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New democrat/DLC
March 5, 2005 5:44 PM   Subscribe

Decent piece on the rise and potential fall of the New Democrat movement.
posted by skallas (35 comments total)

 
Thank you skallas.
posted by nofundy at 6:32 PM on March 5, 2005


Good read.

Three words of advice for the DNC (though it may be too late):

Dump Gun Control.
posted by tkchrist at 7:11 PM on March 5, 2005


"Dump gun control"

Oh, I don't think that will happen and there's no reason for it to happen. I'm probably a "New Democrat", being a follower of the DLC from long before Clinton became President. And gun control is not a position that is strongly out-of-step with centrist America.

It's an issue mainly in the South and the West. And the Southern liberals that I know that are also anti-gun-control just disregard the traditional Dems gun-control position. It's not a deal-breaker for them. In the West, the center's conservatism is more libertarian oriented (as opposed to culturally conservative oriented) and so while the issue is important to them, the Republican party's hold on the libertarian west is more and more tenuous as the GOP is more and more dominated by the cultural conservatives. So there's no real incentive for the Dems to try to appeal to the centrists in the west via a loosened stance on gun control. The contemporary Republican party is driving them our way, anyway.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:25 PM on March 5, 2005


Bligh, i would strongly disagree should we be having this conversation during Gore's first run... perhaps now you may be right now.

But regardless Gun Control is IMHO a morally untenable position (the same, IMHO, with race based affirmative action) that is based in ideas about class and plain 'ol fear-mongering.

So I think the Dems platform should change (much along the lines of Gun Rights the Dean supported). But for gods sake lets not go down that derail here!

The Dems are in serous poop, though. I truly think they may be the minority party for the next few decades. They may get back the whitehouse due to the Iraq war. But i wouldn't count on it.
posted by tkchrist at 8:20 PM on March 5, 2005


Thanks for the article, skallas, there was a lot I didn't know.

It seems the DLC was too insider and too centrist for the democratic party to be sustainable as creater of policy for the entire DNC. Thankfully, the political evolution has gotten them out of power with more of a focus on smaller groups working together at a local level.

I saw a statistic that Gore only had 500,000 donors to his campaign, that's the kind of figure that happens when only a select few are believed to be in power and the rest don't matter. Compared to the hundreds of millions raised and spent by the 2004 Democratic presidential candidates, compared to the daily Air America listeners, or even the number of people that saw Fahrenheit 9/11, the 500,000 who donated to Gore is the result of a system in which a group that was given too much power and too much credit for changing a party that won one election during a recession.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:42 PM on March 5, 2005


"It seems the DLC was too insider and too centrist for the democratic party to be sustainable as creater of policy for the entire DNC. Thankfully, the political evolution has gotten them out of power with more of a focus on smaller groups working together at a local level."

Oh, please. Whether you're a deaniac or not, you sure sound like one. You're going to be disappointed with his chairmanship of the DNC.

"The Dems are in serous poop, though. I truly think they may be the minority party for the next few decades."

I strongly disagree. Of course, I was quite wrong about my prediction for the last election, so that hurts my credibility. But I don't see the Bush tenure as strengthening the GOP. The opposite, really. Gore was a crappy candidate who ran a crappy campaign and thus allowed a very substandard GOP challenger to win. Then we had 9/11 which is everything about this two-term presidency. But that effect isn't eternal. Bush shouldn't have won the election, in terms of all his horrible numbers he did something no other incumbent has done. And his numbers keep getting worse. He's killing himself politically with this social security thing. All in all, I think he's creating a strong backlash against the GOP that we'll see in the next Congressional elections and the next Presidential election.

