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Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:39 PM

Thought experiment: What if the Dem party had gone as hard left as the repukes have hard right?

If, for instance, the House leadership consisted of Cynthia McKinney, Dennis Kucinich, etc.

What chance would such a Dem party have to win any national or even statewide election?

That's what I thought.

So why is it that teabaggers like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio can be elected to the Senate? That there are so many teabaggers in the House that Boner is facing an organzied revolt to his right?!

Why are far-right teabaggers somehow more acceptable to those in the "center" than far-left progressives?

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Reply Thought experiment: What if the Dem party had gone as hard left as the repukes have hard right? (Original post)
KamaAina Jan 2013 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #1
99th_Monkey Jan 2013 #2
msongs Jan 2013 #3
KamaAina Jan 2013 #5
geek tragedy Jan 2013 #4
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #6
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #8
Jennicut Jan 2013 #10
KamaAina Jan 2013 #12
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #18
JNelson6563 Jan 2013 #22
Recursion Jan 2013 #7
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #9
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #11
KamaAina Jan 2013 #15
rug Jan 2013 #13
KamaAina Jan 2013 #14
rug Jan 2013 #16
Pisces Jan 2013 #17
BlueDemKev Jan 2013 #19
KamaAina Jan 2013 #23
BlueDemKev Jan 2013 #25
quaker bill Jan 2013 #20
DFW Jan 2013 #21
nyquil_man Jan 2013 #24
Deep13 Jan 2013 #26
samsingh Jan 2013 #27
Douglas Carpenter Jan 2013 #28

Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:41 PM

1. Messaging...

Americans don't like to pay taxes and way too many still believe the welfare queen myth.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:59 PM

2. I think we'd be in much better shape

I think people are actually waking up, but then, I live in Portland Oregon,
which is something of a progressive bubble.

But even nationally, I think it's true; that if the progressive caucus had
been given free reign to lead the party, rather than the DNC, we'd be
in better shape, i.e. the Congress in particular.

I know most on DU don't buy that, but I think the American public is wising
up to the difference between true righteous passion for a better world,
and faux indignation of the empty-headed Right Wingnuts.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:13 PM

3. gerrymandering in red states nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:17 PM

5. But what about statewide elections, e.g. Senate races?

Dennis couldn't even hold on to his own House seat, which was gerrymandered to include another popular Dem. He'd get creamed by the repuke in a Senate race. Yet Rand Paul and the others routinely cruise to victory in general elections.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 04:16 PM

4. We have a conservative political culture and conservative institutions.

The media is conservative and seeks to protect the powerful.

Our constitution and legal system are set up to resist change.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:09 PM

6. Your premise is wrong.

Here's what happened.

Bush was a huge RW hero, and then a huge failure.

The GOP had to distance themselves from him, and also get the RW to vote in 2008.

McCain picked Palin hoping that the angry pot of angry nut job would boil over. Did not reach the right temperature.

They then invented the Tea Party (aka Frankenstein's monster) as if it was a grassroots effort not tied to any party ... of course it was nothing but a skillet in which the craziest part of the GOP base could be brought to a rolling boil.

In 2010, their monster did kill off some Dems in the House.

But then, Dr. Frankenstein, trying to tame the monster, put its focus on Romney ... and one by one, the Tea Party Monster's candidates failed.

Romney loses, and the angry Tea Party monster is no less angry. Its even more so. Dr. Boehner, afraid of being eaten, has now limited the feeding of that monster, allowing votes for which the monster is not happy about.

The Dems, the GOP leaders and the media, are now placing the Tea Party monster on a diet. Sure, they will feed it to keep it alive, but it is becoming little more than part of the freak show at the county fair.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:31 PM

8. Love this!

I guess we should now be waiting for the monster to strike back at its creator, Dr. Frankenstein!

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:39 PM

10. Perfect explanation of the last few years in politics.

The monster is kind of dying in my opinion. And it's getting older every minute.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:14 PM

12. But the Dem party won't even give us a skillet to boil in!

We progressives are more marginalized even that the teabaggers.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 08:45 PM

18. The progessives you speak of are not nearly as aligned as the Tea Party.

The "progressives" you speak of are, in reality, very heterogeneous.

The Tea Party is basically the craziest members of the GOP's social and fiscal conservative base. Its a very narrow, group.

The "progressives" in the Dem party are not all aligned on fiscal, economic, social, and international efforts.

The GOP is shrinking.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 08:27 AM

22. Want answers?

Remember the anti-war rallies sponsored by "ANSWER"? I do. Just about every one of the seemingly hundreds of speakers had their own special pet cause. Everyone tried to hijack the spotlight for their own cause.

It was like they forgot the whole thing was to protest the Iraq war and just used the gathering for their own purpose.

That is how the farther left operate. Won't jump onto efforts to achieve common goals, fuck that. You either fight 100% for my cause all the time or you're out.

Oh and closed minded on those causes too! Only my single idea will work, don't approach me with other ideas. That smells too much like compromise!1!

Throw in the fact most of the self-described pure lefties are busy with "on-line" activism. Show up at meetings? Learn how shit really works? Recruit and help fund/promote a more progressive candidate like outside of the internets?!?!?

You must be joking.

Julie

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 05:46 PM

7. Bloomberg would be President

The Republican coalition is heavy towards its right end. The Democratic coalition is heavy towards its right end, too.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 06:32 PM

9. That's an interesting thought...

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:11 PM

11. So the all of the GOP and the Moderate, Conservative and Centrist Democrats all support corporatism

 

or oligarchy yet the liberals and progressives are considered far left and unelectable?

Liberals and progressives are rountinely thrown under the bus by Moderate, Conservative and Centrist Democrats and you ask why liberals and progressives can't get elected on a national level?



