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From the Washington Post, Saturday, we learned that that the House is once again working on a deal to fund the ongoing Iraq war with no timelines, deadlines, or other oversight. The source for the story? None other than the Democratic House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer.

House Democratic leaders could complete work as soon as Monday on a half-trillion-dollar spending package that will include billions of dollars for the war effort in Iraq without the timelines for the withdrawal of combat forces that President Bush has refused to accept, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday. [...]

Democratic leadership aides expressed confidence that Boehner and Blunt will not be able to keep enough Republicans away from a bill that funds the war, popular domestic programs and their own pet projects, known as earmarks. With a long holiday break beckoning, few lawmakers will be in the mood for a protracted standoff. [...]
Hoyer struck a pragmatic tone, pushing for Congress to adjourn for the year by the end of next week. He suggested that Democrats need to divorce their goal of ending the war from the battle over funding.

The long and short of it is that Hoyer is shepherding a bill that trades $11 billion in desired domestic spending in exchange for continued funding of the war, and that Reid has indicated that the end deal will be acceptable to the Senate as well.

Markos noted on Saturday of the dealing Democrats:

  1. They are happy to prolong this war as long as some of their pet projects are funded; and
  1. Given that another year of war means another 500-1,000 dead G.I.s, the price Democrats put on a life of each of our soldiers is about $10 million.

That is a good (and blunt) way of looking at it. Far from demanding an exit strategy or even a token timetable for the now excruciatingly unpopular war, the Democrats have now devolved into using it as a bargaining chip for other projects. Give the Democrats a little cash, give the Republicans a little cash, and everyone will have something to vote for. After all, there is a long holiday break beckoning, and getting home to the family on time is far more important than having to spend a few more days haggling over something as unpleasant as determining how many more Americans should die in an ongoing, neverending clusterfuck. If only the soldiers could schedule their own breaks as reliably.

It is crystal clear that the Congressional Democrats are divided and incapable at best, and incompetent at worst. We have been through month after month of similar "showdowns", followed by similar collapses. This time, it at least has a financial price attached: if the Democrats are willing to sell out on the one overriding issue that brought them back into power, in the 2006 elections, at least we know they are able to use it as bargaining chip for other issues. Somehow, that is the exact opposite of comforting.

How do we work for them, in the next election, knowing that on the central issue the last election, they are unapologetically uninterested? Nationwide, Democrats were thrust into power in an overwhelming tide due to voter anger over the course of the war, and over the governance of the nation in general. What is there, in 2008, to vote for? What possible credibility do Democrats have over Republicans in ending the war, after time after time after time of abandoning all responsibility for it?

I don't know. We can support them, and vote for them, and we can do what we can do where our goals align, but more and more it seems the answer is Better Democrats, not necessarily More Democrats, and that organizing and providing support for more and more primary challenges should be one of our long-term goals. If we have to be an increasingly hostile thorn in their sides to force party leaders into leadership, then maybe that is the better course of action. The Presidency itself is vitally important to us, in order to block the nastiest of conservative plots from happening, but apparently the much heralded House and Senate aren't worth a bucket of ebola-laced monkey spit.

In battle after battle the House and Senate Dems have made it crystal clear that they do not give a flying shit about their base. They wish we'd just curl up and die. They're happy to have the free help spreading their points, but that help does not reciprocate in any way. There's not a damn thing they'll do on our behalf, or on behalf of the voters who made their regained power possible -- not one thing. They'll even sell out Move On by name -- and all in fear of this mythical overwhelming conservative tide of voters who will wag their fingers sternly and supposedly dangerously at the slightest provocation. They spend a hell of a lot more time worrying about what the racists think about brown people, and the religious extremists think about non-extremists, and the corporate lobbyists think about corporate needs, than they've ever once worried about any of us. Their strategy is all about placating, of all fucking things, the Republican base. That's who they're absolutely obsessed with: making sure the Republicans aren't mad at them, that thirty percent of voters who would rather join militias and drift off into the countryside than vote against hardcore Republicanism anyway.

They really have learned nothing, in their decade-plus of being out of power. Not a damn thing. They're still obsessed with strategic, plodding, inoffensive timidity as the answer to all possible situations and questions. We can only be glad that the civil rights battles are largely over for black Americans, because these people would sell out absolutely anyone and anything in order to continue their consultant-honed strategy of taking absolutely no stand on anything the slightest bit difficult.

It seems hard to come to any other conclusion but that a large part of the party, people like Rahm Emanuel and Steny Hoyer foremost in that group, wants to cripple and kill us every bit as much as the Republicans do, all for the lazy-assed sake of avoiding hard fights on hard issues and being able to go back to the milquetoast, visionless blandfest that the party is at this point rightfully famous for. And the majority of the rest are more interested in their goddamn strategists than their goddamn consciences.

What can we possibly do, in order to move America towards a more forward-thinking path? It is the same story as always: the Democrats do not care about their base because they know full well we've got nowhere to go. But still, they push too far -- I am hardly a leftist, and am more to the point usually a painstaking pragmatist, willing to accept small victories over no victories at all, but they have at this point got even me thinking it's a waste of time to work with them.

Perhaps the answer is to excise the worst, surgically. And I don't mean individual conservative Democrats or Blue Dogs, but the sabotaging powerbrokers, the people strategizing out these absurd passion plays of pre-planned cowardice, in the name of not pissing off the mythical "center" of the country that demands complicity in all Republican agendas, whether it be scapegoating immigrants or continuing to look for a magical Iraqi pony that would finally make the entire bungled war worth it. Perhaps our only option is to go after those individuals full-force. Markos' stated goal a year or two ago was to destroy the DLC and their mushy, corporate and conservative-placating agenda, but they largely destroyed their own relevancy themselves. Maybe it's time to revise that plan and find more specific targets -- the party "leaders" who insist, time and time again, on not leading.

And yet, we are handcuffed. We cannot do anything that will too badly screw the Democratic chances for the presidency itself, because we really do urgently need that. The Supreme Court hinges on it, as well as the simple opportunity to prevent the at this point entirely insane Republican "foreign policy" fiascos that have so badly damaged America's leadership role in the world.

What strikes me at the moment is just how devoid of true, inspirational leaders the current party is. We've got nobody, at least not that is a household name. Kennedy?  A longtime liberal and a fine speaker, but hasn't been able to accomplish a whole lot.  Byrd made some fine speeches a few years ago, but between those speeches he's always been erratic at best.  Reid seems like he's so miserable in the majority that he wants to just crawl under a rock, and I can't tell if Pelosi is being screwed by her subordinates, is screwing them, both, neither, is being screwed by the conservative Dems, or is suffering from something entirely different that I can't even grasp, but in her role as Democratic leader she is about as inspirational as a bowl of room temperature soup.

Hillary Clinton seems to studiously avoid even the shadow of a hint of a larger vision, and Edwards could not get the press to like him if he personally had sex with every one of them. Obama is indeed a fine speaker, but is at his best in well-crafted speeches in service to no particularly concrete or substantive goals -- and those goals he does most passionately espouse, like chastising fellow Democrats for not more emphatically embracing religion, are the stuff of uninspiring Broderesque conventionality. We have faced the most incompetent, corrupt, scandal prone, and indictment-laden administration in recent history, and yet we still must from all corners hear paeans to working together with the worst of the worst, and compromising with the bigoted, and bridging the gap between our moderate party and the one that has been purged of nearly all but the most single-minded of extremists.

Even if elected, it seems improbable that we could hope for more than moderate Dem caretaker status, in the presidency -- a partial rollback of Bush-era abuses, but not a full rollback, a healthcare plan cobbled together in some fashion as to make sure the insurance companies are well taken care of, and only moderate screwing of unions instead of full-bore screwing of unions. It will be a hell of a lot better than being shipped to Abu Ghraib in a duffle bag, but it is not really something to get giddy over.

The blogs are one of the few sources of fire in the entire party.  We've got no political generals like the Republican Party's Rove/DeLay/Hastert axis of brutal enforcement and lacerating strategic competence, and we've got no agenda-setting ideologues like Norquist, Dobson, or the other increasingly far-right activists that can and do play the Republican party like a fiddle. The Republican Party has been remade in service to their most conservative, most bigoted, most aggressive, and most extreme members: we, on the other hand, have yet to figure out how to get the Democratic party to give the time of day to the vast majority of their supporters -- even though their supporters hold the majority positions, according to the polls, on nearly every one of the most important issues.

We've only got the blogs and other not-terribly-powerful activists. That is the only source of unapologetic ideology, of long-term vision, or of passion for a common good. We have no leaders except ourselves.

I do not have an answer, here. But once again the Democratic leadership insists on trading away all responsibilities for the Iraq War, presumably because they would rather abandon that responsibility than be forced to make any of the most urgently required decisions. Once again, each battle is willingly lost upon even the slightest hint of Republican obstruction. Once again, we have people like Rahm Emanuel urging the party into accepting far-right frames on immigration rather than stand up for a Democratic vision of what immigration should be, and how immigrants should be treated. We have people like Steny Hoyer using the Iraq War as bargaining chip for other agendas. We have Harry Reid signaling where the fight will end before the first round bell ever rings. We have our own presidential candidates praising the utterly invisible wisdom of people like Colin Powell.

Rather than making the case to the American people as to what the future should be, we have strategists, consultants and leaders looking at the polls and attempting to manuever themselves through a sea of Republican-manufactured arguments, agendas, hot button issues, and supposed public offenses. We've got a Republican party that was thrown out on its collective ear for corruption and incompetence, nationwide, and yet still there are no Democratic leaders willing to seize the reins of the future themselves, and bring a Democratic vision of the future to the public.

We do not have a party, at least not one with an agenda that can make it past even the smallest of Republican-planted obstructions. What we do about that at this point, I have no idea. But I am not about to sit back and pretend at cheerleading for a party that considers me no more than an annoyance to getting back to business as usual, and I am not about to pretend that the ongoing deaths of the Iraq war will be, come November, only the fault of the Republicans.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:14 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  the problem, like the author says (25+ / 0-)

      is that it's getting harder and harder to see the difference between the D's and the R's when it comes to political office.

      What the hell will it take to get these leaders off their asses and working on THE issue of the day - the clusterfuck that is the Iraqi Occupation?

      I don't know, but if they don't get their heads out of the sand, they're at risk of being run over by an angry mob out of control and looking for someone to hurt.

      When the Power of Love Overcomes the Love of Power - then the World will know peace.

      by Angie in WA State on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:36:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Leaders Answer to those who PAY them (29+ / 0-)

        ...and it ain't the American people.  It's the lobbyists, the corporate kings.

        "Just for the record: you were right, I'm an idiot, and God bless you." -- Xander, BTVS

        by prodigal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:41:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So let's declare a donor strike (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jmart, Rxtr2, ocooper, Flippant, airmarc, bstotts

          against the DSCC (Harry Reid) and DCCC (Nancy Pelosi). Over 5,000 have joined already:

          Of course we can still give to individual candidates who support us, if possible through BlueAmerica.

          •  When the DCCC called (8+ / 0-)

             I told them to FORGET ABOUT IT. I would not donate to the DCCC -- ONLY to Democrats who vote in a consistent way against the occupation in Iraq and for the best interests of Americans.

              We should fund individual candidates who support us -- and let them know why we are supporting them.

              Also I sent money to -- and NOT to a candidate because of the idiots dems who joined the GOP lynch mob.

              The current democratic leadership is not leading -- Reid is the worst. And I am very disappointed in Pelosi. If it is true that she knew about the use of water boarding.

             Also IF -- the bushies are using blackmail on the democrats to keep them in line. I do hope that the democrats know that at any moment they will be exposed. Why would it be revealed just now that Pelosi knew about the torture. What other dark secrets is she hiding?

              My dad was military and he flew in a super secret squadron. After one of the planes went down all the men had to undergo "simulated" POW training. He came back a changed person -- after merely experiencing the simulated torture. Of course he couldn't talk about what happened -- but whatever the military did to him -- they stole my dad. He was never the same.

              By opening the Pandora torture box -- what few "rules of war" and humane treatment of POWs is now gone.

              Whatever the bushies have on each democratic candidate -- perhaps the candidates need to release now -- all at once, as a group. They've released one of Pelosi's secrets -- that she knew about the torture.

            •  They've gotten a lot of those (6+ / 0-)

              "forget about it" responses, I guarantee.  In 2006 they called me and said they needed money to get a majority to fight the Bush agenda.  I gave them money, they got a majority, and 13 months later they haven't done squat to fight the Bush agenda.  Now they're calling to say they need a bigger majority.

              "Forget about it" wasn't exactly what I said to them, but it's close enough for a family site.

              Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

              by stillnotking on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:29:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No more (0+ / 0-)

                I stopped donating to the DSCC when they let Alito on to the Supreme Court.
                With all the bad legislation the Dems have been complicit in passing I simply cannot support them as a whole. Now I send money to progressive Dems (and Bernie Sanders) and organizations that are in line with my personal political values.
                I whole heartedly support not contributing to the DCCC, DSCC and all DLC Democrats. Since they don't advance our cause they no longer deserve our support.

                republicans have killed more Americans than the terrorists!

                by cybersaur on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 07:35:11 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Donor strike? I've been on one since 06. (4+ / 0-)

            Not only will I not give to the DSCC or the DCCC or the DNC, I'm not giving to any blog candidates either.  The only one I have sent money to is Edwards.  If he loses, my wallet is zipped and glued shut.  

            I know the answer, but no one wants to hear it.  The answer isn't money.  We don't have enough to be competitive.  The answer is PAIN.  We need to hit them where it hurts.  How do we do that?  We work against them, vote against them, we take them down and down hard.  We make them lose their elections and join the unemployed.

            The reason they can thumb their noses at us is because they believe "we have nowhere else to go"; and at least 12 times each day everybody here proves it.  "I'll support any D because they are better than any R".  

            So I say, let's call their freakin bluff and go - against them.  No wasted third party votes, just go for the juglar and vote for the Republicans.  We elect them just like they elected Lieberman.  When we took out Lieberman, the Dems paused long enough to come look see. Bill Clinton took the bloggers to lunch, looked them up and down, and then dumped them like yesterday's lunch.

            Like hockey. If your opponent never has to keep his head up to watch our for you, he'll skate all over you.

            There is an answer, but I think we are just as wimpy as the Democrats we oppose.  A few well chosen and blogger lead initiatives to target and take out Dems would definitely make them think twice and create the need for them to watch their backs.

            •  Bad idea. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              djtyg, JWSwift

              I won't vote Republican.  I will support primary challenges though.

              "Even if [BUSH] weren't a complete idiot, which he is, he'd still be an asshole." Digby

              by Bob Friend on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:59:25 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I understand your frustration (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and respect your suggestion. But we don't have to sabotage our own best interests in order to attain them. We'll eventually get there, just not as quickly as most of us would like. But you hit the nail on the head with the mention of PAIN.

              We've still got a lot more pain to go through. And it won't be limited to our elected representatives. As long as there is still bread to eat and circuses to watch, we won't achieve a critical mass of people DEMANDING change. And until then, the frog will slowly simmer as the pot gradually heats up. But eventually some idiot is going to turn up the heat too quickly, they always do. And there's going to be one pissed off frog to deal with.

              There's one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him. If he says, "Yes," you know he is a crook. ~Groucho Marx

              by Busted Flat in Baton Rouge on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:18:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  See the comment above yours? My point exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                They won't pay the price they perceive, and we won't pay the price we perceive.  Bunch of wimps.  Gee, Johnny.  Don't set the cat on fire.  It makes mommy so unhappy.  I have been watching this charade for 35 years.  I saw JFK get shot.  We went from Donna Reed and Leave It to Beaver to Viet Nam and being mired in the Great Society ad naseum to Reagan and the Reagan Democrats including Bill Clinton to neocons destroying the constitution and committing treason, murder, and looting the treasury ALL aided and abetted by corporations and the two party system.  How much time have you got?

          •  I've been telling them no more money... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            third Party please, adrianrf

            for months now.

            "Even if [BUSH] weren't a complete idiot, which he is, he'd still be an asshole." Digby

            by Bob Friend on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:54:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Amen. (0+ / 0-)

          Close down the PACs, the lobbyists and take back the govt.  No "sub-contracts" for our reps, make them sign a contract with their State that breaks if they represent anyone but their constituents .  Vote wrong, go home.
          Did the Founding Fathers set forth PACs?

      •  Smash it up (8+ / 0-)

        Taking inspiration from the good ol days of Punk Rock, It might be time to look at the institutions of the Democratic Party, raze them, and start over.

        Its hard to keep working for a party when the leaders sell out our ideals just about every chance they get.

        Smash it up, by The Damned

        We’ve been crying now for much too long
        And now we’re gonna dance to a different song
        Gonna sream and shout til my dying breath
        Gonna smash it up til theres nothing left

        Oooh ooh smash it up, smash it up, smash it up
        Oooh ooh smash it up, smash it up, smash it up

        People call me villain oh it’s such a shame
        Maybe it’s my clothes must be to blame
        I don’t even care if I look a mess
        Don’t wanna be a sucker like all the rest

        "Another terrorism speech by the president is sort of like reruns of Seinfeld. It's on every night and we've memorized most of the lines." --Craig Crawford

        by UTLiberal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:55:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would be so easy if the world were this way (0+ / 0-)

          If only leaders were the sole problem, and not the followers as well.  If only the public weren't so easily seduced and bamboozled by the worst leaders have to offer.  But today's Democratic leaders came of age at a time when rational, sensitive approaches to politics failed, year after year.  (The one who succeeded -- Bill Clinton -- was the one more willing than any other Presidential candidate to play progressives for suckers.)  We claim that, if leaders would just do as they people want, everything would be OK.  So simple!  But more often than not we are talking through our collective hat.  We have no assurance -- none -- that this critical assumption is correct.

          I don't care if I'm "a sucker like all the rest."  Thinking that smashing it up will solve the problems of the country is being a bigger sucker than someone who keeps trying to do the right thing, to move the public with orthodontic patience and care, despite the odds, despite knowing that every two steps forward will bring one step back.

          That's the difference between being an activist and being a poseur.  We need activists.

