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One of the things I see a lot of on the Left is fighting amongst Progressives over the proper reaction to the perennial selling out and betrayal of liberal principles by Democratic politicians whom we elect to office.  Every two years we mobilize on behalf of some Democrats, help to get ‘em elected and then – at some point during their term – find ourselves yelling, “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”

It’s like clockwork.

Liberals believe in actual principles and not just in power for power’s sake.  And so very often we are likely to declare that so-and-so has gone too far, that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Dems and the GOP, that we are going to “sit this election out” to teach those feckless Democrats that they can’t automatically count on liberal support, that if they want us to vote for them they have to cater to us at least as much as they cater to their corporate donors, etc., etc.

And then the inevitable pushback begins.  “No, no,” some other faction will argue (they tend to call themselves 'pragmatists'), “we have to support the Democrats!  Sure, they’re bad but they’re not as bad as the Republicans!  If we sit out the election, then the Republicans win and our country is screwed!”

Personally, I admit to sympathy for both points of view but I fall more naturally into the second camp.  The first two years of Obama’s term saw him bending over backwards to accommodate Republicans, making concession after concession after concession on the stimulus bill, on the budget, on the Affordable Care Act, until a lot of Libs – including me – wondered what the hell happened to the guy who was gonna change “business as usual” in Washington?  So in 2010 a lot of the Democratic base – disappointed with what they perceived to have been a political bait-‘n-switch by Mr. Hope-and-Change – sat out the election.

And for their sins (I personally didn’t sit it out; after Florida, 2000 – never again) we all have been cursed with the worst, most obstructionist, most unresponsive federal legislature since the infamous “Do Nothing Congress” Truman ran against in 1948.  And this during the worst economy since the Great Depression, when effective government intervention is needed more than ever.

But that is what happens when one of the nation’s only two political parties goes bugfuck, batshit insane – the other party knows that all the sane people in the country have no choice but to vote for it, and so level-headed liberals get taken for granted by that party.  This – I know from personal experience – is extremely frustrating, but the bottom line is that our choices are limited and cursing the darkness won’t light a single candle.

* * *

About two months ago I took the time to write to one of my senators, Democrat Kay Hagan.  You can read the entirety of the letter here.  Hagan was elected in 2008 and though I did not actively campaign for her I did donate to her election and I made sure to vote for her the first day of early voting.

But it came to my attention that she is co-sponsoring with John McCain a plan for another overseas corporate tax holiday.  Essentially, she wants to allow multinational corporations to repatriate billions of dollars in as yet untaxed overseas profits and pay only an 8.25% tax on all that money.  Under her plan, these corporations can use these billions for anything that they want – hell! they could just take all of that money and pay it out to their top executives in “performance bonuses.”  (Although, really . . . if you’re going to be paying that money out as “performance bonuses” it all really should be going to your lobbyists.)

A tax holiday like this was done before, in 2004, with disastrous results.  Not only did large corporations who took advantage of this tax holiday fail to pump all that untaxed money back into the economy, they funneled it into their own pockets as bonuses, dividends and stock repurchases.  And, having learned that it pays to do as much business as possible overseas, they then shed as many American jobs as they could, relocated operations to foreign countries, stockpiled cash there, and waited until the US economy was bad enough that they could once again persuade some dopey senator that they needed another “tax holiday” to give them an incentive to repatriate all that foreign lucre so as “to stimulate the economy.”

In North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, they have found that dopey senator.

So I took the time to compose what I (tried)to make a cogent but not combative or shrill letter asking that Sen. Hagan reconsider her position on this.  I pointed out that establishing another tax holiday would do nothing to help the economy or Americans looking for work, but could instead only be considered a giveaway to the corporations and the 1%.  I sent the letter to both her Raleigh and her Washington, DC office.

Well, today I finally got her response and – boy! – did it piss me off.

What she sent me reads like a form letter, something she would send out using her franking perk to let the good citizens of North Carolina know how great a job she is doing on our behalf.  Sure, she discussed the proposed tax holiday, but only as someone who had never bothered to read what I had written beyond – maybe – its subject matter.  She made wild claims about what a good idea a corporate tax holiday is without addressing any of the substantive issues that were my main points.

It was . . . insulting.  More insulting even than if her office hadn’t responded at all.  I didn’t expect to change her mind, but I did expect that – if I heard from her – it would be along the lines of:  Thank you for raising these issues.  I understand your concerns, but I have considered the matter carefully and I do think this is in the best interest of the country. Blah, blah, blah . . .   At least, then, her office would have done me the courtesy of pretending to have at least considered the issues I raised.

But what she sent was something so completely unresponsive that it made clear what I had to say to her just was not even worth the time it would have taken for her staff to pretend to care.  When I read her letter the message I took away from it was:  I recognize you are a constituent, and one of my obligations when you actually take the time to write me is to acknowledge you.  There.  I’ve acknowledged you.  You now have a piece of senate stationary with your name on it, citizen.  Now let me get back to the real business of being a senator.

Like I said . . . insulting.  And the first thing I thought after I read it and laughed my bitter little laugh is, “Well, she’s lost my vote.”

* * *

But the sad truth is that probably isn’t even the case.

Hagan won’t be up for re-election until 2014 and unless something changes drastically between now and then, if she is the Democratic nominee I’m gonna be voting for her.  I’ll be voting for her even if I personally think the Republican’s policies are more in line with my own (fat chance of that happening, but I figured I’d acknowledge that anything’s possible).  And that’s because the way our political system works now, a vote for a sane Republican (hypothetically speaking) is the same thing as a vote for Mitch McConnell or Eric Cantor.  If elected to office, sane Republicans won’t be able to set the agenda; that’ll be set by their insane leadership.

