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What's Wrong with the Democratic Party?
March 20, 2006 6:03 AM   Subscribe

What's wrong with the Democratic Party? Leave it to the Daily Show's Matt Haughey Ed Helms and former Ohio senatorial candidate Paul Hackett to hit the nail on the head.
posted by Saucy Intruder (100 comments total)

 
Perhaps it would have been nice to include a link to the Crooks and Liars post as opposed to just leeching off them [which doesn't seem to work anyway].
posted by cloeburner at 6:12 AM on March 20, 2006


I saw this last week and it made me terribly depressed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:14 AM on March 20, 2006


The Republican Party does the same thing to members who dare have their own opinions.

The questions should not be, "What's wrong with the Democratic Party?" It should be, "How can we disrupt the two-team system, and how can we turn the teams back into parties?"

Maybe that was two questions.
posted by flarbuse at 6:25 AM on March 20, 2006


[changed the post to link to the post and not the direct MOV/WMV links which don't work]
posted by jessamyn at 6:26 AM on March 20, 2006


Thankfully, Paul Hackett isn't the only veteran running as a Democrat this cycle.

I wonder if the Democratic establishment is going to handle Jim Webb's Senate Campaign with any more grace.

He's a former Navy Secretary under Reagan and wrote Fields of Fire, who is running as a Democrat. The National Review thinks that's a very bad sign for the GOP. I hope the Democrats recognize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for re-alignment when they see it and stop shooting themselves in the foot by running out good candidates who may not toe the party line 100%.
posted by empath at 6:30 AM on March 20, 2006


Thanks, jessamyn. Sorry bout that, everyone.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:34 AM on March 20, 2006


Oh please, Paul Hackett is the biggest cry-baby in politics.

Let's review what actually happened. People asked Paul Hackett to run for senate, and he delayed and delayed giving an answer, and finally Sherod Brown decided to run. All the top people who worked on Hackett's congressional campaign went over to Brown's campaign.

A couple days later Hackett says he's going to run. Of course, at this point he has no one to help run his campaign.

The primary battle starts up, and Brown Raises millions of dollars, and Hackett Raises hundreds of thousands. And yes, the DC establishment backs brown, and asks Hackett's donors to stop donating.

So what? that's politics why is he so shocked that people, you know, have an opinion and, you know oppose him?

Well, that's what politics is, Hackett claimed he was a 'fighter' but he ended up saying "screw you guys, I'm going home". He's the biggest crybaby of this electoral cycle so far.

Of course, all this comes from my reading Daily Kos, so it could be totally incorrect.
posted by delmoi at 6:35 AM on March 20, 2006


Counter-argument from New Republic writer and Georgetown senior Tim Fernholz.
Diarists at DailyKos and MyDD argue that Hackett’s withdrawal came at the hands of the establishment, and they’re right—it did. And that’s exactly what should have happened: As Ezra Klein notes, it’s the party leadership’s job to make sure that the strongest candidates are running in competitive races. Once upon a time, it seemed like every other Daily Kos thread wondered why the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee weren’t paying attention to their favorite race. Now that they’re involved up to their elbows, it’s strange that the activists are complaining.

Sure, it looks bad when Hackett leaves the race spewing bile, but its hardly the fault of DCCC Chair Representative Rahm Emmanuel or his DSCC counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer. Both have been trying to massage Hackett back into OH-2 for months. Hackett complained that party officials told campaign donors to end their support for his candidacy, but that’s what happens when you can’t take a hint in the big leagues. As Klein and other smart pundits are noting, the establishment didn’t care that Hackett was an ‘outsider’ (look how good they are at co-opting outsiders: think Barack Obama at the DNC National Convention), they cared that he was a political novice with 11 months of political experience entering a statewide race without a campaign to back him.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:35 AM on March 20, 2006


I saw this last week and it made me terribly depressed.

Please, did it ever occur to you that a Daily Show segment might not be the best way to get an accurate idea about something?

They didn't make any effort to talk to anyone besides the consultant guy, who they made seem as boring as they could. It was funny, but hardly fair.

In comparison to Hackett, look at Dean. Dean was an iconoclast inside the party, and the entire establishment was against him. But he didn't quit and then go whining about it on the daily show. He campaigned, lost, and then he fought tooth and nail to try to get Kerry elected. Unfortunately, that was a bit of an up hill battle but at least he tried.

Hackett quits the race when the establishment decides they like someone else, and then goes whining about it on the Daily Show.

Pathetic.
posted by delmoi at 6:40 AM on March 20, 2006


"I care about the environment. That's why I'm standing in front of this river."

Still laughing about that one.
posted by illovich at 6:42 AM on March 20, 2006


think Barack Obama at the DNC National Convention), they cared that he was a political novice with 11 months of political experience entering a statewide race without a campaign to back him.

Exactly, this guy was brand new to politics He'd run in a congressional race, against a retarded walking skeleton. And he lost. Yeah, he did pretty well given the demographics, but still. He's inexperienced and doesn't know what he's doing, and obviously had trouble dealing with political realities.

