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DemocraticWing

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kentucky
Home country: USA
Member since: Wed Aug 28, 2013, 11:14 PM
Number of posts: 340

About Me

I\'m a Democrat.

Journal Archives

Americans Are Crying Out For Change. Does Our Party Hear Them?

From the Ferguson protests that erupted in cities all over the country, to the continuing struggle in cities all over the country for a raise in the minimum wage and basic labor protections, the radical spirit of the Left is still alive and well in this country. The Republicans have tried to smash it for 34 years, and it times it seems like they're winning, but yet the people are still out there fighting for civil rights, economic opportunity, and a more fair and just society. If low turnout in the midterm elections was only but a historical trend, we must put the elections of 2014 behind us and craft a message that will win in 2016. If the Democrats are going to actually win in 2016, we must hear these cries for change.

We cannot let our primary process be a coronation for a Centrist.

The Democratic Party must make real calls for meaningful changes as a part of our 2016 campaign. An end to police brutality, an end to the War on Drugs, a raise in minimum wage, protections for voting rights, protections for organized labor, comprehensive immigration reform, further reforms in healthcare, and a plan to make college education affordable for all Americans again. These are the issues that the people are crying out for action on. With a Republican Congress and a moderate President, none of this is likely to happen in the next two years. The only way this can happen is with a Democratic President and Congress elected in 2016. The only way for the Democratic Party to get people to the polls and actually voting for our candidates in 2016 is to offer candidates, a platform, and a message that actually addresses these issues.

I don't really care if Hillary Clinton ends up being the nominee in 2016. She's going to run and lots of people are going to vote for her. I expect to vote for a more liberal candidate that more closely matches my views; if Warren or Sanders run then I think they'll be excellent candidates. But even if they do not win, we must make sure the primary process sees those candidates (or whoever ends up running) actually voice our base's demands for those issues. We as a party must hold our nominee, be it Clinton or Warren or Sanders or Biden or whomever, to the standards that the people want our party to have. We must craft a platform that actually addresses these issues, and we must hold our candidate's feet to the fire once elected so that our platform becomes real and lasting change.

This isn't going to be easy. The process starts up again soon, and we must harness the energy and passion we've seen this week to fight for real change. Is the Democratic Party up to the task?
Posted by DemocraticWing | Fri Nov 28, 2014, 03:35 AM (11 replies)

Jim Webb Forms Exploratory Committee

The announcement video is kind of rough though. 14 minutes long!

&feature=youtu.be

I don't think I want the primaries to start yet...we just got done with 2014.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu Nov 20, 2014, 12:49 AM (40 replies)

Universal Voter Registration and a National ID

Within all the debates about vote suppression, voter disenfranchisement, and low turnout, there's one simple reform that Democrats should stand up for (as we have done in the past) to combat all of these barriers to the ballot box. Universal voter registration can be achieved in a variety of ways, but the most likely system to carry this out would be a mandatory federal registration upon reaching your 18th birthday. There is already a template to build this upon: the Selective Service registration which all men have to undertake when they become an adult. In this case a newly registered voter would be given a free national identification card that doubles as a driver's license (if they choose to drive) and with the wonder of modern technology could be used to store other information (perhaps in the future this could serve as an insurance card in a single-payer healthcare system) if Americans deem that necessary.

This system would remove the confusion from voting, and even protect against the largely non-existent threat of voter fraud. By giving every citizen a free ID card, we've removed the regressive nature of fees for identification that doubles as a poll tax in states with voter ID laws, while still protecting our elections from an possibility that people are voting multiple times. With universal voter registration, when an American citizen turns 18 (or when one from another country becomes naturalized) they should fill a form with their basic information that will automatically put them on a universal voter registration list and be used to give them an identification card. The major hurdle will be when somebody changes their address, but an address change form shouldn't be terribly difficult to fill out. In cases where people (especially college students) have two addresses, they can designate which one appears on the card and which one will be used to determine where they vote, even if those two are not the same.

The system will need to be fully designed and tested before we can ever hope to implement it, but this is what government is for. There is a need for voting reform in this country to protect all of our rights to vote, and it's time the Democratic Party aggressive fought for it once again.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Mon Nov 10, 2014, 05:53 PM (10 replies)

I Still Support Alison Grimes

I know that's not popular on this board, but she ran a hell of a race against that awful man. People claim she ran as a conservative, but her whole campaign was based on standing up for unions, raising the minimum wage, closing the pay gap between men and women, reforming student loans to reduce the debt burden on students, and fighting for veterans benefits. Grimes supported keeping Obamacare, was extraordinarily pro-choice, and even came out on the side of marriage equality (that's never been done in Kentucky) and studying marijuana legalization. Does that sound like a Republican campaign? Would a conservative bring in Elizabeth Warren on multiple occasions to stump for her? Aliosn's two disagreements with the President were on guns and coal, but I see people here (including myself) disagree with Obama on way more issues than that every single day.

