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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:48 PM


No. We are not a "50/50" nation or a "center-right" nation. We are 60/40 progressive.

I was listening to an interesting program on XM radio 127 tonight. I'm sure it was a rerun. It was a panel discussion with Stephanie Cutter and some of the folks on the Obama campaign most involved in the online elements of the campaign. First, let me be clear that I believe they did a great job, so none of this is intended as a criticism of them.

There was one question, in particular, that illustrated what I believe is a basic flaw in how we approach all of these battles. The question was something like, "Do you think your online efforts negated the fact that the other side had Faux "news" broadcasting their propaganda 24/7?" They gave an intelligent response to the question, but I think they completely missed the most basic thing, as most primarily Beltway-driven operations do. While they didn't say these words exactly, the inference is that they believed it was inherently a 50/50 race and they did enough of the things necessary to tip it to 53/47 or whatever.

While that may be factually correct when you start from a certain (Beltway) perspective, it just isn't true at all.

We are nothing like a 50/50 country. We are a solid 60/40 country. When you look at polls on every important issue (education, taxation, national investments, war-making, the environment, guns, health care, reproductive rights, marriage equality, retirement security, and on and on) the numbers are NEVER CLOSE. The progressive position always dominates, usually by 60/40 or better. And that has nothing to do with Obama. The polls have run that way for a long time.

So the question should be, why is the right wing ever even close? They should never even be in the race. Once you start from that perspective, which is the only honest starting place as far as I'm concerned, then it begs the questions:

- What is the right wing doing to overcome a very lopsided electorate? And
- What is the country doing to make sure elections are held on a level playing field?

In the entire panel discussion, I didn't hear a single word of that. Frankly I find it alarming that the people who have been at the center of the last 3 Presidential campaigns and will mostly be at the center of the 2016 campaign seem not even to give any thought to this.

We know how the scales are tipped.

1) There is Faux "news" and they did discuss that briefly, only to say Faus' power is gradually diminishing as things migrate to online. And it isn't just Faux. All of the MSM is hard right, corporatist, and very motivated to tell the public it is a close race.

2) Wedge issues. Yes, that's always a reality. And we have been able to take the biggest wedge issue (gay rights) mostly off the table. But there are still guns and abortions, and we've had no leadership on those two.

3) The money tree. The panel was all proud of themselves for basically matching Romney's campaign money. And they should be proud, but I find it alarming and discouraging that they do not acknowledge that there is 10 times that much in dark money, most of which will continue to go to the most right-wing candidate.

4) Voter suppression. Again, that was a massive factor. And if we really want to get down to it -- if you had to identify a single factor that swung this election, it was not the Obama campaign per se. It was the massive blowback the GOP got by trying to disenfranchise voters. I'm not trying to diminish the work the campaign did, but I really find it shocking that not one of them acknowledged that as the biggest swing factor in the final days -- the real nail in Romney's coffin. Nonetheless, I see no leadership on fixing this. We got lucky this time. We cannot expect to be lucky the next time.

I know we can never expect to fully stop all those factors. But I just point out that the natural state of things is 60/40. It is those factors that allow the GOP to make it a race. We have to deal with those factors, and I just don't get a warm feeling that the campaign people really understand that. They see the election as a result of their brilliant campaign strategy and execution. Maybe, but it just shouldn't be that close.

Any thoughts?

P.S. To my Christian friends out there, let me take this opportunity to wish you Merry Christmas. I will not do so before Christmas Eve because -- well, because any other day ain't Christmas.

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Reply No. We are not a "50/50" nation or a "center-right" nation. We are 60/40 progressive. (Original post)
BlueStreak Dec 2012 OP
Skittles Dec 2012 #1
oldhippydude Dec 2012 #2
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #3
oldhippydude Dec 2012 #4
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #6
oldhippydude Dec 2012 #8
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #9
cecilfirefox Dec 2012 #5
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #7
cecilfirefox Dec 2012 #14
indepat Dec 2012 #10
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #11
indepat Dec 2012 #12
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #13
frostfern Dec 2012 #15
frostfern Dec 2012 #16
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #17

Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:54 PM



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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:36 PM

2. couple of things...

first of all your observations are correct... and that's just part of the bad news... the other part of course is that the GOP will not believe that Democrats should govern.... this conflicts with 2 of their beliefs... first they don't believe in Democrats, but more importantly they don't believe in Government... to this end they will do anything they can to defeat any legislation they disagree with.. regardless of ethics or legality... (throw mud at a wall and see what sticks)... this is to government what the Gish Gallop is to debate.. this has worked for them for the last 30 years, especially since the Gingrich years, and continues to work...

when they have power they stack the deck.. load judgeships, and regulatory posts. when they are out of power, they resist the newly elected powers... also they will act on dirty tricks especially in a lame duck session, that's how we got the post office fiasco in 06...

the problem is that for the foreseeable future the House will remain Republican so expect little help from Congress.. we do however have the DOJ and other cabinet level departments I think if the DOJ went after ALEC for conspiracy to commit voter rights it would do a lot to take the wind out of the right wing sails..

ultimately the thing that will save us is in fact the demographic changes in the electorate... this will be slow but certain, in fact the inevitability of that reality is what was behind all the dirty tricks this last cycle

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Response to oldhippydude (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 12:38 AM

3. Points well taken, but I don't concede the House


It was only a few years ago when Howard Dean was the party chair that we competed in 50 states, won the House and were in much better shape in the states.

