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ktowntennesseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:54 PM
Original message
Divide and Conquer; what are our chances?
I was thinking about the past two elections when democrats received 48%-49% percent of the vote, and wondered what we could do change that. But when I pondered, what if we are stuck in the high-40's? What if that's the best we can do? Then it got me thinking about Lincoln's election in 1860. After a little research, I found that while he was elected with 59% of the electoral vote, but garnered only 40% of the popular vote, due largely to the opposition vote being split three ways beaten Breckinridge, Bell and Douglas. And that got me to wondering, what would it take for a repeat of history?

With his little mandate in his pocket, * seems hell-bent on pushing through an increasingly conservative and fiscally irresponsible agenda, all with the blessings of theocratic fundamentalists. Surely moderate Republicans will eventually grow weary of this and withdraw their support from the religious-right juggernaut. I've heard many here suggest we need a moderate democrat nominee in '08 in hopes of picking off some of these disgruntled Republicans. But what if enough moderate Republicans pull away and lend their support to a middle-of-the-road candidate of their own?

Or what if party leaders get * to back off in an effort to keep moderates happy? All that will do it alienate newly-emboldened religious conservatives who feel they put * back in office and therefore deserve *'s full support and loyalty. They would likely accuse * of breaking a multitude of promises, and turn their support to a religious-conservative candidate of their choosing.

Republicans seem to be a large and difficult opponent, but can they maintain unity over the next four years? What would you think the chances of seeing a three-way 2008 race between a democratic candidate, and say, John McCain and Judge Roy Moore? And what, if anything, could we do prepare for such a scenario or even work to help bring it to pass?
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TwentyFive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
1. What about killing off the IRS and Income Tax?
Everybody hates the Income Tax. Some repubs talk about eliminating it or making it a flat tax, then back off - but it gives them the reputation of being the anti-tax party. This BS hurts us.

The upshot is that Libertarian types vote republican because of the tax issue - even though they are repulsed by virtually everything else the GOP does.

If the Dems proposed replacing the income tax with a wealth and/or inheritance tax, I think this would not only be more fair, but also split off some voters who see the Democratic party as the party of the IRS.
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ktowntennesseedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Great idea!
Let's make it our issue and take some of the wind out of their sails. Something like this would sure shake up some of the standard voting patterns, and even if it didn't, it would be interesting to watch it play out.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:04 PM
Response to Original message
2. 1992 - 43%
That's what Clinton won with in 1992, because of a Bush/Perot split. In 1996, he only got 49%, as a sitting President. Just a percentage more than Kerry, a relative unknown against a war time incumbent. People are way too hard on Kerry in this election. If McCain and Moore ran in 2008, we would most likely win. It's a good strategy overall too. Liberal Republicans don't want this extremist right wing agenda anymore than we do.
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Career Prole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
3. I don't think they'll maintain the unity they've shownthus far,
because sooner rather than later they'll realize that the chimp can't keep all the promises he's made to the various groups.
Although it flies in the face of logic, they all give him high marks for credibility despite having kept none of his promises.
They'll figure out that now thathe's in the 2nd term the hourglass is running out on all those big deals he made, and once the credibility's gone he's toast.
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Lostnote03 Donating Member (850 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Take the Feds and their enforcers(IRS) .....
....oh well, Nevermind!!!
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moggie12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. It may happen
The battle between the nut wing and the non-nut wing of the Republican Party could pit McCain or Hagel versus Bill Frist or some other RW nut. The religious right will play a huge role: The way the republican power structure is now, I bet a Frist type will beat out a McCain type.

But what if McCain wins, causing a RW nut to go off on his own, and what if the Democrats also split in two? Then you'd have a 4-way Presidential race that might ask voters to choose from among:

John McCain
Judge Moore
Barbara Boxer
Joe Lieberman

Now that would be interesting.

