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Proud Democrats

You'll notice today a new ad on TalkLeft, one that's been here before. It will be up for the next month, through the August 7 Colorado primary. Colorado has three great Democrats running for the open seat in the 7th Congressional District, being vacated by Bob Beauprez who is going to challenge Democrat Bill Ritter (a real favorite of mine) for Governor. The race will be one of the most closely watched races in the country. There have been no dirty spats in this race, the three Dems have conducted themselves with integrity and positive campaigning.

But click on Peggy's video, hear her message and watch her. I've spent a few hours with her here and there over the last year and I believe she means what she says and she's very strong. She's doing well in the polls, has high name recognition and knows how to talk to people.

Get to know her, and see what you think. You can read my short interview with her here.

I asked her how would she describe the differences between her and Mr. Perlmutter. She answered:

* She has a stronger and superior record of support for public education, the environment and gay and lesbian rights.
* She has a "spine" and is an independent fighter. She will stand up to Republicans. She is a more effective advocate. Ed, she said, is more of a "go-along, get-along kind of guy."
* On the war in Iraq, she said she favors starting to withdraw troops now while Ed favors withdrawing them "as soon as practicable."

Later, I interviewed Ed Perlmutter, whom I also like, and you can read it here. l asked him to describe the main differences between him and Peggy.

He gave these distinctions:

* His lifelong roots in the community
* His more extensive experience as a legislator, including being Senator Pro Tem of the Senate
* His proven leadership skills, including as co-chair of Colorado's John Kerry campaign
* He's a proven winner with broad support across the political spectrum.

I asked Ed about Peggy's assertion that she's more of a fighter who will stand up to Republicans while he's more of a "go-along" kind of guy. That got his fighting spirit up.

He said he gets along with people, he's able to explain complicated issues and most importantly, he's willing to listen to them. He said, with passion:

" I'm a centrist, an independent thinker. I have no agenda. I like people. I want to make their lives better. But when there needs to be a fight, I'm a fighter. I'm a litigator. Fighting is about power, about having the majority to put values, philosophies and policies into place. "

To be honest, we can't lose with either one. I like Ed Perlmutter a lot. But, there's something about Peggy. She has dedicated herself to the people of Colorado who most need representation in Congress. Her issues: pro-choice, keeping social security, pro- environment, providing health care for everyone. taking care of seniors and her willingness to listen and to talk from her heart, makes me trust she will do what she says. Peggy is a fighter, she won't back down on issues we care about. Ed may be a better negotiator, a better compromiser, but in Congress, I want a fighter. I want another Diana DeGette and Mark Udall. I think Peggy is more in their mold. Yet, she too, describes herself as a centrist. And the 7th is a centrist district.

I don't get to vote in their district, and the bottom line is, since they are both great candidates, which one has a better chance of beating Bush and Cheney's "favorite son" Rick O'Donnell? I'll let you make up your minds, but please, click on Peggy's video and watch it. She's a "wysiwyg" -- what you see is what you get.

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  • Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:27:08 AM EST
    PBR, As you seemingly advocate for the neocon, I would be surprised you even know what a "true" Republican is.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#2)
    by Slado on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:47:46 AM EST
    The Govenator explains what a Repulican is. You're a Republican

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#3)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:49:48 AM EST
    What I think is that the "True Democrat" exclusionary talk is great way to squander what should be a real opportunity this year and in 2008. What makes a "True Democrat" (as opposed of course to a "False Democrat"?) Let's see: Anti-war AND Pro-choice AND Anti-gun AND Pro-tax increase AND Anti- school choice AND Pro- gay marriage AND Anti-fundamentalist Christian AND Pro-Palestinian I could go on but we've already eliminated probably 80% of the electorate by excluding anyone who does not share every single one of those, so why bother?