For the same reason, not voting for a Democrat is the same thing as voting for the crazy Republican leadership too.  The GOP almost always gets its base out; the GOP runs on its base.  The GOP has figured out that undecided voters are really low-information voters who are easily convinced to vote for people who sound “confident,” and that when the GOP is addressing its base it sounds all kinds of confident.  (Also batshit insane, but low-information voters don’t know enough to recognize the insanity; they respond instead to body language and the timbre of the voice, like dogs.)

So I figure if I sit the vote out because I don’t like Hagan’s policies, or because I think she’s a lousy politician, or just because I feel personally insulted by her, then at the end of the day I am just going to end up feeling responsible for whatever complete reaming the resulting Republican majority pulls on the American public after her opponent takes that seat away from her.

Understand . . . it absolutely galls me that this is the case, but it is nevertheless true.

I’ll tell you what though.  Between Hagan’s shameless toadying to the multinationals and to the 1% with this brazen tax holiday giveaway, and the sheer indifference exhibited by her staff’s treatment of her constituents . . . I’d primary the shit out of her.

Cross-posted at Casa Cognito.

Originally posted to swellsman on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:29 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hagan? Sounds like you're in my neck (9+ / 0-)

    of the woods.

    I'm in Charlotte. Are you nearby?

    History is won by the writers.

    by journeyman on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:35:22 PM PST

  •  Excellent Analysis, Thank You. (29+ / 0-)

    You have hit all the relevant nails right on their dismally depressing heads.  Your nominally Democratic Senator must face a strong, progressive primary opponent, if only to scare her into being somewhat less of a corporate shill.  The same holds true for all too many Republican-lite Democrats.

    And, most importantly, we must try to build the Occupy Wall Street movement to such power that we can win those primaries for challengers who are real, old-fashioned FDR Democrats.  No, I don't think the Occupy Wall Street movement should focus on electoral politics, they should continue to do what they have been doing, but the energetic "overflow" of the OWS movement can be a tsunami which can over-power all our corrupt institutions, including our Congress and current Democratic party leadership.

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:54:03 PM PST

    •  I like your idea of an "Overflow" (17+ / 0-)

      Myself, I consider me a huge supporter of OWS.  But I am also the kind of guy who is always thinking about what, specifically, we can do now to solve whatever problem is presenting itself -- and that makes it hard for me to think of OWS as an actual political movement.

      I think what I have come to realize is that OWS is a dialogue-changer and --hey!  Goddamn, that's great, 'cause we have needed to change the dialogue in this country for a good long while now -- and perhaps that is what OWS's role should continue to be.  

      In my fantasy world the Occupy movement acts as a kind of conscience for the rest of us, the people more inclined to worry about the muck and the mud of actual voting and getting people into office and wrestling legislative goals out of committee.  All the hard, drab stuff that really sucks . . . hell yes! keep Occupy away from that.  That would only hurt the poetry of the movement.

      But let's not forget the foot soldiers who have to grapple with that muck and mud either.  Let OWS be the Ideal, the Goal, but don't let's allow that Ideal and Goal to interfere with the actual nuts and bolts and blood that gets spent trying to concretely make things better, as opposed to aspirationally saying that things can be so.

      Both forces need to work together, not so much a Scylla and Charybdis but a Yin and a Yang.

      Politics is the neverending story we tell ourselves about who we are as a people.

      by swellsman on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 09:26:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely Agree. Very Well Expressed! n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

        by Justina on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:53:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thatcher Came Before Reagan In Proving That (22+ / 0-)

    a politician can do the worst absolutely imaginable to the people right up the last angstrom short of the level that would get them thrown out of office.

    That's the key. The only threat we wield is throwing them out of office.

    Our Constitutional system is so much better for sociopaths than parliamentary systems because there is no mechanism for either party to trigger early elections based on a change of mood --ie feedback-- of the people.

    None of our systems of government or our conceptions of rights and responsibilities is anywhere near up to date with the world in which they operate. The owners of the major forces in society however are.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:58:04 PM PST

    •  Yes, this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, mungley, Aspe4, ozsea1
      The only threat we wield is throwing them out of office.

      And I intend to wield that on my ballot next year.

    •  Despite all this, parliamentary systems are worse (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, ozsea1, bablhous, IndyReader, kurt

      I actually considered, after 2004, emigrating when the awful GW Bush was re-elected, and crazies were running rampant in the Senate and the House.  Two leading choices were Israel and Hungary.

      But suppose I moved to Israel?  Even ignoring the other problem with such systems -- the lack of our checks and balances and division between executive and legislative power -- over there, whichever major party wins, they can never seem to form a government without having to form a coalition with fringe parties of religious extremists.  And there is a price to make such a coalition -- these parties must be awarded cabinet positions giving them authority over certain parts of the government.

      And suppose I moved to Hungary?  In their elections, one of two things can happen, both bad.  The rightist Fidesz party gets a super-majority and virtually dismantles any kind of checks and balances (this is what actually happened), or, worse yet, they don't get a super-majority and the fascist Jobbik party, with its 3rd place minority, gets to make a deal, and soon we will be having stormtroopers on the street again.  (They're called these days the Magyar Garda instead of the Nyilaskereszt, but they're the same old same old.)

      So even with the insane Senate and evil Republicans and spineless Democrats, we still seem to have the best system of government around!

