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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:28 PM
Original message
New Democrats, what's the plan?
Since the New Democrats took the reigns of the party in the 1980's, we have seen the steady erosion of Democratic power. Granted, much of this erosion precedes this time, and the New Democrats movement was originally crafted as a response to Democrat's lack of competititiveness. Still, the movement has not fulfilled its promise to improve the situation.

Of course, many Progressives blame New Democrats and think that they have led Democrats down a blind alley, but this is not the only possibility.

Nonetheless, as New Democrats what is the next step? Embrace family values? Somehow gain more credibility on defense? What is the political formula that will prove successful?
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. Get on the bus Gus.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #1
15. Make a new plan, Stan
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William769 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Finally!
:)
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Forever Free Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. New Democrats, along with other Democrats
have ALWAYS embraced family values and a strong and robust national defense.

Our problem is articulating that message. We need to learn how to do that again.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here are some ideas
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Forever Free Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. So what's a "GreenPartyVoter" doing here at Democratic Underground? n/t
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Working with other progressives to save the country. And you?
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Forever Free Donating Member (542 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Doing the same.
and welcome, we could use all the help we can get. From people all over the ideological spectrum. (sorry if my previous post sounded rude)
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. It's all right. I get it a lot when something particularly evil goes down
.... like the Scotus situation. :)

Here's hoping we can make a difference.. and that Fitzgerald nails more than just Rove or Libby with Treasongate.
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Eloriel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
8. What makes you think what's happened wasn't the plan?
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 02:44 PM by Eloriel
I think it was, and there's quite a bit of information that tends to support my, um, "theory" --

quote: Simon Rosenberg, the former field director for the DLC who directs the New Democrat Network, a spin-off political action committee, says, "We're trying to raise money to help them lessen their reliance on traditional interest groups in the Democratic Party. In that way," he adds, "they are ideologically freed, frankly, from taking positions that make it difficult for Democrats to win."


That's just one quote from this article:
How the DLC Does It by Robert Dreyfuss
http://www.prospect.org/print-friendly/print/V12/7/drey...

What you need to know is that "traditional interest groups in the Democratic Party" which he refers to are ALL those groups which make up the Democratic base -- African Americans and other minorities, women, union, envirionmentalists, and so forth.

If you read the article, you'll learn all about who funds the DLC, which gives you a flavor for who benefits, and whose interests the DLC cares about.

But if that's not enough for you, here are some more resources:

DLC
The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves. -- Lenin

Democrats for Wolfowitz
(see esp. Tinoire's post #20) http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... )
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

LINKS - What every DUer and every Dem needs to know about the DLC
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/du...

Let's be REALLY honest about the DLC
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/du...


Outing the "New Democrats" -- Pukes in Progressive Clothing.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/du...

Everyone who is a fan of the DLC, needs to read this post,
(Devils Advocate NZ's post is included)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/cgi-bin/duforum/du...

Kerry, the New Democrats, and American Military Hegemony
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

New Dems formed to get corporate donors, be free from party base ideology
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Ask the questions NOW of the DLC and Clinton. Corporate funding.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


(OMG! The PNAC/DLC Connection!)No More Moore: DLC Joins the Witch-Hunt
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Link: http://nypress.com/17/48/news&columns/taibbi.cfm

"We've got to repudiate, you know, the most strident and insulting anti-American voices out there sometimes on our party's left... We can't have our party identified by Michael Moore and Hollywood as our cultural values."
Al From, CEO, Democratic Leadership Council

"You know, let's let Hollywood and the Cannes Film Festival fawn all over Michael Moore. We ought to make it pretty clear that he sure doesn't speak for us when it comes to standing up for our country."
Will Marshall, President of the Progressive Policy Institute, the think-tank of the DLC

>snip<

In addition to his duties as the president of the PPI, Marshall kept himself busy in the last few years. Among other things, he served on the board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an organization co-chaired by Joe Lieberman and John McCain whose aim was to build bipartisan support for the invasion of Iraq.

Marshall also signed, at the outset of the war, a letter issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) expressing support for the invasion. Marshall signed a similar letter sent to President Bush put out by the conservative Social Democrats/USA group on Feb. 25, 2003, just before the invasion. The SD/USA letter urged Bush to commit to "maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning."

One of just a handful of Marshall's co-signatories on that letter was Bruce Jackson, who also happens to be the head of the PNAC (whose letter Marshall also signed) and the founder of the aforementioned Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Jackson is not only a neo-con of high rank and one of the chief pom-pom wavers for the war effort. He was also a vice president in the weapons division of Lockheed-Martin between 1993 and 2002meaning that he was one of the implied targets of Bowling for Columbine, which came out in Jackson's last year with the company.

Clearly, Marshall was thinking about the good of the Democratic Party, and not the integrity of his grimy little network of missile-humping cronies, when he and Al From made the curiousand curiously conspicuousdecision to denounce Moore, Hollywood and France at the DLC meeting in early November.


