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  •  It's a party's job to turn out its voters (31+ / 0-)

    Democrats are very good at doing this in presidential years, especially recently.  But if a president isn't on the ballot his apparatus hasn't been brought to bear for midterms.  Maybe Democrats learned their lesson in 2010.

    Without real gratitude from tangible accomplishments, parties will have to rely on relentless exhortation to get their voters to the polls.  2010 had neither for Democrats, self-evidently.   But if there's one thing conservatives are good at, it's relentless exhortation.

    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

    by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:59:09 PM PST

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    •  it's voters responsibility to vote.period. (18+ / 0-)

      could the democratic party do more? sure. always can but I have had enough of people saying they are not voting in order to protest or voting for a 3rd party.

      people are inherently lazy then they want to bitch when things do not go their way. enough.

      real gratitude? how about preventing the wingers from stacking the SC or not being able to gerrymander.

      Congress has ground to a halt since 2010 and the wingers will do nothing and hope to take control in 2014. If that is not enough to get people to vote then it's on them.

      mittens=edsel. no matter how much money is spent to promote it, if the product sucks, no one will buy it.

      by wewantthetruth on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:19:01 PM PST

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      •  It's a voter's right to vote -- that's different (21+ / 0-)

        We're not required to vote, and it's our right not to vote as well.  A very substantial and variable number of voters do not feel represented by either party, and don't vote as a consequence.  You might disagree with that assessment, but it's a widely held one and it's not completely stupid.

        Democrats have to actually win elections; they can't sit back and expect to have them handed to them.  Democrats have done a generally crappy job of winning midterm elections, except when Republicans are in deep disrepute as in 2006.  If you want to change that, convince the party to represent people better.  There's certainly plenty of room for improvement.  Don't castigate non-voters and tell them how wrong they are, and expect to change their minds.

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:56:15 PM PST

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        •  All 3 of the above. (10+ / 0-)

          It is the responsibility of the Democratic Party to deliver something worth voting for. The divisions caused by every single member of the blue dog wing in the Senate using their position as a necessary vote did not help party unity.

          That did not help on delivery of promises made. So why vote for them?

          Easy lesson for outsiders - unity. It is something the GOP is good at when push comes to shove. Why not the Democratic Party?

          •  The tent's too big (18+ / 0-)

            Democrats have for too long accepted anybody willing to put on the blue jersey as part of the team.  Accepting conservative members -- especially members more conservative than their constituencies, like Jim Cooper in TN -- has diluted the brand to the point that it was basically meaningless from a policy content.  How does a party that stands for nothing in particular win?  Answer:  too often, it doesn't.

            Democrats don't have to engage in the same kind of purges Republicans have, but insisting that people representing the party adhere to certain core values is a necessity the party has long been lacking.  The failure to come together over that common basic platform has long held the Democratic party back.  This creates the opening for liars and mountebanks to hoover up the support of stupid old white people, and has basically allowed the Tea Party to come into its miserable existence.  Democrats should never have given the Koch Brothers that opening.

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:48:24 PM PST

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            •  Absolutely agree. (12+ / 0-)

              "Big tent" sounds good on paper, and to an extent, it's good in practice too.  But when you let people as conservative as the aforementioned Cooper and others run under the Democratic Party label, it makes people who thought they understood what the party stood for start questioning that.  Because, if you let people like that run as Democrats, despite being against many of the things the party is ostensibly "for"....then what, exactly, are your core values anymore?

              It reminds me of a comment Michael Ian Black made about why he's a Democrat. I don't remember the exact quote, but the basic gist is that he's not entirely sure what the party stands for anymore, but he knows what the Republicans stand for, and he knows he doesn't like that.

              I think that's how a lot of people who vote Democratic, especially younger voters like myself, feel.  I've only been able to vote since '06, but have voted exclusively for Dem candidates each time.  And yet I don't identify as a Democrat, because I see myself as being to the left of what the "mainstream" of the party represents now.  The "Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party", if you will, has been left behind.  And while I don't see myself voting Republican anytime soon, nor am I willing to just sit out on future elections, a lot of people probably WILL start doing that.

              I apologize for the fact that this was way more long-winded than I had planned on.  I guess what I'm really trying to say is, big tents are all well and good, but the Democratic Party needs to stand for something again.  And if they want to win, they need to stand for what they stood for before the New Dems and DLC took control.

              •  exactly the reason (4+ / 0-)

                that shuler was rejected.  He was a republican who had a few Dem credentials, but when the repugs gerrymandered his (my) district, he knew he was out.

                The big tent "blue Dogs" are a waste of time.  I'm a proud democrat - proud of our history and proud of our recent accomplishments as well.  It's time to tell people that!

                •  I do generally (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  citylights, Dallasdoc

                  tell people I'm a Democrat, if they ask about my politics, just because it's easier than explaining that I'm not really a Democrat, because they're too far to the right for me, but I vote for them because I'd rather have them in power than Republicans.

