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Frank Luntz, formerly evil but now just a mercenary (which still makes him evil but, um, in a different way), focus group tested the current crop of 2008 Dem contenders in Iowa and New Hampshire.

His findings are in this report (PDF) which I haven't read yet. I just thought some of you might want a head start reading it.

But Luntz pulled out the following "Ten Commandments" for 2008 Dems:

TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR 2008 DEMOCRATS

1. Don't feel my pain - give me something to alleviate it. Democrats don't want to be told what's wrong with America. They want to be told what you plan to do about it. They're not looking for the diagnosis - they know what ails them. They want the cure. The candidate most focused on "solutions" will have the advantage.  

2. Leave Bush out of it. We know why we don't like him. Tell us why we should like you instead. They hear enough Bush-bashing and engage in it themselves. They assume all the Democratic candidates feel as they do: it's time for a change.  They're looking for the candidate that articulates the answer to the specific problem Bush created.  

3. What would Jesus do? Tell me what YOU would do and leave Jesus out of it. The time for a conversation about faith and spirituality is in the general election, not the primaries. Democrats don't want to hear about your church. If they really cared, they'd be Republicans.  

4. Don't tell me what's wrong with America unless you can tell me what you're going to do to make it right. A litany of all that has gone wrong in the past five years is telling them what they already know. The candidate who tells them what they plan to do about it will win their support.

5. Tell me something new. Tell me something I don't already know. It may sound like a Gary Hart-esque approach but Democrats are really looking for a nominee with new ideas, someone with an innovative approach. Been there, done that won't sell in 2008.  

6. Be a Deficit Democrat. Every time a Democratic candidate talked about ending wasteful spending and tackling the deficit, the dials spiked up, as did the approval. In the arena of deficit spending, there really isn't much difference between Democrats and Republicans.  

7. The 2008 Agenda:  education, healthcare, prescription drugs, energy independence. The war in Iraq may grab the headlines and the attention, but Democrats are much more focused on concerns right here at home. `Bring the troops home,' they complained. Tell us what you're going to do to improve our quality of life right here in America.    

8. The 2008 Attributes: intelligence, competence, accountability, getting things done, passion, honesty and being ethical. Attributes matter, as does style.  The 2008 contest is not just about the issues. It's also about who the candidates are and what they are truly about. Smart is in. Accountability and integrity are necessities. And passion - yes passion - is a prerequisite.      

9. You are the message. Watch the negativity. Democrats want hope.  Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes. The candidates focused on the future will have a significant advantage. The candidate that generates the most hope in a better future will win the nomination.

10. Winning is everything. And the only thing. As in 2004, Democrats want to win. Unlike 2004, they REALLY want to win. No candidate will secure the nomination whom they fear will lose to the Republican nominee.  Electability is going to play a major role in 2008.  

I have an inherent distrust of focus groups, but take this as you may. I'm sure it has its nuggets. Especially the part about "passion". That's what I'm looking for. Passion.

Of course, the line between "passion" and "angry" is a thin line indeed, especially with a hostile conservative-controlled media setting the terms of the debate.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:09 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How much does Luntz weigh? (5+ / 0-)

    As I suspected.  I can't throw him too far.

    Andy
    Sarasota

    Remember New Orleans

    by AAbshier on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:06:18 PM PST

    •  Luntz: extremely bad hair piece (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tiggers thotful spot

      He won't admit he has a rug, but sheesh... what? We don't have eyes?

      "They spent 5 years trying to scare us. Okay. We're scared." Cafferty

      by steelman on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:32:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I read the report. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      L0kI, hhex65

      Here's the gist of each candidate:

      • Hillary: Smart and articulate, but needs to get those negatives up.
      • Kerry:  Been there, done that.  Old news.
      • Edwards:  His support for poverty causes comes off as phony because he's a millionaire.
      • Biden: Respect, but no fire.
      • Warner:  Appealed to most; strong contender; but slight in experience.
      • Richardson:  Like Warner, but less accomplished (small-state version of him)
      • Feingold:  Articulate but angry; didn't appeal to moderate Dems.
      • Bayh:  Bland; no love or hate either way.
      • Vilsack:  Too much focus on religion; the least of the contenders.

      Visit RemoveRepublicans.com and follow every 2006 Senate race.

      by AnthonySF on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:36:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)

      I don't care how much he weighs.  He has basically hit it on the head about how Dems should campaign in the 2006 and 2008 elections.  

      Look, people don't like negativity and I am sure that by this point most thinking, observant and voting people have a pretty good idea of what is wrong with this country.  Luntz is right (he does seem to be right too often) we need a positive agenda for the election and he has identified the issue around which Democrats must rally fairly accurately.  Point #7 lays it out well.

      Listen closely DLC, DNC, DSCC and DCCC.  I think healthcare is the #1 issue and we need to present a coherent and easy to understand program (single payer anyone?).  The poor people I know, my girlfriend for example, are really pissed off about the cutbacks in Medicaid and the lack of a good national healthcare program.  Large portions of the corporatacracy (Ford, GM...) are hurting because of the broken healthcare system we have.  This is a winning issue if we play our cards right.  The first thing we need to do is get NAM behind us.  The unions will be happy to follow us, but getting big business behind us will require some work.  Don't worry about the insurance companies -- they can probably be ameliorated by allowing them to sell supplemental policies for things that are not covered under the national plan (go to the head of the line for elective sugeries for example).  

      I think that "Hillary care", although it was a noble effort at compromise, ended up being to complicated for people to get behind and so it was open to the "Harry and Louise" attacks which were launched against it.  Promoting a single payer system as "Medicare for everyone" would probably work better, but it should be better funded than Medicare.  My idea is to have a regulatory body which sets premiuns outside of the political process -- one of the main weaknesses of the Canadian and British systems is underfunding by conservative goverments.  Our national program should be run more like an insurance company; keep the funding issue outside of Congress, we need to be realistic about the funding levels for the program.

      •  assumption (0+ / 0-)

        "...thinking, observant and voting people have a pretty good idea of what is wrong with this country".

        This is a big mistake.  Yes, thinking  and observant people have a good idea.  But voters (too many of them) don't pay attention until they have to.

        This administration must be nailed to the cross on Iraq, Iran, Katrina and all of the political scandals.

        Of course democrats need their own plan.  Healthcare and immigration will be the biggies.  Education has been a big issue for so long that I don't see much new out there.

      •  I agree, not a bad list ... (0+ / 0-)

        I don't care how much he weighs.  He has basically hit it on the head about how Dems should campaign in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

         
        The Luntz list seems spot-on to me.  I want a positive, compelling program, not partisan rants.  I especially like points 4, 7, and 8.  

        1. Don't tell me what's wrong with America unless you can tell me what you're going to do to make it right.
        1. The 2008 Agenda:  education, healthcare, prescription drugs, energy independence.
        1. The 2008 Attributes: intelligence, competence, accountability, getting things done, passion, honesty and being ethical.
    •  Oh goody (8+ / 0-)
      Once again, we're going to let the right wing tell us how to get elected, but this time we'll pay them for it!

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      Democracyfest July 14 - 16, 2006: The toolkit for taking back our democracy, disguised as a fun-filled weekend.

      by mataliandy on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:26:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't it amazing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927

        How so many Dems fall for this right wing crap. Let's see now. "Don't censure Americans don't like negativity, ignore the fact we impeached Clinton over a BJ. Oh my God don't speak negatively of Bushbag or point out how Bad he is." Man are we suckers or what!

        Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

        by eddieb061345 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:16:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's not about being respectful or weak... (0+ / 0-)
          ...it's about being constructive.

          I know how horrible Bush is, I know he's ruining our country.  And I can relate to the "stop telling us what we already known" meme in this top 10. I want to know what dems are going to do to fix the problem because they're not doing much from where I sit.  

          People don't go to the polls to vote AGAINST someone, they go to the polls to vote FOR someone.  I'm sure the republicans will rally their base for this midterm election, we need to find a way to rally OUR base.

          Even if it's something simple like "I want my country back."  

          Doesn't mean we have to be strictly positive, but I think there's a visceral dissatisfaction and disgust of both sides of the political spectrum.  The right is seen as reckless and the left is seen as immobile.

          I will vote democratic regardless, but there are plenty of people who will need a REASON to turn out vote democratic this november beyond "I'm better than a republican".  It'd be pretty stupid to ignore that need.

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

          by DawnG on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:31:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't it amazing (0+ / 0-)

        How so many Dems fall for this right wing crap. Let's see now. "Don't censure Americans don't like negativity, ignore the fact we impeached Clinton over a BJ. Oh my God don't speak negatively of Bushbag or point out how Bad he is." Man are we suckers or what!

        Disabled Viet Vet ret. My snark is worse than my bite

        by eddieb061345 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:16:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  plus... (0+ / 0-)

          ...learn to read for goodness sake.  He didn't say we shouldn't censure the president.  He implied we shouldn't CAMPAIGN on censure or impeachment.  

          We need to be the party of ideas.  We need to be the party of solutions.  Granted we already are but we need to get it out there more.

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

          by DawnG on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:36:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  half true, half false (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, Democrats need to emphasize solutions.
      No, they should not refrain from criticism.  Their lack of courage in confronting the Republicans when not only the Democrats, but the majority of voters, are looking for someone to express their disatisfaction, is ridiculous,

    •  Nothing but Republican talking points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      Luntz presents offensively stupid thinking

      Live Free or Die (-8.88 -9.49) IMPEACH

      by rktect on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:30:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aren't #1, #3, and #4 the exact same thing? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrHinkyDink, Cienfuegos, LiterateWolf

    "Explain your solutions to America's problems."

    Everyone likes lists of 10, I guess.    

    Feingold/Slaughter '08. Hey, I can dream.

    by bosdcla14 on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:06:24 PM PST

    •  1 and 4 definitely are (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, adigal, bartman, mrd in nyc, red meat

      And 3 just seems to be thrown in to insult religious liberals.

      •  Really - how insulting (10+ / 0-)

        If I really cared about religion, I could never be part of a party that talks about Jesus, and then takes food, medicine and shelter away from its most needy citizens.

        I don't trust one tiny, little, miniscule, microscopic (get the point?!?) thing that Luntz has to tell Democrats.  He means us nothing but harm.

        The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

        by adigal on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:50:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like you, I don't trust Luntz....... (8+ / 0-)

          I don't know (but would like to) who paid for this. If Dems paid they wasted their money.  Luntz manipulates focus groups and draws conclusions to suit his purposes.  I'd be very wary of any advice from the guy who changed the estate tax to the "death tax" and wrote the Rupublicans Contract with (on) America.  Very wary.

          "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

          by Lying eyes on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:08:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Political tacticians... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JanL, Jim Treglio

            are, in a way, like good debaters.

            They can take either side of a question.  The people who understand best what you're doing wrong are the people who have been beating you up.

            The fact that this fighter class tends to have no real principles may be appalling, but it's also irrelevant.

            What matters is, can they win the fight?

            And Luntz is right.

            The next few elections will be about 1) solving real problems sensibly, 2) candidates showing a capacity for independent thought (as opposed to highly partisan toeing-of-the-line), and 3) not being appallingly lax morally.

            Believe me, moderates are as sick of ineffective Democrats as they are of corrupt Republicans.

        •  No, this report rings true (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adigal, Geronimo

          Remember he's polling Dems.  We may have our religious beliefs, but unlike the Reps we choose to not share it in the political sphere.  I could definitely see a bunch of Dems sitting around complaining about religion -- particularly with all the hype around religious voters in the 2004 elections.  No Clark is a problem.

    •  1, 2, 4, 5 are the same thing. (0+ / 0-)

      Give me something new and shiny and stop complaining!

      hink

      Obey your corporate masters.

      by MrHinkyDink on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:34:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Luntz is giving us free advice (6+ / 0-)

    In case some of you are thinking that this is some kind of evil plot, Luntz HATES John Boehner. Hates, hates, hates him. The thought of working with him to help his party makes him shiver with disgust. I'm not sure exactly why, but thanks to that rivalry, Luntz is not a true conservative supporter anymore.

  •  And don't squirm out of questions! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, L0kI, drewfromct, frankzappatista

    The hardest ones (abortion, war, undocumented workers) are easy if you do them with conviction.  Get a video of Hackett, study it, and you'll be all right.

    •  And regarding security.... (13+ / 0-)

      Always tie it in to our fiscal problems at home.  Don't treat it like a separate issue.
       
      I'd vote for anyone who says in a debate:  "You know what's really bad for National Security?  Being broke."
       
      Caj

    •  confidence over content (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf

      Amercians want a confident leader.  One who will tell it to them straight, not read the polls and spin the message.  Even if voters disagree with a candidate's stand on an issue, most of the time they'll give politicians credit for being a stand-up person if they explain their reasons with heart and tie it back to core values we all share.

      When Hilary comes across as a smart but calculating and nuanced politician, she loses support. Voters are trying to discern character under the candidate's surface smile.  The problem is you really don't see it until they've been in office a while, and some voters stay in denial forever, unwilling to admit that Daddy (or Mommy) President is not the shining illusion they bought from the TV commercials.

      •  Bah. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Davinci, mataliandy, amRadioHed

        I don't know what "Americans" want, but I certainly prefer content over confidence.  You want somebody that's absolutely unshakeable in their beliefs and in themselves, just look at Dubya.

        give politicians credit for being a stand-up person if they explain their reasons with heart and tie it back to core values we all share

        That sure sounds like "content" to me.  I want somebody who can actually explain to me why they believe something.

        Hillary doesn't do it for me because I don't think she can do that.  Her explanations for her decisions, her content, doesn't hold water, no matter how "confident" she appears.

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:31:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't disagree (0+ / 0-)

          I'd absolutely prefer a leader with depth and "content" but the fact is voters usually are heavily influenced by how a candidate looks and acts.  Sadly, I doubt that FDR could have been elected today if people had seen him in a wheel chair.

          I'm also not a Hilary supporter, but was using her as an example of a leading politician who has an image problem because she seems too calculating.  If she could project a warmer public persona, she'd get more support.

  •  I *really* wanted to win in 2004 (13+ / 0-)

    And a bit of negativity and Bush-bashing ain't gonna hurt nobody. :)

  •  Uh (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WIds, jiml, Magnifico, Cienfuegos

    I REALLY wanted to win in 2004.

    and 2002

    and 2000

    and so on...
  •  It's Not About Bush -- it's about Dems Plans (12+ / 0-)

    At last:  A poll that confirms an approach we all need.

    WHAT CAN DEMS DO TO MAKE IT BETTER?

    It is simply not enough to list all the ways that Bush is terrible (yes: I know, Bush IS terrible).

    As this focus group indicates, DEMOCRATS MUST tell Americans what they will DO to improve our lives in a significant way.

    How will Democrats make Education, Health Care, Energy Independence better? And how can Democrats get those messages across with a bizarre, biased (yes: corporate if not neocon) media.

    How can we get Americans to hear the CONTENT rather than the horse race of this election (who's ahead, who's whining, who hates Bush)?

    How can we get the focus OFF of Bush and ON to the stellar ideas that Democrats can and will implement, given the chance?

    Thank you for posting this!!

    •  Exactly right (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmb, NeoconSemanticist, JanL

      The problem I've had with Dems is that they're too busy reminding us how everything sucks.  We know that.  We've been telling them, and now some of them have finally got off their asses... to tell us that everything sucks.

      Feh.

      There are lots of good ideas for fixing the country.  Some of them are really damn simple -- restore the tax code to what it was at the beginning of 2001 before we start fudging with it, scrap NCLB, fund the Superfund cleanups again, etc., etc., etc., etc.  Many, many good ideas.  And they can be formed into a coherent plan.

      But only if the Dems actually do so, and quit jockeying for suck-up position to a Republican base that will never vote for them.

    •  There's the rub (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fumie, reid fan

      How will Democrats make Education, Health Care, Energy Independence better? And how can Democrats get those messages across with a bizarre, biased (yes: corporate if not neocon) media.

      Exactly.  Everybody's and his mother (including lots of people on this site) kept complaining that "Dems don't have a plan".  So after the Dems rolled out detail, comprehensive, thoughtful plans to address healthcare and security (the #1 and #2 issues to voters), the MSM response was... "See, we told you the Dems don't have a plan."  Pffft.  

      And people here keep spouting the same meme.  I swear I'm gonna troll-rate the next poster who says "Dems don't have a plan", unless they can say first what would qualify in their own minds as "a plan."

      "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
      Darcy Burner for WA-08

      by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:37:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  'Boss, de plane, de plane!' (0+ / 0-)

        ummm, I mean the plan, the plan!

        anybody can have a plan.

        sure, the democrats have some plans, but what they clearly do not have is a WAY to put those plans into place, because of course the "repuglicans in congress" and or "the evil conservative media" are stopping the democrats from actually carrying out their plans.

        ?????

        "sorry", there's nothing new or profound about the fact that democrats and republicans have to work together, there has to be horse-trading and deal making to get legislation passed.

        there's a huge credibility problem here. "plans" can't be merely talked about and not put into place.

        "Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath.... You can't ask for better than that." Fadel Gheit

        by Superpole on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:00:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly Right. We Want our Leaders to Lead (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Davinci, Geronimo

      And that's the point of the focus group.  And that's what the netroots has been desperately trying to get our leaders to do.  We need them to lead us.  That's why the criticism that the Dems have no plan hurts -- its not that the plan doesn't exist, its that no one will take us further.

      At the end of the day, I think the problems with HRC, Edwards and Kerry will be too much for each candidate to overcome.  I'm not sure why Bayh is even running for President.  Vilsack ain't presidential caliber either.  Biden could fix things, but I'm afraid of that voting record (a la Kerry 2004).  Richardson needs to eat more good New Mexican chiles to get some fire in the belly.  Warner is going to be a monster (in a good way).  Feingold and Clark are going to be wild cards.  So, too is Gore, who could pull a Nixon and win this thing going away (and by Nixon I mean lose a close one and then 8 yrs later win it).

      •  Either Gore or Warner will be the next President (0+ / 0-)

        of the United States.If Al Gore runs,I have no doubt he will stop Hillary and get the nomination and win the election.If Al doesn't run,I have doubts that Warner can stop her but I think he probably can do it and once he gets the nomination,no real doubt he can get to 270.I think Clark could win the general but couldn't stop Hillary.Forget Kerry,Edwards,Biden,Feingold,Vilsack,Richardson and Bayh,not a President in the bunch.

        •  Stopping Hillary is a myth (0+ / 0-)

          Um, for Hillary to will, someone has to actually vote for her.  And the fact is, no one is too enthused about HRC except HRC.  The CW on this race is wrong, and that's what makes this report so interesting.  Besides, being a frontrunner at this point for a Dem is the kiss of death.

  •  Feingold (21+ / 0-)

    Feingold has all of these attributes.  He has a nearly clean voting record for integrity and a style that never gets mired in partisan politics - but instead focuses on what must be done.

    •  Right-O (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf

      He's constently in favor of... well... consistency.

      ------------------------------
      Trying To Maintain Rationality
      econatheist's bloggity blog blog

      by EconAtheist on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:25:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's especially good at 5, 6, and 8 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pb

      One could argue that he's not so good about 2.  But I don't think his Censure motion will be mentioned much by him in late 2007 or in 2008.

      Of course, this all assumes that this list is a good one (although I think it is).

      One thing that it leaves off is emphasize what you have already done.  This means bills passed, and your voting record.  Kerry sucked ass at this.  Not mentioning BCCI was retarded, and his voting record was medocrie at best and a punchline at worst (voted for it before he voted against it).  Feingold only has one signficant bill to his name (and it has the Republican front runner's name on it), but his voting record is second to none, especially the votes where he was outvoted by 90+ votes (and not just Patriot Act stuff).

      If you mailed a flyer with fifty signficant votes and the way Feingold voted, he'd get a lot of converts.

      •  Seriously. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pb

        Not mentioning BCCI was retarded

        When I read in late September 2004 that Kerry was instrumental in exposing BCCI, I nearly fell out of my chair, because that was the first I'd heard of his involvement.

        I was absolutely astounded that Kerry didn't make it the centerpiece of his campaign.  It wasn't just a high-profile action (the sort of opportunity that a sitting Senator rarely gets), it nearly brought down a Presidency; and most importantly, the major players in BCCI were and are still actively involved in the Bush Crime Family and its greatest failures.  We're talking basically one step from Bush -> BCCI -> bin Laden.  

        Why didn't Kerry hammer on that at every single campaign stop?  It makes me angry all over again just thinking about it.  Why?  Literally the only conclusion I can come to is that it was some sort of quid pro quo, something Skull & Bones.  I know, that sounds very tinfoilhattish, and I hate how Bush keeps leading me there over and over again.

        Speaking of conspiracy theories, my newest one is about why the Congressional Dems are afraid to do their Constitutional duty: they know that Bush Knew.  Rove doesn't have pictures of them with the proverbial "dead girl or live boy", he has recordings of briefings where he explains the US role in planning 9/11.  How's that for tinfoilish?

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:27:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think so (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DigDug, jiml, JTA

      I mean, I'd vote for him and defend him til i was blue in the face if he got the nomination, but I don't think he has any appeal beyond the left of the base. Plus, I don't think he knows how to win.

      Winning is all that matters - www.thehillaryreport.blogspot.com

      by BRockNYLA on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:50:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was gonna say that...have a recommend instead (0+ / 0-)

      one question though: you say he has a nearly clean voting record for integrity.  What do you know that makes you say nearly? I need to know the good as well as the bad.

      I have discovered a rare species: Democraticus vertebrus var. Feingoldii

      by zett on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:08:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  His votes on cabinet and S.C. appointments (0+ / 0-)

        He voted to confirm Ashcroft and he to confirm Roberts.  

        •  Oh, okay, I was thrown by the word 'clean' (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pb

          I was thinking in terms of not being influenced by money.

          I don't like Ashcroft or Roberts either, but I do believe he still stayed with his principles in voting for those guys.  I just don't totally agree with his view on deference to the Prez...think the Prez ought to not to get deference on appointments if he's shown himself to be an incompetent evil ideology puppet - for the good of the people.

          I wonder, now that Russ has decided W is censure worthy, does he still think he ought to get consideration on his appointments?

