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Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:46 AM

A Short Note On The Democratic Party And The Progressive Left....

I think it is quite fair to say the Democratic Party is not an ideal medium for securing a variety of progressive and left-rooted measures, and I do not, personally, view it as such.

It is, however, and however unfortunately, and however imperfect an instrument for it, the only tool available at present, in our political system as it is actually constituted.

Accepting that there is an imperfect fit between the Democratic Party and the furthest aims of left and progressive people, several things must be acknowledged.

First, it has to be acknowledged that left and progressive people really do not have solid ground to proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are left of center or center-left or even centerists are not really Democrats.

Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass.

Accepting these things would shift the focus of debate to pragmatic questions, and entails acknowledging facts of contingency. It highlights that the real debate is not so much over what should be done, as it is over what actually can be done, in present circumstances. Obviously, views will differ concerning what is or is not possible at present, over what a practical and achievable goal might be, and over what the best means of getting the best possible result would be. Put bluntly, it is here, and most particularly in the last of these things, that most of my disagreements with our President and our Party center: I would prefer a more combative attitude, prefer a staking out of initial positions much more in advance of what an acceptable final compromise would likely be, and suspect more could be got than Party leadership seems to suspect, or even seems in some cases to desire.

Argument by hyperbole is fun, and used sparingly, can be quite effective in getting someone to see, and take, a point. But taking argument by hyperbole for one's principal means is like serving a dinner composed of mounds of spice and little else; it will not be palatable and will not fulfill the purpose of a meal. People who habitually argue by hyperbole tend in time to lose consciousness they are employing a rhetorical device, and come to take what began as deliberate exaggerations for effect to be statements of fact, accurate descriptions of people and events. When they do, to put it bluntly, they come to appear as clowns at best and as demons at worst, and in either case, forfeit all credibility with people who do not already agree with them, and lose any ability to sway people to come to agreement with them from a neutral, or even a hostile, view.

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Reply A Short Note On The Democratic Party And The Progressive Left.... (Original post)
The Magistrate Sep 2013 OP
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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:00 PM

1. Beautifully written


And in agreement with all - but this jumped off the screen at me. . .
Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass.



From where I sit in the party - my life experience and circumstances that have me (for now)solidly Democratic - I see where I have to swallow hard on things and accept them as they are. If it means the VRA being put back in place . . . then by all means I will step and fetch to those who have internalized 'societal prejudice' towards black Americans (not racists but those who have internalized the dominant cultures whisper campaign) but understand that they need us to advance their own agenda. Some call it using - I call it a big tent where the ends justifies the means for both sides.

If I can do it - so can others.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:18 PM

4. Thank You, Ma'am

I agree restoration of the full Voting Rights Act ought to be the highest priority.

We simply cannot allow a rump of rural white bigots to rig the electoral machinery to cement rule by an ignorant and rabid minority.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:19 PM

6. -1

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:53 PM

21. I was going to highlight the second paragraph as well.

I think the "ur a rw troll" condemnations are little more than an attempt to bully someone into silence or agreement with a damn slim shot at the latter. It doesn't convert it solidifies opposition. If someone is convinced that all politics must be molded in their image they will soon find just how tiny their image really is.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:15 PM

162. As usual, we are *here* I highlighted that exact same passage from the OP



The idea of the tiny fringe screaming half-literate demands at the much bigger, much more powerful middle makes about as much sense as a baby duck trying to do battle with a full grown gorilla in a very bad mood.

But it's always much easier to whine and complain that than do the actual work of grooming candidates and getting them elected. And these folks wonder why many smart, hard-working folks would rather eat glass than represent them in Washington. Why would anyone want to work for such a fickle group of folks that will turn on you on a dime the NANO-SECOND you have to actually start to govern?

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:03 PM

2. getting people to change their minds is always tough

and there certainly is a debate over what should be done, and that "what can be done" starts with "what are you trying to do". Because you can do more if you try to do more.

And for real Democrats, I give you this

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022085948

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:19 PM

7. That Is True, Sir

And personally, I am in the 'do lots more' camp.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:06 PM

3. Centrist Reagan Democrats & DLCers SUCK

But I would never label them 'deranged'

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #3)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:21 PM

8. 'Reagan Democrats', Sir, Are Republicans....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #8)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:29 PM

14. Correct. When are they going home?

Seasonal Democrats and Republicans who dumped Reagan for Clinton

Institutionalized within the party now - example Jim Webb

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #14)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:45 PM

19. Someone Once Said, Sir 'A Savage Converted To Christianity Is Christianity Converted To Savagery'

Expanding an organizations membership can indeed change its character, just as defection from it can. The classic Progressive movement began in the Republican Party, was read out of by Taft, and moved largely into the Democratic column, notably altering the political lines of both bodies. Defection of 'Dixiecrats' from the Democratic Party to the Republicans in a more modern day accounts for the latter's solid attachment to racist bigotry as a tool for mass support, and also in good part for the view the Democratic Party is a progressive institution.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:00 PM

26. Indeed

Here's hoping our betters have learned that political fundamentalism has failed. The rigid certainty of 'belief' and 'messaging' must give way to whatever compromise or negotiation follows the will of the majority and respects the rights of the minority

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:18 PM

5. "Be Realistic. Demand the Impossible."

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #5)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:22 PM

10. Cute, Sir, But We Both Know It Is Just A Bit Of 'Feels-Good' Noise....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:27 PM

13. I was actually trying to somewhat supplement your post ...

Regarding your urge for pragmatism, I wanted to say that it's still not a bad idea to "demand the impossible." If you don't demand, you certainly won't receive.

In other words, you can be both pragmatic and idealistic. They're not mutually exclusive. Pushing for more progressive policies, sir, is not "Feels-Good Noise."

I hope you weren't trying to be patronizing.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #13)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:36 PM

15. I Apologize For Mistaking Your Meaning, Sir

I agree that it is generally better to call for more at the start than one is willing to settle for at the end.

It is indeed one of my chief bones to pick with this Administration, that it generally opens a negotiation with a position that it has already negotiated with itself, and thinks the best it could get from the opposition. There are only two ways to make this sort of thing work: either, if the 'pre-negotiated' position is not agreed to immediately, you end the negotiation flat, or you say, well, then that is no longer acceptable to me, I demand a good deal more than my initial offer.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #15)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:44 PM

18. ODS! ODS! ODS!

Just kidding. I agree with this comment and your original post 100%.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #15)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:57 PM

24. No problem, sir. I should have clarified in my original post.

I, too, am annoyed by Obama's negotiating strategies, and I make my opinions regarding such quite known. I did want to stress that always pushing for a better deal can only really result in the best possible outcomes, even if such a push results in a compromise of something short of that. It is, I believe, one of Obama's major weaknesses. So, I believe that a constant (and even an annoying) push from the Progressive Left is a net positive, and shouldn't be construed as inhibiting Democratic gains.

I appreciate that we had this exchange in being able to clarify our positions, yet, remain in relative agreement.

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Response to Fantastic Anarchist (Reply #13)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:01 PM

28. Republicans follow this tactic, and they get a lot of what they want.

They stake out their starting position at some bizarre, outrageous extreme point. Then they "accept" what they really wanted in the first place--and sometimes even more than they thought of asking for.

As I said in the post I linked to below (in which I am arguing a point similar to that of the OP), one of the things that bothers me about Obama is that I do think he tends to start negotiations at a weak point, offering to compromise up front, perhaps because he wants to convince others that he is being reasonable and cooperative. But that means the Republicans are able to force all the real compromise from our side while giving up nothing of substance in return, since what they finally concede are merely points that they demanded not because they wanted them, but because they wanted to have something to give up without budging from their real demands.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #28)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:16 PM

38. Absolutely agreed.

That's my observation, as well.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:22 PM

9. Awesome analogy

"But taking argument by hyperbole for one's principal means is like serving a dinner composed of mounds of spice and little else; it will not be palatable and will not fulfill the purpose of a meal. "

Well put!

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:25 PM

11. 80% of Lefties support this POTUS.

What we have here is failure to communicate with a small, but very vocal group.

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Response to Rex (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 07:01 PM

181. We always hear that but

I would like to hear how the question is phrased. Do you support the President in everything he does? Do you support the President over a Republican? Do you support the President on x,y or z, and are those "support" votes stand-alone or combined?

And what is the definition of "Leftie?"

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #181)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:40 PM

196. The percentage never changes.

Reardless of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, the figure has been unchanged for,....like YEARS.
Polls of other demographics shgift and move, but never , the famous , ever hovering around 80%, liberal dems.

Thats odd.
Perhaps the BOG represents a true real-world demographic, that Gallup is easily able to reach.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #196)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:30 PM

215. Yep.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #181)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:23 AM

253. Do you support the President's kill list? Or drone strikes that kill kids?


Or a chained CPI?

Yeah, sure. 80%.

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Response to R. Daneel Olivaw (Reply #253)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 07:27 AM

273. And it never changes....nt

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Response to Rex (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:16 AM

266. That's bullshit. Of course when some MSM pollster asks me if I support Obama I will say yes

This is necessary to counter bullshit RW memes. However, I don't in reality support a lot of his policies, and I'm going to keep saying that on DU and elsewhere.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:26 PM

12. Well stated

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:40 PM

16. Either the working poor are helped or they are not.

 

The remaining discourse is a long winded tally of who aligns with what.

The dissent is coming. It will come with emotion.

The pragmatic, rational discourse will be the first casualty. It has proven to be ineffective. Fallen on deaf ears while the number of working poor grows. An army of dissent is being sown.

Rational debate a casualty as it should be in dire times.

Stroke the anger. Fuel the flames. Overwhelm the entrenched guard.

An approach long over due.

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Response to mick063 (Reply #16)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:11 PM

33. ^^ This. Labels matter far less than intent and action. n/t

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Response to mick063 (Reply #16)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:19 PM

39. I Sympathize With Your View, Sir

Certainly sweet reason is not the stuff of campaigns to gain mass support and weld solid voting blocs. Politics is not a rational business, but an emotional one, and the right seems to have a better grip on this fact than the left does. It is by appeals to emotion, by un-reason, that the right manages to maintain the degree of mass support it does: if people rationally voted their personal and family self-interest, a right-wing party could hardly get a tenth of the votes, if it could even get so many.

But in discussion and debate of the best course for a political body or movement to take, the fights it should engage in, the lines by which it should press those fights, assessment of what goals it can actually achieve, the coldest and most ruthless reason and calculation ought to prevail....

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:44 PM

17. I would argue that the center/right needs to accept that the left represents the majority view of

not only Dems, but the country as a whole.

Examples: Syria, Medicare for all, taxing the hoarding class.

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #17)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:05 PM

31. There May Be Something To That, Sir

But people will have to be gotten to vote and to self-identify like that, consistently and in good numbers, before it will move professionals.

It is true that, asked on an issue by issue basis, people largely do support more left and progressive positions, but when voting on a this person or party or that person or party, they frequently cast votes against policy positions they say they support.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #31)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:15 PM

37. In a way it means that the 'progressive left" would better be referred to as centrists, and the

center-right as far right baby killing, granny starving corporate oligarchs (Oh, crap I was trying not to go there, LOL).

Joking aside, framing progressives as leftists is part of the problem. We are not left of center, we are the center.

That said, I agree with much of your sentiments

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #17)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:13 PM

35. +1

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #17)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:36 PM

48. So, if the majority view of the country as a whole is better represented by "the left" as opposed

to the rest of the Democratic Party, whose interests are the Party representing?

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #48)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:48 PM

90. Depends on the issue:

Syria - the MIC.
Medicare for All - Big Crapsurance.
Taxing Hoarders - The 1%.

But, it's not the party as a whole, after all the progressive caucus is the largest caucus in Congress.

It's merely a thin sliver of us.

One of the big fixes is public financing of campaigns (move to amend will fix that, I hope - donate - https://movetoamend.org/).

Our reps become beholden to those that fund their ridiculously expensive campaigns.

EDIT: the left is actually the center. We are progressive centrists.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:50 PM

20. K & R

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:55 PM

22. KnR. I posted something along these lines in another thread last night:

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:56 PM

23. Very well said. nt

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 12:58 PM

25. K&R - nt

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:00 PM

27. mote, eye, beam, etc..

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:01 PM

29. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, The Magistrate.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:02 PM

30. At root are the failings of a two part duopoly political system compared to multi-party systems. nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #30)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:12 PM

34. That Is A Solid Point, Sir

Though multi-party systems have their failings as well. They can, for example, give grossly disproportionate power to small fringe parties, where it is essential to get just one more handful of votes to establish a governing coalition, and the tail drives a hard bargain with the dog to provide them. They can also be prone to 'unity' coalitions between larger parties which ostensibly are opposed to one another, and which join in a paralytic union.

The question is whether the ruling coalition is assembled before or after the election; in a two-party system, the former case prevails, in a multi-party sytem, the latter. But generally, rule is always by coalition, outside an autocracy, and not always even then.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #34)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:22 AM

267. Disproportionate power to small fringe parties ...

... that would seem to describe the Tea Party, with its power to whip the moderate Republicans into no-compromise voting blocs. The fear of being "primaried" infects a lot of them.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:06 PM

32. I am far left ideologically, but when it comes to STRATEGY, I realize progress happens incrementally

at least most of the time.

And the biggest reason for gradual change is that there is a well funded opposition who also owns/controls mass media.

Like sailing, when you face a strong headwind, politically sometimes you have no choice to tack in order to progress at all.

Triangulation is tacking. Sometimes it's motivated by a desire to progress to the Left. Sometimes it isn't.

A large group of the agitators on DU how are authentically left and not trolls or greens are simply unwilling to take the long view, to have the patience and fortitude required for real change.

Like Veruca Salt- they want an Oompa Loompa NOW!

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:50 PM

58. "Agitators"

Thats a new one.
You just can't stop yourself, can you?

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Response to Vanje (Reply #58)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:02 AM

264. That's what they called us when we spoke out against the Vietnam War.

Same playbook.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #264)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 02:31 PM

305. A lively agitator

cleans the laundry!

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:05 PM

64. Representing majority American opinion is now 'agitating?'

No wars
Single payer non-profit healthcare
Jobs
Good wages

'Triangulation' is just another word for ignoring the will of the people

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:12 PM

67. And you take the 'long view'? Kitty, you advocated 'civil unions are as good as marriage'

for years and years.
As Long As The Law Is Providing For Civil Unions so that Gay Partners can recieve benefits and priviledges as straights... gay MARRIAGE is not important to me whatsoever. 2004
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x400440

Kitty 2005 said this:
Marriage Is A Sacred Institution. Churches Have Every Right To Say who may or may not be married. Also, as a SACRED institution, Marriage should ONLY BE PERFORMED BY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS.
States should ONLY be granting Civil Unions.
Seperation of Church and State.
Such a simple solution.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x1150985
The rest of that thread is stunning as well.

Another thread, 2006 in which you advocate 'civil unions' as your desired solution.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=102x1150985
"Marriage is now considered as a religious cremony. And religions are free to dictate those in their congregations who are able to be married. You going to FORCE the Catholic Church to allow gay marriages?" KittyWampus. 2006. Seeing that long view.



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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #67)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:21 PM

73. Whoa.

"gay MARRIAGE is not important to me whatsoever."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132x400440


Its a damn good thing for equal rights that SOMEBODY was agitating!

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Response to Vanje (Reply #73)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:57 PM

96. You didn't post the entire thing. Nor did you or the agitator above post what my views were in FULL

Civil Unions for EVERYONE gay and straight.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #96)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:59 PM

99. I posted the link so that everyone can very easily see the context.

Are you partnered?
Was YOUR marriage a civil union?

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Response to Vanje (Reply #99)


Response to KittyWampus (Reply #105)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:10 PM

111. Civil Unions for everyone"

Are they for YOU?

Do you have a husband? or a "domestic partner"?

Did your Daddy give away the bride at your Civil Ceremony?

Did you wear a wedding gown? Or a Civil-Union frock?

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Response to Vanje (Reply #111)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:22 PM

133. Another example of creating a wedge within the DEM Party about gay rights.

It's all or nothing for some. Agreeing with a first step like civil unions is not enough.

I am in support for gay marriage. BUT it is not even in my TOP 100 things that need to be fixed first.

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Response to DontTreadOnMe (Reply #133)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:24 PM

134. Dont tell me. Lemme guess......

Your straight.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #134)


Response to DontTreadOnMe (Reply #133)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:09 PM

142. ...so I gather, from looking at your transparency page

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #105)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:31 AM

255. "crap flinger"??? Is that what you call agitators when they show your true colors?

So aif all you re doing is posting your opinions then they really are only valid to you.

Since you and your little clique are unrelentingly negative I have zero reason to share anything with you.


Wait, what. A few posts ago you were calling it...and I quote you directly "A large group of the agitators on DU...", but now they have been reduced to a little clique.


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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #67)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:28 PM

79. Ugh

What an awful person.

Thank you for pulling those up.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #79)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:39 PM

83. But it's just pragmatism and taking the long view!

nt

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #83)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:05 PM

103. I think Martin Luther King should have advocated for

buses eliminating the front of the bus. That would have been the more pragmatic solution.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #83)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:10 PM

109. Amazing, you must look up stuff about any DU'er you don't like or disagree with. It's sick, really.

And you don't post my full opinions over the years or my personal experiences.

It says volumes about you.

You basically pore over DU'ers past posts to find something you can use out of context. Context being every other post and opinion on the subject I made over the years.

It is basically a form of stalking.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #109)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:44 PM

122. I have a memory, so all of your name calling is just your anger at being a known entity

I only posted the links and quotes because you were laying that pipe about being 'far left but pragmatic' which is just a load of crap. You advocated less than equal for years and years and you called that pragmatic too. The admins provide a search function which allows for offering links to the material. Complain to them if you don't want it used. But if you don't want your bullshit remembered, don't write a bunch of bullshit about how pragmatic it is to support civil unions over marriage equality.
No one has the right to spew such crap then pretend it did not happen. Cake and eat it too, you want to attack my family for years then cry foul when not allowed to declare yourself a super liberal.
This is not the child's table Kitty. Grow the fuck up and own your words, stomping and steaming will not make them vanish.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #122)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:51 PM

123. This

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #122)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 07:10 PM

185. People can arrive at the same place at different times, Abraham Lincoln's views as President

evolved over the years and decades.