Not to mention the premise of Judis and Texeira's "The Rising Democratic Majority", which is that demographic changes, mostly increasing Hispanic populations in the west, strongly favor the Dems and the GOP hasn't found a way to counter it. Bush was supposed to be the magic personality that would capture the Hispanic vote. He hasn't. It's not going to happen because, if you look at the contemporary GOP, it's pretty clear that they are not friends of Hispanics (unless you happen to be a Hispanic CEO of a Fortune 500 company). The only thing that could screw up the long-term shift to the Democrats is that the old-guard left recaptures the party leadership and moves it farther to the left than centrist America will tolerate. Incidentally, Dean isn't an old-style liberal or leftist, he's more centrist than not. It was his hard-core groupies that were out-of-touch and have this idea that given the right conditions, middle-America will wake up and become revolutionary leftists. Yeah, um, right. Not Gonna Happen.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:55 PM on March 5, 2005


EB, my point of the DLC being to insider and centrist, was that the party, whether it was or not, appeared to be run by insiders and centrists. Gore ran a centrist campaign until the end, much like Humphrey in '68. He lost. The point being, that you can be a bad candidate and still have a message that resonates, like Bush, as long as you make the little people on the ground feel involved (whether they actually are or not). That's where the DLC failed. The DLC believed that the base would be there for them even while they were building bridges to the middle, but unless you throw occasional bones towards the grassroots groups, there won't be any of them. I don't want the fringe left to have complete political sway over the party, but I DO want them to at least have an ear in the party that listens to them.

I think you are right in your assumptions about the future of the county in many respects. The problem with the current republican faction, as you allude to, is that groups that want the government in the bedroom and groups that want the government dismantled can be only be friends for so long. The emerging power of the hispanic population is at the core of the democrat base from the start. What is currently happening in Montana is amazing, it's turning into Canada south under the leadership of their governor. And even in Minnesota, a state that has recently flirted with republicanism, it's turning back the other way to a big degree. But on to the south, the south is going to be a sea of red for decades. It's too bad there's so many damn states down there with all those Republican Senators.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:23 PM on March 5, 2005


hey, nofundy-- welcome back.
posted by koeselitz at 9:39 PM on March 5, 2005


"That's where the DLC failed. The DLC believed that the base would be there for them even while they were building bridges to the middle, but unless you throw occasional bones towards the grassroots groups, there won't be any of them. I don't want the fringe left to have complete political sway over the party, but I DO want them to at least have an ear in the party that listens to them."

You may be right, but having read the DLC's Ed Kilgore's New Donkey blog since it appeared, I think there's much less antagonism from the New Dems leftward than there used to be. However, I still see a lot of hostility going the other way. Which is why, I think, there was hostility from the DLC leftwards.

I don't doubt that some New Dems are truly centrist, "splitting the middle" types. And to some degree I agree with the common complaint against that mentality. You know, King Solomon and all that. (Or the story of the two kids disagreeing about sharing a cake: one wanted the whole thing, the other wanted to split it in half. The mom split the difference and gave one kid 3/4 and the other 1/4.) Yeah, the middle position between two positions isn't always correct or even often correct.

However, speaking for myself, my political beliefs pretty much don't at all fall along either the conventional one-dimensional line or even the libertarian two-dimensional plane. I'm strongly pro free-trade/globalization but also strongly pro single-payer health care system. Each of those positions on their own are considered, by American terms, to be fairly extreme. I'm a cultural liberal (strongly a cultural liberal, with the very important exception of the matter of "values", which I'll get to in a moment) and have a lot of confidence in neoliberal economics. Those two things in combination place me outside the traditional spectrum (though I have a lot of company). But my point is that because of all this, I'm more comfortable with the New Dems than with the Old Dems and for convenience's sake, call myself a "moderate" or a "centrist" when, really, on any given issue neither is the case.

But I think this describes the majority of centrist Americans, as well. One thing that's common to all my positions is a pragmatism, and I think centrist America is more pragmatic than it is split-the-middle dogmatic.

Kilgore and the DLC do continue to talk about "values" and I strongly agree with them that this is the one thing that the Dems have been out-of-step with most of America for a long time. And there's no avoiding a war on this matter, as there's a real collision of ideas and beliefs here. You see it here on mefi all the time: a very strong ethos of contemporary leftism is a fairly extreme moral relativism that oddly manages to be simultaneously allergic to words like "right" or "wrong" while somehow being very preachy and scolding everyone for their bad behavior.

