More Self-Hating Democrats

Speaking of loyalty problems, would it be too late for Virginia to pass a law allowing Mark Warner to run again, as he could in any other state? You would think that the new Democratic nominee, LG Tim Kaine, was running for governor of Alabama, not of swing state Virginia. Consider these recent comments:"I think that John Kerry demonstrated much more comfort talking about windsurfing and hockey than he did talking about his beliefs," says Kaine, admitting that he does have a limited amount of sympathy for the Massachusetts senator's reticence.(...)

The second thing that Democrats have to do better on is not attacking the `religious right,'" he said. "I think that has been a standard bogeyman that Democrats have often used in campaigns, including campaigns in Virginia. If somebody advances an idea or position that's wrong, then attack them for having a bad idea. But they are not wrong because they are religious.

"When Democrats kind of cavalierly attack the religious right or go after Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, our candidates have sent the signal to a lot of religious people, `Well, I guess they are not interested in me.' And I think this includes a lot of people who would fit very naturally within the Democratic Party."

This is, um, not exactly what Democrats need in the only southern state that is moving in our direction. How can we hope to build the party in Virginia, and make it a true swing state, when our new standard bearer in that state happily spouts off some of the worst Republican Noise Machine lies about Democrats? Further, he said these things in an interview with the American Prospect for crying out loud, not exactly hostile territory for Democrats.

Paul Waldman responds to Kaine thusly:

Pardon me, but what the fuck are you talking about? John Kerry went windsurfing once during the campaign, and was dumb enough to let news photographers tag along. But he never talked about windsurfing. Few people have been more critical of Kerry's campaign than I have, but that's just about the most idiotic thing I've ever heard.(...)

Show me a single time when someone said, "Jerry Falwell is wrong because he's religious." Jerry Falwell is wrong because he's radical theocrat who has contempt for American values. Democrats shouldn't criticize Falwell - the guy who said God brought September 11 down to punish America for tolerating gays? They shouldn't criticize Pat Robertson - a con man who has made hundreds of millions of dollars stealing from little old ladies, and who writes books full of anti-semitic conspiracy theories? You bet your ass Democrats should criticize them, and they should force Republicans to say whether they embrace the religious values of most Americans, or of radicals like Falwell and Robertson.

This is another in a long line of Democrats who criticize their own party by using Republican lies. This may furtehr their own ambitions by increasing their appeal to... well, I'm not really sure to whom they expect this will increase their appeal. However, no matter what votes they are trying to court, they do so at the expense of other Democrats in their party, both statewide and nationally. In the end, that means it will hurt them too.

Anyway, Tim Kaine for Governor.

Update: I took out the invectives, but I also want to make it clear that I will not spare Democrats who use Republican lies to talk about other Democrats. I mean, WTF is that windsurfing line about? Not only is it a Republican talking point about both Kerry and Democrats in general, but it is also a lie. He has no business talking about Democrats in that fashion, and he deserves to be called out for it. I should not have used invective against him, but he should be ashamed of what he said and the rank and file need to be the people who do the shaming.

This sort of crap happens all the time. As David Sirota writes,:

Make no mistake about it - the Democratic Party is still the major party in American politics that best represents the interests of America's working class, and the Republicans are the real threat to average Americans' economic interests. The Democrats have some of the most tenacious and honest fighters for progressive causes that we could ever ask for - that's why I am proud to have worked for Democrats, and worked on Democratic campaigns. But the Post shows how a small faction, when left unpressured, can do serious damage to the progressive cause, America's middle-class, and the Democratic Party itself, providing the crucial support that's needed for the Republicans to pass their hard-right agenda.

That's why it is so important for progressives to not only go after the GOP when they ignore average Americans, but also hold those who undercut the Democratic Party accountable. Doing that is GOOD for the party, and the progressive cause in general. Because when these wavering lawmakers are held accountable, we can hope for a day that they don't undercut the party, the party starts winning these battles, and the progressive cause is advanced.

No Democratic cause is advanced if Democrats use Republican lies to talk about other Democrats, and we need to help put an end to it. The only cause that has even a slight chance of advancing is the electoral cause of the Democrat doing the lying. Even then, probably not.

Update 2: This comment from Steve M just about sums up this whole debacle for me:

I think there is a middle ground between the two sides of this debate. I don't think it is necessary for Tim Kaine to plant a kiss on John Kerry's cheek to demonstrate his bona fides as a candidate; nor do I think it is necessary for him to burn Kerry in effigy to have any chance of winning in Virginia. I simply think it's possible for him to distance himself from the national party without slamming the national party, let alone slamming it based upon right-wing caricatures. I mean, I've seen a lot of positive stuff from the Kaine campaign, I've seen a lot about what kind of person he is and what kind of stuff he believes. He doesn't need to make a comment about windsurfing to convince voters that he is not a "windsurfing Democrat," whatever that is.

In any event, lost in all this is the context in which Kaine made his comments. This was not a national TV appearance or a campaign speech. This was an interview by the American Prospect, a lefty journal asking questions about the political process. In the wake of the election, everyone has started to ask this same banal question, "What can the national Democratic Party do to reach out to the red states?" And it's gotten so trite by now that I can't believe anyone out there wants to hear it asked again. But the fact remains, they asked the question of Tim Kaine, and they got his answer. It's hard to answer that question except in the context of, "What should the national party do that they're not doing now, or what should they avoid doing that they are doing now?"

When the Kilgorites try to paint Kaine as the candidate of John Kerry, Howard Dean, and the like, I hope he is able to address those smears without having to slam Kerry and Dean in so doing. But that day is yet to come.

Agreed. I'm not demanding that Dmecorats ask, for example, Hillary Clinton to get married. However, the fact is that red state Democrats do not have to bash other Democrats with Republicans lies in order to win elections. Herseth doesn’t do that. Nelson doesn’t do that. Napolitano doesn’t do that. Warner doesn’t do that. Lincoln doesn’t do that. Dorgan doesn’t do that. Landrieu doesn’t do that. Henry doesn’t do that. Sebelius doesn’t do that. It is not the only way out. It is, however, a way to make sure that Democrats stay down in red states for the long term. As long as we internalize, repeat and validate lies about ourselves, we will always be the losing class no matter how far to the right we move, no matter how much we talk about faith and foreign policy, no matter how much a bogeyman we make of ourselves.

Tags: Democrats (all tags)



Take about self-hating Democrats...
Look in the mirror, Chris!

Some idiot insults the national party, will doubtlessly be a Joe Liebarman-like parasite on the national party, and you tell us to all go and support him.

Go to a battered voters shelter and regain your self esteem!

by Kevin in Boston 2005-03-28 06:07AM | 0 recs
Try again Kevin
Lieberman is being rightfully bashed for his tacit cooperation with Karl Rove. Lieberman is playing right into the theocon playbook by helping them accuse Democrats of being the party of death. Newt Gingrich accused Democrats of murder on Faux News. He didn't have to reference Joe Lieberman, but he could have.

Joe Lieberman deserves everything he is getting and more.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:10AM | 0 recs
The thing is,
in CT, the Dems can do better than Lieberman.
In VA, a win is a win.
by catastrophile 2005-03-28 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The thing is,

JollyBuddah cannot comprehend nor understand what you just pointed. buddah lives in a fantasy world & has no idea how the reality of politics works.

everyday buddah advocates the defeat of every single DLC member which pretty much wipes out 90% of elected Dems in the south, the midwest, the rocky mountains, and parts of the southwest & even some northerners.

she has this fantasy that rebuilding means defeat of ALL DLC & regaining ALL those seats mostly in Red States by her voice, internet postings, and loud complaints. she makes it sound that defeating bringdown Reid, Landriu, Blance Lincoln, Easley, and Nelson WILL BE A PIECE OF CAKE IN WINNING BACK with a New Minted Liberal Democrat annointed by her.

she fails to understand that a Mark Warner, a Tim Kaine, a Mike Easley, a Phil Brendesen is 100 times better than a Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, Jeb Bush, Dick Armey, Rick Santorum.

it is extremist like buddah who will keep the democratic party a minority for the next 40 years.
( except in her nice enclave of California )

Whats sad is you cannot reach these people. they are way way out there.

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 10:53AM | 0 recs
Um . . . okay,
but I was responding to Kevin in Boston, not JB. Kevin was questioning Chris on his sort-of-sarcastic endorsement of Tim Kaine in the original post.

I was just pointing out that, having no other prospects for the election, Dems might as well back a half-assed candidate rather than let a Reep in unopposed. Personally, I have no problem with fielding primary opposition when a Dem is being an @$$hole.

As a matter of fact, though I know you disagree, I think that Dems who openly criticize the Dem party using Reep rhetoric are doing more damage than Dems who criticize other Dems for backing the Reep agenda.

With that said, Kaine's comments above strike me more as a poor choice of words than a call for the party to move rightward.

by catastrophile 2005-03-28 12:11PM | 0 recs
Step away from the keyboard
Put down your intoxicating beverages and stop bogarting that joint.

Talk about being "way way out there."

everyday buddah advocates the defeat of every single DLC member which pretty much wipes out 90% of elected Dems in the south, the midwest, the rocky mountains, and parts of the southwest & even some northerners.

I would be perfectly content to keep one or two around as reminders and a couple more as souveniers that we could raffle off at fundraisers.

she has this fantasy that rebuilding means defeat of ALL DLC & regaining ALL those seats mostly in Red States by her voice, internet postings, and loud complaints. she makes it sound that defeating bringdown Reid, Landriu, Blance Lincoln, Easley, and Nelson WILL BE A PIECE OF CAKE IN WINNING BACK with a New Minted Liberal Democrat annointed by her.

Actually, I have been focusing on Lieberman and Biden. Maybe Feinstein needs a primary challenge and that's about it. I have been critical of the Fainthearted Faction, but that hardly makes me unique. I don't even know what state Blanch Lincoln and Easley are from. How could I possibly be trying to bring them down?

it is extremist like buddah who will keep the democratic party a minority for the next 40 years.
( except in her nice enclave of California )

That is a very questionable assumption FightingLadyinblue. On top of that, I keep asking for examples of my extremism, but nobody seems to be able to give me any examples. Perhaps if you were willing to consider some new ideas, it's just possible that the Democratic party might have more success.

I strongly recommend two valium and three AdvisorJim diaries. Who knows, you just might learn something.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
Examples of your extremism JollyBuddah? I've got some examples right here.

In the VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH of your response to fightingLadyInBlue you tell her this:

Put down your intoxicating beverages and stop bogarting that joint.

But then you comletely contradict that advice with this later bit:

I strongly recommend two valium

So which is it Mr. Buddah? Are you advocating intoxication or not?

I'd call that advice pretty extreme. So there you freaking are!!

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 02:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
I am simply trying to get FightingLadyinBlue to examine her mood swings and consider the appropriate adjustment. She needs to adjust her meds and start enjoying better living through chemistry.

Here I am enjoying a nice calm relaxing day at work and everybody is trying to harsh on my mellow.

Whatever works and whatever gets you through the day, I always say.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:57PM | 0 recs
Mr. Buddah
Hey... that was supposed to be a joke. I was already laughing about a poem Catastrophile wrote over on the Schiavo thread and saw humor in your post.

I mean ... come on .... how could you take this seriously:

So which is it Mr. Buddah? Are you advocating intoxication or not?

I got a kick just out of writing "Mr. Buddah". lol  <-- there... see? I really did.  ;)

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Mr. Buddah
I should have added <snark>
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard

Wow, even worse, I feel foolish.  I didn't know JollyBuddah was a woman.  I figured with a name like JollyBuddah, it was a pudgy guy... kind of like me.  Not that it matters, I kind of like Buddah.  I don't agree with everything said, but it makes you think.

by yitbos96bb 2005-03-28 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-28 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
Last time I checked I was a man. I think FLIB is trying to get my goat. Pretty lame attempt too.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
Well, Blanche Lincoln is the US Senator from Arkansas and Mike Easley is the governor from North Carolina.  Both are Democrats.


I lived in California for 8 years, still visit family there each year, and have now lived in Texas for almost 10 years.  A lot of Californians and Northeasterners talk down on the South from a political standpoint.  I am by no means a Southern apologist...there are things here that leave a lot to be desired.  However, the above folks should not claim to live in Nirvana.  While we as Democrats fight down here for everything that we can get, this "latte" left just sits around laughing at us because they are "oh-so superior"

Well, guess what...maybe it's your attitude that turns off a lot of folks off to our party.  Some people don't like being talked down to, and for this simple reason, they vote against their interest and vote Republican.

I will let others comment on Tim Paine's remarks.
Personally, I was not a big fan of them, but I'll live.

Having said, I find one point to be most interesting.  A lot of folks criticizing Paine's remarks about Kerry also criticize Kerry.  You can't have it both ways.

Howard Dean has it right...the first key to succeeding in the South is SHOWING UP!  I volunteered in Arkansas for the coordinated campaign out of the Texarkana, AR office (on the Texas State Line).  Of the 4 races we worked on in Arkansas, we won 3 (Kerry-Edwards was the only loss, by 9 points).  Even though we were an Arkansas campaign, we also worked on 2 Texas races, winning 1.  Neither Kerry nor Edwards campaigned in Arkansas.  There were no Kerry-Edwards ads in Arkansas at all.  Still, of the 7 counties our field office was responsible for, we won 2.  Not what we hoped for, but when you consider that our ENTIRE CAMPAIGN WAS GRASSROOTS with NO PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE APPEARANCES, well a 54-45 defeat looks slightly better (though it still felt awful, and we honestly thought that we would win.

I like and respect John Kerry, but I feel that his biggest mistake was not showing up in the South at all.  It showed a form of surrender.  It also probably hurt volunteerism (yes, folks, people do read newspapers in Arkansas) We had a legitimate chance in Arkansas.  For crying out loud, the greatest president of my lifetime (DOB 1971) made his name in Arkansas, and we're quitting on it?

We had an us against the world attitude down here.  Hopefully, our Democratic friends in California and the Northeast will try to understand what we go through, and together we can move forward as proud Democrats and win everywhere!

by v2aggie2 2005-03-28 09:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
I think there is a difference between us (the voters) criticizing politicians, and politicians criticizing their own politicians.

JollyBuddah may bash Lieberman and Keane and other may bash other people.  But you don't see us clamoring for liberal politicos to bash conservative politicos to gain points. We don't want our liberal politicians to denounce their moderate / centrist counterparts in public.  Many of us won't accept it, and I don't know why Southern Dems accept it from their politicians.  

And that is a huge distinction.  I don't think there is anything hyppocritical about me bashing Kerry in a public forum, but asking OTHER POLITICIANS WITHIN THE SAME PARTY, the people who should all be working towards a collective goal,  to please refrain from using republican talking points and LIES to criticize their own colleagues in public.

If they do it, they are doing it to try and score cheap political points and that is it.  There is nothing gained by our politicians publicly attacking one another.  It hurts the democratic party at all levels.

by avagias 2005-03-29 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
Your implication is that Southern Democrats are clamoring for their reps, etc to bash other Democrats.  This is not true.  I volunteered enthusiastically for the Kerry, so I would hope that you're not talking about me.