          If somebody writes a book and doesn't care for [its] survival, he's an imbecile. U. Eco. (P.S.: my opinions are mine, not my employer's.)

          by Major Danby on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 04:07:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Don't expect any help from Kos (12+ / 0-)

        At a recent local event, I was able to get Markos' ear for a couple of minutes. I was trying to get his help on how to get rid of Pelosi.

        He couldn't have been less helpful. He has the opinion that we should just let Bush take down the entire Republican party, and take it from there. He didn't want anything to do with taking Pelosi to account.

        This sounded, to me, very much like the Republican plan for a Permanent Majority. Do we even WANT there to be no opposition party? Look how lame the Democrats are. Look how lame Pelosi is. Markos laksidasical attitute made me feel like I was just dealing with the mirror image of the Republican Crime Family.

        That's not good enough. Pelosi is complicit. She should be hit with the most impressive primary challenge she's ever seen, and she should be kicked to the curb. THAT would send a message. But Marko wants business as usual, and that's an attitude I see far too much of. And that, my friends, is why we see no improvement after the '06 elections.

        •  I believe Hunter is right: Hoyer & Emanuel first (7+ / 0-)

          I believe Pelosi will respond if we get these saboteurs out from under her.

          •  pelosi will respond! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jmart, greenearth, rylly

            no she won´t. she will do exactly what she wants, or exactly what her biggest donor wants. she doesnt care about you or me and anyone else writing here. we don´t have a party any more. they are gone from us. the democratic party and the republican party are joined at the hip. they walk lock step, the opposition and arguing all grandstanding, putting on a show. i am going to support someone for president who i never thought i would. simply because i know he will deliver on the things most important to me. what other choice do i have. what other choice do any of us have. i want someone to go into the whitehouse and kick hell out of all the long established relationships between politicos and their extortion racket. yea, it´ll hurt a little to see some changes made, so, change frequently brings a little uneasyness along. i´m strong, i can take it. i want someone who will be enemy to both the republicans and the democrats.

            •  No! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              President is the wrong election.  We MUST elect a Democrat no matter how bad they are, because, as Bush has PROVEN, a Republican is ALWAYS worse than even a bad Dem.

              You can affect Congressional leadership by targettng Congressional leaders.  Selectively taking down one or two of these doens't affect the balance of power (Dems stay in charge).  What is does do is destroy individual careers.

              Hit them where is hurts WITHOUT affecting the balance of power!

          •  No, no, no, no! (13+ / 0-)

            Queen Nancy is willingly complicit.  Do NOT give her a free pass.  Take out Hoyer, Pelosi, and Emmanuel.  Cut the head off the beast by striking at the leaders, and maybe that will help rank and file Democratic congresscritters find their balls.

            In the Senate, we need to go after Reid and destroy him -- he is as much a part of the problem as any Republican.  Just watch -- he will make damn sure telcom immunity is passed this year.

            BOYCOTT THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST! "The truth is there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there?" ---"V"---

            by asskicking annie on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:13:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Kos has forgotten that he inspired us (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          with his book, Crashing the Gate.  He doesn't appear to want to lead anymore; bad attitude.

          •  heaven forbid... (0+ / 0-)

            ...he should have a different opinion than you.

            As soon as he gets too inconvenient should we throw him under the nearest bus?  Hmmm?

          •  Some people are fire starters (0+ / 0-)

            They inspire or motivate others. Do you expect him to act for you as well?

            I think the concept of "crashing the gate" is not an idea that has passed its usefulness as a plausible method to effect change; it is just that it requires some time and patience. And, in addition, historically, change from the inside has probably had more staying power than acting externally to affect the structure of a political party or government.

            I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere ~ Thomas Jefferson

            by valadon on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 08:02:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Wonder how much money Kos isn't raising this year (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jmart, AbsurdEyes, greenearth, adrianrf

          I was a team player in 04.  I got suspicious and cautious in 06.  In 08, I'm not playing at all, no how, no way, not one thin dime.  In fact, I'm waging my very own revolt.  I'm voting against every Democrat within my reach. (Here that Carl Levin?)  As a protest of one, that makes it useless; but I don't care.  I'm done being a sucker.

          •  the same bunch of "elite" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dkmich, adrianrf

            extremists that have taken over the Republican party and trashed it, appear to be the same group that has taken over the Democratic party and trashed it too.  So we have inepts on both sides and money grubbers all around. US?  Never mind.
            Turn them out, burn Pelosi.  Cindy Sheehan would be a good replacement, I hope she's running.

        •  Sure look at the response I got when I suggested (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eleming, AbsurdEyes, djtyg

          we ditch Feinstein -

          IMHO Pelosi is the wrong person to go after.  We need to pick the most pro-war candidate each time and give the Lieberman treatment.  Then instead of Dems just picking a new leader there will be pressure from the bottom and everyone scrambling to NOT be the most pro-war candidate.

    •  You and I see them... (6+ / 0-)

      But I'll betcha the average American and indeed the average voter sees very little daylight.  And to be honest, I'm really having a tough time lately.

      "Frankly, you epitomize weak. Your every pore exudes feebleness. You *are* surrender monkeys." - Meteor Blades to Capitulation Dems

      by RichM on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:43:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "What shall it profit a man (17+ / 0-)

      to gain the whole world but to lose his own soul?"

      Why should I care to have a D president and congress? If they spend all their time sucking up to the most ignorant people in the country they are unfit to serve.

    •  Yes, it does (9+ / 0-)

      It's a trade-off.  It's silly to pretend there would be no difference between a President Hillary and a President Rudy, but it's also silly to pretend that aligning the party behind mushy corporatist triangulators has no costs.

      What needs to happen is a major shock to the conventional wisdom that Republicans can run on their base, while Democrats must repudiate theirs.  I'd argue that George H. W. Bush's defeat in 1992 was one of the best things that happened to the Republicans.  It sent a message to the party leadership that the base could not be expected to just line up behind someone they perceived as not sharing their values.  It set the stage for the coup of 1994.  Perhaps something similar needs to happen to us.

      Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

      by stillnotking on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:45:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Explain... (5+ / 0-)

      What, exactly do "we" lose if the Dems aren't willing to end the war or defend our civil liberties? I mean, what further danger is there? What is left after we accept murder and slavery?

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:06:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Get real (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rxtr2, JWSwift

        Right now I am sitting in a tavern enjoying a beer. In a little while I am going home to watch some TV with my wife.  Tomorrow I will go to work and then after work I will wrap Christmas presents with my granddaughter and get the tree our of storage.

        I am NOT in a concentration camp.  I have a home to go to.  My granddaughter and wife are safe, happy and healthy.  Neither has been raped by the police.  I still have a job.  Life is (still) good.

        All that can be taken away from me, from you, from millions of Americans just as it was from Jews in Nazi Germany or Japanese Americans here in this country.

        What further danger is there?  So very, very much more.

    •  Yes... the slow death of "Dems" or quick death of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, adrianrf, rylly, JWSwift

      Repuglican criminal traitors.  I'm not sure which one is worse.  A quick death might make people notice in enough mass to effect change, albeit likely violent.  The slow death gives more chances to change things, to a point.  Once they fully clamp down on the internet and strip all our remaining rights away, that will be mostly gone.  The next 2-6 years should see that accomplished, even with Dems in office if they are anything like the current crop.

      You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

      by FightTheFuture on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:48:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who is 'we' and what are the 'choices'? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are times when choosing the lesser of two evils is not necessarily the best choice.

      There's one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him. If he says, "Yes," you know he is a crook. ~Groucho Marx

      by Busted Flat in Baton Rouge on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:59:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Choice is Between Two Political Whores? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No. You don't have to choose the lesser of two-evils between the Dems and GOP. The GOP cares not one iota about saving the Constitution from the fascists in our White House. The Dems continue to enable these fascists. Our democracy(?) cannot withstand an assault on it from the entire GOP, the White House and too many like minded so called Democrats. I prefer to call third parties today "second parties". For them to truly be third parties, wouldn't the Dems have to represent The People, not the corporations? I'll vote for a progressive 2nd party, like the Green Party.

  •  Babies. (9+ / 0-)

    Yours. Whenever you want 'em.

    Who wants to join the Hunter's Hundreds fan club?

  •  We just need to keep working (9+ / 0-)

    on geting more and better democrats.

    Buy my book! The Servant of the Manthycore by Michael Ehart, foreword by Michael Moorcock

    by IsraelHand on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:18:56 PM PST

  •  Hey Steny "Moses" Hoyer (10+ / 0-)

    Instead of shepherding a pork laden bill
    how's about shepherding our troops out of Iraq

    Let our Troops Go

    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:19:23 PM PST

  •  A refusal to lead is a refusal to be a leader (22+ / 0-)

    and we should show them door, politely at first. Then if they choose to continue to ignore us, we shall give them a swift kick out it and replace with someone who will listen.

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by pleasedontbefake on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:19:29 PM PST

    •  Ditto that + solution (6+ / 0-)

      Amen, Hunter, Amen.

      My solution, expressed here for some time, is selective primarying of 4-5 Democratic congresspeople in '08.  The selection criteria would be multifactorial, but I would argue they should be at least dependent on bad votes on issues of core American values (habeas, Iraq War, Patriot Act, MCA, etc..) AND on their beatability (so we get the most bang for our buck and are reasonably assured of a strong likelihood of success in the primary).   If we Kossacks can agree on selection criteria, we should start by looking at every race across the country for vulnerable pro-Bush Dems.

      Then, we choose the 5 to target and we pour our sweat, blood and moulah into those primaries.  We select our candidate based on how they mesh with our American values: putting people first, getting us out of Iraq, stopping the attacks on our Constitution and way of life, and how they plan to address the concerns of their local constituents through a commitment to openness and transparency during the period of their representation.

      Then, our candidates win the primary and the general.

      Rinse.  Repeat for 2010, 2012, long as it takes.

      Only this will demonstrate our power.  Only this will show we mean business and have the strength to compete with the corporate money.


      by maxschell on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:55:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nader Creators (42+ / 0-)

    That's what Dems are in serious danger of becoming.  I've complained before about how much time I've spent convincing friends that there really is a difference, only to have the Dems erode all of that work over this last year.  If you won't lead when the public is already on your side, then what good are you?


  •  It's hard to lead when you're compromised. (14+ / 0-)

    and unfortunately, most of the Dem leadership is.  

    "There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always." -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by duha on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:20:55 PM PST

  •  The dog doesn't even need to be kicked anymore (16+ / 0-)

    You can just threaten that you'll kick him, and he'll roll over on his back without hesitation...well trained, just like our Dems in Congress.

  •  Well, see (5+ / 0-)

    2006 was important because the Republicans gave Bush everything he wanted in Iraq so long as he gave them pork for their districts.  The difference between Democrats and Republicans is that the Republicans were also getting side payments and skimming and . . . Shit.  Hoyer.

    Well, at least now when we go to complain, we can be arrested outside of nicer offices.

    When the disembodied voice on C-SPAN calls you pussies, you're probably pussies.

    by DelRPCV on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:21:57 PM PST

  •  If you're looking for a democrat..... (5+ / 0-)

    with some vision, try Bernie Sanders.

    The Democrats are making it very difficult for the voices of real democrats to be heard.

    *small 'd's intentional

    The meek shall inherit nothing. -F.Zappa

    by cometman on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:21:59 PM PST

  •  If this "deal" goes through (8+ / 0-)

    my new nickname for the Democrats in the House is going to be the Cave-ocrats. I am sick to death of rollover and play dead doesn't this Congress no any other tricks?

  •  Damn! I thought it was just ME. (22+ / 0-)

    You have captured my mood in your diary.  Friggin' DISBELIEF. The mountain, all of a sudden, becomes a little steeper.  Time out for reflection and a new plan.

    Count me in.

    "Can you hear the grasshopper at your feet?" -Master Po

    by DW Dawg on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:22:20 PM PST

  •  How about we waterboard them? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gabie, greenearth

    Not really, I mean torture is wrong, but wish to God they'd step up and act like real Democrats.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    by dave1042 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:22:34 PM PST

  •  Next freshmen (9+ / 0-)

    We need to make sure the next Congress has a very large, very progressive freshman class who are actually willing to fight for justice rather than take the cowardly path of least resistance.

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:24:20 PM PST

    •  Hmm, nice idea in theory... (0+ / 0-)

      but (and please correct me if I'm wrong) it sure seems that the freshmen Congresspeople don't really get to make up their own minds until they've been there for quite a while in order to get onto various committees and make lots of deals and get totally corrupted by the system. THEN they can vote however they want in order to appease the lobbyists of their choice, get as much pork for their district as possible (which equals more money and power for them), and not have to worry as much about how their votes might piss-off either their base back home or the other Congresspeople who they've had to step on in order to climb their way up that ladder.

      So, hoping for more freshmen in Congress to bring about change sounds a little naive to me, but hey, hope springs eternal, right?

  •  Beautiful. (14+ / 0-)

    "Love it or leave it" doesn't work for America, and shouldn't work for the Democratic Party either.

    We need to love it and improve it.

    Primary away.  Every 2 years, the whole house can change.

    We need to start taking out some of the failed leadership or a significant number of Blue Dogs in order to be taken seriously, I think.

    08 - Leaning Edwards, Kucinich, Gore, Clark, Obama
    -9.63 -6.92
    Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

    by rick on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:25:06 PM PST

  •  Amen. (4+ / 0-)

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:25:08 PM PST

  •  Primaries (11+ / 0-)
    Replace them - nuff said. They're not going to take you seriously until you play hardball.
  •  Pelosi's experience makes her a dud (10+ / 0-)

    She's my Congresscritter so I tried to describe how her particular experience makes her useless in her current role.

    Yes, the Dems are next to hopeless -- but it is still our country on the line, so we have to find a way to fight this shit.

    •  How about mobilizing a challenger... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Or calling her office and screaming at them.

      Or both.

      "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

      by Bartimaeus Blue on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:30:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good analysis in the link. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      janinsanfran, greenearth, adrianrf

      The entire Democratic leadership and many of its senior members come out of more than a decade of weakness. As you so well point out:

      Pelosi's rise wasn't a triumph of parliamentary proficiency (under the Republicans, no Democratic maneuvering was possible) or a mark of command on policy issues. Pelosi got to the top though some combination of cajoling, flattering, funding and soothing some 200 plus, mostly male, mostly egocentric, peers. And obviously, she learned and practiced the right mix of skills to do this very competently. It is no small accomplishment to become the first woman Speaker. She should be admired for it.

      This was a period of nasty, hyperpartisan, culture warring Republican scorched Earth campaigning and Democrats were fighting to prevent total meltdown.

      A quote attributed to Barbara Tuchman applies:

      If power corrupts, weakness in the seat of power, with its constant necessity of deals and bribes and compromising arrangements, corrupts even more.

      If, as we must hope and work for, there is a massive change in the 2008 election we must then work for leaders not honed in the period of general Democratic weakness to be leaders of weakness.

      Expecting pure free enterprise to serve a population is like expecting a garden to feed a family by simply throwing out bags of seed on the ground. (Me)

      by pelagicray on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:19:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I never thought I'd long (14+ / 0-)

    for the days of LBJ in the Senate -- an unsavory bastard, but one who knew how to arm-twist and get his agenda through.  I'm not looking for saints, I'm waiting for a goddamned leader.  Someone with the voice and Constitutional awareness of Barbara Jordan coupled with a steamroller aggression.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:25:46 PM PST

    •  Bad analogy (7+ / 0-)

      Dems had a huge majority back then plus the WH.  You simply can't compare that with the narrow majorities we have now.

      •  And LBJ *led* on issues like race... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Treg, greenearth, DKHOLLA

        "Terror is nothing other than justice...; it is ... the general principle of democracy applied to our country's most urgent needs." M. Robespierre

        by Bartimaeus Blue on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:31:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Vietnam (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Phoenix Woman, jxg, Treg, echatwa

          The good with the bad.

          I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

          by darrelplant on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:32:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Which is what cost the Dems the WH for 3 decades (4+ / 0-)

          And eventually led to the loss of Congress in 1994.

          As LBJ told Bill Moyers, "I've just lost the South for a generation."  In fact, he lost it for at least two generations, as the Dixiecrats all switched to the GOP when the Republicans let them know that the GOP was no longer the Party of Lincoln.

          •  I don't think LBJ's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Senate machinations cost the Dems the WH.  I detest the man, but he was a functioning leader in the Senate, which is more than we have in either house.

            My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

            by gchaucer2 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:57:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  LBJ (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sandy on Signal

              LBJ was wrong about some things.

              The Democrats lost the South over race, but LBJ won the 1964 election without a lot of the South in the first place.

              Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina. They all went to Goldwater in 1964. In fact, they were the only states that did go for Goldwater outside of his home state of Arizona.

              Most of those states went for Wallace in 1968, but Humphrey came within 0.75% of Nixon in the popular vote. In states with large electoral vote totals like Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, and even Nixon's home state of California, Humphrey was within 3% or less of winning.

              But LBJ and Humphrey (and a Democratic Congress) had been the ones running the Vietnam War for four years by then. Tens of thousands of troops had already been killed, and there was no end in sight, unless you counted Gen. Westmorland's "light at the end of the tunnel."

              That was the real political legacy of LBJ's administration. Instead of concentrating the energy of the country on making a better America -- something his willingness to propose the civil rights bills showed he had at least some interest in -- much like Bush he squandered it on a flawed vision of global conflict that was the fantasy of his advisers.

              I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

              by darrelplant on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:41:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Eventually Led to the Loss of Congress in 1994... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In fact, he lost it for at least two generations

            That seems like a  s-t-r-e-t-c-h .

            We came within an eyelash of winning in 1968, despite a disastrous convention.  We won in 1976.  Then we got Reaganized.  What can I say?  But then ran crappy campaigns in 1988, 2000 and 2004.

            Further, we held at least the House for 30 years after LBJ signed the Civil Rights bill.  And we lost it in 1994 against the backdrop of a rejected health care program and Democratic corruption.

            So I'd say that we did plenty of work ourselves to hurt our chances in subsequent years.

            In fact, LBJ may have actually overestimated the problem that the party would face in the future.

            And that would be fitting since he was willing to pay a price while doing the right thing.