RIGHT WEB: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/ppi.php

Overview of DLC
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/marshall/marshall.ph...

PPI
http://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/ppi.php


===================================================
WILL MARSHALL: http://rightweb.irc-online.org/ind/marshall/marshall.ph...



Marshall calls himself a "centrist," he has associated himself with neoconservative organizations and their radical foreign policy agendas. At the onset of the Iraq invasion, Marshall signed statements issued by the Project for the New American Century calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein, advocating that NATO help "secure and destroy all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," and arguing that the invasion "can contribute decisively to the democratization of the Middle East." (7)

Marshall's credentials as a liberal hawk have been well established by his affinity for other PNAC-associated groups, including the U.S. Committee on NATO and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Marshall served on the board of directors of the U.S. Committee on NATO alongside such leading neocon figures as Robert Kagan, Richard Perle, Randy Scheunemann, Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Hadley, Peter Rodman, Jeffrey Gedmin, Gary Schmitt, and the committee's founder and president Bruce Jackson of PNAC. (8) At the request of the Bush administration, PNAC's Bruce Jackson also formed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which, with DLC chairman Joseph Lieberman serving as co-chair together with John McCain, aimed to build bipartisan support for the liberation, occupation, and democratization of Iraq. Marshall, together with Robert Kerrey (who coauthored Progressive Internationalism), represented the liberal hawk wing of the Democratic Party on the committee's neocon-dominated advisory board. (9) Other advisers included James Woolsey, Elliot Cohen, Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Joshua Muravchik, Chris Williams, and Richard Perle.

On February 25, 2003, Marshall joined an array of neoconservatives marshaled by the Social Democrats/USA-a wellspring of neoconservative strategy-to sign a letter to President Bush calling for the invasion of Iraq. Marshall and others asked the president to "act alone if that proves necessary" and then, as a follow-up to a military-induced regime change in Iraq, to implement a democratization plan. The SD/USA letter urged the president to commit his administration to "maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning." Others signing the SD/USA letter included Hillel Fradkin, Rachelle Horowitz, Bruce Jackson, Penn Kemble, Robert Kagan, James Woolsey, Nina Shea, Michael Novak, Clifford May, and Ben Wattenberg. (10) (11)
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Thanks for the links.
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 03:17 PM by idlisambar
No doubt New Democrats and neo-conservatives can be fairly close together on the spectrum. The neo-con movement though places more emphasis on an aggressive foreign policy while the New Democrat movement has a broader sweep, and is more defined by its economic attitudes and stance toward business. A figure like Joe Lieberman forms a nexus between the two.

I don't, however, buy the theory that New Democrats fall within the conservative spectrum. The movement is distinct from modern conservatism.
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #8
44. democrats for wolfowitz? WTF???
:wow:
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
57. Bravo Eloriel!
Well done! :toast:
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. The Democrats are presently a fractured and splintered collection.....
of groups that each believe their way is the correct and only way. As long as we all continue down this path, we will continue to have elections handed over to the republicans and neocons, who have found common ground within their own party.
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Mary 123 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Well Said
n/t
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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. No it isn't
the base is fairly united--for that matter the country is more aligned with the Democrats on social security and the Iraq invasion among other things. It is the Leadership which is out of step.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. What can change that? n/t
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Mary 123 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. the next step
probably has something to do with turning red states blue.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. yes, but
so far the trend has been in the other direction. Any ideas on how to change that?
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Mary 123 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. reach a broader spectrum of voters
Appeal to more than just the base....use what has traditionally worked...southern moderates like Carter, Clinton and Edwards. Send them out to red states to spread a more inclusive message of hope that doesn't compromise some of the very strong beliefs that may not cooincide with "progressives" on the far left. Those are my suggestions. I don't claim to speak for any democratic organization though. Just seems like the logical way to turn red states blue to me.
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Clark2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. Forgive me, but Edwards didn't do a thing to turn a red state blue.
However, the rest of your point is correct.

Another good idea would be to stop blaming red-state blue voters who are working our asses off against a corporate media.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
18. Plan: Do what Republicans do, only, like, um, better, n' stuff.
You probably think I'm joking.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. yeh, but only half-joking n/t
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. The New Dems are the corporate wing of the Democratic Party.
And their goals are the same as those of the Republican Party.
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Mary 123 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. THIS is EXACTLY what you need to STOP doing
That Dean wedge in your party has to stop. Unite eachother and face the fact that, in order to win back the White House, you need to be willing to accept that you can't have it all. I mean progress is supposed to take time....you aren't going to get those red states to turn blue by forcing them to swallow all that stuff. Just not going to work. Tone it down Deaniacs!
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. I don't take orders from you.
There'll be no toning it down. Either support people over corporations or accept my criticism.
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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. "We can't have it all"
Last I checked, the liberals and progressives have NOTHING. We are screaming mad that we aren't even allowed a spot at the table.

