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Earlier this week, former Lieberman communications director Dan Gerstein wrote about the Alito hearings and the Democratic base. First, Gerstein began by quoting my work and that of DHinMI:

Yet the liberal blogosphere is agog at the way the Democrats let Judge Alito off the hook. And they're stupefied as to why the Senate Democrats are signaling that they won't risk triggering a nuclear confrontation with a filibuster. Postings on Daily Kos were typical. First, this comment from Georgia10: "Don't tell me a filibuster isn't warranted when 56% of this nation says Alito SHOULD be blocked if he'll overturn Roe. . . . I keep hearing . . . [t]hat we need 'angry' Dems, we need Dems with courage. We need Dems with courage. Well guess what -- we HAVE angry Dems, we HAVE courageous Dems. Look in the damn mirror, people. WE are the party. WE are the Democrats. We're angry, we spit fire, and our time has come."

Then there was this response from one DHinMI: "Alito is a judicial radical and far from the national mainstream on numerous issues. . . And with his anemic numbers, [Bush] wouldn't be able to count on much support from the country in ramming through the nomination."

Now, Gerstein correctly points out that Democrats failed to properly convey these views of Alito during the hearing process. Of course, though, it isn't enough to call the Democrats out on their performance; instead, Gerstein uses the hearings as an opportunity to insult the Democratic base as being out of the mainstream:

[T]hat's the heart of the problem with our party and its angry activist base. It's not so much that we're living in a parallel universe, but that we have dueling conceptions of what's mainstream, especially on abortion and other values-based issues, and our side is losing. We think that if we simply call someone conservative, anti-choice and anti-civil rights, that's enough to scare people to our side. But that tired dogma won't hunt in today's electorate, which is far more independent-thinking and complex in its views on values than our side presumes.

First, I like how Gerstein and the rest of the DLCers throw out the term "angry activist base" as if its a derogatory epithet, as if we really have nothing to be angry about but rather are seething just for shits and giggles. The base is rightly angry precisely because the party is being pulled away from the mainstream and towards a GOP-lite by the likes of Gerstein and the other consultants.

While his article laments our inability to connect with "values" voters, he does not refute the fact that 56% of Americans--Democrats and Republicans alike--want Alito blocked if he'll overturn Roe. Is 56% of America out of the "mainstream"? Is a view "mainstream" simply because its held by Republicans, or by those in power? Because that seems to be Gerstein's point. America, he points out, twice elected a pro-life President and Congress.

Gerstein apparently chases the theory that we must emulate those in power, because they must've done something right by voters to get into the positions of power in the first place. But the fatal flaw in this argument is that the administration--especially this administration--does not represent the mainstream. If that were true, then violating the Constitution would be a "mainstream" value. Destroying the environment would be a "mainstream" value. Waging an unnecessary war would be a "mainstream" value. Yet poll after poll has consistently proven that the ideology of this administration is outside of the mainstream.

More on the flip...


Gerstein chastises us though for pointing out that the administration does not represent the interests of the American people:

This episode shows we don't have any leader in power who will tell our base that we're not going to become a majority party again by telling the majority they're out of the mainstream.

So how do we become the majority party? By courting white, female, Christian voters, of course! At least that's his suggestion. As for pointing out to America that Republicans are radical and don't hold true American values? Shhhh...shut up! Play nice with the other party. Don't be "angry", don't label them anti-choice or anti-civil rights. To Gerstein, that's a "tired dogma."

But it gets better. Because it's not enough that Gerstein claims the base is out of the mainstream, but he also faults us for being blinded by "our anger at George Bush."  Cue the strawman:

Many Democrats just don't want to acknowledge that he's president and is going to pick conservative justices -- let alone that the two we got, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, are about as good as we could hope for.

Nobody has argued for Bush to appoint a liberal to the court. Of course we expect Bush to appoint a conservative--but what we don't expect is for him to appoint a judge who employs such an ultra-conservative view of the executive branch as to render the remaining branches impotent against the King's President's power.  But this strawman fits so nicely into Gerstein's political fresco which paints us as fringe, radical, and irrational.

Gerstein's ideal party would be filled with row after row of tight-lipped Liebermans, each strung up like Marionettes to a central ideal of "mainstream" which is formed not by actual poll numbers, not by true American life, but by the power-hungry party which happens--by sheer trickery and deceit--to ascend to the highest echelons of our government.

"Mainstream" isn't represented the millions of Democrats online, the students, the teachers, the blue-collar workers.  "Mainstream" isn't reflected in box office sales, or TV shows, or popular culture. No, "mainstream" becomes a term of capitulation, an excuse to sacrifice our true liberal identity at the feet of pundits and political consultants.

Party leaders espousing Gerstein's view of the "mainstream" better enjoy their minority status--because they'll likely be there for quite a while.

Update [2006-1-21 1:56:49 by georgia10]:: PsiFighter37 also takes on the Gerstein article here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:30 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the excellent diary! spot on. (4.00)
  •  I often wonder (4.00)
    why people of this ilk bother to call themselves democrats.

    But what do I know, I'm just an angry white christian female.  :-)

    •  I've come to a realization about these false Dems (4.00)
      from Bush's Democrats

      We have to face facts.  There is within the Democratic Party a certain class of political opportunists.  These people joined the party at the height of its power, because it was the party in power not because they believed in what it stands for.  Today the Democratic Party seems conflicted and disorganized because there is a profound schism in its ranks.  The party is, if you will pardon the melodrama, fighting for its soul against these political opportunists who want to drag it away from its most basic time honored principles.  They seem to think that just because the Republicans have won a few elections Democrats should imitate them to regain power.  So these psuedocrats "triangulate" and pander to the right, but in the process all they accomplish is a dilution of the party's message.  
    •  They just don't get it (none)
      They call themselves Democrats out of habit I think.  This comment is telling:

      While his article laments our inability to connect with "values" voters...

      This is the biggest bill of goods that we were sold this past election.  That Democrats lost because we didn't connect with values voters.  No, we lost because:

      1. Kerry was not a good candidate.  He's a good man and an excellent legislator, but I'm sory
      2. Bush did an excellent job of playing fear tactics and scaring people into voting for him over national security issues
      3. Gerrymandering (congressional seats being lost in Texas because of redistricting)

      You might through vote fraud in there, but my feeling is that if we'd had a better candidate, it wouldn't have been that close.  It's not about taking Democrat social issues to the right, it's about taking a stand and finding candidates who will take that stand with us.  

      When it comes down to election day, the left will vote Democrat, the right will vote Republican, and the middle will vote for the person they trust.  It's not about policy positions, it's about creating a sense that you're the one who will keep this country running smoothly.  In the last election it was about trusting somebody to not get us all killled.  I know a lot of people who voted for Bush, not on the premise that Bush was a great choice, but on the premise that they didn't trust Kerry.

      --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

      by sterno on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 06:06:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It constantly amazes me..... (4.00)
    how many assholes there are in politics. Besides 90% of the right-wing politicians and pundits, we have a solid 50% of the DLC consultants right there with them.

    These frigging people have no principles. Politics doesn't really mean anything to these people, it's all smoke and mirrors. They think everyone is like them.

    The fact that he has the audacity to rant against people who have deeply felt convictions, and would truly like to see positive change in this country, is quite appalling.

    •  I have to wonder (4.00)
      if progress would ever actually take place if every one rode the fence like these fools. They'd be too damned busy kissing everyone's ass to actually do anything meaningful.

      Oh, and thanks to Georgia10 for a great late night rant...I will sleep better knowing that at least some of us have our shit together.

      To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. -The Rabid Squirrel's Rant Page

      by Squirrel2634 on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:42:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  nah, he calls it "tough love" (4.00)
      not kidding

      Now, I acknowledge that my commentaries to date have been heavily tilted towards the negative, and I intend to balance that out as time goes on, because I am an idea guy at heart. But my most immediate concern is that much of our party is in denial about the challenge we face, with much of our base harboring the illusion that all we have to do is yell louder and somehow the voters we are losing will suddenly embrace the same arguments they have repeatedly rejected before. And I just don't see how we can have an intellectually honest and productive discussion about a compelling agenda to move us forward in the post-Bush era without first openly confronting the issues (and puncturing the delusions) that are holding us back.
      •  Is it really worth fighting for (4.00)
        if we bow down and let go of what we believe in just to have the reigns of power.

        Maybe I'm out of the "mainstream" in this, but I'd rather fight tooth and nail for what I believe in than to sit quietly and worry about who I might be pissing off.

        To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. -The Rabid Squirrel's Rant Page

        by Squirrel2634 on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:45:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i agree (4.00)
          and i think, to some extent, Gerstein agrees. However, I feel like his approach is to hide our values, in a sense, to camaflouge them to seem more "moderate". I think doing that just hints that you're ashamed of your values.

          i.e.

          http://dangerstein.blogspot.com/...

          We have yet to be able to move voters our way by attacking our opponents as anti-choice, which I believe is largely due to the fact that we are perceived by too many to be pro-abortion instead of pro-choice and insensitive to the moral complexities of this matter. As such, I believe we either have to change our rhetoric, show more respect for the moral concerns of our opponents (and the competing life interest that is at stake), and do a better job of showing the substantial harm that would come to women by totally robbing them of control of their bodies. Or we need to shut up about the issue and focus on ideas and arguments that play to our strengths.

          /sigh

          •  What I don't get (none)
            The majority (something like 60+ %) of this country is pro-choice. How in the hell are we losing on this topic? As for morals, I've said many times that I have more morals on my pinky than the entire Republican party. Why can't the voters see that? I agree with him about changing the rhetoric, but I think there are better ways to do it than to take a hard turn to the right.

            To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. -The Rabid Squirrel's Rant Page

            by Squirrel2634 on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:57:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  We're not losing on the issues. (4.00)
              We're losing because we never fight back.
              •  At least not very effectively (4.00)
                I'll give Republicans one thing - hands down - their information and communications coordination is light years ahead of our own.

                Being able to aggressively attack positions, present a unified front in defense - those things are extremely important. We're getting better, but, man, the learning curve's a bitch.

                The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

                by Kimberley on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:44:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  but.... (none)
                  isn't a "unified front" exactly what this Gerstein fellow is recommending?

                  I don't concede that the Republicans are better at anything except playing to the cheap seats. I don't even think they're so much in lockstep as we think -- there's plenty of visible infighting.

            •  here's how it breaks down (4.00)
              if ask to choose between complete freedom to have abortions versus a total ban on abortions the majority comes down as pro-choice.  But if asked whether abortion should be legal in all cases or have some restrictions most Americans say some restrictions are reasonable.  This is where conservatives get their traction on this issue.  

              This means that what we pro-choice Americans have to do is make the case that the conservatives want to make all aboprtion illegal; even in cases of rape or incest, even when the woman's life or health are at risk.  This can be hard to do when things like parental consent/notification laws seem reasonable to most Americans, but the pro-choice lobby fights them tooth and nail and as a result comes off as irrational and extreme.  Don't get me wrong.  I know that when the pro-choice lobby denounces such laws as steps towards an absolute ban and as unreasonable infringements on a woman's right to choose, they are right.  I'm just saying that trying to convince moderates of the facts can be hard, and I don't envy the pro-choice lobby the challenge.

              This is why I keep saying we need to reframe the debate.  We need to make this less about a woman's right to choose and more about every American's right to make their own private decissions.  This is why I'm in favor of liberals pushing a constitutional amendment guaranteeing all Americans the right to privacy.  This would put conservatives on the defensive.  They would claim that we were just trying to make all abortions legal, and they would be the ones coming off as extreme and irrational in the face of liberals asserting that all Americans have a right to privacy, an assertion most Americans would agree with.

              The decission in Roe was based on a court finding in Griswold v. Conn. that found that the constitution had an implied right to privacy.  This is why you've heard conservatives talking about the "so-called" right to privacy.  They claim that because it was found in the constitution by "activist" judges rather than being explicitly spelled out it is simply a legal fiction.  This is why they claim good judges should be "strict constructionists" who won't read into the constitution and find any "new rights."  

              Pushing an Amendment explicitly guaranteeing privacy would force conservatives into an ugly corner.  If they activily opposed it they would have to find a way to look moderates in the eye and tell them they don't have, and shouldn't have a right to privacy.  Thanks to recent events the debate wouldn't even be primarily about abortion.  This would play well in the wake of the wire-tapping scandal.  

              •  Amen. (none)
                Right to privacy - communications, medical records, bodily decisions regarding birth and death - yessss.

                Sia voce di terror: patria, vittoria, onor. - Bellini

                by sailmaker on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 01:11:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well said (none)
                But you left the best for last.  I think a privacy amendment has a MUCH better chance with the wire-tapping scandal than with abortion.

                Question, though.  Why the hell is the 9th Amendment  completely ignored in the discussion of "strict constructionalists," "activisit judges" and "enumerated rights."  

                The IX Amendment to the Constitution says:

                "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

                In other words, the enumerated rights in the Constituon are not the ONLY rights the people retain (which includes the right to privacy).  

                So, why isn't the 9th Amendment mentioned more (or, really, at all) in connection with this issue?

