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The Republicans have won and are winning.  We lament the pay freeze for Federal Workers, the Republican's winning of the house, etc, etc.  But that folks, doesn't mean they will win or have to win.

I hate the ****ing cynicism and pessimism in this place, not because I don't understand it, but because I understand both the reasons why it's justifiable, but also the reasons why the Republicans moved to inflict it, and succeed in inflicting it on us.

This is what Mitch McConnell's destroy Obama plan is all about: destroying his political base.  McConnell's already got, and always had the people riled up to vote against us.  His obstruction is to get YOU to cooperate in his plan.  YOU are being forced to betray your own ideals in the name of fulfilling them.

The basic paradigm that I understand we're working off of, is we support Obama and the Democrats, and in return for that, we get the policies we want.  No policies?  We withdraw support.

All things being equal, a nice, accountable framework.  Problem is, the Republicans are fucking it right up.  Instead of letting the majority legislate, they have been blocking up the Senate, eating away at our majority so they could stop everything cold, or at least force offensive compromises.

Not everybody knows about this, and what they have often heard from us is morale killing BS about how awful the Democrats are doing.

So, the Republicans get away with the corrosive policy they have that allows them to continue the "shock doctrine/too-big-to-fail/whatever else you want to call it" policies that they set in place before our majority started.

By taking out our frustrations on Obama and our own, we've only helped reinforce the perception of weakness that policy mavens have already tagged to a frustrated adminstration and Democratic majority.

It will not get better if we get angrier with them.  If we promise more walk outs, that only raises the concentration of their influence.  Every time you make the decision to cut the support loose, every time you drop support for the general party, you don't succeed in destroying the third way/DLC/Blue Dog's influence, you only succeed in increasing it.

We are not diluting the strength of other people's political power with our own, we're merely leaving these people unopposed.  They can win easily, because blocking us is a ridiculously easy way to win;  Just having government not change is a victory for them, a victory we leave to them if we do not act.

The public is not making a direct enough connection between the GOP and the policies that got us in this crap.  Until we successfully push our notion of that responsibility, they will continue to back those same ideas, if for no better reason than this is the way they have been conditioned to think for the last few decades, the default ideology of America.

So long as all people see is, "deficits bad, Democrats wasteful, government spending doesn't work, etc." as long as we ourselves fail at the messaging war, there's no messaging war to win for our politicians.  What good is getting our politicians to support our policies if we can't get the rest of America to support them in turn?

I love that we are a reality based community.  That's a good thing.  But we can take that idea a little to seriously, or at least interpret it a little too narrowly.  We can talk about reality now, but that's not all we should be interested in, or striving for.  I know a bunch of people make snide references to 11th dimensional chess, but regular chess itself is pretty complex.

You can't just think one move ahead and win, because your opponent has all their own options.  You have to paralyze and defeat those options before you can defeat your opponent.  The Republicans need to be the ones trapped, and they've shown a knack for backing themselves into some pretty tight corners.  Only problem is, we're backing ourselves into some corners too, politically, by insisting every move be a checkmate or a failure.

It's useful making the distinction between check and checkmate.  The check is when the king's threatened by another piece. That can be resolved by the king being moved, the threatening piece being captured, or another piece being put in the path, if that's applicable.  It's only when there's no way out, when there's no way to destroy or block the threat, or move clear of it, that you've actually won.

We're thinking of a shitload of moves to put those darn Republicans in check, but we're not thinking of how to manuever them so they have no way out, taking away moves.  We're just wasting time, wasting our own morale, wasting the opportunity to take the fight to the Republicans. Losing battles, losing pieces in pointless policy demonstrations is not the way to win.

As of late, we've lacked a certain consciousness to our political ideology.  We've become kneejerk.  We know certain things are right, certain things have to be done, and we've become apt to push for certain policies without adequately explaining to anybody else why we should have things our way.  Our opponents can then come in and take our stereotypical policy advocacy, and make their standard cases.  Democrats spend too much, Democrats grow government, so on and so forth.  The defenses of people conditioned for decades by the Republicans go up, and we don't get a fair hearing.  Can we win at all?  Well, yes, but it's not going to be all in one move.  We have to first defeat the pieces of their argument set up to capture ours when we make them.

People like you and me have to be part of this.  We have to be aware of what we're doing, and of what our opponents are trying to do.

