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

    Who says they haven't been honest?

    Are they? Based on your post, I'd day most voters aren't consciously aware of candidate branding, especially those on the right. After all they voted for Trump whose single strength is branding. Trump successfully branded his Republican opponents and his Democratic opponent. Both sides have brands. Trump has a brand and he has rigorously defended his brand over the course of many decades. Without his Brand, Trump has essentially nothing. Republicans have been very good with their branding, and Democrats haven't. And that's the problem Democrats face.

    No, that's how Republicans want to brand Obama. But unsurprisingly, it has nothing to do with reality. Obama was the candidate of hope and change, and he delivered both.

    The irony here is the most manipulated group here are the so called "conservatives", i.e. Republicans. Democrats have been losing seats in state houses and in Congress. Some of that is on Democrats for allowing Republicans to gerrymander legislative districts. But a good portion of it is directly attributable to the Republican misinformation machine, e.g. Fox News, Right-wing radio, and folks like Alex Jones, Russia, et al.

    How do you figure when most Americans voted for Democrats? The fact is Republicans are the minority party. Only 36% of Americans approve of Trump's performance as POTUS. The biggest problems Democrats face is the very undemocratic aspects of our government, i.e. the apportionment of legislative seats, the Electoral College, gerrymandering, et al.

    That's really funny coming from a Republican. But it's the Republican way. Republicans have a real penchant for scapegoating Democrats. Democrats have always been for things. Whatever Democrats are for, Republicans are against even if Republicans were previously for those things, e.g. Obamacare.

    Democrats do well with most Americans, but they do have a problem with a few thousand Americans in a few states. Democrats have a problem with one demographic group, lesser educated white older people. And in order to address that group then need to employ the weapons Republicans have used to enslave that group. Democrats need to fight fire with fire. They need to improve their brand with that demographic. It's not going to be easy. Republicans have a "yuge" entertainment industry where Democrats have none.
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  3. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    So you're claiming that the reason why Democrats are losing elections is because Republicans stonewall and stymie? The Republicans are doing exactly what they said they would do, they wouldn't cooperate, they were going to fight by any means necessary to get their irrational policies through and then they did. I have a problem though thinking of Democrats as a true opposition. Let's take the recent vote in California. You have the Republicans gutting of health care but you also have California working to pass single-payer which is broadly popular, 70% of voters supported the idea. Now we know the Republicans won't back the bill but that shouldn't matter in a blue state right? Governor Shwarzenegger vetoed the bill twice but one would think that with such wide support and a Democrat governor there would be less obstacles especially in the face of the affordable care act repeal and gutting of medicaid, one would think Democrats would seek to do this with urgency. California decided to enact its own environmental programs in spite of Trump's Paris Accord dismissal, the environment is important but so is health care. One way to send a message to Republicans would be for blue states to create their own medicare for all programs.

    It was Democrat Assembly Speaker who shelved the bill. The California Nurses Assn. (CNA) representative Burger, the unions co-president, who sponsored the bill said "Acting in secret in the interests of the profiteering insurance companies late Friday afternoon Rendon abandons all those people already threatened by Congress and the Trump administration. The people of California are counting on the Legislature to protect them now, not sometime next year, and as polls have shown Californians support this proposal by a wide majority. A solution to this health care emergency could be at hand; Speaker Rendon is standing in opposition."

    But Rendon wasn't the only opposition, you had Democrats in blue districts who had nothing to lose by voting in favor of the bill abstaining from the vote! ABSTAINING! You have Rendon and the governor hand wringing over this bill and the only thing it seems stopping this it are pro-business lobbyists and insurance companies. See? It doesn't matter if Democrats are in control of an area when they blatantly stop short of working through a bill popular with their voters because its the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and business interests to whom they are beholden. Which is why of course you have a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies as head of the California Democratic Party Chair.

    "Though Rendon on Friday called the bill "woefully incomplete," economists who have studied the proposal say it could potentially provide universal coverage at a much better cost than the current for-profit model. As Robert Pollin, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, wrote this week in an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, "Enacting a single-payer system would yield considerable savings overall by lowering administrative costs, controlling the prices of pharmaceuticals and fees for physicians and hospitals, reducing unnecessary treatments and expanding preventive care. We found that Healthy California could ultimately result in savings of about 18%, bringing healthcare spending to about $331 billion, or 8% less than the current $370 billion."The Healthy California Act, he concluded, "is capable of generating substantial savings for families at most income levels and businesses of most sizes. These savings are in addition to the benefits that the residents of California will gain through universal access to healthcare."https://www.commondreams.org/news/2...who-pulled-plug-californias-single-payer-bill

    (You can read Pollin's article explaining how it could be done, how it could be paid for here http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-e...thcare-healthy-california-20170621-story.html)

    Roseann DeMoro director of National Nurses Union tweeted "The difference between the Republicans and Corporate Democrats is that the Reps don't pretend to support Medicare for All."

    The Democrats who oppose the bill claim California legislature should devote all its attention to opposing the federal legislation, and saving Medicaid which should have nothing to do with the passing of this bill. If you want to save Medicaid then the way to do this is to show you are serious about challenging the Republicans stand on the issue outside of the empty rhetoric. Anyway it doesn't matter because the bill is shelved. Again I hate to sound like a broken record but what is the point of voting for Democrats when they constantly tell you then show you that they will not fight for what you want? How to compare the Republicans secrecy over the federal health care plan with that of Democrats 'acting in secret in the interests of the profiteering insurance companies'? These aren't 'shortcomings' these are damning gaping flaws within the party making it impossible to call them 'the opposition' to Republicans!

