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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:39 AM
Original message
The base and the party--some bizarre thinking that has been making the rounds.
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 08:47 AM by jpgray
I really despise those who would always lay the cause of evil on those who have the least power, the fewest resources, and the weakest voice. This is a frequent theme of the GOP: blaming a poor job market on illegal immigrants, budget shortfalls on public employees, financial crises on poor minorities, lack of investment on welfare recipients, the list goes on.

Yet this phenomenon, to blame the actions or fortunes of those in power on those who have the least ability to affect either, is what is frequently done in the Democratic Party when it comes to excusing bad behavior in a politician, or apportioning blame for electoral defeat: if turnout is less than desired, it is clearly the fault of a sulky, lazy Democratic voter base--it couldn't at all be the fault of an anemic, aimless, dithering party and its leaders.

It is chiefly the responsibility of a -candidate- to win voters over, to inspire them to turn out, volunteer, walk precincts, work the phones, donate, etc. Yet you won't see that sentiment expressed often. More often you'll hear that the uninspired have -only- themselves to blame, as though a perpetual state of inspiration is a fair expectation even in the face of wildly uninspiring policy, rhetoric and strategy. You'll also hear that the uninspired don't matter, are a lunatic fringe who were never needed anyway, etc.

Yet these two bromides depart once the election has gone sour--it then becomes clear that the uninspired somehow are responsible for the loss. (The candidate or party, naturally, bears little to no responsibility.) The same microscopic, irrelevant gaggle of nobody bloggers and purist whiners apparently has great power, but only insofar as something horrible happens--they are the cause.

The same is often true of policy failures. 80+% of the nation supports higher taxes for the rich, yet capitulation and dithering are the watchwords from our delegations in Congress and our president. The voting public is always derided for failing to vote in its interests, but would anyone argue our party has been doing its utmost to prove itself the champion of those interests? To emphasize the utter bankruptcy of the supply-side myth? Painful austerity in a recovery? The "crisis" of Social Security?

The voters certainly bear responsibility to a great extent, but to ignore or excuse the actions of those with the most power and influence to shape events and political debate just seems completely absurd to me.
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you. K&R nt
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. A thoughtful piece - thanks jp
:kick: and :rec: :patriot:
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. kr
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
:toast:
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
5. Why do you hate America?
kidding....Good post
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
6. Well said!
Rec'd.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
7. Because Party Insiders don't want to Take Responsibility
their supporters want to claim victory, but never the responsibility of defeat while at the same time marginalizing those who are not happy with their own party.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:51 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. They are responsible - they're responsible to the corporations that pay to elect them, and hire them
and their staff later as lobbyists. That's the message of Citizen's United. Money rules.
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
76. Some would rather lose election rather than allow progressives a seat at the table
Ohio is a good example when the party elite attacked Jennifer Brunner (who was sitting SOS & who cleaned elections up after Blackwell) running for US Senator during a democratic primary. They ran a smear attack on the eve of a primary election known to be false. Then they turn around and demand we GOTV/vote for them. Ohio's sad state falls on party elites over the progressive base.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. Things have to change, and change soon for us to maintain any resemblence
of big D Democracy.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
10. You have some good points. But a couple questions
"what is frequently done in the Democratic Party" - this suggests that the DNC is blaming the base. Do you have any emails or articles quoting the DNC?

Or maybe you are talking about DU'ers? In that case we all know that DU is not affiliated with the Democratic Party.

We do differ on this notion of "inspired voters"

"It is chiefly the responsibility of a -candidate- to win voters over, to inspire them to turn out, volunteer, walk precincts, work the phones, donate, etc. Yet you won't see that sentiment expressed often. More often you'll hear that the uninspired have -only- themselves to blame, as though a perpetual state of inspiration is a fair expectation even in the face of wildly uninspiring policy, rhetoric and strategy. You'll also hear that the uninspired don't matter, are a lunatic fringe who were never needed anyway, etc. "

True about the responsibilities of the candidate.

