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Mainstream Democratic campaign consultants and pollsters typically tell candidates they should "move to the right" and campaign to the "center" with positions that are "between" the "left" and the "right." This is the way, they say, to "attract swing voters" who would be "scared off" by a candidate who takes populist positions that favor the interests of the 99 percent over the interests of the 1 percent.

Polling and experience show that exactly the opposite might be true.

This week Lynn Vavrek writes at the New York Times Upshot blog, in "The Myth of Swing Voters in Midterm Elections":

There just aren’t that many swing voters. ... Ultimately voters tend to come home to their favored party. There are relatively few voters who cross back and forth between the parties during a campaign or even between elections.
Looking at the Democrat loss in the 2010 election, this is the key:
The results clearly show that voters in 2010 did not abandon the Democrats for the other side, but they did forsake the party in another important way: Many stayed home.
Again: In 2010 "swing" voters did not "shift" toward Republicans. What happened was that Democrats stayed home.

2011 Pew Poll: Independents Aren't 'Centrists'

Who are the "independent" voters? In 2011 The Washington Post's "The Fix" looked at a Pew Research Center poll. In the post, "The misunderstood independent,"  Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza wrote (emphasis added)

In politics, it's often tempting to put independents somewhere in the middle of Republicans and Democrats, politically. They identify somewhere in between the two, so they must be moderates, right?

A new study from the Pew Research Center suggests that's not so true anymore. Independents, in fact, are a fast-growing and increasingly diverse group that both parties are going to need to study and understand in the years ahead.

. . . Pew identifies three different kinds of independents. Libertarians and Disaffecteds are 21 percent of registered voters and lean towards Republicans; Post-Moderns are 14 percent and lean towards Democrats.

A look at their views on issues shows those three groups can often be among the most extreme on a given topic.

Disaffecteds, for example, believe in helping the needy more than most Democrats. Libertarians side with business more than even the solidly Republican Staunch Conservatives. And Post-Moderns accept homosexuality more than most Democrats. The three independents groups are also less religious, on the whole, than either Republicans or most Democrats.

In other words, polling shows that many "independents" are to the left of Democrats and many others are to the right of Republicans. They are not "in the middle" or "between" but rather are more likely to stay home and not vote for candidates who move "to the middle." Those independents to the right of Republicans are not going to vote for Democrats no matter how far "to the right" the Democratic candidate goes.

2010 PPP Poll: The Independents Who Stayed Home

In 2010 Greg Sargent wrote at the Washington Post's Plum Line blog, "Progressives and centrists battle over meaning of indy vote" (emphasis added):

Independents are not a monolith, and what really happened is that indys who backed Obama in 2008 stayed home, because they were unsatisfied with Obama's half-baked reform agenda, while McCain-supporting indys turned out in big numbers.

. . . The key finding: PPP asked independents who did vote in 2010 who they had supported in 2008. The results: Fifty one percent of independents who voted this time supported McCain last time, versus only 42 percent who backed Obama last time. In 2008, Obama won indies by eight percent.

That means the complexion of indies who turned out this time is far different from last time around, argues Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. His case: Dem-leaning indys stayed home this time while GOP-leaning ones came out -- proof, he insists, that the Dems' primary problem is they failed to inspire indys who are inclined to support them.

"The dumbest thing Democrats could do right now is listen to those like Third Way who urge Democrats to repeat their mistake by caving to Republicans and corporations instead of fighting boldly for popular progressive reforms and reminding Americans why they were inspired in 2008," Green says.

March Florida Special Election

In the March special election in Florida's 13th District, the Republican candidate strongly embraced the values of "the base" while the Democratic candidate took "centrist" positions, even embracing austerity and cuts to Social Security – in Florida. In Did Dems Have A Reason To Show Up And Vote In Florida House Race? I wrote about what happened, but in summary, R's voted and Dems stayed home.

The Republican won by about 3,400 votes out of about 183,000 votes cast. Turnout was 58 percent in precincts Romney won in 2012, and 48.5 percent in precincts Obama won in 2012. There were 49,000 fewer people who voted in this election than in the 2010 general mid-term election (down 21 percent), and 158,500 fewer than in the 2012 Presidential (down 46 percent). So it was the failure to get Democratic voters to show up that lost them the election.
The Republicans ran "the furthest right a GOP candidate had run in the area” in 60 years. Meanwhile the Democrat tried to “reach across the aisle” to bring in “centrist” and “moderate” voters, and emphasized “cutting wasteful government spending” and “introducing performance metrics to hold government accountable for waste and abuse and creating the right fiscal environment for businesses to create jobs.”

Again, the Republican campaigned to the right, the Democrat campaigned "in the middle." The result: Republicans showed up to vote, Democrats stayed home.

What The Heck Do "Centrist" And "The Middle" Even Mean?

Think about the words we use to describe voters and policy positions. "Left," "right," "between," "center" and "swing" force the brain to visualize policy positions as endpoints on a straight line. The visualization forces people to imagine a "centrist" that is someone who holds positions that are somewhere "in the middle" and "between" the policy positions that are these endpoints. There is a bulk of voters who are imagined to "swing" from the positions on these endpoints, who are looking for politicians who don't go "too far" in any policy direction. Politicians can "attract" these "swing" voters by taking positions that are "between" the endpoints.

But polling and experience tell us:

1) There are very few actual "independent voters." Instead there are lots of voters who agree with the left or agree with the right, but are further to the left or right and so do not register as Democrats or Republicans.

2) There is no "swing voter" block "between" the parties. There are different groups of voters who decide to vote or stay home. No conservative "independent" who is to the right of the Republican party will vote for any Democrat, no matter how far right they move. All that moving to the right accomplishes is to cause many Democratic "base" voters to hold their noses if they do vote, and possibly just stay away from the polls.

Karl Rove got this. He understood that you can get the right-wing voters roused up to come to the polls by moving Republican politicians to the right. Instead of "moving to the center" he got Bush and the Republicans to stand up for conservative principles and refuse to compromise, and the result was that more of "the base" enthusiastically showed up at the polls.

Conclusion: You Have To Deliver For And Campaign To Your Base Or They Don't Show Up

Here is what is very important to understand about the "swing" vote: Few voters "switch." That is the wrong lesson. There are not voters who "swing," there are left voters and right voters who either show up and vote or do not show up and vote.

The lesson to learn: You have to deliver for and campaign to YOUR "base" voters or they don't show up and vote for you. If Democrats don’t give regular, working people –- the Democratic base -– a reason to vote, then many of them won’t.

To learn what the American voter wants, please visit Populist Majority, Exposing the gulf between American opinion and conventional wisdom.

-----

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (139+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, smiley7, Jim P, Susan from 29, Wolf10, VirginiaJeff, JeffW, nocynicism, Meteor Blades, Arroz, Pluto, Dallasdoc, night cat, Mystic Michael, thomask, NoMoreLies, Karl Rover, Bugsydarlin, blueoasis, BMScott, Lepanto, Phoebe Loosinhouse, ChuckChuckerson, MargaretPOA, daeros, paulex, RandomNonviolence, YaNevaNo, len chaitin, PhilJD, ctsteve, buffan, nomandates, mconvente, howarddream, arlene, DarkestHour, skod, gulfgal98, kharma, orestes1963, doroma, Leo Flinnwood, allenjo, copymark, greenbastard, ozsea1, MartyM, MKHector, Choco8, Dancun74, Blueslide, Lady Libertine, Catesby, lunachickie, socal altvibe, most peculiar mama, wtpvideo, westyny, PapaChach, maryabein, TomP, P E Outlier, cweb7, CenPhx, jfromga, BadKitties, decisivemoment, puakev, goodpractice, ndaWilderness, triv33, salmo, unfangus, elwior, Arahahex, justsayjoe, anastasia p, zerelda, Bob Guyer, papercut, quill, Betty Pinson, LynChi, TracieLynn, eru, whenwego, ApostleOfCarlin, Sun Tzu, allergywoman, wilderness voice, JesseCW, psnyder, jomi, randallt, Just Bob, Lcohen, Hayate Yagami, fugwb, PrometheusUnbound, tegrat, Patango, poliwrangler, oortdust, Polly Syllabic, Gowrie Gal, lcrp, T100R, milkbone, dopper0189, GeorgeXVIII, barkingcat, legendmn, Jake Williams, Subterranean, SteveLCo, Dolphin99, roses, p gorden lippy, pioneer111, leonard145b, Boogalord, Matt Z, cpresley, Gary Norton, Simplify, Johnny Q, xaxnar, FogCityJohn, slakn1, xynz, cybersaur, solesse413, rapala, runfastandwin, Keep It Simple, Calamity Jean, kurt, ERTBen

    --
    Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: @dcjohnson

    by davej on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:06:44 PM PDT

  •  All this money spent on advisers who can't figure (39+ / 0-)

    out that their Conventional Wisdoom is just butt-stupid; almost completely removed from reality.

