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We Shall Organize on the Beaches.  We shall organize on the landing grounds, we shall organize in the fields and in the streets, we shall organize in the hills; we shall never surrender.

OK, it's some poetic liberty, but when I saw Meteor Blades' post Never Surrender, the resonance and rhythm of these words popped into my head.  As bad as things may feel to today, with Samuel Alito ready to be appointed to the Supreme Court, people have stood before worse.  As Meteor Blades pointed out, think of what his hero, Fredrick Douglass faced in his struggle to end slavery?  What Americans fighting and organizing for social justice and progress always face.  It's always tough, and no real progress comes without struggle.  As one of my favorite songwriters once wrote:

Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight--
Got to kick at the darkness `til it bleeds daylight

We should look for inspiration from our heroes.  But tonight, we should also look beyond the examples of our heroes, and the difficulties they had to face to prevail.  Tonight, also look at the example of our adversaries.  

And we should remember, the conservatives NEVER give up.

Most of you will know this answer, but it's still important to ask the question:

What is generally considered the most important galvanizing event for the modern conservative movement?  

The crushing defeat, in 1964, of Barry Goldwater.

Did the conservatives give up after what should have been a humiliating defeat in 1964?  Of course not.  They never gave up, not once.  They organized in just about every precinct in America.  They put out legions of volunteers.  They created organizations, and think tanks, and press operations, and trained and developed and nurtured young political operatives.  They raised money.  And throughout it all, they pursued a two-pronged approach:

  1. They did whatever they could to create Republican majorities.
  2. They did whatever they could to take control of the Republican party, and where possible nominate and elect conservative fellow travelers to office.

Note that never have they divorced one from the other.  They almost all always fight to do what they can to install and maintain majorities.  Then, over time, they became a majority of the majority party.  In the overall body politic, the movement conservatives are a minority, and certainly not even a plurality when you divide up the electorate into regional and ideological segments.  But they control the Republican party, and in the persons of George W. Bush and Karl Rove, they have tools and fellow conspirators.

So what are we going to do?  I'm tempted to say "did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?", but that may be too glib for some in this serious moment.  But I do like the sentiment.  Are we going to lay down on our backs, or are we going to organize and take over the Democratic party?

Remember, in many places the progressives do largely control the party and the actions of our elected Democrats reflect our principles.  Tomorrow, many of us should do what Meteor Blades already did, and call our Senators who voted the right way and thank them for their committment.  Both of my Senators--Levin and Stabenow--did the right thing, as I always figured they would.  One of my former congressmen, John Dingell, was on NPR's Diane Rehm this morning lacerating Bush on just about every policy imaginable.  Diane repeated that one of his nicknames is "Mean John," because he's still, at 78, one of the most feared members of Congress.  His former legislative assistant, John Conyers, is talking impeachment.  (That's how long Dingell has been fighting for working families, that 20 term Congresman and second ranking member of the chamber Conyers used to work for him...)  I don't worry too much about most of my state's Democrats.  But there is still work to be done in my state, and there's lots of work to do in just about every state.  But instead of just calling to voice displeasure, for those of us who can, we should also voice our appreciation and respect.

But remember those two points above.  We need to take over the party.  But we also need Democratic majorities.  So abandoning the fight for the Democratic party now is to the detriment of the country your friends, and all who will follow you.  There are only two games in town, folks, the Republicans and the Democrats.  Regardless of what some may wish, we're in a winner-take-all system, so your choices are the following:

  1. Actively help change the Democratic party into the party you want.
  2. Actively help change the Republican party into the party you want.
  3. Do nothing within the parties, and be a passive consumer of what the parties present to you.

There really aren't any other choices.  It's up to you.  But if you're really a fighter, you'll recognize where the fight is.  You'll recognize that it's not going to be won overnight; it took the conservatives almost 40 years to fully take over the Repub party and instill conservative ideologues in control of our national government.    You'll remember that the sociologist Max Weber described politics as

a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective. Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth--that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible. But to do that a man must be a leader, and not only a leader but a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word.

Be a leader.  Be a fighter. Hell, why not even aspire to be a hero. But whatever you do, remember, if we want a better Democratic party, it's up to all of us to accept some responsibility for making the party what we believe we Democrats and the entire country deserve.  And like Meteor Blades said, never surrender.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:25 PM PST.

Poll

Are You Going To Organize to Create A Democratic Party That Will Make You Proud?

77%69 votes
21%19 votes

| 89 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes, Most of This Was in the Comment Thread... (4.00)
    ...of Meteor Blades' post, but Markos requested a another spin...

    The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

    by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:29:07 PM PST

    •  god, no one likes a cereal reposter! (n/t) (none)

      There's always the case for another draft.

      by theleftknew on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:30:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Democrats and the Whigs (none)
      The cloture vote makes me think the Democrats may be going the way of the Whigs, a spineless and corrupt party that offered nothing but a placeholder for its politicians.

      If people don't build up the Greens, the Democrats may fizzle out without any alternative.

      Take Back the Democratic Party http://www.lawlessforcongress.com/

      by fedupnyc on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:36:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Liberals and Labour (none)
        In America today "liberal" means frothing-at-the-mouth maoist communist, but in Britain [at least until the merger of the old Liberal party with a breakaway faction of Labour in the 80s] it meant "nice, reasonable, cooperative, centrist, and therefore effectively irrelevant". When the two big parties in the UK at the turn of the 19th century were the Conservatives and the Liberals, their platforms might as well have been "Rich people for grinding down the poor more", and "Rich people for grinding down the poor less". Eventually the poor got fed up of voting for the Liberals as the lesser of two evils, and created the Labour movement, a party they could vote for that would do positive good for their interests.

        It didn't have to be that way. If the Democratic establishment only knew it, Markos Moulitsas is the best friend they have, not their enemy. Right now, the base dissatisfaction with their representatives could be translating, not into a movement to win back the Democratic party, but to replace it instead. It's happened before.


        Finem respice et principiis obsta—Consider the end, and thwart the beginning

        by Del C on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 01:06:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree ... (4.00)
      A common sense plan would be to work on replacing Republican Senators and Representatives in the  Blue States and Districts.

      And, why is it that one should excuse Dems in Red States or Blue States when they desert the party on critical votes? How many Republican Senators in Blue States have deserted their party on critical votes? NONE.  Did you see any Republican Senators in Blue States voting against cloture? NO.

      It's not good enough just to elect more Dems. You have to have more Dems of the right kind, Dems that will fight for what is right and decent for working men and women. This means that we will have to agree on whom to support in primaries and channel our energy and money to those candidates. Can we develop that much discipline through the "netroots" alone?  

      And what does it mean to get more Dems if we get more of the same kind of votes like today. Unless there is some enforcement of part unity on critical votes, like the Republicans do, then it won't matter if we have 45 Dems or 49 Dems or 51 Dems in the Senate.  Why are Dems who vote against the party, and weaken it, rewarded with Committee Leadership roles?

      Unless things change in the Senate and the House, then electing more Dems will not matter much. Sure, I agree, you get a vote for Majority Leader in the Senate or a vote for Speaker in the House, but if there is always going to be a sizable minority of your own party who will undercut the party at every critical juncture, then electing more Dems will not help much.  

      Yes, we should thank all those Senators who did stand for what is right in America. And we should continue to stand with them as they continue the fight.  

      Finally, where oh where were all those advocacy groups who raised all that money for all those years to fight exactly this battle ... you know, the one against an extremist Supreme Court nominee? I would really like to know how the Democractic Party and all its allies could have been so asleep at the wheel when they have been preparing for this moment for all these years. What did they spend all that money on? Did they bank it so they can draw interest on it so they can raise yet more money now that the stakes have become more dire?

    •  Two points (none)
      One, Germany didn't bomb Pearl Harbor.

      Two, sure the Republicans set out to win power, but look how it has corrupted them and their putatative values.  Do you really want Dems to follow their sorry example of whoring and personal attacks as a means to an end?

      Sure, let's fight the good fight.  But let's always stand for something that is true and righteous and fundamental to America's historic mission.

      Education? Teaching? NCLB? Read my book _Becoming Mr. Henry_

      by Mi Corazon on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:28:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you aren't serious (none)
        about you first point, are you?  
        you HAVE seen "Animal House", haven't you?

        you know what we need now?
        "road trip"

        "My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."

        "The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me."

      •  Turn On American Movie Classics (none)
        Animal House is on right now.  The "Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor" scene should be on at 12:40 or so EST.

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:04:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Ok. (4.00)
    Many Americans sense that our government has been bought and paid for by powerful interests with deep pockets. They sense that our government's priorities are being dictated by something other than the public interest.

    They are right.

    Republican leaders in Washington have deliberately and shamelessly built a money-for-influence machine unlike anything our democracy has ever endured. Many Democrats have spoken out about this Republican culture of corruption over the past months and years. But today our party takes a giant step forward -- with a single voice, we demand sweeping reform.

    Right now in Washington our leaders in the House and Senate are unveiling the Honest Leadership & Open Government Act -- a set of specific reforms that will completely change business as usual in Washington. Democrats in the House and Senate are united behind this legislation, which aims to fulfill a specific promise: to return power to the American people.

    Change in Washington requires more than the support of Democrats in Congress or Republicans scrambling to save face. Making real change will require an outpouring of support for that change by ordinary Americans. Democrats across the country and in the halls of Congress must speak with a single voice.

    Please join the demand for honest leadership on this historic day:

    http://www.democrats.org/...

    It's not just Washington that needs a change.

    I am writing to you from Ohio, where this morning I stood with Democratic state legislators demanding the same honesty and accountability in a state where Republican officials have defrauded the public and infected everything from the budget to the voting process with cronyism and corruption.

    Our work together building the Democratic Party in all 50 states will ensure that we have a potent, organized political force making the case for clean government everywhere.

    The first step is to get everyone you know who is ready to say, "enough is enough" on board. Sign on to the demand for honest leadership and get the message out in your community:

    http://www.democrats.org/...

    This fight will not end today, and this demand will not go away. Every single Democrat in Congress will be pressing for this reform legislation, and everyone from governors to mayors to challengers running against incumbent Republicans will be carrying the banner of change.

    Today Democrats across the country are united on the way forward. But as we head into this election year, there is one thing you should remember.

    This legislation won't change anything for those elected leaders who have already demonstrated that they will break the law in their quest for money and power. One Republican leader has already pleaded guilty to bribery, another has been indicted for money laundering, and still more are under investigation.

    We need a higher standard for all of our elected leaders. But when it comes to Republicans who have already broken the law, we need to clean house.

    Let's do it together.

    Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

    There's always the case for another draft.

    by theleftknew on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:29:35 PM PST

    •  I was thinking (none)
      as I tried to figure out what we can do next, that maybe the only thing worth supporting right now is Dean's 50-state approach.  I'm not so sure the DSCC matters as much right now as Dean taking the money to the grassroots.  Where else could I feel good about putting some dollars to work?  I'm not sure.  But I also think if we stay home from the polls or vote for some stellar third-party candidate in November the republican majority will only grow.  
      •  Creepy (none)

         Looks like Howard Dean and 25 lonely people in Washington, D.C., are the only Democrats left in a country of 280 million (oh, and us).

         BenGoshi
        ___________________

        We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

        by BenGoshi on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:03:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Dean and $$ (none)
        I heard on the news yesterday that dems were upset at Mr. Dean because he had only raised $5 million, versus the rethugs $35 mil.  They laid the blame squarely at Mr. Dean's feet.  What's up with that?

        I'm torn between getting a Democracy Bond or not.  I want to help Mr. Dean, but these dems that didn't stand up yesterday don't need to get a dime of it.  Should I put my money with Mr. Dean or contribute locally?

  •  I signed up here... (4.00)
    http://www.nedlamont.com

    I encourage all fellow nutmeggers (and non-; we are a big tent) to jump on board the primary challange to Joe Lieberman!

