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I'm a progressive critic of the lackluster (to put it kindly) efforts of the Democrats over the past year in fighting Republican obstruction and carrying through on the programs and promises they campaigned on in 2008 to turn out the vote and obtain the large majorities in Congress they now enjoy.  Some "progressives" as disappointed as I have have called for opposition to the Democrats over various legislation, including the inadequate health care reform bills up for consideration.  Others have gone so far as to suggest a "boycott" or stay home from the polls approach to the 2010 elections.  

Much as I am frustrated with the Democrats in Congress, I believe that approach by progressives would be a terrible mistake.  What follows are the reasons why I've come to this conclusion.

(cont.)

Here's my quote of the day, to set the table as it were for the argument I'm going to make.  It comes from an Iranian Fundamentalist Cleric,  Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of Iran's Guardian Council, which supervises all elections in Iran, among other powers it exercises.  The quote comes in response to renewed unrest in Iran, and the declaration by opposition leader, Mir Hussein Moussavi, that he does not fear death as a martyr.

During Friday prayer services in the capital city, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, a fundamentalist cleric who heads the powerful Guardian Council, called protesters "flagrant examples of corrupt on Earth" and effectively called for them to be executed as "in the early days of the revolution."

Wouldn't it be horrible to be governed by fundamentalist religious nuts who consider anyone who opposes them corrupt and who are more than willing to kill those who oppose their vision of of society ruled by God's law?  And you wonder why we on the left here in America (and by left I mean anyone who doesn't swear allegiance to Sarah Palin) makes such a big deal about the secretive society of politicians and religious leaders known as "The Family" who also have some grand designs of their own regarding a government of the Godly, and only for the Godly, as they define them.  

Two weeks into my stay, David Coe, Doug's son and the presumptive heir to leadership of the Family, dropped by the house. [...]



"You guys,"
David said, "are here to learn how to rule the world." [...]

He walked to the National Geographic map of the world mounted on the wall. "You guys know about Genghis Khan?" he asked. "Genghis was a man with a vision. He conquered"—David stood on the couch under the map, tracing, with his hand, half the northern hemisphere—"nearly everything. He devastated nearly everything. His enemies? He beheaded them." David swiped a finger across his throat. "Dop, dop, dop, dop."

David explained that when Genghis entered a defeated city he would call in the local headman and have him stuffed into a crate. Over the crate would be spread a tablecloth, and on the tablecloth would be spread a wonderful meal. "And then, while the man suffocated, Genghis ate, and he didn't even hear the man's screams." David still stood on the couch, a finger in the air. "Do you know what that means?" He was thinking of Christ's parable of the wineskins. "You can't pour new into old," David said, returning to his chair. "We elect our leaders. Jesus elects his."

He reached over and squeezed the arm of a brother. "Isn't that great?" David said. "That's the way everything in life happens. If you're a person known to be around Jesus, you can go and do anything.

Anyone who doesn't make the grade of course better watch their back.  Just like the people of Iran who don't get with the program.  Liberals, intellectuals, moderates, Jews, and, of course Gays, which Iran's fundamentalist religious leaders also believe homosexuality is a crime punishable by death.

And Outrage, in its release about the gay teens' execution, noted that, "according to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. Last August, a 16-year-old girl , [Atefeh Rajabi] was hanged [in the Caspian port of Neka] for 'acts incompatible with chastity,' [i.e., sex before marriage]."

The American media are quick to condemn the brutality of the religious extremists who govern Iran.  Yet these people differ from the religious extremists in our own country in only one essential regard: they have control over the government of their country.  Imagine what would happen if the Christian extremists in our land ever acquired that same power.  We already know that many of these power mad individuals who espouse the most virulent and hateful form of Christianity have assumed control of much of the current Republican Party infrastructure at both the local and national levels.

That should be all you need to do to realize that as bad as the Democrats have been (and you know I have been more than critical of their failures both before and after Obama became President), abandoning support for them in the upcoming election cycle in 2010 is not a viable option.  Unless you want the Rick Warrens or Doug Coes (or their lackeys) of the Christian Right in control of this nation's fate.  For that is what will happen if we stay away from the polls and let the pied pipers of Fox News and all the crazies in the GOP lead their deluded tea bagging followers to increase the representation of Republicans in the Senate and the House.  

Remember, when the Weimar Republic fell, the Nazis controlled only 30% of the Reichstag.  But that was enough, with the help of their conservative allies, to stall effective legislation that would have prevented the collapse of a Democratic country intyo tyranny and dictatorship and fascism.  We may not like a lot of the Democrats who represent us in the House and Senate.  

We may be disappointed by the performance of the Obama administration in rejecting or failing to actively promote much of the progressive agenda many of us believe is necessary to return this country to prosperity.  We may be severely disappointed that the bitter, illegal and ineffective decade long wars that George Bush and Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld instigated are still being pursued by this administration.  

But when you look at the makeup of the other major political party in this country, and the insane beliefs systems of many of its leaders, the only conclusion that a rational person can draw is to fight even harder.  Fight harder for progressive policies.  Fight harder to win the public relations battle.  Fight harder to convince the White House to adopt the programs and legislative goals that most Americans want to see passed into law.

And that means we must also fight harder to elect Democrats, even ones we may not like very much.  Why?  Because the alternative is a recipe for chaos and stagnation and history teaches us that those conditions increase the potential that any nation will cease to be governed by the Rule of Law and fall into the hands of despots with radical beliefs.  Beliefs that will not only destroy "our freedoms" but end up killing many, many innocent people, both here and abroad.

The Democrats are a deeply flawed political party.  The Republicans, however, harbor within their ranks a theocratic despotism based on the most violent and ugly interpretation of Biblical scripture.  Based on those facts, the decision to continue to elect Democrats, and to work with and for change within the Democratic party is an easy one.

