Thankfully, it's not as simple as the democrats being in power. We are at the dawn of a new era. The social mood has swung to our side. Democrats are energized, and are starting to believe that we can compete in every arena, including the money arena. Republicans, on the other hand, are having a hard time justifying maintaining their present spending level, let alone increasing. This has to do with strength of support, rather than numbers. While the number of Bush supporters hovers around 35%, this support is less than enthusiastic. It's one thing to voice support, and maybe vote; it's entirely different to commit money. If we play our cards right (meaning pouncing on the opponents, rather than lazily riding the wave) we can attain a solid Democratic majority for a generation.
It's time to take advantage of this approval and write your Senators and Representative urging them not to back down to Bush on the supplementary funding bill. The pundits are trying hard to paint this situation as a high risk for the democrats, appearing to not "support the troops." My representative, Jason Altmire (PA-4) was surprised by the supportive correspondence he received as a result of his support for the timeline. Let's face it, these people want to get re-elected, and it's incumbent upon us to show them where the majority stand. The beltway monkeys sure won't report on it, because they are clueless as to the national political climate.
This may have been the best post I've ever read. Idealistic and realistic at the same time, it effectively sums up problems of the US government in as few words as possible. Some may criticize some of the specifics, but it would take a long book to cover the intricacies of all of the issues that you addressed. Well done!
Don't jump to conclusions yet; it's early. Look where the "special" campaigns ended up in 2004. I agree that the netroots people are a big part of the equation now, but not the only part. I still think that, for now, Edwards has the winning message. A lot can change in the next two years, however.
This is the start of a new progressive era, and it is starting here, and at many other progressive blogs. Legislators are very good at getting re-elected, and most do not lead; they follow. For the past 25 years, the republican message machine has been very effective at convincing the American public that most were to the right of center. While their positions on issues weren't, in most cases their votes were. They were aided in this endeavor by the inside the beltway pundit class. By effectively using the internet, our message is being heard, and we are only at the beginning of the transformation. It took me a long time to decide to blog, because I believed that these blogs were only people of like ideologies venting; more or less a support group. I finally realized that by participating, we are one by one reaching the disaffected and those on the fence. Just look at voter turnout in 2006 among democrats and youth. This insidious movement was not inconsequential in Pelosi's election as speaker. This never could have happened in 2002. I really believe that we are witnessing something big.
I, too, was a Dean supporter in 2004. I like Obama, and will vote for him if he gets the nomination, but I think Edwards this time is the real thing. He is proposing the right policies, he has the right message, and he is extremely effective at framing the issues. Framing, while in my mind being the least important aspect of a candidate, is the tool that gets a candidate elected. The majority of voters, unfortunately, make decisions on sound bites or the "beer" test.
I believe that Edwards is both effective and sincere, and will do everything I can to elect him.
Edwards is the man. He has the progressive polulist message that America is ready for. He will be more than a match for Clinton, Gore, or Obama. I like Obama and Gore, but Edwards will put together the right combination of message and organization ot do the job. Obama has a good message, but I would be surprised if he puts together the right team. Gore is experienced, and has access to all the right people, but I am still skeptical that he will be able to counter the hardball tactics that will inevitably come. I still remember his inability to counter a deserter who mocked him for "inventing the internet.", even though he was, in fact, integral to its development. Hillary is out, simply because her war stance alienated her progressive base, the only base she ever had, or will ever have.
How can you say the field is weak at this point in time. I'll give you Clinton; but We don't know enough about Obama or Vilsack yet, Edwards, in spite of the fact that he pissed you off, is potentially a winner, and there are a number of others that have yet to declare. If we start talking about the "weak field" like we did last time, we play right into McCain's, Giuliani's, etc. hands. Last time I looked, Jesus christ wasn't available, so we're stuck with some good but imperfect candidates, all one million percent better than the best the reps have to offer.
No question he should run. He has the message! The populist two americas theme will put him over the top. There are a number running who undoubtedly would be good as president, but none would be better. Getting back to the message, one must win before he/she can govern, and Edwards has the right message at the right time. He'll beat Clinton, because she turned away from her progressive base; the only base she had. Obama looks good but still is too much of an unknown. He'll beat McCain because he turned away from his moderate base (although he has never really been a moderate, he played one on TV). Giuliani, a potentially strong general election candidate, will never get through the republican primaries. I'd love it if the Reps ran Brownback, probably the easiest rep. to beat now except for W. That's about it for now. Someone will likely come from nowhere, but today Edwards is it, even though the premature polls don't show it yet.
I'm a 51 year old bald guy, so I don't pretend to know what makes young voters tick, except for what my sons tell me. I have 5 sons and stepsons in the 24-27 age range. One is in the military, and all of the other 4 have been uninsured at some point in time, and all are making entry level salaries. With the exception of one, who is of the fundamentalist persuasion (not the military guy), the republican message just doesn't resonate. While the dems can, and I believe will, do more to earn their votes long term, republican podcasts will not be the miracle solution. In the end, peer to peer communication of a message that resonates (based on policies that are beneficial to them) is the best way to win over voters of any age. We won the last election because our ground game caught up to that of the republicans, along with the fact that we had a populist message. If we deliver on what we promised and continue to improve on our reaching out to young voters, we can be the majority party for a generation.
I agree that getting rid of him would be a good move, but we also have an opportunity to increase our majority by doing more of the same in 2008. If we can pick up 5 more seats, Max will have less ability to stop the agenda. If we keep the populist message, and avoid the pitfall of wedge issues, we can do this.
I'm in Butler County, PA, north of Pittsburgh. We had roughly 20% of total voters in a number of precincts by noon, and it's been steady since. Looking good here , too. Let's hope it's the pissed off vote. I think it is.