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Before I get into how my experience relates to RenaRF's, as she explained in this diary, I'll lay out a little background, about my day on 11/6/06.

I spent the morning phonebanking, calling every registered Democrat and Democrat-leaning Independent who hasn't voted yet and getting them to vote, and spent from lunchtime until schools let out working the polls.  The dozen or so of us phonebanking ran through the lists over and over until people voted (or said they voted) or told us why they wouldn't vote.  I considered this to be a version of punishment for not voting early.  If you don't vote, we will call you, until you do.

When I had been out canvassing, we weren't supposed to be confrontational; if people said they weren't going to vote for Ford, we were supposed to write it down and say "Thankyouverymuch" and be on our way.

Phonebanking, particularly by 11/7, was a different story.  We had scripts that had arguing points for every issue imaginable.  They really weren't necessary though, because the overwhelming majority of people (remember, these are registered Dems or Dem leaners) said that their issue with Ford was...abortion.  They pointed out the ad that the GOP ran saying that Ford voted for taxpayer-funded abortion 10 times, and they simply could not vote for somebody who voted to allow abortions at all, particularly not taxpayer-funded ones.  Several people, mostly women, were absolutely furious with the idea that not only is okay for people to kill their babies, but that we all should help pay for it.  Of course, that ad was really misleading.  It also said that Ford voted to increase taxes 178 times and voted to let schoolchildren have access to the abortion pill.  What this probably means is that Ford voted on many different versions of the same broad health care and budget bills and that a portion of these bills contained language that may be interpreted this way, however much of a stretch it is.  I don't know for sure, I haven't looked up the voting record myself, but I do know for a fact that our taxes were not increased 178 times in ten years.

After that I stood out in the cold, light drizzle for three hours waving a Ford sign.  I got a lot of honks and waves, a lot of people pretending I didn't exist, and even a few thumbs-down and one Colbertian wag of the finger.  Yes, some woman actually waggled her finger at me for holding a Harold Ford sign.  I'm not sure, but I think I might have giggled.

Anyway, only one person stopped to talk to me.  He declared himself to be a liberal socialist, and then he added, "but I voted for Ford."  That's right, he used the word, `but.'  I thought that was funny, too (but not as funny as the wag of the finger).

He proceeded to tell me that he used to live in Argentina at a time when the military and the government had close to absolute power.  He got out before it got too bad, but it was still common in the town he was in for families to be "disappeared" and no one could say anything about it.  He said that he was seeing the same sorts of things start to happen here like they were before it got bad in Argentina, so he knew he had to vote for Ford to give Democrats a chance to fix everything that the Republican administration had broken.  He was a neat guy.

Anyway, the whole purpose of me saying this was to point out that what RenaRF encountered on Free Republic, I found in my very own Red State.  Nobody I talked to said that they wouldn't vote for Ford because he was too conservative.  Nobody brought up torture bills, Patriot Acts, DOMA, or anything, just abortion and "I just don't like him" which, when prodded if there was anything in particularly they didn't like, any issue, any legislation, any attitudes, I got very little in regards to issues, just "I don't like the way he talks" which I took to mean either too Jesus-loaded or too politically smooth, and "I just don't trust him," which I took those to mean "I don't like black people" and "I don't like people with corrupt families."  No one I ever talked to while canvassing ever mentioned any of the issues, either.

In fact, if it weren't for DailyKos, I would never have suspected that there could be so much animosity towards a Democrat from the liberal side of Democrats.  It makes me somewhat concerned that I see more and more signs of there being two Democratic parties, the central/moderate/corporate version and the liberal/grassroots/progressive one.  Not that I mind the Big Tent idea, just that I worry about what Lincoln said, something about a house divided among itself...

Originally posted to Sidof79 on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 05:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip this jar (22+ / 0-)

    I doubt it's safe to post diaries yet...I'm guessing the average lifespan is still around 15-20 minutes.
    Ahh well, have at it.

  •  More and more signs of two Democratic parties? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dude, it's been that way for a long long time. What do you think 'Crashing The Gate' is all about?

  •  there are a lot of Dems (3+ / 0-)

    that I really wonder about.  You see polls where 10% of dems support the republican.  WTF is that about?  I understand it in the south, but it's pretty unusual to see that number go below 5% anywhere in the country.  So if you go door to door, there are always some registered dems that aren't going to support your candidates.  I find it really strange.

