Democrats & Liberals Archives

Experience over Observation

Why do we still care, as a party, what Bush and his distinct minority of people care about us. I hear about things like this, and I just can’t seem to get my head around why we still think that it’s dangerous to risk displeasing this president and his ever shrinking constituency.

Bush has a nice way of sucking people into that bubble of his, of using strong rhetoric to panic the weak-willed and the image conscious. The thought that occurs to me, when I hear about my Democratic party members caving like this, is why these people should be afraid of what Bush and his supporters think. They aren't the ones that are going to have to face the music come primary-time.

They're letting Bush call the tune, but that approval rating that they're getting, down in the twenties, is not coming from those people. It's coming from people like me who wonder sometimes whether certain Democrats know that we're the majority, that our positions are actually the popular and desired ones for much of the public.

I can forgive this having happened in the past. I can forgive it now. I understand the mindset that worries about what gets put up on the TV screens, how the Democrats get portrayed in the media. However, understanding and forgiving is one thing, continuing to support those who bug out and react foolishly to Bush and the Republican's overbaked, egocentric rhetoric is quite another.

That law that just passed represents a far worse, far more humiliating defeat for the Democrats, than not passing what he wanted, and being criticized by Bush and his party. Moreover, from a policy standpoint, this was precisely the opposite outcome from what most Democrats, and indeed most people wanted. Why cave in? What do our polticians in Washington have to gain from giving in, other than relief from the pressure of having to make a choice, come up with alternatives and everything.

Let me share a little secret sensibility I've had with me since before the elections: My feeling was that there was going to be a number of people in my party who found it difficult to adjust to majority status, to actually having people behind them more than against them, and that the majority would gradually lean towards those in the party who could take advantage of the circumstances to their political benefit, rather than run for political cover every time the Republicans got into their vitriolic condemnation of all things liberal mode.

My feeling, therefore, was that there would come a time where we would just get extremely annoyed at those people and just kick them out. As the next year progresses, I'd advise fellow Democrats to start working to that end. We should at least give these people primary challenges to remind them of who's boss, and what it is that people of our party actually want from them.

I know many of these people consider themselves political realists, but two things nonetheless are true: 1) It's no use engaging in political realism to the point that your sense of what your policy actually does suffers, and so does your reputation. 2) You can't really call yourself a political realist if you're unable to acknowledge what most people think and believe about Bush and the Republicans. We need folks who understand what their constituents want, who understand the system they're dealing with, and how to get the smarter of our political efforts out of that system. We don't need folks who are stuck in the past, still wandering the wilderness far behind the group.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2007 8:08 AM
Comment #228399

Unfortunately, this is also a side effect of how many of the freshmen Democrats are conservative Democrats. Sadly, this is something that the Right was crowing about just after the ‘06 election: that a lot of the Dems that got into office are not exactly Dems. This is a bed that the party leadership made when they chose who to support back before ‘06, now we are sleeping in it, and that mattress is feeling a little lumpy to me.


Posted by: leatherankh at August 5, 2007 9:27 AM
Comment #228402

Where else can you get one party government for the price of two?

Posted by: jlw at August 5, 2007 10:03 AM
Comment #228407
They’re letting Bush call the tune

I thought that was odd myself. Even if there was a terrorist attack while Congress was crafting a sensible FISA update, the overwhelming odds are that this wiretapping scheme wouldn’t have stopped it.

For one, if it happens this summer, then that means all the illegal wiretapping that Bush did over the last few years was useless. And two, none of the eleven-or-so instances where Bush could have foiled the 9/11 attacks included aggressive wiretapping. Just plain old detective work, analysis and, of course, an awareness of the danger.

It seems to me that a comprehensive terrorist watch list is far more important than illegal wiretapping or taking off your shoes at the airport. I wonder when that’s going to happen? Probably about the same time Bush secures our borders.

Democrats in Congress obviously got stampeded by more Bush/Republican fear-mongering. Perhaps more letters from us to our representatives in Congress would have helped. Did you call/write/email on this issue? If not, you need to take some responsibility as well.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 5, 2007 11:56 AM
Comment #228415


I think it’s important to note that Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd and Barack Obama all opposed the bill, along with 23 other Senate Dems and Independent Bernie Sanders.

The following “Fearful 16” Senate Dems voted for it: Evan Bayh (Indiana); Tom Carper (Delaware); Bob Casey (Pennsylvania); Kent Conrad (North Dakota); Dianne Feinstein (California); Daniel Inouye (Hawai‘i); Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota); Nancy Mary Landrieu (Louisiana); Blanche Lincoln (Arkansas); Claire McCaskill (Missouri); Barbara Mikulski (Maryland); Bill Nelson (Florida); Ben Nelson (Nebraska); Mark Pryor (Arkansas); Ken Salazar (Colorado); Jim Webb (Virginia).

Here’s a list of the “Terrified 41” House Dem’s who caved into Bush:
Jason Altmire (4th Pennsylvania)
John Barrow (12th Georgia) Blue Dog
Melissa Bean (8th Illinois) Blue Dog
Dan Boren (2nd Oklahoma) Blue Dog
Leonard Boswell (3rd Iowa)
Allen Boyd (2nd Florida) Blue Dog
Christopher Carney (10th Pennsylvania) Blue Dog
Ben Chandler (6th Kentucky) Blue Dog
Rep. Jim Cooper (5th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Jim Costa (20th California) Blue Dog
Bud Cramer (5th Alabama) Blue Dog
Henry Cuellar (28th Texas)
Artur Davis (7th Alabama)
Lincoln Davis (4th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Joe Donnelly (2nd Indiana) Blue Dog
Chet Edwards (17th Texas)
Brad Ellsworth (8th Indiana) Blue Dog
Bob Etheridge (North Carolina)
Bart Gordon (6th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (South Dakota) Blue Dog
Brian Higgins (27th New York)
Baron Hill (9th Indiana) Blue Dog
Nick Lampson (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Daniel Lipinski (3rd Illinois)
Jim Marshall (8th Georgia) Blue Dog
Jim Matheson (2nd Utah) Blue Dog
Mike McIntyre (7th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Charlie Melancon (3rd Louisiana) Blue Dog
Harry Mitchell (5th Arizona)
Colin Peterson (7th Minnesota) Blue Dog
Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota) Blue Dog
Ciro Rodriguez (23rd Texas) Blue Dog
Mike Ross (4th Arkansas) Blue Dog
John Salazar (3rd Colorado) Blue Dog
Heath Shuler (11th North Carolina) Blue Dog
Vic Snyder (2nd Arkansas)
Zachary Space (18th Ohio) Blue Dog
John Tanner (8th Tennessee) Blue Dog
Gene Taylor (4th Mississippi) Blue Dog
Timothy Walz (1st Minnesota)
Charles A. Wilson (6th Ohio) Blue Dog