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ---George Orwell -6.63; -6.51

    by TheKickingDonkey on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:30:03 PM PST

  •  Door Number 4 (2.00)
    I'll take door number four, thank you.
    4) Fight like hell to create an alternative to the Democrats and take as many people with you as you can, because the Dems are sure not gonna do anything in YOUR lifetime.
    •  er, and a TBA third party will? (3.80)

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:34:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I AM a Democrat (4.00)
      Tell ME I'm not going to do anything in my lifetime why don't you?

      You missed the point, dude.  We're in a political system, because of the constitution, that means we're pretty much a two party system.  You can talk third party all you want, but I see this:

      "I'll support a third party"=Don't count on me to do the work that will actually improve our country.

      Two games in town, us and the Repubs.  Generally I hate the sentiment, but it's not against the big tent philosophy, and in terms of American electoral politics, it's the harsh reality: either you're with us, or you're against us.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Constitution?!?!? (none)
        You tell me where in the Constitution it says anything about two parties and I'll dine on crow.

        And anyhoo - I said that the new movement will absolutely NOT be a third party - it will be the Dems replacement.

        •  It Doesn't (4.00)
          But we're not a parliamentary system, so it's always going to be parties that can get a majority or near majority, and game theory or political experience or whatever else you want to consult will show you that it's always going to come down to two parties.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:48:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But (none)
            Majority of people could vote Green. Then what? Hear Dems whine? Most likely. America needs new ideas. We're using what was used in the early 20th century. Let's enter the 21st century with new parties.

            It doesn't come down to 2 parties. It comes down to 2 Presidential candidates. I, personally, think that parties are unconsitutional.

            A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

            by Tux on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:29:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But (none)
              A majority of people could evolve gills. Then what?

              If you think that a President can get a damn thing done without coordination and cooperation with a bloc of partisans, you don't know thing #1 about politics.

              And please show me the section of the Constitution that prohibits political parties. I'll grant you that our first president was no fan of them, but to suggest that parties are unconstitutional is an astounding assertion.

              Don't mourn: organize.

              by Malacandra on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:21:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Two Party System (none)
          It says nothing in the Constitution about two parties, but the effect of the electoral college is to eliminate any power that a third party would have. In the last century there were many third party attempts, Ross Perot being the most recent. He got a lot of votes. He got zero electoral votes.

          All a third party can do is weaken one of the other parties. In this case, it would be the Democrats that would become weaker. That would make the Republicans stronger.

          And just how would you manage to get a majority in a 3rd party? You either have to have a really hot issue, a charismatic leader, or you have to have a large tent to include those with many issues. Figure you won't get all the Democrats to switch, otherwise it just becomes the D2 party, just like the old one. How would you get all the so called independents? They are all over the map. Would you attract Republicans to your new party? Doing so might require some positions that would alienate disaffected Dems.

          For all the work it would take to get a 3rd party going with no guarentee of success, it would be easier to fix the Democratic party. And success is the key. No leader is going to leave the Democrats without a better chance of success than they already have. There are a lot of 3rd parties in the wilderness. None of them amount to anything. And no one with the money it takes to create a new party is going to invest in such a fools errand.

          A President in his own league. The Bush League!

          by Tuba Les on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:01:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bull Moose (none)
            If Teddy Roosevelt couldn't win as a third party candidate, no one ever will.  It's that simple.  
          •  How? (none)
            The Republicans replaced the Whigs practically overnight because the Whigs had become irrelevant.  The Republicans were more than just abolitionists - in fact most of them were not abolitionist at all.  The party was created from three major groups.  Business elites who wanted tariff protections and government support, farmers who wanted free/cheap lands, and people with some degree of opposition to slavery.

            There is no question that the Democratic Party is unable to represent progressive viewpoints in an increasingly polarized political climate.  Despite what some suggest, I don't see progressives taking over the Republican Party if they can't do it in the Democratic Party.  

            Here is a hypothetical - If enough core progressive walk from the Dems they will constitute the first segment - this would parallel the business groups in the Whigs moving over to the Republicans.  A second group would emerge from the 50% of those feeling that the current system offers no real choice - not huge, maybe 15% but in parallel with the farmers.  The third group would be those true conservatives who are aghast at the growth of government spending and power - ideological like the abolitionists.  Provided that the new party stressed decentralized, small government - it is not an impossibility.

            I just want to suggest that there ARE options to staying around on the poop deck of the Titanic.

            •  Nonsense! (none)
              "If enough core progressive walk from the Dems"

              10% of all voters

              "A second group would emerge from the 50% of those feeling that the current system offers no real choice"

              Most of them are just uninterested. Of course Kerry was better than Bush. At most 10% of all non-voters.

              "The third group would be those true conservatives who are aghast at the growth of government spending and power - ideological like the abolitionists"

              Would clash with our social agenda of ending tax cuts for the rich. If they supported Bush, and almost every conservative did, they won't join your progressive party. At most 5% of all voters.

              25% - there's your roof. Good luck in destroying America.

              GOP: 17th century values, 21st century marketing.

              by Joe B on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:37:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sure (none)
              The Republicans DID replace the Whigs, 145 years ago. And it was at a time of civil war. I hope we don't need that much upheaval to make changes in our society.

              You can try for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it's all shiny and bright. But it's an illusion. Put the energy into making the changes within the system we have.

              A President in his own league. The Bush League!

              by Tuba Les on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:19:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wish I could give you a 10 (none)
            Thank God there are rational human beings out there...

            That 3rd party crap is a kool-aid fantasy. Ain't gonna happen. Ever.

            GOP: 17th century values, 21st century marketing.

            by Joe B on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 02:31:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Why aren't you talking about a new (none)
          Democratic party?

          About infusing the existing structure with new life?   Why are you talking about killing (replacing, ok ok whatever) something instead of leading it out of danger?

          I don't understand who you think has control or why you think we have so much time.  

          Public servants belong to the public.  Take ownership.
           

          •  Why? (none)
            Because a large segment of us Democrats who have walked, phoned, donated, canvassed, etc., etc. for years and years see no chance for change given the status quo.

            The Democratic Party CANNOT be changed from within.  Its inertia is too great.

            But a new party cannot emerge without the old one's demise.  Therefore the best thing a progressive can do is to leave.

            •  OK. (4.00)
              How long to change one party from within?

              How long to change an entire Republic's political system?

              Or is urgency an important part of your equation?  
              Can the suffering just wait while you kill (demise ok ok uh huh) the "old one"?

              This is not about the leaders.  This is about the people and the planet. They are suffering. There is no time for your party.

              •  Time (none)
                The Republican Party was formed in 1854 - almost won the presidential election in 1856 and did so in 1860.  I'd say two to six years is a whole lot better than the Dems record.  If time is of essence, then it is even more important to form a new alternative.
                •  Yes, I see now (4.00)
                  that you are well prepared to tackle the political complexities of modern American government.
                  •  Oh, Really (none)
                    You know what I love about this weblog - the ignorant people who use ad hominem attacks rather than debate the merits of an argument or the lack thereof.  Doesn't make you all that different from Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.

                    Now if you were to say that the the situation is fundamentally different from the 1850s - based upon a., b., and c. than I might be able to have a civil discussion with you.  But obviously, you don't have the least ability to do so.

                    If you are so gifted, then explain how it is that the recent 2005 Pew Study of American Political Opinion identified the liberal segment as the largest of its 9 divisions - nearly 20% of registered voters - yet it is the liberals/progressives who have to belly up to a DLC party.  On the other hand, the comparable group among conservatives is only 11%, yet they bring other groups into their general ideological framework.

                    Numerous other surveys identify a sizeable segment of the American public as liberal/progressive; yet, this group has the least political leverage in the current American political continuum.  In fact, over the past 25 years, the political continuum has shifted rightward despite the size of the liberal/progressive segment.  Whew boy!  The progressives have had a whole generation of success within the Democratic Party.

                    The reason - the structure of the party.  By the time most Democrats reach any level of influence within the party, they have become politically socialized as Republican Lites in order to reduce individual political risk.  Given that the liberal/progressive base makes up about half of the Dem Party, they would almost immediately eclipse the leftover Dems.  Some of the social conservatives might move into the Republican fold, but the progressives would hold onto the liberal base, retain most minority support, regain apolitical moderates who are looking towards leadership and an optimistic program, plus even a few traditional conservatives who are aghast at the scope and spending of the current version of the Republicanism - not to mention energizing a huge segment of people currently opting out of the system.

                    But I fear that I am tossing pearls to swine.

          •  Because at this point... (none)
            ...it'd be like hiring an interior decorator for the Titanic when it was already bow-down at a 45 degree angle.

            You can either get off the ship and find another, or you can pretend it's not sinking till the seas close over your head and you become completely irrelevant.

            "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross" - Sinclair Lewis

            by Loboguara on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:17:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not a two-party system in congress (none)
        I'll take a Senate full of Jeffordses and Weickers over a Senate full of Libermans and Landrieus any day. And yes, I would still vote for the Democrat in presidential elections if I lived in a swing state.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

        by expatjourno on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:13:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not necessarily (none)
        >>that means we're pretty much a two party system.  You can talk third party all you want, but I see this:

        "I'll support a third party"=Don't count on me to do the work that will actually improve our country.

        Two games in town, us and the Repubs. <<

        This isn't necessarily true.  If enough of us leave the Democratic party collapses and if we go to the Green Party at the same time we can pull off the same trick that the non-corrupt Whig party members pulled off in the 1850s as they left the moribund Whig party for the Republican party (though in 1848 it was the Republican forerunner, The Free Soil Party).

        "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." - Thomas Paine

        by Mister Gloom on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:19:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To Green or Not To Green (none)
          Actually, the Free Soil party was NOT the forerunner of the Republicans - at least not organizationally.  It is an important distinction for the similar situation we face today.

          The Greens have an admirable platform and have worked tireless for noble causes as did the Free Soil Party - but they are fundamentally a third party with a third-party ideology and outlook.  And with a third-party perception by the American public.

          The people who post about the U.S. being a two-party system are absolutely correct.  That is why it is essential for those leaving the Democratic Party to creat a NEW, broad-based party - one built around the progressive wing, not the DLC.

          Progressives are the heart and soul of the Dem Party - do all the work - offer much if not most of the financial support.  The Dem party won't last long after we leave and then it will be a two-party system again.  Repugs and Progs.

      •  Wrong (none)
        Consitution doesn't mention political parties at all. Not one word. People have that perception due to the electorial college for Presidential elections. It's a false view because the electorial college doesn't influence any other election. Thus, we can have 3rd parties run and win in elections. Republicans and Democrats were both 3rd parties at one time. Now, we need replacements since both have sold us out for money.

        A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

        by Tux on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:27:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not the constitution - the voting system (none)
        It's true, the fix is in. But it's not in the constitution. We've changed voting systems before, we can do it again - in fact, because of the electoral college, we can do it on a state-by-state basis. IRV or VOTE-123 could be implemented in-state, and vows & fines on the electors could force them to play out an IRV-type process in the electoral college. Translation: you vote your real choices, in order of preference; when they count the votes they use a simple, logical system to see who is preferred by a majority. Bingo, it stops starving the oxygen from the third parties.

        Yes, it is possible for a coordinated minority to take over the democrats, and push the democrats to a majority, and that would improve our country. But it would still be a minority running things, just as it is now, and how do you know there wouldn't be just as much hubris (instead of invading Iraq and tapping your phone, outlaw gasoline and guns... or whatever)? The right solution is real democracy - and that means voting reform, which could happen in 20 cities by 2008, in 5 states by 2010, and in over half the country by 2012 - a much shorter time scale than taking over the democrats and driving a majority in all 4 branches of government (counting media). It took the Republicans, what, 28 years or something to get all the pieces in place.

    •  In US, parties are coalitions (4.00)
      What you are saying would make sense if the US had a parliamentary system, in which power can be held by a coalition government. However, the winner-takes-all executive branch defined by our constitution effectively means that in the US political parties function as coalitions. And these are coalitions that must be formed before the election, not after.

      So go ahead and form a group of like minded people. But don't make it a political party. That's pointless. Instead, make it a group that promotes a particular kind of Democratic candidate.

      . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

      by realitybased on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:49:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Electoral reform (none)
        You're right, the system is built to squash third parties. But you're wrong, it wouldn't take rewriting the constitution from scratch (to be parliamentary) to fix it. There are three possibilities: form the coalitions only before the election (plurality vote, our system), form them after (parliamentary), or form them before the election and/or during the vote counting (preferential vote - IRV or VOTE-123 [aka Condorcet]).
        •  Electoral reform good, but not a complete answer (none)
          I advocate electoral reform, and I'm a fan of Condorcet voting in particular. But Condorcet voting  does not have the effect of a coalition government. Once the election is over, the winner has no obligation to honor the policies of losers, even those losers who were preferred by a large number of voters that ultimately elected the winner. A true coalition government is subject to fracture at any time, and the smaller parties in the coalition have some leverage in crafting policy.

          . . . solutions emerge from [our] judicious study of discernible reality.

          by realitybased on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 08:45:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Let us know when you start your blog then (none)
      not that I'll notice your absence around here much.

      Anything's possible with Commander Cuckoo Bananas in charge. -Homer J. Simpson

      by Cheez Whiz on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:51:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We must stay and fight for a (4.00)
    better Democratic Party!!

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:32:54 PM PST

    •  Yup. (4.00)
      I am banking on the success of a re-habbed established party (from the ground up) instead of giving up on it. Because, you see, I have a short attention span. THis is the quickest, best way.

      Starting in November!

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:36:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Attention Span (none)
        Well, I have a long attention span - thirty years - and as Janet Jackson would say (Not that I APPROVE of wardrobe malfunctions), "What have the Dems doen for me, lately?"  Isn't thirty years long enough?

        I suspect that this November will just be more of the same - perhaps a few more DLC Republican Lites - but nothing of substance.  The Democrats have been in retrograde for over a generation.

        Hasn't anybody considered the notion that the American public will vote for real Republicans over imitation Republicans every time?  I would think it obvious, but the Democratic leadership - and I include Dean in that group - just keeps playing the same tune.

    •  Fight for Electoral Reform... (none)
      ....that undercuts the two party system.

      Fight for IRV or Condorcet Voting.

      Fight for the right of political parties to cross-endorse.

      Fight for proportionate representation schemes that give small third parties a seat at the table.

      Fight for third party and independent candidates at the local level.

      Sure, fight to develop a progressive movement within the Democratic Party.

      But be realistic. As long as they can take your vote for granted, they will.

  •  i do love the poll... (none)
    its like one of those "does your mother know you're a wanker?" questions...

    You can lead an elephant to water but you can't make 'em think.

    by bill in wa on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:34:51 PM PST

  •  My dad used to always say ... (4.00)
    "Hell, I've seen worse."

    It used to really wake the wind out of my sails, but it was true.

    And right now, even though all this might be new to us, it's all happened before, at least to some extent.

    We have to survive and thrive to fight it. I'm not giving it up! And I am so very glad that I had a father who used to say "Ah, shit, you ain't seen nothin'!" when I would get in a dither --- and he would then proceed to outline things which, admittedly, I couldn't even quite believe at the time, they were so awful. But I believe them now.

    Paraphrasing MB, we may have lost the battle, but we sure haven't lost the war. And it's only because of people who refuse to give up, who believe in human dignity and who are willing to become even tougher in the face of temporary defeat and big challenges that we have anything at all.

    You put the rica in esoterica --- rasbobbo
    Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk

    by cookiebear on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:36:20 PM PST

    •  My Dad always said (4.00)
      "You ain't seen nothin' yet" too. Saved it for when it mattered most and hit you between the eyes. He would be pissed today, but he would have been prepared. He wouldn't give up because he knew, and taught me well, you must look at the big picture. This is a battle, a hell of a battle, that we lost. But that by no means says the war is over.

      "If you're going through hell, keep going". -Winston Churchill

      by One bite at a time on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:06:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and my papi used to say (none)
        you never, ever stop fighting - win or lose, no matter what.  modify your agenda when necessary, but you will not give up.  Democrats don't quit.
        •  My papi said... (none)
          You still crying? You don't shup up and I'll give you something to cry about.

          My papi. Piece of work. I love the old codger.

          Yours was much nicer.

          •  what (none)
            is this about, Christin? it's late and I'm tired.  what am I missing?
            •  hmmmm. (4.00)
              Well. You posted something inspiring your Dad said.

              And then I posted something my Dad really to used to say to me all the time.

              And I thought what my Father said pretty much summed  up the whole day/night here at DK on this sad day. As bad as the cloture vote was, it could get worse.

              Ergo. My comment.

              Go to sleep. :-) I'm working all night to get a presenation done that's due in the morning, so I don't have the luxory as bad as I need it.

              •  ahh! sorry about that (4.00)
                after 20 minutes of reading the most useless, attention-seeking rambings of a drama queen I've seen yet, I'm numb.  thank you for the explanation.

                your dad was right.  it can just about always get worse.

                good luck with your presentation. :)

                •  If anything... (2.33)
                  I've just witnessed the most textbook case of a nascisstic, passive agressive, manipulative personality disorder played out online that I've even come across. If you view it from that perspective, it's utterly facinating.

                  Livia Soprano (you have to watch The Soprano's to see how true this comparison is), meet your competition.  

                  Amusing I would have to say. Don't dream about this crap either. :-)

                  •  that, too (4.00)
                    all of the above. so ugly, but yes, it is amusing.

                    I'm sorry that you were low-rated for having DA NOIVE to disagree. if I had been able to get here earlier, I'd be in the same place.  thank you for speaking up. :)

                    •  first off...i am so tired now I want to die. (2.50)
                      I can't see the keyboard. I can't type. I can't think. But that's neither here nor there.
                      Second, it is facinating. Because I used to see my  S.O'ls mother pull this crap on the SO. And he had NO idea what she was doing. The pattern is exactly the same: Instigate, Prod, Push and Pull; Then cry when she was called on it. Then make it all about her and say everyone is being MEAN. Then he would wind up complimenting her for something and feeding her ego and saying I"m sorry when he did nothing wrong. It drove me insane. Men. So clueless. So to see it played out here cracks me up. It's so transparent it just cracks me up. In a good way of course.  One post in particular today...I swear, his mother wrote it. Wah. You HATE me and you're MEAN to ME and why oh god why............

                      wow. Alls I know is it's so gotta suck to need the internets to validate yourself like that. It's just so got to suck the big one.

                      Oh god. I'm so tired.

                      •  Ack (none)
                        I tend to agree.

                        I was so angry for so long after the invasion of Iraq --- and so politically naive --- that I found ranting and raving for ranting and raving's sake fairly soothing.

                        But I got over it. The troubling thing for me about it is it isn't leading anywhere --- it would be one thig if I saw these outbursts of anger, then some kind of resolution and steps forward. But that's not what I see. Instead, intellectually and emotionally, it feels like someone randomly throwing M80s into a crowd just to get a reaction.

                        You put the rica in esoterica --- rasbobbo
                        Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk

                        by cookiebear on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 07:31:55 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Hollywood Oz (none)
                  what's up with down-rating Christin?  

                  ::lightbulb::

                  now THAT is childish, Hollywood Oz.  I defended you a few days ago because I believe you have the right to your opinion, whether it's a popular opinion or not.  same applies for everyone here.

                  please stop the vendetta ratings.

  •  Right, we'll continue to fight (4.00)
    even here in Idaho, where just this week in Lemhi County, the largest and most sparsely populated county in the state, we formed a progressive council to build a grassroots network to join the fight to take back our country.

    "As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a  responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level."
    -Senator Paul Wellstone

    •  Damn, If People Can Do It In IDAHO... (none)
      ...what's stopping people from getting involved just about anywhere else?

      Thanks, great example.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:42:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey (none)
      I thought Camas County was still the least populated. Does that mean so many Blaine County folks can't afford to live there anymore that they've actually chosen Fairfield? Heh. Go Mushers.

      Next time I'm in your neck of the woods, I'll give a heads up. I'd love to come to one of your council meetings.

      "I have a philosophy about elections. I believe issues divide and values unite."--Gov. Brian Schweitzer

      by Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:13:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This (none)
      is what it's all about. This is how we take back America.
  •  There will be a fight tomorrow (4.00)
    And one the day after tomorrow.  And probably one every day from now until Election Day.  Today was not the end of all things, even if it felt like it.  So put on your brass knuckles for tomorrow, people.

    I, for starters, will be calling Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes to thank them.

    You must understand, Preston, that...it is not the message that is important, it is our obedience to it. -- DuPont, "Equilibrium"

    by DH from MD on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:41:33 PM PST

  •  We don't need more Democrats... (none)
    ...we need fewer Republicans. Yes, I know that in the presidential vote third parties get screwed by the electoral college. That's not, however, true of Senate and House races. I'll take a Senate full of Lowell Weickers over a Senate full of Joes Biden and Lieberman any day of the week.

    As a practical matter, a well-funded, liberal independent might even be able to win a plurality in some states and districts where the conservative vote is split between Republican and Vichy Democratic candidates. Moreover, it's people like Biden and Lieberman who make it look like the Democratic patry doesn't stand for anything.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    by expatjourno on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:42:30 PM PST

  •  We are in a position to transform the Democratic.. (4.00)
    Party into a truly Progressive Party. We have developed the infrastructure via the blogosphere to organize a concerted effort to remake the party into the true heir of FDR's legacy. Howard Dean would not have become DNC chairman without our active and vocal support. Now Progressives must move to the next stage and push hard to replace Liebermanites with true Progressives over the next two years, so that by 2008 the Democratic Party will be a true Progressive Alternative to the corrupt GOP. We can do it, we simply need the resolve to continue the fight and achieve a reorientation of the Democratic Party and the nation as a whole. Get Progressive Democrats elected in Primaries, get Democrats elected in General Elections, and make clear to all Democrats that if they collaborate with the GOP they will face the wrath of progressives in the next election cycle.  

    "We Need To Find Courage...Overcome...Inaction Is A Weapon Of Mass Destruction..."(Faithless "Mass Destruction")

    by DanceboyOH on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:42:47 PM PST

    •  Wait a Minute (none)
      We are in position to take over the Democratic Party??!!??

      Right. Universal health care is just around the corner.  And almost all Dems support it.
      Democratic proposals in the 1970s were way in front of anything today.
      Right. Jobs, wages, and pensions are growing by leaps and bounds and wealth is more evenly distributed than ever.
      Democratic proposals in the 1970s were way in front of anything today.
      Right. The power ot the president to engage the United States in illegal wars has been curtailed.
      Democratic proposals in the 1970s were way in front of anything today.

      The Democratic Party is so far behind where it was in 1975 it isn't even funny.

      •  And that is why... (4.00)
        Progressives have to actively work to take it back over and bring it up to date. It's much more realistic to achieve a Progressive America by using a party that exists than to try and create the wheel over again and spend several decades as a third party with maybe a few seats here and there.

        We can either just sit around and complain about how the Democratic leadership has no backbone and grow more and more frustrated, or we can collectively show backbone ourselves and reform the party from within into a truly Progressive political movement.

        "We Need To Find Courage...Overcome...Inaction Is A Weapon Of Mass Destruction..."(Faithless "Mass Destruction")

        by DanceboyOH on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:04:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  ALL great movements . . . (none)

         . . . started with just a few people and an idea.  The noble ones and the horrific ones.

         Abraham and his little tribe started the world's oldest continuing religion; Buddha was one man, and so was Confucious -- their two religions (which, between the two of them) dominate a third to a half of the world's population.  Jesus and 12 followers, or, perhaps more aptly, Paul:  just one relentlessly dedicated man.  Mohammad.

         The Founders of the U.S. were a band of gentlemen farmers, lawyers, brewmasters (Sam Adams -- God love 'im!), and silversmiths (Paul Revere) who threw off the yoke of, at the time, the world's mightiest empire.  

         Ghandi.  Rosa Parks, MLK, SNIC.  The GOP was pretty much written off by the early-, mid-60s.

