Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism

I hate these kind of reports. Two "intellectuals" from the Clinton centrist era have issued a new report saying the only way Democrats can win is to abandon liberalism and take a centrist position like Clinton did in 1992. As an example, they give this:

They suggest that Democratic presidential candidates replicate Clinton's tactics in 1992, when he broke with the party's liberal base by approving the execution of a semi-retarded prisoner, by challenging liberal icon Jesse L. Jackson and by calling for an end to welfare "as we know it."

Who cares whether Democrats win if they are just Republicans in sheep's clothing? Why be a member of a party if its values aren't your values?

The report says Democrats can't win on a liberal platform because there aren't enough liberals in the country. I disagree. It doesn't matter how many liberals there are, it matters how many of them vote. If we could get passionate candidates on the ticket whose message resonates with the less-privileged among us, restore voting rights to felons who have served their sentences, energize our young voters the way Dean did and capitalize on netroots activism, we'd have more than enough to win.

The radical right is not a majority in this country. It is a relatively small group with very loud preachers. The radical right is running this country because Karl Rove figured out how to energize the evangelicals and get them to the polls.

Our voters are out there, we just have to give them something worth voting for, and centrism and Republican-lite won't do. The last thing we need is a candidate who resembles your father's Oldsmobile.

Update: Kevin Drum discusses the study and some of its stats, and writes:

In other words, contra Galston and Kamarck, the liberal base is not really the problem a lot of people make it out to be. It's the Republican base that's far outside the mainstream.

And yet, Republicans keep on winning anyway. But why? How is it that a party can continue to drift farther and farther from the center of American politics — the Holy Grail of most political strategists — and yet continue to be successful? Why is the center no longer holding?

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    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    The only thing that matters about potential democratic voters is that they exist in droves and can be won over with passion and vision and GENUNINE FORESIGHT that sees and plans for a better future.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    Who cares whether Democrats win if they are just Republicans in sheep's clothing?
    I've never understood this reasoning, either. Why vote for a Republican who is unwilling to admit his real nature and calls himself Democrat instead? Why not vote for the real Republican? What these "intellectuals" are really saying is that liberalism is dead in America. They need to learn how to express themselves directly and honestly, instead of pretending that they're providing advice on how Democrats can "win" (or whatever it's called when you surrender and declare victory). The real problem is convincing liberals to start voting again. "Centrist" Democrats will never accomplish that.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    Sorry for the double post. Didn't notice the update.
    But why?
    On CNN, I think, some weeks ago, some conservative simpleton started talking about "the L word". I was confused, as I couldn't figure out how a television show about lesbians, or even lesbianism, related to the political discussion they were having. Then I realized he meant "liberal". Conservatives have spend that past twenty or more years equating liberalism with immorality, laziness, anti-religion, anti-capitalism (even, absurdly, communism) and all things evil. Even Democrats are afraid to be identified as liberal (which is probably good, since they usually aren't). The far right has framed the debate as Republican vs. godless communist and no one has challenged that fiction. Which would you expect most (educated in America) Americans to choose? It's all about the propaganda. Truth is irrelevant.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    " Why be a member of a party if its values aren't your values?" The party is NOT monolithic, and that's why such obvious Republicanizing strategies have to be floated, to which we almost universally say: ZZZZZZZZZ. The claim that Clinton won because he threw the Rs a bone ignores the 'failure effect' of second term Bushes.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#5)
    by joejoejoe on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    The other work that Kevin Drum mentions (and Crooked Timber) is far more important - Off Center: The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy. Post WWII national security was a nonpartisan affair and every President from Truman to Nixon pretty much preached the same thing overseas. It was Reagan painting Carter as weak that changed the dynamics of politics in this country - not any shift by the people. People don't tend to vote for those tarred as weak and that's one play the GOP has been running again and again ever since. Clinton ran in the least threatening national security environment in the 20th century otherwise he would have had a hard time winning. Nixon and Eisenhower would be considered leftist weaklings if you changed the R to a D after their names. Why? Because tarring them as leftist weaklings is good for business. What the DLC/Third Way types continually miss is that politics isn't some kind of social club anymore. Off Center examines how the GOP has build an interconnected lobbying/media/political reward machine that clouds the reality of genuinely popular Democratic positions (healthcare, SS, not attacking countries that don't threaten us). Ignoring that machine and preaching policy is a fool's errand. Did anyone see the legislative jujitsu pulled by John Warner and John McCain to get a vote on their torture bill? They attached it to an Appropriations bill against the wishes of their own party leadership. They didn't triangulate their position or moderate it because of Senate traditions. They did what they thought was right, pissed off everybody, and won in the end. It's called leadership and you won't find any mention of it in this bogus Third Way study. Would any DLC/Third Way Senator pull that move under similar circumstances? No.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    Since when did opposing the Death penalty become NOT a Democratic value but a liberal one? I think for too long Lib's and Dems have let the Wingnuts Define the Left! For example The Wingnuts have distort The Reverand Jesse Jackon into an extremeist. HuH? Then so was Lincoln, The Rev Martin L. King, and Robert Kennedy. Are we suppose to abandon their cause and our constituents just because the likes of Ann Coulter intimidate a few Democratic leaders who respond by running away from who we are for fear of losing? Jesus, this is WHY were losing. This is WHY we are perceived as having no backbone or purpose. The repigs turned to a Fringe Voting block and sold their souls in the process. It's time for The Dems to wake up the Huge un tapped "Liberals" (the Poor, the working classes)for support. That's the best way to re-establish our idenity and win. IMHO :)