We have to be aware that part of what the Republicans are doing with their obstruction is making it seem like their policies and our policies don't differ much.  By attacking our people for them mainly, rather than just treating treacherous members of our party as accomplices of the real bad guys, we help put our piece right in the spot where they can capture it.  We have to make it clear who is really the party that's stalling things.  If blame falls on us, it works to their benefit.

We have to be aware that the frustrations their obstruction is causing amongst us is part of the plan.  If we are more patient, more deliberate, perhaps even a bit more cold-blooded about it it, and we don't let ourselves get angry at ourselves, we can undermine that part of their plan.  And if other people get frustrated?  Well, for God's sake, tell them the truth!  Work up a catalog of blocked measures, and who voted to block them.  Explain who is getting in the way.  If they ask why we haven't changed the rules, use that to our advantage, too.  Get them writing letters and bashing folks for not changing the Senate rules.  Get some popular outrage out there on the subject, rather than lamenting the ignorance of the public, or worse, insulting them over it.

We're only seeing the playing field in terms of ourselves, in terms of what we want.  That's unimportant, compared to what the nation as a whole wants, and changing the dynamic of that in our favor.  We need to stop acting like advocacy on this blog alone can change things, or informing people on this blog alone of important matters is enough.

We also need to stop with this doom and gloom stuff.  Nothing serves the Republican agenda better than the notion that NOTHING can be changed to help alter the way things are.  If the "corpocracy" inevitably wins, why bother fighting?  If the Republicans get what they want no matter what, why bother fighting?  If there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans, why bother fighting?

Notice the question that keeps on coming up?  Yeah: "Why bother fighting?"  See how that works?  There's no easier opponent than one that has decided to stop fighting.  That is what I hate about so much of the pessimism and cynicism out there.  It doesn't do us any positive good.  It only helps increase the sense of futility that has already served for a generation to demoralize Democrats.  When we decide we're not going to move with a purpose to change things, then those who want the status quo win.  It doesn't matter why.  We don't have to agree with them or conceded their argument.  We only have to decide we're not going to try getting in the way.

They don't even have to crush us entirely.  Just crush our hopes enough that we don't show up to push our agenda.  Get us to abandon our candidates, so theirs win by default.  Step by step, they make us undermine our own political strength, step by step, the damage becomes worse and harder to undo because it's not them we're fighting, it's ourselves.  You can keep a person in bondage a lot longer, and a lot more permanently, if they are fighting themselves and among themselves, rather than fighting you.  If they give up.

And really, that's the only way they win.

See, they don't have the advantage of a sympathetic argument.  The obviousness of the financial disaster is greater every day.  The status quo, the conservatives most powerful ally when it's good, is intolerable to most people. The best they can do is scapegoat the other side, but even then, they can't escape blame with most.

They don't have the advantage of Demographics.  Geographically, they've backed themselves into a corner.  Their advantage is that they are very good at dividing, and we are very good at being divided.  Their advantage is, theirs is not the point of view most people have to really think about.  Theirs is the default.

We cannot fight as a passive resistance and hope to win.  Theirs is the party that can best employ passive resistance, because theirs is the political movement for which change is most toxic, and for which their is little penalty for gridlock from the base.

But they are also very much the most brittle of all the political movements in America.  They are an old movement, far behind the times, and their beliefs are no longer the fresh ideas of a counter culture, but the ailing beliefs of a very, very dysfunctional status quo.  People are prepared for something else.  Otherwise, they wouldn't bother with us, the way we are.  We were blessed with an advantage before our party was fully able to take advantage of it.

If we unite, if we come together, if we decide, make the deliberate, committed decision to push our case out there, to force a new political movement in this country, I feel we can break the back of the conservative movement in America, use their rigidity against them, force them to make themselves unpopular, just as they've manuevered us into renewing the pessimism and cynicism that has crippled our party for so long.

We can change and adapt easier than they can.  That's the simple fact of the matter.  We can be more tolerant than they can be.  We can accept a degree of compromise they can't.

Look at the tea partiers.  Are they the most patient or the most rational examples of their party?  Before you say, we didn't succeed in scaring people off of them, go look how many high profile Tea Partiers bit the dust.  They have a rabid base, but that doesn't win everywhere.

We do have a challenging task.  We have to make normality, sensibleness, calm, and sanity attractive in an age of panic and pain.

But I believe that we have a selling point here, and a lesson to learn ourselves.  I wrote an essay a while back for Watchblog entitled "What's in the Box".  The gist in the article, which relates to the novel and movie Dune, is that part of what makes us human is our ability to absorb punishment and pain, but still keep our heads.

