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The GOP is in trouble. The president is as popular as dirt at a Superfund site, its agenda has suffered at the hand of reality, Iraq is a disaster, they're about to start executing Christians in our "success story" Afghanistan, Congressional Republicans just raised the debt ceiling, again, movement conservatives are turning against the ideologues running the party, and special prosecutors and investigators are still sniffing around most of the party's and movement's top leadership.

Given the huge leads Dems garner in opinion polls and that Dem fundraising is keeping pace, if not exceeding, GOP efforts, it's time for HUGE gains in November, isn't it? Isn't it?

Maybe. It's an indictment of Democratic ineffectiveness that we can't take these huge GOP liabilities and turn them into sure-thing pickups in the fall. But the GOP still has a lot of things going for it.

Scared Democrats

The CW amongst DC Democrats appears to be, "if we're quiet enough, Republicans will do themselves in and we'll benefit." Problem is, that people don't trudge to the polls to vote against candidates. They are required, in our Democracy, to check a box FOR a candidate.

And Democrats are doing everything in their power to ensure that people have no reason to go to the polls. They aren't going to vote for Republicans. That much is clear. But why should they vote for Democrats, the same Democrats who have failed to stand up to Republican excesses over the past five years?

These poll-obsessed and their risk-averse consultants looked at Bush's high numbers in the wake of 9-11 and internalized their appeasement strategy. It did them no good in 2002 and 2004. Then in 2005 and 2006, as Bush's numbers keep finding new lows, these DC Dems can't break their habits.

In the Senate, Harry Reid has shaken shit up and caused Republicans no small amount of heartburn. But in the House, Democrats under Pelosi's leadership have been all but neutered. How many ethics complaints has Pelosi and her team filed? None. And they ostracized Chris Bell when he filed his complaints against DeLay. How did Pelosi react to Lois Slaughter's seminal report on Republican corruption? She quickly and meekly pulled it from her website when Republicans raised a stink. She just attacked Feingold for introducing his censure resolution. And she's leading the charge to destroy sites like this one by regulating them to death. The pattern is clear -- target and eliminate any party individual or institution that stands up to the Republican juggernaut.

I think House Democrats in 2006 would be well served by casting about for a new leader, whether we win the House or not. And to think I was once a fan of Pelosi's ...

These risk averse Dems think that by merely having a pulse, voters will gladly rush to them to save them from Republicans. But in reality, voters (including much of the Democratic base) are disillusioned. Why vote for Democrats who haven't shown an ounce of fight the last six years? What's the point?

The Alito filibuster was supposed to be a disaster for Democrats. Somehow, their numbers didn't suffer. Murtha was going to kill Dems by making them "look weak on defense". But somehow, people seem to agree with him. Now, Feingold's censure resolution is supposed to be a disaster for Democrats. Yet if that was the case, why are Republicans reacting so virulently against it? Bill Kristol admits the censure motion is hurting Bush. Meanwhile, Brit Humes head exploded at the resolution. Not the action of a man confident that Feingold is hurting the Democratic Party.

Friendly Media

It was like waking up in bizarro world and reading this headline in the Washington Post: "GOP Struggles To Define Its Message for 2006 Elections". Hey, those headlines are supposed to only run for Democrats!

But fact is, most media coverage is still grossly biased toward Republicans' chances. The latest in the pro-GOP arsenal is the "everything is good for the GOP" storylines.

Bush is popular? That's great for the GOP since Republicans can run on Bush's coattails! Bush is unpopular? That's great for the GOP since congressional Republicans can distance themselves and prove themselves independent! If Dems don't fight back, that's great for the GOP because Dems look weak. If Dems fight back (a la Feingold's censure motion) it's great for the GOP because Dems look "too partisan".

And let's not even get started on media disbelief that people can't stand Bush.

And so on...

Fear and Hate

Terrorism may be losing its salience with a lot of people, while demonizing blacks doesn't play in most of this fall's hottest races (outside Tennessee). So how will the GOP motivate its base this fall?

Gays and brown people. Hate amendments are still making the ballots, while a new generation of anti-gay initiatives are about to hit -- efforts to ban gay adoptions. Meanwhile, immigration is about to hit the big time as Republicans demonize desperate Latinos making their way north to work the shit jobs no one else wants.

No sure thing

I was ridiculously optimistic the last two cycles, and saw that optimism shattered on election night. Democratic early numbers in both 2002 and 2004 were great. Not this great, but pretty darn good. And we saw how well the GOP closed. I don't take anything for granted anymore. And in fact, I assume they can make huge gains in the final days of an election. Add in the general sense of malaise that currently seems to inflict the Dem base, and I've got a bad feeling about this election.

Not that we won't make gains, because it's hard to see how we can't. But we won't make the sorts of gains that we should be expecting given how bad things are for the GOP.

Ironic that I suddenly turn pessimistic when inependent observers are increasingly optimistic about Dem chances this Fall. Hopefully, I'm as wrong this time as I was the last two cycles.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 09:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Along with 'Scared Democrats' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, buckhorn okie

    we can also put "Incompetent Democrats"

    •  I'm actually in the (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Moli, AnthonySF, Mikecan1978, vcmvo2, Sam I Am

      "don't stop your enemy from shooting himself in the foot" crowd at least for now.  Now, later on...say the summer..the democrats will need to go on the offensive, but for the moment I see no reason to take attention away from the Bush administration repeatedly pushing the self-destruct button.

      Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:16:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Timing is so important... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melvynny

        You're right.  It's early and it's not the right time to be on the all-out assault.  But we can't wait too long.  We must not let them dictate the terms of "battle."

        The important thing now is to turn this anti-republican sentiment into campaign money that will help us when it's time to really turn and fight.

        •  no, you don't get it... (5+ / 0-)

          digby or atrios or somebody keeps making the point that the scared dems run away from the censure argument or dump on feingold, when they could just as easily argue that while the admin did not respect the law or the constitution, and tho the gopers are clearly corrupt incompetent liars, censure is a serious issue which will need more consideration while the investigations continue.

          they could all do that right now, but they don't and that's a shame.

          and while certain candidates and the dean led dnc may get a few of my personal piastres, the dccc and dscc get nada while they talk tough to us and wimp out when it counts.

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

          by 2nd balcony on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:31:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kestrel, Brother Love

            isn't that they are necessarily against censure, but that its not the right timing for it AND Feingold did it behind their back, essentially ruining their own PR plan.  Feingold has ticked off a lot of Senate dems by doing what he did, not because he introduced censure, but HOW he introduced it.

            It threw the democrats in the senate in utter disarray because Feingold threw a wrench in their PR plan which, I had heard, was already in place: basically milk the ports deal for all its worth then go back to attacking Bush on Iraq and wiretapping.  Feingold blew their plan to hell, and the senate dems are, well, not pleased with it.

            they're probably not doing anything on censure to thumb their noses at Feingold more than anything else.

            Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:36:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and as the above referenced (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rogun, StrayCat

              also pointed out, then they should learn how to think on their feet, adjust immediately to changed conditions, and make the most out of it. btw, have you been impressed, over the course of time, with any of the leadership's "plans"?

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

              by 2nd balcony on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:55:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Do I smell the DLC? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckhorn okie, StrayCat
              What about these best laid plans? If they are solid, then nothing -- even Feingold's bow shot -- can really derail them, right? Come on.  All this walking on eggshells has got to come to an end.  The repubs have elevated the good cop/bad cop routine to the highest art, and last time I checked, none of their plans ever suffered from it.  Feingold did good, and don't even try to tell me otherwise -- the rest of the dems have got to step up, whatever the hell they say they are going to do.
            •  The problem redoubled (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              buckhorn okie

              Even if we assume that you are correct that Feingold's resolution screwed up their game plan, it is idiotic to respond by belittling censure to spite Feingold, since it simply eliminates the weapon from their arsenal AND makes them look either petty or corwardly at the same time.  Defense of the Constitution is not something to trifle with.  So they should instead say that censure is a very grave step and they need more time to consider it, but that they are definitely considering it, especially if the Republicans block any serious inquiry into the illegal spying.  Build the issue up rather than tearing it down just to get back at Feingold.

              •  well (0+ / 0-)

                most of them ARE saying they need more time to consider it (and are getting hammered for for saying even that).

                However, when the likes of Barney Frank, Bernie Sanders, and (gasp!) John Murtha all refuse to support Feingold's censure measure (usually on the basis of they need more information), I think thats a sign that Feingold made a mistake doing what he did at this time.

                Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

                by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:05:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I dont get this thinking.... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  buckhorn okie

                  that Feingold should have told the other Dems he was going to do a censure motion.

                  The Dems should have been trying to censure the president months ago. When you have a president breaking the law and a GOP party accomadating the law-breaking, why wouldnt a light- bulb appear over many of the senators to say "her maybe we need to censure or impeach this guy."

                  To say that Feingold censure move came out of blue and he should have given his fellow Dem senators a 'heads up' warning is exactly the problem. He shouldnt have had to, because it should have been planned and already done.

                  Only the dissatisfied can make change

                  by pharoah on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:13:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Keeping the issue alive (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  peraspera

                  Feingold is known as a principled maverick so, given the administration's boast that it did not consider itself bound by the law, coupled with Republican stonewalling, he pretty much had to act.  Other Democrats can work with this by stressing that they don't rule out censure, that they are actively considering it, that they can understand why Feingold felt the need to act, that there must ultimately be full accountability.  But that is not the message that the media has been conveying.  They can still get this message out there if they repeat it every time the MSM tries to portray this as a political catfight, refusing to take anti-Feingold bait. In other words, why not take the lemons and make some lemonade?

          •  What are Democrats goals? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FleetAdmiralJ

            GOAL:  Win race

            How to do that:

            1. Appeal to a broad array of voters
            1. Get them to the polls.

            what we know...

            1. Liberals will likely vote for a Democrat that is ALMOST a given.  
            1. Moderates we need to appeal to moderates and some right leaning

            what to do ...

            It does seems a logic strategy is to appeal to a wider audience in hot races.    Do disaffected moderates and republicans suddenly believe congress should be bothered with censure, two years of impeachment hearings, partisan bickering, etc..   How about repealing the partiot act, immediate withdrawl from Iraq, putting our security in the U.N. hands, disengaging from Iran?  Likely going into the election the Adminstration is going to be dealing with Iraq  

            I believe as a moderate what is appealing to me is  competent effective government. I want balanced budget, affordable medical and eduction, jobs and a stable and flurishing economy. That is more important to me then censure, two years of impeachment hearings and loads of partisan bickering.   ESPECIALLY THE PARTISANSHIP

            •  Democratic goals must be (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rockhound, betterdonkeys

              1). Save the Constitution
              2). Reinstate real debate and dialogue in political and social matters.
              3). Clean out our own stables.
              Whereby we then win elections.  Dean has the right ideas, and he was "Swiftboated" before Kerry was, and at a more delicate time in his campaign.  It took less to do in Dean than Kerry, because Kerry was the nominee when it became clear to Rove that Kerry had to be slandered and destroyed.
              It's the people, stupid!

              Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

              by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:17:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your list (0+ / 0-)
                1. Save the constitution?  how many americans feel we have a constitutional crisis?  My opinion, not many
                1. There is plenty of debate.  Demcrats are the minority and yeild no power
                1.  Clean out stables?  I find this the most intersting.  The dems you want to throw out represent a constituency that votes them in office.  They may be moderate or may even be trying to appeal to their constituency by being moderate in order to retain their seat.  

                I think it makes a lot of sense for East Coast and West Coast liberals to CLEAN STABLES in heartland america from those moderate democrats.  Good luck to ya.

                •  Wisconsin is on the east coast? (0+ / 0-)

                  Democracts in the heartland cares more about principle than about strategizing.  I may be living on the East Coast now, but I'm from Minnesota, where Wellstone did well by unashamedly embracing progressive values.

                  •  Principles??? (0+ / 0-)

                    surprisingly principles is subjective.  Republicans and those that support them believe they are the party of principles.

                  •  Wellstone Represented ... (0+ / 0-)

                    his constituency.  I disagree that Americans are only concerned with "Progressive Principles".  They are concerned with functional government and the economy.  They are more concerned about national security and terrorism then they are with racial profiling.   The ports deal gets outrage, patriot not a whimper.

                    both right and left wing should be more interested in nudging americans to their side not taking a hard turn.

          •  Don't see the reasoning there... (0+ / 0-)

            digby or atrios or somebody keeps making the point that the scared dems run away from the censure argument or dump on feingold, when they could just as easily...

            I wish it were so. I wish it was so easy to be rid of Bush. Unfortunately it's not that simple.

            Dems aren't "scared" they're just not suicidal. Some here are misreading the polls and seeing what they want regarding censure. When accounting for likely trends of Republicans and moderates who are currently “undecided” and also when factoring in likely voter turnout in regards to censure, there isn’t enough support for censure or impeachment at this time. Critically, it’s pretty unpopular with moderates who Democrats desperately need to retake Congress and the Presidency. Even worse is that only a small percentage of the left would turn out to the polls to vote for censure who wouldn’t otherwise, while a LOT of disenchanted Republicans who wouldn’t otherwise turn out would.

            I find it hard to understand the support for censure ay this juncture. I think we’d all agree that if Democrats don’t retake Congress we’re hosed, that continued GOP domination of government is maximally bad in too many ways to count. So how can we even be considering a symbolic action like censure and thereby jeopardizing moderate votes? It’s true Dems have to offer leadership to win votes, but it’s also true it has to be the leadership on common issues that the left, center-left, and moderates want so they’ll ALL vote for it. Otherwise, it’s going nowhere anyways because the GOP isn’t going to pass it if they control Congress again. Period.

            Do we want to win and start governing in the best possible manner? Or just take symbolic and perhaps idealistic stances? Count me among the former.

      •  I think there is a balance that is needed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat

        We can't be seen as not opposing bad descisons when they happen.....remember Kerry and I voted for it before I voted against it.

        We have to be careful that our silence and inaction doesn't hurt us in the future.

      •  Elections (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat

        If we had elections based on policy, rather then politics, then Democrats would dominate.

        unfortunately, in the world of Rovian practices of misinformation, deception, and distractions, Democrats have to fight harder and take nothing for granted.

        you tell someone the sky is  green enough times, they will believe it.

        •  All about GOTV (0+ / 0-)

          Tx-28 election demonstrated the only Republican advantage is getting out their voters. This is how they win. We have already won the debate and have the voters. All that matters now is GOTV. All attention should be put in GOTV efforts now! Democratic Idealists think its all about winning the idea battle. The Republican Realists know it's about the final vote count.

          All that matters is GOTV stupid.

          by ImpeachBushCheney on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:43:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That may be where you are, (0+ / 0-)

            but here in Florida, the ideas are still in play, and a consistent, low key and rationally stated set of principles is critical to getting out the vote that will win.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:20:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  dont put the cart before the horse (0+ / 0-)

            the debate hasn't been won because the electorate is not yet paying attention.  i agree with you that GOTV is critical in winning close races, but i disagree with your premise that it's "all" about GOTV.

            message first, raise the money...and then get out your vote.

      •  It is a two-sided coin (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        StrayCat

        I agree with you, in large part, that the Demcorat's actions will not be widely scrutenized by undecided voters until late summer, and have agrued against freaking out about our message until all the primaries are over in September.

        But I also heavily agree with Kos - if the Dems can't get their act together now, they probably never will. I still have no illusions - the GOP will hold both houses (and even make further gains) if the Dems stick to the status quo. The good news is this:

        THE PARTY LEADERSHIP CAN'T CONTROL US. Any one of us can organize enough active progressives to be the squeakiest wheel any House cadidate has to deal with. We can overload the volunteer schedules with like-minded people so that our opinions matter to candidates. We can coordiante the best messages (for new candidates especially) on sites like this.

        The Senate is another story, but I don't want to focus on negatives here.

        The key is running against the establishment of both parties as Kos has said - but focusing all attacks on the GOP.

      •  I don't see any evidence... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DeminNewJ, saraswati, peraspera, StrayCat

        ...that the House leadership is steeling itself for a well timed, effective assault. This wishful thinking reminds me of what I was saying in the summer of '04: don't worry about those swift boaters, Kerry times his counterattacks perfectly. I was clearly clairvoyant, because that effective counterattack is yet to happen.

        The reason summer will be too late to launch a secret product is that we don't have a noise machine, nor do we have the cooperation of the national media in the way the GOP does. Our race has to be to cripple the GOP now, so that they have too much distance to close in late October.

        •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

          And keep hammering the bastards till blood comes out of their ears. All it takes is one big event (another terrorist attack, say-no-to-gays campaign)  and any attack you're saving will be drowned out by the careful Rovean media manipulation. "We all need to get together and support our president." Sounds familiar?

          If you have ammo now, use it! And by god, the Dems should have truckloads already! Why wait with full guns for the few deadly shots by the enemy?

      •  Agree the better strategy is to strike decisively (0+ / 0-)

        when the time is right, but NOT hastily.

        It’s odd Kos claimed Feingold’s censure caused a lot of “heartburn” on the right. Where? From what I’ve read they’ve been quietly polling censure and impeachment regularly for months, and every poll shows it’s a loser for Democrats, losing moderate votes and boosting Republicans turnout. The GOP has been praying for a premature censure/impeachment action from the left.

        The poll cited here showed about 20% was still “undecided” particularly among moderates who were already trending towards disapproval. One can assume if the undecided Republicans and moderates continue that trend there would be perhaps a 10 pt disapproval of censure. Not a good way for Democrats to retake Congress.

        Frist motioned to hold the vote that day if he could. There is nothing Republicans would enjoy more than to put Democrats on the record now closing the issue presuming they vote against. If they voted for, prematurely ahead of public opinion, that would probably drive moderates to the right and tip the scales back in Republican’s favor. If Democrats and the left generally fail to bring moderates along with them, then what do we have? Zip.

        There's no second prize, either we're in office and controling Congress, or not.

  •  Every Kos reader (5+ / 0-)

    Every Kos reader should be volunteering to be a precinct captain for the 2006 election.

    George W. Bush makes Reagan look smart, Nixon look honest, and his dad look coherent.

    by Dave the pro on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 09:59:58 AM PST

  •  No you're not wrong (5+ / 0-)

    the Dems do have to stand for something more than just being the "other guys."   The opportunity is ripe, but not if we keep going the way we are.

    -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

    by calebfaux on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:00:21 AM PST

    •  The opportunity IS ripe (0+ / 0-)

      I have been brazenly predicting that Dems take the House and Senate, but my prediction depends on Dems stepping up.

      Feingold's censure motion is the perfect vehicle. But there is so much more that can tilt things our way (like Iraq, maybe?). The Dems REALLY need to get a voice spine.

      •  Re "Dems stepping up" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingOneEye
        I am sure I am not alone in having some ideas about how Dems should step up (and I'll save some for later). But one area to focus on, starting right now, is driving home just how awful this "do nothing" Congress truly is. There should be no more false equivalency, no more 'both parties are equally bad' stuff coming from the American public by the time Nov. rolls around.

        One possibility to consider: a TV spot featuring Democrats who have served their country in uniform (including Carter, Kerry, McGovern, Truman, etc., etc.), touting their proud Democratic patriotism and valuable military experience.

        (Btw, Ken Mehlman, how do you "cut and run" from a Mission Accomplished?)

        An even better idea: DNC Chair Howard Dean should field questions from us bloggers here at dkos on a regular basis (i.e., weekly or biweekly or monthly) -- just to, you know, touch base.

        (Not to be too pollyannish, but we should also be reminding one another and everyone we meet -- and again, now is not too early to start -- to register to vote.)

