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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:43 AM
Original message
EJ DIONNE: Democrats in Disarray
My letter to Dionne follows the excerpts.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Democrats In Disarray

By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005; Page A23


The critiques come from the left ("Why can't Democrats stand up and be counted?") and from the center ("We'll never win if we look like liberal ideologues"). And almost every day Democrats seem to give their critics evidence of division. The party splintered over the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice. The newspaper Roll Call reported yesterday that some House Democrats were opposing the decision by their leader, Nancy Pelosi, to boycott a Republican-led investigation of the Katrina disaster. Pelosi favors an independent commission. You know the party has a problem when even the politics of Katrina divides its members. A spokesman for Pelosi confirmed some differences yesterday but said that "the vast majority of members support her decision to boycott."

Criticisms of the Democrats are usually personalized: This or that leader is said to be inadequate, or the party as a whole is said to lack "guts," "gumption" and "clarity." Defenses of the party are also personalized: No party can expect to be led by figures from its congressional minority, and the 2008 presidential election is too far away to produce clear alternative leaders.

But the party's problems are structural and can be explained by three numbers: 21, 34 and 45. According to the network exit polls, 21 percent of the voters who cast ballots in 2004 called themselves liberal, 34 percent said they were conservative and 45 percent called themselves moderate.

Those numbers mean that liberal-leaning Democrats are far more dependent than conservatively inclined Republicans on alliances with the political center. Democrats second-guess themselves because they have to.




Mr. Dionne,

What are the "far" left positions that "centrists" are so worried about?

That we want an end to a war, that was sold to us on lies, was actually about controlling that nations oil and being in a position to control the oil of neighboring nations, and that is earning us more hatred in that part of the world by the hour? John Zogby polled Arab countries last year and over 90% of them disapprove of our actions.

I have taught college for eight years, but because of conservative budget priorities, my students tuition has doubled, nearly all of them work full time instead of going to school full time, and my employers, like other community colleges, use the Walmart-like tactic of having over half of their classes taught by part time employees so they don't have to give us health insurance.

I don't like trade agreements that not only take jobs away from Americans, but usually make life worse for people on the other end.

What the current struggle in the Democratic Party is about in not a struggle between center and left, but between the Chamber of Commerce and the rest of America. Business interests aren't content to have a voice in the Democratic Party, they want to OWN it, just like they do the Republicans.

I disagree with people like Senator Joe Biden on the the War in Iraq, but his support of the recent bankruptcy bill is a pretty good example of completely ignoring the needs of average Americans to increase the profits of credit card companies who were already making a healthy profit before the bill. His vote was morally indefensible, and it doesn't make me a far leftist to say that.

The same is true with the war in Iraq. No one with half a brain old enough to remember the Cold War was worried that if Saddam got his hands on some nukes that he would use them against the US when that would invite overwhelming retaliation that incinerate his entire country. Our oil companies want to be in control of that oil as the world's supply begins to decline before the war, so columnists like your own paper's Thomas Friedman said this could dramatically reduce the cost of gasoline, but given the price-gouging after Katrina, even if we had been able to ramp up Iraqi production, the only economic benefits would have gone to the oil companies themselves.

Many of us suspect that Democrats who have been silent in the face of the Bush administration's criminality, cruelty, and incompetence are not cowards, but have divided loyalties at best or are bought and paid for by the same business interests that own the Republicans, and those interests demand absolute loyalty and get it.

This is not about who "looks" tough and who "looks" weak, or fuzzy notions of ideology, it's about who profits and who pays, and in Iraq, and as we have seen most recently in Katrina, who lives and who dies. I don't want a Republican Brownie replaced with a Democratic one.

Many have noted that Howard Dean's record as governor of Vermont was centrist in many ways, but he is called a "far leftist" simply because he wants to reduce the control of these business interests on the party.

Money talks in Washington, so those of us who work for a living and make less than $100K a year have less and less of a voice. If you want to do a public service, talk about how we can balance the public good and average Americans against those of corporations with vast sums of money, PR firms, and lawyers at their disposal.

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expatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
1. 21% described themselves as liberal in 2004?!? that's actually good.
That is up from 18% in 2000 I believe.
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ms liberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent! I hope you sent this letter to him? If not - you should! n/t
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. Honest question about the "far left positions"... honest answers...
What are the "far" left positions that "centrists" are so worried about?

