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Chris Bowers announced his resignation from MyDD today. After having spent 3 years to help build that site into the premier place to discuss national social democratic politics, he feels it's time to spread his wings and pursue deeper and more fundamental change.

In doing so, he explains something that's been nagging at my mind for the last several months, as the Democratic Congress unfolded. The liberal blogosphere needs to change, dramatically, its aims and orientation. While focusing on electing any old Democrat may have made sense in the face of a brutal Republican onslaught, the first 6 months of the Democratic majority prove that it is not enough to just elect Dems. It is now time for us to move to the second, more important phase of our political work: rebuilding the Democratic Party itself.

Those of us old-timers here at dKos remember the heady days of 2003 and early 2004. Despite our differences on the primary candidates, we all agreed that the Democrats had failed, almost completely, in reacting to Bushism, from the 2000 election to the 2003 Iraq War, and that radical changes were needed.

We wanted a root and branch revolution within the party, and Dean was the person many of us hoped would lead it. As we well remember, by Iowa things had changed. Kerry and Gephardt stabbed Dean in the back and from there it was Kerry's nomination to lose. When it became clear he would win that nomination most folks closed ranks around him in the hopes that he would end our national nightmare.

By the summer of 2004 the site's tone had shifted. The Kerry campaign and Fahrenheit 9/11 had made it acceptable to publicly voice dissent again, and as a result thousands flocked to dKos. Their goal was singular - get rid of Bush. This dovetailed with rising expectations among many at this site, that we might be able to take a shortcut. Instead of undertaking a thorough reform of the party, we could ride the Dems to victory in 2004 and be rid of the Bush menace.

This did not work out in 2004, but the basic concept had proved popular, and by 2006, when the majority of America finally recognized what we'd known all along - that Bush and the Republicans were dangerous lunatics and had to go - the "Yay Democrats!" approach seemed to be bearing its richest fruit. The Democratic victory in 2006 appeared to be a dawning of a new, post-Republican era, in which we'd not only stop the bleeding, but finally work on some core problems.

Not everyone saw the situation in such rosy terms. People such as myself remained deeply critical of Democrats, when they raised the white flag on the Supreme Court, or habeas corpus. But I also agreed that as a precondition of progress, we needed to get the Republicans out of power.

Now that we've done that, however, it has become quite clear that we're right back where we started from. The Democratic majority has been in power for 6 months, and it's not been a pretty sight. The surrender on Iraq a few weeks back was perhaps the most obvious sign that the Democratic majority still didn't get it, still wasn't willing to fight for us, still wasn't willing to stand up to Bush and his mendacity. Since then we've also had to witness Democrats attempting to promote global warming and block efforts to solve the problem. Massive backsliding from the Dems, on a wide range of issues, stares us in the face.

Looking at this situation, Chris Bowers yesterday argued that it was time to "expand beyond just partisanship." In that post, he argues that the time has come to move beyond a focus on electing any old Democrat, and instead toward finally starting to build the progressive majority that is 40 years in coming:

Now that the Democratic Party has a share of governing power in Washington, D.C., and also in the vast majority of states around the country, the progressive movement has reached a point where ideological concerns need to play a larger role in our activism than they have over the past five years.... We need to end the longstanding Democratic practice of trying to chase after the center, and instead engage in the war of ideas and persuade the center to move to our side. Even beyond electoral politics and ideological dialogue, we need to organize within the major national institutions that produce our ideology, and seek to build a progressive country not just in governance, but also in the way we live. If we are going to have a governing, and potentially long-lasting, progressive majority in America, we need not only a progressive Democratic Party, but also a progressive culture and a progressive nation....It is impossible to build a progressive party, government, culture or nation if ideology is always de-emphasized.

Look at the diary list on dKos at this very moment. There are a few about elections and candidates. But the overwhelming majority are about progressive issues and ideas, just as has been the case for well over a year. Most Kossacks already are thinking in terms not of electing more Democrats, but in terms of addressing the deep crisis we as a nation find ourselves in.

If we are to end this war, to address the climate crisis and peak oil, pass card check, stop mountaintop removal, provide universal health care, or deal with any of the other issues that the Democratic majority has shown zero interest in tackling, we must shift our focus entirely. It is time we stopped focusing just on elections, stopped seeing them as the end goal of our work.

It is time to build a progressive majority.

To do that we must begin work to build infrastructure, organizations, and ideas that will recast this party as a party not just of Democrats, but of social democrats. We must be willing to pick fights with Dems when they fail us, and above all else, we must be willing to primary bad Dems.

It is not always clear who is a good Dem and who is a bad Dem. Someone like Rick Boucher, who wants global warming to happen, is also a strong ally on net neutrality. The Congressional majority is full of such examples, ranging from the good folks who occasionally fuck up to the Bush Democrats (aka the Blue Dogs) who are our outright enemies. How we deal with them must be the subject of an open and honest debate amongst our movement. But we must never accept that there is nothing we can do about them.

American history is full of moments where the underlying political landscape underwent rapid, profound, and unexpected change. In 1928 Republicans dominated American politics. Four years later the New Deal majority was here to stay. In 1964 Republicanism seemed on the verge of extinction. Four years later Nixon had risen from the dead and the New Deal majority was smashed.

We must finally reject the idea that we cannot change American attitudes. Too often, so-called "realists" come along to tell us that this or that bad Dem is the best we can get from a district, that it's a "red district" so we have to put up with whatever we can get. This is not at all realistic politics. True realism understands that politics is an everchanging business, and that voters' minds are never cast in stone - otherwise Bush would still be at 90% approval ratings. We have not only witnessed, but we have played a significant role in one of the most stunning turnabouts in American public opinion - the mass rejection of George W. Bush. It came a wee bit late for the 2004 vote, but it DID happen.

As Howard Dean said last night, there is no such thing as a red district anymore. It is time for us to heed those words. Progressive politics are not just for Seattle and Berkeley and Austin and Boston. They are supported in Butte, and Springfield, and Roanoke, and Orlando, and Tupelo, and Chandler. Our ideas are sound not because a few of us in blue cities hold them, but because they are right.

It is now our task to bring those ideas to the masses. To walk through the open door that the public's rejection of Bush and anger at the present situation has provided to us. We now know that this Democratic majority will never do what we need them to do, even if they had veto-proof majorities with which to do it. We are at a place now where it is not merely about how many folks have a D after their name, but about what those with a D believe.

Finally, this requires us to become activists. It's been a tough couple decades for activism. Locked in an increasingly obsolete 1960s paradigm, progressive activism has not yet caught up with the reality of where most Americans are at. Happily we are best positioned to help provide those solutions. We must become organizers and activists again. We must reach beyond our comfort zones and our blog niches to engage others who are essential to our political movement. We must speak with the poor. With people of color. With those in rural areas and in inner cities and in suburbs. We must be willing to take our message to anyone who will listen.

It is time for us to move on, folks. Supporting any old Democrat and focusing strictly on elections worked in 2006, but we now see that it can only get us so far. If we truly want to save this country, if we want to in fact help save this world and the future of humanity upon it, we MUST change. We MUST become more overtly progressive. And we MUST  commit ourselves to building a lasting social democratic movement. Then - and ONLY then - will we not only have beaten Republicans for good, but we will finally be able to tackle the massive problems that the current Democratic majority is unwilling or unable to grapple with. The future is ours. Will you embrace it?

Originally posted to eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:18 AM PDT.

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    When social democrats and progressives do well, Democrats do well. This isn't just about purging the dead wood, but about building a lasting majority. Only through a broader movement will we accomplish that. No more chasing narrow victories. Time to think big.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:17:56 AM PDT

    •  Great diary (143+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mapantsula, Rebecca, Ed in Montana, rick, Aeolus, pb, Bailey, eugene, ferg, wystler, SarahLee, alyosha, Trendar, rhfactor, Powered Grace, Andrew C White, maddercow, GayHillbilly, mainely49, azale, mataliandy, bronte17, BlackGriffen, howd, Shadan7, OCD, Pithy Cherub, Aquarius40, MadEye, Alohaleezy, dejavu, TexDem, xLOM, MattR, On The Bus, joliberal, papercut, Pohjola, DMiller, JohnGor0, kfred, SanDiegoDem, Little Red Hen, bablhous, We hold these truths, Timroff, greeseyparrot, Karma for All, joanneleon, paige, historys mysteries, 3goldens, bellevie, Alegre, blueyedace2, PsychoSavannah, Alice Venturi, panicbean, clammyc, Simplify, ChemBob, stitchmd, drewfromct, bleeding blue, Pam from Calif, JoieDe, annefrank, twalling, rb608, kitchen table activist, sodalis, Tex Kosmaniac Dem Lady, Dave n Indy, Cory Bantic, Team Slacker, mightymouse, viscerality, liberalsouth, Asinus Asinum Fricat, trashablanca, Ellicatt, rcald, Dvalkure, victoria2dc, buhdydharma, deha, Magnifico, Esjaydee, kck, greenearth, blueoasis, DarkestHour, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, MO Blue, dirtfarmer, MBNYC, justiceputnam, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, blueness, shaharazade, Statusquomustgo, Mary2002, kurious, Picot verde, kidneystones, DBunn, eastmt, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, timewarp, Reagan Smash, donnamarie, Old Gardener, vets74, FishOutofWater, phaktor, Jimdotz, greenchiledem, ezdidit, deepeco, Tenn Wisc Dem, TerribleTom, Junglered1, SeaTurtle, gchaucer2, pioneer111, urgello, leonard145b, keikekaze, willb48, oxon, LAMaestra, rogerdaddy, davewill, dragoneyes, I, Satyanand, inHI, AfterThought, mommaK

      I've always maintained that we need to make this whole netroots thing something more...mainly, changing the party and moving it forward.

      It's why I got involved and ran for Central Committee on the local level, and why everyone should become involved as an activist.

      Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. -- Dalai Lama

      by wmtriallawyer on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:19:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  People need to get active (48+ / 0-)

          In what ever way suits their abilities. Not everyone will make a good member of a central committee - but for them, there are many other things they can do, and for those who WOULD make a good member, they should try doing so.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:30:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ....and to this end MoveOns next townhall meeting (30+ / 0-)

            on 7/7/07 Party For The Planet will coincide with the Gore concerts and will have people gathered together in living rooms around the country with questions for each of the candidates broadcast live: exactly what would you do to solve climate change.

            Agree we should be carefull not to get another Boucher.

          •  Not only get active, (26+ / 0-)

            but mean it.  I have been writing about this, and thinking along the same lines.  When are we going to get freakin' tired of electing the same old people, who have a "D" but we know ain't goin' to do nothing for the progressive cause?  That even means putting the same old "status quo" candidate up even for president?  And we do need to hold these candidates feet to the fire.  As much as I love Dick Durbin, he got a scathing email from me about that supplemental vote.  And I KNOW I was not the only one stuffing his email bin!!

            For the election next year.  We need a presidential team that can pick up new states, not just fight for the same old battleground ones!!  If we have not learned anything from 2000 and 2004, then we deserve to LOOSE in 2008 if we are going to attack the same old states!!  

            Howard Dean is and was right.  We must compete in all 50 states, period.  Why?  Because we are expanding the party and the Democratic brand that is why.  If we are found fighting the same old states in 2008 and can not expand the party, we more than likely will LOOSE.

            It is time for all of us to wake up and look past these candidates.  Which, IMO, 1/4 need to be kicked to the curb, but to look at expanding and growing the party.

            Eugene, totally agree with you.  Spot on!!

            "revenge is a dish best served cold"

            by icebergslim on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:01:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sending a letter to Durbin is not enough (13+ / 0-)

              We need to send Durbin and every other Democrat the message that our support is entirely conditioned on whether their actions and votes in office, and that we will abandon them if their actions are inappropriate or unacceptable.

              I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

              by asskicking annie on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:19:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Benchmark-based Funding of Dems IN OFFICE now (18+ / 0-)

                I just diaried about this because a dK community member (DocGonzo) proposed this in another thread. I want to know if it's realistic or not:

                Essentially he's saying he'd like to see Dean, as chair of the PARTY, use that power in a more profound way now. We know he was warned from the start by Pelosi (who hates him) and Reid that "you cannot speak on policy' that's OUR job")

                But given the DNC Chair's largest job is fundraising, so I am told, what if Dean began to use Benchmark-based funding disbursements to those in power based on thier meeting METRICS like, for example:

                Following the will of the people, vs being "petualnt" in holding Committee leaders hostage from performing freely in doing the People's work.

                Translation: America feels Congress is doing a terrible job (as eugene points out early on), because they sent a strong message to "END THIS WAR" and "END THE CORRUPTION" -- and yet on both those counts, Pelosi and Reid are in direct violation of the People's Work.

                DocGonzo's main point:

                Dean should take the consensus of Democrats and lead the politicians he funds by awarding money according to how well they lead their offices. Specifically Dean should pressure Schumer to pressure Reid, and pressure Emanuel to pressure Pelosi, to organize their respective chambers for justice in impeachment and withdrawal. And not to lock down Conyers, or squander capital on losing "no confidence" votes.

                See what you think, if you have time.

                -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
                *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

                by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:13:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "Meaning it" is essential (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Duckman GR, phaktor

              I have said, over and over again, that Democrats need to start showing "anger and disgust" for  Republicans.  They are more than opponents, they are political terrorists.  They inherited a great country and slowly but surely they are destroying everything that is good about America.  They are so fucking selfish that they don't even have a desire to maintain what they were given.

              We cannot run a country properly when the wealthiest Americans are paying a 15% tax on capital gains, dividends and even interest (if they buy T-Bills or other interest bearing securities at a discount that really represents interest and they show the purchase and sale as a long term capital gain-which is wrong but many do it).  The country they were given was built upon taxes that were much higher.

              Not everyone is a progressive.  There are people, tens of millions, who don't care about universal healthcare, torture or gay marriage.  A woman died in an LA Hospital yesterday, Eva Rodriguez, because nobody helped her because that hospital and many others are so over stretched.  I don't think hard working Americans living in fringe areas or even in big cities want to give up their hospital beds or their doctor's appointment to either legal or illegal immigrants.  Many middle class Americans who hate Iraq and who would hate Republicans if they understood how they distort and annihilate fairness are our natural allies.  We are really fighting for the same things which all boil down to fairness. These same people want tough Democrats who would not be afraid to torture someone as a last resort, so they are not going to march against it.  They do not want amnesty or even immigration bleeding our hospitals and Social Security and Medicare but they are still decent caring unbigoted people.  We can't let the Republicans beat us to these people because these people have nothing at all in common with Republicans.

              We are supposed to be so progressive but when a bastard like Alito was nominated for the Supreme Ct, Democrats couldn't even wage a filibuster and some of our most progressive legions are supporting Obama, a man who became a welcome mat for the Republicans on too many occasions.  The thought that the progressives are so hypocritical when they support Obama and stupid enough to think an African American whose middle name is Hussein can win the presidency makes me realize that the Nader mentality has not left us.  Wake the fuck up and support people without huge baggage, like Obama and Hillary.  Is it wrong, sure, but do you want 8 years of Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani.  

              Join with most Americans and expose the Republican terrorists for what they are and don't let Republicans pigeon hole us with issues or with  candidates who cannot win.

              We have to get mad and challenge Republicans everywhere, not just in elections but at the water-coolers and dinner tables of America.  Howard Dean knows that we need to align ourselves with fewer idealists and instead with more mainstream America.  He knows that we need to spread the truth about what is happening in America.  They unfairness to gay couple next door who cannot file a joint tax return is not as important to America as a failing educational system that will not let Americans compete on a very wide open world in the coming years.  Whether or not someone would torture a terrorist to try to stop a severe attack is not as important as our troubles with immigration, Soc Security, Medicare and overburdoned hospitals.  Letting Alito get in without a real strong fight, including a filibuster, will one day be seen as a terrible dereliction of duties.  

              I think it's time to spread somne real anger and disgust for Republicans.  We have to show why the Republican Party exists, for the most selfish and arrogant in America.

              •  I could not agree more (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cpa1, phaktor

                I saw 2 seconds of that Griffin US Attorney stooge at what looked like some Clinton Foundation or something, and all I could think was why is this piece of dogshit speaking in public to anybody at all?

                From Karl Roves boot licker to speaking on public policy, there is something profoundly wrong with that picture.

                These people, if that's the right word, need to be punished, purged, jailed, or worse, for their actions, hell, for the way they think even (yeah yeah, I know), and it's time that Democrats start speaking in that sort of language.  People don't like mealy mouthed or wimpy, and that's what so many Dems are.  

                Pat Leahy waving his subpoenas around in his claw and screeching outrage

                DOES.  NOT.  CUT.  IT.  ANYMORE!!!

              •  I agree that it is important (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rebecca, cpa1, Susan Something

                to go on the offensive. I think a lot of people mistakenly believe this small victory we just experienced means that we have won the war. Clearly, the war has not begun, and it is questionable if we even can call this a victory. We are dealing with an incredibly wealthy and well entrenched enemy. They are strategizing as we write their eulogy.

                I think one of the major things that needs to be considered now is how to make political attitude change palatable and honorable. The person we need to recruit is the person who has built their identity around conservative ideas for the last twenty years. Imagine the embarrassment that person faces, even if they do see the error of their ways. How do we welcome these people and make them comfortable? How do we make "waffling" a good thing? How do we make them feel good about joining us?

                I think it would be good to promote the ideas that everyone reserves the right to change their minds, that people are not inextricably tied to their past, that rational people learn and grow, and that people are not defined by simple labels. The opposite of all of those ideas are the foundations of the conservative movement. The logic "locks people in" to their past attitudes and beliefs, and makes them seem unreliable and undependable if they change.

                Rational people learn. Rational people evaluate new information instead of blindly defending dogma. Insight and new revelations are valued by rational people.

                How do we make it easier to give up on a lost cause? What are the forces that work against that?

                (-,-) "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

                by phaktor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:00:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yea but it's hard to destroy the Republicans (0+ / 0-)

                  Which I believe needs to done andthen capture those who enabled them.

                  Do people really understand how little money we have to work with after giving the most selfish and arrogant among us incredibly huge tax gifts?  Even gift isn't the proper word because the money was stolen thanks to Republican double talk and a few stupid Democrats like Bill Bradely and Dick Gephardt.  91% in 1960 to 15% on dividends, capital gains and interest disguised as capital gains.

      •  Same for me (85+ / 0-)

        Without the netroots, I don't know that I would have become active in my local party. Now I'm a block captain, and I was a delegate at our county convention.

        Although being a Democrat in Oklahoma is kinda like spittin' into the wind, at least I feel as though I'm trying, anyway!

        What if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about? -Anon.

        by deha on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:42:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This site (and others like it) (27+ / 0-)

        is how I came to formally join the party. Of course the 2004 election results also had a profound effect on me as well. So, now I'm a PCO in my neighborhood.

        I started a blog personal blog that no one read. That's all well and good. It was therapeutic. But my time volunteering last fall was much more satifying.

        I've found that my fellow members are far and away more progressive than many, if not most, of our representatives. The job now is to work to promote Dems that better reflect our positions.

      •  Schmactivist this! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, bablhous

        Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

        by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:36:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The time is overdue for a party realignment (26+ / 0-)

        There is so much of the Democratic party that has morphed into "Republican Lite" that I believe that for any meaningful change to a government with progressive values a tetonic type political shifting and realignment must happen.

        The question right now is whether or not the Democratic party is the proper vehicle for bringing about a progressively responsive government or will this have a better chance of happening through a viable third party?

        •  Republican Lite (18+ / 0-)

          There is so much of the Democratic party that has morphed into "Republican Lite" that I believe that for any meaningful change to a government with progressive values a tetonic type political shifting and realignment must happen.

          Hillary, I'm lookin' at you.

          Peace,

          • SS

          On forced conformity - "Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard." - Justice Robert Jackson (1943)

          by Skeptical Spectacle on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:44:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Come elections "Light" is better than Neo-Fascist (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Woody, heartofblue, kayfromsouth

            Or maybe you'd vote for cult member Romney or Daddy Giuliani ???

            To show the Clintons that they are not PC perfect.

            Or to punish O'Bama or Edwards for taking money from capitalists.

            Perspective, please..............

            Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

            by vets74 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:10:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bullshit. Stop Settling for Repuck Lite (7+ / 0-)

              I'm tired of both Repucks  AND Blue Dogs who enable George Bush's War government.

              Stop taunting the left, which is the base of progressive and Democratic ideals. Stop tring to pacify them. Instead, listen to them.

              Progressive ideals are mainstream ideals. That's the meme you should get behind. Don't run in fear to the center and right, kow-towing to the monied intersts who want perpetual war. Support the progressive and mainstream ideal that this war govermentis wrong.

              •  Nader-Nader-Nader (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:
                BentLiberal

                and more Nader.

                Nader-wit silliness.

                There is no way the NeoCons would be running the Dept. of Defense, no way massive no-pay deficits would occur over and over, no way the "Vulcans" crew would have appointed positions, no way Rove would be running the White House, etc.

                It takes a lot of lying to support the 2000 Nader psotion.

                Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

                by vets74 on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:22:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  This is the classic DLC thinking (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, gravitylove, kidneystones

              Act in fear, act like Republicans, act like you are pro-war and pro-troops.

              It has failed.

              •  What is there to fear at this point? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rebecca

                This is classic DLC thinking

                Act in fear, act like Republicans, act like you are pro-war and pro-troops.

                It has failed.

                It is also embarrassing to be associated with these craven DLC bootlickers.

                What have Democrats to gain by licking Rove's boots?

                Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

                by gravitylove on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:13:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I agree with every word you said (0+ / 0-)
              and I feel good that you said it.You are the future.But I will use the analogy of a man with cancer who is bleeding to death.We MUST stop the neoconservatives.We must pound their ideas in the ground.In 6 years they have turned us into something I hate. I should not have to tell my 10 year old granddaughter that things will not be as good for her because she is a woman.  If you have a Hillary or Obama in the WH then you will have a lever for change.They are smart people and know they have to listen to the people.When I talk this way on DKOS I usually get attacked or ignored.Please listen to where I am coming from.
            •  I just don't think (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, gravitylove, BentLiberal

              it is, for what I think are good reasons. Part of what has mobilized people is the increasing irrationality and ridiculousness of the conservative position. Apologetically drifting to the center is not in our best interest. When we do that, what we are basically saying to people is that conservatism has merit. We are saying that we are willing to admit that conservatives are really right about some things, and that we will shift toward their position in hopes of getting votes.

              This has been the strategy for twenty years, and what has it gotten us? The "center" is now just to the right of Genghis Khan, the "right" has fallen off the right side of the world, the "moderate left" is considered "radical", and there is no "left".

              Progressives are going to have to realize that the stratgey of "center shifting" just will. not. work.

              (-,-) "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." Mark Twain

              by phaktor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 09:31:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  DLC=Republican Lite n/t (0+ / 0-)

            Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

            by gravitylove on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:04:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Tried before (13+ / 0-)

          The question right now is whether or not the Democratic party is the proper vehicle for bringing about a progressively responsive government or will this have a better chance of happening through a viable third party?

          In my opinion, there is no such thing -- not in our political system as it stands.

          For better or worse, we are designed to be a two-party system.  And right now, for all its flaws, the Democrats are extremely powerful.  They're not going anywhere.

          I agree with Eugene that the time has come to focus more on emphasizing progressive values, but history has shown over and over that any such change has to happen within an existing party -- at least, until one of the two major parties becomes defunct.  Neither are in danger of that.

          •  The problem with the Democrats is that they (13+ / 0-)

            are complicit with the Republicans on virtually every issue.  If they continue in their complicity, we must abandon them and seek other solutions.

            Look how many of the Democrats we helped elect in 2006 are already comfortably cozy with the Republicans on both the war and global warming.  Unacceptable.

            I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

            by asskicking annie on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:23:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, please (12+ / 0-)

              Minimum wage?  Stem cells?  Affordable prescription drugs?  Huge subsidies for oil companies?  Endless political corruption?

              You have to ignore a hell of a lot to say "the Democrats are complicit with the Republicans on virtually every issue".

              We have work to do -- that's obvious.  Hyperbole only makes that work more difficult.

              •  What's more... (8+ / 0-)

                You completely missed the point of my post.

                Abandoning the Democrats is simply not an option.  Reforming?  Absolutely.  Abandoning?  You might as well abandon the whole idea of enacting a progressive agenda in this country.

                •  You say above about a third party (0+ / 0-)

                  "In my opinion, there is no such thing -- not in our political system as it stands.

                  For better or worse, we are designed to be a two-party system."

                  See, that's what I find so defeatist about the Democrats. They never think boldly and longterm. It is clear that in your system a third party can't even exist in a meaningful way. But is that right?

                  Why is nobody promoting the idea that you have a "system design" problem and need to really change it as I mentioned below?

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

                  by mimi on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:20:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You're bragging about minimum wage? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rebecca, Jimdotz

                You're bragging about "winning" minimum wage as a tradeoff for enabling Bush's war government to continue unabated?

                I wouldn't be bragging about that.

            •  Too many democrats and republicans both (6+ / 0-)

              care more about the well moneyed and powerful special interests represented by K Street, Wall Street financiers, Carlyle and the MIC than they do about what their own constituents want.

              These are the wealthy elite and they are the people who really make the decisions on how this country is run, and they have been doing so since the end of WWII.

              The consensus now is to secure ample supply of oil for the US economy for the coming 100 to 150 years. This is being accomplished in the guise of a global war on terror and of bringing our version of freedom and democracy to countries well endowed with natural resources.

              •  the only thing I'd argue about is (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rebecca, Canadian Reader

                your 100-150 year number for oil. Even if America goes the GOP route on global warming, I'd be very surprised to find people burning oil for energy much over 20 years from now.

                IMO, the "bad foriegn policy for oil" is entirely about the next 10-20 years. Remember that the upper-level decisionmakers who favor this aren't going to be around much after that.

                If they were really thinking 150 years ahead, they'd be trying to push our civilization to renewables a little faster than humanly possible.

                Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:20:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  "asskicking annie" == Nader. (1+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat
              Hidden by:
              BentLiberal

              That Nader.

              The !@#$%^)(*&^%$ who took enough PC perfect, idiot-votes to elect Bush.

              A Founding Father of Fascism. Nader's real legacy.

              Oh... that's not what he intended ???

              Duh... oh.............

              Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

              by vets74 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:14:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't be a jackass (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gravitylove, Dianna, BentLiberal, J Royce

                It's too early in the morning for that crap.

                Let me repeat this for the hard of hearing:

                AL
                GORE
                WON
                FLORIDA

                The fascists are on the Supreme Court, and attacking your fellows is highly unhelpful.

                (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

                by autoegocrat on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:20:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Concept::: NON SEQUITUR. (0+ / 0-)

                  SCOTUS and Florida have no connection, whatsoever, with the impact of Nader on voting in 2000.

                  No Nader, no President Bush.

                  BTW: Nader ran using Republican money. Stupid man. Or greedy.

                  Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

                  by vets74 on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:11:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Don't be a fuckwit. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BentLiberal

                I've never supported Nader.  Nader is about Nader, and not much more.  He showed his true colors during the Sciavo affair when he allied himself with George Bush, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, and James Dobson to try to force the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube.

                He was, however, correct when he said that there is no difference between the TweedleDee party and the TweedleDum party.  Pointing that very simple and very obvious fact out does not make me a Nader supporter.  Your suggestion that it does serves only to make you look like a halfwit and a jerk.

                I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

                by asskicking annie on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 06:35:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "asskicking annie" == Nader. (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:
                  BentLiberal

                  Your "TweedleDee party and the TweedleDum party" nonsense is a Naderism.

                  100%.

                  You get paid by the Republicans ??? Calling for a divisive 3rd Party on the Left is GOP tactics, full bore.

                  Either this "annie" is GOP mole, or we're seeing an example of Nader-wit silliness.

                  Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

                  by vets74 on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:17:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Hate to break it to you, asshole. (0+ / 0-)

                    Just because someone thinks the Democrats suck -- and I certainly DO think that -- doesn't mean that person supports either the Refucklicans or Ralphie Nader.

                    Some of us here hate ALL of the lousy choices we've been given the last few years.

                    I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

                    by asskicking annie on Mon Jun 18, 2007 at 09:53:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Actually real change begins outside of parties (17+ / 0-)

            In social movements and grassroots organizations built around issues and constituencies.  As these movements strengthen, gain popular acceptance and mass support, then and only then will one or both of the major parties pick up the planks that the self-organized people ahve laid down.

            •  No question (4+ / 0-)

              There's no question that our movement needs to work to produce viable organization and promote popular acceptance of our common values.  The country absolutely needs to move to the Left, both philosophically and in terms of the policies that are seen as "acceptable".

              However, actively refusing to work with "less than pure" Democrats, preferring instead to attempt a "third party revolution" within a system that just doesn't support it, isn't a ticket to success.

          •  show me the design (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Inky, rhfactor, mimi, Jared Lash, fromer

            There are no parties in the constitution.  Washington warned against parties in his farewell address.  

            This post brought to you by George Soros and the vast left wing conspiracy

            by VelvetElvis on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:19:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  History is the proof (5+ / 0-)

              A winner-takes-all design is what ensures it.

              Look, I'm an engineer.  I'll take an ounce of empirical evidence to a ton of theory any day -- and in the history of this country, the vast majority of the time we've had two main political parties.  That may not have been the intent, but that's what the system we have obviously enforces.

              •  Well, are you a system design engineer? (0+ / 0-)

                Obvioulsy that's what your system enforces, but it shouldn't and real progressive, social democrats would the hell start changing and redesigning the system, because it ain't very democratic.

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

                by mimi on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:23:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I have to disagree... (9+ / 0-)

            while it will take time, the destruction of the Republican Party proves that change can occur.  Let me explain.

            The "fundies" or "right-wing holy rollers", began infiltrating the Republican Party at the local level.  It wasn't pretty either.  They basically got on county councils, school boards, you name it, then brought them to a screeching halt until people left in disgust.  It just opened the door for them to get more fundies in.  They did this at the local level, then the state level, and now you see the result when they got to the federal level.  The old-time Republican is now so disgusted with what the GOP has become, many turned into Independents.

            The point is; changing a Party is possible.  Will it be tomorrow?  No.  But it can happen.  It can be for good, or bad.

            So, yes, the Democratic Party can reform from within... but it will take a long time before it happens, if, it ever happens.

            The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

            by MotleyPatriot on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 06:55:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I completely agree! (0+ / 0-)

              I'm arguing against jumping to a third-party attempt, not against reforming the Dems!  You and I are in complete agreement.

              If I wasn't clear on that, I'll simply say that it's been a very long week.

              •  if a third party was going to happen, it would be (0+ / 0-)

                in 2008.

                There are plenty of conservative Republicans pissed off at the GOP... and plenty of Democrats pissed off at the Democratic leadership... not to mention the Independents looking for viable leadership.

                Does that mean it will happen?  No.  Just means the door is open.  

                Who that would hurt is dependent on the primaries.

                The Democrats have one option; fight.  That is their only option.

                If they don't, they will lose all of the votes they had, just like Bush squandered all of the good-will he had after 9/11.

                The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

                by MotleyPatriot on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 01:58:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  3rd party won't happen seriously (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mimi

                  till we change our election rules to IRV and PR and away from winner-take-all.

                  the current system forces voters to choose a D or an R or to vote for someone who will not win.

                •  well, that's exactly what is so wrong with (0+ / 0-)

                  the third party pissed-off about whatever candidates.

                  They are coming from the left and from the right and have each their own reasons of why they are pissed off at something. That really doesn't mean
                  they fit together and should or could build a third party.

                  It would mean you have to build four parties, because there is no reason in the world to believe why pissed-off right-wingers and pissed-off lefty should build one and the same third party.

                  I think Americans are blinded by ideologically fundamentalist Libertarians. The up and down scale of authoritarianism, which Libertarians use to point out where they stand, instead of the left-right spectrum of ideologies on social issues, is what gets the people messed up.

                  In any other democracy you would have several parties and they can get their candidates elected to have real influence on legislation.

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

                  by mimi on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:32:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  and it took them 20 years to do it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BentLiberal

              20 more years of "business as usual" in America and America will be an ecologically ravaged Third World nation with no realistic possibility of ever becoming otherwise. Everybody will have moved out who can, and parents who care about their kids will be trying to get them out of the country.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:23:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The 'future 2' : Democratic Party and Green Party (0+ / 0-)

              Scandal will eventually destroy the Republican Party. It will be buried in the political cemetery, next to the Whig Party.