The establishment wanted him to run in the same congressional district against Jean Schmitt again, who's made a fool of herself in congress.

Oh well, whatever.
posted by delmoi at 6:44 AM on March 20, 2006


I like Hackett.
He stood up and spoke against the incompetent boobs when other Dems were hiding behind momma's apron.
Regardless of what has transpired since, that gives him creds as a fighter so you know where to stick your crybaby comment, OK?
I regret that he has decided to abstain from politics because our country could use more like him.
posted by nofundy at 6:44 AM on March 20, 2006


I left the Democratic Party quite awhile ago, primarily because of its castrated "opposition" to the republican crime family.

Still, how is this post any different than a Single-Link-Op-Ed?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:45 AM on March 20, 2006


You all know that this is like discussion of baseball, right? You want your team to win (I follow the Red Sox and the Democrats), but if they don't, nothing really changes. And you can argue a lot about what your team isn't doing right, but they won't listen to you.

I'm only bringing this up because a lot of people who like politics but don't like baseball think that they are smarter than people who follow baseball. Guess what? Even if the Democrats win, the same corporations own the Democrats. So you're better off watching baseball because it's more honest-- baseball doesn't pretend to fix anything.

Also, I am sick of the links to Daily Show-related stuff. I have cable and I could watch the show when it airs or via six million Bittorrent trackers if I wanted to see it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:51 AM on March 20, 2006


People asked Paul Hackett to run for senate, and he delayed and delayed giving an answer, and finally Sherod Brown decided to run.

Uh, that's not quite right, delmoi. It was *Brown* who first dithered about running for that Senate seat; at one point, he turned it down flat. Here's the sequence of events you mischaracterized pretty badly:

On August 17, Brown posted a letter on his Web site GrowOhio.org, announcing he wouldn't run for Senate, and since 17th District Congressman Tim Ryan had also declined to run, it looked like the Democrats might have trouble finding a candidate. That's when Hackett stepped in...

In mid-September, Hackett started to lay the groundwork for a Senate run and paid Brown a call at his D.C. office...Hackett says that in the meeting Brown spoke "in a general way" about supporting him in the Senate race; Brown says it was clear that he gave no endorsement. In either case, the take-away was that Brown wasn't getting in the race.

But three weeks later, Brown changed his mind...In early October, Brown called both Hackett and DeWine to let them know he was in. "Telling those two guys," he says, "it wasn't the most fun day of my life."


That's quite a bit different from your version of the facts, delmoi.
posted by mediareport at 6:59 AM on March 20, 2006


Yes, Mayor Curley. Because God knows Al Gore or John Kerry would have led us into war with Iraq, as Saddam Hussein had once threatened to kill both their fathers.

I used to agree what you were saying, but I've seen so much evidence that there is a genuine difference bwteen candidtaes. A recent example: My city flooded and I saw an incompetent adminstration fuck things up even more. Perhaps the Democratic candidates wouldn't have been ideal, but, Jesus, they wouldn't have been anywhere near as malcompetent as this administration. And that counts for something.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:01 AM on March 20, 2006


I like Hackett alot, but I have to say if he's going to bail after the mild mistreatment he got from his fellow Dems, you kinda have to think that he wouldn't have been able to tough out the general election.
posted by empath at 7:05 AM on March 20, 2006


Perhaps the Democratic candidates wouldn't have been ideal, but, Jesus, they wouldn't have been anywhere near as malcompetent as this administration. And that counts for something.

I would have done a better job too, but no one voted for me.
posted by Witty at 7:05 AM on March 20, 2006


Perhaps the Democratic candidates wouldn't have been ideal, but, Jesus, they wouldn't have been anywhere near as malcompetent as this administration. And that counts for something.

If we're going to have bad government (and my point is that we are), I would rather it be flamingly bad rather than offer false hope. That way people might actually rise up and fix it. Or the country will separate, which would totally restore my faith in politics.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:14 AM on March 20, 2006


Even if the Democrats win, the same corporations own the Democrats.

Well, no. Hollywood and unions own the Democrats. Big Oil and defense contractors own the GOP. Big difference.

/cynical
posted by kableh at 7:14 AM on March 20, 2006


my <cynical> tag remains unmatched...
posted by beerbajay at 7:16 AM on March 20, 2006




More Ed Helms Lookalikes
posted by craniac at 7:16 AM on March 20, 2006


I would have done a better job too, but no one voted for me.

That's not true! I voted for you! I was trying to vote for Nader, and Mayor Curley bumped my elbow, so it wound up as a vote for Witty. I figured it didn't matter either way.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:17 AM on March 20, 2006


You mean What's One Thing Wrong with Political Parties.
posted by tomplus2 at 7:18 AM on March 20, 2006


Hollywood and unions own the Democrats.