I stipulate that there is Gerrymandering, but that alone cannot overcome a natural 60/40 bias towards the progressive solutions.

And really, that is my point. We are too quick to excuse away things that really should not be.

Obama never mentioned the environment -- not one damn time -- during the campaign, and never once said "I need you to give me a Democratic Congress. He was more concerned about winning himself, and he figured he was going to govern to the right anyway, so why does he need Democrats in the House?

I understand why the Obama campaign decided to compete only in swing states. But in effect that means we mostly didn't compete in the majority of states. If Howard Dean could make that happen, why can't we do it again?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:36 AM

4. me too actually...

I was hoping we could get Carmona elected in Arizona.... the reason we cant redo the Dean 50 state strategy this year, is that the gerrymandering is actually only a couple of years old... population changes will erode this advantage until 20.. by that time we should be the majority party... had the house districts been in the 08 configuration we would have a Democratic house..

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Response to oldhippydude (Reply #4)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:47 AM

6. Well, OK, are you saying that we couldn't get 15 more seats?


That's all it takes to control the House. And again, Obama did absolutely nothing to try to help in the House. It was as if his pitch was "I know you want to vote Republicans, so go right ahead and do that -- just fine with me because I really want to be bipartisan -- but split your ticket and vote for me while you're electing all those House Republicans."

Like so many other things, it worked for Obama. But for America, not so much.

I'm not denying that Gerrymandering is a big problems. But my thesis is that we are a natural 60/40 country. Gerrymandering is part of how the GOP closes that huge natural gap.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:09 AM

8. i think we agree on most everything

especially the 60/40 break.... that's only a recent event, with the advent of the millennials entering the electorate.. thank God it's been a long time (I have been politically active since the 60's)..

keep in mind the gerrymandering is but a symptom... having control of the media, voter suppression tactics. and a variety of dirty tricks enable them to stay in power however haltingly.. we must remember how bad it can get, and remove the Republican party from power for a generation....

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Response to oldhippydude (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 09:35 AM

9. Agreed, but I don't think the 60/40 thing is all that recent.


There are certainly some issues like guns and gay rights where the progressive position was not near 60% and maybe not over 50%

The issue of income distribution fairness was not really in the public consciousness 5 years ago.

Immigration issues are evolving.

We have a lot of work to do to educate the public about the importance of labor organization.

But over the past 20 years, the 60/40 split has been apparent across a broad range of issues that were at the forefront of the public's thinking. Trade, education, women's rights, rights of minorities and disabled, environment, war, etc.

I think it is fair to say that one really good thing that has happened in the past several years is that other issues have been elevated to the public consciousness and they are making an impact. The key ones that come to mind are gay rights, income inequality, and guns.

We need to insist that people who want to have a seat in the Democratic Party be strong advocates for the "60% positions" across the board.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:40 AM

5. No, here's what I think-

I think it is accurate to say that we are no longer a center right or conservative nation. I remember John King on CNN with the magic map pulling out numbers, statistics, etc., and saying that, relatively, it was a conservative country. I don't think it's fair to say we're 60/50 progressive now, that's a bit starry eyed by my calculations. I do think it is fairly obvious we are going center left though, and now ARE a center-left nation.

I'd agree with your statement if the state governments reflected it. They do not.

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Response to cecilfirefox (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 08:54 AM

7. The issues at the state and local levels are somewhat diffferent


When I say we are a 60/40 country, what I am saying is that when you look at all the issues that people consider important at the national level, just about every poll on just about every issues shows the progressive ideas getting 60% support or greater. If it weren't for the shenanigans, dirty tricks, and huge money advantage, Republicans shouldn't ever win big on the national level.

On the local level, issues are closer to home, but in a year that has national offices on the ballot, it really does help with the top of the ticket shows up and asks for your vote down ballot. For all practical purposes, that didn't happen at all this time. In fact, Obama ran essentially as an independent. He had his own "party", his own money, his own offices, his own staff and volunteers. He didn't integrate with the Democratic Party at all.

We need to take a serious look at that organizational model. It worked for Obama but really sucked everywhere else but the Senate.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #7)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:46 AM

14. Okay, I see what you're getting at. ;) nt

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:41 PM

10. Another reason is far too many supposed progressives are governing to the right of

of center as demonstrated by the fiscal cliff negotiations: there never was any balance in the bargaining, but far too much austerity, too little change in the massive funding for the MIC, far too little additional taxes on the most affluent and large corporations, and far too such slashing of programs which provide for the general welfare, including public health, food safety, and access to medical care. Balance my ass.