              The US Attorney scandal is the tip of the iceberg. Bush is piloting the Titanic.

              Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

              by gravitylove on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:23:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  We have no time for this (0+ / 0-)

              not in this world, not anymore.

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

              by mimi on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:24:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  wait for 2009 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, Jimdotz

            Remember, if the Democrats pick up a few seats in the House and Senate and the White House, that's marching orders for change, starting with economic relief for the middle class.

            If they don't deliver for the voters and deliver for K Street instead, it's "game over" time."We don't have the power, elect more of us so we can help you!" blows up bigtime if Americans do exactly that and we still find ourselves "on our own" about medical care and our jobs being offshored and corporations dumping poison into our food with impunity.

            People are not going to put up with platitudes and lame excuses anymore.If the Democrats in office give the American people the same feeling of betrayal they gave their activists, i.e. us, the Democratic brand is of negative value.

            If people don't have an alternative that they believe will represent them, people will simply stay home on election day 2010.

            In the implosion of the Democratic Party (I'm figuring mid-late 2009) is the opportunity for a new progressive MAJOR party... one will be needed to replace the Democrats.That's the window of opportunity if we can make it happen

            The Whig Party went out of business because it could neither get it together nor get it right on the main issue of it's day. The elected Democrats seem to be bent in following in their footsteps.

            Progressives are NOT going down with the ship.

            If elected Democrats want to continue K Street business as usual, they need to lose in 2008 so they can blame us and the American people.

            The best course for people who want a progressive political party to replace the Democrats? Work our asses off next year... deliver a Democratic majority and a Democratic President, even if this is HRC.

            The final discrediting of the GOP-lite DLC can't happen until they have complete control over government and completely and visibly fuck it up.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:11:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I doubt it and I don't think that Americans (0+ / 0-)

              can afford even to see "if they deliver" and then say "game over" as if it were still in their power to say "game over". I don't even remotely think that this will realistically happen.

              You think a little bit of change of "economic relief for the middle class" will do it? Sounds as same old "bribe" of promising a lollipop to 'lil good natured middle class moms and dads.

              Do they even think about WHY the middle class is suffering? And what about the lower class? And is it just so easy as to Democrats magically do something about the "economic downturn" other than say the same blah blah that the "economy must grow"? Grow where to?

              Much more fundemental changes are needed and intellectually I don't think that those people who really try to think further have had yet listened to.

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

              by mimi on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:43:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  what a load (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gravitylove

            but history has shown over and over that any such change has to happen within an existing party

            Next you're going to tell us that Democrats and Republicans had been around since the constitution was signed.

            That would have to be true if we were to accept your premise of what "histery shows over and over"

            Really now, you can surely do better thanthat.

      •  eugene-- a critical tool: VIDEO, not just blogs (12+ / 0-)

        Blogs have been great for this past phase you describe so well, eugene. But to ever really move beyond this stasis requires another fundamental understanding and paradigm shift:

        The language of mainstream America is TV, not reading and debating text online. We may not like that, but here it is in a word:

        Tough.

        Here's who GETS this: Josh Marshall. Marcy Wheeler and the Libby Team who provided video standups placing the events into perspective were the dawn of this next phase.  Watching Marcy, via YouTube, provide daily insight, was not as simple as it looked.

        The reasons it worked are:

        • They (with PoliticsTV) used a tried & true TV format that mainstream understands: Person outside the courthouse
        • Professionalism -- she obviosuly has subject-matter expertise, but beyond that, she's prepped, she knows what she intends to cover, and delivers it on the mark.
        • Tone: Not the sometimes confrontational blogger tone, or the "we get it, but you don't yet" lefty-elite tone, but rather an engaging, friendly tone.
        • Voice: Very appealing, great clarity and annunciation, yet breaking from that stilted pseudo-gravitas News tone, which has it's own sound-musical scale and cadence. Marcy's is the next evolution of the form: Talking conversationally without all the pomposity of the engrained format
        • Length: Short -- 3 to 5 minutes, falls within the attention span of mainstream
        • Crunched: She's way zoomed out in her perspective. She's not drilling down to the 50th level of detail; she's staying top-level to make sure people GET it.
        • Edited, with graphics. Thanks to PoliticsTV.
        • Real Names: with the exception of Swopa, and I'm sure he had his reasons. But we got Marcy's, Jane's,  Christie's, Jeralyn's full names. (this isn't new, per se, as we already have Markos, John Aravosis, others using real names... but it's important to building credibility and trust. The days of "BushMustGo" as a username should be numbered, if this blogosphere movement is to shift and pierce the mainstream)

        Josh Marshall followed on their success and is now doing daily TV standups Monday-Thursday every week. If you haven't seen them yet, do so, they're fantastic. Here's his latest. or view here:

        .

        There's way more to share -- but this kind of comment thread is not the venue. If anyone who's attenting YearlyKos is interested in these kinds of things, and weekly-eventually-nightly live video townhalls across the USA, bypassing the COnglomerate Media Cartel all-together, please email me.

        GREAT

        GREAT

        DIARY,

        Eugene.

        -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
        *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

        by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:55:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nothing like being able to see it for yourself (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhfactor, Unduna, gravitylove

          The Allen "macacaw" moment is a lesson to all candidates and political operatives.

          The Assault on Reason forum, Fridays 3 PDT. Feminisms Wednesdays, Kossacks Under 35 Thursdays, Grieving Room Mondays, Teachers' Lounge Saturdays

          by algebrateacher on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:09:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is better example of Josh's "crunching" the (4+ / 0-)

            story -- making it accessable and understandable for mainstream Americans. When you bring this kind of presentation to people, they're likely to listen. Why? because you're not SHAMING them.

            .

            -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
            *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

            by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 02:35:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Internet Media will make Corporate Media (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rhfactor

              ... irrelevant.

              FOX Nation will shrink, as their gullible viewers realize that they have been duped. These refugee viewers (and consumers) will be looking for alternative media.

              Once television technology adapts to the internet, as it has for cable and satellite, you can kiss corporate control of broadcast news goodbye... that is, unless we lose net neutrality.

              Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.

              by gravitylove on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:33:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The bit about Kerry and Gephardt stabbing Dean... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, Unduna

        "in the back" is symptomatic of a prime underlying problem.

        The writer's preference for one candidate overwhelms his sense of what is practical.

        If he doesn't get what he wants, then the other guys are bad.

        This is no way to build a "permanent majority." Such thing depend on loyalty and structure.

        The GOP opponents have what Jersey's Bradley labeled the "GOP Pyramid" of Think Tank propaganda mills and candidate recruitment operations. They also have Right Wing banks that finance buying all large-scale media.

        The detailed complaining, listed here, is akin to whining about Kerry's wife. It does indeed miss the point about what is going on.

        Democrats need permanent structure. Democrats need permanent resources. These have to deal with propaganda and to candidate recruitment/development. At present the GOP Pyramid is running unopposed, apart from sniping from the likes of dkos and The Daily Show.

        BTW: DNC has less issues resource -- total manpower -- than The Daily Show.

        Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

        by vets74 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:02:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What a Shock! (29+ / 0-)

      Who would have though that the other long-established party would be so... establishment?

      Wake up folks, it's a class-based world!

      This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

      by Mr X on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:21:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with Bowers and you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, mataliandy, ibonewits

      But, are you suggesting that past the organizing and the primaries that we turn away from "centrist" (read "right wing") Democrats?

      I sometimes vote for third party candidates--I believe in principles and issues above party in the end--but I usually give extra weight to the Dem nominee if I think his/her victory will still move the ball forward and/or a Republican victory in that spot would represent a big step backwards.

      I believe we can work to reform the system and build from the ground up--50-state strategy, etc.--and still in the end elect more Democrats. In the end, if we do both, we will have more progressive representation.

      Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

      by Red Wind on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:45:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hard to say (39+ / 0-)

        Depends on the specific case. Every movement has to deal with inconvenient truths. What I hope to say with this diary is that while there will of course be times that we need to swallow a "bad Dem" in a general election, we need to begin emphasizing building a progressive movement, primary challenges, things like that. If we need to make a compromise here and there to block the GOP from getting back in, of course we do that, but that has to stop being our first option.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:47:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can dig that n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, blueoasis, tecampbell

          Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

          by Red Wind on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:59:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yep. Crashing the Gates (19+ / 0-)

          elect ANY Dem and THEN elect PROGRESSIVE Dems.  Get rid of the Rethug brand. We're still at the point of electing ANY Dem in some areas but we should also be looking to elect PROGRESSIVE Dems over non-Progressives where we can.

          Great, great diary eugene.

          Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- not George Carlin

          by donnamarie on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:24:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can think of one right off (9+ / 0-)

            Special election, MA-05, Jamie Eldridge. You cannot get any more strongly progressive and a fighter for our side than Jamie. Mass is safely Dem, let's get more progressive! I want to elect someone to the sensible left of Meehan, who's leaving.

            LOL! Sorry about the pimping. But the person who's ahead because of name recognition (Niki Tsongas, widow to Sen. Paul Tsongas) is turning out to be a total neoliberal. To defeat her, it's going to take a lot of work, and there's not much time, because it's a special election.

          •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gravitylove, donnamarie

            But I also agreed that as a precondition of progress, we needed to get the Republicans out of power.

            Now that we've done that...

            We really only control one out of the three branches of government.  While it's fine to start looking at electing better Dems, "Stage 1" is a never-ending stage.  At the very least, talk to us in 2008.

            Stage 1 doesn't end until we convince the rest of the country (and the world) the Democratic ideals are better for the whole country, even the mega-rich and mega-conservative.  (On that score, the rise of the Religious Left---explaining that liberalism celebrates Christianity and not demonizes it---would go a long way.)

            I am talking to the server. You don't have to wait for me to finish.

            by RogueJim on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:52:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The key... (5+ / 0-)

          ....is to find the right mix of idealism and pragmatism. And I'd lean more towards idealism, as long as we have good candidates who can express themselves in an easy understand manner.

        •  i am with you here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, Unduna

          i just think that the accomodate a broad church approach has failed again and again

          i think that we face a radical regime that may succeed in moving things too far and too fast given the Democratic opposition's capitulation

          i have to say i have been on Dkos for a VERY long time... and other progressive sites before that...

          ...but i just am not a daily reader any more... and I am drifting further... I am tired of the rah-rah and just don't see things being changed by just backing team Dem regardless...

          But then, I think something missing often from the narrative of the political left is a good understanding of the coming cascading crisis that the oil production will tip into motion, and the perfect storm of resource depletion, environmental degradation, water and topsoil threats to agricultural production, all exacerbated by global and regional population overshoot.  And as this diary makes a small part of the argument for, I fear a much worse future - and I think we'll look back and blame bad Dems as much as bad Reps.

          If no-one around you understands start your own revolution and cut out the middle man...

          by ResponsibleAccountable on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 09:37:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sidnora, hhex65, Red Wind, Unduna, Stripe, vets74

        The success of the progressive movement depends upon walking and chewing gum at the same time.

        One of the reasons we are in the fix we're in, politically speaking, is that liberals abandoned the Democratic Party more than 30 years ago (yeah, I know, many will tell you it was the other way around, but the bottom line is the same).  That led to 30 years of political disempowerment that helped the right wing gain control of our country.  Simultaneously, it allowed the Democrats to drift to the right.

        Never again.  We simply must learn that we can both emphasize progressive values and push for them, while maintaining and promoting the vehicle by which those values will be emphasized (the Democratic Party).

        We ARE the Democrats.  Not the lawmakers, and not the Party leadership.  US.

        •  Gee, "loyalty." (0+ / 0-)

          Such a concept.

          Jefferson and the Dixie Chicks. Imus and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

          by vets74 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:04:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We are the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca

          and we need to act like them, not just talk like them. Every single person on this thread - hell, every single Kossack - should be joining the party in some active capacity, not just as a registered voter. I am a County Committeemember in a county that has many Democrats but very few progressives in positions of power. I don't like the people who run my party here, but I can't overpower them on my own. I was recruited to run by a progressive legislator, along with other progressives; after more elections like the last one, there will be enough of us to overturn the leadership.

          People in power only listen to other people with power. They won't care what we say as long as we don't threaten their job security. If we want to change the party we have to take it over.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt "They are a threat to your children, David" - George W. Bush

          by sidnora on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:51:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  as author of one of cited diaries, let me comment (43+ / 0-)

      there are multiple stpes to what needs to be done

      for one thing, we need to be running progressives in every single party contest - we need to work to gain better control of the party mechanisms.  And it may not be as hard as some think.   In some "redder" precincts anyone willing to run can become the Deomcratic committeeman or precinct captain.

      Or you can be like hekebolos who is now a member of the platform committee of the CA Dem party.

      And as we continue to work through things like Camp Wellstone, the various DFA activities, and so on, we will be developing a corp of people will the skills necessary to make a difference.   That's one reason I went to a Rootscamp here in DC last winter.  

      ANd if we prove we can help win general elections, then perhaps some party regulars who are willing to lean progressive will be more willing to listen to what we have to say.

      I truly believe that on many issues the American people are willing to listen and respond to a more progressive message - current polling on IRaq shows that.  I agree, it is time we do our best to propagate such a message.

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

      by teacherken on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:55:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the message LOUD & CLEAR ::: (0+ / 0-)

        see the report from MediaMatters.

        Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

        by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:38:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If we're ever going to have a progressive (13+ / 0-)
        movement, we have to get corporate money out of elections. As long as corporations can buy candidates  they will run things.
        •  To have a progreesive movement... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, Susan Something

          we need more ordinary people (Remember "We the People"?) in the House of Representatives (Remember "The People's House"?).

          This can be accomplished by raising the number of seats in the House from the current 435 (where 1 seat represents almost 700,000 Americans, thus leading to the need for corporate money to get elected) to the current Constitutional limit of 10,000 seats (where 1 seat represents 30,000 Americans, thus eliminating the need for corporate money to get elected).

          In the past, managing this would have been impossible, but in the 21st century, it can be done.

          The "People's House" can use the Internet to introduce, discuss, debate, and vote on bills. It can meet in an arena for special events, when necessary. Committee members can stay in a "Congressional Dormitory" while the committee does it business. But mostly, Members will live at home where they can pay more attention to their constituents rather than to lobbyists.

          The beautiful part is that it won't take an amendment to accomplish this... just a law.

          Wes Clark -- The President we were promised as kids.

          by Jimdotz on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 07:31:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure it could be worked out (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jimdotz

            but it is an important area of reform.  As you said

            where 1 seat represents almost 700,000 Americans, thus leading to the need for corporate money to get elected

            You could also add entire states such as Montana where over 900,000 people have one representative.  No state should have less then 2 members of the house.

            When Montana had 2 representatives last one was Democratic and one was Republican.  By reducing Montana to one representative half the people in the state lost their representation.

            Having more members might also bring more competition for seats.  In a city like Minneapolis where the Greens hold some city council seats Democrats might have to fight the Greens to get a seat rather than being the only option.  While I'm a solid Democrat I don't believe in one party rule.  

            Definitely an idea with many complications and worth thinking about.

            ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

            by Rebecca on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:02:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is precidely my goal (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              Having more members might also bring more competition for seats.  In a city like Minneapolis where the Greens hold some city council seats Democrats might have to fight the Greens to get a seat rather than being the only option.  While I'm a solid Democrat I don't believe in one party rule.

              As seats in Congress come to be held by more "small time" politicians (Stay-at-Home Moms, Retirees, Doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Plumbers, and yes, the occasional rich guy), the results coming out of "The People's House" will be far more reflective of the true will of "The People".

              It will be harder for "political bosses" to predict and control, and it will be messy, but I believe it will be honest (that is,less corrupted by lobbyists) but that it CAN be done.

              Wes Clark -- The President we were promised as kids.

              by Jimdotz on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:15:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How about writing a diary on this? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Susan Something, Jimdotz

                It's a great idea for more discussion.  

                ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

                by Rebecca on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:21:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I did a while back, but it needs to be better. (0+ / 0-)

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

                  I'm fascinated by the idea, and would love to see it implemented. I truly believe it will go a long way to stopping the "corruption" problem in Washington.

                  Phase II of my idea will never happen because it will take an amendment:
                  We need to go back to Governor Appointment of all US Senators.

                  Direct election of Senators sounds democratic, doesn't it?
                  BUT... In reality, it means Senators are bought and paid for by the lobbyists.
                  How democratic is that?

                  That, of course, begs the question about how Governors are elected democratically in statewide contests when Senators aren't. My response is that the system worked quite well before the passage of the 17th Amendment in 1913, and it would free up our Senators to do their government-related work instead of spending their time taking bribes raising money to get re-elected, and governors are elected more frequently than Senators making them more vulnerable to the will of the voters in their states.

                  Wes Clark -- The President we were promised as kids.

                  by Jimdotz on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:56:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for the link to your diary. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Jimdotz

                    An interesting conversation.  I enjoyed reading it.  

                    I think there were many good points made in the comments.

                    The unwieldiness of 10,000 members which I think is that major point against having that many people as a deliberative body.  I'm not sure it would work.

                    This would lower the power of individual representatives which makes it very hard to get our representatives to enact into law.

                    The amendment that would have limited the number of constituents per representative.

                    There was a good comment there talking about the difference in representing 30,000 people the late 1700's to early 1800's vs today.  What would the equivalent be today?

                    Staffing size.  Some people seemed to think there would be less need for large staffs.  I wonder about that. While a smaller district would possibly mean fewer staff for fewer constituents what about the need to research?  We don't want to give lobbyests more power over our politicians.  One of the reasons lobbyiests have so much power is because of the information they have.

                    How much would we spend for salaries?

                    The most interesting point brought up and one I had read after the 2000 election was the effect the size of the House has on the electoral college.  I think that's a very compelling point.

                    A lot to think about.  Thanks

                    ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

                    by Rebecca on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:16:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  Reps from Solidly Blue Areas (7+ / 0-)

        Are often the biggest problem.

        I live in Brooklyn, where Republicans almost never run,  for either local (city or state offices) or congressional seats.  That is, the elections really happen in the primary, in which very few voters turn out.

        The end result is "party-machine" dems, who bow and salivate before moneyed interests, and in the case of my Congressional Rep, Congressman Townes, incredible cynicism and laziness and complacency (one of the worst voting records--so bad, he shows up to vote less than half the time).

        These people are a cancer on the Democratic Party.  And need to be cut out.

      •  Must develop a progressive political philosophy (4+ / 0-)

        that is both coherent and comprehensive.  The Repubs have done that much better than the Dems and it has served them well in energizing their base and in promoting their programs.  Every great movement got its power from its philosophy: "We the People of the U. S., etc." is a powerful statement of philosophy.  I believe that drawing up this progressive philosophy is a powerful form of activism; as important as becoming members of Dem. committees.

        Developing a basic philosophy about 'who we are' and 'what we are about,' will help in moving forward with building a progressive majority.  You have to capture the hearts and minds of people; and this is central to doing it.

    •  "purging the deadwood" (11+ / 0-)

      code words for "get rid of those nasty moderates"

      don't be surprised if moderates aren't thrilled with the prospect.

      Results from a CBS poll in April:
      Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
      Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:57:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What moderates? (42+ / 0-)

        You mean the people who won't vote to cut off funding for Iraq, or  that Bush can't start a war with Iran, or that we should be compromising with the lunatic Republican party.

        I don't see how someone who is aiding the Republicans to destroy the nation in every way is a moderate. I'd rather have someone who represents the people and their interests in office than someone who doesn't. What's wrong with that?

        Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:07:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (10+ / 0-)

          I'd consider someone who wanted to "cut off funding" to be pretty radical.  As for starting war with Iran, that's a tricky one since he can basically do that anyway with the war powers act if he wanted to, and while I suppose Congress could pass a bill saying that he can't use it to start a war, in reality he could still start it, so there is no way Congress can 100% prevent a war with Iran if Bush really wants one.

          I actually don't think he will go that far, and the reports that Cheney is trying to go around Bush to try to instigate one suggests that belief to be the correct one.

          As for compromising, I'm always in favor of compromising as long as we gain at least as much as we lose (in a good compromise, both sides gain about equally).  Not compromising ever is one reason why Bush is so bad. I don't want democrats to go down the same road.

          Results from a CBS poll in April:
          Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
          Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:10:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But the reality is (28+ / 0-)

            compromise with the Republicans means you give them everything they want plus drop your pants and bend over. There's no compromise possible. It's always a mistake to "compromise" with someone who's biding their time until they can cut your throat. You must know that's their goal: no opposition forever.

            So while compromise in almost every instance is a healthy and blessed human action, with these guys it's suicide.

            And, by the way, Bushboyz is absolutely determined to start a war with Iran. That's it's insane and suicidal is beside the point.

            From a narrow legal perspective the War Powers Act lets him start a war with someone who is not a threat to us. From a bigger legal perspective it would be a least a high crime if not treason. It is not moderate to allow him to continue his illegal and immoral war in Iraq, nor to start new ones.

            Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:17:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, thus why I said (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PaintyKat, heartofblue

              if you gain as much as you lose.  If you don't do that, then it is by definition not a good compromise.  However, I'm not opposed to trying.  If the other side is being unreasonable, then that's one thing.  Refusing to even try is another thing, however.

              Results from a CBS poll in April:
              Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
              Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

              by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:30:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why are you always so timid? (9+ / 0-)

                Sorry if this stings, or sounds offesnive, but you really do seem to represent an outmoded voice, out of sync with this progressive community. That's just my view. Everything from you is always resembling old school top-down don'rt rock the boat we won't have the votes.

                I agree with Jim P.

                The job this Congress has been givne is to end this war. They are not going a very good job of it, and the People have said so. Maybe those who derail these efforts really ARE radicals, and nothing even close to moderates. They are certainly outside the mainstream.

                -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
                *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

                by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:22:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is the nature of the "center", i.e. Timid. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rebecca, rhfactor, leonard145b

                  weak, overly accommodating, cowardly, sissies, baby steps, etc. all the while thinking they are "voice of reason" when what they really are, if unwittingly, is reason to the status quo.  These days, that's really not too good!  Other times, it may be okay, but not now.

                  Given a sufficient force from the left or the right, the center will move.  Having no solid foundation except for the moment, it cannot hold its own in time in any consistent manner.  That is why I would rather be pulling from the hard left, hoping for a slowdown and perhaps reversal of this utter failure of conservatism which is now destroying our liberal Democracy!  

                  The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

                  by FightTheFuture on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 07:54:46 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I scoff at the characterization of FaJ as timid (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Unduna

                  FaJ routinely comes in here and intelligently argues positions that are widely held by democrats, but unpopular here. FaJ keeps coming back, which is both a sign of his/her respect for this place and a sign of guts. Timid is hardly the word.

                  •  I've seen that for years... that exact behavior (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Susan Something

                    at... FC.com

                    at... Netslaves.com

                    at... Cafe Utne

                    at... SmirkingChimp.com

                    .
                    .

                    and I don't claim that it's nefarious. Old school Dems I'm sure are very sincere, and really don't want the netroots energy to be dissipated or made counterproductive when the come to provide counterbalance and urge people to think it through before they go on rampages to throw out baby with bathwater, or disregard the wisdom of the ages.

                    But the similar type of "nice & easy, fellas" Centrist Dems who populated all those other forums above, are exactly, to the T, clones of FaJ. Sorry, but their messages are so consistent as to have become a template.

                    There's almost no reason for them to recite the scripture  because we could use auto-recognition systems to just cue-up one of the 100 standard thoughts on why some activists are too aggressive, in their view.

                    I don't call that brave. I call it a broken record. And if I hadn't sen this so so often before, I would ever have gone so far as I have in saying, it's template thinking. And it's timid.

                    That doesn't mean the person himself is a timid person. It's a big distinction, at least in my view. I am sorry if I have offended you or FaJ. But I really do believe that they are largely responsible for the Daschle culture that had us acquiescing and losing in 02, and 04. In 06 the Progressives stood up and said "ENOUGH!" No more John Kerrys. No more listening to the career-centrists. It was time to move more aggressively. And we did. And we won.

                    That's not to say all the candidates who won were progressive. But progressive activists pushed the agenda and pushed the old-school system to RUN these challengers -- and it worked.

                    It's just time, I believe, to follow Henry Fonda's movie advice:

                    Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

                    That's how I feel about it. It's not personal.

                    -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
                    *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

                    by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:27:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  IF? LOL! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rebecca

                If the other side is being unreasonable, then that's one thing.  

            •  Give them (R,s) an inch (14+ / 0-)

              and they'll take a filibuster....or three.

              And while our so-called 'moderate' dems wring their hands and make sad noises about how disappointed they are, the Republicans will be busy obstructing. And obstructing. And obstructing.

              Has the Overton window on what is 'moderate' been driven so far to the right, just wanting to end the Iraq war is considered radical? Just wanting real, actual, concrete accountability and oversight is radical? Never mind....rhetorical question.

              "In the United States, political will is a renewable resource". Gore 2008

              by Lisa Lockwood on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:33:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I'm for compromise... (20+ / 0-)

            ...when it's smart and is done with people who act in good faith. Republicans have proven over and over again that they don't act in good faith. Let's not bang our head against a brick wall.

          •  Really? (8+ / 0-)

            I'd consider someone who wanted to "cut off funding" to be pretty radical.

            What if the proposal was phrased as "fund a withdrawal and don't fund military action past a certain date?" Would that be radical too?

            I hate this whole "cut off funding" framing. No one is seriously talking about stopping all funds now.

            "...and it's here the lonely say that the heart has got to open in a fundamental way." --Leonard Cohen, "Democracy"

            by maralenenok on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:41:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But I wouldn't consider that defunding (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aexia, PaintyKat

              since you are funding a withdrawal and, presumably, funding is cut off after a certain date (and only if troops were actually withdrawn)

              I consider "defunding" to be "we ain't paying any more money for it, so you better get those troops out before it runs out"

              Results from a CBS poll in April:
              Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
              Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

              by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:55:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Last paragraph works for me. (5+ / 0-)

                Get the troops out because we aren't paying for it any more.  Why should we pay for something we think is a disaster?

                I think it is radical to keep supporting a president as if he were a dictator.

                It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

                by pioneer111 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:00:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  PaintyKat, Unduna

                  ...you're paying for materiel that those troops use to stay safe.  You're also paying their salaries.  Yeah, it can come from somewhere else, for a while, depending upon how much is needed and for how long.  But that's a stopgap.

                  Defunding is a rather bad way to end a war, since it puts the well-being of the troops in the middle of a political struggle between the President and Congress.  Unfortunately, that seems to be the only weapon available (besides impeachment) right now.

              •  I've asked you the same question... (0+ / 0-)

                ...in the last thread and in this one. Why won't you answer my question FAJ? I promise, I keep my "blade" razor sharp. I'll make it a "painless and quick" refutation. If your point is so valid, why won't you debate it?

                Please answer:

                If cutting funding is "radical" then what about the fact that this POTUS is arguably the most incompetent Commander-in-Chief to ever hold the office, notwithstanding, do you agree or disagree that IF the Congress has the authority, power, and right to Declare War under Article 1 Section 8 Clause 11; that it also has the option of the converse, to also UN-Declare an illegal aggressive war of occupation, especially when it is being conducted, much to our detriment, by one of such incompetentcy, and one who indeed dangerously and perilously leads us down the road to potential bankruptcy and destruction?

                "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

                by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 03:37:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  If cutting funding is "radical" then what about.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kidneystones, leonard145b

            The fact that this POTUS is arguably the most incompetent Commander-in-Chief to ever hold the office, notwithstanding, do you agree or disagree that IF the Congress has the authority, power, and right to Declare War under Article 1 Section 8 Clause 11; that it also has the option of the converse, to also UN-Declare an illegal aggressive war of occupation, especially when it is being conducted, much to our detriment, by one of such incompetentcy, and one who indeed dangerously and perilously leads us down the road to potential bankruptcy and destruction?

            "Our past patriots are spinning in their graves. Did they all die for this tyranny?" Change Course. Change Captains. Change crews. But save the ship!

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:32:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Civil war (9+ / 0-)

        ... within the party would not be helpful. In one writing of history, that's what happened to the Dems in 1968, and we are still paying the price. It seems that the GOP is now entering it's own civil war period, which should be delicious.

        There is a place for moderates who want to govern from the center. In fact, while one can advocate from anyplace on the spectrum, one can truly govern only from the center. (W is the exception that proves the rule. His attempt to govern from the proto-fascist extreme right, though highly damaging, will prove short-lived.)

        As Eugene mentions in his diary, our real task is to move the center in our direction. If progressive activists just go off on moderate candidates in the primaries, without evidence that the political center has moved, they may achieve some degree of destruction, but won't make any real progress. And the old "Dems in disarray" meme will play nicely into GOP talking points.

        •  Why does it always have to be a "war"? (6+ / 0-)

          We don't need to have a "civil war" within the party to achieve our goals of a solid progressive majority.  

          Why do some people always insist on making a war out of everything?

        •  What we don't really know is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Woody, heartofblue

          how the current Democratic Party leadership would govern if they had a solid majority and if the threat from the right were significantly diminished.

          Based on their history I think the current set of committee chairs and presidential candidates would move the entire social and political agenda to the left in good order.

          But we won't know unless we win big in 2008.

        •  that's not what happened in 1968 (8+ / 0-)

          and even if it was, the left has the right to try again.

          You fault us when we want to work with a third party like the greens and you fault us when we want to change the party from the inside. Just because you are willing to sacrifice your concept of right and wrong to what is politcaly expediant does not meant that everyone is.  

          I'd rather be defeated doing what I know is right than win a hollow victory.

          This post brought to you by George Soros and the vast left wing conspiracy

          by VelvetElvis on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:29:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In our political system (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FightTheFuture

            ... going the third party route is almost always counter-productive. Although I did appreciate when sufficient Rs went with Ross Perot in 92 to give the election to us. Nader in 2000, not so much.

            I don't really fault you VelvetElvis. I was just venting. Demands from purists (whether or not you consider yourself to be one) DO perform an important function. They remind the deal makers about what deal exactly they're supposed to be making, and they give 'em leverage to make it with.

            We all have a role to play.

            •  On this I agree, oh, Its unlikely Ross split (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              J Royce

              the vote enough for Clinton to win.  Bush I was sucking pretty good on his own!!!   Like Father, like Son!

              The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

              by FightTheFuture on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:12:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I figure (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FightTheFuture

                ... that Perot attracted a lot of voters that were fed up with the economy and burned out on Republican BS, but couldn't yet bring themselves to vote Democratic.

                Yes, the election was a rejection of Bush 1. Clinton won with something like 42% of the vote.

                •  analysis I have read indicates that Perot (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rebecca, DBunn

                  siphoned votes from both candidates.  He did take more from Bush I, and it would have made the election closer, electorally, but Clinton would have still one.

                  Here's a discussion at the Daily Howler

                  Occasional report—Where does spin come from?  About 1/3 down the page:

                  Let’s start with some actual data. If Perot hadn’t been in the 92 race, would Bush the elder have beaten Clinton? The exit polling was abundantly clear, and it was widely reported. On November 8, 1992—five days after the election—E. J. Dionne penned a first report in the Post. Headline: "Perot Seen Not Affecting Vote Outcome:"

                    DIONNE (11/8/92): Ross Perot's presence on the 1992 presidential ballot did not change the outcome of the election, according to an analysis of the second choices of Perot supporters.

                     The analysis, based on exit polls conducted by Voter Research & Surveys (VRS) for the major news organizations, indicated that in Perot's absence, only Ohio would have have shifted from the Clinton column to the Bush column. This would still have left Clinton with a healthy 349-to-189 majority in the electoral college.

                     And even in Ohio, the hypothetical Bush "margin" without Perot in the race was so small that given the normal margin of error in polls, the state still might have stuck with Clinton absent the Texas billionaire.

                  The VRS polled more than 15,000 voters. On November 12, Dionne provided more details about Perot voters:

                     DIONNE (11/12/92): In House races, Perot voters split down the middle: 51 percent said they backed Republicans, 49 percent backed Democrats. In the presidential contest, 38 percent of Perot supporters said they would have supported Clinton if Perot had not been on the ballot and 37 percent said they would have supported Bush.

                     An additional 6 percent of Perot voters said they would have sought another third-party candidate, while 14 percent said they would not have voted if Perot had not run.

                  We all know exit polls are imperfect. But these are the actual available data about the preferences of Perot voters. Nor was this exit poll kept secret. One day after the election, the AP sent the news far and wide. (Headline: "Perot's Voters Would Have Split In a Two-Way Race"):

                     ASSOCIATED PRESS (11/4/92): Exit polls suggest Ross Perot hurt George Bush and Bill Clinton about equally.