Originally posted to Steven D on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:30 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (35+ / 0-)

    "I just had the basic view of the American public -- it can't be that bad out there." Marine Travis Williams after 11 members of his squad were killed.

    by Steven D on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:30:39 AM PST

    •  The culture war in America is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      golconda2, Words In Action
      mostly rhetorical, in that Democrats are not prize either in fact, and to vote lesser evil over it keeps the plutocrats in control.
      •  Then target the plutocrats directly (0+ / 0-)

        Go after them, expose their names, get them on film, and make their machinations that much harder to pull off.

        Because here's the thing: unless you have the money and the infrastructure to win actual Congressional seats, your third party is going to just usher in another Bush. That's not hypothesis; that's what actually happened in 2000.

        •  We already have another bush (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          golconda2, WattleBreakfast
          he is just better educated.  Woopdedo.  Well educated Bush vs stupid Bush.  It is better to have stupid Bush because then people will resist him.
          •  Right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            willb48

            Because another Bush would push for a massive investment in renewable energy, and would have avoided bellicose rhetoric in the face of the Green Revolution.

            Right. Well, good luck finding your non-Bush.

            •  Where is the push for massive investment (3+ / 0-)
              in renewable energy?  What are you talking about?  Summers was against that because it wasn't shovel ready.

              Talking about renewable energy doesn't constitute push for massive investment.

              •  This was in the stimulus bill (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                maxomai

                •Clean Energy and Transportation Investments:  Estimates on potential green energy investments in the recovery package, including upgrading our transportation infrastructure, range from $70.6 billion to $113.5 billion depending on what is included, but the bottom-line is that this package is the largest investment in energy independence in American history. These included:
                ◦Over $14 billion for various State Energy Conservation Programs, including $5 billion for the chronically underfunded Weatherization Assistance Program to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes.
                ◦$11 billion for  smart grid technology aimed at improving the energy efficiency of electrical grids around the country, a key to making alternative energy production and distribution viable.
                ◦The recovery plan was also a key "down payment on a new transportation vision," in the words of the coalition Transportation for America, including $27.5 billion allocated to the traditional highway program, $8.4 billion for public transportation, $9.3 billion for intercity and high-speed passenger rail, and $825 million for projects that will make our streets safer for walking and biking. Significantly, the law included unprecedented flexibility in using "highway" funds on ports, transit, passenger and freight rail, or other projects.

                http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com...

                •  pithy (4+ / 0-)
                  9.3 billion for high speed rail isn't massive, in comparison to what Fanniemac is getting,or in comparison to what we spend in one month on both Iraq and Afghanistan.  I don't see much for actual alternative energy, just upgrading the grid which may  or may not be used for it, then it looks like the highway bill got greenwashed as part of the alternative energy budget, which is where most of this money is going by your own account.

                  What goes to actual green jobs is hardly massive.

              •  A little bit of research is your friend (0+ / 0-)

                $16B+ for renewables and energy efficiency in the DOE budget. That's almost half the DOE budget.

                I agree that this amount should be $100 billion, but in 2008 it was $1 billion.

      •  Mostly rhetorical? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allep10

        Tell that to women who have had their choices restricted because of the culture war. Tell that to everyone who would have been impacted by the ERA.

        And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

        by Elise on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:58:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped and Rec'd... (11+ / 0-)

    I gave last night to the DCCC and DSCC to let them know I support them...they told me that they exceeded their fundraising goals...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:34:48 AM PST

  •  Until this country has... (15+ / 0-)

    ...more staunch progressives than committed evangelical voters, incrementalism will remain a best case scenario.

    A tough nut to swallow, but there it is.

    Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

    by snout on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:36:30 AM PST

    •  As Long As Progressives Are Rolled By DINOs (8+ / 0-)

      They won't be able to call themselves 'staunch'.

      ~Ruff

      •  So you'd like a small tent party? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, kafkananda, Cure7802

        Just you and a few friends perhaps?

        Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

        by snout on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:47:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd like a real ... (8+ / 0-)

          'big tent' party where the folks left of center mean more than a captive vote at election time.

          Pass HCR, then make it better? DADT is still there, 17 years later. How long will bad legislation survive before it can be 'made all better'?

          by emsprater on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:52:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The folks on either side of center... (7+ / 0-)

            ...are always captive.  That is in the nature of things.

            The better outcome is for the folks who are currently left of center to become the center by growing their ranks.  Then you'll see some action.

            Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

            by snout on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:56:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can't see that happening right now. (4+ / 0-)

              Maybe in the future, but not currently.

              •  That is the challenge. (6+ / 0-)

                No matter how long it takes.  As I've been saying elsewhere in this thread, demographics are on our side.

                This is where I take the most issue with many here on this site.  I don't think we get there by kicking conservadems out of the party or by attacking our own from the left.  I think we get there by convincing young and the growing ethincally diverse voting populations that the dems are the party of change.  

                Bottom line - I think that taking a "glass half full" attitude now will result in a completely full glass next generation.

                Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

                by snout on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:08:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The problem with that is that (6+ / 0-)

                  so many of us are demoralized that no amount of "Buck up, Little Camper!" is going to help. We've been on glass half empty for quite awhile now.

                  We simply don't have the energy anymore.

                  I also disagree about kicking conservadems out of the party, because they have hijacked the freaking party presently. I'm too mad about that to want to help right now, at least nationally.

                  Does any of that make sense?

                  •  It makes a lot of sense. (10+ / 0-)

                    I really do get where you are coming from.  I've been there many, many times too.

                    Sometimes I think the net is a bad forum for these discussions.  If we were talking about this face to face I think I could explain my POV more effectively without coming off like an apologist for the status quo.  Unfortunately we always have these brief exchanges and it is impossible to lay out the context that informs them effectively here.  