Any fool or animal can shrink away from pain, shrink away from heartache and disappointment.  It takes a human being in full possession of their faculties to actually think things through when the times are tough, and act rationally.

It is no mistake that the hardest hit areas in this economy were also the ones where radicalism and conservatism had the greatest attraction.  Those were the people most vulnerable to the scare tactics, in the places where the demographics were friendliest to the GOP, and the cynicism about the Democrats was greatest.  It's not unfair to them to point out that their choices probably just made things worse.  That's simply the truth.  But how do you tell them that?

First you must be confident.  You can't let the thought that somebody might think you're lying deter you.  It hasn't deterred the competition, and they didn't have half the truth to tell people that you have.

Second, you must have an elegant, gut level way to sum it up.  You're playing for a major capture her, so make it good and persuasive.

Third, and finally, You must be willing to sell an imperfect party to folks, rather than wait for that perfect party to come.  I know many of you think that it's just too painful to sell that party when it doesn't deliver, doesn't come through for you, but if you're not able to do that, you will never break through the threshold of power, because the Republicans will always make it so difficult to get good stuff done that disappointments and bitter compromises are inevitable.  If that's your standard for taking your ball and going home, then your political efforts will reach their premature end right then and there, and things will slide back to the Republicans.

We should not stop fighting the Republicans because what we thought was going to be a thrown fight has turned into a grueling wrestling match.  We need to make the decision that we're going to win this battle, and start looking for the substantive means to do it.

Originally posted to First Amendment Remedies on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:44 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip: This is a battle between our flexibility... (34+ / 0-)

    ...and their rigidity.  If we can absorb the punishment they give us in terms of disappointments and heartbreaks on policies, and still remain united enough to win elections, we'll be closer to seeing the kind of policies we want in much closer form to what we want.

    The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

    by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:44:13 PM PST

  •  We have all been told (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Savage, TJ, TracieLynn, agent, cedar park

    America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.
    Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:49:27 PM PST

  •  You have a problem, respectfully (12+ / 0-)

    You have to expalin how to lose 63 seats in the House solidifies your position for the next elextions, because you say that "we only support the President when we get the policies we want..." (paraphrasing), which is a load of you-know-what since most of the policies "we want" are not in play, never been and likely never will.

    •  We must give up, roll over (12+ / 0-)

      and just accept what our masters will give us.

      This is what responsible adults do.

      Standing your ground is for bullies.

      America legalized torture before they legalized marijuana.
      Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:51:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I didn't say it solidified us. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bleeding heart, ParkRanger

      I just don't see how all the venting and the disillusionment helped us.  Did we actually think Obama's election magically changed the way politics worked?

      I got very used to the fact that nothing was going to be easy, and I made the decision that it was Republicans that were going to get the rough edge of my tongue for obstructionism, not Democrats.  Why?  Because if even a few Republicans were to have peeled off in the Senate, the few Democrats wouldn't have mattered.  Only with iron party discipline did the Republicans keep this going.  They actively sought to fuck us, and to ignore the party that actively sought to fuck us to get angry with the one that wasn't up to unfucking the situation is crazy in my mind.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:04:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Politics Didn't Change, Obama Sold Us Out (0+ / 0-)

        By doing things like:

        1. Enabling Max Baucus to ARREST single-payer advocates instead of giving them a seat at the table.
        1. Making a backroom deal (like he promised NOT to do) to sellout the public option while still peddling the CRAP that he still wanted it.

        There are lots more examples, but this is not a diary.

        ~Ruff

        •  Gotta be ruff... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ParkRanger

          what high concentration bullshit.

          It's the forty Republicans who held with iron discipline who made that possible. Without them, with just a few defections, we could have done much the same thing we did with the Stimulus.  Do you think they went after Specter for their health?

          They went after him to teach defectors a lesson.  If they hadn't held with iron will, if the Maine Republicans hadn't been scared shitless, their strategy would have failed.

          Blame the fucking people who made 60 votes a political requirement, who made it to where we couldn't tell Baucus, Conrad, and Lieberman to go fuck themselves.

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:39:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Umm, Blanche Lincoln WAS A Democratic Senator (0+ / 0-)

            And soon, she won't be.

            Don't blame ONLY Repugs because we have traitors in our own midst.