I don't speak for Mr. Dionne, but here are a few, typical, examples of counter-productivity on the left:

- The "Free Palestine" (i.e. the Destroy Israel) Movement addressing crowds at the anti-War demonstrations. There hasn't been a worse messaging screw-up since Trotskyists led chants cheering US soldiers' deaths in anti-Vietnam protests.

- The attack on "Business interests" as if they're a single monolithic block all controlled by the one-seeing eye of the Illuminati. They're not. Many brilliant, successful, people are not only Democratic, but far more liberal than you.

- Asinine talking points that could come right out of a GOP hack: "Liberals are for taking care of poor people. Conservatives are for people getting rich." Here's a clue: Americans like to be rich. And we can't win until we convince them that Democratic policies enable that better than GOP crony-corruption. (Which they do.)

- "Democrats who voted for giving the President a strong negotiating position with regards to Saddam and weapons inspectors were really signing off on him invading because he just wanted to". That's what the GOP wants people to believe, ex post-facto. The far-left too.

- Attacking Democratic politicians (often extremely liberal ones) who don't toe the line on your particular view of every single issue. The instant you have some slight difference with them, you trash them.

- Disassociation with reality. It's not just the hallmark of the modern GOP, the far left has a bad case of it too. "Impeach Bush"? With both houses having Republican majorities? Forget Intelligent Design, I want Intelligent Politicking.

- The view that you win elections by driving people OUT of the party. That's the constant refrain from the far-left. "Get rid of the DLC! Get rid of them!!" Lucky for us, you can't actually "get rid" of someone who agrees with you more than 90% of the time.

- Whining about what others have done rather than doing anything yourself. I'd bet dollars to donuts you've never gone down to your local county party and ever signed up to do anything positive.


- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community


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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. STRUCK A NERVE? response to DLC spin
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:24 PM by yurbud

I don't speak for Mr. Dionne, but here are a few, typical, examples of counter-productivity on the left:

- The "Free Palestine" (i.e. the Destroy Israel) Movement addressing crowds at the anti-War demonstrations. There hasn't been a worse messaging screw-up since Trotskyists led chants cheering US soldiers' deaths in anti-Vietnam protests.


This sounds a hell of a lot like a PR firm talking point. Few people, even Palestinians in the US, call for the destruction of Israel, but as soon as anyone criticizes anything Israel does, from building more settlements to bulldozing Palestinian houses to air strikes on urban areas, they are called anti-semitic. Polls have shown that most Palestinians like most Israelis, would be happy with a two state solution, is it anti-semitic to urge our ally that we give more money to than any other country to move more quickly in that direction? If the right really wanted to protect Israelis, they might ask for UN or NATO peacekeepers to patrol the border and keep the two sides separated as worked so well for decades in Cyprus. That would save lives on both sides, but would also make adding settlements impossible. So why do you suppose it doesn't happen? That's not leftist, that's trying to find a workable solution to a problem that hasn't fixed itself by giving Israel a free hand.

Who was cheering American soldiers deaths during the Vietnam War? The vets who were maimed and dismembered who joined the peace movement?


- The attack on "Business interests" as if they're a single monolithic block all controlled by the one-seeing eye of the Illuminati. They're not. Many brilliant, successful, people are not only Democratic, but far more liberal than you.


So you don't think various corporate interests hire lobbying groups on K Street, donate money to candidates, and where their interests overlap, cooperate to some degree? Or if they do, that it has no effect? I've got a good conspiracy theory book for you then, THE PRIZE by Daniel Yergin on the history of oil including the political machinations that won a Pulitzer Prize. While it is not the main point of his book, there are several places where oil execs call up senators and presidents and don't ask for favors, they give orders. The "conspiracy theorist" who wrote this now works with Papa Bush at the Carlyle Group, so you could hardly call him a liberal Trotskyite.


- Asinine talking points that could come right out of a GOP hack: "Liberals are for taking care of poor people. Conservatives are for people getting rich." Here's a clue: Americans like to be rich. And we can't win until we convince them that Democratic policies enable that better than GOP crony-corruption. (Which they do.)


Few here would say there is anything wrong with being rich. The debate is about what their fair share of taxes is. What we need to make clear is the safety net and basic social services like education make it possible for more people to succeed, and stripping those things away is essentially the same as putting up a wall with an armed guard around it so that no one else can get in.


