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WP op-ed: "The Death of Triangulation" by Eli Pariser

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:35 AM
Original message
WP op-ed: "The Death of Triangulation" by Eli Pariser
The Death of Triangulation
By Eli Pariser
Thursday, August 10, 2006; Page A23

Ned Lamont's victory Tuesday night in Connecticut's U.S. Senate primary is great news for Democrats. And it's a watershed moment for the growing majority of Americans, in red states and blue, who want change....

***

It's certainly understandable that Republicans would prefer to see Democrats continue to run the temporizing candidates whom they've had little trouble trouncing for the past decade. But you'd think Democratic strategists would be jumping for joy -- after all, they should be able to ride the anti-incumbent feeling to victory in November. Instead, we hear the perennial pundit nattering about moving the party too far to the left. And Marshall Wittmann of the Democratic Leadership Council -- who stubbornly refuses to address the real civil war in Iraq -- invokes the specter of a domestic civil war within the party.

That's because while Lamont's victory is a promising development, it marks the beginning of the end for an old favorite of Washington insiders -- the tactics of triangulation. Originally employed as a survival strategy by a Democratic president in the wake of 1994's Republican revolution, the policy of seizing the political middle ground no longer makes sense in an era when any attempt at bipartisanship is understood as a sign of Democratic weakness and exploited accordingly....

***

With triangulation passing, a new era of bolder, principle-driven politics can begin. Lamont's success should be the opening salvo in a 90-day campaign to establish the clear-cut differences between Democrats and Republicans. Most independent voters, like Democrats, want change, but many of them aren't sure yet whether Democratic candidates are capable of giving it to them. Now's the chance to seize that mantle....

(The writer is executive director of the MoveOn Political Action Committee.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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kaygore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
1. Go, Eli!!!!!
MoveOn and the Lamont Campaign proved that people, and not money, make the difference!
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
2. This worked in a very Blue state against the worst...
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:46 AM by SaveElmer
Of the Democratic Bush cheerleaders...

It's a big leap from there to say that this portends a trend in red or even purple states...

What works in one place will not necessarily work in another...great care has to be taken to apply a general strategy based on one example

I remember some of the same things being said when Wellstone won the first time...

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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Or, seen another way
An unknown, inexperienced businessman beat an incumbent Democratic Senator (only the 4th incumbent senator beaten in a primary in American history) who had the party's most influential DLC at bat for him, with Karl Rove offering help, in a Democratic state.

Not to mention that Ned looked a bit uncomfortable in crowds at first.

If anything, it should be easier in states where a actual blue donkey dem runs against a pro-Bush incumbent.
Indeed, there will be a fair number of incumbent upsets, particularly if the DLC can be forced into the background
and populist, anti oil-war Dems step up to the plate.

This is an opportunity. We can either seize it, or return to our losing ways.
There is a lot more America that wants to be American in the good sense again than there is RedMurika
that wants to occupy the Sudatenland again.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm not downplaying the accomplishment...
Just trying to get Democrats to avoid the Republican habit of overplaying their hand...

Lamont did not go ahead until Lieberman made his boneheaded announcement that he would go Indie...had he not done that Lieberman would have won.

There is no Senator who ass-kisses Bush in public more than Lieberman....

The DLC is not the enemy, Bush is the enemy. Lieberman lost in part because he was perceived as being to close to Bush...not because he was DLC

And I want to caution you that Lieberman is still dangerous and could pull out a victory in November...before going off half-cocked trying to unseat other Democrats, we may want to make sure this one wins first!

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Fovea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I agree with your caution about hubris
And I agree that Lieberman will be a factor to contend with if he continues down his independent path.

But I also think that as Karl Rove has proved, immobility is the enemy.
If we move to the left, we are not only moving, but we are moving in the direction
of policies that, if not prejudiced with branding, most Americans agree with.

We need a 21st Century Compact with the working and middle class.
We need all of the New Deal back, the labor movement reborn,
a repudiation of the WTO and NAFTA/CAFTA rewritten so that it exports fair labor standards to mexico and central america
instead of poor paying jobs. the wealth that would generate might really lift the whole global economy. As would a Social Democratic
sweep of the Americas. Let the right make canukistan jokes, the Canadians have it better as a society from the vantage point of the working and middle class than anywhere else in the hemisphere.

We all could learn from them.

I also think that there are a lot of Americans who despise our mad cowboy disease inspired foreign policy.
And by extension, they get a sour stomach when they see Dems supporting the Iraq Occupation.
Michael Moore and I think that those incumbents who don't find a way to reverse their stance on Iraq
may find a number of Democrats who won't be forgiving when choosing between them and a Dem who does not support Bush** on the occupation.


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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. The crack about Canuckistan reminds me of the bogeyman
our right-wing rags in the UK loved to witter on about in horrified toes: inflation.

I noticed that the general public were never better off than when inflation was relatively high, i.e relative to the minimal inflation the right prefer. A degree of healthy inflation goes with a measure of social democracy, in which the country's wealth is more equitaby shared between all the people. Long live Kanuckistan, I say!
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. The DLC is the enemy
They are not and have not been standing up for *anything* except the corporate status quo. They brought us the bankruptcy bill, the scalito appointment, quashing the attempts at investigation of actual crimes, the Medicaid fiasco, yadda yadda yadda. All in an attempt to hold the middle? A poor strategy at best like poking out your eyes because you see something offensive.

