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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:44 AM
Original message
"Are the Democrats devoid of ideas?"
The first question this morning on C-SPAN... Several Democratic callers thought Democrats needed leadership. A few Repub callers said Democrats did not speak out on pornography or immigration. They offer no solutions - only criticism, they said. What do you think?
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malta blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. IMHO
The democrats have spent too much time trying to become more like republicans. They have lost their focus on how to separate themselves from the GOP. I still hold out hope that they will find themselves once again.
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fighttotheend Donating Member (290 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
2. If by chance one speaks up, they are criticized by media, repukes, bush etc
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Bok_Tukalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. That is the narrative
Basically, it is the Republicans saying, "sure, we suck but at least you know how much."
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
4. depends on the democrat, doesn't it?
like george bush has any ''ideas''?

there are many democrats that offer all kinds of solutions to problems -- but like all ''liberals'' -- there's a real reflection that the world is a complex place -- and solutions have to meet that complexity.

unlike georgies notion of bombing the world to democracy.
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
5. What are republicans actually doing about porn and immigration?
they have the power to pass whatever they want.
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tnlefty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
27. I'm just curious about what repugs think dems are supposed to
say or do about porn!!! Really, I just don't get it. Do they want it banned or what???!!!

What is the deal? Isn't it fairly simple to let adults who want to view, read, purchase whatever do so and if it's not something an adult is interested in, then don't. I really don't get it.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. The Repub caller put it in the context of exploitation of women...
and Democrats should speak out agains that... or some such ...
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Republicans don't care about exploitation of women
they just say that so they can feel like they are morally superior.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. Right !
But Repubs don't claim to be supportive of women's rights in the same way Democrats do. So they don't have to answer to tht charge. Do you see? :)
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Laura PourMeADrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. I think devoid of a true leader. I think they should ALL go on a
retreat and come up with a unified vision and message. It really strikes me that they are each operating by themselves. Diversity of opinion is good and it is a stark contrast to the rubber stampers on the other side. But they need to get together and agree on basic tenets.
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CardInAustin Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. Welllllllll....
First off, let me say that just criticizing and opposing the Republican agenda is worth a LOT in my book. But it is not enough to win back the public at large.

I think the Democrats do have many good ideas, but they lack the ability to bring it home to the public in one coherent message. Yes, I know that issues are complex, and speaking of them in terms of black and white is simplistic and wrong-headed....but you go to elections with the population you have....not the population you wish you had. The democrats need to find a core simple message that gives the public a good understanding of where they stand. "Not republican" isn't good enough.....at least not when the right has about 20-25% of the American Public that would vote for a Rep candidate not matter what.

Lesson to be learned from past elections....Republican failures do NOT equal success for Democrats at the polls.

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malta blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. welcome to DU
:hi:
very good point
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CardInAustin Donating Member (102 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. Thanks!
I have lurked for a long long time. Normally do my political posting elsewhere....but that got sealed off, so now I'm starting to post a little more here.

Thanks for the welcome!! :hi:
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I think the Democrats should come up with an immigration policy...
Something that is fair to the immigrants that come here to work. Not to punish, like the Republicans, but something to reward them for certain behaviors. This is a very vulnerable position for the Republican Party. Their supporters are crying out for an immigration policy and they get nothing. Democrats could offer a plan, any plan, and itwould put the Repubs on the defensive.
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dolo amber Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #7
19. Amen
"...but you go to elections with the population you have....not the population you wish you had."

The sooner our side figures this out, the better. Welcome to DU. :hi:
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Norquist Nemesis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
9. Apparently the callers only watch the open call segment
and skip the proceedings of Congress. I watch as bill after bill and amendment after amendment submitted by Democrats are shut down on the floor. Many do not even get out of committee, so we hardly hear anything about those. The vote is almost always along party lines also, and...majority rules.

So, I'd say the caller has allowed the incessant drone running 24/7 on the RW noise machine is renting space in his/her brain.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
10. I heard most of those calls, and I started thinking about my own answer
to that quesstion. I think the Dems are lacking in leadership, and the ability to get their messages out in a way most people will pay attention to and actually understand.

I say lacking in leadership because when Dems are asked "Who is the leader of your Party, 5 people will give five different answers!

When the question is "What does the Dem Party stand for?" the answers are either WAY too long, or multi topic and unclear.