                     The Voter Research and Surveys poll, a joint project of the four major television networks, found 38 percent of Perot voters would have voted for Clinton and 37 percent would have voted for Bush if Perot had not been on the ballot. Fifteen percent said they would not have voted, and 6 percent listed other candidates.

                  Even Fairvote.org, in a careful analysis, thinks Clinton would have still won (emphaisis mine):

                  Analysis:  Perotís [sic] vote totals in themselves likely did not cause Clinton to win. Even if all of these states had shifted to Bush and none of Bushís victories had been reversed (as seems plausible, in fact, as Bush won by less than 5% only in states that a Republican in a close election could expect to carry, particularly before some of the partisan shifts that took place later in the 1990s ñ Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Dakota and Virginia), Clinton still would have won the electoral college vote by 281 to 257. But such a result obviously would have made the race a good deal closer.

                  The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

                  by FightTheFuture on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:40:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, and about '68 (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Woody

            A lot of stuff happened that year. I'll agree that my characterization of civil war is way over simplified. But I'll also argue that it was one of the things that were happening.

            Someone could write a book about '68 (I'm sure they have, lots of 'em) so we probably can't cover it all in a comment thread. But the old Democratic coalition was definitely coming apart, whether we call it civil war or not, while the new Republican coalition was just beginning to form. I think we Dems are still dealing with the aftermath of that unraveling, as evidenced by the MSM still trying to tag us with the "Dems in disarray" meme. But I also think we're getting our act together, strongly, and the Republicans are the ones who are now seeing irreconcilable conflict among the odd bedfellows in their coalition.

        •  Bullshit!! FDR, Lincoln, they didn't govern (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, BentLiberal, DBunn

          from the center!  Thank God!

          The center is undefined except for the moment.  You need to understand what your principles are and where compromise is not to be done.  These days, the extreme rightward tilt means that  very little compromise can be done!  That is the way is should be, must be, if you want to rebalance this society and tilt left again, which is what progresses society forward for the betterment of all in the first place!!

          You have to burn a few to get the rest on board.  To not do it allows the current "moderates", which are actually rather conservative, to keep on splitting the goals of the left while the uber rightwing fucktards will keep on sabotaging the moderates!!  Result:  You loose the whole enchilada, again and again!!

          We need a hard left response to start slowing down this shitball we are all mired in!  Letting the clock run out on Bush while the "moderate" dems call capitulation "victory" and wring their hands on how helpless they are does not imbue me with any confidence for our future as a country, much less a party!!

          The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

          by FightTheFuture on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:06:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What Lincoln? (0+ / 0-)

            Abe Lincoln governed from the center -- he had to, or lose the election in 1864. Voters don't like wars, and he had to work constantly to keep support in the face of the bloody conflict. So for one example, he repeatedly described the civil war as being simply about preserving the Union, avoiding mention of the slavery issue for years, and he delayed making the Emancipation Proclamation until a politically convenient moment. In his reelection campaign he chose a VP from Tennessee, one of the states that had seceded.

            That said, I agree that we need to move the center by creating a stronger and louder progressive movement, in the same way that the Abolitionist Movement forced the politicians to address the issue of slavery. The darkies would still be singing in the cotton fields if this nation had waited for Presidents like Fillmore and Buchanon to "lead" on abolition.

            I wish we had more discussion here about moving the media to the left ,in the same way that Rupert Murdoch and Fox News moved the center of "news" and views so far to the reicht.

            •  You mistkae very liberal actions, cloacked on (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              acceptable frames, with governing from the center.  They are NOT the same thing!  You could use that same analysis you did on Bush to claim he is somehow "center", and it would be wrong for him just as it is wrong for Lincoln.  

              What Lincoln did was take hard, bold and liberal positions to the events of his time to preserve the Union and address the issue of Slavery,  By most accounts he thought slavery wrong because it denied a man his ability to his labor.  Aa for his VP choice, that was part of him laying the groundwork for the eventual healing that would be needed.  Very liberal and daring for his day (even now, actually) as revenge and punishment would be the "center" choice as witnessed what happened after he was assassinated.  

              So, keep dreaming.  Douglas would have been a center president, for example, if he won.  It would have been a disaster, also, just as a "center" president would be today.  I doubt the US would be here today if not for Lincoln in the office.  Same holds true now.  A center President is not what is needed.

              The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

              by FightTheFuture on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:19:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  '68? You misinterpret a lot of history. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, BentLiberal, DBunn, zorp

          The Dems were changing, yes and for the better.  Look back 4 years to the civl rights act with LBJ.  The entire southern part of the Dem party was lost as the racists and bigots went to their natural conservative breeding grounds in the Republican party.  

          The War was also causing a lot of disruption in the country and to the Dems (deja vu for Republicans) and Nixon and the conservatives capitalized on that to advance their agenda under the cold war framework.  

          The 60's were turbulent, but very productive and a good thing!!  That is, unless you think ending segregation, ushering in civil rights, taking a real crack at poverty and standing up to another fucktard war with a predatory draft on the poor and powerless was a bad thing!

          The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

          by FightTheFuture on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:20:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Check your tips (0+ / 0-)

            You'll see that I'm in there.

            I'm a 60s guy myself, I know what you're saying. I was 20 in the election of 68, still couldn't vote, but I was kind of... active.

            Dems were absolutely changing for the better. I'm just saying that it's taken us until now to really figure out what that change amounts to, and how to communicate it to the voting public. IMHO we're making terrific progress now that we have found ourselves.

            My dominant memory of the election of 68 is the reluctance and trepidation with which voters chose Nixon over Humphrey. It's like they KNEW they shouldn't be doing that.

            •  Well, I think these things are cylical, and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              the awareness is what it is for the times.  The Dems found themselves, again, after FDR.  Many things were advanced and changes made.  Then WWII , then people wanted to put a brake on things, more like a hold, so the conservatives came back into power.  The Cold War and Russian getting the nuke certainly helped; conservatism thrives in fear.  It also allowed them to reject National Healthcare proposed by Truman and well, here we are on that mess!!

              Then the 60's came, the young people were pushing off the tepid 50's, Kennedy came in, a breath of fresh air.  Then the war came with the draft.  Nothing like a unfair draft to really piss off people!  How unfair?  Well, look at all the Repuglican dicks running the country now, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfie, Rush, etc.  If only a few of these criminals had seen combat, some not come back,...  oh well.  

              Each time though, once they got their bearings, the Dems listened to the people and supported good, positive, programs and positions.  Things progressed.  The perceived failure of some programs are only because of 1) lack of funds, or/and 2) they are not done, there is no one magic solution but to keep trying and adjusting (e.g. public housing changes occurring over the last 15 years).  

              What is happening now is, once gain, the party that does stand for liberalism, even as poisoned as it is, is pushing things forward.  What we need to do now is eject the DLC/corporate/Kstreet poisons and start addressing the real problems we face now and find good solutions with competent and visionary leaders.  They are still to scared, to hobbled, but that will change.

              They simply need to be reminded, once again, before history is successfully rewritten and we are no longer America.  Then it is too late for the Dems, and for all of us.

              The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

              by FightTheFuture on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:55:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, the main reason we have found ourselves (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              and have been able to do something is because of the Internet.  I really do not know where we would be without it with all the sit form Reagan's era, and DLC Clinton, that led to these media monopolies and Corporate behemoths.  I suppose we would be in quasi-police state suppression and internal resistance/revolution.  As it is, we have a fight on our hands.

              Al Gore is the reason for the internet we have today!!

              The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

              by FightTheFuture on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 08:59:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Belive me... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, Jonathan, Inky, blueoasis

        ....moderate Democrats will have a lot more say if progressives take over than if the right-wing and the sellouts hold sway.

      •  Absolutely---they want to hear from.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peace voter, jimreyn

        Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

        by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:39:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the one issue with that survey (5+ / 0-)

          is that, despite agreeing with "progressives" for "decades" why have republicans dominated nationally in presidential races for decades, and congress for a decade up until 2006, despite even being given truly progressive choices in the past?

          Because questions like this:
          '69 percent of Americans believe the government "should care for those who can't care for themselves";' don't do very much when actually addressing policy.  I wouldn't consider this to be a liberal position at all.  in fact, 69% supporting it pretty much proves it's not "liberal"

          The issue comes in when people start trying to decide what they are going to do about it.  It's the solution to the problem, not what problems they believe need to be solved, that has kept liberals on the sidelines for quite a while, I think.

          Results from a CBS poll in April:
          Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
          Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:59:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  concern troll....you are wrong, you know... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jimreyn

            ...but I guess you must like being wrong most of the time!

            Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

            by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:11:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree that the poll is flawed (0+ / 0-)

            I am in no way moderate, I am a classic Massachusetts liberal. However, there was a diary here the other day that explained that there is a progressive majority. Unfortunately, it also explained that the make-up of the senate and the way national elections are carried out favors republicans by giving a far smaller population larger sway over the nation’s political make-up. Therefore, it would be accurate to say that there is a progressive majority...but that is because progressive areas are far more populous than conservative areas. Additionally, the unfair weight given to conservative areas in national elections would mean that any politician with presidential ambitions would tend to moderate their stances as to be acceptable to those areas. I’m no expert and I would provide a link if I could find that diary. I am sure someone out there, far more capable than I, could help out. I agree with the diarist’s premise, but we really need to be careful in target selection for primaries. Moderation is pragmatic in many cases. Where there is no need for it we should primary.

      •  Deadwood is actually the leadership (11+ / 0-)

        We have Democratic majority leaders who are still thinking like minority leaders. When you have problems getting an agenda through Congress, the fault very often lies with the leadership. Pelosi and Reid were never very strong leaders when they had nothing to lose by pushing the envelope. Now that they have secured their leadership roles in the Congress, they seem even less disposed to upsetting the proverbial apple cart. Our biggest problem may be in placing our trust in political animals whose career interests supercede the progressive social agenda we wish them to pursue. It should be relatively simple for strong Democratic leadership to push an agenda and offer rewards for cooperative Republicans. Republicans have nothing to gain by aligning themselves with Bush and the Democrats should be able to convince them that the political winds are shifting and that it might be smart to vote with the other side of the aisle if they would like to prolong their congressional careers. This is not necessarily the idealistic approach, but it is pragmatic. I would start by stripping Lieberman of any committee chairs as a sign that the Democratic leadership will not tolerate any members of the Senate or Congress who undermine the Democratic policy by expressing views that are totally incompatible with Democratic ideals. Why reward Lieberman types? It's time to start using some political muscle to get things done.  

        •  Can someone finally answer: Why hasn't this been (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, Susan Something, zorp

          done already?

          What am I missing that would explain why Reid hasn't long ago smacked this guy down for being counterproductive, inciting hatred, and failing to do his job (Katrina hearings)?

          Is something mentally wrong with Harry Reid? I really want to know. Everything I read here says that if Reid strips his of committee chair, Lieb can/would be replaced by a Democrat. Is that incorrect?

          If incorrect, then that would explain why harry hasn't done it. If correct, then what is the motivation driving Harry Reid that prevents him from a simple act of courage and decisiveness?

          I am fine with someone tellimg me: It's not that easy, dumbshit. I simply would like to hear something definitive.

          -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
          *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

          by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 02:54:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think it's a mixture of things. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rhfactor, Unduna, Susan Something

            Two of the most important are also two of the serious problems we have with them.  Risk aversion and incumbent protection. I also think many of them consider themselves his friend and are not able to be professional and separate their friendship to Joe from their duty to their constituents.  

            ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

            by Rebecca on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 10:18:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, risk aversion, incumbent protection, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              misplaced priorities, bribes, secret agendas, backroom deals, whatever the reasons, what matters ultimately is action, and the actions are unacceptable.  Why did Pelosi take impeachment off the table?  If her only answer to us is that she wanted to work with the republicans in a bipartisan spirit, well that is unacceptable.  Why is Reid allowing Lieberman to maintain his chairmanship?  He owes us an answer, and even in light of an answer, what matters is what is actual.

              Lieberman is a committee chairman. Impeachment is off the table.  We're not only not changing the direction in Iraq, and not only funding the continued absurd "war", but we're funding an escalation.  Those are the realities the dem leadership have given us.  These are largely experienced, extremely important people representing us during a time of war, during a time of urgent crises.  Giving them time to "get their feet wet" is deluded thinking.

              The dems didn't so much win in 2006, as the repubs lost.  Now, when there are sooooo many people infuriated by conservatism, republicans, Bushco, they are looking to the only other alternative, and what are they seeing?  I know what I've seen in these last 6 months, and it's ugly.  

              If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? -Hillel

              by Susan Something on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 11:33:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank you, Rebecca and Susan (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Susan Something

                I just want to be clear:

                As far as rules of Congress go, Reid COULD call Lieberman today, strip him of his committee chair, and assign someone else to that Committee Chair, is that correct? There is no procedural prohibition to doing so?

                And removing Lieberman ASAP is simply hinging on Reid's litany of "soft factor" reasons for not doing so?

                .

                .

                .

                This is hard for me to understand or accept. Because on this issue of incumbent protection, or quid pro quo, or helping friends (at expense of the country), even our STRONG Senators have been guilty of this.

                Many of us were flabbergasted when Barbara Boxer, of all people, made that special trip up to campaign for Lieberman against Ned lamont, in the Dem primary. She came here and posted a cryptic pre-emptive message to defend what she was doing -- as sort of an innoculation. Because she knew it would enfuriate us, and it did. A few netroots people tried to interview her on camera when she was up there, and she tersely threw out some non-sensical garbage and scurried off.

                The reaction here was predictable:

                1. Many people upset with Boxer, not understanding why why why?
                1. Circular Firing Squad brigade shutting down any criticism of Boxer: She's one of our BEST, so what if she has to play politics now and then. It's the nature of the Beast.

                etc

                And most people figured it out that Joe must have helped her on an issue near and dear to her some time prior, and that he called in a favor, a big one, and she felt tuged between two moral positions, and decided to provide Joe the quid pro quo.

                Boxer's my Senator -- and I am proud of her and support her strongly. My point is only to echo your sentiments by placing it into context:

                If BOXER, one of the strongest, most progressive Senators we have, a true champion of the People, succumbed to Holy Joe's whining about

                "you gotta help me out Barbara. Remember when I co-sponsored your xxxxxxxxxxx. I gotta call in the favor, and you owe me"

                then it's not hard at all to see how a weakling like Reid would place comraderie, and old time's sake, above the critical choice to remove him, and save our country.

                I'd love love love to send a 250 person delegation of dKos community members to meet in perosn in DC at Reid's office -- and simply call him out, and call out his extreme lack of guts to do what is right.

                As for Pelosi, I wrote in depth about her here. Simplified? She disgusts me.

                -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
                *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

                by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:10:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Of course they won't be thrilled (11+ / 0-)

        If they want to shift their approach and join us, great. If not, the dustbin of history awaits.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:54:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Eh, baloney (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, Mehitabel9, pioneer111

        Look at your own sig.  How about we purge just the stupid people who (a) want to get us out of Iraq, (b) read polls that their constituents want us out of Iraq, and (c) vote to give the president a blank check to stay in Iraq?

        That's not moderate.  That's just stupid.

        How much courage does it take to oppose a 28% president???

        by The Termite on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:31:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  conservatives calling themselves moderates (16+ / 0-)

        had a couple of decades to prove the correctness of their ideas and tactics. they drove the party into the ground and enabled the wrecking of our nation. quite frankly, your ideas did not work, and they did not build a better future for this country.

        to the back of the bus, it's time for a new driver. we'll see how liberal ideas work for a change, your moment in history is passing.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:39:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  A more vocal liberal/left-wing bloc (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, 3goldens

        will actually let moderates be moderates, as they give moderates cover to push forward actual centrist positions without being accused of leftism by the media and the rightwingers. In the vacuum opened by a sensible vocal, influential left the center has become the defacto left, leading to a rightward swing in policy.

        The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility - Albert Einstein

        by theadmiral on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:17:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  see ya (0+ / 0-)

        go join the third way unity 08 party and vote for Bloomberg, he is a business friendly, budget balancing social moderate that your type find so appealing. have fun.

        When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

        by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:34:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bloomberg (0+ / 0-)

          Don't be so quick to encourage a Bloomberg candidacy.  I am an independent leaning left from NYC and would vote for Bloomberg over any Democrat other than Gore.

          He has done a superb job as mayor in NYC and would likely pull many more votes from the left than the right in a general election.

          •  sure (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rebecca, vcmvo2

            Go ahead and vote for the corpo free trader, and watch the divide between rich and poor grow even larger.

            What exactly has Bloomberg done for New York that makes you think he will do a good job as President? And, if Hagel is his veep choice are you still willing to vote for him?

            When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

            by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 06:54:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes! (8+ / 0-)

      I started writing about Primary Challenges under other personnas a long time back.

      I agree with you, eugene, that we need to take on the crooks in the Corporatist Enabling Wing of the Democratic Party now.

      I am all about dumping DINOs like Ellen 'Bankruptcy Bill' Tauscher, Stenny 'K St Stripminer' Hoyer, and Rahm 'Bo' Emmanuel.

      But get specific, we need to be looking for primary challengers NOW.

      I am a ...  

    •  beautiful (20+ / 0-)

      I've been saying this for over a year as well.  I wrote a piece back last May called "On (re)building the Democratic Party" that touches on this.

      After YKos last year, I really thought that the groundwork was laid, even if just a bit.  Since then, it has gotten more and more obvious that the call to action you make in your diary is right on point.

      I've written in late December about the tremendous opportunity we are staring at, and about infrastructure on a few occasions since then.

      No diary whoring for me now, but the diaries are easy to find....There are so many things - infrastructure, the "mouthpiece" and "message machine" (one thing that me and thereisnospoon are trying to do) that the internet affords a great opportunity for, the policy that needs to be pushed (absent many progressive "think tanks"), the movement to recruit candidates and so on and so on.

      This was a MUCH needed and so very important diary.

      Thanks for writing it.

    •  The people of American are not progressive (7+ / 0-)

      Most of them are moderates with some progressive leanings and some conservative leanings. I'd like to believe that it wasn't so, but the evidence is overwhelming. Look at any survey on prayer in schools, civil rights, abortion, or gay marriage to see the evidence. IF we want to build a lasting majority, we had better recongize this and work with it.

      •  It depends on the issues (14+ / 0-)

        Americans might be more towards the center on some social issues (but Americans ARE starting to come around on gay rights) but are pretty solidly on the left on economic issues. We need more populism in the Democratic Party.

        •  E$ X A C T L Y.... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimreyn, toys, pioneer111

          Here's the report that PROVES IT!!

          Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

          by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:34:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's not just depending on the issue (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaintyKat, dianem, Unduna

          but what people want to do to address that issue.

          Sure, I support raising the minimum wage.  I may even support raising it to $8 or $9 an hour.  But I wouldn't support raising it to $20 an hour.  I'm not saying anyone is proposing that, but that is an example how two people who answer the same way on this "American is progressive" poll can still differ, possibly even to the point that the $8 minimum wage guy would vote against the $20 an hour guy in favor of someone who doesn't support an increase at all.

          Results from a CBS poll in April:
          Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
          Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:02:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yep (7+ / 0-)

          On every single one of the core issues that Eugene mentioned in his diary, and that the Democrats have been weak on, the general public overwhelmingly subscribes to the progressive positions. The Democrats haven't been weak on hot-button social issues because this Congress hasn't addressing them for the most part and in the few cases where they have, the public position is fairly progressive (there's overwhelming support for ENDA and repealing DADT, for better background checks for gun purchasers, etc.).

          Therefore, a Democratic Congresscritter who takes a half-hearted stance on the core progressive issues identified by Eugene is not being "moderate" or "limited by political reality"; he's refusing to do what the voters in his district hired him to do. He's an underperforming employee.

          I do like conducting hearings in an actual hearing room -- John Conyers

          by ebohlman on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:19:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong wrong wrong... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, jimreyn, blueoasis, pioneer111

        Check this out from MediaMatters & don't go calling us sissies.

        Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

        by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:31:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent straw man argument (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaintyKat, Cardinal96, vcmvo2

          But I didn't say that Americans are conservative, and I didn't say anybody was a "sissy". I said..."Most of them are moderates with some progressive leanings and some conservative leanings".

          •  Those are theh sheep that get sheared, okay? (0+ / 0-)

            Really, who the fuck cares already?  

            Their opinions are like a leaf in the the breeze; changing moment to moment.  We could be a police state  and they would be in the middle of "it's okay to suspend Habeas Corpus and spying on citizens is allowed, as long as prayer is in school and creation is taught as science, too".  The center is meaningless except to understand where and how to move them to your goals.  

            The uber-conservatives and their Corporate/Repuglican lackeys learned this long ago and have gotten so very very much thus far.  All we can see is vague hope that they may, and I say may, be derailed.  I would not count those chickens yet.

            The push has to be to the hard left if you hope to counter the crap you have now.  Otherwise , you will simply adapt to living with it and call it the new middle and mark it "okay"!  Faugh!

            The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

            by FightTheFuture on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:33:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are wrong about the polling (6+ / 0-)

        Please see this comment by Jim P.  In spite of a severe right slant from the MSM, Americans continue to favor the right to choose, clear separation of church and state, gun control, and others.  And this is even though most of these issues are couched in terms which slant the discussion in favor of the conservative position.  I'm not sure what surveys you are referring to.

        If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

        by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:33:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  geomoo, you have it just right !!! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimreyn, geomoo

          See for yourself: http://mediamatters.org/...

          Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

          by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:35:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And see, the facts even back me up for once (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ezdidit

            I just didn't know where they were.
            That's what's great about this site--fact-based argument.  Thanks ezdidit.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:41:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's not a poll (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cardinal96

            It's a collection of carefully selected numbers that reflect a certain position. It makes a good case for American's not being conservative, but it's hardly from an unbiased source. I love Media Matters, but they don't pretend to be neutral. I don't want them to be. Honest yes, neutral, no.

        •  On some issues, Americans lean liberal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YellowDogBlue

          But they're split in two on most issues. They support the separation of church and state, but want prayer in schools and strongly support having God referenced in our pledge and on money. They support abortion rights, but believe that there should be restrictions on them. They approve of homosexual relationships, but don't believe they should be allowed to "marry".  

          It's not a matter of slanting things toward the conservative position. American's are simply very bad at establishing consistant positions on anything. They tend to flow where the wind blows instead of having a solid set of core beliefs upon which to build a foundation of values.

          •  Observe trendlines (7+ / 0-)

            The media matters report referenced above also has compelling evidence of very positive trendlines on a number of issues that do not yet have majority support.  Our mission is not just about now.  But steering our country towards the future.

            Question authoritarianism

            by m00nchild on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:21:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, navigating and massaging the status quo (0+ / 0-)

              is silly.

              We live in Corporate Wingnutistan right now!

              Torture is cool.
              Profit is more important than People.
              Economy is kicking ass!
              Education is passing tests.

              It's craziness!

              Give people a Human Agenda, and they'll grab it and run with it.

              Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

              by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:34:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Then navigate (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              YellowDogBlue, Unduna

              But don't expect the party to do the work for you. Politicians aren't usually leaders. They are generally followers. Occasionally you run into some that actually lead, but the most effective leaders of our time weren't politicians, they were activists who led the people toward change. Once the people start to change, the politicians will follow.

          •  Separation of church and state, for example (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rhfactor, dianem

            I'm sorry I wasn't around to participate when this discussion was active.  But here's my 2 cents now.

            The progressives I know are not very exercised about whether "god" is in the pledge, whether money has "god" on it, or even very much about prayer in the schools.  Fringe elements (here I'm re-claiming a term which is so often used to abuse us) of the progressives are into stopping prayer in the school.  But most progessives are interested in separation of church and state where it really matters:  keeping religion out of science class, keeping religion out of political campaigns, keeping religion out of sex education.  You know, areas where reality is affected.  And in this form, the center is right in step with progressives.  The boring issues such as god on the currency are for the most part straw men accentuated by the right to make us look extreme.  After the corporate media and other manipulators have been hammering, "they want to take 'god' off your money," the respondent is likely to have a pretty weird notion of separation of church and state.  In fact, most Americans support the progressive side of this issue in areas where it really matters.  Most Americans are not fundamentalists, walking around angry and wanting to force their beliefs into government.

            In fact, what we are seeing today is the maturation of a conscious response to the liberalizing of America.  Control of information, lying, and even pretending to support liberal issues such as environmentalism are necessary strategies for a conservative policy which knows full well it represents the minority view.

            If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

            by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:13:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It might surprise you (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, Inky, Dianna, pioneer111

        how this dynamic is overplayed. The media holds sway on the analysis of our culture. If we play on their field of perceptions then we validate the sterotypes instead of offering real values.

        "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

        by shaharazade on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:26:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And if we don't acknowledge them... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaintyKat

          ...then we fail to connect to the people we need to more forward our agenda. Liberals are arrogant. We tend to believe that we are right and therefore everybody will agree with us if they just listen. The world doesn't work that way. People need to be convinced, and we must convince them in terms of things that are meaningful to them, not just meaningful to us.

      •  You are looking at the issues that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, SarahLee

        have been framed by the right in terms of a "Human Agenda".

        Free my Religion!
        Protect my Culture!
        They're killing Babies!
        They're Killing our culture!

        It's quite masterful, really. Trot out these perversions of the Human agenda when they need them.

        Let's contrast this with the line of argument from the left:

        • healthcare
        • global warming
        • Poverty

        40 million Americans have no healthcare.
        The world is getting warmer
        Minimum Wage

        Surely we can say it better than that.

        We've been quite piss poor about framing our issues in terms of a Human Agenda.

        I can ask questions of my Aunt all day long and get the responses I want, and she's 'republican'. She's a friggin' progressive, there's just nobody expressing things the way she needs to hear them, in terms of a Human Agenda.

        Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

        by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:30:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Frames don't change concepts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaintyKat

          They just re-phrase them. In order to effectively frame something, there has to be something there to frame. For example, try to think of a way to frame pedophilia in a positive way. It's not going to work, because there is nothing to frame around. The right framed abortion by taking our love for babies and expanding the defition of baby to include the unborn. They framed prayer in schools by latching onto our desire for well-behaved children. They framed gay marriage by latching onto people's fears of changing social mores about marriage and religion.

          We have failed to frame issues in ways that reach Americans because we have been assuming that their values are the same as ours. Gore was successful in framing global warming as an issue by connecting it to our worries about global calamity. But we've failed to frame national healthcare, anti-povertry measures, gay marriage, abortion rights, or religious freedom in ways that the average American can relate to. It's so obvious to us that these are good things that we don't feel a need to frame them, but most American's just don't feel that way. Because they aren't progressives. They are moderates.

          •  No you are thinking of memes (6+ / 0-)

            as far as rephrasing.

            Republicans have the same values that we do, just not in the same amount.

            Let's see...

            Responsibility:

            "Got Dam welfare moms need to get their shit together and stop squeezin' out kids for me to support with my money!"

            "Got dam corporations need to get their shit together and stop puttin' out all them bad loans and asking me to bail them out with my money!"

            That's a frame.

            That's not rephrasing, that's simply swapping Human with Corporate. It is a frame based on responsibility. It's your own damn fault.  

            The reason it won't take easily is that there is such a HIGH value placed on human culpability from years of the 'welfare mom' meme, and their is no expression for corporate culpability.

            All the Con needs to say is 'Personal Responsibility' or 'Regulation', and it vanishes back into a corporate friendly frame.  

            This has happened because the Democrats thought the Republicans were strong on the issues. They were not strong on issues. They had the right mix of values and rhetoric, their spin made sense.

            Contrast that with the Democratic BS on healthcare:
            We need to make sure everyone has access to healthcare, but we aren't going to step up to the plate and guarantee it, as government is not as efficient as the private sector. We are going to give them 'tax credits'.

            Look at what this did to our ideology:

            Government is bad, private is good. Taxes are too high, so we'll give you credits. We'll reduce your taxes to improve your lot in life.

            Don't you see how damaging that was to Progressive ideology?

            The Democrats shit on their entire reason for being - ensuring that government helped people, protected people, and was a force of good for this country.

            That simple healthcare frame that the Democrats bought into laid waste to the entire Democratic ideology. This was done on scores of issues.

            Bill Clinton saying,"The Era of Big Government is Over!" was just about the stupidest thing ever, but it sure sounded good. Why did it sound good, because Democrats had abandoned their ideology in favor of the quick win.

            They thought the Reps had the winning issues. THey didn't have the winning issues they had a correct mix between values, ideology, rhetoric and conviction.

            When someone is 'pro-Abortion' they lambaste them! IT'S KILLIN' BABIES! Bill Clinton wants to kill babies!

            A Democrat would say,"I disagree with my honorable opponent. While I personally disagree with Abortion, I believe that it's a woman's choice."\

            Rhetoric and values.

            And furthermore, the bullshit stuff that's come out from the Democrats in terms of framing: 'culture of corruption' and the like, are nothing close to frames and framing. It's simple rhetoric.

            Here's a frame:
            "Democrats serve a Human Agenda. Republicans serve a Corporate Agenda."

            If that were to be solidified into people's minds with some repititon, then Democrats started to implement a Human Agenda, we'd be getting somewhere.

            The problem is that Democrats really do serve the Corporate Agenda because it serves them as a party.

            Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

            by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:50:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And frames do change concepts (9+ / 0-)

            Each and every situation you mentioned of Con framing, changed reality.

            Let's take one that's fully complete:

            Tax Relief.

            Think of all the hidden meanings in that.

            Taxes are an affliction.

            Lowering taxes will be 'relieving'.

            He who lowers my taxes is good.

            He who raises my taxes is bad.

            Add to that the frame of 'Big Meddlesome Government' and we have a serious problem.

            Taxes are not only taking away my money, but my liberty as well.

            Taxes are used to enslave people.

            Taxes are wasted on inefficient government.

            Taxes are bad!

            Contrast that with this:

            Taxes are Dues.

            Taxes built America, and are responsible for making this the greatest country in human history.

            Taxes are roads.

            Taxes are schools.

            Taxes are parks.

            Taxes ensure that all Americans are protected.

            Taxes insure the people against Fraud.

            Taxes insure opportunity for all.

            Taxes protect people from exploitation.

            Tax those who can afford it most, those who can't afford it least.

            Taxes are necessary to live in a first world country.

            These are serious changes in meaning, from framing.

            The problem is that Democrats don't stand for anything any more.

            Sure some of them do, but the party -

            What does the party stand for?

            When was the last time they stood for it?

            Right now all Democrats stand for is 'anti-Bush', and that's why they do not enjoy the full fledged support of the American people.

            Once Democrats hook up their values, their ideology and their rhetoric, this will change.

            This is why I'm so against Hillary becoming the nominee. She stands for nothing.

            But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps you could tell me what Democrats and Hillary (I think they are quite similar these days) stand for.

            I just don't see it though.

            Cheers,

            Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

            by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:02:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  wrong. they are progressive, marketing sucks (0+ / 0-)

        therefore they are 'moderate'

        the definition of which is controlled by the scum like broder and brian mathews and katie and cokie

        and their paymasters.

        rmm.

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 07:08:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, we need to recognize this and push them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca

        off their fearful little center circle and get the country shifted left, once again, to a better place.  A lot of shit, and attitudes need hard changing if we are to survive this century.  Conservative asshattery, warring, prayers and blind faith in the big spook will not do it!

        The meek shall inherit the earth.... six feet under!! Liberals and progressives, stop being meek!

        by FightTheFuture on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:23:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  As long as we stay united (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, Superribbie, Harkov311, donnamarie

      everything is possible. Sadly the history of the left is a history of unproductive infighting and splintering.

      I just want to emphasize that America has a two party system and that the only way to enact progressive legislation is hrough the Democratic Party. Of course this also means reforming this party, from within.

      •  If you're not paying attention... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jimreyn, pioneer111

        ...then nothing will change your mind.

        You are buying into centrist memes.

        Check out this important report from MediaMatters, then come back here and tell me to reform the party from within....

        Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

        by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:33:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Keep repeating the message ;-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Inky

          We have some tone deaf people on the left who think we should be "moderate" whatever that means.

          It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

          by pioneer111 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:05:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Tremendous diary (12+ / 0-)

      It basically sums up a great deal of what I want to say, and eloquently, too.

