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Must read from Kos: Third Way Tells Democrats to stop being Democrats

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-10 11:48 AM
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Must read from Kos: Third Way Tells Democrats to stop being Democrats
(Third Way sure looks like the reincarnation of the DLC.)
Third Way tells Democrats to stop being Democrats

by kos

Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 09:00:05 AM PDT

The Wall Street tycoons masquerading as Democrats over at Third Way have some advice for real Democrats:

After sweeping to congressional majorities in 2006 and electing a president in 2008 with the largest Democratic percentage of the popular vote since Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrats are now in danger of becoming an irrelevant party.

After the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, saddled with members who wouldn't vote for a middle class tax cut for fear of angering the Third Way types, Democrats will face a roughly 50-vote deficit in the House, which is less than the GOP had in this Congress. How irrelevant are Republicans?

With their control of the Senate and White House, of course theyll remain central to the public debate over the next two years. But the liberal cognoscenti who dominate the Democratic Party have proclaimed that Tuesdays debacle was caused by President Barack Obama and a Congress that didnt move far enough left. If this argument prevails, its Mondale-vile for Democrats for a long time.

Returns show, once again, that the voters who drive elections are self-identified moderates and independents, and largely middle class. They ran for the hills this cycle.

Let's see the exit polls. The crazy liberals in the House scared moderates into ... voting Democratic 55-42. Double digits. And as for those independents?

PPP asked independents who did vote in 2010 who they had supported in 2008. The results: Fifty one percent of independents who voted this time supported McCain last time, versus only 42 percent who backed Obama last time. In 2008, Obama won indies by eight percent.

That means the complexion of indies who turned out this time is far different from last time around, argues Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. His case: Dem-leaning indys stayed home this time while GOP-leaning ones came out -- proof, he insists, that the Dems' primary problem is they failed to inspire indys who are inclined to support them.

It's all part of the intensity gap. And the intensity gap didn't happen because the Democrats were too activistic and liberal.

Back to Wall Street guys at Third Way:

The stampede was fueled not only by anxieties over a troubled economy but by independents continued search for a political party that governs from the center. After rejecting Sen. John McCain and the Bush legacy as too right wing, and supporting Obama by 8 points, these restless Independents voted against Democratic gubernatorial candidates by more than 30 points in 2009. And they continued to flee from Democrats yesterday.

To woo them back, reclaim the center and assure electoral and governing relevance in 2012 and beyond, Democrats must make a big change: become the economic growth party. They must shift from being a party that seeks an expanded safety net to one obsessed about increasing the economic pie.

This means ditching economic populism, offering robust pro-growth policies and embracing fiscal responsibility. It also means taking on some sacred cows like downsizing federal employee pensions

Twenty-two of Third Way's board members hail from the financial sector, and Wall Street certainly fears economic populism. Of course they want to ditch it! But that has nothing to do with wanting the Democrats to win, and everything to do with protecting their monster slice of the American economy (even as they demand that pensioners lose their promised retirement benefits). In reality, no one gives a shit about deficits -- except those who want to use them as an excuse to destroy the government's social net. If unemployment stood at 5% today, all the deficits in the world would've meant nothing.

Look, the bottom line is that you have a group of corporatist Democrats that watered down Democratic legislation because they argued it was necessary to win their districts. They got wiped out. Their prescription for survival, one which had pernicious effect on Democratic effectiveness the last two years, was proven to be a loser.

Ruy Teixeira, no lefty firebrand, has a better post-mortem on the election results, and one predicated entirely on exit poll data, not raw ideology like the corporatist Third Way guys:

Independent voters, white working-class voters, seniors, and men broke heavily against the Democrats due to the economy. Turnout levels were also unusually low among young and minority voters and unusually high among seniors, whites, and conservatives, thus contributing to a massively skewed midterm electorate. The Democrats therefore faced a predictable, and arguably unavoidable, convergence of forces. Incumbent Democrats suffered a genuine backlash of voter discontent due to a weak economy with considerable concerns about job creation, deep skepticism among independents, poor turnout among key base groups, and strong enthusiasm among energized conservatives.

