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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 01:11 PM
Original message
"Dem Strategy for Dummies"
I found this on Daily Kos an excerpt from a forthcoming book, "Dem Strategy for Dummies":

1. If Repubs say we're making a mistake, we're on the right track.

2. If Rebubs say we're being reasonable, we're making a mistake.

3. If Repubs snicker at a candidate (think Dean), they are afraid of

4. If Repubs praise a candidate (think Lieberman), he's a loser and/
or a spineless wimp.

Makes sense to me.
(you'll have to scroll down a bit).
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BL611 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. I realize this is a joke, but...
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 02:07 PM by BL611
If democrats base where they stand on being reactionary to republicans, their making a huge mistake (both politically and ethically), and unfortunately they do this way too much as is...
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Stand and Fight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Exactly...
We're not really being progressive if that is the case. While this is humorous, it is indicative of one of the big problems we have in this part. The Republicans are allowed to frame every debate, and we have become caught up in the routine of simply reacting to their framing of each and every issue.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
3. 5. If Republicans encourage a polarization of the electorate because they
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 02:21 PM by AP
know that it will help them get out their own vote, and will leave the Democrats without much appeal to the middle third, then Democrats shouldn't step into that trap -- and I think the Republicans were doing exactly that by "snickering" at Dean while also treating him like he was the only legitimate candidate for all of 2003. (Furthermore, "ABB" encouraged the polarization without giving anyone a reason to vote for democrats, and was, therefore, dumb and getting lured into talking about war and terror all the time without making a stand for Democratic values and middle class opportunity was dumb.)
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BL611 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. ABB was Rove's best friend
It's unfortunate, but all the time when I talk politics with people, all I hear is how much Bush sucks, poeple could go on for hour after hour with it, but when I ask what do YOU actually STAND FOR, I get nothing ,but muddled incoherent murmurs.
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Ugh. I totally agree. People wanted to win so badly, but they pursued...
...strategies that were so counterproductive, and they should have realized it.

That's part of why terror and fear mongering are such useful tools for the RW. They get people so angry and excited that they act without thinking.

Even here at DU, I remember "what do you stand for?" threads that were started by people who realized this was a problem, and there were literally 50 different answers to the question. It was hard to find two people who agreed about what Democrats stood for. And the things that people were saying they stood were often things that you were never going to get +50% of the population to get excited about.

Job #1 of a candidate should be establishing a coherent, clear statement about what they stand for. Kerry was doing a good (not excellent) job of doing that, but Rove was doing a better job getting people to look away from Kerry and look at Bush as the reference point for everything, and "I stand against Bush" was never going to rally a lot of people in the middle even if it got people who really hated Bush to the polls.

There was another election like this: '72. Nixon was a less popular president with a much less popular war. Democrats ran against Nixon and against the war without ever articulation exactly what it was they stood for. Nixon's advance team WANTED people to protest Nixon events. They encouraged people to focus on Nixon to lure them away from making a strong statement about what they were for so that people in the middle wouldn't have a reason to vote for Democrats. Nixon won.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. ABB
the problems you correctly highlighted will not be fixed by having a candidate deliver a "coherent, clear statement" ... sitting at the core of ABB and inconsistent messages from all over the "big tent", is our inability to communicate as a Party ...

we cannot continue to have our platform and our candidates' messages come from the top ... the Party is desperately in need of reform ... without modifying our processes to include, or at least trying to include, ALL Democrats in a national dialog, we will continue to lose ground ...

i was a strong supporter of ABB in the last election ... i did not like what i perceived to be Kerry's hawkishness on the war, but felt it necessary to support his candidacy once he won the nomination ... it may, indeed, have been Rove's best friend as another poster observed ... it was not the cause of our problems though; it was a symptom ... our differences should have been negotiated long before Kerry became the candidate ... sadly, they were not ... so ABB, not voting, or voting 3rd party was all that was left for many of us ...

voting ABB was not a very rewarding experience ... it left me feeling very angry at the Democratic Party ... I won't be voting that way the next time ... either the Party will become more open and representative, or i'll be looking elsewhere for representation ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. But here's the catch: if you were really ABB, the best thing you...
...could do was NOT to go around proudly proclaiming you were ABB. The best thing would have been doing was to go around and pretend that Kerry was the best thing since sliced bread -- you should have been going around telling people you were for Kerry because of his stance on X, Y and Z (and the best X, Y and Z would have been things to do with protecting the middle class, allocating the tax burden fairly, carring about work and opportunity, etc.).