              •  Georgia has the activist conceit (none)
                Theo,

                You make an assumption that is just not accepted universally, that being a connection between abortion on demand and privacy. At least or nearly half of the electorate do not share this connection if you use various poll on the subject as a proxy.

                 That's part of the point that Georgia10 misses with her hard left review of Gerstein's centrist/center-left political essay. BOTH support & rejection of Roe v. Wade and related cases are in fact mainstream views.

                For that matter, much of the electorate does in fact support expanded Presidential powers in re. to the campaighn against terrorist in the general sense & the overwhelming majority of the electorate was completely oblivious to the SCOTUS confirmation hearings last week.

                All of these things are "inside baseball" & are mostly of interest to political activists like our community here. I think that's really the lessons of the DLC & Bill Clinton's rise in the 1990's. Trying to heard cats around opposition to social views that are evenly contested (abortion) or supported by only small bases (gay rights,affirmative action) is not going to expand influence. Easy to grasp themes - Universal healthcare, social security reform, welfare reform, tax reform, etc.. are the issues that will unify even if the solutions themselves are potentially quite formidable.

                •  in response (none)
                  That's part of the point that Georgia10 misses with her hard left review of Gerstein's centrist/center-left political essay. BOTH support & rejection of Roe v. Wade and related cases are in fact mainstream views.

                  I don't see how I missed that point. Care to explain?

                  I'll reiterate again that Democrats represent the mainstream in their view towards abortion--the whole safe, legal, and rare approach. And my review is "hard left"? How so?

                  Trying to heard cats around opposition to social views that are evenly contested (abortion) or supported by only small bases (gay rights,affirmative action) is not going to expand influence.

                  lol. Tell that to the GOP.

                  •  reply (none)
                    Georgia,

                         I didn't mean to be insulting, but you "missed" it by positioning anyone who supports restrictions on abortion or who questions the legal underpinnings or Roe v. Wade as outside the mainstream. Thats just 100% wrong. This is an issue that splits polls routinely and many opinion polls do indeed show popular support for restrictions like waiting periods, parental notification, spousal notification, etc...

                         Abortion on demand is not the "mainstream" position, while it is still being embraced by Roe absolutists. Many different restrictions are deemed common-sense by constituents in both polls and on multiple referendem, not to mention legislative actions. "Safe, Legal, and Rare" is a pretty small fig-leaf when actual specifics are discussed in legislating abortion.

                    As to the hard left tag, I was comparing that to the DLC "soft left" rather then using it pejoritively

                •  small bases (none)
                  a solid majority support gay rights. The AP even  said (ridiculously) that Bush supports "gay rights" in the last election. this is not a "small base."

                  The reason that Republicans win when gay rights plays into an election is because they have a postion: gay people should have no rights.

                  Dems lose because they have no understandable position: well, i think they should have some rights sometimes, but not the same rights as my wife and i.

                  if dems stood for equality the way repubs oppose equality, this would be a winning issue for us.

                  the only "small base" are those who think that Leviticus 18:22 ought to be a serious concern for modern morality.

                  peace,
                  ryvr

            •  why we lose on choice (none)
              The majority (something like 60+ %) of this country is pro-choice. How in the hell are we losing on this topic?

              Maybe it's because most of that pro-choice majority does not vote or mobilize in any way based on this single issue, unlike a big chunk of the anti-choice crowd.

      •  He's playing our song but doesn't get it (4.00)
        openly confronting the issues (and puncturing the delusions) that are holding us back.

        Dan, darling, that's what we require, in our angry bloggy way.

        We ask why Democrats don't openly confront an illegal war, torture in front of our noses, the federal budget stolen away by those who put Bush in office, etc., etc.  

        Not just in a press release.  We want it like John Conyers does it.  Like Dean and like Gore lately.  When RFK, Jr. speaks on the environment, echo him.  We ask why you don't cheer our winners.    

        I've heard no lucid explanations.

        Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

        by soyinkafan on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:58:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  i love it (4.00)
        when these DC hacks try to tell us voters that we're out of touch with ourselves, our families and friends. as if we form our fucking opinions by reading polls or the opinion pages of the NYT or the WaPo. we are voters, you out of touch dipshits.

        crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

        by wu ming on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:14:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Vichy" Dems? (4.00)
    "Quisling" Dems?

    "Tory" Dems?

    Pick your collaborator title, and beat that drum!

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:39:23 PM PST

  •  People didn't vote their values... (4.00)
    People voted for Bush because he scared them shitless. He told them wolves were going to attack them, that not voting for him would cause another 9/11, that their children would become gay, and he demonized a war hero.

    In the words of Al Franken...He used Fear, Smear, and Queers. He didn't represent one single damned "mainstream" value. He got 're-elected' because he terrified people.

    That is NOT "mainstream." That is ego and desperation. And people fell for it.

    The key would be to remove the smoke and mirrors and let people see King George for the horrid creature that he is.

    To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. -The Rabid Squirrel's Rant Page

    by Squirrel2634 on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:39:30 PM PST

    •  another part that irked me (4.00)
      was this:

      We do badly need leaders with courage -- the courage, that is, to push our party (to borrow a phrase) to move on, to accept that we can't win with the same lame ideological arguments in post-9/11 America, and that we must develop an alternative affirmative agenda that shows we can keep the country safer, make the economy stronger, and govern straighter than the ethically challenged Republicans. Then we can worry about picking the nominees instead of fighting them.

      I agree we need an affirmative agenda, everyone agrees on that, so it's not a Dan Gerstein NoveltyTM.  But part of the task before us is persuading Americans that our agenda is better for them than the Republican one. And a large factor in achieving that goal, I think, is emphasizing that the GOP agenda is outside the mainstream.

      •  Policy is key (4.00)
        If the Dems come out with a true platform that spells out things like universal healthcare and privacy in actual layman's terms (not vague references), I think that will set us in the right direction. I think our problem is that we've been parroting the Repubs, not that we haven't.

        It would also help if people would understand they have a better chance of being struck by lightning than being killed by a terrorist.

        To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid. -The Rabid Squirrel's Rant Page

        by Squirrel2634 on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:51:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Policy is key (4.00)
        But what the hell does Gerstein suggest? The same empty promises of the GOP to bring those responsible for 9/11 to justice? The GOP's 'idea' of policy is to lie and ignore reality. Tough times call for tough choices...and that's what Murtha, Feingold, Kerry, and the others who have been calling for a gradual or immediate withdrawal have been offering.

        The path our current foreign policy is going down simply isn't working, and yet Gerstein sounds like he's advising Democrats to basically be GOP-lite on the issue.

        •  But on every major policy issue... (4.00)
          ...from Medicare, to Social Security, to Roe, you name it, the vast majority supports the Democratic Parties position. But we lose time and time again by listening to fuck-sticks like this idiot, who have advocated and neutered our party's "leadership" for numerous election cycles now and embraces every GOP talking point about who we are as a party and as a base, and runs with it.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

          by Lestatdelc on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:22:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (none)
            ...which is why I hope that it's not the same old team who runs the show in 2008.

            Then again, I wonder why the same people - Bob Shrum, etc., are kept around. It makes you wonder if the Democrats in power are blind to what is obvious to the base (or to any thinking human being, for that matter).

          •  The veer to the left is what's neutered it (none)
            No the Dems have been losing because of the disconnect with most voters to the activist left orthodoxy on issues like unrestricted abortion, gay rights, & open hostility to religion. Bill Clinton's rise to power was higlighted by successfully moderating many of these positions just as the change of a number of traditional blue states to red states demonstrated the opposite.

            As for the majority supporting positions on social security & medicare - if you mean anxiety over any change then the answer is yes. If you mean pointing at some real alternative, then No, as no one in the Democratic party has made any real initiatives in these areas either. No one's willing to stick their neck out which is disappointing

            •  The veer to the left is a veer to the mainstream (none)
              Gay rights are mainstream.  The majority supports recognition of equal rights for gay couples.  How is the majority not "mainstream"?

              Besides, I have not noticed a single, prominent Democrat pushing this issue to any degree in the last few years.  No, they don't push it, exactly because they are afraid to.  Just like they are afraid to push any other issue.

              The way for Democrats to win is to be on the side of doing what's right.  The side that represents true liberty and justice for all.

              There are some Democrats that stand up with independence and integrity.  Here are some examples:

              • Russ Feingold, Senator from WI.  Wisconsin is increasingly a conservative state.  Yet Russ wins election after election, because he is someone people trust.  They trust him because he stands up for what he believes in, and is not beholden to lobbyists or opinion polls.  Even when people disagree with him, they respect him and vote for him because they know he has integrity.

              • Ken Salazar, Senator from CO.  He was elected in this conservative state even though he opposed a ban on gay marriage.  Voters realized that having an honest, straightforward representative was the most important thing.  Ken Salazar is another straight talking, forward thinking democrat who does not appear beholden to lobbyists or polls.  

              • Barak Obama, Senator from IL.   Yet another straight talking Democrat who stands up for what he believes in, even if it is not entirely popular at the time.  

              • Montana Gov Brian Schweitzer.  A straight talking, stand-up Democrat who is fighting back against republican corruption and fear mongering in Montana.  And winning.

              (Honorable mention to former Gov. Warner of Virginia)

              Ultimately, it's not about gay rights.  It's not about the position on religion.  It's about having leaders who are seen as a being strong, having integrity and being willing to stand up for what's right, even if "unpopular" according to polls.  Democrats who do that are generally very successful.  More should heed their example.  But instead, we get Democrats like Hillary or Lieberman playing "Republican Lite".  That is not the future of a successful party.

            •  You are compeltely unhinged (none)
              Not a single thing you cite has any relationship with reality. But you have bought the GOP frames of debate hook line and sinker though.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

              by Lestatdelc on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 02:23:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  reply (none)
                Mitch,

                If nothing I point out has any basis in reality, then why has there been such a sharp political & cultural divides in the red & blue states?

                Of course these issues resonate & resonate strongly, that's why you've seen any Democrat from all but the bluest of states avoid Gay rights initiatives like the plague. If this is such a mainstream avuse, then why is it defeated time after time in both blue & red states when put to the vote? (* for the record I strongly support the advancement of gay civil rights despite being a Southern, protestant Republican-leaning voter, it's just the right thing to do. *)

                These cultural issues resonate with people becuase they're much easier to understand then things like the minimum alternative tax, the details of financing healthcare, or the constituitional minutae that's being debated about over the NSA & wiretaps. It's unfortunate but its true.

                Progress is possible on these areas where people disagree, but dismissing people's strongly held traditional values out of hand only makes them resent the far left to whom the Democratic party is somewhat beholden to. Former Senator Alan Simpson went off on a tangent about this on Bill Maher's show last year which I think accidentally crystallized  this clash of values .

      •  I think we stay home from the polls in 08. (none)
        but what we don't expect is for him to appoint a judge who employs such an ultra-conservative view of the executive branch as to render the remaining branches impotent against the King's President's power.  I think we did expect this, which is why we worked so hard to take him down in 04.   I keep saying it over and over again (and then getting flamed by the DLC crowd here)that we need to take a bat to our party.   What does it look like???  When do we use it???  We need a strategy against the Dems.   Clinton looked to Reagan for clues, we need to look to the fundies for clues.   The Republicans wouldn't dare tell them to shut up, get along and go along, whether they were main stream or aliens.  If we don't take our party back, we can't take the country back.  Look at Harry Ried friggin apologizing, again.

        If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

        by dkmich on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 02:48:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  PEOPLE DIDN'T VOTE THEIR VALUES (4.00)
      Per Suirrel2634:  People voted for Bush because he scared them shitless.

      That was one segment of the voters.  The other group of people were the affluent who did not want to give up the tax breaks on their dividends and capital gains.

      The idea that Bush won mostly because of value based voters was overblowen.

    •  Bush also won because (none)
      Kerry was an aristocratic twit with a penchant for wind surfing.Going wind surfing was as bad as Mike Dukakis taking his ride in a tank.
      •  It's not windsurfing, it's being a pretender (none)
        I don't think it was Kerry's windsurfing.  It was his whole image as a pretender.  I love windsurfing and skiing, yet I was not impressed by Kerry.  He just seemed like a fake.  That whole "hunting" stint was a perfect example.  

        He just oozes insincerity.  Though I totally disagree with Bush on almost everything he believes, at least with Bush, it was easy to feel like he was being direct about who he is and what he believes (he lets Rove do all the dishonest, backhanded stuff).  With Kerry it felt like we were getting a Charade.  That was not inspiring to anyone.  If me, as a lifelong Democrat, can't get inspired by the candidate, then it is no wonder independents weren't inspired.

  •  We all saw what happened when the repubs... (4.00)
    embraced their base.  Complete tragedy for them.  I mean where are they now right?
    •  but if his thought-dreams could be seen... (none)
      ...he'd lose the election...

      cause he's got nothin' else, ma, to live up to.

      christ...does he ever get around to saying what he'd do about the environment the deficit education diplomacy/collective security poverty bigotry immigration/ fair free trade, seperation of churh and state, health care public corruption if he called the shots?

      is he willing to admit in public that modern humans did not cohabit the earth with t-rex (the dinosaur, stupid, not the band!)

      what is our "idea guy" fighting for, anyway.

      we'll stand him up against a wall and pop goes the weasel /rufus t. firefly

      by 2nd balcony on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:59:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  DLC (4.00)
    With the exception of Clinton/Gore, the DLC has done nothing but lose elections.  When are they going to realize that the quickest way to make our party disappear is to transform it into Republican-lite?

