:43:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I do think this is a bit premature (4.00)
    1. Dean has only been Chair since February.  He has been responding to the state parties.  I've always thought Dean was more effective this way than on national TV, especially on conservative cable, where he can't get a message out anyway, because Hannity or O'Reilly are screaming at him.

    2. The leading issues of late (Social Security and Schiavo) are bad for the GOP.  It ain't playing in Peoria.  DeLay is in serious trouble.  The GOP has problems right now, readily apparent to anyone.  They can proudly and adamantly shoot themselves in the foot.  We don't have to do a thing.  Also, these are primarily Congressional issues.

    3).  There's a lot of misapprehension of the function of the DNC.  A good DNC Chair (and I think Dean is turning into a good one, despite all the doubts) needs first to work with the state parties.  Midterms are coming up.  We need a big takeover in midterms.  Those elections are primarily state and local, not national.  If we had a national election coming up, I would agree with Georgia, but we don't.  We have midterms coming up, and the states and locals have to pull their weight, with the DNC's help.  I think that is why Dean is out there, introducing himself and listening to what the state parties need.

    Finally, give the guy time to find the men's room.  Being DNC Chair is no walk in the park.  He's picked his focus and he's sticking to it.  If you want a better website, email the DNC about it.  As for talking heads, no worthwhile Dem wants to put up with the cable idiots.  Tim Russert or George S. on This Week, okay (and I see them on there).  But as for the rest, what's the point?

    I think as we get closer in, you'll see more of Dean.  As I recall, when McAuliffe was Chair, he and the RNC Chair were practically a traveling roadshow on all the shows.  But that was in advance, and preparation for a national election.  We're just not there yet.

    We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

    by Mary Julia on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:43:58 PM PDT

    •  Geeze girl, (none)
      get a grip! You know what I think the real problem is this, we all hoped Howard would be out there kicking Republican ass on TV so we could all cheer and feel better. If he did that right now the national media would react by working hard to demonize him, just like they did during the nomination. I don't think he is just preaching to the chior, as folks probably are inviting friends to see him. His personal effect is much greater than his TV presence, people tend to fall hard when they see him. Not only that, he gets them to believe they can make a difference and they get active. That's the effect he had on me anyway.

      Besides, he soothed the party apparachics by saying he would zip it, and he didn't earn his reputation by lying.

      If we blow the repugs out of the water in '06, Dean will have much more leverage to speak his mind on the national stage than he does now.

      Howard is doing the hard, tedious and unglorious work of building the grassroots one person at a time. That's why I love him, he puts the countries interest above his own. Face it, this guy had a real shot at being president and now he is down in the muck trying to unplug the toilet to get the water flowing again.

      Compare that to John Kerry meekly getting out of Bush's way inorder to clear his path to '08.

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:31:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you Don't like the DNC (none)
    Perhaps you prefer the neocon/rightwing funded "Centrist" DLC Here

    Funding

    The DLC and its close associate, the Progressive Policy Institute, are the recipients of grants from many Fortune 500 companies and such right-wing foundations as the Bradley Foundation. Corporate contributors to the Progressive Policy Institute include AT&T Foundation, Eastman Kodak Charitable Trust, Prudential Foundation, Georgia-Pacific Foundation, Chevron, and Amoco Foundation. (17) The Third Way Foundation, an umbrella group of the New Democrats in the DLC, receives funding from the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Ameritech Foundation, and General Mills Foundation. According to one magazine report, the DLC enjoys funding from Bank One, Citigroup, Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Electric, Health Insurance Corporation, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Occidental Petroleum, and Raytheon.

    with DLC's funding base, they can put together a really slick website I'll bet, that will outshine DNC's any day of the week.

    "Centrist" DLC guys seem to be given the corporate (gee!) media microphones and camera face time a lot more than those DNC Deaniacs do too. I wonder why??

  •  I'm sure the producers of corporate news shows (4.00)
    are just dying to book "blazing-heart liberals" on their shows so they can "launch an assault on the media".

    Why in the world doesn't the DNC get on the phone and demand to have a representative on Hardball, or Hannity's show, or Wolf's attempt to dispense the news?

    Why do you assume they haven't?  WHY would the corporations that produce these propaganda outlets accede to the DNC demands?

    •  Because we aren't hearing about the DNC... (4.00)
      ...trying and failing.  Why not inform us of failed attempts to get on these shows.  1.  It helps us to know that they are trying.  2.  It creates a history that we can point to.  3.  It shines a light on their true nature.

      We are at least 50 million strong, and we can demand to have our side heard.

      When the People lead, the leaders will follow..(a bumper sticker)

      by just us on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In the absence of facts should the finger of blame (none)
        be pointed at your ally?

        Or, should your ally be given the benefit of the doubt, and scepticism and blame heaped on your enemy?

        Think about it.

        •  Respectfully... (none)
          I don't think it is an either/or proposition.  (And I have a problem with the use of enemy metaphor in politics, but that is just me.  Unfortunately, I believe that BushCo has moved beyond politics.)  In the absence of facts, I am asking for words and deeds to justify and validate my placing my faith in the party organization.  And as a member, I believe it to be my duty, and right, to request words and deeds which demonstrate that that my faith is valued, and considered.  As in all things human, there is a spectrum of comfort level, and as this diary is making clear many of us are getting uncomfortable about the apparent lack of action when such action seems obvious and necessary.

          When the People lead, the leaders will follow..(a bumper sticker)

          by just us on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:39:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, you are wrong. That's not how to win a fight (none)
            And as a member, I believe it to be my duty, and right, to request words and deeds which demonstrate that that my faith is valued, and considered.

            Actually, it is your responsibility to take action yourself.  If you are thinking that 'requesting' that things be done the way you think they should be done will get you anywhere, continue on the same path you are on, but try not to be too disappointed when you end up in a dead end.

  •  The Biggie...the only issue the DNC... (4.00)
    ...abso-fucking-lutely has to address is the election fraud nationally and locally.

    ...I mean, shit, we won more votes with our ideas and our candidate and our message, and we still didn't win.

    ...G10, you of all people, I would think that this issue has to be number one on the radar screen? No?

    ...To this day...Barbara Boxer is the only member of the (so-called) democratic leadership to speak of the Felony Theft in November.

    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything" - Joseph Stalin

    by Blue Shark on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:49:14 PM PDT

    •  As to election reform (none)
      The DNC has just put together a group that will investigate the 2004 election, specifically in Ohio.

      Their report, I suspect, will look a lot like ours and that of other groups which have already documented the shenannigans that took place.

      Personally, I would have preferred a dual approach by the DNC to election reform. Yeah, send your guys to Ohio to tinker with the machines but simultaneouly lobby like hell to get the election reform legislation through. Instead, we'll likely have a report released late in 2005, which hardly gives time to implement real reform before the 2006 elections...

  •  Lame Me. (4.00)

     All I can do these days is lurk, watch the blog go by and copy and paste (for everyone to REALLY focus and REALLY concentrate on) about the best two paragraphs (alas that she has to write them!) I've seen on the internets in ages:


    I've mentioned this before, but the DNC needs a core group of blazing-heart liberals to launch an assault on the media.  Yeah, Media Matters keeps reporting about the conservative bias on panels, and I used to think it was a big bad RWCM ploy.  But I'm thinking it's also just pure incompetence on the part of the DNC.  Why in the world doesn't the DNC get on the phone and demand to have a representative on Hardball, or Hannity's show, or Wolf's attempt to dispense the news? Hell, call up O'Reilly and tell him you'd love to have a DNC representative on.  You'll even bring your own loofah.

    But for the love of God, do something!  You talk about the right-wing noise machine but the DNC is just sitting there, humming to itself away in the corner, afraid to enter the fray.  What a pathetic state of affairs it is when the left blogosphere lights up when someone has the balls to call Hannity "stupid" on air. Oh, golly, gee whiz!  Someone (not affiliated with the DNC, btw) got a nugget of truth on the airwaves!  Woo-hoo!

     Thanks again G'10.  You said it.

    BenGoshi
    _________________

    Awaiting your calls, Chairman Dean, Senator Reid. Lines are open!

    by BenGoshi on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:52:35 PM PDT

  •  You sound like I feel today... (3.75)
    needing some pie and escapist literature, and to be left alone for a few hours.

    I dont really agree with your points (other posters have eloquently listed these reasons, I wont repeat), but its clear youre feelin' foul. I hope your evening finds you feeling more Zen-like.

    In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

    by ablington on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:52:42 PM PDT

    •  Have a 2 (none)
      and that is not ever thrown out from me ever but I have to tell you how I read your comment. It sounded very condescending to me. This f'ing administration and the absence of spine in the dems  has had me in a foul mood for five years now. I am tired of being angry, scared, disappointed. I want to feel joyful and happy and proud to be an American. But what has happened these past five years has been a daily assault on my soul!!! Please, if you disagree with someone please state your reasons up for debate. I swear that was like some guy saying oh is it thsat time of the month? Give me a break!

      The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

      by Alohaleezy on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:14:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Im a gal. (none)
        Ill toss out time of the month references if I feel like it...I am an authority. In fact, I could use an ibuprofin about now. That doesnt mean I cant be president, or drive a forklift, etc.

        Sorry to offend, if you read my post youll see I said I agreed with many of the posters upthread and didnt want to repeat. Georgia10 admitted early on that he/she was feeling frazzled, this is what I was building on.
         

        In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

        by ablington on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:02:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dean and his job... (none)
    I support Dr. Dean...however...I have a bit of a problem with the excuses people are making for him about not being on the job long enough, which I take to mean he needs time to learn the job.  I believe Dean has been working with the DNC for nearly two years - in some capacity as candidate and then as supporter/campaigner for Kerry.  I don't believe for a minute he came into this job without a high level of understanding about structure, personnel, and a whole range of other issues.  I would be far more willing to believe that what Dean is encountering is systemic bureaucracy that needs a fire lit under its collective ass, and we need to be that fire.

    When the People lead, the leaders will follow..(a bumper sticker)

    by just us on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 01:56:25 PM PDT

    •  Takes a while for him to clean house... (none)
      I know he's been bringing in a lot of fresh blood.  It's not going to happen overnight.

      And Dean is going to make the talk show rounds when he's done with his state/local tour.

  •  First Rule (3.00)
    of effective organizations: Don't criticize your own organization in public. Period.

    Grow up.

  •  I just sent this diary to Howard Dean (none)
    I hope he reads it...

    Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

    by ultrageek on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:00:09 PM PDT

    •  Well that's what georgia wanted (none)
      Obviously Georgia knew was she was doing - trying to make a very public harsh commentary on the DNC so that she could get the attention of the DNC--and Dean.

      I'm sure Dean will be very nice to her and she'll get a lot of attention and come back and report about what a wonderful eye opening meeting she had with the DNC and all the great stuff they are up to!
      oh boy! can't wait to see the follow up diary.

      I don't like this kind of manipulative screed but I'm sure she will get what she's after.  

      (Normally -- like others-- I like Georgia posts--clearly puts a lot into it that we all get the benefit from)

      "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

      by CrazyDem on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:47:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Manipulative screed? (none)
        OK. Let me get this straight.

        I can post on my dissatisfaction with elections, with the press, with senators, etc. and not have my intentions questioned.

        But I post my sincere frustrations with the DNC and you think it's some sort of ploy to get attention of the DNC or something like that?

        Call my writing shitty.  Tell me I'm flat out dead wrong in my criticisms.  But don't question my intentions. That's quite unfair.

        •  fair enough. (none)
          sorry.