    It's beyond comprehension that we've had voters for almost a decade (going back to 2005) saying, by decent to supreme majorities, that Jobs and Economy is mainly their worry.

    Yet, we have these two parties who claim to want to win elections, who largely-to-entirely fail to offer voters any REAL hope for the future.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:22:14 PM PDT

    •  "Butt-stupid" (7+ / 0-)

      Beautiful.

      --
      Seeing The Forest -- Who is our economy FOR, anyway? Twitter: @dcjohnson

      by davej on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:24:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not according to Cokie Roberts! (15+ / 0-)

      She said on NPR shortly before the 2010 election that voters cared more about civility in Washington than about jobs and the economy. I thought, "There is a woman who needs to get outside the Beltway more." I also said "That is the last time I listen to NPR." And it was.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:46:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's actually very smart, and successful (9+ / 0-)

      Consider who's promoting the "centrist voter" notion: the powers that want to keep things just the way they are. I see the swing voter meme as a form of propaganda aimed specifically at liberal politicians to keep them in line. "Don't stray too far left or the centrists will abandon you!".

      if you look at it that way, then you realize this obsession Dem politicians have is not a correctable glitch, a misunderstanding, but instead a deliberate weapon, used very effectively to control Dem politicians and keep them in line. Think about how difficult it would be for the plutocrats and corporations if Democrats were to follow the example of the Repubs and run as populist liberals?

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:37:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree, its a mercenary tactic (7+ / 0-)

        DC Dems keep selling their base on the need to move right to appeal to "centrists" simply to please wealthy corporate donors.  They're lining their own pockets to further their own careers, beef up their investment portfolios and get them invited to the right parties in the Hamptons.  DLC began these tactics back in the mid 90's.

        The problem is, they can't sell the base on a neoliberal policy agenda when the economy has tanked and voters are focused on pocketbook issues.  Their sales pitch has gone stale as Dem and Dem-leaning voters have realized the neolib economic and other policy schemes have failed miserably for the middle class.

        They've tried hammering the base, but its only engendered more anger and frustration. Neolibs are clinging to power by their fingernails. The Affordable Care Act wasn't enough to convince voters to follow Wall Street friendly, cheap labor economic policies, privatization, deregulation and endless wars. Their last hope for electoral victory is to recruit and turn out enough low information voters who haven't followed politics closely enough to realize the neolibs won't honor their campaign promises.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:07:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think the neolibs are endangered (0+ / 0-)

          When evaluating the success/failure of a Democratic machine policy or idea, and whether it will continue, I prefer to look entirely at how it benefits the wealthy and powerful, and completely disregard how ugly and craven it is or how it pisses off and demoralizes the base, or appears to betray and run counter to Party interests. All of those things are important to US, but not THEM that own most of our political system and government.

          Neoliberal policy is PERFECT for the 0.01%, and therefore it will continue, even if it destroys the country and keeps Dems out of majority power and perpetuates government gridlock - all of which I think is a feature, not a bug.

          "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

          by quill on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:42:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps this is why Elizabeth Warren has joined (38+ / 0-)

    forces with Progressive Change Campaign Committee to raise funds for, and endorse, progressive candidates in the 2014 election.

    We have to go there. If we want the base to show up, we have to offer them a reason.

  •  And you have to ignore TURD Way! n/t (12+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:30:11 PM PDT

  •  Lesson #0: Who Says Both Parties Want to Win? (45+ / 0-)

    This behavior of Democrats goes back decades, and blaming it for this long on oversight or stupidity has long ago become an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary proof.

    If we reflect on the anguish expressed on this site and among elected Democrats after 2008 when they held both chambers and the White House, the constant refrains were that they couldn't legislate with those majorities because they didn't have big enough majorities, at the same time almost reassuring us that in the coming midterm of 2010 they should be expected to lose seats and possibly one chamber.

    This is the behavior not of stupid progressives but of wise conservatives whose base are persuadable Republicans and who also need moderate progressives to get elected on their theme of compassionate conservatism.

    It's just as bad for Democrats to have strong majorities as it is to be shut out of government. What they need is divided government, so that progressive policy is impossible, but they can block the most egregious cuts in governance for the people.

    The appeal to the moderates who stay home during midterms and the chilling of the progressive base are essential for maintaining enough presence to retain careers and donor support for party and office holders, along with relief from any expectations of having to challenge the nobility by governing for the people in matters of any economic consequence.

    Both parties oppose the progressive wing because the big money they both represent as conservative parties must be taxed and regulated in order to foster the common people who are the object of progressive policy.

    So while it's not incorrect to point out that the Democrats would attract more voters by moving to the left and appealing to the people, there's no purpose in saying so, because that's not what the Democratic Party wants to do.

    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 Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:30:23 PM PDT

    •  I've been attempting to make that point (35+ / 0-)

      here for years now. (It's a tough sell on this site.)

      Recenty, kos posted a diary arguing Democrats should embrace Obamacare as a positive going into the midterms.

      I commented as follows:

      By all means, we should celebrate the fact that Obamacare has enabled millions to get health insurance, and use that fact to discredit and vanquish the Republicans this November, but, longer term, there's a hell of a lot more at stake than access to health care.

      Robert Reich posted this on Facebook today:
         

      Which party wants to (1) limit the size of the biggest Wall Street banks, (2) tax financial transactions, (3) have fair trade, not free trade, (4) end NSA spying on Americans, (5) end corporate welfare, and (6) get big money out of politics?

      Neither, of course. But over the past year I've found myself in more and more conversations with populists on the right and the left who hold every one of these views. Makes me wonder if we're going to see the emergence of a populist movement or even party in the years ahead, based on these six principles. What do you think?

      Soon, Daily Kos will need to make a choice: Continue its existing mission of Democratic Party electoral boosterism, or adjust that mission to embrace and support the inevitable development of a new party to challenge the wholly corrupted status quo.

      Hey, it ain't my site, and I don't pretend to have the talent, nor the resources to create my own, but I've been deeply involved in politics long enough to know the Democratic Party isn't going to reform itself without serious pressure. (Counting on progressive electoral victors at the local level to rise through the ranks and maintain their purity when they eventually get to Washington is a sucker's game. The current system is not only corrupted - it corrupts.)

      In my view, kos has hitched the site's wagon to HRC and fails to appreciate the danger of the GOS fading into irrelevancy as more and more disaffected Dems look for alternatives to the same ol' same ol'.

      Rupert Murdoch to Fortune Magazine, 4/10/14: "I could live with Hillary as President." I don't doubt that for a second.

      by WisePiper on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:11:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like the site; his politics, not so much. eom (12+ / 0-)

        The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

        by Wolf10 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:21:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Markos is firmly in the partisan camp (32+ / 0-)

        He's wedded to the party fealty idea, no doubt for financial reasons among others.  His rationales are muddy and lame, in contrast to the clarity of his early thinking when he was purportedly crashing gates.  Seems as though now that he's crashed that gate, he's not interested in any more gate crashing.

        Economic populism is a vast political market opportunity, especially in this new Gilded age in which the middle class is dying.  Both parties make blandishing noises toward populism, but neither is really serious about it.  Someday, probably sooner than later, we'll see a new politics centered not around Left vs. Right, but around Up vs. Down.  If the Democratic party doesn't seize economic populism seriously and with purpose, forsaking its Wall Street sponsors, it will be left in the dust.  "Which Side Are You On?" used to be the most urgent question in politics, a long time ago.  Its time will come again, and I don't think it will be too long.  Anybody who cares about the Democratic party should do everything possible to get it on the right side, before the urgency of that question becomes acute.

        We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

        by Dallasdoc on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:31:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the point you all keep missing (11+ / 0-)

        in your opposition to Clinton: You cant beat something with nothing.

        Where is this populist progressive out there who can win a national election? You cant name the person because the person, at the moment, does not exist. Nor is there anyone in the offing.

        Kos, as well as I, actually dont see the presidency as much of a problem as we see Congress and state legislatures. The way we see it, the best possible thing for progressives is to take the presidency off the table and move on to more pressing problems for Democrats. Which is the downballot. If Clinton is on the ballot, we can put the presidency in the bank. She will win and win comfortably because she is the only candidate with the stature to separate from Obama without fracturing the party on racial lines. Anybody else you are talking about cannot do both. You run against Obama in 2016, and youre pretty much persona non grata with black voters. Run with him as an unknown person and now you cant get over the cyclical problem of 'change' which will be the GOP mantra in 2016 rest assured. Only Clinton can thread this needle. She is the candidate of necessity,  but also opportunity.