In the recent MeTa u. n. owen brouhaha, ryvar wrote that he thought it was interesting that me, a self-styled "liberal" (and, according to him, loudly so) would compile my own little "axis of evil" list. But see, while I'm not in theory an absolutist and I don't accept the idea that there's some God setting the metaphysical rules on morality, I do strongly believe, in a practical sense, in "right" and "wrong". I'm a moralizer. This used to be acceptable among liberals. Liberal moralizers had a different set of values than conservatives, but they believed in them passionately, defended them, promoted them. And I think that centrist America (as well as right-wing America, of course) also strongly continues to believe in "right" and "wrong". I think the one thing that most puts them off contemporary liberals and Democrats is this shying away from moralism and moralistic talk. To many on the right (and the left) this equates to God talk. And that's probably why most of the left is uncomfortable with it. But in my case, I'm an atheist and so it's not "God talk" at all. Kilgore has tried to explain often that the Dems speaking the language of "values" is not necessarily "God talk". I think he's right.

A problem that the traditional Dem left has had is an attitude that unless you were with them on all issues, you were necessarily against them. This is not unlike the contemporary GOP and the Christian conservatives. Mark my words: the Christian conservatives have been the backbone of strength for the contemporary GOP, but they're going to eventually destroy the party. In a sense, both the Dems and the GOP need to be "big tents" because that's the way the American system works. So you can respect the extremes, give them a seat at the table, but if you let them control the agenda you're eventually going to sacrifice your party for a moment of fervor. I firmly believe that this is what the GOP is doing now.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:57 PM on March 5, 2005


I know this isn't really relevant, but just wanted to say how much I appreciate the reasoned debate and comment from the bunch here. Keep it up. You do us all proud.
posted by mk1gti at 9:57 PM on March 5, 2005


A problem that the traditional Dem left has had is an attitude that unless you were with them on all issues, you were necessarily against them.

I see that on a daily basis on the typical dem blogs, the proprieters of the traditional left. Even people in here like Dhoyt like to point out that "Obama splits with the party" as an assumed insult. From my experience, with experience and maturity comes the logical understanding that the perfect candidate does not exist nor can be created. That works for both sides. Bush is following the GOP playbook to dismantle social security. His approval rating has thusly dropped by 10 points in the last month amongst seniors. Any party that reaches to far to any extreme will be slapped back to the center by a massive election defeat by the ever shifting, but always centric American public.

I also agree with your point about moral absolution. The black versus white issue. The problem isn't so much that the democrats don't understand absolute right and absolute wrong, it's just that they're painted that way, and a lot of it by themselves. Take Bush for example. In these times, with wars and terrorism, much of America is looking at the bad guys in the old timey sense of good and bad. Not only does the Bush administration understand that, but they breed it. But since the democrats feel they must disagree with the current administration on every single topic (even when the administration is correct) the dems end up pushing themselves further and further away from embracing the positions that they hold. As the article points out, the party needs Truman's and Kennedys, it was Truman that dropped the bombs on Japan, but now it's only the left that brings up the idea of a land invasion of Japan as legitimate in the theory that it would save lives in collateral damage. The idea naturally excludes the collateral damage of urban warfare and the lost of potentially hundreds of thousands or more Americans in addition to the Japanese that would've died anyway. The best example of the democrats losing their ideals is in the theory of 'sprading democracy'. This is one of the ideas that Clinton embraced in his first four years, but didn't have the clout to do in his second term. The liberal left loved it, but now that the Bushies want to bring up the idea of 'spreading democracy', it becomes a boondoggle and stepping on other people's cultures.

It takes too much thought and effort to type out 3-4 paragraph comments. I have to call it quits for tonight. Thanks mk1gti.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:51 PM on March 5, 2005


just wanted to say how much I appreciate the reasoned debate and comment from the bunch here. Keep it up. You do us all proud.

