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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 02:56 AM
Original message
Anyone but Kerry or Edwards
in the upcoming primaries. A plea to avoid jumping on a bandwagon that will further alienate progressives.

Fear is the unfortunate fuel of America lately. Corporate America scares us into buying their products, fear of terrorism allows us to put on blinders to the destruction of our democracy, and unfortunately Democrats, and progressives have been running on fear as well. We are afraid of loosing more seats in both houses, and most of all we are afraid of another four years of bush*. Fear is an interesting irrational beast. Sometimes it keeps us from jumping off a cliff to our deaths and at other times it paralyzes us while we are climbing up the cliff to the degree that we fall off. Unfortunately, I feel fear has paralyzed most Democratic and progressive voters, to the point that we risk falling off the cliff into political obscurity. "Electability" as a prime concern in most folk's minds shows just how palpable that fear has become.

Interestingly, with bush* in the white house I feel that if we shed our fear and climbed on with courage just about anyone could defeat shrub*. Unfortunately, most can't shed the fear, and I'm afraid not only will it hurt progressive candidates for the nomination, but it stands to defeat the eventual nominee as well.

As far as I am aware the level of political dialogue in the USA is lower than in any other democracy. A vote in the upcoming primaries for either Kerry or Edwards would simply ensure that the level of dialogue in the USA remains low. If you didn't support Kerry or Edwards a month ago, don't support them now. If we send delegates to the convention that represent the diversity of the party, the eventual nominee might have to take notice, and the platform may actually be forced to drift left.

Dean, Kucinich, Braun, and Sharpton raised the level of dialogue in the Democratic Party. It is important that we maintain a high level of dialogue if we hope to encourage participation and support. Participation leads you to support the toad warts and all. We owe it to ourselves to send delegates that will represent the platforms that threaten to give the Democrats a spine again.

Vote your hope - not your fear (at least for the nomination)

Then lead with your hope not your fear

I come from a town with a green mayor, and a green majority in the population. We're a town of a few thousand, and being both politically and geographically isolated it's fair to say that folks are comfortable in their progressive skins. A few months ago, the Democrats had won many of my neighbors. Between Dean, Kucinich, Braun, and Sharpton nearly all of them had found a Democrat they could live with. Recent events have shredded that support, and most are talking about not voting for the Democrat in November. The only way I see my friends and neighbors considering voting for a Democrat in November is if the DNC and the eventual nominee reach out to them. They will not respond to Bush fear, or most other fear mongering that seems to be the way most Democrats try to get them on board (trust me I've tried and not one taker). Fear of Bush isn't going to do it. But perhaps if they see at the convention a diverse party that considers progressive ideas and isn't all behind either Kerry or Edwards, well perhaps then they would get on board.

Hey perhaps we don't need those pesky progressive thinkers in November. We can win without them and their activist approach to life.

Party unity and expansion might be achieved through respect for diversity within the party, meaningful dialogue, and compromises with those in we might not agree with.

A Kerry/Edwards bandwagon convention would simply further alienate some of the people we hope will vote for the Democratic nominee in November.

Vote your hope - not your fear (at least for the nomination)

Then lead with your hope not your fear
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. A whole lot of words but what exactly is it you want
that Kerry, Edwards, Sharpton and Kucinich aren't saying they want?
I don't hear anyone talking about fear in the words spoken by Kerry or Edwards or is it only right words when its Dean or that snake Nader speaking?
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 04:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. My plea
Support the candidate in the primaries who inspires you. I don't expect any of these candidates to win the nomination, but I do think sending progressive delegates to Boston is a good thing. Further, I think progressives make up 10 to 30% of the Democratic base. The platform and the delegates at the convention should reflect that.

I'm not suggesting that Kerry or Edwards are fear mongering, they simply seem to lack courage. They are politically careful to the degree that they are afraid to stand for anything, sheep sense the carefullness as a lack of sincerity, and both have voted for some of the worst bush* had to throw at them. (yes I would suggest that their support for the patriot act came out of fear etc.)

The other fear I'm talking about comes from many democrats (I even found myself saying it today): the line "if you don't vote for the Democratic nominee your voting for Bush" is based on fear. We, myself included, are so afraid of shrub winning another four years that we fail to listen to folks who just don't jump on that bandwagon. Based on my recent conversations with people here, that approach isn't working. Compromise is a part of political reality. If you want peoples support you offer them something. Why that logic does not apply when party leadership is considering "Nader voters" and progressives is a true mystery.
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sangha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 07:13 AM
Response to Reply #8
22. It was a simple question
"what exactly is it you want that Kerry, Edwards, Sharpton and Kucinich aren't saying they want? "



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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #22
26. The question shows a misunderstanding
Alot of folks who supported Sharpton, Kucinich, Dean and Braun are now trying to decide between Edwards and Kerry, or have withdrawn from the process entirely. I'm asking folks to stay the coarse, and vote for their chosen candidate so that there is a little more diversity at the convention.

Who knows, that diversity might just help me convince some folks to come back. Sharpton, Kucinich, and formerly Dean and Braun were saying things that got the progressives in my town behind the democrats. Now with either Kerry or Edwards a near certainty for the nomination they have withdrawn.

Three months ago it looked like my town would go for the Democrat, now it looks like they will go green again. I'd like to point folks in my town to ways the Democrats will continue to give voice to their concerns, or to ways they are reaching out to them, but I don't see that happening. And I doubt it will unless there is a respectable progressive representation in Boston.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #26
47. You're avoiding the question
with an irrelevant objection. You claim you want a diversity of opinion/policy/positions at the convention, but you won't say which ideas are not being represented by Edwards and Kerry.

