Democrats & Liberals Archives

Strike the Blow

There are two things this party doesn’t need right now: nervous navel-gazing, and couch potato complacency. This is the time when we decide our nation’s future. That decision will be made by the people who show up to the polls. The people who don’t show up will decide things by keeping their silence.

We have no good reason to keep our silence. We have no reason to remain complacent, and no reason to lose hope that our victory will be big. Right now, everything is still up in the air. It is not polls, nor vicious, negative ads that will decide things.

It will be us. This is the opportunity we've been waiting for. Get people to the polls, get them to vote. If they don't like what's happening to America, this is their one opportunity to put their opinion officially on the record, and to punish those who have let us and America down.

We are not a nation of automatons. We are not a nation of slaves. We are not a nation of idiots or slackers. We are better than these people think we are. We don't have to live with this garbage. We never have.

Strike your blow for what you believe in. Let all that frustration out, not in some futile shout out the window, but where it counts. Whether you're a Republican who hates what's become of your party, a Democrat with hopes for what your party might become, or even someone like David R. Remer or D.A.N. who simply want to throw the bums in Washington out until they get the message, nothing you say will have any meaning unless you make your statement and your stand at the polls.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2006 3:17 PM
Comments
Comment #193172

Amen to that, Stephen. Nobody should miss the chance to chastise (or reward, if they so choose) their duly elected representatives.

I mean, Cynthia Ore was screwed and assaulted by a Republican congressman, and she got $500,000. Many of us have had a similar experience the last six years. If you can’t get paid, at least get heard.

Living in a Democracy and not voting is like buying illegal drugs and never using them.

Posted by: William Cohen at November 3, 2006 5:42 PM
Comment #193196

Stephen,

The single greatest power we have is the right to vote. Sure, we can still voice our opinions, but without voting it’s all pointless.

One of our area newspapers began their pre-election article as follows:

“Without a presidential race or many close races, civic duty may be the key motivator on Tuesday.”

To me that’s disheartening in itself.

People need to know that every vote counts! For many years Jerry Moran has run uncontested for his house seat. Will John Doll beat him? Real doubtful, but it’s important that everyone vote their conscience.

This is the one single most important time in our lives. Every time we have the opportunity to vote we must do so. It’s the one time that even the softest voice can be heard far and wide.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #193202

Stephen, even if I agree with your general proposition that we should all go out to vote, there is no “big victory” to be won by any side in these mid-term elections. The big stakes are simply not on the table right now, and there’s a big danger for either side of losing big by winning small.

Whoever controls the next Congress is going to do so with a very small margin, and the only thing that is an absolute certainty is that legislative stalemate is going to prevail for at least the next two years.

There is actually a very large contingent of Republicans out there who are hoping and praying that we’ll head into the 08 presidential election with a Speaker Pelosi, though I don’t really agree with them because considering the distribution of electoral college votes, there is not a single potential Democratic presidential candidate out there right now with a chance of winning. Not since Mark Warner has announced he won’t run.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 3, 2006 8:27 PM
Comment #193209

Anyone care to throw out voter turnout predictions?

I predict record lows. Only this time, that may very well be better for democrats than for republicans.

My official number: 38.5%

Stephen-

I admire your spirit right now, and let me just say that I’ll be the first one to congratulate you when your party takes both houses of congress next week. But I’m also going to be all over them if they screw this up. I hope that democratic leadership steps up to the plate and delivers exactly what the American public has expected from the republicans and not recieved. That being a solid security plan. You know they will need republican support on this one, too. I hope they’re up to the task. Honestly, that would carry a lot of future weight for the party in 2008. I’m guessing they’ll be up against a McCain type. They’ll need all the credibility they can muster.

And since I’m not very private of a person, I’m going to endorse some of my guys:

1. The Governator - It is really wierd, but the guy just commands respect in public. Most liberal democrats from SF, industrialists in LA, conservatives from OC, farmers from the valley, and even conservationists seem to have admitted that they’d rather work with him than against him…at least publicly. I like that. So long as I dont hear about him illegally taking money or knowingly look the other way at corruption. I will allow him to preside over this big jumbled mess of special interests we like to call Sacramento.

