Holding Our Democratic Party Accountable

I think Jeralyn's post gives us a great opportunity to think about how we can hold our Democratic Party and our Democratic ticket accountable. We've said what we've said about the past. Now the question is what do we want and do in the future regarding our Democratic Party and our Democratic ticket.

I am a political junkie so you'll here a lot about what I think about the Democratic political strategy. But we should also think about how we can get our issues where we want them to be. At the very least, we can call Dems to account when they fail on our issues in the campaign.

Some fresh new thinking on this is in order. Hope you folks will join me in the exercise during this campaign.

This is an Open Thread.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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  • It has occurred to me (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by DCDemocrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:48:25 PM EST
    that the Party is changing.  My grandmother had a wonderful gift all her life to assess the signs of the times and update herself.  There is a group in our Party that wants a new Democratic Party.  Whatever changes we want to ask of the Party, we need to be aware of the new sensibilities that beginning to overcome it.  It's not clear to me that we really know what the party is becoming, but it is clear it's changing.

    It seems to me... (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by kredwyn on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:53:37 PM EST
    that the people who seem to be leading the "change" meme are folks like Daschel and so on.

    Do they even know what they want?


    yes (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by jedimom on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:00:45 PM EST
    it is trying to change and my concern is it seems to be trying to reformulate itself without a large part of the traditional base. The past few months and the actions we have all discussed ad nauseum..all seem to support the Ryan Lizza piece indicating the leadership plans to jettison the working class types for a new batch of IT professionals in the West......

    That's scary (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Lahdee on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:10 PM EST
    isn't it? If not the traditional base then who? I don't mean to limit the possibilities and would welcome some as yet unidentified group, but so far it seems that Axelrod, et al are banking first time voters. I hope not because it's been proven time and again that those are not a reliable demographic when it comes to turnout.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:03 PM EST
    what they want to be is the country club party.

    I hope we can get back to our working class roots-Harry Truman type party.


    It's interesting (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Lahdee on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:04:18 PM EST
    to see how those new sensibilities will impact the party. We see Democratic Congressional leadership that can't seem to stand up to Republicans. Is that the new sensibility? Or is it the type demanded by some supporters of our standard bearer? We see a candidate that preaches bipartisanship, but hasn't won the day yet. There may be a new sensibility if he wins, but if McCain does I imagine it would not bode well for post-partisanship.

    I have faith in people like your grandmother, those who are pragmatic. That kind of change I can accept. Is Mr. Obama's approach as pragmatic as it is changy?


    Heh. I think the (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by liminal on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:10:42 PM EST
    NDP is becoming the old Republican party, or the New Labour Party, where the labour bit is an afterthought.   That is because the Republican party has become the Crazy Uncle Party full of clearly insane maniac Reaganites, who think the answer to everything is: lower taxes, decrease regulation, and increase spending (on contracts for our cronies) while still somehow remaining competitive electorally.  (Is it the bread, or the circuses?  Or to some degree - as I am starting to believe possible, much to my dismay - our hip and cynical culture, too?)

    I'm all for pushback against the looming radical centrism, even though I'm a relative centrist - I just don't like extreme mushiness, and define my personal politics by twin polls of "liberty" and "equality" - where "equality" means more than what the meritocrats think it means.  

    I'm all for the success of doctors and lawyers; but I think that garbagement and nursing assistants should have a shot at buying a home, saving for retirement, and having something left over at the end of the month.  I worry about the party's genuine commitment to reversing income inequality.  I can't fix those things from the outside, and don't know how to do it from within, either.  


    You (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by tek on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:15:36 PM EST
    know your comment reminds me of articles I read in the last recession about how in America the people who perform all the jobs that affect people in vital areas--childcare, food handlers from servers to cooks to farm labor, nursing care workers, transportation workers, etc.--are the lowest paid people in society.  Teachers aren't much better paid than many of these other workers.  I think a just and equal society would address that situation.  

    I agree with you. (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by liminal on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:23:16 PM EST
    That is the most vital issue to me, in the short and long term.    

    The civil (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:11:15 PM EST
    rights coalition that was formed in 1964 is coming to an end imo.

    I'd like to hear more about this. (none / 0) (#57)
    by Faust on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:15:11 PM EST
    Elaborate a little? What do you see here?

    Win or lose, (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:25:35 PM EST
    I see Obama's nomination as the culmination of that coalition. I don't see it lasting though because I think that a lot of AA's are going to migrate to the GOP. Nixon got 30% of the AA vote when he ran and AA's do have a history with the GOP though not recently. Let's be honest though--for wealthy AA's the GOP really does represent their interests more than we do.

    Coalitions just aren't made to last forever.


    I see (none / 0) (#153)
    by Faust on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:51:58 PM EST
    Interesting, thank you.

    Change is a good thing, it's a (5.00 / 0) (#73)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:20:09 PM EST
    growing thing and we grow with it. However, when you change and update you must also allow for learning. It's like Iraq.....it was sort of a 16th century-living country, we came in and instead of gradually bringing them into the 21st century, we immediately "expected" them to adapt. No time given, no education, no growth period. I think that's always been a part of the problem. This election has been either you're on board with us, or you're out. Sounds a lot like the current administration.

    Change is constant (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:14:07 PM EST
    I have problems with changes, but it seems to me that the Dem Party is veering to the right just when the country has woken to the fact that "right" isn't right! After 8 yrs of Bush people are willing to look for new and even progressive ideas. Gay rights don't scare people like they used to. UHC isn't a dirty word anymore. After years of constant demonizing abortion, the country still is in favor of it. My question is why do the Dem's continue to allow the Rep to define what is right or left?

    One of my favorite pols (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    is the late great Tip O'Neill who said "All politics is local"  -- work for your local progressive candidate.  Start there.

    I think this is right (none / 0) (#109)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:32:51 PM EST
    Change your city council, your county council, your school board, your state legislature. Those are the political bodies that we can hold most accountable because those politicians are living in our communities. I run into my city councilmembers and state legislators at the grocery store. They know who I am and that I am paying close attention to what they say and what they do. And I don't just criticize them for the terrible things they do, I always make sure to thank them for the good things they are doing as well.

    As with all politicians, their records are a mixed bag.

    But if they don't know we are watching and that they may not get our support in the next election, then they will continue working under the radar to advance their own interests and the interests of those who lobby them with big bucks.

    With presidential candidates we have virtually no influence. The popular vote doesn't elect them.


    Indeed... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:45:00 PM EST
    ...that strategy worked very well for the Republicans.  From the school boards on up, they ran candidates that supported the party and were quite successful in pushing the agenda from the bottom-up.

    I was leaving this site, until Jeralyn (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:53:42 PM EST
    clarified her wishes on the other post. I will tentatively stay around. Dorothy thought she'd miss the scarecrow the most as I would miss your posts. Your posts, for the most part, have sometimes been fun, frustrating, challenging and informative. As you have requested, I will try to "freshen" my point of view.

    LBJ being ignored? HuffPo article by Kuttner (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:57:47 PM EST
    The Forgotten Man:

    Lyndon Baines Johnson was born 100 years ago today. After Franklin Roosevelt, his record as a progressive Democrat was unsurpassed. Thanks to his leadership and passion, Congress enacted Medicare, Medicaid, federal aid to education, Headstart, the Job Corps, legal services for the poor, and countless other pocketbook measures that helped millions out of poverty and reinforced a secure middle class. And Johnson took immense risks to pass the three landmark civil rights laws. It is not an exaggeration to say that without Johnson's leadership, Barack Obama would not be accepting the Democratic nomination for president this week.

    But here in Denver, where podium time has been found for a mind-numbing array of obscure speakers, the day will pass without ceremony or acknowledgment. Why? In part because for many Democrats, Johnson's greatness on domestic achievements has an asterisk--the Vietnam War, a divisive debacle too reminiscent of the Iraq War.

    But, interestingly, the decision to ignore Johnson was made by Barack Obama himself. Senator Tom Harkin, a huge admirer of Johnson's War on Poverty and the rest of the Great Society, told me that several months ago he contacted the LBJ presidential library in Austin. Harkin arranged to have a short, 11-minute film made about LBJ and the Great Society as a centenary tribute. He pitched it personally to Obama, who was not keen on the idea. They cut the film to seven minutes. Still too long, said the convention planners; and finally to five minutes. It will air, with no fanfare, reportedly during non-prime-time Thursday, not even LBJ's actual centenary. No official announcement has yet been made.

    What's the problem here, people?

    Another opportunity to build the Democratic Party brand missed? Or a good move?

    I like clean, clear hard choices (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:02:57 PM EST
    not the hazy this is a little bit better than those guys approach.  So I think it was a total missed opportunity.  But since so much of the current strategy seems to mimic the 1960 Kennedy campaign (even picking a Senate heavy weight like Biden = LBJ?) I'll be happy to be proved wrong.

    As we all learned after Clinton commented on LBJ (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Dan the Man on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:03:35 PM EST
    the progressive view is that LBJ was a horrible president and it was MLK, JFK, and the grassroots who deserved all the credit for the War on Poverty, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and LBJ deserved no credit at all.

    a column in the Mpls Strib pointed out (none / 0) (#96)
    by DFLer on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:25:36 PM EST
    that the convention blew the id on Eugene McCarthy, in the elegiac tribute aired the other day to great Dems lost this year. Apparently, Eugene was identified as Sen. Joe McCarthy.

    My problem (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:06:42 PM EST
    My problem with LBJ is a little thing called the Vietnam war.
    Perhaps you heard about it.
    It wound up killing over 50,000 American soldiers.
    It killed untold numbers of VIetnamese civilians.
    It was as senseless as the Iraq war is today.

