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I don't care about Weiner. Is he the best choice for mayor? Then I'll support him. Is he not? I'll support someone else. To me, Weiner is not a person, he's a potential political function.

I don't care about Obama. I don't care if he 'betrayed' me. I don't care if he's an austerity-spouting corporatist or a beleaguered progressive. I support him when I agree with him. I oppose him when I disagree. To me, Obama is not a person. He's a political function.

I don't care about Snowden. Is he wise, is he righteous, are his motivations pure? I don't care. To me, Snowden is not a person. He is a source of political information.

I don't care about Yellen, I don't care about Warren, I don't care about Rubio, I don't care about Cruz. This is not personal. None of these people know that I exist. I am purely an abstraction to them—'loudmouth nobody on leftie blogs'—and they are abstractions to me. They barely exist as human beings. Any scandal they're involved in—any crappy vote, any financial shenanigan, any half-eaten body in the rec room—matters only to the extent that it affects their function.

And that's a good thing. They're not my friends, they're not my neighbors or my role models. None of them would like me if we met, and that suits me fine. They're cogs in the political machine, that's all. What kind of deluded idiot gets personally invested in a cog?

This is true of Republicans as well. They operate in a political milieu which incentivizes priorities that damage our citizens, our country, and our future. Those are the parameters under which they operate. Yelling about them committing 'sabotage'—as if that changes anything—is utterly irrelevant.

Does that mean that I don't hate them? That they don't make me angry? No. I hate them, and I'm pissed. But I angrily hate them in precisely the same way that I angrily hate the fact that preventable medical errors in hospitals cause as many as 98,000 deaths a year.

This is not personal. The system we have produces the results we see. There's no reason to think of politicians as people. They're just political algorithms in suits. You plug in money, pressure, and information, and you see the output in political priorities and votes.

So I think the questions are:

A) what results do we want to produce?
B) what input will deliver those results?

Here on dKos, we do a great job with A. In the past few days, I've read diaries about how we want early childhood education, and we want to narrow the wealth gap. We want to address the looming climate catastrophe and the war on women and the resurgent racism of voter suppression. We want to reign in the national security state and the criminal justice system and expand sustainable sources of energy. And much more.

But we're not so strong on B. We knock on doors, we donate, we write emails. We phone-bank, we argue, we vote for the better of two less-than-perfect candidates. We try to pressure our officeholders, we try to focus on local races. And yet, at least to me, 'more and better Democrats' feels increasingly like 'spinning our wheels.' If we work harder, will we see more-er and better-er Democrats? Can we rely on the Republicans imploding? Should we focus on putting out fires until demographics come to the rescue?

I'm thinking that the answers are no, no, and no. The system we have produces the results we see. Perhaps doing the same thing will produce different results this time. But perhaps not. So what else can we do? Are there any productive ways to change our focus?

My short answer: dunno. You tell me. (I've occasionally thought that primaries are the answer, but the key to using primaries effectively is apparently the willingness to lose general after general after general. I'm not sure I've got that level of cut-off-your-nose devotion to the long game.)

My longer answer: I've seen two comments recently that made me wonder if there aren't other ways to leverage what little political power we have.

An (edited) comment from kovie:

I've been hoping that the organized left, e.g. labor, NOW, ACLU, etc., mounts a coordinated, aggressive effort to push back against the right, and push forward a more progressive agenda, in concert with Dems when useful, independent of them when not.

We have the infrastructure. It's just not being used the way it should be used. To a large extent, I'm guessing, because many of the people who currently run these left-aligned organizations are doing ok personally and don't want to risk their entitled positions with political war.

Most of us don't have the time or abilities to fight this war effectively. That's why the left has organizations to do that. But their leaders and not leading them well.

Can we productively focus our energy on our advocacy groups, trying to pressure them (and their already-existing influence and infrastructure) into pressuring elected officials? Post-Komen, in particular, I wonder if these groups might be amenable to grassroots pressure. Also, a concerted campaign, if hard-assed enough, might actually force the various group to present a united front.

The second (edited) comment, from MichiganGirl:

Our problem lies within our party's leadership, and I don't mean the politicians. I'm talking about the people running the show in DNC, and the State Parties. Politicians come and go, they're interchangeable, and in the long run don't really matter much. The people in charge of the parties are there election cycle after election cycle, picking the candidates, deciding which race will get support, which won't. Which issue will get airtime, which won't.

No one appears to pay much attention to the politics going on within the inner apparatus of the Democratic Party, or even seems aware that such a thing even exists, and we really should be paying attention, because it's important. REALLY important.

The people in charge of the party, they decide everything. Do most of us know who the people making these decisions for us are? Do we know if they care about the problems the average person encounters? Do we know if their priorities line up with ours?

I don't even know how I'd find out who's in charge of the inner apparatus of the party, so I'm hoping that someone with more experience than I can address this idea. But again, this strikes me as a more effective focus for leverage than politicians themselves.

The online left almost always agrees about the problems that the country faces. We almost always agree about the solutions, too.

But how do we implement those solutions? Any ideas?

Originally posted to GussieFN on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not much optimism here... n/t (7+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:23:44 PM PDT

  •  Gussie, this sounds like a Caucus diary (6+ / 0-)

    to me.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:39:45 PM PDT

  •  Because you're focusing on tactics. (8+ / 0-)

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:40:04 PM PDT

  •  However, you might want to republish it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GussieFN, Nulwee, shaharazade

    when it's not a Sunday night. I myself am just about to go AFK, feed the cats, curl up in from of a British mystery.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:40:42 PM PDT

  •  huh? (11+ / 0-)
    I don't care about Weiner. Is he the best choice for major?
    Best choice for major asshole, yes.

    I mostly agree with the "who cares what they do with their privates" school of politics, but referrring to candidates as "political functions" gets a bad mark. Political functionaries, OK.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:42:15 PM PDT

  •  This is an interesting diary, but I'd change the (12+ / 0-)

    title.  As it is, it's provocative, but it doesn't really capture what the diary is about.  

    I agree that the left-leaning organizations have been failing us for awhile.  In the reproductive rights arena, there's been too much compromising to seem "reasonable".  And 350.org was founded partly because the national environmental organizations were no longer working on the grassroots level, and seemed afraid of losing their cocktail party access.