But as to voters, I've always felt that it is my responsibility to vote. Inspired or not. I have to make a calculation about which candidate is closer to my positions and vote for that candidate.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. I'm speaking to the party as a whole
So Robert Gibbs's "professional left" or Emanuel's "fucking retarded" go along with similar sentiments from the most utterly unnoticed DU post as evidence, as far as I'm concerned.

I certainly believe it is every decent person's responsibility to vote D for the foreseeable future, but for those who fail to do so I have a seriously difficult time putting them atop the list of people to blame for any lack of inspiration.

Maybe I'm funny this way, but the worst "blame the voters for being uninspired" stuff reminds me of those WWI generals who executed troops for cowardice after failing to achieve victory in an utterly brainless, terribly-planned charge.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. Well lets unpack that a little
Gibb's "professional left" was addressed to pundits and other professional opinion makers. People that make money writing their opinion pieces, TV, Print, High Profile Blogs.

Rahm's "fucking retarded" referred to the strategy of a specific group who were planning big television advertising buys with ads attacking Democrats who the White House were trying to convince to vote for HCR.

Both of them were stupid/assholish comments, but neither were addressed to average VOTERS, or the DEMOCRATIC BASE.

So I think this might be more of a Democratic Underground issue

===============

I think we probably agree that the base always votes, despite what we read on DU.

I think you and I can agree that if you don't vote, your vote does not count.

Stating something like that is stating the obvious. It doesn't blame some body for "lack of enthusiasm".

Doesn't have anything to do with "enthusiasm", it has to do with the physical act of voting.

But it would not surprise me to see threads that blame voters for lack of enthusiasm.

DU these days seems pretty much is driven by hyperbole, exaggeration. Everyone is so eager to make a point that they will state their case in the most extreme terms. That is sort of the nature of internet forums these days.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. No major disagreement here
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 09:58 AM by jpgray
It's true the quotes I gave were not addressed to voters directly, but they addressed the sentiments and agency of voters, and are of a piece with the general mentality. Think about the concept of a primary challenge being some sort of unacceptable attack on the party, what it says about the role of average voters, labor, etc. Their agency extends to deciding on our candidate for general election only when there is not an incumbent, or when there are no crucial issues being debated, according to this view. I think this carries discipline a little too far. There will always be excuses for setting aside internecine disagreements if the standard for doing so is the risk of a monstrous GOP candidate or the danger of a close vote on a controversial issue.

I don't know what "the base" means, really. I expect it has changed a bit over the last thirty years, but what it means as I understand the term is the group of people who actively and consistently supports the party and its principles. The question then is, what happens as the principles of the party change? Who causes the shift? Is the former base under some obligation to support the same party even if it changes its principles? Or are they no longer the base, which is instead changing insensibly every election with the polling numbers?

I honestly believe you could count on one hand the number of people here who won't vote in '12. But I think enthusiasm, if not support, has declined for the party and also for Obama. This was inevitable in some ways, but in many others we have failed to define our party in this crisis, and have preferred in most cases a more passive, conservative (small c) course.

That's not necessarily bad in some circumstances, but there are crises everywhere that really need a more aggressive approach, in my view. There is no reason to ever, for example, allow supply-side economics to stand as the basis for economic policy, or to regard the social safety net as inevitably doomed without severe cuts.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #24
34. Big Picture: I imagine almost every DU'er could muster enthusiasm about taking back the House
in 2012 as well as securing a stronger majority in the Senate. The election isn't just about Obama.

Agreed 100% on the need for a more aggressive approach on core issues. I am happy to see the number of Dems who have come out swinging re Ryan's medicare "plan".

The base question - Traditionally we have thought about the base being mostly made up of liberal Dems. Personally I don't think that has changed, those are the ones who are more likely to get out and do GOTV etc.

The question may be how representative is DU of the base? The last gallup poll I saw indicates Obama job approval rating at 80% with all Dems and 83% with Liberal Dems. The Dems who gave him the lowest number (61%) identify themselves as Conservative Dems. So who knows . . . we are a self-selected group here.