          I have discovered a rare species: Democraticus vertebrus var. Feingoldii

          by zett on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:18:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I respect Feingold but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      livosh1, Geronimo

      he's not going to win a national election.  The democrats, as the party out of power, need to nominate someone who can run against Washington D.C.  Feingold is a maverick but he is no outsider.  He has a long Senate voting record that the GOP will slice, dice and distort.  He will not be able to say he is going to clean up the fiscal mess in Washington D.C. because he has voted for a tone of the spending bills.  The GOP will have him painted as a tax and spend liberal in no time.  Only a governor who has effectively balanced budgets, such as Warner, Richardson or Visack, will be able to hammer the GOP on the deficit and fiscal irresponsibility.  

      Please wake up and realize that Feingold is a great Senator but will get destroyed if he is the democratic nominee.

      •  fiscal responsibility (0+ / 0-)

        he voted for the coburn amendment that got defeated 82-15. landrieu, bayh, and conrad were the only other dems to do so.

      •  He's a SENATOR, people. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Davinci, livosh1, JTA

        When are we going to learn? Senators DON'T WIN.

        I like Russ Feingold. I'd like to see him become veep, and then after eight veepy years he can run for President. Would have worked for Gore, if not for Sandra O'Connor flushing her impartiality and her principles down a toilet so she could pay the ghost of Ronnie Reagan back for appointing her to the SC.

        But do NOT vote for a senator in the primary. They don't win in the general. Ever. The last one we had was John Kennedy, and he was a filthy rich shiny golden boy whose dad had organized crime connections, which is probably about the same as being a cocaine-snorting idiot and one-term incompetent governor who's filthy rich and whose daddy has international corporate connections (not that I'm saying Kennedy was Bush -- unlike Bush, Kennedy was a good man, and a competent president, but the reason he won despite being Senator was the same reason Bush defeated a sitting veep despite being an incompetent, ignorant one-term governor with no foreign policy experience -- money, dynastic connections, and corruption. None of our guys currently have any of those advantages.)

        My vote is going to Warner. The guy won Virginia, mostly a very red state (yeah, they love him in NoVa, but that wouldn't have saved him if he hadn't been able to play to the folks near Richmond), and then he got their Republican legislature to pass tax increases, and Virginians still loved him. I don't know Richardson nearly well enough, but I do know that the West doesn't have the knee-jerk Christianist anti-Democrat bias that the South does, so NM cannot be as hard to win for a Dem as VA and Southerners prefer to vote for one of their own. New Mexico gets us only three electorals, but if Warner could win VA, and keep everything else Kerry got, that gets us within 5 votes of 270 without FL or OH, and that combined with Dean's 50 state strategy means we can try to pick up a few small ones and not have to worry about the deeply deeply corrupt FL and OH so much.

        Warner/Feingold might be a good ticket. I wouldn't mind seeing that.

    •  He can do it... (0+ / 0-)

      He's moving up the "charts" in voters minds.  He's no longer just a darling of the progressives.

      There's a new candidate ranking coming out at www.dems4pres.com on Monday and Feingold is the big mover from a month ago.  He's made up a lot of ground and there's a lot of time ahead to really position himself as one of the clear choices come primary-time in 2008.

      www.dems4pres.com

  •  aaah, electability (22+ / 0-)

    Been there, done that. Screw electability. Give me someone that says what he thinks, and does what he says.

    Always be sincere, even if you don't mean it.

    by justinb on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:12:03 PM PST

    •  Good point; so how does Luntz reconcile... (0+ / 0-)

      "passion" with "electability"?  In presidential politics, they appear to be polar opposites.  See 2004--Dean = passion, Kerry = electability (um, at least we thought so at the time).  

      Of course, there's always Hilary, who may lack both attributes.

      •  Dean = Hot, Kerrry = Fish (0+ / 0-)

        Dean missed his pivot in the weeks before Iowa, didn't spread out the heat into warmth and more light. The Scream sealed it--white hot.

      •  Kerry was not electable (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        livosh1, Joe B, Superpole

        Stop that spin.  I don't know what planet you were on in 2004 but if you thought Kerry was electable, you clearly don't know presidential politics.  The only people that were saying Kerry was electable were his media staff.  Sounds like you bought it.

        Electable:  Warner, Richardson, Clark.  Unelectable:  Hillary, Kerry, Feingold and Gore.

        •  well, the voters of Iowa disagreed with you (0+ / 0-)

          when Kerry destroyed Dean, Clark, Edwards, Gephy, and the rest.

          Whoopsie!

          Googling Monkeys-R-US -2.75,-3.54 http://www.politicalcompass.org/

          by Dour on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:28:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Compared to the field Kerry was electable and (0+ / 0-)
            experienced.

            Dean was a nutjob according to the MSM media.
            Edwards was inexperienced
            Clark skipped the Iowa Democratic caucus race
            Gephardt was old news.

            Kerry was a safe choice on the democratic side.

            Had Evan Bayh been a candidate in 2004. He would have been the most electable and experience candidate based on the fact that he won 4 statewide elections in a solid red state with more than 60% of the popular vote- He has strong appeal to moderate and fiscal conservatives. Bayh was a popular two term Governor.

            Regarding the electable than Hillary Clinton and experieced candidate in 2008

            Bayh,Clark,Edwards,Richardson,and Warner.

            Edwards and Warner both lack foriegn policy experience.
            Clark has not held any political office. Terrible campaigner.

            Bayh and Richardson are the most experienced and electable candidate based on their gubenatorial and congressional experience and ability to win in red or purple states. I prefer Richardson because he is a sitting Governor with foriegn policy experience.

            Richardson/Bayh or Bayh/Richardson is the best ticket for the Democrats.

            •  I think Warner/Bayh (0+ / 0-)

              would be a stronger ticket because Richardson comes from a smaller state and I think Warner would put more states in the south in play.  I think Warner could carry New Mexico but Richardson probably could not take VA.

              •  A Ticket which includes (0+ / 0-)

                Mark Warner
                Bill Richardson
                Evan Bayh
                is satisfactory to me.

                1)Bayh/Richardson or Richardson/Bayh will include a Hispanic Governor from the southwest with foriegn policy experience and a Centrist Moderate US Senator from the Midwest who served as a popular two term Governor. Bayh and Richardson have executive and foriegn policy experience. Bayh wins midwestern states such as Ohio,Missouri,and Iowa. Richardson wins New Mexico,Nevada,Colorado and Arizona.
                2)Warner/Richardson- A past former Governor from the South and a Hispanic Governor from the Southwest. a Washington outsider ticket. Both are or were successful governors. Richardson can neutralize Warner's lack of foriegn policy experience.
                3)Warner/Bayh- a former Governor from a Red state in the South and a former Governor turned US Senator from a Red state in the Midwest. Both Governor had highly successful records.

                Regarding which southern states are going to be in play in 2008.
                Arkansas,Florida,Virginia,and West Virginia.
                Bayh and Warner can carry all of the competitive Southern States. Richardson can only carry Florida- due to the state strong Hispanic electorate.

                In the midwest- Iowa,Ohio and Missouri.
                Bayh and Warner can carry all of the midwestern states.

                In the West- New Mexico,Nevada,Colorado,and Arizona are in play. Richardson,Bayh and Warner can carry the states in the Southwest.

                Democrats will win all of the Kerry states expect Wisconsin. a swingstate in the midwest Democrats won in 1992,1996,2000 and 2004 with less than 50% of the popular vote.

                Democrats start with 242ev
                Richardson helps Democrats win New Mexico,Nevada and Colorado= 261 ev.
                Bayh helps Democrats win Iowa,Ohio,and Missouri and keep Wisconsin in the Democratic column= 288ev.
                Warner helps Democrats win Florida,Virginia and Arkansas- 288ev.

                Warner and Richardson can carry thier home states while Bayh will have a tough time turning Indiana into a blue state.

                The 2008 Democratic Presidential/Vice Presidential Ticket will be a Mark Warner/Bill Richardson ticket.

          •  And There is the Real Problem... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MRL, Geronimo

            the voters of Iowa.

            it's clear to me as long as the voters of Iowa are providing the standard for an electable candidate, the democratic party will continue to lose.

            "Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath.... You can't ask for better than that." Fadel Gheit

            by Superpole on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:03:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You misunderstood. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not saying Kerry was in fact electable, just that this is how he was perceived: (a) by the MSM during the primaries, and (b) by many primary voters; I recall exit polls after IA and NH asking voters why they voted as they did, and many Kerry voters cited his electability.  

          Or maybe we just differ over the meaning of "electable."  I was far from excited by Kerry as a candidate, but only a few thousand votes in Ohio kept him out of the White House.  To me, anyone who gets that close was electable.  

          •  Electable (0+ / 0-)

            You are someone who follows politics closely (I make this assumption b/c you're on this blog) and you were not excited by Kerry as candidate.  Thus, you probably sensed that he was in fact unelectable because of his long Senate voting record and his Northeastern liberal roots.  I'm not concerned with polls of average voters, as they tend not to follow electoral trends, etc.  I'm saying that those who have followed electoral politics knew from the start that Kerry was unelectable.  I think people that have closely followed electoral politics also would venture to say that Hillary, Kerry, Gore, Feingold and Biden are also DOA - unelectable right out of the gate in 2008.  

            •  Re: Electable (0+ / 0-)

              I still think that Kerry could have pulled it off, but obviously failed to.  I agree with your list of "unelectables" for '08, though.  Out of curiosity, why no mention of Edwards?

              •  Edwards (0+ / 0-)

                Didn't resgister on my radar screen when I made the list.  I really like Edwards.  He was second on my list in 2004 but I think his time has passed.  Moreover, I don't think he can carry his home state of NC.  On the other hand, he is very appealing and more electable than Hillary, Kerry, Gore or Biden.  He's like Bayh, in a grey area.  What do you think of his chances?

    •  Agree (0+ / 0-)

      We went with the electable candidate last time, and it turned out he wasn't.  Time to try something else.

      Kos is wrong about the thin line between passion and anger, though.  There is no line.  Passion is anger.  Passion is anger that you like.  Anger is passion that you dislike.  This is the source of the incessant Republican attacks on "angry" Democrats.

      •  Passion has a very wide meaning... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        red meat

        passionately in love implies nothing of anger; passionately convicted toward a cause may, or may not...

        I see what you mean, but I disagree...

        with regards to politics today, passion does often mean anger... but it would be better to portray the passion for a better world than the anger at those who made it this way...

        Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November.

        by L0kI on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:17:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, we *did* win (0+ / 0-)

        the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections, as far as the actual voting was concerned.

        Oh, and the Repubs keep calling us "angry" because they want us to sit down and shut up.  They know perfectly well that "angry" is good, that it gets votes, and they don't want that.

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:30:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Okay... (0+ / 0-)

      In the Democratic primaries, who do you think has the better shot, and why: Russ Feingold, or Dennis Kucinich?

      I agree with your sentiment, but I still think that 'electability' plays a major role in a Presidential election--we'd be fools to ignore it completely.

    •  Sounds like you're in denial (0+ / 0-)

      Electability is the only thing that matters.  Otherwise, Mondale and McGovern would have won.

    •  This is part of electability... (0+ / 0-)

      Part of being electable in 2008 means someone who's going to give it to us straight.  Anyone seen as a "stand by while bad shit is going on insider" isn't going to be electable in '08.

      Electability in 2008 is going to be a completely different equation than in 2004.

      www.dems4pres.com

    •  WTF Does that Word Mean? (0+ / 0-)

      Seriously, I'm not trying to be daft, but can someone tell me what Luntz and the whole realm of CW means when they say "electable?"

      If Kerry was "electable" why wasn't he "elected?"

      Was Kennedy "electable?"
      Was Nixon "electable?"

      Is all that we're really saying is someone who looks like they won't rock the boat "too much" but will rock it enough in the right way?

      Was Clinton "electable?"  He lost Iowa and NH, and got a measly 42% or so of the vote in 1992.

      Is it a "consensus builder?"  A "maverick?"

      Is McCain "electable?"  He got trounced in 2000, but folks portray him as "unbeatable" in 2008.

      Was Bush "electable"?  He lost, but he won!
      Was Gore "electable"?  He won, but he lost!

      WTF does that word mean, other than "I don't think (enough) other people will like him/her."?

      It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

      by MRL on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:38:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had a cat named Passion once. He was a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adigal, zinger99, JPete

    Siamese cat, and he only loved me.  I'd give a lot to have my party give me the same love that cat gave me, on a daily basis. BTW, I named that cat after a Rod Stewart song, LOL.  I miss that damn cat.

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

    by panicbean on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:12:39 PM PST

  •  This list is not making me hire Luntz. (15+ / 0-)

    Luntz may be for hire, and he certainly has been quite clever in the past, but this list is a line of crap. Give me a break. If this is his free stuff, what's he gonna give for pay? A 4 year old child could have come up with this advice. And honestly, a lot of it looks either as clueless as the usual suspects in the Dems crew of consultants or disingenious.

    Don't rag on Bush? Riight.
    Don't talk about Jesus because Dems aren't religious. Oh really, that'll be news to midwestern and southern Dems especially, not to mention Northern Unitarians and Congregationalists.

    What a pile of useless crap.

  •  #11 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, loudGizmo, L0kI, Phil S 33

    luntz needs to tell us something we DONT know...

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:13:53 PM PST

  •  Luntz is an idiot (see #7) (9+ / 0-)

    Sigh.  I knew this was another consultant hack piece when I saw this:

    The 2008 Agenda:  education, healthcare, prescription drugs, energy independence.

    This is a recipe for disaster.  Ignoring Iraq?  Ignoring national security?  ARGHHHHH

    •  the republicans have won... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LiterateWolf

      ...the national security vote, despite 9/11 happening on their watch: remember, it was Clinton's failure to take out Usama.  They won that one, and despite falling poll numbers, they still lead in the national opinion.  Please, democrats, don't run on national security and failure in Iraq.  Pay close attention: IT IS NOT A WINNING FORMULA.
      I was on the anti-Vietnam war side, and watched Nixon win in a landslide in 1972. Don't make the same mistake again. Peace candidates are viewed as pussys. Gas prices, rising healthcare costs, and failing education(but don't forget the winning--'no child left behind'(whether true or not)-- are what matters to Joe Sixpack. Listen to the electorate, not the status quo in the democratic party. Look where that has got us: 8 years of Bush, Cheney, Delay, and Frist!

      •  Remember 72! (0+ / 0-)

        Great slogan for those of us old enough to actually remember.  sigh

        "He that sees but does not bear witness, be accursed" Book of Jubilees

        by Lying eyes on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:19:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll never forget it. (0+ / 0-)

          And this landslide('72) victory was just 2 years from Nixon forced to resign the presidency, and  3 years before we just 'coptered out of Vietnam...leaving so many of those we were supposedly committed to protect.  I was against this war, but the surrender was disgusting in it's deployment.  The same could most likely happen in Iraq, and it will be just as disgusting to many.  None here though.  The degradation of the Bush administration will be V for vendetta to many!

          The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

          by jets ya on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 10:15:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Joe Sixpack wants to hear about education? (0+ / 0-)

        Texas is about as Joe Sixpack as it gets, and our schools here are horrible.

        Great high school football stadiums, though.

        resist much, obey little

        by frankzappatista on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:35:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cognitive dissonance again (0+ / 0-)

          50% of poll respondents say their state's schools are horrible, but only 10% say their own schools are horrible.  For Joe Sixpack, education, like everything else, is "somebody else's problem."

          "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
          Darcy Burner for WA-08

          by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:34:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Education - few wish to fix, fewer willing to pay (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Davinci, oysterface

            To improve education we need to fully fund education. Few people want to pay more for public schools anymore, and this includes Democrats.  Take for example the change in attitude between our past two Democratic Presidents: Carter and Clinton. Amy Carter went to public school, while Chelsea Clinton did not.

            This some of the things I've heard and seen when I talk to people about funding schools:

            For parents who can afford to opt out of public schools, they do so. For these parents, public schools become "not my problem." Or, "I believe in public education, but I am not going to sacrifice my child to the failed system." Instead, they're active in their private schools volunteering. They also may spending more in tuition and capital campaigns than they would have in taxes to make the system work. They also will use school vouchers where available or make use of the Coverdell Education Savings Account (ESA) as a tax break.

            For parents who believe teaching about evolution, sex, etc. is wrong, they home school or send to the religious school of their liking and use school vouchers when they're available, and tax breaks when they're not.

            Many adults without children view poor schools as not their problem. Some believe parents (breeders) should pay for schools on their own; why should they have to pay for something they don't use? Some believe that school districts are wasteful and need to cut down on the waste before they'll pay more.

            For many businesses and companies, they will say that they can't find the educated workers they need to do the work they need doing. These employeers find it cheaper to sponsor H1B visas for educated foreign workers or simply offshore jobs. It is cheaper to import and offshore than pay for domestic schools.

            So yes, education is always someone else's problem unless you have children.

      •  No they didn't. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927

        They won the "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" vote.  They also no longer lead in the national opinion polls, now that it's clear that the Iraq invasion isn't just about shooting bad guys.

        The GOP doesn't have a national security strategy other than just beating their chests, and they never did.

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:32:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  McGovern had no chance because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRL

        by 1972 the ground combat role of the US had ceased in Vietnam,and he was hurt alot by the Eagleton fiasco. If we are still bogged down in Iraq in 2008 with the country in chaos,it will be a potent issue.By the way,I still have my Muskie button.

        •  Nah, McGovern had no chance, period. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MRL

          He was doomed even before the Eagleton fiasco.  He had alienated organized labor and the heart of the party.  The '72 convention was an absolute disaster.

          The Eagleton fiasco merely turned a solid Nixon re-election into a landslide.

          My family members were all enthusiastic McGovern supporters in the primary.  I still think he would've been a terrific President, but he never had a chance.

      •  I disagree with #10. Voters create electability (0+ / 0-)

        I happen to disagree with #10, winning is everything.  In 2004, a flawed candidate, Kerry, got the nominee on the banner of “he’s electable.”  Kerry’s best characteristic in the 2004 election was that he wasn’t Bush.  I can’t think of anyone that was really exited about Kerry the way Deaniacs were excited about Dean.  

        So what happened?  Bush’s base was very excited about him.  Kerry played all the safe cards (e.g. ‘If I had it to do all over, I would still vote for the authorization to use force’) and refused to get tough (e.g. calling Bush a liar) out of fear of alienating someone on the fence.  The decorated war hero that said he was courageous in Vietnam showed how uncourageous a candidate he was – allowing Bush to paint him as lacking a backbone.

        No, instead of wondering who is electable, have faith in your own values.  Have faith that Democratic Party values are the values respected by the majority of Americans.  Put up candidates that share Democratic values and won’t run from those values and those candidates WILL BE electable.  My friend Tom Lewis, in Connecticut, used to be a speech writer for two NY governors.  Last year he managed a local campaign in a heavily Republican district in CT.  One voter said, ‘I’ve never voted for a Democrat – but I am now.’  His candidate won handsomely.

        Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. - John F. Kennedy

        by jpeskoff on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:47:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

      Dems will sound just like 2004 with this agenda...and even though everything is important it is BORING..."smaller classrooms", "universal healthcare", "senior discounts for prescription drugs"...sound familiar?? BLAH, BLAH, BLAH They better hire a GREAT advertising agency and come up with a new spin on all these subjects or we gonna go down in FLAMES...
      cuz the buzzwords are cliche at this point...

      The only semi-exciting thing is ENERGY INDEPENDENCE...if it can be tied into massive creation of jobs here in the US and national security then we got a winner. It is one subject where the door is open for the great creative American minds to work and ...

      WE ARE STARVING for CREATIVITY.

  •  It's a DLC manifesto (17+ / 0-)

    Issue 16-point plans for solving all ills.  Don't be negative, and don't open yourself to accusations of disloyalty.  Respect religious faith, but don't talk about it.  Be prepared with statistics to back up your arguments.

    God ... it's like the debate team coach prepping people for a bar fight...

    •  It's a DLC manifesto (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      red meat

      I think it's more of a "Newt Gingrich" manifesto. You know, for some reason Newt Gingrich has been trying to give the Democrats "advice" lately too. Are either of these two guys the kind you want to be taking "advice: from? Here's some of what dkosopedia says about Frank Luntz.

      Frank Luntz is a researcher who tests messages, marketing and polling on what best works to "sell" GOP policies to the unwary, and is the authority in the party for crafting a unified, market tested sound bites for the GOP agenda. He was responsible for crafting the wording of the Contract with America for Newt Gingrich and market testing the terms and phrases used within it.

      In short, he writes the GOP "bible" on how to talk in public and frame the debate.

      http://www.dkosopedia.com/...

      All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

      by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:39:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And not telling the debate team (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRL, GN1927

      ... that their opponents are are a weaponized bike gang on a three day meth binge.
      .
      Famous Last Words:
      .
      "Indeed, Snake ... your chain wrapped fists are powerless against double-checked statistics from the 2000 Census!"
      .

      napoli: To brutalize, rape, sodomize a young, religious virgin

      by Peanut on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:50:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hmph (8+ / 0-)

    So the supposedly formerly evil Luntz is telling Dems to "leave Bush out of it"? Sounds like he's getting directions from Mehlman.

  •  Luntz is the Rush Limbaugh of Pollsters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markymarx, bustacap

    I haven't read the report yet either, but it's been my experience that Luntz typically polls republicans. If you want to fing out how to win in 2006 or 2008, poll the Independents - not the "I never vote democrat but say I'm independent", but the true honest to god people  who do. He is not neutral!

    Also, Republicans don't win elections by following the instructions of focus groups... For example, every focus group ever polled will tell you they don't want to see negative ads, but every politician will tell you that people don't pay attention to positive ads (flashback swiftboats).

    Finally, a good focus group would actually test solutions, not just opinions. For example... "If a politician said they wanted to refocus our military on Osama, would you support him" ?

  •  Never mind (3+ / 0-)

     What a waste of ink.  The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about will nominate Bush the Lesser's brother Jeb.  And then we will have a monarchy.

  •  I'm not fond of focus groups. (0+ / 0-)

    but they work.

    interesting.
      •  pretty sure. (4+ / 0-)

        companies that use them beat those that don't.

        It's all in the interpretation and the group's guide.

        Luntz, for example, knows how to work them, but I wouldn't trust him for our purposes mind you.

        Still, it is an interesting list.

      •  sure they work (6+ / 0-)

        IF you trust the person facilitating them and/or, if your basic opinions happen to agree with the facilitators.  

        I conduct a lot of focus groups and here's the thing: the participants may say a thousand things, your job, as the facilitator, is to try to stay out of the way and distill those thousand comments down to consensus in a report.  

        Problem is that's easier said than done.  It's very hard not to lead to begin with, but even if you succeed, odds are you will focus on the ten things in the thousand said that you happen to agree with.

