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Lets be honest we have 48 Democratic Senators

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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:25 AM
Original message
Lets be honest we have 48 Democratic Senators
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:27 AM by AllentownJake
12 Democratic Senators who would have been Republicans ideologically 30 years ago 2 Republican Senators who are where their party was 30 years ago and 38 Republican Senators that are bat shit insane politically. The past 30 years has moved this country so far to the right and in turn our party. We have a long way to go till the Pendulum swings back in our direction.

We do not have even a voting majority in the United States Senate let alone a super majority.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:30 AM
Response to Original message
1. The sixteenth least-loyal Democrat votes with the Democrats 92% of the time.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:48 AM by Occam Bandage
To claim that 92% Democratic is 100% Republican is a bit iffy.

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/111/senate/... /
(The honor of sixteenth-least-loyal Democrat is split by Tester, Casey, and Nelson--FL, not NE)
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Its not just the vote
Remember bills are written to make the acceptable and passable to the caucus.

There are things that would be acceptable to the majority of the caucus that isn't acceptable to the minority.

I'm not saying primary them or any other measure, some of these guys are the only democrats that can get elected in their states.

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Oh, and as for "this party has moved to the right?" Laughable. Absolutely laughable.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:35 AM by Occam Bandage
The Democratic party today is in favor of civil unions for gay couples, is rapidly switching to supporting gay marriage, is in favor of universal health care, is rapidly switching to supporting a public option within that, is more in favor of public spending as an economic good than at any time since the Depression, is in favor of stricter environmental regulations than at any time in history, and most members are in favor of better labor laws than at any time since the '50s.

I can't think of a single issue on which the Democratic party of 2009 is more conservative than the Democratic party of, say, 1989. Gun control, maybe? I think we learned our lesson on that one; we were out of step with both the public and the Constitution, given DC vs. Heller.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Social Justice
Yes on issues of civil rights the party is better than it was 30 years ago.

On the issues of the ruling corptocracy and big business we have been driven far to the right.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. "on the issues of the ruling corptocracy and big business"
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:44 AM by Occam Bandage
In case you missed it, Obama just flipped off the hedge funds and awarded a majority ownership stake in Chrysler to the UAW. The Democrats are pushing EFCA, the best labor law in decades. They're going to push for both a public option in health care and a cap-and-trade carbon tax, as well as reform of student lending, all of which are major checks on big business. It's true that bankruptcy reform got shot down by a few conservative Dems, but it was a good bill and it was supported by the majority of Democrats, including the President (who is a far better representative of the party's positions than a douchebag from Nebraska is).
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. But, but, but...he's a corporatist!
And he's in the pocket of Wall Street!

Or so I've heard....
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. There was the bank bailout.
Which was spurred by the greatest financial crisis since the 1920s--and which seems to have mostly worked so far. The financial industry isn't healthy yet, but it isn't the plunging wreck it was when Obama took office.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. How did you turn a statement about 12 blue dog democrats
into an attack on the President.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
70. You obviously missed the sarcasm.
I thought the "But, but..." would have made it kind of obvious.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. When the President was in the Senate
He'd be on my list of good democrats.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. And his policies are the policies of the Democratic party now,
with the exception of a few conservatives and whores. I don't deny that there are conservatives and whores within the party; there always have been and probably always will be. But I do think it's disingenuous to point to the conservatives of 2009, compare them to the party as a whole in decades past, and then use that as evidence the party itself has shifted right. Better to compare either the conservatives to the conservatives, or the party as a whole to the party as a whole. In either comparison, today's Democrats are shifting to the left and not the right--because they're shifting the country to the left.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #23
31. I think it depends on whether you are looking at social issues or "corporatist" issues...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:07 AM by cascadiance
If you consider right vs. left mostly a social issue spectrum, then I'd agree with you. We're moving more to the left on things like gay rights, abortion rights, civil rights, etc.

But when you start hitting any issues that hit the corporatists in the pocket book, if you consider the elites the "right", and the people underneath them "the left", then the Democratic Party is a lot farther to the "right" today. Then again someone might say that a "right" vs. "left" spectrum doesn't really fit this breakdown of agendas/positions. A better spectrum is populist/corporatist special interest spectrum, which the mainstream media doesn't want to even touch now, and want to still have everyone look at the social issues and how they fit in the "right" vs. "left" spectrum as a way of distracting us away from the corporatist affecting issues, that they don't want us to see we're getting ripped off by both parties nowadays with today's lobbyist crowd as big as it has ever been.

In today's world, Teddy Roosevelt would be considered a communist rather than a Republican for his advocacy of a "living wage".
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #31
40. I don't think we're further to the corporatist side of the spectrum at all.
The mainstream party is pushing better legislation than at any time in half a century. A public option for healthcare? That blows away anything the "populist" wing of the party has tried since the '60s. EFCA? The best labor law in decades. Even the recently-failed bankruptcy bill was supported by most Democrats, including the President.

It's true there are a few conservatives. There always have been, and the conservative Dems of the '70s were far worse than the conservative Dems of today. It's true that the Republican party is both more conservative and more obstructionist than it was in the '70s, but their obstruction does not mean the Democrats are less progressive. It simply makes them less successful.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #40
51. Um we still don't have single payer health care like MOST of the civilized world does!
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:39 AM by cascadiance
And it is not because we don't have public support for it, but because we don't have campaign donor support for it, just against it.

