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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:05 PM

 

On liberals and realpolitik in a representative democracy.

Time and again, the message that liberals get is that they need to sit down, shut up, and let the adults take charge. That is a truly insulting and infuriating message on many levels, but perhaps most importantly is that it implies that liberals don't know how realpolitik works in our society.

We live in a representative democracy, and in any such political system, lots of voices are going to be heard from, on the right, left and center. As many political pundits past have noted, it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease in a system such as ours, ie those who make the most commotion are the ones whose issues are most addressed, at least for awhile, until another group comes along who is louder.

Thus, it is perfectly normal for any political group should raise a ruckus, correct? That's exactly what we've seen happen in the past, and the present. Sometimes it takes years or decades of concerted noise making to get your group's issues addressed, but eventually, perhaps for no other reason than to shut that group up for awhile, that group's issues are addressed.

So why should liberals sit down, shut up, and simply take what is given to us? That is a sure recipe for none of our issues getting addressed. In fact, judging by the realpolitik of our government, liberals should actually be louder, more persistent in expressing their views, the better to get their issues addressed. But when liberals do, they are insulted at the highest levels("fucking retarded") or addressed like children("eat your peas"). At best, liberals are simply ignored.

Sometimes, when liberals get upset over a particular issue that has been proposed, such as cutting Social Security benefits, we are told that this is simply a trial balloon, and that we should settle down and shut up. Really?! Excuse me, but that is the purpose of a trial balloon, to gauge public opinion on a particular policy idea. If liberals were to settle down and shut up about a trial balloon, that would give the administration the false impression that nobody opposed it, and thus would feel free to ram it through. The most important thing that anybody, left, right or center, is to make a ruckus when the administration sends up a trial balloon that they don't approve of.

In fact, making a ruckus is how a representative democracy works. If you sit down and shut up, your issues simply won't be addressed. The most foolish thing that one can do in this type of government is to sit down and shut up.

The other way that a group effects policy, and personnel carrying out that policy is our vote. It is the only way that a person in this country can effectively express their approval or disapproval of a particular politician. If you continue to blindly vote for a bad politician, bad policy is going to continue to get made. Our vote is how we hold our politicians accountable, and it should never, ever be taken for granted.

This is the realpolitick of our representative democracy, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Your voice and your vote are vital in holding our politicians accountable, and to keep them from making bad policy. Use them wisely, and never, ever, let anybody try to talk you out of using them. Doing so only leads to more bad policy.

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Arrow 50 replies Author Time Post
Reply On liberals and realpolitik in a representative democracy. (Original post)
MadHound Dec 2012 OP
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #1
xchrom Dec 2012 #2
LisaLynne Dec 2012 #3
DirkGently Dec 2012 #4
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #5
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #8
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #9
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #12
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #16
Lydia Leftcoast Dec 2012 #37
DonCoquixote Dec 2012 #42
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #44
limpyhobbler Dec 2012 #43
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #6
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #10
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #47
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #7
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #11
LineLineReply ?
Fuddnik Dec 2012 #15
99Forever Dec 2012 #13
forestpath Dec 2012 #14
WillyT Dec 2012 #17
Populist_Prole Dec 2012 #18
a2liberal Dec 2012 #19
arely staircase Dec 2012 #20
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #23
DirkGently Dec 2012 #26
arely staircase Dec 2012 #27
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #30
great white snark Dec 2012 #35
arely staircase Dec 2012 #36
OnyxCollie Dec 2012 #21
ProSense Dec 2012 #22
SomethingFishy Dec 2012 #25
ProSense Dec 2012 #28
SomethingFishy Dec 2012 #32
ProSense Dec 2012 #38
arely staircase Dec 2012 #29
MadHound Dec 2012 #48
arely staircase Dec 2012 #50
DirkGently Dec 2012 #31
TheKentuckian Dec 2012 #24
cer7711 Dec 2012 #33
nashville_brook Dec 2012 #39
great white snark Dec 2012 #34
Octafish Dec 2012 #40
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #41
KoKo Dec 2012 #45
DonCoquixote Dec 2012 #46
IDoMath Dec 2012 #49

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:09 PM

1. Allow me to be the first squeaky wheel to rec your post MH

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:14 PM

2. Squeaky wheel #2. Nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:18 PM

3. When TPTB tell you to sit down ...

it's time to stand on the chairs.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:27 PM

4. Of course, & well said. "Be realistic" is just lame rhetoric from those with no argument.


It's our JOB as citizens and constituents to complain, to criticize, to in every possible way, put forward what we want and need.