         And, of course, there are the Darker Organizers.  I need not name them.  

         Point is, these people started movements that shook history, and they started with a LOT LESS than the numbers and resources and connections than we have here at Daily Kos.

         So take heart.

         BenGoshi
        _________________

           

        We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

        by BenGoshi on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:17:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some wanker like Alito (4.00)
    make me give up? Ha- I'm just getting started. I read MB's diary with gratitude ( and your comment DH) for the perspective, wisdom and maturity. You are the Democratic Party and I'll never give it up! We have to fight harder.

    Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought- John F. Kennedy

    by vcmvo2 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:42:50 PM PST

  •  Fight the Vichy "democrats" (none)
    Yes, support Ned Lamont against Lieberman.  But don't forget the other Liebermen (and Lieberwomen).

    Maria Cantwell, another vichy dem from a blue state, has a primary challenger that looks pretty damn good to this mossback: Mark Wilson.

    Check out his website, and consider supporting him, for the same reasons you want to stick it to Joe-mentum.

    http://www.votemark.org/

  •  We need to elect more Democrats to office... (none)
    ...so they can what?

    • Give us NAFTA III
    • End AFDC as we know it?
    • Not use the filibuster on the next SCOTUS nominee (which may as well be Rush Limbaugh, for all the Dems can do about it)?
    • Whine about the Iraq war while supporting the Iran war?
    • Continue to tell the progressive wing of their party to shut up and send money?

    The conservatives of the GOP sent a message to their party in 1996.  They stayed home and let Clinton win.  Their party listened to them, and they are in the majority today, just 10 years later.  They own all three branches of government, and have a blow-up doll for an opposition party.

    It's time for the progressives to sit at home for an election cycle or two.  Let the Democrats go to a 75-25 minority in the Senate, and let them go down by 100+ in the House.  

    This is the only thing that the party leadership understands, and apparently the only thing that the office holders themselves understand.  Progressives can bitch all they want, they can FAX, e-mail and call all they want.  Look what it got us today.

    So...here are the choices:

    1. Elect more Democrats to office, regardless of their principles, and buy a lot of KY jelly.  BOHICA

    2. Let the DLC, Republican-lite bastards lose (like the Religious Reich did to the GOP in 1996) and let them come to us.

    3. Leave the party and go to the Greens.  Imagine how they might listen to the progressives if one Green senator could be elected.  Or a dozen.

    The choice is yours, but I'm willing to bet that the DLC (and the GOP trolls) are out getting some gift certificates for KY for us.
    •  WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH (4.00)
      That's the sound of the point of this post flying over your head.

      Don't like those Democrats?

      Take over the party, win primaries, and get people who reflect our values.  It's what the conservatives did with the Repub party.

      And I won't even engage in your BS about "The Democrats" and Iraq, becuase a majority of Dems voted against the IWR.

      And your theory is ludicrous, as anyone knows who's study a little Central European history of the early-to-mid 20th century.

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:51:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "What're we spoze to do, ya mo-RON?" (4.00)
        Don't waste your breath. Fair weather friends will leave no matter what we do, so let's focus on more important things.

        Street Prophets: where the cookies live now...

        by pastordan on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:03:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I see reading isn't your stong point. (none)
        Otherwise you would have seen my option #2: Let the DLC, Republican-lite bastards lose (like the Religious Reich did to the GOP in 1996) and let them come to us.

        Of course, this scares the establishment in the party.  They have a nice, comfy relationship with the corporate lobbyists.  They've been playing the progressives in the party for nearly 16 years, and it's a good game.  

        The Progressives in this party are in about the same position as the Christian conservatives were with the GOP in 1988.  They came out in droves in support of Pat Robertson, and he came in second in Iowa.  Of course the Dole and Bush supporters put an end to that at the county convention level, and those newly minted CC voters had their ass handed to them.

        Over the next 8 years they worked to take over the grass roots of the party.  They had the activists at the state & local level who could deliver votes, and they pushed their operatives into positions of power at all levels of the party.

        In 1996, Bob Dole and Haley Barbour ignored the CC delegates who pushed through a very conservative platform.  In response the CC voters stayed home and let Clinton win.

        Think about it.  They let their worst enemy, the Devil personified, someone they thought was destroying the country, win the election for President.  They took the long term view, knowing that the country could weather 4 more years of what they saw as Clinton's destructive policies, and they sent one hell of a message to the GOP.

        The result?  Dubyah and his overt embrace of the CC side of the party.  They carried him to victory not once but twice.  They expanded the GOP majority in both houses of Congress.

        And they will be paid for their efforts tomorrow.

        The question is simple.  Do the Progressives have the courage of their beliefs to let the Democratic Party take one in the nads in order to move the party to the left.  If not, they are the gutless wonders that the DLC thinks they are.

        If so, the people like you have a LOT to fear in the coming months.

        •  Nah, I Can't Read (none)
          That's why I see your "solution" to be warmed-over Naderism.  

          The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

          by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:09:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Warmed over Naderism - right (none)
            LOL...and tell me, what did DLC pragmatism get us today?

            Go ahead and play your fear based games.  They don't work anymore.  More and more people are seeing through it.  

            • "We have to rally, and dig in, and support our candidates so we can get more Democrats in the Senate."

            • "Never give up!  Never say die!"

            • "Vote progressive in the primaries, but Democratic in the general election."

            In other words, progressives should STFU, bend over and take one in the butt, once again, for the party.

            Sorry, but a lot of folks are doing what I've done.  We're pulling up stakes.  The Democrats gave us NAFTA, welfare reform, and haven't had the balls to stand up to the GOP for the past 13 years.

            What are we going to get if we vote the Dems in power?  NAFTA III?  Are we going to get a group of Senators who suddenly grow cajones and stand up to Bush?  Or will the traitorous 19 jump the fence again, and again, and again?

    •  Rather than sit back and let the party implode... (4.00)
      Promote change in the party. Help the Progressive grassroots take control of the party, one House and Senate seat at a time. Support Progressive contenders in primaries. Attack collaborationist Democratic congresspeople for exactly what they are.

      Dean is head of the DNC because of the active support of Progressive grassroots supporters. It was the first step to transforming the party into a true Progressive party. Why wait 6, 12, 18 years for the party to change if by actively promoting change we can change it in 2-4 years.

      "We Need To Find Courage...Overcome...Inaction Is A Weapon Of Mass Destruction..."(Faithless "Mass Destruction")

      by DanceboyOH on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:58:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gift Certificates to KY? (none)
      I just love Kentucky.  The horses, the bluegrass, the bourbon.  That is awfully nice of then to offer us such a nice trip.  I'll be sure to thank them.
    •  Perfect (none)
      Since they only agree with Republicans and, Deity forbid, fight for anything, I say people should use protest votes: vote for a 3rd party. Green, Libertarian (if you like fascism), Communist, Socialist, whatnot. It will let both parties know that no everyone is happy with the parties. I emailed DNC about my concerns and I only get a responce when I tell them that I prefer the Greens. if it wasn't for money in elections, we're actually have representation instead of corproate shrills.

      A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

      by Tux on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:34:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't understand the desire to leave the party (4.00)
    This appointment sucks.  Alito is not a good guy.  He will adversely affect people's lives for years to come, but you and Meteor Blades are right.  

    This isn't our darkest hour-not by a long shot.  FDR sent American citizens to camps.  I can barely wrap my head around that.  American citizens.  Sent to internment camps.  I know how and why it happened, but I always end up thinking about it rhetorically: "How the fuck did that happen?  Seriously, how the fuck did that happen?"  

    And what would've happened if people left the Democratic party then?

    These struggles aren't new.  People have always been fighting for freedom, choice, and equality.  The Democratic party has done some evil things and some fine things.  None of the fine things were achieved without struggle and sacrifice.  

  •  I'm Not (4.00)
    I'm not giving up in any way, shape or form, in fighting for the Democratic Party, but I sure as hell am done working for Dems who don't respect and fight for traditional Democratic principles and causes. Dems like Jeff Bingaman, who has a massive war chest for his 2006 election, no serious Repub competition and a shoe-in incumbent run. He voted for cloture. Granted he is voting against Alito, but what possible reason could he have for refusing to stand and fight?

    The excuse he gave? A filibuster couldn't win, and the Senate needs to return to its important work.

    I am working with many others here and across the nation to BECOME the Democratic Party and work to get candidates running who are real Dems, not sometimes Dems who take the least line of resistance way too often.

    We have to oust the entrenched Dems who listen only to pollsters and big donors. Out out out!

  •  Hear, Hear (none)
    I have been saying that one vital thing we must do is define our own narrative, and this is the story we need to tell.  WE fought the good fight, and though we did not win the battle, we did organize a much stronger resistance than was expected.  In the future we can, and will do more and better.  I truly believe that what America is looking for is progressives that will fight.  The polarization of America today is between those who think fighters are more important and those who think policy is more important.  Were the Democrats to seize the position of fighting Dems, as we have started to do, we will soon be able to claim victory.
  •  Excellent DH (4.00)

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:56:39 PM PST

  •  Goddammit, DHinMI (4.00)
    Much as my inner child, kicking and screaming, (I'm actually having to sit on the little fucker to keep him from climbing the walls) hates to admit it, I have to agree. And to say, "Well spoken", as well.

    Thank you.

    -8.0, -7.03 don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:57:53 PM PST

  •  Germans (4.00)
     
    I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

    We're just the guys to do it.

    Options 1 and 2 are equally as important, if you ask me. Work to change both parties. Write nice letters to Republicans who show honor and integrity. I know, nobody's going to be getting carpal tunnel over that one, but if the occasion presents itself... When Chuck Hagel (!) starts expressing doubts as to the legality of the NSA programs, drop the boy a line saying, "Thanks for doing your job." If they get enough positive feedback, maybe they'll keep it up.
    One thing I haven't noticed even the "fraudsters" here really discuss is the possibility of election tampering in our primaries. This kind of hit me the other day. If, and I think it rather obvious that some sort of nastiness has been involved in most every election for quite some time, the Republicans have gotten very good at influencing elections nefariously, who says they only fiddle with general elections and their primaries? The general shift to the right of the Democrats might just be a continuing and deepening addiction to the corporate teat, but it could well have some other causes. Is there a reason that conservatives love their congresscritters while progressives keep banging their heads against the wall? I don't know.
    That said, we do need to hold our side to account. The hard part, of course, is finding strong progressive candidates to run. We need a good field, and we need to get behind them. I am thrilled by the fact that there will be a Democrat running in every Kentucky district, as well as some other states. We're getting a decent start.
    It's going to be a nasty, dirty, knock-down street brawl, largely because the other side has learned that they can win by starting one if we don't fight back.
    Time to grab the tire iron and put on the sap gloves. (Dear NSA, that is metaphorically speaking.)

    Stop telling God what to do with his dice. -Niels Bohr

    by justme on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 06:59:54 PM PST

  •  Easy Answer, Difficult Task. (none)

     Kick out the DINOs, and put some (a lot of)  Democrats in office.  Somebody's got to look out for the 280 million Americans out here.

     BenGoshi
    ___________________

     

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:01:27 PM PST

  •  John Dingell.... (none)
    .....may have lacerated Bush.

    So today, perhaps simply because the enemy of my enemy is my friend, he's a friend as a matter of momentary necessity.

    But global warming is an enemy worse than Republican government. And John Dingell and Bob Byrd are quite happy to pimp any industry that raises CO2 levels as long as their local industries and constituents get 30 pieces of silver.

    Any meaningful and effective Democrat Party insurgency must be as intent on driving environmental terrorists like Dingell and Byrd out at the earliest moment when they can be replaced by environmentally responsible elected officials as it is on driving Republicans out of the House, the Senate, and the White House.

    And make no mistake, even with the fig leaf of the Endangered Species Act, John Dingell is one of the leading Environmental Terrorists in the United States today.

