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U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
If our people vote, we can get rid of Box Turtle Mitch.
Welcome to 2014, yet another critical election year, in a long line of critical election years. Has there ever been a year that wasn't a critical election year? These things matter. Elections have real consequences.

This is an off-year election, so it will be a base election. That also means we have to contend with decreased base Democratic performance. In short, our core constituencies don't vote in non-presidential years—Latinos, Asians, single women, and young voters. African Americans used to be on that list, but their off-year voting patterns have held up over the last several cycles. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says thanks to that. (Voters aged 18-29 went from 19 percent of the Virginia vote in 2012, to 13 percent in 2013. African Americans amazingly held steady at 20 percent.)

That's not to say that all's well in the black community. Mitt Romney won Georgia by about 370,000 votes. There are 600,000 unregistered African Americans who would be eligible to vote in Georgia, about 400,000 in them in metro Atlanta alone. (There are also 200,000 unregistered Latinos, for good measure.) You can do the math.

Bottom line, if our people turn out, we win. It really is that simple. There are more of us than there are of them. Register our people and get them to the polls, and all the Republican intensity in the world will mean little. But that's the only way we win, because Republicans will have no problems getting their people to the polls.

Indeed, Republicans are seeing their entire worldview crumble. Even though Obamacare was invented at Heritage and implemented by their 2012 presidential nominee, they've convinced themselves that it is worse than Hitler. And yet it is the law and won't be going anywhere.

Getting rid of the filibuster will now allow Democrats to "pack" the courts and agencies by, you know, filling vacancies.

There are married gay people in UTAH! Their innermost stronghold has been breached, and even though the Supreme Court stayed that decision, 17 states now allow unfettered love and commitment, and more will soon follow suit. And what's more, if the courts were to strike down marriage bans, Americans would approve!

Colorado and Washington have legalized pot. More states, from Alaska to Maine to Montana, will soon follow. Getting drunk on Bud Light is totally butch and awesome, even if you kill people or start a pub brawl or get liver cirrhosis. Mellowing out to a joint, however, means the fall of civilization.

White guys are an endangered species, and everyone else votes wrong.

Elizabeth Warren. First she starts that Consumer Finance Protection Board that is holding banks accountable for stuff. Then she gets elected to the Senate despite something something about Native Americans! And people take her seriously!

There's a black guy in the White House. Twice. And if that's not bad enough, the Clintons (the Clintons!) are the most likely successors. How could that be? Don't the American sheeple understand that Benghazi?

Fewer people are buying guns, and fewer people yet are tolerant of dead children as a result of said guns.

We can mock conservative neurosis, and we will, but it's actually very real. They really do believe that the "Leave it to Beaver" America of their fantasies is all but lost. And given how terrible the 2016 Senate map looks to Republicans, not to mention presidential year turnout, 2014 is really a last-gasp opportunity for the retrogrades.

If they lose this year and 2016, they'll have zero choice but to rebrand. They don't want to do that. They want to cling to every last one of their bigotries and hatreds. If they fail this year, they are done, and they know it. They are a rabid animal, backed into a corner, and everyone knows how dangerous those can be.

There's really nothing we can do about that. They're revved up and ready to go. We have to answer in kind. 2014 will come down to one thing: Can we register and motivate base Democrats to hit the polls in November? That's my job, your job, and that of your like-minded friends. Little else will matter.

There are more of us than them. If our people vote, we win.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia, LatinoKos, Virginia Kos, Colorado COmmunity, Black Kos community, and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If I'm an endangered species... (37+ / 0-)

    does that mean I get to be on postage or a commemorative coin? I'd even settle for one of those unfortunate Franklin Mint plates.

    Whoo-hoo!

    But yeah, damn it, vote.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:17:40 AM PST

  •  Another year (4+ / 0-)

    of HAVING to vote Democratic because... evil or something. Long live the center-right!

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:18:11 AM PST

    •  I'm pretty sure that it is about evil or something (0+ / 0-)

      very much like it.  But then again, I've been paying attention to the point that I know that I don't need to vote at all and that taking a hike is always an option.

      If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

      by Inland on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:23:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •   kos rally the troops list does have one problem (10+ / 0-)

      RE:

      Getting rid of the filibuster will now allow Democrats to "pack" the courts and agencies by, you know, filling vacancies.
      From ThinkProgress:
      Democratic Members Of Congress Slam Obama For Massive Cave To Republicans On Judges

      By Ian Millhiser    on January 6, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Now that Obama has formally nominated this Republican slate of judges, his usual allies in Georgia’s congressional delegation are not happy. Shortly after the nominees were announced, civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) warned that these nominees “do not adequately reflect the diversity of the northern district and that the selection process lacked meaningful community input,” and that “several nominees include persons who have advocated in favor of Georgia’s voter ID laws and for including the Confederate Battle Emblem as part of the Georgia State Flag.” He was joined in his complaint about these nominees by several of his fellow civil rights leaders, as well as Reps. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and David Scott (D-GA).

      On Friday, Rep. Scott pushed even harder, writing a letter to Senate Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) asking to testify against the nominees — “It is an abomination that these nominees for lifetime appointment were drafted in secret, not vetted by any legal groups among the President’s supporters, and announced on a holiday weekend. We must not allow lifetime appointed judges to be rammed through the hearing process without sufficient input from the people who will be affected by their future judicial actions.”
      The most likely reason why President Obama agreed to this GOP-friendly package of nominees is something known as the “blue slip,” which allows home state senators to effectively veto judicial nominees from their state. Although former Judiciary Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) abandoned the blue slip rule in favor of process that allowed judicial nominations to move forward “provided that the Administration [] engaged in pre-nomination consultation with both of the home-state Senators,” Leahy has clung to the rule during Obama’s presidency. He could eliminate it at any time, however, and take away the ability of Republican senators to extract deals such as this one.

      In the meantime, Senate Democrats have another option. They can confirm Jill Pryor and other nominees who are in line with the voters who gave them a majority in the Senate, while voting down the four nominees selected by Republicans.

      Kos is absolutely right, we need to rally and GOTV.  But our party needs to give us more reason than 'not as bad as you know who'  imo.

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:52:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lame. (9+ / 0-)

        Sorry, but our party is WAY better than "not as bad as you know who." If you can't see the VAST DIFFERENCES between the right's roadblocking, bigoted, mean-spirited policies, and the left's desire for gun control, expansion of benefits, healthcare, etc., you're just trying not to pay attention so you can spout the same "I hate the lesser of two evils approach" nonsense.

        Our side is WAY better than their homophobic, racist, and stingy side.

        Please.

        •  You are absolutely right about the relative (5+ / 0-)

          decency of the parties, but divineorder is talking about the political effect of doing what Obama did.  And he is right about that.  

          People like you and I are going to vote Dem no matter what, even if we have to hold our noses.  But this is about turning out people who have to have a damn good reason to vote, and simply because a Democrat is running is not a good enough reason for those people, especially when the Democrat at least appears to be supporting positions that they view as harmful.

          Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

          by ZedMont on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:42:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ouch, now sweetie, that's strong language on (3+ / 0-)

          your 15th comment here, and the twists and turns of it made me quite dizzy !

          you're just trying not to pay attention so you can spout the same "I hate the lesser of two evils approach" nonsense
          .

          Take a deep breath, and by all means, please proceed!  Go right on after those mean old critics of our Dems and TRY to get then to STFU, okay?