Also, I don't believe you overheated claims about people leaving the party, going Green, or whatever. The primary turnout suggests no one is leaving the party, and a good number of people are getting involved. Some states have seen turnout doubled and even tripled. Your claims are contradicted by reality.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #47
69. Edwards and Kerry do not represent the platforms
of Kucinich, Sharpton, Braun, or Dean. Therefore there are many ideas put forward by other candidates that are not being represented by either Edwards or Kerry. What are the deal breakers? Well, the green thinkers in my town are a diverse group, but there seem to be few things that they say will keep them from supporting Kerry or Dean in November. First, in general on the political spectrum it is fair to say that since 1980 everything has drifted further and further right. Therefore, the folks that live in a world that least resembles one they would like are the folks on the left side of the spectrum. Many of these folks could live with the Democrats if they gave them the time of day. Dean got many of my neighbors on board because he talked about making government for the people again. These people knew Dean was a moderate, but they wanted a voice. Currently most Democrats simply marginalize them, telling them to suck it up as they are in the minority and they are essentially out of touch with "reality". It really shouldn't surprise anyone that this turns people off, and makes them look at the third party. Another deal breaker would have to be the military industrial complex that seems to be running unchecked. Some of my neighbors are unswerving on this one, and only a Kucinich run would keep them from going third party. However, the majority of them have a pragmatic side, and felt that Dean while pro military at least did not appear to be afraid of putting the breaks on, and speaking out when it was called for. Many of these folks I feel would not throw in the towel if they could be convinced that there was a substantial 10-20% group within the Democratic Party that felt the same way and were willing to work toward reigning in the military. Another Deal breaker is free trade/WTO concerns. Many in my town cannot understand putting trade over labor, environmental, and other local government concerns. While both Kerry and to a greater degree Edwards have talked about limiting free trade abuses, they also both have lost credibility because the money that is getting them elected comes from proponents of free trade. Yet another Deal breaker appears to be the budget. Here the military gets the biggest cut, and all the special interests that keep the military running. Because of the special interests living on corporate welfare, and back room contracts; things like small farms, small business, the environment, social services, education, small independent media continue to loose out more every year since around 1980. So what can we do to get my town back on board with the Democratic Party. All I'm suggesting is it would help to have some of the progressive platforms suggested by the other candidates represented in Boston. Surely there are other ways we could reach out to this energetic group of folks, and if we don't many will not support the Democratic nominee.

I don't claim to live in a typical American town. It is wonderfully unique, so I'll admit that what is going on in my small town may not reflect the rest of the country. But I'm confused as to why a group of people who have shown they are willing to give time, money and energy to Democrats should be so easily written off. Dean is a great example of just how little these folks need to keep them on board, but I guess if you feel like you can win this election with out them then there is really no need to reach out to them. FYI most of them don't need to dictate the party platform to be kept on board they just need to be acknowledged and listened to.
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littlejoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #26
60. Please tell us; just what is your definition of "progressive"?
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
41. Great. Kerry's the best qualified candidate since 1968.
What's wrong with having a Liberal Democrat as President?
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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #41
52. The common phrase is, "Ameica is the greatest country on earth!"
For 40 years Democrats controlled the purse strings that made this the greatest country on earth. So I see nothing wrong with being a liberal, in fact I'm damn proud of it! Look at what hell the republicans have brought to this country in just the 9 years they've controlled things? As a nation we are the poorer (socially, intellectually and financially) for their policies.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #52
71. Thanks, JasonDeter! Couldn't have said it better!
LIBERAL Democrats beat the Depression and started Social Security.

LIBERAL Democrats beat the Fascists in World War 2 and created the greatest military in history.

LIBERAL Democrats beat the commies in the Cold War and kept the peace.

So what's wrong with being a proud LIBERAL?

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JasonDeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #71
74. I wish I could line all the talking head Democratic leadership up
and tell them to straighen up, stick their chests out and yell, "Hell yes I'm proud to be a Liberal! And let me say on behalf of all Liberals to the republicans who ask if I'm proud to be a Liberal? Your welcome. When you republicans say this is a great country, your really saying thank you to Democrats!"
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BL_Zebub Donating Member (473 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #41
56. Nothing. But Kerry doesn't fit that description
neither does Edwards. And the best candidate since 1968 was assassinated, although in a different manner than the 68 candidate was :evilfrown:
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #56
70. Heh heh. That is devlish.
Kerry is a Liberal. And he's damn proud.

BTW: Ted Kennedy endorsed. John Kerry for President. If anybody should know...
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littlejoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #8
59. Calling Kerry uncourageous? That simply doesn't pass the
Edited on Mon Mar-01-04 05:48 PM by littlejoe
"smell" test.

No on I can think of in politics has displayed more courage than Sen. Kerry. He certainly has nothing to prove.

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WitchWay Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #59
63. Courage...
to betray powerful interests, to challenge the belligerent mindset of the American public, and to declare to the American public that he was wrong in his IWR vote would be a start. It would be nice for Kerry to commit to an exit strategy in Iraq that is immediate and fair to the Iraqi citizens.

Courage on the battlefield does not equate to courage to take principled stands and positions. I don't want a war president. Why won't Kerry commit to pull out of Iraq quickly, as soon as he takes office?
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WitchWay Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #59
65. The kind of courage Kerry needs
Kerry needs the courage betray powerful interests, to challenge the belligerent mindset of the American public, and to declare to the American public that he was wrong in his IWR vote would be a start. It would be nice for Kerry to commit to an exit strategy in Iraq that is immediate and fair to the Iraqi citizens.

Courage on the battlefield does not equate to courage to take principled stands and positions. I don't want a war president. Why won't Kerry commit to pull out of Iraq quickly, as soon as he takes office?
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littlejoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. I believe the senator has met all of your requirements.
But what is it about the nature of the IWR vote that you don't understand?

Suppose for a minute that everyone voted against IWR. That would have given the administration carte-blanche to do whatever they wanted, in the manner they chose.

All the IWR did was hold Bush's feet to the fire, so to speak, and hold him to a set of standards.

It wasn't Senator Kerry's fault that Bush did what he wanted, anyway, in the manner he wanted.

The fact was, that with, or without IWR, Bush was going to war.

John Kerry did the only responsible thing any politician could do, given the circumstances.
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jsw_81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. So we should ignore electable moderates like Kerry/Edwards...
...and instead pander to fringe liberals like you and your neighbors out in Leftyville? No thanks, but I'd rather not lose yet another 49-state landslide. And that's exactly what will happen if we ever nominated one of your candidates.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. You can't have it both ways
Lefty delegates at the convention might demonstrate that the left hasn't gone missing in the Democratic Party. It might be olive branch you could extend to my friends in "Leftville". Or hey, you can ignore them and then blame them when they don't support the eventual nominee. Casting stones at liberals is not the way to get them to vote for the Democrat.

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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:28 AM
Response to Original message
3. That would be Bush
Here's your choice: either vote for Edwards or you enable Kerry; a vote for anyone else in the primary season is a vote for Kerry.

When the nominee is chosen, vote for him, or you are voting for Bush.

Life sucks, but at least it's amply advertised as such. That's it, period.
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Gore1FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. As far as primaries go
I don't by a vote for abE = a vote for Kerry. Influence of even a handful of delegates is important when the convention rolls around. Unlike the November election, the primaries are contests with many prizes (read delegates)

We are simply building coalitions now.