This may speak to my contention on other threads and posts that debate here at D.U. has effect on both posters and lurkers.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #185)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 07:56 PM

187. A Good Point, Sir

It has always seemed to me, too, the peculiar quality of Mr. Lincoln's genius was an uncannily accurate sense of just where the people were on some matter, and further, of just how far they could be moved along, and what time it would take to do so.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #187)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:10 PM

208. Absolutely. His approach to the issue of emancipation is a prime example.

As was the evolution in his thinking over how the war against the Confederacy should be pursued, in terms of end results.

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Response to Adsos Letter (Reply #208)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:03 AM

245. That Was, Sir, A High Point Of The Democratic Art, Sir

It did cost him support in some quarters, even as it gained him support in others. It also put out of reach for the secessionists both any hope of foreign assistance, and any hope of a negotiated settlement on any basis approaching status quo ante. It meant they had to win, and do it on their own, and that just was not possible, even so early as that in the war.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #185)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:31 PM

193. You're right

President Obama, himself 'evolved' during his time in office, over the issue of gay marriage.
He started his incumbency not very favorable toward it, I'm afraid. But happily, he had a change of heart, and enacted policies which make him the best president to date on issues of gay rights.
Obama courageously re-invented himself on gay marriage.

Some people apparently havn't.


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Response to Vanje (Reply #193)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:36 PM

194. To this I defer to Yogi Berra

"It ain't over 'til it's over."

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #194)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:41 PM

197. Its NEVER over.

Wheel keeps turning and turning.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #197)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:47 PM

199. Then when progress is made

or claimed to be made, recognize it with grace and acceptance at face value until proven otherwise.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #199)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:50 PM

201. Yes

but we remember and honor friends who helped it happen. And we are less grateful to "friends" who impeded progress.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #201)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:55 PM

204. The former can become the latter,

particulary if enticed with honey versus vinegar.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #204)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:08 PM

207. Honey. I know it works.

But after just in the last 2 days being refered to, and seeing my fellow lefties refered to on these forums as "Counterproductive left wingnut, Emo-Prog, ODS, Paul-Bot Poutraged, Pony-whining ,Nader-Loving, pompous a$$hole, idiot, hater ,thinly veiled racist".....

I'm running a little low on honey, just now.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #207)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:20 PM

211. That's when you need it the most to

counter act or disarm those committed to disruption/diminishing your import or the merit of your ideals.

Over time (it may seem like a long time) they will expose themselves for what they are and lose credibility with the people.



http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/mahatmagan121411.html


The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #211)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:55 PM

222. Recent friendly overture-

I actually made a recent friendly overture to a person who is posting in this very thread.

This was her exact response, No more , no less:

"Are we friends now or something? If we are, someone sure as hell forgot to tell me
And probably with damn good reason."

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3675526




Some people really do NOT want to be allies.
Be very careful of people who need enemies more than they need friends.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #222)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:20 PM

231. There are four elements

of communication,

1. What a speaker says.

2. What the speaker thinks they said.

3. What the listener heard.

4. What the listener thinks they heard.

A breakdown in any one of those can lead to a misunderstanding, it's possible the poster misunderstood your intent.

Having said that, I agree with you that some people will never want to be allies, but that's ok, don't worry about it, move on and those people intent on nothing but demeaning or insulting will over time expose themselves for what they are to the greater community.

Peace to you, Vanje.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #211)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:03 PM

224. You're reasonable, and exactly right


But there are a few who must need their animosity very much.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #194)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:45 PM

198. In This Sort Of Thing, Sir, I Prefer

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it."

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #198)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:53 PM

202. Yes sir,

but only if it's a silver one

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #122)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:40 AM

256. These are the lies that the left <<< the real Dems, have to put up with all the time.


"Oh, we are really the center, and you on what we consider the fringe really aren't all that."

Without the left the Democrats would be failed republicans.


Would the left be offering chained CPI?

Would the left be appointing corporate suits to positions of power?

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #109)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:31 PM

216. Don't confuse knowing how to use Google with stalking

You typed the words, and you own them. Trying to find alternate blame for your own words is unseemly.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #216)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 07:52 AM

274. not stalking per se but

Obsessive at best; kinda creepy at worst.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #79)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:55 PM

95. What, you mean civil unions for everyone? Yeah, I'm the awful person. LOL

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #95)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:04 PM

101. As long as you admit it

That's the first step.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #67)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:55 PM

93. yes, I advocated Civil Unions for EVERYONE. Gay and straight. And too bad you didn't bother

to fully research my responses on that issue. Especially regarding my personal life.

But you and your clique revel in trashing others. It's what you do best. And it's obvious that issues are secondary to that purpose.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #93)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:02 PM

100. Are YOU married?

or Civil-Unioned?

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Response to Vanje (Reply #100)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:08 PM

107. As I posted up-thread, I posted about my experience years ago. And since you & the other person

are so unrelentingly negative I have zero interest in sharing anything with you.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #93)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:08 PM

106. It Is An Easily Misunderstood Position, Ma'am

The idea that marriage is solely a civil function, without any religious component, and entered into without any reference to religious belief or sacramental character, is perfectly reasonable. If that were the common practice, it would certainly have been easier to extend rights of marriage to homosexuals. It is obvious and commonplace by now that all objections to doing so are at bottom religious; no one has been able to demonstrate any secular, civil cause for denying equal rights to marriage. Stating an attachment to a theoretical proposition, though, can be a difficult thing to bring off in the midst of a passionate quarrel, where many feel, quite rightly, they are being put off and fobbed off and disrespected.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #106)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:12 PM

112. Old joke from my grandmother> Why does the fool keep banging his head on the wall?

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
BECAUSE IT FEELS SO GOOD WHEN HE STOPS!

So I am taking another break from DU. LOL!

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #112)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:18 PM

116. Understandable

(I'd be embarrassed too)

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Response to Vanje (Reply #116)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:32 PM

118. if I had a life, I'd go through your posts and throw some of them in your face along w/your buddy.

But I do have a life.


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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #118)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:34 PM

148. +1

It's evil, it really is, making it personal. Who has time to do that? And they are using it to smear you as homophobic, you can bet on that.

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Response to treestar (Reply #148)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:04 AM

246. Oh, no doubt. Bluenorthwest called YOU out in a thread you weren't even in >>>

it's apparently what this person does with other DU'ers. Bully them, call them out etc.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3666268

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #246)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:13 AM

278. Yep. Plus the standard for "homophobic" is absurd.

It includes almost everyone, even most gay people. Specifically, one is a homophobe for continuing to support Obama after he let Rick Warren give that benediction on Jan. 20, 2009. None of the President's subsequent actions, like signing DADT repeal or stop defending DOMA matter. He is a homophobe. He let Rick Warren say a prayer at his inauguration.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:58 PM

126. we've been looking at the "long view" for thirty years now

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:42 PM

219. "far-left"? Thanks for the laugh! Far-left don't compromise when it comes to Universal Human Rights.

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Response to idwiyo (Reply #219)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:11 AM

252. In this country the "far left" label means those considered middle road I believe in your country.

The genius of the far right and their neo-liberal allies in this country is their use of redefinition to move ever rightward and to justify ignoring the civil liberties of it's citizens. At times the technique is even used to justify illegal wars of aggression or outright war crimes as "defensive actions"

Redefinition of words to justify the "right" of a President to order the testicles of a child crushed for national security.
Redefinition of words to justify the destruction of the entire concept of habeas corpus.
Redefinition of words to justify the "right" of the government to completely ignore our 4th amendment rights and allow them to collect complete files on anyone anytime they wish including all emails phone calls (even voice), locations, banking information, your entire group of associations and where and when you meet as well as every web page you ever visit all using rubber stamp style vague "warrants" that cover entire populations, unfortunately idwiyo, this even applies to you as our redefinition's consider all your information as property of our NSA simply because of your status as a non US citizen.

In this current discussion you can see the labeling and redefinition strategy in action, note that center left views are referred to as far left. The redefinition of liberal and conservative in this country would currently label Thatcher as a center left politician and she would likely have been recruited for the Democratic party leadership.

You need to completely throw away your knowledge of what words like liberal, extreme, conservative, rights and acts of war mean if you wish to discuss things here.

The only answer I am afraid is for you to pick up by context what is meant when these words are posted and replace them with the proper words in your head to understand what we Americans think we are discussing.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:04 PM

303. We are just goal orientated and results driven.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #32)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 04:23 PM

310. You are talking about...

...the American Political system. In which your "triangulation" strategy has only gone back wards from the sixties, which was the only time in the past 100 years when America was an example for social change and led the world in seeking justice -- both legal and social -- at the cost of confronting whichever Party was in charge. It was also the time that I grew-up in and looked up to the US as a real example of what people, united, could do.

Ever since, you "triangulation," has only brought forth conformism and one war after another with the MIC very successfully selling their wares. So, should we await for WW-III for 'radical change' or do we do something about it before it happens?

America's right-wing tilt since Reagan (was there are more unjustly vilified President that Carter? To this day?) has only brought the highest class inequality in 50 years of perpetual war.


And you dare call me an "agitator or troll." Because I want a better world, that, if we fought for it really wouldn't be be too hard to achieve -- and I don't necessarily mean taking-up arms but minds.

Enough with the conformism and brain-washing. I refuse to work for the 1% as mush as I refuse to belong to it -- and I know what I speak of, I was born into it.

Have an splendid evening.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:14 PM

36. The tactic of supporting Team Democratic regardless of the position that team

is advocating is total bullshit, and dishonest to the extreme.

Until a certain faction here stops doing that the hostilities will continue.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:21 PM

40. This country and it's politics does not revolve

around factions on DU. Personally,DU's biggest downfall to me is that too many comments center around warring DU factions. It doesn't matter outside of the bubble,it's relevant to nothing.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #40)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:27 PM

77. The think the DU factions are an echo

of a current struggle in the party at large.

Its our party's turn to have an internal battle for the soul of the party.
Its not just DU, Theres going to be some restlessness ahead.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:23 PM

42. "hostilities will continue"- as far as I'm concerned you just outed yourself and your intent.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #42)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:33 PM

46. outed myself as what? A person with actual principles?

You got me. it's a fair cop.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #46)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:57 PM

97. No, a person only interested in being hostile.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #97)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:06 PM

104. You're quite hostile.

In this very thread even.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #97)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:30 PM

137. Oh for fuck's sake. The hostility here and elsewhere within the Democratic Party

has been an ongoing affair.

Here on DU it has been the same fight with the same set of players, modulo sockpuppets and new usernames, since this place started. When Bush was in office we fought the same battles over collaboration with neocon/neolib policies. When Obama took over the same people started fighting over support of Obama's center-right policies and capitulationist negotiating strategies. The hostilities have been mutual, ongoing, and pervasive. But the issues are very very real.

Neocon imperialism, authoritarianism, intolerance, and neoliberal economic policies - these are issues that I will not compromise on, that I will not "just get along" on, and that I will oppose each and every day. The fact that this administration has been on the wrong side of so many of these issues is infuriating, and the fact that people here who opposed the same polices when Bush advanced them are dishonestly supporting these policies now is enraging.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #137)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:17 PM

163. Funny thing is, a lot of people simply reject as untrue your personal belief that Obama is a

center-right capitulationist just like they reject the notion that he's a socialist ideologue.

It is not that you care so very much more and are so very much more principled--it's that people perceive things differently than you.

Either you can live with the idea that maybe you're not right about everything, or you can continue as you are.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #163)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:48 PM

200. A lot of people once thought the Sun revolved around a fixed Earth

But that had no effect whatsoever on the path of the Earth around the Sun.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #200)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:41 AM

283. Must be rough to know everything and never

be wrong about all issues.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #283)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 02:28 PM

304. Gettn that out of your system....

before the new post hide system is in place?

Right on!

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Response to Vanje (Reply #304)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 02:31 PM

306. I didn't realize that conceding that the other person

has never been wrong about an issue was hideable.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #137)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:47 AM

258. ^^^This! Fekking This!^^^

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #97)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:45 AM

257. You've already been outed as being a fabrication of a left leaning Dem.


Just go back across the isle to the right. Your cover has been blown.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #46)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:18 PM

164. Hostility is not a sign of principles nt

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:25 PM

43. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:31 PM

44. I Do Not Think That Is What Is Happening, Sir

I think the people you are presenting as 'the cause of hostilities' view themselves as defending against exaggerated and not always well-founded attacks, that threaten to not only make further advance impossible, but to endanger gains already to hand. They would say, I expect, that 'until a certain faction here stops doing that the hostilities will continue'....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #44)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:03 PM

63. I disagree. I think they are way to the right of most of the party and trying to pull

over more. I think of them as the corporate wing of the party that can rationalize anything.

Our President campaigned to the left and them went on to govern to the right. It may be the best he can do under the circumstances but people voted for the man campaigning to the left.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #44)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:28 PM

78. And you would be spot on in that analysis.

Sometimes a gambit needs not be all or nothing because the cost of losing may be too great. Win some ground and hold it. If you get knocked back a step or two, regroup and move forward. There is too much to lose to make every single issue an all or nothing venture. Understanding nuance where it exists and choosing battles wisely are the tools of experience. Sometimes rash exuberance just leaves bodies on the field and the enemy gets to write history and the rules henceforth.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:49 PM

57. If you know of another team that has a chance of getting something done, let us know.

Otherwise, I agree with The Magistrate: work with what you have.

Treat your body like a machine. Your mind like a castle.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:35 PM

149. It is a big tent

We can't get anywhere unless we can ally with people we don't agree with about everything.

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Response to treestar (Reply #149)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:40 PM

150. that's a hoot coming from you.

Whenever this administration veers right you and the rest of the BOG are out in force proclaiming everyone in opposition to that policy as party traitors, paulites, racists, etc. You all ought to be ashamed.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #150)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:43 PM

151. That is just ad hominem

Nothing to the point there. You've really broad brushed with your second sentence.

You can't get anywhere without working with someone who disagrees with you. The BOG thinks that can be done and thus, still supports the President, even if he appoints someone with experience at a bank to some backwater job requiring financial experience.

The people who want to waste 8 years of having the Presidency because he veered from their view of perfection on Day 1 are the unrealistic. They are already looking for a savior for 2016 who will likewise have to fail them, as you can't get elected President and then proceed to please each person who voted for you or even worked for you 100% of the time.

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Response to treestar (Reply #151)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:58 PM

205. Ad Hominum? Not you!

Didnt you just recently get your mouth washed out with soap over something you called me?

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Response to Vanje (Reply #205)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:17 PM

210. I didn't call you anything

You took a generalized call out that way.

Typical really.

I'd done with you and that other poster. Just don't even respond.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #205)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:05 AM

289. Quiet, you! You have plenty of rights!

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Response to QC (Reply #289)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 08:15 PM

318. I asked her for an apology the other day for that

sickening callous remark.

Crickets of course.

And her she is posting about the unfairness of being called out on her own words.

Unbelievable.

The disconnection is gobsmacking.

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Response to Puglover (Reply #318)

Sat Sep 28, 2013, 02:06 PM

325. That is one of the ugliest things I have ever seen posted on DU.

That and the bit about Latin America, of course.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #150)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:14 PM

161. You weren't kidding with your threat to engage in 'hostilties' towards partisan Democrats. nt

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Response to treestar (Reply #149)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:54 PM

203. Allying with people includes

insulting them?
It doesn't seem like alliance is what you are really after.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #36)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:13 PM

160. "the hostilities will continue" until people stop disagreeing with you

Somehow, that approach is unpersuasive.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:23 PM

41. Well now this is a rare sight on DU!

A thoughtful and insightful post! And it couldn't be more accurate!

I see a few have given themselves away with one-liner protest responses, they always do. More to come, no doubt.

You have hit the nail on the head exactly as to why I rarely even bother with DU anymore. The hysteria is at fever pitch at pretty much all times. Why just recently we were as at good as in the trenches in Syria...but wait! Oh, no war. How many days were wasted on such solid "activism"? *sigh*

Between this and the several posts I have seen from DUers reassuring themselves that yes, indeed, all the screeds pounded out and the endless back and forths of I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?? really IS activism and it really DOES matter!1! I have to say the divide has never been more clear.

I once discussed some real world political activity here on DU. Someone chimed in wanting to know if the group was comprised of DLCers or "real" Dems or what? lolz Um, it was a real world activity where we all got together to work on a shared project. In the real world one doesn't go around interrogating allies about their credentials (are you pure enough to work with me?), one says "thank you" to those who show up to do the actual work. That exchange told me a great deal about the lack of real world involvement by some of our great DU "activists".

Frankly I think that would be just the thing to cure a lot of what ails us. Show up in a real world activity and just watch. See how people on the same team are generally civil to each other? See how damn much work needs to be done??

Yeah, that would be a good thing for many here. I daresay as enlightening experience as your OP here Magistrate. Well done.

In appreciation,
Julie

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:31 PM

45. Interesting points

First, it has to be acknowledged that left and progressive people really do not have solid ground to proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are left of center or center-left or even centrists are not really Democrats.


This is always an interesting debate as both progressives and conservative democrats on this forum at times try to claim the mantle of "real Democrats". While we can acknowledge that both these groups are Democrats, one side argues that the historical, very liberal side are "true" Democrats while the other says that the newer, far more centrist and corporate-friendly side that the last two Democratic Presidents represent are "true" Democrats. I don't know what the correct answer is even though I fall on the left side of the spectrum.

Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass.


Your critique is rather one-sided here, is it not? The demand to support the President no matter his policy is rather vehement from the centrists here, resulting in the claims that we who disagree are racists and "Paulbots" (a particularly bizarre accusation since no here that I know supports the Pauls).

Obviously, views will differ concerning what is or is not possible at present, over what a practical and achievable goal might be, and over what the best means of getting the best possible result would be.


IMO, this pragmatism, the Clinton triangulation, Obama's willingness to meet the Republicans 90% of the way is where the Democratic party has lost its course. We've allowed ourselves to be dragged ever further to the right while celebrating extremely small victories that hold the status quo. Its 15 steps to the right, two to the left. I think the sensible woodchuck approach is what has allowed the country to move so far rightward since Reagan.