I think it’s important to “individualize” this because I’ve already seen Democrat’s “jumping ship” so to speak and declaring themselves “independent” out of frustration. Stop, look, and listen…………if your elected Representative let you down write a letter, make a phone call!

But, be realistic…………if your wasted vote for an independent puts another Republican in the White House we’ll all suffer. Also keep in mind this is a temporary measure, the big battle comes in about six months so your phone calls and letters may really make a difference.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 5, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #228417

I am having trouble understanding what is being said here. Does the Democrat Party only welcome liberals now? Is there no place in the party for moderates or conservatives? Do you really believe that the majority of Americans will vote liberal? Would a John Kennedy or Hubert Humphrey if running for office today be welcome in the party? This is really confusing stuff you folks are writing and advocating here. When the party nominates a candidate for President, will not that candidate run to the center to pickup the necessary independent votes needed for victory? And if that’s true, will all you hard-left liberabls abandon them and stay home to sulk? Rather than take over the Democrat party and its big tent, why not organize your own party and invite in only those who agree with you 100% of the time?

Posted by: Jim at August 5, 2007 1:32 PM
Comment #228419

This article exemplifies why it is vital to America’s future that voters take up the cause of voting out incumbents who for whatever reasons, refuse to meet and overcome the challenges the people champion. Democrats MUST vote out Democratic incumbents who fail to solve problems, instead of creating or maintaining them. Republicans must do the same. And Independent voters, well, they pretty much get it already, which is why both the DNC and RNC now have no choice but to appeal to their sensibilities if they want to vie for leadership of this nation.

Voting out Incumbents is precisely how we preserve democracy in America. Remember, voters are not required to vote to allow those in office to stay in office. Office holders will keep themselves in office by hook or crook. Voting IS required to remove incumbents from office. Removing people with power from office is the Primary reason for having the vote in the first place.

Power corrupts. Removing incumbents corrupted by the power of office, is the first and foremost responsibility of voters in ANY democratic nation. Our founding fathers wrote reams on this very topic. But, we moderns, have forgotten what democracy is about, having been seduced by the Public Relations and Marketing firms hired by those in power to convince us otherwise.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 5, 2007 2:07 PM
Comment #228421

This is exactly what can be expected from Republican Lites — Complicity and Weakness.

You guys should read these two articles:
From Glen Greenwald:
Democrats’ responsibility for Bush radicalism
From Meteor Blades at Daily Kos:
Enough Already with the Pathetic Excuses

“I am having trouble understanding what is being said here.”

No doubt you are. None of you righties seem able to grasp the fact that our Constitution is being destroyed. Willingly and enthusiastically on the right, and through disgusting, pathetic weakness by the left.

“Does the Democrat Party only welcome liberals now?”

No, unfortunately.

“Is there no place in the party for moderates or conservatives?”

By “moderate and conservative” I guess you mean the kind who just caved in to Bush and amended the 29-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act?
The kind of Democrats who know nothing about how the Bush administration has been eavesdropping on our conversations because the administration stonewalled them, and they passively accepted that nothing would be disclosed, and gave him more room to abuse our rights and criminally expand what they know absolutely nothing about?

“Do you really believe that the majority of Americans will vote liberal?”

If they’re lucky enough to have a brain in their head, a belief in their inalienable rights, and a deep and abiding respect for the Constitution, YES, they’ll start voting for Liberals.

“This is really confusing stuff you folks are writing and advocating here.”

It’s only confusing to those who are so scared sh*tless by terrorism and GOP fearmongering that they’re willing to scrap the Constitution entirely. The rest of us don’t find it at all confusing.

“will all you hard-left liberabls abandon them and stay home to sulk?”

I for one won’t vote for Republicans or Republican Lites. Why should I? I can’t see any difference between them.

“Rather than take over the Democrat party and its big tent, why not organize your own party and invite in only those who agree with you 100% of the time?”

What you don’t seem to get is that the Democratic Party was founded, and was meant to belong to Liberals. We don’t need to “take over” our own party, we need only KICK OUT all these weak, spineless “moderates and conservatives” who have infiltrated OUR party and who are shamelessly thwarting and sabotaging all of the goals that Liberal Democrats ran on in the 2006 midterm election.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 5, 2007 2:39 PM
Comment #228424

Oh Adrienne….it does my heart good when you get a mad on, and really find your voice… ;) You go girl!!!
I am so sick of this s**t I can barely stand it. These suckers just caved in, and don’t obviously care what their marching orders were. I do have to say, though, that my rep here in Oregon, voted against it!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 5, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #228428


Calm down. Jim actually has some good points (perhaps intentionally, perhaps not). I prefer being part of a “big tent” party where all views are welcome. When I first began reading this site and later began posting I thought I was fairly moderate. Well, on some issues I am ……… but on some issues I’m as far left as Kucinich. On others I’m as far right as Lieberman.

I don’t actually have a horse in this race. Both of Kansas’ Senators and my Representative in the House are Republicans. I still write and complain. I’ve even written to thank and compliment Jerry Moran twice. Phone calls and letters from constituents do matter! (I’ve found snail mail and phone calls receive a more consistent response)

This “generalization” of all Democrats or all Republicans being solidly on one side of an issue or the other is downright scary. We actually saw how that worked out over the last 4 to 6 years with Republicans truly marching in lock-step with Bush.