      •  I'm aghast (0+ / 0-)

        But noofsh, certainly you're not trying to make the debate about actual circumstances and the way our system of gov't really works? Who cares about "majorities" and having the White House? Do they have anything to do with our kind of politics? No. I mean, this is a debate about higher ideals for God's sake, not the base, nasty reality of vetos and filibusters and actual passed laws. C'mon, live easy, don't think so much...

      •  LBJ wasn't surrounded (0+ / 0-)

        by a majority of like minded Democrats.  He had a party divided into Southern Dems, functional Republicans, and northern "liberals."  He had to do a lot of arm twisting.  He blocked civil rights legislation, unfortunately, for years, but he get the troops rallied when he needed them.  We don't have leaders today -- just folks afraid of wetting their pants at a press conference.

        My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

        by gchaucer2 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:13:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm on the verge of walking out on this party (26+ / 0-)

    After the "leadership" shamefully and cravenly caved in to George W. Bush on FISA (ironically, the weekend of Yearly Kos), I decided that I would not give this party a dime of my money or a minute of my time until it stood up for the Constitution and stood up to Bush and his war. That hasn't happened, nor do I expect it to.

    I still plan to vote for the Democratic ticket in 2008. However, my time and money will be spent on other causes (and, if a promising progressive runs locally, on that person).

    Beyond 2008, however, all options are on the table. I'm sick and tired of mossbacks like Steny Hoyer, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel taking a big steaming crap on us from a great height--for no better reason than to demonstrate that they're still the bosses of the party.

    "I'll rant as well as thou."--Hamlet, Act V, Scene 1.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:26:01 PM PST

    •  Mossbacks! (6+ / 0-)

      Recommended not only for the politics, but also for nailing those antiquated conservative posers.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:29:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't give a dime (10+ / 0-)

      to any of the Dem PAC's, Barbara Boxer's letters notwithstanding.  Every single penny of my political contributions go straight to progressive candidates.  Not letting the Mossbacks decide who gets to use my greenies.

      Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

      by drbloodaxe on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:37:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, greenearth, adrianrf

      No money to the presidential candidates or anybody else. I got the first of what I'm sure will be many fundraising letters from my member of Congress on Friday. It went straight into the trash.

      "We didn't create this fetid political swamp, we just live in it." - Digby

      by Whigsboy on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:40:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Don't necessarily agree with the tactic... (0+ / 0-)

        because it strikes me as throwing up my hands, walking away, and letting the wolves have free-reign over the herd, but...

        (And I will grant you that to continue the analogy, the Dems are probably no better than jackals, but if all you've got to choose from is being attacked by wolves vs. jackals, I think I'll choose the jackals.)

        If you're going to do something like that anyway, at least take their return envelope, take a couple of minutes to write a short letter, then send that to them, so at least they KNOW why they're NOT getting a contribution from you.

        TANGENT ALERT: I used to get junk mail from some dating service, found out that it was the non-online equivalent of eHarmony--it was for heterosexuals only. I used to take their pre-paid return envelopes, put nothing inside, seal them up, then print on the back of the envelope something to the effect of, "Do you really think there are ONLY men looking for women (and vice-versa) out there?" And felt good about the fact that they had to pay to get that envelope back in the mail. Other junk mail that was even more offensive once or twice even got returned to the company with their pre-paid envelope taped to a brick, to maximize the weight they had to pay for!

  •  You Buy It, You Own It (9+ / 0-)

    It is crystal clear that the Congressional Democrats are divided and incapable at best, and incompetent at worst.

    Actually, they are at worst deliberately perpetuating the war to make it cheaper and easier to beat Republicans in November, to get a power monopoly trifecta bigger than Republicans ever had. Without the Iraq War that gets you caught, but with the Iraq War that gets you paid.

    Which means there's no reason to believe they'll ever end the war. Especially when their campaign is designed primarily to protect the chances of a 60%+ Democratic Senate, lined up behind Senator Clinton (who promises to keep the war going, even if "only to fight the Qaeda"), but also able to veto any possible plans by Senator Obama, (recent) Senator Edwards, Senator Dodd, or Senator Biden.

    If 5% of the Senate is running for the Democratic nomination, therefore at least nominally against this unpopular war, there should be no doubt that the war will end. Instead there's little doubt but that it will continue.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:26:53 PM PST

    •  The realpolitic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, brentmack

      outcome based on

      deliberately perpetuating the war to make it cheaper and easier to beat Republicans in November

      is that they will then end it, as they cannot act like someone is keeping them from it.  I guess we'll see in 2009...

      •  Why Would They? (0+ / 0-)

        That's exactly the position Nixon was in in 1968. But he didn't end the Vietnam War. The "we're in the minority" excuse is long gone, and they cannot act like someone else is keeping them from it, but they're keeping it going.

        I expect they will adopt the Republican "we'd leave chaos and Greater Iran behind if we pulled out now" position that's worked. Maybe gambling that they're starting from a huger majority than Republicans did in 2003, and hoping that no serious Republicans will be calling for the war to end, either. I wouldn't be surprised if they just think that "Iraq = Republicans" for the next generation, even if it doesn't, as a reckless reason to keep it running even after Republicans are long gone.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 07:54:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is a third choice.... (31+ / 0-)

    beyond incapable or incompetent.  Complicit.  And it looks more and more that the Dems have avoided a fight, or waged ineffective ones because they are complicit in the wrongdoing.

    It's painful to admit, and certainly not all of them are complicit, but sadly, enough of them.  It's pretty clear to me why impeachment was taken off the table.  Any indictment of Bush and Cheney would expose the enablers.  And the enablers are not limited to the Republican party.

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:27:12 PM PST

  •  I Beg to Differ - (9+ / 0-)

    They do give a shit about us.
    They want us to contribute.

  •  We need Al Gore as our leader. (6+ / 0-)

    Anyone else for president is just the second choice.

  •  Oii, my head aches (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, PsychoSavannah, greenearth

    I think the Dems just have a tough time dealing with the concept of stalemate.  Perhaps they haven't figured out that sometimes a stalemate is the best course of action.

    We all hoped that the GOP would break with Bush.  Without some support from them, it's hard to force Bush's hand and impossible to override his vetoes.
    So, the next best choice is stalemate.

    •  They afraid of being called names (7+ / 0-)

      that's basically what it is. If they don't 'support the troops' (whatever the hell that means), the big bad press (and the loud, loud pundits) will call them names.

      Names like 'poopy-head' and 'sissy-pants' and the ever-popular 'girly-man' (or 'manly-girl'). And if they see the pundits on the street, they might give them a wedgie.

      We need to be louder than the pundits are. We're close, but we still don't have the 'clout' they do. I think it's because we don't have the fancy cocktail parties...

  •  Why is this whole story above the fold? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman

    Does not make for easy navigating of the home page. I don't mean to single this post out -- I have noticed this happening a lot lately....

    "We are building a political movement -- not one that wields the power of lobbyists and corporate interests, but the power of millions... who seek change." --De

    by Jim in Chicago on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:28:20 PM PST

  •  Yesterday... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I posted a diary entitled Clinton-Obama-Edwards: Who gets us out of Iraq?. And from that diary, I here repost its conclusion...

    So there you have it. Three candidates, three plans. None of them ideally stated, to my way of thinking.

    And all of them taking place only after several hundred billion more dollars spent.

    And after hundreds more troops killed.

    And thousands more Iraqis dead.

    And while you consider the different plans, take a moment to remember the soldier who said...

    We're at war. America's at the mall.

    Fitting for the season, though it might now be restated as...

    We're at war. America's waiting 13 more months to begin doing anything about getting us out of it.

    p.s. The diary was inspired by the exclusion of Iraq as a topic at the NPR Iowa debate. No wonder Democratic 'leaders' feel safe in ignoring it as well.

    The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

    by two roads on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:28:25 PM PST

  •  Symbolic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While I wish the Democrats would start and/or continue to develop and send bills -- on health care, veterans' and social security benefits, education reform, etc. -- for Bush to sign, I for one don't have a problem with the Democratic Congress not spending its time writing up symbolic bill after symbolic bill that won't have veto-proof support just to placate the netroots. Fine, go ahead and villianize compromise, but then don't expect anything to get done with the current make-up of the government.

    I realize some people get their jollies seeing Bush veto something they wrote especially to be voted, a piece of pure, undiluted goodness destined to die. But an unpassed law is the same as a never written law to me, to the American people, and most important to the law books. I view what you're asking for as a waste of time, on their part and ours. Let's raise cash and figure out enactable policy.

  •  I see few good choices (8+ / 0-)
    1. Primary them ruthlessly.  Unfortunately, this doesn't produce the necessary result often enough to make a dent.  We need the Dems from Republican districts to keep our majority.
    1. Editorialize against them ruthlessly.  You can embarrass them a little, but the big media outlets are more likely to burn a Dem who acts like a real Dem than one who acts like a "centrist" Republican.
    1. Start another party.  This hasn't worked well at all but if they keep it up, it might be the only thing let to a bunch of desperate progressives.  Our two-party system resists progressive thought.  If we had a parliamentary democracy it would work wonderfully.
    1. Build a progressive bench.  Maybe the only thing that will work long term.  Start electing progressive candidates to the low-level offices in your town/county/parish/school board.  It's a generation-long project, but if there are lots of experienced progressives, it's possible the next wave of throw the bums out will bring real progress to Congress and the White House.
  •  People will take bad leadership (13+ / 0-)

    Over no leadership.  And that's been the position of the Republicans and the Democrats for two decades.

    Republicans have done more to advance their causes in the last six years, than Democrats have managed since the mid 60s.

  •  Hurrah, the splurge worked (4+ / 0-)

    let's keep funding the fucker, war, decider, commander guy,  worst President in the history of the United States, and let the people know we were wrong all along and by the way let's send Pelosi a waterboard for Christmas.

    "Embarrassing, embarrassing. No Wonder why we're going down the tubes." Larry Craig's arresting officer.

    by Chamonix on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:28:52 PM PST

  •  That whole "We need the Presidency" thing (4+ / 0-)

    Doesn't that mean it all boils down to Roe?

    It sounds like you're saying that the party establishment's perpetual excuse for its cowardice is that it has to chart a course that allows it to provide cover for the cowards that are seeking the Presidency.  And that the Presidency is critical because of the SCOTUS.

    Well, the SCOTUS seems critical because of Roe.  On just about everything else, the right has gotten very little for all of its judicial appointments, other than Bush v. Gore.  The SCOTUS still routinely shoots down particularly egregious unitary executive nonsense because the SCOTUS believes in judicial supremacy above all else.  So it seems like it all comes down to Roe.

    At this point, doesn't it seem like it may be necessary to just let Roe go?  That eliminates the need to play the whole game about protecting centrist Presidential candidates, and frankly if Roe ever does go the Republican party is likely to get torn to shreds in the aftermath.  They think they want the chance to campaign against abortion rights at the state level, but that will destroy them.  If abortion ever went back to the states it would just lead, within a few years, to the destruction of the state level Republican parties.

    So instead of sacrificing your entire agenda to protect a single Supreme Court decision that actually probably benefits the religious right politically more than anyone else, isn't it time to try a new approach?

    •  Wrong (6+ / 0-)

      Your reduction of the Democratic Party's abuse of its members to holding it hostage with Roe v Wade is wrong at every step.

      A Democratic Senate could block even Bush's appointment of Supremes. Hell, a strong Democratic Senate minority could block it. Furthermore, there's of course quite a lot more than appoint justices that any president can do, as we've seen - like lie us into war. And then there's all that Bush has done with his control of the Court, topped by insurance for his Unitary Executive system with which Republicans have replaced our Constitutional democratic republic.

      So I'm almost uninterested in hearing what "new approach" you'd prefer. Like outlawing all abortion? Or letting Republicans keep the presidency? Or maybe somehow giving Republicans the Court, but keeping everything else?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:34:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, personally I think that... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Paolo, Sparhawk

        ...the party leadership should adopt the most confrontational style possible, and that going over the falls in a barrel on just about every issue in dispute today would be better governance than what we've had, and would be better politics too.  Including Presidential politics.  Attempting to chart an "electability" course has been and will continue to be a loser.

        So we're not talking about the strategy that I would personally advocate here.

        I'm just responding to the OP's thesis that one reason the leadership has not led is their desperate fear of losing the Presidency and the ability to appoint SCOTUS judges.  And all I'm saying is that if this is true - if they are continually caving on every issue because they are terrified of not making the next couple of SCOTUS appointments - well, it seems an awfully high price to pay to protect Roe.  Because I continue to believe that even if Roe fell, the abortion laws that would pass in red states would be repealed within a fairly short time, because even the red staters wouldn't stand for the results, and that the process of this working itself out would tear the state Republican parties to pieces.

        But hey, maybe the OP is wrong and the leadership failure here has nothing to do with Presidential politics.  Maybe they're just natural born cowards.  If that's the case then the entire discussion is moot.

    •  Interersting Idea (0+ / 0-)

      In essense, allow the Republican's to show their true stripes.  No government in the board room so we can have more government in your bedroom eh?

      Want to watch Republican economic theories in action? Look at Iraq.

      by Michaelpb on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:45:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I boggle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not that I even agree with it 'all being about the presidency', but sacrificing the lives of tens, hundreds of thousands of women to be treated as second class citizens who don't have control over their own bodies and letting the western theocrats control them instead?  We've already seen where a lot of the states want to go with that, as they've been throwing together state legislation to ban abortions and routinely having the courts stomp it down.

      Given that sort of logic, all I can say is, your best way to economic prosperity is probably to send me your life savings in small unmarked bills.  I'll manage your wealth for you from  my new estate in the Bahamas.

      Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

      by drbloodaxe on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:46:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Imagine how one would feel (0+ / 0-)

      if they knew abortion played no role in their life whatsoever? Such a person really wouldn't want to trade peace, the environment and the middle class for something that was not a part of his life at all.

  •  PLEASE!! I need an ADVOCATE. (5+ / 0-)

    I've already got plenty of adversaries.

    My heart is breaking as my vision of sugarplums is turning into moose-turd pie.  And, NO, it's NOT GOOD.

    "Can you hear the grasshopper at your feet?" -Master Po

    by DW Dawg on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:29:09 PM PST

  •  Damned straight. (10+ / 0-)

    But what do we do?  We need an FDR, a JFK, and what do we get?  Triangulation.


    We need to flush the entire current Republican party down the toilet, and then slap every wavering Democrat around for a while, until they get anrgry enough to accomplish something good.

    The nation is dying, and Hoyer is making stupid deals with zealots, who would rather destroy the country than compromise.  Watch "Meet John Doe" sometime.  It's a hokey movie, but it portrays the Republican party perfectly.

  •  On a minor grammatical note (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, Pompatus, Inland

    Regarding the diary title, I believe the proper title should be "What Can Be Done With Democrats Who (not That) Refuse to Lead."

  •  We need our own Gingrich (0+ / 0-)

    That's what we need!  We need a progressive Gingrich who will displace the current compromising old guard, just like Newt did with the moderate Bob Michel in 1994.

  •  DLC (0+ / 0-)

    ...they largely destroyed their own relevancy themselves.

    Ahhh, if only that were actually true.

    In reality, they've just pulled the curtains on their little operation. The no longer trumpet who their members are -- except for the ones they can't really avoid mentioning. But it's not as if they have gone away or that the people involved in the DLC and the New Democrats have disappeared off the face of the earth. They've just come to the conclusion that it's better to work in the background, because the current perception of them is a liability.

    Note that while Hillary Clinton, one of the people featured on the DLC's website banner was supposedly "spurning" the DLC convention by appearing briefly at Yearly Kos, Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker in Nashville.

    I'm sure there's been a lot of talk about that article in The Washington Post which is basically an obituary for the DLC. Rest in Peace. It basically said that our work was over at the DLC and there's not much need for us anymore because all the Democrats now recognize that to win we have to try to be uniting and reach across lines that divide us, that independents and Republicans are now more receptive to our message because of Iraq, the economy, the incompetence of cronyism as manifested in Katrina and lord knows where else, and the abuse of power. Then I saw a survey that said the progressive label now has more appeal to Americans than the conservative label, although by only 35-32.


    And as long as the Democrats need to be in the solutions business, there'll be a need for the DLC.

    I think there will be a staggering loss of human life out of all proportion to the stakes involved... Sen. George McGovern, March 1965

    by darrelplant on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:30:28 PM PST

  •  I have brought up... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alma, greenearth

    our mission statement before.  To be plain I think it needs changing.

  •  The Dems need to fight like Stan Jonathan (3+ / 0-)

    But the Dems never fight (and never will). They always go down bad like Pierre Bouchard. Face it folks. This is our reality!

    1978 Stanley Cup Finals
    Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens, game four
    Stan Jonathan vs. Pierre Bouchard

  •  As always, Hunter, you write beautifully (13+ / 0-)

    but now I am thoroughly miserable. I've never felt so enraged...or so impotent.

  •  They are storing nuts. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, ogre, jxg, PsychoSavannah, greenearth

    As long as the conventional wisdom is "90% of the country's problems are due to Republicans" the Democrats in charge can sit, wait and occassionally posture until the public gets to the magical "total intolerance" of the Republican Party. It's not about doing anything to inspire the people; it's about doing just enough to not hget kicked out, while waiting for the GOP to screw up to the point where Joe Sixpack grabs a torch and/or pitchfork.

    In a disturbingly sick way, some of them want us to get so pissed out that we'll mob DC. It would make their job so much easier. But guess what? Between job(s), school, families, poor health and Lordknowswhatelse protesting just isn't the national pasttime it once was.

    But that's why the Civil Rights Movement was fought in the streets in not in the halls of Congress.

    Politics is the deliberation of one's moral enterprise.

    by Omen on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:32:27 PM PST

  •  Sign me up twice, Hunter... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, ogre, Pompatus, greenearth, LucyMO

    You almost sound as pissed off as me over the candy-asses running the current show.

    Everyone I think recognizes the problem- but I have yet to hear a solution that doesn't involve nearly Samurai like tenacity to execute.

  •  That's why I moved to Hawaii (5+ / 0-)

    after the Republicans took over DC in 1994. Life is short.

    Sometimes you can't fix the problems.