EFCA? It still hasn't been passed yet. It remains to be seen how it gets "revised" when we get Specter on board, and hopefully Franken in as a Senator too. Then we'll test some of these other Democrats to see if their loyalty lies with the people, or with the corporate interests they represent. That one's an incomplete.

The bankruptcy bill that DID pass earlier, that SCREWED most of us in these times, WAS a product of many of these Democrats, especially our current vice president!

And WHY is our current president protecting states secret privilege usage like Bush was using to prevent lawsuits from going through to expose what was going on with the wiretapping abuses of our constitution? Is that not corporate-serving as well as protecting the elites in Washington against what are in the interests of the people?

Like I said in another post. Corporatists can paint themselves as "liberal" by voting "liberal" or "to the left" on social issues like abortion, gay rights, etc. which the corporate elite doesn't give a rat's ass about. That's why you get the Olympis Snowe's, etc. calling themselves "moderate", and the same for many "moderate" Democrats, who vote in almost the exact same corporate interest serving fashion. But they will stand up against parts of the bill like pandemic preparedness that might spend more money on the rest of us than their narrow elite's self interests, which we're perhaps going to regret leaving out of the budget now in hindsight.

I don't remember another time in history where this country is SO FAR BEHIND other countries in protecting the rights and well being of most of their citizens as we are now. We're moving more towards the chaos of the post-Soviet Union Russia than we're to what other European and civilized industrialized countries have now.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #51
54. Dems weren't proposing that in the '70s either, so what's your point?
Bills haven't been passed yet? Duh. Already addressed that. Pay attention.

State Secrets? Obama explained that this week. Holder didn't even have a week between getting access to the cases and between having to issue opinions on those cases. There will be a more comprehensive policy coming, but they're still drawing it up. Things take time.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #51
56. That's the point I was making
Sure we've moved to the left on social issues. However, the corporatist don't give a rats ass about social issues.

If their 16 year old daughter needs an abortion she's going to get it whether its legal or not. Its what happened before Row, we all act like there weren't doctors catering to the rich to take care of their problems.

They will always have access to health care, and they have gay friends. Read history there has always, even in the most religious times in this country been gay men and women in elite circles. The corporatist don't give a fuck about gay rights one way or another. The gays they are friends with will always have certain rights because they have the money to protect themselves. Its the Mathew Shepherds of the world that end up being literally crucified.

They spurred the racist flames simply because it gave white middle class people someone to blame. That system existed because by keeping racial tensions high, the tensions between lower middle class whites and the corporatist that abuse them would have an easy distraction issue.

EFCA is the scariest thing the corporatist are fighting. The last thing they want is people to be able to re-organize. They have pretty much effectively slapped down Organized Labor for 30 years and letting labor get back up is not in their interest.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
30. I appreciate your optimism but think these progressive measures the "Democrats are pushing"
make it thru the Senate. My guess is that there will be just enough Bayh's Blue Dogs to scuttle most if not all progressive legislation.
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PassingFair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
87. In case YOU missed it...
Which you did...

The UAW got pretty much HOSED:

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ash...

snip> While the UAW gained representation on the Chrysler board through the agreement, its power will be limited because shares owned by the trust fund will be voted by independent trustees, Shaiken said. <unsnip
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quiller4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
27. I suggest you look at the Democratic legislation
favoring big business adopted between 1960 and 1970. I would say both the party and the country have moved left since 1960.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #27
35. Yeah of course. That explains why big business has flourished in the last 30 years
and the middle class is almost dead. We have the worst health system in all industrialized countries. We have a higher infant mortality rate, etc.
Give me a statistic showing that the poor and middle class have benefited from business related legislation. We force our college students to go into debt to get a college education while all other major industrial countries pay for college.

Which way did we move between 2000 and 2008?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #35
37. "Which way did we move between 2000 and 2008?"
Which party had veto power?
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #37
50. Huh? The question was which way did legislation carry us between 2000 and 2008?
The point is that legislation for the last 30 years favored big business. Doesn't really matter who was in charge. The fact that the Democrats did literally nothing to slow down the republiCons quest for a corporate run government has us where we are today.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. And this is why the European countries aren't as concerned about this downturn as we should be...

They note that they already have in place decent safety net programs so that people at least keep their health care and some level of subsistance level living. We are about the only country that doesn't. Which is why it is WE that have to push our government to do the right thing, because it is WE that have THE MOST to lose amongst civilized countries.

I just lost my job on Wednesday this week too in some layoffs. Fortunately I have more things to fall back on than most, but I hate looking at having to pay even $450/month for Cobra health care that I wouldn't have to in most European countries. That makes it that much harder for me to spend money that would be used to help the economy get back on its feet. When many people are like me out there, you can see why the demand level for goods and services are even more severely cut back here than other countries.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #38
64. The republiCons and their Bayh Blue Dog lackies won't be happy
until we are all surfs.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. Agreed.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:38 AM by TwilightZone
Southern Democrats, in particular, were more conservative in the 70s than they are now. More conservative than a lot of Republicans.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
24. I think that a better point of history to compare would be back in the 60's and early 70's...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:00 AM by cascadiance
Remember, then it was accepted that we had a lot higher top marginal tax rates 70% to 90+%. Do we have a chance in hell of passing those now without being labeled socialists even within our own party?