                    Let me try as best as I can to explain where I'm coming from:

                    1. Conservadems may seem like a problem, but they are really a sign of our success.  Howard Dean's 50 state strategy was all about replacing Republicans with Democrats in conservative areas.  Naturally these Dems are going to be more conservative than the ones from blue states.  And as such, they will oppose us from within a lot more than we'd like.  But they will also vote with us sometimes, and they can be replaced with slightly more progressive Dems every time out  - and ultimately maybe even progressive Dems as the culture changes around them.    
                    1. I'm not asking folks to buy into a campaign of "buck up little camper".  Rather I am asking my fellow dems to really take stock of the process of change and why it is so hard at a systemic level.  In fact, why it is actually a good thing that it is hard (if it were easier, the GOP would have privatized social security and outlawed abortion already).

                    We really are making progress, but it is a long battle.  Our expectations that we could ride in with a President and 60 votes and change the whole ballgrame were never realistic - especially given that a Senate is only as progressive as it's 60th vote.

                    If we all simply hunkered down for the long war and kept seizing s much ground as we could, we would find we'd get there a lot faster than you imagine as demographics continue to put the wind at our backs.  In fact, the only thing that can stop us up is becoming cynical and impatient.  If we continue to sell the idea that the Democratic party is not a force for change, it won't be.      

                    Imagine if we focused all this energy on beating the GOP.

                    by snout on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:33:52 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The Battle Would Be Closer To Won (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      prfb, Words In Action

                      If Howard Dean had not be rewarded by being kicked to the curb and all the DLC people put in Obama's cabinet.

                      Unfortunately for your argument, many progressives are not suffering from the same memory disorder that the Republican faithful do.

                      Many progressives haven't forgotten that the DINOs praised Howard Dean for getting them elected while they got the long knives out.

                      So now I have this problem with buying more snake oil now, because the last bottle made me sick.

                      ~Ruff

                  •  I hear ya, but I gotta disagree, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Elise

                    I think it's a great time to be a Democrat right now.

                    "I'm a bear of very little brain." -- with apologies to A. A. Milne

                    by Arnie on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:50:36 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  It's very hard to convince ..... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Philoguy, Words In Action

                  folks yet one more time that we are the 'party of change' when it seems that in reality we are the 'party of more of the same', as it would appear in regards to not only the actions of the current majority in both houses, but also the shenannigans that transpire behind the scenes to 'bribe' our own to vote 'our' way.

                  Young folks might begin to see right through that.

                  Pass HCR, then make it better? DADT is still there, 17 years later. How long will bad legislation survive before it can be 'made all better'?

                  by emsprater on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:26:55 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  It's time to: Move the center!!! n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis, Words In Action
        •  I don't think there are that many (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, Words In Action, Johnny Q
          corporatists among the base.  It is the leadership where they rule.
        •  If They Don't Support the Democratic Majority (3+ / 0-)

          then kick them out of the tent.  For example, Lieberman.  Threatening to filibuster a party's signature legislation should get you kicked out of that party.  

          Or else parties mean nothing.    

      •  Ben Nelson is running commercials sayng the water (0+ / 0-)

        down, all-private ins. co. Senate HRC bill is not a 'government takeover'.  Think about that.  Think about why a savy pol - and whatever else he is, he is savy about getting himself elected - would spend money at this pt in the cycle trying to drive home what is, after all, an undeniable fact.  The level of willful ignorance that bespeaks of the ebraska electorate should be all the illustration needed of how far progressives have to go to even be equal in numbers to the knuckdragger vote.

        •  That's Nebraska (4+ / 0-)

          Most people do not live in Nebraska.

          The best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words

          by Alec82 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:52:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And why does Nebraska get to dictate (5+ / 0-)

            what people in New York do? So frustrating.

            •  Short answer... (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dvogel001, artebella, glynis, Lying eyes

              is because a certain Senator from Nebraska is necessary to get 60 votes in the Senate. You could have 59 flaming socialists in the Democratic caucus and still not get shit passed without a Nelson or a Lieberman. Frustrating? Fuck yes it is. But that is reality.

              "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

              by Cure7802 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:03:44 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe it was rhetorical... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chrismorgan, glynis, Lying eyes

                  from you, but there are many folks here who honestly don't seem to understand this, or are willfully ignoring it.

                  Better?  :)

                  "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                  by Cure7802 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:17:16 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Gosh! Progressives NEVER Heard About 60 Votes (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Philoguy, Words In Action

                    What a news flash! Thank you for that!  

                    The complaint is the Kooky Kabuki pre-capitulating, arresting single-payer advocates, starting low and bargaining even lower, and cracking the wrong heads in the House and Senate.

                    And in 2010, progressives are supposed to bust their butts for these clownish results?

                    I'm not accepting this stuff as anything like 'Change We Can Believe In' anymore.

                    ~Ruff

              •  Not sure that would be the case. (4+ / 0-)

                For those 59 could put real pressure on the other one or two.  Deny them a seat anywhere in the caucus,  let the door slam in their faces when entering chambers, steal their diet coke from the senate fridge, remove them from committee leadership... etc. etc. etc.

                It takes a political will and some good PR to stand up to DINOs, and I don't think the party has that will.  Hate to say it, but Liberman and Nelson may be closer to the general mindset there than any progessive voice be.

                •  Thing is... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chrismorgan

                  is that the electorate of Nebraska is more important to Nelson than any amount of progressive rage would be. And that is not a progressive electorate.

                  ...stealing those Diet Cokes is a good idea though.  :)

                  "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                  by Cure7802 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:20:04 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  A bit longer - 40 Rethugs willing to kill the US (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                artebella, glynis, Cure7802

                for a Rassmussen-fueled-delusion that this is 1994.

                And no, I'm not being too hyperbolic.  They filabustered the defense bill.  You know, the 'Troops' they claim to love more than life itself?  I have no doubt they would allow - and are - this country to slide into the 9th Circle if they thought it would increase their chances of ragaining control of our money - and the power to legislate our sex lives, children's minds, etc.