      •  My perception on Dems (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingOneEye, saraswati

        Dean had a spine, and a 10-year record of having a spine. He was believable. And got a knife in the back in the dark Dem alley by his own "friends."

        Anything all the other Dems do in the midterms along the lines of "standing up for ..." I can only see as political opportunism--same old same old election cycle crap.

        I usually use the following criteria for voting: incumbent? Vote 'em out. My own form of term limits. Don't let anyone stay long enough to calcify or build a controlling network to suit their party and cronies.

        It's so hard to pick between a party of greedy SOBs and a party of less greedy but cowardly SOBs. Why bother voting at all? I do vote, but that's just my civic responsibility overriding my personal revulsion.

        -6.63 -5.64

        I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker

        by xysrl on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:47:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just saw Sutler, er, Bush on TV again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John DE, MO Blue

    Talk about friendly media, Bush has just about every lunch hour covered with some repetitive drivel about staying the course in Iraq.  Honestly, it's positively Iron Curtain.  They guy is on ALL of the time.  Isn't this the way authoritarian regimes operate?  Are we going to see statues of Bush in every park?  (Can we pull it down and beat it with our shoes?)

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:00:44 AM PST

    •  Craig Crawford (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, John DE
      talked about this in his latest column for CQ(sorry no link)  i'm at work.  Bush fatigue.  I've been saying this same thing for 4 months.  He's in our faces too much(and most of the time what he calls reminding us of  the righteousness of our cause in Iraq comes across as lecturing and repetition).  For us Libs and Dems it's cruel and unusual punishment  and it's really becoming annoying for the rest of the country.  Whether you like him or not Americans don't need to see or hear from the president every five minutes.

      Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper - Martin Espada

      by demkat620 on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:09:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw him just a few minutes ago. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        randompost, demkat620

        And I thought "Is he givng that same old speech?  Geeeeze, come up with something new."  Except he wasn't giving a speech, he was "answering questions" from a "crowd".  Three year old speech, current speech, answer to a question -- they're all the same words.

        It might be true that if you say something enough, it will be accepted as truth, but if you say something too much, people will run away screaming "BULLSHIT!"

      •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

        for calling it to our attention. Here is the link. I like Craig.

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

        by OLinda on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:55:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The really sad thing though... (0+ / 0-)
        ...is that's all they know how to do in the face of adversary. Poll numbers dropping?  make a speech.  Social security reform opposed by public?  travel the country and make speeches.  People questioning the results of the war?  Travel to military bases and make speeches.  Administration looking bad after horrible Katrina response? Go to NOL and make a speech.

        It's all Bush does.  He makes speeches.  When the video came out of Bush being briefed on the levies before Katrina hit, McClelland said something along the lines that Bush wasn't there to play an active role, he was just there to lift spirits and reassure people that everything was being taken care of and I was just amazed at what I perceived to be a blinding moment of Truth.

        That is all Bush has EVER been good for. Going out and lifting spirits and reassuring supporters.

        That's it.  

        Join the We the People Project. National healthcare program designed by Americans for Americans.

        by DawnG on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:19:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  same speech (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Moli, vcmvo2

      He has been giving the same damn speech over and over for years now ("we're making progress in Iraq!"). Every time the media covers it like it's some big speech of vital importance, even going to far as to interrupt regular programming. But its the same fucking speech!!! Meanwhile Iraq gets ever more fucked up. What the hell is up with that? Why even bother covering the speech? Just tell us he is giving his stupid speech again and be done with it, we don't need to see him speak to know what he is saying, we've seen  it all before.

      Howard Dean has a posse (buy my t-shirts so I can afford YearlyKos!)

      by Jett on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:25:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's like a See-And-Say (0+ / 0-)

        With the questions.  Ask him a question, pull the string, and he'll give you a prerecorded speechlet that may or may not be relevent.

        This would be slightly less of farce if all the questions weren't prefixed with some stupid line like "I appreciate how you're protecting us from terrorism by fighting the war, and you have a big penis."

    •  Marketing your product and selling it - it is all (0+ / 0-)

      they know how to do.

      Do they give a shit what the product is??

      They sold a war,

      They sold him - an adult failure prior to politics by any measure the rest of us are held to

      It is the selling of a shitty product - their governace of this nation - that  too many( 33-45%) buy  into

    •  I saw him talking (0+ / 0-)
      on the TV playing Cspan at our office.  Thankfully they had the volume down but I could just tell by his posture and facial expressions he was saying the same thing he always says.  At one point I was walking to the other end of the room and heard "My job is" and rolled my eyes.  Like we're all too stupid to read the constitution and see what his job is.  Same speech with a few slogans and catch phrases changed for novelty.  But always the same speech.

      Join the We the People Project. National healthcare program designed by Americans for Americans.

      by DawnG on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:00:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You forgot (0+ / 0-)
    8 months of Limbaugh and Hannity endlessly repeating "Democrats are icky!"  dammit, there is no defense against it.

    Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper - Martin Espada

    by demkat620 on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:01:04 AM PST

  •  Race by race. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    For the Senate, I'm predicting Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Montana to be ours.  Ohio, Rhode Island, and Tennessee are the kind of seats that would also fall into our column with a more aggressive Democratic message rather than "they suck."

    Visit RemoveRepublicans.com and follow every 2006 Senate race.

    by AnthonySF on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:01:30 AM PST

  •  I hope you're wrong too, (0+ / 0-)

    but this early lowering of expectations at this early date can help--but only if it gets us to fight harder for victory. We all need to get out there and volunteer for local candidates!

  •  great points all around (16+ / 0-)

    i think the Democratic Party needs to understand its base does not operate in the same way the Republican base does. Republicans can turn everything they touch to shit, but if there is a gay marriage ban or abortion ban or border wall proposal on the ballot, Republicans will pour into the ballot booths and elect Republicans, no matter how great their disdain  may be.  

    On the other hand, Democrats gets dejected easily, and we let that influence our GOTV effort. It's not enough for us to be told to vote to get the republicans out of office. We're tired. We've heard the same promises before. We've seen it in 2002, 2004 and we don't feel like going to the polls to be anti-Bush or anti-GOP.

    Democrats want to vote for something, which is what you touched so well in your post. Democrats like Pelosi think that they can present a modified ABB proposal and make us work our asses of again. But it didn't work last time, and it won't work this time.

    Give us a Democratic agenda that reflects the roots of this amazing party, and we will beat the GOP GOTV effort. It's as simple as that.

    tracking the domestic spying scandal here.

    by Georgia Logothetis on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:01:35 AM PST

    •  Part of me thinks this year will be different, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mspicata

      I dont necessarily agree that Dems will or wont go to the polls based on agenda. I would be willing to bet that a LOT of voters will go to the polls expressly to NOT vote for republicans. In a backassward way, the idea of letting the GOP self destruct will probably work to get Dem votes. Thats not to say I AGREE with that strategy - we obviously need a great platform - I just have a hunch that this midterm election will be special.

      To recap, I think Dems will be voting like 'Pubs this year. Going in droves to the ballot box to vote a straight D ticket, platforms be damned. At least, I HOPE they do.

      If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

      by ablington on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:11:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm pessimistic too, (0+ / 0-)

      No matter how anti-Republican, anti-Bush the public is, and no matter how well we recruit and how aggressive our candidates are there is absolutely no cure to how gerrymandered the districts are.  Every indication is that there is a possibility for a Democratic wave this fall.  Democrats will probably receive 55-60% of the Congressional vote.  Unfortunately that will just mean taking a Republican incumbent down from 60% victory to 53%, and no amount of last minute Pelosi-wisdom is going to change that.  Sorry folks, but in the end it will only be 5 seats max in the House.

      The Senate, obviously, is a whole different ball of wax.

  •  America's Choice (4+ / 0-)

    1  Corrupt, imcompetent, whacko Republicans. . .

     --   or  --

    2  Spineless Democrats.

    Oy vey!

    BenGoshi
    ____________________________________________________

    We're working on many levels here. Ken Kesey

    by BenGoshi on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:02:02 AM PST

    •  Yup... (0+ / 0-)

      I am more than a little depressed about the whole thing. See - I really allowed myself to get my hopes up in 2004 (against my better judgement) and I still am not quite over it.

      I can NOT allow myself to believe 2006 will be any different.

      Bitter? Cynical? Resigned?
      Yeah, probably.

    •  We really need people with courage (0+ / 0-)

      Like Feingold. Like Reid.

      People want some GOOD ideas, and somebody to stand up to the thugs in Congress.

      I haven't read our local paper for a while. I read the weekly free, very local paper, but not the REAL paper. My husband brought one home yesterday, I was going through it this morning.

      There are letters to the editor, but they also have a call-in line, and that's anonymous. Gets some interesting stuff, normally you can tell it's just fundies calling and spouting crap about their high property taxes (we DON'T have horrible taxes), how bad the local, state, fed govt is, how bad the schools are run, etc. They normally are Bush supporters.

      Not any more. There were THREE supporting censure or impeachment, and one more looking for Dems to put out some plan or show some leadership. There was still one supporting Bush, but it seemed more out of place than anything else.

      To give you an idea of what this is usually like, the rest of them were things like the poor quality of the sound system at the Arts Center (TWO of those), schools, minor complaints about the local cops, city council, reps, and the governor.

      For a change, there was NOTHING about gays taking over the beach (it's not summer, give it time), rude kids, prayer in school, or loud stereos.

      So come on guys! Get some BALLS! Grow a spine! The people are ready, where the hell are you??

  •  Boosh speech on msnbc... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MediaFreeze, high uintas

    Is anyone else watching this?...

    It's unbelievable!

    He's bonkers, IMNSHO...

    "I don't care whether he is a goat fucker, just that he denies it..." -Lyndon B. Johnson

    by lobezno on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:02:23 AM PST

    •  yes and it's just here we go again.. (0+ / 0-)

      same old same old. Did you happen to notice him pulling something out of his suit pocket when he was asked the question about how we can buy his BS now when the reasons for going into Iraq turned out to be bogus? He didn't answer the question, only started up with the previous administration, UN etc. thought there were WMD's etc. but he did keep looking down on the podium. I'm thinking he had a blackberry or notes to refer to. But he still didn't answer the man's question.

      Also, I loved the first question about Kevin Phillips new book. He said he never heard of the idea that the war on terror being about the rapture.. right?!?!?!?

    •  craaaaazzzy... (0+ / 0-)

      over the rainbow... he is crazy...

  •  'if we're quiet enough... (9+ / 0-)

    Republicans will do themselves in and we'll benefit."

    It's like that bit in the Daily Show last week Ed Helms said something like "If a guy is hitting me in the head w/ a hammer, why should I fight back? I should just stand there b/c sooner or later he is going to hit himself in the head w/ the hammer and knock himself out"

    Hilarious. (but very very sad)  

    It's not easy being a Floridian.

    by lawstudent922 on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:02:45 AM PST

    •  other than (0+ / 0-)

      being a totally incorrect analogy.  its more like republicans are hitting themselves in the head, not hitting you on the head

      Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:20:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They've been hitting us in the head for over 5... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DonMahoney

        years now.  It's only in recent months that they're occasionally starting to hit themselves, too.  At some point in time, a party must define itself by what it is rather than by what it is not.

        Since you appear to be into analogies, it's long past time to follow Carville's advice of throwing an anvil to our opponents as they're drowning.  Feingold just threw one at them--it's hard to understand why others don't seem to understand the concept.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:48:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the problem is (0+ / 0-)

          how is censure an anvil? even if it passes it does nothing, and people will forget about it by November.

          I agree with you with the anvil statement...except I don't see what anvil we can throw out.  The republicans are self-destructing on their own.

          Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:52:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Take the ball and run with it (0+ / 0-)

          They've been hitting us in the head for over 5 years now.  It's only in recent months that they're occasionally starting to hit themselves, too. "

          Now that they're hitting themselves in the head, why not wait to see if they manage to correct their aim before wresting the hammer from their hand?

          At some point in time, a party must define itself by what it is rather than by what it is not.

          I agree with this statement 100%.  But how does censure define Democrats as anything other than the not-Bush?  Especially given that the Repubs will spin it as "weak-on-terrorism".

          it's long past time to follow Carville's advice of throwing an anvil to our opponents as they're drowning.

          I don't see how "define itself by what it is" == "throwing an anvil".  

          •  How about, we believe in obeying the law... (0+ / 0-)

            our opponents don't.  It's a simple concept.  We're told that Americans are hungry for "values" these days.  How about a basic American value--obey the laws of this country, and if you don't like a particular law, try to change it.  That goes double if you're the president and your party controls both houses of Congress.

            From day 1, this WH has taken the position that the law doesn't apply to it.  A large swath of the GOP "leadership" has taken the position that obeying the law and playing by the rules is for suckers.  FISA happens to be a law that the WH has brazenly violated.  Censuring W for his open disdain for the basic concept of the rule of law highlights that fact.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:11:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's more like (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arbiter, DonMahoney

        The Republicans running around the Pottery Barn that is America swinging sledge hammers as hard as they can.  Sometimes they hit other Republicans, sometimes they hit Democrats, but mostly they just destroy America.

    •  That Daily Show bit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Schadenfreude, peraspera

      That bit was spot on.  That's the Democratic conventional wisdom in D.C. right now.  If you just get out of the way and watch the GOP trainwreck.. then they will mess things up enough and the election will just win itself.  I bet the consultants, staffers, and politicians all think that they're clever by just sitting back and doing nothing.  What a bunch of idiots.

      The Feingold censure debacle has laid this sentiment for all the world to see.  Where's the fight?  Where's the urgency?  The base needs some fuel.  You don't censure the President because you think that will substantially change anything that he does... because it obviously won't.  You censure the President because it's good politics and it's the right thing to do.  That's what credible opposition parties do.. they stand up on principle and make their case to regain the reigns of power.

      Right now the Democrats are just lying on the ground while the drunk is pummeling away.. just waiting for the attacker to knock himself out.

      Why settle for the truth when you can have Truthiness???

      by wintersnowman on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:59:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  my view is dems don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    want the responsibility of impeaching bush. not the dlc types... so they're working to limit our gains. or not working, as the case may be.

    like hillary padding her own potus fund rather than helping with november.

  •  excellent post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    kos is like that pitcher who may only win 12-15 games a year, and mostly avoid the headlines, but when the chips are down always delivers.....very very good post....and very important points on pelosi that i wish/hope more people pick up on in the coming weeks onsite here....

    The thing with politicians is I wouldn't have suspicions if I saw their worst positions and their ugly underneath...

    by mstarr77 on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:03:30 AM PST

  •  What the Democrats can't seem to do... (4+ / 0-)

    ...is work as a team, because had the whole party signed on with Feingold, the message would have be, "Democrats challenge President". Its the 5 going this way... 7 going that way... 11 going nowhere quickly... that is holding us back.

    In 1994, the Republicans settled on an agenda and whether people agreed with it whole-cloth, the Contract with America presented another direction.

    Get a large majority of Democrats on the same page... 5 things they can all agree on... five ways to challenge the status quo... and then we'll have a momvement.

    Every woman and man for themselves aint going to cut it.

    •  since you mentioned Feingold.. (3+ / 0-)

      We had dinner last night with some friends.  These are relatively (compared to some of our other friends) politically aware people, with views similar to ours.  They'd consider themselves good Democrats of the left-leaning variety. They're not online much at all (we actually have to use the phone to get in touch :-).

      So, during dinner we mentioned our trip to Vegas for a "netroots Democrat convention" (YearlyKos didn't mean anything to them :-), if you've got a better descriptor of the event for non-Kossacks I'll take it!).  Steve asked me "So, if elections were today who would you support?" Without missing a beat, I said "Russ Feingold".

      His response... "Who?"

      I have to admit my followup was something along the lines of "Excuse me? You don't know who he is?" And I realized how much more aware we are here than are most of the good people out there who'd like to do the right thing with their vote. We need that kind of organized- even semiorganized- "movement", so that Joe and Jane Citizen can't help but know what's going on.

      Don't wanna be an American idiot, one nation controlled by the media.

      by brillig on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:33:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's why Feingold has to do stunts like that (0+ / 0-)

        Gets his name in the paper.  I personally believe, given his pattern, he would have done the same thing had he not be running for president-but he knows that it helps him.

        In any case, the primaries aren't name recogintion surveys.  New Hampshirians and Iowans get to have coffee with basically every canidate running.  That's when the primaries are decided, not any time before then.  Basically, it doesn't matter if your friends don't know Feingold now.  All that matters is that Feingold talks a good game in the living rooms of people in those two states.

      •  re: politically aware (0+ / 0-)

        I had made a similar realization with the Ciro primary. Awake at 1 am waiting for the numbers to come in, thinking, "how am I getting up for work tomorrow? Wait, I'm one of maybe a 1000 people that cares enough to do this. Hell, even the people that voted will just read the paper in the morning." So I turned on [adult swim] and still couldn't get up in the morning. Next day I confirmed ciro had lost, and realized I didn't care that much either.
        Deep breaths brothers and sisters. Try to enjoy the political absurdity while it lasts. Few generations have the opportunity to witness stupidity on such a galactic scale. Consider it all a b-grade horror film, incredibly gruesome and hilarious.

    •  'I'm not a member of any organized party' (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a Democrat.

      Democrats think for themselves, which means they are all over the place.  Republicans goosestep to the same drummer.  If we all marched in perfect formation, we wouldn't be Democrats any more.

  •  In my dreams... (6+ / 0-)

    In my dreams the Dems find a spine and are swept into power in both the Senate and House. Real hearings begin January 2007. By Spring 2007 Bush and Cheney are impeached and removed from office...

    •  And thrown in jail (0+ / 0-)

      and we sign on to the international criminal court and they are sent to the Hague for war crimes, which is a relief to them, because they avoid the death penalty in the U.S. where they would have been convicted for treason.

      Of course, instead we get a nightmare of increasing concolidation of wealth and corporate power over all forms of communication. If we don't watch out, they'll  make it too expensive to even HAVE websites like this, and we'll have to read fake blogs about how kick-ass Bush is.

      You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

      by dnamj on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:26:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ICC (0+ / 0-)

        I think if we signed onto the International Criminal Court that the administration could not get tried there since it may constitute an "ex post facto" law.

        (-10.00, -9.54) Volunteer for John Laesch for Congress (IL-14)

        by Jared Lash on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:26:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  USA PATRIOT Act (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NealB, Schadenfreude

    My congressman was one of the 44 House Democrats who backed the Bush administration on the USA PATRIOT Act re-authorization.  I just can't vote for him in November, even though I want the Democrats to take over Congress just to see if they have the courage to impeach Bush.  They probably don't.  

    Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on. --Winston Churchill

    by rmwarnick on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:05:19 AM PST

  •  I've been here for a while (12+ / 0-)

    and I still don't see what we are doing to win this 'fight.'

    All I see are a bunch of states turning blue because they think Bush is a fucktard, not because Democrats are providing some alternate path to salvation.  If all you have are a bunch of disillusioned voters and no one to tell them more than... you know... we feel your pain, then frankly fuck it.  All the color changing maps in the world isn't going to get that lazy dipshit former Bush supporter to actually go to the polls and vote for something at all... let alone a straight democratic ticket (mind you, this is what we WANT.  This is what we NEED).

    Why can't we build a fucking 'Contract with America,' kick joe lieberman out of the party, and put Delay's head on a pike (and give his ocular orbital a good sexual hoorah) and be done with it?

    When I go out there, door to fucking door, campaigning to replace Chocola, I've got to say something to these people! AND IT HAS TO BE A UNIFIED VOICE!  Someone honestly needs to stuff a tack into the ass of the party leadership here.

    anyway... that's all i've got to say about that.  steaming

  •  Dems should stop listening to DLC, RWCM (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    The longer I live the more I am convinced that this is the preference order of the DLC types and the token pseudo-liberal (Clift, etc.) pundits in the media as to who should run the country.