I hate to compare the two parties, but if a Pub is asked what their party stands for, the first response is lower taxes and smaller gov't. Now, this current crowd sure isn't following that at all, but you see what I mean? The short 5 word response is easy to understand and remember. THAT is what we Dems need to be able to do!!!
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julialnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
11. just read a piece on rawstory about this
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julialnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. snipped..
snipped from rawstory:

"From Goldwater to Reagan and Gingrich to Bush, Republicans have not looked to moderates to lead them. Conservatives have supplied the ideas that have given the Republican Party a recognizable identity. As a substitute for new ideas Democrats have clung to the protection of reforms implemented by their ideological ancestors. As Republicans embraced their conservatism, Democrats hid their liberalism, hoping moderation could piece together election night majorities. Bold ideas, like inspiring leadership, dont come from moderate minds. Moderate politicians grease the wheels with compromise. And so, as my Party seeks to become ever more moderate and acceptable, they become ever more devoid of the ideas that once made them great."
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Yep...I hope the moderates understand this....
without getting defensive about it. But that is the root of the problem with the Democratic Party - with the present conservatives in power.
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julialnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. more snipped
"Unfortunately, and predictably, I now hear talk of how the Democratic Party must now re-maneuver itself to appeal to people of faith. I hear that the problem isnt the message but the packaging. The party shuns liberals as if Michael Moores propaganda or voting machine conspiracy theories were the face of liberalism. So the search is on for a southern sounding, Bible toting Democrat who wont ruffle red state feathers.

What this savior says seems less important than his ability to say it with an appealing accent. I dont much care where my Democrat comes from or whether they have a twang in their voice. Being from Hollywood didnt stop Ronald Reagan from connecting with people in all parts of the country. Ill know the Democrat who gets why his party has taken a beating at the polls when I hear someone with bold new ideas equal to our problems and the guts to take his argument to a skeptical America.

Democrats cant win elections again until they put aside their fear of losing. Until that happens I keep waiting and wondering. Wheres my Bush?"
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Autonomy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
13. The "devoid of ideas" meme has a few meanings
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:07 AM by Autonomy
all equally bankrupt:

First, it means 'no new ideas not already implemented'. Most of the Democratic platforms of the past 7 decades have been implemented and are still with us, and working, and the people expect and demand them. So in this sense 'devoid of ideas' means "What have you done for me lately?"

Second, it 'devoid of ideas' means "Ideas that we Republicans like." So, iow, it means 'devoid of Republican ideas'.

Third, 'devoid of ideas' means "Clinton was never president (except when we want to remind you of Monica Lewinsky) and the 90s never happened. Watch my right hand while I make what's in the left hand disappear. Don't look behind the curtain." IOW, it's denial of the ideas that actually worked in the previous administration, which were largely rescinded by the current administration.

Fourth, it means "the Dems are not purely ideologically driven without regard to whether an ideology works or not". The Repubs have become so ideologically based that any hint of pragmatism or realism puts them in Holy War mode. The value of an idea to a Republican is directly proportional to its dysfunction. They only like ideas that don't work.



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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. And somebody made the point....
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:09 AM by kentuck
that the Republican "new" ideas are to tear down all the programs the Democrats have put in place in the last century, SS, environment legislation, minimum wage, 40-hour week, etc.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
14. I think they could stand to have some common sense proposals.
Health care and Education do not an electoral mandate make, clearly.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
21. Republicans were busy during their years in the wildnerness
The one thing that you have to give Republicans credit for is that they did not waste their time in the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. You had think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, magazines like The Weekly Standard, and god knows what else pumping out ideas and policy papers like crazy. When they took over in '94, they were ready. They still have a zillion crazy-ass ideas that they want to experiement with - school vouchers and so forth.

I don't know really know what major policy any Democrats stand behind right now.

Basically, the Republicans are the part of bad ideas, while we've become the party of no ideas.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Republican ideas are to destroy Democratic ideas of last century..
like SS, minimum wage, 40-hour week, safety and environmental issues, etc... They are not "new" ideas.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
22. This is just a STUPID Ken Mehlman talking point
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:30 AM by emulatorloo
I didn't hear the show, but I understand the whole thing was set up with a bunch of blather from the Moonie Washington Times.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
24. Brian Lamb is an idiot. Starting off the
day with a Dem bashing question, and people actually called in and responded to it? If I had been up to see it (it airs at 4AM here in CA), and gotten through, I'd have given him hell for even asking it.
A better, more honest question would have been, "Why are Republicans cheaters, liars, and crooks?"
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Spike from MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Tune in next Friday when the question is
"Are Republicans the greatest thing since sliced bread or what?"

I rarely bother watching WJ anymore but Fascist Fridays are the worst.
I did catch a few minutes this morning though because I wanted to see if they would be talking about DeLay or Miller. Nope. Just more Dem bashing. Gee, what a surprise.

Most of the callers that I heard were complete idiots too. I don't know where they get these people but I suspect they're on the payroll. Most of them sound too stupid to even be able to figure out how to dial a phone. Note: I'm talking about the right-wing nutjob callers here. The Dems and Indys usually come across well and back up what they say with facts but Lamb always tries to grill them anyway. The right-wingers of course can say anything they want and Lamb just nods in agreement. Friggin' right-wing shill.
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La Lioness Priyanka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
26. why does porn need a solution?
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. Porn IS the solution. n/t
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
31. the mainstream leaders of both parties
are utterly bereft of vision, with few exceptions.
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rbnyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
32. It's the classic case of Republicans accusing Democrats of the very things
that are wrong with the Republican Party. The Republican's belong to "special interests" (corporations) so the accuse Democrats of belonging to "special interests" (citizen action groups and organized labor). Republicans are morally bankrupt (illegal wars, torture) so they accuse Democrats of being morally bankrupt (gay rights). And Republicans are out of ideas (all surface and spin, no substance) so they accuse Democrats of being out of ideas (whenever anyone has any criticism).