              •  That is why we have to fight even harder to get (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                glynis, Cure7802

                more progressives into congress. This is not the time to wallow in our disappointment that the Dems are not progressive enough. It took thirty years for the right to take over the repugs but their persistence paid off - if you can call having fascistic lunatics as party leaders - a sign of paying off.
                  We have to keep fighting. and supporting the dems.
                 Last night at a quiet New Year's Eve dinner one of our "democratic" friends ranted about how bad Obama and the Dems were. - that not one single good thing had happened as a result of his election. I told him that he was in fact spouting Republican talking points.
                    Like many people on DK I called wrote financed many many times anyone who might support the public option. When it got hijacked by Lieberman I was furious but refuse to let the whole thing crash and burn. I called Nadler - my congressman - who had been an ardent fighter for the PO and asked what he planned to do. I was very glad to hear that he was planning to vote for the health care bill - even in its diminished form.

                You don't get to keep democracy unless you fight for it.

                by artebella on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:07:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  This... (0+ / 0-)

                  is the attitude that we should all share. Surrendering to cynicism is easy... and exactly what the Republicans want us to do.

                  Good post.

                  "How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

                  by Cure7802 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:15:40 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So Show Me The Progressive Dems (0+ / 0-)

                    And quit talking in generalities.

                    Currently I am unaware of any progressive Dems being dissed by progressives.

                    However many people have far less money this time than in 2008, so some folks are going to have to beat lobbyist money with guts and volunteers.

                    ~Ruff

            •  If you don't like the way the Senate is elected.. (0+ / 0-)

              then challenge it. The Senate allows a small minority, in terms of population (think Montana, Idaho, Maine etc.) to block any meaningful legislation. That's because of the 2 Senator per state rule vs the House's proportional representation rule.

              But...of course, it gets even worse in terms of how the filibuster is used today...for everything, basically.

              When you look at the number of people represented by the 56 (at least) Senators who were prepared to vote for  PO vs those who opposed it I'd guess (a rough guess but probably not far off) that the will of more than 70% of the American people was thwarted.

              There's precious little we can do about the fact that
              WY...population 550,000 has .17% of the coutry's population but a full 2.0% of its Senate representation (in the form of , Mike Enzi and John Barrasso....ugghhh)
              So these clowns have 12 times the power they would if we considered population to be the determining factor for number of Senators.

              Now take CA. They have 36,700,000. They have 2 Senators. So , with 12% of the population of the country it has 2% of the vote in the Senate...Compared to WY each CA citizen has 1/60th as much influence in the Senate. Awesome...

              We already have the House. If we still want to be bicameral and want the Senate to be some kind of check on the House perhaps we should elect Senators by region rather than state. We could still have 100 Senators. We'd all elect one Senator every 2 years, in 33 regions. Each region would have an equivalent population. CA would be divided into 2 regions. MT, WY, ID, ND, SD, UT and CO would all be one region.

              Obviously this would radically change the way the Senate voted on issues.

              Or we could do it this way

              Each State gets at least one Senator. Some states get a more, some a lot more. We still have our 100 Senators. WY and any other state up to 2 million gets 1, CA and any other state over 20 million gets 10' still not equitable for CA but overall this system is far more fair to the majority of citizens in this nation. Most of what's decided in the Senate is of national or even global scope. It's not about Mountain states vs Desert ones anymore. So many of the compelling reasons for making the Senate so undemocratic no longer exist.

              Anyway...something to chew on for 2010 and beyond

              •  If A Simple Dem Majority Survives 2010 (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action

                Then the rules of the Senate can be changed to end the filibuster rule, silent holds and all the other claptrap.

                I'll put $100 on the Senate doing nothing about the filibuster because it is too good a shakedown tool.

                Maybe if Harry Reid is replaced by a new Majority Leader I'll lose my $100 but I'll gladly lose!  

                ~Ruff

  •  If you really want to stick to the Democrats, (6+ / 0-)

    elect more of them. If they have a bigger majority, to where there's no chance of a filibuster, it will force them to reveal who they really work for. There will be no excuses. That way we'll know who's really on our side, and who's on the side of the fat cats.

    Halfway between sanity and insanity = "moderate". Irony is useless in a culture that has no shame.

    by ubertar on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:39:04 AM PST

  •  I was hoping that we could cease (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Turkana, ajr111240, Words In Action

    the meta flame war until at least tomorrow.

  •  Democrats (10+ / 0-)

    At least they are better than the Ayatollahs!

    I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

    by bink on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:41:29 AM PST

  •  As long as people harbor the fantasy (17+ / 0-)

    that we can "show" bad Democrats by electing even worse Republicans, we're in serious trouble.

    The Democrats are a deeply flawed political party.  The Republicans, however, harbor within their ranks a theocratic despotism based on the most violent and ugly interpretation of Biblical scripture.  Based on those facts, the decision to continue to elect Democrats, and to work with and for change within the Democratic party is an easy one.

    Oh, it ought to be.  But for far too many here, it isn't, as they cling to the fantasy I mention above.

    Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to lie without consequence; unless, apparently if you're a right wing talk-radio host.

    by Whimsical on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:42:16 AM PST

  •  Nader 'purity' = 8 yars of BushCo. 'Nuff said? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai, brillo, Elise, Sun dog
    •  Oh yay. (4+ / 0-)

      Ya know, things were going just fine here until you showed up.

    •  Not really (9+ / 0-)

      I do think that Ralph Nader made a strategic error.  He helped the media outlets portray Bush and Gore as relatively similar.  But why don't the Southern "Democrats" take any of the blame for what happened in Florida and elsewhere?

      The best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words

      by Alec82 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 10:57:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Obama has proved the (0+ / 0-)
        dlc dems and the republicans are relatively similar.
      •  It was Nader's entire campaign- a Big Lie. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        It wasn't the media or a 'strategic error'.  It was core of Nader2000 - that Gore was just like Bush and the delusion that American's are liberal (as we define that).