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Response to LondonReign2 (Reply #45)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:07 PM

66. Regarding Your Points, Sir

One of the things that amuses me is the belief among people, mostly below a certain age, that the Democratic Party is, historically, a liberal and left body. Even in the days of the New Deal that was far from the case, and before that is best overlooked in silence. If you were to have told a solid liberal, let alone a left radical, circa 1967, that Mr. Johnson was an icon of liberal progressive-ism, you would have got your ears pinned back, and might have had to duck quick too. The critique of half-measures and sham vitiating any real assistance to the poor in 'The Great Society', the half-hearted enforcement of Voting Rights laws, particularly where it might discomfit his old Senate cronies from the South, the blatant favors and thimble-rigging he performed on behalf of big business, particularly oil and defense industries, would not even have had to proceed to charges of war-mongering and instances of Red-baiting of the most shameful and grotesque character. The view that the Democratic Party is above all an institution dedicated to liberal and progressive causes, hostile to people who do not enthusiastically support same, is relatively recent.

I am not so much concerned with which faction is more numerous in this forum. I have no idea which would prevail were a scientific poll taken. But it is a fact of our political life that left progressive-ism is not a predominant force in our politics, and if one side is to dictate terms from a position of political strength, it would more likely be centerists than otherwise. When people who do oppose from a left position, such as, to take an off-forum example' ms. Benjamin and Code Pink, promote a line like 'Stand with Rand' when one of the worst reactionaries on the scene overlaps a position they press, they can certainly expect chastisement from people who manage to preserve some awareness of who is on what side of the real divides. The line you complain of could just as easily be turned against comments equating President Obama to Bush, and people who support him to ditto-heads.

Invoking the 'sensible woodchuck' does not alter the fact that when setting strategy, one must bear always in mind what can actually be achieved with the means to hand in the theater one operates. I am inclined to the view myself that the strategic calculations of our Party leadership have not always been correct, and tend to over-caution.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:34 PM

47. Politics it the art of compromise

Sadly. on these pages, every election cycle, we have to remind people that what is the stake, first, is the Supreme Court.

Some of us remember 1968, when for many liberals - yes, sir, I proudly use the term liberal, not progressive - Humphrey was not anti war enough. We ended up with Nixon.

In 2000 may chose Nader, and we ended up with the disaster of Iraq and Afghanistan, with the Patriot Act and more.

I lived in California in the 90s, when many Republicans were "standing on principles" in their primaries and they lost all state wide offices. (Arnold, really, does not count).

I am not sure what prompted this specific post - not that you need one. But I am appalled at the attacks on Hillary on these pages, before she even declared her intent. The attacks here are as vicious, or more than the ones from the right.

But then, of course, I remember in 2008 when people here said they would not vote for her because... her voice is like their mothers'...

Thank you for trying to put some sense in the debate that is yet to get fierce once the 2016 race starts in high gear.


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Response to question everything (Reply #47)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:40 PM

50. The rest of that quote is telling too...

Otto von Bismarck - "Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best"

In a Democracy, getting all of everything you want is not possible the vast majority of the time. So it's about angling to get the next best thing or the next best candidate most of the time.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #50)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:43 PM

53. Thank you for the addition

Really educating.

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Response to question everything (Reply #47)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:12 PM

68. Spot on

Politics is a compromise. Darn right.

When centrists compromise with the far right, the result is ........Right (and by that I mean, not left).

If the party (including you and me) would at least express some leftism in our policies, maybe our leaders would start the dealing from a Leftier position, maybe we could actually move the result of the inevitable compromise to the center.

Even if the party powerful choose to start at the center, I want them to know, that theres a lot-o-left that they're leaving out.

I'm going to stay loud.
I'm going to continue to chafe at attempts to shut down the left side of the conversation.




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Response to Vanje (Reply #68)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:04 AM

250. Sadly, the country has shifted

Starting in the 70s, or, perhaps earlier, we shifted from a manufacturing and farm based economy to a service one.

And service is not just low paying jobs in fast food and other retails. It is also professionals and self employed accountants and attorneys who can be making a nice living.

When we were a manufacturing based economy, many worked for the same corporation all their lives. They were members of a union, many of their families worked at the same place. There was a sense of a community, of we are all in this together.

Once we moved to the service based, it is more everyone for himself. It is the government interfering in how I make a living by regulations and high taxation.

And then you get a successful communicator like Reagan who calls to get the government off one's back. (Except from the bedroom, the doctor's office and the school). And, of course, people do not want government intervention until.... they do.

Thus, the sentiments of many voters has shifted from supporting the common good: union, government - to resenting these groups, to support "individualism."

And we had no choice. These days when one needs independent voters to win the White House, one has to support centrist views.

Both Clinton and Obama appointed four Supreme Court Justices who at least keep Scalia and Thomas in check.

Ruth Ginsburg is now 80 years old and in fragile health. We cannot afford to have another Alito replacing her.

Think of Obamacare, think of DOMA. The future of the Supreme Court is, has been, the most important topic to think when we select our Presidential nominee and when we vote for a Senator. At least, until we get a 5-4 shift in our favor.


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Response to question everything (Reply #47)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:21 PM

72. 68? The primary in which the Party favorite was gunned down prior to convention?

Yeah, it was all because liberals did not like Hubert enough, not about dead candidates and police riots at our convention, journalists attacked young people jailed.
Want to talk attacks on Hillary? Obama currently employs Samantha Power who when employed in his campaign called Hillary ' a monster' who will 'say anything to get what she wants'. Power said this not to Americans, but to the press in Scotland. She was rewarded with a major policy position. If 'monster' is mainstream speech that leads to high appointment, does that not set a standard in and of itself?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #72)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:47 PM

152. Yes, '68 was a terrible year for Democrats and the Nixon machine

took full advantage.

Do you really think, even from a perspective of more than 40 years, that we should have given up the White House to mourn Bobby Kennedy? Or to protest Richard Daley? You fall but you get up and you continue to fight. After all, Humphrey was Johnson's V.P. Johnson of the "Great Society," of the Civil Rights Act. Would it have been really that bad to vote for his V.P.?

I don't know that Hillary would be the best nominee. But to NOT vote for her so that Paul Rand or Ted Cruz is the next president really sends shivers down my spine.

Is that what you want?

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Response to question everything (Reply #152)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:38 PM

170. What an insipid response. Dripping with arrogance and contempt. Seriously shitty rhetoric.

Did I suggest the Democrats should have 'given up the WH' in 68? No, I simply disagreed with your reductive view that the Party lost that year because 'of those liberals thinking Hubert was not anti war enough'. Putting words in my mouth is not acceptable.
And where the fuck did I suggest not voting for Hillary or any other nominee? No where, never have, never will. I simply pointed out that attacks on Hillary have been launched by the centrists like Power, not by liberals. It was Obama's camp that called her a 'monster'. So if attacks on Hillary bother you, take it to those who make such attacks. I have not done so. The Obama folks have, and the BOG folk here called her every name in the freaking book including racist, hate monger, saber rattler, lynch mob leader, it did not end.
Jesus.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #170)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:49 AM

249. I have never "alerted" that a post is hurtful, etc. and should be removed

But I stopped reading after your title.

If you cannot respond in a civilized manner perhaps you should not post here at all.

Where were you raised? How were you raised?

You parents may have not known any better but I feel bad for your children, if you have any.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:37 PM

49. "...come to take what began as deliberate exaggerations for effect to be statements of fact..."

That's the problem with DU in a nutshell.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:41 PM

51. Kick & Rec

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:42 PM

52. This exquisite exercise in logic ought to be pinned to the top of GD.

K&R and bravo!

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:45 PM

54. It's a Recession when your neighbor is unemployed, a Depression when you're unemployed....

and a Revolution when a large number go hungry.

Population Growth, Resource Depletion and Climate Change all but guarantee Revolution and World War are on the horizon. For many parts of the world, they're already here. For the US? 5 years, 10 years, 20 or even 30 years out? Who Knows. But they're coming.

You're OP is perfectly reasonable for all but the most extreme of times. Unfortunately....

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:47 PM

55. "I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a democrat."

Will's quote still fits some 80 years later.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:47 PM

56. mostly agree

. . . I think 'hyperbole' is more than just good fun or to be ridiculed in the excess.

The senses and perception of the average reader or recipient of our script is so practiced and dulled by the predicted state of events and initiative that it often needs to be jolted and jostled by high-flying rhetoric to get the point across and make it stick in the heart of whatever debate it manages to spark.

The well-reasoned argument would certainly seem to be self-evident and plainly understood, but, it's exactly that complacent acceptance of the status quo which is the real obstacle to progressive change. It needs to be aggressively challenged with dialog that rises above the patter that intends to smooth everything out and settle everything down.

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Response to bigtree (Reply #56)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:19 AM

290. Emotions Certainly Must be Roused, Sir

Humor is a major tool. Group identity, a sense of fellow feeling, is what must be roused to weld people into a political force. People who can be got to laugh do something together, it is a shared feeling, something done with others doing the same thing. And what people have been moved to laugh at they can seldom be drawn to take seriously again.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 01:51 PM

59. I read you loud and clear

It's time to primary all non-liberal Dems.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:00 PM

60. "mounds of spice and little else"

k and r

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:01 PM

61. +a nanallion

Funny Seems that most the Obama Haters don't have any comments on your post.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:02 PM

62. This is well-written, but please allow me to summarize

Magistrate, your writing abilities are impressive. I hope you don't mind if I summarize, in an attempt to get to the meat of the thing.

Point #1: progressives cannot claim the title of "real Democrats", etc. There are lots of centerists too.
Point #2: progressives should question whether attacking anyone to the right of them is productive, with the implication that this behavior is not productive.
Point #3: a paragraph about pragmatism and realpolitik. You'd like things to be more to the left, but things are what they are, so let's work with the center.
Point #4: Hyperbole can be useful if used sparingly. Overuse of hyperbole forget themselves and start to believe their own press. People who engage in too much hyperbole range from clowns to demons. You left yourself open here, employing hyperbole to talk about hyperbole.

I think you have some good points, but I also think you missed one of the biggest ones. As a progressive, I know good and well that we're not going to have single payer anytime soon, and that we're not going to have a whole host of other things progressives would like to have. But it's our job to agitate for those things anyway, to play our part, to be the archetypal progressive. In the end, compromise can be made, but negotiations had better start from the left flank, else we're not doing our jobs.

Finally, I wanted to say I haven't yet read any of the responses to your thread. I'm guessing this is already covered somewhere in those responses, but you've written this post as if there's not guilt to go around on all sides. There is, and I believe you know that.

thanks.







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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:07 PM

65. With all due respect sir,

You seem to be blaming the far left for a problem that has two sides.

I have seen attacks by the far left and attacks by the centrists. No one is immune. Hyperbole is used by both sides. There are entire threads on both sides that do nothing but make snarky comments about "those people"...

Could we not meet in the middle somewhere? How about the "normal left". The centrists can take one step to the left and the far left can take one step to the right.

In the end we all just want a better world. From where I'm sitting the far left has it right. At least what I consider the far left, which would be positions like pro-choice, anti-war, pro-education and teacher, pro Single Payer, pro-bank regulation, pro-sane gun laws, etc, etc.. which all seem to be very reasonable positions to me. However some on the far left are not as patient as I am.

Take the ACA as an example. The far left doesn't like it because it doesn't do enough. I don't like it because it doesn't do enough. However, I do understand that this was all Obama could get past the Republicans for now and I support the bill.. Reluctantly, and with the condition that it is a step towards single payer. Many with me on the far left want single payer and they want it now. I understand their frustration, as people are dying due to the high cost of health care.

I see my position as reasonable and I have never claimed that my position is the only "true Democratic position". However when I come on DU and see the Top 20 Reasons the Far Left is destroying blah blah blah, and this post about how the Far Left needs to change their tactics(which I do agree with.. to an extent) I feel like the progressive positions of the left are not wanted in the "big tent". Is that the impression you want to make? You yourself said, however imperfect, it's the only tool we have available at the present for progressive and leftist views" so the left must be allowed to say their piece. We could be a little smarter about it.. but then again the centrists could as well.


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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #65)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:16 PM

69. I Consider Myself, Sir, A Leftist, and Address Myself To Fellow Leftists

Each side should clean its own house, and I expect eventually some of our members more to the center of the forum spectrum will address the excesses of their compatriots.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #69)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:17 PM

70. Hmmm.. Ok that wasn't clear to me in the OP..

My apologies and I agree, this horrible snipe hunt has to end.

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Response to SomethingFishy (Reply #70)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:20 PM

71. No Need To Apologize, Sir

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #69)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:38 PM

82. I consider myself to be slightly more handsome than Brad Pitt.

Does that mean that I am?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #82)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:40 PM

84. No Idea, Sir

Even less concern.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #82)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:41 PM

85. I think you unintentionally hit on something there. Beauty and "who is left enough" are both

subjective.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #85)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:57 PM

98. Everyonehere seems to describe themselves as Left

Liberal, progressive (Except the poster ConservativeDemocrat, and I actually very much appreciate his honesty in that, if not his insults)
Almost everyone here self-describes as left-democratic.

Most people I know describe their upbringing as middle-class. Even my friend who's family had a second house in the Hamptons, a nanny, and spent weekends hanging around with the Nixons at their yacht club.

Self-descriptions are the best we can do, but they may not reflect true standing in the continuum.

People may refer to themselves here as liberal, progressive, leftys. Seems everyone does..........but I'm not inclined to believe it, in every case.

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #85)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:32 PM

120. And Standards Can Very Locally, Sir

A man resident in Selma might be called the neighborhood Red for expressing views a number that would provoke a number here to call him a 'third-way DINO'....

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Response to stevenleser (Reply #85)


Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #165)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:36 PM

169. Indeed, Sir: Your Wit Went Right Over My Head, With A Perceptible 'Whoosh'....

And of course you know my political views far better than I do.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #169)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:52 PM

178. I don't claim to know your views better than you do, I am just not assuming that your

self evaluation is as objective as you declare it to be. Your snark is really not effective nor is it called for.
But thanks for getting my gender right after years of attacking me here as 'ma'am'. That part got old. The endless attacks I expect, but this is 2013 and we are not in the 8th grade so the 'ma'am' stuff really grated on my nerves.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #178)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:57 PM

180. Just Advancing To Claiming You Know My Inner Self Better Than I Do, Sir

However do you find the time?

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #178)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:20 PM

212. All of you who claim others aren't "progressive enough" are claiming you know them. You really dont

know people here unless you have met them in person and really spent time with them.

That's before we even get to the whole subjectiveness of what is "left enough"

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:22 PM

74. To see an excellent example of why civil discourse isn't going to happen, take a look at some of the

responses in this thread. At least they've avoided "racist" and "ODS" so far, but they did manage a "trolls" and an "Obama haters".

No one even has to oppose Obama's position in a thread for someone to start screaming about how awful people that don't love Him are.

I'd argue those that demand no dissent in the party, whatever the president supports YOU must support types, are a large part of the problem with GOTV efforts and winning people to our side. When you start telling people "No, the president supports free trade, and if you don't you're a hater and a racist with ODS.", the general reaction is going to be "Well to hell with this noise, then.".

When people make thread after thread after thread and post after post after post talking about how awful the left is, what other rational conclusion can a person draw than that they are not on the left? (I'm not talking about you. I'd be willing to bet most people immediately thought of the ones I am talking about, though.)

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #74)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:25 PM

76. Posts from The Other Direction Could Be Adduced From The Above As Well, Sir

It is a commonplace that partisans will not recognize excesses from their own side, but only from the opposition.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #76)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 07:54 PM

186. Oh good lord yes.

I'm guilty of it as well. I've caught myself reading an OP and thinking "Well hell. Here we go again." and having to go back and reread it and at least try to give the post some consideration.

I agree with your OP. I don't see any other way forward, but I see no reason to concede the fight on bad policy, either.

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Response to JoeyT (Reply #74)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:44 PM

87. I understand your point Joey, but would argue that posts such as the OP here are civil discourse.

The rest is just white noise. Annoying at times, but relatively inconsequential for the most part.


On edit I thought I should give the definition for "white noise" just in case there was any confusion as to my usage.

1 a : a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range — compare pink noise
b : a constant background noise; especially : one that drowns out other sounds

2 : meaningless or distracting commotion, hubbub, or chatter

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:23 PM

75. Hot damn!



K&R

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:31 PM

80. I agree in general.

The areas I might disagree have to do with the fact that the majority of the Democratic Left (or "Progressive Left") fully recognize that they do not own the turf of the Democratic Party. In fact, they aren't looking to rent space there.

However, more often than not in today's political-social reality, more elections can be, and indeed are, won when the Democratic Left and the Democratic Party identify that "common ground" where they can coordinate efforts -- if not work together as one.

Alone, the Democratic Left has the energy and drive, but not the numbers, to win. The Democratic Party has the numbers, but too often lacks the energy and drive -- progressives find more time to go door-to-door, etc; democrats have divides between liberals, moderates, and conservatives, which too often are "resolved" by compromises that move the party rather close to the moderate republican ideology.

Neither the Democratic Left nor the Democratic Party enjoys a monopoly on facts, truth, or political power. Both do better, over all, when coordinating with one another. Yet, this requires not only an awareness of our very real differences, but a mutual respect that is frequently missing.

Just my opinion, of course.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #80)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:38 PM

81. An Excellent Analysis, Sir

I would add to it only the comment that the activists deserve better, that compromise and consensus positions should recognize the activists' concerns to a greater extent than they often do --- certainly if their energetic work is wanted.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #80)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:45 PM

88. I would agree, however...

I would also say that it is a necessity that the Democratic Left continue to push a more liberal agenda than the Party espouses, however much criticism it may receive. It is the long term goals of the Democratic Party that are espoused by the Left and are threatened by moderates in the Party that tend to go further and further right. It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

It doesn't mean that the Left necessarily disagrees with the Party but that they must continue to be steered in the directions of our principles.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #80)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:50 PM

237. Well..then those of us in the ACTIVIST LEFT are by standards of yours

and Magistrate's designated parsing of the Pragmatic Dems...We are ANARCHISTS for our views.

Believe me...I'm very much what used to be called "Middle America" who has been thrown "Under the Bus" by Emmanuel and the Neo-Libs...and to push this "Get Along Crap" because we can't do better is wearing thin.

If we in North Carolina had had help from Dem Party after Obama won in 2008 which turned NC Blue in voting for him...we wouldn't now be the Laughing Stock of the South for being the State which was Progressive in the South to now rivaling the Old Confederacy in the TAKE OVER of us by ALEC and Koch Brothers pushing us back over 150 years with losing our Democratic Majority and now we are under SIEGE!