And how much time should progress take, because all I see is regression, not progression?

Seriously, this old "sit down and shut up while we drive the ship" rhetoric no longer works with liberals. We're sorry....the leadership had its chance and blew it...over and over and over and over and over.
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MisterLiberal Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. Tone it down?
How much lower can we tone it down?

We're down to a whisper as it is!

Anytime we want to make a stand and fight, there's always someone who says for us to wait until next time, or we can't win.

I SAY TONE IT UP!
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AntiCoup2K4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #23
50. We've toned it down for 20 years, while the sellouts have killed the party
NO MORE!
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. Mobilize the base in 2006! Numbers so big election fraud wont work.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. yes, but
how do you mobilize the base? Is it just a matter of political tactics or is there a message that New Democrats need to articulate better?
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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. start mobilizing the base by not abandoning it
EOM
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MisterLiberal Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. Well the first thing we do
Is make sure that those in our party stop telling us to "tone it down"

or "become more moderate"

or "we can't win"

or "be patient; we will try next time"

or "this isn't that important a fight"

YOU CAN'T SERIOUSLY CONSIDER WINNING A BATTLE WITHOUT A PLAN TO FIGHT!
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. don't take it personally
Those whose positions are generally well represented by the current leadership are naturally going to want a continuation of the status quo, and are obviously not going to be appreciative of attempts to disrupt it.
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aspberger Donating Member (230 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
26. THE PLAN
First of all, what has always been the banner of the Democratic Party, the economy. We need to focus on being the party of jobs and economic progress for all. Bill Clinton is a great example of an economic wizard. We need to get back on message, which is Democrats in power= economic prosperity for all. Create an energy policy which offers incentives for at home renewable energy. Regardless of the critics, America needs to develop an economy based on clean, safe, and renewable energy. Right now our economy is at the mercy of terrorist who take our money for oil and then try to blow us up(and the pollution politicians who enable them). Also we need to be more faith friendly. We cannot concede God to the repukes. We cannot allow these lying, cheating, ten commandment breaking rovites a pass on religious issues while they paint us as heathens for our stands on gay rights and human dignity. Finally, we need to point out the people who have rationed health care by means of being uninsured. With other countries subsidizing their citizens health care, is our global strategy to compete by dropping the quality of life of our workers and middle class so low as to deny them world class health care? Right now that is the game plan. If we can stay on message, we can all be the comeback kids.
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Mary 123 Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I agree
and you can use both religion and economic benefits to push the healthcare issue. Definately, definately economic progress for all is a great message. Republicans aren't happy with Bush's fiscal irresponsability. Repubs used to say Dems were fiscally irresponsible; but they can't do that anymore thanks to both Clinton and Bush Jr. I don't think it would be a bad idea to point to the "lying cheating, ten commandment breaking" hypocrocies either. I mean if they can go as far as to say that "liberal" MA state is responsible for the breakdown in the Catholic churches due to the declining morals in our society...why can't we paint it like it really is....hypocracy which is rampant in the religious right brigade.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. This sounds pretty good
Economic progress for all is a strong foundation upon which to build. On this front however New Democrats may have a credibility problem, particularly on the matter of trade and industrial policy. The New Democrats generally adopt a laissez-faire paradigm when it comes to international trade, but this approach (among other things) tends to exercerbate income inequality, undermining the notion of economic progress for all.

For another related example, New Democrats have not been able to come up with an approach to white-collar outsourcing that resonates. The economy of the 90's was built on top of skilled, labor-intensive fields that are now rapidly moving offshore. The suggestion that the U.S. shift focus to energy-related fields is a good one, but probably not enough on its own, and further complicated by the fact that the other advanced economies in the EU and Japan have a big head start in this area.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
30. actually, the Dems started steadily losing power in the late 60s
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 04:37 PM by wyldwolf
If we want to be factual.

And the problem has been researched and discussed by political analysts.

Here is a sample:

An article in the Boston Globe took up the issue of Democratic losses a week before the last presidential election. When a party holds power for too long, Adrian Wooldridge, reporter for The Economist, said in the article, "it grows fat and happy, it also grows corrupt." The classic example, he pointed out, is the Democratic Party of the 1970s and `80s, which, spoiled by generations of congressional power, "became a party of insiders and deal makers without any sense of the principles they stood for and eventually collapsed" when they were turned out in 1994.

The more common explanation for the 1994 Republican Revolution, though, is that liberal Democratic ideals -- or at least the way they were presented -- no longer resonated with the majority of Americans. According to Ruy Teixeira, a fellow at the Center for American Progress and at the Century Foundation, the danger for the dominant party isn't ideological bankruptcy but ideological drift. "Certainly you can make the argument that, if a party's far enough away from the mainstream, if they don't lose they don't get enough impetus to correct their behavior."

Now - to win back power - Democrats must be different things to different people in different parts of the country.

