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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:12 AM
Original message
Rewriting the rules of American politics
This article http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/09/opinion/ednoam.p... contends that a new kind of liberal activist (termed in the article the 'counter-Bushes') is reshaping the rules of US politics. It says that traditionally, Democratic politicians have been supported by interest groups, such as organised labour, and that they have been afforded a wide latitude ideologically so long as their voting record has satisfied their base.

Supposedly, the 'counter-Bushes' are more driven by ideology, and their primary requirement of a politician is that they take the fight to the Republicans. Satisfying the traditional interest groups does not insulate one from the repercussions of an incorrect political ideology, as illustrated by Senator Lieberman losing his Democratic nomination.

Speaking as a relatively disinterested observer - I am british - I would say this seems fairly accurate, except that the article missed out an important detail. American politics has been rewritten, but it is not the liberal left that is doing it. The right already did it. A new breed of rightwingers are in control for whom politics is like warfare. For them winning elections is not enough; the objective is to destroy your opponent. This is why all policy-making in the administration is subservient to the political wing - nobody in the White House is interested in mere governance.

I am far from the action, but it seems to me as if this new kind of politics emerged in the 90s with the Gingrich revolution. The traditional get-along kind of politics does not work against an opposition whose objective is your obliteration. Much of the Democratic leadership has not properly understood this yet, although Lieberman's experience must be providing a salutary lesson. The 'counter-Bush' movement, typified by fund-raising and advocacy groups such as MoveOn and Democracy for America, did not spring spontaneously into being. It is a reaction to the victory of the Gingrich revolution. They understand that consensual politics is impossible with an opposition who considers politics a continuation of war by other means, and that what is required is candidates who will take the fight to the right.
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. I believe you have hit the nail on the head..
But IIRC, the proponents of this kind of political "warfare" were operative before the Gingrinch revolution.. I think he just codified it.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Right
I don't pretend to have a deep enough knowledge of US politics to know the roots of the New Right. I do know that Rumsfeld and Cheney both worked in the Nixon administration, though.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. Excellent..
... analysis, this is exactly what is happening.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. I think you may be right, billy. K&R
Edited on Thu Aug-10-06 05:33 AM by MrsGrumpy
After reading the article I only have one problem... "Call them the counter-Bushies, after the president whose singular talent it is to drive them to paroxysms of rage". this was in description of DFA (Democracy for America). As a member and contributor to DFA from its inception, I have to disagree with the writer. My involvement is due to the incredible hope this group has had for maintaining determination and hope. It was not birthed of rage...it was created because we wanted our country back. It is sad when mainstream media talking points (aka Dean Scream) infiltrate even positive op ed pieces. :hi:


Hope all is well with you. :hug:
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:39 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yes, I am dismayed (although not surprised) that this is being painted
as the work of a fringe of far left extremists. I know Lieberman was politically correct on a number of issues, but his real crime was that he was providing support the Bush administration. In the current political environment, that is unforgivable.

I am reasonably well, thanks my friend, although I am taking some time off from the Lounge for a little while. I hope you are ok too. :hug:
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. GMTA.
I started my morning off here for a change. :hug:
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. k&r -- here's the key...
''American politics has been rewritten, but it is not the liberal left that is doing it. The right already did it. A new breed of rightwingers are in control for whom politics is like warfare. For them winning elections is not enough; the objective is to destroy your opponent. This is why all policy-making in the administration is subservient to the political wing - nobody in the White House is interested in mere governance.''
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zeemike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 06:03 AM
Response to Original message
7. k&r You are right
We didn't start the fire.
Actually I think it grew among the right wing from there frustration with civil rights in the 60s. Gingrich just became there spiritual leader.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
9. Dating vs. rape or spouse abuse
Negotiation, compromise, mutual respect, "letting him/her win" sometimes, are all appropriate in a healthy dating relationship. But when rape or abuse is threatened (and carried out), they never are.

You can't be bipartisan with people who will take advantage of your doing it.

You have to fight.

Criticizing Democrats for being angry and taking actions for change is like telling rape victims to "lie back and enjoy it."
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