    •  Actually the places with a recall option like (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RandomNonviolence, ozsea1

      California and Wisconsin are a bit better in this regard than the places that don't. If only Connecticut had a senatorial recall process. They could get rid of that nasty piece of excrement named Joe LIEberman.

  •  Forgive me for my mini-diatribe, but you are (10+ / 0-)

    getting to the core of the matter.  It doesn't matter, and hasn't ever really mattered what a candidate for President says he or she is going to try to do.  What matters is the elections of the Senators and Congresspersons who can join with that elected President to enact laws representing the corporate will of the people who put them there.  Much of Obama's perceived failures of the first two years can be laid at the feet of Democratic Senators who needed to watch their backsides for the sake of their own reelection in nominally conservative states...

    Did Obama display leadership?  Well, no, but the near-term readout on Lyndon Johnson's "success" at transferring his profound sense of the way the US Senate operates to his position as President suggests that 'success' is truly in the eye of the beholder.  The Separation of Powers exists, and the warlord mentality of the Senate (and now, courtesy of the 50 or so Teabagger members, of the House) is something we may never be able to escape, so it is probably (in hindsight) foolish to think that BHO could have ever delivered what he promised, given the attitude of some members of the Congressional majority that he was supposedly working with...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 08:59:52 PM PST

    •  That does not explain executive actions (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Blair, bablhous, kurt

      that he was not forced to take by anyone, such as the Stupak executive order, reversal of the FDA on morning after, and overruling the EPA.  There is also enabling the BP coverup with millions of gallons of toxics into the Gulf, then restarting leasing with a lease to BP, as well as leases in the Arctic.  And let us not forget appointing the Catfood Commission and stacking it with people who HATE Social Security, like Simpson and Bowles.

      The President is not a helpless pawn.  He has fought for some things, but not where I wanted him to.  If he could recess appoint Richard Cordray, why not Elizabeth Warren?  I am not looking forward to his second term, although I intend to vote for him.

  •  no change in sight (15+ / 0-)

    I don't know if it is actually a definition, but the saying goes that insanity is doing the same shit and expecting different results. THe current state of affairs will never change in this scenario of yours (oh yeah, they'll actually do right next election cycle). This is a time for a movement and radical direct action as our democracy is being stolen, the middle class decimated, and oh yeah, the planet melted. It is not time for choosing between right wing and batshit crazy or trying a little reform or tinkering around the edges. This is the problem with liberals. Essentially, their purpose is to help the capitalists be a little saner and kinder to save their system and their power, not to fundamentally challenge anything. There are big fundamental changes needed, even just to save capitalism at this point. Im done with electing assholes until they get the message: toe our line or your out. The tea party and the right has ignorant and destructive policy, but they are very smart on strategy in this regard.

  •  great diary, but this is only half true: (10+ / 0-)
    For the same reason, not voting for a Democrat is the same thing as voting for the crazy Republican leadership too.

    I wish people wouldn't say this. Abstaining does not have the same effect on the outcome as voting for the Republican does.

    Overall, I hate the position we're in. This Democratic Party has to change if it is ever to accomplish anything useful.

    thanks for expressing it so eloquently.

    As the world warms, the reigning ideology that tells us it’s everyone for themselves, that victims deserve their fate, that we can master nature, will take us to a very cold place indeed - Naomi Klein

    by mightymouse on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 09:20:58 PM PST

  •  Make a choice... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster, Lying eyes

    ...do you want 8.25 percent on $1 trillion or 35 percent on $200 billion?

    A quant and damned proud of it.

    by Cera on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 09:24:41 PM PST

    •  Before I answer . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wonmug, Aspe4, Sharoney

      . . . show me the math demonstrating that these are the only two options I from which I can choose.

      Also, I don't know what you are talking about.

      Politics is the neverending story we tell ourselves about who we are as a people.

      by swellsman on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 09:30:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're talking about the proposed tax holiday... (0+ / 0-)

        ...that seems to upset you.  And those are the only two options you presented.  If you have any others, please feel free to share.

        A quant and damned proud of it.

        by Cera on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 09:39:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, got you . . . (18+ / 0-)

          . . . there a coupla things wrong about your question, but I'm gonna skip over them for right now because I want to get to the bigger point.

          Allowing corporations to get tax breaks by parking their money overseas until it can come home at a reduced tax rate only gives them an incentive to ship their operations (jobs) over there.  This is a bad idea.

          Presumably, there is some benefit to corporations being able to repatriate their money; otherwise, they wouldn't care about the tax rate.  They want to bring the money back into the economy, they just don't want to pay taxes on it.  And, of course, the reason they want to bring that money back is because the people making the decision to get that money back -- the corporations' executives -- get paid out of that money.

          Now, as a guy who isn't a corporate exec, I don't really give a crap whether they bring the money back into the economy.  If the don't bring the money back in, it doesn't help me; if they do bring the money back in at a low rate and pay it all to themselves, it doesn't help me.

          Note -- and pay attention here, Sparky, 'cause this is usually where I lose you people -- the corporations/management want to bring the money back in.  They don't want to leave the money hanging around outside forever because then they can't pay themselves their bonuses; that's why they're pushing for a corporate tax holiday.  They want it, they just don't want to pay taxes on it.

          What I usually hear is that "well, then they just won't bring the money in and it just won't be taxed at all, and then we'll all have a sad, and wouldn't it be better to get a little something rather than nothing at all?"

          The answer to that is:  No.  'Cause I think the CEOs will break.  I think if they keep piling up billions overseas but they can't bring that money in to pay themselves for having earned it then that's gonna suck for them.