    And LBJ defended it, escalated it, challenged people's patriotism if they opposed it - the lot.

    Great society programs do not make up for the irreparable damage  that the Vietnam war did to our country.


    Your problem should also be directed at the (none / 0) (#47)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:12:36 PM EST
    real culprit -- the military/industrial complex that incidentally now controls our media.

    The challenge of holding politicians and parties accountable is that we have to hold up a mirror.

    LBJ inherited that war and like Obama he will find it's much hard to get out than it was to get in.


    Inherited? (none / 0) (#105)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:31:07 PM EST
    He made the war his.
    He ceaselessly promoted it.
    He maligned any who opposed it.

    Yes -the military-industrial complex was behind it - and good old LBJ was part and parcel of it. The executive-legislative part. He made it happen.

    Bush's tactics in getting support for his little effort in Iraq is a photocopy of the LBJ playbook.


    And he came to regret it to his credit (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by McKinless on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:26:16 PM EST
    Sure. It's not the same as being against it from the beginning. But LBJ was hardly alone. And he suffered over it---which is WAY more than the current occupant of the White House has ever done or ever will. It was his huge blindspot, the bloody blot on his legacy. Yet the political courage and tenacity he showed for good ol' liberal causes--Medicare, Civil Rights, Poverty--was huge. Absolutely huge. Better than any Democrat since, sad to say.

    LBJ was as culpable as the other (none / 0) (#90)
    by Jjc2008 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:24:47 PM EST
    democrats and many republicans.  Like another poster said, "getting out" is never as easy as getting in. I was one who protested against the war.  But I was never so narrow as to think one person had all the power.  If you believe that, then you don't understand a democracy.  

    LBJ was as flawed as any other politician.  He did some great things, some stupid things.  His passage of civil rights legislation was huge.  If you don't think so, then you need to study a bit more.

    As for war, during Vietnam, males were drafted but many said no and went to jail.  In this war, ALL volunteered.  Do you hold those who join the military responsible?  Because with the kind of simplistic thinking you are using, it's easy to come back with how we used to do it....JUST SAY NO....ain't gonna study war no more.  No one HAS TO GO to jail any more. JUST SAY NO TO HAVING A MILITARY AT ALL.


    A difference of opinion. (none / 0) (#133)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:41:36 PM EST
    In the Iraq war, not all volunteered as you infer.
    The army was already a volunteer army. Bush used them for things they never dreamed they would be called upon to do with they enlisted. People who joined the National Guard and were sent to Iraq never dreamed they would be used in this manner. This is why there are so many tours of duty foisted on these same unfortunate individuals.

    I am not demeaning the civil rights bill.

    I am saying that it does not make up for the deaths of thousands of American kids sent by this President, LBJ, for bogus reasons into a hell-hole.

    I am not saying that LBJ "had all the power".
    But what does that mean? He had as much power as Bush does now. The congress laid down for him just as fast as they do now for Bush. LBJ deserved to be impeached. He lied as blatantly and as demonstrably as Bush did and does today.

    The Vietnam war was more that a "stupid thing".


    LBJ's domestic agenda ... (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:20 PM EST
    is second only to FDR.

    However, the dark cloud of Vietnam, then and now, makes many forget it.

    But to this day millions live happier and healthier lives because of the programs LBJ created and the actions he took.

    LBJ's legacy is real, even if he's rarely given credit for it.

    And, frankly, I think LBJ would be okay with that.


    I Salute the Great Society (none / 0) (#134)
    by daring grace on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:42:47 PM EST
    and nothing can take those good policy elements away from LBJ.

    But rampant domestic surveillance and disruption of lawful dissent is also part of that era's legacy.



    Chilling to me - (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Xanthe on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:18:16 PM EST
    BTD - you can delete this if you wish.  Thank you and Jeralyn for allowing me to come here.  I enjoyed meeting many of you and particularly enjoy your sardonic point of view BTD.  Good luck to you and the continuing success of the blog.

    And here is where you'll delete me - I don't need Iceberg Slim coming here and hectoring me. But I understand Jeralyn's POV.

    Again - thank you - you guys are great.      


    She won't stay. She wouldn't dare post that (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Teresa on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:22:44 PM EST
    crap in BTD thead. If she did, I hope Jeralyn will suspend all rules and let BTD have at her.

    Iceberg Slim is here? (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:24:05 PM EST
    Where? I certainly will not allow her to lecture anyone here.

    I have a lecture for her.


    downstairs (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by jedimom on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:31:39 PM EST
    she is downstairs in Jeralyns thread on the new policy, this is what many of us were worried about when we saw that post...

    With T Chris defending her, no less. (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:35:58 PM EST
    Someone should explain (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by kredwyn on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:38:31 PM EST
    to TChris her long standing attempts to bully and browbeats folks into falling in-line with her way of thinking.

    That thread is closed (none / 0) (#129)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:39:15 PM EST
    TChris does not know what Iceberg Slim is.

    At the least, she will not run rampant in my threads.


    ::sigh:: (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by kredwyn on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:49:10 PM EST
    her bullying is unnecessary roughness.

    definitely here (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:50:22 PM EST
    care for a sample?

    "At this point, if you do not, when Obama and Clinton are practically on the SAME PAGE in Policy, it is personal and it tinges with race.  Sorry, it does."


    Don't get mad (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:56:12 PM EST
    get even, say you'll vote for Cynthia McKinney.  So you can't be accused of racism (sexism maybe?)

    Sorry couldn't resist fanning the flame.


    Jeralyn would never tolerate that (none / 0) (#202)
    by waldenpond on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 04:24:47 PM EST
    I left it for the time being as it was so over the top ridiculous.  

    Caro on NYT Op-Ed page today (none / 0) (#142)
    by noholib on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:48:10 PM EST
    Re: LBJ and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills, see today's Op-Ed piece by his biographer Caro.  

    Reform of Presidential Elections (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by gtesta on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:58:20 PM EST
    I thought that aspects of this year's Dem. Primary were great in that every state and territory took part.  It should be like that every four years.  I really hope that movements like the national popular vote (http://nationalpopularvote.com/) come to pass soon.
    I also hope that some variation of national popular vote can occur for primary nominations too. Such as, dividing the country into four regions, rotating which states get to go first within regions, staggering elections in the regions over the course of just a couple of months, and using a cumulative popular vote total to determine the nominee (no more caucuses, primary elections only!).
    I think that this way, diverse areas of the country and diverse issues can be better represented.

    I think we're possibly at the point (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Grace on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:03:06 PM EST
    where we should get the UN to come in and monitor our elections to make sure that they are free and fair.  

    It's hard to preach Democracy to other countries when we have so many problems with elections ourselves.  


    Sad thing is... (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by gtesta on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:55:16 PM EST
    I know we could do fair elections relatively easily.  In Florida, in 2000, it was shown conclusively that paper ballots with optical scanning had the lowest failure rates by far.  They kicked out overvotes and had the highest accuracy rates, had a paper trail (of course) and were verifiable.  So what happened?  Why we had to move to touch screen e-voting with no paper trails!  Why?!!
    Not only that, but election days should be national holidays.  I think that every High School should be a polling place.  Let the kids work the polls as part of history/civics (do we still teach civics?) Run the bus routes all day for people to get to the polls. Open the cafeterial all day.  Treat this as a day of celebrating democracy with your neighbors.
    Make sure that tallying of ballots is done right when polls close and is open to all...
    I could go on all day.
    Point is, this stuff is not hard. But we've got to take control of our elections back!

    The perils of incrementalism (5.00 / 6) (#31)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:05:11 PM EST
    Great topic and one that is close to my heart. As usual Greenwald articulates my feelings very closely:
    But as competent, well-executed and even dramatic as the Convention has been, at least as striking is what has been missing.

    First, there is almost no mention of, let alone focus on, the sheer radicalism and extremism of the last eight years.

    As this Presidential campaign has progressed, more and more is off the table as far as substantive change to the policy directions of the US. Personally, I think ruinous is an absolutely accurate characterization of these policies in the aggregate. Many on the left (and not a few on the right FTM) are more or less of the same opinion.

    The CW among apologists for this situation is that we cannot do more now because the country is not ready and (here's the key) that the country will be ready at some unspecified time in the future.

    To me that completely ignores the vicious circle characteristics of these policies: viz., that wasteful spending, reckless militarism and curtailment of civil liberties in the long term require ever less money for useful projects and ever greater curtailment of civil liberties.

    So, four years from now, less will be possible in the way of change than would readily be accepted now.

    what is your point.... (5.00 / 3) (#172)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:03:33 PM EST
    ... it seems to me that regardless of who we elect, "less will be possible in four years if we do nothing".

    While we don't know what either candidate would do as President, odds are that McCain would be more to the right than Obama -- and right is less desirable, so McCain is a bad idea.  But Obama is likely to result in a redefinition of what is acceptable "liberal" opinion, resulting in the marginalization of anything that could be considered truly "progressive".  

    The Democratic Party no longer represents progressive ideas so much as it gives lip service to them.  We can't begin to take back the party if we elect Obama for at least eight years, but if McCain is elected, the country continues on the wrong course.  


    Primary challenge (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:12:47 PM EST
    It's a dilemma, isn't it?

    Supposing that Obama wins, and supposing that he governs more or less in the manner that we expect him to, the logic of our movement dictates that we should look for a strong primary challenger to Obama in '12.


    Good idea! (none / 0) (#196)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:31:09 PM EST
    nothing I'd like to do more than tear the party apart after four years of "the kind of government we expect from Obama", practically guaranteeing a GOP win!  