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#7)
    by DonS on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    Who cares whether Democrats win if they are just Republicans in sheep's clothing? Exactly so. 2 1/2 years plus into the debacle of Iraq and we still don't hear prominent democracts attack the rebulican talkikng points, e.g., on patriotism, as hollow, warmongering propaganda. they're still afraid to get up on their hind legs. Maybe they think, hey, what's the point. So if they can't see that the point is advocating for an open democracy, do we really have politicians worth anything? So if they say "can't have criticism in a time of war", are they too stupid and afraid to notice that opposing thug policiy and rhetoric is a war for democracy in itself? Baa baa baa.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    Dadler: They need to learn how to express themselves directly and honestly, instead of pretending that they're providing advice on how Democrats can "win" (or whatever it's called when you surrender and declare victory). It's called various things: selling out, selling your soul, giving up your self-respect, abandoning your principles, shooting yourself in the foot, and worst of all, if the dems start using repug tactics the voters will see them "becoming what you imitate".

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#9)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    I was about to say these are all excellent, dead-on, comments and I have nothing else to add. Then I hit refresh and there was Charley. Oh, well.

    The problem isn't the issues but the lies Republicans promote. The last two Democratic Party candidates were lied about by the Republicans --lies which were happily repeated by the mainstream media...even today ala Tweety Mathews who has to say at least once a program that the Democratic Party stands for nothing in fact --the Democrts have a well articulated program beginning with the first thing we will do is clean up the mess made by Bush in every sector of government

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    charley: just think of how Tom Delay will be smiling. People like Delay don't smile, charley. They've never smiled. You know that, you're no dummy. It just looks that way, like the actors in commercials smile. Some people buy it....

    I'll tell you why... because at this point I just want the bombs to stop falling. Even if a centrist democrat won't advocate for a national abolition of the death penalty or for full and complete national healthcare, they won't lend their support to measures designed to strip americans of their god-given rights and they won't lie to america to get it to go to war. Yes, at this point, all I want is the attacks to stop before American gets politically bombed beyond recognition or the point of salvation. Stop the bleeding and then we can work on rehabilitation.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    It may look easy When you look at me But it took years of effort To become the mess that you see Now what kind of [man] Take you for a ride Down the rattlesnake highway An' leave you busted up inside All busted up inside Smiles like a cobra With rattlesnake eyes 'n leave you for dead on the highway Just mumblin' at the sky
    ...actually that was from John Fogerty - Rattlesnake Highway