    What kind of opposition was there when Democrats had the presidency and both houses? Its interesting to me that Republicans with a majority pass through any inane dream they've ever had, gutting the federal government, keeping muslims at bay and even when the courts rule against them they keep on fighting bless their twisted little souls! What do Democrats do when they have the majority? Offer a lousy revamped Romney-care, a bill initially conceived by the Heritage Foundation, a weak Dodd-Frank bill and not much else. Why is it that when Republicans win they go about fulfilling their fringe base wish list whether it be on abortion, immigration, health etc but when a Democrat wins their constituents are told 'this and this is not possible, I'll give you a leaky that, oh and by the way those Republicans are so so mean they just won't work with us'. Its bullshit!

    No you don't need a cooperative media for that. We know from Wikileaks that there was already 'cooperation' or rather 'collusion' between media and the DNC. Don't you remember that? But let's not rehash. All they need is a message, a message people want to hear and then they actually have to show they are fighting for it when they are elected. You cannot communicate with voters if a. you dismiss what they want and b. have nothing to offer! The Democrats are not offering anyone anything except bathroom rights, and black, gay and female neoliberals. That's all! That's what they've got to offer which is why anyone could tell you what Trump's message was, they could also tell you what Sander's message was but all you could really get out of Clinton was "America is already great!" and "We're stronger together" whatever that means. What was her immigration policy? What was her environmental policy other than being a 'mother fracker'? What was she going to do about the rising costs of Obamacare? Did she have a clear message?

    I mean what does it mean exactly to be a Democrat? What's their vision for the country? What are their values other than being 'inclusive'? What's the message? What's the offer? The dream? Republicans have one and by god they are going to ram it down everyone's throats. What are Democrats going to do about that? What's their opposing vision other than what was a sorry status quo? I'm not asking you to pick out the handful of true blue-dogs we have, I mean as a party.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Also to prevent the Dems from doing anything.
    And then they lied about doing that. And the media did not call them on those lies, instead delivering the Republican line about "bipartisanship" and "both sides".
    So that getting away with destroying governance and then lying about it, not having this reported in the media, is how they won many elections - talking about how Obama was not compromising, blaming Obama and the Democrats for nothing getting done, etc.
    For those ten months or so? Filibuster (hundreds of them, over the years) and Bluedog recalcitrance (the Dems are not a disciplined bloc) and committee manipulations and so forth. The usual naive Democrat compromising in various attempts to appear bipartisan, which were used for delay and obstruction. But Pelosi got a lot done anyway - kind of impressively, actually, for such a brief window.
    Look at this: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/mcconnell-filibusters-his-own-bill-to-lift-debt-ceiling
    Yes, you do. Look at what happens when the entire American media sides with the Republican issue framing and the Republican "both sides" narrative, as they have for decades now.
    I remember encountering that amongst the rest of the Bullshit Barrage during the campaign (all of it dutifully reported as serious news by the supposedly "liberal" media) - I admit to being surprised to see it still in circulation among the dumbass.

    But then the amnesia reflex doesn't extend to the non-humiliating bs, maybe.
    You can if you're Republican. You can get billions of dollars worth of free air time for months on end to make your pitch directly to a national audience.
    Meanwhile, you can't communicate with the voters if you champion what they want and have lots to offer, but you're a left libertarian - or even a rightwing Democrat of the "militant" kind. You can't get a chair on the talk shows, let alone your own TV station, unless you frame everything you say in Fox News terms.
    No, they don't. No dream, no vision, no message, nothing like that. They make up all that stuff as they go, and change it as often as week to week - even to complete inversion.
    They have had one and only one item on their agenda since 1980 - tax cuts and deregulation for the corporate wealthy. Other than that, they spin whatever sells at the moment and attack, attack, attack.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  7. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Oh so that's you're idea? Brand a vapid, vacuous candidate? Stop treating voters like they're stupid! Stop treating politicians like a can of coke and voters like mindless consumers. You brand items for sale but if the brand doesn't meet the expectation of the consumer, if its deemed to be an empty package, a lie, then it fails right? Well its failing. What makes you think that most voters aren't aware of branding? It wasn't the branding that gave Trump appeal it was his contempt for the establishment both Republican and Democrat. If you don't take governance of this nation seriously enough to treat it better than a national advertisement then you all have nothing to blame when it continues to crumble. What you are cynically implying is that voters don't care about real issues only image and I don't believe that to be true for the most part. Sorry Joe but "hope and change" are empty platitudes. Hope for what? What change? And for whom? And in what area Joe did he bring this hope and change? Don't answer the last question until you've answered the first two. Yes you have Fox News etc. but again Joe this only explains why some Republican voters think the way they do and it might explain how they vote but it doesn't explain why Democrats are losing. Yes of course gerrymandering is an issue but Obama won the presidency and both houses under gerrymandering so that doesn't explain why Dems are steadily losing ground. Same goes for the electoral vote, you have the electoral vote in every election, normally it goes with the electorate but not always and that is always in play, funny how I never heard the Democrats stating it as a problem before, crying about the lack of democracy before they lost this election. I mean after all America is already great! LOL

    Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the two most unpopular presidential candidates in more than 30 years of ABC News/Washington Post polling. Among U.S. adults, Clinton had a 56% unfavorability rating, while Trump had 63%.
    And with registered voters, the two were basically tied: Clinton has 59% unfavorability and Trump has 60%. How in the world Joe can you call that a 'win'? Sure they voted for her but what choice did they have? The majority of voters hated them both! So what I want to know is why the Democrats insisted on running a candidate who had a history of scandal, began the campaign amidst scandal, someone who was deemed untrustworthy by voters? I know you like marketing so MarketWatch reported
    "Clinton remains the Democratic frontrunner for president in a new CNN/ORC poll. But the same poll found 57% of respondents think she is not trustworthy and honest, up from 49% in March. Less than half, or 47%, feel she cares about people like them, down from 53% last July. CNN says recent news about her actions as secretary of state may have taken a toll. In general election match-ups, meanwhile, Clinton runs about even with Republicans Rand Paul, Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. But she continues to top Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. The poll was taken May 29-31." https://secure.marketwatch.com/story/more-find-hillary-clinton-untrustworthy-in-new-poll-2015-06-02

    What happened to the Blue Wall Joe? Why did it collapse? These were the same voters who backed Obama but didn't show up for the lady. How could Dems lose Ohio? The Atlantic reported "Democrats lost the Rust Belt in November in part because they lost the white, working-class, as my colleague Ron Brownstein has written. They failed to offer a more compelling message than Donald Trump’s pledge to stomp out trade deals and bring manufacturing jobs back from overseas." https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/11/democrats-rust-belt/508544/ You think they forgot about Clinton and NAFTA? But keep focusing on 'branding' I'm sure it will help.

    Well I hope you're not referring to me because I am not a Republican and all the people in the videos I highlighted are Democrats. Why the question of what Democrats should be doing if they don't have a problem? Why are they losing seats over YEARS if there isn't a problem except for a few disgruntled white people? But okay. If there's no problem, if the Dems are good then there isn't anything to discuss here. I mean there is no point in searching for a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Its all good and America continues to be great and the Democratic party will rise again and all will be well. If you can't even bear to hear the complaints you will never find a solution.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not for Republicans. They took over the whole government like that.

    Of course, they had the media on their side.
  9. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    What is it Democrats would like to do that they are prevented from doing by Republicans? Why didn’t they do these things while they held all the cards under Obama when he was first elected? I don’t know what news outlets you read but it was no secret that Republicans were acting as a hostile opposition, I don’t recall media covering up that fact. I agree with you that it was naive for Democrats, or at least Obama to compromise their ideas into the dustbin of history. What is it that Pelosi got done?
    What media did you have siding with Republicans other than Fox and Breitbart? No mainstream media organization backed Trump they were all unabashedly in favor of Clinton, you just had to look at the Washington Post! You would have to show me some evidence of what you’re referring to because I’m not sure I understand what you mean.

    Are you saying that the media should or shouldn’t have reported the Wikileaks Podesta files? What I recall is the mention of the file, I didn’t come across a lot of MSM that actually outlined what was in the file. All they wanted to talk about was how it was hacked, not the content of the DNC file so again I’m not sure what you mean. Did you go to Wikileaks and read them? Want to hear something funny? John Harwood a journalist, he was quite close to the Clinton campaign. He asked his own followers on twitter to answer a poll “Who do you trust more Wikileaks or the US Intel officials?” 83% of his own twitter followers voted Wikileaks as being trusted over Intel officials. Only 17% voted that they trust Intel officials.

    You claim Republicans can communicate with voters even though they dismiss them and offer them nothing? Oh I don’t see that at all!! Republicans didn’t dismiss their pro lifers, they attack Planned Parenthood and introduce abortion Trap laws to close clinics. Republicans aren’t ignoring all those calls to fix immigration they decided to throw people out. They don’t ignore their pro gun activists, they go to all of their pro NRA rallies and protect their gun rights. When people complained about Obamacare they said they would repeal it and now they are. When their christian faction held their ground on gay marriage the Republicans were right there with them. Yet get one left voter who asks for healthcare and all of a sudden they're asking for the moon! Nothing is deemed impossible by Republicans, only Democrats tell their voters that their dream for their country is 'impossible'.

    I don’t quite understand this sentence “you can't communicate with the voters if you champion what they want and have lots to offer, but you're a left libertarian - or even a rightwing Democrat of the "militant" kind. You can't get a chair on the talk shows, let alone your own TV station, unless you frame everything you say in Fox News terms.” How did Bernie Sanders fill halls with 50,000 people? How did he run a campaign with no corporate sponsors? Why is it that he became so popular when he was given almost zero media time during the election? How did Bernie run a campaign that drew thousands of volunteers (myself included!) with no MSM support? His message rang loud and true and it found an audience. I mean I agree that MSM news outlets are dismal if you really want to have a fact based, objective narrative minus the punditry but really take a look at how outlying media drives conversation and voters, outlets like Breitbart on the right or TYT on the left. Alex Jones brought huge numbers to the Trump campaign. He interviewed Trump on his little youtube channel, he went out and spoke to Trump voters etc. These offshoots of MSM are having an affect. For example I came to Bernie by way of The Sane Progressive on youtube, she’s what got me to volunteer. Do the Democrats have anything like that on the grassroots level from energized voters and fans? No. What’s worse is that now these left leaning broadcasters cover the failure of Democrats and lambasts them on the daily. The Rachel Maddow ’s no longer control the narrative anymore. They don’t have a message but they have to get one fast. I don’t understand how a party can go on without a dream to stand on. Its crazy! There is an entire generation of politically conscious twenty-somethings and they aren’t going to put up with it.
  10. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Okay and what I'm saying is that they didn't. Trump was a known figure always! Imagine for a moment if it were Tom Hanks running. He's already liked, people already feel they 'know' him, he's been in front of the camera all his life. Are you saying that the Democrats would have to package and brand a Tom Hanks? No! Because he already has a fixed image, same with Trump. Trump has branded himself and his name over the years for his business but it wasn't branding that decimated the mainstream establishment Republicans it was that fact that he was anti-establishment! He tore the establishment a new arsehole and the voters were angry enough to want to see it. I mean wake up and smell the populsim! LOL
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Enact legislation, for starters. Govern the country well.
    Read the post you are replying to - filibuster, short window, lame attempts at bipartisanship (that was a big media deal, recall - lots of negative publicity for Dems who didn't pander), Blue Dog division, unwillingness of Dems facing Koch cash to commit career suicide, etc etc etc,

