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It's Not My Party And I'll Fly If I Want To
December 7, 2009 11:21 AM   Subscribe

As the Tea Party outpolls the Republican Party in a generic three-way ballot, disaffected progressives are considering independent parties of their own.
posted by Joe Beese (111 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I could see how Democrats might get jealous of Republican inroads into their traditional strong area of self-defeating behavior.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on December 7, 2009 [82 favorites]


...self-defeating behavior.

If Democrats want to prevent me from getting "government run" healthcare, then I want them defeated.

Kitchen table over party.
posted by DU at 11:26 AM on December 7, 2009 [14 favorites]


Good. Maybe we can finally break this stultifying two-party system apart for real.

(And if wishes were horses....)
posted by tzikeh at 11:28 AM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


The political cynic and realist sides of me are constantly battling between the ideas of "I really wish there were more than two parties" and "more than two parties aren't going to work in this country for a while." So, interesting idea about splitting into more independent parties, but not very effective... after all, the tea-party folks are a bit more avid politically than "normal" people and thus, even if they weren't active with the tea party they would still be more politically active than others whatever their affiliation. Give the progressives that fervor and they wouldn't need independent parties.
posted by neewom at 11:28 AM on December 7, 2009


I was born a Deep Sea Royalist and I'll die a Deep Sea Royalist.
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on December 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


Does the Tea Party actually have a platform, or are policy positions more a chaotic whipped froth of incoherent rage, ignorance and jingoism?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:29 AM on December 7, 2009 [19 favorites]


Dear USA: please skip over functional multi-party systems like Canada and go straight to Italy. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.
posted by GuyZero at 11:30 AM on December 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


Does the Tea Party actually have a platform, or are policy positions more a chaotic whipped froth of incoherent rage, ignorance and jingoism?

it's a more consistent platform than either of the current parties.
posted by GuyZero at 11:30 AM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I see no reason why the Democrats should expect me to continue voting for them if they don't offer a real left-leaning platform. Healthcare reform that just mandates I buy it myself? Fuck those guys.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:31 AM on December 7, 2009 [21 favorites]


disaffected progressives are considering independent parties of their own.

Why, I don't know, as if this poll is accurate it shows that Democrats would once again win sweeping victories in 2010.

Which ironically is a shame, because rather than fragmenting Democrats into liberal sub-groups which will consequentially never win elections and solidify the belief that liberals can't win, Democrats should hold together and watch moderates and right-wing Democrats get their asses handed to them next year and consider possibly learning something from that. It's Harry Reid getting only a 36% approval rating right now.

Democrats don't need independent parties. They need primary opponents.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2009 [23 favorites]


Maybe we can finally break this stultifying two-party system apart for real.

That's not going to happen unless the winner takes all system is abandoned and replaced with a proportional representation system. The formation of two dominant parties that each represent around half of the population is a logical and systematic outcome of the way that seats are won in the voting process.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:33 AM on December 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


Duverger's Law people, you're unlikely to get a workable third party in a simple plurality system. So what're the choices?

The more conventional route in the United States is for a potential third-party force to overtake one of the existing parties.

Yup, entryism. If the Tea Party wanted to succeed, they would slowly gain positions of power and influence in it's intended host...
posted by Sova at 11:34 AM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


>:Does the Tea Party actually have a platform, or are policy positions more a chaotic whipped froth of incoherent rage, ignorance and jingoism?

The stuff commonly seen squirting out of pundits' noses? Also known as santorum.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:34 AM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's obviously national "Abuse Apostrophe's Day" for me.
posted by Sova at 11:35 AM on December 7, 2009


It's so easy to be popular until you are put in the difficult position of actually governing.
posted by chasing at 11:40 AM on December 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


Bora Horza Gobuchul; yes, the Tea Party does have a platform, however, it is still ignorant and rather jingoistic. They want less taxes, less government, more "freedoms", and more "common sense" in laws. Sadly, they do not have any realistic view of how to govern. They might work great for a small town of 500 people, but they totally lose it politically if they were to actually have to think beyond any kind of local issue. Many of them are technocrats in populist clothing, and a good deal of their original "founders" are hardcore libertarians who subscribe to a lot of blather from very fringe political views. A good lot of them can only speak in sound bytes (hence a lot of their chanting and sloganeering at their rallies).

But that was a year ago. Now they're just a co-opted front for many of the loonier right wing radio and talking heads. They've also gotten to the point of having factions, where some of the original people in one movement have splintered off into other movements when their original supporters were co-opted by corporate interests. If you really want to learn more about it, just do a Google search for "Tea Party". Half of what you'll get are news items from the MSM about the co-opted protests, but there are still quite a few of the original websites around. Sadly, a lot of what you'll see are things like Freedom Works and Tea Party Patriots, which seem to be the worst of the lot that have been co-opted by "the Right".

I prefer the Tea Party Club. You can never have enough debate about proper decor and matching chinaware.
posted by daq at 11:42 AM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Republican party seems to me like it has long been an unstable coalition of wildly divergent viewpoints, many inconsistent with each other, held together by a jury rigged system of half-assed promises, vague patronage, and relentless scare tactics. It was bound to collapse sooner or later. The Tea Baggers are a creation of the right, an example of astroturfing at its most base and desperate, and by creating the group, the Republican Party might have sowed the seeds of it's own split, because it is an actual group now, and they have been whipped into a fury, and they have gone off on their own and decided that the Republican Party doesn't represent enough the very things that the party tried to pander to in these people -- the extreme anti-tax stance, the pathological islamophobia, the far right religious politicking, the lunatic conspiracy theories. And they now have their own politicians, because some conservatives, like Michele Bachmann, are basically tea baggers, and because some, like Sarah Palin, are craven and stupid enough to think they can hitch their political fortunes onto their backs.

