Accountability In The Big Tent

The Netroots is meeting in Austin the next few days. I will not be there. But if I was, I would talk about what Markos said:

“I’m positioning myself, at DailyKos, which isn’t the broader netroots, to not be carrying water for anybody,” he said. “We’ll work to keep our party honest. We’re not going to pretend that just because he’s Barack Obama, his actions aren’t sometimes problematic. But that doesn’t mean we’re abandoning him or that we won’t vote for him. That’s ludicrous.”

And I would discuss this approach to accountability:

". . . But once the primary is over, [most of us] are all Ds. And we support all Ds. At least that is how I look at it. Does this mean SYFP during the general election? Nah. First of all, it ain't going to work anyway. Folks are not going to. But it does mean being cognizant that our election system is binary. None of the above does not win elections. And it means being realistic about Political Space Time Curvature:

What [Crashing The Gate is] talking about is a Democratic Party that is committed to its core values and also is a Big Tent -- the type of party required to be a majority party in the United States. They are arguing for a party that has defined its values while at the same time NOT requiring lockstep agreement on all the issues across the country. It will be a party where Ben Nelson will stress his fight for working Americans and contrast that with the Republican Party's neglect of the common man, but also a party where a Ned Lamont will battle with Joe Lieberman over the Iraq War and where Ted Kennedy will fight for civil rights. Much may divide Ben Nelson, Ned Lamont and Ted Kennedy, but their core values, values of the Democratic Party, pull them together. And each should stress those values in ways that make sense for each of them in their respective political situations. And in this way a national Democratic brand can be created that appeals in all sections of the country.

How did Dems win in 2006?

This was the intellectual battle the Netroots, led by one Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, has fought with the DC Establishment for 4 years:

While Brownstein is right about the belief from most of us that the right politics demands confrontation with Bush and contrast with the Republicans, I think he is wrong to believe that this approach alienates independent swing voters. If anything, the alignment that Indys are having with Dems in most polling shows that it is exactly the opposite. That this approach is ATTRACTING swing voters. This is where the fundamental divide between the DLC Centrists and us lies. Where we think the swing voter will land. Take my friend Ed Kilgore of the DLC for instance. Ed is a sharp thinker and writer, but Ed lacks confidence in our Democratic ideals:

[S]everal other centrist party strategists worry that the hyperpartisan turn-out-the-base strategy that many online activists demand won't work for Democrats, because polls consistently show that more Americans consider themselves conservative than liberal.

"We are more of a coalition party than they are," says Ed Kilgore, the policy director for the DLC. "If we put a gun to everybody's head in the country and make them pick sides, we're not likely to win."

[T]his is simply not true. . . . When we make folks pick sides against the GOP Extremism of Dobson and the committed support to a policy of making sure the government leaves you alone in your private decisions advocated by Liberals, they will pick our side, in droves. Don't fear that fight.

And that [wa]s the real lesson, at least for me, of Markos and dailykos.

Are we forgetting these lessons? I fear we are. The Netroots must not forget this fight, how we won it and how we must continue to win it in our Democratic Party.

How was this internal struggle carried out in our Big Tent? By Crashing The Gates:

[Michael Crowley] explains that "Democrats say there's a key difference between liberals and conservatives online. Liberals use the Web to air ideas and vent grievances with one another, often ripping into Democratic leaders....Conservatives, by contrast, skillfully use the Web to provide maximum benefit for their issues and candidates."

Update by kos: Good. Let people think that. People have always been naysayers. Instead of getting riled up about, we'll keep doing what we're doing. And at the end of 2006 we'll be able to take stock of the situation and declare, definitively, that the conservative blogosphere is merely a redundant extension of their noise machine.

We fight for what we believe in in our Big Tent. And then we come together as Democrats. And we do this every day, every week, and every year. That is the importance of the Netroots. It is why, together, we accomplished what we did these past years.

STFU? Never. Ever."

I wrote that post in February 2007. I think I have not strayed from that approach. I assert that the Netroots has. I looked at the agenda for this week's gathering in Austin. I saw nothing that leads me to believe that anyone there will be discussing this subject. Perhaps they are comfortable with what has transpired and where they are going. That is certainly their right to feel that way. It is a big blogosphere as Markos always says.

Some of us have chosen a different path. I respect the choices of others even as I choose to criticize it. I hope they can return the respect even as they choose to criticize others.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    My belief (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:29:33 AM EST
    is that you have to find a way to vote for the Democrat, no matter what, but to make sure at the same time that they don't take you for granted.  It's a bit of a paradox!  You have to be an agitator, always.

    It occurs to me (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:35:21 AM EST
    that the BCRA might have made it more difficult.

    How so? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:18:40 AM EST
    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:32:28 AM EST
    For me, the only conceivable vote is for the Democrats.

    But if that's the only conceivable vote... (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by EL seattle on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:45:03 AM EST
    ... how can there be accountability?  Primaries aren't the most effective way to weed out corruption (for instance), and the republicans have shown that they can effectively use one poster child or two to tar the entire  democratic party with a particular stain.  See: Rostenkowski, Dan.

    For me (5.00 / 10) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:15:22 AM EST
    saying that the "only conceivable vote is for a Democrat" is the equivalent of saying "impeachment is off the table".

    The only accountability force you have is your vote.  The rest is kerfluffle.


    There is very little accountability (none / 0) (#182)
    by Faust on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:32:15 PM EST
    at the presidential level. Not saying there isn't any, not saying people shouldn't agitate for it.

    In the end, in the booth, when it's McCain vs. Obama all other choices are meaningless insofar as the election results are concerned. Ross Perot proved that in 92, and Nader in 2k. It's a two party system like it or not.

    People can convince themselves otherwise, but it is what it is.


    From Bush's two terms (none / 0) (#192)
    by Fabian on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 03:12:23 PM EST
    I would say that accountability comes from a President's partisan Congress members.

    aka elections and re-elections.

    Alberto Gonzales was forced out, that much seemed apparent.  By who?  Not Bush, who seemed very unhappy about it.  The Dems?  Not likely.  The GOP worried they'd lose more seats in 2008 than in 2006?  Well....yes, that could be it.

    So Congress can exercise its power, when it chooses to.  Not often enough for me, I must say.


    I can agree with that (none / 0) (#195)
    by Faust on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 04:00:45 PM EST
    Very disapointed in the current dem leadership in both houses.

    For me, not voting was inconceivable (5.00 / 12) (#27)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:08:18 AM EST
    until now.  So Obama has brought a big change, after all, with the blatant corruption of the Dem party.

    I feel the same way (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by litigatormom on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:49:51 AM EST
    and yet I wish I didn't.  I felt very much like my vote is being taken for granted by Barack Obama when he decided to vote for telecom immunity. After months of being told on DailyKos (before I joined the flotilla of boat people who washed up on this and other shores) that Hillary Clinton wasn't really a Democrat, that a vote for Hillary Clinton was a vote against progressive values because of her vote on the IWR, suddenly Daily Kos no longer believes in ideological purity? Suddenly, a candidate who votes the "wrong" way on a particular issue is to be forgiven, because he's a Democrat?

    I'd say I was shocked if I'd ever believed that Obama was the Second Coming of Progressivism. Since I always thought he was just another (very talented) pol, I'm not surprised that he's moving toward the center.  I'm just surprised that this move isn't causing his support from the left to hemorrhage.

    I was so angry at the DNC after the MI/FLA debacle, about the DNC's tolerance of overtly sexist and misogynistic messages about HRC, so furious at Donna Brazile and Howard Dean, that I took a long sabbatical from political boards after Obama clinched the nomination.  After all, Obama's supporters had said quite explicitly that Obama "didn't need" Democrats like me. I've come around, largely because the fact that McCain is so close to Obama in the polls, despite a recent series of gaffes, scares the living crap out of me. I feel I can't afford to hold the DNC "accountable" -- not this year.

    But the question of how one does hold the DNC accountable remains. If Obama is elected, the DNC will consider its actions during the primaries vindicated, and its ranks will be populated by those who supported them. In the end, not having John McBush become president of the United States is more important to me than accountability amongst Democrats, but I wish the choice were not binary.


    L-Mom, I think you CAN hold the DNC (none / 0) (#86)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:13:38 PM EST
    accountable.  I'm withholding my contribution to the DNC this cycle, and I sent them a letter telling them why (much the same reasons you express).  The letter also said that I would contribute my usual total amount, but this time all to individual, progressive candidates who need it.

    I'd go so far as to say one ought to give to the Obama campaign, rather than the DNC, if she is pissed off about Florida and Michigan.  

    What, after all, was Obama doing, except being the politician we always knew he was, in the primary and with regard to Fla. and Mich.?  It was the DNC -- Dean, Brazile, et al. -- that disenfranchised those Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida.


    Personally (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Nadai on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:19:58 PM EST
    I don't think being a receiver of stolen goods is a major moral step up from stealing.

    I don't hold any politician to such exacting (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:25:58 PM EST
    moral standards.

    And yet, you hold bloggers (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:36:36 PM EST
    to exacting moral standards; see your comments below.

    Somehow, I still think that a president is more important than a blogger.  But that's just me.


    No, I think that policies and results matter, (none / 0) (#128)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:54:16 PM EST
    and I expect less from my politicians.  That is a core reason I never signed on to the Obama mania.

    I hold newspapers and bloggers to a high standard because they are supposed to keep politicians' feet to the fire.