    I agree with "whataload" the problem is the lies spread by Republicans and their minions. Gore is a "liar". Dean is "unstable". Kerry is a "traitor". Bush is "strong". They use religious charlatans to spread their lies and they use God's name to justify their policies. Yesterday, a Palestinian said that Bush told him that God told him to invade Iraq. The minions said that this was absurd. People this is not absurd because Bush and his minions have invoked the name of God morphed with Iraq many times. In 2003 in a speech at the National Endowment for Democracy, Bush said, “Liberty is both the plan of Heaven for humanity, and the best hope for progress here on Earth”. Commerce Secretary Don Evans said in 2003, “Bush believes he was called by God to lead the nation at this time”. I have heard Bush many times state that “freedom” was God’s gift and tie this with Iraq. Bush said at a press conference in 2004, “I also have this belief – strong belief – that freedom is not this country’s gift to the world. Freedom is the Almighty’s gift to every man and woman in this world … and as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help spread that freedom”.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ronovan on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    I'm not so certain. We have a responsibility to run and govern from beliefs and ethics, not from a party line. I truly believe that a democrat could get elected if they simply talked honestly, whatever they believed. Hiding behind polls and hoping to win the majority is a losing strategy. John Kerry played it safe and by the end I didn't even want him as president. I can't, and I suppose the country can't, support someone we don't believe is telling us the truth. Also once you are elected you have to practice "the art of the possible" in getting your agenda through. We may have a lot we want to do but because we live in this diverse country the actual governing is limited by what we can get done. Since that is the limit in governing, why not make it the practical limit in getting elected? Democrats hold the same diversity of beliefs (not the same beliefs) that Republicans do. Rather than moving someone to the center or the right, find a good Democrat whose actual beliefs resonate with the a majority of dems, independents and some moderate republicans who are horrified at where the country is going now and support them for president?

    It's disappointing that a frank look at what is wrong with the Democratic party results in the standard denunciation of the messenger rather than an honest look at the message and then degrades into more of the same Bush bashing that is the only thing the left seems to know how to do anymore. Like it or not, these people have a point. Liberal Democrats DO take positions with which a majority of Americans disgaree, including other Democrats, and that places a natural limit on how many votes you can expect to win on election day, with the result that you don't win the election. But the real problem is that Democrats keep responding to these electoral defeats by telling themselves that they lost "because we didn't get our message out", believing as they do that everyone really does agree with them. (Then they show they don't really believe this is the problem by hiring the same campaign consultants and staffers who have failed to "get the message out" for the next election cycle - but's that's another story). Worst of all, Clinton poisoned the well by pretending to be a centrist and then governing from the far left unless forced to do otherwise by Newt Gingrich et al. (You may like the idea of nationalized medicine, but even the Democrats in Congress voted against it and a lot of Americans are scared to death of the idea.) Which, sadly, leaves us with a relative dimwit who gets himself elected (twice!) by playing to his own base and by playing up the justifiable fears the rest of us have of nominees who can't tell the truth about the little things, let alone the big ones. Because Al Gore did lie, routinely. Yes, it was about really stupid and inconsequential stuff like what song his mommy sang him when he was a baby and how many times he went to the bathroom, but being caught out in obvious lies is never a good idea for a man running for president, and when it is combined with a famous quote like "there is no controlling legal authority", you're running a guy with concrete shoes in a race that rewards speed and grace. Likewise, John Kerry did lie, about a service record he chose to make the centerpoint of his campaign, and he got caught out on it as well. Again, the lies were stupid meaningless issues like which side of the Cambodian border he was on on Christmas day in 1968, but they stuck because we had a guy who had made his political career attacking his own military service (and that of every other soldier serving at the time), trying to paint himself as a war hero, only to be found to have lied about what his service actions involved. Added to a lackluster record more renowned for a failure to show up for meetings than any bill he ever proposed, and it's not surprising he had troubles in the polls. Throw in the rabid nature of so many of his supporters on the leftist fringe (sorry folks, but most of America thinks Michael Moore is an idiot and we are frightened by the good people at MoveOn.org) and it's amazing Bush didn't win in a landslide. (Which says a great deal about how America really feels about Bush, doesn't it?) The best thing going for the Democrats right now is that Bush is a lame duck and the Republicans have a very shallow bench to work with for 2008. The problem is that the Democrats also have a shallow bench and Hillary, the assumed natural, is someone who frightens as many people as she excites. She, at least, knows this, which is why she has been working so hard to appear "centrist", but we all know Hillary isn't really a centrist, so there is a limit to how far that will take her. Where all of this gets you depends on where you want to go. If you insist that the only good Democrat is a liberal Democrat committed to every left-wing wet dream from the last 50 years and dedicated to forcing those dreams down the throat of every American who doesn't agree, you're headed for the trash heap. If you're really interested in governing, you'll need to wake up to the fact that not everyone shares your vision for the future, come to grips with the fact that your own sense of personal self-worth does not mean that your every thought is the only option, and stop trying to convince everyone that you are right by telling them that they just don't understand. We understand just fine; we simply disagree with you. So change your position or expect to continue losing over the long term. I don't want Republicans in Democratic clothing anymore than I want Democrats in Republican clothing; I want something better than the lesser of two evils choice we keep getting. I don't think the Republicans will ever wake up to this fact, and they certainly won't as long as they keep winning elections. So the ball is in your court.