    and the fact that they did do quite a bit - got the main part of Obamacare through the window just barely, so that when it closed they could patch the rest in reconciliation, for example. That was huge, and something of a miracle given the very short available time.
    You don't recall the incessant media focus on bipartisanship? You don't recall the Republicans all over the media repeating and broadcasting the meme that Obama wasn't getting anything done, and it was because he wouldn't meet and talk and compromise and work with the Republicans? Really - you don't remember that?
    That's some lousy eyesight you've got, there.
    Nothing actually happened, though. The abortion stuff happened at the State level only, the gun rights were never threatened in the first place, the illegal immigrants were never thrown out, Obamacare has been in place ever since it was passed and is very popular among Republican voters as long as its name is not mentioned, the Fundies lost on gay marriage (or converted) and the Republicans did nothing to keep that from happening, and so forth.

    Like I said: since 1980, the Republicans have in fact - in action - offered their voting base nothing and dismissed their concerns (even acted against them, directly);
    but communicated with them very well, marketed their brand very effectively.( to the point that many people believe they actually delivered on all that stuff you mentioned, for example). The universal media cooperation they received was of course key to that.
    Just take a look at how the Republicans did it. No dream, no agenda they could admit to, nothing but domination of the media framing.

    Twenty-somethings don't vote if it's inconvenient, and sucker for Youtube videos - the Republicans know how to handle that. Black people don't vote, and don't have any money, and go with name recognition - the Republicans know how to handle that.

    As long as they have basic control of the media, they can handle anything the Dems throw at them. And so far the only thing proven to break their hold on the media framing is genuine disaster in real life.

    re media domination:
    And you are wrong. Demonstrably wrong - count the minutes, catalogue the references and vocabulary, etc. Almost every reference to Sanders on major TV paired him with Trump - usually in the same sentence. The entire coverage of Clinton in the last two months of the campaign was her poll number chances against Trump and her email issues, with occasional tangents into whether she was deathly ill or would be indicted over her role in Benghazi. Do you regard that as chance, circumstance, just the breaks?
    He branded himself as "anti-establishment", like a pro wrestler becomes a "villain", and the entire media went with it. That wasn't a "fact" - look at his administration (Goldman Sachs, Exxon) and his actual proposals (mainstream Republican, Reagan without the radical edge).
    That self-same media gave him a billion dollars of free air time - they not only accepted his branding, they gave him direct access to a national audience to sell it himself. Imagine what Clinton or Sanders could have done with that kind of media cooperation and boosting - ok, Sanders anyway. Or hell, Martin O'Malley. That might have been a landslide.

    The Dems have a media problem, national and local. Their compromised and corrupt establishment problem seems to be an effect of that, mostly - Clinton's famous triangulating was mostly a national media and image strategy, for example. But it's the local one that is going to choke them at the base - where do the good Presidents come from if the Governors and Congressmen are all Republicans? If any big city mayor who begins to get a national name faces a 20 million dollar media dump from a billionaire PAC in his back yard?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Oh, great, that'll work. That is to say, sure, we all get what you're after with a point like that, but all the Democrats ever try to do is everything their voters ask of them. The harder question is the implication of what it gets them. Seriously, the shitty, awful crime bill in the nineties? That's what voters wanted. The shitty, awful welfare reform bill in the nineties? That's what voters wanted. Hell, Bill Clinton even figured out a way to balance the budget, because that's what voters said they wanted.

    Americans always have an excuse for bad votes. Consider the implications of the Churchill saying so famous Americans might have made it up, that you can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after we've exhausted other options. Regardless of who actually said it—because a lot of people recite it these days—it is a charming indictment of a really awful corruption about our society.

    Sure, voters said they wanted a balanced budget, but apparently what they really wanted was a three hundred dollar bribe and some botched wars to screw the budget with.

    Just, you know, for an example.
  13. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Are you sure about that?

    According to the NY Times its not clear that its what voters were asking for.

    "AS political candidates and pundits grapple with the legacy of the 1994 crime bill and the era of mass incarceration that has seen millions of African-Americans locked in the nation’s prisons, one defense keeps popping up: that black citizens asked for it.
    When confronted about her husband’s pivotal support for the bill, Hillary Clinton argued, even as she admitted the legislation’s shortcomings, that the bill was a response to “great demand, not just from America writ large, but from the black community, to get tougher on crime.”

    Yet the historical record reveals a different story. Instead of being the unintended consequence of the democratic process at work, punitive crime policy is a result of a process of selectively hearing black voices on the question of crime.
    There’s no question that by the early 1990s, blacks wanted an immediate response to the crime, violence and drug markets in their communities. But even at the time, many were asking for something different from the crime bill. Calls for tough sentencing and police protection were paired with calls for full employment, quality education and drug treatment, and criticism of police brutality.