- "Democrats who voted for giving the President a strong negotiating position with regards to Saddam and weapons inspectors were really signing off on him invading because he just wanted to". That's what the GOP wants people to believe, ex post-facto. The far-left too.


I sincerely wish that you were right about this, but their behavior after the fact puts the lie to it. A lot of elected Dems want to stay, even though it is increasing hostility to US (which doesn't exactly help the alleged war on terror) and this crap about WMD was a red herring anyone old enough to remember the Cold War should have been able to see through. What would happen if Saddam had a couple of nuclear weapons and used them on us or even Israel? Wouldn't we respond with overwhelming nuclear force? Do you think a guy like Saddam, as evil as he may be, is stupid or suicidal? Do many people kill themselves when they are sitting on trillions of dollars worth of oil?


I don't think stupid and gullible people get elected to Congress. Many Dems probably bought into the economic reasons for the war, and just didn't bother to share them with the rest of us. That's not democracy. If Democrats thought there would be some benefit in controlling Saddam's oil, they should have told us, even as Bush was trying to scare us with crazed boogeymen with nukes stories.



- Attacking Democratic politicians (often extremely liberal ones) who don't toe the line on your particular view of every single issue. The instant you have some slight difference with them, you trash them.


No, we ask them to stand for the things we thought we voted them into office to stand for.

They are not our leaders, heroes, or priests, but our representatives. That's the way business sees their relationship with pols, and citizens should too.


- Disassociation with reality. It's not just the hallmark of the modern GOP, the far left has a bad case of it too. "Impeach Bush"? With both houses having Republican majorities? Forget Intelligent Design, I want Intelligent Politicking.


Bush has committed impeachable offenses, and saying it now until it soaks into the public consciousness will remind people that the Republican Congress is NOT holding the president of their party accountable, which shows one of the reasons why the majority needs to change. It hardly shows any moral authority to wait until you are in the majority to point out the obvious sins of this administration, in fact, it shows a great degree of opportunism and cowardice.

Additionally, in case you haven't noticed, this administration has seriously hurt our reputation overseas, and if we had a vocal, critical elected minority opposition, they would see the problem as Bush, not all Americans. The Democrats silence adds to the impression that we are all on war wagon with him.


- The view that you win elections by driving people OUT of the party. That's the constant refrain from the far-left. "Get rid of the DLC! Get rid of them!!" Lucky for us, you can't actually "get rid" of someone who agrees with you more than 90% of the time.


I don't know if I would say 90% of the time. I've read through their website, particularly on issues like health care, and it's hard not to notice that they avoid offending the biggest cause of the problem: insurance companies. You wouldn't even have to socialize medicine if you just called a spade a spade and said someone needs to sit on these guys and dictate what percentage of their premiums must be paid out in benefits, and add serious criminal penalties for denying reasonable service that they promised in their contract. But the DLC won't do that because they are probably hoping for donations from the insurance lobby at some point.

The DLC also seems to be anti-labor, though not the degree of the GOP.


- Whining about what others have done rather than doing anything yourself. I'd bet dollars to donuts you've never gone down to your local county party and ever signed up to do anything positive.


Well, you are full of shit there.

I helped organize a part time faculty union at one of the schools where I teach and they just got their first contract. The faculty there had no job security or health insurance because administrators need the money to throw at the local equivalent of Halliburton in building contracts.

What have you done? Did you work on the PR campaign that rehabilitated Kathie Lee after people found out about her sweatshops? Or the one that sold us on the first Gulf War with the fake stolen incubator story? Probably not since posting on boards like this in an entry level or even intern duty.

Obviously, the tide is turning against the GOP, and the corporate interests are throwing their money at the DLC, hoping they can regain the reins of the party and shut the rest of us up.

I am not opposed to the Democratic party being business friendly, I just don't want it to be business owned.

When an elected Democrat ignores the plain truth in front of their face, I have to conculde it's because they are paid to do so.

Your post was very eloquent and the Trotsky stuff was a nice touch. Are you paid by the post or the hour?
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longship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Thank you.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 02:42 PM by longship
Say "no" to divisive politics. Say "no" to the DLC.