There are influential unions again? Since when?
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:20 AM on March 20, 2006


Seriously. Hollywood and the unions don't own shit, other than a some mansions in Malibu and a few congresscritters from the upper midwest.
posted by psmealey at 7:32 AM on March 20, 2006


Brown lent him much of his staff when he ran for OH-2. Now Hackett whines because they left him to work for the guy whose been their boss for a long time. Hackett is a fighter--sometimes that isn't enough.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:33 AM on March 20, 2006


Wanna see the real whiners? The WATBs!
posted by nofundy at 8:04 AM on March 20, 2006


Still, how is this post any different than a Single-Link-Op-Ed?

Duh, because this one is a Single-Link-Op-Ed-Helms!

Wakka wakka wakka!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:25 AM on March 20, 2006


I would have done a better job too, but no one voted for me.
posted by Witty at 7:05 AM PST on March 20 [!]


If it came down t Witty vs. Bush I'd vote bush in a minute.
posted by delmoi at 8:37 AM on March 20, 2006


That's quite a bit different from your version of the facts, delmoi.

It is, but like I said it was all from DKos. Still, it's basically what I recall of the various announcements. I remember Brown's public announcement before Hackets'
posted by delmoi at 8:40 AM on March 20, 2006


“You want your team to win (I follow the Red Sox and the Democrats), but if they don't, nothing really changes.” - Mayor Curley

Your naiveté amuses me human. Kang is clearly superior to Kodos.
(I cede to the nuances of Astro Zombie’s arguments - there are differences between candidates which are substantial, and can have an impact on people’s lives but party to party it appears the same interests are holding the reins (boy that Clinton is chummy with Bush Sr. isn’t he?) )

Band-aid off fast vs. band-aid off slow perhaps...hmm.

I do like Hackett. He seems like he honestly wants to change things within the system. Which is why he’s probably never going to get elected to high office.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:44 AM on March 20, 2006


/everyone voted for me, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let politics screw up my life too, man.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:45 AM on March 20, 2006


I am pleased to negate delmoi's vote.
posted by Richard Daly at 8:47 AM on March 20, 2006


like I said it was all from DKos.

Oh, come on. You got it about 180 degrees wrong, regardless of what you remember. Hackett never would have entered the race if Brown hadn't been hesitant for months because of concerns over his marriage, among other things. In other words, Brown created the problem. Hackett was squeezed by Brown's indecisiveness and see-sawing, not the other way around, as Brown acknowledges in that quote about not having a fun day when he told Hackett the news.

Just try not to be so certain when posting things you're not sure about, you know? That said, I think it's obvious that Hackett should have bowed down as the weaker Senate candidate and taken the House race instead.
posted by mediareport at 8:50 AM on March 20, 2006


I loved this when i saw it.
posted by nuclear_soup at 8:52 AM on March 20, 2006


The Daily Show bit is spot on about the lack of Democratic charisma, but it doesn't mean Hackett isn't a punk

He refused to run in the congressional district against Jean Schmidt, the race he lost last time but had a better chance of winning rather than the Senate seat, because he told the other candidates he wasn't going to run.

What a stupid thing to base your decisions around. These aren't orphans needing food. They are political candidates. If he really was the better man for the job, then the other Dem candidates would understand. Unless thye're like him.

He stepped down before the primary so we don't even know if he would have gotten the primary vote. He said he was dropping out of politics altogether, so who knows what happens to the money people have been sending in for his campaign.
posted by destro at 9:01 AM on March 20, 2006


I saw this last week and it made me terribly depressed.

Please, did it ever occur to you that a Daily Show segment might not be the best way to get an accurate idea about something?


I saw an appealing, handsome, smart Iraq vet with a sense of humor, a passion for the issues and a Democratic registration not running. Yes, I found it depressing.
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:05 AM on March 20, 2006


Hackett could have beat the crap out of Jean Schmidt this time around. But I recall him saying he had made promises that he wouldn't run in the House race this year.

I appreciate that he's miffed. But this is no way for him to handle it. There's a reason it's a Democratic "Party", and that's not just because there's a punchbowl and chips. You've got to be a team player, be willing to pay your dues and fit into the party dynamics (at least to a degree).

With his bitter withdrawal and scorched earth policy of handling it, he's demonstrated he's not really ready for the big leagues. I hope he hasn't ruined himself forever, nor done damage to the Brown campaign.

We have a somewhat similar situation in AZ-5. Judge Larry King has been running for Congress to unseat Hayworth (Lord, let it be so). He said he'd drop out of the race, though, if the very popular Harry Mitchell were to get into the race. Mitchell declared last week, King is planning to run anyway. The flip-flop makes me wonder if King was ever really ready for prime time. I hope he doesn't bring bitterness to the primaries.

For that matter, Mitchell is an outstanding public servant with statewide name appeal and good networks. He was the Mayor of Tempe (where ASU is located) for many years and was so popular he had a statue made to honor him (pretty uncommon for Arizonans). The 5th District would be FAR better served by Mitchell than by the Abramoff-tainted, bombastic, ex-sports-announcer Catophile Hayworth.
posted by darkstar at 9:13 AM on March 20, 2006


Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos! (Is what I'll whimper quietly as they pound the last nail into my coffin)
posted by blue_beetle at 9:20 AM on March 20, 2006


What's wrong with the Democratic Party?