    1. Far right GOPers or spineless not-left-of-center-at all Dems (tie)
    1. Things that aren't liberal or non-spineless Democrats or Satan
    1. liberal or non-spineless Democrats or Satan (tie)

    Pelosi needs a primary challenger as liberal SF can do better, and we need a new leader.

    Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:07:55 AM PST

    •  By new leader (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gradinski chai, calebfaux

      I mean to replace Pelosi, NOT DEAN... although Dean needs to focus on media as much as he focuses on grass roots.

      Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

      by DemDachshund on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:08:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jared Lash

        Pelosi needs to find her backbone or get out...it's her choice.

        Making the world a little better place can be fun.

        by gradinski chai on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:33:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See, I got flamed for suggesting (0+ / 0-)

          that the caucus sling Pelosi under a bus for her stunts.  

          If SF can persuade Matt Gonzalez to challenge her ass in the Democratic Primary, if she loses, you replace her with Jack Murtha as Minority Leader, and you don't allow Steiny Hoyer no where near the steering wheel.

          "Corruption is the disease; Accountability is the cure."

          by The Truth on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:11:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  For better or worse.... (0+ / 0-)

            Pelosi is much more progressive than Murtha.  Sure, Murtha would be a superb leader when it comes to Iraq, and a much more superb leader in general.  If we're objecting to people based on ideological grounds (such as Rep. Hoyer), then Pelosi wins even if she won't fight.

            (-10.00, -9.54) Volunteer for John Laesch for Congress (IL-14)

            by Jared Lash on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:36:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Grassroots will win or lose for us (0+ / 0-)

        My belief is that the big media ads have lost their punch.  Most people see them as negative and misleading, an insult to their intelligence.  Big media is more and more empty of content, and local, personal, positive organizing will produce more and faster results.  All of us, lib, conservative and all in between want to belong to a society again, not sit in our homes stuck to the TV.  Dean is smarter than all the DLC added together.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:30:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Doubt it. (0+ / 0-)

          Grass roots accomplished squat in the last election, and that was a huge one, with motivated bases on both sides.

          This election cycle will get half as many voters, with most of the no-shows coming from the less-disciplined liberals.

          -6.63 -5.64

          I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker

          by xysrl on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:57:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Who needs Rove (0+ / 0-)

      when you've got Marshall Wittman?

      "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." -- Edward R. Murrow

      by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:40:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It ain't just Bubba and... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Joe Six-pack, wherever they may be.

    Lotsa people notice the same thing that kos puts nicely...

    The CW amongst DC Democrats appears to be, "if we're quiet enough, Republicans will do themselves in and we'll benefit." Problem is, that people don't trudge to the polls to vote against candidates. They are required, in our Democracy, to check a box FOR a candidate.

    And Democrats are doing everything in their power to ensure that people have no reason to go to the polls. They aren't going to vote for Republicans. That much is clear. But why should they vote for Democrats, the same Democrats who have failed to stand up to Republican excesses over the past five years?

    I wonder why it is, then, that when folks try to discuss this same concept from the standpoint of bringing Joe Six-pack or Southern Bubba into the Dem fold, a place that they naturally belong...well, in that conversation it seems we get a fair amount of the expression "apologist" thrown around.

    See, to me at least, it seems that Joe Six-pack and Bubbas around the country have noticed the same thing that kos has noticed, that lotsa folks here have noticed.

    Dems' messages. Dems agenda. It's a problem. It's a problem that Dems can and should straighten out.

  •  how about a 'Pelosi resign' petition? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truesurf

    At the very least it would pressure her to defend her inaction.

    Just say 'NO' to torture enabling judges.

    by KingJames on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:08:17 AM PST

    •  dunno (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rogun

      I've been critical of Pelosi and do think she should be replaced.. but I don't think now is the time for such an action.

      •  Oh come on! (0+ / 0-)

        That's like saying that Bush is a horrible fuckup but we're in a war and can't change leadership right now.
        She doesn't support impeachment or a censure? WHAT? After Bush blatantly admitting he violated the law?
        Pelosi is supposed to lead in opposition, not run away from doing her job!
        We need people with spine who will say "enough is enough". What do they have to lose as this point? The repubs aren't giving you any power anyway, isn't it at least time to start yelling at the incompetent retards?

        •  nah (0+ / 0-)

          It is similar, but it's not the same. Pelosi is one member of the Democratic leadership team.

          I also think that we're just starting to overcome the media meme of "Democrats are disorganized" and changing one of the leaders will throw all of that away.

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        I do think Pelosi should be replaced by someone who is much more of a progressive leader, however, now is not the time.  Such a replacement would only serve to display publicly the infighting and lack of direction in the Democratic Party that the media have claimed existed.

        But then again, perhaps I'm thinking like the DLC.  Maybe replacing Pelosi would show that Democrats have so much resolve in the direction of their party that they are willing to replace their minority leader when she stands in the way.  Perhaps it is just me, but I believe the media will latch on to the first message before the second.

        (-10.00, -9.54) Volunteer for John Laesch for Congress (IL-14)

        by Jared Lash on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 04:41:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unless And Until... (0+ / 0-)

    We get reliable voting machines with a verifiable paper trail, we will see our chances in November greatly diminished.

    Goper's Lament (Hard To Be A Republican)

    Love Songs From Ground Zero

    by Subway Serenade on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:08:38 AM PST

  •  Don't despair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    One of the things I worry about is people losing their energy and not doing enough to win over the populace and get out and vote.

    While we wait for the organized Dems to come up with a program, we can just go out there and, by word of mouth, talk up the Dem ideas we like--If the Dems take power they will begin to end the war in Iraq, end corruption and incompetence in DC, start to end our dependence on foreign oil and bring security to our communities through more attention and resources to first responders, education and health care.  Simple message.  Pass it on to family, frineds, coworkers, people who may now for the first time be receptive.  If people want more specifics, there is lots on the various Dem policy sites.

    And then get out and work for the next 8 months.

    Then wwe can push the party to make good.

    "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

    by Mimikatz on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:08:42 AM PST

  •  Demo-Wimps Must Go (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    iCaroline
    It's time NOW to let Demo-Wimps know that they have failed utterly and must step aside.

    Let's focus on the Dem primaries -- not the autumn.

    Go Ned Lamont!!!!

  •  Great post Kos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemDachshund, calebfaux

    I like how you pulled it all together.

    I am really disappointed in Pelosi too.

  •  Well, one thing to look at (0+ / 0-)

    is to look at past elections where one party really picked up tons of seats...like 1994.  What did that race look like in March of 1994? did it really looke like republicans were going to pick up THAT many seats?  How coordinated were they in their message at that time?

    I have a feeling it will look more like the situation today than many people here would think.  Considering I was 11/12 at the time, I hardly have good memories myself of it, but I'm wondering, for those who do, what the comparable situation in 1994 was at this time?

    Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:10:33 AM PST

  •  they will win on immigration (9+ / 0-)

    They will win on immigration. I gaurantee it.

    Not only will they win their own voters back, but they'll steal Democratic votes, too.

    Their big-business controllers have no interest in doing anything about the illegal immigration problem, but that won't stop their shameless PR people from putting on a big show like they plan on taking action.

    We'll see lots of immigration-related campaigning, and because they're Republicans they'll take a viciously anti-immigrant stance.

    We, being nice liberals, will automatically react by talking about how "they're just trying to find good jobs here - it's not their fault their economis suck" and all of the rest.

    And you know what? THAT WILL LOSE US THE ELECTION. Voters don't want to hear that we're going to let more Mexicans in - and that IS what they'll hear when we start talking about all of the structural problems that cause immigration.

    There is a VERY, VERY, VERY large group of people, both Republican and Democratic, who wants to know that the party in charge will close off the borders and start deporting brown people.

    And that's what Republicans will promise. They won't really deliver, of course (because their masters in big business would never have that), but they'll put on a big enough show come November to make people THINK they will.

    And while we're screaming about corruption, illegal wiretapping, failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden's latest music video, and all of the rest - they will cruise to victory on the backs of cheap Mexican labour.

    •  Bingo (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas, Richard Carlucci

      The flip side is that we can win on immigration if and only if we get out there first and propose to do something about it.

      ->Even Fox News says Iraq is a civil war <-

      by maxomai on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:14:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  what will we propose, though? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades, ebbak, mspicata

        We're liberals - it goes against our internal programming to propose closing off the border and deporting illegal immigrants.

        We're physically and mentally incapable of making that proposal, but that seems to be the only one that will win in this climate.

        Republicans will propose that in a heartbeat, because they're shameless enough to make that promise while having absolutely no intention of keeping it.

        It would take something radical, or a total shift in the frame of the debate, for liberals to come away from this issue successfully.

        The only idea that I have is something that's entirely too ridiculous: annex Mexico so we can start taxing all of the illegals who happen to be Mexican (a good portion).

        It would cost a lot of money (but it sure would be a nice excuse for pulling out of Iraq), and I'm not sure Mexico would be too happy about it.... but it's the best idea I've got.

        Anybody else?

        •  well (0+ / 0-)

          the first thing to stress is that its just flat out impossible to depart all the illegal aliens currently in the country. we just can't do it.  so what do we do about it?

          well, the first step is to try to stop immigrants from migrating into the US.  That means better patrol of the border, but perhaps more importantly, promotion of fair trade deals with central america and mexico.

          second step: what to do with the aliens already in the US.  some sort of work-to-legalization type thing similar to what bush is proposing (one of the very few things that he's proposed that I can actually accept).

          Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:27:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I dunno (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebbak

            I'm concerned about the work-to-legalization stuff.

            It keeps getting painted as "amnesty for illegals," and people who perceive that illegal immigrants have stolen their jobs aren't eager to embrace it.

            I'm in the camp that thinks it's the most practical solution, even if it isn't a great one, but the masses don't buy this argument because it doesn't "feel right."

            •  well (0+ / 0-)

              one just has to make it clear that it will be very strict, with the punishment being deportation.  that it isn't an automatic, but as long as they contribute to society, then they can legalize themselves.

              I'm not sure what public opinion on this is general, or what the knowledge level of it is.  I know the right isn't happy with it, but i'm not sure about everyone else. Even I'm not totally sure what Bush's plans are much less people who aren't paying as much attention.

              However, as I said, it needs to be stressed: we cannot deport them all, and currently they are costing us money.  work-to-legalization gives them a chance to contribute to society more, and thats an advantage for both them and us.

              Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

              by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:42:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  To me, this is simple (0+ / 0-)

          We propose to close the borders as tightly as we can, fully fund port security, inspect every incoming cargo container by 2012, reform the H1B visa process, and create a "quick guest worker visa" program with explicit opportunity to become a US citizen.

          The idea is not to restrict immigration or to pander to the "whites only" crowd. The idea is to control and monitor immigration for security reasons, but to provide plenty of opportunities for people who want it.

          ->Even Fox News says Iraq is a civil war <-

          by maxomai on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:18:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What programming? (0+ / 0-)

          We're liberals - it goes against our internal programming to propose closing off the border and deporting illegal immigrants.

          We're physically and mentally incapable of making that proposal, but that seems to be the only one that will win in this climate.

          I disagree with that sentiment.  As a progressive, it does not offend me at all to close off the border and deport illegal immigrants.  

          What offends me as a progressive is that illegal immigration is a DEMAND side problem that is being treated - like the drug problem and the oil problem - as a SUPPLY side issue.  Corporations and small businesses like to hire illegal immigrants because their illegal status allows them to (1) underpay them; and (2) mistreat them.  What does an illegal do if he is being underpaid/overworked?  Complain to the authorities?  They are as close to slave labor as there is in the US.  Human rights abuse of illegal immigrants is a serious problem, and stopping illegal immigration will (hopefully) eliminate or reduce the treatment of illegals.

          Even if you want more poor non-natives in the U.S. because we should share the wealth, I believe the progressive position should be that those people should be allowed in LEGALLY by increasing immigration, not by pursuing a policy of non-prosecution and looking the other way at employers who hire and abuse illegals.

          Use a little game theory here.  If everyone stands up for border protection and closure - which, by the way helps defend us against terrorism - the employers that build their businesses on the backs of abusing illegal immigrants will undoubtedly demand (and likely receive) increases in legal immigration.  If there is a labor shortage in the US, you can bet your bottom dollar that businesses will want to allow more immigrants in.

          So I think in the long run, the progressive position should be to close the borders, eliminate abuse of illegals, and then let the demand for workers create new, higher limits on LEGAL immigration.

          In addition, there is a rule of law issue here.  Why pass limits on immigration if you aren't going to enforce them?  It does offend me as a progressive that the Bush administration has essentially a don't ask don't tell policy when it comes to employers who hire illegal immigrants.  It's wrong to not enforce the law.  If enforcing the law is morally wrong, then democracy and the rule of law demand that the law be changed, not ignored.  

    •  The answer on immigration is (5+ / 0-)

      that we have to address supply and demand simultaneously.  Whatever efforts are made to punish workers without documentation, comparable efforts have to be made to punish employers of those workers.

      Once we get that principle established, we can debate what we want the level of immigration to be.  But until we get that principle established, we will never solve the "problem" (to the extent it is one), because employers face no realistic penalties for flouting the law and there's an endless stream of workers who are desperate enough to do so.

      I think there are good arguments to be made on both sides of this debate (the anti-immigration argument being simply that at some point there has to be a limit or the cost of labor drops to nothing.)  I can be persuaded towards one or another side.  But what I can't be persuaded to do is to punish workers while giving employers a pass, because that guarantees that there will be no solution.  I think that the public can understand and accept that sort of message.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:23:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder, though (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MO Blue

        Do you really think that we can beat them by being firm about punishing employers, too?

        Will they be so afraid to go after businesses that they'll completely cede this to us?

        I'm halfway to thinking this is a good idea, because if we can get them to defend a position of not punishing employers, then we can put them on the WRONG SIDE of the immigration debate.

        But the question is - will we be able to do this? Will they take the bait?

        •  Anti-Corporate, Pro-Middle-Class, Pro Rule-of-Law (4+ / 0-)

          Corporations break the law by hiring illegals. Democrats believe in laws. Businesses drive down wages  of Americans by hiring illegals. Democrats believe that people who work hard shouldn't live in poverty. Failure to pay payroll tax on immigrant employees is just another way for the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. Democrats believe that the middle class shouldn't continue to be responsible for the nation's entire revenue stream.

          I think we can disagree on many details of immigration policy, but an anti-demand strategy is consistent with Democratic ideals and creates cracks in the Republican immigration front.

          "So let me get this straight- they believe in Social Darwinism, but not um, actual Darwinism??"

          by bonobo on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:01:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  We need not take a stand on where to set the bar (0+ / 0-)

          As I say below, the only stand we have to take now is against mealy-mouthed Republican hypocrisy.  We say this:

          "OK, American public, if you want less immigration, here's how to get it.  Tom Tancredo's never going to give it to you because he only wants a feel-good anti-immigrant policy.  We can toughen immigration law on the supply side if you want, but realize that the way to do that is to do much more on the demand side.  Once you see what it will cost you to truly solve the problem, then you can decide how much more or less immigration you want.  But we're going to make sure that whatever law we have in place actually does what it's supposed to do; no more Republican winks and nods."

          Once the laws are in place, we can say, then go ahead and put Tancredo's proposals on the table.  They won't pass.

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:41:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  No need to punish undocumented ... (3+ / 0-)

        ...immigrants if the punishment for employers is tough enough. Any party that isn't willing to do this FIRST isn't serious about dealing with this issue. Those who cross the border illegally are victims already; why start the policy by worsening their lot?

        •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)

          Undocumented workers are already suffering from immoral corporate practices, low wages, threats of deportation,ect. The big reason that this is now on the national stage is that it is impacting American worker's wages. It is the buisness end that we need to go after.
          I've done a little polling of my own, talking with people I know who are being hammered by this. One friend is and has been in construction for over 30 years. He's used to moving from job to job, that's the nature of the biz. Now he is brought in to set up the job and then canned as soon as the illegals, who he calls "the amigos" can take over. He likes them, and says that they are hard workers, nice guys, he really doesn't hold this against them. I believe that most who work side by side can see the unfairness of this. We need to keep the focus on the companies and we can humanely win this.

        •  I think this is almost the whole answer (0+ / 0-)

          These people are coming here only to get jobs.  If the US really wants to keep them out -- and there's no question that big business does NOT because they want the cheap labor -- fine the hell out of anyone who hires an illegal.  This seems like a safe enough issue even for the Dems.  It's not anti-immigration, it's  not pro-immigration, it's enforce the law.  Pound on the fact the people hiring are the ones to blame.  Let the Republicans say the companies shouldn't be fined for hiring illegals.

        •  MB, let me clarify (though you'll still disagree) (0+ / 0-)

          "Punish" was the wrong word to use, I see, because it suggests increasing individual incarceration, deportation, etc.  I mean punish in the sense of "take steps detrimental to the professed interests of."  Saying that we will increase border interdiction efforts, increasing BICE agent funding, and putting tighter limits on illegal immigration all fall within "punishment," as I'm conceiving it.

          Those proposals are in the current political mix, like it or not, and they're helping the GOP.  Also in the mix are the truly horrific proposals that gut due process and deport people for as little as nothing.  That's where we want to aim our fire.

          The problem with saying that we only want to work on the demand side is that everyone knows it's lip service.  We can rail about punishing employers, not workers, and everyone will see it for what it is: a way for people that don't want to reduce illegal immigration to prevent measures from taking effect.  In the West and Southwest, we'll lose that debate to people who voters think are serious about stopping illegal immigration with their fences and vigilantes.

          What I'm saying is that we should refuse to have that debate.  Yes, we can say that Tom Tancredo is full of crap, but short of that, we don't need to say that we approve or disapprove of draconian proposals to reduce immigration.  Instead, we take the position that those who actually care about reducing the availability of illegal drugs (which by and large I don't), as opposed to making political hay out of the issue, have taken on that issue:

          (1) Attempting to reduce supply without reducing demand will not solve the problem at all; all it will do is raise the price, foster corruption, and drive it underground.

          (2) Therefore, whatever level of this activity we decide is acceptable, we should focus as much or more on reducing demand than reducing supply.

          Where I differ from where I think you are is that I'm truly willing to put the level of immigration up for democratic vote.  If people want less of it -- once they realize the costs they will face as the price of their goods and services rise -- then let the majority rule, and face the consequences.  I may side with unlimited immigration activists or I may side with unions; I don't yet know and it doesn't much matter.  But if we address supply without demand, then voters get the cheap goods and the satisfaction of feeling like they're doing something to solve the problem -- and that is unacceptable.

          So, to recap:  I don't rule out stronger limits on immigration, even though I don't expect I'd end up supporting them.  I don't take a stand on that now because doing so is a political loser.  But I do walk up to Tom Tancredo and his ilk and call them a bunch of hypocritical bullshitters, because they know damn well that so long as businesses can make money using these people they'll figure out a way to get them in, and that they must pledge that any law they pass must have airtight provisions to ensure that enforcement on the demand side -- and that includes against those employing nannies and gardeners -- will be as strong or stronger as those on the supply side.

          Make them demonstrate how a law they propose would work to have a real deterrent effect.  Then, and only then, once the real costs are on the table, can we have a serious debate.  I think that the most that would come out of such a debate would be modest reforms on the supply side that I (and probably you) could live with, and massive reforms on the demand side that would leave the public more favorably disposed towards immigration and would neutralize it as an issue.

          How about, for starters, allow for qui tam (private attorney general) actions against employers who violate immigration laws?  How about amnesty for employers who provide credible evidence of employers who attempt to blackmail them into accepting sub-minimum wage work?  Boom, problem solved.