    John Trudell said something like, maybe it's time to declare our loyalty to the Earth instead of the political parties that created the problems in the first place.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:53:00 PM PDT

    •  Yeah. I was so pleased with my naked (9+ / 0-)

      attempt to grab eyeballs, too. But apparently it's just a weiner too far.

      Do you think they've been failing us? Or it is just that we haven't been pressuring them? It seems to me--and I have no evidence for this--that while the online left is easy for politicians to ignore, we could really command the attention of left-leaning organizations, if we got our shit together ...

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:01:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Both. Absolutely both. (5+ / 0-)

        a lot of them do not want to do anything to disturb their access and their DC cocktail scene.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:18:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •   "I don't belong to an organized political (6+ / 0-)

        Party...I'm a Democrat."-  Will Rogers

        It has got to be us because, there ain't no Knight in shining armor coming.

        Barack Obama told us long ago that real change only comes from the bottom-up.  He showed us how to organize, register voters, canvass, GET OUT THE VOTE! (GOTV)

        I'm speaking for myself and millions of people when I say I was freaking inspired by the man and I still am. The first BLack President of the USA triggered what happens whenever their people or any minority, including women, a surge of White supremacy, racism and mysogeney.
        We have to keep fighting.  I am and when I'm dead my kids and grandkids will keep fighting them.  We do not want what the Fascist plutocrats are planning for our future to be.

        "Republicans are the party that says that government doesn't work, then they get elected and prove it."-- PJ O'Rourke

        by nocynicism on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:19:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Lamely incendiary title (10+ / 0-)

    I don't remember the President's sexting scandal. When was that, exactly?

    I ♥ President Barack Obama.

    by ericlewis0 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:54:45 PM PDT

  •  You are partly right (8+ / 0-)

    People get way too invested in candidates as people.

  •  Well, the personhood of politicians matters (6+ / 0-)

    in certain ways, sometimes.  Weener's behavior tells me that he's impulsive and reptilian; he's never learned to control his own behavior.  So, yeah, he's unfit for a position of trust.

    Otherwise I agree with your general point.  Personal virtues rarely tell us much . . . but failings can be quite informative.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:58:41 PM PDT

    •  You could certainly say the same thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus

      about Bill Clinton. Was he also unfit to be president, in your view?

      •  Yes, he probably was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catwho

        Somebody who engaged in the sort of conduct that he admitted clearly has problems with 1) telling the truth to close associates, 2) respecting the position of power he has with respect to subordinates, and 3) focusing on the job instead of getting blown at work. I'm 100% sure that 2 and 3 are individually sufficient to get me fired from work, and 1 probably is as well.

        I don't think that we should be as involved as the average Kim Kardashian fan in the lives of our politicians, but I think that while we might want to imagine them as ideal mathematical functions that produce an output given an input, in reality issues like trustworthiness, honesty, courage, etc. all tend to have a strong influence on the behaviors that any of us exhibit in times of stress.

        I think the real issue is that virtually nobody who makes it to be a serious political candidate is anywhere close to having a normal personality, so the ability to say "Let's skip the guy who sent around pictures of his junk in favor of the guy who has no backbone and will govern based on back-channel graft" isn't really much of a choice at all.

      •  My problems with Clinton's (0+ / 0-)

        fitness had nothing to do with his sex life. His corporate  DLC agenda  and the direction he took the Democratic party with his corrupt triangulating politics made him unfit imo. I voted for him twice donated to his campaign on his first run. I had no choice, he was the anointed D machine choice and I'd had enough of Poppy Bush and company.

        In the first primary I supported Jerry Brown as Clinton seemed like a sleazy 'used car salesman'. I underestimated the damage his triangulating corporate administration would do to both party and country. The DLC Clinton machine held the gates and prepped the way for the next administration of the Bush crime families total unfitness.  

        Unfit for the presidency based on their personal lives is a strange way to judge a pol. A pol is a pol as a famous man here once said. What makes any pol fit for office is a better question. When the whole electoral system is this corrupt making the problem be about the president's persona's instead of what and who's agenda their administration is implementing is not addressing the real issue.

        A waste of time that just keeps the power behind the throne intact.  We the people  get caught up in the kabuki show of hero's and villain's and who's the worst greatest pol ever... There all unfit to be president otherwise they wouldn't have the power and money behind them to get elected. Gussie is right it's not the pol it's the powerful machines behind them that needs to be checked and balanced.      

  •  Join local Democratic Party; run for leadership (20+ / 0-)

    Of course no one is going to vote for the new person until the new person put sin the time and sweat and brings in even more members to the local Democratic org. By then you'll have a whole different perspective than you do from your chair in front of the DKos screen.

    Want to know how to improve what "they" are doing?

    Disabuse yourself of the the notion there is a we and a they. We are the Democratic Party, at least those of us who use this site in good faith are. Start to realize the only thing between "those leaders" and you personally is getting involved.

    I joined my county org less than two years ago. I could have gone to the last Democratic Party state convention had my personal finances allowed it. That's just one step from the national convention. A little hard work and a better job and you might be seeing me waving a Wisconsin sign at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

    Don't tell me you cannot make a difference. Do not tell me there is no opportunity to be heard w/in the Party organization. I know better because I've seen it with my own eyes. Me, the lifelong unregistered Indy voter could already have one state convention under my belt. Your future in the Party is up to you.

  •  Kos wrote about choice of candidates (3+ / 0-)

    in Crashing the Gate.  Given all that's happened since then, and all that we've learned, maybe now is a good time for me to take that book off the high shelf, dust it off and re-read it.  

    There was a chapter in it about the "asshole consultants network".  As in all of Washington, the real power is usually not the official, elected face, but an eminence grise who works obscured from public view, usually not even known by name.  In the case of who chooses candidates, it's more the consultants who do that.  There's only a handful of them and they decide who gets funding from the DCCC and DSCC — the whole operation is rather like the record labels, every bit as corrupt — and every bit as shallow.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:10:07 PM PDT

    •  I want the names! (2+ / 0-)

      Not only to hate them, but if we know who they are, we can pressure them ...

      I never read Crashing the Gate. You liked? Has the gate been crashed?

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No...not even a dent (3+ / 0-)

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:57:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I liked the book (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GussieFN, Eyesbright, Simplify

        and thought it was handy and full of information.  But I would have to agree with Vetwife, that the attempt to crash the gate and re-take control of the Democratic Party has failed.  Miserably.  

        I pulled the book off the shelf and am now skimming it.  Kos based much of his chapter on this article by Amy Sullivan for the Jan-Feb 2005 issue of The Washington Monthly.  