Now -- when it is a two horse race for one prize in Novemeber, a liberal vote for anyone other than the Dem nominee is effectively a vote for Bush
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. Silly DNC meetings I keep attending
suggest that it is important to send representative delegates and platform suggestions to the convention. If there is actually a progressive voice or two at the convention, it might help to bring the "Nader voters" (scapegoats) on board.

"When the nominee is chosen, vote for him, or you are voting for Bush."

Have you tried that line in person to a progressive on the fence about voting for the Democratic nominee? Trust me it turns most folks off. But perhaps demonstrating how the party can have a big enough tent to fit progressive inside is just to scaaaary.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:32 AM
Response to Original message
4. On the other hand, don't be a fool

That's the thinking that is individually satisfying and fails to improve the condition of the collective. Thanks for your altruism and patronizing view of our low standards.

Be nice to more moderate Democrats, they're the reason things aren't worse in your neck of the woods and the U.S. has a bit of a social safety net. In fact, we're more liberal than you folks are. Are you sure you're not just a bunch of libertarians?
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 04:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. No thank you
for marginalizing the people whose support you claim to want.
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Lexingtonian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Not me

There are only so many morons we can take on board. Enjoy your swim.
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Gore1FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 03:32 AM
Response to Original message
5. I am not sure exactly where you are going with this
but my interpretation is go lef tin the primaries/caucuses and don;t necessarily jump on a frontrunner bandwagon.

If that is what you meant, then I agree.

To say a Kerry or Edwards run in 2004 is unwinable and will alienate the left is inaacurate -- it may turn off the uninformed, but no candidate will ever not have such a problem. (I used a double negative there on purpose)

Kerry and Edwards are liberal enough when compared to the rest of the Senate to easily eliminate arguments that they don't represent the broadest cross section of the party.

That being said, I agree -- vote your heart int he primaries -- If however you are calling for a massive walkout of potential Democratic voters, or worse calling for a third party candidacy to accomplpish roughly the same thing, you are simply using a known failed strategy to keep the worst scenario status quo.

So in short -- Please explain your main purpose and conclusions.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Main purpose
To convince my neighbors/friends that voting for the Democratic nominee is not a total waist of time. This would be easier to accomplish if the delegates and platform at the convention represented the 10-30% of progressive democrats in the party.



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Gore1FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:00 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Ok then we agree
I was concerned you were being overall anti Kerry/Edwards as opposed to just being against them in the nominating process.

There are many "global" anti-threads here and the title indicated this might be one. Obviously this is not one, base on your explaination.
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bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 04:44 AM
Response to Original message
12. No.
I'll vote for Kerry.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
14. I and others are hearing the same thing: "I'm not going to bother
to vote in the primary, 'cos Kerry has a lock on it and I can't/don't want to/won't vote for him."

I've even heard a couple times that 'Kerry is Gore, but without the charisma' (which I can only hope is meant to be irony).
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wal Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:51 AM
Response to Original message
16. You're bloody kidding, mate!
Anyone who takes this guys' advice is taking the easy way out.
It's always harder to do the right thing, like putting your faith in a political candidate when there's plenty of evidence that there's plenty of corrupt ones. But to not vote because it will lower the political dialogue! Cripes, we should just let Shrub do what he likes!
It would be madness not to campaign vigorously for the Democratic candidate in the upcoming election.
The fear that has been created by Smirk and his accomplices can be blown away like the flatulent gas it is, if a brave, decent, honest man like John Kerry can empower Democrats by renewing their faith in America and Her institutions.
Don't be fooled by divisionists who'll talk Democratic relevence down - John F. Kerry has the experience, the courage, and the quiet dignity to win the next election - if he's not let down by his Democratic supporters!
Get up, get out and vote for...

Kerry / Kucinich in '04
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:11 AM
Response to Original message
17. Or people will vote Nader
They still think voting Nader is better than selling out to establishment Dems.

I say Nader's a spook for the repubs.

But many will not hear that. They will see only his green background and vote their conscience, whether or not it helps Bush.

It is a nightmare.

I miss Dean. I miss Al. I miss REAL democrats.

I guess I must vote DK on Tuesday. That is fine.

But Edwards would be better than Kerry and I am still going around and around.
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MurikanDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:15 AM
Response to Original message
18. No thanks. Kerry is the best candidate, and it's not my job to tailor
my vote to please the smallest percentage of the Party. There's nothing wrong with your advocating and voting for your candidate of choice in the primary, but don't tell me I have to vote for YOUR preference or you will become alienated and pick up your marbles and find a different game. Emotional extortion and blackmail head games don't work.

The far left, or left fringe, are only as relevant as the other competing minorities; Women, Blacks, Hispanics, GLBTs, labor, Native Americans, moderates, environmentalists, southerner's, northeastern liberals, and other minorities. The rest of us must compromise, we never get everything we want, but we persevere and we stay together for the common good. We don't threaten to take our votes to another Party.

The few percent on the fringe simply cannot expect to dictate the agenda to the majority. Their small numbers do not warrant that kind of leverage.

Having said that, Kerry has one of the MOST liberal records in the Senate. Perhaps it's the left fringe who are not willing to do any compromising. Perhaps some people are just impossible to please no matter what

Oh, and I am a progressive, and so is Kerry. The term does not the refer the left fringe exclusively.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Here is the thing
I've spent the last couple of weeks, trying to keep folks on board with the Democratic party. In my town I am in the minority. Granted the town is in the minority, but a few months ago these folks were on board with several of the Democratic candidates. They are now talking about jumping ship. Perhaps if these folks feel represented at the convention they could be convinced to stay the coarse. So I'm advocating folks vote for their candidate of choice in the primary so that their candidates views are represented at the convention.

The "Nader voters" are what cost us the last election, or so I am told over and over and over and... Yet no effort can be made to keep them on board? Many of these same "fringe" voters were on board with Dean, a super moderate, yet you can't see a way to get them to stay in the big tent of the Democratic Party. Obviously if they were in with Dean or Kucinich, or Braun or Sharpton they must want to "dictate the agenda". Good grief.
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MurikanDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. There's nothing wrong with voting for Kucinich or whomever they
please in the Primary. And for just the strategic reason you suggest - to bargain for representation at the convention.

I have seen Kerry supporters on this message board say they voted for Kucinich because Kerry was a safe win in their state and they wanted to see Kucinich get the numbers behind his name to further his movement for progressive causes.