          We'll never get such legislation passed, though, if we aren't ostensibly open to the prospect of supply side efforts as well.  I'm sorry, but that simply seems like the current political reality to me, and the elections in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado may well depend on it.  The standard liberal position hasn't worked and isn't going to.

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:35:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good Point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Danby

        And I think immigration is an issue Democrats must address--because if not, it will be used either directly or indirectly as a national security problem. If spouting a flaccid "well, we don't want to disrupt employment for the downtrodden and poor," I'll bet the farm Dems lose in November.

        The problem is that the country sees Dems as either soft or sloppy on security. Not having an immigration plan plays right into this thinking. "Don't touch or bother them!" kind of thinking is fatal--the average American Joe isn't going to be very sympathetic to the idea of immigrants when he reads about this or that government program servicing foreign workers and their families. Call it xenophobia, call it whatever--Joe's going to see it as unfair and wrong.

        There's going to have to be some ID plan, and yes, I like the idea of ramming it to the employers. We can argue that it's more efficient that way instead of running a jeepful of "patriots" around in the desert looking for Mexicans.

      •  How bout (0+ / 0-)

        we support the enforcement of current immigration laws? Current law provides a fine of up to $10,000.00 per illegal person hired. Had the previous administrations (since 1986)  supported the enforcement of immigration laws, illegal immigration would be a non issue. I tend to take exception to Kos's remark: "Latinos making their way north to work the shit jobs no one else wants." As usual an educated elite thinks just because he wouldn't do a certain job, no other American would. I have worked in both agriculture and construction, my entire life. I have worked along Hispanics both legal  and illegal. My wife works as a grocery clerk (service industry). For those of you that don't know, many jobs in these fields used to provide a middle-class income. There isn't any job Americans won't do. They just won't do them for slave wages.

        "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

        by llih on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 02:07:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So happens that I think you're right. But -- (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think it's a political winner.  That's where we've been.  You are, I suspect, saying "No more supply side restrictions, just make the demand side restrictions real."  I think people only hear the part before the comma.  Better is:  "Any supply side restrictions have to be bolstered by no less strong demand side restrictions, otherwise this is just feel-good legislation that will throw more poor people in jail without solving the problem.  Once we have the principle in place, we can start to plan."

          My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

          by Major Danby on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:44:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do we know? (0+ / 0-)

            No one has really tried to  enforce immigration laws since before 1986. Right now depending on which polls you look at 65-80% of Americans want illegal immigration stopped. A great percentage of these want the laws enforced that are currently on the books. That includes deportation when necessary. Immigration policies were enacted to benefit and protect the American public. Not to benefit foreign nationals or cheap labor special interests.

            A good immigration policy would include both increased border security, employer penalties, a employee verification system for SS numbers and deportation.

            While I am sympathetic to the plight of third world peoples, the answer is not to increase immigration into our own country. We cannot continue to take in the numbers we currently are without drastically changing our own way of life. Most Americans do not want high density population and it's problems. There is a reason life in the US is so attractive and it's not just increased wages/freedom. Part of the attraction is that we are not over-crowded yet.

            I have never heard an advocate for increased immigration numbers say how many is enough? When will the population be great enough? When do we say that's it? Does it have to reach the point where there are shortages?

            Most of the folks here at Kos don't see the need to enforce immigration laws, because immigration doesn't affect them. It's easy to advocate a position that affects others when you know that your own position is secure. I seriously wonder how many would change their minds on immigration policy if tomorrow they went to work and found that an immigrant was being trained to replace them? How would they feel if they were given the option of quitting or working for a fraction of their previous pay? This has happened repeatedly to all sectors of the construction trades and a high percentage of service industries.

            A guest worker program sounds great on the surface. But how many uneducated people do we need in this country? Nearly 60% of immigrants from Mexico and S America didn't have a high school education according to the GAO. Only 7% had a college education. The US AG dept did a study a while back. The results revealed that at any given time there were at a minimum, 250,000 more ag workers than jobs.
            Is a guest worker program really guest? How do you get them to return to their home countries? They come here as a guest worker (temporary), get married or have a child and then they are no longer a guest.

            The congress is doing what it always does. If they can't blame it on someone else (enforcing immigration laws) they make the problem go away by doing away with the law. Doesn't that sound just like their response to illegal wiretaps/fisa and the abdicating of their responsibility to declare war?

            "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

            by llih on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 04:42:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Stick to one side (0+ / 0-)

        Screw the "balanced" approach. Just stick to condemning the exploitive bosses. People who get itchy about the possibility that they might harbour some latent racism will feel absolved by that position.

    •  I think your right about the danger there (0+ / 0-)

      We have to be ready for that debate and speak with one voice.

      •  There is not one voice (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Meteor Blades
        I believe that there are many different views in the Democratic Party over this issue, and so we are not able to speak with one voice.

        Additionally, many of us who see this as primarily a cheap labor issue, and as such it makes the issue much broader, and the cacophony much louder.

        <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

        by superscalar on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:42:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We need a comprehensive guest worker program (0+ / 0-)

      Somebody needs to pick up this ball. It's just waiting, since Bush dropped it. I think you're right. The RW sites are ALL about xenophobic immigration issues, and now the U.S. Government are making it very difficult (by requiring passports) for U.S. citizens to even go visit their neighbors in Canada and Mexico, furthering the cause of isolation.

      However, Immigration is not that difficult of a problem to solve. Many countries have dealt with it, including the U.S. at other times in history. We need to take the fear out of it. We just need a plan.

      Talking points:

      1. The number of illegal immigrants coming in: is it even higher than the number of jobs we've exported?
      1. Have you lost your job to an illegal immigrant, or has your job shipped overseas? (repetition never hurts).
      1. Most illegals preform domestic labor, restaurant work, and agricultural labor jobs. These industries could easily be brought into compliance though a sensible permit system.

      We have nothing to fear from immigrants, if the situation is handled in an organized and competent fashion.

      It is precisely the imcompetence and lack of good faith follow-through over the last 6 years, 12 if you go back to the failed republican contract, that has been the problem.

      Immigration would be ab easy problem to solve if we were simply honest with ourselves about the causes and solutions.

      Global climate change (GCC): that is a real problem.

      You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

      by dnamj on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:39:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bah-I hate guest worker programs (0+ / 0-)

        I don't want guest workers-I want furture citizens.

        •  baby steps (0+ / 0-)

          we must begin making progress. Guest worker programs may be set up to help move people into citizenship eventually.

          We have to start somewhere. And I really mean "start over".

          You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

          by dnamj on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:48:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Just say it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Geotpf, arbiter

        We need a comprehensive guest worker program

        Call it what it is and just say that you support a cheap labor indentured servant program.

        Create, on the bottom end of the wage scale, the H5, or the H2, or whatever the visa number ends up to be, call it 'the jobs Americans won't do'.

        Then blow the cap off the H1B program to subvert the middle and top of the wage scale, call it 'the jobs Americans can't do'.

        Specter or Frist writes it. Leahy supports it, Kennedy supports it, Pelosi supports it. It is pretty much a done deal.

        The piece de resistance will be electing that scumbag Harris Miller, late of the ITAA, to Congress so as to have somebody on the inside banging the drum about how Americans are just so fucking stupid and we all need to go to community college.

        Continued Efforts to Exploit Indentured Servants

        Education smokescreen conceals American worker replacement agenda

        <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

        by superscalar on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:59:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Should have been (0+ / 0-)

          so as to have somebody on the inside

          Should have read somebody else on the inside.

          'Cause Lord knows we don't have enough talking heads on the inside telling us for almost ten years now that importing low wage replacement engineers and scientists is the way towards solving 'the drastic shortage of engineers and computer scientists' on the one hand, and how, on the other hand, educating more scientists and engineers is the way towards competing with labor that costs a tenth of American labor.

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:56:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, I'm on YOUR side (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not saying that this is any kind of a great thing.  I'm also not saying that I think it's great that those born with some advantage, usually meaning money or geography, always end up using those advantages to screw those less lucky.

          However, there needs to be some recognition that the situation IS what it IS, right now. Currently, illegal status is used to FURTHER exploit immigrants. That is why the do-nothing option is not viable at this time.  

          I'm well aware that the situation sucks, and that the corporatists are trying to screw me over by both importing people from poverty-stricken areas, and exporting jobs there. The larger wage reduction issues you mention really don't have that much to do with immigration, in my opinion, that is simply a time-honored mechanism. These issues always have to do with greed, and an overall lack of government oversight over corporations.

          I'd rather take away the immigrant-related fear (the most powerful political tool the right wing has) by saying that it is at least POSSIBLE to do something to get this shitty situation at least organized. Improvement requires organization as a first step.

          Besides all that, this is a political discussion, and I think the original poster was right that immigration could be the flag-burning issue of 2006. Just because they're wrong doesn't make us right, and also doesn't even make it likely that they will be exposed. IF they succeed in making Immigration the top issue, and if they want to I think they can, we need to be ready with a plan for dealing with immigration, not just gripes.

          You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

          by dnamj on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 02:12:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  H. R. 4437 (0+ / 0-)

      The GOP has a bill which now is in the Senate to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act, to strengthen enforcement of the immigration laws, to enhance border security, and for other purposes. If the GOP Senate waters down the bill, or Bush doesn't sign it, doesn't it become a GOP problem? Are they going to run on an issue that they had the opportunity to "fix" this year before the elections?

    •  Which is it? (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      There's this diary here about how African American men have missed out on the "economic boom" (If there is one) then we read (not in the post I am responding to, but elsewhere) about how we need open borders because we don't have enough people for some jobs?

      •  There (0+ / 0-)

        was an article I read sometime ago about the fact that job creation hasn't kept up with population growth. When one considers that most of the US pop.growth comes from immigration, then the solution is simple. Slow immigration (legal and illegal) till job creation out paces it and we need more labor. Of course the powers that be on both sides of the aisle, really don't want the over abundance of labor to cease and wages to rise. Their corporate masters would cut them off. It's the same reason we have not had a minimum wage increase. I posted a comment along time ago about the fact that illegal immigration doesn't affect the educated and wealthy. They are above it all. They do not have to compete for jobs, do not have their wages depressed, their children do not have to compete with illegal immigrant children for school resources and of course they never have them living in their neighborhoods. Truman said it best: "It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job, it's a depression when you lose yours"  I suspect many  would change their position, if illegal immigration was directly affecting them in a negative way.

        "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

        by llih on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 02:52:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dem leaders overestimate discontent towards GOP (3+ / 0-)

    The discontent is there alright, but the motivation to vote for Democrats is not there.

    Give us a reason to vote for Democrats. If all we get is the usual appeasing Dems, don't expect the base to be motivated to vote this year.

    The losing cycle goes on unless its changed soon.

  •  Contract with America (0+ / 0-)

    I see a lot of people wishing for a sort of Democratic "contract on (ahem, for) America" moment.  I think it's a good idea, but if you ask me a bit too early in the cycle to roll something like that out.  It would just give the GOP a chance to co-opt it.

    Wait until August or September.

    •  It may be a bit too soon (0+ / 0-)

      but not much - if you wait too long it may be too late.

      -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

      by calebfaux on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:15:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  republicans (0+ / 0-)

        waited until 6 weeks before the election to release the contract with america.  the last month of the campaign is the time period that matters the most

        Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:28:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

          I stand corrected - from Wikipedia

          The Contract with America was introduced six weeks before the 1994 Congressional election, the first midterm election of President Bill Clinton's Administration, and was signed by all but two of the Republican members of the House of Representatives, and all of the Party's non-incumbent Republican Congressional candidates

          They waited until the public was focused on the race and released their "bomb"

          -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

          by calebfaux on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:06:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  We must agree in issues, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        calebfaux

        and talk about them individually for a while before we present a package.  If the package goes out too soon, the Repugs will spend millions shooting at it, and the debate will be about the battle instead of the issues.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:36:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The realignment challenge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kd texan, StrayCat

    The CW amongst DC Democrats appears to be, "if we're quiet enough, Republicans will do themselves in and we'll benefit."

    This is so true ... a few months ago, Kos, you wrote about the "realignment challenge" -- the need to make this election not just a lucky break, a "picking of the electoral lock" a la Clinton in 1992, but the beginning of a broad realignment where Democrats take back the center.

    Obviously, the DC/Vichy Democrats are afraid of this challenge, because they can't figure out how to do it.

    (Some of us have ideas, though, and will continue flogging them...)

  •  You win midterm elections by firing up the base! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, StrayCat

    At least, that's been the CW for approximately forever.  And it certainly worked for the GOP in 1994 - their guys were fired up, Dem voters were dispirited, and guess what happened?  Their voters came out in droves, while ours stayed home.

    We've got a chance to reverse that in 2006 - IF the Dems aren't afraid to take stands that will fire up their base.  Like Markos says, you've got to give them a reason to show up and vote on Election Day.

    "Regnery isn't really a press, it's more like wingnut welfare." -- Jane Hamsher

    by RT on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:13:08 AM PST

    •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnthonySF

      Like minimum wage raise, Iraq builddown, protecting Social Security, and reforming Medicare D.

      Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

      by philgoblue on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:15:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Raising the minimum wage might help (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        philgoblue

        in other ways. Immigration, for one.

        If it's worth while for Americans to do the work that illegals are doing, and the penalties for the EMPLOYER are high enough, then it will be to their advantage to hire legal workers first - and the jobs will pay enough that the legal workers will apply.

        That, and universal healthcare. Couple those with a much better trade policy, one that promotes businesses here AND helps other, poorer countries to build up their base industries (usually agriculture), and hopefully there wouldn't be as many people trying to get in illegally.

        •  Here here (0+ / 0-)

          I can understand that no AMericans will pick strawberries, but there are lots of illegals with what would be good-paying construction jobs.

          Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

          by philgoblue on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:57:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Music to my ears (0+ / 0-)

    The president is as popular as dirt at a Superfund site

    Or as popular as depleted uranium or something.

    A fear I still have regarding this comment: Terrorism may be losing its salience with a lot of people ... If there's another 9/11-like event will people flock back to Dumbya?  I hope not, but it worries me.

    Hey, if OBL can affect our presidential elections by showing up and therefore helping Bush collect votes - because OBL wants Bush in there - then maybe he is planning more evil to get Americans behind Bush again.

    Am I crazy?

  •  There's a lot of time until November... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    calebfaux, StrayCat

    So we must not count our chickens before they're hatched.  If we know one thing about the Republicans we know this:  they'll fight hard and they'll fight dirty.  They won't be afraid to use their trump cards of abortion, gay marriage and even "national security."

    We can't allow the Republicans to once again make the rules of the game...to determine the fight to be fought. We must be the ones to set the tone and leave the republicans chasing us -- not the other way around yet again.

    •  But I don't know that those will bring out the (0+ / 0-)

      numbers like they used to.

      Besides, they can't talk about national security anymore. It's obvious to just about everybody that the only security they care about is their own financial security.

  •  Ah The Problems with Kosism (6+ / 0-)

    He writes

    [voters want to vote] FOR a candidate.

    and then, what is his agenda: ethics complaints, corruption reports, censure resolutions, etc.

    Not a single agenda, vision, or program that would tell the American people what we might do if elected other than bash the other team.

    Nothing on raising the minimum wage, rethinking neo-lib, unregulated globalization, college tuition for public service, anti-poverty programs, public capital for developing industrial technology, etc.  Heck, not even a plan on Iraq.

    Unfortunately, Kos' ABB program is what happens when we abandone ideology (per CTG).

    Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

    by philgoblue on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:13:58 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure I agree entirely (0+ / 0-)

      but your perspective certainly belongs in the debate, and seems in danger of being overlooked, so have a rec.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:25:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I also disagree with the claim (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      that people wont go to the polls just to "throw the bumbs outs"

      hell, look at Canada.  Whenever a party loses power, its not usually because the party out of party makes a good case to be put in power, its that they're "throwing the bumbs out"

      Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:29:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But (0+ / 0-)

      Not a single agenda, vision, or program that would tell the American people what we might do if elected other than bash the other team.

      But that would mean that, for many of them, they would have to be fundementally different than the other team.

      <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:30:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the time is 06 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    to start outing the bad repubs, AND the bad dems. If 'so called' leaders don't do the will of the MAJORITY of the people, and cater to just collecting money, then out they go....

  •  Pelosi has to go but Hoyer isn't much better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Our House leadership is incredibly weak. They are afraid that if they take a strong stand on anything they'll "alienate swing voters." So they go with a weak and timid campaign (Kerry 2004 and 2002) which won't upset anybody, and the Republicans cook up a load of ridiculous BS and miraculously win. Any politician who thinks there's any political danger in opposing Bush doesn't deserve to hold office.

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

    by dole4pineapple on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:16:44 AM PST

    •  Alienate Swing Voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat

      To win, this theme needs to go and firing all the tired old consultants wouldn't hurt either.

      Demoralizing the base is a sure fire way to lose in November and their strategy of blending into the woodwork to not alienate swing voters will not make them vote Democratic either. Swing voters won't trust the Dems in a leadership position until they stand up and lead.

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        but swing voters are absolutely necessary to win as well.  considering self-identifying liberals only make up 20% of the population, the other 30% is gonna have to come from those who consider themselves moderates.

        Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:45:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Most People Consider Themselves Moderate (0+ / 0-)

          Very few people self identify as extreme. Most swing voters would like the same things I do such as a good education for their children, a chance to earn a decent wage, a government that spent their tax dollars wisely for the benefit of the country and not for the benefit of multi-billion dollar corporations etc.

          They also want to vote for someone who shows that they have sound principles and that they will fight to support them. They want their leaders to lead. This is the area that the current Democratic leadership is completely ignoring.

        •  The swing voter is a misconstruct. (0+ / 0-)

          Many liberals consider themselves moderates, for many reasons.  Many voters, usually labelling themselved "independents" agree with most of the Deocratic responses to the issues.  We must fight and win the battle against the Repug sliming of the democratic response with the "socialist", "weak on security" and "nanny state" labels.
              "Fairness" to all, wounded GI, displaced worker, sick and disenfranchised is one way to present issues.  Fairness isn't even in the right Wing lexicon.  "Balance" in national affairs, foreign affairs, diplomacy and tax policy goes directly to the radical conduct of BushCo.  
              "Community" is a conservative value that has been trashed by the radical right for 6 years now.  "Fair jobs at fair wages" are something everyone wants, and though a difficult goal, it is achievable.  This is something to work for as a party and as a country.
              At root, the swing voter follows where these kind of values are stated, and are real.  We have that.

          Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

          by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:50:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not being a Republican... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    ...isn't going to be enough to be elected; it certainly won't get an undecided voter to the polls. How hard would it be to say to the American voters that the Dems are FOR ethics, FOR a strong national defense, FOR fiscal responsibility, FOR the right of privacy, FOR a true sense of social responsibility...?

    "...and the ones that are lucky ones come home on the day after tomorrow..." -- Tom Waits

    by Newton Snookers on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:17:41 AM PST

  •  redistricting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, ebbak

    that's the largest advantage the republicans have. That is more than any other reason why taking over either the house or senate is going to be exceedingly difficult no matter how perfectly played by our side.

    •  they admit it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ebbak

      House Republican Retirements Hamper Drive to Retain Majority

      March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Republican House leaders, aware that incumbents rarely lose, are struggling to prevent a wave of retirements that would bolster Democratic prospects to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November elections. [...]

      ``It's reaching a point where it's of concern,'' said Representative Gil Gutknecht, a Minnesota Republican.

      This year, a toxic combination of low presidential approval ratings, a lobbying scandal and term limits on leadership posts may contribute to a flurry of further retirements, Gutknecht said. [...]

