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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:05 AM
Original message
What I've learned from some reading DU today
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 12:06 AM by jpgray
Every Democratic congressperson (but especially every Senator) is spineless. You cannot name a single one that does not fail some DU litmus test. Byrd was lionized during the runup to the Iraq war, yet the thrown rose petals were strangely absent when he voted for cloture on the Federal Marriage Amendment. They were also absent when he voted "no" today and did not speak up on the issue of Ohio and voter fraud. Throw him under the bus.

Mark Dayton was a hero for not voting "yea" on the IWR and bringing up the discrepancies with NORAD, Rumsfeld, etc. during 9/11. Now he is tarred and feathered as a craven coward and people are planning to destroy him before he can be re-elected because he disagreed with Boxer's method of challenging the election results.

Dennis? A great man and probably the closest to what you're looking for, but I hope you don't think burning a flag is an expression of your free speech rights. Hope you don't like iron-clad consistency on abortion.

Why does reading some posters' list of heroes and villains of the Democratic Party over the course of a few days give me whiplash? Why does DU first kingmake and then pauperize a politician within the course of a week, or a few hours? It's fascinating to me that the only positions a politician may occupy for some is either that of the most glorified hero or that of the most dastardly and villainous traitor to democracy. Isn't black and white thinking something for the other side to deal in?

Wait wait, there are some who are not spineless, you say? Oh yes, they have no substantial written record of views on controversial issues. They have not been forced into an exclusive stance between two bad and imperfect choices many times over a period of years. That's the problem some here have with the Congress--they build each vote into a good choice and an evil choice, and whatever a congresscritter's position was on the most recent one was will reflect the level of breathless praise or vitriolic hatred elements of DU will heap at his or her feet.

You must accept that there are no perfect heroes or utterly depraved villains in this party. When one disappoints you, by all means be disappointed, but I don't see the sense in creating a "forever tarnished and irredeemable" bin when politicians are routinely dusted off and taken out every time the next controversial vote comes along. Hillary was a Titan for a few hours today and then declared lower than the lowest bugs that walk the Earth. It's madness to me.

If you can explain it to me, I will be forever grateful. I can't make any sense of it.
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Lautremont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. That pretty much describes my feelings.
I thought it was because I was a Canadian and don't really know who most of these people are, or what the difference is between a senator and a congressman, or why there are two senators for every state (if that's in fact true), and just what was going on in the last forty-five minutes of "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington."
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greenohio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
2. More signs of wisdom on DU.
Excellent post.
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
53. Yes, we know you to be one of DU's most active supporters
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greenohio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #53
69. Nice of you to say. Thank you.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
3. I'll explain it to you
None of them have enough spine. We need an FDR. A Kennedy. A Truman. A leader. That's all we ask for. When one of them stands up to the status quo, she/he's the hero of the moment.

It's not black/white thinking at all, it's demanding a level of talent that is out there but not present in the party.
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. And none of them...
ever made unpopular decisions that got them vilified by former supporters? (Hint: Hiroshima. Vietnam.)
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. It's not making bad decisions
everyone makes bad decisions. It's being a leader who really doesn't give a damn what the latest Zogby says.


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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
65. You do know Zogby didn't exist then, right?
Could any of these men get elected today? Probably Kennedy - he was charismatic enough. FDR? Hah, you think a disabled man could get elected Pres in the TV age no matter how brilliant he is? But all of them made shitloads of compromises to get things done that would have been VERY unpopular with their base. ALL of them played politics at one time or another. They're remembered as great because they were very, very good at it.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. These men would also fail DU's test
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 12:25 AM by jpgray
FDR: Had no qualms avoiding the issue of racism and civil rights to keep the Solid South together. Interned the Japanese.

Kennedy: We were just talking about voter fraud. Escalated America's involvement in Vietnam. Bay of Pigs, anyone?

Truman: Started a doctrine that led to the start of totalitarian rule in Iran, Guatemala and elsewhere. Dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

I could go on for these three names. Let me say that people on this board have declared Democratic congresspeople worthless and spineless for far lesser offenses.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Thank you JP, I admire all them but damn its not like they were
saints.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Ferchrissake JP
there are 55,000 members of DU. Just a little bit unrealistic to think their might be some disagreement on who rocks and who doesn't?

The point is this: no one, repeat NO ONE in the Democratic Party today is of the caliber of any of these men. And there's is no reason in particular why we shouldn't be able to cultivate talent like that.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I have no problem with disagreement on who rocks and who doesn't
I do have a problem understanding how a politician can go from absolute zero to absolute hero in forty hours, back to absolute zero again and then three weeks later become an absolute hero. To me that would probably just seem like a series of deplorable and excellent votes. I don't like the absolutism of it, and I don't like how some folks clamor ceaselessly for one thing, and then move the bar a little further when they get it and proclaim the once so-valued action a failure. It's like a baby taking its first steps and getting smacked for not running a marathon. We need to gradually move our party out of its weak state--it isn't going to happen all at once and we should appreciate small successes when we can.
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BrendaStarr Donating Member (491 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
20. Do you want to explain just how Kennedy escalated the Vietnam war?
By sending a few more advisors?

BS

In fact, in the 90s papers were found that showed that Kennedy had signed papers to take out 1000 or those advisors by the end of '63 when he died and to to take the rest out by 1965.

And since you are spouting Republican talking points on Kennedy, maybe you want to explain where you got that disinformation.

And if you are unhappy with a forum then you don't belong there.

This is what Democratic Underground is and we are proud of it.

We will not for led by the nose like the REpublicans and certainly not by the baser instincts of the DLC.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. What a shame that you can't recognize
a thoughtful, wise and knowledgeable post for what it is. Instead, you attack the poster and tell him/her to leave, as well as accuse the poster of spouting republican talking points. Then you have the gall to speak for all members of DU. You don't speak for me, whereas the OP most certainly does.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
25. What you've done in that post is EXACTLY what he's talking about.
You disagree with him, so he must be spouting RW talking points? He's one of the most intelligent and pragmatic DUers on the boards.

I disagree with him many times, but those disagreements make me take a step back and re-examine my own positions. I have a hearty respect for that.

I started a gloom and doom post yesterday, then asked the Mods to lock it. I was WRONG, and it was exactly the type of post JP referred to.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #25
59. blondeatlast, That Sounds Like A Really Mature Thing To Do.
it's heartening to find these golden threads on DU today.
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #20
64. You certainly don't speak for me sister!
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #20
90. Thank you - I heartly concurr.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
40. Can you imagine the Humphrey wing on DU after the WV primary?
You would be reading about Sam Giancanna and the unions for years?
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
72. Let me continue where you started
FDR - gave us the new deal but NEVER intended for it to be permanant. Also a LIHOP theory on Pearl Harbor.