Take a look at Mark Warner in VA and Brian Schweitzer in Montana - two Democratic governors who won in Red states.

Schweitzer has vowed to veto tax increases, favors abortion rights and opposes gay marriage and gun control. He has been a leader in promoting lower prescription drug prices and supports ethanol production. His message has resonated.

But it wouldn't in NY or CA as much.

Warner - fiscal conservative. Very successful. Sponsered a NASCAR car and was genuine about it.

Both strong on national defense.





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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. agreed
As I said the Democrats were already struggling before the New Democrats took the reigns, and I mentioned that the New Democratic movement was a response to this erosion. This doesn't change the fact that the New Democratic movement has not succeeded in turning around this trend.

Your suggestion is that "Democrats be different things to different people in different parts of the country". To some extent this will have to be the case, but go too far and the party loses effectiveness as it is easily subject to divide and conquer techniques. Just as importantly a party needs an identity that voters can recognize and that will resonate, otherwise the opponent will be happy to provide that identity for us. This approach seems like a defensive tactic, at best able to make piecemeal gains.

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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. first, let me compliment you. It is refreshing to have civil conversation
... on this topic.

As I said the Democrats were already struggling before the New Democrats took the reigns, and I mentioned that the New Democratic movement was a response to this erosion. This doesn't change the fact that the New Democratic movement has not succeeded in turning around this trend.

The Democratic party has lost and regained power in spurts though out it's history - but for the sake of our discussion, let's just pick it up in 1932 when the Democrats has big congressional gains after Hoover's disastrous administration.

But in 1938, Republicans gained 81 House seats running against Franklin Roosevelt. Again In the mid-term election of 1942, the Democrats lost 44 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Republicans won control of the Senate in 1981 and retained it for six years - until the midterm elections of 1986 when the Democratic party picked up 5 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate to regain power. Interestingly, this was the first election cycle after the DLC was formed in 1985. The Democratic Senators elected and who gave the Senate back to the Democrats included moderates Barbara Mikulski (a participant in the DLC's National Service Tour), Harry Reid (who recently said Democrats have to "swallow their pride" and move toward the middle), Conservative Democrat Richard Shelby, DLCer Bob Graham, DLCer Kent Conrad, and DLCer Tom Daschle.

Of course, Clinton won in 1992 but that didn't prevent the big losses for Dems in 1994. But the Dems, again, made gains 1998.

Fact is, and as I wrote above, Democratic ideals (or how the were perceived by the public) no longer resonated with mainstream America.

The DLC's solution was to move the party back to the policies of the pre-McGovern era however they did maintain much of the social liberalism that alienated many people spanning from the 60s to the 90s. And it is actually the Blue Dog Democrats that are closer to the era of FDR/Truman/Kennedy/Johnson.

Here is a breakdown from another thread:

"Old Dems" or "Old Left." FDR - Johnson
"New Left" - McGovern (Actually late 60s) to present.
"New Democrats" - Mid 80s to present.


Old Dems/Old Left: Liberal/populist on economic issues, moderate/conservative on social issues, moderate/conservative on national defense.

New Left: Liberal on social issues, liberal on economic issues, liberal on national defense.

New Democrats: Liberal on social issues, moderate/conservative on economic issues, moderate/conservative on national defense.

Between the "New Dems" and the "New Left," New Dems more closely resemble old Dems of the two. However, the seldom mentioned Blue Dog Dems appear to be more directly descended ideologically from the Old Dems.

Which brings us back to the question: What can New Dems do to turn back the tide?

Quick answer is take more moderate stances on social issues. The DLC is still very pro-choice, pro-gun control. As we've seen, Dems who come out in favor of gun rights and at least soften their stance on abortion (think Hillary's and Dean's almost identical take on the topic)are doing well in Red States.

as for the crowd who vows not to vote for someone they deem ideologically unpure, that crowd has been crying like that since the Henry Wallis days in 1948. They always vote for the Dem regardless in the end.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. But you still dodged the corporate issue.
I don't think it's possible to wrap up this idea without a look at soft money's effects on the Democratic Party's priorities in the 90's.

It's significant enough to warrant a mention, and certainly a bit more in-depth and relevant than simply labeling liberal/moderate/conservative and comparing across eras.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. I only see that as an issue within the party
Rank and file dems are blissfully unaware of it.

When you see polling data on issues that concern Dems the most, corporate money is never in the equation.

Plus, to contend that the issue causes Dems to lose means that people vote for Republicans because they raise MORE corporate money?

The number of voters rose steadily through the 90s. Fact is, more people started voting Republican because they felt the policies of the Dems were out of touch.

Soft money certainly has caused priority issues for the Dems, but there is no evidence to suggest that people started voting for Republicans because of it. However, there is evidence that more people began voting for Republicans. So soft money wasn't the reason.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 12:25 AM
Response to Reply #38
43. Thanks, conversations are more productive that way
Some of the New Democrats, like Senator Clinton, seem to be taking your advice and trying to boost their socially conservative credentials. More than likely the next couple of elections will provide a test of this approach.

