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An article that makes a good case for running leftward instead of right

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 01:51 PM
Original message
An article that makes a good case for running leftward instead of right
George Bush eats centrist Democrats for breakfast. Senator John Kerry is a centrist, and as Michael Moore puts it: "We cannot leave the 2004 election to the Democrats to screw it up."

Ever since the demise of the once-progressive Johnson administration in 1968, when a lawless war on Vietnam destroyed the hopeful war on poverty, centrist Democrats have blamed the misfortunes of the Democratic Party in national politics on excessive liberalism, on progressive politics that appear too radical for the general population. Centrists claim that only by moving the Party to the right, even to the point of co-opting nationalism and military postures of the Republicans, can Democrats regain the White House.

The centrist theory, so often repeated in media commentary, contradicts the historical record -- not only the record of three successive defeats in presidential elections from 1980 to 1988, when the party shifted to the right -- but the overall record of Democratic presidents from Roosevelt to Carter. Since 1932 Democratic presidential candidates have achieved five landslide victories, and all five landslides were created through progressive campaigns that identified the Democratic Party with movements for social reform. The four campaigns of Franklin Roosevelt and the landslide victory of Lyndon Johnson in 1964 were grand coalition campaigns. These great crusades did not dwell on the white middle-class. Nor did they fawn over lost Democrats. Instead they reached beyond the party establishment to the unemployed, to the poor, to the new, rising electorate of the times.

With only one telling exception, no Cold War Democratic candidate ever won a decisive majority of the popular vote. Truman got 49.5 percent in 1948; Kennedy got 49.9 percent in the squeaker of 1960. Carter got a bare majority over Ford in 1976, a result of public hostility over Watergate. The one candidate who did sweep the country was Lyndon Johnson, and he made support for civil rights central to his crusade for the Great Society. The great Democratic victories (Roosevelt and Johnson) were all progressive, highly ideological crusades against poverty and injustice.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0719-01.htm
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. Clinton was a centrist "New Democrat" and he won
Mondale and Dukakis were liberals who lost. And Carter didn't lose because he was too close to the Shah. Carter's lack of support for the Shah is what led to the Shah's downfall.

IOW, the article is ignorant crap
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mstrsplinter326 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. mondale and dukakis were weakkneed centrists
moreover consider clinton's opposition...

kerry will probably win in november, but again consider the competition...
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olddem43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Who wins or loses is a complex function of many factors,
including the state of the economy, candidate charisma, foreign affairs, incumbency and others too numerous to mention. Any analysis that attempts to show that one factor is decisive is therefore flawed.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. agreed
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 04:50 PM by sangh0
which is why anyone who thinks the answer is "move to the" followed by a direction is out of their minds, IMO.
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. I thought Kerry was "The Most Liberal Senator of All Time"
Edited on Mon Jul-19-04 02:12 PM by UdoKier
...and voted to "raise taxes" like 5,000 times (apparently just for the sake of raising taxes)

:eyes:


By the way, I thought Clinton got a pretty clear majority of the popular vote in 1996...
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JustinF Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Clinton won because of PEROT his political skills
The ONLY significant electoral victories of the right-wing of the Democratic Party were the two elections of Bill Clinton, who had the advantage of a booming economy, weak opponents, a HUGE third party drain on the Republicans, and good looks and political skill.

Other than that, the right-wing of the Democratic Party has been an utter and absolute failure. The Republicans control EVERY branch of the government and a majority of the state governorships. The Democrats have been running to the right for the past 30 years and they are becoming more and more marginalized every year for it.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Welcome to DU, Justin *wave*
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I stand corrrected...
1996 Popular vote:

Clinton: 49%
Dole: 41%
Perot: 8%

http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0781448.html

But he still did pretty damn well, and I would bet the Perot siphoned off almost as many dem votes that year as repuke votes. The only way dole would've won with the little kook out of the race would be if 90% or more of Perot supporters were repug-leaning, and I doubt that. Clinton won it on his own merits, IMO.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. Here's a thread that you might want to read.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Ok, except that I am not a purist. If I was I wouldn't be voting for K/E.
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Forkboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I love when the Kerrybots accuse people of being purists
that's what you get for not worshiping properly.

These same people would drum anyone out of DU that doesn't agree,but we're the purists :eyes:
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
12. I don't buy it...
...I believe that FDR's unprecedented re-elections had more to do with a cohesive reaction to world-wide disaster (The Great Depression and WWII), and LBJ's landslide was reaction to some shots fired in Dealey Plaza. So other than that, what'cha got?

Carter, who won in reaction to Watergate then was resultingly eviscerated? Or, Clinton, who pandered a bit much, never took a resolute stand on a whole lot, and basically rode his personal charisma to success?

Mondale, Stevenson, Dukakis, McGovern, Humphrey, Gore; they were all roasted for being too cerebral, intellectual, wonkish, what-have-you, it all adds up to the same "liberal" labelling technique.
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