    As for politicians, an honest Abe or a George Washington happens only once every so many generations.  And even with those two, I suspect history or momentous times (or some combination of both) elevated them to the standard you expect of our politician-Presidents.


    except it was Obama's (none / 0) (#120)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:48:42 PM EST
    campaign claims in the primary that he was "change" and a "new kind of poiltics" and able to "hold up those standards" that got the nomination for him.  So, in my eyes, accountability is much more important this year than usual.  I'd rather have McCain for 4 years than to reward what went on and continues to go on this year.

    If you'd rather have McCain, I really don't know (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:56:32 PM EST
    how I can explain any of what I'm saying to you.  I'll just say that I have NEVER cast a vote for a politician for any office that in some sense did not come down to a choice of the lesser evil.

    well then i guess (none / 0) (#142)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:14:16 PM EST
    it all depends on what you consider evil to be.  I consider what went on in these primaries to be an "evil" that I don't want to reward.  And, I think it is the greater of the two evils if the other evil is 4 years of McCain.

    I think rewarding it would just cause it to continue into the future for much longer than 4 years of McCain.  And I am going to just have to trust the dem majorities in the house and senate to stop McCain from doing any damage.


    You have a lot of trust in Congress, then. (5.00 / 1) (#147)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:19:59 PM EST
    They've given me very little reason to believe they will stand up to McCain as president.

    And, my vote or support is not given as a "reward" for good behavior, but rather as a vote for the policies I want to see enacted, not to mention avoiding "100 years" in Iraq.

    It seems to me that Clinton supporters who would vote for McCain essentially to punish McCain are on a par with extreme Obama supporters who think Obama can do no wrong.  The better candidate is not the one who "campaigns right" or who personally "deserves" (or does not "deserve") the office.  

    The better candidate is the one who is more likely (more able or committed) to enact progressive policies.  For me, that meant Hillary is better than Obama is better than McCain.


    Correction: (none / 0) (#148)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:20:56 PM EST
    Third para:  "to punish Obama"

    Hmmmmmm (none / 0) (#150)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:24:14 PM EST
    The better candidate is the one who is more likely (more able or committed) to enact progressive policies

    With positions such as he took on FISA I am not that confident of Obama.  To me his best quality is that he Is Not McCain.


    well lucky for Obama then that I live in NC (none / 0) (#155)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:29:43 PM EST
    because he won't win this state whether I vote for him or not.

    I will vote for Obama if and only if Clinton is on the ticket.

    But, like I said, I'm in NC so it doesn't really matter.  What you need to worry about is how many people like me are there in actual "swing" states.


    I'm not worried about it. I'm just not (none / 0) (#158)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:35:12 PM EST
    accustomed to such binary thinking from progressives.  I've seen it for months from the more radical Obama supporters.  And I'm seeing it now from those Clinton supporters who seem to want to vote for McCain apparently out of some sort of spite.

    i really think (none / 0) (#169)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:04:06 PM EST
    that I have provided some valid reasoning that doesn't deserve to be derided as "spite".  You just may value different issues than I do.

    I was speaking generally. I haven't seen enough (none / 0) (#171)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:07:32 PM EST
    of your reasons to talk about you specifically.  Sorry it came out that way.

    But I believe what I said as a general matter.


    On what do you base your trust? (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:16:48 PM EST
    Totally understand your point, Tim (none / 0) (#153)
    by blogtopus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:27:35 PM EST
    At this point in our history, the Democratic Party is ALL WE HAVE to fight the insane power that has been amassed. It is supposed to be THE GOOD GUY in this fight. And we are watching it begin to take stances that would have been labelled GOP in earlier times.

    What other form of protest do we have, without our vote? We are being fenced off, as protestors, at OUR OWN CONVENTION. Our petitions are ignored, our messages are ignored, in favor of massive Telco money and other interests.

    The only power we have is A) our Money, and B) our Vote. I've sworn to withhold 'A' for as long as these schenanigans continue; I haven't yet figured if I'm going to withhold 'B' yet, but it may be the only thing that wakes up somebody: Taking them the f*** out of office.


    Except (none / 0) (#179)
    by Mike H on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:27:49 PM EST
    Fighting the "insane power" of the bad guys is EXACTLY what the Democrats have NOT been doing!

    I don't see what good it will do to vote for Obama when:

     (a)  it will vindicate the unethical activities in the primaries that I vehemently disagree with; and

    (b) it is unlikely to do anything to undo the damage of Bush or to advance progressive causes, especially given Obama's own actions and words, combined with the inactivity of Pelosi, Reid, et al.

    The Democratic Party clearly DOES NOT CARE about advancing progressive policies, and anyone who thinks otherwise has not been paying attention.  How does continuing to vote for Democrats in these circumstances, and sending them campaign donations, make them support progressive policies?  It doesn't make sense, you're just reinforcing their idea that they can do whatever they want because we have "nowhere else to go".

    Their confidence in counting on our votes no matter what they actually deliver makes our position weaker, not stronger.


    did you used to post (none / 0) (#180)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:30:06 PM EST
    on AmericaBlog as Mike Hunt?

    This is what finally made me decide (5.00 / 0) (#172)
    by litigatormom on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:08:15 PM EST
    I  had to vote for Obama.  Because I am not sure the country will survive four years of McCain so that we can reform the DNC. At least not the country as we know it (even if he avoids nuclear conflagration).

    Bottom line: Obama disappoints me.  McCain scares the living crap out of me. Lesser of two evils, yeah, but a big enough difference to make it real for me.

    And yes, I have hung up twice on DNC fundraisers after telling them why I refuse to give them money. Apparently they don't believe it, as I've given money to the DNC in the past and I remain on their lists. But they're going to hear the same thing until November.


    I feel the same way. (none / 0) (#199)
    by Mari on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 05:45:08 PM EST
    Obama flip-flopped on FISA. Why is there an assumption that he is better than McCain? He might be worse. He can push through more center-right(mostly right) legislation such as the beginning of social security privatization. Divided government is a better option.

    Jeez, I miss the old daily kos (5.00 / 7) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:33:03 AM EST
    It seems that at the start of 2007, the leftospherere split into three. Those who wanted to go along to get along, those who wanted to focus on the 2008 Presidential primary, and those of us who actually believed in the primary Democratic message of 2006.

    I miss ek hornbeck, but not (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:48:24 AM EST
    the grammar police.

    Amen and amen. (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:15:13 PM EST
    I miss McJoan but not the dittoheads.

    I still read mcjoan. (none / 0) (#91)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:17:59 PM EST
    I don't give Daily Kos hits. Period. (none / 0) (#94)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:19:41 PM EST
    And, while I think McJoan is highly credible, I choose my reading in part based on where people choose to write and publish, and the editorial standards of the publication.  The same goes for blogs.

    That is an unachievable standard. (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:24:25 PM EST
    Really? It's very easy not to give Daily Kos (none / 0) (#107)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:30:32 PM EST
    hits.  Quite achievable.

    If you are speaking more broadly, I don't expect perfection.  

    But I can tell you this:  I would never pick up ANY publication whose owner/lead contributer signed on to a baseless smear such as the "Obama photo darkening."  That is right up there with some of the lesser smears that came out of the Arkansas Project.


    I read mcjoan because I very much (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:36:58 PM EST
    respect her work and persistence.  

    I also respect most of the NYT, despite the obvious past failings of that newspaper and the presence of op-ed columnists with whom I strenuously disagree (and usually don't read for that reason).


    Funny -- I had a phrase in my previous (none / 0) (#125)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:51:20 PM EST
    comment about the New York Times that essentially said "no publication or blog is indispensable, except perhaps The New York Times."  But I deleted it -- weird we both thought of the NYT.

    But, if you put Daily Kos on the same level as The New York Time, as an "indispensable" source, that is your judgment to make.


    One Difference Between NYTimes and Blogs... (5.00 / 5) (#144)
    by santarita on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:18:03 PM EST
    like DKos is that with the NY Times you know that the editors and reporters have standards that they don't always live up to but they strive to.  The  swift  disintegration of any pretense at standards at the political blogs during the primaries amazed me.  What could have been a great instrument for change turned into a great propaganda instrument.  

    Credibility once lost is hard to recover.  Once a blog becomes a mouthpiece for a candidate it is hard to take that blog seriously.  And I'm sorry to say that goes for the contributors to the blog.  

    The NY Times as bad as it has been on certain issues at least recognizes its errors, which is the first step towards improving.    


    Agree with all of the above. (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:26:49 PM EST
    Except that I do believe writers can correct themselves and recover credibility.  In my example above (the darkened Obama photo smear) the time for that has long past, however.

    Daily Kos is no indispensable to me. (none / 0) (#126)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:52:36 PM EST
    Neither is NYT, actually; I really subscribe for the Arts coverage.

    Well perhaps some progressives (none / 0) (#132)
    by Joelarama on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:58:16 PM EST
    subscribe to William F. Buckley's rag for the witty cartoons, as he used to say in the advertisements.

    Of Esquire for the articles. (none / 0) (#137)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:01:33 PM EST
    I don't either (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by litigatormom on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:14:22 PM EST
    I thought I was addicted to DK, and wrote not one but two GBCW diaries before I finally lost patience and quit for good.  I finally got mad enough that I didn't miss it, not even lurking.

    I must confess that I twice clicked onto DK inadvertently because the listing was next to EBay on my favorites list. So I took DK off my favorites list.

    There were several frontpagers I liked, but I could not abide by a place that was willing to run trusted users who had been there for years get troll-rated and abused for the simple act of expressing their preference for Clinton. I will never go back.


    i used to be the same (none / 0) (#177)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:22:48 PM EST
    with AmericaBlog.  Used to read it every day.  Completely quit after the Clinton bashing took over completely.