          Have been paying enough attention to  sadly conclude that Our Democratic Party is laced with leaders who are much more in tune with traditional Republican values than in any time in history,  from the top on down-- that's just the facts.  Campaign cash from 1%/corporate interests make the job so much more manageable, but  means we have to fight for crumbs for the 99% and we must change that.

          Go have a look at kos diary history and read his post on the Third Way and enlighten yourself to some of the problems we face with this orientation to big money.

          Some of us here have decided to only work for, and fund those of a more progressive persuasion.  YMMV.

          Thursday night I am going to a fundraiser for a progressive Dem Candidate here  in NM.  This will give you an idea of the type of people we are looking to rebuild the Democratic Party:

          Dear Robert,

          StephanieGarciaRichard

          What: Rio Grande Chapter PAC fundraiser, with special guest state Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard
          When: 5:30-7 p.m.
          Jan. 9
          Where: Eleanor Eisenmenger's home, 322 Delgado St., Santa Fe
          RSVP: Susan Martin, smartin31@comcast.net, 505-670-3279

          The last three years have had a heartbreaking impact on New Mexico's air, water, wildlife and land.

          Since the day I won my 2012 race for the New Mexico House by just 331 votes, Gov. Susana Martinez and the PAC that supports her have targeted my district, sending robocalls and mailers attacking me with an eye on getting a House majority sympathetic to Martinez in 2014.

          The balance of power in the New Mexico Legislature is just two seats from becoming anti-environmental, which is why I'm asking you to join me Jan. 9 to support the Rio Grande Chapter PAC.

          The Rio Grande Chapter focuses its efforts on tight, winnable races where pro-environment candidates can pick up or defend a seat, like my Los Alamos-area district.

          The chapter works hard on the ground and in the media for pro-environment candidates for the Legislature as well as governor, U.S. Senate and House and the Public Regulation Commission, where three commissioners are up for election.

          Contributing to the Rio Grande Chapter PAC is an effective way to support candidates who share your concern for protecting New Mexico, and that’s why I hope you'll join me Jan. 9 for refreshments and conversation and a chance to help elect a better government in 2014.

          Looking forward to seeing you next Thursday,

          New Mexico Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard

          Please RSVP to Susan Martin at smartin31@comcast.net, 505-670-3279.

          P.S.: If you can't make it Thursday, you can contribute to the Rio Grande Chapter PAC here.

          Contributions to the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club PAC are not tax-deductible.

          Former Clinton Administration official Robert Reich, Democrat, had a good post on FB this morning and races a quality question....

          I'm freezing in Chicago. Meanwhile, in Washington, Republicans say they won't extend emergency unemployment benefits unless their cost is offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget. But they won't even consider offsetting the cost by closing tax loopholes for the rich -- such as the "carried interest" loophole that gives hedge-fund and private-equity partners an annual $11 billion tax subsidy, almost twice the cost of extending unemployment benefits. Put this in a larger context and see the pattern: (1) Not only do they oppose extending unemployment benefits, but (2) they oppose any jobs program to put the long-term unemployed to work, (3) they want to cut food stamps, (4) they refuse to raise the minimum wage, and (5) they're determined to kill off unions. Connect the dots and you have a calculated strategy to keep wages as low as possible -- forcing large numbers of Americans to choose between working for peanuts or having nothing at all. Republicans are pushing this strategy because lower wages give their big-business patrons fatter profits (at least in the short term; longer term, they reduce overall demand for goods and services). The strategy is already succeeding: Real median household incomes are now 4.4 percent below what they were at the start of the so-called recovery, and corporate profits are up. Democrats, including Obama, should be calling them out on this strategy. Why aren't they?
          Look forward to see more of you here !

           .

          Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

          by divineorder on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:47:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You lost me at... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emelyn

            ..."Sweetie." With that rude and disrespectful salutation, you revealed your ignorance and condescension. Why on earth would I read any further? I have virtually NO idea what the rest of your reply says. Shame you blew it on the first impression. Lost a chance to get your message across. Although...if you're going to pat people on the head with belittling names like "Sweetie," my guess is you didn't have much interesting or valuable to say.

            Thanks so much for sparing me what looks like a long, boring, lecturing, patronizing read.

        •  lame. (5+ / 0-)

          that whooshing sound is divine order's point going past you.

          The base turns out when Democrats stand up to the Republicans and offer real programs,  not watered down pablum.

          All Dems have to do is introduce bills and programs that 70% of Americans approve of, instead of being scared to be seen as real Democrats.  Give the voters something to be voting FOR, rather than merely be the "not crazy" party.

          President Obama STILL criticizes "Congress" rather than the real cause of the problem,  which is the Republican'ts in Congress.  He is still looking to bargain away the New Deal,  bit by bit.

          I am simply not inspired to go out and vote for Republican-lite.  I will vote,  of course, but I'd prefer to be voting FOR programs we need.

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:54:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I remember the last four years (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, Buckeye Nut Schell

            Every time I or anyone below the pecking order of Atrios, Krugman or Brad DeLong dared to criticize Obama, we were shat upon with amazing speed with hoary cries of "Don't criticize Obama! Do you want to help elect a REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT?" here and on myriad other 'progressive' sites.

            He has been re-elected, with my help and my vote. There was never any danger of a GOP President; there will not be, as long as Rush, FOX News and the Teabaggers are calling the shots. Obama SHOULD BE CRITICIZED for many, many different issues; he has failed us much more than he has had 'successes'. And he has used the GOP, et al as his backup excuse. Absolutely pathetic. He has not done his job. He has not refused to cooperate with the GOP. He is passive. He is the worst President in my lifetime, as regards what he promised, and what he has produced.

            We needed an FDR; we got a Herbert Hoover WITH a non-GOP-but-GOP-compliant Democratic Congress. We still have 7% UE and a large and growing gap of economic inequality. The banks are running wild, with OUR MONEY. The ACA is a piece of shit--baby steps progress though it may be. Obama has been spying on us, running Bush's wars, ignoring jobs.

            I know for a fact that I would be grousing about at least only HALF of the complaints I have against Obama if Hillary were President. We wait--again, and again, and still we wait some more.

            "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

            by DaddyO on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:32:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And that scratching sound... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            emelyn

            ...is the same "nails on a chalkboard"...pablum divine order tried to dish. It's utterly asinine to call the Dems simply "not as bad" when the Repubs are dishing dangerous, racist, homophobic, lethal bull$h!t. Before the Tea Party, I'd buy the "lesser of two evils" argument. In fact, I'd make it. Today's Repubs are on a whole other plane of nastiness.

            That whooshing sound is the larger point of the sheer invidiousness that now permeates the right when it comes to children, poor folks, gays, black and brown people, immigrants, and women going past YOU. For you to call what we have on the left as Republican lite says you think we're "lite" homophobic, "lite" bigoted, "lite" anti-women, etc. Really? That's absurd.

            All I'm asking is for people to use more considered and thought-out language before throwing around hackneyed nonsense like, "Lesser of two evils," "Republican lite," etc. That's just EASY drivel. Write a full diary that's more thoughtful and less cliche.

        •  They have even started LITERAL roadblocking! (0+ / 0-)
  •  We need more and better creative ways... (19+ / 0-)

    ...to get people to the polls.

    The special election in VA should have been won by much more than 22 votes.

