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Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:16 AM

 

A sea change in party politics.

We are in the midst of some radical changes in the political party system that we grew up with. The Republican party is being taken over by radical right wing Tea Party types, and even if the 'Pugs manage to regain control of their party, these radical righties are not going to go away, they will form their own party or glom onto the Libertarian or Constitution party.

The left in this country is concerned about the direction that the Democratic party is taking, namely moving further to the right. If the cuts to SS and other such programs do go through, I think you're going to see a major break from the Democratic party. Having been the backbone of the Democratic party for decades now, the left can't abide to watch the party become a center right party on par with Eisenhower.

Which means that they too will break off and form their own party. Which will leave the centerist, Third Way, neo-liberal members of the Democratic party floundering. With the left gone, they will have to make common cause with somebody, otherwise be doomed to going the way of the Whigs. Moderate 'Pugs seem to be the most logical choice. Thus will be born a centerist, center right Third Way party.

Which will leave the country with a new, three party system, a party for the left, middle and right in this country. Frankly, I think this will be a good thing, as it will allow the left to better push its issues to the fore. Since no party will have the kind of majority needed in Congress to push their agenda through, two parties will have to join together. This sort of coalition will be ever shifting, but I think in the end we'll all be better for it. The issues of the left will, of necessity, get a full and fair hearing, and the left will get much more than the crumbs that drop from the Democratic table currently.

Either that, or we will continue to go down the path that we're on now, with the Democratic party swinging ever further to the right, and the left staying home in droves for elections.

Just my opinion on what I see coming down the road for US politics.

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply A sea change in party politics. (Original post)
MadHound Dec 2012 OP
randome Dec 2012 #1
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #3
randome Dec 2012 #12
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #14
randome Dec 2012 #15
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #2
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #4
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #8
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #16
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #24
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #22
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #25
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #17
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #27
MuseRider Dec 2012 #5
Larkspur Dec 2012 #6
geek tragedy Dec 2012 #7
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #9
Bluenorthwest Dec 2012 #21
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2012 #28
quaker bill Dec 2012 #10
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #18
quaker bill Dec 2012 #31
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #38
quaker bill Dec 2012 #39
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #40
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #29
quaker bill Dec 2012 #30
1-Old-Man Dec 2012 #11
kydo Dec 2012 #13
JReed Dec 2012 #19
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #32
lunatica Dec 2012 #20
hay rick Dec 2012 #23
Speck Tater Dec 2012 #26
forestpath Dec 2012 #33
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #34
arely staircase Dec 2012 #36
arely staircase Dec 2012 #35
limpyhobbler Dec 2012 #37

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:18 AM

1. I think it's more likely the GOP will split than the Democrats.

I also think that if the TP craziness gets too extreme, we will see 'sensible' Republicans (I know, I know) join with Democrats on some issues.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:32 AM

3. What metrics do you think 'sensible' Republicans have for 'too extreme'? So far, they seem fine.

And the TP craziness seems pretty damned extreme and has for years now. When does this 'sensibility' of these Republican moderates kick in? What would they count as too extreme if nothing so far has moved them to change parties?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:21 PM

12. Well, some of them are advocating for gun control rights and raising taxes on the rich.

It's a mixed bag, for sure. I don't know what might push them over into our column.

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Response to randome (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:31 PM

14. Well then I guess calling them sensible and claiming they are not comfortable with extremes is just

something to say then. A mixed bag? The Tea Crazies and who? Some of them are advocating high taxes and gun control? Advocating those things? Show me.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #14)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:44 PM

15. My 'hunch' is mostly based on conservative punditry.

Bill Kristol says taxes should rise. George Will agrees that opposition to gay rights is dying. Those are 2 important changes in perspective, IMO. Canaries in the coal mine, so to speak.