    What position have Democrats taken that is not in line with mainstream America? ....name one that was not influenced by a Republican lie. Are you talking about education, housing health care or the war on the rest of the world? The problem is the messenger

    Charley yada yada yada Bush is at 37% --that is not a majority of Americans And step away from Fox News Bill OReilly does not speak for America

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#20)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    What a Load, Ever heard of HillaryCare? A grand liberal Democratic idea to nationalize a huge chunk of the U.S. economy that even most Democrats opposed, and which helped lead to the Republican takeover of of the House in 1994. How about Welfare? Another resounding liberal success story that was so much in favor of the average American that Newt Gingrich was able to use his promise to end it as a springboard to the position of Speaker of the House, which, by the way, required that the Republicans first win control of the House. Or maybe Gun Control? Just another liberal policy that many Americans, and a surprising number of Democrats, oppose but which every liberal contender must adhere to? And finally, (in an admittedly abreviated list), bow about Abortion, that be all and end all of liberal positions which Democratic contenders must swear blind fealty to but which many Americans find an unappealing political subject to begin with and would rather have left to the states or their own conscience? Yeah, all of this is the fault of those damned pesky Republicans; it has nothing to do with reality.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#21)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    From Charley: you live in such an echo chamber that you might get the idea that the majority of Americans agree with your far left positions. they don't. From What a Load: Bush is at 37% --that is not a majority of Americans I wanted to highlight this little exchange because it is indicative of what is wrong with so much of the liberal left's view of the public. Even if we assume that these poll results are in fact a proper indication of the position of the country as a whole, rather than that of those polled, the fact that only 37% of the country "approves" of how Bush is doing his job does not mean that 63% of the country approves of how those who disapprove of Bush are doing theirs. Some of us don't care for either party or their positions on a lot of different things. Rather than taking comfort in these numbers, you should ask yourself how it is that a guy with a 37% approval rating keeps beating us.

    Try again from another set of talking points ..Democrats do have a strong message --but we all know before anything new can be done we have to clean up the mess left by the incompetent Republicans --where did I put that 8 billion dollars maybe Ahmad Chalabai the new de fact leader of Iraq can tell us

    I find as a liberal/progressive/Dem leaning person I truly am out of the mainstream. I have a job where I interact with many different people from all walks of life. Most of them when subtly quizzed or felt out on an issue hold views very contrary to mine. They're militaristic and believe in "kicking a*s" as a solution to our problems. They fear or are suspicious of gays. They think evolution is somehow contrary to religious beliefs. Unions are harmful and unnecessary. Enviromental concerns are overblown or must take a back seat to commerce and development. Locking up criminals for very long terms or executing them is the key to keeping us safe. Hollywood and modern cultural trends are tools of those wanting to degrade and debase society. Immigrants are taking our jobs and bleeding social services dry. It sickens me to think it but I am a minority drowning in a majority. It's a majority that is xenophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, militaristic, theocratic and hopelessly ignorant and illiterate. I also fear this slide is irreversible.

    ps in Callifornia the Republican agenda has even lower ratings The exaggerator weighs at 33% --worse than Bush Republicans miserable failures at every level -