    Its not just that those demands were ignored completely. Its that some elements were elevated and others were diminished-what we call selective hearing. Policy makers pointed to black support for greater punishment and surveillance, without recognizing accompanying demands to redirect power and economic resources to low-income minority communities. When blacks ask for better policing, legislators tend to hear more instead. "https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/13/opinion/did-blacks-really-endorse-the-1994-crime-bill.html

    Clinton Signs Welfare Bill Amid Division

    By Barbara Vobejda
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, August 23 1996

    President Clinton signed historic welfare legislation yesterday that rewrites six decades of social policy, ending the federal guarantee of cash assistance to the poor and turning welfare programs over to the states.

    "Today, we are ending welfare as we know it," Clinton said at a White House ceremony, where he was flanked by three former welfare recipients. "But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began."

    Clinton's endorsement of the bill, which requires recipients to work and limits benefits to five years, fulfills a 1992 campaign promise that came to symbolize his image as a centrist Democrat. But yesterday, as the bill passed its final hurdle, there seemed to be less an atmosphere of celebration than a cloud of controversy hanging over the Rose Garden.

    Gone were the Marine Band and Democratic congressional leaders who had attended bill-signing ceremonies earlier this week for bills increasing minimum wage and making health insurance more accessible. Republicans who had prodded Clinton for months to sign a welfare bill, refused to give him credit. And the divisions among Democrats over the legislation were readily apparent. .

    Even as Clinton signed the measure, women's groups and advocates for the poor protested along Pennsylvania Avenue, vowing to carry their dispute to the Democratic convention next week. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/welfare/stories/wf082396.htm

    Hmm. Wonder what voters were asking the Democrats for that. Why are there so many excuses being made for Democrats? First its the Republicans beating up on poor Dems and now its the voters forcing them to do things they don't want to do.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    So, hey, one of the great quiet stories of the Democratic Party in the 1980s is a long-running argument between factions that comes down to everyone knows Jesse Jackson won on merit, but Bill Clinton and the DLC won on votes. Indeed, come 1992, Democratic voters preferred Bill Clinton over Jerry Brown.

    The Blue Dog Coalition rose in 1995. While it is true voters in those congressional districts could have elected liberal Democrats, they generally didn't. And with conservative Democrats on the rise, conservative Democrat Bill Clinton in 1996 found himself faced with a veto-proof majority from both houses of Congress on something called the Defense of Marriage Act.

    Democrats have largely, in my lifetime, been something of a centrist party, and even right of center by some relative measures. Rumors that the Democratic Party is a liberal institution are actually hit jobs from Republicans.

    And these are the United States of America; there are always women's groups and advocates for the poor protesting and vowing to continue their disputes with the Democratic Party, and while the accommodating platform planks are nice, and all ... okay, just because it helps illustrate the point, I've recently encountered this bit of advocacy that, as near as I can tell, involves electing a bunch of conservative Democrats in order to ram through a liberal agenda. Because, you know, that's worked in the past. You know what that gets Democrats? A rape and incest exception to the Hyde Amendment, and waxed in the next midterm. Yeah, because in some people's world, the bit where a woman, or even a child, is expected to bear her rapist's baby because, you know, some person over here is a Christian, that's not identity politics. Saying the rape survivor has human rights is identity politics ... in what world, and according to whom? Oh, and please don't take me wrongly: Texas Republicans have passed into law that a state agent can withhold medical care from a sexually abused minor as a matter of conscience.

    True, I get that some people think saying it's wrong to force sex abuse survivors to bear their abusers' babies is some manner of identity politics that Democrats just need to chill out about, but it's not a convincing argument. Inevitably, when I hear the detail of problematic "identity politics", it's a conservative caricature.

    And there are days when Hillary Clinton's majority actually matters. This isn't like surviving the eighties; Democrats lost with a majority, but that also means they have a majority.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    "Its voters" - the Democratic Party - and "the voters" - the people who assign victory or defeat in the general election - are two different populations.
    Are you going to claim Bill Clinton was a poor gauge of what most voters would vote for?

    And of course, in fact, it is not the Dems but the predominant faction of Republicans working to wreck Federal government again this year as for the past thirty or forty years, for a reason once again blindingly obvious to anyone who writes down timelines on a piece of paper and does a bit of simple arithmetic:

    Note, btw, that the Guardian article reports these events in Koch financed vocabulary and framing, as if that were how one reported straight news - the framing of the central issues here is exactly as specified by the Frank Luntz focus group recommendations, the terms used are from Fox News playbook of "how to talk about it".

    For example: Nowhere in that article is there mention of the impropriety - to put it mildly - of rich people threatening to cancel promised payments of money to Congressmen if the legislation apparently being purchased is not delivered on time. The entire scene is reported as a normal event, rather than an exposure of shameful and scandalous corruption in the US Congress.

    Meanwhile: The issue at hand is not "reform" of health care in the US, but the provision of tax breaks for the wealthy by cutting tax-financed health care programs and subsidies; the only "reform" of the tax system on the table is reducing the taxes owed by the very wealthy in the US.

    There is one program and one agenda, not two, on the table here; it is a one sided push for a single direction of change, not any kind of "reform": tax cuts for rich people.

    The job of Republicans in Congress - their basic role and duty as representatives of their only real and accurately informed constituency - is reducing the burden of Federal government taxes and regulations on the Koch brothers and their fellow rich.

    And that is unreportable in the US media. That completely obvious fact cannot be stated in public by a newscaster.