Polling shows Republicans in favor of the idea of raising taxes: http://www.politicususa.com/obama-convinced-republicans-raise-taxes-wealthy.html

It's a sea change but I think Republicans in Congress will start to take notice. Obfuscation and denial has worked for a long time but it won't work forever.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:27 AM

2. How many decades are you willing to wait for this three party solution? n/t

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:34 AM

4. If Democrats cut Social Security, the wait will be until 2014 and no longer.

Most Democratic voters will not excuse that nor vote for those who took part in it. It is called the Third Rail of politics for a reason, and the Third Way seems to have forgotten that Third Rail is for real.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:54 AM

8. No, that's when Republicans will gain more seats in the House and Senate....

I asked when you think this new third party would be established and gain national viability.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:45 PM

16. No, you did not. You aske how long it would take to see it, and the answer is the one I gave.

An argument could be made that the Republicans, now and for a few years, are not nationally viable but instead are a regional Party with regional power. The last two national candidates from that Party were detested by their own base and also lost while being made into laughing stocks, they can see Russia from their houses, they tie their pets to car roofs...and they fail to take even one State that is 'up for grabs' and not already in the Democratic column.
So prove to me that a Party that can not get a national candidate through an election without disgrace is still a national Party. Your contention is that the GOP is strong and national, and that no one could face them down without the Third Way moderates who actually agree with the GOP is amusing to me. A Republican candidate with national viability has not been seen since W in 2000. 13 years since they had one who could take regions outside the Deep Republican States. That's a long time. But you claim they are vital and nationally viable. I don't see it. Of course, I'm not a nearly Republican 'moderate' and I admit that with pride.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #16)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:46 PM

24. Whoa...

Lost in your own world are you? I never said the GOP was a strong national party. You said that the base of the Democratic party would abandon it. There are only 2 national parties currently, and I asked how long do you think it will take for a third party to become a viable national party. The Libertarians have been around for decades without gaining a national footing. If Dems fail to show up for an election,
and Libertarians can't get more than a few percentage points (Johnson claimed about 1% of the vote this year) who do you think will win? Miss Piggy? Bono? Clinton won with 43% of the vote because of Ross Perot. Nixon beat Humphrey by a just hair because Wallace pulled in 13% of the vote. Until a third party establishes itself on the local and state level, it has no chance of winning a national election. History demonstrates that pretty clearly.

I would love to see a third party that really represents what the people want....

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:02 PM

22. I note your utter lack of response to me and other posters. Quick to characterize, slow to discuss.

Is that a Third Way principle? To make arch comments about others while refusing to actually discuss issues and policy? To say 'never enough for some people' while refusing to state exactly what is enough for YOU, what if anything might be too little for you to accept, to right wing for you to accept. See, I am suspect of those who refuse to specify their own points of view and instead spend time characterizing others and speaking of 'some people' in an arch and pointed way.
Do you have any standards or metrics for yourself? Is nothing too slow, nothing to regressive or right wing to be seen by you as outside that which you can accept? Or is change never too slow, always too fast, your opinion always about others, never about policy?
Just trying to figure out what the 'moderates' are so freaked out and sniffy about all the time. Ask them a thousand times, a thousand times they avoid specificity using characterizations of others. I just don't find it to be appealing.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #22)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:18 PM

25. Sorry,

I had to run some errands....

I'm not third way, I detested Clinton's politics of triangulation and have never been happy with Obama's conciliatory and concession granting approach. I think WH security puts my letters through the scanners at least twice. I am, however, old enough to have learned that trying to rush things past the American electorate never ends well.

The chained CPI will hit my SS benefit...but for all of a whopping $3.00 a month, so I can live with it if I must, until Dems in congress feel strong enough to change to a better, more generous calculation. The average benefit will be cut by $4.00 a month, btw.

I'll tell you exactly what is enough for me...Supreme Court appointments that don't take the country back to the 18th century. The two things Clinton got right were Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

I believe that the Democratic party has, indeed, moved right...but I am not certain, beyond all shadow of a doubt, that it was a mistake to do so...it may have been necessary in order to return to the national scene. The party is again moving left...slowly, I grant you that, but an object in motion can only gain momentum if it remains in motion. If abandoned by the base, the movement will stop and we'll be stuck with a bunch of lunatic republicans running the joint. And, a Supreme Court of which Torquemada would have been proud to be a member.

I'm never freaked out, or sniffy. I find the constant assault of DUers on each other rather disturbing, but not enough to freak out.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:14 PM

17. See what happens if the Chained CPI remains on the deficit table.

The huge coalition that was formed demonstrates that finally what is generally referred to as the 'left' of the Dem Party, are no longer willing to be marginalized in a party that has been increasingly hi-jacked by the Third Way whose policies we see being pushed right now in this most recent debate.