    Sometimes you have to move on.

    But this isn't one of those times. We need to light a fire under the potential leaders with promise and boot out the money grubbing power hungry corporate lackeys like Steny Hoyer.

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:32:54 PM PST

  •  The Post is posited on a foolish title (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All I want are elected Democrats who will represent the public and voters.

    We don't need any Leaders!  Just elected officials who are willing to represent the will of the voters.

  •  We're schizophrenic here on DKos... (6+ / 0-)

    The common wisdom is that we should be idealists during the Primaries, and pragmatists during the General. Unless we really get organized and fight like hell for the best candidates during the Primaries, we're just emboldening the DINOs and Bush-enablers to take us for granted. After all, why should they listen to us? We scatter our energies and our loyalties during the Primaries, and they know that as long as they can make it into the General they can count on our vote against any Republican.

  •  Primary (4+ / 0-)

    They might get the message when they lose their primary. They will ignore anything else we do.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:33:49 PM PST

  •  Mutiny. Rename the party: The Progressive Party (5+ / 0-)

    Draft a platform that cuts through the shit.

    The Democratc brand is so goddamned tarnished that no one even notices when Dems are venal and lazy and cowardly and self-interested. Because the leadership doesn't even try to dispell that belief. Only by remaking the party entirely, allowing the pigs getting fat at the trough to run along to the richer corporate gruel over in the GOP can we do something. I don't know what else to say. The Democrats are ruined. We were ruined in the 80's, and it's been downhill since.

    Resistance is the secret of joy. - Alice Walker

    by benheeha on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:34:32 PM PST

  •  If only it were this easy: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman

    Perhaps the answer is to excise the worst, surgically. And I don't mean individual conservative Democrats or Blue Dogs, but the sabotaging powerbrokers, the people strategizing out these absurd passion plays of pre-planned cowardice, in the name of not pissing off the mythical "center" of the country that demands complicity in all Republican agendas, whether it be scapegoating immigrants or continuing to look for a magical Iraqi pony that would finally make the entire bungled war worth it.

    Hunter, I feel your pain, and I agree it's frustrating, but the center of gravity in American politics is the average American.   The policies of either party never stray too far from that center.   In the Democratic party, for every Henry Wallace, there has been a Scoop Jackson to keep equilibrium around that center.  Like it or not, political evolution keeps the organisms (parties) that live and propagate themselves near that middle, especially where there is an institutionalized two party system.  

    The progressive wing/fundie wings of either party will always influence where we are in relation to that center, but that's about all they will do.  They will never really lead either party, even if we switched to a parliamentary form of government.  That's the harsh reality we have to deal with.  

    Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:34:41 PM PST

    •  And the average American gets their news from... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paolo, adrianrf, RenMin

      ...sources owned by, or cowed by, the right wing.

      This is intentional:

      Beset by growing public outrage over the Vietnam War, Nixon determined that Republicans needed a more compliant media to promote their points of view -- and to make his hardball political strategies work.


      But Nixon found the press corps harder to manipulate than it was during the early years of the Cold War. He lectured his staff on the need to bully journalists into line. Nixon believed "the press and TV don't change their attitude and approach unless you hurt them," Haldeman recounted on April 21, 1972. "The only way we can fight the whole press problem, [Nixon] feels, is through the [Charles] Colson operation, the nutcutters, forcing our news and in a brutal vicious attack on the opposition."

      Two months later, Nixon's pugnacious politics would come a cropper in the Watergate scandal. As the scope of Nixon's criminality slowly emerged, The Washington Post and other major news outlets led the way in exposing the evidence and ultimately forcing Nixon's resignation on Aug. 9, 1974.

      The disgraced president retreated to his estate in San Clemente, Calif. But Nixon's followers blamed the "liberal" news media for hounding Nixon from office and for "losing" the Vietnam War. They concluded that a more conservative press was vital to their success.

      Taking the lead in this endeavor was Nixon's treasury secretary, William Simon, who was president of the John M. Olin Foundation. In the late 1970s, Simon began pulling together executives of other conservative foundations with the goal of building "OUR establishment."

      In 1979, Simon argued in his book, A Time for Truth, that only a strong conservative ideological movement could break the back of the dominant Liberal Establishment. Simon accused this Liberal Establishment of enforcing misguided concepts of "equality" and of being "possessed of delusions of moral grandeur."

      To build the Right's "counter-intelligentsia" and to transform the Republican Party into a conservative weapon would require "multi-millions" from business, Simon said. Simon's Olin Foundation allied itself with other like-minded foundations to advance this cause, giving rise to the nucleus of the Right's national infrastructure of think tanks, media and pressure groups.

      In 1980, Simon published A Time for Action, which demanded that the "death grip" of the Liberal Establishment and its "New Despotism" be broken. Simon saw the news media as part of the enemy camp. He especially targeted journalists who, Simon charged, "have been working overtime to deny liberty to others."

      Through his writing and his actions, Simon emerged as the principal architect of the Right-Wing Machine's financial structure, while others provided more of its intellectual framework. As then-journalist Sidney Blumenthal wrote, "by controlling the wellsprings of funding, Simon makes the movement green."

      •  The Right does not control the MSM, (0+ / 0-)

        but it does control talk radio, where a good chunk of America get their microcephalic noggins washed.  Why is that, he asked rhetorically?  

        Because that crap sells.

        Air America tanked because no one bought it.  Give Rachel Maddow the audience of Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity and they might actually listen and learn.   You won't see that happen, though, because Progressive thought is thoughtful, and requires concentration, while Right Wing Agit-Prop stirs the juices and the reptilian cores of the brains of a large chunk of the unwashed masses.

        Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

        by SpamNunn on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:52:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  FOX is the MSM (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          adrianrf, SpamNunn

          And the cons bought off most of Big Media back under Reagan (that's what the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine was about, and it was that repeal that made the rapid conservative-financed growth of right-wing talk radio possible).  Go check out On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency for more on this.  (It's got exponentially worse in the 1990s, but the seeds were planted early on.)

          •  I don't get exercised over Faux News. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            There are other MSM TV and cable outlets that balance  out the bullshit, IMHO.  

            Right wing talk radio is the creation of the market.   If more people liked progressive radio, NPR would win the ratings wars every time.   Sad but true.

            I don't really dig the Fairness Doctrine either.  To me, that's a misnomer.  Anytime the government can tell you what's fair (as opposed to the marketplace), there is something wrong.  The blogosphere makes the Fairness Doctrine obsolete.  I get most of my news on the Internet.  Don't you?   I find the stories that interest me, Google them and read as much as I can on both sides of any issue.   That's fair.  

            I'll check out that book.  Thanks for the tip.

            Because everyone has one. Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

            by SpamNunn on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:17:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely Right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The problem goes even deeper than corporatist cowardly leadership.  Most Democrats are far too complacent over the right-wing influence over the media.  Your post is dead-on.

    •  But the center moves... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ye old overton window.

      The dems seems content to help move the center to the right.

    •  I question your definition of "center" n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Emailing this to my Dem rep tonight (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, greenearth, adrianrf

    That's one Jason Altmire, who, while doing some good in his brief time in that swamp, has also been one of the worst offenders of following the Republican frame, all because he thinks -- or is being told -- that in his conservative district, with a huge Democratic registration advantage BTW, he must be sure not to veer too far left or, gasp, the Republicans will say bad things about him.

    Thanks, Hunter, you have put into words something every progressive in this country needs to read.

    "We didn't create this fetid political swamp, we just live in it." - Digby

    by Whigsboy on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:35:07 PM PST

  •  Democrats that refuse to lead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am assuming you meant to refer to Democrats as "that" instead of "who"; indicating they shouldn't be included in the people category? (snark)

    "I'm not going to be your monkey", Jon Stewart

    by gabie on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:35:49 PM PST

  •  At this point... (5+ / 0-)

    I think that the party hacks have seen the long arc, and are opting for the safest, most profitable (to them) options.

    Short form: Democrats thrash the GOP in '08.  Actually, it turns out to be more that the GOP thrashes the GOP unto death in '08, runing on war, hate, suffering, misery -- and more tax cuts for the wealthy.  Even a Blue Dog can see stupid for what it is... and get out of the way.

    The Democratic Party will race rightward to occupy the space from somewhat right of center to somewhat left of center, looking to hog the political space.  And they'll succeed.  The shattered remnants of the GOP will go off to finish sticking knives in each other, while the corporate interests buy in--and buy off--the bulk of the Democrats. The country will be better off--but that's not saying much, really.  Howdy-Doody could do a better job than the current administration and powers that be; it's not that high a standard.

    The progressive end of the political spectrum will peel off--in layers, bitterly--over the next 20 years, discovering that the fire sale to the right means that The People get screwed on a regular basis, and thanks for the votes, but don't expect anything. The party leadership will be fat and happy--they own the center, lock, stock and barrel.

    Slowly, growing pressure on the left will coalesce a party there that's the real minority party, and the Democrats will jink slowly rightward in reaction.

    Yeats leaps to mind:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

    by ogre on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:36:45 PM PST

    •  All hail the Progressive Party. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, Pompatus, greenearth

      The only question is how we make the shift to creating  it from the ashes of the ruined Democrats.

      Resistance is the secret of joy. - Alice Walker

      by benheeha on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:41:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have split the apple, Mr. Tell. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Getting elected with all of the good intentions one can have doesn't inoculate the newby congressperson from the toxicity of Beltway culture.

      You know how some pro teams assign a handler to a young, newly rich athlete?  Its a wonderful idea to have an interpreter for your investment.  Why can't we do the same with congressional fresh-persons.

      Help them get through that frat rush period, where they discover that they have SO MANY NEW FRIENDS.

      You know what I mean?

      "Can you hear the grasshopper at your feet?" -Master Po

      by DW Dawg on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:45:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just one more dance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, johnnyNYC, greenearth

    this time for the Supreme Court, but afterwards if they keep stepping on my toes, something is going to have to change.

  •  Elect John Edwards (10+ / 0-)

    Edwards could not get the press to like him if he personally had sex with every one of them.

    Great line.  Why does the press hate him?  Because he represents change, and he honestly calls out the tragicomedy of our national situation.  

    We will never have change if we only elect candidates that the press likes, because the press will never like candidates who will bring transformative change.

  •  Dems are utterly worthless (5+ / 0-)

    They have fallen for every trap, every idiocy that Republicans have laid out for them.

    By not investigating Bush, even if they don't go for impeachment, they have in many people's mind admitted the whole "he lied" is a liberal invention and that they prosecuted this war exactly "how the generals wanted" rather than as an exercise in cronyism at best and treason at worst.  No investigation = no guilt in many people's minds.

    Same goes for things like this funding bill.  We are once again the party of "tax and spend liberals" who pack pork into everything.  I mean Rove has to be salivating at the chance to use this in '08!  

    Cutting spending and raising taxes can be sold to the American public but spending more isn't going to cut it, at least not unless that money is tied to something huge like "fuck arab's and their oil, lets go solar" along with a new and profitable technology for American firms and to create American jobs.

    The Bankruptcy bill was a perfect place to stand up for the middle class, as is the subprime mortgage mess, but they sold out to money both times.  I mean, who ARE these Dems?

    As it is, if I wanted Republicans I would at least vote for real ones, not ones cloaked with a "D" after their name.

    I swear to god I am going to vote for Kucinich or Ron Paul or some other fringe candidate as long as the Dem is going to win.  Show them the erosion of their support.

    Want to watch Republican economic theories in action? Look at Iraq.

    by Michaelpb on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:39:11 PM PST

  •  Expand the "base," find the donors (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    benheeha, countrycat, auntialias, JWSwift

    whatever you think the "base" is, from the ground up, starting at the local level.

    This "me, me, now, now" approach that the diarist appears to be taking does not work, never has worked, and never will work.

    You cannot attack Hoyer or Rahm Emanuel directly. They are too strong and would win any primary battle. We have the same situation here in WA with Norm Dicks. Other Representatives here, such as Adam Smith, have proven more responsive to constituent and activist outreach.

    Response will come from House and Senate leaders only when strength behind, or opposed to, a member's position is made manifest in numbers.

    If this is heresy, so be it, but the "progressive blogosphere," or "netroots," means dick! Our votes are counted. Only when those efforts are seen to be the will of vast percentages of the constituency do those efforts matter.

    In my personal experience, for what that is worth, the sentence that has gotten me a guaranteed response is: "I am your supporter, as you well know, but I am seriously concerned about your position on (xxx) and would like to discuss it with you."

    When 50 to 100 known supporters, and I mean donors, do that, the members take notice. You bet they do.

    That is the way to get at these guys. Find their donors who agree with your position (FEC or Fundrace), and work through them. We have to mobilize the party rank and file while we are doing this, and much more. But that is the first step. I hope that is somewhat helpful.

    "Lash those traitors and conservatives with the pen of gall and wormwood. Let them feel -- no temporising!" - Andrew Jackson to Francis Preston Blair, 1835

    by Ivan on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:39:57 PM PST

    •  good point (0+ / 0-)

      We do that on a small scale with our local Blue Dog, Bud Cramer.  When a group arranges a meeting, we always try to have several contributors and local party leaders there.

      Don't know that he's gotten better, but there are worse Congresscritters.  

      Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

      by countrycat on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:45:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Guyer

    Calling all Kossacks, wake up! Why does everyone here think the Dems will bring change? Everything the Dems have done(or failed to do)since Nov.2006 has been to codify all of us that voted them into office. Pelosi/Reid have been going through the motions to give the appearance of doing the peoples will. The troops are still in Iraq, the money continues to flow and we have seen multiple examples of the complicity of Dems in supporting the status quo. It is all about the oil and always has been. Permanent troops, permanent bases, permanent embassies, permanent puppet governments, permanent mercenary armies, permanent funding, permanent imperialism, permanent pain and suffering, permanent death. Regardless of who is president.

    •  SCHIP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Increasing the minimum wage, stopping terrible trade agreements, increasing fin. aid to college students, environmental protection, blocking most of Bush's legislation.

      You're right, nothing good has come of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate

      •  A moderately responsible congress too (0+ / 0-)

        And at least under a democratic congress there is some investigation into criminal behavior and wrongdoing.

        On a 1-10 scale I give the current democrats a 6.

      •  hang on there, young Jedi (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Dems didn't stop "terrible trade agreements; they are the ones who fasttracked NAFTA.  

        I can't think of ANY Bush legislation that they "blocked" over the past seven years (including funding the war).  No Supreme Court nominees that they "blocked", either.

        As for increasing the minimum wage, the Dems didn't pass that -- George Bush did, by deigning not to veto it.  If Bush had vetoed it, the Dems would have just wet their pants and run home crying like they always do.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers

        by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 05:17:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  One thing we CAN do is (7+ / 0-)
    Embarrass 'em. When they speak, stump, etc., show up and ask them the hard questions, same's we would Bush, if they'd let us in. Ask why they continue funding the war, etc., etc. Say, "I thought you were campaigning to represent US." Say, "You didn't answer my question."
  •  Maybe, just maybe (8+ / 0-)

    we need to figure out someplace else to go.

    People around here who express the desire for another place to go -- a new party, a progressive party -- are generally trollrated into oblivion.  "This site is about electing Democrats!" they're admonished, and then they're told to leave.

    Few people even seem willing to ask the question -- What are we supposed to do if the Democrats we're electing keep betraying us? -- and even fewer seem willing to answer it.

    I can only say this much -- simply electing more Democrats is not the solution.  It's past time for Daily Kos to get past that and focus on making real, not just cosmetic, changes in this country.

    Choosing the lesser of two evils is still to choose evil. -- teacherken, 10/20/07

    by Mehitabel9 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:41:14 PM PST

  •  Great rant, but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, adrianrf're still missing the critical piece of it.  

    When at the end of the day you’re unwilling to break with your party no matter how important the issue, your party has no reason to respect or listen to you.  That's the bottom line.  Your criticisms amount to nothing if in the final reckoning the message remains: vote Democrat.

    Because you're right, they know they have you, so what they're doing now are trying to expand.  Why wouldn't they?  The question is: what the hell are you gonna do about it?  I'll tell you what: not a goddamn thing.        

    Because partisanship is more important than ideology.

    I've no idea why so many people seem so willing to submit themselves to various versions of one party rule.  The only electoral stick you have is your vote, and if you're unwilling to wield it no matter how important the issue, you write that away in a lifetime blank check.  

    What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam? Bush knew how to get out of Vietnam.

    by glibfidget on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:42:12 PM PST

  •  Why would any dem congressman vote against war? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, jxg, DKHOLLA, adrianrf

    Not only is there no punishment for it, we are currenltly threatening to promote HRC and JE, who voted for the IWR.

    Rationally, any congressman who wanted to be nationally renowned of not president would enable the war, knowing that at most he'd have to apologize some years from now.

    Sorry, that's the moral hazard of supporting HRC, JE, Dodd or Biden.

    Read Obama's 2002 speech against invading Iraq.

    by Inland on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:42:17 PM PST

    •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, adrianrf

      That's why I'll never vote for any of them. It needs to be emblazoned in the history books that no Democratic politician that voted for the Iraq war EVER became President.

      That is so important to me that I'd almost rather have a Repub in office in '08 than to break with it, even recognizing all the damage that the Repub would do.

      We can't let them get away with this shit. Voting for the AUMF needs to be a career-killing error and every politician, particularly Dems, needs to be scared to death in the future to make that mistake again. In fact, what should have happened was a wave of Dem primaries in '04 and '06 that wiped out a good portion of the pro-war Dems (i.e. a 2006-style wipeout in primaries for pro-war people).

      I want Hillary to suffer for this. Rather than breezing through her primary with, who, Tasini was it in 2006?, Hillary should have had to barely survive a bruising primary or actually get knocked out. Instead, she's the frontrunner for President? Something is seriously wrong here.

      So, forgive me if I don't pledge to work particularly hard for traitors like Hillary and J.E. (who's too late, cosponsoring the Iraq AUMF is a political death sentence for me: if you want to "help people" now then found a charity as far as I'm concerned). And Obama? Don't get me started on what a failure and disappointment I've found that guy to be, though I may actually hold my nose and pull the lever for him despite my disdain and suspicion that he would have voted for the AUMF had he been in the Senate at the time (Unfair? Tough, Obama. Maybe you should have voted against a few more funding bills then).