Presumably, if you're SOOO ABB, you should be willing to set aside your personal problems with Kerry and campaign for him in a way that would actually lead to the defeat of Bush.

Campaigning "for" Kerry by going arround bragging to people that you were ABB was a recipe for defeat, and the "grass roots" should have figured that out. But they weren't. Kerry gave people reasons to be for him. But the grass roots were getting rope-a-doped by Karl Rove -- they were swinging wildly at Bush everytime Rove put him out there to get swung at, when they should have been arguing for Kerry.

Everytime I heard someone proudly declare they were ABB during the campaign, I gently tried to explain how Kerry stood for things, and that it was important to be for those things, and I'd remind the ABB'er that LBJ said about Goldwater that there was no way in hell he was going to lose to him because all he did was go around and tell people how bad LBJ was without ever telling people what he was for.

When it wasn't appropriate for me to comment after hearing someone say they were ABB, I thought to myself, "you don't know the damage you're doing -- I just hope undecideds aren't listenting to people like you when they're trying to decide for whom to vote."

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. depends on the audience
The best thing would have been doing was to go around and pretend that Kerry was the best thing since sliced bread

that's exactly what i did in "real life" ... but it is not what i did here on DU ... i campaigned very hard for Kerry ... i certainly never said to potential voters that i had reservations about Kerry ...

but understand, it was important when speaking to other Democrats to highlight what i perceived to be Kerry's drawbacks and also to express my frustration with how the platform was developed ... ABB was not necessarily how people were campaigning; it was often how they saw Kerry on the issues ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Unless it was your three closest friends, why reduce people's enthusiasm?
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 09:28 PM by AP
I don't think Republicans go around bad-mouthing their candidates while still expecting them to win.

If you just want to prove to everyone how prescient you are, right all your crticisms down, mail it to yourself, and then have a big party after the election where you open the letter in front of everyone you know and prove to them how much you really know.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. well, no sale here
i'll tell you what ... you won't have to worry about me the next time around ... not only won't i be ABB, but i will not be supporting any candidates who votes for more PNAC funding ... Kerry has already said he will vote for the $81.9 billion supplemental bush requested ... let's hope he doesn't ...

your "we should never criticize our candidate once he's selected" sounds just like the right-wing's "you should not criticize the president while we're at war" ... as i said, when it came to campaigning, i agree with you ... but if you think those of us who hated Kerry's IWR vote and his continued belief that the war in Iraq was "winnable" were not going to criticize him in a Democratic forum and were just going to keep our mouths shut, all i can tell you is it will never happen ...

i think instead of criticizing ABB'ers, you might think about appreciating those of us who sold our souls to fund, work for and vote for Kerry ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Suffices to say: bragging to the world one was ABB...
...was a counterproductive strategy.

Save it for your three closest friends.

Even posting about it at DU is silly, because it was a waste of time. Smart would have been recognizing that ABB was counterproductive, and getting people to focus on ways to frame Kerry and Democrats in terms of what they stood for.

Why? Because we wanted to win, right? I mean we all wanted Kerry to win, or am I wrong about that?

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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. ABB was a compromise ...
i posted here many times that those who were ABB must not campaign for Kerry with any reservations ...

however, posting our views on the issues on DU was not silly and it was not a waste of time ... people come here to discuss the issues ... communicating our values to other Democrats may be distasteful to you but it's an important part of belonging to a political party ... i don't stop fighting for issues i believe in just because there's an election in progress ...

and IF the implication of your last question was that perhaps i didn't want Kerry to win, well, let's just say decorum and perhaps the DU rules would prevent my response ... i'll simply tell you that was not at all the case ... you can believe that or not ...

and btw, i also don't care for your term "bragging to the world" ... it's hardly bragging when someone seriously compromises their values to choose a more pragmatic path ... yeah, it was all about helping Kerry win ... maybe that was the ultimate folly of ABB ... we focussed so hard on winning we never addressed the rift in the Party over the "war" ...

i'm sure you would rather have had all the ABB'ers stick with Kerry as opposed to having them not vote or vote 3rd party ... or would you have preferred to weed out all the ABB'ers and not have to listen to their views on the issues?
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. I don't know you and I don't remember what you posted during the GE.
However, in a campaign setting, I saw live grassroots volunteers walk up to groups of phone bankers and talk about how they were ABB.