It's the same thing that is wrong with the Republican party:
The problem with both political parties is that the internet has let the lunatic fringes out of the closet and given them more exposure and influence. The politicians are then forced to embrace the lunatic fringes to a disappointing degree.

So, the problem with the Democratic Party? They have been over-run by the lunatic fringe. It used to be the case that they could keep the nutjobs out there on the edges and hide them. That is why the DLC and Brother Bill were so successful. But with the advent of the internet, the nutjobs like the Kossacks and Moveon (and some of the people here) are more vocal and get more attention than they otherwise would have. This puts the Democratic party in a difficult position. Be what it has historically been and where it was successful? Or try to embrace the lunatic fringe? Or try to do both? But by embracing the extremes, the party alienates the moderates in its ranks. And often, the moderates will have more contempt for the extremists on their side than the extremists on the others. Because the extremists on their side make them look bad. But as the extremists get more voice and power, politicians will try to embrace their views. And the moderates will look elsewhere.

That is why things "seem more polarized." It's because the poles have more voice and influence. And that is what wrong with both parties.

The lunatic fringes are trying to change politics. And they are. And this country is the worse for it.
posted by dios at 9:26 AM on March 20, 2006


I've been saying that Dems and Reps are all the same.
posted by j-urb at 9:26 AM on March 20, 2006


meh.
posted by OmieWise at 9:35 AM on March 20, 2006


The lunatic fringes are trying to change politics. And they are. And this country is the worse for it.
posted by dios at 9:26 AM PST on March 20 [!]




IRONY.
posted by stenseng at 9:36 AM on March 20, 2006


dios: "the moderates will have more contempt for the extremists on their side than the extremists on the others. Because the extremists on their side make them look bad."

I totally agree with that.

As a Republican who's been seriously toying with the idea of permanently becoming Independent, it's unpleasant when Michael Moore dissembles, misrepresents and generally acts the fool. But it's somehow ten times worse when the radicals of the Right (e.g., DeLay, Frist, Coburn, Hayworth, Bush and his administration, etc.) act in ways that seriously undermine our country and give conservatives a bad name.

I think that's why I tend to be much more outspoken about the excesses and idiocy of the Right than the Left. And why, at this point, I'd jump at the chance to vote for a common-sense fiscally conservative, socially moderate Democrat, even though I've been a Republican all my life.
posted by darkstar at 9:43 AM on March 20, 2006


I would love to see the Dkos people get together with mefites and other "internet people" and try to win a national office. You'd find things aren't as obvious as they seem. Middle America has little in common with our NPR listening political junky niche.

Funny piece though.
posted by skallas at 9:44 AM on March 20, 2006


Just try not to be so certain when posting things you're not sure about, you know? That said, I think it's obvious that Hackett should have bowed down as the weaker Senate candidate and taken the House race instead.

I said, in my initial post:

Of course, all this comes from my reading Daily Kos, so it could be totally incorrect.

I hardly consider DKos to be a reliable news outlet. Still, Hackett came off as a crybaby. Why did he deserve the establishment's support? He could have run as an anti-establishment candidate, but chose not too. And then he goes whining about it, rather then bowing out gracefully.
posted by delmoi at 9:44 AM on March 20, 2006


Also, we always know what football coaches should have done instead.
posted by skallas at 9:46 AM on March 20, 2006


I saw an appealing, handsome, smart Iraq vet with a sense of humor, a passion for the issues and a Democratic registration not running. Yes, I found it depressing.

Yeah, he's not running because the OH-2 congressional seat isn't good enough for him, apparently. And the dem establishment wanted him in that race.

And regardless of what went on between Hackett and Brown, I'm pretty sure Brown announced first.
posted by delmoi at 9:49 AM on March 20, 2006


The consultant's office had the poster for the 1972 political satire The Candidate, where Robert Redford plays an inexperienced Democratic Senate candidate who's expected to lose the election and uses the freedom of not being expected to win to speak his mind on the issues. In his 1972 New York Times review, Vincent Canby said:
We all know that men who run for public office hoping only to improve the tone of the campaign, to raise the real issues, usually fail--and look terrible on television, which may be even worse. We suspect that only winning counts, yet we also fondly believe--since we've seen it demonstrated often enough--that the system is so corrupt that no good man can win without either being hopelessly corrupted or turned into a bewildered cipher.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:56 AM on March 20, 2006


Michael Moore dissembles, misrepresents and generally acts the fool. But it's somehow ten times worse when the radicals of the Right (e.g., DeLay, Frist, Coburn, Hayworth, Bush and his administration, etc.) act in ways that seriously undermine our country and give conservatives a bad name.