          "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

          by CrazyDem on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:06:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's ok (none)
            Golly, I wish I was important enough to get the DNC's attention.  Alas, I'm just another ordinary Kossack :)
            •  I have a feeling (none)
              I have a feeling they will respond somehow. They use to always respond to Kos's attacks. plus you have a big following.

              I don't mean to come down so hard on your post--I'm just protective of the DNC because I think it often gets bashed--when people don't know all the facts.

              But I actually feel indebted to you for all your hard work and research on this site -- so who am I to complain about your post?

              "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

              by CrazyDem on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:27:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, no (none)
                You have every right to complain.  Please, there is absolutely no reason to shade the perception of a diary based on the poster or his/her previous work.  Each diary should stand independent of its author.

                I'm glad you took the time to express your dissatisfaction, and I have thought about your comments.  You're right, the DNC often gets bashed. And you're right, I probably do not know all the facts, and I welcome any factual corrections.  But this is just my opinion, and I appreciate you taking the time to read and respond to it.

                •  And after all that... (none)
                  My email addresses for him have been disconnected... I've sent it to someone else to pass along.

                  But, along with this diary, I asked him if he reads dKos, and, if he could keep us in the loop every so often like Rep Slaughter and Sen Boxer do.

                  Of course he's written in the Lamb's Book of Life. He's the Antagonist.

                  by ultrageek on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:48:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  grassroots partner (4.00)
    clicking on the "be a grassroots partner" link on the DNC site (grass roots partner) takes you to what is, imo, by far the worst part of the site.  You go to a page that (surprise!) gives three different options for becoming a grassroots partner of the Democratic partner: pay by credit card online, do a bank account transfer, or send a check.  Until the phrase "grassroots partner" means more to the party than "monthly donor," the party will never rise to the heights we'd like.  I'm a member of my school's campus Dems organization and there are plenty of people itching to spend time improving the party of the DNC could just come up with something for us to do.  I love the idea of the DNC signing up grassroots partners, but when are they going to show these "partners" some respect and give them real ways to help instead of just hitting them up for cash.  Until then, there's not very much grassroots about the concept.

    "See me age 19 with some dumb haircut from 1960 moving to New York City " - the Walkmen

    by Biggreen80 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:00:49 PM PDT

  •  I do think we need a more aggressive presence. (4.00)
    However, one of the things we face is what I would label -- in my annoying cultural studies way -- the "gendering" of the two national parties.

    I think one of the things that most tellingly explains the differnce in attitude that the MSM gives to its representation of the Dems vs. its representation of the Repugs is that because of this binary division -- one party about nurturing, collective responsibility ("it takes a village"), and empathy; the other about paternal prohibition, aggressive, macho posturing, and "tough love" -- it becomes easy for this division to become understood under two genders.  The glib, nutshell version of this division would be "Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus."

    Now, I need to make clear that I'm quite proud of the qualities in the Dem party that lead to this maternal, feminine stereotype.  The problem, though, is the same one faced by feminists from Susan B. Anthony to the Rrriot Girls:  if we just accept, uncritically, this binary division, then what happens is that the media will start to frame every action made by the two parties as part of this gendered divide.

    So think, for example, about the way that women are treated for speaking out in an assertive manner.  There is that horrible word "shrill," that any woman that dares to raise her voice is supposedly ipso facto hysterical and not to be taken seriously.  One of my academic mentors, a crucial figure in current musicology, told me once that she consciously lowers her voice the more angry she gets, because as soon as she lets loose, her contribution to the discussion is nullified.  This is precisely why Hillary Clinton is having to do so much work to be the good, easygoing, professional junior senator, the one that offers to get coffee for the committee members -- because she made one videotaped statement in the early 90s that allowed Rush Limbaugh and others to portray her as a hysterical "feminazi."

    Now, imagine this same stereotype spread across the party as a whole.  Indicative in this respect is that even male Democrats that get angry are portrayed as "hysterical" in the feminine sense.  The media treatment of the "Dean scream" is representative here, but there are other examples:  dKosers will recall one tentative ad that the RNC put up on their website that juxtaposed shots of Gore, Dean, and other mavericks making supposedly "crazed" statements.  The goal was to portray the Democrats as being irrational, crazed hysterics, deeply feminized in a negative way, even though there were no women in the ad.

    So to get back to the original point:  should Democrats be more aggressive?  Sure.  Should we, as georgia10 argues, put forth our most fire-and-brimstone, articulate, dynamic voices in the public sphere?  Absolutely, without question.  But we need to begin to think about taking a page from contemporary feminism:  challenging the binary opposition that would have fiery defenses of Social Security or impassioned demands for universal health care understood in a stereotypically gendered way.

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

    by Dale on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:01:09 PM PDT

  •  Sports Analogy (4.00)
    You sound like an impatient sports fan when a new coach takes over a struggling team and doesn't immediately turn things around.  

    Be patient.  It's going to take time.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by johnny rotten on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:04:44 PM PDT

  •  I agree (none)
    I want to say I trust Dean to do the right thing, but his absence is becoming conspicuous...

    I was hoping to see him replace that blowhard Joe Biden on the Sunday talkshow circuit and start acting as the spokesman for the party... I keep expecting Biden to try to sell me a used car while I'm watching him...

  •  hate to say I told you so... (4.00)
    but the DNC does not do media, hell the RNC doesn't do much media wise either.  That's why the right wingers have a machine in place that lives outside the repulican party, this machine hires and trains the media reps, they help form the policy and get the talking points out to the media.  The republicans just use the machine to get themselves elected and then they leave office and cash in.  

    I've said this over and over and over again we liberals need to build a machine outside the Democratic party so we can influence the media.

    I don't see why this is so hard for you people to grasp?

    absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limit's the freedom of another.

    by jbou on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:12:06 PM PDT

  •  origami swans? (none)
    damn the MSM, they're good at origami but they suck at journalism.

    Here's my zen koan: is a news story still a news story if no one covers it?

    Methinks that Soros and Turner and all three other Democrat billionaires (their names escape me) need to get that anti-Faux news station we keep talking about up and running soon.  

    Republican politicians and rightwing nutjobs just have more access to more news outlets than Democrats or progs do: more rightwing pundits willing to let them air their "views."  

  •  So, what is the RNC doing so well? (3.66)
    I mean, really?  I don't actually see lots of RNC exposure  in  the media.  I see the congressional leadership of the GOP a lot, some administration spokespeople, but they aren't really speaking for the RNC.

    Dean / DNC can't speak for the elected leaders of the party.  Also, the DNC can't counter the entire VRWC/SCLM borg all at once.  I hope that he's laying the groundwork for the future by going to "conservative" areas and encouraging people to run in every race-- the most effective way to get the progressive message out (certainly on a cost basis, and on a credibility basis as well).  

    Like your passion, understand your frustration, but Dean/DNC is not all powerful.

  •  georgia 10 (4.00)
    Dean was only sworn in 2 months ago. In that time he's taken a look at the full operational budget $200,000 million-ish for 2004--kind of a large budget that he must get a handle on.

    And he's taken a look at all the staff--he just cut the majority of them like 2 weeks ago. Now he's staffing up with his own tribe (kind of like appointees--he was elected now he gets to staff up).

    Plus, you can lead the state parties to web sites but you can't make them drink.

    From what I understand Dean is going to add a DNC-funded executive director (like the RNC) to each state party and will help with internal stability.  This will all take time.

    A a different note - do you really think Illinois web site is good? do you understand what the DNC does? do you know what happened in 1992-1994? the DNC didn't know what it's purpose was so it wasted tons of money campaigning on Clinton's issues like health care. What a waste. The one and only purpose of the DNC is to raise funds to win national elections--even more so now that we have campaign finance reform.

    "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

    by CrazyDem on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:19:54 PM PDT

  •  Question for Gerogia 10 (none)
    If you are so much smarter, better, more competent than the dolts at the DNC, why don't you apply for a job there?

    It's not that I neccessarily disagree with you, but I am not qualified to say what they are or aren't doing because I don't have any inside knowledge... and I find it weak to criticize someone for failing to try to solve a problem when I have no know way to know what plans they do have.

    •  Respectfully... (4.00)
      .."when I have no know way to know what plans they do have."


      Isn't that the point, and the problem?  We are not being talked to about what is happening.  And that is all too familiar with what is going on all around us with BushCo.  Inform us.  Let us in on the vision.  Throw out some diaries that can help many us move beyond faith and belief.  Many of can see that the game of Rove is all about magic - the fake hiding the real.  Be different than BushCo...inform and inspire our minds as well as our hearts.  Be open, be real, and be us.

      When the People lead, the leaders will follow..(a bumper sticker)

      by just us on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:50:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Traitor if you aren't with us (none)
      You're either with us or against us. This type of thinking means toooooo    much kool aid.
      •  I don't get it.... (none)
        Who are you addressing?  Are you suggesting that I'm saying with us or against us?  Are you suggesting the diarist is saying that?

        I don't think that's what either of us are arguing.  I'm just saying that I find this critique incredibly simplistic because it takes to task the strategy currently pursued by an organization when we couldn't possibly know if they are employing exactly that strategy. Moreover, I seriously do wonder why every rank and file D (like myself) seems to have all the answers, but the people who do this for a living are so incompetent.  I just can't reconcile those two things -- can you?

    •  I'm stupid (none)
      And I'll be the first to admit it.  I'm an absent-minded blabbermouth who certainly doesn't think she's smarter or more qualified than the ones currently serving at the DNC.  Just because someone offers criticism doens't mean they think they're better at it.  

      As for insider knowledge...maybe that's the problem?  We are Democrats, and we have a right to know what's going on in our party. I have no idea what the DNC plans are, so I can't criticize them!  All I can do is work with what I, as a Democrat, know and have been exposed to.  Maybe they need to express to their base little better what plans they do have, and maybe we'll be less likely to criticize them then.

      •  I suggest you spend some time googling (none)
        what Dean has been doing.

        He hasn't been standing still. At the time of his election to chair, the DNC had ceased to be a truly national organization in all but name. Dean is reversing that.

        He's already started to rebuild Dem coffers after McAuliffe emptied them.

        My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right. Sen Carl Schurz

        by Bill Rehm on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:17:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reminds me of Office Space (none)
        Except instead of half a dozen VPs that Peter has to  report to and constantly update, it's several million. Jumping down Dean's throat demanding he deprioritize his current reports and make these his current action items isn't going to accomplish anything.

        This isn't about transparency, it's about letting the guy go do his thing without having to update all of you all the time about all the things he's doing.

        --- My opinions are my own and not my employer's.

        by Aexia on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:48:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Without a cogent platform (none)
        how can there be a plan?

        A tent so big as to include everyone gets stretched mighty thin, and the rain comes pouring in anyway.

        And of course, right about now folks pile on screaming anti-democrat and tossing invectives my way.

        Fiscal responsibility
        Personal rights (body, mind and spirit)
        Fair markets, fair business, fair labor
        Safe and secure home and nation

        If you don't support these, you're not a Democrat. Hell, you shouldn't even be considered an American, IMHO.

        All I know is, the GOP quietly defined a core platform, built on it every day, and made it stick.

        Dean's doing the same thing in a much more hostile environment, but with a much more positive platform.

        Now if we could just get some vichy Dems to grow some spines, we would gain a whole lot more visibility.

  •  web sites (none)
    also - I heard through the grape vine that the DNC is working on a huge roll out of a tiered--syndicated content version the DNC website--for all the state parties to work of off.

    This won't happen in the first 2 months (or however long) dean has been Chair. get a grip.

