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Sat Nov 2, 2013, 12:21 PM

Let the Republican infighting be a lesson for Democrats

If what primarily drives you is using politics as a proxy to express unexamined personal anger, hostility, and dissatisfaction, eventually those competitive instincts are going to be turned on your own group, i.e. yourselves. That's because the politics is just the convenient excuse for an anger and hostility that would find a way to be expressed any way, regardless of party and politics.

So in the unique and advantageous position we find ourselves in as Democrats and as a party, we might be wise to dial down the vitriol and condemnation we aim at our own party members and representatives.

It doesn't mean we can't challenge members of our party on their policies and positions or posit hypotheticals to help them reconsider certain stances. It just means there are more constructive ways to disagree with fellow Democrats than tearing them down as Democrats.

Instead of condemning a representative as irrevocably tied to one position you despise, let's all try the attitude "They're a smart Democrat, eventually they'll come around or I'll be proven wrong." I believe our Democratic representatives are genuine people who, unlike Republicans, can admit when they are wrong when they see it.

As long as we remind ourselves of this, I think this is a good way to keep the internal vitriol and hostility down.

We see how it weakens the Republican party, so hey, let's not do it ourselves. Being stubborn, un-malleable and disagreeable is what put Republicans where they are now.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Let the Republican infighting be a lesson for Democrats (Original post)
Shankapotomus Nov 2013 OP
BlueCaliDem Nov 2013 #1
Shankapotomus Nov 2013 #2
RobertEarl Nov 2013 #4
grantcart Nov 2013 #3
Shankapotomus Nov 2013 #5
Volaris Nov 2013 #10
BlueCaliDem Nov 2013 #6
Laelth Nov 2013 #15
yuiyoshida Nov 2013 #7
Shankapotomus Nov 2013 #11
yuiyoshida Nov 2013 #12
Shankapotomus Nov 2013 #16
liberal_at_heart Nov 2013 #8
Shankapotomus Nov 2013 #13
DonCoquixote Nov 2013 #9
bluestate10 Nov 2013 #14

Response to Shankapotomus (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 12:31 PM

1. Excellent expose, and I agree with you 110%.

The civil war ongoing in the GOP is a good lesson for Democrats and the Democratic Party to avoid the same type of infighting. I rarely agree 100% or even 70% with the Democrats in Congress (or White House), but I understand I can't have 100% of what I want because not everyone sees what I want as something they'd want, too.

Governing is compromise, whether I like it or not. And considering how our government is set up (winner takes all), we need to understand that, because of the need for compromise, progress will be slower than we'd want for this country. But as long as there is progress, we should support the Party that has our best interest in mind.

For one, we really, really need to win back the House. We can't afford to keep this country stagnate and held hostage by eighty or so RWNJ who have NO intention of governing in any which way and don't care about re-election or cherished committee positions. Their only interest is to destroy the Federal gov't to the point that only our bloated military can benefit from our tax dollars, and to give States the power for all other decisions.

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Response to BlueCaliDem (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 12:47 PM

2. I think most Dems and DUers are generally good in this regard

and perhaps I overstated the need for alarm. I think, however one might feel about say, Hillary's position on, for example, Global Trade, most Dems would vote for her if she were the presidential nominee. But they still might conclude she takes one position or another because she's "in the pocket of big business." I think that's harsh. The equivalent would be President Obama took so long to support gay marriage was because he was anti-gay.

I don't think challenging a democratic representative's position is so much a problem as are the accusations of why they have that position. I think it's unnecessarily hurtful, not to mention, usually an unsubstantiated accusation. If you can't prove why a Democratic politician is holding a particular stance on an issues, don't make the accusation.

We could all do without the unproven and unsubstantiated accusations.

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Response to Shankapotomus (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 01:07 PM

4. You want more Dem congresscritters?

Then we have to make sure the moderates see the truth that compromising with republicans and other mealy mouthed centrist, far right butt kissers that enabled such criminals as the Bushies, have just about ruined our country.

Yes, it is your job to make sure moderates do not vote for republicans. That is all.

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Response to Shankapotomus (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 12:59 PM

3. While I agree that we should concentrate on defeating Republicans and have more tolerance

for Democratic Reps from more conservative areas the parties are in two completely different places sociologically.

The Democratic coalition represents different groups with broadly overlapping interests. People who are primarily motivated by environmental concerns have overlapping areas of interests with Democrats who are primarily motivated by equality, reduction of military budgets, those for economic justice.

Republicans, on the other hand, is a coalition of disparate groups that don't overlap and they don't like each other. You have CEO/Establishment/Old Money Republicans who can't stand Evangelicals, and both of those groups are in opposition with the Tea Party/John Birch group.