Obama's big bone to us was to hold Democratic National Convention in Bank of America/Charlotte in a NON UNION RIGHT TO WORK CITY...and have his Acceptance for Second Term Speech in the Bank of America Stadium.

THIS IS DEM PARTY...throwing us down...because RAHM threw the Progress the Dean/Kucinich Activists did working for Kerry building the Progressive Movement and then Obama didn't have any of his folks supporting us after he won...

I'm ACTIVE...so don't go telling me I don't know what I'm talking about. I have a history of my activism for Voting Rights and Success in getting Verified Paper Ballot that we fought for here in NC...now..we have Texas Type VOTE ID and all kinds of CRAP because we didn't have the Obama Activists helping us after he won in 2008.

Nevermind... None of you want to hear this...but, that some of us are called "Keyboard Warriors" and Do Nothings...when just because we post on DU these days we are considered Slackers who no nothing. You have no idea about what many of us who post here are doing outside...or our credentials.

Edited for typo's and edited again...because I'm sick of Activist Democrats on the Left which used to be FDR, New Deal supporting Dems being talked down to by the "Reasonable Folks" who post trying to tell us that we haven't worked hard enough or are not accepting enough of the Obama NEW DEAL!

Edited: I think my anger had me typing that Charlotte is State Capitol.. Indeed I do know that the State Capitol is Raleigh. I probably need to take a break.



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Response to KoKo (Reply #237)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:04 PM

240. I've edited above post, several times...in anger. n/t

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Response to KoKo (Reply #240)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:00 AM

286. I also agree in general

with what you wrote (though I did not see it pre-editing).

I am an activist who has been on the Democratic Left for many decades. In the past few years, I've posted a number of essays here, regarding the town of Sidney, NY. In that town, the voters fall into three groups, by way of registration: republicans at 60%; independents at 25%; and democrats at 15%.

Republicans have held a large majority of seats on the board, usually 80% of them. There hasn't been a democratic Town Supervisor since 1954. The town attorney and clerk positions have likewise been held by republicans forever.

Recent "tea party" mutations within the republican party in Sidney resulted in a trinity of the lowest forms of life winning elections. This instituted "McCarthyism": Bob McCarthy would lead the attack upon a tiny Sufi settlement, attempting to force it to destroy its perfectly legal cemetery. In September of 2011, this was reported on by the Huffington Post, and quickly picked up by Keith Olbermann, Steven Colbert, AP, and even the European media.

People in Sidney contacted me to help them organize at the grass roots level. Long story short, the group I've worked with has now won 5 out of 5 elections since. We have three more in November. (I'm also helping to run three more in another town in another county in upstate NY.)

It's not an easy task. There are obvious tensions between the Democratic Left and Democratic Party. Each would prefer to run their choice of candidate for each and every seat. Should this happen now, their candidates would lose each and every election.

The winning ticket must have someone (or sometwo, somethree, etc) who represents the values of each group. This includes appealing to the independents, and even those who, despite being registered republicans, are sick of "business as usual."

I also have advocated others in the Democratic Left do voter education-registration drives. A huge portion of society does not vote. These include, not surprisingly, the low-income population. With few exceptions ( such as Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition), attempts to register the poor, and engage them in the political process, have not even been seriously attempted. Until the Democratic Left joins with the poor, we will remain a minority, and be forced to chose between doing business with the Democratic Party, or making symbolic statements.

There are times and places for symbolic statements. But we really don't have that luxury now. We need to win.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #286)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 04:17 PM

309. Thanks for sharing update of what's been going on in your area...

Truly I popped off because it's so terrible here in NC and such a shock that we have some really crazy people...(such as you describe..shadows of Joe McCarthy) who managed to win elections and take over the NC House and Senate as majority for first time in 150 years! We had disarray and some scandal in the Dem Party at the top that didn't help us....but the money that poured in from Alec and Koch Bros. plus a local RW businessman who has been working on getting TeaPartiers and Religious fanatics elected in the fasion of the late Jesse Helms. He was beaten back when the traditional Dems and Activist Dems worked together in 2004. The reason everything went downhill was the Money! Citizens United and the Koch and Alec aligned with the RW Businessman and then the lack of money from Dem Party and Obama Activists after 2008. We sorely needed money and effort from the Obama Organization...but it didn't come and the problems with our Dem Governor and Party Chair allowed the Repugs to undo in short time all we had accomplished.

We are working hard on countering this but it's so damned discouraging thinking about starting from scratch. And many of the older Southern Dems who held the party together are dying off...and so we need the Activists. We are working hard on getting the College Students involved and registered. They are our Dem hope and the Repugs changed the voting law to try to stop them from being able to vote in the elections. Rachel Maddow even did a show from NC about this.

The hopeful thing is that even the Business Community is getting worried about the way the State looks from outside and worried they might not be able to attract business here because not only the RW Crazy stuff but the whole school system was taken over by the Charter School and "Teach to Test" Michelle Rhee activists...and the Alec and Koch money poured into that also.

People are waking up (which is good) because it's been so disruptive and a shock to even Republicans how aggressively short sighted and backward looking most of these
"New Republicans" are are starting to make noise. But, the fact remains we don't have enough Democratic money to fight back against the Push Polls, Glossy Campaign Literature and changes in the voting procedures doing away with early voting, fewer accessible polling places and multiple forms of identification or picture voting card.

We have less than two years to turn them out.....We've got to do it.

Anyway...so good to hear of the progress you've made in NY. We have a Fracking Battle coming up in our future.. I know the work you've done on that in NY. We have some good people already on it and hopefully given all the hell that's broken loose here...we will put up a good fight on that.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:42 PM

86. Recc'd. Thanks for being civil

Though I dont entirely agree. You seem to put the heavier burden onto the those on the left-most side.

Though I LOVE, for once, not seeing myself and my views described in insulting terms.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:48 PM

89. The whole "Left v. Right" motif is becoming increasingly obsolete

While I agree with much of your OP, I think there needs to be some
acknowledgement that the traditional "Left v. Right" motif is becoming
increasingly obsolete. Since 95% of Congress has been utterly subsumed
by a relentless undertow of corporate-driven corruption, greed, outright
bribery, etc.; leaving only a few lonely Leftish dissenters such as Bernie
Sanders, Ron Wyden, et. al. to "represent" the true will of We The People.

Discussions of macro-political trends would do well to clearly acknowledge
this unfortunate truth, lest it reinforce the perception that Washington DC
is nothing more than an elaborate "Punch & Judy Show" designed to mis-
inform, mislead and confuse the public.



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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:49 PM

91. Some very good points, but I strongly disagree

It is always a good idea to not attack people with a different point of view, bur rather have a civilized and respectul, possibly fact-based (where appropriate) discussion. There, I totally follow you.

But

Accepting these things would shift the focus of debate to pragmatic questions, and entails acknowledging facts of contingency. It highlights that the real debate is not so much over what should be done, as it is over what actually can be done, in present circumstances.


This bascically implies that debate should be focused on the achievable and pragmatic. It means "reasoning within the sytem". Such reasoning has its merits, after all we do have to take realistic and effective actions for the short term.

However, for those like me that believe the system is broken, a large part of our energy should also go towards debating which system could replace the current corporatocracy and how to achieve that. Reasoning within the system will not achieve that.

That being said, I'm a foreigner, and I value DU much more as a progressive community, as an independent news source and a think tank than as a party platform. Your advice would be perfect if DU was only such a platform.

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Response to BelgianMadCow (Reply #91)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:55 PM

94. I Appreciate Your Comment, Sir

I would say only that revolution does not come through the ballot box, and none of us should have any illusions concerning that.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #94)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:12 PM

113. It's interesting your bring up revolution

indeed, if voting would fundamentally change anything, they would make it illegal, as the saying goes.
With that, I'm NOT advocating for not voting, at all. But we do need a major change. Would you agree with that?

The question is, does it need to take the form of a revolution? I believe that for example truly listening to people with different opinions and looking for the common ground is a revolutionary act in these hyperactive, ultracompetitive and individualistic terms.

So indeed, the civil discourse that you pleaded for could be part of the revolution.

Not that you reduced our choice to either "in-system" or revolution, but I'd like to point out that there are many "revolutionary" things we can do that do not involve the classic image of an antagonistic mass scale protest. The system is very well equipped to deal with those, too. I'm more thinking along the lines of drastic behavioural change as consumers and new, lateral / cooperative forms of organisation.

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Response to BelgianMadCow (Reply #113)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:21 PM

117. In My View, Sir, 'Working Outside The System' Is Revolution

I have no particular objection to revolution, mind, certainly none in principle. I do not consider it practicable, today in this country, but fear it may well prove necessary in time. It is becoming, shall we say, increasingly difficult to view modern Western polities as democracies. This may be even more stark in Europe at present than it is here.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #117)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:32 PM

119. The Memoranda of Understanding are sufficient to see that indeed, Europe isn't a democracy

what with ex Goldman-Sachs power player Papademos being parachuted into Greece, in order to accept a bailout for banks whilst placing onerous conditions on the majority.

I think we will all be Greeks at some point in the future, unless we realise we're all in this together.

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Response to BelgianMadCow (Reply #119)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:38 PM

121. It Was Greece I Had Particularly In Mind, Sir

The storm of denunciation and outrage which greeted Mr. Papandreou's proposition to put a bankers' deal to the test of a popular referendum, a vote of the people expected to pay it and bear it, tore the veil pretty badly....

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 02:54 PM

92. Discourse, diplomacy, discussion, dialogue...reasons I became a proud Liberal Left-wing Democrat.

That and being raised as a John Bircher. Thanks to the OP and the many thoughtful responses...I learned a lot.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:05 PM

102. This

"But taking argument by hyperbole for one's principal means is like serving a dinner composed of mounds of spice and little else; it will not be palatable and will not fulfill the purpose of a meal."

...tactic is the attempt to own the progressive title via hyperbole and rhetoric. If you start from a position of idealism, you can ignore reality and declare yourself more progressive than everyone else. Those who do so refuse to see that compromise (not the same as selling out) is part of reality. It was demonstrated clearly in the health care debate. Single payer is the best. Obama didn't pursue single payer (never promised to) so therefore, he's a sellout and a weak negotiator.

The best way to reject Obama's position is to "kill the bill." Why? Well, single payer will prevent people from dying. Doesn't matter if the health care law also prevents people from dying. More death as a result of the status quo is preferable to fewer deaths under the health care law because...Obama.

When you're arguing from the the most ideal position, you can call everyone else a sellout in prose. I remember some single payer advocates (not DUers) viciously attacking Bernie Sanders for stating that single payer never had the votes. It was at the point where he and many Democrats decided to fight to ensure passage of the strongest law possible.

Another example: How many people here would cut even a $1 from food stamps? Is the entire Senate Democratic caucus depraved for cutting $4 billion from the program?

What's the excuse?

If I were in the Senate, I'd have voted against it. In fact, I would have advocated increasing aid to the poor. I'd push to raise the federal minimum wage to $16 per hour. I'd push for free higher education, universal preK, subsidized after-school care for working parents, paid vacation and sick leave, single payer with dental and vision, social security benefits increase and lift the cap to increase the size of the trust fund.

I'm not in the Senate. I can sign petitions to support progressive legislation, but I don't believe that it's my way or the highway given the reality of Congress. Sure you can get a coalition to agree on the NSA and war, but where was the coalition on the public option? Where is the coalition on food stamps and a jobs bill? Without a coalition, you keep advocating, making the case in the strongest terms, but there's no reason to stand in the way of any progress at the end of the day.

If Bernie Sanders can say single payer never had the votes, why is it not OK to accept that reality? Accepting it doesn't mean it will never have the votes. It's a snapshot in time.



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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:08 PM

108. It is noteable that you speak of "The Left" and "progressive people"...

...as something OTHER than yourself.

As such, I resent someone who is OTHER than "The Left" and "progressive people" lecturing us on what we should and should NOT do.
I would as soon take advice from Republicans on what I should and should not STAND for.

"The Left" has been the Wing of the Democratic Party that has constantly been forced to surrender our values and policies to the Business Friendly Conservative 3rd Way, DLC Wing of the Democratic Party for over 25 years.
The predictable results of our "pragmatism" and "compromise" has devastated America's Working Class, however the RICH have never had it so good.

The Top .01 Percent Reach New Heights
http://www.demos.org/blog/9/13/13/top-01-percent-reach-new-heights

US Wealthy Have Biggest Piece of Pie Ever Recorded
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/09/11-6

Rates of unemployment for families earning less than $20,000 - have topped 21 percent
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_JOBS_GAP_RICH_AND_POOR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-09-16-08-11-23


Gallop: 20.4% of Americans now “going hungry”.
http://inplainsight.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/12/20460846-1-in-5-americans-struggling-to-put-food-on-the-table?lite

Study: "Trade" Deal Would Mean a Pay Cut for 90% of U.S. Workers
http://citizen.typepad.com/eyesontrade/2013/09/the-verdict-is-in-the-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp-a-sweeping-free-trade-deal-under-negotiation-with-11-pacific-rim-coun.html

Obama Appoints Bain Capital Consultant Jeff Ziets to Top Post
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023662209

Obama selects former Monsanto lobbyist to be his TPP chief agriculture negotiator
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023662210

The Totally Unfair And Bitterly Uneven 'Recovery,' In 12 Charts – HuffPo
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023662029

Larry Summers Gets 'Full-Throated Defense' From Obama In Capitol Hill Meeting
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014553343#post1

Wall Street will get away with massive wave of criminality of 2008 - Statute of Limitations
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022516719
Income gap widest ever: 95 Percent of Recovery Income Gains Have Gone to the Top 1 Percent
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/09/10/one_percent_recovery_95_percent_of_gains_have_gone_to_the_top_one_percent.html


Older Workers:.Set Back by Recession, and Shut Out of Rebound
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/27/booming/for-laid-off-older-workers-age-bias-is-pervasive.html?smid=tw-share&_r=3&

40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage
http://seeingtheforest.com/40-of-americans-now-make-less-than-1968-minimum-wage/

50% of Working Americans NOW make less than $27,000/Yr.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023308914

Right now, forty percent of Americans make less than the minimum wage from 1968.
http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/raise-the-minimum-wage-19/?source=search


Daily CEO Pay Now Exceeds the Average Worker's Annual Salary –
http://thecontributor.com/daily-ceo-pay-now-exceeds-us-workers-annual-salary




76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck
http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/24/pf/emergency-savings/index.html


New Rule (Passed by Congress and signed by President Obama) signals Kiss of Death for Pensions
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100694955


Corporate Profits Have Grown By 171 Percent Under Obama -- Highest Rate Since 1900
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/corporate-profits-have-grown-171-percent-under-obama-highest-rate-1900

Wealthy win lion's share of major tax breaks
http://www.boston.com/business/news/2013/05/29/wealthy-win-lion-share-major-tax-breaks/Ua0UyYle21EUXub7g1suCI/story.html

Half of America is in poverty, and its creeping toward 75%
http://www.alternet.org/economy/real-numbers-half-america-poverty-and-its-creeping-toward-75-0

Wealth gap widens as labor's share of income falls
http://www.nbcnews.com/business/wealth-gap-widens-labors-share-income-falls-1B6097385

As the Economy Recovers, the Wealth Gap Widens
http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2013/03/11/as-the-economy-recovers-the-wealth-gap-widens

Top One Percent Captured 121 Percent Of All Income Gains
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/top-one-percent-income-gains_n_2670455.html

Corporate Profits Hit Record High While Worker Wages Hit Record Low
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/12/03/1270541/corporate-profits-wages-record/?mobile=nc



THIS ^ does NOT happen by accident.
It is the result of carefully planned and implemented Economic Policy.
It requires careful preparation, marketing, buying the right politicians, message control, courts packed with Conservative Corporate Rights Judges, and the marginalization and suppression of any opposition.


Why is it ALWAYS the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party that has had to be "pragmatic" and "compromise",
while the Wall Street Wing ALWAYS gets what it wants?

Can you name a single member of the Progressive Caucus who was appointed to a position of Power in the Obama White House?

Can you name a singe member of the Democratic Party who OPPOSED the Invasion of Iraq (Voted "NO" on the IWR) who was appointed to a position of Power in the Obama White House?

Can you name a single time when our President has called for "compromise" with "The Left", or even stated that he needs to listen to OUR voices too?

Why is it ALWAYS the Sensible, Pragmatic, Centrists who lecture "The Left" on the need for "The Left" to surrender their values and issues?

Isn't this OP just another wayamong the many for telling "The Left" to Shut Up and do it OUR way?

If the BlowBack from 30 years of Conservative, Koch Bros Funded DLC "Business Friendly" Policy is starting to make you and those OTHER than "The Left" and "progressive people" nervous, it should.


"If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for,
at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them."

--- Paul Wellstone


photo by bvar22
Shortly before Sen Wellstone was killed




You will know them by their WORKS.


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Response to bvar22 (Reply #108)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:15 PM

114. Notable To Me, Sir, Is The Instinct For The Capillary You Display In The Pretext You Take For Anger

I suspect the current response would be TLDR once the thing was on full display....

"Say something once, why say it again?"

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #114)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:55 PM

124. And it is notable to me that you choose diversion...

..instead of rebuttal.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #124)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:59 PM

127. You Would Have To Have Made A Point, Sir, To Require Rebuttal

You did not establish any point about my actual political positions and views.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #127)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:12 PM

143. ....And now we have blind denial,

but thats OK. I didn't expect you to acknowledge any of the myriad points,
or for you to respond to the challenges in MY rebuttal.
I fully expected you to divert, dodge, and deny.
My expectations have been fulfilled, and I am satisfied.

My goal wasn't to convert you,
but to add a reply from the "Progressive Left" "The Left" and "progressive people" to the condescending lecture you posted in your OP.

Once again, I am fully satisfied.

bvar22

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #143)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:18 PM

145. Then By All Means, Sir, You Tell Yourself You Have Proved Me Neither Leftist Nor Progressive....

"Same thing that's wrong with the world --- I've got three walnuts and each of 'em wants two.'

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #114)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:07 PM

206. What a cowardly response.

sir

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Response to U4ikLefty (Reply #206)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:12 PM

209. Thank You For The Laugh, Sir

Seriously, that is the funniest thing I have read all day....

"The exaggeration was so strong, no hyperbole could escape!"