          Now, to be sure . . . the corporations and the executives could always go abroad and abandon this country altogether, and perhaps they will do that.  But not in this generation.  Just as there is cachet in living in New York when you are in finance (although you could do the same job just as well in Missoula), there is cachet in being a US corporate citizen.

          (Not to mention the fact that, well, the US is probably the most corporate friendly 1st world nation on the planet bar Singapore, but then Singapore is fairly strict on their morality laws).  So . . . no.  If corporate executives cannot get their bonus money, they will eventually agree to repatriate it just so they can get paid.  What they are holding out for is only a bigger bonus, but -- tell you what, let me turn this one back on you -- would you rather get a $50 million bonus, or a $10 million bonus?

          Your answer, of course, is that you would prefer a $100 million bonus, which is why you want the tax holiday.  Which I don't propose to give you.  Not unless you kick back into the same kitty the rest of us have been kicking into our entire lives.

          Paying taxes like the rest of us:  it's only fair.

          Politics is the neverending story we tell ourselves about who we are as a people.

          by swellsman on Wed Jan 04, 2012 at 10:13:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  actually, the main corporate point in (14+ / 0-)

            staying in America, other than vacuuming up subsidies, is to get a free ride on the crumbling civil infrastructure that previous generations paid for in taxes.

            Crumbling because the top 1% and more specifically, the top 0.0001% (we have roughly 1 billionaire per million people in the USA) don't like paying taxes and hire the majority of politicians in both major parties to make sure they don't pay them.  The ASCE says we're $2.2T behind on infrastructure needs, and the total goes up every year.

            When the inconveniences that go with collapsing bridges, roads that tear the guts out of business vehicles, power that's becoming iffier by the year get to be too severe, they'll move to some place where their fellow super-rich haven't done as much damage.

            Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 04:10:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  If CEOs will break... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, CJnyc, ozsea1

              ...then why don't they?  We have flow of funds data going back to the end of World War 2, and there's no evidence that they have or indication that they will.

              Paying taxes is fair, but as it stands you're getting less revenue with a worldwide system that wants 35 percent on top of whatever foreign taxes are paid than you would with a territorial system that the vast majority of the progressive world has long since adopted.  These are facts, not something you can grumble away out of spite for overseas investment.

              A quant and damned proud of it.

              by Cera on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 05:14:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  try reading what you respond to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joe wobblie

                instead of spewing random centrist talking points. I see no reasonable argument against the idea that major corporations will leave once infrastructure breakdown makes doing business in America unprofitable.

                Peak Oil is NOW! Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

                by alizard on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 08:26:39 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  CEOs will get bonuses whether or not the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lying eyes, VClib

            cash is repatriated.  You'll note that they've gotten plenty of bonuses between '04 (around when the last holiday expired) and now, and got plenty of holidays prior to the last holiday.

          •  Replied to alizard... (0+ / 0-)

            ...instead of you.  Here's my response.

            A quant and damned proud of it.

            by Cera on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 05:21:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And yet.... (7+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Andrew M, quill, caul, Aspe4, bablhous, Kurt Sperry, kurt
            Allowing corporations to get tax breaks by parking their money overseas until it can come home at a reduced tax rate only gives them an incentive to ship their operations (jobs) over there.  This is a bad idea.

            Agreed.  that's a bad idea.

            And for exactly the same reasons, it is a bad idea to cast a vote for a person who mouths liberal applause lines during an election campaign but whose actions in office continues and expands conservative policies.  Voting for such people only gives them an incentive to continue the same activities.

            Do I advocate then not voting?  Not at all.  In Nov., I will go to the polls and cast a vote for president.  But it will not be for incumbant Obama or his GOP challenger.  Other names will be on the ballot, and I can chose one of them.  Alternatively, I can always write in the name of the person who I think is best for the office.

            If you don't like the way Pres. Obama bent over backwards to accommadate conservatives in congress, you have no one to blame but yourself for your vote (full disclosure: I too cast a vote for Obama in 2008)

            "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

            by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:21:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  swellsman - repatriation of foreign income (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep

            is unrelated to corporate bonus amounts, or at least I have never seen anything that would suggest that they are in any way related. Executive bonus amounts are based on EPS, and other financial metrics. For senior executives the metrics are worldwide. For a variety of reason it would make no sense to tie bonus amounts to the whim of Congress to bring back cash at low tax rates or not. Bonus amounts are typically determined by items that are more under a specific executive's control.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 12:24:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  swellsman - the money isn't coming back (0+ / 0-)

            There is no way that a corporation can justify paying a full US corporate tax rate to just repatriate income earned in other countries. The companies do not need it to pay higher executive compensation, most of which is in equity and not cash. I have no idea why you think this is an issue that impacts executive compensation, it doesn't.

            The US is one of the few countries in the world who even attempts to tax earnings outside its borders. The offshore cash can be invested all over the world, a market that represents 95% of the world's population and entire regions with higher economic growth rates than the US.

            Without a tax holiday the cash will stay overseas.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 01:37:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I contributed to and worked for the election (6+ / 0-)

    of Jim Webb. And all I got was a lousy Christmas card.

    Courage is contagious. - Daniel Ellsberg

    by semiot on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 05:19:28 AM PST

  •  Boy, did it piss me off! (6+ / 0-)

    Heh.  You are a good man, sir, and more willing to expose your soul and persona to this cerebral cesspit of human politics within our vast and great country than I.