Exhortations to "shut up, because we need 'our' people to enjoy unanimous support" is largely disingenuous, put forward by people with some kind of vested interest, or just simple-minded fury on the part of people who can't understand civilization as anything other than a sporting event, where you "win" if "your" "team" succeeds, regardless of what is or is not actually accomplished.

Leaders make their decisions, at the default level, based on their immediate pressures. Funding, interest groups, etc. Democracy, writ large, doesn't come into play unless people insist on it. Loudly, relentlessly, and where needed, acrimoniously.

Otherwise we're all just impotent hangers on, jeering or cheering and accomplishing nothing in our own actual interests. Which is what some would prefer. Don't understand why anyone with that mindset would even mention "Democratic" as part of their worldview though. It's an infantile approach, and it's always sad to see DU conversation devolve to that level.

If you're not complaining, you're not thinking, and you're not helping. You're working for someone, who knows they can count on your support, and therefore will put your interests at the exact bottom of the pile.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:35 PM

5. Well said. K&R n/t

 

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:41 PM

8. "if you're not complaining...you're working for someone" <-- SPOT ON

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:45 PM

9. As is starkly evident in the contrast between Bush and Obama

 

Bush was able to enact a far right (nearly fascist) agenda with meager or non-existent majorities in Congress, while Obama was able to do nearly nothing of a populist nature with wide majorities. So "realism" means nothing in this context.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:43 PM

12. You noticed!

The Republicans have never tried to be "realistic," and their agenda gets enacted.

Things that make you go, "Hmmm."

Which side are the supposed "mainstream" Democrats really on?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:49 PM

16. The FDR/JFK Dems and a lot of Indy's noticed

 

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:43 PM

37. I noticed in about 1982

and the situation has only gotten worse.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:56 PM

42. those majorties were fake

as many Blue Dogs were the ones to tank the agenda.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #42)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:33 PM

44. It's still bullshit

 

Dems would never had gotten away with filibustering 80% of the bills when they were in the majority. We had 59 fucking Senators in 2009-2010. There is no excuse for bowing to the Repukes under those conditions.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 06:25 PM

43. "bottom of the pile"

yep

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:39 PM

6. When the head of the party proposed something as unacceptable to the rank and file as SS cuts...

...the party insiders know that they can't criticize it. the only voices that are available in the debate are from the rank and file: those who have to access or influence to lose.

and so, what you see here on DU is the rank and file exercising their *responsibility* to speak up loudly about in an environment of silence from our representatives who REFUSE to have our back, for fear of losing access/influence.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:49 PM

10. I very much agree. As constituents, it is our right and privilege to criticize.

Actual elected members of the political party might not have so much freedom as they are part of a political structure.

But we have no such constraints.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:43 AM

47. amen...also....

this is a continuation of a discussion on another, local political forum. Some local dems here are unhappy with local and state leadership, and have found ways to vocalize their discontent, b/c the main local dem forum don't allow all dems to participate in dialogue (you have to be a member of the council). So, those with grievances have taken their thoughts to other places where there's a mixture of dems and repubs. This has created another backlash: "don't criticize outside of our own group."

I'm agnostic on the local dust up. I know and like all the people involved. But that got me thinking about DU. We *are* all democrats here. In the strictest sense of propriety, this should be the one sort of place where criticism is allowed, as we're dems speaking to dems.

And so I peek in here and of course see the same silencing that's happening locally, in a forum that should be "safe" for "inside" talk. The consistency is remarkable.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 12:40 PM

7. Republicans avoid these problems by serving their base

 

George Bush avoided intramural squabbles by adopting a far right agenda - PATRIOT act, treasury-sucking wars, loosening of gun restrictions, top-heavy tax cuts, clamp down on dissent, union-busting, attempts to corporatize schools and SS, and so forth. He thus avoided complaints from Republicans.