            ~Ruff

            •  I'm not exactly in morning for Ms. Lincoln. (0+ / 0-)

              But I will blame the Republicans first and foremost because they're having to do something pretty fucking deliberate in order to pull this off.  This isn't simply the Republicans lucking into the worlds most unruly Democratic Senate Majority, where you have ten or twenty Democrats joining in filibusters.  This is forty or more Republicans all deciding together that they will force us to scrap together every vote we got, or else see our legislation fail. (or lately, every vote we got, PLUS some of those Republicans that have been filibustering solidly against us.

              Do you know how much more we would have been fucking capable of, had we been able to regularly break these Goddamn filibusters and holds, if Mitch McConnell had been told to get fucked by his fellow Republicans?

              It should have been the Republican Senators having to push their way through Demonstrators, given the travesty they were in engaged in.  It should have been on the news.  We should have treated it like the Goddamn crisis of Democracy it was, and make a big spectacle out of it.

              Instead, we sit at home and stew about Democrats.

              The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

              by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 04:52:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Simple (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      We lost 64 seats because the youth vote returned to standard mid-term levels and independents swung from an 8 pt Dem advantage in 2008 to a 20 point deficit in 2010.

      I don't think it's what anyone wants to hear - either the pragmatists or the purists - but the Dems didn't get thumped because they didn't take care of the base... they got thumped because relying on young voters in a mid-term election has always, always, always been a fool's errand and you need to win -- or at least battle to a tie -- with the squishy middle.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:25:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Dems(?) Did NOT Take Care Of Their Base (0+ / 0-)

        And what they did accomplish on student loans was never put out to the kids who did show up in 2008.

        You are royally full of crap.

        ~Ruff

        •  Not full of crap the way... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TLS66

          ...a commoner might be?

          Man, can't we just sell one goddamn accomplishment?

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:35:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ummm... no. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TLS66, Larsstephens

          I'm not saying one way or another that the Dems did or didn't "take care of their base" -- I think it's irrelevant because whether they did or did not, that's not why they lost.

          The youth vote returned to its standard share of the electorate -- forget Presidential years, hell, take 2006.... 18-29 yo voters made up just a fraction under 13% of the electorate in 2006, when the Dems romped.   They made up about 12% in 2010 -- the drop was less than a percent... maybe they save another half dozen seats if they get that extra point, but I doubt it any more than that.

          The big swing was indies - Dems were +18 among indies in 2006, +8 in 2008 (a good number for a Presidential year) and -20 in 2010.

          It may piss you off, but them's the numbers... you're free to want what you want, and in fact, we probably want many of the same policies... but that's a means to a policy end -- it's NOT a means to an electoral victory end.

          I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

          by zonk on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:41:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  did McConnell just put a pay freeze on? (8+ / 0-)

    Just a question. That would've been brilliant of him.

    People are aghast at the policies. I don't care about President Obama personally. I care what he does as far as his presidency. Period.

    371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

    by cedar park on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:51:13 PM PST

    •  No. But he helped make the budget deficit... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      ...the big fucking issue, and we didn't seize the initiative to make the economy the issue.  We expected Obama to do everything for us.  We're not out there protesting when Republicans endanger unemployment benefits.  We're not out there loudly questioning the way things are.  We sit at home and type on computers.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:59:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  um, you don't know what others are doing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn

        so stop it. Jeeze

        371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

        by cedar park on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:02:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't see big demonstrations on the news. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't see rallies and protests at the offices of the congresscritters responsible.

          I don't even hear about it that much here, in the center of the left blogosphere.  I'd love to know about it, if it's happening, but otherwise, I feel a distinct lack of such behavior.

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:13:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  here is a clue: demonstrations don't do (0+ / 0-)

            anything except sometimes get attention by the idiot media. Also, protests and rallies do what now? Oh right, they ended the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Forgot.

            371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

            by cedar park on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:19:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  YESSSS! Get that idiot media's attention! (0+ / 0-)

              That's the bloody point!

              Also, protests and rallies do what now? Oh right, they ended the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Forgot.

              How can you seriously sit here and berate Obama for giving in, when you've already given up on stirring public outrage?

              The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

              by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:34:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have not given up anything (0+ / 0-)

                except protests. They don't work in politics. There many other ways of doing work. sigh

                371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

                by cedar park on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:44:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why don't they work? (0+ / 0-)

                  What do you think all that Town Hall BS was about?