    Of the many things I could say about all this vastly depressing affair is that the country suffers so much.  I could give a shit about being right, right, but now I see beggars all the time on American California streets.  UC has become private.  There are no trains, no affordable electric cars, just a bunch of drooling politicians obsessed with enforcing the cultural patriarchy.

    Look around, we are so way lost.  It's sorta making me feel that permanently. Bummer!

  •  Your last sentence says it all. (6+ / 0-)

    There are plenty of Democrats right now who need to be primaried, and time is running out for doing that in the 2012 cycle.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:08:36 AM PST

  •  I've got a lot of issues (6+ / 0-)

    with this diary, chief among them is the strawman that the diary is predicated upon:

    And so very often we are likely to declare that so-and-so has gone too far, that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the Dems and the GOP, that we are going to “sit this election out” to teach those feckless Democrats that they can’t automatically count on liberal support, that if they want us to vote for them they have to cater to us at least as much as they cater to their corporate donors, etc., etc.
    That's a strawman because you are attempting to falsely equate criticism of Democrats with "I'm going to sit the election out to teach them a lesson!"  You're not the only one, a lot of Kossacks are continually doing the very same thing.  It is dishonest and disrespectful of your fellow community members.  It is an overly-simplistic conclusion to a nuanced problem.

    I am a very vocal critic of Democrats in general and Obama specifically.  That said, I am a registered Democrat, I am a Yellow Dog Democrat, I always vote and I always vote straight Democratic ticket.

    There are plenty of others here that are like me and we don't fit your neatly constructed caricature.  Being critical of Democrats does not equal not wanting to vote for, or not wanting others to vote for Democrats and I, for one, am really sick of diaries like these that seek to make that false equivalence.

    I am sick of seeing entirely valid criticism of Democrats met with some form of this:

    “No, no...we have to support the Democrats!  Sure, they’re bad but they’re not as bad as the Republicans!  If we sit out the election, then the Republicans win and our country is screwed!”
    As if the criticism implied that we shouldn't support Democrats, which in most cases it does not.  There is a strawman contained within that response and it is that "criticism = not wanting to vote for Democrats or not wanting others to vote for Democrats."

    It is a knee-jerk response that only further inflames because there is a false accusation built into it.  If you want to do Democrats a favor, when you see criticism of Democrats, let those making the criticism vent.  Don't pour fuel of the fire by making false accusations against those that are critical because that makes things worse, not better.  If someone really is on the fence about voting for Democrats, such patronization is far more likely to push them away from voting for Democrats than it is to push them toward voting for Democrats.

    Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

    by democracy inaction on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:11:39 AM PST

  •  I don't agree with how you ultimately fall on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prfb, johanus, swellsman

    the question, but I have tipped and recced for the discussion, and for the awesome Firefly clip.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:14:04 AM PST

  •  Pragmatism makes you an Obamabot around here n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I respectfully disagree. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, AdamSelene, Zinman

      Pragmatism does not make anyone an "Obamabot" (not my choice of words).

      However, defining pragmatism as "I got something done no matter how inadequate to the task" does.  

      Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: I'm loving it.

      by NyteByrd1954 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 09:50:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The thing that makes one an "Obamabot" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul

      is being an "Obamabot."

      Around dKos, or anywhere else.

      The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

      "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

      by Punditus Maximus on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:07:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good god, stop your stupid! (0+ / 0-)

      Analysis like this makes me weep for our educational system:

      And then the inevitable pushback begins.  “No, no,” some other faction will argue (they tend to call themselves 'pragmatists'), “we have to support the Democrats!  Sure, they’re bad but they’re not as bad as the Republicans!  If we sit out the election, then the Republicans win and our country is screwed!”

      1) You obviously don't have ANY clue what Pragmatism is.

      2) If you did, you'd see the epic fail of logic in your statement.

      3) Show me ONE comment showing a self-proclaimed Pragmatist declaring we have to support Democrats in any situation against a Republican.

      This half-assed analysis smacks of laziness. Did you even try to find ANY evidence before making your claim?

      Inquiry that does not achieve coordination of behaviour is not inquiry but simply wordplay - Richard Rorty

      by BuckMulligan on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:49:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lets' see? The rocks or the whirlpool? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, caul

    "Hmmm....shall I wreck myself on the rocks, or sail into the whirlpool?  What to do?

    Ok, I've decided: I'll wreck myself on the rocks."

    Somehow, I am not impressed with the wisdom of your choice.

    A wiser person than myself once told me that insanity is repeating the same action time and again while expecting a different result.

    You have other choices in the voting booth, and if you want to see a different result, then you should chart an alternative course.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:31:36 AM PST

  •  Speaking of bots and Firefly, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prfb

    I can't get Summer Glau's appearances on Firefly and on the Conner Chronicles out of my mind.

    Perhaps it's time for a benevolent cyborg, preferably a hot one of some gender or other, to get a chance to run things.

    Keep your thermite handy, though.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 07:46:59 AM PST

  •  Some pointers on connecting with your Dem (5+ / 0-)

    in congress or senate.

    Always speak in person if possible. I go to Dem party events that don't cost me anything, or anyplace I hear a representative will be. I've met both senators and my congressman that way. I say my 2 bits in a polite manner.

    Often senators will have a pep rally and Q+A with the hardcore volunteers. Volunteers aren't as important as deep pockets but they are needed too. Senators spend more time raising money than just about anything.

    Any written correspondence is via fax. Letters take forever to go through anthrax screening and emails get a "respond and delete". Faxes get filed.