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    joejoejoe writes:
    It was Reagan painting Carter as weak that changed the
    Actually Reagan didn't have to pick up the brush. Carter did it all himself, and he did it again a few weeks ago with his comments about the WOT. et al - I am a social liberal. What the Repubs have done is paint the Left as Liberal, which it is not, by taking the Left's own self description as a Liberal, and using it. The Demos dumbly allowed this to happen because the Left was their base, and they didn't dare anger them. Now the general public sees the Demos as Liberal, and they view Liberal as weak on defense, anti-free speech, radical environmentalism, etc. and etc. The above, of course, is wrong. But don't expect the Repubs to explain the difference between Left and Liberal.

    What is a social liberal?

    What is a social liberal?

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#28)
    by roger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    JP, For once, I agree with most of what you are saying. Some Dem beliefs are very popular, some are popular when explained rationally, and some (gun control comes to mind) are incredibly unpopular. Dems have had a self identity crises. Just look at Kerry. Decent guy with decent policies, he doesnt have the self confidence to just state his positions without fudging. I am rabidly left, and I couldnt stand the guy! If it hadnt been W, I probably wouldnt have voted at all. Hillary is for Hillary. Period. I dont really think that she has beliefs, just a desire for power. Thin on both sides in '08, I am afraid. Charley-- I am still waiting for my check! Typical that when losing, you run away to another thread.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#29)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:45 PM EST
    Try again from another set of talking points ..Democrats do have a strong message You're waffling, What a Load. Try dealing with the "talking points" I raised. You asked for examples of policies that the Democrats have pushed with which people disagree. I gave you four. Now, rather than even trying to claim that you have everyone's support on even one of those, you bring up California and try to change the subject 9is California the DNC "talking point" of the day?). I never said that the Democrats didn't have "a strong message"; I said that far too often the message they have is not one many people agree with. Bush has a strong message too, and he seems to have more people who agree with him than the Democrats do, even if it's still only 37% of the people. Does this make him golden in your eyes, since he has a "strong message"? It surely doesn't in mine. You know, this entire report comes down to one simple thing: Stop making excuses for why you keep losing and come up with something that will actually help you win. That is has been met so soundly with disdain from the liberal left just goes to show that many here are not yet ready to stop making excuses. Have a good day, everyone. I've got things to do this afternoon.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#30)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    Liberalism means open mindedness, which would be a threat to the imperialistic military industrial complex that currently infects our country. So they keep people in a constant state of fear (do you really need a list of examples?). The Dems are just as culpable as the Repubs (Vietnam). This has been the MO for the rich power mongers in the US for a long time. Liberalism, and the people-oriented principles it promotes, is a direct threat to this type of power taking (and holding).

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#31)
    by ras on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    The Left has a choice: you can effect change, or you can be a fashion statement. Pick one.

    What is a social liberal?
    A Republican who likes sex, evidently . . .

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    rea: A Republican who likes sex, evidently . . . Hey... and why wouldn't they? It's a power thing, right?

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#34)
    by Lora on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    I believe there are enough liberals. I believe there were enough to vote out Bush in 2004. You cannot win if the vote count is fixed. If you cannot conceive of how the vote count could be corrupted, consider: Election officials have no understanding of how electronic votes are actually counted and no way of verifying accuracy. They have to trust the corporations that manufacture, install, write software for, trouble-shoot, and in some cases, actually run the elections. Do you trust big business to watch out for your interests? Then why would you trust big business with the very foundation of our democracy? All the liberals, democrats, centrists, progressives, and all their organizers and supporters in the country won't amount to a hill of beans if the counting of the vote is out of our sight and beyond our understanding and ability to verify.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#35)
    by Andreas on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    The Achilles heel of liberalism, as a bourgeois political tendency, was its organic inability to advocate solutions to social problems that overstepped the bounds of what was acceptable to the capitalistic profit system. In the mid-1930s, the great American philosopher John Dewey acknowledged that liberalism, while proclaiming its fidelity to the ideals of democracy, had, in practice, degenerated into an increasingly shameless defense of the vested interests of the capitalist class.
    Al Gore's campaign: the death rattle of American liberalism By David North, 6 November 2000 Correspondence: On liberalism and the Democratic Party 29 July 1998 A book review: The origins of the collapse of liberalism The End of Reform New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War, by Alan Brinkley Vintage, New York,1996

