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View Diary: Allow This Brit to Remind Some of You What Matters to Americans (205 comments)

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  •  Sorry, Twigg. (11+ / 0-)

    I consider the NSA domestic spying problem bigger than jobs, education, and health.  I really do.  I felt that way before Snowden and Greenwald, and I feel that way now.  I just never felt that I had to CHOOSE between them.

    And that's strange.  The idea that I must CHOOSE.  Why should I?  Is my party willing to split itself and say "go away" to people like me?

    You know what else wasn't a very big deal?  Watergate.  I remember back in the 70s, that was what everyybody was saying up until just a couple of days before Nixon left the Whitehouse on Chopper 1.  I remember the phrase exactly that people used:  "Just a second rate burglary..."  Like, big whoop-te-doo.  As if the whole thing was a big game of political gotcha that wiser people could ignore.

    I bet if you had asked people back then, what's most important, they probably would have said, jobs, education, healthcare, or something like that.  Probably getting out of Vietnam, too.  Healthcare wasn't such a big problem back then.  But as big as those issues are, they took a backseat when something like this came up, and neither party had the liberty of saying, "Well, we'll just ignore this second rate burglary because we have so many more IMPORTANT thing to worry about."  The whole world ended up coming to a brief stop for that second rate burglary.

    •  Watergate was a HUGE deal (9+ / 0-)

      I was alive and adult through all of it and it was hugely covered, every day. The committee meetings were run live on tv, the first time in history.. It was what people talked about.
      Immediate issues always occupy everyone's immediate attention but to say Watergate was no BFD is not to know what happened there and in this country because of it.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 04:21:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then you have lost sight (6+ / 0-)

      of the very people you try to represent.

      If you think that the NSA issue is one that will persuade voters to turn out for Democrats, and that the government taking a look at your email to aunty Betty is a major issue, then you need to get out more.

      It is not bigger than jobs, education and health .... It might be important, but it is not even in the same list.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 05:20:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He says one thing, you say another. (6+ / 0-)

        Nothing in his comment suggests he wants to try and woo electoral victory by focusing on the NSA.

        There are two distinct issues here.

        You are correct when you say that when campaigning, candidates need to talk about the things the most potential voters want.

        But you're wrong to imply that we should ignore or downplay any other issues than those.

        Dumbo is making a statement about power dynamics - the corruption of democracy allows for the derailing of actually achieving the goals people want.  It's like 'getting money out of politics' or 'ending gerrymandering'.  In order to actually get Dems elected in the quantities needed to achieve the goals we need to achieve on 'jobs', 'healthcare', and 'education', we need to ensure that democracy actually works, and that it isn't overpowered by money, geographical rules fiddling, or specific agencies (military, intelligence) influencing Congress to place their needs above those of the people.

        Yes, what the American people say they want is important.  But unless you first make sure that they have a working government, they can care all they want, and they'll never get what they need.

        •  ^^^this^^^ (6+ / 0-)

          and also Dumbo further up...I do think this dichotomy is at the core of the so-called rox vs sux wars here on DKos.  Thanks to you both for articulating it so well.

          I keep thinking of a fb convo I saw several weeks ago that made me laugh. Person A was a "Yawner" wrt the Snowden NSA-gate stuff, saying, "Meh, Ive got bigger fish to fry." Several folks came back at her with reasoned arguments like we see here all the time, but she didn't budge. Then finally someone came along and just said: "Fishing is now illegal. Get in the van." I laughed ...  it struck me funny, in a gallows humor way, but also...  it hit this point exactly on the head.

          Im so tired of seeing this debate being set up as an either/or, black/white proposition. If you care about the one, then must not give two shits about the other, ...AND... you are therefore a {fillintheblank} paulbot or O'bot or whatever is the back'n'forth insult of the day. We're spinning our wheels with that nonsense and while we continue this with the view that we are in competition somehow with each other, They -  TPTB - just whistle right on by us and laugh.