  •  Among the things (none)
    the Christian conservative rabid right did, too, was to cultivate young journalists. In 1978, Pat Robertson and his Christian Broadcasting Network, CBN, founded Regent University.  One of his goals was to  take the broadcasting industry and "reclaim it for Christ." They also have a law school and have used it to cultivate future Alito's.

    They began their grassroots organizing by using an already established social network ( conservative churches) of committed warriors who were accustomed to receiving marching orders from authority figures.  Convinced that they are doiing God's will, beieving that persecution is a sure sign that they are the chosen, and receiving validation form thier spiritual leaders and their interpretation of scripture, thay present quite a force.

    The game plan worked. Why does the RRM (rabid right wing media) have countless newspeople so in lockstep and unable to think for themselves?

    And it goes back to 1964 as the diary says.....look how long they have been working at this.

    What is our plan...?

  •  Maybe the tyrant will die. (none)

    MATTHEWS says Bush sometimes "glimmers" with "sunny nobility" (Hardball, 10/24/05)

    by Krush on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:04:05 PM PST

  •  Message to new Greens: (none)
    If you liked losing some elections and some votes as a Democrat, you will LOVE losing everything as a Green. Have fun!

    I HATE REPUBLICANS, HATE HATE HATE THEM!!!!!!!!! UGHHHHH [-5.50, -4.69]

    by michael1104 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:04:08 PM PST

    •  *yawn* (none)
      Beat up on the Greens all you want.  Meanwhile the Dems lose seats in Congress.

      Sooner or later the Democrats will realize that the progressives are not the problem, they are the solution.

      Democrats in 1988 (Dukakis Campaign) - Vote for me or the GOP will destroy this country.

      Democrats in 1992 (Clinton I) - Vote for me or the GOP will destroy this country.

      Democrats in 1996 (Clinton II) - Vote for me or the GOP will destroy this country.

      Democrats in 2000 (Gore) - Vote for me or the GOP will destroy this country.

      Democrats in 2004 (Kerry) - Vote for me or the GOP will destroy this country.

      Democrats in January 2006 - We voted to help the GOP.

      Democrats in November 2006 - Vote for us or the GOP will destroy this country.

      All the ranting about the differences between the GOP and Democrats (abortion/repro freedom, environment, civil rights, separation of powers, corporate dominance, economic justice) went down the toilet today.

      So please, save your Green bashing for those stupid enough to believe you.  The party fucked us today.  Now you want sloppy seconds.

      •  Getting a "4" (none)
        Ya notice how the folks who say the Democrats can't do jack anymore aren't getting any "4s"?

        Oh well, my feelings ain't hurt.

        You know, when I read the Green Platform I find myself going, "Yep, Right, Absolutely, Yep."  I wonder if some of these hostile KOSsacks might be brave enough to click onto their site - just for a quick look.  Of course, it might be contageous.

        Even so, I do not think that the Green Party is the appropriate vehicle for a progressive movement.  Just as the Free Soil party never became the Republican Party - an entirely new party is needed without an association as a marginal "third party".  Same goes for the Libertarian Party - too much associational baggage.  Plus, both parties are highly ideological and the new party needs to be broad, yet progressive.

        Who sang, "Vote for me and I'll see you free!!"
        "And the band plays on." ??

        •  There's a reason it's contagious (none)
          It's called freedom.  It's called equality.  It's called liberty.

          You don't want the Greens?  Fine...start a new party.  Build it on solid progressive principles.  Stand up in EVERY case against those who would take away our liberty in the cause of political expediency.  Shun pragmatism in favor of principle.

          Idealistic?  Perhaps, but isn't that how the modern Democratic Party began...as a party of ideals?

  •  I work in the private sector- I had started (none)
    to get involved in politics after almost 10 years away from again in 2004. The Alito vote convinced me to re-focus my life back on being in the private sector- rather than as I had thought- maybe working in the public while pursuing my creative ambitions as well. I don't expect my leaders to vote the way I always want them to vote- but I do expect them to show character. They showed it with Alito- unfortunately what they showed me was that they are lacking in it.
  •  Politically it may seem similar to 1964 (none)
    but I daresay that it feels much less so, in a practical sense.

    There have always been hidden funds and projects, poor international involvements decided in back rooms that would lead us towards even more poor public involvements (spun as threats against us all for face-saving justification), corruption for a buck, cronyism for power and hypocrisy for personal gain.  In government and the private sector.

    Yet, the privitization of our federal government is becoming severe in comparison to past years.  We have begun to institutionalize a lack of accountability and opaqueness of our government, partially by distancing those running the works from public scrutiny - even legally.  Similar distancing and protections are being granted to corporate entities, which have many of the rights of people, but now with fewer liability exposures.  Much the same with a national, relatively consolidated ownership of traditional media which has - for reasons of corruption, collusion and/or conditioning - becoming part of the firming material which is non-public ownership of everything from our elections, to our crafting of laws and now, to our interpretations of law.

    Not everything is suddenly over with Alito.  It's a result of long efforts on the part of determined, highly selfish people who happened to find intersections of purpose in their fearful and greedy zeal.  A general amplification of Goldwater conservatism to the point that much of his social emphasis was perverted for private purposes and worries, perhaps.  Regardless, fighting for fair principles is rather tough against those fighting for their own money and ability to control that money flow: such motivations tend to dominate our type of marketplace, it seems.

    I've not given up on Democrats, since they are the path of least resistance to something a bit more competent than the current crop of national Republicans.  Actually, the symbol that losing on Alito represents . . . well, I recognized the depths of our spiraling downfall years ago, but that's been obvious to any of us with open eyes.  We still have a place to focus the fight, but it's just an easier lever to a better step up - not a long-term solution.  Perhaps that's the best point to make with those who want to habitually cut and run from the Dems: baby steps are key to improvement, but nobody should delude themselves that the systemic problems built up over decades can be turned around on a dime in the next 5-10 years.

    Because, like a virulent cancer which has a high probability to re-grow, this was just another piece of unwelcome, but not unusual news for these times.  We continue the fight to overcome the cancer, but it's now even more systemic.  Still, we hope and try to live with such a condition for another day - perhaps our will to fight shall prove enough for aligning with a bright, new cure that emerges in the future.  Until then, we scrap with dignity against the ignominious foe, winning what we can.  Perhaps our own improvement in condition will line up with that bright, new cure down the road, and we'll be ready for it when it comes.

    Before the end almost hits and we go numb to it all, that is.

  •  You go to war (4.00)
    with the Democrats you have. They're not the Democrats you might want or wish to have at a later time. [sigh]

    Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

    by pontificator on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:08:19 PM PST

    •  They shoot deserters... (none)
      ..don't they?
    •  This is a superb diary, btw (4.00)
      And I am in agreement with its principles.  

      However, I am also feeling a bit worn out and impatient with these fights.  We really got slammed today.  This was a humiliating loss.  The point of this wasn;t necessarily to win (that wasn't realistically in the cards), but to put a little fear into the Repubs that the Dems are ready willing and able to throw their weight around and aggressively assert their voters' interest, even when doing so wouldn't be "popular" among the beltway cognescti.  Instead, they caved, and ended up looking weaker, IMO, then if they hadn't tried to stop Alito in the first place.  Which is why I was sighing and sarcastically quoting Rumsfeld in the comment above.

      Oh when the frogs. . Come marching in. . Oh when the FROGS COME MARCH-ING IN!

      by pontificator on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:15:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Good That Came From Today... (none)
        ...was that a lot of us can be pleased that our Senators didn't shirk a fight, and did the right thing.  Is that hollow?  Maybe.  But other than Joementum, Cantwell, Carper and the Hawaiians, none of the Dems who voted for cloture came from big or Democratic states.  So in a weird way, it was a relief to a ton of Democrats that the Senators who are responsible to them, and for whom they're partially responsible for in that they vote and volunteer and contribute to them, did the right thing.  It means that a lot of Democrats aren't mad at their Senators, and those who are mostly have good reason to be.  (I'll exempt Ben Nelson, because represents a hugely Republican state and may have a tough race, but nobody else needed to vote for this.)

        The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

        by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:31:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I worry ... (none)
        Although I am glad that there were Dems willing to stand up for what is right, I worry now that we have revealed what is such a weak hand that we most likely would have been better off had we not revealed it at all. To say that Sen. Reid had no wiggle room was an understatement, he had no hand at all.

        I'm torn now. I supported the filibuster. Unfortunately, it appears that we have such a weak hand that by revealing it, we have now emboldened the other side.  We fired and it was a dud. The other side took notice. How extreme will the next Supreme be?  

  •  I'm here (4.00)
    And I'm not going anywhere.

    Lock and Load, people. Alito was the last gasp of the Republican Party.

    The American taxpayers wouldn't object to free transportation for certain government officials if they'd go where we wish they would.

    by PatsBard on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:13:33 PM PST

  •  The first time (none)
    I never really became an acitvist before  this battle.  Sure, I had voted and contributed money and voted in online polls.  This time I called, faxed, and e-mailed.  It did not produce the results that I had hoped for.  I'm not giving up. I just got started.  

    "Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious" - 1984 - George Orwell

    by elveta on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:14:49 PM PST

  •  Caveat Victor (none)

    1. They did whatever they could to create Republican majorities.

    2. They did whatever they could to take control of the Republican party, and where possible nominate and elect conservative fellow travelers to office.

    And pretty soon the end started justifying the means, and they became the Stalinists that they hated.
  •  Thanks, DH (4.00)
    This feels like the same kind of watershed moment (not that I was even aware of anything happening in 1964). The Democratic Party does need to be rebuilt, bottom up. We're the ones who have to do it. Governor Dean recognizes that, I believe, judging by his commitment to the 50 states.

    We DO have the power. They just don't know it yet.

    "I have a philosophy about elections. I believe issues divide and values unite."--Gov. Brian Schweitzer

    by Joan McCarter on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:17:00 PM PST

  •  I am not so sure that those in our party are Dems (none)
    Why hasn't more people thought about the idea that our
    party has been delibertly infiltrated by those who are our
    ennemy?

    I want my country back!!!

    by eaglecries on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:18:38 PM PST

  •  Dems as they are now can't win (none)
    So there is no point in supporting collaborationist Dem candidates. All efforts of true Dems, as opposed to Democrats in name only, must go to making the Party represent the people again, as opposed to doing the Repugs the favor of producing the appearance that we have a two-party system.

    We must make it clear to the Dem establishment that we will no longer vote for Democrats in name only: they support the party in power when push comes to shove, so there is no point at all in doing that.

    So we must follow a two-pronged strategy: field progressive candidates to oppose collaborationist Dem candidates, and vote for third-party candidates when we are unsuccessful in getting a progressive Dem to run against the Republican rival.

    The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, but a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

    by Alexander on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:22:06 PM PST

    •  Great, More Nader Stragegizing (none)
      So are you saying the Conservatives really didn't take over the Repub party, or that they really don't control the governemt, or that it's not important to you to build a better Dem party AND at the same time gain political power?

      The revolution will not be televised, but we'll analyze it to death at The Next Hurrah.

      by Dana Houle on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:25:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not Nader strategizing (none)
        The Nader strategy is to establish a third party. The startegy I propose recognizes that the only means for reclaiming the government for the people is through the Democratic party. Thus, the organizational effort is all directed at the Dem Party. But on an individual level, it is made clear to the Dem power brokers that true Dems will not continue in their pattern of learned helplessness, continuing to vote for Dem representatives who happily go along with the Repug program once they get voted in.

        I would have expected you to object to my post, given that you are one of the main deniers of the theft of the 2004 election at dKos: thus constitutionally inclined to percieve the best course for Dems to follow as Karl Rove wishes you to see it.

        The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, but a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

        by Alexander on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:35:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I fully support prong #1, and shake my head at #2 (none)
      When a Democrat loses to a Republican, all other Democrats will think "move right."  They won't think "hey, if I can get all the votes that the Green party got, I'll be over the top."  Just won't happen, for 2 reasons:
      1. Democrats assumme that people voting Green aren't really going to be satisfied by anything short of extreme measures that they (the candidate) doesn't believe in---ie, true pacificism, crushingly strict EPA regulations, etc.
      2. They assume that even if they tried to get those voters, even one they picked up would mean the loss of 2 'moderates' to the other side.  

