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November 17, 2010

What Democrats can learn

In 2008, the Republican Party was pronounced all but dead. The party had taken years of hits from all sides. We all remember the names: Jack Abramoff, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, George Allen, Trent Lott, Mark Foley … the list goes on. A man even apologizes to Dick Cheney after Cheney shoots him in the face on a hunting trip.

OK, the Cheney thing really wasn’t malfeasance. I just think it’s one of the greatest examples of gangsterism we’ve seen — shoot a man in the face and make him apologize. Cheney is a bad mutha … shut yo mouth!

The point is, by 2008, the GOP had to lose ground — and they did. After losses during the 2006 midterms, by 2008 they relinquished control of the House, Senate and presidency. By Inauguration Day 2009, just over 20 percent of registered voters identified themselves as Republicans, the GOP’s long-effective “Southern strategy” seemed to be dead, and the most popular Republican politician in the country was Sarah Palin — a woman not only of questionable political acumen, but who seemed loopy and even dumb at times. The party seemed too small, too infected with scandal and too conservative. What did the Republicans do? They doubled down and moved even farther to the right! With the help of the feckless and flaccid Democrats, it worked.

Not even two years later, scandals surrounding Abramoff, DeLay and others are all but forgotten; a bit of the shine has worn off Obama; the Democrats have lost control of the House and have diminished power in the Senate; Sarah Palin serves as the point person of a new conservative insurgency within the Republican Party (the Tea Party); and the Democrats are the ones who now seem rudderless.

I have a bit of advice for the Dems (though they probably won’t listen): Go left.

The problem with the Democrats is they have no identity. They fancy themselves a “big tent” party open to all, but what they really are is a mixed-up bag of spineless wonders who can’t fight their way out of a political wet paper bag.

For example, the Dems were criticized for not being able to get some of their legislation through even though they had majorities in both the House and Senate after the 2008 elections. It is true that they had numerical majorities, but what they didn’t have was an ideological majority. Why? Because to secure “numbers,” the Democrats made veritable deals with devils by supporting “conservative Democrats” in both 2006 and 2008. The deals came back to haunt them, because even though these people were technically Democrats, they could not be counted on.

Like Republicans, Democrats need a purge. They need to get rid of the conservative menace in their own party, exile the Blue Dogs, become smaller, more nimble and ideologically pure. Finally, they need to rebrand liberalism and go after potential voters on the left who have exited the electoral process altogether because neither party speaks to them. Don’t scoff and say this is unrealistic. It has already been done — by Republicans.

In 2004, Bush political strategist Karl Rove deployed a plan he felt would mobilize 4 million-plus evangelical Christians to support Bush. In the face of inner circle concerns that Rove’s plan lurched the Bush camp too far right, he didn’t get 4 million … he got more than 8 million Christian fundamentalists to pull the lever for Bush in his successful re-election bid.

Rush Limbaugh pushes dedication to conservatism even further. Limbaugh argues that Republicans should always vote for the most conservative candidate in primaries … period. Limbaugh’s retort to people who say some of these candidates are sure losers in generals (e.g. Christine O’Donnell)? “What good are 51 votes if a minimum of three are unreliable?” The Dems should do the same for liberals — always go for the most progressive candidate.

So, the Dems need to retool. They need to make “conservative” a bad word in the same way Republicans have made “liberal” toxic. They need clear, uniform messages with inspiring liberal candidates. They need to stop being reactionary and be proactive and progressive.

By doing this, I believe they can expand the electorate and capture new votes from millions of young people, minorities and progressives who are not participating in the process at all right now because neither party speaks to them. Be bold, Democrats, or continue to be limited, cowardly and politically dead. 

What the DEms learned

By badulovesdj
Howard Dean responsible for this mess. When the elected these so-called " blue puppies" i.e. Bart Stewpak of Mich, and some no name in Ind. that only got elected because they were in conservitives disricts, they messed it up for Obama. Those spineless dogs were against abortion, plus killed the "Public Option" when it came time to vote on it.So if you were looking at a "Enthusiasm Gap" you needed to look no further than the blue dogs. What a waste of an Harvard education. At least Johnson admited he was a racist,but still crack the wipp when it came time to pass the "Civil Rights Bill."

Would youlike some Tea (Party) ?

By wiggidy
If you are a Democratic voter, don't be too discouraged by the successes of the Tea Party candidates. Contrary to what you have been led to believe, not all Tea Partiers are racist, right-wing fanatics. Many are independent thinking Libertarians, who allowed their grassroots movement to be hijacked by right-wing special interests. If you are a Republican supporter, don't get caught up in too much gloating. Several of the Democratic incumbents defeated by Tea Party candidates were right-leaning politicians anyway. Don't expect all of the incoming anti-establishment Congressmen and women to blindly follow the GOP party line led by Senator Mitch McConnell. You cannot let mass media - through misinformation, race-baiting, and fear-mongering - hypnotize you into forgetting who actually started the massive flood of spending which has grown into a formidable national deficit, and who used the Patriot Act as a means of restricting our civil liberties. It really doesn't matter who occupies the White House or seats in the chambers of Congress. America, and in fact, much of the world faces an economic strategy used by the House of Rothschild for generations. Mayer Amschel Rothschild learned long ago that individuals, institutions, and governments could be manipulated into issuing credit obligations secured by collateral. Currency could also be issued in which there was no real underlying backing. By controlling the economic system and tightening the flow of money, Rothschild understood that governments, corporations, and individuals would be unable to meet their credit obligations and their collateral could then be seized. These same economic pressures could also be used to start a war, with the victor determined by who would receive the economic support from the international financiers. If our elected officials - GOP, Democrat, Tea Party, Coffee Party, whatever - don't come up with viable solutions to reign in our bloated national deficit, expect WWIII. Based on their model of social and economic engineering, the global elite feel the only way to effectively balance the system is by killing the true creditor and seizing their assets. Here in America, the true creditors are those who have been promised future benefits for which the money does not exist to pay those benefits - unfunded liabilities. From this perspective, and also in relation to my knowledge of the capabilities of "silent weapons for quiet wars", this expains why many people don't live long past retirement age.

Ideological purity

By Michael_R_Hicks
Interesting thoughts. Moving further left will give better definition to the party, but it will cost the Dems most of the Deep South for the next twenty years. Worse yet, the (perhaps admittedly necessary) increased political polarization of a purity-tested energized Democratic Party will eventually drive this country into a second Civil War in the next 40-50 years, and no this is not hyperbole and I am not joking.

ideological purity

By badulovesdj
the dems ah la Bill Clinton did more than gave it away, he shrank his demicratic base by allowing "Maniditory Mininiums" for black men & women. Thereby not allowing them to vote, apply for housing, & food stamps. These are the people who would vote the dems in, if Clinton didn't sacrifice this base in '94.The south been gone since they like to lock black folks up.