    (but if an Obama administration turns out like I think it would, I'd not be surprised to see Hillary pull a "Teddy" in 2012.)  


    This is precisely (none / 0) (#56)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:37 PM EST
    the type of comment that we welcome.

    Knock me over with a feather (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:25:28 PM EST
    Wow! From you this is a huge compliment. I will both treasure it and take it to heart.

    Amen (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:30:26 PM EST
    to that. Where are the points about radical fundamentalism that has engulfed the GOP? Teri Schaivo was the apex of that mess.

    That's a side show (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:54:40 PM EST
    The GOP has never been about radical fundamentalism, as the radical fundamentalists will be the first to tell you.

    The sole purpose of the GOP has been to divert as much money as possible to those who already have the most money.

    From the GOP point of view, the 'culture wars' are merely a tool to distract public attention from substantive policy discussions because they know their actual policies would be losers if discussed on the merits. In this they are fully supported by the mass media (sorry, tradmed is too cute for me).

    What is unfortunate is that the national leadership Democratic Party (with few exceptions) accepts the premises of this discussion, more or less giving away the whole show before discussion even begins.

    The logical extension of the culture wars is a reduction of public policy debate to a personality contest, for which Obama is arguably the best we've got to offer.

    Real change would begin with a systematic and relentless attack on the premises of our public policy debates. Personally, I think such a tack would be huge winner in public opinion, if it could get a hearing.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:05:10 PM EST
    with most of what you say however, my personal experience is that fundamentalists believe that the GOP represents their interests.

    I don't actually know any such people (none / 0) (#184)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:15:08 PM EST
    ... so what you say could be true. But my impression is that though their views actually get a hearing in GOP circles, they're deeply disappointed with the policy results.

    Putin claims US orchestrated Georgian war (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by cmugirl on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:05:20 PM EST
    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.

    Oddly enough, the story doesn't mention which one.


    Saw that (none / 0) (#100)
    by CST on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:27:32 PM EST
    I think given that the Bush administration is who he is talking about, I think we can assume we know which candidate he means.

    It's a pretty base charge, I don't think too many people will buy it.  Except maybe the ones who think Bush orchestrated 9/11.  I mean, if they mysteriously managed to catch Osama Bin Laden in the next month I would be suspiciouis of that, but Georgia???  Small potatoes.


    It might be one of those famous Rovian twofers: (none / 0) (#111)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:33:01 PM EST
    Bush gives McCain a foreign policy "crisis," and he gets momentum for his Star Wars fantasy (but missiles close to Russia reality) and for his NATO membership goals. Encircling Russia.

    Base charge? Is anything beyond BushCo?


    This article mentions which one... (none / 0) (#137)
    by desertswine on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:44:11 PM EST
    Maybe you're reading the wrong propaganda.

    The Obama angle is getting wide play. It was aired on Wednesday by Sergei Markov, a senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister and power behind President Medvedev.

    "George Bush's Administration is promoting interests of candidate John McCain," said Dr Markov. "Defeated by Barak Obama on all fronts, McCain has one last card to play yet - the creation of a virtual Cold War with Russia . . . Bush himself did not want a war in South Ossetia but his Republican Party did not leave him any choice." The Americans were now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Dr Markov added.

    Cheney is going to Tbilisi next week.


    Interesting... (none / 0) (#150)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:50:54 PM EST
    ...does this mean Russians are preparing to invade the Crimean Peninsula? No doubt "in response to a Ukrainian invasion"?

    If Putin claims it... (none / 0) (#145)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:49:23 PM EST
    ...it must be true, right?

    except (none / 0) (#154)
    by AlSmith on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:52:03 PM EST

    Russia had to position their troops months in advance so Putin is not plausible.

    Right... (none / 0) (#166)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:56:59 PM EST
    ...it's looking more and more like the whole thing was in fact staged from Moscow. There is too much evidence of preparations, staged incidents, and the like. The US must have had some inkling that the Russians were up to something, as it warned the Georgian government to avoid falling for a Russian (or Russia-sponsored) provocation.

    Hegel's Paradox... (none / 0) (#178)
    by desertswine on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:11:34 PM EST
    states: Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.

    -- In January 1968 Alexander Dubcek became First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, instituting the "Prague Spring" liberalising reforms

    -- In August the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invaded, below, claiming that its assistance had been requested by Communist Party leaders. Dubcek was arrested

    -- Lyndon Johnson, the US President, declared the invasion in violation of the United Nations Charter, but America was in the middle of a presidential election campaign and a war in Vietnam. The West took no action

    In practical terms... (none / 0) (#189)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:21:16 PM EST
    ...there was little the US could have done short of risking nuclear war. There was no US action in response to the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 either, for the same reasons. All the same '68 was a disaster for the Soviets' international image.

    #4 (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by AlSmith on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:06:04 PM EST

    OK this is my last criticism for the day so I'll use it advisedly.

    I think that the accountability needs to be with the party and the candidates- fine. But what about the 'netroots'?

    Frankly Obama looks a lot like Ned Lamont to me. A light airy confection that has been puffed up beyond all reason because he appeals to the sweet tooth of children. Who is left holding the bag when their souffle flops? The Lieberman debacle could easily have cost the Dems control of the Senate and will cause an embarrassing black eye at the GOP convention this year. The genius 50 state strategy has spent a God-awful amounts of money. If Obama tanks who are we supposed to be left with for viable candidates for '12?

    DailyKos, DU.com are counterproductive echo chambers that will one day be recognized as hurting more then they help. TalkLeft at least  is sanity.

    I'm curious (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:02 PM EST
    Is this the tqype of comment that is perceived as prblematic? Because I think it is not.

    Here's what J had in mind I think:

    Enough with Rezko, Ayers and other such silliness.

    Enough with saying the same thing for the umpteenth time about Obama/Biden.

    Let's be fresh. Let's consider the new perspective and let's bring some fresh critique.


    Okay... (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:20:13 PM EST
    ... am I still allowed to express my deep annoyance at the racism charges that were thrown around like candy, or what I perceive to be the disrespect shown to Clinton supporters by that farcical roll call last night?

    I don't have any desire to bring up the unsavory figures you mentioned, except as they become newsworthy in the campaign. But I am still angry about Obama's non-universal health care, FISA capitulation, and broken public financing promise.

    In other words, is this my critical post #1 for today?


    I think so (none / 0) (#84)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:22:43 PM EST
    Let's see if Clyburn keeps talking.

    I do not plan to be quiet about it.

    Point is we have said what we have said and if we have something new to say about it, then we will.


    Clyburn (none / 0) (#170)
    by Lil on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:00:42 PM EST
    was interviewed on PBS last night after Bill Clinton's speech. Suffice to say I had to turn him off.

    I as well! (none / 0) (#199)
    by Klio on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:44:10 PM EST
    But first I made rude gestures to him through teevee.

    I agree about the lefty activists. (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by AX10 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:22:57 PM EST
    Kos, Huffingtonpost, Americablog, Democratic Underground, Air America, Schultz/Miller are
    hurting the cause.  They are to the far left what Rush Limbaugh is to the far right.
    I will have no part of either!

    Clarification please: 4 critical comments of any (none / 0) (#58)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:15:19 PM EST
    kind, total? Or just of the Obama/Biden ticket and policies? Or are policies fair game?

    I understand the limit on the two candidates (of course, I don't know all that much about Biden, so had been hoping to learn more. I did read today that he refused to let Scott Ridder testify at his runup to the Iraq Invasion hearings. What would that have been? I ask, because I had been trying to remember just what Biden did in the pre-war, pre-AUMF period. He simply wasn't on my radar screen at the time.)

    So, 4 critical comments are limited to total critical comments at all? including Repubs and McCain? or just the Dem ticket?

    Thanks much!

    God, I hate the thought of losing all the good reading I've found here, with so many great contributors. And funny comments.


    Look (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:18:59 PM EST
    I think Jeralyn won't be counting critical comments.

    I think what she was driving at was that we were repeating ourselves, me included.

    I think a fresh perspective for accountability and critique is in order.

    I can guarantee you that if she means 4 critical comments (or posts for that matter) per day is the limit, then I will be the first one expelled.


    Actually I think the penalty (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:24:46 PM EST
    shouldn't be explusion but watching old DNC conventions (I'm watching them on CSPAN and Barbara Jordan is on right now).

    They're good lessons on how far we've come and how far this is to go.


    Barbara Jordan (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:45:47 PM EST
    Now you're making me really sentimental.

    I'm afraid those kinds of leaders in the Democratic party are lost to us forever.


    FRESH THINKING (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Desired User Name on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:06:10 PM EST
    well, well, well BTD, you are so right that we need it fresher. It's hard to get fresh when Obama is still tossing out Day Old Dinner Rolls for us to gnaw on.

    Here at my house yesterday, stumbling around stewing over yesterdays Convention antics, pacing in a pair of dirty sweat pants, I was cooking up some brain food yesterday and I couldn't tell if I was a genius or a befuddled buffoon, so I jotted down the torrent of thoughts and as it turned out I was a certifiable dumb ass. Oh and still ANGRY!

    Dammmmmit, I need to get fresh and to get frisky [flirt flirt]/

    I am willing to fight any fight to get it.
    How can we pressure the Obama Camp to deliver and not just act as mouth breathers on this issue?
    I fear that even if he picks up Hillary's Torch, the flame will die down as soon as he gets in office [if he was to win].

    I'm at a loss here. I'll come back when I feel fresher.

    Loving this thread ;)

    There is nothing, short of votes, (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by kredwyn on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:10:48 PM EST
    left to pressure Camp Anyone with.