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TwentyFive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Interesting idea. Lieberman & McCain would split the centrist voters.
My bet is both McCain and Lieberman would join on the same ticket. I would vote Boxer, but would support McCain/Lieberman if it came down to a possibility that Moore might win (shudders).
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DesEtoiles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Convince the religious right that Bush is now ignoring them
get them all riled up

they expect a lot - everything. Are they getting it, as fast as they want it?
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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
7. If the Republicans go from Bush to Arnold, there will be BIG split in that
party. We need to prepare now to take back the WH then.
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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
10. There are certain things that you have to consider about the
Edited on Sun Jan-30-05 01:20 AM by necso
current state of the Republican Party:

1) Republicans fight in the primaries and then generally vote for whomever is the winner.
2) The notable desertions of Republicans from their Party in recent years have been the neocons deserting (or not showing up for) Bush (1) and Ford, because these candidates were not neocon-ish enough. (Dole's backing from the neocons was also weak, because he was seen as being "old school".) But no Republican Presidential candidate in the foreseeable future is going to be anything other than an out-and-out neocon.
3) The moderates and conservatives (neocons aren't really conservatives) in the Republican Party have very little power left. -- The "base" of the Party has moved (and been moved) away from traditional beliefs to those of the neocons.

At issue here is what makes a neocon. As a former Republican I will describe my observations on (and opinions about -- and prejudices in) this matter.


1) Have no concern for traditional American, conservative, Republican or even religious values.
2) Recognize as being "values" only those things that the neocons say are values, or where they are unable to completely dispose of a traditional value, say like patriotism, they define it to mean only what they say it does.
3) Have reduced practically every intellectual framework (and the related language) of common notice to the point where it is a useless, narrowly framed and specifically focused caricature of itself. (All to neocon ends of course.)
4) Use the most bestial tactics along with the most effective propaganda to acheive their ends. (Personal attacks, usually unfounded and/or totally distorted, are a particular favorite).
5) Treat politics (and getting their own way generally) as total war.
6) Serve their own interests and the interests of the elite that funds them practically exclusively. (Of course, there are many levels of this, and those neocons on the lowest levels -- the vast majority -- can expect to get only a few crumbs, which crumbs serve them little... and come at great cost.)
7) Put forward patent nonsense like the trickle-down theory as, essentially, a religious belief. (I remember laughing with other Republicans at Reagan's "voodoo economics" -- now, "we are it".)
8) Appeal to the most base elements of human nature.
9) Brook no real discussion or honest portrayal of the facts or of alternative policies.
10) Have a specific agenda, but will use any argument to further their cause, with no concern for consistency, reality or reason.
11) Use wedge issues to divide potential opponents.
12) Have an understanding of and a grip on the fundamentals of the political process like the political mechanism, funding, media etc.
13) Have a vast machine to create, fund and propagate first rate propaganda.
14) Reward those who support their ends (where necessary), but (always) try to crush those who offer dissent, no matter who these people may be, or how legitimate this dissent is.
15) Make great use of secrecy.
16) Refuse to be held accountable or responsible -- someone else is always at fault, or there is no problem.

I could go on to name a number of specific tenets of the neocon "creed" (or list more points of this general nature), but not all neocons share the exact same doctrine. However, what they do share is a willingness to go along with the whole program in order to get their own little "nuggets", be these power, money, or the implementation of some favored doctrine. (True, pirates will often quarrel over the booty, but every little squabble is not a sign that they are falling out -- it just means a few more bodies.) And some distinction needs to be made for the neocon elite -- who are in a position to better get everything that they really want. After all, no member of the neocon elite is going to be hampered by laws (or legal interpretations) banning abortion, or by similar (to them) minor inconveniences.

Of course, I take a broad view of what constitutes a neocon, and many others do not. (There is a tendency to identify the neocon elite -- and often some subset of that elite (especially that subset which is actually "in the know") -- as the whole. But I dispute this -- to me it is the extent to which you pick up neocon "culture", that makes you a neocon, regardless of whether you really understand what is going on, or gain any real benefit from it.) And from my perspective, many of the Republican conservatives (or moderates -- or whatever), who bemoan the actions of what they call neocons, are just as responsible for the cancer (that I have outlined above) that infects the Republican Party and the nation. -- These cancerous tactics are most useful, if unAmerican and irresponsible -- and the predecessors of the neocons did not hesitate to use these tactics for their own ends. But these predecessors have been replaced by a group of people who seek nothing beyond these tactics -- and who have made a "culture" out of them -- the neocons. And the neocons have taken all these things to new lows.