I appreciate your reply.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. Thanks for discussing your thoughts with me
As I said to ProSense below, I don't doubt those numbers on support for Obama at all, and I think a lot of the really nasty stuff directed at Obama comes from those who use these boards more as an outlet for frustration than as a place to express all the nuances of their opinions. Also, it is the internet, and I know I catch myself being nastier or more dismissive in my opinions if I've run afoul of one particularly nasty and dismissive person who disagrees with me on an issue. After such an experience, it gets tempting to lump more reasonable folk in with the nastiness and never express any agreement with that "side" of the issue at all.

Add in the tendency in all internet debates to retrench rather than reexamine or retreat, and you get some seemingly one-sided posting histories from people whose actual views are not at all that way.

(It's been true for me at times, anyway. :hide:)
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. Thanks right back at you. . .
I've been coming to a similar conclusion about DU.

In addition to it being a simple outlet for frustration for some posters, it also seems that over time we've dialed up the hyperbole setting to 14. Arguments get put forth in Shock Language Terms simply to try to cut thought the noise. But unfortunately that's not conducive to discussion, just yelling at each other.

Thanks for you OP and I appreciate the discussion.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #34
60. I would be enthusiastic for the Dems taking back the House IF
they recruited candidates who promised to fight for ordinary people and who understood the principles of guerrilla campaigning and mastering the media.
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
45. So in your opinion if I were to support a Primary challenge against an incumbent or Obama himself
I would be as Rahm put it a "fucking retard".. His comment was addressed at Move On and others thaty wanted a Primary Challenge against Blanche Lincoln and I would certainly hope against Ben Nelson..Would I also be a "fucking retard" if I opposed Zell Miller?
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tpsbmam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #19
66. He *completely* disparaged progressives and this is when I got so pissed off...
at him for his "sanctimonious" attitude toward progressives. This is out of his mouth.

Democrats who think he's compromised too much in agreeing on a two-year extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts -- even for the wealthiest Americans -- and that they have a hard time figuring out his core principles on what issues he would go to the mat for. Obama then responded forcefully, saying that the positions of such people on the left would result in getting nothing done, except having a "sanctimonious" pride in the purity of their own positions.

The president compared current complaints from progressives to sparring over health care reform, saying that "this is the public option debate all over again." Then, Obama said, while he was able to pass reform Democrats had fought for for a century, they instead viewed it as "weakness and compromise" that there was no public option. "Now, if that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it, we will never get anything done."

"This is a big, diverse country," Obama also said. "Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people."

"This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door of this country's founding," he later added. "And you know, if we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn't have a Union."


He could have just said, "they didn't get their ponies." How fucking insulting! NO I don't accept his capitulation on the taxes for the rich. 80% of Americans are against extending the tax cuts for the rich. Where was the fucking fight? Where the hell was the candidate who was going to stand up against all of that for us? No-fucking-where (sorry for adding my crudeness to your headline, Will...I'm clearly pissed).

He then compared it to the health care debate and the public option. Tell me, Mr. President, just how many single payer advocates did you allow at the table? Zilch. How many patient advocate groups? Zilch. How many consumer advocates? Zilch. How many patients? Zilch.* How many insurance industry lobbyists? Many. How many Big Pharma lobbyists? Many. How about that transparency thingy you promised, Mr. President? Why was it all done behind closed doors and suddenly we had this fuck-all-Americans-and-enrich-corporations health insurance nightmare plan?

You know what -- I am feeling sanctimonious right now because frankly, I think I think my moral grounding is firmer on this one than the President's.

*These were all of the types candidate Obama said would be at the table for health insurance reform. It was a whole new story once he was through with us. I'm now getting nicey nice little letters about how he needs all of us in the fight for 2012. Fuck that. I'll vote because I have no choice, but I'll only work for and give to proven progressive candidates and that sadly does not include the President.