        So odds are that what we are looking at here is Luntz's use, deliberate or not, of selected focus group comments to express his opinion.

        I trust focus groups a lot: when used to give color and depth to hard data.  I distrust them all as a matter of data gathering.

    •  not sure they do, having been in Luntz groups (6+ / 0-)

      on more than a few occasions.  and although I am still on the invite list, the last time I was there as I left he pulled my nametag off as I left  -- it seems I was too good at influencing the other people in a way that did not make the client particularly happy.

      oh well

      Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

      by teacherken on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:27:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Focus groups are dogs from hell (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pyrrho, peraspera, bustacap, MarketTrustee

      Hate him or love him, Luntz earns his money because he has an ear for narrative and can tease it out, whereas bob shrum's output sounds like a kids garbage can orchestra

    •  The list is bullshit! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRL

      "9. Watch the negativity. Democrats want hope.  Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes. The candidate that generates the most hope in a better future will win the nomination"

      OH YEAH FUCKING RIGHT, LIKE "A MORE HOPEFUL AMERICA?" THAT WORKED GREAT DIDN'T IT?
      Or the 2004 Democratic "We're so fucking hopeful we're crapping rainbows" Convention...wow that really showed those repubs who's boss!
      Going negative never works, just ask Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, & the Swift Boat vets. Let them attack us again as we'll just keep blowing sunshine up everybody's ass, hooray!

      "6. Be a Deficit Democrat"
      Are you fucking kidding me?! Couldn't Luntz find a better term to decribe this? What does he call a national security dem, a Terrorist Democrat?!

      "2. Leave Bush out of it. We know why we don't like him. Tell us why we should like you instead."
      Oh yeah, his approval ratings are 32%, don't wanna fucking capitalize on that do we?!
      By far, the WORST president in the history of our nation and we should act like he doesn't exist, ok yeah really fucking smart.
      Don't call for censure, impeachment, or real accountability on any level, just let voters know "we can do better" & "help is on the way!" or "I got so much sunshine up my ass I don't know what to do with myself, yippie!"

      "10.No candidate will secure the nomination whom they fear will lose to the Republican nominee.  Electability is going to play a major role in 2008."
      Translation, "Let the insiders handle who should be picked, we can't be bothered or waste time with what the people want." As we all know, fear based voting in the primaries ALWAYS yields the best results, just ask Kerry & Edwards!
      Luntz's advice to dem voters, "let fear be your guide when picking candidates!"

      "7.The war in Iraq may grab the headlines and the attention, but Democrats are much more focused on concerns right here at home."
      Oh really? Now that 3/4ths of the country wishes we never went in, we're supposed to ignore this too huh?
      Yeah ok....

      "4. Don't tell me what's wrong with America unless you can tell me what you're going to do to make it right. A litany of all that has gone wrong in the past five years is telling them what they already know."
      Again, don't face the fact that this is the worst presidency ever to our advantage, Rove will tell voters how we're not tough enough to handle the country and we'll respond by shitting sunshine.

      What's next, is Barack gonna start coming here telling us on how to vote? Could this list be any more patronizing to us?

      "I don't wanna listen to the fundamentalist preachers anymore!" -Howard Dean

      by astronautagogo on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:51:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama hits all 10 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jiml, jets ya, Cienfuegos, Buddha Hat

    But of course CW says that Obama is (sigh) too young and (sigh) too inexperienced and (sigh) unelectable because he is black.

    I believe 2008 is the year for Obama as President or VP. If he spends too much time in the Senate cellar, he will start to turn into vinegar.

    •  Yeah, Senators haven't been too successful (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FaithAndReason

      stay too long, and it's like, "My accomplishments? Why, I was on the under-subcommittee for honesty and integrity in intrastate contracting..." blah blah blah

    •  Barack is starting to turn a bit... 'cog-like' (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinazina, gmb, rmdewey, mrd in nyc

      His Lieberman bit from yesterday (day before?) was pure asshattery.

      The guy was ~such~ a fresh face less than 2 years ago, and now he's got crappiest (D)'s back?  C'mon.

      Maybe Obama just got hooked up with some bad "handlers" that are poking around with his image a little too much... but... still... wtf happened to the guy that looked ready to take on the Liebermans of the world?

      ------------------------------
      Trying To Maintain Rationality
      econatheist's bloggity blog blog

      by EconAtheist on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:32:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama needs to be senator for a full term... (0+ / 0-)

      ...before he can even think of running for higher office.

      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        Where is this perception coming from that Senators need to be 'experienced' before they can be ready for higher office.

        Look up the Presidents who served in the Senate in recent times, mostly all of them were rather young in the 'conventional wisdom' of today.

        It's a pipe dream of mine to have Obama run in 2008 as Prez, I realize, but honestly I think a VP run would be an excellent idea. Also, if god forbid the Dems lose the elections or Obama loses in the primaries, he will still have the Senate seat.

        If Obama does serve out his full term, I hope he runs for Governor of Illinois in 2010 instead of the Senate.

      •  Here's what Obama Needs to Do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paranoid Humanoid, Buddha Hat

        Obama has too many things going for him to be brought down by his race.  He's a fucking bulldozer.  But he can still screw this up.  Here's what he should do:

        1. Stay in the Senate and prepare to run for Governor.  Right now, Obama has two choices: stay in the Senate and become an icon, or get out and run for President.  Senators, and Feingold is probably an exception here, don't look good running for President.  You can win the nomination that way, but not the White House.  Actually, if anyone could swing it, Obama could, as he's got the JFK thing on his side.  But that's the hard way.  Run for Governor, Senator Obama, and you're solid.
        1. Do a good job as Governor: An obvious thing, but important nonetheless.  Obama has to be a successful governor. Increase education scores, etc.  Use the Governor's seat to figure out what to do as President.
        1. Run for President and talk about what you did for Illinois.  This worked for Clinton in 92, its working for Warner now, and if Dukakis was such a wimp, it would have worked for him in 88.  Voters look at what you've done as a dress rehearsal for the big chair.
        1. Don't be afraid to lead.  Seriously, Obama won with 75% of the vote after scaring every legit Rep out of the race.  That's why he's a fucking bulldozer -- Obama makes his own landslides.  So, at some point or another, he just needs to stop screwing around and knock everyone out of his way.  
      •  Not true... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paranoid Humanoid

        His experiences stretch beyond national politics.  Sure the republicans will try to  exploit his national inexperience for all it's worth, but what he represents and what he brings to the table far outway his inexperience.

        Sorry to sound corny, but Obama's had many of us at "hello."

        www.dems4pres.com

    •  I don't think he is any of those things (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gmb, GN1927

      but I sure don't think he is too brave, too upstanding and too loyal to the party's base.

      He just hasn't impressed me as being anything but Bill Clinto Lite.  Which is fine if you want the GOP to drag you all over the pavement for the 4 years of your presidency. He speaks well, tons of charisma, but wants everyone to like him.

      Now Feingold on the other hand - he does not seem to care who likes him.  I would like to see someone in between the two of them, with brains like they have.

      The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

      by adigal on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:56:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama in IL Senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sam I Am
        If you look at Obama's career and legislation in the IL State Senate he is much more than Clinton light.

        When Obama talks, it fills me with hope and restores some trust.

        Feingold is the idol for Dems right now. He is saying everything correctly. I support him for President should he run.

        I think Obama should take a stab at it, becuase obviously the Senate doesn't do you any favors. You cannot please your constituents without pissing of some national base voters and vica versa.

      •  That's fine, but the state parties love him. (0+ / 0-)

        Nearly every time I see a press release for a Democratic state party event, he is the keynote speaker. That means something now, and it's going to mean even more in the future.

        •  I am SO happy that he is a good speaker (0+ / 0-)

          (Can you tell my snarkiness?? Not directed at you - I don't mean it that way)

          It is wonderful to be able to communicate and speak of justice for all, but when you lie down when it's time to stand up, you are useless.

          I fear Obama is going to be one of those Democrats.

          The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

          by adigal on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 12:43:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Used to 'hit all 10' (0+ / 0-)

      You can hear the vinegar stipping the grease off his gears

      •  I kind of agree and kind of disagree. (0+ / 0-)

        I think Obama's problem now is that he is too cautious to say or do anything controversial. Obviously, this will piss off the loyalists (myself included) here at DKos, but may not be a bad thing overall.

        If he keeps his progressive ideals (I know he has them from his time as a State Senator) and cloaks his way into the heart of rural America, then we have a big political winner.

        So as he is turning into vinegar in our eyes (that is turning into a DC/DLC/Hilary Clinton lite), he still may be wine in the eyes of the lay-voter.

        Get him in as VP under Feingold and we can have 16 years of joyous times. We can all dream.

  •  Leave Bush out of it. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeavyJ, bree, GN1927, drewfromct, Cienfuegos

    On that Commandment number 2. "Leave Bush out of it", one time last fall I was listening to Flush Limpball, hey, I was out in the desert and couldn't get Air America, and sometimes I need to be reminded just how much some dirtbags can lie. Well anyway, he said, "Why those damn Liberals! They're trying to do to Bush what we did to Clinton!". So yeah, I guess I can see now why they want us to "Leave Bush out of it". They know how effective that "complaining" can be.

    All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

    by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:22:05 PM PST

    •  Precisely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bree, GN1927, Lefty the playwright

      This is exactly what Democrats should not do.

      George W. Bush is THE issue in 2006. The Rethugs are desperately tring to sweep him under a rug.

      So, let's hang him around ther necks.

      And no, there is no "positive" agenda of "solutions" to the problems that George W. Bush has created.

      Take the defecit - there's no way out except tax increases.

      Take Iraq - at this point, there's no way out except ignominious withdrawal under fire.

      Heath care, outsourcing, you name it - the only solutions will be painful and unpopular. Why give Republicans something to snipe at?

      No, let's point out who drove us off the cliff before we figure out who's paying the bill.

      Luntz is a hack, and a fat one.

      •  In 2006, yes. In 2008, no. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jiml

        This is a 2008 list.

        •  The Bush damage (0+ / 0-)

          will last much longer than 2008.

          There is no doubt that the GOP made the 2000 election a proxy referendum on Bill Clinton's chracter.

          Let's make the 2008 election (and every election for the next decade or more) a referendum on the competence (and character) of George W Bush and friends.

          •  Then the Republicans will nominate... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jiml

            ...somebody the public at large considers to be indepedent of Bush and win.  Somebody like McCain, or Hagel.

            This is a way to lose.  Repairing the mess Bush put us in, yes.  Bush-bashing for Bush-bashing sake, no.

            In any case, Bush didn't win in 2000 because of Clinton-bashing.  Clinton had 65-70% approval ratings come Nov 2000.  Bush won because Gore and Lieberman sucked ass as campaigners, and Nader stole 3% of the Dem vote and bashed Gore as much as Bush, and the shenanigans in Florida.

            •  Bush didn't win because of Clinton-bashing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MRL

              Sure, keep spreading those Republican talking point lies around. "Going to bring 'honor' and 'dignity' back into the White House" and all that. Here's a link to a webpage about Cheney that has a clip of Bush Junior on the campaign trail angrily telling the crowds how America "Is fed-up with Clinton-Gore!"

              http://www.cbc.ca/...

              All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

              by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:38:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't say they didn't do it (0+ / 0-)

                I said they didn't win because of it.

                •  Bush didn't win because of Clinton-bashing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MRL

                  Next you'll be telling me that Bush didn't win the 2000 Republican primary because of McCain-bashing or he didn't win the 2004 election because of Kerry-bashing.

                  Four years ago, Senator John McCain, battling for the Republican presidential nomination, told audiences, “I’m just like Luke Skywalker trying to get out of the Death Star. They’re shooting at me from everywhere.” The Death Star, of course, was the first Bush-Cheney campaign and its allies. And McCain indeed encountered — and was brought down by — a stunning fusillade that included scurrilous attacks on his mental stability, his family and his support of fellow veterans.

                  Now the Death Star is back, and Senator John Kerry — another Vietnam War hero — is in the cross hairs. No sooner had he bagged the Democratic nomination than the Republicans let loose a not-secret-at-all effort to define Kerry, who remains unfamiliar to many voters, as a weak-on-defense Washington insider who never strays from the liberal line but who also is an unprincipled waffler with two positions on every issue. It didn’t matter that the GOP assault contained contradictions (a firm ideologue and a finger-in-the-wind hollow man). The aim for the Bush crew was to throw as much as it could at Kerry and see what sticks.

                  This opening barrage showed that the Bush-Cheney squad can do much to place Kerry and his team on the defensive and that the Bush gang can use the media effectively to convey its attack du jour (or de l’heure). This first round also demonstrated that Kerry supporters cannot yet count on the Kerry campaign to handle all the incoming and that they cannot rely on the media to keep the Bush attacks in context.

                  http://www.laweekly.com/...

                  All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

                  by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:15:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What Bush did to McCain in the 2000 S. C. primary (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  MRL, GN1927

                  Bush Waged Nasty Smear Campaign Against McCain in 2000

                  Bush Supporters Called McCain “The Fag Candidate.” In South Carolina, Bush supporters circulated church fliers that labeled McCain “the fag candidate.” Columnist Frank Rich noted that the fliers were distributed “even as Bush subtly reinforced that message by indicating he wouldn’t hire openly gay people for his administration.”

                  McCain Slurs Included Illegitimate Children, Homosexuality And A Drug-Addict Wife.

                  Among the rumors circulated against McCain in 2000 in South Carolina was that his adopted Bangladeshi daughter was actually black, that McCain was both gay and cheated on his wife, and that his wife Cindy was a drug addict.”

                  Rove Suggests Former POW McCain Committed Treason and Fathered Child With Black Prostitute.

                  In 2000, McCain operatives in SC accused Rove of spreading rumors against McCain, such as “suggestions that McCain had committed treason while a prisoner of war, and had fathered a child by a black prostitute,” according to the New Yorker.

                  http://www.bartcopnation.com/...

                  All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

                  by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:22:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Do the Bush Family Pols Play Dirty? (0+ / 0-)

                  “At the Republican convention in Houston, they spent two days attacking Hillary. . . . I expect them to come after Mother and Chelsea, but they must be saving that for later.” --Bill Clinton, 9/6/92

                  In early March, Senator John Kerry made perhaps the most surprising comment any presidential candidate has made this year—a blunt warning that the Bush machine “will attack my character and even my wife’s.” His remark did not receive the kind of coverage we would probably be seeing if, for example, George W. Bush had warned of a Democratic smear campaign against his wife Laura. In fact, it appears to have slipped by virtually unnoticed.

                  A look back at previous Bush family presidential campaigns—in 1988, 1992, and 2000—reveals a disturbing pattern of personal attacks on the families of their opponents, a variation on the larger theme of character assassination that also has included impugning the patriotism of opponents (Dukakis, Clinton, McCain, and Kerry) and questioning their mental health (Dukakis, McCain, Gore, and Dean). Perhaps at this point, in the middle of the fourth Bush presidential campaign, the increasingly docile media simply accepts this strategy as business as usual.

                  The smearing of Teresa Kerry by Bush surrogates was already under way as Kerry spoke, and has only increased in frequency and vitriol. Radio-show host Rush Limbaugh, who was praised by Bush as “a national treasure” when his drug habit got him in trouble with the law last year, has mocked Mrs. Kerry’s personal appearance and refers to the Kerrys as “Mrs. John Heinz and John F-ing Kerry” on his website. Fellow radio conservative and best-selling author Michael Savage, who has hosted Dick Cheney on his show, has spent hours fixated on the “wife who looks like a deranged lunatic,” describing Teresa Kerry as “sinister” and “spooky” because of her accent. “This is America—foreign accents don’t sell,” declared Savage, who also called the Kerry daughters “losers” and Elizabeth Edwards “a disaster” and “a deficit to the campaign.”

                  more at... http://hnn.us/...

                  All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

                  by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:33:46 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  If Bush is the issue in 2008, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            red meat

            then we're going to be living in a world of hurt.

            Cause that would mean that 2006 didn't result in a Dem landslide.  Hopefully, the landslide will happen, and Bush will be completely irrelevant by then; if he's not impeached, he'll be on such a short leash that he has to ask permission to breathe.

            If that's not the case by 2007, then the Dems aren't doing their job.

            "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
            Darcy Burner for WA-08

            by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:01:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree to an extent... (0+ / 0-)

              but Bush will be an issue no matter what happens this year.  I agree that a lot of our 2008 positioning will be a result  of what happens in the midterms, but Bush will never fully (or even mostly) be out of the equation.  There's just no way to take a president fully out of the picture.

              And if we know anything about the republicans, we know that regardless of what happens in the midterms they'll use whatever happens, win or lose, as a tool to further their agenda.    They're like the bad girlfriend/boyfriend we've all had that can take anything we say in an argument and turn it around to their advantage.  They're evil, but skilled, like that.

              www.dems4pres.com

    •  On the matter of Bush (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think we should adopt a flat-out "don't criticize Bush" stance. However, I agree that simply being anti-Bush isn't going to cut it. It may make us feel better to yell about the latest Bush atrocity but does it help the rest of the country get over those atrocities?

      No.

      My feeling toward Bush is more indiference then hate. That is why I don't put on any t-shirts, bumper stickers or buttons that mention the guy. He is simply irrelevent to the question of where I want this country to go.

      He's just the roadblock in the way to getting there.

  •  Winning is everything. And the only thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, rmdewey

    This is the excuse jr and sr consultants give for Dems to endorse the moral values War(s) on the special interest Menace of the Moment [liberals, women, gays, religions other than Republicult Christianity, disenfranchised voters and the '06 election menace -- ::: drumroll ::: -- Latinos].
    .
    I'd be fully behind a so-called "winning strategy", but I haven't seen any compelling explanation of why vilifying the above improves the chances of "winning".
    .
    And wasn't stepping back in '04 from the spiralling disaster of Iraq disastrous, to say the least?
    .

    napoli: To brutalize, rape, sodomize a young, religious virgin

    by Peanut on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:22:44 PM PST

  •  Thats why I support Feingold (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, TheJohnny, nogamez

    He already does everything in that list and more. He is responsive to his constituents and puts his principles ahead of bullshit politics. Go Russ!!!!!

    The Only Constant is Change

    by proudprogressiveCA on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:22:55 PM PST

  •  any dem who ignores iraq (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, GN1927, drewfromct, jorndorff, Cienfuegos

    does so at their own peril. this list seems ok, but the shit piece is when he says to focus on domestic issues and not iraq. dumb.

    All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

    by SeanF on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:23:12 PM PST

  •  Sell the product, not the bathtub ring (6+ / 0-)
    I like this much better than the meta of treason. Frank, test this, Mofo...

    My fellow, Americans, do you share in the pride we all feel to belong to this thing called the USA? Wonderful: You're in, welcome to the club. But first, as citizens, let's do a little inventory: We may look and speak and live differently, but we remain Americans. We're great buiders and great thinkers. We're great sharers. We're great doers. It is who we are.

    Yet somewhere along the way, someone has sold us a bill of goods. Somehow the idea was introduced that better profits trump the betterment of you and me. Either-or, not both-and. That somehow, national security comes not from cooperation and coordination, but by some imagined lonesome cowboy ethic that never really was. Imagine a movie that expects you to believe this plot--that a sheriff succesfully protects his town by alienating and insulting the ever-friendly marshalls in the surrounding counties. This is the premise and the plan, tragic and costly, we're expected believe today. You're either with us, or you're against us. Our way is the only way.

    No.

    As we have only learned too well, this is not us. As Americans, that coat does not fit. We have more confidence and ability than strained belligerent bluster like that betrays. The only franchise on infallibility comes from God, everyone's God. Our Declaration of Independence is quite clear on this. America is not about being perfect. It is about pusuit of the ideal of perfection. Why? Because the minute we say "perfect," we're done. Our national reason for being is gone. Besides being impossible, "Perfect" is a destination. Terminal. Where to from there? If the world keeps turning, nowhere but irrelevance. But seeking perfection, not accepting good enough, now there is a journey. And a plan. And journeys need supplies, new help, new ideas and new things to discover. And the right journeys are glasses half-full. They are self-sustaining and self-starting. They are energy itself.

    Franklin Roosevelt told us fear is no way to face the future. We know he was right. It's not who we are, and it will never be allowed to define us. America's real security, not imagined, must be tended to and our power to protect, ourselves and others, must be unquestioned. And so it shall be, unquestionably. That is what this election is about. And, with your trust and faith, it is why I stand before you today.

    But it seems I stand before you for another reason also. Like Dr. King, I have a dream. A dream you share. A dream that the prosperity and security of America for the next century is assured. That dream becomes reality only when we tend to the unfinished business of this great and maturing nation. And that business is the uplift of those who are struggling with task of joining prosperous nations like ours. That is our Mission to the Moon, but on this here Earth. This is altruism, yes, but it is enlightened self-interest also. We are builders. We are inventors. We are managers. We are creators. These endeavours require opportunities for release and action. They require customers. And they mean jobs.

    My friends, do you remember the words of Lady Liberty--bring me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses? Well, they don't have to come to us. We, will go to them. And with discipline, fairness, ideas and opportunity, America will not only do well in the 21st century, we will have done Good.

  •  Luntz is right... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jets ya

    Dems do best when they steer clear of national security. People have already made up their minds about Iraq. There are no new votes there.

    Feingold should do well if he focuses on integrity and cleaning up government.

    I don't have a blog.

    by Albee090 on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:25:01 PM PST

    •  Iraq is Triage not National Security. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Albee090

      Iran, NK, and the rest of the world? Now there's a panoply of opportunity in a skeptical world in need of reeassurance. If we try to play their stars and stripes revue straight up, it'll bomb. (Bad analogy) There's a gameshift in the style and means of assertiveness that Dems are good at. Christ, Chris Matthews can't shut up about his Peace Corps sefvice. Kennedy showed you can do it well.

  •  hmm first item on#7 is education (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peanut

    which is my sneaky way of pimping the education panel at yearlykos

    you can read about it here in the story that was frontpaged earlier today

    you can also read the press release at yearlykos at this link

    go read
     comment if you see fit
        be sure to plan to attend

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

    by teacherken on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:25:06 PM PST

  •  I was with him until . . . (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, bolson, bustacap, gmb, Cienfuegos, LiterateWolf

    . . . No. 10: "electability."

    In what year have Democrats not been obsessed with electability?

    And in what year has this obsession with electability actually managed to produce an intelligent, competent, can-do, passionate, honest and ethical candidate?

    More often than not, the candidate who displays all these other qualities is the one who's dismissed as being not electable.