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #108)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:59 PM

238. There you go again, pointing out facts.

The third way types can stick it to where the sun doesn't shine, asking us to "compromise" in the face of all you pointed out.

I wish there was a smilie icon for "Compromise THIS!" Either the sensible woodchucks get on board and help us solve these problems, or they themselves are part of the problem. These aren't left vs. centrist issues you cited, bvar; they are AMERICAN issues. So enough from the self-styled "pragmatics" and their mealy-mouthed lectures about "what is possible."

Don't tell me what's possible if you yourselves aren't doing squat to make a difference while sniping from the sidelines at those who are trying and at those who dare to point out that the party and its leaders are disappointing at best and collaborators with enemies of the republic at worst.

I'd recommend your post if I could. People like you are the conscience of the Democratic Party.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #108)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:30 AM

268. Well done.

Capitulation? Never!

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:10 PM

110. The New Democratic/Republican Dynamic

The big problem is that the whole baseline has drifted hard right and keeps on doing so. So "moderate democrats" are now pretty equivalent to republicans pre Reagan. Many republicans now, of course, are callous far right wing birch society type lunatics.

Carter started the democratic party drift right, Clinton put it on steroids with bye bye Glass Steagall and all the flat earth NAFTA stuff, enabling that "giant sucking sound" crazy old Ross Perot presciently warned about.

The Big D democratic party remains in bed with Wall Street, with big money, and Obama is no different, check out the TPP he's enamored with.

Until we get public financing of elections, do away with computer voting and go to verifiable elections, and do away with non neutral gerrymandering we're a bit screwed. True liberal populists can snip around the edges but that's about it other than with social issues.

The latest victory for the real liberals like Warren and Sherrod Brown was getting Obama off Larry Summers. Which is good news but why is Obama in love with this guy anyway? He's one of the in and out of Wall Street guys who helped cause the crash.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:15 PM

115. it certainly is a good idea to keep in mind just how reactionary the current political culture is

It is true as you and others point out that issue by issue a majority of Americans do support most progressives positions. But it is also true that this has not successfully cashed out to the ballot box enough to alter the political culture. Unfortunately most political compromise is not about making small little steps toward a more progressive and social-democratic society - it is at best the vast majority of times only an attempt to minimize the steps backward. I honestly cannot see how the ACA which actually strengthens the hand of the insurance industrial complex and even more deeply entrenches their position of privilege and power is a step toward single payer or some other form of socialized healthcare. The entire discussion around "entitlement reform" supported by much of the Democratic Party establishment is certainly not a discussion about how we can improve the safety net. It is a discussion that presumes that the most needy of society are already receiving too much and this should be reduced. The liberal or progressive or even what the "centrist" pundits would call the "far left" are fighting only to minimize reduction. For most of the last thirty to forty years when it comes down to actual legislative action - though we have seen some incredible strides on social issues - on economic issues being a sensible Democrat has not meant working for incremental progress - it has at best meant minimizing the steps backward. Perhaps that is all the current American political culture will allow. But I cannot see how an issue oriented progressive can sustain very much enthusiasm about such a state of affairs, when the only battle cry is as the always obnoxious but sometimes correct Bill Maher put it, "Vote Democratic - we are pathetic - but the other guys are nuts."

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 03:57 PM

125. Sir

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:00 PM

128. "First, it has to be acknowledged"...

..."that left and progressive people really do not have solid ground to proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are left of center or center-left or even centerists are not really Democrats."

Conversely, centrist people really cannot proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are definitely leftists are not really Democrats.

"Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass."

Conversely, centrist people need to consider whether attacking people to the left of them as leftists or radicals who do not belong in the Democratic Party; and they need to consider whether compromising with the rabid right wing will really advance the prospects of getting laws passed that will actually help the 99%.

See, your arguments would have some merit IF it were only the left who attacks the so-called center (that is really what the right was just 20, 30 years ago). But we see attacks here EVERY SINGLE DAY that are from the so-called centrists against those here who are more to the left. We are mocked, told we want a pony, told we are Obama-haters, et-fucking-cetera. So excuse me if I don't share your take on the situation.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #128)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:12 PM

129. A-freakin'-men!

+ a gadzillion.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #128)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:14 PM

130. As Observed Nearby, Sir, Above

It is a commonplace partisans do not notice their own behavior nearly so closely as they do those of their opponents.

Any neutral or reasonably dispassionate observer would hesitate to award the palm for the making of the most and the most bitter attacks to either group of disputants. I see 'EVERY SINGLE DAY" attacks from so-called centerists and so-called leftists against those they respectively consider too far to the left or to the right, and further, see both claiming only the other engages in this behavior.

The question of who is the base of a party is one open to objective examination. Two claims can be made: the faction which is most numerous can claim to be the base of a party, on the simple basis of providing the largest portion of its votes, and the faction that can be relied on without question to vote for the party's nominees can claim to be the base of the party, on the basis of being its most reliable source of votes. A faction which cannot claim it is the largest, and which frequently threatens to bolt, pretty much rules itself out of contention.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #130)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:19 PM

131. Historically, the faction that 'bolts" time and time again is the center-right faction.

But then again that would not support your assumptions.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #131)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:36 PM

139. There Have Been Two Sizeable 'Center-Right' Bolts, Sir

In '64 and in '80. Indeed, the modern Republican party is in large part composed of such defectors.

The left certainly bolted in '68, even as the 'dixiecrat' bolt of '64 continued its course.

A small but in the event crucial portion of the left bolted on 2000, with Nader.

Here in Illinois, Mr. Ryan became governor in consequence of a state bolt by the left against a downstate nominee for governor, Rep. Poshard, something of a social conservative, though pretty solid on questions of trade and campaign finance reform.

At present, however, it is an exceedingly common comment from the left, in the form of prediction edging into threat, that such and such an action or policy or nominee will lead the 'real Democrats' to sit on their hands and fail to show up at the polls. You know this is true, being a regular poster here. Apart from 'the gun club', I am not aware of any substantial body of comment here in which the taking of a left or progressive position, or nomination of a left or progressive candidate, is greeted by statements tantamount to threats not to vote for the Democrat, or even vote against the Democrat. I will acknowledge that for a couple of figures in the past, Reps. Kucinich and McKinney, such comments could doubtless be found.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #139)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:08 PM

156. I don't see anything but conjecture and characterization in your post.

Those who bolt are the centrists and conservatives as they did for Ronald Reagan. They don't comment or threaten, they go and vote for Republicans. 'Reagan Democrats' they called themselves.
History shows this to be the case, you offer no support for your own opposite contention.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #156)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:38 PM

171. What You Cannot See, Sir, Is Neither My Problem Nor My Concern

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #171)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 07:01 PM

182. Your assertions fail. It is those to the right who bolt the Party, as Warren said.

All you have is snotty comments and opinion. History does not agree with you. So of course you are going to make rude comments. You have no actual facts, cites or references to counter what has been said to you.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #182)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 07:05 PM

184. Three Well Known Examples of Left Bolt Were Presented, Sir

No one with knowledge of political life in this country over the past fifty years would be ignorant of them, not even the local one.

Feel free to step up and proclaim that shoe fits you if you wish....

"If you must keep talking try at least to make it rhyme."

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #130)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:21 PM

132. I do not disagree...

...that both "sides" here are guilty of name-calling. However, your post was aimed at the leftists here, not the so-called centrists. I am merely pointing out that it goes both ways.

Furthermore, there are not that many here at DU who frequently threaten to bolt. Sure, some do, sometimes; but in general, those of us to the left, after we get through pissing and moaning, will acknowledge that when it comes down to it we will still vote for the Big D candidates.

Finally, "the base" is usually construed as those who are the most politically engaged, and who care deeply about the issues upon which they base their own support of the party. As many others have observed, the Republican party pays attention to its right-wing base, and continues to veer ever more to the right; while the Democratic party ignores and ridicules its left-wing base, and continues to drift ever more to the right. So I'll stick to my leftist views, and trying to convince the Democratic Party to halt its rightward drift, TYVM.

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #128)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:53 PM

221. +1

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:27 PM

135. I'm not sure what it means to be a Democrat

Other than you voted for the Democratic candidate.

I have acquaintances who are staunchly (rabidly) pro-union and opposed to NAFTA and other anti-worker trade deals. The increasing inequality of wealth in this country is appalling to them. They support Occupy Wall Street and want to see those Malefactors of Great Wealth (as FDR called them) held accountable.

They also own guns. Lots of them.

I have acquaintances who, because of their religious beliefs, feel that government should do more to help the weak and the powerless in our society. The model of the Good Samaritan is what they aspire to themselves, and they believe the government should reflect those values. As you have done to the least of my children, and all that.

But about gay marriage....

I have friends who care deeply about the environment -- who oppose fracking and genetically modified foods, yet think that federal support to public education is a waste of resources.

It's easy to take one issue (your issue) and make it the heart and soul of what it means to be a Democrat, and then accuse anybody who differs from your opinion of being a Third Way Democrat or a DINO or something else even more unpleasant. That approach only makes our tent smaller and makes it less likely that anything good will be accomplished.

As a card-carrying asshole, I tend to be very forgiving of the other assholes around me.

Come on. We can ALL AGREE, can't we, that Ted Cruz is a dick. We've got that much in common.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #135)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:48 PM

140. Indeed, Sir: The World Is an Intricate And Complex Place

I support drone strikes in Yemen, and breaking up Goldman-Sachs as a racketeering enterprise, among other things, myself....

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #135)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:00 PM

153. If they oppose 'gay marriage' they are bigoted fuckwads, Party affiliation is moot.

Fuck bigots in a bipartisan manner.

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Response to Jeff In Milwaukee (Reply #135)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:41 PM

172. Ted Cruz

is totally a dick!

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 04:34 PM

138. I'm a creature of hyperbole and here to recommend this post.

I voted for Barack Obama twice and I'm proud of that.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:07 PM

141. With all due respect - fuck pragmatism.

Seriously. The gap between rich and poor is now wider than it has been in nearly 100 years. The Walmart family heirs own as much as 40% of the rest of the country. This is not a time to make concessions to a rabid right-wing party that is robbing us blind. We need to fight.

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Response to TBF (Reply #141)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:12 PM

144. I Agree We Need To Fight, Ma'am

There seems to be one going on in the Capitol now, and it had better not be backed down off of. The field seems well chosen and one on which the enemy can be defeated.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #144)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:28 PM

146. It's not clear to me that the conservative Democrats are fighting very hard. They like to compromise

and call it pragmatism. You say conservative Democrats are still Democrats. With respect it doesnt matter what they label themselves, if they are voting with the 1% then they are the enemy. The only criteria for being a Democrat to some is that you label yourself such. Supporting Gen Clapper and Gen Alexander and their conservative NSA and other spy agencies to me isnt the act of a "true" Democrat. How is it helping "Democrats" when the left is told to "sit down and shut up"???

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #146)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 05:32 PM

147. I Expect The Senate Will Hold On This, Sir

And that the 'no negotiation' line will be hewn to in the next round.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #146)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:10 PM

158. It's not clear to me that they're fighting at all. At least for the 99%.

"Compromise" in the current era seems to mean the 1% get a paper cut and the 99% get a life-threatening injury. Enough of that bullshit.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #158)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:24 PM

233. I agree. nm

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #158)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:13 PM

243. It's "Smoke & Mirrors" and how many times have we seen this crap going on?

The Games and the Precipice and all of us holding on wondering how much MORE will they cut out of the 99%'s lives.

You wait for the "Entitlement" Cuts. They just love that word "Entitlement" as if WE ARE THE ELITE and not THEM!

Disgusting!

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Response to KoKo (Reply #243)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 03:00 AM

259. Don't forget that they are entitlements because people actually ARE ENTITLED to them.

Once again we have allowed the RW to twist the meaning of a word. Entitled to to means deserving of.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #259)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:42 PM

301. Very True, Sir

Just as 'special interests' used to mean small cliques of big businessmen, rather than groups of citizens numbered in the millions, like school-teachers or municipal workers.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:02 PM

154. If any post has convinced me that the Party has left me, the OP has.

 

I have voted straight Democrat since 1976.

Now, I'm on the outside looking in.

I have come to the conclusion that Reagan economic Ideology has destroyed the Democratic party and as a result, will likely destroy our nation.

I will advocate alternatives here until I am finally expelled. Then I will work hard against both Democrats and Republicans alike.

In this Democracy, advocates for the working poor shall arise. I will cast my lot with them.

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Response to mick063 (Reply #154)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:45 AM

269. I'm with you, Mick.

I will not stand by and silently accept Chained CPI, unnecessary counterproductive wars, super ultra universal surveillance of American citizens and new trade deals that are like NAFTA on steroids.

The OP just serves to validate what I believe. My positions above are CENTRIST. Every poll indicates that they are centrist. Centrist policies are policies that the majority of Americans favor. It's pretty simple. Calling centrist positions "far left" doesn't make them so.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:05 PM

155. "When a Democrat "moves to the center," he is adopting a conservative position

-- or the language of a conservative position. Even if only the language is adopted and not the policy, there is an important effect. Using conservative language activates the conservative view, not only of the given issue, but the conservative worldview in general, which in turn strengthens the conservative worldview in the brains of those listening. That leads to more people thinking conservative thoughts, and hence supporting conservative positions on issues and conservative candidates."

"Democrats moving to the middle is a double disaster that alienates the party's progressive base while simultaneously sending a message to swing voters that the other side is where the good ideas are.' It unconsciously locks in the notion that the other side's positions are worth moving toward, while your side's positions are the ones to move away from. Plus every time you move to the center, the right just moves further to the right."

- George Lakoff

I agree, we lefties could be a bit nicer to Democrats who are moving to the center; guilty as charged, your honor. I suppose I just have such a horror of fascism that I see any move to the right as a deadly threat, and maybe go about trying to stomp it out in a grossly ineffective direct manner.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #155)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:24 PM

167. As A Matter Of Language, Ma'am, Mr. Lakoff Is Quite Right

However, a great many Democrats are, and long have been, in the center ranges of our left/right political polarities. With a great many Democratic politicians it is not so much a question of moving to the center, as arising in the center, and voters who consider themselves to adhere to neither extreme are who they see as their natural constituency. Such politicians consider a posture eschewing either end of the pole is their most promising course, and wave a banner proclaiming 'Neither Arctic nor Antarctic, but Equatorial --- just like you folks!'

What is necessary is to move these people who attach a positive value to not adhering to either end of the pole to either come to reject your opponent's end, or to come to value your end over your opponent's. It is easier to get people to reject something than to come to value something, and the right has accordingly concentrated on defaming and disparaging 'liberalism' and 'the left'. It got a good boost in this in the wake of Viet Nam and the waning of the counter-culture movement, and the backlash against the gains of the Civil Rights movement.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #167)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 04:53 AM

262. Or, what is necessary is to move the center closer to your end, and that's what the RW has

spent billions on in an extremely successful propaganda campaign.

May be why lefties react so strongly to the centrist drift of those who are supposedly on our side. Since it's easier for politicians to cling to the center, allowing the center to be dragged farther and farther to the right is a huge mistake.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:09 PM

157. Excellent post Sir


Rec

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:11 PM

159. The attempt to reason with these folks is a noble one. A complete waste of time, but noble.

Second, left and progressive people need to consider whether the tactic of attacking people who are perhaps a bit to the right of them, though generally well to the left of a national average, or of the average in the locale where they reside, as rightists who do not belong in the Democratic Party, is likely to expand and increase their influence in the Democratic Party, and advance the prospects of actually getting laws and regulations they would like to see adopted come to pass.

That would infer that these folks actually HAVE a plan beyond criticize, castigate and complain. If they actually DID have a plan, a road map or a course of action beyond merely slamming every single Democrat that ran for office and then scratching their heads with wonder why so few top-notch quality progressive people have even the most miniscule desire to represent them in Washington, then they would have much more political power and influence. The lack of both says really all that needs to be said about their ability to strategize, plan or even simply, play well with others.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #159)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:46 PM

174. A ray of sunshine

You are just a ray of unifying sunshine.
Kum-bay aah!
Number23 is here to lead us all in a big warm group hug.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #174)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:49 PM

176. Would I Be Wrong, Ma'am, To Suspect You Of Indulging In Sarcasm?

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #176)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:02 PM

188. You would not be wrong, Sir.

I did not find the post I was responding to, to be very uplifting.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #188)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:03 PM

189. Nor Do I, Ma'am

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #189)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:10 PM

226. It wasn't meant to be. It was my take on what's happening and has been happening

And reading this thread and this forum and seeing the half-baked attacks Obama supporters receive daily (and I've seen plenty directed as you as well), I can see that GD is all about being "uplifting" so I'll leave you good folks to it. Sorry to have ruined the "mood"

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Response to Number23 (Reply #226)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:21 PM

232. It Is Simply my Preference, Sir, To Bring People More Into Agreement

I know perfectly well success will not always attend the effort, but think it worth making the effort before writing things off.

I consider people who attack me generally discredit only themselves.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #232)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:33 PM

234. Well I agree. I didn't attack anyone with my post. I noted that for too many on the left

their entire plan seems to involve merely criticizing and attacking Democrats which is by no means a winning plan. Not only does this plan minimize and weaken their allies, but it also leaves many smart, hard working progressives with absolutely no interest in representing them in Congress which makes enacting progressive legislation that much harder. I would not want to have as a boss someone who loves me until the second I actually have to do my job upon which time they are promptly screaming for me to be fired.

I'm not writing anyone off... yet. But I am saying that the strategy that too many are taking is useless and monstrously counter-productive. Particularly as everyone should know that America is a majority conservative country right now.

ALL Democrats should be welcome if that's what keeps the maniacs (Repubs) out of the castle. I've seen some scary Dems in my life time, but I have not seen one yet that scared me as much as this current crop of Republicans. So if that's not "uplifting" enough for anyone, including one of the nastiest posters on this web site, then so be it.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #234)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:38 PM

235. Fair Enough, Sir

It struck me as an attack, but my fighting blood was already up.

I am a 'Popular Front' type, myself.

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Response to Vanje (Reply #174)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:52 PM

179. Would you be in that group hug? Then I would seriously need to reconsider it

And if the truth in my post hurts you, then it must have been something you were long overdue to hear.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:23 PM

166. Sir, I think you implicitly conflate left/progressive ideology with

a generalized mistrust of authority and generally oppositional nature.

This distinction becomes most acute when the party representing the center-left holds at least one branch of government and thus has consequences attached to its decisions.