      Electing Democrats was always just a first step. Electing Democrats for the sake of electing Democrats is pretty useless if they screw us just slightly less than Republicans. Let's make elections consequential and let's have some real progressive change. This is real life, not a football game.

      Have a four on me.

    •  Fantastic framing of the message there... (9+ / 0-)

      bravo!

      This very thing has been eating away at me for quite some time now. We need to break loose of party partisanship and refocus.

      Refocus on the issue's staring us in the face and real, serious work towards finding effective solutions to those problems.

      I lean Dem, I'm definitely a Progressive. Honestly though, I don't really give a damn about ideology. What I'm passionate about is solutions and the welfare of the entire country, the entire world, and all the varied groups of people in it.

      On this note, I think the direction Chris in his post, as well as your's here, are right on target. While the ideological partisanship isn't the important aspect of it to me, I believe the Progressive community has the best hope, the greatest chance of getting us to the real, solid, workable solutions the we're going to need.

      Thanks for getting this out there Eugene!

      On a completely unrelated note, check this out let either myself of N in Seattle know if you're up for a ball game or two! :)

      Síochán

      "níl síochán gan cheart"

      No justice, no peace

      by Erevann on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:23:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I knew there was something wrong with JUST WORDS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, jimreyn

      D-E-E-D-S :::  A-C-T-I-O-N-S
      As for me, I am   o u t a h e r e   !

      Full-Time For Gore !!!

      He's been right all along, on every issue. If anyone can run an unconventional campaign and de-centralize the Democratic Party, he can.

      GORE FOR AMERICA.

      And when he wins the    N o b e l   P e a c e    P  r i z e ,   we can all work for

      AL GORE For The PROGRESSIVE MAJORITY !!!

      ARE WE AGAINST THE WAR?
      ARE WE AGAINST THE BUSH/CHENEY REGIME?
      Only public action will bring back habeas corpus!

      STRIKE ON JUNE 26th !
      (Call in dead and do not go to work. Do not participate. Do not buy anything. Fast! Drink plenty of fluids, but do not eat anything. STRIKE AGAIN ON JULY 3rd

      Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

      by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:27:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can a FPer FP this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metal prophet

      Do NOT rec my comment. Please.
      I just jumped in here.  Bad form, I know but this is SO important.  

      Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- not George Carlin

      by donnamarie on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:29:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A word of appreciation for eugene. (20+ / 0-)

      You're a brilliant thinker, eugene.  And you're one of a handful of writers I never skip -- I always learn something from your work.

      I usually agree with your points quite strongly, but even when I don't, your take is always worth mulling over.

      But I know you didn't write this diary to have smoke blown up your ass.  It's a passionate call to action, and right I'm there with you.  You said it better than I ever could -- but you speak for me.  Whether you like it or not. ;)

      I have now firmly rejected the faux-realism which assumes that the state of political play is a fixed one, where few if any can be persuaded.  It leads to a false sense of despair and resignation about far too many things.

      But I'll write more about that in a diary of my own soon.  For now...thank you.

      "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

      by chumley on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:47:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Chasing narrow victories" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carbide Bit

      I know what you're talking about, and I basically agree with everything you've said here, but I think you mean we shouldn't be SATISFIED with narrow victories, right? I mean, with all its weaknesses, and believe me I agree there are many, this narrow Democratic majority is better than the alternative, right? Jim Webb's and Jon Tester's narrow victories are better than having Burns and Allen (hey!) in there, no?

      In other words, I totally agree with Dean's words about "no red districts" - we should be fearless. But some districts are going to provide pretty narrow, incremental, victories for a while.

      •  We'll take what we can get (6+ / 0-)

        But for a long time the Dem approach has been to play for narrow victories in a few swing districts or swing states. If we get them, wonderful, but my argument is much like that of Dean's - we fight in every district.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:57:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm down with that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca

          Dean's deal, to the extent that I've heard him, basically boils down to: The Democrats look to pick up the 20 or so electoral-college votes that'll give them 270; the Republicans go for 538 every time. Naturally, when you aim higher, you hit higher.

          That's said, you don't build up a huge majority without a few compromises. But "compromise" is a word I don't want to hear Democrats mutter for at least eight years. It's a progressive country - time to start acting like it.

        •  and not just fight for partisan control (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, SarahLee, Susan Something

          but fight for our ideas as well, no matter how hostile the territory supposedly is. that's the key point in this diary, and it cannot be made too many times.

          we have got to start actually leading and campaigning in a transformative sense, and we have got to stop treating our fundamental principles as something to be ashamed of.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:45:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Swing District Approach... (0+ / 0-)

          ummm that's because campaigns are incredibly expensive.  

          Let's assume at the Federal level that every thing is 50/50. For sake of argument (not even close to how it works) you spend $2 million (which is what it takes to win) on the 200+ seats we don't control (i.e. every Repub seat), that's already over $400 million (every 2 years), then you spend $10 million on 47+ senate seats, ($470 million over six years) lets call it $150 million every 2 year cycle.  So $500 million every two years plus half again to defend our current seats = $825 million every 2 years.

          Then add in $500 million for a presidential contest every 4 years or $250 each cycle and you need $1.1 BILLION every cycle to compete everywhere.  This is of course no counting what happens at the state level so lets add another $400 million (probably much higher) to give us a nice round number of $1.5 billion that needs to be raised.

          That's why we don't compete in every district and we don't have big corporate backers or anywhere near as many fat cat donors to do it.

          Despite my user name I no longer live in DC but back in the great state of Texas.

          by TX Dem in DC on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:40:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Very good diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      empathy, Carbide Bit

      I know I am one of the most into "electing any old Democrat" around here, but this piece is well reasoned and basically right.  It brings out the short term/long term tradeoff as well.  In the short term, I continue to believe that working to elect any old Democrat (in addition to aggressively promoting rising progressive stars) is in the best interest of any movement.  In the long term, it is very easy to focus so much on this goal that you lose sight of the broader movement (as I will admit I am often guilty of this).

      Consider, though, that the progressive majority may be more easily built by sweeping in new progressive candidates while letting less progressive Democrats be.  This is actually how the New Deal coalition was built.  The Southern conservatives remained in the fold--creating a natural sizable majority--but were progressively more marginalized within the Democratic caucus.  In fact, it has been convincingly argued that FDR's hubris in first attempting to pack the Supreme Court in 1937 and then trying to "purge" the Congress of uncooperative Democrats in the 1938 primaries was the first steps in the GOP comeback.  1938 did end up being the first time the Republicans made gains since 1928.

      I don't see why this approach cannot work today: promote ideology and promote progressive candidates for openings, either challenging Republicans or in open seat races, but "live and let live" with the Blue Dogs of the world.  The only reason that they can throw monkey wrenches now is that the majority is small enough that they hold the balance of power.  If it were larger, and if the caucus were dominated by progressives, you'd get progressive policies without having to expend time, money, and energy turning fire on members of our own party.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire -8.25, -6.51

      by Superribbie on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:03:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Awesome observations, eugene (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, wu ming

      As you know, I've always been on the long term progressive project, having been around this block a few times. Nice to see the blogosphere evolving.

    •  Great diary eugene! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, esquimaux

      Yes, just getting "Dems" elected does not cut it anymore as a mission, and that applies here as well.

      Even rock-solid Lib Dems like Ted Kennedy are getting sloppy and stupid, from Kennedy's anti-labor Immigration Reform Bill which increases H-1B Visas which the corporatists use to displace American high-tech workers and undercut and devalue American high-tech jobs, to some Health-related Kennedy draft bill stuff that I am watching that seems to be as pro-corporatist & pro-big-pharma as anything that ever came from Bill Frist.

      Moving on starts with diverting 10% of one's blog time here to instead making calls to Congressional reps and beating on them when they mess up, and proceeding from there.

      For example, I called Kennedy/Reid/Obama/Durbin and I told them all that I was disgusted with the immigration reform bill as it concerns H-1B Visas, and that as a Lib Dem myself I nevertheless hope that the repubs kill it.

      And then there is Boucher, and Rangel, etc. We somehow need to scare the shit outta these guys, go beyond merely blogging about them, scare them like Jane Harman got scared into getting right with US.

      Blogging PLUS field action, that's the ticket!

      •  The Democratic Chair agrees (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, Garden Neighbor

        "And I must just say, that it's not enough just to put the Democrats back in power. I don't want the same old Democratic party that sat around on its butt and thought that if it was like the Republicans it might win an election once in a while. We've got to have real change in this country."

        Howard Dean on the Ed Shultz show 9/10/05

        The only thing we need to do is fully repudiate and bury the conservative movement, reform the media, and give the Democratic party a spine.

        by Malacandra on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 07:54:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No Dem POTUS candidate meets these (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhfactor, jimreyn, esquimaux, BentLiberal

      criteria.  They are merely same old same old - maybe that's why many of us are not satisfied with the current list.

      Do you agree/feel differently?  If you see a real progressive in the group, give us a head's up!!!

    •  the life or death issue is voting (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, esquimaux, Stripe

      the GOP will try almost anything to prevent the majority from ruling.

      There will be voter challenges in every precinct of the battleground states, there will be voter purges, intimidation, dirty tricks and it will be like never before.

      fouls, excesses and immoderate behaviors will not be ignored at Over the line, Smokey!.

      by seesdifferent on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:04:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good stuff, (0+ / 0-)

      but, I don't think too many here supported any old Democrat in 2006. QED Joe Lieberman.

      The real difference in this community is about what constitutes a Tolerable vs an Intolerable Democrat, that's a significantly more intractable issue than simply whether we support All Democrats or Most Democrats.

      The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility - Albert Einstein

      by theadmiral on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Netroots antiwar activists needed! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pohjola

      Eugene has put out the call, and I for one am in a position to know just how correct his statement is.  Those of us who ahve been working hard laying the groundwork for Iraq Moratorium Day are now at a crossroads.  Within 72 hours, an  official announcement will be made.  At that moment, the work load will become more than our small existing core group will be able to handle.  All those who are ready to steop up and take a place on the ground floor of a major antiwar organizing campaign, now is the time to get involved.  Anyone interested infinding out more about Iraq Moratorium day and what you can do to help, contact me at the email address in my profile.

      Let's get organized to Stop The War and Bring the Troops Home Alive.

    •  powerful statement (4+ / 0-)

      Too often, so-called "realists" come along to tell us that this or that bad Dem is the best we can get from a district, that it's a "red district" so we have to put up with whatever we can get. This is not at all realistic politics. True realism understands that politics is an ever-changing business, and that voters' minds are never cast in stone - otherwise Bush would still be at 90% approval ratings.

      Agree!

      Dump Doolittle

    •  I've been saying this for 20 years.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa, rhfactor, justme, chuckvw

      To borrow from a Chinese proverb, "If we do not change our direction we are likely to end up where we are headed." We must change our direction and move from a culture of violence to a culture of peace, from a culture of greed and me first to a culture of concern for the common good. We will not settle for anything less.

    •  yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Inky

      Step away from the computers, gang. I've done it at times. It works!

    •  I would rec this diary 50 times if I could. n/t (4+ / 0-)
    •  Crashing the Gate is not getting a copy of (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, rhfactor, chuckvw

      the key to Executive Restroom from the Republicans.

      It's high time people here realized that!

      •  and btw, hats off to "diary" -- a seminal work! (0+ / 0-)

        and a lot of fun.

        Which reminds me:

        Progressives are fun

        and about as American as they come.

        not that this is in dispute.

        Wait,

        the Fleet Admiral shall appear to dispute it!

        3...

        2...

        1...

        aw

        damnit!

        He's onto me.

        -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
        *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

        by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:04:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let me ask you (0+ / 0-)

      Are you arguing for direct challenges of "bad" (at least in my definition) democrats such as; Hilary, Nancy, Chuck S, Rahm, Chuck R. These "democrats" have done some VERY bad things to undermine "our" cause. Unfortunately they are extremely powerful with a lot of money and I also recognize that many of these pols have strong support from many people on this site.

    •  BRAVO! (0+ / 0-)

      My head has been in the same place now for many months.

      Institutional politicians of any political stripe are increasingly becoming a threat  to the future of mankind.  In my opinion, the established paradigm of the national political parties will not allow a groundswell of progressive/reformist candidates to be elected.  And if some do, they will always be treated as outsiders and the radical fringe element of the party.

      I believe for a progressive movement to exist in the Democratic Party at the national level, we must start by removing the deadwood.  The electorate needs to send a chilling message to career, coporista, empty-talking Dems that a new day has dawned.  If not, the internal machinery will continue and we'll be farting in the wind.  Otherwise, the only hope is for the promotion of a new party which may take decades to develop.

      Since so many who aspire to national office are often driven by an element of super-ego and power, the only way to surely catch their attention and motivate them to listen to the electorate is to send an unflinching message that their days will be surely numbered if they don't listen to the electorate.

      Thus, I believe our job is to replace the state and local old guard in the party machinery, select and promote accomplished and credible local progressive candidates, and perform public outreach regarding progressive viability over elected officials that are clearly influenced by the entrenched party group-think and corporate dollars.

      "Self-respect is the keystone of democracy"

      by neverontheright on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 06:45:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The challenge for Democrats-and it is a hard one- (0+ / 0-)

      is that the elected Democrats do not represent as narrow a costituancy as do the Republicans.

      It is not always clear who is a good Dem and who is a bad Dem. Someone like Rick Boucher, who wants global warming to happen, is also a strong ally on net neutrality. The Congressional majority is full of such examples, ranging from the good folks who occasionally fuck up to the Bush Democrats (aka the Blue Dogs) who are our outright enemies. How we deal with them must be the subject of an open and honest debate amongst our movement. But we must never accept that there is nothing we can do about them.

      All quite true--the Democratic Majority repesents a huge cross section of regional, economic and cultural interests and as such has a huge challenge ahead of it to reconsile what are often disparate views. The advantage lays in the essential differance of the sort who make up the rank and file of the GOP and those of the Democratic Party. The latter are better equipped to deal with the wide varience of issues because of the wide differance of their base.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 09:05:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Awesome. Instant Classic! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Garden Neighbor
      I just could not agree more.

      THIS is a "watershed" piece.

      Bookmark and save.

    •  Great diary - not quite a complete analysis... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca

      We have another hurdle, in my estimation - the MSM.

      While it's undeniable that we here in the left blogosphere have made great strides toward making our voices heard in this country overall, i.e., providing accuracy in journalism, and to a point, holding the MSM accountable, acting as a formidable money-raising machine, and promoting a true progressive agenda, we haven't yet gained the respect of the mainstream media.

      They, (pundits and elected officials both) still think of us as  "the rabid left blogging in their pajamas." And, until we shatter this myth, I fear we'll still be relegated to the background - the so-called "white noise" of national politics.

      Two of our most significant battles, i.e., backing Howard Dean in '04 and promoting Ned Lamont in '06, fell short of complete and satisfactory victory. We're not yet perceived as "closers."

      The Democratic "establishment" is fighting us tooth & nail, and so far has succeeded in marginalizing our legitimacy. Idiot pundits with bloated paychecks and egos, de-legitimize us every chance they get. It's not surprising, however, because we're a bona fide threat to their livelihoods.

      Even though they need us, and will happily accept the money we raise, the DNC elite like Joe Klein, Rahm Emmanual, Paul Begala and James Carvel will continue to do everything possible to drown out our voices.

      Until we figure out a way to force the Democratic establishment to accept us for what we are - a true progressive voice with the backing of a majority of Americans - the aforementioned pundits (and many others) will not take our candidates seriously.

      Just sayin'      

  •  Exactly. Yes. Amen. Indeed. (26+ / 0-)

    You've hit the nail on the head, and the ball out of the park.

    When the head of a Dem County Party records commecials for a republican team against a set of bills that will benefit Democrats, you know it's time to fix the party. Here's to hoping that others discover what you've illustrated here. I've been praying for change in the party on a fundamental level. Hopefully others will read this and join in the effort.

    •  Not disagreeing, but I'll point out that (11+ / 0-)

      this cuts the other way, too.  That is, sometimes the progressive thing to do can be to support Republicans.  Put away those rotten tomatoes you were about to throw and hear me out:

      Here in Pittsburgh, local politics are such that, if you want to win any office, you have to be a Democrat.  You can either be a Democrat Democrat or a Republican Democrat, but either way you have to be a Democrat.

      The current Mayor of Pittsburgh and County Executive of Allegheny County are Republican Democrats, undoubtedly.  Also, the Mayor is a particularly odious example of old-boy-network politics.  Putting aside the "D" and "R" labels for a moment -- this is the antithesis of a progressive movement.

      So what are a lot of us Pittsburgh lefties gonna do?  Vote for the Republican candidate in the election in November.  It's possible that he is actually MORE liberal than the mayor, having been an aide to the late Sen. John Heinz (AKA Mr. Teresa Heinz-Kerry), who was a pretty moderate Republican.  But even if he's not, a victory for him is a victory against non-participatory democracy.

      Now, am I suggesting that we all go out and vote Republican?  Hell no!

      I'm simply supporting eugene's point with an example of how building a Democratic majority may not only be too little, but may be harmful.  Pittsburgh is a great example of what happens when we elect Democrats because they're Democrats and then fail to hold them accountable to progressive principles.

      •  I like your pittsburgh example (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, el dorado gal, I

        not that I like what they are doing, but I like it as an example of what needs to be done to break down machine candidates.

        The "Democratic" machine here sued to get Republicans off of the primary ballot in the City Council race, then ran a write in campaign to get those votes, and is now suing again because two of the three machine candidates did not win and the race was exceptionally close. All with the complicit support of the local media.

      •  You make a great point (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, el dorado gal, blueoasis, I, inertiac

        I fear I may get some rotten tomatoes thrown at me as well, but I voted for Charlie Crist for Governor of Florida.  Not because I'm a Crist guy, but I knew he supported some important progressive issues.  Our state legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, and there was no way Jim Davis would have gotten anything through.  Now we have thorough election reform.  No more felon lists, no more Diebold machines.  In the meantime we need to continue to gain seats so that we can have an effective progressive Democratic governor.

        I can settle for a populist Republican in the meantime if it means progress while we're rebuilding.

      •  In Cleveland's case... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I

        where the case I cited in the original comment happened, the Dem boss is corrupt, old school, hand in your pocket kind of leader, who won't look past his own lust for power and need to remain in control. He makes the party look bad -- something that's hard to do in an area that's 86% democratic.

  •  This morning (30+ / 0-)

    on the subway, there was a young man speaking to the whole subway car about the need to change the way this country is headed. He spoke about getting involved, voting, and loving eachother. It sounds cheesy but it really inspired me. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the rest of the people on the train. He was trying to hand out flyers and some flatly rejected them. One man said he was too busy. It made me sad, I wanted to tell him to not let people discourage him. I think this is a big problem in general. How do we get people interested?

    •  No idea (19+ / 0-)

      There are no clear answers.

      But more and more, I think that making the effort is what is needed. It's like writing a paper. I feel writer's block before actually opening Word, but once I've started typing, the words and thoughts flow.

      That young man's speech may not have "worked." But it got you thinking, and it got others thinking. He's slowly but surely helping change consciousness. That's what we need to start doing.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:24:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope so... (5+ / 0-)

        I saw so much disallusionment, with a couple of interested faces sprinkled in.

      •  I don't know if we have the time (6+ / 0-)

        That young man's speech may not have "worked." But it got you thinking, and it got others thinking. He's slowly but surely helping change consciousness. That's what we need to start doing.

        ...but the only way that board-based philosophic change will happen is incrementally. Two people here, four there. But then they spread the word, to their families, their friends, and eventually more and more people start to think, and to act.

        I wish there was a quicker way, but there isn't, not if you're preaching to someone else's choir.

      •  HOW? Using TV is something to use frequently (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, Susan Something

        eugene, what I wanted to say in a post way above is:

        Would you be willing to go on camera and record the call-to-action on video? If so, I would edit it and post it to YouTube -- and start at the beginning.

        Use the Youtube mainstream distrubution network, as well as iTunes video podcasts -- and start engaging people with TV.

        We are years behind on this -- but that could chnage overnight, if we simply begin.

        my profile has my email, if you're up for making this a video message. :)

        -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
        *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

        by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:39:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Committee of correspondence (8+ / 0-)

        The Republicans have managed to utilize a "Committee of correspondence" approach to making their framing of issues acceptable.  They moved beyond letters to "spam" email that get circulated to everyone, talk radio and TV, letters to the editor - you name it, they got it covered.

        What we need to do is recreate Committees of Correspondence to start pushing progressive issues and framing.

        I worked with a group of leftists back before the Iraq war started.  We set up a YahooGroup to coordinate and honed skills and talking points on the Hannity forum.  then we divided up message boards on newspaper sites across the country and started working those until we had recruited enough folks who thought like us to reach all most every state.  

        Next a lawyer in the group helped us draft a set of "Interrogatories" asking questions about the PNAC - at that point we had never heard the PNAC mentioned on any news show and no one on any of the message boards we were hitting had heard of it.

        We sent our interrogatories to all signers of PNAC documents giving them two weeks to reply.  At the end of two weeks, we sent them to all members of the White House press corp and asked them why they were not asking these questions.

        Then we started state by state to send in letters to the editor and to journalists in every state and posted them on every one of the newspaper message boards we had found and registered for when we started - others picked them up from there.  We were 3 months from first starting the "project" when I heard 3 of our questions asked on CSpan's Washington Journal.  The host for Washington Journal didn't know what the PNAC was.  

        We were a small group of 7 - imagine what we could do with just five activists in each big city in evey state?

        •  Oh - and we also (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, algebrateacher

          made flyers and copies so those in cities could leave copies on buses and subways, etc.

          I do this today - I always keep a bag of flyers, biz cards, CDs etc. in my car, so I can leave info about Universal Healthcare where ever I go.

        •  interesting (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, SarahLee, chuckvw

          imagine what you could do with some staff and a little money to help organize. I am working on starting a non profit that works on selling liberal ideas, and what you have done would fit nice into what I am trying to do.

          When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

          by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 05:35:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Part of the reason it worked (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rhfactor

            was because it was kind of a "secret group" - we didn't astroturf, but no one could find a source on the internet where the effort was coming from.

            •  it wouldn't be astroturf (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, SarahLee

              Astroturf comes from a non ideological group paid to make something look popular. We would be a group of liberals looking to build support for ideas we firmly believe in, there is a huge difference.

              When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

              by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 06:15:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  More of this is needed. Smart strategy groups out (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee

              of view from operatives... using communication tools wisely.

              I'd like to hear whether you used vetting methods to authenticate group members.

              During the Dean campaign, for the DeanMediaTeam collaborative online ad-agency that developed and created TV & web ads for Dean, I had vetting methods in place -- and actually snagged two people who tripped the switches -- and they were screened out from participation.

              Libs don't like to talk about stuff like this -- which is a real shame because it's a necessary smart move to protect the intellectual and execution resources of the strategy group.

              -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
              *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

              by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:16:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Vetting is important (0+ / 0-)

                and we did vet anyone we invited into our core group.  Most of us met at Michael Moore's old forum before it was shut down so were pretty clear on where we stood as we decided to work together.  The few others we invited into the inner circle were people we got to know through the message boards we were working.  

                When they naturally began to interact positively with us and assisted with responding to questions, we had pretty good indicators that they would enhance our operation.

                Conceptual Guerilla was a member of the group.

                •  ah hah -- all very good (0+ / 0-)

                  and I've participated in several of Conceptual Gorilla's diaries -- most recently a while back on his suggestions for improving the RECOMMEND LIST.

                  He.she made excellent points with which I agreed.

                  I sent you email showing you a wide variety of tools I initiated during Dean campaign. I was actually surprised, looking back, to see just how much was done! (hah hah -- but those were the days when I had a candidate who talked straight, didn't do bullshit, and really could have chnaged this nation...)

                  -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
                  *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

                  by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 02:48:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  "Old ways" are still some of the best ways (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, SarahLee

          A "well-informed citizenry" needs a source.

          The Assault on Reason forum, Fridays 3 PDT. Feminisms Wednesdays, Kossacks Under 35 Thursdays, Grieving Room Mondays, Teachers' Lounge Saturdays

          by algebrateacher on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:29:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  SarahLee -- are you going to YearlyKos? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          If so, I want to meet with you to bake a cake.

          No, actually, to pick your brain about methods. I've been working for past 9 months on a cross-site project initiation and management tool. Too complicated to describe here.

          If you're not going to yK (this is my firs time going, i didn't go YeaR 1),write me anyway please.

          here:

          rhfactorUSA at gmaildotcom

          -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
          *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

          by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:10:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  we do need clarity though (0+ / 0-)

        I think clarity is the main issue. The problems we have are due almost completely to the fact most people are confused and in a stupor due to the unprocessed information they cannot digest. Thus there's a paucity of good analysis on the nature of power, who has it, how is it wielded and how to get it. Then we can make common cause based on a realistic lay of the land.

        First thing you do is stop watching TV and assume that all information from the MSM is propaganda (not that it necessarily is but you have to start with radical skepticism) because it as an institution is deeply political and deeply involved in the political arrangements we have.

    •  Take away their Playstations, HD Televisions, ect (12+ / 0-)

      People have been subdued with drugs of all kinds, including chemicals.  

      •  you do not take then away... (6+ / 0-)

        you use those things to get your message out. As Karl Marx wrote in the commie manifesto, I am paraphrasing here, you use the tools provided by the people in charge to help get your message out to the masses.

        You run ads on local tv and radio, you develop a not so obvious liberal/progressive video game, you use what is out there to start swaying how people think about the issues.

        When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

        by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:44:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is the most REALISTIC and ACTIONABLE post I (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jbou, zett

          have read here. This must be a large part of the strategy and gameplan for engaging more Americans. We have too meet them where they are. Not set up tables and expect them to come to us.

          (of course BOTH would be best!)

          -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
          *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

          by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:41:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, propaganda for all!!!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pkbarbiedoll

          Your video game line is flat out disturbing.  It's like the "Left Behind" game, except you hope to make it even less subtle.

          •  I can live with disturbing... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee, algebrateacher

            what i can't live with is a lack of universal health care, a lack of pell grants for college kids, a lack of serious renewable energy policy. So if it takes the use of some propaganda that is a bit disturbing than so be it.

            When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

            by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 04:18:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  typical kneejerk reactionary. LOOK EVERYONE OVER (0+ / 0-)

            HERE.

            This is one example of how we lose.

            Jumping to polarized conclusions without so much as a word of debate or discussion.

            But rather, a curt, dismissive, know it all comment which tonally conveys:

            You dumbshit! You don't know your ass from a hole in ground. Take your friggin polluted ideas elsewhere.

            Yep.

            This is as blatant -- and as perfect - an example as one could ever find. I would use it in a chapter called:

            WHY WE LOSE IN INFLUENCING SWING VOTERS:

            (1) Assuming you know best, and the other guy's ideas are not even open for discussion.

            see also:  Authoritarian Leftists

            Sorry, I must send you off to a re-education camp. Is that okay?

            -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
            *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

            by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 03:24:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  For crying out loud. (0+ / 0-)

        11 people(as of this moment) support lowering quality of life and think that entertainment is a horrible thing.  That's just great.

    •  Power of the vote... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, dotdot, pioneer111

      ... if we can allow people to feel once again that the individual vote has power (through election reform, fighting gerrymandering, etc.) then we can have more of a movement.

      Either we believe in false dichotomies or we don't.

      by droogie6655321 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:39:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it really needs a marketing campaign... (5+ / 0-)

      Just like MoveOn identified and answered the right's practice of framing and association when they launched their "Grand Oil Party" bumper sticker campaign, the progressive movement needs visibility in the mainstream.

      Billboards.  bumper stickers, letters to the editor, home-made (or professionally made) educational videos up on YouTube about the issues, email distribution campaigns.

      ..absolutely screw consensus.  Pull the center to the left.  Constantly and aggressively weed out the bad apples.  No protecting crooks with "D-anywhere" after their names.

      The guy on the subway is opening the Overton Window.
      Time to let some fresh air in.

      I can relate to that awkwardness of wanting to join the chorus of what he was saying, not quite confident enough to let the words out... I'm gonna get over that... I actually started last night at my homeowners' assn. mtg (very nice development with way too much perfect grass) when I asked if anyone would be opposed to a wind turbine.  12 out of 15 families would object.  I have work to do.

      Impeach them already, for crying out loud! How many laws do they have to break?!?!

      by netguyct on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:46:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes the most awkward part was that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, netguyct

        I didn't really feel that I was his target audience. He was a young black man and he was speaking about the specific issues that the black community face, like gang violence and murder. He was saying that we (or the black community) i'm unsure about which, need to stop hating eachother and start loving eachother. It was really a wonderful speech.

      •  MoveOn's off-the-mark with TV ads & media (0+ / 0-)

        We may always applaud, but that's because they build their messages around what works for US. There are verey very few pieces of TV media I have ever seen from MoveOn that speak to swing voters.

        It's hard for people to accept this, because MoveOn is such a powerful force for change, and they have been incredibly influential.

        But they do not speak the language of crossover voters. And the sooner we realize that the better.

        REALITY CHECK:  The reason why a lot of Democratic Party TV ads are so ineffective for anyone not already sold on the candidate or issue is that Dems keep going back to the same recycled well.

        The Beltway ad agency MoveOn uses sticks with the same old-man-scary voice in 90% of whatever they make.

        "Tell George Bush No More Troops in Iraq"
        "Tell Alberto Gonzales to Step Down"

        etc etc. Same format, same set-up and payoff structure. And so many Dem orgs and candidates keep using this same agency. Geez!

        -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
        *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

        by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:49:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I really dislike being proselytized (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhfactor, Elise

      and I am a progressive.  A lot of people are turned off by having an issue fervently thrust in their faces.  And this approach can't compete with the slick news broadcasts.  I don't mean to knock those who do the hard work, but I am saying that approach, while it has an effect, will never take the center.  In fact, the center is progressive, and only lying in the media and cheating by the GOP is keeping that from being obvious.  Please see this comment below, which to me addresses the crux of this issue--neutralizing the propaganda machine.

      If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

      by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:38:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  isn't that what we're already doing? (18+ / 0-)

    you seem to want to compress the time frames on something that i've always seen as a multi-decadal struggle.

    We are already rebuilding the party, slowly, in the same way the Republicans did theirs, and I think absolutely it's effective and in motion.

    •  I want us to make a clear and conscious effort (17+ / 0-)

      In that direction. I agree that this is a multi-decadal effort, but we are not currently speaking in that language. That is what we need to begin doing. Make this more overt than it currently is.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:25:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Three words: defined common ideology (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, zett, Simplify

        state what we believe and what we don't and not try to be so all-inclusive that we hold self-contradictory positions.

        Critical thinking has slid so far downhill that people don't realize that politics and ethics are supposed to be closely intertwined, and both are subject to rational decision process.

        This post brought to you by George Soros and the vast left wing conspiracy

        by VelvetElvis on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:53:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  perfectly articulated. This is not a secret plan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        .. yet a lot of how we feel is under the radar of recognition by those in power. Yeah yeah if they come here and read diaries they get it earfuls of it.

        But by and large I still believe we are not taken seriously, other than in the tangible ways the left blogosphere has produced results: fundraising.

        They generally only "play to us" and our values, when they come here to drop off a diary. But when's the last time Pelosi or Reid invited a delegation of 50 or so bloggers to come meet with each, and have a true roundtable -- where they shut up for a while and listen for a change. They expect US to fit their old paradigm.

        When we want them to fit OUR newer paradigm.

        So, eugene is right. We need to shape our frame, and, to use a term of the month, we need to forecast and spell out our benchmarks, and keep tweeking to hit our marks. Winging it won't build critical mass. Gameplans will.

        And yes, Dean's multi-decade 50-state Strategy is indeed a plan. But it needs to be taken and out intpo something like Microsoft Project, lead by a really solid professional Project Manager -- and chunk down the goals inot actionable plans, with realistic target dates etc.

        -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
        *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

        by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 04:01:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  p.s. / my reply was to eugene's comment (0+ / 0-)

          we are not currently speaking in that language. That is what we need to begin doing. Make this more overt than it currently is.

          -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
          *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

          by rhfactor on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 04:03:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's what I was going to say... (16+ / 0-)

      I don't know what y'all have been doing- but um...this is what I've been doing.

      The point is that it's about increments-

      In order to protect things now we need a majority. We worked and got that.

