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It's 4:00 a.m. and I'm not going to sleep until I ask you this. I have an important question for those of you currently roaming around on Daily Kos.

Much is being said of how we are going to win. And we're hearing all about how we are already winning. And we're constantly being reminded of why it is so important that we win.

But what if we lose?  Can it really get any worse?  Dare I ask?

I don't hear many people asking this question. I think many of us are afraid to. We are staking so much on winning this election that we are deliberately ignoring the pain of speculating that we might get ripped off again and stuck with these freaky republicans in power for another two years... it's too much to bear. So we invest ourselves in our work, and supporting and rooting for good people like Lamont, Tester, and Busby. For most of us, our persevering belief that America will make a good decision is made possible by our very faith in the idea that the Left will win, and that we will therefore never have to bear witness to the unthinkable new crimes and tragedies that will continue to unfold if the Republicans retain control of the Congressional Rubber Stamp and Pansy Factory.


I understand the fear in speculating about the worst case scenario, but I still think it's a valid question, and one we have to face if we are to define ourselves as Democrats, and as liberals. What do we really expect to happen? Like, issue by issue? What can go wrong in two more years of Bush with a Rubber Stamp? Will Roe fall? Will the feds start arresting dissenters? Like, openly, and in full, plain, and obvious view of the apathetic and/or cheering American people? Will there be a draft? Where will gas prices go? Stop laughing... how far up will they go and how badly will it affect our economy? Global warming? What happens if there is another terrorist attack? How about this Iran-thing? And the North Korea-thing? Not to mention China, although China's technically not a thing yet.

Or maybe positive things will happen. Will Dick Cheney die of alcohol poisoning at a crayzay Republican election night victory party at his undisclosed location? Will the undisclosed location be revealed as Osama's Cave, thereby thrusting the 9.11 conspiracy theorists into the limelight, where they will grin with satisfaction, muttering "I TOLD YA SO! I TOLD YA SO!" Will there be a second SUCCESSFUL presidential pretzel attack?! Will Ann Coulter come out of the closet and finally admit it: "Yes, I am an evil robot that subsists on the delicious flesh of human babies." Will there be...... **RAPTURE?!**   ** *  ???!!!!

Sorry, it's late.  My mind is wandering.

What about Iraq?

Jobs.  Healthcare.  The debt.  Education.  Immigration.  Taxes.  Censorship.  Corruption.  Executive power.

What will we have to hope for? How will we dust ourselves off after a November loss and say, "oh well, we lost again, but doggone it, maybe we'll win next time." Especially after that's what we said last time and the time before that and the time before that.

Soooooooo. Hypothetically, what happens if we lose in 2006?

Seriously, I don't know. I'm curious. How bad can it be? Can you tell me? Please leave comments and let's figure this out. I want to see a page full of comforting solutions and pragmatic backup plans and idealistic adrenaline when I wake up tomorrow.

Good night from Isla Vista, California.

Originally posted to VoteHarder on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:16 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If we lose, we're fucked... (7+ / 0-)

    although much evidence suggests that's already happened.  I know I've been walking funny for about 6 years now...

    "...history is a tragedy not a melodrama" - I.F. Stone

    by bigchin on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:12:37 AM PDT

  •  No problem (7+ / 0-)

    This struggle will not end win or lose. It is obvious we are gaining steam and it is only a matter of time. The clock never runs out on this game. Every time I get discouraged, I look in my children's eyes and know I have to keep trying.

    Impossible is nothing

    by DrSpike on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:15:35 AM PDT

  •  It's the end of the world as we know it. (0+ / 0-)

    Click on the link to CNN, watch the video on the front page "Some faithful prepare for the end of the world." Sorry I can't find a way to directly link to the video, it is disturbing.

    "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the War Room" President Merkin Muffley

    by irate on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:15:42 AM PDT

  •  Two steps back (3+ / 0-)
    Endless breast beating of how things are horrible and will never get better with repeated the Earth is doomed diaries and how Kos is worthless for not having won a major action on the netroots front.

    Aside from that, the rest of us go, "Crap, guess we really have the work cut out for us." Which will go into seriously deep dissections of whatever election that was lost in spite of the amazing efforts taken by the thousands of geniuses on this site.

    Or in other words
    Life sucks then you blog.
    Lather, rinse, burn the t-shirt.

    A vote for GOP is a vote for WW3

    by RElland on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:17:00 AM PDT

    •  cheers to that (0+ / 0-)

      I think that even if we lose this time around, we're still making such incredible progress here that it won't be long before we're routinely winning elections. That's why I think this site is special: some people bring the raw emotion and moral guidance (like the "earth is doomed diaries") and others provide pieces full of thorough analysis and ideas. And combinations of the two.