        There was a world of difference between Gore and Bush and anyone who has been paying attention for the last years - 9/11 v. RichardClake, Iraq v. Opposed Iraq, NKorea nukes vs. Clinton's containment, 'Clear Skyies'-to-death (of us) v. Inconvenient Truth, 'Mission Accomplished' & Heck of a Job' v. Nobel-freaking-Prize, to just scratch the surface - and does not see that simply does not want to see it.

        IMO there is no difference between such folks and the Palin-istas.  Or Sarah.

        •  I think you have to investigate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q

          the truth a bit more, my friend.

          Unfortunately, the differences between Clinton/Gore and Bush were not nearly as stark as you maintain. Any investigation into Gore's stated policies prior to the 2000 election, would reveal a very small shift in domestic policy, but a rather similar tactical approach with regard to foreign policy.

          The words differed, but the actions not so much.

          "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

          by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:44:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chrismorgan

            Pull your head out of Nader's ass and look around at what happened as a result of his Gore = Bush lies. We're in two wars as a result and an American city drowned.

            And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

            by Elise on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:09:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well.... (0+ / 0-)

              I'll give you Katrina. It'd be speculation, but I imagine the Gore admin would've handled Katrina better (if he was re-elected). Even a McCain admin would've handles it better, I think.

              However, there can be no doubt about Gore's support for the war in Iraq. In fact, he was among the leading advocates of it, even well before Bush's administration, as well as afterwards.

              9/11 would have happened, whether Bush or not. The only difference would perhaps have been tactical approaches, but there is little to no evidence that suggests Gore would have advised differently. The main difference would have been the priority of the Afghan war.

              The same basic group of people at the Pentagon advised and handled these things. Congress would have been the same, and they voted in favor of BOTH wars.

              One plausible difference is that Gore may have advocated stronger "nation building" in Afghanistan, thus placing that war in the very same situation that Iraq became, and if we had invaded Iraq, it would likely be in the position that the Afghan war is now.

              The housing bubble would still have occurred, without question. That bubble began UNDER Gore/Clinton, and the FED policies would've been even more relaxed under Gore, if anything.

              To delude yourself into believing that Al Gore would've bore a markedly different set of results is to blatantly ignore historical perspective, and counterfactual analysis.

              My friend, the only head that is stuck in an ass is yours.

              "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

              by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:56:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If Gore had been President we wouldn't (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                chrismorgan

                have gone into Iraq. Iraq wouldn't have ever been on the radar. To say otherwise is just bullshit.

                And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

                by Elise on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 04:23:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Gore publically opposed the Iraq war at time when (0+ / 0-)

                  many of the supposedly more 'pure' were too timorous to do more than run for the hills after giving BushCo watever it wanted.

                  In fact, every specific I noted is as-well documented as 'the sky is blue'.  Obviously he would not do what some utopian poltical losers want, but then that's why your losers.  You have to win to make a difference.

                  My original pt stands unrefuted (not surprising as you cited no evidence and ignored the facts): those who believed this b/s were no different from the deluded Palin-istas.  Those who still believe it are pathological and a waste of time to engage.

                •  Uhm..... I think you are mistaken. Badly. (0+ / 0-)

                  For you to say it wouldn't have even been on the radar is ludicrous. This is as apologist as it gets.

                  The Bush plan was derived from the Zinni plan from 1998 and even earlier. This plan had been in place for near a decade. Al Gore assisted in developing it, as early as 1996, when it was originally draw up.

                  Al Gore was the absolute most HAWKISH proponent of re-entering Iraq from 1992 onward. You can easily find his numerous speeches and statements to that effect anywhere. He made many public announcements of his disapproving Clinton aborting the 4-day bombing plan in Iraq. He made no mystery of his disapproval.

                  His advisors would have gotten handed the very same intelligence as Bush. The military pressure cooker would have been every bit as aggressive by putting pressure on Gore to act.

                  The likeliest of scenarios is that Gore would probably have recommended a much larger troop deployment, reminiscent of Zinni’s plan under the Clinton administration which called for 400, 000 troops.

                  With Saddam Hussein's braggadocio in the wake of 9/11, he would have been crucified by the media pressure, as well as the intense lobbying efforts to go after Hussein.

                  Gore didn't change his tune until after Bush announced the invasion, and even then, Gore was clear that his issue was with the WAY in which Bush invaded, not the invasion itself.

                  Please, if you insist on using words like BULLSHIT, make sure you have some ground to stand on. It's insulting that you decidedly ignore virtually all evidence to the contrary.

                  "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

                  by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:00:01 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What a waste of time. (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm done.

                    Enjoy your Republican majority since you apparently didn't learn jack shit from the Bush decade.

                    And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

                    by Elise on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:41:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Business as usual for you apparently. (0+ / 0-)

                      What I learned from the Bush decade is that apparently Barack Obama failed to learn much as well as the majority of our Congress. You need more than a slogan and a crafty "hip" movement to actually be different than Bush.

                      Words are just that, Elise.  Words are just that.

                      "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

                      by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:52:34 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama hasn't reversed anything (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rebus, Johnny Q
      Bush has done,so there is no reason to assume Gore would have been better than Bush.  He did choose Lieberman as his vp.
      •  Would someone more knowledgeable than I (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        please respond to this canard. I know that Obama has changed the rules or regulations on funding reproductive counseling; I know that he has gotten rid of lobbyists in federal agencies but I am pretty sure he has done quite a few more things that begin to undo Bush damage.

        You don't get to keep democracy unless you fight for it.

        by artebella on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:37:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why bother responding to idiots like this? (0+ / 0-)

          They're not going to believe the facts if the facts are staring them in the face.

          And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

          by Elise on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:09:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Gotten rid of lobbyists? (0+ / 0-)

          Obama has what? Hello? Do you read much? Or does your knowledge of the Obama administration stop at campaign promises from 2007?

          Have you looked at this Advisory Board/Lobbyist thing at all?

