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I have always been a leftist. I was born one. I consider my self, without hesitation or equivocation a socialist, as the French put it pur et dur. When I lived in Europe, I worked for socialist parties and policies. When I live in the US, I work for left liberal politicians and policies. My work often throws me into political work against torture. But I must say, with great bitterness and sadness, that after this election cycle I will never again refer to myself as a progressive.  

First of all what is a progressive in the US? A loose collection of people and social movements working on isolated issues of social justice--from folks working against US wars of intervention, to race, gender and sexuality equity, to the environment and so on, and so on. That's beautiful and I mean that with all sincerity.

But what does "progressive" mean in the blogisphere? What does it mean practically as in the organized LEFT. Well this is where things get ugly. One thing I've come to realize in the past decade is the US is perhaps the only industrialized nation without an organized left movement. "Progressives" and "Social Movements" can effect individual policy issues but they are not an organized electoral party. And I say this as a person involved who works in a very specialized social movement.

To be an organized left however, one must engage a great deal of crap work, that I feel sadly, that most of the "progressive" who mouth off about their disillusionment with the democratic party are unwilling to do. The dirty work is quite simple, organizing the multitude of red state rubes--poor white men and women--who will continue until the end of time if you simply leave them to their own devices, to vote this country to fascism. That and organizing the millions of checked-out poor people of all hues in this country to become an active part of the left. God bless the poor beleaguered unions and Trumpka. No one else is out their doing the heavy lifting you need to have a viable and organized left. Certainly not "progressives" or whatever the hell this term means. I know I don't have the backbone for that kind of work. Which is why I work my ass off for every candidate with D next to their name because as utterly feckless and pathetic they may be they are what stands between status quo and oblivion.

As for Obama, shit people, I disagree with the administration on their foot-dragging on torture, hell my work has me yelling at the administration most of the week, but fuck if I can think of a better, yes I mean better alternative on the political landscape of this country. Have any of you progressives ever heard of real politik or is maintaining some fantasy of a pure and true candidate to go down in flames fighting the good fight just too hard for you to resist. If only democratic party stood firm and true to its principles. This is a country full of people who have problems with the idea of universal healthcare and I don't give a crap about polls telling us that people really want it. FAR TOO DAMNED MANY THINK ITS SOCIALISM!!! Or think the Mexicans are gonna get in on it. And until "progressives" can work on that problem of hearts and minds, no pure and true democratic politician is going to win in the South or the Midwest. You can't blame unemployment, the dems or centrism for the existence and popularity of Palidino or Angell. (you can blame the media though!) Both lost thankfully, but that anyone, I mean more than a few hundred voted for this sadists indicates that there is a problem that goes way beyond voter disillusionment with centrist policies. Angry white folks are voting out of hate and voting against their own material interests and voting consciously to ruin the country. They're out to trash the place.

But "progressives" sit and boo-hoo about how Obama is as bad as Bush, gnash their teeth and call for a primary so they can get a "real progressive" to run for office on real "progressive" principles and by smashed by president elect Palin. I am a god-damned socialist and I would never expect or propose a socialist candidate for election to anything larger than school board or mayor in this country because I know America is not a left country. I want it to be more than anything. But I know the history of this country. If this country didn't have a sizable black and Latino population, we'd be living in a libertarian nightmare far worst than the one in which you think you are living in. Yes, if it weren't for black and brown folks this country would look a lot like Chile circa 1980's with Milton Friedman as grand inquisitor and zombie Reagan as president for life.

All I can say, is that the only thing that progressive means to me is chronic disillusionment and stasis. If we want a left movement, we have to do the work. And it's ugly work. It's about changing hearts and minds of people whose hearts and minds are full of some toxic stuff. I'll do my best, I hope others will too.

Originally posted to babeuf on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:06 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I tend to agree, but I predict (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, sebastianguy99, Rosita, Gemina13

      this won't go well for you.

      In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

      by jsfox on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:09:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This sentence is read today: "Have any of you (6+ / 0-)

      progressives ever heard of real politik or is maintaining some fantasy of a pure and true candidate to go down in flames fighting the good fight just too hard for you to resist"

      Let me answer you my friend: No, they haven't heard of real politik. Most of them live in Manichean world.

      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 Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:11:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You need wine and sleep (0+ / 0-)

      in that order.

      See you tomorrow, mon ami!

      Why yes, I am Catholic.

      by ems97007 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:28:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the problem is that we are a fucking huge country (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      valion, babeuf

      i think the problem we have in this country is that we are such a huge fucking country.  we are from one ocean to another.  and across this country we are very very different from each other.  

      the progressives in one part of this country are very different from the progressives in another part of this country.  though both are progressives in the context of their part of the country.  

      if only progressives could all realize that about each other.

      then us Washington state progressives who have to fight tooth and nail just to keep our candidates in office wouldn't be yelling at the folks in Massachusetts about how crazy they are to be dismissive of the health reform bill because they are pissed that we didn't get a public option.  although, ironic enough, we in WA state actually HAVE a public option.

      and vice versa across this country

      we all live as progressives in what might as well be different fucking countries because that's how different we are.  and instead of calling each other purists or conservadems we should be trying to compromise with each other just to get somethings done!

      it's OK to compromise at a national level!!!  keep your purity in your state or your city where it belongs.  and we'll keep ours.  it's ok if we don't do everything the same way.  it really is!

      We live in hard time. Not end times. - Jon Stewart

      by bluefaction on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:31:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would not be too proud of WA tonight. (0+ / 0-)

        We basically gridlocked our state with our short sighted initiatives.  We are in deep shit from a governing standpoint.  

        "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

        by lakehillsliberal on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:30:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD!!!!!! n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I Think You Have It Right (3+ / 0-)

      nonwithstanding the efforts by some here to make fun of you.

      We liberals have utterly failed to convince others of the merits of our principles, while the opposite side have relentlessly sold their ideology, flawed as it is, till it is ingrained as truth. It is no surprise that the other side always shows up to the polls while ours doesn't. They are utterly organized and believe in their ideas.