Also, I don't believe Nader will have the effect some others believe he will. He'll be lucky to get 1% this time.

And finally, how do you propose to change the will of the vast majority of the rank and file of the Democratic voters? They clearly prefer Kerry, and to a lesser extent Edwards.

The fact is there are more votes to be gained by concentrating efforts on the center, or the swing votes, than on the discontented left fringe. That's the brutal math of it.
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Iverson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. too sensible
"Yet no effort can be made to keep them on board?"

Any adoption of their concerns, even any respectful treatment, is indistinguishable from caving in to their agenda 100% and giving them everything they want all of the time, which, as any reasonable person knows, just isn't tenable.

That leaves the single permissible choice of browbeating them until they obediently, mutely render their votes to the centrist they're told is progressive. Anything short of that is, by definition, contributing to the Bush campaign.

I don't believe the foregoing myself, but I'm one of those irrational extremists who's not fitting in anyway.
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diamondsoul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
25. That is possibly the most disgusting thing
I've seen on DU yet!

"The far left, or left fringe, are only as relevant as the other competing minorities; Women, Blacks, Hispanics, GLBTs, labor, Native Americans, moderates, environmentalists, southerner's, northeastern liberals, and other minorities. The rest of us must compromise, we never get everything we want, but we persevere and we stay together for the common good. We don't threaten to take our votes to another Party."

First off you refer to leftists and "fringe" over all just because we happen to be more left than you- THEN you denigrate every minority suggesting that all of us should just suck up the "compromise" whether it's acceptable to us or not!

Who the HELL is "The rest of us"? White middle class males? Effin' bigotry on DU! Unreal!
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MurikanDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #25
28. Like it or not, politics IS about compromise
And "fringe" is not something I made up - it's a common term used for the leftmost and rightmost ends of the Democratic and Republican Parties for a long time.

God forbid NO, I don't think you should EVER have to compromise. I think if you can't get YOUR candidate or YOUR agenda, in spite of what the MAJORITY wants, you should vote for Nader, stay home, or vote for Bush. I don't care.

Finally, if you REALLY see bigotry in my comments, please use the alert button. I think the accusation is absurd, however.
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Iverson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. Does that extend to reading with clarity?
"God forbid NO, I don't think you should EVER have to compromise."

I didn't see anything in that response about a refusal to compromise. However, the knee-jerk resonse that frames all criticism as a refusal to compromise merely illustrates my point that being treated as an equal is too much to ask.

And you're right; it wasn't bigotry. It was a reflexive dismissal of critiques from the left. What a way to rally support!
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MurikanDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #30
32. I did see extreme aversion and vitriol at the suggestion of compromise.
And listen, I didn't start this pissing contest. I was attacked and called a bigot for truthfully pointing out that the far left does not have the leverage in numbers to set the agenda for the majority AND for pointing out that there are several competing minorities in the Democratic Party.

And it seems to me that the reflexive dismissals are coming from a vocal minority here on far left. (Not all of them, mind you) I don't think attacks like the one above against me are any way to rally MY support, do you?

I don't have any reason to believe the far left won't have "some" voice in Party platform if Kerry is the nominee. Kerry is, after all, one of the most liberal members of the Senate. I also don't have any reason to believe that "some" on the far left are not going to be happy no matter how much they are given. Particularly some around here.
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Iverson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #32
40. half a loaf
"And listen, I didn't start this pissing contest."

By now, it's all mid-swim. It didn't start with this thread either.

"I was attacked and called a bigot for truthfully pointing out ..."

You may have noticed that I affirmed that your comments were not bigotry.

"I don't think attacks like the one above against me are any way to rally MY support, do you?"

No, I do not. Ignore my advice at your peril, though (and by "your" I mean not necessarily you personally, but certainly those who identify with the controlling faction in the Democratic party and who expect mute assent from the others).

"I don't have any reason to believe the far left won't have "some" voice in Party platform if Kerry is the nominee."

This is what you and lefty Dems need to discuss. Clearly, they feel differently, and Kerry's dismissive, wordless glance at Kucinich symbolizes for some the power relationship at hand. Declaring that you're a progressive and everything's fine is the path of wishful thinking.

"I also don't have any reason to believe that "some" on the far left are not going to be happy no matter how much they are given."

Exactly. So the challenge, then, is not to satisfy every individual critic but to respond to the ideas. If the line is drawn at kinder, gentler empire and no further left than that, then forget the claim to progressivism and the claim on those votes.
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MurikanDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. I do think we need to shift back leftward as a Party.
I've had this debate a couple times - but I'll go down this path again.

The shift to the right took place over a generation, and any shift back to the left has to take place in small steps. Just STOPPING the shift to the right and the Bush neocon agenda is a major step in the right direction IMO. My God, Bush has had a major shit fest with this country in the last 3 years. If we are so fortunate to get a Democrat in the White House, and KEEP him there for 8 years, that STILL won't be enough time to clean up the mess.

We do need to shift leftwards, but I don't agree that this election has to or even should revolve around restructuring the Democratic Party. The most important issue we need to be concerned with is replacing the sonovabitch currently squatting in the White House with someone qualified for the job. I believe either Kerry or Edwards are qualified for that position.

Here are just a few of the demands I have seen from those who insist if they don't get their way they will vote 3rd Party, and one even claimed they'd vote for Bush:

They demand particular candidates, however the majority of the rank and file of the Democratic Party have rejected theses candidates. They demand actions and positions from candidates tantamount to political suicide. They demand elimination of centrists from the Party in far, far greater numbers than they can replace with their votes. They demand to dictate terms to the center and left-center elements of the Democratic Party at least 10 times greater in numbers. These demands are far beyond what they can realistically hope to command, and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the practicalities of political organization and effectiveness.

I'm not even saying I don't agree with parts of it, I'm simply saying that the majority will never accept a radical shift to the left, and such an agenda will lose more votes in the center than it will gain with votes on the far left.

I don't demand loyalty oaths from others and I support every person's right to vote for whom they please. By the same token I do not appreciate tantrums from those who cling to purity and altruism who resort to emotional extortion and blackmail head games in an effort to chastise me because I support a candidate they do not agree with. Nor do I have any control over how the majority of the rank and file of the Democratic voters register their choice either, as if chastising me would change their votes or get their candidate more votes.
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littlejoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
64. God help anyone here who supports Sen. Kerry!
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:17 AM
Response to Reply #30
35. "Reading with clarity" assumes one knows the subject matter
Edited on Mon Mar-01-04 09:17 AM by sangh0
and as many, many, many, posts have made clear, what's upsetting the "progressives" (according to self-identified people on the Internet who claim that progressive Dems are going to sit the election out even though turnout in the primaries suggest increased turnout in the GE, not a depressed turnout) is the Dem's votes for IWR, PATRIOT, and NCLB. Since those occurred in the past, and are therefore impossible to undo, these so-called progressives (who are obsessed with the past. Go figger!) have based their complaints on positions that cannot be compromised. They've already occurred.