2. Lt. Governor: Tom McClintock - Had I been here at the time, I’d have voted for him for governor. No free rides for illegal aliens, a balanced budget…good things to be for in CA.

3. Secretary of State: Debra Brown - The lady says she’s all about campaign finance reform, so I hope she’s a go-getter. She has been active in privacy protections and conservation efforts in the past, which is always good. She is very liberal on spending for social programs, but she’s not looking to hold the purse-strings.

4. Treasurer: Bill Lockyer - As Atty General, he went after Enron, etc after the energy debacle, and done a lot to help law enforcement in technology areas.

5. Attorney General: Jerry Brown - CA can’t get enough of him. I thought long and hard about this one. He’s independent and been cleaning up Oakland as mayor lately. I heard he even insisted on living right downtown. He’s liberal as hell, but a rare breed. Good for the job.

6. Insurance Commissioner: Steve Poizner - This vote is out of spite for Cruz Bustamante. That guy sold his soul long ago.

7. US Senator: Dianne Feinstein - I’m not a big fan, but she occasionally surprises me by speaking up when no one else does. Her opponent, Dick Mountjoy is against gay marriage, for the patriot act, and absolutely loves Justice Alito’s judicial philosophy. Yeah…extreme.

The rest are local. As far as props: I like 1A-1E…infrastructure repair is badly needed and this is a bi-partisan plan. No on the rest.

And I’m still undecided on Prop 87. It sounds like a good idea, but I’d like to be more certian before supporting such a drastic act.

I welcome commentary.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 3, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #193214

Legislative Stalemate? Perhaps. Nonetheless, we should continue to insist on progress in policy. Neither side needs the image of being pettily obstructive. The side that creates the most progress in America’s eyes (hopefully by manifesting it in reality), will gain support.

I’m not going to buy into the fear-mongering about Pelosi. If she gets out of hand, the rather vocal Liberals of today will let her know rather soon. The Democratic Party that would end up in power in this case will have a far broader coalition of interests to handle than before, all GOP fear-mongering to the contrary. The Left isn’t the part of the party that’s developing the fastest here. It’s convenient demagoguery, but it doesn’t catch the real nature of the demographic shift.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #193218

I voted this week in Texas and I confess: I almost voted for Kinky Friedman for governor. But a little voice kept saying, “Rick Perry would love it if you did,” so I voted for Chris Bell. Crossing my fingers here in the Dallas area - where it’s so red that most of the crappy republican incumbents run unopposed.

Posted by: pianofan at November 3, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #193221
The Democratic Party that would end up in power in this case will have a far broader coalition of interests to handle than before, all GOP fear-mongering to the contrary. The Left isn’t the part of the party that’s developing the fastest here. It’s convenient demagoguery, but it doesn’t catch the real nature of the demographic shift.

That is an interesting analysis—and the very reason it would be fascinating to see what would happen if the Democrats came to hold any actual power as a result of the 06 elections.

The left is VERY passionate and very active in the Democrat party (just look at their presence on the internet), but many of the actual Democratic candidates who appear to be mounting successful challenges against Republicans are in no way part of the left and are certainly not running on leftist ideas. Lots of them sound pretty Republican.

This is a conservative country, and a large part of the Republican’s current problems can be traced to the fact that they don’t behave conservatively enough.

What would this mean if the Democrats held majorities? That the left would want to repayed for their support, to see their agenda enacted, but it would simply never happen.

If real power fell into the lap of the Democratic party as a result of their rightward move, I envisage the internet-based activist left going ballistic when they realize that the Democratic candidates they helped to elect are not, as you say, actually leftists.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 3, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #193225

I completely agree on the importance of voting in every election. It is a shame on how so few people vote in this democratic country. Most people feel that their one vote won’t matter, but imagine having just half of them vote the outcome would be surprisingly different. Perhaps we should enforce the Australian law which forces their residents to vote or they will be ticketed. Some people just have little appreciation for their constitutional privileges and rights.