        Among the asshole consultants named in Kos' book — those who take over congressional campaigns from the outside, and then insist that the candidate use the consultant's "other" political services (for which the consultant gets a hefty commission) — are these names (all from 2005), many of which we already know:  
        1) Joe Hansen at DSCC
        2) Bob Shrum (0-for-7 in presidential elections before John Kerry hired him in 2004!)
        3) Mark Penn
        4) Nancy Todd Tyner, president of the American Assoc. of Political Consultants
        5) Steve McMahan (the media consultant for Howard Dean who came up with the white-screen ad before the Iowa caucuses in 2004)

        There are many more.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:33:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As for "pressuring them" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unfangus, GussieFN, Simplify

        The consultants really aren't susceptible to pressure.  They are private businesspeople, period, not public servants, and they are not accountable to the public.

        The place to put the pressure is on candidates.  Don't give or vote for a candidate who is sponsored by the DNC, DCCC, or DSCC.  And don't ever donate to those three organizations.  They are corrupt as they come.

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:36:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for all this, BRB. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Big River Bandido, Simplify

          Extremely interesting. Though I think I disagree about consultants not being susceptible to pressure. I think they're more susceptible to pressure than public servants. Because they don't have the same level of visibility (ie, other people aren't trying to pressure them) and as many levels of gatekeepers.

          Imagine, say, if we'd targeted Shrum in 2003, as an anti-progressive horror. Imagine if we'd faxed and emailed and called his clients, and prospective clients, with a steady stream of complaints about him. Imagine if we'd googlebombed him, so the search results for his name returned negative articles. At some point, the hassle of hiring him would've screwed with him, if only a little. We can't do much, but if we're united, we can be as annoying as hell.

          If we kept that up until we actually negatively-impacted his income, the other consultants would take notice. And when we threatened to target them (or actually did target them), we'd have leveraged our power.

          Hm. Now I'm saying that I want to make things personal! Which I sort of do. In terms of pressure, I want to make things personal. In terms of politics, I think any emotional attachment to individuals is a distraction.

          Of course, it takes a certain kind of cretin to target a private citizen with a vituperative negative campaign aimed at undermining their livelihood ... but I think it might prove effective.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:01:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  From the way you describe it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GussieFN, Eyesbright

            the pressure is being applied to the candidates.  

            In the book, Kos talks about how Democratic consultants who are good at one angle of politics (organizing a campaign, raising money, writing speeches, designing broad strategy) often branch out into other areas of consulting, so as to make more money.  Often times, this is a clear conflict of interests.  Republicans, as he points out in the book, take care to always send their long-time consultants steady work — but they don't let them run the show.  

            I say this to make a point about Bob Shrum:  he's the biggest loser consultant the Democrats have.  But he is, for all his other faults, a great speechwriter.  (He penned Ted Kennedy's "The Dream Will Never Die" concession speech for the 1980 Democratic convention.)  I have no problem with Shrum as a speechwriter.  And he is not an "anti-progressive horror".  But as a campaign consultant, he's poison.  

            Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

            by Big River Bandido on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:59:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  lol - good lord! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright

          You actually think anyone gets elected to high office as a Democrat without support from the major political organizations?  

          "Anyone who thinks Obama is like Nixon is a moron. More than that, a F###ING moron". Kos, 5-24-13

          by Lying eyes on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:25:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When the DNC, DCCC and DSCC get involved in (0+ / 0-)

            statewide races, their support is almost always the kiss of death.  Most of the names on that consultants list have handled several high-profile Senate and Presidential campaigns, and have absolutely dismal track records.  Northwestern University's football teams from the 1970s had better won-loss records than the Democrats' national consultants.  

            The real creative types in this business always come from the grassroots.  Like Steve Eichenbaum, the Milwaukee-based consultant who designed the quirky, funny ad campaign that propelled Russ Feingold to the Senate in 1992.  All the winning Presidential consultants of recent decades — right down to Rove and Axelrod — come not from Washington, but from outside the Beltway.  It actually makes more sense.  What does anyone on K Street know about winning elections 900 miles away?

            Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

            by Big River Bandido on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:13:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Another name (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GussieFN, Eyesbright

        Mark Mellman...who, after serving as consultant to a number of losing Democrats, got pretty cozy with George W. Bush.

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:39:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What are their names? and on what street do they (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        live........

        "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

        by UTvoter on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why is this diary in the Community Spotlight? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GussieFN, Eyesbright, JayRaye

    Is it deserving on its merits?
    I think not.
    So there must be another reason.
    Site leaders playing favorites perhaps?
    Looks that way to me.

    So I ask again. How is this diary deserving of a Community Spotlight?

    I could write a diary comparing some low life to the president (disingenuously I might add). Then follow up with a misguided rant on how leaders in our society shouldn't be viewed as human OR as role models.
    Followed by the obligatory short rants about how things are bad and republicans are badder.
    Then give us a pat on the back for recognizing problems and talking about them. But then falsely go on to state we do poorly on action items even though we just had a largely succesful national election for Democrats.
    And then I could throw up my hands and state that I 'dunno' what to do, maybe someone else does!

    Will THAT get ME into the Community Spotlight?
    I think NOT again.

    To the author.
    It's not my nature to criticise Authors here.
    But I'm moved to point out that I feel strongly that your choice of title serves you poorly.
    And that while the leaders of our society may not be role models to YOU, I feel strongly that to admonish others for not thinking as you do about societal leaders, to be foolish, laughable, wrong headed and not reality based.

    Yes author, the world IS VERY scary. There's alot of desperate problems facing us as humans and as Democrats.
    We know that, I'd venture thats why most of us come here.
    And while there's often to much silliness, clique behavoir and personality cult worship (and favoritism) here for my taste, DKos remains a powerful action based site. That's been proven many times over.
    Its also a proven place for the meeting of minds, Great minds, (mind you) and even more average minds like mine. (and even the least among us can have a place at the table.)

    I share your concern, your distress, your desperate yearning for solutions. I'm certain we all do.
    Still, even though I'm sure your a nice person and all, and well meaning. Yet I feel compelled to ask you. Did you write this for glory? (recs and mojo). Do you feel its deserving of a Community Spotlight? How do YOU think it got here?

    In any case, please accept my apologies, as it is NOT my nature to be critical of others. I don't seek fights or opportunities to hurt others feelings.