Is it too late to blame Bush?
posted by Balisong at 11:00 PM on March 5, 2005


As usual, I disagree, mostly. Centrism doesn't and hasn't worked for the Dems. By alienating the left, they get a bunch of people who halfheartedly vote for them (if they bother), while doing nothing else to help them succeed (volunteering, trying to convince friends and family, etc.). The Republicans have every wacko righty working to spread their ideas and come up with new ones; half the left would be happy to see the Dems disintigrate.

And frankly, I think Americans have made it clear that they want politicians with passion and ideas. It seems every election, the Dems get beat, they figure they weren't "center" enough, rush to the middle (which has meanwhile been pushed to the right), then get beaten twice as hard. Clinton managed to get elected twice through sheer charisma. I could be wrong, it's true. But I'd pay a million dollars for the Dems to abandon this rush to the middle-right for two elections and prove me wrong. I've been a Democrat since I knew the difference, but I started voting for them on the Working Families' line, then I switched my official registration to Green, and if they don't get it together & put together a real vision for saving the middle class, I'll probably stop voting for them altogether. I'm not everyone but I'm not the only one, and the Dems should be ashamed that they are hemorrhaging folks who'd cut off their hands before they voted Repub.
posted by dame at 11:22 PM on March 5, 2005


Balisong
If any one of us failed to blame Bush and his followers, we would be doing a disservice to ourselves and humanity.
Blame Bush. Blame his followers. Expose the rot and move forward to fix the corruption that infests the american political system. Civilization demands it.
posted by mk1gti at 11:27 PM on March 5, 2005


And to be clear, I'm not talking about a leftist revolution. I'm talking about stopping the craven uselessness & coming up with some actual ideas in opposition to this "ownership society" crap. Screw Truman, I want a LaGuardia.
posted by dame at 11:29 PM on March 5, 2005


I want to make a proper comment, but I'm really tired. I'll give it a go but excuse me if things seem badly articulated.

If America wants "values" candidates, and the left wants a crackdown on perceived losses of rights or freedoms and perhaps some sort of acknowledgement of things being a little fucked up in Iraq, etc, and seniors want proper social security, and everyone wants jobs, etc. ...

Everything I've read since the election (once we got through the "omg" stage) from democrat-type thinkers seems to indicate that there is a very clear value/moral-based position to be taken here, and it would work well, and make sense. I think. I don't think it is time for the Democratic Party of Truman, or Kennedy, or whoever from the 20th century, I think it is time to quit looking back and define a real platform for the 21st century.

There are certain intrinsic properties of being human that it can be argued a majority Americans probably believe in. Among them very probably must be: a right to governmental due process & freedom from unjust detention, a right to privacy, a right to private property (insert DRM tie-in here for young voters), a right to security financial (social security) physical and medical (insert usual Dem rhetoric on medicine here whatever it is), and -- although this risks sounding pinko -- a right to equality of opportunity ... which is where one would mention jobs & education. perhaps if feeling lucky add dash of freedom of religion or something, to remember the non-christians.

Obviously these need to be made into those lovely catch phrases that Republicans are so good at using to frame the public dialogue, and developed further... but ... it seems marketable to me. And that is the key. Clear-cut marketable packaged ideas that people can get behind.

Clintons come along once a century or perhaps twice and are your wildcard victories. But when you don't have a super-charismatic candidate, you have to get back to basics, and do the marketing legwork. Republicans know these things very well at this point. They can sell BUSH for God's sake. Dems can win, they just have to remember how.

I hope to hell, anyway.
posted by blacklite at 1:32 AM on March 6, 2005


I think the "looking back" part is not so much about the substance of the platforms of those personalities, but that they were willing to take strong moral positions. There's a great deal of modern liberalism—the examples you give are very good—that is implicitly all about strong moral positions. Dems just need to have the courage to embrace this.