I will be very surprised if they don't coalesce into an actual political party by the next election, and, since the Republican Party has typically won by the very narrowest of margins, if they don't then siphon off enough votes to give the Democrats another big win. And there is a lesson here: Never give your fringe a taste of real political power. They will use it against you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:47 AM on December 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


I look forward to mobs crashing the organized Tea Party gatherings, shouting them down with taunts of REPUBLICAN.
posted by naju at 11:47 AM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


Sigh. If we had instant runoff voting here in the US, then I could stop voting for the lesser of two evils, and instead vote for the better of a couple goods, all WITHOUT electing the worst of two evils.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:50 AM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


That Justice Party concept looks like it could get some traction. Especially because it's a bigger tent than the now-cloying and wince-inducing Green Party. Justice Party. I like the ring of that.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:51 AM on December 7, 2009


And there is a lesson here: Never give your fringe a taste of real political power. They will use it against you.

Amen. 2012 is going to be something interesting to see.
posted by AdamCSnider at 11:52 AM on December 7, 2009


So would the teabaggers splitting off force the other two parties to shift left, or would the Republicans just get scared and shift right and try to win the teabaggers back?
posted by dunkadunc at 11:56 AM on December 7, 2009


Also, don't underestimate all the crazy conspiracy/aliens/end of the world talk going around about 2012, and how it could fit into continued economic crisis, racism, and whatnot.
You ain't seen froth-whipping yet.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:01 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Lady Justice, depicted as she was originally, with eyes open to see

Giving legal principles the old chromium foil issue #1 treatment?

HABEAS CORPUS. NOW WITH BODY.
STARE DECISIS. WITH ADAMANTIUM LEGS.
posted by kid ichorous at 12:02 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I could see how Democrats might get jealous of Republican inroads into their traditional strong area of self-defeating behavior.

Amen. Instead of forming their own self-defeating third parties, Democrats should be encouraging Republicans to do so. If only we had some Democratic "operatives" with some cash to fund a bunch of phony "tea party" parties and split the GOP vote...
posted by jonp72 at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's going to take a majorly talented politician to get a Republican back in the White House any time soon. Nixon, for example, read the national mood exactly right in the mid- to late 60s, played conservative to the conservatives and moderate to the moderates, and got elected because of it.
I recall reading an account of him giving a speech in (I think) Kentucky on race relations during the run up to the '68 election. He kept harping on "law and order" in the speech, knowing full well that to the Rockefeller Republicans that phrase meant reigning in the Bull Connors of the world, and to the Dixiecrats/Southern Conservatives it meant keeping the blacks "in their place." (Rick Perlstein's incredible Nixonland attests to Nixon's political deftness)

One problem to this approach today would be the Far Right's obsession with non-issues, boogiemen and obscure political shibboleths. You can't play it "straight" when questioning Obama's birth certificate or the like, and for the most vocal Tea Baggers out there such things are the most important issues of the day.
posted by Bromius at 12:06 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also: Someone at Counterpunch encouraging Ralph Nader to run for Chris Dodd's Senate seat.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:08 PM on December 7, 2009


ugh, reining in.
posted by Bromius at 12:08 PM on December 7, 2009


Considering how clever Obama is, I sometimes wonder if he doesn't subtly encourage these fringe elements, knowing the possibility of them causing a schism in the Republican party. I mean, his supposedly exhausted, supposedly accidental misstatements always seem like they are designed to encourage conspiracy theorists on the right.

"I just got back from touring the the 57 Muslim countries I mean the 50 United States I mean I am a Muslim that's not what I mean at all."

"Oh man am I tired from organizing these death panels I mean the Easter egg hunt at the White House."

"This is a great nation asalamalakum I mean God bless America."
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:12 PM on December 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


Also: Someone at Counterpunch encouraging Ralph Nader to run for Chris Dodd's Senate seat.

Nah, that would actually be a constructive use of Nader's time and prominence. I don't think he'd be down with that.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:13 PM on December 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


It's so easy to be popular until you are put in the difficult position of actually governing.

Ann Richards (God rest her soul) said the best way to bring down the GOP was to let them try and govern. Looks like she was right.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:15 PM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I will be very surprised if they don't coalesce into an actual political party by the next election

Seriously rationalize this for a moment. The tea party activists are a collective of irrational, uncompromising fringe right-wingers. The concept of "an actual political party" means registration drives, creating a leadership structure, official and legally supervised fundraising structures... absolutely none of which could plausibly happen in eleven months. Where do you think they will get this money? Corporations, who I'm sure would love to have headlines about how they're giving money to that hip new party asking where Obama's birth certificate is? Where will they get their candidates? Disgruntled Republicans, like the racist lunatics with crap websites we've mocked on this very board for the last few months?

For all this talk about their fanaticism, they had one candidate they collectively got behind- Doug Hoffman- and he lost. This was one candidate who swelled in support with national backing from "Tea party" activists. They can't spread that over six dozen people. It's simply not going to happen. If and when Hoffman runs again, he's not going to be some magical saving candidate for a new-found Tea Party- he's going to run for the Republican nomination.

The teabaggers are never going to become a competing party against the Republicans. They're going to continue to be exactly what mainstream conservatives want them to be- a gullible source of revenue. Sarah Palin doesn't want their votes- she wants their money. That's why she quit her job two years early to sell a goddamn book door-to-door.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:15 PM on December 7, 2009 [7 favorites]


Someone at Counterpunch encouraging Ralph Nader to run for Chris Dodd's Senate seat.

Isn't Nader a DC resident?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:16 PM on December 7, 2009


Astro Zombie- It did seem needlessly provocative for Obama to use "There'll Be Some Changes Made" as his campaign song.
posted by Bromius at 12:16 PM on December 7, 2009


skip over functional multi-party systems like Canada and go straight to Italy

They'll never adopt Italy's system (where the ballots read like a diner menu) because their corporate media bamboozles too many people into thinking Democrats and Republicans are adversaries.
posted by Zambrano at 12:16 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Someone at Counterpunch encouraging Ralph Nader to run for Chris Dodd's Senate seat.

Great. He can do it in the Democratic primary. If Nader can't beat Dodd in a primary, then why should I assume he would win the general instead of throwing the election to the GOP?
posted by jonp72 at 12:16 PM on December 7, 2009


They'll never adopt Italy's system (where the ballots read like a diner menu) because their corporate media bamboozles too many people into thinking Democrats and Republicans are adversaries.