    And please know that if not for the title, the rant about leaders (human leaders) being tools and not humans, and most importantly my bewilderment at finding it on the Community Spoltlight; I would have simply tipped the diary and maybe added a short comment about contacting your local Democratic Party office to see how you could get involved.

    Is it just me? Am I the only one wondering how this diary ended up on the Community Spotlight?

    I find it disconcerting that it did.

    •  And this is why the Dem party fails (8+ / 0-)

      Someone brings up a valid point that the left sucks at messaging, at getting our politicians to do what the hell we elected them to do, at getting any progress at all on core and incredibly important issues like the social safety net, like the environment and we bitch about how it is presented.

       We vote for the pretty, shiny guy, we look at our politicians as friends and as role models. Politicians for the most part want power, they have egos and they only care about their career.  American voters are as a whole shallow people who choose to stay ignorant as to the actual problems of the world and need things to be given to them in bite sized pieces OR coated in such sugary exceptionalism that they can choose to ignore reality. The Democratic party has for the most part failed at all of this. We have a few standouts, like Warren who is amazing at making complex things easy to get or Obama who is great at talking...and that's about it.  In general though, we lose elections because as a national party we suck and message control and at actually doing what the hell we say we will.

       The Republicans are great at pushing the hell out of their agenda. They infiltrated the machine at all levels and stick to their talking points like superglue they are willing to accept just about anyone that will push the hell out of anti-abortion, more guns, "smaller government" and bigger military. Democrats can't ever seem to stick to their agenda (again with a few notable exceptions)

       Those that do get slammed for some stupid personal issue. I am waiting for Elizabeth Warren to offend the "professional left" and get abandoned like Kucinich and Dean did.  

       

      •  I'd like to reply .. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GussieFN, Eyesbright, JayRaye

        Well I was certainly long winded. Is that why Dems fail?
        I should have just said,

        Obama NOT EQUAL A Weiner.
        Character counts.
        I already knew things were bad, but thanks.

        Most importantly I shouldn't have let the Diary and its
        promotion bother me.  So what? If there's another Diary with a sensational title and little substance espousing views I think are dead wrong. So what?
        If the site Leaders want to highlight a Diary, who am I to question the reasoning? It's not my site and its a big web.

        So just, never mind, forget I said anything.

        Frankly, I think what I perceive as all the recent Weiner worship and site advocated 'free pass' on the Weiner's behaviour got on my nerves more than I realized.

        So Yea to MORE and better(if its convenient) Democrats.
        Yea our team.

      •  The diarist himself sucks at messaging. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright

        People aren't objecting to the argument; they're not even getting to it, because of the title.

        Which is too bad; he's got some good ideas.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:39:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  it's just you (4+ / 0-)

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 04:42:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is the sweetest critical reply! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shigeru

      I actually think this diary raises a few of the most important questions we're facing. But perhaps not in the politest way ever.

      (And I am definitely part of the 'in-crowd' here on dKos. Only downside is that Markos keeps sending me pictures of his junk.)

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:53:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a thought experiment (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GussieFN, paz3, Susan from 29, Simplify

      designed at formulating a path that would allow us to find better operating processes (better 'politics' to improve our influence on the political operatives who have power/ influence to bring about our desired goal.
      Underlying this thought experiment,is the distinction between an ill-informed activism relying mainly on the cult of personality whose objectives seems to be content and fulfilled with the election of the favored politicians; and on the other end the ideological activism whose whose objective realize our our preferred ideals.
      Those two form of activism are not necessarily exclusive, but the first is often an impediment to the second, hence the thought experiment proposed proposed by the author. the functionalist approach proposed is the result of this thought experiment, and the funny and absurd title is just a logical corollary of this result.
      Of course the author doesn't believe that W and O are the same.
      But is also true that a good politician has other 'functions' that just realizing our ideals: before being in the position to do so, he must help us sell our ideals to a majority of our fellow citizens.

      •  Crikey. Please don't summarize my (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Susan from 29

        argument twice as intelligently as I ever could! It makes me look stupid.

        Yes. This. Thanks.

        And very good point about 'selling our ideals.' Hm ...

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:25:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your diary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Susan from 29, GussieFN

          was a kick ass diary -literally, as might say the VP- and the core of the argument is so compelling and so obviously true.
          But what is obviously true isn't necessarily easy to discover or to see as shown by some few negative reactions in the comments.
          Tipping my hat off to your meaningful effort at educating and calling your fellow Kossaks to become better politicians....
          Sorry for the broken English-not a native speaker.

  •  OK, your title did its job. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm here, and unlike dennis1958 I'm glad I stuck around for your actual point. And you have a point, but...

    Character counts. I learned it the hard way. In 2008, when we had the chance for the first time in 16 years to choose a presidential candidate in an open primary (I don't count 2004, since I believe Dean's downfall was at least partly engineered by the DNC), I vowed that I was not going to be influenced by personality. My candidate was going to be the one with the platform I most agreed with. There would be no points awarded for attractiveness, either as a reason for the candidate to have my vote or as a factor in their electability. Not quite a widget I was buying, but definitely an employee I was hiring.

    I did my homework. I attended YearlyKos 2007 (now Netroots Nation) and got to see 6 out of the 7 seven candidates live on stage, and a couple (Clinton and Obama) in their individual presentations. Back home, I went to low-dollar fundraisers for several of the candidates, in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of my choices. And where did that dispassionate consideration of the issues lead me? To John Edwards. Despite the fact that I got a weird vibe off him when I saw him in person, I put it down to cultural differences and continued to support him, and his outstandingly progressive platform, until I couldn't. I didn't trust my gut enough to let it show me that he was a slick con man right from the start.

    Since then, I've decided that the type of human being we're dealing with makes just as much of a difference in public office as it would in my office. I wouldn't hire someone who I felt I'd have problems working with before we even started, no matter how qualified they were otherwise. I try to listen to both my head and my gut. You should too.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 05:09:33 AM PDT

    •  I actually think Edwards supports -my- point! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus, Susan from 29

      I honestly don't care that Edwards is a creep and a sick conman--though his recklessness (ie, getting caught) undermines his political ability, which erases his utility.

      But I'd prefer a creepy disingenuous Edwards, who got 17 women pregnant while married to a dying woman and who I could pressure to enact real reform to a morally upright president who honestly shared my priorities but who didn't advance the goals of liberalism and didn't move the country forward.