A warning issued to the Dem Party needs to be heeded should they continue to push the Chained CPI as part of the deficit discussion, was issued last week by this coalition which is made up of dozens of Organizations which represent Millions of Democrats and Independents, which includes eg, the Unions, AARP, virtually all of the Progressive/Dem organizations who were responsible for the reelection of the President and the victories in Congress and the Senate.

The message is 'if the Chained CPI remains on the table and is part of any agreement 'there will be hell to pay'!

One of the strategies being discussed now by this huge coalition is to primary any Dem who goes along with this. Rather than do what they have always done, work for the candidate chosen by the Party Leadership, they will now put all of their efforts into choosing, donating to and working for candidates who will work for the people.

I know the work many of these organizations did to get Dems elected as I am a member of several of them. The 'left' has had enough of Third Way politics and I agree with the OP, many others do also, there is a definite shift taking place which indicates that the 'left' will no longer stand for its ideas to be referred to as 'retarded' or told to be silent on major issues as they were during the past several years, and which they did. But not any more, the 'left' has learned that remaining silent got them nowhere, and that is the reason for this huge Coalition forming and the activism now under way to expose elected officials who are not working for the people and to push policies that benefit those who elected them rather than Wall St.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #17)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:32 PM

27. This was just a short part of what was in my letter to my senators, rep & the President,

this morning:


I'm giving notice. For the first time since I started voting in 1976, voting a straight democratic ticket is no longer a given. Wow. Just wow.


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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:38 AM

5. Something has to change

this is not working out well for the people of this country.

Good thoughts, I agree this could very easily happen. Especially if Social Security is messed with when there is absolutely no reason to even bring it in on the negotiation. Being sold out is not good for person/party relations.

Interesting times.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:39 AM

6. Follow the money...

The political parties are being manipulated by corporate interests. Third Way Dems are the old DLC cronies who feasted at the feet of corporatists. Rahmn Emanual is their crown prince. Ed Rendell supported privatizing some aspects of PA state government too. The Rethugs sold their souls decades ago to the corporate world They are practically unredeemable.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:42 AM

7. The Democratic party has moved left since the 1990's.

Blue Dog caucus is the weakest it's ever been. Compare Clinton's record over his last six years with what Obama's doing.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:59 AM

9. It's never fast enough for some. n/t

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #9)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:53 PM

21. And for others, no delay is too great. For them it can not be slow enough. But I side with those who

speak of the 'fierce urgency of the now' like Martin Luther King Jr. and not with those who are willing to drag feet on changes that other need without delay.
While I'm sure you are a profound mind with great reasons to see the putting off of progress as a wisdom beyond other's comprehension, I will side with the poet Langston Huges, whose words many of the 'let's slow change down until it moves backwards' crowd should study diligently:

A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #21)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:38 PM

28. So you tell me, just how do you think you will speed up change?

I'd be happy to speed up the process. So tell me exactly how we accomplish that while ensuring that all the gains are not overturned before people have come to love them? Social Security had been on the books for 16 years before a Republican again captured the WH. Had Romney been a better candidate, or the Obama team less competent, we would now be facing the repeal of the ACA...which while far from perfect, is a step in the right direction. (The lack of a public option was my first blistering letter to the WH)

Did you sit out the 2010 elections? Did you vote in your primary in 2008? Was Hillary not progressive enough for you? I am really interested.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:14 PM

10. Not. going. to. happen.

Their far right has something that the left doesn't - a basically unified political opinion. There is some diversity in the level and direction of hatred on the right, but there is a great deal of unity as well.

I expect that the ultimate bearers of the GOP name will be the corporatists - chamber of commerce types. They have the money and the long view. The various aspects of the looney fringe will be welcome to the party as long as they don't want time at the podium. The shot they had at third party relevance was 2010, and they were co-opted by the GOP. It was a real shot, but they folded.

Actually getting that many angry people in one room and making a political party of it is a challenge few could have mastered. There is no one on the right with the leadership skills remotely sufficient to pull it off

While the dust settles, the intraparty fracas on the right will provide some entertainment value

Some of the left will register Green or Socialist or whatever. It will be pointless. It always is. There is no one on the left to galvanize a movement and get people out of their personal concerns far or long enough to make an effective party of it. Might have happened in 2004 but the DLC quashed it, and some here cheered.