      It's like having a think tank that is also a church. Not something to be taken lightly, and I think it will have a very beneficial impact on the Left. So, from that angle, I feel like we're in good shape.

  •  If we can't take House and/or Senate (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfish, trojanrabbit, VoteHarder, possum

    Bush will have two more years to wreck our country and world with no grown-up holding his hand.

    He will undoubtedly make huge problems and mistakes.  The question is, will one or two or more of them collide to cause us to truly go off a cliff?

    (I'm not convinced this hasn't already happened, but if it hasn't, depriving him of two more years might just save us).

    The Yankee Doodler: The sun never sets on New England's opposition to empire.

    by Republic Not Empire on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:18:29 AM PDT

  •  We cannot do it all, damn it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FleetAdmiralJ, VoteHarder

    I get so sick of people on this site beating themselves up. Look! Busby lost in one of the most conservative districts in the country! It's us! We didn't do enough! We have campaigned, begged and pleaded, made phone calls and generally spent about 3,000 times more time than the general public to make this country better. Things are unspeakably bad now. If the general public is so stupid, so indifferent that, once again they fall for the next bright, shiny object, then we as a nation deserve our fate. We as progressives cannot do it all. The general public has to care about its fate too. Why even my own Democrat father called me a radical a few months ago because I am so concerned. His view is, "There's just nothing you can do about it all.."

    Like Rome, like most of Africa and thousands of other places in the world, we may well reach the point when things cannot get better in any substantive way, at least not in our lifetimes. it's sad and I won't let go without a fight but we cannot do it without the help of a larger public.

  •  Why, isn't it obvious (0+ / 0-)

    if we lose then its obviously election fraud!


    # Members: 97,318 (as of 7:00pm 7/23). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: August 10, 2006

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:19:11 AM PDT

    •  what if it is? (0+ / 0-)

      There are a lot of ways that losses could happen.  What if Ken Blackwell is 20 points behind in a pre-Election Day poll and then "wins" the governorship of Ohio under very dubious circumstances?  

      I don't think "He wouldn't dare" is a good enough response.  He already dared when it came to the voter initiatves that were intended to change the nature of the SoS office in Ohio.

      •  i didn't say 'he wouldn't dare' (0+ / 0-)

        i'm just poking at the people who are going to scream "fraud! fraud!" at the top of their lungs if we lose, no matter what the evidence is.

        # Members: 97,318 (as of 7:00pm 7/23). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: August 10, 2006

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:29:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  poking goes both ways (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          there are those who would accept any result rather than  be seen as doubting a suspicious one.  What's your limit of credulous?  Are you implying that vote fraud doesn't happen?

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

          by claude on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 06:08:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Democratic Party will dissolve (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and be replaced by the groundswell grassroots party now catching fire across the nation: Connecticut for Lieberman!

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. - Pascal

    by Clem Yeobright on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:19:56 AM PDT

    •  haha (0+ / 0-)

      at first I thought you were series (any dissolving of the dem party would be put in the "i'll believe it when I see it" category)

      # Members: 97,318 (as of 7:00pm 7/23). Projected Date of 100,000th member registration: August 10, 2006

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:22:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If losing is an option... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, kath25

    then the door is open for it.  It's not an option, if we don't make it an option.  Find your legs, find your spine, find your voice and get out there and help it happen.  I'm a mother of four daughters ages 16, 20, 24, and 28.  I have a little saying that has been visible to them all their lives... You will because you can!  And the enternal:  Always do your best, so that you have no regrets.

    If you like to read, get John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience.  It can help you understand how they think, what shakes them and rattles them, and how to counter what they're doing.  We don't need to reach them (have you ever tried to deal with someone without a conscience?  It's a battle of futility), we need to out maneuver them.  And we can by understanding them and what they've done and how they've gotten us here.  The book helps us understand how we've gotten us here also.  They hate dissent, they hate truth, they hate disobedience, they hate their mommies, they hate government, they hate the constitution, they hate democracy, they hate peace and they hate humanity (they hate themselves).  They hate this country and they hate us.  We can't change that, but we can send them back under the dank, dark rock from whence they crawled.

    We will because we can!!

    •  I remember Rick Pitino's book (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Success is a choice".  As Bill Simmons pointed out after Pitino failed with the Boston Celtics, "and I chose to fail" should have been the subtitle.  

      The past twenty years have seen functioning democracies pop up in Eastern Europe where totalitarian government were essentially tolerated as inevitable for many decades.  Americans still have it easy.  We've had no wars on our soil since the 1860s, we have no neighbors launching rockets into our border cities, one terrorist attack nearly five years ago (albeit a very nasty one).  Compared to any other place I can think of, life is easy in the US.  

      I don't think "losing is not an option" is a very useful philosophy.  If both sides think "losing is not an option", and thinks "success is a choice", at least one of the two sides is heading for a serious emotional breakdown after the election.  The only part we control is whether we give it our best.  