      My gut tells me I don't care if my heart surgeon is having an affair. If some woman is pulling my kid out of a burning building, I simply don't care if in her heart she's a Stalinist Satanist. I only care about the difference she'll make in my life. If she's my kid's teacher? That's different. But if that's not her role? Then why should I care?

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:00:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In that case I think we have to agree to disagree (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GussieFN, Eyesbright, catwho, sidnora

        What makes you think that you would be able to pressure a "creepy disingenuous" candidate to do anything, unless you have massive amounts of money? And, what makes you think that candidate would actually hold their end of the bargain even if you did have Croesus-style money?

        Plus, keep in mind that at the Presidential level these people have the ability to literally destroy the world. I'd rather not elect somebody who I know is unbalanced to such a position, regardless of how confident I was that I had him under my thumb.

        I'm not opposed to this diary getting visibility, but I think your argument is very weak if you think that Edwards supports it.

        •  I just don't think it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bamilekeman, Susan from 29

          matters if they're creepy and disingenuous. (Setting aside, as I said, the political ineptitude of getting caught.) I'm not actively pro-creep, but I didn't care if Bob Dole was an honorable man, or if John McCain was incredibly brave and heroic. And I didn't care if Bill Clinton was a creep, and I don't care that Obama appears to be unblemished by personal foibles.

          I support them when I agree, I oppose them when I don't. That's the whole story for me. And I think that trusting that a person of upright moral fiber will 'actually hold their end of the bargain' just because they're a lovely person is naive. They all disappoint.

          Of course, one reason I don't care about them personally is ... I don't know them personally. For all I know, Obama is a major creep. He doesn't seem that way, but I've got literally no idea. They all disappoint. That's baked in. So what? We can't rely on them, we can't look to them, and there's no real reason to blame them personally. It's the 'Great Man' theory of politics I'm railing against, here. They're not only great men, even the great ones; they're cogs in a a political system. If we want to change the country, we need to change the system (particularly, perhaps, how we exert leverage on it), not the parts.

          "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

          by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:50:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not interested in "great men" either (0+ / 0-)

            But I am interested in reliable employees. My problem with Edwards (and Weiner too, for that matter) is that he knew that what he'd done would render him instantly unelectable if it became known, yet he went ahead and risked the future of the entire Democratic Party and the progressive movement to satisfy his own ego. Why should I invest my money and sweat in someone who values them so little? How can you imagine that someone so heedless of the opinions of the people he proposes to govern, whether or not you and I consider those opinions valid, could be pressured to act according with their desires?

            And as to the political ineptitude of getting caught, I believe that in today's political and media environment, it's inevitable. Technology makes it just too easy for any politician's enemies to dig up the dirt and broadcast it. Might this deprive us of the services of public servants who are otherwise laudable, but just can't keep it in their pants? Very possibly, but in order to change that dynamic you'd need to change the social attitudes of the American people.

            It's not about my approval or disapproval of his personal life, which is pretty well tempered by the fact that his wife was complicit (Edwards', that is). It's about their refusal, or their inability, to understand that in 2013 US,  you can't do this stuff, then lie about it, and expect to be elected.

            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

            by sidnora on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:42:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe focusing on supporting citizen advocacy... (5+ / 0-)

    groups and civil liberties groups would give the average citizen more leverage, and give the groups more money/power to fight for the rights and priorities of average citizens.  

    Putting our total faith into politicians--who by the very nature of their jobs and the financing needed to get/keep those jobs--ignores the fact that their loyalties will always be divided. They will continually make choices between pleasing their constituents and pleasing their wealthy and corporate donors and their lobbyists.  Rarely do the interests of both coincide.

    In Courts Now: Including, but not limited to:  Protecting voting rights; blocking anti-immigration laws; holding Wall St. Accountable; Expanding the freedom to marry; protecting first amendment rights; womens' rights; "protecting civil liberties in the digital age; fighting racial profiling; protecting right to protest, etc, etc.  

    With the continued assaults on our liberties and erosion of our Constitutional rights, organizations like the ACLU, and other organizations fighting for our rights have their hands full battling the attacks on our liberties.  Watchdog Organizations that keep us informed also need support so they can keep shedding sunlight on the swamp of corruption and cronyism in the beltway and beyond.

    We can work for change within the Party at the grassroots level and/or we can also support the organizations that are out there trying to fight for our rights.  

  •  Weiner in the same sentence with (4+ / 0-)

    President Obama?  This post is not only ugly, but wickedly insane.

    I know many here insult this president daily on this site, but this post is Crude, Cruel and dehumanizing.

    Weiner has no accomplishments legislatively.  Stop with the Insane Insults.

  •  Without the bullshit title, this could (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GussieFN, Matt Z, Lying eyes, Eyesbright

    have been a decent diary.  With it, it is just flamebait.

    With the Decision Points Theater, the George W. Bush Presidential Library becomes the very first Presidential Library to feature a Fiction Section.

    by Its the Supreme Court Stupid on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:07:55 AM PDT

    •  Who are you calling stupid? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify

      Yeah, you've got a point. Maybe I'll repost with a different title. But I must admit that I'm a pretty amused by how difficult that is for people to overlook. They really do feel a deep personal stake in a complete stranger, to the point of taking offense at mock-insults that that stranger will never see.

      I owe Armando an apology.

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:05:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I take the points (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GussieFN, Eyesbright

    about grassroots pressure to influence the infrastructure of political parties as being very important.  I still want human beings rather than cogs in the machine, though.  I don't think a mayor should sit in his or her office and make policy about education.  I believe that a mayor should be a human being who actually goes into the public schools that he or she represents and gets to know the community of students, teachers and administrators.  Its not about wanting someone who is my friend, but I do want someone who has the ability to understand and make decisions about the needs of the people.

  •  I think you have a good argument here, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, GussieFN, shigeru, Susan from 29

    but with an inflammatory title, you've buried the lede.

    Start with the first graf after the orange thingie.

    There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

    by Mnemosyne on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:25:28 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29, Mnemosyne

      And obviously, the title is intentionally inflammatory. Partly because I got into an exchange with Armando the other day, in his diary 'They All Disappoint,' where I claimed that everyone already knows that, and nobody at dKos is naive enough to buy into the primacy of personality, and perhaps Armando should stop wasting his time and start writing about how we can move forward.

      I hate it when he's right.