      Hell, have we even convinced ourselves internally? It dawned upon me how badly out of touch we are here when I listened to Piolin's interview with Obama. The Latinos are first and foremost interested in comprehensive immigration reform. I doubt they consider DADT a priority, which, for many, is the make or break issue for Obama. Have we convinced the Latinos that gay people should be allowed to serve in the military? Why should they come and vote for politicians who support DADT? And on the other hand, how many of us even list comprehensive immigration reform as a top priority?

      And how many of us who propose to primary Obama if he failed to get DADT repealed have paid any thought to the African-American reaction? Would such a primary challenger, if successful, be able to win with the most loyal base of the Democratic Party embittered at the inevitable perception of racism within their own party?

      Where is the coordination that unites the party? Who can turn out the gays for immigration reform rallies and who can command the Latinos to protest for DADT? Where is the decision center that is relentlessly practical but which drives our issues forward one at a time, which commands the loyalty of all groups, each of which has the expectation that even if it is not rewarded today it will be rewarded in time?

      The Republicans are organized enough that the anti-abortion activists will turn out to vote for lower taxes and vice versa, even if their issue is not at the moment the top priority. Where is our organization, and where is our trust? And who exports these ideas to the general public?

  •  Time for a 3rd party to rise: Go Social Democrat (7+ / 0-)

    Someone has to finally make the move.  We can't just go on wishing things will get better or one day we'll have the majority as in 100% cause 51 means nothing in the senate and house.  

    I'm tired of the lazy process this government has taken to in the end get nothing done while taking home a big paycheck from the taxpayers.

    •  we used to hope (4+ / 0-)

      that the Dems would have a SD wing.

      Have we given up on that?

      "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

      by Miep on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:13:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, right. Get a 3rd with a winner-take-all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg

      system. You seem to really know your stuff...As if people before us didn't try to start a 3rd party...probably they were a bunch idiot...

      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 Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:27:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So stick with your screwed up two party (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, lakehillsliberal

        system because you believe it can't be done.  Glued feet goes no where and accomplishs nothing because of fear to take the first steps.  This country is so far behind its own ass it's only funny to the rest of the world, but you can't see it from inside the box.  The blame lies on the people who think voting for the same two parties who have given them nothing but crumbs is fine and dandy.  When I stood on the train platform in SINGAPORE back in 1995 I was SHOCKED to know my country's train system was a total embarrassment!!!!!  There is no excuse for the delapidation of our infrastructure... and the blame falls on the voter who either votes against their best interests or keeps hoping for more crumbs with their lousy 2 party system.

        •  Do you understand what a winner-take-all system (0+ / 0-)

          mean? Have you read Duverger by any chance.

          You want to start a viable 3rd party that wins, change the electoral system. When you change the electoral system, you can change the party system.

          And don't give me this sanctimonious righteousness...got enough of that

          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 Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:40:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I worked my ass off to get Nader elected in 2000 (0+ / 0-)

          I figured it out after that.

          If you want to get rid of the two party system the place to start is working to change our election system, something that will be opposed by both republicans and democrats.

          ---
          Mr. Rogers taught us to be better than this.

          by VelvetElvis on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:28:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  read my comment above before you do that (0+ / 0-)

      We live in hard time. Not end times. - Jon Stewart

      by bluefaction on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:31:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's less about creating third parties, and more (7+ / 0-)

      about the demographics you're dealing with in individual elections.  You can create parties until you're blue in the face, but you can't change public opinion by fiat.  That's much harder, longer, more dedicated work, and it's pretty much what the diarist is getting at here.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:32:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We have a serious education problem in this (0+ / 0-)

        country.  As long as our electorate does not understand the basics of how their government works and how business works or their basic history, we will never make much progress.  You cannot undo 40 years of stupid.

        "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

        by lakehillsliberal on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:32:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You change public opinion with messaging (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink

        and volume.

        In the case of today, that means bypassing the corporate media, full stop.

        Competing with Corporate Dollars and giving those corporate dollars to the corporate media to fund more corporate propaganda, or "Public Opinion", is not a good way to proceed.

        The Demographics are there, for sure, but the only message that is pushed is corporate sponsored and thus lays the blame at government's, and by extension, the People's feet.

        Unfortunately, I don't think there's a whole lot of time.

        The only thing we have going for us is that the current corporate system - Grow or Die - is eating itself alive, and nobody believes.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:35:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We need a Labor Party (0+ / 0-)

      Like in the UK.

      The time is always right to do what is right. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Tricky on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:33:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  gotta have election reform first (0+ / 0-)

      our election system makes third parties impossible

      ---
      Mr. Rogers taught us to be better than this.

      by VelvetElvis on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:26:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  what we need to work on (8+ / 0-)

    is clarifying what "socialism" means.

    What it has been, what it is, what it can be. What countries are socialist, which ones practice bad imitations of socialism.

    And in fact, people do write about such here...people like the Anti-cap crew who post on Sundays.

    We need more of that. And we need to pay more attention to what we already have.

    I am very tired of hearing about how capitalism is the only economic system that works, because all the other ones are worse. That is a terrible, false, destructive meme. It represents the inability of far too many Americans to see outside of their own country.

    "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

    by Miep on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:12:57 PM PDT

    •  yes. (6+ / 0-)

      And it needs to be continually pointed out that capitalism is innately contrary to democracy. The two simply cannot ultimately exist in the same place at the same time; left to battle it out unchecked, capitalism will crush democracy every time.

    •  Drop the word it is toxic. It has a huge negative (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle

      frame attached to it. You will spend all you life trying to re-frame it and you won't be able.

      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 Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:28:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep, k9disc

        Invent a new word? So they can pwn that too?

        At some point, one must reclaim one's language. The more they teach us that stealing our language and corrupting it works, the more they will keep doing it.

        I can come up with other examples. "Feminist" got reframed badly; shall you tell me it's not in my interest to call myself a feminist?

        I could go on and on. That's what corporatists are good at; branding.

        I argue; fight them on their own turf. You argue; run and invent new language.

        Which takes more time?

        "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

        by Miep on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:52:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Use the policies...and let's stop with the (0+ / 0-)

          slogan. Go win in south with a socialist label attached to your forehead. To reframe it, you will need to spend all your life and you won't succeed.