If we fail to set some realistic goals and expectations, and let the “Kos-nuts” tell us what values we must have to be Democrats then we’ll fall into the same trap as the Republican party has with the “Religious Right” and the “Neo-Cons”.

A party divided……………….

Posted by: KansasDem at August 5, 2007 3:49 PM
Comment #228429

For historical perspective, I am currently reading:
Our first revolution : the remarkable British upheaval that inspired America’s founding fathers
by Michael Barone

It gives an early example of the use of a binary political issue, in this case hatred and fear of catholics, by the E.of Shaftesbury, who was one of the original proprietors of the Carolina colony. John Locke was an an associate of the earl.

Now the muslims are the excuse for creating another binary political issue. You are either against them, and willing to throw the bill of rights away, or you are their collaborator, victim or dupe. I miss the commies. At least we could laugh at Boris and Natasha making big trouble for moose and squirrel.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 5, 2007 3:54 PM
Comment #228431

KD, it’s just a whole lot of venting and frustration!! I seem to recall not so long ago, that your were about over the edge too. The frustration drives us to become more vocal and active in making our likes and dislikes known to those we elect to act them out.
This article from this morning, does a little to make things sound not so terribly bleak :

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 5, 2007 4:04 PM
Comment #228432

The Congress did the right thing to help update outdated laws re terrorist surveillance. The DEMOCRATICALLY controlled congress has passed legislation that has vindicated the president.

You guys have a majority. You can block anything you want. Nothing can be passed over the objection of a majority of Democrats. If anything passes, it means that Democrats agreed.

Feel free to tear apart those of your party who did not agree with party leadership, but consider this. Your fellow Democrats voted the way they did for one of two reasons:

- Either they voted their convictions. They agreed with people like me who think the terrorist surveillance program is necessary and not a threat to liberty.

- OR they voted out of political calculation, which means that they calculated that a majority of their constituents supported the terrorist surveillance program and that they would be punished if they did not go with the people back home.

So once again, your self righteous anger is just a form of self indulgence. By all means, however, kick these miscreants out of the Democratic Party if you feel so strongly that you cannot tolerate their dissent.

I guess the party does not belong to the liberals alone and certainly not to the anti-victory left.

Posted by: Jack at August 5, 2007 4:06 PM
Comment #228435

“I do have to say, though, that my rep here in Oregon, voted against it!”

Sandra Davidson,

That’s my point entirely. It seems that nearly ALL Republicans are almost always joined at the hip when it comes to controversial issues. I don’t want the Democratic Party to be like that.

If that happens we might as well eliminate candidates names on the ballots. Voting would be much easier. Instead of having to vote we could just register and say “mark my ballot 100% (insert party choice)”.

Letters and phone calls do matter. A well written letter to the editor of your local or area newspapers matters. This is a state by state, and district by district issue.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 5, 2007 4:12 PM
Comment #228440

Jack, it was in the same manner that Stalin, Hitler, and Castro garnered the power to nullify popular assent and dissent of the public, offering security in exchange for liberty. How easily publics in all nations can be swayed to render up freedom in the name of safety in a world and life which has always been, and will always be, inherently unsafe and mortal.

All that has happened here, is history proving yet again, that humans are far more like sheep in search of a shepherd, than eagles preserving the freedom of flight and light within their territory.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 5, 2007 4:24 PM
Comment #228441

Kansas Dem:
“It seems that nearly ALL Republicans are almost always joined at the hip when it comes to controversial issues. I don’t want the Democratic Party to be like that.”

But this is not just some petty controversy, KD. This is about our Constitution and our president not following the rule of law. When it comes to protecting and defending the Constitution and our rights, I DO want them to be joined at the hip.
In fact, I don’t just want them joined at the hip — I want the Dems to make like the Rockettes, and very forcefully drop-kick Bushco for acting like America is their own personal dictatorship.
C’mon and admit it — you know I’m right.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 5, 2007 4:27 PM
Comment #228444

“I seem to recall not so long ago, that your were about over the edge too.”


There’s no “about over the edge” to it. I was all the way over. I’m glad I didn’t get “the boot”.

You can read my apology-(ies) here:
Comment #’s 228238 & 228248

I wish someone had told me to calm down. I’m glad the “editor” was in a forgiving mood. I actually have learned a lot here and I’ve tempered and/or moderated some of my opinions.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 5, 2007 4:36 PM
Comment #228446

“C’mon and admit it — you know I’m right.”


No, I don’t. I agree with you 99% of the time but I think the “netroots”, especially the “Kos-nuts”, have blown this out of proportion. There was some compromise. Rather than being at the discretion of our friend Alberto only Mike McConnell must also sign on ………….. and it’s temporary.

Temporary makes it beautiful. That gives ALL of us time to contact our congresspersons (whether D or R) and raise hell. Or we can disintegrate …….. some Dems heading towards Green ………. others toward Libertarian ……….. and then we hand victory to the Republican party again, and again, and again!

Posted by: KansasDem at August 5, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #228449

“No, I don’t. I agree with you 99% of the time but I think the “netroots”, especially the “Kos-nuts”, have blown this out of proportion. There was some compromise.”

No, Kansas Dem. We’re talking about a spying program that Congress hasn’t been allowed to know anything about, or have any oversight on that they’ve now allowed him to EXPAND. That means that this is not in fact any sort of a compromise, it is nothing but capitulation to a government based on law-breaking and secrecy.
Congress has just surrendered a 29-year-old law that was enacted to protect our rights due to the actions of a former law breaking, secretive president who deserved impeachment. They have surrendered our rights, and expanded his ability to violate them for six months — at the behest of a president who broke the law in the first place, and who has continued to violate our rights and break the law without anyone to stop him — while keeping all of the details of these illegal activities a complete secret.
I don’t think anyone is blowing this total outrage out of proportion. And you can tell me to calm down, and label my anger with sneers and name-calling directed at the far left of the party if you wish, but it won’t change my anger at the failure of Congress to uphold the Constitution. Nor will that keep me from thinking that you’re not getting nearly angry enough, when once again we are seeing our people and the rule of law being shat upon by this administration.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 5, 2007 5:57 PM
Comment #228450

If a Hillary gets the nod from the Dems,i am outa the party.I will go with Mike Bloomberg,or Ralph Nader,if Hillary gets the nod.Blue Dogs care more about the fat lard ass,meth using Bubbas.