Of course in those days, at least before LBJ, the Southern Democrats were far more bat shit crazy then than now too. I'll give you that. But economically, we were far less conservative then.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. The OP was about the Senate. They recently voted in favor of the
Kyle/Lincoln amendment to the budget that gave billions of tax "relief" to the wealthy. Just recently they voted down help for the public in trouble with home mortgages.

Do you think the Senate will support the EFCA? or decent health care?

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
36. It was about the party "shifting to the right," as well.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:17 AM by Occam Bandage
It is true that there are some conservative Dems who vote against progressive legislation. There were the same back in the '70s, too. And those conservative Dems were a lot more conservative than our Blue Dogs are today. They were even more conservative than the Republicans were. The Dems are on the whole more liberal than they were 30 years ago, and the Republicans are on the whole far more conservative and more obstructionist.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #36
42. It's hard to compare when none of these pols in the last 30 years face the economy we face today...
It's almost better to look back at where the parties were around the depression to see how they voted on things to see if some of these Democrats are being "too conservative" for the times and getting in the way of fixing the country for most people.

It is true that there's always been the milking of the cow to feed the wealthy over time when times were OK or even only "half bad", as most felt that even if some of the wealthy were over-rewarded to pay back campaign favors, it still ultimately wouldn't put a dent into the country's problems that were faced then. You have to ask yourself if those senators of the old days were facing the problems of today, how would they vote on financial issues facing us now. It would be pure speculation, but that's why its hard to compare and a better point of comparison might be to look back at FDR's time.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #42
48. The Depression is an interesting example of how things shift, as well.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:33 AM by Occam Bandage
Back in the time of FDR, things like a minimum wage and social security were major progressive reforms. Yet today, those are taken entirely for granted. Back in the time of FDR, it was a major Constitutional question whether the Federal government could engage in spending projects. Now, we authorize a trillion dollars after a week's debate.

Imagine if a politician today were to propose bills to revert all populist economic issues to the policies of FDR: the minimum wage would be set at $3.50/hr (that is to say, FDR's $0.25/hr after adjusting for inflation), medicare and medicaid would be abolished, social security would have much smaller payouts, and there would in fact be no government involvement in health care whatsoever. That politician would rightly be seen as a raving anti-worker conservative...for having FDR's positions on the issues.

FDR never would have dreamed of a public health plan. Yet the Democratic party of today supports it. Not exactly a shift to the right.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #48
55. And where were we even back in 1980 for minimum wage compared to now!
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:50 AM by cascadiance
It was a lot higher in real dollars than it was then! Minimum wage has been allowed to decay. Now the Democrats are doing a better job in trying to get it back up, but it still isn't where it really should be yet.

The important thing is that we had a congress and FDR that were WILLING to work against the elite's interests in those days and work for the interests of the people to make these significant changes to get us out of the mess we were in then. It's not clear yet whether the Democrats (especially the coporatist 12 mentioned here) are ready to make those changes against the wishes of their campaign backers.

And with *true* Democrats, it's not so much the "binary" question of whether you spend money or not. You try to be frugal, but spend money when the people are in need of it to bring back the economy for most of us.

With the Republicans and other corporatists, they can talk about how spending money is bad, so that they can continue to privatize or tear down government where they can. And yet they still do FAR OUTSPEND traditional Democrats on things like wars, etc. to leech off of the profits at everyone else's expense and to also justify their notion that "government spending is bad", even though they the corporatists are at fault in having it being invested badly.

FDR started many publicly funded worker's programs. Why wouldn't he have embraced doing single payer health care today? My speculation is as good as yours. A better point of comparison is what the rest of the civilized world is doing today compared to us. They see the need and have acted on it for their people. We HAVEN'T!
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #55
57. I note you're slipping away from discussion of policies.
Rather, you're talking about fluff like "works for people" and "fights against the elite." Those aren't really meaningful phrases. It's unfortunate people so often repeat them as if they carried any degree of meaning.

The party has moved far, far, far to the left since the 1930s on issues related to corporatism. It is true the party is not shifting leftwards as quickly today as it was in the 1930s, but that doesn't mean the party has shifted to the right.

Imagine a car that was driving westwards at 60mph an hour ago, and is driving westwards at 20mph now. The car is 40 miles west of where it was an hour ago. It is fair to say "we're not going as fast as we were an hour ago." It is wrong to say "we're now further east than we were an hour ago."
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #57
61. Um... I'm bringing up specifics to your "general" statements..

Minimum wage was started earlier by Democrats, and even the concept supported by some Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt before it was put in place. And yet we've let it stagnate in the 80's and onward. We're still way behind where we were before. Still many municipalities (in most csses to the overal municiaplity's BENEFIT) have raised their own minimum wages over the federal depreciated minimum wage to make up for the lack of attention it's been given.