Sit back and enjoy the bread and circus. You might as well, as it will be presented regardless.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:21 PM

18. You are right in that the Right was organized, while the Left allowed itself

to be constantly silenced and pushed aside by the Dem Leadership over the past years. But that has changed now.

Before this election dozens of organizations formed a huge coalition made up of every reputable Dem/Progressive Org, Veterans groups, SS advocacy groups, Unions, organizations with huge memberships like AARP because as they said, they no longer trust their party to keep the promises made during campaign season. Now they intend to use the force of these millions of Dems and Independents to push this party back to its roots and have announced they will no longer support any Dem who strays from the principles of the Dem Party Platform or who votes for any cuts to SS.

SS they say, was the 'red line' that created this shift of voters without whom the Dem Party cannot win. They finally realized that there are more of them than the Third Way/DLCers who have so badly influenced the party for so long now and they intend to use that power to shift this party back to being representative of the working class. They intend to put their efforts behind candidates the people choose rather than the party, and to expose publicly with major ads, any Dem who votes to cut SS.

SS was the line that created this coalition. And it's about time. You see it here, the attempt to excuse the betrayals, the attacks on those who are life long Dems but who will not remain silent on issues that matter to the American people. But what you are also seeing is a powerful coalition that the Party will either listen to, or lose. The ball is in their hands.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #18)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:21 PM

31. I have been to this rodeo

I wasn't impressed by the clowns. You move the party by being a part of it.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #31)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 11:02 PM

38. They ARE the Party and they intend to drag it back from where it has been

headed towards the Right, and because they are the people who get Dems elected and are now organized as never before, and no longer willing to allow themselves to be marginalized, I am certain this is the beginning of a major shift back to the principles that made them Dems in the first place. Let the Third Way form their own 'third party'. This one belongs to us.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:48 PM

39. I am good with that.

I have been here since almost the beginning. I have seen countless predictions of "this is the moment" of political change, "this is the moment" a third party will arise, "this issue is the last straw".....

It never actually happens. What has happened is incremental change, one brick at a time. Stepwise, republicans have gotten wackier, and democrats somewhat more empowered and a bit more like a majority. I expect this will continue.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #39)

Fri Dec 28, 2012, 02:01 PM

40. We don't need a third party, we need a second party. And that is what people

will be working on. To clear out those both Repub and those with a D after their name, who are not working for the people. I believe it will be easier to do that using all the power of the people that got them elected in the first place, to do so.

Starting any other party is way too difficult and would take years. We don't have decades to fix what is wrong with this country.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #10)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 04:25 PM

29. Correct. The more likely scenario is that we go back to the DLC-era where we lost 7 elections

in a row. We won the Presidency from time to time, but it didn't make a hell of a lot of difference. Democrats ceased to stand for anything identifiable, and therefore lost what was previously a strong majority in both houses. With Howard Dean and Obama in 2008, a lot of liberals came back into the process, basically on a "one last chance" basis. And most stayed around for the 2012 campaign. But if Obama pisses away the next 4 years with third-way nonsense, most of the people I know will not be with the party in 2016.

Think about it. I assume many people here actively worked on the last 2 campaigns. How many people out there in trenches think like third-way-ers. Not very many. The people out there doing the hard work care about traditional Democratic values.

The third-way-ers can't win anything without the progressives out there in force. They showed us that time after time. And this year, the one thing that just about all the pundits agree on is that Obama won mainly because of his ground operation. Well, that ground operation wasn't because of clever strategy or advanced technology. It was passionate people, and you don't find anybody passionate about being in the middle.