                  The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

                  by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 04:53:52 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  town halls are not protests (0+ / 0-)

                    and that was made up nonsense the media kept running and running to the point that we know that most people want healhcare to stay the same or for congress to do more and want unemployment extended. None of that shit did anything. But, they were not protests. They were town halls, and I would maybe go to one or two.

                    371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

                    by cedar park on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 06:29:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  You get your news (0+ / 0-)

            from teevee? No wonder you  don't know what people are doing right now to survive as winter comes roaring...

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 03:10:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Mr. Daugherty, (3+ / 0-)

        We have a representative democracy.  As such, it is our elected officials to deliver, not our responsibility to stage protests.  I'm not saying that that's a bad thing to do, but we are perfectly within our rights and within our nation's tradition in engaging in vigorous debate about how well or poorly our elected officials are serving our country and its people.  We should expect Obama and every other politician with whom we ally and to whom we lend our support "to do everything for us" as they are elected to take decisions and to govern this country.

        The problem that we presently face is that there seems to be some sort of disconnect between what the electorate thought they could expect to see pursued by the Democratic government and what they chose to focus on.  That's an over simplification, but the basic gist of the situation.  My holiday weekend was spent with various people who held a range of political beliefs all of whom were when it comes right down to it, confused by this White House and outgoing Congress.  Even the most conservative at the tables and in the living rooms where we gathered were puzzled and perplexed and all of these people were quite smart, sophisticated and fairly informed people - many were over 60 years of age and were able to draw upon decades of political history in their discussions of the disconnect that I cited above.  In short, they were not confused because they were stupid or ignorant - they were confused because what we are seeing is confusing.

        In any case, your suggestion that we protest Republican obstruction and destruction might actually have merit if the leader of the Democratic Party who currently resides in the White House would back up the message through corresponding action out of his Administration.  Otherwise, the protests will make the protestors look like nothing but a bunch of disconnected fools.

        •  Responsibility? Try our constitutional right. (0+ / 0-)

          Why else have a bill of rights, much less an ACLU to fight for it?  Why else get angry over a free speech zone, or that BS?

          I don't see giving up as an option.  We might have a difficult job here, but I see it as necessary, something I consider mandatory for my own purposes.

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:28:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unfortunately For You (0+ / 0-)

            You don't give orders around here.

            Take you mandatory and pound sand with it.  

            ~Ruff

          •  Who is giving up? (0+ / 0-)

            I am not.  You don't seem to be.  It is a matter of tactics and expectations - expectations that I think are actually reasonable.  You see because if Obama doesn't want to lead or doesn't want to pursue a mandate, you and I could actually run against him - not that that is how I will approach this problem tactically, but that is the healthy and productive inherent threat of a democracy like ours to those who hold power - that they will have their power taken away and given to someone else.  It isn't just a matter of protesting this that or the other - it is a matter of pursuing the levers of power with the right people who can use them effectively and positively.

            People who come here and vent their frustrations with the president and the democratic party leadership right now, are actually trying very hard to get a message through that is in effect that they'd like to see these people prevail and do well.  Yelling at them for expressing frustration and disappointment does nothing - telling them to protest does basically nothing - telling the elected officials that have failed their constituencies to get their shit together is the first best option.  If they choose to ignore the disaffected, they should be prepared to lose their power - no matter how crazy and out there the Republicans are they are operating on a level that will draw not only a primary challenge {which will destroy Democratic hopes in 2012 full stop}; and they are coming precariously close to destroying what was in January 2009 the most hopeful, optimistic, positively engaged and embracing electorate that any politicians have seen in the past 35-45 years.

            The bottom line is that you really need to focus on the President and the Democratic Leadership and get them in line with something with which you can fight the Republicans.

            •  Don't depend on the folks upstairs. (0+ / 0-)

              They are old guard, many of them, not real big believers in the kind of Democratic Party we want.  They're the folks who made their career in the time when being an outright liberal was foolish.

              Don't count on them.  Don't be surprised, shocked or disillusioned if they don't deliver.  They are questionable goods to begin with, to be replaced at our earliest convenience.

              Instead of looking fearfully at what is bound to be a compromised policy front, start doing the political groundwork to get people to be more liberal and more progressive of their own accord.  Don't wait for Washington to lead the way, not with that old guard.

              Don't rest our hopes on what those folks are going to do, instead focus your energies on turning the country dead set against the Republicans.