Posted by: Kristie at November 3, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #193232

Neo-con Pilsner-
Liberal and Leftist have become unfortunately synonymous. There can be and often is a distinction, one that goes back as far as Wallace and Truman, between those who consider themselves Liberal, and those who are part of the truly leftward political sensibility. When the occasional Republican bemoans the failure of Democrats to be like those forebears, they are unknowingly appealing to classic Liberalism. Truth is, I think today’s attitudes are more like that. You have a generation of Democrats coming of age who have four presidencies that define their political mentality: The Avuncular conservatism and optimism of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, The eloquent neo-liberalism and dialogue seeking of the Clinton years, and the harrowing experience of the Bush 43 years, which forged in fire the steel of the new Liberals in the Democratic party.

To be a liberal in the Bush 43 era, you had to be committed to the ideals. You had to believe that there was an alternative to Bush’s course of action, and not simply some weak response. You had to believe that liberalism was worth fighting for. The very intensity of these pressures is crucial to understanding the strength of the resurgence.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 3, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #193236

“a large part of the Republican’s current problems can be traced to the fact that they don’t behave conservatively enough.”

Pilsner,

You may actually be onto something here. Well, depending on what you consider a true conservative. The Republicans have been courting the Religious Right for quite a while just to win that vote. That’s largely due to the “anti-choice” ideology and an all-out move towards Dominionist Theocracy which the Evangelical’s would just love.

At one time true Conservatism meant smaller and less costly government. That philosophy died many, many moons ago.

1Lt B had it right the other day when he suggested that the answer was in some degree of moderation. As things stand we’re too damn divided.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #193238

“You had to believe that liberalism was worth fighting for.”

Stephen,

It is! Without some degree of liberalism America will become something “unamerican”. Many on the right like to paint us libs as socialist. Well, that’s hardly true.

Without some degree of liberalism we individuals would be fair prey for the Enron’s and Halliburton’s of America.

Posted by: KansasDem at November 3, 2006 11:32 PM
Comment #193241
To be a liberal in the Bush 43 era, you had to be committed to the ideals. You had to believe that there was an alternative to Bush’s course of action, and not simply some weak response. You had to believe that liberalism was worth fighting for. The very intensity of these pressures is crucial to understanding the strength of the resurgence.

I’m sorry, but this is poppycock.

Not just in its flawed analysis of what might constitute a resurgent contemporary Democratic party and in its delusional take on the current political climate, but in its historical examples.

To say that “classical liberalism” in the first place has anything to do with nuke-em Truman or Geroge Wallace (“Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”) is plainly absurd.

And any anti-Republican momentum in the works presently has nothing to do with any brave ideology that stands up for itself, gives voice to its principles, and persuades the American public of its agenda during the trial of the Bush years.

It has to do with one thing and one thing only. Being against George Bush, whatever that means to the many disparate forces that unite around that one thing instead of any cohesive and agreed upon political agenda.

Say you’re against Bush, in whatever vague terms you choose, and you don’t have to say anthing more to have a good chance of getting elected in some parts of the country. In fact, if you dare to say WHAT you stand for instead of what you’re against, forget it. Saying and indeed standing for nothing specific is the best and most tested strategy for Democrats right now.

Does this reflect badly on Bush? Absolutely. Does it mean that American in mass are embracing Democratic ideas, whatever those are? Are you kidding?

Who represents “classical liberalism” as such in the current Democratic party? If Republicans bemoan the lack of such figures, it’s the likes of FDR or maybe even JFK we’re talking about, and “classical liberalism” is arguably represented today only by a very small slice of socially liberal and foreign policy hawks: neocons in the Republican party and people like Ed Koch or Joseph Lieberman among the Democrats.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at November 3, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #193247

Stephen

You forget one very important thing, most of these young democrats coming of age as you call tehm, have undergone severe leftist indoctrination at our universities.

Also, do really think that today’s democrat party is the same as it was under Kennedy (John not Ted)?

Posted by: Keith at November 4, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #193257

A liberal education is a terrible thing to waste. A liberal education is one of history, literature, philosophy, economics, political science, language, and arts. Indeed, a liberal education is a terrible thing to waste.

In in 95% of our colleges and universities, competing views and perspectives in all these areas of learning are presented for the student’s choice and contemplation.

Conservatives fear liberal education precisely because it DOES NOT indoctrinate, but, exposes. And that thar’ is da’ truth, if da’ truth e’er be spoke.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 4:19 AM
Comment #193260

—David R. Remer— I believe we have seen in just
the past few weeks precisely what indoctrination in-to one party has yielded, an I
truly hope the exposure will benefit all the
new senators an congressmen we send back to Washington. I enjoyed your post.