They got on the phones and told voters about how ABB they were.

That was disasterous, if you ask me.

It was like spreading a cancer.

They should have been talking at those tables to other phone bankers and to the registered voters they were calling about how Kerry was good, and they should have been talking about what Kerry stood for.

They should have been talking to people at the tables -- other motivate phone bankers -- about how ABB was the wrong strategy. They should have been saying that "ABB" was probably something a Republican dreamed up, and if not, it was certainly something that warmed the hearts of Republicans every time they heard it.

It seems sort of selfish and narrowminded for you to keep trying to tell me how it was such a personal moral crisis for you and how much you suffred by having to support Kerry.

A lot more people are going to suffer because Kerry isn't president, so, perhaps, get outside yourself for a moment and realize that this is about something much much bigger than your moral crisis over having to support Democrats who are a thousand times better than the alternative but are not perfect in your eyes.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. sorry you think i'm selfish and narrowminded
i'll spare you my adjectives ...

if the Democratic Party doesn't do a better job reaching out to ALL Democrats, many who supported Kerry with reservations last year may not vote for Democrats at all the next time ...

and if your attitude becomes the Party's attitude, you're likely to drive many people away ... and i thought your goal was to get more votes ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. You keep telling me how hard it was for you personally to support Kerry.
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 10:41 PM by AP
There are 100s of thousands of students not going to college anytime soon (if ever) who now have no chance of having happy, rewarding lives. There are adults whose jobs have been permanently outsourced, thanks to Republican policies. We're on the verge of a red scare, with people being destroyed because of what they believe.

Sorry that supporting Kerry caused consternation and personal crisis for the ABB crowd.

I appreciate you for selling your soul. I just wish people like those phone bankers who bragged about being ABB to everyone who would listen would have sold ABB along with their soul.

(And, in case it isn't clear, I'll repeat: I don't know you, and I don't remember what you wrote during the primaries. I'm using you as a stand-in for the live ABB'ers I witnessed and I'm imputing on them the attitudes you express. I'm sorry if you're getting in the line of fire. Don't take it personally. They really pissed me off.)
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. here ya go
these were my comments last year re: ABB ... bolding added to focus on our discussion ... the post came from 3/1/04 as part of my endorsement of Dennis Kucinich the day before the Massachusetts primary ...


Now, having said that, I feel compelled to address the ABB voters and those who may not enthusiastically support the democratic nominee ... I am 100% squarely in the ABB category ... 4 more years of bush is not an option ... this is not the time to "send the democrats a message" ... bush is a very serious threat to the republic ... our futures are being sold to the highest bidders; our government is being systematically dismantled ...

There are many things wrong with the democratic party ... and there are many things wrong with John Kerry, our eventual nominee ... but I will enthusiastically support Kerry and do everything I can to help him get elected ... it's one thing to criticize him here on DU; it's a tragic mistake to not make the best case you can for him when talking to republicans, independents or even other democrats ...

This should not be a case of "well, I really don't like him but I guess I'll vote for him" ... that's nonsense ... if you want bush out, you fight like hell to do all you can to get him out ... if you would rather teach the democrats a lesson, fine ... you can sit back and feel very self-righteous when bush wins ... and you can say "see, I told you so ... you ignored the left ... this is all your fault you stupid loser democrats" ... and millions will suffer while you can knowingly sit back and say "Hey, don't blame me ..."

The 2004 election is NOT an ordinary election ... bush is a disaster ... if the republicans were running someone less corrupt and less evil than bush, I too would consider "sending a message" ... we cannot afford to do that this year ... it's time to stop bad-mouthing Kerry and start talking about what a great leader he'll be ... if you're not able to do that yet, work on it ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. See what I added to my post above.
But I'll also add, when those ABB'er phone bankers talked up ABB to other phone bankers, I thought it was almost as destructive as telling the people they were calling about how they were only voting AGAINST Bush and not FOR Kerry.

I think for some, it might have legitimized ABB, and they might have tried it out for themselves with a few calls. Bad.