              The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

              by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 04:59:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I expected Pres. Obama to do SOMETHING (0+ / 0-)
        for us. Other than adopt a stupid Rethuglican idea with no promise of somthing in return.
  •  So... (11+ / 0-)

    Challenging Obama to be better = following in McConnell's plan to destroy Obama.  Gottit, thanks.

    We needed Han Solo and we got Moff Jerijerrod.

    by RichM on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:52:31 PM PST

  •  Mitch McConnell Froze Workers Wages? (6+ / 0-)

    People like you and me have to be part of this.  We have to be aware of what we're doing, and of what our opponents are trying to do.

    Our opponents are trying to win.  When one of our teammates (in this case, our team captain) picks up the ball and runs toward the wrong end zone, we should try to stop him, not block for him.

    "Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted." A. Phillip Randolph

    by Savage on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 01:52:37 PM PST

  •  The way i see it right now (5+ / 0-)

    If Obama loses in 2012, progressives will be vindicated and most will say "i told you so".

    If he wins re- election despite the treatment he got from many progressive activists,they will become politically irrelevant.

    Just MHO.

  •  Naderites think they see an opening.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TLS66, FreeStateDem

    This is how they see it, they can try and bring Obama down and try to peel off democratic votes for their green party bullshit. That's all it is. Just continue to expose their insane ramblings and idiotic policy positions and they'll go back to their corner of tin-foiled hat madness.

  •  How about having a back bone? Try writing a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, 3goldens

    Diary about that. Because as things stand right now there's only one party in this country. The democratic party is not a party anymore until all the current slate of leadership are gotten rid off starting with the one in the White-house.

    •  Oh boo-hoo. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheGreatLeapForward

      We don't have a party anymore...

      Wait, who told you this?  How do you find out things like this?

      I've got a fucking backbone.  I don't lean on my party leadership for support.  I am a Democrat, and I have a party regardless of what some fucker in Washington does.  I don't fucking give up, or say all is lost.  I fight for what I believe is mine.

      Do you?

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:17:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are not fighting for anything (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, 3goldens

        you are telling people to give up.

        Just because they give you a seat at the table doesn't mean that they want to feed you.

        by stevej on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:19:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me quote myself so everybody knows how... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bornadem, Panurge

          ...full of shit that talk is:

          We should not stop fighting the Republicans because what we thought was going to be a thrown fight has turned into a grueling wrestling match.  We need to make the decision that we're going to win this battle, and start looking for the substantive means to do it.

          Concluding paragraph, moron.  I want people to fight whether or not the people in Washington get the idea first.

          If we had left things to themselves in 2006, we would have been clobbered.  We stepped up and started fighting ourselves.  Only when we're willing to do so on a regular basis, when they can't get rid of us as a political force will we have the presence to be indispensable.

          The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

          by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:24:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  We all hate some things. For instance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens
    I hate the bullshit assertion that anyone who is extremely disappointed in the way democrats in the congress and white house have behaved over the last 2 years is somehow expecting "perfection"

    When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what He doesn't know. -- Mark Twain

    by voroki on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:17:24 PM PST

    •  I'm not doing backflips. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bornadem

      I am very disappointed.  But what disappoints me even more is the way we've just taking all this BS that we did for the entire Bush administration all over again.  After all the pride we developed in 2006 and 2008, we're back to being the morons who buy that defeatist crap.

      Is it possible for a party to fail on both ends?  I think so.

      But it's also possible to pick ourselves up and start kicking ass once again.  I did so after 2004, I can do so after a much less fucking bad defeat.

      I want to goad people to start having some pride once again, not depend on some fucker in Washington to make the decision to take this party in the right direction.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:20:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gawd (4+ / 0-)

    I am getting fed up with the support crap because if you don't we'll have worse crap. We need to aim higher.

    Also I have very little time for people who call people they disagree with cynics and pessimists.

    You are the one saying that we'd better take what we are given and like it otherwise things will be much worse.

    I am an optimist, that is why I keep fighting unlike you who just wants to whine and cave.