Why not it seems to work pretty well for Italy's corporate media?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:20 PM on December 7, 2009


Considering how clever Obama is, I sometimes wonder if he doesn't subtly encourage these fringe elements, knowing the possibility of them causing a schism in the Republican party.

I wonder if Woodrow Wilson did anything similar with Taft and Roosevelt.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:21 PM on December 7, 2009


absolutely none of which could plausibly happen in eleven months.

They're having their first national convention in three days with Sarah Palin as their keynote speaker; they may be further along in this process than you realize.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:24 PM on December 7, 2009


Considering how clever Obama is, I sometimes wonder if he doesn't subtly encourage these fringe elements, knowing the possibility of them causing a schism in the Republican party.

P.J. O'Rourke joked on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me this weekend that Sarah Palin took her orders from Rahm Emmanuel.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:25 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Their first convention? Really? Let a thosand astroturf flowers bloom!
posted by Bromius at 12:25 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


They're having their first national convention in three days with Sarah Palin as their keynote speaker

Betcha she's there to plug her book. Ah, America, land of opportunism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:29 PM on December 7, 2009


RIP, GOP.
posted by danblaker at 12:30 PM on December 7, 2009


Will she be taking her bus?
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


sorry for the slight derail, but Canada does not have a functioning multiparty system. we're stuck with an unbeatable Conservative party because the left vote is split between four parties in a plurality system. it's a perfect case study for what not to do.
posted by spindle at 12:34 PM on December 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was watching some Hitler Channel show the other night and blam, I was hit with this shocking commercial!

NewsMax has a magazine? It must be great? $4.97 for a hardcover book? It must be great? A commercial for a political book? It must be great!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:37 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


They're having their first national convention in three days with Sarah Palin as their keynote speaker

No they're not. There is no political party there. It's a group of four or five 501-c3 nonprofit groups all calling themselves "tea party." That is not a national party convention.

There is currently one actual, registered political party under the "Tea Party" activist wing (there is also the Boston Tea Party, but those are libertarians who created the party in 2006), which recently registered in Florida for the 23rd congressional district. I would think that at a very minimum, the concept of a "national convention" requires your party to be registered in more than one state.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:39 PM on December 7, 2009


XQUZYPHYR: "Why, I don't know, as if this poll is accurate it shows that Democrats would once again win sweeping victories in 2010.

Which ironically is a shame, because rather than fragmenting Democrats into liberal sub-groups which will consequentially never win elections and solidify the belief that liberals can't win, Democrats should hold together and watch moderates and right-wing Democrats get their asses handed to them next year and consider possibly learning something from that. It's Harry Reid getting only a 36% approval rating right now.

Democrats don't need independent parties. They need primary opponents.
"

Poll shows one-quarter of opposition to healthcare bill is coming from the left
posted by Rhaomi at 12:40 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Except that the conservatives in Canada are somewhere to the left of our liberals, smoking dops and shooting porn all day while throwing Candians tax dollars out the window to anybody who comes by with a petition with more than 13 signatures.

Actually, I have no idea if this is true, but I like to imagine it is the case. Oh, Canda, if you were only 300 miles further south, I would be in you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:41 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, I have no idea if this is true, but I like to imagine it is the case.

Sadly no. Canada's cautionary tale is that of the Reform party, which started as Tea-Party type right-wing fringe loonies, but attracted enough frothing lunatics that they became a genuine holding-seats-in-Parliament political party. Over time, they softened a little to appeal to moderates, changed their name a couple of times, and eventually -- and this is where it gets scary -- bisected the right wing, and then "merged with" (read: bought) the Progressive Conservative party, "rebranding" it as just the "Conservative Party." Where Canada used to have a mid-Right party and a mid-Left party, it now has a far-Right party and a centrist party. The NDP and Greens and Bloc (sorta) are picking up the lefty slack, but the division and re-amalgamation of the right wing resulted in a stronger, further right wing mainstream political party, one that unites moderate through extreme Conservatives, all of whom think the party speaks "to them" thanks to which side of it they choose to look at.

They now run the country. It's a minority rule, so it's hamstrung by occasional common sense, but the pattern wasn't "wingnuts form Frothing Moonbat party and become irrelevant" but rather "wingnuts form Frothing Moonbat party and drag one of the two standard political parties in this country deep into Frothing Moonbat territory."

So be careful what you wish for.
posted by Shepherd at 12:45 PM on December 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


A winner takes all system admits only one or two viable parties, never more. I'm not talking about being organized enough, getting corporate backing, etc., but more than two sane candidates inherently means the two with the closest ideologies hurt one another, period.

The Democrats and Republicans form two distinct "ruling classes" in the U.S. which compete for the largest percentage of the electorate and for corporate sponsorship. Any national politicians must work within the framework of one of those two parties.

I think the only means of escaping this mess is for various states to enact proportional voting, which might give them multiple viable parties, that then fused at the national level.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:54 PM on December 7, 2009


Poll shows one-quarter of opposition to healthcare bill is coming from the left

Exactly. Democrats have made a frighteningly critical error in jumping straight to the middle after the elections, simply assuming that the right-wing fractionating of the GOP was going to protect their jobs.

Which Democrat has turned most sharply to the left this year? Arlen Specter, scared to death of a primary having already bolted the GOP. Which Democrats have kept most sharply to the right? Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, who were all but assured that nothing they did would cost their their chairmanships. Democrats already HAVE their own Tea Party in the form of Joe Lieberman, who has effectively turned the entire Democratic party into a dictatorship of mediocrity.

I will repeat what I said here in August:
...this "why aren't Democrats fighting for this on the left" argument is infuriating. We did fight for this on the left. It was called an election. We fought for 7 more Senate seats, two dozen House seats, and the White House in a massive landslide. Voting for a party platform is just that kind of fight. The White House has responded in kind by sitting on its ass.