To DLCers: No I am *not* saying "get rid of the DLC". That's just lying DLC spin. I'm saying we don't need a Republican-like (Republican-light) faction in the Democratic Party who claims to speak for the party and labels anybody who disagrees as a radical.

The Democratic Party is a big tent. We welcome people of all opinions. DLC members need to set aside their rubbish attack politics and join the party. DLCers need to stop labelling and demonizing people of their own party. We're all together in this. I am sick to death of the division. I am sick to death of DLC rhetoric. We don't need the Democratic version of the Christian Coalition--taking over the party for ideological reasons.

I am also sick to death of people saying that DLCers need to leave the party. They are welcome here as long as they act like good party citizens. We don't need to turn the Democratic Party into a liberal-only party either. Centrists are welcome. Conservatives, too. (ANSWER, too. Anybody else want to sign up? Sure, come on down!)

You want a winning strategy? What I've described is a *winning* strategy.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. As I mentioned in letter to Dionne, the real work is balancing business
instead of letting it be the 800 pound gorilla that sits on the rest of us.

They deserve a place at the table, but they can't be allowed to pick up the table and beat us with it.
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longship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yes... What you said..
nt
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Not really...
> This sounds a hell of a lot like a PR firm talking point. Few people, even Palestinians in the US, call for the destruction of Israel.

You must not get out much. Here's a portion of Fateh's Constitution, that you can access online.
Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

And Fateh are considered the MODERATES of "Palestine". Hamas is much less reasonable than they are.


> So you don't think various corporate interests hire lobbying groups on K Street, donate money to candidates, and where their interests overlap, cooperate to some degree? Or if they do, that it has no effect?

Of course I do. It's called lobbying. Everyone does it. Your mistake is to think that these "corporate interests" (who I'll rehumanize with the term 'American businessmen'), are all on the same side of every issue. They're not. They each have their own agendas. Many can be persuaded to support the right side - the Democratic side - if the hard left of our party would quit demonizing them.


> Few here would say there is anything wrong with being rich. The debate is about what their fair share of taxes is. What we need to make clear is the safety net and basic social services like education make it possible for more people to succeed, and stripping those things away is essentially the same as putting up a wall with an armed guard around it so that no one else can get in.

Not a single statement you made the DLC disagrees with. You can go onto their site and find dozens of articles stressing this very point.
Here's one right from the front page.


> A lot of elected Dems want to stay (in Iraq), even though it is increasing hostility to US...

Positions about what to do now have nothing to do with whether they were for war in the first place. Howard Dean was against going to war. But he was (and probably still is) against just letting the country slide into civil war.


> No, we ask (Democratic Politicians) to stand for the things we thought we voted them into office to stand for.

You aren't the only people who voted for that politician. They have to listen to other, moderate and/or independent voices too. A politician can't please everybody, and only the stupid ones try. But radicals actively torpedo their own effectiveness by giving the GOP talking points about Democratic representatives when they don't get their way on every single issue. Why bother trying to please someone who's going to bash you eventually anyway?


> Bush has committed impeachable offenses, and saying it now until it soaks into the public consciousness will remind people that the Republican Congress is NOT holding the president of their party accountable... It hardly shows any moral authority to wait until you are in the majority to point out the obvious sins of this administration

No Democrat is holding back on their criticism of the President, it's just that "impeach" is considered by a broad swathe of centrists to be loathsome after-election whining. For Republicans too. When they impeached Clinton, his popularity went up. I'd rather not make the same mistake with Bush.


> I don't know if I would say (the DLC agrees with the left) 90% of the time. I've read through their website, particularly on issues like health care, and it's hard not to notice that they avoid offending the biggest cause of the problem: insurance companies. You wouldn't even have to socialize medicine if you just called a spade a spade and said someone needs to sit on these guys and dictate what percentage of their premiums must be paid out in benefits

Yup. Keep going. Focus on that last 10%. Of course, Hillary, who is prominently featured on the DLC, tried to do exactly what you recommend -- remember Hillary-care? Of course you don't!


> (What I've done...) I helped organize a part time faculty union at one of the schools where I teach and they just got their first contract.

Well gee, that's nice. You helped others as a side-effect of helping yourself. I'm positively overwhelmed with your altruism.