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#4)
    by Slado on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:04:50 AM EST
    One of the best lines from the Govenators speech hints at just that Deconstructionist ... And maybe, just maybe, you don't agree with this Party on every single issue. I say to you tonight that I believe that's not only okay, but that's what's great about this country. Here -- Here we can respectfully disagree and still be patriotic, still be American, and still be good Republicans. Not everyone can agree on everything, even in a party, and the attacks on Liberman and others for not agreeing with the far left on every issue may result in republicans staying in power. Fine by me.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:13:43 AM EST
    Not so fine by me. Personally, I wish the "True Democrats" would form their own ideologically pure party of the 10% or so they could possibly attract and let the "False Democrats" try to build a winning coalition based on practical reality without them. I honestly think losing that 10% or so would be a net positive because I think we often lose more than that among swing voters because of the extremism and intolerance of our farthest left.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#6)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:37:44 AM EST
    Deconstructionist, What makes a "True Democrat" (as opposed of course to a "False Democrat"?) Let's see:... ...I could go on but we've already eliminated probably 80% of the electorate ... You are obvioulsy a RW troll. If that blathering shopping list is your method of deconstructing the left, well I guess I'm just not too worried. I guess we're all entitled to our opinions. It's sad to see so many of yours apparently formed in a few minutes, from non factual observations and personal bias.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:03:49 AM EST
    Che, I'm not sure I buy the entirety of that list myself, but what specifically would you exclude from the "for" or "against" sections as not being required of a "true" Democrat? Or perhaps an easier question is: What positions do you, Che, consider inappropriate/unacceptable for a "true" Democrat? Can one be a "true" Democrat and be against abortion, against gun control, and for pursuing the war in Iraq, or does that make one immediately unacceptable? In other words, what, if anything, are the foundational principles of the "true" Democrats? What do they believe in, what do the propose in the way of policy, and why? Is this kind of discussion at all helpful toward the goal of regaining power, or does it in fact just drive away those who did not wake up this morning thinking fondly of Cindy Sheehan?

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:15:35 AM EST
    The right apparently dosnt have thoughts anymore, they have simpleton friendly "pro and anti" bumperstickers. This turning of complex issues into reality cartoons is why a good 50% of the electorate has been alienated; "eliminated", from participating in the democratic process at all. Btw Decon, you forgot to mention The War on Christmas.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:17:07 AM EST
    che: If your intent was to perfectly illustrate my point you could have not done a better job. Merely by making an observation I am excluded as a "blathering" "right wing troll." If and when you grow up, you might discover that is NOT an effective way to attract people to vote the way you prefer. You might not be worried because you are more concerned with appearing a member of the cool club than actually doing things that might possibly promote positive developments on election days. If those of us who take a more mature and practical approach and think doing things that make us more likely to lose elections is not very bright are ignored or even belittled then our Party's future is dim.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:25:00 AM EST
    My use of the word "true" to describe democrats in the title of this post is apparently driving the conversation off-topic. I'm going to change it to "Proud Democrats." Off topic comments will be deleted, as will troll comments.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#11)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:27:45 AM EST
    "The right apparently dosnt have thoughts anymore, they have simpleton friendly "pro and anti" bumperstickers. This turning of complex issues into reality cartoons..." I'm glad you are perceptive enough to recognize this development among the other side. The problem is that until you recognize it is equally prevalent on our side we can do little with it. In reality, extremists have far more in common WITH EACH OTHER and even though on opposite endes of the spectrum represent essentially mirror images of one another. Most people see ALL the extremists as people to be avoided and certainly not to be invested with power. But, the reality is we live in a country where the "middle" is closer to the right than the left. Thus, unfortunately, because of that and the fact the electoral map magnifies the influence of the right, the right wing extremists are able to inflict significantly less practical political harm on the center-right than left wing extremists inflict on the center-left. Not surprisingly, this has resulted in situation where power is overly concentrated on the right and the Left is marginalized. is why a good 50% of the electorate has been alienated; "eliminated", from participating in the democratic process at all. Btw Decon, you forgot to mention The War on Christmas

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#12)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:31:24 AM EST
    Pro some gun control = "anti gun". Recognizing that abortion is necessary in some circumstances = "pro abortion" Attempting to establish equitable, just soloutions to the Israeli-Palestinian situation = "pro Palestinian" and on an on. Why have a serious discussion when what we need is more wedge issues that'll git the folks farred up?