          Basically, the administration has quietly admitted that they don't want lobbyists on these panels, but instead, they want them replaced with business owners, or business executives themselves.

          So instead of the people working FOR the business owners, they want the business owners themselves. It's sidestepping at best, and simply smoke and mirrors.

          Not to mention, the lobbyist "requirement" is that they haven't been officially registered in the last TWO years. Oooh, that's tough language.... considering that a very high percentage (something like 43%) of all former Federal and State lobbyists end up with top level executive positions in the private sector, this does nothing but create the illusion of transparency.

          "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

          by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:19:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Political Literacy: What is needed, going forward (8+ / 0-)

    Here it is New Year's Day and there are people sticking with the argument over the best way for progressives to succeed in the coming election cycle.

    That's pretty good energy.

    However, a lot of these discussions reveal that, going forward, what is needed is some way to take the discussion to the next level.

    A lot of the antagonism of the past weeks and months over health care reform is actually a pent up head of steam from the Bush years, although there doesn't seem to be a strategic analysis of the situation that recognizes that.

    What has been learned in the process can be taken into account in not only the process of gathering funding and volunteers for specific campaigns, but in learning some new tricks for the entire blogosphere.

    The general development of this over the past few years has been to move from a sort of video game of just inflicting insults on others, to working in a way that actually has a result.  Hundreds of millions raised in 2008 and a majority of Democrats in Congress can really be credited to a significant energy put forward by Daily Kos and other blogs.

    The next level of the game is that there are issues after the elections are won.

    How power is amassed and used in negotiating for policy innovation, is a whole graduate school beyond the original undergraduate level of campaigns.

    How to address this?

    I'm wrestling with some ideas and taking some time to figure out how to offer something useful in a series of diaries with the key word, Political Literacy.

    My hope for the coming New Year is that more discussion on the strategic and tactical level that can move the progressive movement to the next level might take place.

    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 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:00:39 AM PST

    •  Stuart, you seem like a thoughtful and analytical (3+ / 0-)

      guy. And I applaud that you're trying to come up with some ways for the idealists and realists to work together.

      But perhaps "Political Literacy" is not how you want to phrase it. I can definitely see that being thought of as condescending towards the idealist crowd, and they may not even listen to a word you say.

      I'm not trying to be a killjoy, but I see incoming badness with that title. Is there another way to parse it?

      •  So it is Idealist vs. Realist? (2+ / 0-)

        Change vs. Status Quo?

        It may be Idealistic to expect enough imagination and political will from Congress to do what needs to be done to:
        save us from pollution and over-popluation (global warming),
        create health-care that is focused on making people, not big corporations, healthier,
        bring about peace through understanding and compromise, not through sheer force domination.

        Maybe all those things are just pipe dreams.  So be a Realist, and watch poison, ideology and greed consume what is left of what is beautiful in this world, arguing that anything that would actually stop the process is too fanciful, too impossible in the current situation.

        The Realists have to face the fact that real change comes from Idealism, they have to let go there established means and open up to new ideas and new ways.

         Otherwise "You can't get theah from heah."

      •  Political Literacy as a concept (3+ / 0-)

        came to mind as I was reading through a whole lot of high school standardized civid test questions that were a short answer essay.  I read through about 12,000 of these this past spring.

        These kids, who are about to become voters in another year, lacked not only a literacy skill that they should have had at that age level, but an amazing number of the answers were clearly learned from listening to right wing talk radio.

        Across the years, the sense that the broader public, especially in rural and small town areas, lacks a sort of political literacy is a problem of landscape shaping dimensions.

        That's on one level.  On another level is the part of the public with professional educations who live in the suburbs or inner city areas perhaps and who still read newspapers.  

        On another level are those of us who read enough to have a sense of a variety of sources and who also have some experience in dealing with community level politics.  

        How do we understand the landscape we are in and how to cope with it?
        How can we become more effective in achieving our objectives?

        The problem as I see it is how to talk about that, whatever the vocabulary.

        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 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:39:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That makes sense. (0+ / 0-)

          Like I said, I think your ideas are definitely good. I'm just considering the extremely volatile nature of Dkos presently, which is why I made that comment to begin with.

          I'll look for it. Best to you.

          •  I think I might publish a series intro tomorrow (0+ / 0-)

            If the title catches the eye, whatever the reason, that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.  I just hope to be able to deliver something useful.  That is a challenge and it may take working through a whole series over a period of weeks or months to get somewhere with it.  

            The idea is to think of it as writing a book, except that it probably only works as something that can stay here in the archive, available through key words, as part of a body of similar material that could help inform the overall movement.

            The archive actually has material in it already that can be looked at that way.

            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 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:19:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Political Grad School. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      -- We are just regular people informed on issues

      by mike101 on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:18:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good idea. (Sadly, inflicting insults ... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and inflicting them on ourselves, is still seen as counting coup by some.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:56:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  DCCC called me (yet again) yesterday; (5+ / 0-)

    very nice person on other end of line, and I told her I was currently giving only to individual candidates through ActBlue. We had a good conversation, and I did not donate to DCCC.

    My own internal struggle reflects that on this thread and on DailyKos in general. I want a Congress of Sanders/Grayson/Franken types, but I know I will not see that in this decade. My long-ago home district elects Baron Hill every other election, and a Rethug alternately. In southern Indiana, a Blue Dog is the best we can get, for now.

    Because politics is the art of the possible, I'm going to hold my nose and give to the DCCC and the DSCC this year. I'm going to work like it was 2006 and 2008. Yes, I'm disappointed I didn't get a pony; gonna keep on ridin' this tired old donkey that I've loved.

    Thank you for your diary. Best wishes to all here for progress in the days to come.

    Joe

    Ass-crack vodka shots: the official energy drink of the Republican Party.

    by CitizenJoe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:02:08 AM PST

    •  I think a lot of us have had ... (4+ / 0-)

      ...conversations with the DCCC and DSCC in the past six months or so.