What you mean by "accept?"  Perhaps some have too much time on your hands, and need to be bothered or enthused by every comment that comes out.  A lot of us prefer to spend our time fighting to get our Democrats elected and work.  I just recently became a Democatic precinct chair in a county in Northeast Texas, which is as red as you can get.  To say that we have a long uphill battle is a major understatement.  However, we will continue to fight, and eventually, we will prevail on our principles.

Quite frankly, what was far more annoying was the bellyaching about Kerry DURING THE ELECTION among Democrats.  To hear Democrats predict that we were going to lose during the election cycle was very sad.  This was nationwide.

As for Paine's comments, if it came out in a left-leaning magazine, then why have a fit?  He's talking to the choir, so to speak.
If you think his comments make sense, utilize them.  If you don't, ignore them.  Information is not just useful in blogging.  Personally, I think the windsurfing comment was misguided.

At the end of the day constructive comments can be useful, but bashing is just whining.  And there IS a difference between the two.

by v2aggie2 2005-03-29 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
Maybe I should have been more clear.

Specifically, when you say :
"Having said, I find one point to be most interesting.  A lot of folks criticizing Paine's remarks about Kerry also criticize Kerry.  You can't have it both ways."

The point I was making is that people CAN have it both ways.  We (the choir so to speak) can criticize the people we may or may not vote for while still demanding that our elected Dems who do the same.  There is nothing at all inconsistent with that position.

Furthermore, I wasn't implying that Southern Democrats are clamoring for anything.  My only implication was that most liberals in the Dem party have a hard time tolerating Dems who attack other Dems.  Southern Dems on the other hand (based on the comments throughout this thread) seem to tolerate it.

Which brings me to your next point.  What I mean by "accept".  I thought it was fairly straight forward, but I'll try to be more clear.  There should be no tolerance for dems attacking other dems for political points.  Anyone who makes excuses, is an apologist, or justifies dems attacking dems is "accept"ing it.  That's why so many people get mad at Joe Lieberman.  Why is he so eager to get on record as attacking Dems?  Because he is trying to score political points and knows that when a dem starts laying into their own, people will take notice.

Which finally bring me specifically to this incident.  Ill admit I do not know much about Mr. Kaine.  From what I have read he seems to be a good candidate.  I am not questioning how good a politician or a person or anything.  But I do expect the man running for the Chief Executive office of one of our states to understand and practice the art of discretion.  There was no need for Mr Kaine to attack John Kerry.  And what's worse is that not only is this Democrat repeating a republican talking point but a false one at that.  He then goes on to make the false claims that the democrats attack anyone religous and that  we should be embracing the Falwell / Robertson supporters because they are you know...natural Democrats?  Instead of using the opportunity to take the position that the Democrats do in fact value religion, its just the EXTREMISM of people like Falwell and Robertson that concerns us, he decided to reapeat false assertions and make claims that are a bit disconnected from reality.

And for what?  What was the point of attacking the Democratic party?  What did Mr. Kaine gain by using this opportunity to attack his own instead of attacking his opposition or advance is own positions?  Why not instead highlight his differences with the national party in a way that pushes the "Big Tent" theme or promoted tolerance   for opposing views.(something that the GOP seems to be lacking)

Despite the fact that the interview was for a left leaning magazine, it's still only a google (or lexis) search away if someone did want to use it.

I just want to add one last point.  You said :
"If you think his comments make sense, utilize them.  If you don't, ignore them."
I think that the party as a whole would be better served by us letting him know directly that his comments didn't make sense or were inappropriate or whatnot.  To just ignore them is to accept them and I don't think we should.   I think that all of us, dems and repubs should be letting our politicos know that 1. we are listening and 2. what they say matters .  It's the ignore it mentality that leads to some of the insane things many politicians do because the believe (rightly so) that most people arent paying attention anyway.  And I don't think taking somone to task because the tried to score cheap political points at the expense of one of their own is "whining".  It's doing whats proper.

Maybe Mr. Kaine should stop "whining" about the Democratic party and spend the time being constructive?  Maybe reform from within is more effective that attacking from the outside?  And maybe when donation day comes, he will have more open purse-stringa from the blue parts of the US that actually liked John Kerry, and want to support those who are proud to be Democrats despite the individual differences. (You know, big tent and all)

by avagias 2005-03-29 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Step away from the keyboard
Right away, you distinguish "liberals" from "southern" democrats.  This would assume that there are no liberals in the South.  This is not true, and you making a generalization.  I didn't think it was "us" and them", but "we"

And how come you're so sure that Mr. Kaine was just trying to score cheap political points.  It is one thing to disagree with him; it is another to just make blanket assumptions about motives.

Barack Obama made comments that could be taken as critical of the Democratic Party.  Is he a whiner?

In the South, the Religious Right is not just a fringe group, it has become the most powerful group.  When you drive by an evangelical church every 1 mile, this should give you a strong picture.  You simplify this to Falwell and Robertson, but it is much bigger than that.

The churches occupy a lot of power politically here, and skirt the legal lines of separation of church and state (and often cross it).  A lot of folks vote Republican solely on the basis of what their preacher says.  There is also an accompanying peer pressure, from the top on down, within the churches that has developed on this end.  It is a large network to fight.

Yet within these churches, I believe that are potential Democrats that need our help, at least from a financial standpoint.  The problem is that there are a lot of Democrats outside the South who choose to ridicule their faith and intellect in a generalized stereotype.  Also, in going after preachers such as Falwell, they have unwittingly increased his legitimacy in the eyes of many Southern Evangelicals.  They believe that they themselves are now being attacked.  And in the process, the effective counterpoint to extreme right-wing radicalism has been effectively eliminated.  People don't like to be talked down to, yet a lot of California/East Coast Democrats continue to do so.  And they ARE watching your attitudes.  Nobody likes elitists, and this is hurting us.  Quit fighting their preachers, and start giving them the principled, Democratic values that we share.  Help us win them over.  

Two more points:

There seems to be this general loathing of Democrats in the South in this thread.  Perhaps this is understandable.  The South has only given the Democratic Party its last 3 presidents (LBJ, Carter, Clinton).  

African-Americans tend to Christian and socially conservative.  Yet they vote overwhelmingly Democratic.  We have spoken to them on economic and race issues, among others.  Why can't we forward the economic case to lower-to-middle income white evangelicals.  It is possible.

by v2aggie2 2005-03-30 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The thing is,
You really need to unplug, lady, and read the actual messages instead of projecting your own animus against California.

Just to be clear, there is room in the DP I envision for both DLC and more progressive wings.

But in the attempt to remain in their fading ascendancy, you know the one that looks remarkably like a total failure to retain power, Fromlings are too often aiming at fellow Democrats as if they had a communicable disease.

Understandably, it is necessary to distance from the national party in some states-like my own state of Texas-but Dems need to find a way to do that without echoing Republican frames that are damaging to the party not just nationally but locally. Like the stupid anti-religious canard. And it IS stupid. Because its source is Republican or Right Leaning media that have a vested interest in seeing Democrats stay right where they are.

Why on earth would you arm them further in Virginia or anywhere else?

by boadicea 2005-03-28 02:37PM | 0 recs
Re: The thing is,
The fading DLC wing you so enjoy disparaging, while it may not have held on to power, held it more recently than the liberal wing. The idea that Kerry's defeat means that we ought to move left is simply nonsensical.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 05:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The thing is,
When Al From stops trashing Dems in the WSJ, then you can take issue with my disparagment.
by boadicea 2005-03-28 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The thing is,
The idea that "centrism" and kissing business ass is a winning formula is quite a bit of nonsense as well.

Moving left would at least attempt to address the perception that the Dem Party doesn't stand for anything.

Last time I checked, the GOP increased their power by appealing to their base and moving right.  So why exactly is it nonsense for the Dems to move left?

Or would it make more sense to follow the DLC and move more to the right and alienate our base by purging liberals?

by avagias 2005-03-29 08:57PM | 0 recs
Power hungry?
I don't see how being this makes Tim Kaine "power hungry." While I agree with you that we shouldn't crtiticize other Democrats, Tim Kaine is a fairly progressive candidate on the issues, especially for a state like Virginia. If he were in a state like Connecticut (cough Lieberman) I'd be very upset, but as much as Virginia is moving toward the Democratic Party, you're kidding yourself if you think it's still anywhere close to moderate.

I live here. Unlike you, I have the local perspective on this race, and John Kerry--even though I liked him--was not very popular here. He still lost the state by 11 points; even if you attribute some of that margin to Republican mobilization, it's still a fairly large gap.

Tim Kaine was wrong to say these particular things, but it's counterproductive to chastize him in front of the entire blog community like this. Liberals talk about seeing the forest a lot--execept, apparently, when it comes to people on their own side.

Just take a look at Tim Kaine's record, and you'll see that he's a great opportunity for this state. It's ridiculous, rash, and immature to completely write him off as a good candidate for us just because he made some stupid, pandering remarks. Every politician does that, excusably or not. Life goes on, and so does the campaign.

If you want to know the best way to build a progressive Democratic Party in Virginia, it's by electing Tim Kaine--not whining about a couple of trivial comments he makes.

by Covin 2005-03-28 06:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
Did I miss something? Didn't Chris end his diary by linking to Kaine's website? Why are DLC Democrats supposed to get a free pass for criticizing other Demcrats and playing right into the Karl Rove/Jerry Falwell playbook?

Why is it wrong to expect Democrats to act like Democrats? Waldman is exactly right. Kaine was absolutely wrong. I could care less about Kain, but if I were living in Virginia, I would be getting in his face big time. If we don't confront this kind of nonsense, this type of Democrat will think attacking Democrats instead of Republicans is the way to win friends and influence people.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
This statement was out there.

I guess to begin with you do not live in Virginia so you do not have a clue.  What Kaine is speaking of is how the national party can become competitive in places like Virginia.  This what you call nonsense is trying to help.  Finally since when is acting like a Democrat mean burying your head in the sand and refusing to admit to the nation what they already know and the is the Democrats are blowing this one by trying to remove one's faith from the body politic.

by THE MODERATE 2005-03-28 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
I have a right to comment on anything that affects the Democratic party nationwide. This is in that category. Kaine was the one guilty of a gratuitous ad hominem attack.

I linked below to an article about Jim Wallis. Nobody is trying to remove faith from the body politic. Don't hang that canard on me.

You have not clarified why Kaine has to attack Kerry to win votes. I invited you to write a diary explaining your position. So far your position is as muddy as the Mississippi.

I have the strange idea that Democrats should act, talk and vote like Democrats. If that bizarre notion doesn't work in Virginia, I invite you once again to write a diary educating me about the facts of political life in Virginia.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
I will comment on all four of your arguments.

  1.  This is a Virginia Governor's race and Kaine is a Virginia Democrat.  His comments in a Governor's race have little to with the national party except that it is better for all Democrats if a Democrat is the governor.   Also as I have said giving constructive critism is not an attack.  Kerry lost the election so he must have done something wrong.

  2.  Actually yes there is a political movement to remove faith from the body politc.  I have heard it on several occasions, there are those who believe one's Christian faith is a bad thing.  The Democrats would be making a huge mistake if they wish to become a secular party.

  3.  It is Kaine duty to clarify the differences between himself and Kerry, if he is to Kerry was the standard barrier in the last election and is there for the defacto national party spokeman until someone can rise up, to this date no one has.  Also given the string of Democratic losses the party has endured since 1968 both Nationaly and in Virginia it is Kaine's duty to say why he not going to gine the same package that has failed in this state for so long, and Kerry seemed to be trying to give that message again.

  4.  I do not know what you mean by talking and voting like Democrats mean, I guess you have annioted yourself the person who says what a Democrat is.  I always believed it is best to vote ones conscious first, local inerest second and party intersest last.

As for Virginia in short it is a diverse state but it is still part of the Bible belt and that is not a bad thing, chances are many of the residence of Virginia are of strong faith and not ashamed of it, even the Demcrats, but it should be said that in the last 40' years there are few states that has had Republican growth quicker than Virginia.
by THE MODERATE 2005-03-28 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
  1. Run this election, not the last one.

  2. I don't want to remove faith from the body politic. Who are you talking about that wants to do this?  I do object to the assumption that Christianity and the Bible are the only faiths that count. When I talk about a non-sectarian Democratic Party, I mean one that  doesn't endorse one religion over another.  Or religion over atheism, for that matter.  And that's not the same as saying faith should be removed. It's asking that a particular faith not be given ascendancy.

  3. So, I take it Kaine's not a windsurfer. Fabulous distinction made there.

  4.  I don't know what JB means, but I mean make a differential between yourself and the Republican candidate by ATTACKING REPUBLICANS not ENDORSING THEIR LIES AND FRAMES to the detriment of the party you're a freakin' member of.
by boadicea 2005-03-28 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
4.) I think you expressed that point quite cogently and succinctly. I don't even understand why that is debateable.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 11:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
2.) there is a political movement to remove faith from the body politc.  I have heard it on several occasions, there are those who believe one's Christian faith is a bad thing.

I've heard Limbaugh and Hannity and O'Reilly claim that left wing secularists think Christian faith is a bad thing. Please identify who it is that believes that. This is a totally bogus argument.

3.) it is Kaine's duty to say why he not going to gine the same package that has failed in this state for so long, and Kerry seemed to be trying to give that message again.

Are you kidding me? What on earth does Kerry have to do with Virginia politics. Please identify "the same package" that ties Kerry to Virginia. A little while ago you tried to tell me that Virginia politics were none of my business. Now you are claiming that Kerry is tied in to Virginia politics. You people in Virginia have some very strange ideas.

4.) I guess I mean not taking gratuitous shots at fellow Democrats that diminish the entire party. I'm not annointed by anyone, least of all myself. Please specify how any Democratic position violates your conscience or anyone elses. How exactly does local politics mandate bashing Kerry. It is very clear that party politics come last. Maybe that's the problem with Virginia Democrats.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 11:31AM | 0 recs
Politics informed by faith
Let me try again. Here is the article about Jim Wallis. It seems to me that this provides a far superior strategy for attacking the theocons than beating up on Democrats.

Gospel for Both Sides of the Aisle: The evangelism of the Rev. Jim Wallis defies stereotypes: He preaches a conservative morality but condemns 'pro-rich, pro-war' views.

Please see my excerpt below. Jim is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a dramatic improvement over Jerry Falwell.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Californian JBah lecturing Virginia how to win
Buddah, two southern dems Covin and Moderate are trying to explain in the above post a thing or two about Virginia politics. But as usual, you take it upon yourself as a California Left Wing Liberal to lecture southerners and Virginians how to win in this part of the country.

Do you know, understand and comprehend Buddah how MANY TIMES Virginia Voters come October & November will SEE Tim Kaine's FACE & John Kerry's face linked together? Do you know how many times Viriginia voters will see Lt. Gov Kaine being LINKED TO Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean Courtesy of Conservative Ads by both the RNC, the Christian Coalition & the Virginia GOP.