Without a strong leader, like Ronald Reagan, these groups grow in antagonism. George Bush looked like he could maintain the coalition, but it was with duck tape. It turns out that none of the groups (except the defense Hawk Republicans) were that fond of him. When he appointed Cheney he created a vacuum for succession and set the stage for a civil war. When McCain won the nomination and picked Palin it continued. Romney was obviously not a unifying figure. It turns out that RR was something of a freak and they are going to be unable to create a new one.

The Republicans are locked into a permanent civil war. It is like Syria, neither side will be able to get enough leverage. One side will become dissatisfied and just stop showing up. We are already seeing that happening. Tea Party is a shadow of what is was before. We have high roller Republican donors to Romney contributing to the Democratic candidate for Senate in GA.

As Democrats we disagree with each other. That is because we believe in ideas and it is something like a dialectic as we go through the process. The clearest example of this is the discussion on equality. Six years ago most Democrats supported civil unions as an acceptable alternative. We talked. Some of the talk was angry. It was all healthy. Other people's anger helped me see more clearly that it was clearly an issue of civil equality. Now we have consensus.

That is why the bruising discussions we have here at DU are completely unlike what happens in FR. We continue to build positions of relative consensus and it makes us stronger. Anyone who takes too antagonistic position against the dialectic is not going to carry the argument, and is not going to carry the party.

For that reason I don't think we have to worry about taking a lesson from the Republican infighting. They should take a lesson from us, but have you ever tried to tell a Republican anything. Our rigorous love of ideas and 'fighting it out' makes us stronger and better, fortunately for us the Republicans are not even in the same universe when it comes to inter-party debate.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 01:09 PM

5. Your post makes me wonder

if there is group with our party that promotes the healthy kind of internal dialogue. As good as we are at it, it would always be good to have a fail safe whose express job it was to remind us to keep the internal chatter productive, positive and aimed at strengthening democratic bonds and overcoming disagreement.

If there isn't, there should be.

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Response to Shankapotomus (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:22 PM

10. Not quite within our "party", perhaps, but people like Chris Hedges and Jeremy Scahill

seem to fit what it is you're looking for. The Critique of what we are doing WRONG as a party, without the call to OBLITERATE the Party as we know it, is what seems to distinguish Democrats from the GOP's "base".

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Response to grantcart (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 01:12 PM

6. "Our rigorous love of ideas and 'fighting it out' makes us stronger and better"

For the vast majority of DUers, yes. But that's because we believe we're here to learn and to become more informed. I believe most of us here never lose sight of that fact no matter how heated some arguments get. This is, after all, the Democratic Underground; a place where we come to for solid and researched answers to our questions and for information we wouldn't find any place else. We need this so we can spread what we've learned to those around us in our lives and, hopefully, will make a difference in their lives, our lives, and eventually, the country.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:45 PM

15. Nice post, grantcart. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to Shankapotomus (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 01:13 PM

7. But you gotta love it...

When they eat their own..

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:28 PM

11. If you're talking about Republicans

Yes.

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Response to Shankapotomus (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:30 PM

12. Absolutely!

Notice how the word Republican is similar to Reptile?

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:46 PM

16. Good one

Reptilian brain. Reptilian name.

I don't know why no one labelled them the Reptilian Party sooner. It fits.

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Response to Shankapotomus (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 01:36 PM

8. Our current crop of politicians think they are not accountable to their voters. I will not dial down

the criticism. Until they stop making deals with billionaires like the TPP, stop busting unions, repeal Race to the Top, repeal Common Core Curriculum, stop cutting food stamps, stop making historically low increases to the cost of living increases to SS, and start working for the people I will continue to put pressure on them and will continue to criticize democrats.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:38 PM

13. I can't account for the rest of your criticism,

which seem well founded enough, but I would think any ceasing of catering to big business would have to be accompanying by campaign finance and lobbyist reform. I mean, it's quite a balancing act our Democratic representatives must perform when funding for political campaigns is so critical and has such an agreeably disagreeable role in our election process.

I wouldn't hesitate to suggest after all this noise about the deficit and debt it wasn't all just smoke and mirrors to put campaign finance reform on the back burner.

It's nowhere on the radar now..

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Response to Shankapotomus (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 02:10 PM

9. ^^^^^^THIS^^^^^

"It doesn't mean we can't challenge members of our party on their policies and positions or posit hypotheticals to help them reconsider certain stances. It just means there are more constructive ways to disagree with fellow Democrats than tearing them down as Democrats. "

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Response to Shankapotomus (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:39 PM

14. Our party doesn't have a large element of racists and haters in it.

All Democrats have a basic core set of values that are pure and good, IMO, regardless of how Liberal or fiscally conservative they are - that element is huge. But you are right. We must focus on the important common core values that we share and form a covenant to civilly discuss our differences and not let those differences weaken the power that we have as a group.

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