          It heuristics...pure heuristics. The American people have had a century of frames against that word and they have been primed forever. Moreover, it is not part of our traditional political scene.

          When Coke tried a new product. They got destroyed. And it took them years before gaining back their market share.

          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 Nov 03, 2010 at 12:06:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, and GLBT people (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep, k9disc

            are supposed to settle for civil unions, because that would be exactly the same as "marriage."

            "Socialism" is not a slogan. It has a history, a history that is being carried on in other countries now, though we in American don't like to know about that, mostly. Why should we not associate ourselves with such history? What purpose does such obfuscation serve?

            I think your using capitalist memes to make your point is telling.

            "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

            by Miep on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:09:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Keyword there: other countries. They have a (0+ / 0-)

              tradition with socialism and socialist party. Those socialist parties have been around forever...in France since the 3rd republic to cite only that example.

              Yes, i am goddamn bleeding heart capitalist...where are you kids? I am going to suck their blood Booohooooo

              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 Nov 03, 2010 at 12:15:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  and "environmentalism" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep, k9disc

            That has a lot of bad press, too. Should we have to change that word as well?

            Every time you let someone force you into rebranding yourself, they win.

            I really think you are missing my point here, but I'll leave it at that.

            "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

            by Miep on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:11:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Socialism was tied to Communism. Once the (0+ / 0-)

            generation that still remembers the old Soviet system passes away, it will stop being a problem.  It is waiting game for people born before 1980 to pass into history.

            "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

            by lakehillsliberal on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:37:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm a by the book Marxist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      babeuf, Miep

      I'm just more concerned with beating the republicans than creating any kind of post-revolutionary utopia right now.

      It's a matter of priorities.  If I've got to live in a corporatist state, I want it to be one that isn't a theocracy.

      ---
      Mr. Rogers taught us to be better than this.

      by VelvetElvis on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:31:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  By the book? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mint julep

        Then why would you use the word "utopia". That was always largely a capitalist canard.  Not "utopia" or "worker's paradise", just better.

        •  I'm big into utopian studies academically (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miep

          or at least I used to be.  I've had many a discussion of if Marx is a Utopianist or not.  I simply used that phrasing to save words.

          If you want to get into technical details I don't think Marx is a utopianist in the sense of Thomas Moore and a lot of the anarchists but that's an entirely different discussion.

          ---
          Mr. Rogers taught us to be better than this.

          by VelvetElvis on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:46:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, I know (0+ / 0-)

        kind of a "one foot in front of the other" thing.

        Still, timing is everything, and planning matters. Framing matters. Lots of things matter. Sometimes it's best to be open, sometimes it's better to be more subtle.

        But it's always time to be paying attention.

        "Unlike every other nation in the world, the United States defines itself as a hypothesis and continues itself as an argument." - Lewis Lapham

        by Miep on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:14:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You think progressives don't work? (9+ / 0-)

    We do. We busted our butts in 2008, and in 2010.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:15:37 PM PDT

    •  I saw you smiling about Democratic losses earlier (3+ / 0-)

      Some ally you are.

      Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are.

      by Musket Man on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:16:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yella dawg, mdmslle

      Cuz it's been pretty hard to tell for quite a few months.

      I don't know where you found the time to work so hard for the Party and at the same time post all those lovely screeds bashing the shit out of the Party and the President.

      The so-called Progressive blogs have been a Dem bash-fest for months.  But I guess that could be referred to as a form of work.

      My comment might be harsh, but don't act to shocked to hear stuff like this, cuz it's an impression some of the loudest Progressives seemed to work hard to cultivate.  Oops, I guess I just admitted you did work hard.  

      Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

      by Miss Blue on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:20:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You clearly have not read my (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wabird, m00finsan, scarysota63

        diaries.

        I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

        by slinkerwink on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:21:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Musket Man

          You know damn well I've read every fucking one of them.

          And up until the last couple of weeks, at the most, they've been bash-fests.  And let's not forget the mountain of diaries for a year, bashing the shit out of the entire Party and particularly the President.  

          A year.  A year of bashing and 2 weeks of GOTV.  And even those diaries contained their fair share of insults toward the Party.

          So please don't give me this garbage.  

          Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

          by Miss Blue on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:24:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Opinions you don't agree with are (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wabird, scarysota63

            bash-fests according to you.

            I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

            by slinkerwink on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:26:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mdmslle

              Okay, guess we're done as I"m not going to play this game.

              I had so much respect for you at one time.  So much.  And I don't think I ever agreed with what you wanted for the HCR, not because I didn't want it too, but I never felt it was an achievable goal.  

              Where you lost me was with the tactics you resorted to, the name-calling of certain Dems, good Dems, who weren't going the way you wanted.  And then the name-calling of the Party as a whole.  And that isn't disagreement, that is bashing.

              But you know all this, as I said it at the time.  Many times.  Frankly, I practically begged you to take a more positive approach rather than taking the road you ended up on.  

              It may mean nothing to you, and that's okay, but you lost many supporters, not just me, because of it.

              Your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore. John Prine -8.00,-5.79

              by Miss Blue on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:38:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  The Democratic Party (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink

        is not progressive.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

        by denise b on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:29:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of course you work on elections. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kalmoth, sebastianguy99, yella dawg

      And a very sincere bravo! But there is an entirely different category of work that needs to be done so that left policies and candidates can be viable in this country which resists left policies and candidates. And that takes a level of organization from below. One that is patient, often painful, and mostly unsuccessful but necessary. It takes a lot of political work to make the disenfranchised feel themselves part of an active left. I have seen this work outside the US and I've seen it the union movement here. But really, the world I want to see, one of universal enfranchisement, universal healthcare, free and public education, the majority of Americans do not want. That is a problem that can only be solved through education and relentless organizing. I don't know how or if it can be done but it's that or more of the same. Until then I fight against barbarism comrade!

      •  What you just said is a lie. (5+ / 0-)

        The majority of Americans DO WANT universal health care, and free and public education. They've been consistently polled on this. Politicians aren't listening to them, and as a result, half of them didn't show up to vote.

