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(expanded from a comment I made last night, because I love hearing myself talk)

Teenage riot in a public station
Gonna fight and tear it up in a hypernation for you

-Sonic Youth

This site is angrier than I've ever seen it. I've lived through "Armando Sucks", through the judicial confirmations, through Brown/Hackett and the Pie Wars. And I don't think it's ever been this bad. This is understandable. Between the war in Iraq, FISA, Abu Ghraib, rising income inequality, wiretapping, a SCOTUS lilting toward the right and 700,000 other issues, there's a lot to be pissed about. And, although I'm not all that mad at Democrats myself, I recognize that there's a lot to be pissed about there as well. The MoveOn vote was unnecessary, no matter how dumb the ad was, attempts to overcome Republican blockading have been ineffective, and FISA passed with plenty of Dem support. So I understand the sentiment. But you've got a choice.

Either find new ways to express it, or find new avenues to enact change.

That's not a threat. Nor is it a demand for this website to live in happy Democrat fantasy land. What I mean is much simpler; you're never going to win the support of the Democratic Establishment by calling them names. Now, you're absolutely entitled to call Democrats traitors, or "Liebercrats" or "Bush bots" or "Bush dogs" or whatever the sexy term of the moment is. I find most of those more than a little silly, but no one can stop you from expressing them, nor should they. If you want to throw bombs, more power to you. But major players in the Democratic Party aren't going to listen to someone who is throwing bombs from under their own roof. Why would they? Why would Speaker Pelosi come and post on a forum where so many people call her a coward (and things far worse than that)? Why would a person adopt the policy positions of a group that seems to love nothing quite so much as denouncing the leaders of their own party and threatening to leave for good? The stated goal of this website is to slowly move the Democratic party to a position more in line with the views of posters by electing more and better Democrats, and by persuading those already in power that the "netroots' are right about politics and policy. I share this goal, and I believe almost everyone here does as well. This is commendable. It's also unachievable if every bridge between the groups gets burnt.

This is not a call for an end to criticism. There's a vast amount of solid criticism of the Democratic Party that goes on here on a daily basis (at least most days). This is both legitimate and necessary. You can't persuade people to be better if you never point out how they are wrong. FISA was a bad vote, and members of Congress need to know that people feel that way. But there's a productive and an unproductive way to handle it.

As I said last night, people here are going to have to choose what they like more; the Democratic Party or their outrage. Either one is a perfectly valid option. If you feel the Democratic Party is worth saving and supporting, by all means save and support. If you feel it's full of craven cowards and gutless traitors, so be it. Find a different method of achieving your goals. Neither is "wrong", per se. But trying to mix them just creates the worst of both worlds; a group of concerned party members who have no ability to get their leaders to even take their views seriously, let alone change the direction of the party. Throw rocks from outside or persuade constructively from the inside. You can't have it both ways.

Originally posted to AnnArborBlue on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'm listening to my I-pod (14+ / 0-)

    and the Sonic Youth quote just seemed to fit.

    I want to win. You want to beat him, and that's a problem for me, because I want to win. -The West Wing

    by AnnArborBlue on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:25:28 PM PDT

  •  You sound like Bush (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SVDem, emal, cwaltz, costello7, Fallon

    With us or against us?  There is no reason one can't change things--can't complain without abandoning the party.  You make it sound like it's either tow the line or take to the streets.

    It's a two party government, and it is our obligation, as members of the party, to demand accountability and follow up on our right to challenge and throw out the craven enablers of the neo-con agenda.

    Do you think the other side behaves differently.  Why do you think the religious right and anti-immigration factions of their party have such influence?

    If people don't speak up, the special interests will be the only influence.

    •  Did you read the diary? (5+ / 0-)

      I'm not talking about holding back criticism. I'm saying you don't win friends and influence people by calling them cowards and traitors and whatever else. If you want to change the Democratic Party, the first step is to not alienate it.

      I want to win. You want to beat him, and that's a problem for me, because I want to win. -The West Wing

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:35:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So how should the MoveOn members (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dump Terry McAuliffe, SVDem, emal

        treat all the Dems who voted for the "MoveOn members are cowards and traitors" resolution?

        By making friends with them?

        "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

        by Pesto on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:41:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  MoveOn should launch a campaign... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmo, SVDem, Pesto, costello7

          To take over the Democratic Party, beginning at the local and state levels, and start clearing out the deadwood. That's what the Religious Right did beginning in the 1980s.

          "I'll rant as well as thou."--Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1.

          by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 07:05:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  MoveOn and the Party (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annefrank

            First, MoveOn is hardly opposed to establishment DC.  In fact, I think they tend to follow AnnArborBlue's advice more often than not -- they try to find excuses for being nice to the Dem powerbrokers when they can, most notably on non defunding the Iraq War.

            Second, the Religious Right was and still is highly organized.  They're powerful largely because they're organized through their churches.  No such structure exists on our side, even in MoveOn were inclined to use it, which they're not.