Obama is effectively sitting back and hoping his hands don't get dirty. And that is in no way a a failure of motivation on the party of any progressive activist. That is entirely a failure of leadership and Obama deserves to be called on that.
Obama hasn't lost 30 points in approval ratings because 30 percent of his supporters think health care reform was too progressive.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:54 PM on December 7, 2009 [17 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "Considering how clever Obama is, I sometimes wonder if he doesn't subtly encourage these fringe elements ..."

He's done it pretty explicitly; last January he gave a little offhand comment to congress "You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” and it caused a month-long freak-out on the right. Every Republican had to vow fealty to Rush or face the wrath of ditto-heads.
posted by octothorpe at 1:00 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not seeing how the organization and ascendancy of the most ignorant, reactionary, anti-American (because really, what's more unpatriotic than actively advocating the tear down of your country's government?) element in political discourse today is a good thing. Yes, I like the idea of a permanent Republican minority but I also like the idea of mainstream political candidates not getting TV air time to tell the population they don't need no to pay no gubbment taxes for things like a police and fire department, they just need to carry around more guns to protect their families. Yes, dividing the right will ensure the next several presidents are Democrats but what kind of president are we going to have when all the debates are about cutting taxes down to nothing, raping the environment for profit, and cutting spending on all those worthless homeless people and welfare queens who don't contribute to society? Don't forget that Obama is the rare Democrat who was able to get elected without immediately sinking to the lowest common denominator in order to win votes. Every other Democrat does this, and hell Obama does it on occasion.

Maybe time will show these tea-baggers to be the fearful little idiots they are, but that's an awfully big leap of faith to place in our current corrupted electoral system. You will definitely see Tea Party governors in places like Alabama and South Dakota and, despite generalizations about how they vote, I still think the people in those places deserve better.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:01 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


I cannot believe the Democrats now control the White House, the Senate, and the House and the Republican party is splintering and independents are up for grabs . . . and the left is running to the exits. Democrats have an enormous political opportunity, and also face the very real danger of losing it all that Shepherd is talking about.

I'd be very cautious about ruling out the Teabag folks as a viable political threat. They are the grass roots workers of the Republican party. They didn't lose the Hoffman race by much. And I think Palin knows they present a huge political opportunity for her. Last week she endorsed the birth certificate fuss . . . IMO that wasn't for book revenue alone.
posted by bearwife at 1:10 PM on December 7, 2009


You will definitely see Tea Party governors in places like Alabama...

In that case let me (re)introduce you to Judge Roy Moore.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:14 PM on December 7, 2009


I should add that the Tea Baggers may be the spoilers the Democrats need to make inroads in a place like Alabama. If a 3rd partier can split off 25 to 30% of the vote, the Democrats can take back the governor's mansion.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:19 PM on December 7, 2009


I want a crossover between this post and this one

I mean, half of the Tea Partiers already have their pitchforks. You can't beat Palin shooting loose alligators from a helicopter.
posted by qvantamon at 1:21 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the Tea Party movement could help drive something good: movement to approval voting.

and then I woke up
posted by davejay at 1:33 PM on December 7, 2009


I'd be very cautious about ruling out the Teabag folks as a viable political threat. They are the grass roots workers of the Republican party. They didn't lose the Hoffman race by much. And I think Palin knows they present a huge political opportunity for her. Last week she endorsed the birth certificate fuss . . . IMO that wasn't for book revenue alone.

There's a lot of wisdom here. If there's one thing we know about the grass roots portion of the Republican Party, it's that their members are fully committed to their ideas and hard to sway from a point of view.
posted by davejay at 1:34 PM on December 7, 2009


bearwife at 1:10 PM

You say Hoffman didn't lose by that much. True. But the key piece of information you are leaving out is that the particular district he is in has always been represented by a Republican. Now [because of him] it is represented by a Democrat. That's a sign that the Tea Party crowd might be a bit too far right for the majority of Republicans. [At least in that distict].

I think at the local level the Tea Party crowd could win some races. [So can far left candidates]. But nationally the Tea Party movement might prove to be a bit crazy for the majority of voters. I mean, they are essentially Libertarians who have found a way to organize. But like Libertarians they will sink like a stone once people get wind of the fact that they want NO taxes and therefore no services paid for by tax dollars: no medicare, no social security, private schools only, etc.
posted by Rashomon at 1:44 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR: Which Democrats have kept most sharply to the right? Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman, who were all but assured that nothing they did would cost their their chairmanships. Democrats already HAVE their own Tea Party in the form of Joe Lieberman, who has effectively turned the entire Democratic party into a dictatorship of mediocrity.

Lieberman is an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. He isn't a member of the Democratic Party.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:49 PM on December 7, 2009


Rashoman, the Republican party is most definitely splintering, and that indeed means that an opposing party that stays unified has a big, big opportunity. The NY race shows that. But my point is that if the Democrats splinter too, the hard working members of the Tea bagger movement will do what works to take power, i.e. ally with center right folks.

Democrats need to decide if they want to be pure or an umbrella party. Opting for purity means losing, and can also mean damaging your own cause, as the Nader folks arguably did in 2000.
posted by bearwife at 1:52 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Rashomon But like Libertarians they will sink like a stone once people get wind of the fact that they want NO taxes and therefore no services paid for by tax dollars: no medicare, no social security, private schools only, etc.

You're giving them way too much credit. They want NO TAXES, and they also want Medicare, Social Security (for the old; to hell with the unemployed and single mothers), an police force so effective that it capable of enforcing laws against abortion, homosexuality, and teaching evolution; and a ridiculously, stupidly huge and powerful national army.

If they weren't so very, very stupid, they wouldn't be Tea Partiers.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 1:58 PM on December 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


Rashomon, if Hoffman had shown a little more interest in local matters, instead of completely blowing his interviews with the local papers, he might have squeaked through. I can't understand why some liberals are so thrilled with the prospect of Tea Partiers getting traction or Palin getting the Republican nomination. Add a little competence -- hey, it could happen! -- to the xenophobia, starbursts, finger-pointing and faux-simple solutions, and you've got a horse race.