There are those who simply oppose by nature. Just as the Ted Cruz crowd calls Mitch McConnell a centrist, Obamacare loving squish, so exists that dynamic on the left.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #166)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:34 PM

168. Opposing The Very Concept Of Authority, Sir, Is Certainly A Strong Strain In The Left Here Today

For that matter so is hostility to feelings of tribalism, the cement of group identity, cultivation of which is essential to success in a democratic polity.

A truculent predisposition to just be 'agin' it is more common on the right, whose adherents tend to over-value both trust of authority and tribal unity.

But it is true enough that the behavior which results can be strikingly similar, even if arrived at from different directions....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #168)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:43 PM

173. there are a remarkable number of people on both the far right and the progressive left

who have never been wrong about an issue.

Look at the sad sacks who are buying into Cruz-azy's filibustering of a vote that is not pending, seeking to obstruct a bill that explicitly would enact the precise policy he advocates, whereas the filibuster if successful would achieve the exact opposite outcome.

'Tis but a flesh wound.

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Response to geek tragedy (Reply #173)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:47 PM

175. Indeed, Sir: There Is A Place Where Far Left And Far Right Meet And Do The Booty-Bump

People of extreme views often have more similarities of nature than they suspect, or than the different content of their views might suggest.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #175)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 06:49 PM

177. Elevation of ideology over fact, from climate denial to Lysenkoism,

is a stubborn phenomenon.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #175)


Response to Number23 (Reply #183)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:07 PM

190. Good one! Thanks! Humor is medicine for the Self-Righteous Syndrome.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #175)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:11 PM

191. So where do you put Bernie Sanders in the left - right spectrum, and do you think

he is somehow somewhere met with the extreme right, and doing the booty bump with the extreme right?

I would say that most of the folks whom DU centrists consider the extreme left on DU have political beliefs very similar to Bernie Sanders.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #191)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:18 PM

192. I Think He Is The Best Man In The Senate, Ma'am

I wish we had a hundred more like him there. I will grant you I do not always agree with him, but he is always right where economic and workplace matters are concerned, and these I consider most important.

I would hardly consider him far left, however, but class him as a social democrat, of similar orientation to the sort which dominated European politics in the decades after WWII.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #192)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 08:38 PM

195. I agree. nt

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:26 PM

213. I have to admit after years of being told if I were to vote third party I would basically be voting

republican I have become a little more nasty toward the center right democrats. Especially after my son has suffered so much under Common Core Standards, Race to the Top and the defunding of our education system. I probably have gotten in the nasty habit of attacking center right democrats. I will never stop fighting for left of center democratic values. I believe my son deserves better and I will never stop fighting for him. However, I probably should stop taking my anger out on center of right democrats. I just get so tired of them attacking me, but that is no excuse for me attacking them. I am a socialist though so the argument that center of right democrats will ever get legislation passed that I agree with is completely wrong. I will probably always disagree with Obama, Hillary, and all center right democrats. That is just the way it is. I will not give up my ideals, and I will not stop fighting for them. And whether I seem ridiculous to center right democrats is irrelevant. And as far as finding an acceptable level of compromise with the republicans is impossible. They have gone so far to the right, any compromise with them only puts us further to the right. Which is what they are expecting. They refuse to compromise. But they know we will, so they push just a little bit more each time, and we give in just a little bit more each time. Eventually we will no longer recognize ourselves. I already don't recognize the democratic party which is why I am now in independent.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #213)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:11 PM

228. That is exactly how I feel

I don't have children, but I know so many people, including educated people, who are struggling to get by, really struggling, even to the point of temporary homelessness. Bigger crowds at my church's meal program.

As a teenager and twentysomething in the 1960s and 1970s, I never could have imagined that America would come to this. I'm old enough to remember when the only homeless people were late-stage alcoholics and drug addicts and the occasional hippie out for adventure. There was no such thing as a homeless family.

It's been downhill since Reagan, but I cannot blame only Reagan. No, I also blame the accursed DLC, founded during the Reagan era, which offered very little resistance to any of Reagan's policies and even cheered on his military buildup and his interventions on the side of murderous thugs in Central America and Afghanistan.

I remember those who actually fought against Reagan, like Henry Gonzalez of Texas, only to be marginalized by their own party.

I remember being marginalized by my county Democratic party in Oregon after I made a motion condemning the war against Nicaragua, no longer receiving invitations to party events, being brushed off with "Oh, it's just an error" when I asked why.

I know people in Minnesota who used to be staunch DFLers until they, too, were marginalized by party officials who kissed up to the candidates who raised the most corporate money.

If the Democratic Party were my lover, people would say that I have "abused spouse syndrome." So I no longer consider myself a Democrat. I voted for Obama (only because Romney was so dreadful), but I voted for one of Amy Klobuchar's leftist opponents, not that it made much difference. (She's popular with Republicans because she never does anything of importance, so they mounted only a token campaign against her.)

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #213)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:04 PM

239. I did vote third party last year.

No regrets, either. I voted for a better vision of America, and it's something Obama and Romney weren't offering the voters.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:28 PM

214. This sounds to me

Last edited Wed Sep 25, 2013, 08:22 AM - Edit history (1)

like a call for "the left" to move to the center/right. I'm not going to do that.

I have a different perspective. I agree that the Democratic Party is not a very good fit for the liberal/progressive left. I don't agree that the best way to deal with that is to give up and pretend that so-called "pragmatic" agreements to constantly erode past progress and move us in the wrong direction is the way to influence the party or the nation.

From my perspective, if the Democratic Party wants the support and participation from the liberal/progressive left, they can damned well act like it and earn it, instead of assuming that they have us over a barrel or under a bus because there is nowhere else to go.

From my perspective, if the Democratic Party doesn't want us at the table, they've got no business whining about us and blaming us when they lose. Yet I read that kind of whining and blaming here at DU all the time.

If they want us at the table, they have to set us a place, not throw some scraps on the floor under the table.

That's my perspective.

Am I hostile? To be honest, I'm more hostile to so-called "centrist" "pragmatics" than I am to the clearly socio-pathic Republicans. I blame the centrists for moving the party constantly to the right, for eroding all of the liberal/progressive progress made earlier in my life, for not fighting harder against fascism and neo-liberalism.

I am deeply, deeply angry, and telling me that I ought to give up and join the status quo only digs that anger deeper.

Attacking people? I don't attack anyone in the real world. No one. I get along with, I work successfully with, a very broad range of people, the majority whom I do not agree with when it comes to politics. Some of them I even respect, and a few of them, I even like.

Here? This is supposed to be a place that I can speak my mind. And I do. I don't think I'm going to convince a single DU center/right "pragmatist" to change his or her mind.

I'm going to say what I think here, if nowhere else. At least, I'll say the parts that are allowed.


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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:34 PM

217. Well said, LWolf.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:37 PM

218. I agree LWolf.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #218)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:54 AM

270. Me too.......nt

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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:49 PM

220. ...

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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:19 PM

230. +1

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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:07 PM

241. Great post! n/t

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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 05:08 AM

263. This.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #214)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:34 AM

281. "If they want us at the table, they have to set us a place"

Yep, that's it in a nutshell. The Democratic Party ignores and ridicules us, and then we get lectured on not being loyal to the party, and blamed for any losses.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 09:56 PM

223. I used to laugh at 1960s radicals who referred to their opponents as "fascists,"

but nowadays, the Republican leadership are at some point on the political scale that is a bizarre mixture of fascism and craziness. They are not the slightly elitist but basically sane Republicans I knew growing up. Some of them come across as downright malevolent with their punitive policies aimed at anyone who is not an affluent white evangelical.

To compromise with such fanatics is not "pragmatic," is not "centrist," is not "realistic." It's cowardly. It's allowing one's self to be co-opted. It raises suspicions of having been bought. People can be excused for thinking that everything that happens in Washington is just a staged fight between the sane and the crazy factions of the Millionaires' Party.

The Republicans never worry about what their moderates think, and they've managed to implement a lot of their agenda. The Democrats have done nothing but play timid defense while adopting the language and framing that the Republicans put forth. They let the Blue Dogs, who are outnumbered by the Progressive Caucus, run the show.

The Democrats keep compromising, and the Republicans just move the goalposts a little farther right.

I don't like Dr. Phil at all, but I do like his stock phrase, "How's that workin' for ya?"

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #223)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:14 PM

229. Your post deserves a K&R.

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Response to idwiyo (Reply #229)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:56 AM

271. Yes it does. I'll give it a big PLUS ONE! nt

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #223)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:08 PM

242. Agree...and it's certainly a WAKE UP CALL...but our Dems REFUSE to see it

because...as has been revealed the Leadership is as Paid Off by the PTB...(we know who they are so I'm not going to list) as the Repugs.

We Dem Voters are sold Smoke Screen after Smoke Screen and always offered HOPE...when there is Never going to be CHANGE unless we get the ones ON THE DOLE voted Out of THERE... Which won't happen for years because of Supremes "Citizens United Decision!"

We are FUCKED!

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:03 PM

225. The Democratic Party has moved right. It has moved left.

It can and will be moved, by the people in it, the facts at hand, and the effectiveness of the respective arguments and power struggles, on an ongoing basis.

The rest comes off as big pretentious straw man argument and a big dose of projection. Who is arguing by hyperbole? Who is telling moderates they don't count? On the contrary, there is plenty of rhetoric from the Third Way that the "professional left," etc. needs to butt out.

We're supposed to swallow that just the lefties are intolerant? "F*cking (intellectually challenged])?"

That's just specious. No one thinks that.

Of course moderates count. Centrists count. More liberal and progressive Democrats count.

Everyone gets to be in the party. Everyone gets to argue. Some days Democrats will claim Social Security is driving "the deficit" and must be drastically changed. On other days, Democrats will push back against another needless war, or a Wall Street elitist who'd like to run the Fed.

One thing, though. These swings are like a pendulum. And up until recently, the Democratic Party has been to its own extreme right.

When it hits the apex, the pendulum will return, sure as gravity.

Accepting THAT would be a lot more productive than trying to convince everyone lefties and progressives are too pushy and should simmer down.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #225)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 11:19 PM

244. But, then, Dirk ...WHY DO THEY DO IT?

You said:

One thing, though. These swings are like a pendulum. And up until recently, the Democratic Party has been to its own extreme right.

When it hits the apex, the pendulum will return, sure as gravity.

Accepting THAT would be a lot more productive than trying to convince everyone lefties and progressives are too pushy and should simmer down.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #244)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 04:42 AM

261. Because what the right and the center hold most in common is they both loathe the left

Dirty fucking unserious dope smoking hippies.

And it pisses them off beyond measure that the dirty fucking unserious dope smoking hippies are correct time after time on issue after issue. Iraq and Afghanistan are all but smoldering ruins, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer just like the left said was going to happen.

We embarrass them to put it succinctly.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #261)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:33 AM

280. ^^^This!^^^

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #261)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:49 AM

285. +1

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #261)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:57 AM

292. There Is Something To That, Sir: The Left Is The Cassandra Of Political Life Here

Part of it is simply that people on the left tend to be better informed, and to give more thought to things. It ought to be enough, but it does not seem to be. The old tale of Mr. Stephenson being told he had the vote of every thinking American and answering, 'But I need a majority' comes to mind....

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:10 PM

227. Lately this site has been in the mainstream and the political leadership are to the right.

 

Witness Syria and the NSA. The problem is actually a disconnect between the people and our leading politicians.

Note I separated out the rank and file members from committee chairs, bureau heads and the administration.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Tue Sep 24, 2013, 10:43 PM

236. The president and the DC Dems are far to the right of the majority of rank-and-file Dems

Big majorities of us favor HC for all, gun control, environmental protections, strong unions, living wages, and so on. These are facts, not hyperbole. When POTUS and the (D) delegation deliver on none of these issues, asking for money and support and patience gets extremely tiresome, to the point of being insulting. If the Dems want ouor money and votes, they should represent us. If not, then say that, and don't pander and lie during the campaign season.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #236)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 05:46 PM

313. No One has mentioned "Citizens United Decision!" No One!

That Decision unleashed the BIG MONEY to do whatever they wanted to buy the Politicians. It's not just Koch and ALEC and the Chamber of Commerce. It's the Wall Street Crowd who now can just buy politicians.

Why do you think Pelosi and Reid and the Leadership seem so week on the Dem Side?
Why do some of our (more left leaning Dems from past years) high ranking in the Committees often seem to cave. Go to any of the Watch Dog sites and see who gets the money and watch how they vote these days.

There's NO WAY Democratic Donors of the 99% can compete with the money coming into both Dem and Republican coffers. Dems are ruling with Wall Street because of the Bank Bailouts and lack of Wall Street Prosecutions for criminal Bankers and some of the Hedge Funds. But, the Right has the whole agenda that's always been there for them..(they've spent decades on Foundations and Think Tanks push their ideas into the Media) plus also Wall Street and the Big Power House Addition of the Republican Small Business Crowd and the Fundamentalist Christian Coalition who have been very successful in finding Politicians they can get elected.

We run around chasing our tail about how far Right or Left the Dems are and argue here on DU and elsewhere about it...but, it's the BIG MONEY and the Supreme Courts disastrous and tragic ruling in favor of "Citizens United" where the Corporations now have the ability to run our politicians, the process of electing them and how they vote when they get to "The People's House" in DC!

THIS IS THE BASIC /Overwhelming CURRENT PROBLEM. And until both parties wake up to this ....we are just going to be arguing amongst ourselves instead of focusing on "Corporations as People" and how that must be overturned.

Whatever.... I'm sure no one will read this so far down on thread.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #313)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 07:13 PM

314. then do something about that, or again stop lying and pandering in the

campaign. Impeach Thomas and Scalia and Roberts. Start a procedure for an amendment. Or, if they can't do that, they should stop claiming during the campaign that they will. And if you believe that the country can never recover from CU, what is the purpose of participation?

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #314)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 07:34 PM

315. We ARE Doing Something! Bill Moyers and Many Others..Partial List here:

Citizens Mobilizing Against Citizens United
March 9, 2012

http://billmoyers.com/content/citizens-mobilizing-against-citizens-united/

As many of you already know, Citizens United is the 2010 Supreme Court decision that makes it legal for corporations and private citizens to donate money to political action committees — so-called super PACs — without limits. (Citizens Guide to Citizens United via iWatch News)

As of yesterday, spending on the 2012 presidential election has surpassed $66 million (super PAC spending making up about half of that), and has already topped the total amount that super PACs spent in all of 2010 on the midterm elections ($65 million). Some are predicting that this year’s election may cost super PACs and campaigns as much as $10 billion. (2008 election spending was nearly $7 billion.)

As many of you already know, Citizens United is the 2010 Supreme Court decision that makes it legal for corporations and private citizens to donate money to political action committees — so-called super PACs — without limits. (Citizens Guide to Citizens United via iWatch News)

As of yesterday, spending on the 2012 presidential election has surpassed $66 million (super PAC spending making up about half of that), and has already topped the total amount that super PACs spent in all of 2010 on the midterm elections ($65 million). Some are predicting that this year’s election may cost super PACs and campaigns as much as $10 billion. (2008 election spending was nearly $7 billion.)
People hold signs during a rally in support of resolution calling for a constitutional amendment on the anniversary of the Citizens United ruling Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

People hold signs during a rally in support of resolution calling for a constitutional amendment on the anniversary of the Citizens United ruling Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Truthout reports that more than 67 percent of Americans oppose Citizens United and one justice — Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who dissented in the case — has indicated in recent weeks that she may be willing to speak out more boldly against the decision.

There are a number of on-going campaigns spearheaded by national organizations and local grassroots community groups frustrated by Congress’ intransigence on the issue. They are taking action to amend the Constitution, bring transparency to the 2012 election campaigns and asking the Justice Department to investigate campaign finance corruption.

Amend 2012 and Move to Amend

The local ballot referendum that passed by a three-to-one margin in Missoula, MT, last November was part of a grassroots campaign urging Congress to amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United. In some states, citizens can gather signatures to place an initiative on the ballot calling on Congress to take action on an issue — in this case, to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. The proposed amendment would establish two principles: (1) unlimited spending on politics is not free speech, and (2) corporations do not have the same constitutional rights as real people. The Amend 2012 website includes a downloadable toolkit with petititions, stickers, sample legislation and social media strategies for getting a campaign started in your city or state. And their work is gaining ground: Move to Amend has started a map that keeps track of resolutions and ordinances that have already been passed on college campuses, unions, municipalities and states.

Sunshine Week: March 11-18, 2012

Now in its seventh year, Sunshine Week is a national initiative launched by the American Society of News Editors to promote awareness about the importance of open government, freedom of information and the public’s general right to know what our government is doing, and why. You can learn about events happening around the country next week on the Sunshine Week calendar. Several organizations have partnered with ASNE on Sunshine Week including the Sunlight Foundation, who support the DISCLOSE legislation has recently been introduced in the House. The law would put in place reporting requirements for unions, super PACs, corporations and nonprofit organizations that decide to spend money on political campaigns. It would also require transparency about money transfers made from one group to another — usually between local and national PACs — which some have likened to money laundering. Learn more about the DISCLOSE 2012 Act in this recent interview that Stephen Colbert did with Rep. Nancy Pelosi:

Although the bill has been introduced in the House, it hasn’t yet been re-introduced in the Senate. Over 87,000 people have signed an online petition as “citizen co-sponsors” of the DISCLOSE Act.

Democracy 21

One of the rules that is supposed to prevent corruption makes it illegal for unaffiliated super PACs to “coordinate” with the candidates’ official campaign committee. Quite a few of the super PACs are staffed by former colleagues or advisors of the candidates, including the Romney-supporting Restore Our Future and Obama supporting Priorities USA Action committees. Last month, Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that supports campaign finance reform, wrote on CNN.com that he believes the claim that these organizations are “operating ‘independently’ from the presidential candidates, as is required by law, is absurd and has no credibility.” So he’s written several letters to the Justice Department, filing complaints about behavior that he believes is in violation of the law. Wertheimer says that he believes the DISCLOSE Act in the Senate is the number one thing for concerned citizens to get behind and hopes people will write to their representatives in favor of the legislation.