    To me, the DLC poses a greater threat to our country than the hard right.  If we don't have a loud, clear voice of opposition, the other side wins.

  •  We should give a nod to (4.00)
    PsiFighter who did a nice diary on this earlier.  It slipped off without enough notice.

    Midwest Center for American Values - Progressive ideas in an easy to swallow pill.

    by ETinKC on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:47:16 PM PST

  •  I want everyone to understand: (none)
    Humanstic Property manifesto:

    1. i belong to me: the fruits of my labour i give freely, but my heart
       and soul i do not.  works of art and literay creations i give freely
       to the world, but my private space i do not.
       i write in public, but i bathe in private.
       i come and go as i please, for it is not for you to know at what hour
       i enter or leave my home, or for how long i splash about in the baths.
       i do not accept being treated like an electronically tagged animal at a
       feedlot.  if you lend me a towel at your swimming baths, you may ensure
       its return, but not make note of my usage.  record of when i bathe, eat,
       or sleep is theft.
    2. i am not your subject.
       i will not grant you means or permission to do experiments on me without
       my knowledge.
       if you must conduct an experiment to correlate eating habits, bathing
       habits, or the like, with some other variable, you must ask me for the
       information since i will not allow you to install upon my body the means
       for you to steal it from me.
    3. my physical appearance belongs to me.  i will alter it as i see fit, and
       it shall not be made of record.  if you must, for some reason identify
       me, the burden shall be upon you to provide me with means of indentifying
       myself, and thus you must ask permission to see such identification.
    4. i am not your beast of burden:
       i will not be forced to carry your baggage.
       i will not be forced to carry that which does not belong to me.
       if you would like me to carry an identification card you must give it
       to me, and it must then become my property (property of card holder).
       notwithstanding that i may choose to be a beast of burden for hire,
       i will not, during my leisure hours, be required to be your beast of burden.
    5. i do not accept gifts that are trojan horses or other dangerous materials:
       i will not be required to carry containers whose contents are not
       disclosed to me.  notwithstanding my possible inability to understand
       the meaning of the contents, you must make no attempt to deliberately
       obfuscate same.
       anything you require me to carry, you must fully disclose to me.
       i will not accept gifts i cannot open, or cannot allow others to open
       and inspect on my behalf.
    6. i will not be requierd carry a virus or disease.
       anything you require me to carry must not be alterable without my knowledge
       and consent.  i will not carry that which i am not given the opportunity
       to determine is free from the ability to carry a trojan horse or virus.
       allegations of my being technologically illiterate shall in no way
       attenuate my right to such full disclosure.  i requier such disclosure
       so that i might seek the advice of others, more literate than i, who may
       give you cause to be caught should you have planted a trojan horse or virus.
       even if i have no intention or desire to seek such advice, i nevertheless
       require such disclosure as a means of ensuring your honesty and integrity,
       through the mere possibility that i or others may discover your illegal
       or unethical actions, should you partake in any.

    to the theives who would steal our souls and tell us it is for our own
    protection, i have a special request: let us offer you some protection in
    return.  let us photograph and fingerprint you.  would the administrators
    and architects of the surveillance superhighway please step forward and
    be counted, and accounted for, by those of us who you are placing under
    your surveillance.  let us photograph and fingerprint you so that we know
    you have nothing to hide.  afterall, you are the ones who say that only
    criminals are afraid of surveillance.

    I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

    by panicbean on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:48:23 PM PST

  •  dueling conceptions of what's mainstream (none)
    is actually a great way to describe the debate.

    if it wasn't wrapped up in the usual moderate/centrist bashing, i can definitely say this:  samuel alito is NOT the mainstream.  that is so obvious it goes without saying.

    if this gerstein dude thinks he is, he's off his rocker.

    that said, a lot of assumptions are made here about what gerstein "apparently" thinks, or what he's "apparently" doing.

    i bet the argument stands even if we don't make those kinds of assumptions.

    in fact, i'm sure it does.

    it just does no good to call a dude who's off his rocker just simply what he is:  "off his rocker".  we have to tie it into something that divides the base from moderates.

    •  what is needed (none)
      is a DEFINITION of mainstream. That would be of great help in determining who is in and who is out.

      A minority position is not necessarily out of the mainstream. Kerry did not get a majority of the votes and everyone sees him as mainstream.

      I would think that any position that is held by either of the 2 major parties is defacto mainstream.

      The error comes in assuming that since ones own opinion is mainstream that all other viewpoints are not.

  •  as noted in another diary, (none)
    terrific link
  •  georgia10 (4.00)
    If they aren't angry, they aren't paying attention.

    We can make the world a better place by laying them by the heels. -- Sherlock Holmes

    by Carnacki on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:50:44 PM PST

  •  thinking out loud (none)
    What if we, as DailyKos, found an acceptable conservative judge to "draft"? What if we said "No way, we don't accept Alito...why not someone like ___?"

    It gives us the argument that Bush is passing up highly qualified deserving CONSERVATIVE judges in order to get this extremist on the bench.

    I have no clue who, but maybe someone does? Or maybe this has already happened to an extent?

    It just seems like for us to say that Alito unaccetable we need to have an example of a nominee who might not be our dream Justice, but a highly qualified and deserving judge who would be good for the entire country. A name to throw around might go a long ways.

  •  Putting the torch to the strawman (4.00)
    Cue the strawman:
    Many Democrats just don't want to acknowledge that he's president and is going to pick conservative justices -- let alone that the two we got, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, are about as good as we could hope for.

    Yea, he is president and he is free to pick conservative justices. But many spineless pseudo Democrats just don't want to acknowledge that it is not the job of the Democrats to sit, stay, roll over and fetch for the President when he nominates someone they honestly feel doesn't belong on the Supreme Court. In that case they are free to, indeed expected to, advise the President that they do not consent. And, being Senators, any one of them can continue advising until 60 Senators tell them to shut up.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:52:41 PM PST

  •  The one GOP trick they won't emulate... (4.00)
    The DLC types love Republican positions/methods so much but the one they won't touch is the 'angry labeler'.  They can't run from that to their preferred meek appeaser position fast enough.

    Interestingly however, the GOP 'anger' thing, fake or real, is one of their most successful tools, yet the DLC types won't have it on 'our' side...and I use the term 'our' very loosely.  I mean, I have to wonder how much of a coincidence it is (that the preferred DLC position for the Democrats is nearly identical to the preferred GOP position for Democrats.  If Karl Rove said tomorrow that Democrats should all be shot, the DLC would come out in favor of mass suicide as a political tactic the next day.

    But, you know, taking DLC advice these past several years has worked out so well for the Dem party so I can see why people still listen to their blather.  Onward to trembling permanent minority status oh ye DLC soldiers!

  •  No. Duelling Visions Of What's Against Us n/t (none)

    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 Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:55:18 PM PST

  •  moreover supporting Roe=conservative-status quo (none)
    overturing is a radical fringe reactionary far-right extremist proposition. Since 'conservative' means not changing and preserving the status quo, supporting and upholding, in fact defending Roe and choice is therefore the truely conservative and moderate position. It is also the essential and correct position. period.
    •  not really workable (none)
      "Since 'conservative' means not changing and preserving the status quo"

      So in 1972, the conservative position was that abortion could be state regulated. Due to a SC ruling, the party has to switch positions 180 degrees because its the new status quo?

      Obviously the opposite of that definition does not sound like a liberal...changing the status quo.

      Changing the status quo wrt abortion would require overturning RvW, obviously not a liberal position.

  •  missing the point, it is what dems do on (none)
    a daily basis, so sad.

    I am not your beast of burden: I will not be forced to carry your baggage.....Humanistic Property Manifesto (-5.13, -4.77)

    by panicbean on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:57:19 PM PST

  •  Kick ass diary! (none)
    With the sheer number of people here who are angry because they're paying attention it's only a matter of time. Time will get this site more and more exposure and then we'll see who's really out of touch.

    DLC-types live in the Republican world and think that it's real. They all seem to forget the Bush certainly stole 2000 and there's good evidence he stole 2004. Who's mainstream?

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:58:21 PM PST

  •  The Architect of Joementum (4.00)
    This clown turned the '02 Democratic front runner into a fifth place finisher in the NH primary in '04 and that is AFTER Joe Liebeman moved to New Hampshire for a month. So thanks for the strategic advice but no thanks. Gerstein has his elbow on the pulse of the nation. The WSJ editorial page really cares about the little guy - Gerstein is a useless blowhard. Here's some of his wisdom on violent videogames and DLC HRC:
    ...follow the lead of Hillary Clinton, who is making the progressive case for cultural responsibility better than anyone. Cynics tried to dismiss her recent speech [on videogame violence] on the issue as pre-presidential positioning. But the fact is that Sen. Clinton has been strong and steady in her advocacy for overwhelmed parents ever since coming to Washington. She's been smart, too: She does not demonize cultural producers, overstate the extent of the problem, or let parents off the hook. She frames the culture's influence as a public-health issue as much as a moral one, and cites research showing the potentially harmful effects of screen sex and violence.

    Overwhelmed parents need Congress to focus on health care and jobs, not videogames. Focusing on video violence while we are at war is a cruel joke. Values voters are a myth pushed by one specious poll and a lying GOP and a media more concerned with Natalie Holiday than Hurricane Katrina. I call bullshit on his view.

    "Give me liberty or give me death." - Patrick Henry 1775, Russ Feingold 2005

    by joejoejoe on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:58:37 PM PST

    •  D'oh (none)
      Link to stupid Gerstein editorial quoted above.

      "Give me liberty or give me death." - Patrick Henry 1775, Russ Feingold 2005

      by joejoejoe on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 10:59:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wasn't sure if he had anything to do with the... (4.00)
      ...campaign, so I was giving him the benefit of the doubt with my caveat in my post below. My bad there, gave this cretin too much credit even while calling him a fuck-stick.

      (wry grin)

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:03:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Follow the lead (none)
      ...follow the lead of Hillary Clinton, who is making the progressive case for cultural responsibility better than anyone.

      of HRC right off the damn cliff is more like it. The latest matchup between her and McCain has her losing by 16 points. And videogames as the focus of 'progressives'? Please. I swear, these folks want to lose.  

      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

      by colleen on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 05:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's see... (4.00)
    ...Lieberman communications director Dan Gerstein...

    Enough (Joementum*, cough) said.

    The overwhelming majority (over 55%) think that the war was a mistake now, well over 55% agree with us that Alito should be blocked if he would overturn Roe v. Wade, which he patently does. Lieberman and this ass-clown couldn't find "mainstream" with both hands, a flashlight, a GPS tracker and a giant neon arrow pointing to it.

    Ass-hats like this putz are the reason we are pissed, why we want Lieberman fucking gone from the caucus, and want ineffectual, morons like this fucktard out of any position of power within the party. This DLC "third way" triangulation shit has decimated the party and given us three straight electoral cycle losses in a row (though I will caveat that by saying that the electorate actually elected Gore, which this fuck-stick from Lieberman's office more than anyone should fucking know).

    But what do you expect from someone whose creds are working for the Holy Joe jackoff who's campus thought-police projects funded by the same foundations that built the entire Fright-WingTM noise machine and infrastructure!

    * Granted this doesn't mean he was campaign communications manager for Joementum, but still...

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:00:42 PM PST

    •  Love the Fright-Wing bit. (none)
      Regrets I don't know how to do the nifty  TM  upper thing.

      But it is Fright-Wing.

      Where are you when we really need you Osama?

      Certainly, Bush says he doesn't care.

      But it is our fault! So Bushie says. And he's doin' a heck of a job!

      Cool.

  •  Thanks for the link (none)
    I followed it and pointed out that the real problem was the "so called leaders".  We should not sell out as he advocates--but rather replace those he works for.

    Americans will forgive being wrong, what they won't forgive is being spineless--like Joementum!

  •  freeper dino mentum+co=damaging losers (none)
    Time to stand up for what's right! Watch Capra's Mr Smith Goes to Washington! Go Dems with courage, conviction, integrity, loud voices, balls and spine!
  •  What A Rube... (4.00)
    Umm...Take this for example:

    [T]hat's the heart of the problem with our party and its angry activist base. It's not so much that we're living in a parallel universe, but that we have dueling conceptions of what's mainstream, especially on abortion and other values-based issues, and our side is losing. We think that if we simply call someone conservative, anti-choice and anti-civil rights, that's enough to scare people to our side. But that tired dogma won't hunt in today's electorate, which is far more independent-thinking and complex in its views on values than our side presumes.

    Heh...

     As Georgia10 points out, most of the American Public is...(gasp), Pro-Choice! Go figure. The only reason that those who support Reproductive Rights are marginalized is becuase people like Gerstein (working for Democrats) are way too concerned with the organizational clout of the "Right To Life" movement.