And if progressives really want to go third party, rather than focusing their efforts on primaries, then may I suggest supporting the Codpiece Prometheans instead?
1. Prometheus selectively stole fire from the gods, and redistributed it to people who were fire-challenged. (Social Justice; General Badassitry)

2. Prometheus holds an upraised torch. (Apolitical, Hate-Fueled Snark; Zero-Comment Music Videos; Intermittent Food Prøn)

3. Prometheus obviously possesses a pretty titanic wad, which he has prudently girded with a steel nutsack. (Fiscal Prudence; Commitment to Retaining America’s Status as Sole Global Superpower)

4. Prometheus stands triumphant over some reclining (boring? drunk? dead?) guy, who doesn’t look like he’s going to be trolling the comment threads any time soon. (Medicare-for-All with a Robust Private Option)
posted by maudlin at 1:59 PM on December 7, 2009


They will be the Unicorn Party and they will like it.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on December 7, 2009


Justice Party. I like the ring of that.

Will there be Wonder Twins and invisible airplanes, too?
posted by emjaybee at 2:37 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I cannot believe the Democrats now control the White House, the Senate, and the House and the Republican party is splintering and independents are up for grabs . . . and the left is running to the exits.

The reason is because the left feels betrayed by the bank bailout and the trainwreck of a health reform bill that will require us to buy health insurance from the health care gangsters but won't give us to option to buy into a public plan because that might hurt Joe Liberman's feelings.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:41 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Anti-immigrant? Nativist? Trying to interject the Bible into civic life? They're Know Nothings. Ironically, the Republican Party was founded partly as a repudiation of the mindset they exemplify today. Abraham Lincoln:
As a nation, we begin by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty--to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on December 7, 2009 [14 favorites]


>
HGGRBTH! BIRTH CERTIFICATE!? THRTGGGTTPT! NOT THE COUNTRY I GREW UP IN! we can believe in.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:06 PM on December 7, 2009


Opting for purity means losing, and can also mean damaging your own cause, as the Nader folks arguably did in 2000.

Objection. Agree or disagree with Ralph Nader, the Democrats are not "his cause" any more than the Republican Party or the Alaska Independence Party or the Purple Caterpillar Mushroom Party are. Democrats think everyone left of the Republican Party owes them big-time, though for what remains unclear. It's an infuriating entitlement complex; why do I owe their party anything just because they think or claim their values have something to do with mine? The Democratic Party has consistently shown with its actions that it has nothing to do with progressivism. I certainly don't mind if the Dems fess up and admit that they don't want what the left is cooking for dinner, but all the patronizing BS vis-a-vis third parties needs to stop. For a lot of people, saying the Democrats and Republicans are similar enough to warrant not supporting either is not some cute rhetorical trick but an actual belief, and I wish the Demoratic mainstream would at least respect that.
posted by threeants at 3:10 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


>
That'd go over real well at the polls. I can see the town hall shouters now...

"I AM NOT! NOT! NOT! GOING TO LOSE THE COUNTRY WE WON FROM THE NAZIS IN NORMANDY TO SOME PAGAN CLASS WARFARE THUGOCRACY!"

Then a chain email goes around complaining about the US mint putting "E Plurbus Unum" on the money, saying that it's clearly code for PAGAN MIND CONTROL from the Prometheus party, meant to shove "In God We Trust" even further from the center, in bold, where it belongs.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:12 PM on December 7, 2009


THE COUNTRY WE WON FROM THE NAZIS IN NORMANDY

France?
posted by qvantamon at 3:15 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Guess 8 years of Bush wasn't enough for anyone on either side to learn anything. It's like Democrats see how "pure" the Republican's are and say, hey I want some of that crack.

Thing is, right now the Ds are acting like a coalition type party, which is why I'd be perfectly content with a 98 D seat majority, because they argue with one another, it is frustrating as hell at times I admit, but I'd rather that than the opposite, the Dems have a majority because they reflect the majority of America, the squabbling imperfect knuckleheads we are. The Republican's are currently acting like the Politburo, lock step, this is what we do and we crucify anyone who steps out of line or thinks differently than we do. United front, Party über alles. It looks slick as shit and works like a charm in short to medium terms, but it is toxic as hell as you can't ever get pure enough. And this is what some progressives want, only on their terms? A party of the pure in a winner take all system? It quickly becomes who is fractured less, and the margins suffer the most. I guarantee you a progressive party in America would be a marginalized party. America is not a progressive nation, not yet at least. Hell, we can't even get the citizens of the most liberal State to agree to same sex marriage.
Right now, in MN we have a two term Republican Governor who has not won more than 46.7% of the vote, this in a State that has not voted for a Republican President in 40 years. A minority of the voting population chose Pawlenty and now he feels emboldened to act like he has a shot at the R nomination. A tea bag party and a progressive party would result in candidates being elected with 30% or less of the vote.

No one learned squat from 2000. I'd wager my left nut that the majority of Nader voters where mad at the Dems, wanted them not to take us for granted... and it lead to 8 years of arguably the worst president in living memory. And now, not even a year into Obama presidency we start hearing this sort of juvenile hand wringing. We can't have it all, now. Wah friggin wah.

Incidentally, if there was ANY party that acted like the Rs do, no matter if it matched my political beliefs exactly, I wouldn't want them with decisive Super majorities.

Funny thing is right? I'm a progressive and this still pisses me off to no end.
posted by edgeways at 3:20 PM on December 7, 2009 [9 favorites]


I'm wondering about Obama's approval rating. I've been disappointed in him because he's been slow on healthcare reform, getting us out of the Middle Eastern wars, and downright glacial on gay rights in general (much less gay marriage). Hence, in my heart of hearts, I don't really approve of him, although I know he's much better than McCain and Palin would have been (oddly enough, I'm not alone in that sentiment), and more competent than most left-leaning third party candidates.

Meanwhile, Beck and Hannity like to play up the falling approval ratings as a sign that all the people who used to approve of Obama but no longer do were disgusted by the fact that he's a left-of-center moderate (AKA Socialist), just like he campaigned. If anything, he seems farther right than what he ran as, although that seems to just be the constraints of political reality.