            "Run, comrade, the old world is behind you!" -- Situationist graffito, 1968

            by Pesto on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 07:10:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes I did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        emal

        I guess I don't see people complaining on a blog as mandating a choice between outrage and resigned compliance.  It's your last paragraph that I have trouble with--the idea that we have to chose between two "valid" choices (one of outrage, outside the party and one of support).

        I don't think current events demand less outspokenness from us, but more.  i don't feel we have stepped over a line.  In fact, with the media giving so little attention to what is happening with Iran and with other civil liberties (for examples) I don't think people are doing enough to get themselves heard.

        Then again, I don't read everything on here, so perhaps there is a particular diary you are reacting to.

        •  I'm reacting to any diary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Elise, Justanothernyer

          which calls Democrats "Cowards", "traitors", "Republicans" "Liebercrats" or which posits that Democrats are some combination of evil and immoral.

          Which amounts to, oh, about 50 diaries a day.

          I want to win. You want to beat him, and that's a problem for me, because I want to win. -The West Wing

          by AnnArborBlue on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:45:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You might like hearing your own voice... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Burks, Justanothernyer

    But I enjoyed hearing it too. What a breath of fresh sanity.
    Thanks.

    I donated to ePluribus Media. Support citizen journalism!

    by Mber on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:40:29 PM PDT

  •  The Democratic establishment beats expectations (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SVDem, emal, costello7, Fallon

    on a daily basis. Few would have expected them to suck even worse in the majority than they did as the minority party. And yet they have accomplished that rarest of feats beautifully.

    The Democratic establishment needs to go.

    Except that's not going to happen in a hurry. We're pretty much stuck with them.

    You think you can get somewhere with them, being polite? Hey, more power to you! Maybe you moderates can put up a polite, "constructive" front for a while on this blog, whilst the frustrated rabble screams at a wall somewhere in the basement?

    Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

    by brainwave on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:44:34 PM PDT

    •  I'm not a moderate n/t (0+ / 0-)

      I want to win. You want to beat him, and that's a problem for me, because I want to win. -The West Wing

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Centrist? Pragmatist? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SVDem, emal, costello7, Fallon

        Whatever floats your boat. There are people here who put the "Democrats" as a team first and there are people who put principles and policy goals first. I think you're in the former group. I'm in the latter. But I also find the incessant squabbling between these two camps rather tiresome. It's probably not a bad thing for dKos to have these two kinds of voices here.

        Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

        by brainwave on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:59:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  i can do both (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SVDem, brainwave, tabbycat in tenn

    i'm pissed as hell. i'm also going to vote for democrats.

    "you gotta pay yer dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don't come easy" -richard starkey

    by Laurence Lewis on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:46:00 PM PDT

    •  My point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, Justanothernyer

      is that they're not going to be influenced by your policy preferences if you sit there calling them names and telling them they're evil.

      I want to win. You want to beat him, and that's a problem for me, because I want to win. -The West Wing

      by AnnArborBlue on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:46:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i don't call them names (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SVDem, Fallon

        or tell them they're evil. i do say they're incompetent and ineffectual and weak.

        "you gotta pay yer dues if you wanna sing the blues, and you know it don't come easy" -richard starkey

        by Laurence Lewis on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:48:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There may be two sets of people here (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brainwave

        however, with somewhat different goals.

        That is, some wish to move the Dems or the country, others wish to express their frustration or be part of a community which shares their values or do not believe that the Dems or the country will move far enough or fast enough to be acceptable.

        •  I won't deny that that's sometimes been the case (0+ / 0-)

          It's true that people sometimes just need to vent their frustration, particularly when they feel completely powerless. In those moments, they're using the blog as a community forum where they can talk to like minded people. From the point of view of electoral politics, that is at best a waste of time, and probably sometimes counterproductive. But I strongly doubt that dKos would be the community of - what, 140k or so active posters now? - that it is without it.

          Damn George Bush! Damn everyone that won't damn George Bush! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning George Bush!

          by brainwave on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 07:18:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  For the record, I agree with your assertion that (0+ / 0-)

        political ads that feature name calling is resorting to playground tactics and tears away at the combatant's credibility.  I thought that the MoveOn.org ad showed poor judgement.  

        •  For the record, I disagree with your assertion (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emal, costello7

          I thought that the MoveOn.org ad showed excellent judgment.  It was the only critical message of Petraeus that broke through the lovefest that our so-called leaders in Washington were busy bestowing upon that incompetent hack.

  •  But What If (4+ / 0-)

    The stated goal of this website is to slowly move the Democratic party to a position more in line with the views of posters by electing more and better Democrats, and by persuading those already in power that the "netroots' are right about politics and policy...

    What if that policy is as effective as the Socialist Democratic Party Of Germany was in the 1930's? I mean, "slowly move the Democratic Party to a position..."