And it would have been nice to see more posts at DU recognizing that ABB wasn't helpful and that if people didn't understand why they were voting for Kerry, they probably weren't going to be very good at explaining to others why they should be voting for Kerry. It would have been nice to see more posts about why people were NOT ABB, but were FOR Kerry and FOR Democrats.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. here's the bottom line ...
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 10:58 PM by welshTerrier2
i really have no interest in pursuing this ABB discussion further ... why? because you and I are actually in agreement, at least now, that it is bankrupt ... i will not be voting ABB again ...

my cause is not the Democratic Party ... it's stopping global corporate imperialism ... i am deeply concerned that the Democratic Party refuses to address this issue ... i see it as the basis for 100% of our foreign policy (and perhaps our domestic policy as well) ... i read your RFK post ... the problem today is, that by failing to "call a spade a spade", the American people are not hearing the truth about how foreign policy is conducted ...

the U.S. uses assassination, terrorism, exploitation, bribery, puppet governments etc to pad the pockets of its corporate friends ... it's not just happening under republicans; it happened under Clinton too ... Democrats need to explain that Iraq is not about "democracy"; it's about corporatocracy ... even if the Iraqis were to somehow establish a "democratic state", it would be controlled by the U.S. for the benefit of Halliburton and Bechtel and to control a central location in the Middle East ...

perhaps RFK's strategy of hiding his views on Vietnam appeals to you and perhaps he would have become President ... today, Democrats need to stop hiding the truth from the American people ... their silence on U.S. corporate hegemony gives tacit approval to bush's phony "we're building democracy" propaganda ... if the Democrats won't tell the American people the truth, who will ?? there are always risks in telling the truth but we have to start somewhere ... otherwise, bush and the republicans continue to install their puppet democracies and they get all the credit ... seems like a poor political strategy for the Democrats ... and it certainly isn't helping address the massive corruption of our government ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. There are two things I want:
Edited on Thu Mar-03-05 11:28 PM by AP
(1) all the things you said you want (a democratic, non-imperialist America that doesn't polarize political, economic and cultural power in the US or anywhere on the globe), and

(2) the most liberal possible victor in every election to win -- ie, the person who will move America closest to the ideal in number 1.

I'd vote Green if I beleived in the candidate, and it wouldn't prevent 2. I would never vote in a way or encourage strategies (like advertizing ABB to registered voters while phone banking) that would prevent 2. (And I don't believe there are any longer term advantages in losing in politics, so I'd never be so deluded as to think that by helping Democrats lose and Republicans win that I was doing progressives a favor.)

I don't delude myself into thinking that the there will always be perfect overlap between 1 and 2, but that doesn't mean I give up on 2 just because it isn't totally 1.

I didn't support Kerry in the primary, but that didn't make me stop carring about 1 and, especially, 2 during the general election.

One thing we know about RFK's strategy is that CA was a big victory for him, and that the alternative strategy (embodied by Humphrey in '68 and McGovern in '72) didn't work at all. What was the result? Vietnam prolonged.
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-04-05 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. a few points
first, did Humphrey oppose Vietnam? that's not my recollection although my memory is not the greatest ... wasn't that the big rift in the Party in 68 ?? you had the demonstrators in the streets of Chicago and the McCarthy wing on one side and the "establishment" Humphrey wing on the other side ... do i not remember that correctly? anyway, both of those candidates (i.e. Humphrey and McGovern) may well have lost for reasons that went well beyond their Vietnam positions ...

i'm also not at all comfortable with what i understand to be your definition of RFK's strategy ... from what i recall about what you posted, you suggested RFK did not tell voters his real views on Vietnam so that he could get elected ... then, once in the White House, he would have done the right thing ... maybe, in some circumstances, that might be a viable approach ... but frankly, i think it stinks ...

i don't agree with the premise that we are powerless unless we win ... the great issues of the day are "in play" each and every day ... we cannot afford to lose more time hiding the truth from the national dialog ... the MSM is bad enough without have Democrats "go mum" on politically unpopular issues ... i don't know about you but i have no respect for a Party that doesn't show leadership on the issues by telling the American people the truth and educating voters ... there has to be more to politics than just winning ... we have to be fighting for our beliefs ... i see this as the best path to winning ... when we're fighting for our beliefs, we fight with passion ... your reverance for RFK's strategy, if i understood your post correctly, sounds more like campaign tactics ... maybe they would succeed in the short run, but the better choice is to have voters understand your vision for the country ...

you keep asking me what lessons we've learned ... well, i truly believe the Democratic Party has lost it's way ... THE issue is about whether we do or we don't have a democracy ... i believe we've completely lost control of our government ... frankly, it's not entirely clear to me that the Democratic Party is not complicit in the corporate agenda ... i'm still a registered Democrat and hope to find that's not the case ... anyway, the lesson i learned in the last election after speaking to many, many people, was that many i spoke to could not articulate the Democratic Party's positions on the issues ... for many reasons, i think the Democratic Party failed to communicate a clear message about what it believes in ...

