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     There has been a field day for Monday-morning quarterbacks telling us why we took the shellacking the President said we took last Tuesday.   So, if everyone is putting in their two-cents, I guess I can, too.

     I think this beating is a two-sided coin.   One side is that this is the result of thirty plus years of attacks on the Democratic brand.   From the Nixon days and the invention of the "Democrat Party" slur, to the lies, distortions and calumny the Beck/Armey/Rove/Norquist/Limbaugh/FOXNEWS propaganda machine spews out daily, it is no wonder that the mother of a Democratic candidate wonders if she should vote for him.   Never in the history of this country has so many media recourses - so consistently and so intensely - been aimed at destroying the integrity of a political party, its President and its candidates.  This is one side of the problem.  
     The other is a lot harder to take.  I think that the dominance of the Democratic Party, in every aspect of public policy since the 1930s, has engendered in all of us a smug sense of entitlement, which says we have a right to be the alpha party in the country.   Since the Great Depression, the Republican Party has been relegated to the status of an opposition party, never the one that was the bearer of a vision of a better America.   Democrats became the only party of vision and that is still true – the selling of  this idea to the general public being drowned out by the Republican noise machine and  assisted by our own timidity.
     Having noted that, what is the way to regain our historic role?   Instead of being the negotiator-in-chief, Obama and the Democratic Party must, once again, be the party of the American vision.    If we simply are the party of taking the course of least resistance...of letting the GOP set the minimal standards for the nation... we deserve to be in second place.   We need to make it clear to the American people that, in every way, we will not settle for mediocrity.  We will stand for nothing but excellence!   No more allowing ourselves to be badgered into accepting America on the cheap to gain some vapid bipartisan agreement from Republicans. We much become again the party that, unapolitically, champions the cause of working men and women: the party of a living wage, affordable health care, quality education and housing, a rising lower and middle class and environmental policies that insure we leave an "America, the beautiful" to future generations.

Originally posted to Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:01 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Tom, PeggyD

    ...toward a better tomorrow.

    by Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:01:36 AM PST

    •  Steve, my friend... (0+ / 0-)

      We agree with you, whole-heartedly; and you are preaching to the choir. Perhaps, you should be talking to our negotiator-in-chief, as you refer to him. Can you get through to him, and would he listen? You know, right now he's running very scared.  

  •  Didja clear this with the GOP overlords? (3+ / 0-)

    We will stand for nothing but excellence!

  •  WTF? (9+ / 0-)

    has engendered in all of us a smug sense of entitlement, which says we have a right to be the alpha party in the country.   Since the Great Depression, the Republican Party has been relegated to the status of an opposition party

    Is that a joke?  

    The Democrats are the party of 'smug entitlement?'  I'm not sure if you're a troll or just completely fucking clueless.  

    I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

    by Sun dog on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:05:33 AM PST

    •  That was my reaction, too (4+ / 0-)

      And I don't get this line at all:

      Since the Great Depression, the Republican Party has been relegated to the status of an opposition party, ...

      I guess that's true if you don't count the first six years of the Bush Presidency.

      But there was this:

      If we simply are the party of taking the course of least resistance...of letting the GOP set the minimal standards for the nation... we deserve to be in second place.

      I certainly think that far too much of our electoral strategy has been based on being the un-Republicans.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:10:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well good to know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Something the Dog Said

        that I didn't miss anything when I decided not to read this diary.  After the eleventy-billionth "Why we lost" diary I would think someone would simply front page "It's the economy, stupid" and let it go at that.