A big problem they have is that they've so long run away from taking strong moral positions, and often equivocate, that they have much less credibility than do the Republicans in this area. So the battle is not fought on an even playing field: a Dem being outraged about, say, the Abu Ghraib torture is more suspected of grandstanding than is a Republican taking a similarly strong moral position on something. So only a Dem with impeccable credentials and charisma is going to be taken seriously this way, or there has to be some reform in the party so that the currently ambiguous message to the public is ended.

I think the biggest problem facing the traditional left, and I think dame's comments illustrate this, is that the traditional left sees the only real political issue as economics. And the reason this is a problem is because, for the most, that dialogue has ended. It's mostly ended worldwide with a consensus reached on something somewhere in between neoliberal economics and social democratism. More to the point, though, is that the debate in the US has long ended and where it reached a consensus was something very close to neoliberal economics. In a broad sense, Americans believe in market economics and they are pro-business. They believe in the "American dream". Class-based political mobilization isn't effective here because too many Americans, rightly or wrongly, think of themselves as upwardly economically mobile. This creates a built-in tilt towards the current (well, long-standing) GOP plutocracy politics.

This has created an unreal situation, as the middle-class is disapearing even as middle-class Americans think of Bush as their friend when he's robbing them to give to the ultra-wealthy. Even so, speaking to them as poor people against the rich people, or even the patronizing "working people" against the business people, is not a winning strategy given the American mindset. Instead, the proper and effective way to attack BushCo policies is to show how they're not in accordance with market economics and what Americans think of as "capitalism". They're not, in short, compatible with the "American Dream".

Americans are pro-business, they're self-centered and suspicious of world opinion, they are militaristic, on a few issues they are noticably more culturally conservative than Europeans (capital punishment, abortion). This isn't going to change. Not in a compartive sense. That is, we'll continue moving leftward on these and similar issues, but lagging behind the Europeans for the foreseeable future. Any attempt to run a party that has any chance at directing American policy has to be aware of and deal with this simple reality.

And even if, these days, I think that I'd be happier in a northern European country that's moderating its democratic socialism with neoliberal economics; I still believe that the US has steadily moved leftward in most respects for a very long time now and there's hope in a lot of areas. While most Americans could never imagine themselves being members of the Green Party, like dame is, in the last thirty years Americans have, by and large, embraced environmentalism as an important (but not the only important) ethic. This is a deep contrast to fifty or more years ago. Culturally, in almost every way, the dominant American culture has moved steadily leftward. That this is the case, is exactly why cultural conservatives have turned to coccooning themselves in their mega-churches with their day-care centers, schools, fast-food restaurants, and everything else. They're deeply alienated from an American culture that is very liberal relative to their values. And that's not going to change. We hear more from these folks because they're desperate, not because they have any chance of winning this war. They're the losers. Angry losers.

The only measure by which America is hopelessly conservative is when it's measured against the aspirations of leftists. But by any historical standard, the US is astonishingly liberal. You can't say that corporations run amock if your comparison is to the corporations of fifty or a hundred years ago. They run amok relative to what we would like, true.

The point I'm trying to make here is that a) the trend of history is with the left, not the right; and b) while you can toss the dream of a socialist American utopia right out the window, there's still huge potential to increase social and economic justice. I am fairly certain that we'll see something like a socialized health care system before I die, for example. Even in the ten years since Clinton's attempt at reform, the national mood has become more favorable to major reform, there's a broad consensus now in the middle that there's a problem—a consensus that was only tenuous ten years ago.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:41 AM on March 6, 2005


Wow, can I come live in your magical America? Because in my America, Repubs are working their damndest to get us back to McKinley and no one cares. In my America, the only way to stop a bankruptcy bill that wouldn't give an exemption to medical bankrupticies (which have doubled since 1994 to the extent that 1 in 51 kids live in a household that declares bankruptcy [yeah that came from NPR]) is to attatch an amendment that would ensure that bankrupt folks have to pay their antiabortion judgement fines.