    "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

    by CrazyDem on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:25:06 PM PDT

  •  Oddly enough (none)
    just as I read fuck the dnc, I was punching the recommend this diary. Why were you asked not to write about 2004 election fraud? Does that fit into this diary in any way? And why should any dem. pay taxes when said dem. has no vote. That is just as surely taxation without representation as the old days when the country was being born. Don't we have enough evidence that nobody is going to do this thing for us.
  •  Why attack Dean? (4.00)
    The probleem is not the new DNC chair - he is doing exactly what he needs to be doing - working with the state and local folks, including those who happen to be live in red states.

    You should redirect your energy to the real problem with the Democratic party - the spineless senators and congresspeople who voted for the -
    war in Iraq
    patriot act
    no child left behind
    tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations
    NAFTA
    WTO
    bankruptcy bill

    etc., etc!!!

    Dean will do fine ... it's the elected Republican Lite cowards who are destroying our party.

    Maybe if more "Democarts" like Hillary sell out on war, and tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, and choice ... we can just eliminate the damn Democartic Party altogether.

    Who and what does it represent?

    Nothing to make me give two cents of my money or one moment of my time.

    Now Howard Dean on the other hand .... that is a Democrat who actually BELIEVES in something ... and he will tell you about it without worrying about the reaction from the amen corner.

    Give em hell Howard ... we love ya!

    rok for dean

  •  This comment... (4.00)
    "that goddamn huge "support the DNC" button that infuriates me"

    Know what infuriates me? People who complain about the DNC fundraising.

    Take away the funding and you break their back. nothing like giving the RNC a running start - what a great idea!!!

    Don't punch those big buttons if you don't feel like it.  This is an agrivating diary because it's wrong in so many ways to count.

    "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

    by CrazyDem on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:33:43 PM PDT

  •  I think we should give them a chance at least (none)
    We should wait for Dean to get the confidence and trust to call the shots and carry the necessary reforms
  •  This diary is really hitting me wrong. (4.00)
    It is also annoying others who don't like to speak out here.  For the first time that I remember, we have someone as chairman who actually cares about getting out with the people.

    He has made it clear he will start with rebuilding from the ground up.  If Howard were on TV, some of you would be the first to tell him to get off TV and build the party.  

    There has been intense organizing going on with mayors, governors, the transition team.  I think posting stuff like this when he has been chair for less than 2 months is just a shame.  

    The DC party leaders did not prefer him at all, so he is having to work with them to change things.  He is still listening and reading what we say, and he addressed some of it in recent interviews.  Dean has always done that, listened, explained.  

    I am very upset with this diary that appears not to understand the fact that only idiots and fools appear much on TV right now.  Between missing white girls, alleged child molestors, government interfering in private dying affairs, and the pope dying....there appears to be no category.

    Talk to the congress people who are voting against us on the bankruptcy bill, who voted with the GOP to interfere in private affairs.
    Go to C-Span and find the video of Dean from Sunday in TN.  

    This just ruined my afternoon.  

    "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

    by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:48:36 PM PDT

    •  I LOVE HOWARD DEAN!!!! (4.00)
      There.  I said it.  Can we please stop insinuating I don't the guy or think he was wrong for the job?

      This diary does not focus solely on Dean. I think he's working his ass off, I just personally think he needs to address both the grassroots and national fronts at this critical time.

      As for only idiots and fools being on TV...Shakespeare wrote that "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."  The GOP talking heads look foolish to us, but feel like they're preaching gospel.  We, however, know they're lying on TV to the American people, yet have not taking a national stand on it. And that, in my eyes, is no less foolish.

      •  It does not matter how one feels about Dean. (none)
        That was not the point of my post.  He is chair over the objections of most of the party leaders.  The inside DC people did not want him at all.

        He has been told to "do no harm."  The only ones who have been appearing are the types who are telling him to "do no harm."

        He is deliberating keeping low-profile because of that.  I am not sure how comments he would make would be received.  I don't know who picks the ones to go on TV anyway.  

        Someone needs to be on TV, I agree.  But remember no matter what truth he told during campaign, the others jumped him.   It is the congressional leaders making most of those decisions about appearances anyway, I believe.

        "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

        by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:56:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yea, but those idiots and fools on TV (none)
      are winning.  They're winning the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans...not us, the concerned liberal elite.  We do have our own little world, and the message has to get out.

      This is a media based society...NOT a reality based society.  Then, just think of the oxymoron that makes of "Reality TV".

      Maybe we should have a reality show, or a talent show, or a crime scene show.  We'd get more attention...and respect.

      The "grassroots" approach is just fine, but it has to be blended with a full frontal attack in the media.  Otherwise, we (and America) lose again.

      And there's enough amunition:  highest gas prices ever, illegal morass of a war, lying unethical politicians, butting into private family matters, trying to dismantle social security, etc. etc.

      Hell...I just need to write a soap opera.  Maybe that would work.

      HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

      by annrose on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:49:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with much (none)
    of what your write.  I was (and am) a huge Dean supporter, and in my vision of Dean as the Chair of the DNC, I had him propped up ram-rod straight in a chair every Sunday on one or more of the talking shit-head shows so many people watch.  Every Saturday I look over Jamato's compilation of who's on what, and no Dean.  Maybe he's been there, and I dozed through a couple of printed lines, but I don't think so.

    I don't watch TV, but I play a spectator of TV watching in real life.  I read what people are watching here and how they react as it's the closest I can bring myself to the real thing.  And Dean seems to be MIA.  Not good.

    I agree we need a Democrat's face on all those nutbag shows we complain about.  We need someone who is not afraid to shout back, not afraid to go toe-to-toe with those batshit walking dead.  If Dean decided to let Reid castrate him in the name of harmony, I'll be bullshit.  I already don't think much of Harry Reid, so what's another nail in that coffin, anyway.  

    I'm lucky--I'm in Massachusetts, so I probably don't feel the urgency so many of you feel.  Hell, my biggest problem politically right now is which Democrat to support for governor next year:  Deval Patrick or Tom Reilly or Bill Galvin.  (Patrick, actually, hands down, I think.)  Anyway, I have no use for demure and civilized when the nation is going to hell in a handbasket.  

     

    Wake up and smell the jackboots, sheeple!

    by lightiris on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:49:47 PM PDT

  •  Of Course, There's Always... (2.33)
    The Greens.  Check us out. We don't bite. You may be pleasantly surprised!

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

    by GreenSooner on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:57:40 PM PDT

  •  I would mostly agree (4.00)
    I would mostly agree with all of your comments Georgia, but it is my opinion that relying on groups like the DNC to get the message out is part of the problem in the first place.  The Republicans sure as hell don't do that.  I mean I'm sure that the RNC sends out mailers and the like, but they are primarily a fundraising organization.  

    The message comes from jackasses saturating the air like Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly and literally hundreds of lesser local pundits.  The message comes from numerous think tanks and 527 groups and PACs.  The message comes from religious fundamentalists like Fallwell and in a lot of ways the average religious figures in churches across America.

    Our answer to that can't be to prop up some big bureaucratic organization.  It needs to be supporting things like MoveOn.org, ePlurbus Media, Daily Kos, local DFA groups, hell even starting your own 527 or PAC.

    It is the time for us to take action in whatever ways that we can instead of sitting on our collective asses and bitching about the vast right wing conspiracy and watching out guys lose in the elections.

    If you are tired of it then find someone to help - volunteer with MoveOn, ePlurbus Media, your local DFA group etc.  If you don't like any of the aforementioned groups then start once yourself.  MoveOn (which everyone looks upon with holy reverence) was started by a few people pissed off about the political situation in the country.  ePlurbus Media was started by a few people pissed off at the media on the Gannon situation right here on Daily Kos.  BuyBlue was started by myself and others right here on DailyKos pissed off about corporate influence on politics.  Get out there and do something - it doesn't matter what it is.

    If you think the Democratic websites suck then if you have the skills volunteer your time to fix them, or pitch them an idea.  The simple fact of the matter is that most politicians are still utterly clueless about how to use the web and what constitutes "good" design for one simple reason - they are in the wrong generation.

    Kos has an entry on the front page right now about the vast Left Wing Conspiracy and he says that the book was written 2-5 years too early.  He is exactly right.  We will beat the right wing noise machine by forming groups ourselves to get our message our and striking them where they are weak, quietly.  It is going to take dedication on the part of a lot of individuals, no one is going to hand you 500,000 and say "here you go, go attack the right wing".  It is going to take scraping together $25 donations here and $10 donations there until maybe you can get enough exposure to attract the attention of the big boys like George Soros.

    Anyway, enough of my rant.  I can respect you for pointing out the flaws in the DNC, but they aren't the problem - we are.  All of us need to be busting our asses to take the country back, we can't expect some group of politicians to do it for us.

    Take your country back one dollar at a time at BuyBlue.org

    by Raven Brooks on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 02:58:33 PM PDT

  •  This party has no brand name recognition any more (4.00)
    No visibility in the marketplace. Meanwhile the other guys are draining the treasury, and smashing laws and sacred institutions without opposition!

    It looks like the looting of post war Iraq where American soldiers stood by as the museum of the cradle of civilization and all the institutions of government, hell everything, was destroyed or dismantled and carried off. Someone said somewhere that the blueprint for what the bushies are doing to America can be found verbatim in the party platform for Pat Robertson's presidential in '88.

    http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm

    Great time for the dems to be quiet. I agree that right now the democratic party is shit - just standing by while the looting continues. They want Conyers to do their complaining for them. They want me to fight for them. Meanwhile they just sit there just hoping to keep their seats on the great fascist derigable sailing across our skies when they should be on the ground trying to shoot the fucker down.

    Darkness washed over the Dude...darker than a black steer's tookus on a moonlight prairie night...there was no bottom

    by moon in the house of moe on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:03:39 PM PDT

  •  Media Are Almost Closed Shops (4.00)
    A number of our surrogates have been stating that if they make strong points they're told they're not coming back.

    Randy Rhodes ranted about this a while ago, adding that when she's the invited liberal guest, she's up against conservatives who are paid staff. Don't forget, during the last campaign media were even denying paid commercial services to liberals and liberal organizations.

    I don't see anything to suggest that there's much more our side can do with the media.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:06:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm not sure what the DNC leaders (none)
    think their function is supposed to be, but whatever they do think about their own role in the current political tragedies, one thing seems abundantly clear.

    They don't seem to be able to grasp the reasons why the Repub propaganda machine is so successful, and consequently, cannot devise effective strategies to counteract it. They don't seem to get it that the Repub's effectiveness is rooted in the emotionality and repetitiveness of their message much more than it's content. They don't seem to get it that reason and rational argument alone are not sufficient to counteract the pernicious influence of the wingnut's deceptive rhetoric; that whether your dealing with a bona fide serial liar and looney like Hannity, or a lame-o like Blitzer, that  posturing as the voice of reason almost always conveys weakness instead of strength.

    They don't seem to understand that people who are susceptible to reason already know that the repub spiel is Orwellian newspeak.

    But because they don't understand these things, the core group of talking heads they deploy to the airwaves are never prepared for emotionally effective verbal combat. This is why these yakkers miss so many opportunities to nail their opposing blowhards on these stupid talking head shows. This is why they themselves so frequently wind up seeming to be poleaxed by the quick and clever rejoinders of their verbal opponents. They exhibit the "Deer in the headlights" syndrome", paralyzed by their own delusion that all they have to do is tell the truth and it will sell itself.

    Wake up, DNC and Dem leadership. Truth will not sell if peoples minds cannot be reached with it, and reaching  those minds involves more than calm recitation of the facts.