I don't really see specific examples of how today's Democratic Party is voting MORE in the interests of the people over corporate interests than they did back before 1980.

Almost votes don't count. It's like saying that oh, we voted against Alito, so we were voting the right way. The Dems had more than enough votes to fillibuster Alito when you added up the final vote totals, and yet they didn't vote when they could have had their votes COUNT towards not getting Alito confirmed. They voted on the cloture vote the way their campaign backers wanted them to, and voted in the subsequent *meaningless* vote (since they know they didn't have 51 votes) to claim they supported what their constituencies wanted. A lot of these were the two-faced corporatist 12.

What will count is what eventually does get passed with EFCA. Does it get compromised to death and therefore fails in its ultimate implementation, in another effort for many of these senators to have it both ways?

The media of today is another big factor in this. It allows these congress critters to paint one picture of themselves to the public and actually do things differently behind the scenes, and not get scrutinized for it like they might have even 10-20 years ago when there was far more diverse ownership that allowed things like the Watergate controversy and the Pentagon Papers to get covered by our press and put more pressure on these elected officials to do the right things.

I really don't see your analogy of "driving westwards". That analogy really doesn't work. If that were the case, then the European nations would have already reached the speed of light and left us behind...
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
94. In favor of unprovoked wars of aggression...
...and royal powers for Republican presidents.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
45. Gotta love those statistics. When the republiCons had control, it made it easy
for the DINO's. They didn't have to vote with the republiCons very much. But now it will be tougher. Now they will have to show their true colors and they already have. The Democrats in the Senate couldn't get 46 members to vote to help out the mortgage holders in trouble. But they did manage to have just enough support to help the republiCons pass the Kyle/Lincoln amendment. Hmmm. A number of Democratic Senators have already said they will not support the EFCA. I will be waiting for evidence that the Senate supports the middle class.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
58. According to these stats, Feingold is a worse Dem than anybody but Bayh and Ben Nelson.
And way behind your 3 16th.
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ooglymoogly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
92. Ben Nelson has voted 62% with the Dem's in the present congress
Edited on Sat May-02-09 05:15 PM by ooglymoogly
http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/n00... / And that is in the Kabuki dance that is the senate, where bluedog senators play games to keep their voting averages within acceptable limits as democrats; Such as waiting around to the end of a vote to see if their vote is needed or if the desired effect can be achieved without their vote and many other such maneuverings; Whittling a bill and stripping it of its meaning, adding killer last minute clauses that no one is aware of etc., ad infinitum.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. 30 years ago? No. The concept of a conservative Democrat is quite certainly not a new one.
From Wikipedia:

In 1972, the last year that a sizable number of conservatives dominated the southern wing of the Democratic Party, the American Conservative Union gave higher ratings to most southern Democratic Senators and Congressmen than it did to Republicans.

Today, Democrats are usually classified as 'conservatives' on the basis of holding some socially conservative views to the right of the national party, even though their overall viewpoint is generally far more liberal than conservative Democrats of years past.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
22. exactly. I never ceases to amaze me how some here get history flat out wrong.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:58 AM by wyldwolf
and they become so indoctrinated by revisionist netroots history that, even when confronted with overwhelming evidence to the contrary they'll still deny it.
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SoxFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
33. Thank you
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #4
41. Yes yes of course. At one time the republiCon was the progress party
IMO the point of the OP was that in spite of what some Democrats are saying about the magic 60 number, the fact is that the Senate Democrats can't even pass a bill that is aimed at helping citizens in trouble with their mortgage. And they can't stop a amendment (Kyle/Lincoln) aimed at giving billionaires a huge tax break. There are a number of Democrats (Bayh's Blue Dogs) that support the republiCons. They are Democrats only to get elected but vote with their corporate masters just like the republiCons.

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Celeborn Skywalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:45 AM
Response to Reply #41
53. The Republicans, at one time,
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:48 AM by Celeborn Skywalker
were more socially liberal than the Democrats. However, they have always been the party of banks, oil, anti-unionism, and the maintaining of the aristocracy/plutocracy (even going back to the days of Lincoln).
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #53
63. Yes I agree. But we are getting away from the point of the OP.
And IMHO the OP is right on the power of the Senate. The republiCons vote as a block. All they need is 11 Democrats willing to sell out their country for big business. And we know who they are, the Bayh Blue Dogs.
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Celeborn Skywalker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #63
91. Oh, I absolutely agree with that.
We may have 60 Democrats, but we only have about 48-50 who will vote for a moderately progressive agenda.
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. I cannot agree more...
it would seem that those dems were or would be republicans if it were still fashionable...

an operative and I are discussing this right now...

seems we need to start to be very critical of these "blue dogs"

something stinks.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. You have to be careful when trying to purify your party
In some states it can be done, such as CT. However, you'd rather have a blue dog democrat in a Montana or Indiana than a Bat Shit Insane person.
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Purify your party?
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:42 AM by TwilightZone
Apparently, we haven't learned anything from the Republicans' recent monumental failure at attempting exactly that.
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Froward69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #8
19. I do not think it is a matter of
"trying to purify" more so exposing those that would be republicans if that would get them elected.

sadly a large portion of society does not delve as deeply as us in How they actually vote.

thinking nationally and acting locally i am delving into Bennet(d?) who was appointed to replace Salizar. Granted Salizar was a conservadem. but he did vote with explanation... Bennit does not.

currently their are lots of bennit friends that are suddenly running in districts that they "live in" when in reality the address they are using was a "rental property" of theirs 6mo ago.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
10. While I can't make an estimate of the numbers involved...
weren't some of the Southern Dems 30 years ago EXTREMELY right-wing (i.e. at least as bad as the Republicans on most issues)?
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TwilightZone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Yes.
From Wikipedia:

In 1972, the last year that a sizable number of conservatives dominated the southern wing of the Democratic Party, the American Conservative Union gave higher ratings to most southern Democratic Senators and Congressmen than it did to Republicans.