    That's (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:35:24 PM EST
    pretty much what I think. Obama is who he is and you can either deal with that or not. There will be no listening to the base on issues I fear.

    Gloria Allred says she was not allowed to address (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:06:41 PM EST
    CA delegation prior to state delegation vote--wore gag to meeting to indicate her situation.

    HuffPo OfftheBus column.

    Better party discipline? Or too much control?

    It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to....

    Love (5.00 / 0) (#83)
    by tek on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:22:32 PM EST
    your comment with reference to our generation's music.  Leslie Gore was a gas!

    I think Leslie's "You Don't Own Me" (3.00 / 4) (#120)
    by PssttCmere08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:36:06 PM EST
    is much more appropriate...

    Lyrics--for old time's sake (1963!!!) (none / 0) (#102)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:29:29 PM EST
    Nonsense (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:06:46 PM EST
    The best thing we can do right now is to fine tune the winning platform for our candidate.  

    There's nothing wrong with criticism, especially if it helps us win.  The problem before was that many people were using criticism of Obama to promote Hillary in the false hope that she would somehow get the nomination.  Now that it's a done deal, is our job, our duty, and certainly in our party's best interests to constructively criticize the Dem platform and candidate with the intent of getting our side elected and promoting our issues.

    Need I remind you... (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by kredwyn on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:13:54 PM EST
    the campaign pays little or no attention to the blogs. The platform is being hammered out at the convention.

    And once he's the nominee, there's nothing--other than your vote--that he's going to be pressured with.

    But since there's no one else for Dems to vote for ::shrug:: he can ignore that too.


    Discussion on WNYC yesterday: All public input to (none / 0) (#77)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:20:48 PM EST
    Dem platform was a farce and for show only.

    All work was initially managed by reps from Hillary, Obama, and Edwards. When Obama was the presumptive nominee, only his rep had control.

    Think it was that 538 (written out) blogger guy.

    Joshua Green on Fresh Air right now, when reminded that Mark Penn's memo said no one was to address Obama's background in the Hillary campaign, said that he thought Hillary had used Obama's background but subtly and sneakily, so his initial criticism of her and Penn was correct.

    Yikes. Green has severe CDS.


    I don't think Hillary and Bill (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:39:53 PM EST
    were promoting bi-partisanship, or post-partisanship, at all. Biden was pretty good last night, imo, but the Clintons were the only ones really making the case for what it means to be a Democrat.

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:10:13 PM EST
    BTD, after Jeralyn's update I guess I don't have to leave.

    Anyhow, I haven't a clue as how to hold the party accountable. They didn't listen to a lot of voters during the primary so why would they listen in the future. And it's not only the primary. After working to get them elected in 2006 they still didn't really listen to us. Now, I understand that people like Heath Shuler have different constituencies than someone like Charlie Rangel but what to do?

    I'm going to be more active in communicating (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by Teresa on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:16:21 PM EST
    with them...write letters about health care, etc. The hardest part is that I live in a district that has had a Republican Congressman for 200 years. I think it's the longest party held seat in the country. I've tried emailing other members of Congress but many of them only accept emails from their zip codes.

    I guess I'll spend a lot of time looking up fake addresses. :)


    I have (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:37:59 PM EST
    Tom Price as a congressman. He at least writes back but mostly he just apologizes for Bush and spouts Republican propaganda. I feel your pain.

    They never even run a Dem anymore (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:39:13 PM EST
    in my district. They just throw up their hands and say "You win!" Occasionally, they find some shmuck to put his name in but Cantor is my guy until one of us dies or I move(which I am seriously considering).

    That's one of the things (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by eleanora on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:56:39 PM EST
    the 50 State Strategy was/is supposed to help with, competing in every state for every position, not just Congress and Gov, but also AGs, judges, city councils, state auditors, etc. Building a strong Dem presence by funding professionals and GOTV year-round in every single state is really important--that's how the R's got their lock on so many areas starting from 1964. They never gave up, and eventually they won.

    The long primary season was wonderful for the Dem Party in many ways*--states that had never seen a major Dem candidate got multiple visits from everybody. The GE is a different animal as yet, requiring more laser-like focus on swing states, but building for the long run is just common sense.

    *[bites back related negative comment]


    We don't either. My guy, John Duncan has (none / 0) (#173)
    by Teresa on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:03:56 PM EST
    his seat for life. He actually voted against the Iraq war and wrote some articles about it. I respected him for that and his reasoning was spot on.

    If you have a personal issue and need your Congressman to get involved for you, he is very responsive. Very nice man. But he votes no on every spending bill out there. Even ones from his own party. I will have to move to have a Democrat represent me.


    Never say never... (none / 0) (#194)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:29:15 PM EST
    ...we didn't think that we could ever unseat Musgrave from her seat in Congress.  But, this year, the Dem's are running a very strong, well funded candidate that has a real chance of winning.  

    Of course, it doesn't hurt the the GOP decided not to give her much in the way of funding this cycle either.  


    Then we'll think (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:20:04 PM EST
    and write and discuss it through the campaign.

    I assure you a brilliant mind like mine is sure to come up with something.


    Troublemaker (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:34:06 PM EST
    All I know is that (5.00 / 0) (#44)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:11:00 PM EST
    Biden said some things that seemed unbalanced to me. It was also in his blowhard manner of delivery. When this quality is combined with echos of cold war rhetoric, I get somewhat queasy.
    We are talking about putting a new set of fingers on the nuclear button.

    For me, the question will be which of the tickets will make me feel less queasy. I am not looking for more than that.

    The Freshmaker (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Desired User Name on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:13:08 PM EST
    How's THIS for FRESH~!!!!!!!!!!

    yeah baby, yeah!

    more republico (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:05 PM EST
    Senior Democratic officials are expressing serious concerns about the political risks posed by Barack Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium Thursday evening.

    imagine that

    Have you heard the latest? (5.00 / 0) (#113)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:33:43 PM EST
    Report: Britney Spears' Set Designer Built Obama's Invesco Stage

    Oh good god. (none / 0) (#139)
    by janarchy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:45:40 PM EST
    "We would have expected to read something like this in The Onion. Fortunately for us, it's true. Unfortunately for Obama, it's true," a McCain adviser told the paper.

    They don't even have to write their own punchlines anymore.


    The Obama camp really knows (none / 0) (#158)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:54:27 PM EST
    how to serve it up, eh? lol!~ McCain's media guys are prob rolling on the floor.

    Phil Bresden (none / 0) (#132)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:40:21 PM EST
    again. Of course, he's right about getting out and talking to the voters. No one seems to be listening so far though.

    Perhaps (5.00 / 0) (#59)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:15:22 PM EST
    I certainly plan to level criticism at Obama.

    Hopefully something that relates to the now and the future, not the past.

    Here's (5.00 / 5) (#99)
    by tek on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:26:49 PM EST
    my one criticism for the day, in regard to the future:  Are we really going to have a Democratic president who EXPANDS the Faith Based Initiative and creates a sister program to boot?  That was one of my biggest gripes against Bush.  And my head will explode if the actually creates a cabinet level Department of Faith with a Secretary of Faith.  How exactly is that Democratic?  

    It's funny, for 8 years I've stated vehemently that this is just Bush buying votes.  Now the Dems are doing it!


    Not how I read it (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:55:11 PM EST
    I think that she meant criticism of the ticket as such, meaning expressing displeasure that this is the ticket. That's how I read it anyway. We can still critique their stands on the issues and hold their feet to the fire.

    how exactly? (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by indie in CA on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:15:32 PM EST
    How do we hold a giant, dynamic national political party accountable? I had been a registered and active Democrat since the 80s and made a hard decision to register as an independent a couple months ago. I'm thinking that changing the system is extremely hard from within. I am also, in a small way trying to hold the Dem Party accountable by casting my first protest vote in a presidential election. If I lived in a swing state, I may decide to vote differently, but since I'm in CA, I've decided to vote for Cynthia McKinney.

    Will the Democratic Party take notice that I'm no longer working on campaigns, fund raising and being a visible Democrat in CA's most Republican congressional district? Who knows...

    And yes, I will continue to help elect progressives in local nonpartisan races, especially women.

    I don't know how to hold the Democratic Party... (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by Romberry on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:16:56 PM EST
    ...to account. I really don't.

    The Democratic Party takes me and my vote for granted. They've had good reason to. For years I have voted straight Democratic tickets and hoped that the party I thought I was a part of would stand up and be counted for the things I thought it represented. Only recently have I realized that the Democratic Party I was voting for and the things I thought that party represented were really just my fantasy...and the fantasy of many others who thought they were the party's base.

    I've read the books by NY Times financial reporter David Cay Johnston and I recommend his book on the tax code (Perfectly Legal) and how that tax code has been rigged by both major political parties to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the working class to everyone.

    I've tried donating to the party. I've tried letters and phone calls to the party and to my elected representatives. I've worked to elect Democrats. And I've turned out to vote for Democrats each and every election since I was 18 years old. Always, I have told myself that the party I believed in would soon stand up, would soon find its spine (apparently lost sometime between November of 1980 and January of 1981) again. None of it has worked. So now, about the only thing I can see left for me to do to hold the Democratic Party to account...is to stop voting a straight Democratic ticket, withhold my vote and make sure that the party is aware of it and why.

    I can not and will not hold my nose and vote for the lesser of two evils any longer. I won't hold my nose and vote for a candidate who is not against needless war, but is instead just in favor of different needless war. I won't go to the polls to support yet more expansion of government largess to line corporate pockets, to support yet more "the free market is god" ideology or to support more nibbling around the margins when it comes to standing up for things that I thought were basic Democratic values such as health care for all, a living minimum wage and a truly progressive tax code.