      Anyway, thanks. I'll rework this based on some of the feedback and repost as a SouthernLiberalinMD Caucus diary ... (Ten bucks says that without the inflammation, it disappears unread.)

      "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

      by GussieFN on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:21:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's a bad argument with a decent title (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GussieFN

      The title actually sums up the argument pretty well, so it's not a Bait-and-Switch type title. The author apparently does think that both Anthony Weiner and Barack Obama are equally well qualified to be successful candidates, in which case the title is directly on point.

      The belief that the obvious personality flaws of Mr. Weiner puts him on the same level of trustworthiness as Barack Obama is silly, in my opinion. I frankly don't like Obama that much given how he's actually governed, but I don't think he's a dick-waving sociopath.

  •  The Same, Really? (0+ / 0-)

    Men are so necessarily mad that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:23:20 AM PDT

  •  Obama isn't damaged goods. He's still effective. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GussieFN, Susan from 29

    I don't care about Weiner's sex problems because they make him a bad person, but because they keep generating scandals that render him ineffective at producing those desirable political outcomes.

    As the man said, this isn't personal, it's just business.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:38:01 AM PDT

  •  Vietnam was the impetus that drove the right to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy

    dump the volunteer military and form a "professional" Army.

    IMO this was the final nail in the coffin of freedom in the USA.  There is very little we can do as long as the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) owns the legislative process and runs the country.

    When a man, our present presidente' who was raised in Hawaii, (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hawaii is the ONLY state in the USA that has ZERO hate groups) can be such a tool of hate and evil, I am flabbergasted!

    The control of our country by the MIC is complete.  This is who we are.  

    We are "the Sopranos" of the planet.  Our business model is enforced and supported by our Military.  Now, our citizens are 20th in life expectancy in the world, before Vietnam we were Numbah UNO.  

    As long as the MIC is in charge things will remain the same.  Things, apparently will go downhill from here.

    •  Maybe that's the problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels
      When a man, our present presidente' who was raised in Hawaii, (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hawaii is the ONLY state in the USA that has ZERO hate groups) can be such a tool of hate and evil, I am flabbergasted!
      if you're exposed to this shit in your formative years, you very well might have a greater (or any!) appreciation that it exists and must be fought vigorously and tirelessly at every turn.  As compared to making endless attempts to appease, compromise, and work with it.
      •  Maybe. My old football coach used to say: (0+ / 0-)

        If it don't hurt you ain't doin it right!

        Your point is one that I have encountered before.  But when you know that there are some places where they have an "asshole free zone" at least to a degree, then you know how things could be different.  He knows how a caring culture operates.  Creating such a place does not seem to be his goal.

  •  I do not agree with this diary (0+ / 0-)

    I do not agree with this diary at all.  Politicians run the party and the party can never admit an error by a politician.  All policies, bombings, and wars by Democratic politicians are justified and  never admitted to be an error.  NAFTA is still justified by Dems.  Destroying a country on pseudo humanitarian grounds is justified even though it was a low level civil war killing about 2000 over a period of time.  The judge in the Milosevic trial even stated there was not enough evidence to convict him on genocide.  Samantha Power, one of the most ignorant persons about world politics, even justified destroying the country of Yugoslavia in a book.  Yet it was supposedly a great humanitarian act and not admitted to be an error.  I have links for this information, but it takes time and many refuse to believe these facts or will not read them anyway.  There are so many more reliable journalists and historians I don't know why anyone listens to her.

    You can google Chomsky, Parenti or some reliable historian and youtube.  I read about the Milosovic trial in the Monthly Review.  There are about 50 reverences in the article.

  •  I really don't want to say this .... (0+ / 0-)

    but taking the premise of your diary to the farthermost conclusion, your diary and Red State are the same.

    Nothing changes without public pressure: public pressure doesn't happen without dissemination of knowledge and 'true' facts. Bit me FOX.

    by emsprater on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 10:29:13 AM PDT

  •  You said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yorkiedoglover
    Does that mean that I don't hate them? That they don't make me angry? No. I hate them, and I'm pissed. But I angrily hate them in precisely the same way that I angrily hate the fact that preventable medical errors in hospitals cause as many as 98,000 deaths a year.
    Your advice is to hate Republicans and hate President Obama.

    Your advice is to swim in anger and hate, just like your opponents in the Republican party do.

    This is probably predictable when you, in citing history, said that Rev. Martin Luther King was in the anger business.  

  •  Great diary! (0+ / 0-)

    I loved and intend to use your quote "They're just political algorithms in suits. You plug in money, pressure, and information, and you see the output in political priorities and votes".  The problem with both parties in they have been taken over by ___ (fill this in as you wish, the main point is they have been taken over).  I don't see this as reversible.  The obvious solution is a third party but chances of that succeeding are faint at best unless extreme circumstances - collapse of the bond market springs to mind - force the general admission that both parties are one and we are forced to reject the old system and invent a new one.  These are interesting times and  I hate interesting times.
     

  •  So... it doesn't matter how a politician (0+ / 0-)

    behaves towards women.

    Flashing..no problem?

    How about rape?

    Also no problem?...as long as we can get a Democrat elected?

    Lame diary, just lame.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:53:45 AM PDT

    •  Comparing sexting with rape is a tad silly. (0+ / 0-)

      One is rude, the other is a 2nd class felony.

      You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

      by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:32:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really, consent is the key. (0+ / 0-)

        One woman has already stated that she was sent an unsolicited penis photo.

        And if it turns out he has sent such a photo to a minor, that will be probably be a felony.

        God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

        by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:36:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There were no minors involved. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simplify

          Consent applies to sexual intercourse, not dick pics. If he kept sending them, then harassment becomes an issue. But it actually isn't that easy to get a harassment conviction, you need more than one text to build a case.

          Y'all don't seem to get that this isn't 17th Century Salem. Weiner actually broke no laws. You could bring a sexual harassment suit on him, IF he was sexting a subordinate. But that's about it.

          What he did was impolite. But consider this, for all the women who were offended, there had to be some who were into it. Doesn't he have a right to at least try to get some action? Who are you to tell people they can't? I've gotten electronic messages like that, and while they never came from people I wanted anything to do with, I don't feel violated by it. It's just the age we live in. I blocked the number, problem solved.

          Weiner is probably toast at this point. I was never really a fan anyway. I'm much more of a Spitzer guy, personally. I fucking love him. But this whole "Weiner is a rapist" shit is just too much.