    As long as Democrats are skittish about taking the fight to the Republicans, we will lose and lose and lose again.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:25:35 PM PST

  •  AND focus on criminals, not 'guns are evil'. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, bustacap

    That expressed sentiment both loses vast swathes of the population across the entire US...AND does nothing to solve violent crime problems.

    Look at the Northeast. NH, ME and VT have supposedly lax gun laws, but..hardly any violent crime, ever. MA has draconian laws, and LOTS of violence.

    Obviously, the problem isn't small mechanical devices that fire a metal object via a chemical reaction. They are machines. It's the PEOPLE, the criminals who decide to pull triggers.

    Once Dems realize that current "gun control" is failed, and does nothing but keep weapons out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, especially the poor, while doing nothing to stop criminals. Criminals have no problem breaking laws about robbing and killing...why, for one second, would they stop to think about a minor  infraction like illegal possession or carry? They don't!

    Dems need to come up with a strategy to fight CRIME, I think, to make the population happy. And until they stop with the senseless and ineffective "We're gonna take away all your granddad's shotguns and make it hard for Joe Workingman to defend his family in areas where 911 is a joke...because they're evil guns!" nonsense...they're going to continue to lose elections across the entire midwest and south.

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

    by Loboguara on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:26:42 PM PST

    •  I want our canidate to be endorced by the NRA (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, bree, Loboguara

      There are about three groups who make up the Republican base:

      1. Religious whackadoodle crazy fundie nutjobs.
      1. Rich, anti-tax greedy bastards.
      3. Gun nuts.

      The first two groups we have no chance of getting, and I don't want them anyways because they are not living on this plane of existence and are assholes to boot.

      The third group will listen to, and vote for, any pro-gun canidate, regardless of party.

      Our being anti-gun means we lose every rural area.  Period.

      If he's not in the NRA's class, toning it down a bit would help.  Feingold is in the "toning it down a bit" class-pretty much all of the other canidates are in the "guns are evil" category.

      •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

        And public sentiment in some areas has changed greatly, due to Katrina.

        Ask anyone who was trapped with their families with gangs of violent looters roaming around, with the police unable to come. No magic police arriving. They were ON THEIR OWN.

        One man, for example, had some tough-looking sorts hear his generator, decide they wanted his generator, and approached him to take it. He had a gun, they ran. If he hadn't, they likely would have badly injured or killed him,perhaps his family too, and taken the generator.

        Now there's Blackwater mercenaries roaming the area for "security", the same ones accused of being sadistic thugs in Iraq.

        You can NOT tell innocent people with families who have lived through that, experienced that, that "guns are evil, the police will protect you"...and expect them to vote for you.

        If the Dems keep up with that, they'll utterly fail.

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

        by Loboguara on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:53:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When it comes to the NRA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bree

        I could care less about their endorsement. There's probably enough evidence to show that they wouldn't endorse a Democrat in such a big race.

        I wouldn't midn getting some of those NRA members to come back home.

        For example, are fishermen really served best by electing people who are soft on water pollution?

        I think there's a swayable part of the NRA that can be reached without alienating people on our side.

        But, I could be wrong.

        "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

        by RBH on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:58:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is, actually. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geotpf, bree

          The libertarian members REALLY do not like Emperor Bush's unitary executive leanings, or the hints of a coming police state.

          If you browse some of the more libertarian NRA member boards, you find a lot of people seriously wondering if they'll have to someday defend their family against the Blackwater and DynCorp mercenary killers being made into "police" forces.

          They sure don't like how things are going! They're just adverse to the Dem message of "we're going to take away all firearms".

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

          by Loboguara on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:01:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

            there are a good number of swayable libertarian 'gun fans'.. although I don't think they would stay with us for too long.

            "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

            by RBH on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:10:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Our being anti-gun?? (0+ / 0-)

        I can't remember the last time I heard a pol on the national level, or even on the state level, say anything that I construed as "anti-gun".  Those are 1980's-era GOP talking points.

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:52:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo -- it's more DLC strawman garbage. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MRL

          nm

          Francine Busby for Congress -- CA-50 -- Special Election, April 11

          by socal on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:54:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, there have been. (0+ / 0-)

          Diane Feinstein and Chuck Schumer have been particularly and illogically vocal on the issue for over ten years now.

          And a lot of people remember Feinstein showing off the "scary" AK-47 to a crowd of reporters to push the ban, and while doing that, she repeatedly pointed the muzzle at the crowd AND had her finger on the trigger, something no responsible gun owner would ever do, either of those.

          People also recall, and still see that the same people calling for a "total ban" have armed bodyguards, and see no hypocrisy there at all...while the middle class DOES.

          That needs to be put to rest, and focus on the real problems.

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

          by Loboguara on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:26:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sound pretty accurate to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, ademption

    In my neck of the woods, this is what will work with moderate Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independants.  One thing I would add: someone whose committed to reducing the partisan divisions in society, although this is implicit in getting things done and being solution oriented rather than just ragging on Bush.

    Right now I think Mark Warner is the best at demonstrating a track record of actually getting things done in a bipartisan manner and actually having some ideas about the future.  But I could change my mind.

    A gentle reminder: last week's Pugh poll found that 18% of Americans lable themselves as liberals.  Not gonna win many elections if you don't build out from that a little.

  •  At this point,2008 is unimportant. Focus on 2006! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    livosh1, gmb, GN1927
  •  As I've always said (0+ / 0-)

    ..."vote for the kind of person you'd want to do your brain surgery."  Do you want the nitwit who can barely speak to do it, or the Rhodes scholar?  That should be a no-brainer, so to speak.  The quality of the leader of the free world is every bit as important as the surgeon who does your brain surgery, if not more so, for the rest of us.

    Hit this one hard, Democrats, and you will win.

    "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

    by eyeswideopen on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:26:59 PM PST

    •  Bill 'I'm A Doctor!' Frist (0+ / 0-)

      Can perform brain surgery via carrier pigeon!

      •  ooops -- i suppose (0+ / 0-)

        ...that's a problem.  I harped on this one in past elections trying to get these idiots who thought Bush was "likeable" to think again to good effect.  But if Frist is the GOP's candidate, I guess that one won't fly.  Even though Frist is doubtlessly a positive danger to anyone's health under any circumstances.

        How about airline pilot?

        "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us." -- Karl Popper

        by eyeswideopen on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 12:54:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Frank Luntz's Big Ten 'helpful hints' (10+ / 0-)

    "Democrat" er "Democrat...ic" Party, I want to help you!

    1. Listen to Newt Gingrich! He's out of office now... so... his advice isn't biased anymore! Listen to Sean Hannity! He knows how to reach people! Plus, both men really do have good solid ideas for the Democrat..ic (shudders against breaking his own focused grouped talking point) party.
    1. Don't respond to GOP criticisms! John Kerry showed you the way, he just spoke up often enough to turn America off! Shut up! Take your beating! America will see that you aren't wimps, because you will take a beating silently like, um, a man?
    1. Don't criticise Bush, because, um... the people already know you don't like him!
    1. Tell people that you think everybody should pay 80% of their income in taxes. Be bold!
    1. Take out ads that say that heterosexual sex should be taxed and regulated! It gets the moral values voter! I swear!
    1. All Democratic candidates should wear a button into the Southwest and South depicting a reproduction of Serrano's "Piss Christ" with the party logo beneath it. Remind voters that you can take controversial stands AND think about Jesus!
    1. Run on reforming our schools by proposing that porn stars should teach sex-ed!
    1. Pot should still be illegal, because its a dangerous gateway drug, but the party should boldly propose and run on the legalization of HEROIN! Remember... you completely negate the gateway effect of gateway drugs... by eliminating the gate! Think about it! Bold. Visionary. Plus, Pot is still illegal so you can say 'law and order' and be proud!
    1. Show you aren't beholden to special interests! Burn flags AND Bibles on your campaign stops in conservative areas, while condemning minorities and gays and lesbians in liberal ones. Until everybody hates you, how can you tell who really respects your party?
    1. Nothing says you are thinking about the War on Terror than... wearing Osama Bin Ladin T-Shirts!  

    That will be 2.5 million dollars, please.

    Your pal, Frank L.

    "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape." -Grover 'Values Voter' Norquist

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:28:33 PM PST

    •  Any Democrat who takes this guy on (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRL, bree, GN1927, MarketTrustee

      Democrats don't want to hear about your church. If they really cared, they'd be Republicans.  

      As in 2004, Democrats want to win. Unlike 2004, they REALLY want to win. No candidate will secure the nomination whom they fear will lose to the Republican nominee.  Electability is going to play a major role in 2008.  

      without carrying around a pillar of salt is a sucker. You don't get more stereotypical GOP talking points bullshit that this. That's right. We threw the fucking 2004 election, and if we were religious, we'd be GOPers, because... what?

      He just can't stop, folks.  

      "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape." -Grover 'Values Voter' Norquist

      by LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:36:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He's so full of shit (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRL, LeftHandedMan, bree, GN1927

        Republcans have cornered religion and national security for ever and ever? The DEMOCRATS have to come up with "real" solutions? To the problems that REPUBLICANS have created and exacerbated?

        While the GOP has a grand ole time calling us fags and traitors?

        Nope.

        The key word for us in 2006 will be incompetence. Demonstrated, repeated, willful, and thorough incompetence at all levels of the Federal government, but mostly at the top.

        P.S. Tell me Frankie, what "solutions" is the GOP proposing in 2006?

      •  GOP talking point indeed... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LeftHandedMan

        Not that Luntz says "talk about religion; don't talk about your church."  That's exactly what Bush and the rest of the GOP mafia do.  Bush never, ever mentions anything that's actually Christian-specific.  Even the White House postcards say "Happy Holidays."  Bush knows how to play the game: make everybody think you're talking about their church, and they'll feel all warm and fuzzy.

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:57:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent, sir!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftHandedMan
  •  Every democrat should (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fouro, jiml, Rippe, LiterateWolf

    memorize the following:

    1. You are the message. Watch the negativity. Democrats want hope.  Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes. The candidates focused on the future will have a significant advantage. The candidate that generates the most hope in a better future will win the nomination.

    ...and, if I may add, the national vote. Negativity breeds contempt. Believe it, or suffer the same results as '00 and '04.

    After the outcomes of the last 2 national elections, the above should be a motto of every democrat running, and also writing here. Bush is not spouting all this optimism on his own, he is being told to do it, by those who got him elected. It worked before, in his re-election. Let the democratic party listen and learn.

    •  Is that you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap, gmb

      Ann Arbor Blue?

      ------------------------------
      Trying To Maintain Rationality
      econatheist's bloggity blog blog

      by EconAtheist on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:33:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bush optimism. (0+ / 0-)

      Uh-huh, yep, all that Bush optimism about how we were going to get attacked by the "terriss" again if we voted for somebody else was so, er, "optimistic ". Nice try.

      All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

      by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:51:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Beating up on Republicans doesn't generate votes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927

      Yes, and the Pope shits in the woods.

    •  Strategy for Bush has thuggery, megaphone support (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mang glider

      He was able to be portrayed as "above the fray" because the GOP rotweilers were out in force giving him a buffer. That meant Bush got to stand on stage right next to attack dogs calling Max Cleland a traitor and Schwarzo calling Kerry a "girly man".
      .
      Bush had glassy eyed 'moral values' wingbots harassing news sources that didn't "fair and balance" uncomfortable facts that were biased against God's Man in the White House.
      .
      Bush had the AP, CNN and other supposedly reliable news sources on 24/7 Kerry Communion Watch, painting Kerry as a phony because he wouldn't (ab)use his office to promote his personal choice of religion as the official national faith.
      .
      The same wingnut machine managed to paint the AWOL Chickenhawk in Chief as tough but legitimate war hero Kerry as a creampuff.
      .
      A focus group under a barrage from all of the above would give a more realistic idea of what messages work. Bush voters and yellow=ribbon war pornographers don't exactly live in reality.
      .

      napoli: To brutalize, rape, sodomize a young, religious virgin

      by Peanut on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:07:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You Are SO Right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LiterateWolf

      Unfortunately, you and I are in the minority here.

      •  seems to be the case... (0+ / 0-)

        ...the hate speech against the opposition is unbelievable!  Bush is no saint, nor are too many republicans, but come on. They beat us in '00 and '04, and will do it again if folks don't modify their outlook, and find a candidate that can speak for himself/herself.  Blogs DON't change minds, not elections.  They are a gathering place for those with the same warped outlooks. Although most feel what they write matters! It matter you think, it matters you can profess your beliefs, but it doesn't make a 1 percent difference in the election polls.
        JMHO.

        The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

        by jets ya on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 09:33:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The same on deficit spending? (0+ / 0-)

    Huh?

    Maybe if you go way back. But when I look at the spending numbers for Clinton vs. Bush II, Bush I, or Reagan, there seems to be a world of difference.

    I agree that Dems should be talking about the deficit, but it's the big difference from Bush that gives us credibility on this subject. And the difference compared to Bush I and Reagan that neuters the "We're at war!" argument.

    "What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite." - Bertrand Russell

    by Mad Dog Rackham on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:30:19 PM PST

    •  No, that was a bit confusing (0+ / 0-)

      When Luntz said, "be a deficit Democrat", he meant "be a deficit hawk, not a deficit spender."  In other words, don't say "I'm going to spend a zillion dollars on a program to guarantee healthcare for all"; that will go over like a lead balloon.  Instead say "I have a proposal that will reduce Medicare costs and provide more efficient healthcare delivery."

      As he says, deficit reduction is one thing that virtually every Dem and Repub can agree on (except the ones in Congress.)

      "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
      Darcy Burner for WA-08

      by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:03:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap

    I also have an inherent distrust of focus groups -- especially when they're run by jerkwad fruitcakes like Frank Luntz. But it's hard to argue with that last bullet point. Where's Vince Lombardi when we really need him?

    •  No Hill then (0+ / 0-)

      "No candidate will secure the nomination whom they fear will lose to the Republican nominee."
          Hardly a revolation, but it's what I fear about Hillary. We know how easy the path looks to the Nom., the Nov. election is an entirely different matter with her super-high negatives.
          I'm sorry but I don't want her.

  •  skimmed it (0+ / 0-)

    skimmed it...

    seems to me the most positives came for mark warner...not feingold.

    interesting.

    Viva la Open Source! Download Firefox and leave explorer forever!

    by circuithead on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:31:47 PM PST

    •  Yeah, Warner first came to my mind, which (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRL, Sam I Am

      may be his death knell around here ;)

      Free Donuts + Beer Tax Repeal = Landslide Victory '08!

      by PhillyGal on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:33:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  moderates (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      livosh1, frankzappatista

      Any true field of Democrats would include a good number of moderates, and like you said, Feingold didn't get as good a reaction overall as did Warner. Honestly, I think Feingold could only get elected in the left-wing blogosphere. I like him, but we have to consider that other Dems won't see things the wame way.

      •  Feingold IS a moderate, in a way (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheJohnny, mang glider

        He's just not a stereotypical moderate.

        •  Actually (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geotpf

          if we wanna create a new title inspired by the usual view on dKos, Feingold could fit in there.

          Contrary to what some have heard on the internets, dKos doesn't fit the stereotypes of current liberalism.

          In the scheme of things, I would think that Feingold is a liberal, despite having some moderate views.

          But at the same time, he doesn't fall into the blatant stereotypes (elitism or being 'too mad and loud'). I'm not sure if I've seen Russ actually yell. Sure, he has been unhappy, but more of in the contained anger. Sorta like righteous fury. As for elitism, there's enough Feingold ads to cut that down. He doesn't own any yachts.

          If Feingold gets his ad team working with him in the primaries, he'll have a shot to make up a lot of ground, because those ads are superb.

          "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

          by RBH on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:54:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

            One could say Feingold is a liberal, but he doesn't fit the stereotype of a liberal in any way.

            •  Most Liberals don't fit the stereotype (0+ / 0-)

              of a liberal. Mostly because Republicans have been lying about liberals for 40 years.

              We were unlikely to have a sitting duck to that sort of junk in 2004 (John Kerry).

              Elitism and Liberalism are not compatable. Shrugging off guys in pickup trucks is not productive. Because there's probably a lot of reachable people who fit that 'generalization'. And surrendering those guys to the GOP is not good enough.

              If anybody wants to read some more of what i'm really talking about, read the guidelines in the "How to Respond to Conservatives" chapter of "Don't think of an Elephant" (p. 113 to 119 in my book)

              In the scheme of things, there's a lot of good things in Lakoff's book that can be adapted and used.

              Millionaire Republican Politicians calling us elitist.. that should be eliminated.

              (And i've only been in a limo once, for a prom, and I did like having Cokes in the limo)

              "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

              by RBH on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:06:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I love his ads so much I have ordered them on DVD (0+ / 0-)

            am I a geek or what?

            I have discovered a rare species: Democraticus vertebrus var. Feingoldii

            by zett on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:24:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          I don't actually doubt at all that Feingold is not the flaming liberal the Repugs would want everyone to believe. But, he is in the unenviable position that if he wants to be president, he's got to convince America that he IS a moderate without changing his positions. He's smart enough and capable enough, but a lot of voters don't look beyond the labels, whether they are true or not. When you have to try and change the label in a national campaign, the battle has already been lost for a lot of voters. See Kerry '04.

      •  How does he carry Wisconsin? (0+ / 0-)

        If Feingold is such a looney tunes lefty, how does he manage to carry Wisconsin -- solidly "purple" in the past two elections -- by such convincing margins and in numbers far greater than Kerry did?

        What am I missing?  What has Feingold done that is objectively looney-tunes lefty?

        It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

        by MRL on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 10:10:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um... (0+ / 0-)

          Because Wisconsin is just one state, unique to its own. Feingold wins Wisconsin because he goes out and talks to voters, brilliantly in fact, and covers every single county at least once per year. He can't do that the way he'll need to in a presidential election.

          But, again, I'm not saying that I think Feingold is "objectively looney-tunes lefty", but politics is all about public perception, and Feingold will be easily branded by the other side. Easily. That's all it takes to bring down an otherwise fine candidate.

          •  The more you say 'easily' on a blog like dKos (0+ / 0-)

            The more you make this a self-fulfilling prophecy.

            So why do you continue to say it?

            It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

            by MRL on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 01:19:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  because its the truth (0+ / 0-)

              and I don't care if Feingold gets branded 'easily' or not. He's not going to be the democratic nominee, and he certainly won't win the presidency. I think he is progressive-values personified, and is a great senator. But he's got no shot to win the presidency no matter what people like us say.

              •  Well, I guess that's Your $0.02 (0+ / 0-)

                You are entitled to it.  But what's the purpose of you saying it over and over, unless you WANT it to be true?

                It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

                by MRL on Mon Apr 03, 2006 at 05:36:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I had only said it in one posting... (0+ / 0-)

                  I believe, so I don't know what the hell you're talking about. Feingold and his supporters are going to need a very thick skin about that 'liberal' label. Rather than run from it, and the branding of it, its better to focus on how to turn the tables on it. Feingold will have more work to do than any other candidate besides Hillary to convince people he's not the caricature the Republicans and the religious right will brand him to be. That's just a fact of life. If he does gets the nomination I'll support him until the end, and will probably volunteer for him.

                  You're already off to a bad start in presuming that yours is the only point of view not worthy of criticism. If you don't like the way I phrase opinions, that's fine, but its not like your shit doesn't stink a bit, either.

                  •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)

                    "its not like your shit doesn't stink a bit, either."

                    What does my shit have to do with anything?

                    It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

                    by MRL on Wed Apr 05, 2006 at 06:18:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You didn't get that? (0+ / 0-)

                      Its an expression, in this case meaning that your opinions are just as flawed as mine or anyone else's.  

                      •  Do you even know what my opinions are on this? (0+ / 0-)

                        Do you even know what my opinions are on this?  You haven't really responded to them.

                        Let's recap:

                        You say:  I like Russ but he can be branded a lefty, even though he isn't.

                        I say:  Stop saying that, you are making it easier to brand him when you say that.

                        You say:  " . . . I don't know what the hell you're talking about."  Feingold people need to "get a thick skin . . . but its not like your shit doesn't stink a bit, either."  

                        I say:  What's my shit got to do with it.

                        You say:  That's an expression.

                        Look.  I've love to "debate" you on this point, but you admit that you don't even understand what my point is.

                        We can either go two ways on this:  you can ask me to explain myself or re-read the posts to figure out what my point is and we can discuss it, or we can continue as two ships passing in the night.

                        On the latter, I'll let you know that you have no clue what you are talking about and you admit that you don't but persist in tossing bad bumper sticker phrases my way not knowing that we can't yet even get to debating the olfactory qualities of feces when you can't even identify whether anyone's taken a dump and who it was.

                        On the former, I'll be happy to acknowledge that I'm fully of stinky sh!t frequently.

                        If you are inclined, I'm very curious why you state as unchallengable that Russ will be painted a loony liberal and have to fight that and will not win the nomination, etc.

                        Unless you have a vested interest in THAT outcome, why do you persist in saying it?  Why can't you be like Thumper's mom?  If you can't say anyting nice, don't say anything at all?  I just can't fathom why you'd make this prognostication if you DON'T want to see it come to fruition.

                        Or, do you see yourself as so completely impotent that what you say -- and what those like you, collectively, say -- makes absolutely no difference in the world?

                        It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

                        by MRL on Sun Apr 09, 2006 at 02:18:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  *sigh* (0+ / 0-)

                          Even days later you're still carrying on with the same shit. Seriously, I think you need to slow down and relax a bit. I can get worked up a bit as well but you are wound WAY too tight.

                          Lets make one thing very clear: I'm not going to support Feingold in the primary election, but I'll gladly do so in the general if it comes to that. Primary or general, your candidate needs to have a specific reason why him/her and not the other guy. So, like everyone else here, I DO have a vested interest in a particular outcome. Since you've chosen to pick a fight with me for having an opinion, being one that you don't agree with, it IS my opinion and I'll state it now and again in the future regardless of what you have to say about it. I would say that I'm not particularly interested in what you have to say, but yet I keep responding to your insults.

                          Impotent? I'm a veteran of three military conflicts, partially disabled, who has proudly volunteered for democratic candidates all around this country. Don't result to personal insults so lightly.

    •  Provided that Warner doesn't screw something up (0+ / 0-)

      he'll do surprisingly well.

      "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

      by RBH on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:48:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I posted below... (0+ / 0-)

        ...before I read the comments and I see that a lot of people feel this way.  I think if we want to have a shot at this, particularly if they're running McCain (which I know is unlikely unless he keeps hanging with Falwell), Mark Warner is our guy.