Kennedy - welfare reform plans

Johnson - school voucher and welfare reform plans

If there had been a DU during them days, none of them would be Dem heroes.
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
94. I worship those three guys
in spite of them all committing very dishonorable deeds. If you do find the perfect politician, we'll nail him/her on the cross. Jesus Christ doesn't run for office (except in the form of George W. Bush) so we need to make do with what we have.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 06:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
23. "All we ask for?"
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 06:59 AM by blondeatlast
That's asking nearly the impossible. Those are once in a lifetime heroes.

Edit: typing.
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The Gigmeister Donating Member (331 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #3
27. Oh Please! FDR, Truman and JFK would have been crusified here!!
FDR for "Letting Pearl Harbor Happen".

Truman for "Committing Genocide on the Yellow Man".

Kennedy for "Being the Head Sysop behind the Bay of Pigs".


There is no pleasing the vast majority here, I'm afraid. The Democratic Party (Yes, even as it exists today in its "Pepuke Lite" form) has stood up for Liberals, Progressives, Minorities, Women, and the Average American since its inception...And it stands up for those peoples today. Yet, the majority on this site HATE our party.

No...FDR, Truman and Kennedy wouldn't have made these people happy.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. You are correct, sir.
We like to think we have viable alternatives, but when we consider the machinations of the Radical Right, we don't. The Democrats are our only hope right now.

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ewulf Donating Member (156 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:52 PM
Response to Reply #27
83. The Democratic Party hasn't always stood for such noble causes,
there was a time when it was the party of racism and corruption. Jefferson and Jackson where not always on the progressive side of every issue, and many later Democrats, be them Dixiecrats or plotters for Tammany Hall, were far worse. But that was a long time ago.

In this century, and the last, The Party has shown itself to consistently favor the better, smarter, and fairer policies. Its leaders, like Trueman, Kennedy, FDR, Clinton, and Wilson, all at least did more good for our country than they did harm. I don't know that I could say the same for Hoover, Nixon, Reagan or Bush.

Does the majority on this site really hate the party? That would be pretty unfortunate.
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IthinkThereforeIAM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #27
96. yes...

... it is all "cult of personality".... cheap and superficial, if not pseudo-aesthetic criteria. Too much schlock journalism influence in this society, whether we see it or not (ET!, Access Hollywood, etc) that panders to attention grabbing and buries the substance (doesn't fit in with the sound bite, so they ignore it).

Taking a political "loss" now often means having REAL political capital to spend later. Just look at the deals made in the Senate the past five years.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
38. You would have hated all three of them too
FDR? Japanese internment and packing the Supreme Court. Plus, he smoked.

Kennedy? Wasn't that brave on Civil Rights. Got us started in Vietnam. Risked war over Cuban Missles. (You know, DU would have been freaking out over that one had it existed).

Truman? Dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Started the Cold War.
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Grooner Five Donating Member (319 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #38
42. Not to divert, but...
It's not entirely fair to say that Truman "started" the Cold War. He did have a little help from Joseph Stalin.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. I know that
But I also know in the fictional DU of 1948, there would be plenty of posters who would see Truman as a madman corporate stooge out to destroy the workers' paradise of the Soviet Union.
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trogdor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #3
68. You can always pick off one or two on any given issue.
It might not always be the same people, but there are always a couple who are receptive to whatever bullshit you're trying to pull. The GOoPers know this, and it's usually enough to get their odious agenda passed.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm gonna become real unpopular for this....
"Why does reading some posters' list of heroes and villains of the Democratic Party over the course of a few days give me whiplash? Why does DU first kingmake and then pauperize a politician within the course of a week, or a few hours? It's fascinating to me that the only positions a politician may occupy for some is either that of the most glorified hero or that of the most dastardly and villainous traitor to democracy. Isn't black and white thinking something for the other side to deal in?"

Okay, get the chicken feathers and tar ready for me :D :

Mass hysteria is a social phenomenon often occurring among otherwise healthy people who suddenly believe they have been made ill by some external factor. These people often have shared beliefs about the cause of the symptom6. In another study, conducted in South Africa14, it appears that common beliefs in witchcraft as the cause of the mass hysteria were what held the group together. In societies where there are two or more medical systems that are used to explain disease, it is possible that illness that cannot be explained can be attributed to witchcraft and sorcery. In our study, however, beliefs in witchcraft and sorcery did not come up, as the main cause of the itching was said to be some white powder.

Mass hysteria spreads by sight and or sound. It also occurs most often among adolescents or preadolescents. In groups of students, its incidence is reportedly, higher among girls than boys6,7,9,. In most cases "victims" return to a normal state of health soon after being convinced that the illness is over or never existed15. Individuals continually engage in reality testing by comparing their perceptions with those of others round them. Since individuals are more dependent upon others and less on themselves in their construction of social reality, an opinion, attitude or conviction is correct, valid and proper to the extent that it is anchored in a group of people with similar beliefs, opinions and attitudes16.

(....)

Mass hysteria, should be regarded as a phenomenon with certain characteristics7:

1. First, it is an outbreak of abnormal illness behaviour that cannot be explained by physical disease.

2. Secondly, it affects people who would normally not behave in this fashion.

3. Thirdly, it excludes symptoms deliberately provoked in groups gatheredfor that purpose as occurs in many
charismatic sects.

4. Anxiety is always present but is not a prominent feature. Mass anxiety hysteria covers outbreaks demarcated

by the phenomena of anxiety, abdominal pain, chest tightness, dizziness, fainting, headache, hyperventilation, nausea and palpitations.

Further consequence of the proposed definition of mass hysteria is the support it gives to the view that such behaviour is maladaptive7. The loss of internal restraints permits the release of previously suppressed behaviours17 and contagion can make people do things that they would not do under normal circumstances. Some of the learners in our study reported taking off their clothes so that they could scratch themselves. Cool air reportedly made them feel better. Under normal circumstances this would be considered exhibitionist behaviour and would be considered socially unacceptable

Although the methodology used in this study differs from that used in the other studies7,9,14, the authors do note, however, that symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, hyperventilation, chest tightness, and nausea were also reported by the learners in their study. It is significant that few reports of mass anxiety hysteria contain any reference to external stress or tension. The occurrence of collective behaviour cannot itself be taken as proof of pre- existing tension, it can be inferred if emotional difficulties or stresses are identified prior to the outbreak7.

What is communicated in mass anxiety hysteria is not any single behaviour or a fantasy idea but a collective feeling - anxiety. It is not the idea of anxiety that is contagious, but anxiety itself 7.

(....)

Recommended Intervention:
Researchers on Mass Hysteria 6,7,9, seem to agree that, cases of Mass Hysteria should be handled thus:
1. Time should not be wasted in a fruitless search for environmental precipitants, which by reinforcing behaviour may serve to prolong the episode. Mass hysteria should not be a diagnosis of exclusion, after all the physical , chemical and biological factors have been ruled out then it should be made.

2. Group anxiety should be reduced.

3. Statements denying the role of the presumed agent should be made by those in authority. Public health statements can help terminate these epidemics. A temporary school closure may be necessary Separating learners and minimising contact among those affected and those not affected may be successful. This strategy was adopted by one of the headmasters in the affected schools and no further reports of itching were received.