And just where do you think this socialized medicine is going to come from? Out of the ether? It needs a real personality that speaks to the middle class not "as poor people," but as people who deserve a better quality of life because they live in one of the richest nations on earth. And of course it comes down to economics for leftists; we're generally culturally liberal to the point that there is no cultural program but "leave people alone." It's not that economics determine life, but that economics is what politics are about.

And this "neoliberal consensus" nonsense isn't forever. The right didn't look at the Great Society and decide that a "liberal consensus" was it and give up. They spent decades convincing people and undoing it. I'm sorry but I've spent my whole life watching people sell themselves down the river (including under that namby-pamby Clinton). To sit back and think, "Ah, they're trending left," would be delusional.

You have to fight for what you want. You may not win everything, but you'll get more than if you never bothered. If you are right, and they are trending left, that will just make it easier.
posted by dame at 7:40 AM on March 6, 2005


what dame said.

and Perot. Do not ever forget him.

The DLC has gotten way too much credit for something that wasn't theirs to begin with. If there wasn't a Perot, Clinton would not have gotten in at all in 92. There has always been tension between the diff wings of the Democratic party, and it's a strength of ours, except when it comes to Presidential elections, because our message is not as clear as it should be, which is a result of all the different groups that are at home with Democrats, something not true with Repubs anymore.

This used to be acceptable among liberals. Liberal moralizers had a different set of values than conservatives, but they believed in them passionately, defended them, promoted them. And I think that centrist America (as well as right-wing America, of course) also strongly continues to believe in "right" and "wrong". I think the one thing that most puts them off contemporary liberals and Democrats is this shying away from moralism and moralistic talk.
Bullshit. People have never shied away from talking morals and values--our morals and values as Democrats are in tune with the majority of Americans, as the current SS thing shows. I just posted in the Frank Luntz playbook thread quotes he included from Clinton and Edwards--we don't shy away from anything, and what should be said is that we're not effectively communicating those values and morals--see OWillis' Brand Democrat stuff for a solution to that. Painting Democrats as scared to talk morality is buying into the Republican talking points, and you should know better. Just because Democrats have been painted as godless heathens for 5 years (more, actually) does not mean its true--at all. And to credit the Repubs who talk morality but do not ever practice it at all is absurd.
posted by amberglow at 8:01 AM on March 6, 2005


I hope Dean/DNC is paying attention to this stuff
posted by amberglow at 8:05 AM on March 6, 2005


The Dems had better hope the economic card will play, because it's the only card they hold. Opposition to the war is now a major--soon, possibly suicidal--liability.

If present trends in the middle east continue, here's what the antiwar voices (among which CommonDreams is prominent, along with the other usual suspects) are looking at:

What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along? (Chicago Sun-Times)

Um, `Could Bush be right?' (Chicago Tribune)

Could George W. Bush Be Right? (Der Spiegel)

What Bush Got Right (Newsweek)

The Iraq effect? Bush may have had it right (PBS's Daniel Schorr)

Of course "if present trends continue" is a big if. I would not, however, like to be in the shoes of those who now must hope that the democratic remaking of the middle east fails, because it might (indeed certainly will) redound to the credit of GWB and lead to further Republican wins. Nevertheless, I'm sure the usual suspects are up to the moral challenge.

P.S. going on history, the economic card is not a world-beater except during recessions (e.g. "It's the economy, stupid.") So, usual suspects, you'll really need to light a candle and pray hope earnestly for economic recession over here, while not forgetting to light another in hope of islamofascist victory over there. Alternatively, start now to accustom yourselves to saying "President Rice."

(Oops, another candle, hope earnestly that we do not elect our first black, first female president next time around.)
posted by jfuller at 8:41 AM on March 6, 2005


From owillis's Brand Democrat page:

> It's not talking about health care in Michigan or jobs in Boise. It's having a
> set of commandments, as it were, for what every Democrat coast to coast can
> identify as his bedrock.

Help my google-fu out here, amberglow. All I can find on owillis's pages are posters and other visual soundbites. Are these commandments posted anywhere? I'd like to see them, there may even be some I can support. Hell, I've voted for local and state Democrats--even some who aren't in the Klan.