    Here's what I don't get (5.00 / 14) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:37:45 AM EST
    Unless there's at least a strong implicit threat to not vote and/or not donate money, where's the incentive for the politician to care what we say or think?  They take certain positions, say on FISA, because they think it will get them votes (or sometimes actually on principle).  If there's a lot of yelling about it from the "Netroots" or anywhere else, with the coda "but we're going to vote for him anyway because he's better than X," why should he or any politician give a darn?

    I don't see the mechanism for having any effect on anything.  We're just venting.

    Obviously, I personally value the opportunity to vent, but aren't we just kidding ourselves that it will make the tiniest bit of difference?  Are we hoping the very force of our arguments will make the politician reconsider his/her position?

    All the criticism/venting in the world has no impact if it's under a banner headline saying "We will vote for him anyway," IMHO.

    Good comment. (5.00 / 10) (#8)
    by dk on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:45:00 AM EST
    For me, at least, I guess I'm skeptical of the idea that, as mere voters and private citizens, are choices are ALWAYS binary.  

    Yes, of course, in our system, the results of the elections are always binary.  But that's not the same thing as saying that our choices are always binary.

    I vote Democratic because in the vast majority of cases, I think the Democratic candidates that have run for election where I have lived have backed what I consider to be fundamental Democratic principles (even when I disagree with them from time to time on particular policies and issues).  

    But when a Democrat comes along who, I believe, does not share those values, my choice is not binary.  It can include not voting, voting for a third party candidate, etc.  Are there risks in doing so?  Sure, my good intentions may backfire in the short term.  But we take risks even with the Democrats we elect.

    Personally, in my almost 20 years voting, I have made this choice only twice, but I can certainly sleep at night when thinking about those choices.


    I think it does have an effect (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:47:26 AM EST
    You think only withholding votes works.

    We just fundamentally disagree.


    But what is the mechanism (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:13:49 PM EST
    for the effect you believe it has?  That's my core question.

    Raising the profile of (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:39:52 PM EST
    the issues that are important to you - turning up the heat on them, educating people on them, moving them up in priority as compared to other issues, primarily the ones the politicians would rather focus on because they're noncontroversial or put them in a good light no matter what.

    I think withholding your vote is self-defeating, because the vote isn't just for the politician but for yourself and what you want that politician to do with the power you vote them. But avoiding saying you'll vote for them no matter what is fine, imo - ambiguity can be a good thing in that case.


    Well (none / 0) (#51)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:32:38 AM EST
    Did withholding votes achieve any positive results in 2000?  The message was sent - the Dems lost the election because too many people jumped ship.  Do you think that succeeded in moving the party in the right direction?

    It's just not so easy as that this time around. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:38:09 AM EST
    People who withheld their votes (5.00 / 5) (#63)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:43:40 AM EST
    in 2000 were simply falling for Nader's line of bull. There was no reason not to vote for Gore - he was a good Democrat and had won the nomination without the DNC's thumb on the scales. I was happy to vote for him, and I wish with all my heart that just one person in the Senate had stood up for him and challenged the results of the Florida election.

    I am sure I will get deleted if I delineate the reasons why Obama is not acceptable to me, but suffice it to say, I have never NOT voted Democratic in a Presidential election. I am not a Republican or a bitter dead-ender or a racist or in love with Hillary Clinton. I was a yellow-dog Democrat until this year.

    Yet I cannot vote for Obama. And there are at least 2.5 million Democrats who feel the same way at the time I write this.

    Are we to pretend this phenomenon does not exist, or alternatively, simply blame it on Hillary or the Democratic voters who still support her?

    It seems so, and that does not reflect well on the so-called Netroots Nation.


    You won't necessarily get deleted (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:12:21 PM EST
    Jeralyn is quite tolerant of dissent, as long as it is on topic and not insulting. Nonetheless, I don't think it's necessary to provide reasons for not voting for Obama. Each of us who is taking this path has our own, although they often overlap. Nader's line was bull.  He said that Democrats were just like Republicans, which is so wrong on so many levels that it's hard to know where to start. Obama may be way more moderate than I like, but he is way to the left of McCain. If political positions were the only criterion, I would be voting for Obama. Gore was a qualified candidate in every way. This is not 2000. I hope we won't be trapped in that lie again. There is no reason to try to start another party - we simply need to give Dems an opportunity to move to the left - and the incentive to try.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Melchizedek on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:48:38 PM EST
    Everything you said about Gore could be contested by a Bradley supporter, since the DNC and the "establishment" was certainly not in Bradley's camp in terms of debates, etc. And the Nader analogy does hold-- it was meant as a way to "get through" to the Democratic Party, especially among "yellow-dog" "all my life" blah-blah-blah Democrats.

    The reason that the "accountability" charge falls so flat is that its a diffuse goal without sufficient organizational strategy. Most of what I read here is just bitterness that Hillary lost, not deep concern with how the DNC operated (you heard almost no objections when Florida and Michigan were known to be in for punishment and Hillary was ahead in December).

    If we're serious about changing the DNC it has to start on multiple levels-- local and state levels are critical. But instead we just ramble on about Obama and Clinton as these superhuman figures without understanding the structures propping them up. I mean, do you think the DNC just magically transformed from 2004 to now? You think all the evil Deans and Brazilles just sprang up out of nowhere?

    If Clinton had had a better strategy for Iowa and Feb. 5  the FL and MI would have worked just as shadily through Ickes and co. and she would have won. The Kossacks would be screaming "accountability" just like you, but the same political naivete would be there, waiting to be duped in 2012.


    If you think that no one here (none / 0) (#133)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:58:19 PM EST
    is angry about the DNC, then you have not read very many posts at TL, and certainly not mine.

    The rest of your post attributes motivations and qualities to me which I do not have.


    Well (none / 0) (#71)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:54:26 AM EST
    I am not comparing sitting out this election to a vote for Nader.  They are clearly two different elections.

    My question is simply based on the premise that some liberals refused to vote for Gore in 2000 because, rightly or wrongly, they felt he was not satisfactorily advancing their issues.  Did the result of the election cause the Democratic Party to do anything to reach out to those people, to make them feel like their issues were being addressed?


    No, (none / 0) (#105)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:29:18 PM EST
    because they used the tool in the wrong situation.

    That doesn't mean that the tool is ineffective.

    If you use a vacuum cleaner to try to drill a hole, it will not work. However, that doesn't mean it won't vacuum your floors.


    Okay (none / 0) (#108)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:31:51 PM EST
    What makes it the wrong situation?  Because Gore was, in fact, a good liberal?  One would think that if it's all a matter of perception, that would make it easier, not harder, to bring the disaffected voters back into the fold.  Yet I'm not aware that an effort was even made.

    Also, I don't think we should pretend that there was no room to Al Gore's left in terms of restraining corporate power, which was Nader's big issue.


    I was not aware (none / 0) (#127)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:54:15 PM EST
    that Al Gore had used tactics unacceptable to Democrats to gain the nomination. This election cycle, that is what happened with Obama v. Clinton. That is the reason for the protests now.

    I cannot speak for everyone who means to withhold his/her vote or otherwise not accept Obama as the nominee, but I do think that my goal in doing what I'm doing is different from the Nader voters in 2000. I am protesting specific actions by the DNC, and I am hoping to give Hillary the fair shot she deserves at the Convention. This ad states my position quite well.

    If the Party refuses to do this, then the Party is no longer small d- democratic, and I will then use different tactics to try to move the Party back to the its roots in the electoral center, instead of continuously oozing rightward.


    Al Gore most certainly (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:18:05 PM EST
    was accused by Bradley-backing Dems of using unacceptable tactics to best their St Bill.  Many of the same arguments heard today from certain qtrs wrt Obama were used then against Gore -- pandering to the Right, willing to do/say anything to win, ruthless, Liar!/can't be trusted, etc, ad nauseum.

    Historically, in other Dem primary cycles, there have been plenty of bad words exchanged, with all manner of accusations flying back and forth -- 1960, 1968, 1972, 1980, 1992 to name a few.  In the end -- excepting 68 and 80 where disaffected and petulant Ds stayed home or voted for the R by voting a 3d party and generally gave the rest of us vy undesirable results -- usually the Party unites and moves forward cohesively into the GE.

    I doubt if this yr we'll see a repeat of 2000 or 68 or 80 as I sense most of the HRC Ds will return to the fold by the fall -- or at least in sufficient numbers to mostly marginalize the remaining few (but noisy) holdouts ...  


    Um, (none / 0) (#157)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:34:12 PM EST
    I don't remember the DNC holding their thumbs on the scales to nominate Gore. I don't remember Gore lying about Bradley or Bradley's record. I don't remember the DNC threatening not to hold an open ballot at the Convention.

    That's because those things didn't happen.

    And your impressions of the "few noisy holdouts" are completely wrong.

    I must say it is hilarious how people who have not bothered to do the slightest bit of research on the PUMA movement pretend they have some idea of what it's about and whether or not it will hold up.


    I said nothing about the DNC (none / 0) (#178)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:23:41 PM EST
    unfairly aiding Gore in Bradley -- as if the incumbent VP needed such dubious assistance.

    I also didn't say Gore had lied about Bradley -- I did say Bradley and his camp complained about Al doing/saying anything to get the nomination.  They clearly went after Al and his alleged propensity to exaggerate -- character attacks, iow.

    That is how I noted the 2000 primary cycle parallels today's mostly bogus charges from certain dissatisfied quarters against Obama.

