What must Democrats do in order to win in 2018?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by joepistole, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    There was much hope Democrats would pick up at least one of the open congressional seats in the special elections. But that's all it was, hope. The seats were in deeply held Republican districts, and Democrats lost. But the did over perform. They did much better than otherwise would have been expected. The races were competitive in districts where congressional seats are normally not competitive.

    So what must Democrats do to win Congress back next year? Some say Democrats must ditch Pelosi as she has become someone Republicans can easily vilify and use to smear Democratic candidates. It's not fair, and while I'm not a fan of Pelosi, she certainly doesn't deserve the crap Republicans have thrown at her.

    I think Democrats need to do the following:

    1) The need to co-opt the "drain the swamp" meme. This has always been a part of Democratic ideology. But Democrats haven't really done much with it. They need candidates like Warren and Bernie who can credibly play this meme. As Trump demonstrated, it's a meme that works. Despite his rhetoric, Trump has done nothing to "drain the swamp", and he has no plans to do so. If Trump has done anything, he has flooded the swamp. This is Trump's Achilles heel. This is the Republican Achilles heel.

    2) If Republicans proved anything during Obama's presidency, they proved obstruction works. So Democrats need to obstruct at every opportunity. And they don't need to be particularly gentle or discrete about it.

    3) They need to remain true to their values.

    4) Talent: Democrats need good candidates. They need to find and develop good candidates. And frankly, I'm not seeing a lot talent within Democratic ranks.

    5) They need to mitigate Republican gerrymandering. They need to change the congressional electoral map. It won't help much in 2018. But this must be a longer term objective.

    6) Democrats need a long term strategic plan. Republicans have one. Democrats need one too.

    7) Better organization, Democrats need to be better organized. Owing to the Koch brothers, Republicans have a very well organized and well financed political machine. Democrats need their a political machine of their own. Democrats need to realize Republicans are playing to win regardless of the cost to the nation. Republicans aren't playing by the old gentlemanly rules. Republicans aren't good actors. Democrats need to understand that. Republicans will not be joining Democrats in a round of Kumbaya anytime soon. Obama and his fellow Democrats made that mistake in 2009 and throughout his first term.

    So, what are your ideas? What must Democrats do to win back control of government in 2018 and beyond?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    I'm a Brit and former temporary resident in the USA, who watches from afar. What I got no sense of, during Clinton's campaign, was what the Democrats stood for - apart from some unattractive whining about it being Hilary's turn. What was she offering the people, that they could see made sense and was good for them and for the country? I still get no sense of that. My suspicion is that changing the personnel and the marketing themes, and talking of a better "machine" will make no difference until this is defined. In fact it may make things worse, because focusing on machines and Capitol Hill machinations seems to be exactly what has turned voters off! Sanders had a good run by avoiding all of that crap and having some clear principles. Admittedly he was too extreme to make it in the US (meaning he would be seen as rather left of centre over here), but you knew what he stood for.

    You talk of Democrat "values". What are they, nowadays, and in what sorts of policies, or policy areas, would these values find expression? Do they have any ideas that could unify the country - perhaps things that Trump is doing that are widely recognised as a lousy idea? What boils need lancing?
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  5. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    I live in the US and in a deeply Republican state, and I didn't get that. Let's remember, Clinton won the popular vote. Most Americans voted for Clinton. So most Americans got what Hillary stood for. She stood for a continuation of Obama's presidency and that worked well for most Americans. Democrats lost because of the undemocratic aspects of our electoral system which value some voters more than others. In this case lesser educated older whites threw the presidency to Trump. Clinton's problem was with a specific voter demographic in a few states.

    I think Clinton lost the election when she named Kaine as her running mate. Clinton has been the brunt of the Republican slime machine for nearly 30 years, and when her husband backed off his promise to reform healthcare in the 90s it severely damaged her credibility because she led that effort. Clinton needed someone to give her more credibility; a Sanders, or Warren would have done that.

    She offered stability and she adopted most of Bernie's platform, free education and a fair tax system. She had many positions. But basically she ran on a continuation of the Obama presidency. Clinton isn't an inspirational leader. She is not a visionary. But then again, neither is Trump. I think Clinton's problems were threefold:

    a) Comey's last minute reopening of the server issue and the uncertainty that threw into the election

    b) Her perceived lack of credibility. The Clintons have a habit of fumbling on the small stuff, and the Republican machine has a very effective way of magnifying and distorting those fumbles.

    c) She lacked vision, and instead focusing on just a few issues, she spread herself too thin. She focused on too many issues. Unlike Clinton, Trump didn't have many positions. He only had a few positions. Trump's big issue was the swamp which came to him on a spur of the moment. Unlike Clinton, he didn't have plans and specifics. He hadn't thought through anything. But he did have a big idea that was easy for his people to understand. Democrats need a big idea.