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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:23 PM

15. Or, put another way,

I ask why moderate and centrist repukes (when there were any) didn't throw the teabaggers udner the bus but allowed them to rise to prominence.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:19 PM

13. You'd be surprised.

For one thing, the "hard left" are not racist idiots.

For another thing, the things the "hard left" fights for are the things that most people need and, once you remove the layers of bullshit thrown on it, want.

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Response to rug (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:22 PM

14. Precisely my point!

So why don't progressive candidates ever get to prove that on at least a staewide stage (larger than Vermont)?

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:26 PM

16. It helps if it's built from the ground up.

When professional polititicians from the precinct to the national committee consistently argue that people will not vote for an honest open progressive agenda, they're cutting the tendons of any potential candidate before a single step is taken.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 07:35 PM

17. Old people vote in the midterms. End of story.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 11:22 PM

19. Answer: The Democratic Party would be EXTINCT...

...if we allowed far leftists to run our party. The far right accuses us of having extreme left-wingers control the party but that's only because they've moved so far to the right that the middle of the road looks "far left" to them. It's like a person in Maryland saying that Missouri is "way out west and practically touching the Pacific Ocean."

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Response to BlueDemKev (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:20 PM

23. And again I ask: Why is the repuke party NOT extinct

because it allows far rightists to run its party??

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #23)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:31 PM

25. Here's Why...

Conservative philosophy doesn't require a lot of thought...by preaching the well-known common values of hard work, faith, personal responsibility (all important things), they are subtly (or as of late NOT-so-subtly) appealing to basic human instincts of fear, anger, and hatred because they are making people believe that those long-cherised values are under attack: that the guy who lives on the "other" side of town doesn't want to work and expects you help carry him. They also make people feel that there's a growing segment of society that wants people to "hate" God , and wants to ban Christianity. There are other examples, but I think you get the general idea.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 06:11 AM

20. Things would be a little worse

"Hard Left" dems would win the very blue districts, as they do now, but perhaps there would be a few more hard left types and a few less DLC types. So we would end up with a hard left caucus arguing with the t-party caucus. Arguing is really not the correct term, more shouting past each other.

Now I will grant that it would not be much worse as the US house is all but completely dysfunctional now. It would be a bit more dysfunctional but the difference on the ground would be hard to measure. The "debates" would be more colorful.

The T-baggers are doing on steroids what mainstream republicans have done for the last 30 years. They have wrapped themselves in the flag and worked to capture American iconography "freedom" "Liberty", and such and then created a bunch of demonized enemies "muslims", "liberals", "gays", "immigrants" to be against. The movement has always thrived on the symbols of "patriotism" (not the reality of it) and defending those symbols from "big enemies". This stuff worked easy when the Soviets existed. Once the Soviets folded shop the movement had to refocus on other imagined enemies, even if they had to be made up.

The "muslims" became pretty handy for GWB*. However after a decade of pointless war, new enemies had to be found. "Obama" works for many, "gays" and "immigrants" work for others. All must be caricatured as an imminent threat to the very existence of the various holy American symbols, and the t-party took the flavor of this to the max. This is why it works. It is a formula that has been working for 30 years. It started to fade in 2008 so the t-party turned it up to 11.

The essential problem for these guys is that Rmoney and more importantly the various groups supporting him and far right candidates ran 2012 with the whole thing turned up somewhere between 10.5 and 11. They lost, nearly as badly as 2008. Not enough people are listening anymore. They are not finding the "big enemies" to be much of a threat, and they increasingly believe that the right wing is not particulary good at defense regardless. Their era is rapidly ending.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 07:09 AM

21. Don't forget how the teabaggers see this

We just elected Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin to the US Senate, and Bernie Sanders cruised to re-election.

To them, those three are every bit as "extreme" as Cruz, Paul and Rubio seem to us. They're not, but the teabaggers see everyone who is not a frothing-at-the-mouth right-winger (not a true conservative among them, so I refuse to call them that) as a hard-left "soshalist libbrul."

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:55 PM

24. It's easy for the Republicans to go right.

About 60% of their voters are self-described conservatives. In all but a handful of states, conservatives make up a majority of the GOP electorate.

It's not so easy for Democrats to go left. About half the party's voters are self-described moderates while only about a third are self-described liberals. Moderates make up the majority or the plurality in almost every state.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:33 PM

26. Big money controls the media, the educational system, social...

institutions like churches and clubs, and the national narrative.

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 11:34 PM

27. good point

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Response to KamaAina (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:05 AM

28. Contrast how the right-wing of the GOP reacted to the Goldwater defeat of 64 versus how the

progressive wing of the Democratic Party reacted to the McGovern defeat of 72. The Goldwater defeat of 1964 was the birth of the new right. In contrast the McGovern defeat of 1972 marked the end of an era when unabashed New Deal Democrats and unapologetic doves played a major role in the mainstream market place of ideas in the American body politic.

The Goldwater defeat of 1964 - in spite of its grand failure - united the various factions of the right-wing into something of a cohesive unit. The right-wing of the Republican Party never gave up. When Goldwater could not fly they moved on to Reagan. In contrast the progressive wing of the Democratic Party following the McGovern defeat of 1972 became less cohesive. Some faction pretty much abandoned partisan electoral politics altogether - many devoting their energy instead to single issue campaigns - others decided that winning was more important than issues and simply concentrated their energy on winning while losing interest in any broad progressive vision.

I would have to say that the right-wing is more persistent and more ruthless, probably more convinced that they are right and more willing to rally behind their leaders at the price of sublimating their own smaller agendas into the broader right-agenda.

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