      •  I understand and respect your position.... (0+ / 0-)

        and can only say, that I'm willing to support a good universal health care program for providing them with some of the finest emotional/psychological counseling and intervention to help them handle their breakdown after the election....

  •  Rest of the World (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catfish, VoteHarder

    Perhaps large segments of the rest of the world (ROW) would finally wake up and realize that the United States is truly and deeply changed and that they (we) want no part of it and can and should look after ourselves. That might not be a bad thing. The ROW could move forward with global governance initiatives on many things from trade with fairness to disarmament to climate change. It wouldn't be easy or automatic but there would be a lot better chance for it if everyone else just ignored the U.S. government until you people came to your senses in 2025 or so.

    •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

      There is such a problem with America being the world's soul military superpower, especially when someone like W. slips into the captain's seat.

      And add to your list (trade with fairness to disarmament to climate change) international criminal court.

  •  I respectfully disagree.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    None of this is about religion...religions come and go...this is about humanity.  If religion didn't exist, we would still be a planet of humanity to embrace.  And there was a time that religion didn't exist (not to be confused with spirituality).  It was a more egalitarian and peaceful planet.  You're entitled to your religion, as I am mine, but you're not entitled to take over the planet according to your ideologies.  That becomes insanity.  

  •  we might lose (7+ / 0-)

    You are touching on what I think is the single most dangerous threat to progressive reform in the Democratic party - fear of losing.  It goes without saying that we should fight for every vote and every office we can.  But the fear of losing is our most dangerous foe.  Fear of losing is what lost the presidency in 2000 and 2004.  You don't win elections or votes by being afraid.

    Also, we must accept that we MAY lose, otherwise, when it happens, people who care have nowhere to go.  Howard Dean's greatest contribution to political thought was to advance and act on the concept that we have to fight for the party in every precinct in the nation.  You do that, and you're going to lose...a lot.  What makes it valuable is that, even in losing, people know you are there, others get interested, young people think about you.  It's going to take a long time to save this country, if we even succeed.  Accepting the possibility of defeat is the only way to have the courage to try.

    If we lose, we work on 2008.  It's that simple.

    Unload for control

    by tim779 on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:35:14 AM PDT

    •  couldn't agree more (0+ / 0-)

      it's important to run a good campaign, because even if we can't necessarily win some people over this time around, it lessens the amount of work we have to do to win them over next time.

      so, in a way, working on '06 is a way of working on '08. and '10 and '12 and '20 and so on.

      i'm looking forward to watching the 50 state strategy play out.

  •  Nothing good (0+ / 0-)

    In other words, "more of the same, only worse".

    Bush ruled like he had a mandate when he was handed the presidency.  He ruled like he had a mandate with a narrow (and some would say dubious) win over Kerry.

    If the Republicans retain control via a combination of stoking the base, war rhetoric, and electoral funny business, we'll just keep headed down the same path.

    Currently, it looks like that path leads to war, an undereducated citizenry, and an aristocratic society.  

    If such a thing comes to pass, eventually it comes to revolution, when the proletariat gets so sick of eating the trickle down of the wealthy, and is no longer satisfied by the brain-numbing infotainment of the monopoly media.

    I doubt it'll go that far, of course.  Things are bad now.  But they can still get worse.  A military draft WOULD mobilize the citizens and shift the country left, I think.  It would be a shame if it had to come to that, though.

  •  Ob La Di Ob La Da (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danmac, VoteHarder

    Life goes on.

    Don't kid yourself.  Taking both the House and the Senate probably won't remove the troops from Iraq any quicker.  Taking back Congress won't be the magic bullet that curbs the Bush administration's overextension of executive power.  The truth is that winning most likely won't result in the impeachment of George W. Bush and all sorts of goodies that we might like, while the biggest problem with losing will be if we are demoralized and resort to in-fighting played out by proxy in the presidential nomination process.

    If we lose, the left will blame the DLC, the DLC will blame Kos and Howard Dean, the netroots will probably say it's all the fault of Lieberman and Diebold.  You'll see some people call for Pelosi and Reid and Dean to be replaced.

    Me? I have lowered expectations.  I don't live or die on whether or not Ned Lamont wins in Connecticut.  I modestly hope for an increase in Democrats in both the House or Senate, but I won't be depressed if we take neither.

    Israel set very high expectations for what they wanted to do in Lebanon, thinking they could utterly defeat Hezbollah.  But the terrorists proved not to be the push-overs the IDF expected and now it's a mess.

    Step one is to not overstate expectations.  If we gain seats, but take neither house of Congress, that is still a positive.  Don't let other people spin this as a reason to claim that Howard Dean, or Daily Kos, or the netroots, or the progressive wing of the party are failures.  We probably could win a few more seats if we didn't follow the 50-state strategy, but we need to think long-term.

