Member since: Wed Jun 20, 2012, 02:49 AM
Number of posts: 12,649
Number of posts: 12,649
Republican Lincoln helped make Democrats of a lot of proponents of slavery and a lot of conservatives in other respects. (And also helped make African Americans Lincoln Republicans, like MLK, Sr and Senator Brooke of Massachusetts).
Ergo, the Democratic Party had a strong conservative streak from at least Lincoln forward, if not earlier. (Recall, Jefferson, a slave owner, is considered the father of the Party.)
Wallace and Thurmond are 20th Century examples of "Lincoln Democrats." (My little twist on Reagan Democrats.) And a lot of them began turning Republican after integration measures by FDR and Truman. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, of course, began a more massive exodus.
Meanwhile, the strong conservative streak of the Democratic Party had always been struggling for more control of the Party. Wallace and Thurmond are examples of some old timers who were "Lincoln Democrats." (My little twist on Reagan Democrats.) And a lot of them began turning on the Democratic Party after integration measures by FDR and Truman. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 began a more massive exodus. It tried to move after McGovern lost, to institute super delegates and, in general, make the party less democratic. However, all it succeed in doing then officially was undoing the Democratic Party reforms that McGovern instituted. Still, it kept trying.
With Lee Atwater's help, Reagan used a lot of dog whistles as his Southern strategy. After "Reagan Democrats" and Mondale's loss, they did succeed in instituting Super Delegates, thereby making the Party less democratic. (A fair number of years later, the Republicans followed suit, but Democrats were by far the first to try to put mechanisms in place to overrule the outcomes of their own primaries, as I said, all the way back to McGovern.) (I think Lee Atwater's South
And that is about the time the DLC officially formed. If you look at the wiki of the DLC, you see the founding members were mostly white Southern males with Presidential aspirations, like Bubba, Gore and Warner, the most notable exceptions being Lieberman and Hillary.
The founding members didn't all end up running for President, but, at that time, all were considered to have that potential. And they wanted the Southern vote when they ran, especially their own states (which Gore could not carry, even with the New Democrat business). Or, maybe being raised in the South among conservatives, some of them did have a genuine fiscally conservative streak, too, quite apart from their personal ambitions. Either way, as I see it, that is how we got to the DLC and "pragmatic" Democrats, aka New Democrats.
I strongly agree with you about the yuppies. That crowd and their followers are the ones trying to tell us it's all about winning elections and only about winning elections. But I don't believe them. I think they share a lot of fiscal goals with the Republicans, but not the social goals. That simple.
Geez, maybe I should make this an OP somewhere
Posted by merrily | Wed Dec 10, 2014, 11:48 PM (1 replies)
At first, yes, the dog whistles were only leaks and plants with media, like the Wright "black liberation theology" tapes and the photos of Obama in traditional Kenyan clothing.
Then, it went to surrogates, including Bill, dog whistling about drugs, black liberation theology, Jesse Jackson, and "shuckin' and jivin' (as if that would be something that just naturally rolled out of the mouth of Cuomo!).
Then, it went to surrogates being explicit, like Geraldine Ferrara saying flat out that the only reason that Obama was succeeding was that he was "black." (Because more Democrats are black, like Obama, than are female, like Hillary?)
However, as Hillary's chances got dimmer and dimmer, she finally identified her constituency as "hard working white people," which went well beyond dog whistle, though it certainly encompassed the "lazy" and "welfare" dog whistles. (This, from a woman who had earlier "tone deafly" compared being a United States Senator in a Republican majority Senate to being a slave on a plantation!)
After Bill's "casual" comment about Jesse Jackson, I had heard that Kennedy had warned that one more "racially tinged" campaign move would cause him (Kennedy) to declare openly for Obama (instead of allowing the primary to play out). Then, after Game Change came out, I read the bit about the private conversation between Bubba and Ted. Supposedly, Bubba said that, a couple of years ago, Obama would have been bringing them both coffee and the only reason that Ted was supporting Obama was because Obama was "black."
Aside from the racism, I had a hard time believing that Bubba, whom I see as one of the smartest people and best politicians on the planet, could be that clumsy and miss it by that much, both as to the "racially-tinged" campaign in general and how to win over Kennedy specifically. And, I think just "allowing" a racially-tinged campaign, especially one so transparent and clumsy, speaks volumes about America's alleged "First Black President" and his First Spouse.