          You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

          by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:46:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Time will tell... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Stratton

            God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

            by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:48:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  P.S. where did I say that W is a rapist (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eric Stratton

              Perhaps you are so busy someone who has no respect for women,

              that you are unable to listen to a women?

              God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

              by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:50:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I was exaggerating you exaggerations. (0+ / 0-)

                I love irony. And thank you for accusing me of hating women. You brought a smile to my face. Really. Thanks.

                I'd love to continue this discussion, but I honestly have to go. I've been unemployed for 6 weeks and I have to go out job hunting. Probably looking at a McJob at this point. Gotta do what I gotta do.

                Of all the Weiner arguments I have gotten into, this one was by far the most civil and rewarding. I appreciate your intellectual honesty. I believe in a world where a guy can reasonably express and act out his sexuality, up until the point that doing so might cause tangible harm to others.

                You think that guys should have to repress their sexuality in the name of "respecting women", whatever the hell that means. Apparently, my sexuality is not deserving of any respect whatsoever. But it's cool. We disagree. It happens.

                Have a good day and a great week. It was good talking to you, or arguing with you. Whatever. But seriously, watch a couple of episodes of Law And Order before debating legal issues from now on. Peace.

                :)

                You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:03:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Where did I say that you should repress your (0+ / 0-)

                  sexuality?

                  Nudity is not the issue. I believe that nude beaches should be widely available.

                  Now if you go around expressing your sexuality without consent, I have a problem with that. Otherwise, go for it.

                  Consent is key. But for some reason you will not admit that. Not being allowed to send unsolicited nude photos of yourself cramps your male sexuality in some way? I find that strange and a bit repulsive also.

                  And as for the prostitution guy, that was all consensual, as far as I know. Probably should be decriminalized anyway. I would have no problem voting for him.

                  Perhaps you should have a talk with women who have been on receiving end of non-consensual sexual photos, flashing, or physical contact while trying to conduct daily business before you go around telling women what should or should not bother them.

                  God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

                  by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:26:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So if someone upsets you... (0+ / 0-)

                    they're breaking the law. That's a pretty low standard for culpability. You demand respect based solely on your gender, and insist it should be illegal for people to ever upset you even one time. Even if they didn't know for sure their actions would upset you.

                    Have you ever stopped to think how entitled you sound? Are you royalty or something?

                    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                    by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:07:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Exhibitionist sometimes escalate: (0+ / 0-)

      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

      by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:34:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And when they do... (0+ / 0-)

        they become criminals.

        Let me know when that happens, and I'll join the chorus of Weiner bashers. Until then, he's just another failed politician and I wish him well in his future career in stand up comedy.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:35:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exhibitionist ARE comitting a criminal sexual (0+ / 0-)

          offense.

          exhibitionists constitute about one-third of all sex offenders.
          And a certain % do escalate to hands-on criminal sexual conduct, for example, the most attention seeking type.

          God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

          by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:46:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No dude. That is just factually incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

            Sending a text isn't the same as flashing someone in a park. It just isn't.

            Sexting CAN become criminal in certain contexts. I have seen no evidence that Weiner crossed those lines. You don't need a license to send a dick pic. It's a free country. You're totally overreacting about this.

            I mean Weiner is a sex criminal? Really? Get a grip.

            You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

            by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:50:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure about that (0+ / 0-)

              I've read different accounts of whether it's illegal or not.
              Sexual harassment is illegal.

              And I'm not a dude.

              a woman trying to do business with W was sent an unsolicited "junk" mail.

              Well... how great is that for all the women who will be trying to take care of city business with their new Mayor!

              How would you like it if your mother were trying to do business with the Mayor and received such an email?

              Amazingly disrespectful to women, doubt that he would do that to his male constituents. So right from the start, his attitude towards women is sexists. Suppose he  sent such photos only to his constituents of color, then would you find it in your heart to disqualify him for office?

              But, by all means keep right on defending W for the sake of the Democratic Party.

              More and better Democrats!!!

              Yeah!!!!

              God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

              by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:15:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  No, but it should be (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JayRaye

              So if some guy starts sending unsolicited dick picks to your wife/mother/daughter/aunt/girlfriend/best friend....you'll just let it slide?

              No difference flashing someone in a park, or sending them an unsolicited pic...both are depraved.

  •  It was probably personal to me... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29, Simplify

    because I'm a raging pervert and I hate living in this uptight puritanical culture of ours. My inner creep was really pulling for Weiner. But he blew it. The thing is; the whole Carlos Danger thing is just epic, pure, uncut pervertness. And I love it. I love that the prudes hate it and call him a cyber-rapist. That's a ridiculous over-the-top accusation to make.

    But at the same time, it was a really stupid thing to do. It's something I would never dream of doing. It is, in fact, very rude to send random people pictures of your naughty bits. I know that. And as far as Weiner's functionality as a part of the political calculus, he is by now an imaginary number. He's not a factor in the solution to the equation. So it doesn't matter.

    So now I must pin my hopes on Spitzer. He seems a bit smarter than Weiner, and I think he would really push for good policy, which is what actually matters. I also heard a rumor that he had a hooker dress up like a cheerleader. You have no idea how much I want that to be true. God Bless him.

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:31:05 PM PDT

    •  Consent!! Such a big bother to some men (0+ / 0-)

      while trying to express their vibrant male sexuality!

      Spitzer, all consensual as far as I know.

      Weiner and the possible prostitute, also consensual most likely.

      But W sending an unsolicited shot of his penis to a woman who was trying to conduct official business with him at the time...not even close to consensual. How great will that be for women trying to do business with Mayor W?

      Supposed he only sent such photos to constituents of color as they were trying to conduct business with them, would you also discount their concerns as "puritanical?"

      Or is it only women who should just STFU and vote like good little democrats, no matter what? Or risk being called names.

      Never mind, name calling doesn't bother most of us. We're either prudes or sluts, anyway.

      We're used to it.

      God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

      by JayRaye on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:02:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd take slut over rapist any day. (0+ / 0-)

        For the 1000th time. I don't send people graphic texts, because it's rude... and I'm a nice person. Some chicks are actually into that sort of thing, though. Lot's of women are into jerks. So I'm not going to judge guys who go that route. Hey, it obviously works.

        That doesn't make me a rapist, or a rape apologist. It just makes me realistic about the society in which I live. Everyone doesn't have to share my idea of good manners. Some people are jerks, and that's not a crime. It's a free country.