4. Setting of limits. Some headmasters in our study, set limits to the itching
and told those who were still itching to stay at home until it stopped.


http://psychosocial.com/current_2002/MASS_HYSTERIA.HTML
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
67. PLEASE make this its own thread..I'll nominate it for the home page
:thumbsup:
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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
7. DU is 60,000 strong, of course there are divergent views here
I'm not looking for perfection. I know I'll never find it.

What I am looking for is some sign of willingness by the Democratic leadership to oppose the bush regime. After four years of disappointment on that score, today I witnessed yet another opportunity slip through my party's fingers. All I wanted was for there to be one moment of unity, one symbolic vote of opposition cast, and it didn't happen.

I'm don't think I'm expecting too much. I'm sure getting pretty tired of being let down though.
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
50. Don't fool yourself
DU is nowhere near 60,000 strong. 3,000 active posters perhaps, maybe a few more, but nowhere near 60,000.
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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #50
52. Whatever
The point's still the same. There are a lot of us and as a result there is going to be a wide diversity of voices.
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anitar1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:23 AM
Response to Original message
8. I Am As Old As The Hills
and have been active politically all my adult life. My observation is that a lot of people are looking for a saviour to ride in and rescue us. We pin our hopes on our elected representatives and when they don't ride to the rescue , they are reviled. It has taken a long time for us to allow this mess and now everyone is angry. I am angry also , but realize that those of my generation were happy to sit back and let someone else do it for them. In the meantime, everything went to hell and suddenly people are shocked and depressed. Where is our saviour? WE are our saviours. It is up to us to be determined enough to somehow overcome and not allow this to happen again. I think there are a few good people in D.C. but just a few. We have to vote against the system next time around. At this point I feel like dropping out, but I won't. I can't. I heard Randi Rhoades say today that we have a choice in 06. Either don't vote at all or vote only for those who belong to to the little parties. Let these jackals know where we stand. I agree.Get rid of all these entrenched politicians.I can no longer support the Democratic Party.Have been a dem for 52 years and I have had it.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. Amen
:thumbsup:
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. I disagree with that strategy at this time
I'm not convinced there will ever be broad enough support for a true progressive platform without a media machine which is able to combat the right wing's, and I'm not convinced that starting a new one in a little party will be easier than taking back the controls of one that is already well-established. If we went from someone like Polk to someone like FDR, we can change the direction of the party again. I may be wrong (these things aren't within my experience, obviously) but I hope tearing away some of the more corporate influence from this party will be easier than taking on two entrenched political parties. Moreover, this way we don't cede the reins to the Republicans while we're locked in a death struggle with the Democrats.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
11. What you're saying is basically the same thing as saying
our party is FUCKED.

You're right- none of our Congresspeople are worth shit, basically.
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Redleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. That's a different reading of what I saw.
To each his own.
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Guaranteed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. If we're going to let our party members just vote any old way,
that's a good way of knowing that it's fucked.
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Redleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
13. Bravo! Well said.
Excellent commentary.
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Debs Donating Member (723 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 01:43 AM
Response to Original message
19. I have no heros
Nor am I looking for any. Eugene Debs once said if I could lead you to the promised land like Moses, I would not do so, because if I could lead you in someone else could lead you out. I dont expect politicians I respect like Kucinich to agree with me all the time nor to never change their minds. I do expect them to have principle and courage. What I cannot abide is political cowardice and I have seen too much of it lately. As for dems right now I am reminded of a column where the writer said about Dems, there is something fascinating about watching an invertebrea trying to stand up for something
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
22. I can't explain it at all, but it needed to be said.
Thank you for doing so.

I think we may be heartened by the Gonzalez vote. I watched the hearings, and was proud of the Dems who questioned him, Senator Kennedy even held his own with Specter.

Take heart, Democrats. There's fight in the ol' burro yet.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:05 AM
Response to Original message
24. I expect some common sense to prevail around a
set of clearly defined principles held by the party. What I see is a whole lot of CYA and doublespeak. "Stand for something" is all that a lot of us are saying. We don't need heroes. We need leaders with principles and who aren't afraid to stand by them.
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proudbluestater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
26. What about Ted Kennedy?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #26
41. Apparently, he needs to go as well.
It's a purge!!!
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Amigust Donating Member (568 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #26
74. He's one of the power moguls who has let the party become a has-been
while the radicals have been carefully solidifying their infrastructure throughout the nation.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
29. It's a group mentality. Remember that Will Pitt's post yesterday was
massively in favor of the Dem's action. You can't condemn a large mass of people for the comments of the few.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
30. This thread nicely represents the divide in the Democratic party...
...where one side considers ANY criticism of ANY Dem representative to be out of place...and the other side that simply wants good government and representation.

One side says this is impossible if you want Democrats to 'win' elections because they must go along to get along. The other side disagrees and thinks a loyal opposition will provide the checks and balances needed to keep the GOP from taking more power than granted them by the Constitution.

This is really a battle between the left and right of the Democratic party...the moderates and progressives. But beyond all of this...we're witnesses to the most corrupt government in our lifetimes and something has to be done about it. To many of us...going along to get along is not the answer.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:05 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. You make a far too easily overlooked point, Q.
An awful lot of the Dems in the House and Senate are old-school politicians. They come from the times when compromise was worked out for the good of the country.

Now the opposition won't consider that for a moment. It's winner take all, the nation be damned. Our Dems don't know how to battle this.

I'm very, very liberal, but many on this board see me as moderate because I see the former as the better alternative.

I've also come to see that it will no longer work though.

This is a fundamental flaw in dem politics that must be worked out if the party is to survive; which I sincerely want it to.
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Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #31
36. But these are different times...
...when compromise becomes betrayal. This is not simply a 'bad' government...they have committed crimes against the state and humanity. No politician should be expected to compromise with corruption.

After four years the Democrats STILL can't figure out that the Bushies think of 'bipartisanship' as date rape? They can't comprehend that the Bushie Republicans are taking advantage of 9-11 to start a war that didn't need to happen? They can't think far enough ahead to realize that the Patriot Act and their reluctance to force election reform is destroying civil rights and liberties?

Can you understand why so many think that Democrats are in on the 'take'? Democrats have watched as their party has given up on fighting for what is right and good about America. It's not that they're not fighting hard enough...it's that they're not fighting at all.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. I just posted a thread regarding this, and would really appreciate
your input.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. Thank you, Q.
Well said. Going along will be the death of the nation. There has probably been no other time that this democracy has been more at risk since the Civil War than now. In fact, the whole concept of democracy is at stake. We need principled leaders, not Johnny-come-latelys or Me-too guys who line up after the damage is done. I loved it that Barbara Boxer and Stephanie Tubbs Jones both took a stand and did not back down. They did not apologize for their position either, nor did they feel the need to reassure the right that "President Bush is a nice man." They stated the principle which they sought to defend--the integrity of the vote--and stood firmly. Now, if that's too strong for some of these Dems, then they deserve the party they get. I don't have to stand by and acquiesce. I lived in a theocracy for an extended period of time. Surefire way to lose all freedom is to never take a stand and we will continue to slide down this greased slope to oblivion.
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ClarkUSA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #32
85. Well-said, Q., blondeatlast, and Skidmore...
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #32
93. Well said also.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #30
49. Where do I object to criticism?
You must have brought that idea with you into this thread, because it doesn't exist anywhere other than in your post.