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zalinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #66
69. Don't you know, we are supposed to swallow our anger, so says Obama. n/t
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. Not speaking for the OP, but as to your first question
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. THNKS for the link, I will read it n/t
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
11. k&r n/t
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
12. Recommend!!! n/t
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
13. ...
:applause:
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davidthegnome Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
15. K & R
Good post.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:26 AM
Response to Original message
17. Lunatic fringe who were never needed anyway....
When I first came to DU, it was during the McClurkin slanders, and that is exactly what several people here told me. Teh gay was no longer needed because of new support from the 'faith community' and people they called 'Obamacans' who were allegedly Republicans who were wildly supportive of Obama. Recently, they have shifted back to claiming that if gay people keep fighting for equal rights instead of praising Obama for being against marriage rights, we will be wholly responsible for any elections lost. Yes, that is correct, the same posters who said 'we do not need you, we have Republicans' now say 'you must not only vote for, but gleefully promote Obama and never mention is anti marriage bias'.
On a side note, does anyone know what happened to all of those Obamacans? I mean we see the faith community in action with Jones and all, but the 'Obamacans' are missing in action. Almost as if they never existed at all.
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Exilednight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. They're around. They just changed their tune. n/t
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cilla4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you articulating my longtime philosophy -
your underlying premise: it is foolish to "blame" the problems of America, the economy, the budget, etc. on those on the lowest rungs socio-economically. It defies commonsense and is all too convenient.

I do think there is some legitimacy in turning to the electorate to shoulder their obligation to come out and vote. But, again, I agree, that motivation, that passion and impetus, naturally should and would come from "above," the candidate.

Clearly the Obama administration's strategy is to "get through" 2012, earn re-election, by appealing to the 10% swayable slice of independents. They have calculated that they do that by aiming down the middle. I'm not so sure that's right. I do think it's useful to remember that health care and Wall St. reform (disappointing in the their final form, though they are) are perceived by many as extreme,landmark laws that tilt left. It will be amazing to watch how they thread the needle as 2012 looms.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
21. K&R n/t
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
22. I would argue that the pary did take a stand on the Bush tax cuts
You write that "80%+ of the nation supports higher taxes for the rich" and yet, if that is the case, why did they just elect a bucnh of Republicans to the House who specifically ran against higher taxes for the rich?

When it comes to inspiring the voters, you cannot necessarily blame the Party. Take my own Congressional district, for example. Theoretically, it is winnable, especially in an off year. We won it in 2006 against a five term incumbent. However, we then lost it again in 2008 and that incumbent now has a $1,000,000 war chest. Before any Democratic challenger is gonna be able to inspire the voters, they are gonna need some money in order to get an inspirational message out. Actually lots and lots of money. $100,000 is probably not gonna be enough.

For some bizzare reason, most political donations come from people in the top 20%. It becomes a little bit harder to get their donations when your campaign is premised on the idea of raising their taxes.

Another part is free publicity. I went all over the district and tried to talk to the newspapers, but everywhere I went I also bought a paper, to learn something about that town. And what did I often see on the front page of that paper? Either Sam Brownback or Jerry Moran, two Republican incumbents who were running for higher office (Governor and Senator). Not only did they have a huge financial advantage, but they also got free publicity. The media also called the race from about a year out they spread the message - Republicans are gonna win. Not content to report the news, they also opted to predict the future. A future that ended up being correct, but how much of that is self-fulfilling prophecy?
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
61. If your candidate doesn't have money, you have to BADGER the media
That's how the 2004 Kucinich volunteers got coverage for their candidate in the Twin Cities and the rest of Minnesota, with the result that DK won 17% of the vote statewide, his highest percentage anywhere.

You have to follow the example of some of the successful members of the Progressive Caucus who hold cheap fundraisers for their constituents, because they understand that in the end, candidates need votes. If they can get the votes with less money, it's a win-win situation. The candidate isn't so much in debt and is not as beholden to corporate interests as the average Congresscritter is.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
25. "80+% of the nation supports higher taxes for the rich"
<...>

The same is often true of policy failures. 80+% of the nation supports higher taxes for the rich, yet capitulation and dithering are the watchwords from our delegations in Congress and our president. The voting public is always derided for failing to vote in its interests, but would anyone argue our party has been doing its utmost to prove itself the champion of those interests? To emphasize the utter bankruptcy of the supply-side myth? Painful austerity in a recovery? The "crisis" of Social Security?

<...>


Really? When voters gave the Republicans a 50 vote majority in the House, they did it because they supported taxing the rich?