        Dick picks are not rape. They're just not. They're just creepy and rude. People are allowed to be rude to you. Sorry.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:34:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry. Before I got to the orange gnocchi, I (0+ / 0-)

    threw in the towel because I just couldn't give a damn who else you didn't care about.  

    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

    by Observerinvancouver on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:58:29 PM PDT

  •  It's the structure (0+ / 0-)

    We can only get responsive politicians and change the dynamic if we reform the structure.  We've got to end the gerrymander and do something about campaign finance.

    I wrote a diary yesterday on the gerrymander:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    And hope to get a few more out over the next week or so.  However, I'll say that while I agree with a lot of your points on politicians, the system is a mess that the old Progressive Party had tried to tackle and needs to be tackled again with the same fervor as we have been with same-sex marriage or environmentalism.

    After all, we could potentially be doing all sorts of great things if the system worked better....

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:14:09 PM PDT

  •  I thought about it, and agree with this post (0+ / 0-)

    And in furtherance of its goals, it seems to me that you can look at local party leadership as well as on the national level. For example, locally my Democratic Congressman is going around saying that he's proud and happy to advise us that he's going to be voting with the Republicans a lot in the future. Local Democratic leadership is silent on the issue, and I'm going to guess that they'll remain silent and support him because it's a check in the W column for them no matter what he does in office. I'd like them to change their minds on that, but so far it's them against me, and few others are saying much--that helps out a lot with the silence.

    Using my free speech while I still have it. http://www.ellenofthetenth.blogspot.com/

    by ebgill on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:21:29 PM PDT

  •  to accomplish B, you'd better change your (0+ / 0-)

    premise about the kinds of people we elect to serve.

    they are not cogs in a wheel. they need to be kept connected as individuals, accountable individuals... if we continue to cast them as cogs in a monolithic system, then no one is responsible. no one is real. suddenly, it's not about Weiner's personal decision making... well, I beg to differ.

    i think this cogs in a wheel thing is as silly as asserting Weiner could be good for NYC and America.

    we want better? than we need better people to work in gov't... not cogs in a damned wheel. and not exhibiting the kinds of behavior Weiner exhibits. i don't want those kinds of people in politics anymore. hasn't worked out well.

    now has it?

    i think we need to go LOCAL/REGIONAL/STATE: where most police/prison/educational functions are managed, for example. where smart people are using eminent domain to take back foreclosed homes and return them to homeowners and where states like Montana are nullifying NDA.

    we have to figure out what works best  in the micro and macrocosms...

    it isn't advocacy groups. the heavy lifting is up to us.

    and truly, screw brand Dems.

    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

    by pfiore8 on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 04:17:30 PM PDT

  •  I couldn't have said it better. (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, we do get too attached to politicians, for sure. My all-time limit was exceeded in 2008, I think right after the election, when we had a rec listed diary with Obama's baby pics, and text about "who Barack Obama really was." In diapers, he was a cute little rapscallion. I'll give him that much.

    Seriously, he is just a politician. That's all. He is, as you say, an algorithm in a suit.

    Thanks.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 04:31:15 PM PDT

  •  He can still win (0+ / 0-)

    Anthony Weiner has already said sorry, so lets move on and get past this silly story.  This has nothing to do with the way he is going to run NYC once He is elected.  As democrats we are all about forgiveness.  If we forgave President Clinton then we can also forgive  Mr. Weiner.  

  •  Ah, yes. People as objects. (0+ / 0-)

    Moving them around like billiard balls or chess pieces or bricks or sheetrock. Installing them and removing them like they're lego pieces.

    I think if someone were entering the diplomatic corps they might look elsewhere for a model on how to handle human, all-too-human human beings.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 05:02:01 PM PDT

  •  You just don't give a fuck (0+ / 0-)
  •  Get involved with good issue advocacy groups (0+ / 0-)

    or do your own issue advocacy.  Pick the issues that are most important to you, preferably those that affect you personally or will in the future. Follow legislation or get some introduced by collaborating with others.

    Then call, email, fax, tweet, etc. Until you get what you want.

    Hold everyone in Washington DC accountable, especially Dems. They're much easier to persuade than right wingers.

    Ignore the ones who tell you its time to campaign for candidates. It isn't.  Our party's popularity while better than the GOP's, is still weak. If we want them to win they have to start doing something they've forgotten how to do - deliver results for us - the 99%.

    Tell them to ignore the nasty little campaign gurus and start working for the working class.

    If they want us to campaign for them, this is the year they earn it.

    "The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul." Helen Thomas

    by Betty Pinson on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 05:37:17 PM PDT

  •  Actually, I disagree (0+ / 0-)

    I agree that the applicable test is for "potential political function."  Obama passes with flying colors, and Weiner--well, I'm almost done with him.

    Because being an effective potential political function means being able to get elected, and otherwise handle yourself successfully as a very public figure.

    Weiner's indiscretion is worse than almost any other sexual misadventure that does not have a wide stance in it, because it's one thing to be known to have committed adultery, or even paid for it.  

    But it's another, really bad thing, to have your sexual fantasies, and worse.

    It's part of the job description, you don't make yourself the butt national derision like that.  Diminished your effectiveness.

    Obama, OTOH, is amazingly self-disciplined, and also has the good sense to be attracted to the beautiful, accomplished woman he married.

    •  Weiner never approved a drone strike (0+ / 0-)

      that killed a teenaged American citizen.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 01:43:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But he compromised (0+ / 0-)

        his ability to lead in opposition to it.  And he cost his side a bad distraction.  

        It's not a good reality, but it is the current reality.  So, that's part of the job description, when you seek elected office.  

        And for a member of his party, it has to be one of the things you consider, when you spend money and other capital promoting some one.  One sex scandal resignation is enough loss to sustain.

  •  You lost me with your title (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps you should think about your inputs a little.

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes. - PJ Crowley

    by nsfbr on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 06:35:56 PM PDT

  •  Inputs don't yield results -process does (0+ / 0-)
    A) what results do we want to produce?
    B) what input will deliver those results?
    In quality guru W. Edwards Deming's famousred bead experiment, he showed that the process is responsible for the outcome.  Working harder, working smarter, consensus on desired outcomes--none of this matters.

    We have to change the process if we want to change the outcome.

    Corporations have captured the Legislative, Executive and Judicial processes.  Until we change the process, we will get the results they want.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 04:09:27 AM PDT

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