    What if while we all patiently wait for the 2008 and then 2012 elections, all civil liberties along with the ice caps melt away? What if, while we all slowly read our 5th grade text books out loud to Pelosi and Reed, our government nukes Iran?

    Slowly move... S L O W L Y wait, politely for....

  •  I have no intention of shutting up (9+ / 0-)

    The "leaders" of the Democratic Party are cowardly, incompetent, and openly disdainful of outsiders. They richly deserve all the abuse they've gotten.

    After the FISA capitulation, I see no reason to give this pathetic excuse for a party another minute of my time or another dime of my money until it stands up to George W. Bush, his war, and his unending attacks on the Constitution.

    Botton line: the sad-sack Democrats need me more than I need it.

    "I'll rant as well as thou."--Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 06:58:42 PM PDT

  •  You forgot "Bushwacking" and "Bush League" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SVDem, emal, McGirk, costello7

    I respectfully disagree that criticism is destructive within the Party because the alternative is complacency and the status quo while the war continues and the Middle Class sinks into the abyss.  The failure of the Dem's in Congress to refuse continued funding supports the ongoing genocide and I'm damn mad about it.  I will never be silent while innocent Iraqi citizens and American troops are being slaughtered for oil and profits.  

    The Dem's in Congress are on Corporate UnAmerica's payroll just like the GOP's and I'm damn mad about that too.  No one represents the majority Middle Class voters and I think that all incombents should be voted out in the next general election if Congress continues down this same path.  Amnesty and social security for illegal immigrants, unfair trade deficits and an unrestricted guest worker program that result in the loss of Middle Class jobs, give me a break!

    Oh, btw, I'm not looking for friends among the Dem's in Congress just honesty, courage, and representation.  It's the Dem's in Congress who are going to be looking for a whole lot of friends in the next election, not me.  

  •  The problem I have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SVDem, costello7

    is with your two choices.  This is way more complex than thousands of passionate political people on a political blog calling democrats names and criticizing them.

    Heck if they can't stand the heat from their most active and astute supporters who put them in the majority status for the first time in 2004 with their hard work and money, than they shouldn't be in politics. And if they are truly trying to "punish" the base  due to the harsh name calling and criticism from them, then they really aren't mature enough to do the right thing by placing the country above their own egos and should not be in office. Who knew they had such delicate sensibilities.  

    The main issue is that the democrats are continuing to capitulate (even through their inaction) and support  the republican and Bush agenda (hello he has 30 percent approval ratings) on major and significant issues that the majority of of Americans don't support.  Democrats are not only failing to represent the will of the party, but also the will of a large majority of Americans. So when you say stop name calling and be polite and they will change their ways, I just don't buy it. They have the country and not just their party on their side, yet they are failing us all with each passing day and vote.

  •  If my boss (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emal

    were to call me "lazy," "weak," "irresponsible," "cowardly," etc, it doesn't negate the fact that he/she is still my boss and I'm still expected to perform my job and do what the boss tells me to do.

    Guess what?  We're THEIR bosses.  They are supposed to work for us.  And if this were a regular business, most of them would have been fired by now for failing to perform their jobs.

    I'm sorry, I can't get all boo-hoo if they can't accept perfectly justified criticism from their bosses without getting snitty about it (while still managing to write, email and call for money).  Whether they like it or not, we're their employers and we have every right to dress them down when they fail to even try to do the job they were hired to do.  

    Try telling your boss you didn't have the votes (or any other variation of the "dog ate my homework" meme) and see how long you last.

    •  But they haven't been fired (0+ / 0-)

      and, to be honest, in most cases there is little danger of them being fired.

      Joe Lieberman was pretty egregious.  He is clearly despised here and even more broadly among the left wing of the Democratic Party.

      Now, he didn't have a pleasant time in 2006, but the bottom line reality is... he is still in the United States Senate.

      I think the point of the diarist, is that if you don't have the power to fire them (which we have not demonstrated) and you want to move them, you have to be civil and respectful.

      •  This is an insane discussion (0+ / 0-)

        People are dying!  Kids!  Real blood!  A bunch of people said "vote for us and we'll stop it."  And they haven't even tried.  They haven't even tried.  And, somehow, its our fault because we didn't say "pretty please with sugar on it"?

        If I say "pretty please with sugar on it," will you promise me that the occupation will be ended and our kids will come home...alive...now?  

        No?

        Will they restore the Constitution if we ask nice?

        No?

        Then what has civility accomplished?  

  •  Not a hard choice as far as I see it... (0+ / 0-)

    I touched the Universe -- And back it slid -- and I alone -- A Speck upon a Ball -- Went out upon Circumference -- Beyond the Dip of Bell --

    by Elise on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

  •  i'm late to this diary but good points well made (0+ / 0-)

    want to talk live to other kossacks online? learn faster, debate better, cut down on flame-wars. email me, let's make this a reality.

    by angelino on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 10:55:13 PM PDT

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