          To me, it's not about having to choose one or the other, it's more to do with addressing them in the right order. Can't even get to B unless first we address and fix A. And my "A" isn't just the spying>privacy>4th Amendment stuff, it's all of it in concert ... from Citizens United on down. The corporate coup of our democracy.  That was the high note that was struck, and that resonated for so many, with Occupy.

          A better world is possible but electoral victory alone won't get us there. We need both, all, approaches.

          If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

          by Lady Libertine on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 08:02:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I'm not trying to represent anybody. (6+ / 0-)

        I'm representing me.  I'm a stubborn ass on this.  Sorry about that.  (That's the second time I've apologized here).

        As for whether this could be an important electoral issue, yeah, it could.  Health and Jobs are very important.

        But look at this, from the Pew Poll in June.

        Ignore for the moment that it says "Tea Party Views" because this came from a Guardian article about the split on the right over this.  The most important and interesting numbers are the ones for Independent voters.  The Democratic and Republican numbers on Patriot Act type restrictions on liberties are pretty much the same, very strangely.  42/38 for Democrats, 43/38 for Republicans.  Republicans are MARGINALLY (one point) more concerned about encroachments on our civil liberties than they are about safety from terrorism.  Just one point, and that point is on the Republican side.

        But then go look at the Independent voters.  52/33.  The conclusion I draw from this is that this is a bigger issue to independent voters that it is to either Democrats or Republicans.  How bizarre, eh?  Also, the year over year numbers show big swings to the "left" (and I'm not sure that word correctly applies here) among ALL groups except moderate Democrats.  And the Tea Partiers show the biggest swing to the left.  If we choose to call that "the left."  It gets rather murky, doesn't it?

        So who is going to be better able to reach out to those independent voters who DO take this seriously?  Will it be the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?  I honestly don't know.  

        "But Jobs and Health!  They're important!"  Yup, but that doesn't mean you can't sizeable lose a sizeable number of votes by ignoring people who take that other issue seriously.  You really feel safe ignoring this?

        I don't think the election is going to turn around this, so save your breath.  That's not worth getting too deeply into an argument over.  What I am saying is that it's still prudent electoral strategy, (assuming that we're such a cynical and soulless party that that's all that counts) to not try to piss off voters that you MIGHT need.  

        My alliance and identification with the Democratic Party has always been one of shared values and goals.  If/when it comes to the point that my values and those of the party diverge, I don't go through an identity crisis over it.  I don't harbor illusions about the importance of my comments or my diaries or my actual votes.  I just know where I stand.

        •  Hi Dumbo (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          I'm really working to understand this perspective and will send you a message later today.  I hope that is OK, it's just a request for some info.

          Also FWIW, I think we make choices every day and often don't notice them.  I scanned diaries today and decided to read this one and found some exceptional comments worth reading.  There are many other diaries I chose not to open.  We all have interests and values that direct our choices.

          And while all these issues are important, at any given time we often have a choice about which issue to work on or discuss.  Our time is not infinite and so we do have to make a conscious choice if we have multiple concerns.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 09:27:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Actually I DO consider Health and Social Security (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twigg, SouthernLiberalinMD

      more important than the NSA.

      But you see, Twigg, I have this problem.  The Democratic Party wants to cut Social Security.  And many in the centrist coalition want to cut Medicare even raise the eligibility age.  

      If I was not so outraged at the centrists in the party and their agenda to slash both Social Security and Medicare it would be ever so much easier to get me to look the other way on NSA.

      But since the Democratic President's budget includes cuts to Social Security and since the Democratic Minority Leader in the House agrees, I am mad as hell and I do not have their backs when I find out they are spending the money we need for programs like Medicare and Social Security on black budgets for the G.D. NSA.

      Want my support?  Take cuts off the table.  Because I'm not going to go out and do GOTV and LIE to senior citizens in my neighborhood.

      •  I agree with that, but I'm willing to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Medium Head Boy

        put all that aside for this, because I still consider domestic spying worse than all of that.  I've tried to explain a few different times now why that is.  