    You need a political machine in this country. No man is an island. Trump won, but he had a machine too. The Republican machine gave his party control of Congress. The Republican machine helped him get elected. Trump wouldn't be POTUS were it not for the Republican Party machine. The former chairman of the Republican Party who assisted Trump during the campaign is now Trump's chief of staff. You cannot get a majority in both houses of Congress without a political machine. The reasons Republicans have control of both houses of Congress even though Democrats received a majority of the vote just underlines that fact.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Agree they need a big idea, or a vision that is not just box-ticking motherhood and apple pie. I think campaigning on continuity when you are a new person is bound to look uninspiring and unimaginative. You have to offer at the very least a different "take" on the prevailing political philosophy.
    But maybe I'm confusing congressional elections with presidential ones. The congressional ones need, I suppose, to be more about lawmaking and holding the executive to account. I'd have thought there could be plenty of scope there. Nepotism? Conflicts of interest?
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Basic question: Did you ever go to her website and read through the thirty-nine, or however many it was, policy platform pitches?

    Sorry, you're telling me a right-wing narrative: Naturally, it's everyone else's fault for responding to conservative misogyny; what they should have done, see, is just keep saying what nobody was listening to while letting the liars in the GOP, capitalistic private sector, and press destroy their candidate.

    Because that makes perfect sense.

    There was, in fact, a policy platform and argument, but you're not alone in not having cared about that. Neither are you alone in pretending, after the fact, that there wasn't.

    It just reminds how desperate people are to believe whatever lies about a woman just to make sure she doesn't rise above her intended, God-given place under a man.

    Among Democrats, part of the argument going forward is whether or not we should sacrifice women, people of color, non-Christians, and queers in order to satisfy people who would otherwise pretend to complain they don't know what Democrats stand for. Yeah, you know, that's how it goes: If you don't pay attention, then you don't know.

    Don't worry, though: Bernie is coming to rescue Democrats from all those evil women and dark people and flaming queers. Because, you know, if we just elect enough Democrats to help Republicans pass their supremacist agenda, then everything will be great for everyone.

    I know, isn't that stupidly simplistic? But that's what happens when you let conservatives write the script.
  9. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    To be fair, as a registered Dem... I don't know. The Dems are so divided, between the young blood and the old guard, and there is an apparent unwillingness to even ATTEMPT to come and close the gap...

    Meanwhile, the Republicans are united on... something. Be it "Muh Guns" or "HAH we beat the brown guy" or "Mah Gawd has a bigger dick than your Gawd!" or whatever, but they fell in line behind a candidate that many thought was unelectable... mostly because they were told to.

    Dems don't seem to want to "Fall in line" - they seem to want an honest to God decent candidate... but the DNC seems to not want to give us that, and prefers to play the same thing different day card...
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    They need a vision: a simple clear vision. It's marketing 101. When you are for so many things your message gets lost. I'm not saying it's wrong to be for many thing. But it confuses your message.

    I suggest Democrats need to co-opt the "drain the swamp" meme. They could and should do it. But they need a credible leader like a Warren to lead them. Now I think Warren get's a little extreme. But I like her passion, and she's sharp. That's why I think she and Clinton would have been the perfect match. Clinton is a little too conservative. A Clinton-Warren ticket would have been perfect. But I think Clinton's time and come and gone. I don't think folks are willing to invest in her again. Democrats have allowed Republicans to rebrand them within certain demographic groups. Democrats need to reclaim their brand.

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    No, it's not a "right wing narrative", it is what I concluded for myself from reading the FT , the BBC and things like Huffington Post.

    I was a big supporter of Obama, not least for his sorely needed health reforms and his imaginative willingness to bring Iran in from the cold. Obama is black, or mixed race, isn't he? And we Brits are now on our second female Prime Minister (both of them from Right of Centre), while the leaders of both the Conservative and Labour parties in Scotland are homosexual without it causing so much as a ripple, anywhere on the political spectrum. In fact I think Ruth Davidson is probably the most capable politician on the domestic scene at the moment. Frankly, I need no sneering lectures from anybody in the US about the openness of my politics.

    But Clinton, who I obviously wanted and expected to win, seemed lacklustre. She didn't seem to me to know what she wanted the presidency for, apart from it being somehow her turn at last. There was a particularly creepy campaign bulletin to one of our US (Democrat) friends headed "Are you by my side?", which seemed to me to sum it up. As if it was some sort of anti-glass ceiling feminist crusade, in which people owed her a vote, whereas in fact Clinton had been in the inner circle of US political power for about two decades already.