Who is talking about unseating other democrats?

-Hoot
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Well said Hoot. The DLC must die or at Least re register RepubliCANT
The Democratic "Leadership" has forgotten that Democrats are LIBERAL PROGRESSIVES first. They brought us the Minimum Wage, the ERA and ended Jim Crow.
WTF is going on when we would be willing to turn our back on that history and trade it in for NAFTA? :puke: :puke: :puke: :puke:
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. "...avoid the Republican habit?"
Lst I saw, the Republicans controlled all three branches of government- and thatnks to the so called "moderate" Dems and their assinine triagulation- the far right now controls damn every mass media outlet in the country.

What the dems should have been doing a long, long time ago is cluing in to how the far right has been winning election after election- despite have what are often profundly unpopular positions on the major issues.
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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. They have been successful electorally...barely...
But they have not accomplished a fundamental realignment, nor have they been able to push through the most radical of their goals...

If our goal is simply to barely be the majority party in Congress...then by all means follow their example...

If our goal is to truly be the majority party, something deeper and more long term needs to take place...

Talk to Howard Dean...that is precisely what he is working on!

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Nor have they been able to push through the most radical..."
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:54 PM by depakid
of their goals...}

Excuse me????

Where have you been the last 6 years?

There's so many reactionary policies and laws in place today that it would have made my head spin if you told me even 10 years ago- much less 15 or 20.

They're not even close to done- and there's no effective opposition party who might stop them.

Whatever this country it's now- it's not an America I even recognize anymore.



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SaveElmer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. How'd they do...
With Social Security, Medicare, etc...

I am not saying they haven't done some very bad things...obviously..bu they do not simply want to nibble around the edges...they want a fundamental realignment of the way Government interacts with the people, a fundamental realignment of the tax system to make it benefit the rich, and a weaknenng of the basic safety net the government has had in place for 75 years...

They have failed at all of this...nothing they have done is irreversible with one session of a Democratic majority...

What I want is a fundamental Democratic realignmnet to make even more rock solid, and to expand the very things the right wing would like to destroy. A sorch and burn political philosophy will not accomplish that...it will simply keep the country divided like it is...

I don't want to win 51-49...I want to win 75-25...for 20 years!!!
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. thus far, the party's reaction to Lamont's win has been underwhelming
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 10:58 AM by welshTerrier2
Wes Clark was correct when he suggested that the Dem Party leadership may still not perceive "the mounting rage in much of the electorate over the failures of President Bushs policies" ...

we are watching the reaction of our party's leaders to the newly emerging "Lamont wing" of the party ... so far, it's been underwhelming ...

yeah, they're all going to "back" the Democratic candidate ... and then they turn right around and said such nice things about good old Joe ...

let me help them: "Democratic voters in CT have spoken ... they've sent a loud and clear message that the war has got to be stopped and that cozying up to bush and the neocons is not acceptable conduct for elected Democrats ... Joe Lieberman, if he indeed runs as an Independent, is stabbing his party in the back. We will do everything in our power to see that he does not succeed."

if the party's leadership continues their tap-dancing around Lieberman's candidacy, they may soon find themselves having to run as Independents ... triangulation is dead; the old ways are not going to fly anymore ... we're watching you, party leaders ... get your act together NOW ...

from the article cited in the OP:


People don't want Democratic politicians whose grotesquely nuanced positions on issues make their utterances incomprehensible or meaningless or both. They want a new direction.
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Totally Committed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. All I can say to that is ..............................
DITTO!!!!

TC
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. what we should be hearing from our Party's leaders:
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:06 PM by welshTerrier2
allow me to repeat:

"Democratic voters in CT have spoken ... they've sent a loud and clear message that the war has got to be stopped and that cozying up to bush and the neocons is not acceptable conduct for elected Democrats ... Joe Lieberman, if he indeed runs as an Independent, is stabbing his party in the back. We will do everything in our power to see that he does not succeed."

btw, thanks for all the dots ... i just love dots ... some people seem to hate them ... it could actually become a campaign issue this November ...
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hootinholler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. So you say you love dots .........................
But then use an elipsis... not dots................

Just sayin
:evilgrin:

Oh, I agree with the message...

-Hoot
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. name caller
an ellipsis is just dots that got together to have a good time ... why must we always label everything??

i actually have no idea how or why i started writing like that on DU ... some people really hate it ... it might be my INTP personality ... i mean, using a period at the end of a sentence is so final ... it just seems like we should always allow the possibility that there are other thoughts and ideas that could be included ...

thanks for the dots though ..................
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Scriptor Ignotus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Preach it from the Mountain! nt
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
7. Yes! K&R!
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
10. CUE THE VONAGE THEME!
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 01:17 PM by rocknation
:woohoo:
And no more sniveling about "fear of alienating the moderates," please. There ARE no moderates, only people who need to be empowered with the reality that their goverment is no longer interested in THEIR interests! Let the Rethugs continue to voice their "concern" that the Dems are going "too far left"--in fact, we should thank them!

:headbang:
rocknation
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