Posted by: the libertine at August 5, 2007 6:07 PM
Comment #228452


Believe me. The Republicans are having a field day and laughing their asses off watching us tear ourselves apart over this. Please just read the bill:

The “Kos-nuts” have turned this into a cause-celebre for no reason other than to divide us. Yeah, 120 days seems extreme, but FISA is not completely written out of this and it’s temporary.

And it’s DONE. It’s a matter of confronting our congresspersons state by state, district by district and voicing our concerns. What other option is there? VOID is a definite option come election time, but we can’t play into this “weak party” BS.

I found my floppy hat and I’m off to float around with my son in his boat for now, so I’ll see you later.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 5, 2007 6:37 PM
Comment #228455

There should never have been FISA.No president of any two of the major parties,should not be aloud to spy on anybody.

Posted by: the libertine at August 5, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #228461

They should be allowed to spy on those Americans when they have the probable cause to do so. I have never minded surveillance based on evidence of involvement with criminal activity. FISA is not the problem, its a part of the solution, and a good alternative to either unlimited power or straitjacketed law enforcement.

This is what Republicans fail to understand about my party’s objections. This is not about pulling surveillance from off of our enemies, it’s about George Bush and his administration having to give some evidence, reasonable enough for a warrant that somebody is truly involved in something bad, before they are allowed to exercise their power against them.

This administration loves to believe and state that the only way to win this war is to fight it as dirty and with as much disregard for the rules as the Terrorists have. In truth, though, what is advantageous for a terrorist group is not advantageous for a dignified, free society like our own.

Freedom isn’t merely a luxury of better times, but part of what the greatness of our country emerges from. You look around the world, and you see few places where so many people, races, languages, political persuasions, and cultures live side by side without violence, without strife. Freedom is the ability to seek your own interests, for the most part, without having to deprive somebody else of the right to pursue theirs. The system is set up to mutually disarm political parties of the ability to cut other people out from the game.

Warrantless surveillance is a weapon in the hands of any political party out there, and I would not put it in my own party’s hands, because it would come at the price of the legitimacy of any government that employs it.

What people want is for folks not to cave in on this matter. The problems with Bush go beyond his conservatism. He’s an authoritarian, a person who believes that the only thing that keeps him from succeeding is that he hasn’t been given enough power to do what he wants.

He’s gotten good at using the specter of 9/11 to scare people into giving him that power. But look at what he’s done with it, and know that anybody else could screw up things just as bad, given the chance, Democrat or Republican. That is why we set up our system to constrain our government by the law. Societies depend upon the law and justice to function as units, and not fracture as Iraq has done along the lines of strongmen and partisan interests. We have preserved that in America by forcing those who serve us and create the law to submit to that law.

We have something of a majority, but your people have create a procedural roadblock in the Senate, and a better compromise was one of the things they sought out. Not a lot can be passed over our objection, but it seems like the same is also true for your party at the moment.

There’s a reason warrants were required by the founding fathers, based on probable cause: without the use of warrants, there is no way to keep the courts and the law in the feedback loop. Why should the executive have the power, without judicial constraint of deciding what is reasonable cause for searches and seizures. What the hell is wrong with having somebody there who can say “this evidence isn’t good enough, I will not issue the warrant?”

As for kicking people out, you’ll find that we don’t kick moderates out. We’re trying to get these people, in fact, to take what is essentially the position of the moderates and the center in this country.

Anti-Victory Left. Victory! The war is slipping out of your hands as we speak, and victory is still on your lips! The Sunni Bloc has split from the government. The political settlement, which is a major precondition for your victory, is going out the window.

Or didn’t you notice? My God, how many times have I brought things up of concerned, and been called a defeatist for wanting people to take care of these issues? Well, I’m sick of doing that. That’s why I now call for Withdrawal. This President and his party will never admit the defeat that they are at fault for. They will never admit that they pushed things too far, or didn’t go far enough. They will blame it on the people who had no authority or power to make the fateful decisions, who were pointedly shut out, shunted aside, and sent to a new political low in order to get this war going.

Our Foreign Policy has to stop being the hostage of this Administration, and your party’s incapability of admitting to problems and sources of failure. That is what Americans voted for, that’s wha they wanted, and in your presidents in ability to admit that his war could be beyond saving, he actually did the exact opposite of what people wanted him to do.

I want my people to put the brakes on this administration’s policy. It’s what they’re there to do. America is tired of being patient with a man who will not accept that he has wronged them, that he has failed them.

This war has failed it’s basic purpose, and has ended up counterproductive. Our job was never supposed to be to save the Iraqis from themselves. They got to save themselves at some pint, and from the looks of it, we’re a distraction and worse. We’re they’re excuse for not behaving. We’re their excuse for continuing the violence, for keeping the problem going.

I wanted victory, but right now, I want America to extract itself in an organized fashion, before that stops being an option. I wish we had better planned things out and taken care of things, But this President was far too busy being right to do things right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 5, 2007 9:00 PM
Comment #228479

Stephen Daugherty- I believe this post is one of
your best pieces you have crafted.

Thank you

Adrienne- great job with your post, my sentiments

Posted by: -DAVID- at August 6, 2007 4:33 AM
Comment #228482


NOTHING can be passed over the objections of the Democrats. You have an absolute majority. Therefore, anything that passes requires some Democratic agreement and anything that doesn’t pass is mostly the fault of the Dems.

This is what happens when you are in control. You all gleefully complained about Republicans. Now it is your congress.

Dems enjoy almost exactly the same numbers today as Republicans had before. They have the same mandate as Republicans had two years ago and the same sorts of power to carry it out. Stop crying about that. This is what you asked for and this is what you get.

I said right after the election that Dems would be less happy with the reality of responsibility. It is much more fun to find fault with others than be responsible for results.