    I never speak bad of a Dem, or try not to. Praise in public when they do good, personal fax to DC headquarters when I'm not overjoyed.

    "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 08:04:29 AM PST

    •  ban nock - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      I just now noticed your sig line. Whoa. Gave me goosebumps. My wife and I, climbers both, were married in the chapel in the Valley - which has a great view of Sentinel - a few weeks before he died.

      peace

      Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. - Paul Wellstone

      by occams hatchet on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 09:32:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it was rain on that low angled stuff (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet

        at the top of the Steck Salathe. We'd discussed the seriousness stuff plenty of times, his eyes were wide open, he was fully aware of risk.

        "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 09:05:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You knew him? n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock

          Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. - Paul Wellstone

          by occams hatchet on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 09:30:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was his regular climbing partner when he (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            occams hatchet

            first got to the states. Yes he climbed with ropes. He was fairly gregarious and liked climbing with people. My first trip to the valley was with him and his girlfriend Heidi and my first partner Barry Brolley.

            On wiki there's a photo of the three of them eating lunch (I didn't send in the photo, I'm not a wiki type)

            I moved to the E coast in 89 or so, but came back out for an Xmas trip with him and Barry to Canyonlands, did the Priest on Xmas day.

            I've got lots of stories, about climbing and other stuff he he.

            "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

            by ban nock on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 01:03:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am now officially in awe. (0+ / 0-)

              We need to share a beer some time.  :-)

              Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. - Paul Wellstone

              by occams hatchet on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 01:21:05 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hopefully in awe of old Derek, but amused would be (0+ / 0-)

                better. Climbing or stardom never to be taken seriously.

                I'm still buds with Derek's first partner who lives close by, they grew up in Manchester. I've a hard time climbing out of bed these days and can't seem to finish a beer. Happy to buy you a bowl of pho if you're ever in the area.

                "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

                by ban nock on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 07:27:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  The Rich People's Party (5+ / 0-)

    In most of the southeastern US, there is only one party, and that is the party of the rich. The hateful asshole rich people run their local Republican parties as the "tough daddy" wing of the Rich People's Party, and the nice do-gooder rich people run their local Democratic parties as the "helpful momma" wing of the Rich People's Party.

    There are very distinct differences between the two, but the "helpful momma" wing of the Rich People's Party is never going to do anything that threatens any rich people.

    Big cities are the exception here (like Steve Cohen in Memphis), but out in the boondocks, there's only one party.

    •  And why is that? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      It's because ever since Reagan, the majority of voters in these places have been falling all over themselves to hand over all power to the rich. Blinded by jealousy of illegal immigrants and "welfare queens" whom they imagine living in luxury, they fall all over themselves to de-democratize their states and hand everything over to the "efficient" private sector which efficiently vacuums up their tax dollars and stuffs them into the pockets of the crony capitalists.

      If people would only stand up for themselves and not be seduced by what they see on television, they could have responsive government....but no one wants that, they prefer turning over power and responsibility to the rich and getting nothing but shiny objects in return..

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 01:23:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was with you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Aspe4, swellsman

    until you raised the fallacy that not voting for a Democrat is a vote for the republican.  By that infantile logic, if one does not vote for the republican, then their vote counts as a vote for the Democrat.  I would bet you disagree with the clear logical implication of your reasoning when applied to a non-republican vote.  Under your reasoning, you must accept as true that a vote for Nader in 2000 was a vote for Gore.

    Otherwise, I appreciate your rational tone.  You made a case for your position without resorting to name calling, etc.  And you demonstrate an honest understanding of the position of others.

    As a side note, I think one thing that gets lost in the battles over whether to blindly support or unrelentingly withhold support is geography.  I can appreciate the bind you find yourself in as a North Carolinian.  I would bet that many- if not most- of the people who do in fact withhold their vote from Obama will do so in Dem majority states.  The political calculus can vary significantly based upon geography.  

    •  I would agree that not voting for a Republican (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swellsman, ozsea1

      would count as a vote for a Democrat, assuming the person in question were a conservative...the logic makes perfect sense either way. I'm sure there were Republicans making that argument in 2008 to their friends who didn't want to vote for McCain, and they'll be saying the same to those who shudder at the thought of voting for Romney. Frankly I'd be thrilled if a 3rd party "conservative" ran and siphoned off votes from the Republicans...I'd be even happier if Republicans didn't vote.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 01:28:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why a conservative? (0+ / 0-)

        You've tried to dodge the bullet.

        The "any vote not for the Dem is a vote for the republican" argument does not limit itself to liberals or even Democrats.  Its proponents argue that ANY vote for someone other than Obama is a vote for the republican.  By that logic, the converse must also be true- any vote not for a republican is a vote for the Democrat.

        OK, accepting your different affiliation/different analysis approach:  What if I am a so-called independent?  Or unaffiliated?  Or belong to a third party?  How does my vote get counted in this simplistic logic game?

        •  Actually, what it boils down to is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, orestes1963

          that in almost all elections in the U.S. there are only two parties competing, Democrats and Republicans. If there is a binary choice, then any vote withheld from one helps the other by tilting the advantage. That works any time you have the situation of a binary choice, if there's only one or the other, then any loss to the one is a gain to the other. Whenever a vote is withheld, it lowers the number of votes needed to win, and if it's really close that can make the difference. That's why GOTV is so important to campaigns.