  •  Gerstein's drivel is the same crap Democracy Corps (4.00)
    ... (another arm of the DLC) was spouting this summer.

    I wrote this diary in response to that load of horseshit that basically said that if Dem candidates don't talk about their religion in Midwest, West and Southern states, they're sunk.

    A few bits from my post:

    To Democracy Corp (Karl Agne):

    Your polling is fine.  But your conclusions perpetuate the losing DLC strategy of trying to be more like Republicans in order to beat them.

    It's trotting out the same old, tired, 1992-time-warp strategy that may have been a way in for Clinton, post-Reagan, but mistakenly assumes that political and cultural issues are static.  

    They're not.

    ...

    Let me ask you this... The fact that there was "little awareness of differences between Democrats and Republicans on health care, prescription drugs, economic policy and retirement security," can be attributed to what?

    Perhaps the fact that under the DLC policy guidance the last 15 years, we've been chasing the Republicans to the right, rather than promoting our own economic populism in these rural areas and red states. How can these folks distinguish between what the two parties REALLY STAND FOR when we're running away from our core strengths in favor of chasing our opponents further and further to the right -- the very strategy you're advocating here?

    As I wrote back in August...

    Christ (pun intended again), when will you guys get it?  People are looking for candidates (and a party) who actually stand for something.

    Here's what we need:

    Here's an idea... Focus on our message not their message.  Make the case that we stand for different things than the Republicans, not the "me-toism" that has been proven to be a failed strategy when not attached to a candidate as charismatic as Bill Clinton (read: 99% of political candidates).

    Most Americans are for limited government and certainly limited government intrusion into their personal lives.  That's the way to frame religious discussions.  The fact that you want to completely ignore our strengths (healthcare, economic issues, education, retirement security) in favor of playing the Republican cultural game shows just how inane your strategy is.  In business, you'd be laughed out (or thrown out) of a marketing meeting if you proposed marketing your product as "Just like our competitor, only more so."

    In short, we need to stand for something that is uniquely ours.

    Your strategy has failed us.  Over and over.  And yet you cling to it like it's the Holy Grail.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:03:27 PM PST

    •  Would you shut up? (4.00)
      We can't have people making sense and showing this ass-clown for the moron he is. That would be "angry" and "bad". It's like the lunatic from Vermont who has been correct about every major issue of the past 3+ years and who is now driving the party into the ditch with record fundraisng.

      You are clearly deranged.

      ;-)

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:07:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and some of still think (none)
      a lot of that is still debatable.

      our DNC platform message on reproductive rights is still to the left of what it was when carter was president.

      some folks in DC say we need to make sure we appeal to people who believe in god and it's an obvious loser.

      dean goes on hardball and won't say he's pro-choice cause repugs won that frame war and now everyone in the world thinks pro-choice = pro-abortion.  he says we need to still be able to reach out to pro-life dems in the south.

      that's probably not so much an obvious loser.

      one is chasing the right.

      the other is speaking .... truth to power??  doing what it takes to execute a 50 state strategy and flip some red states??

      •  Same old shit. (none)
        Why does our Party run away from populism?  We'll never "out-religious" the Republicans.  Waste of time.  Unless we frame it to our strengths, not our weaknesses.

        "Pro-choice" or "pro-abortion" are meanaingless semantics.  That distinction is lost on the public.

        It reminds me of your argument about the IWR.

        "It wasn't a vote to support the war," you've said (in so many words) hundreds of time here.

        So what?  In the minds of voters, it was a vote in support of the war.

        Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

        by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:19:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and in the minds of voters (none)
          a vote for a pro-choice candidate is a vote for abortion.

          what's your solution??

          give in to that group think on IWR.

          but not abortion??

          •  Go read my post that starts this thread. (none)
            Good night.

            Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

            by Bob Johnson on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:33:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  i did (none)
              my response would be the same after reading it again.
              •  How about this. (none)
                Its a small government thing, the government needs to keep its damn nose out of peoples private lives.

                For those republicans who argue that small government isn't a perfect solution... :)

                ... well, no kidding, but whoever said government should try to achieve utopia?

                Plus, nobody wants abortions, everyone knows abortions are bad- but nobody wants to execute hundreds of thousands of women, either.

                And have you noticed how anti-choice people are always pro death penalty too? And also against sex education?

                •  are you saying we should advocate (none)
                  for smaller gov't??

                  is that not chasing the repug agenda to the right??

                  maybe i didn't read that right.

                  yes.  i've noticed those things.

                  •  Yes I am. And no it isn't. (4.00)
                    When Repugs talk about small government, they mean cutting Social Security and public education funds and such.

                    When WE talk about small government, we mean limiting governmental authority, and not meddling in people's private lives.

                    That's a big difference, and we win on it.

                    •  interesting (none)
                      that kind of relies on the electorate to be able to discern such a difference.

                      but if being for small government isn't chasing repug agenda cause of the obvious difference you just mentioned.

                      then perhaps being for a free iraq could also NOT be chasing the repug agenda for the simple fact that repugs don't want iraq to be free.

                      just thinking out loud.

                      maybe dems could be for a tax cut, without EVER chasing the repug agenda, because repugs want taxes to be higher for the middle class.

                      maybe dems could be for a global trade agreement without EVER chasing the repug agenda because don't want fair trade, they want corporate handouts.

                      the more i think about it, the more i like your thinking on this.

        •  Populism is the best way to (none)
          reconnect with blue collar white males,especially in the South.Why on earth would any blue collar guy vote for the Rethugs? Its completely against their own economic interests but they continue to do it because we don't talk populism,we must reframe the debate.
  •  it's sign that Georgia10, DHinMI+dkos=mainstream! (none)
  •  We need a spine more than a 'center' (4.00)
    This is the SAME ol' crap that lost us elections.

    All I can say is this:

    If Hackett wins in Ohio, people (even the DLC) will take notice.

    Pray that Hackett wins.  He is really what we need:

    A no-nonsense, pro-choice, pro-economic populism, anti-religious right VETERAN who calls it as he sees it.  Voters. Respect. Him. For. That.

    I really, truly thought that Kossacks on here were exaggerating the degree of 'seek the middle' strategy employed by the DLC (I am a relatively newby to this whole political thing).  Boy, was I wrong.

    •  You forgot non-bigot... (4.00)
      ...who isn't afraid to stand up for equal rights for everyone. Unlike fuckers like Lieberman and other party "leaders" in the DLC mold like this cretin who chase the Religious-WrongTM vote ins a futile and moronic quest to become permanently irrelevant. We need more party leaders and candidates who are for equal rights (like Hackett), not jack-offs like Lieberman who is not for equal rights.

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

      by Lestatdelc on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:10:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Funny thing is.... (none)
      That Kaine won in my native Virginia on a center-left platform that he argued fairly aggressively to go from a 11-point deficit to a 6 point lead in just a few months.  

      Kaine didn't "tack right" or abscure or anything.  He said he was against the death penalty because of religion and he meant it.  It didn't matter that VA was pro-DP; they respected his honesty.  Just as they didn't respect the obvious dishonesty that Kilgore employed to try to distort Kaine's position.  There was no triangulation there, no posturing, no smoke and mirrors.  Just the plain truth, straight from the governor's mouth.

      But nobody outside of Virginia seemed to notice.  Least of all the Liebermans of the world.

      The fact is, people can smell phony from a mile away.  If Kaine had tried to pose as a down-home country boy he probably would have lost.  Instead he played the part he was best at: scrappy city executive fighting hard for the little guy.  And it worked.

      Lieberman and company need to realize that naked honesty (if you're a nice person) and fear-mongering (if you're Bush) both work better than mushy triangualtion, which only works when your opposition is so befuddled that they sound even more muddied than you do.

      As for Hackett, I think he'll win.  People admire straight-shooters who tell it like it is.  That's why I'm optimistic about the "Fighting Dems."  They haven't been coached to death, and they just call it like they see it.  Notice that, despite early jitters, nobody seems all that scared by Dean.

      People just aren't as scared by blunt statements as Lieberman and his ilk think.  Maybe one day they'll figure that out.  But I kinda doubt it.

      All your vote are belong to us. Warner/Feingold 2008

      by Harkov311 on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:24:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember the Montana Gov. (none)
      He is out there kicking ass as a populist.   People say he is pro guns like thats a big freakin deal for this party.   Lets see, Howard Dean was supported by NRA how many times???  I'm not anti gun, I'm anti killing people with guns.

      If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

      by dkmich on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 02:59:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  right to the heart of it (4.00)
    the fundamental difference between the DLC and ourselves is our evaluation of the american electorate, and our views on how to win that electorate over.

    gerstein and the DC "moderate" crowd that he represents believe that the american people continue to stay where they were during the landslide victories of nixon and reagan, in that they have basically rejected not only the trappings but the substance of liberalism, that they are suspicious or openly hostile to the interests of women, nonwhites, nonchristians, the youth, gays, and immigrants, and that to win those white men voters over to our side, we will have to meet those voters where they stand, and hope that some day we might be able to sneak our ideas into law, once we get a big enough majority to do so.

    we differ from that evaluation in that we believe that the electorate has shifted from that initial 60s backlash. we believe that a majority of the american people do in fact hold liberal political values, and would be willing to vote for a democratic party that was confident enough to stand up and defend its own values on their own terms, not just as a rejection of republicanism. we sense that the meanness, radical excesses, mismanagement, and failed conservative vision of the republican party are in fact building a new backlash akin to the reagan revolution, and that the DLC agenda of accomodation and moving right is blunting the edge of that backlash. furthermore, we believe that women, nonwhites, nonchristians, the youth, gays and immigrants are americans too, and that we ought not abet the right in painting us as unamerican, and that a strategy of hiding the base like crazy aunts in ther attic is both morally wrong and politically stupid.

    time will ultimately tell who is right, but i know in my bones that history is on our side. alito and the republican party are outside the mainstream in this country, and we have the potential to effect a massive realignment in the years to come, should we recognize this and act on it. the center may have once been where the DLC thinks it is, but those days have passed. it is time to stop fixating on the past, and start talking about the new america that we want to build.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:07:51 PM PST

    •  PS (none)
      anyone want to bet gerstein trolls here as a kossack?

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:09:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I largely agree (4.00)
      I've often thought that the DLC is permanently stuck in 1985 or so.  Maybe back then their reading of the American public was correct.  But that was over 2 decades ago.  This is hardly the same country that re-elected Reagan 59-41.

      Consider the following:

      • Back in '84, a majority of the American people supported mandatory prayer in public schools.  The majority today does not.

      • Back in '84, the majority believed that the government was taxing the average citizen far too much.  Only about 40% think so today.

      • In 1984, a much larger portion of the country was pro-life (as much as 52%).  But now the country is 56% pro-choice.

      So why do some of these DLC people keep seeing the world like this?  I really don't know.  But I think it might be generational.  They grew up during the backlash that you mentioned, and probably came to believe that the McGovern loss in '72 proved that liberalism was dead.  Well I'll agree that some parts of the McGovern platform were a bit out there, but I think the party has since fixed those problems.  Besides, the evidence speaks for itself: the Democrats are not losing in landslides by 10+ points, as we were for most of the time between 1972 and 1988.  If liberalism is so far-out, then why are liberals still so popular?

      I also agree with you: my gut tells me that the progressive ideas will eventually prevail, mainly because they alwasy have.  As William & Mary history professor Joseph Ellis put it, "It has always been the liberals that proposed the needed reforms, and always the conservatives have opposed these reforms, almost always without success in the long run."

      All your vote are belong to us. Warner/Feingold 2008

      by Harkov311 on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:39:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whoa! (none)
        They grew up during the backlash that you mentioned, and probably came to believe that the McGovern loss in '72 proved that liberalism was dead.

        You are talking about me.  I grew up in the 60's/70's and back in 72, there was a real left, left.  Do you remember Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panthers, et al?  Today, how far left is left???  It would be interesting to do a poll here at Daily Kos, worded in such a way as to ascertain how fucking out of the main stream we actually are.  I claim liberal and wear it proudly and loudly.  I support gun ownership.  I don't care if people hunt, responsibly.  I am pro choice including partial birth when medically necessary, but I don't think abortion is birth control.  I think promiscuity very early or very broadly is not healthy.  I resent the "smoke" police and think we need "fat" police to balance them out. I am an atheist, but believe in the golden rule. I think drugs should be legal and booze hard to get.  I resent the DLC and wimpy Dems and think Howard Dean should be Pres.   I oppose free trade and support a one payer system of national health care.  I think people who keep having babies they can't afford should be moved to a third world country where lots of children become an asset instead of a liability. I think the biggest global problem is over population. I think I am main stream.  I am white, middle class, work, married for 40 years, take care of my elderly (94) mother, husband dropped out to do day care for three grandsons parented by a teacher and IT Manager for Onstar, own a summer house on Lake Huron, and live in a rather affluent suburb.  If this isn't bougoise, I don't know what is.   Seriously, someone do a poll?  Lets find out how many pinko commies we have hiding out here.