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:19:03 AM PST

    •  I would love to see (9+ / 0-)

      real analysis of what works.  The decline in key groups from '04 to '06 was almost identical to the decline in key groups from '08 to '10.

      Most of the analysis tends to be of the "well the base is disappointed " nonsense - which doesn't survive even a cursory analysis when you look back at previous non-presidential elections.

      Anyone got ideas?

      •  Remind Dems that they are in a fight just to (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LMS44, Dragon5616, ImagineOhio, fladem

        preserve their voting rights from the onslaught of GOP state election mischief.  Being able to go into the polls saying, "Oh no you don't, buster," and coming out of the polls with that "Take that, buster," feeling would be effective.  It speaks to our feelings of personal empowerment and unity with the party that serves us best, albeit flimsy unity in some cases.

        Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

        by judyms9 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:52:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The old City Machines... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dragon5616, fladem

        Were very effective at GOTV.  It's a pretty simple system.  The machine is centered around the party.  The party distributes the spoils of winning to people who work for the machine.  So there's a reward for dragging people out of their homes to put down their name.

        There's also the way the big ranchers did it in Texas along the border. First, set yourself up as a local king of the population, in control of the government and voting mechanisms.  When it's time to vote, you just vote for them - so-called block voting.   Bam, 98-100% turnout, depending on how many votes the guy running for office needs.

        Oh, you mean a good, non-corrupt way?  Oh.  Well, we're pretty much stuck with identifying potential voters, getting them interested in voting, and getting them to their polling location (while hoping it doesn't rain that day).  At least until we figure out online voting, weekend voting, or mandatory voting, I guess.

        •  Vote-by-mail (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask

          works pretty well in Oregon.  And I'm a permanent absentee voter in California - very easy.

          •  I love vote by mail! (0+ / 0-)

            I just moved to Alaska, and will have to figure out how to vote in a polling station. I've only did it once before, as a 19 year-old in Wisconsin, 18 years ago.

            During those 18 years in between, I didn't miss the primary when I was in the hospital. I didn't have to take nursing babies to the polls between 2000-2003, or with rambunctious toddlers in the years after that. When my son started kindergarten, he started "helping" us vote, and knocking on doors to remind people to vote, (and accepting completed ballots to turn in, if requested) has been our definition of "getting out the vote."

            Oregon's system isn't perfect, and rates are still low for non-Presidential election. I think that there are lots of things to be learned from Oregon's vote-by-mail, especially in rural areas. I really don't understand why we are surprised that turnout among poor, rural voters is low, when we have elections on a workday. Voter suppression laws just make this dynamic worse, but without fighting to changing the day of the election, (or having it be a national holiday) we will always have people who choose to work and support their families, unless they see the election as directly impacting them.

            (Okay, sorry to ramble. I do think that there needs to be a combination of changes to how we vote, and giving voters people who they really want to vote for, rather than voting against the other guy who is worse.)

      •  Encourage absentee voting? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fladem, Brian82

        And then go around collecting ballots to make sure people actually fill it out? In my county, someone other than the voter can transport a ballot as long as they sign the envelope in the proper place as a ballot transport.

        If that isn't legal in your county, go around to people who vote absentee a week or two before the election and carry postage. Encourage the voter to fill out their ballot and you apply proper postage and assist the voter in taking it to the mailbox.

        Yes, DailyKos DOES have puzzles! Visit us here Saturday nights @ 5:00 PDT (easier puzzles) and Sunday nights @ 5:00 PDT (more challenging) for a group solving party. Even if you just pop in and comment while watching the fun, everybody is welcome.

        by pucklady on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:26:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can tell you one thing about VA (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fladem, Brian82

        The party operatives do not talk to each other from precinct to precinct.  There is NO regional coordination.  

        In 2012, I worked on a Congressional campaign in a heavily populated (and demographically changing) district.  There was a TON of Obama lit.  Very little on the Congressional level, mostly because the precinct captains did not coordinate which precinct belonged to which candidate.

        So all of the OFA help that poured into the area...it got Obama elected but there were no coattails whatsoever--unless the candidate was strong to begin with.

        This same candidate should be ramping up his campaign.  Crickets.  Nothing.  No candidate is stepping up to take on the incumbent.  Ridiculous.

        •  In Florida (0+ / 0-)

          OFA didn't really coordinate with other candidates. It is wrong to say they were no coatails, though, since OFA turned out voters who would vote Democratic in other races as well.

          But the 2012 effort had fewer volunteers than in 2008 in Fl - and certainly the efforts didn't help in 2010.

          I am not sure to what extent a ground organization can fix this problem - though I would sure like to try.

    •  How about a copy and paste campaign (0+ / 0-)

      across the internet....some kind of slogan.

      That is something everybody can do.

      I know that  spam is a bad thing but is it spam if you are telling when to go vote?

  •  Senate rules, gerrymandering, money, SCt, guns (6+ / 0-)

    All are methods to keep the majority from gaining control.  That's why the GOP goes apeshit if there's any attempt to rein them in.

    If Hobby Lobby is against contraception, why does it buy its inventory from China, the country that limits the number of children by law?

    by Inland on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:21:53 AM PST

  •  Let's pop the GOP Bubble!! (14+ / 0-)

    Perhaps we should go insanely hyperbolic on them?

    You know, "GOP policies will starve your children and leave your grandparents in poverty."

    Hmm, this is gonna take some work...

    -7.75,-6.41 Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking...

    by owlbear1 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:22:12 AM PST

  •  Most. Excellent. Post... (12+ / 0-)

    ...as always, when it's Kos. We need to tweet this out, folks. Also, everyone should make an effort to devote some Saturdays to registering voters in places you know a bunch of "unregistereds" are running around (college campuses, disenfranchised people in poorer communities, etc.). It may take a lot of effort by all of us, but it's better than how much effort it will take to stomach bigoted and deadly policies we'll have to live with if our side doesn't turn out.

    GEORGIA, are you listening?

    •  Be careful not to run afoul of some of the (0+ / 0-)

      local election regulations designed to negate all this civic spirited footwork.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:54:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the one hand... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miggles, ImagineOhio, TKO333

        ...good point, but on the other, this is PRECISELY the kind of comment they hope you'll make so you'll chill people who may have taken action. Yes, we need to research the rules, but we can still show up in HUGE force while coloring inside the lines.

        This kind of nay-saying does nothing but help the right's cause.

        "Let's rally!"

        "Wait. You many run afoul of rules."

        "Yeah, you're right. Let's catch a movie."

        Don't beat their drum for them.

        •  There's a difference between cautioning and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MPociask

          naysaying.  I have worked on campaigns and will continue to do so, but I want the work to count for something and not get hung up on rules snag that suggests incompetence.  Detroit's current mayor was almost bounced from the race because he submitted his nominating petitions "too early."

          Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

          by judyms9 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:01:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well at least in Florida organizing a legal voter (0+ / 0-)

          registration drive is so complicated as to be practically impossible unless you can afford huge bucks for a large team of expensive lawyers.  Oh, and the penalties for making even a single mistake involve decades in prison.  So why don't you put your ass where your mouth is, go down there, and start a GOTV drive yourself?  Oh, that's right, because you aren't willing to spend a good chunk of your life in prison because of some obscure rule that is so cleverly worded that even the best lawyers can't agree on what it means.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:04:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Leave it to Beaver is lost (12+ / 0-)

    And in many ways that's a good thing - especially if you are not white, are gay or are a woman. In economic ways it sucks, but 30 years of union busting and trickle down economics is to blame - not the black guy in the white house.