So yes, I would say it's reasonable to speak of those who have staked a claim on the future (ie. why do you think they call themselve PROGRESSives?) while keeping their eyes uncompromisingly on the past, as "fringe", "loony", or whatever derisive term comes to mind.
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Iverson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #35
39. Let's explore this.
If I understand you correctly, since the past is impossible to undo, fixating on it is "Loony," etc..

I would argue that that is a pointless position. The Bush administration antics are in the past. The theft of the 2000 election is in the past. Initiating a war of aggression is in the past.

Very nearly everything is in the past.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #39
48. Ridiculous. There's more in the future than in the past
Unless you have firm dat efor the end of the universe, there will more ahead of us than behind for many millions of years.

And I would add that there's a difference between not forgetting history and being obsessed with it. It leads to the pointlessness of making decisions based on the past and not on how the decision affects the future.
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Iverson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #48
55. speaking of ridiculous
The future hasn't happened yet, so the available data is in the past.

The very examples that you mentioned extend back only three years. Is looking at those "obsessive?" I suggest not. I suggest that they are relevant, not pointless. Policy counts for something. Mere disagreement with you does not suffice to make it illogical or to necessitate a future gaze only.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #35
51. But that past still influences us today, and into the future
The Patriot Act has a sunset provision-- and it could be renewed. We are still illegally occupying Iraq-- will making it a "Democrat War" be any better than the "Republican War" we have going on now? And what about reforming healthcare-- are we still insisting that our for-profit healthcare system does a better job of serving everybody than a non-profit system?

Think about Nixon in 1968: he was in favor of Vietnam, but had a "secret plan" to end it. Four years later, the "Democrat War" in Vietnam was the "Republican War", and was no closer to ending than in 1968.

These are STILL major issues to progressives of many stripes. For many of us who vigorously opposed the war and recolonization of Iraq, there won't be any change if Kerry/Edwards wins. We'll still be sending troops there, Haliburton and Bechtel will still be privatizing everything in sight, and more innocent Iraqis and US servicepeople will be killed, for no reason.

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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #28
61. compromise
politics is about compromising the least and getting the most, and if compromise isn't necessary, there will be none. If the Left goes into the convention with no voice, i.e., visible support in the form of delegates, there will be no reason for the party centrists to compromise with it, and effectively, any compromising that gets done will take place with the country's right wing.
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #18
58. the "left fringe" compromises more and get less
and they'll be sold out again this November.
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AgadorSparticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
23. disgruntled dems...
Edited on Mon Mar-01-04 07:45 AM by progressivebebe
I know there are alot of disillusioned democrats out there that are angry. But what I don't understand is the notion that the office of the presidency is all omnipotent.

IF Kucinich or Sharptom is in office tommorrow, how EFFECTIVE of a president is either one going to be? At the end of the day, he is still going to have to work with the rethugs in washington who control the house. Just because they won the presidency doesn't mean they OWN the playground.

That is why change comes in small doses. We are a nation of instant gratification. Unfortunately, the bigger the change, the longer it takes--short of a civil war on the streets, god forbid. Patience wins the race. And a slightly better attention span wouldn't hurt.

Ask Clinton. He had the same problem. Came in bright eyed, and bushy tailed with his ideals. Got nowhere and became more moderate. Did all the shit of politics go away? No. But damn if the budget wasn't balanced and the deficit managed. So, what can we thank Clinton for? I've got several billion reasons we should be sending a shout out to ol Bill.

While the idealism of Kucinich and Sharpton is great for our morale and fundamental belief in government, it is pointless because in the REAL world, washington is running amuck with republicans. So either we round up the rethugs and ship their asses to Iraq, OR we can try to work with them and have a hope of getting something done. OR we can cling to our ideals, get nothing done and put up with La Smirk for 4 more.

Whether we like it or not, very left or very right ideas don't fly. It's the moderate stance that gets action. So, it bothers me to hear idealist rip apart democrats when that big honking ape is sitting in the white house killing our men, raping the environment, putting wedges in society, and pocketing obscene amounts of money for his corporate buddies. And I'm saying that in sincerest hopes that the democratic party will unify under a single commonality.

I saw Bowling for Columbine today. Fantastic movie. I think you might be confusing fear with anger, though. Last Spring and Summer, it was all fear. People were afraid to speak up. Dean's movement didn't tap into fear. He tapped into anger. I think the issue of electability is about anger. People are angry as hell at what bush has done.

THAT is why electability is such an important factor--because moderates and independents far outnumber us progressives. You can't ignore the disgruntled republican population either. None will respond to a truly progressive candidate.

But look around. The media, the house, the judicial branch, the dept. of defense, the CIA....they are all conservative. And we wonder why dems are compromising so much? It's either that or get nothing.

For the record, I am hard core liberal. But I am not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater because my ideals are not realized by any ONE candidate in any 1 or 2 terms.

It's easy to promise the moon when you don't have a snowball's chance of winning or delivering on said promises.

lets get rid of bush first before we start cleaning house. otherwise, we will always be stuck with bush and his clowns.
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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 07:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Excelllent post!
I'm a social democrat by inclination and I agree with everything you said. The way to move this country leftward is issue by issue. Social Security was once a radical idea and now it's something that might turn out to be a wedge issue to OUR advantage...although if we don't win it, we're screwed, unlike some of the wedge issues that the conservatives use.