"where one side considers ANY criticism of ANY Dem representative to be out of place...and the other side that simply wants good government and representation."

This is about the laziest, most disingenous and blatantly self-serving description of the divide in the party I have ever seen. And shamefully representative of the black and white thinking that is so nonsensical to me. Either we're with you or against you, eh Q? My side stands for freedom, and the other is a group of evil folks plotting to drown out all criticism? Right--your logic and rhetoric would fit in well with George W Bush's.

My beef is not with those who rightly criticize the party, it's with those who punish the party's small progress because it doesn't instantly grant all their wishes like some magic genie in a lamp. It's with those who are headless chickens remaking their political good and evil lists based solely on the most recent vote they feel is "the battle for the soul of the Democratic Party." This is not a case to excuse the lame strategy and brainless pandering the party is involved in, but it is a case to cease pretending that just holding strong beliefs will cause them to prevail. Dennis wins that contest any day, and I caucused for the man, but the reason he lost is because he was strategically outmatched by the other candidates. He couldn't put forth his message properly in a hostile system. Neither could Dean, though he was more successful. If you don't recognize the hostility of the system, and that it will move to crush these beliefs, you will always be stupefied and involved in conspiracy theory crafting to explain why your strongly held beliefs lose out time and time again.

I'm not interested in the Democratic Party following some Peter the Hermit and getting eviscerated by a Republican Party that values strategy as much as their right-wing economic elitism. Others apparently are. Strength of belief alone isn't enough--we need to make a more friendly environment for progressive views, and that means putting sympathetic people in office to change the system. They don't have to be wholly in line with every single view I hold, they just have to make progress and I'll be happy. You and others apparently want an instantaneous shift from a corporate-pandering directionless party to a unified progressive policy powerhouse--it doesn't happen overnight.

The Republicans spent thirty years building their message and redefining their party--we should be prepared to do the same. People that want instant gratification or for the party to run a marathon before taking its baby steps are getting in the way of progressive ideas, in my view.
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SCRUBDASHRUB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #49
76. Re: "People that want instant gratification or for the
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 08:32 PM by SCRUBDASHRUB
party to run a marathon before taking its baby steps are getting in the way of progressive ideas, in my view."

You hit the nail right on the head, my friend.

Thanks for your thoughtful and thought-provoking post.
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moggie12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #49
106. Wow, jpgray, eloquent...
I also wince at the widespread inability to accept baby steps as a good sign. Rebuilding the Party is going to be a long process. Some want us to do the 100-yard dash while we're still trying to regain our footing.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
99. Well said. And we see what "going along to get along" has gotten us.
No better proof than three failed elections. Unless..of course there was "FRAUD." Some would say we should back off the "F" issue because it's too divisive and makes Democrats look bad. Many of us are determined to find the "F" if it's there, because that's the foundation of our political system. If our votes don't count because they aren't counted properly, then how do we know which ideas and values are truly supported by the majority of Americans.

It's healthy to argue on his Forum. And, to "vent." It's a discussion board. Much good get's done here on DU, inspite of the way it often seems. When it gets out of hand, the Mods usually take care of it. Otherwise debate and rage as well as joy are not symptoms of "Mass Hysteria" as a poster above tried to insinuate. Sheesh...

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robbedvoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
33. Dunno about all DU, but for me, democracy, right to vote is more important
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 08:18 AM by robbedvoter
that any particular politician you happen to admire as swoon over and their quest for image/mercy from the RNC media. By this yardstick, they are all miserable cowards except these heros
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones
Senator Barbara Boxer
Rep. John Conyers
Rep. Corrine Brown
Rep. Julia Carson
Rep. Bill Clay
Rep. James Clyburn
Rep. Danny Davis
Rep. Lane Evans
Rep. Bob Filner
Rep. Raul Grijalva
Rep. Alcee Hastings
Rep. Maurice Hinchey
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson
Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick
Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Rep. Barbara Lee
Rep. John Lewis
Rep. Ed Markey
Rep. Cynthia McKinney
Rep. John Olver
Rep. Major Owens
Rep. Frank Pallone
Rep. Donald Payne
Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Rep. Bennie Thompson
Rep. Maxine Waters
Rep. Diane Watson
Rep. Lynn Woolsey

And now, go do their PR for the cowardssome more, cuz some of us get bile in their mouths at the wotds "I'll fight for you" or "I got your back"
As for Bagdad John , he set the tone, and to quote an eloquent DU-ers, "we pushed up over his dead body"
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
34. litmus tests
i'm not sure what to make of your "forever tarnished and irredeemable" phrase ... we just went through and election where many DU'ers held genuine disdain for Kerry's Iraq vote and yet DU was strongly in the ABB camp ... sounds like a pretty pragmatic group to me ... don't you think ?? but I do think current anger at the party is somehow different ...

perhaps you are correct to state that it is not uncommon on DU to "kingmake and then pauperize a politician" ... i often think there is far too much focus on celebrity (i.e. the individual politician) here and not enough focus on the issues themselves ... too often we get caught up in skirmishes and don't spend enough time on the big picture ... frankly, it's too much politics and not enough substance ...

but this leads to the issue of "litmus tests" and a discussion of where we are now ... something like 55% of those DU'ers who voted in yesterday's poll said they were going to leave the Democratic Party ... perhaps much of that sentiment derived from yesterday's activities on the election fraud vote in the Congress ... but I think the frustrations run much deeper than that ... this is not only about specific Democratic politicians; this is about the Democratic Party as a whole ...

there are several key "litmus tests" that the Democratic Party is failing ... first, the "invasion and occupation" in Iraq ... while many "excused" Kerry's misguided IWR vote, how can we excuse a party that continues to support the madness over there ??!!

many DU'ers post regularly about corporatism and the destruction that large multi-national corporations are doing to our democracy ... we hear this from DU'ers; we do not hear much on this from the Democratic Party ... this disconnect does not bode well for the party' future ... this is not some wacky left-wing conspiracy theory ... far too often these views are labelled as "left-wing" or "extreme" like there's something more than just good old common sense involved ... is it left-wing to observe that big money is corrupting our democratic institutions ??!! all we are asking for is a fair system of government that provides reasonably equal access to all its citizens and doesn't put the government up for sale ...

and one final litmus test: the whole issue of election fraud ... DU'ers poured their souls, their time and their money into this last election ... we understood that there could be no limits on the effort to seize control of the country from the forces of evil ... everyday we see the destruction that bush and the neo-cons are doing to our country and our way of life ... and so, it should come as no surprise that DU'ers set a very high standard for Democrats to stand up and speak for them on this issue ... and it should come as no surprise that there is great frustration, regardless of past records, when so many did not ...

the Democratic Party may recover from the damage it's done to its base, but I believe they are still unaware of the deep disgust many feel with them ... i think the ABB movement has given them a confidence they should not assume continues to exist ... we compromised once; it should not be assumed that we will do so again ... these are very dangerous times for the Democratic Party and they are failing the test ... to see the attitudes of DU'ers as daily flip-flopping that leads to whiplash may be missing a much deeper, much more long-term erosion of support for the party ...