      So stick with prong #1.  Prong #2 leads to George W. Bush getting elected as Nader steals votes from Gore.  And hell, if you can't convince Democratic primary voters to back the more progressive candidate, what in God's name makes you think you'll be able to do so in the general election?

      Sheesh.  

      •  Nicely written, but wrong (none)
        It used to be believed that folks like Alito were too conservative to be selected for the SCOTUS.

        It used to be believed that moving to the right, just a bit, would pull voters from the moderate wing of the GOP and help Democrats win.

        It used to be believed that progressives would support the Democrats in all cases since they believed that the Republicans were the worst evil known to man.

        When securing reproductive rights, keeping the government from spying on its citizens, and preventing the President from becoming King are considered too liberal for the Democratic party, it's time to consider the Democratic candidates too conservative to be elected to office.

      •  Polls indicate that the majority is progressive... (none)
        on the issues. For example, a clear majority of Americans is for a single-payer health care system. If Dems think they need to move right when they lose elections, that is simply because the corporate media produces that false impression. As Lyndon Johnson said, no Democrat ever got elected by pretending to be a Republican: the real Republican always wins. Why have so many Dems forgotten that simple truth?

        So long as Dems sell out, they'll win a few seats, but never recapture the White House or Congress. So they have nothing to lose by doing the right thing by adopting progressive positions (a.k.a. representing the people's interest).

        The difference between a liberal and a progressive is that a progressive thinks for himself, but a liberal lets the Republicans do his thinking for him.

        by Alexander on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:42:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Won't work... (none)
    the thugs had 3 advantages that we don't.

        1) Absolute and total lack of ethics. From barry goldwater ripping off migrant workers in conjunction with the INS so he and his brather didn't pay for a harvest for years.

        2) The fifth column they had in the "dixiecrats" who would guareentee that no liberal law or idea came to fruitation without enough comprimises and clauses to cripple them.

      3) A seemingly bottomless source of cash to finance their treason From the Coors foundations through the Schaife newspapers and foundations none of the thugs traitors had to worry about paying rent or a hooker.

     Now added to the inherent criminiality of rethuglicans they own the voting machines as well. Dieboldt et.al. aren't going to let thier paymasters lose no matter what it takes.
    Not to mention now that the "fix" is on the courts this is jousting with windmills. Noble perhaps, honorable possibly but in the end an excercise in futility.

  •  Lost Cause (none)
    The Democratic party is a lost cause.  We need a splinter group.  A true populist uprising.  "Netroots" is just a newfangled word for "populism".  It could start here.  Right now.

    -5.50, -5.69   I'm Gandhi who happens to own a Machine Gun !!

    by Stink Tank on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:29:26 PM PST

  •  What Party? (none)
    Probably don't need to say more....but petitions and calling and all the other crap hardly ever works..there needs to be a fundamental change in this party or there will be no party.
  •  Excellent! n/t (none)

    It is not our job to seek peaceful coexistence with the Left. Our job is to remove them from power permanently. Jack Abramoff in 1983

    by Caldonia on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:30:21 PM PST

  •  OK, enough of the pointless Dem-bashing (none)
    To everyone who's saying they're going to leave the Democratic Party, I ask you two questions:
    1. Have you ever run for office as a Democratic?
    2. If #1 is no, then why are you complaining about bad candidates?

    Be a candidate.  Run for something---anything---and start to redirect the party on a small level.  

    Do you think the Republican party went from Eisenhower to Bush by chance?  The currents of history directed it?  No, groups like the Federalist Society and Christian Coalition PUSHED it to the far right.  

    Who do you think George Bush listens to more---Pat Robertson or a member of the Constitution party?  Well, Robertson of course, because he's a Republican.

    A journey of a thousand miles isn't over because you jogged for a couple of days.  

    •  Wrong...on many counts. (none)
      George Bush does not listen to Pat Robertson any more.  He listens to James Dobson and the other active leaders of the Christian Right.  He listens not because they are Republicans.  He listens because these people have proven that they won't be taken for granted by the GOP anymore.

      He listens because he owes them.

      It's time to make the DLC Democrats owe the Progressive wing of its party.

      •  Give me one example of how they proved that (none)
        One time where Dobson broke with the GOP to back a further-right alternative---and then, as a result, got the GOP to listen to him.  Hell, Dobson backed Miers.  Real independent.    

        I will agree Bush does owe them---because they got him elected, they provided the money and the activists.  They also make up his staff, and those of the rightwing so-called think tanks.  He wouldn't owe them if they had deserted him when he called for a guest worker program, or expanded Medicare, or sent out greeting cards that said Happy Holidays.  Even with Miers, those who made their unhappiness known had 2 points in their pocket: they're a strong, loyal group, and they're pissed.  We right now only have point #2.    

        And they were taken for granted for 20 years.  It was only when they reached a critical mass that they were able to affect things.  Reagan didn't do more than nod his head in their direction.  

        You think you can shortcut the process to political power---get there in a couple of months?  Sorry, its just not true.  

        •  Excuse me... (none)
          ...but the great unwashed masses of the Christian Right were primarily mobilized in the 1988 election cycle by Pat Robertson.

          In 1994, the GOP took control of Congress.

          6 years.

          Meanwhile the DLC panicked in 1988.  They believed that by moving the party to the right, and in essence abandoning the principles of the party, they could maintain (and later, regain) control of Congress.

          1992 - Lost Congress
          1996 - Failed to regain control
          2000 - Took control for a moment, then lost it again
          2004 - Dove deeper into minority status

          12 years.

          The power of the Christian Right soon attracted the money of the GOP moderates, and together they took the country to a HARD RIGHT position with the aid of the Democrats.

          Notice, it was the wing of the party that moved the body, not vice versa.

          Progressives are tired of being told to STFU.  They are tired of having their issues placed on the "we need more Democrats before we can do that" list.

          No more...no more.

          •  And I'm not telling you to STFU (none)
            I'm saying yell for recognition---within the Democratic party.

            1988 isn't the starting point for the Christian right---Moral Majority well before that---heck, the far-right movement starts with Goldwater.  

            Robertson ran as a Republican, lost, supported George H.W. Bush in both 1988 and 1992.  Thanks for another example of how far-righties stay within the Republican ranks.  

            We're starting to beat the establishment---it was Dean that was picked for DNC chair, not Roemer.  But it takes time.  

            •  One more correction... (none)
              ...Robertson's followers may have fallen in line behind Bush, but they took over the party in about 6 years.  Here in Iowa they had control of the state GOP establishment and well over 2/3 of the county committees by late 1992, just before the election.

              But you are right, there is one difference between then in the GOP and now in the Democratic Party.  The GOP learned to listen to their base after losing the White House twice.  So far it's taken the Democrats losing both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, and twice at the White House.

              And they still don't listen to their base.

              •  Let me ask you a few questions (none)
                Let's assume for a moment, that you and I are members of a movement.  Call it the "Progressive Netroots" movement.  I didn't join this group until at least late 2003, possibly 2004.  I know that what pushed me to join was when things went bad in Iraq.  

                If that's the case, we're at about the 2-year point---which is about the same time as when George H.W. Bush signed into law some limited protections for gay couples.  That's pretty much pissing into the Christian Right's soup.  Right now, I'd say we're probably at about that same point---they're not thrilled with us, but they're starting to acknowledge our presence.

                Do you agree with this summary?  Did you join much earlier than I did?  Did what Democrats just did on Alito constitute a greater insult to us than giving gays legal protections did to the Christian Right?

                I do think Democrats need to do much more to listen to us.  But I think Dean's better on this than McAuliffe, and I think Reid is better than Daschle.  Do you agree with these points?  

                Lastly, one more thing---which would you say more describes George W. Bush?

                1. Openly declares his support for and allegiance with the Christian right and their agenda.
                2. Does some declaration of it, but mainly does it under the radar, and when public support of them gets him in trouble, he runs.

                I think #2 comes much closer.  Look at how he wouldn't even show up to the pro-life rally, look at his actions on Shiavo (I'm with you---ahh!  bad polls!  run away!).

                Now, obviously, I hope for better from our leaders than Dubya.  But while his support for them is open and obvious to us, I don't think it is to a casual observer.  

                 

                •  Go back about 18 years, if you will. (none)
                  Let's assume for a moment, that you and I are members of a movement.  Call it the "Progressive Netroots" movement.  I didn't join this group until at least late 2003, possibly 2004.  I know that what pushed me to join was when things went bad in Iraq.  

                  If that's the case, we're at about the 2-year point---which is about the same time as when George H.W. Bush signed into law some limited protections for gay couples.  That's pretty much pissing into the Christian Right's soup.  Right now, I'd say we're probably at about that same point---they're not thrilled with us, but they're starting to acknowledge our presence.

                  Do you agree with this summary?  Did you join much earlier than I did?  Did what Democrats just did on Alito constitute a greater insult to us than giving gays legal protections did to the Christian Right?

                  In part I agree with your summary.  Some of what Bush has done has PO'd the RR.  However, if you read their websites and literature, their support of the President is quite solid, and has been since he won in 2000.

                  You see, this is a culmination of many years of work for them.  Part of it began in 1964, but the work began in earnest after Robertson's loss of the nomination in 1988.  His presence mobilized millions of conservative Christian voters who were, up to that point, relatively quiet supporters of Reagan's Revolution.

                  Here in Iowa the caucus of 1988 drew a huge number of people.  At our precinct over 150 people showed up that evening.  A normal turnout was usually 15 or 20.

                  Which is a good point to mention where I am coming from in my own political work.  Back in 1988 I was a staunch GOP conservative, fully supporting Robertson.  After we had our asses handed to us by Bush/Dole in the county conventions, Marlys Pompa (who I believe most recently was in Phil Graham's campaign staff),  Steve Sheffler (currently on the state GOP central committee), and some others in the party began organizing local meetings to train those of us in the rank & file.  We learned the ins & outs of local, grassroots politics and how to mobilize people locally.  

                  From this we turned our sights on the county central committee, then the state central committee.  Once this group gained power enough to influence platforms and candidate campaigns in the state, the power turned to national issues.

                  I parted with this group in 1996, leaving both the GOP and the conservative Christian groups in it.  By 2000 I was working in the Green party here in the state.

                  So yes, I've been quite thankfully out of the loop when it comes to what the religious reich is doing as far as detailed strategy.  But, I can assure you that the plan back then involved the following:

                  1. Strict adherence to core beliefs
                  2. Control of party mechanisms locally, then nationally
                  3. Coordination with fiscal conservative wing to advance religious agenda...use them as a tool to move the religious work.

                  I do think Democrats need to do much more to listen to us.  But I think Dean's better on this than McAuliffe, and I think Reid is better than Daschle.  Do you agree with these points?

                  Dean is certainly better than McAuliffe.  But putting someone in the party chair position before you solidify the state chairs means nothing.  And putting someone in the state chair before you solidify the counties means nothing.  Politics is a ground up operation.  The progressives can make as much noise as they wish, but until and unless they demonstrate to those who are still in authority in the party just how much power they have, things like the Alito vote will continue.

                  Lastly, one more thing---which would you say more describes George W. Bush?

                     1. Openly declares his support for and allegiance with the Christian right and their agenda.
                     2. Does some declaration of it, but mainly does it under the radar, and when public support of them gets him in trouble, he runs.

                  I think #2 comes much closer.  Look at how he wouldn't even show up to the pro-life rally, look at his actions on Shiavo (I'm with you---ahh!  bad polls!  run away!).

                  Now, obviously, I hope for better from our leaders than Dubya.  But while his support for them is open and obvious to us, I don't think it is to a casual observer.

                  Bill Clinton did not address the pro-choice rallies in person, either.  And, if memory serves me, even Reagan addressed the pro-lifers by remote.  

                  And need I remind you of the botched nomination of Harriet Miers?  This is an example of just how much power the Religious Reich has developed in the party.

