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Progressives, as unhappy as we are about the health care capitulation, are at the most crucial point of the long term strategy for success.

Let's face it - progressives got sold out. As Keith Olberman said, "No single payer? No sale. No public option? No sale. No Medicare buy-in? No sale." Throw in goodies to big Pharma and the insurance company bailout and it's a merrier Christmas in GOPville than Progressiveland. That means now is the time to rally around the Democratic Party.

Look at the landscape- the GOP is tacking to the hard right, posed to put their most extreme into the Congress for years to come. And they will be successful, not becuase their ideas are better, but because the Democrats are fractured.

So I propose a two-part strategy:

  1. Rally with the party. Spend lots of money on ads of a single issue: The GOP lost. They aren't even in the game in health care. Reid and Pelosi were giving away the store and every single Republican didn't take it. Think of what that cost their district/state. Think of how they could have improved the popular bill but didn't. The fact is the GOP lost and it's time to put them out of their misery. They want the President to fail, not to do their job.
  1. Start a new party. Get the R2K folks to start polling "Generic Democrat" vs. "Generic Progressive" vs. Generic Republican in every district. Get proud Progressives to officially join the Progressive party. I think there's a certain doctor who would make an excellent strategic and vocal leader. Oh sure, not much will change for most of the country- on the outside. The Progressives will still caucus with the Democrats. But think of it... if the GOP is reduced to a third place finish in many parts of the nation, that will be devistating. Also, in the more conservative parts, by offering a Progressive, we might be able to help the conservative Democrat beat the GOP. The goal would be to have as many Progressives as Republicans.

And say what you want about the sell out DINOs, but if we can shift the debate to ALWAYS be Progressive vs. Blue Dog, then the GOP will get shut out for good. Then, and only then will true progressive ideas like single-payer even GET to the table.

I believe this is our best course to electing more and better Democrats. And let's hope that strategy could change to more and better Progressives.

Originally posted to demkowski on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:21 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Purity quests won't lead to progressive outcomes (14+ / 0-)

    With all its flaws, Congress is about to pass the most progressive piece of legislation since Medicare.  Think about that before starting a purifying movement to make us a minority again.

  •  The GOP HATES this bill (7+ / 0-)

    Obama will be "the universal healthcare president" in the history books.

    The End.


    by Mark Warner is God on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:26:37 AM PST

  •  the comments (4+ / 0-)

    don't seem to relate to the diary at all. I think the point of the diary is how to get the government to pull left, in the long term. And it's a strategically sound idea.

  •  Be Careful What You Wish For (6+ / 0-)

    because you might get it.

    That is an old admonition.

    The problem that we are seeing is on several levels, and the way to deal with it is through deeper thinking and clear minded analysis.

    At present, there is no infrastructure for a third party and to create what will be needed to really make the effort viable will be years of effort.

    people who don't have patience with the current process won't have the patience to sustain an even harder effort.

    The pace of progress is slower than it should be.  A prime reason for this is that there is a perception that there are always differences in the way people in their 50s, 60s and 70s percieve things than the way the same people did back in their 20s and so forth.  Thus the impatience of the younger members of the coalition can be discounted.

    I think the situation is different and that is why fundamental perceptions need to shift.  

    The stakes are higher in issues like climate change than most people realize, and this isn't the only global issue that will rock our world through the rest of the century.   Our issues will not get simpler, but more complex.  The strength of the pushback from the regressives on the right will get more insistent.  

    Progressives will emerge as the main force in society opposing the End Times oriented regressives on the right.  

    What is needed is to become disciplined enough to take the reins of power away from those who would move American backwards or who are not sufficiently impressed with the need for moving the pace up to a faster gear.

    This means getting serious about sustained effort.

    The political process is weighted against frivolity.  Those who are not serious enough to be capable of sustaining a drive long enough to succeed tend to get winnowed out by it.  

    That is the essential nature of political reality.  Disciplined effort and sustained persistence cannot be substituted by some get rich quick scheme in a political sense.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:34:17 AM PST

    •  I've been pretty patient (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      with the current process as I've been voting for the lesser of two evils for nigh on 25 years now. That got me DADT, DOMA, an expensive war we didn't need, the economy run into the ground, and I'm unable to get even a high deductible health insurance policy. That's just the brightest highlights.

      I think I've been plenty patient. I'm not leaving the Democratic Party. It left me.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:08:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Over the past 25 years (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of progressives have been above politics and not been voting.  The right wing has been very determined to succeed.  People I went to college with in the early '70s, inspired by Karl Rove and Ralph Reed and the leaders of the "Moral Majority" who graduated and used their family fortunes to buy media outlets and fund think tanks.  

        Progressives I went to school with by and large might have gone into teaching or pursued academic careers, but tended to stay aloof from political involvement and weren't really watching what the evangelical right was doing.  

        The Bush years were really a culmination of a pattern that was set in motion back during the Nixon years.  

        Progressives could become the dominant force in the Democratic Party, now that the situation we have been in for a while has produced sufficient outrage to create mobilization.  Or not.  

        I think that what lays ahead of us is a situation getting more and more serious and more and more full of unprecedented and colossal crises.  We probably have no choice but to get our shit together.