the concern i have when i see Kerry saying he plans to vote for bush's additional $81.9 billion is that his vote will be seen as an endorsement of the policy ... if your view is that voting with bush will help get Kerry elected and then he'll do the right thing, that's just not OK with me ... Kerry may not even be the nominee in 08 ... i can't go along with a strategy that plays along with the bush agenda for 4 years (re: PNAC) in the vague hope of political gain ... Democrats have failed to educate Americans on the real issues in Iraq and the result has been prolonged war ... voting for more war with the foolish belief that Iraq will have a democracy if we stay the course sounds like the republican agenda to me ... are Democrats going along for political gain a la RFK ??

the battle should be about issues first and candidates second ... my process is to have the grassroots have input into the platform, and then have candidates that reflect that platform and consistently drive home the platform's message ... it sounds like the lesson you took from RFK's successful political strategy is that you wouldn't want the platform to be an albatross to the candidate ... he should be free to do whatever it takes to win ... i think that's getting things backwards ... part of winning and part of the campaign is the ongoing education of the voters on the things we believe in ... it's critical that we don't endorse a "win at any cost" strategy ...
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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-04-05 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Humphrey did make a move at the end to get the anti-war vote.
At the time LBJ said no concessions to NV unless they met some tests. Humphrey said he wouldn't requie the tests, setting himself apart from LBJ. As a result, McCarthy threw his support to Humphrey, and all the anti-war activists got on board. He met their litmus test so that they were no longer ABN, but, FHH. So, focus remained on Vietnam, rather than what RFK wanted to focus on.

RFK probably realized that talking about only Vietnam (for or against) was not going be winning strategy -- I'm sure he could tell that it was only going to be devisive, and he wanted to give people something, bigger, more important, and positive to be for -- a clearer expression of what Democrats were at their core. RFK was not lying about his position on Vietnam. He was giving people a bigger, better frame that clicked with enough people so that he could win the CA primary, and probably the nomination and the presidency (and, as I said, only winners can make policy).

And regardless of how you interpret RFK's campaign, you still have '72 to consider. The Dems ran an explicit anti-war campaign, only caring about the war, against a very unpopular president and a war more unpopular than Iraq, and it failed. It only served to polarize America and ultimately Americans decided that if, indeed, war was such an important issue (as even the Democrats were telling them) then it might be better to go with the party they trusted more when they saw the world as a dangerous place, and anyway, Democrats didn't give them any other reason to vote for them. Also, Nixon announces the end of the draft, and there went the enthusiastic support of many of the college students -- they didn't really care about imperialism or the NV'ese. They cared about their asses. And this was after a couple of hears where ALL the talk was about Vietnam -- so I really don't know how people today who frame everything in terms of being anti-war expect to do more than the anti-Vietnam activists. You really can't take things farther than people took them then (especially if there isn't a draft). '72 just proves to me that the lessons for victory lie with FDR, Truman, JFK, RFK, Clinton (and most likely Edwards) and not with McCarthy, McGovern, or Dean.

You criticize me for talking about 'campaign tactics' -- however we're talking about campaigns. It's important to separate campaigning from governing or from advocating or philosophizing. You don't campaign when you're advocating and philosophizing, and you shouldn't wax philosophical when you're campaigning. Winnig a campaign requires campaigning. If you don't want to campaign, don't expect to win. If you want to win, you have to campaign, and if you you actually want to get to the point where your philosophies can be made into policy, then campaign. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heavena time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dancea time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw awaya time to campaign, and a time to philosophize.

I should also note that find RFK's campaign strategy absolutely, totally inspiring and the exact prioritization and framing of progressive values that I think would have worked to get the US out of Vietnam. Just because he didn't spend his time addressing Vietnam directly like McCarthy, doesn't mean RFK wasn't the best chance for achieving McCarthy's goals.

RE your second last paragraph: I'm probably not going to support Kerry in the primaries for the same reasons I didn't in 2004. But if he's the nominee I'm going to explain to everyone who will listen why he's the best thing for the country (so long as there isn't a Green or Ind I like more with a real chance of beating the Dem and the Rep.) And, incidentally, I don't frame the world in terms of Iraq (as RFK didn't frame the world in terms of Vietnam) because Iraq isn't the frame. It's contained within a frame that has to do with increasingly polarized economic, political and cultural power, and just because a candidate feels that being anti-war doesn't really explain to people how that works (and would rather talk, as RFK or Edwards did, about the bigger frame) doesn't make that candidate a mad imperialist incapable of moving America in a progressive direction.