      Representative Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the disparity between Republican and Democratic retirements this year is an ``important ingredient'' in his party's drive to win control in November.

      Cornerstone

      His Republican counterpart, Representative Tom Reynolds, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said that keeping incumbents from retiring is a cornerstone of his strategy to hold the House. In the 2004 elections, 98.3 percent of House lawmakers who ran were re-elected.

      "These districts, for most of us, were drawn for us,'' said Republican Representative Ray LaHood of Illinois.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      tracking the domestic spying scandal here.

      by Georgia Logothetis on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:22:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, Dems to Blame, Too (0+ / 0-)

        In the post-2000 redistricting cycle, the ability of both sides to establish non-competitve districts was far greater than it ever had been before, and both parties used this to lock in as many "safe" seats for their side as possible.  While the GOP was more aggressive in some states (Texas and Georgia, for example), Democrats did their part in attempting to preserve the status quo in other states such as California and Illinois (without giving themselves a competitive edge in either).

        More than anything else, it's this diminution of potential "swing" districts for the House that will make preserving GOP control much easier for them than it was for the Dems in 1994.  But to be fair, we helped build this current system in an effort to keep as many of our own seats from becoming vulnerable.

    •  The House Maybe (0+ / 0-)

      But I don't think Redistricting has anything to do with the Senate.

      only domestic wiretapping can prevent the spread of bird flu

      by TooFolkGR on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:46:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dont know that I agree (0+ / 0-)

        I think that often people are more prone to turn out for their congressperson than their Senator in voting. I obviously have no stats to back this up, but if so, it can't hurt Republicans to have districts set up in such a way as to maximize Republican turnout in Republican areas.

        •  I Guess The Way I Look At It... (0+ / 0-)

          Is in a State like mine--Michigan a pretty Blue State--we have an extremely conservative house delegation and two of the nations most liberal Senators--Levin and Stabenow.

          only domestic wiretapping can prevent the spread of bird flu

          by TooFolkGR on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:43:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But isnt Stabenow (0+ / 0-)

            someone who barely got in and is going to be facing a tough re-election fight?

            I have no doubt there are states where redistricting doesnt matter, but I suspect there are states where it does.

            •  Not Sure I Guess.... (0+ / 0-)

              RemoveRepublicans has her listed as "Safe."  But it's also not like Kerry carried Michigan by 18 points... I guess I'm just not seeing any connection between redistricting and Senate Seats... I suppose there might be a subtle one but I don't know how it would work.

              only domestic wiretapping can prevent the spread of bird flu

              by TooFolkGR on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 09:37:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Easy (0+ / 0-)

                it would be about turnout. You get strong republican districts, you get a situation like say in Texas, where Democrats have almost been completely redistricted out of the house, and you create a situation where a lot of democratic voters dont even go to the polls because they are likely to win in their district.

                Sure, Texas is a state where democrats are unlikely to win period, but district by district, you see simliar results. Look at states where it should be closer but isnt, like Missouri or Georgia or Mississippi.

                I think if we have more equitable districts, we would create more competitive races which would lead to more democrats coming out to vote, which would mean more votes for senate candidates as well.

  •  the house dems are in utter disarray (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, StrayCat

    i don't know how many people saw my interview with Waxman, but it's obvious that there IS NO PLAN AT ALL to give anyone a reason to vote for democrats.

    Now, I know that Armando and others think that we don't need a reason to vote for Dems, but I think we definitely do.

  •  Another 'advantage'... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf

    Between now and November there may be a terrorist attack. Such an event could change the political dynamic in a way that is not predictable.

    God forbid.

  •  Here's what they have left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boadicea, StrayCat

    I just received a taxpayer funded mailer from the office of my Congressman, Richard Pombo. God forbid he should dip into his $800,000 he already has raised for his campaign peices.

    "North American Energy Independence By 2025" is the header as he basically declares he is in lock-step with the Presidency from the SOTU. The peice then goes on to explain renewable energy and give out a few tips on how we can conserve, such as driving slower and cleaning our furnace filters.

    Typical Rovian playbook: When you can't run on your own agenda, run on your opponent's.

    A camel is a cat designed by lobbyists for the hump industry

    by bobinson on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:19:50 AM PST

  •  The Definition of Neutered... (0+ / 0-)

    ...in the house of representatives is being behind by even one vote.  The only prayer for the minority party in the house is coalition building with the moderates in the other Party.

    Let's all have a laugh at the concept of moderate House Republicans (has a laugh).

    It's clear that Pelosi hasn't been as effective a leader as she could have been, but any sort of aggressive agenda that launches in or before March is completely doomed... certainly in the House.  If a Unified, Multicast Democratic Platform is going to arise at all, it HAS to wait until at least August or the Right and their puppet the media will shit all over it just like they did Clinton's Health Care Plan until then, and no matter how good it is nobody's going to vote for it.

    I think we do need something on the scale of the Contract With America, but something voter driven instead of politician driven... The grass roots come up with this compact and compel those who want our votes to sign.  That's the difference between wanting change and a bullshit marketing tool.

    only domestic wiretapping can prevent the spread of bird flu

    by TooFolkGR on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:20:07 AM PST

  •  Time for a new 'Contract with America' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude, StrayCat, MO Blue

    We need a new one, something of a unifying statement, short, and to the point:

    1. Corruption will not be tolerated anywhere in the government. On either side of the aisle. We promise to aggressively investigate all charges of corruption, to eliminate special interest money, and to return a real sense of accountability to the U.S. Government.
    1. The U.S. Constitution must be returned to its place as the final authority of government. That means far closer scrutiny of "executive privilige", and a far tighter adherence to the bill of rights. No government official will be above the law. This means that impeachment is a possibility, if the evidence is clear that the president can be ligitimately indicted for breaking the law. Preserving the integrity of that office is a higher priority than any other.
    1. The government must be returned to working order: so that it functions by the people, of the people, and for the people. This means putting real experts in places where they are needed, so that emergencies may be dealt with competenly, and to the best of our abilities. This means real investigations into government failures must be completed, not as a vendetta, but in order to learn from our mistakes, and have a better response to the next challenge.

    Vote Democratic, and we will work for you to clean up Washington, and reintroduce honesty in government.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:20:48 AM PST

    •  Same old, same old, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Schadenfreude

      the same things the REPUBLICANS have said.

      It's time to put your money where your mouth is. You want to fight special interest money? Fine. DON'T TAKE ANY. Don't take any donation more than $2000, don't take anything from large corporations or lobbyists that aren't based in your district, don't have $1000/plate fundraisers.

      Don't say. DO. People have heard all that 'integrity, honesty, blah, blah' stuff a zillion times. Nobody actually DOES it.

      So do it. And tell people. And have those $50/plate fundraisers, or $100/plate fundraisers. Let most people actually SEE you, talk to you, gripe to you.

      THOSE people will win.

  •  As Jack Reed said: (0+ / 0-)

    or at least as Cokie Roberts claims Jack Reed said, "The Republicans have given us a great tailwind, now we have to figure out how to put up a sail."

    Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass. - Barry Goldwater, 1981

    by Doug in SF on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:21:14 AM PST

  •  you're getting there. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    hope you realize that the self same dem house leadership are the same people who created the duckworth campaign out of thin air, activated by the same motives you now decry.

    howard dean was right.  we have to take back our party (or at least show enough strength to redirect the current leadership) before anything worthwhile can be accomplished.

    you should be overjoyed by a cegelis win tomorrow, and look at a duckworth win as a setback.

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

    by 2nd balcony on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:21:29 AM PST

  •  The DNC, DCCC, and DSCC websites are too negative (0+ / 0-)

    That needs to be fixed.

    True leadership isn't done by committee.

    by Viktor on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:22:37 AM PST

  •  fear and hate (0+ / 0-)

    Too obvious, but R's aren't the only ones willing to use fear and hate for political ends. Just look at the Democratic reaction to the Dubai ports deal. Shouldn't get too high and mighty on this point, IMO.

    •  Dubai was a real problem, (0+ / 0-)

      and not because it was run by arabs, but because radical Islamist are a significant force in every Middle eastern and SE asian government, IIndia probably excepted) whether Arab or not.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:58:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Marketing 1-A (9+ / 0-)

    As Kos points out, the Dems flunk MARKETING 1-A. Folks, it's simple.

    1. Your product is the OPPOSITE of their product. THEM -- Corrupt. US -- Integrity. THEM -- Endless War. US -- Sensible Foreign Policy. THEM -- Deficits. US -- Balanced Budgets.

    You're not arguing with them. You're not responding to them. You are declaring your (obvious) superiority.

    Repeat Endlessly

    1. Never let "THEM" define you. When they ask "Would Iraq be better off with Saddam?" answer by saying, "Would America be better off with one TRILLION dollars in its own pocket?
    1. STAY OFF WINGNUT MEDIA -- When Dems appear on Fox News and Hannity, etc. they are sending a message -- "We're idiots. We love having our pockets picked. We're not smart enough to know these are Republican propaganda outlets.

    Dems need to declare Fox News (and Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.) as Republican bullhorn extensions.

    UNFORTUNATELY -- branding takes courage. When Gingrich led the revolution back in '94, he had to fight the Pelosis in his own party who were scared. He charged forward.

    Unless the Democrats give voters a solid, definite REASONS to vote for them, voters will vote for Republicans -- because they are scared of Democrats. I mean, if these idiots (Dems) can't stand up to frickin' George Bush, how can they stand up to Iran?

  •  A couple of points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Maven, Sam I Am

    (1) I agree that the Democrats have to come up with a message and a plan for the 2006 elections.  But I also think that they would be WRONG to start putting out that message now.  Or even to HINT at what that message would be.

    Strategically, you need a message, that is clear.  However, TACTICALLY, you want the message to come out at the best time.  While Republicans trip and fall over themselves with regard to Iraq, Iran, the deficit, etc., Democrats should let them fall as far as they can on their own before hitting them with the message and the plan....in AUGUST.  By that time, the Republicans will be too busy campaigning to want to come back to DC to set up a bunch of votes to co-opt the Democratic agenda.  They also won't have the months of hammering home their talking points on the other side.  Because most of the public won't pay attention to the mid-terms until September anyway, the first they will hear about the elections is the Democratic "Contract With America."   The message, the media buys, will be timed to optimum effect.  

    If you release the Grand Unified Message now, the Republicans and their noise machine will have 7-8 months to hammer it down and/or co-opt the agenda.  So yes, you need the plan, the message, but you don't want it now.

    (2)  I don't think you can read much into it if the Democrats fail to win back the House in 2006.  On the House side, the vast majority of seats have been gerrymandered into rotten boroughs for the incumbents - to the shame of both political parties.  Any set of victories - +8 seats even - is actually a major win in today's post-2000 House of Representatives.  The Dems best bet is to work HARD at controlling as many state houses as possible in the 2010 elections.  Illinois, for example, can be changed to a state with a 13-6 D/R split through reapportionment if Dems continue to control the government.  

    In any case, having the Republicans with a slim majority in the House in 2007/08 is almost as good as winning control.  With a lame duck in the White House, it's doubtful that the Republicans will have a working majority.  The right-wing agenda will be stopped in its tracks.  And Democrats will be able to run against Republican control of Congress in 2008 as well.

    •  Winning is always better than losing (0+ / 0-)

      Having control of the House or Senate allows our agenda a voice.  Remember how the Democratic Senate pretty much killed Bush Sr. by repeatedly passing the Family Medical Leave Act over and over and forcing Bush to veto it again and again.  It's one of the leading reasons Clinton won.

      Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

      by philgoblue on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:14:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  disagree (0+ / 0-)

      We have to create a story line and begin the telling now. If we wait till August to define yourself, you give the other side too long to define you without accountability. We have seen what happened to Kerry because he allowed Bush and the Swift Boaters to define him. By the time Kerry hit back, it was too late--the impressions formed by swing voters had already been made.

      Silence is the worst tactic.

      -7.75,-7.54; The road to hell is paved with Republicans!

      by erik in grayslake on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:17:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But isn't the Republican line (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rob Humenik

        That Democrats don't stand for anything?  They've been harping on that for months while their own approval drops.

        By releasing in August, you simultaneously wipe out the Republican efforts at labeling Democrats as having "no ideas" and put forth a relatively immune-to-months-long-noise-machine-bashing positive agenda.

        FYI - the Contract with America was released six weeks before the 1994 elections.  That's SEPTEMBER, not August.  I think the Republicans had their timing right.

      •  Agree to all of this (0+ / 0-)

        and wanna say how cool it is another "erik" is on here, too. Are you in Grayslake, IL, btw?

        Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

        by Erik the Red on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:42:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Marketing 1-A (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuickSilver, StrayCat

    As Kos points out, the Dems flunk MARKETING 1-A. Folks, it's simple.

    1. Your product is the OPPOSITE of their product. THEM -- Corrupt. US -- Integrity. THEM -- Endless War. US -- Sensible Foreign Policy. THEM -- Deficits. US -- Balanced Budgets.

    You're not arguing with them. You're not responding to them. You are declaring your (obvious) superiority.

    Repeat Endlessly

    1. Never let "THEM" define you. When they ask "Would Iraq be better off with Saddam?" answer by saying, "Would America be better off with one TRILLION dollars in its own pocket?
    1. STAY OFF WINGNUT MEDIA -- When Dems appear on Fox News and Hannity, etc. they are sending a message -- "We're idiots. We love having our pockets picked. We're not smart enough to know these are Republican propaganda outlets.

    Dems need to declare Fox News (and Hannity, O'Reilly, etc.) as Republican bullhorn extensions.

    UNFORTUNATELY -- branding takes courage. When Gingrich led the revolution back in '94, he had to fight the Pelosis in his own party who were scared. He charged forward.

    Unless the Democrats give voters a solid, definite REASONS to vote for them, voters will vote for Republicans -- because they are scared of Democrats. I mean, if these idiots (Dems) can't stand up to frickin' George Bush, how can they stand up to Iran?

    •  He 'charged forward', too (0+ / 0-)

      with some of the most hateful speech against the Dems, with the help of Limbaugh. I don't really want any Dems to get as bad as those 2 did back in '04, but a little more agressiveness would help.

      I, for one, would like to see them publicly ask the question of who the real "cowards" are when they are willing to let the Executive branch run rampant in the name of "National Security"

      Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, come on, doesn't anybody know!?!?

      by Erik the Red on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:54:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we vote on electronic machines ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude

    ...all the advantages in the world won't mean anything. We have to stop kidding ourselves. The last three elections WERE stolen. The evidence is becoming overwhelming. Unless we convince the media to examine the issue, there's no need to go to the polls; our votes have already been cast for us.

    We must demand that the next election be cast on paper ballots --using good old-fashioned pencils, instead of machines. And unless much stricter oversight of the tally can be arranged, the ballots should be counted by hand!

    See the latest evidence here

    While it is sometimes true that Christians don't lie, it is often true that liars pretend they are Christians.

    by Dan Hrkman on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:24:24 AM PST

    •  If the voting machines are rigged... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat

      ...and the elections are fixed, then we shouldn't bother to do anything (give money, canvas, whatever).  The Republicans are going to win anyways.

      Basically, we have two choices:

      1. Assume the elections are fair (or mostly fair), and act like they are (but be on the watch for any fraud).  This means giving money, canvasing, etc.-doing things that are pointless if the elections are fixed.
      1. Start a civil war to remove the unelected government.

      I'm sorry, but the "proof" that the elections are fixed is a lot weaker (by the order of several magnitutes) than would be required for me to take up arms against my government.  I believe everybody here would agree with me.

  •  If we vote on electronic machines ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude

    ...all the advantages in the world won't mean anything. We have to stop kidding ourselves. The last three elections WERE stolen. The evidence is becoming overwhelming. Unless we convince the media to examine the issue, there's no need to go to the polls; our votes have already been cast for us.

    We must demand that the next election be cast on paper ballots --using good old-fashioned pencils, instead of machines. And unless much stricter oversight of the tally can be arranged, the ballots should be counted by hand!

    See the latest evidence here

    While it is sometimes true that Christians don't lie, it is often true that liars pretend they are Christians.

    by Dan Hrkman on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:24:31 AM PST

  •  Although, to be fair, Bush always had a plausible (0+ / 0-)

    chance of winning in 2004. His approval stayed in the 48-51 percent the entire year, despite facing severe problems. Kerry figured that probably meant Bush was toast and he just had to figure out not to offend swing voters who might vote for him. But Bush was able to end up at 51 percent on Election Day. It's harder to see how they do it now. 33% is 28% away from 51%. The Republicans 38% on the generic ballot might jump to 40% in one poll, but it's not going to suddenly jump to 51%. Voting for Congress is almost always for or against the incumbent party. Despite the media BS, the Republicans did not win because of the Contract with America. They won because people were pissed at the Democrats and Clinton and decided to teach them a lesson. So if we somehow do end up in the majority despite massive Democratic incompetence, that'll be how.

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

    by dole4pineapple on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:24:36 AM PST

  •  Democrats have no new leaders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Where are they? Here in Wisconsin, Herb Kohl is running for reelection. He's a kindred soul to Joe Lieberman, among other Democratic poseurs in the Senate. Where is someone to contest him in the primary like Lamont in Connecticut? I've personally written to Mayor Tom Barrett of MKE as well as Tammy Baldwin of Madison and asked them to consider a challenge. Either of them would have a chance to beat the hermit Herb Kohl who has zero political presence in Wisconsin (he is a candidate of convenience who buys the seat he holds). Both rebuffed my suggestion with insulting stock answers. A Democratic Senate primary challenge would hurt nothing. It would energize the Democratic base in the state. It would raise many of the questions kos says aren't being debated. It would help to clarify what Democrats in Wisconsin stand for and increase interest in the race. But Wisconsin's Democratic Party is a completely closed door operation; it's not even clear who is in charge of the Party here. But there's no doubt they like getting paid by Senator Kohl to keep him in power. In short, the Democratic Party in Wisconsin operates so much like the Republican Party, that with the exception of a few vibrant politicians (like Baldwin and Feingold) most of the Democrats here are defacto functionaries for the Republicans. In short, it's very difficult for new Democratic leaders without a significant power base of their own to find support from the party. The days of Gaylord Nelson and William Proxmire are long gone and the long tenure of Republican-lite Herb Kohl is proof.

    I agree with kos's analysis here today. But in Wisconsin, the problems are systemic; and very little is being done to change the system.

  •  Your pessimism, My Optimism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    iCaroline, Geotpf, FleetAdmiralJ

    I am a moderate independent and think things are actually looking up for the Democratic party.  They seem to be less whiny lately and just trying to get down to business.

    I disagree that they haven't been standing up.  just this past week they were united on several fronts from PayGo to debt ceiling.

    I can only guess based on your assesment that maybe since I am a moderate I am not looking for a government of revolutionary change... I just simply want effective government.  The democratic party may realize it need to drift center to win the election.  While that irritates the base it is obviously a winning strategy in my opinion.

    Someone here pointed out Americans are 30% conservatives, 50% Moderates and 20% Liberals.  Liberals that don't think they need to appeal to moderates are fooling themselve.

    •  Your Optimism, My Realism (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rockhound

      Democrats AND Republicans seeking re-election move to the center each election season. So, I am interested in why "as a moderate" you would vite for a Democratic moderate over a Republican moderate.

      The Democrats have NO RECORD, NO MESSAGE, NO LEADERS, and NO COHESIVENESS. What would your argument be to someone undecided as to why they should vote Democrat?

      •  Republicans have proved they can't get it done (0+ / 0-)

        that is better then a democrat telling me a republican can't get it done

        cohesivness if very important to me.  The democrats being united and organized is vital.

