While Democrats slept...

After the 2004 Republican sweep (seems like a LOT of Republican sweeps lately) there were meetings and conferences and lots and lots of blogosphere discussion about "what are we going to do?" and "Why do we keep getting trounced at the polls?" and we all knew that our message was muddled.

It was a fact then and it is a fact now:  Everyone whether they love them or hate them knows what the Republicans stand for.  And absolutely no one has any idea what the Democrats stand for (as a group, a party).

We were all supposedly working on it back in November and December of 2004.  We were going to hone our message until it was clear and succint and people -- the voters -- would know EXACTLY what it is we stand for.  NOW, here we are a year later and I would argue that not only have we not developed a clear message, but our message is even less clear than EVER.

The very most important and overiding issue is Iraq and it will be in the fall elections.  The Republican's position is clear and unwavering:  "Stay the course!".

The Democrat position is... uh... its...er... ALL OVER THE PLACE!  My position is simple:  Round up our troops and bring them home!  Bring them home!
Thankfully, there are a handful of Dem officeholders who agree with me and have been brave enough to say so.  BUT, there is no way anyone could honestly say the Dems have a clear position.  A handful of Dems in very, very safe seats have been brave enough to call for "Out now" but most are either in the "We need a timetable for success" (meaning troop removal while posturing so that no one can accuse them of "cutting and running")or "Stay the course" camps.

And here's the real scary part:  Despite all of our daydreams of people changing, MOST Americans want "Victory" (whatever that is).  Fortunately, for awhile Bush was doing an awful job articulating his position.  But, as I always suspected and as we've seen borne out in the last few weeks, once Bush and the Repubs went on the offensive PR-wise the polls are moving like crazy in Bush's goofy favor.  But I don't need polls.  I work in a world in which I am in contact with people all day long and I'm telling you -- and this breaks my heart -- the overwhelming majority of American's agree with Bush's position, particularly when he articulates it.

So, here's my question and my worry.  I am always calling for ACTUAL election victories and anything less then that just annoys me (I'm tired of claiming "moral victories" of the "WOW, Hacket only lost by 5 points, now THAT's a moral victory" variety.  The only thing that matters is being in power and being in power requires ACTUALLY winning some elections).  My question is:  JUST WHAT IS OUR AGENDA, OUR PLATFORM GOING TO BE IN THE FALL???

Please understand my question and it's basis. While I love these liberal sites I think there's a bit too much sunshine being falsely shined up each other's asses on here.  I've written before how flabbergasted I was in the fall of 2004 when it was so clear that Bush was going to have no problem beating Kerry that many liberal sites got themselves worked into such a "liberals posting to liberals" lather that people were actually predicting a Kerry LANDSLIDE!  I suspect there are an awful lot of people posting here and on other liberal sites I read that just spend time with fellow liberals and it falsely colors their view resulting in viewing things unrealistically.

Nancy Pelosi recently announced that whatever unified agenda is going to be marketed by the Dems in the fall election it will NOT include a position on Iraq!  What?!  This is crazy and just plain goofy.

Why do we suck at electioneering while the Republicans are so good at it?  Do you see what is going on?  Bush and Rove couldn't have cared less what Bush's approval ratings were in the last few months.  All they care about is keeping power and maybe even increasing it.  Everything in Bush's counteroffensive is timed to peak at election time in Fall of 2006.  AND ITS WORKING!

So first of all, our party is going to campaign for office and it will have NO position on Iraq.  Secondly, there is a huge problem with Iraq.  Especially for me and people who think like me.  Here's the problem: if we ran on an agenda of "Out Now" we would get absolutely trounced, destroyed at the polls.  Yes, "Out Now" is the correct and moral position - but it is very, very unpopular.

Keep in mind at how good Bush and Rove are at manipulating the electorate.  Remember how Bush/Rove used Iraq in the 2002 midterms to gain advantage and more power?  Remember how he did it again in 2004?

Here's is what will be going on in the fall of 2006.  Bush will have manipulated the media into reporting "how well" things are going in Iraq.  Their "democracy" will appear to be working and running things more and more everyday.  Troops will also be coming home (probably in a trickle, but probably quite a few right before the elections).  The overwhelming majority of Americans will LOVE this.  They will feel like we "won" and we didn't "cut and run" all while our troops are coming home.

I know I am asking questions and not positing solutions.  I am frustrated at the seeming lack of answers.  I honestly believe the Reeps will pick up even more seats in the fall and we'll be back to holding "What can the Dems do now" conferences in the aftermath.  I think if we actually run on "Out Now", we lose big.  And if we run on "No Position" we lose big.  AND if we run on "Stay the course" the electorate will decide that they are getting that anyway from the Republicans so why not just vote Republicans - and we lose big.