        The only other option is to continue to watch the right wing mobilize and win elections.  That is the die that was cast decades ago and like it or not, it will increasingly be the conflict at the center of American politics.

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:25:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hear you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          but as long as general apathy is the rule, progressives are not going to be able to push anything that way.

          I'm not apathetic - quite the opposite, but I refuse to be baited and switched by the Democratic Party from here on out.

          I'm afraid the Democratic leadership didn't learn from 2000 and 2004 that they need progressives to win. When we stay home the Democrats lose. They keep trying to appease the middle when they need to be making progressives happy. If you want proof of that, look at the polling numbers showing less than 30% of Democrats plan to vote in the next election and more than 50% of Republicans do.

          Why? Because once elected Democrats don't stick to their guns. They are afraid to spend political capital, where the Republicans will spend it with abandon.

          If the Democrats want my vote next year they'd better show me something. Otherwise I'm staying home. Why should I bother to vote if my voice isn't going to be heard?

          When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

          by Cali Techie on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:34:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  OK, helpe me out here. (3+ / 0-)

    These are the two parts of the strategy:

    1)Rally with the party
    2)Start a new party

    How can these be parts of the same strategy?

    Enrich your life with adverbs!

    by Rich in PA on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:34:19 AM PST

  •  Hell yeah! Viva la revolution! (8+ / 0-)

    I especially like the third party part. That totally worked to move the country way to the left the last time. Or it gave us Bush. But, you know, details.

    If you want to move the country to the left, here's what you have to do. Organize. Convince people your ideas are right. Form broad based coalitions. Get a realistic plan for electing liberal Democrats in places like Nebraska. Etc.

  •  Revolutions are fought with guns: people get hurt (0+ / 0-)

    It's true the majority wanted a public option, and our corporate-controlled government didn't give it to them.

    But overall the support wasn't there.  The Reagan mindset of "no socialized medicine" and "no big government" is too deeply entrenched.  Ben Nelson will probably be reelected with ease by Nebraskans.

    So to force people to get what they didn't want-- or at least didn't want as badly as you did, this means more than a pseudo-revolution of teabloggers.  To take the country back from the corporations and get people to go along with this radical plan-- you'll need guns.

    Don't sign me up for that!

    It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals. ~ Bertrand Russell

    by samantha in oregon on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:37:48 AM PST

    •  With the oratorical skills of this President (0+ / 0-)

      Why was none of it used to fight the Reagan memes?  Nothing was said in the face of "socialistic" "communistic" etc. etc.

      I conclude it is because this President agrees with those memes.

      --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

      by chipoliwog on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:05:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Americans just have short memories (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, whenever America has set about solving our toughest problems, there have always been those who've sought to preserve the status quo by scaring the American people.

        That's what happened when FDR tried to pass Social Security -- they said that was socialist.  They did -- verbatim.  That's what they said.  They said that everybody was going to have to wear dog tags and that this was a plot for the government to keep track of everybody.  When JFK and then Lyndon Johnson tried to pass Medicare, they said this was a government takeover of health care; they were going to get between you and your doctor -- the same argument that's being made today.


        Now, there's a third argument against the public option, and this is the one, really, that you've been hearing mostly about, and that is just this idea that we shouldn't have government involved at all, that government is part of the problem, not part of the solution, to quote Ronald Reagan. (Applause.)

        We've got some supporters of that view.  And I guess the only -- look, I think you can have a legitimate position just saying you don't want to see more government involvement.  I understand the argument.  The only thing I would point out is, is that Medicare is a government program that works really well for our seniors and has protected people -- (applause) -- hold on one second, let's not start yelling.

        It's true that it's expensive, but the truth is that actually the cost of Medicare inflation has actually gone up at a slower rate than private insurance.  So it's not because it's mismanaged; it's because of what was referred to in the first question -- the whole health care system is out of whack and way too expensive.  It's not government, per se.  It has to do with the fact that the health care system itself, the delivery systems, are not working the way they should.

        So if you just believe the government shouldn't be involved in anything, or shouldn't be involved in health care, period, then you're right that you can't support the kind of reform that we're proposing.  The only thing I want to make sure of, though, is you've got to -- you make an honest argument, because nobody is talking about government takeover of health care.  There's a difference between what we're proposing, which has some government involvement, versus this idea that somehow government is going to take over everything and get between your and doctor.  That's not what we're proposing.

        It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals. ~ Bertrand Russell

        by samantha in oregon on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:22:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Recipe for fighting memes (0+ / 0-)
          1. Apply shampoo liberally (speeches, astro-turf, whispers, emails, talk it up anywhere and everywhere.
          1. Rinse - Reenforce the message- creating our own memes.
          1. Repeat.

          So far, this White House has not even completed step 1.

          --Mr. President, you have to earn my vote every day. Not take it for granted. --

          by chipoliwog on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:31:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think the best course of action (0+ / 0-)

    is to elect more progressives and to encourage those progressives to act like Blue Dogs do.

    1. Don't commit early.
    1. Be willing to walk away.
    1. The more you are attacked, the more they fear you sticking to your guns.
    1. Use bad faith against the people practicing it.
    1. Don't wait until the end to start acting hardcore.