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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. I have to disagree about when Democrats started losing power.
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 07:05 PM by tasteblind
Seems to me Democrats started losing power when Bill Clinton was elected.

The only reason why Dems gave up the White House in '68 was that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. That doesn't have anything to do with issues resonating with the American people.

Democrats started losing when they failed to represent mainstream, working Americans, opting rather to go for corporate donations in an attempt to match Republican fundraising.

When working people trusted Democrats to represent their interests, we didn't need to raise as much money as the Republicans.

I do agree that Democrats should reflect the places they run for office, and have seen up close how effective Mark Warner has been.

But I think this diagnosis of Democrats being "far from the mainstream" is incorrect.

The mainstream interest is standing up for consumers' rights against corporate dominance. And the Democrats haven't done that effectively in the past ten years.

And people wonder why no one sees the difference between the parties anymore.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. no
The tide began turning against the Democrats in the 60s.

Philip A. Klinkner, author of "Court and Country in American Politics: The Democratic Party and the 1994 Election," presents a very interesting and expansive theory concerning the major Democratic losses in 1994.

Klinkner explains the circumstances surrounding the 1992 election provided ample evidence of a radically changed political environment. Several observers have commented on the growing volatility of the electorate since the late 1980s (Greider 1992; Phillips 1990, 1993, and 1994; Germond and Witcover 1993; Greenberg 1995). By most accounts, this phenomenon reached a new high in 1992, as voters expressed growing disgust with the federal government, elected officials, special interests, and politics in general, and a greater willingness to support outsider candidacies, even those of such diverse figures as Jerry Brown, Pat Buchanan, and Ross Perot.

The author breaks it down into a "Court vs. country" model - with the "court" being the entrenched power and the "country" being citizens who have grown distrustful of the "court."

The rise of these Country attitudes in contemporary America seems to have resulted from a number of forces, one of which was the civil rights movement of the 1960s.. and many began to question the scope and legitimacy of the governmental power on a range of issues from taxes to welfare to the criminal justice system (Edsall and Edsall 1991; Dionne 1991; Horowitz 1986).

By the early 1990s, Country sentiments were evident among much of the public. In 1964, over 70 percent of the public said that they could trust Washington to do what was right most or all of the time; by early 1994, only 19 percent expressed similar confidence (Phillips 1994: 7). In 1964, when asked, "Would you say the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves or that it is run for the benefit of all people," nearly 40 percent more people agreed with the latter than with the former. In 1992 that sentiment had reversed itself, with 60 percent more people believing that the government was run for the benefit of special interests than those who believed it was run for the benefit of all. (Stanley and Niemi: 169).

This period was largely dominated by the Democratic Party and the 60s counterculture that was associated with it.

The emergence of Court and Country politics spelled trouble for the Democrats. As the party of governmental activism, the Democrats were bound to suffer from the rise of popular cynicism toward government. At the same time that Bill Clinton was winning the White House, voters preferred having "government cost less in taxes but provide fewer services" to having "government provide more services but cost more in taxes" by 54 to 38 percent (Milkis and Nelson 1994: 395). http://academics.hamilton.edu/government/pklinkne/94.ht...

This was no better exemplified than by Bill Clinton's healthcare plan, which support for collapsed, which set back his presidency and figured in the Democrats' loss of control of the House of Representatives in 1994. They've never recovered from the loss.

In addition, starting in the late 60s, southern Democrats began supporting Republicans in national elections because the candidates were more in tune with their beliefs on social issues. They still voted for Dems on local and state levels.

Jimmy Carter called some of them home in 1976 mostly because of the Nixon scandals. But Dems left in force for Reagan by 1980 and the Dems lost huge in the next 3 presidential elections and lost control of the senate in 1982.

The only reason why Dems gave up the White House in '68 was that Bobby Kennedy was assassinated. That doesn't have anything to do with issues resonating with the American people.

Uh. Viet Nam? LBJ?

Democrats started losing when they failed to represent mainstream, working Americans, opting rather to go for corporate donations in an attempt to match Republican fundraising.

Fundraising wasn't an issue. It was domestic policy - and the perception was that Democrats no longer represented mainstream America by the early 90s - a sentiment (as I've shown) that began building in the 60s.

Your reply - void of any evidence - sounds like a way to justify your feelings about corporations and the DLC.

Do you have any quotes, facts, or stats that helped you reach your conclusions?
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 01:16 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Facts
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 01:19 PM by tasteblind
Uh. Viet Nam? LBJ?

Yeah, the reasons why Bobby Kennedy would have easily been elected. But then he was shot.

A good number of people who should know said Robert Kennedy would have pulled out of Vietnam early and worked towards a more populist Democratic Party, focused on civil rights and narrowing of income gaps. But we didn't get that.