    Defeat the sound-bite.

    by sbj on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:08:15 PM PDT

    •  Wrong. (4.00)
      They don't seem to get it that the Repub's effectiveness is rooted in the emotionality and repetitiveness of their message much more than it's content.

      While it is true that the repetitiveness and emotionality of their message is a more important component than its intellectual content, the effectiveness of their message is rooted in their ownership of the media, and the denial of the media to allow liberal and Democratic voices to be heard.

      •  Certainly the media is complicit in carrying (none)
        the false messages to the public, but they are part of the delivery system, and even though they are in large part responsible for the many refinements of these deceptions, they are not the ones who decide what the messages are or against whom or what they are to be targeted.

        Defeat the sound-bite.

        by sbj on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:28:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think the facts support your assertions. (none)
          Actually, the corporate owners are indeed the ones who decide who is allowed on TV and who is invited back, and who is not invited back if they don't toe the corporate line.
          •  I agree that the deck is stacked (none)
            against Dem interests in cable media, but as relevant as that it,it'snot the central issue. The main issue is that, whether the deck is stacked against usornot, we still need to do a better job of refuting the propagandists, de-legitimizing their rhetoric, and connecting with the broader public mind in a way that allows people to expand their perceptions in meaningful ways.

            Media bias, even if it was monolithic and fully repressive,(an assertion I would dispute), is not a valid excuse for not doing better. It just makes it a more difficult task. If Dems can get on these shows they can be effective. If, because they are effective, the media shuns them, then they can make an issue out of that. Either way, doing what we're doing now is not going to lead anywhere. I agree with georgia10 on this.

            Defeat the sound-bite.

            by sbj on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:48:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not saying the deck is stacked. (4.00)
              I'm saying - I'm pointing at the tv - it is owned and controlled by the other side.  A stacked deck implies a game that can be played.  A hand is dealt to you, maybe a poor hand, but at least you are in the game.  If the other side plays poorly, or stacks the deck poorly, you can exploit that.

              However, that is not the case on corporate media. Democrats and liberals aren't dealt a bad hand: they are excluded from the game.

              not a valid excuse for not doing better.

              No one, certainly not me, asserted that we don't need to do better.

              but, 'nuff said, I suspect we are starting to talk past each other.

              •  I think you're right about (none)
                talking past each other.

                I guess we simply disagree on the relative importance of the different dynamics involved in all this and how these differences might be best prioritized.

                Defeat the sound-bite.

                by sbj on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:14:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well let me ask you this: (none)
                  What should Democrats do about it?

                  Before you answer, can we stipulate as a given that the Democrats do actually want their voices to be heard and would actually like to appear on television in order to speak out.  The suggestion that they aren't already asking, demanding, insisting to be given air time seems too far-fetched to be worth discussing.

                  So, what should they do?

                  •  Of course the Dems want (none)
                    their voices to be heard. And if you are implying that I somehow suggested that Dems aren't asking for airtime or don't want to appear on camera, etc., you are completely mistaken.

                    The problem I see, and as I stated in my first comment here is that the Dems voice is not prepared well enough to tangle with the repub machine effectively on these talking head combat shows.

                    You ask, "What should Dems do about it?" Well, obviously, one important thing would be to not say that they are excluded from the game , (as you did in one of your comments), and to use that pronouncement, whether it is accurate or not, to justify the Dems failure to get traction.

                    Next, referring to my original comment, (Pasting a paragraph here).

                    "They don't seem to be able to grasp the reasons why the Repub propaganda machine is so successful, and consequently, cannot devise effective strategies to counteract it. They don't seem to get it that the Repub's effectiveness is rooted in the emotionality and repetitiveness of their message much more than it's content. They don't seem to get it that reason and rational argument alone are not sufficient to counteract the pernicious influence of the wingnut's deceptive rhetoric; that whether your dealing with a bona fide serial liar and looney like Hannity, or a lame-o like Blitzer, that  posturing as the voice of reason almost always conveys weakness instead of strength.

                    What Dems shoud do, point by point.

                    The Dem talkers need to understand how the repub machine works and why it is effective.

                    Then they need to develop the awareness and the skills to challenge the repub crap on both intellectual and emotional grounds.

                    They need to assess which hosts on these stupid shows are going to be antagonistic and to what degree and decide how to either challenge the hosts themselves effectively, or in the case of the truly psychotic hosts like Hanmity and O'Reilly and several others, refuse to play their game by simply not appearing on their shows.

                    They need to sharpen their wits. It's not very difficult at all to predict what the wingnut blowhards are going to harp on, or how they will use clever rhetoric to alter the facts, but any reasonable amount of study on the part of Dem talkers could prepare them for the likes of creatures like Cliff May or Gaffney or Mehlman or Bartlett, or any of the other minions of deception that infest the Repub machine. These creatures are all predictable, and with a little rehearsal the Dems could put them down.

                    In my opinion, better quality airtime, even if there's less of it initially, is far better than more but less effrective airtime.

                    Defeat the sound-bite.

                    by sbj on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:15:30 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm sorry, I don't see any action items there. (none)
                      'sharpen their wits' 'develop awareness and skills'

                      those are nothing but vague exhortations to be better, not concrete suggestions as to what should be done.  And the idea that Democrats aren't rehearsing or preparing is just ridiculous.

                      •  Maybe you see the problem (none)
                        in some sort of video game context.

                        You don't seem to think "sharpening wits" or "developing awareness and skills" represent "action", and evidently you must think they Dem's rehearsal activity must be sufficient, else why would you mistakenly imply I am of the opinion they're not preparing and rehearsing at all.

                        If you think their wits are sharp enough, their debating skills are finely honed and their rehearsal sessions are successful, why are they doing so badly? Are you going to lay it off on the fact that the media is completely owned and controlled by the right,as you seem to have done a few comments back?

                        And if, as even you yourself seemed to say, they need to do better, what "action" do you suggest they take. Send out more mailers to people who already vote for them. Throw pies and salad dressing at creatures like Buchanan and Coulter?

                        Defeat the sound-bite.

                        by sbj on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 05:41:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Your Zell Millerish strawman does you a disservice (none)
                          Just as John Kerry didn't advocate arming our troops with spitballs, I don't advocate throwing mud pies.

                          My suggestions?

                          Give up the fantasy that if some Democratic messiah  or messiahs just 'said the right thing' on TV, we would suddenly begin to have more success. There are no magic bullets.

                          Work 365/7/24 to build local party infrastructure in all 50 states.

                          Build a messaging and communications infrastructure to match the one the Republicans have been building for the last 40 years.

                          Use local media - the most watched in America - to speak directly to people, bypassing the news editors in Washington and New York.

                          Train and motivate the party membership to spread the Democratic message one to one to their friends, neighbors and co-workers.

                          Develop our own wedge issues to divide the opposition and energize Democratic turnout.

                          I could go on, but I think my point is clear.
                           

                          •  So, (none)
                            what's the message?

                            You seem to be more concerned with the message delivery system than with the message itself.

                            What are your wedge issues?

                            Are you a political fundraiser?

                            Defeat the sound-bite.

                            by sbj on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 12:16:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Answers (none)
                            what's the message?

                             If you don't know what the Democratic message is, you should educate yourself.  But, in reality, I think you do know what the Democratic message is, and this rhetorical question is just that, a cheap rhetorical trick, to divert attention from the issue we are discussing, which is 'what should the Democrats DO'.

                            The suggestion that Democrats don't have a message is a right-wing lie, so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not making that suggestion.

                            You seem to be more concerned with the message delivery system than with the message itself.

                            That's correct.  I believe in the Democratic message already and I don't think it needs to be changed to be more like the Republican message. In my opinion, it is not our ideas that need improving, but our politicking.

                            What are your wedge issues?

                             The federal debt, the protection of individual rights, the protection of habitat are a few off the top of my head.  But I am a relative neophyte in politics, I don't pretend to have all the answers.

                            Are you a political fundraiser?  

                            I'm trying.  I've started a political action committee to run ads against Conrad Burns in the runup to the 2006 election. And yes, we need to raise funds in order to buy ads.  But again, I'm a neophyte, just a computer programmer who is no longer willing to wait around for someone else to take action.  If you have any suggestions that could help in my efforts to unseat Burns, I'm all ears, as long as they are more substantive than suggesting I 'sharpen my wits'.

                          •  In no way have I implied (none)
                            that the Dems don't have a message. And as for the assertion that I am somehow trying to divert attention away from the issue of what the Dems should be doing, this is patently absurd. Three or four posts back I outlined exactly what I thought the Dems should be doing to improve their effectiveness, and evidently you disagreed, calling my remarks vague exhortations to do better. This must mean you find my ideas insufficient for yourself. Fine.

                            You ask whether I have suggestions that could help you unseat Burns. Sure.

                            Develop a working document, an outline of sorts, that accurately describes what you see as the fundamental issues that need to be examined and addressed. Then, as accurately as possible, describe your own candidate's positions on these issues as well as the positions of the opponent. Then, explain as succinctly as you can why it's in the public's best interest for them to support your candidate. Prepare counter-arguments to every predictable thing the opposition might say to mislead the public, and integrate these counter-measures into your own presentation in such a way that your candidate can dispel the lies and reassure the public before the opponents team even has the chance to use their deceptions on them in the first place. See if you can sum all this up in a bsaic 5 paragraph presentation. Take it to people you want to raise money from. Get your candidate to co-operate.

                            I don't know much about Burns specifically, but what little I do know makes it abundantly clear he is definitely a shitbird, as so many of these lunatics are that have weaponized the ignorance of so much of the public in their attempt to turn the mall into wingnuts.

                            Defeat the sound-bite.

                            by sbj on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 01:45:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There won't be a candidate to support (none)
                            against Burns until June, 2006.  And as an unconnected PAC, by Federal law we can't coordinate with a candidate anyway.  
  •  Condensed Summary of everything: (4.00)
    We're in a holding pattern for the short to medium term. Period.

    Prescription for sanity and effectiveness:

    Keep your hand in the game, but go have some fun, make yourself strong (or at least keep from getting weakened), and be careful for falling countries, authoritarians, and heathens.

    Methinks the other two options available are to 1) self-implode from frustration, or to 2) become altogether numb and apathetic.

    Nobody has convinced me that we've even seen or heard from what/who will dig us out of the mess this country is in. What do I know though...maybe it's you.

    Political Physics - A non-party-identified, open source community blog

    by cgilbert01 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:17:25 PM PDT

  •  I too was hoping (4.00)
    for faster fireworks from HoHo.  But I'm not disappointed.

    I like the traveling to red states approach.  I like the fact that one of the most articulate people on our side of the issues is taking the Dem message directly to the people who otherwise have almost no exposure to that message.  He is getting positive local press.  He is drawing huge bluepocket crowds in red areas and injecting people with an infusion of hope and enthusiasm.

    This is better than having people on pundit shows that nobody watches.  That's right, nobody watches them.  Joe Sixpack does not make his political decisions based on who said what on Meet the Press.  And the shows that do have influence are such a hostile stacked deck that Dem appearances make us look bad and lose ground.

    Howard is almost doing an evangelistic approach.  Reach whatever Dem activists and disaffected Repubs are available in red areas, set them on fire, and trust that they wil talk to friends, who will talk to friends, who will talk to other friends.  That is where the persuasive power is.  People are more likely to vote based on the opinion of the person waiting next to them in line at the movie theatre, the person praying next to them at church, or the person sitting next to them at the local diner, than anything they hear on the kind of pundit shows that are willing to book Democrats.