        That opportunity lies in a HIGHLY FAVORABLE 2016 congressional and statehouse map. With a big female turnout and incumbent Obama and Bill Clinto  in the offing, we gove got three major national guns out there. Go with a nobody and we are then once again playing defense.

        So you all need to focus your progressive populist firepower on where it will matter most: sending Warren and Pelosi some allies, and earning back some statehouses, including in New York.

        •  A noted corporatist is a perfect standard bearer (18+ / 0-)

          The problem Democrats have is with authenticity.  People don't trust their populist campaign rhetoric, and they don't trust Democrats to represent their interests.  That's why so many left-leaning potential voters don't vote:  they don't feel represented by either party, but feel disenfranchised by the political process.

          "Why bother -- they're all the same."
          "My vote doesn't matter."
          "Doesn't make any difference."
          "They do what they want anyway, so why bother?
          "I'm too busy."

          Ask non-voters why they don't show up, and you almost always get expressions of disenfranchisement from politics.  This isn't the voters' fault -- their perceptions are not inaccurate.  The fault lies with the Democratic party for not showing these voters they're truly being represented.  The hollow rhetoric and tiny gestures and grand betrayals they see from political actors claiming to be on their side have alienated them.  That's the fault of decades of corporatist Democratic drift.  The party isn't doing enough to win back its natural base, and as a result struggles in elections much more than it should.

          I agree with you that progressives should focus on Congressional and state races, since our meager resources can't swing the presidential campaign.  But those races are in large part influenced by the Democratic brand, and the Democratic brand is in deep disrepair.  Hillary Clinton is no genuine populist, and having her head the ticket will not help this.  In 2016 it looks likely that Democrats could elect a ham sandwich president -- Republicans have no real candidate.  We could do better at the top of the ticket.  "You can't beat something with nothing" is a phrase Republicans are much more likely to regret than Democrats in 2016.

          We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

          by Dallasdoc on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:16:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  FDR was no populist either (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            freakofsociety, milkbone, duhban

            That's the point you guys seem to miss.  

            FDR was a fucking rich Wall Street Elitist.  His uncle Teddy was a fucking elitist prick.  Probably someone we'd hang an effigy of today if he were alive.

            Yet they are now considered some of the most radically progressive politicians of their time.

            It wasn't because they were themselves progressive but because FDR had at one point over 80% of the Senate and well over 2/3rds of the House on the left of him dragging him that way.

            Hillary will be as conservative or as progressive as the Congress allows her to be.  If Elizabeth Warren and Nancy Pelosi are calling the shots in the Senate and House with a solid and strong group of Dems then Hillary will be a very progressive president.  If John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are calling the shots then Hillary will be to the right of Reagan.  That's the point bbb and Markos are trying to make and that's the point that keeps whizzing over alot of lefties heads.  

            We're not going to do better at the top because til this point there hasn't been anyone with the ability to raise a ton of money and rally the grassroots to their side.  Warren is the best and she's not even close to Hillary.  

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:55:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  FDR had as many Democratic Senators as (4+ / 0-)

              Obama in their respective first Congresses.

              The primary difference is that in the lengthy lame duck period, FDR turned to the best economic minds on the globe  to design plans for recovery.  Then he did all he could to ram it through Congress, instead of mumbling softly about "not having the votes".

              When big parts of it didn't work, he abandoned them within months and drastically changed course.

              But he wasn't worried about keeping bankers happy.

              The Congress will be as conservative or progressive as the President's coat-tails.  Even if Clinton gets a sub-50% victory in a split race with shit turn out, that won't change the House.

              She has no potential to bring a progressive Congress with her, since she has no ability to motivate infrequent and first time voters.

              Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

              by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:20:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Umm no (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Subterranean, duhban

                "FDR had as many democratic senators as Obama in their first respective congresses"

                When F.D.R. took over the Presidency in 1933, the Democrats controlled 64 percent of the Senate seats and 73 percent (!) of the House seats, counting independents who were sympathetic to the party. And those numbers only increased over the next couple of midterms -- during their peak during 1937-38, the Demorats actually controlled about 80 percent (!) of the seats in both chambers. Obama, by contrast, came into his term with 59 percent majorities in both chambers. That's not much to complain about by the standards of recent Presidencies, but is nevertheless a long way from where F.D.R. stood during his first two terms, or for that matter where L.B.J.'s numbers were during the 1965-66 period, when the bulk of the Great Society programs were implemented.
                http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/...

                I love president Obama!!!

                by freakofsociety on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:56:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Where is your candidate? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            edwardssl, freakofsociety, davybaby

            I know who youre against, but who are you for?

        •  Here's the point you keep missing (10+ / 0-)

          You can't address concentration of wealth and power, climate change, suspension / curtailment of individual rights, the security state... with someone who is herself a vested interest, a brick in the Wall. So what would be the fucking point???

          What, to prevent something worse from happening?

          Puh-lease.

          After two decades of Third Way, we HAVE Oligarchy, Climate Change, an advanced security state, a lawless military regime, endless war... It's a TOTAL FAIL. TOTAL FAIL. It has done precious little but carry water for the oligarchs. It JUMPED into the Iraq War, and supported every War on Terror related reduction of Rights, embraced militarism and lawlessness, kissed Wall St.'s fucking ass for destroying the global economy... I could go on and on.

          Time to fucking reboot and organize something that will scale to our problems, even though it may be vulnerable to failure. Because Third Way is ASSURED DEFEAT. ASSURED DEFEAT. As in, ASSURED DEFEAT.

          Whatever it is you think you are protecting with HRC is worth NOTHING compared to what we face if we do not substantively address the dire issues enumerated above. NOTHING. AS IN NOTHING.

          Trust, but verify. - Reagan
          Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

          When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

          by Words In Action on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:21:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TracieLynn

          It's much more effective to push hard left on congressional candidates than presidential candidates. Shift Congress, and you can shift the agenda. But we need to push harder on congressional candidates than we do.

          (I still think it would be a good thing if Bernie Sanders were to run in the presidential race, because it would broaden discussion. It's almost a certainty he would bow out before the election.)

        •  This is kind of the point (0+ / 0-)

          I was trying to make with my Cory Booker diary the other day.

          I love president Obama!!!

          by freakofsociety on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 10:40:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Gene Robinson Said the Same This AM (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sixty Something, Subterranean

        Gene said that Republicans will bash the ACA any chance they get. Why should Democrats help them?

      •  "Soon, Daily Kos will need to make a choice" (8+ / 0-)

        Continue its existing mission of Democratic Party electoral boosterism, or adjust that mission to embrace and support the inevitable development of a new party to challenge the wholly corrupted status quo."

        Hear, fucking, hear.

        I would even accept a middle ground for one or two elections whereby they take on the roll of seeking to eliminate the third way and replace it with a thoroughly populist body, conceding nothing, anywhere. Then, failing that, proceed with taking the populism that has been assembled in the process on into another Party. But this business of thinking where are dealing with issues by working with the Third Way and leaving populism to rot on the vine is suicidal.

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

        by Words In Action on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:05:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  "relief from any expectations of having to chall- (7+ / 0-)

      enge the nobility..."

      Case in point: why the administration, in particular the DOJ, didn't even acknowledge Wall St. was on the hook, let alone got off it.

      They all want better jobs much more than they want to do their jobs, and there's more money in not doing the job.

      Thinking the Party is anything but thoroughly corrupt and enthrall to the vested interests in extreme foolishness.

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:01:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  landmark health care law notwithstanding (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety

      so... this is a crazy conspiracy theory, right? All the Democrats (except the ones you like) are secretly Republicans... sigh.

      The reason the parties have been ignoring the progressives is that progressives haven't been winning elections.

      Just in the last couple years, you have some notable progressive victories. And the Democratic party has started to pay homage to progressive ideals! (Similarly, the Republicans were able to ignore their crazy base until they started to win elections. Now the Republicans are all trying to out crazy each other.)

      It's cynical, it's depressing, but that's the way politics works. People who win elections get to set the agenda and everyone flocks to copy their strategy.

      The Democrats in the Senate got there in an era when "centrist" and "compromise" wasn't a dirty word. So of course they cling to the politics that's gotten them elected over and over again. Progressives need to win and keep winning and then Harry Reid and everyone else I'm sure you hate will start singing your song.

      •  The voters Dems need seem to think they are (0+ / 0-)

        and that's what matters most.  You can't fool them any longer with false promises, not when their incomes are falling, their futures are bleak.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:27:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  polling to back that assertion up? (0+ / 0-)

          I've noticed that you have a tendency to suggest that "voters" think the way you think. As if you, individually, are a perfect stand-in for the Democratic base.

          •  It's in the diary n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Patango

            Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

            by Betty Pinson on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:51:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it is? I don't see it. (0+ / 0-)

              Perhaps you can spell it out for me.