> (Various Alertable comments made about me being a "PR intern"
> and other comments that convince me yarbud doesn't have a
> very good grip on reality)

Actually, I'm a long time Democratic activist working in a swing district. I'm relatively well-to-do, and give thousands of dollars every year to Democratic causes, asking for nothing in return. I always vote for my taxes to go up. I volunteer locally, year round, taking on the tasks people hate to do - canvassing, tabling, phone-banking, etc. I talk to independents and movable Republicans all the time, trying to get their support, or persuade them to move over to our party. (Which I'm pretty good at doing, thank you very much.)

And yes, the hard left makes my hobby of building support for the Democratic Party much harder. So I personally wouldn't mind at all if you all carefully consider your words before opening your mouth.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. So anyone to the left of you is in the PLO?

> This sounds a hell of a lot like a PR firm talking point. Few people, even Palestinians in the US, call for the destruction of Israel.

You must not get out much. Here's a portion of Fateh's Constitution, that you can access online.

Article (19) Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.


And Fateh are considered the MODERATES of "Palestine". Hamas is much less reasonable than they are.



Or showing any sympathy for Palestinians is equal to wanting to destroy Israel? You put Palestine in quotes. Does that mean you don't believe there is such a group or that anyone lived in that area before the Jews began to return at the end of the 19th century? That's not really a useful position for resolving anything--and it's not true.



> A lot of elected Dems want to stay (in Iraq), even though it is increasing hostility to US...

Positions about what to do now have nothing to do with whether they were for war in the first place. Howard Dean was against going to war. But he was (and probably still is) against just letting the country slide into civil war.


That is just a convenient way to sidestep the issue of why we got into the war, and also a GOP talking point. What most Democrats are doing that shows they are largely on the same page with the GOP is avoiding discussions of controlling Iraq's OIL, which BBC journalist Greg Palast did a pretty good job of documenting as a motive for the war, including getting the State Department plan on privatizing the country, getting confirmation of the with GOP strategist Grover Norquist and Gen. Jay Garner, first colonial governor of Iraq, both on camera.
http://www.gregpalast.com/iraqmeetingstimeline.html


Iraq is slipping into civil war anyway, and if we are trying to teach them democracy, we might honor the wishes of the 86% who told CPA pollers they wanted us to leave after the January 2004 elections at the latest. An equal number said they see us as occuppiers not liberators. The presence of our troops is inciting the insurgency, just as the Rand corporation said our presence was doing in the Pentagon Papers in Vietnam.

Don't say we need to stay their to train Iraqis to be soldiers or cops either. Somehow, they figured out how to invade Kuwait and fight Iran, a larger country, to a draw before we put in 100,000 US troops. They would probably be able to muddle through, and if they made mistakes, they would be their mistakes, not ours.


> (What I've done...) I helped organize a part time faculty union at one of the schools where I teach and they just got their first contract.

Well gee, that's nice. You helped others as a side-effect of helping yourself. I'm positively overwhelmed with your altruism



This isn't a hobby for me, it's a matter of survival. I can't go to the doctor without racking up massive medical bills and buying insurance on my own is prohibitively expensive.


I did go back and read the Clinton's health care proposal, and while it wasn't all that I would hope for, it was more ballsy and head on than what most Dems are doing now.

If you are implying altruism is a good motive for political action, I agree. I don't think we can rely on altruism to get good behavior from corporate America though. They need to be required to do some things like the rest of us, really basic stuff, like paying their fair share of taxes.


No Democrat is holding back on their criticism of the President, it's just that "impeach" is considered by a broad swathe of centrists to be loathsome after-election whining. For Republicans too. When they impeached Clinton, his popularity went up. I'd rather not make the same mistake with Bush.



You can't believe the first part of that. One of my senators, Dianne Feinstein, introduced Condi Rice to the Foreign Relations committee, and could have flagged her nomination, but didn't. Rice lied to the 9/11 Commission about warnings of a terrorist attack, and any prior military consideration of such a scenario. She was also instrumental in the Iraq War lies. Feinstein's role there was actively advancing Bush's destructive foreign policy, which was worse than just sitting by silently.



Your statement about the Clinton impeachment implies that the whole issue is about gamesmanship, not the merits of the charges. Clinton was impeached for lying about adultery, something that a large percentage of the population has done. Lying to get us into a war that has killed tens of thousands, increased animosity toward us in the Middle East, and run up our debt to record highs puts Bush in a more exclusive club.