    Justpaul starts his list of faux dem issues with Hillarycare --letting us know right away he is a reactionary. The Healthcare system in America is broken and you are wrong about what the majority want. If CLinton were in office now -the discussion around health care would be completely different. And paying for hurricane damage with the presciption drug benefit of old sick people wouldn't be on the table. As for you ridiculous abortion whine plenty of Democrats are not in favor of abortion as a personal choice and speak out and manage to get elected. Bob Casey is going to be the next senator from Pa and he does not support abortion. More diversity in the Democratic party then in the Republican where prochoice Republicans never mention it --Guiliani for example .. Justpaul is just full of the pretend hypotheticals he needs to make his argument Like all Republicans he resorts to lies because they have no truth to tell

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:46 PM EST
    Andrs-You seem pretty bourgeois yourself. How have you declined? A bit of fascism perhaps. Is that how you have adapted to late capitalism?

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#38)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    What a Load, Still waffling I see. Can't refute the evidence so you try to refute things I didn't say. Classic liberal extremist BS at its worst. I never said the healthcare system wasn't broke. I said that HillaryCare, a proposal put forth by a Democratic administration, was not found acceptable by the people or their representatives. You claimed that all these wonderful ideas the Democrats have are only killed off because of Republican lies, but it wasn't a lie that killed off HillaryCare, it was the truth about what it would cost and what it would do to the quality of health care in this country. Then you make the classic liberal claim about how Pro-Life Democrats are part of the party too. Sure they are. When was the last time a Pro-Life Democrat was allowed to speak on the topic at a Democratic convention? Who was the last pro-life Democrat nominated for the presidency? (And it might interest you to know, What a Load, that I am pro-abortion rights. I didn't bring the issue up because it's a pet peeve of mine, I brought it up because you asked for a liberal policy that does not have majority support, and it happens to be one. Sorry if that upsets you or makes you leap to conclusions about me, but sometimes reality sucks.) I notice you didn't touch gun control or Welfare. What's the matter, afraid of facing the truth about your party? So go ahead and keep running from the truth. It's people like you, who keep insisting that everyone really agrees with them on everything, that are killing off the only currently viable option to the Republicans. Don't give me a better choice, go on assuming that I and everyone like me just don't get it, and continue to lose elections. What a Load, indeed. You could not have picked a more apt tagline.

    Tha majority of Americans seem to support some form of "Hillarycare" Why do Republicans feel a need to lie to us and tell us it is for our own good. The United States of America is the richaest nation and does not provide a comprehensive national health care system for all of its citizens. It is an appalling scandal that the richest country in the world ignores the needs of nearly 45 million people who lack health care insurance. The majority of Americans call for Universal Health Care, according to a PEW Research Center Survey

    JP: You should read TalkLeft more often. Not everyone on the left carries the gun control torch. Charley: Wake up and listen to AM radio if you want to hear what an echo chamber sounds like. Ras: Rarely, I agree with you. This is one of those instances. Dems fail to win national elections because the nominees that Iowa and New Hampshire picks for us are lousy leaders. Prominent liberals need to spend more energy and money on organizing. That's not an easy task--organizing liberals is a little like herding cats, we being free thinkers and all. If left-centrists want to win elections, they need to embrace the left. Not all (not even many) Republicans think James Dobson's dominionist vision for America is spot-on, but right-centrists are still happy to embrace him and take his money. And the Left doesn't have anybody who even holds a candle to Dobson's extremism, so I don't know where all this talk about leftist extremists comes from.