Now someone like you Buddah sitting comfortably in her living in California WILL NOT COMPREHEND, UNDERSTAND nor even RELATE to what we are trying to tell you Buddah. Yes, you can say you do but you won't because you don't live here and do not understand the culture of this region.

Unfortunately but realistically, the ONLY WAY TODAY ( until the National Dem Leaders LITERALLY do something about their message on issues like Religion and Guns ) for any Statewide Democrats to win in the South is to speak plainly about Economic Issues that Dems stand for BUT continue to speak about Religion & Faith WHICH IS & WILL ALWAYS BE PART OF THE SOUTHERN CULTURE.  

Tim Kaine obviously has some strong sentiments againts Kerry. But so have millions of other Southern Rank and file dems who felt let down by Kerry. Anyone who is not in tune with Dem southern politics will NOT UNDERSTAND or RELATE to that. Especially someone like you Buddah who is to the LEFT OF even California Liberals.

If democrats from the northeast & California are upset with how Kerry run his campaign, believe me-
you do not want to hear the sentiments of so many southern democrats. So many Southern activist do not even remember or have never experienced the last time a National Democratic candidate has  won in their state.

It was hard enough for so many southern dems to trust the party leadership in annointing a Liberal from New England like Kerry.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE BALANCING ACT Each and Every successful Southern Democratic politician who has SURVIVE THE TIDAL WAVE of Conservative Republican Victories in the last 20 years in our Region led by Gov. Warner of VA, Gov. Phil Brandesan of TN, Gov. Easley on NC, Gov. Brad Henry of OK, Gov. Blanco of LA, and Gov. Machin of WV , to Sens. Landriu of LA, Sens. Pryor & Blance of AR have had to endure in order to WIN!

Do you know the CHALLENGE of WINNING a Statewide race as a Democrat & own your own without having the support of the Democratic National Party because they will only HURT you instead of help you? In addition, to be up against the TRIFECA of the GOP State Party, the Powerful Christian Coalition, and the National RNC. Do you know what it takes for this Southern Dems to SURVIVE That & win?

All these Endangered Southern Democratic Species have ALL ONE THING IN COMMON. Each of these individuals  have had to do a TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF a BALANCING ACT especially ON RELIGION, GUNS, Communicating Message, and Plain southern values. If the National Democratic leadership and the DNC are really serious in competing in the South- THEY WILL HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTAND, REALIZE, and ADJUST to how Southerns do it. ( Which the National Party has failed southern dems in the last 20 years since most of the leadership are just like YOU BUDDAH- Liberal Northerners and Californians WHO ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO IDEA whats going on. Reading books and the News about the South does not give you 10% of the real story)  

So pls. Buddah, do us a favor. you rant everyday in this site about bringing down any democrat who does not share your extremist, idealist views-but pls. spare us your advice on how to win the south.

in my opinion buddah, your views are not liberal or progressive. you are way to the left of liberals or progressive. In other words, for every one independent voter that you can convince to vote democrat- we lose five of them who will find your views extreme.

btw, buddah, pls. stop justifying your views by quoting articles and writters. Anyone here can do the same thing by linking articles that justify their own moderate or conservative views. that does not prove anything.      

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 10:39AM | 0 recs
Isn't that interesting
Please allow me to link to a previous comment I made, Enough with the Limbaugh Lectures already.

Of course many in the left want to demonize fiscally conservative democrats as evil. ( but give dean a pass) Any cuts in programs is unacceptable. They want all democrats to always favor tax increases as opposed to cuts in programs. Any sort of help to Business entities whether to keep a business alive or profitable is scorned by Leftwing activists.

some of the radicals in our party want to make sweeping conclusions that the whole corporate america is evil & we which should get rid of them.( i wonder how people are supposed to feed their families without jobs)
Some left wingers make one feel guilty of trying to move up the corporate ladder or striving to be wealthy in america.  

Those are your words FightingLadyinblue, not mine. You have proven my point that you DLC types need to turn off Faux News and Rush Limbaugh and start operating in the real world.

Pray tell, what are my "extremist, idealist views"? Are Jim Wallis's ideas "extremist"? Maybe the Bible is a little extreme for Virginia.

I apologize for backing up my ideas and opinions with facts. I think I'm getting an idea of what is wrong with Virginia politics.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Isn't that interesting
I don't care about your views, and I'm no fan of the DLC. You can look into my past comments for all I care to verify that. However, I find all this stupid "OH NO HE'S MODERATE AND DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM URBAN LIBERALS LOL LET'S GIT EM BOYZ" stuff stupid and ridiculous.

How many people on this blog have attacked John Kerry for being exactly what you're calling me--a "DLC Democrat"? It's incredibly hypocritical to attack Kaine for making the same snide remarks about John Kerry that this very blog has done before, even if only by implication.

I'm fed up with this groupthink bullshit. As liberals I thought people would be able to think about issues as a whole; you talk all the time about seeing the forest--but most of your time is spent complaining about some ugly trees. Kaine has a good excuse for distancing himself from the national party because he lives in Virginia, but none of the northern or urban liberals understand that.

As a southerner considerably more liberal than most of the people I know, I DO understand what he's trying to do. You can't win in Virginia if you are associated with the rest of the Democratic Party. Period.

Until Howard Dean changes the national Dems' image, that's the way it's going to be.

by Covin 2005-03-28 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Isn't that interesting
You southern folks are being extremely dishonest and rude. Downthread I have linked to a statement that I have made that disproves the accusations made against me and I have linked to a statement by FightingLadyinblue.

If you are going to put words in my mouth, I would appreciate a link to support your accusation. I am not asking anything of you that I have not demonstrated I am also willing to do.

You are all making broad generalizations that you cannot back up with fact. FLIB has even made the bizarre complaint that I provide links to back up my opinions and statements.

Maybe you folks are the ones who need to change the Dems national image instead of waiting for Dean or somebody else to do it for you.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Isn't that interesting
Put words in your mouth? How so? You clearly referred to me and all the others with viewpoints differing from your own as "DLC types," and last time I checked, I didn't choose those words for you.
"That occasionally includes taking potshots at Dems who deserve it."

But I thought attacking fellow Dems was evil? Seems a little hypocritical to me. What if Boxer attacked, I don't know, Howard Dean for being too moderate?

I think I have a right to be rude when I'm associated with the DLC simply because I disagree with you, and indeed may be more moderate than you.

Frankly, I could care less. Playing the victim is a poor debate tactic, by the way.

"Maybe you folks are the ones who need to change the Dems national image instead of waiting for Dean or somebody else to do it for you."

Holy crow! You're right. I suppose that getting Dean elected chair of the DNC had nothing to do with support from southern Democrats like myself, and that in turn, this obviously had nothing to do with an effort to change the DNC's image.

I suppose that, rather than build my local party in an effort to strengthen the whole, I should randomly decide that Howard Dean is incapable of doing his job, even after having supported his campaign for the chairmanship, and abandon the local grassroots strategy and just sign up for a job at the DNC.

I suppose that I should encourage my local party to waste its money running ads all around Virginia parading the glory of Barbara Boxer and Hillary Clinton, because that is surely the primary function of local grassroots activists.

It really makes perfect sense. By abandoning the local grassroots strategy, in which we create our own local image of local Democrats, we should instead make sure that Democrats from other states our cool too--especially before we establish any kind of positive reputation in our own state!

Wow, this is like some sort of epiphany. You've really made an effective argument here!

by Covin 2005-03-28 09:50PM | 0 recs
Here's an idea or two for you to try
I would like to suggest that instead of attacking Democrats, you might try the novel approach of attacking Republicans. For your consideration, here are a few words of advice for attacking Republicans.

That doesn't seem so difficult, now does it?

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Buddah, do you ever take off your blinders?
....would like to suggest that instead of attacking Democrats, you might try the novel approach of attacking Republicans. For your consideration, here are a few words of advice for attacking Republicans.

buddah, buddah, buddah, my god, how many times in a single day do you attack the DLC , Lieberman, Reid, Pelosi????

you are such a hypocrite! I'm sorry but we DO NOT HEAR BEEP from you when others attack the DLC & moderates. In fact, you are the cheerleader in all this. But when someone says something negative about your idol Howard Dean & Liberals, you go crazy. You're one Left of Left hypocrite!

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 10:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Buddah, do you ever take off your blinders?
Actually, He has not attacked Reid all that much except on the Bankruptcy bill.  I think most of us have loved Reid because he is willing to pick a fight.
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-31 05:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Californian JBah lecturing Virginia how to win
Please explain why it is necessary to bear false witness to advance the Democratic cause.
by fwiffo 2005-03-28 11:54AM | 0 recs
Some suggested reading
To clarify one trivial point. I am an Iowa transplant who moved to California about 10 years ago to avoid a peculiar weather phenomenon known as "winter".

Here is some suggested reading for you FightingLadyinblue. These are diaries written by Advisor Jim.

Three in particular that both you and The Moderate could benefit from are

Confessions of a former Dittohead: The Weak Faith of the Religious Right and

Confessions of a former Dittohead: Rush Limbaugh Hypocrite and

Confessions of a former Dittohead: Why we hated Sean Hannity

Come back next week after you have finished your Reading Assignment for Southern Democrats.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
If you want to know the best way to build a progressive Democratic Party in Virginia, it's by electing Tim Kaine--not whining about a couple of trivial comments he makes.

Distancing himself from the Democratic Party by endorsing Republican lies is not a trivial comment.

Democrats who do so need to be challenged. If challenging them privately worked, shit like this would not still be happening.

Kaine needs to remember he's a Democrat. He needs to run as a Democrat. No fragging other Democrats with impunity.

by boadicea 2005-03-28 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Power hungry?
Kaine has a more liberal record than Mark Warner (and lacks his fortune) and it will take more of an effort for him to distance himself from the national party. Taking a few potshots about Kerry's rich & famous lifestyle is hardly heresy.

The reason that Kaine has to distance himself is that the rhetoric that is so much in favor here simply will not play in Virginia (and many other places). While it would be fine if the national party was more in tune with Virginia (and the south), failing that you have to let local Democrats run their own campaigns. Kaine is a distinct underdog and may not make it, but if he followed the advise of his critics here, he'd lose in a landslide.

Many of those criticizing Kaine for slighting Kerry have posted numerous criticisms of other Democrats when it served their purposes, so I don't think many will find their current stance very persuasive.

by SLinVA 2005-03-28 07:05PM | 0 recs
This is another in a long line of power hungry, self-hating democrats who criticize their own party by using Republican lies.

Wow, you don't know a damn thing about Tim Kaine, or the fight he's engaged in, do you?

by bi66er 2005-03-28 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: absurd
I guess I don't. But his outrageous comments about John Kerry and Jerry Falwell strike me as a particuarly disgusting form of backstabbing.
by Chris Bowers 2005-03-28 07:14AM | 0 recs
He said it badly but it's true
Our efforts to turn "religious right" into the same bad connotations that "liberal" has for many people will not work well in the end. There are a lot of religious people, and when far left dems can only talk about the religious right, they do turn off religious people even if they aren't as far right as the Jerry Falwells of the world.
by PHDinNYC4Kerry 2005-03-28 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: He said it badly but it's true
I think that is why the words Theocrat and Theocon are being advanced... They take out the word religious and focus on the nutcases instead of the perception of all that is liberal.
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-28 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: absurd
Tim Kaine is probably the most progressive Democrat to lead the Democratic ticket in Virginia a generation. Yes, he's more of a old-school Hubert Humphrey style progressive than is Mark Warner or Doug Wilder or Chuck Robb. He's a better spokesman for the Democratic cause generally, both literally and metaphorically than Mark Warner.

In case you didn't know, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell founded and continue to headquarter their corporate church operations in southside virginia. And religious conservatives have been making extraordinary political gains in Virginia during the last decade. Just take a look at the slate of social leglislative proposals they put forth during the last session. Kaine's opponent, Jerry Kilgore, has based his entire campaign strategy on waging a culture war in the vast portion of Virginia that's outside of the DC media market. And that means that when national democrats run off at the mouth with indignation for religious figures, even disgusting ones like Falwell, it hurts Tim Kaine, and plays into Republican hands.

Kaine isn't nor has he ever supported Falwell and his brand of politics. He's already made a point of challenging their claims that their religious extremism is representative of most Virginians. But it does not help him when the only thing that much of the state hears from the national Democratic Party is "Falwell is a nut."

Think of your reaction whenever some conservative rants about how Jesse Jackson is. If you're like me, I tend to think that is usually a code phrase designed to hide how much of problem conservatives have with minorities in general. Well, lots of christian evangelicals think that relentless condemnation of Falwell is just code for "I don't like religious people." Yeah, you and I may know it's not true, but they don't.

by bi66er 2005-03-28 07:43AM | 0 recs
I'd like to hear you explain why he is such a progressive.
by Chris Bowers 2005-03-28 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive
First, he's running as an anti-death penalty Democrat in a state which is second only to Texas in  its popular support for the death penalty.

Second, he's got a personal background heavy in social activism. I mean, he's a guy with a law degree from Harvard who's won acclaim not as a corporate lawyer, but for litigating fair housing act violations.

Here's some background.

by bi66er 2005-03-28 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Progressive
He was a fair housing lawyer. He was a successful white mayor of a 65% African American city. He is pledging to fully fund the state's education obligations. He is talking about bringing people together. He is talking about tolerance (even tolerance for sinners like Falwell and Robertson). He is talking not just about roads but about rail. He is talking about the meaning of public service.

I don't know what your definition of progressive is, but in Virginia, I just listed a bunch of items we call progress.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:14PM | 0 recs
So educate us
I don't know the first thing about Kaine or the fight he is in. Is anything stopping you from writing a diary about it?

We await your enlightenment bi66er.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
>>>I don't know the first thing about Kaine or the fight he is in

so shut up and educate yourself instead of ranting about Kaine, the DLC, and Democrats who do not share your Left of Left views.

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 10:56AM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
Thank-you for your considerate offer, but I prefer to participate, if it is all the same to you. Even if it isn't all the same to you.

I don't know how many times I have to ask, but could you please explain what my "Left of Left views" are?  

You aren't going to have a coronary on us are you FightingLadyinblue?

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:19PM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
It's not our responsibility to educate you before you make a fool of yourself in front of Southern Dems. It's your responsibility to educate yourself before you shoot off your mouth. Don't blame us for your ignorance.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:03PM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
I take a great deal of pride in my ignorance and have spent a considerable amount of time and energy nurturing and developing it to a fine razor's edge.

I would not dream of giving anyone else credit for my finest asset. Are all southerner's as sensitive as the folks we have here today? Lordy! I can't imagine how you manage to leave the house without getting upset.

Perhaps you should consider caffeine free coffee with your morning shot of moonshine.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
You are either attempting to be funny and failing, or resorting to cheap stereotypes that prove that you will never, ever, ever be of any help to a Southern Democrat.

You should actually apologize. See, we Southern Democrats do get a little sensitive, because we work our asses off only to get insulted by you sophisticated California types - and only to have your snobbery effectively used against us by our opponents.