I could play ping pong with you on this stuff for days and probably not change your mind about anything.

But tell me, since you think most people here are terrorist-loving Trotskyites, what is the 90% we agree on?
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Misrepresenting other people's positions doesn't lend you credibility...
I have plenty of sympathy for Palestians. They're caught between a party of war-loving fanatics (Hamas) and corrupt kleptocrats (Fateh), and the Israelis - tired of the suicide bombers - treat them like they're all criminals.

I also support a two-state solution in the region, if the Palestians ever decide to ask for one.

However, that has nothing to do with my original point. Which was this: if you are going to have an anti-Iraq demonstration - to actually build support for pulling the troops out - keep it on topic. Bringing in the Israeli/Palentian conflict is a distraction at best. At worst, bringing in a "Free Palestine" grievance group that makes Arabs out to be perfect angels and Israelis out to be little more than demons, is massively counter-productive.

> What most Democrats are doing that shows they are largely on the same page with the GOP is avoiding discussions of controlling Iraq's OIL

You would normally think that "avoiding discussions of controlling Iraq's OIL" means Democrats don't want to control Iraq's oil, since they don't want to even discuss it. But apparently this means they're really for the GOP... or something. Wow. That logic of yours is sure hard to follow.


> One of my senators, Dianne Feinstein, introduced Condi Rice to the Foreign Relations committee, and could have flagged her nomination, but didn't.

Ok, let's just for the moment say that Feinstein decided to act all churlish, the way you want her to. What would be the result? The Senate is controlled by the GOP. While "Flagging" can be used, it's a rule that exists only because the majority (i.e. the GOP) tolerates it. So she yells, and talks about lies, and what does that get you...
maybe the best result! Condi backs out! So Bush decides to push through Bolton, or someone else who's worse. And, worst of all, when Bush does something really psychotically bad that the entire country needs to be told about, Feinstein has cried wolf dozens of times, so nobody listens to her anymore.

And California gets screwed even worse than it already is, because the GOP feels no remorse in pulling every project from the State.

Yup, that'll work.


Basically, I agree with you about Clinton and Bush. It's just that acting childish is not a way that Senators endear themselves to voters. So stop expecting them to.


- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community





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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. It sounds like we agree on a lot of positions but...
It sounds ike what you are referring to is the ANSWER coalition at the peace rallies, and I partly agree with you. Even though I agree with many of their issues, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink is going to scare away people who just figured out the


Feinstein didn't have to yell and make a stink, just calmly make her points the way somebody like Henry Waxman or John Conyers would. Those guys are hardly considered frothing fanatics in their presentations.

I don't know that the corporate right could treat us much worse than turning off our electricity to extort billions, blame it on our average at best governor and use the resulting deficit to run that governor out and replace him with Arnold, who is much, much worse in every measurable way.

And standing up for principle when it is difficult and dangerous will gain the support of voters if not the business interests seeking to control both parties. Frankly, it makes me think twice about giving money to Democratic candidates when I see them collapse in fight after fight in Congress. By contrast, I have given money to candidates in other parts of the country who have risked their careers to simply speak the truth. This is why people like Howard Dean. It's not that he is such a radical lefty, but that he stands his ground, doesn't pretending like the right wing talking points are the truth, and doesn't pretend to be or believe things just to get votes (or if he does, he does it so well I don't notice).

And while it certainly doesn't appeal to you or me, losing your temper makes less intelligent people think someone is really passionate and certain about something. That's why right wing radio has been so successful, and evangelical pastors yell at their flocks every Sunday. Candidates shouldn't fake that, but neither should they fear it just because Karl Rove faxes talking points to the media about Howard Dean being a wild eyed rage-aholic. They feared Howard because he could communicate in a way that the less educated could understand and respect--if they were allowed to hear him.

It pains me to say it, but there are a lot of things I respect about John Kerry including his investigations into Iran-Contra and BCCI, but he didn't put that information in play during the campaign or even the debates when he could have eviscerated Bush without even raising his voice. Instead, he not only didn't raise his voice, but he was deferential to the point of being effeminate, and rolled over after the massive fraud in the election.

Some of these political machinations Democrats are doing may give them some small tactical advantage, but the cost in public trust and respect will be harder to repair.