Today, Democrats are usually classified as 'conservatives' on the basis of holding some socially conservative views to the right of the national party, even though their overall viewpoint is generally far more liberal than conservative Democrats of years past.
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Big Blue Marble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
13. Great analysis with one caveat,
It is the corporate control that is corrupting our congress. We saw
it again this week with the bankruptcy bill. As Durbin said, the banks
(and for that matter other powerful corporations as well) run our government.

It is not ideology as much as corporate money that keeps the congress from
becoming more progressive and more representative of the citizens' needs.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
15. Where do you have Sanders and Lieberman fitting in here?
Edited on Sat May-02-09 10:54 AM by cascadiance
Lieberman isn't a Democrat, though I'm guessing he's in the 12 you show here...

And of course one Democrat is still "in waiting" too (Franken)...

And therefore we have:

46 Democratic Senators
1 Democratic Senator on the sidelines.
1 independent Socialist Senator who's where Democrats SHOULD be now!
1 independent Corporatist waiting to see which party becomes more powerful and corporatist for him to beg to sign up with.
11 Democratic Senators who should be oldstyle traditional Republicans
2 oldstyle traditional Republicans
38 bat shit crazy Republicans

which translates to:

52 Corporatists
46 Democrats that are cowed by corporatist rules...
1 Democratic senator on the sidelines.
1 independent non-corporatist
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. That's a better break down
Lieberman and Sanders are in our caucus. They might not run as democrats but they caucus with democrats.

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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:55 AM
Response to Original message
21. yet
40-50 years ago they would have fit right in with the Democratic party.

Amazing how the party changes, huh?
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #21
26. Before or after LBJ...
If we didn't pass civil rights legislation then, would we have a chance in hell in passing it now? And we'd have FAR more right winger racists in our party now if we didn't then.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. today's Democratic party is considerably more liberal than the Wilson - LBJ era
You're correct in your point but even the most conservative Dem senators today would have been liberals during that period.

Who is anyone to say they shouldn't be in the party?
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #29
34. Because in today's terms, someone like Teddy Roosevelt would be considered to "liberal"...
for his heavy advocacy of a "living wage", that many of these senators wouldn't support putting into law.

I think a better point of history to evaluate as a point of comparison was the times of the depression and how those that were so elite serving screwed the country then just as they have been/are now. It took pressure from the "far left" running against FDR to push him into doing the right thing and getting us a New Deal, which still seems to be hard to even get started now with these "conservative" Dems standing in the way.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #34
43. Even the TR example is an example of how the country and party has shifted to the left.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:27 AM by Occam Bandage
TR's proposal of a possibly-unenforced minimum wage was greeted unenthusiastically; it was noteworthy that he had even proposed such a thing, and it would be decades until a minimum wage law was passed. You hold this up as "liberalism." Yet today, I would bet there is not one sitting Senator in either party who would disagree--that is to say, who would propose a bill to abolish the minimum wage.

The example of TR is not an example of anyone shifting to the right. It is an example of how the country has shifted so far to the left, that what was shockingly progressive in its day is taken for granted today.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #43
65. In today's situation with our current media, etc. TR wouldn't even get elected...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:18 PM by cascadiance
... much less even try to push for something that wasn't the status quo of his time.

The problem is that a minimum wage was a new concept then that WAS NOT the status quo then.

We already have a minimum wage in place that IS the status quo, as depleted as it is. Saying that we're more liberal because we have that in place is not really a fair analysis. It is how much the Democrats try to put in place NEW concepts, or even borrow from the past like higher top marginal tax rates that helped us get out of the depression that FDR used then, to overcome the status quo's shortcomings of today.

When FDR ran in his days, he had SIGNIFICANT opposition from the LEFT in those days from the communists, etc., unlike what we have today. It was those political forces of a disgruntled populace in those days that put pressure on him to do the New Deal, etc. that he did. To say that that liberal segment is MORE powerful today is laughable!
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. Still, Sir, The Recent Vote On The Mortgage Matter Was Too Much By Half
It was too much for me by a damned sight.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. well, sure. That was disgusting
Edited on Sat May-02-09 11:08 AM by wyldwolf
But I'm not talking about individual votes, I'm speaking from a purely historical perspective. Ben Nelson would be a flaming liberal in 1932 - 1968.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #32
46. Not In The True New Deal Period, Sir, At Least On Economic Matters
He would have been in the 'Cactus Jack' wing of the party.