But now the Dems are resonsible for results. Their achievements are modest. Other than holding lots of hearings that produce nothing but hot air and more hearing, the Dems are not very active. I am not surprised. Their platform was hating Bush and that is what we see them spending most of their energy doing.

I am glad, however, that the Democratically controlled congress has agreed with the President re the need to update terrorist surviellence rules. I am glad that some Dems took the moderate position. Good job on that, at least.

Posted by: Jack at August 6, 2007 8:09 AM
Comment #228483


What you call hatred for Bush we democrats call responsibility. We see it as our responsibility to voice our opinion against what we believe to be a viable threat to our way of life, our democracy, our country and our standing with the rest of the world. I view Bush, his administration and most of the rest of the republican congress as an irresponsible, opportunistic, band of criminals pursuing an agenda not in keeping with the best interests of the people. In my estimation they are quite simply not to be trusted. I and many many others feel that now is the time to put some finality to their misaligned agenda. And I can guarantee you that I am not the only citizen who holds this opinion. It is your right to brand and antagonize us with your vengeful descriptives. That is fine. But you need to realize that it is our objective that you and the rest of us continue to be able to freely voice those opinions without fear of reprisal. I for one do not find it prudent to merely lie down and play dead while an irresponsible executive branch is allowed to manipulate the erosion of my civil liberties. It is not about hate Jack. It is about the difference between right and wrong.

Posted by: RickIL at August 6, 2007 9:15 AM
Comment #228490

“If we fail to set some realistic goals and expectations, and let the “Kos-nuts” tell us what values we must have to be Democrats then we’ll fall into the same trap as the Republican party has with the “Religious Right” and the “Neo-Cons”.

A party divided………………”

Waaaaaaay to late K-Dem.
You either accept and embrace their views as your own, or you are one of those who are not “lucky enough to have a brain in their head.”

You are an intelligent man K-Dem. You understand not all Dems have or should have the same views. You understand that there is a big difference between the coastal liberals, urban liberals and the heartland Dems, the “big tent” you spoke of. And you know that in order to keep winning elections, your party cannot stay as far left as it is or you all will be swept out of power, again.

The kos-ites and moveon’ers in control would be no different than what we have now: a country divided.

Good posts neighbor.

Posted by: kctim at August 6, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #228496
I said right after the election that Dems would be less happy with the reality of responsibility.

I’m actually fairly happy with what Congressional Dems have accomplished over the last six months. The only two things I’m less happy about are that we were unable to refocus Bush’s attention from Iraq to al Qaeda and we haven’t yet gotten more judicial oversight for gathering counter-terrorist intelligence in America.

But the fight for those issues isn’t over yet. The wiretapping bill that just passed is temporary and so is Bush’s reign as Commander in Chief.

I expect a good compromise between intelligence gathering and civil liberties in 120 days and I expect to start making some forward progress in the war on terror once a Democrat is in office in 2009.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 6, 2007 12:34 PM
Comment #228500

Great article, Stephen, but your response to comments is of the very highest caliber. I came here to make sure we had an editor covering this story, and was pleased to see you had done a good job. My only disappointment was that your title and first paragraph (short of following the link) did not capture the essence of the disservice Congress has done to our U.S. Constitution.

I was very pleased that KansasDem explicitly outed those Dems who so illogically capitulated. It is critical that they hear en masse from their constituents during the next 6 months before this comes up for a revote.

Adrienne, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your passion, or the passion of Glen Greenwald and others, railing against the capitulation represented by this betrayal of the Constitution by this minority of Democrats, and [I should add] by quite a number of Republicans who should really know better. And you are right, that THIS is one issue that our party SHOULD be joined at the hip on, and which should be splitting the Republicans instead. But that does NOT mean that we can’t be a big tent and welcome more moderate and conservative members. KansasDem, while I disapprove of his slander of the Kos community, is correct that as bad as this vote is, we can take heart that it must come up again in 6 months, and THAT is something that we can still do something about.

This issues has nothing to do with the conservative/liberal dichotomy. It’s OK to be angry - but turn that anger into effective action to make our lawmakers [of any party!] understand that we value a legitimized process for surveillance and oppose a blank check for anyone to snoop as they please.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at August 6, 2007 12:48 PM
Comment #228504
What you don’t seem to get is that the Democratic Party was founded, and was meant to belong to Liberals. We don’t need to “take over” our own party, we need only KICK OUT all these weak, spineless “moderates and conservatives” who have infiltrated OUR party and who are shamelessly thwarting and sabotaging all of the goals that Liberal Democrats ran on in the 2006 midterm election.

This is an amazing examination of history… It seems to me from my history lessons that the Progressive movement of the 20s and 30s ‘took over’ the democratic party slowly and more increasingly during the 1900s. Now, you are upset that the remaining remnants of those original liberals (most of whom have fled to other parties) and who won their elections running as moderate democrats are daring to vote differently than you think they should.

Why didn’t the progressives start their own party originally? Oh yeah, they did, but it failed miserably. So they took over another established party just as the neo-cons did the Republican party.

What the democratic party is now is anything but ‘liberal’ in the classic sense but ‘liberal’ in the progressives redefining it sense. Meaning that they believe in individual rights that actually require others to perform some action for it to be achieved. And in the end they are responsible for most of our societal ills (bad education, overtaxation, increasing welfare class and an attempt to do the same with healthcare).

If the thought is that people have a ‘right to healthcare’ then you end up requiring others to perform healthcare roles in order to achieve that right. Take our current nursing shortage, do you think that shortage is going to ‘go away’ if we nationalize our healthcare in order to fulfill this ‘right’ that the progressives are trying to enforce? What happens when no one wants to be a nurse anymore? Do we start forcing people to become nurses so that everyone’s rights are fulfilled?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 6, 2007 1:13 PM
Comment #228521

Yes, I stipulated the point that nothing can be passed over our objections, at least if we all object together. However, we do not have absolute majority. If we did, then no amount of cloture votes could impede us in the Senate, the way they are now.

There’s another difference between your majority and ours: You have the president on your side. In a sense, our current political situation is somewhat weaker, at least if you’re looking at here and now.

Talk to David about our level of activity. Look at all the legislation your Republican Senators have blocked.

