have in large part been nothing more than enablers of the Bush agenda.
Democrats did it again on the bankruptcy bill and by all apperances are about to compromise their way into even greater contempt but working a deal with the GOP on Bush's extremely ideological judicial nominations.
The democats should be bringing these issues to the floor now, they should have been doing this for the past 4 1/2 years.
Further, Bush is just trying to force his way on some very poor nominees when he has gotten the great majority of his nominees thru.
Bush is willing to destroy everything to get his own way, 100%. You have to stand up to a bully, not give in to him. We need to make the GOP and Bush pay dearly for destroying Senate procedure and just not showing deference for their agenda does not qualify as response in kind, its much too weak a response.
Somehow in the past the Democratic Party actually agreed to the now common "democrat" usage more or less officially.
I also think this came about in the Regean era, not certain of this last point about when it happened.
Of course I agree that this is a slighting of the language, the point inherent in Chris's topic, and the I agree with the other criticisms people have made on this page, but I think some accurae research will show up the Democrats were complicit in this change (stupid as it is).
No economy can sustain the high percentage of imports as a percentage of GNP as we are now sustaining and NOT become an IMPOVERISHED debtor nation.
The negative trade balance and the negative budget deficits are directly related.
As long as companies are allowed to sell into the US market and externalize massive percentages of their costs onto the tax paying public, pay no taxes and pay nothing to help sustain the US infrastrucutre, the US will be in steady economic decline.
Today we personally see the economic impacts of these declines in the unaffordability of health care costs and in the lack job security, tomorrow it will be in the total destruction of the social safety net and in public education. These expenses are fungible in that they can be dferrred or transferred, hense they are the first to be affected.
Another place we see the decline today is in gas prices.
There is more oil on the market than there has ever been. We have no lack of oil supplies, what we have is a falling dollar which raises the cost of gasoline and all energy costs.
China now leads the US in direct foreign investment, despite Greenspan's attempt to attract capital with higher US interest rates. Foreign nations have now decided to diversify their reserve portfolios, this is a long term trend the effects of which will manifest over decades with a constant decline in the US economy.
China will become the leading world economic power, with greater import and export totals than any other nation and yet it will remain an impoverished nation with tens of millions of surplus unemployed, 40 or 50 million will unemployed under their most optimistic economic scenarios.
China and India will absorb every exportable US and European job while remaining impoverished nations.
In the meanwhile we are importing this poverty with our millions of permanently lost jobs, and lost industries.
Poverty in the US has increased every year now for the past four, violence against women, abortions, forclosures and bankruptcies have all steadily increased although the corporate mass media never covers these issues.
The Democratic Party can no longer win national elections since with Clinton's endorsement of NAFTA and MFNTS for China, now that working class people see there is no difference between democrats and republicans in seeing how little they regard the job security of ordinary Americans, the bulk of this former democratic party constituency have redefined themselves around issues like low taxation and morality issues championed by the GOP.
This is the Clinton - Gore legacy.
China sees the US as an inevitable advisary in both the military and economic sense. It has been proven that US currency used to purchase some goods at Wal-Mart go directly to the Chinese military budget. Chinese national industries pay starvation wages to what is by all accounts forced labor for those "Cathy Lee" hadbags you buy for $7.00 and the rest of what now floods the US market. It has been confirmed that China kills healthy prisoners to harvest their organs for sale in the internation marketplace for human organs;
There was a neocon event broadcast on C-SPAN this week end one of the main speakers was William Kristol.
My point is that post 9/11 what do we Democrats have for a consistent unifying vision for national foreign affairs?
Take a look at this blog and others similar, they are mostly about domestic issues. And when Democrats are called on in the media to comment on these topics there is no distinctly identifiable Democratic vision / perspective. Just Democratic comments in the wake of the NEO CON capture of the iniative, with Bush's support of their views.
Its also fair to say that the non - neo con GOP agenda (isolationism tendancy) is also dead post 9/11.
Sorry to dissapoint you - your right. Good points.
And the senators you cite, Feinstein, Biden, Clinton, Kerry, Lieberman are the ones getting the majority of the mainstream media coverage (espcially on foreign affairs) because they can be counted on to undermine the more liberal democratic party perspective.
Reid, I am just not certain of in this respect but Pelosi, and Harman the same.