    The dynamic is that liberals sign on early, and then their policy positions are compromised away to gain Blue Dog support, and when they don't balk, they telegraph that they don't have to be dealt with in good faith because they will accept anything for fear of losing they clearly have no place to go.

    Also, liberals really need to ignore concern trolls.

    The vast majority of liberal critics to the HCR bill made some really sound policy arguments and were essentially, and dishonestly, lumped in with people taking the most extreme positions.

    Those same people shit their pants when Jane Hamshire wouldn't shut up.  

    The veal pen works only as long as you can get conned into navel gazing and surrendering in advance or if you listen to the animals in the veal pen.

    The Democratic Party needs a dynamic force to push it leftward. If you don't have one, negotiations start out in the middle and they end where they should end up.

    Howard Dean should have come out strongly against the compromise to single payer instead of coming out against the inevitable Senate bill. If the Public Option was cast as a sell-out, and attacked, considering the bad faith involved in the entire process from the Village to the Veal Pen, it might have made it easier to frame for those in DC who wanted it as a way to punch dirty fucking hippies.

    •  Also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dale Read

      there is no third party coming.

      There are so many people in the netroots who have watched and listened to people pine away for the 'inevitable' revolution that never comes that it's like a mirage.

      You can make the Democratic Party more liberal, or you can pretty much run the gambit from being a spoiler that helps the GOP win to being blown out and not even considered.

  •  The right hates the bill the left hates (0+ / 0-)

    the bill. It's like the story of the kid that was so ugly noone would play with him so they hung a bone around his neck so the dog would. In this case it's a piece of pork so the blue dogs would.

  •  Revolution? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blindyone, trhunnicutt, renior

    Against the anti-Constitution, anti-citizen, anti-habeus corpus, anti-middle class, pro-torture, pro-corporate crime, pro-illicit war Bush administration?

    Yeah, I think so.

    Against the Obama administration, less than a year in?

    Not so f'n much.

    When in doubt, tweak the freeqs.

    by wozzle on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 08:46:28 AM PST

  •  sure. You will have progressive ideas overnight! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dale Read, Wildthumb, Eclectablog

    this whole idea that you got sold out is simplistic and not a realistic look at congress and how it operates.
    In all of our history, deal have been made to get a vote.
    And legislation is rarely done in pure form.  It is a series of compromises and deals and never comes out 100 percent pure or very rarely.
    It took the conservatives 30 years to move the country to where it is now.
    You cannot make it progressive overnight.  It takes years.
    Like it not, that is how it is.

  •  Way to hold the center (4+ / 0-)

    with ridiculous talk like this.

    I've got a better idea:  Get a damn health care bill passed, then spend the primary season helping our tea party friends get all their radical right candidates on the general election ballot.

    •  Amen. And Amen, Again. (0+ / 0-)

      It's hilarious that there is a large group on this site that wants to mimic the same "purity"/Tea-Bagger/Conservative crap that dKos was ridiculing last month for being a guaranteed epic fail.

      It's so funny, it's sad.

      •  Hells Yes! (0+ / 0-)

        If the "t-baggers" are going to self destruct, it's definitely worth testing an election on that theory. Splitting that 30% wing nutter vote into 50/50 factions would give us a nice cushion in 2010 even if some democratics did decide to sit this one out.


        by FakeNews on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:27:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Progressive Party? (0+ / 0-)

    I think there's a certain doctor who would make an excellent strategic and vocal leader.

    When did Ralph Nader become a doctor?  Why would any doctor produce a better result than Nader did in 2000?

  •  I love pie this time of the year (0+ / 0-)

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:28:13 AM PST

  •  Bad Idea about Divide and Conquer (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP is doing that to itself. Let the dust from that bullshit settle. Meanwhile run progressives and Mod. Dems against the Wingnuts. We have to move the whole ballpark more to the Center Left.

    Let the GOP alienate everyone AND then go for a progressive party. Otherwise we just nullify a huge advantage while they feed on their own.

    Bad idea on your part.

    Some times you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by volleyboy1 on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:29:28 AM PST

  •  all we need is one hero (0+ / 0-)

    "We're creating instability that could lead us into wider war."....Dennis Kucinich

    by lisastar on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 09:49:55 AM PST

  •  Time always right & never right for revolution (0+ / 0-)

    The time is always right for revolution because the essence of revolution is to cut the powers that be completely out of the process of change: preventing them from playing gatekeeper of ideas and then corrupting what little change they allow us to make.

    The time is never right for revolution because revolution involves completely abandoning the existing social, political, and economic system in order to create a new one. This will be difficult and scary for even the most committed and clever when they start actually doing it, and most people will decide they don't want to deal with it.

    Despite all this, revolution is inevitable because it the only option. Progress is impossible when the Establishment is committed to maintaining the status quo at any cost. Progress is impossible when you cannot achieve it without the cooperation of the people who can only lose out from it. The only way forward is to stop playing the Establishment's rigged game and take our ball and go play our own game.

    Politics is civil war waged with words, but with the same goal.

    by Visceral on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 10:04:09 AM PST

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