Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Divisive Liberals Bringin' me down . . .

I haven't blogged in a while. I'm depressed.

Liberals are bringin me down, making me depressed.

It's the "seeing the forest through the trees" issue.

I like liberals, democrats and that crowd, but at times, they just don't see the forest through the trees.

It has been decades since the Republican Party controlled the White House and the Congress. Decades. And democrats are somehow surprised that the GOP is stickin' it too them after they stuck it to the GOP for so many years.

So what's democrats' response to this? Go beat up on every democrat that's not in line with the vocal, liberal wing of the party. Instead of finding the issues they share in common to unite against the Republicans and develop a true difference in philosophies between the Dems and the GOP (that might be interesting for the rest of us to watch), liberal, lefty dems go off and try to litmus test their own. What a mistake.

It's as if somehow the more liberal wing of the party believes that 90% of their members read the New York Times. I'd like to see if any of the Deaniacs in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area realize that it might be difficult to receive the Sunday New York Times in Clayton, NM and maybe, just, maybe not everyone around the state is reading the "Daily Kos" or the latest tome by Arundhati Roy.

To use an old Nixononian political term, there's a "silent majority" of voters out there that aren't vocal but are mainstream and they want a political party that is interesting, innovative and has something to say. If Democrats are going to compete with Republicans on a national level, they have to join together and talk to the silent majority and prove they want to be in power. That's what the Republicans are doing--not wasting their time on eating their own.

15 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

I posted a response at gregnburton.com, Tom. Please name some names, cite some actions, locally, so we can have a real discussion instead of nebulous charges.

Thanks,
Greg

10:46 PM  
Blogger ProgDemNM said...

If, as you say, you want the Party to "develop a true difference in philosophies between the Dems and the GOP" you'll have to give up on the DLC, Republican-lite Dems and join up with the genuine Democratic Wing of the Party.

We want to draw clear lines between what Dems believe and what Repubs believe. In order to do that, candidates must take stands, be proud of Democratic core values and passionately speak truth to power, not mimic what Republicans say and try to match polls.

Very interesting that Dem candidate for Congress, Iraqi war vte Paul Hackett, almost won the other day in an Ohio district that went 64% for Bush in November. Moreover, his biggest vote numbers were in RURAL and SMALL TOWN areas.

How did he do it? By speaking the truth about the war and Bush's lies, not by relying on mealy mouth soundbites recommended by inside the Beltway consultants. And most of his support came from places where the NY Times is rarely seen.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Tom Bailey's New Mexico Politics said...

You guys are basically making my point. I mean, can't you all just get along?

I think dems as a whole have very similar views on education, health care, economic development and foreign affairs. Why not emphasize your similarities within the party rather than rip eachother apart? You guys didn't do this when Clinton was in office and he was leading the charge at the DLC!

Dems have true differences with Republicans on health care (dems want to expand coverage and access--GOP doesn't)

Education--Dems want to increase the performance of schools, teachers (raise teacher pay and training) and provide the best education for all americans.

Economic development: Dems oppose cuts to the SBA, want to expand economic opportunity to all Americans, address job losses with an economic plan, rid the nation of the defecit, debt, etc. . .

Foreign affairs: Dems beleive the war in iraq was mis-conducted, beleive we have to build better alliances with foreign nations, address human rights, global warming, etc. . .

Those are some examples of the common interests you should emphasize--these are the issues regular americans care about. Don't let the GOP draw you into a divide about CAFTA, Class Action, Bankruptcy and other stuff. They want you to do that.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

my point, Tom, is that it's hard to get along with someone who thinks you should be kicked out of the party. Instead of addressing the "liberal wing" as the cause of the issue, why not take the DLC to task? When Clinton was pres, the "centrists" weren't echoing Repub talking points and attacking their own...now they are.

Why are the people being attacked to blame?

12:04 PM  
Blogger Tom Bailey's New Mexico Politics said...

I'm not sure when the DLC was attacking their own or calling for the defeat of Democrats that were too liberal (they also didn't say that liberal democrats weren't democrats). Now you have liberal dems calling for the removal of dem elected officials for voting for CAFTA or other pieces of legislation and saying they aren't real democrats.