    So you seem to have misunderstood my post.

    As for going forward into the GE, I merely give my best sense of how it's likely to turn out.  Most of the current HRC backer-holdouts are probably coming back into the tent for Nov.  Not all, but likely the vast majority.  

    Sorry to upset your dreams of a fatally divided party.



    What you're proposing (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:03:54 PM EST
    is called "learned helplessness". It didn't work last time so let's never try it again.

    Maybe it takes a couple of elections to make change.  Anything worth doing is worth patience.


    No (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:08:49 PM EST
    What I'm proposing is looking at empirical evidence.

    If applying a particular lever of influence doesn't work, you can either keep applying it by insisting that, in theory, it ought to be working, or else you can look for a different lever of influence to apply.

    From an empirical standpoint, it's hard to think of a better piece of evidence we could obtain than what happened in 2000.  A relatively small number of liberals really did manage to affect the outcome of a national election by casting a protest vote, something that isn't easy to repeat.  And the consequences were particularly dire and should, by all rights, have made the Democratic Party say "this is a desperate situation, we need to get those people back into the fold at all costs!"

    So if the party did not, in fact, have that reaction, it's worth thinking about the reasons why before we determine to simply try the exact same thing over again.


    You might want to take a look at this (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by misspeach2008 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:30:10 PM EST
    The link is to Open Left. It might shed a little light on the dilemma posed by Obama's candidacy for some of us. This is not a site that requires a litterbox so I think it's OK for me to link to it?

    Perfectly Logical Caculations and Why They're Actually Not


    That is a fine diary (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:35:14 PM EST
    The discussion in the comments was, as I expected, not so fine.

    Where I think my point diverges from the sort of argument Melissa is complaining about is that my argument does not end with "...therefore, you must vote for Obama."  I am not trying to tell anyone that voting for Obama is the best way to accomplish their goals.  What I am saying is that denying your vote to the Democratic candidate in order to "send a message" doesn't appear to result in reform of the party, as an empirical matter.  It doesn't mean there are no good reasons to do it.


    And, especially, when nothing (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:41:06 PM EST
    else seems to work to get anyone's attention, and, when you think dirty politics became even dirtier and dishonest, then your only alternative as "we the people have" is to withhold our vote, instead of holding our noses. I thought Gore was a good candidate, but I think most wanted something new after BC. Voting for Nadar was one way to protest then, now, not voting top of ticket is another way to protest.

    Actually SteveM if I follow your logic (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Florida Resident on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:50:59 PM EST
    I would have to assume that the Democratic Party is beyond help.  That they will never learn the lessons they need to learn in order to make ours a better nation.  I long ago gave up on the Republican Party I hope I can at least have the hope of the Democratic Party being the equalizer of social disparity and constitutional liberty.  

    If not voting for the party (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by misspeach2008 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:57:35 PM EST
    does not result in its reform, and voting for the party more deeply entrenches what I despise most about the party, then I am left with doing what feels right to me. And rather than "sour grapes", I think this is what is causing the rift in the Democratic Party. But few in the blogs or in the MSM media "get it" so we get "wooed", "grief counseled", told to "get over it" and asked where our checkbooks are. I don't expect much from the Dems anymore. If I decide to vote for a third party candidate, it would be because I actually wanted what he or she was selling. Unfortunately, those choices aren't great either. I think we will see a lot of "top of the ticket left blank" votes in November.

    You seem to discount the effect of (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:15:09 PM EST
    Bush v. Gore.

    Not really (5.00 / 0) (#93)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:19:20 PM EST
    It's clear the election wouldn't have been close in the first place if not for the defections.  You're never going to have a situation so perfect that you can say "one and only one factor caused this election result," but 2000 is as close to a textbook example as you'll find.

    The argument looks good on paper - "if we deny them our votes, they'll be forced to address our issues" - but it just doesn't seem like it works that way in practice.  I wish it did.


    That is only a single example (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:50:52 PM EST
    and it's very dangerous to dismiss a whole strategy based on one example.

    The fact that the DNC did not learn their lesson in this one situation, or not the right lesson is not dispositive.  Just because 2000 is the closest or only example does make it representative.

    If you were trying to train your dog to stay off the couch, would you give up after just one try because it didn't work the first time?

    The DNC clearly got the message that something had to change.  What they choose was the wrong kind, imo (sacrificing the base).


    maybe that's because most (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:58:52 PM EST
    of them believe Gore actually won in 2000.  Even with Nader's defections Gore still won FL.  Pat Buchanan as much as admitted the THOUSANDS of votes he got in FL were actually intended for Gore but were counted for him because of the butterfly ballot.

    I'm wondering if denying the $$ (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:21:07 PM EST
    would be more effective.  Probably not, though, given how many $$ Obama campaign is raking in monthly.

    Money will always talk (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:25:44 PM EST
    Believe me, if enough of the DNC's biggest fundraisers decided that the war in Iraq was a dealbreaker, we'd have the troops home tomorrow.

    The 2000 election was too complex (none / 0) (#151)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:26:00 PM EST
    The people who voted for Nader did so to protest ... what? The similarities between Dems and Republicans? That was a Nader myth. The association between Dems and corporations? That's not going to go away - politicians MUST work with corporations if they want to successfully accomplish goals. We can't have an energy policy that will work if politicians don't listen to energy companies. The trick is for them to not only listen to energy companies, but to also listen to environmental activists and unbiased analysts. Dems can't appease Nader voter's because the Nader voter's weren't asking for anything reasonable that they could provide. FISA was different. Progressives had specific concerns, and Dems didn't even bother to explain how (or if) those concerns were addressed. They could have, but they didn't.

    This Nader voter.... (none / 0) (#164)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:40:29 PM EST
    in 2000 would have settled for a couple bones from the Dems.

    Ending the war on drugs and rethinking foreign policy would have been enough to get me to vote for Gore.

    The similarities between Dems and Repubs are no myth my friend...both support the war on drugs and agressive foreign policy 110%.  Those are 2 of my dealbreakers...and until the Dems part with the Repubs I will never vote for either again.  For the benefit of my own conscience.


    Ending the war on drugs? (none / 0) (#167)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:47:59 PM EST
    That's not a bone, it's a pipe dream. How do you end a war that doesn't actually exist except in talking points but is nonetheless supported by the vast majority of Americans? The "War on Drugs" isn't going anywhere anytime soon, although it may be possible to win tiny battles, like legalizeing marijuana for medicinal purposes or changing unjust sentencing guidelines.

    Rethinking foreign policy is another abstract cause. We weren't particularly aggressive during the Clinton administration, unless you opposed the Bosnia intervention (I didn't). You'll have to provide specifics.

    But you make my point: Naderite demands were not concrete enough to achieve a response from Democrats. You can't achieve specific changes without specific demands. You, essentially, wanted Dems to move to the left. The movement failed because Dems decided that there was no way to please you and decided to reach for voter's from the center instead. At least they know what the center wants.


    I think legalizing (5.00 / 1) (#173)
    by misspeach2008 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:10:31 PM EST
    marijuana for any purpose is doable. Maybe not next week, but in time for kdog to light up legally before he's too old to get to the polls to vote. It isn't my vice of choice, but I think that it's not much different than my thinking that "dinner without wine is lunch". You legalize it, restrict its use to adults, and tax it to "high heaven". If it were presented as a revenue source instead of one of the cardinal sins, I think it might fly with enough people to begin to make the idea start to seem less libertarian and more mainstream.

    This is one of the things we have to work on (5.00 / 0) (#185)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:37:38 PM EST
    The right wing has created an entire mythology around marijuana - that it is a "gateway" drug that causes birth defects and brain damage and has no medicinal value. But people, especially those under 60 or so, have enough familiarity with it to be willing to hear arguments in favor of legalization. At the very least, we should consider increased reliance on hemp as a fiber source and increased research into legal uses of cannabis as a medicine - at the very, very least stop prosecuting people in states which have legalized it's use for sick people. There are cracks in that wall. But legalizing marijuana is not the same as unregulated use of stronger drugs.

    I didn't mean to imply unregulated.... (5.00 / 2) (#189)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:51:16 PM EST
    I'm ok with min. age for sale, licensed sellers...just like cigs and alcohol.



    Concrete Demands.... (none / 0) (#168)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:00:36 PM EST
    1)Prosecute no one for possesing/selling a drug under federal law.

    2)Bring troops stationed on foreign soil home.

    What's not concrete about those demands?

    You're probably right that most Americans support prosecuting people over substances and support stationing men and women with guns in 100-odd countries...but there certainly are Americans who don't, and you can't blame us for voting for the candidate most likely to make our demands a reality.  In 2000, that was Ralph Nader, not Al Gore.  

    I'm not buying that 3rd party left-leaning voters cannmot be brought into the Democratic fold...the fact is the Democrats don't want us because they get big money from interests with a different agenda, and figure they can win a similar number of votes by moving to the right.


    If those are your demands... (5.00 / 0) (#175)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:14:42 PM EST
    ...then I agree with the Democrats for not wanting to meet them. Most Americans would. Even people who want to legalize drugs don't usually simply want to overturn all drug sale laws. Unregulated but legal drug sales would be as much a disaster as the war on drugs. And I'm not willing to remove our troops from Bosnia or South Korea or Sudan (do we even have troops there? If not, we should). War is never good, but it's sometimes necessary, and having troops in the right place can often prevent tensions from escalating.