Seriously, though. We need to harness the power of the internets, as moveon.org has done and use it to bring our issues into the mainstream. Kucinich is right when he says we're already paying for single payer universal healthcare - we're just not getting it. Kerry was also right when he released his plan..way back in the early days of the campaign and he said this was the best plan that could get passed. It's up to use to change the latter situation before we can change the former and it can be done when it's an issue that resonates with a lot of people. A few months ago I was happy just to find some relatively obscure websites that were discussing outsourcing of jobs. Now it's on Lou Dobbs every night and on the covers of major magazines. There are lots of those issues. We just have to pick our battles carefully and take it to all the people, not just those who agree with us on every issue.
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Monte Carlo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. Well said, patience is a virtue...
... that seems to be lost on many here. Change, the real change that is often talked about and desired here, is not going to happen in any one election. It's going to result from a consistent push over a long period of time, not in an election season, or anything short of a civil war. Kucinich and Sharpton may have more ideal policy stances, but even if they were put into office, there is no guarantee that they would get anything they wanted accomplished at all. Edwards and Kerry might be far from perfect, but I'd bet anything that they'll get more done in office than either Kucinich or Sharpton, especially Sharpton.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #23
29. some good points
So I'd advocate pointing to a diverse convention in Boston to get my green town to get involved again with the Democrats. Perhaps you would suggest that my green town could get more done working within the party than they will by staying outside it.

Neither is the olive branch many progressives and certainly many in my town are looking for but it's a start.

I disagree with you about electability. Anger is often based in fear, and it really is fear of four more years of Bush that makes people consider electability as a key ?issue? in this election. I'm convinced that any of the nine original candidates could have beat bush*.

Also I think you trivialize the power of the White House. A new administration with all the appointees changes more facets of government and our daily lives than any other single political act. If Kucinich or Sharptom were in office tommorrow they would create alot of changes that congress would have little or no control over. Again you make some good points about the party being more than just the person in the White House, but the dismissal by many of issues, records or platforms in this primary season has been troubling. Electability gives us things like the Governator. Just not the road I think we should be going down.

Finally, lets assume you want my town to go for the Democrat. How do you plan to inspire them? Brow beating doesn't work, not that surprising really. Many of them supported the moderate Dean, so surely it can't be that hard.
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AgadorSparticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #29
43. ok, how about this:
I agree on some things you've mentioned.

But I disagree that the governator won from his electability. I think he rode on the wave of resentment towards gray davis and marketed his wife. The deep pockets from the republicans didn't hurt either.

As for the dismissal of issues and platforms, I disagree. I think the candidates are progressive enough to know what is held dear to the party and to themselves. Al Sharpton and Dennis Kucinich are constant reminders that the party hasn't lost its soul or forgotten its left fringe voters. It just wants to be effective and broaden its base. THAT is the reason Sharpton and Kucinich are even in the debates. It's certainly not to win.

I don't think it is a dismissal of issues and platforms as it is a concentrated effort to keep the country focused on topics that count in winning a NATIONAL election: economy, jobs, and healthcare.

The rest, albeit important, can only serve to divide and distract. Example: the absurd Gay Marriage Amendment. It provides yet another wedge in society and distracts us from the economy. Plain and simple. a yr from now, NO ONE will care because the media will take us on another ride--new issues and all the while, flaming more anger, fear, and hatred. But the trick is to see it for what it REALLY is. RISE ABOVE THE SMOKESCREEN.

We, as democrats, need to be more saavy. It is not by accident that this issue of gay marriage is coming up during an election year. We need to keep vigilent on such cheap tactics of divide and conquer. It is difficult to argue ideals when you are put up against guerrilla-like tactics. So the key is to change the framework of the battle--not play their game.

We need to FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS! On what counts: economy, healhcare, and jobs.

Being heard does not equate to changes. Being ABLE to implement changes equates to changes.

Bush is a prime example that presidents do not get elected on issues. The repugs rode a wave of neo conservative morality after the scathing media harrassment of the clintons. Bush wasn't elected based on his platforms. He ran on a platform of identity politics. He was the moral compass that will save us from clinton's abuse of the WH with his penis. Restore dignity to the oval office? Remember that load of crap? And the nation fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker.

We have sadly reached a new era of politics. It is about what a PERCIEVED "type" of person you are that gets elected. Not what you stand for. I'm not saying this is right. I'm saying this is reality. And if we don't acknowledge this, we will get bitch slapped everytime.

So, we have a responsibility to be aware of cheap political tactics. At this point, it is not even about ideals anymore. We don't have that luxury. It is a matter of survival. The middle class will cease to exist if we do not recognize the danger of this administration.

Dr. Dean even said, hey! lets win this election and THEN we can make room for a new progressive democratic party.

I am all for reinventing the democratic party from the INSIDE. I think it takes time, patience, and tenacity. But I don't see the need to reinvent the wheel. Playing the game is not ignoring a voice. It is a matter of survival.
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sangh0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #29
50. What "diverse convention"?
What isn't going to be at the convention that you want to see? You keep making serveral claims without backing them up such as "the dismissal by many of issues, records or platforms in this primary season", without ever identifying one issue, record or platform. You imply that something will be missing at the convention without saying what it is.

You also repeatedly claim that some number of people won't vote Dem unless the Dems do what you would like them to do without providing any evidence that this is true and without saying what it is you would like to see at the convention aside from "diversity"
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #23
34. "That is why change comes in small doses"
Edited on Mon Mar-01-04 09:15 AM by Mairead
But change toward fascism is NOT coming in small doses. Is that really so hard to understand? The only other explanation I can think of is that the 'we must take tiny steps' people are actually fascist fellow-travelers themselves trying to make sure that everyone else stays asleep.

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AgadorSparticus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #34
46. My post does not advocate fascism in any way. to suggest otherwise is
irresponsible. smoking gun theories are naive. like bush's bravado, they sound good, but are counterproductive. i believe in thinking things through and doing it the right way (patience, hard work, tenacity) and not necessarily the emotional way.

we have entered a new era of politics. btw, "fascist fellow travelers" do not wield that much power. they are merely pawns. the only thing lulling anyone to sleep are the media, commercials, karl rove, and the religious fundamentals--all feeding FEAR and INTOLERANCE.

Not me. No fear in my message. I'm telling everyone to understand the nature of politics and how it is evolving.
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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #46
54. So what are you saying--that you don't understand that the
rightward movement is occurring FAST?
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #23
36. not sure why folks think it is an either/or... I see short-term & long-
term strategies that we should pursue simultaneously.

Short term - get bush out.

However, without congress, it will be hard for any democratic President to do much except stave off attacks/assualts on our system that today's GOP seems so fond of mounting.

Short term and on - take back congress.

For the reason stated above.