    Just because they give you a seat at the table doesn't mean that they want to feed you.

    by stevej on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 02:18:26 PM PST

  •  I don't see why everybody is so upset (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheGreatLeapForward

    Just because SCOTUS stopped the Florida recount 5-4 giving us a President who decided to fulfill the Prophecy of the Book of Revelation by spending $1,108,928,092,691.54 to invade Iraq thereby crushing us under a load of debt while turning loose a swarm of fat white Wall Street Termites to chew up America's moral and social and physical and financial infrastructure into a sugary paste to feed to their fat white Queen Mammon and her fat white corporate grubs causing the country to collapse in a pile of termite droppings and put millions so out of work and so into bankruptcy and foreclosure that they elected someone who seemed progressive but who turned out to be a complete washout and fuckup and who let the termites keep chewing away because he has a spine made of egg albumen is really no reason to get so upset.  After all we could be in a worse place such as, I don't know, Rwanda.

    •  Like Wanda Sykes said... (0+ / 0-)

      ...the guy went to Harvard, not Hogwarts.  He's got a spine of steel.  But spines of steel don't help you avoid compromise if you're not so politically nihilistic as to be willing to let everything go to shit to get your bargaining position.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:09:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pessimism is a losing psychology (0+ / 0-)

    and does nothing but promote despair and division. And this site and the front page posts promote it. Things are a lot better than they were after the 2004 election.

  •  If policies don't matter, why does the "invisible (0+ / 0-)

    hand" of the "free market" support so many well paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C.? If you don't think policy matters, try trading places with a prisoner in the "rendition" program of organized kidnapping.

  •  First, listen to yourself. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    I liked the diary, although I fall into the group being railed about.  But have you ever seen two people arguing with each other but who are basically saying the same thing but just don’t see it?  Today, at this site, is one of those days for me.

    Stephen, you say many good things in your diary, but let me use just this one:

    Notice the question that keeps on coming up?  Yeah: "Why bother fighting?"  See how that works?  There's no easier opponent than one that has decided to stop fighting.  That is what I hate about so much of the pessimism and cynicism out there.  It doesn't do us any positive good.  It only helps increase the sense of futility that has already served for a generation to demoralize Democrats.

    Now, I agree with that completely.  "There is no easier opponent than one who has decided to stop fighting."  Well said.  But can you not understand how many people who voted for Obama perceive him as "not fighting"?  You can describe Obama’s style as, well, pragmatic given political realities.  Being pragmatic is not the same as fighting, and there are a whole lot of people in much worse pain then they were in two years ago who really, really need to feel as there is somebody, somewhere who will fight for them.

    It won’t be Obama.

    So, you say, people adopt an attitude of "Why bother fighting".  Ask yourself:  who should a progressive or democrat expect would be leading the fight?  My opinion, which informs which of the camps I fall into, is that Barak Obama should, in a manner befitting his office, lead the fight.  As should every democratic leader.  And each of us.  

    But Obama does not do "fighting" and does not allow those working for him to do it.  He is being pragmatic, or thinks he is anyway.  So, as you say, "there’s no easier opponent."  We agree on that.  And what falls from this is a sense of futility among Democrats.  Democrats who saw Bush II lose the popular vote and take office with a mandate.  Democrats who have spent years seeing blue dog’s do the bidding of republicans with no party consequence.  Spent years seeing democrats refuse to filibuster or use the same tactics now used be republicans every single day aided by those same blue dogs.  Who saw the democrats take control of the house and still could not stand up to the will of the republicans.  And, finally, who worked their asses off and turned out in record numbers to give the White House, House and Senate to democrats...well, you know the rest.

    You say pessimism and cynicism "only helps increase the sense of futility".  I agree.  But I submit that this an expected result based on the performance of our democratic leaders, and, notably, Obama.

    What I wrestle with, and part of what brings me to this site, are people who are reality based, who can acknowledge our shortcomings in leadership, and who offer opinions or advise on policies and actions based on the realities that exist.  If I had it in me to pretend that the failings of my party’s leaders, to keep my mouth shut or banish such thoughts from my mind, I would be at home in the republican party.

    We can’t make Obama a fighter, and that’s too bad because millions of us need to feel that someone gets it.  And as you point out, the perception (which seems real to me) that Obama won’t fight has made him an easy opponent, and as a result is diminishing his stature and the stature of our nation.  I believe this is true, and if saying so increases the sense of futility in others I’m sorry, but I expect every republican and most independents and democrats share this view.

    •  First: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      You don't understand what being pragmatic means.  You have a propagandists definition there.  I'm interested, and Obama's interested, in pushing things right up to the limit of what we can get.

      If Obama was no threat, no fighter, Republicans would not target him.

      But who should lead the fight?

      You haven't been paying attention.  YOU SHOULD.