Might have something to do with the amount of power that each has. I mean Michael More is more like the Ann Coulter or someone. Noticeable, but almost completely powerless beyond selling books/movies. Who is the equivalent of DeLay/Frist/Coburn/Bush on the democratic ticket? Dean? Some people might consider him a bit of a radical but he's hardly got much policy power in the party.

There are people who seem to value moderation for moderation's sake. That's just stupid. It's been plainly obvious that what bush has been doing has been wrong and stupid for a long, long time. And the American people are finally starting to realize it.

Yet, democrats are still afraid to kick bush even when he's down and everyone hates him. Why?

The American people want someone who is strong. How can they expect someone to stand up to Al Quada when they won't even stand up to Bush?
posted by delmoi at 9:57 AM on March 20, 2006


Dios:

Once again, you just vent a post full of bile with no concrete examples and no facts to back it up.

Blah blah DKos sucks, Move On are commie pinkos, blah blah blah. It's trite, cliche and boring. Stop it.
posted by empath at 10:11 AM on March 20, 2006


dios, DKos is hardly a fringe organization. They represent the alternative to the corporatist, centrist nanny-state Democrat coalition of Clinton, Lieberman, and Biden, people who are to liberal Democrats what Linc Chafee and Olympia Snowe are to mainstream neocon slash theocratic Republicans.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:13 AM on March 20, 2006


A recent example: My city flooded and I saw an incompetent adminstration fuck things up even more. Perhaps the Democratic candidates wouldn't have been ideal, but, Jesus, they wouldn't have been anywhere near as malcompetent as this administration.

Gee... I guess you missed the part about Louisiana having a democratic governor and New Orleans having a democratic mayor... The blame starts with those two individuals, plain and simple -- and don't go jumping to the conclusion that I'm some card carrying neo-con republican... that couldn't be further from the truth.

The simple fact is that people on both sides of the isle are utterly without backbone and consistently fail to speak up against those in their own party who are vile, malicious or incompetent. Examples can be found in both major parties. On balance, neither side is going to do any real good for us -- though they may well do different sorts of evil from the evils done by the other. Anything short of recognizing that is delusion.
posted by incongruity at 10:15 AM on March 20, 2006


Hackett is the political equivalent of a kid who think having a lot of friends on MySpace makes you popular in real life.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:15 AM on March 20, 2006


“As a Republican who's been seriously toying with the idea of permanently becoming Independent...”

We’d love to have you.

“Yet, democrats are still afraid to kick bush even when he's down and everyone hates him. Why?”
Money
posted by Smedleyman at 10:20 AM on March 20, 2006


Good point, delmoi. A more apt comparison would be Michael Moore with Ann Coulter.

Coulter's screeds offend me infinitely more than Moore's do.
posted by darkstar at 10:20 AM on March 20, 2006


Metafilter: just vent a post full of bile
posted by Smedleyman at 10:23 AM on March 20, 2006


Michael Moore dissembles, misrepresents

How has Moore misrepresented the facts? I hear this a lot, but I think it's just something that right-wingers like to repeat.

So please supply some examples of Moore's misrepresentation, if you know of any, as you presumably do.
posted by washburn at 10:27 AM on March 20, 2006


Saucy Intruder: "dios, DKos is hardly a fringe organization. They represent the alternative to the corporatist, centrist nanny-state Democrat coalition of Clinton, Lieberman, and Biden, people who are to liberal Democrats what Linc Chafee and Olympia Snowe are to mainstream neocon slash theocratic Republicans."

Uh, what? Chafee and Snowe are both moderate Republicans, closer to the center than either the neocons or the theocrats. DKos, on the other hand, is hardly centrist, and much further to the left than most mainstream democrats. DKos may not be fringe, exactly, but they are certainly much, much farther to the left than Chafee and Snowe are to the right.

empath: "Dios: Once again, you just vent a post full of bile with no concrete examples and no facts to back it up. Blah blah DKos sucks, Move On are commie pinkos, blah blah blah. It's trite, cliche and boring. Stop it."

Who said they were commie pinkos? As far as I can tell, dios was criticizing both parties for embracing their respective fringes.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:31 AM on March 20, 2006


The American people want someone who is strong. How can they expect someone to stand up to Al Quada when they won't even stand up to Bush?

Chris Matthews is on MeFi? I had no idea..
posted by psmealey at 10:32 AM on March 20, 2006


"We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits." --(MSNBC's Chris Matthews, 5/1/03)
posted by psmealey at 10:39 AM on March 20, 2006


no concrete examples and no facts to back it up.

Blah blah DKos sucks, Move On are commie pinkos, blah blah blah. It's trite, cliche and boring. Stop it.
posted by empath at 12:11 PM CST on March 20


Concrete examples? Um. Ok. Are you looking for examples of the actual post I wrote or are you looking for examples for the post you think I wrote? Because apparently you read a post where I said that DKos sucks and that Move On were commies. The actual post I wrote was very different than that and had to do with parties embracing their fringe groups.