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:39:50 AM EST
    I like the idea of "Proud" Democrats, as it certainly beats Democrats who are ashamed of what they are, but the rest of the issue still stands, regardless of the particular label used. If you want to win elections, you need to give people a reason to vote for you, not just a reason to vote against the other guy (a combination of the two is probably best, but even then you have to do it well enough that you don't come across as primarily negative). Pride in what you are is not that reason; in fact, it may be part of the problem, as it sounds disturbingly similar to the Democrats now-standard post election refrain of "we just didn't get our message out/people don't understand/why are the voters so stupid"? You want my vote? Tell me how you are going to clean up the environment without bankrupting the economy. Tell me how you are going to end the war in Iraq without leaving the Iraqis worse off than the were under Saddam. Tell me how you are going to end poverty, fix Social Security and Medicare, and balance the budget without raising taxes through the roof. Do that and you'll have something to proud of.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:48:42 AM EST
    Why don't you read the candidates' positions on issues on their websites-- most state their proposed solutions clearly.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#15)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:49:32 AM EST
    I'm glad to see that upon reflection you recognize the damage caused by talk of "True Democrats." I'm not so glad that you feel compelled to dictate the terms and nature of discussion even if that is your right as owner of the site. I don't think that approach encourages open discussion and consideration of ideas and beliefs. There is a school of thought that believes that acknowledging the existence of and sometimes even the merit of ideas of thoughts different from one's own is helpful not only in allowing one to epress his or her ideas but sometimes even to refine and improve those ideas.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 09:57:00 AM EST
    Fabulous, Jeralyn. You want to hype the issue of Proud Democrats, but when asked about the issues on a party wide basis, you want to refer to single candidates. I do believe that's been tried before and it's what got you here, because a lot of those "Proud" Democrats are members of the looney tunes left whose positions make no sense beyond a hatred for all things Republican/Conservative/Bush. Maybe you should retitle the post again to something clear like "Proud Peggy Lamm". since that seems to be where you're headed with it.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:20:58 AM EST
    Fabulous j.p. But you're perfectly free to make cracks that articulate a well-reasoned position and "make sense" about "the loony tunes Left" and those who wake up dreaming of Cindy Sheehan. Quack heal thyself.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#18)
    by jondee on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:29:30 AM EST
    Of course they just hate Bush makes perfect sense: on any grade school playground.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#19)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 11:16:11 AM EST
    Jondee: You are missing the point. the problem lies with people who seek to exclude those who do not share their rigid positions on these issues. We have a HUGE problem with people immediately attacking other Democrats (let alone independents and moderate Republicans) who even suggest the possibility that there is merit in any middle-ground positions. MOST PEOPLE take middle ground positions on MOST issues. Driving THE MAJORITY away with intolerance is not a good idea. I agree with you that these issues should be discussed but the EXREMISTS don't want to discusss and debate they want to DICTATE. A lot of people, even many who mostly agree in philosophical terms, find wannabe DICTATORS unappealing. When people are unsure whether voting Democratic will allow some of these now wannabe dictators to gain the real power to dictate, that hurts the Democrats. To win we need to convince people that the Democrats who are being elected will prevent that. Pro some gun control = "anti gun". Recognizing that abortion is necessary in some circumstances = "pro abortion" Attempting to establish equitable, just soloutions to the Israeli-Palestinian situation = "pro Palestinian" and on an on. Why have a serious discussion when what we need is more wedge issues that'll git the folks farred up?