        I'm willing to look the other way on all the rest of Obama's deficiencies as a president if it helps us get past the roxer/suxer debate to the debate over how we can maintain a democracy that works while spying on our citizens.  Obama will be gone in three years, bless his heart, and we'll get some new president, but whoever we get will probably be part of the same problem, too, because this is an institution with a proven ability to wag the tail of the Whitehouse.

      •  I don't think anyone (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, Sylv

        in the Democratic Party "wants" to cut Social Security.

        I have no idea why the President feels it necessary to even be willing to entertain such a discussion.

        Sometimes I worry that he doesn't see the wood for the trees. It is not necessary to get a bipartisan agreement on Social Security, it is only necessary to push for an increase in benefits, and stick the GOP with the pain of refusing.

        I don't think this Admin is very good at chess.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        Who is twigg?

        by twigg on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 08:37:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Erskine Bowles, Clinton's Chief of Staff. (0+ / 0-)

          He's part of that whole third way thinking of the moderate Dems that Obama appointed to the Catfood Commission.  

          There are a lot of Democrats that want to cut Social Security.  It's playing games with language to say that it's not "wanting to," like it's icky medicine but somebody's got to administer it.  Icky or not, they WANT to administer that icky medicine for what they consider to be noble and lofty reasons.  

    •  You do, BUT the majority does not. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl

      And even if you're not looking at polling, the fact that there aren't protests to speak of, etc shows that they do not.

      While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

      by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 07:36:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Protest of one, right here. (5+ / 0-)

        Ignore my tiny little protest as you please.  I certainly feel entitled to ignore your unbridled support for the crap that is going on at the NSA.  

        Actually, I really believe there will come a day when you find out enough that has been going on that you feel ashamed for not having been more skeptical and not taking a stand against it sooner.  But that remains to be seen.

        •  So i have 'unbridled support for the crap' because (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WB Reeves

          I pointed out that your objection does not change reality?

          That's really the way to win hearts and minds.

          While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 08:53:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Ashamed, no, but probably pretty unhappy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dumbo

          once a Republican gets in office. And one almost certainly will, at some point during our lifetimes.

          The party of Kennedy is also the party of Eastland. The party of Javits is also the party of Goldwater. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington?

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 09:18:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dumbo, please present evidence for your (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          allegation of "unbridled support for the crap that is going on at the NSA."

          Thanks in advance.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 04:56:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That seems to be his position, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            WB Reeves

            although I'd gladly be corrected on that if you or he want to elaborate.  I formed this impression from reading his various posts in the NSA domestic spying pro-con diaries.

            Hey, if I thought the government was always trustworthy and would never be concerned with anything but my safety and never exceed its authority no matter how tempting and that we'd never have a president who would try to exploit it and that the danger from terrorism was so extreme that we had to make big sacrifices of our privacy and of our personal conceptions of what kind of country we want to live in, then I would be all for this crap.  I know there are people here who believe that.  I don't think that's a strawman, although it could be articulated in a more pleasing and persuasive manner.

            •  You may be right (0+ / 0-)

              But if this position isn't actually being argued here, what's the point of injecting it into the conversation?

              There are number of people involved in this debate who I think aren't being particularly up front about their agendas. I suspect that in some such cases I could guess what their agenda is with a fair degree of accuracy. I might even be right but if they won't admit it and I have no hard evidence to back up my suspicions, voicing them would be worse than useless.

              Nothing human is alien to me.

              by WB Reeves on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 06:45:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Uh, I don't think Everton (0+ / 0-)

                has a secret agenda.  I don't want to go digging through his posts right now, but he says what he thinks.

              •  Also, I think it's rude of us to speak (0+ / 0-)

                of him in the third person.  I'm not sure what your point was in asking the question.  If he needed defending for some incorrect characterization, he's capable of making it himself without us talking about him like he's a vegetable.

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