    I do not pretend to be able to analyse the details from my remote viewpoint, but what I can tell you is that from across the water we all knew why Obama seemed like such a breath of fresh air, while with Clinton the only obvious positive we could detect, at long range, was that she wasn't Trump!
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Doubtful. At least, doubtful as favoring Clinton.
    The best guess is that most - an actual majority - of the people voting for Clinton were holding their nose, figuring at least we'd get competent Supreme Court nominations and a step forward in gender equity. The alternative was Trump - hello? I'd have voted for a garbage can with a bot in it. So would have 66 million other people.
    Irrelevant. Really, completely irrelevant -

    for starters, she has a long track record: anyone who voted on the basis of her changing her character and mode of operation at this stage of her career was kidding themselves;

    second, nothing good she wanted to get done legislatively (Court nominees and other exec stuff not being legislative) was going to get past a Republican Congress. Clinton represented gridlock, possibly even worse than confronted Obama. That was why we weren't supposed to vote for Sanders, remember - because nothing good can get past the Republican Congress. Clinton was starting at a lower bar even - not even proposing the good stuff, and with less good will to tap.

    In short: What liberal policy has Clinton ever held firm in the face of opposition? And given the obvious answer to that, what difference does it make what her policies are?
    They also fumbled the big stuff. The wife of the "best Republican President since Lincoln" was running in the wrong Party.

    IMHO Clinton lost the Presidency when she voted for the Iraq War - that was the last straw, after killing single payer and compromising on banking regulation and compromising on welfare "reform" and so forth and so on forever and ever spinning triangles and selling out. She had a last chance to redeem herself, to unite competence and courage in public, and she blew it.

    To repeat - this was the realistic take on Clinton (and the Democratic Party establishment) in 2006, after she had lost the intellectuals and set herself at odds with the regular folk base of the Democratic Party: http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/20/ivins.hillary/

    That was ten years ago. Clinton had lost the center of the American public, the base of the Democratic Party, ten years ago.

    As for what to do now? Suggestion: buy and run a cable news station. Run it straight - don't hide the affiliation, but don't bias the delivery: instead, make it very competent. Take ads, commercial support if any, but back it mostly with PAC money. Pay the writers.
  13. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Get the Republicans to kill John Wick's dog?
  14. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    I've spliced the little homophobic tangent started by our neighbor into its own thread and delicately drop-kicked it to the cesspool where it belongs...
    Lets not start up with this bigotry bullshit again, aight? Keep your own prejudices in the closet

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

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  15. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Wow , Wow . the people don't have the right , and you talk democracy. In dictatorial systems is where the law rules , The law is passed by the executive branch and that is a nation of laws . Remember the congress
    Makes the law and the people in the congress are elected by the people . It this point I don't know who is more American you or I.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Just because you don't understand America, American government, American history, and the rule of law, that doesn't make me un-American comrade. Under the American system, the majority doesn't always win. If it did, your beloved Trump wouldn't be POTUS.

    As I explained to and as you should know if you are who you claim to be, the American government is founded upon a document called the Constitution. It was crafted to thwart would be dictators like your man The Donald. We have a separation of powers, and no law is higher than the Constitution. You cannot make laws that are unconstitutional. It really is that simple. This nation was founded upon a set of principals and those principals are enshrined in the US Constitution. And chief among those principals is the separation of church and state.

    Contrary to your assertion, laws are not passed by the executive branch of government. They are passed by Congress. Oops. But no law passed by Congress can superseded the US Constitution. By the way, Congress isn't exactly representative of the United States at large owing the ways in which congressmen are elected to office. People living in small states are better represented in Congress than people living in large states.

    If Congress wants to change the Constitution, there are two processes for changing the US Constitution and involves more than just the US Congress. It's that rule of law thingy you struggle with comrade. We have a set of laws in the US and we abide by them. If I could change the way the US government operates, I would. It's not a perfect government. But it works. I'm all for a well-informed democracy. I would like a more democratic government. But I'm also for and committed to the rule of law and the US Constitution. Unlike your beloved Mother Russia, in the US, the law isn't whatever some dictator says it is at any given point in time. The law is a combination of statues, judicial rulings, and more than a thousand years of common law.
  17. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    I think in order for Dem's to move forward they must be honest about what went wrong. Thomas Frank author of "Listen Liberal"

    As for your 'marketing 101', that's exactly the problem and why it isn't working. Voters are aware of candidate branding, so much that this article by Chris Hedges was posted and reposted all over the place. Hedges wrote

    "Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury, our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained. We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest."