It's similar to the poll that shows 80 percent of Americans supporting income equality. They just don't agree on how to get there.

One has to acknowledge that poll support doesn't always translate to real support. It can only do that when there is strong support among elected representatives. How many elected Republicans are going to support taxing the rich? How many Republican voters are going to hold elected Republicans accountable for not supporting a tax increase for the rich?

Scott Walker's actions woke up a few of his supporters in Wisconsin, but that kind of backlash is rare.

Yesterday, Paul Ryan released a budget that effectively abolishes Medicare and Medicaid. What are the chance it produces a similar backlash?

If people really wanted to move this country to the left, they'd stop voting in Republicans. That includes doing everything to ensure that Republicans don't win. More Democrats would set up more opportunities to challenge conservative Democrats and slowly build a more significant progressive majority.

This doesn't happen often, but why would a Democrat vote for Scott Brown? In one of the most liberal states, he's still doing well in the polls.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Do you believe the figure of 80+% of liberals supporting Obama is equally meaningless?
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 11:46 AM by jpgray
That it also doesn't always translate to real support? For my own part, I think both numbers are accurate, but that they may not translate into the actions one would assume they would as a matter of course. One could support Obama, but not work or even vote for him (or anyone else). One could support "income equality" or higher taxation for the wealthy, but vote for a Republican. Strange, but true.

It is the job of those who have the capacity to reach voters, to have their voices heard, to translate the support that exists into action. The top of the list for this capacity would be our president and leaders in Congress. This isn't some abstract theory--very few rank and file GOP voters, for example, sit around wondering how to oppress homosexuals via legislation. But after a constant campaign to push the issue, what might otherwise have been passive bigotry that would never have found political expression is translated into the action of millions, even if that action was merely the pull of a lever.

The message of attack in '10 was "wasteful spending" and the fear of mounting deficits. The GOP had no plans to actually enact sensible policy on this score, immediate austerity would do immediate harm to the recovery, and Obama was hardly the profligate socialist they pretended. Yet voters perceived the GOP as acting in their best interests. Are the voters to blame for being too lazy to make the distinction and act on it, or is our party and its leaders to blame for failing to make that distinction with any force, even accepting wholesale the entire ideological thrust of the GOP argument?

Even if 100% support the leftward positions on problems such as disparity of wealth, progressive taxation, preserving the social safety net, etc., if these issues never achieve prominence in the debate it is hardly to be wondered at that they have little prominence in the actions of voters.

Are voters to blame? Sure, but there is plenty of blame to go around and I wouldn't start my list there.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. How is that equivalent?
After stating support for either Obama, that's it.

On the other hand, stating their support for taxing the rich isn't the final action. It moves from public support to political action, primarily on the part of elected officials.

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libmom74 Donating Member (577 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #30
72. excellent point!
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
26. K & R
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
27. Blaming the Voters for a Failure of Leadership...
...never solves the problem.

It is the JOB of "Leadership" to motivate/inspire the troops (voters).
You can't FIX the voters,
but if Leadership has the courage to assess & own where Leadership has failed,
a solution becomes possible.
Of course, this assumes a solution is wanted.


Who will STAND and FIGHT for THIS American Majority?
Lofty Rhetoric, Broken Promises, and Whiny Excuses mean NOTHING now.
"By their WORKS you will know them,"
and by their WORKS they will be judged.


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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
28. Wise words, jpgray.
I think most politicians are so covetous of their positions of power that they are afraid to take a position on issues that matter for fear of creating controversy and losing their seats?
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
29. Excellent post jpgray
:thumbsup:
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
31. If I could rec this 100 times I would.
Too many Dems are willing to blame everyone but their leaders for election losses, bad policy, and shitty appointments.

