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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:35 AM
Original message
"The purpose of a political party...is to win elections."
"The purpose of a political party in a democracy is to win elections."
-James Carville, Meet the Press, Nov. 14, 2004

Well...I guess.
Ultimately, if you don't win elections, you don't have much of a chance of effecting changes in government.

So does it come down to "winning" at any and all cost?
Are we willing to do that?
Our opponents certainly seem to be.
What's your take?
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Zynx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Well, we know the Republicans will do and say anything to win.
When they are willing to say that Democrats are traitors and that if you vote for the Democrats terrorists will kill you, that's pulling out all the stops.
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IkeWarnedUs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. Those are just some of the "stops"
When the Republican party is willing to keep people from legally voting through fraudulant purging of voter rolls and intimidation - when they are willing to look voters in the eyes (camera) and lie like dogs - when they are willing to literally buy the media to control the message and insure no one will call them on their lies - when they are willing to steal and erase people's votes by mandating they vote with machines allowing them to do so - THAT'S pulling out all the stops.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Well, that's some food for thought from James -- thanks for posting!
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. The purpose of a political party
is also to embody a set of core principles, values and beliefs. If a party's only purpose is to win elections, then why don't we all just become Republicans so we can be on the winning team, or nominate Jeb Bush to run at the top of our ticket next election?

I won't belong to a party that doesn't have at least some underlying principles that I agree with.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. "any and all costs" need to be clarified
but it is certainly true that WINNING is the goal and the focus should not be taken off it.

just get the ground rules clear.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Things that drive me nuts....
...about how Democrats go into elections (in answer to your question, I think it is important to "do what it takes to win" but I'm not sure if I would sanction tactics like the Swift Throat Liars for Bush, or rigging airplanes to crash....)

But two things that drive me nuts about how Democratic candidates go into campaigns are:

They give their opponent a completely free pass on the most heinous things their opponent has done, while the opponent gleefully spreads lies 24/7 about something the Democrat has not even done

It's a rare Democrat who, on the pundit shows, knows how to verbally come back with a straightforward punch to the face on any question

Democratic "leaders" are the first to "pooh-pooh" any revelations of "misbehavior" by their "friends across the aisle." Whereas, their friends across the aisle drag the swamps looking for any little thing they can manipulate, twist, distort and use in an ad.

Democrats use the Repugs terms to describe the Repugs -- I say, immediately drop all references to "the right" "the religous right" or "conservatives." That subconsciously gives the party a blessing every time it's said. I prefer the terms, "fanatics" "corporatists" and "the anti-democracy party."

But, yes, Democratics do need to do what has to be done to win. Otherwise, our so-called democracy will never be revived.

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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. bingo. it's our rhetoric that needs to be stepped up
we don't need to resort to the criminal and reprehensible behavior of the repugs, but we DO need to take the fight to them as far as propaganda goes.

propaganda and disinformation was specifically designed to defeat the truth. in the loooooong run, perhaps you can argue that the truth will prevail. but we need to arm the truth to the teeth in order to defeat the propaganda here and now, before things get even worse.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. Yep
"...but we need to arm the truth to the teeth in order to defeat the propaganda here and now, before things get even worse."

Even though the Democratic line during this past election cycle was, "this is the most important election of our lifetime," -- they still don't seem to realize it! Or behave like it!

Has any Democratic "leader" come out in favor of the recounts that us the people, not them, are so vigorously pursuing?

Has anyone heard from the lips of a Democratic leader (excepting the Congressional Black Caucus -- they are usually the only ones consistently speaking truth to power) how it is WRONG and highly SUSPICIOUS that every electronic voting machine is owned by a party-faithful Republican?

Has any Democratic leader come out and said it is HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS that exit polls only stopped being accurate since George W. Bush entered presidential politics?

Sad, isn't it.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
5. What are the principles of the Dem. Party???
All through the campaign people did not know what the Demkocratic Party stands for. What are the principles that any American can repeat after hearing them a few times?? I am a Democrat because------
The Democratic party stands for---------.
Principles are those things that remain the same--no matter who is the Candidate.