        "...that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry..." - Thomas Jefferson

        by cgrkumar on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:03:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My 3 point plan for Frank Luntz (6+ / 0-)
    1. Get a real job.
    1. Develop something we plain folk commonly call "integrity." Hint: relabelling cancer causing pollution as "clear skies initiative" does not count as integrity.
    1. Get a real job.
  •  analysis (0+ / 0-)

    Even though I don't totally agree with the Ten Commandments list, I like the focus group analysis immensely. I'm especially pleased about the focus group reaction to Mark Warner. But like Markos said, these things are to be taken with a rather large grain of salt.

  •  yet another reason (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmdewey, mang glider, MarketTrustee

    why IA and NH should not have the permanent right to choose the country's leadership like some collective oracle. this sounds like the same kind of thinking that got us kerry in '04. meh.

    MTF does "electable" even mean without consensus on what actually wins elections? everyone running in a goddamn election wants to win.

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

    by wu ming on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:34:48 PM PST

  •  Advice from a mercenary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, MarketTrustee

    This is all pretty obvious and doesn't really say anything we don't already know.  This is kind of like the "advice" that Rush Limbaugh, et al are always offering out of the goodness of their hearts.  All the Democrats need to do is talk to people and they'll know what the issues are and they'll find the solutions.  It's not that complicated.

    •  All the Democrats need to do is talk (0+ / 0-)

      The Democrats need to do a little more than just talk. They need to fight 40 years of lies told by the Republicans about what both we and they stand for. They say they stand for moral values and we don't, while in fact they're the biggest crooks around. They say that we stand for "tax and spend" while they stand for "fiscal responsibility”, when in fact they spend (and waste) more tax money than we do. They say they stand for "getting the government off the backs of the people" while they try to control every move we make. I think one of the most important things Democrats must do is show how everything the Republicans say is a lie.

      All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

      by William Domingo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:05:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's about representation... (0+ / 0-)

        The DC Dems are out of touch with their base and will continue to be until they start listening.  They will either start to be rsponsive or they will be gone.  There's no reason that Democrats should not be in the WH and the House; the majority of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.  Democrats that have felt underrepresented.

        Just because the republicons want us to believe it's so complicated does not make it so.  Like many other things they've said that are untrue...

  •  So I read the PDF . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, mang glider

    Sounds like folks are already gearing up to smack down Feingold with the "angry" meme. Pfah.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk." --Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:37:36 PM PST

    •  Good luck to them with that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger, mang glider

      In fact, he's probably baiting them.  Do you really think Feingold of today will sound like a Feingold actively campaigning for president?  Nope.  Feingold running for president will not Bush-bash-Bush ain't running.

      •  Agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mang glider

        I'd wait until Feingold starts campaigning seriously before I'd draw any conclusions about his chances. I'd be happy to see Feingold start as the underdog/long shot, just like in the 1992 primary (where he won something like 70% of the vote in a 3-way race).

        We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

        by badger on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:54:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just Read It (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger

    It was a pleasant enough read, but I am a little suspicious of it - especially because of the misspelling of "fared" (the report used "faired").

    Regardless, I agreed with much of it.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:37:48 PM PST

  •  'Hope' is the operative term. (0+ / 0-)

    Why can no-one simply remind Americans.."Remember when we had hope that tomorrow could be better, brighter, full of promise? Would you like to feel that way again?"

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

    by Loboguara on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:38:34 PM PST

  •  Why I'd never vote for a non-Bush-basher (3+ / 0-)

    Anyone who thinks Bush isn't worth bashing -- in fact, indicting and imprisoning somewhere near the Hague for all eternity -- simply isn't in touch with reality. This stupid recommendation -- "tell us why we should like you instead" -- should read more like: "tell us what you're going to do to save America from everything Bushco has done."

    Right now, only Feingold seems to have any sense of what trouble we're in. It's high time a few other candidates woke up and saw just how bad things have gotten -- and how hard we're going to have to work to recover from eight disastrous years of Republican misrule.

  •  One correction and comments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb

    Frank Luntz, formerly evil but now just annoying

    And on to the commandments

    1. Well, duh.
    1. How about contrasting between Bush/Republicans and the candidate in question?
    1. Don't just find your faith when you run for office. If you have it, cool. There are ways to mention it without being obnoxious.
    1. Yeah, will generalities work? (oh no! not that!)
    1. Bad news for Joe Biden
    1. Good investments, not bad investments
    1. Good luck with that. ;)
    1. Yeah, sure, something like that.
    1. "We'll be less screwed with me in the White House!"
    1. Damnit, you mean we're not aiming for second place?

    Oh yeah Frank, thanks for the time, we'll put the findings in the manila folder and incorporate useful points.

    "Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right" - Carl Schurz

    by RBH on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:40:19 PM PST

  •  if the votes are stolen, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, drewfromct

    none of this matters.  even if the Dems get 100% of the vote, it won't mean anything if Diebold et al still get to create the supposed tabulations.

    •  Absentee ballot, baby! (0+ / 0-)

      "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
      Darcy Burner for WA-08

      by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:05:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well you should have ... (0+ / 0-)
        "Well you should have mailed it in on time."
        "It was mis-placed."
        "It was so damaged by the mail, we had to guess."
        "It was invalid becuase you over-voted. (And why did you use two different pens/pencils?)"
        "It was invalid because new regulation."
        "It was invalid because it was printed on the wrong grade of paper." (Ken Blackwell of Ohio actually used this one for 2004.)

        and

        "Meet our mail room interns.  They are on loan from the GOP campaign."

        Being neutral in a political argument is a sign one does not care, does not know, or does not vote.

        by linnen on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:59:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have a commandment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, MarketTrustee

    Be one stop shopping for the American worker.

    Boy oh Boy did Kerry lose Ohio voters when in the 2nd debate he said he could not "do anything" about outsourcing.

    Now we have the great immigration debate, without framing it as insourcing.

    Anybody wonder why corporations get to control someone's status in a country?

    Anybody notice that none of these Visas are attached to wages?  Say if there really is a shortage, say wages in a particular area shoot up > 30% in a 6 month time period, adjusting for inflation, indicates a true shortage, maybe then they should increase the cap...
    or maybe labor rights minimum wage and so forth should be attached to Ag jobs?

    Democrats please be one stop shopping for the American worker.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:44:06 PM PST

  •  Okay, so..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb, Lefty the playwright

    we don't trust Bob Shrum or the DC Democratic party strategy and campaign management set anymore....
    but we are supposed to trust a guy who openly says in his pro-Democratic party top ten that we didn't give a shit as a party about winning the 2004 election? But... Democrats are really serious now. Really? Wow. Thanks a million.  

    Frank Luntz is going to help the Democratic party with this? I read what he is saying and I think all he has done is interview moderate Republicans instead of wingnuts, and just called them Democrats for the sake of getting his check.

    "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape." -Grover 'Values Voter' Norquist

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:44:21 PM PST

    •  If It makes you feel better, others say the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger

      I'd count the Big Dog as one.

      Hell, I've posted half-assed speeches here as a product demo on this narrative. Hate luntz if you want, but look behind his messages.

      There are certain archetypal narratives and themes that humans have been responding to since before hair. Homer writes the Odyssey, George Lucas copies Akira Kurosawa's Lost Kingdom. 2500 years difference and people are still lining up around the block for the same story.  

      The reason Newt was as successful as he was is that he was a historian with a good nose and a good ear. And he chopped us off at the knees with his "Language of control" for 25 years. Those words and his expectation of the response they'd evoke didn't come out of fresh air. Now you can bitch and moan and suspect anything that whistles similar to the bat you've been bludgeoned with for that quarter century, or you can follow your own blood trail and open up your mind.

  •  Trust not the evil Luntz... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gmb

    for he is trouble with his lack of ethical standard.

    "Computer. End holographic program...Computer? Computer?"

    by kredwyn on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:45:36 PM PST

  •  Solutions and plans? Kucinich 08 (4+ / 0-)

    -repeal mandatory minimums on nonviolent drug offenses
    -decriminalize marijuana
    -ban corporations that shift profits offshore to avoid paying taxes from operating in the US
    -end NAFTA
    -end WTO
    -fuel domestic steel production and consumption by rebuilding our nation's infrastructure with American made steel, utilizing the productive capacity of our mills: would be used to rebuild our schools, roads, bridges, ports, sewer systems, water systems, and government buildings
    -animal bill of rights
    -raise the Federal minimum wage to atleast $8.50
    -strongly pro labor unions
    -expand opporitunities for public service; make them more easy to become a part of
    -call for at least 20% renewable energy by 2010, use NASA to help discover clean energy
    -fight logging companies, goal should be to make 80% of paper from agricultural waste
    -strong support for organic farming
    -singlepayer healthcare
    -cut the Pentagon budget 15% (60 billion dollars)

    •  Feingold is a Kucinich Republicans will vote for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheJohnny, mang glider
    •  I agree, but... (0+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      Hidden by:
      LiterateWolf

      It won't fly in Iowa or NH. This country is not like our "nortern" neighbor.  Progressives lose, moderates win! Sorry to bust your bubble, kid.

      •  Care to clarify? (0+ / 0-)

        Which of those points won't fly, and why?  They all sound very moderate, middle-American to me.

        "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
        Darcy Burner for WA-08

        by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:41:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You've got to be kidding (0+ / 0-)

          -repeal mandatory minimums on nonviolent drug offenses
          -decriminalize marijuana
          -ban corporations that shift profits offshore to avoid paying taxes from operating in the US
          -end NAFTA
          -end WTO
          -fuel domestic steel production and consumption by rebuilding our nation's infrastructure with American made steel, utilizing the productive capacity of our mills: would be used to rebuild our schools, roads, bridges, ports, sewer systems, water systems, and government buildings
          -animal bill of rights
          -raise the Federal minimum wage to atleast $8.50
          -strongly pro labor unions
          -expand opporitunities for public service; make them more easy to become a part of
          -call for at least 20% renewable energy by 2010, use NASA to help discover clean energy
          -fight logging companies, goal should be to make 80% of paper from agricultural waste
          -strong support for organic farming
          -singlepayer healthcare
          -cut the Pentagon budget 15% (60 billion dollars)

          Although I can agree with many in this platform, where exactly do you see middle america agreeing with more than 3?  Reduced sentences?, Legalization of pot?, animal bill of rights????, cut the Pentagon budget? NOW? strongly pro-labor unions? I'd be willing to bet if you presented this platform at your Local UAW hall, you would be booed from the stage.  Most folks hate unions and don't understand that what we have now as workers was granted off the backs of those early union organizers. No, the UAW can't get into any foreign mfg. owned plant, can't unionize WalMart, and unfortunately are a dying breed because of what folks view as greed from the contracts won over the last 20-30 years. The current state of the UAW speaks volumes! I love and believe in much of the above, but if you think this is middle-ground, you are being deceived by some here.

          The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

          by jets ya on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 10:03:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  All Clinton (0+ / 0-)

    2008 is looking more and more like Clinton's year.  Hillary Clinton that is.  The election will not be a passionate debate about the Iraq War, but a call for compent, responsible government. Hillary is well positioned for everything listed here.  But, most importantly the Clintons seem to be the only Democrats to actually grasp the final, and most important, point - Winning is EVERYTHING.

    1.  She will not try to be Bill and feel everyone's pain. She is a problem solver.  The fixer.
    1.  She knows that Bush isn't on the ballot.  This is about moving onward and upward.  Hating Bush was not enough to push us over the top in '04.
    1.   I think every Democrat gets that religion is for targeted audiences.
    1.  She is smart woman with ideas.  She has learned from her experience in the White House and the Senate what works and what doesn't work.  Watch her moves on health care to drive this point home.
    1.  Again, watch the moves on health care.  sensible, common sense solutios.
    1.  She will ride the Clinton economic legacy all the way to the bank.
    1.  Who knows edcuation and health care more than Hillary?  No one.
    1.  The most important element in '08 - competence. Competence is probably Hillary's most obvious characteristic.  Even hateful Republicans will say that that woman knows what she is doing.  
    1.  The first woman president.  What can be more hopeful than that?!?!?!?!
    1.  Finally, winning is everything! My favorite thing.  The Clintons got it a long time ago.  It took a consistent beating from Karl Rove for the rest of the party to catch on.

    Clinton/Clark in '08!!!!!

    Winning is all that matters - www.thehillaryreport.blogspot.com

    by BRockNYLA on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:48:07 PM PST

    •  If H. Clinton runs... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MRL

      I will vote Green or stay home. I won't vote for another Democrat that will run as a centrist just for their personal gain.

      •  hummm (0+ / 0-)

        "vote green or stay home"... that attitude is part of the reason democrats lose.  part of the problem.

        Beatpaths: automatic graphical sports power rankings.

        by tunesmith on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:50:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You gotta ignore these people (0+ / 0-)

          It is impossible to talk rationally to them.  They are constitutionally incapable of comprehending that voting Green or staying home is a strategy that affirmatively helps Republicans, that affirmatively helps achieve one-party control of the government, that affirmatively pushes governmental policies farther towards corporate interests, and that affirmatively gives us a judiciary dominated by very conservative jurists.

          They are hell bent on helping the right-wing destroy our country.  They don't care abut the consequences of their actions.

          •  Ignore us at your peril (0+ / 0-)

            That's not a healthy attitude to take towards someone who's vote you need.

            It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

            by MRL on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 10:17:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a realistic attitude (0+ / 0-)

              towards those whose votes I know we can't get.  Trying to get irrational voters to think rationally is a lost cause.

              •  You misunderstand who those people are (0+ / 0-)

                I voted for Gore in 2000 but didn't like it.  I voted for Kerry in 2004 but didn't like it (was much easier because we knew for sure who Bush was by then.

                But there may come a point in time when we've nominated milquetoast candidate after milquetoast candidate for president all in the name of "electability" and you may push otherwise loyal, rational voters (like me) to say "fuck it."

                If you continue to ignore the progressive side of the party, the progressives may start to ignore the center (at "our peril" or otherwise).

                The irony is that many of us progressives will suffer virtually no "peril" of our own personally.  Those Bush tax cuts benefit many of us more than most.

                It's a "partial repeal of the First Amendment" not a "flag burning" amendment.

                by MRL on Mon Apr 03, 2006 at 05:44:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You gotta ignore these people (0+ / 0-)

          It is impossible to talk rationally to them.  They are constitutionally incapable of comprehending that voting Green or staying home is a strategy that affirmatively helps Republicans, that affirmatively helps achieve one-party control of the government, that affirmatively pushes governmental policies farther towards corporate interests, and that affirmatively gives us a judiciary dominated by very conservative jurists.

          They are hell bent on helping the right-wing destroy our country.  They don't care abut the consequences of their actions.

  •  Is Markos in an April 1st time zone? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL

    Just checking.

    ------------------------------
    Trying To Maintain Rationality
    econatheist's bloggity blog blog

    by EconAtheist on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:48:48 PM PST

  •  oh GAWD - Electability! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Devilstower, MRL, bree, gmb, TheJohnny, mang glider

    I am experiencing severe and nauseating deja vu here.

    Tonight I heard two talking heads discussing the censure hearing. You know the one where TWO Democrats asked questions. Democrats don't want to go near this. They just want to leave it alone and focus on healthcare, jobs, etc., etc., etc.

    Now, remember when the "war" resolution was up for a vote? Remember how WE didn't want them to vote for it but they figured, hey, we don't want to deal with THIS, so let's just vote for it and get it out of the way (thanks, Daschle and Gephardt) and focus on the big domestic issues.

    THAT really worked out well.

    (And by the way, wasn't it focus groups who gave us that snappy, "Together, we can do better.")

    #2 Electability. Sorry. Electability flows from the candidate - passion, honesty, willingness to do the right thing even if it's the tough thing or the unpopular thing, willingness to voice a position from the heart and lead on it. Electability? Was Bush electable? Absolutely not. But that didn't stop him. Why? People (ok, idiot people) liked his "honesty," his "stubborness," his "certainty." No matter that he's delusional and evil.

    Electability. Schmelectability.

    Let's have a real person with real progressive (i.e. American) values and real passion and real strength. So far to me that looks like Feingold (and maybe Richardson.)

    If a real LEADER runs for office rather than an electabot, people will follow.  

    •  Roosevelt was probably... (0+ / 0-)

      ...our last real leader, and that was a long, long time ago. If you really think Feingold will do any better than Kucinich did in '04, you view the American political climate dead wrong.  Richardson, maybe... He seems like a really nice guy, and smart.
      Feingold won the left with his censure shit, but lost the rest of the country.  I admire his balls, but Looooooooooooooooserrrrrrrrrr!

      •  Feingold is a senator, which means... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, mang glider

        ...by definition, he needs to win moderates to win.

        Kucinich has a comfy liberal House district.

        •  McGovern and gene McCarthy were senators, sir. (0+ / 0-)

          And one couldn't get the democratic nonmination, and the other could not appeal to other than the left in the democratic party.  While both were good, honest men; they could not even carry their own registered dems.  If you think Feingold will succeed where the real men didn't, dream on buddy.

          The most useless are those who never change through the years. James M. Barrie

          by jets ya on Mon Apr 10, 2006 at 09:41:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Avoiding War Talk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LiterateWolf

    and especially war solutions is a mistake.  The candidate that does not address the war is going to piss me off.

  •  Here comes another Kerry.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, LiterateWolf

    I think the Democratic primary voters know very little about selecting an "electable" candidate - that goes for the activists too!  I heard so much absolute CRAP about how Kerry was so "electable" and how people "dated Dean, married Kerry", but John Kerry was simply not "electable".  If he was so damn "electable", why isn't he President?

    I worry when primary voters think they have to choose the most "electable" candidate.  All that means is they want to follow the conventional wisdom.

    •  So, are you telling me to (0+ / 0-)

      ignore my feelings about which candidate can best lead my party to victory?

      Should I ignore the fact that it's not as much about a single person in the oval office as it is an administration comprised of thousands of appointments?

      Just pick the one with with the most liberal positions?  

      In other words -- just forget about the politics, go with my pipedreams?

      Is that what you really want me to do in the primary?

      •  Er...yes (0+ / 0-)

        In other words -- just forget about the politics, go with my pipedreams?

        Hmmmm...centrists brought us NAFTA, CAFTA, outsourcing, tax cuts, Iraq, maybe Iran, Patriot Act...

        Seems that centrists need to end their pipedreams before we have a going out of business sale in Congress.

        •  Then please explain (0+ / 0-)

          how voting for someone whose progressive views I may like, but who I feel has little chance of uniting my party, or of attracting substantially more red state voters than we did in '00 or '04, will help effectuate a solid Democratic victory in November 2008.

          I don't see it, but perhaps you are more politically astute than I, and can explain this winning strategy to me.

      •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

        I am saying ignore the conventional wisdom.  Why is it two years before any votes were cast, everyone in the media said Kerry was going to win the nomination?  Why is it that the media wanted Kerry?

    •  foobar (0+ / 0-)

      If he was so damn "electable", why isn't he President?

      Two words: Ken Blackwell.

      "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
      Darcy Burner for WA-08

      by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:42:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy it (0+ / 0-)

        Sorry, but there is something wrong with a strategy for victory that relies on the most corrupt state in the nation to win.  In any event, an "electable" candidate should have won enough states so that Ohio was not an issue.

    •  damn those people and their democracy! (0+ / 0-)

      nt

      Googling Monkeys-R-US -2.75,-3.54 http://www.politicalcompass.org/

      by Dour on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 03:29:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Negativity My Ass - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, linnen

    and I take issue with kos about the media -

    yeah, they are corporate stooges out to hang dems, BUT

    the hundreds of millions pissed - I mean spent - on campaigns every 2 years can buy effective media.

    If you are the media / communications people, AND our story isn't in the first 90 seconds for 3 days running, you all are f$%^ing fired.

    Period.

    I don't care if you gotta dress up like a chicken, I don't care what you gotta do, it is YOUR job, figure it out, or bye.

    As far as "negativity" -

    RayGun & Bush proved the the leader has to be johnny sunshine, AND they need attack dogs, AND they need deniability from the attack dogs, AND effective message needs NO bearing on reality.

    for hundreds of millions of dollars every 2 years,

    IF we can't find a johnny sunshine who can hire attack dogs AND keep them at arms length, AND

    hire media / communications people to take the TRUTH and make effective message -

    then the fascists deserve to win.

    rmm.  

    Grassroots Organizing Should Be for The Community, By The Community - NOT for "Leaders" http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by rmdewey on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:54:40 PM PST

  •  hmm.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mooncat

    I'm having trouble believing this stuff about how small the war is in people's thinking.  It just doesn't make sense.  

    Focus groups are easily manipulated...

    •  To be fair... (0+ / 0-)

      that' not what Luntz said.  He just said that it's not a differentiator, not something that would make one candidate stand out.  Can you tell me the difference between Hillary's position on Iraq, and Biden's, or Kerry's, or Edwards'.  I couldn't.

      "[Bush] has an exit strategy -- leaving reality." - Randi Rhodes
      Darcy Burner for WA-08

      by FaithAndReason on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:46:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Passion + Hope (0+ / 0-)

    I suspect that the candidate who can combine passion for what is right with hope that he/she can deliver it will come out on top.

    Unless there is voting fraud.

    But that would never happen in America.

  •  Could you imagine what would happen to the heads (0+ / 0-)

    of all the Republicans in this country if the next election featured Obama vs. Rice??? For all their talk about Rice, I bet a large percentage of the Republican racists would not have voted for her. Their heads would fall off trying to figure out what the heck to do!!!

    So who would they vote for in the above election?? Haha!  I would love to see a really low Republican turnout and their hypocrisy and racism exposed.!!!!

    The Democratic party - the party of sanity, reason and kindness.

    by adigal on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:59:14 PM PST

  •  Rule #10 -- is the recipe for disaster. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, bolson, badger, bree, gmb, LiterateWolf

    I hate this rule, hate it with the passion I usually reserve for Rumsfeld's manic smirk.

