Where is the Opposition?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    A longish piece, but incisive and well worth reading.
    http://www.counterpunch.org/


    Any saving grace in this?
     
  2. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #2
    Didn't read all of that (it is long), but you really have to agree that the Democratic party is MIA.

    This is particularly reprehensible given that the Republicans are so vulnerable right now. They keep fumbling the ball, and we keep handing the game back to them.

    As always, the two main reasons are:
    • division between Democrats who think America wants "centerism", and those who want the Democratic party to return to its roots as a people's party; and
    • the fact that the Democrats are almost as "bought" as the Republicans. The only reason I say they're not as bought is that Democrats have not yet stooped to the bottom-feeding behaviors of the GOP, e.g., hiring horse show directors as top administrators, trying to mine national parks, etc.
    The former is the reason the Democrats do not speak with one voice: they don't have one voice. And the latter is what will keep them there.

    The Democrats are idiots. Everyone is afraid to get "too" far to the left and to speak up "too" much because they're afraid of ruining their presidential aspirations (Hillary's, Obama's, Edwards' or whoever).

    And yet, they have a guy with no such current aspirations -- Howard Dean -- who is chomping at the bit to speak up, to seize a leadership role in the party -- and they keep telling him to be quiet.
     
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    Ah the Democrats...

    Well, with regard to the Roberts nomination, there was little they could do. Bush, as the president, has the right to nominate whomever he pleases. There would be no one acceptable to the left put forth. Ever. There was no stomach for a filibuster neither among Congressional members, nor the American public. Robert's ascension to the SCOTUS at least doesn't change the balance of the court much. He is a protege of Renhquist, and probably not much more conservative than the man he replaces. The Roberts nomination was not the place to make a stand.

    Had the Democrats done the one thing they possibly had at their disposal (the filibuster) they would have sunk even lower in the estimation of Americans, and also likely triggered a vote on whether the filibuster would be eliminated from the judicial nominee process. IOW, Bush could pick someone as conservative as possible that can get 50 votes plus Cheney's tiebreaker in the Senate. With something like a 6-seat advantage, Bush could afford then to pick someone so conservative they even managed to offend a half-dozen of his own people and still get the seat.

    Which is what many fear could happen with Bush's second SCOTUS pick, due on Monday. If the person who replaces O' Conner is an off-the-charts conservative things could get ugly in a hurry here. Many of the Democrats who voted for Roberts were, I think, positioning themselves for the next vote.

    However, that hardly lets the ***** Posse off the hook. Their complete failure to stand up and say what many of them believe is pure cowardice and shows that many of them would rather live the good life of a power-broker than work for the people they purport to represent. Many Democrats voted for the Bush tax cuts and things like the bankruptcy "reform" laws clearly at the bidding of their corporate masters.

    The Democratic leadership is a bunch of Washington insiders who have a tin ear when it comes to what the Democratic rank and file want. They've given away the vote of the working class. Their brand marketing is so poor that the party working against the middle and lower classes gets their votes. Consultants make millions off money that should be spent on effective campaign strategies. Instead, these consultants come in and direct all the money towards businesses they or their friends run. Sound familiar?

    The Democrats have allowed themselves to be labeled as tax'n'spend, naive pansies despite accomplishing their strategic military goals more often, shrinking government and expanding prosperity, and being far more pragmatic internationally than the GOP. Despite Bush's incompetence and a failed war, they failed to muster a candidate who could win.

    The only way this gets fixed is if the Democrats can get out there and raise the money from the people; as well as improve their candidate recruitment. When Paul Hackett ran in Ohio recently he raised money almost exclusively from individual donations. No one owned him. His campaign was run by people with local connections, not a big-time Washington insider. His message wasn't tailored by an image consultant. He was real, and he had that ability to connect with people that Bush had at one time.

    Democrats also need to talk convincingly about their faith, and their patriotism. Not the kind of wrapping yourself in God or the flag for partisan gain that the right engages in when it wants to move it's agenda, but the kind that connects you to everyday people.

    Things are changing. Democratic candidate recruitment is better, what with more top-tier candidates thinking they have a chance of winning now. The grassroots donation community is improving. The Democratic party is seeing some growth in the West. With any luck '06 will signal the beginning of the end of the GOP stranglehold on the federal government.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #4
    I'm not going to defend the Democrats or their leadership, but lest we forget, a party lacking a majority in either house of Congress or a president in the White House has little power to accomplish anything or shape any debate. Effectively, they can only jawbone issues in the media, and effectiveness of that tactic depends on the willingness of the media give them equal time. And I think we all know how that's worked out over the last few years.
     