              Polling says that people who are to the left of the Democratic party vote for Democrats. Just as it says that people to the right of the Republican party vote for Republicans. OR they don't vote.

              There's nothing in the diary that challenges that. There's nothing in the diary to suggest that people to the left of the Democratic part have become less likely to vote for Democrats.

      •  They're not secretly Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Johnny Q

        All the conservadems and "moderates" are slightly more socially liberal (or is that libertarian?) 1990's Republicans.  Just like how "Obamacare" used to be the GOP's health care plan.

        We've just shifted the Overton window far enough that 1990's Republicans are now called "Democrats".

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:40:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  goofy and not true (0+ / 0-)

          You're just noticing the disappearance of rational Republicans. Our Democrats are the same crappy Democrats we've always had.

          There might be evidence of the Overton window, I'm not sure, but this aint it.

          As far as this:

          Just like how "Obamacare" used to be the GOP's health care plan.
          If only the Democrats had taken "yes" for an answer we would either be 5 years away from having 94% of our population covered or it wouldn't have worked and we'd have single payer.

          And that you don't realize this is a clear demonstration of the problem with dogmatic thinking.

  •  And let us not forget non-voters whose apathy (21+ / 0-)

    is probably to no small extent an expression of the wisdom of crowds. They represent some 43% of the potential electorate, lean heavily to the left and are among the least affluent. Their electoral disinterest speaks volumes about the state of our society and our mainstream politics wherein large donations speak louder than millions of votes.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:35:17 PM PDT

  •  This is why in Florida (0+ / 0-)

    we need Nan Rich instead of Crist.

    "Here's the deal, 'pubbies: Howard Dean was right." - Kathleen Parker

    by Arroz on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 08:47:36 PM PDT

    •  yeh (4+ / 0-)

      'cause it's not like Crist is crushing Scott in the polls or anything.

      /snark

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 09:03:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's see where things are in October (0+ / 0-)

        After the millions Scott's campaign and ouside sources spend on painting Crist as a flip flopper, which he very much is, this ain't gonna be no cakewalk.

        Not that it'd be any easier for Rich, but at least she doesn't carry that baggage. Most importatly, I'd rather have her as our governor, and she could beat Scott. One thing's for sure, she'd better motivate the base.

        "Here's the deal, 'pubbies: Howard Dean was right." - Kathleen Parker

        by Arroz on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 04:15:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I 100% agree, (9+ / 0-)

      but I also have to mention that Charlie has recently been publicly taking positions that many "real" Democrats are too cowardly to touch. We couldn't get Alex Sink to go after Scott for his record of crime as a CEO in 2010.

      So yes, I would prefer if the Democratic Party in Florida nominated real Democrats. But sometimes those "real" Democrats turn out to be Blue Dog triangulators like Alex Sink, and that definitely isn't the answer either.

      I have been one of Charlie's biggest critics, but if he is willing to criticize a former CEO for being a criminal and if he supports medical marijuana then that puts him solidly to the left of the last few "real" Democrats that have run for Governor in Florida.
       

      •  Not a Floridian, So Don't Know His Past Positions (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        salmo, milkbone

        But, from what I've seen of Crist's interviews this election cycle, more than a few times I've wondered aloud that I wish more Dems took these positions.

        He's also four-square for the Medicaid expansion.

        •  Charlie is FAR from perfect (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          milkbone

          When he was a Republican Governor he wanted to be called "Chain Gang Charlie" because he was nasty to prisoners, and he still holds some unclear/bad views on school privatization.

          But boy did it feel like a breath of fresh air to see a Democrat aggressively call out a former CEO's business practices as being unethical and harmful to people. We spent most of the 2010 campaign trying to get Alex Sink to go after Scott for being a criminal, but as a former BoA executive she had more in common with Scott than with the average working class Floridian.

        •  Florida Dems seem to be a lost party (0+ / 0-)

          I wish them luck in finding ways to run candidates other than former Republicans.

          Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

          by Betty Pinson on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:29:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, like we needed Alex Sink? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, Sixty Something, quill, elwior, FG

      Sorry, I'm done backing no-name entities because they're Nice People, say all the Proper Things and have a D next to their name. Crist has name recognition, he's run the state before, and NOW he has a D next to his name.

      We need someone who can beat Rick Scott. Nan Rich isn't it. It'll be nice to back a winner for a change. Go Charlie!

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:55:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey that's me! (11+ / 0-)

    A disaffected former Democrat who will be further alienated by the right Wong junk the Dems are putting out. Vote in midterms?  Prolly.   Work or donate?  No way. That energy goes toward something worthwhile instead

  •  Why doesn't Washington "get it"? (10+ / 0-)

    Given the strong, data-based points made here, why is it that official Washington still doesn't get it?  Why do so many Washingtonians continue to live in the Potomac Bubble?

    Although it's really more of a restatement of symptoms than an analysis of the cause, I think a lot of it has to do with groupthink.  In my personal experience, having lived there for awhile, DC is the ultimate company town; the nation's Capitol of Conventional Wisdom That Just Happens To Be Wrong.

    It's because Washington isn't interested in determining actual truth and falsehood, so much as it's interested in testing the political winds - and sucking up to power.

    So long as its culture remains rooted in these priorities and these values, Washington will never be able to absorb new information and new realities.  And it will continue to languish in conformity and mediocrity.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

    by Mystic Michael on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:10:06 PM PDT

    •  Washington doesnt get it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, sweatyb, AlexDrew

      Because Republicans still win elections.

      You want Democrats to go left? Demonstrate that being right consistently loses elections.  The key word is consistently- you cant support Democrats in one election (2008) and then turn around and badmouth them so badly that they lose elections in the next one (2010)

      Sustained Democratic victory will result in remaining Democrats moving left much faster than the constant bashing them for not moving left enough, fast enough will ever bring about.

      "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

      by Whimsical on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:41:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unbelievable. (10+ / 0-)

        For the millionth time.

        Democrats did not lose in 2010 because people "bashed them" or "bad mouthed them".

        The problem is, as demonstrated in the diary with all the numbers, that Democrats run on populist positions, then get in office and do the opposite - they govern as conservaDems and wonder why those voters are no longer willing to turn out. Here's a hint: it ain't because bloggers are noting the way Democrats are propping up plutocrats, it's because the voters are aware of it. And all this running to the middle and reaching across the aisle and being the adult in the run does not get you Republican crossover votes, all it does is lose Demcorats and Democrat leaning and populist Democrats.

        You want votes? Govern on the populist positions you run on. But as noted in the comments, a divided get-nothing-accomplished-and-blame-it-on-the-other-party government actually serves the plutocrats interests extremely well, so I guess the big donors to both the Dems and the Reps are getting what they pay for.

        Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves. -Thoreau

        by CenPhx on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:31:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For the millionth time (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          freakofsociety

          I talked to thousands of people who said otherwise in 2010.

          I did extensive phone banking and nearly everyone I talked to who planned to stay home told me some variation on "I know the Republicans suck, but even the people on the Democrats side are telling me they suck just as bad as the Republicans, so why should I bother?"

          Now I understand that actual empirical data would trump my personal experience.  But my personal experience sure trumps the big fat pile of nothing you've put up as an argument.

          You can continue to believe that politics works the way you think it should work (despite 40 years of evidence saying otherwise) and keep losing elections and forcing the Democratic party right and complaining about the rightward slide you're causing- or you can embrace the way politics actually DOES work, and stop whining and start winning.

          Your call, but I won't hold my breath that you'll make the right one.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:50:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  People thought Democrats sucked in 2010 (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn, JesseCW, TakeSake, CenPhx, Johnny Q

            because they did.  They had an opportunity to do some seriously great things and they wimped out against the GOP.  Obama with his never ending quest to seek bipartisanship on EVERYTHING and Harry Reid whining that he couldn't do anything against GOP obstruction.  We saw a handful of asshole GOP Senators and Max Baucus essentially shut the Senate down for months on healthcare.  So yeah people were pissed at Dems for failing and being fucking wimps.

            But you know what happened on election day?  The voters punished the Dems for sucking.  Especially the ones they thought sucked more.  The Blue Dogs got wiped out.  Meanwhile you could count the number of progressive Dems who lost that night on one hand and Grayson won in 2012 to get back in the House and Russ Feingold can get back in 2016 if he so chooses to.  So it wasn't the progressives who stood strong for their ideals who lost, it was the ones who ran away from the party ideals the first chance they got.  

            This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

            by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:10:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know exactly what happened on election day (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              freakofsociety

              cause I heard it straight from the horses mouth: millions of low -info voters were duped by the constant repetition of bullshit memes about how both parties were the same and stayed home.

              Had that not happened, had the Democrats been supported instead of needlessly, mindlessly, reflexively bashed for not going left enough fast enough as "progressives" would like- turnout would have been much higher and the last 4 years would've been very different.