    "Brand Obama offers us an image that appears radically individualistic and new. It inoculates us from seeing that the old engines of corporate power and the vast military-industrial complex continue to plunder the country. Corporations, which control our politics, no longer produce products that are essentially different, but brands that are different. Brand Obama does not threaten the core of the corporate state any more than did Brand George W. Bush. The Bush brand collapsed. We became immune to its studied folksiness. We saw through its artifice. This is a common deflation in the world of advertising. So we have been given a new Obama brand with an exciting and faintly erotic appeal. Benetton and Calvin Klein were the precursors to the Obama brand, using ads to associate themselves with risqué art and progressive politics. It gave their products an edge. But the goal, as with all brands, was to make passive consumers mistake a brand with an experience."

    "Obama, who has become a global celebrity, was molded easily into a brand. He had almost no experience, other than two years in the Senate, lacked any moral core and could be painted as all things to all people. His brief Senate voting record was a miserable surrender to corporate interests. He was happy to promote nuclear power as "green" energy. He voted to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He reauthorized the Patriot Act. He would not back a bill designed to cap predatory credit card interest rates. He opposed a bill that would have reformed the notorious Mining Law of 1872. He refused to support the single-payer health care bill HR676, sponsored by Reps. Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers. He supported the death penalty. And he backed a class-action "reform" bill that was part of a large lobbying effort by financial firms. The law, known as the Class Action Fairness Act, would effectively shut down state courts as a venue to hear most class-action lawsuits and deny redress in many of the courts where these cases have a chance of defying powerful corporate challenges."http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090503_buying_brand_obama

    My point is that its this exact same manipulation that voters now view with suspicion ESPECIALLY within the Dem Party. In 2015 only 29% of the US population identified themselves as Democrats fairing better than Republicans who were 26%. 42% identify as Independent. The Dem Party for the longest time has moved further and further to the Right thinking that its neoliberal politics actually attract voters but reality looks different. Democrats have been steadily losing seats whether its legislative, congress, the house, governor offices during Obama's presidency and yet some maintain that Obama's policies were popular. The Democratic Party isn't a working class party, hadn't been since Clinton. The New Deal is dead, Democrats have passed deregulation, failed to offer a health care plan people really want (58% favor replacing the ACA with federally funded healthcare systemhttp://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx). Which reminds me, listen to Diane Feinstein recently telling Democratic voters that single payer isn't possible , Hilary claiming it will never come to pass .

    The fact is that Democrats are wiped out in almost every area because its no longer possible to sell neoliberal policies to the working class who needs relief. To beat the Republicans you have to beat them with policies that are actually outside the neoliberal, neoconservative paradigm. The middle of the road policies that actually lean right hurt the party. Mealy mouthed platitudes about unstated values hurts the party. Getting money from corporate donors tainting Democrats with the 'corporate Democrat' label hurts the party, like the Hilary Clinton campaign taking fossil fuel and Koch money(
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carbonatedtv/hillary-rejects-koch-support_b_9780354.html and here https://theintercept.com/2016/07/29...come-lobbying-money-back-into-the-convention/)

    It also doesn't help that progressives speak out on the regular against the Democratic Party and they're becoming real players now. Online pundits outside of the mainstream media speak out against the Democratic Party (Sane Progressive, Jimmy Dore of TYT, Tim Black and a score of others). The idea that you must vote for a lesser evil is losing sway to "let the Democrats pay". The Democratic Party can no longer win by being against something, they have to be for something too and not just liberal social issues. When people worry about healthcare and earnings they care less about identity politics.
    Money isn't the problem. Clinton raised much more money than Trump, spent more money than Trump and still she lost.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Why do people presume the narrative that won fewer actual votes is accurate?

    When the economy sours, social conservatism gains influence. Your point is correct if we presuppose the following:

    • The human rights of a woman is an identity politic

    • Accusing women are stealing my masculine rights is not an identity politic​

    Honestly, I would try to do the glass escalator↗ blame game as an example, but it adds extraneous layers for the basic illustration.

    And, in truth, I'm accustomed to a particular discussion of identity politics and the Democratic Party that presupposes history out of order. To the other, there is wisdom in observing the manipulation ... er ... ah ... okay, you know that bit where you have the perfect quote but it's obscure and suddenly the book, which was just within arm's reach, is nowhere to be found? Jeffrey Burton Russell, in sketching his examination of evil and its impersonation in the Devil, noted that he concerned himself in this or that particular context more directly with what people thought happened, because that is what they act on. I never know quite what to do with it, but neither can I dispute the point.