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#20)
    by soccerdad on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 11:34:18 AM EST
    You are missing the point. the problem lies with people who seek to exclude those who do not share their rigid positions on these issues. We have a HUGE problem with people immediately attacking other Democrats (let alone independents and moderate Republicans) who even suggest the possibility that there is merit in any middle-ground positions. MOST PEOPLE take middle ground positions on MOST issues. Driving THE MAJORITY away with intolerance is not a good idea.
    The point is that this misconception of yours is a strawman. Its utter nonsense. Not based on fact. One could point to the Rethugs in the WH and RNC and how they exclude other repubs who dont toe their extreme positions. In fact it is the right wing, once again using projection, that is manufacturing this controversy. Are you implying there are no moderates in the Repub. That its just a large band of extremists. Bush and Rove dont tolerate dissent. And you label all dissenters in the Dems as extremists Painting each issue as an either or construct is juenvile at best and accurately reflects the lack of maturity of most Repubs, at least the ones that post here. What a waste of bandwidth.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#21)
    by soccerdad on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 11:42:09 AM EST
    people like Deconstructionist are not interested in policy or ideas just winning. They dont care what happens only that they maintain power. They are what Orwell referred to as Nationalists as opposed to patriots. Power is all that matters, and exclusionism is at the core of their approach. They dont want to discuss they want to bury the opposition destroying them and their ideas, so that only their point of view remains.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 12:38:42 PM EST
    soccerdad
    people like Deconstructionist are not interested in policy or ideas just winning. They dont care what happens only that they maintain power . . . . They dont want to discuss they want to bury the opposition destroying them and their ideas, so that only their point of view remains
    I couldn't disagree more. I think DC is being pragmatic about how you affect change in a democracy - incrementally. Absent exceptional circumstances, extreme positions (in either direction) and sweeping proposals for change rarely resonate with the majority of the electorate. So a candidate who stands for everything that I believe in doesn't do me much good if he or she has little chance of being elected. I may want to take five steps forward, but I'd rather go for one step forward with a 50-50 chance of winning than go for all five with a 90% chance of taking two steps back.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#23)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 01:19:16 PM EST
    soccerdad: You assert: "The point is that this misconception of yours is a strawman. Its utter nonsense. Not based on fact." Really? How so? What am I misconceiving? In what way? You continue: "One could point to the Rethugs in the WH and RNC and how they exclude other repubs who dont toe their extreme positions." Yes, once could. However one would be far less persuasive in doing so when guilty of precisely the same sin. Moreover, as noted previously, the REALITY is that the "middle" in this country is found to the Rightof the mythical center and the damage done to Republicans by their extremists is demonstrably less than that done by ours. (In case you haven't heard they control all branches of the federal government.) "In fact it is the right wing, once again using projection, that is manufacturing this controversy." No. You give the Republicans FAR too much credit. It's NOT their superior shrewdness and ability to persuade. It's their being lucky enough to have really inept opposition which is probably the only kind they could beat. It would probably be a good idea to start providing better opposition than whining about them beating us using means they are going to contiunue to use whether you like it or not. "Are you implying there are no moderates in the Repub." No. In fact, I thought I explicitly pointed out how stupid it is to drive away moderate Democrats let alone independents and moderate Republicans. We CANNOT WIN without attracting swing voters. WE SQUANDER the good opportunity to prevail among them by reflexively attacking them as either stupid and gullible, inexcusably apathetic, evildoers in disguise just posing as moderates and the like. Telling people they are the problem rarely persuades them to vote for you. "And you label all dissenters in the Dems as extremists" No, I did no such thing. I label intolerant extremists as extremists. the problem is the extremists are louder and more shrill and tend to drown out mature and responsible voices of dissent. I believe my point was that the fact the extremists are the ones who don't tolerate dissent from their rigid ideology is the problem. "Painting each issue as an either or construct is juenvile at best and accurately reflects the lack of maturity of most Repubs, at least the ones that post here." I didn't paint it as an either/or construct. I criticized the extreme Left's reflexive compulsion to always do that and its unthinking emotional attacks on anyone who suggests that is very unwise. I point out that people like you who do that are the problem. It is rich you use the term projection when that is exactly what you do.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#24)
    by soccerdad on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 01:27:36 PM EST
    yeah yeah SOS