    So...where does that leave me? Damned if I know. I guess it leaves me on the outside looking in. But the truth is, I have apparently been on the outside looking in for all of my adult life. The only difference is that now I know it.

    I'll vote Democratic this fall in a great many races in my state, but not all of them. In the presidential election, I will vote third party or not at all. That's how I hold the Democratic Party to account. They say I have no other alternative and for years I believed them. But I do have other alternatives and that starts with voting for what I believe in as best fits with my conscience instead of voting for what I hope for when it apparently does not really exist any more...if ever it did.

    The Democratic Party (5.00 / 4) (#92)
    by smott on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:25:18 PM EST
    ...isn't even behaving like Democrats anymore. They have completely abandonded principle.
    Now whether this is because of PACs/corporate intersests and so on (IMO largely yes) we can debate...

    But to me the Dem Party is now DINO.

    I'm an indie now, but I didn't leave them.
    They left me.

    I don't know how to change them, from inside or out.
    Are we going to tell the mil-industrial-media complex that they're just not going to get what they want anymore because...well, we think public funancing is fairer?


    I'll come up with something (none / 0) (#75)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:20:43 PM EST
    and we'll talk about it here.

    The thing (none / 0) (#187)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:18:23 PM EST
    that I find interesting is McCain as President doesn't scare me. Not that I'm voting for him fwiw, however, when you've been through heck with the Bush administration it seems that nothing could be worse. Even McCain. I guess since he's been running as a quasi democrat he isn't as scary? I don't know.

    You may think he's weak and flawed (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by MyLeftMind on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:17:40 PM EST
    but he's got millions of Dems behind him, and the support of our other strongest Dem, Sen. Clinton.  We have a party with the right values and the right direction.  Obama's far from perfect, but we're taking back our government and that's what this is all about.

    Hey Palomino (5.00 / 0) (#71)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:19:33 PM EST
    See previous post for new meetup locations for those of us displaced and disaffected - come join us!

    Sorry, last comment.

    Im following your links (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:51:45 PM EST
    but I hope you dont leave.
    the party and this blog needs you.

    either of you (none / 0) (#169)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:58:51 PM EST
    Don't leave yet (none / 0) (#127)
    by CST on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:38:48 PM EST
    Look around this thread.  Plenty of points of view to go around.  I don't think this is going to turn into a chearing ground anytime soon.  I think Jeralyn is just trying to elevate the discourse a bit.  You can still be critical, and honestly, I can't really think of much in your latest posts that would be considered the "wrong" type of criticism.  Most people seem to be sticking around.

    Dr. Molly, I know that post wasn't directed at (none / 0) (#148)
    by Teresa on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:50:18 PM EST
    you. You are (or at least were) voting for the ticket. Your criticism is constructive. Posters like you remind me that it is issues that matter to me and not people. (Though some people running matter a heck of a lot to me.)

    Great Idea, and good focus (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:21:06 PM EST
    since the primaries are officially over. And given the new rules which I think are fine, this is a great thing to explore. Well, that and individual policy issues of course.

    Oh, and anything silly in open threads like all about tractors and my very lame attempt at starting a vineyard hobby. Of course the wine will have to be called bitter knitters. :-)

    Well I missed the other post (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:22:04 PM EST
    What interests me is not to sit around all day saying "I won't vote for Barack Obama....." but what interests me is speaking out against divisiveness of the Obama movement, the hateful rhetoric people in the media inclusive of the blogging community put out there about the other half of the party, the Clinton wing of the party.

    If that means I should no longer post here, that'd be good to know cause either way I'm going to continue to speak out against people like Markos Moulitsas and Arianna Huffington, and David Shuster, and Chris Matthews, and Rachel Maddow, and David Sirota and Jim Clyburn and anyone else who has built a career out of dividing the Democratic Party.  I'm going to continue to do that somewhere.

    Case in point.  It is asked above what should we do to hold the party accountable???  Markos Moulitsas once said it would be good if Harold Ford lost because then it would be a rejection of a political style that he thinks is bad for the party.  Essentially the argument is that it is  only by losing elections that the party will learn that a political style is bad and reject it.

    Ok.  Fair point.  Or is it?  I don't think so.  I think that's divisive crap.  And of course Jeralyn has now stated we can not make the same argument here about Barack Obama.  Why not?  Whatever I think of that kind of argument isn't that a fair argument to make??  What does Jeralyn think of that kind of argument??

    So what does Jeralyn want, does she want us to stop behaving like her blogging associates???  

    Sounds like the answer is "yes."

    good point, and I didn't know that about MM (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:39:36 PM EST
    That sounds exactly like what a lot of folks here say about Obama. That in order to fix the party, he should lose. It's a valid argument. And of course we can argue if it's effective.

    As to what Jeralyn's new rules are about. I think they're mostly about cutting down on the repetitive nature of the complaints about the DNC, Party, and Obama campaign. And steering this blog past the primary and what happened there, and moving it to the GE. But I think that still means there is the space to constructively bash the DNC, Party, and Obama campaign, in order to save the party. I guess it's a tight rope.

    I have a friend who in 2000 voted for Nader precisely in order to try to push the dem party more to the left. He stands by that and will continue doing the same just because he can't stand these centrist people. I understand that. I tend to be more liberal than most everyone I ever vote for, and man is that frustrating.

    I made the counter argument that what if during this very long process of trying to steer the dem party (think giant ocean liner), that someone bad gets in office and does something so bad, the world as we know it comes to an end. I said that in 2000. Scary.

    My conclusion is that you should either just go for it and work towards another party and try to build that up (hard but not impossible), or work from the inside to make a party better. I don't think either works very well as individuals on our own though. I think there has to be a free press to look under the covers and actually talk about what's happening, and organization of people to make things happen. To that end, us talking about these issues in a public way is all to the good.


    I'm not trying to push the party (none / 0) (#175)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:05:54 PM EST
    To the right or the left.

    It's the kinds of hateful things said about the Democratic party by people who are trying to pull the party to the right or left is what I'm on about.

    Note, I said left and right.  Some hateful things have definitely been said by people trying to push the party to the right.


    Well (none / 0) (#122)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:37:14 PM EST
    I think you should keep talking here, within the rules.

    MY own view is that this comment is if it becamse your one note, something we would want in all your comments.

    When relevant, it is fine. I have said much the same thing.

    But I am trying to be forward looking.

    And I will not apologize for moderating the blog in a manner consistent with Jeralyn's wishes. IT is her blog after all.


    I won't be sidetracking (none / 0) (#177)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:10:09 PM EST
    posts about capital punishment, that's for sure.

    But if someone brings up the issue of unity, and supporting Obama, and the kinds of things that make it more difficult to support Obama, then I feel the door is opened.


    transparency (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by DandyTIger on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:26:35 PM EST
    is the first order of business. I think even before we push for reforms in party primary process. I'm thinking this because seeing what's really happening may have a lot of the reform effect we want because, well, it will be very embarrassing. So seeing what's happening in the caucuses, seeing the actual counts of voters and the like. Full records and transparency in the whole process.

    I think one big issue with transparency and a better primary process is that we need to feel like it's our party. If it's only the party of a small set of party elders and nothing they're doing is any of our business, then we shouldn't play along. They need to get that message. I'd think the growing numbers of independents would give them that clear message, but I'm not sure brains are at a premium there. :-)

    Jeez, feel like I just got here and now have to go (5.00 / 0) (#107)
    by Larry Bailey on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:31:47 PM EST
    I've enjoyed TalkLeft, especially Armando, as Daily Kos became more and more repressive, but not even DKos imposes the type of censorship just announced by Jeralyn.

    I've just brought myself around to supporting the ticket (and not just Down Ticket) and run into Jeralyn's move. This smacks of something odd starting to happen on our side -- an attempt to stifle dissent/opposition, to wit, the Obama campaign's attack on WGN this week. What a shame. Goodbye.

    That's your choice (none / 0) (#117)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:34:42 PM EST
    I suggest you might consider the comments in this thread and see if they offer the type of discussion you want.

    If so, stay. But we will not apologize for running the blog the way Jeralyn wants.


    She already had one of the most civil blogs... (none / 0) (#157)
    by Larry Bailey on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:54:21 PM EST
    ...and yet felt compelled to post her censorious new rules. I stay civil all the time, but I won't play in a place where there's a threat of being banned or at least embarrassed at some misunderstanding of intent. Wish you had your own place Armando. I don't believe you would have felt the need for such a rule. Good luck to you personally.

    What is the party? (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by Oje on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:32:18 PM EST
    In response to TX's post (#22), it is a terrible mistake to conflate any candidate with the party in such a totalizing manner. Obama and the party are two distinct political entities. A criticism of Obama is not necessarily a criticism of the party, and a criticism of the party is not necessarily a criticism of Obama. It seems to me, in this era of symbolic conventions and media imagery, we need keep in mind the distinction between politician and party. If not, we do silence political dissent in a manner that Obama's worst supporters (not Obama himself) seem hellbent on creating.

    That said, the old delegate system and the more recent primary voter system seem to be at loggerheads. As we witnessed during the primaries, the party is not an embodiment of the will of its rank-and-file. Party committees, party rules, state chairman, and federal laws determine how "the voters' will" is measured and what "the voters' will" means. At the same time, the best-laid plans of the DNC ruling committee and state chairs were exposed as a democratic farce by a deeply divided rank-and-file. Party does not seem to have any discernible identity from the top down or the bottom up.