Obama has chosen the opposite tack - adopt a Republican agenda, and get some Dems to sign on to deplorable policies just because he calls himself a Dem. The good news for him is that in this way he is able to enact conservative legislation with "bi-partisan" support. The downside is that he has to listen to attacks from those he is actually serving (MIC, Gun Culture, Billionaires, Hate Radio, cable "news") because he calls himself a (D), as well as those who feel betrayed (civil libertarians, liberals, the poor, seniors, ...) because they expected different things from a (D). But most of the latter group have no real voice anyway, and are denigrated by other so-called Dems who will support anything a (D) does.

It's all politics, and the president has chosen the path that works best for him. It is up to each individual to decide to follow or resist.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:12 PM

11. Here is one more thing about the difference between our party and the other one

 

If Bush, during his 1st term, had adopted a mirror-image agenda of Obama's (by that I mean a center-left agenda of modest gun control, expansion of SS and Medicare, large infrastructure expenditures, public school support, strengthening of environmental protections, continuation of Clinton tax rates), he would been lambasted by the Republican base, and very likely primary'd in 2004. However, had he survived the primary challenge, he might well have won re-election legitimately. As it was he governed to his base, enacted a far right government, and had to steal the 2004 election.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:49 PM

15. ?

Huh?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:46 PM

13. Squeak.

SqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueakSqueak

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 01:48 PM

14. K&R Funny how it's always when we liberals expect the Democratic Party to act like

 

DEMOCRATS that they tell us to shut up. That says it all about what the Democratic Party has become.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:02 PM

17. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!






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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:08 PM

18. Kicked and reccomended for being the best thread I've read in a while

So many great posts that are so spot-on too.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:08 PM

19. K&R (n/t)

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:09 PM

20. strong with this one, the butthurt is

eom

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:29 PM

23. Yes, if by "butthurt" you mean the most vulnerable taking a huge $$ hit

Last edited Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:09 PM - Edit history (1)

That does tend to chap one's ass.

We elected DEMOCRATS to protect Social Security and to raise taxes on the rich. But instead we're seeing those who can least afford it, being stripped of their measley cost of living adjustment -- which, btw, already doesn't take into account those costs which most affect the oldest citizens (healthcare, especially).

Your belittling of the issue shows that you'd rather our 90-year old grandparents, and ourselves at that age, suffer for no reason other than to save face for the POTUS in a political horse trading match. These are real people's lives that hang in the balance. Butthurt won't cover the backlash the party will get in 2014 if any of this happens.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:06 PM

26. Nice troll talk, genius. Does illustrate the point about the mentality of partisan robots.


Right around that 5th-6th level where you'd use "butthurt" as a reply to an adult trying to explain something to you.

Fucking pathetic.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:08 PM

27. put me on your ignore list

eom

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:10 PM

30. online equivalent of "i know you are but what am i"

no need to ignore -- more fun to watch them self-destruct.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:34 PM

35. Perpetual primary pains.

Hillary lost.

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Response to great white snark (Reply #35)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:36 PM

36. and went on to be obama's sec. of state

a loyal member of his. admin.

i guess she is just classier than some of her supporters.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:19 PM

21. K&R. nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:27 PM

22. Clearly,

Time and again, the message that liberals get is that they need to sit down, shut up, and let the adults take charge...Your voice and your vote are vital in holding our politicians accountable, and to keep them from making bad policy. Use them wisely, and never, ever, let anybody try to talk you out of using them. Doing so only leads to more bad policy.

...you need to stop allowing others to silence you.

Why did you vote for Obama? Weren't you aware of his positions? Did you use your vote "wisely"?

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Response to ProSense (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:48 PM

25. Voted for Obama because

I live in a swing state and didn't have much choice. I was well aware of Obama's "positions" yet I was not allowed to "discuss" them here or the DU lockstep team would come out in force. I was well aware there were more liberal candidates, again, not allowed to discuss that here.