                  Easier to just say "I'm a Democrat", since I always vote Dem anyway, and many people don't understand things like "social democrat" and other terms often used in other countries.

                  •  take the time when you can (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lefty Coaster, Dallasdoc

                    I think a lot of the ignorance in this country can be fixed with a little effort on the part of those of us who are engaged on a regular basis.
                    I actually make the case for being a democratic socialist all the time, because that is the avowed philosophy of my junior senator, Bernie Sanders; which makes the topic relevant in many political discussions in the Green Mountain State.
                    Climate destruction is another venue where a few clear sentences and a careful delivery can break down the resistance to new ideas that often wraps ignorance. Hell, I've gotten more than a few gun owners to agree that military weapons and hundred round ammo clips resemble WMD's more than firearms in any sane analysis.

                    Leaving a crack in the door by using shorthand allows the crack to be filled by the next "accepted authority" like Limbaugh to caricature what you say.

                    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                    by kamarvt on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 05:38:31 AM PST

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              •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dallasdoc

                The GOP has gotten some (well deserved) flak for constantly trying to re-label/re-market themselves, mostly because they are trying to find new ways to pile new lies on top of old lies.

                But the Democrats should also consider their marketing strategies.  let the people know what we stand for, and not let Rush and Hannity and the rest of those ... people tell the world what it means to be a Democrat.

                I have voted Democrat since the 70's, and I know what I support and don't, but overall the country is, I think, not really clear any more about what Being a Democrat means.  Same for congress.  We need to do something about that.

                I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

                by trumpeter on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 10:42:21 AM PST

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            •  Yeah, we really always win in Red districts (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              citylights, MadGeorgiaDem

              with True Progressives.  If you smoke enough crack you can believe that.  I prefer reality, which is any Dem beats the hell out of Tod Akin, Michele Bachman, Allen West.  Lieberman is a demigod compared to Paul Ryan.  And compromise at every single step is the only reason we have a constitution, and three branches of government.  

              This whole my way or the highway attitude would have left us begging the Prince Regent to take us back and forgive our rudeness.

              I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

              by I love OCD on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:42:48 PM PST

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              •  You can't win with a message you don't try to sell (4+ / 0-)

                Democrats stand for nothing, so nobody much believes they'll stand up for the little guy -- not if they're not already sold.  Democrats have to reestablish their brand with consistent performance over time.  That's how you win over Red districts:  by showing that you're fighting for them too.  Economic populism is the way past the red-blue divide, but Democrats are too confused and too bought off to seize the opportunity.  That's how teabaggers and other conservative snake-oil peddlers get their opening, and unlike Democrats, they know how to close the sale with those folks.

                Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:59:38 PM PST

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                •  I'm the little guy. I'm convinced. Obama (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dvalkure, Lefty Coaster

                  got the first draft of health care reform through Congress.  It got done after 80 years of failure.  He's got clean energy in the mix.  We're building things in this country after decades of outsourcing manufacturing.  We've reduced carbon emissions.  Mileage standards are better. BP is paying for their blowout, EXXON is still stonewalling effectively.  The EPA has teeth, after decades of being starved into uselessness.  We're getting research into gun violence after years of passing laws to block that very thing, the thing that will kill the NRA and it's idiocy.  Taxes went up on the wealthy.  OSHA has teeth.  FEMA works so well the loons had to block funding for Sandy relief to keep the government is bad meme alive.  CPFB is working, Congress can't control it's funding so they're trapped into killing the it outright, which makes it clearer who they work for.  Medicare is providing more healthcare and supporting fewer fraudsters.  I've gotten cost of living increases from SS for the last 2 years.  I'd be in a cardboard box if McCain had won.  

                  I'm the little gal who knows Democrats don't get everything, because it's not real to demand that, but they keep fighting to improve what they do manage to achieve.  The True Progressives of their eras hated SS, Medicare, civil rights passage, Medicaid.  They said exactly the same things I read here about the ACA:  watered down, weak, not enough people are helped, it was a sellout, too much compromise, not enough bully pulpit, started out weak, got weaker.

                  If we'd fought harder for the ACA after it was passed we'd be a decade closer to single-payer because actual voters would have known how they're better off with government run healthcare.  Now we have to wait and watch the gradual death of company provided insurance, and then work twice as hard to promote single-payer.  I'm more annoyed with the "base" than I am with politicians.  They are what they are, constrained by our system.  We just keep wandering down the same damn rabbit hole decade after decade and never figure out how to be truly effective.

                  I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                  by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:08:04 AM PST

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                  •  You're A little guy (0+ / 0-)

                    ... and you're a committed partisan Democrat.  Everything you say sounds like "blah blah blah" to uncommitted little guys and gals who don't buy the Democratic sales pitch, because they don't feel the benefit in their lives.

                    Your tiresome slandering of True Progressives aside, Democrats need to learn how to sell themselves better to uncommitted voters.  And, just like Republicans, it will involve better policies, not just shiny new labels on the same old shit.