      Now- we don't just want a majority- we want a majority of Progressive candidates- SO we do two things at once:

      1. We work to elect progressive Dems everywhere that's possible.
      1. We work to promote progressive ideas everywhere, but specifically in places where they haven't been promoted in a long time- i.e. 50 state strategy.

      But this isn't something that can be fixed in 6 months. This is something that takes a long time. This is about implanting ideas and having them become part of the prevailing culture- we can't even figure out how to work/manipulate the media the way we want yet...I don't see how we're going to win 300 progressive seats next year.

      These things take time.

      Having said that- yeah- some things need to change about the blogosphere. We do need to stop pushing more conservative candidates- especially in places where good progressive candidates can kick ass.

      •  Personally (12+ / 0-)

        I think we are best to not limit ourselves. I don't believe we're going to elect 300 progressives to the House in 2008 either. But it's worth trying. We should not make unnecessary compromises - part of a long-term strategy is constantly pushing your values even when you don't think they're going to win.

        You say:

        This is about implanting ideas and having them become part of the prevailing culture

        I think you're absolutely right about that. Part of accomplishing that is persistence. We do this not because we think it'll get us elected in 2008 (though we suspect it'll help a lot in that cause) but because it is the right thing to do. That's what grabs voters' attention and earns their trust.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:42:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, to me- we do it for both reasons- (5+ / 0-)

          because it's right and because we will win if we do so.

          And I'm not suggesting we make unnecessary compromises- I'm suggesting that I don't quite think Dean is right just yet. There are clearly districts that are more red than others- that doesn't mean Dems can't win in those places- but progressive Dems are more likely to have an uphill battle in those areas- especially if they are rural and especially if the opponent starts pushing god, guns, and gays. We still haven't figured out how to combat that in a lot of places- and that's something we need to keep working on.

          To me- giving in on choice or keeping quiet about equal rights for all people including gay people- well, I'm not entirely willing to do that in those areas just yet. We can keep a majority without doing too much of that.

        •  plus we have a great card (0+ / 0-)

          to play if we use it honesty and that along with courage are much needed and I believe longed for in the public arena.

          "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

          by shaharazade on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:30:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Re: "implanting ideas and having them become (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, rhfactor, vcmvo2, Elise

        part of the prevailing culture."

        We must also neuter, disable and/or destroy the regressive ideas already in our culture, plus those that are proposed.

        The Assault on Reason forum, Fridays 3 PDT. Feminisms Wednesdays, Kossacks Under 35 Thursdays, Grieving Room Mondays, Teachers' Lounge Saturdays

        by algebrateacher on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 08:34:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's do away with Intelligent Design (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, algebrateacher

          Resurrect the sciences for analyzing the age of the universe.

          Let's do away ith the Patriot Act justlike Tester said. Call off the War on Terror and begin to use police powers of investigation and interdiction to deal with these threats.

          Let's disband the Homeland Security Dep't it is a behemoth and it does not work...

          Let's kick every last Repub along with Whiny Joe Lieberman out of government!

          That would be a nice start!

          Better the occasional faults of a party living in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a party frozen in the ice of its own indifference-JFK

          by vcmvo2 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 10:21:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It seems much more urgent now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, jimreyn, blueoasis, aztecraingod

      considering that we might have 10 yrs at most to radically change our use of fuel before the whole house of cards collapses.

      Impeach them already, for crying out loud! How many laws do they have to break?!?!

      by netguyct on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:52:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Time for a change... (20+ / 0-)

    no arguments here.

    Great diary eugene!

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:22:20 AM PDT

    •  Yep! Do I hear it's time for a third party? (4+ / 0-)

      Three things to do: get out of Iraq asap, impeach Cheney then Bush, elect Gore.

      by Asinus Asinum Fricat on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:47:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we have lots of third parties (7+ / 0-)

        a vote for one of them is always a vote for more republican rule unfortunately.

        •  Teresa, your point is well taken, however... (7+ / 0-)

          when Democratic rule becomes indistinguishable from Republican rule...what then?

          Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

          by One Pissed Off Liberal on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:14:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's called a double bind (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TeresaInPa

            it does not mean that a vote for the 3rd party is a solution.

          •  it hasn't yet and it won't (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rebecca, heartofblue, vcmvo2

            because we will stop that from happening.  I know it is frustratingly close at times and the failure to just thumb their noses at bush on the Iraq war funding was certainly a disappointment, but I am not willing to give up yet.

            The party is simply a structure, like an empty building with some decayed walls and leaky plumbing,  just a shell of a building.  But it is a much more complete shell than any of the third parties have to offer.  Reforming the democratic party seems like a long process.  But it is nothing compared to where we would be with, say, the Green party where we would be just about ready to get a permit to clear the land we just found with no road access or electricity or water.

          •  Ah, the Nader fallacy... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Simplify

            Trying to fool people into thinking that just because they are sometimes disappointed in the Democrats, therefore the Democrats are "indistinguishable" from the Republicans.

            Y'all pushed that theory hard in the 2000 election.  How's that eight-year George W. Bush presidency working out for you?  Do you still think he's "indistinguishable" from Al Gore?

            So this is how liberty dies -- with thunderous applause.

            by MJB on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 09:26:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Is it really a fallacy? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              J Royce

              No, I don't think Gore is indistinguishable from Bush.  Nader's theory doesn't work on an individual/micro level.

              But on a party/macro level -- well, I need only point to the Capitulation Bill.  We might as well have had a Republican majority for all the good it did anyone.

              You'll say -- if Gore had been in the White House, none of this would ever have happened.  Perhaps not.  

              But if all it takes is having one man in the WH instead of the other to make all the difference in the world as far as what has happened to the US in the past six years, then that tells me two things:

              1.  The Presidency has waaaay too much power.  (Impeaching Bush would go a long way toward fixing that problem, btw).
              1.  There's less difference between Democrats and Republicans than I'd like for there to be.  

              Sure, Democrats have different priorities -- they want to raise the minimum wage and all kinds of other good things -- but when push comes to shove they vote their wallets, or they vote whichever way they think will keep them in office for another term.  "I'll sell out now, but if you re-elect me, I'll do the right thing next time" seems to me to be their mantra.

              So, no, I don't think Nader was wrong.  He wasn't completely right, but neither was he wrong.

              "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

              by Mehitabel9 on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 05:31:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Not always (0+ / 0-)

          There are some places that are so liberal that the Republicans don't have a serious candidate. That's where you can vote third party with a clean conscience.

      •  Nope (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        opendna, KenBee, Rachel in Vista

        That's an excellent recipe for being able to sit smugly on the sidelines with your four or five friends saying you were right while the whole game gets lost.  Leave that for the doctrinaire Libertarians, it's what's made them (fortunately) harmless to date.

        That may not be a great state of affairs from the point of view of an ideal democracy, but it's what we've got to work with now.

      •  i still think we're better off as a faction (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        keirdubois, SarahLee, PhantomFly

        supported and driven by an extra-party movement on the issues that animate us.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:49:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Premature. (8+ / 0-)

    Just my two cents, but I think we should stick to the any-old-Democrat and just throwing up primary challengers when it's safe for the moment.  2008 isn't in the bag yet.

    As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

    by Pegasus on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:22:32 AM PDT

    •  None of them will be in the bag (37+ / 0-)

      I do not believe we can delay any further. And some of these bad Dems are risking the majority through their obstruction and unwillingness to support what the voters wanted from us.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:26:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, vcmvo2, Elise, KenBee, JoeW

        Yours is certainly a more popular point, to read it from the recs. :)

        I'm just feeling cautious about trying to remake the machine right in the middle of the fight of our lives.  If we lose, we lose massively.  I think we're in great shape to get both houses and the WH in '08, and move on from there.

        As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

        by Pegasus on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:34:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand your point (17+ / 0-)

          It's a good one to consider, absolutely.

          My thinking is twofold.

          1. It is not very easy to rebuild a party when it is in power. The time to do that is in opposition. Right now we're straddling the line between the two, which suggests we still have a lot of chances to affect useful change.
          1. Republicans will never really go away. They're still well-organized and well-funded. We may never have the time and space we'd like to have to undertake these changes in a low-risk political environment. The nation wants and needs leadership, needs issues to be seriously addressed. The longer the Dems do not provide it, the more chance there is that voter anger will be channeled to very ugly and right-wing ends.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:37:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I like that first point a lot. (6+ / 0-)

            I hadn't really thought about that -- the GOP didn't really morph into it's current extreme form until they were totally shut out in the early Clinton years.

            Re: your second point, I think that's why it matters so much whom we nominate.  If Obama or Edwards gets the mantle of party leadership, we can do far more to progressively re-brand the Democratic Party while simultaneously fighting the necessary fights.

            As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

            by Pegasus on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:42:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but they had built their infrastructure (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              taylormattd, Elise, KenBee

              in the 1980s, quietly, because in many ways they were shut out in Congress. Then 1994 came around and bam

              •  terry... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rhfactor, chuckvw, esquimaux

                they started building their infrastructure back in the 70's and it wasn't a Republican thing, it was a right wing conservative thing, it was in direct response to the fact that unions had strength, that certain fringe groups like the Weather Underground were scaring the crap out of the capitalists, and it was the culmination of , for all intents and purposes, a philosophical battle amongst conservatives that started in the late forties and early fifties. The right wingers coalesced around a common philosophy, they had funding and they built a movement, what came later was the Republicans adopting the movement, its policies and its power.

                We as progressives need to build a movement outside of the party so it will be easier to elect progressive Democrats. Kinda like Field Of Dreams, "if you build they will come."

                When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

                by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:54:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  We need to maintain power (10+ / 0-)

          while we build up progressivism.

          •  PROGRESSIVISM has already been built !!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elise, jimreyn

            Read this and weep....we've been wasting time talking!!

            Ask AL GORE To Run!! Send POSTCARDS to: The Office of the Honorable Al Gore, 2100 West End Avenue, Nashville, TN 37203-5298

            by ezdidit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:42:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  sure (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            keirdubois, rhfactor, chuckvw, Elise, Simplify

            But if we keep appeasing the bastards we will never see a truly progressive government. There needs to come a time where we actually throw the bums out, and the transition will be nasty.

            When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

            by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:55:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              keirdubois, rhfactor, Elise, Simplify

              I just wanted to say that I think that Elise's comment and your reply together sum up the perpetual dilemma very nicely.

              •  me and Elise used to be... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Spit, keirdubois, SarahLee, Elise

                internet buddies until this split came. We disagree on this, and it has driven a wedge between us and our interweb friendship, but I do believe we need to have our ideological battle. I am sick of politicians who sellout and I think she is too, but she is more willing to forgive than i am.

                When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

                by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:09:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Friends can disagree (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jbou, keirdubois, rhfactor, Elise

                  I don't know of a single person here that I haven't disagreed with at some point.

                  I think I agree with you that the ideological battle must play out. We lost a lot of ground, as "progressives", over the last few decades, and the muddling of our message in that process has not helped us at all either practically or ideologically. On the other hand, I also think that we've seen in the last 7 years that the amount of damage to the country that can be done when we lose also requires that we move toward our rebuild with a full awareness of the stakes involved in giving even temporary practical ground to "the other side", and I don't disagree with Elise that we need to work hard to solidify partisan gains while we also make "Democrat" mean something.

                  It's been a constant struggle for a long time, IMO, the tension between these concerns. Both are valid.

            •  that nasty transition period... AN EXAMPLE (0+ / 0-)

              But if we keep appeasing the bastards we will never see a truly progressive government. There needs to come a time where we actually throw the bums out, and the transition will be nasty.

              Once could argue, I think persuasively, that this is exactly what Steve Jobs did when he came back to Apple -- and set out to build OS X. At some point development of OS 9 would end, and at some point software developers would stop developing Mac-platform apps for OS 9. It meant, in part, that if you wanted to move forward in life, you were going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade to OS X.

              Many people initially resisted. There were some changes they weren't used to. Some things they'd done one way for a long time were now changed. And they swore they would just stick with OS 9, because it was better.

              It was very interesting to watch Steve Jobs (via YouTube) describe/ or pitch, if you will, why they made that choice. I think this is useful because it is tangible -- and it also echoes the evolving competitive landscape of two big brands -- Apple vs Microsoft (for this analogy, Dems vs Repubs -- but don't take that literally -- rather, just for exmaple)

              Now, now, I know, I know, lots of arguments that

              "there's NO comparison and it's a stupitt analogy because Microsoft has 95% market share and Apple's share is teeeeensy! Why would we want to be like Apple in this comparison?? STUPITTTT moran!"

              ... but the analogy is simply to support the "dilemma" comment below re how one reconciles Elise's argument/concern and jbou's.

              Absolutely -- there was a lot of transitional pain --

              ... but many believe it was worth it -- and it's now transformed our culture in many ways -- first in ushering in this new "digital lifestyle" as Apple likes to call it -- but let me call it "extending our reach" to plant the seeds for the next generations of little Dems/progressives, whatever you want to call them... by making products that appeal to them today -- and having the bundled software actually add value to life - making easy photo slides shows, movies, music play lists, etc.

              But regardless of what YOU feel personally re Apple's platform, just for the moment step back and see that it saved the company, and set them on the path for the future. ... Six years later, Windows finally introduced VISTA -- featuring many of the usability innovations of Mac OS X (i.e. copying features that work well).

              But here's the second part of the pitch (from me) that supports the idea of going through the painful transition with boldness and vision.

              Having succeeded with transitioning to a new Operating System in the early 2000's, Apple had conditioned its user base to expect change, welcome change, anticipate change, and value it for the innovative results it produces. And before they reached the end of the line on their processor's speed limits, Apple began a new transition which is taking place today -- and rather seamlessly. They switched to Intel chip.

              Here's Jobs again, 5 years later from the clip above, introducing the Intel switch -- and again -- moving the user base forward in time, expanding further capacities to change and evolve with the times. No one said "YOU HAVE TO BUY OS X." and no one said or says even now, "YOU HAVE TO DITCH YOUR CURRENT MAC and BUY AN INTEL MAC".

              No. It's happening just as you describe, Elise-- concurrently.

              .

              Okay, this illustration may not add any degree of persuasion. And I'm prepared for people to argue that it's actually a setback. It's fine either way. I'm just providing a tangible real world example, with huge risks at stake, where daring to innovate, and make the leaps that make new things possible, can work. They can be safe. In many ways it's all about MANAGEMENT and LEADERSHIP.

              All I can say is: Compare Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to Steve Jobs. Who's the better leader?  You have to offer people a real vision, and break some eggs. Unless you are just plain reckless, it's going to all work out.

              My money's on this: Impeach Cheney and watch America applaud. It would surprise the hell out of them, and the vast majority would welcome it. And by showing that act of courage and ethical followthrough, Dems would prove to America they can manage risk, and steer the ship, and correct problems all at once.

              -----yKos ? > emailme re ad-hoc mtg on -->
              *video townhalls *site-to-site collab tools *collective resrc

              by rhfactor on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 04:16:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. Remaking the machine in 2008 strikes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, Elise, KenBee

          me as self-destructive folly. Bowers' and Stoller's choice to leave MyDD and form a new "non-partisan" blog lays the foundation for them to attempt to torpedo HRC or Obama should either of them get the nod.

          •  I don't get the sense (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            taylormattd, jimreyn, blueoasis, Pegasus

            They're interested in torpedoing Democrats or going a third-party route at all.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:48:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We'll see. (6+ / 0-)

              Matt Stoller on "The Bar Fight Primary":

              What I see in the Hillary crowd is an acceptance of the status quo, a belief that you can 'take Iraq off the table', and a willingness to accept a Democratic party dominated by relatively awful elite interests.  Their assumptions are that Bush is a bad President, but that our basic public discourse is fine, that America needs to scrape the barnacles off the hull.  Iraq was not executed properly you see, but let's not be too indelicate about it.  I see this too with Obama's people, who are by and large the Daschle crew.  If you liked Tom Daschle as Senate leader, you'll love Obama as President.  He basically accepts the dominance of immoral elites as necessary and good, and as far as I can tell wants to futz around the margins with well-crafted but small scale legislative efforts.  It's impossible to know whether his stroke of bravery - being against the war in Iraq - was principle or a savvy attempt to win in a crowded Democratic primary in 2003 where the target was liberal voters.  All of this is fine for a mediocre and moderate Senator from Illinois, which is what he's been.  But until he proves otherwise, he just is not with us.  He doesn't believe that bullies in power are the problem, he thinks that mean words are the problem.  Ok, fine, but don't expect me to buy that unifying nonsense as anything more than cult of personality mass media power.

              In a bar fight, Obama and Hillary are not on our side. Jerome doesn't think this matters, he doesn't much care about policy and he tends to see ideology as annoying except when it suits his 'get the single issue groups out of the way' purposes.  Those are legitimate strategic differences, and I get where he's coming from.  I tend to see ideology as a great organizing principle, as a tool of power rather than a burden.  And honestly, this debate may not matter because most of the candidates would seem to agree with Jerome.  

              There are two candidates who can pass the bar fight primary.  One of them, Wes Clark, passes the test clearly.  He is a genuine liberal, and has fought the right clearly and consistently for the last four years, most recently in Connecticut when he was the only real surrogate against Lieberman.  I don't see how Clark can seriously compete, but this willingness to be on our side in a bar fight, recognizing the institutional challenges posed by the right, explains his continuing netroots support.  And then there's John Edwards.  I think Edwards is split.  He's spent much of his time working with unions, on the road, in low-key meetings.  Elizabeth Edwards has done outreach to bloggers, so there's at least acknowledgment of the dirty hippy crew.  He's announcing in New Orleans, which is dog whistle politics on our issues.  He knows he was wrong on the war, and feels our betrayal.  Unlike Clark, though, I still haven't seen him stand up for us in a real way.  I haven't seen him attack McCain, for instance, or go after the politicians who supported the Bankruptcy Bill.  I haven't seen him challenge any right-wing interests in a serious way, and so while I acknowledge he's in the ball park, he's not there yet.

              There's a lot of room to play out.  There's also a strategic opportunity here to capitalize on the deep hopes of the American people that we can build a better America, and to recognize that these hopes are intertwined with an uneasy foreboding that this better America is being blocked by internal demons.  A sustained campaign against cronyism in government, an anti-corporate plank, a fight against talk radio and big media, a crusade against corporate immorality in New Orleans, food supply, activism around investigations - there are many ways to pull liberals on board.  All of them demand that the candidate pick one center of right-wing irresponsible power and run against it.  You really can unify the country that way.

              Chris Bowers, yesterday:

              Over the past four years, starting with the rise to prominence of Howard Dean's presidential campaign / movement, many netroots leaders have consistently stated that the progressive netroots and blogosphere place more of an emphasis on Democratic partisanship than upon rigid coherence to progressive ideology. For example, this was one of the major claims in Markos and Jerome's seminal work, Crashing The Gate. Personally, I see no reason to disagree with this idea, as it was firmly demonstrated in the BlogPac Netroots survey last year. Further, my "Eight Rules for Progressive Realpolitik are non-ideological in emphasis. Yet Further, I consider myself an adherent of both Matt's "Bar Fight Primary" and James Powell's Hackett litmus test, which are also more or less non-ideological formulations.

              •  Stoller is right (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SarahLee, chuckvw

                I want to judge my candidates on what they believe. It was MLK's dream and it is mine too, content of character, that is it.

                When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

                by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:06:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I'm kind of a cynic about the power bloggers. (10+ / 0-)

            I think it likely has as much to do with creating a lucrative individually-owned blog as it has to do with movement concerns.  But hey, that's just me.

            As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

            by Pegasus on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:50:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  nope (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SarahLee

            What they want to do is build a movement that will put pressure on Obama and HRC from the left, and by putting pressure on them from the left help make policies they, (meaning Stoller and Bowers) care about like universal health care a reality. If you have a group working to sell issues like universal health care to the public at large when a President goes to push the idea to the country and through congress it already has momentum and a public well aware of the issue ready to put pressure on their reps to do the right thing, and if the reps fail to vote for universal health care the ground work is in place to run against that rep in a primary so we can elect a rep ready to vote for universal health care.

            When I tell you that I love you Don't test my love Accept my love, don't test my love Cause maybe I don't love you all that much

            by jbou on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:01:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I don't entirely disagree (6+ / 0-)

          and I think it's a really important point to bring up.

          The thing is, it's always a fight for our lives. If we win both houses and the WH in '08, that's nominally a great thing -- but has to be coupled with having a majority in those houses, and ideally a person in that whitehouse, that are willing to push for real progressive change. That's a fight for our lives, too, because the goal of winning those elections is to actually get stuff changed -- we don't have the time to have them sit around passing teensy measures that do little to rein in global warming, say, or to address our trade imbalances, or to deal with Iraq. Incrementalism is okay (even necessary) in some contexts, but there are also times that demand bigger and more fundamental change.

          I've been more forgiving than most here of things like the "capitulation", because I understand that out of a combination of Republican strength (still owning the WH, still standing more or less unified when it matters) and democratic weakness (quite a few Blue Dogs that don't stand with the rest of the party,  the slimmest of majorities in the Senate, a president who refuses to compromise and doesn't care about dragging his party into the deep), we're in an incredibly tough position right now, politically. But I absolutely agree with eugene that in order to get ourselves out of that position, it's not enough to just have a majority -- we need to deal with real disunity, real disconnects between the activists and ground-level party members and the legislators we work to elect. That's something we're going to need to keep working through in all sorts of different contexts, and it's damned hard to primary an incumbent democrat even if he/she is going counter to the leanings of the district/state.

          Additionally, I think that in most districts, pushing for greater change and newer blood within the party machinery actually helps us with the elections-side, rather than hurting us -- I think it's a misread of most voters to think that their voting patterns are fundamentally about left/right on the ideological scale, rather than about intangibles such as "desire for change" or "wanting somebody who stands up for people like 'me'".

          IMO, we're going to have to have tactics and machinery for working for these changes for both positions of legislative power and legislative weakness. And this next election could IMO prove a powerful moment when voters are ready for real, fundamental change -- not only do I think we're missing out if we put up middling people who keep the status quo, but I think it actually damages us in the long run if people vote for real change and then see nothing really happen, especially if we do retake a stronger position in '08.

          Muddled thoughts this AM (well, almost noon, actually).

        •  congresses approval numbers (6+ / 0-)

          are as bad as bush's. Why? Because they are not doing what the people elected Democrats to do, get us out of Iraq.  Some democrats are obstructing that effort and have to be primaried.  I don't agree with the diarist that if we  had veto proof majorities it wouldn't have gotten done, I think it would have.  But at the same time, there are democrat who are owned by the war machine and there is no reason not to try to get rid of them.

          •  Congress's approval numbers (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heartofblue, lungfish, Pegasus

            are as bad as Bush's because, in part, they have always been that bad.  This isn't a case of congress's approval rating collapsing.  Hitting 30% is great for Congress.

            That's not to discount the fact that the liberal base which held up much of their support after the 2006 elections are mad at them, causing it to drop, but the majority of people typically don't approve of the job Congress does, no matter what job they're doing.  Low congressional approval didn't cost republicans for 12 years, so I think one over-relys on Congressional approval polls at their own peril.

            I think noting when it goes up and down has it's importance, but I think the overall approval numbers are generally meaningless.

            Results from a CBS poll in April:
            Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
            Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:05:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  we can always count on you (8+ / 0-)

              to fight for the status quo.  Everyone knows it isn't only liberals who voted for democrats to end the war.  Lots of people did, including republicans.  They are all mad that it's not getting done.
              The American people want out of Iraq and they want out NOW.  You can not continue to deny that when poll after polls shows that.  That is why congress's approval numbers are down, that and the immigrant nonsense.

              •  People want out yes (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                heartofblue, Pegasus

                I'm not sure if they want out "now", depending on your definition of "now"

                Most polls give a timeline of wanting to pull out in around a year. If that is "now" then fine.

                Am I frustrated that things aren't getting done about Iraq? Yes, though I blame Bush and the Republicans for that, and I think most people do too.  As much as people on here seem to believe differently, time after time after time polls have said people oppose cutting off funding for the war, and it doesn't seem to matter how it's asked.

                I'm not sure the immigration issue is causing it to go down. Most polls suggest that people actually agree with creating a guest worker program.

                Results from a CBS poll in April:
                Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:48:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I'm actually given to agree... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SarahLee, heartofblue, jimreyn

              ....with you on that one. Congress is never particularly popular. That said, I think there is some frustration from both liberal AND independent voters about Congress' failure to stand up to Bush more on Iraq. It's not just the activist left that is more and more upset about Iraq, these days.

              •  I'm wondering if any polls (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                heartofblue, Pegasus

                have a breakdown of popularity between republican and democratic members of congress - like leadership numbers.

                Are they mad at democrats in congress for not doing anything or mad at congress in general for not doing something, which I would generally lay at the feet of the republicans and bush.

                Results from a CBS poll in April:
                Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:50:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, that's hard to say (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  heartofblue

                  Those polls on Congress never appear to be that illuminating. George Bush is clearly a national figure. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, less so.

                •  there are break downs (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ezdidit

                  found here

                  Right after the Democrats took control of Congress, the approval rating by Democrats spiked from 16% to 44%.  It then went roller coaster going from 44% to 33% between February and March.  It climbed again to 43% in April, then declined to 37%.  Overall, by this poll, there was only a 7% drop of approval by Democratic voters.

                  With Independent voters, it went from 16% when Democrats took Congress up to 33%, then steadily dropped to 24%.  That is a 9% loss of approval from Independent voters.

                  With Republican voters, it went from 37% to a steady decline to 24%.  A full 13% drop.

                  But, this is now not the current poll.  It is a month old.  this ABC poll clearly states:

                  Six weeks ago the Democrats held a 24-point lead over Bush as the stronger leadership force in Washington; today that's collapsed to a dead heat. The Democrats' overall job approval rating likewise has dropped, from a 54 percent majority to 44 percent now -- with the decline occurring almost exclusively among strong opponents of the Iraq War.

                  The "rule of law"; it applies to you and me, but not the rich, the Republican or the celebrity. Welcome to America!

                  by MotleyPatriot on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 05:11:32 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

              It's always going to be that way due to the very nature of district-based representative government. For any given American, Congress consists of three people he had a say in choosing and 532 that he didn't. Psychologically, that means he regards at most 3 people as Us and the rest of them as Them. And that quickly leads to the perception that Congress consists of three statesmen and 500+ scoundrels. The psychological phenomenon of cognitive dissonance also enters into it; it's easier to be hard on someone who was chosen for you by others than on someone you chose because it doesn't involve admitting to yourself that you might have made a bad choice.

              Also consider that Congressmen usually get evaluated on how much Federal spending they can bring into their district, boosting its economy. Since there's a limited amount of money to go around, that means that from your perspective, everyone except your own Congressmen is working for someone else's economic interests at the expense of yours.

              I do like conducting hearings in an actual hearing room -- John Conyers

              by ebohlman on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:38:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  One problem (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lungfish, cville townie

        One of your main democrats you cite as being bad - Boucher. He's my rep.  Believe me, once he retires, this district is odds-on going red.  He gets elected here because he is a conservative democrat.

        While here in Blacksburg, some local politicians who get elected are dems because it's a college town, but most of his district is in deep southwest Virginia, and has a similar make up of TN-01, which has elected republicans for over 100 years in a row.

        Results from a CBS poll in April:
        Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
        Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:01:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Good Point (5+ / 0-)

      Both of you raise things worth thinking about.

      SaveDarfur.org WH 800-671-7887 Cong. 800-828-0498

      by Alegre on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:27:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  2012 late enough for ya? n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, KenBee

      Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

      Gravel for President, 2008

      by ben masel on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:47:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i believe 2014 is the official safe election (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jbou, eugene, SarahLee, PhantomFly

        2008 being "the most important election of our lifetimes (v. 2.0)," 2010 being all about consolidating the gains of 2008 (or, if we lose, reining in yet another republican president) and getting control of state legislatures for redistricting, 2012 will be the critical relection of the dem that got elected prez in '08 (or else "our last chance to save thew supreme court (and we mean it this time)," but 2014 ought to be OK for taking a risk or two (maybe).

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:58:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We need 60 Democrats in the Senate and (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimreyn, blueoasis, maxalb, ezdidit

      a strong progressive President. The Blue Dogs will go along if they want to be part of a strong majority, or they can be Primaried.

      I agree with this diary and I think that we need to build the Progressive movement within the Democratic party to be very strong and principled, indeed as the neocons did within the Repugs. The current Democratic majority may or may not follow, but will not lead.

      By the way, right now I would pick Al Gore. I'm nervous that the big three are not driven to reform. Edwards may be getting there, but I need to see more proof overweighing a conservative leaning past.

    •  If not now, when? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee

      In truth, there's never any "right time" to be more principled and to stand up for what we believe. There is ALWAYS going to be something that will cause us to say, "okay, guys, we've just got to be cautious this time, maybe in the future we can change." I see where you're coming from, but I just don't buy it.

      •  Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. :) (0+ / 0-)

        I just want us to be careful not to pull the roof down on our heads, is all.  In case people didn't notice, our '06 win was based on the election of a large number of moderates.  

        Before we can ensure the elections of candidates we love (or at least party discipline) I think we have a lot of work left to do on infrastructure.  We have to do the little things at the local level -- take state legislatures so that we can redraw sensible House district lines, for example.  Those little things are a lot easier to accomplish when you win first, and thus control the national agenda.

        As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

        by Pegasus on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:49:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  2008 will be a loss... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, jimreyn

      ...if we don't start pushing issues RIGHT NOW.  The Republicans have found that their greatest successes are when they push their issues out there that voters care about, and on the things the voters don't care about they manipulate the public to care about them.


      Something that Al Gore should have shown every last one of us is that we can win uphill battles.  The right-wing anti-science crowd had dominated the topic of global warming for decades.  Recently, Al Gore released his movie about it and all of a sudden the right are trying to come up with new lies and tripping all over themselves about it.  We are winning the global warming debate now, we just need to keep pushing.  The same can go for any other issue.  We need issues to give the people a reason to vote for Democrats and more importantly to make the world a better place.

  •  Wow. Fantastic Diary (8+ / 0-)

    I've been talking a lot lately about moving beyond the culture wars and the 1960's paradigm.

    More importantly, we need to move beyond the insane framing that we have seen from the Republicans, the neocons, and the mainstream media. Why are we talking about a war on terror when our real crises of Peak Oil and climate change are far more serious?

    I believe that Barack Obama is the transformational candidate that our country desperately needs.

    by Aeolus on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:22:37 AM PDT

  •  Well, hell... (7+ / 0-)

    I've been sayin this since the 70's...the damn thing is broken in so many pieces at this point the only way is to start building a new one, thanks for the diary, get ready to duck from all the stuff that's gonna come flyin at you.

    Hey, how 'bout we impeach the people who are supposed to do the impeaching and get some other impeachers who are more impeachy?

    by ronny mermaid on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:22:44 AM PDT

  •  Oh and one other point (19+ / 0-)

    It helps not to alienate people, regardless of their political leanings. I see this here all the time. Someone votes green or for nader or likes what Ron Paul has to say and everyone wigs and tries to get them banned. I understand their are trolls but we really need to embrace different ideas and form a concensus.

  •  Bottoms up (12+ / 0-)

    I believe we're not going to be able to do this change from the top down. We're going to have to keep doing it from the bottom up. We, here, have too much focus on who is at the top of our ticket.

    This means that the Democratic nominee in 2008 isn't going to be the most Progressive candidate out there, but maybe if we keep getting the school boards, city council, water boards, etc filled with Progressives, then maybe, with work, we'll be able to make the change.

    •  Unfortunately, the corporate media (9+ / 0-)

      are top down.

      And the corporate media defines who is 'electable' and 'respectable'.

      Look at how they tried to tar and feather Michael Moore and Scott Ritter.

      The fact that Hillary is going to win the nomination will set a Progressive Agenda, a Human Agenda, back 20 years, just like her husband's nomination and support of the Corporate Agenda did.

      It's a fucking mess.

      I agree that we should work to get progressives on line from the bottom up, but we should not be thinking 'anyone but R' in elections.

      The fact that people on this site will vote for anyone with a 'D' behind their name, and viciously attack anyone who refuses to vote for a 'D', is extremely problematic.

      Don't forget that LIEberman was a 'respectable' D not too long ago.

      I'm all for eugene's idea, but how?

      Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

      by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:31:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go around them (8+ / 0-)

        Start talking to people. We cannot rely on the media, so we're going to have to find some other way.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:35:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do that, and do it well. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett

          The problem is that there are no available action paths, or leadership to send them marching off behind.