    justpaul, with his usual lie: "Which, sadly, leaves us with a relative dimwit who gets himself elected (twice!)" Relative is right. However, Bush never won a legal federal election. He 'got himself' installed through massive vote-fraud in at least 30 states. In 1999, Diebold and other Bush-backing evoting companies took away the recount-audit rights of 30 states. A majority of US states have NO WAY TO CHECK THEIR VOTE-COUNTING ACCURACY. That's illegal. We haven't had a legal election in six years. And we aren't going to have a legal election until the same companies that provide ATM's suddenly are made to realize that they provide an auditable paper trail to EVERY ATM CUSTOMER THEY SERVICE. But not voters. Because in a legal election, Bush would lose every single time, national security or no national security, because 'dimwits,' even a relative, don't get elected president by the people. It takes a vote-fraud machine.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#42)
    by swingvote on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    What a Load, No, most Americans support some sort of reform of the healthcare system. Few of them supported the specific proposal put forth. Agreeing that something is an issue isn't the point I raised; it was the specific policy proposals the Democrats come up with. So how about we try this the other way around? Please list three specific policy proposals, not general areas of interest but actual legislation introduced or major policy initiatives proposed, put forth by the Democrats in the last 10 years, with which a majority of Americans agree. Michael Ditto, YOU should read TalkLeft more often. I'm here all the time; I simply refrain from posting on much of what I agree with since Jeralyn has a large enough echo chamber already. But thank you for proving my point that even a lot of Democrats do not support many Democratic policy positions. Sideshow Paul: Still ranting about stolen elections. Classic.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:47 PM EST
    What A Load - You must be new, since I have commented several times on what a social liberal believes in. Let me just say that what I don't believe in is politically correct speech codes in our colleges and universities, nor do I believe that anti-war demonstrations coordinated by the communist cadres of old can be called "supporting the troops." Link I don't think profiling in national security matters is bad, nor do I believe that we can negotiate with OBL and his happy band of killers. I also happen to believe that western civilization, led by the US, has done more for the world in the past 1000 years than the other entire world groups combined. I don't think we are perfect, and love strong debates. I think our health care system should be nationalized, our education system totally revamped, our drug policy rationalized, and don't give a hoot if John and Tom or Sue and Peggy get married. Our tax system is terrible and how we finance elections is worse than terrible. I believe in loose money and low interest rates, and think the fear of inflation is currently vastly overstated and that the Internet bubble burst was caused as much by the Feds jacking up interest rates as anything else. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I think there are millions like me, who left the Demos when we realized that the Demos had become the party of appeasers and anti-war nut cases. In short I believe in the common man, just as President Jackson did. Problem is, as I noted, the current Democratic Party is in the grasp of the Left, and will do nothing to put off their base. As a result, everything is politicialized, even when it is obvious it will hurt the country and not actually help them win elections.

    Posted by Lora: "You cannot win if the vote count is fixed." Right you are. Great news in California, where activists have been working around the clock on CLOSING THE DIEBOLD VOTE-FRAUD GAP: "Champagne time to celebrate the safe passage of SB 370 that allows Californian's to read their hard-earned paper ballots, as well as passage of the voter signature privacy bill." The vote-fraud companies and their cronies argued that the MACHINE TOTALS should be 'run twice' to "audit" the machine count -- because a disparity would cause doubt in the voting system! (Gee, ya think?) This law will require that the (restored to us in 2006) papertrail is what is used to manually audit the election as required by longstanding CA law. "This isn’t complicated, either you care about whether the election results are accurate or you don’t,” said Bowen.  “I don’t see how the Secretary of State, who led the opposition to the bill, could say with straight face that he’s for fair elections, he’s for having a paper trail on electronic voting machines, yet he’s against using that paper trail to ensure the accuracy of the vote count." "SB 1016 (Bowen) was also signed Friday evening, which protects the confidentiality of voter signatures by making signatures confidential the same way Social Security numbers (SSNs) and driver's license numbers on voter records are protected." As goes California, so goes the nation...sooner or later. Make sure YOUR state regains its paper trail, so when we win elections fairly, they aren't stolen in the black boxes of the Bush-backing companies.