Posted by: DAVID at November 4, 2006 5:55 AM
Comment #193261

My hope is that a Democratic victory in one or both houses will strengthen the moderate faction of the Republican party. Partisanship aside, I do think that would be good for the country.

Posted by: Trent at November 4, 2006 7:38 AM
Comment #193268

Keith-
The gist of your argument is that these kids have become liberal because of leftist indoctrination, making it sound like they were shoved onto trains after their parents dropped them off, and taken to a re-education camp.

I’m a Baylor student. According your hypothesis, I would be a Republican by now. I did not agree on everything with my teachers, but I learn a lot from them.

I learned that the divides between Conservative and Liberal in this country are not so ironclad as one would think, that even amidst one of the most conservative campus, that it was possible to see people deviate from the stereotype. I learned that the Religious Right does not dominate Christianity the way its press would tell us, and that one can be a Christian, and still accept the well-proven theories of science.

Your problem is that you just don’t have the faith in people to let them be free.

Another problem is that you assume that the new young liberals are all leftists. It convenient for demagoguery, but its actually quite wrong. Many of the new Liberals are alienated independents and moderate Republicans. Many of the new independents are alienated Republicans!

Your party told far too many people “You’re with us or them.”, with them being the terrorists, and they not agreeing with your vitriolic accusation. having been tarred with the brush of not being a team player, they figured out something.

The Republican party as lead now, no longer stands for the average person, no longer even likes them. The average person is too liberal, too tolerant, too interested in working with the UN, too irreligious, too susceptible to watching naughty things on television and on the internet, too resistant to all the agenda items the right loves. Oh, and of course, they’re too beholden to the mainstream media.

You accuse the liberals of trying to protect people from themselves, but the Republicans have become worse, intruding into peoples lives in a manner no liberal would have dared.

America is tired of being told it’s not getting it. It’s tired of having its opinions dismissed as morally degenerate. It’s tired of a government that expects it to be constantly afraid, but then fails to deal with the source of that fear.

The new liberal KNOWS why they believe what they do. We aren’t like the liberals of several years ago, who wondered what the difference between Bush and Gore was. We know from experience, now.

We aren’t the lost and rootless party we once were. The New Democrats will make a difference in politics, and its all thanks to an administration that made it more necessary to be a liberal than ever.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 8:36 AM
Comment #193272

Neo-Con Pilsner-
Being against Bush is not a motivation in and of itself. There has to be a reason why you’ve come to dislike Bush, and those reasons by default define a certain pattern of beliefs, of conclusions reached through the experience of the last few years.

Maybe you’re against Bush because you dislike his disdain for compromise, diplomacy, and enduring alliances, because you think he’s isolated America and cut many Americans out from having their views manifested in policy.

Well, that means you’d like to see less partisanship, better international relations, and closer ties with our partners and friends in the world. That is a position.

Maybe you dislike Bush because he failed to plan the war effectively, because he’s abused his power as Commander in Chief, because the actions of his administration precipitated intelligence failures in Iraq and beyond. Maybe you don’t like him because he’s made the terrorism problem worse, and failed to take down those enemies once and for all. Maybe you oppose him because he hasn’t implemented the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, or a suitable alternative.

Again, these are all positions: a change of strategy in the current war, checks and balances on Bush’s actions, a more serious and less passive attitude in Congress towards intelligence and intelligence gathering, towards winning the war against the terrorist. Last but not least, wanting the implementation of the 9/11 commission recommendations or their alternative is a position as well.

The notion that we’re simply against someone, and not for anything ignores the obvious truth: to get this angry, Americans had to have something to get angry about. They had to believe something needed changing, and that Bush and this Congress have gotten in the way of that.

It also ignores literally years of positions we’ve taken, and positions Bush has gotten in the way of. It’s convenient to ignore all this, because the demagogues get great mileage out of conflating the intensity of the anger towards Bush with a putative irrationality, a heedless partisan hatred. Truth is, though, Liberals have long stood for things, and people have good enough memories so we don’t need to refresh people’s memories with constant speeches.