          It is 5 minutes with me vs 4 hours of TV per day.

          Of course I choose the best seeds I can to plant in their brains, but I don't feel as if it's enough.

          So I spend a lot of time here pushing memes and concepts:

          "Corporate Media" was a big success of mine and several other dedicated memesters. It was shit on by those using the MSM moniker. Then I saw Kos start to use it back in '05 after a couple months of pushing and prodding.

          I catapulted the propaganda!

          "Humanizing Social Security"

          "Social Security as Insurance"

          That was quite successful as well:
          www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/21/4231/23967

          Now I'm pushing a new concept, still on the same path:

          "Human Agenda vs Coporate Agenda"

          "Personally, I feel that People are More important than Profit"

          It's not that much, but it's working.

          7 years of pushing against the Corporate Agenda by myself and some other dedicated Human Agenda Supporters and it's starting to seep in... all over!

          Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

          by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:09:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the great potential for the internet (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, eugene, SarahLee

          hits a bottleneck on the point of transition from online to offline discussion. one of the most intriguing elements of the dean campaign (and, to a lesser degree, moveopn in its earlier stages)  was its bridging of that divide through meetups, writing letters, flyering, and even printing out online articles and leaving them at laundromats and the like.

          when we learn to cross that divide effectively, and more importantly make it two-way, we'll have an alternative media that does not depend on big money to sustain it.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:04:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Volunteer (6+ / 0-)

        The corporate media isn't going to give a rats ass about who is running for local party offices, and most small governmental offices. The focus is at the top and the state and national level, and unless you're in a big city most balloted positions in places I've lived have had one candidate. This means who ever is in there is running unopposed.

        So, look at school boards, water boards, zoning boards, library boards, whatever is an election in your area and start from the bottom.

        Heck, the bottom isn't even running, but being a volunteer. Without a solid base of volunteers, nothing gets done except for the moneyed candidates. Getting volunteers who will show up and work is the hardest thing small campaigns have to do. Compared to getting volunteers to show up and work, getting money and press coverage is easy.

        •  The republicans did the (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, viscerality, blueoasis, geomoo

          exact same thing....they got INTO the system and changed it.  Just like the activists of the 60's.....some said protest in Washingon, some said become a lawyer and work within the system.  We had the system for a long time....then gave it up, got too comfortable, whatever.  Most of the local elected offices are run by republicans, all across the country.  It was part of the republican revolution and they were very successful at it.  getting those spots back is a huge step in the right direction.

      •  well we could have everyone (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        taylormattd, YellowDogBlue, vcmvo2

        talk about voting third party.  Then if  everyone this blog were convinced that would be a few hundred thousand voters and the republican would win.  How's that sound?
        Do you really want to have this argument again?  No third party candidate is going to win.  The time to get the best democratic candidate is in the primaries.  If you are then going to vote for another party you have to go talk about it somewhere else.

        •  What a bullshit comment. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee, Lepanto, Garden Neighbor

          If there are enough people pushing on the third party front, then it is the job of the party seeking their vote to go after them. Throw them a bone for crying out loud!

          And fuck you about 'go and talk about it somewhere else'! It's a legitimate tactic that very well could get a progressive win in '08. Hence sticking to the rule about 'getting Democrats elected'.

          Of course that means that the Democratic party would have to 'court the left', which for some ungodly reason seems to be political suicide.

          I mean, only 70 percent of America wants to end the occupation of Iraq. More want Universal Healthcare. Huge majorities want CAFE standards and control over BIG Oil and market manipulations. They want an end to Corporate Malfeasance. They want decent paying jobs. They want educated children.

          Who the hell would want to run on that shit?

          What would the Corporate Sponsors think?

          Let's game this out...

          Democrats do nothing about stopping the war for a year.

          1/2 of Democrats threaten to jump ship and vote Green if Democrats don't get off their ass and do something to further a Human Agenda. Threatened with losing in a landslide, Democrats drop the political BS and start getting to work on opposing the Failed Conservative Policies that have nearly destroyed this country and our Constitution.

          America gets what they voted them in for, responsible change that benefits Human Beings.

          Democrats win in a landslide!

          Let's game out another one...

          Hillary gets the nod because she has the best PR firm, name recognition, and most corporate support. People say,"Shut up and vote 'D'."

          Hillary follows her advisers and tries to go tuff on terra. Milquetoast on healthcare. Milquetoast on election reform. Milquetoast on everything else so as not to rock her corporate sponsors boats.

          Giuliani wins Republican nomination. There's not enough daylight between Hillary and Rudy on the issues and Rudy is tuffer on terra.

          Rudy wins.

          Of course it might be Thompson.

          Oh, you and I both know Rudy is a fascist, but that's not going to get any play in the media, so it's going to go down to issues.

          There's not enough daylight between the issues of Obama and Clinton and the 'moderate' republicans. Just not enough.

          Sorry to get so inflamed here, but your comment really pissed me off, and it's exactly the kind of thing that's going to kill what should be a Progressive win.

          Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

          by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:25:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  In a lot of places, the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TeresaInPa

      party leadership is entrenched, ossified and very 50s; in some, corruption is an issue.  I'm not going to waste my time and have my family hassled ( or worse) because I want to remake a party apparatus that doesn't want to be remade.  

      "Holy Moses, I have been deceived" - B. Taupin

      by wozzle on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:47:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Log Off - Suit Up - Show Up (18+ / 0-)

    Put down the laptop and help build the party in your neck of the woods.

    First we've got to put on our walkin' shoes and start knockin' on doors and make some calls.

    SaveDarfur.org WH 800-671-7887 Cong. 800-828-0498

    by Alegre on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:26:01 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for a cogently written diary. (5+ / 0-)

    Sorry to hear about Chris Bowers, but he will continue to be a voice no matter what the change in direction.  Tipped and rec'd.

    "What journalism in America chiefly suffers from today is the lack of alert and competent professional criticism." H.L. Mencken 1927

    by gchaucer2 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:27:28 AM PDT

  •  When Hyundai (5+ / 0-)

    hit the American market, I thought that the "Koreans were out-Japanesing the Japanese" by providing quality, low cost automobiles.

    What should be happening today in American politics is Democrats "out Republicaning" the G.O.P.

    That means (without lying, of course) we have to get majorities on school boards, city councils, and mayoral races.

    The infrastructure has to be in place, or we're going to keep pendulating between republican and democratic control of Congress and alternately, the White House.

    Bushco has set the Republican party back for a few years, but without a strong bottom network the democratic majority will not stand for long.

    "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee" Me to GWB c/o Herman Melville

    by Patriot4peace on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:29:51 AM PDT

    •  Ideologically... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, shaharazade

      ....the country isn't that far off from our views, despite what the corporate news media would have you believe. So, it's really a matter of getting our shit together and moving the Overton Window on the national debate. We do that and we will hold power for quite some time.

  •  My diary that I'm afraid to post... (7+ / 0-)

    It is an important diary, that shows a glaring mistake that betrays a damning truth about the Christian right.

    I watched a documentary three times, including one in the middle of the night (for me) and recorded key segments.

    It's newsworthy.

    My fear: to see it go unnoticed down the recent diary list, while other interesting personal stories that may have taken an hour of someone's time get prominent recommended placement.

    So, I sit on it. It's really a shame.

  •  I've been thinking about this subject recently. (15+ / 0-)

    And I could not agree more.  

    For one thing, focusing solely on elections and electing Democrats, when there are two years between elections, is a recipe for crazy, and crazy is how people around there are getting -- particularly those who've chosen their candidate and who think that their candidate is the ONLY candidate.  I stopped reading Hillary/Edwards/Obama diaries weeks ago, purely in the interest of keeping my blood pressure down.

    And for another -- eugene, you're 100% right about the desperate need to make some drastic changes within the Party.  We have to get these people out of the pockets of the corporations and lobbyists and Democratic consultants, or we're screwed.  It's really as simple as that.

    Primary challenges, people.  Don't support anyone who doesn't make campaign finance and election reform one of their top three priorities.  

    It's time to clean house.  It's past time to clean house.

    "Do you know any reporters?" -- Jon Stewart to Matt Cooper, 4/23/07

    by Mehitabel9 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:31:10 AM PDT

    •  Democrats need to pursue a 'Human Agenda' (5+ / 0-)

      and we need to make that happen.

      But first of all, we must let people know that there is a Human Agenda, 'cause there are very, very few Democrats working for it.

      Then of course we must contrast that Human Agenda with the Corporate Agenda, and show people how they are often diametrically opposed.

      This is really much easier than one would think. My personal experience with this is that just about everyone i talk to believes in following a Human Agenda, and sees that the Corporate Agenda is a dark path.

      The problem is there are no politicians speaking of a Human Agenda.

      The blame is on Government, and there is nobody out there supporting Government.

      And blah, blah, blah....

      I've been prefacing most of my political commentary with this phrase,"Personally, I think People are more important than Profit..."

      If every single person on this blog and of a progressive persuasion said this at every applicable opportunity, we could easily lay the foundation, the groundwork for pitting the Human Agenda against the Corporate Agenda.

      and more blah, blah...

      Great comments, mehitabel...

      Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

      by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:39:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd love to do all those things you list, eugene. (34+ / 0-)

    But we have to begin with putting an end to this destructive, reckless and costly war. And we have to be relentless and brutal about this goal.

    As I note in the current front-pager on Lieberman's latest sack of lies published today in The Wall Street Journal, the fact that ANYONE can still claim, more than four years after the start of this tragic fiasco, that we are "making progress" in Iraq and not be challenged as Lieberman wasn't on Sunday morning television, is just beyond comprehension.

    The fact that Democrats -- even conservative Democrats -- aren't rising up as one to demand a stop to this insanity of lives lost and dollars wasted is also beyond comprehension.

    If ANYONE can point to a single, legitimate indicator that the situation in Iraq has improved with our continued presence, I'd like to see it.

    That is what is so frustrating, and, frankly, depressing.

    There is, quite literally, no case to be made for staying in Iraq.

    Yet, here we are. And to add insult to injury, here we are with a Democratic majority.

    Makes me fucking sick.

  •  Brilliant diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, Elise, blueoasis, shaharazade

    It's time for me, at least, to get off my butt and out of this room and do more.

  •  The blogosphere is going to have far... (10+ / 0-)

    ...more influence over the Democratic party if it maintains an independent course. That's what makes it a real constituency, to whose needs the party has to cater. Otherwise, what do we become? A bunch of fan sites for the Democratic party (much like Kos's new sports fan blogs). Kudos to Chris Bowers for having the balls to say and do what he did, and Kudos to you for expressing it so well in this diary.

  •  Yes (6+ / 0-)

    he first 6 months of the Democratic majority prove that it is not enough to just elect Dems

    Exactly.

    And now that we have a majority, we can afford to be a little more selective.

    Time for stage two, droogies.

    Either we believe in false dichotomies or we don't.

    by droogie6655321 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:36:46 AM PDT

  •  Great Diary! (7+ / 0-)

    These words are music to my ears:

    time has come to move beyond a focus on electing any old Democrat, and instead toward finally starting to build the progressive majority that is 40 years in coming

    the

    We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. Aesop (620 - 560 BC) -8.13, -7.74

    by AWhitneyBrown on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:37:43 AM PDT

  •  Three Reforms (11+ / 0-)

    Three large-scale changes are needed to realize what you imagine:

    • Education Reform
    • Electoral Reform
    • Media Reform

    Education--Fully fund public education K-12 and increase even further grants for college. Ditch NCLB, and clean up the student loan mess.

    Electoral--Public financing of elections is a must to get the big corporate money out of the system. We also need to restore the voting and civil rights sections at DoJ to their former professional status. Down the line, we should look to change or abolish the Electoral College.

    Media--We need to roll back the march toward consolidation. We need more owners of major print and electronic outlets--and more diverse owners. Restore older rules that prevented as much single-party ownership. This is essential to derail the Right's CW manufacturing machine.

    Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

    by Red Wind on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:38:44 AM PDT

    •  Electoral reform is the key (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, wu ming, Red Wind, buhdydharma

      That's the keystone right there.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:43:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's kind of a package deal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, inertiac

        You always kind of need the other two to get the third.

        You need to elect progressives, you need to educate people to make reasoned choices, and you need to provide them with the information needed to make the informed decision.

        It's a tall task, but America is a progressive place when you come right down to it. (See the new Media Matters report.)

        Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

        by Red Wind on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:50:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What stands in the way of Election Reform? (0+ / 0-)

        see above...

        Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

        by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:52:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutley the key (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee

        Electoral and campaign finance reform have to be aggressivley supported.  Any nominee for public office that isn't in full support of public campaign finance should not get the least bit of support from progressives.

    •  AMEN (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Red Wind

      You don't pay any attention to what your parents tell you, but you watch the way they live their lives...Tom Waits

      by lisastar on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:44:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is the big impediment to those reforms? (7+ / 0-)

      What stands in the way?

      That is what needs to be taken on.

      Reform is bullshit if you don't go after the disease.

      What is the disease that stands in the way of a Healthy Educational System?

      What is the disease that stands in the way of a Healthy Electoral System?

      What is the disease that stands in the way of a Healthy Media System?

      It's the same disease that stands in the way of a Healthy Planet.

      It's the same disease that stands in the way of a Healthy Medical System.

      It's the same disease that stands in the way of an Agenda that benefits Human Beings.

      That disease is the Corporate Agenda, and it must be challenged for any Reform to be meaningful.

      <snark>Hillary for President! </snark>

      Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

      by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Give me term limits too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      inertiac
      •  We have term limits. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca

        They are called "elections."

        I believe in a professional government with institutional memory. Reform financing, education, and media ownership, and you won't need the quick fix of term limits.

        It's the people's right to choose who represents them--and for how long.

        Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.

        by Red Wind on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:59:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's just inviting more porkers who (0+ / 0-)

          run up the deficit.  I see no need for more than 12 years in either body.  Once you go beyond that most are just bribing their constituents like Bob Byrd and Ted Stevens.

          •  Primaries (0+ / 0-)

            We need to make primaries contests a regular part of being a politician.  Keep them aware they can be replaced.  It did wonders for Tauscher.  

            Term limits only shift power to the lobbyists as the constantly new politicians will be looking for advice and council since they have no institutional knowledge.  Red Wind is right.

            ...that cannot be a wise contrivance which in its operation may commit the government of a nation to the wisdom of an idiot. Thomas Paine Rights of Man

            by Rebecca on Sat Jun 16, 2007 at 12:48:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Already embraced (4+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure what I call myself will be Democrat (I changed my affiliation to Independant following the Iraq capitulation)at the end of the day but I can guarantee that the agenda I push the lever for will be a progressive one. I wholeheartedly committ to candidates that are willing to be brave and bold and confront America's problems head on instead of whimpering that it's too hard to change the system with what they have.

  •  100% spot on (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wufacta, cwaltz, ezdidit, Spoonfulofsugar

    Ultimately, parties don't matter (Mr. Lieberman, how do you do?). Issues do.

    Palpably Extant: the death of the 4th estate.

    by spencerh on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:46:47 AM PDT

  •  great post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, expatjourno, potownman

    We need to start hearing more about who needs to go. Think we are all ready now to ditch the regulars if they are not performing.

    You don't pay any attention to what your parents tell you, but you watch the way they live their lives...Tom Waits

    by lisastar on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:47:52 AM PDT

  •  This blog has always (5+ / 0-)

    been about not just electing democrats, but also reforming the party. And I am not sure this is true:

    We are at a place now where it is not merely about how many folks have a D after their name, but about what those with a D believe.

    Otherwise, terrific diary.  I believe that we can organize to get better democrats in to congress.  But I am not sure it is a matter of left and right.  Howard Dean is not left, still he is correct about almost everything and I would give my left leg to have him in the white house (there's a back story on my left leg right now, don't ask).  Let's say populist democrats who are right on certain issues.  I guess we will have to take it on a case by case basis.

  •  I think we're doing both together (7+ / 0-)

    We're getting Democrats elected.

    But we're also building the underlying political landscape.

    We've changed the debate in this country.  Today it's no longer "Ohmygod, you are a wild Bush hater!", it's just a given that Bush sucks donkey shit and is am embarassment to the nation.

    What we need to do is move away from Bush, he's only going to be here for another 18 months, and make it clear that it wasn't just Bush.  Bush was simply the embodiment of the Republican ideological dream.  They wanted war, tax cuts, and spitting in the faces of allies the world over.

    Now they reap what they sown.

  •  Uh, Excuse Me! I Beg to Differ. (7+ / 0-)

    Here is what my freshman Congressman sent me this morning. Please don't tell me he's doing "nothing."

    Dear Friend,
    I thought you'd appreciate knowing how the first several months have gone in Congress, and what I've been up to.  Thanks to your support last year, you've made this all possible!  Each quarter, I will attempt to highlight to you the work my staff and I have done, in the hope of earning your trust to support my re-election campaign.
    During my campaign, I ran on the belief that national security begins at home, in the health, education, and economic security of our people. Those three pillars, along with defense security, give us National Security.
    Upon arriving in Congress, I was able to secure assignments on the committees that best serve those four pillars: Armed Services Committee (Defense Security); the Committee on Education and Labor (Education Security and Economic Security); the Committee on Small Business (Economic Security?of which I was honored to have been selected Vice-Chairman); the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (Health Security); and the Subcommittee on Regulations, Healthcare and Trade (Health Security).
    During the past several months, I have held numerous Summits in the 7th District on the four pillars as a way to bring together local, state and national experts to develop legislative solutions to the issues facing us.
    From these Summits, I have gathered numerous proposals for amendments and bills that have become passed legislation, some of which include: two amendments to improve mental health care for our wounded soldiers; an amendment providing student loan forgiveness for Head Start teachers;  an amendment expanding small businesses' access to federal government contracting opportunities; and an amendment ensuring the Department of Defense is not duplicating efforts and is reaching out to small businesses.
    In addition, the expansion and re-design of the Philadelphia International Airport is the major local issue within the District, as the proposed re-design flight plan by the Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") will severely impact the health, safety and economic welfare of the citizens of the 7th District.  I have held several hearings in the District, as well as meetings in Washington, DC with Deputy Secretary of Transportation Maria Cino, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, and House Committee on Transportation Chairman James Oberstar, to review and emphasize the impact of the FAA's proposed Philadelphia airport/airspace re-design on the District.  Of most importance, I have recently been successful in getting the General Accounting Office ("GAO"), the investigative arm of Congress, to investigate the cost, efficiencies and environment impact of the re-design to prevent the proposed plan. This accomplishment was due to the factual reports of my assembled FAA Expert Advisory Board that were presented to the FAA.  This should be the beginning of the end of the FAA's proposed re-design flight path over the District.
    Further, because of what I believe and my previous military career, I have taken a leading role in discussing the primary issue of our time - the "tragic misadventure" in Iraq and strengthening our National Security.  This past spring I traveled to Iraq with Republican Senator Chuck Hagel (a Vietnam veteran) and met with Iraq Prime Minister Maliki and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker to discuss the situation over there, as well as visited our proud men and women serving in various regions throughout Iraq.  My experiences have allowed me to appear on Meet the Press with Tim Russert; This Week with George Stephanopoulos; Hardball with Chris Matthews; News Hour with Jim Lehrer; Lawrence Kudlow & Co.; PBS's Travis Smiley; and C-Span's Washington Journal, as well as several other newscasts, to forcefully assert that a "date certain" is the best, and safest way, for our troops to redeploy out of Iraq.
    Set forth below are more details on the Summits and some of the significant legislation to date.
    DISTRICT  SUMMITS
    Education Security Summits
    February 26, 2007 Elementary and Secondary Education Summit with Congressman George Miller, Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee, and Terrell Halaska, Assistant Secretary of Education, on issues dealing with Early Childhood, Special Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Head Start Program.
    March 16, 2007 Higher Education Summit with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, Chairman of the Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness Subcommittee, which brought together Presidents of the District's 11 universities, colleges, and community colleges; Deans of Education and Engineering at various advanced training schools; chambers of commerce; businesses; unions; regional development groups; and principals and superintendents of high schools to discuss issues related to Higher Education and Advanced Training.
    May 14, 2007 Congressional Field Hearing on No Child Left Behind with Congressman Dale Kildee, Chairman of the Early Childhood, Elementary and Congressional Hearing Subcommittee.
    Economic Security Summits
    April 24, 2007 Economic Development Summit with District's CEOs, venture capitalists, local chambers of commerce, business owners, economic development professionals, elected officials, union leaders, and members of the higher education and advanced training communities to discuss and work on strategies enhancing the local and regional economy.
    May 21, 2007 Summit on Economic Growth and Resources where panels of Federal, State and Local Agencies presented their resources/programs to assist small businesses and business development.
    Health Security Summits
    February 27, 2007 Mental Health Parity Summit with Congressman Patrick Kennedy on mental health parity to highlight the need for insurance carriers to provide the same level of coverage for mental illnesses as they do for physical illnesses.
    Upcoming June 25, 2007 Health Security Summit that will bring together, doctors, nurses, administrators, experts, and interested parties to debate ways to improve the affordability, accessibility and quality of our healthcare system.
    Listed here are the summits regarding the FAA's proposed re-design flight path of the Philadelphia International Airport because of its impact upon the safety and health/welfare of the citizens of the District:
    February 9, 2007 FAA Town Hall. Town hall meeting held with FAA Airspace Manager that allowed community residents to ask questions and express their health, environmental and cost concerns directly to the FAA Airspace Manager.
    March 12, 2007 FAA Summit. FAA hearing held with Congressman Jerry Costello, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation; local officials; and my FAA Expert Advisory Board to discuss the impact upon Delaware County of the FAA's proposed re-design/airport expansion.
    May 12, 2007 FAA Town Hall.  My staff and I mobilized residents to turn-out to voice opposition to the FAA re-design plan. Over 2000 residents showed up to voice their displeasure to FAA officials, who commented that the turnout was the largest of any of the 100 meetings that the FAA had held on its re-design plan in the New York-New Jersey-Philadelphia area corridor.

    HIGHLIGHTS OF SOME LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    Education Security
    Successfully passed amendment to H.R. 1429, The Improving Head Start Act, to provide for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500 for Head Start teachers upon completion of a Bachelor's degree and a commitment to work in the Head Start program for at least three consecutive years.
    Along with Chairman George Miller and Congressman Dale Kildee, introduced legislation, the Improving Head Start Act (H.R. 1429), to reauthorize and improve the Head Start program, including continual support of parental involvement in local Head Start policy councils; extending eligibility of Head Start for families up to 130 percent of the poverty level; and fund methods to recruit/retain head start teachers.
    Helped push, and co-sponsored, passage of the College Student Relief Act (H.R. 5) which cut interest rates on student loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.
    Joined Congressman Chris Van Hollen in introducing legislation, the Keep Our PACT Act (H.R. 627), to fully-fund No Child Left Behind and IDEA by 2014.
    Introduced the College Aid Made EZ Act (H.R. 1608), along with Chairman George Miller to streamline and make more user-friendly the Federal student financial aid application process.
    For more information, please go to the News Section at SestakForCongress.com: http://joesestak.com/...
    Health Security
    Successfully passed two amendments - with unanimous support - to H.R. 1538, the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act, to improve mental health care for our wounded soldiers.  The First Amendment clarified that 'medical care' as defined in H.R. 1538 includes mental health care services. The Second Amendment requires the Secretary of the Department of Defense to develop a plan to help prevent Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other stress-related psychopathologies (including substance abuse conditions) from developing in our military service members.  In addition, it requires the Secretary to submit to Congress within 180 days a plan for establishing a Peer-Reviewed research program to research the prevention of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and how best to strengthen the psychological resiliency of our military service members.
    Helped expand funding for embryonic stem cell research by cosponsoring and voting for the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act (H.R. 3).
    Introduced the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (H.R. 1553), along with Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-OH), to encourage and expand support for biomedical research programs for childhood cancer and to establish a population-based childhood cancer database.
    Pushed for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug manufacturers to obtain more affordable medication prices for Medicare beneficiaries by cosponsoring and passing the Medicare Prescription Drug Direct Negotiation Act (H.R. 4).
    Passed the Trauma Care Systems Planning and Development Act of 2007 that provides grants to improve access to and development of trauma care systems.
    Cosponsored and passed the Conquer Childhood Cancer Act (H.R. 1553) to encourage and expand research programs for childhood cancer.
    Passed legislation to create a reserve fund of up to $50 billion for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - reducing the number of uninsured children across the country.
    For more information, please go to the News Section at SestakForCongress.com: http://joesestak.com/...
    Economic Security
    Successfully passed - with unanimous support - an amendment to the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act (H.R. 1873) which will ensure small businesses greater access to federal government contracting opportunities. Over the past five years, the federal government has increased the use of a practice known as "contract bundling," which allows federal agencies to consolidate purchases into mega-contracts ? contracts so large they cannot possibly be performed by a small company. As a result, significantly fewer small businesses were receiving federal government contracts. The Amendment will ensure that more large contracts will be reviewed as to their appropriateness to be bundled, and potentially broken into smaller pieces more suitable for small business.
    Helped increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by joining Chairman George Miller in introducing and voting on the Fair Minimum Wage Act (H.R. 2).
    Cosponsored the Family Small Business Tax Fairness Act (H.R. 868) with Congressman Lloyd Doggett to streamline small business joint-tax filings.
    Joined Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro in cosponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338), which provides for more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex.
    Introduced the SBA Entrepreneurial Development Programs Act (H.R. 2359) to assist small businesses through open access to loans, credit and capital.
    Passed an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that mandates that a contract officer must certify that they have done market research, including by using a web browser, to see if small businesses qualify for any contract over $1 million. This is important because 23% of all federal contracts are to be given to small businesses, but currently only 6.5% them are given to small businesses in the 7th District.
    Passed the Sowing the Seeds Through Science and Engineering Research Act that provides support to young researchers, who are the source of some of the most innovative research today.
    Passed the 10,000 Teachers, 10 Million Minds Science and Math Scholarship Act which will increase the number of qualified math and science teachers through education scholarships.
    Passed the Taxpayer Protection Act, that will increase IRS outreach to provide taxpayers with stronger protections from identity theft and tax fraud.
    Passed the Small Business Fairness in Contracting Act that creates a fair and open federal contracting system so that all businesses - including small businesses - have a fair shot at winning a federal contract.
    Passed the Small Business Lending Improvements Act of 2007 that makes capital more accessible for small businesses, which often spur technological innovation.
    Passed the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2007 that authorizes $21 billion in funding over three years for the National Science Foundation, including funding for math and science education.
    Passed the Technology Innovation and Manufacturing Stimulation Act of 2007 that fully re-authorizes the National Institutes of Standards and Technology - an organization that has enabled breakthrough technologies and improved our safety and quality of life.
    Passed the Veterans' Programs Act that creates two new Veteran Business Outreach Centers to help veterans pursue or resume business activities after they leave service.
    Passed the Women's Business Programs Act which provides dedicated funding to open new Women's Business Centers, sets benchmarks to measure their success, and provides additional assistance for outreach and low-income areas.
    For more information, please go to the News Section at SestakForCongress.com: http://joesestak.com/...
    Defense Security
    Introduced legislation, H.R. 960, the Enhancing America's Security through Redeployment from Iraq Act, which requires that, no later than December 31, 2007, all U.S. Armed Forces serving in Iraq be redeployed outside of Iraq, either to locations within the Middle East or Southwest Asia regions or other regions or nations, or to the United States.
    Voted for H.R. 1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act, which sets a date certain for redeploying our troops from Iraq.
    Cosponsored and voted for H.R. 1, the Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act, which is the first comprehensive response to the non-intelligence reform recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.
    Secured $36.8 million in authorized funding, contained in the U.S. Department of Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2008, for vital research efforts in equipment technology, bio-terrorism, wireless technologies and software in the District and surrounding region to assist our men and women in the armed services.
    Passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 that makes military readiness a top priority so that our nation is fully prepared to face today's and tomorrow's threats and challenges, and focuses on improving health care, benefits, and pay for our troops.
    Passed the Intelligence Authorization for Fiscal Year 2008 that authorizes the largest amount of funding in history for 16 U.S. intelligence agencies and intelligence-related activities for the U.S. government.
    Passed the COPS Improvements Act of 2007 that will put 50,000 additional police officers on the streets over the next six years, and provides funds for COPS technology grants and for hiring community prosecutors.
    Passed the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 that will improve the security of railroads, public transportation, and buses in the United States.
    Passed the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 that keeps America safe by increasing funding for homeland security supporting first responders, increasing contractor accountability, and strengthening and streamlining the Department of Homeland Security.
    In response to the scandal at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, passed the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007 that includes measures to ensure our troops and veterans receive quality care.
    For more information, please go to the News Section at SestakForCongress.com: http://joesestak.com/...
    As a member of our military for 31 years, I represented our country with integrity, dedication, and accountability; and will continue to do so with that same standard as a member of Congress.
    Through my Committees, I stand in a position to work on issues that are important to us all: the ability to own a decent home; to raise healthy children who are well-educated; to live within a nation that is prosperous and safe; and, to be able to retire comfortably.
    Thanks to your hard work and support, you've made all the above possible!  Please know that I am forever grateful.
    Warmly,

    Joe

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:50:01 AM PDT

  •  I live in a "red state" and have even run... (16+ / 0-)

    for office (US Rep) explicitly as a "progressive" Democrat. Let  me tell you, the Democratic party was my most stubborn opponent. The cronies in power had no desire for a progressive to even run, let alone support. Unfortuntately, many other progressives followed them and voted for a blue dog democrat which now has voted for funding the surge, against stem cell research, sponsored anti-abortion legislation, etc. etc.

    We have to look at how to organize intelligently and NOT fall for a "this is the best we can do" mentality. Too many progressives settle for far too little.

  •  Blue Dogs are not the enemy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BWasikIUgrad, Harkov311, Elise

    They are Democrats.

    •  In some cases, barely Democrats.... (7+ / 0-)

      they are the enemy. They constantly undermine what it means to be a Democrat, always search for the "center-right" position and often appear to be a team player for the Republicans.

      People are sick of a Democratic party that is Republican lite. And the Bluedogs (along with the DLC "new Dems) are part of the problem.

      •  Is the election of Blue Dog Dems in... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, Harkov311, Elise

        certain areas a reflection of the will of the voters in those areas in primaries and general elections?  Or is there a distortion of the electoral process?

        •  This is too simplistic... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, rick, SarahLee

          the primaries are often a result of the party faithful supporting who they're "told" to support. And in the general, it's often a matter of money and who can run the ads. Especially attack ads.

          I don't pretend to have an answer, but I do believe that progressive issues can and will win in nearly any District IF we can break the crony-filled dem party machine that exists.

          •  I do not like Dem Party endorsements... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming, Harkov311, Elise

            in primary elections.  All candidates should stand on a level playing field.

            •  Exactly..in my case, the Dem party (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, SarahLee, Margot

              endorsed my Bluedog opponent  (who they had in fact chosen!) one week before the primary. They were all good buds. Except for one county which has a county policy of not endorsing, eleven Dem county chairs chose their chosen one. They pretended to have a "fair" process but it was all fixed.

              So much goes on behind the scenes...that it makes election results very dubious. It was ugly, but of course the public rarely saw that.

              I am glad we unseated a bush rethug, and that I played a part in that. But we have barely altered much in electing a bluedog.

              •  There was a primary Dem Party endorsement... (0+ / 0-)

                in the CA-11 race last year (McNerney).  I was supporting McNerney's opponent, and I did not like it.  I think it makes a difference when a candidate's mailers to primary voters inform of the Dem Party's endorsement.  In a limited voter turnout election, I think it makes a difference.

      •  The problem with many blue dogs (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, Harkov311, Elise, CAL11 voter

        is that the only alternative is a republican.  That isn't the case for all of them, but it is the case for many of them.  Boucher is a good example of a conservative dem who is the best we're probably going to get in his district.  That is true for many souther democrats.

        Results from a CBS poll in April:
        Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
        Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:12:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I understand your sentiment, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SarahLee

          that is exactly the kind of defeatest attitude that elects bluedogs. If progressives don't support other progressives who step up to run (and it aint easy, believe me), then we'll get nowhere. Have more faith in your/our views. Progressive ideas often turn into the mainstream ideas, on Iraq, on health care, on managing trade, etc.

          We need to stop defeating ourselves!!

          •  The public moved towards the progressive (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heartofblue, Harkov311

            view on Iraq, probably not because progressives pushed for it, but because Iraq kept getting worse and people came to the conclusion of wanting to get out on their own.  If Iraq was going well, I think people would still support it. But it's not, so they're not.

