After reviewing my argument, I have to admit I didn't make a whole lot of sense with the "war" and "Patriot Act" examples. Teach me to post under conditions of severe sleep deprivation.
However, I think my last point still stands. Democrats in general, as well as progressives, have problems. Given our current situation, it's not all that fair to condemn DC Dems for everything they do "wrong", since a great deal of it results from the demands of self-preservation under very hostile conditions.
Yes, things need to change, in DC and out. But one thing that won't help that situation at all is an ideologically-pure circular firing squad.
We need to stop the bleeding first, then consider any purges that need to be done (with the exception of Lieberman, IMHO).
I didn't say they were "sell-outs" but rather showed how your our rationalization doesn't work.
That's fine -- I took your response as a defense of the prior poster's characterization.
Even so, I think that citing the war or the Patriot Act (a couple of the biggies those who love to call Dems "sell-outs" use) are themselves problematic if trying to make the case that Democrats are sell-outs. Considering the situation, the Senate Dems voting for those things were rather understandable, even if they should have taken a principled stand otherwise.
And part of that situation is the fact that Dems, and progressives in general, have problems, not just those in DC. We've been totally defensive for far too long.
and in the meantime, our only chance for taking the country back from those who not only sell out, but are actively making the problem worse (e.g. the wingnuts), slips through our fingers.
None of this (the war, the Patriot Act, you name it) would have happened with a Democratic majority, made up as it would be of people like those you now consider sell-outs. Anyone who says differently doesn't have the best interests of this country and its people first.
Are they too scared to fight? Yep. But that just means we have to do the job ourselves. I'm NOT leaving this country in the hands of those who have already done so much damage.
Republicans always outraise us. We're getting much better, but clearly aren't there, yet.
The key isn't getting Rahm to say the right thing. The key is an effective Democratic/progressive money infrastructure (sans the GOP money laundering details) that can funnel money where it's needed, regardless of whether a given Democratic official says the right thing on a given issue.
We really need to get over the idea that holding back our money or our support is a "punishment" for Democratic officials when they say the wrong thing on a given topic. We've been doing that for decades, and look where we are. We need to think bigger picture, if any of us are going to get what we want. And that starts with riding it out when someone says something dumb.
It's important to remember that we haven't lost all of the recent elections. Remember Tim Kaine? And there have been others that we've won when we weren't supposed to.
It's possible that the Rodriguez campaign simply wasn't a good one. It's also possible that Cuellar is simply a very popular guy in his district, and a photo with Bush isn't going to do any damage. Finally, perhaps it just wasn't enough to have the netroots et al on one side and an incumbent on the other from the same party.
We really need to remember that this wasn't truly a Dem-vs. Republican matchup that would have leveraged the current public dissatisfaction with Bush and the GOP. Rather, it was a primary, one in which many voters probably didn't see a whole lot of reason to get off their asses and oppose the incumbent.
I would like to know, however, where things fell through when it came to the ground game, particularly GOTV.
The thing is, with a history of blatant, obvious election fraud in Webb, surely forewarned is forearmed? Our side has transparency, but how do we stop Webb from mysteriously finding lots of imaginary votes and swinging things?
...now we need the second half of the equation: voters need to see Dems as the solution to the problem.
I'm not saying that they're NOT the solution. I'm saying that, in 1994, voters heard the GOP promising that things would be better under them, and laying out concrete steps they'd take to do that.
So, we need to make sure voters get the message that voting for Democrats is a solid, concrete step towards improving things in their lives. Otherwise, the GOP will do what it did in 2004: sell voters on the idea that the devil they know is better than the one they don't.
After the last two years, any Democrat should know that Adam Nagourney's M.O. is to create stories that depict the Democrats as divided and pessimistic.
This isn't an unknown. He loves doing that kind of thing, and has done it again and again and again (and again).
I don't know if the Democratic Party has overarching PR outlines that are given to various party leaders, but if not they need to be, and they need to include "when speaking with Adam Nagourney of the New York Times, project internal party confidence or say nothing at all." These should be reinforced by funding decisions.
I won't go so far as to say Nagourney is a GOP flack, but he sure loves "handwringing" stories, and the Democrats are all too often eager to oblige.
The quote you cite isn't bad at all, and the average person reading that will come away from it with the sense that Democrats are taking over the mantle of character and ethics.
The Nagourney piece overall isn't good as far as portrayal of Democrats is concerned. But you already nailed the reason for it: we've long known that Nagourney's stock in trade is the writing and publishing of "handwringing Democrats" pieces. It's his specialty. The only comments Democrats should ever have to Nagourney are confident comments.
No Dem should "open up" to Nagourney. He happily twists anything told to him into a "Democrats see themselves as doomed" story.
Let the Republicans talk to Nagourney about how screwed the GOP is. Democrats should either paint confidence or not comment, period.
...is a concerted effort to set up dedicated blogs for every House and Senate race in 2006. Every district should be represented, and the authors should all be networked with one another.
The authors of those blogs should also network with existing blogs, such as the authors of MyDD and Markos of dKos. And they should, as soon as time and schedule allows, get in touch with the local candidates and local party offices and officers.
Some things would need to be hashed out in terms of FEC rules, of course. However, I'd really like to see tremendous coordination between local blogs, local races, and national blogs and national organizations (like DCCC and DSCC).
Add to the above: use our own ballot initiatives; put time and effort into stopping GOP ballot initiatives, where possible; and be prepared for the standard deck of GOP tricks like last-minute robo-calls misinforming people of polling places, robo-calls, push-polls and direct mail with lies, email campaigns of lies, the use of blogs to spread anonymous smears, phone-jamming, other forms of election fraud...you get the picture.
They're clever little cheaters, but the thing is, what they do isn't really anything new.
We need to have our act together regarding targeting of potential voters. We need to be organized with our GOTV efforts, as well as distribution of campaign material and talking points.
I think it would also be worthwhile to investigate several tactics designed specifically to counter GOP dirty tricks. Among these tactics would be to send people to churches with tape recorders, the aim being to get material to publicize/forward to the FEC and IRS. It's really past time to put a stop to the GOP's politicization of churches.
I would also like to see real efforts put into organized micro-targeting of various voter demographics.
I believe they're going to do a gay marriage redux. Look for ballot initiatives across the country.
Might be good to do everything we can to fight those initiatives getting on the ballots in the first place, or add ones of our own to motivate our base (e.g. right to privacy issues).
This isn't 2002, just after 9/11. Still, they WILL use their tried-and-true formula for hyper-motivating the religious right base to go to the polls through the churches and ballot initiatives, and they will go door-to-door making their pitches to "Republican leaners".