    Add to this, the party platform seems to hold less and less relevance for party members. The voting records of the party's officeholders never seem to add up to a political philosophy, and increasingly reflect the insider-outsider, elite-DFH, and "creative class"-working class bipolarity of Washingtonians and party activists. Bipartisanship is elevated as the "true" objective of the party, not the outcome of partisan politics. Lastly, left bloggers (the loyal opposition in the party when it needed one), have abandoned the traditional Democratic emphasis on policy and governance, in favor of the media's emphasis on personality and symbolics.

    So, what is the party? Is subject accountability? Or, is it only a useful tool for a show of unity?

    *correction (none / 0) (#115)
    by Oje on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:33:51 PM EST
    Is it subject to accountability?

    First off... (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by OrangeFur on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:32:54 PM EST
    I'm very grateful for the platform and discussion forums that TL has provided these last many months.

    However, if someone who has as many misgivings as Jeralyn is willing to declare her support and even urge people to donate, there's zero incentive for Obama and the DNC to pay any attention at all to any grievances she and other like-minded people have. As soon as they don't want anything else from you, they'll throw you out with yesterday's newspaper. See, for example, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.

    To me, Obama and the Democratic elite have committed or condoned a number of egregious acts, most notably their active promotion or passive enabling of libelous charges of racism against Hillary and Bill Clinton. The rigging of the Florida and Michigan delegations, the initial reluctance to allow Hillary to even be nominated, and yesterday's Soviet-style roll call were merely icing on the cake.

    The only things I have that they want from me are my vote and my money, and clearly, one of them a lot more than the other. If I hand both of them over for nothing, what hope do I have that they'll address any of my concerns?

    I should also say that threats along the lines of "four more years of George W. Bush will be your fault" won't work either. First, while I disagree with a lot of McCain's policies, he's not as bad as Bush. Second, threatening someone isn't a good method of persuasion. The faster they figure that out the better.

    Re: accountability (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:33:38 PM EST
    Let's all start calling things what they really are.  For example, what's FISA?   Nobody but a political junkie knows.  Start calling it "Your Government Spies on You Act" and drive the point home, again, and again and again.

    Jeralyn's post wasn't even necessary (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by Jim J on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:33:46 PM EST
    and we already see her walk back on it, and the "new rule" basically eviscerated an hour after it was posted.

    This community is the most well-behaved on the internet without this constant picayune censorship. It's insulting to be talked to like a child, especially when we're already doing everything we can to conform to the proprietor's overly-engaged need to control any and all speech here.

    Obama himself said it best... (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:37:00 PM EST
    Something along the lines of "if you don't like how I go about doing things, you have the option of voting for someone else, or running for office yourself". Ultimately, holding a party accountable can be done only through the following: rewarding it with votes and campaign contributions, or punishing it by withholding them, or even furnishing them to "someone else". You can pen and voice all the criticism you want, as long as your vote is taken for granted you will have very little impact.

    Like some here (5.00 / 7) (#135)
    by Jjc2008 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:43:21 PM EST
    I am not sure HOW to hold the democratic party's collective feet to the fire. I am ANGRY as h*ll as the DNC leadership for their politics of division.

    I was in Denver yesterday.  I live in Colorado Springs so even though I am not a delegate I can easily go up.  Two years ago working for local and congressional candidates I was sure I could end up being a delegate.  Sadly, I picked the wrong person according to my party.  I chose Hillary and thus was shut out, ignored and treated like an inferior human being by the latte drinking dems who before this election did NOTHING.  I was going to caucuses when the most who would attend was three or four people.  We were the ones doing all the work for this apathetic party for years.  NOW, not only did they treat us condescendingly at our last caucus, they pretty much gave us the message we are old and done.

    Up in Denver I talked to everyone from Obama supporters to Hillary supporters to Anarchists to Pink Code to haters of Hillary to haters of Obama and yes, even to some PUMAs.  All people, all unique points of view; all passionate, most respectful to me and my Hillary shirt.  
    On the street there is respect.  Not so much in the party.  How do I change that?

    One woman had a t-shirt I really identified with:
    Tell Howard Dean I'm not coming home.

    Now for those all ready to label me a "dead ender", or "bitter knitter," slow down and hear me out.  The democratic party's attitude toward older women was publicly condescending when they say "they'll come home, they have no place else to go."   That is a statement that is said to children who run away or teens who think they can do better.  For women of a certain age, who grew up at a time as late as in the 1950s when women were treated like chattel; where even working women could not purchase big ticket items without a husband or father cosigning, being talked down to as if we are children is about as bad as it gets.

    How do we change that?

    At 62 I do not feel wanted by the party.
    How do I change that?
    As a female, I do not feel respected by the party leaders.  How do I change that?

    Whoever was wearing that t-shirt... (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:45:47 PM EST
    ...has the right idea. It's amazing how much concern there was whether the Clintons would "deliver" the votes of Hillary supporters. This concern would not be there if it were not for the fact these votes suddenly could not be taken for granted. That gives you leverage, and with leverage you can get accountability.

    See previous thread, Jjc2008 (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:48:38 PM EST
    for new meetup places for people who can't tolerate the cognitive dissonance of watching 'progressives' stand by and let misogyny happen without working against it.

    What I have learned from the primary season. (5.00 / 5) (#136)
    by Faust on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:44:00 PM EST
    I learned a lot this primary season. A bit about myself (good and bad). Quite a bit about the Clintons (good things, already knew some bad things) and everything I know about Obama (good and bad).

    The single most important thing I have learned in the last four months, however, is that the single greatest problem we face as a nation is the mass media (and though I definitely mean the so-called MSM in particular, the blogs are not exempt).

    There is a sense in which the mass media are our sensory system. They are our eyes (cameras) our ears (audio recordings) and even our minds (narratives tend to set the categories inside which we think).

    There is a strong sense in which the health of our democracy relies more heavily on the Fourth Estate than on any thing else. People choose their representatives in Congress and the White House on the basis of the information they recieve about these candidates. If our Fourth Estate, the estate reponsible for giving us that information has been corrupted, then how can we make meaningful choices when the very meanings we base those choices on are programmed by corporate and social elites?

    I heard on the radio the other day, in passing, that most news divisions are under the entertainment centers of the media coorporations they are a part. I haven't had time to check this yet, but if true, what a sad statment on our democracy that the Fourth Estate is now an entertainment division. Certainly it FEELS like it is being treated as such.

    To the central question of the OP, it is my belief that left or right, anyone who cares about issues first and horse race second must think carefully about sustained criticism of the MEDIA in all forms.

    How we proceed is unclear to me, but it IS clear to me that whatever thinking we do must keep in view the dangerous power of the mass media to distort our reality and dull our thinking. If there has been a single failure of the netroots overall it has been that too little of the netroots concerns itself with how discourses are produced, meanings distorted and facts obscured by the very operation of mass communication (including internet communication). By focusing primarly on partisanship (which is valid up to a point) but ignoring the dangers of the media to distort our thinking, many errors have been made.  

    How do you hold a Party accountable... (5.00 / 3) (#146)
    by p lukasiak on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:49:35 PM EST
    ...when you insist upon rewarding it for "bad behavior".

    The only way to hold politicians and party leaders accountable is at the ballot box.  

    Yet, any attempt to hold the party accountable with our votes will inevitably be met with the exact same arguments we are hearing today -- if you don't vote for "the Democrat", the GOP will take over and do horrible things.

    In 1968, Hubert Humphrey lost to Nixon in large part because of the way he got the nomination -- it was handed to him by a corrupt party establishment despite Humphrey failing to win a single primary.  It wasn't just because Humphrey was Johnson's VP and Vietnam was unpopular -- it was because voters had made it clear that they did not want Humphrey -- and the party bosses gave them Humphrey anyway.

    Humphrey's loss resulted in a complete and radical reform of the nominating process and most other party procedures -- and resulted in the replacement of most of the entrenched overwhelmingly white male party hacks as "diversity" was made mandatory.  (It also resulted in George McGovern having to run without the full support of the old power-brokers, resulting in one of the biggest GOP landslides in history.)

    And while this years primary season was somewhat more ambiguous in its results, the fact remains that the candidate who got the nomination was NOT the choice of Democratic voters, nor did it represent the way that the system was designed to work.  

    I personally don't see how you can accomplish meaningful party reform while rewarding those who have abused the system, and taken the party in a direction you don't want it to go in.

    This is not to say "don't vote for Obama", rather its saying that party reform is incompatible with an Obama victory.  You can't realistically have both.  

    I am not optimistic (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Manuel on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:53:50 PM EST
    The problem is that we have no leverage.  Our greatest leverage comes in the primaries and that has come and gone.  With the fifty state strategy (necessary IMO) to gain political power, we are like minority stock holders in an enterprise.  Our influence is dilluted.  Our best bet is to contribute time, money, and letters to those pols that support our causes.

    Another group that is in need of accountaility is the media and the left blogs.  People like BTD and Somerby do a great job.  What can we do to get them more visibility?

    Okay, I understand Jeralyn's point. (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by miriam on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:54:30 PM EST
    I love this site and admire its moderators, and am not too worried about imposed exile since I post only three or four comments a day anyway. (Granted, most of them have been anti-Obama).  But because he's now the nominee, we clearly have choices to make.  

    Bill Clinton closed the deal for me last night. (He is undeniably the most skilled, most charismatic politician on the face of the planet today.)  If he and Hillary can both publicly stifle their disappointment and anger about the nomination abomination, and still believe--or at least profess to believe--that McCain will give us the same monstrous policies that have all but undone this country--I can't sit home on my hands election day.  