        If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

        by dkmich on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:19:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you on those issues (none)
          except the part of "booze being hard to get". I notice a neo-prohibition view creeping into progressive discourse and I fear it. Let us never,never,ever repeat the tragedy of the 18th amendment and of course,the progressives of that era played a big role in its passage,it took more than bible thumpers to ram it through.
          •  Its only a personal opinion. (none)
            I don't think it ought to be a law.   I just don't like being around people who are high on alcohol.  

            If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

            by dkmich on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 04:18:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  My problem with this take (4.00)
    Gerstein keeps talking as if we're out of the mainstream. The only reason that we're thought of that way is that we keep fighting on their terms. When we have to fight to defend our ground, there is never going to be a chance to move our agenda forward. Any rational-thinking person - despite what I may think about the political attitudes of most Americans - knows that Democrats aren't boogyman baby killers who want to turn everyone gay and smoke pot all day. The way we shift the battlefield is if we portray what we stand for - and make the point that the majority of Americans agree with what we stand for as Democrats. We have been the mainstream, and we have to show that it's the Republicans that have moved out of the mainstream, beyond the pale. There seems to have been a hesitance on the part of Senate Democrats to really lay into Alito, but we have to start speaking strongly - and concisely, unlike most Senate Democrats - towards what Samuel Alito stands for: a retreat from the progress on women's rights, civil rights, and a federal government that has checks and balances that operate properly.
    •  He's clueless (4.00)
      He talks about "the serious challenges national Democrats have in gaining credibility beyond the party's activist base." HA HA - he not only thinks that people like Lieberman and HRC have credibility with the base, but that to appeal to mainstream voters they have to become "iconoclastic progressives" - i.e., ones who bash unions, censor the media, and promote U.S. military action around the world. Truly, if I'd just stumbled on his blog and didn't read his first post, I'd think he was a Republican, and a really dumbass one at that.

      His blog posts show no sign that he has a clue about basic American founding principles. Everything seems to exist for him in a void where there's only calculation for small and temporary political advantage, like a game of chess - no sense of greater principles, which are primarily what inspire postings on places like dKos. If this is typical of the quality of thinking of the people advising the Democratic Party, I'm now officially terrified.

      <div style="color: #791206">The spring is pure, but foul it once with mud and you nevermore will find it fit to drink. --Aeschylus</div>

      by Alien Abductee on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:19:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  freepers scared+taking notice=desperate (none)
  •  I am a "values" voter (none)
    I'm just not a religious "values" voter.

    There's no mutual exclusivity involved here, this should be pretty easy to get one's head around.
    Still too tough for the wearied wonk? Fire him. And keep up that cycle, for as long as it takes, you've finally hired someone promising that doesn't necessarily equate having values with church attendance.

    There's my advice to the Democratic National Party - and I won't even charge them a dime for it.

    Keep up the great work georgia10!

    The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

    by Kimberley on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:11:37 PM PST

    •  Hey--you stole my title! (none)
      I am sick and tired of hearing people like this say that I don't vote my values.

      To me, the problem is that too many dem candidates and pundits do not say what their values are.

      Some Kossaks like Edwards ... why? Because he has taken on poverty as an issue and because he represented "the little guy" against corporations. That is about values.

      Some love B Clinton. Why? Because he wasn't afraid to say he wanted to work for those who "work hard and play by the rules," to talk about race, and more. Goes to church.

      John Kerry--most famous thing he ever did, standing up and speaking out against what was happening in Vietnam after serving in Vietnam.

      H Clinton--best things about her, her work with Children's Defense Fund, her work to improve conditions in the delta, her occasional willingness to forget the packaging and speak from the heart, her wonkiness.

      John Lewis, enough said.

      As others have said, the Republicans have won over and over by calling on--and pandering to--their "values voters." The Democrats lose over and over by deliberately not appealling to our "values voters."

  •  One thing... (none)
    As far as the Alito hearing was concerned, I was most angry over the glaring nonexistance of the following question by the Dems (please correct me if I'm wrong on this one; I watched much but not all of the hearings):

    What do you think about the President's contention that he broke no laws by circumventing the FISA court to spy on American citizens without a warrant?

    Were there any meaningful questions in this (or any other unitary executive) area?

    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -- Margaret Mead

    by ilona on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:12:23 PM PST

  •  Pfffffpt. (none)
    I hope you don't actually listen to Mr. Gerstein, as that would simply lower you to Joe Lieberman's level.

    Madam, if you were my wife, I would drink it.

    by gavodotcom on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:14:41 PM PST

  •  Getting Personal (none)
    Do not take this personal Georgia, you have presented well thought out, good ideas in the past.

    Some of the points he made have merit. Abortion is an issue that divides, and while the base of both parties weight the issue heavily when they vote, the majority of independents do not.

    You misread his defination of mainstream. While he didn't give his definition, it sounds similar to my definition of mainstream. Mainstream is not what one side or the other believes, mainstream is better defined as the issues that the people who haven't picked a side find important. After all, those issues are also important to both bases, making them a higher priority than the base issues like abortion.

    He correctly implys there were issues other than abortion that Alito stands for that are against what undecided people believe, and the Democrats would have gained more political capital championing those issues. Abortion is clearly not the most important issue to many independent voters, otherwise the Republicans wouldn't be in power right now. By focusing on the 'mainsteam' issues, instead of trying to appease the base, the Democrats would have been more successful in these hearings, instead of not only failing to gain political capital among voters, but also failing to prevent the nomination of Alito.

    Your analysis missed the boat on this discussion. Don't misunderstand that as a personal attack of you, simply a disagreement with your points. I do understand why you reacted how you did though, he personally attacked you, singled you out specifically, and you responded in kind.

    My opinion.

    •  Lies, damned lies and statistics. (4.00)
      The numbers are misleading.

      Don't focus on popularity of a belief but rather on the intensity of the belief.

      In other words, how many pro-choice Republicans will vote for a Dem to save Roe?

      How many pro-life Democrats will vote GOP to strike Roe down?

      There's the rub.

      "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

      by tricky dick on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:33:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactamundo! Why chasing the Religious Right is.. (none)
        futile.  Chasing the 'Christian Left' is fool's gold.
      •  i think a lot (4.00)
        but the problem is pro-choice repugs were able to convince themselves that voting for bush would not lead to overturning roe.

        i know of at least 3 bush voters who thought that.

        a lot of soccer moms out there as well.

        cause here's the thing about this whole discussion.  arnie and rudy take front and center during the nationally televised convention.  not dobson.

        so are they pandering to the middle??

        was it successful for them??

        in any case, pro-choice repugs weren't convinced voting for bush would overturn roe.  which negates the question.

        if they were convinced, to answer your question.  my opinion:  a lot.  

        •  It raises the question... (none)
          do Dems actually want Roe overturned.

          Its' terribly cynical of me but perhaps they see that as leading to a political realingment or something.

          Power Money Power Money Power Money Power Money...

          Damn, cynicism is depressing.

          "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

          by tricky dick on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:58:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Bim (none)
          Yes, they pandered to the middle during their convention, and yes, the middle (those who hear one, maybe two political ads and now consider themselves to be well informed)do get taken in.  The difference is that the Republicans are lying, and their base knows it and is helping them to lie.  The Dems on the other hand are actually beginning to believe the Republican bull shit, and they are quite willing to abandon their party base for those stupid people in the middle.  The problem is, and the DLC admits it, they need us both, and they think WE are trapped.  I say eff em and don't vote.  When we don't show up and they lose with their middle, maybe then they will have a discussion with us. Just as the middle class in this country foot the bills, the base carries the water for the parties.  They can't go anywhere if we refuse to go with them.  They are already in the process of losing the unions.  They have declared they will support candidates from either party that support their positions.  Good for them, it is what we need to do, too.  Ef the Dems.

          If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

          by dkmich on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 03:27:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  how do we know (none)
            they're not lying to the base??

            they have before (see:  miers).

            well i think we know cause they base called them on it.  point is.  they're lying to the base as much as anyone else.

            i don't think bush really cares about making abortion illegal.

            i know cheney doesn't.

            •  How do we know the base controls (none)
              the Pugs: ALITO, faith based federal funding, allowiing faith based organizations to discriminate based on religion; dumping Miers, and this is just the fundie side of their base.  If we look at corps and lobbyist, hell we'd need a year to compile the list.  

              Do you think Pugs care if Alito offends anybody?  Hell no.  They are paying back the base.  Look at Meirs.  Fundies said, hell no.  Poof - she was gone.  Think we could do that with the Dems?  Yeah, sure.  They might offend the middle.

              If it talks like an R, VOTES like an R, it is an R even if it has a D after its name.

              by dkmich on Mon Jan 23, 2006 at 05:07:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  he did give his opinion (none)
      "While he didn't give his definition..."

      Not explicitly, but the entire article's tone is exactly that we're out of the mainstream. He masks this by claiming that there are "dueling conceptions" of what is mainstream, but then he goes and knocks our conception of mainstream down. He does this implicitly in this passage:

      It's little wonder that an ambivalent country that has twice elected a pro-life president and accepted pro-life leadership in Congress didn't flip its lid over the case against Judge Alito on abortion.

      How else to read that passage than claiming that pro-life is mainstream because the country elected/accepted pro-life leadership? This is reinforced with his later statements that we need to  reframe and moderate our dialogue on abortion.

      He correctly implys there were issues other than abortion that Alito stands for that are against what undecided people believe, and the Democrats would have gained more political capital championing those issues. Abortion is clearly not the most important issue to many independent voters, otherwise the Republicans wouldn't be in power right now.

      I agreed with Gerstein(and I think I mentioned it above) that we should have struck Alito harder on other issues.  But I would contend that Republicans won the last election not because abortion isn't important to independent voters, but because that issue trumped by the fear instilled in independents by the Bush regime, the whole "vote for us our you'll get attacked again" mentality. That's where we lost independents. Not because they don't agree with us about abortion, but because they weren't thinking about abortion when they voted.

      Also, Republicans won precisely because abortion was the major issue for their base, and they did a better job of getting their base to the polls than we did. Just because the GOP mobilized more of its core base with abortion doesn't mean we need to be more moderate with respect to abortion to win elections. Poll after poll demonstrates that our position on abortion is mainstream. Problem is we can't get enough people mobilized on that issue.

      Thanks for your comment.

  •  Why is being in the mainstream such an important (4.00)
    thing? How about standing up for the values of the Democratic party? If I was living in Germany in the late 1930's am I supposed to become a Nazi? Crappola. Stand up for what we believe, fight hard and let the chips fall where they may.

    They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve to be known as Republicans

    by Jlukes on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:20:58 PM PST

    •  We are the mainstream (4.00)
      As the Rude Pundit said in his first blog entry, most people are liberals...they just don't know it. It's up to us to show them.
      •  My point is that I do not care if we are or not n (none)

        They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve to be known as Republicans

        by Jlukes on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:32:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not a liberal. (none)
        And I really don't need a self-rightous fuck like yourself explaining to me what I believe.

        This guy is dead on in his statement, American politics are COMPLEX.

        Simple minded ideology will not necessarily achieve electoral victory.

        You guys are so goddamned arrogant to assume you speak for the Democratic Party, Liberals actually make up less than half of the Democratic base.

        Yeah, that's right. Less than half.

        Having said that, I despise Lieberman and hope he gets hammered in August. Also, I plan on supporting Feingold in 2008.

        But I will never forgive you elitist liberal bastards for the 2000 Nader betrayal, nor will I forgive you guys for what you collectively did to Gephardt in 2004.

        Dick Gephardt has always been with the Unions and is an honorable man. Kos and his buddies helped destroy him.

        The decline of the Democratic Party is a direct result of the decline of the Unions.

        "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

        by tricky dick on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:42:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  wow what a tool (none)
    dan gerstein is...no wonder I don't like lieberman and never have.  i hope we can continue to change the party towards more real objectives that we can associate with, that creates real positive change.  i can't believe he would imply that because someone is voted that they have unquestionable authority, what a fucking tool.  
  •  mainstream (none)
    if we simply call someone conservative, anti-choice and anti-civil rights, that's enough to scare people to our side
    .

    I think this is true. The Democratic base has fallen back on rhetoric. And in urban areas they do often choose to scorn rather than appeal to church-going middle America. I would go so far as the Democrats trigger that divide through their scorn.

    A lot of people start going to church when they have a family because they see churches as the disseminator of values. This is especially true in rural areas where there aren't many cultural alternatives. If Democrats want to be mainstream, they do have to come to terms with these people.

    Second, as I've brought up in several other posts, the Democrats no longer stand for civil rights. The Democrats decided that Privacy was their issue, and they allowed this vague amoebic contradictory mass of ideas to become more important than the individual rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Democrats turned to sophistry and emotion-mongering. Now the Republicans own Constitutional law as well as Values. The only thing that keeps the Democrats going is opposition to Republicans. If things continue this way, the Democrats will be replaced - hopefully with a party that does give a fig about civil rights.

    •  you may be speakin of some dem leaders (none)
      But you are not speaking about all democratic voters, if you were, you are very well off the truth.  We have very real issues that we believe can and should be changed, and very real objections to some of the things that have been going on in Wash.  And for you to brush it aside as being an attitude, and not actually any meaning behind what we say then you really have some issues with comprehension.  
      •  mainstream (none)
        You're right that I get my impression of the Democratic party from the political leaders - plus a little bit of blog wonkishness.