    (When I was young, intellectual conservatives would discuss notions like moral relativism tearing the fabric of society; "liberals" were derided for all manner of absurdity, such as legalistic "technicalities" by which guilty people might be set free, or "Citizenship" and other such awards denounced as feel-good ribbons for the weak. They were, it turns out, correct within their context; as with other conservative worries about human psychological and behavioral frailty, they reasonably described subsequent generations of conservatives. Imagine that the former conservative's disdainful, cynical caricature of "moral relativism" becomes the actual behavior of those subsequent generations. No, really, that's precisely what you're looking at when we try to figure out what's up with the conservative psychomoral scheme justifying the state of things.)​

    Consider, please, an episode from history: 'Round about the late nineteen-eighties, the gay community was largely focused on fending off a plague threatening to destroy it, and that the United States government intentionally styled its response to in hopes that it would, in fact, eradicate homosexuals. But in between, or here and there, luxury was being able to have your wage garnishment reviewed by the labor board, and holy shit, no, the garnishment isn't going to stay in place if you are going to be prohibited access to your children without demonstrable cause.

    And that, approximately, repeated two or three times, is what set off the Gay Fray, as far as I know. 1990 in Springfield and Corvallis, Oregon; 1992 in Oregon and Colorado. A book in a public library apparently seemed like a good enough catalyst to attempt a nationwide fight to forbid states from having anything to say to or about homosexuals that does not persecute them. They lost in Oregon. They won in Colorado and then spent the next three years losing in court. In 1996, with a state facing its obligations under Amendment XIV, Congress decided to pass DoMA with a veto-proof majority.

    Thirty-three states tried to pass laws against gay marriage once heterosexuals won the right to have oral and anal sex. (What, did nobody realize that, too, was part of what the People won in Lawrence v. Texas?) Oh, the other thing is that apparently a county clerk in Oregon threatened democracy by not inventing an anti-gay law on the spot. There was that. Because what happened next was that people in thirty-three states reacted to the county clerk threatening democracy.

    Now, we both know the details of your intimacy are none of my business, but still: Sorry, you're not allowed to buy or have a dildo because someone else says you're too immoral if you do.

    Yeah, that was Texas. And, you know, I get the idea that, sure, you're supposed to be just fine with that, or, you know, at least keep it to yourself if you're not. But someone went and sued and the courts agreed that people have the right buy artificial genitals to play with if they want to. The prevailing precedent, by the way, was Lawrence. And, yeah, believe it or not, Griswold comes into play, there, because P.T. Barnum suggested that women ought not be allowed to talk about birth control, and a whole bunch of men agreed, and, you know, something something okay with it or keep it to themselves. No, really, the history that came together—and came again, and again, and again, by the look of it all—in the Lawrence decision is an exercise in wonderful and tantalizing fascination.

    In Massachusetts, an elderly woman should take a tax hit of $363,000, and be just fine with it, or, you know, at least keep it to herself if she's not, because the federal government wishes to violate the U.S. Constitution.

    In Ohio, a court effectively recriminalized homosexuality in order to unmarry a dead man, and, you know, we're all supposed to be just fine with it, or, you know, at least keep it to ourselves if not.

    In Kentucky, a county clerk went out of her way to assert her Christian conscience as her right to refuse other people their constitutional rights based on religious convictions her own exercise of said rights violated. And, you know, be just fine with it or shut the hell up or whatever, and all, y'know?

    When people think the economy is bad, identity politics come out to play.

    By the way, how is it that we're back to arguing about a woman's right to access birth control?

    I mean, these "social issues"? It's one thing to note I hear a lot of complaint about identity politics; it is, however, persistently necessary to keep reminding people that the choices such critiques present all too often come down to either conservatives stop picking these fights, or liberals just let them have what they want.

    Which reminds me: Texas just passed and signed into law the bill about the right of conscience for state agents to aid and abet child sex abusers by denying medical care to the victims.

    And look at the result: You ignore the things Democrats are for in order to complain that "can no longer win by being against something". The actual problem they face on that count is that they need to get out in front of the People, for once. After a generation or two of being criticized for being too elitist and out of touch, Democrats now find themselves criticized for their technocratic approach to trying to give voters what voters say they want. But, hey, after eight years of Republicans opposing everything, including their own legislative initiatives and their own actual legislation, I am actually not surprised to see your critique that the Democratic Party can "no longer win" by behaving like Republicans.

    Democrats do this over and over again because it's what the people want until they don't. And then there's always someone to come along afterward and pretend Democrats never did anything at all. Yet a question remains unanswered: Identity politics, or, you know, everyday life?