            Also one problem with all three issues you allude to isn't necessarily what but how.  That tend to be the biggest difference between most moderates and liberals.

            Results from a CBS poll in April:
            Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
            Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:26:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hmmm.....Dean started it in 03 and (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              Sheehan really jumpstarted the anti-war sentiment in 05, Feingold in 06 continued it legislatively.

              Sure, if the war had gone well, there would be no war to be against by now. But progressives pushed this until it became maninstream.

              •  Meh (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Aexia, Harkov311

                I don't think most people find Sheehan to be credible, and I'm not sure many people know who Feingold even is.

                I think the anti-war movement was eventually able to take off because there just finally became enough people who agreed with them.

                Results from a CBS poll in April:
                Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:33:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  changes don't just "happen" on their own..n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rebecca, esquimaux
                  •  Well, of course not (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Harkov311

                    the change on the war occured because people tired of it, not because Sheehan was out there campaigning against it.

                    If that were the case, one would have to argue that people would have become anti-war, even if it were going well.  I don't really think that would have been the case.

                    Results from a CBS poll in April:
                    Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                    Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                    by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:45:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Rebecca, esquimaux

                      Sheehan kept the issue alive. With no anti-war protests, people might be uspset about rising casualties in Iraq, but they wouldn't really feel compelled to do anything about it. That just wouldn't be a consideration. Sheehan helped to move public sentiment, even if not everyone agrees with her.

                      •  My impression (0+ / 0-)

                        is that most people don't know who Sheehan is, or if they do, they blow her off as irrelevant.  The only place I see her propped up as being important is on liberal blogs.

                        Results from a CBS poll in April:
                        Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                        Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:22:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. Even in closer cases, there is... (0+ / 0-)

          great risk in nominating a liberal progressive.  I'm thinking of Rep. Cardoza.  I just couldn't see a liberal progressive winning in that district.

          •  And there is a risk (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CAL11 voter

            that, if these blue dogs are really as close to being republicans as some people on here suggest, challenges from the left may push them to change party, and then you're even worse off than you were before.

            I don't necessarily believe that, because I still think there is a considerable difference between blue dogs and republicans - at least the republicans in the area that they come from.  They're democrats for a reason, typically, and in the south, it's usually not to get elected easily.

            Results from a CBS poll in April:
            Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
            Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:28:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most of the new Bluedogs are in from the midwest. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              all three Indiana Dems joined the bluedogs.

              I have more belief in progressive views than you do, I suppose. Universal health care, for example, is a necessity for economic as well as moral reasons. Same thing with global warming. It's all in how you define the issues and stay away from the left-right meaningless labels.

          •  the same was once said of pombos' district (5+ / 0-)

            i'm not sure that we'll have any idea of what might fly in a given district until it's tried a couple of times, with an appealing speaker delivering the speeches.

            i suspect that there is far more political overlap between berkeley and san joaquin county than there is cultural or self-identity overlap. the problem that progresive democrats face in the valley is not nearly as ideological as it is regional in nature, in my opinion.

            i suspect that a progressive candidate with authentic local roots, a coherent progressive farm/ag agenda and an aggressive latino outreach and GOTV could give cardoza a run for his money, but i'll admit that that's a lot of ifs.

            surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

            by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:55:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If a "Blue Dog" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, SarahLee, rocketito

      votes against the rights of women, gays and minorities, votes to continue the war, votes for corporatoxicity, votes for the status quo, then I will not EVER vote for them.  They are Rebubs in Dem duds.

      "Holy Moses, I have been deceived" - B. Taupin

      by wozzle on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:02:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are also sabotoging the Democrats (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, SarahLee

      by supporting Bush's war and the new American militarism.

      Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

      by pontechango on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:02:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa Lockwood

      Being just a Democrat isn't enough anymore. What you do is more important than that letter after your name. It does not matter one whit if we have Democratic majority if the Democrats we elect are not willing to put forward a progressive agenda and are basically the same as the Republican we just replaced them with. We need to promote candidates that are going to vote for election reform because it is what is best for Americans, vote for progressive health care policy because it is what is best for Americans and vote for change instead of wasting time renaming park benches and then complaining come election time that there weren't enough of them to affect real change.

    •  Blue Dogs are not part of the solution (0+ / 0-)
    •  Well, you can dress a pig as a pony (5+ / 0-)
      But you won't be able to ride it.
    •  Depends on the Blue Dog ... (7+ / 0-)

      ...For instance, 11 Blue Dogs voted for the McGovern bill, the best piece of Iraq legislation put forth in the House of Reps since the Democrats won a majority.

      Now, they, of course, have views on other subjects that may irk many or most of us. Some of them are my enemy. But not all.

      •  That's true...nothing is monolithic but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca

        as a general force in the House, the Bluedogs worked to undermine a united and consistent Iraqi policy. They were aided by some non-bluedogs like Steny Hoyer as well. Most, but not all, voted with the 86 Dems to fund the escalation.

      •  indeed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, markymarx

        while my own blue dog rep, mike thompson, has made some egregious votes in the past couple of congresses - CAFTA and the bankruptcy bill foremost among them - he is a fairly dependable democrat on most other issues. i'd support primarying if someone left of him ran a credible campaign, but he's no vichy dem the way many of those blue dogs are.

        surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

        by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:58:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe they're not the enemy.... (4+ / 0-)

      ....but we must ask ourselves if their actions are a net plus for the party.

  •  I don't think anything is going to change until: (11+ / 0-)

    a) The influence of money is removed from the election cycle;

    Money is the root of all evil, at least as far as our elected officials are concerned. The "need" to raise copious amounts of cash guarantees that these folks will be beholden to those that give the most, since they will need to return to them to ask for more.

    b) The length of campaigns are limited by law.

    If France can elect a president in two rounds of voting in under three months, sure we can hold elections within that time frame. When is someone going to announce their run when the electoin is more than two years off? And the length of campaigns assures that each candidate will be so utterly banal so as not to make a mistake that can be hapred upon for months. Shit, the "Dean Scream" is still played on the Jim Rome Show a couple of times a month.

    Lest you think I am naive, we all know that my two ideas will NEVER become law. So, eugene, the only way to change the system is to change out those that have been corrupted by the game.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:56:01 AM PDT

  •  Eugene, what of the women? (21+ / 0-)

    While all the issues you state are important and indicate change musts come and soon, you have said nothing about the women in this country, how the party that calls themselves the big tent have managed, by putting a D after each candidate, to further the war against and on women started by those with an R.

    Abortions rights are being decimated at an alarming speed and degree, 'trigger laws' are at the ready in many states, more and more clinics are closing because of the TRAP laws, most abortion providers are in their retirement years with a small number ready to take their place.

    Women still don't have universal daycare even though 42% of single mothers live at or below the poverty line.  The incidence of violence against women and young girls has not significantly changed.

    This party chose to not fight the confirmation of Alito or Roberts so we have the decision to uphold the ban on late abortion which leads to so much more.  Pay equity for women has been denied.

    And abstinence only education has been funded by the Democrats with a dollar amount that exceeds what Bush asked for meaning more and more young girls will become pregnant with little to no access to a choice between giving  birth and terminating the pregnancy even if it's a result of rape and/or incest or is an issue of their health.

    So, what about the war on women?  It's never talked about by the candidates or by those already in power, why isn't it mentioned by you Eugene, right up there with Iraq and global warming?  

    If this party is to be rebuilt from the foundation up let's remember what a bedrock principle was for this party since Roe v. Wade was made the law of the land, this was the party of choice.  To speak of the values and principles along with the issues and not address women's rights and issues is a huge breach of confidence for women.

    We are over half of the population and yet we are so easily forgotten.  We elect candidates, we donate and we vote, so where are we in the pecking order of importance?

    I will not die an unlived life. Fuck 'em, I will not live in fear, I will live out loud and on the record. 'Cali, you kick 31 flavors of ass.' Eugene

    by caliberal on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:56:20 AM PDT

    •  As I wrote this diary (10+ / 0-)

      That issue was resting foremost in my mind. Democratic majorities have utterly failed to protect women's rights. I should have called that out specifically with links (the links I did give were to diaries on the rec list, and the absence of something there on women's issues is telling). I did mention the SCOTUS surrender but yes, it should have been made more clear that the main thing the Dems gave away on those confirmations was women's basic rights.

      What you are saying is incredibly important. The present approach, of supporting any old Dem, has resulted in massive losses for women and their basic rights and freedoms. The current lack of organizing has meant those issues, and women's involvement in politics more broadly, has been badly neglected. Women play a central role - perhaps THE central role - in rebuilding a progressive movement. And we ALL need to do more to not just acknowledge it, but promote it.

      Excellent comment. Thank you so much for it.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:13:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck (7+ / 0-)

    A liberal-only party will never gain a majority in th US. It never has and never will.  That's why the democratic party is a coalition of liberals and moderates - because it has to be.

    Oh, and I like Bashing dems on the global warming topic based on the action of a single democratic representative, acting in opposition to Speaker Pelosi.

    Results from a CBS poll in April:
    Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
    Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:56:47 AM PDT

    •  2 Dem reps, actually, obstructing global warming (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, inertiac

      Both of whom are leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. But yes, kudos to Pelosi for smacking them down.

      Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

      by pontechango on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:07:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  of course liberals will never win (11+ / 0-)

      Nothing can ever be done unless it has already been done before. That's why the world is exactly the same as it was centuries ago.
      Reading history tells us nothing if not that things never change, progress is impossible, and there is no hope. Thanks for pointing that out Fleet.

    •  This is a good point... (6+ / 0-)

      I don't think "liberal-only" will work, but I think there's no excuse to have conservative Democrats representing completely progressive districts. We have that in several places- Kos referenced Lipinski in Chicago the other day. No reason for him to be in that district- we should have a progressive there.

      •  well I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Harkov311, Elise

        progressive districts should have progressive representatives.  I don't oppose that idea.  What I oppose is this general "it's better to run a progressive and lose than to run a blue dog or moderate dem and win" idea that some people seem to have.

        Results from a CBS poll in April:
        Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
        Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:35:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about not letting the Blue Dogs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          esquimaux, shaharazade

          be your media voice?

          Arlen Specter is not the poster child for the Right in the Corporate Media, and yet there we have Joe "I wanna Kill!" LIEberman and Joe "I Heart Credit Card Companies" Biden speaking for the Democrats.

          Arlen Specter never gets out and says shit like,"Pat Robertson is a fucking Lunatic!" or "Those Christian WackJobs need to just STFU on Abortion!".

          We get that all the time!

          I have no problem with conservative leaning Democrats in conservative leaning areas, but they should not be the point people in the media or in leadership positions within the party.

          And furthermore, I want leadership - debate shifting leadership along the lines of a Newt or a Buchanan, CATO, etc - pushing the dialogue to the left.

          America is vastly Progressive, they just don't know it, and the reason is twofold:
          Corporate Media and Corporate Sponsored Democratic Party.

          Next to nobody promotes a Human Agenda.

          Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

          by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:05:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Harkov311, Elise

            given that Lieberman isn't a dem anymore, I'm not sure how effective using him in your argument is.

            Specter has said some stuff to rile up the base before, but he not always out there, just like Biden isn't always out there.

            Part of it is that, at least in the past (i'm not sure how true this is now), Republicans haven't had to rely on moderates as much as democrats did because those who identified themselves as conservatives were about twice as large as those who identified themselves as liberals (and people in those groups voted for their respective parties at about the same rate)

            This meant that Democrats needed moderate voters more than republicans, so republicans could stand holding back a lot more.  Also, through republican purging of moderates, there just weren't all that many left, and the rest were under constant threat of being primaried (in fact, they tried to primary Spector, though he pulled it out in the end).

            Part of it is that many moderates see as much difference between themselves and the GOP as they see between themselves and the liberal base of the party on many issues, and just as they don't necessarily want to bend to the GOP, they don't necessarily want to bow down to the left wing of the party either.  Since the democratic party is about half liberals and half moderates, it makes the coalition more volitile than the GOP which is (or at least was) more like 80% conservative and 20% moderate or so.

            Results from a CBS poll in April:
            Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
            Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:11:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I remember a couple years ago (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, esquimaux, ActivistGuy

              when Taking on LIEberman was a 'bad idea'.

              I was part of the group that thought he should go. He had quite a bit of pull as a 'Prominent' Democrat. Party was more important than policy.

              So he finally got the shaft, or decided to take the shaft instead of take a bow, that's fine, but don't go and pretend that he wasn't a 'prominent' democrat less than 2 years ago.

              I agree that Biden and Specter are kind of akin, which is why I chose them.

              Biden v Specter in terms of face time, and 'creds' within their party, there is no comparison.

              Moderates see what the media tells them, I'm sorry to say. This may offend you, and I'm not really trying to, but moderates just don't have command of the issues.

              They get the perception modified reality - the media's representation of the truth.

              In short they are poorly informed.

              Moderates did not believe in Peak Oil. They did not understand that $4 per gallon gas was a given regardless of tax burden.

              Moderates did not get that free trade Cheap Labor and Market Fundamentalists wanted the American bread winners to literally compete with Chinese Labor. They didn't get the memo that said that with the passage of NAFTA our manufacturing base would disappear.

              They got the media's silver lining. Rising tide for all!

              Look at Clinton's reign. Most moderates still think it was the cat's ass! Everybody made money! Best economy in history, etc.

              It was bullshit. Bubbles, Corporate Cartels, and a continued destruction of America's social safety net, not to mention the near destruction of Progressive ideology.

              Grow or die, America's motto since Reagan, is titanically stupid, and the only people pushing it are hypnotized by the din of the Corporate Media, benefitting enormously from it, or willfully stupid.

              Grow or die is bad policy, and it is the bulwark of 'moderate' and 'centrist' thinking.

              Wow, I'm gonna get tatooed for that rant...

              Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

              by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:54:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Some people may have that view (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, SarahLee, wu ming, shaharazade

          I do not. I do not believe the choice is between a progressive loser and a Blue Dog winner, as you put it. Further, I believe the Blue Dogs jeopardize the Democratic majority through their unwillingness to carry out the voters' will.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:08:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  whose voters will, though (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Harkov311

            While blue dogs weren't under much heat in 2006, before they were, and being under heat election under election doesn't give one incentive to shift farther to the left than you already are.

            I've actually been surprised that the blue dogs have been as cooperative as they have been so far.

            Results from a CBS poll in April:
            Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
            Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:13:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  In other words- YOUR will. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            heartofblue

            Once again- I think the Blue Dogs tend to know their districts better than you do.

            In addition to that, they don't actually vote against us all THAT often- it just happens to be on issues where public opinion is more divided- Iraq, choice, gay marriage, etc.

            However- with their help, we control the majority and we control what gets out of committee and to the floor for a vote. We can prevent conservative ideas from moving forward BECAUSE we have a majority BECAUSE we have those Blue Dogs. There are 33 Blue Dogs by the way...just about the same number as what gives us a majority...and what allows Pelosi to strike down a bill like Boucher's the other day.

        •  who? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rebecca, wu ming

          "it's better to run a progressive and lose than to run a blue dog or moderate dem and win" idea that some people seem to have.

          Tell me one person who advocates that?

        •  I definitely agree with you 100%. (0+ / 0-)

          Although- I would suggest that while we have that Blue Dog there...we work within those communities to promote progressive ideas better so that more people become progressive and so that in the future, progressives can win in those areas.

    •  Moderate is a meaningless label.. (7+ / 0-)

      it can only be defined by the edges. It just sounds good. Progressives can win and become a majority when 1) we start believing they can and 2) we define the agenda in terms that relate to people's real life concerns.

      •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        In the simplest terms, moderates hold positions that are neither right-wing or left-win, but somewhere in the middle, thus the label moderates or centrists.

        Politics isn't a black or white choice where you're either conservative or liberal.  It's a continuum.

        On the war, there are a large number of moderates who agree with liberals on the matter, but that doesn't mean they aren't, when all is said and done, not moderates. They just agree with liberals on that particular issue.

        Of course, given that it is the most important issue at the moment certainly helps the liberal cause, but once it's over, that doesn't mean that moderates will stay that close to the liberal side.

        Results from a CBS poll in April:
        Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
        Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

        by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:41:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very old-style thinking.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shaharazade

          there is not a linear continuum with a "center" or moderate halfway position. The Internet and modern politics have blasted that away. Since i don't think in your left-wing, right-wing framework, you can't make it sensible to me or others who are trying to break that old mold.

          •  Well (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Harkov311

            if you have one extreme and another extreme, chances are there is going to be a middle. It's highly unlikely that someone is going to be white or black with no gray, especially when one is taking into consideration a broad array of issues.

            Even the Diamond political metric that things like the political compass or that the Libertarian party came up with have a "moderate" or "center" to it.

            I'm basically 2, 2 on the political compass.  I wouldn't consider myself anything but a moderate.

            Results from a CBS poll in April:
            Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
            Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

            by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:53:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Liberals in the US... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca

              ....aren't even that extreme. We need to shift the whole debate.

              •  meh, depends on the issue (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Harkov311

                I'm not for "defunding", and I'm not all into government regulation much, though I do support it if it is done in a limited and targeted way.

                If the democratic party suddenly became big into regulation and the GOP suddenly became reasonable (good luck with that), I'd have to take a look at switching.

                I think the moderates in the party are putting up with the liberals because they share a common goal to end the war (though they may disagree on the means to do so) and it is clearly the #1 issue right now.

                On other issues, I think there may be rather wide differences.

                Results from a CBS poll in April:
                Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:06:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have some serious disagreements... (5+ / 0-)

                  with progressive philosophy then. Markets alone cannot and will not resolve certain problems. That is the central lesson of the last thirty years of neo-liberal deregulation policies.

                  That is another discussion we should have so you can move your center a bit.

                  •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    heartofblue, Harkov311

                    You have some serious disagreements with progressive philosophy then.

                    That's why I've been calling myself a moderate.

                    Markets alone cannot and will not resolve certain problems.

                    Well, I'd agree that markets alone can't resolve certain problems, and I'm not saying that is the case.  However, because some regulation is good doesn't necessarily mean that more regulation is better.

                    Of course, it depends on what you're talking about. I wouldn't support privatizing education because we generally have a goal that every child get a quality education and that's just impossible under a system run by the market.  But we don't have a similar goal of minimal equality or whatever you want to call it for most things governed by the market.

                    Results from a CBS poll in April:
                    Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
                    Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

                    by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:16:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Oh please (6+ / 0-)

                  I'm a European styled Social Democratic and vote in the Democratic Party because it's the best forum for my "radical" style of politics that apparently is too extreme for most Americans to be comfortable with.

                  Call me the extremist.  But don't call Liberals extreme.  They really are the center.  And Liberal activists merely after to connect the public to their platform in a compelling fashion and repeair the "Liberal" brand after decades of extremist Republican assault.

                  Question authoritarianism

                  by m00nchild on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:15:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  what is extremely telling here (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rebecca, SarahLee, J Royce

                  is that a person stating that in the future they might consider voting for a green or - heaven forfend! - the dread ralph nader gets shouted down and TRed off the boards here more often than not, but you can make the same sort of statement about voting republican and it goes by without anyone freaking out.

                  granted, i'm a strong proponant of talking things out rather than TRing them, but the fact that you don't get the same treatment speaks volumes about who is persona non grata at this site, and why.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:04:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Well, speaking in your terms, let's .... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, shaharazade

              make progressive the new "center" of the future. Because I truly believe that is how we can even survive until the next century. (global war, global warming, global trade, etc.)

            •  No you don't have an extreme and another extreme (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rebecca, annefrank, shaharazade

              you have the Extreme Right, click one to the left, and you have the right, click one to the left and you have centrists, click one to the left and you have moderates, click one to the left and you have Democrats, then spin the dial 7 or 10 clicks and you have the Socialists, spin it again and you have the Anarchists and Libertarians.

              I could get flamed for putting Anarchists and Libertarians at the far left of the spectrum, but in today's political landscape, the Libs don't reside anywhere near the extreme Right.

              I have more in common with Libertarians than Extreme Republicans.  

              There is nothing resembling a flat line of political thought in this country today.

              It's so friggin' tilted to the right.

              My biggest problem is that the 'center' is defined by Corporations, and the Corporate Agenda has nothing to do with Moderation and/or 'centerism'.

              Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

              by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:11:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rebecca, SarahLee, IndySteve

            Looking at polls, you see that people in the center aren't in the center on all issues. It's more like they're all over the place ideologically. It really depends on the issue. That's why continually running to the center is a losing political strategy for Democrats.

        •  There's another word for that: middling n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

          by pontechango on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:59:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Boucher was not alone (7+ / 0-)

      As I am sure you well know.

      Your claim that a liberal-only party will never success has no basis in evidence. It is merely an assumption. FDR, a liberal in every sense of the word, won four terms in office. The Democrats in Congress, largely (though admittedly not wholly) liberal from 1930 to 1994 dominated that chamber.

      Finally, you set up a false dichotomy that assumes moderates will never be swayed by liberal ideas or liberal politicians. That is a claim that has been repeatedly proved false.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:07:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wholeheartedly agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, SarahLee

        and I hate hearing people who have bought into the whole liberal = extreme pitch.  This country was decidedly liberal during much of the 20th century.  It wasn't until Goldwater lost and the Republicans turned on the PR blitz (including media control) that this country was sold the notion that liberal was a bad thing.

        The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

        by TracieLynn on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:59:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've been saying this for months (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, Elise, Pete Rock

    We need to target spineless Democratic incumbents in strong Demo-leaning districts and knock them out of office in the primaries. That's the only way that the Democratic Party will change. That's the only way that they will listen to you - if they think their job depends on it.
     Lots of people didn't agree with me when I said it, but eventually people will come around to this idea.

    "PC Load Letter"? What the fuck does that mean?

    by gjohnsit on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:58:27 AM PDT

  •  Shouldn't we get an actual majority first? (5+ / 0-)

    We really don't have a Democratic majority in congress right now. With Lieberman and Jeffords we have nominal control of the Seante, but we are a minority party opposed by a virtually united Republican party and a Republican president. Add in the number of Democrats who represent conservative states, and we simply don't have the ability to impose wholesale changes.

    I knew this would happen. As soon as we get a little bit of control over the government, people start demanding wholesale changes. When the party can't do that, we start splitting up into factions and let the Republicans take power again. It's like stopping treatment for cancer because the tumor shrinks, but before the cancer is in remission. Not surprisingly, the cancer is likely to return and be even harder to treat.

    If you want a permanent Republican majority, then by all means stop working for Democrats and go form your own party. If you want wholesale changes in government, stop focusing on the party and start talking to the people who vote. If you want abortion rights, go to the people and convince them that we should have them. If you want GLBT people to be married, go to the people and convince them that it is the right thing. We can't change the party without changing the people who vote for it. Civil rights didn't happen until enough people were convinced it was the right thing. Environmental regulations didn't happen until enough people were convinced it was the right thing. The courts may have been the mechanism for change, but that change didn't happen until a majority of society supported it. The constitution didn't change between 1880 and 1960 - they way the courts interpreted it and the way the law enforced that interpreation changed.

    •  That is my ultimate goal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca

      To do what you say here: to change the people who vote for it, to convince people that our values and ideas are the right ones.

      Elsewhere I argue that there will never be an ideal time or place to undertake these changes. Republicans will never leave us alone. We must make these changes in a high-risk political environment - we have no choice about that. I also believe that these bad Dems will ruin the majority we do have if we do not increase progressive numbers.

      I think a focus on the party is important, though, because if we talk to voters and convince them of the sensibility of a progressive approach, and then they find that Democrats don't actually back that, they're going to be disillusioned and angry. Further, political leadership frequently does generate changes in voter mentalities.

      Ultimately these go together. We must work on voters AND work on the parry, and the same time.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:19:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chicken vs. Egg (0+ / 0-)

        People will vote for the party that is closest to their values. Progressives will vote Democrat if their alternative is voting Republican. Moderates will vote Democrat, but only if the Democrats are close to their position - if the right can establish that they are closer, then moderates will vote Republican.

        If the party moves too far to the left too quickly, we will lose elections, and it is very possible that we will lose the country. Every time the right is in power, they weaken the laws that allow us to vote them out. I'm not willing to risk that.

    •  how about at least offering (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca

      a choice to voters that isn't formulated to where you perceive they are? Right now the door is open nobody likes the direction this country is going. Our cart needs to get behind the horse.

      "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

      by shaharazade on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:46:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It would be nice if it worked (0+ / 0-)

        Unfortunately, the cost of offering a choice to liberal voters is that we will be splitting the party into "sort of liberal" and "very liberal", and the only winners will be the Republicans. I am not willing to see another 4 years of Republican rule. We can get out of the hole eventually, but first we have to stop digging.

    •  excellent comment (0+ / 0-)

      the Democrats haven't been holding a slim majority (which, as you point out, isn't really a majority) for six months, and people are ready to abandon ship.

      US involvement in the Vietnam war did not end in a matter of a few months. Neither will the war in Iraq. Unfortunately, we need a much larger majority AND the majority of Americans to be vocally, vehemently determined to tell their Congressional representatives that this war must end.

      Our energy needs to be focused on getting our friends and acquaintences more informed and more involved in their government. We need to put pressure on the COngress we have today, and we need to get more Democrats elected in 08.

      I remember a time when the American President was the leader of the free world. ****** Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

      by land of the free on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 04:14:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's No Conflict Here. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, taylormattd, ralphie, Elise

    People are doing it, and the party created infrastructure for grassroots transformation, Dean's 50 state strategy.

    There's no conflict going on here at all, there was plenty of support last fall for new liberal incomers, most dramatically in CT.

    Maybe you would find a better focus at Democracy for America? Not to criticize of course, but party transformation is definitely a primary focus of theirs.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 11:59:22 AM PDT

  •  This is a great diary. Positive and productive! (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks.  Lead the way and we will come.  Human values (what you call ideology) are important.

  •  Hooray! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, potownman, shaharazade

    YOu are spot on.  Wonderful diary.  Speaks my mind perfectly.

  •  Several polls over the past 2 years (14+ / 0-)

    have shown that the majority of progressive issues have from majority to 75% percent support. This whole "we've got to move the center over to us" is therefore a misapprehension. They are already with us, but they don't know it. Listen to Thom Hartmann take a rank-and-file "conservative" caller and go down the checklist with them about where they stand and you can see this.  But we are in the grips of one of the most awesome and comprehensive propaganda machines in all history--including the 20th century totalitarian states.

    The Corporate Media almost completely excludes the interests and perceptions of ordinary Americans from participation in public discourse by virtue of their de facto monopoly of content. On top of it, they amplify and legitimate the most lunatic anti-American, anti-human notions pushed forward by the criminal elites.

    First thing: we need to end the Corporate monopoly on what the American people hear and see; its monopoly on who is permitted to be heard and who isn't; its monopoly on how people and issues are cast.

    If the mass-media were truly reflective of average Americans, if every side was allowed to be heard, we would not be wasting our efforts on building an alternate media, or responding (always on their ground and always too late) to the lies and misrepresentations. Just having average Americans having access would carry the progressive agenda, because the progressive agenda is truly mainstream. People just haven't been allowed to think about it that way.

    We must break the de facto Media monopoly on content in radio and television. This monopoly is at the heart of every single thing that is wrong in this country, and nothing will change until we do this. Why would anyone imagine otherwise?

    Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:01:49 PM PDT

    •  I think the difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Harkov311, Elise

      between liberals and moderates is to what extent they want to push certain issues.

      Moderates may want out of the Iraq war "as soon as it is reasonable" while liberals may want out now

      Moderates may want universal healthcare while liberals may want single payer health care

      Moderates may want a $3 hike in the minimum wage while liberals may want $6 hikes.

      I've found that the general rule that moderates and liberals hold the same general principles, but liberals tend to go a lot, lot farther in how far they want to push it.  Moderates tend to support some regulation of business while liberals tend to support a lot of regulation is another example.

      Where the problem comes in is that moderates don't like taking positions more extreme than the ones they hold, but they will go for positions less extreme than the ones they hold.  

      Thus moderates may vote for republicans rather than democrats, despite holding positions closer to democrats, because republicans (at least used to) represent generally the status quo, and many times moderates will choose the status quo over something that goes beyond that they personally favor.

      This is why I think moderate control of the party is, ultimately, key, because it still keeps pushing those issues without scaring off voters, though the liberals in the party will probably lament that progress isn't being made fast enough as a result.

      Results from a CBS poll in April:
      Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
      Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:20:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish moderates had more cojones (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca

        Admiral's statement is quite profound:

        Where the problem comes in is that moderates don't like taking positions more extreme than the ones they hold, but they will go for positions less extreme than the ones they hold.

        I would add they they seem also to be willing to go backwards, for example funding liquid coal.

        Compare this philosophy to the mission of Star Trek.

        To boldly go where no man has gone before.

        Notce that the explorers didn't recommend, "to moderately proceed with baby steps where someone else has probably already tread."

        My point is that these are extraordinary times, for example the world is heating up, there is an alarming concentration of wealth (which is the enemy of democracy), elected officials openly promote domestic spying and advocate for more torture. We cannot in these extraordinary times go meekly forward. We must boldly go, sometimes where no man has gone before.

        I wish there was a state(s) designated by the USA where governmental experiments could be carried out to see if progressive (or regressive) approaches work best.

        But some things can't wait for experimentation and others are too obviously heinous to continue.

        •  Well (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          heartofblue, Harkov311

          if people were comfortable in doing more than they support, then they would support doing more.

          If someone is walking on a narrow pathway next to a cliff, while they may be comfortable walking in the middle, they're far more likely to hug the wall next to the walkway than try to "tightrope" on the very edge.

          And telling people that they aren't being "bold" enough isn't necessarily going to convince them to come out any closer to the edge.

          Results from a CBS poll in April:
          Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
          Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

          by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:30:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Right on, Jim P, you've nailed it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, Jim P, inertiac

      I want to rec this comment 50 times and move it to the top of the list.  To go one step further, and I know this is controversial around here, we actually won the presidency in 2000 and 2004 in the face of the

      one of the most awesome and comprehensive propaganda machines in all history.

       So the GOP had to lie with an amazing propaganda machine, and they had to cheat, and they still barely won.  The center is ours, despite those lying dogs who love to call us a "right center" country.  Our problem is with the media control.  Bush would have been impeached two years ago if the news outlets were even close to neutral.

      For one, I dislike having an activist propagandize me.  And a lot of people are a lot less sympathetic than I.  Standing outside a theater with handouts seems weak and cheesy compared with a slick news broadcast showing Lieberman lying about Iraq.  It just doesn't compete.  (No offense to the good people who do that hard work, which does have its effect.)

      We must have a neutral media.  Then the policies of our government would automatically reflect the liberal attitudes of the majority of the country.

      If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

      by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:26:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. (5+ / 0-)

        So the GOP had to lie with an amazing propaganda machine, and they had to cheat, and they still barely won.

        WIthout the corporate agit/prop machine, Bush would have polled about 3% in 2000. But every other thing--healthcare, environment, employment, social conditions--everything would be completely different without that Media monopoly on content. Absolutely everything.

        Still, it amazes me how few progressives seem to grasp the centrality of the Corporate Media. I think it's the "the fish doesn't notice the water" effect. They seem to think snarky comments about Chris Matthews, nailing Tony Snow lying through a brain-dead press corps, is going to do something to change things.

        Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:42:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I could hug you, brother. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P, inertiac

          I was preparing my comment when I saw yours.  In light of how we are seeing things, diaries such as this one strike me as naive.  I don't mean to sound harsh at all--I'm so grateful for caring, committed progressives--but the question really isn't one of winning over the middle.  It's one of re-establishing the influence of the middle, which starts with the lies and distractions we swim in daily.  Have you noticed that bizarro reality in the corporate media has recently reached an even higher extreme of surrealism.

          If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

          by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:55:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hug you back. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            geomoo

            I've been making the arguments you see here (often in more detail) for months on every poor soul who diaries about power and media, and mostly get ignored or told that the internet will cure all.

            The level of naivety in our liberal politics astounds me. I like how you sum this up.

            It's one of re-establishing the influence of the middle, which starts with the lies and distractions we swim in daily.

            Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

            by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:12:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  And a lot of the criticisms of democrats (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jim P

          comes from the distortions of the corporate media.  It is painful to see that happening here.  Someone is this very thread called them weak (and worse).  You will not see a powerful soundbite from a democrat on the corporate media; you will not here a telling frame picked up by the media.  That's not because they're not out there.  I was highly critical of Congress until I started following things very closely.  I was amazed at the effective, clear, strong words coming from so many of our democratic leaders.  I don't mean to whitewash the problem of their failure to stand up, but even that is largely attributable to their not being able to count on fair coverage.  This is THE problem.