        I'm also from a rural area, and I "comprehend" fine that many Democrats are also regular churchgoers, and the urban Democrats are alienating them with some of the rhetoric they assume is only applying to Republican.

        I'm more concerned about the civil rights issue, though.

    •  Then let's (4.00)
      call them all of that and more through proxies - like they do.

      Then we can sit back and spit bile for days because our elected officials reap the aggregate benefit and still have sufficient degrees of separation be level-headed statesmen.

      It's working out great for our opposition. Let's see what we can do with it.

      The soul that is within me no man can degrade. - Frederick Douglass

      by Kimberley on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:31:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  interesting comments (none)
      but i don't get how a right to privacy isn't also a civil right.

      so if they decided privacy was their issue then they were certainly continuing to stand for civil rights.

      so i guess i need to know how right to privacy isn't a civil right.

      •  right to privacy (none)
        I'd like a right to privacy, though it's not a Constitutional right - and I believe Constitutional rights should take priority.

        The problem is that the right to privacy is still in development. Politicians and thinking people are still working out all the ramifications, so politicians are grandstanding prematurely and taking contradictory positions. We know we don't want cameras in our windows and we want to be able to make decisions concerning our own privacy. But then what happens when corporations or government agencies shred documents in the name of protecting privacy?

        And what about Court records? Having gone through the legal process, I think they invade privacy. Lawyers use the fact they can say anything in filings in hopes lies might be picked up by the press. It also makes people hesitate to call witnesses knowing that you're asking them to put their name on a public record. But then what happens if court records are sealed and matters of public importance are conducted behind closed doors.

        All I'm saying is that it's an incredibly complicated issue, and I think the Democrats made a mistake by putting it before Constitutional principles. I would like a right to privacy as much as anyone.

        •  oh -- i'm sorry (none)
          i very much disagree.

          i'm no constitutional scholar but if a right to privacy isn't in there, then it should be amended as such.

          i make no disctinction between a bill of rights, rights of man, civil rights, and a right to privacy.

          •  constitution (none)
            I'm no Constitutional scholar, but I've seen how the idea of Violation of Privacy can be abused up close and personal. It could be used, for example, to sue the guy who reposted the WaPo comments if the corporate lawyers can find some tidbit in their that can be defined as private. It's less of a stretch than you think.

            It's a difficult issue to describe without sounding like you're somehow against privacy. I'm probably the most private person you can imagine. I'm horrified about all the invasions of my privacy that have taken place over the last year - though unlike large corporations, I don't have the money to litigate and vindicate my sense of violation.

            Despite all these experiences, or perhaps because of them, I understand why the Constitional rights, and especially the First Amendment should come first. These were the rights designed to keep people free and government public. Factors have to be weighed, but in the end those freedoms are what make us a Democracy.

            •  As you probably know (none)
              your constitutional rights extend only as against the government.  You have no constitutional rights vis-a-vis private citizens or corporations.  To illustrate, while the gov't cannot discriminate on the basis of skin color, a private individual can.  (There may be laws prohibiting from doing that, but he is not constitutionally prohibited).
          •  Well, that's nice (none)
            but the SCOTUS justices and otehr judges do not sit there to interpret "rights of man, civil rights, and a right to privacy."  Their only charge and obligation is to interpret the Constitution.  Not to add to it, not to update it, not to subtract from it, and not to write into it "rights of man."
            •  nope, SCOTUS interprets the Law (none)
              which is sooooo much bigger than the Constitution.

              In any case, the creators of the Bill of Rights foresaw the existence of you and your ilk, and wrote Amendment IX especially for you:

              "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

              •  No they do not (none)
                "interpret the law that's sooooo much bigger than the Constitution."  Their job is to interpret the US Constitution and federal statutes.  That's it.  

                "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority"

                I.e., the judges have the power to decide cases under the Constitution, the US law, and Treaties.  they do not have authority to create some sort of ephemeral law that's just floating out there discernable to no one but themselves.

                And as for the 9th Am, it is not a secret repository of rights into which judges can reach whenever legislative policy choices do not suit them.  The 9th Amendment stands for an uncontroversial proposition that under the State laws a person may have more and broader rights than under the Federal laws, and that federal laws and Constitution do not derogate from those broader rights.

                Furthermore, 9th Amendment speaks of rights "retained" by the people.  I.e., rights then in existance.  You cannot retain that which you do not at that very point have.  So, the only way to get to right of privacy under the 9th is to argue that privacy was protected at the time the Constitution was ratified, which of course is plainly not the case.

                •  yes they do (none)
                  Read that sentence again -- all cases in Law and Equity, arising under....What follows is not a definition of what comprises the Law, nor does it proscribe in any way how the Court is to make decisions. This is simply about jurisdiction -- what cases the Court will hear.

                  Rights as the framers thought of them -- and you should too -- are not bestowed by the government. If the government did not recognize a particular right at the time of ratification, that doesn't mean the people did not "have" that right. Certain rights are inalienable.

                  I realize there are people who think like you do, but I don't know if you realize that you're on the fringe. Your posts indicate that you think this is all so simple, and it's not.

                  If you don't understand that much of the "law" is unwritten, then you need to start all over.

                  •  Nonsense (none)
                    if the case is not arising under the constitution, that means you have no case.  No one brings a claim saying that his "human rights" were violated to the Supreme Court.  Everyone alleges a CONSTITUTIONAL violation.  Otherwise SCOTUS wouldn't hear it.  Show me a single case, ever, where SCOTUS said, well, this is not really a constitutional right, but what the hell, we feel it's a universal human right, so you win?!  All SCOTUS can do is decide whether or not you have certain rights under the Constitution.  That is all they do.  If it were otherwise we wouldn't even need the Constitution or the BoR.  We could have just said "people have general human rights," and let the courts sort it out.  
                    •  asdf (none)
                      You're arguing against a point I never made. Of course the Court decides Constitutional matters. However, and I suppose this is a minor point really,  the Court does not base all of its decisions on Constitutional grounds.

                      Anyway, I have no problem agreeing with you that when the Court does decide a Constitutional issue, it need only refer to the Constitution itself. Well, that and precedent. Certainly, there is a minority that disagrees with the view that rights that are not enumerated in the Constitution are indeed protected by it. But, as you may have heard, the Court is not in this minority. As they've demonstrated, repeatedly. Please don't write back explaining why this is "wrong" -- I get why you and your ilk would disagree. My overriding point is that your simplified depictions of Constitutional law have nothing to do with reality.

  •  Resistance is useless. (3.00)
    You cannot stop the DLC.

    Soon we shall rule the world.

    Join us or be destroyed.

    (maniacal evil laugh)

    "I am not a crook" - The Honorable Richard M. Nixon

    by tricky dick on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:28:43 PM PST

  •  Gerstein... (none)
    is of the belief that some mainstreams are more equal than others...

    People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression: I hope it's gonna be alright... Pet Shop Boys: Introspective

    by rgilly on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:34:37 PM PST

  •  Ready... Set... (4.00)
    Self-flagellate! Bad base. Bad! Bad!

    This fool sees the writing on the wall, I'll give him that much credit - this is his kneejerk panic reaction.

    The Dem base is VERY mainstream. All you have to do is look at the contemporary political spectrum in this country, and you know that this is true. "Far Left" is a myth, another bullshit Republican meme. Who, among our leaders and spokespeople, is a foil to the likes of minarcho-capitalist Grover Norquist? No one. To achieve diametric opposition to that ideology, you're basically talking Marxism. Look at other democracies around the globe, their ranges of ideology, and you'll see how severely cropped the left wing in this country actually is.

    No, let's openly and proudly talk about and defend our values, rather than apologize for them, as this schmuck would like us to do.

  •  If they represent "America" so much? (4.00)
    Why do they (Bushie Republicans) have to constantly misrepresent their activities?

    Lie afte lie to cover up the realities of their policies.

    Is that what DLC is pushing the Democrats in Washington to emulate?

  •  What is wrong with these people? (4.00)
    We can take this message and connect with white Southern Christian voters.  We can take this message of fake patriotism, of Republicans robbing us blind of our money, our rights, and our way of life.  We can take this message to everyone because it's true.

    Gerstein needs to recognize that we're angry because his man plays nice bipartisanship with a president who couldn't give a fuck about the oath he took to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.  Those words were chosen for a reason, because the Founders knew that a leader, such as King George, could take the words "preserve, protect and defend the nation" and abuse them greatly.  They knew that protecting the idea of law and rights was the most important to the survival of our great nation, and this group of lemmings doesn't have the intellectual reach to grasp that notion.

    Tell Gerstein to go join the GOP.  I'm sure they need another token Democrat right now.

    There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one. -5.25, -4.67

    by wolverinethad on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:56:27 PM PST

  •  Someone should tell him... (4.00)
    that just because someone was elected by 51% of the voters doesn't mean they represent a majority of the nation as a whole.  They represent a majority of the people who voted in that election and that is all.

    The money quote of the diary is in this paragraph: "Gerstein apparently chases the theory that we must emulate those in power, because they must've done something right by voters to get into the positions of power in the first place."

    Indeed Georgia10, and this is a classic example of faulty logic.  Let's try this argument on, say, a few other elections, and see what happens.

    In 1966, Ernest Hollings (D-SC) did not chase down the rhetoric of Nixon and Wallace, who both outpolled Humphrey in his state, but offered a program of his own, more conservative than the national Dems, but definitely neither Wallacite or Nixonian.  And he won.

    In 2002, Ken Salazar outpolled John Kerry (admittedly only be a few points) to win the first CO senate seate for the dems since the early 90s.  But he didn't do it by bowing to the great wisdom of Wayne Allard or the GOP governor.  He did it his own way.  And won.

    In 2005, Tim Kaine, facing a pro-GOP lean here in VA, and polls showing him trailing Jerry Kilgore by 8-10 points did not bow to the great wisdom of Dubya and George Allen (who, in Gerstein's famous trun of phrase, had won the majority only a year ago).  Instead he talked sense to Virginia.  He put together his own coalition, and won.

    I guess my point is, just because someone has won a majority, it doesn't mean that the majority is ideologically firm, constant, or even rational.  They can change their minds.  They compartmentalize.  And they do that quite often.  The current ruling coalition is not set in stone.  Remember, after all, that at one time, 13% of America wanted George Wallace to be president.  Good luck finding anyone who would admit to that nowadays.

    All your vote are belong to us. Warner/Feingold 2008

    by Harkov311 on Fri Jan 20, 2006 at 11:57:13 PM PST

    •  2004 was light years ago anyway (none)
      that just because someone was elected by 51% of the voters doesn't mean they represent a majority of the nation as a whole.

      And let's not forget that a good number of those people would no doubt like to go back in time and change their votes.

  •  GO GIRL (none)
    Former Lieberman communications director Dan Gerstein.  Did Lieberman ever get out of single digets in '04?

    Just another stupid move from part of the Democratic Party.  Does the DLC really think it can afford to lose the support of this segment of the party?  I would have said part of their base, but according to the DLC approved blog, NewDonkey, we are not really the Democratic base.  The base is those people out there????
    It is a really smart move to put down the very people that are willing to contribute and work tirelessly for Democratic victories.  The Democratic Party needs to attract more voters not lose them.  With their thinking, it is no wonder the Republican are in office.

    If Hillary or any other Republican lite candidate wins the presidential nomination, my time and contributions will go to support legislative candidates that support my views.

    •  But Lieberman was from the electable wing of the (4.00)
      Democratic party. By echoing the Bush line on Iraq, he could have creamed him. He might even have kissed Bush on the cheek at the debate. Gerstein's reasoning seems to be that if we take Republican positions on everything, people will forget which party is which and we'll win occasionally.

      If your name was George Walker instead of George Walker Bush, your candidacy would be a joke.

      by dole4pineapple on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:51:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The DLC has got to stop the base bashing (4.00)
    It's fine to promote a moderate agenda if they want, but bashing the base is stupid and counterproductive.

    They say "Our base is a bunch of America-hating, cheese-eating, volvo-driving, terrorist sympathizing traitors." So any swing voters out there are thinking "Great! I'd love to vote for a party with supporters like that." So my question to the DLC is if the Democratic base is so radical and out of the mainstream, why should swing voters vote for a party with supporters like that? From the way the DLC portrays things, you'd think Bush won a landslide re-election victory. Every few months we are treated to a self-flagellating DLC lament of how Democrats stand for nothing (an RNC talking point--we stand for nothing, except when we stand for gay marriage, abortion on demand, gun confiscation, and tax increases), which does not try to articulate anything for the Democrats to stand for. They talk of a perpetual decline of the Democratic party, even though Bush did not really win in 2000 and could only barely win in 2004. The effect of all of this is that they lower party morale and foster a sense of defeatism even during a time when Bush and Congress are vastly unpopular.

    As for Lieberman, the guy has gone off the deep end. He says that Democrats are "undermining the president" (because you can't not support the president in a democracy) and all sorts of other nonsense. I'd put the guy on Zell watch. If he loses the primary, he'll probably take some position in the Bush administration and probably will end up denouncing the Democratic party at the 2008 Republican Convention. Maybe he can even end up on the Republican ticket and give them some Joementum.