    I've discussed issues with a lot of far left people (mostly back when Daily Kos was still a place where you could discuss issues). I've come to the conclusion that the only way we're going to win back power is to move the center back to the left. There is no way to meet the demands of the far left, and unless the world changes dramatically, there never will be.


    Fair enough.... (5.00 / 2) (#187)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:40:24 PM EST
    I laid out some concrete demands that the Democrats will not meet.

    Your views seem more aligned with the Democrat platform so they are a good fit for your vote...I'm more aligned with Nader or the Libertarians, so that's where my vote is gonna go. Let democracy ring, whoever gets the most votes (err electoral votes) wins.

    Curious...if a future Democratic nominee proposed the repeal of drug prohibition and a less aggressive foreign policy, while the remainder of the platform was the same, would you vote Republican?


    Dems won't do that (none / 0) (#191)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:52:58 PM EST
    Well, not in my lifetime, anyway. They might work to lessen drug laws, if we can convince enough people that this won't lead to chaos. They certainly will have a less aggressive foreign policy than the right, but it's very unlikely that the U.S. will ever be completely non-interventionist. I don't think I'll ever have to worry about voting Republican. Even now, although I'm no longer a registered Democrat, I have no urge to vote for any Republican. I'll probably vote Democratic for anybody but Obama.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#99)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:24:13 PM EST
    So if none of those people had voted for Nader, the result would have been... what?  The same, because all the Buchanan voters would have voted for Bush?  One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.

    Heh (none / 0) (#117)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:45:29 PM EST
    I'm not trying to persuade anyone to vote for Obama.

    It was a chaotic system (none / 0) (#176)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:17:11 PM EST
    If any one of a number of things hadn't happened, then we would have won. The Nader voter's were one of the factors. They hold just as much responsibility as the Supreme Court or the butterfly ballot.

    That is your view (none / 0) (#55)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:36:17 AM EST
    I do not agree with it.

    I agree the a candidate's (5.00 / 3) (#75)
    by zfran on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:01:44 PM EST
    "feet should be held to the fire." I have yet to see how that is accomplished if he knows he has your vote no matter what he does or says. By writing it and having us comment on your subject is just our opinions and opinings. Unless the "candidate" states (or his campaign)that we "get the message the blogosphere is sending," or even acknowledge some of them (i.e. DailyKos or Huffington Post, etc), then how do you know you've held him accountable. If the accountability means a dem in the white house no matter what, then he has been accountable under that definition. I have learned much here, I admire your opinions and opinings, I wish Obama would acknowledge the same.

    indeed, take the venting up a notch or three or .. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Nettle on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:03:25 AM EST
    Ronnie Cummins did it for me this morning.

    Yes, let's not confuse a communication tool (5.00 / 4) (#47)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:28:15 AM EST
    with actual use of the tool to motivate people to get off their a**es and take action.  As your link says:

    Either we mobilize a revitalized Movement to take to the streets and the suites of the corporations and the politicians or we're going over the cliff. Move over, MoveOn.

    The much-vaunted millions who sit in front of their computers and talk about action have accomplished next to nothing, really.  If anything, frankly, I think it has allowed us to be lulled into thinking it equates with action.

    The internet is a communication tool that has turned users into tools.


    Naomi Klein said much as you do (none / 0) (#57)
    by Nettle on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:37:37 AM EST
    in the, hmm, Brave Nation, I think it was, conversation with Tom Hayden.  Where are the bodies, in other words, or are we just bytes? Tom Hayden talked about Tom Hayden as he loves to do.  He seems to finally be coming around a bit after shilling for MoveOn and the whole Hildebrand Tewes faux progressives groups for way too long now.  That was foolish.  

    Is it not possible to make the tent too big? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:42:37 AM EST
    When one wing of the party is pushing for true liberal positions like full gay rights, an end to the drug war, and no restrictions on women's choice while the other wing rejects gay rights, is full of drug warriors, and rejects privacy not only in abortion but in several areas, does that not send a sort of schizophrenic message to those indy voters?

    If Vernon Jones and Russ Feingold are both Democrats, what are we saying? That you don't really have to believe in anything other than partisanship to be part of our party?

    This multipersonality disorder is the reason why things like the FISA bill gets through. The Democrats don't really share enough principles to truly drive a liberal agenda, which kinda negates their majority in Congress.

    Who is Vernon Jones? (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:46:28 AM EST
    I always took people like Ben Nelson and Gene Taylor as my examples.

    If we can get better Dems than those in Mississippi and Nebraska, terrific. But Mississippi and Nebraska Dems will decide that.

    What I have always objected to is focusing on getting MORE Dems like Taylor and Nelson in in places we did not need people like that.

    Bob Casey comes to mind for me.

    I also would not lift a finger for folks like Travis Childers.


    Jones is not a national figure, yet. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:11:37 AM EST
    He's the GA Senate candidate who says he can help Obama win here b/c he's a conservative Democrat.

    I understand fighting on the margins, and the party does need the votes of conservative Democrats on some issues, but it's really frustrating to have the illusion of power. Two years in the majority, and things are really no more progressive than they were in '06.


    Did you see Romney on CNN yesterday (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:49:46 AM EST
    talking about McCain's position on gay adoption? I was shocked stupid. It was not, I repeat NOT, the hardline standard repulican hard line. to say that it should be left up to the states and the courts, to decide what is best in the interests of the child, while promising to not make a law making it illegal for gay couples or single people to adopt was stunning.

    He said that they believe that the ideal situation is a motyher and father but that the courts should decide what's in the best interest of the child. He also seemed to be saying that McCain takes the same position as he did about gay marriage in Mass.

    Clearly McCain is reaching for voters he believes he can siphon from Obama.


    When Ah-nuld came out and said (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:11:43 AM EST
    the wingnuts were wasting their time trying to stop the legalization of gay marriage in CA, my jaw hit the floor.

    I thought at the time, "Is this a trial balloon? Are Republicans tired of pandering to the evangelical wackos and ready to become the party of 'Big Business and Small Government' again?"

    I think it's possible that just when Republicans are rejecting their Neanderthal views, Democrats are trying to embrace them.

    If so, it would be so ironic, and par for the course. Those d&mn Republicans always seem to be several steps ahead of us in the electoral game.


    I know and I can seriously say (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:21:49 AM EST
    that as a lesbian, to hear that message coming from the former gov. of the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, who also refused to ban gay adoption, and who is a better more charming advocate for McCain than he was for himself brought me up short and made me think.

    'In the best interest of the child' has long been the battle cry of GLBT activists when it comes to gay adoption. Correct me if I am wrong but I don't think Obama has been that clear in his stance on gay adoption if he has even said anything at all.

    All I could think yesterday was that this could devastating for the Obama camp if it takes hold. If GLBT people start getting it into their heads that McCain really has broken with the party line on key human rights issues, whether he truly has or not. Romney seemed sincere to me, and I don't even like him. He is, however, uniquely qualified to talk on this issue.

    I need to find the video.


    I suspect that Obama (5.00 / 5) (#50)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:29:57 AM EST
    would tell LGBT's to talk with their pastors about it.

    Ouch. (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:35:42 AM EST
    That's gonna leave a mark.

    Very well-said.

    I am so frustrated that the presumptive nominee, and the majority of the Democratic Party, does not have the courage to lead on centrist, populist issues that energize and motivate Americans.

    And the failure of the old netroots to stick to their so-called principles, and factually evaluate the candidates without falling prey to CDS and Kewl Kid Me-Too-ism, is inexcusable.


    I'm cool with that (none / 0) (#60)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:40:38 AM EST
    my pastor is gay too. And she has kids. LOL

    However, I am not sure that is true of most gay people.

    The netroots claims to be all about issues but this seems to have snuck in under the radar.

    Does anyone know what Obama's stance on gay adoption is?


    I'm sure Obama is all for (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:04:57 PM EST
    letting the states decide.  That's his poisition on marriage equality.  He firmly believes that any state that wants to should be able to discriminate against gays.

    McCain was in Columbus (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Fabian on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:12:21 AM EST
    (OH) yesterday, talking to a largely Dem audience.

    He said that he didn't expect to get many votes, but he hoped to change a few minds and get his message out.

    Even though I didn't agree with McCain's message, I did agree with his method.  Reach out to everybody, even if they are your least likely voters.  Don't pander and don't mislead or misrepresent - just lay it out and let the people decide.  If people don't know what you stand for, how can they decide whether they can support you?

    Leadership is about attracting people to your vision, your ideals, your standard.  Leaders shape the mainstream.  If you chase the mainstream, you are no leader.


    States' rights is a pretty typical conservative (none / 0) (#35)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:15:45 AM EST
    position. The federal ban on gay marriage didn't work in part b/c of conservative belief in the states' responsibility to do such things, which a lot of them have.

    Also, the federal courts are pretty conservative, so putting something like that in their court is really more of a passing of the buck than really standing up for gay people in any way whatsoever.

    That said, some people may fall for it.


    States rights is the position ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:03:57 PM EST
    ...of whichever party is out of power at the federal level. It was a conservative idea for a long time because Dems controlled congress for so long. But they are quite willing to override state power when they can get away with it. i.e.California's automobile emission standards.

    Point taken. You're absolutely right. (none / 0) (#197)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 04:18:34 PM EST
    He didn't put it in the hands of federal courts (none / 0) (#87)
    by americanincanada on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:13:47 PM EST
    he was talking about family/adoption courts and specifically talked about the court deciding on the adoption based on each individuals case and the interests of the child.

    You also have to take into account who McCain sent out to speak on his behalf on this issue. It isn't a gov of a state with a marriage or adoption ban. Quite the opposite.