Instead, we got eight years of Nixon, the southern strategy, the equating of Democrats with the counter-culture, and a sort of de-legitimizing of valid Democratic causes that would have had a viable voice had RFK not been killed.

So perhaps you are right that Democrats started losing power in the late sixties, but I think your reasoning, that it somehow had to do with the message, and not the messenger, is flawed.

We were robbed of gifted leadership, and that is a loss not easily measured in statistics.

If Bobby Kennedy had survived, pulled out of Vietnam, and worked towards socio-economic equity, do you really think we'd be having this conversation?

But that's neither here nor there, for our purposes.

You say, "By the early 1990s, Country sentiments were evident among much of the public. In 1964, over 70 percent of the public said that they could trust Washington to do what was right most or all of the time; by early 1994, only 19 percent expressed similar confidence (Phillips 1994: 7). In 1964, when asked, "Would you say the government is run by a few big interests looking out for themselves or that it is run for the benefit of all people," nearly 40 percent more people agreed with the latter than with the former. In 1992 that sentiment had reversed itself, with 60 percent more people believing that the government was run for the benefit of special interests than those who believed it was run for the benefit of all. (Stanley and Niemi: 169)."

And yet you seem to believe that there is no correlation between this sentiment and the growing reliance of the Democratic Party on corporate donors, and the failure to support traditional Democratic positions of social justice and protection against greedy corporations?

You said that public cynicism caused the Democrats to fall out of favor with the public because they were the party of government activism, but isn't that cynicism caused by the Democratic establishment's failure to protect American workers from Nixon, Reagan, and Bush? And isn't it possible that the failure of the Democrats to effectively promote government activism from 1968 onward contributed to that perception problem?

You said that the DLC reflects the values of FDR and Truman, but would the DLC favor breaking up media oligopolies? That seems like something the heirs to FDR and Truman might be up for, but the DLC is the last place you would hear those words from.

You asserted that the period in question was dominated by the 60's counterculture, but other than McGovern and a few people who worked for his campaign at various levels, (Gary Hart and Bill Clinton, for example), I'm not sure how you can substantiate this assertion that the counterculture was running the Democratic Party.

McGovern's nomination wasn't even decided until 2 in the morning, and the resulting general election was so disastrous that no one would ever trust the counterculture around serious politics again.

That is, until Bill Clinton, who was quickly pigeon-holed as the draft-dodging, pot-smoking hippie, and yet still managed to get serious corporate backing and win a general election against a seemingly out-of-touch George Herbert Walker Bush.

In terms of presidential politics, Dukakis, Mondale, and Carter certainly weren't an electoral reflection of the anti-war left.

You are correct that Carter's election was a reflection of Nixon's scandals. His failure to beat Reagan was largely a reflection of his inability to prevent economic crises and deal with the Iran hostage situation.

Mondale was an establishment liberal, not a counterculture liberal. I'm of the impression that Dukakis was no hippie either.

But despite your questionable attempts to substantiate your claims that the DLC somehow is carrying the mantle of the FDR-Kennedy legacy after three decades of the counterculture blowing it, you seem to have a flawed idea that policies are the main motivating factor in the voting public's choices.

But we know that policies are often trumped in voter preference, especially in close elections, by intangible qualities such as likeability and trustworthiness.

Which is why we haven't had a winning Presidential candidate since Clinton.

And you seem to say that somehow the electorate has left the Democratic Party on domestic issues, but you should know as well as anyone else that the only domestic issue that doesn't favor the Democratic Party is taxes. On education, health care, the economy, Democrats are preferred.

The Republicans have cheated by trying to tell the American electorate that they can have all of the Government's services and tax cuts too.

The failure of Democratic candidates to communicate the erroneousness of this, and in fact, the refusal to even try, has resulted in disastrous consequences, both for the economy and the federal budget deficit.

A likeable candidate like Bill Clinton can explain why taxes are necessary and have the American people believe him. Al Gore or John Kerry, notsomuch, and they rarely even tried to make the case.

Long story short, a charismatic and believable candidate who makes principled, if unpopular, decisions will always do better in an election, and any assessment you make of the Democratic Party's success should factor that in over issues.

When the DLC goes to the well to find a candidate, that should be their main criteria. I'm sure from your avatar that you agree with me that Wes Clark is that guy.

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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #45
58. Facts?
Yeah, the reasons why Bobby Kennedy would have easily been elected. But then he was shot.

That's not a fact, that's an opinion.

A good number of people who should know said Robert Kennedy would have pulled out of Vietnam early and worked towards a more populist Democratic Party, focused on civil rights and narrowing of income gaps. But we didn't get that.

Maybe, but of course, that is only if he would have won. Now, someone at your link didn't see that as a forgone conclusion (which refutes your belief that he would have won.)