      I always preface mine with a caveat to the caller that what I am about to say is not personally directed at her or him. And then I explain exactly why they are not getting my dollars and why individual candidates are.

      And, unlike you, I am not going to change my approach. Because, even though I was one of the original promoters of "more and better Democrats," I am no solely in the "better Democrats" category. The DCCC and DSCC aren't.

      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:54:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent interpersonal consideration. (0+ / 0-)

        I am sure these people have a very rough job.

        It probably helps to push them toward the "better Democrats" column when their contacts explain very civilly why the dollars are not coming.

        Joe

        Ass-crack vodka shots: the official energy drink of the Republican Party.

        by CitizenJoe on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 06:12:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like Thom Hartmann's approach. (7+ / 0-)

    If you're a Democrat, stay in the Democratic party, go to meetings, and push your members to vote more progressively. Don't abandon a well-established party that may get you what you want to join a movement that will enable a worse candidate to get elected.

    I say elect third party people to non-national positions to start. Get more green mayors, more progressive assemblymen, more liberal city councilmembers, etc. Build from the ground up. Then when you see we can get a few elected to senator and representative, etc. go for it.

  •  Why we need to elect more Democrats #1913783483 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Wildthumb, Sun dog, GrandmaMJ

    President Obama made the first ever appointment of a transgender person to an Executive post. More here.

    Amanda Simpson, who has served on NCTE’s Board of Directors for the past 3 years, has been appointed by the Obama Administration as a Senior Technical Advisor to the Department of Commerce. She’ll be working in the Bureau of Industry and Security.
    "I’m truly honored to have received this appointment and am eager and excited about this opportunity that is before me. And at the same time, as one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others."

    Simpson brings considerable professional credentials to her new job. For thirty years, she has worked in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. She holds degrees in physics, engineering and business administration along with an extensive flight background. She is a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience.

    Think Bush would have done this? Think McCain would have? Seriously?

    •  who care about individual appointments (0+ / 0-)
      if policies don't change.
    •  This is far more important than her gender: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marja E

      For thirty years, she has worked in the aerospace and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems

      Does her appointment as a transgender female offset the fact that she is a member, and therefore likely to be biased in favor of, the defense industry?

    •  Since she worked for Raytheon, maybe..... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philoguy, Marja E

      Or it would've been someone else from Raytheon..... come on, just because she is transgendered makes it a "forward thinking alliance"?

      Don't misunderstand, it's a step forward in public recognition, but the end result is someone with deep ties and history in the military-industrial sector, not unlike anything Bush or McCain would've done.

      "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

      by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:46:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but that's stupid. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        Yes, they have a bias. But: name one administration since 1900 that hasn't had either military or defense industry experience in such a position.

        There's a specific and justifiable reason for that. The person in question is supposed to advise the President on defense systems. You can't hire someone from Code Pink or AFSC to do that, because they won't have the knowledge or experience to do the advising.

        Come on. That should be intuitively obvious.

        •  You're right, but that doesn't make it okay.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Philoguy

          You are definitely correct. But that is exactly the culture that Obama was supposed to address, no?

          Look, it's laudable that someone of such circumstance was appointed to this position. However, like it or not, that position is one of immense significance, and to continue appointing people from the INDUSTRIAL side of that world, leads us to a continued foreign policy based on aggression, and the needs of industry, rather than the pragmatic needs of nations.

          The reality is that there is a large pool of people that come from the MILITARY side of this world, that can and would be of tremendous benefit to rolling back such a markedly imperialist and profit-based world view.

          The fact that those people have been largely ignored since LBJ, with regard to this appointment, is sufficient enough for me to connect the dots.

          "From each according to his faculties; to each according to his needs" - M. Bakunin

          by DJamesGoodwin on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:01:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The goals of 2006 are the same (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai, Elise, mike101

    and the best strategy is still the same.  More and better Democrats until we can finally start muscling a stronger progressive agenda.  The fact that it's not as emotionally satisfying to be fighting for the Democratic party is no excuse, no matter how much rationalizing we do.  It's still the best strategy and that's why I'm still here.  Not sure why people think it's productive to spend tons of time here trying to sap energy and enthusiasm.

    2010. Time to win some more.

    by Sun dog on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:23:35 AM PST

    •  given that mostly all the progressives (0+ / 0-)
      rolled over.  I don't believe in the more and better democrats strategy.  It will just be more dems getting rolled instead of fewer.
      •  They Wouldn't Have To 'Roll Over'... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maxomai, Elise, Sun dog, stegro

        If there were more of them.  I mean really, how fucking hard is it to understand?  If you need x votes to pass something, and you have less than that, then you have to 'roll over' (aka compromise) to get the additional votes you need.  

        Even if we had 60 progressive senators, there would still be the need to get people 'rolling over' (aka compromising) over exactly what form the public option or single payer system would take.  It's just how things go.  

      •  That's barely even a rationalization (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise

        And it doesn't even make any sense.  As though not getting everything we want is the same thing as being nearly powerless to even slow down the wingnuts when they run everything.  You have to ignore a thousand positive effects of having Democrats in power as compared to Gopers in order to get to your fatalism.  Making things better is making things better even if it's not perfect.  And the longer progressives can actually hang in and fight for the party, the more it will become a progressive party.  The lack of patience is stunning.  As though it's a product we buy or don't buy and if we aren't 100% satisfied and then someone will come along and make a better flavor of political party.  We aren't consumers in everything we do but that seems to be increasingly our driving ethic.  

        2010. Time to win some more.

        by Sun dog on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:54:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It isn't that they are going to slow (0+ / 0-)
          it is that they are doing the wrong fucking things.     He won't help homeowners, but will help bankers.  He   is mandating we buy insurance, when the reason we didn't buy it is because we couldn't afford it.   It also makes the insurance companies even more rich and powerful, when they should be disempowered.  I hate the direction he is taking.  I don't want anything he has done.  He continues the torture policy.  He could have ended with an executive decision since it was enacted with an executive decision.  He is going to bailout FannieMac, by exectutive fiat but is powerless on health care.  Baloney.  