    If just one guy in a geezer bar says "you know, I'm not sure I agree with Rush about that" we make more strides than a hundred guest spots on Late Edition.

    I think this will bear fruit in 06.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:29:12 PM PDT

    •  So well said, (none)
      especially the evangelical part - that's Dean. Funny thing Georgia10, he believes in you and me and is traveling his ass off to fire us up in person. I am glad that just like any emergency room Doc worth his salt, he is working on the patients who are in critical condition first.

      We are all wearing the blue dress now.

      by PLS on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I couldn't agree more with you about the DNC (4.00)
    Let's see, though.  Where do you lay the blame for its current state?

    on Terry McAuliffe who held the office for FOUR YEARS or the Clintons who had a stranglehold on the party for EIGHT YEARS

    or Howard Dean who has held the office for LESS THAN TWO MONTHS?

    Dean is good, but he's not a miracle worker.  I expect, unless he's run out on the rails by people who didn't want him there in the first place, you'll find he makes dramatic differences

    Maybe, just maybe, it takes a little bit of time

  •  And why wasn't Dr. Dean (none)
    up against Dr. Frist during the Schiavo fiasco.

    I think he could have added a sense of sanity to that whole mess.  And it would have been doctor to doctor.  Even the AMA could have pobably supported the good Dr. Dean in not messing with a family tragedy.

    Maybe their suck-ass polling was behind the times and they didn't figure it out until it was too late that 80% of Americans were against the actions the Congress took.

    Wake up DNC.  Hire some pretty attack dogs to wipe the smirks off of Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.

    HotFlashReport - Opinionated liberal views of the wrongs of the right

    by annrose on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:39:37 PM PDT

  •  IMHO (4.00)
    Dean was smart to stay out of the trap
  •  i don't agree with the sentiments here, though (none)
    i understand them. the disconnect seems to be lack of information about what dean is doing and why. i agree with those who point out that his job is to rebuild the party from the grassroots up, not to be the party spokesperson. that was the division of labor he and reid and pelosi apparently agreed to. judging from the posts by those who have witnessed his efforts at doing his job, he is definitely out in the hustings. can't fault him for that, or for not being able, in two months, to transform an aging beast into a charming prince.

    no harm in saying what one wants from dean, of course, but this is somewhat reminiscent of the post-election kerry knifings. what! our guy is worth our vote, but he doesn't walk on water? he has the nerve to have his own ideas about how to do things? his way of doing things is not mine? let's dump him!

    nope. i supported kerry and i support dean. i think both are men of honor and ability. dean took on a tough job - and put aside his presidential ambitions - because people said they would support him in this undertaking. ability i ain't got, but i like to think i'm honorable enough to not kick him in the teeth two months after urging him to run for the position because he's not doing things the way i would - except that i wouldn't, of course, because no one would support me for dnc chair and i would never run anyway, given how fickle supporters can be.

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

    by yankeedoodler on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 03:47:46 PM PDT

  •  Yeah! (none)
    Tell it like it is! Yes! Yes!  Yes! Okay now I've responded to this diary, I'll go read the comments.
    By the way, my eight-year old asked why the Dems don't fight tougher. Even he gets it!
  •  Finally, someone says it (4.00)
    I've been wondering when someone was going to point out just how poor the DNC and Dean's term has been so far.

    Now, it may be the case that it'll get better. But based on the 2 months so far, we are quite able to say that the DNC and Dean have sucked, big time - they've failed to marshal any party unity or voice over the Republicans' radical, lunatic-fringe actions that they've embarked upon lately. The DNC has an amazing opportunity to really grab some media attention - there's growing unease with the direction the Republicans are going in, but we're doing absolutely nothing to take advantage of it.

    I get the sense that this discussion will turn out much like the ones we had from about August 1 onward last year - some of us would complain about Kerry's campaign, we'd get smacked down by you true believers who'd say to just wait and he'd deliver.

    He never did. Even if you believe that Kerry's loss was fraudulent, it needed never to have been that close.

    In any case, I'm sick and tired of being told to wait for results. FUCK that. The GOP is setting fire to the Constitution, armed lunatics are taking up positions along the border, the Congress remains locked down by GOP rules that prevent actual debate, and our media has gone over to the other side, whole hog.

    I want results. And I want them now. I am not going to be told to wait or be patient. Dean and the DNC have a lot of our trust, and it's high time they acted on it, that they rewarded that trust. Their first job must be to create a media strategy, and begin showing us that they're implementing it. We didn't get Dean the chairmanship so he could raise money. We got it for him so he could use it as a bully pulpit. Rebuild our message, our image. If he's doing that, he's being might fucking quiet about it.

    So thanks, georgia10, for finally saying what needs to be said. The DNC is sitting on their hands. And we will all pay the price unless they start to do something. I'm no longer content to wait for action. I want it and I want it now. I hope you are all with me.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:06:08 PM PDT

    •  Who are the true believers? (none)
      The true believers in what or who?

      Where did you get the impression that the DNC and Dean are sitting on their hands?  Who told you that?  He is all over the country, giving up his home life, in a new state almost every day.

      Harry Reid and others are working hard, and he and Howard Dean talk several times a week.  If they are doing such a bad job by not speaking up right now, why is Cheney coming out against DeLay?  Why do the polls show the vast majority are against the involvement of congress in personal affairs?  Why are Bush's poll numbers staying so very low?

      If you want someone on TV, call your congress people and tell them.   Tell them you want someone outspoken.  

      "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

      by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:02:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do have someone outspoken (none)
        Jim McDermott (WA-7) does the best he can.

        But Dean and the DNC, I expect more from. So what if Cheney is speaking out against DeLay? That means nothing. The point isn't so much to get rid of DeLay - though it's a nice side benefit - as it is to use him as a wedge to break the power of the GOP more broadly. I really wish Dean were doing a better job of exploiting it.

        Am I demanding? Hell yeah. Am I impatient? Absolutely. Am I unrealistic? Perhaps. But it's better to aim for perfection, better to demand it, because the closer that Dean and the Dems get to that point, the better off we all are.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:22:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Link (none)
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/17/20248/4573

      My opinion.

      Diaries come and go so fast, I felt it was worth linking to.

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:39:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Look at the intent of this critique (none)
    not the specifics or content.  You can get lot in minutia of which web site looks better/worse or specific actions of this or that DNC leader.

    Bottom line is; RNC has been much better at coordinating distribution of information and DNC has to be equal or better.  I'm amazed when I hear an 84 year old Republican friend spouting the same "talking points" I hear discussed on various Blogs - usually within days of their surfacing.  She doesn't have Internet, email, or cable - and yet they get the info and counter to perceived "liberal spin" out to her efficiently via MSM.  Where is the DNC infrastructure to counter this?

    On the web side; how hard would it be to put together a DVD with pre-formatted content, consistent templates for multiple media types, perhaps even a complete canned web site ready to load on your server and go.  With the clout of a national organization, you could negotiate a site license for software tools or standardize on a suite of open-source applications.

    I am not a "deep level" operative, but I do know what I witnessed in the run-up to the 2004 presidential elections in our local Dem HQ; technological chaos.  They were totally dependant on a patchwork of barely operational donated equipment and the largess of one company's over-extended tech guy.  I couldn't stand it, so I helped out for a while, (I forced them to upgrade their meager DSL temporarily and broke out my credit card to set up a "hot spot" for volunteer attorney to communicate on day of election).  But I can't do that as a full time job - and now they're back to where they were before.

    As far as I could see there was little unifying guidance on anything beyond the usual "good old boy/girl" network of meetings and stuff that is so mysterious to us on the outside of the real back-room political stuff.  Surely there someone at the national level who can prepare and aggregate information on how to integrate communications, office productivity, and web site authoring tools.  It's sad to see these field offices relying on a patchwork of sometimes boot-leg software just to handle day-to-day operations.

    I think the disappointment here is that someone (Dean) who made such effective use of technology - either directly or by picking the right people to work for him - has not made a bigger splash on his ascendancy to a leadership position.  My fear is that the bureaucracy has co-opted him and existing inertia has insured no boat-rocking and business as usual.

    I, personally, do not know.  I'm a computer graphics geek and I can have all the discussions you want about video formats, compression schemes, 1080i vs. 720p, Illustrator vs. Corel, etc. - but I am mystified by about 50% of the discussions that go on here. Don't get me wrong - I'm interested, and sometimes I get pretty worked up on some issues like corporate and government ethics - but I have to rely on you, the "political experts" to explain what is or is not important.

    So, argue the details all you want; Like Georgia10 - I don't see enough happening.

  •  If Dean were on TV, said anything controversial... (none)
    then guess who would be going after him?  Remember the very true statement about not being safer with Saddam in jail? Oops.  Kerry, Lieberman, Gephardt, all of them said he was a fool.  He was very correct.

    I could mention all kinds of statements he made that were true, but he was gone after by the Democrats.  

    Howard said he would rebuild the party.  The DLC just this month has a article telling him to do no harm.  They often have suggested that many of us could just leave the party to them.  Can you just imagine what they will do to him if he says something they do not like?  

    Can you imagine?  Write the DSCC and DCCC and talk to them about getting someone outspoken on.  Dean is doing what he said he would do.  

    "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

    by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:15:45 PM PDT

    •  Dean is not engaged in a primary campaign. (none)
      During a primary campaign, all the candidates will attack each other.

      but that was over like a year ago... it's time to get past who attacked who over what issue during the primaries.

      •  Can't get past it if he is on TV saying things.. (none)
        they don't like.  Sorry, but he has been told by all of them not to make policy.  That puts him in a bad spot.

        I would love very much to see outspoken Democrats on TV.  I really would.   I just know that Dean's effectiveness as chair would be undermined.

        Actually, though, we should not get past the fact that they attacked him viciously when THEY were wrong.  They were wrong on the war, the tax cuts, and a lot more.  Our Democrats, that is.  Someone else needs to go on right now.  

        "I'm willing to say things that are not popular but ordinary people know are right." Howard Dean

        by floridagal on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 04:36:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I notice the "absence" too, (none)
    I notice the "absence" of Howard Dean and the DNC too, but I'm not so angry about it. Every so often I think to myself, "Why aren't these guys using every opportunity to assault the VRWC? Why haven't they been more vocal on Propagannon? Why aren't they out there flanking Harry Reid on ANY issue?"

    Then I think to myself, "Self, get back to work on Propagannon. Be the change you want to see in the world."

    For one thing, I don't expect every issue to be fought tooth and nail anymore. I've come to terms with the party leadership picking and choosing some fights and letting others alone. I don't expect the Party to take the lead anymore; I expect the people to point the Party where it needs to go.

    Watching the Electoral College thing, the Gonzalez confirmation, Social Security, Propagannon, Bankruptcy, etc. go down in the first three months of Bush's second term could surely make one think that the leadership is failing us; however, I think there is a point in this new one-party rule when you've got to just step out of the spotlight and let the ham-handed actors screw up the current show while you get to work on next season's hit.

    So that's what I'm focusing on--keeping my outrage meter from overloading by funneling my energies into a chosen outlet for active manifestation of change rather than reacting to the many fools we now suffer running the United States of America for the next two to four years.

    And I highly recommend that others do the same.

    Whether it's a local, county, state or national race or issue you decide to involve yourself with, it doesn't matter. Just involve yourself. It sounds corny and perhaps a little trite but it works: be the change you want to see in the world.

  •  Georgia 10 (none)
    I have to say, I agree with you.

    I do not think things are being played on the right field for this game of politics.