This part is particularly salient for the Third Way guys:

More voters (35 percent) blamed Wall Street for todays economic problems rather than President Bush (29 percent) or President Obama (23 percent). But these Wall-Street-blaming voters supported Republicans by 56 percent to 42 percent. The Obama administrations association with bailing out Wall Street bankers, who are heavily blamed for the bad economy, apparently had a negative effect on Democratic performance in this election.

No freakin' shit. Allegiance to Third Way-style politics not only cost Democrats amongst the base, but also cost Democrats among those who rightfully see a greedy Wall Street as a cause of our economic collapse.

Given that Wall Street dominates Third Way board of directors, these are the last people that Democrats should be listening to. Like the Blue Dogs, those who lost big this election, or who helped push the policies that led to these defeats, are the last ones who should be flapping their yaps.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-10 11:51 AM
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1. tell us about it...
and yet we who try to support principles are blamed... ironic but transparent.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-10 11:57 AM
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2. So they elected a far rightwing fringe to govern from the center...
Where the fuck to they think he cener is?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-10 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. Third Way is busy trying to
create their own reality.

Democrats won moderates by 16 points.

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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-05-10 12:51 PM
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4. Mid-term losses expected in history and the longer
Edited on Fri Nov-05-10 12:52 PM by Emillereid
a President's coat-tails the more his party gets thumped according to Nate Silver.

I think if Obama had not folded his organizing group into the DNC/DLC and had allowed it to keep organizing (including holding his and the congressional democrat's feet to the fire to stay true to their rhetoric), we would be in much better shape today

That being said I think his administration has to be out-front and center selling their achievements and their proposals and not allow the repukes to define them. Look what happened with health insurance reform -- went from a majority totally for it -- even a public option -- to a negative with people terrified of death panels, etc. Even now I'd like every american to be sent a brochure informing them of the common sense insurance reforms that the health care bill actually contains! Or even now go BIG with commercials exposing the other side's lies about health reform. And don't be afraid to call them lies and distortions.

They should also take Moore's advice and get Hollywood professionals to frame their messages.



November 4, 2010, 4:50 PM
Enthusiasm Gap Was Largest in Presidential Swing States
There are various ways to measure the enthusiasm gap that was manifest on Tuesday night. For example, exit polls suggested that an equal number people identifying as Democrats and Republicans turned out on Tuesday night. By contrast, Democrats led by 7 points on this measure in 2008.

Polls of registered voters, meanwhile although there are differences from firm to firm had generally given Democrats about a 5-point edge in party identification over the past several months, rather than showing the electorate evenly divided, as it was among actual voters.

That would point toward an enthusiasm gap which compares party affiliation to actual turnout of 5-7 points, which is exactly what the consensus of pollsters thought it would be. (The Gallup poll, whose traditional likely voter model pointed toward an enthusiasm gap in the double digits, indeed proved to be an outlier.)

Another way to measure the enthusiasm gap is to compare the actual presidential vote in 2008 to the presidential candidate for whom Tuesdays voters claimed they had voted, according to exit polls. Nationally, for instance, Tuesday nights voters told exit pollsters that they had split their vote 45-45 between Barack Obama and John McCain (some said they had voted for a third-party candidate or had not voted at all.) Since Mr. Obama won the election by about 7 points nationally in 2008, this would again point toward an enthusiasm gap in the 5-7 point range that we have been describing.

This measure of the enthusiasm gap, however, varied quite significantly from state to state. And there is something very interesting about the states where it was larger.

Exit polls were conducted in 26 states (mostly, where there were competitive Senate contests). The largest enthusiasm gap came in New Hampshire. There, Tuesday nights voters claimed to have voted for John McCain by a 4-point margin, when in fact Barack Obama won the state by 10 points. Thats a 14-point enthusiasm gap.

The next largest enthusiasm gap came in Indiana; the electorate there shifted from having favored Mr. Obama by 1 point in 2008 to Mr. McCain by 10 points: an 11-point gap.

The enthusiasm gap was 10 points in Nevada, and 9 points in Iowa. It was 8 points in Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri and Illinois.

What do these states have in common? Other than Illinois, which is Mr. Obamas home state, all the others were key presidential swing states in 2008. In fact, there is nearly a one-to-one correspondence between 2008 swing states (which are shaded in the chart below) and those where the enthusiasm gap was largest:

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