And, as per usual, many Democrats help to put credibility behind these disingenuous attacks, because it is our nature to be genuinely reflective, to examine ourselves, and to acknowledge our own faults in order to grow and improve. So we ask ourselves, are these things true?*

And then there's the great Republican talking-point echo chamber that is 95% of broadcast media.

It's a wonder we have any power.

*This is not a comment on your post, which I think offers a fine opportunity to talk about this issue, but on a general tendency. (And as for that, it's not necessarily a bad tendency, we just need to be aware how it works against us.)
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agingdem Donating Member (893 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
34. No...
but they are missing a spine and cohesion.
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Poiuyt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
35. Howard Dean on Democratic Moral Values:
"It is a moral value to provide health care. It is a moral value to educate our young people. The sense of community that comes from full participation in our Democracy is a moral value. It is a moral value to make sure that we do not leave our own debts to be paid by the next generation. Honesty is a moral value."

http://www.blogforamerica.com/archives/005657.html

I read a column a couple of weeks ago with 5 simple goals for the Democratic agenda, but I can't remember where I saw it. It was similar to Dean's values above.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
36. Question should read "When can we not just get CORPORATE approved ideas?"
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 12:35 PM by calipendence
Yes, without some meaningful reform in both major parties where they are more beholden to PEOPLE instead of the corrupt influences of corporations, that is when we'll HEAR the PLENTIFUL but UNHEARD ideas out there on what to do. Of course it doesn't do us any good when the corporate media has the same problem that our parties do now!
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JaneGat Donating Member (185 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
37. Democrats have suffered the shock and awe of blinding and peevish
attacks on a system that was imperfect, but effective in attempting to insure protections, basic quality of life, and equalize the playing field for everyone. Republicans have made sweeping generalities as to how they will run a "leaner" government, but never court the American public with specifics.

Democratic leadership not only has an opportunity right now, but an obligation to call on repubs to explain exactly what they mean when they say they are going to "cut spending and eliminate useless programs." Reporters frame that rhetoric as cutting pork, not mentioning that repubs mean to eliminate job safety and wage protection, water, air and food safety, public schools, SS,-- basically, all programs/agencies.

If Democratic leadership doesn't agree with gutting the government, they should challenge the other side to speak in specifics about their plans, rather than to get sidetracked with the twisted issues the repubs want Dems to get lost in.
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Tactical Progressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
38. Democrats have always been the party of ideas
That's how we got to the America we see today.

Republicans like to call dismantling those ideas and giving all the money and power to the already wealthy 'ideas'. Their 'ideas' are the destruction of real ideas.

Dems are always so defensively looking to protect themselves 'but.. but.. but.. I do have some ideas, blah blah wonk blah blah blah. The thing to do is just throw their lies back in their face, or more accurately in the face of the media whores who shill for them constantly now.

Destroying Social Security isn't an idea, it is the destruction of an idea. Burning down a house isn't an idea, Mr media whore.
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Perky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
39. OMG I said help us win

When will you ultra-lefties wake up an understand: Politcal Power is far more important than Political principle!!!

Look in order to gain power. it has to be more than "we hate the incumbent" You also have to persuade the american populace to trust your frontman.


The middle would rather stay with a republican they hate than elect a liberal they fear. Perhaps that is wrong-headed on the elecotrate part but it is the political reality.

So long as the republican sucessfully play the fear card we lose.

To win the middle has to trust you. Poster children for abject liberalism are not the spokesmodels we need in 2006.

Again I am not talking about liberal principles here I am talking about winning an election.
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KnowerOfLogic Donating Member (841 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. "Ultra-lefties" are also talking about winning elections. What you fail
to consider is that blatant political calculation and opportunism turns away more voters than it wins. Standing on principle will gain respect for the party, even from people who may not agree with each and every principle.
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Perky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Bull shit
Sorry...but whenever we have nominated a principled liberal:

McGovern, Dukakis, Mondale we have bee routed. The american elecortate does not vote on principles. They don't vote on gravitas....they vote on Trust and Charisma.

That is why Big Dawg won and why Al Gore and John Kerry did not pull away at the end. They were shallower on Charisma and the Repukes sucessfully played the trust card.

We need leadeship that is atrractive to the middle because if we are honest the coalition is not strong enough to carry any state not in the northeast alone.




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KnowerOfLogic Donating Member (841 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
40. To a large extent, yes, and devoid of courage, as well. Sure, there are
many democrats who have ideas and courage, but they are not among what could be called the party's leadership. The leadership is primarily concerned with "playing it safe" in order to advance their own careers. Many on this forum will call this "democrat bashing," but the democratic party has to admit that it has a problem before it is going to be able to solve it.
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