What are we going to do???  Why are so many of us still giddy from OLD polls supposedly showing Bush in trouble and NOT trying to formulate a plan of attack?

We and the Dem party are sleeping while Bush/Rove are scheming... and we do so foolishly and are risking our country.  What are we going to do?

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I really don't like these hand-wringing posts.
by synthesis 2005-12-20 09:47AM | 0 recs
And I hate losing...
I hate losing and I hate the concept that it is better to chat with each other and pretend everything is going to be fine than to actually do some hard work and develop a comprehensive plan to actually gain political power.

Hand-wringing that leads to positive action and change is far preferable to daydreaming that leads to more of the same:  losing election after election.

by Blue Dreams 2005-12-20 10:25AM | 0 recs
This isn't the whole of the matter, but I am a professional in sales and marketing and I know, in some part, identity will be an issue for current and prospective Donkeys.

Identity in a political party has been clearly marketed to suburban soccer moms, dittohead angry white males and retirees. It doesn't help to characterize all opposition voters as fanatics or dunderheads, because if that's true then they will never be Donkeys. The misplaced loyalty of seemingly ordinary people make up the bloc of voters counted on by the American Fascist Party. Do you really think that all Germans who to some degree liked Hitler were hopeless human wrecks? If you really do, read The Good War, by Studs Terkel.

My first impression of the liberal identity are its great role models. Jefferson. Dewey. Addams (Jane, not Gomez). You know, the people who truly built an exceptional society and broke ground for individual rights and dignity.

The Dems have to find a party of dignity and proud individualism, where people are free to disagree instead of being pounded by the iron fist of the police state. Technology should make us freer not less free. Militarism should always be a last resort and not the first. Free enterprise should always be preferred over government handouts to corrupt monopolies like Halliburton and WalMart.

This branding of the donkey parade just cannot wait until the fall.

by JHGrimson 2005-12-20 10:16AM | 0 recs
Other than some kind of loose We-Sure-Hate-Bush coalition it is VERY unclear just exactly what it is we stand for.
by Blue Dreams 2005-12-20 10:22AM | 0 recs
Horse hockey!
" Everyone whether they love them or hate them knows what the Republicans stand for. "

Yeah, right.

Like right now. Everyone knows that the GOP stands for small government and libertrianism, right?

Except that half the Right is backing Bush's push for dictatorial powers and half is realizing that he has nothing to do with conservative ideology.

I am so sick of this crap. I am sick ot the Thug talking point, I am sick of mainstreamers parroting it, ...


Nobody knows what Republicans stand for. They truly are the nihilists that Jeanine calls them. They believe in nothing, stand for nothing, and remain consistent on nothing.

They change their positions on a myriad of issues like they change their underwear.

Bush just went from denying that he spied on Americans to admitting that he did so. Overnight.

Republicans switch messages every day of the week. Consistent stances have NOTHING to do with their success. In fact, they have proven that a party can change messages by the hour and maintain illusions of steadfastness.

The only consistent things about Republicans are that they serve wealth and attack their enemies like rabid dogs. They stand for themselves. That's about it.

If that is what you understand as having successfully communicated to everyone what they stand for, then you have a different idea of communicating core beliefs than I do.

by Thresholder 2005-12-20 10:44AM | 0 recs
Actually, you make my point...
You are CORRECT, what people think the Repubs stand for is false.  But, people still believe it and can articulate it.  Ask people what the Repubs stand for and they will... as you did... say something like "Small government, low taxes and a strong national defenses".  Sure it isn't true, but that is hardly the point.

You further make my point by not even attempting to articulate a Democratic position.  No one can sum up simply in one sentence what we supposedly stand for.  One of the problems is that our message IS muddled because as a party we lack consistency.  For example and again... on Iraq, prominnent members of our party have EVERY conceivable position in the spectrum.

I understand your anger because this is extrememly problematic and foretells even MORE trouncings at the polls...

by Blue Dreams 2005-12-20 10:53AM | 0 recs
...this is extrememly problematic and foretells even MORE trouncings at the polls...

Yeah, especially since you're repeating their memes and talking points for them.

Instead of "wringing your hands" as another comment pointed out, why don't you volunteer for a local, statewide, or national candidate for the 2006 and/or 2008 cycles? Turn all that angst into action.

Better yet, why don't you run for precinct/ward committee person? Start the work to change the party into what you want.

If you don't do one or the other or both, you're just blowin' smoke and wasting bandwidth.

Thus endeth the lesson, grasshopper.

by Michael Bersin 2005-12-20 02:27PM | 0 recs
Yeah, that Contract on America said it all...
Yeah, that Contract on America said it all...

You know, ethics, a balanced budget, smaller goverment, well, er...

But they sold it really well...er...

You know, that Frank Luntz really knows his stuff...er...

by Michael Bersin 2005-12-20 02:21PM | 0 recs


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