      Anyway, screw those losers. We need actual leadership (Al Gore, Russ Feingold, for fuck's sake the Dixie Chicks have done more than Hillary to do something about the war).


  •  Ayayay! It's a bad situation. Blame Bush (0+ / 0-)

    No matter what they pass, he's going to veto it.  
    Even if 112% of the country think it is a great idea, Bush will pull out his purple crayon and put a giant *"X"* on the bill.  Now, I'm all for stringing Steny up by his gonads and there are plenty other Dems who cave WAAAY too easily.  
    BUT, you fail to credit the vast majority of Dems who want desperately to do the right thing and are stuck between a rock and a big baby.  We can't afford to be so cynical.  If we sink into that mind frame, we might as well just watch reality shows and Danielle Steele novels.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:42:39 PM PST

    •  Want desperately to do the right thing? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So, at the risk of sounding cynical... what the f**k is stopping them?

      Are you going to tell me that Rockefeller, and Harman, and any other Democrat who knew in 2002 that we were torturing people, were absolutely desperate to blow the whistle but were physically prevented somehow?

      I would have a difficult time accepting "I would have gone to prison" as a rationale for not doing that, much less "I would not have been reelected" or "I would have made the administration mad at me".

      If their children were being held hostage at Gitmo, then I'd agree they were coerced.  Otherwise, they can kiss my ass.

      Don't even get me started about people who voted for the AUMF.

      Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

      by stillnotking on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:16:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Politics is an extreme sport right now (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't know how deeply involved Pelosi et al were in the torture issue.  I don't know what legal restrictions were placed on them.
        But I do know one thing: the Bushies want to keep this war going indefinitely and WaPo has shown itself to be capable of taking Democrats down.  The timing couldn't be better if you wanted to pressure Pelosi, et al to cave on the budget.  
        We don't know how the story has been spun to make her look bad and we don't know that they aren't planning to roll out a document signed in her blood specifically authorizing waterboarding.  
        But I am not surprised that this little ditty was rolled out now.  The WH is playing rough.  Someone is going to get hurt.  It's usually us.  

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:49:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And NO, I don't think they're all bad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auntialias, Juche

        The Republicans would certainly like for the public to believe that they're all ambitious monsters with the souls of plankton.  But I don't believe that.  They came into office with both guns blazing and they passed some very tough bills with timelines in them.  But they were vetoed.  They tried negotiations.  They tried compromise.  They tried hanging tough.  But in the end, there is only one vote that counts: The President's.  
        The public wants them to do something.  They do it.  It gets vetoed.  That will be the pattern until Bush leaves.  
        Does it make you feel like you live in a Dictatorship?  Well, you are.  Does it make you feel helpless and frustrated?  It was designed to elicit just that response.  
        But knowing that, there is something you can do.  You can start putting the blame where it belongs.  On Bush and Steny and the other spineless Reps and Senators who get scared whenever they hear about not supporting the troops.  The others do not deserve you cynicism.  They are trapped as surely as you are.  
        Give them hope.  Tell them you will send reinforcements.  But don't lump them all together.  

        -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

        by goldberry on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:56:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Another commenter said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that voting for the AUMF should have been "a career-ending mistake".  I wholeheartedly concur with that sentiment.  As long as we are willing to keep voting for Democrats who egregiously abuse the public trust, they are going to keep on doing it.

          No doubt you'll tell me that Bush demanded the AUMF so he's to blame.  That's true, of course, and I will reiterate that I am not excusing him in any way.  The fact remains, however, that Democrats have been complicit in, or at least passively accepting of, the worst excesses of the administration for seven years now.  They have had numerous opportunities to do the right thing, and they haven't done it.  Ultimately, there is no excuse for that.

          Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

          by stillnotking on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:20:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would have supported the AUMF (0+ / 0-)

            It's the IWR I would have had trouble with.  
            Most of our candidates voted for it and the ones that didn't were not under the same kind of pressure.  
            I can say with some certaintly that I would have never voted for the IWR but it wasn't my constituents that were attacked and demanding safety first.  
            And if the president had allowed the inspectors to finish the job, there would have been no reason to go to war.  Now, we can all say in hindsight that Bush was going to war no matter what.  But even back then, there was a sliver of doubt that he would actually go through with it.  

            The problem with the Bushies is they have thrown away all the rules of conventional politics.  They are brazen.  They test their limits and exceed them and then they carefully manipulate public opinion to get away with it.  

            That makes me very concerned that we have no idea what they've really been up to.  I have this sneaking suspicion that after the Bushies leave, we are going to be astonished at the extent of the devastation they have wrecked on our government and economy.  I think that's why so many Republicans are leaving.  It's not so much the lobbying or being in the minority.  It's just that they don't want to be around when the clean-up job calls for harsh measures.  

            But in any case, you can't go back.  The Bushies were not like any other administration before them and with any luck, we will not see their type again.  They were an organized crime unit, not a governmental unit.  They were like a crazy person headed straight towards a speeding train and dragging the rest of us with him.  We're hostages to them right now.  

            -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

            by goldberry on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 07:40:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards ignored/dissed by media (4+ / 0-)

    ...Edwards could not get the press to like him if he personally had sex with every one of them.

    It's because he is somebody who wants to bring about broad, systemic change that he's ignored - or ridiculed.

    I posted in another diary this weekend:

    If John Edwards demonstrated the ability to simultaneously walk on water and generate a cold fusion reaction, the NYT headline would read:

    Edwards Campaign in Hot Water

    I don't know if he can overcome this.  We can only hope the voters in Iowa and other early states are smarter than the traditional media thinks they are.

    Which truly, wouldn't be hard.

    And even then, Edwards will have to deal with the cowardly Democrats in Congress.  Will an even larger majority have any stiffening effect on them?  I'm not holding my breath.

    Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

    by countrycat on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:42:43 PM PST

  •  What other lessons could Nader have taught? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m00nchild, zett, mightymouse, adrianrf

    There's a lot of talk on this site about how the folks who voted for Nader should feel crummy.  (I hope they learned their lesson!)

    And yet I can't help but wonder (and I'm having a tough time putting this into coherent words) if the establishment Dems could have learned something from that mishap. Like if you don't cater to your base, it will go awandering.

  •  I hear it every day... (7+ / 0-)

    ...from STAUNCH REPUBS(!) mind you, that their base has not cracks but fissures over Mister Bush"s handling of the war and his warrantless surveilliance program, among other things.

    I went to a family gathering in PA this weekend, and all mostly lifelong generation to generation-voting REPUBS there, who are completely disenchanted with their party. They all know I'm a solid as a rock lifelong Dem(I'm the "enemy"). All of them told me the same thing over and over again that they are willing to, get this, and let it sink-in, they are ready to VOTE DEM in '08! But only if we will change the way things are going. And that's where the rubber meets the road, as this diary showed:Leadership.

    This is why it is absolutely critical that our party distinguishes itself from the Bush repubs and shows some leadership(i.e., backbone)! The repubs are leaving their party in DROVES and we need to show them in the worst way that we'll get the job done, that we're the party for change. I hope that those of the Steny Hoyer mindset don't ruin the repub welcoming party for us.

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:42:55 PM PST

  •  Democrats are also to BLAME (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sparhawk, rlharry, adrianrf

    It should be crystal clear to everyone that Democrats are at the very least enabling the Fascist Bush to continue his unrelenting assault on our country and the Constitution.

    There is no question that Democrats in KEY leadership positions within our government our selling us out as FAST & HARD as we are trying to fight them - meaning Bush & Company.  Pelosi, Reid, Hoyer and the rest of their ilk are at the minimum TRAITORS to their Party, and arguebly TRAITORS to the United States.

    This weak-kneed Democrats have got to be BANISHED AND EXILED from our Party at all cost in order to prevent the complete collapse of democracy!!

  •  The Answer: Always take the LONG VIEW (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, JWSwift

    Hunter, I'm as conflicted as you are about this predicament.

    One the one hand I want to severly punish these two-timing bastards, on the other I've had up to Wilt Chamberlains neck with the cons/bushites.

    I think the way forward is to take the LONG VIEW.

    Things that give us short term gain must always be balanced against and sacrificed as necessary to support the long term (generational) advancement of the entire progressive project.

    I know it sounds trite, but that's the forumla that's allowed me to stay in the party and within the political system and not abandon them for my dream refuge (that sand blasted airstream in the high desert canyons of Utah).

    No quarter. No surrender.

    by hegemony57 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:43:37 PM PST

  •  Third Parties and Kucinich are off the table? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, Mehitabel9, adrianrf

    Face it, the Democrats know that they won't lose many people on the left from this.  Yet, we hear how we are wrong to vote Green and shouldn't vote for Kucinich.  We have really set the whole thing up for them to do just this.  What incentive do they have to do anything other than move as far to the right as they possibly can?

  •  Protest the Convention in Denver (5+ / 0-)

    Just like the Chicago 68 Democratic National Convention.  Count me in as one of the Denver 8, if it comes to that.  I am sick of the Democrats enabling Bush and this illegal war.  

    They haven't listened to us all year, next year will be no different.  I want peace.  I want our troops home now.  I want Iraqis to live without the fear of Blackwater.  I want our Party to condemn torture.  None of this is happening, it makes me sick.

  •  Can we start looking at creating that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    progressive third party yet? Until the choices are not limited to A and B there will always be a belief that they can slide by being the "not as bad" default choice. If it's worth anything I'm betting the conservatives are feeling exactly the same way about their chances at getting a candidate that represents them(and by far their prospects are way worse).

  •  Stop giving to the party committees (6+ / 0-)

    And choose individual campaigns to donate too. At least this way they are obliged to listen to our screams of frustration. A small but symbolic step towards holding them accountable that I took after last years results.

    Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU and Amnesty International Your voice is needed!

    by tnichlsn on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:46:49 PM PST

  •  Oh, and I believe in Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, Edgar08

    She and her surrogates have dropped enough hints on how she would govern that I feel completely at ease with my decision.  If some of us find it harder to pick up the signal from the noise, blame the overly negative hyperbolic diaries, Tweety, Russert and our own stubborness.  

    I don't believe the crap that's flung around about her because it doesn't fit the evidence.  And peace, prosperity and good government never goes out of style.  

    That being said, until she secures the nomination, she has to be very careful of not only the minefield that the GOP is preparing to lay for her but our own side.  I hope we're done with it.  She really is the best of our choices.  

    -3.63, -4.46 "Choose something like a star to stay your mind on- and be staid"

    by goldberry on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:47:16 PM PST

  •  We must attack from below, for sure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, adrianrf, JWSwift

    but it will be wasted if we don't get some help from the top.  The statement

    Edwards could not get the press to like him if he personally had sex with every one of them.

    just goes to show me that Edwards is the one that we should continue pushing.  Why doesn't he get the print, I don't think its just cause they don't think he's cute-he is trouble for their centrist, corporate theology.  Clinton is the poster for a centrist, corporate democrat, and Obama thinks he can bring republicans on board in spite of the fact that they will just put holes in the ship if they are allowed on board.

    Its a real shame to me that the likelihood that we will have a Democratic house and Senate will be wasted on a president that wants to charm goopers.  We have had bad luck in the past quarter century-USSR fell with incompetent leaders in the White House that threw away a historic opportunity for peace.  9/12 we had the idiot who threw away the greates outpouring of sympathy for the US and the best chance for peace in my lifetime (1953), and now we are probably going to elect either a triangulator or a cautious compromiser when we could have a chance to make a real move toward a liberal and progressive nation.

    We need leadership, and we need to take on the local establishments at the same time, and I don't think we are up to it.  I had high hopes based on the rise of the internets, but its turned into a celebrity race with the chance for change sacrificed for the cheap thrill of getting some "historic" first.  I don't know how we will explain it, years from now.

    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:47:18 PM PST

  •  Yup... N/T (0+ / 0-)

    "When the going gets Weird...The Weird turn Pro". -- Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Blue Shark on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:48:02 PM PST

  •  You (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, JWSwift

    should write a book, Hunter. I would love it. Your writing is so cogent. I always think I would love to take your essays and mail them off to whatever politician is currently disgusting me.

    I feel sick and hopeless about how the Democrats have lived down to the low expectations of parties. It's so disgusting and phony. I don't see how to change it, as they are distinterested in changing. Primaries? Donating Money? We are beset by both big and small devils and both are terrible.

    IBeyond giving up, what is there? For example: I can never in good conscience vote for Chuck Schumer again but I know he won't lose a primary in NY state.

    That Pelosi may have been told about torture SICKENS me. That is my bottom line issue. She won't be primaried either. Terrible. Not really my party. Not really my party at all.

    "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

    by joojooluv on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:48:14 PM PST

  •  Agreed on all accounts. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, JWSwift

    The netroots needs to build a new methodology for confronting our elected Dems, otherwise, we're just writing sternly-worded letters of our own.

  •  Yes and no . . . (0+ / 0-)

    What strikes me at the moment is just how devoid of true, inspirational leaders the current party is.

    Al Gore
    Jesse Jackson
    Jimmy Carter

    Just a few.

    "Just for the record: you were right, I'm an idiot, and God bless you." -- Xander, BTVS

    by prodigal on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:49:06 PM PST

  •  It's possible the House and Senate Dems do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, DKHOLLA

    "give a flying shit about their base"; they simply don't recognize who their base is. I can be just as angry and disappointed as anybody else when votes do not go the way I want them to, but any third party talk is equivalent to cutting off your nose to spite your face...a losing proposition.

    It is religion that blinds them and fear that binds them.

    by leptoo on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:49:11 PM PST

    •  Acceptance of these Democrats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pompatus, zett, adrianrf

      is just plain wrong. It's not "cutting off your nose to spite your face."

      The Democrats refuse to end the war and they refuse to protect our unalienable rights. I don't buy the notion that they need a nudge, or they are just being out-maneuvered.

      WE THE PEOPLE elected this group to restore our liberties and end the war. They refused. That means they have refused my vote in the future.

      (Of course, Kucinich and Feingold would get my vote; but very few others....)

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:56:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm honestly... (5+ / 0-)

    Beginning to believe it is too late.  Look at the latest financial crisis.  Banks are literally loosing billions in value overnight.  Billions that only existed in unregulated 'spread the risk' paper sales.  And what is the result?  Arab countries are buying large interest in the financial institutions at fire-sale prices on an already enormously depressed dollar.

    When Brittan lost its empire, it still had the banking and insurance industry that allowed money to flow through the homeland.  At least it still had relevance.  What will we have when our empire finally collapses?

    We are like the first frogs that look at each other and say, "Hey, isn't this water getting a little bit too warm?"  I think we are about to reach a full boil - or nation state is almost a shell structure to pacify the masses.

    Maybe instead, we should all be talking about exit strategies.  

    "Frankly, you epitomize weak. Your every pore exudes feebleness. You *are* surrender monkeys." - Meteor Blades to Capitulation Dems

    by RichM on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:49:16 PM PST

    •  It very well could be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pompatus, Juche

      that the next major crisis (like a depression or something) could be the situation that brings out the best in the Democrats.  It's certainly what galvanized them last time.  I guess we'll see whether a disaster is needed to bring out the best in the Ds.

      just like 9/11 brought out the worst in the Republicans.

      •  The paradigm will shift (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pompatus, Prof Dave, adrianrf

        The set of structural factors at risk in the American economy and society are fundamental and will likely trigger a decisive social realignment similar to what happened to the UK after World War II.

        It's quite possible that are cozy and comfortable universe of Democrats vs. Republicans, and Blue vs. Red will be remapped.

        No one votes Whig anymore.

        Personally, I think that this major realignment is necessary for any substantive change and to create an opportunity to bind American values around a progressive platform.

        And it's not going to be pretty.  Alot of people are going to suffer to get from A to B.  Economic crises, energy crises, health crises, environmental crises, foreign crises and domestic crises are virtually inevitable.

        But these sorts of experience do bring communities together, they teach the starkest lessons that persists the longest, and for all of the risk, fear, hurt, and destruction, there will be so much opportunity to remake this country rather than tinker with it as if it was some consumer toy.

        Question authoritarianism.

        by m00nchild on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:39:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  WE must call them out and bring them down! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm listening to Randi Rhodes talk w/Jonathan Turley about how certain Democrats are accomplices to the torture that has gone on.  I've also learned that Pelosi and the leadership has an agreement with the Bush Administration that no impeachment charges will be brought.  It is because the Democrats would also be embarrassed.

    I ask you, friends, who is going to fix this?  Now, go look in the mirror.  It is you and it is me!  WE are the only ones in this country who will clean up Congress, clean up the Democratic Party and set things right in our country!

    We must continue to call out folks like Jane Harmon, Nancy Pelosi, DiFi, Steny Hoyer, etc.  We must primary them and get them out of office.

  •  I think its great that (0+ / 0-)

    more and more Democrats are becoming pacifists. They have finally learned that there is only so much 1 human can do and some times the less one does the more gets done as the entire human race changes and morphs as it will with or with out influence from some ideologues trying to manipulate a certain out come to influence some perceived problem. Relax and enjoy .... what ever happens happens. Accept!

  •  Fire Steny Hoyer (0+ / 0-)

    Appoint John Murtha instead.

    Fully fund an 18 month withdrawal to be crafted by committee of military, foreign diplomacy experts and Sunni-Shiite reconciliation leaders, etc

    by timber on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:52:36 PM PST

  •  This Democratic Congress... (7+ / 0-)

    was voted in for one specific reason in 2006, and if they continue down this path, could be voted out just as easily.

    It's really, really painful to watch as they're destroying an opportunity given to them by the American people.

  •  What do we do with a problem like Pelosi (4+ / 0-)

    ...until someone's ready to issue a serious primary challenge against the faux-Democrats really we have two choices:

    (1) elect enough progressives to get them out of power;

    (2) find something out about that will get them to resign.

    I like option #1 a lot better than #2.