Are you doing anything in your community? Tell us how you are taking action in the comments section.

http://billmoyers.com/content/citizens-mobilizing-against-citizens-united/

----------------------

And the List Goes On and On...here's just a sampling:
Daily Kos: Fighting Citizens United
PEOPLE; GROUPS; DIARIES; TAGS; LABOR; COMICS; ... 8 Comments; There is something we all can do to fight Citizens United. Earlier this month, the City Councils of ... Sue Lyons about the prospect of our group trying to get similar resolutions against Citizens United passed by the various ...
dailykos.com/story/2012/01/27/1058963/-Fighting-Citi... More from dailykos.com

Peoples Coalition Against Citizen's United | Facebook
Peoples Coalition Against Citizen's United. 56 likes · 0 talking about this. The People's Coalition Against Citizens United reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our U.S. Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings- not ...
facebook.com/PeoplesCoalitionAgainstCitizensUnited More from facebook.com

Fighting Back Against Citizens United - YouTube
Fighting Back Against Citizens United ... They tell us how the laws have been abused to make people out of corporations. If you liked this clip of The Thom Hartmann Program, please do us a big favor and share it with your friends ...
More from youtube.com

Citizens United Decision - Common Cause
Fight Citizens United with Fair Elections . American democracy is now for sale to the highest bidder, ... So, it's up to Common Cause members to make sure the voice of the American people is heard above the growing din of corporate special interests trying to drown us out.
commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=5771765 More from commoncause.org

Truthdig - 'Democracy Now!': The Fight Against Citizens ...
The Fight Against Citizens United. Email Print ... we might pause to consider the game-changing impact upon the ritual of campaigning that the Supreme Court's notorious Citizens United decision of two years ago is ... Quality independent journalism only happens because people like you pay ...
truthdig.com/avbooth/item/democracy_now_the_fight_ag... More from truthdig.com

Common Dreams - Citizens United Against Citizens United ...
WASHINGTON - April 12 - With thousands of people across the country uniting against the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Public Citizen today launches the Web site CitizensUnitedAgainstCitizensUnited.org. There's reason to suspect that the
commondreams.org/newswire/2010/04/12-6 More from commondreams.org

Citizens Unite Against 'Citizens United' | The Nation
Citizens Unite Against 'Citizens United' ... A diverse coalition of advocacy groups, including the SEIU, Democracy for America (DFA), People for the American Way and The Nation signed on as co-sponsors. ... "The fight for campaign finance reform and to overturn Citizens United is a multiyear, ...
thenation.com/article/38032/citizens-unite-against-ci... More from thenation.com

22 States Join Campaign Finance Fight Against Citizens United
22 States Join Campaign Finance Fight Against Citizens United. Legal observers say don't count on the Supreme Court reconsidering its decision Matt Gouras The Associated Press May 20, 2012 ... spokesman for a group called Free Speech For People.
theskanner.com/article/22-States-Join-Campaign-Finance... More from theskanner.com

Fight Back Against Citizens United | Where's Our Money
On the second anniversary of Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people, there's bad news and good news.
wheresourmoney.org/fight-back-against-citizens-united/ More from wheresourmoney.org

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #314)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 07:35 PM

316. Welcome To The Wonderful World of Friendly Fire, Doctor

She posted in support of you, she is on your side.

I do not always agree with her, but is good people, and really does not deserve to be angrily asked why she continues to post on the forum when she feels something irreparable may have happened.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:23 AM

247. After so many tit for tat posts at DU recently, I embrace this post, sir!

I truly and honestly as recently as 30 minutes ago (after reading yet another DU post that does nothing but stir a pot among folks who are supposed to be on the same side) had decided that DU is reaching its best by date. I keep coming back, it's where I hope to get my info about where are activism is needed, but man it's getting tiresome.

I will keep your words in mind and wait patiently for the good and informative posts that show us where we are needed. Thanks for the reminder, I hope many take your words to heart.

If you want to know why NC was awesome in '08 and a pile o'mess in '12, the answer can partly be found in your words; progressive Dems and Conservative Dems circling around each other meant there were very few eyes on the prize. And the prize went to another victor while Democrats were holding each up other by the hair and taking pot shots at each other.



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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 12:46 AM

248. Two-Thirds of Americans are for Medicare for All

Two-thirds of Americans are for dramatically cutting defense spending.
Two-thirds of Americans are for leaving Social Security alone or raising it.
Two-thirds of Americans are for raising taxes on the wealthy.
Two-thirds of Americans are for raising the minimum wage.

And so forth.

Check the polling. It's clear.

Yet we can't do these things because they're not "sensible" and "people don't want them".

Bullshit! They are both sensible and wanted!

America is a Liberal country. We want Liberal policies. Since two-thirds of Americans want them, we should be able to get 'em.

Yet when we elect people to office who promise to fight for said Liberal policies, instead they service Wall Street's every whim while mooning the rest of us.

Enough!

We have the desire, we have the power, and we have the right. But we need to remove the layer of scoundrels that suck at Wall Streets teats while spraying the resulting digested matter in our faces, playing with our laws to keep their meal ticket in the seat of power.

Enough!

Regards

FDR Democrat Manny
(The real deal)

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #248)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:24 AM

254. Yes Manny

 

As I posted earlier in the thread (#16):


Either the working poor are helped or they are not.

The rest is just hot air.

With current Democratic politics, you are permitted social equality if you are gay, black, brown, or female, but a sizable population must pay a fee to do it. Such is the mindset of the tycoons. A fee must be paid for every just about everything it seems. Political "automatic teller machines" (ATM).

In Democratic politics it is known as the Grand Bargain, or as the TPP, or as legal immunity for financial moguls. It is the compromise of the self described "pragmatists". It is the argument from the "center".

In reality, social issues are the bargaining chips that the wealthy elite wield for no other purpose than that they are bargaining chips. They are the ransom. In effect, we collectively purchase our freedoms. It won't be long until we purchase the air we breathe as well.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #248)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 07:04 AM

272. Those positions favored by two-thirds of Americans are being characterized as far left positions.

And that is clear dishonesty.

If one-half of the American people favored those positions, those positions would be centrist.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #248)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 08:48 AM

276. I Agree With Every Item On Your 'Two-Thirds' List, Sir

The problem with getting these things enacted runs a little deeper than "electing people who promise to fight for said Liberal policies" and then do not. The problem is that a good portion of the people who, when asked on an issue by issue basis, say they support these things, go to the polls and vote for politicians who explicitly oppose these things. Among the reasons for this is that many people, even people who if asked in a neutrally phrased manner will answer that they support a liberal policy, will not vote for a politician viewed as a liberal, and will vote for a politician who says he or she opposes liberals.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #276)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:11 AM

293. The problem is that the Republicans exploit these inconsistencies

in people's thinking, while elected Democrats go lie down on a couch and see if anything good's on TV. Or worse, they triangulate, hovering a few inches to the left of the Republicans. "There's nothing we can do!" moderates protest, "It's difficult enough to stave off utter destruction by the omnipotent Republicans, you're damned lucky that things aren't getting worse faster. Oh - hey Jamie! Hey Lloyd! Great to see you guys, thanks for all of that cash!"

We need Elizabeth Warrens who have good hearts, good brains, good motives, and the will to win. Not Third-Way no-good-niks. People like Warren will show Americans once again what a Liberal really is, and what we can really do for real people.

Regards,

FDR Democrat Manny

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #293)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:51 AM

300. Here We Are In Substantial Agreement, Sir

There is a sort of 'defensive crouch' which afflicts a number of Democratic Party politicians, and they seriously need to buck up and get back up on the horse and get over '72 and '84.

People respond to people they see as fighting for their own views and causes, and a lot of the adherence Republicans manage to acquire from persons in the center ( the mush in the middle, as I will refer to it when in a sour mood ) comes from their perception of Republicans as fighters, as people fighting to win, and so as winners, with whom it is rewarding to identify.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #248)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:47 AM

284. +a gazillion!

As usual, Manny, you nail it.

Even on this thread, I have read that America is largely conservative. Yet poll after poll shows us that is NOT the case. But our political elites, and those they serve (the monied elites), are conservative, and the leadership in BOTH parties reflects this fact.

And yet still, we on the left are told WE are the ones who need to compromise.

Pffft.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #248)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:05 AM

288. Two-Thirds of Americans

say they haven't been polled.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 01:09 AM

251. Also wanted to add that I'm tired of labels. I don't even know what I am anymore -

I'm too progressive when volunteering with other Democrats in NC and when reading a lot of the stuff at DU lately, get a feeling that I'm not progressive enough. All i know is that I can see when people are not being treated fairly, or when something needs to be done to protect the rights of everyone, or we're going into and remaining in an illegal war (and all the other Republican garbage policies of the past) then I have to get out and do something. No matter the label someone tries to give me, it doesn't concern me at the end of the day because I know that I've fought the good fight.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 03:36 AM

260. ''...the only tool available at present...''

And that's the problem, init? It's not so much us, as it is the tools we are forced to use. However, directly or indirectly we made the tools, so it is our fault I guess.

And yet, if we keep using these tools, tools that WE KNOW to be defective and that this is the best these tools can do, then why expect anything better than what we've got?

We know we've got broke-ass tools. We admit it openly, yet we mostly shrug-off any direct responsibility for how it got that way, and certainly never suggesting anything remotely sounding like trying to radically change it. Only a fool would attempt that, right?

So with our broke-ass tools, we go on producing broke-ass programs, and broke-ass policies, and broke-ass laws, and in the end with debt-ridden broke-ass, spied-upon people. How are outcomes ever going to become better if we keep using these lousy, broken-ass tools?

- Plato informs us: ''One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.'' He never mentions what you should do when you do participate and you still end up being governed by them......

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #260)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:36 AM

282. +1

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #260)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:02 AM

287. If Your Point, Sir, Is That Our Political System Functions Poorly

I expect we would be largely in agreement.

Noting to start that those who say 'the system isn't broken, it's fixed' have an excellent point, it is clear that our system at present is highly dysfunctional if viewed as a system for translating the will of a majority of voters into acts of government, let alone as a system for translating the will of a majority of citizens into acts of government. Some factors in this are modern, such as media influence and its costs; some are more acute now than formerly, such as disproportionate representation favoring rural and sparsely populated areas; some were built into the system deliberately from the start, with the clearly expressed intent of balking popular will, lest this direct government to act in manners that would discommode or dispossess wealthy elites. The great open secret of this country is that our government was set up to appear as one in which the people's will prevailed, while actually balking the people's will in matters touching most directly on mass feeling. The way that I, and I suspect you as well, think a democratic government ought to function, the people who wrote our Constitution would call mob rule, and the things we think a government ought to do, particularly in economic matters, they would call theft and despotism and tyranny.

It is not impossible to make the thing work more or less as a democracy, but it is damned difficult, and can be made even harder if people attempt to do so in poorly thought-out ways.

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #260)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:24 AM

295. I love the Twain quote.

I will be adopting it.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 06:09 AM

265. "Reasonable" is utterly meaningless without a context

If you never demand implementation of a policy, it will never become "reasonable".

Isn't it odd how in the last 30 years or so, Republicans keep demanding crazier and crazier things, to the point where moderately crazy is now "reasonable" and "pragmatic."

Are you trying to say that the left should never ever do the same thing in reverse? Now that is really unreasonable.

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Response to eridani (Reply #265)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:12 AM

277. Sometimes, Ma'am, People Argue With Constructs In Their Own Minds

I went back and checked, just to be sure, and the word 'reasonable' does not appear once in my leading comment.

My points were that:

The Democratic Party is not a particularly good vehicle for advancing left and progressive ideas, but it is the only one available for this in our present political system.

Since people identifying as left and progressive are not predominant in the Democratic Party, it may not be their best course for influencing the Party to pretend they are, and try and read out of the Party persons they do not feel are left or progressive enough.

Left and progressive people need to figure out ways to have greater influence in the Party, to figure out ways to crystallize and solidify amorphous support for left and progressive measures into hard votes, both at the ballot box and in legislatures.

Arguing by hyperbole is ineffective and indulged in far too much.

I will not say I am surprised that some people react to this by calling me no leftist, or whatnot, but I do still find it a bit odd....

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #277)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:48 PM

320. Check out the WA State Democratic Party platform if you don't think most grassroots

--Dems are progressive. The leadership, not so much.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 08:03 AM

275. So people who advocate policies to the right of Reagan are 'center-left'?

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #275)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:17 AM

279. Yeah, it's like visiting a Twilight Zone. UK's zany Tory PM looks downright commie

if one would try to compare him to some of what currently described as "centrist" Democrats in US.



I guess I am an ultra-fringe left with my "radical" belief in such ideas as "from everyone according to their abilities, to everyone according to their needs" and Universal Human Rights.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:53 AM

291. A judicious enough statement, which ought to be expected...

Viewed from an historical perspective, this sort of internal catfighting is to be expected in political parties, especially when circumstances have hardened to extremes as is the case today. I do understand that recently DU has become a toxic environment, at least in some posts; I tend to avoid such donnybrooks as my life expectancy has become too short to worry much about Internet brawls.

A flaw of the US two-party system is that neither party has a true ideology, thus each has historically tried to draw from a large pool of citizens who share divers beliefs. Recently we have seen the GOP pushed to ridiculous extremes on the Right, and it does appear that some Democrats would like to do the same to their party, albeit in the opposite direction. Leaving the excluded middle, er... excluded. But then multi-party parliamentary systems, which are more common worldwide, have the problem of trying to put together a coalition to govern, which can be made difficult if a given party wants to stand rigidly on their platform and not give a little. It would be a nice pipe-dream if only the US could dump the extremists on both sides of the spectrum and assemble a party or two of milder voices, but that is unlikely to happen, so it has fallen to the Democrats to try to do the job themselves. Hence the addition of many fellow travellers who really ought to be Republicans, including our President himself (by his own statement).

On the whole, however, I disagree with your implication that DU should concentrate on practical matters and not ideological questions. Because DU is not a policy-making body. Were we ministers, legislators, magistrates, then obviously we would be compelled to deal in the sphere of "reality," or at least the reality defined by politics. But DU is just a meeting ground for people of left-leaning political inclinations to meet and vent to others of (somewhat) similar views. As a practical matter, the only interface DU members have with the real decision-making process is in encouraging each other to work on a community level to promote people and policies that advance Left goals. If the site confined itself to such questions, it would be a much smaller venue indeed. Accepting that such a restriction is impracticable and undesireable, we open the door to ideological discussions, which is not in itself a bad thing.

What would you, Magistrate? Extremists in these days serve more as the conscience of the Democratic Party, which has certainly drifted far to the right of where it was when I was born. "Pragmatism," you know, deals with perceptions of reality, and such perceptions are easily manipulated and distorted, so without loud voices proclaiming that we have lost our way, we might indeed lose our way. Taking Social Security as an example, despite constant reminders that SS has nothing at all to do with the formal government budget, the real, honest-to-god policy makers in our Nation's capital seem to have accepted the perception that it does indeed require adjustments. Should we pragmatically accept that judgement and undermine one of the cornerstones of Left belief, which is that the government has a responsibility to help ensure the health and welfare of its citizens? Enough of such moving goal posts, and the Left will be a figment, not a reality. We do need to address what should be done, else how can we set goals to which to advance (or, in the case of the right-leaning Democrats, from which to withdraw?).

As for argument by hyperbole, I see very few people who actually argue at DU. Most seem to prefer orating on a soapbox; we might as well be on the corner of Hyde Park. In a true debate, hyperbole and even irony have little place, because a search for truth should not be tainted by rhetoric at all (except perhaps for the purpose of elegance or beauty). But who at DU truly wants to search for truth, as opposed to winning an argument, or at least fighting one out to the bitter end? I can think of a few such people, but they do not figure prominently in the kind of bitter and abusive wars that DU has recently been experiencing. All-in-all, it seems to me that DU accurately reflects the toxic political reality we live in, which might appeal to a pragmatist if the proposition were not absurd. But to change that reality, mustn't we address questions of what should be, as opposed to what is be? Taking things as they are at DU these days, the proposition "DU should be a venue for reasoned, dispassionate debate on critical public issues" is as absurd as the proposition "The government should ensure the health and safety of all citizens" is in the "real" world. Given that DU is by intention an open venue with few real restrictions on content, it would be a rather difficult exercise to try to set (and enforce) standards of decorum that would not cause the immediate banishment of some of our more active voices. But it's a nice thought.

In summary, I think we need the loud and unreasonable voices on the extreme fringe and should occasionally listen to what they have to say, since they serve as a reminder of the goals we should be striving for, as a party and as a society. If they are shrill, it is because we are moving, as a party and a society, away from those goals. While it is true that their clamor may be distasteful, this is true of all who man the barricades in a war, be it for civil rights, gender rights, or human rights. It is the responsibility of those of us who sit comfortably far away from those barricades to distill the meaning from their rantings and decide what can be done from what should be done.

-- Mal





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Response to malthaussen (Reply #291)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

297. A Very Thoughtful Reply, Sir

A real pleasure to read.

You are right that one of the important functions of this forum is as a place to vent, and people resorting to it for that purpose will express themselves more forcefully, and more colorfully, than they might otherwise. I expect that does add a lot to the toxic air that can be scented wafting about at times. I do think, though, that discussion of practical matters is an important function of this forum as well. It is important for people to get some sense of what should be done not only in terms of goals, but in terms of means to achieve them.

I do not think ideological discussions are no part of discussing practical matters. I think one of the things we need to do is to get people, Democrats, who are more towards the center, to see the validity of more left views, and become more friendly, more supportive, towards them. This requires presenting ideology, both as theory in general view, and as practice brought down to specific cases. I do not think this purpose is served by telling people somewhat to our right, but still far from being on the right, that they do not belong in the Democratic Party, and are not really Democrats.

The specific issue you mention, Social Security and deficits, is one I am inclined to ferocity on. The whole business is simply one of people wishing to welsh on their markers. Social Security funds have, in fact, been treated as general revenue, and in consequence, a time will come when the bonds these funds have been exchanged for will come due. Neither our politicians nor our wealthy wish to make good on this bonded debt, and they must be made to make good on it. So far public outcry has staved off attempts to codify this desire to welsh into law, and this outcry must be kept up, and made ever keener and more forceful.

You ring unfortunately true is commenting that this forum may well be simply accurately reflecting the toxic political environment of our day. This point particularly 'Taking things as they are at DU these days, the proposition "DU should be a venue for reasoned, dispassionate debate on critical public issues" is as absurd as the proposition "The government should ensure the health and safety of all citizens" is in the "real" world' I would have to rate as cold but fair, and it deserves contemplation and thought by all here.