As far as hating Bush goes? How do you expect to do things that infuriate and frustrate most of the people in the country, and not end up faced with people taking a personal dislike to him? They’re not unconnected. From his election to the present day, Bush has amassed a record of willingly alienating his rivals and opponents, which is problematic since in politics, the person you argue with one day, might be the person you need on your side the next.

I personally grew to deeply dislike the man when he said in March 2002 that he wasn’t that concerned about Bin Laden anymore, that he wasn’t that important. For me, that was a clear sign that he had taken his eye off the ball, that his redemption after 9/11 was short lived. The 2002 campaign, where the old Cold War tropes were dusted off and the commies changed out for the new terrorist threat did little to change my mind.

The Iraq war made it worse for me, because at the very least, I trusted that he had good evidence for taking us to war, that the President was going to take the obligations of being straight with people on such life and death matters seriously. Instead, he played politics with people’s lives, and wasted our credibility and his trying to deny what a decent survey of media sources would lead people to believe.

It says something that George W. Bush made me care enough about opposing his policy that I stuck out my neck like this and put my name on this site like this. But I care that much about what he’s done, and not for merely political reasons. The practical results of his policy are what worry me, and if you understood that, you’d understand much of the passion in folks opposition to him.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2007 3:56 PM
Comment #228553


You have an absolute majority. You have what the Republicans had two years ago. I do not recall much sympathy for the Republicans in those days.

In this particular case, the Democrats could have blocked it. That is just true. They did not.

As for sticking out your neck, don’t be silly. Nobody suffers any retaliation for attacking the president. Nobody is really afraid of it.

Dems play this silly game of pretending they live in a fascist country. They keep on complaining about being silenced, but nobody can hear that complaint because there are too many liberals talking too much and too loudly.

Posted by: Jack at August 6, 2007 8:48 PM
Comment #228578

An absolute majority would be every seat belonging to a doctrinaire Democrat. Otherwise, the adjective makes no sense. Which brings up another issue: you never had an absolute majority.

The Democrats could have blocked it, as a group. I don’t get how you think I could believe anything else. The whole point of my entry revolves around my dissatisfaction with the fact they didn’t do this!

It’s not that I believe we live in a fascist country. Quite the opposite! I believe that nobody should be be afraid in a Democracy of standing up to a man most people in this country are dissatisfied with. We’ve got a clear majority behind us that is dissatisfied with Bush’s paradigm of continuing this war until it’s won. My best guess is that some people are still afraid that if they do what the American people want of them, that at some point they’ll be blamed for the failure of the war. They don’t want a repeat of what happened after Vietnam.

Trouble is, it’s inevitable. It’s happening even now. Your party will not acknowledge it’s misjudgments, or its refusal to correct those errors is the cause behind the war’s failure.

I believe that we will not win the War on terrorism based on this kind of bending and breaking of the constitutional rules. People value their rights, and fear the revoking of them. It’s not that we think we got fascism here, it’s that we don’t want it, and that’s what a police state will give us.

What else is a police state but one where one where the authorities are given unrestrained, unitary power to keep order, even at the expense of personal freedom and welfare? What would it matter if it’s only one in effect, and not in declaration? After all, folks in mainland China call what they have the People’s Republic, though it hardly resembles any such thing. Our consideration is, that if we let too much go, even in whatever good name we’d care to invoke, we could end up in just such a government.

There has to be, and their can be a balance, and in fact, it could be better for us, if we don’t pursue unitariy, unchecked approaches to our domestic security. First and foremost, no program can long keep the mandate of the people, if they fear that it will intrude on their lives without good cause. Second, many of these approaches broaden the scope of information gathered at the expense of gathering meaningful information.

As a student of information theory, I should submit here the notion that more information is not what’s desireable. It’s an increase of meaningful information. One big thing about any system of warrants is that it requires the government to give the judiciary information that is meaningful enough to justify the action taken. Don’t underestimate the value of that, the focus that it brings. When our focus meanders in a sea of information, trying to make sense of what we didn’t already have a good grasp of, we end up getting off track, which means getting on the wrong track.

I think the problem of the Republican Party, and of the Democrats who just failed to back Bush down is they are not thinking systematically. I’ve got one eye on my television right now, watching Errol Morris’s The Fog of War. There’s a movie you should watch. You should consider that part of the reason Republicans became resurgent was how much damage Vietnam did to us. Part of the reason it did so much damage was that we were incapable of letting go what we knew to be a dysfunctional, losing war. We got so caught up with optimism for optimism’s sake, while not taking care of the basic needs of what needed to be done, that we just let things slide, and get worse, telling ourselves that admitting the failure would bring everything crashing down.

We didn’t admit failure for the longest time. We fought the idea that we weren’t going down the right path in opposing communism. We fought the idea that our own efforts could be counterproductive. And in the end, the Vietnam War broke the Democratic party for more than a generation.

The final irony is that the Republicans, to gain the advantage of the Democrats, took up their former blind optimism, their antagonism towards the mainstream media, and built a revolution out of it. The final irony is that they took the Democrat’s mistakes to heart as their winning strategy. Is it any wonder Iraq happened the way it did? To vindicate the war in Vietnam, the Republicans repeated its errors, especting things to go differently.

At the end of the day, the Republicans are smashing themselves on the same rocks as the Democrats were dashed on, and the same thing will happen. When you finally realize that we were wrong, so long ago, and that you’re wrong now, the rest of the country will be waiting, and wanting for the kind of peace people remember from before.

I think I did fine. What is the problem with what they did? Many of these people are too haunted with the memories of being called backstabbers to remember that our problem was not that we were stabbing our own people in the back, but rather shooting ourselves in the foot. There are some times when we have to forget what we’ve learned, and look at the situation anew, clearing our minds of all the sound and fury, for a new assessment of things, unburdened by past assumptions. Second guessing our past actions, especially ones which were long overdue at the time, will get us nowhere. We have to let go of this war.

Would we recognize a world where child labor and not compulsory education were the rule, where prostitution was legal, and most people lived in poverty, rather than in the Middle Class? Would we want to live with the decades of pollution and injustice that followed from the progressive movement?

