Today, we evidently had Pat Robertson hating on Bush over the Phone Records Scandal.
Robertson's an evil loon. But that doesn't mean we can't use him to hurt the GOP, and I applaud Dean for trying.
Many of these people are among the most easily-confused people in the country, and the reason they vote so solidly pro-GOP is that they never hear anything but one message. Throw another one into the mix, and it's like scattering sheep.
a vote is a vote. We all talk about how we don't want such and such on our side, but on election day, the only thing that matters is how many votes we get, and how few they get. No, I don't think Dems should be willing to do anything for a vote. But I hardly think going on the 700 Club and courting the few more moderate types who might be watching counts as "being willing to do anything". And yes, I personally know of a 700-Club-watcher type who votes Democratic.
Furthermore, I disagree strongly that Dean going on 700 Club stirs up the GOP base. If he can sow confusion among a lot who never hears anything but the GOP message, then that will help us, not hurt.
I'm glad he clarified, too. But for the record, if Dean can convince certain of Bush's nutcase base not to care about going to the polls (because "they're all the same"), then more power to him. It's high time we undercut the GOP's ability to motivate religious loons into voting to save the country from "the gay agenda".
From what I've seen of him in the past, I've never felt Dean was against equal rights for gays.
That's a common malady among the hard-line left (and right, for that matter). It's the same sort of thinking that led to Nader 2000.
None of this is an issue of differences in philosophy -- I would imagine most of us here are ardently pro-choice. This is an issue of strategy. And I think you're absolutely right on about this, Chris.
One of the main reasons progressives have been losing over the years has been a clear inability to match a good philosophy with good strategy. Too often, that good philosophy went along with an attitude of moral purity and conceit, instead.
To your excellent writeup above, I'd add that if you're going to change a party that is in the grips of consultants that get paid and get work win or lose, the last thing you want to do is to try to "teach them a lesson" by helping them lose again.
There is one, and only one, way to work to change the party: 1) push for party electoral success and 2) work to change it from within.
There are several ways of compromising progressive principles. One is to hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. A worse one is to help, actively or passively, the GOP retain control of Congress.
Because as bad as you seem to think Bob Casey is, he'll vote for a Democratic leader of the Senate. and that does far more to promote progressive principles, including a woman's right to choose, than a protest vote against Bob Casey.