    I would like just one time to have the pulpit to say my piece to ppl.

    I think maybe,.......well, lets say 12 hours would be fine!....if they didnt shoot me the first hour of my preaching.

  •  Dear Georgia (4.00)
    I think you've got some great ideas here
    I suggest you assemble the point by point suggestions about the party web sites and a daily dem broadcast/site, and make it an online petition.
    Get 100,000 people to sign it and send to DNC

    That might work better than just doing this diary Also it's freeing to rant and all but really the point is that they simply do these things, not that they get beaten up

    •  Also (none)
      Dean talking to the people is great, imho
      The problem is we need a lot more big wigs doing that part, so there is more of it going on and so that Dean can focus more, like you say, on building the national apparatus

      One way to accomplish this is to set up an ongoing nationwide tour schedule, particularly in Red/rural areas, and send party leaders, candidates and presidential wannabes out on junkets.
      Just keep the pipeline filled at all times with these folks, who will like the effect it has on their ratings anyway
      We should be running a continuous campaign, just not asking Dean to be doing that himself with all of his time

  •  The Democrats' Image Problem (none)
    Michael Moore.  

    Yeah, you heard it. Michael Moore. I know, we are supposed to revere him for Fahrenheit 9/11. But really, look at the guy. He's a fat, unshaven slob in a baseball cap, wearing the same shapeless filthy clothes day after day. And he's arrogant and abrasive, too.  He's our poster boy.  

    Why is Moore our poster boy? Because nobody else has stepped forward. Nature abhors a vacuum. So when nobody else is stepping up to the plate, you better believe the Republicans will tag us with the worst possible spokesperson we could imagine. Michael Moore.

    And in the image game, guess what? Image matters.  The Republicans hate Jane Fonda too, and love to make Hanoi Jane our poster gal, but at least she's attractive. Actually, for a "woman of a certain age," she's still beautiful.

    So right on, Georgia. We need to decide who our spokesmen and spokeswomen will be, and get them out there.  

    Wait, what I just said bears repeating.  WE NEED TO DECIDE. We can't let our opponents pick our spokesmen/women for us any more.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:24:21 PM PDT

    •  For the record (none)
      I'm not ready to lay any of the DNC's failures at Howard Dean's feet, not yet. I imagine there is still institutional resistance that he has to overcome, both within the DNC itself and with Democratic legislators like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, who are worried about protecting their turf against "the outsider."

      Someone made the point upthread about a division of responsibility -- that the Democrats in Congress would set policy, not the DNC. That's a reflection of Reid and Pelosi caring more about turf than winning more turf.  If we are going to be effective, there will have to be coordination. Our senators and representatives are going to have to include Dean in the policy discussions, so that everyone will be on the same page when it comes to advocating the party's position on various issues.

      And while I mentioned Moore specifically in my main comment, I'm using him as a symbol (a big fat unshaven dirty-clothed symbol) of the greater problem. We aren't doing a good-enough job of selecting our best mouthpieces and putting them out there, and that allows the Republicans and the center-right media to choose people we would rather not have represent us.  I'd like to see Dean, Reid, and Pelosi sit down and draw up a list of approved and NOT-approved spokespeople, and then call the people on the NOT-approved list and tell them they are no longer authorized to speak publicly. I know, it sounds draconian, but we could do with a bit of strategic effort.

      In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

      by Paul in Berkeley on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:46:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  reccommended! (none)

    The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

    by Street Kid on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 05:26:13 PM PDT

  •  I get angry (none)
    ... every time I get a John Kerry fundraiser email.  That's quite a reversal from election times, when every time the Republicans pegged my "pissed off" meter I'd go to the Kerry website or the DNC's and give them money.  I don't know what they did with my money, but I think it put me on the "Liberal soft touch" list evidently now being distributed world-wide.  

    Well, the National Party can stuff it.  I'm giving my money and my efforts locally from now on ... and that brings up another sore point.  I'm in Georgia and we seem to have NO discernable party organization at the local or state levels.  We couldn't even get yard signs for the election last year.  Arghhh!  I'd do more, but it's hard to find a place to plug in.

    •  A place for you to plug in (none)
      I'm in Georgia and we seem to have NO discernable party organization at the local or state levels.  We couldn't even get yard signs for the election last year.  Arghhh!  I'd do more, but it's hard to find a place to plug in.

      Have you considered running for Chair of your county party?  Or some other county Democratic party office?

      It seems that if there is no party organization at the local level, someone will have to build it... how about you?

  •  When bloggers are out of touch. (4.00)
    This is what I greatly dislike about an over-reliance on selected blogs.  You miss too much information (both news and PR/advertising/politcal strategy/polling) that would really affect your opinions.  You can't make a reality-based assessment without the facts.

    Yeah, I know the DNC is faxing out press releases on a daily basis (but seriously, does anyone think those don't instantaneously get folded into origami swans in the news room?).   I know they're airing radio ads against privatization, I'm not saying they've been sitting on their asses

    Press releases, depending on where they're targeted, can be effective in getting local press to cover events (same with media event alerts). Some local press, especially the really tiny outfits, reprint entire press releases.  Radio ads are targeted at wavering Republicans.  It's a bit of a throwing an anvil type of process here.  The DNC (and other Dem groups) are firing at wavering Republicans on SS, and have kept it up.  It's not like when Bush's privatization plan started tanking, the DNC just retreated.  They kept hammering, and made sure to get solid quotes in news stories.  

    Besides a blurb here and there about calling Santorum a liar or saying Republicans are brain-dead, have the words "Democratic National Committee" gotten any attention at all?  Nope.

    [...]

    Dean is out grassrootin' in conservative areas, like he's still on the 2004 campaign trail.  Wake up, Howard, wake up.  You're a national leader now, and need to take on a national role.


    Actually, Dean is taking a local media approach on purpose.  Dean and his comm. people know that he's not going to get a fairshake with the national media, so he's gone local and gotten pretty positive press coverage.  So, yes, the DNC words have been out there.  Just because YOU don't see it and just because no one brings articles over here, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's the same with RNC Chair Ken Mehlman's outreach to black voters tour.  Not that much national attention, but generally positive local coverage.  To repeat, Dean doesn't deal with the national media, because he KNOWS he's not going to get a fairshake.

    Why the fuck isn't the DNC reaching out to these chapters, helping them with more professional and inviting designs, and hey, maybe even have each site have a "Daily DNC" section where we can learn what the fuck you're doing on a day to day basis without having to visit The Shittiest Political Website On The Web?

    Your tastes aren't going to necessarily be in-line with anyone else's, and quite frankly, as long as the web design is neat and conforms to basic design principles (i.e. the results of years of visual communications studies), I don't give it shit if the designs make you happy or me happy.  That's not to say that the websites couldn't be improved, but how about we put a realistic timeline on it?  For large websites (and a network of websites), it can take months and months before it fully launches.  I know when my university started re-doing its website, it took at least a year to convert everything. It'd be a better idea to make sure everything is in sync and running smoothly, and launch it all at once.  Not only would it be like a shot in the arm, but it'd probably generate positive press coverage, too.

    The DNC website, and all other Dem-related websites should absolutely be better networked with state and local websites.  There should be more continuity, but Dean just got his full team at the DNC in place a few weeks ago.  Dean wasn't elected until Feb. 10-12, 2005.

    You know, for once, I would love to turn on the TV and see gasp a Democrat on air.  An honest to goodness Democrat.  Not a liberal, not a progressive, but a fucking representative of the Democratic party.

    Dem. communication directors (i.e. Stephanie Cutter during KE04) usually won't allow their bosses to go on FNC (except for maybe Chris Wallace), because they know they won't get a fairshake.  That's usually why you see a lot of the same Dem faces on FNC; they've got more experience on Faux News (and well, Lieberman and Hannity apparently get along...) Now, everything's being blanketed with Pope coverage, and most people who have made appearances are church and religious leaders, not politicians.  Hotline does a roundup of all politicians who appeared on the previous days' shows.  Sometimes it's skewed to the left, sometimes it's skewed to the right, and sometimes it's actually fairly balanced.  If you asked me which happens more often (a skew to the left v. a skew to the right), I'd say that without a doubt, there's a skew to the right, but let's not pretend like they aren't on there.  Lord knows I remember a Barbara Boxer appearance on CNN getting zero attention here, save a few comments in one diary.

    I've mentioned this before, but the DNC needs a core group of blazing-heart liberals to launch an assault on the media.  Yeah, Media Matters keeps reporting about the conservative bias on panels, and I used to think it was a big bad RWCM ploy.  But I'm thinking it's also just pure incompetence on the part of the DNC.  Why in the world doesn't the DNC get on the phone and demand to have a representative on Hardball, or Hannity's show, or Wolf's attempt to dispense the news? Hell, call up O'Reilly and tell him you'd love to have a DNC representative on.  You'll even bring your own loofah.

    But for the love of God, do something!  You talk about the right-wing noise machine but the DNC is just sitting there, humming to itself away in the corner, afraid to enter the fray.  What a pathetic state of affairs it is when the left blogosphere lights up when someone has the balls to call Hannity "stupid" on air. Oh, golly, gee whiz!  Someone (not affiliated with the DNC, btw) got a nugget of truth on the airwaves!  Woo-hoo!  Get ready for a Democratic landslide in 2006!!!


    OY.  You know how long it took for the right to build up its VRWC?  You want to send in a whole bunch of liberals, when we don't even have an infrastructure?  As Kos has pointed out many a time, the left is building it's own VLWC, but let's face it.  IT TAKES TIME.  Quite frankly, the DNC can do some things, but it's not as influential as the RNC at this, because the RNC has an outside infrastructure to blast its message.  The left does not, except for a growing radio presence.  The left's infrastructure will be built faster, but let's not pretend like it takes two months, k?

    The DNC needs to be the clearinghouse and amplifier for the left wing noise machine.

    Um, as I said above, it's much more effective if you've got an amplifier to amplify the message.  The right has one; the left does not.
    Instead of adequate representation in the national media, instead of a unified message, we get the occasional email, with a dozen fucking links to sign this or that and that goddamn huge "support the DNC" button that infuriates me, because when was the last time the DNC supported me?

    Ok, so you want a bigger presence in the media?  THAT'S WHAT THE FUCKING PETITIONS ARE FOR!!! You get press coverage for the initial call for signatures, and you get press coverage for when you release the number of signatures you get.  You also get emails, and building an email list and mobilizing the grassroots support that way is far better than purchasing useless lists.  The DNC can then put that into their voter file, which is extensive and catching up to the RNC's.  It's not easy by any means to do cross tabs, multi-collinearity with over 500 variables for each voter.

    ----=
    There are a lot of good ideas in the blogosphere, but there's also a lack of knowledge.  That lack of knowledge leads to unrealistic expectations and unwarranted criticism (or misplaced criticism).

    People sometimes wonder why the Dems don't do something that the blogosphere wants them to do.  Terri Schiavo, and all of those who were calling on the Dems to fight back. There's going to be a new poll coming out this week (either ABC/WaPo or NBC/WSJ...forget which one) and everyone who even touched the Terri Schiavo story saw their approval ratings drop.  The media got hit the hardest, but you can bet the Republicans got hit hard, too.  I didn't ask for the specifics re: Democrats, but you can bet the farm they're coming out of this far rosier than the Republicans are.  Not to mention, by staying out of sight, there are no soundbites that'll come back to haunt them, and they've got a storyline for 2006.  It dovetails quite nicely with the "it's ok to kill judges" comments and the "DeLay is a powerhungry asshole" storylines.  GOP overreach, arrogance, etc.  