        "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

        by louisev on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:13:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You must remember, my database goes back to 1933 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Demi Moaned

        when I discovered America.  If you have been reading your presidential history closely Teddy Roosevelt was the last Republican president to have a vision of an America that was not just anti what the other guys were doing or a captive of the 2%.  Nixon came closest with his outreach to China (something Democrats were not willing to touch lest it reinforce the old "soft of communism" charge that came out of the 1950 and McCarthyism) and his clean air legislation.  
          Reagan was an old New Dealer who had rejected his union roots and set about to repeal the New Deal.  Bush, Sr. just made like a toad and all George could do was start two wars and be anti-New Deal...to the extent his brain could get around ANY purposeful activity.  So, unless America is the new Sparta or Third Reich, starting wars is not a "vision of America" most people would subscribe to.
          That's the database I am operating from.  :-)

        ...toward a better tomorrow.

        by Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:12:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Sure They Are (0+ / 0-)

      the party of smug entitlement. They feel smugly entitled to our votes even as they give away our money for war and to the wealthy, attempt to gut Social Security, mandate insurance, and support a president that assassinates U.S. citizens and is making NAFTA trade deals all over Asia.
      Now, the Democratic Party of thirty years ago didn't feel smugly entitled, but the democratic party of today certainly does.

      •  Who is they? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen k

        I'm a Democrat.  Are you referring to me?  Or some specific Democrats in some specific time.  They're smug?  And this is something new?  Wasn't their friction during the Civil Rights era because black voters didn't want to vote for Democrats who just felt 'entitled' to their vote?  Isn't this present, on some levels, in every era?

        The party isn't freaking perfect, that's for sure.  But neither is it some big monolithic thing.  There are some really shitty politicians who call themselves Democrats and some really good ones.  And there are a lot who make all kinds of calculated sacrifices and trades on various issues to try to get something done.  It's a big damned mess.  But it's my party because it's the one with a platform that comes so much closer to what I want than the other one and a lot of Democrats actually DO try to get something done.  

        And in the meantime, it makes no sense to tear down the Democratic brand by sliming the entire party with things that bug us on various issues.  Because then you hand it to the REAL party of smug entitlement.  The people who represent the rich, the genuinely smug, the people who claim that it's their country and not ours because 'entitlement' is the one word that applies to them more than almost anything else.  

        I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

        by Sun dog on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:55:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I probably was a Democrat before you (0+ / 0-)

          were born and you did not read my diary with your understanding valve open. :-) You criticize me for things I did not say or even imply.  In Texas we call giving someone a "get with the program" talk, "light'n a shuck."  I mean to light a shuck under us all, lest we spend time uselessly licking our wounds and not reloading for 2012.
           I have no interest in bashing anyone.  And the last sentence could have come out of most State of the Union addresses by a Democrat.  

          ...toward a better tomorrow.

          by Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:26:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well congratulations (0+ / 0-)

            on your 78th and all but, yeah, pulling rank over and over based on your age and dismissing other's perspective doesn't really draw people in much, does it?  

            From my (apparently useless mere 30 years in politics) perspective, the GOP is almost perfectly described as smug and entitled.  It's actually who they are and how they appeal to their base.  It's about entitlement of class and race.  So when someone starts describing Democrats as 'smug and entitled' as a party, I feel like their analysis is getting a bit weird.    

            Before you go dismissing anyone as just not having their 'understanding valve' open, maybe consider that your piece was a bit rambling and open to many interpretations.  I know my reaction to your piece was harsh but we hang out here and try to clarify our positions, at least.  Being arrogant, insulting and dismissive towards us youngins really isn't going to take this anywhere.  

            If your intention is really to 'light a shuck' under us all and help Democrats win in 2012, great, I'm with you.   But do you think you're accomplishing a lick of that here?  

            I'd take this one back to the shed for some re-tooling.  

            I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

            by Sun dog on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:47:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for the congratulations... (0+ / 0-)

              on your 78th and all but, yeah, pulling rank over and over based on your age and dismissing other's perspective doesn't really draw people in much, does it?

              and I am sorry if you felt I was pulling rank. There is no way to know reading "Sun dog" how old a "dog" you are, but I think you will agree with me that you are less likely to meet someone who is 78 on this blog than people much younger.