    The Dems have a media problem.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    And who would that be exactly? What would lead you to that conclusion? The fact is everyone has a brand whither they realize it or not. Yeah, vapid, vacuous candidates have brands and branding works: witness “The Donald”.

    Well some voters are stupid – not all, but some are. Let’s not deny reality here. And many more are grossly misinformed. Unfortunately, for a good portion of the voter base, politics has become religion and rational discourse is no longer possible. That’s a reality.

    Then they should stop acting like cans of Coke. You cannot stop people from acting like people. That’s just how humans work. You are deluding yourself if you think otherwise. That’s how our electoral process works.

    Now if you are advocating for a change in how we elect our representatives, hey, I’m all in. I would love to see better informed and more rational voters. But that’s not how the system works. If it were, “The Donald” wouldn’t have a snow ball’s chance in Hell of getting elected to dog catcher must less POTUS.

    I don’t think you understand how branding works. Even if the product doesn’t meet expectations, the consumer will not come to that realization. That’s the beauty of branding. As an example, I’ve had friends who swear by clothing brands. I’ve worn those brands and I can tell you none of the things they attribute to those brands are true. I’ve had friends go out and buy premium cars who to me aren’t much different than other less expensive cars. Brands are all about perception, not reality. Brands mean nothing to me. I’m not a branding kind of guy. But I do recognize the power of branding. That’s why 600 billion dollars and more with each passing year is spent in the US every year just on activating new brands. Branding takes advantage of a shortcut in the human thought process.

    Many voters may be aware of branding. They just aren’t aware of how branding affects them. If they were, they wouldn’t be doing the things they do. They could have rational discussions. Whether you chose to admit it or not, Trump has been and remains heavily dependent upon his brand. Trump has been a failure in almost everything he as attempted save one thing and that is branding. He has strongly defended in brand in the courts. Trump isn’t some newbie. He has been in the public eye for many decades.

    If you haven’t heard Democrats complaining about how elections are conducted, then clearly you haven’t been paying attention. Democrats have been complaining about the way we conduct elections since the Civil Rights movement of the 60s.

    Well, you can call that a win because 3 million more people voted for the Democrat, i.e. Hillary Clinton. That’s normally considered a win. That’s how Democracies are supposed to work. The winner isn’t supposed to lose. But that’s how our system works. I don’t like how the system works, and I would change it if I could. People had a choice, and most Americans voted for Clinton.

    The reason people felt Clinton wasn’t trustworthy is because she had suffered nearly 30 years of Republican branding her as untrustworthy. Republicans over the course of nearly 30 years have accused Hillary of everything from simple malfeasance to serial murder all without any basis in truth. Republicans are very good at branding, and Trump was and is particularly good at branding e.g. lying Ted, lock her up, etc.

    The “Blue Wall” cracked. This isn’t the first time Democrats have lost Ohio and it won’t be the last. Having lived in Ohio, I can tell you the state is a pretty conservative state. It has a Republican governor and senator.

    The wall cracked because Republicans were better at branding Clinton as untrustworthy and branding Trump as a savior with a certain demographic, i.e. the lesser educated older white voter.
  17. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    We need to focus on real liberal ideals, the centrist, corporatist democrats have run this party into the ground, we need economic liberals that openly demand universal healthcare, free education, domestic infrastructure development, all financed by taxing the rich. We need candidate that people can believe in, not Machiavellian corporatist shills.

    Without a powerful progressive economic policy we are just republican lite, and with that we simply do not encourage enough voters to come out and we fail to get the attention of swing voters, and we need a whole lot more then just a popular majority of voters if we are to break past republican gerrymandering, vote rigging and the electoral college. Tiassa believes that if only we cry about rape babies enough we will win, despite the fact a pig that openly proclaimed he can grab pussy with impunity is president! Clearly rape babies does not cut it! Identity politics is simply not enough, notice Tiassa the republicans are not even mentioning gay marriage anymore, they have lost on social values but have utterly won on raping the middle and lower classes economically because people like you don't give a fuck. Now Tiassa your counter is somehow focusing on economics will throw minorities under the bus, by all means show me where in Bernie's platform he says to do that? Show me how giving blacks and women and gays and pansexual otherkin free healthcare, free education, paid for by the rich, will oppress them (Well I guess it will oppress the RICH pansexual otherkins, but a pay cut from xer mutual fund is not that much oppression). Finally what choice do you have? Your and your ilks strategy has gotten us total republican domination, we can either continue getting raped by the republicans and forced to raise the rape baby, and cry about it on facebook, or you can let us real liberals have a crack at it, we may actually win, take back the government and abort the rape babies.
    Mrs.Lucysnow likes this.
  18. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    The idea that at the time the crime bill was called a product of Clinton's 'selective hearing' and the welfare bill a product of 'Republican prodding' means that it was not driven by "the will of the people". Republican prodding! Sheesh! Which voters was Clinton trying to advocate for anyhow? The Republican base? Ha! I hate to tell you but blacks and women were the ones who were affected by the bill and if they were the ones opposing those bills at the time then it isn't being pushed through because of the "will of the people", on that I call bs. 'Republican prodding'. Such a hoot! Tell me what measures do Republicans accept, what compromises do they yield because of 'Democrats prodding'? Bill Clinton went about fulfilling Republican wet dreams, jailing blacks, NAFTA, throw people off of welfare oh yeah and passing Glass-Steagal. You're right Tiassa I'm sure that's exactly what the Democrat base was BEGGING their party to fulfill in their name.
  19. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    You’re talking about ‘branding’ or packaging candidates, Trump came with a brand he built himself, not to woo voters but to build his business and make money over a period of decades. People already knew him and none of the Republican career politician branding was able to stop him. Why? Trump came with an anti-establishment rant in a time when the public believes both parties are failing them. Here’s a little secret about branding. The product actually has to deliver on something or the brand fails. 67% of Democrats believe their party is out of touch, only 28% thought otherwise. Only a dismal 1 in 5 Independents think the Democrats have the pulse on the nation and worse yet for the future of the party only 18% of young people thought the party was in touch with the average person and this poll was done only two months ago!!! These are self-described Democrats! Yet status quo Joe thinks his party is still doing grand!