    Another example, is Kos's pro-birth frame.  It's shitty, and there's a reason why you won't see the Dems using it and why you'll see me ask every DKos member who uses it, to stop using it.  (In framing, one must think about the opposition.  If the Republicans are pro-birth, then, Democrats are anti-birth?  I don't think so.) You don't read Lakoff, and "Poof!" you understand framing, message, etc.  I've listed a number of very helpful books before, but even after reading them, you couldn't call yourself an expert anything...just someone who's a little more enlightened.  And quite honestly, Lakoff's only usefulness IMHO, is that he's gotten the Dems to start talking about framing, strategy, etc. in ways that Dems have really forgotten.  

    I think we should all remember that the blogosphere does NOT equal the grassroots. There are people who are part of the grassroots who don't visit blogs.

    Let's remember the track of the conservative movement.  Nixon was a bridge between Rockafeller Republicanism and the Goldwater/Reagan  Republicanism.  Clinton could have been that bridge for us, but Lewinsky made it difficult for Gore to carry it over.  The right-wing is in power now, in large part because they moved from the center to the right.  Nixon (by today's standards) was fairly moderate, but it was his VP, Spiro Agnew, who brought Goldwater's rhetoric into the mainstream before the tipping point (Reagan).  You move from the center to the left, and you do that partly by using centrist language to sell common sense legislation, then, centrist language to sell liberal legislation, and then, just really push hard for liberals everywhere.  

    Oh, and I have no idea why the Dems should go full blast with a brand new message, just so that people here can know that the Dems are doing it.  Quite frankly, it's not that effective if everyone knows that they've re-fashioned the Democratic platform. It's more effective if it takes hold in a quieter way.  

    "Minimize our defensive posture, maximize our offensive posture."--Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)

    by Newsie8200 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:09:58 PM PDT

    •  I forgot to add... (none)
      Obviously, I expressed some extremely unpopular opinions, some of which some commentators below think are unsupported by the facts.

      No, I don't think your opinions are unsupported by facts.  I know that some (not all) of your opinions are unsupported by facts and/or context.  

      "Minimize our defensive posture, maximize our offensive posture."--Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)

      by Newsie8200 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:12:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the detailed response, Newsie (4.00)
      A couple things.

      Why can't I criticize the DNC without being accused of not giving Dean enough time?  I'm surprised at how many here just don't realize that the bad websites (and yes, I think they're bad) and the lack of media coverage are the result of the DNC itself over many years.  My critique about a lack of national presence is entirely legitimate.

      Petitions?  Do you know how many petitions I've signed?  How many emails sent to FOX, CNN, the national media?  Do you know what happens with petitions? They get if they're lucky a couple hundred thousand signatures, a blurb gets sent out, and that's it.  I'm all for petitions to pressure Congress, but petitions to the media to ask for coverage?  As long as they keep getting their ratings, they really don't care how many signatures you throw at them.

      Moreoever, Dean may be taking a local approach, but as I've reiterated time and time again on this thread, does that mean you completely abandon a national presence? You mention the fact that I don't get to see the local coverage.  Exactly my point!  I don't know what is going on in Montana at a town hall Dean meeting with a few hundred people.  I don't know what is going on in Ohio when he goes and gets a two minute soundbite on the Ohio evening news.  Why isn't this being attempted on a national scale? If Dean likes to travel so much, then why doesn't he do it as a parallel to Bush's SS tour?  Why don't we engage in the same coordinated national campaign, rather than piecemeal press that does nothing for those who work all day, plop home in front of the TV and whose sole news source is the evening news?

      As for the Schiavo thing, that also illustrates my point.  Why, oh why did the Democrats ALSO get a hit from the whole debacle? Most Democrats stayed silent, and yet still polls show that we politicized the issue.  Why?  I think it would have been a better position to come out and state simply that the action was against the Constitution.  Would we be charged with politicizing the situation?  I don't think so, if it was a short and plain statment.

      You say that party won't get a fairshake on national shows.  Others on the thread mentioned that if we speak the truth, it will be twisted against us.

      But has the strategy of near silence worked thus far?  No.  Boycotting these shows for fear of not winning the fight is a huge disservice to the party, because it makes it seem like there is no national party.  Instead, flipping through the shows, you'd think this was a one-party nation.  Fear of having words used against you?  Cowardice?  That is an excuse for not using the medium created by the RWCM to blast our message to the masses?

      Good god, there are so many competent, articulate people on this site alone and throughout the liberal blogosphere who would be able to take down Hannity in a fell swoop and we're afraid to go on the shows because they won't play nice?  

      I know it takes time to build up our own communications machine.  But why not use theirs against them in the meantime?  Instead, we cry foul and pout and complain about the biased media and let them spew forth lies and deception while we're tinkering around, trying to build our own noise machine.

      Look, the DNC dropped the ball.  It has for years, and it's trying to catch up now. But if it wants to win 2006 and 2008, it has to work at twice the pace as before if it's going to catch up in time. My complaints about a lack of a coherent, unified, national message from the DNC is valid, whether Dean is planning on changing it or not.  

      •  Response (4.00)
        Why can't I criticize the DNC without being accused of not giving Dean enough time?  I'm surprised at how many here just don't realize that the bad websites (and yes, I think they're bad) and the lack of media coverage are the result of the DNC itself over many years.  My critique about a lack of national presence is entirely legitimate

        Well, do you want new websites done right or not?  Having it done right takes time, and organizations undergo site updates every so often.  The website could use some sprucing up, and be better networked with state party websites.  I don't think a lot of people are disagreeing with you on that, but when you've couched so much of the rest of your diary as "Dean's not doing enough," don't be surprised that you got accused of not giving Dean enough time.

        Petitions?  Do you know how many petitions I've signed?  How many emails sent to FOX, CNN, the national media?  Do you know what happens with petitions? They get if they're lucky a couple hundred thousand signatures, a blurb gets sent out, and that's it.  I'm all for petitions to pressure Congress, but petitions to the media to ask for coverage?  As long as they keep getting their ratings, they really don't care how many signatures you throw at them.

        They don't completely ignore them.  At major news orgs, a bunch of emails on the same topic definitely gets noticed.  At smaller news outlets, sometimes, the exec. editor will personally read all correspondence. Ratings matter, but when CNN is at low points, it's important to tell them why you've stopped watching.  Sometimes any kind of feedback in the TV business is taken as a sign that people are watching, regardless of whether they like it or not, but when you've got people leaving, feedback tells the show/network why.

        Moreoever, Dean may be taking a local approach, but as I've reiterated time and time again on this thread, does that mean you completely abandon a national presence? You mention the fact that I don't get to see the local coverage.  Exactly my point!

        Because Dean constantly gets negative national coverage.  There's a time lag that's necessary before the national media stops using the old Howard Dean narrative, and tweaks it a little. And so what if you don't get to see the local coverage? Who cares? You know he's getting it, and you know that it's positive.  More people get news locally than nationally anyway. Dean isn't the head of the Democrats, really, in one important area.  He's not responsible for policy.  That's Pelosi's and Reid's territory, and those are the Democrats you want out there nationally, not Dean.  Bush is pushing policy, and he's the President.  He's going to get national media coverage everyday, no matter what.  And exactly what would the press write stories about re: Dean? Exactly what is interesting about about all of Dean's local visits that you feel the national media would cover? Aside from a small update every once in awhile, you won't get the national media to cover Dean even if you tried.  

        As for the Schiavo thing, that also illustrates my point.  Why, oh why did the Democrats ALSO get a hit from the whole debacle? Most Democrats stayed silent, and yet still polls show that we politicized the issue.  Why?  I think it would have been a better position to come out and state simply that the action was against the Constitution.  Would we be charged with politicizing the situation?  I don't think so, if it was a short and plain statment.

        Your reading of the polls is off.  The Republicans got the brunt of the blame for it.  It's why Frist kept trying to say that it was bipartisan.  How many soundbites from Dems supporting the Schiavo bill did you see?  Not many.  Most of the Dem soundbites out there were pointing out GOP hypocrisy and Republican overreach. And I'll say this: Media polls are simplistic.  Internal polling done by both sides is thorough and tells you a lot more than the media polls tell you.

        But has the strategy of near silence worked thus far?  No.  Boycotting these shows for fear of not winning the fight is a huge disservice to the party, because it makes it seem like there is no national party.  Instead, flipping through the shows, you'd think this was a one-party nation.  Fear of having words used against you?  Cowardice?  That is an excuse for not using the medium created by the RWCM to blast our message to the masses?

        Did I say we should be silent? No.  The Dems go on the shows where they think they'll get a fair shot.  The Republicans, because the President is a Republican and because they control everything, set the Congressional agenda, and therefore, drive news coverage.  They'll also get more bookings that way.  The Democrats can use the existing media infrastructure, but they can't go as far as the radical right b/c there is no lefty infrastructure.  You play with the hand you're dealt.  I'm not saying that the Democrats couldn't do better, but I am saying that WE could be a little more realistic about the situation.  I tend not to look at these issues from an activist's point of view, because most activists don't understand it.

        there are so many competent, articulate people on this site alone and throughout the liberal blogosphere who would be able to take down Hannity in a fell swoop and we're afraid to go on the shows because they won't play nice?  

        Blogging here is different from going on these shows.  There are diaries here every once in awhile where someone confesses to getting off message when calling into a right-wing radio show. You don't send any representative to make appearances who hasn't had media training.  And people don't call into Hannity, because he won't even let them get a word in edge-wise.  They'll go to Hannity & Colmes, because Colmes is there to 'balance' it out.  I also didn't say that Dems completely avoided many of those shows, but only certain ones go on those shows b/c the host will let them get a word in.  It's THOSE Dems (coughLiebermancough) who need to learn to make a better case for the Dems instead of bashing the party.  On MSNBC and CNN, the Dems should work harder at getting more reps on those shows, but let's not pretend like they aren't there ever.

        I know it takes time to build up our own communications machine.  But why not use theirs against them in the meantime?  Instead, we cry foul and pout and complain about the biased media and let them spew forth lies and deception while we're tinkering around, trying to build our own noise machine.

        So the Democrats never feed stories to reporters that are embarassing for Republicans?  C'mon.  The Democrats could do better with the existing system, but gimme break.  So many DKos members act as though the Republicans do everything right and the Democrats do everything wrong, when in fact, in many cases, both use the exact same tactics.  That you don't notice it all the better.  

        Look, the DNC dropped the ball.  It has for years, and it's trying to catch up now. But if it wants to win 2006 and 2008, it has to work at twice the pace as before if it's going to catch up in time. My complaints about a lack of a coherent, unified, national message from the DNC is valid, whether Dean is planning on changing it or not.

        Nobody is saying that it shouldn't work faster to get something out there, but I'm not sure why you've couched your diary in terms of Dean not doing enough in his first two months at the DNC.  Just because you don't see the DNC, Dem pollsters, etc. out there working overtime to catch up, doesn't mean they aren't.  I'm not sure why anyone wants to know every move the Democrats are making, because if we know, then, everyone else knows, too (which then, hurts the effectiveness of whatever the Democrats are doing).  The DNC's voter file is catching up to the RNC's, and the DNC/Dem allied groups did do the microtargeting that WaPo gave so much credit to BC04 a few weeks after the election.  Just because the media doesn't cover these things that much, doesn't mean it's not happening, and BC04 would never have gotten that mention if it hadn't won.  