I suspect what's really going on is that roughly 50% of Americans are moderate and do approve of Obama, and that the rest is probably a pretty even split between progressives and conservatives upset that he's not in line with their political aspirations. If anything, the falling numbers are both part of Obama's slow style and the way the political media (on both sides of the aisle, although Fox has certainly been the worst) has played up the division of American political opinion.

Are there any approval rating polls that follow up with polls on why people do and do not approve of Obama? I'm sure Glenn Beck would not be trumpeting that people are mad that Obama hasn't legalized gay marriage.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:26 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


vibrotronica : The reason is because the left feels betrayed by the bank bailout and the trainwreck of a health reform bill that will require us to buy health insurance

You can safely say that almost everyone feels betrayed by both of those.

Really, it makes you wonder how a thinking human can support either party at this point - Do you prefer the one that takes your money away and gives it to the rich, or the one that makes you give it away directly to the rich?

And Mammon help you if not rich enough - Only have an annual income of $20M that you largely reinvest in your small local business? No help for you, slacker! Throw a hissy fit over not getting $120M bonuses for losing fifty billion dollars last year? Here ya go, let Ben know if you need more next week.

Yeah, both major parties need to vanish, and soon.
posted by pla at 3:32 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


IMHO Republican party won't split in any meaningful way. Not really. These Tea-baggers are comprised of the small Libertarian wing of the right and the larger populist wing of the right. And at heart all populist types are, oddly enough, Authoritarians. That is their secret heart. All their bluster about freedom and liberty is all bullshit. Freedom means you will have to adapt to change. The New Conservative wants everything static and somebody else to do all the work.

They want a loud strong bully in charge. A daddy. A daddy who is not afraid of taking bold action. Daddy doesn't sit and think about problems. He puts on his big pants and steamrolls over problems. Usually by blaming somebody else. And as long as the GOP represents the big strong daddy they will ALL vote for daddy. Daddy just says it's someone else to blame and you children don't have to do anything to change. That is damned attractive to authoritarian personality types.
posted by tkchrist at 4:31 PM on December 7, 2009


[...] the Dems have a majority because they reflect the majority of America

No they don't. Just as one example, while the majority of Americans support a public option (note: majority of Americans, not just democrats) that was taken off the table by the Dem leadership.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans use populism as cover, but they are quite capable of getting "ahead" of opinion and doing the work necessary to move it when it suits their interests. I doubt there was much public support for torture eight years ago, but now over half say it is sometimes justified and only 25% say never. That's a shift that has continued under Obama's watch, with the increase coming from Democrats who now support the use of torture. I'm with the 25%, and that's only one reason why I am no more a Democrat than I am a Republican. While there are a handful of Democratic politicians that I generally agree with, the leadership simply doesn't represent my interests, and therefore I feel no compulsion to vote for them.
posted by Humanzee at 4:38 PM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


That Justice Party concept looks like it could get some traction. Especially because it's a bigger tent than the now-cloying and wince-inducing Green Party

The 'Justice Party' is an even smaller tent and more wince-inducing than the Greens ever were. As far as I can tell the 'Justice Party' is comprised of a few PUMAs, a couple dozen pseudonymous internet commenters, some blowhards and political cosplayers. I predict that the 'Justice Party' will be less effective than the PUMAs ever were and the PUMAs were made of FAIL. Comrade, please, if you can't bring yourself to vote Democratic, then vote DSA at least. Have some dignity.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:22 PM on December 7, 2009


Yeah, both major parties need to vanish, and soon.

Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:26 PM on December 7, 2009


Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first.

One of them is going to be a fist, and the other is going to be a FIST FULL OF SHIT.
posted by fuq at 5:32 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dear USA: please skip over functional multi-party systems like Canada and go straight to Italy. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

A rather bold claim to make, given Canada's multi-party system is currently failing to do anyone a damn bit of good.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:41 PM on December 7, 2009


"No they don't. Just as one example, while the majority of Americans support a public option (note: majority of Americans, not just democrats) that was taken off the table by the Dem leadership."

I think it is misleading to state the situation in this way. The public option was taken off the table by the Dems because every single Republican and just enough Blue Dog Dems refused to support it that the legislation was in jeopardy, not because a majority of Dems refused to support it. You might assert that the strategy of handling that Blue Dog minority was mistaken, but it is difficult to assert that the majority of Democratic Congress critters doesn't support the public option.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2009


The perfect Canadian government does absolutely nothing. Canadian voters like parties that just hold the rudder steady. That the Conservatives are in power simply demonstrates that they've given up on doing anything of consequence.
posted by GuyZero at 5:47 PM on December 7, 2009


Sarah Palin doesn't want their votes- she wants their money. That's why she quit her job two years early to sell a goddamn book door-to-door.

That's right.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, she turned out to be much better at that than any sort of Machiavellian scheming. She'd be much more dangerous if she weren't so transparent in her desires.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:54 PM on December 7, 2009


five fresh fish : A rather bold claim to make, given Canada's multi-party system is currently failing to do anyone a damn bit of good.

Correction - deliberately not doing anything.

Any day of the week, I'll trade up for a government that, on realizing it has nothing to do, dissolves itself for a few months rather than throw darts at the bogeyman of the week.
posted by pla at 5:57 PM on December 7, 2009


edgeways: Thing is, right now the Ds are acting like a coalition type party, which is why I'd be perfectly content with a 98 D seat majority, because they argue with one another, it is frustrating as hell at times I admit, but I'd rather that than the opposite, the Dems have a majority because they reflect the majority of America, the squabbling imperfect knuckleheads we are. The Republican's are currently acting like the Politburo, lock step, this is what we do and we crucify anyone who steps out of line or thinks differently than we do. United front, Party über alles. It looks slick as shit and works like a charm in short to medium terms, but it is toxic as hell as you can't ever get pure enough. And this is what some progressives want, only on their terms?

I understand what you are saying, I really, honestly do.