    He reiterated his (and McCain's) belief that the ideal is a mother and father situation but said there should not be a law banning gay adoption because everything should be done by the states in the best interests of the child.

    I am not saying I believe that McCain has bnroken with the party here, though he may have. I am saying that it sounds far more moderate than what I have heard from Obama and Romney never once mentioned talking to a pastor.

    This has nothing to do with 'falling for something'. It has everything to do with the Obama campaign leaving themselves wide open on this issue and the netroots and progressives everywhere not forcing Obama to take, keep and hold a progressive position.

    This could hurt the Obama campaign with gay voters more than they have already done on their own.


    Romney (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by CST on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:22:14 PM EST
    Has a good record on gay addoption but not marriage.  Yes he was governer when we legalized Gay marriage, but he had nothing to do with the decision, and proceeded to campaign against it when he ran for president.  Also, he helped keep one of MA most discriminatory laws on the book prohibiting gay couples from out of state getting married in MA.   Thankfully, this law is about to be repealed, no thanks to Romney.

    I know McCain doesn't support a federal law banning gay adoption, but his personal views are very different.

    McCain:  "I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don't believe in gay adoption,"

    Obama:  "As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. "

    Slightly different tone...


    Obama is still more progressive on gays. (none / 0) (#198)
    by halstoon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 04:25:15 PM EST
    According to this link, Obama supports equal adoption rights for gays. That's much different than essentially passing on the question by saying let the courts decide, regardless of which court McCain/Romney wanna throw it to.

    Barack also supports the repeal of DOMA, the eliminiation of don't ask/don't tell, and, while he does not support gay marriage, he believes that gays should have civil unions that are equal to heterosexual marriages under the law, so it's essentially a semantics thing there; equality is the important keyword in his position.

    At the end of the day, I think the GLBT community will be there for Obama.


    Not always conservative -- as after all (none / 0) (#124)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:51:12 PM EST
    states' rights was the argument of abolitionists against the Fugitive Slave Law.  And there was no 14th Amendment then.  

    Just saying.  Lawyers and politicians argue whatever may work.  The rest of us need not be so pragmatic.


    State's rights makes federal courts (none / 0) (#194)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 03:56:55 PM EST
    irrelevant, for the most part.  So it doesn't matter whether the fed bench is conversative.

    That's why the first big gay marriage cases were brought in state courts like Mass. and California.  As long as it's a state supreme court interpreting their own constitutions, the feds got nothing to say unless state decisions violate the US Constitution.

    For effing Mitch Romney, who obstructed, hindered, and fought the Mass SCt decision at every single turn while Governor specifically to build up his anti-gay cred with the Republican party to say anything near state's rights is big news.

    Although, honestly, I'm not sure what it means.


    It's worth noting (none / 0) (#36)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:16:57 AM EST
    that both the New Deal and the Great Society were enacted by a coalition of just this type.  Democrats controlled Congress and set the agenda for the substantial majority of the 20th century, and they didn't do it through ideological purity.

    Yeah, but that was before (none / 0) (#82)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:11:45 PM EST
    the Great Sorting, when all the liberal to moderate Republicans gave up and quit or became Democrats, and all the conservative Dems. move to the Republican side.  There was no ideological purity to be had within the two-party structure at that time, it was all intermixed.

    I don't see (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:43:52 AM EST
    the current Democratic Party committed to 'its core values.'  Quite the opposite.

    Under a big tent?

    Lots of us under a bigger bus.

    I think it is interesting (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:49:09 AM EST
    how your views on this have changed.

    Take a look at your comments in my February 2007 post. What do you think changed your mind?


    I feel the same way (5.00 / 7) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:51:16 AM EST
    The Dem party leaders are not representing the party's core values and instead have compromised them.

    The ways that this has happened (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:58:53 AM EST
    The misogyny during Clinton's campaign went ignored by just about all party leadership.  Feingold says that the little man is not going to be happy when he discovers what they did to him on this latest FISA vote.  Obama and his Faith Based initiatives?????? Now party leaders are attempting to keep Clinton off the ballot at convention and allowed the disenfranchisement of Florida and Michigan?

    The sexism against HRC (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by brodie on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:29:16 AM EST
    was pretty bad and I was disappointed our leaders didn't speak up forcefully, as they did when the rhetoric or "tone" from the Clinton camp was deemed racially -tinged against O.

    But on this issue, can you remind me of the timely and forceful condemnations of the sexism from some of the netroots heroes in the Dem wing of my party?  De facto leaders and true progressives such as Feingold, Leahy, Kennedy and Bernie Sanders?   I can't recall them speaking up.  

    We know Howard Dean waited, conveniently, until the primary process was concluded to boldly pronounce against the sexism.  And he was rightly denounced for that in the blogosphere.  But the others -- haven't they been given a free pass?


    I condemn all of them (none / 0) (#196)
    by Valhalla on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 04:01:45 PM EST
    for not standing up on the misogyny issue.

    Every frakkin' one, not just Obama.  He and Dean get most of the public ire just because of their positions (and bc it's a shortcut to listing the hundreds of people who didn't stand up, yes, I'm talking about you too Nancy 'Stern Letter' Pelosi).

    Look, as an argument, 'but all those other people did bad stuff too' isn't so persuasive.


    Don't think my views (5.00 / 6) (#38)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:18:27 AM EST
    have changed.  I reread my comments in that thread.  No changes to make for my outlook.

    What has changed is the Democratic Party...and not in a good way.  The tent is smaller, thanks to the DNC/Party behavior in this primary.

    Breaks my heart.

    And makes me damn mad.


    Fair enough (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:21:21 AM EST
    Accountability... (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:48:33 AM EST
    It might be easier to accept that Daily Kos will keep our candidates accountable if Markos would hold himself accountable for some of the smears his website hosted and endorsed about Clinton.

    Also I think it is time to set aggressive expectations and standards for an Obama administration.  I am told over and over that once Obama is in office, and once we fill Congress with Democrats, things WILL actually happen, good laws will be passed, have no fear.  Which hardly suggests accountability.  I have seen little that would inspire confidence in a Democratic Congress.  Even if they had the strength in numbers, I doubt they would advance particularly progressive legislation.  We have far too many conservatively minded Democratic legislators.  Too slow, too centrist.  They are hardly going to do anything on their own.  

    So my question is, how is this going to work?  How are we going to make sure good things happen?

    Accountability is for everybody (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:50:26 AM EST
    If you think Markos or me or Jeralyn or anyone has done something that merits criticism, then you provide it.

    I certainly am not shy about criticizing, and folks surely are not shy about criticizing me.


    "Clinton campaign making Obama (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:04:02 AM EST

    A root of enduring DK skepticism.


    The comments in that diary (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by nycstray on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:39:38 PM EST
    really hit the spot if anyone needs to show how nuts on kool-aid people were/are. They were harping on her tax returns in the comments also. And we all know how scandalous those were . . .  {rolls eyes}

    OMG yes (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:07:38 AM EST
    and I don't know much about image reproduction but several posters there were employed doing it and they explained how easily images lightened and darken on their own during different transfers and Kos just would not drop it inspite of any real evidence.  It was like trying to read Matt Drudge or something so I just didn't after a few minutes.  DISGUSTING!

    Oops. I forgot that one here: (none / 0) (#28)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:10:26 AM EST
    Earth to the (4.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:05:16 AM EST
    "where's the accountability" crowd (which i'm a part of): there is this little process in politics called RE-ELECTION. The problem with Obama is that we don't really know what he's gonna do when in office. That was Hillary's strength. If he screws up, we'll just vote the bum out in a primary or GE. It ain't rocket science.

    I doubt we would run (5.00 / 6) (#33)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:15:10 AM EST
    anyone but Obama after four years of an Obama presidency.  It's just too hard to manage that kind of unseating.

    Now that I think about it (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:20:40 AM EST
    that would be nearly impossible to do.  Particularly with all the "no risk takers" running everything and biasing any decision they get to make.  In the meantime, if he is a terrible representation of the Democratic party he will do to the Democratic party what little Bush to the Republican brand.  Does anyone ever think about this?

    Every Single Day (5.00 / 5) (#85)
    by The Maven on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:12:26 PM EST
    For quite some time now, I've gladly acknowledged that our nation would be vastly better off under an Obama presidency than under McCain.  To state otherwise is just silly talk, it seems to me.  But I am very concerned about what the Obama "movement" might mean for the future of politics in this country (e.g., why worry about the corrupting influence of money on candidates and elections if you can simply mobilize your forces to raise obscene amounts of cash?).

    And I'm even more worried about what could happen to a lot of the young Obama zealots who experience constant disappointments from a president in whom they have invested far too great expectations.  Will there be a backlash that would drive them away from a severely damaged Democratic brand?  I suspect there might be, and just as some of the strongest Dem advocates and GOP bashers of late have been former Republicans who became disillusioned or felt betrayed, we might find ourselves facing off against a new cadre of strongly-motivated anti-Democratic voices and voters for the better part of a generation (just as much of the original neo-con movement got its start from disaffected formerly liberal "refugees" from the 1960s).

    Looking out 8-25 years into the future, I'd say that there's a good chance that Dems could end up being in a far worse position as a result of "success" in 2008.  In this, I'm obviously very pessimistic and cynical, seeing the glass as perhaps three-quarters empty.