What a disappointment you are. Truly, your ignorance is just... well, I don't have the words.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
Well if I have said something that I should apologize for you are going to have to point it out. Do you folks every use facts to back up your accusations, or are you so accustomed to making up facts that it's second nature?

If anything I said here today has disturbed you, then I refuse to take into consideration your hyper-sensitivity. It is quite obvious you have neither the words or the facts to express yourself.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: So educate us
Why don't you tour Southern states and give us your much-needed advice.  You seem to be an expert on this part of the country.

Consider this a personal invitation.
We would love to have you here in Northeast Texas!

by v2aggie2 2005-03-29 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: absurd
Educate us then.  You make a comment like that and you don't follow up or back it up.
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-28 07:35AM | 0 recs
I think you are taking Kaine's remarks personaly
I do not know if you have said anything against the Christian Faith yourself but I have read blogs both here and on Kos that has been negative about the Christian faith and its political role in general.  Including attacks on Gideon Bible's, and trying to lump that group with the GOP.  There are people who are trying to turn the party into a secular party, which I am to believe Kaine thinks is a mistake.  

This country is not secular and will not be anytime soon, if ever.  The Democrats have always had a huge Christian following and there has been a certian recent movement to disavow it and many of us who have been loyal to the party for many years are not in favor of that.  Kerry's problem to me was that he seemed to say that he personly was a man of faith but he was not going to speak on the issue, which made him seem to be trying to have it both ways which is also a mistake.  

Finally giving some constructive critizism to the party should not be thought of as using GOP talking points it is an attempt to steer the party in a direction that will not only help win elections but is the right thing to do.

by THE MODERATE 2005-03-28 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: I think you are taking Kaine's remarks persona
You mention a couple of different points that seem way off the mark to me. First, by arguing the frame that Dems are trying to become the secular party, you've already lost any leaning Republican votes and  turned off people in the middle, because no one wants a "secular" party. What Dems are trying to do and say is that religion has a place in government, it has a place in influencing people's personal actions; however, it is not the way we base our laws. That is explicated with the separation of church and state. For God's sake, the reason this country was founded was because England had a national religion that prohibited the Puritans from organizing! Do these people study their history? Do we want history to repeat itself?! So, yes, Dems want religion to be separate from the state and it's laws so every religion can flourish, not just the Falwell/Robertson brand of Evangelicism. So, the Dems need to reframe this debate as "Yes, we are enthusiastically approving of politicians having religious beliefs and acting out of faith; however, we do not support this country's rule of law being subverted in favor of a minority view of religion. We support all religions and in order to do that, it must be kept separate from the state." That message spurs the GOP framing and allows us to say what we really mean.

The second point I have is that I think most of the base of the Democratic party (the part that votes and participates in activism for candidates) DO NOT believe that our party needs to move in the GOP extremism direction, towards a party supportive of only one religion. I actually think that if a Democratic candidate for President or Vice President EVER said something to the tune of what Kaine said, they would lose a huge chunk of their base vote. I mean, there's always the Greens. What you moderates don't seem to understand is that you can't lose your base in hopes of courting the "middle" (which is a very small amount of the country, actually, as Chris' posts have shown) and expect to win an election. It's purely a numbers game. There is not enough of a Democratic prediliction in the middle of the election for elections to be won there. If you take a looks at the GOP winning election strategy for 2004, you will find that the reason they won was because of the high turn-out from the base. Dems didn't have the same level of turn out or enthusiasm and we lost. We would be stupid to go like Kaine and try to ignore our base, which is made of people of various religions or no religions and who all have the common belief that the government should NOT be instructing us on biblical values. Hey, even some of the evangelicals seem to believe that as we've seen in the polling of the Schiavo case.

by rpwmed 2005-03-28 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: I think you are taking Kaine's remarks persona
So much to say on what you said.  I will begin by saying that you have the right to your opinion and you have atleast been repectful in how you present it.  AS for Kaine's campaing I think he is doing the right thing, but remember hs is the one with his name on the ballot, many of these people who blast him have never run for anything just complained about those who do.  

AS for using Kaine's strategy as a Presidential run I think it could be a good thing but it depends on who the candidate is and the sincerity behind it.  It is impossibel to seperate the Christian faith from the goverment because it is steeped in Christian tradtion's.  Our forefathers did not go with a national religion for good reason.  But do not mistake that with trying to remove religious basic message which the five world relgions, Christianity, Judism, Islam, Buddism, and Hindu all follow.  

As for the parties base I think if the so called base is threating to go green or stay home, the party should call them on it, I doubt they will, but those few who do we are better without them.  Our base has become too small and it is time for the party to change its ways or we will not be winning elections.  It is time to look past the party of the 1970's activism of McGovern, Mondale, T. Kennedy ect, and look for new diection.  Forty years ago when that group began to take over the party from southern committe chairs they complained that the old guard would not let go.  Now the base is the old guard and they do not want to let go either.

by THE MODERATE 2005-03-28 10:23AM | 0 recs
Poor Advice
Ahhh. So your advice is to chuck out the left-wing of the Democratic Party in an attempt to pander to .... who are these voters you're going to win for us again?
by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Poor Advice
Nobody is chucking out the left wing. We're just asking the left wing not to run around stirring up the other guy's base. The less attention you pay to Falwell and Robertson, the less powerful they'll be.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Poor Advice
Actually, plenty of people are trying to chuck the left wing but I accept that you are not. However, THE MODERATE said this:

As for the parties base I think if the so called base is threating to go green or stay home, the party should call them on it, I doubt they will, but those few who do we are better without them

I don't find that strategy very wise.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Poor Advice
Sorry. Base gets to stay! Just think they need to be inclusive enough to win - which I'm not sensing they are right now.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Poor Advice
The more Falwells and Robertson's aren't exposed for the nutjobs that they are, the more damage they do.

If these were marginal people I would understand but they have a following, a REAL following.  I don't think pandering to the followers of nutjobs and hate-mongers is a winning solution.  The better solution is to bring them into the light and let the world see what kind of crazies they are.

On daily kos this post I thought was pretty telling. Most people aren't as aware of the pundits as many of us who are engaged in the political blogosphere are.

I think most people don't know who Robertson or Falwell is.  I think most people dont know what they say or what they stand for.  The best way to de-legitimize them is to attack attack attack them  and expose them for what they are -- racists, bigots, haters.

by avagias 2005-03-29 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you are taking Kaine's remarks persona
Thanks for the response. I have to take issue with you though about the foundation of our country. Most of the founding fathers were actually deists, not christians and did not believe that the republic should be beholden to exclusively Christian ideals. You need to read this article in the nation to see the truth on the founding of the republic. Secondly, I believe that you're way off when talking about the need to abandon the base. As Harry Truman said (paraphrasing), "When given the choice between a real Republican and a fake one, the real Republican will always win." The problem with the national Dems is that they don't have a vision of their own. They rely on being Republican lite, rather than expressing their own vision and fighting for it. As I'm sure you've noticed on this blog and others (eg. dailykos, etc), most of the base is not looking for complete idealogical purity (though of course, that's the ideal); what they are looking for is the Dems to be partisan and advancing an agenda that is different than Republicans. I believe that some Democratic moderates believe that the GOP has a lot right when most of the Democratic base believes that most of the GOP ideas are wrong. Sometimes it's wrong in practice and sometimes wrong in conception but usually wrong. And we believe that Dems should fight these bad policies, even if they only diverge a little from the GOP. That's the key. We support partisan Democrats, no matter if they are conservative or liberal. It's not right to go out and "defend" people like Falwell when they have it in their mission to destroy us. No matter what side of the Democratic spectrum you are on, there should be common agreement that Falwell et al. should be spoken against. This really is an issue that is fascist/theocrat vs. republican (in the true spirit of the word).
by rpwmed 2005-03-28 08:06PM | 0 recs
This is just assinine
Virginia a swing state? I'm still laughing at the ignorance of that statement. Why don't you come down here and smell the grits? Bush won by 11 points.

Virginia Democrats are tired of hearing Californians lecture them on how to be a "real" Democrat. For those of you proud Dems in safely blue states who have the luxury of complaining about Democrats who aren't liberal enough or who aren't partisan enough.

Do I agree with everything Tim Kaine says here? No. Is your post a prime example of exactly the kind of "disloyalty" that you hypocritically criticize?

Give me a break. When you get done purging the party with your little "I'm a more rabid Democrat than you", you can go off and enjoy the Republican  supermajority you will have created.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: This is just assinine
He won by eight points. 8.20% to be exact, in an election that he won nationally by 2.47%. Bush thus performed 5.73% better in Virgina than he did in the rest of the country. This means a p[artisan index of +5.73% RNC in Virginia. Any partisan index under 7% for either side is a swing state, since that seems to be about the outside limit for a partisan index swing in a given state in a given cycle when it is targeted by both parties.

If you are going to call me out, at least get your facts straight.

by Chris Bowers 2005-03-28 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: This is just assinine
Mea culpa. But whatever.

All of your math is worthless. John Kerry was never going to win Virginia. Ever. Ergo it was never a swing state, no matter how the campaign tried to play the game to keep Dems interested here.

The last Democrat to win Virginia in a presidential election? Lyndon Johnson. Who died in 1973.

This. Is. Not. A. Swing. State.

Problem is, most out of state Democrats have been no further than Fairfax County - and most have just gazed across the Potomac at Arlington County.

But that's why Republicans make so much headway trying to tie Southern Democrats to John Kerry, Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, and whatever other "northern liberals" they can name: because northeastern and California Democrats like some of you here are so ignorant of Southern Culture.

Seriously, some of you people here ought to just get out your Frist for President bumper stickers and get it over with.

Southern Dems are not arguing for a theocracy or that Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell are people we ought to be agreeing with more. But down here, you  just can't run around vilifying people with "Rev." in front of their name and hope to ever create a swing state. Not going to happen.

It's a matter of manners, and anyone in the South can explain it to you, but I'm not sure you'd ever get it without coming down here and working on a Democratic campaign. Then, maybe then, you'd see how things work and what damage you're doing with your small-tent attacks on any Dem who has the temerity to suggest that maybe, just maybe, a little bit of a change in approach from the blue state Dems might help make more blue states.

But as long as liberal bloggers continue to engage in their competition to court liberal readers by attacking centrist Dems, they'll be doing a disservice to Southern Dems who want to deliver their states for Dem candidates.

Work with us here, folks. Because, may I remind you, Kerry lost. The anti-Bush, anti-Republican formula that everyone thought couldn't lose because people were just not "dumb" enough to vote for George Bush just didn't work. It's time to be the big party again, and reach out to people who may differ on specific issues, who may have different religions, but whose fundamental hopes for their society are similar. No matter how much you disagree with Falwell and Robertson, demonizing them will only make them more powerful, and will only serve to make you the dividers on the other side.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: This is just assinine
It's time to be the big party again, and reach out to people who may differ on specific issues, who may have different religions, but whose fundamental hopes for their society are similar.

What are those specific issues?

Do you have any complaints with the approach that Jim Wallis is taking? Is ecumenicalism a radical idea in the south?

Hell, I've admitted before that I don't even understand grits, let alone southern culture or politics. Fill me in on some details.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: This is just assinine
It sure is. Why is it assinine to criticize a Democrat who is saying things that hurt the entire party?

Why is it being "a rabid Democrat" to expect Democrats to talk and act like Democrats?

With the help of DLC Democrats in Congress, Bush already has a Republican supermajority doesn't he?

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Buddah=This is just assinine
buddah writes..... Why is it assinine to criticize a Democrat who is saying things that hurt the entire party?


you are GUILTY every single day of bashing ALL DLC, ALL moderate democrats.

I do not know if you will ever understand buddah but I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN to you buddah.

You DO NOT GET TO DECIDE who is a Democrat & who isn't? Do you understand buddah? being a REAL Democrat does not mean that you have to be Liberal which is what you are trying to potray. The Democratic party consists of Liberals, Progressives, Moderates, Fiscal Conversatives, Blue Dogs, Yellow dogs, Pro-Choice and Pro-Life, Southern, Northerner, Midwesterner, etc etc.

buddah writes....
Why is it being "a rabid Democrat" to expect Democrats to talk and act like Democrats?

Buddah, talk and act like democrats? you mean to talk and act like you buddah? can i ask you jolly buddah? who CROWNED you queen of the democratic party? who proclaimed you to be the ideal democrat?

you bash Reid, Pelosi, Hillary, Bayh, Jesse Jackson Jr. Harold Ford, Warner, Al From, the DLC every single day.

How should Reid & company act & think according to Jolly Buddah? Oh i see, since they happen to be moderate or maybe Pro-life, or maybe fiscally conservative as opposed to a LEFT of LEFT Pro-Choice Californian like you-THEY ARE BAD DEMOCRATS & you as a Left of Left is the real democrat.

if you are SO DAMN UNHAPPY about HALF of the members of the Democratic Party, give us a break! you should go ahead with your threats of joining the green or some other 3rd party.

you practice the Politics of Subtraction instead of Addition. For every ONE non-political independent voter that you convince to vote for the Democratic Party, we will Lose FIVE voters because they will get so turned off by your attitude.

you views are NO different than the right wing religious extremist in the GOP. You just swing left. geezzzzz!

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 12:39PM | 0 recs
Step away from the keyboard
Put down your intoxicating beverages and roll another joint. You really need to learn to relax FightingLadyinblue. Geesh. Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

Buddah, talk and act like democrats? you mean to talk and act like you buddah? can i ask you jolly buddah? who CROWNED you queen of the democratic party? who proclaimed you to be the ideal democrat?

Actually I was only crowned Queen For A Day by Mayor Newsome, and it wasn't Queen of the whole Democratic party, it was just the San Francisco chapter. I try to be humble, but you just had to go and inflate my insufferable ego.

you views are NO different than the right wing religious extremist in the GOP. You just swing left. geezzzzz!

I'm still trying to pin down what my "Left Left Coast" views are. I actually prefer Alaman Left and DoSeeDo, but hey, I don't poke my nose into your private sexual preferences.  

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: This is just assinine
Um isn't Chris from Philly?  Why are you calling him a Californian?  
by yitbos96bb 2005-03-28 07:40AM | 0 recs
Re: This is just assinine
He's talking about JBuddah from california
by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 10:58AM | 0 recs
Just as many DEM Govs in VA recently
Mills E. Godwin, Jr.    1966    1970    Democrat
A. Linwood Holton, Jr.    1970    1974    Republican
Mills E. Godwin, Jr.    1974    1978    Republican
John Dalton            1978    1982    Republican
Charles S. Robb            1982    1986    Democrat
Gerald L. Baliles    1986    1990    Democrat
L. Douglas Wilder    1990    1994    Democrat
George F. Allen            1994    1998    Republican
James (Jim) Gilmore III    1998    2002    Republican
Mark Warner             2002         Democrat

Democrats do better in VA than most of the rest of the South. Democrats have been Governors in VA just as often as the GOP. Virginia elected the first Black Governor in US History. That sounds like a swing state to me. Matter of fact, Doug Wilder is a perfect example of what works in VA. He was a fiscal conservative Korean War Vet who was one of the best public speakers I ever heard.

by afs 2005-03-28 11:15AM | 0 recs
Doug Wilder...a DINO
Have you followed Doug Wilder at all lately?  The guy has gone unhinged.  He criticizes Democrats far more than Republicans.  He's spoken at Republican conventions.  If he's the perfect example of how Democrats should win in Virginia, GOd help us all.
by Maura in CT 2005-03-28 01:59PM | 0 recs
I doubt that sincerely.
I'm not there anymore. I haven't been in more than 10 years. I do have a lot of family there, though, and that isn't what I've heard from them. I heard from them about how Gov. Warner refused to congratulate Wilder for winning the mayor's race in Richmond. Wilder has wanted a publically elected mayor (instead of selected by city council) for a long, long time. I heard that Warner did not want that, and that between that and the way Wilder always felt about anyone mentioning tax raises, public open warfare broke out between Warner and Wilder.