But this coalition type party was swept into office because they said "if you are sick of the other guy, vote for us and we will do things better." They are our elected representatives, and they are, in theory, obliged to enact legislation that represents our wishes and needs. Instead, a whole bunch of them decide to pull a bait-and-switch, offering to be an alternative to "the other guy" and then, once they are in office, threatening to scuttle legislation we all NEED and that most of us SUPPORT because they, personally, are too small minded to like it.

Fuck them, and fuck the horses they rode in on. If the only options you give the voting people are "fuck me over hard" and "fuck me over harder," it is only a matter of time before your contry will face serious and lasting emigration and brain-drain issues.
posted by paisley henosis at 5:59 PM on December 7, 2009


$4.97 for a hardcover book? It must be great?

Well, I'd be happy if we could climb down from the $30+ hardback and the $10+ paperback, personally. Haven't bought a new book in years. But, yeah, it's gotta be pretty bad when just scant weeks after the release they're giving the book away with magazine subscriptions and seriously undercutting the "suggested retail price" to cut-out levels. It's sort of like getting any Scientology book. Yeah, you could pay for it, but they're desperate enough where the church will buy large portions of the run to skew the sales numbers and practically give them away ... exactly the same strategy.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:02 PM on December 7, 2009


I think it is misleading to state the situation in this way. [...] it is difficult to assert that the majority of Democratic Congress critters doesn't support the public option.

The original statement was that the Democratic party represents the will of the people. It doesn't. You've presented an explanation as to why it doesn't, but in the end, it doesn't. Blue Dogs are in fact a part of the Democratic party. If anything, they appear to be calling the shots.

When Obama chose Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, and backed several Blue Dogs against their progressive primary challengers, he was making a choice. Now, the ramifications of that choice place tactical constraints on him. This was apparent to me the very moment that I heard he'd selected Rahm Emanuel, and no one has ever accused me of playing however-many dimensional chess, so I assume Obama understood as well. It reflects on Obama's judgment that he's made the choices he has, and ditto for the house and senate leadership.

I have my own ideas about why things are happening as they are, and I bet they'd partially line up with yours, maybe be different more in emphasis than in facts. End of the day, everyone has their reasons, all I care about is what they actually do. I don't expect a party or politicians to agree with me on everything, but the Democratic party has consistently chosen positions that I consider to be deeply immoral and dangerous.
posted by Humanzee at 6:02 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Any day of the week, I'll trade up for a government that, on realizing it has nothing to do, dissolves itself for a few months rather than throw darts at the bogeyman of the week.

Like banning specific styles of religious architecture, you mean?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:18 PM on December 7, 2009


If anything, the falling numbers are both part of Obama's slow style and the way the political media (on both sides of the aisle, although Fox has certainly been the worst) has played up the division of American political opinion.

Clinton was right when he said, it's the economy. That's the issue right now, and nothing else matters until that's fixed. The longer we go on without real GDP growth and without tangible job growth, Obama will continue to slide in the polls. The bigger the unemployment number gets, the angrier people get, though that seems to have peaked and we may be moving slowly back to job growth, eventually. Now, it's true that Obama does not control the economy. He does hire a lot of the people who have a pretty big hand in it, but not even they can really control it. Best they can do is throw the levers on bailouts, interest and money generation, and even if it's all supposed to work it may not succeed, but we have to try. Regardless, he will be praised (and criticized) if the economy can gain its footing again, but he will be crucified if it gets worse. I really don't think there's any other way to look at it.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:21 PM on December 7, 2009


octobersurprise : Like banning specific styles of religious architecture, you mean?

To the best of my knowledge, Canada has not done anything of the sort.

And I just know you meant that as a comment about Canadian politics, rather than blatantly derailing into a personal attack.
posted by pla at 6:38 PM on December 7, 2009


I thought it was a comment about Switzerland banning minarets.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:49 PM on December 7, 2009


Who, me? Heavens! I'm not attacking anyone; I'm merely asking a question.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:58 PM on December 7, 2009


THE COUNTRY WE WON FROM THE NAZIS IN NORMANDY

France? Freedom
posted by Pollomacho at 7:16 PM on December 7, 2009


Perhaps I'm utterly (again) missing the point, but the Swiss ban on new minarets was a referendum vote, not a "government" action. Seems to me this just shows folks are the same the world over.
posted by webhund at 8:22 PM on December 7, 2009


Resist the urge to splinter. Ignore the whiners. Continue to vote Democratic. Take advantage of the Republicans during their time of weakness. Show those fuckers what it's like to be out of power for a generation. WIN.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:48 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


pla: "vibrotronica : Yeah, both major parties need to vanish, and soon."

Nice thought but not going to happen. We've had the same two dominant parties for 150 years and have had zero widely successful third parties in that time. The Republicans and Democrats are entrenched deeply in the legal and political structures of the county and aren't going anywhere.

posted by octothorpe at 4:03 AM on December 8, 2009


Wow, I was ready to jump on the snark ship about the "Justice Party," but it's actually a pretty well thought out name and hey, they can put the Statue of Liberty on it and nothing's more patriotic than THAT except maybe for the "Flaming Eagle Party."

Hrm. I wonder what values the Flaming Eagle Party would embody. If they supported burritos and baseball, I might be able to get on board.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:01 AM on December 8, 2009



[...] the Dems have a majority because they reflect the majority of America

No they don't. Just as one example, while the majority of Americans support a public option (note: majority of Americans, not just democrats) that was taken off the table by the Dem leadership.



Sorry I'm late getting back to this. See I think they do represent America precisely because a majority of Democrats do support a public option, hell, I'd wager near a majority of Democrats support universal health care. One can make the very real argument that the Dem leadership has been weak wristed on it is because there isn't the votes to overcome the filibuster. Do you recall the amount of pure vitriol just the other weak when the NY Dems called a vote on Same Sec Marriage.... and it failed? Yeah, take that and multiply it nationfold. It frustratingly takes more than a simple majority to overcome this asinine automatic filibuster, so if you have a handful (which is what it is) of Dems who don't support a PO and the monoculture of the Republicans then you end up in this situation. And I counter the problem is not the Democrats, I think ideally they are acting as they should, independent actors. The problem is the Republicans who disallow dissent. The Democrat party is the same party that encompasses Al Franken and Ben Nelson, two extremely different people politically and philosophically.