        I have over the past year been attending Democratic clubs in my area.  They are GROWING FAST very fast.  I feel pretty good for the democrats this year.

    •  sorry.... (0+ / 0-)

      if you dare to question the fact that you are going to hell because you believe the earth to be more than 6000 years old, you're a liberal.

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

      by 2nd balcony on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:47:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why moderate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        iCaroline

        I am definately a fiscal conservative and do believe in smaller government, but I am socially liberal to an extent.  Sometimes the left is a little too PC.

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          I'm the same way, pretty much.

          DRAFT BRUCE -- the pro-Springsteen bumper stickers!

          by iCaroline on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:03:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If the Libertarians weren't crazy extremists... (0+ / 0-)

          ...they could win a lot of voters, voters like you.  A "moderate Libertarian" party would be a big success.

          Personally, I am a "Libertarian Democrat".  I believe the government shall not ban anything that doesn't hurt other people or thier property.  However, I believe the government shall provide goods and services, for the better of society as a whole, that the free market can not or will not provide, and charge a reasonable level of taxation to pay for such services.

  •  This is what we all need to keep in mind (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude, ebbak, Joy Busey, StrayCat

    My dad, the Bush voter.

    Enthusiastic Catholic.  He gives money to chartiy and volunteers his time.  He is a salesperson and has a way with people - mild mannered, and pleasant.

    But mention John Kerry to him and that pleasant veneer is ripped away. He turns red in the face.  "His own soldiers turned against him! I saw it on Fox News!"  He seethes.

    Other choice quotes from my dad: "Nothing Bush has done could be as bad as what that b**** Hillary would do."  "Saddam was a murderer and we had to stop him." "Those communists at the New York Times."
    Where does he get this crap? Fox news.  Plays on his existing bigotry nicely and makes him feel good about being a hate-filled bigot.

    I tried to confront him with facts and we had a 30 mintue long-distance shouting match.  The idea of abortion ENRAGES him.  ENRAGES him.  He is old school old school old school.  Women should know their place. Skanky women who sleep around should not "get off the hook" by getting an abortion.  This is what he thinks.  

    Just raise any of those subjects and he becomes livid with rage.

    In fact, I told him before the election that if he voted for Bush that that would be the end of our relationship.  Guess what. He voted for Bush.

    Know this - my own father would choose Bush over me.  He would risk losing (has lost) his only daughter.  That's how hate-filled and brain washed he is.  He is hopeless.  We will never get through to people like him.  

    No American left behind - in civil rights, in health care, in the economy.

    by JLFinch on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:27:18 AM PST

    •  We can win without his vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf

      We're not shooting for 100%.

      My apologies to students who took my U.S. Government class in the 90s: evidently the Constitution doesn't limit Presidential power after all. Who knew?

      by Major Danby on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:29:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

      What a drag. Hope you guys can work things out.

    •  Even Hoover got 30% of the vote in 1932 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Schadenfreude, Geotpf

      And so there's always a base that will be this way..

      •  Unfortuantly... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebbak

        ...I think the number of people who think this way is quite large.

        Basically, the GOP base consists of four basic groups of people:

        1. Crazy religious wackadoodles.
        1. People who aren't neccessarily religious, but have similiar feelings.  Hate abortions, hate gays, hate arabs, possibly hate blacks and jews.  Blue collar white men.  "Reagan Democrats".
        1. The low to mid range of upper class people who hate paying taxes.
        4. Gun nuts.

        Probably 40% of the voting population falls into one of these groups.  It's too close to a majority-we need to peel one of the groups off by supporting thier cause 100%.

        Of the four groups, I choose the gun nuts.  They are the least insane and most compatible with a progressive point of view.  We need to embrace the NRA to win consistantly over the long term.

        •  Good luck with that (0+ / 0-)

          "Gun nuts" include quite a few Dems, like myself.  However, folks like me are not the norm in the shooting world, and liberal gun owners tend not to be "one-issue" voters.  Far from it, in my case.

          Your typical gun nut is a member of #1, 2, AND #3.  Until the Democratic party embraces abortion bans, deportation of all browns/blacks and school prayer, those folks will stay away from us like we are the plague.  You'd do far better converting the "crazy religious wackadoodles."  Hell, you'd have an easier time converting Rove.

      •  turns out i was wrong (0+ / 0-)

        he got 40%.  but even more to the point.

  •  Add to your 'fear and hate' reason (0+ / 0-)

    your favorite House leader, Nancy Pelosi.  If I were a GOP strategist (and only if, I'm not saying that this is the way I feel), the ad I would run to the base to get them out to vote is one that says that if the Dems take back the House that Nancy Pelosi would become second in line to the WH...and that Cheney isn't in the best of health.

    I wouldn't put it past them for a minute.  So maybe if Ms. Pelosi is so anxious to toe the GOP line she'll say that she wouldn't be speaker if the Dems win.  Yeah, that'll happen.

  •  Things are going to be ok (0+ / 0-)

    ...and better than you think Kos, just because people are not taking things for granted this time. Ballgame hasn't started yet, let alone finished.

  •  Only One Factor: Scared Democrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    If the Democrats were not scared, the media may have something else to cover.  If Democrats wouldn't make Feingold look like a lone sheep, maybe the media would have a different way of reporting it.

    Fear and Hate play on some emotions, that lets face it even Democrats could work on fear of losing health insurance and hatred of rich swindlers.

    No sure thing...well, we should have seen 2002 I was as baffled as the rest but after 9/11, it was probably impossible for Bush not to pick up seats on that one.  2004 could have been handled by a stronger Democrat with a consistent position; the American people were there.

  •  Fear and the GOP (0+ / 0-)

    I think what is even more important than the GOP being fearful and out of control, is that the Democrats clean house.
    <center> title=</center>
    Left Of Center

    "The Bush administration does not need new blood, they need formaldehyde." Left Of Center

    by LOC on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:30:39 AM PST

  •  2006 & the Dems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    It's funny, but a few months ago, all I could think about was the Democrats winning back control of the US House, and thus giving them the votes needed to impeach Bush.  It's still my dream.

    However, when I look at the current lot of DINO Dems and Vichy Dems, I wonder who (if any?) would have the cajones needed to begin the process?

    Maybe Rep. John Conyers.  Maybe Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

    But, what support would they have in Congress?

    I'm reminded of the shameful treatment Sen. Russ Feingold received from the cowards on the left, to petrified of Booooooosh and selfishly focused on the midterms and beyond, to back his censure motion.

  •  It doesn't matter how energized we get (3+ / 0-)

    It will all mean noting if they steal another election.

    I was ridiculously optimistic the last two cycles, and saw that optimism shattered on election night. Democratic early numbers in both 2002 and 2004 were great. Not this great, but pretty darn good. And we saw how well the GOP closed. I don't take anything for granted anymore. And in fact, I assume they can make huge gains in the final days of an election.

    This is what confuses me. BOTH elections were stolen and everyone acts like they weren't. Unless we recognize this fact, that our nation had a coup in 2000 and that the next election was also stolen, we will never win. Never again.
    Look at how enthusiastic everyone was in 2004. Look at the crowds Kerry drew after the convention. Remember the excitement on election night? Remember the exit polls? The R's didn't "finish" better, they just plain stole it.
    In 2000 they screwed Florida, then in 04 they did it to Ohio, and now they're gunning for California. Unless we get really serious about voting, we are doomed.
    We did not lose in 2000 and 2004.
    We did not lose!
    And we have to stop acting like Kerry and Gore did, accepting THEIR word (The r's) that they lost. Who will stand up for our vote?

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:31:43 AM PST

    •  We screwed up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bonobo
      Remember the exit polls? The R's didn't "finish" better, they just plain stole it.

      Maybe, maybe not. I was in Ohio. I saw our numbers.

      Part of the problem was this: Our lists of voters -- bought at great expense from a national Dem consulting firm -- were months out of date. (And that firm's software for managing the lists was state of the art -- for 1970.)

      The voter lists we so out of date that we spent considerable effort phonebanking, calling Dems and telling them the wrong polling places to go to vote. The lists we spent so much money on hadn't been updated since the precinct lines had been redrawn.

      And remember, Ken Blackwell wasn't allowing provisional ballots -- if you got to the wrong polling place, too bad. In the end, we compiled our own lists, and I put them into out own database and we wrote our own simple software to direct people to polling places. Time constraints, however, meant that we were only able to do this for the ten most populous Democratic counties.

      So we never even had updated voter registration data for 78 of Ohio's 88 counties.

      Which meant that we also didn't know about anyone newly registered the whole summer and fall of 2004. I suspect that included a lot of first-time conservative Christian voters.

      Accountability moment, my ass!

      by orthogonal on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:45:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You might be right, but then (0+ / 0-)

        you might be wrong. We'll never know since the irregularities were never really investigated. Just the fact that Blackwell wouldn't let the vote count be witnessed, that a guy showed up with some sort of computer card, that voters were kept waiting in long lines in Dem counties, etc. They didn't just have to hack the vote to steal it, although I still believe they did. All they had to do was make it difficult enough for some to get to the polls, then hack what little they needed.
        And those darned exit polls. Never wrong. Ever. Except in 04? Why was the margin of victory the same for Bush as it was given that night for Kerry...until things started to change?
        I don't know. I just know that a cabal as evil as the Bush Regime would do, will do ANYTHING to maintain power. They can't chance a fair vote, 'cause they'd lose.
        We need to be very afraid of the 06 and 08 elections.
        We may never have a fair vote again.

        All Truth is non-partisan

        by MA Liberal on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:14:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  California has fair elections (0+ / 0-)

      If they didn't, Arnie's propositions would not have all lost last year.

      •  So far. (0+ / 0-)

        But aren't yoou supposed to start using computers to vote? We know that they will be working for another state to manipulate for 2008, even if they can't do it for 06. I'm not saying you didn't have fair elections, I'm only saying better watch out 'cause with ARnie in there, all bets on future fair elections are off.

        All Truth is non-partisan

        by MA Liberal on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:10:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Diebold Machines weren't IN (0+ / 0-)

        But now that California has a ReThug Secretary of State, he just certified the use of the machines there for the '06 elections.  That wouldn't have happened if Arnie hadn't rode the wave of contempt for Gray Davis (which now looks like we in Cali were loony, because everything Davis did was to keep the lights and power on in the state while Enron goughed our asses).

        "Corruption is the disease; Accountability is the cure."

        by The Truth on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:36:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, put Markos ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Democrats have too often snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and I won't put it past them to do it again this time.  

    If Democrats are too scared to support Russ Feingold's censure resolution, the least they can do is demur and stay put.  Attacking it only fuels the right-wing venom from Republicans.

  •  You want to defeat Bush? (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    StrayCat

    Bush is starting to really piss off some of his base.

    You want an issue to hit him with?

    Afghan law calling for the execution of Muslims who convert to Christianity.

    Call every right wing / Christian radio station you can find and scream this out loud. In fact, we should start some clandestine front groups and plaster billboards in every Red state with this message. George Bush supports Christian killers.

    Then...we will see what happens to that base of his.

    •  Fueling the fire? (0+ / 0-)

      I feel that there's already an undercurrent of this war playing into the final showdown between Christianity and Islam. Given the PR problem that Islam already has in this country, the execution of Christians could very well be the thing that sends W's base screaming for more troops to be sent, more money to be spent, and more divine retribution to vent.

      "Good people do good things. Bad people do bad things. To get good people to do bad things, you need religion."

  •  The repubs (0+ / 0-)

    the repubs and rove have mindfucked pelosi so bad I don't think she has any idea what's she doing, or why she should or shouldn't think certain ways. Daschle was weak and pathetic and luckily the repubs did us a favor and got rid of him. Pelosi's time has long since past. She is about as ineffective a leader as you can have.

    SO yes I agree 100%, she has to go.

  •  How the Democrats can win. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbak, StrayCat

    The one issue that every American cares about is money. The Bush administration is borrowing the money to finance this war, Katrina, the whole bit. We're cutting back on services, benefits, education. And dangerously increasing our debt. What is it - we now owe $30,000 per citizen? When is this going to end. Does Bush really think that the Iraq war is so important that every American is willingly to go massively in debt over it? No way. Aren't the Repubs supposed to be fiscally conservative?

    Why aren't the Dems saying this point every damn day?

  •   Our chances in 2006 & Diebold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude, pissedpatriot
    Now more than ever the Diebold factor has me nervous. many people do not think the Rethugs would dare do such a thing. But the Rethugs have shown that they are willing to let people die to erase the middle class, they have shown to be willing to start a war based on lies for profit. They have stolen elections in the past, they have run the debt through the roof, they have outed a CIA agent for political purposes, they have in my opinion let a terrorist attack hit our country so they could "sweep it all up. things related and not".

    These people have no morals.

    They will do ANYTHING to remain in power. ANYTHING. The code in Diebold software is written to be hacked. The machines were easily Hacked by Hursti. Since it seems the Dems have a slight edge going into the 2006 elections I hope we are all thinking of the Diebold factor. They will use it. They will continue to use it to remain in power. They have no intentions of Democrats winning elections. Ever.

    Every day I read a new story about how another Rethug SOS has certified Diebold. There seems to be a mad rush to get these machines in place. In the poor districts. In the African American strongholds. It is happening all around us.

    Where is the outrage? When the 2006 elections come to pass and the outcome for some strange reason does not match up with the polls, when GOP gains a sudden surge of votes, defying all concepts of Democrats going in with a good lead..... When this happens, remember Diebold.

    I swear to you this issue needs to be on top. And it is not. And that scares the fuck out of me.

    < / rant >

  •  Agreed about Pelosi. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumblebums

    What a huge mistake she's been.  It's time for Barney Frank to assume the leadership.

    •  Agreed! (0+ / 0-)

      Agreed she is spineless, shrill, ineffective and has really been an embarrassment. The first woman leader and she's been a complete dud. I wouldn't mind seeing her ousted from the House, let alone her leadership position.

      •  If Pelosi was the best the Dems could do (0+ / 0-)

        for Minority Leader, they should have gone with Harold Ford, and he's a wanker of the first order, but you knew what you're getting with him.  No surprises, there.

        Matt Gonzalez should challenge Pelosi in the Primary.

        "Corruption is the disease; Accountability is the cure."

        by The Truth on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:39:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  FEAR is gonna be big in 2006 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat
    1. Of the Principle of Despotic Government.

    As virtue is necessary in a republic, and in a monarchy honour, so fear is necessary in a despotic government: with regard to virtue, there is no occasion for it, and honour would be extremely dangerous.

    Here the immense power of the prince devolves entirely upon those whom he is pleased to entrust with the administration. Persons capable of setting a value upon themselves would be likely to create disturbances. Fear must therefore depress their spirits, and extinguish even the least sense of ambition.

    A moderate government may, whenever it pleases, and without the least danger, relax its springs. It supports itself by the laws, and by its own internal strength. But when a despotic prince ceases for one single moment to uplift his arm, when he cannot instantly demolish those whom he has entrusted with the first employments, all is over: for as fear, the spring of this government, no longer subsists, the people are left without a protector.

    Montesquieu: The Spirit of Laws: Book 3

    Remember they have used and will use WAR as a campaign weapon.  And it is coming soon.  The National Security Strategy Statement isn't some abstract thing to ponder, it's a statement of intention.  The last one that came out put the Doctrine of Preemption (war of aggression) on the table and listed Iraq as a target.  All the WMD and al-queada connection noise was pure show.  It is an indication of how obedient the press and the political classes are that they actually went through the motions of taking the drama seriously.

    "... in my empire, life is sweet, just ask any bum you meet. You may say that I ain't free but it don't worry me..."

    by lumpenprole on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:38:15 AM PST

  •  New Voting Machines Make Voting Obsolete, Useless (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude, pissedpatriot

    HAVA has put enough voting machines in place around this country to ensure that Republicans don't have to worry about getting enough voters to the polls to vote FOR them. The machines can do that all by themselves.

    That fact aside. Democrats have NO MESSAGE and are willing to paint people like me, who contributed large sums of money to various Dem campaigns in 2004, as radical fringe. The Republicans pump up their base and build momentum. The Dems are afraid of their base and want them to simply shut their mouths and send in money.

    By this time in 2004 I had sent into over $1000 to campaigns. This year I supported two candidates: Ciro Rodriguez and Ned Lamont and have spent $100 to date. One (Ciro) was a loser and, in response to a post here, his supporters then spewed off telling me, a New Yorker, how much I didn't know about Texas politics. It was a wake-up call. I'll let the folks in other states do their own fighting and fund their own candidates.

    I hate Lieberman enough to send cash to Lamont, but that's about it. I'm not excited by any races and as an Independent I'm not won over by the arguments from Dem supporters. If my choice is to select the lesser of two evils, I just assume not vote and send my money to anarchist groups seeking to destroy the system.  

  •  What Superfund (0+ / 0-)

    Uh, your Superfund analogy is way, way out of date.

    Republicans have pretty much crippled the program (so what else is new?). Some old clean-ups are being continued, but few new ones are being taken on. And, in any case, the Bush EPA has so changed the rules that it's a lot harder to give a location serious Superfund NPL status (National Priorities List) than it was in the past.

  •  Amen. (0+ / 0-)

    Hopefully, I'm as wrong this time as I was the last two cycles.

    Here's hoping your wrong, kos.  And thatnk you for the opportunity to repeat my favorite mantra:

    Until the polls close in the Aleutian Islands, we are two points behind.  Let's work as if we are.

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."=GWB

    by BTP on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:42:44 AM PST

    •  Boo me. (0+ / 0-)

      I know the difference between "you're" and "your."  And I know how to spell "thank."  

      Too much W is bad for the brain.

      "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."=GWB

      by BTP on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:44:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe it's about betrayal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    And let's not even get started on media disbelief that people can't stand Bush.

    That is really bizarre.  I read the mediamatters article about the polls and how the MSM continues to overstate Bush's popularity.  Perhaps the salient thing is that people now feel that Bush MISLED them.  He BETRAYED them.

    Now that they have come to realize these things, I wonder if it will be impossible for him to make a comeback. I think it will.  But like Kos I fear to be overly optimistic.

  •  Two More Factors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat
    • Turnout suppression. New voter I.D. programs alone have cut down the number of Democratic voters, in addition to the more unscrupulous turnout suppression that's been well documented previously.
    • Activist media. I've been predicting a more Republican activist major media this cycle. We'll see both Swiftboating and denial of paid ad access more aggressively this cycle than last.

    Especially where empire and military policy are concerned.

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

    by Gooserock on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:44:25 AM PST

  •  why are the Democrats scared (0+ / 0-)

    This needs to be seriously investigated. Yes, the redistricting made safe seats for Republicans, but they also created safe seats for Democrats.

    Are they actually afraid of the Republicans because of their hold on the media.

    Are they afraid of the people and the blogisphere?

    Do they see "us" and "them" as the beltway political class/corporate class versus the proles instead of progressives versus conservatives?

    fact does not require fiction for balance

    by mollyd on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:44:51 AM PST

    •  Agreed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wistex, mollyd

      These people in Congress love their jobs.  They want to keep their "jobs" which they now view as entitlements.  Democrats AND Republicans see it this way.

      I see almost zero accountability.  I think your final sentence is far too accurate for far too many of our so-called elected representatives.

    •  predictably enough the answer to your question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, mollyd
      was on the Daily Show

      TDS and Paul Hackett

      Listen carefully to that piece and the business about the "matrix."  If you want to play with the Party, you need to bring in money.  Right now, the patrons of our politics are behind Bush and the war.