You can argue that classic liberalism is dead, but that’s okay. A New Liberalism, resembling the old in some attitudes, differing in others, has arisen. Liberalism wouldn’t be liberalism if it didn’t change to fit the times, to meet the challenges of the day.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 9:05 AM
Comment #193360

Kevin23

You welcome commentary? Good old Arnold is an actor. Not a very good one,granted, but good enough to give him a lead in this election. His current role is playing a moderate Democrat. You can expect an abrupt move to the right after the election. Remember his “year of reform” that consisted of pushing everything the Chamber of Commerce wanted plus cuts in education. The voters wisely told him to go to hell. He still insist those were good ideas. The problem,he says, was that he moved them too quickly. He has recently vetoed among other things,an unemployment increase,a quite worable single-payer health plan for Ca.,changes in workmens comp to make it more fair to workers. He did sign a sweeping energy bill but included a Bush like “signing statement” that would allow him abandon most of its provisions should his big business supporters insist.He is going to win but I asure you you will kick yourself for voting for him. He is a Bush Republican to the core,jsut playing a part.

Next: Mc Clintock.He is quite a guy. I caught him during the recall debate. As close to an honest politician as you will ever see. He beleives what he says and is honest enough to clearly let you know where he stands. Trouble is where he stands is wrong. For example,he opposes all forms of abortio,even in cases of rape and incest,he is no friend of public education,he opposes stem cell reaseach,prevailing rate and overtime laws. In short he far right. Remember this is for the lutenent goverors spot. If Swartzenegger dies or(likely) decides to run for higher office or gets bored we would be stuck with one of the most rightwing governors in history. You do have a good choice in his opponent. John Garimendi has been a good public servant for many years and his integrity is spotless. He was an able and active insurance commissioner and over saw massive reductions in what we were being forced to pay for car insurance. He knows state government and how to get things done.
Bustemonte has been given a hell of a beating in thoses negative ads accuseing him of being in the pocket of the insurance industry. This is classic Rep strtegy. The pot calling the kettle black stuff. Look closely next time you see one at who is paying for the ads. Surprise,its the insurance industry pacs.

Posted by: BillS at November 4, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #193361

Kevin23: Furthur. Good choice on thosebond measures.We definately need the infrastructure improvements they will provide. There is an arguement that bonds will shift the cost to our children. There is merit to that but then again who is going to benefit most from these improvments? Seems fair to me.

Posted by: BillS at November 4, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #193582

BillS-

I’m planning on doing some major reading on prop 87 today as I’m still on the fence and the major criticism against it is a lack of accountability within into law. I definately like 1a, 1b, 1d and 1e though. And you’re right, our kids will benefit most. I’m not liking 1c very much, though. And I’m liking prop 90 as well…I still need to read more about it though.

Arnold, I think, is not as bad as he has been made out to be. In the beginning he paraded around like a republican lapdog, and his advisors and his tactics reflected that influence (it also helped him get elected, so i understand a certain degree of loyalty must result). But when his props all got defeated, he fired most of his advisors and came back with a much more honest and moderate approach to dealing with the legislature. And we must remember that this is CA, and the legislature is the real seat of power (thus our over-bloated budget). The governor’s role is much more that of an administrator than a facilitator. And this governor has his finger to the wind…its got its strengths and weaknesses, but that approach is, i think, what people want at the moment.

McClintock is a guy who I agree with almost 100% when it comes to fiscal policy. He is also I guy who I disagree with about half the time on social policy. Some of the issues you mention are good examples. But remember, this is CA, after all. He’d never survive if he tried to bring one of those issues to the forefront of state politics. And I’m quite sure he knows better. He is very careful to not bring those issues up in speaches. That tells me he has his eye on the ball.

Cruz Bustamante has ties to all kinds of groups like MEChA, he still has ties to them. When I was in high school it was the peak of the gang violence era in LA, and I remember the Mexican flags being waved and groups walking out of class chanting about giving CA back to its rightful owners: Mexico. This is my main reason for hating him, as he was always the one on TV defending them. But if you look, you’ll find he’d sell his own mother for a higher office.

Thanks for the comments. By the way, how do you feel about the controller race? I believe it is the republican candidate who is saying he will not pay salaries to high officials until a balanced budget is passed.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 6, 2006 11:45 AM
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