What I find funny is this impression that the DLC somehow controls conservative democrats or runs the democratic agenda. That's far from the truth. The DLC is just one think tank out of many (including people for the american way, COPE, Third Way, etc. . . )

Somehow the DLC has become in the eyes of many more than what it really is.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Jim Baca said...

Look up the meaning of the word liberal in any dictionary and see if it fits you. Don't buy into the republicans defining the word for you, as you have seemingly done.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Voodoo Child said...

Tom, you are absolutely right, as progdemnm made the point clear to me once again. As a moderate former dem (now independent thanks to people like progdemnm telling me I'm not a 'real' democrat), I've been told many times that my stands on certain issues means I'm not a genuine democrat and I should either follow the party line or leave.

While I agree with the democratic party on a majority of issues (education, health care, economic development among them) the "democratic wing of the democratic party" has made it clear to me that our differences outweigh our similarities. And then acting in a non-'democratic' way, they have let me know our big tent 'ain't as big enough for the both of us'.

Greg, you're also right, it's hard to get along with someone who thinks you should be thrown out of the party. Unfortunately, and you can look to Nancy Pelosi's CAFTA witch hunt for this, we've decided to allow our differences to call the shots.

(as an aside, speaking of Pelosi, is it really worth it to go after moderate democrats, or progdemnm's snarky 'republican-lite' (what a bogus term that is) in moderate or conservative leaning districts?)

2:33 PM  
Blogger ProgDemNM said...

Sorry, but what all political parties experience in the near continual process of defining what they stand for is a battle of ideas. This is going on in the Democratic Party right now. It is a healthy thing, especially since the inside-the-Beltway controlled Party and its candidates have been losing badly.

The DLC has never shied from speaking roughly and very critically about other segments of the Party. Certainly some of the most insulting comments ever uttered within the Party have come from Al From and Bruce Reed, chastizing Howard Dean and others. And they throw their well-funded weight around without any qualms as well.

The split in the Party right now is between those who take big donations from mega-corps and big media and those who believe doing so hampers the Party's ability to stand up for the ordinary folks -- which is its traditional focus. As the campaigns of Dean, Hackett and others have shown, there is another way -- a multitude of small donations and grassroots action. Results in fewer limousine rides for the DNC Chair and contributors, but what the hey.

It is hard for me to understand how a Democrat can vote for CAFTA and the bankruptcy bill and claim they "want to expand economic opportunity to all Americans, address job losses with an economic plan, rid the nation of the defecit, debt" as tom puts it.

For every "moderate" Dem vote that might or might now be lost due to someone voting against CAFTA, the Iraq war and other such measures, we'd gain 10 votes from people who should be Dems but believe few in the Party are representing their views.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

bear with me, Tom - I've got a few links for you.

On foreign policy (and referencing the New Republic article calling for the expulsion of "peaceniks" from the party) - http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20050829&s=berman

note this also references the PPI(DLC) followups on that

On Al From and his comments about progressives (DLC) - http://politicalwire.com/archives/2005/03/01/quote_of_the_day.html

It's been going on for months, and it has to do more with not losing contributions than with any kind of principled agenda. (Sound like any mayor we know? I think it's telling that our mayor tells developers that they've got to get more involved a few months ago, and they have Frank Lutz come speak to them....)

The sad thing is, liberals and progressives will still do the grunt work and GOTV in the campaigns, even if the nominee isn't the favorite choice. I think I can speak for a lot of us, though, that it gets really old to bust your butt for the party, and get treated the way we do by the powers that be.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Tom Bailey's New Mexico Politics said...

Howard dean took money from big-business, mega corporations, the media, etc. . . and does that make him bad? He favors gun rights, does that make him a republican? What's your litmus test?

Liberals, leftys, progressives, whatever you want to call them have learned to worship the idea of howard dean and paul hackett (who, remember, still lost) and fail to recognize all the other assets in the party. (Hackett also ran in a special election, the dynamics of which are far different from a general election).