          Of course if there's a huge difference in the expected vote totals it doesn't matter, but that doesn't invalidate the logic.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 03:55:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree with your point (0+ / 0-)

            However, your binary analysis does not address the faulty logic of the non-vote is a vote argument.  The fundamental logic of a binary system is that one wins by actually getting votes.  Not getting a vote does not inure to the betterment of your opponent unless the opponent is the recipient of the vote.  The winner will be determined solely by votes gained.  Votes not exercised and votes outside the binary system have no bearing on the result if we accept it is a binary system.  IMO, it is fair to argue that a vote outside the binary system is a wasted vote, a nullity (assuming you accept the underlying premise that it is a binary system; many would disagree with this claim).  However, you cannot logically reach the conclusion that a vote withheld from A, but not given to B is a de facto vote for B unless you accept the converse (a vote withheld from B is a vote for A).  It's fundamental logic.  Why do so many around here not understand this?  Although directed at you, my question does presuppose that you would fall into that group.

            •  Maybe I need to explain better (0+ / 0-)

              Suppose there are a total of 25 voters and two candidates to choose from. If everyone votes, a candidate would need at least 13 votes to win. If only 13 vote, then a candidate could win with 7 votes.

              Let's say the candidates are A and B. A has 15 who prefer him and B has 10 who prefer him. If they all vote A wins. If half of A's supporters don't vote, and all of B's supporters vote, B wins.  In the much more complex situation of the U.S., A is the like the Democrats (who have a larger part of the population tending to support their policies, but often not voting) and B would be like the Republicans, who have a smaller support base but one that regularly turns out to vote.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Sat Jan 07, 2012 at 03:31:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The end result of politics is power (0+ / 0-)

    My first political principle, and the main reason why I still come to this site: Beat Republicans everywhere, all of the time.

    Anything else is just b.s. and fantasy.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 09:52:48 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure Obama thought 2010 was bad at first. (7+ / 0-)

    Obama's reason for being in office used to be to compromise with Republicans.

    Now it's not, I guess?  Or maybe he's tired of it?

    If we give him a Democratic Congress, will he throw it away to concentrate on pleasing a GOP minority again?  Or has he learned his lesson?

    No idea.  Based on history, though, if we reelect President Obama, the Presidency will be about placating Republicans.  Whether he has a Republican majority or minority to deal with in Congress, President Obama has made it absolutely clear that his first policy priority will be placating them.

    He's good with the words and the empty gestures.  But he's the guy who reinstated W's highest economic officer.  We didn't do that, and it would never occur to us to do so.  He has different values from us.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 10:05:01 AM PST

    •  Pfft! (0+ / 0-)

      If that is all that you can see that Obama has accomplished in his first term, then his sins are quite grievous.

      I don't agree with all of his actions or positions.  But my choices were Obama or Walnut McCain.  I would make the same choice again in a heart beat.   We did not 'bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb iran'.  That is worth a whole lot of the other crap.

      We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately - Ben Franklin

      by DanD on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 01:50:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those are two different arguments. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bablhous, kurt, miningcityguy

        I find the idea that Obama should be reelected because the alternative is unthinkable to be quite reasonable.

        I don't find the idea that Obama himself is a good administrator or Progressive ally to be well supported.

        The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

        "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

        by Punditus Maximus on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 02:23:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hagan's Not a Dope (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swellsman, PapaChach, kurt
    In North Carolina’s Kay Hagan, they have found that dopey senator.

    Calling her a dope implies she's being tricked and, but for her naivete, she would do what's right and oppose a tax holiday. That's the Democrats' whole scam: it's better to be thought of as well meaning idiots who "don't have a spine" or "don't know how to fight" than for the base to realize the Dem pols actually have sinister motives and often assist the GOP and that they just don't give a damn.

    Why should Hagan care about your opinion on the tax holiday? You admitted you're going to vote for her regardless and even after one of her Congressional interns sent you an insulting letter. A begrudging vote counts the same as an enthusiastic one.  We're so screwed because we're boxed in to such pathetic choices for leaders.

    "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

    by Aspe4 on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 11:08:46 AM PST

    •  Do attribute to malice (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      swellsman, highacidity

      What can be explained by stupidity.

      I know very well educated democrats that thought Condi Rice was a misunderstood intellectual giant.  

      I never thought they were being nefarious.

      We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately - Ben Franklin

      by DanD on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 02:00:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. Good points. (10+ / 0-)

    To those who think that casting one vote for an alternate candidate or not voting will change the system, you are not thinking about how the system currently works.

    Protest votes don't work in a corrupt system. 2000 is a perfect example of how trying to vote your way out of a morass in one election leads to failure. Nader got plenty of protest votes and we got President George W. Bush.

    So, yes we need grass roots changes to the system.

    We need OWS. We need to drive home to the rest of the nation that just feeding the 1% is not going to help.

    As painful as it has been, look how far we've come with President Obama.

    Do you think the ACA would have been passed under McCain?
    Do you think DADT would have been repealed?

    Voting for Democrats at least slows our descent into 3rd world status while we try to fix things.

    The biggest change here is that millions of Americans realize for the first time that is they want something to change they have to get involved.

    Civil rights did not march on its own; Americans marched for civil rights.

    The Vietnam war did not protest itself; Americans protested the war.

    We need to both vote Democratic and Occupy America.

    Please Vote for the Democratic nominee for President in 2012.

    by mungley on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 11:30:38 AM PST

  •  Those are not the only choices (4+ / 0-)

    If the political system is broken (spoiler: it is), then do what you have to in the short-term but at the same time build the viability of alternatives.