    There's lots of bad poll numbers out there for President Donald Trump these days. He has historically low job approval ratings, and nearly 6 in 10 voters believe he lacks the judgment or personality to be an effective president, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.What the focus on Trump's numbers misses, however, is that Democrats aren't in a great place with voters either. Asked whether the Democratic Party is in touch with the concerns of the average person, just 28% of respondents said it is -- as opposed to 67% who said Democrats are out of touch. Those numbers are worse than the "in touch/out of touch" numbers for either the Republican Party or Trump in that same poll.More amazing to me is that only 52% of self-identified Democrats said their party was in touch with peoples' concerns, while 44% said it was out of touch. (Also of concern for Democrats: Fewer than 1 in 5 independents -- 18% -- said the Democratic Party was in touch with the average person.)Those numbers -- particularly among Democrats -- are striking. http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/24/politics/democratic-party-poll/index.html

    Joe there are always stupid people, even when Democrats are winning there are stupid people. When Obama won those same stupid people voted for him, so yeah there are stupid people but it doesn’t explain the rise in populism across the country. It also doesn’t get into the heart of why Trump won nor does it address the fact that self-described Democrats believe their party sucks EVEN IN THE FACE OF TRUMP!!!! I don’t think they are misinformed, I think they’re waking up! You cannot have a rational argument with anyone about anything if you cannot accept that your party is failing. Its happily and steadily taking the path of the Whigs.

    Here’s another one to really drive in home. In May of this year

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' opinions of the two major political parties are now similar after the Democratic Party's ratings slipped to 40% -- from 45% last November -- while the Republican Party's image is essentially unchanged at 39%. The latest update on the party's images is based on a May 3-7 Gallup poll, which asked Americans whether they have a favorable or an unfavorable opinion of each party. Throughout last year's contentious presidential election campaign, U.S. adults rated neither party highly. In fact, more rated each party unfavorably than favorably. But Democrats maintained a slight edge in favorable ratings, including 45% to 40% in Gallup's prior measurement, conducted last November after Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election.So far, Trump's unpopularity as president has done little to erode Americans' views of the GOP, perhaps because they were already quite negative. However, Americans are now less positive toward the Democratic Party than they were last fall. The decline in Democratic Party favorability is mostly a result of lower ratings from self-identified Democrats. In November, 83% of Democrats had a positive opinion of the Democratic Party; now, 77% do. Independents are also slightly less positive toward the Democratic Party, while Republicans' negative views of the opposing party are steady. Currently, 79% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of their preferred party. Thirty-three percent of independents and 9% of Democrats rate the Republican Party favorably.


    Americans are quite negative toward both of the major political parties at this time. Trump's unpopularity and the GOP's challenges in governing a divided nation have done little to weaken the party's poor image further. But those same factors have also done little to cast the opposing party, the Democrats, in a more favorable light.

    If anything, the Democratic Party's positioning appears weakened, largely because its own supporters now hold a less positive view of the party. That could indicate Democrats are frustrated with the party's minority status in Washington. Not since 2003 through 2006 have Democrats failed to control the presidency, House of Representatives or Senate. Prior to that, Democrats had control of either Congress or the presidency for more than 50 years. Next year Democrats will have a chance to change their minority party status in the federal midterm elections. Midterm elections are often a referendum on the president, so Democrats' prospects for a strong showing are enhanced by Trump's low approval ratings. However, if Democrats cannot improve their party's image between now and November 2018, it may hinder their ability to regain some measure of power in Washington.


    And your answer to that is better candidate branding? I’m telling you that if the Democratic Party doesn’t start paying attention to their voters the party will continue to decline. I mean jeez Joe, the Democrats don’t even carry half the nation in terms of support! So yeah Trump is a disaster and people know it, the Republicans are a disaster and people know it but they also think the same of the Democratic Party so WAKE UP!

    And guess what there's no buyers remorse because as of now Hilary's post election favorability rating is 41%, hasn't changed since the election, no gain, and they say that makes her 'unique' http://www.gallup.com/poll/212705/hillary-clinton-unique-no-post-election-image-gain.aspx.

    Being the best of the worst is not a win. Three million votes. Clinton’s unfavorability was 56% that’s not a win that's scrapping by (like Theresa May). You cannot look at the above information and still fool yourself into thinking that your party isn’t in trouble, or maybe you can, Nancy Pelosi certainly does. Keep the denial up Joe. Maybe it will all go away, kinda like Obama's legacy.

    I'll leave you with a CNN clip where they discuss 'branding'
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  20. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    I totally agree with you I just don't understand why Joe and Tiassa don't see it. I mean if they love their party they should be honest enough to see how its failing voters and fight to change their party from the inside. Its amazing! They think the neoliberal, corporate Democrat thing is working and the party should do more of the same as they've been doing. They also seem to blame everything that happens to Democrats on Republicans because, I don't know, because their victims without agency?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Its as if they cannot look at themselves at all! No self-inventory just defensive responses to protect party's non-existant positive image and excuses.