"...you need to stop allowing others to silence you." Easy to say when you know your "opinion" is welcome, not so easy when the act of simply disagreeing could cause you to lose your DU account, and the years and years of relationships and friendships you have developed within this community.





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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:09 PM

28. Wow!

"Voted for Obama because. I live in a swing state and didn't have much choice. I was not allowed to 'discuss' them here or the DU lockstep team would come out in force."

You had no choice and are afraid of some DUers?

Sounds like victimhood.

I see a number of highly rec'd and threads that fit this category. Yet somehow you feel silenced?

"Easy to say when you know your 'opinion' is welcome"

You've got to be joking? I mean, haven't you heard about the "blue linky"?

I've been told that I'm a laughing stock. I kick my own threads. Yet despite it all, I never feel the need to post a thread whining that people are trying to silence me.

You know why? Opinions are like assholes, and everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. Doesn't bother me. I debate and disagree.

I post. I'm not afraid of other DUers and don't think of them as some all powerful Gestapo. Shake the strawman. It's liberating.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #28)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:23 PM

32. So you are saying I am free to discuss liberal candidates other than Obama

on DU without fear of reprisals? That is a lie.

You are saying that if I had advocated for another candidate other than Obama I would have been allowed to remain on DU? That is a lie.

There is no strawman here. I am not allowed to post everything I feel strongly about because my thoughts violate DU's "rules".

You can call me names, you can claim the high road, you can tell me about all the terrible hardships you have suffered at the hands of DU'ers (talk about victimhood) the fact remains, DU has rules that I have to follow and if those rules keep me from saying everything I want to say I have a right to bring it up. Except according to you. According to you I should stop playing the victim and.. shut up

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #32)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:52 PM

38. Seems

"So you are saying I am free to discuss liberal candidates other than Obama on DU without fear of reprisals? That is a lie."

...you have a misunderstanding of what DU is, and are confusing DUers with the admins.

I mean, have you read the TOS?

"There is no strawman here. I am not allowed to post everything I feel strongly about because my thoughts violate DU's 'rules'."

So you're mad that Democratic Underground has rules?

Is that what's bothering you?

Really?







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Response to ProSense (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:09 PM

29. madhound will NOT answer that question

and i think we both know why.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #29)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:46 AM

48. Great, perhaps you can tell me why I won't answer that question,

 

This should be good.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #48)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:53 PM

50. answer my question first - since i asked it first

then i will return the courtesy and answer your question.

only fair.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:21 PM

31. On the contrary, the OP is a takedown of disingenuous *attempts* to silence.


Like this double-talk reply that insults and insinuates and so carefully says nothing of substance. This is the kind of thing you'd expect from some low-level partisan PR flak selling "social media" posts for pay.

What's weird is why honest individuals, like you, expressing their own actual opinions, would adopt a tone like that. Rhetorical, but unhelpful. Insulting, but not willing to engage in the actual subject matter.

You're better than that. Aren't you?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 02:33 PM

24. Fucking A, right!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:31 PM

33. Well Said, Sir!

Last edited Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:33 AM - Edit history (2)

Couldn't have said--or argued--it better myself.

This is what Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Senator Bernie Sanders and author Chris Hedges have been trying to tell us. Marching like lemmings into the voting booth every 2-4 years to pull the lever for the lesser-of-two-evils candidate picked out by our plutocratic oligarchs to mis-govern the country on behalf of the ultra-rich (the true entitlement class!) is no longer action enough to be considered an adequate discharge of civic duty. As a bare minimum, we need to be sending e-mails, writing letters and making phone calls to every politician who sells us out. We need to withhold campaign contributions to those blue-dogs who betray us in favor of supporting hard-fighting progressives who stand up for the tightly-squeezed working and middle classes of this country.