    It shouldn't be so strange a metaphor: Imagine that all your life people have thought, for whatever reason, to throw things at you. And when you complained as a child that other people weren't treated this way, you were told that's how it goes and the thing you must do is try harder to fit in; when you pick up a rock and hurl it though, you are told that's not fitting in. When you protest that's not fair, they tell you to try harder to adapt; after all, only quitters cry, and winners rise to each new challenge. So you learn to hit the rocks and stuff that they throw. You're like a ninja in anime, just a flick of the stick and the incoming projectile bounces away. But being good at it means people just want to test you more, so now you can not only foil the rock-throwers as you walk to work, you can also knock away their stones and do your job at the same time, because, you know, your employer needs to have the final say on whether or not anyone can throw rocks at you in his workplace. And at the end of the day you work your way home, snicker-snack like a vorpal blade, and as you enjoy the peace over a drink that night don't you dare say a thing about how nice it is to have some quietude without anyone throwing rocks at you because why would you do that, why would you ruin the evening with your obsessive identity politics, and, you know, you're never going to get any respect by just being against everyone all the time, you need to get out and do something, like maybe get a useful job instead of just sitting around hitting rocks with a stick all day.

    See, the problem is you might make the stone-hurlers feel badly, or embarrassed, or self-conscious, or, you know, something.​

    That really is the part I don't get; there are all manner of critiques about Democrats and "identity politics" and "liberal social issues", but none of these ever express a care or clue about what happens if liberals don't fight back against constant belligerence against human rights.


    Russell, Jeffrey Burton. The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity. 1977. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1987.
  19. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Who will tell Republicans they have no clothes? Obama has no moral core? Have you seen who is sitting in the White House? Did you see which party obstructed Obama's Supreme Court nominee for almost a year? Did you not witness the party which took the nation to the brinks of default, not once, but on multiple occasions purely for political gain? Have you not seen the party which isn't concerned about the hijacking of our democracy by a hostile foreign power? Do you not know which party supports the use of torture as a legitimate interrogation device?
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  20. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Its not about the Republicans. Democrats are always pointing the finger and never take responsibility for what they bring to the table. This dwindling back of elected Democrats isn't about what Republicans do or don't do but about what Democrats have stopped doing, what they've stopped being. We know the Republicans have been without their silky garments for quite a while now and everyone knows exactly what to expect from them. I don't know if you recall the interview the actress-activist Susan Sarandon had with Hayes on MSNBC, he asked her if she would vote for Clinton out of fear of Trump and her response was no. When asked why she said "Some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately". Well she didn't pull that out of her own head, she had been working with the Bernie campaign on the ground and what she was repeating was the strategic decision made by many Progressive groups who decided it was time to try a different tack. Instead of supporting sub-par Democratic candidates out of fear of what Republicans might do, they decided to create a wave moving Progressive and Independent voters away from the Democratic Party, challenging the Democrats strategy of 'they have no where else to go'. People were told to vote Green, or write in Bernie or whomever but never Hilary ( ie. Bernie or Bust). I think it was Kshama Sawant who was one of the first to hitch on to Bernie or Bust saying "Bernie is calling for a political revolution against the billionaire class; Hillary is the epitome of the political establishment that has promoted the interests of the billionaire class to the detriment of the interests of working people. Bernie is calling for single-payer healthcare; Clinton is the woman who said, "Well, you can’t do single-payer healthcare." And she is being honest. That’s a rare moment of honesty for her, because on the basis of supporting her and the establishment, no, you cannot win single-payer healthcare. Unfortunately, though, for us, on the basis of supporting her and the Democratic establishment, you can’t defeat the right, either." This was the thinking then and for many its the thinking now. The Democrats offer all the complaints you highlight in your above quote and then are surprised or rather out of touch with how many people perceive the situation differently. Hilary wasn't appealing. She was just as unfavorable as Trump but you wouldn't know that from listening to CNN. Also, no, for many people Obama wasn't a great president but the role out of another neoliberal candidate. His insistence on the TPP, his mealy mouthed response to the DAPL pipeline all made a difference near the end of the election on how he and other Democrats were perceived and yes Chris Hedges along with many Progressives believe Obama lacked "a moral core", if its the first time you're hearing it then you're not listening to many voices. Obama didn’t support a public option, he appointed too many wall streeters, he bailed out wall street not main street, he failed to attack the mortgage crisis, he failed to veto the NDAA, he extended Bush tax cuts for the rich, he didn’t push to indict or imprison bankers, he spoke in favor of PIPA and SOPA, he was the 'drone president', the 'deporter in chief' and so on. So when Sarandon referred to "some people" she was speaking of the people on the ground. She was referring to this feeling on the ground

    This woman's more nuanced explanation for the freak out shows she's a long-time Democrat and not a Progressive, a true blue-dog and she believes that Democrats are the same if not worse than Republicans and she said way back then "Hilary cannot win this race" Why was it she knew this but Hayes and so many other's didn't? What was it they weren't seeing? What was Maddow smoking?