      I keep pimping this piece by William Pfaff - The Ultimate Choice in Iraq

      ...it is all but impossible to argue the case for leaving Iraq without suffering defamation by White House flacks and the right-wing media.
      The Democratic leadership belongs to the war party, out of electoral considerations. It seems to consider that the Republican right exercises unchallengeable control over the national debate.
      Or to put it more accurately, it recognizes that the vast majority of political contributors belong to the war party. Hence the war cannot be opposed, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of the American public believes in withdrawal, as does a 72% majority of U.S. troops in Iraq.

      This suggests that the United States has become a plutocracy in which the electoral system is controlled by corporate and partisan money, whose interests are not those of the popular majority or the serving military forces. I have not seen this discussed in the mainstream media, for whom money corruption in Washington is usually seen in terms of pork-barrel legislation, not as determining American policy on war and peace.

      ...

      "... in my empire, life is sweet, just ask any bum you meet. You may say that I ain't free but it don't worry me..."

      by lumpenprole on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:01:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Math, Gerrymander, and Diebold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sherri in TX, StrayCat, pissedpatriot

    I agree with your observations, and there are still more factors against us.

    Math
    Of the 33 senate seats up this cycle, currently 15 are Republican, 17 Democratic, 1 Independent. To win control of the senate we are going to have to win 23 seats.

    Gerrymandering
    Winning the House should be easy except for all the safe seats. I haven't seen any calculation predicting the national effect of gerrymandering. My out-of-the-hat guess is it will take a 56% national Democratic edge in House elections to win a bare majority of the seats.

    Diebold Effect
    My shorthand for election fraud. I don't think fraud is so wide spread they can fix elections in a landslide.  But in a close election, a little creative vote counting will make the difference.

    The bottom line is, we are going to need a landslide election to squeak through a tiny majority. The good news is, we have a chance to do it.

    Power is not sufficient evidence of truth. - Samuel Johnson

    by Knighterrant on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:46:22 AM PST

  •  Do a Bonddad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wistex

    Please repost this type of diary periodically.

    I 100% agree with your analysis and am shocked that the Democrats are paying someone to advise them to "be quiet".  

    They either stand up and start offering a true alternative or get slaughtered once again by voters
    going with their "cultural identity" since there is no real choice available.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:46:34 AM PST

  •  Sick of Establishment Dems (3+ / 0-)

    I'm a Democratic partisan.  I guess you can describe me as liberal.. but just about as liberal as people like Kos and Josh Marshall... in other words, I don't fit the "laundry list" definition by checking off positions on single issues.  

    I'm a reliable Democratic vote in every election.  But that's just one aspect of my civic involvement.  As a young 20-something, I've volunteered on several campaigns like the Kerry and Tim Kaine campaigns.  I know that I will be involved in politics in some capacity for most of my life.  At some point, I may run for elective office-- no doubt as a Democrat.  

    My point is that I'm sick and tired of scared establishment D.C. Democrats.  I'm tired of people who don't fight for what they believe in.  I'm goddamn sick and tired of Democrats who just sit back and wait for Republicans to screw up the country even more.  I sense no urgency, no fight, and no real connection to the Democratic base.

    The Feingold censure debacle has opened up my eyes--- very wide.  It has shown that the current generation of Democrats in Washington have ZERO political instincts.  They have no clue as to how to market themselves to an apathetic American public that is under the spell of a GOP influenced media.

    I was previously willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but now I believe that the current generation of Democrats in Washington are losers.  So if I believe that, someone who is highly interested in politics... what the heck does the average Democratic voter think?

    Pathetic.

    Why settle for the truth when you can have Truthiness???

    by wintersnowman on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:48:47 AM PST

  •  Everyone for themselves, and God against all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    Republicans have pulled out support at the last moment for two election cycles, because nothing gravely threatening to America has occured during that time period. Now a confluence of economic, social and political factors are coming together, the chickens are coming home and they have bird flu. Basically people vote their pocket books, and so French students are way more pissed off about employment laws, than their American counterparts who demonstrate against the Iraq war. When Americans get hit in the wallet then no politician is safe, the streets aren't safe, and the country is in turmoil. Until then everything is beautiful.  

    "...in the future everything is chrome. Sponge Bob Square Pants

    by agent double o soul on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:52:27 AM PST

  •  Throw the Bums Out! is not good enough ... (6+ / 0-)

    ...Since November 2004, a lot of us who signed on for  Anybody But Bush in that election have been asking "where's the beef?" when it comes to Democratic alternatives for the post-2004 campaigns.

    And, when we're not being told to shut up about anti-choice Democrats being given the greenlight by the highest party muckety-mucks and not to get too pushy about gay marriage and not to really suggest anything regarding the party's policy stances, we've been mostly laughed at, told that the Dems are a coalition and we have to cut our partners in that coalition some slack even as they sell us down the river.

    In one form or another, we've been told by various Kossacks that it's too dangerous to Dem electoral chances to actually put forth alternatives because this will telegraph our plans to the GOP, and that party's spinners will just rip those plans apart. Instead, we're told, we should count on the Republicans to be so incompetent and corrupt and out of touch that the Democrats will win by default. We're told we should eschew ideology, that we just need to support the fighting Dems.

    As if fighting for what? was a silly question.

    To offer only one example, we're told the Dems don't need an alternative for Iraq, shouldn't even put forth an alternative for Iraq, because taking note of the only good alternatives in Iraq will make Dems look weak, will make us look as if we don't support the troops, will allow the GOP to remind everybody of who lost China and Vietnam.

    And just as we shouldn't speak up about the need for a party alternative in Iraq, we should, I suppose, not take to task those in the Dem Party who aren't willing to speak up about the potential attack on Iran. Be quiet. Let the Republicans implode.

    I'm thoroughly fed up with this theme. I'd be fed up with it even if it were a good strategy for winning in Congress - but I'd shut up and bear it. But it's a lousy strategy. And if we keep it up, we're going to lose again. And we'll have only ourselves to blame.

    •  hollow victory (3+ / 0-)
      I'd be fed up with it even if it were a good strategy for winning in Congress - but I'd shut up and bear it.

      i'll go one step further and say that a Dem victory following this gameplan will bear little fruit for you and likeminded people.  If the campaigns don't promise progressive positions on the issues that you, I and countless others are depending on - what is the chance that we'll see these progressive viewpoints enacted in law if they come to power?  I'd say nil.

  •  The Clean Government Amendment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edverb, Schadenfreude

    This, I think, is the single idea that the Democrats can rally around, taking advantage of Republican greed, slime, and crime, while assuring that America will have a fair government.  I don't know the exact wording, but these are the key points:

    1.) Putting campaign finance reform into the constitution.  No more Supreme Court challenges or twisty evasions.  "Congress shall have the right to make a law mandating the maximum that any individual may contribute to a political campaign"

    2.) Voting Machine Reform - Guaranteeing a paper trail for all ballots.

    3.) Ending Crooked Districting - Independent districting only for the House of Representatives (state-level Dems should push for this to be added to their respective constitutions as well.

    4.) Lobby reform: Ban gifts, ban junkets

    5.) (maybe)  Public financing for all federal elections.

    I don't know if it'll pass any part of the process, but it's a Big Idea that the Democrats can use to take back Congress and highlight Republican malfeasance.

    Throw the bums out!

    by Mikey on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:54:24 AM PST

    •  And it really needs cleaning! (0+ / 0-)
      1. Which would include the candidate themselves (being able to finance your own campaign is becoming an all-too-frequent qualification for office).  Also something will need to cover the issue of independent media campaigns.  
      1. Along with mandating a process for detecting election anomalies (along the lines of quality control techniques).
      1. This one is really needed.
      1. No argument.
      1. Probably needed.
      1. Add constitutional mandate for open government by requiring open meetings (mostly) and putting teeth into the freedom of information act's underpinnings.
      1. Require publication of the final form of all legislation one week prior to a vote (2/3 majority vote to provide a safety valve bypass).
  •  MSNBC POLL (0+ / 0-)

    Iraq not in a civil war?

    WHAT DO YOU THINK?

  •  markos... the homerism for reid (0+ / 0-)

    is funny.  if not just very transparent.

    not that i don't like reid.

    but to compare reid with pelosi in some way to show they're different is stupid.

    they're both different than repugs.

    someone needs to explain how reid is different than pelosi.

    no.  someone needs to explain how reid is different than hillary.  lets start there.

    make no mistake, if americans at large need dems to play to dem base before they can ascertain at their leisure the obvious differences between dems and repugs, god help us.  if they clearly don't get it by now, and need ad hominems from the "opposition party".....

    i sincerely hope america is smarter than that.

    the last 5 years give me little hope.

  •  Is Pelosi covering up? (0+ / 0-)

    One possible explanation for Pelosi's timidity is that the GOP has something on her or someone close to her.  The GOP may be threatening mutual mass destruction of some kind if the Democrats open up the ethics can of worms.

    •  Then she needs to relinquish her post (0+ / 0-)

      if the Rethugs have dirt on her.  Or maybe she's like Dianne Feinstein - and I know the ReThugs have the dirt on all the shady financial dealings of her husband, Richard Blum, when he got sued by the Carpenters' Union for investing $40 million of their retirement fund and losing it, while collecting an $8 million dollar commission.

      The problem with that is the union members, under FEC regulations, must vote on their pension funds being invested.  That didn't happen, and that's probably what the Rethugs have been holding over Feinstein's head, and now,something similar is probably being held over Pelosi's head as well.

      "Corruption is the disease; Accountability is the cure."

      by The Truth on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 01:44:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dems need to remember their base (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peraspera, ebbak

    They need to remember the people who vote for them and stand up with a positive, pro-active agenda. It is not enough to hang back and react against the right, we need to step forward and propose fixes for the mess we are in.

    Kos, you mentioned two gooper campaign points and I think that we can and do have a way to neutralize them. One is the gay rights agenda.  This is a human rights issue, equality for all is a Democratic issue. We have stood for civil rights, womens rights, the rights of the disabled and dis-advantaged and we will stand for the rights of gay Americans. Equality for all.

    Immigration issues are, IMO, a bigger problem for us. Please, don't make the mistake of looking at all undocumented workers as a monolithic, easily defined group. There is a differenct between seasonal, agricultual, and as you put it, "desparate Latinos making their way north to work the shit jobs no one else wants" and the workers who are being imported to displace blue collar workers who are doing jobs that they damn sure want. Big buisness have discovered an endless stream of cheap labor and they are taking advantage of it to suppress wages in working class job markets. I'm not just pulling this out of my ass, my husband's industry is printing. His company is competing with bigger, national company shops that are employing undocumented workers. This was not the case even three years ago, and these are not shit jobs, they are just paying shit wages.

    Dems must not abandon the working class and unions. We also cannot demonize the immigrants for doing what anyone would, working at improving their lives. We need to direct our reactions at the companies who are using immigrants to drive down wages. All workers deserve a living wage. Talk to people in construction and industries that have been impacted and you will get an earful. Bush, right now is talking about onion growers, yes, we have used undocumented workers in agriculture for years. But, at least in my area, we haven't been using them to build our highways and homes. Again, these are not "shit jobs", they were good paying jobs. They should still be good paying jobs for any worker, immigrant or not.

    Next, health care, health care, health care. Oh, and health care.

  •  Our Strategery (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude

    I'm starting to think that the best thing the Democrats could ever do is to fire their current flock of "consultants" and hire a dozen writers from The Daily Show.

    Branding is everything, and we've been losing the branding war for a generation now. The right-wing smear machine has done a bang-up job turning "liberal" into a dirty word. We've got to stop being on defense 24/7 and start attacking.

    Simply put, we need to humiliate the Republican Party. We need to make the word "conservative" associated with reckless spending, stupidity, anti-science, faith-based foreign policy, "intelligent" design, etc.

    In politics, you're either on offense or you lose. It's truly that simple.

    We don't need "Together, America Can Do Better." We need "The Katrina Congress Blows."

    I'm a man who discovered the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn -- Ron Burgundy

    by IndyScott on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:00:44 AM PST

  •  The land of the free and the home of the brave! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude

    The spinelessness that these cowardly 'democrats' show is going to kill the party.  

    It will not be enough to count on the fact that most voters registered independent or democrat  have started to hate Bush.  They will certainly not vote for him.  But why should they vote at all?  

    What powerful message is the democratic party sending to get people to the poles?  "Follow us because we have cowardly ducked every tough situation and successfully avoided any hard questions we could have asked", is that the deal?   "Follow us because although we have allowed evil things to happen, we are not the ones that committed them", is that the message?

    People are not inspired by cowards and especially not by whimps whose spineless actions have made them accomplices of the crooks that thave taken over this once great country.

    The laundry list of the neocon criminal gang is endless.  Go pick some 20 items on that list and start hammering them until every American knows what these bastards have done to this country.

    I blame the neocon criminals for destroying America, but I blame these cowardly, mousehearted democrats even more for allowing the destruction to happen without standing up for a fight.

    If these cowards are unwilling to play the role of a tough opposition then throw them out of the party and replace them with new and brave faces.

    Throw these pigs out and give the democratic party a face that every American can recognize when they sing "The land of the free and the home of the brave!"

  •  Power of Positive Thinking. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude

    This is a fair and accurate diary I believe.

    But it is important to remain positive.  However, given his track record, I hope Kos remains pessimistic, so that way we can win a house or two.

    At these times of crossroads and reflection, I turn to the wisdom of Steven Segal in Hard To Kill:

    "We're gonna win, Johnny.  You know why?

    Superior attitude, superior state of mind.

    We're gonna get em, Johnny, EVERY FUCKING LAST ONE OF THEM!"

    I belong to the LMTFA wing of the Democratic Party.

    by Sam Loomis on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:03:55 AM PST

  •  campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbak

    It's hard to tell the difference between a party with ideas which is keeping it's powder dry, and a party with no ideas and only endless criticism.

    The Democrats have a number of differentiating stands and proposed legislation which have been buried in committees -- dealing with issues ranging from veteran's health care, to preventing unwanted pregnancies, to voter paper trails and pay-go rules. Most (if not all) of these issues have been buried and not aired out to public debate.

    We need to call these plans into service. It's a great narrative.

    I can imagine a well-coordinated jujitsu campaign as the midterms approach, one which does not give the GOP time to spin the issue. Seize the initiative, and call out the GOP on their allergy to public debate. Start by highlighting one issue at a time, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

    Roll out the major ideas one by one, have the whole party singing the praises of these ideas in unison, and seize news cycles.

    Each time the Republicans attempt to change the subject (which of course they will), bring discussion back to our issue using their own rhetoric against them, and once we've gotten our message out, WE change the subject to the next piece of legislation, on our timeline. Never let them rest. By the time they've got their talking points ready, we're onto the next idea. We're introducing a curriculum, in stick and move fashion. No roundhouses until they're weakened and tired.

    Example:

    Week one: HEALTHCARE 101. We discuss reimportation of prescription drugs and Medicare's inability to negotiate lower prices. Small business tax credits. Highlight the ways the Dem legislation would help Americans but for the fact it's been buried in GOP committee, and hammer away at "up-or-down vote". Make it THE issue of the week. Have the major candidates write op-eds, post to blogs, get the newsmedia talking about these ideas. Make the GOP answer for the fact that they refuse to debate the issue on the merits.

    Week two: DEMOCRACY 101. A voter verified paper trail. It's basic common sense. We have introduced (insert bill numbers here)...all of which have been buried in GOP committees, because once again, Republicans are allergic to debate. Doesn't this deserve an up-or-down vote? When you go to the polls this November, take note of how your vote is counted. If you can't verify it -- it's no accident. Six years of failed Republican leadership wanted it that way.

    Week three: BUDGETING 101. Prohibit fast tracking budget items. Pay as you go rules. Budget priorities.

    Week four: ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY. "Office of public integrity". Lobbying limitations. Oversight. Special prosecutors.

    We discuss these things in terms of the ideas we bring to the table...only mentioning Republicans failures as a REFUTE their counterpoints. We're primarily highlighting OUR ideas. When Republicans counter...THEN the theme is easily changed to "that's more of the failed GOP policy which has brought us to this sorry state. Time for a change" and back to discussing the ideas they're afraid to debate in public.

    They will respond with offense (because they cannot defend their record) and every attempt at offense is portrayed as another GOP attempt to change the subject. Oh, they compared Murtha to Michael Moore again? Great...that and $500 will pay for my prescriptions this week. We have a plan they refuse to debate on the open floor. So it's no surprise they're trying to change the subject here too.

    They ignore Americans in dire need of healthcare, but can drop everything to interfere with Terri Schiavo's family. They see seniors going without prescriptions, but they can bother themselves with steroids in baseball. Those aren't America's priorities.

    When they bring up Cindy Sheehan...time for the roundhouse punch.

    "George Bush could meet with Jack Abramoff a half dozen times, could hang with Ken Lay and the boys...but he isn't man enough to meet with Cindy Sheehan. I guess a coulpa hundred thousand gets you in to see the President, but losing a son doesn't. Talk about your misplaced priorities. Her son died in this conflict. She deserves better. A real man would look her in the eye and answer the damn question, not dodge her and allow his proxies to attack her character for daring to ask it.

    She's sacrificed more, and been more persistent than GWB has ever mustered in his entire sheltered, fratboy fortunate life. The difference is that no one is writing her speeches for her, she doesn't have teams of operatives to scrub every photo, or bury embarrassing records.

    Bush off the cuff is easily as embarrassing as anything Cindy Sheehan has ever said, and everybody knows it."

    The candidates talk ideas, the surrogates do the attacking. They aren't such strict constructionists when it comes to the Fourth Amendment, are they? They don't really beleieve in up-or-down votes, do they? They say Democrats want to increase government? The only kind of government the runaway Republicans oppose is ethical government.

    All the while, the themes are:

    -We've got the best ideas
    -They don't share America's priorities, we do
    -Change is necessary
    -Republicans are corrupt, full of excuses, and allergic to debate

    By the end of the campaign, we're discussing a "flawed policy wrapped in illusion" ala Murtha, and "Censure" ala Feingold. Tell the people that it's GOP lunacy to continue the same failed policies and expect different results.

    Toward the end, we wrap it up and close. If people want better healthcare, if they want budgets which make sense, if they want oversight of a government gone wild with corruption and lawlessness -- then vote Democratic. Our ideas are on the table ready to be put into service. Included is a list of things we WILL NOT DO.

    We won't sell your ports to Arabs. We won't interfere with your family health decisions. We won't encourage companies to send your job to China. We won't introduce legislation in the middle of the night...because unlike the GOP, we have nothing to hide.

    So if people want Iraq, Katrina, Jack Abramoff, Abu Ghraib -- then by all means, vote Republican -- they'll deliver it and then some. They'll be pissing on your leg and telling you it's raining as long as you let them -- and they and their cronies will laugh all the way to the bank doing it. They've been doing it for six years...

    This strategy hits all the keys to victory -- it's a a narrative which makes this a referendum election, demonstrating ideas, stark contrast, and makes the Republicans take ownership of their record.

    We can win this thing through boldness, precision execution, and sticking together.

    John Hancock warned the delegates: "There must be no pulling different ways, we must all hang together."

    In response, Ben Franklin replied: "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately."

  •  Usually, if a team has 3 straight losing... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keestone

    seasons, a new coach is brought in and a new philosophy is applied.  Here, a new coach was brought in, but the old philosophy is changing slowly, fitfully, and reluctantly.

    Why is it that Reid and Pelosi are so change resistant?  Don't they WANT to exercise the power of the majority?  Have they read W's latest poll #s?

    It's NOT terribly complicated.  They didn't win the 2000 election at the polls--they won it by their thuggish tactics thereafter.  We'll never really know whether they won the 2004 election at the polls--they perfected and institutionalized their approach by then.