Yet, because of the actions of a handful of actors people are winging on about hamstringing the entire party and making things even worse.

And let me pre-address the coming rebuttal, along the lines of: "It's the leadership's responsibility to...." See, I see that as a return to authoritativeness, that is to say, if the voters in the district can't motivate the elected official then someone should descend from on high and force them to vote the way we want them to. That some big daddy needs to take matters in hand and dictate how the children behave.


But this coalition type party was swept into office because they said "if you are sick of the other guy, vote for us and we will do things better.


Again, I would counter that you are looking for party purity. I would also counter that the majority of Democrats elected are trying to do things better. We are reacting to how the system is set up that gives so much power to so few. But, because things don't move at internet speeds people get frustrated. I hear and understand when people complain about DADT and DOMA, but 10 months on is not glacial speed. It really is not. 2 years on is not glacial speed. I empathize about the need and desire to address these and other issues but, my god it seems like too much effort is spent talk people off ledges when in reality things have just begun.

No one here talks about the small new story this past week that the majority of TARP money paid out is being scheduled to be repaid. That the economy is doing essentially exactly what the administration has been saying it will do for the past 10 months, and that there are some good signs. No, it seems like it's all "Obama is like Bush" "He can't fix the economy and even if he does the economy isn't fixed it is just going back to being less broken" "he isn't doing enough on health care" (despite extensive lobbing and speaking to the public).... It gets tiring and then people start carping about priming Obama, or voting 3rd party because a handful of Democrats are not pure enough. Oh, the problem isn't the Republicans {/}. (I bet you can find a lot of Democrats actually praising the Rs on their purity and united front) The one thing the Rs have done masterfully is poisoned the well. want to reward the tea baggers and the GOP? Vote 3rd party. If another Dem President loses because "progressives" pull another 2000 I honest to god am done with this idiotic country.
posted by edgeways at 6:19 AM on December 8, 2009


Frankly when I start heeding political commentary from a Libertarian is the day I am tired of life and choke myself to death.
posted by edgeways at 6:22 AM on December 8, 2009


I wonder if Woodrow Wilson did anything similar with Taft and Roosevelt.

I doubt it. Roosevelt was dismayed enough with Taft on his own.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:31 AM on December 8, 2009


See I think they do represent America precisely because a majority of Democrats do support a public option [...]
Once again, you're explaining how there are strategic and tactical reasons that the Democrats are taking their current course. Something I don't argue with. I'm just pointing out that they're adopting a minority position, in defiance of a majority position. So they can't be said to be representing the majority, without twisting the word "represent" into a pretzel.

And let me pre-address the coming rebuttal, along the lines of: "It's the leadership's responsibility to...."
One thing I despise about current US politics is the essential coronation of the president, so you won't get that argument from me. If it makes you feel any better, I will definitely be voting to reelect my house representative, who's a donkey. I think he represents me, with no secret double-guessing required. The only way to bully a Dem. president into listening to me is to make a credible threat to not vote for him (credible requires follow-through). If the president can be pressured into adopting a platform antithetical to his constituents, this presumably holds true regardless of who's president. Thus the importance of supporting the "right" president no matter what must be overblown. You can't have it both ways.

I can't speak for others, but the reasons you mention for not voting for Obama don't hit home for me. I could enthusiastically vote for him, even given that I think he's done an abysmal job on all the things you mention. After all, health care and the economy absolutely will always be an issue in every election, we are never going to get them "right". I'm more concerned with habeas corpus, trial by jury, torture, warrantless spying on citizens, state secrets, and legal impunity of government officials. These are things that candidate Obama and the Dem leadership all gave passionate speeches about, denouncing the very policies that president Obama is now carrying out. If it is their calculation that it's politically expedient to adopt policies I can only describe as evil, I am going to do my part to adjust their perceptions.

Frankly when I start heeding political commentary from a Libertarian is the day I am tired of life and choke myself to death.
Ain't no libertarian.
posted by Humanzee at 7:24 AM on December 8, 2009


sorry, Humanzee, wasn't reffing to you with the libertarian bit. Didn't make that clear and my fault.
posted by edgeways at 8:39 AM on December 8, 2009


christ I can't type.. "referring"
posted by edgeways at 8:40 AM on December 8, 2009


Resist the urge to splinter. Ignore the whiners. Continue to vote Democratic.

So, basically reward them for being not-republicans?

No. You threaten to not vote for them, and if they don't follow through then you throw them to the dogs.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:21 AM on December 8, 2009


Republican Party
Tea Party (Republican)
Republican Party (Roveist-Limbaughist)
Traditional Republican Party (Roveist-Limbaughist)
Heartland Republican Party (Roveist-Limbaughist-Palinite)
American Party II (We Still Don't Know Nothin')
Libertarian Party
Christian Libertarian Party
Thatcher Army Faction


Schism? Bring it on!
posted by jtron at 10:06 AM on December 8, 2009


if they don't follow through then you throw them to the dogs

Follow through with what? Very few of them ran on an even slightly leftist agenda, so what exactly are they supposed to be doing now?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:32 PM on December 8, 2009


I will never forgive the Republicans for George W. Bush, and neither should you.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:08 PM on December 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


End of the day, everyone has their reasons, all I care about is what they actually do.

Couldn't agree more and what the Dems have done in health care reform so far falls far short. Keeping my fingers crossed though on the state-wise public option thingie.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:36 PM on December 8, 2009


edgeways: No one learned squat from 2000.

krinklyfig: Clinton was right when he said, it's the economy.

If I may string these two sentiments together, can we at least learn from 1992? Incumbent president successfully prosecutes war but economy starts sputtering; spoiler comes out of left field talking largely gibberish and still nabbing a fifth of all voters; and formerly little-known opposition figure steps up, flashes some charisma, and assumes the presidency with a proportion of the popular vote in the low 40s. Twenty years is not ancient history.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:54 AM on December 10, 2009


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