It might be for the best if you saw what happened to the Democrats in terms of an unhealthy attachment to the Vietnam war. Obsession in foreign policy and domestic can destroy a party’s credibility and support. Ask yourself now, who looks like they’re in worse condition? The Republicans are doing things like this now out of desperation, unhealthily bonded to the Iraq war, and to domestic policy that simply scares the shit out of the average American.

You can talk about the various “evils” of modern government, but all governments have their downsides, and the question is what downsides people are prepared to accept. People are not prepared to accept the downsides of the kind of small government the Republicans and the right envision. They feel that they’ve lost too much control, too many freedoms, and have suffered too many unacceptable losses in those terms. It didn’t necessarily have to turn out like that, and I’ll tell you what I think the problem is:

The Republicans and the Right are fully prepared to trying and destroy the liberal legacy, and try to return things to the principles of the gilded age, but they have no idea of how to replace what the the Democrats have brought to the table. There are vague ideas about how to do it, and some questionable efforts that have been put forward, but not a lot of really successful alternatives.

The Republican’s plans present a major downside to the average, middle class American. No amount of high-minded rhetoric can hide that forever.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 6, 2007 11:54 PM
Comment #228594

“that does NOT mean that we can’t be a big tent and welcome more moderate and conservative members.”

Look at the list of those who voted to expand Bush’s authority and his ability to ignore FISA, Walker. It’s overwhelmingly the Blue Dogs who voted for this. I don’t think the “moderate and conservative” influence is doing the Democratic Party any favors at all. In fact, it is making the party look and act, extremely weak and ineffectual.
I’m just calling it as I see it.

Kansas Dem:
“Temporary makes it beautiful.”
“The wiretapping bill that just passed is temporary “
“we can take heart that it must come up again in 6 months”

A few questions:
When did you ever hear of rights being taken away that are then are easily retrieved?
Why should we be relieved that it is “only six months” when our Constitutional rights have been disregarded by representatives from our own party?
Does it bother any of you that a 29-year-old law has been amended over a spying program that Congress doesn’t know anything about, and hasn’t demanded investigations into?

The way I see it, the same Blue Dog Dems will be voting in six months and will most likely still be too weak and scared and easily manipulated by Bushco fear mongering to reverse these changes to FISA. Just like they were too afraid not to vote to renew the Patriot Act. Just like they’re too weak to cut the funding for the damn debacle in Iraq.

I’m truly sorry to say this, but I’m afraid I’ve now completely lost my faith in the “moderate and conservative” ability of too many of these Democrats to check the abuses of this administration and defend our Constitution. Indeed, when I look at the way they vote on so many issues, I wonder if they even have the desire.

It’s as clear as can be that only the Liberals are standing strong and speaking out the way they should be, and when it comes to things of such vital importance, I don’t feel a need to mince my words.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 7, 2007 2:18 AM
Comment #228630
Does it bother any of you…

I never said it was a good thing. But there’s a chance to make it right.

Posted by: American Pundit at August 7, 2007 1:01 PM
Comment #228656

“I never said it was a good thing. But there’s a chance to make it right.”

[Grunt] Gather your hopes in one hand, and gather up Bushco abuses in the other, and see which one fills up fastest, AP.

“It seems to me from my history lessons that the Progressive movement of the 20s and 30s ‘took over’ the democratic party slowly and more increasingly during the 1900s.”

No, the Democratic Party’s foundations have always rested on Liberal concepts and philosophies. If you don’t believe me, you need a history book that goes way back to the differences between Thomas Jefferson’s ideas, as opposed to those of the Federalists.

“Now, you are upset that the remaining remnants of those original liberals (most of whom have fled to other parties) and who won their elections running as moderate democrats are daring to vote differently than you think they should.”

Yes. And so do the majority of people who voted all those Blue Dogs in. The people who voted in the 2006 midterms clearly wanted an opposition party to check this out-of-control administration and they wanted Congressional protection for the Constitution, but instead all they ended up electing was a bunch of easily manipulated, weak kneed capitulators.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 7, 2007 4:36 PM
Comment #228682


No, the Democratic Party’s foundations have always rested on Liberal concepts and philosophies. If you don’t believe me, you need a history book that goes way back to the differences between Thomas Jefferson’s ideas, as opposed to those of the Federalists.

I can assure you that Jefferson would cringe at the current Democratic party and would be embracing the only party that believes in what his vision of a forward thinking party was… The libertarians.

Which is, ironically enough, where the ‘classic liberals’ reside these days, except for the ones who haven’t been chased out of the Democratic party.

No where, anywhere, did Jefferson believe in creating rights that did not exist, ones that required FORCED, by the government, action on another’s part. If you want to debate that, then fine, but don’t try to sell that the current ‘liberal’ is anything like what Jefferson represented.

The current democratic party does NOT rest on liberal ideals, they are firmly being controlled by the progressives. As was FDR and his notion to pack the court that nearly cost him his presidency.

As for what ‘the people’ voted for, that is an astonishing ability to KNOW what people vote for. Of course, it helps your cause to assume one thing, but since most moderate democrats won where the more ‘progressive’ democrats lost, shouldn’t that be a little bit more of an indicator of what ‘the people’ voted for?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 7, 2007 9:33 PM
Comment #228683


Again, we have this conversation, I do not advocate for Republicans. I don’t think they have the answers either. I do however think that there is MUCH better way than what we have now and I think we have learned from the mistakes of the past progressive agenda that has cost us so much in the past 75 years.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 7, 2007 9:34 PM
Comment #228712

Rhinehold, the people voted strongly against Bush, and against all the Republican corruption and lying and secrecy of both his administration and that in Congres, and most especially they voted for the party they thought could bring an end to the Iraq War. But don’t take my word for it, go look at what all polls that were done during that time showed.

As for your belief that Libertarians are the natural inheritors to Jefferson’s philosophical ideas, I feel you couldn’t be more wrong, but you are also far from alone in making such a statement. Many political parties have tried to make this claim. However, none of them can trace their party directly back to the Democratic-Republican Party the way that Democrats can.