        I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

        by slinkerwink on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:27:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Polling means nothing: (8+ / 0-)

          if people vote for candidates who don't support universal health care, it's the vote, not the poll, that matters.  And the majority has voted against it.

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:32:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The vote only matters (0+ / 0-)

            in that narrow context which you're looking. What you're missing is the reason why non-voters didn't show up at the polls.

            I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

            by slinkerwink on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:36:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not just this election, slink. (4+ / 0-)

              e.g. bloggers love to point to the 70% of the American public who support repealing DADT, yet they persist in voting for candidates who don't.  Why do you think that may be?

              This isn't nearly about disaffected liberals, and if you look at the actual results - not just the ones that confirm a narrative, but the Graysons and the Muprhys and the Feingolds and the Schauers, etc., etc.  - you'll see that this is so much more complex than you're letting on.  

              What the diarist is suggesting is that you're placing too much emphasis on these one-shot indicators, that we struggle to develop narratives on these short-term issues without looking at bigger pictures, including what we need to do to recover (and it's not just about "Democrats growing a spine", etc.)

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:42:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree that polls are not true (0+ / 0-)

                People are fond of answering them in one way, but they vote a different way.  They are dishonest because they know that intolerance, racism, sexism, and discrimination are wrong, but they end up supporting candidates that speak to their worst natures.

        •  Again, polls are one thing. (6+ / 0-)

          They don't account for the regular and contradictory voting behavior of the American public, which presumably wants universal health care and a world with no taxes. If given a choice between a no tax candidate and a universal health candidate I'm sure you know who would win. The point is it's not just the politicians. The US has always had a threadbare safety net because of two things-- Cold War and race resentment. Cold War is over, do you remember the tone of the health care debates? Of course you worked on that issue. Can you tell me universal healthcare did not become entangled with that old divide and conquer racial canard. Of course it did. And the racial resentment worked. Voila! We have the tea baggers in office. So I would argue that the majority of Americans ARE AMBIVALENT ABOUT  A BASIC RIGHT LIKE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE.

        •  the majority of registered voters do not (0+ / 0-)

          that's why voter registration needs to be our key priority.

          ---
          Mr. Rogers taught us to be better than this.

          by VelvetElvis on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:33:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Except when they go to the polls, they just (0+ / 0-)

          don't vote that way.  We can't have it both ways.  It does not matter what people say, it matters what they do.  

          "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

          by lakehillsliberal on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:39:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because we didn't have the majority of (0+ / 0-)

            nonvoters with us. They didn't show up because Democrats in charge failed them.

            I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

            by slinkerwink on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 07:12:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let's face it slink. You cannot have a (0+ / 0-)

              strong democracy when we have such a weak electorate.  We have a majority of people in this country that does not know how their government works and many of them don't vote.  The largest percentage of nonvoters by far are people that did not graduate high school and make less than $30,000 a year. In addition, half the people that do vote, do so on false information and propoganda.  We just do not have the type of electorate to support our sophisticated form of government.  We cannot beat ignorance, it wins every time.

              "When fascism comes to America, it'll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Sinclair Lewis

              by lakehillsliberal on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 08:30:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  With due respect, I disagree about "want" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99

        it is true that health care is controversial because it is fractured into  subgroups. "have" and "have nots", for instance Medicare recipients and premium plans at some companies that have a different outcome than those cut off or on "junk/high deductible plans.  What has changed is how doctors feel the profession is going and how they get paid.

           The landscape is changing and the time since the last major change in 1964/65  is creating a steady pull to solve the cost problem   which is magnified by the impact of the severe recession still going deeper. The misinformation  and media fog don't help.  In 1963, Canada adopted medicare for all.  The US Congress  one year later agreed to Medicare for over 65's. Doctors were opposed to it, but accepted since it took the expensive group to care for off the private insurers's books. This allowed the government to pay, nothing else really changed for most people.

        cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

        by Pete Rock on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:39:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Uhm, well, not that I am unpleased to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Miss Blue, KayCeSF

    hear your news, but really? I mean, really?

    Now is not the time to point fingers and form a circular firing squad.  Now is the time to put our differences aside, come together, and start to rebuild so we take back what we lost tonight.

    Target the right.  

  •  Most reality based diary of the night (14+ / 0-)

    Tipped and rec'd from a fellow small (d)emocratic Socialist who sees what this has been and why.

    I'm no longer around much for good reason. The ideology often espoused here makes little sense to me. And I've been accosted as a "fake socialist" to boot. Sigh.

    Nice to meet you and thanks for writing this fabulous diary.

    "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:17:16 PM PDT

  •  Whatever (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, m00finsan

    that is all.

    Repubs - the people in power are not secretly plotting against you. They don't need to. They already beat you in public. (Bill Maher)

    by Sychotic1 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:17:28 PM PDT

  •  Nope. (6+ / 0-)

    When the "health care reform" that gets passed can accurately be described as a giant federal subsidy for the same HMOs that have been screwing customers for years, that not a failure of the populace. That's an utter and complete failure of Congressional Democrats.

  •  call yourself whatever you want. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, k9disc, wabird

    i'm wondering what the "pragmatist" take on this is. did we democrats get slammed for not being pragmatic enough?

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:21:18 PM PDT

    •  Whatever the case, that will likely be (5+ / 0-)

      how some of the politicians react.  Remember that they can't read the minds of people who stayed home, they can only rely on what voters say: and today the voters have come out for fiscal austerity and tax cuts for the wealthy.

      I don't think it requires a 'pragmatist' to understand why that would be the case: the diarist has a good point that most people on the site don't know what realpolitik (one word, diarist!) is, and how it can be a constructive lens for viewing the interactions between voters, elected officials, and the resultant policy decisions.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:26:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They have not come out for that. (0+ / 0-)

        They came out for populism - anger, fear, taking down of the establishment.

        That was our mantle. 1980-2008's spectacular failure should have been leveraged towards taking down the establishment. The anger and fear that was so easily stoked happened because people felt as if the establishment never left.

        And they didn't, or at the very least, some nice, well meaning Democrats tried to played ball with them. Now they're there again.

        We are all too wrapped up in this stuff. We know the angles. Most people don't.