But if the commandments (the list of core principles that will unite, as Oliver says, Democrats from Oklahoma to New Jersey) are not available--or if we're leaving the job of deciding on them until later while we polish the media campaign--then Brand Democrat will be just like any other brand, all marketing and no substance, and I feel certain the voters will notice. We may not know much but we have certainly been trained and overtrained to know what it feels like to be marketed at.
posted by jfuller at 9:03 AM on March 6, 2005


those are them. those visual soundbites are the commandments. just like repub talking points. We already have more substance than the repub talking points, which actually are all marketing and no substance. We've accomplished great things, and can show it. "No Child Left Behind" is a lie. "Healthy Forest Initiative" is a lie. speaking of a "Culture of Life" while you wage elective wars and kill thousands and thousands is a lie.

Ours are truth.

it's things like these: If you like good schools, clean air, safe food, equality, respect, free speech and a secure nation...You just might be a Democrat.

Because bigotry isn’t a moral value.

Stop terror. Kill terrorists.

...
posted by amberglow at 9:50 AM on March 6, 2005


Mission accomplished, right, jfuller?

First of all, the idea that liberals the nation over are praying for disaster at home and abroad in order to regain power is patently ridiculous and, worse, is a slimy, craven attempt to assail the patriotism of Democrats. You have learned the power of the dark side well, young Skywalker.

Whatever the outcome of the elections, a lot of us mainstream Democrats are furious at the party for not responding in an intelligent way to the GOP in the past 11 years. The party, with Bill Clinton and the DLC at the helm, has allowed itself to be cowed into the irrelevant "republican lite" facsimile that we see today. The party has abadondoned its traditional values of the promotion of social justice, and the minimization of the gap between rich and poor. , in favor of a grease the wheels for free trade approach, which has played right into Republican hands.

Win, lose or draw in the midterms and the next general election, I'd like my party to actually stand for something that can believe in rather than a big wet paper bag of special interest.
posted by psmealey at 9:51 AM on March 6, 2005


Freedom Plus Groceries: You can see this dynamic at work in the Democrats' campaign -- so far, a very successful one -- on Social Security. When liberals defend broad social-insurance programs that make most people better off, we win. This is what the voters want: a market free enough to promote robust growth and the creation of new stuff, along with a market tempered by enough regulation and social insurance to ensure that everyone shares in the rising tide of prosperity.
posted by amberglow at 10:48 AM on March 6, 2005


hey, nofundy-- welcome back.
posted by koeselitz

*blush* Gee, thanks!

The Dems are playing catch up in building their own Wurlitzer and that will make a major difference. A lie may go around the world while the truth puts it's pants on but the truth must prevail and overcoming the BIG LIE is a major challenge for the party.

Another change that will change the dynamics of the Dem party is the purging of all the spineless compromisers of the past (and someties current party.) The Repubs changed the rules of the game and its time to start recognizing that fact and responding in kind. Fight fire with fire and don't take a knife to a gun fight.
posted by nofundy at 11:11 AM on March 6, 2005


> Another change that will change the dynamics of the Dem party is the purging
> of all the spineless compromisers of the past (and someties current party.)

You mean Hillary, right? If you're gonna purge Hillary please wait a minute, I want to get my camera. And some rubber garments, because there's going to be major puddles of exposed body fluids lying around before that one's over. Oy, that's just what the Dems need right now to take back America--a good loud bloody intra-party purge. Here's hoping.