So no, I don't see a substantial (block) following coming from the Republican Party to support a third party candidate. The neocon warlords will feed enough red meat (and promises) to their various groups of followers to keep them on-board, if not completely happy -- and the neocons will use intimidation (and promises) to keep major Republican politicians from running as (or supporting) opponents. Moreover, should anything of a third (not-liberal) party threaten the neocons, I expect it to be effectively sidetracked like it was in 2000.

In terms of policies, I think that what we need to do is address the concerns of the people (and the problems of the nation) in a practical, effective and progressive manner, and in words (and images) that the people can understand -- and that appeal to them. I don't think that any single issue will suffice, although an essential focus (like some particular economic focus) could provide a common thread to a number of specific policies, which not only helps people to understand these specific policies, but also provides a marketing theme in of itself.

Of course it helps to have candidates with all those superficial qualities that appeal so much to so many people. But this is most important where elections are close, and close elections are something that we must avoid whenever we can.
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Hidden Stillness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Make a Point of It
This is a really great post, and people should print it up and study it to get clearer on a lot of things that we all know about on some level, but need to think of consciously and with purpose. This is why I believe, along with many others, that this current horrible era is begining to come to an end--Democrats are finally fighting back, discarding that corporate-DLC opportunism, and Repub throat-slashing strategies are now being analyzed and exposed. They can't dupe you if you know what kind of people they really are, and what they want to take away from you if they win.

We already have great clues as to what kinds of issues to use against Republicans. Notice the spontaneous uprisings that occur every time they try to destroy abortion-rights or Social Security, and how people en masse just cut right through the crap and are not fooled by Repub lying slogans on these issues--we should realize where we are the majority on issues, and where people agree with us, (no matter how the wealthy media lies or tries to present it), and push these things. If you study these two issues, for example, you already know what you fear about these extremist Republicans getting power and threatening civilization itself the way they do. All we have to do is analyze that understanding, and convey it. It was all there on a silver platter. The tragedy for our country and the world is that we will finally again become the mainstream, middle class hope, almost by default, because Repubs are now so hysterical, so threatening, so weirdly cult-like, that the accusation cannot be seriously lobbed at us, with these people around.

Their tactics have worked up to this point, not because they are so "smart" etc.; it annoys me to hear these bastards called "good at what they do," etc. They are no "better" than any other ruthless criminal, and have only succeeded for the same reasons. The fact that they attacked us and we didn't know what to do is a disgace, not a "great skill," and they succeded because they own the media, so there is no longer any objective voice asking why they were acting this way--it has gotten so bad, as we all know, that anyone who does question these people, is then also viciously attacked. This will only go on for so long before the media itself is considered a nuisance, and this is happening now. Neo-cons, as the poster correctly notes, do not appear to have an authentic belief other than a kind of "advertising agency" strategic disinformation campaign, designed to kill. You can only stand to live in that kind of a world for so long--it is like living in a prison with all the back-stabbing violent criminals all around you--before you can't take it any more, and want peace and decency. We should be making a very loud, clear point of all this. Surely by this late date everybody must be aware of Bush's/Repubs' intolerable fascism, and the case can be more easily made nowadays.

The only way this country is balanced and moving forward, with improved living conditions and all the rest, is when we are the majority and we lead. If Democrats acted like Democrats again, and helped the middle class and the poor, which they have not done since Johnson, the people would come back. When Democrats have not paid any attention to working people and their crises for all these years, of course they were lost to them. It is not tricky--respond to people's concerns, and expose the grave current-Republican threat, clearly but low-key, by explaining things so people will realize these things we all know but now have to face.
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