Think about how influential Jon Stewart is and think about how effective comedy or even ridicule can be in forming public opinion. Is there a specific well planed out overall thematic approach to the Daily Show? Yet the studies I have heard of say that people who watch (including absent other input) tend to be better informed on a factual basis than the average cable news TV viewer. I'm not saying an overall communications stratagy should not be mapped out - it should indeed be mapped out and to create a narrative you have to know the CW about how the dialog will develop. You then take factual points you need to plant which can be made irrefutable by the sort of visual associate message and show them repeatedly. The greater world view will build itself in the minds of the audience. You don't need to and probably can't ever take on the job of doing all the thought for those people and then hand it to them in a format suitable for the systematic-analytic thinkers. It will not be effective.
I honestly respect the intellectual validity of all of your points and of all the other contributors to this page.
Your all making good points, but they you have to start recognizing that much of this is just more of the same "over-intellectualizing" to put the original analysis in perspective.
We can't solve all of these problems at once, but using the assoicative narrative visual (non-text) approach even piece meal will tend to build a compositve world view over time, even if we do one issue camplaigns.
Have some faith that even if the sequential and linear thinkers do not formally use the more analytical systematic form of thought they will still tend to be influenced into a world view comensurate with the formal systematically lead conclusions, with the right series of associative, narrative visual fact based documentaries. Better yet, they will all tend to believe the overall conclusions are all of their own independent "thought", and not the result of a specific thematic propaganda effort to that effect, which is something they would inherently distrust in that sort of format and approach.
Paul, while I agree with your statements, I feel that the most productive approach for getting the progressive message across would be the simplified associative illustrated narrative.
Example, we progressives advocate more spending to counter the effects of poverty abroad, while conservatives are always saying we Americans are the most generous people in the world, etc. Studies show that the average American has a highly inflated view of the level of foreign aid in the US budget.
So as a means of promoting the progressive agenda into a popular culture that tends to simplify all issues into a sequential and assoicative frame, would be to show graphically in a documentary non-analytical format the effects of poverty on people and how little money it would take to alieviate the suffering and death. And to show the good work "liberal" identified organizations are accomplishing in the real world. And in the narrative of the documentary we have to repeat many times over the actual figures for total US aid, and state actual percentages of the total budget, etc., as we show the real world day to day consequences of poverty and the lack of aid.
Its is a genuine shame that while we progressives really care about these issues and this is an important part of our agenda, it is the right wing with their religous organization charities which gather them the image of being more charitable and involved with these issues.
We have to start understanding when we argue and debate for increased spending on foreign aid in the budget and publically criticise Bush/GOP for cutting that aid, it simply does not have the same effect. Blog or traditional print media articles and public debates on the issue simply don't get us that traction. We can criticise Bush / GOP / RWNs till we are blue in the face for promising aid and not delivering it (Bush - AIDS / Affrica), but it will never have the effect on public opinion that a simple, direct, associative, illustrated narrative series of reports or video documentaries could have.
For example, I live in California. A lot of people forget that CA used to be a major oil producer. When my family moved here there were giant oil tanks downtown, not just ugly, but a continuing health and serious hazard which caused the shutdown of a 60 million dollar shool construction project just a few years ago, although the oil fields under the property were shut down many decades ago and there was suppossed to have been a cleanup.
CA also has oil dereks off of Santa Barbera and San Louis Obispo, an ugly site, a continuing source of polutiuon, and they smell real bad all the time too.
The point is about LA; just because a state is an oil producer doen't excuse them from thinking logically about where oil production should be and where it should not be.
It should not be despoiling beautiful areas like Santa Barbera or the CA central coast. It should not be done in down-town LA near millions of people.
Oil production should also not be done in Anwar.
Besides, I am sure that you know that;
anwar will have zip near term impact and little to no long term impact, so its not going to affect the price of gas or home heating oil anywhere including ALA and HI.
Drilling in anwar is a very bad idea environmentally
its not a solution to our near term or long term energy needs
Further, I am not going to excuse any democrat for any bogus inexcuasble vote and any vote which supports the Bush GOP agenda at all in the slightest.
No forgiveness, no excuses, no tomorrow.
I am finished with these corporate sell-outs and lying ass-hole bastards.
It has come time for people to wake up and smell the stinking oil pit motivations of BushCo.
We are not living in normal times and what is happening in our government is seriously wrong, the country is headed in the wrong direction across the board AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS BECOME A MAJOR PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION.
We can't reason with these bastards we have to get rid of them.
With Democrats like these, and votes like this one, the Democratic Party has no right to exist and has no legitimate claim for support.
The time has come for the members of the public who care about opposing the Bush-GOP agenda to go nuclear against these sell-outs. These votes are in-excusable, and I am fed up with the idea that we should forgive them for their occasional transgressions, that day is long gone.
I can't vote against senators not in my state, but I can with hold support for the Democratic Party on these grounds and that is exactly what I am going to do. I can give limited support to worthy third party candidates who run against them.