Harris Wofford
special assistant to President John F. Kennedy for civil rights:

"His odds of winning the nomination were, I'd say, fifty/fifty, because there were a lot of forces against him. He started very late. But he might have put it together. And he had momentum -- as they say -- going into the convention, out of California. I have no idea whether he could have won."

So perhaps you are right that Democrats started losing power in the late sixties, but I think your reasoning, that it somehow had to do with the message, and not the messenger, is flawed.

Well, the stats and voting trends show it to be correct - the Dems started losing votes in the 60s. What's more, the popularity of the party began declining in the late 60s:

The backlash against the movement for racial equality and the New Left agitation of the 1960s and 1970s drew some groups toward the (Republican) party.

http://encarta.msn.com/text_761568416__1/Republican_Par...


Of course, one of these "groups" was Southern Democrats. See, it was the "message."

The Democratic lead in party identification was modest through the 1940s but grew dramatically in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Democratic advantage narrowed in the mid-1960s, but remained substantial.

In the late 1970s, fallout from the Watergate scandal again boosted the Democrats while depressing Republican support.

The advantage was short-lived, however, as discontent with the economy coupled with internal divisions among Democrats increased the popularity of the Republican party in the electorate. With Ronald Reagan in office, the parties drew nearly even by the end of the 1980s.

http://people-press.org/reports/print.php3?PageID=750


And yet you seem to believe that there is no correlation between this sentiment and the growing reliance of the Democratic Party on corporate donors, and the failure to support traditional Democratic positions of social justice and protection against greedy corporations?

You titled your reply as "Facts." Show me polling data that suggests Democrats began losing because of "corporations" and such. The data just isn't there. From the 60s to present, the Dems lost voters to the Republicans - who have been WORSE about social justice and protection against "greedy" corporations.

So, yeah, until you show "facts" to the contrary, I'll continue to contend that "corporate money" had zero effect on Dems losing.

The rest of your reply is more of the same. Without sourcing your points, providing evidence, etc., you're theorizing - providing your take on history to match your beliefs.

Here's an example. You said, "But we know that policies are often trumped in voter preference, especially in close elections, by intangible qualities such as likeability and trustworthiness. Which is why we haven't had a winning Presidential candidate since Clinton."

Here, you're contending that Clinton won mainly on issues of likeability and trustworthiness. And your evidens is "we all know." Where is the real evidence of it? And what of the research that shows Clinton winning based on economic issues?

I could spend a long time dissecting your other opinions (not facts, opinions) and provide even more sources than I already have.

But what would be the point? You'll believe what you want to believe if it fits your theories and you'll disregard the rest.

Hey! I might even believe some of what you wrote if it were based on sources and substantiated fact.
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mattclearing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #58
59. Yeah, I know.
Didn't have a lot of time to research today.

I would like to have been able to back up a bit more, because I know there's evidence out there for what I'm saying.

I'd promise to research my points, but I honestly don't see when I'm going to have the opportunity to do so in the next few days.

I think the main weakness in your argument is the link between the counterculture and the last thirty years of Democratic politics. Even during McGovern's run, there was strong opposition from establishment Dems like Ed Muskie. Elements of that establishment lost the '72 nomination, but reclaimed power the second the election was over, and I believe they remained in power at least until 1992.

My main concern, and the DLC has backed off a bit since Dean won the chairmanship, is that I believe Democrats need to stand up for workers, and what we seem to have gotten in the past several election cycles is lip service. They've kept the mantle of civil rights, but go way out of their way to seem to defend minorities when they should be defending ALL working Americans.

We get told that Dems care about education, family incomes, and access to health care, but they haven't successfully accomplished any of it because no one has tried since Clinton's health care plan went down in flames.

You are right that there are problems with the message, but I think the same basic ideas that the Democratic Party espouses now could work, if communicated properly and sincerely.

Another problem I have is that Dems seem to have run out of interesting ideas in the last thirty years.

If Democrats in leadership positions proposed common sense ideas that appealed to a majority of voters, I think they would see a shift in voter preference.

When people think "government activism," they think welfare and health care. But what if Democrats proposed legislation to go after spammers? As unrealistic as it sounds (because it's an international problem), it would be a better drum to beat than porn sequences in video games. And the Republicans don't have an answer for majority issues. What are they going to do, stand up for spammers?

I don't think Democrats have come up with any exciting new ideas since deciding to nationalize health care, and they can't seem to agree on a way to accomplish that, much less find common ground with conservatives.

As long as we keep saying, "education and health care," we will lose, because it's a non-story.

Anyways, when I have some free time, I will probably indulge this a bit further, and back it up with actual research. For now I have to run. Ta.
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MisterLiberal Donating Member (442 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
33. The New Democrats Plan is
to grab the KY and bend over.