          Now that we're agreed, what the hell do we do about it?

          If it's our freedom they hate, they must love Bush's response to the WTC attacks.

          by geomoo on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:05:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That's what was meant by public ownership (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      of the means of communications....

      Freedom is merely privilege extended unless enjoyed by one and all -9.50, -5.74

      by redstar on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:54:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but we have to be explicit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        redstar

        And, maybe there's a snazzier way to say it, but this has to become the focus:

        The Corporate Media's virtual monopoly on what Americans hear and see.

        From that focus, the entire range of effective strategies and tactics can be created, discussed, developed, and implemented.

        Without that precise articulation and focus, we're just randomly flailing around.

        It's not this show, or this network, that needs targeting. It is that ordinary Americans and their thoughts and concerns are simply non-existant in all of media content. Mike Stark, for one, has pioneered guerilla appearances, shattering their poses on occasion. But we need a multi-pronged legal/popular uprising to tear down the corporate wall.

        Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

        by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:03:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  yes (4+ / 0-)

    Our ideas are sound not because a few of us in blue cities hold them, but because they are right.

    What I have been saying to friends for years. The republicans are wrong, just wrong.

    You don't pay any attention to what your parents tell you, but you watch the way they live their lives...Tom Waits

    by lisastar on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:03:10 PM PDT

  •  Not Time to Move On (9+ / 0-)

    Actually, no ...  It's not time to move on.

    The Democratic Party is the only party where Progressives are welcome -- unless you want to change the Constitution and voting system in a way that allows third parties to come into their own.  The Democratic Party is the only party that you -- and I -- have.

    There is room for both partisanship and ideology.  Progressives need to stay engaged with the Democratic Party -- not just because the party needs them, but because they need the party.

    Middle Class Mother-F!cking Warrior

    by bink on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:05:56 PM PDT

    •  meh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, kidneystones

      as they say, fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice, shame on me.

      we gave them a chance. they have more than disappointed. it is indeed time to move on and begin working for the things that matter to us, not to the lobbyists.

      •  6 months (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hhex65, land of the free

        with barely a slight majority is not giving anyone a chance.

        •  they capitulated on Iraq (0+ / 0-)

          a provision was snuck into the farm bill stripping states of the ability to regulate their own farming industries and couched in such language that states will be prohibited from - for example - recalling foods known to be contaminated with, say e coli.

          it will pass because they're corporatists. they're of the same ilk as Brad Carson who is happily raking in millions right now that should be going in the pockets of poor and elderly Cherokees, but is instead going in the pocket of Brad Carson and his cronies. and you people wonder why he got stomped in the election here. big mystery to everyone except the people who voted him out.

          and what i'm seeing so far, this batch is Brad Carson all over again.

          i'm happy you have such faith in them. i don't. and saying six months is not giving anyone a chance is, to me, a little like saying, after six months of marriage to a man who spends most nights at the bar and has found himself a new girlfriend - but who still needs you so desperately, for whatever reason - give it time! um, no.

          enough is enough. it's time for them to start listening to us. and if they choose not to? i have no obligation to support them and, in fact, an ethical obligation not to.

      •  so what (0+ / 0-)

        will you do?

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      The question is...

      Do progressives hold more power now that the Democrats hold a majority in Congress?

      The answer to that question is undeniably yes...

      As much as blue-dogs piss me off on occasion, I am absolutely overjoyed that they aren't Republican held seats...

      I think having a solid progressive as the 2nd most powerful person (arguably) in the United States...is a pretty good thing...

  •  This liberal/conservative Dem/Rep (4+ / 0-)

    thing, though real in a way, is also stupid in another way. Personally, I'll use the label "progressive" for myself, but that's a social convenience. I'm not really going to wear progressive hats and sing progressive songs and have progressive thoughts.

    I'd rather get our politics around to an "honest informed adults dealing with problems" versus "dishonest ignorant brats manipulating people" frame.

    Until we break the corporate monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:10:27 PM PDT

  •  I just read your first paragraph (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, TexDem, potownman

    and recommended before reading the whole thing.  Going back to read now.  You are SO right.  Rebuild the PARTY.

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- not George Carlin

    by donnamarie on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:11:07 PM PDT

    •  Worth the Read; (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, TexDem, donnamarie

      Excellently said.

      The Democratic Party is still largely thinking and acting like it is the 19th and 20th Centuries.  It is not; it is the 21st Century, where we would have never imagined we are in this deeply paralyzing stasis, one that literally threatens our existence.

      Oh, though I should say, The Democrats could use quite a bit more 18th-Century thinking, if you know what I mean, which I know you do.

      Thanks for the post, and for eugene, and thanks to you, eugene.

      To announce...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

      by potownman on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:42:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Corrupt Washington is a big part of the problem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sam from Ithaca

    If you don't believe it, drive through Potomac, maryland some time.

  •  here are some progressive dems that need our (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, carolita

    help.
    plf515 started a diary series called Rock the Houses (cleanup of the houses on both sides of the aisle, R & D) and here is a link to some progressive dems that need our help in continuing their careers and carrying out our objectives.
    I highly recommend the diary series for anyone who has not read it.
    And I highly recommend donations to the progressive dems on this act blue website...

    http://www.actblue.com/...

    so far, only three of us kossacks have donated.

  •  Nobody's talking about independents. Say you're (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue vertigo

    a voter in an alternate-universe CT, where Lamont did not pledge not to run as an independent. He does so after losing the D primary. Polls show he can win. Who do you vote for?

    The bananarang was a failure.

    by nu on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:24:26 PM PDT

    •  It's pretty obvious that Lamont (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Radlein, slatsg, Dave925, adigal, timewarp

      would have caucused with the Democrats, in the scenario you give, so it's not really a tough call at all.

      Don't forget that Democrats supported Bernie Sanders's election as an independent in the 2006 election, although under slightly different circumstances.

      •  bernie was an anathema (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, Dave925, blue vertigo

        to the Democratic party in VT back in 1981, first in Burlington (where the local dems acted like rethugs) and then when he ran for Congress.

        But over the years, he has remained true to his populist and progressive convictions and has led the building of a powerful movement, so powerful, that he has won the respect of people in both parties.  When he ran for the Senate, he was endorsed by both Leahy and Jeffords.  Now, no VT Dem (and most decent Goopers) would think of criticizing him.  Incredible progress.  And an example of what can be accomplished in many districts.  

  •  We have to take the social/class issues (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, slatsg, k9disc, esquimaux

    right up the middle.  This is how we win.  The lobbyists, clintonistas, the DC pundits, and the ruling elites in general will hate it.

    But the people are more ready to hear us now than they have been since the 30s.  Carpe diem!

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:25:20 PM PDT

  •  This ATM is Out of Service (9+ / 0-)

    Sorry Dems, but this ATM is Out of Service. Don't come back til you get a clue, guys.

    Great diary, eugene!

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:26:06 PM PDT

    •  The only saving grace (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise

      of this opinion is that it's pretty much true on the other side as well.

      Though i'm interested to see the number for the next two quarters to see how much congress's action on the supplemental actually affected fundraising.

      Results from a CBS poll in April:
      Withhold funding until bush accepts timetables - 36%
      Allow funding even without timetables - 56%

      by FleetAdmiralJ on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:43:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Quid pro quo (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rebecca, wu ming

        There's always been a quid pro quo for the Big Donors, the guys that give two grand and bundle similar donations from other fat cats.  The problem with the netroots is that we've just given the money, no strings. We need to learn from our mistakes. If we don't attach strings to our money, then we will be taken for granted.  My $100 won't be missed, but if candidates suddenly find that they are having trouble raising money via the netroots ATM, they will take note.

        Just as a start, if I were Kos For A Day I would impose a rule for politicians posting diaries here -- no more hit-and-run diaries. The politician would have to sit in front of the computer and engage in the comments for 3 hours minimum. The politician, mind you, not some staff flunky.

        In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

        by Paul in Berkeley on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:17:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Especially after the "love that war" vote... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, SecondComing, slatsg

    ...I'm with you 100%.

    After 123 Dems voted pro-troop-death I could envision the camera panning to Rod Serling, cigatette in hand:

    "Submitted for your approval: You have just been thrown into an alternate nightmare reality, where Democrats vote for war and Republicans, under pressure, are expected to bring the troops home.  

    "You are stunned at this bizarro world, fully expecting at any time your cat to be a dog, your house to be a refrigerator box, your pizza in the refrigerator turn out to be jello and your husband to be your wife.

    "But you don't know what could be waiting around the next corner.  Because you've just bought a one-way ticket into -- The Twilight Zone."

  •  Donations and strings (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, eugene, timewarp

    What we need is a contributors union.  An organization that pools progressive dollars and offers them to candidates IF they agree to act, argue, and vote according to progressive values.  Right now when I contribute to one of the Presidential primary campaigns I have no control over what they do with the money.  I don’t even know if they will act, argue, and vote according to their own rhetoric.  They usually don’t.

  •  The only way to persuade many former (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, kid oakland, eugene, k9disc, Pohjola

    Republicans to consider voting Democratic is to convince them that we are trying to make the Democratic Party represent the people, not the same corporations. We must show our red state neighbors that the people have the power to do this, as we've shown in the 2006 election. And we must invite them to join us in taking the country back the only way we can, via a renewed Democratic party of, by and for the people.

    All of those disaffected Republicans who can't imagine ever voting for a Democrat need to be informed of the people power movement we have developed, and, now that we have seen that the people want change, we will work for that change for all americans, including Republicans, Independents and otherwise. Since we're stuck with a two-party system, our task is to clean out the dead wood in the only party that has ever governed for the people, the party of FDR and of civil rights. We want our party back.

  •  Campaign finance reform--isn't that the issue (5+ / 0-)

    I wonder about the issue all the time.  Since I see money as the root of almost all the evil in the world, my mind always goes to campaign finance reform.

    In CA the voters defeated a campaign finance initiative with lots of Dems calling for its defeat.

    Locally, Dems helped defeat an ordinance to limit campaign contributions.

    I fear I just don't get it.  Why aren't Dems behind campaign finance reform?

  •  In every district, in every race... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, slatsg, LordMike

    elect the most progressive Democrat possible.

    Dan Lipinski is fine for AL-03... NOT IL-03!  Dianne Feinstein is great as D-NE... NOT D-CA!

    Let's not force Democrats from Mississippi to vote as Dick Durbin or Barbara Boxer would... but let's make sure our representatives from Massachusetts would!

    Every district, every race, support the most progressive Democrat possible!

    You can be as free as you want, so long as Republicans control birth, death, sex and marriage. And whose vote counts.

    by ultrageek on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:53:07 PM PDT

  •  Totally agree. (0+ / 0-)

    But not ideology.  Ideas.  The best ideas should be the most popular ideas.  The people support the progressive agenda.  Now all we have to do is convince them to vote their hearts, minds and pocketbooks and give them candidates who will get the ideas done.

    We live thick and are in each other's way, and stumble over one another, and I think we thus lose some respect for one another--Thoreau

    by robokos on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:53:13 PM PDT

    •  You are so right...I listen to Hannity say the Rs (5+ / 0-)

      have to get back to Reagan's ideas: low taxes, personal  "responsibility," cut government spending on entitlement programs, such stale ideas, all of which screw the middle and lower class.  I think when I hear this, "Except for the 28% dead-enders, Hannity, that train has left the station."  

      I heard a caller take him to task today as he was spouting that crap today - that welfare people or those who cannot afford healthcare are just not using their God-given talents and pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, and that the way to end poverty is to teach people that America is the greatest country in the world, and that we have the most freedom, and that we can use out talents to become gazillionares, just like he did. I was like, "WTF, are you smoking crack??? Or are you really that stupid???"

      I think most Americans' experiences have shown the republicans have stacked the deck against us, not that we are lazy. And I think their "revolution" is dying, a little more every day.

      America is thirsty for a progressive, populist message. Who will give it to them???

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:28:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We must work to build (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cathy

    a "rational, reasonable, progressive party".
    Not just any "progressive" will do.

    We need sound-thinking, logical warriors who understand things like strategy and tactics, logistics and the like.

    We do not need a bunch of folks who go off at the drop of a hat, tilt at windmills, and latch onto the anti-establishment buzz-think o' the week.

    We need people who can analyze all sides of an issue before taking a position... rather than people that choose a side and fight to the death over it w/o ever really thinking about it.

    Eugene, you are sooooooo right. Time to move on.

    Now if we can just agree on what defines "progressive"...

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:54:25 PM PDT

    •  I think we need a bunch of folks (0+ / 0-)

      who make decisions based upon how it will affect People.

      Screw all the sides of it.

      How much is your family worth? Your Child?

      You interested in making that cost benefit analysis?

      Because anyone who looks at all sides 'rationally' will wind up doing a cost benefit on your family's worth to society.

      Personally I think People are more important than Profit, and our laws should be written to reflect that.

      Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

      by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:21:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And when we start thinking about... (0+ / 0-)

        the cost of our actions on everyone and everything else, we are on the way to the solution.

        Yeah, I do think we should do "a cost/benefit analysis" on what we want, in terms of the cost on everyone else...

        Hard to do that without thinking things through...

        Selfishness has gotten us to where we are now.
        I think we can do better.

        TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

        by Niniane on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:52:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  lol... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blue vertigo

          selfishness?

          You mean like acting for your self interest?

          Funny!

          You'd think we'd have universal healthcare then ensuring that we're not held hostage by for profit medicine.

          You'd think we'd have alternate fuel sources then ensuring that we're not held hostage by Big Oil.

          I guess I could see where you're going though, if you're really talking about looking at it all - external costs of petroleum and plastic production in terms of yearly deaths, and such.

          You might be onto something, but we can't get agreement on whether or not we're polluting ourselves to death despite near unanimous agreement by science. I don't see how that's going to change.

          I prefer to think in terms of 'what's good for people?'

          Corporations are big boys. They can take care of themselves.

          Freedom is not a commodity. No Shit Sherlock

          by k9disc on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:07:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Obama strikes me as a rational and reasoned (0+ / 0-)

      guy, which makes many of us crazy here. But he does strike many as reasonable, even though he is more "liberal" than the other candidates.

      While this drives me crazy, perhaps this is really what we need. Just like conservatism put Bush's supposedly reasonable face and "compassion" on it, we may need to dress it up so people like my mother, a Republican who likes Obama, are comfortable.

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:30:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Masterful diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, SecondComing

    with which I agree completely.  However, after I pinged the Media Matters website and felt all good about it, I remembered that the issue for Democrats has always been about FRAMING.  As long as being a Democrat is a synonym for "godless liberal", voters will pull handles in the voting booth away from their pocketbooks and toward candidates whose "values" (reads: religiousity) seem to more closely align with theirs.

    Much works needs to be done by us to reframe healthcare, a minimum wage, tending of the environment and national security as religious issues.

  •  Hope we avoid a familiar, and.... (6+ / 0-)

    ...exhausting argument between the "impetuous, impractical, wild-eyed liberals vs. the "convictionless, cowardly moderates".

    I'm so sick of that argument.  Beyond my personal level of fed-up-to-hereness with that argument, is that it's been the chosen method for changing the direction of the party, the intraparty struggle and the blaming of each other and it has not changed anything.  It's a two decade old argument that plays into the the hands of our opponents because the focus is not on how much the people actually agree with Democrats and yet still lose elections but over superficiality and stereotypes planted successfully in the minds of voters by those that beat us.

    Like any other "vote", I think the answer is mostly in what you advocate where bringing it to the people everywhere and letting their votes dictate the direction of the party.  As with the 2006 vote, the vote was about stopping Bush.  That's our argument, not with who is the enemy within, but who will they vote for when they aren't being served or represented?  What price will they pay?

    We as a base of committed supporters of progressive, liberal policies and positions can be the core or the conscience that offers that supportive criticism that you speak of when we stop acting as timid as the pols we despise for being timid.  I think it's timid to give in to what is accepted as what America already believes.  Yes, we can be the ones the advocate unwavering belief without needless disparagement and dismissal of those we know or suspect to be of a different persuasion.  We should hone our skills in persuasive argument where our ideas can be communicated in fresh ways that are not cleverly marketed so much as no longer within the tired old arguments designed long ago by our successful opponents.

    Like, why doesn't any Democrat jump up and say something along these lines:  "It is patently ridiculous to believe that any elected official would actually support a measure that would leave committed service men and women vulnerable simply because we had to please a virulent base.  The support for defending is a matter of conscience and pragmatism, since it is the only way to stop the war and there will never be a time when there are no funds to get them out of Iraq safely.  Period."  Or,  "It is not a crazy extreme wing of our party that wants an end to this war, it is the people who want to end it."  Or, "It is the the view of the majority in this country that abortions should be safe and legal, it is not a "special interest" view to be against government intrusion in this decision."

    We should defend ourselves righteously and passionately and appealingly to common sense that we expect to find.  If our expectation is that it is to be found, just waiting to have it be defended as a legitimate, unapologetic view point, it will better focus our communication.

    So, yes, I'm with you on moving on, have argued for a long time that our success will largely be determined by our own ability to define who we are and what we advocate.  It has for too long been at the advantage of our opponents that we play to accepted ideas and try to break even or catch up somehow by denying we are what they say we are instead asserting what we are.

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heave anymore."--Prine
    Blue House Diaries

    by Cathy on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 12:57:06 PM PDT

    •  Nailed it (6+ / 0-)

      Our views are not extreme - they are commonplace and sensible. We need to not just define who we are, but embrace it. Fight for it. Live it.

      The notion that our values and ideas are fringe is a concept promoted by folks who are hostile to us and our values, who know they cannot win on a straight-up debate, and must then resort to marginalizing us to defeat us. It's time stopped playing their game.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:00:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chris Bowers (0+ / 0-)

    I've never met Chris Bowers.  He could be among the grandest fellows on earth.

    I have however read him, and I surmise him to be an idiot.   Take his advice at your own peril.

    I'd venture to suggest that acting the opposite of his inclinations would be the path to success.

    fwiw

  •  Nicely Said... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ms badger

    I was going to write a diary on how we must change the party, but you did a very good job. I may still post mine, but great work.

  •  Moderate Democrats = Mediocre Democrats (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, metal prophet, adigal

    We need real leadership, not triangulating half-wits.

    Essential funk: 'Indictment' by Antibalas

    by pontechango on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:02:20 PM PDT

  •  It's about politics, not idealogical purity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925

    You go to war with the army you have...........

    Win first, then push left.  This must be our strategy, if only because regional differences mean that "progressive" means very different things in different states.

    What did you do with the cash Joe?

    by roguetrader2000 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:02:47 PM PDT

  •  I'm all for advancing ideology (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca

    But ideology and partisanship are not incompatible.

  •  Eugene (0+ / 0-)

    great diary and I actually do agree with it except for this:

    Kerry and Gephardt stabbed Dean in the back

    You were trying to build some kind of consensus around moving onto the next step?

    But you just had to take a swipe.

    Just for the record, Howard Dean did Howard Dean in with the help of the MSM and their repetition of the scream.

    So if you're going to take a swipe, direct it where it's most due... at the MSM.

    •  No, before the scream...Kerry and Gephart (6+ / 0-)

      supporters funded the ads which attacked Dean as being soft on Osama Bin Laden. It was a blatantly negative attack ad to strike fear into voters worthy of Rove, and it worked.

    •  that osama ad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rebecca, eugene, blue vertigo

      was funded by all of the presidential candidates except carol mosely-braun. it was dirty, below the belt, and - tellingly - far more hardball than anything any of those candidates ever did to republicans in the general election.

      kerry, gephart, edwards, clark, lieberman and kucinich stabbed dean in the back using the most execrable of rightwing campaign narratives. it is not something that i will forget.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 03:12:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Waitaminit. (0+ / 0-)

        kerry, gephart, edwards, clark, lieberman and kucinich stabbed dean in the back using the most execrable of rightwing campaign narratives. it is not something that i will forget.

        Clark?

        The rest I believe. Clark didn't even campaign in Iowa and I've never heard a word that he was in any way involved in that filthy ad.

        Kucinich's stunt of telling his people to defect to Edwards if they didn't meet the threshhold at caucus was deplorable.

        •  i could be wrong (0+ / 0-)

          but my memory of the news that finally came out about that ad - they had all delayed the donor list until after dean was out of the race - was that every dem but mosely-braun was in on it.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 07:02:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  No, you are wrong.... (0+ / 0-)

          the ad was funded by a proxy 527 (forget the name) that was primarily made up of Kerry and Gephardt supporters and donors. Neither the candidates nor their campaigns directly contributed since that would be illegal.

          But the fact it was Kerry and Gephardt supporters, not Edwards, Kucinich or Clark, made it indirectly an attack ad against Dean by those two.

          Please get YOUR facts straight rather than slinging the mud at all of them.

          •  Waitaminit, redux (0+ / 0-)

            But the fact it was Kerry and Gephardt supporters, not Edwards, Kucinich or Clark, made it indirectly an attack ad against Dean by those two.

            I was the person ASKING about the facts. I knew Kerry and Gephardt had their hands all over it, and I didn't know or care about the others. Thus, my specific question was about Clark. I did not mean to validate anything alleged by restricting my question just to Clark.

            So maybe your snark should be directed at the person who made the original allegation? Maybe?

  •  Eugene (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing

    This is a beautifully written call to action.  I'm onboard.  Where can I sign up and how can I help?

    Question authoritarianism

    by m00nchild on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:09:51 PM PDT

  •  A nice kick in the pants, Eugene. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, esquimaux

    So I just called the County Board of Elections to confirm that I'm on their list to take over as a Presiding Judge at a formerly republican precinct for both the general election and the primaries.  

    In the coming year, my time will go towards getting up to speed again on state election law and directly monitoring the election, along with the officials who volunteer to help voters. There's a thousand people in my precinct whose vote I will be guarding like a fox at the henhouse this year. In Ohio, fair elections are something we've got to earn again.

    "Our attitude was- the revolution can't start until we find our hair gel." Joe Strummer

    by histopresto on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:11:12 PM PDT

  •  My dream would be that we would start (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rebecca, PaintyKat

    to lay the foundation of a new and improved party and a re-awakening of liberalism across this country based on the Constitution.

    I find that even our side has forgotten its meaning and intent and I believe that it is where we will find the best possible guidance for determining what issues and policies will best define a liberal caucus that can win over the large majority of the electorate and do some good things for the plurality of people in this country rather than an elite few.

  •  Bloviating (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ga6thDem, Elise

    This diary is full of great logic, but lacks even the most cursory effort at accomplishing what it aspires too. Any schmuck can jump on the digital soapbox and beat their chest telling us what we all already know.

    Give us some specifics eugene. Tell me what I can do in my area that will make this all happen. Show me where I can physically go not to just get drunk with other liberals while we curse republicans and do-nothing democratic congress members, but where I can actually DO SOMETHING to make this a reality.

    Tell us specifically what we can do and HOW we can do it. That's what we need. Failing that, this is just another worthless diatribe.

    Day after day I see diary after diary here whining about how things are, dreaming of how things could be, but I almost never see real tangible efforts at making anything happen. And on the rare occasions when I do, it's almost always just a solicitation for a financial contribution.

    Well, there are legions of us out here who don't have a lot of cash to contribute, but we can contribute good old fasioned elbow grease. That's how the Republicans have been able to take hold of this country.

    They've mobilized thousands, maybe millions of volunteers, developed their own policy institutes and think tanks and employed people with wages that compete with the private sector so they attract the best talent.

    So yeah, we're probably all willing to embrace it. Not let's see you move your ass and actually do something besides bloviate about it. Something that we can all pitch in and help with in the ways we can.

    •  This is not bloviation (5+ / 0-)

      This is about the mission of DailyKos and whether it deserves to be re-examined in earnest.  He thinks it does.  What do you think?

      How much courage does it take to oppose a 28% president???

      by The Termite on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:27:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Without specific recommendtions for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        causative action it is bloviation as far as I am concerned. As is 98% of everything here.

        As to what I think, sure it's a no brainer and is as obvious as the day is long. Now next subject, what do we do about it.

        •  doubleplus ironic your comment is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BentLiberal

          I don't know, Captain McAwesome, what do you think we should do about it?

          How much courage does it take to oppose a 28% president???

          by The Termite on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:33:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not the one posting the diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Elise

            but I'd say present a list of specific actions that we can individually or as a group actually execute would be a start.

            Look for example at the calling parties that Moveon.org held during the last election cycle. How about getting people organized in actual campaigns to raise public awareness, so maybe setting up a network of people to do that.

            How about establishing something similar to Drinking Liberally but instead of focusing on getting people together in bars to whine about politics, maybe formation of groups of people to get media attention, or go door to door with petitions, or mine consumer data and cross reference it with voter rolls so we have lists of people to call or visit, or send targeted information to.

            How about setting up a social networking site focused on action groups.

            These things would be a start I think. Maybe I'm getting a little jaded because I see talk talk talk here, but I think we need action action action. I for one have participated in a few things (Moveon calling parties, drational's DOJ data analysis) but I'd like to do more.

            So if that is ironic, so be it. But it's really meant to spur action more than anything else.

        •  ANSWER Coalition (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming

          would like to help organize a million person anti-war demonstration in DC.

          That might get some attention from the MSM.

          "You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans." Ronald Reagan - Republican Icon -8.88 -5.08

          by SecondComing on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:57:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  He is absolutely correct (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda in SFNM

     Hyperinformed Kossacks are cool, but if I could slice ya'll up and spread it around to say ... ten million talkative Americans ... well ... chop chop chop :-)

    "Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy." - Albus Dumbledore

    by Iowa Boy on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:16:53 PM PDT

  •  here, here! (0+ / 0-)

    The constitution will protect us, if we protect it - Sen. Pat Leahy

    by Kron011 on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:18:19 PM PDT

  •  Well written! (0+ / 0-)

    The basic way I see it is...

    Republicans < Democrat <Progressive</p>

    Seems easy to me right?

    Zapp Brannigan: Stop exploding, you cowards!

    by LnGrrrR on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:23:08 PM PDT

  •  Late arriving to this diary... (4+ / 0-)

    ...but amen to that, and I every goddamned capitalating Dem in the House and Senate should read this.  Nature abhors a vacuum, and progressives abhor a vacuum of progress.  If those we break our backs to elect slip neatly into the pattern of corporatism, capitulation, compromise and outright surrender that characterized the party elite before them, then it's our responsibility to go outside the party structure to find satisfaction.

    How much courage does it take to oppose a 28% president???

    by The Termite on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:25:11 PM PDT

  •  ok. I'm in. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linda in SFNM, MaverickModerate

    now what do we do?

  •  I'll take a contrarian stance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kredwyn, MH in PA, Elise

    This is a good diary, but I think it's too soon to start shifting gears to focus on issues.

    You've rightly pointed out that there are major progressive issues being ignored by the 110th Congress.  There's an elephant in the room, however, that dwarfs those issues: Bush's continued disregard for the Constitution, particularly where the Bill of Rights is concerned.

    Most directly this can be seen in the continued domestic spying programs.  Wasn't it a Republican-controlled congress a few years ago that told the administration in no uncertain terms that Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program should NOT go forward?

    But it did, under cover of the Pentagon.  The FBI is in on it, too.  And probably the NSA and to a lesser extent the CIA.  The extent of the abuse is unprecedented.  These are OUR FUCKING RIGHTS THEY ARE TAKING AWAY.

    If we allow this to continue and do nothing about it then nothing else is going to matter.  Unions, global warming, health care, a woman's right to choose, reigning in predatory capitalism, creating jobs, a sustainable future... even elections themselves... none of it is going to mean jack shit.

    I think it's too early to move on, myself.  We've got to keep the pressure on.

    Maybe some people think the job is too big.  Lieberman was a bad Democrat and we lost that fight.  Now there are other bad Democrats - some of them newly elected.  Is it too much to think we can find replacement candidates and work for them, instead of the ones we just helped get elected last year?  Maybe it is.

    •  What Paper Cup said... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm thinking that one election doesn't even begin to truly shift the balance of power so that "netzien progressives" can take over the party and rebuild it to shove moderates out the door.

      Besides that...does anyone have a clue what that means when it comes to defining what the party stands for should the "revolution" actually happen?

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

      by kredwyn on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:36:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shove moderates (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, LordMike, Elise, Paper Cup

        out? That's a recipe for disaster. What you want to do it convince the moderates that your ideas are better and to follow you not run them off.

        I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

        by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:41:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Somehow... (0+ / 0-)

          I wonder where the Good Dem v. Bad Dem fits into that convincing.

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

          by kredwyn on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:55:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's the problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kredwyn, Elise

            with trying to make everything binary. It's not that simple. Binary is how Bush looks at everything-it's an you're with me or against me mindset. We all see how well that one's worked out haven't we?

            I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

            by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:08:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  aye... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dianem

              but there are people in the thread discussing the ousting of bad Dems.

              But I'm also aware of the fact that lots of Dems have lots of different definitions of what makes a bad Dem or a good Dem.

              Now I was in favor of ousting Joe. However, his voting pattern wasn't just a bit blue dog sporadic...it was consistently GOP.

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

              by kredwyn on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:19:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There was a diary (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kredwyn

                a while back that listed good reps for a primary. If the guys a slug and he's in a solid Dem district, then by all means, go for the primary.

                But you are right. The definition varies by person. Anyhow, living in the south gives you a different perspective. We are used to having to compromise and the people who could win statewide you guys around here would probably hate. That's the way it goes but is it productive?

                I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

                by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 04:53:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  And the public (0+ / 0-)

          if we offer something which gives them voice they won't say as I heard so often canvassing Coke or Pepsi.

          "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

          by shaharazade on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 02:09:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not advocating revolution (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kredwyn, Elise, BentLiberal

        Hell, I'd argue it's almost a conservative agenda to see the Constitution restored to its place of dignity where it actually means something and elected officials in both branches MUST be made to obey it.

        If someone wants to change it, fine, there's a procedure for that, but to just abrogate it and dismiss it as "just a piece of paper"... to me there is no higher crime.  These people took an oath, then they turn around and give us the finger?  Letting them get away with it is perhaps a bigger crime.

  •  Only if .. (5+ / 0-)

    The future is ours. Will you embrace it?

    Only if -

    It pains me no end to have worked, sweated, written, ranted and donated throughout 2005 and 2006, only to arrive here and see such acrimony aimed at the fledgeling Democratic majority, a desperately slim majority. It took the fascisti decades to build the think tanks, AM radio audiences, gasbag bench and legislative powerhouse(s) that Democrats are suddenly supposed to emulate after years in the wilderness. Activism, yes! But as a way of moving forward towards common goals, not as a way of punishing elected Democrats because they can't bring the soldiers home today while impeaching Gonzalez, Cheney and Bush simultaneously, while debating the Farm Bill, and .. and ... and.

    Before my very eyes I see the progressive movement, so welcome, scattering to the wind because we didn't get what we wanted, when we wanted it. ("What do we want??!!" "***insert favorite issue here***!!!" "When do we want it??!!" "NOW!!!")

    It is now our task to bring those ideas to the masses. To walk through the open door that the public's rejection of Bush and anger at the present situation has provided to us. We now know that this Democratic majority will never do what we need them to do, even if they had veto-proof majorities with which to do it. We are at a place now where it is not merely about how many folks have a D after their name, but about what those with a D believe.

    Change 'D' to 'R' and see if it sounds familiar. ;)

    If I read this in 02/2009, after a larger Democratic majority and a Democratic president has been sworn in, I would wholeheartedly agree. But today? No. Too soon. I say, repeat 2006 - hang Iraq around the neck of every single Republican, moderate or not, and run in every District, in every State, at the local and Federal level.

    Republicans got away with acting as though they had a mandate once. Democrats should resist the temptation to try.

    -GFO

  •  I have to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, taylormattd, kredwyn, Elise

    disagree with you about the blue dogs. And they are not the enemy. Yes, they don't vote 100% the way many of us may like but many times they do vote the way we like. As far as saying "it's the best we can do in that district" well, it's true. It's the best we can do right now. That's not to say if we work on changing minds that it's the best we can do forever in that district.

    I'm too disgusted right now to think of a sig.

    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jun 15, 2007 at 01:36:06 PM PDT

  •  How we can shift the political middle (