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:12:07 PM EST
    geez, we've been infested. this is like how to steal threads with bs 101. Deconstructionist , we have ppj, so we can know bs, when we see it

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:41:09 PM EST
    I'm just proud to be an American...Isn't that a song? Politics is the bane of our society.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#28)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:47:41 PM EST
    God**mn it. That was me above. do I have to sign in every time?

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#29)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 07:50:00 PM EST
    OK fixed.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 08:21:44 PM EST
    Shielding an illegal person is aiding and abetting and a felony. Why do governors, congressmen in states where there are a lot of illegals ie CO think they are above the law?

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#27)
    by Che's Lounge on Wed Jul 12, 2006 at 10:01:41 PM EST
    Yeah Decon let's take is slow while other people die. F that. But I guess it's not your block that is getting shot up. I'm sooooo sorry if we are too "intolerant" of the enablers of the daily killing in our name. Maybe you should go somewhere else to peddle your armchair philosophy. Our foreign policy is a failure on so many levels that it may already be too late to stop these unelected maniacs. So sit back, write a check for Holy Joe, and stay the course into decay. You might not be worried because you are more concerned with appearing a member of the cool club than actually doing things that might possibly promote positive developments on election days Well what kind of inflated ego would make you believe you could come here and try to initiate some dialog or change some minds? Your 08:49 comment (one of the first in the thread) is obviously not intended to initiate a reasonable discussion, especially since you posted a set of simplistically false assumptions followed by your own conclusion. What kind of response were you looking for with that approach? I wouldn't waste one line trying to debate that stupid list. So, as we say in California: Welcome! Now go home. Houseofblue, I think DC is being pragmatic about how you affect change in a democracy - incrementally. Is that how the cabal in the WH is destroying our country? Incrementally? You guys are so 1930's Germany. They raped and murdered a 14 year old girl, and you say take it slow? It's total chaos and you want to think it over? That's just insane.

    Re: Proud Democrats (none / 0) (#31)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Jul 13, 2006 at 11:04:38 PM EST
    Che's Lounge
    Is that how the cabal in the WH is destroying our country? Incrementally? You guys are so 1930's Germany.
    If you read my post, I said "Absent exceptional circumstances, extreme positions (in either direction) and sweeping proposals for change rarely resonate with the majority of the electorate." For Bush, 9/11 was the the exceptional circumstance needed to sell the public on an unneccessary war. And even then, he eased into it. He started with Afganistan and then sold the public on Iraq. But other than Iraq, I think that Bush has been most succesful in getting his agenda passed when he's gone for incremental changes. Keep in mind why Bush couldn't pass his Social Security or Immigration plans and wasn't able to get his first choice justice on the Supreme Court - even with republican majorities in both houses. He went for too much and got burned.
    They raped and murdered a 14 year old girl, and you say take it slow? It's total chaos and you want to think it over? That's just insane.
    Not thinking about the ramifications of our actions and acting on anger and emotion is how we ended up in this mess to begin with. We should be thinking long and hard about what course of action is going to minimize the further damage. Keeping the troops in Iraq may be the direct cause of 10,000 (I'm just picking an arbitrary number) deaths a year, but if pulling them out is going to result in 20,000 or 30,000 deaths a year - I think we have an obligation to stay. That we should never have been over there to begin with doesn't alleviate that burden. I feel like America stabbed a steak knife into Iraq's heart trying to clear out an artery. Leaving the knife in is slowly killing it, but it might also be the only thing plugging the bleeding. Everyone agrees that we have to get the knife out, but no one knows how. The solution is worth some thought.