  •  My local (12+ / 0-)

    Democratic Party doesn't even seem to have a Get Out The Vote activity or an ongoing registration drive.

    WTF? This is how we ended up with Teabaggin Tipton as a Congresscritter.

    It took a few YEARS for them to respond to my email & telephone request to help with these activities...and their response was "Hey-come to our self-congratulatory Christmas Party!"--which was only white, hetero couples. No POC, no Native Americans, no Hispanics, no gays...it looked like a Republican meet-up.

    Seems like I will have to go around them & set up my own registration drive.

    The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

    by Thinking Fella on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:24:27 AM PST

  •  the Leave it to Beaver fantasy (13+ / 0-)

    always was a fantasy.  that's why people watched it.

    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 Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:24:56 AM PST

  •  I think 'conservatives' are slicker than that (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randallt, Dragon5616, ImagineOhio

    FOX News. Rush and AM daily hate. Corporate hacks spending billions to spread propaganda--mostly lies--that works.

    They are more determined than we will ever be. I despair.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:26:22 AM PST

  •  Zero choice but to rebrand? (8+ / 0-)

    This is the party that loves to repeat the myth of the lost cause in a war to end the most hated human institution ever: slavery.

    You think a few measly congressional seats lost or the senate still in the hands of the American Communists (aka the Democrat party) is gonna change the minds?

    Two words: fuck no. These are the original and final double downers. They can repeat there mistakes until, like Ozyandia, only two vast and trunkless legs remain.

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away

    What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

    by TerryDarc on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:29:05 AM PST

    •  Rec'd for Shelley (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TerryDarc

      That's one of very few sonnets that I thought worth memorizing. Keats/Homer and Millay/Euclid are the others.

      Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
      When a new planet swims into his ken.
      and
      Euclid alone
      Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they,
      who though once only and then but far away
      Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:25:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Beautiful...about beauty (0+ / 0-)

        and here is the sonnet entire.

        Sonnet from The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1923)

        Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
        Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
        And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
        To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
        At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
        In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
        Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
        From dusty bondage into luminous air.
        O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
        When first the shaft into his vision shone
        Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
        Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
        Who, though once only and then but far away,
        Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 12:56:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well, one way to motivate people is anger. (10+ / 0-)

    The GOP cut your SNAP, dumped you off of Unemployment before new jobs became available, blocked new jobs from being created and they're trying to take away your health insurance.
    Think that hits a lot of 1%ers?
    I'd say that is squarely targeted on Democratic voters. Millions of them.
    What are you gonna do about it? Sit there and moan or get out and fight these creeps?

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:29:34 AM PST

  •  the white guy in that picture (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, artmartin, Dragon5616, Miggles, DaddyO

    doesnt look endangered at all

    especially if we all keep voting for him, and literally all the freaking "white" people in congress follows his lead

    but rah rah

    I wanted single payer. (please don't hurt me.)

    by Krush on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:30:15 AM PST

  •  A-w-w-w-white guys are melting! (7+ / 0-)

    "The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”---Bob Marley

    by lyvwyr101 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:35:28 AM PST

  •  A great, timely post, kos. (9+ / 0-)

    I would suggest re-posting it once a week for the next 11 months.

    I'm sure we'll be getting this message often, as we should.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:36:24 AM PST

  •  Low base turnout, right. Why is that? (9+ / 0-)

    Could the low turnout be a reflection of the failures of the Democratic Party to take action that the base elected them for?

    Like prosecution of bank and war criminals?
    Like infrastructure investments and jobs?
    Like really ending wars?
    Like reining in Fatherland Security apparatus?
    Like immigration - not deportation?
    Like stopping fracking pollution and destruction

    The main reason for low base turnout is the way the Democratic Party (and often DailyKOS as well) primarily spends most of the time highlighting Rebublican crazy rather than concentrating on taking actions that make a difference.

    This results in many of the base - youth, minorities, etc. in losing enthusiasm and staying home - witness 2010 debacle.

    Get ready for a repeat performance.

    •  Perfect summary, perfect agenda piece for the (3+ / 0-)

      next Dem Party meeting in your area and mine.  The Dems seem content to merely hold down the arms of the GOP in the fight while the GOP kicks the crap out of them from below the belt.  Nothing like landing a political blow to the chin of the GOP every so often.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:06:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Doing good is even better (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        histOries Marko

        I try to stay positive and productive rather than always approaching policy as a sporting match, us v. them contest.

        The punches the Democratic Party should be throwing are against poverty, inequality etc.  

        I think this would do more to energize the base and draw in more citizens.  FDR was mainly successful because the actions he took, the programs he implemented (while not 100% successful) made a difference for everyday people.

        and that difference resulted in high popularity and repeated results at the polls - to the point that the law was changed to stop him from being re-elected.

        Sure FDR regularly talked about the rebublican and corporate opposition (e.g. I love their hate), but his main strategy was ACTION on policy that improved things.

        Of course, the political environment is much different now since the 1% and corporations and gerrymandering make action more complicated but the Democratic Party and Obama Administration have not really used all the options at hand to take ACTION.

        IMHO

  •  They believe that debt will destroy us. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Dragon5616

    They aren't evil (well, some of them are evil, but most are not). They are sincerely worried about the debt.

    Some Republicans seriously think the federal debt will destroy America. They can't articulate exactly the mechanism that results in this. They kind of think that we have financed 17 trillion dollars of debt with China and somehow China may someday demand repayment. Then we're doomed. Can the Chinese foreclose on America? It's complicated but they are certain of one thing: the US government budget is like a family budget.

    The "we're broke" and "can't afford" to feed hungry children or pay out-of-work people UI all result from this thinking. Many Republicans really seriously believe that taking on additional debt is crazy and stupid, since we're broke. This is why Paul Ryan is regarded as "courageous." He faces the hard choices. In the beltway bubble, the conventional wisdom is that debt is dangerous.

    I think this is the biggest problem we face. The misunderstanding of how money and debt really work at the national level by Republicans and some Democrats.

    •  The problem is not debt, it's revenue. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ImagineOhio, MPociask, METAL TREK, navajo

      We need to tax the people who have all the money.

      As Glen The Plumber's sig line says, "We're not broke, We're being robbed."

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

      by Dragon5616 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:52:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the problem is confusing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Curt Matlock, a2nite

        money with what the money is backed up by. That is, the total resources available to the US. We are wealthy enough to feed and house every US citizen. The money isn't the limiting factor. So I disagree with you that revenue is the big deal. The government doesn't use tax revenues to fund expenditure anyway.

    •  Assuming that you can take that at face value. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miggles

      Republicans hate spending on "social services".  Their strategy for decades has been to run deficits to ensure that the debt remains high, so that they can always attack Democratic proposals with "we can't afford it!".

      That some people are deluded enough to believe there is any truth at all in a "debt problem" doesn't mean that it's a real fear of actual consequences.