    I still don't trust and don't respect our nominee and the DNC.  (I doubt the Clintons do either.)  But I'm at the point of despair for my country, my children and my grandchildren, that I'd probably be persuaded to vote for a duck-billed platypus with a chance of winning over the Republicans. (and a chance of winning makes the platypus more attractive than Nader).  So, I'll vote, reluctantly and dubiously, for Obama.  We KNOW McCain will tolerate the neo-cons' outrageous pre-emptive war policy.  That his support for Bush's taxation outrages will continue and bankrupt this country's middle-class.  We don't know what Obama will do, and it might be worse, but presumably it will at least be different.  

    But please, let us work to reform the nomination process before 2012!  No more caucauses. No more discriminatory, arbitrary distribution of state delegates. Most important, we desperately need to break the control of the media monopolies...just as Teddy Roosevelt went after the monopolies.  Which means an honest, or at least not proudly corrupt, Justice Department and attorney general.  We won't get that with McCain.


    I think you are wrong about McCain (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by pmj6 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:02:39 PM EST
    The guy's not a neocon by conviction, nor is he such an intellectual weakling that he can get rolled by them. He'll pursue his own policy.

    Furthermore, McCain will have to work with a Democratic congress, which will rein in his worst impulses, demand accountability, etc. We'll have at worst what amounts to another George H.W. Bush-type presidency, which set the stage for a Democratic comeback (that the Dems pissed away that opportunity, in spite of Bill Clinton's efforts, is another story).

    However, if Obama proves to be a weak, ineffectual president (and there are indications in that direction), then there will be no 2012 for the Democrats. The Republicans will first retake Congress, then the presidency, and we'll be back where we started from. If the Democrats need time to develop an agenda, it means they need another Republican presidency to get their act together.  


    Well, last night (none / 0) (#197)
    by miriam on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:31:27 PM EST
    Bill Clinton put McCain in the neo-con camp.  That was enough for me.  C'mon, can you stomach the thought of seeing more Condi Rice on TV?  Because she's supposed to be one of the most popular Republicans and for that reason McCain might decide to keep her.  Actually, can you stomach seeing any of the incompetent thugs Bush has surrounded himself with?  And how about McCain's "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?"  Do you like those lyrics?  I do not.

    Your last paragraph (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:06:50 PM EST
    says it all, excellently.

    I, for one, will never particpate in another caucus and would relish the opportunity to do away with my state's nominating caucus and all the party people who rammed it down our throats.


    BTD (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by ccpup on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:46:34 PM EST
    the only power many voters have is their Vote.  

    During the campaign for the 2006 Midterms, the promise to hold the Bush Administration accountable and to derail the more dangerous paths they were walking were the HUGE carrots dangled in front of our noses.  And we eagerly responded by giving Democrats Majorities in both the House and Senate.

    And how did they repay us for that unbelievably precious commodity, our vote?  By ignoring us.  By jamming their fingers in our eyes, telling us to shut up and sit down and "trust them".

    Now we have a Nominee who still isn't able to get important segments of the Democratic Base on-board and we're being told to trust, again, that this time, after he's elected, it will be different.  Hell, we're not even being promised THAT.  We're being told "just Vote for him".

    At some point, the comparisons between how the Democratic Party cuddles up to us during Election Season and then kicks our teeth in the day after they get our votes and how an abusive spouse coos and cuddles to get dinner on the table and then beats you as you're clearing the dishes are inevitable.

    So, do we stay with the abusive spouse eg. the Democratic Party even as he buries us in promises before claiming he doesn't need us and, besides, where else are we going to go?

    Or do we squarely look the problem in the face, recognize our own responsibility in enabling the relationship by voting again and again before finally packing our suitcase and leaving the keys by the door?

    In the end, they NEED my vote.  Without Votes, they're nothing.  No amount of money, or slick ads or bus tours or promises or (fill in the blank) means a hill of beans if they don't get The Vote.

    How do working class perspectives, and the voices (5.00 / 2) (#203)
    by esmense on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 04:44:13 PM EST
    of women -- other than academic women and a few women in the mainstream media, for whom career success depends on adopting, or at least never seriously challenging, the CW of their male collegues -- become a part of the national political, most especially the "progressive," dialogue?

    Beyond the sexism, what this election season has opened my eyes to, in shocking ways, is the sometimes astounding class prejudice and bias that premeates the progressive blogosphere and political media.

    It is simply impossible to keep the promises the Democratic party makes to "ordinary" and "invisible" Americans, or to have them believed, if too many of its most powerful and influential members, the people who set the terms of debate and most publicly represent the party and/or progressive ideology, actually don't know much about, harbor unacknowledged prejudice against, aren't willing to or have no opportunity to engage in conversation with, and simply don't have genuine respect for, the people they claim to want to represent.

    Elite liberal's tendency to often not know the difference between patronization and respect, between analyzing the "other" and being willing to learn from them, between claiming the right, expertise, etc., to control the process and inviting others into the process, is what gave Reagan's famous liberal-bashing quip (about the scariest words in the English language), "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." its power.

    Seeing, in the course of this campaign, the mask slip, and the real hostility and disdain some (many?) affluent and/or highly educated liberals actually feel for, and the misunderstandings they harbor about, this country's working class has helped me better understand why certain Republican arguments have power.

    With union power lost, there really is no voice for working people in the political conversation. While women, with the exceptions mentioned above, on the other hand, rarely have a chance to speak except as victims and objects of pity.

    One of the things that astounded me in the course of this campaign was all the descriptions of my generation of women as "bitter" and "angry." But I, and all the other women I know, are actually quite pleased and proud -- of everything we accomplished personal lives and the public realm, of the doors we opened, the obstacles we overcame, the important work we did, the unforeseen conditions we adjusted to and conquered, the contribution we have made.

    It has been simply incredible to see the conversation surrounding this election be one in which more often than not my generation's lives work and accomplishment, far from being respected, has instead been negated, dismissed and portrayed in ridiculous far from reality terms and cliches.

    It makes me think we need broaden the voices allowed to be part of the conversation. But how do we make that happen? How do we hold the party accountable for making sure it happens?

    fresh thinking is needed (none / 0) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:48:05 PM EST
    what do you think about this from republico?
    you think this could be possible?

    AP's Liz Sidoti reported: "Inside GOP circles Thursday, speculation swirled around Lieberman. It was fueled by reports that McCain's advisers had asked for additional detailed information from him, by McCain's close friendship with the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, and by word that Republican operatives had been told to prepare for the possibility of an 'unconventional' choice."

    I think Lieberman (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by DCDemocrat on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:50:09 PM EST
    would be the anti-bounce.  It would be a killer force in the Republican base because of Lieberman's stance on life, and it certainly won't be attractive to a great many Democrats who are upset now about our ticket.

    not arguing (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:51:53 PM EST
    I think LIEberman would be a very dumb choice. the worst of both worlds.
    just asking what others thought of the supposed possibility.
    I always thought if he went that route it would be Ridge.  he makes much more sense to me than LIEberman.

    it would be a dumb choice (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:59:57 PM EST
    but it would be HUGE news.  it would stomp all over the event of the night.

    Also, except for the war, Lieberman (none / 0) (#10)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:56:15 PM EST
    and McCain don't agree, other than being friends.

    Lieberman (none / 0) (#12)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:57:25 PM EST
    is endorsing McCain

    Yes, I know. But as far as (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:02:46 PM EST
    actually policy is concerned, the agree on the war and not much else in the world of politics.

    probably as much as (none / 0) (#40)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:09:37 PM EST
    Obama and Biden agree on dont you think?

    Yes, I agree. So does Biden's point (5.00 / 0) (#55)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:14:26 PM EST
    of view change to Obama's or the other way around. (aren't we being so civil and nice)

    I got hope and change (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:16:20 PM EST
    runnin all through me

    When Poppy became Reagan's VP pick, he changed (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jawbone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:23:24 PM EST
    his stand from pro-choice to agree with Reagan.

    I dont see the pro choice thing (none / 0) (#91)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:24:51 PM EST
    as the problem with LIEberman from a strategic point of view.  I agree with tek.  he brings all negatives it seems to me.

    Anyone Remember the Republican Nickname (none / 0) (#93)
    by santarita on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:25:20 PM EST
    for Joe Lieberman?

    I doubt that Sore Loserman will get the VP nod.


    I prefer to think of him as (none / 0) (#152)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:51:55 PM EST
    "Rape Gurney Joe", FDL's nickname for him.

    really (none / 0) (#163)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:55:55 PM EST
    you would think that nickname alone would disqualify him from being considered to get the female vote.
    but what do I know?

    If that's in response to me (5.00 / 1) (#179)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:12:25 PM EST
    that is not what I said -- at all. I do, however, feel that particular nickname says everything that needs to be said about Lieberman's real commitment to reproductive choice. Forcing rape victims to "just go down the street to another hospital" because religion rules the first hospital's policies is not acceptable.



    whatever (none / 0) (#185)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:16:49 PM EST
    I thought I was agreeing with you.

    Apologies, Capt. Howdy (none / 0) (#186)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:16:54 PM EST
    I read your comment too quickly and responded too quickly. Now that I see what you wrote... I don't think there is much disagreement. Please accept my apology.

    Unfortunately, I am still absolutely incensed by what happened in the previous thread w/Icebergslim and I have been cross-eyed ever since.


    we agree again (none / 0) (#198)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:44:03 PM EST
    I would hope that would happen (none / 0) (#8)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:54:01 PM EST
    but if his most recent Senate election is any indication (and mind you this is from Connecticut where the blood runs Yankee blue) he took independents and the Republicans voted for him (because their candidate in name even they recognized as a loser).  Only die hard Dems voted for Lamont.  If Connecticut (and I'm not saying it is) is anything like the rest of the country or vice versa it might work.  Scary thought.

    if he picks him (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:57:04 PM EST
    you can be sure he has been test polled.