  5. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #5
    I'm also not going to defend the Dems, but I think Cockburn and St.Clair make way too much of the distancing of Democrats from the recent anti-war march and demonstration. As someone who did attend the rally in San Francisco, I can say every time I get near an event organized by ANSWER I feel dirty and uncomfortable. I march because I feel I have to, but I don't support the crazy politics of these so-called leaders of the anti-war movement. I'm all for rational people, in and out of the Democratic Party, seizing the reins of the movement and building it so that people of all political stripes can feel comfortable in marching against this war. Perhaps Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader can play a role in doing just that, but right now I can't be too critical of those who choose to show their opposition to the war in a different way.
     
  6. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #6

    That a way to make friends, "yo 48 million people who voted for kerry are DUMB!!"

    I'm sure many republicans would like to be more 'right' but can't cuz they would lose.(
    What about all those really far left people like Denis kuchinich? and all those 3rd part SUPER LEFT WING people? O they don't count!!
     
  7. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #7
    In another thread I asked if anyone actually liked the Dems. No one said anything. I wonder where all those people are who kept calling us all liberals just because we think Bush is a screw up. I'd love to point them to this thread. I guess we all have something in common after all.
     
  8. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #8
    A lot of the supposed opposition are owned by those who finance their campaigns as well.
     
  9. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #9
    The GOP are becoming more divided lately too, I think a lot of the GOP who want small government have just about had enough of big spending Bush.
    http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=4462459

    It always happens - when people are out of power they ignore their differences out of neccessity, to get back in power. Then once they've been in power for a while they lose discipline and split. At least it guarantees a healthy turnover of government every decade or so.
     
  10. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #10
    I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make, but polls of American attitudes consistently reflect a belief system that is very close to the old-style Kennedy-FDR liberalism. People distrust globalism, privatization and deregulation, they want government to ensure that everyone will have access to health care, Social Security, etc.

    If those polls are to be believed, people will vote for a centrist Democrat like Clinton, but would prefer someone who is actually liberal. That doesn't make Kerry voters dumb (I voted for him myself). It just means they'll take what they can get, especially when the alternative (Bush) is so gawdawful. Or, they'll drift away from the Democrats, toward Nader or some other genuinely progressive candidate.
     
  11. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #11
    To coin a phrase: "It's the Electoral Syatem, Stupid!"
     
  12. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #12
    At its worst.
     
  13. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #13
    No it ain't. The solution is not to prevent special interests donating to political parties, which is their right. The solution is to make sure government doesn't have so many arbitrary powers in the first place, that people feel the need to bribe. As Dont Hurt Me says, they are just too big with too much power.
     
  14. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #14
    If government is being bought, so that it plays to the tune of those who bought them, where does the real power lay?
     
  15. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #15
    Sure. But the root of the problem is the fact that the power exists in the first place, not the fact that it is for sale. Limit, through the consitution, what the government can do, and watch the special interests wither away...
     
  16. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #16
    The Constitution, properly represented, makes the situation more equitable. Unfortunately, the special interests, are those who have the concentrated wealth to influence those who are supposed to uphold the Constitution. The Constitution is the basis of government in this nation, remove the government and all you have are unhindered special interests. Is there a difference between corporations, or any other monied interests, who buy political representation and 'special interests'?
     
  17. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Democrats don't have much going on because there's not much going on politically. AFAIK there's no major elections in Nov '05. But yeah, I hope the democrats put together a decent political platform by the midterm elections. But the problem is they're going to be very divided on the war, because the far left wants to withdraw right away and the middle still want to at least try and accomplish something in Iraq before they go.
     
  18. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #18
    No one is suggesting removing the government, just limiting it to it's intended role, that is, an agency to protect your rights. What use is lobbying an agency who sole job is to protect people's rights? What are you going to lobby them for - to protect rights better?!

    No one should be able to buy power, not corporations, or SIGs or anyone...
     
  19. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #19
    What is governments intended role?
     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    You're right. We should nuke the lobbyists! Sorry, but you're never going to live that down. :p
     
  21. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #21
    No need to live it down... every time a U.S. serviceman dies over there I am reminded that I am right.
     
  22. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    I'd like to see the democrats come up with their own contract with America by the 2006 elections. It would give the party something to rally behind, and it would also show how far republicans have departed from their own contract with America.

    The original contract for those interested:
    Contract w/America
     
  23. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #23
    can you give me some examples of things the gov't currently does that don't work towards that end? just curious what all you'd strip away.
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    So the more Americans who die over there, the more right you are?

    "Bring it on!"
     
  25. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    Your forgetting, Americans > Islamists. :rolleyes:
     

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