      -7.75 -4.67

      "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

      There are no Christians in foxholes.

      by Odysseus on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:54:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If that is the case, why is it that as soon as (5+ / 0-)

      Repugs are in the majority or the White House, the debt ceases to become important beyond a few token references?  In fact, it's generally under recent Republicans (Reagan, Bush II) that deficits have exploded, and I have no doubt the same will be the case in 2016 if a Republican is elected president.  The first thing they'll do is start talking about how supposedly unprepared our military is, and all these supposed threats we have, and how national defense was allowed to atrophy under a weak and spineless Democrat.  So, unfortunately, much as they'd love to eliminate deficits and reduce the debt, they just HAVE to buy every weapon system in sight, whether the military wants it or not.  Rewards for their patrons.
           But sure, they'll "offset" that spending.  Like cut a really valuable education program that cost $30 million, while adding a new weapon system that costs $30 billion.
           The debt posturing by the Republicans is not and never has be serious or sincere.  They just use it to blow smoke up people's asses when they're out of power to try and prevent government from spending money on programs and infrastructure that will actually help the vast majority of our citizens.  Because they are not interested in the vast majority of our citizens.  Just the 1%.

      •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)

        The Republicans who want to kill Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and Obamacare in order to "save" money but also want to increase tax cuts for the wealthy and increase military spending KNOW that the debt isn't dangerous. These people are manipulative, distrustful, liars. Their motives are more difficult to discern. To the extent that they are wealthy, they are frightened to death by inflation. As long as all the new money entering the economy goes to the wealthy, who will not spend it into the economy, then demand pull inflation won't happen. The rich don't shop where the 99% shop.

        •  I don't think they are really that frightened of (0+ / 0-)

          inflation.  During the last period of hyperinflation, in the late seventies and early eighties, interest rates on Money Market Accounts reached 16% and higher.  Not as a good a return as this past year on the Stock Market, but pretty damn good for minimal risk.  But that time period did teach them the usefulness of Fear.  Not in them, but instilling it, along with its twin Hatred, in the working classes to help create or exploit divisions amongst them was extremely valuable to their agenda.

    •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

      The crocodile tears about the debt are always and only about destroying government programs that help the unworthy riff-raff. You can tell because they only complain about deficits run up under Democratic administrations.

      Reagan proved that deficits don't matter.
      Dick Cheney

      Originally that meant Blacks, going back to the Civil War and Reconstruction. It has been expanded to other minorities, women, LGBTs, workers, the young, the old, victims of gun violence, immigrants (legal or not), scientists, and now, to complete the circle, each other.

      Racists and Religious Right Mammonists used to be happy to go along with the Country Club/Wall Street/1% agenda of cutting taxes and regulations, on the promise of keeping Blacks down and opposing abortion and contraception, but the Tea Parties hate Wall Street as much as they do any other DamYankee "tyrants". They have shown a willingness to crash not only the US but the global economy, "as long as it hurts Blacks worse," in Reagan strategist Lee Atwater's formulation. They are even willing to crash the entire Republican Party. It couldn't happen to more deserving people.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:16:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, MPociask, Dragon5616
    There are more of us than them. If our people vote, we win.
    And if the 'more of us than them' don't believe the outrageous lies the RW loons tell them.
    Granted, we do win, but there were millions upon millions who voted for the dreadful Mittens in the last general election, and 4 years before that, there were millions upon millions who thought nothing of voting for a smarmy grifter to be only a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:43:04 AM PST

  •  perception is the key on Obamacare.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dragon5616, ImagineOhio

    They are going to use Obamacare as the one and only issue this year.

    The failed rollout has put into voter's minds that ACA is a failure.  Doesn't matter that it has recovered and doesn't matter that millions now are signing up successfully.

    What matters is the anecdotal stories of people losing their doctors, or people paying higher premiums - even though there are probably as many stories on the other side of that coin.

    All those other issues won't matter this year.  It will be Obamacare 24/7.  And when the cancellation notices for employer based plans go out in September the sob stories will start anew.  The stories won't mention that those cancellation notices will go out with offers of newer plans that meet ACA basic requirements, of course.  Except when the premiums are higher - which they will be.

    With Hagen, Pryor, Landrieu and others running away from ACA, it makes ACA even more tempting for the GOP competitors to exploit.

    The perception of a failed ACA implemntation will be the hardest thing to overcome this year.  Dem voters will not be convinced to head to the polls with the current perception of failure.

    Of course.. the GOP could still easily screw things up for themselves..  they have 10 months!

  •  GOP fear is on the rise, and it is dangerous (8+ / 0-)

    I completely agree. Many GOP supporters, I know, are in a near panic.

    One Recent Example:
    At a company wide meeting, someone was asked to name a question they'd love to get an answer to. Any question, as long as it's not, what's the meaning of life. (Some weird team building thing.)

    Anyway, when one older lady answered (well known Fox-lover in the company), she said something like, As a white christian, I'm afraid our country is being taken over by minorities, non-christians and liberals, and I'd love to know the answer to how we prevent that from happening. What can we do to stop this threat?

    The shock at the question was palpable in the room, and the CEO had a dazed look on his face. After the meeting, that is all anyone talked about.

    On one hand, people were shocked that such racism still exists, and in that regard, I'm glad she said something to wake those people up.

    But my point was, by the question, and even her tone, you could tell, she was truly worried about this coming "change".

    frightening and sad.

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:46:05 AM PST

    •  But the caution there is that this anti-white (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      theme is a loser.  It turns this white woman off and it's sure not going to motivate anyone on my block to vote for the Democratic Party.  It's not going to win a Senate seat in Iowa and could lose one in Minnesota.  

      The demise of the white race is greatly exaggerated particularly in the Midwest and New England.  

      •  I agree it's exaggerated, for the most part (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ImagineOhio

        but it is this exaggeration that is being used, politically, to move some GOP supporters, or atleast make them fear. In my experience, fear often stops openness, discussion, etc. When in a state of fear, people get rigid in their beliefs.

        and once people have a good fear on, I believe, they are more susceptible to sloganeering, and group/team mentality. Hell, even our party uses fear (fear the GOP), but not near on the level that the GOP uses fear, and the GOP-type fear is bad for the country overall.

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

        by greenbastard on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:05:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So don't help Republicans amp up the fear with (0+ / 0-)

          these snarky attacks on whites.  This isn't just about racism.  It's about identity.  If you define the Democratic Party as the brown party, whites are going to leave over simple identity particularly if there's little to choose between the two on policy, especially for the middle class.  

          We're not waging the 2054 election.  Is there any state where the majority of registered likely voters are not white?  I wouldn't work so hard to alienate them.

          •  The Brown Party (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            a2nite, METAL TREK

            Actually, being the Brown party works in my state: OHIO.
            We like things Brown:

            Cleveland Browns
            Senator Sherrod Brown

            --just to name a couple.

            So, I'd be perfectly happy for the Democratic Party to be seen as the "Brown" party!  ;-)

            Besides:  we are already seen as the non-white party.  We should NEVER be ashamed of pointing out the racism in the Tea Party and the racist tendencies in the Republican Party.  

            We ARE the party of EVERYONE. We should never let anyone forge that.

          •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

            Which whites are you talking about? You do realize that the vast majority of people at this site, including myself, are white, right?

            Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

            by moviemeister76 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:24:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  There is a lot to fear from the GOP; I ain't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          METAL TREK

          Gonna vote for them. It doesn't have anything to do with race. They are evil, PERIOD. Instead of creating hell here; they can go back there.

          nosotros no somos estúpidos

          by a2nite on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:42:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  they are evil period? (0+ / 0-)

            what about the ones that the Obama administration has appointed to positions in the current administration?