              From my (apparently useless mere 30 years in politics) perspective, the GOP is almost perfectly described as smug and entitled.

              You cannot help when you were born and I am not demeaning your youth. I hope you live to be my age and have to deal with people whose first political awareness was the Obama administration instead of the Reagan administration.  All I am saying is that our perception of the train ride is slanted by when we got on the train.

              It's actually who they are and how they appeal to their base.  It's about entitlement of class and race.  So when someone starts describing Democrats as 'smug and entitled' as a party, I feel like their analysis is getting a bit weird.

               Politics is like a ping pong game.  If you walk into the room for the first time when the game is being played there is no way to know who served...whether we are at the ping or the pong stage.  When we first became politically aware is the ping for us but, for the cohorts born earlier it is a pong for them.  What I was trying to say in my diary is that Republicans have been on in a pong phase and that all the bravado, you see perceive as "smug entitlement" is, from my longer historical perspective, an effort to bluff their way into legitimacy in their own mind!  The bully is always the noisy coward.

              Before you go dismissing anyone as just not having their 'understanding valve' open, maybe consider that your piece was a bit rambling and open to many interpretations.

              This is not my first rodeo.  I spent 25 years in the clegy preaching an average of 45 sermons a year, none ever the same.  And there was not a one that could not be misinterpreted if someone set out to do so.  No language is that precise, least of all that associated with politics or religion.  
                 But I am comfortable that people who read my feeble attempts at lucidity will actively seek to find the kernel of intelligence in among the insanity...and if they do not want to expend the energy to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear IT CANNOT BE HELPED.  If people want to find a fight, a place to feel insulted, or luxuriate in their own wisdom, that is beyond my capacity to do anything about.

              I know my reaction to your piece was harsh but we hang out here and try to clarify our positions, at least.  Being arrogant, insulting and dismissive towards us youngins really isn't going to take this anywhere.

               Now that you have repeated this accusation a second time, I am beginning to get the idea that this is not YOUR first rodeo of being disrespected.  

              If your intention is really to 'light a shuck' under us all and help Democrats win in 2012, great, I'm with you.   But do you think you're accomplishing a lick of that here?

              And now this is number three!!!  

              I'd take this one back to the shed for some re-tooling.

               No. That is not going to happen.  If I rewrote every letter to the editor, diary or blog entry that someone found a flaw in, I would still be working on the first one.  I have long since learned that you throw stuff on the wall, some sticks and some does not and there is nothing that will change that.
                 And I have learned that when you find some horse poo you can take it as an insult or go looking for the pony.  :-)

              ...toward a better tomorrow.

              by Steve Love on Wed Nov 10, 2010 at 02:23:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  the consumer version of politics (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sun dog

          "democrats" are vendors of some "product" which we may or may not like and if we don't like it, we need to call the complaints department and bitch until they offer us something better.

          that appears to be the theory.

          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

            I think the blended paradigms of political responsibility and consumerism is at the root of just about all Democratic infighting.  Nader barely would have made a footnote in Al Gore's election if that wasn't the case.  

            I told you the "I told you so" pie fight wasn't going to get us anywhere.

            by Sun dog on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:49:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are right. Vietnam took a lot of the (0+ / 0-)

        Now, the Democratic Party of thirty years ago didn't feel smugly entitled, but the democratic party of today certainly does.

        wind out of Democratic sails and it may be that for a time we became the anti party as conservatism seemed to be more vigorous.

        ...toward a better tomorrow.

        by Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:17:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I've had my ear to the ground for (0+ / 0-)

      about 60 plus years (just turned 78 on the fourth of this month) so this is not exactly my first rodeo...but I anticipated some blow back since few of us like to told our faults...including me.  :-)

      ...toward a better tomorrow.

      by Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:56:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because we typed our titles in all caps? (9+ / 0-)

    Getting Democrats together and keeping them that way is like herding cats that are high on meth, through L.A., during an earthquake, in the rain -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:07:19 AM PST

  •  We got beat because (7+ / 0-)

    Democrats had the Executive Office and a majority in both houses which seemed to make no difference as

    millions lost their jobs
    millions lost their homes
    millions may live in poverty for the rest of their lives

    And little to nothing was done to stop the savage dismantling of tens of billions of Americans lives, and it still continues.