And on that point:

DKos is hardly a fringe organization.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:13 PM CST on March 20


Well, it is one. I think your perception that it is a fringe group says a lot about your relativistic viewpoint. Now, obviously my assessment that is a fringe group has to do with my relativistic viewpoint as well. But given the electoral trends of the country, I know that I am smack in the middle, so I'm comfortable with my assessment of it as a fringe group given its politics as compared to the the majority of America.
posted by dios at 10:42 AM on March 20, 2006


“As a Republican who's been seriously toying with the idea of permanently becoming Independent...”

We’d love to have you.


Problem is, there's no "we" there to have me! If there were statewide Independent caucuses that I could participate in, it'd be one thing. But Indies are pretty much people who, because they don't identify with a party, don't actually have a coherent political strategy to speak of, even on the local level in most places. It's liberating, because it frees you from the baggage of a party, but it's also limiting, because you lose the strength of the party, too.

Which means a choice I've been grappling with for three years now: I either remain a Republican and grow more and more agitated with the behavior of many fellow Republicans, OR I join the unassembled ranks of free agent Independents and become ideologically homeless, OR cross the line entirely and become a Dem. I don't seriously consider the minor third parties to be appealing.

I've identified with cultural Republicanism for 40 years (almost) and, like Zell Miller, I find it difficult to let go of that identity, even if it's becoming less and less accurate. I'm conversant in the conservative doctrine, conservative demographic tendencies (in both the South and the West), etc. I know them not only from a lot of personal study but also by living it for decades.

So the idea of putting on a Donkey outfit isn't one that comes easy, even though I have come to the point this year that I support almost all Dems in the coming elections (e.g., Mitchell in AZ-5, Napolitano for AZ Gov., and Warner, Gore or Feingold for President if any of them make the nomination.)

Finally, for what it's worth, I've heard a lot about "Dems and Republican candidates are all the same, etc." This is simply fatuous and a close consideration of the events of the past five years should finally put to rest that canard. If anyone thinks that Gore would have been the same kind of President that Bush has been, or if a SecDef Clark (for example) would have been the same kind of SecDef as Rumsfeld has been, they need to up their medication (imho).
posted by darkstar at 10:44 AM on March 20, 2006


monju_, I believe Saucy Intruder's point was more on the "corporatist" axis than the "centrist" one. Kos and Chafee/Snowe both represent ideals that aren't corrupted by big business.


As far as dios' point, he started criticizing both parties for a sentence or two, then veered off into yet another diatribe against us lefty loonytunes.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:45 AM on March 20, 2006


Before someone decides to school me on Zell, I'm not referring to his specific party (Dem, of course), but to the phenomenon of clinging to one's cultural identification with a political party.
posted by darkstar at 10:48 AM on March 20, 2006


Monju, I should have been clearer. Both the Chafee/Snowe wing of the Republican Party, and the Lieberman/Biden wing of the Democratic Party, are more centrist and accomodating of the other side's positions than the parties' respective bases would like them to be. Both are castigated as "RINOs" and "DINOs" and yet as centrists they hold much of the balance of power in the Senate.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:49 AM on March 20, 2006


and dios, given your support of most of the Bush administration's policies, you do not speak for the majority of America. Indeed, you speak for 34% at last count.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:51 AM on March 20, 2006


I would rather it be flamingly bad rather than offer false hope.

That is insane.
posted by tkchrist at 10:52 AM on March 20, 2006


As far as dios' point, he started criticizing both parties for a sentence or two, then veered off into yet another diatribe against us lefty loonytunes.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:45 PM CST on March 20


Well, shit. It's a shame that the entire post and was about "What's wrong with the Democratic Party" cause then my comment being focused on the Democratic party would have made sense.
posted by dios at 10:58 AM on March 20, 2006


and dios, given your support of most of the Bush administration's policies, you do not speak for the majority of America. Indeed, you speak for 34% at last count.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:51 PM CST on March 20


Not surprisingly, this comment is based entirely on your own assessment of me as a strawman then my own policy statements.
posted by dios at 10:59 AM on March 20, 2006


The left bloggerati isn't particularly radical -- radicalness is just one of their rhetorical tricks.

Just watch when, in exactly 24 months, Hillary Clinton locks down the nomination -- Kos and his buddies are going to steamroll dissent like Soviets steamrolling Czechs in 1968, and the entire bloggerati is going to lockstep behind her and, a few months later, her centrist-to-a-fault Southern male running mate.
posted by MattD at 10:59 AM on March 20, 2006


Both are castigated as "RINOs" and "DINOs" and yet as centrists they hold much of the balance of power in the Senate.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 12:49 PM CST on March 20


That should have said: "Both are castigated as RINOs and DINOs by the fringes of their respective parties...." Which, would be consistent with my point: the fringes alienate the centrists.
posted by dios at 11:01 AM on March 20, 2006


Well, shit....

Hey, bring that up with monju_.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:02 AM on March 20, 2006


incongruity writes "The simple fact is that people on both sides of the isle are utterly without backbone"


for the record, it is "Aisle".