    Even Morning Joe's MSNBC was able in this piece with Sanders to assess exactly why the Democrats are failing and what they should do

    But do you think they will listen? I doubt it. They can't even admit there's a problem in the party they keep looking at the Republicans and keep on truckin', they take zero responsibility for the shambles the party is in.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
    ElectricFetus likes this.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    At one point during the primary cycle, I wrote a series of posts for a Sanders supporter that overlap with the content of your post; there are four, but the first↗ includes some consideration of the crime bill, including Chauncey DeVega↱ explaining:

    The most extreme critics of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the 1994 crime bill depict the two as waging a war on black folks, unleashing a racist carceral society that placed many thousands of non-violent black offenders in prison and jail. In this narrative, if the punishing and punitive state is one of the primary features of a racist and classist America, then the Clintons ought to be public enemy No. 1 for black people.

    It is true that the Violent Crime Control Act (and a 1996 "welfare reform" bill that actually increased extreme poverty) was certainly part of an intentional move by Bill Clinton and other "New Democrats" to mine white racial resentment and overt bigotry against black people for electoral gain in a political landscape where "Reagan Democrats" were coveted, and the Republican Party had hammered "liberals" for being "soft" on crime (and thus by implication too "close" to people of color).

    Allowing for that fact, we must still be cautious, as an extremely narrow focus on those dynamics risks neglecting an important question. What was the role of black elites and the black mass public in the passing of the 1994 crime bill?

    A flattened and distorted version of what has been demonized as "black respectability politics," where the fallen Bill Cosby and his speech on "pound cakes," "sagging pants" and black wayward youth, has made this type of intervention unpopular. Nevertheless, it remains a question and complication that should be explored.

    As political scientist Michael Fortner argues in his new book, what he terms as "the black silent majority," has long-supported a "get tough" approach to crime and law enforcement. This is practical self-interest: if violent and other types of street crime are often more common in poor, low-income, and working class communities―and America is a race and class segregated society―then black and brown folks who live in those spaces are more likely to be victims of crime.

    But it goes on for a few posts after that, and the most part of the rest attends, generally speaking, questions of Democratic Party history. Some of it has to do with Sen. Bernie Sanders and his movement in particular, but even in that case it still seems relevant. The Vermont socialist is, after all, posturing the human rights of women as negotiable↗. That's part of his idea of what the Democratic base wants.


    DeVega, Chauncey. "Racist then, racist now: The real story of Bill Clinton’s crime bill". Salon. 16 April 2016. Salon.com. 23 May 2016. http://bit.ly/23EWPRE
  22. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    It was already been posted that what the black elites were asking for is not what they got at all! More to point redirect power and economic resources to low-income minority communities.

    Now it should be a given that black communities who suffer from violent crime and inundated with the drug trade would want that crime to stop but they also realize that without the resources that rehabilitate youth, jobs and better education that simply being tough on crime would hurt more than help. They knew this then, they asked for it then and it fell on deaf ears.

    Bernie Sanders asked for a minimum wage increase that benefits women. He supports sexual and reproductive health, he wanted to strengthen laws to sexual and domestic abuse. He's not a perfect candidate but he's still the most popular politician in the country.

    Sanders is viewed favorably by 57 percent of registered voters, according to data from a Harvard-Harris survey provided exclusively to The Hill. Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled. http://thehill.com/homenews/campaig...nders-countrys-most-popular-active-politician

    Maybe they're just the stupid voters like Joe was referring to. Ooo! No. I bet that the females who find Bernie popular are just there for 'the boys'. That's what feminism has become to Democrats, Gloria Steinem first dismissing young women who had the audacity to choose a political candidate who spoke to their needs as opposed to "voting with their vagina" for the only female candidate who didn't,and then insulting them by claiming young women are only there for 'the boys'. Don't talk to me about the Democrats and women. Please this is the party that has allowed Republicans to chip away at abortion rights without even giving it a fight on the ground. I would get rid of every single one of them for one solid Blue-dog. #deadparty
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    As I said before, branding is one thing Trump understands. It has been his strength. It's how he got elected. It's how he has made money. Trump rebranded his opponents, and his opponents let him. But even so, he lost the popular vote. Three million more people voted for his Democratic challenger. Were it not for the undemocratic aspects of our government, he would not be POTUS and Republicans wouldn't control both houses of Congress.

    As I explained to you before, your "little secret" simply isn't true. The beauty of brands is people still like them even when the fail to deliver. Brands are like placebos in medicine. They work because people believe they work.

    As I said before, Democrats need to strengthen their brand. They need to play the brand game. Republicans, for decades now, have successfully rebranded Democrats. Democrats need stop that, and they need to do it now. Unfortunately for Democrats they are way behind the curve here. They don't have a major cable PR propaganda arm like Fox News and they don't have 24/7 talk radio outlets as Republicans have.

    Both parties are similarly challenged. http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/23/politics/donald-trump-approval-poll/index.html

    Well, first, the Democratic Party isn't my party. I'm a registered independent. I was once a Republican. I have supported candidates from both parties. I even once supported a Libertarian candidate, but that was long ago and it was a protest against both parties. Political frustration isn't new. In American politics it has always been a "best of the worst" game. That's how the founding fathers structured our government. I would very much like to change that structure. I would much prefer a consensus voting system or more specifically a Borda count. But that's not what we have, and it's not likely we will ever have.

    You Mrs. Lucysnow need to look at the whole picture. You need to look at both parties. Neither party exists in a vacuum.

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