Regarding Jefferson’s liberal/progressivism, I think that if begin to you read his public and private writings, you will soon see that he was very much a progressive thinker for his time.

A few quotes:

“Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.”

“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant, education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.”

“I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.”

“By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.”

“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”

Jefferson was also extremely wary of the dangers that moneyed interests and corporations posed to this nation. Quite unlike the thread that runs through many of the parties of the right in American history, such as the Federalists, Whigs, Republicans, and yes, the Libertarians.

He wrote:
“I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our Government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

“Experience declares that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can think of no milder term to apply to the general prey of the rich on the poor.”

So, to sum up, in my view Liberals and Progressives can stake a very solid claim on Jeffersonian philosophy as the foundation of our Democratic party.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2007 1:09 AM
Comment #228713


What, in your quotes of Jefferson, does the Libertarian party fail at, do you think?

Jefferson was very clear about where he stood on the 2nd amendment, yet I see progressives challenging it. He was very clear on limited governmental intrusion into our lives, yet the progressives want to increase the government intrusion into our lives more and more each year.

Never fear the want of business. A man who qualifies himself well for his calling, never fails of employment.

Never trouble another for what you can do for yourself.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.

An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.

I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.” [10th Amendment] To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawnaround the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.

The States should be left to do whatever acts they can do as well as the General Government.

The way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the function he is competent to. Let the National Government be entrusted with the defense of the nation and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man’s farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.

Now tell me again how the Democratic Party agrees with ANY of these quotes, especially the last one?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2007 1:27 AM
Comment #228719


When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

I do verily believe that..a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.

On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?

A sound spirit of legislation,… banishing all arbitrary and unnecessary restraint on individual action, shall leave us free to do whatever does not violate the equal rights of another

The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.

[Ours is a] policy of not embarking the public in enterprises better managed by individuals, and which might occupy as much of our time as those political duties for which the public functionaries are particularly instituted. Some money could be lent them [the New Orleans Canal Co.], but only on an assurance that it would be employed so as to secure the public objects.

Taxes on consumption, like those on capital or income, to be just, must be uniform.

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

Private enterprise manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal.

The merchants will manage [commerce] the better, the more they are left free to manage for themselves.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 8, 2007 1:54 AM
Comment #228726

Rhinehold- Jefferson did not conceive of (one example) thousands of Companies like Enron, now
did he, an the the Robber Barron’s. The honest
Companies are few an far between. Do you believe
our prisons would have only a small population, if
were to follow that “free to manage for them selves,
I think not.

Posted by: -DAVID- at August 8, 2007 6:20 AM
Comment #228735

Although there’s a great deal of wisdom in Jefferson’s words, it’s a somewhat dubious affair to allege that all that he had to say could be applied to our times so well.

DAVID talked about Jefferson not understanding the thousands of companies like Enron- I offer he’d find the legal status of even one to be unfamiliar, or even absurd. The fourteenth amendment would be an interesting development for him, as would be the war that caused it, and the idea that a corporation could be a permanent enterprise, much less be accorded many of the same rights as a person would have been alien to him.

The industrial revolution and the subsequent urbanization of America would overturn many of the paradigms of live and let live that come with a mainly rural society. It’s easy to suppose that regulation is unfair, but so is the situation without it for many people.

The global scope of these corporations would have likely given him much pause, as well as the almost colonial way in which they operate.

What would Jefferson think of our modern age? Who knows. A lot has changed.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 8, 2007 9:28 AM
Comment #228752

Rhinehold, I’ve made my reply to you in the “nine angry old white guys” thread.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 8, 2007 12:25 PM
Comment #228803

“As for what ‘the people’ voted for, that is an astonishing ability to KNOW what people vote for. Of course, it helps your cause to assume one thing, but since most moderate democrats won where the more ‘progressive’ democrats lost, shouldn’t that be a little bit more of an indicator of what ‘the people’ voted for?”
Posted by: Rhinehold at August 7, 2007 09:33 PM

That is almost an exact quote from Rush Limbaugh. He too was saying that the Democrats won the majority with moderate to conservative candidates. Watch out, Rhinehold, the left is going to label you a neocon!


Posted by: JD at August 8, 2007 10:07 PM
Comment #228840

Rhinehold, JD-
Bull. We expanded in both directions, both Leftward and Rightward. We’re picking up the people you’re too good to reconcile yourself with

This isn’t about Democrats becoming more like Republicans. This is about Democrats lingering in the world of the past where Republicans dominated, and reaching a compromised weighted towards their sensbilities made sense.

It no longer makes any sense. The paradigm has shifted. The Republican policies have failed in disgrace, even by the party’s own standards. What you’re seeing are the last lucid moments of the current political machine, using all its strength, now weakening to try and shore up it’s failing fortunes.

The Republicans have seen a sharp downturn in those around my age group, a profound loss of faith from my generation. We were the generation brought up on Reagan Conservatism. That you’ve lost us should concern you because when you lose folks at this stage of the game, you generally lose them for life.

Consider what it means that Conservatives and moderates are tilting towards the Democrats: One, the old objections had to have been softened to the point that people no longer minded going to our side. Two, it means that Republicans have so alienated many of these people, that they decided to completely reverse the trends of the last few decades.

You guys could have proved that conservatism in general could work but instead, you spent more time proving that it couldn’t run things worth a damn. That, more than any rhetoric, is what has convinced people to side with my party. My point to my fellow Democrats is that the public no longer buys the rhetorical attacks they’re so busy trying to dodge, and that the most harm they can do to themselves is by giving those attacks credibility by treating their concerns as legitimate, reflective of reality.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2007 10:41 AM
Comment #229068

Rhinehold, JD-
Bull. We expanded in both directions, both Leftward and Rightward. We’re picking up the people you’re too good to reconcile yourself with
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2007 10:41 AM


You call it expanding in both directions. I call it talking out of both sides of your mouth!

Obviously, Americans are now seeing this fact, with the deplorable favorability ratings of the Democratic Congress; lower in fact, than in September 2006, when Republicans still held the power.


Posted by: JD at August 12, 2007 1:59 AM
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