Long-term - understand why ideas such as those suggested by Kucinich, which would have seemed a bit to the left 20 years ago but not fringe, now seem so fringe to the point of being unsellable to the general public. For example, when first pushed most folks viewed Trickle Down economics (aka Supply Side) as simplistic and not able to deliver its promise... Changes were made during Reagan's years but nowhere as drastically as the changes in policy made under Bush. But the language has been used so frequently that now, in the public discourse, the underlying ideas of supply-side economics seem to be accepted as ... fact (?!?!) To change this back requires a heck of a lot of work, on a heck of a lot of levels... media... getting better at moving ideas/studies/reports out of more progressive thinktanks into both the media (how is it that the right got so much media time on so many issues in the 90s?... very smart and intentional PR efforts including proactively shopping their 'intellects' as "news resources/experts" to the media) AND to testify before each and every committee hearing before congress (another part of the proactive PR efforts of the right.)

The long-term strategy also should focus on promoting more progressive candidates up and down the line (local, state, and federal elections). More prominance to these politicians - even in local media coverage ... will help reshape public discourse.

Tying that back to the original poster's thoughts:

Another reason to encourage folks to vote their "heart" in the primaries... to increase commitment to the whole election. If I believe that voting for, say, Kucinich helps bring more delegates to the party convention (and that there is a place at the convention)... I get more tuned in and committed to the long-haul election. If I opt out too soon, I get less committed - I may or may not vote in the primary and will probably vote in the general... but I won't work for the general election. However, those who are committed, even if to another candidate, are likely to increase their commitment to getting Bush out and working towards long-term changes. Often voters (if not so turned off by the process) switch their allegiance to the eventual front runner. If we can capture that commitment then we capture the energy and willingness to work for the democratic candidate in the fall.

Folks seem to overlook what the funding disparity in the general election will mean. Bush outspent Gore and lost - but closely enough to steal. Bush will probably double the outspending ratio in this coming election. In order to combat the advantage which will be gained, the democratic candidate's campaign will have to engage in the battle (so to speak) on different levels - and one of the biggest levels will be person to person contact to combat whatever spew comes from Rove etal. In order to mount successfully that kind of response... we need as many people, progressive, centrist, the whole range, not just willing to go "vote while holding my nose"... but willing to give hours a week volunteering for the effort.

In sum, I believe that there is more for us to cometogether around if we start looking at complementary short and long term strategies.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #36
73. Some good points
Unfortunately, it is hard for me to convince friends/neighbors in my town that there is a long term strategy in the Democratic Party. If there are examples of the party leadership reaching out to progressives tell me what they are. In the short-term, many in my town will be voting for either Nader or the Green Party. A month ago most of them were working for Democratic candidates. If we don't reach out to these folks we've lost not only there money, energy and time, but we loose their vote. Perhaps the short-term goal of getting bush* out of office can be met without them (I've no idea how representative my town is of progressives in other parts of the country). But there is every reason to believe that these folks can be brought back to the Democratic Party if there is something within it to inspire them, and their energy would be great to have on board.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #73
76. There are existing groups and efforts
that are promising and worth passing along. Check out the Progressive Majority - they haven't identified the candidates yet, but should soon, their point is to build a pipeline of progressive elected democrats.

http://www.progressivemajority.com/about /

here is their "advisory committee":

Progressive Majority's Advisory Committee is comprised of incumbent lawmakers who are currently waging the tough fights against the Bush Administration and the conservatives who control Congress. They are instrumental in helping us identify progressive leaders throughout the United States to run for office, and they advise us on the issues that are emerging as critical battlegrounds in the Congress and in the States.

Members:

Senator Jon Corzine
Senator Patty Murray
Representative Tammy Baldwin
Representative Sherrod Brown
Representative John Conyers, Jr.
Representative Peter DeFazio
Representative Rosa DeLauro
Representative Lane Evans
Representative Bob Filner
Representative Barney Frank
Representative Ral Grijalva
Representative Luis Gutierrez
Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
Representative Barbara Lee
Representative Betty McCollum
Representative George Miller
Representative Jerrold Nadler
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton
Representative John Olver
Representative Nancy Pelosi
Representative Martin Sabo
Representative Jan Schakowsky
Representative Hilda Solis
Representative Pete Stark
Representative Chris Van Hollen
Representative Maxine Waters
Representative Diane Watson
Representative Henry Waxman
Representative Lynne Woolsey


Check out the profiles of a few members of the Advisory Committee.

This is one place to start.

Also efforts coordinated by Moveon.org have been quite effective. The point is that there are long-term strategy efforts startng to happen - and while we are all mobilized and concerned - we should start harnessing and organizing our efforts to these ends. The question can be to those local folks to whom you refer... if we think long-term strategy... what CAN we do. What currently exists and are some of those efforts worthwhile for supporting so that they become more effective?

Becoming more involved on issues - and public education (e.g., getting the broader community) to discuss those issues - is a huge thing, that we do not do very well. I, too, live in a relatively progressive community. We are lousy about reaching into more rural, neighboring communities to foster discussions, raise awareness, and - perhaps over time (if strategic) to begin having an impact on the decisions folks make when voting. Without doing so we are like a little Island that just talks among ourselves.
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #76
77. Thank you for this
This is the kind of information that might actually help. I'll be curious of the Dean folks pick up on some of these ideas or if the movement just fizzels. Either way pointing out what democrats are doing that is progressive, and getting folks involved are two excellent ways to get the "Nader Voter" back on board. :toast:
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MaggieSwanson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
31. Thank you, Polemonium
From a Progressive Democrat.
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stuzzy Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
33. Kerry will lose...
Edited on Mon Mar-01-04 09:20 AM by stuzzy
and 2008 will be wide open for Hillary, as planned.

I don't think anyone in the DNC/DLC really wants to win this year. This is just a token run by Kerry. "It's his turn let him run, we all know he's going to lose, and then we can nominate Hillary in 2008" (All conjecture)

John Kerry=Bob Dole (excitement wise)

They are letting Kerry have it for the same reason they let Dole have it. It's his turn.

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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #33
38. be a Kerry fan, or not, let's hope that your scenario
is incorrect. I doubt that our system as we know it will survive four more years of Ashcroft, Bush, DeLay, etc.

http://www.prospect.org/print/V15/2/kuttner-r.html

America as a One-Party State

Today's hard right seeks total dominion. It's packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself.

By Robert Kuttner
Issue Date: 2.1.04
Print Friendly | Email Article

America has had periods of single-party dominance before. It happened under FDR's New Deal, in the Republican 1920s and in the early 19th-century "Era of Good Feeling." But if President Bush is re-elected, we will be close to a tipping point of fundamental change in the political system itself. The United States could become a nation in which the dominant party rules for a prolonged period, marginalizes a token opposition and is extremely difficult to dislodge because democracy itself is rigged. This would be unprecedented in U.S. history.
In past single-party eras, the majority party earned its preeminence with broad popular support. Today the electorate remains closely divided, and actually prefers more Democratic policy positions than Republican ones. Yet the drift toward an engineered one-party Republican state has aroused little press scrutiny or widespread popular protest.