Like I said. I'm not there. I could only try to catch up on it from the net and family. What I heard from my family and the net did not match what I had been told by some Warner loyalists. I found nothing on the net, and my family told me nothing that confirmed any of what Warner loyalists accused Wilder of. A known Warner loyalist came on here and said Wilder endorsed Bush. That statement was a bald-faced lie. Wilder made campaign appearances with Kerry and cut commercials for Kerry.

What I suspect really happened is that Wilder doesn't support tax increases... never has, never will. Warner went to Wilder to get an endorsement for his tax increases, Wilder told him he wouldn't, and Warner flipped out, which in turn flipped out Warner loyalists against Wilder.

Wilder paid his dues in the Commonwealth of Virginia and did far more good for Democrats in Virginia than any Governor before or since. Wilder was a breakthrough figure in national prominance due to his calm, charismatic manner and the way he handled himself in the national spotlight. Wilder enthusiastically endorsed Kerry. I suggest the problem is Warner.

by afs 2005-03-28 04:52PM | 0 recs
Re: I doubt that sincerely.
Wilder moderated a debate in 2001 between Warner and Republican Mark Earley in which Wilder somewhat maniacally pursued Warner when he wouldn't commit to either raising or not raising certain taxes, but let Earley off the hook on other stuff. Basically Wilder used the debate to show everyone how anti-tax he was - and get attention by getting aggressive with a fellow Dem. Warner didn't appreciate it, and many VA Dems saw it as a stab in the back from Wilder.

Basically Wilder likes to have a reputation as the Dem who slams other Dems, because it gets him attention, though he may now find that being Richmond's mayor is enough for his ego.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 06:14PM | 0 recs
If you can ever find a link to video of debate...
... I'd appreciate seeing it. It should be kind of apparent to you that I'm very progressive... much more so than is generally approved back in VA. It's part of the reason I left. [That and education and health care policy. It's also a good thing I left when I did, because bluntly, when my health situation went bad, I would have been in deep trouble if I had been there when it happened. I'm only in the decent shape I'm in now because of far more progressive health care policies in CA and OR... but that's a whole different can of fish]

Anyway... like I said earlier, knowing all that, Wilder's thing is being a stickler for being a fiscal conservative. Wilder's early life Army career and his earlier life history convinced him to be tight with a dollar... and he is. Nobody will get more out of a government dollar than Wilder, but he's hell to get a govenment dollar out of. Everyone has their "thangs." That's his. I'd love to see the debate you mentioned. I have obviously followed Wilder's career, and I'd like to see what the origination of this conflict is. If you ever run across the video, I'd love to see it myself so I can be fully informed.

Wilder was never very well supported by the Good Ol' Boy network in the VA DEM Party. Wilder rose to power mostly in spite of the FFVs. He never did care a whole lot for what the FFVs thought about him, and I'm sure that pattern has continued throughout his life. I'm not still involved enough to know exactly who in the party Wilder is in conflict with. I know the FFVs hated the fact that Wilder was so talented that he did not need to depend on the FFV support for his campaigns. The FFVs could not "finish off" Wilder's career like so many of the first generation of Black post-war leaders were picked off one by one and marginalized as he rose through the ranks because of his prior Army career in Korea, and his fiscal conservative quirk. They couldn't attack Wilder the way the other first Black leaders were attacked. Wilder was one of the first to serve in a combat unit in combat in the newly integrated Armed Forces. That protected Wilder from a whole lot that was used to finish off the careers of the first generation of Black leaders. Wilder's campaigns were funded mostly by prominent voices outside VA, and the FFVs hated that Wilder did not have to have to come to them and owe them his allegiance for his rise to power. The fact that prominent blacks outside VA like Oprah Winfrey, BET's Robert Johnson, and Bill Cosby funded Wilder's rise to Virginia Governor's mansion was utterly repugnant to the FFVs. I'm certain they carry a serious grudge, and I submit the possibility that said FFVs are using that as an excuse to make a mountain of a molehill to get even with Wilder.

I would suggest that you look deeper at who are the ones most loudly pounding the tabletops in outrage about Wilder. It may not be Warner. He may just be getting bad advice from someone in his camp who's grudge against Wilder goes back a lot further than Warner's career in VA politics.

I was still there in VA for Wilder's term as Governor. Doing my little bit helping Wilder get elected Governor in VA is still one of my things I'm most proud of doing. If you weren't there for Wilder's Inaugural, you won't get it. Seeing Wilder get up on that platform, look over in the direction of the White House of the Confederacy, and then give one of the best political addresses  any that were there had ever heard was one of the moments on this planet I'll always be most proud of getting to be a tiny part of.

by afs 2005-03-28 08:30PM | 0 recs
Eeek!... mixed metaphor alert.
Ack! "can of worms" "or kettle of fish." I needed to pick one and didn't. That looked real bad.


by afs 2005-03-28 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Just as many DEM Govs in VA recently
All those recent Democratic governors ran and governed to the right of where Kaine is right now.
by SLinVA 2005-03-28 07:17PM | 0 recs
OK, my last comment was incoherent...
I'm just so steamed about this. Plenty of bloggers attack the Christian Right with words like "theocracy" etc... That comes off sounding to many like a criticism of the role of religion in informing political values.

The MyDD community would be wise to ignore Bowers' vitriol (calling Tim Kaine "power hungry and self-hating" is a patently ad-hominem attack) and remember the role that religion played in the civil rights movement, the peace movement, etc.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 07:10AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, my last comment was incoherent...
And saying John Kerry talked about windsurfing better than religion is what, a compliment?
by Chris Bowers 2005-03-28 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, my last comment was incoherent...
And so is this one. Chris's diary is in no way shape or form an "ad hominem attack." Chris is leveling constructive criticism at a Democrat who you admit was out of line.

I attack the theocons because they are religious fascists.

If Democrats want to inform their politics with their faith they might do well to read God's Politics. I'll make it even easier, read a front page story in the L.A. Times, Gospel for Both Sides of the Aisle: The evangelism of the Rev. Jim Wallis defies stereotypes: He preaches a conservative morality but condemns 'pro-rich, pro-war' views.

You want political values informed by religion?

Wallis has plenty of critics on both the left and right. . . . the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said Wallis marginalizes that separation and advocates regressive views on women's rights by supporting restrictions on abortion.

"I think they're going down a very dangerous road," said Lynn, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. "The idea of Democrats and Republicans having policy debates featuring battling Bible passages will be a very bad thing for democracy."

Wallis says he was just 6 when he first gave his life to Jesus. But when he was 14, he began reading about rising racial tensions and asking pesky questions in his all-white neighborhood: Why did blacks live apart? Why did so many lack jobs and good schools?

One church elder told him that "Christianity has nothing to do with racism. That's political, and our faith is personal."    ...

That prompted him to leave his church. He began visiting inner-city congregations and homes to search for answers.  . . . Today, Wallis wears a number of hats. He has traveled the globe organizing opposition to the nuclear arms race, apartheid and wars in Central America and Iraq. He is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine and heads Call to Renewal, the anti-poverty coalition he founded in 1995. The coalition plans to roll out a national campaign to aid the working poor later this year, pushing for better wages, healthcare and housing, among other things.

There's some political positions that are informed by faith for you. Jim Wallis may not be perfect, but he's a hell of a lot better than Jerry Falwell and the theocons.

Let the conversation continue  . . .

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, my last comment was incoherent...
Calling people "power-hungry" is an ad hominem attack. Period.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, my last comment was incoherent...
That's the best you can do?

Jolly laid out the views of Rev. Jim Wallis, a Christian who has managed to keep liberal values within the confines of his faith. He directly takes on your criticism that Democrats need to remember the role that religion played in the civil rights movement by giving you a positive example of how Democrats ARE NOT anti-religious. What we all criticize is how the religious right has appointed themselves the enforcers of our personal moral codes. We attack the religious right because they are against the American values of freedom of religion, separation of church and state, and the right of Americans to live their own lives without needing to submit to a religious authority.

But you ignored all that and went back to one objectionable comment from Chris's post.

Yes, I am against theocracy. But I'm not against Jim Wallis and the United Church of Christ. In fact, I'm proud of that church for speaking up at a very dangerous time in our nations history.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: OK, my last comment was incoherent...
Read Waldo's stuff ... he says it better than I do.

But basically, it's not about just talking about faith, it's also about not letting the Republicans tie Dems to the national party - because that is a big loser for Democrats down here.

A Dem down here who has only nice things to say about northern liberals will be made out to be in bed with them, unfair as that may be. It's just a fact of life.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: OK, my last comment was incoherent...
Calling any politician "power hungry" is a statement of fact, not an ad hominem attack.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 11:44AM | 0 recs
Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
we were just discussing some of these so-called "religious right" people over on DailyKos.

Do I have your permission to criticize some of these folks for statements like these...?

Interfaith Alliance... (4.00 / 12)

Interfaith Alliance [the good guys] sent me an appeal today. Anytime I get a letter from Walter Cronkite I read it.

Anyhow... their appeal was very appealing by listing the vary appalling statements of the leaders of these people [the religious right bad guys].

For instance, Pat Robertson:

"You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist."
..........On The 700 Club, January 14, 1991


"[The] feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
..........In The Washington Post, August 23, 1993


"Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
..........(Interview with Molly Ivins in 1993)

Cool, huh? Nice guy.

How about Randall Terry:

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a Biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."

Wonderfully spiritual people. I can see why they are such beloved leaders, great representatives of the Christian faith, and the nation of the United States of America.

I know I sure am inspired after reading stuff like that.

"We have the power. Sorry if you don't like the fact that we've decided to use it." Posted by Jeremey*in*MS at February 3, 2005 01:59 PM

by Andrew C White on Sun Mar 27th, 2005 at 01:51:47 GMT

So... Mr. Kaine... do you mind terribly if I go ahead and criticize Falwell, Terry, Robertson, and Dobson... for saying anti-American things like that?

These people do not believe in The Consitution of the United States of America. Do you mind terribly if I criticize them for that?

by Andrew C White 2005-03-28 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
You don't get it. Kaine didn't agree with the Revs. His point was that when you get suckered into their culture debate, they win, and Southern Democrats lose.

Get your knife out of our backs.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
Would you please take some time to explain this idea more fully? I will grant you the point that's been made in Kaine's defense that he objects to the politics of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. I'm not familiar with him otherwise, don't live in Virginia, and prefer a Democrat wins. But those two politicians deserve vilification. That's why many of us have trouble seeing why they shouldn't be vilified.

Are the two of them holders of vast numbers of voters who can be persuaded to vote Democratic if we would just stop insulting their leaders? If we start saying nice things about them will we win? Or do we just need to be silent and not respond when they stand up and denounce liberals as envoys of Satan?

.... Too sarcastic ... sorry ... trying again ...

I really am curious and am trying not to dismiss out of hand why it is not in Democrats best interests to attack Falwell and Robertson. Any insight you could provide (or the lurking Maura in VA) would be appreciated.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
Naaa... I think it is Kaine that doesn't get it and is, probably unknowingly, sticking the knife in the back of the rest of us Democrats. At least, these quotes of his show he is stepping off the pier and missing the boat completely.
by Andrew C White 2005-03-28 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
Oh, right... Kaine is knifing you in the back by trying to get Democrats elected in red states. If John Kerry knew how to do that, he'd be President now. You and Kerry both ought to have listened up - and now, having been proven unequal to the task in 2004, you should know better.

But no, you insist that what? That you and Kerry were right all along, and that it's just the silly red state voters that didn't get it? Or is it the Dems who can win in the south that don't get it?

A lefty journal asked Kaine what he thought and he answered. Told 'em what he thought, with no apologies to the defeated Mr. Kerry.

See, Kaine holds statewide office in a red state. Kerry holds statewide office in a state where not one single federal elected official is a Republican. So when I listen to hear what will help Dems win in red states, I'm listening to Kaine, not to Kerry, thank you very much.

The rest of the Democratic Party would be wise to perk up its ears, if only they could listen above their baying for the blood of Lieberman, Schumer, and now Kaine.

There are two wings of the Dem blogosphere: those who seek a purer liberalism, and those with some interest in winning elections. If candidates listen to you, I hope you enjoy the Republican supermajority.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
There you go again. What does Lieberman have to do with anything? I wasn't aware that Joe was a southern Democrat. Schumer? Kaine? Who is "baying for their blood"?

Who's asking you to listen to Kerry? Hell, I don't even listen to Kerry. You need to explain more clearly how in the hell Kerry even got brought into the debate. Can't Kaine find a Republican to criticize?

In the meantime, you might do well to join the reality based community and stick to facts instead of baseless accusations.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
Don't bother. He apparently has a problem with his reading comprehension skills else he'd see plain as day that Mr. kaine attacked other Democrats and that is what we are responding negatively too. His posts bring to mind a famous quote "methinks thou doest protest too much."

In the meantime, we should go on about our business of promoting and electing strong Democrats that aren't afraid to be Democrats and don't feel the need to bash other members of the Democratic Party in order to establish themselves as viable candidates. There are plenty of Republicans out there to bash. We needn't bash other Democrats that stand with the Democratic Party.

by Andrew C White 2005-03-29 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
Kaine didn't criticize Republicans because it wasn't the answer to the question he was asked. He was asked how Democrats could do better here, and he answered the question - which he can't do if he can't criticize in any way what was done in the past.

If you come to Virginia sometime, you'll see how Kerry enters the debate here... he is pulled in by Republicans who bash him as a way of bashing Virginia Dems. Why do they do this? Because they know Kerry is not popular here. And that's basically the question Kaine was answering: why Kerry is not popular here.

And if you're still wondering who is baying for the blood of Joe Lieberman, you need to read more and write less.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-30 11:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Excuse me, Mr Kaine...
wheeeeeeeee! have fun with that did you?
by Andrew C White 2005-03-29 08:29AM | 0 recs
Not much with the language
"When Democrats kind of cavalierly attack "

How do you kind of cavalierly do anything?  It isn't cavalier at that point, is it?

by jcjcjc 2005-03-28 07:33AM | 0 recs
Mark Warner isn't any better, Chris
I recently heard Mark Warner speak at the Georgia Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

"No litmus tests for abortion, we need to talk about religion more, etc., etc."