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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #34
47. The problem is, people are punishing progress in this instance
This party was unable to voice a similar objection four years ago in a case of more demonstrable and evidence-rich fraud. This is progress. Because it is a baby step rather than a giant leap we should excoriate them for it? I don't understand that logic. In 2000 all some clamored for was a single senator's objection, now that is what the party gets punished for providing?
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #47
51. progress ??
let me first say that i did NOT watch the hearings yesterday ... i couldn't because i just can't handle any more disappointment and expected virtually nothing from the Democratic Party ...

i also think your response was very different from what you wrote in the base post ... i thought your initial point was to focus on a very wide range of issues ... here you've only focussed on yesterday's election fraud discussions ... and my response to you covered far more than just election fraud ...

you asked in your initial post about what seems to you like daily flip-flopping by many DU'ers ... the point i tried to make is that there are deep, long-term divides between what the party does and what many of us believe ... i think the alienation has finally hit the boiling point ... this is a long-term evolution not a whimsical, erratic flipping and flopping ... the Democratic Party is in very big trouble and frankly i don't think they realize it ...

finally, to address the issue of "progress" you raised ... perhaps it is indeed a good thing that more Democrats stood up to make the case than stood up in 2000 ... perhaps we can call this progress ... it's a nice "glass is half full" way of looking at events ... but will Americans awaken today with the belief that Democrats are up in arms that this election was stolen ?? will the actions of yesterday make it clear to Americans that the Democratic Party, in lockstep, is making the case that bush and the neo-cons cheated and that they refuse to recognize him as a valid president ?? it's not an all or nothing situation here ... i've seen many DU posts applauding the great courage of Barbara Boxer and others who stood and fought for us ... the "punishment" is not for them; it's for those who hid and said nothing ...

if you want to see the real position of the Democratic Party on yesterday's hearings and the broad issue of election fraud, go to the source ... here you go: http://www.democrats.org / ... the home page of the Democratic National Committee ... the truth is, election fraud is NOT EVEN MENTIONED ... what does that tell you about the "progress" they seek on this issue ???
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #51
54. The reason I didn't dispute many of your points above
Is because I agree with them. Yes, there has been a very troubling progression toward moderate impotency. Some Democrats are trying to remake the party into a majority party again using the Republican model, and they are finding that it is ineffective unless they cast aside almost all of the liberal and progressive values that have been so effectively demonized in the past few decades. We can't use the Republican model because it is based on using papier mache morality to prop up an unpopular, elitist economic platform that benefits monopolistic corporations and the elite. The only way we will be able to use the model is if we become exactly like the Republicans, and that's the course our representatives are stupidly moving toward under the leadership of the DLC, Shrum, From, et al.

If people were taking the long view as you claim, then it still makes no sense to me how Hillary Clinton can go from zero to hero and back to zero in no time at all, when she stays basically the same bourgeois-comfortable name-brand candidate she always seemed to be in my estimation. Nothing that happened yesterday was particularly shocking to me in her regard, and to me it was consistent with her past behavior. Her standing up was a step up, but I never believed she would vote against certifying OH. I suppose others had much higher expectations? Based on what? It seems baseless and ignorant of her past voting history, which is why I see it as manic vacillation rather than reasoned judgment.

People are always saying the Democratic Party are depraved corporate panderers with no spine, but even when they DO show some spine they are derided for not having enough. The expectation for them to go from no spine to having godly vertebrae the likes of which the world has never seen is something I don't agree with--shouldn't there be an interim period in there where spine slowly accumulates in little steps? Does it have to be all at once? Should we not value the little steps because they are little? For seeing the party as a worthless thing with no spine, people's expectations are very high for a first step--that step has to go all the way to the finish line. Republicans pushed this country rightward over thirty years of determined effort--little steps, in other words.

And I believe the DNC did send out an email regarding the voter fraud debate a few days ago. There is a thread somewhere in the bowels of 2004 election results that mentions it. But the DNC is poorly run and organized at this time, which we are (hopefully) going to change by getting McAuliffe out of there and putting in someone better. Thankfully, my position on the party doesn't require me to endorse its idiotic actions. But I can also defend the few instances where it does make progress.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. nicely said, jp ...
i am sitting on the brink of leaving the party ... and i am listening very carefully to the insights of those who will fight for change from within and those who see the party as a lost cause ...

the vacuous chastising of either side that often seems unable to rise above simple name calling does little to convey any wisdom on the issue ... frankly, i'm almost at the point of employing both strategies ...

if the "democratic wing of the democratic party" can really take control, great ... but there also has to be a viable "exit strategy" ... are we to be expected to rise again and support the Democratic nominee no matter what ?? if DFA or PDA or whatever fails to gain meaningful control, what then ?? so, perhaps there is a sequencing to the two views, but they are not mutually exclusive ...

if we find ourselves entering 2006 with the "do nothings" still in control, do we just pledge our eternal allegiance to them because they wear the "D" label ?? so, perhaps the time to do some work in third parties is upon us ... and perhaps it's time to put more energies into issues than parties ...

one thing's for sure ... if the Democratic Party truly believes the ABB message was that Democrats will "come home" when the money's on the line, I suggest they look a little deeper ... i flip-flopped from being a Kerry hater after his misguided IWR vote to being a strong ABB Kerry supporter ... i gave him a pile of money and worked very hard for the party ... never again ... i do not require any purity tests ... i'm still willing to compromise on some issues ... but without hearing more to support workers, without hearing a strong statement about the insanity of continuing the madness in Iraq, and without hearing about the corruptions big money has on our democracy, no candidate of any party will be getting any help, money or votes from me ... not again; not ever ...
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. I can hardly blame you
There are plenty of good reasons for abandoning the party. I can't honestly say that I know the strategy of sticking with the Democratic Party is better than leaving immediately and working hard to build something else. And it also depends on the party's behavior. If they rely too much on the base "coming home" for those crucial elections no matter what the behavior of the party in between, they will lose it. Right now I support sticking with it, but if we cave on something like Social Security privatization, that may be it for me--I don't know. Part of the problem is the enduring social stigma "socialist" policies have in this country, and it's difficult for me to see a way to beat back some of that demonization without an entrenched organization. But if progressives can't even make use of the entrenched organization, and worse that organization is actively being used against our cause some of the time, it's not much good to us, is it? So in other words, I don't know, but I've made a guess.