        People voted for Austerity and Tax Cuts for the wealthy because nobody articulates a bonafide alternative where increasing corporate taxes, tarriffs, trade barriers and the minumum wage, busting some trusts, and some universal healthcare would be good for America.

        Nope we were given a choice between government sucks, let us fix it and government sucks, let us prove it.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 01:58:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Short answer: Yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      Long answer: This is another small step in a long march toward eroding the middle class. In this phase of the march we will be shown how stupid and petty our ideas about social justice and stewardship for our planet have been for us. Those vocal radicals on the left are your enemy now along with those nutters on the right. FEAR THEM!

      Remain always vigilant. Trust no one. $ is your god.

  •  I agree with you that (8+ / 0-)

    there's a lot of work needed - the hard, organizing, educating, etc., work.  I also think that we too often demoralize ourselves (and others, whether we like to believe it or not) by ranting against our leaders not moving farther to the left than what our compatriots are willing to support.  If we want them to take those risks, and make politically risky moves on our agendas, we have to have their backs, and we have to be there to help move people to support it, even if it's only 80% of what we want.  If people started out only comfy with 20% of it, we've accomplished a huge thing, and we shouldn't be trashing it, but rather working to show how fantastic that 80% was, so we can get the 20% the next time.  And I think we're smart enough to be able to do that - to build support for the good, while working to move things so we can achieve the even better.

    But whether we can have a discussion that is productive about why this happened, or even where to go from here, just now when we're all so saddened and distressed by the outcome of today, I really question.  

    (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

    by American in Kathmandu on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:21:40 PM PDT

    •  It's a very emotional time (5+ / 0-)

      We probably can't have that discussion, some of us. For those who are dem socialist, maybe we're used to being on the fringe? I don't know. My heart is pretty broken and I'm freaked out by what just happened. I have the same feeling I had when Bush was President and I was embarressed about my citizenship. This isn't a game to me. I know that nothing will pass now, that it's just some big painful several years of essentially damage control from the GOP House.

      "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:25:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  some days are just sucky (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        and I'm not at all looking forward to all the questions from folks where I live about why this happened.  I hear you on the flashback to the 2004 election - heck, then i didn't go out of my house for days because I knew I'd burst into tears trying to talk about what happened with my Nepali friends.

        (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

        by American in Kathmandu on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:30:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to say that's humorous to me because (10+ / 0-)

    I've disassociated myself from progressives for the opposite reasons you seem to have.  The progressives I'm talkiing about are those that believe in the electoral system for incremental change.  That isn't going to work for the major issues of corporatism, the military industrial complex, or the banking cartel.  
    But I totally agree that the real work is changing the hearts and minds of the people.  The constant harping on republicans and teabaggers by so called progressives is counterproductive and plays into the hands of the elite.  
    The antiwar movement is a good example.  The left can't fight that fight alone.  There has to be a majority of citizens involved in opposing the wars.  But that can't be done if the progressives want to continue this as a we versus them thing.  

    The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism.

    by BigAlinWashSt on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:23:41 PM PDT

  •  progressives whine and moan, they dont govern (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edrie, sebastianguy99

    how can a total bunch of brain dead tea partiers win over progressives?

    beacuse they dont shoot each other or disagree, they stick with their agenda, period... most peeople left Obama a few days after election, getting arrogant and short sighted...

    enjoy working with the nuts bag tea party, people!

    u got what u deserve...

  •  I anxiously await your irrefutable evidence (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, BigAlinWashSt

    that progressives were the cause of tonight's result.

    Even refutable evidence... Some evidence?

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:26:05 PM PDT

    •  Progressives didn't cause tonight's results. (8+ / 0-)

      Not by a long shot. But they have no idea of what to do about tonight's results other than rant at the democrats for not being progressive enough.

      Angry rightist white men caused tonight's result. Plain and simple.

      •  So why isn't this diary about... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink, sebastianguy99, Alec82

        Angry rightist white men caused tonight's result?

        I don't think anyone has any idea how to react to tonight's result in that the results aren't even in yet... The Democrats certainly weren't enough something, it would appear.  I'm sure there will be many months of reflection on just what that "something" was...

        If those discussions center primarily on sectarian recrimination, get used to losing.

        www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

        by chuckvw on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:38:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Plus they also.. (4+ / 0-)

          ....suffered a significant percentage loss among female voters, and none of the issues and groups the lukewarm unprincipled Democrats have blamed their loss on before (basically gays) were to blame tonight!  

          Nope, the loss suffered was disproportionately conservative Democratic, the purge of Rahm's favorite sons and daughters (so much for a new alignment in Indiana, and Illinois! Oy...Kirk taking Obama's seat? What a blow), and not related at all to social issues, or only marginally so in a few places (IA's retention elections, although even there it might not have been outcome determinative).  

          I think they need to realize that what was done to cater to their whims did not appease voters at all, and it didn't save the party from defeat in the house races.  

          "All along the watchtower, princes kept the view..."

          by Alec82 on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:45:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I await your showing the diary said that. My (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      take on this election was a referendum on wimpiness.
      (I,e, B O's "bipartisanship" was seen as letting the bully take his lunch money.

      •  Lilly livered, I'd guess. (0+ / 0-)

        That's the Democrats problem. They say they are the friends of the Union as they distance themselves from them.

        They pretend to support "Healthcare for All" then mandate the subsidization of corporate disease care.

        They pretend to be Friends of Main Street then Bail out Wall St.

        Democrats just don't have the stomach to fight for their friends.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:04:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There's no such thing as progressives... (5+ / 0-)

    ...it's just a catch-all phrase for "left of the DLC."

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:29:17 PM PDT

  •  Republicans don't get to decide who I am. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vinnie Vegas, LadyBlahBlah

    You say a lot of very sensible things, and are thinking deeply on the future, but I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean.  I am a liberal/progressive because I stand for the three things listed in my signature line: Liberty, Equality, and Opportunity.  

    I am also not a leftist - I don't care more about the poor than the middle-class and responsible rich, and I don't prefer the public sector more than the private - I simply want people to have an open sky above them rather than someone else's bootheel, and a solid staircase beneath their feet allowing them to ascend according to their talent and desire.  When the "free" market becomes an impediment to that, it needs to change through political action.  This is pure pragmatism, not an ideological persuasion.