    2006 isn't a make-or-break election.  We'd like to retake Congress, of course.  2008 is a more realistic goal, hopefully on a rising tide lifted by a Democratic presidential candidate.  Our stated goal should be to get half-way there.  After November, we can be pleasantly surprised if we exceed our goal and get to planning on how to get the second half.  But I'm not going to a pin my hopes to a Congressional majority this year unless I see some solid polling the week before the election that makes it appear like a foregone conclusion.

    Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

    by Anthony de Jesus on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 05:49:57 AM PDT

  •  Diebold's being taken care of .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr...  Exposure, awareness and pressure...I feel the winds of him and his efforts every step of the way.  It's a good thing.

  •  how will you know we really lost? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Reepicheep, danmac

    Given the current polling, and presuming the trend continues as it has, with people indicating favor towards the Dems, if the vote count shows Repubs winning, will you believe it?  And, if you don't believe it, THEN, what will you do?

    That's really the question.

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

    by claude on Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 06:04:54 AM PDT

  •  If we lose, we start from square one again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, MacheteJames

    I would suggest not to go to any high places for awhile though. I really think you should calm down a bit. If we lose, there will have to be much introspection, and have a serious dialog to determine if raging blogs are productive, especially in a nation of moderates and conservatives.

    Back in the 50s and 60s I used to wonder how democrats could possibly lose anything. Doesn't the rest of the country realize what the republicans are all about? The answer is yes, the majority of the country does know, and more frightening, they want it that way. There are those in the middle, and they hate more than anything anyone yelling in their faces telling them what to do. We kind of do a lot of that here.

    I had to deal with 2 terms of Ike (which wasn't that bad, although the corniness was really embarassing), 2 terms of Nixon (that was as bad as it is today), Reagan was bad, HW was worse and W is as bad is it gets. Bottom line, based on our track record since the Civil War began, this nation's white people prefer Republicans. After 70 years, I've learned to live with it. If you wish to live a happy and stress free life, I suggest you learn to deal with it too.

  •  it depends (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danmac, kath25

    It all depends on how badly we lose and why.
    If we manage to pick up a substantial number of seats in both the House and Seante but not enough to win either one outright, then we keep fighting, figure out where we went wrong and do better in 2008. If we get drubbed, and win almost nothing, then I personally will give up on politics as a workable solution. I would be unable to have any faith in the political system at all if after 6 years of this disatrous admin. we can't make major progress.
    If there is serious evidence of voting fraud we will do our best to make it clear what is going on, and maybe, just maybe, three times in a row will do the trick and at least the doubters in our own ranks might actually be open to realizing that our democracy is seriously broken.

  •  Let's remember something... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    danmac, VoteHarder

    The Republicans used to stand for something far better than what has been done to the party now...I am a Democrat, and in the past have agreed with some of the Republican stances on some issues.. very few, but found myself giving pause to some of what they have stood for.  The Republican Party has been hijacked and sold out to the Right Wing Neo-con Religious groups in the name of money and power.  And, yes, they allowed it to happen to the party.  I think we can agree that morality has little to do with the Republican party anymore (albeit, did it ever?).  Far from it.  That's unfortunate for those in the party that still do try to stand for something good and right.  They are as overcome and silenced by what is going on in their party as anyone from the outside (this is where we will help save them).  They don't agree with what's going on, or they are beginning to try to stand out.  Some are just posturing meaninglessly, some are truly concerned and are switching parties or going against the status quo.  As they should be.  They are part of a Congress and House of Representatives that are visibly being neutered to the enth degree by their own complacency and blind loyalty to party, rather than to what they swore to uphold and respect.  Awareness, exposure, and standing up to their rhetoric and baloney about ideology, religion, and being holier than thou is where it can help.  There are many good people of many different faiths in both parties...the Christian right does not get to dictate what we should believe, how we should live our lives, or what kind of country we will be...particularly in the eyes of the rest of the world.  Looking at half of them, I wouldn't want to live like them or be them.  They can be horrible bigoted, hateful, people.  This is not about religion!!   This is about humanity...and many of these people need to be reminded of that, and we need to stand up for that.  And I believe, in part, that is what we do every day as we fight this fight, do what we can because we can, and do our best.  Thank you for your attention.  :o)

  •  If you lose (0+ / 0-)

    you just keep a positive attitude and continue fighting, for as long as it takes.  I think Dr. King, Walesa, Mandela, and others have provided a pretty good example in that regard.

  •  What about losing well (0+ / 0-)

    I forget how it's defined, but the repubs do it all the time. They lose the battle but inch towards winning the war.

    Democracy is more than just voting. It's in daily conversations.

    We might lose this battle.

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