              Those of who who were paying attention understand that given what he faced, Obama got the vast majority of what was able to be accomplished, accomplished in the first two years of his presidency.

              Had that fact been celebrated instead of Obama and the Democrats bashed for not achieving the impossible..well..see above.

              "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

              by Whimsical on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:16:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ah, Talking Point #17: Omnipotent impotent (8+ / 0-)

                progressives.

                Sometimes the classics are still the best.

                Fascism in the mirror is nearer than it appears.

                by PhilJD on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:19:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So completely irrelevant they should be ignored (6+ / 0-)

                  and yet completely responsible for every Democratic Party defeat.

                  Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

                  by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:28:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Never claimed you didnt have power (0+ / 0-)

                  Do claim you're using it unwisely and  in a way that guarantees you won't make progress towards the things you claim to want.

                  Your way of exercising your power has cost you progress over the last 40 years.

                  "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                  by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:23:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Those low info voters were easily duped (7+ / 0-)

                because they saw that nothing was changing.  So if nothing changed why would they think there was a world of difference between the two parties.

                You bash the progressives and engage in hippie punching for wanting to go left faster but you completely miss the part about how by not going left the Dems reinforced the notion by those low info voters that the two are the same.  

                I wonder how many of those low info voters would have thought differently HAD the Dems gone further left.  If Obama HAD pushed a more robust package through that didn't rely on tax cuts to spur the economy but instead created millions of jobs and got the unemployment rate (the U6 not the BS U3 number) significantly lower much sooner.  What if Obama HAD been more aggressive in prosecuting the criminals who brought our economy.  Imagine how people would have reacted HAD the Dems pushed an expansion of Medicare for everyone 55 and over and a public option for everyone under that.

                The fact is Obama did not get the vast majority done.  he got watered down legislation through because the GOP came ready for a fight and Obama and the Dems held their powder dry.  Pelosi had over 300 pieces of legislation that died in the Senate because Reid preferred comity over getting anything done.  Had he gotten rid of the filibuster in 09 or 10 when it was obvious the GOP wouldn't allow ANYTHING through those low info voters in November 2010 wouldn't have thought so lowly of the Dems.  

                Celebrating mediocrity is the whole point of this diary.  When Dems do that they lose.  

                This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

                by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:01:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Magical thinking (0+ / 0-)
                  If Obama HAD pushed a more robust package through that didn't rely on tax cuts to spur the economy but instead created millions of jobs and got the unemployment rate (the U6 not the BS U3 number) significantly lower much sooner.
                  Given what and who Obama faced, that simply wasn't possible.
                  What if Obama HAD been more aggressive in prosecuting the criminals who brought our economy.
                  Given what and who Obama faced that simply wasn't possible.
                  Imagine how people would have reacted HAD the Dems pushed an expansion of Medicare for everyone 55 and over and a public option for everyone under that.
                  Given what and who Obama faced that simply wasn't possible.

                  Again, the actual fact is that Obama got accomplished the vast majority of what was ACTUALLY, REALISTICALLY, POLITICALLY POSSIBLE to get accomplished.

                  And he was up front and honest about it.  But far too many liberals projected their own power fantasies onto Obama when the truth is if they were in his position facing what he faced, they wouldn't accomplish anywhere near what he did.

                  Its people like you projecting all this impossible stuff onto him and then bashing him for not getting it done that caused the enthusiasm gap that hurt us so badly in 2010.

                  "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                  by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:15:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Here's some empirical data for you: (6+ / 0-)

            Did liberals really stay home and cause the 2010 rout?

            So please quit spouting this zombie lie.

            •  This is the "ok, Liberals turned out, but you (5+ / 0-)

              suppressed the vote with your negative energy" variation of the zombie lie.

              Because if we hadn't told people they couldn't eat chocolate covered cotton, none of them would have gotten sick.

              Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

              by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:29:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ah the classic liberal straw man (0+ / 0-)

              thrown out by people to try to distract from the consequences of their own bad attitudes.

              Read more carefully next time.

              "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

              by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:07:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think you're frankly full of it, or simply (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CenPhx, Hayate Yagami, Johnny Q

            made a choice to hear what you wanted to hear instead of what people actually said.

            I didn't hear "someone told me blah blah".

            I heard "my brother is still on my couch and can't find a job".

            I heard "I didn't get any damned help when the bank took my house".

            I heard "none of those fucking bankers ever went to jail, did they?"

            I heard "where the hell was our bailout?"

            I didn't hear a bit of "people on the Democratic side told me...".

            Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

            by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:27:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the same about you and most liberals (0+ / 0-)

              that they've made a choice to only hear what they want to hear- and they don't want to hear anything that would make them wake up and face the predictable- and indeed, predicted- consequences of their negative attitudes.

              "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

              by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:52:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Obama Left Wall Street Alone (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CenPhx, Mystic Michael, karma13612

          We got clobbered in 2010 because Rahm and the boys were protecting their playmates on Wall Street and the President listened to them.  If Obama had been aggressive about going after the people who took the country down, the rest including Health Care and Immigration would have been easy.  But the Justice Department put more energy into prosecuting John Edwards than the entire bunch of thieves who crippled the country.  Elizabeth Warren has a message that this country is waiting for and would be a far stronger candidate than Hillary or anyone else because her message comes out of her own life experience, not from some consultant.  Anyone who thinks its not important to vote doesn't understand the power of the Supreme Court.  When we have six or seven justices who think like Elizabeth Warren, we will be on the road to taking our country back from the Oligarchs.

      •  It's like 2008 never happened. (4+ / 0-)

        No lessons learned, at all.

        Obsess about losing, ignore everything that should be learned from winning.

        Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

        by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:24:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Liberal mistake #4 (0+ / 0-)

          2008 was NOT about a populist movement winning.

          We could've run literal houseplants and still won the Presidency and Congress, people hated Bush and the Republicans so badly at that point in time.

          It was (and is) a HUGE mistake to view 2008 as some sort of mandate for progressive policies because it very clearly wasn't.

          THAT'S the lesson that needs to be taken from 2008.  When liberals internalize that (and a few other things) they'll be able to start winning again.  

          That said, not going to hold my breath for them to wise up.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Cart before horse. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boogalord, Johnny Q, Mystic Michael

        Support Republican Lite because otherwise they'll never move left? What reason does the left have to rally behind Republican Lite? "We won't cut the safety net (as much)! Vote for us!"

        If your options are lose and lose worse, how many rounds do you go before you stop playing?

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:47:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Reason you get Republican lite (0+ / 0-)

          is your refusal to rally behind the Democrats.

          Want what you get to change? Change your attitudes and actions accordingly.

          As for your game analogy what you're doing right now is conceding the game because its not going enough your way fast enough. And then complaining about your opponent winning when you've given up.

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:09:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  the system doesn't turn on a dime (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety

      It does turn much at all. It changes slowly because that's how the system is designed.

      The Senate is full of Democrats who won their seats in a political environment where Republican and conservative ideas were in the ascendency.

      •  There is a certain amount of slowness... (0+ / 0-)

        ...built into the system, it is true.  But a good deal of that slowness is also due to institutional insularity, inertia, and good old fashioned laziness.

        It has been allowed to develop because the American people - who really ought to be holding Washington's feet to the fire - are apathetic, passive, cynical, ill-informed and complacent.  Get a critical mass of citizens solidly behind a single idea, pushing on it hard, and you'll see just how swiftly Washington will respond.

        It's easier to make them feel the heat that it is to lead them to see the light.

        All that is necessary for the triumph of the Right is that progressives do nothing.

        by Mystic Michael on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:25:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That is what Kos has been saying (9+ / 0-)

    for a long time, and it's right. That of course doesn't mean you go off and vote Green or Libertarian or some dumbfuckery like that.
    There are primaries, see. That's when you get your favorite candidates in.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Thu Apr 24, 2014 at 10:33:04 PM PDT

  •  I've been saying for years (13+ / 0-)

    That if Democrats behave as Republicans, where is the incentive to vote for them? I mean, at least people can know what a Republican stands for but when Democrats play the conservative game, all it does is turn off base voters because that behavior sure as hell doesn't attract crossover votes. Besides, all the evidence points to the fact that behaving in a conservative fashion isn't a successful strategy almost anywhere in the country. In the end, they look weak and wishy washy and do great harm to the national conversation when it gets pushed so far right. I'm not sure that anybody clueless enough to still believe that being as conservative as their Republican opponents deserve or are qualified to hold office. No more votes for Vichy Dems!