    •  one of the things that does divide (0+ / 0-)

      this whole must vote the party line, no matter what thing. I do my best to support and vote for the best candidate according to what I feel is important. I don't feel that I'm less of a Democrat if I sometimes feel I have to vote for another party's candidate if they are the best fit for my issues.

      •  there was a time (0+ / 0-)

        when I was sympathetic to that philosophy.  Now it's almost never true -- I really find it difficult to imagine a scenario where I wouldn't vote for the Dem.  

        Arlen Spector got a lot of Dem votes in his last election, but he's spent 2 years trying to legalize all the lawbreaking bush has done.  I met one dem voter at a Moveon meeting in 2004 that was planning on voting for him.  Just doesn't make sense to me.

    •  I think (0+ / 0-)

      Sidof79 was calling Dems on 11/7, but when canvassing before election day Sidof79 was talking to Dems and Republicans

      •  Yes, thanks for this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandy on Signal, Eleanor A

        Although I do agree that sometimes it is detremental to the party to employ a "vote for this candidate because that candidate is a Democrat!"  tactic.  Sometimes it is important, when the vote is close and when balance hangs on a thread.  Sometimes, not so much.  Though I honestly can't imagine a situation in which a candidate from another party would better suit my goals than a Democrat, if someone does, I wouldn't object to that outright.

    •  A lot of this is subterfuge (0+ / 0-)

      These are democrats who have a one-issue axe to grind with a candidate and poll republican to "send a message." Then they go out and vote democrat or stay home. Then there are republicans who claim to be democrats and poll republican in order to give the impression of crossover strength for their candidate. Some people just like jerking chains.

      resist much, obey little

      by frankzappatista on Thu Nov 16, 2006 at 06:45:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Free Republic? (0+ / 0-)

    Hope you remembered to de-Louse afterward.

    Let's not forget that Freepers are Domestic Terrorists...

    Such a rift in the Democratic party has always existed, but it's becoming more pronounced as the Progressive movement picks up steam. You've seen the DLC's nervous twitch recently as James Carville made such an ass of himself by suggesting an idiot like Ford could replace a genius like Dean. The DLC scrambling to force Hoyer into position is another indicator that the Left is gaining power fast and the Demo-Cons of the DLC are getting nervous.

    But the answer to this divide is clear though not easy or quickly obtainable. If these people (central/moderate/corporate) pull their spineless heads out of their asses and get with the program things will get much better. Or, we can just begin grooming (we already have) real Democrats to replace the likes of Hoyer, Nelson, Clinton, Bayh, Lieberbitch, etc. down the road.
    Long term plans work well if you have the patience.

    I personally favor the latter approach.

    •  Would that it were true (0+ / 0-)

      But you're never going to get real liberals elected statewide even in places like OH and PA, much less WV and VA.  

      Many of those states have solid Republican state legislatures and Republican governors.  Don't let your hubris blind you to the fact the pendulum will swing back the other way in a few years, and that the folks we just elected are probably as liberal a batch as we're going to see in this country.  I might remind you they include people like Bob Casey, picked for the job because of his anti-choice views, according to some.

      Bob Corker still sucks. Now more than ever.

      by Eleanor A on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:30:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm close to being older than dirt... (0+ / 0-)

    ok, I'll 'fess up.  I am older than dirt.  And the Democratic Party has always been a coalition party for as long as I can remember.  Anyone else recall the floor fights on credentials (which introduced me to Julian Bond) in Chicago?  Or the term, "Dixiecrat"?

    I don't think we'll ever reach 100% consensus among Democrats even on which are the absolute rock-bottom definitive issues on which one has to agree in order to be a "real" Democrat.  Of course, I've come up with a list that's absolutely spot on, but so far, I've only gotten one person to sign off on it.

    •  You're not the only one :) (0+ / 0-)

      Of course we're the "coalition party" (great term), that's what makes us great. But when I think of "coalition" I think of multi-racialism and multi-culturalism. I think of liberals and fiscal conservatives finding common ground. I think of Socialists and Capitalists joining forces for the better of the whole.

      I do not see jealous, self-centered, money-first corporatist DLC types as being part of such a coalition. I see them as trying to sabotoge the reform of our party and the future of this country.

      They are expendable and easily replaceable. The sooner we get them either in a more cooperative frame of mind or out of the picture completely, the better off we'll all be.

      •  Good luck, man. (0+ / 0-)

        Seriously.  I'll be right behind you if you ever find a way to "easily replace" any elected official, who'll fight like hell to hold onto power, but I think such talk is fantastical at best.

        Bob Corker still sucks. Now more than ever.

        by Eleanor A on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 11:32:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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