This is how the Republicans have fed American people the myth which they believe--Democrats have no principles.

Even Celinda Lake and Ken Mellman both Dem Pollsters have said. A laundry list of programs no longer cuts it. ( Post Election Analysis on C-Span)

This is not to flame rather to make us think and work together to come up with a broad party message.


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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Right
Howard Dean's message
TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK
worked so well for me

My own bullet points on what the Democratic Party stands for:

Maximum on the minimum wage
Ending welfare for the wealthy
Keeping American jobs in America
Healthy healthcare for all
Freedom in the land of the free
Real world national security, not "Romper Room" national security
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missouri dem Donating Member (298 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
6. We need new leadership and to stop being republican lite.
The purpose of the leadership of a political party is to win elections. They haven't been doing it.

As the republicans have moved the country to the right the democratic leadership has moved our positions right also. We have stopped talking to the 50 million people that do not vote.
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quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. Hear, hear
n/t
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. coming from Carville,
that's the prelude to moving even further rightward.
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Moonbeam_Starlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
8. I don't know
But you know what I DO know? Dem leadership has been limper than day old spaghetti for years now. I kept my mouth shut for the past year about this, I was hoping they were really fighting. I joined in circling the wagons around Kerry and I'm still not going to badmouth him, but

DAMMIT

you CANNOT win elections when you are a bunch of WIMPS.

Dems need to find THEIR fucking core values again. At least the Dems "in charge" do, or they need to get the hell out of the way. Because a hell of a lot of us everyday Dems NEVER forgot what we were about and NEVER were willing to give those vipers in the other party a fucking INCH.

Sorry, I'm in a scrappy mood this morn.
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missouri dem Donating Member (298 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. You got it. Lead, Follow or get the Hell out of our way.
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OneThirty8 Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
10. Of course we band together to win.
That's the point of a party, but what do we win if we don't stand for something? If we don't all have enough in common, then we might as well be arbitrarily making teams like the gym teacher did for the football teams in P.E. class. We have goals, and we band together to try and get in and achieve them. It's not just about getting elected - it's about getting elected so we can make a change for the better.

What we need to do is stop letting the other team continue to make the rules of engagement. We need to force them to actually talk about the issues we care about instead of repeating sound-bites that do nothing but demonize us and our goals. They're too good at playing that way. They've made us all out to be a bunch of godless, hippie, liberal,non-troop-supportin', homosexual, baby-killers. I don't think that any one of us would argue that abortion is a pretty thing and that every girl should have at least one - quite the opposite, at least among people I know. We support the troops - that's why we don't want to keep sending them off to die. Many of us are religious, and the rest of us still have strong moral beliefs. Most of us are probably heterosexual, but recognize gay people as equal members of our society who are entitled to the same rights and privileges as the rest of us. We just need to be able to actually have this conversation. We need to force it upon the other side. And, we need to keep them so busy with the real argument that they don't run a campaign of character assassination and lies. That'll be the hard part, but I think we can do it. We're smart. We've got to put our brains to use. In an open and honest debate, we've got the upper hand. Combining our strengths to drag the other side onto our home court, kicking and screaming if need be, is the point of having a party, at least in my opinion.
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Moonbeam_Starlight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Yep yep yep yep yep
I could not have put it better myself.

I keep wondering why Dems don't start saying "why won't the republicans talk about homelessness? Why won't republicans talk about all the Americans without health care? Why won't republicans talk about all the job losses? What's wrong with them? Don't they CARE?"

WE need to frame it. WE are the ones who care about the least among us and want all of us to do better, not just the "haves" (bush's base, remember).

Loud and strong, yelling it at the top of our lungs if necessary:

1. EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL, and YES that does include our gay brothers and sisters.

2. SUPPORT PUBLIC EDUCATION OR GET THE FUCK OUT OF OFFICE.

3. START WORKING ON REAL HEALTHCARE ANSWERS FOR ALL AMERICANS and NO lip service. REAL work. In the richest country on earth, NO ONE should be patching up a major wound with duct tape and hydrogen peroxide like guys where my husband works do. They work out in the warehouse and can't even afford to go to the doctor. THAT is a crying shame and needs to be #1 on our agenda as AMERICANS.

