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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 12:07 AM
Original message
Salon: The revolution that failed -- for now
Groups like ACT and MoveOn promised to remake American politics, but they didn't beat Bush. Is there a future for liberal People Power?

By Farhad Manjoo

Three days after the election, I called Ellen Malcolm, founder of the influential advocacy group Emily's List and president of America Coming Together, to ask her where she'd screwed up.

The question wasn't as provocative as it sounds: 2004 was supposed to have been the year of the activist. For months, progressives had been extolling the possibilities of groups like ACT, which -- by bringing together Hollywood money, Silicon Valley tech wizardry, Washington know-how, and the passion of an army of volunteers recruited from Berkeley to Burlington -- seemed to be forging a new and quite powerful force in American politics, a movement that liberals promised would not only win this election but might also rewrite the rules of the game. ACT and its sister groups were to have been the Democrats' silver bullet, the one trick -- people power! -- Karl Rove could not match.

But as the returns streamed in on Nov. 2, the promise of ACT and the other third-party liberal groups fizzled. ACT had invested heavily in mobilizing voters in Florida and Ohio, and John Kerry lost in both places. What happened? I asked Malcolm. Why had ACT failed?

Malcolm didn't want to talk about failure. "We were very successful," she said. "But we didn't win the election. We turned out many, many, many voters, including a lot of first-time voters. It was a tremendously successful effort for democracy. But we're all obviously very disappointed in the results."

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UL_Approved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
1. Can't expect magic
The more I hear about the Kerry win, the more I have this feeling. YES. KERRY SHOULD HAVE WON. He should have won by a landslide. But he didn't. Even if the recount mess gets corrected, the majority will be slim.

The feeling I get is that we need another Roosevelt-like populist. We need a guy that sweeps the nation. No more regional Democrats versus an incumbent President.

People expected a miracle this year. They expected a heavily regional candidate to sweep this country with only a few months recognition. They expected people to do the right thing and realize the Iraq war for what it is. This will not happen without some serious political strategy and recognition. We didn't go about the campaign the right way, and it slipped away from us. It is going to take a DECADE to get this mess cleaned up. A DECADE!

Wipe up your tears, pull your heads out of your asses, and get a candidate and campaign that kicks some ass. This is not a nation of radical left-wingers. This is not a nation of any wingers. Just a few polar supporters amidst people with no political aspirations or knowledge. Give the people something.
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ConservativeDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 01:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. A landslide?
He was up against a President who has the backing of several major media corporations that are de-facto wings of the Republican party, a man who'd led a wildly popular war in Afghanistan. And, he was running in the face of an increasingly hot culture war between American Pharisee theocrats and gay marriage activists.

Frankly, if monkey-face had even half a brain, Kerry would have been utter toast.

As it is, however, I think you'll be waiting a long time for a "Roosevelt-like populist" to come save the party. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson - they all had one advantage Kerry never did: the vote of the racist South. We Democrats have - to our credit - turned our back on our segregationist past, but it costs us in national elections. Every one of our candidates starts out 100 votes behind in the electoral college. And there's little we can do other than to fight and suffer.

But don't worry. This is all self correcting. The GOP is fully in control now, and even the most ignorant voters are beginning to understand that. When their policies destroy this nation's economy - and it's going to happen sooner rather than later - the citizens will start to value good governmental stewardship over feel-good Fundamentalist moralizing.

- C.D. Proud Member of the Reality Based Community

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UL_Approved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 01:42 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. There is a lot of evidence that the Dixiecrat contingency is cracking
I understand the southern racist vote and all, but statistics lately suggest that the issues of security and economy came into play more than racism. There are some interesting figures, and I need to drag them up. Bush lied his way into a second term, and if ANY of the figures I'm referring to are accurate, Bush will get exposed in the next four years.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Bush lied lots during 1st term (got exposed)--and it did not matter to
many!! Guess i am feeling pestimistic at the moment.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. may I ask
what "conservative Democrat" means? I'm curious.
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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I dunno what it means to him but,
Edited on Wed Dec-15-04 12:53 PM by nickshepDEM
whenever I take these political Quizes online to see exactly what party I fit into. My results always come back as Socially Conservative and Fiscally Democratic. I believe this to be true about myself. So, whenever someone asks me what my Political affilation is I tend to say "Conservative Democrat."
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Angelique Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. ""what "conservative Democrat" means? I'm curious.... ""
A)They are usually only 2 degrees from being a Republican..
B)Someone who feels differently about everything that you and I believe passionately..
C)A closet bigot with a government job..
(/sarcasm) :)
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tom_paine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Which is why the Busheviks are putting in BushPutinist Police State Measur
Edited on Wed Dec-15-04 10:20 AM by tom_paine

So that, when the calmities which are now clearly and definitely coming (environmental, economic, social, LIHOP #2: A Bush/Bin Laden Production, etc), THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

As it has before, scapegoats will be identified and then who knows what exactly will happen.

All I know is that the Busheviks will try to make their reprisals look as little like the Nazis and Soviets as they possibly can.

(so don't hold your breath waiting for railroad cars full of piteous victims)

The "self-correcting" pendulum can only swing back if the clock is in good working order.

But the "clock" is broken, perhaps beynd repair.

Only in a Free Nation with a strong system and sense of Checks and Balances could THIS pendulum swing back.

But Imperial Amerika is none of those things, and filled with people ripe for Virtual Slavery and Tyranny.

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nickshepDEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Im starting to agree with you ... alot.
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seasat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-15-04 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. IMHO, we didn't fail.
The perceptions of the US are kind of like a large ship. You've got to apply a lot of power to get movement in one direction. It's very hard to get it moving and once you do it wants to continue in that direction. The GOP played the fear of terrorism and social change to the hilt during the past two elections. If 9/11 had occured under Gore, we'd be the majority party. I think we are providing pretty good force towards our direction, we just have to keep it up to swing the average network news watching citizen our way and defeat the Shrub Inc myth of compentance in global affairs brought on by 9/11. Unfortunately the best thing to do get the ball rolling is an economic downturn and IMHO, we are heading for one real soon. If we keep up the pressure and Shrub Inc's policies result in a downturn before the mid-term elections, then I expect we'll see some decent gains in the election.
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