I think Alison Lundergan Grimes is a great face for the future of the Kentucky Democratic Party, and from what I've seen most Democrat here do as well. I'm proud to have done all I could to help defeat Mitch McConnell, and I will be proud to support her for re-election as Secretary of State next year. And if and when she runs for Governor or Congress (she lives in Kentucky's one swing district, after all: KY-6) I will support her for that too.

We got our ass kicked nationwide on Tuesday and some of that hurt us here too. Not a single person in either campaign thought Mitch would win by more than 9 or 10 points, and yet he won by 15. The party as a whole needs to reassess how we did this time, and head in a new direction. That direction isn't Centrism like the Obama/Clinton wing of the party believes, but something more populist that speaks to working people enough to actually get them to turnout and vote.

Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu Nov 6, 2014, 05:33 PM (6 replies)

Democrats hold Kentucky House of Representatives.

The Republicans threw everything they had at the State House, but the 54-46 majority held firm. Democrats have controlled the House since 1921, and while I was worried it might fall with the landslide in the Senate race, that never came to be.

Insane that Kentucky(!) has a Democratic state government while Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Illinois, etc. slide off into the abyss.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Wed Nov 5, 2014, 01:35 AM (1 replies)

The Citizens of America are Democrats. The Electorate is Republican.

Look at the gaps between registered voters and likely voters in these polls: http://pollingreport.com/2014.htm

After we cut through all the noise about voter suppression, voters thinking Democrats are too soft, and everything else that already tilts the game against us, when it comes down to it the registered voters of America still lean towards Democratic candidates. But as it stands right now, we're going to lose ground in the House and lose the Senate, and we can pin most of the blame on one thing:

Our voters aren't planning to show up. They didn't in 2010 either, and look what happened.

So let's do something different this time. We've got 7 weeks until Election Day, and despite all our internal differences, the primaries are pretty much all over and we have our nominees for the House and Senate. Let's get behind them and work our asses off to see them elected. Yeah I know your Senate nominee has some positions you disagree with, and your Congressman voted for something you didn't like, but this is a two party system by design and 99% of the time you get two choices. We all know that the Democrats are FAR BETTER than the Republicans, and there shouldn't be a person on this board who wants the Republicans to win and take this country down their path to destruction.

They don't count "I stayed home from voting because nobody who agreed with me 100% of the time was running" on Election night. "I stayed home from volunteering because nobody agreed with me 100% of the time was running" does not get voters registered, does not get information about our candidates to undecided voters, does not help our GOTV operation, and does nothing to keep Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from supervising 4 years of shutdowns, impeachment trials, and whatever else his Koch masters tell him to do.

So let's all go vote on Election Day, tell everybody we know why they should be voting for Democrats, and getting Democrats to actually go do it. I know it's hard, but let's get out and make phone calls, knock doors, and do whatever else we can to turnout our voters. When we show up we WIN, just like we did in 2006, 2008, and 2012. Let's make 2014 the year where we told the Republicans that we weren't going to sit on our hands and let them do whatever they want.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Tue Sep 16, 2014, 01:38 PM (4 replies)

Mr. President, You Were Elected to Lead. That Time Has Come.

President Obama can't just sit by and let the cops run rampant in the streets of Ferguson. It's too late to bring back Mike Brown, but there's no telling how many lives he can save or prevent from being ruined by simply taking action.

If we have to send in the National Guard to quell the police violence, then so be it. We don't have to send them to Iraq, Syria, or anywhere else. It's time for the President to take action at home.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Wed Aug 13, 2014, 11:48 PM (24 replies)

New Poll in Kentucky: Mitch McConnell leads Alison Grimes 47-45, 8 percent undecided

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has edged ahead of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes for the first time in a Bluegrass Poll, though the race remains a toss up.

With less than 100 days to go until Election Day, McConnell has taken a two-point lead over Grimes 47 percent to 45 percent as Republicans and coal-producing regions of Kentucky coalesce around McConnell, President Barack Obama's favorable rating remains low and McConnell appears to have neutralized the gender gap.