    Now if the Democrats were actually paying attention to what was going on within their own party then pundits like Hayes wouldn't be so surprised when Sarandon parroted a sentiment that actually existed not by a few but many voters. She knew Trump would come with an inbuilt opposition but vote in a Democrat and whole movements go to sleep, vote in a Democrat and people accept what they would revile if done by a Republican. It took Trump to get people out on the street on immigration but where were they under Obama? Obama was called "deporter in chief" by immigration activists because he deported 2.5 million hispanics so why are folks so angry when Trump says he'll deport 3 million? Republicans have severely attacked abortion and Planned Parenthood for the past ten years, to the point that some states only have one or two abortion clinics yet it took a Trump presidency to get women to wear pink fluffy hats and go on a 'million woman march'. Why go on about Republicans approval of torture when it was Obama's Justice Department that failed to bring charges against anyone from the former administration who seemed to revel in it? No accountability means it can be resuscitated by the present administration, same goes for the surveillance program.

    As far as Russia is concerned "A poll published by CBS News on Wednesday found only 40 percent of respondents believe Russia interfered with the election to help President Trump win. The poll found 37 percent believe Russia did not interfere in the election, and just 10 percent believe it did meddle but not to help Trump win. Just 13 percent of Republicans believe Russia meddled in the election, while 67 percent of Democrats said Moscow interfered. The poll also noted 37 percent of independents believe Russia meddled in the election process to help Trump. Pollsters found 58 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of independent respondents believe it is "very likely" associates of Trump had "improper" contact with the Russian government."http://thehill.com/homenews/adminis...s-split-on-whether-russia-meddled-in-election

    Again it seems only Democrats feel satisfied with the Russia narrative but many other's think its just an excuse to explain away Clinton's loss and divert attention away from the damning details within the Wikileaks Podesta files. And there are those who don't care about it at all

    How to change this perception that Democrats are nothing more than 'Republican lite''? They don't have policies that interest or address working class people nor their concerns. How to change the perception that Democrats are brought and paid for whereas Republicans are just lost in a ideological hole? This was made abundantly clear recently when California Democratic Party voted for Eric Bauman to be new Party chair. He's a democratic insider who, according to SFChronicle, is a pharmaceutical lobbyist. "Even as the state Democratic Party’s executive committee is being asked to endorse a November ballot measure that would cap prescription drug prices in California, a top party member — who is also on the Assembly speaker’s payroll — is pulling down $12,500 a month from the pharmaceutical industry to help defeat it. Records show that Eric Bauman wears many hats these days, and that he has critics in his own party questioning his role in the $68 million campaign to defeat the California Drug Price Relief Act initiative."http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...iser-Eric-Bauman-collects-cash-to-8088098.php

    *End of part 1*
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  21. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    Part 2

    What's the point of voting for a Democrats when they unabashedly speak about their 'values' and then vote in Bauman. Bauman ran against Kimberly Ellis who was supported by many Progressive groups because she favors single-payer.The vote count was 1,493 to 1,431 which just shows how split the party is on the ground. But hey Bauman is gay so I'm sure that makes Tiassa happy. See how identity politics can look skewed when stacked up against economic policies! He's the first homosexual to win the chair but his politics are neoliberal. Ellis's campaign had this to say on her opponents win because I believe she still hasn't conceded "Initial inquiries into nearly 300 questionable ballots in the unsettled May 20 contest for state Democratic Party chair show that Eric Bauman was named the winner based on ineligible votes and votes of dubious authenticity that may be set aside upon further review. Bauman benefited from several votes cast by non-Democrats, in clear violation of Party rules. Excluding the more than 200 ballots with signature mismatches and questions around dues-payment eligibility requirements, at least 47 ballots for Bauman in the chair’s contest were ineligible or bear the hallmarks of organized manipulation. More than 30 ballots for Bauman should have been, but were not, disqualified. Several Bauman proxy votes, or ballots cast in the name of Democratic delegates who were not present, came from people who were not qualified under Party eligibility standards to cast ballots, were not registered to vote, or who were not registered as Democrats." They believe they got shafted http://www.latimes.com/politics/ess...upt-over-results-of-1495382261-htmlstory.html

    Sound familiar? Does it have a ring of the fight Bernie and his delegates had with establishment Democrats during the primaries? Doesn't it leave fair intra-party elections in doubt? This is why the Democrats can't pull all their strays back into the ranch. It doesn't help that The Center for Public Integrity claims K-street bundlers are raising more money for Democrats than Republicans. They wrote "No other political candidate or group received more money from lobbyist-bundlers than the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which raised nearly $2.6 million from them despite regularly criticizing lobbyists and Republicans who associate with them."