    There's no place like Kos! There's no place like Kos!

    by juliewolf on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:54:04 PM PST

  •  I've been waiting for this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, greenearth, JWSwift

    They will do it, and then they will skip town.  Not only are they complicit and making bad deals, they are sneaky about it.    I dread holidays and recesses with this Congress (and the last two years' Congress).  It means that a big sell out is coming just before they close up shop and go home.  If we're lucky, they'll do the dirty work in the daylight, since the democrats are in charge.  I'll never forget when the republicans started a session at midnight on Sunday before Christmas, broke conference rules, and worked through the wee hours on spending cuts, ANWR and the PATRIOT Act.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace" --Thomas Paine

    by joanneleon on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 12:56:41 PM PST

  •   Are Blogs Even Effective? (0+ / 0-)

    The blogs are one of the few sources of fire in the entire party.

    Are Blogs, what I understand to be the Netroots movement, are they temselves, while certainly very firy, are they any better at getting Dems elected who will support the base than the "Centrists".?

    As has been often noted before, Sens. Webb and Tester, were the Netroots candidates and Webb (as far as FISA,) and both (as far as defunding is concerned) would have to be counted amongst all the other Democrats who "don't give a shit about the base" on the issues being discussed here.  Is Webb bartering his kid's life for a few million of pork?  I doubt it.  I could never bring myself to say that.  I'd quit, myself, if I ever got to that point.

    So there has to be more to this story.  This is a long post, but there still has to be more to this story.

    There are forest fires.  I don't think the Netroots is that bad.

    There is field burning.  A lot of people seem to like that.  Primaries, right.  

    Then there's the fire stoked in the belly of a train, confined, contained, but making the steam that sends the train down the tracks.

    •  From a demographic point of view (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf, James Kresnik

      the internet and the views of people who live on it, are the future. Unfortunately, the present is dominated by many voters from the radio and TV era.

      When I visit prosperous relatives, I always see/hear multiple TVs on at any given time. Comparing the content of, say, a nightly news broadcast and a fist-full of threads on the sub-prime meltdown, it becomes clear that even the above average American is as aware of the real workings of the world as Galileo's swineherd was about particle physics.

      That sand is not a firm foundation for the governance of a nuclear-armed technocracy.

  •  Dems deserve to lose. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, Rayk, adrianrf

    They are patehtic.

    •  We are pathetic if we vote (again) for them. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, DKHOLLA, adrianrf

      They were elected in 2006 to restore our liberties and end the war. They failed at both. They either accept the destruction of our civil liberties and more of this bloody war...or they're too incompetent to do anything.

      In either case, they don't deserve the vote of anyone who believes in the Bill of Rights or ending senseless bloodshed.

      I'm limiting my support to the very few who support US. That would be Kucinich and Feingold. I hope the rest lose.

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:00:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Democrats are not to blame for this. Bush is. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, DKHOLLA, Juche

    I already posted on this here, so I'll just reiterate, in a nutshell, what I already said:


    George Bush does not have the conscience that Clinton had, which made defunding the Somalia operation an effective strategy against him. The man is as vain, venal and shortsighted as they come, and there is no indication that he will do anything other than dig in if funds are cut off for his war. Without a veto-proof vote for troop redeployment, we don't have a choice between ending the war or continuing it. Our choice is between paying for it or not paying for it. The war will continue, whether we like it or not. That die was cast three years ago.

    If you propose that congress try to score political points by "calling his bluff," than you are proposing that we call the bluff of a madman. And neither you nor I are the ones who will be hurt if "calling his bluff" doesn't somehow move him.

    George Bush is the one responsible for this situation. Not Hoyer. Not Pelosi. Not Reid. Bush and Bush alone. Blaming congressional Democrats for the continuation of this war is insane. Its like blaming the passenger in the back seat for not stopping the car from crashing into the wall.

    •  They're all to blame (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, Sandy on Signal, auntialias

      The Democrats voted for the AUMF.  The Democrats have gone along with Bush's sub rosa activities for the better part of a decade.  (De)funding the war is not the only issue here; it's not even the biggest issue.  It just happens to be today's headline.

      If you really buy the "our hands were tied" crap that Congressional Democrats are spouting, then you deserve to get exactly what they are doing to you.

      Clinton very nearly got impeached over an affair with an intern.  Bush is going to skate into retirement after eight years of breaking the law and starting an unprovoked, unpopular, unending foreign war.  There is something very, very wrong here, and while I'll be the first to agree with you that the wrongness starts with Bush, it certainly doesn't end there.

      Mission Accomplished: The ultimate in premature ejaculations.

      by stillnotking on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:25:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most of the Democrats.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...did not vote for the AUMF. Of those that did, many have now changed their position. In the interim, a bill was passed, with majority Democrat support, which would have redeployed the troops and begun an end to the war. Unfortunately, as you and I both know, it was vetoed, and the veto was sustained almost entirely by Republicans.

        I agree with you that the Democrats have made a ton of mistakes in their dealing with GWB, but refusing to allocate funds for his war without first securing their redeployment out of harms way is not one of them. And yes, with regard to this diary, that IS the only issue here.

    •  Power of the purse (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Congress has the power of the purse.

      they don't have to send Bush any funding at all.  bush would have to accept strings or shut the government.

      Of course Dems will own their piece of this - if they don't use their power of the purse to stop it, then they are complicit.  it's that simple.

      •  Power of the purse... (0+ / 0-)

        ...only works if the Commander in Chief actually has a conscience, and actually cares more about the welfare of his soldiers than protection of his own fragile ego.

        If Democrats refuse to allocate funding for the troops, they will be creating a massive resources shortfall. If you think that that massive resources shortfall won't inevitably land squarely on the backs of the troops in Iraq, you are dreaming. Its as simple as that.

        As I said, the war will continue whether the Democrats like it or not. They tried to end it, and Bush vetoed their effort. As far as I'm concerned, everyone who participated in that effort is no longer complicit in the war's continuation. If, however, they follow your advice and deny funds to the troops who are still stuck there, they WILL be complicit in taking this horrible situation and making it far worse.

        •  This is a question of who is denying (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Congress can pass any funding they like, including a funded withdrawal.

          If Bush vetoes, then he is responsible.

          It sounds like we will have to agree to disagree.

          I believe that the Dems, by giving Bush what he wants instead of something he has said he will veto, bring responsibility on themselves.  It sounds to me like you believe that giving Bush what he wants is required in order to not have the consequences that

          land squarely on the backs of the troops in Iraq

           This, to me, is more in line with accepting Bush's war without oversight, without exercising their power as a co-equal branch.  It is not Congress' responsibility to do what Bush wants in order to maintain the troops.  It is Bush's responsibility to make it work because he started this war.  If that means compromising with Congress, that is his problem to overcome (which, apparently, he has).

          Everything that happens in Washington is certainly not the Democrats' fault, and this war is not one of them.  They don't have to help continue it, either, and that doesn't require funding bills with the all or nothing choice of stranding military personnel in Iraq versus fully funding Bush's wet-dream of an occupation.

          •  They DID pass a funded withdrawal,,. (0+ / 0-)

            and Bush DID veto it. So yes, he is responsible.

            Ultimately, however, I am not interested in the blame game. I am interested in cold hard facts, action and reaction, and avoiding the worst possible outcome. If Bush refuses to withdraw the troop, and the Democrats refuse to allocate funds for the supplies and equipment that they need to get by there, than there WILL be a massive resources shortfall that WILL land squarely on the backs of the soldiers who are still stuck there, and this WILL be the worst possible outcome. And no, Bush WON'T make it work, because he is too lazy, obstinate, and incompetent to make it work (e.g. Hurricane Katrina). It WILL be a disaster for everyone involved, plain and simple.

            Are you really comfortable with simply allowing that to happen just so you can point the finger at Bush and score some political points? I am not. I am not willing to use American soldiers as pawns in a political game, even if Bush is. You shouldn't be, either.

            And no, this has nothing to do with "accepting Bush's war without oversight, without exercizing their power as a co-equal branch." It has to do with recognizing the current limits of their power as a co-equal branch. They authorized the war in the first place, they failed to muster a veto override of the redeployment bill, and they don't have enough votes to successfully impeach and expel Bush. That's it. End of story. There's nothing more they can do here.

            Meanwhile, back in Iraq, the troops that are still there still need food, ammunition, parts & equipment, fuel,......    

            •  Look Aaron (0+ / 0-)

              you need to calm it down a notch.  It already is a disaster for all involved, it can not get much worse.

              I don't agree with you that it would go the way of disaster you outline, and I don't think that means that I am using American soldiers as pawns.  It's not about politics, it's about pulling the already used-pawns out of the fire of the Iraqi occupation.

              In your formulation, every time a president does something with the troops, Congress just has to go along or they are screwing the troops.  I will never agree with that formulation.  It leads to authoritarianism.  If it means that troops are idled temporarily while the executive is checked, so be it.  I don't put soldiers before the Constitution, ever.

              We don't agree.  That's fine.  I think that you are in a respected minority of the American public, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion (as am I).  

              I think that's all I'm going to say on this topic - good luck to you.

              •  Your condescension... (0+ / 0-)

       noted and ignored.

                "In your formulation, every time a president does something with the troops, Congress just has to go along or they are screwing the troops."

                That's not what I am saying. Obviously, the Constitution grants power to declare war or authorize military force to Congress. Congress also has the right to pass legislation limiting military action or mandating troop withdrawals from certain theatres. And, of course, Congress has ultimate authority to allocate funding for military operations.

                However, the Constitution also says that the President, not Congress, is Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He sits atop a chain of command, and once use of force is authorized, barring legislation directing otherwise, he calls the shots.

                That's where Bush now sits, whether we like it or not. Barring the passage of contrary legislative mandates, he gets to decide when the troops will withdraw from Iraq. Money for the operation, or lack thereof, does not affect this, and as I have previously stated, Bush has given us no reason to believe that it will sway him.

                I am not putting anything before the Constitution here. Congress severely limited its own Constitutional power over this issue by voting to authorize the use of force in the first place. Now that they can't get redeployment legislation passed, and they don't have the votes to impeach and expel, they have just about reached the end of the road of what they can Constitutionally do about this. All that's left is funding, and as I have previously stated, with Bush as the Commander in Chief, denying funding is an exceedingly dangerous game of chicken that Congress would be foolish to engage in.

            •  Can't entirely agree... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik

              I certainly DO agree that Bush is arrogant, obstinant, and even incompetent. However, I can't imagine that even he could possibly face the intense scrutiny of the media showing more and more deaths of American troops because the funding stopped and he just left them there to fend for themselves.

              The repubs could try to "spin" it all they wanted and blame the dems for it, but the damage would be done and the hand would be forced.

              Even if Congress didn't give another dime to the military starting tomorrow, they could run for months, certainly long enough to (finally) formulate an exit strategy for the troops themselves. It might leave Iraq in a helluva mess, but it seems to me to be in a helluva mess already. But, no, it's not nearly as simplistic as: Congress pulls the funding plug, troops get stuck in Iraq and run out of ammo tomorrow with no fuel for the planes to get them home, they all die, period. That's just silly.

              •  As I said... (0+ / 0-)

                ....I am less interested in scoring a political victory here than I am in avoiding altogether the "more and more deaths of American troops because the funding stopped and he just left them there to fend for themselves."

                At what point are you willing to see the Democrats cry uncle on this? Because George Bush is not going to. His ego and self worth are wrapped up in his perception of himself as the macho, courageous wartime leader, and his ego is too fragile for him to admit defeat on this. Especially now, at this lame duck stage of his presidency, when he could just point the finger (with a measure of accuracy) at the Democrats who cut the funding off, and then just wait it out until 2009. Even if this game of chicken doesn't reach the point of "more and more deaths of American troops" - which it will if someone doesn't cry uncle - it will most certainly have a severely negative impact on our military, and thus, on our national security. Is that worth it, just to be able to point the finger at Bush and maybe score a few political points off of the disaster? I say its not.

  •  Will someone please explain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how leadership in the house and senate are determined?  How is it that these weasels attained leadership roles when they show so little leadership skill?

    Is it just seniority?  Is there a vote?  What is it?

  •  They never call. They never write. (7+ / 0-)

    They never say I Love You.

    Remember the heady days when they visited Daily Kos because they needed our support to win the majority back?  They won, they promised to keep us in the loop, and then casually ditched us for someone else.  Is our party being run by Rudy?

    But at least Harry kept that dastardly Holsinger from becoming Surgeon General.  That would've really derailed life as we know it.

    There is no answer.  We are in political limbo.  Maybe this is what hell is like.  No fire and brimstone---just a lot of screaming falling on deaf ears.  Ah, to be a liquor, cigarette or pot distributor right now.  They can't keep up with demand.


    "Judge me on the content of my character, not the underwear on my head."

    by Bill in Portland Maine on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:04:55 PM PST

  •  Thank you Hunter. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "You can't be neutral on a moving train." - Howard Zinn

    by bigchin on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:05:53 PM PST

  •  Simple, we continue to do what we have been doing (0+ / 0-)

    The best strategy is keep doping what we have all seen works recently: Democratic Party activism, but against Democrats who might as well be Republicans.  This will certainly take a while, but it’s the only thing that really works.

    Protesting doesn’t work (the media spins it so the protestors are the unreasonable ones), and third parties don’t work (Nader anyone?).

    What does work? The same things we have been using to support net roots candidates: Early fundraising for primary challenges, local activism in terms of volunteers, letters to local media, etc.

    Its all about making the Democratic party the party that you think it should be, not the one the politicians think it should be.  

    Dems need to remember that politics is local - How does it play in the home district?

    by Matty NYC on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:09:08 PM PST

  •  Big Sucking Sound of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf, JWSwift

    American children being indebted to war profiteers.  Both parties are destroying any chance for universal health care.  They will say it can't be paid for.

  •  and when a Dem does show teeth (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, Airpower, adrianrf, JWSwift

    he (she) is more often de-fanged by said leadership. (who was the Dem who said the war was for Bush's amusement and gave an apology?)

    'thus I return me to my own self-importance'

    it broke my heart to see that.

  •  They killed our leaders (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And maybe in some twisted way it may turn out to our benefit if we realize the people in Washington are our representatives,not our leaders.  It's truly up to us and the Democratic party is only going to be able to help us or slow us down.  Right now they're slowing us down and these things take a long, painful time, but I think we're moving in a positive direction in this country for the first time since Reagan's election.  We've got a long way to go just to get back to where we were before (and in the meantime the environment and our Constitution are deteriorating) but it'll be that much sweeter when we get there.  Blogs are altering conventional wisdom and it's when the old ways of thinking are broken down that we can shift the paradigm.  I don't think sound bytes will be guiding our intellectual path very much longer.

  •  Kick the bums out! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, Rayk


  •  A Call to Arms... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To put this bluntly, we need to redouble our efforts to be heard. If we give up on our democratic leaders then we are allowing Bush and Company to win. We must beat our leaders into shape by writing them, calling them and writing letters to the editor demanding that they lead on these issues that matter the most.

    One voice may not be heard, but a loud chorus shouting from the rooftops cannot be ignored over time.

    Time to give them hell!

    Telling it like I see it,

    "Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job." - Hitchhiker's Guide

    by Wynter on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:13:04 PM PST

    •  Our "leaders" have given up on us. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pompatus, adrianrf

      They don't care about bloodshed and they don't care about the Constitution or our unalienable rights.

      We don't need to reform them. We need to be rid of them. They had their chance and they chose to be complicit in these crimes.

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:01:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll tell you what you do with Democrats (0+ / 0-)

    that don't lead: vote for 'em! That'll teach 'em. If we just keep voting for them no matter what they do, eventually they will do what we want them to do. F'real.

    Republicans are liars.

    by tr4nqued on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:13:23 PM PST

  •  High level Democrats are complicit in this (6+ / 0-)

    entire mess.  The war, the torture, the erosion of civil liberties, all of it.  This is why (wink, wink, nod, nod) that impeachment, is not, was not, and will never be on the table.

    The destruction of the tapes by the CIA is a criminal act.  I don't really think that there is any question about that.  But the Democrats have seen these tapes, back in 2002, and SAID NOTHING.  They knew it was wrong, and said NOTHING.  Again they were afraid of the Bushies and being percieved as weak on defense, or 9/11.

    If they were really interested in getting to the bottom of ANY of these issues.  They would ask for an INDEPENDENT investigation.  Not another toothless congressional hearing.  With subpoenas, and sternly worded letters, and "o well, I guess we can't get what we need.  We tried Kossaks, but you know how it is."

  •  You're Exactly Right, Hunter. (11+ / 0-)

    This is a beautiful diary, and, coming right on the heels of Devilstower's recent masterpiece, this has been one of the strongest few days of dKos writing since I came here.

    I have been thinking about this myself lately. In fact, I'll just quote my comment from Devilstower's diary:

    I don't know that political leaders are ever truly in touch with their base, but there can be no doubt that our Democrats today have utterly abandoned the wishes of the left wing in America.

    The vast majority of them deserve to be sacked. There is no rehabilitation for them. Their minds are set, and set against us.

    Markos was more right than he knew when he said that building a ruling party does not happen overnight. The real battle ahead of us is not for president or enhanced congressional majorities in 2008, but for new freshmen at the state and federal levels every election for a generation. The real battle ahead of us is not for media reform and accountability, but for a new crop of journalists who have some principles about what the news is. The real battle ahead of us is not to dismantle the organizations and lobbies of our enemies, but to swell the ranks of our own.

    The real battle ahead of us is not to change people's minds, but to give a voice to the people who are already with us, and to raise our children responsibly.

    We want people who are committed to what liberals and progressives actually value.

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    I can tell you that the solution will probably involve this site, or others like it.

    - Its time we stopped dealing in words, and started Dealing in Lead.

    by walkingshark on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:18:29 PM PST

  •  Awesome essay (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I wholeheartedly agree with every point in this essay. Moreover, this is a brililant piece of writing. Truly top notch. I laughed out loud several times.

    I don't know any solutions but I think a primary challenge to Pelosi would kick some ass. She really has done nothing.

  •  Read the FAQ diarist. (4+ / 0-)

    Have you read the FAQ dear heretical diarist?

    "...but more and more it seems the answer is Better Democrats, not necessarily More Democrats, and that organizing and providing support for more and more primary challenges should be one of our long-term goals."