            I think the GOP are losers with bad ideas, but they are evil period is exactly what I'm talking about, regarding fear based politicking

            Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

            by greenbastard on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:57:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  After that comment (0+ / 0-)

      I hope there were EEO claims filed for hostile work environment .

  •  another idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9, Dragon5616

    There are (were?) Rs who find Tea Party mantra insane--who think of themselves as socially responsible and fiscally conservative--our job is to force them to stand up to the Koch brothers--to ridicule FOXNEWS--to be patriotic.  We need to shame these Rs--to support those who break out of their party's stranglehold.  Maybe even invite them to switch parties.  Calling out is a conservative tool that we should use--these people are treasonous.  Use the word often--include not only politicians, but the super rich who off shore money and jobs.  Who support no tax because they themselves have no needs.  Finally--use religion.  Are they following the golden rule?  Are they being charitable?  Do they belong in Hell?

    Actions speak louder than petitions.

    by melvynny on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:47:32 AM PST

    •  I agree with all this, but for so many GOPers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      becoming a Dem or even an Independent just isn't "special" enough.  It's not aligned enough with money and power.  Occupy Wall Street and the 99% were ideas that had cache' and could recruit correct-thinking people.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:44:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melvynny

      Paint them as the incompetent extremists they are. Use common sense. Ask people if the government runs well under Republicans. Remind them of massive failures like Iraq and the Bush Recession.

      If you are in a red state, ask people about local cuts to schools and infrastructure. Remind them this is happening so the rich can have tax cuts.

      Remind people that Republicans are so extreme they will shut down the government and risk the nation's credit rating as a cheap, unsuccessful political tactic.

      Tell it like it is.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

      by Dragon5616 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:00:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great post Kos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, ImagineOhio, METAL TREK

    and I wish that the bulk of the diaries on here were centered on this topic of electing Democrats and not distracted by NSA pie fights and drone wars.  While there are issues we all have to keep in our sights and ensure that they are not in place the next time the Republicans get the full power again, the finger pointing and in-fighting on here accomplishes nothing and doesn't even help the issues that they bring up in outrage.

    Bottom line is that we live in a two party system and advances in the American dream have only happened during solidly Democratic administrations and not a single progressive agenda item stands a chance of being advanced if Republicans retain or gain power.  The other prominent fact is that we have an immensely ethical, brilliant, and popular President and our strategy must be bolstering that image to everyone around us.  It's how this political game is played.  Any diversion from that is embraced by and overwhelmed by right wing resources, media domination, propaganda, and cheating.

    I can instantly see the straight lines I just handed to the political purists on this site but I really don't care because we have a year of intense work ahead of us and a very uphill battle.  They're in the way.  Keep it up Kos.  I wish you'd just dump the screamers but I know they're here to stay and for the most part they're just a circle jerk.  Your posts bring those edge sitters that are potentially influenced by them back to sanity.

    •  Thank-you (0+ / 0-)

      for articulating exactly why I am no longer a Democrat.

       By the way, BOO!, there's a Republican behind you. Vote Dem 2014.

      The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

      by Jazzenterprises on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:16:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I agree that it is a great post! (0+ / 0-)

      I profoundly DISAGREE that we can continue to hide our heads in the sand about the NSA/social media/corporate surveillance state, or about climate change.  We need to make these front page top of the ticket issues NOW, before it's too late.  Anything else is the proverbial fiddling to the fire.  These are Democratic as well as global and constitutional issues - let's be Democrats and confront them while there's still a chance.  Outreach includes education, of voters and potential candidates.

  •  Leave it to Beaver! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dragon5616

    Starring Mitch Beaumont......Rush Billingsley......Rand Dow.....

    and Cruz Mathers, as the Beav.

    Gosh, Rand, they sure got some neat junk here in Washington.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 08:58:31 AM PST

  •  Kos diarist refuses to vote "on principle" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dragon5616, DiesIrae, METAL TREK

    In Pennsylvania, we elect all of our judges in partisan elections - primaries followed by a general election (for example, a Democratic nominee versus a Republican nominee for state Supreme Court justice).

    In last November 2103's general election to elect a statewide judge I recall a Kos diarist who was proud of the fact that he refuses to vote in Pennsylvania elections for judges.  He said he disagrees with the concept of electing judges so "on principle" he refuses to vote in those elections.

    In theory, Pennsylvania Democrats who have successfully prevailed in electing Presidential electors in every election starting 1992 could also use their votes to elect Democratic judges to the courts at all levels of PA's court system, from the PA Supreme Court on down.  If that happened, those Democratic judges would likely be less inclined to uphold the Republican efforts to thwart voting by legal voters (Voter ID laws), would uphold worker rights, and maybe even support nondiscrimination laws and marriage equality.

    Instead, we have courts dominated by conservative Republicans - because in the odd-numbered statewide elections when we elect judges, the Republicans come out to vote in higher numbers than the Democrats.  

    For example, in the November 2013 election in which the Kos diarist was proud to have refused to vote, the conservative Republican won by 49,781 votes out of a total of 1,614,031 votes cast.  By contrast, in the November 2012 election in Pennsylvania, a total of 5,742,040 votes were cast - over 4.1 million more voters voted in the Presidential election than in the off year election.

    Judges and courts have great control over our rights and privileges.  We could be electing progressive Democratic judges here in Pennsylvania.  Instead, many people stay home and do not vote at all in such elections - and at least one Kos diarist refuses to vote because it offends his or her principles.

    Very frustrating.

    •  Many super liberal people, including my father (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, a2nite

      are against voting for judges on principle.  Most judicial elections are uncontested, so it ends up being a moot point anyways. Furthermore, look at the super long voter lines in Florida during 2012 which in no small part were due to having to wade through reams of uncontested judges and other such, dinky items.

  •  The R noise machine has been relatively quiet (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TakeSake, bythesea, Dragon5616, MPociask

    about the pot legalization thing.

    Getting drunk on Bud Light is totally butch and awesome, even if you kill people or start a pub brawl or get liver cirrhosis. Mellowing out to a joint, however, means the fall of civilization.
    Sure we've had a few idiots opine negatively, letting their stupid show. David Brooks, O'Reilly. But if we were in the middle of a full on right wing hissy fit, we would know it.

    Yes, many / most R's oppose legalization. But they're not fighting it that hard. They could even be turning it against the President because he's not using the full weight of the Federal Government to shut it down. He's allowing it to proceed in CO and WA. But I haven't heard much criticism of him for this.

    I'm happy with legalization but having grown up in the Reagan / Bush War on Drugs years, I'm a little bit paranoid. Like why aren't the Republicans screaming more about this? What am I missing?

    "In text, use only a single word space after all sentence punctuation." - Oxford Style Manual, Oxford University Press, 2003.

    by shaggies2009 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:20:38 AM PST

    •  While the social conservatives generally oppose it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaggies2009, Dragon5616

      many libertarian types feel the opposite, and lots of younger conservatives support legalization for personal liberty, anti-government, and/or pragmatic fiscal reasons. It's not a clear winner for the GOP, nor has it become overly politically polarizing (at least not yet).

    •  D.A.R.E. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaggies2009, Deadicated Marxist

      Always confused me. I took it to mean, "I DARE you to keep off drugs!", which just led to more confusion about things, such as why all those MX missiles were needed.