Not sure why you think he'd be an improvement...

by ulmont 2005-03-28 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Mark Warner isn't any better, Chris

have you ever thought of why Southern Dems & Dems in Red states in the Midwest & Rocky Mountains ALL SOUND SIMILAR.

From Warner, Kaine, Brandesen, Laundriu, Easley, Lincoln, Sebilius, Henry, etc etc.

Because they would not be successfully elected Democrats in these Heavy Red States if they followed the way Liberals from the Blue States do their thing.

Unless you are from these Heavy Red States & understand their culture and their values-YOU WILL NOT RELATE to how they win by convincing crossover republicans & moderate independents to Vote for a democrat

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 11:06AM | 0 recs
Speak for Yourself
I'm from a heavy Red State (Indiana) and you do not speak for me.

Senator Bayh could not be any more "DLC" and still be a Democrat but I can't recall ever hearing him speak glowingly of Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson. Those two demagogues trash Democrats. They are our political enemies. The only people you are going to impress by sucking up to them are people who are not going to vote for you anyway.

You may believe we win votes by being silent while bigots speak. I don't.

Jerry Falwell is a bigot.

Pat Robertson is a bigot.

Supporting Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson is giving aid and comfort to the Republican Party. That's true whether you live in a red state or a blue state.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Speak for Yourself
That was not what Kaine said he did not speak well of Falwell or Robertson he just said that the term when a bad idea is given then then state the idea is bad, not just that if Falwell says it, it must be bad.  More over instead of saying Falwell is a bigot state why you think he is wrong, Personally I do not believe that using the King James Version of the bible and interpreting literaly is right, and that is my big beef with Falwell, I use the Revised Standard Version and have a more broad interpretation.  Also avoid using the term Religious Right, or popualor term here "fundies" because does not help the Democrats case to mock ones beliefs.  I think if you would spend more time listening to Kaine you might get the party headed towards victory but I some are just intersted in some red meat.
by THE MODERATE 2005-03-28 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Speak for Yourself
Kaine suggested that Democrats shouldn't attack the religious right or go after Robertson or Falwell. That's what I think is wrong-headed. I have no opinion on him beyond that point. Here is his comment again:

When Democrats kind of cavalierly attack the religious right or go after Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, our candidates have sent the signal to a lot of religious people, `Well, I guess they are not interested in me.' And I think this includes a lot of people who would fit very naturally within the Democratic Party."

Kaine clearly suggests that going after Falwell and Robertson is against Democrats best interests. Given the fact that it would be hard to find two people who have done more to damage the Democratic Party I must heartily disagree. Kaine is being defended by several commenters with the logic that his running in Virginia means he must suck up to that loathesome pair. To make things worse several commenters are showing that they get more news about Democratic positions from listening to Republicans than they do by actually hearing what the majority of Democrats have to say. I think FightingLadyInBlue in particular has drunk too much Limbaugh koolaid and is spouting off imaginary Democratic positions against religion.

Although I don't see how the terms are mocking, I do agree with your point about using "Religious Right" as a way to identify the fascist fundamentalists who have hijacked the Republican Party. Theocon or Theocrat (see Yitbos above) actually identify what I'm objecting to better but I don't think enough people understand the meaning to make those terms effective at this point. Give me a better term and I'll use it.

But I make no apologies for calling Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson bigots. They are at the very least aggressive homophobes and so deserve the term.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 12:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Speak for Yourself
Kaine has never praised Falwell or Robertson. He just doesn't think the Dem party wins when national Dems try to turn them into bogeymen who must be wrong because they are who they are. A lot of Christians see liberals as saying Rev. = wrong.

Debate the ideas, don't vilify the messenger (unless he's running for office).

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Speak for Yourself

I am talking about Virginia, the south and religion specifically. I am talking about attacks by certain individuals just because a democrat happens to be moderate or DLC or pro-life

Your very own Senator & Former Governor Evan Bayh gets bashed non-stop by left of left people life JBuddah.

as a southern democrat, don't tell me how we should speak about religion in order to win the south. Indiana and Virgina may be similar in terms of being a Red State, but there are very distinct differences between the south & the midwest.

Tim never praised  or endorsed Falwell, Robertson & the rest of the Christian Right. All his saying is by protraying them as the Devils WILL NOT work in the South. Explain to people why many of the positions of the Chrisitian Right is not good for people instead of lambasting them personally.

That works in other parts of the country, but that aint gonna work in the south.

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Speak for Yourself
Your very own Senator & Former Governor Evan Bayh gets bashed non-stop by left of left people life JBuddah.

I sure do wish you would stop putting words in my mouth. Here's a comment I made just the other day

Very good analysis labanman. Right now, based on limited knowledge about Bayh, (the L.A. Times covers Indiana politics almost as poorly as they cover Sacramento politics) I would give Bayh a slight edge over Hillary based on his executive experience. It isn't a big factor in my personal evaluation of candidates, but I can't escape making a pragmatic concession that it is a factor in what the American people look for in a President.

See how you are? I strongly doubt that Bayh can over come his vote for the bankruptcy bill, but he wasn't as closely tied to it as Biden and Lieberman. Very big problem for both him and Biden. Biden took an irreversible hit. Bayh may be in the same fix. I think they dramatically underestimated how extreme the reaction was from the grassroots.

Just trying to be pragmatic, that's all. You know me. Solid, pragmatic, reasonable and always mellow.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 03:23PM | 0 recs
Kerry's problem was no emotional connection
This is my own opinion. Yours might vary quite a bit and not be wrong...

I never felt Kerry sold his beliefs on why he and Democrats were right and why Bush and Republicans were wrong. There were few people that knew the issues as well as Kerry, and he had outstanding, well-thought out positions on every position in the campaign.

The difference between Kerry and Clinton was that people believe that Bill Clinton had an emotional connection to voters and that he not only knew his issues but he cared about what happened to the American people. The emotional connection Clinton communicated gave Bill Clinton a moral justification to do the work of the American People that Kerry never had. Because Americans believed Clinton really cared about the American people, the American people believed that Clinton would go to incredible lengths to protect and improve the situation of those that he cared about. Clinton revealed his human side to the voters in ways Kerry never did.

This failure to reveal Kerry's human side was something that happened post-New Hampshire. If you watched Kerry with small groups in Iowa and New Hampshire on CSPAN, Kerry visibly did connect to people in those small group settings. It's something that Kerry and his team never figured out a way to continue to communicate once Kerry was trapped on a podium again. Up on the podium, Kerry's voice got preachy and distant. Kerry even sounded preachy and distant telling the stories about regular people that are supposed to bridge that gulf. Edwards had that connection (which is why nobody should discount Edwards in the future). Teresa also had that connection. She made it at the DNC. Theresa was bullet-proof the rest of the campaign after her DNC speech. I'm convinced that Kerry's ability to communicate a connection in small groups was the reason he made his move to the front of the field in Iowa and NH, and his inability to communicate the same connection from a podium was the reason that Edwards was allowed to hang around as long as he did, and why Kerry never put Bush away. That emotional connection was the reason Clinton survived controversy. Voters would have discarded all the swiftboating if that connection had been there in the same way the voters discarded the Clinton impeachment hearings.

Kerry needed to find a way to "get off that podium" and reach into voters hearts. In my opinion, after New Hampshire, he lost that connection.

Now, why did it happen? I'm going to let the old broadcaster in me take a guess at this. Kerry's voice got "pukey" when he tried to communicate emotional material. Now, how does the broadcaster in me communicate the highly technical broadcasting term "pukey" to an audience of people without all the vast amount of technical training necessary to translate that term? Hmmm... you know how old old bad top-40 DJs sounded. No, huh? Anyone remember Shadoe Stevens? There's real depth that a really great voice has, like James Earl Jones or ABC's old former pro Ernie Anderson has. Then there's that fake drippy forced depth that Shadoe Stevens had? Shadoe Stevens defined the concept of "pukey" voice. Gary Owens was the same way. Casey Kasem did all the same tonal quality things that those two did, but still sounded as if he was talking to people(which is why the tape that's floating around the net of Casey Kasem exploding into a cloud of four-letter words about what he REALLY thought about all those #$%^@ death songs he had to play was so $%&#$ funny). Well... clearly I'm failing to communicate this point. But that's what Kerry did wrong. His voice when he was moving into emotional material not only didn't sound sincere, it sounded just the opposite. It sounded like Gary Owens reading a "Laugh-In" intro. Clinton sounded like he was talking to people. Edwards sounds like he was talking to people. Teresa sounded like she was talking to people. Kerry sounded "pukey" in those same moments. Sorry I can't communicate this point better. I think it's an important point, and I just am not managing to bridge my experience effectively on this point. Sorry.

by afs 2005-03-28 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Kerry's problem was no emotional connection
I think Tim Kaine himself can illustrate your point nicely on his "Gallery" page.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:43PM | 0 recs
This Is Wrong in So Many Ways
Chris, I guess this kind of thing flies in California or New York or Oregon or Neverland, or wherever you live, but here in Virginia, it's sheer insanity.

Democrats controlled Virginia for 100 years.  Do you know how?  (That's rhetorical; of course you don't.  I can't imagine why you would.)  We had some of the most conservative Democrats in the nation.  Every election, Republicans would run the most centrist Republicans that we could find.  And we beat those Republicans by calling them them "liberal" and "out of step with conservative Virginia values."  Republicans foolishly fell into this trap for decades, right up until 1993, when George Allen beat down Mary Sue Terry.  What was their trick?  They (among other things) ran a reg'lar ol' Republican.  They stopped moving to the right.

Tim Kaine is a reg'lar ol' Democrat.  He's not a progressive, like you or me.  And that's good, because if he were, he'd get his ass handed to him by Kilgore.

You remind me of dopey Americans who visit France and complain about the food and the language and the buildings and the smells, because they're not the same as in the U.S.  If you don't like the way things are done here, then, please, stay at home.  Your criticisms of Tim Kaine might make sense in sunny Cali-forn-i-a, but here in Virginia, they only make you look clueless.

-Waldo Jaquith

by Waldo Jaquith 2005-03-28 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: This Is Wrong in So Many Ways
Og,f or cryusing ut loud, what I'm pissed at him for are not his issues, but because he bashed Kerry and other Dmecorats and used lies when he did it. This has nothing to to with ideology. This has only to do with not trashing your compatriots and not using your oppoents lies when you do so.
by Chris Bowers 2005-03-28 11:59AM | 0 recs
Still Don't Get It
Chris, you're still not understanding.

In Thomas Carsey's excellent Campaign Dynamics: The Race for Governor, he analyzes how gubernatorial wins happen.  How does the electorate determine who to choose, and in what way do the actions of the candidates influence that?  As a part of this study, he analyzes the 1993 George Allen / Mary Sue Terry matchup.  This race was noteworthy for two reasons: it marked the beginning of the transfer of powers to Republicans, and Terry was ahead of Allen by a landslide in early August, and by early October, Allen was crushing Terry, which remained the case come Election Day.

Carsey spends a lot of time talking about how Allen worked to tie Terry to Clinton and then-governor (and then-Democrat) Douglas Wilder.  Looking at a series of polls done from late summer through Election Day, Carsey writes (p. 84):

"Poll 1 shows no significant relationship between approval of Wilder and support for Terry.  By poll 2, the relationship begins to appear, although it is still statistically insignificant.  However, by early October, respondent evaluations of Wilder significantly predicted the probability of supporting Terry or Allen for governor, a relationship that continued into late October.  Again, voters appear to have responded to Allen's efforts to make evaluations of Wilder a salient issue in this gubernatorial race."
Tim Kaine can speak out against certain aspects of Kerry and Dean, and he can win.  Or Tim Kaine can fail to speak out against certain aspects of Kerry and Dean and he can lose.  Whether or not his charges against national Democrats are accurate or not, the important thing is that they support what people already believe to be true, because otherwise, Republican Jerry Kilgore will tie him to Kerry and Dean and he'll get his ass whupped.  The data are very, very clear on this.

We can have a rabble-rousing progressive Democratic candidate who will stand arm-in-arm with Howard Dean and John Kerry, or we can have a Democrat as governor.  You pick.

No, wait, don't.  I will.

-Waldo Jaquith

by Waldo Jaquith 2005-03-28 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Still Don't Get It
I still don't think you've adequately expalined why it is necessary to lie or repeat lies.  Distancing yourself is one thing; making false, disparaging statements is quite another.
by fwiffo 2005-03-28 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Still Don't Get It
Call me ignorant, but I'm still wondering what the lie was. That Kerry talked about windsurfing too much? Whatever, maybe he didn't talk about it, but he didn't talk much about why he believes what he believes, either. The point is not about windsurfing, it's about whether or not you are communicating with people in a way that your convictions appear authentic - that they come from something other than a desire to get elected.

Kerry failed miserably at that, which made the windsurfing thing such a catchy metaphor for his candidacy. People didn't get where he was coming from. He wasn't believable enough for people to really give him the benefit of the doubt when bad stuff happened.

Kaine could have expressed himself more palatably for the audience in the Prospect, but his basic analysis is sound.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Still Don't Get It
You don't have to either walk arm in arm with someone or spread lies about them. That is a false choice.

You someone seem to beleive that I demand a rabble-rouser. That is just plain false, and is based on nothing I said. I just want someone who does not bash other Demcorats in order to score politcal points. If you beleive that is the only way for a Democrat to win in Virginia, then you might want to talk to Mark Warner.

Still further, your "data" is actually an analogy, since it refers to a past race in an attempt to draw an alanogy with a current one. It is a poor analogy, for several reasons:

  • In the analogy, someone distancing oneself from Kerry is supposed to be the same as distancing onesself from Clinton. However, Kerry is not President, Clinton was.

  • Further, your data, while you have a lead in about Clinton and Wilder, actually only talks about Wilder, and does not mention Clinton.

  • Still further, Warner is popular right now, Wilder was not in 1993.

  • Yet still further, Clinton had very low approval ratings in 1993. Kerry has no approvbal ratings.

  • Even still further, Virginia is significantly more more Democratic now than it was in 1992. The partisan index has swung five poitns in favor of Dmecorats. Kerry also did five points better than Clinton.
That isn't data, its a bad analogy. It certainly does not justify trashing people you jsut could have shut up about.
by Chris Bowers 2005-03-28 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Still Don't Get It
This is all minutiae - Waldo is right on the general point that tying local Dems to national Dems is a region-wide strategy for Republicans, and it works. Kaine has got to be on record somewhere distancing himself from John Kerry - and the only way to do that is to disagree with him publicly, and put the lie to the Republicans' attack.

And I don't think Kaine was being cynical: He's been talking about God for a long time now, and he is one of two Dems to win statewide in VA since (and I'd feel better if someone corrected me on this, really I would) Chuck Robb won in 1994. If Kerry had had the smarts to ask Kaine his advice before the election, Kaine would probably have told him.

It would be nice if all politics were local, but VA Dems are generally aware that when they're not, we're hosed.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 03:01PM | 0 recs
Explain the contradiction
Again it works when Republicans tie local Dems to national Dems, but upthread someone said nationalizing GOPers didn't work. You folks have to get your story straight.