                    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                    by Dallasdoc on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 03:50:44 PM PST

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                    •  And they never will feel the benefits (0+ / 0-)

                      because so few of us are willing to get out there and sell them on those benefits.  It's not that they're not there, it's that they're not shiny and pretty and perfect enough for the loudest among us.  

                      That's fine, we're making some great progress out here IRL, and the Big Tent holds all of us.

                      I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

                      by I love OCD on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 04:48:56 PM PST

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            •  Big Tent Or Big Colostomy Bag? nt (0+ / 0-)

              There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

              by bernardpliers on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 09:11:01 AM PST

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          •  because The Democratic Party is a coalition (6+ / 0-)

            Face it, we are like cats.

        •  it's a civic responsibility. If you don't care (4+ / 0-)

          enough to show up you forfeit your right to bitch about lousy governance.  If you care, you vote, you work locally, you study the issues and the candidates, you talk to your neighbors, you remind your friends.  Democracy doesn't spring full size from the forehead of the gods, it takes effort, time, and thought.  

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:34:34 PM PST

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      •  people need a reason to care (15+ / 0-)

        "It is your duty to hold the line" really isn't as good a motivational speech as you think.  In the movies, that's what they say when crushing defeat is a foregone conclusion.

        It doesn't help that we're the conservative party: holding on in grim desperation to defend the status quo against passionately ideological radicals with no fear.  When we lose, we just keep on holding on, only now to a little less.  Like a castle under siege that can only wait for the demographic cavalry to arrive and save us.  The Democratic Party really is the party of people with nowhere else to go and boy do we act like it.

        What we're missing is vision, mission, ideology, a generous helping of utopia.  Something to believe in and really fight for ... and "could be worse" doesn't count.  If all the conservatives in the country magically disappeared, what would we do?  On a bad day, I think we'd just abandon politics completely: either everything would be good enough or we just don't dare become what we fought against.  On a slightly better day, I think we'd break down into infighting.

        People need a reason to care.  They need a reason to vote, to volunteer, to protest, to run for office, etc.  The Democratic Party needs to give them a reason.  Something big and beautiful, not tweaks and band-aids.  We treat the American people like they have no interest in a gleaming awesome future - just a desire to keep plodding along going to work and paying the bills without the Republicans trying to fuck them over at every turn - and then we act confused that they're so disengaged, or not interested in anything but kitchen table issues.

        Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

        by Visceral on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:44:18 PM PST

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        •  30 years of punk/alt/etc. will do that. (0+ / 0-)

          Because, you know, otherwise you're a HIPPIE.  And who wants to be a HIPPIE, huh?  Huh?

          Part of the problem is that most liberals in the wake of the '60s have been madly running away from them.  This takes the form of two general tendencies, which I'll call JFK and PUNK.  JFK, the liberal end of the old (and present) mainstream, notices the conservative wave (which I'll call REAGAN) and tries to adapt instead of resisting.  Clinton and Obama are both part of JFK, as are most Dems.  PUNK resists, but in a hopeless, desperate, explicitly anti-utopian manner.  Charlie Chaplin told us that life could be free and beautiful; PUNK, the reaction against the '60s tendency (i.e., HIPPIES), tells us that life is a prison and ugly (as if we didn't know that already) and only dares to hope that one day the pain will stop.  No room for imaginative, utopian visions in either one--and on top of that they ratify REAGAN in the end, by discrediting HIPPIES; after all, who's more anti-HIPPIES than REAGAN?  Clinton was at the edge of HIPPIES when he was younger, but like most people of his generation "got a haircut" and wound up as part of JFK.  Others wound up as part of REAGAN.  PUNK purports to be against HIPPIES and REAGAN, but there's actually a lot of JFK in it when you scratch the surface (when you discount the hard-left and hard-right tendencies); the endless "neo-beatnik" hipster scene of the last quarter-century is prime evidence of this, and ilkely wouldn't have happened without punk (as opposed to PUNK).  PUNK is largely born out of unspoken disappointment with HIPPIES, which is why it never tried to come to an alliance with HIPPIES against REAGAN.  PUNK appears to hate HIPPIES more than it hates REAGAN, but again I think that's subconscious disappointment.

          I might've told you back then that it would come to this.  No one would've believed me, though.  

          Point is, people left of center have only themselves to blame for not offering beautiful visions of a bright future.  They've trained themselves for 30 years not to believe in them.  Establishment Dems aren't nearly the whole problem.

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

          by Panurge on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 07:57:26 PM PST

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    •  The Difference Between 2006 and 2020 (8+ / 0-)

      In 2006 Howard Dean was the head of the DNC.  In 2010 it was Rahm's flying monkey, Tim Kaine.

      This aggression will not stand, man.

      by kaleidescope on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:41:49 PM PST

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    •  There was virtually no difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      milkbone, Lefty Coaster

      in the fall off from 2004 to 2006 and from 2008 to 2010 in key Democratic groups.

      The electorate in 2014 is likely to be very similar to the ones in 2006 and 2010.  

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:24:56 AM PST

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