Pressure needs to be brought on him, and others like him, to stand by the President and the majority of the caucus when the time to vote is at hand. Their behavior is likely to damage the Party in the up-coming mid-term elections. The people want things done, and obstruction by elements of the Democratic majority will weaken people's resolve to stand by us at the polls.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #46
52. Agreed on some social issues
Abortion, gay rights, civil rights, etc. A lot of people in congress would have been considered out of the mainstream 30 years ago and outright looney tunes 70 years ago. However those are issues that change with time. What was a societal norm in 1932 is not a societal norm in 2008.

The democratic party for the past 60 years has been for the most part on the front line of those issues. Harry Truman desegregated the army, LBJ signed the voting act and the civil rights bill etc. We have supported Row as a party and we have lead the charge for gay rights. We might not move as fast as we should but generally speaking we are the leaders on those issues.

William Jennings Bryant would be considered a right wing fundamentalist because of some of his view points. However on the issues of the freedom of the majority from the corporatist of his day, he would be in our camp.

That being said, on issues of the powerful vs. the powerless. The issues of corporate or business interest vs. the interest of the majority I believe over the past 30 years the democratic party has allowed itself to be corrupted by corporatist influence.

An influence that did not exist as strongly in 1932 or 1980.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #52
59. My Comment In This, Sir, Is Directed Solely To The Economic Matters The Mortgage Vote Highlighted
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:04 PM by The Magistrate
Nelson, on his public statements, would have opposed the New Deal, pretty much en toto, had he been in the Senate in that period. Faced, for example, with Social Security as a new proposal, he would have denounced it as undermining the sale of annuities by insurance companies, on the logic he has stated regarding health care recently. He would have denounced unions, and excoriated the support they received from the Federal government, as damaging to 'free enterprise' and 'private property', and he would have stoutly opposed reform regulations being imposed on the finance industry. The real difference between now and then is that the people of Nebraska, during the New Deal period, would probably have voted him out of office as a tool of the bloodsuckers on Wall Street. The plains states were fairly radical in those days....
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. Glad to see you back on here sir
:hi:

You always have some of the most thorough and well written post on here.

Did the reason for them being so radical also have to do with the fact that less farms in Nebraska in the 1930s were owned by Agri-Business.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #60
66. That Was Exactly The Reason, Sir
If one divides the economic from the liberation and lifestyle issues, farmers in the post Civil War period, and well into the twentieth century, were about the most radical element of our population. Their relations with banks and commodity markets pretty much guaranteed this, as they went into debt each year with their land as the stake, and saw come the harvest the price of their produce manipulated to encompass their ruin as independent land-owners. Every farmer knew bankers were heartless thieves and the 'free market' a swindle rigged against them by New York sharpsters. The Deppression era was, in some ways, a sort of 'collectivization' of agriculture in our country, as the driving of so many off their land set in motion the amalgamation of the business in fewer hands, who had the capital to buy up the land at cut-throat prices.
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AllentownJake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. It seem to be happening again
Instead of taking farms they are taking houses. The family farm was once the symbol of independence and wealth in this country, now it appears that the New York set has set their sights on the family home which has since become the symbol of the middle class.

Ironic that the very collectivization that the average middle class right winger seems to fear so much being done by the government is being done by the banksters and not the government right under their noses. The very thing they supposedly fear they are causing, property being totally controlled by a very few.

The last thing I guess they can take is our very freedom in setting up a form of literal slavery again.

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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #69
71. Very True, Sir
We may hope, and with some prospect of the hope being gratified, that it may push people to the point of clarity regarding their circumstances required for serious resistance. It seems clear to me that already the people are much more radicalized than our professional political class seems able to realize or willing to acknowledge.

The fact is that Capitalism is an inherently predatory structure, and those who benefit most from it have a parasitic relationship with the society they fasten themselves upon, one unconditioned by the rule of successful parasites in the long term, namely, do not kill the host. Government, wielded democratically by the mass of the people, is the only social structure with the potential to check the private excesses of predatory behavior harming the many for the benefit of a few. If that fails, only mob and revolution remain for redress.

Once, long ago, the Sage wrote: "When people lose their awe of your power, that is a sign a greater power is coming."
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #46
74. my interpretation of the OP is that it isn't specifically about economic matters
At least, nothing in the OP indicates as such.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #74
75. Perhaps Not, Sir, But Defections On Economic Matters Are What Arouses My Ire
The situation we are in can only be fixed re-structuring our economic life in favor of wage-earners rather than financial interests, and the only way our Party can consolidate power at the national level is to deliver on this need. An economy which draws two fifths of its profits from mere manipulation of money cannot sustain itself without a reduction of the great majority of the people in the society from which it draws those profits to a permanently submerged under-class status.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #75
79. no argument from me there
however, the ideology/politics of the party from a historic perspective isn't limited to economic matters. While I completely agree voting against the economic interests of the lower and middle classes is heresy, making a blanket statement "12 Democratic Senators who would have been Republicans ideologically 30 years ago" is simply not grounded in fact.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #79
83. True Enough, Sir, But Our Problem At Present Is A Gang Who Align With Republicans On Money Issues
They need to be reigned in, and popular outrage is one tool for the purpose....