    I'd feel a whole lot better about the "keep the powder dry" approach if I saw a powder-saver actually use the powder on occasion.  Those who most loudly decry Feingold's censure motion are the same ones who didn't want to fight Scalito that hard and who don't want to call for a w/drawal timetable in Iraq.

    The gross incompetence of this WH has become so obvious to make defeat for the Rethugs likely this year.   Defeat will not move from likely to inevitable w/o some active intervention on the part of the Dems.  It's long past time for such intervention now.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:06:12 AM PST

    •  except (0+ / 0-)

      the current team only has one loss...2004.  Pelosi was brought in after 2002, and Reid hasn't even been leader through an election yet.

      Webpage ;Current members: 81325 (as of 3am 3/16). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: September 15, 2006

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:11:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not enough to change the faces if... (0+ / 0-)

        you don't change the underlying philosophy.  Replacing McAuliffe w/ Dean was a giant step forward, replacing Daschle w/ Reid was a visible step forward, and replacing Gephardt w/ Pelosi was probably a step forward.  If, however, one is not going to adopt a fundamentally different approach, it doesn't matter who holds the leadership positions.

        As a general rule, the party that takes the initiative and establishes the terms of debate ultimately wins.  The Rethugs did that in each of the last 3 electoral cycles, and they'll do it again this time if the Dems don't take the initiative now.

        It's almost secondary as to what issues are used to take the initiative.  I think that censure offers a perfect opportunity, but I'm willing to listen to other suggestions.  If the party wants to adopt a consensus plan for w/drawal from Iraq according to specified timetables, it might be better to focus on that issue.

        If the Dems continue to fart around and keep their powder dry for another 6 months, Rove will find something to build his campaign around by this summer.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:38:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Principle v. Politics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keestone

    I see a lot of talk here about whether the Dems should let the GOP twist in the wind a little longer before showing leadership.

    To that I ask: why expect political strategists to ever show leadership?  Leadership implies doing what's right, regardless.  Terrible things are happening in/to our nation right now, and now is the time to speak up - if you are a leader.

    Kos went way to easy on the Sen. Reid, who pushed "bankruptcy reform" for the Dems' banking donors and who shot down strong opposition to SC nominee Alito (we'll be able to thank Harry for decades on that one).

    Consider that when the Dems controlled both houses of Congress and the White House in the early 90s, yet only one progressive initiative was passed: the Family and Medical Leave Act - which didn't even bring the US up to European standards.  And during that same Clinton administration, the right-wing/corporations made a lot of progress: oil royalties rolled back; communication deregulation; "welfare reform"; NAFTA; GATT; WTO; offshore drilling expansion; etc.

    We need to change the Democratic Party, not knee-jerk support it.  If it became an authentic, honest voice of progressivism, I bet a lot of people who quite voting years back would return to the democratic fold.

  •  kos meet nutshell; hammer meet nail (0+ / 0-)

    exactly dead on correctomundo.

    Dems need to give people a reason to vote FOR them.

    If the election were held today, the turnout would consist of the few remaining evangelicals led by the nose and... no one else.

    Personally I see NO CHANGE in the Dem behavior.

    Personally I fear we are screwed.

  •  Play to win or else! (0+ / 0-)

    Let's not forget about another tactic that could be useful to the GOP in '06: voter suppression (the legal variety).  Enlarge the corruption quagmire and tar everyone; make the electorate so sick of politics that they just want it to go away.  At the same time quietly whip up the zealots through normal communications means and via ballot initiatives that attract them but don't rile up the opposition.  By doing this they win small but they do win!

    The only way to combat this is, as suggested, to give voters something to vote for.  Maybe somthing inspiring like

    • Clean and open government
    • Affordable healthcare
    • A brighter future for our children and grandchildren.
    • Returning America to its position of world leadership rather than world domination (that's not working out so well is it?)

    That passionate vision for improving the USA is why many of us supported Dr. Dean and we desperately need an inspiring view of our future to prevent the doomsayers of the GOP from dragging all of us down into their murky world of apathy.

  •  I have the same feelings you have (0+ / 0-)

    about the situation, but the Dems are going to have to get to gether and agree on tactics.  Feingold was right to file his resolution, but there has to, now, be a concerted effort to hold public hearings.  Where can they be held.  What  committee?  the Bushies have a lock on the allegiance of the Senate chairman, which supercedes their allegiance to the Constitution.  Public hearings must be demanded so that the Senate Repubs can be clearly shown as owned, lock, stock and barrel.
      Another problem is the divide between Democrats on issues of party, vs. principles.  How can we highlight and advance the principles without getting caught up in the quagmire of party politics?

    Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

    by StrayCat on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:08:50 AM PST

  •  kos for fucking PRESIDENT! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danny Boy

    hell fuckin' yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaargggggghhh!!

  •  Who are the Grima Wormtongues? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Danny Boy

    These poll-obsessed and their risk-averse consultants looked at Bush's high numbers in the wake of 9-11 and internalized their appeasement strategy.

    Don't we have some names, here?  These "consultants" hide behind anonymity that is too freely-given by the lazy corporate media.  Methinks a little sunlight will help break down the spell they cast on the Democratic leaders.  These consultants must be made to defend their opinions openly.  If they cannot do so, they must be fired.

  •  Kos - have to disagree (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans DO go to the polls to vote against the Enemy - Democrats.

    It's time to be a Democrat!

    by annefrank on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:19:03 AM PST

  •  Base (0+ / 0-)

    And don't forget their rabid base.  In midterm elections, turnout is key.  One thing the Thugs are very, very good at is turning out the base on election day.  We better hope like hell for clear skies and sunshine.

    Turnout was the key in the Presidential election.  They did a better job than we did.  They whipped up the Fundies and they won.  Whether or not there was election fraud in Ohio, BushCo won the popular vote.  IMO, it had a lot to do with a visceral dislike of Kerry – yet another wishy-washy Democrat.  If we give them more wishy-washy Democrats, our voters will continue to stay at home.

    It is their base.  The flag waving, psycho Fundie dinosaurs that would rather freeze to death in a snow storm than see more Democrats elected.  That is the Republican’s secret weapon.  We have a strong base, but theirs is deeper and fanatical.  Until we figure out how to make our base as rabid as theirs, we can’t count on poll numbers, unpopular wars or a disintegrating economy.  Wait and see won’t make it happen.  Compromise won’t make it happen.  We need a clear message to rally around.  We need strong leaders speaking out (Bless you Feingold and Murtha).  Sitting on our hands will give us a repeat of election night 2004.  All smoke and happy promise – dissipated on a breeze of hate.

    Meet me in Cognito, baby

    by out grrl on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:20:08 AM PST

  •  Then why are Dems UnBush? (0+ / 0-)

    So why are Dems unBush? The unrecognized elephant in the room is the Israel/Palestine 'Road Map'. Dems who support Bush's 'no nothing' approach also rally around Bush in Iraq.

    Clinton used personal diplomacy to get close but Bush went back to ground minus zero. The whole ME situation depends on the solution to this problem and it has gone down the drain since Bush arrived.

    The question that is never asked of Democratic candidates in any interview is how they would end this conflict. Ending is so vital to peace and our extricating ourselves from this morass.

  •  Good post, kos (0+ / 0-)
    I would add that the malaise is more a fear of the kinds of change we really must make as a party and a nation.

    We're afraid to let go of the status quo, and Bush and the GOP take full advantage of that.

    In the short term, however, there are easy, simple things every American could do to start solving some of the deep troubles facing our nation...but we've let the GOP define those changes in ways that make  the public feel like it's either Bush or some "crazy liberal" version of the American way of life.

    Not so.  In fact, elect more Democrats and we'll see steps towards sanity in D.C.

    However, and here's the rub, there really ARE deep changes that all of us need to make, and we all know it...and these changes don't live in the easy "Dem/GOP" fault that divides our political life.

    Witness this TPM post...and this William Greider piece.

    That is the real 'club of fear' the GOP uses.  It's easier to deny global warming and our nation's incredible addiction to debt...than to look at the hard choices and solutions that define the road ahead.

    However, that's our job as Democrats and Americans...we must win in 2006 and get to work.

  •  Welcome to the reality based community... (0+ / 0-)

    RE Pelosi.

    Add me to the group of constituants who can't stand her, and that's from since I moved to SF in '91.  

    Don't kid yourselves about how big a hack the politicians in California are just because they agree with you on some issues.  And term limits have done nothing but exacerbate the problem as those who've "paid their dues" and shuffled through state offices for a decade or two jockey for one of the rare open national offices (what I wouldn't give for a credible candidate to take on DiFi).

    "I don't bear a grudge. I have no surviving enemies."

    by usagi on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 11:38:10 AM PST

  •  The real story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude, ebbak

    It's not that the Democrats don't want to stand up to the Republican Party.

    It's that they do not want to stand up to the U.S. News Media.

    They know that the U.S. News media time & time again only serves the purpose of being a giant mouthpiece and a giant editorial board for right-wing policies & Personalities.   Many of them just don't have the stomach to take on the U.S. News Media -- so what they do is just let the U.S. News Media define what the conventional wisdom (and I use that term loosely) is -- and then say "yeah I'll go along with that too that way you won't hate me (or smear me with Limbaugh-esque talking points)".

    For example, after 9-11, G. Bush - instead of being blamed - became popular (for having sat idly in a classroom and ignoring the mulitple advance warnings ?).  

    Now had Al Gore had behaved in such a negligant & incompetent fashion, would the U.S. News Media trump-up Gore as this popular, invincible, "leader for our time", etc -? Of course not.   Jimmy Carter?  Of Course not.

    This is why blogs and alternative media have become so critical and so important.   We must be the truth squad because the U.S. News Media will not do that job.

    We must send the messages out to the Hillary Clintons out there and say:  You cannot go along with it - early and often.

    These guys all live in the News Media bubble and they're ready to accept any 'ol storyline that fits the News Media agenda.

    When things get so bad in terms of our soaring national debt, New orleans, and the horror & tragedy of Iraq and even the right-wing begin to complain about Bush's leadership  - then and only then will the U.S. News Media tolerate & follow that storyline -- and then the Democratic Party will sheeply follow behind that.

    If Democrats stick their necks out first however - the U.S. News Media will just pillory them & swiftboat away with glee -- and that's root of the problem!

    What the Democratic Party needs to do is change the Media environment or perish.  Democracy cannot occur inside a communications vacuum.  Air America & a few Blogs are not good enough here.   We need people with money (Soros, MoveOn, Hollywood, etc.) to help form a brand new "USA Today-like " National Newspaper and we need Television Stations and Internet-based TV formed .. because, as Rhandi Rhodes likes to say:  "If it's not on TV - then it didn't happen!".

    This is the root of the problem.

  •  The simple fact is that the loudest Democrats ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cat1133, ebbak

    ... and their messages are not resonating with the American people. In a recent WSJ poll, the Republicans had a 10 point advantage on the Democrats when folks were asked who they trusted most on the war on terror, even after the Republicans have totally botched the job. It was something like 34% for Republicans to 24% for Democrats, which shows that the public is not at all impressed with the way Republicans are handling the war on terror, but they are buying the Democratic message 10 points less enthusiastically. The loudest parts of our party on the Iraq War and national security are those factions that have rallied around Murtha, Sheehan, Dean, and Feingold. Their messages on Iraq aren't selling to the American people, just to Democrats, and that's the problem across the board. The people are less than impressed with the Republicans, but they don't yet see Democrats as a viable alternative for running the government. I know some polls show us with a big generic lead, but that doesn't translate down to district by district and state by state, as we should expect to see. The sad truth is that our messages, as currently being disseminated by our spokespersons, are not resonating with the American people.

  •  'shit jobs nobody wants' my ass (5+ / 0-)

    "Latinos making their way north to work the shit jobs no one else wants"
    Congratulations -- you have totally internalized the corporatocracy's spin.
    LOTS of American citizens want, and would happily take, these "shit jobs" -- if only they weren't competing with a labor pool that, by virtue of their illegal status, can be exploited at virtually-slavery-level wages.
    Isn't it funny how these businessmen and entrepreneurs who claim to idolize the "free market" suddenly shrink from paying free-market-level compensation to labor, and instead want the government to provide a steady stream of lo-cost employees via "guest status" programs for otherwise-illegal foreign workers.  And isn't it funny how the party that claims to want to keep our borders tight and secure suddenly wants exceptions made for tens of thousands of lo-cost agricultural, domestic service, construction, and engineering workers.  Isn't it funny how we aren't making the same exceptions for lawyers, financial analysts & managers, and executives?  Not to mention politicians?
    This is an issue on which the left and the right should be able to find common ground.  How about a little solidarity with our own exploited workers, and instead of talking about how SOME of the Republicans are making political hay out of "demoniz[ing] desperate Latinos," instead show how the Republicans that MATTER -- the Administration and their congressional lapdogs -- are giving away what should be well-paid (or at least survival-level pay) American jobs for the benefit of their corporate masters, huh?
    We get enough of that "nobody wants these jobs" BS from the right; at least let's not add to it ourselves.

  •  Kos ur right on...almost. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Schadenfreude

    I agree with 99% of what KOS is saying I only disagree on the Illegal immigration statement. I think most Americans are for immigration (legal) immigration that is and I for one would like to see it made easy for the people Kos is discussing. However, these folks have to understand that coming here illegally is wrong jobs or not. Ask yourself this how would Mexico or any other country react if millions of Americans tried to enter their country illegally. They wouldn't tolerate it. If we are to have "the rule of law" it has to start at the borders and it's dangerous for everyone to allow a "class" of people to exist without papers within the country. These folks are here to work but without proper papers they can and are subject to all kinds of illegal practices by the employers using their labor. They are being explioted and this expliotation drives down the wages and benefits of the entire work force legal and illegal. It has to be stopped. The economic right uses these folks to break the back of what's left of the labor movement and many of these folks are essentially little more then a slave labor work force. I admire their determination to look for work but I can't applaud how they are going about it.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees"

    by Blutodog on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 12:01:45 PM PST

  •  Lois <sic> Slaughter (0+ / 0-)

    and no one seemed to notice, whereas it is appropriate and telling that Pelosi's name was spelled correctly.
    Hal C.

  •  Lets make Reid MAJORITY leader (0+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid, the minority leader could become majority leader if we take control of the senate, there are some vulnerable seats but we can put money towards them to secure them this year. Yes, that is an interesting post Please visit our website, we are a new organization where we try and get younger people involved in the campaigns, but our website is for all walks of life, take a look and email us your thoughts! Future Democrats of America You can donate right on our website!

  •  Your ineffectiveness of Democrats is the (0+ / 0-)

    most important thing anyone has said in a long time. They are like eunuchs in a harem
    They have enough just on Cheney with him having armed saddam and Osama and then there is a speech he gave on 4/29/91 which is on the web in which he says they didn't depose him during first Gulf War because they didn't know what would replace him like an Iranian type Shite cleric.
    He has lied, flip flopped helped create the terorrists and if the dunmmycrats had gone after him , his rating wouldn't be 18 but minus 50

  •  Have we fixed the voting machines yet? (0+ / 0-)

    If not then chalk up another "red" advantage.

    Lo the day Katherine Harris does walk out a victor.

    Can we call the "Neo Con-artists" yet?

  •  A referendum on.... (0+ / 0-)

    Bush & Republican "leadership" failure...that has to be a large part of 2006 campaign message.  And the Republican agenda and the incompetence of those in power are the root of the problem.  

    We need to communicate that the real "hard work"  will come in containing and ultimately reversing the damage done by Bush and the Repulican Congress...all the way from repealing tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% that we cannot afford, the related fiscal profiligacy as reflected in the deficit and national debt, the staggering cost of the Iraq fiasco, the pillaging and squandering by corrupt Abramoff cohorts, the gutting of our full-time military and National Guard, misguided foreign policy characterized by truculence and sabre rattling, the Medicare drug bill disaster...and the list goes on and on.  At the same time we need to focus on job creation, health care, education, energy independence...but first things first, as we need to bail today's sinking ship.  

    This administration is leaving behind a dreadful and unprecedented pile of crap that will require immense courage (i.e., "raising" taxes is never popular, even when it is reversing something that should have not been done), integrity and accountability (how do you spell Feingold, Murtha, etc).  

    We have gotten to the point where there is no great big magical blue "UNDO" button that anyone can push.  Yup George, it damn sure is "hard work", and you and your cabal have demonstrated that you cannot do it.

  •  third party (0+ / 0-)

    How badly/stupidly do the dems have to act before you jump ship?  Look, I really want the dems to show spine and conscience, but I no longer expect it.  What kind of leader wants the opposition to lose instead of winning on their own merits?  The repubs are repugnant in their unanimous support of the most incompetent, morally bankrupt president and too many dems are just as disgusting for getting their marching orders from pussies--male and female.  

    If you can't get yourself to support a new party this time, will you be ready in 2008?  Dems couldn't win in 2004--that is truly remarkable--and are not going to take either chamber this go around because they're using the same consultants.  Maybe if some of the blog leaders threatened to go third party, dems would step up.  I doubt it, because Kos and company are as loyal to the Democratic party as the Republicans are to their disaster.

    At some point we have to separate ourselves from the weak and timid, I love my country, I am ashamed of it, and so few are willing to go the extra mile to bring it back. If not here, where?

  •  Maybe we should tailor our message to districts (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, what plays in Peoria might not play in San Francisco. The main point should be to increase the numbers of Democrats in Congress, and that might require different lines in different districts.

    That's one reason I was so upset about the Hackett withdrawal. Who knows better what would work in Ohio? Some senator from New York, or some guy who lives in Ohio?

    Bottom line? I don't think we need a national message.

    Does anyone think Bush will ever catch bin Ladin?

    by Danjuma on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 05:24:47 PM PST

  •  You are right, GOP implosion is not enough (0+ / 0-)

    What are the Dems offering as an alternative? That is the question.

    Long War
    Nancy Pelosi, Speaker

  •  Fool me once (0+ / 0-)

    When do we use the overwhelming power of the Web to tell the Democratic Party and all of the Rooseveltian old ladies that run it to take a hike?
    I ran for Congress against one of the Republican leaders of Congress and got NO HELP from the hangers-on who actually run the party: not at the state level and not at the national level, (the DCCC didn't even return my calls).  I was one of the "Kos Eight" so was obviously not and "unqualified nut." Never-the-less, the only real help I got was from Kos and his "citizens." I don't know what the Democratic Party is interested in, but it clearly is not interested in governing.  Give them hell!  They clearly don't deserve us.

  •  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ALREADY! (0+ / 0-)

    The BATTLE CRY of the Democratics is one that is really quite simple!

    6 years ago the White House was occupied by a Republican that claimed to be a Uniter! And do you feel that the Repulican controlled House of Representatives and Senate have been responsive in excercising their duties of Oversight to Unite your Nation? " THE REPUBLICAN'S HAVE DIVIDED THE WORLD NOT JUST AMERICA! <-----possible bumper sticker!</p>

    I hear Ken Mehlman "phrase it in these words" in fact just heard him say it to Wolf Blitzer yesterday in an interview on The CNN's Situation Room; Mehlman frames it as "this nation is closely divided" and nothing can be further from the truth...this nation is "widely divided"! As if the World and in the end "the Peacemakers will when because what a Christian never remembers is from their own Rules Book"!

    Bless the Peace Makers for they are The Children of God!

    And while I'm on these subjects might I add something? "God-damn the Queen and long live the Polar Bear"!

    Coming to your town soon! The Social Security Adminstartion Electric and Power Company. "Omen Tuffy" 1918-1992

    by generic on Mon Mar 20, 2006 at 10:59:18 PM PST

  •  Media (0+ / 0-)

    Unfortunately part of our message has to be, "The media can't be trusted because it's owned by the Right", which is a very hard message to get the media to pick up on.

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