                  I go back to 1996 and Dole's statement concerning the pro-life platform.  Millions of conservative Christian voters decided to stay at home and let him lose to Bill Clinton because of Dole's statement concerning the platform.  These people to whom Bill Clinton represented the absolute worst that could happen to the country, let Clinton win rather than compromise their principles.

                  Ten years later the Christian Right won their ultimate goal...control of the Supreme Court.

                  THAT'S dedication.  THAT is what the progressives need to emulate.

                  And I honestly do not believe that the Democrat party is the place where this can happen.

          •  This is what they did (none)
            the Christian conservative rabid right did, too, was to cultivate young journalists. In 1978, Pat Robertson and his Christian Broadcasting Network, CBN, founded Regent University.  One of his goals was to  take the broadcasting industry and "reclaim it for Christ." They also have a law school and have used it to cultivate future Alito's.

            They began their grassroots organizing by using an already established social network ( conservative churches) of committed warriors who were accustomed to receiving marching orders from authority figures.  Convinced that they are doiing God's will, beieving that persecution is a sure sign that they are the chosen, and receiving validation form thier spiritual leaders and their interpretation of scripture, thay present quite a force.

            The game plan worked. Why does the RRM (rabid right wing media) have countless newspeople so in lockstep and unable to think for themselves?

            And it goes back to 1964 as the diary says.....look how long they have been working at this.

            What is our plan...?

    •  not always possible. (none)
      Please enough of the if you haven't done then don't say anything.  Running for office isn't easy and only those with the financial backing can even making a concerted effort.  It takes alot more than desire.

      Frames not Names!!!!

      by bikko100 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:41:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  well said. (none)
    It couldn't be more true.  Brick by brick, wall by wall we're gonna bring the establishment Dems down.

    I have nothing more to say except get to work!!

    Frames not Names!!!!

    by bikko100 on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:40:08 PM PST

  •  While the "NO" vote on the nomination (none)
    is warranted, the "NO" vote on the filibuster isn't. At least that is my opinion.

    Filibuster is warranted if Bush nominates his cook to the Supreme Court. Alito may be conservative, but no more so than Ginsburg is liberal. If Ginsburg can be on the Supreme Court, so can Alito. Neither is a moderate.

    The way to get more liberal SC nominees is to win the Presidency. And that point highlights why we need to get a moderate as the nominee, not a liberal. If more than half the nation is conservative, a liberal Democrat will have a hard time getting elected. Even against a lousy opponent like Bush. And even if he/she does, he/she will have a hard time governing if half the nation hates him/her.

    In my opinion the Democratic Party is doing the right thing by ignoring the wishes of the liberals. They can, they should and they can afford to. The liberals have no place to go except the Democratic Party. The alternatives are the Green Party, which will never win an election and ceding permanent control to the Republican Party.

    Our best hope lies with the conservative section of our party, namely the Liebermans, the Bayhs and Nelsons of the party.

    •  I surprised you didn't mention Zell Miller (none)
      or Strom Thurmond---after all he used to be a Democrat.  Maybe we can win him back with platforms like "dead people can still vote and have illegitimate children", and then nominate the re-animated corpse of Strom Thurmond for President with Miller as his running mate.  Sounds like a winner.  
    •  this is ... (none)
      ... so hilariously, comically, weirdly, confusedly untrue, that i don't know where to begin. you think Alito is no more conservative than Ginsburg is liberal? Alito is a fucking nutcase! He isn't conservative, he's an imperial fascist. He actually believes -- and will presumably rule accordingly -- that the President can, by adding a "signing statement", alter the meaning of legislation that he is signing into law. Nevermind that this is obviously in conflict with the separation of powers as spelled out in the Constitution.

      The real tragedy of this nomination is not that the dems failed to filibuster -- it's that the Republicans are going to vote in lockstep for this twisted little man, despite the fact that his judicial philosophy flies in the face of their own supposed principles.

      Oh fuck it, why bother, you're just another troll. They've been everywhere the last few days. I should just troll rate you. But I won't. Because I'm a good liberal. There. Hope you creamed your panties over that one.

    •  Nice trolling (none)
      In my opinion the Democratic Party is doing the right thing by ignoring the wishes of the liberals. They can, they should and they can afford to. The liberals have no place to go except the Democratic Party. The alternatives are the Green Party, which will never win an election and ceding permanent control to the Republican Party.

      An obvious GOP plant.  But thank you for illustrating an interesting way that the moderates in the party play into the hands of the GOP.

      By believing that there really is no alternative than the Democrats, progressives enable Bush and the right wing of the GOP.  The progressives support a consistently rightward leaning party that gives cover to the extremists in the GOP who want to turn this country into a dominionist stronghold.

      The only hope for our country is to have the progressives abandon the Democrats and form (or join) a new party.  Anything else simply continues the enablement of the GOP.

    •  Bush is doing a fine job (none)
      He doesn't need Lieberman's help despite Lieberman being there to bail him out at every turn. Lieberman led the war cheers and for that he deserves the ignominy of defeat and the everlasting contempt of freedom loving people everywhere. Lieberman is the Neville Chamberlain of our time.
  •  This is very true... (none)
    "And we should remember, the conservatives NEVER give up."

    These guys have fought for decades to move from a politically obscure movement into what they are now.  Everyone needs to steel themselves for a long fight.  We can win it but you gotta be tough and not hang yourself over every setback.

  •  Getting involved is "HARD WORK" (none)
    I just turned fifty-one.  I'm only now getting involved as I wished I had long ago.  I haven't done that much yet but I am getting involved in four (4) congressional races on behalf of great Democratic Members of Congress and candidates.  So my four races will soon be five (5).

    I'm about to be involved in five races working for five candidates.  My son has the flu so I can't make phone calls for Tammy Duckworth on Wednesday but I just spent an hour analyzing a spreadsheet of voting results from a past election in a different district.  

    I don't have much time so I'll summarize thusly:

    Get off your frickin' asses and get to work for any Democratic candidate who has at least a snowball's chance in hell of winning.  Every Democratic candidate needs you NOW to do anything that needs to be done.  So get off your asses and get to work.

    To paraphrase Gen. George Patton:  When your grandchildren ask you what you did back in the war to save American democracy, you won't have to say that I shovled shit in Louisiana.

  •  Dream On... (none)
    You know, when HAVA is fully implemented and proprietary software counts all of our votes, those with access and know how (company technical representatives and their Republican handlers) will be able to control election results.  It is my belief that the last three national elections have been increasingly corrupted by electronic vote manipulation.  Check out the GAO report on security problems with systems now widely in use.  http://www.schneier.com/...

    So the Repubs will remain in charge.  What concerns me is the growing internal security apparatus that becomes larger, more intrusive, more repressive and less accountable daily.  In my view there has been an over reaction and wide-sweeping misdirected action since 911.  The misrepresenting of truth (otherwise known as lying) that this administration frequently does, has become standard operating procedure.  It seems that the government could be preparing for considerable civil disorder.

    What is coming down the pike?  It is not radical Islamic jihadist terrorism.  Our porous Mexican border and lack of attention to chemical/nuke plant security exposes the bogus nature of the threat.  What is in the future that would justify the dismantling of the Republic in favor of a corporate security state?  Is global warming happening faster and sooner than is widely believed?  Could it be that Peak Oil is here now and we can expect energy rationing, ever increasing costs and more resource wars?  Perhaps economic meltdown with it's hyperinflation, mass unemployment and generalized misery is in the cards.

    Indeed the Rubicon has been crossed.  I don't see any turning back.  If you are counting on making a difference through elections, it may be that you will be disappointed.

    Future Fox News talking head spouts, "...and even as the exit polling indicated a Democratic sweep, the Republican candidates enjoyed some late 'support' and won the election by a narrow margin...."

  •  We should never give the Republicans credit (none)
    For fighing a fair game.

    They stole votes, have broken many many laws-and
    we are supposed to just accept them as fair winners and try to do better?

    That doesn't work! They don't play by fair rules.
    Im not saying to do ilegal things, but at least
    look at them objectively. They are crooks, propagandists, and murderer's.

    MATTHEWS says Bush sometimes "glimmers" with "sunny nobility" (Hardball, 10/24/05)

    by Krush on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 07:56:41 PM PST

  •  THANK YOU!!! (none)
    I can't agree more.

    We needed a battle cry...and we will need more!

    "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by Five of Diamonds on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:08:50 PM PST

  •  It is easier for Conservatives to go (none)
    on and never quit in some ways.

    They don't have to overcome their frustration at knowing that they represent the majority and yet are being held back by corporatists from fixing this country.

    Conservatives know they're playing a game, that they're faking, that they don't deserve to do what they're doing based on the majority opinion.

    Liberals have to overcome the almost paralyzing hopelessness of knowing the facts, and understanding the rhythm of history; of knowing what the corporatists and conservatives are up to and that America is being fooled.

    It's easier to treat this whole thing like a football game they 'just have to win.'

    It's harder to live in reality than to create your own. Well, duh.

    We have chosen the moral path; the path of knowledge and Truth... the reality-based path.

    And let's not kid ourselves, it is the harder path.

  •  nurture the youth (none)
    It was true on my campus, and I expect it's broadly true, that the Campus Republicans are a bunch of loud, obnoxious, annoying jerks. We can do better than that. We can be cool. We can be the party that knows how to party.*

    *"the party that knows how to party" was a common phrase at a club I was in, but that was the KGB (Keeping Geeks Busy), and hence implicitly we were with The Party. da comrade.

  •  No quit in me.... (none)
    but I did email the DNC to tell them that I would like to know if they are going to support the quisling Dems who let the country down today. If so, I continued, I would have to reconsider my plans to give a monthly contribution to help Governor Dean rebuild the party.

    If the party is going to include those whom we now know are DINOs then I guess I'll go directly to candidates I like.

    I am interested to see if I get a reply. If I don't I am going to seek Howard out and ask him why.

    The days of sitting back and hoping for the best are over.

    It's time to make our voices heard!

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."

    by Nestor Makhnow on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:44:21 PM PST

  •  Dem support showed up, DEMS SURRENDERED (none)
    You can talk all you want about people not doing enough and having to do more. Frankly, after years of fact checking the media, watchdogging the right, getting out the vote, activism at the community level -- but watching DEM SENATORS ROLL OVER -- this kind of finger wagging is an empty gesture.
    .
    You're lecturing the wrong people here.
    .
    Direct this to the geniuses piloting Big-D. They're the stiffs. They're the surrender-monkeys. They're the sellouts.
    .
    25 stood strong. There was no excuse for the other Dems not to be there with them.
    .
  •  Great diary. (none)
    I just hope it doesn't take 40 years to take control. I want to enjoy it and I don't have that many years.

    I'll fight for my kids and grandkids but let's fight a little harder and take over faster than 40 years.

    This time when we take over the Democrats and America we'll have to remember that when took control back in 64 we did so within the Constitution and within the law without changing the laws to suit us.

    We've seen that Republicans have no morals and no shame. That's what makes today so disapppointing; Obama saying that he didn't want to resort to procedural means to win.

    It's like he hasn't learned that Democrats and Republicans are using different rules. In a fist fight Democrats have put one hand behind their backs while Republicans have picked up a gun.

    What are we going to do about it?

    -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 Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:52:40 PM PST

  •  Mike Malloy (AAR) : "Study Saul Alinsky" (none)
    Mike Malloy made a good point to a young listener who wanted to fix the Democratic Party from the precinct level on up: don't listen to talk show hosts; learn from the experts who've been there like Saul Alinsky.

    It's going to be a long hard slog but I believe the Democratic Party is worth fighting for. I, too, will never surrender.

    GOAL: A Blue Staten Island (NY-13)

    by tac gman on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:55:53 PM PST

  •  It Is When You Succeed.... (none)
    that you begin to be irrelevant.