Dems' problems are with the Republicans, not their own members. President Bush is doing a terrific job of dividing democrats by creating wedge issues like CAFTA. Liberals are doing a fantastic job of believing everything they read. The DLC does not control the democrat agenda. the Chair of the DNC does not ride around in a limo. Big business is not the only contributor to dems (what about organized labor?).

Show me one progressive democrat, progdemn, (that you approve of) that wins on a liberal platform in a republican district and I'll show you five moderate republicans that win in democrat districts. What does that tell you?

The democratic party has to be about issues, obviously, but they also have to win elections. I think, some democrats are taking the easy route--blame themselves--for election losses, instead of the tough route, which is figuring out how to beat republicans.

Right now, dems are in the position to make gains in the us house and US Senate. don't mess it up by placing demands that these individual candidates can't meet with their own electorate. Dems have a couple of pro-life candidates in senate races, at least 3 in fact. All of those can win and help deliver the Senate back to the dems. Are dems really ready to lose that opportunity because of one issue? If the Senate was democrat-controlled, CAFTA, Bankruptcy, Class Action and other issues may have never made it to the floor.

Think about that.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Bailey's New Mexico Politics said...

Greg,

Wake up! The DLC does not control the universe. It's one think tank, without a PAC even. There are dozens of members of congress that aren't part of the DLC that vote for CAFTA, and other legislation you probably dislike

My point is, stop fighting! Fight the GOP! What, the GOP is not providing enough material for you?

1:09 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Tom - I'm not fighting. Haven't you noticed? I don't call names, I'm willing to sit at the table. I'll support Senator Jeff despite some horrors in the energy bill. Got it?

You'e projecting something, Tom, and it's sad. You asked for information on the DLC trying to throw people out, and you ignore it and say they don't count. They DO count. So why blame the liberals?

If you were going to be depressed, I would think that the Delay/Abramoff shakedown game, the Downing Street minutes, and oil at $67 a barrel, the lack of infrastructure security, a "commemoration" of 9/11 featuring a country music concert and required registration with the DoD, and a host of other real world issues would be more depressing. They just make me mad, personally. But you're depressed because Pelosi is trying to maintain party discipline?

Right.

4:02 PM  
Blogger ProgDemNM said...

Re: "the Chair of the DNC does not ride around in a limo"

Not any more he doesn't. However, when Terry McAuliffe was running things, he certainly did, with his Daddy Warbucks types. In fact, Dean has gotten complaints about this.

When Dean ran for president, his average contribution was under $100. As for guns policy, he believes the states should control much of it because states vary widely.

Most of the Dems who voted for CAFTA in the House were from safe districts.

The concept is not to keep REFLECTING the views of a voting public that has been programmed by the BushCo media and PR machine, but to counter it, lead and educate voters about the truth. To do this, the Party must stand for some bottom line beliefs -- like economic fairness.

As far as I can tell, the only entities that are FOR measures like CAFTA, NAFTA and other efforts to completely deregulate capitalism and trade are corporate concerns. The ordinary man or woman on the street (or country lane) sees only more and more jobs leaving the US. But money talks.

Just the fact that you use the Republican frame "pro-life" shows me you don't get it. These people are against a woman's right to heathcare privacy. You can't be pro-death penalty and pro-life.

Also, it's not "Democrat districts" it's Democratic districts.

As for the DLC's power to try and control the agenda, why do you think Hillary Clinton, Evan Bahr etc. were over there in Ohio kissing their butts recently?

The DLC was created in the belief we must take maximum bucks from big corps, due to the decreased financial power of unions. The Democratic Wing believes that the netroots and other means can preclude alot of that.

We must remember that it was Clinton that brought us NAFTA and the horrid telecommunications bill that has been a huge help in the creation of the right-wing media machine. This "Third Way" triangulation views just don't apply in the current political climate.

The Republican Party got smart and started supporting their base. The Dems, in contrast, have been trashing and ignoring theirs. They do it at their peril.

4:34 PM  
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3:10 PM  
Blogger NoTONoEagles said...

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8:23 AM  

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