:)
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. the social stigma "socialist" policies have in this country
here's how i see this issue ... first, i couldn't agree more ... even on DU, i think many people envision those of us who are socialists at heart as looking like Karl Marx or maybe Lenin ... they see us as uncomprising, humorless, inflexible and naively idealistic ... well, that just doesn't fit with how i see myself ...



in the sixties and seventies, when Democrats had a strong grip on the Congress, what passed as "liberal" was also irresponsible fiscal policy ... Democrats really were the tax and spend party ... we ran up massive deficits ... of course, we've been outdone by the likes of reagan and bush ... but big deficits in the guise of progressive social policy gave many of our causes a bad name ... fiscal irresponsibility is not a progressive value ...

and the Democratic Party of today doesn't have a clue how to go about promoting a progressive social agenda ... it is not feasible to call for large federal spending programs ... but i think the future of a "socialist" movement lies not in big spending but rather in highlighting the abuses that "free market capitalism" has enabled ... we cannot sell a welfare state ... we cannot turn from a capitalistic system supported with so much long-term propaganda to socialism anytime soon ... but this is not an all or nothing struggle ... the first step, and this is sadly lacking in most of the Democratic Party, is to begin a campaign of educating the American people that big money and big business have been buying up our government ... we need to show that policy after policy is not designed to serve all of the American people but only the special interests who can afford access to power ...

it's class warfare plain and simple and as long as Democrats continue to run away from the issue, the Democratic Party cannot be a vehicle for social progress ... the stigma you cited is very real but there is a way to change that ... sadly, i'm rapidly approaching the point of view that the Democratic Party will never be instrumental in making that change ... you can't change the meme if you won't say the theme ...
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d---mad2 Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #57
84. Social Security privatization
I concur-this will be the most important issue facing our nation.
This is nothing more than a systematically planned effort to completely dismantle the SSA. And unless something drastic occurs
this will happen. Now with the grand theft of the elections in place, the ball is in their court. "the president you get is the country you get."
This reminds me of H.L.Mencken's quote, which I'm sure has been posted many times on DU, but bears repeating; "on some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
And now Bush has the unique distinction of being the only person to have been SELECTED twice to this high office. Once by the Supreme Court and now by Congress. WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
35. All of my Democratic heroes are in the Cong. Black Caucus.
and the party elites just keep smearing egg on their face.

Boxer's stance was the bare minimum. Our reps in the Senate did not exceed that one bit.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. Why does the Black Caucus get such disrespect?
Why are they always left alone? When will they ever get some help? When will they ever have a role except for getting out the vote? Why are they always left behind?
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Kahuna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
43. Well said. Not to mention the numerous, "Obama is scum" threads..
I'm getting a real uneasy feeling about the people who are posting the numerous Obama bashing threads. For some reason Obama has been singled out for irrational derision. I have to ask myself why. What is the agenda of the Obama bashers? This bears watching.
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Adelante Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #43
56. It was interesting, Kahuna
I think many here had placed Obama on a pedestal and were horror stricken when he behaved the same as any other Senator who spoke, except Boxer. Holding black elected officials to a separate standard is another type of racism than the usual, but shows itself in these circumstances when people feel let down.

Yes, "irrational delusion."

(Me, I'm sick to death of the whole goddamned bunch of them no matter what color they are or gender or any of it.)
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #43
66. That bugs me too, Kahuna
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 02:47 PM by Withywindle
But it is probably in good part because he was put on a pedestal irrationally. Well, one thing I've learned from feminism is that pedestals might give you a great view, but the top of 'em is actually much too small a space to move on. They're really very restrictive. In the long run, falling off is both inevitable and good. Then you can roll up your sleeves and get some real work done when there aren't as many people staring at you.

I suspect I'm going to catch flack for this, but honestly I've seen a lot of white activists acting like there's only two roles in politics for a black man: Righteous Firebrand or Shufflin' Sellout. You take the natural tendency to distrust anyone who has a quieter, more strategic style or is decent at playing politics at all to get things done, and multiply it by 10 if it's a black guy who doesn't sound like Malcolm X (pre-Mecca). Multiply it by 20 if he's more famous than usual. It pisses me off.

You're mad about the Senate vote? OK fine. Go start some Dodd or Lautenberg or Durbin or Harkin or Wyden hate threads. Obama and H. Clinton hate threads are so yesterday.
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jswordy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
45. Why does DU first kingmake and then...
... pauperize a politician within the course of a week, or a few hours?

It's a "forest and trees" deal. Many posters are whipsawed because they focus only on the immediate news of the day (trees), and lose sight of the longer-term and more general goals (forest) and how they are progressing.

For example, people are now crucifying the Democrats for being "spineless" over the election fraud thing, because these folks are stuck on the immediate news.

On the contrary, to me it appears the Democrats are trying to develop a long-range issue that may be used in the '06 elex. We will see them time and again in the next year trying to develop these issues and insert them into the awareness of Americans, and then we will see a winnowing process to arrive at the issues on which the '06 candidates will run.

That's a good example of a "tree" view vs. a "forest" view of the same issue.

In my view, it's a fallacious trap to get pinned down by the moment to the point where one is so focused on it that the eyes never rise up to look over the entire landscape.

But take heart. There are many here who do indeed look at the broader scope of things. You just have to sniff out their posts, and then look for them.

The "trees" folks are entertaining, but the "forest" folks can be elucidating! So don't give up.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #45
48. a view of the forest ...
Iraq ... after almost 2 years, the Democratic Party continues to believe the "war" in Iraq is winnable ... is this their great 2006 strategy ??

we've seen a continued selling of our democracy to the powers of corporatism ... didn't hear about that on the news recently, did you ?? and the Democratic Party's position on this ?? beats me ... don't think they have one ... tough to make a campaign issue out of not standing up to the selling of our government ... that's not a tree issue, is it ??

and civil liberties ?? have you heard many Democrats speaking out against the continued erosion of civil liberties under the Patriot Act ...

and what about fighting for working people ?? NAFTA, CAFTA, do we have ta ?? we're still reeling from a migration of our jobs to other countries ... do workers feel like the Democratic Party is fighting like hell to help them ??? you tell me ...

and finally, yes, the election fraud issue is very much in the news the last few days ... it's "trees" for sure if that's how you define trees ... but does its timeliness make it any less valid as a "forest" issue ?? are the concerns over the corruption of our most basic democratic institution not a real and serious issue ?? is it any less so because it was in today's headlines ??

i'm all for taking the long-range view; when i look down the road at where the Democratic Party's been and where it seems to be going, i don't like what i see ...
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Amigust Donating Member (568 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #45
78. The forest view is that the Dems have gone about business as usual
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 09:05 PM by Amigust
during all the many years the radicals have been pushing the country to the right. They have done precious little to counter all that radical infrastructure buiding. It has happened on their watch and has gone on for decades. And they were going about their business as usual.

Well, they're still going about business as usual while the radicals prepare Democracy's bodybag.

The Congressional Dems' failure to highlight and pound on the corruptible electoral process during the past four years and embarrass the Pug leadership for thwarting reform, Kerry's eagerness to roll over, the leadership's eagerness to avoid appearing obstructionist in the Pug media. The 87% Dem vote to crush the challenge. Yesterday the 87% destroyed any chance of public credibility in the future about the need for election reform, much less any chance of convincing the Pug electorate to lean on their leaders to correct it.