"People don't change when they see the light; they change when they feel the heat."
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brindis_desala Donating Member (866 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #32
47. what a croc. This country has moved so far right it's unrecognizable
Watch and learn: http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1960

We the people no longer receive such rapt attention. We can trace our current political impotence to the Supreme Court's horrendous decision in 1978 granting corporations First Amendment rights which Justices White, Brennan and Marshall correctly criticized as a drastic departure from the Court's prior decisions in the area of political activities by special interests."
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #47
73. what a croc! The Democratic party has moved so far left since Johnson.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:49 PM by wyldwolf
The era of Wilson - Johnson would have never voted in favor of abortion rights, gay rights, or gun control. The era of Wilson-Johnson were very pro-Military and pro-interventionist. The era of Wilson - Johnson, and indeed through Clinton were very religious.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #73
76. Wyldwolf those are SOCIAL issues! Corporatists DON'T CARE about those issues!
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:06 PM by cascadiance
The fundamental problem here as stated by most people isn't whether the Democratic party is moving to the left on social issues. Most agree here that we are just as embracinc or more embracing of left social issues. That isn't the important issue. It is the economic issues that are the ones that corporatists in control are afraid of letting the left get any power over. When you keep emphasizing those, you keep fueling the corporatist and corporate media distractions of today that don't pay attention to the critical issue of our day THE ECONOMY and how the most Americans are getting screwed now by those in power!

If Johnson was so far to the right then, WHY didn't HE lower the top marginal income tax rates from 70% down to the top marginal rates of today. That alone for many corporatists would make him a communist today!
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. Am I the only one here is discussing the OP?
The OP isn't specifically about economic/corporate issues.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:15 PM
Response to Reply #77
80. I think if you read his subsequent posts here, it is clear he is talking about this issue...
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:16 PM by cascadiance
What he qualifies as a "real Democrat" is one that votes for the interests of the people more rather than what corporate interests are on issues that specifically corporate interests care about.

Now perhaps you can take issue with the OP not being specific enough on what he meant there in the initial post, but he certainly in subsequent posts has elaborated on this in the same way I do, and not in the distractomedia pattern of just looking at social issues that are meaningless to our wallets out there now that you and others in this thread are trying to project your own definition on to it.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. I answered the OP.
:shrug:

Who actually reads through dozens of posts trying to discern the true motive of an OP? No one here I know. I prefer to take an OP at face value.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. I think this post explains my response here...
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I think if you ASKED him what he meant, instead of trying to interpret it the way you wanted it to be, then you might have folks like me seeing your point. But I'm more in line with what the original poster was thinking.

I still think that fundamentally, the Democratic Party needs to be supporting the interests of a strong middle class, not a strong corporate elite. Those are REAL Democrats, not just those that wrap themselves in the flag (Feinstein), or on social issues, that still don't pay the rent for those getting screwed in this economy.
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #84
86. why would anyone not take an OP at face value?
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:34 PM by wyldwolf
:shrug:

"12 Democratic Senators who would have been Republicans ideologically 30 years ago" is pretty clear. There are thousands of threads running on DU. NO ONE wades through each of the OP starter's subsequent posts to try and determine if he/she meant something other than what the OP stated and I've never seen anyone ask an OP what her or she meant when the OP's language was pretty cut and dry. :shrug: If they do, it should be relatively easy for you to pick a thread at random and show me an example of such.

BUT I agree with you anyway. :)
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #86
89. Okay...
We'll drop it at that... :)

The first post was open to a lot of interpretations, and probably helped further this sort of discussion.

And though I do feel strongly on many of the social issues mentioned here. We should as a party also pursue those. However, the fundamental keystone issues that really form the building blocks for our constituency and the health are our nation are the economic/constitutional ones that the corporate interests have been abusing to benefit themselves, and they use power that they've been able to get more of with legislation passed for them that have allowed so much of the breakdown to occur (like Phil Gramm's law that loosened regulation on banks making loans that allowed it to get out of control that fueled our current economic downturn). Those issues need to be fought hard, and things like public campaign finance reform needs to be put in place by some *real* mavericks in our party that are willing to take the risks to buck the system and restore more accountability to the people instead of special interests.

We get too distracted from the control of government by corporate interests as being the key issue to get fixed, and keep working around the edges of that, we'll never solve so many of the other issues that are afflicting us now.
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
39. What have a Progressive Plurality
and a Democratic Majority. What we need are three more Progressive Senators -- or three of the current batch to fear enough for their political lives that they'll come around.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #39
44. Once we get at least 51 senators as progressives, then we can start "changing the rules"...
And the 60 vote fillibuster, if overused by the now "corporatist majority" would be used only for in rare situations by them when they felt they needed it, instead of constantly, for fear that the 51% majority would say "Enough's enough! We're doing away with the 60 vote fillibuster rule", or we do the fixes in reconciliation of bills between the senate and the house, and work around fillibusters in that fashion.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. Once we get 51 Senators as what we would today call progressives,
we will have long since passed the legislation we want now, we'll have an entirely new batch of progressive legislation we want, and we'll look at the Senate, see some members don't support what we want now, and complain that it's mostly corporatist sellouts, and that the party has moved to the right.
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donco Donating Member (717 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:12 PM
Response to Original message
62. Everybody seems to think we have a two party system. We have at least
four major parties, two run under the Republican banner, two under the Democratic banner. To get elected to any major office you have to choose which banner mostly matches your politics. It doesn't mean you automatically turn into a bot when you get elected, youre representing youre district.