Oh, and accept defeat because there's no chance we can win.
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
46. I can think of three things the Dems can do
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 02:08 PM by dolstein
Number one, the Democrats need to move to the right of the Republicans on security and immigration issues. That shouldn't be hard, because the Bush administration is doing a lousy job on the war on terror and is completely in the back pocket of the business community, which doesn't want to do squat about illegal immigration.

The Democrats will never become the majority party again unless they can credibly argue that they will keep this country safe. When people think of the Democratic Party and military policy, they should think about Wes Clark, not Cynthia McKinney. We should be recruiting more and more veterans to run for office.

As for immigration, the Democratic Party needs to show a little spine. Illegal immigration is ILLEGAL. We should stop trying to make excuses for people who defy our immigration laws. Illegal immigration is also ANTI-WORKER. It depresses wages.

Number two, the Democrats need to embrace religion. Religion is a good thing. Morality is a good thing. The Democratic Party can't be seen as hostile to either. And traditionally, it wasn't. Williams Jennings Bryan was a perennial Democratic presidential nominee. Catholics used to represent a solid Democratic voting block. Churches were leading force behind the civil rights movement. The Democratic Party needs to link moral and religious values to their policy agenda (which should be easy enough -- after all, Christ talking about helping the sick and the poor, not giving tax breaks to the wealthy) and we need the nominate candidates who are authentically religious (John Edwards -- yes, Kerry and Dean? hell NO).

Third, the Democrats need to wholeheartedly embrace a reform agenda. Term limits, nonpartisan redistricting, public financing, slam shut the "revolving door" between Congress and K Street. No half measures.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. Reform agenda
This is the kind of suggestion I would embrace. It is a sure winner under certain conditions, but unfortunately those conditions are usually during "crisis of confidence" periods corresponding with deep economic difficulties. The nation has to be at a low ebb for the "throw the bums out", "shake up the system" metality to take hold. Such an eventuality is not at all unlikely at some point in the coming years.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
47. Find another Democratic constituency to abandon, revile and alienate.
(Just guessing from their past moves.)
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Pot to kettle: you're black!!
Excuse me, but from my perspective, it's the left-wing of the Party that has been hell-bent on kicking the moderates out of the party, not the other way around.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:15 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. You could plead equivalences if
progressive forces had been selling the Democratic Party out to corporate interests, the selfish 1-percenters, or progressive forces had abandoned the environment, the poor, those excluded by race, gender or sexual orientation.
No, insisting the Democratic Party stand for SOMETHING and stick up for its traditional programs, values, and constituencies is not "kicking you out". If you feel more at home among Republicans for God's sake don't let us KEEP YOU HERE AGAINST YOUR WILL.
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dolstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. The left wing HAS been selling the party out
to a variety of interest groups, each of whom has pursued a single issue agenda to the exclusion of everything else.

And sorry, but I have laugh when you talk about "traditional programs, values and constituencies." The fact is, Democratic leaders like Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were all distrusted by the DU equivalents of their day. If DU were in existence in 1948, people like you would be singing the praises of Henry Wallace and calling Truman a war monger.

And let's not forget who some of the "traditional constituencies" of the New Deal Democratic Party were -- Catholics and Southern whites. You seem perfectly happy to write off these groups.
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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #53
56. You seem bent on personalizing this
Edited on Thu Jul-21-05 03:58 PM by kenny blankenship
But I'll try to keep discussion centered on the record.
The DLC has sold out southern whites who used to vote for them by backing every anti-Labor measure and trade treaty it could find. Of course it's not fair to view that one betrayal in isolation: they have also sold out the interests of southern blacks by the same anti-labor "bidness friendly" attitude, by hypeing the war on drugs and cheering the destruction of social programs.

The Democratic Party which used to be a party of segregationists to its credit expanded its defense of the average white man to a defense of average PEOPLE. You find principle objectionable it seems and want to return to those earlier days. Well, can't fault the DLC for not trying it your way! There's a problem though: you're running out of hated "interest groups" to burn on the altar of uppermiddle class and corporate power. One by one--labor, blacks, women, Hispanics, gays, "peaceniks", environmentalists--those interest groups you resent so much have been traded away and turned off from the Party, and the net effect is that the New Democrats are still rapidly fading away. It hasn't done the larger Democratic Party a damn bit of good to turn their backs on their base and their principles. Whodda thunkit?

It's hilarious that you think you know what I'd be saying in 1948--I speak of what has been DONE, you want to attack me personally on stuff it's impossible for me to have done.
In view of your rapid escalation to personal invective and plain absurdity, and your distaste for the current Democratic Underground, I'm going to have to bid you have a nice Republican day.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:07 PM
Response to Original message
51. Our policies and ideas are fine
We just need to be smarter at communicating and managing the political dialogue in the US.
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idlisambar Donating Member (916 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. like what?
How could we communicate better, and why haven't we been effective in the past?
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MsTryska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-05 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
54. i have no idea what the DLC'ers are doing....
corporate whores that they are, but my question for you is this:


are you south indian?
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