One point where we may part company a bit is your view that the Democratic Party is departing from a former liberal and left character nowadays. As you observed in opening, both parties have traditionally drawn "from a large pool of citizens who share divers beliefs". Certainly in the fifties and even the sixties, not only was Democratic Party far from a body of liberals, liberalism was hardly found solely in the Democratic Party. In my lifetime, I would say that perhaps the only period the Democratic Party could be considered to have been a predominantly left liberal body was that of the '72 convention, and perhaps for a few years after that. Even Mr. Carter, at the time, was not viewed from the left as a particularly congenial or liberal candidate.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #297)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 08:05 PM

317. The problem you address is a real one...

... bringing people into the fold is desireable, and it would also be useful to educate them on the issues and where the Left has traditionally stood. The fear that the loud and unreasonable voices will chase away the more thoughtful is not to be despised, just look at the GOP. But I think a third-party solution is not in the cards, we Americans are just not used to that sort of thing.

In our lifetimes, the Democratic party has moved from supporting the Great Society to promoting the TPP. I submit that does qualify as something of a drift to the Right. Although in the late '50s and early '60s the Democratic Party had a whole division of Southern Democrats who did leave the fold and join the GOP when they initiated the Southern Strategy, which I think constitutes a major shift in American politics in the 20th century. While the New Deal is a bit before my time, I believe that even though there was some Democratic opposition to those policies, on the whole we were more to the Left then than we are now. Which makes some sort of sense, as I also believe Left policies were only introduced in this country because our rulers were terrified of the Bolsheviks, and decided to throw the odd bone to the working class to stave off revolution. With the fall of the USSR, this goad has been notably absent, hence the drift towards the Right which Mr Reagan and his compatriots initiated.

I share your nausea at the SS situation. Congress resembles more and more a pack of craven cowards who want to stick the burdens of their misrule on the ruled while they abscond with the riches. Unfortunately for them, the world is not large enough for them to escape the consequences of their own inanity.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #317)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:17 PM

322. I Am Glad We Find Points Of Agreement, Sir

I still assert, though, that the supposed halcyon days of the Democratic Party were considerably less rosy, viewed from up close at the time. Johnson's 'war on poverty' was fought with pop-guns, and this largely owing to efforts of Democrats in Congress. Liberal policies enacted in the sixties, civil rights legislation particularly, required votes of liberal Republicans to outweigh opposition from conservative Democrats. Liberals and leftists may well have made a better fight of it at times in the past, but the Party was not theirs, and our position now in the Party is not the result of having been ousted from a control exercised solidly in the past.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #322)

Thu Sep 26, 2013, 11:51 AM

324. Ah, when you put it that way...

... I tend more to agree. Perish the thought that I believe the Democratic Party was once a true Leftist organization. However, in those "supposed halcyon days" the Left did manage to pass legislation promoting human rights (taken broadly), whereas today when the left hand giveth (overturn of DOMA), the right hand taketh away (trashing the Voting Rights act. Both examples obviously taken from the USSC and not the Party, but I think you take my meaning).

Rather than considering that the Left has been "ousted" from a control they never really had, perhaps it is more judicious to say that the conservative and moderate elements of the Democratic Party have moved a bit farther to the Right, especially in terms of government spending and supporting capitalists. Not that the Party as a whole was ever shy about fattening the wallets of those whose wallets are fat enough!

-- Mal

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:19 AM

294. Solidarity!

we need to get over ourselves and get with ourselves. I'm sick of all the petty divisions between us making us impotent. Really, the most important thing is grouping together to make things happen through sheer force of numbers. That's how they do it elsewhere. And we can't worry about media coverage, cuz we won't get it. Let's move on.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:41 AM

296. Brilliant!

Concise and to the point.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

298. Well written

Regardless of 'side', there is no room for cheerleading - which includes TWM.

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Response to The Magistrate (Original post)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:44 AM

299. People who write abstract posts with no concrete examples, no discussion of specific issues,

are likely to get lots of recommendations, but say utterly nothing.

This is a not so short response.

Magistrate, please explain. What in the world are you talking about?

What do you consider to be hyperbole?

OK. Let's start with this:

"First, it has to be acknowledged that left and progressive people really do not have solid ground to proclaim they and only they are true Democrats, or are the real base of the Democratic Party, and that people who are left of center or center-left or even centerists are not really Democrats."

Here is a list of Democratic presidents in the 20th century. (Of course, Obama is the first one in the 21st century.)

Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton

In my view, Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton were the most right-wing of those presidents. Obama talks to the left of Wilson and Clinton, but he has performed to the right of them in my opinion.

FDR -- I don't need to explain. Some point to his business background and the fact that he grew up in wealth. But FDR became president at a decisive point in history and carried the day with programs that were far more liberal than anything people are thinking about today -- the WPA for example. FDR faced down a recalcitrant Supreme Court -- warning them that he would simply fill the Court with liberal Democrats if they didn't discard precedents that prevented his greatly needed social welfare programs from going through.

I remember Harry S. Truman. He was, in my opinion, not as far to the left as the sitting president, FDR, was but still he would be horrified at the so-called Democratic administrations of our time -- Clinton and Obama. Here is the kind of Democrat Truman was, strong on maintaining high taxes, vetoing the Taft-Hartley anti-labor bill (although tough on labor when he believed it necessar), initiating the Marshall Plan, supporting the United Nations and proposing the "fair deal" which would have brought us national health insurance and a huge housing program. Truman was faced with a very aggressive Communist movement overseas and responded to it awkwardly but with a sure focus on combating the cruelty and extremism of it. Truman defined the difference between a realistic, feet-on-the-ground Democrat and an extreme leftist. Most of those of us who are considered to be too far to the left on DU are about as far left as Truman and FDR.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman

Then there was Kennedy. Need I say more. Relatively liberal. Relatively left. Floundering somewhat on foreign policy from the viewpoint of hindsight. He faced very great threats from Communist dictators. Mao was way over the top in China at the time so Kennedy's fears about Viet Nam were probably justified. Problem is, Kennedy did not know how to respond. (Neither did anyone else.) I met North Vietnamese supporters among students overseas. They were real fanatics. When I think about the war in Viet Nam, I am less critical of the reaction of Kennedy and Johnson than were many of my generation because I had been exposed to the truly extremist theories of those students. Whether in spite of themselves or out of idealism, the Kennedys moved the nation toward more racial tolerance under the pressure of Martin Luther King's movement.

Then Johnson. For all his faults, for all his outrages in conducting the war en Viet Nam, Johnson was a staunch Democrat. Medicare, the war on poverty, further steps to ease the way to integration and other programs continued the very liberal spirit of the New Deal.

Carter made the mistake of falling for the idea of deregulation. But other than that, he was liberal in his social and economic views. For his time, he was conscious of environmental issues although somewhat inept at taking the right action to set us on a good course of action to protect our environment. Carter fell to the unscrupulous Reagan crowd. A bunch of cheats if there ever was one in the White House. Carter's exit from the White House marked a low point. And no Democrat after him has stayed true to Democratic ideals. Obama's performance in foreign affairs may exceed any president before him, but Obama's performance with regard to economic and social issues is uninspired in my view.

And that, I think is the word that best expresses what we who are considered by some on DU to be pants on fire liberals, arguing by hyperbole, I think was the expression, feel to be the case with both Clinton and Obama. Clinton less so. Uninspired when it comes to expressing and fulfilling the Democratic ideals that were brought to some fruition under FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and to a lesser extent, Carter.

Obama has improved the country with his health care proposal. But it has been implemented so slowly that most Americans haven't experienced its benefits and don't fully grasp what it is though it was passed around 5 years ago. That's what you call "uninspired." A little too patient to be effective. (And I am a big proponent of patience, but Obama's implementation of the ACA is tedious, not patient.)

Beyond that, Obama's economic policies have not furthered economic justice -- not at all, not in any way. Privatization has reached an inexcusable extreme. Criminals, torturers, people who really did not respect American values at all in their conduct overseas, have gone unpunished, as have those in the financial sector whose fraud brought nations to their knees.

So, call me hair on fire, call me extreme, call me arguing by hyperbole, but I remember what the Democratic Party once was. It was labor union activists and supporters. It was civil rights heroes, it was pro-public-education, it was pro workers' rights, pro-economic and social justice. And we are not seeing the enthusiasm and commitment on those and other issues like the environment that we need to see. Monsanto on the cabinet? Please.

And, yes, I do consider myself a strong Obama supporter. I think he probably agrees with me in his heart. But he has allowed himself to be mired down in the Clinton barely a Democrat syndrome. It's very sad. The Obama/Kerry team is promising. But beyond that, I can't see any Democratic president prior to Clinton who would consider Obama's track record to be much to brag about.

I fully understand that Obama has had an impossible Congress to deal with. But then, maybe if Obama presented ideas that were more inspiring if perhaps unattainable and presented them with zeal, people would be excited about electing Democrats to Congress. I'd like to see him try that for 2014.

Rahm Emmanuel's exit from the staff was probably the best change in the White House during Obama's terms. Who he appoints as Fed chair just may determine how he is remembered in history. I hope he will appoint someone who inspires the country to do more to end the income disparity that he has acknowledged as the problem it is. That would be inspiring.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #299)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 05:37 PM

312. Among Other Things, Sir

Your post illustrates that, were I to write to the level of specificity you seem to thing I ought to have, the result would have had to be a twenty page essay at minimum, which is not an investment of time I am inclined to make.

To take just a few of your examples.

I doubt you appreciate just how far to the right Wilson was in some respects. Even allowing for the standards of the day, he was a detestable racist and red-baiter. He ended employment of blacks in the government, and endorsed 'Birth of a Nation' as a consummate lesson in history. He presided over outright persecution of immigrants and leftists. It is not just that he sent U.S. troops to fight Bolsheviks in Russia, but that he did so in the firm conviction he was fighting the 'hidden hand' of Jewry in league with Germany, which wielded the Bolsheviks against Democracy and Christendom. This is just an off the top sample; I could go on concerning the wretch at great length indeed. I find it hard to take as informed comment a statement President Obama 'performs to the right' of him.

The dynamics of the New Deal were very different than you seem to suppose. President Roosevelt had to make great concessions to conservative opinion and power, much of it within the Democratic Party and rooted in the 'Solid South' essential to national success for the Party. Coming out of the south, Huey Long presented a serious challenge, presenting a program of hostility to corporations and outright redistribution of wealth that was quite popular with voters Mr. Roosevelt had to depend on, and Mr. Roosevelt fought him tooth and nail. Mr. Thomas, the great Socialist campaigner, was particularly fiery in denouncing New Deal programs as half-measures and mere reformism wholly inadequate to the needs of the times. His comments repay re-reading today; they remain quite cogent. Mr. Roosevelt deserves credit for acting in the best aristocratic tradition of noblesse oblige on the one hand, and on the other for having the wisdom to recognize it was better to head off revolution with judicious concession rather than do so by an iron fist as so many of his class urged, but he should by no means be mistaken for man who governed from the left, or was of the left himself.

Regarding Lyndon Baines, I can only surmise a considerable tint of rose has crept into your looking back on the days of youth. At the time, any liberal, certainly any left radical, could bend your ear for hours on just what Johnson was, and that even before a word about the war was mentioned. He was a bought and sold creature of big oil and defense interests, he was a red-baiter of the lowest water, he had hamstrung Democrats in the Senate under guise of leading them, he was corrupt both personally and politically, his Great Society program was a sham which achieved, and was designed to achieve, nothing of substance, even the passage of civil rights legislation was forced on him by national revulsion at the murder of President Kennedy. I will grant that time has softened my view of the man somewhat, but at the time I would not have called him a liberal or a man of the left, and far from the best the Democratic Party could show, and I have not materially changed my view.

It would not, you may by now surmise, be wise to imagine I am a worshipful acolyte of President Obama; I could compile a lengthy bill of particulars detailing where he has fallen far short of what I would like to see. I will not, because I see no benefit coming from the exercise; he was, and remains, the best man available for the office, and greatly to be preferred to his enemies. Nor do I see any benefit in nostalgic conjurings of a past which never actually was. I simply do not accept the view that there was some golden age of yore in which the Democratic Party "...was labor union activists and supporters. It was civil rights heroes, it was pro-public-education, it was pro workers' rights, pro-economic and social justice." Part of it was, and that part was not often in the ascendant for any length of time, if at all.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #312)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:40 PM

319. I agree with you on the following: Wilson was not what we would call a Democrat today.

My grandmother told me once that her family was Republican until the Republicans left them. There was an ideological shift in the early 20th century. The party that had heretofore been liberal -- the Republicans -- became ultra-conservative.

It's chic and fashionable to downplay Roosevelt's achievements. Doesn't seem possible that any American president could have been the hero that FDR was. But he really did change the US in amazing ways. In my view, more than any other president in our history.

People commonly underestimate what he achieved because he did so much it sounds like an exaggeration when you list his accomplishments.

FDR's fights were, very often, in the courts. Here is what the Smithsonian website says about him;

The outpouring of millions of ballots for the Democratic ticket reflected the enormous admiration for what FDR had achieved in less than four years. He had been inaugurated in March 1933 during perilous times—one-third of the workforce jobless, industry all but paralyzed, farmers desperate, most of the banks shut down—and in his first 100 days he had put through a series of measures that lifted the nation’s spirits. In 1933 workers and businessmen marched in spectacular parades to demonstrate their support for the National Recovery Administration (NRA), Roosevelt’s agency for industrial mobilization, symbolized by its emblem, the blue eagle. Farmers were grateful for government subsidies dispensed by the newly created Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA).

Over the ensuing three years, the cavalcade of alphabet agencies had continued: SEC (the Securities and Exchange Commission); REA (the Rural Electrification Administration) and a good many more. The NYA (National Youth Administration) had permitted college students, such as the future playwright Arthur Miller, to work their way through college. The WPA(Works Progress Administration) had sustained millions of Americans, including artists such as Jackson Pollock and writers such as John Cheever. In a second burst of legislation in 1935, Roosevelt had introduced the welfare state to the nation with the Social Security Act, legislating old-age pensions and unemployment insurance. During the 1936 campaign, the president’s motorcade, mobbed by well-wishers wherever he traveled, had to inch along the streets in towns and cities across the nation. His landslide victory that year signified the people’s verdict on the New Deal. Franklin D. Roosevelt, wrote Arthur Krock, the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, had gotten “the most overwhelming testimonial of approval ever received by a national candidate in the history of the nation.”

During the next year, these five judges, occasionally in concert with others, especially Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, struck down more significant acts of Congress—including the two foundation stones, the NRA and the AAA, of Roosevelt’s program—than at any other time in the nation’s history, before or since. In May 1935, the court destroyed FDR’s plan for industrial recovery when, in a unanimous decision involving a kosher poultry business in Brooklyn, it shot down the blue eagle. Little more than seven months later, in a 6 to 3 ruling, it annihilated his farm program by determining that the Agricultural Adjustment Act was unconstitutional. Most of the federal government’s authority over the economy derived from a clause in the Constitution empowering Congress to regulate interstate commerce, but the court construed the clause so narrowly that in another case that next spring, it ruled that not even so vast an industry as coal mining fell within the commerce power.

These decisions drew biting criticism, from inside and outside the court. Justice Harlan Fiske Stone, a Republican who had been Calvin Coolidge’s attorney general, denounced Roberts’ opinion striking down the farm law as a “tortured construction of the Constitution.” Many farmers were incensed. On the night following Roberts’ opinion, a passerby in Ames, Iowa, discovered life-size effigies of the six majority opinion justices hanged by the side of a road.

Lots more at:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/showdown.html

FDR was wrong about some things. Japanese Americans were very badly treated during his president, for example. Some cases of suspicion may have been justified, but a lot of them were not. Racial equality was put on a back burner even though Eleanor Roosevelt struggled for it.

https://www.google.com/webhp#q=eleanor+roosevelt+naacp

barred Marion Anderson from performing her Howard University-sponsored spring concert at the DAR’s Constitution Hall, the largest concert venue in Washington, D.C. The NAACP established the Marian Anderson Citizens Committee to rally public support for the singer and secure a venue. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her membership in the DAR to protest the exclusion. She worked with Walter White and Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes to arrange an outdoor concert for Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial in April coinciding with Easter and the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Mrs. Roosevelt also agreed to present the Spingarn Medal to Marian Anderson at the NAACP’s annual convention in July.

http://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/naacp/greatdepression/ExhibitObjects/WalterWhitetoEleanorRoosevelt.aspx

FDR really was the best president ever. The programs that he started transformed our country for the better. Obama has not even tried to approach FDR's achievements.

Check out the National Labor Relations Board, for example.

http://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/our-history/1935-passage-wagner-act

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #319)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 09:58 PM

321. I Am Not Downplaying Mr. Roosevelt's Achievements, Sir

I am pointing out what committed leftists and hard-line populists thought of him, at the time. I suspect a great many of our members here, who today denounce various contemporary Democratic politicians including President Obama for not being true liberals and Democrats like FDR, would if they had been alive at the time and animated by the same views and attitudes they hold today, have been busy denouncing President Roosevelt as a trimmer and a man who gave a great speech but took only half-hearted action, too prone to compromise with reactionaries, selling half-measure bandages as solutions and cures. We both know it is possible for a man to be a very popular politician without meeting much approval from committed left radicals and dedicated liberals.

Personally, in the light of history, I consider President Roosevelt behind only Mr. Lincoln as our greatest President ( Gen. Washington is sort sui generis as the first ), but I expect if I had been twenty-two in 1935, I expect I would have written pamphlets arguing he was not going nearly far enough, and demanding someone better be found.

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Response to The Magistrate (Reply #321)

Wed Sep 25, 2013, 11:29 PM

323. My parents were very idealistic at the time, but not Communists. They absolutely

adored FDR and my mom still does. So there probably were people to the left of FDR. But I doubt that you would find their equivalents on DU. There are very few if any people to the left of FDR on DU today.

We just want the return of Glass Steagall. Controls on bankers. Programs to encourage and protect union membership. Rights for little people. No NSA surveillance or other surveillance without a specific subpoena based on probable cause. No voting machines. Those are not extreme left programs. We also want more scrutiny and controls on banking and a review of workers' vs. executive salaries. At least I do. The income disparity is too great in the US. Normally I would not want that kind of activism by the government. But the income disparity will cause a national tragedy if it becomes any more extreme.

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