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 03:39:14 AM PDT

  •  I got slammed several times in a recent (4+ / 0-)

    diary for saying that we could do better at motivating turnout, especially during off-year elections. I got told I was "Third Way," when I was contending just what you've proved here- that our politicians failure to support progressive stances has a price. It worked my nerves, but life goes on, and I'm really glad to see you delineate the case so clearly here. Thanks!!

  •  The problem with campaigning in the "center" (9+ / 0-)

    is that you are not being truthful.  One needs to campaign on their beliefs, not on what people want to hear.  This is the problem with dems and I don't like it.  I am for the person who has the courage of her/his convictions.

    If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:45:44 AM PDT

    •  another problem; absurdity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, Johnny Q

      the republicans have gone so far into Wonderland that any attempt to hybridize their insane policy fantasies with actual reality makes the candidate sound like a loon.

      Partial voter ID laws?
      Abstinence -sort of sex ed?
      Birth control available, but only to pinch between your knees?

      I mean, come ON.

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

      by kamarvt on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:41:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Backwards, backwards backwards (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leo Flinnwood

    If the people who think they are the base do not just show up, but offer full throated, full hearted support, they will get nothing- and then they'll complain about the Democrats rightward shift that they couldve prevented.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 05:46:39 AM PDT

    •  That's not what I've seen (14+ / 0-)

      Obama's appointments immediately after being elected lay waste to that claim.

      Lanny Breuer?

      Mary Jo White?

      Then there was Alan Simpson and the Catfood Commission. YAY!

      And probably the most disgusting spectacle going on behind the fast-track curtain in a LONG time, billionaire Penny Pritzker, helping shoving the TPP down our throat before anyone notices.

      I am really tired of these lame justifications.

      •  Ah, classic liberal mistakes #4 AND #5 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety, AlexDrew

        The 2008 election was neither ABOUT Obama NOR a mandate for progressive policies; and the only people who were surprised/disappointed by his cabinet picks were the people who were projecting their own desires onto him instead of paying attention.

        One of these days Ill write my diary about the top five mistakes liberals keep making and how they have to stop doing these things before they'll win.

        You've demonstrated that there is clearly a need.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:04:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Monsanto runs the Ag Dept. and a telecom lobbyist (5+ / 0-)

        runs the FCC because.....

        hippies didn't clap hard enough.

        Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

        by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:31:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And anyone who believed that junk (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Patango, JesseCW, Johnny Q

          about "Change" was just a sucker, I guess.

          Something voters will remember when President Walmart makes the same empty promises of reform.

          •  A promise not to appoint lobbyists was never (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Choco8, Johnny Q

            actually meant to be taken seriously.

            You silly hippies.  It was sarcasm.  Everyone knew that.

            Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

            by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:09:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Because for 40 years (0+ / 0-)

          the left has pushed the Democratic party hard right by bashing them and abandoning them by not delivering the impossible immediately.

          And then dismissed any attempt to open dialogue about the obvious failures of that strategy and how best to change it as "not clapping hard enough".

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:34:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If the plan is to scold the base into voting for (12+ / 0-)

      bad candidates then we have already lost.

      Democrats show up when they have something to vote FOR.

      Making the entire strategy "look at how crazy the Republicans are" isn't going to motivate people that live paycheck-to-paycheck to run to the polls.

      •  "then we have already lost" (8+ / 0-)

        could very well be true, because when I think of Pikkety, Warren and Lewis topping the charts, I hear Rahm Emmanuel calling me an effing retard for thinking the D's should touch populism and serve the general welfare instead of the vested interests.

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

        by Words In Action on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:26:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Electing Republicans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        freakofsociety

        which is all bashing Democrats for not moving left enough, fast enough does- wont improve the lives of people who live paycheck to paycheck- in fact it'll make them demonstrably worse.

        Now to be fair, electing Democrats wont do more than improve their lives a tiny bit(or currently stop them from getting as bad as the Republicans can make it)- but over time, those tiny bits add up.

        We used to be the party that got that.  Apparently we don't anymore.

        Shame.

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:07:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We used to be the party that "got" a lot of things (5+ / 0-)

          “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time”

          ~  Harry S. Truman

          At some point the Very Serious People in the party establishment decided that it is better to be the party that is just one half-step to the left of an increasingly radical GOP, so that we could try to have our cake and eat it too. That doesn't work. We can be the party of Wall Street and ALSO be the party of the working class.

          Criticizing specific Democratic candidates "for not moving left enough, fast enough" IS BECAUSE WE WANT TO GET THEM ELECTED. Not because we want to lose races, which is what blue dogs do. Look at the 2010 election. Look at Alex Sink in the recent FL-13 special elections. Running blue dogs causes us to lose seats.

          The working people of America don't want to hear about bipartisan deficit reduction. They want to keep their homes and earn a living wage, and if no party is selling that message effectively then they don't show up to vote. It's our job as more politically-aware citizens to push our Party to go after these votes.

      •  If trying to scold the base into voting fails (5+ / 0-)

        for 20 years, over and over again, then why do people who have seen the result keep doing it?

        Are we really supposed to believe they expect it to turn out differently this time?

        Dear Boomers: The dirty Rooskies aren't coming to get you. Breath in sanity through your mouth, breath out the Cold War propaganda through your nose.

        by JesseCW on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 09:32:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because its the only thing that WORKS. (0+ / 0-)

          And it worked fine up until the 70's, when for some unknown reason the left brought into the ridiculous idea that bashing and abandoning the Democrats for not delivering the impossible, immediately, was the best way to make "progress".

          And despite the obvious, predictable, and proven failure of that policy they've been doubling down on it ever since.

          So yeah- we've seen your policy fail over and over and over and over again- why do you think that bashing Democrats for not delivering the impossible immediately is going to work this time?

          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

          by Whimsical on Sat Apr 26, 2014 at 08:31:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's Math (4+ / 0-)

    You lose more votes by trying to gain very few swing voter by looking centrist with actions that at the same time turn off your base so they do not vote

  •  If you are a Democrat in a Red area of a Blue (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DiesIrae, Patango, freakofsociety

    state, like upstate New York, you have little choice but to be a centrist, if you want to get elected.  Purity can result in fewer Democrats holding public office.  Every voting district requires some modification of your position.   After all, you will be representing the voters, not your party.  Some people forget that.

    If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

    by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:04:52 AM PDT

    •  Seriously. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SpamNunn, freakofsociety, AlexDrew

      It's one thing to say that a midterm election is more about motivating the base than about looking for swing voters (which is true). It's another thing to think that Elizabeth Warren can win in Kentucky.

      There's a trap here, which is thinking that there's a silent liberal majority out there just waiting for us to unapologetically state our ideals. It's just not true, and anyone who's lived in a red state knows it.

      On the other hand, there's no silent conservative majority out there either. What there is is a silent confused majority - they hold some liberal policy positions and some conservative policy positions, usually in a pretty incoherent way and one which depends on precisely how the question is asked.

      •  And the dies irae is Election Day! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DiesIrae

        C'est vrai:

        It's one thing to say that a midterm election is more about motivating the base than about looking for swing voters (which is true). It's another thing to think that Elizabeth Warren can win in Kentucky.

        There's a trap here, which is thinking that there's a silent liberal majority out there just waiting for us to unapologetically state our ideals. It's just not true, and anyone who's lived in a red state knows it.

        If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

        by SpamNunn on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:28:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The problem is that (8+ / 0-)

        a candidate like Warren is objectively, provably a better representative for the working people of Kentucky, whether or not they realize this yet.

         I think a better method for a candidate to win over voters in places like Kentucky is to give them a reason to vote instead of trying to appeal to their pre-existing, factually incorrect, self-destructive political views. We should try to sell our message to them instead of halfheartedly adopting a watered-down version of theirs.

        Running blue dogs trades long-term harm to the Democratic Party and the working people of America in exchange for short-term seats, and it doesn't even work that well.

        “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time”
        ~ Harry S. Truman

        •  You don't convince people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          justsayjoe, AlexDrew

          by telling them flat-out that they're wrong. That's not how human psychology works. Tell them over and over again that they're wrong and they'll just double down on their beliefs. It's a defense mechanism. A direct frontal attack will get you nowhere.

          My view is that the people of Kentucky ARE receptive to liberal views, expressed in a certain way. Grimes is running on the minimum wage and on Kentucky's Medicaid expansion. These are great issues, because they are down-to-earth and everyone can see who is being helped. They put a human face on Democratic ideals: fairness, justice, empathy. If we can find a way to frame other issues in a way that brings out these core values, that's the best way to create change in Kentucky.

          •  Yeah, that's kind of my point. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JesseCW

            I'm not saying to tell them that they are wrong, I'm saying to tell them WHY our positions better serve their best interests. Frame them in a way that people can understand.

             Grimes is winning because she is selling traditional Democratic Party positions instead of trying to be "Republican-lite".