        "Minimize our defensive posture, maximize our offensive posture."--Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)

        by Newsie8200 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 08:16:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Website's (none)
    I'm not sure I understand your issue with these sites.  I checked them all, and while the text on the Colorado site is too small (and it is boring), I found the Illinois site to be equally bad.  It's just a bunch of columns with list of districts, etc.  I didn't see anything so terrible about the others.

    However, I think this is the kind of side issue that just doesn't matter.  We should focus our energies elsewhere.  After all, these sites are likely to be visited by people who are party activists or leaning that way, not by people who are looking for a reason to vote Dem.  The way our message is received depends on who we have articulating that message on TV (as you said), but the websites are essentially irrelevant at this point.

    "I don't want to bring politics into this, I'm just here for the drugs." Nancy Reagan, at a "Just Say No" event, 1986

    by Jack109 on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 06:46:30 PM PDT

  •  Have you noticed who gets press? (none)
    It ain't anybody that we want.  Do you think Dean isn't trying to make the talk-show circuit?  Have you noticed we get more of Lieberman and Brazille than we can take but not enough Byrd, Boxer or Dean?

    My best guess?  The talk shows don't want anyone who'll shed any light on the republican bullshit.  

    I do know that I heard from my Congressman (Jefferson D-La) for the first time in 12 years.  I can thank the DNC for that.  Otherwise, take it easy.  Let's see what happens.

  •  Owning the message (none)
    This is all really great writing.  I just love it, georgia10, I'm your fan, and IMHO you were all that much more effective without the profanity.  Still, when you are in Rome, you must do as the Romans.

    The thing that bothers me is the blaming tone.  Blaming the DNC just doesn't get to the heart of the matter.

    What about media ownership?  Media ownership is a done deal.  The news media is in the hands of a cabal of neocons.  You make it sound like it is all just a question of ideology and motivation.

    I agree that the DNC needs to have an agressive message.  You have to wonder who is at the helm when two elections just got stolen and no one is complaining about it.  But how would that agressive message play out in the hands of the corporate media?  It's all about the last days of Pope John Paul II, the perversions of Michael Jackson, and Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

    Capitalism is cancer on this planet.

    by super simian on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:15:27 PM PDT

    •  profanity is an extension (none)
      of real life frustration, I'm afraid.  I'll tone it down in future posts.

      I suppose I took on a blaming tone because I find it hard to believe that we can blame it ALL on the RWCM.  Not every single journalist is in on a conspiracy to shut out the Democratic Party.  It's about time we as a party take some blame for our own inability to demand coverage of our issues.

      •  Couldn't agree more! (none)
        I don't have a problem with profanity, I just noted the change in your style!

        Yes, the DNC needs to get some gumption.  IMHO, the past five years has been a pretty poor showing, especially with respect to sitting out stolen elections.

        Maybe: "Not every single journalist is in on a conspiracy to shut out the Democratic Party," but it is not the individual journalist who dictates what is and is not printed, it's the editor, and the editor is anwerable to media ownership.  If we look closely, we will find that only a handful of people own all of the media outlets, not just in the U.S. but globally.  And that handful is getting smaller every day.

        Who would have thought even ten years ago that the executive branch would be able to get away with passing off fake, packaged news to the media?  Who would have thought that law-abiding taxpayers who might happen to disagree with the president would be barred from his presence?

        Capitalism is cancer on this planet.

        by super simian on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 11:06:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  DEAN is doing his PART, how about US? (4.00)
    He wants Dem Party to be bottoms-up, grassroot driven, local, decentralize.  Why wait for direction from above?

    Dean asked us not just to vote but run for office,  volunteer in a campaign, contribute, organize.

    I hope all of us here are joining Democratic Party meetings/meetups, DFA meetups, etc  and doing our part locally.  Or inviting our friends,family, neighbors, officemates, etc to the meetings/meetups, or viral e-mailing the petitions, info e-mails, etc.  Or rapid responding the GOP BS in the office watercoolers, letters to Editor.

    find your local dem group link: http://www.democracyforamerica.com/local/

    by timber on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:35:11 PM PDT

  •  PICK ME! PICK ME! (none)
    I'll volunteer to go up against any one of the Republican empty suits.  I've gone toe to toe against O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh - several times each - and I've only lost wehn they cut my mike...

    Check my diary for the scoop...  you can still hear me on Rush by clicking

    here.

    I come in at about the 6:20 mark.

    Anyway, I graduate RPI in May.  If I don't get into Cornell Law School, I'll be looking for a job.  I'd love to go up against these guys on a level playing field.  My dream job.  And I promise, I'm better looking than Ted Devine or whoever the public face of the Kerry campaign was.

    I've made that point before too - Georgia, I love ya but ya missed this one:  salespeople shouldn't be but ugly and disagreeable.  Fox hires every annoying Dem voice they can find.  Susan Estrich, for example.  We shouldn't be helping their cause by putting people like Ted Devine up against Nicole Hottydish...  I mean Devenish...

    alright, it's not fair to ugly people...  i know I'm pissing a lot of you off...  but we can fight over shit like this, or we can learn to play to win...  we decide.

  •  Amen (none)
    There is a definate lack of noise from our side of the stadium.  Well, we do have the losing team - but that  doesn't excuse the cheerleaders.

    When all else fails...panic

    by David in Burbank on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 07:39:43 PM PDT

  •  Agreed (none)
    I cancelled my cable subscription after the election. It is disheartening to hear that strong Democrats STILL are not on the main news channels.

    This problem smacked us in the face during the RNC. I figured somebody would have fixed it by now. I guess I was wrong.  The DNC needs to find some true blue Democrats who know how to argue (think Sam Seder) and get them on the air. Pronto.

  •  Shawshank Redemption Anyone? (none)
    Let us turn our ideas into action...
    Remember in Shawshank Redemption when Tim Robbins writes a letter a week for a really long time until they finally give him the money for the prison library???
    To help get the DNC branding up-to-date, what if we all send one letter a day from each of us until the DNC finally:
    1. fixes it's website with professional ad agency help
    2. hires ad help for state parties
    3. coordinates each state website with a DNC daily update

    Can I get a second anyone?
  •  Whew! (none)
    I'm glad you got that off your chest!

    In Dean's defense, I imagine he's quietly cleaning house. But, frankly, I'm with you. Quietly isn't good enough. We need noise.

    One of the reasons I supported Dean for DNC Chair was that I figured the media couldn't ignore him. I mean, if Dean has an opinion on something, don't you think even Fox would put him on?

    So, I hope that this deafening silence is about behind-the-scenes changes that are going to be evident down the road. If it isn't, then we might as well disassemble the DNC and give all its money to the states.

    And for any DNC members who think they can sabotage Dean by getting in the way of changes I have a message. We rolled over your candidate in the DNC election. Next time we might roll a little further down the list. *wink* *wink*

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Tue Apr 05, 2005 at 11:00:06 PM PDT

  •  Sparking Debate (none)
    Thank you georgia10!

    Whether I agree with your diary or the various commentaries in their entirety or even just select portions, I consider the debate you began to be one of the more important discussions we should all be having at this time.

    Regardless of agreement with Dean's actions, or lack thereof, we need to be fomenting the ideas up to the party leaders. By having an intemperant moment with regard to party direction, georgia10 began a process of a certain self-examination in terms of considering ourselves as a part of that party structure. From some of her other comments within it is clear she just reached a certain threshold and needed to vent. In doing so, she sparked discussion of what needs to be happening within the party itself.

    We are it people, if you want to be part of something, it's time to begin participating, discussing, and then articulating what the hell we think we believe when we call our selves Democrats. georgia10 has some valid concerns, and I do share some of them. I have patience to see if Dean can diagnose the problem quickly enough, and then prescribe the proper treatment. And I still have hope that we will be able to find that voice from which we may speak in unison, without insisting as some do here, that if you don't completely agree with my world view, then you must be part of the problem.

    My, but that sounds eerily familiar to Bush's post 9/11 world view: "Either your with us, or you are against us."

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - FDR

    by Vitarai on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 12:06:57 AM PDT

  •  State Party Reviews (none)
    I know for a fact that Dean and the DNC are focusing a lot of their energy right now on doing State Party Assessments.  They have to figure out what they are dealing with before they can really improve shit.

    Also, a few weeks ago he canned a punch of the political people who used to be working there and I think some of the message people.

    Stuff is happening - but you can't rebuild a company, a house, a friendship, and ANYTHING without time - we need to stay active and support those bastards at the DNC and our state parties who actually ARE fighting for us.

    "I DO" doesn't change the meaning of the word "NO". Stop the AZ GOP!!

    by Mister T in AZ on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 03:06:55 AM PDT

  •  I started to post a short comment on this (none)
    just a while ago and decided I couldn't do it justice, but you certainly did. However, it takes time to overhaul the DNC and I'll give Dean a break for not getting it done overnight. And while I nearly completely agree with you, I also think things are looking much better today than they were just a few months ago.

    Regardless, this was a great post and anyone who doesn't "get it" needs to read it again more slowly. I've long wondered, myself, why every news show has a Republican spokesperson and so few have one for the Democrats. And then we wonder why we've been losing our base to the GOP? Even though they own the media, I refuse to believe that Democrats are so seldom allowed to join the televised debate.

    Having said that, I found myself dumbfounded when GOP'ers suddenly began appearing regularly on The Daily Show and Realtime with Bill Maher just weeks before the election. Why would they go on a show where they knew the host would be making fun of them? Then it all started becoming clear to me how their appearance wouldn't change the political views of these popular shows, but it very well might help to soften future criticism if they can build relationships with the people who put on these shows. And what do they have to lose? The only people who watch these shows are liberals, like us, who don't like them already, but are likely to have a softer perception of them if we see them willfully present on our turf being respectful. All this goes without mentioning that it's more free publicity for them and that ill-informed voters are more likely to cast their vote with candidates they've seen or heard before.

    While Republicans seem to be blasting the airways with any opportunity that presents itself, including negative environments, Democrats seem to avoid as many as possible, including positive environments. I know Republicans own the media, but you can't make me believe that Democrats couldn't make more appearances than they currently do.

    A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

    by rogun on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 04:38:02 AM PDT

    •  You refuse to believe - why? (none)
      Even though they own the media, I refuse to believe that Democrats are so seldom allowed to join the televised debate.

      Why? Why do you refuse to believe it?  Because the other side is too ethical to sink so low? Because they care so much about making sure Democratic ideas are spread far and wide?

      Why do you refuse to believe it?

  •  We seem to be have lost Gov Dean's feed... (none)
    I have personally seen at least 3 occasions where Howard Dean was being 'interviewed' on corporate cable news and mysterious 'technical difficulties' silenced him just as he was making his crucial points.

    You media apologists can believe it was an unfortunate coincidence... like the 'accident' of  CNN broadcasting someone yelling "FUCK FUCK FUCK" at the  moment of Kerry's nomination.

    But there are just too many 'accidents' and 'coincidences' for that explanation to be credible, imho.

  •  A Good Idea (none)
    I think you're right that whoever goes there should roll up their sleeves and get to work. It makes more sense than sitting!

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Wed Apr 06, 2005 at 11:08:25 PM PDT

  •  ahhhhh! music. I hear music. (none)
    That was really well said.
    And use of the F-word: bespeaks authenticity.
    I have said these very same things... but not even in the same universe as how it has been put here: coherent, detail, colorful, impassioned.  And utterly impatient, which is utterly appropriate and quiet the anti Kerry, Gore, weasel...

    "individuals who would do good must do so in minute particulars. General good is the plea of the hypocrit, the flatterer and the scoundrel"

    by gberke on Sun Apr 10, 2005 at 02:22:22 PM PDT

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