          I don't care whether he symbolically appoints a few minorities if he appoints them just to enact right wing policies.  Bush did that too.

          Corporatism is the central problem of government and can't be solved by working in the parties, with corporate dems.  

  •  "Why Support the Democrats?" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, Lying eyes, ajr111240, Amber6541

    One just needs to consider the alternative.  Enough said.

    Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

    by incognita on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:42:31 AM PST

    •  What is the alternative (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philoguy, Johnny Q, alstradamus
      You mean they will continue the war like Obama?  You mean they will give us Romneycare like Obama?  They'll bail out the banks like Obama.  EFCA won't pass like it won't pass under Obama.  They're lawyers will argue gay marriage is like incest like Obama's lawyers.  

      They will say nastier things about gays, but that is no incentive to vote.

      •  All politics is local. I haven't voted for my (0+ / 0-)

        Dino congresscritter in the 10 or more years he has been in office.  I do vote for county officials, state reps, senators and federal senators and president.  I will vote for Obama should he run again because he is still better than any rethug that can be fielded.  I just will not work for his campaign nor donate to him, as I did in 08.  He will still be the lesser of two evils.
        If you don't vote, then you don't get to bitch.

        Indict, convict, imprison. "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana

        by incognita on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:46:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Here are some reasons: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arnie, Elise, Darkmoth

    •Three major health bills (SCHIP, tobacco regulation, and stimulus funds for Medicaid, COBRA subsidies, health information technology and the National Institutes of Health) enacted even before comprehensive reform

    •Implemented the stimulus which contained myriad other individual policy victories, not only preventing a far worse depression but also delivered key new funds for education; expanded state energy conservation programs and new transit programs; added new smart grid investments; funded high-speed Internet broadband programs; extended unemployment insurance for up to 99 weeks for the unemployed and modernizing state UI programs to cover more of the unemployed; made large new investments in the safety net, from food stamps (SNAP) to affordable housing to child care; clean cars victory to take gas mileage requirements to 35mpg

    •Protection of 2 million acres of land against oil and gas drilling and other development

    •Executive orders protecting labor rights, from project labor agreements to protecting rights of contractor employees on federal jobs

    •Stopping pay discrimination through Lilly Ledbetter and Equal Pay laws

    •Making it easier for airline and railway workers to unionize, while appointing NLRB and other labor officials who will strengthen freedom to form unions

    •Reversing Bush ban on funding overseas family planning clinics

    •Passing hate crimes protections for gays and lesbians

    •Protecting stem cell research research

    •Strengthening state authority and restricting federal preemption to protect state consumer, environmental and labor laws

    •Financial reforms to protect homeowners and credit card holders

    •Bailing out the auto industry and protecting unionized retirees and workers

    http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com...

    There is a lot of information about each of these items if you read the TPM article.

  •  It's simple to me (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats produce better outcomes.

    Historically speaking, income inequality increases sharply under Republicans, and decreases (albeit slowly) under Democrats. This is a matter of record.

    The warping of our democracy (among other things) is purely a matter of the omnipotence of economic power coupled with high levels of income inequality. Since the Democrats produce better outcomes on this critical metric, they are the party which heals our democracy. The Republicans simply damage it further and further.

    That's the 90,000 foot view. There's also the fact that Democrats govern completely different from Republicans. When viewed as legislators, their records do not overlap Republican performance in any area. I diaried some of these differences here.

    There's really no comparison between the two parties, taken as an aggregate.

    "Karl Rove giving Dems advice is the DEFINITION of 'Concern Troll'" - punkdavid

    by Darkmoth on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:46:04 PM PST

    •  Income inequality has not declined (0+ / 0-)
      under democrats since the dlc/new democrats took over, and it certainly won't decline with the welfare Obama has been giving to his plutocrat donors.
      •  That's true (0+ / 0-)

        But the gap widened much slower than under Bush - 2.4% real income increase for the bottom 99% (vs 10 for the top) under Clinton, 1% for the bottom 99% (vs 11 for the top 1%) under Bush.

        source

        As far as plutocrat, etc, etc, we'll know by 2012. Everything before that point is guessing.

        "Karl Rove giving Dems advice is the DEFINITION of 'Concern Troll'" - punkdavid

        by Darkmoth on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:15:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nazis and Iranian theocrats, oh my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valion, GeeBee

    I think you've come across the Democrats' slogan for 2010:  "Vote Democratic or You'll Get Hitler and Khomeni."

    And we talk about Republicans being the party of fear?

    Excise the excise tax.

    by Paleo on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:00:20 PM PST

  •  today I did my part (0+ / 0-)

    and re-resolved to be more active.  I sent donations and letters to four good democrats.  I was arguing with my partner Ben, who is really discouraged right now, that the only real choice is to get more and better democrats.  The republicans will not be satisfied until the average American lives like the average chinese person does now(IN a dorm room with a dozen other people working 7 days a week and 14 hours a day).  I am not ready to let them win.  This past year only proves to me we have to work harder.  Do not support just any democrat.  Give to and support the ones who you think are good.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:08:21 PM PST

  •  I will support the party that (0+ / 0-)

    starts sending the lobbyists packing. Not the one that promises to do so. The one that takes actual steps between now and the next election to do so. So far, that's neither the Dems nor the Repubs. Unfortunately for all of us, there is a third party that appears to be positioning itself as the anti-Wall Street party.

    --Free thinkers shouldn't go around thinking just anything. (Terry Pratchett)

    by HPrefugee on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:10:01 PM PST

  •  Your post also justifies reaching out to (0+ / 0-)

    Libertarians-of-good-faith and true conservatives.

    Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

    by Paul Goodman on Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 05:50:51 PM PST

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