4. JOBS JOBS JOBS. We are a weaker country when our own citizens cannot find jobs. When we have to work three part-time jobs and have no health insurance from any of them. Find a way to support WORKERS and get your nose out of corporate America's crotch. Maybe the people running the corporations will realize they need to actually DO SOMETHING instead of just getting fellated by BOTH parties (but especially the repukes) all the time.

Etc. There's much more. For instance, why was the environment hardly a blip on this year's election radar? WHY?
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
17. Don't forgot -- Kerry did win this election
And so probably did a lot of senatorial candidates who did not "win" officially. Our number one priority now should be contesting this election. That should be a bi-partison issue.
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American Tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
18. That ISN'T the purpose of a political party
Winning elections is only a means to an end. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we do get elected, of course, since words and principles are virtually worthless if you don't hold an office through which to enact change.

But this isn't like a football game. I suspect very few of us came here merely for partisan competition between two arbitrarily defined teams. We came here because as progressives we believe in something and we want to change our world.

On Black Tuesday I did feel for John Kerry on a personal level, and it hurt to be on the losing side. It was disappointing for several days, but my pride will surely survive it.

My heart has broken because of how I knew America may suffer in the ensuing years, perhaps irrevocably. To me, it felt like the end of all hope. And that causes me lasting grief.

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The Wielding Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
19. The "BILL OF RIGHTS PARTY"aka USA DEMS
How many fundamentalists can argue with basis for our Republican Democracy.
We've already lost on the battle to fight gun control as I think we had little stand.
It's, in or out, with Basic civil liberties. We can prove to the Fundies that we have the moral high ground because we will protect their's and our freedom of religion,
speech,press,assembly,
due process of law,
minority rights,rights for women,
right of people to keep and bear arms,
no unreasonable home search or seizure, protection from arbitrary government actions,
speedy and public trial confronted by accuser,trail by jury,reasonable bail , government cannot impose unreasonable fines or inhumane punishments,
other rights not mentioned here but in the constitution are to be upheld,
people and states are free to act outside of specific laws governed under by the federal government under the constitution.
Isn't that what we stand for ?
Plus we could hire a strong Peace Officer type candidate for President who could handle the question of attack from any one who would mess with these rights inside or outside of the country.
I think that would counter balance the right as well as protect our freedoms and secure our minorities.
How does this sound to you guys?
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The Wielding Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Sorry it's choppy and reads awkardly. I just had on of those .......
Gee this is profound moments . Now it just seems too simple. Any
ideas to prop this thing up?
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opihimoimoi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
21. In the OLD DAZE, Leaders who fail.. they get put aside in favor of Leaders
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 11:27 AM by opihimoimoi
that win in Battle.

Lookit our Human History.....

Ideas and Concepts are like the Warrior Leaders too. They Both stand the test of Time, the weaker yeilds to the Mightier, etc.

Ocassionaly, there are Leaders who WANT TO BE LEADERS SO BAD THEY LIE CHEAT STEAL AND KILL. Most of us have read our Human History to the degree we know which ones are the worst. But that is:: THEM...

We want to know about NOW. Where are the LEADERS we NEED, those who can STAND up to do the FIGHTING/FLIRTING/WOOING/LEADING/INSPIRING/
PRODDING/CONVINCING/TEACHING/ and MOVE US FORWARD....?

Our Search has been in Vain for there sems to be none described on the DEM Side of things. But take Heart...neither has the Pubs... they just pick any ole dummy and make believe he is such a LEADER.

Knowing this, we know we can do Better. All we gatta do is pick a better dummy than Bush, its easier said than done, and counter the Pubs...

"When NO CAN, no can; and when CAN, can: Com'on guys its a CAN DO. Hubert Flottz for Prez

Opi,
Campaign Lolo
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
22. No--it's to advance an agenda agreed upon by its members
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 11:33 AM by jpgray
And you have to find a way to do that even when you lose.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
23. "does it come down to "winning" at any and all cost?"
if it doesn't, we'll never win again.
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