The poll of 714 registered voters was sponsored by the Herald-Leader and WKYT-TV in Lexington and The Courier-Journal and WHAS-TV in Louisville. It was conducted by SurveyUSA from July 18 through July 23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. For questions about the Senate match up, the sample was reduced to 604 likely voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. This is the third Bluegrass Poll conducted this year.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/07/28/3355781/mitch-mcconnell-edges-ahead-of.html?sp=/99/322/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy


Posted by DemocraticWing | Mon Jul 28, 2014, 07:04 PM (14 replies)

Clinton vs. Obama and the Mainsteam of the Democratic Party

I've noticed we've had a spot of feathers-ruffling in the past few days over whether or not Bill Clinton or Barack Obama was the least liberal President. I understand why we'd want to fight these wars over and over, but I think it's worth noting that the vast majority of Obama's positions are currently held by the Clintons as well. That is because, for the most part, they both adhere to party orthodoxy. Let's think about the ramifications of this.

Social issues and foreign policy issues are interesting, but I would suggest that those aren't exactly attuned to any noticeable scale in American politics; as much as the Libertarian Party would like to frame it as a debate between fascists and themselves, we live in a two-party system by design (look up Duverger's Law and why it applies to single member district plurality elections) and the two functional parties have a random assortment of positions that don't always make sense in conjunction. There are real internal splits in each party (moreso the GOP right now) over which direction a party should go, and I get the impression that primaries are more often played out over these issues and certain stylistic debates rather than serious economic policy.

While we can't apply the left-right scale to other issues, it certainly works when talking about economic policy. Since George McGovern lost in 1972, the Democratic Party has been moving further and further towards the Center economically and away from the New Left ideology of the late 60s and early 70s. This has happened at the same time as a rightward shift in Republican ideology, and I think most everyone will agree that America in 2014 does not have the same political center as America in 1974. I also think it's incorrect to assume that post-Bush hasn't seen a gradual change in direction back towards the left; I think it definitely has and the widespread admiration for people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would be evidence of that. So this brings us to the real question: which of Clinton or Obama is closer to the Left?

The answer, unfortunately, is less clear than we'd like to imagine. Bill Clinton governed as a Centrist in the 1990s, and I think examination of Obama's early political career would suggest that he started off as substantially more open to ideas on the Left than Clinton was. But both of these guys were essentially shaped by their local environments: being a state senator from Chicago makes it much easier to advance core liberal principles than being Governor of Arkansas OR President of the United States. I think both Presidents were essentially products of the political climate of the time, and would suspect that were Obama the President in the 1990s he would have followed similar policies as Clinton, and were Clinton the President today he would be similar to Obama. For all the shock that idea might generate, keep in mind that Obama has surrounded himself with Clintonites as President, and the Clintons have essentially supported and adopted many of the ideas and policies associated with his Presidency.

So what's the point of this comparison? To realize that politicians are essentially actors within a large-scale political game. At a certain level, a lot of people only hope to represent their broad coalition in opposition to the other, and their personal opinions are drowned out by a party machinery that tries to keep a lot of different coalitions happy without pissing off another all too much. Clinton and Obama had a lot of stylistic differences (and a few similarities) and certainly their policies are not identical when compared across two decades. But they are similar in overarching personality and goals, and I think debating which of these mainstream actors is more outside of the mainstream is somewhat counter-intuitive.

Clinton was change from Bush 41. Obama was change from Bush 43. Neither substantially changed the Democratic Party forever. Keeping with the Clinton-Obama faction in 2016 is not going to pull the party *further* rightward, but will instead just leave the party continuing to react to political conditions in the same way it has since McGovern lost in 1972. Substantial change in the direction of the party would only be achieved by nominating a candidate that is outside of the party mainstream AND could actually win the Presidency and wield their influence. The closest we've come to doing this in the past 30 years was the Kerry-Edwards ticket (the most liberal ticket since Mondale for sure) and their loss ensured we stayed on the same path for the Obama era. If people actually think Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren represents a path forward, they may be the alternative in 2016.

Personally I'd love to see this change happen, but worry that Sanders and Warren are unable/unwilling to win either the primary or the general election in 2016. In a perfect world that will never come to pass, substantial electoral reform would allow smaller parties to exist in a proportional representation system, and we could make our own coalitions after elections instead of trying to manage them before.
Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu May 8, 2014, 03:36 PM (5 replies)

Looks Like Newt is Really Getting Into May Day

Is he starting to go socialist?

https://twitter.com/newtgingrich/status/462007380784709632

Newt Gingrich ‏@newtgingrich 5h

The right answer to the Clippers ownership challenge is to sell it to the people of Los Angeles. Green Bay, not billionaires, is the model.

Posted by DemocraticWing | Thu May 1, 2014, 11:51 PM (0 replies)
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