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Response to indepat (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:49 PM

11. Absolutely true. But I would contend that some of this is caused


by the "Big Fallacy", which is that we are a "center-right" nation or a "50/50" nation.

A Congressman or Senator gets almost all his campaign money from groups pushing the corporatist agenda, and then he or she looks at the news where the MSM assures the elected officials that it is OK to govern from the far right because that is actually where people are.

That is emphatically NOT where people are and I believe we have to work hard to get that message out into the open. The sad truth is that most elected Democrats will still govern from the right because they are following the money. But at least we can deny them the rationalization that they are actually doing what the people want.

Eventually each issue reaches a tipping point where, very quickly, it is no longer safe to support the institutional view. We saw that happen before our eyes on gay rights. It could happen just as quickly on gun safety and many other issues.

My argument is that the first step is to aggressively contest the Big Fallacy every time the MSM goes there. Whenever a David Gregory, George Stephanopolis or any one of those beltway schmoes as much as much as even hints that this is a "center-right nation", everybody should fight that as vigorously as we can. Those MSM goofs are not really bright people. They can be trained like dogs to stop going there if they feel a little punishment each time they try.

But it is not just the MSM. Our own people are our worst enemies in many cases. We have to get people like Cutter, Pflouffe and even Obama himself to change they way they think.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:08 PM

12. Well said and right on

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:09 PM

13. You are correct on the makeup of this country........

The mistake that a lot of people make in thinking that the US is a center-right country is that they look at self identification polls rather than polls on issues. The RW has demonized the WORDS "left" and "liberal" to the point where very few will use these names for their political identification. Something like 25% or so, while 35% or so identify as conservative. But when you look at stands on the ISSUES it becomes clear that almost EVERYONE who identifies as "moderate" or "centrist" actually hold left or actual center-left views ON (most of) THE ISSUES.

Now, it can be argued that this is a more recent development, say the last 10 years or so. The country did become enamored of the Reagan talking points for a couple of decades (although once again, on the issues even during the 80s the country wasn't as RW as Reagan was), so that they VOTED in a center-right direction, but that era is over and has been for a while.

The problem is that a whole generation of politicians of BOTH parties came of age during this center-right phase. And as usual, the politicians are behind the public on the issues. Add in the money involved in running for office, money which MUST COME FROM WEALTH EITHER PERSONAL OR CORPORATE, and you have a generation that's not only behind the curve compared to the public, but also has no INCENTIVE to change the meme they grew up with politically.

Because of all the factors discussed here by everybody, I don't see it changing by the ballot box. The PTBs are way too close to winning, even though they are a minority on issues, to change things on their own. And they literally OWN the political class of both parties, so we won't be able to vote changes in.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:17 AM

15. Here's the crux...

The reason elections are close can be explained by the "enthusiasm gap". Basically, the more ideologically strident party has an advantage. People who label themselves "conservative" are more likely to vote than "independents" who when polled on actual positions turn out to be progressive. Far right conservative ideologues outnumber far left liberal ideologues by a 2:1 ratio. When only the ideologues come out to vote the conservatives always win. This certainly explains what happened in 2010.

We also have a bunch of politically uninformed "independents" who just don't seem to be aware of how extreme and dangerous the Republican party is. They naively think there is a logical middle ground between the two parties even when in reality they support a further left position than the president! Then there's all the doe eyed idiots, the Ron Paul nutcases and the assortment of leftists who tell you "there is no difference between the parties". If not for those two groups of idiots the Republicans wouldn't have a chance.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 01:32 AM

16. There's also another factor with the naive young white voters...

It's the "coolness" factor. People who are already inclined to march in lock-step with a well established ideology have no shame in joining the "conservative" tribe. Conservatives don't care about not being "cool". They are practical minded and have no reservations about voting for a "lesser evil" that isn't conservative enough for them. They all voted for Romney as a vote against Obama. Yet, for those young people not in the "conservative" clan who like to think of themselves as being open-minded, voting for Democrats is definitely too "establishment". They are too hipster to consider voting for the lesser evil. That explains the idiot white millennials who keep allowing the elections to be close. And don't even get me started on the fucking Paultards.

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Response to frostfern (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 26, 2012, 08:45 AM

17. Another way to say that is Romney=extreme right, Obama = less extreme right


In other words, Obama was nowhere near the 60/40 positions on most issues. While he personally may share the 60/40 views, he did not campaign on them and he will not fight for them.

If the situation were reversed, the enthusiasm bias would go the other way. Let's say the Dem candidate were Alan Grayson and the Republican candidate were Bernie Sanders, how enthusiastic do you think conservatives would be?

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