Every single vote (even the "small" votes) that come up in congress provide an opportunity for democrats to express their vision and to define what they stand for.
But what have democrats been doing?
No dicipline, half or more vote for the Bush - GOP - copnservative agenda nearly every single time because they are afraid to stand up to the opposition. They are afraid of being called obstructionists or they are afraid of being called un-patriotic by the gop.
But if the democrats can define a vision and apply it to EVERY SINGLE VOTE that comes up in congress AND if they they can enforce some significant degree of parlimentary discipline, only then will will they start to earn back some of the respect they have universally lost.
Without this degree of unity on large and small issues, democrats will continue to be held up as a prime example of opportunism and as having no principles that guide them.
The right vision will be one that attracts support from the lost constiuencies that have re-defined themselves with repsect to the gop narrative Chris described.
constituencies around our narrative, not adopt theirs and compromise on issues so we can appeal to the "middle".
And this is exactly why when democrats vote for the Bush gop conseratvie agenda they pound more nails into to Democratic party coffin, even when the vote is appaently on minor issues.
We have to redefine everything we do in terms of our narrative and our values and show everyone how immpossible it is to go along with their policies, nominess and definitions.
Our side is afraid of being called obstructionists, but that can only be done when the democratic party has no expressed oppossing vision that it is offering that it is - as a unified party adhering to.
Distortion in CNN/USA Today story and further reported by AP:
The distortion is that CNN claims Bush has made headway in selling his SS plan, based on their poll results among those who watched the SOTU address, but CNN fails to point out that by a wide margin, the lowest number of Democrats and Independent watched that address in decades. The majority of SOTU viewers were GOP and Bush supporters, most everyone else is tuning Bush out.
"Bush appears to have made some headway. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that 66 percent of people who watched his State of the Union speech said his Social Security proposals will move the country in the right direction. That's up from 51 percent of Americans surveyed before the speech. Three in four said Bush made a "convincing case" that the government needs to take action in the next couple of years to change the system."
That Bush is a real uniter. Count me among the many who were unable to watch: Typically, presidential speech watchers disproportionately identify with the party of the president. Last night, the imbalance in favor of the president's party was by more than a two-to-one ratio, with 52% of viewers Republicans and 25% Democrats. Another 22% identified as independents.
That difference of 27 percentage points between Republicans and Democrats compares with 20 points last year, 12 points in 2003, and 25 points in 2002, shortly after 9/11. Among those who watched Clinton's speeches, Democrats outnumbered Republicans by margins that ranged from 7 to 15 percentage points. When former President George H.W. Bush gave his last State of the Union address in 1992, Republicans outnumbered Democrats in the post-speech poll by just six percentage points, 37% to 31%.
I think this is welcome news. The more we start to tune people like Bush out, the better off we will be.
Democrats :: Thu Feb 3rd, 2005 at 01:28:32 PM EST :: 15 Comments, 15 new "
This is a fine discussion to have but ultimately we have to get to some reflection on current issues which will motivate constituencies to vote.
Hopefully moving in that direction, I would point out that liberalism is expansive and optimistic in the sense of policies that enable personal liberty, while conservatism is contractive and fear based in terms of reference to religous strictures and social conformity in behaviour.
Liberalsim has supported the movement towards expanding the role and influence of labor in society, while conservatism of course stives to concentrate power into the very highest layer of social organizations - specifically business.
Liberalism strives (deliberately interviens) to make every member of society productive and fully self realized while conservatism supports social darwinism and non-intervention into the processes which concentrate power and influence among the rich and powerful.
Liberaism has a higher moral standard more in line with what western christian religon is suppossed to be about, while conservatism has urserped the moral high ground in the US media via the "right to life" issue.
Proof that in US society popular media and politics have it totally upside down - conservatives are indifferent to the deaths of 100,000 Iraqi - yet the US meida allows them to claim the moral high ground using the justification of the lies about the attack on 9/11.
This is a complex point and can't be easily conveyed, but we will have to move beyond the deep roots into specific policies and how they are protrayed in popular culture - in terms of specific policies to make any real progress along these lines
It would be very transofrmational if we could have access to all of this information about who can attend, and all of the W questions about the Democratic Party meetings.
It seems clear that some embedded people do not want the access to be as open to those of us who do want change in the party, this probably includes those in the party infrastructure and in the media which does such a rotten job of covering the democratic party.
As in other mydd coverage today, I believe the Washington DC Democratic Party and office holders are one faction at the root of those who are killing this party, they muct be deposed.
When there is surplus labor and no multi-national coordinated attempts to develop economies, the LOGICAL outcome is a cut throat race to the bottom where both economies decline. China and India have the labor capacity to absorb every exportable job in both the US and Eurpoe and still have surplus millions unemployed.
If you had read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins you would not be nursing those free-market illusions about how multi-national economics are actually viewed by those with the power to make things happen.
As Dean says we need to develop a supportive multi-national environment for labor, but at the moment we are a long way off from that goal.
Its not ok with me for ANYONE think its acceptable to be a democrat and anti-labor.
That concept is at the very roots of why the democratic party is dying.
BTW, Rendell is NOTHING BUT a complete SOB.
And Clinton has done incalculable damage to the democratic party. If we do not depose the clintonites and the DLC, the democratic party is finished.
Unions rules would always be reasonable in a economy where unions and laborers were not under constant attack by big corporations and government, so the complaints about the seemingly inflexible or unreasonable union rules do not start with the original cause for them.
The people who want to do away with unions and do away with a social safety net and do without a woman's right to choose should take another look (or likely take a first look) at real American history and see what society was like before these progressive changes were put into place.