    "You! Telling me the things you're gonna do for me. I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see." -Doobie Brothers

    by prophet on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 08:57:44 PM PST

  •  Thank you, DHinMI, for this inspirational piece. (none)
    You, and Kos and Meteor Blades are of course correct. And according to your useful poll, 100% of us agree with you, so you'd have to be correct.
    I'm delighted for you and envy you your senators almost as much as I practically lust [metaphorically I think] after both Dingell and Conyers.
    I would like to join whatever progressive movement there is, which is trying to take over the Ohio Dem Party. I feel sure, DH, that you, or any of several Ohio kossaks can direct me.
    I would also like to see some experienced Ohio kossak construct [or direct me in the task] an assemblage, a sub-community of all of us Ohioans. Would it be presumptuous of me to write a diary suggesting such a thing?
  •  Not to rain on anyone's parade here. (none)
    but, first of all, after Goldwater was defeated democrats didn't go around making wholesale changes to the electoral process to prevent any Republican from ever getting into power again.  Also, despite Republican talking points, unlike them, liberals never controlled the media.  I don't think we ever hads a lock on the supreme court either.  It's a lot more serious for us then the Goldwater thing was for the Republicans, no matter how much they may have bitched and moaned about that.

    It is gradually getting to the point where only two things could stop the Republican grip on terror (I hesitate to say government, given how they "govern").  The first is other countries banding together all across the world and literally going to war with us.  The second would involve bloody revolution here at home.  It may not be at that point yet, but I'm beginning to suspect it is.

    Oh, and all those platitudes about "never surrendering" those are cute, but a lot harder to actually pull off when you see those who don't surrender being disappeared into the night and never heard from again.  No, it hasn't happened yet, but that seems to be where we're heading.

  •  You'd be right **IF** (none)
    *IF* this time were anything like the past.

    Unfortunately, it's not.

    The difference is that the Republicans are going to kill us.  Maybe not even literally, though I do carry a small amount of concern (and, of course, my concealed carry permit).

    Here is the difference.  The Thugs 'principles' (My brain grates in my head, probably feeling like cheese being rubbed over a - well - grate - when I say 'principles' and Republicans in the same sentence, even though everyone knows it's an oxymoron) have, since Reagan, set the stage for 3 things, although, of the first two, I couldn't tell you which will turn out to have been the worst.  Not that the Damnocrats haven't done (or, not done) their parts.

    1. Global warming
    2. Peak oil
    3. Methanol fuel

    Global warming is now past the point of no return.  The UK report this week shows that the world has no hope of stopping the CO2 growth until it's way past 450ppm link
    .  We're not talking centuries; we're not talking decades.  The Greenland Ice Sheet is supposed to completely melt with +3C increase, with a possible +5 in 94 years, and this is based on current estimates, which have already proven too low.  So, maybe by 2050 it's gone.  In the interim, it's going, going, gone.  It is NOT the case that everything is fine until 2050 and then BAM!

    Peak oil.  Shit.  What can you say about that?  Kuwait, this week, announced its oil reserves were back to where they were in 1985, but with no reduction from THAT amount for the amount of oil pumped since 1985, so it is likely that 7.5% of the world's reserves just went up in smoke.
    Gad.  Take a look at my blog on that, and try to wrap your head around the outcome.  Me, I'm wrapping body armor around me, and my finger around a trigger.  No, this is not aluminium foil stuff (I WISH people would quit saying 'tin hat'; it's ALUMINUM!  Paranoids wouldn't know where to get tin.) link to my diary

    Peak oil is not only worse than you think, it's worse than you can imagine.  War with Iran?  They submarine a boat in the Straits and stop 40% of the world's oil (Yes, they have subs).

    Methanol.  Google 'methanol corn food production'
    What methanol is already doing to the food supply is very disturbing.

    The point being that if we had (and Clinton, that asshole, is just as much to blame as Bush, although if Clinton were in office, we'd have the money to at least TRY) started on alternative energy and mass transit and trained companies on flex-time, tele-commuting and job-sharing instead of studying the hell out of studies that were perfectly good, perhaps we'd have a chance.

    We were never even in the contest.

    No matter what party is in control, no matter what anyone does (short of table-top, cold-fusion this year from components currently in everyone's spice cabinet, we're screwed.

    If you don't 'get' that, you're not paying attention.

    When it hits the fan, though, I know who I'm going to pick to be the first up against the wall.

  •  LaRouche! (none)
    I'm done with the Democrats until they elect LaRouche.

    "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

    by Mike S on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 09:29:32 PM PST

  •  Votes and Voters (none)
    Whether we rebuild the party, all become Greens, or start a new party, the fundamental problem is that we are under-represented in the government because not enough people vote for us.

    Someone can probably make better estimates than I, but I'd guess 20% of the people are in love with GWB, 10% of them are in love with the Dems, 20% of them don't vote at all, and 50% don't have a clue.  The problem isn't that we're too timid or too conservative or too liberal; the problem is that a huge number of voters have no idea what's going on.

    Watch the trailer for Red State Road trip on truthout.  That's what I'm talking about.  And some poll reported a few days ago that more than half of Americans agree with progressive ideas, not GWB.  And the more GWB talked about his social security ideas, the less people liked them.

    We don't need to change the party.  We need to figure out how to educate voters better.

    Hi. I'm from Portland, and it's probably raining here.

    by J Orygun on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:18:13 PM PST

  •  The Grand American Underdog (none)
    One of the ways the GOP was able to be so resilent (if utterly and terribly wrong) is to keep thinking that they're always going to lose.  This way they keep on the rabidity that they're famous for (outside of corruption) and hence always negate our attacks.

    What we need to do is make this Alito thing into what we rally around.  Never forget what the Republicans did.  This is now war:  utter war that only can be won with total victory.  If we win or lose, we still fight just as hard.  There will be no magic moment for this administration for us:  if Rove is indicted tomorrow, we still fight as hard as we once did.  Remember:  the Republicans want your land, your women's rights, and your soul.  They're the American Al-Qaeda, and get no quarter.

    This is where we take it to the streets.  No more pussyfooting around and tears.  If you shed tears, shed them to the greatest effect.  America is in dire straits and all of us here know why:  now it's time to connect to America on this level.  America is going to hell, and it's the Republicans' fault.  It's ALWAYS going to be the Republicans' fault.

    What we need now are talking points, things to repeat ad infinitium.  'Culture of Corruption' is good.  "Republicans are Glorified Klan Members" is even better.

    Time to get dirty.  Fortunately, we know how.  Now what's stopping us?

  •  Great Diary (none)
    DHinMI, I'm proud to have you as an ally in this fight.

    This is a bad day, which just increases my resolve to put it behind us and work for a better one.  

    We can remake the Democratic Party, and will.

    Don't mourn: organize.

    by Malacandra on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 10:31:15 PM PST

  •  4th world. (none)
    DHinMI, among the pomposity some very good points.

    Thanks for the occasional insight.

    seriously.

  •  We have a fourth choice (none)
    The party apparatchik DHinMi wrote:

    1. Actively help change the Democratic party into the party you want.

    1. Actively help change the Republican party into the party you want.

    2. Do nothing within the parties, and be a passive consumer of what the parties present to you.

    You forgot

    4. Work to build a SECOND party that is an alternative to the Corporate Party, of which the Democrats and the Republicans are but different factions.

    The Democrats are officially over.  Today was their Waterloo.  That's it.  I'm done--not with the progressives in the party (25 senators voted FOR cloture, after all), but with the 44% of the caucus who couldn't stand up and be counted.  There's just far too many Republicans in Democratic clothing to bother reforming this party.

    I've had bullies like you beating me over the head with cries of "Two party system! Expediency!  Practicality!" ever since Bush slithered into the White House.  "Fuck principle!"

    Well, we fucked over principle and where did it get us?  To THIS sorry state of affairs.

    I'm standing on principle from here on in, and making no apologies about it.  "Practical" folk have brought us to this pathetic, almost tragic, situation in which the very life of the Republic is in peril.  And even now people like DHinMi want to preach party loyalty and sneer at anybody who isn't a Democrat or Republican as a "passive consumer" of the process.

    Sorry, but you're trying to spin shit into silk, and it just isn't working.

    Go away now, you bother me.

    •  Oh, and before you start to troll-rate me (none)
      I've been a registered Democrat since I was 18 years old.  That's 25 years now.

      I've worked in local party organizations.

      I've worked for candidates.  

      In the last campaign, I was a precinct walker, canvassing voters.

      I've been an active and proud member of many progressive organizations for a long time, and recently celebrated my 20th year as an ACLU.

      I've BEEN fighting this fight for three-fifths of my years on this earth, and for my entire adult life.  I don't need any lectures from you nor anybody else about how the surrender of so many "Democratic" senators is somehow my fault because I haven't worked hard enough.

      I've worked hard, and I've never surrendered.

      But today, 44% of the Democratic senators DID surrender.  All of us were ready to fight, and ready to fight to the last.  They were the ones who surrendered the field of battle, not me, and not anybody I know.

      Fuck the apologists on DailyKos who want to equivocate and tell us all that we'd better work within the party and become irrelevant.

      Because today, the Democrats in the Senate--especially Harry Reid,the so-called "leader"--made THEMSELVES irrelevant.

    •  No need to read more. (none)
      The party apparatchik DHinMi wrote:

      That line said it all.

      "I was Rambo in the disco. I was shootin' to the beat. When they burned me in effigy. My vacation was complete." Neil Young. Mideast Vacation.

      by Mike S on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:41:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never Surrender is NOT about the Democratic Party: (none)
    It's about the GODDAMNED country!

    The Democratic Party has been so fractionalized that it has sold out every wing it has!

    It can't be true to the base, it can't be true to the corporations, it can't be true to the American People's zeitgeist at large!

    I know this is heresy on dKos, but damnit it's the truth.  And it's about Goddamned time that we start speaking the Goddamned truth!

    "...And bunnies would dance in the streets, and we would find life on Mars." -Peter Singer, Brookings Institution

    by zentiger on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:52:15 PM PST

  •  Change the party or sit out? (none)
    I'm running for Democratic precinct captain for my precinct.  That's my vote.

    Join me!

  •  Stabenow is better (none)
    than you'll ever know...and fearless.

    You are lucky to be represented by her.

    _The poor object to being governed badly, while the rich object to being governed at all_ G.K. Chesterton

    by rosabw on Tue Jan 31, 2006 at 06:19:08 AM PST

  •  Give me a BREAK! (none)
    I am TIRED of cheerleaders telling us that we are going to fight, fight, fight! And that is going to get us back into the Senate, or back into power. Take a cold, hard look at reality. The majority of voters BELIEVE the Republican rhetoric, because the news outlets are controlled by big business. The Democrats in the Senate didn't fight because they do not have the power -- they are AFRAID. The power in our country is now in the hands of the bad guys and as hard as it is for me to say it, there is very little we can do about it until PEOPLE VOTE for what will make their lives better.  Look at the Palastinan vote. Why did Hamas win? Bush said it himself -- people wanted jobs, health care, and the end of corruption.They came out and voted the corrupt party out of power.  Democrats are a dying party because they don't get out into the neighborhoods and do what is needed to get out the vote. Don't give me any more cheerleading -- this is so over.  

    Roberts and Alito were two Republicans operatives who "played the game" -- embellishing resumes with right wing organizations, working hard "for the client" to repress women, minorities, and the poor.  If the Democrats couldn't get united in stopping them from getting on the Supreme Court, what's the point??

    I grew up a liberal in the south during the Civil Right era, when people died for what they believed in. God bless Coretta Scott King and all others who went before her.  It will be a long time before we see these types of brave men and women again.  

    God bless America and pray for her.

  •  Theocratic Fascist Joseph Farah Loathes Democracy (none)
    Predictably, the THEOCRATIC FASCIST Joseph Farah is using the recent victory by Hamas to attack Democracy. No Joke, the THEOCRATIC FASCIST Joseph Farah Loathes Democracy:

    http://www.wnd.com/...

    And despite what the THEO-FASCIST Farah would have you believe, if you Loathe Democracy, you Loathe Freedom, as well.

    If you would like to know The Truth about Joseph Farah and his WND, visit

    http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/

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