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View Diary: Red State: "The Tea Party brand has been effectively destroyed" (234 comments)

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  •  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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