    Normally I'd agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:24:34 AM EST
    lilburro but this just isn't the normal political process. Let's be real here: A woman or minority just will not be able to get away with the shenangans of the last 8 years while in office.

    well, I don't think (none / 0) (#52)
    by lilburro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:34:10 AM EST
    Obama will be as bad as Bush has been!  I don't think he'll be bad at all.  I just expect that the Congress, even if full of Democrats, will be as fuddy-duddy and willing to B.S. the country as they have the past 8 years.  That's a problem and being fussy will surely backfire on them to boot.

    OK, so explain to me the rationale (5.00 / 4) (#76)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:03:01 PM EST
    for why I have to vote for him in this election but it's permissible to against him next time, please?

    This is hillarious (3.00 / 2) (#156)
    by mm on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:32:49 PM EST
    The problem with Obama is that we don't really know what he's gonna do when in office. That was Hillary's strength.

    No, I think this was Obama's strength.  He's only where he is today because nobody has a freakin' clue what he truly believes. He's gotten away with it because he has no legislative record to defend.  Indeed, that was one of his explicit rationales for running now, before he had any time to establish a record.

    Now, everyone's running around trying to figure out if he's moving right, left or to the middle. What a joke. How the heck would anyone know where's he's moving when nobody knows where he was to begin with.


    Sorry... (5.00 / 11) (#18)
    by OxyCon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:54:10 AM EST
    But I am really down on the Dem party, and most of the lefty blogosphere for that matter, and I don't think my opinion is going to change any time soon.
    It's really too bad we don't have a viable third party where the standards for ethics, morals and personal behavior are held to a higher standard.
    Most of my life I have been virulently anti-Repub and the Dem party was the only alternative. But the Dem party has been a huge disappointment. I'm done banging my head against the wall. I'm a registered Indie now and I will not donate to any party...only to certain candidates who I feel deserve my support.
    I'm never going to forget how the Dem party treated President Clinton, and who his betrayers are. Nor am I going to forget who Bush's appeasers are.
    I was in your corner for many years and felt the same way you do now, but I can't do it any more.

    The netroots (5.00 / 5) (#19)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 10:55:20 AM EST
    has a credibilty problem and I, for one,believe that the netroots is a secular version of tucc with all the good and bad that comes with it.  I simply can't get past the hatefulness long enough to play meta with all the good and bad that comes with that.

    I'd work on other problems first.  But that's just me.

    For instance, didn't markos say he'd get around to dealing with the sexism problem.  There's a good place to start.  Then,once credibility is re-established, one can resume the dangling conversations/space time continuums of activism in a two party system.


    Markos's version (5.00 / 5) (#72)
    by Nadai on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:55:34 AM EST
    of dealing with sexism is to tell the sanctimonius women's study set to shut up so he can concentrate on real issues.  Anyone who's waiting for his leadership on the issue would be better off with Godot.

    Old netroots lost all credibility (5.00 / 15) (#26)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:07:39 AM EST
    in the primary this year.  What I found is they simply don't hold a lot of the same values I hold.  There is no consistancy of values in the liberal blogosphere.  For example, I don't think women's rights are just something for the "women's studies set".  I don't think there are no legitimate issues around gun control.  I don't think universal access to health care is the same as universal health care, etc.  I think back to daily kos front page posts on such important issues as "tipgate", "planted questions", and "vote switchers", and I see a corruption in old netroots that holds certain figures to different standards than others, that prioritizes certain issues over others and dismisses some core principles I hold dear altogether.  I think part of blogosphere 2.0 will be to hold old netroots to account as much as democratic candidates so that the whole thing doesn't become one giant echo chamber all over again.

    Many of them used to hold the same values (5.00 / 7) (#32)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:13:18 AM EST
    we held until it was easier to drop off some of those pesky values in order to kill the evil Clinton!

    I mean, really, where does kos get off? (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:17:42 AM EST
    He still thinks Obama isn't the establishment candidate.

    No, he doesn't. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:25:51 AM EST
    That's why he has no credibility. He knows what Obama stands for, and pretends otherwise.

    Seems to me Sen. Obama's (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:24:47 AM EST
    failure to show up at NN08 shows how much he is listening to and/or influenced by the "Netroots."

    Yes, I was wondering (none / 0) (#49)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:29:45 AM EST
    if that would be noted.

    Who will represent him there? (none / 0) (#56)
    by EL seattle on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:36:59 AM EST
    I'd assume the team isn't just going to ignore an event like this.  Will his team's representatives be contributing to the discussion or just rallying voters for his cause?

    He will have representatives/surrogates (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:43:45 AM EST
    in place.  But, supposed to be 1 reporter for every 10 bloggers in Austin.  Wasted opportunity.

    To me, it is unfortunate BTD will not (none / 0) (#129)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:54:36 PM EST
    be there, espec. after his "brilliant prologue" on that Clinton campaign conference call.  The man has a way with words.

    How the Netroots have changed (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:34:41 AM EST
    In this December 2006 diary, I think these exchanges are revealing:


    We disagree

    and the Media coverage [Obama] garners says otherwise. I think he is purposeful in trying to get that Media coverage. Obama has not helped the Democratic brand at all.

    HE portrays himself as an Other-Dem.

    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 09:50:47 PM PDT


    * Yup.


    It's all about HIM. How he can help himself... I haven't seen him do much lately to help anyone but himself. And it's disappointing because he could have done SO much to help define the democratic party in a positive way...instead he's still just mr. purple.

    by Elise on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 10:13:04 PM PDT


    There's no evidence he is a progressive

    He's well spoken, but that's not the point here.

    by eugene on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 09:52:12 PM PDT


    *  I disagree

    His voting record in  Illinois was clearly progressive. His STYLE and RHETORIC are the problem.

    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 09:56:31 PM PDT

    I agree on the rhetoric and style

    My concern is that will mean he will be unwilling to promote a progressive agenda if elected.

    by eugene on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 10:04:03 PM PDT

    That is a very fair question.

    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Dec 14, 2006 at 10:10:00 PM PDT

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:41:59 AM EST
    * amen, BTD

    Purple politics of bipartisanship are more than dead in the water; they're poisonous.

    It's about defining yourself and what you believe in; it's about framing the other guy into a corner; and it's about shifting the Overton Windows to your side.

    It is, in short, about the Politics of Contrast.  That's what wins--and that's what will put the country back on the right footing.

    by thereisnospoon on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 01:42:01 AM EDT


    I often wonder (none / 0) (#62)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:43:20 AM EST
    if anyone else checks to see if perhaps they have become inconsistent.

    Turkana is the authority on that, I think (none / 0) (#67)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:48:16 AM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#73)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:55:43 AM EST
    Well, I admit to at least searching for my name in the comments to that diary.

    Here is a good (none / 0) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:18:34 PM EST

    Didn't Clinton win as a "New Democrat?"

    It seems that you oppose exactly the kind of image cultivation that Clinton used in 1992.

    by Geekesque on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 06:39:02 AM PDT

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Steve M on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:22:36 PM EST
    Looking at his comments, I'm not sure that commentor was in a much different place than he is now (aside from the fact that, back then, he was able to go at least 24 hours without accusing someone of racism).  The argument was something like "Obama is going to deliberately refuse to speak the language of a Democrat in order to reach out to new voters, and we need to just trust him that he's a real Democrat underneath it all."

    By contrast, I see a LOT of people in that diary who were able to look at Obama with an appropriate degree of skepticism, back before things changed.


    Oh Elise. . . (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:47:52 AM EST
    Here's my comment from last night (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:50:56 AM EST
    about going to NN08:



    Voting records never tell the whole story. (none / 0) (#59)
    by masslib on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:40:05 AM EST
    Here's a good one: (none / 0) (#159)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:35:56 PM EST
    I'm wondering if (16+ / 0-)
    we have to drag our netroots leaders back to the fight too.

    Let's Go Gators!

    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 15, 2006 at 12:16:08 AM EDT



    That's why in some respects (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:53:43 AM EST
    we might be better off with McCain.

    The Dems might be more inclined to oppose him than Obama, and they should have a much larger majority with which to do it.

    I really like your divided government (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:05:09 PM EST
    point but there's just one huge problem: Iraq. In fact, we have 2 wars going on (2 and a half if Sy Hersh is accurate). And that idiot McCain actually doesn't have a problem with America fighting a three front war. As I stated, if Obama doesn't make good on getting the troops out, he'll be out. Period.

    I guess I don't see (none / 0) (#103)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:25:59 PM EST
    that either McCain or Obama is going to do the troops any favors in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    And, if McCain wants to bomb Iran while Preznit, then the Congress can refuse to authorize it or fund it.


    Obama doesn't have a plan for (5.00 / 0) (#140)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:10:33 PM EST
    pastoral approval of abortions.

    Lots of women of faith would choose to discuss this very important decision with their clergy.  A reference to what women do is not a demand that all women talk to a pastors before making a decision.  

    If Obama gets votes from people of faith by stating the obvious, that this major decision is made by the woman and with the guidance of people she consults, in this case, her clergy, I'm in support of him speaking to their needs from their faith-based perspective.

    That's a far cry from having a plan for pastoral approval, which clearly is not part of his or the Dem party's platform.

    I think your original snark comment was clever, Cream City.  And funny.  But to continue to misrepresent Obama's words to faith-based communities as requiring all women to get pastoral approval is disingenuous.  

    I also think our disagreement on this issue, right here, right now, is key to the topic being discussed in this thread.  You and I both agree that abortion a woman's decision, period.  I've even said I don't believe a father should have a legal say in the decision, given that a man's demand to prevent an abortion equates in my mind to forced childbearing.  