      It's pretty simple, and I've been saying it from the start.  Invest in Democrats, but actively invest in a larger movement independent of them to start swaying public opinion to our side, to help counter the corporate BS and to help drop kick the conservative movement into the trashcan of history.

      I don't suffer from a sense of futility or anything else like that because I don't depend on them to be the ones that tell me what to believe, what to support, and what I want to go on.  I actively move to support such things of my own accord.  They won't stop me by stopping the Democrats in Washington.  I will do my best to keep Democratic numbers high not out of appreciation for what they've done or not done, but simply to deny Republicans further strength and give me the opportunity to push things further on the policy end.

      I don't see them as my leaders so much as I see them as a means to my political ends.  I will push them as far as they will go, then I will find other candidates, perhaps better, and push them as far as they will go.  I'll support the most liberal candidate of any too, and I will shamelessly vote in the lesser of two evils, because I've seen quite enough of what happense when the greater of the two evils gets elected.

      I'm through with politics as instant gratification, as self-experession, as a means to vent about policy I don't like.  I view politics through the lense of a deliberate effort to change the policies of this country towards something that is more sane, and short of that, to keep policy from getting as nuts as it will get under the GOP.

      I have followed politics since the early nineties, and I have yet to see any evidence that waiting for a heroic politician to make everything better would work.  Now Obama appealed to me not because he was necessarily ideal, and liberal and progressive, but because he talked like a person who could rewire the system somewhat, and to be honest, I've not been disappointed.

      But, the trouble is, he's got a whole big party to drag along, and unfortunately, that includes many of us who seem to have misplaced the 2000 election memo, or who have forgotten what Republican majorities were like under Clinton.

      We got way too many people who simply expect policy progress without mastery of the political environment from our end.  We have to be ambitious, we have to be implacable, and we have to be the ones who eventually take control when everything is said and done.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Mon Nov 29, 2010 at 05:34:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Normally, I don't care for meta (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stephen Daugherty
    Broad brush statements about "what DKOs has become" inevitably fail to do justice to the diversity here. Moreover, I am definitely not a "party woman," i.e., I don't see loyalty to any Party or organization as the supreme or even a terribly high moral value. I simply vote Democratic because over a lifetime, Democrats have consistently come nearer to representing my values, and as a consistent supporter and voter, I have considered myself a Democrat. At the same time, I consider it my right and duty as a member of the community to criticize when I think the leadership is dead wrong and even to engage in public hand-wringing when I think the leadership is getting wronger and wronger. If unwelcome on that basis, I'm gone, but does any community benefit greatly from becoming a concentration of yes-persons?

    That said, although I generally don't care for meta, some of this particular column touches a key point.

    Here is what the religious right is up to, as we write here. The complete list of who's involved would violate copyright, so I hope at least some people will look at the link:

    Conservative Christian leaders from across the nation met two months ago...to strategize about replacing President Barack Obama with someone who matches their agenda...

    About 40 conservative Christian leaders gathered in Dallas on Sept. 8-9 to begin laying the groundwork for a religious-political movement similar to the one that helped Ronald Reagan oust the Baptist Sunday school teacher from the Oval Office. Convened by evangelist James Robison - a key figure in the religious effort 30 years ago to promote Reagan's candidacy - the list of attendees included many of the most prominent Christian evangelists and ministers...

    Now I recognize the Obama administration has done some good things. There are other actions with which I am sorely disappointed. And yet, even looking on the gloomy side of that: I really prefer even what I suspect to be a slowly continuing march in the general direction of authoritarian corporatocracy, to the state of affairs that a Palin or Huckabee apparently would like to bring about, i.e., a dominionist Christian totalitarian state.

    (The fact the Obama has consistently supported faith-based organizations, going even beyond the initatives started under George W. Bush, has done him no good with this group, suprise. I don't know how they can stay tax-exempt after this, but they are nothing if not nimble...)

    I would be glad to see Democrats and/or progressives appearing as well organized as the Christian dominionists. I may squirm over some Obama policies, but THOSE guys are scary as all hell.

  •  I know the Mcconnell plan is... (0+ / 0-)

    Someone wake me when they can tell me what the f*** the Obama plan is.  I've been waiting for him to execute the ropeadope for two years, and I'm getting the sense he's on those ropes because he can't get himself off of them, and he is just trying every weak, desperate move possible to try and get off the ropes to a neutral corner, and getting rocked every time he tries.

    He seems to have no soul in this fight.

    Sorry.  That's the way I see it.

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