  •  I don't believe the Democratic "base" stayed (4+ / 0-)

    home in 2010...it was instead all the non-base Democrats, the fair weather voters, the only-when-there's-a-charismatic-candidate voters, the only-presidential-year voters, who stayed home in 2010. The reason Republicans had such huge gains was that they have a bigger base than we do, and with just their base+the teabaggers they were able to overwhelm the Democratic base.

    Polls have shown for many years that the Republican right wing has a solid ~30% of the electorate, while "liberals" only have about ~20%. In a country where less than half the electorate votes (except in presidential elections, which now average about 55%) we're always at a disadvantage, which is why it is so hard for liberals/progressives to have an impact.

    It's frustrating, but staying home doesn't help, and voting for a minor party doesn't help. The only thing that will ever help is somehow getting Americans to realize that Big Capital is not their friend, and that Big Government can be if they demand it, and if they elect progressive officials. The reason we have so few liberal/progressive officials is that most voters think liberals are the enemy.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 01:50:23 PM PST

  •  More and Better Democrats. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swellsman, Stuart Heady

    If we replace a republican with a poor democrat, we've made an improvement.  And just because we support someone for one election does not mean we have to support them on the next!  Always, always be willing to replace the incumbent with someone from the left if possible.  If there's a poor democrat in there - even if it's one that we put in there - and there is a better democrat that can primary them, good!  Swing to the primary opponent!  If they don't win, you swing right back to defending our lame incumbent against the opponent on the right.

    It is not fickle to always choose the best candidate, and it is not a failure to switch sides to the current best case if the previous best case falls through.

    We always need to focus on more and better candidates, and not bind ourselves to identity politics.

    We don't need to be like PUMA, so frustrated in the loss of Hillary in the primary that they couldn't switch to their previous opponent (Barack Obama) and so switched to his current opponent, John McCain.  They got too tied up in the hate.

    We want to make this country better and we can do so progressively.  Vote for the best option, even when it sucks.  Always vote for the best option.

    That's how we'll get more and better democrats.

    "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

    by Aramis Wyler on Thu Jan 05, 2012 at 02:26:20 PM PST

  •  Hagan doesn't care about your letter... (0+ / 0-)

    she cares about your vote, since you've promised it, why should she ever listen to you?

    When are people going to understand the goal should not be winning elections - the goal is moving the overton window.

  •  No difference (0+ / 0-)

    There is some kind of assumption floating around here that there is a difference between what a progressive politician does when elected into office, and what a Democratic one does. That's just not true. In fact, Democrats are all progressive to some degree and in certain domains. It may even be true that all are fairly conservative in some ways: for example, even during the summer heat, no congressman or senator of either party, no matter how progressive, comes to the floor in cutoffs, tee shirts, and flip-flops (that I know of).

    The same points made in this diary could be made without drawing a false distinction between progressive politicians and Democratic politicians, that's all I'm saying. For example:

    One of the things I see a lot of on the Left is fighting amongst Democrats over the proper reaction to the perennial selling out and betrayal of liberal principles by Democratic politicians whom we elect to office.  Every two years we mobilize on behalf of some Democrats, help to get ‘em elected and then – at some point during their term – find ourselves yelling, “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”
    or
    One of the things I see a lot of on the Left is fighting amongst Progressives over the proper reaction to the perennial selling out and betrayal of liberal principles by Progressive politicians whom we elect to office.  Every two years we mobilize on behalf of some Progressives, help to get ‘em elected and then – at some point during their term – find ourselves yelling, “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”
    Either way, but I personally prefer the first one.
  •  My take is (0+ / 0-)

    that I'm not a swing voter.  

    When the swing voters decide against my side's guy, well, sometimes I decide they probably got it right.  Though swing voters seem to vote the way they do mostly for (to me) the wrong reasons.

    In short, under most circumstances I'm not a swing voter.

  •  Focus on More or Better Democrats? (0+ / 0-)

    For me, the answer is clear--Better.

    When just a few years ago we had democratic majorities in both houses of congress and a democrat in the executive office but the legislative outcomes were corporatist rather than progressive.

    IMHO, we should begin identifying "safe" Congressional Districts and primary them with the goal of putting in place progressives.  That creates role models for other candidates to be more progressive, puts progressives in office to pursue a progressive agenda, and fires a warning shot across the bow of other democrats.

    Getting the money out of politics is critical to our long term success.  As long as the size of campaign chests is the best indicator of elective success, money will control our government.  This will only happen through direct action.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Fri Jan 06, 2012 at 04:15:50 AM PST

  •  "The People...Have No Choice..." (0+ / 0-)

    That about sums it up, sadly enough.  

    They know it.  We know it.  They know we know it.  

    It seems that increasingly our choices have become:  Bad or Worse.  

    Many of us (including myself) will dejectedly shuffle to the polls and pull that "Democrat" lever yet again, despite the feeling that those Democrats far too often fail to even pretend to represent us.  

    But while people who have some degree of a pragmatic outlook--deciding that whatever the Dems do or don't do, it won't be quite as bad as what the republicans do or don't do--other people will just decide that if nobody truly represents them, why bother to even go to the polls?  

    The Democrats might want to try to understand that the choice between "Bad or Worse" isn't necessarily the best motivator to GOTV.  They might want to at least make an occasional effort to actually attempt to represent the people who they expect to show up at the polls in the next election.

    Luckily for the Democrats, even the republicans are feeling the apathy:  In Iowa, only 5.4% turn out to vote.

    OTOH, maybe the Dems should take a look at what can happen when voters, instead of being "fired up & ready to go" may be feeling ignored and neglected.

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