    If your name was George Walker instead of George Walker Bush, your candidacy would be a joke.

    by dole4pineapple on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:42:35 AM PST

    •  EX-FUCKING-ACTLY!! (4.00)
      They talk of a perpetual decline of the Democratic party, even though Bush did not really win in 2000 and could only barely win in 2004.

      This is exactly their problem.  In their minds, every time a Democrat doesn't win it's suddenly turned into 1984 and the losing Democrat is not John Kerry by 1 point but Wally Mondale by 18.

      I dunno about you, but I think 48.5& is pretty respectable.  Definitely better than the 45.7% we got in '88.  Or the 44.5% we got in '52.  Or the 42.7% we got in '68.  Or the 28.8% we got in 1924.

      So yeah, DLC, kindly stop the base, bashing, and stop telling us the sky is falling.

      All your vote are belong to us. Warner/Feingold 2008

      by Harkov311 on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:51:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another problem is that the media loves (4.00)
        that type of stuff from the DLC and gives it a lot of coverage. The next Democratic president needs to run the DLC out of town on a rail. They need to be told that it's fine to promote moderate ideas, but to wage war against the rest of the party is out of bounds.

        If your name was George Walker instead of George Walker Bush, your candidacy would be a joke.

        by dole4pineapple on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 01:10:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  did they really say that?? (none)
      link?

      is that a quote of what they said?

      or what you heard?

      a reverse arguement applies.

      "why should i be a democrat??  sheese.  even their base thinks they're leaders are nothing but a bunch of pussies."

      i have to re-iterate the cycle of mutually re-inforcing stereotypes.

    •  He has already publicly stated if he loses (none)
      in the primary, he would consider a run as an "independent". If that doesn't say it all, what the fuck does?

      cheers,

      Mitch Gore

      A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

      by Lestatdelc on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 02:35:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WSJ (none)
    For those who didn't follow the link, Gerstein's commentary was in the Wall Street Journal. It was a lot of fun to open up the WSJ and see Daily Kos, georgia10 and DHinMI being quoted! Hahaha!

    This was on Tuesday, and I bet poor Gerstein has been refreshing his dKos page every 30 minutes since, feeling ignored. Another haha.

    Great diary, georgia10. I'm glad you got to it, but I'm also glad you were too busy and had more important things to address until now.

    Say no to hate, bigotry, and the author of the Fed. Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave. Please donate to Angie Paccione.

    by OLinda on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 12:47:44 AM PST

  •  spin (4.00)
    Gerstein apparently chases the theory that we must emulate those in power, because they must've done something right by voters to get into the positions of power in the first place.

    By that logic we should lie, cheat and steal.  Then maybe, just maybe, we'll get elected.

    The only problem with our side is we can't seem to get our message out through the spin, spin, spin of the neocon media.

  •  WSJ (none)
    Georgia10, you should send something in to the WSJ.

    I think they'd print it, especially since you were named in their paper. They should let you rebut. Also, it would make their day and elevate their little paper to have something from an FP poster at the Daily Kos! I think they'd jump at the chance,  and, I'm not even kidding!

    Letters to editor:  wsj.ltrs@wsj.com

    or for editorial pages.

    Say no to hate, bigotry, and the author of the Fed. Marriage Amendment, Marilyn Musgrave. Please donate to Angie Paccione.

    by OLinda on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 01:05:14 AM PST

  •  mainstream political consultants???? (none)
    These folks who want to tell us what mainstream means have no idea of the lives of average folk.

    They all make enough money to be well into the top quintile. They live, work and function with others of their class.

    What do they know of living without health insurance?

    What do they know of the struggle to pay for housing, heating, or college?

    I submit that we as a group are much more representitive of the country as a whole. Sure on average some of us are little more educated and affluent than average, but not nearly as much out of touch as they are.

    Sometimes I wonder if they have figured out like in the producers that they do better with a flop than a hit.

    They over-advised Gore so much mannerisms that his public persona kept changing in a weird confusing manner.

    And I supect that their cautions to Kerry were an element of his defeat.

    Screw them all

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 01:17:48 AM PST

  •  Some questions that need answered (none)
    I'd just like to ask you.....

    You assert 56% of Americans polled say they would oppose Alito if he were to overturn Roe v Wade. But have you seen the polls aoubt whether he should be confirmed or not? In the 5 polls I looked at, 3 favored his confirmation by around 53-55% and another by 4o% to 23%. Only the Harris poll showed a rather even split between confirmation, non confirmation and not sure (around 33% each). I would say the Dems did a very poor job in painting Alito as anti RvW.

    Further, if you agree that the President has the right to appoint conservative Justices to the Court, who would you name, that would be conservative? I would remind you that most folks' idea of conservative differ from person to person. Rev. Falwell is a conservative, but then so is George Will. But I doubt you'll see them agreeing on alot of issues.

    An earlier poster hit it square on when he said that most Americans find restrictions on abortions (ie no late term abortions and parental notification, I think were mentioned) reasonable. Most of the far left do not see it that way.

    Definitions of who/what is liberal or mainstream or conservative move around alot depending on who you talk to and what blog you are reading at the moment.

    •  my answers (none)
      You assert 56% of Americans polled say they would oppose Alito if he were to overturn Roe v Wade. But have you seen the polls aoubt whether he should be confirmed or not? In the 5 polls I looked at, 3 favored his confirmation by around 53-55% and another by 4o% to 23%. Only the Harris poll showed a rather even split between confirmation, non confirmation and not sure (around 33% each). I would say the Dems did a very poor job in painting Alito as anti RvW.

      Does it matter what the Dems "painted" Alito as? The guy IS anti-Roe, there is NO question about it.  Should the Democrats pay for the media's failure to electorate of Alito's record? Moreover,  the numbers are almost split when it comes to whether the issue of abortion is important when it comes to Supreme Court nominees, so it's no wonder we don't see the 65% number translated into Alito approval ratings.

      Further, if you agree that the President has the right to appoint conservative Justices to the Court, who would you name, that would be conservative? I would remind you that most folks' idea of conservative differ from person to person. Rev. Falwell is a conservative, but then so is George Will. But I doubt you'll see them agreeing on alot of issues.

      Um, how about Roberts? Or did you forget how many Dem votes he received? Or how about the pro-life Orrin Hatch, who was suggested by many Democrats, including Harry Reid I believe? He sure as hell is conservative, netting a 100% rating from the Family Research Council. There ARE more acceptable candidates out there; Bush just chose to go outside the mainstream.

      An earlier poster hit it square on when he said that most Americans find restrictions on abortions (ie no late term abortions and parental notification, I think were mentioned) reasonable. Most of the far left do not see it that way.

      First off, who is talking about the "far" left? Your use of the term "far left" echoes John Gibson and implicitly means you're starting off with placing that group outside the mainstream.

      Like Gerstein, you fling up a strawman to make your argument. Some 75%-80% of Americans (MANY Democrats included) agree that there should be some restrictions on abortion, INCLUDING parental notification for those under 18. 65% of Americans (MANY Democrats included) are for spousal notification.  Democrats have a 10 pt lead when it comes to asking Americans which party best represents their issue on abortion. If those figures don't SCREAM mainstream, I don't know what will.

      Next time, try bringing some facts to the argument.

      •  Several points (none)
        First, I don't know specifically about you, but Armando and other on this board strenuously urged a filibuster of Roberts.  (Not to mention NARAL, NOW, PFAW, AFJ, etc.).  So now to bring up Roberts as some sort of model for a nominee acceptable to all is disingenuous.

        Second, you are correct, many people, Democrats included support limits on abortions (including bans on D&X, parental notification, etc.)  However, the purists, the very same ones who urged filibuster of Roberts and now are the driving force behind the move to filibuster Alito strenuously oppose all such restrictions.  (See positions of NARAL, NOW, ACLU, PFAW).

        Orin Hatch is over 70.  For that reason alone he is not acceptable as a SCOTUS nominee.

        •  Bannign D&X with life and health exceptions (none)
          Would get no problem form "purists" like myself. It is dishonest lying about the issue from the anti-abortion crowd which fabricates fictions like "partial birth abortions" which are the problem. Nobody here has ever argued for more than what Roe and Doe lay out.

          cheers,

          Mitch Gore

          A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

          by Lestatdelc on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 02:33:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not responsive (none)
            First of all, majority of people support the ban on D&X with no health exceptions.

            Second, Doe, by sweeing into "health exceptions" all "physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age" factors it made the exception utterly meaningless.  So long as someone can claim any level of emotional distress, the ban on abortion in general or specific procedure like D&X can be easily circumvented, up to the very moment of birth.  (I am not saying that it happens every day, but that is the logic of Doe).

            •  What horseshit (none)
              First of all, majority of people support the ban on D&X with no health exceptions.

              I call bullshit here. Cite me any credible poll that shows anything of the sort.

              As for your "second". there is no licensed doctor in the nation (that would remain licensed) that would perform an abortion on a health baby just prior to deliver for "emotional reasons" under Doe. This is the biggest fucking lie going and right to form you trot it out with all your other anti-abortion rhetoric.

              Less than 400 late term D&X are performed in any year and none of them are for simple mental health of the woman reasons. Stop making up phantom problems.

              cheers,

              Mitch Gore

              A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

              by Lestatdelc on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 08:45:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did you BOTHER to read my post?! (none)
                I din't say that it happens.  I said that that is the ULTIMATE LOGIC of Doe.  

                Doe left it completely up to the MD and the woman to decide when and why to abort.  Under the logic of Doe, if the two of them agree that abortion is necessary for her menatl health, they can abort at any time.

                As for 400 number, I call BS.  Here is a link.  (I know it's from a National Right to Life Committee, which is not credible, but it has an xerox image of New York Times article on the topic).

                http://www.nrlc.org/...

                •  Yes I read your post (none)
                  And that is not the ultimate logic of Doe, since it doesn't happen, and the regulation of medical listening is but one way it never does happen.

                  Call bullshit all you like, but that article is not talking about late term (i.e. post 30 week+) D & X. What he was talking about:

                  "In my heart, having talked to many doctors, I knew that the procedure was being used in the late second trimester, but I did not volunteer the information. That bothered me greatly," -- Ron Fitzsimmons

                  But yeah, trust the NRCL to speak the truth, or the New York Times (Judith Miller, Jason Blair anyone?) to get the context and story correct... not.

                  cheers,

                  Mitch Gore

                  A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

                  by Lestatdelc on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 09:27:26 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! Great Diary, Georgia10 (none)
    Mainstream America is represented quite well by "angry activists," take it from a former Republican, who left that extremist cult 5 years ago to become a Democrat; who spent her entire life serving in the military, either as a dependent child, active-duty veteran, or the spouse of an active duty veteran.

    I opposed this war BEFORE BUSH invaded, and have marched in DC THREE TIMES to protest it. I welcomed Cindy Sheehan's late-but-heartwrenching epiphany upon Casey's death, and support her activism on behalf of ALL American victims of Bush's war crime in Iraq. But there were many Americans--hundreds of thousands in fact--who were there BEFORE CINDY--and they are msinstream americans, elderly, young parents with children, and veterans of every war. I saw them in DC when I marched in October 2002 with at least 150,000 of them. Yet, here is Gerstein actually saying "Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?" It's patently offensive.

    But the simple truth is, Gerstein is whistling past the graveyard on this one, and he may be aligned with the powers-that-be now in the Dems leadership; but that leadership is going to discover at some point that they are leading no one but themselves because everyone else has moved on. This morning, Molly Ivins' latest column is out; Molly is fed up, has had it, and has announced to her readership--and the Democratic leadership--that she will NOT SUPPORT HILLARY CLINTON as the Democratic nominee. It's a shot across the bow. People like Gerstein had better start listening.

    THANKS GEORGIA10, Brilliant post.

  •  I'll admit it (none)
    I'm out of the mainstream, and the reason is that I believe in democratic principles, thats an ironic thing to say in the supposed leading democracy on Earth, NOT!!!
    PEACE!
  •  So let me get this straight... (4.00)
    ... the problem with the Democratic party is that we lack the centrist Joe-mentum that brought Lieberman to within a hairsbreadth of beating Bush?

    What?  Lieberman didn't lose to Bush by a few percentage points?  You mean he went down to withering defeat at the hands of the likes of John Kerry and Howard Dean?  He was happily chirping about being in a three-way tie for third in New Hampshire?

    Well, then I guess his goddamn Communications Director doesn't know fuck-all about winning, now... does he?

    Sam Alito doesn't just think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided: he thinks the Revolutionary War was wrongly decided.

    by Malacandra on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 05:08:11 AM PST

    •  It's Clear---- (none)
      since there are a number of "angry" Gore supporters here who don't quite get why Gore/Lieberman lost to bushco-- when all were crowing that the pair would win in a landslide-- it's no surprise the morons who engineered the ticket have sour grapes and look rather stupid.

      C'MON people!!!! Lieberman as the VP????????

      a guy who is JUST AS conservative as most in the repuglican party? a guy who goes around complaining about "video game violence"?

      ????