    You know what determines if someone is electable?  The election, nothing else.  If we learned nothing over the last few cycles, it should be that agonizing over electability is one of the most useless activities we can engage in.  It's idiotic on three fronts:

    1. You're betting that the pundits and press have told you everything about these candidates in advance of the primary, that they're not snoozing until they wake up and discover some nice wormy dirt on the way to the general, or that they not just selling the laziest story they can cobble together.  Let's see: mixed race kid with a funny name who's never run for statewide office.  Electable?  Poor boy from Akansas who skipped out on a war and admits to smoking pot.  Electable?  Stop letting them write the script for your vote.
    1. It says you have no faith in your positions.  "I hate me that there Iraq, but I bet no one who agrees with me can win."  What kind of tactic is it that starts out picking what you don't want?  We kick Democratic politicians for lacking spine, but we buy a tactic that's the definition of Jell-o back?
    1. Even more importantly, the "electability" question is nothing less than "hmm, which of the Democrats will Republicans like?"  Ladies and gentlemen, I've quite literally never said this word publically in my life, but fuck that.  You think Republicans work this way?  You think they win by wondering if Democrats will vote for Bush's git come November?  You think someone wondered if Brownback or Delay was electable?  Jesus, are we really that stupid?

    Playing the "electability" game is a game for losers.  It's a game that says "I can't pick the candidate I want, I have to pick the candidate I think my opponents will like."  Know what?  You have no fracking clue what they'll like, so just stop trying to guess. Worse, playing this game only shows you are weak, weak, weak.  You might as well just nominate Lieberman and go home.

    The one sure bet: If the best thing you can say about a candidate is that they're "electable" -- they're not.


    Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

    by Mark Sumner on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 06:59:31 PM PST

    •  I love the sentiment, but... (0+ / 0-)

      You are dead wrong! Electability is a real factor in an election. No one, I repeat-no one--I haved ever really liked and agreed with, has won a national election. You may not like it, but democrats are now a minority, and progressives are un-electable on a national ticket. Like it, or not;you have to consider the other side, swallow your pride or let George Allen be your next president. How, fucKing(and I use the word always) awful would that be Mr. Kucinich?

      •  Says who? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MRL, bree, mang glider, LiterateWolf

        So, guys you liked lost.  Big deal.

        So did most of the guys you didn't like.

        Democrats are not a minority anywhere but in their representation.  More people are registered as Democrats.  More people self identify as Democrats.  More people agree with progressive positions on the issues.  

        Want to lose?  Pick the guy who doesn't offend.  Pick the guy who's "honest," but never says anything controversial.  Pick the guy who's "ethnic," but not "too" ethnic.  Pick the guy who is electable.  Pick the guy so "moderate" he'll be a favorite on Fox News.

        Electability is the shovel that dug this hole, and we're still swinging the shovel.


        Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

        by Mark Sumner on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:38:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Missed points, ships passsing in the night (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bree

        The key elements of what luntz said are:

        • Differentiate
        • Bring Ideas clearly understand able at ground level
        • Uplift - springboard off American can-do spirit
        • "Speak clearly, casually, confidently, skip the resume recitations--people can look it up."

        Translate that last one as no more "Reporting for Duty."

      •  At this rate (0+ / 0-)

        DNC will be a divison of the RNC. Centrism is a failed ideology that never made it off the ground.

  •  In Conclusion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, LiterateWolf

    Hillary can't win in 2008 and therefore should not be the Democratic nominee in 2008.

  •  By this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    livosh1

    ...I believe firmly that Mark Warner will be our nominee in '08.  I can't say that I was in love with him after I met him a few weeks ago, but I can honestly say that he hit every one of these criteria ON THE NOSE.

    "...that our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry..." - Thomas Jefferson

    by cgrkumar on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:00:00 PM PST

  •  Beating up on Republicans... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL
    1. Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes.

    I hope no democratic donor money was wasted paying for this study.  Sounds more like advice on how to lose than anything else.

    Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. Groucho Marx

    by markymarx on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:03:06 PM PST

    •  No, but interviews with Dem primary voters were (0+ / 0-)

      You know, the people who actually decide things.

      •  Did Mr. Luntz not take political campaign 101? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mang glider

        Everybody says they don't like 'negative ads' and 'negative campaigning.'  

        Despite what people say to pollsters, it turns out negative campaigning works in actual campaigns.

        This, according to all political science studies dating back to the stone age.

        Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. Groucho Marx

        by markymarx on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:29:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not so much in a crowded field (0+ / 0-)

          When there many candidates as there will be in the primaries, negative campaigning does not work so well.  It's a lot more a effective when there is only one opponent to destroy

          •  confused? (0+ / 0-)

            Luntz is saying leave the Bush administration alone. Sorry but that's just crazy talk.  

            When it comes to criticizing fellow democrats in a democratic primary, different story. There is a much bigger risk that it could backfire too.

            Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. Groucho Marx

            by markymarx on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:29:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the foucs of the study (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              markymarx

              The focus of the study is how Democrats should position themselves to win the 2008 Presidential Primary.  I was dismayed at the number of comments on this thread that overlooked the focus of the study.  It says zero about 2006 midterms or the 2008 general election.  I'm suspecting most commenters didn't actually read the pdf.

              Bashing Bush is easy since he's screwed up almost every he's touched.  It makes sense though that Democratic primary contenders are not going be able establish a competitive advantage over their rivals by bashing Bush since if one them does start to establish an advantage by bashing Bush, the others will follow suit.

              For 2006, nationalizing the election and running against both Bush and the corrupt Republican leadership seems like a good strategy to me.  For the 2008 general election, bashing Bush probably won't be much of winner since the Repug nominee will undoubtedly distance himself from Bush where he's must unpopular.  There's that old saying about how the military is always preparing to fight the last war.  I hope this doesn't turn out to be true of about netroots as well.

              •  fine but... (0+ / 0-)

                I hear ya, but was that really Luntz's argument?  He is saying don't bash, period.  And that's crazy talk.  

                I admit I didn't take time to read the PDF, but I will now...good criticism.  

                Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. Groucho Marx

                by markymarx on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:20:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  what makes luntz(s) evil (0+ / 0-)
    is not his mercenary avocation, it is the banality of his process and his, er,  product.

    what makes lutz(s) evil is not that he worked for the GOP, it is that he defected.

    i SWEAR i will never understand DC currency. i mean, he's gettin paid, but who's he sleepin with?

    Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

    by MarketTrustee on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:05:18 PM PST

  •  First things first (0+ / 0-)

    Bush and company must be held accountable for the devastation they have caused.  Until that happens, we cannot move on to a positive agenda. We have to prove to the rest of the world (and to ourselves) that we understand the evil and the pain we have caused.

    When I was in Romania doing a volunteer project last fall, our 20 year old tour guide made an interesting point.  I think it applies to the United States though he was talking about Romania's entrance into the EU at the time.  He said he thought it was too soon for them to enter.  He said, "It's like there's a big hole and they want to cover it up without filling it in first.  If they don't fill the hole first (by cleaning up the corruption), then they will fail."

    I wouldn't trust any advice from Luntz.

    Carrie French, age 19, died in Iraq on June 5, 2005. Why?

    by Susan S on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:06:18 PM PST

  •  I step away for three hours (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, Cynical Copper, MarketTrustee

    and Catshit Luntz has made his sniveling decree on the front page of Daily Kos. We might as well let Bev Harris have the keys to the ballot boxes and Alberto Gonzales the deed to the orphanage.

    We are all insurgents now.

    by The Gryffin on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:07:31 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the report, Markos (0+ / 0-)

    I only saw the summary of the report at political wire yesterday.

    I'm guessing that the RNC commissioned the Luntz firm to perform this type of research so that they could know the good and bad traits of the Democratic candidates. If they know what types of traits that annoy primary voters, then they can exploit them. For instance, Rove et al followed Kerry around and waited for the perfect time to bait him to say "I voted for it before I voted against it." If I recall the post-mortem stories on the Kerry campaign correctly, the Bush campaign knew what button to push when they had that guy keep asking Kerry why he voted against the military funding. So Lutz at the behest of Republicans is gathering opposition research on the candidates now rather than waiting till 2007-2008...

    I found the positive and negative comments from the focus group participants pretty interesting. The participants wanted to hear a plan and whether the candidate could deliver on that plan. Sounds simple and pretty basic but few of the potential candidates had any sort of positive plan. People just want hope that things are going to get better and that the candidate will solve the many problems facing the country today. By the time 2007-2008 rolls around, that desire for candidates to have a positive message will grow exponentially I think.

    I tbelieve it does say something that HRC's support dropped the more that people listened to her. That tells me that her support is soft and basically just name ID. Once the primary season starts and voters are offered an alternative that her poll numbers will go down dramatically. That part of the report reminded me of the response that she received after she gave her remarks at the Coretta Scott King funeral. The crowd was really with her in the beginning. Bill had revved up the crowd, but HRC just couldn't get the crowd to stay with her. It seemed to me that all of the excitement and energy that was in the congregation after Bill's eulogy got sucked up after HRC spoke. It was really remarkable!! Maybe she's better one on one with people, but behind a podium it just doesn't work!!

    Good stuff and thanks again for report, Kos!!  

  •  The first 9 = #10 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, mang glider

    And Feingold more or less has the first 9 while the rest seem to be lacking that (especially on the ethic / integrity / passion area).

    Feingold is the most electable.

  •  Unconventional Year: Anger sells above all else. (0+ / 0-)

    This is my prediction: Anger will be seen as a positive point, not a negative one.  Whoever shows the most anger about Bush, WINS.

    Anger isn't necessarily a bad thing.  And psychologically, when people are as angry as they are today, they want to see the politicians being angry with them, not acting in a way to try to pacify them.  

    The pacifiers will be seen as the enemy.

    Mark my words... the pacifiers will be seen as the enemy.

    Anyone who tries to "settle us down now" about Bush will have his electile throat slit.

  •  One thing I noted in the study was they... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL

    ...had the participants watch speeches and interviews-not TV ads.

    Good TV ads beat good speeches and interviews every time.

    Feingold's, of course, are the best in the business.

    http://www.russfeingold.org/...

    •  Those are great! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cwaltz, Magnifico, mang glider

      I vaguely remember hearing that Feingold had great ads, but I had never seen one until now.  Wow!  Those are fantastic — so polished.  It makes me wish Dean had hired the people who do Feingold's ads.

      My dream ticket for 2008 is Gore-Feingold (and if Gore doesn't run, I'm in Feingold's camp).  Just imagine a government run by those two people — it makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  I really and truly believe that ticket is the most electable, too.  And if Feingold's ads from 2004 are any indication, the television spots for that ticket would be absolutely amazing.

  •  I fear Hillary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dumbledoresarmy, LiterateWolf

    will drag the party back into equivocating mediocrity, the country back into Clinton fatigue, and the true progressives onto the sidelines.

    I'm not cheerin till Turd Blossom goes.

    by omfreebogart on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:17:22 PM PST

    •  You and I both... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      omfreebogart

      And most of the "clear thinking" progressives...

      I still haven't met a "live" person who is supporting Hillary.  I truly think her apparent support in polls and in certain places online is the result of republican planning and movement.  They want her to win because they know they can beat her badly.  So they're pushing for her as hard as they can, and in a "democratic" disguise.

  •  Sounds like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, matt2525

    intelligence, competence, accountability, getting things done, passion, honesty and being ethical

    "War is the enemy".

    by BOHICA on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:17:23 PM PST

  •  Gore (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelPH

    Gore hits all ten.  Number 8 screams Gore, number 6 makes me nostalgic for the Clinton-Gore years, and, quite honestly, Gore is one of the few possible candidates I can think of that fits number 10 — I don't worry about putting Gore up against McCain or Guiliani.

    Now if we could just get him to run...

  •  I found that PDF to be inane and silly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL, bree, mang glider

    Luntz shows the group a clip of a candidate speaking about a specific issue, like Feingold on the censure, and the group responds with, "He's not being specific about what he will do. He needs to focus on his own plan instead of criticizng others!!"

    No, duh! Luntz just showed you a clip where Feingold spoke about the President breaking the law! He wasn't there to talk about Health Care!

    What can we possibly learn from this when the people in the focus group have no idea what they are looking at, or what context it's in?

    Wait for the candidates to "talk down" to you on the stump. Getting a look at them this early, before they're ready to talk down to us is assinine.

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:20:08 PM PST

  •  I smell a hollow wooden horse. (9+ / 0-)

    Full of smelly GOP hatchet men.

    A GOP-employed mecenary offers "free" advice to GOP opponents, and strangely it reads like the same plan that Gore and Kerry lost with.

    Play nice.

    Don't attack Repiglicans.

    Put out a lot of policy initiatives for the GOP to attack.

    I wouldn't print this report to wipe my ass with it.

    "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

    by Nineteen Kilo on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:21:34 PM PST

  •  by ignoring Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magnifico

    he becomes irrelevant. Bush fatigue is really going to set in. The people who voted for him don't want their faces rubbed in it. Many are ashamed, and although some will bluster and spew, others will tip the scales to Democratic majorities in both houses and a reasonable president.

    I'm not cheerin till Turd Blossom goes.

    by omfreebogart on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:24:56 PM PST

    •  They too can't admit a mistake (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      omfreebogart

      Bush fatigue is really going to set in. The people who voted for him don't want their faces rubbed in it. Many are ashamed...

      Precisely. I think this explains main of the irrational votes cast in Bush's favor in 2004. If we "change horses in midstream" (ugh), then that means we made a mistake in 2000. This thinking is the "Nonrational Escalation of Commitment" (summary) that Max H. Bazerman writes about it. It also explains why for some leaving Iraq is bad. They falsely make the justification that our country has too much already invested in it.

      Few people want their mistakes pointed out to them repeatedly, and fewer Bush voters want to admit their mistake at all. The more they're beaten over the head, or have their nose rubbed in his filth, the more entrenched they become. For me, this explains Bush's 30% base.

      So, maybe treat the Bush voter like a child learning to toilet train. If the kid makes an accident, there is no value rubbing the kid's nose in the poop and telling him or her how bad/stupid/slow/clueless he or she is. Its better to be encouraging and help them try again and eventually the kid will learn how to use the toilet. Maybe, even a Bush voter will learn too with encouragement and support.

  •  This guy is a total dick. Is Karl (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRL

    Rove really paying his salary?

    He needs to shut up.  Or people need to stop paying any attention to him

    Yikes.

    Feh.

  •  The Snake oil vendor Luntz does make sense here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cynical Copper
  •  The last statement is the most true (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    DigDug
    Hidden by:
    LiterateWolf

    Winning is EVERYTHING. The only thing...

    Everytime I here one of those whjo are supposed to be on the same side as I am yelling and complaining about why dems are not taking certain politically suicidal positions like supporting censure, I cringem shrug my shoulders, and tell myself I might be able to live though another neo-con administration and still keep hoping.

    •  It's the least true (7+ / 0-)

      Trying to play the "safe middle" is exactly how we allowed the middle to be dragged over into territory we used to consider the radical right.  And sitting in the middle of the road is a good way to end up as a highway pancake.  

      The Republicans have shown us the way to win, and it's not by avoiding anything that might be less than 60% in the polls.  But we insist on "electability," which is exactly what put us in this mess.


      Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

      by Mark Sumner on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 07:48:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not so (0+ / 0-)

        one of the most well known factors in elections is that high voter turnout always indicated a good deal of disatisfation with the current administration.

        Lower turnout frequently indicates that people are comfortable enough with the government to simply not go to the effort of voting.

        All indications were that it was only electablity that got Kerry the votes he got.

        Other polls indicated that if others and in particular Dean was the nominee, more than 20 percent of registered Democrats would have voted for Bush. AS it stands the ONLY thing that got Bush elected was that on the Republican side, over 90 possibly as high as 95 percent percent of the right wing evangelicals showed up to vote in 2004, because the Bush Administration and the right wing machine put the fear of Kerry into them.

        If the Bush Administration pulled the same percentage of evangelicals to the ballot in 2004 as they did in 2000 not only would Kerry have won, but Kerry was the ONLY candidate who could have won.

        That is what won Clinton the White Housem particularly in 1996. Run conservative, govern liberal.

        That trend started with Carter and it is the only one that has been sucessful for Democrats.

        All this standing up for issues has been a proven failure.

        Americans LIVE in the middle.

        It is their comfort zone.

        •  Right.... (0+ / 0-)

          It's 2006, not 1992. Big difference. Centrists would have us believe that most Americans are moderate based on research from U of M's poli sci dept. True, many people are in the middle which means that they are 3rd parties (left is Democrat, right is Republican), apathetic, or feel left out by the major parties.

          Centrism, if it's so wonder, would win elections each time yet more Republicans become elected. Why? Centrists insult people that would vote for Democrats which causes them to stay at home for vote for a 3rd party. Read some diaries and centrists call us liberals the far left, socialists, communists, etc. Proof is in the pudding. You can't win elections by ignoring and insulting the base while going after the other party's base. Getting indies is important but they want different views, policies, and ideologies. By pretending to be Republicans, people will vote for Republicans. Americans don't like knock-offs.

          •  Wrong again (0+ / 0-)

            MOst polls show the highest degree of political polarization since the Republicans and Democarts started squaring off befoer the Civil War.

            Usually there is a ten percent crossover vote, and crossover in polls.

            Lately the crossover is more than HALF of that.

            Exceot for the indepenedents who make up 30 percent of the electorate. They broke ever so slightly towards the democrats in 2004, but NOT enough to win the right shift caused by the near TOTAL ballot presence of the right wing evangelicals.

            And the INDIES support the DEMOCRATS right now as they are, cautiously Centrist. By 60 percent to 40 percent.

            All Democrats need to do is shut up sit tight until early this fall, and do NOTHING to draw the media gunsights away from Bush and Congressional Republicans.

            Take NO principled stances.

            Only someone walking around with their eyes closed can say

            "Centrists insult people that would vote for Democrats which causes them to stay at home for vote for a 3rd party"

            The third party results of 2004 make THAT clear...

            And the polls on all issues make that evem more clear.

            A new party, Centrist, like Israels Kadima, made up of moderate REpublicans and Centrist Democrats would not only clean up, but create a one party state in the U.S.

    •  Here (0+ / 0-)

      Join the American Centrist Party and enjoy those failed elections by playing "politics" to attract conservatives that will never vote for a liberal.

      •  I take the cynical view (0+ / 0-)

        That in an unjust society, from top to bottom, everyone is corrupt.

        Ever reead Cervantes...

        No one cursed and kicks and spit at the old Don Quixote more than the poor and disenfranchised whose cause he took up.

        It is our own societies injustice that is the answer to the question "why do working class people vote Against their own interests by voting Republican"

        Go over to Free Republic sometime and look at them condemning Bush of BETRAYING HIS PARTY and the  PEOPLE, by supporting BIG BUSINESS INTERESTS.

        Then start talkng about thie THIRD PARTY.

        And the half percent of the vote it will take.

        They better invent something better than that platform to become the Bill Gates of American Politics.

        What you forget is that American Political Parties are like private country clubs.

        They are private corporations...
        And THEY control the poplitical landscape like a business.

  •  I hate 'Electability' (6+ / 0-)

    It was the boogeyman that got us mediocrity in the last primary run.

    Electability made good people I know say "I like _, but he's not electable so I'm voting for [sigh] _".

    Someone who votes based on "electability" is voting for who they think someone else is going to vote for. That voter just threw away their vote more than a Nader voter.

  •  What about Al? (0+ / 0-)

    I think Luntz should test Al Gore.

  •  AMEN! (0+ / 0-)
    1. You are the message. Watch the negativity. Democrats want hope.  Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes. The candidates focused on the future will have a significant advantage. The candidate that generates the most hope in a better future will win the nomination.

    Finally, the truth is spoken!

    •  I can agree with this.... (0+ / 0-)

      but that should be obvious, not requiring focus group testing.  Energy independence by doing an energy "apollo program", not drilling, for example.

      "The American public voted for a second Bush administration out of fear, so fear is what they're going to have from now on." -- Eric Haney

      by billlaurelMD on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:02:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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

        ...that it's NOT obvious, for some reason.  I honestly believe that the majority of Democrats, here at Kos and elsewhere, believe the key to winning is sufficiently bashing Bush, with no regard for our own message.  That scares the shit of me.  Two wrongs don't make a right.  And we've yet to present a compelling arguement for why we're any better.

        So maybe it DOES take a focus group to tell us.

  •  Iowa, N.H. surveys show Warner's appeal to party (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf

    WASHINGTON -- Surveys in Iowa and New Hampshire found that former Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner appealed strongly to stalwart Democrats as a potential presidential candidate, a GOP pollster says.

    "Mark Warner was the big star" in the surveys this month of likely Democratic caucus and primary voters in the two states, pollster Frank Luntz told reporters yesterday. The two states are first in the nation to hold nominating contests.

    Warner "ought to frighten Republicans if he were ever to get the nomination -- because he could win" in 2008, Luntz said.

    Link

  •  Fiengold/Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

    Is as electable as any other Dem ticket.

  •  Electability? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LiterateWolf, Buddha Hat

    Ugh! Didn't we learn anything from 2004? Democratic voters just aren't very good at determining "electability" (nor or consultants or leaders for that matter). If the voters are once again going to focus on the question of "electability" then I think we will doom ourselves to a repeat of the same mistakes made by Kerry.

  •  Here's why he's an idiot (0+ / 0-)
    1. You are the message. Watch the negativity. Democrats want hope.  Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes. The candidates focused on the future will have a significant advantage. The candidate that generates the most hope in a better future will win the nomination.

    Negativity wins and there are lots more people who will vote for it than will vote against it. Republicans have proved that time and time again. And they'd still be proving it if they weren't so fuckin crooked.

    I'm a Democrat and I won't have hope until I start to see more attacks! I know the Republicans are crooked and I want Democratic politicians to act like they know it and act like it's not okay.

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

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:46:37 PM PST

  •  Review of Ten Commandments for Demos 08 (0+ / 0-)
    1.  Duh.
    1.  See #1, plus Bush won't be a candidate in 08 (at least Dubya won't)
    1.  If Republicans really cared what Jesus would do then Bush wouldn't be President.
    1.  Wasn't this covered in 1.?
    1.  This is just repackaging, there are no new ideas.
    1.  "In the arena of deficit spending, there really isn't much difference between a Democrat and a Republican."  Exactly, its just like apples and oranges except the Republican apples contain worms that eat you.
    1.  Because people in America don't care that we have troops dying every die in Iraq, they just want their free or reduced Prozac.
    1.  The Anti-Bush.
    1.  "Beating up on Republicans will win applause, but it doesn't generate votes."  It depends on how much you beat them.
    1.  Not Electability again!  Why do we keep having to nominate electable candidates?  Can't we just nominate the people we really like and win instead?

    Note:  Luntz originally had 15 commandments for the Democrats but he slipped and one of the tablets broke.