/grammarsnob
posted by indiebass at 11:05 AM on March 20, 2006


Actually, indiebass, Gilligan and his chums seems an apt metaphor for Congress.

Or perhaps something out of Golding?

Hmm...maybe a short story by Richard Edward Connell?
posted by darkstar at 11:11 AM on March 20, 2006


I was thinking Survivor, but their elections are probably too legit for work as analogy for Congress.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:14 AM on March 20, 2006


if dailykos is the "democratic fringe" then who represents the moderates? the notion that the democractic party is as beholden to its radicals as the republican party is pretty much bullshit.

when's the last time you heard a major democratic player say anything that would controversial to anyone other than someone like dios? (face it, kid. you're no moderate.)
posted by mcsweetie at 11:16 AM on March 20, 2006


Dude, am I the only one here who took the Daily Show's piece as patently making fun of Hackett, and not an indictment of the Dems at all? (They lob softballs at the people Jon interviews; the "issue" segments tend to be blatent mockery.)

cf. "I care about the environment. That's why I'm standing in front of this river."
posted by mowglisambo at 11:24 AM on March 20, 2006


Sorry, I cannot buy the argument that anyone who is not a member of the Democratic Leadership Council is a "fringe Democrat." The mainstreaming of Democrats with a fiscally conservative bent such as business-friendly labor policies and welfare-to-work transition is a development going back only as far as 1992 and the Clinton campaign. There is nothing to support the argument that what was mainstream between 1976 and 1992 is the lunatic fringe now.

If DKos was around in the 80s, its members would be positively thrilled with Mondale and Dukakis, and would be happy to be considered among the establishment. Back when Howard Dean was all the rage in 2003, DKos was on board with that too.

And dios, I know that you are not a diehard Republican. In fact, you mentioned that you voted for Clinton in the 90s. Hey, so did I - but we both drifted, and I recall that you have criticized Bush's policies on very few occasions. Do you consider yourself among the 34% or not?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:27 AM on March 20, 2006


[with tinfoil hat in place]The severely annoying reluctance of the Democratic party leadership to challenge directly and energetically the Bush Administration on any of its misbehavior, coupled with the spectre of a docilely compliant newsmedia community that fails to follow up on any of the bizarre statements and rationale offered for that misbehavior, makes sense to me not in terms of money, although it has a powerful influence on all these elite politicians and national media personalities, but more in terms of the unmonitored information gathering that the administration has been doing over the last few years.[remove tinfoil hat]
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:29 AM on March 20, 2006


If I Had An Anus: "Well, shit....

Hey, bring that up with monju_.
"

?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:38 AM on March 20, 2006


There are people who seem to value moderation for moderation's sake. That's just stupid. It's been plainly obvious that what bush has been doing has been wrong and stupid for a long, long time.

That, I agree with. When one side of a disagreement is so inflexibly extreme that it will brook no deviation from its dogma, it's pointless to try and meet them halfway.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:46 AM on March 20, 2006


monju_bosatsu: ?

dios: The problem with both political parties is ... [for example Democratic nutjob this and Democratic lunatic that].

monju_: As far as I can tell, dios was criticizing both parties

me: For a sentence or two, then Democratic nutjob this and Democratic lunatic that.

dios: Well, duh IIHAA. It's a thread about Democrats.

me: Hey, monju_ started it.

posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:06 PM on March 20, 2006


In other words, you defended dios' characterization of the Democratic Party by saying he was attacking both parties. I said he was really only attacking the Democrats, which dios took as obvious given the topic. But rather than saying your defense was inaccurate, he implied I was a dumbass instead.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:18 PM on March 20, 2006


Calling people you disagree with radical has, I hope, jumped the shark. In a technical sense, Bush- and Iraq-war supporters are now the radicals--they are a shrinking minority of Americans, and they continue to lose all credibility. November is going to be the first test case of how dramatically Americans have turned around on these two related things.

But keep on fwapping--you sound like my 80 year-old Dad railing on about how computers are evil, and kids just don't have any respect for authority these days.

As for Hackett, he's not the only Democratic vet running.
posted by bardic at 12:20 PM on March 20, 2006


*err, of course Hackett isn't running. My bad.*
posted by bardic at 12:23 PM on March 20, 2006


"Still, how is this post any different than a Single-Link-Op-Ed?"

It was funny.

Screw you guys, I'm running under Jefferson's Party. Hell, with the confusion down there, I'll at least win Florida (and probably more); as people struggle to vote for a party line rather than actually think about issues.
posted by Eideteker at 1:09 PM on March 20, 2006


“but it's also limiting, because you lose the strength of the party, too.”

I disagree, but only on the personal level. I’ve got more pull with my local precinct captain (and clout in general) than I did when I was affiliated. And I can be a hard ass on principle. They know they have to court you to get your vote. So they do.
But results and taste varies. I also like really hot chili. And I demand everyone else should as well.