It's like the Jon Stewart thing yesterday. Lots of people were very upset with Jon. Not because he lied, he didn't. They were angry at him for pointing out the truth.
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TriMera Donating Member (885 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
32. K&R. n/t
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
35. K&R
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me b zola Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
36. K&R
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
37. The flip side is, if support for Democrats wavers back and forth
every few years, the leaders take that as a sign of the general public preferring moderate positions. The key is turnout, consistency, and pressure to force the leaders to realize they have a mandate. Voting one year, then not voting (or voting 3rd party) the next won't yield the results that you want.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. You know, it's really hard to say what effect one can have strictly at the ballot box
We voted in majorities in both houses and a president, but it would be difficult to argue that big shift in power was marked by any similar shift in party policy to the left. There is likewise no evidence that the party moves to the left by losing, as witness '94-'06. So I think you're right in what you say, but that the evidence for the effect of consistent support in moving the party left is also lacking.

You can't force leaders to act as though they have a liberal mandate just by voting, in my view. It's worth doing to deny the GOP office, but the slide of both parties to the right has been fairly consistent for a generation. I think it has more to do with the nature of our institutions than a behavioral response to voting patterns.
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ecstatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. "evidence for the effect of consistent support in moving the party left "
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 04:08 PM by ecstatic
The evidence is lacking on a national scale because the left has never been consistent in turning out in large numbers for two consecutive elections, but we see it in several states and local governments.
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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:49 AM
Response to Reply #37
70. 81% of Americans want to tax the rich, 63% out of Afghanistan, etc.. Whoever runs on these will
get the voters out in droves.
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eilen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:48 AM
Response to Reply #37
74. I think that is BS
You either have principles or you don't. You do not stick your thumb out to see which way the wind blows for the values you stand for.

If enough people agree or believe the country would benefit, they will align with you. If you just bend to whatever stupid poll out there that is engineered to say whatever the creators of the poll were paid to make it say... well, you might just be another moral compass less talking suit con man and don't deserve anyone's vote.

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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:26 PM
Response to Original message
38. K&R
Nicely stated
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
42. "Where else are you going to go?"...
Oh I forgot..... "Fucking Retard"
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Ramulux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
44. Great point and it needs to be repeated
Can we also stop saying that if you dont support a democrat you automatically support the republican? I dont owe the democratic party shit and if they do things I dont agree with I'm not gonna vote for them. Thats the point of a democracy.
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tomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
46. on "an anemic, aimless, dithering party and its leaders":
it/they are none of the above. the democratic party is strong, purposeful, and focused...just not on behalf of the people it/they claims to be for. this has for all intents and purposes always been the case, fdr notwhithstanding.

while i agree with the overall sentiment of your post, it has to be said, your portrayal of the party as anemic, aimless and dithering is one of the most harmful memes around and i for one will challenge it wherever i see it.

the democratic party is obviously ANOTHER party of the rich, the only difference between them and the repubs being that we don't get bones and crumbs from the repubs.
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DeSwiss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
47. K&R n/t
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Samantha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
48. Corporations do not want to pay social security taxes, health
care benefits, payroll taxes, unemployment benefits, sick and vacation leave for their employees. Those costs cut into Corporations' profits. The entire political conversation today by Republicans revolves around giving corporate interests what they want and laying the blame for the problem at the feet of the defenseless (the poor, the sick, the disabled, and to a certain extent, the middle class, or what is left of it).

It is politically disingenuous and morally and ethically disgusting, but hey, when did those two factors ever slow down the opposition. They are dancing with those who "brung" them because that is how Republican politicians continue to flourish.

This seems to me to be the simple truth of the matter.

Sam
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JohnnyHardhat Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
49. Brilliant! Well said.
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Fuddnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
50. Kick and Rec!
Excellent post.

After an election, it is the victors job to solidify their support and demoralize their opponents. After the 2008 elections, the repubs were writing their obituaries. But bipartisanship breathed new life into them, and they exploited it.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
51. Brilliant
Simply brilliant.