  •  Some questions in my mind (0+ / 0-)

    These are some thoughts that I have about the ten commandments above. I am very pessimistic these days so bear that in mind. I don't know if I even really believe this... but I'm putting it out there to see what others have to say.

    "1. Don't feel my pain - give me something to alleviate it."

    Too many traditional democrats don't give a damn about my pain, or anyone's for the matter. They only want to get re-elected and have nothing but contempt and disdain for the unwashed masses. Even in the Dem party the notion of "grassroots" is a delusion. Dean was eliminated by the party elites and Kerry put in his place. Any notion the we choose him to run for prez is an illusion. I mean, come on, we Dems had political machines every bit as authortarian as the GOP. Daley ran Chicago for decades and still does (in a way). Do you really believe that all just went away? I don't.

    "4. Don't tell me what's wrong with America unless you can tell me what you're going to do to make it right."

    Sort of begs the question though doesn't it? I mean, does anyone really even know what is "going on"? Take immigration for example. Treating illegal immigrants as felons will only move us more towards an authortarian state but on the other hand, illegals are great for the corporations. They use them to bust unions and move us towards a two tiered economy with the very wealthy on the top and the desperately poor on the bottom. We are becomming more like Mexico. No one, not even Dems, ever talks about that. So it would seem to me that neither solution, not a fence nor guest workers, really solves things at the root.

    What is really going on is that we are going towards one global economy and everthing that implies. At the end of this road is a world with a few ultra rich, their servants and then everyone else at the bottom. It will all look pretty much the same economically no matter if you are in America or Kazakhstan.

    "5. Tell me something new. Tell me something I don't already know."

    Nice idea but it won't happen. What we don't know can't be talked about. Take for example my reply to #4. Many people have these same fears I gave voice to but you won't ever hear it put the way I have above in any campaine in any race or on any TV or cable show. It's taboo. Just like you won't hear any discussion about our governments involvement in death squads in Iraq (or anywhere else, present or past). We the people don't want to know but they are at the heart of 911 and global terrorism today. It's the answer to the the question "Why do they hate us?" It's not for our freedoms, everyone knows that. But what Dem candidate is going to stand up and say "They hate us because of the terrors we have visited on them in the past"? Won't happen.

    "10. Winning is everything. And the only thing."

    Sorry, I don't believe that. Changing the direction we are headed in is "the only thing" and I'm not convinced that we Dems have the ability to or are willing to do what is needed.

    "What you don't know can't hurt them."

    by brenda on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:55:38 PM PST

  •  With friends like this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joon, TalkieToaster

    ...who needs enemies?

    1. Don't feel my pain - give me something to alleviate it.  Well, OK, but it wouldn't hurt to remind them of the source of all that pain.  And remember, it's GWB and his enablers in Congress.  Got it?

    2. Leave Bush out of it. We know why we don't like him. Tell us why we should like you instead.  See number 1.  Yes, yes, yes, we have to focus on solutions, but how often is the opposing standard bearer mired below 40% approval?

    3. What would Jesus do? Tell me what YOU would do and leave Jesus out of it. The time for a conversation about faith and spirituality is in the general election, not the primaries. Democrats don't want to hear about your church. If they really cared, they'd be Republicans.  Damn it, how many times are we going to screw this up?  The Democratic agenda should appeal to all but the most conservative Christians.  If you don't believe me, reread Jim Wallis.    

    4. Don't tell me what's wrong with America unless you can tell me what you're going to do to make it right.  OK.  See points 1 and 2.

    5. Tell me something new. Tell me something I don't already know.  OK.  See points 1, 2, and 4.  This is starting to become repetitive.

    6. Be a Deficit Democrat. Every time a Democratic candidate talked about ending wasteful spending and tackling the deficit, the dials spiked up, as did the approval. In the arena of deficit spending, there really isn't much difference between Democrats and Republicans.  Ah, but there is a difference.  Democrats spend money on worthwhile things and - generally, anyway - raise that money as it is needed.  We're not the borrow-and-spend party.  People understand debt.  They know you can't spend money you don't have forever.
     
    7. The 2008 Agenda:  education, healthcare, prescription drugs, energy independence. The war in Iraq may grab the headlines and the attention, but Democrats are much more focused on concerns right here at home. `Bring the troops home,' they complained. Tell us what you're going to do to improve our quality of life right here in America.  Damn it, how many times are we going to screw this up?  Yes, I know we have a huge adcvantage on bread-and-butter issues, but we also have the advantage on Iraq.  And any candidate that ignores national security deserves to lose.    

    8. The 2008 Attributes: intelligence, competence, accountability, getting things done, passion, honesty and being ethical. Attributes matter, as does style.  I can't find anything to disagree with here.  Not that I haven't tried.

    9. You are the message. Watch the negativity. Democrats want hope.  Beating up on Republicans will generate applause, but it doesn't generate votes. The candidates focused on the future will have a significant advantage. The candidate that generates the most hope in a better future will win the nomination.  No argument here.  Remember Barack Obama's electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic convention?  Two thirds of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track.  They need the audacity of hope right about now.

    10. Winning is everything. And the only thing. As in 2004, Democrats want to win. Unlike 2004, they REALLY want to win. No candidate will secure the nomination whom they fear will lose to the Republican nominee.  Electability is going to play a major role in 2008.  WTF?  We didn't want to win in 2004, 2002, or 2000?  Electability is important, but it must take a back seat to  authentic progressive values.  Some things must never be compromised.

    Economic -4.13, Social -3.59. Does this make me a right-winger by Kos standards?

    by KTinOhio on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 08:57:59 PM PST

  •  The stealth poison in this argument is (0+ / 0-)

    "Don't attack the Republicans"

    Do.  They know they can't defend.  They swiftboated John Kerry didn't they?  

    All of their actions are indefensible and its just really starting to show now.

    We don't have to run on it and I do agree with a lot said in that list.  Just take the "Don't go on the offensive" type arguments and throw them AWAY.

    We're gonna explode?! I don't wanna explode! 宁静

    by TalkieToaster on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 09:25:18 PM PST

  •  Don't EVER trust Luntz (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joon, astronautagogo

    Frank Luntz is 100% partisan Republican, always has been, always will be, and with this list, he continues to serve his masters as brilliantly and diabolically as ever.  Luntz' play list for Democratic candidates is a tidy little recipe for the failure of the Democratic Party in 2008.  

    Shock, revulsion, and anger at what the Bush administration has done to this country -- to its people, its constitution, treasury, resources, purpose, meaning, and future -- are the most powerful, fundamental, and justified motivators available to the Democrats. If our candidates were to follow Luntz' suggestions and paint on smiley faces while parading cheerfully and positively around spouting fresh ideas -- as though the country were not in the most serious crisis of its existence -- it would create in the public mind (and particularly in Democrats) a psychological state akin to that observed in deeply dysfunctional families where no one dares to talk about what is wrong, where a conspiracy of silence prevents anyone from looking at, much less naming, "the elephant in the living room."      

    Luntz has a genius for scrambling logic to the point that his opposition is rendered confused and ineffectual.  He demonstrated it gleefully on the Bill Moyers' "NOW" program a couple of years ago. He enjoys doing this kind of thing.

    If we are to win the next election (assuming little or no voting machine fraud takes place), the Democratic candidates will need to take the bull by the horns: they must tell the American people what has been happening to our country, what it means for our future, and how it will continue if the American people do not choose to change it. They need to make it VERY CLEAR that this country stands at a crossroads and its future hangs on what the American people choose to do about the 2008 election.  

    If they could do this, Democratic candidates would be in a position to EMPOWER the American people, to tell them HOW they can get their country back.  The "good ideas" of the Dem candidates should focus on specific ways to take control of the nation out of the hands of global corporations and return America to its intended function as a representative democracy serving the needs and interests of the people.  They need to remind Americans that government in the hands of citizens -- not corporations -- is a GOOD thing, that government of that sort is the very definition of democracy, and that the original and overriding purpose of our government was to "secure the inalienable rights" of the citizens.  They need to show them how far the current administration has taken us from what was given by our founders and how they have compromised the institutional structures of this country that protect our rights and serve our interests.

    Democratic candidates need to tell their fellow Americans that it is legitimate for us, the citizens, to use our government to secure for ourselves essential access to affordable health care; to create an economy that rewards an honest day's work with a decent, living wage; to protect and preserve our natural resources for all citizens and for generations to come;  to provide truly equal opportunity for all of our children; and to maintain open access to news and information through a mass media that understands its primary purpose as that of public service.    

    They need to get down to the basics of this democracy, because that is what is at stake. The American people are weary and confused from the past six years; they are HUNGRY for straight talk about what has gone wrong. Luntz knows this. It's what he and all Republican operatives fear most from the opposition.

  •  Damn right about the fine line - passion/anger (0+ / 0-)

    ...when the media is concerned. Howard Dean sure found out about that in a hurry with the infamous pumping-fist in Iowa, which the media quickly turned into some sort of psychotic episode.

  •  I just find it ironic (3+ / 0-)

    that after multiple diaries/thousands of comments about "it isn't who says it but what they say that matters", people here  want to attack Luntz.

    The issue isn't whether you like Luntz (I don't) or whether you can trust him (the most successful con-men are the most believable), but whether he's right or not.

    Since I've been spouting his first 9 points since before the 2004 election, I think he's right, as much as I dislike him, and as much as I'd count my fingers after shaking his hand. His tenth point is completely wrong, IMO, which does nothing to his first 9 points.

    People who are only interested in getting revenge on Bush or attacking the GOP, and who think the Democrats can be successful in the long term without addressing in some detail problems that voters care about are simply wrong, and advocating a losing strategy. Winning isn't the only thing, but I've never felt that losing was much to be proud of either.

    We all go a little mad sometimes - Norman Bates

    by badger on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:05:13 PM PST

  •  This report is an exercise in folly (0+ / 0-)

    Go EASY on Bush - the Dems have been going easy on Bush for YEARS and look where it has gotten us!

    I am very suspicious of these 'conclusions'  - but it probably doesn't matter cause so much is likely to happen between now and 08 - ANY advice based on current conditions is probably more or less worthless anyway.

    If I may be allowed to get out my crystal ball:

    If Bush continues to fall in the polls over the next 2+ years - then Feingold and outspoken critics of Bush will be in the catbird seat. No matter what happens, after '06 - there will likely be more outspoken critics of Bush in Congress which would give someone like Feingold more legitimate opponents in a Dem presidential primary.

    If Bush declares martial law before '08 - then there will be no elections and a pretty good  likelihood that the two-party system and democracy itself will come to an end.

    The thing I see as being MOST unlikely is for things to remain as they are now - making this 'report' pretty much a waste of time and money.

  •  I feel dirty. (0+ / 0-)

    Almost like we hired one of the word jockey squad to turn against iteslf.

    Really, who wants to be a pro at the art of creating nothing but perception?

    That "do not become your enemy" mantra echos in my mind as I read this news. Without being a pollyanna to the ways of politics, must we really become perception maestros? The GOP has displayed how that tune plays out, with deadly consequences.

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

    by big dave on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:10:53 PM PST

  •  Luntz: even a broken clock is right twice a day (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, ademption, Sam I Am

    Everybody needs to get over their hatred of Luntz and OBJECTIVELY consider his findings.  Everybody's sounding like a white racist refusing medical help from a black medic because he/she is not the right skin color.  I talk to democrats across the country 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.  So by the end of a workweek, I end up talking to about 800 people.  My experience tends to confirm what he's reporting.  People are literally telling me some of the points that he's making.  Other points (e.g., leave Bush out of it,...)are things I've learned the hard way: people don't want to listen to just one more person whining about the ass in the WH, they want a response and action.  Paul Hackett was a good example of someone who intuitively incorporated these suggestions.  Quite frankly, Bill Clinton did too.  We all laughingly remember his ability to "feel your pain", but he usually followed it up with solutions.

    And quit bitching about focus groups.  As some have said, when used and conducted properly, they are valuable tools for qualitative data.  The frequently cited example that focus group participants say that they don't like negative campaigning, but people pay attention to it proves my point about proper use of focus groups.  When you test the same people who say they don't like negativity for what they actually remember, they demonstrate this paradox.  A good facilitator would recognize that what these people want is a candidate like Bush who stays on a positive message (albeit a right-wing one that I can't stomach) while his supporters do the dirty work of attacking and do it damn well.  And there is Bush, alleviating the discomfort of unhappy voters after disconcerting attacks by presenting himself as a positive alternative.

    Lesson: look for a skilled consultant like Luntz (hopefully, a progressive one though) and forget the asses like Shrum.

  •  Leadership not scared of White House, plzzzzzzzzz (0+ / 0-)

    plzzzz return at least the peoples right to oversight and  not these pitiful excuse fro legislators that are pansies to night time Cross Burners!

    And I mean that! The times might have changed and the camera's and technological global span might have given more to Civil Rights than they'd ever care to admit but any educated caring and average thinking Caucasian can tell Newt Gingrich, Bush, De Lay, Frist and fairly much on down the line (Ryun Ks Rep, House) evil and plotting men that had many agendas which many have gone without time to shed light on and bring to discussion because of the slaughter going on in Iraq!

    Right or wrong the Republicans must admit that the bad of this War is only covered from a great great distance away! If the American women and youth were seeing the blood, the guts, the capitations, the burns, and they need to know that in children Leukemia is more than 45% in increase and rates haven't been near this high in children since George Herbert W. Bush's visit ans War; oh and White Phosphorous remains of the Iraqi victims as the loved as the Iraqi's must see and bury them THEN THIS WAR WOULD BE OVER!

    *(THE $10k PAIR OF HIGH HEELS SHOES THAT CONDI was shopping FOR IN NEW YORK FOR HER BROADWAY ATTIRE TO SEE "SPAMALOT" EVER het purchased?) She was scolded by shoppers as New Orleans crisis grew and grew!

    Coming to your town soon! The Social Security Adminstartion Electric and Power Company. "Omen Tuffy" 1918-1992

    by generic on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:49:16 PM PST

  •  If I'd written this report... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mang glider

    ...my boss would be asking me how much Warner paid me.

    I made a comment or two earlier about my dislike of focus groups as primary data sources, but then thought I should shut up until I'd read the whole report.  Well now I have.  I don't have anything against Warner, and the skew I think I am reading in his favor may just amount to sloppy writing, but...

    I don't know that Luntz could structure a better approach to this study, given the limitations of doing this so early, and the lack of hard data to base focus groups upon, but Luntz tells us very little about the methodology, and the idea of showing clips of candidates - while probably necessary - is a little disturbing for this as it makes it almost impossible to avoid leading.  But worse we get no information about things that might have been done to control that, such as:

    1. Who chose clips?
    1. What variation of issues were subjects addressing?
    1. Were the clips equal in length?
    1. Were audiences in clips equal in size?

    For the last, it is clear they were not in at least one instance (Clinton) and I strongly suspect they recognized that as a mistake, because they switched clips between NH and IA - such a change mid-study being in and of itself dicey methodology.  It seems remarkably strange that they chose to set apart the candidate already set apart by two strong factors (her gender and her name-recognition) in such a manner, but then to have interpreted the initial choice of an interview clip for her alone as an "advantage" is inexplicable as it seems wholly their interpretation. Mine would have been the opposite: that a cheering audience would have been more rousing and engaging for a focus group.

    But then a lot of things in this study seem based on author opinion.  Just flip through the intros - In many of these intros it's in no way clear where author's opinion is separated from focus group opinion.  That's either sloppy writing or sloppy analysis - maybe both.

    When they say of Warner that:

    Warner has a good personal story to tell and he does a terrific job of talking about how it drives his political beliefs and his commitment to service. His career as a venture capitalist gives him a way to talk about looking for the next great thing. His early stint at the Democratic National Committee giveshim decent party bonafides even if his governance could be construed as somewhat moderate. He past asa public school student gives him an everyman touch that his Harvard law degree might not. He effectively combines vision, ideas, and results.

    who's opinion are we to read this as?  The focus group's or the researcher's?

    I could nit-pick this report all night, but this is probably too long already, so will just add one more thing:  it's dangerous to assume energy independence should be a major focus nationwide based on any study conducted half in IA.  I spent the entire last quarter of last year doing research on the ground in IA and was told by more than one Iowan that they expect every man, woman and child who owns a share in a corn field will be rich as an oil prince within a decade.  They are counting on it to jump start the economy in many rural areas.  Energy independence is hot, hot, hot in Iowa accordingly.  Suspect it may be important, but just a little more lukewarm elsewhere.

  •  Re framing the issues in the conservative media (0+ / 0-)

    So what ARE we doing to get more voters to tune out the mainstream media and get their news on the candidates from alternative sources?
    What ARE we doing to "press the press", forcing the mainstream to actually cover and broadcast the actual news?
    To the extent that we make progress on these two fronts Democrats have a chance to win the White House.   No progress?   Pick any Republican you can think of; they'll be using the same election machinery used by Ray Gun, Bush I, Bush II and Clinton (only won because Perot ran) to get elected.

    "In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes." Chomsky

    by formernadervoter on Fri Mar 31, 2006 at 10:57:11 PM PST

  •  UNFORTUNATELY (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pkbarbiedoll

    that "DEFICIT DEMOCRAT" talk is exactly the rock and the hard place.

    By giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations, and spending like Rush Limbaugh on an oxycontin run, Republicans have put the Democrats in almost the same position as Latin American leftists who assume control of their countries under the burden of IMF debt.

    Being a "deficit hawk" in the USA is like following "structural adjustment" programs prescribed for the poor countries by the IMF/World Bank. It will become verboten to talk about spending for things like education, health care, infrastructure, and future energy technologies. Because the GOP has made us "broke" and it is assumed that no candidate can talk about raising taxes on the wealthiest and on corporations and get away with it.

    I'm afraid the future is pretty bleak. Under the Republican debt rockpile, the social safety net is in tatters and future social investment is a non-starter. That is, until some Democrat can courageously fight the battle for paying off the debt by raising taxes. Otherwise, the battle is over and Grover Norquist has won.

  •  As a moderate democrat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ademption

    I tend to agree with Luntz's assessment. Yes, I am angry at the administration and the Republican party, and although I support impeachment for Bush now, I know that it won't happen until we take back Congress in 2006. But what I really want is to be inspired. To feel that the candidate has the vision to lead us collectively out of the mess we are in. You can't get there from anger, or at least not if you are consumed by anger. I was privileged to hear Hillary speak here in Atlanta, and she was good. I cheered when she spoke out against the administration, as did everyone in the crowd of 5000. But I will work for Mark Warner because I believe he has the greater vision and know-how to actually be a "uniter, not divider" and get things done.

  •  Some of this sounds like a list of Republican (0+ / 0-)

    talking points or maybe a list of DC Democrat talking points.

    The focus right now needs to be on taking back the country.  

    Yes, hope, new ideas, blah blah, but we need fighters not pollyannas.  

    Maybe not every Democrat wants populist anti-Bush firebrands, but if they don't like them now, they will sooner or later, as soon as crushing defeat after crushing defeat at the hands of the Republicans gives them their asses served up on silver platters election after election.

    Yes I want to know what candidates are going to do once they get into office, but leave Republican reality-making to the Republicans.

    As I see it, the situation is dire.  The country is in desperate straits and the future (and maybe even the viability) of our contry is hanging by a thread like the Sword of Damocles.  If people think what we have at the moment is bad, imagine (as I do) that it's the mask an animal wears has when it's being eaten up inside by disease and needs the appearance of health to keep the sharks from circling.  In other words, the "prosperity" we have now, such as it is, is a mirage.  

    What I hunger for is the truth, not some airbrushed vision of false "hope".  The election of Democrats is not going to bring things back into balance on its own.  A Great Depression worse than anything we have ever experienced before is almost certainly in the offing and may be inevitable.  We may be looking at the opening prelude to World War III straight in the face and not even realizing it yet.

    Give us the truth, Democrats.  The American people are grown up enough to take it, but we are not going to be merciful if we discover you've joined the Republicans in lying to us all along.

    Help keep America a one party state - vote Republican!

    by AndyS In Colorado on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:16:34 AM PST

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      This is exactly what Repugs do when you get them in a corner on how they've basically fucked up our country big time, they come back with the schoolyard taunt of "well what's your plan."

      I say run these fuckers into the ground. At every avenue, point out their disastrous failings that have led to death and destruction at home and abroad. People need to be reminded. What's our plan? Beat the fuck out of Repuhblicans, that's what. Take your hope and shove up your ass, Luntz.

      •  And then what? (0+ / 0-)

        THAT is the valid point, here. Say you win. What's the plan for rebuilding?

        Standing and raising the flag is fine.

        What then?

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

        by Loboguara on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:38:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

          pull the fuck out of Iraq, for starters. Fire everyone appointed by, or even remotely connected to, BushCo. Stop spying on Americans without a warrant. Repeal tax cuts. Make a good-faith effort at rebuilding relations with, well, most of the world. Stop this slavish loyalty to Israel. If we win back Congress in the fall, impeach bush--seriously.

          I see what you're saying--in order to do all that, we have to run a cohesive political campaign first. I just wish Dems would have the balls to say all that stuff. Remember back in Campaign 04, when Kerry got caught on camera telling a group of people something like "These guys are just a bunch of liars"? Well I say there's your slogan for 06 and 08. These Guys Are A Bunch of Liars.

          And when someone does (Feingold) have the balls, it would help to stand up with them. I don't give a shit about raising the flag--I'm not very proud of it at the moment. Maybe I just see this as more than politics. You shouldn't have to convince someone to vote against Bush on the basis of some political platform. People should vote against him because he has been dead wrong on everything, he and his crew have lied about it, and he's flushing this country down the chitter.

  •  Instead of a focus group, past elections (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, FenderT206, kkjohnson

    Focus groups have their uses, but they are also easy to abuse, and can be misleading.  Instead of looking at the results of what a few people in NH appear to have said accroding to a guy who may or may not be trying to help, let's look at what has worked in the past.

    Which Democrats have won the Presidency since, say, WW II?
    Truman  
    Kennedy
    Johnson
    Carter
    Clinton

    All but one are Southern or border states

    While some were very smart, and some very learned, none APPEARED that way.  None talked down to people,
    or appeared to.  

    Who has lost?

    Stevenson
    Humphrey
    McGovern
    Carter
    Mondale
    Dukakis
    Gore (OK, he really won)
    Kerry

    Hmmmm, only 2 southerners or border states on the list, and Carter was a winner in a different year, and Gore really won (and was border)

    and several of them APPEARED to talk down to people, and/or were wooden.

    So, what does that tell us?