You know, most Americans want to be safe. One of the hardest thing in the world to do is to get people to care about something that goes on on the other side of the globe. So, you could spend a billion dollars trying to get people to be anti-war and you'd be butting your head against the wall.

Alternatively, you can tell Americans that poverty is bad, that it's important for the middle class to accumulate political, economic and cultural power, that corporations have to be responsible members of society (and can't be allowed to amass tons of wealth without working for it)...and you know what? People are going to get on board with that and as a consequence of policies implementing those values, corporations will lose their power to act as imperialists.

So, but your head against the wall with candidates like McGovern and McCarthy (and the candidate the anti-war voters forced Humphrey to become) and watch Republican imperialists win elections. Althernatively, you can support candidates who talk effectively about protecting people who work for a living and watch anti-imperialists like FDR get elected.

Consider this: even Truman was extremely suspicious of imperialism and, IIUC, was the reason the CIA had to wait for Eisenhower before toppling Iran -- Truman liked the anti-fascists who were running Iran, but was Truman an "anti-war" Democrat? Doubt it. Perhaps there were better Democrats out there than Truman, and by all means, progressives should have tried to elect them. But you have at least one example of a very clear difference between Truman and Eisenhower: a demcoratic Iran which existed for the benefit of its citizens existed under Truman and it was gone under Eisenhower. When you're campaigning to win with a smart strategy (you call it "any cost") those are the very real consequences of winning.

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AP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. One more comment"
You say it might have been a problem that "we focussed so hard on winning we never addressed the rift in the Party over the "war."

I think that that's a big part of what ABB implied: Kerry didn't meet people's litmus test on the war, but they were supporting him anyway, and that they hated Bush because of the war.

So, by repeating ABB, you were invoking the rift in the Party of the war -- you were constantly addressing it.

And how did you want to address it after the primaries? Voters clearly were enthusiastic about two Yes-IWR voters and not so enthusiastic about candidates who built campaigns about being against the war -- maybe that's the point at which some people should have realized that the election was not going to be won by running an anti-war candidate, and perhaps they should have then focussed on explaining to voters what Democrats stood for rather than invoking ABB and its war-rift implications.

If the problem was that people who only cared about the war couldn't see what the Democrats stood for, then that raises another question.

RFK in '68 decided not to run a campaign on being anti-war. He decided that the core principles of the Democratic Party were about opportunity, equality, and class (which he emphasized by making trips to South Africa, where he told white college students to fight Apartheid, and he went to Apalachia and told Americans we had to fight poverty). RFK left the anti-war voters to McGovern and Humphrey. RFK picked up steam because most voters saw what Democrats stood for when they looked at him. RFK wasn't just against things he was for something very very important, and very progressive, and very much at the core of everything else that was going wrong, including Vietnam.

And there's no reason to believe that a guy who supported JFK's Vietnam policy, and who didn't revolve his campaign around the war, was not going to have a good Vietnam policy. In fact, in laying out his core principles, RFK was giving people clues about what he would do in Vietnam WITHOUT freaking out moderates who thought the war was right, and without giving Republicans what they wanted (a campaign over who would be better on national security and fighting comunism).

Any lessons learned from that?

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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. Then Hillary '08 it is!
Since all the republicans do is scream "Please! Run her! We'll win in an even bigger landslide!" then they truly must be afraid of her.

Hillary '08
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Larkspur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. No way will I vote for Hillary, regardless of what Repukes say
She's too pro-corporate, too pro-war, and too supportive of Israel's apartheid policies for me.
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Did you vote for Kerry?
If you did, I'd like to see how you can justify a vote for Kerry and not voting for Hillary?
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Larkspur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. After Dean dropped out of the Primary, I became part of the ABB coalition
That coaltion expired on Nov. 2, 2004, so now I'm free to vote my conscience and not for the "lesser of 2 evils."
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
9. Exactly! n/t
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
10. And pay particular attention to Rule #1
Keep it in mind when you hear some corporate media whore tries to tell us that the excitement and the progress and the positive energy we're seeing right in front of our eyes is a "mistake."
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