K&R
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Logical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
52. kick
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
53. Bo Knows!
And so do you, K&R.
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mochajava666 Donating Member (771 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
54. Well said
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
55. Well put.. Worth reading twice.
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hulka38 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:39 PM
Response to Original message
56. Good post. n/t
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
57. Well done. An excellent, thought provoking post. Thanks n rec'd. nt
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bullwinkle428 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:46 PM
Response to Original message
58. Worth MULTIPLE recommendations, if it was within my grasp.
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 10:50 PM by bullwinkle428
Pisses me off to listen to our so-called progressive voices on the radio (Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller, Hal Sparks) constantly beat up on their core audience, the actual progressive base, for supposedly not bothering to even get out of bed on election day.
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FredStembottom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
59. Homerun!
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 11:10 PM by FredStembottom
You have more elegantly stated what I seem to spend nearly all my time at DU trying to say.
That enthusiasm for the Party isn't a tactic, it's a result.
We are exactly as enthusiastic as the Party leaders want us to be.
For some reason, not totally clear, they do almost nothing but enthusiasm killing moves.
Like framing every issue with Republican talking points - even when those points are so egregiously false they could be disproven by a not especially talented 7th grader in one afternoon.


Why? Why? Why do our party leaders "catapult the propaganda"!?!?
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
62. I'm not inspired by the
current leaders....they just suck Corporate c*ck. I'm not impressed.

In fact, it's been a long time since I've been impressed or inspired......unless it was a cute animal.
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pmorlan1 Donating Member (763 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
63. K & R
You forgot to include that the uninspired are just Republicans in disguise. lol

I've seen a lot of delusional comments made to dismiss valid criticism. I guess it's hard for people to say they support a progressive agenda when their actions don't show it. It's impossible to explain the inconsistency so they attack the people who point it out and accuse them as the reason for the failure in policy. It's really bizarre but they don't see it.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
64. Except that people were gloating about the bad turnout back in November.
Now that the consequences are clear, they've hushed up.
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gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
65. I'm often "uninspired" if not angry, disgusted, frustrated, but I never don't vote.
The results might make me MORE angry, disgusted and frustrated. Especially at myself. Just because I have to hold my nose sometimes doesn't mean I'm excusing the actions of our elected officials.

Until we get a better system in place, I fear this is the reality for now. But I do think we're making progress and that people are waking up.

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abq e streeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
67. Rec # 143; you speak for me , too.
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Capitalocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 01:35 AM
Response to Original message
68. Let me also add that if we COULD muster the same activism regardless of policy
then we would do nothing but reward mediocre leadership. If we the people vote the same either way, then the ONLY ones a politician needs to please are the corporate overlords.
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democracy1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 02:58 AM
Response to Original message
71. K & R
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deutsey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
73. You articulate my views very nicely
:thumbsup:
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MissDeeds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:30 AM
Response to Original message
75. Agreed
Lack of enthusiasm isn't the fault of the voters.

K&R
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
77. K&R
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:15 AM
Response to Original message
78. When people choose not to vote that is capitulation and that's what quitters do.
Republicans love it when Democrats choose not to vote, not to even bother to show up at the polls.

Here in Wisconsin any Democrat who supports workers' rights and wanted Kloppenburg to win yet could not be bothered to vote in Tuesday's election should look in the mirror, call themselves stupid, then slap themselves in the face. Yes, let's spin this as being marvelously wonderful when a whole 1/3 of voters bothered to turn out. This is likely the same bunch who gave us Walker because they were in a snit about Obama and were too disillusioned or disappointed to go out and vote. The trouble is that Obama was not voting and all the other Democrats on their ballot suffered.

Governments are formed, laws and policies are created as a result of those who choose to participate in the process and that participation begins with an election. When you give up your right to vote, something millions of other people in the world would love to have and die to get, then your surrender the field to the opposition and we have seen what the Republicans do when they get power. For Democrats, to choose not to vote is capitulation to those who would seek to destroy our way of life. To choose not to vote is the first step in giving up.

Voters do not just bear responsibility to a great extent, they hold the primary most important responsibility in our democratic republic. Voting is where it all begins. To choose not to vote is to do nothing and doing nothing accomplishes nothing. Those in power were put there by the voters and it is absurd to believe that choosing not to vote will make this country a better place.

This is my opinion and I will hold fast to it because I believe it to be the truth. I could care less if the OP gets 10,000 Recs and get permanently pinned to the Front Page.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
79. kick
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
80. Truth............nt
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