Purging and consolidating its ranks, destroying the enemies of the Party and relentlessly combating distortions of the Party line, the Bolshevik Party rallied closer than ever around its Central Committee, under whose leadership the Party and the Soviet land now passed to a new stage - the completion of the construction of a classless, Socialist society.
posted by jfuller at 1:53 PM on March 6, 2005


Once again, I am baffled by the Right's (as exemplified by jfuller) obsession with Hillary Clinton. I have never once heard a leftist liberal express any desire to see her hold highest office whatsoever. She's a conservative sellout, just like her husband. (I'll refrain from using the word "traitor," which I reserve for nation-destroying criminals such as John Walker Lindh, Timothy McVeigh and Dick Cheney.) Vitriol aside, why do you people keep talking about her so much?
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:55 PM on March 6, 2005


Well put, Faint. Personally, the only lady I can think of off the top of my head that I would love to see in the Oval Place is Carol Moseley Braun. But that could be because she was the first politician I heard say, "We need to disengage healthcare from employment." Also, I think she looks nice.
posted by dame at 3:23 PM on March 6, 2005


> why do you people keep talking about her so much?

Gee, you folks are just aching to be blindsided all over again, aintcha? I mention her because she's widely regarded as the leading Democratic candidate for 2008, maybe? If Dean resigns his current post to become a candidate also, we'll see exactly the knife'n'gunfight between the true-blue Deaniacs and the sellout Clintonistas that nofundy hungers for.

> I have never once heard a leftist liberal express any desire to see her hold
> highest office whatsoever.

Well, but exactly. And if you manage to purge everybody from the Democratic party except the leftist liberals, Hillary won't have a chance for the nomination. (Of course, if that happens, the remnant true-believer Democrats won't have a chance in the election. They'll come in 17th, behind the Vegetarians. BUT THEY'LL BE PURE! hee hee hee.)
posted by jfuller at 3:33 PM on March 6, 2005


Jfuller, nofundy is the only leftist here who has wished for a purge, so responding to Faint's point by conflating him with nofundy is useless. No leftist wants Hillary to win, but they'll probably vote for her anyway unless they lose their tempers and go the third party route. But really, Faint's point was that pretending that the leftists love Hillary is untrue. So can you please stop reading people's words in the way most appropriate to your lame-o right wing fantasy?
posted by dame at 3:48 PM on March 6, 2005


jfuller, look to your own party for a badly-needed purge--you have amoral, hypocritical psychos in charge, and people know it.

Try purging the Santorum from your bowels first--DeLay's already in big trouble.
posted by amberglow at 3:55 PM on March 6, 2005


That's a neat little trick comparing the primary election process to a "purge" by the Bolsheviks jfuller.
If a party finds some of their representatives unsuitable it can hardly be characterized as some bloody uprising.
The people of New York will decide whether Ms. Clinton meets their criteria and I'd hardly call someone brave enough to advocate national health care as spineless.
Why must you come and shit in a thread by attempting to twist another's words to suit your dissonant viewpoint?

What amberglow said. How easily one could come up with a list of Repubs who are totally unsuitable to represent the American people! Too bad you have so much hatred for such a fine example of an intelligent, compassionate and successful woman. Do I smell misogyny?
posted by nofundy at 4:25 PM on March 6, 2005


> Too bad you have so much hatred for such a fine example of an intelligent,
> compassionate and successful woman. Do I smell misogyny?

Nofundy, to detect evil where none exists is to cooperate in the creation of evil. When did I ever say I hated Hillary? Point to it! Actually, the more she drifts centerward the more I like her. A woman capable of growth! Her developing position on abortion ("safe, legal and never," linked above) is my own position, exactly.

> Why must you come and shit in a thread by attempting to twist another's words
> to suit your dissonant viewpoint?

You know, I've seen girls-only threads on AskMe. Have we now arrived at lefties-only threads in the blue, where a dissonant viewpoint equates to shitting? If so, that's cool with me, but better call it out in the fpp so outsiders will be forewarned not to trespass.
posted by jfuller at 7:25 PM on March 6, 2005


The objection isn't that you aren't a leftie, dill hole, it's that you argue by twisting other people's words to suit your argument. Kind of like how you take objections to your poor arguments for signs saying "lefties only" and conflate that with something that never actually happened (the AskMe threads were "no dumb comments about girl stuff being icky"). But you've proven nuance and understanding really aren't your thing, haven't you?
posted by dame at 9:58 PM on March 6, 2005


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