             If we would stick with this strategy across the whole country I think we'd be surprised at how receptive red-state voters are to the traditional ideals and principles of the Democratic Party.

            •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

              that's not quite the complete picture. She's running on some traditional Democratic party positions, like the minimum wage, pay equity, and strengthening Medicare and SS. Which is great. On the other hand, from the "On the Issues" section of her web site, here, we also get things like this:

              I strongly oppose President Obama’s attack on Kentucky’s energy industry. This Administration has taken direct aim at Kentucky’s coal industry, crippling our state’s largest source of domestic energy and threatening thousands of jobs. Washington Democrats and Republicans need to be realistic about what powers our nation and recognize that developing Kentucky’s supplies of coal is crucial.
              See also the entire section on cutting spending, on the Federal deficit being out of control, et cetera.

              My point is, she's picking and choosing the issues where she can run as a liberal and still get elected - the ones which are popular and the ones which are easiest to humanize. I think she's a great candidate too - she's running the exact kind of campaign I would hope Democrats run in red states.

              •  The bullshit deficit hysteria needs to stop (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, Patango, milkbone

                but I'd bet that when you ask most Grimes supporters why they support her you would NOT get "she wants to reduce the deficit" in even the top ten most common responses.

                 I don't live in Kentucky so I'm not exactly in touch with the ground game there, but I'd speculate that Grimes is getting a lot more traction with the minimum wage argument than with the spending argument. I wouldn't expect her to go after coal considering how many people work in the coal industry in Kentucky.

                •  I agree re: traction. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  DisNoir36

                  Her positions on the deficit, and to some extent on coal as well, are designed as buffers. They're not the main focus of her campaign, but they neutralize potential attacks.

                •  You know, (0+ / 0-)

                  after reflection, it occurs to me that there's common ground here. You're saying that running as a Republican-lite blue dog is a bad idea. I'm saying that it's suicide to run uber-liberal candidates in these sorts of districts.

                  I don't think these are contradictory.

                  In particular, use Grimes' campaign as a model. Basically say, yes, it's OK if you take some of these buffer positions to fend off attacks. So it's OK to run as a blue dog in that sense. But the key is emphasis. If you have a scared candidate trying to run on the platform of "well I'm not really a Democrat, deficit deficit deficit spending spending spending", that's bad. Those issues might have popular support, but they're traditional conservative issues, not liberal ones. On the other hand, if you have a confident candidate like Grimes who's running mostly on the issues which are both popular AND traditional Democratic ideals, while having inoculated her right flank against some of the most obvious Republican attacks, that's good.

          •  It's a question of commonality (0+ / 0-)

            And right and left wing "average" folks have a LOT in common. Declining wages. Scarcity of jobs. Terror at the idea of a poverty-stricken retirement. Hell, terror at the reality of their poverty-stricken present. And on and on and on...

            On "values" issues, the two parties are worlds apart, and it is difficult as hell to swallow your (entirely justified) anger and disgust at someone's bigotry regarding race, sexual orientation, gender, and find common ground on economic and constitutional issues. But there is a LOT of common ground there, and making REAL change in the US (as opposed to change we can "believe" in) will require building those bridges. As painful as it will be to do.

            Probably won't happen till the pain of not doing it is greater. How much further do we have to go, do you think?

          •  Right. (0+ / 0-)
            You don't convince people by telling them flat-out they're wrong.
            You convince them by telling them the alternative is worse, amirite?
    •  That's the straw man. (5+ / 0-)

      The point is we have people like Chuck Schumer -- a firm supporter of FIRE's destruction of the Middle Class -- in safe blue seats. Diane Feinstein -- Mrs. Security State herself -- in a safe blue seat. I could go on and on.

      The Third Way that runs this Party is not all from Red States and even if they were, why should THEY dictate Party Policy, which has FAILED and delivered us oligarchy, climate change, the security state, militaristic lawlessness, endless war...

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:31:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you don't like Schumer or Feinstein, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AlexDrew

        primary them. That gives you a pretty liberal electorate to work with (committed Democrats in CA or NY), and the risk of losing the seat in the general election is small.

        •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Johnny Q, karma13612

          Because fighting the incumbent Party establishment through primaries, without even the help of the likes of kos, isn't virtually futile.

          At best you'll pick off a couple on the fringes, and then almost 100% of your replacements will be brought under heel of that establishments within months of arriving in D.C. Because everyone becomes drunk with re-election and/or lobbying opportunities.

          The Third Way has to be attacked in many more ways than simply electoral, because incumbents are protected by the same vested interests thwarting us on every side.

          Trust, but verify. - Reagan
          Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

          When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

          by Words In Action on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:52:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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

            And yes, it's important to have people trying to create change from outside, through activism.

            At the same time, I don't think one can afford to abandon electoral politics. I know your preferred solution involves a general strike or other sort of nonviolent revolution (you've told me that before), but I don't think there's a realistic chance of creating major positive change that way.

    •  Irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

      Irrelevant. if a Democrat wants to run as a Republican, he or she can switch parties and arguably a Republican who runs as a Democrat against a Republican incumbent will be just as bad as reelecting the Republican. No more votes for Vichy Dems!

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:33:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In NC we need to elect Kay Hagan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    But you wouldn't believe how hard it is to motivate people to work the election.

    We all know we have to be motivated, but every organizing meeting has to start off with everyone saying, "Well I don't agree with her on ...".

    She is there when you need her...but...

    The highest form of spiritual practice is self observation with compassion.

    by NCJim on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:14:14 AM PDT

  •  Kos has sold out, completely (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChuckChuckerson

    Cuomo-Clinton, he hates one but lovessssss the other. Principles Kos.... can't help but notice you have completely lost them.

     So let's fight Cuomo with a primary challenger or something....

    BANNED!

    The Republicans are crazy, but why we follow them down the rabbit hole is beyond me.

    by Jazzenterprises on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:36:10 AM PDT

    •  Um yeah Hyperbole doesn't serve you well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freakofsociety, milkbone

      Nobody here is against primarying Cuomo.  In fact I suspect that if a credible challenger like Eric Schneiderman were to rise up to the challenge we'd all be on his side including kos.  

      Kos isn't going to ban anyone for pushing a primary challenge and for you to say that just shows how woefully ignorant you are of how this site works.  

      That said, Working Families Party is not a primary challenge.  Someone running under WFP would be a third party challenge and would allow the GOP nut bag to be competitive, especially if the Dems are being split in two.  The goal here is to elect more and better Dems, not Republicans.  Oh and BTW I vote for WFP in CT.  If it wasn't for the Working Families Party in CT our governor would have been a Republican and our minimum wage would have not gone up, we wouldn't get paid sick days or any of the other progressive pieces of legislation that passed.  You really need to understand how WFP and the voting system works in NY and CT.  

      As for Clinton, kos is being pragmatic about it.  There is no other Dem out there with the name rec, the money, the experience and the ability to wipe the floor with any and all GOP contenders out there.  If another more progressive Dem does appear you can be sure that kos and others would support that person but as there isn't.  What's the point in wasting time and money opposing Hillary when we could be using our resources more effectively in winning back congress and getting big majorities riding the coattails of a strong Presidential contender.      

      This purity bullshit has to stop if we're to defeat the GOP.  We cannot get back on track until that is done first and foremost.  Until then and ONLY after when that happens can and should we focus on our side of the aisle.  Unfortunately it seems too many of us want get two steps ahead of ourselves and engage in a purity war where all the DINO's get purged out.  I'm as liberal as they come but I recognize the need for them even if I don't like it.  I'll be the first one to say the hell with Matheson or some other Conservadem somewhere but only if I think we can more easily replace them somewhere else with a more progressive option.  Hillary is the tree you guys are so fixated on that you're completely missing the rest of the forest.  It's far more important to have Nancy Pelosi and 60+ Dems in the Senate with Hillary as president  than Elizabeth Warren as president with Eric Cantor and Mitch McConnell calling the shots in Congress.  Under those two scenarios no matter how progressive Warren is, she won't be able to do jack shit about it and Congress will force her to be more conservative than Reagan while Hillary will be able to raise the minimum wage, pass immigration reform, strengthen Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare and so on.    

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:33:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the problem is money or the lack thereof (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, goodpractice, CenPhx

    What we have in America is what's right and the false equivalencty of what's right. False equivalency is what we need to expose. If money is equivalent to free speech then what is the lack of money equivalent to? If all a homeless man needs to do to have the same free speech as a CEO is go out and get some money from the money pile, then yes, money is the same as free speech. They just need to let us know where that money pile is.
    America will be America when publicly funded elections are the law. The only time taxes will be fair is when elections are publicly funded and there is no false equvilancy for that and it doesn't take a Supreme Court to see it. In this material world money may equal speech but when it does it remains the antithesis of truth.  