I voted for Clare McCaskill, to some on this forum she is pretty far to the center for their taste. She had a better chance in beating Jim Talent then anyone else running at the time so we have Senator McCaskill instead of Senator Talent. As long as were building strawmen/women; where would Harry Truman stand on the issues that face our politicians today? Ill volunteer for the ride on that slippery slope and say he would also have a pretty good chance of getting called a part time freep on this forum on some of his votes- on todays issues.
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The Magistrate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:28 PM
Response to Reply #62
67. Very True, Sir
The great difference between our system and the general face of Parliamentary politics in Europe is that we put our coalitions together before the election rather than after....
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #62
68. Dianne Feinstein on the other hand could be replaced and still beat a Rethug in California!
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:10 PM by cascadiance
There may be some states where the equation is hard to get a progressive candidate elected over a Repbulican. I'll grant you that. In other cases, like in California, and I think even now in Connecticut if Lieberman had to run again, you could get a better Democrat.

Ever notice how the Republicans ran "jokes" against the likes of Lieberman and Feinstein? They didn't care so much that they won, as they knew that senators like Lieberman or DiFi could be "had" to work for the corporatist agenda when they wanted them to. And if they were to try to get DiFi or Lieberman defeated (either in the general or in the primaries), they would most likely lose to another more progressive Democrat that they couldn't unseat.

Now for the far more conservative states where it is harder for a progressive to get heard, that is where you have a different equation to solve. It is an equation of "education" there. You need to find some way to inform the populace why these senators (either Rethugs, or corporatist Dems) are working against their best interests. This is difficult with a compliant corporate media out there dominating things. But if a way can be found to get other issues more exposure that have more universal appeal to the 95% of Americans that aren't wealthy and get them higher on the list than the emotional "right/left" issues, that's where even a progressive Dem (who's willing to listen to the other side on social issues) could get elected.

An example of someone who should run in those states would be Paul Hackett, who's not the "corporatist" style moderate candidate, but one that might be more on the side of conservatives in those states on issues like gun ownership, etc. But he got pushed out really early because he didn't fit that "moderate" (but closet corporatist) model that the corporatist Dems wanted running.
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AtomicKitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
72. Not even that. The 12 Dem Senators that defeated the bankruptcy amendment proved that. n/t
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
78. The US Senate itself is an obsolete and dysfunctional model-
even less useful America's archaic system of weights and measures.

Due to its non-representative nature, the impact of corruption and it's obstructionary rules, it leaves the American government in a poor position to respond in a timely manner to the challenges of the 21st Century.



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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #78
82. We need a "no-confidence" referendum mechanism someplace.
That empowers the people to do more than stand on the sidelines most of the time in between elections, especially when there are 4 and 6 year terms involved. Lieberman would probably have gotten a no-confidence vote within a year after he won in 2006.

Now set the bar high, like a 60% thresshold or something like that. But if we can have some voting mechanism to say "YOU'RE F'ING UP!" to those in the government, and perhaps have some tangible consequences for such a vote outcome in the government, perhaps we wouldn't have some of this unbridled corporate serving crap that we have now.

I think even some of the teabaggers would vote with us on this. They then would know that they would have to keep at least 40% of the populace happy or get the conequences of a no-confidence vote force another election or something like that.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #82
88. Trouble is with the American system. structural change is nearly impossible
in this day and age.

Article V requires 2/3's of both houses or 2/3's of state legislatures to get an Amendment off the table- and then 3/4's of state legislatures or state conventions have to ratify it.

So as much as these ideas make sense, they're not going to happen due to the overriding power of corporate interests and the number of batshit crazy states that stand to lose their undue influence.

This is one of the major reasons why, outside of the Philippines and Liberia (and those for historical reasons)- no other nation in the world follows the US model.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. Yes, whether they WILL happen in today's climate is another question...
With the current infrastructure we have, getting laws passed like this won't happen on their own.

Unfortunately, if we don't find a way to quickly get in some more decent people-serving representatives to change this equation, it might fall back to what others have said in this thread is the only other option for a subjected populace. Revolution and other forms of violent dissidence.

Perhaps its going to take an escalation of the violence from being greater than someone cold-cocking the Shearson CEO at a health club to one where some of the CEO's or other "elite enablers" actually get killed before the government will realize that they are helping the pot boil more and more on each vote they go against the people's interests on and don't fix the current emergencies of today. I hate to say that, because I really don't want to see it break down to that point, bu that's the path we're heading towards unless we can convince some of these laaders to fight and change the system soon.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
85. Just want to point out that my two Senators are 98% or better...
in voting with their party.
:hi:
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Chemical Bill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
93. I'm with you...
I will celebrate every progressive step the country takes, and am thrilled to have President Obama instead of *. But I have no illusion that we will get single payer anytime soon.

Bill
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