    My personal, grim assessment is that the right has indeed (as other Kossacks have noted) become "epistemically closed" - a psychological black hole into which more people may fall, but none escape on balance.  Ultimately, this means they are going to take the German route - they are going to impose a state of fascism in all but name, and they are going to try murdering us.  This is not a matter of fear, but simply of recognizing that there is nothing in the right-wing "American" phenomenon to stop them from continuing to their logical conclusion.

    I don't see much chance of avoiding it, but we can induce them to act prematurely and destroy themselves.  No amount of cultivating hearts and minds can penetrate an epistemically-closed system like that - they're going to expand until they explode, and better sooner than later.  At that point we have to have preserved a coherent understanding of American values and political realities - we can not have responded by retreating into our own bubble.    

    Liberty, Equality, Opportunity.

    by Troubadour on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:32:38 PM PDT

  •  Damn good diary. I have thought for a (0+ / 0-)

    long time that the only hope for real change was a 3rd party. (Well I actually thought Obama was a hope but that that didn't work out so well.) That's see if there is any interest on dKos.

  •  Tipped, recc'd, bookmarked for community edu. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg
  •  What we don't need are liberals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    The Malcolm Gladwell-reading, Charter School-cheering, TARP-believing liberals are what kill the left.

    Alexander Cockburn writes about the British Labor Party leader Ed Milliband who used to intern for The Nation:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/...

    I asked the future leader what I asked all interns as a matter of form, "Eddie, is your hate pure?"

    The man who first asked me that question was the late Jim Goode, editor of Penthouse.  Like Playboy, Penthouse would pay good money for long articles about the corruption of America, thus giving the pointyheads an excuse to thumb through the pinups. Goode, tall and cadaverous,  was gay, clad in black leather as he crouched on the floor of his office, gazing morosely at hundreds of  photos of bare-breasted women. As I entered with some screed about corporate and political evil,  he snarl, "Alex, is your hate pure?" "Yes, Jim, my hate is pure."

    It was a good way of assaying interns. The feisty ones would respond excitedly, "Yes, my hate is pure."  I put the question to Eddie Miliband. He gaped at me in shock like Gussie Fink-Nottle watching one of his newts vanish down the plug hole in his bath. "I...I... don’t hate anyone, Alex," he stammered. It’s all you need to know. English capitalism will be safe in his hands,

    So is your hate pure?

  •  Great to be progressive; BUT: have to reach out (0+ / 0-)

    My sense is that Americans voted the way they did more because of good Republican communications and because the economy is still soft in a lot of the country than because they feel much educated opposition to Democratic policies.

    Feingold and Grayson lost, but Dennis Kucinich is returning to Congress. Voters do have some respect for progressive beacons of integrity.

    But I think that, because the Republicans did such a good job of being a unified party of no, and because Democrats on the left were arrogantly opposed to reaching out to people like Susan Collins, let alone John Boehner, we ended up passing giant bills with little Republican support and little or no support from big, giant, potentially light blue groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    If the NRA is campaigning against us tooth and nail, that's life.

    If the U.S. Chamber is truly outraged and is campaigning against us tooth and nail, that's a big problem. Some people here may hate the Chamber, but, sorry it can be pretty middle of the road. Aside from the fact that it controls a lot of campaign contributions, it represents many voters.

    I think Obama et al. used the strategy they used because they simply had to move quickly, in the face of unified Republican support, to try to save civilization as we know it from collapse. But the problem is that, because almost no Republicans voted for our bills, the Republicans were really free to trash the bills. We couldn't answer back, "Well, look: 20% of your folks also voted for the bills," because they hadn't.

    I think the goal should be that, even if the Democrats regain a strong Senate majority in 2012, whenever the Democrats are trying to get any normal (non-earth-shattering-crisis-related) bill through Congress, we win over at least 20% of the Republicans in the Senate.

    I know that's a difficult goal, given how obstructionist the Republicans now are, but especially when it comes to questions about how to do things rather than basic principles, such as a woman's right to choose or a GLBT person's right to marry, we have to respect the fact that a lot of Americans are red or pink. Jamming bills people fear and don't understand down the throats of senators representing, say, 41% to 49% of the electorate is not very progressive.

    I think another problem is that the Republicans work well with the traditional media and Democrats simply don't. Democrats pretend traditional news organizations don't matter, insult the reporters, don't call the reporters back, have only a vague idea of how to do anything other than send a letter to the editor, etc. Republicans, in contrast, buy nice, sophisticated former Democratic media people to run their media operations.

    And I think we ought to be identifying and reaching out to any honest, sincere Blue Dog Democrats who exist, rather than villifying them, and trying to learn from their knowledge of swing voters. I don't think it's good for our country, let alone progressives, for progressives to compromise on core principles. Even if, for argument's sake, were actually dead wrong on some point, our country still needs for us to be making the progressive case on the major issues. If we don't make the best possible case for a progressive position that happens to be wrong, how can the people supporting the opposite point of view tell whether they're right? The only way to test and perfect policies is through vigorous debate.

    But I do think we can learn from people like (gasp!!!) Bill Clinton about how to respect people who disagree with us, how to talk to them and how to find and expand any common ground that might exist.

    •  This is all wrong (0+ / 0-)

      This is what was tried and it failed. The Chamber of Commerce doesn't represent anybody but the very rich who aren't going to vote Democratic.

      You want more votes look at the scores of Black, Latino and poor white voters who don't make it to the polls.  Create a simple check list: increase the minimum wage, huge jobs program, single-payer healthcare, rip up NAFTA.  They'll come...in droves. Build the ballpark.

    •  you missed the mark here... (0+ / 0-)

      My sense is that Americans voted the way they did more because of good Republican communications and because the economy is still soft in a lot of the country than because they feel much educated opposition to Democratic policies.

      the reason the message did not get out is simple.  the media refused to report anything positive this administration did and they also refused to report the complete obstruction by the republican party.

      we have seen the effects of de-regulated mergers, influx of corporate and foreign money into the election and deliberate distortion, opinion and outright lies being passed off as news.

      we are in a whole lot deeper sh*t than most realize. when the media is gone, so goes the democracy.  the american "pravda" isn't controlled by the government - it is controlled by the multinationals.

      MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

      by edrie on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:20:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Represents misunderstanding of the media (0+ / 0-)

        The reporters and editors are mostly swing votery to liberal Democrats.

        The media looks unfair to folks here partly because few people here seem to look beyond the front page; we as a group have absurd expectations and no understanding of the media cycle; our lawmakers made a dumb decision to take an idiotic, no substance approach to promoting the health reform bill (their guys would make concrete points about parts of the bill that were painful; instead of explaining why the pain was a necessary  evil, or changing the painful part of the bill, our folks would dredge up another sad but irrelevant anecdote about someone with high medical bills); and our media people are terrible.

        They tend to have a weird generic Daily Kos disdain for the media, and they don't generally call reporters back well or provide the fake leaks, real leaks, well-timed statements, etc. that reporters need to churn out fast articles n deadline. They expect reporters to digest wooden, fluffy releases like good sheep. And maybe the reporters are sheeplike, but the Democratic media people are unskilled shepherds.

        •  you have this completely wrong. (0+ / 0-)

          i worked with cbsradio network news during the days of cronkite, kuralt, edwards, etc.  i was a temp in the newsroom working for the vp, head of special events, etc.

          cbs, in the 80s and before, had a standards and practices manual that mandated that NO person insert personal opinion or color news in any way!  when cronkite was forced out (read his bio for the tantalizing tidbits of that event), i was still working there periodically.  to make rather successful, cbs hired van gordon sauter to come in has first, head of radio network news, then he was promoted to tv.  one of his first actions (he is an open conservative, btw, now living in california) was to drive out or fire all of the old school news editors and writers.  the reporters he brought on board were the ditzy dingbats who shoved microphones into the face of victims and asking "how do you FEEEEEEL!).

          sauter and cbs also closed all of the overseas news bureaus (allegedly for cost, but the reality was to put all major stories through rather than the overseas reporters) and moved the broadcast news division into the "entertainment" deivision.

          THAT is when cbs began to "color" the news.

          the second major occurance was also around the same time.  abc local with roger grimsby, bill beutel and tex antoine started out sane enough at 6:30 but for the 11pm edition, the anchors were sarcastic, added commentary on stories, and generally were intellectually funny.  why? because they were heading over to chips pub between shows and getting plastered!  this continued until antoine's infamous "joke" after a story of a young woman who was raped where he made the "confusious say..." remark.  before the broadcast was over, he was fired.  

          my opinion, btw, is that the producer and director should have been fired, also, since they KNEW the men were doing the shows drunk but did nothing to stop it because of the ratings!  how do i know this?  i lived several blocks from chips pub and frequented their restaurant (for the fried zuccini) and personally saw these "anchors" at the end of the bar between the news.  also, a friend was dating "grimmo" at the time.  so - this is not anecdotal).

          the "happy news" (as their show was labeled) became the goal of the rival stations and the anchors tried to emulate the trio but just came off sounding stupid (because, duh, they weren't DRUNK!).

          that was the beginning of the news losing focus.

          add to that, reagan's getting rid of the fairness doctrine, then personal commentary began to run rampant without fear of losing airtime to the opposite perspective.

          from the link above...

          By 1985, the FCC issued its Fairness Report, asserting that the doctrine was no longer having its intended effect, might actually have a "chilling effect" and might be in violation of the First Amendment. In a 1987 case, Meredith Corp. v. FCC, the courts declared that the doctrine was not mandated by Congress and the FCC did not have to continue to enforce it. The FCC dissolved the doctrine in August of that year.

          However, before the Commission's action, in the spring of 1987, both houses of Congress voted to put the fairness doctrine into law--a statutory fairness doctrine which the FCC would have to enforce, like it or not. But President Reagan, in keeping with his deregulatory efforts and his long-standing favor of keeping government out of the affairs of business, vetoed the legislation. There were insufficient votes to override the veto. Congressional efforts to make the doctrine into law surfaced again during the Bush administration. As before, the legislation was vetoed, this time by Bush.

          so, my friend, before you speak of the bias in the media, do some research and find out why it now exists - looking to the number of right wing talk shows that are un-countered, look to fox news, look to the conservative bent of cable news (unregulated by the fcc).

          some of us are old enough to remember when the american media garnered respect.  no longer.  it is a joke where every newsreader considers him/herself to be an "expert" because they "read" the teleprompter words written by others.

          we are in a sorry state in this nation when it comes to free access to unbiased information.

          MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

          by edrie on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:05:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How Does One Reach The Red State Rubes? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mdmslle, babeuf

    And don't be too quick about your assumptions. In NV, Angle won the vote among college educated voters. It was the union-backed ground game which bailed out Reid (kind of like I thought would happen) That's a pretty frightening thought.

    The so-called Rubes are working/lower middle class whites, are very much the compliant hired help which will never talk back to you, and all they care about is keeping their neighborhoods white, especially now since Springer isn't on TV anymore.

    They're still steamed about the passage of the Civil Rights Act and that was 45 years ago, and the Fox Newses of the world will remind them there's a bogeyman hiding at every corner.

    Howard Dean and even better, John Edwards told them that they keep voting GOP and they have nothing to show for it, but they don't seem to listen. I don't think they're going to listen now, especially since a scary Negro black man is in office.

    Much of this bullshit started with the ascension of Rush Limbaugh and talk radio in the '90s; as Bill Clinton built one of the greatest economies in our nation's history, there was Rush telling the middle class white man, as he drove to his new tract home in his new SUV to his wife and 2.6 children, how bad he had it, and that everything was Clinton's fault. You repeat that message often enough, and have the backing behind you, sure enough, people will start believing you.

    The last ten years have seen the mass mind control experiment which is Fox News. They get crazier and crazier, but people keep believing it. Even my 80yo father knows it's a bunch of bullshit, but for some reason, the TV is turned on to them almost 24/7. Pretty scary. Any network which employs Karl Rove and Bill Kristol does business with Satan, this much is for sure.