    "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

    by tRueffert on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:36:54 AM PDT

  •  Very Serious People (7+ / 0-)

    will disagree. Because when they have their way, all us proles believe the "Mythical Centrist" BS.

    Some of those Very Serious People are in charge of our Party. And they had better wake the fuck up soon, if they really want to win. I often think they really don't, because this is just not rocket science, folks, it's pretty simple--yet it sure looks to me like they refuse to get it:

    You have to deliver for and campaign to YOUR "base" voters or they don't show up and vote for you. If Democrats don’t give regular, working people –- the Democratic base -– a reason to vote, then many of them won’t.
    Dear Alex Sink--yes, I am looking directly at you and candidates like you. You and all the other "Democrats" who insist on taking on Republican traits can go pound sand. If I want a Republican, I'll vote for one. I DON'T WANT A REPUBLICAN. So start acting like godd*mn Democrats and stop the ridiculous corporatist pandering already. I am so sick of it. SO sick of it. If these people are this stupid, they're not worthy of my vote.

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:45:49 AM PDT

  •  Our base is bigger than their base. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, JesseCW, Johnny Q

    Even in many red states.  

    Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

    by westyny on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 06:49:50 AM PDT

    •  trouble is our base doesn't vote (4+ / 0-)

      they don't believe it works. Why should they when the only difference between candidates is the letter in parenthesis after their name. They've seen the old, Promise them anything but give them...........net neutrality.

      "HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE" , bumpersticker on a burning Subaru

      by tRueffert on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:02:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's what the diarist is saying, and (5+ / 0-)

        most everyone else here, too.  Democrats should own being Democrats.  This isn't about beating Republicans, it's about embracing policies that the people want and that work.  And in the case of Keystone showing the courage to make the right decision for the sake of the planet.  But I don't ever think that a Democrat is the same as a Republican in this day and age. I'm glad most of the Blue Dogs are gone, but I would even prefer them over the theocratic, racist gun nuts that have made the Republican party home.  And to go passive in the face of their possible election strikes me as irresponsible.  The diarist is right on, in my opinion, to argue that we get the base motivated by standing up for progressive policy.  I also think that at every stage, the funding of ALEC and AFP for opposition candidates should be exposed.  

        Life is good. Injustice? Not so much.

        by westyny on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:26:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and No (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think that young people skip mid-terms because of frustration with the system, for instance. I think it's more likely that they're not settled enough in their lives to feel that the smaller regional issues are important to them - they only concentrate on the national and the hyper-local. We have to communicate to the Democratic coalition who aren't committed voters how important it is to get a Congress and Senate who will work with whoever it is at the top to get things done.

        Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

        by milkbone on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:24:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Duh (6+ / 0-)

    "Moderates" will hold their noses and vote, no matter how "extreme" they think their candidate is. The Republicans realize this, that is why they can run nut jobs and still win - they energize extremists without sacrificing moderates.
    Third Way democrats also realize this; that is why they feel free to sell us out - the status quo will hold no matter how badly they perform, but attempting to expand their vote will only empower challenges from the left - who will win on merit.
    Move to the left - good for the country, good for the party, but bad for Democratic incumbents.

  •  What an interesting read. (4+ / 0-)

    And I think the analysis is spot on.

    Here in Northern Michigan we have two candidates, Jerry Cannon (congress) and Gary Peters (senate) who are clearly positioning themselves as economic conservatives.  Further, on Jerry's website he comes off as a deficit scold.  They show themselves embracing neoliberal economics and appear tone-deaf to what this has done to our nation; all to position themselves as centrists.

    Being liberal on social issues but selling us out economically just won't cut it anymore.  If the economic views they espouse are truly in character, then I have no real reason to vote for them. And, if the analysis is realistic, neither will many of the Democratic base.

    Unfortunately, their brand of "republican-lite" that will suppress Democratic turnout will have a negative impact on other important races.  Our state rep., Ray Franz (R), is far more conservative than the district and there appears to be a good challenger, Tom Stobie, that can unseat him.  Tom can be a casualty of upticket races.

  •  It's campaign laziness (7+ / 0-)

    Modern campaigners say:
    - Here is the pie of people who are going to vote (we think)
    - We count all these people as reliable D voters
    - We count all these people as reliable R voters
    - We will mount a campaign aimed only at the 7% in between

    It's just a lazy campaign that is not interested in mobilizing the base, or growing that section of the pie chart.

    It's DLC bullshit.

    It's why the "pros" hated Howard Dean's 50 State strategy so much.

    Any election consultant who pitches this old formula should be tossed to the curb.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 07:24:36 AM PDT

  •  I Disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Free Jazz at High Noon

    There is a very clear center I think, if by "center" we mean the majority of citizens.   The problem is that our political system has moved right of the actual public center and are in a position where they are afraid to move "left" (which is where the center now is on most issues) and think they have to keep creeping "right" to get elected.  Of course, moving "right" is where all the money is.

    You look at any opinion poll on almost any social, economic or policy issue and the trend is very clear.  The majority of citizens want what is referred to as "liberal" changes.  But politicians keep acting like those "liberal" issues are political losers.  Meanwhile voters become more apathetic and stay home realizing that no matter who they vote for, little is going to change.  Money and corporate power still rule the political sphere and what the PEOPLE want is more and more being ignored or forgotten.

  •  Were you out doing field in 2010? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, freakofsociety

    I was, canvassing, phonebanking, and let me tell you, a lot of those unenthused Dems were progressives, but a lot were moderate Dems too. Most moderates are Democrats, and we need their votes too.

    The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

    by James Allen on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:23:03 AM PDT

  •  THERE IS NO CENTER (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, Johnny Q

    Political thought is a cloud, not a number line.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:44:37 AM PDT

  •  Sorry to Disappoint (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, Johnny Q

    But the party elites would rather lose elections than allow more Progressives to takes seats in Congress. It's because they are conservatives and they agree with Republicans, mostly, on policy.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 08:48:36 AM PDT

  •  The Center of What? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, StevenWells

    When Democrats move to the right or excuse me the center, I aways ask, the center of what?  The magical middle is a moving target and when Democrats move right, we lose elections.

    Time to ask the center of what?  The center of right wing, gun nutty, racist bigots is anarchy, chaos, facisim and rule by a small click of billionaires who care little even for the folks they they manipulate at each election cycle.

    The center doesn't exist in the real world of everyday life.

  •  Painting With a Broad Brush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew

    is very dangerous.  There are no states where there are voters in the middle who may go either way?   How does Jon Tester get elected in Montana and Heidi Heitkamp get elected in North Dakota in 2012 when Obama loses both states to Romney?

    Review Minnesota's recent state-wide election history.  Dayton barely wins, Franken barely wins, both are perceived as far more liberal than Klobuchar, who is seen as a common sense moderate.  Klobuchar is seen as such an electoral powerhouse that no one really even wants to run against her.  Ventura won because he represented the disaffected "middle" against what was perceived as a terrible Dem choice and a terrible GOP choice.  

    We had a moderate Republican governor (Arne Carlson) in MN who got almost 70% of the vote yet could not receive his party's endorsement when he ran for re-election.  

    There are a lot of people who believe that Republicans are too conservative and Democrats are too liberal.  Maybe not in every state, but in some.

  •  Thanks for an important diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8, Free Jazz at High Noon

    This well-researched diary should be permanently pinned to the dKos front page.  A succinct explanation of why "swing voters" are a myth is needed even at dKos.  I've mentioned the myth a few times in comments and got jumped by those who believe the myth.  

    Even better would be if beltway dem consultants were required to read this diary, but they probably don't have time for any reading due to their busy schedules of corporate ass kissing and third way hand jobs.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 11:44:00 AM PDT

  •  To get crossovers, don't crossover (0+ / 0-)

    I did a study of the Congressional and Presidential vote in two CDs for 2004.

    Bush carried IL 8. Mellissa Bean -- a centrist if that ever meant anything -- got a high enough percentage of the Bush voters to win.

    Kerry won IL 9. Jan Schakowky, whom nobody ever called a moderate, got the same percentage of the Bush votes that Bean got.

    I am a strong advocate for persuasion. But the absolutely wrong method of persuading Republican so back your Democrat is trying to vote like a Republican.

    When the American people want a conservative party, they know where to find it.
    HST
  •  The Republicans have known this for years. It (0+ / 0-)

    is about time we Democrats wise up.

    Further, affiant sayeth not. 53959

    by Gary Norton on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 01:17:24 PM PDT

  •  The center is very small. 1% small. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Going for that lucrative (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Choco8

    Yellow Lines and Dead Armadillos demographic really doesn't impress anyone.

    If the best you can do is point at the Other Guys and say "at least we're not THEM" you're doing it wrong.

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Fri Apr 25, 2014 at 02:20:35 PM PDT

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