    This is a democratic site dedicated to ELECTING DEMOCRATS.  Since you're a front pager I can only assume you've been given license that any of the rest of us get pounded for posting opinion contrary to the expressed FAQ guidelines.
    We get preached to by haranguing diarists telling the rest to STFU (the last nearly a week ago) and pointing to Markos' FAQ as edict from the Cultural Revolution.

    "That is the only source of unapologetic ideology, of long-term vision, or of passion for a common good. We have no leaders except ourselves."



    Ideology is FORBOTEN .  We are dedicated here via the FAQ to a avoid any ideological distinctions in our prioritized agenda to ELECT DEMOCRATS.

    So it seems, dear diarist, dear frontpager, that the Democratic Party is not the only group struggling with its deeper contradictions in its ambitions to offer alternatives to the voting public.

    Loved the diary.

  •  Third. Party. Now... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the Democrats only differ from the Republicans in offer lip service to our concerns.

    What will happen if we have a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress and nothing (or little) still gets done?

  •  Time to go. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, Sandy on Signal, adrianrf, Juche

    I'm within a millionth of an inch of leaving the Dems.  And that means leaving as a member of my County Committee and as a major organizer and fundraiser.  

    •  Just tell the Dems (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, adrianrf

      you'll raise money for them when and if they ever do something worthwhile.

      They MUST: End the war. Restore our civil liberties. Or else, take a hike.

      When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

      by Rayk on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:02:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Remember who the Harlem Globetrotters used to (4+ / 0-)

    punk every night ?

    They NEEDED the Washington Generals to look bad
    so they could look good.

    The Democratic Congress are just the Washington Chumps,
    playing for loose change that falls out of the Republican pockets.

    Can't bring myself to call them Democrats any longer.

    Abandon ideology. Instead, tell the truth. Always.

    by slowheels on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 01:42:39 PM PST

  •  greatest diary ever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or pretty close to it.

    if we can't deal with these clowns, we might as well pack it in. change won't happen with this bunch in charge.

  •  That is why I support Ed O'Reilly, Progressive... (0+ / 0-)

    Democrat to run against John Kerry in the primaries.  Kerry, like most of the Senate, think they are in the House of Lords.  It is time to remind all of congress who the work for.  it is time for us to challenge them on the left so they stand up to the right.

    Kerry has, in the past, used Joe Klein as an "unofficial Adviser".  This is the hack who used Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R)Wing nut as his only source to trash the Dems on their support of the last FISA bill.  

  •  BRAVO!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Well said Hunter.  This was a fantastic read, and encapsulates quite a bit of the frustration I'm feeling.  They make us look stupid for believing that they were going to bring about change, and it's infuriating.

  •  We must primary them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We need to skillfully pick a handful of these so-called "leaders" who can be beaten in primaries, find "insurgent" democrats (ie real democrats) who can actually unseat them, and go all out to defeat them in the primary.  We must pick our fights very carefully, concentrating on a very few that, with hard work and a little luck, we can win.  We only need to do this a very few times, in strategically chosen states and districts, in order to send them a message loud and clear.

    I hope some of you Kossacks out there will follow up on this general suggestion during the coming months, with some concrete and realistic proposals for specific districts and/or states.

  •  this is typical ranting that is wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    George Bush is a man that can not be dealt with easily.

    To understand this, you must first understand that he does not care about anyone but his own.  This makes him very hard to deal with because he does not care what negative things might happen as a result.  He is especially hard to influence on things that might give him an opportunity to win some points politically.

    The military operation in Iraq is a case in point.  Democrats can cut off the funding if they want.  But they have to understand that Bush will not bring the servicemen back from Iraq because of that.  He will leave them there without funding and complain that the "democrat party" won't provide funding for their meals, bullets for their weapons, or gas for the hummers.

    He simply does not care about their well-being.  He is willing to send them down that road and the Democrats are not.

    That is why George Bush will win on this issue every time; he is willing to let the military starve and the Democratic Party is not.

    •  So there are no options, nothing that could be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndySteve, James Kresnik

      done in this scenario?

      I simply cannot belive that if the Congress stopped the funding that Bush would let the soldiers stay there in Iraq and rot. Or even if he tried, that there would be nothing we could do about it to get our troops home SOMEHOW. (Plus, the funding doesn't simply dry-up the very next day or anything--the Pentagon can operate for months, maybe not optimally, but they'll at least have gas for the planes to get the troops home!)

      Sure, they'd TRY to blame the dems for it, but they're not really going to just let it happen and allow the media to report on death after death after death.

      I realize it's a gamble with the lives of the soldiers at stake, and not a gamble I'm happy to have to make, but I can't help but wonder just how many lives will be lost if we DON'T force his hand somehow. It IS obvious with his super-bases and legislation that he's pushing to have passed by the Iraqi leadership that he intends to keep us in Iraq indefinitely if he IS allowed to get his way. What other choice is there?

    •  The military leadership would NEVER let that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik

      happen...Bush would back down. They would either shift the funding or change the mission. Of course they'll try to blame Dems for the problems. But it is Bush who vetoed the funding. Dems have been very ineffective in repeating that message.

  •  Thank you Hunter (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, Pompatus, greenearth, JWSwift

    Agreed 100%, and I'm glad you admitted not having answers. Tragically, there don't seem to be any.

    I have to say that the abominable denunciation of MoveOn has dashed a lot of my hopes, because it proved that these people did not understand who their friends were. I'm still baffled by the whole debacle. What were they thinking? What was there to gain by slapping so many of their hardest core supporters in the face? I'd like to ask the silly bastards that voted for it how they think the country benefitted from the whole charade.

    All it did was demonstrate that the national Democrats have no solidarity with the anti-war majority that handed them a landslide in 2006, and that is simply disgusting. The base is more united than it has been in decades, but the powers-that-be have lost their nerve.

  •  We are not the Democratic Base (0+ / 0-)

    and it is silly to think that we are.  The Republicans have a conservative base because they have a conservative philosophy that they stick to even when it obviously leads over the cliff.  Democrats are everybody else, we are not bound by a unifying philosophy.  The Republicans want us to believe that "Democrats are Liberals" and yes some of us are but we are not defined by our philosophy.  Philosophy is not the name of the game we are playing, power and what it takes to get power is the name of the game.  If they think the power is in the centrist view they will move to the center, if power is on the left they will move left and when (like the Clintons) if power is on the right they will move right. Because the Republicans are saddled with a Philosophy their party is top down, because Democrats do not have a base they have to represent their constituents. If they are elected by a conservative constituency (say in Virginia with Sen.Webb) they have to legislate that way, if they are in a liberal district (say in Mass. with Sens Kerry or Kennedy) they legislate accordingly.  The Democrats do not have a base in the same way that the Republicans do and I think that is a good thing.

    •  I'd disagree (0+ / 0-)

      What we (the base) represent about the "party" are the Liberal founding philosophical principles. We are what's left of it (if you'll pardon the pun). The Republicans are not following a philosophical basis because that would require too much rational thought(or philosophy). What they are dealing from is a more traditional, irrational, theocratic motivation based on a strategy of fear.

      Hunter is correct that the leadership is more aligned or complicit with some of the leadership on the right than they are with their own basic philosophical principles and the base of their party.

      I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere ~ Thomas Jefferson

      by valadon on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:56:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong on one very important assertion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amayupta yo

      "The Republicans have a conservative base because they have a conservative philosophy that they stick to even when it obviously leads over the cliff."

      The conservative base has fragmented badly. The only thing left of the GOP is the Nazi wing. Why? They have not governed conservatively. Wars of choice, record deficits, devaluation of the dollar, and unchecked illegal immigration help to destroy America, but they are the opposite of conservatism.

      •  nobody said they understood their philosophy (0+ / 0-)

        any more than they understand Christianity.

        they pick and choose only the parts they agree with no matter what the context.

        It is no more likely that they have read the entire constitution than that they have ever read the entire Bible.

    •  Democrats do have a base (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amayupta yo

      The progressive party has always been the party that tries to expand the legal, social, political and economic systems to be as inclusive, fair and protective as possible. Progressives have fought to give blacks and women the right to vote, allow economic opportunities for all, make sure everyone is getting adequate legal protection, ensuring that people are allowed to live their lives as they see fit, make sure nobody is getting sick on toxins, make sure everyone can see a doctor, make sure no retiree is eating dog food, etc.

      We are the party of expanding our society and culture to be as fair, protective and inclusive as possible. That is the democratic base. But the modern democratic party has forgotten this fact.

  •  Holy crap Hunter, You are God. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, valadon, greenearth

    We have no leaders except ourselves.

  •  I was about to write an angry letter to the Dems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, JWSwift

    regarding a solicitation I got today for the "Democratic Majority Drive."  I think I will include a copy of this.

  •  Agree with you about 95% (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I would like to comment on the $10,000,000 idea.

    Look, we put a price on life all the time in terms of salary, in terms of awards after law suits. According to the Wiki, the median income for a household is about 46,000. Multiply that by the working years, say, 55 years (15-70) and you get about 2,600,000 that someone makes over the course of a lifetime of work. And that's a household, individuals are less but as each death affects a household (parents, siblings, spouses, children) it seemed a fair measure.

    In anycase, 2,600,000 s a lot less than 10,000,000. It's cold but 10,000,000 for 1 life as a result of a say, wrongful death suit, seems like a pretty solid trade off to me from a purely economic viewpoint.

    I'm sick of the dying for a pointless reason and I want the troops to start coming home. I've had several relatives over there one probably going back, though the other 3 have made it there and back safely, one did 2 tours and I think what Hoyer has done is vile--but 10,000,000 is a fair price to the dollar we value we place it on it in actual living.

    The principle of the thing is sound, but the pure economics of it favor Hoyer's position in this sense.

    Let the flaming begin.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:43:53 PM PST

  •  R + R - Remove and Replace!! Like mechanics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    working on cars today, you don't try to fix the broken part.  It takes too long and costs too much.  Just take it out and put in a new, better part!!  So much easier.

    I'm finished with these spine-shitting capitulating ass weasels!!  In the blue moon they do something right, we are all aflutter!! They are worse than Repuglicans!!!  They enable the Repuglican agenda while also destroying the Democratic brand name.

    I won't vote Repuglican (except in Rahm Emanual's case) but I will do my best to get rid of these corrupted entrenched incumbents who do little or even less than little!!

    Time to put real liberals and progressives in office to start fixing a corrupted system of bribes, influence peddling, corrupted voting and good ol' boy chicanery!

    You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

    by FightTheFuture on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:45:06 PM PST

  •  NOT ME, baby (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jmart, Pompatus, zett, auntialias, adrianrf, JWSwift

    Came home to find another request for money, this time from the Big Dog itself, asking for a contribution to the DSCC.  Some message about "undoing the damage" the Bushistas have caused.

    On their dime (or rather, 41 cents, or whatever it costs to mail a letter these days) I sent back their form with "$0" checked and a few pithy words to the effect of "no impeachment=no money".

    When one calls me, I give Dem telemarketers the same massage.

    You want my money?  Inspire me, or STFU.  Show me some spine, or STFU.

    You think I vote Democrat because I'm oppressed or something? I get my money from straight trickle down. I work for rich people.  My own personal economic self interest would suggest that I should be voting for the 'pubs, because they will push more money to the rich, because that's who can afford my unique services. Rich people ASK me to work for them.  I choose whether I care to work for them. And I do this with a high school education, and have been for many years. I am over 60.

    So.  Why do I vote, lifelong, Democratic?  Because I have been inspired by the Democratic greats of the past, Giants compared to the pygmies now running and acting in "leadership" roles.  Because the incredibly useful and high quality HS education I got, nearly 50 years ago, was partially a product of social policies enacted by those Giants, such as FDR and Truman and generations of Democratic Congressional leaders who walked the talk.

    The present Democratic "leadership", Congressional or otherwise, are merely the latest in the past generation to collude with the 'pubs in the ongoing dismantling of the New Deal and subsequent policies that leveled the playing field for a while and created the opportunity for vast numbers of Americans to strive and move up to middle class status. That's YOU, Kossaks, the beneficiaries of those policies, although not much of that is left, lately, for the youngins.

    Blah blah blah.

    Here's the short version: all that engineered social tinkering back then, those socialism-lite policies that the New Deal Dems were able to push through back then fuckin WORKED! It was the right thing to do and it was successful, beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

    All dismantling that engineering has done has returned to the same problem, which is that the wealthy, unregulated, gather up all the wealth and then pretend like they actually earned it on their own and we're supposed to respect them for that...

    /crawls back under rock...

    don't always believe what you think...

    by claude on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:53:51 PM PST

    •  That's a brilliant rant. (0+ / 0-)

      "all that engineered social tinkering back then, those socialism-lite policies that the New Deal Dems were able to push through back then fuckin WORKED! It was the right thing to do and it was successful, beyond anyone's wildest dreams."

      But the pathetic truth is that the rich always have leverage. Somewhere, somehow, that "if you don't give me these breaks, I'll move my stuff overseas"

      But what has happened is that in the last thirty years the infrastructure to build overseas has been vastly expanded; the labor was always cheap in foriegn countries but you built your plant in the middle of nowhere and had to pay handsomly to ship it. Now that we've been spending our money around the world to build plants to build our stuff, their infrastructure in cases is better than ours. And shipping? Well, that's all in the price of oil.

      I have considered my /rock as well - especially after getting trashed by fellow members of the choir here at my sanctuary who can't get over the fact that the lock-step groupthink of the Republicans works damn well when it comes to elections.

      But there are too many tipping points (didn't we used to call them thresholds?) that we can't afford to pass now. I miss the safety of my rock, but I also am inspired when I rant until my fingers bleed or when I talk to someone who replies with that long silence until they can salvage a talking point. The long silence is the sign that I actually engaged their brain for a moment before they reached for their comfort spot, and that's got to be worth something.

      Non Illegitimus Carborundum: Don't let the bastards wear you down.  

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 08:45:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Need a new generation of leaders (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, adrianrf

    The party desperately needs a leadership PURGE. The present so called leadership came to power on their knees and have shown that they haven't a clue how to lead. Another problem now surfacing about some of them is they've been fatally compromised by this admins. years ago, as is the case with Pelosi knowing all about water boarding and other illegal acts this admin. has been getting away with.

    We need a "new" team that isn't compromised or scared of being blackmailed because of what its been shown or made to hide. REID, HOYER, PELOSI and others must step down and allow new leadership to take over. They've sold us out and don't even IMO deserve to be in the Congress any longer as Democrats. PURGE!

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 02:59:25 PM PST

  •  What Can Be Done? (0+ / 0-)

    The people you mention (Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer, Emmanuel) are, unfortunately, Democrats who are acting as if their first (only?) job is to get elected and stay elected.
    This makes sense if there is some other over-riding goal that your being elected will further, but I am beginning to feel that these Senators and Representatives just don't have that. They have lowered their aims to simply those of getting re-elected, period.
    That might make sense during a major party re-alignment; which is what many thought was happening in 1994 and continuing in 2002. In those circumstances your goal is to deny the opposition party as many seats as possible simply to maintain your own party's viability.
    That re-alignment really didn't happen and now the Democrats are the majority and, if we don't blow it, have a very good chance of increasing our majority in 2008. I wonder if those now leading the Democrats in Congress simply haven't adjusted to the new facts and are still operating in the old mode of party preservation?
    There is also the fact that Democrats, being a very mixed bunch anyway, operate almost instinctively via consensus - just to get the party behind anything means having to make all sorts of compromises, usually small but not always, just to get all the cats headed in the same direction. That is vital when you are trying to present a united front to a radical majority such as the recent Republican party, but not so necessary when you are the majority.
    This doesn't excuse how the Deocratic leadership has been leading (mis-leading?) recently, but it maybe it helps to explain why?

  •  Four words (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    valadon, doinaheckuvanutjob, adrianrf


    Leadership, clear visions, real goals, clear messages, and neither man is running.

    Suzy Creamcheese, honey, what's got into ya?

    "Believe those who seek the truth. Doubt those who find it." --André Gide

    by FToast on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:21:05 PM PST

  •  Great piece by Hunter. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snafubar, adrianrf, JWSwift

    And the usual thoughtless rants in the comments. Don't give money to Dems-- so that they see we're not worth answering to because they can get plenty of money from corporate sources, making the problem worse.

    Don't care about the Supreme Court, so that a generation will be screwed. That makes a lot of sense.

    These strategies are as dumb as our leaders' strategies in Congress, and as effective.

    Give money to the good Dems, punish the bad ones, primary the bad ones. The answer is better Dems. In the '70's and even the '80's, we had strong, forceful Dems in Congress not afraid to do things-- people like Sen. Paul Simon, Frank Church, McGovern. When we have 5 Feingolds, the Congress and the party will improve dramatically.

    Ranting feels good, but accomplishes nothing. Hunter is right, and right on.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:21:10 PM PST

  •  it's not incompetence (5+ / 0-)

    it's NEVER BEEN incompetence... it's collaboration and complicity... wake up, people, fercryinoutloud...

  •  I am sick and tired of the bitching (0+ / 0-)

    and moaning around here.

    We need to be on the offensive against the Rethugs. Not tearing down one another.

    Damned it.

    Didn't the lessons of 2000 teach you anything?

    We have a chance here to reverse 20 years of many regressive policies and many of you would rather just bitch about the Democrats not being perfect.

    Sometimes around here, I feel like we lost in 06.

  •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, adrianrf

    He suggested that Democrats need to divorce their goal of ending the war from the battle over funding.

    What? Out maneuver your opponent by throwing the only leverage you have out the window? What the frik?

    Did anyone ever bother to explain to this clown what his job description was and how to effectively do his job?

    There's one way to find out if a man is honest - ask him. If he says, "Yes," you know he is a crook. ~Groucho Marx

    by Busted Flat in Baton Rouge on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 03:43:36 PM PST

  •  What did you all honestly expect after the '06 (0+ / 0-)

    elections? Did you magically expect the filibuster and the veto pen to go away? I didn't. I warned people not to expect the war to end either. The majorities are slim. And the ultimate problem is that the Democrats will not cut off funding for the war because they don't want to be blamed for troop fatalities. That's the bottom line. I've argued that point here until I've been blue in the face. As it is the media is already framing the current budget debate as one of "funding the troops".