    Let's choose a PLAIN SPEAKING person who is from the SOUTH or the BORDER.  That's how we've won in the past.  

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, and the creed of slaves." William Pitt

    by plf515 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:59:36 AM PST

    •  I think the right Northerner could (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jets ya

      win,but as you say,provided he was a Governor,not a Senator with a long voting record that the Rethugs could distort,and not a wimp like Dukakis.I still believe that Ed Muskie could have won the general election in 1972.

      •  Well, hypothetically (0+ / 0-)

        Predicting is very hard.  Figuring out what might have been is also very hard.  Could Muskie have won in 72? Frankly, I have no idea at all. You could well be right.

        OTOH, while history doesn't always repeat itself, I think its the best thing we have to go by.  Presidential elections are determined by the purple states, and it seems like Southerners and near Southerners appeal to them more than Northerners.  

        It also seems that people who have a sort of 'down-home' feel win more than those who do not have that.

        Does that mean it's a sure thing? Of course not.  Kennedy was a Northerner, after all.  Kerry either won or came very close, despite running a Godawful campaign.  It could happen again.  But if the past is prelude, I wouldn't bet on it.  

        "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants, and the creed of slaves." William Pitt

        by plf515 on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 04:42:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Muskie could have won (0+ / 0-)

        We will always wonder what he would have accomplished.  I don't know about a Northerner.  None roll off my tongue besides senators.  I really like Biden, but his acerbic wit probably turns off some folks. Unfortunately, the only NE guv I can think of now is republican Romney in Mass.;but we don't wnat that, do we. I like Rendell in PA, alot.
        I think, Mark Warner in VA, is as likely as north as we can get.

    •  I agree, but don't forget the Midwest... (0+ / 0-)

      The midwest is the "new" south.

      We can't win without winning a few midwestern states.  I'm not saying we definitely need a midwestern candidate, but having  either Feingold, Bayh or Obama somewhere on the ballot, either as the candidate or running mate, will go a long way to winning in 2008.

      Midwesterners feel a kinship for each other, much like southerners, and having a candidate with midwestern roots will really help in states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri....not to mention even bringing a state like Indiana into play.

      It's all about the Midwest now.  We stand a much better chance of winning over the aforementioned midwestern states than we do in winning in the south.

      www.dems4pres.com

    •  the south or the border (0+ / 0-)

      That's stupid, you know why? Because every president we've had but two (three if you count Ford, but he was never elected), for the past 43 years came from either California or Texas. This south stuff they keep talking about or even "the border" is all a bunch of non-sense.

      All you have to do is to tell the people they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.

      by William Domingo on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 02:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  yuk a muku what a fuka (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FenderT206

    i was hoping by now frank would have been boiled in oil.

  •  He is out to Luntz, er, lunch... (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't mention Wes Clark? What a luntz, er, Klutz.

    From service on the front lines to service on the home front...

    by Veterans for a Secure America on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 05:04:07 AM PST

  •  Time: Bush approval 37% (0+ / 0-)

    Hooray! Keep up the outstanding job mr. president!
    We are so proud of you.

  •  Luntz's advice: (0+ / 0-)

    My advice is whatever Mr. Luntz advises do the exact opposite. Here are my pointers for Demos running.

    1. Make sure the voting in your district isn't being run on Diebold, ESS, or Sequioa voting machines. If it is my advice is stay home and don't waste your time or money cause your going to lose.
    1. If you don't have the machine problem next make sure that the State hasn't used a Republican supplied voter list or you might find half of your potential votes have been removed from the rolls for J-walking, littering or un-paid parking tickets over the last 50 yrs.
    1. If running in a RED state make sure the local powers to be don't wear white hooded sheets or attend the local fundie church if they do read advice no. 5.
    1. If running against a Rethug incumbent make sure to mention Pres. Bu$h after his or her name as many times as possible. Make sure all campaign literature has Pres. Bu$h and your opponent shown next to each other shoulder to shoulder.
    1. If your running for office in a RED state and you have the problem detailed in No. 3. make sure you sleep in a different place every other day and change your appearance as often as possible. Also mumble while speaking. This all will throw off the death squads for a few minutes. Make sure your life insurance policy is paid and up to date. Goodluck.
    1. If running in a Blue state ...relax!

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees"

    by Blutodog on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 06:17:08 AM PST

    •  No accountability for corporations (0+ / 0-)

      The only way to conserve our standard of living, and to better the lives of all Americans (including legal immigrants) is to slap corporate America with stiff punative measures when they hire illegals.  

      Perhaps then they will consider hiring some of the millions of outsourced, laid off workers who aren't represented in unemployment statistics becuase they've been unemployed too long.  

      So this has nothing to do with race/ethnicity and everything to do with corporate greed.  

  •  No mention of labor? failure! (0+ / 0-)

    Judging from the growing debate on immigration, democrats are more than a little interested in labor and the economy in this country.

    Bury that, make it a side issue, or otherwise don't talk about it and I won't vote for you.

  •  There need to be 2 strategies (0+ / 0-)

    One to energize the democratic base with moderate and hopefuly views.

    One for the independents with unblushing attacks on the republican failures and corruption.

    The republicans will absolutely use the dirtiest attack tactics tht they can, since their goal is not to make a better country, but to stay in power so they can continue to rape and pillage.  This will appeal to some of the republican base, but it works more with the independents.  The only response to this is an unwithering attack on the failngs of Bush and the corruption in the republican congress.

    There must also be a clear, strong, message of hope-'yes, things are bad, but here is my plan to make them better'.

    Either one alone is a recipe for failure.

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:41:43 AM PST

  •  Here We Go Again-- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ForFreedom

    especially with a hostile conservative-controlled media setting the terms of the debate.

    ????

    this is astonishing. I wonder how long we're going to (with any credibility) use this worn out excuse for not getting it done?

    it's just not a credible excuse.

    "Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath.... You can't ask for better than that." Fadel Gheit

    by Superpole on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:49:24 AM PST

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole

      Did people miss the First Amendment?  If one party controls the media (Faux News=Pravda?) that does not mean that the other side is hamstrung.

      It does make it harder, but the task is far from impossible.  Think the conservatives control the media?  Start your own.

      At some point I'm going to diary on the Fairness Doctrine (up until President Ray-gun broadcast media were required to present opposing viewpoints under the terms of their FCC license) but I need to research some specifics before posting it.

      In the mean time-

      Live Free or Die-words to live by

      by ForFreedom on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 01:48:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Fog of Political War (0+ / 0-)

        our progressive counterparts here are way too occupied with pointing out the obvious: the repuglican oligarchy are greedy, liars, cheats and scammers.

        so what else is new?

        we get it. in fact, fifty percent of the eligible voters get it so well they don't even bother to vote.

        "Think of Iraq as a military base with a very large oil reserve underneath.... You can't ask for better than that." Fadel Gheit

        by Superpole on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 07:55:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Base (0+ / 0-)

    Center the agenda on civil rights, common american values, "do you want to be told what is right or wrong?"

    core emotional spirit

  •  this is amazing. (0+ / 0-)

    This week, a friend of mine who is otherwise rational, was talking aboout why he voted for Bush.  In 2000, he liked Bush, and he has a bias toward Rebubs and is a national security type.  In 2004, He no longer liked Bush, but says that he didn't hear what the Dems would do differently.  Caveat, he's a Viet Vet with and emotional stake in that war.  Anyway, he says he's strongly inclined to vote Dem this time, and what he says he's looking for is outlined in items 1 through 6 in the Post above.  This isn't the first time I've heard this from molderates and repubs, and this may be important in the general elections as well as in the primaries.
        Just an observation.

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

    by StrayCat on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 08:25:14 AM PST

  •  Folks, he's talking about the primary. (0+ / 0-)

    And for winning the primary I think he's absolutely right. Democrats don't need to hear more Republican bashing, because we generate it ourselves around our dinner tables. We need a leader who has a good track record of standing up to Bush and the Republicans, which lets out Hillary, but we don't need someone to hammer on how bad Bush is during the campaign, not in the primary. NH and IA are critical in the primary and neither of them give a damn about your religion; in fact, in NH I suspect lots of religious talk will actively hurt, not because they're all atheists up there but because New Englanders tend to believe religion is a private matter to be shared with family and friends, not a matter for broadcasting publicly. Focus on what you would do to fix things, not on outlining what's wrong -- we know what's wrong. Don't harp on the Iraq War to Democrats, but do have a good voting record regarding it (which, again, lets out Hillary.) Democrats care a lot about bread and butter issues; we also care about foreign policy, but if the focus of your foreign policy is tied into the bread and butter issues (ie, make the ports safe, renewable energy so we don't have to stick our nose in the Middle East quite so often, etc.), it helps. And for god's sake, if you want to win, don't let anyone else run away with the "I'm electable, he's not" meme!

    This is not a road map to winning the general election. It's very specifically a focus group of Democrats on how to win the primary. The person who wins the primary must then change tactics somewhat, but without pulling some sort of muscle-wrenching 180 like Kerry kept doing. (Also, the person who wins the primary must then manipulate the hell out of the media.)

    There are aspects of this strategy that I would strongly disagree with if we were talking about the general. In the general, talking about religion helps, more focus on foreign policy helps, and outlining what the Republicans have done wrong before explaining what you'd do to fix it is necessary. But in the primary none of that matters so much.

  •  what do the numbers in the report indicate? (0+ / 0-)

    quick question.

    i must be missing something obvious, help the clueless.

    in the pdf of the report, there are statements by the candidates.  then there are numbers in parentheses, what do these numbers mean?

    my guess is something about positive/negative.  but then they don't add up if that were true.

  •  Good Grief (0+ / 0-)

    The 2008 Agenda:  education, healthcare, prescription drugs, energy independence. The war in Iraq may grab the headlines and the attention, but Democrats are much more focused on concerns right here at home. `Bring the troops home,' they complained. Tell us what you're going to do to improve our quality of life right here in America.

    Are we sure Luntz isn't working for the GOP on this? I cannot think of stupider advice than ignoring Iraq as an issue. It should be THE issue - we cannot pay for healthcare, education, etc. because we are sinking hundreds of billions into that quagmire.

  •  Hey, FF (0+ / 0-)

    I just came across some new info and added a comment to your last diary about voting standards (The soul of a new voting machine). Not sure whether you're still monitoring that diary. I urge everyone to add an (spambot-obfuscated) e-mail address to their profile so they can be contacted even after their diaries age. If you're worried about abuse of your primary address, set up a separate one (for instance, with a free provider).

    And thanks for sharing what Luntz has to say, for what it's worth.

    Must read: MLKJ's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It will surprise you.

    by AlanF on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:44:51 AM PST

  •  National Election (0+ / 0-)

    The best thing for the Democrats is to make this a national election; the Democrats should paint a target of Bush, Cheney and DeLay on the back of every Republican candidate.  Make the Bush years the Republican platform: lies, corruption, war, waste of national resources, coddling the ultra-rich and the megacorporations.

    The Democrats should keep their platform focused:

    1)Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan now and use the money saved for making things better for the average American here.

    2)Universal health care through an expansion of Medicare for all Americans.

    3}Raise the minimum wage to a living wage, in part by eliminating the most regressive tax in America, payroll taxes.

    If the Republicans complain about costs, the retort would be the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-rich and a wealth tax for the ultra-rich.

    As Mike Moore implied for 2004, the best candidate would be Oprah Winfrey.  She could keep her TY show so the media would be paying for her media campaign.  

    "War is a racket." Brig. Gen. Smedley D. Butler

    by aztec on Sat Apr 01, 2006 at 09:51:33 AM PST

  •  May be irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

    but I hate Luntz, I hate focus groups, and I particularly hate how they were featured on Hardball et. al. in the run-up to 04 elections. Dumb questions, dumber people, and what's with those brain-twisting charts and graphs tracking intensity of responses? If you're epileptic, they could be life-threatening.

    What's especially revealing is that Luntz got in trouble with MSNBC for presenting himself not as a partisan on one side or the other but as an adjective-less pollster, an objective statistician. When it was disclosed that he was actually a Republican operative he disappeared from the network only to resurface as the mini-scandal died down. And now he's working for the Democrats?

    Well, fuck that. Fuck him. I don't trust him. If nothing else, he's obnoxious.

  •  Sounds like Feingold to me! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Commandments (0+ / 0-)

    In this instance, Democrats should think like Republicans.  Translation: The Tenth Commandment should be the First Commandment.

  •  Broad Thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    In the efforts to open up further dialogue between parties who have differing opinions on the big political issues of our times, I’ve been reading various liberal blogs to see not only what the pundits and talking heads in the media have to say on the issues, but what normal hard-working Americans have to say on the topics as well.

    The most contentious of issues, of course, is the war in Iraq – and it doesn’t take a genius to see that Iraq is a country with a real chance of developing a peaceful and stable democracy if given the proper support by the United States and coalition forces.  While it has been a difficult road, we must not run in the face of danger and must not shirk our commitment.  We need to see it through and stay in Iraq as long as it takes for a stable government to flourish.

    We also do not want to dishonor the memory of those who have died during this process of democratization – we don’t want to leave the job half-done and have the deaths of those people be in vain.  And that brings me to the most central point:  progress is being made.  While you often hear about attacks on coalition or civilian forces, what you don’t hear that much about is the actual progress being made in Iraq.  Every day there is progress.  Schools open, small businesses are being started, and the Iraqi National Guard is getting stronger and more able to handle the demands placed on it.

    If we abandoned Iraq now, we would be leaving it open for another authoritarian regime to move in, and leave the citizens of Iraq to a similar fate they suffered under Saddam if not worse, and it would make all the blood, sweat and tears we’ve spent in the conflict be for nothing.

    The war was a war of necessity, and once the sectarian conflict resolves itself, Iraq will be a pro-Western beacon in the Middle East, a beacon that will extend Western influence, as well democracy, into the region, be a buffer against terrorism, and give the people who lived under the yoke of Saddam for years a better, brighter future.

    •  In Your Dreams! (0+ / 0-)

      Get a clue. Iraq is not going to blossom into a democracy that we would recognize in our lifetime! You can't transform an entire culture at the point of a gun. Your talking points sound good except when comparied to reality.

  •  Cheese (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    Geotpf

    STFU!  You fucking sand-nigger-loving cocksucking chinks – ass-cunt; gook; dingo-fucker, nigger-nigger-nigger, blockhead, nazi-bean-eating spic, coal-cracker, kike, greaser, crow – suck my cock.

  •  winning elections 2008 (0+ / 0-)

    Luntz’s 10 commandments charter for the Dems is deceptive to say the least.  On one level he appears to advocate constructive criticism but a little bit of reflection reveals that to be a prescription on how to lose elections.  Strategically it does not make sense for the Dems to spell out a specific policy agenda when they have not had control of either the House or the Senate or the Presidency for some time.  Spelling out a policy agenda detailing strategic initiatives from a position of no power is not the smartest way to win elections.  It leaves the Dems open to Rep attacks while drawing attention away from the Reps’ abuse of power.

    It makes more sense for the Dems to identify the current abuses of power and mismanagement to argue to the electorate as to why they should exercise their rights to usher in a time of change.  This not only keeps the focus on those currently holding the levers of power but also galvanises the grassroots to actually vote for change.

    That is only a part of the tactics required to win elections, Diebold or not.  Luntz does have a point in advocating candid constructivism.  Rather than going down the route he proposes, a more constructive approach would be for the Dems to admit some of their unquestioned failures and party disunity has to rank as an important issue.  It is important for the Dems to develop an image for the party that all candidates, seeking election, reelection or retaining seats can project.

    There is a perception that the Dems are really independents fighting on a party ticket for personal goals.  There is a parallel perception that the Dems don’t really stand for very many of the issues that matter to the voters who form their heartland.  This last reflects a disconnect of the party machine from their grassroots.  I agree that focus groups are unlikely to achieve much.  Such fora are controlled by party organisers to reflect prevailing mindsets.  Strategic policy think tanks focused on specific policy issues achieve a lot more although by definition they are elitist and exclude wide grassroots consultation.  That last is a function of feedback provided by party supporters in local organisations who do the hack work.  The party can provide a more positive national forum for such local feedback to feature more prominently.  The DCCC and the DSCC are perceived to be didactic kingmakers, a very negative perception unlikely to energise the heartland.  
    The top heavy compositions of both these party institutions need to be reformed to take into account input from State level organisations.

    Strategic policy think tanks are one way to project an image of a party that is genuinely concerned to find alternatives to policies currently in place which are obvious failures in addressing anything but are adept at creating a host of new problems in their wake.

    Financial and current account imbalances require the abandonment of the regressive measures that have already exacerbated the problem.  To suggest this on an election platform just lays the party open to accusations of tax hikes.

    Iraq was never justifiable and is not winnable.  It is not unpatriotic to state the obvious but extremely disingenuous to suggest withdrawal would solve all problems.  Withdrawal at best would slow down the rate at which US indebtedness is increasing.  It would still leave the problem of a country totally destroyed which at one time boasted a 90% literacy rate and a national health policy that most Americans are incapable of dreaming of.

    What does the party see as the national government’s responsibility to its citizens, whose taxes pay for their perks?  Citizens’ common welfare includes its health, housing, education and training needs as much as security.  As both 9/11, Katrina and recent mine disasters have demonstrated, US citizens are not secure from either enemy attacks or natural cataclysms or corporate irresponsibility.  What happens if the H5N1 virus manages to mutate to make human-human transmission possible?  Bush proposed calling out the National Guards.  What are they to do?  Herd everyone within a confined area to maximise deaths?  Shoot birds?  Blame Iran?  

    I don’t want to see the Dems appealing to xenophobic ignorance on the immigration issue.  The point is why is the US economy addicted to slave labour and unfair returns for the labour it employs whether at home or overseas?  The EU seems to be coping well with free labour migration policies across 25 countries.  US can no longer act the bullyboy in central and south America.  Conservative governments in Canada are rare and the current one does not have a majority and likely to lose that status in the future.  Requiring smart passports is administratively expensive and given the incompetence pervading the national administration are neither here nor there.  Besides who would own and pay for these walls to keep the immigrants out?  The Chinese?

    The elected Dems should be kept busier with responsibilities for developing strategic initiatives on several policy fronts to reduce the time a lot of them obviously spend on obfuscating a unified  party image.  However abysmal Bush’s popularity or lack thereof may be, the coming Congressional elections will involve local issues like employment prospects.  This is hardly an easy task given armaments are the US’ biggest domestic manufacturing and export earning industry.

    I haven’t touched on the issue of impeachment as this is a political process that cannot be pursued until the Dems can wrest control in either the House or the Senate or both.  Defending the Constitution is more patriotic than shredding it.  Patriotism is certainly not fighting unjustifiable and already lost wars that make cannon fodder of usually the poorest and ratchet up budgetary deficits.

    Grassroots organisations are vital to win these battles and to redefine the miasmic notion patriotism.

  •  What the F**K!!! (0+ / 0-)

    The Luntz pdf was amazing reading. But how is it possible that Democrats who are politically active (defined as likely to vote in primary/attend caucus) could not have heard of Finegold's motion to Censure Bush! Where do these people get their news?

    Visit the Schapira blog, What we know so far ...

    “… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

  •  The 2008 Democrat memo (0+ / 0-)

    This is Frank Luntz and I'd like to respond to some of your comments, though I fear people have moved on and won't see this.

    1.  I have not moved to the Democratic side.  I am still a Republican.  However, it doesn't mean I find perfection in everything the GOP does or destruction in everything the Democrats advocate.  More importantly, I am very interested in what grassroots Democrats think.  You'd learn a lot more and be a lot more successful if you'd pay more attention to the other side and not just condemn it because you don't agree with it.
    1.  These voters were rank and file Democrats who were either "very" or "somewhat" likely to vote in the 2008 Democratic primary in NH and caucus in Iowa.  All had voted in the 2004 primaries and all voted for Kerry in the general election.  These are your primary voters -- and yes, there were some "wing nuts" as someone challenged.  But they were outnumbered by some very articulate, smart, reasoned people who desparately want change.
    1.  The clips chosen for testing ALL appeared on either the Sunday morning talk shows or C-Span's Road to the White House.  I showed as many different clips as was possible in the time allowed.  I tried to match every candidate's clips so that there would be personal background stories, language about Iraq, language about domestic issues and language meant to appeal to core Democrats.  I had the help of three Democrats in my office -- yes, I do hire Democrats.
    1.  My job is to be accurate.  I absolutely have personal favorites, but I get hired to accurately project the winner based on my knowledge of the electorate.  The fact is, I won the Washington Post Crystal Ball Award in 1992 for my accuracy and got it dead on according to MSNBC in 2000 and 2004.  You can criticize my reasons but my conclusions have been dead-on so far.  
    1.  Don't kill the messenger.  You may not like either my weight or my hair, but what I am learning may actually be informative for those who read it with a cautious but open mind.  I certainly don't expect people to agree or disagree with every point.  But it was good research and careful reasoning.  I can tell you all with some candor that most of the candidates running actually agree with most of the conclusions -- even if you don't.
    1.  I would like to engage you in a dialogue over the course of the next year -- if this is something of interest to you.  I'd be happy to host an on-line chat or simply post from time to time.  You may not be interested in my opinions, but I'm interested in yours.
    1.  Finally, if you hate the "death tax," "climate change," "tax relief," "exploring for energy" and even The Contract for America because they were effective terminology, then I suggest you not dismiss what I am finding out there.  The same exact methodology that went into creating that language went into this memo.

    I hope you will respond and invite others as well.  Let them know that I will check this page from time to time.  I will try to answer your comments, as long as you are civil.  For those of you who have watched me on television, that's all that I ask.  I'll be candid and open with you.  Please be civil with me.    

    Frank      

  •  Frank Luntz posting on Daily Kos (0+ / 0-)

    I emailed a friend the following:  

    It's rather odd that a busy, high-profile figure like Frank Luntz would be posting at Daily Kos, trying oh-so-humbly and vulnerably ("please be civil with me"), to open a dialogue with the regulars  -- the rank and file opposition -- but I do believe it is him.  Luntz is nothing if not cagey.  So, what could his motive be?

    My friend's reply:

    Infiltrate, divide and conquer?! If he can appear reasonable to people on a site like Kos, it will lessen and mute the kind of righteous anger, and awareness of the stakes, that your post exhibits. For pete's sake - the guy "hires Democrats" - how bad can he be? And the dems that would work for him are like the dems in Congress - pretty much already co-opted. Perhaps he's on a sort of "damage control" venture at a site that concerns the repukes ...

    Now that makes good, tactical, Luntzian sense.  

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