If Kerry can be nationalized, then so can De Lay. Somebody needs to clarify this point.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Explain the contradiction
No contradiction.  Nationalizing works for them because national Republicans are more popular than national Democrats.  Just a guess, (I'm from another Southern state, not Virginia, so I don't know how true it is of Virginia but I know it's true of my state) but Tom Delay is more popular than John Kerry or Howard Dean.  And more people have heard of John Kerry and Howard Dean than Tom Delay
by sh59 2005-03-28 08:08PM | 0 recs
Chris, I'm not sure you understand -- I provided you with a single quote from an entire study on what it takes for people to get elected governor, a study that drew most heavily on the '93 race.  The whole point of the book -- and the study -- is that it is generalizable, and not a study of what has simply happened in the past.  A major conclusion drawn is that, in Virginia, tying quasi-incumbents (since governors can't run for reelection, but lieutenant governors and lt. governors often do so) to the record of the same-party incumbent or to national same-party figures can sink them.   This book is the seminal work on gubernatorial elections, and I daresay that it's rather difficult to properly determine the proper direction for any gubernatorial campaign without at least being familiar with the concepts and the data contained within it.

Incidentally, Tim Kaine didn't lie about a single thing there.  He's dead-on correct, not only in perceptions, but in point of fact.  Kaine is comfortable talking about religion, Kerry was not.  That's all there is to it.

Let me leave you with a couple of sample e-mails that the Kilgore campaign has sent out in the past month.  Just to give you an idea of why Kaine has to distance himself from national Democratic figures.


--Regarding Howard Dean's Election as Chairman of Democrat National Committee --

RICHMOND - "It is clear the Democrat Party has officially gone full-tilt in favor of their true leftist liberal leanings.

"The election of Howard Dean to lead his Party is yet another indication that the Democrats are out of touch with the beliefs and values most Americans hold dear."

"In Howard Dean the Democrat Party has chosen a leader whose support for higher taxes, abortion on demand, and assisted suicide does not square with the values held by a vast majority of Virginians."

"Tim Kaine has now been reunited with his true political soul mate. And, it will take a massive political makeover for Tim Kaine to hide from Virginians his pro-tax, anti-death penalty liberal positions. As liberal as Howard Dean is, Virginia's Tim Kaine goes one step further in his strident opposition to the death penalty even for the most heinous crimes."


--Regarding Tim Kaine's Campaign Kickoff--

RICHMOND -"Today marks the beginning of Tim Kaine's extreme political makeover that is being underwritten by Howard Dean and his liberal special interests.

"No amount of perceived centrist rhetoric from the Democrat Party establishment will hide Tim Kaine's true leftist liberal leanings.

"Virginians do not support Tim Kaine's high-tax, anti-death penalty liberal views on his campaign kickoff day, and they will not support them on Election Day."

You can stand back in wherever you are and throw bombs, but unless you want to come up with a winning campaign strategy that will function otherwise, your criticisms are not particularly meaningful.  (And I mean that about a winning plan.  I'm about 120 hours into developing an alternate Kaine campaign plan, not to so much as show to them, but as an exercise.)  Virginia is a political world unto itself.

-Waldo Jaquith

by Waldo Jaquith 2005-03-28 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Foolishness
I would like to recommend the same tactic I am encouraging against Bush. You politely call these people lying sacks of shit. I don't let people put words in my mouth and neither should you.

Is this some kind of southern habit? Do you allow people to speak out of their neck and put words in your mouth?

  1. Dean is not running for any office in Virginia.

  2. Whoever is lying about Dean's positions. If XXX will lie to the people of Virginia about one thing, why wouldn't they lie about another thing?

Put it in your own words, but this is a universal retort. What is it with lying about people and putting words in their mouth that captivates people in Virginia? I am astounded at how juvenile it is.
by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:35PM | 0 recs
Doesn't Work
I would like to recommend the same tactic I am encouraging against Bush. You politely call these people lying sacks of shit. I don't let people put words in my mouth and neither should you.

I've tried it.  I've worked on campaigns where it's been tried.  It's never, ever worked.  I wish it would.  I'd enjoy the hell out of it.  But it backfires every time.  If you can point out a single instance of a non-incumbent calling a challenger a liar where it gained them political points, I'd (seriously) like to hear about it.  There's great satisfaction in calling 'em as you see 'em, but that doesn't translate to victory, I'm afraid.

Dean is not running for any office in Virginia.

Yes, he is -- he's running for governor, if Kilgore has any say in the matter.  (And he does.)  If Howard Dean so much as steps foot in Virginia between now and November 8th, Tim Kaine loses.

You don't have to like what I'm saying, but that doesn't make it wrong.   I'm a progressive Democrat, but I'm also a campaign consultant.  I tell people how to run races.  If I tell a candidate to call his opponent "a lying sack of shit" (or any variant thereof), the candidate will lose and, if he's smart, I'm out of a job.

-Waldo Jaquith

by Waldo Jaquith 2005-03-29 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Still Don't Get It
Chris...I agree with you basic point regarding Democrats not criticizing other Democrats.

Having said that, I don't thing Paine is the first to critique Kerry.  I personally have become tired of a lot Kerry-bashing myself...LETS ALL MOVE FORWARD!

by v2aggie2 2005-03-28 09:16PM | 0 recs
Why is Hockey bad?  Hockey fans are a demographic Democratss currently do poorly in.  It is very difficult to fake being able to play hockey; being able to skate backwards is fairly serious cred.
by fwiffo 2005-03-28 12:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Many want to run this like a Blue State
the problem here is some of our people in this board cannot relate or simply have no idea how the game is played in Southern States not because its their fault but because they are not from the Region.

You may read and listen to all the analysis about the South, but being born, growing up and understanding the southern culture are two different things.

Yes,we are all americans and are part of the U.S.A. Unfortunately, there are also very distinct differences between your average voter in the South compared to the rest of the country.

some of you have your "Blue Thinking Caps" on.

Its is NO COINCIDENCE that with the Exception of Gov. Manchin of WV, YOU DID NOT SEE ANY OF THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS IN THE SOUTH have Photo ops  with John Kerry.

Even the Cinderella story in the Rock Mountains of Gov. Brian Schweiter of Montana was won talking about local issues as opposed to bringing in John Kerry while his opponent kept on using Bush in his campaign & trying to tie Schweiter to Kerry as Liberals.

While Bush proudly campaigned up and down the southern region with very eager GOP candidates and actually CAUSED the defeat of very Impressive Democrats like Brad Carson of Oklahoma & Inez Tennebaum of SC just because the National ticket could do nothing to help these two democratic campaigns.

That alone explains how difficult and how DIFFERENT the politics of the south is.

In fact, Gov. Easley of NC won impressively without the help or collaboration of John Kerry & the National Democrats.

SO before you pass judgement or make a big deal to torpedo a fellow democratic politician, understand the politics of region.

Moderate here, DLC that - Com'on Virginia is not Connecticut! The South is not Vermont!

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 01:18PM | 0 recs
How about your &quot;red state hats&quot;?
I think this entire diary is a prime example of unfairly maligning blue state democrats. For some peculiar reason I have become the target of accusations that I have "far left positions" that I want to impose on Virginia democrats.

There is absolutely no truth to that accusation and I have repeatedly asked for examples of my "far left" positions. Nothing has been forthcoming because I do not have "far left" positions that I want to impose on red states.

If you folks spent half as much time and energy demonizing Republicans as you do talking smack about democrats, the Democratic party would be in far better shape.

This comes back to a question I asked during the campaign and I still ask: Why won't Kerry and the Dems attack Bush?

I keep getting the response that Bush's image is too strong. Is Bush's image too strong to attack, or is it so strong because it hasn't been attacked?

I have not just picked on red state dems, I have been equally critical of blue state dems for not standing up to Bush and attacking the stinking GOPers.

Can anybody explain to me why Democrats are such a bunch of pansy French Poodles? I have asked this question repeatedly here and at dkos.

I don't get it. After all of the crap that Bush and the Republicans have done, the Dems still cannot bring themselves to attack even mildly. No wonder Democrats lose elections.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 04:11PM | 0 recs
Re: How about your &quot;red state hats&quot;?
Yeah, like west coast/east coast democrats aren't criticizing other democrats!
by v2aggie2 2005-03-28 09:20PM | 0 recs
Thanks for the update.
I'm glad you removed the invective!

But I still don't think Kaine was pushing Republican lies. He was talking about how religious people take it when Dems attack Reverends, no matter how much anyone may think those Reverends have perverted their "faith".

The other thing that I think Kaine is dead-on about is that he is trying to be true to his message of bringing people together. He's made a career out of it - the Richmond City Council was sharply divided along racial lines before he listened to everyone with respect and started bringing people together.

I think he's doing the same thing here, for the good of the state: he's saying that everyone's opinion is welcome, even people like Robertson and Falwell. We may not agree with them, and their hate may leave them on the fringes, but they'll get a lot less sympathy from others if they ostracize themselves.

He's going to kill them with kindness.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks for the update.
He was talking about how religious people take it when Dems attack Reverends, no matter how much anyone may think those Reverends have perverted their "faith".

There you go again! Why on earth are the vile pronouncements of "Reverends" sacrosanct? Maybe if you folks started speaking up about how vile they are instead of jumping all over Democrats, who are just trying to defend the Constitution and their own character, the good people of Virginia might catch on.

It's no wonder people in Virginia have such a low opinion of Democrats and high opinion of Republicans. You both bash Democrats and you both give Falwell and Bush a pass.

Please read Confessions of a former Dittohead: Weak Faith of the Religious Right before you type a single other keystroke.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:02PM | 0 recs
He's got a point.
"I think that [the 'Religious Right'] has been a standard bogeyman that Democrats have often used in campaigns, including campaigns in Virginia. If somebody advances an idea or position that's wrong, then attack them for having a bad idea. But they are not wrong because they are religious."

This is actually an excellent point and, if we can forgive the general anti-Dem tone of Kaine's comments, this does need more consideration.

I think that the Reeps spend a lot of time faith-baiting the Dems, taking stances that are unpopular or even manifestly evil, but wrapping them in the rhetoric of religion to gain support from faith industry tycoons as well as casual observers.

When Dems and others lash out at the "Religious Right" as if those two words define the problem, guess what? There are a lot of Americans who consider themselves pious and conservative -- people who would identify themselves as members of the "Religious Right" -- who are going to think you're talking about them when they hear those words.

You can't very well tear down your enemy by reinforcing his followers' preconceptions, can you? The propheteers need their flocks to feel despised and persecuted. Dems need to appreciate that fact and work around it.

And while I'm on the subject, "Theocon" is a catchy term, but can be misconstrued the same way, especially if the "theo" isn't understood to mean "theocrat."

by catastrophile 2005-03-28 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
Well we need a word then. In just this single post I've seen rejected "Religious Right", "fundie", "theocon", and "theocrat". I'd assume if fundie is no good then fundamentalists won't do either.

We know who we are talking about. How do we describe them to serve our own ends?

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 12:59PM | 0 recs
I just searched the page for the word "theocrat" and didn't find any rejection of it. I think it's an honest term for the people we're describing, and one without positive connotation. In other words, I think it works. Especially when modified with terms like "extremist" or "radical" or "regressive." Or "reactionary." Or "fringe." Mix it up a little.

Fundamentalist is iffy, because people aren't clear on what it means. Heck, I'm not totally clear on what it means, but it is something that people will self-identify as, which means that if you're going to attack "fundies" you'd dern well better mean every last one of them, because a lot of people are going to say "Hey! He means me!"

I also don't think theocon is necessarily a bad term. It does need to be framed carefully, however, which may make it more trouble than it's worth. If somebody asked you what a theocon was, what would you say?

by catastrophile 2005-03-28 01:33PM | 0 recs
Arf? ... Arf Arf Arf .... Arf!
Theocrat did not get complained about directly but I suspect that redsoxkangeroo does object to the term if you define a theocrat to be one who practices theocracy.

Plenty of bloggers attack the Christian Right with words like "theocracy" etc... That comes off sounding to many like a criticism of the role of religion in informing political values.

I understand and share the concern about turning off some voters but don't know what I am supposed to do given I vehemently oppose the formation of an American theocracy.

If someone said theocon to me ... hmmmm ... I'd think of a right-wing conservative who wants to give the teachings of the religious right the force of law.

I at first put "the teachings of Christianity the force of law" in the above but realized that isn't quite correct. Much of what they teach is not Christian. My beef is with their attempts to undo the separation of church and state and impose their own very selective interpretation of Christianity by the force of law.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 01:53PM | 0 recs
I could be wrong,
but I don't get the feeling that many Americans would self-identify as theocrats. When I hear the word "theocracy" I think first of Iran, and that's exactly the impression I'd like to give people -- an oppressive and regressive government which claims to speak for God.

Of course, any term can be counterproductive if it's applied too broadly.

by catastrophile 2005-03-28 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I could be wrong,
Iran is the perfect example. There has been alot written about the similarities between Iranian fundamentalism and what [using the term] theocrats in America are trying to accomplish.

Theocrats like James Dobson, Pat Robertson, and Jerry Falwell want alot of the same things that Ayatollah Khomeini wanted.

Just like Khomeini, Dobson is obsessed with controlling sex, women, and alcohol through forced government religion.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 03:20PM | 0 recs
There it is.
And that's the point we need to be making, explicitly.

I once got into a discussion with a Reep apologist, which started with him arguing that liberals couldn't stand Gee-Dub because they hated the fact that a Christian was running the country on religious principles.

So I started laying out some of the policies that he was implicitly attributing to Gee-Dub's faith.

By the time he stopped answering my e-mails, he was arguing that it would be foolish to apply religious principles to government, that the world just doesn't work that way.

All I know is: Gee-Dub has sure as heck never met my God.

by catastrophile 2005-03-28 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
The point is you don't need an epithet for them if you're going to argue with their ideas. That's Kaine's whole point. The epithet makes the attack about religion, not about the offensive opinion of the religious person.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
I need a term I can use to describe the group to which I'm referring. I don't think it is any more unfair to use a label such as theocrat than it is to use one like liberal or conservative.
by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
Name one word ending in "crat" that's not used pejoratively. Bureaucrat? Autocrat?
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
Forget about "crats". Calling someone a fascist is not evil. Being a fascist is evil. Why don't you folks try running against Tom De Lay? Is he a real popular figure in Virginia?

I would like to see a diary about why calling a religious fascist a religious fascist is a problem. Are you trying to tell me that they have never had any crooked preachers in Virginia? There has never been a religious scandal? Is Newt Gingrich real popular down there?

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
Nationalizing the race doesn't work for VA dems. Republicans win if that whole thing escalates. Dems are in a better position if they keep national Dems out and attack Republicans for relying on outsiders for help.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
Nationalizing the race doesn't work against Republicans, but it works when you attack Democrats. That doesn't even make sense.

No wonder Republicans do so well in Virginia. You folks are buying into the most bizarre assumptions imaginable.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
I want it to be pejorative.

The point is to separate out the extremists with their own special label. You then make sure that all Religious Rightists, Fundamentalists, Fundies, Conservative Christians, and Christians in general would say, "I'm a Christian but of course I'm no Theocrat!".