    Personally, I think Obama has done a good job. Here's the bottom line: he took over for the worst President ever, a man who thought he was the reincarnation of Augusto Pinochet.

    Maybe it's time to whip this out, and this is the real problem:

    Here's something from the comments section of that posting:

    All the negative comments posted by poor white trash who actually think they're members of America's ruling class (which secretly despises them as much as it despises blacks, gays, latinos, women, and all other 'minorities') which screws them over in their never-ending quest to make money, pay no taxes, polute the earth, and send them to die in foreign sands for corporate oil profits.

    If you put this message out often enough, maybe the rubes will buy into it. If they can fit it into their busy schedule of being afraid of people who are non-white and non-Christian, that is.

  •  I'm ignoring politics, working on community from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, sebastianguy99

    the ground up.

    Literally: Community gardens.

    That concept has 2 parts: Community -- and -- gardens.

    Planet needs both enhanced, our quotient of Community, and our quota of gardens...

    If we're to make it through the coming climate crises.

    So, to me at this point, the politics is pretty much smoke and mirrors, bread and circuses -- a distraction from the work that needs to be done. Meant to divide us, and conquer us, while the uber-wealthy continue to try to consolidate more wealth and power into their hands.

    I know, it sounds so... SIMPLISTIC.

    And... it IS! It's really that simple. Neither party is helping the average person significantly. So why bother to mess with them.

    Better to get out and create REAL change.

    When you look, community gardens, of all stripes and flavors, are springing up now, along with the "Transition Movement" -- it's AMAZING. And INSPIRING.

    Come join us, won't you? Watch this video for inspiration to get started: If Detroit citizens can overcome the wasteland around them, which of us has any excuse for not doing as well as they are?

    http://tinyurl.com/...

    This health care system is a moral atrocity. Dr. Ralphdog

    by AllisonInSeattle on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 11:59:52 PM PDT

  •  there's a truth here; (0+ / 0-)

    i'm not in on the hyperbolic labeling and all that, yet, but i will say this:

    voters vote, and decide, not the leadership in d.c. i mean, we -- democratic voters -- lost the election, not the other way around. we can say there was another preliminary cause. but we are the cause (votes) that directly gives this effect (house lost). self-reflection necessary here and elsewhere. dkos and huffingtonpost, to name names, built their summer/spring readerships on bashing some democratic accomplishment or stalled promise every.single.day. there was no gotv here lately that even remotely matched 06 and 08. people bailed.

  •  Please, no, don't (0+ / 0-)

    Gardening a great hobby but community gardens aren't going to change anything.

  •  Interesting... (0+ / 0-)

    and somewhat similar to my experiences on both sides of the Atlantic. Thank you.

  •  I'm a socialist and a liberal (0+ / 0-)

    progressive always sounded kinda dorky

    ---
    Mr. Rogers taught us to be better than this.

    by VelvetElvis on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 12:23:19 AM PDT

  •  I agree with half this post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, sebastianguy99

    I'll leave the circular firing squad to others.

    But there is still the fundamental problem:  Democrats are toxic to a good percentage of the electorate who have good reasons to be on our side.

    In some cases, the chasm probably cannot be bridged.  Someone who is a died-in-the-wool theocrat first and foremost probably won't be interested in the Democratic agenda, no matter how better it might be for his livelihood.  And Obama's race remains a liability in many parts of the country--those rural PA voters who tolled pollsters in 2008 that they were "voting for the n****r" certainly weren't voting for Democrats tonight.  In many parts of the country, districts that ordinarily are good bets for the Democrats went GOP because of hostility to Obama--hostility which appears mostly due to who the President is, not because of his policies.  

    But there are many poor rural voters who can be reached by Democrats, without abandoning core party principles on other issues.  

    And there are lots of progressives (here and elsewhere) who hold rural America in contempt.  Of course, this contempt is a two-way street; but that's small consolation after tonight.

    Anyway, it's time for a cheap football metaphor.  We just scored a field goal, but the other side returned the kickoff well past midfield.  Time to play some hard-nosed defense.

  •  Thanks for this, babeuf. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "It's hell to pay when the fiddler stops." ~Leonard Cohen

    by Annalize5 on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 02:11:29 AM PDT

  •  If we called ourselves the apple pie people.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    Republicans would do whatever it takes to demonize apple pie. We've already let them ruin the word liberal. Now you want to give up on the word progressive? Where will it end?

  •  thank you for eloquently defining what (0+ / 0-)

    a progressive movement looks like.

    it is hard work and it seems that it is too great a task for those who only want to sit back and complain.

    i can guarantee that caesar chavez did more than sit back and complain.  he organized, he campaigned, he WORKED for change - he fought the hard way to achieve it.  just like martin luther king worked hard - along with those who shared his values.

    the problem today with the blogosphere is that many of those who complain the loudest think that sitting behind a keyboard is "working" for change.

    well, it's not.

    i'm going back to the term "liberal".  we worked then and we'll work now to move forward in this nation - but for me, it won't be just sitting behind a keyboard talking AT someone about what i like or don't like.

    frankly, that is meaningless without the tools to express why and how to change the situation in real terms.  

    this site has gone from one of being a great reference to use when framing cogent arguments for or against a cause (diaries filled with links, researched positions and the data to back those positions in a debate) to one filled with whiny complaining petulant name-calling if you dare to differ or ask for above said references or policies that would change things.

    perhaps we really have gotten too big to be functional.  or...

    a unique idea here...

    stop feeding the egos and personal opinions and get back to hard cold facts that can be used in a political debate.

    no more.

    stop the editorializing and get down to working hard to achieve the goals that matter.  otherwise - get the "f" out of the way of the rest of us!  we've got work to do and if there are too many obstacles here to get that work done, well, then we'll have to find another venue!

    MOVE'EM UP! ROLL'EM OUT... MOVE'EM UP RAWHIDE!!! meeeoooow! mrraaarrr!! meeeOOOOOW!

    by edrie on Wed Nov 03, 2010 at 03:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Americans resist political organizing. n/t (0+ / 0-)

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