    Any thinking American sees little difference between the two parties, other than the looney tune nut cases on Fox News that make the Republicans look a bit crazier.

    The Dems in Congress were the silent majority with few exceptions.

    Where was the protection of the Dem controlled congress since 2006 to stop the housing disaster and save people's homes?

    Maybe I missed something, but this is how it feels.

    10.2.10 March On Washington ROCKED http://www.onenationworkingtogether.org/pages/march-details

    by War on Error on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:08:51 AM PST

  •  We got beat because way too many people... (4+ / 0-)

    ... in this country have the intellectual capacity of the "let me see your thingie" guy in this cartoon.  

    And they vote.

    I live in a state that's jam-fucking-packed with 'em.  Dumb as a block of Spam and ready to be told what to do by FOX News and Rush Limbaugh.

    "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

    by Front Toward Enemy on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:09:04 AM PST

  •  And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords" (5+ / 0-)

    "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while." Westley: The Princess Bride

    by BFSkinner on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:12:06 AM PST

  •  It's easy: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nightprowlkitty, blueoasis, BFSkinner
    1. The economy sucks
    1. Healthcare reform is unpopular

    Everything else is smoke and mirrors.

    Now passing 1,000 Choi Units into the Obama administration.

    by Scott Wooledge on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:20:33 AM PST

  •  We lost because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, FG, Clarknt67, BFSkinner

    of 9% unemployment and anemic economic growth. Nothing more nor less than that. There are models that demonstrate this with tremendous precision. People got mad that life was tough and they expressed their anger and frustration by voting for the out party because that's really all that they can do. That would explain why republicans did well even though exit polls show that they are no more popular than Democrats.

    If unemployment doesn't go down and we have the same or worse growth in 2012, we will have a republican President. It's really that simple. So, if Obama wants a second term, he needs to swing for the fences now. We are now heading for a new round of this deflationary recession, and this time it will be States cutting benefits, assistance, development projects and employees. If Republicans succeed in cutting back anywhere near as much as they say they will, then deflation is all but assured. Ironically then, the President has got to be encouraging the Fed (practically his only powerful friend these days) to kick out an extra $600 billion as part of a QE3.  

  •  There is only one reason why we lost: (0+ / 0-)

    Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature...Einstein

    by tazz on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 11:47:20 AM PST

  •  Party of Vision! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis

    Absolutely so correct. The Democrats have always been the Party of big ideas, great vision, and chasing the American dream of entitlements for everyone!

    Now... if they could only govern. Just a tiny bit. If they could just get er done... then they wouldn't have their ass handed to them EVERY TIME they are actually given power.  

    •  If governing is passing needed legislation (0+ / 0-)

      Now... if they could only govern. Just a tiny bit.

      - and I think it is -  Obama hit it out of the ball park!  The problem, it seems to me, is that he failed to round the bases and get the crowd into the moment.  He did the right things for the most part - certainly better that the best that the Repubs suggested - but he let them write the news! If that is what you mean by governing, I totally agree.  
         Obama signed the bill and Limbaugh and Beck wrote the press release!  Should anyone be surprised if Obama is not the hero in the story?
         I guess you could mark that up a "failure to follow through" and now we are in a golf metaphor.  ;-)  

      ...toward a better tomorrow.

      by Steve Love on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 01:45:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We got beat because too few voted (1+ / 0-)

    Which is pretty common in a mid term election.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:05:09 PM PST

  •  We didn't get enough votes /nt (0+ / 0-)

    I'm starting to feel America again.

    by Shesk on Tue Nov 09, 2010 at 12:06:10 PM PST

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