I will vote for Feinstein again if she makes it to the general election, but I will not trust her to put my interests and the interests of people like me in the middle and lower class ahead of the Chamber of Commerce agenda without hounding her on every vote. The difference between her and a republican is with her, the hounding might work. Republicans are paid to be deaf.
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Yes we do...
And I'm glad you acknowledge that.

The division between us (and strong-left vs DLC generally) isn't issue based. It's tone. And rest assured, we do disagree on that.

To win, Democrats need to persuade people who voted for Bush to vote Democratic next time. Calling them stupid or evil for voting for Bush doesn't accomplish that. Neither does focusing on Bush personally. (In three years the man will be gone, and the GOP will put up someone else who will pretend he's not exactly the same.)

And certainly, neither does using strong rhetoric that can be distorted by the almost-entirely-Republican-owned media.

Funny enough, I supported Howard Dean very early in the primaries, sending him a not-insignificant check. His positions - pro balanced budgets, willing to use the military to defend our national interest (he was one of the few Democrats for Bush Sr's defense of Kuwait), a strong record of efficient government, match my own almost perfectly. The problem was that the man simply didn't understand the degree to which Democrat statements will be picked over to look as scary and extremist as possible.

This happens again and again. Al Gore's "Earth Tones". The "Dean Scream" (gasp! he YELLED at a Pep rally!). So even though he's a lot more liberal than I'd like, Kerry won my heart when he presented such a small target to the GOP that the press had to attack him for being a Vietnam war hero.

And the truth is that he did amazingly well. Knocking off a sitting President in Wartime is no mean feat. (I don't believe it's ever been done in the history of this country.) Yet Kerry came within a hair of actually doing it.

Which is why I'll probably end up supporting him in the primary next time. I can't count the number of independents I know who are having buyer's remorse on Bush right now. The only way the GOP can win is if they can find a new fat target to lie about. But Kerry's inoculated, and that means more to me than the fact that I think Clinton's pro-"liberal business" policies were much better than his will be.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community


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chicagiana Donating Member (993 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Impeach Bush !!!

In general, I thought the "Impeach Bush" were wasting their energy for the same reason you mentioned. It won't happen.

However, now I think there is a real opportunity to run a nationwide campaign in 2006. Call it a recall election via Congress. Move a slate of candidates across the nation that will vow to vote for Impeachment of the president. Force the issue on Republicans who will squirm when confronted with the choice of associating themselves with an unpopular president.

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chicagiana Donating Member (993 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
9. These righties are NUTS !!!

One moment they complain because the Democrats walk in "locked step". As if the unseen hand of Barbara Streisan and Gloria steinum is moving them like a marionette. The next thing you know they are in "disarray" because they all don't vote the same.

The bottom line on the Roberts nomination is that Democrats couldn't stop it anyway. If Bush nominates Janice Robert Brown for the next seat, than we'll have something to fillibuster over.

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Mr_Jefferson_24 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. "...Democrats... bought and paid for...
...by the same business interests that own the Republicans, and those interests demand absolute loyalty and get it."

The crux of the problem, and a thorny one at that. How do we fix this without a complete deconstruction of the way we do business?
We really have become a one party State: the Corporate Party. It has two subdivisions: Democrats and Republicans. Whichever subdivision happens to be in power, we're dragged down the same path. Republicans drag us down it at about 110 mph, whereas Democrats set the cruise control at a more comfortable 55 mph. Either way, fast or slow, it is the path to ruin for this nation, it is the path to fascism, and we must get off it before it's too late.


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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Pelosi Waxman anti-crony bill is a step in the right direction
We just need something like that for Congressmen and Senators.

There shouldn't be a revolving door for them. Once they leave office, if they become a lobbyist or sit on a corporate board, at the very least, they should have their pension cut off.

The same is true for the Pentagon. If someone is a general, they should not be working for defense contractors after they retire, especially if they were involved in procurement.

I don't see why Congressmen and Senators are allowed to accept ANYTHING of value from lobbyists. If the lobbyists want to make their case for their client, let them come to the congressional offices and do their spiel. But if the elected official sees them outside the office, he should pay his own way, period.

I think there's something to the free speech argument for letting corporations give money to pols, but the problem is, they have so much for money than the rest of us, and they can hire someone with a longer attention span than those of us who need to put things on the back burner after a while and go back to our jobs to make enough money to pay our bills.
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