Sea change, indeed. But if Obama and the rest of the jokers around him don't start paying attention, it will be a very unhappy 2014 and 2016.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 06:17 PM

30. You are correct

There are ways that liberals can do themselves more damage, and some will try. At best, it will be pointless, but it could easily be worse. I am hoping for pointless.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:20 PM

11. I don't think you're exactly right, but it would be mighty nice if you were

The failure in your argument comes from this; you presume that it is the will or demand of the people that will determine how many political parties we have. It is as if we were somehow in control of the process. We are not in control of the process and this who are, and I'm talking about big money interests here, do now want for a single second for there to be any more competition than can be avoided for their chosen beneficiaries. So they will not allow a 3rd party to arise. So far they have been mighty successful. That is why you do not see debates that include any 3rd Party candidates.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 12:25 PM

13. I wish the Republicans would take their party back

and kick out the Tea Party. Yeah it would hurt them in DC as they would no longer be the majority but neither would the Tea Party. The Democratic Party would be the majority but they would still need some help to pass things. But that is the big part of governing is to comprise.

The R's really should not have let those crazies in their party. The Tea Party should have to be like the rest of the parties. You don't get to be at the top when you start a party.

Of course I am loving watching all this and so long as the R's try to keep the crazies, Dems will continue to win elections. Which is fine with me for the time being.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:30 PM

19. Indicative

 

of the overall necessity of big business to become more reactionary as resources diminish and capital is in crisis.

I anticipate coming unrest in the Empire.

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Response to JReed (Reply #19)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:47 PM

32. All part and parcel of imperialism.....

The end stages of capitalism as a system. And yes, there will be coming unrest in the Empire.

Welcome to DU.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 01:39 PM

20. I believe the times will force the Democrats to move Left again

Just like FDR created the New Deal and the GI Bill and the Public Works Program because he was basically forced to during such hard times for the country, thus will the Democratic Party move back to the Left. We are facing a huge confluence of very bad things. Climate Change, unemployment, a very weak economy and the kind of society that has created mass murderers due to it's love of guns and violence has all become an issue we can't ignore much longer.

We will either move to the Left or self destruct.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 02:08 PM

23. Three party system.

If there were 3 national parties that covered more of the left-to-right spectrum, I would likely not be in the same party as any of the people I voted for in this cycle (Representative-elect Patrick Murphy, Senator Bill Nelson, and President Barack Obama).

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 03:31 PM

26. Just another symptom of a collapsing empire. Nothing new. nt

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 09:57 PM

33. I don't understand why the Third Way just won't admit they're Republicans.

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:04 PM

34. A couple of nitpicks.....

A center-right party on par with Eisenhower IMO, isn't correct. Economically anyway, it's a center-right party on par with Reagan.

Also, I'm not sure there will be a big call for a left party until the right wing splits from the Republicans. If that happens then I think that a left exodus from the Dems is inevitable and, as you postulated, the Third Way Dems and the CofC Republicans form a neo-liberal center party. Unfortunately, what's likely to happen is more of an apathy effect as the Dems go farther and farther right and the "lesser of two evils" cannard loses it's effectiveness because the two parties become more and more indistinguishable from each other, especially economically. IOW, more and more of the left leaning become less and less interested in the system as it's set up because no one represents their values anymore. So they will do one of two things. They will lose interest in politics all together or they will invest their political energy into other things than voting.

A couple of things could change the scenario also, IMO. A charismatic leader could arise on the left. He or she would have to be young, sincere, energetic, and lucky to avoid the assassin's bullet. He would also have to be strong enough to avoid being co-opted by the Democratic Party. A second thing that could push the envelope towards a third party would be the remainder of the Union organizations like the AFL-CIO getting behind and organizing a nationwide Progressive Worker's Party. Get it on the ballot in all states and then decide where to run candidates in a strategic manner taking all conditions into consideration.

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #34)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:12 PM

36. i know, right?

like when reagan fought for universal health care.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:11 PM

35. i don't see any of that happening

and as for the left staying home in droves, please see nov. 2012

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Dec 27, 2012, 10:20 PM

37. We are due for a shake up.

Or due for a realignment or something.

America is still racist. But it's not nearly as racist as it was in 1968 or 1980, or even in 1992.

For a long time now we haven't had a class-based politics because a lot of white people were so racist it divided the working class.

Ironically we did have a working class political coalition in the Democratic Party from maybe 1932-1968. Sadly it was also based around accepting racial segregation and the Jim Crow system.

Hopefully most of the old racists have died off by now. Then when you add in new immigrants and stuff, we should be able to start having more of a class-oriented political coalition, either within the Democratic Party or whatever.

Once we have that, it will be easier to win these battles over the social safety net and wealth distribution.

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