      The United States for All Americans

      by TakeSake on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:58:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What you are missing is Bill Buckley (0+ / 0-)

      Since Buckley came out for legalizing pot in his National Review, significant numbers of mainstream Republicans and Libertarians have come to favor legalization of pot and shutting down the War on Drugs in favor of tax and regulate (for drugs no more harmful than alcohol) or an entirely medical approach (for anything significantly worse, like angel dust or quaaludes). Dealers in stuff that is actually dangerous to the user or to others, based on medical and criminal fact, should do time. If you commit a crime while on drugs, then you should do time. If you drive while impaired by drugs, then you should get the same penalties as for drunk driving.

      So freaking out about pot in CO would simply fracture the Republican Party even worse.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 01:45:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Apathy is the biggest issue I run into (6+ / 0-)

    I am an urban millennial and I have to say, the Democratic party has done a horrible job of doing much about the issues that concern those of us in the demographic that is still struggling from the recession. Many of us have been out of college for a few years now, and some have still not found work that pays more than minimum wage part time. I am lucky to have a full time job with good pay (prior to the recession it would not have been good pay for someone with a college degree).

    People who voted for Obama twice are now questioning the point of voting when neither party is listening to them. Voting out the republicans to avoid chaos isn't a good enough argument for them.

    College debt is going to be worse now than it was before legislators messed with it. No one can afford a house. No one can afford kids. No one wants to get married with so much debt. Heck, those few of us who don't have debt are still stressing out just to keep it that way. Very little has been done to address income inequality, racial achievement disparities, lack of opportunities for upward mobility, strengthening worker's rights, or bringing down the insane cost of healthcare. We are watching the social safety net fall apart under "deals" where the democrats give up a ton of important programs and budgets for nothing. The environment continues to be raped with capitalist abandon and corporations are sitting on piles of cash they won't use to hire people or pay decent wages. Women feel like we've been beaten up for the past two years with all the attention on defense and no offense, which everyone knows is a losing strategy. Not to mention the gender and racial mismatch between the legislature and the general population. Nobody wants to touch the drone issue or update internet/privacy laws for the 21st century. The cost of basic utilities and food continue to rise. Immigration reform is dead. Yes, everyone knows this is all partly due to the party of obstructionism and having to defend the ACA, but in a lot of cases the effort isn't being made in the first place. People see that. We're struggling to put food on the table and congress allowed unemployment benefits to expire and cut food stamps.

    I'm ready to vote, but it's become much harder lately to get anyone else to the polls. And this is in the state with the highest historical voting rate in the country. If politicians do not start speaking to our demands, they shouldn't be surprised when none of the under 20 crowd shows up.

    Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

    by bull8807 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:23:51 AM PST

    •  Oops, *under 30 crowd (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deadicated Marxist

      20 was a typo at the very end.

      Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

      by bull8807 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:24:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had hopes for all the young people when (0+ / 0-)

      the Occupiers took to the streets.  Visibility can be a successful tactic as history highlights, but participation by your generation faltered because of part time job schedules, lack of transportation, all the things that often keep young people from voting.  Sadly, few of your generation, bull8807, have the funds to run for office, so protests and acting up are often the only tools left to you. The Occupiers seemed to be mostly the young and the very old, me.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:57:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see a disparity between age groups (0+ / 0-)

      Lately I have been organizing in a local Democratic Party group, which happens to be in an area skewed towards the upper decades.

      The older demographic, even former hippies, seems to be very conservative in a personal kind of way even while professing to be very progressive.  

      That means that they seek shelter in the company of peers and shy away from the stress of dealing with younger people, without really thinking about it.  I think it is about the way people become comfortable over time with the way they have gotten used to things and are irritated when people ask questions about things long settled in their minds.  

      They can be strongly passionate about issues.  But they can also be very likely to seek excuses for inaction.  

      They can be very supportive of others, but there has to be a good mix of people in the room who respect and like each other for this to work.  

      Younger people see what everyone has gotten used to and are quite upset at the complacency in everyone else and should be.  

      The center doesn't shift however without people becoming committed to skillful and astute action.  

      I look to the Occupy generation to develop skill sets and to master the art of moving the system over the next two or three election cycles.  Not everybody will commit themselves to the necessary persistence of effort, but enough will.  

      Really, change can come if only a small percentage take concerted action.  

      hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

      by Stuart Heady on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:32:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So Democrats propose real stimulus bills (0+ / 0-)

      full of jobs and infrastructure, and Republicans kill them, and the best you can come up with is, "What have you done for me lately?"

      We need more voters who can think more than one move ahead in this game. Republican voters don't have that problem, because they have people to do their thinking for them.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:11:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I will add (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bull8807

      that Democrats made a huge mistake in cutting military pensions.  After 10 years of war, an entire generation either served or knows someone who did.  For 10 years, the one thing both Democrats and Republicans seemed to agree on was to support the troops.  Troops for once got decent pay and good benefits.  It was one of the few safety nets left for people of a certain generation.

      Post-9/11 troops, and enlisted in particular, were pro-Obama and somewhat pro-Democrat, despite the constant barrage of Fox lies on base TVs.  Then everyone watched the inviolable promise of retirement pay get sucked away, and lo and behold, Democrats had offered it up.  Not just acquiesced, offered it up.  Now Fox doesn't have to try very hard.

      The younger generation is very cynical about politics, the party system, and government.  They want someone to vote FOR, not just people to vote against.

      With all due respect, I think the argument is not just "when our people show up, we win," but more so, "when our politicians have spines, we win."  Because politicians with spines have gotten and will get our people to show up.

  •  An ever better point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Square Knot
    Bottom line, if our people turn out, we win. It really is that simple.
    Give the people a reason to turn out. Just not being Republican isn't a good enough reason.
       Being Republican-lite is not a good enough reason. Promising to water down the Republican agenda is not a good enough reason.

      Democrats need to have a clear, progressive agenda. That would be a good enough reason.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 09:54:21 AM PST

    •  The right: stirring up the folks who think Satan (0+ / 0-)

      is coming for them. They know wealthy people will vote their pockets. And they need the Satan-terrified to get out an vote against Satan. Hence all the thumping about masturbating fetuses and other paranormal phenomena.

      On our side, the highly-educated will vote their interests. But our base -- which would respond to populist themes -- can't be offered very much populism, because that might scare away rich campaign contributors.

      A solution is perhaps to use surrogates. Get populist messages out through other mouths than the candidates' and let the actual candidates wink and nod about them from time to time. The problem is that people will often not trust them to govern as their campaigning suggests they will -- because recent history shows that there is very little connection between even explicit campaign promises and actual actions once in office.

  •  "Fewer people are buying guns" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    That's what has the gun industry spooked. Gun sales have been declining for a long time as the Rush Limbaugh/angry white male demographic dwindles. This is why they push the real addicts to buy closets full of the things -- to make up for the fact that fewer people are buying them.

    •  Actually, gun sales continue to increase (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      even as the number of gun owners declines. We now have people with arsenals of 30 and 40 guns claiming that they are all for self-defense, or possibly for overthrowing tyrannies.

      The obvious projection of this trend will be a handful of billionaires owning millions of guns each. Except not.

      So there will, in fact, be a Peak Gun period, when the number of owners continues to decline, and gun company revenue reaches its highest point and starts to fall back.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:23:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is despair and disenchantment (11+ / 0-)

    What I have found over the years, when you get down to precinct level organizing, is that low voter turnout among Democrats comes from various demobilizing factors.