Bear in mind, the word is not just for Virginia here. Theocrats want to control our government on a national level and wrest away many of the freedoms and ideals we take for granted.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-28 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: He's got a point.
I hear what you're saying, it's just that anything that brings religion into an insult here is dangerous for us. The mainstream is more Christian here than in most other states... even a lot of states further south. We are, after all, the home of the Revs. Falwell and Robertson. Not that they're mainstream, but there are enough fundamentalists that everyone's kids go to school with some, so they don't seem so strange, I guess.
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 03:22PM | 0 recs
Can't both sides be right?
I think there is a middle ground between the two sides of this debate.  I don't think it is necessary for Tim Kaine to plant a kiss on John Kerry's cheek to demonstrate his bona fides as a candidate; nor do I think it is necessary for him to burn Kerry in effigy to have any chance of winning in Virginia.  I simply think it's possible for him to distance himself from the national party without slamming the national party, let alone slamming it based upon right-wing caricatures.  I mean, I've seen a lot of positive stuff from the Kaine campaign, I've seen a lot about what kind of person he is and what kind of stuff he believes.  He doesn't need to make a comment about windsurfing to convince voters that he is not a "windsurfing Democrat," whatever that is.

In any event, lost in all this is the context in which Kaine made his comments.  This was not a national TV appearance or a campaign speech.  This was an interview by the American Prospect, a lefty journal asking questions about the political process.  In the wake of the election, everyone has started to ask this same banal question, "What can the national Democratic Party do to reach out to the red states?"  And it's gotten so trite by now that I can't believe anyone out there wants to hear it asked again.  But the fact remains, they asked the question of Tim Kaine, and they got his answer.  It's hard to answer that question except in the context of, "What should the national party do that they're not doing now, or what should they avoid doing that they are doing now?"

When the Kilgorites try to paint Kaine as the candidate of John Kerry, Howard Dean, and the like, I hope he is able to address those smears without having to slam Kerry and Dean in so doing.  But that day is yet to come.

by Steve M 2005-03-28 01:04PM | 0 recs
Kaine's comments
The voters Kilgore wants to confuse by blurring the lines between Kaine and Dean/Kerry/etc. aren't reading American Prospect, are they?

Neither are those who get their heavenly marching orders from the 700 club.

Given that, someone please tell this Virginia resident why it was tactful/intelligent/in good taste/responsible/ or positive for Kaine to roil the waters. He had a chance to score points with those of us who are tired of Republican lite and who don't understand the point of winning if the policies remain the same. Instead, his reported comments form the basis for distrust and scepticism among the group most likely to spend time, money and political capital on his behalf.

It's not about being a Blue State liberal. It's about being a Southern Democrat, like Albert Gore Sr., and knowing how to stand up to the kind of dirty tricks used to end his career and derail Democrats across the south since 1970.

Righteous indignation has a place in the scheme of things. Tiptoe-ing around and pretending there's common ground with Pat Robertson is delusional.

by Munequita 2005-03-28 01:30PM | 0 recs
Re: The days of Al Gore Sr.

The 1970 days of Al Gore Sr. where the Democratic party still controlled 70% of the South has long been over.

GA,TN,AR,LA,WV,VA,KY,NC and parts of SC,AL,MS were still in Democratic hands

Even his own son, Al Gore, Jr. could not carry his own state that both him & his father served.

Times have changed. From the south being a bastion of the Democratic party, the GOP takeover of the Region is almost complete.

Any Democrat in the South can stand up and bash Robertson and Falwell head-on 24 hours a day. He will surely excite his base of maybe 10%-15% of Liberals, but as long as he knows that  his race will be symbolic. Come election day, even his own moderate & conservative democrats will likely vote for the GOP combined with the Moderate/Conservative Independent southern voters.

This is the south. Not Connecticut. You have to explain why these Right Wing Christians will hurt your family as opposed to calling their leader names. You have to explain that you are also a God fearing Christian like them, but disagree with them on whats good for our people.

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 02:05PM | 0 recs
That;s exactly what happens in the Debates

thats exactly what happens in every debate during an election, in every southern state for the past 10-15 years.

Last year, the question, " Do you agree or disagree with John Kerry on blah, blah, blah ( such being pro-choice, guns, Iraq war & strong military, increasing taxes, etc etc_)

came up in every statewide debate. Its already a Rule of Thumb for Every GOP candidate in the south to TRY & PIN DOWN a Democrat to the National Democratic party & its perceived Liberal views.

Brad Carson, Inez Tatenbaum, Erskin Bowles all went thru that. So will Tim Kaine in November. So did Mark Warner, John Edwards, Lincoln, Landriu,Mark Pryor.

Unless you understand the PREDICAMENT & the Balancing Act that Southern Democratic politicians have to go thru in order to win or just even have a fighting chance of winning, you
have to understand the souther electorate.

Bashing the Falwells, and the Robertson by calling them names ( as opposed to explaining to people why these people are not good for you)  in a Southern State may excite the 10%-15% Liberal base of the party, but it will surely hurt your chances of winning both the southern fiscally conservative, socially moderate INDEPENDENT VOTERS and the  southern moderate/conservative democrats who increasingly vote Republican especially on national elections.

It is only when you put those given dynamics in every southern political race, will you understand why almost all southern democrats act & talk the way they do.

and by even doing all these balancing, the Democratic candidate has to be superior to the Republican in order for him or her to have a good shot because of the automatic disadvantage of having a D after his name.

This is no different than Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Pataki, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg all proclaiming that they are PRO-CHOICE, PRO-IMMIGRANT in order to have a chance at Winning in Liberal New York.

Culture & Religion will always be a part of politics. There's no one idealogy fits all. But the South is much more old tradition in its voting despite people calling it the New South. Yes,its the New South thats now Republican country.



by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: That;s exactly what happens in the Debates
I don't know if we really disagree about anything.  My point was simply, if a candidate gets asked whether he agrees with John Kerry on X, it's fine to answer with a yes or no, and then to focus on articulating his position.  I would hope, for example, a pro-life Democrat would talk about positive issues like the sanctity of life, rather than sounding Republican by saying something like "the national Democratic Party is out of touch with the country on abortion."  You can distance yourself without directly insulting the party or the more mainstream Democratic candidates, is the real point here.
by Steve M 2005-03-28 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: That;s exactly what happens in the Debates
How about "I don't give a tinker's damn what Kerry thinks about anything and I don't know why anybody else does either. Maybe my opponent is running against Kerry because he's afraid of running against me.

There are all kinds of ways to call someone a liar and a coward. You folks need to get a little creative.

by Gary Boatwright 2005-03-28 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: That;s exactly what happens in the Debates
I do not think that California Democrats have any business giving advice to anybody on being "creative"
by v2aggie2 2005-03-28 09:23PM | 0 recs
You make our point.
Kaine didn't say there was common ground with Pat Robertson. He said Democrats don't help themselves by calling him names.

As for roiling the waters, Dems got their asses kicked in 2004, and the waters need some roiling.

And I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish by holding up Al Gore Sr. as an example of how to respond to Republican tactics when you've just said that those tactics were the end of him, I don't know.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 02:24PM | 0 recs
Response to update 2:
They asked for Kaine's assessment and he gave it. He though Kerry made mistakes - or wasn't the right guy to win in red states. In any case, he answered the question honestly, and actually, I think that a lefty journal is probably just the place for this sort of comment... not so much airing out the dirty laundry in public as contributing to the internal discussion. Had Kaine used the Kerry criticism to demagogue or to damage the party with the public at large, your criticism would be more on point, I think.

Hey, look - I'd love for Virginia to be the happy home for liberal governors. It just isn't. And when a journalist of the left asks how we ought to reach out to red states and gets an honest answer, that's OK. Would it have been better for Kaine to nod his head and say he thought we did everything right, but lost anyway?

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Response to update 2:
I think we agree.  The formatting of this diary has got me all confused so I have lost track of who is responding to whom at this point.
by Steve M 2005-03-28 03:06PM | 0 recs
Confusion reigns
I agree with every point made in response to mine. It's such a relief not to have to cover all the bases one's ownself.

I wasn't clear about Al Gore Sr. On election day, Bill Brock aired radio ads of Vietnam POWs saying Gore's votes made their ordeal worse than it otherwise would have been. Tennessee became the cornerstone of the Southern strategy. Gore never knew what hit him.

It's worth noting, however, that the conservative Democrats that held office throughout the South back then were very little different than the Republicans backing Nixon. Had Albert Gore been more like the others, he might not have drawn such efficient attention from the RNC, which made a test case of him.

In many ways, it seems the Dems still don't know what's hitting them. My point is just that Gore didn't know to fight back, and arguably Kerry didn't either. Dean and Reid seem to sense that a more strident voice is needed. If the other side has us outnumbered, we're done for anyway. Playing nice won't change the outcome.

by Munequita 2005-03-28 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Confusion reigns
If the other side has us outnumbered, there is only one thing we can do: get more people on our team. It seems that some here would would like a purer party, not a bigger party.

It is votes, not ideological purity, that win elections.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-03-28 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Confusion reigns

this is the problem with the Jbuddah types within the party. I call this the politics of subtraction.

they want to purify the party through purging of moderates & DLC types.

For every One new Liberal that you bring in, you lost 5 moderates & another 5 independents because you are deemed as too left of center.

when a Liberal Californian lectures a southerner how to things should be done in our own backyard, then, we GOT A BIG PROBLEM!

by fightingLadyinblue 2005-03-28 10:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Confusion reigns
You are arguing against strawmen founded on Republican stereotypes of Democrats. You throw out "Liberal Californian" as if it is an epithet. Personally, I'm quite thankful there are alot of California Democrats around to help us win elections.

The troll rating is for your unrelenting personal attacks but I'd give you "lame" for just about everything else.

by Curt Matlock 2005-03-29 05:20AM | 0 recs
The Scary Thing Is...
Tim Kaine is far more liberal on most issues than Mark Warner.

In fact, Kilgore was all ready to use the death penalty as the typical Republican wedge issue to splatter his poor brains over the statehouse steps. But suddenly, as if by the will of God, the Catholic Bishops Association. Is mounting a campaign against the death penalty.

While Catholics are not as dominant in Virginia as say Maryland, they tend to live in counties that voted for Earley in 2001, but yet voted for Kerry in 2004. You know, swing districts. And Kaine realizes that if he refuses to attack religion early he forces Kilgore's hand. Make no mistake, if Kaine wins VA this year, the state's firmly in play for the rest of the decade.

And sure, Kaine's comment about windsurfing seems ingenuous. But he's really saying that Kerry did little to reassure people that he was not doing things based on the polls. That he was a man of any conviction...even if it was worshipping Satan.

So understand, all Democrats need not stand for the same exact platform. What Kerry demonstrated, and Kaine is running away from, is a party full of candidates who are afraid to stand for what they believe in because they think its not popular and they won't win elections.

That's not every Dem...but the legacy is great enough from both Gore and Kerry's campaigns that Kaine wants to stand tall for his platform from the beginning and not get sidetracked.

by risenmessiah 2005-03-28 06:43PM | 0 recs
Death Penalty.
I find it interesting that the WV would have an anti-death penalty candidate. I'm curious to see how he does. I work for Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty and we're an even redder state. I've been thinking lately that if candidates would stop running away from the issue they would do well. I don't believe anyone will lose office (except maybe in a specific district here and there) because of the anti-death penalty stance.

It hasn't been tested anywhere for awhile and the numbers are turning against the death penalty. It looks like the perfect wedge issue (along with other social justice issues).


by phatass 2005-03-28 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Death Penalty.
I agree. But the "leadership" seen by Democrats on taking stand does not inspire conflidence.
by risenmessiah 2005-03-28 11:48PM | 0 recs
And the 155 posts of people arguing back and forth above show why we are losing the south.

Let's face it, the "values" of the south are mostly incompatible with the Democratic party.  To win there, southern Democrats have to act like Republicans on social issues (gays, god, and guns), and focus on economic issues alone.  This is mighty difficult, and mainly results in southern and northern Democrats trying to kill each other (while the Republicans win).  I don't know what the solution is.  The only one I can come up with is to fuck the (deep) south, drop gun control, and win the west and maybe peel off a couple border southern states (like Virginia) on being more pro-gun than the other guy, while ignoring the religious whackadoodles.  I can give up gun control, if it means winning a majority of the country (it does) and not having to give anything else up (it does).  I also happen to think it's the right thing to do, both morally and pragmatically speaking, for a variety of reasons that sound vaguely like NRA talking points.

by Geotpf 2005-03-29 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Sigh
The first goal in the South should be to SHOW UP!
Unless the national party makes an honest effort to fight down here and help local parties, well, what do you expect?  We have 50 states to go after, not 20.

And this is why Howard Dean is popular among a lot of Southern Democrats.  They're tired of being ignored. want to f--k the South?
Thanks for treating your fellow Democrats so well.  I know who not to call.

by v2aggie2 2005-03-29 08:01PM | 0 recs
What I mean is
If we are forced to craft our message to please Alabama, we will no longer be Democrats.
by Geotpf 2005-03-30 07:02AM | 0 recs
You are both right
It may be difficult for a national Democratic candidate to please both Massachusetts and Alabama, but that does not mean that we cannot run Democrats for Congress in the South who may be socially conservative, but will vote with the Democrats on fiscal issues.

The irony is that southern Democrats want the support and the infrastructure that the national party can provide, but otherwise they want the national party to stay far, far away so they aren't tarred by association.  However, this is reality, and it seems like Howard Dean gets it, so there should be more of a 50-state presence in the coming years.

by Steve M 2005-03-30 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: You are both right
I said this above, but I will repeat it here:

African-Americans tend to Christian and socially conservative.  Yet they vote overwhelmingly Democratic.  We have spoken to them on economic and race issues, among others.  Why can't we forward the economic case to lower-to-middle income white evangelicals?  It is possible.

As far as Alabama, yes, if you want to frame campaigns from the standpoint of being pro-choice and pro gay-marriage, well, we will lose.
I'm pro-choice and pro gay-marriage, but I'm also a realist.

However, if you truly want to help people from an economic standpoint in Alabama who need it, which I believe is a Democratic value (and the most important value to me, quite frankly), then we should compete and win in Alabama, if not right away.  If the Democratic Party can't get behind this value, then we truly aren't Democrats.  

Finally, speaking as a Kerry-Edwards volunteer in Arkansas (mentioned in my first response in this diary), a lot of folks (myself included) begged the Kerry folks to come and challenge down here.  They wouldn't.

Hence, the following statement from the previous message:

         The irony is that southern Democrats    
         want the support and the infrastructure
         that the national party can provide,
         but otherwise they want the national
         party to stay far, far away so they
         aren't tarred by association.  

should be in reverse.  We fought for Kerry-Edwards in Arkansas, but they did not come on their own to fight here.  This truth cannot be denied.

The true irony is that, in the state that gave the Democratic Party its only 2-term president since FDR, the national party thought that we could not win.  This is a true shame.

by v2aggie2 2005-03-30 07:44PM | 0 recs


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