    Since we both have leftie, pro-woman views on this issue, how can we resolve the fact that you see Obama's words as a reason to not vote for him, and I see his words as a way to include under the Big Tent many people who don't agree with me on abortion.  Or more to the point, given how passionate we all are on some of these issues, how do we keep Obama and other Dems accountable without subverting their attempts to win their races?

    News reports state Pres. Bush is trying (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:13:55 PM EST
    to equate use of birth control w/abortion.  This should unify choice-advocates behind Obama, no?

    Oculus... (none / 0) (#154)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:29:23 PM EST
    I swear I don't know if you're snarking sometimes. Should I assume you were, there?

    Very unfortunately (none / 0) (#163)
    by CST on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:40:00 PM EST
    Not snark.  Bush really is that bad.

    This is the part Oculus is talking about (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:42:23 PM EST
    "The proposal defines abortion as follows: "any of the various procedures -- including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.""

    Thanks, CST. (none / 0) (#170)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:05:46 PM EST
    The part that I was confused about is that I don't see why not liking what Bush is doing would translate into support for Obama.

    I don't think that McCain would have the same focus and priorities as Bush, since if he wins, it will be in spite of the evangelical wingnuts instead of because of them. Also, the Democrats should have the votes to stop any legislation like this.


    Gotcha (5.00 / 2) (#181)
    by CST on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:30:53 PM EST
    You are probably right unless McCain is stupid enough to back this legislation.  I don't think he is, he'll probably sit this one out.

    The Dems better stop this, frankly I can't believe Bush is stupid enough to bring this up now (well, maybe I can, it is Bush).


    when Obama made the statement about discussing (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:37:28 PM EST
    abortions with pastors, I don't recall him qualifying it as only applying to "women of faith".

    So, a reasonable person could extrapolate that he meant it generally for everyone.  It was as though he just assumes that all people are "people of faith".


    He was speaking to Christians via (5.00 / 0) (#186)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:39:10 PM EST
    a reporter from a Christian magazine.  He was talking to people who would talk to their clergy about such an important decision.

    But it sounds like you'd prefer to believe he intends to force us non-religious folks to talk to clergy before getting an abortion.  

    OK, extrapolate away to your own reality.


    "Pastoral Approval" (5.00 / 0) (#190)
    by daring grace on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:51:32 PM EST
    is something cooked up here not by Obama.

    His quote indicated he was referring to women deciding to consult THEIR OWN pastors, not that he advocated sending ALL women to various and sundry pastors with whom they had no prior relationship.

    The quote:

    "My only point is this -- historically I have been a strong believer in a women's right to choose with her doctor, her pastor and her family."

    The source:



    If he had stopped with doctor (none / 0) (#200)
    by splashy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 05:54:24 PM EST
    It would have been Ok, but adding in all those other people is not a good thing. It is not their business, unless she wants to make it their business. He has no business even mentioning all those other people, as though the female can't decide on her own.

    BS (none / 0) (#183)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:34:20 PM EST
    And obviously if you walked away with that nonsense interpretation that you are certainly not a reasonable person.

    based on most of your posts that I have read (none / 0) (#184)
    by TimNCGuy on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:36:50 PM EST
    you don't have much of a relationship with reasonableness yourself.  Basically all you do is to defend Obama on EVERY issue no matter what it is.

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#188)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 02:42:45 PM EST
    You are not paying attention. Too much hate is affecting your focus.

    You Are Spreading Misinformation Again (1.00 / 1) (#123)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:51:01 PM EST
    You do get the point extrapolated from Obama's plan for pastoral approval of abortions --

    This is an outright lie. You are obviously working for Rove.

    You are way out of line. (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by Cream City on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:59:38 PM EST
    But not the first time for you.  Squeak and squawk at someone else.  You are so often just mixing it up here, apparently for your own odd purposes.

    We're coming at this from the wrong side (none / 0) (#74)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 11:58:26 AM EST
    We can push our Democratic representatives on progressive values all day and night, but it won't make a bit of difference because they know that the majority of people don't care about progressive values. The "masses" believe that all taxes are bad, government is the problem not the solution, and gay marriage threatens the status quo (although, oddly, civil unions do not), and abortion is always bad (unless it's not).

    Until we can sell the people on reality, no amount of browbeating Dems will make a difference. I think we have to settle back into a holding pattern, play for a draw for the time being, until we can get an opening for a real win. That means that we have to convince the Dems that we will NOT support them unless they muster enough votes to stop the right wing destruction of our nation. Meanwhile, the left is creating it's own machine to convince people that they progressive values are better and, over the next 10-20 years, we should see some good ideas coming out that will start to change people's ideas. It will be hard to undo the damage that has been done. As I said elsewhere, it's easier to start with a fresh garden than to replace weeds with flowers. But the right did it and we can do it. We have reality on our side. But we have to focus on reality, not become a mirror image of the right wing, willing to embrace whatever lies are necessary to win.

    Reality. (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by oldpro on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:12:09 PM EST
    OK...let's start with reality.

    Let's start with what you say "the masses believe."  Nonsense.  The masses don't believe any such thing.

    On nearly all progressive issues including taxation, the masses poll with progressive values and issues, from healthcare to social security to child labor to minimum wage...THAT is reality.

    So...now what?


    Only when you break it down (5.00 / 4) (#134)
    by dianem on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:58:44 PM EST
    You have to ask in just the right way... then it becomes clear that people agree in principle with progressive values. If you ask "Should homosexual people have the same rights as heterosexuals?", they will say "Yes". But if you ask "Should homosexual people be allowed to marry?", they say "No". People reflexively think taxes should be lower. Always lower, no matter how low they go. But if you draw them out, they recognize that we need taxes for a lot of things they value, and they want to pay their fair share. People disapprove of Congress in general, but generally approve of the performance of their own representatives.

    The right has successfully framed a lot of issues in a way that distorts them, and even most progressives buy into their memes a bit. For example, the inheritance tax, the so-called "death tax"m is not a way of transferring wealth from rich to poor people. It's simply a way of taxing capital gains. If an 80 year old person sells a business at a profit, they pay taxes on the profit.  If they give money to including their children, the money is taxed as income.  But if that business is inheritied by their children, the inheritance is passed down with a base value of the current value.The children can then immediatly sell the property and pay no taxes on the value that accumulated or on the "gift". Lowering inheritence taxes is simply creating a loophole to avoid taxes on capital gains for rich people. We already exclude most people from paying this tax - the same way we allow a certain amoung of profit from home selling to be excluded. If we sold tax cuts to inheritence taxes as a loophole for the rich instead of allowing them to be framed as a tax on earned income, a tax on death itself, we would be able to more fairly tax capital gains.


    Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by madamab on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:19:47 PM EST
    You two are both right. The FDR platform of the Democratic Party represents the true center of the American political mind. However, the Republicans have worked for decades on framing the conversation to favor their candidates.

    We Democrats need to convince the Party to re-embrace its core values, and reframe the way they are presented.

    HRC is great at this particular move. It's called "pandering" or "triangulation" or "centrism" by some, but it works.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#79)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 12:04:07 PM EST
    See my point?

    "Carrying Water" for Obama (none / 0) (#161)
    by santarita on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:38:48 PM EST
    Could Markos have stated his position any more weakly than he did in the quote that leads off this diary?  He's positioning himself to not carry water.  Does that mean that he is still carrying water for Obama and he just can't break away quite yet?  He sounds like a battered wife that is not yet at the point of realizing how ineffective her cries for reason are.

    It really sounds like Markos has thrown in the towel (to stay with the sports metaphor) and will be content to use his blog for "sound and fury signifying nothing".  

    The Disgust Election of 2008 (none / 0) (#166)
    by blogtopus on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 01:46:50 PM EST
    For someone who claims to be such a transformative candidate, Obama really is relying on being NOT MCCAIN.

    I should buy stock in clothespins, mouthwash and dartboards.

    Show him where his bread is buttered (none / 0) (#203)
    by bluejane on Thu Jul 17, 2008 at 09:12:55 PM EST
    Suddenly, a candidate who votes the "wrong" way on a particular issue is to be forgiven, because he's a Democrat? (litigatormom)

    I totally agree with every word "litigatormom" said in her post early upthread.

    Obama's base has to influence him to know the progressive side is where his bread is buttered. How to do that without giving him ways to trade favors that his base could offer? (we have no favors to offer). This is why leadership is so crucial -- because it is the container for values beyond money and corporate influence. If he doesn't have that container -- and what's in it -- it's hard to influence him.

    Naomi Klein did an excellent interview with Amy Goodman this week in which she laid out exactly this problem of accountability and spoke of "independent movements that provide conditional support to candidates and not the sort of blank check, rockstar, 'we'll support you no matter what'" approach we're seeing now, so that Obama gets a clear signal that he is not being coronated but is being held to account by his base. This means holding his feet to the fire with ongoing constructive criticism. The question remains how to do that effectively.

    While figuring that out, we should continue using the blogosphere (Kos, Jeralyn, BTD et al); do more threads on his own website (a la the famous FISA thread). Not a third party but a "sub-party" inside the Dem Party, getting the media to pay attention to the progressive base's impatience with Obama, so that Democrats generally across the country become aware of the problem (those stadiums full of adoring "youth" and first-time voters need educating), so that Obama feels the pressure politically, not in the form of people threatening to vote for McCain (which is ridiculous) but to make clear that he will lose our donations, our volunteerism and everything but our votes which is a lot to lose -- in short, take the fun out of it for him if he doesn't tighten up his jib and sail much closer to the progressive wind once he enters office.