We are at risk of becoming an autocracy in three key respects. First, Republican parliamentary gimmickry has emasculated legislative opposition in the House of Representatives (the Senate has other problems). House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas has both intimidated moderate Republicans and reduced the minority party to window dressing, rather like the token opposition parties in Mexico during the six-decade dominance of the PRI.

Second, electoral rules have been rigged to make it increasingly difficult for the incumbent party to be ejected by the voters, absent a Depression-scale disaster, Watergate-class scandal or Teddy Roosevelt-style ruling party split. After two decades of bipartisan collusion in the creation of safe House seats, there are now perhaps just 25 truly contestable House seats in any given election year (and that's before the recent Republican super gerrymandering). What once was a slender and precarious majority -- 229 Republicans to 205 Democrats (including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who votes with Democrats) -- now looks like a Republican lock. In the Senate, the dynamics are different but equally daunting for Democrats. As the Florida debacle of 2000 showed, the Republicans are also able to hold down the number of opposition votes, with complicity from Republican courts. Reform legislation, the 2002 Help America Vote Act (HAVA), may actually facilitate Republican intimidation of minority voters and reduce Democratic turnout. And the latest money-and-politics regime, nominally a reform, may give the right more of a financial advantage than ever.

Third, the federal courts, which have slowed some executive-branch efforts to destroy liberties, will be a complete rubber stamp if the right wins one more presidential election.

... much, much more... anyone who hasn't read this article - may I strongly recommend that you do so.
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MurikanDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #33
45. The numbers don't support your comparison with Dole
This appears to be wishful thinking on your part.
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wal Donating Member (43 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #33
57. Kerry will win

..and anyone who calls themself a Democrat will be doing everything in their power to make it happen.
Anything less is bending over for Bush.
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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #33
62. Kerry will win...
and 2008 will be open for Jeb (TM) or Bill Frist or whichever corporate frontman the right wishes to inflict on the country. Kerry is not going to initiate any fundamental changes, and four years down the road, voters will be blaming Dems for systemic and policy issues that are attributable to both parties.
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zulchzulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
37. You better invent a time machine pretty soon
Edited on Mon Mar-01-04 09:30 AM by zulchzulu
Otherwise get used to the idea of Kerry as the nominee. And he will beat Bush.

Perhaps you can point out specific issues about Kerry that would make you think would "alienate" democratic voters.

Kerry has won votes from all sectors of the democratic base in the primaries. He's won 18 out of 20 states. People from all walks of life have voted for him. Candidates like Kucinich have less than 10 delegates and rarely get past 10% of the vote. Dean is out of the race. Braun was a blowhard. Sharpton is running a vanity campaign.

Are the tens of thousands of Democratic voters who voted for Kerry just plain stupid? I think they just did their homework and want a candidate that can best beat Bush.
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jansu Donating Member (473 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
42. "We Will Tell You What To Think"!
Isn't this what the Republican party has done....everyone must think and say and believe exactly what the Party says.

I am amazed by many messages on this site, which makes being "liberal or progressive" a dirty word! It is what the Democratic party has always been! It is time that we make the "Republican Right Wing/Conservative" a four letter word! Which it truly is!

Celebrate our liberal positions on the issues! Celebrate and embrace our differences. We are not another brick in the wall.......all life is stronger when there are differences....and our party is also!

Good post. I really enjoyed reading it.

The main point is to not be afraid and all those who support Kerry or Edwards, might want to think about the things these "others" can bring to the Nominee getting elected. Don't throw this away!

Meanwhile, vote your choice in the Primary season. After the convention, let's all work as hard as we can, and force Bush and gang out forever!

W. Churchill said: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". Good words to live by. They are selling fear on all issues. Stand up, together and never act from fear.
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tryanhas Donating Member (403 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
49. I'm...
...ABBOK.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 11:16 AM
Response to Original message
53. Vote for a promise or vote for a hope, neither am I a fool or would ......
want to be. It seems to me that people that are ABB best choice now is to vote for a progressive. Letting the others know that all that has been put forward for mass consumption is not acceptable. We the People did not install the fraud and his band of homicidal crooks. This whole other prior exercise was also done by the US government in its kowtow to it's corporate paymasters.

A culmination of the process of stealing the government away from the desires of people being governed. Is what was sought and done. I do not feel fooled by any of these folks, and can see who they really are. Was there a need or feeling one needed to be lied to, not ever, at least to the camps I have perused through.

Not enough people have figured out that they have been disenfranchised from their government is what seem to me to be the problem. You can bet they planed most of it that way. The first rule of a fraud is make your victim stupid for letting it happen. Yet large blocks of people have figured it out because like many here, they are not that stupid.

Agitation is a way to get an inoculation from the contemplation and stipulation that the mitigation of the marginalization is not part of the investigation.

A seat with a half a loaf a bread on the table is better than no seat at all. But if you had 500 plus billion a year to waste and felt something bubbling up under your feet, how would you be spending it right now? I never thought twice about it, it felt quite obvious and inevitable to me.

This is all under the assumption, of course, as it occurs to any of us, that you or at least the people around you are not really that hungry or angry enough and that half-a-loaf seems rather stale, In which the logical conclusion would be to battle on


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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
66. How is Dean more progressive than Kerry?
Dean got into a game of political mudslinging with the DLC and now everybody assumes he's a "progressive". Don't get me wrong, I like Dr. Dean along with most other democrats but he is not a radical leftist like the media makes him out to be.
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nolabels Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. SHHHHHHHHHiiiiiiiiiiiishhhhhhhhh
Don't be spreading that kind of thing around, you will start a fire
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Polemonium Donating Member (660 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-01-04 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #66
72. Exactly
In many many ways he is not, in fact Dean's record was far more moderate. But the stepping away somewhat from corporate special interests, and being outspoken about the rediculousness of the war in Iraq was enough to get many green thinking folks on board. It is not that hard to get these folks involved, but it turns out it's not to hard to turn them off either. Brow beating the folks on the left is turning them off. I have little in the way of real examples to show the folks in my town how now, the Democratic Party is willing to include them in the process/dialogue of how we move forward.
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Zinfandel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-02-04 02:55 AM
Response to Original message
75. Well, I obviously have to agree (and I do)...
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