I used to assert the time was fast-approaching when it will be a moot point whether or not "reasonable people" believe "everyone should be in the streets". Now, I find myself in agreement with Chris Hedges that we passed that tipping point long ago; only our narcotizing entertainment consortium keeps our populace pacified and distracted enough to watch glaze-eyed while Rome burns. But revolutionary momentum is building nonetheless. When enough newly-peasantized homeless, evicted and/or over-worked wage slaves get angry enough, desperate enough to fight back and demand a fairer, larger portion of the pie, change will come: FAST!

Until then, squeeky wheels should keep squeaking. If nothing else it annoys the fat-cat rat-bastards and their shifty-eyed, triangulating running-dogs; it forces them to spend ever-larger, unsustainable sums of money in order to keep the machiniery of state in the hands of the banksters and their fraudulent ilk.

Sit down? Shut up? Nay; stand up and FIGHT! For what you know is right (that is to say, LEFT!), fair, equitable and just. Fight back in whatever way you can; keep pointing out to those so-called leftists and liberals with uneasy, guilty consciences that they are engaged in an on-going betrayal of the very people they claim to speak for.

Keep fighting and writing and squeaking and squawking; calling and marching and reading and talking. Until we get this great country of ours back on a fairer, more sustainable and equitable track.

Because the alternative is unthinkable.

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Response to cer7711 (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:02 PM

39. +1

and welcome to DU!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:32 PM

34. Where are all these posts telling you to "shut up?"

My gawd the passive aggressive outbursts are getting old.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:30 PM

40. Squeaky Wheel 45 K&R.

Posters who tell others to shut up are, eh, missing something.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:36 PM

41. fantastic post!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:44 PM

45. That many won't "SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP" is why DU is having so much angst amongst posters

here these days.

SOME of us STRONG DEMS will NOT do that! We are Older and been voting for Decades and WE WILL NOT "SIT DOWN, SHUT UP or GIVE UP!

WE WILL BE THE BOLD DEMOCRATS who LEAD TO the FUTURE!

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:33 PM

46. Oddly enough, I rec this.

Yes, I do get into fights with people during the elections, when the main job is trying to keep the next GWB out of the Oval office, which Mitt could have easily been.

However, now is the time to put pressure on the pres, because pressure is what works. It is the same for every Dem pres, even FDR and Bill, who history has called saints, did what they did because they had pressure, and could act like they were simply doing the will of the voter.

The election for the president is over, thus we can lay into him while letting him know that if he wants to be called successful, he will stand by us. As far as 2014, we do need to start that cycle, because,especially in the South, same democratic parties are weak, and need to realize Blue Dogs will not carry the day.

Now keep in mind, MH voted on election day, even if MH held his/her nose, MH voted, which kept Mitt OuT, and while I can fight in the primaries, after the primaries are done, we unite.

The problem comes with people who are NOT sincere in their attacks. There are folks like Arriana H that slam Obama, but always give Grover Norquist time on the pages. There are the Hamshers and Naders that TAKE GOP MONEY. There are also those that are genuine prgressives, but who think that if they all withdrew their votes on election day, they would get Dennis K. in office (sorry, witholding the vote in 2000 GOT US W> no matter how much the Nader types deny that a mere 527 votes decided the presidency.)

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:47 PM

49. THIS is why dems turn green

 

This conflict between liberals and realpolitik in the DP and DU manifests in the Greens as well as a conflict between the Realos and the Fundies. The problem is that there is a great deal of overlap between Realo Greens and Liberal Dems.

Disenfranchised Liberal Dems often turn Green out of frustration. Yet rather than addressing the concerns of liberal Dems, the Realpolitik drives them out and attacks them with an unbelievable arrogance. That arrogance causes them to treat liberals like thieves that somehow "steal" votes which are the property of Dems, or they treat them like naughty children.

Dems have not won the last four years due to some magical insight of the realpolitik. They have won in large part because people are waking up to how morally and politically bankrupt the right wing is. In order to hold on to their gains, the Dems need to demonstrate real leadership and real ideas.

Those ideas are going to come from the Liberal Dems. If the Realpolitik continues to run an operation which is politically savvy but intellectually empty, the right wing will fill the void.

PS: I don't know how long this post will last before someone reports it as somehow supporting a third party but Thank You for providing a framework to raise these issues.

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