    As for primarying Democrats I am all for it in districts where the following conditions are present:

    1. The district is Deomcratic enough that any replacement candidate can win the general election.
    1. The replacement candidate is serious, credible, and can actually win.
    1. The Republican candidate has little, if any, chance of winning.
    1. The Democrat is voting too conservatively for the district.

    That is, while Lipinski in Chicago is a fair target per se, I don't think Democrats like Matheson and Taylor are.

  •  some of still remember . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    . . . what an earlier antiwar movement did to (Democrat) LBJ and (Republican) Richard Nixon, when they both refused to listen to us.

    Some of us also still remember how to do the same thing again. . . .

    Editor, Red and Black Publishers

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:20:49 PM PST

    •  I was just watching a TV special last night on (0+ / 0-)

      events in 1968, including the anti-war movement, especially their impact on the Dem. Convention in Chicago, and the resultant riots and clashes with the police when the convention delegates refused to approve an anti-war plank.

      Funny thing is, (and it took color commentary from Pat Buchanan of all people during this TV special to point this out) it seems pretty much accepted that the outlandishness of the hippie/anti-war movement is what's caused the backlash that has essentially kept conservatives in power just about ever since then with only few exceptions, and given the term "liberals" a black eye for this entire time.

      Now I've never been a critic of those who feel that sometimes you've got to BE the squeaky wheel in order to wake up the sleeping giant and eventually get the grease, a la ACT-UP and so forth, but I suppose, if there's some truth to that, it's possible this is why even the Dems we put into power are too afraid to do anything radical that will evoke conservative backlash.

      But don't get me wrong, I don't think we should be compromising basic principles (ending war in Iraq, staying out of war in Iran, equal rights including civil marriage for gays, restoration of civil rights/protections taken away by the Patriot Act, did I mention getting the hell out of Iraq?) because we're too busy walking on eggshells, since the stakes are just too damn high, but I do wonder...

      •  I think what caused the "backlash" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is that the Dems became conservatives in 1964-1968, and never changed after that.

        We don't have a progressive and a conservative party.  We have two conservative parties.

        We need a progressive party.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers

        by Lenny Flank on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 05:51:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  it should also be pointed out (0+ / 0-)

        it seems pretty much accepted that the outlandishness of the hippie/anti-war movement is what's caused the backlash that has essentially kept conservatives in power just about ever since then

        It's not just "the outlandish hippies" that the conservatives are a reaction to, or the tactics of confrontation.  The 60's unleashed a huge number of wide-ranging social movements that we all take for granted now, but many of which were unique and new for their time -- the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, the women's rights movement, the pro-choice movement, the environmental movement, the anti-militarization movement.

        The conservatives opposed ALL of them.  And still do.  Their primary aim is to roll back ALL of the social gains made in the 60's, and return the US to the "good old days" of the Eisenhower years.

        It's not just "the hippies" that the conservative movement is a response to.  It's every social change brought about by all the social justice movements of the 60's.  Every single one of them.  From Martin Luther King and his nonviolence, to the Weathermen and their bombs.  The conservatives are opposed to ALL of it.  And if all the social movements had worn business suits and ties and ptrotested everything with silent candlelight vigils, the conservatives would STILL be opposed to all of it.

        Editor, Red and Black Publishers

        by Lenny Flank on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 05:35:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  BETTER DEMS FIRST. Primary is our power (0+ / 0-)

    especially since the parties have done such a wonderful job of fucking up voting participation for decades

    you don't need as huge a horde to get rid of the parasites.

    we should be focused on primaries.



    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:30:09 PM PST

  •  OK (0+ / 0-)

    Hunter writes:
    Perhaps our only option is to go after those individuals full-force. Markos' stated goal a year or two ago was to destroy the DLC and their mushy, corporate and conservative-placating agenda, but they largely destroyed their own relevancy themselves.

    Why not post a poll asking how many Koasscks in Pelosi's district will pledge to (1) vote against her in the primary, but support her in the general (2) vote against her in the general too (3) vote FOR the oppoenent most likely to win (even if a terrible Republican) to maximize the damage they will do

    This is the largest blog.  Perhaps if 5000 Democrats in her district agreed to vote Republican in the general (and informed her that they were doing this) this would scare her.

    It's not like we couldn't to afford to lose her seat, we are likely to pick up more.  So even if a progressive rebellion somehow took her out, we would still have a majority, we would just have a new Speaker.  It's not that Steny Hoyer would be any better (he probably won't).  It's just that this would put the fear of God in powerful Democrats.

    Of course, to do this progressives need to have the power.  And if we don't, then exactly what are we complaining about?

  •  Righteous. (0+ / 0-)

    Burn it down.

    Passenger on the long train of abuses.

    by OleHippieChick on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:34:25 PM PST

  •  Minority rights didn't stop with the blacks... (0+ / 0-)

    We can only be glad that the civil rights battles are largely over for black Americans, because these people would sell out absolutely anyone and anything in order to continue their consultant-honed strategy of taking absolutely no stand on anything the slightest bit difficult.

    I'm also getting REALLY tired of my community, the Gay Community, getting our civil rights thrown under the bus whenever it's politically expedient for a candidate (pretty much since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"). Yet, as was stated...

    It is the same story as always: the Democrats do not care about their base because they know full well we've got nowhere to go.

    It's the very thing about the right-wing that we hate, their focus of vision (and that the focus is just SOOOOOO regressive) that gives them their power. We should be known as the "Big Tent" party since we strive so hard to bring everyone and everyone's ideas in, so much so that we're unable to focus. There are just too many directions that each faction wants to take us, whereas the right doesn't have that problem, 'cause the factions simply aren't welcome.

    So, what's the answer? I wish I knew. I don't want us to narrow our focus and start cutting-out people like me who not everyone agrees with just to be able to win, but SOMETHING sure ain't working... (sigh!)

  •  I've got the solution (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Duct tape.  It works for EVERYTHING.

    Question authoritarianism.

    by m00nchild on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:47:41 PM PST

  •  start with Stenky Whooyre (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps the answer is to excise the worst, surgically. And I don't mean individual conservative Democrats or Blue Dogs, but the sabotaging powerbrokers, the people strategizing out these absurd passion plays of pre-planned cowardice, in the name of not pissing off the mythical "center" of the country that demands complicity in all Republican agendas, whether it be scapegoating immigrants or continuing to look for a magical Iraqi pony that would finally make the entire bungled war worth it. Perhaps our only option is to go after those individuals full-force. Markos' stated goal a year or two ago was to destroy the DLC and their mushy, corporate and conservative-placating agenda, but they largely destroyed their own relevancy themselves. Maybe it's time to revise that plan and find more specific targets -- the party "leaders" who insist, time and time again, on not leading.

  •  We need a third party anti-war candidate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    yes, I know they can't win.  But if by some chance they count the votes it will send some kind of message.  Otherwise we are really coming to grips with the fact that war, torture, and a lot of other bad stuff will be with us for a long time.  I still recall shouting in the streets "Hey, Hey, LBJ. How many kids will you kill today?."

    It there in the song "Universal Soldier, it is there in the book by Scott Peck People of the lie and I discuss it in a diary as welll.  The people who are responsible for this is us.  That's a paraphrase of Pogo:  "We have met the enemy and they is us"

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 05:22:28 PM PST

  •  Let's be careful about Nancy (0+ / 0-)

    Nancy started out good, then Steny stepped in and was said to have 'saved our arses'.

    One thing that would help the democrats and their supporters would be an explanation or daily report of what they are doing.

    I went to Judd Gregg's site to see how he was doing with his bipartisan committe of democrats and republicans forming to decide how to cut Social Security. I learned on his site, that Nancy had thrown cold water on the idea of a committee.

    I have google and yahoo sending me email links to any news about Social Security and Medicare and I watch Cspan and the news shows a lot, but I didn't know Nancy had done this. But I have another life and miss a lot of what is happening.

    We need to tell the good democrats that if they do something good and decent to let us know. You won't hear anything good about Peloski on Fox News, for sure.

    We need some wealthy Democrats to help us financially.  There are many wealthy Democrats.
    We need blog reporters that can talk to the Democrats and then let us know what is going on.

    There is an attitude of those in power I notice sometimes.  Ed Rendell said both parties wouldn't compromise. He seemed to think that we need committees to take decisions out of the hands of the politicians.  By all that being said, Ed shows he doesn't have a clue that the Republicans are wrong and doesn't understand how our democracy works.  

    No telling what some of the 'good guys' are doing that is being blocked from reaching the people.

    I am holding out hope that we will all wake one morning with our soldiers back home.  They really shouldn't say when the soldiers are leaving. Maybe we will be surprised.  

  •  Did y'all really think this was going to be easy? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't disagree with Hunter here in toto -- I share his frustration.

    But come on, people. You really, honestly thought that, starting, what, six years ago, we'd gear up, "crash the gate," and after one relatively narrow victory to take back both houses of Congress for the first time in a generation, we'd mend all of the Democratic Party's bad habits?

    DailyKos and the progressive blogosphere is still unbelievably young political force.  There are a lot of  Washington types who are very likely still sitting on their hands, trying to say the right things, watching to see if we're going to blow over in less than a decade.  We now have one, count 'em, one electoral cycle we've won decisively.  If you count up the candidates who are really "ours," the ones we really made possible, that gives us about as many victories as the Bull Moose party claimed.

    National political parties turn around about as quickly as battleships.  We're pulling on the rudder as hard as we can, but it only does so much.  Even if we ride a tidal wave next year, there's still years and years of detritus to clear out of the party.  

    I'm sick and tired of people putting in a few short years of activism, and then when things don't go their way, they get all huffy, take their ball, and go home and cry.  Well, fine, go cry.

    But if you get all cried out and find out it hasn't changed anything, there's still more pushing on the rudder to do.

    •  Admittedly, being a political outsider of sorts (0+ / 0-)

      that all SOUNDS logical, except, didn't the Republicans manage to sweep in and get most of THEIR agenda accomplished just a few years ago, and within essentially the confines of their first term?

      Yes, I'm sure I'm comparing apples to oranges, but I think the point is, they DO have the majority behind them, so it is awfully baffling how they keep capitulating CONSTANTLY when it sure seems that they shouldn't HAVE to.

  •  Do your damn job (everybody) (0+ / 0-)


    Excellent post.  I've been contemplating writing somthing like it for a few weeks.

    The answer is not a) don't vote democratic, or b) don't donate money.

    The answer is volunteer to work for the Democratic party.  If enough of "us" (that is, people with the view that the current crop of Democrats have no spine and won't represent us) infiltrate the infrastructure of the party, then we will affect change from within.  

    Whining about it doesn't work.  Doing something about it does.

    I volunteered this weekend.  Join me?


  •  Hooray, Hunter (0+ / 0-)

    As depressing as that was to read, it is absolutely spot on.

    It reminds me of something I've often thought about -- where might we be if so many of the inspirational leaders of the 60s hadn't been killed? JFK, RFK, MLK, Fred Hampton....

    Turn the Mountain West blue! Support Gary Trauner for Wyoming's only House seat!

    by kainah on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 07:03:29 PM PST

  •  Seems like the base in both parties (0+ / 0-)

    is getting the short end of the stick.

    The Democratic netroots should do a better job of marketing itself as much more representative of the American people than the religious conservatives are, assuming each to be a critical base of support within each party.

    Maybe more background info/bios are needed, or a video or some direct lobbying to Members who are more in touch, but something needs to be done to prove that the netroots is worth listening to because we are the country.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 07:27:59 PM PST

  •  Gravel & Kucinich (0+ / 0-)

    Gravel released the pentagon papers, and he did a 5 month filibuster to end the draft.

    Kucinich is the only canddiate with the courage to speak his mind. He has voted against war funding every time it has come up. He opposed the PATRIOT ACT and is pushing for impeachment.

    People like Gravel & Kucinich should be the leaders. They are courageous, truly progressive and will stand up even when it is unpopular. Instead they are marginalized and often the butt of jokes while we get wimps in leadership positions.

    God this sucks. It will take decades to get a competent democratic party.

  •  I knew this was going to happen (0+ / 0-)

    What a bunch of losers.

    "People die. Strategies fail. Blame is laid. And we, as a nation, are made to look like assholes." - Brandon Friedman

    by Militarytracy on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 07:58:28 PM PST

  •  I am prepared to withhold my vote (0+ / 0-)

    in contests where I have no real choice.  That means not casting a vote for U.S. Senate or U.S. Representative the next time Senators Schumer and Clinton, and Representative Maloney, are up.  If that seems like a harsh response to frustration, well, my frustration is real, and valid, and goddammit, no one who has gone along with all this nonsense deserves my vote.

    I volunteered for Rep.  John Hall's 2006 campaign in NY-19.  He voted for the Move-On censure, so I won't lift a finger to help him again either.  

  •  My god..IS there something in the water in DC? (0+ / 0-)

    The people run campaigns promising to change things once they get to DC. Then what does nearly every single one do? They back down. They make excuses. They greatly disappoint those who got them them there.

    Is POWER so freakin' wonderful that EVERY politician falls prey to it and is willing to do anything to keep it?

    I really, really, really don't get it...WHAT IS IT THAT CHANGES THEM??

    1/20/09: End of an Error.

    by Esjaydee on Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 08:41:19 PM PST

  •  Will any democrats in the senate filibuster (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal

    Is there a democrat or group of democrats in the senate who may filibuster, and can we do anything to help that senator(s) actually do the deed?

  •  All this talk about primary challenges.... (0+ / 0-)

    is so much bluster. First, it is getting late to challenge for next year. We have two in place now, Pera and Edwards, that we should help fund and win.

    But we have another avenue to show our strength. But it takes guts. We run a couple independents in a swing District and take down a Bluedog. While it's nearly impossible to win a primary challenge against an incumbent without millions of $$, it is possible to take down a bluedog in a general with 15-20% of the vote.

    I know, this elects a Republican. But the point is to show we mean business. It doesn't threaten the majority. And it makes a seat available for the next election to run a progressive.

  •  Thank you ... (0+ / 0-)

    for writing this.  I was thinking along these same lines when I wrote this comment in this diary: Friday Night at the Best War Movies Ever!!!.

    There may be a unique opportunity here in California in June, 2008, to give primaries to gutless members of the House of Representatives.  Last year, the California state legislature split the Presidential primary away from the regular state primary.  This was to put a measure (Proposition 93) on the February, 2008, Presidential primary revising term limits so some termed-out members of the Assembly and State Senate could run again in the June, 2008, state primary if the measure passes.  

    Turnout in the June, 2008, primary is expected to be rock-bottom.  That means a motivated group can drive a candidate to victory.  I think it might be worthwhile to give vigorous primary challenges to incumbent members of the U. S. House of Representatives who have forgotten what it means to be a Democrat.  

    See here for an example of potential primary challenge already being discussed in CA-12 against Rep. Tom Lantos.  

    If Proposition 93 fails on the February, 2008, ballot, recruiting termed-out state legislators to challenge incumbent House members on the June, 2008, primary ballot might be easier than we think.  

  •  Great post (0+ / 0-)

    One of the best I've seen here.

  •  Dire Straits (0+ / 0-)

    The fear of criticism, which parlyzes our "leadership" threatens, I believe, our system of government as well as the security of all of us.

    Standing up to the tyrant does not, as some keep claiming, that the government be shut down. The Congress defunded the Vietnam War without shutting the government down, and if the President keeps vetoing funding measures which have conditions on them, the consequences are on his head.

    Just say no.  And then, when a reasonable proposal as to how to begin to extricate ourselves from this mess is developed, the hard work of insuring   that things do not get even worse, for Iraqis, for the people of that region, and for the rest of the world, needs to be done.

    But letting the President with the lowest approval ratings since Nixon, just threaten to say mean things about Democrats and then get his way, is a recipe for disaster, not just in that part of the world, but for the system of government we have in this country.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

    by Barth on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 06:27:09 AM PST

  •  One person that walks the walk just gets an UGH. (0+ / 0-)

    It's ironic.

    You are a front page poster at a site that spent the summer marginalizing Dennis Kucinich to their readership, and then you have the nerve to ask why our leadership is so rotten?

    The "gate crashers" turned out to just want a backstage pass behind the gates.  

  •  Surgery on the house (0+ / 0-)

    Terrific Idea. Set 2010 as D-Day. Here's where the net roots can make a stand. Because we only have to fund 5-7 primary challenges to the leadership. It would still be a shit load of money. Figure 15 Million over two years that would have to be raised. The net-roots would probably have to get 50% of that to viable candidates before they begin to attract regular donors.

    It does a few things in the short term. If the plan is widely publicized with the House Leaders targeted first and the amount of money we plan to raise and how we would do it, just the announcement may turn some of them around.

    That makes it even easier. Because the hard core ones that have shut down all the subpoenas and pushed the rank and file around won't go easy ( Raul E comes to mind). But if we are able to turn a few and maintain the same fund raising goals on this site and all other progressive sites, then we need to fund less races with far more money.

    Plus, once the rank and file see the hard core leadership is in trouble, they will start to disobey. Basically we have their backs becuase they know we are going to help take out the roadblocks.

    Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

    by Dburn on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 10:23:41 AM PST

  •  hear hear (0+ / 0-)

    You have perfectly articluated why I responded to the DCCC's latest appeal with a letter explaining why I'm not giving money.
    *blank checks
    *refusal to enforce subpoenas
    *impeachment off the table
    *the failure to restore habeas
    *Mukasey's confirmation
    *running flack for wiretapping
    *lying about their knowledge of torture.

    I'm working for state and local politicians for the foreseeable future.  On  the national level, the Democrats have forfeited their chance at any of my hard-earned dollars.

  •  We gotta (0+ / 0-)

    We gotta get

    We gotta get the Republicans

    We gotta get the Republicans outa

    We gotta get the Republicans outa the Democratic party!

    It is better to meet a mother bear robbed of her cubs than to meet a fool busy with a stupid project. -- Pr. 17:12

    by november3rd on Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 11:14:40 AM PST

  •  Does anyone want to sign a donor strike petition (0+ / 0-)

    Here you go. I have signed it. I want competent leadership and if they can get 100k signatures then maybe the dems will listen.

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