If there is a real, hard-fought Democratic primary, these things will be raised against Hillary again and again. If there is a coronation or a dog-and-pony show aimed at convincing Democrats they are getting a primary when they are actually getting a coronation, Hillary will not be hit with these things again and again. So, I'll be watching. Meanwhile, Democrats, both PTB and rank and file, need to consider carefully what a Hillary nomination, despite her "racially-tinged" campaign against Obama, might do to one of their heretofore most steadfastly loyal constituencies.
Speaking of "racially-tinged," I never heard that term before the Hillary campaign. Until then, as far as I knew, something was either racist or it wasn't. Maybe the racism was subtle, or clumsy dog whistle, or blatant, but, in any event, it was either racist or not racist.
Was "racially tinged" invented to avoid accusing the Hillary campaign of being racist, or did I just miss it before Hillary's campaign? (Candidly, I think I am as capable of guessing as the next DUer, but does anyone know for sure when that term first hit our common lexicon?)
Posted by merrily | Sat Dec 6, 2014, 09:59 AM (1 replies)
Even if you are in a blue town in a blue state, let your Mayor and town or city council members and town meeting members know that you want police trained differently and will hold local leaders accountable for how police behave. (Cambridge is a blue town in a blue state, and look what happened to Professor Gates, an older man who walks with a cane, guilty of returning home tired--and at the hands of the cop who teaches classes on racial sensitivity, no less.)
Write your newspapers, too, whatever is left of them.
Organize a peaceful demonstration outside your city hall.
If your city or town has a local cable access station, see if you can get on one of the shows to urge people in your area to contact their local government to insist on different kinds of training for law enforcement.
I am having trouble thinking of more suggestions right now.
Here is a link to an organization that is active and will remain active around the issue of police killing people of color.
On edit: Michael Brown's mom asks that we join the Brown family to fight for every cop in the country to wear a body camera.
I would still push for re-training, too, because a film of a dead person is not ideal. Though it should help bring the trigger happy to justice, preventing a death is preferable.
It also occurs to me that you can contact a state legislator that you think will be friendly to the causes mentioned in this post and ask him or her to sponsor a bill. And/or, you can google how to file a citizen's bill in your state.
If you know of other organizations working on this, please post the links on this thread. Please also post your suggestions for ways to be pro-active to prevent more deaths.
Posted by merrily | Tue Nov 25, 2014, 02:14 AM (14 replies)
Posted by merrily | Sat Nov 22, 2014, 06:42 AM (0 replies)
Between them, Roosevelt and Truman won an astonishing five Presidential elections in a row and had Democrats winning House and Senate seats for decades.
DLC founding member Clinton, helped by Perot, won before most voters had heard of the DLC or were aware of any schism in the Party (Many still are not.)
DLC founding member Gore lost (or won, depending on your perspective), but not by a landslide, either way, shall we say.
DLC founding member Lieberman couldn't make it deep into the primary.
Senate New Democrat Caucus founding member, Kerry lost.
Obama, who did not mention his New Democrat status until after the election and ran to DLC founding member Hillary's left won the primary and the general.
Still, the New Democrats took over the Party. And the Party seldom, if ever, has done worse than it did in 2010 and this month.
Yet, we are told again and again, that the only electible Democrats are New Democrats. Go figure.
Posted by merrily | Fri Nov 21, 2014, 07:47 AM (1 replies)
"liberal" means--and that is complicated by the fact that we are getting more global: "Liberal" means something very different to someone from abroad than it does to a 1960's hippie. And what a1960's liberal thought was further right than what liberals before McCarthy thought. Today, a lot of people simply think it's something like a synonym for "Democrat."
"Progressive" is another word that seems to mean different things. In 2008, both Obama and Hillary referred to their policies as "progressive." The founder of the Progressive Policy Institute, Will Marshall, was a DLC founder who signed the PNAC letter, urging Bush to invade Iraq. http://www.publiceye.org/pnac_chart/pnac.html I don't think most people who are calling themselves progressives on DU mean the same thing by that word as Hillary and Marshall do. Just a hunch.