---
Man, I’d like to hit a nail on the head. That’d be sweet.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:17 PM on March 20, 2006


Smedleyman, yes, I agree that, acting as an individual, an Indy can have a special kind of clout because they (1) are seen as somewhat more impartial than a partisan, (2) are courted more avidly because they're seen potentially as more able to be a swing vote, and (3) able to be more principled, perhaps, in arguing points without regard to "message control" or party loyalty. Those factors actually make being an Indy very appealing.

RE strength of the party, as you suggested, I was speaking mainly about the aggregate, where national parties have a lot of power to define, champion and effect their goals at the State and National levels than non-organized Indies can. Its one of the things that benefits having a Brand Name to improve recognition, as well as an organization to manage the dynamics.
posted by darkstar at 1:32 PM on March 20, 2006


An interesting new article on Gore in The American Prospect.

I'd happily vote for Gore if he were to declare...
posted by darkstar at 2:20 PM on March 20, 2006


Um, J. Edgar Hoover did make use of the fruits of his illegal snooping. As did Richard M.Nixon. Just a thought.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:13 PM on March 20, 2006


yawn
posted by cellphone at 3:15 PM on March 20, 2006


Sherrod Brown was my Congressman for many years and he was awesome.
posted by Falconetti at 5:08 PM on March 20, 2006


Hollywood and unions own the Democrats

Oh my fucking God. And who owns Hollywood? Jews, that's who. It all makes sense now!
posted by slatternus at 5:46 PM on March 20, 2006


"Ok, just take what you believe....and...don't."

Come on...that's funny stuff! And really, considering the support for Bush, the war, the patriot act, the removal of privacy, the loss of benefits for the least fortunate, the union busting, the corporate bailouts, it's a particularly accurate statement of what the Dems stand for today, vs what they like to pretend they stand for.

Please. Rich, old, protestant, upper class, privileged, overpaid (primarily) white guys. They really give a rat's patootie about how some single black mom in the ghetto is going to take care of her kids, while she works and hopes to find a way to finish college so she can improve her life.

The Democrats are as useless as tits on a boar hog. The only thing that they've got on the Republicans is that they aren't malevolently evil most of the time.

Throw all of the bastards out. Make them repay their salaries for every day of work they missed while flushing our futures down the Haliburton black hole. Force every single one of them that voted for war to go there, no VIP treatment...go there like you sent our friends, our husbands, our children. Let's see you vacation in Iraq, you soulless, power sucking, wastes of carbon.

Politicians do vex me.
posted by dejah420 at 7:55 PM on March 20, 2006


Oh my fucking God. And who owns Hollywood? Jews, that's who. It all makes sense now!

Please.

My point was part of a larger one about the dems selling out on copyright law and the like (TCA, DMCA, broadcast flag, etc.). I suppose it pales in comparison to going to war on false pretenses, but I can only muster so much outrage at a time.
posted by kableh at 8:47 PM on March 20, 2006


“I was speaking mainly about the aggregate, where national parties have a lot of power to define, champion and effect their goals at the State and National levels than non-organized Indies can.”

I agree. I’m willing to sacrifice that though. But that is just a matter of taste. However folks want to work.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:57 AM on March 21, 2006


Smedleyman, I dig. That's the rub, in fact.

When it comes to aggregate politics, obviously the parties have more clout. When it comes to individual politics, an Indy has what I would say to be more clout (and flexibility, etc.).

My growing frustration is with the aggregate politics of my party. Which means that the primary reason for remaining Republican is swiftly evaporating. And as that goes, then the only thing holding me there is my cultural background and the hope that my participation in the party can somehow pull it back to common-sense conservatism.

Frankly, I'm despairing of the latter being a real possibility (i.e., working within the party to achieve reform). Leaving only the cultural identity issue. And if that's the case, the strength of being an Indy, on an individual basis, becomes a lot more appealing.

So, it may well not be a "sacrifice" to let go of the aggregate strength of party affiliation, since my ability to benefit from that strength, as well as thayt of the country, may have be effectively illusory, anyway.

I'm reminded of Ralf Dahrendorf's "Life Chances", in which he argues that enlightened self interest basically boils down to maximizing your life chances while minimizing the ligatures that might restrain you from achieving what you need/want. I'm beginning to think that affiliation with either party is a restraining ligature which does not appreciably increase one's life chances (unless you're part of the political sector or its affiliated industries).

Pleas excuse the rambling on my part...but I'm still coming to grips with what all this means, personally. The appeal of being an Indy is growing, I must say.
posted by darkstar at 3:57 AM on March 22, 2006


Moveon.org radical? My grandmother is ten times more radical! Okay, yeah, she used to campaign for the NDP back when they were actually socialist...

but seriously, moveon.org tries so hard to be centrist they don't get anywhere. The ad they ran showed cute children was anti-government spending. How is that radical?

it's like there isn't even a standard for radical anymore. Radical used to mean something, like threatening the rich with anonymous letters and breaking hedges! (but only two people at a time - we don't want to be charged with a riot). This modern radicalism is so pansy.
posted by jb at 3:07 PM on March 22, 2006


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