    Our people are sensitive and pick up emotional vibes from the media and from people around them.  They see the truth better than Republicans do.  They tend to be independent to the extent that they don't take kindly to being given orders, but they do follow social conventions that come from people they like.

    The media disparages politicians as a matter of basic principle, all the time.  Most local TV news is abyssmal at reporting on what is going on.  If you really look at it, you have a kind of morality play with people dressed as suburbanites and delivering homilies on how bad citizenship is and how there is nothing redeeming in any politician.  

    Unfortunately, this anti-citizenship meme gets picked up by Democratic voters and it overwhelms the sense that being a citizen means seeing through this and sticking it to the system by actively participating - and voting.  

    I have come to see a narrow reliance on GOTV methodology as more or less unwittingly contributing to this cultural trend, mainly because it is a formula that people don't think beyond.  

    You can't just wait until election season to contact people and then just tick off whether they are a yes vote or a swing vote or a no vote and expect that to be good enough.

    The GOP and its special interest fundors have spent billions over the past decades trying to demobilize the most vulnerable parts of the voter population.

    They have succeeded pretty well, although they shouldn't be getting away with such crass trickery.  

    Local Democratic groups tend to be very slow to respond to this, as many activists leave the Party to the non-organizers.

    Blogging helps to spread a network of informed dialogue about the problem, but the problem is really at the precinct level.  

    How do you get activists to take over the Democratic Party at the local level and move into the precincts to aggressively counter demobilization with motivating action?  

    That is not an easy thing to contemplate.  But that is the problem.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:20:13 AM PST

  •  Spot On! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    METAL TREK

    You nailed it Kos.  It is all about turnout.  I live here in Deep Red Texas and the only reason it is so Deep Red (besides the ignorance, stupidity and that whole Texan belligerence thing...aka willful ignorance and stupidity) is that our base (anyone not a redneck, evangelical Christian, plutocrat, homophobe, etc) is not getting to the polls and casting their votes.  

    We can win some elections down here if Latinos, Blacks, Single Women, LGBTs, Young Adults and any sane, rational, clear-thinking people get out and vote!  

    Once we actually win an election (and Wendy Davis...I'm looking at you) we can get better candidates willing to run against the Rethuglicans here.

    When we start winning elections, our base will get excited and be more likely to vote.  It's a momentum builder.  Once we get the momentum going our way, the changing demographics of this state will really kick in and sound the death knell for the Rethuglicans.

    So, it's not just important for those of us who are politically engaged to get out and vote.  We have to get our less politically-engaged friends and neighbors out to vote.  

    So let's get to it people.

  •  if I'm so endangered where's my protected habitat? (0+ / 0-)

    I'd feel SO much safer in a 500 acre compound in Colorado...

    oh wait, I'm a migratory endangered white guy...so I'll also need a few thousand acres to roam in Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon

    maybe Florida & Hawaii too

    and since my ancestors came from Africa, I'd like my endangered white guy homeland protected too

    of course this means I'll need multiple houses everywhere...and the cars, boats and planes required to get me everywhere

    I don't actually feel endangered, but why take the chance?

    PLEASE donate to a global children's PEACE project: Chalk 4 Peace

    by RumsfeldResign on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 10:42:28 AM PST

  •  White guys are Democrats too! n/t (0+ / 0-)

    This "Trickle Down" thing has turned out to be somebody pissing on my leg and tellin' me it's rainin'.

    by swtexas on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:49:05 AM PST

  •  As a White Male (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, ban nock

    I choose to be an Independent from the start of my voting life. I've never voted Republican, even though my parents were. I could not and do not, understand the anger and distain the Republican Party has always shown towards my fellow Americans. It's just makes me feel sick.

    So this bothers me:

    "There are more of us than them. If our people vote, we win."
    This is divisive and does not serve the nation well. Winning does not require you to use your opponents methods.
    "United we stand, divided we fall" is not just a catch phrase.
    Republican strategy has been to pry us apart, like the jealous friend of your best girl/guy, creating drama where there is none.

    Either we all pitch in and act as a nation our we are not going to make it.

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 11:58:51 AM PST

    •  Are you saying that voting is stooping to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emelyn

      the level of the Republicans? These are winner-take-all contests. No amount of Political Correctness wishful thinking can get around that fact.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 02:39:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a white male, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    I'd just like to add that if more people like me vote, it will be excellent news for Democrats.

  •  When I knock on a door to get people to vote (0+ / 0-)

    the sheet of paper that brought me to that particular house doesn't say white, brown, black, yellow, or red on it Kos. And I don't think this particular type of divisiveness is helpful. You should probably yank this one even though it's been up for a while.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Wed Jan 08, 2014 at 07:29:08 PM PST

  •  Trickle Down Doesn't (0+ / 0-)

    I have an idea!  Let's Vote All Republicans Out of Office, and then Tax the rich like the Great Leaders of the past, before Reagans "Trickle Down" Bullshit!!

  •  Why bring race into this?? (0+ / 0-)

    Why not just be honest a-holes (which have historically been white men) are going extinct. Seriously not all white guys are GOP a-holes.

  •  35% (0+ / 0-)

    of us white guys still vote right

  •  Just sayin'... (0+ / 0-)

    White American men are well represented in a new "Tea Party Anthem" http://tinyurl.com/...

    HAVE FUN WITH IT!

    Peace ☮

    ~ David

  •  Old White males (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate

       As a soon to be seventy year old white male, I am embarrassed by the prejudice and narrow-mindedness of the old white males. They are angry that they are losing power and view the world as going to hell in a hand basket. When I speak to them, they are upset with almost everyone who is not like them or those that they can no longer control. When I start speaking to them regarding the changing demographics in this country and that they are fighting a losing battle they are made as hell and want to stop it. This is why they will never permit Hispanics to have a path to citizenship. When I tell them that the children who live here are citizens, then they get really made and want to change the constitution. I say find we can change the constitution regarding guns, well that really drives them crazy. P.S. I love to pull their chains.  

  •  Please stop maligning box turtles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JJ Zucal, thanatokephaloides

    Box turtles are nothing at all like Mitch. They are alert, friendly, intelligent, and thoughtful. My box turtle, Adagio, recommends you compare Mitch to a banana slug, who is much slower and much stupider than she is.

    •  But your turtle would tick off (0+ / 0-)

      students at the University of California-Santa Cruz (where the banana slug was elected by the students in 1986 as the mascot).

      The comeback began in Virginia ... it's time to make it grow in 2014!

      by JJ Zucal on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:42:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The 2014 GOP playbook (0+ / 0-)

    If a prospective voter is a woman, minority, LGBT, unemployed, non-Christian or a registered Democrat ... he or she shall be prohibited from voting.  If one is all six, he or she shall be exiled to a "librul" state.

    The comeback began in Virginia ... it's time to make it grow in 2014!

    by JJ Zucal on Thu Jan 09, 2014 at 07:45:29 PM PST

  •  So... Time and Money... (0+ / 0-)

    Where do we put it? Who are the organizations out there working the get out the vote progressive style?

    Anyone have favs they want to share?

    New Plan: Obamacare Old Plan: Nobodycares

    by groupw on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 12:01:12 PM PST

  •  Why does Kos hate white people? (0+ / 0-)

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