    Are you seeing the problem here? Bill Clinton deregulated Glass-Steagal even after been warned of the consequences by Brooksley Borne http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/warning/
    Then you had Obama peddling the TPP. It doesn't matter if Republicans wanted this, what matters is that its Democrats who had their name on it. Then all of a sudden there's this orange orangutang in a suit talking about how these trade deals were bad for workers, bad for jobs. You had many Democrat centered labor unions who were against it but that didn't matter Obama was going to push it anyway. Who spoke about jobs during the election? Trump. Who spoke out against the TPP which was the point of view by labor unions, environmentalists and virtually all Progressives? Trump. Did that mean these groups would vote for Trump? No, not necessarily but what it did mean was that voting for Democrats seemed more and more like a chumps game.

    If Democrats really are the ones holding a lamp shedding light on the road to enlightenment then why can't they beat a party that's so obviously revolting and down right vicious? Remember I'm not referring just to these recent past elections but the steady loss of the Democratic Party as a political force. The Republicans are ideologically driven but at least they believe in something. The Democrats are more like nihilists, they speak in empty platitudes, talk about 'our values', equality, 'coming together', bathrooms and happy thoughts then they go back to work and dick you up the arse. That's the perception. So sure the Republicans suck but that's no reason to vote for a Democrat.

    What does the party have to do revitalize itself? Well it would help if they allowed Progressives a larger voice in the party (and no I don't mean the likes of Ellison or Booker), it would help if they had a distinct core set of values that showed in their economic policies instead of pushing neoliberal economic policies while wrapping themselves in identity politics hoping it will appear as a meaningful difference. It doesn't. Having a gay Democrat work to deny health care reform doesn't make it any easier to swallow. Maybe Bernie Sanders was right when he said Democrats would rather "maintain the status quo and go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats".

    I don't believe the Democratic Party is concerned, I believe they think all they have to do is wait it out, wait for the populace wave to pass. Isn't it always this way? First the Dem's have a go, then the Rep's. Eventually people will get sick of Trump and Republican shenanigans and then throw their votes back to the Dems. Isn't that the tried and true tactic? The party doesn't look as if it has done any soul searching, at least according to Nancy Pelosi who's convinced there need not be any such internal inventory, she chocks it all up to 'cycles' so maybe they should keep doing what they're doing and wait it out. What I don't see happening are Progressives and Independents quietly falling in line with Democrats every time a big, bad Republican huffs and puffs.

    What can Democrats do? They can stop using manipulative tactics to woo voters, ploys like changing 'optics' and 'branding', 'identity politics' and start being brave enough to take up and truly fight for issues people actually want to get behind and care about.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
  22. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Lucy - simple question... How can Democrats be a responsible and respectful party when Republicans refuse every opportunity to reach across the aisle and work together, continually stonewall and stymie efforts to resolve actual issues in favor of their religious agendas, and generally act in bad faith? What would you do in their stead?

    Case in point - the ACA was up for debate for quite a while, with a lot of public input, professional input, and plenty of floor debate. It was given months of back and forth before being passed...

    By compare, Republicans have drafted a positively abysmal bill in secrecy, even from members of their own party and are trying to pass a vote without any debate or examination and without allowing public input...

    They then blame Democrats for its shortcomings... When democrats were never even invited to the table.
    joepistole likes this.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That requires a cooperative media: some mechanism by which such Democrats doing that can communicate with voters and voters can see and hear Democrats doing that, honestly and fairly reported and described.

    Without that, you have not successful acquisition of political power leading to sound governance, but a series of martyrs to the cause of sound governance and a better world - some of whom, like George McGovern, are mocked to this day; others of whom, like Paul Wellstone and Bernie Sanders, become footnotes in history.

    To illustrate: what do you think Al Franken's chances of being defeated for re-election are? They should be nearly zero, in your description there.
    The Republicans have taken over the entire US government by always pointing the finger and never taking responsibility for what they brought to the table. So it works, that approach - can't blame that approach for failure.

    Unless you are saying the approach only works when it's inaccurate and dishonest - that the finger pointing and responsibility dodging fails only when it's accurate and honest. Is that what you mean by the Dems not being able to use what works for the Reps?

    Meanwhile, back in the real world: the line that the Democrats are "always pointing fingers and dodging responsibility" is a Republican campaign line - a shell in the Bullshit Barrage, cover fire for Republicans in their all-encompassing efforts to dodge responsibility and never have fingers pointed at them.

    It's about the Republicans, specifically the ones that have been financing the fascist takeover of the corporate news media, and their target base of voters.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017

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