    I read somewhere today (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:02:26 PM EST
    that the Conn. delegation is livid and want revenge on LIEberman for his warmongering betrayal. I wonder how they intend to take revenge. I also heard that Mr. Joementum doesn't have as much support among Jews as one would think, so that would be another reason he would be a problematic choice.

    I disagree. (none / 0) (#79)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:21:22 PM EST
    I think it would lose any traction the scotus argument has for Obama (weak as it is) but I do think that the GOP would be mightily upset for a little while. But their mouthpieces have spent so much time praising Lieberman for these past years it would be a lot easier for them to take than you might think. It also undercuts any argument that Obama might have about bi partisanship since that would be the original bipartisan ticket.

    It also would probably lose the Jewish vote for Obama. I've read they were wavering and if polling shows that Lieberman changes that equation then it could put McCain over the top in FL and make places like CT and NJ possibly competetive.

    Ah, if only we could see that GOP polling.


    I think this is true (none / 0) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:25:49 PM EST
    they would complain but fall in line. its what they do.

    however (none / 0) (#101)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:27:50 PM EST
    I dont think Joe would get many democratic votes for McCain if thats the goal.
    but then again maybe he would.  probably some indies  no doubt.
    I dont know.  the more I talk the more possible it seems.

    Well (none / 0) (#147)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:50:15 PM EST
    he doesn't have to get many votes. If he repeats the CT results, all he would have to do is definitely pull that 25% of Dems that are wavering about Obama solid in McCain's column and then get some more independents for McCain and voila McCain is the next POTUS.

    I know a lot of dems abhor the guy but I'm really talking dispassionately about the possibility.


    I don't think Lieberman (none / 0) (#167)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:57:44 PM EST
    would bring many Jewish votes to the ticket that weren't there already. Lieberman is damaged goods on so many levels.

    Incidentally, I don't think Obama has a chance of winning Florida, whoever McCain picks as VP.


    I really (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by tek on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:19:24 PM EST
    can't see any reason why McCain would pick Lieberman.  What would he bring to McCain?  He's hated by his own party and I'm sure Republicans consider him a liberal.  Maybe help with the Jewish population in FL, but seems like it would alienate any Democrat thinking of voting McCain and also most of the Republican base.

    Lieberman would be a fine choice.... (none / 0) (#188)
    by miriam on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:21:02 PM EST
    Because he is the single element that would  finally unite all Democrats against McCain.

    Secret Service (none / 0) (#193)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:27:08 PM EST
    I read the Secret Services are at Romney place already on another site. So if true Romney must be the one.

    I hear Beau Biden is lighting (none / 0) (#9)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:55:51 PM EST
    the blogesphere on fire with buzz... I heard he was a National Guardsmen, but I thought Biden's son was a JAG. Can anyone clarify?

    National Guard as JAG (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Redshoes on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:59:32 PM EST
    not mutually exclusive.  Watched and impressed by his intro for his Dad.  

    Thanks for the clarification Redshoes. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:06:01 PM EST
    I didn't know his son was going so soon. I'll pray for the Bidens. They've been through enough death and disappointment.

    he is a JAG, in the (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by cpinva on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:01:56 PM EST
    DE NG, scheduled for a year-long deployment to iraq.

    if nothing else, this promises to be an entertaining election. the clinton's, always the good democratic soldiers, have and will continue to do their best for the nominees. i sincerely wish i were able to do the same. alas, i can't. i just feel that strongly about it.


    He was great last night (none / 0) (#13)
    by Lil on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:57:43 PM EST
    I thought they reported National Guard on PBS last night.

    did Chris Dodd speak at the convention? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Josey on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:58:38 PM EST

    not sure (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:01:22 PM EST
    ne is featured prominently in the new McCain ad.
    along with Hillary, Biden and Bubba.
    its not pretty.

    But (none / 0) (#76)
    by tek on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:20:47 PM EST
    Daschle's speaking, if anyone can figure that out.  He's not even in the government anymore.

    No (5.00 / 3) (#155)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:52:12 PM EST
    but he's a major player in Obama's campaign.

    I just heard that when Biden mentioned (none / 0) (#17)
    by zfran on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 01:59:31 PM EST
    in his speech that Obama suggested sending a brigade to Afghanistan, he misspoke and should have said battalion (I hope I didn't put those two backwards), and the pentagon noticed and thought military people would also notice. Personally, it was the idea that counted, not that he might have misspoke.

    Hillary, Obama and now Biden (none / 0) (#82)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:22:05 PM EST
    are wrong about Afghanistan. It's just pandering to Repubs. I just do not see the rationale for sending more troops into a losing situation. I want all our troops out of the ME quagmire and I am so sad that the country has lost focus on that idea.

    "Dissenter" knows the scoop over there and his posts are must-reads.


    Money, money, money ... (none / 0) (#29)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:04:05 PM EST
    I've always thought that there might be a financial mechanism between a PAC and individual contributions.

    Say, for example, instead of writing or calling  our reps regarding FISA, we had created a binding document that said these people will give X amount of money to the DCCC if they remove Telecom immunity from the FISA bill.

    I'm not sure if such a thing is possible or even legal.  It seems like such a thing might skirt the edge of legality, or go beyond it.

    But since the blogosphere is very good at raising money, it would be great if we could find a more direct way to use that ability on individual votes or issues.

    Anyway, just a rough idea.  Feel free to expand on it, or stick pins in it.  Or tell me I'm a fool.

    Mandatory Public Financing (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by gtesta on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:11:44 PM EST
    for all candidates.  No opting out.  Enforcable spending limits.  Blocks of free air time granted to candidates on the public airwaves.  Return of the fairness doctrine.
    Advertisements which mention a candidates opponent must be subject to libel and slander laws!!

    I support a lot of that ... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:17:20 PM EST
    but the question was how do we get politicians to do what we want, and hold their feet to the fire when they don't.

    Changing all that might help, but we have to get the congress to change it?


    Good Point... (none / 0) (#181)
    by gtesta on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:13:21 PM EST
    Second Constitutional Convention anyone?
    Amendment(s) allowing alternate methods of introducing legislation.  

    I think it's a great idea (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by shoephone on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:19:07 PM EST
    and right to the heart of what is wrong with the political system -- the money from special interests. I am not a lawyer and couldn't make a comment on the legalities, but I'd be surprised if it crosses any line. After all, the DCCC (which sent me three fundraising asks in two weeks and got an earful back from me, but no $) expects us to pony up the dough when they are in dire straits, by merely emphasizing the word "Democrat".

    How do we hold the politicians accountable? There is only one way: public financing of all campaigns and limiting the campaigns themselves to lasting no more than one year before an election. Yes, it can be done.

    But voting these fools in and then expecting to hold them accountable reminds me of all the women I know who married the obviously bad boyfriend, convinced they could change him once they were married.

    It never works.


    A little too close to bribery, I'm afraid. (none / 0) (#126)
    by santarita on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 02:38:48 PM EST
    But your comment highlights the need for true campaign finance reform.  I won't send money to anyone's campaign because there is no way of knowing how it is spent and even if it ends up supporting the person for whom it was sent.   And there is too much money floating around Washington and the state capitols.  And yes, there is an implied quid pro quo which if made explicit would constitute bribery.  

    One of the rumors I hears about his speech (none / 0) (#183)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:14:59 PM EST
    on XM Potus '08 station was that his speech was going to focus in part on the direct impact an Obama presidency would have on people's lives. I'm interested in hearing that.

    By the way, the XM Potus '08 station has done a fantastic job covering the convention. Very fair, with no detectable biases.  Great to hear real news coverage.

    I disagree that the ability to hold them (none / 0) (#191)
    by ruffian on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:25:33 PM EST
    accountable ends at the primaries, or even the election.  We know they do approval polls continuously, for one thing.  And the media is always looking for stories of discord - especially Dems in Disarray. I think Dems who try can make an impact.  They will have no excuses anymore if they control Congress and the WH.

    They do approval polls? (none / 0) (#204)
    by sj on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 05:01:32 PM EST
    Really?  To what end.  The ratings for Congress have been at a nadir -- they've gone as low as 9% (yes, that's a nine) -- for at least the last year and still all they have been able to muster is a Sternly Worded Letter.  Maybe.  

    If they had tried to hold the administration and failed miserably, I would still be contributing to my representatives.

    If the 50 state strategy resources had gone to support candidates in low level races instead of ... where ever they did go ... I would still be a monthly buyer of "Democracy Bonds".  

    If I heard populist ideals coming from some one in a leadership position -- well, I would vote for her.  

    Instead populist positions are considered "red meat".  Think about that.  Red meat is what is thrown to animals to keep them complacent and satisfied with their lot in life.

    I have no idea where to go.  I can't believe I find myself in the same position that moderate Republicans have over the last 20 years or so. Except that a place for them was made in our Party.  I don't think the current R's are going to return the favor.


    I'm with you on that (none / 0) (#201)
    by ccpup on Thu Aug 28, 2008 at 03:51:40 PM EST
    My attorney and accountant work with some groups (namely ActBlue) to assist me in financially supporting men and women I believe will support Progressive Agendas who, shockingly, AREN'T getting any help from the National Parties or their fundraising apparatuses in DC.

    They may not win THIS time around (as they're going up against well-funded, well-known Incumbents), but they're building relationships in the Community, getting their messages heard, letting people know there IS a viable alternative and will be better prepared when they run NEXT time.

    It's a fantastic way to direct your time, money and effort.