Folk's, it's still business as usual for them and that makes them obsolete, and the sooner present and prior supporters give them that message, the better.

(edited for grammar and clarity, well, and to add a little)
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seaj11 Donating Member (506 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
46. Great post. n/t
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kodi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
58. principles matter only if you have to make sacrifices for them.
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 11:42 AM by kodi
i see no sacrifice coming from the congressional members of the democratic party in support of their pronounced principles.
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Zero Division Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
61. One of the best posts I've read on DU.
I don't like to simply post "I agree" replies too often, but I think your eloquent attempt to inject some reasonability back into the discourse about Democratic politicians and the direction of the party deserves praise. :toast:
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0007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
62. Very well said. The only conclusion of thought I can add is ..
Like you said, "there are no perfect heroes or utterly depraved villains in this party...And I'll add, Just bed partners of the lower sort. I feel empty, I feel slighted, I feel cheated. For what? The greediness and ego's of those I trusted? Whom do I trust now? Organized crime?

That is the only thing that makes sense to me. What do I know? Less than you!
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GOPBasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
63. You make sense.
No one's ever going to be perfect. One thing I believe, though, EVERYONE should be shouting loudly about e-voting. They don't have to say anything controversial, like, "Bush probably lost this election." All they have to do is bring the issue into public debate, so the people hear what's going on. They can just say, "We want to make sure there is a way to verify that on one can cheat with these machines before the 2006 elections." That's not much to ask.

I with you, though. I've been saying that for two years at DU, that no one's perfect, and we need to compromise a bit to build a majority coalition.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
70. I don't think I would vote for anyone totally approved by all DUers
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Albert Cirrus Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #70
73. Nobody is perfect
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 04:51 PM by Albert Cirrus
I don't think any of the Democratic Senators or representatives will vote our way 100% of the time. They vote their conscience instead of being rank and file. But sometimes our Dems will vote with the 'cans because they're scared or threatened by people like james dobson or tom delay out of fear. There's nothing to fear but fear itself. Tom Dash-hell went along with smirk during the war and got defeated last year. Feingold voted against the war and the u-s-p-a-t-r-i-o-t act and won reelection by a safe margin. Why are Democrats afraid of being right? I'm tired of Bartcop using the term "pink tutu" to describe them, I wish they would grow a pair and strike back against these repugnicans. Most Americans are liberal but are afraid to admit it and they would much rather have fighters than wimps lead them.

I'm also tired of this "moderate" crap. "Moderate" is just another name for "not voting their conscience".
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President Kerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #73
82. You're comparing a SD to a CA senator. To be reelected, one
can afford to be far more progressive and less pragmatic than the other. Daschle has the bull's eye on him, the GOP had him targeted. Trust me, coming across as more liberal would not have helped him in SD. It's a simple red state blue senator syndrome. Santorum's done in 2006 too.
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Albert Cirrus Donating Member (39 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #82
86. What I don't understand
is that besides Boxer, there are a bunch of Senate Democrats in blue states that could have sided with her. Daschle was a sitting duck in bleeding red South Dakota, but there could have been at least 10 Democrats from blue states to side with Boxer. Losing is one thing, not trying is another thing.
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President Kerry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #86
103. i guess it's just misguided pragmatism.
I don't understand it either. Welcome to DU, btw!!
:toast:
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KeireG Donating Member (115 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
71. Excellent post
Thank you jpgray for putting my feelings into words so precisely.
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Lizzie Borden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
75. The Democratic Party historically...
has always fought amongest itself and that there should be great differences should be no surprize. This IS the party that squabbles. It does at least show that we think, as opposed to that other party which just marches lock-step. In the end, when faced with republicans, we do pull together. It's unfortunate that many of you probably missed seeing the kind of convention in which the actual party platform was hammered out and a candidate was voted for. The Dems always had better conventions because things were debated. The repulican conventions were noothing but boring. I think at DU we see a natural occuring split. That's probably as it should be.
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Amigust Donating Member (568 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #75
79. It may be historically the party's way, but that way has lost Dem
control over the political safety mechanisms of this nation.

It reminds me of Shaka Zulu fighting in Africa. The warriors opposing him were astonished that he would kill them, whereas all they wanted to do in battle was humiliate him, so they died.
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chi_girl_88 Donating Member (47 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #75
88. I don't think it's so much that we squabble,
but more that our squabbles are so public. Democrats, I mean.

Both parties have their extremes. Most of us here have probably been to Freeperville, if only by clicking on a link here. I won't go so far as to say that DU is it's mirror image, but the dynamic is the same.

What the Republicans have over the Democrats is their frontal unity. They know they need people like the Freepers to stay in power, but there's no way they'd ever admit that in public, and there's no way they'd ever let the crap that gets said in there enter Republican public dialogue. They toss them a bone every now and then, like the gay marriage initiatives, just enough to make the appearance how strong they stand on "moral values." But I think we've seen the last of that issue in any big way, they just needed the feeding frenzy it created to get Bush re-elected. In that way Republicans are more pragmatic than the Democrats, but it might turn out to be their downfall, if the beast still expects to be fed, and becomes dissatisfied with the menu.

Where the Democrats as a whole have failed is in creating that same kind of unified front. Not as easy a task since I think our tent is much bigger than the Republicans. But in a way I fault individual Democrats for not recognizing that fact, and DU was the perfect example of that these past few months, and especially in the past few days. Everyone insists that their voice is the only one that matters, and any politician who doesn't toe the line is a Republican-lite and deserves to be punished. When something doesn't turn out our way (like how yesterday was supposed to overturn the election and get Kerry inaugurated in January) - we'd rather leave the party than stay and work from within to make it stronger. We're so insistent on being "right" that maybe we forget that you do have to actually win some elections to have any real power. And sometimes, winning means compromise. That's not a betrayal, it's just practical.

The original poster was dead-on right. And I hate to say it, but maybe this issue is the one thing the Freepers have on DU - they seem to recognize that they're the shadow underbelly of the party. Most of them know that they won't get a ticket to the big party on Jan 20th, so they throw their own. And if I had the choice to make, I'd sure choose compromise followed by a celebration, over righteous indignation and protests, which is the closest thing to a party we Dems can hope for on that date.
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oneold1-4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
77. From the posts here -
That I've read so far, some DUers seem to think we have to have our own "god person"! A very smart man once said: humans are infinitely stupid and did not except himself. People can change, and usually the change that comes with greater maturity, knowledge, and eventual love of themselves and others can make them persons of the finest quality.
Those are who we must search for if we want leaders for the future of this nation. There have been many leaders of the past who were far from perfect and made great mistakes, but they did lead to better things for this nation and the world.
I would hate to think, if we hadn't stopped Japan and Germany (WWII) we wouldn't have Wall Mart or Volkswagens!!! Life is more a "chair full of bowlies" than visa-versa.
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
80. I'll explain it to you simply - the media of today has the people of this
party as brainwashed as the otherside. Our modern media culture is very much us vs them/ black vs white. It's maddening - the lack of nuance from either side.
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pinto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
81. I'm making this up as I go but.....
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 09:09 PM by pinto
maybe Democratic absolutism and Democratic relativism, both, have a place within the party.