Basically, I think we may need a new word, one that will mean the same thing to European DUers as it means to USians and one that distinguishes the policies of the Republican left (who founded the Progressive Party) from those of Democratic left.
The policies of Teddy Roosevelt, apart from his racism, were indeed ahead of their time before women got the vote. Today, not so much. But the Will Marshall/DLC brand of progressivism doesn't go as far as Teddy on all things. Teddy was adamantly against monopolies, like the ones Disney and Comcast have become. You don't see a lot of that from Third Wayers.
Posted by merrily | Sat Nov 15, 2014, 06:01 AM (0 replies)
Sadly, that unfortunate attempt has been rather successful.
New Democrats recognize that they are not traditional Democrats. Hence, they called themselves "New Democrats," rather than simply Democrats. In so doing, they were saying, in effect, "We're different from all the Democrats who have gone before us. So, please don't confuse us with the likes of FDR, HST, LBJ and RFK, or even Carter."
At the same time, though, they, of course, wanted the votes of the Democratic base. So, they have attempted to refine "liberal" so that traditional Democrats are considered the far left. That makes the center right the norm for Democrats, instead of the center right.
I don't see "liberal" as the direct opposite of Third Way. I see "traditional Democrat" as the direct opposite of Third Way. I am a traditional Democrat.
In the day of traditional Democrats, like FDR, HST, LBJ and RFK, the far left was socialistic, quasi-anarchistic, "tune in, turn on, drop out, etc. (Think, as to FDR, the Hollywood crowd that got blacklisted after McCarthy, and, as to LBJ, Bill Ayers, Timothy Leary, et al. The ones that made the WWII generation go bonkers and turned some of them Republican.)
FDR, HST and LBJ were not liberals. A PBS program I saw a while back said that FDR had actually run to the right of Hoover. Of course, you can't trust PBS anymore, but, deceptively or not, that view was attributed to pundits who commented in the days of the campaign. Hell, FDR even imposed a hefty war tax to pay for WWII. Yes, he taxed rich people more, but everyone had to pay up. That's not liberal or Third Way or Republican, just traditionally Democratic. (Of course, I am traditionally Democratic only on the domestic side, and not all of that. Not at all a fan of Dixiecrats, internment, the Cold War, etc.)
HST was a Missouri farm boy who attended Sunday School and began public school only at age 8, who was so desperate to join the military that he actually memorized the eye chart so he could cheat on his physical exam! Although he integrated the military, earlier, he had also joined groups that he thought would give him votes, including the WCC.
He did not learn of the Manhattan Project until after FDR died, but used the atom bomb twice on a nation that would have been defeated anyway. With people barely over WWII, he started the Korean War without a vote of Congress. Cold Warrior par excellence as well. That was no liberal!
FDR was elected four times and Truman once, despite sinking approval ratings, Strom's challenge and a Progressive Party* challenger. (HST, of course, retired undefeated, supposedly because Bess wanted to get the hell out of DC. For that matter, HST didn't think much of DC, either.)
Strom's "third" party challenge took away many Southern votes from HST at a time when California was still going Republican in most Presidential elections and Democratic Presidential candidates really needed Southern votes to win. (California did go for Truman, I believe, but not by much.) So, yeah, it was a squeaker, but HST did win, making it five times in a row for Democratic Presidents. Those five consecutive wins were not the work of some leftist fringe of the Democratic Party of that day. Traditional Democrats, and, as to HST, maybe even some Republicans, "built that."
After Truman, of course, you had Ike, a World War II hero whom some Democrats had tried to run against Truman in 1948! And, on the Democratic side both times, you had Adlai Stevenson, a brilliant and good man, but not charismatic to most voters of the day and no match for Ike's name recognition and popularity. And that's what it took to break the Democrat's winning streak at the top of the ticket. (Who knows how much bipartisanship may have been involved in that election? Democrats were already going Cold War on steroids and some of them had wanted to run Ike themselves in 1948.)
Read between the lines of JFK's speech accepting the nomination of the Liberal Party for President. He's almost defensive about it. Clearly, he needed every vote he could get, running as, not only a Catholic, but an Irish Catholic, after a long, theretofore unbroken string of WASP males. "No ethnics, including Irish, need apply."