    Andrew Jackson was a racist who commited GENOCIDE. Why does it not surprise me that Jim believes in him? The Trail of Tears is not something that will EVER be forgotten. Shame on you, Jim. Shame on Dennis Hastert

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#46)
    by BigTex on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:48 PM EST
    Wow, for the most part an excellent discussion. The dems will win when they want to win. Right now tey would rather have internal squabbling. If they were to change their position on abortion and homosexual mariage they would have sweeping victories. President Bush's base is closer aligned to democrats philosophy than to neoconservative philosophy. The problem is that the democrats keep pounding abortion and homosexual marriage, which many religous find intolerable, and would rather fight against those two aims than fight for healthcare, AIDS prevention, against the death penalty, better education, etc. The problem for democrats is that republicans have woken up to this potential problem in their ranks and are slowly bringing those back into the big tent. The merger is uneasy, but when the republicans stand against gay marriage and abortion they work together with a voters that would otherwise vote with democrats. While they are working together they also discuss issues like education and health care. What is the result? President Bush pushed through a huge increase in education spending. It didn't get the wanted results, but it kept the people who are concerned about education feeling like they have a valued spot in the big tent. Plans are floating out there that would piecemeal give healthcare to everyone. Once again, the big tent seems to care about issues that democrats say they care for, but are unwilling to compromise about. When it comes down to it, most voters will accept a piece of the pie rather than the whole pie. A national preventative and catestrophic healthcare, or children healthcae plan isn't what the swing voters were pushing for, but it is a step in the right direction, and a better result than what the dems give, so they will stay in the big tent because they are getting results. They may not be happy in the big tent, but they are getting what they want piece by piece. So they stay. Over time they see that the republicans are making socialk change, slowly and piecemeal, but it is change nonetheless. The more the swing voters fight for change with the republicans, the more pot invested they get, and eventually are invested enough that they will not change unless it appears the dems are able to deliver on the promises made... until that time comes the republicans will continue to win.

    Tex: You're high. The closest the DNC has ever come to supporting equal marriage is its 2004 platform statement that "in our country, marriage has been defined at the state level for 200 years, and we believe it should continue to be defined there." Nationally, the RNC has been vehemently anti-gay, and the DNC has at best been mushy in support of equal citizenship for gay and lesbian people. For gay and lesbian people who are concerned about their rights to contribute to the society as equal citizens, the Democratic Party is just the lesser of two evils.

    PIL reduces all of the problems of America to Bush being a criminal and Diebold the evil architect of the Neoconservative takeover of our government. I guess TL didn't mind using the bandwidth to discuss it... By the time Bush leaves office (without being impeached), inflation will be impossible to deny, unemployment will be up, and U.S. Soldiers will still be in Iraq. What Garbage will the DLC shovel to Democrats come 2008? "Make America safe from Terrorism" and, oh yeah, we keep meaning to do something about Healthcare. In the end, everyone pays more taxes to pay for more guns and more Corporate Welfare. The elite of Corporate America continues to pocket the money and abuse consumers by evading taxes, decreasing quality, artificially inflating their costs, increasing prices, and offshoring jobs to second world countries with bad governments. But I'd rather blame Bush and Diebold for everything. That's realistic. Nothing is wrong with mainstream America's values...not at all. Right.

    The merger is uneasy, but when the republicans stand against gay marriage and abortion they work together with a voters that would otherwise vote with democrats. How beautiful. Bigots and Theocrats walking arm in arm with Corporatists and Militarists to the voting booth. Sounds like a Christian Iran to me.

    Re: Dem. Report Advises Centrism Over Liberalism (none / 0) (#50)
    by Avedon on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:04:51 PM EST
    Some thing two-thirds of Americans say they do not want Roe v. Wade to be overturned. What possible value can come to Democrats by abandoning that same position? More than two-thirds of Americans want universal healthcare (not "Hillarycare", which was something else). Why should Democrats not support universal healthcare? The Clintons screwed up getting universal healthcare, and that is why a lot of people lost faith in them, and in Democrats. Note that, aside from Al Gore, no one has spoken of it seriously since then. There's no point abandoning a program they've never done anything worthwhile to achieve in the first place. I'm sorry, some of you people live in a fantasyland, just like the DLC. Jeralyn, I think you are too kind to them. It's not just that the poor and ex-felons and such aren't voting. It's that the DLC has managed to alienate most of the ordinary middle-class white Americans who would vote for them. Why should they vote for a party that doesn't appear to stand up, to believe in anything? They don't act like they mean it.