      "We have no right to surrender our inheritance to boors and tyrants". Paul Goodman 1962

      by Superpole on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 06:55:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely said. (none)
    Boy are they in a bubble.  Holy crow.  If they had one iota of sense, they'd understand that anger and debate and action all go hand in hand.  What would have happened if our founding fathers had said that Sam Adams or Alexander Hamilton or [insert patriot's name here] was just being an "angry activist" and should just shut up, cinch up their stockings, and sit down?  I'll tell ya.  We'd be standing up in movie theatres before the show started to sing 'God Save the Queen.'

    Anger is the root of change.  And the blogosphere's anger, frankly, has been what has fueled the insufferably slow process of giving the Democratic Party a spine transplant.

    But it has been anger backed by an avalanche of those pesky things called facts.

    I can't wait to see the kind of debate and discussion that's generated at the YearlyKos convention.  If I had to guess, I'd say it'll go a long way towards muting the tut-tutting from our own leaders about the intentions and validity of blogs, and Daily Kos in particular.  (Not sure about Atrios.  His Open Threads are awfully angry and activist.)

    Pizza, anyone?

  •  Issue isn't mainstream (none)
    I'm sure you're sick and tired of me writing this, but it bears repeating:  I think there's no question that Judge Alito is within the mainstream of contemporary conservative jurisprudence and that his views are plausible.  But that is not the question.  The question is do his views do justice?

    If the Supreme Court were merely an intellectual contest with the real-world consequences tantamount to the result of a baseball game, I would reluctantly vote for him.  But it's not that way.  As then-Judge Souter observed in his opening statement, "no matter what we do, someone will be deeply affected by the decisions we make."  He said that he also learned that being a judge requires one to use not only one's mind but also one's heart.  This has served him well.  (Personally, I wish his heart were as big as his predecessor, Justice Brennan, but his heart is certainly bigger than most of the Supreme Court Justices.)

    So what's in Judge Alito's heart?  I think we got a huge clue from Sen. Biden's line of questioning.  Here is what we can conclude from Sen. Biden's line of questioning:  that while Judge Alito may want to provide relief to victims of injustice, his opinions suggest that he doesn't seem to appreciate how the real-world works today; that  because Judge Alito doesn't seem to appreciate how the real-world works today, he lacks the ability even to see injustice -- let alone rectify it.  And that is the case against Judge Alito -- that he lacks a feeling for justice we expect in a Supreme Court Justice.

    Today, the Court purports to be the dispassionate oracle of the law, unmoved by "natural sympathy." - Justice Blackmun, dissenting, DeShaney v. Winnebago County

    by jim bow on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 06:27:49 AM PST

  •  Cue Claude Rains: (none)
    I'm shocked, shocked! that Joementum's aide is suggesting that we're too far to the left.

    Please, tell us more, Mr. Joementum Aide, when you reluctantly pause from fellating Karl Rove.

    Sorry to be so crass. Not feeling well this morning.

    I don't think I ever gave out so many fours as I did reading this thread.

    I'm honored to be part of the angry pinko minority that Joe is so contemptuous of.

    He won't be looking when we sneak up behind and kick his ass.

  •  yeah, I'm damn angry! (none)
    First, I like how Gerstein and the rest of the DLCers throw out the term "angry activist base"..

    but isn't this more or less a repeat of what Sen. Obama said not long ago here-- "tone down the rhetoric".

    ??? that was a big disappointment, frankly.

    I really can't picture a Lieberman voter-- who are these people? are they aware of any progressive issues-- or do they vote for Joe simply because he and his wife are lovely people and they "like" them?

    I can picture a Dick Lugar voter-- hmmmm, now I get it.. it's the same bunch who "like" Lieberman!!

    "We have no right to surrender our inheritance to boors and tyrants". Paul Goodman 1962

    by Superpole on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 06:49:20 AM PST

  •  fabulous! (none)
    This piece speaks for me-- and how! Kudos, G10
  •  So how big does a MINORITY (none)
    have to be in order to also be "mainstream?"

    Let us assume for a moment that a country is split on an issue (any issue) 51:49.  Is the 49% out of the mainstream?  If not, then how small of a minority does one have to be to be out of the mainstream?

    Assuming that 56% is correct (and I have my reservations, because most respondents do not necessarily understand the consequences of overruling Roe, i.e., that the abortion would not be automatically banned nationwide, but rather the decision would be up to the states), it implies that 44% either hold the opposite view or don't really care one way or another.  So, is that 44% out of the mainstream?

    •  Look at it this way... (none)
      Some interesting stats

      Yet most Americans told pollsters they still had doubts about the civil rights movement. In May 1961, most people (57 percent) told the Gallup poll that sit-ins at lunch counters and the "Freedom Riders" would hurt African Americans' chances for integration. In 1964, Harris found 57 percent who disapproved of the "Freedom Summer" effort by civil rights workers to organize black voters in Mississippi. And while majorities supported the Civil Rights Act, the public still seemed reluctant to push the issue. Only 23 percent told Gallup that the Civil Rights Act should be "strictly enforced from the beginning," while 62 percent preferred a "gradual, persuasive approach."

      Those damn extremist left wing Freedom Riders...

      Oh well a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days-- Mose Allison

      by ChicagoDem on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 10:03:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ok, so that doesn't answer my question (none)
        To the extent that you are suggesting that back in the 50s and 60s it was mainstream to be segregationist you are correct.  Of course being mainstream does not necessarily stand the test of time.  Abolitionists were also out of the mainstream, and yet...  So the question is still a) how big does your group have to be to be "mainstream," and does "mainstream" by definition means "right?"
        •  That's what I was getting at (none)
          My point is that if you choose to only support the "mainstream" polling position, you're committing yourself to awful positions.  The only thing separating "radical" from "mainstream" is what newspaper editors want to say.

          Oh well a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days-- Mose Allison

          by ChicagoDem on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 10:38:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  when (none)
    when Lieber"girly"man loses his primary, we will see how fringe we are. Fuck these dinosaurs.
  •  DLC "Democrats" are Republicans. (none)
    Gerstein's dumbshit milquetoast act is a con. No one is that stupid.

    The DLC takes corporate cash to pretend to be Democrats so they can take reasonable-sounding but malevolent positions intended to depress our base, confuse our activists, and smear our candidates.  

    They're Pug moles.  It's who they are, it's what they do.

  •  So let me see if I understand (none)
    If you have a strongly held conviction that happens to be at variance with, say, 55% of the electorate, you should stifle that conviction in order not to risk the chance of losing an election?

    And these guys wonder why they keep losing?

    The electorate doesn't want candidates who will tailor their message to what 55% of them say they want.

    They want someone who will convince them that what the candidate believes is what they should believe.

    Republicans use polls to figure out how to sell their ideas to the public.

    Democrats use polls to figure out what ideas to sell to the public.

    Guess who is winning?

  •  What I'm afraid of... (none)
    ...is that this is what 2008 is going to be like; a DLC-sponsored candidate and lots of Bush-loving base-bashing.
  •  This is retarded (none)
    If Alito was in the mainstream, why would he have to hide what he believes in?  Why would he have to deny sympathizing with CAP or claim Roe v. Wade is less settled than Brown v. Board (when each is likely to show up in front of the SCOTUS)?  The DLC's argument doesn't work because it lives in a bizarre alternate reality where the Republicans tell the truth about what they want to do, and the American people go ahead and give it their blessing.  You know, like how compassionate conservative George W. Bush has governed as the most moderate Republican since Eisenhower...

    This reminds me of the Iraq War situation when large majorities were AGAINST invading Iraq if inspectors didn't find WMD, but the DLC said we had to support invasion because "everyone knew" Saddam had WMD no matter what the trained professionals on the ground found.  The problem was that they had internalized the CW inside the Beltway-- and then presumed to lecture those of us who live in the real world every single day of our lives about what "real Americans" thought.  Those of us whose friends, colleagues, neighbors, lovers, and bosses don't work inside the White House may just be getting a better informed view of reality than people whose lives depend on being well-liked in Republican Washington.

    Oh well a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days-- Mose Allison

    by ChicagoDem on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 09:58:02 AM PST

    •  Mainstream my ass (none)
      IF being mainstream is considered to be some Lying, cheating, Gerry mandering, voter fraud, Constitution shredding, Bill of Rights hating, Separation between Church & State destroying, war/fear mongering, delusional psychotic making wishes to their little invisible friend lunatic then Please leave me out of that "Mainstream", because I am exactly the opposite of that.

       

  •  "Mainstream" is a chimera, a mirage. (none)
    It is a term bandied about by people incapable of understanding the complexities of the physics of society.

    It is a weak attempt to group unlike groups together.

    A meaningless term. Another crap-pile grown from post modernist ignorance.

  •  If you're right about the electorate (none)
    then there should be a Democratic landslide once Alito is allowed to vote on an abortion case on the court.

    My suspicion is that there is more complexity than that poll answer provides for.  That many of the people who answer that Alito should be blocked have a different perception of what it means to overturn Roe v. Wade than many people on the boards here.  That Alito is unlikely to 'overturn Roe' in the sense that many of those polled are using.  

    If pro-choice were amazingly popular, the position that the filibuster strategy is predicated on, then overturning Roe wouldn't matter much, because the legislatures would still make sure that nothing changed.  

    The reason that there are at least some strictures against abortion in almost every state -- not because every legislature is corrupt on this issue.  It's because there is more middle ground than many at the activist end of both parties believe.  Many of the people who answer that they don't want Roe overturned are nonetheless supportive of some of the restrictions that people like Alito would make easier.  I'm not arguing that's a reason to vote for Alito, but this isn't as cut and dry as your poll numbers make it seem.

    •  The Republican movers do not want Roe overturned. (none)
      Behind the scenes, there is the dread among Republican party movers that Roe will be overturned, at least from commentators who have taken a contrarian view on the abortion issue. Once the back allies begin to fill with the bodies of young girls seeking illicit abortions, there will be hell to pay. Republicans only want the issue, not the reality.
    •  Great post (none)
      Could not agree more .  Most extremists think they are in the mainstream.  Any controversial issue falls like this lots of complexity, lots of extremists.
  •  If all Dems (none)
    were like Lieberman, they could change the name to the Anal Party.

    "What you're thinking is so loud I can't hear what you're saying."

  •  The other side of the 56% against Alito. (none)
    If this is the poll you are quoting,

    CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. Jan. 6-8, 2006. Adults nationwide.

    perhaps the worst thing about these results is that only 34% would support voting for Alito if he intended to vote to overturn Roe v Wade. This percentage is roughly that found in many, many polls (see PollingReport.Com) where respondents also say yes to the question, should Roe v Wade be overturned? A third is definitely a minority.

  •  Time to Be 'Fringe, Radical, and Irrational' (none)
    The real argument agains Alito isn't that he's out of the mainstream. The argument is that he's wrong. The reason liberals are angry is because the mainstream has embraced dangerous and morally questionable policies.

    The reason Democratic senators care about whether he's mainstream is because they know they shouldn't vote for Alito, but they think they need to find a politically expedient "reason" to justify their actions to the voters.

    How about: "Conservatives are leading this country to rack and ruin. We won't participate in that. We are going to put a stake in the ground and drag the country back to reason. So, we won't vote for Alito because he's a conservative. And we will do everything in our power, including fillibuster, to make sure that the Supreme Court doesn't move to the right."

    Liberals are entitled to oppose a nominee that we think will move the court in the wrong direction. We don't have to justify it any more that to say that it represents our political inclinations.

    After all, that's exactly what the radical right is doing. They just hide behind a smoke screen when they do.

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Sat Jan 21, 2006 at 09:55:25 PM PST

  •  Rethuglicans have... (none)
    made TREASON mainstream.

    "How do you like it now, gentlemen?"

    e. hemingway

  •  Reality Check (none)
    When I see people here immortalizing Cindy Sheehan, Dick Durbin and Nancy Pelosi, I want to scream because there is no homogenous face of the democratic party and you shouldn't like a person just because they disagree with someone you disagree with.  As for our politicians, they are spineless automatons who are just as corrupt as Republicans and run their administrations by polling.  If they take a stand and stick to it, they may lose an election but at least we will know what the actual majority is, which is what I believe the DLC's point in the article.

    Think about it-many of you have killed the messenger for merely telling you, "a lot of people may disagree with you", as if that isn't obvious by the fact that Democrats have not won an election since 96 and have been getting worse and worse-and I bet 2006 will be another disaster.  Instead of merely following Democratic talking points, it would be so much more successful to find areas of agreement where we can get what we want and then puch forward, like Abortion.  Most northern states support it,Republican or Democrat but by sticking to Roe reflexively, we weaken our argument because we are artificially imposing a non-guaranteed constitutional right on people who disagree with us instead of consolidating with those who do.

    Cindy Sheehan should grieve in private and just shut up but she is an embarassment plain and simple-her son Casey joined the military voluntarily and from all reports was ready to reup his service because he loved the military and its mission(and had told Cindy so in heated discussions) and yet she made it seem as if he was ashamed of his service or was somehow forced upon him.  He would have been the first person to disagree with her portrayal of his service so please all, stop citing her so breathlessly as a hero.  She is so selfishly revising her past it is insane.

           

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