But JFK's speech cleverly and very carefully qualifies exactly what he is accepting, even as he appears to be complimenting liberals. ("If 'liberal' means XYZ, then I'm proud to be a liberal." Implied: "and only then. None of that socialist stuff." )
On MTP (MTP ran the clip on the 50th anniversary of his assassination), while running for President, JFK mentioned that Democrats had saved American capitalism (something he should know about, given his father's role in helping write New Deal legislation so that Wall Street sharks like Joe would be reined in by the new federal securities laws and the new SEC, so ordinary folks could have confidence in Wall Street again).
LBJ also won an election, even though the Southern states had already started going red in a very dramatic way. Also, many among the older generation of the Party were disgusted by the druggies and draft dodgers that their kids seemed to be turning into; and the liberal wing of the Party and other Americans opposed him over the war. Liberals sure "didn't build that" victory, either. Traditional, mainstream Democrats did.
Southern Sunday School teacher and entrepreneur Carter was big on civil rights, but he sure kept that deregulation ball rolling, the one begun by Nixon and continued by every president Democratic and Republican, to Clinton and Obama. Very little remains of the New Deal and the Great Society remain, besides the "Third Rail" programs. Carter is still proud of the deregulation he and his Democratic Congress achieved. Carter is a humanitarian; and I greatly admire him for that. I also admire him more than I can say for not starting a Middle Eastern conflagration over the hostages, just to show Ted Koppel how much spine the Oval Office had. Was Carter an economic or "big government" liberal, though? I don't really know.
In any event, FDR, HST, JFK and LBJ were simply Democratic Presidents, as what the Democratic Party stood for was understood at the time by rank and file voters. Their domestic programs, fiscal, union, equal rights, etc. was what ordinary Democrats thought the Democratic Party stood for.
The mantra of my extended family can be summed up by my mom's response, when my then-teenaged sister asked my parents to vote Republican in one Presidential: "Vote Republican? No, we don't vote Republican. Social Security. Unions. We don't vote Republican." That was the Democratic Party I thought I was espousing, the traditional Democratic Party that took care of people like my family. Then, not so very long ago, I learned about "New Democrats."
Liberals of the 20th century were way to the left of FDR, HST, JFK and LBJ. During the first half of the 20th century, before McCarthy, they were attending Communist Party meetings, even joining up. During LBJ's day, they were throwing bombs into the Pentagon john, etc. Not voting at all in protest.
That's not most people whom the Third Wayers falsely label the far left of the Democratic Party today. That's certainly not me. I am not a New Democrat, but I am not a liberal. I would never have been brave enough to walk at the militia, like the Kent State kids or break into the Pentagon, like Bill Ayers, or go to Vietnam, like Jane Fonda, or even go to jail. I am simply a traditional Democrat on the domestic side (sans the heinous stuff). Just an ordinary hard working, pro-union, pro equal rights, law abiding citizen (though I may be willing to say "fuck that" if a revolution starts) who literally loves voting in every election, even if I have to write in candidates. Just a garden variety, traditional Democrat. (Sorry for the long reply: when meanings of words get twisted, attempting actual communication gets much more difficult for me.)
*not to be confused with the confusing way that the term "progressive" is used today.
Posted by merrily | Sat Nov 15, 2014, 01:55 AM (0 replies)
New Democrats do share some big goals with Republicans. For example:
http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/05/10/obama-packs-debt-committee-with-supportes-of-social-security-benefit-cuts-and-privatization/ (note Paul Ryan, of whom few had heard at this point).
It's probably not so that the editor of Harvard Law Review, a man who has been in and around politics most of his adult life, is simply incapable of seeing things that are blatantly obvious to most DUers.
Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, people hit what they aimed at.
Posted by merrily | Fri Nov 14, 2014, 10:35 PM (1 replies)
Posted by merrily | Fri Nov 7, 2014, 02:50 PM (1 replies)
Time to stop freaking out over the election and start healing so we can get to work on 2016 ASAP. Besides, it's Friday. And, it's Robin Williams (RIP)
Posted by merrily | Fri Nov 7, 2014, 12:45 PM (1 replies)