(on edit: nice thread.)
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DistressedAmerican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-07-05 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
87. Sorry but Spineless ass covering is just that
Edited on Fri Jan-07-05 10:45 PM by DistressedAmerican
I along with others I am sure read some of the initial reports of these senators that were 'standing up" and got a bit excited that they may actually do the right thing for a change. The I watched as one by one they gave passionate speeches about the irregularities, paperless voting, and reform. Then they went ahead and voted against the resolution so that it would not be on their records.

That is spineless ass covering. Its the Kerry model for the Dems handling the issue. Pay lip service to reform then take no action to make actual change.

Yeah, it pisses a lot of us off.

On the other hand, I COULD do without the personal attacks on other posters on the site. Few of these attacks ever have merit and they substitute for actual discussion. That is a shame.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
89. Yep - they almost ALL pretty much disqust me.
Can you blame me?

I cannot for the life of me fathom what is running thru their brains when they make such stupid decisions that are contrary to any principals except selfishness, greed and wanting to be re-elected.

Almost.
The.
Whole.
Lot.
Of.
Them.
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IronLionZion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
91. YES!!! At last there is some intelligent life on DU!!!
Thank you for saying what a lot of us were thinking. There are some wankers on this board who don't realize that the day a politician agrees with you on everything is the day you've been the victim of a cruel and horrible fraud.

example: Dennis Kucinich is wicked awesome! You'd be hard pressed to find a more decent and honest politician out there but there are some MORANS on this board that will call him a dirty evil traitor just for disagreeing with you on something. Not many realize that he's pro-life and only switched to pro-choice when running for president. How the hell do you think a very liberal social Democrat consistently wins an overwhelmingly Republican district?

Some of you people need a tight slap. Any given day, you'll find way too much piss and shit and hatred against Democrats. Would you rather have Republicans? An angry, disorganized, infighting bunch of wankers are not going to win elections.
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Dhalgren Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #91
108. And we've won so many lately ...
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 12:08 AM by Dhalgren
The thing is, friend, that there is quite a few "wankers" on this board that aren't Democrats. They threw in their lots with the Dems one last time because they accepted the argument that the only way the beat Caligula was via the Democratic Party. Well, the Democratic Party seems intent upon moving more and more to the right in order to look enough like republicans to win some elections somewhere, sometime. If a politician takes a stand or makes a vote or gives a speech that goes against a person's core political beliefs, then that person is entitled to take that politician to task. It seems, though, just like those good old boys in the GOP, Democrats defend their politicians even when they are stabbing them in the back. Sorry for being such a "wanker", but Democratic kool-aide tastes no better than the Republican brand...
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bush_is_wacko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
92. Yep, I am probably guilty of this myself
What I notice most is the lack of cohesiveness not just here but in the entire Democratic party. I'd like to see it change. The one thing the Republicans do better than we do is stick to their points. They may be really stupid points but they all stick behind each other. If DU and the democratic party in general can come up with comprehensible plans that show the parties stance and explain the situation clearly more people will see the light. One of the things I heard over and over again is that Kerry's plan for health care did not go into enough detail and did not explain how it was going to be paid for. The Republicans aren't doing that for their constituents either but think of the possibilities if the Democratic party DID do that for their constituents. Full disclosure and real plans with real solutions could really help this party pick up some steam.
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RandomKoolzip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:25 AM
Response to Original message
95. All those brains AND a Mark E. Smith avatar.
(sigh)....jp, you're a dreamboat.


Seriously, though: you're exactly right. My mind casts its net back to the primaries...it was actually a lot worse then, IMO. But it's gotten bad enough that it's becoming increasingly uncomfortable to venture out of the lounge lest one get cold-cocked by a wayward insult.

Great freakin' post.
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Mend Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
97. Great post! It's like the repukes/MSM are among us.....
Our family reads DU as an alternative to "them" and at times there is no difference. That leaves us with nothing.
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derzocrat Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #97
98. Thank you
Thank you for starting this thread. Despite all of the things I love about DU, my biggest complaint has always been the necessity of many to take events that might be used as stepping stones and instead marginalize them because it did not involve every single person with a 'D' in front of their names standing up and giving Cheney, Hassert and DeLay the finger.

I whole-heartedly agree with the arguement that some spine needs to be shown. But symbolic gestures can only do so much.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about: When Wellstone died my parents and my parents friends had framed pictures of when their son and I got to met Paul. After his death, both families put the pictures prominantly in the living room, lit candles in front of them, and waited for our Repub relatives to show up for the holidays. However, we did all of this with full knowledge that on many cases Paul made deals with the likes of Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond. Paul was not a saint. Paul was not a folk hero. He was not larger-than-life. He was a short guy with a limp whose voice cracked when he got to excited. He made his deals in the proverbial "smoke filled backrooms." But not once did my family and friends ever question his integrety. We knew that he meant what he said and said what he meant. We knew that any compromise he made was because he felt it was a necessary evil for the greater good. We trusted his moves because he convinced us that he was going to be a representation of us in the Senate. And for all of that, my family and friends gave him a better farewell then we've given any family member.

Its one thing to use DU to cry on each other's shoulders when things go wrong. I consider it to be a completely different to use DU to turn good things or okay things into bad things.

If you honestly believe that all is lost, then why devote so much time to an internet site? Shouldn't you be either trying to get out of the country before Homeland Security comes knocking on your door, or at least living life to the fullest before Bush brings on Armageddon?

For the rest of us who believe that there is still time to fix what is broken it's time to stop mourning and start organizing.
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #98
109. yeah, verily
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blue morality Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
100. Bravo! If we are ever going to win we have to stop tearing everyone down.
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greenohio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #100
101. Amen. Could we end the perpetual primary, please?
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FreepFryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
102. Agreed - Let's win - stop eating our own and look our enemy in the eye!
...they'll all look so good in matching orange jumpsuits n' cuffs.
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CBHagman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #102
105. I am so with you on that.
For months I've been thinking Democrats don't need enemies at all, as we are so good at forming the circular firing squad. Some of the current fighting I blame on the grieving process and the tendency for anger and rash decisions to take over. "Don't mourn, organize" really should be our watchword.

And to the creator of this thread, thank you, thank you, thank you.
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Geek_Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
104. DU is a large Community of many differing opinions
I am sure every person on this forum has a gripe with at least one democratic politician in office and has posted something negative about that politician. Some on this forum have a gripe with all of the current democrats in office.

But just like not all politicians are created equal not all DUers are created equal.
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moggie12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
107. Couldn't have said it better than you
No, really, I couldn't -- I don't write that well. I just responded to one of the posts in the middle, saying how much I agreed, and then realized you're the original poster. This deserves a kick. I'll do one tomorrow, too.
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