we haven't done a good job at all of framing bush's actions as the class warfare they are intended to be.
Bush's policies help the rich and shift the burden onto the lower and middle classes.
When Bush said today that he would keep unlimited economic loss in his medical malpractice, while slashing emotional damage, who wins?
rich people benefit, because they are the only ones who need "unlimited economic damages", while poor people are the ones who get the seemingly "unfair" emotional damages.
We lost framing Bush's tax cut. Many blue collar folks who got $300 in the mail once loved the tax cuts, while they got screwed, and the upper class got all the money in the long-run.
Social security "reform" gives more to those who pay more in taxes and less to those that scrape by on minimum wage.
Maybe you feel like you are voting against your self-interest... I personally feel like paying more taxes, and not shifting the burden to the poor is the right thing to do.
I feel like we need a DNC chair that doesn't want to use bible verses to frame every bill we propose. I want to show people that they're being fooled by the right-wing noise machine into voting for scare issues, while the GOP robs them blind.
Bush won about half of the votes from people without any college education, almost all of these people voted against their own economic self-interest.
Do you have a distinct strategy to appeal to these voters? Can we still win this group decisively with economic appeals or do we have to compromise on guns, gays, or abortion to win or do we just write this group off as draw?
I'm as big of an opponent of this war as anyone...but what should liberals do?
The chance to stop this war ended when democrats decided in masse to support the war. Once we fell off that cliff, we have no choice, but to make the best effort possible in Iraq.
The problems in Iraq have been made possible by the security vaccuum, and US forces are just about the only thing filling the vaccuum. the differrent groups of Iraq distrust each other as much as they distrust us. civil war may be avoided, but is inevitable, if we leave. the iraqi government would be horrible at counterinsurency once we leave. I am holding at hope that a velvet split a la czechoslavakia once the region stabilizes.
I think we should raise a chorus of i told you so's, and work to prevent another preemptive war.
The Soviet Union fell apart due to internal problems. Their system of governing/economy just didn't work well, and the government in power was ousted. U.S.'s role in their downturn was minimal in my opinion.
do you really want to act like we have given up on cooperating without giving it a chance? of course, the minority leader of the senate isn't going to be standoffish before the fight begins. We don't want to be blamed for Republican failures. We act like we wish to dance now, and then we blame them later for starting the fight. I think he's just being shrewd. That being said..
what about the conflict of interest on filibustering conservative justices for the supreme court? Is Reid really gonna stay in the trenches and fight a potential Bush appointee. It sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
the point is that joe public doesn't make foreign policy. Experts do. They sit in their think tanks and battle it out. Only domestic issues are decided at the ground level. The only time the public gets involved is in the reactionary/appraisal phase. What specific foreign policy prescriptions have ever been presented to the public? Even more narrowly, what policy prescriptions have ever been supplied to a non-crisis situation, as your alternative foreign policy addresses? Sure CATO, the Brookings Institute, and all the rest go at it back and forth all the time, but the public just doesn't get it. If you want a non-reactive voice on foreign policy, activism isn't the answer. Academia (or the doctoral products of it) and elected office are the only ways to prescribe foreign policy. We must be prepared to take advantage of the reactionary anger that is coming against the president. We can not create a target for the president to deride as even worse than his failures.
We should be focused on the broadest strokes we can find; a mantra that we can brand as our own. We need a conception that will be bolstered by every piece of news people hear. Don't think of what I said as a real policy prescription. It's just a slogan, maybe not even a good one. But we need some type of slogan.
It's like calling yourself pro-family. Does that make your opponent anti-family? no, but a bunch of voters will think of it that way. when they hear news about an issue they don't like that hits a "family" chord in them, they want to vote for the "pro-family" party even more. We need to become America's "good" foreign policy party.
First, if this party becomes hawkish at an activist level, at its ideological roots, i'm out of here. I'd rather throw away my vote to the green party, than vote for a party trying to outdo the Republicans in making the world one giant machine gun nest. If we run a war hawk for president, you can come by and visit me at the get Nader on the ballot petition drive. now onto the substance of the issues....
II. Intervention is not a panacea
Force doesn't work, and most of our interventions haven't really worked. Propping up a government or knocking another one out of power rarely makes the situation any better, and only sometimes does the situation look more "American", after we left. I'm not going to go to deeply into history here. How many times must the use of force fail to graft American ideals onto another society before we give up on it?
Many liberals are stuck with the notion that having the most powerful military means that we can go in a put the powerful (or in many cases the entire citizenry) at gunpoint and order them to obey our will so that they become happy, enlightened, etc. They don't. Imagine a world where we are the society that the rest of the world says is backward. Their righteousness leads them to eliminate our democracy, freedoms, etc. and put in a hand picked council of theocratic rulers consisting of Christians who are most compatible with Osama Bin Laden's version of Islam. They dutifully put Jerry Falwell, Sen. Santorum, Sen. Vitter (LA), and Ted Nugent on the ruling council. They stay for a while...then they leave and expect the us to live happily like they do. Then we overthrow the extremists and the country is riled in chaos for decades and decades. That's how absurd it looks in the countries we do this for. With the still uncertain exception of Afghanistan, look at the Iranian shah, South Vietnam, Haiti, most of central America, Somalia. It's a joke.
III. Ugh, those policy alternatives sound like a disaster.
As far a the reccommendations for a new democratic foreign policy...i'm thinking huh??? the two big ones would be a diaster...with the last one being a close third.
So once we've pissed off Saudi Arabia, and China... we would then sock it to the Pakistanis. NK would become an ally with that crowd obviously. With the Saudis now on the other side, any Middle Eastern moderation towards Israel would disappear. Assuming Iraq continues to go badly, I can't really see a pro-American government being elected there. Now that the world is completely geographically polarized (minus India which would be forced to get close to us), the oil consuming half must rely on the oil producing half.
IV. My solution
I think the point that is being missed is that, foreign policy specifics rarely impact politics. We need to work to create broad brush strokes of foreign policy, and point out the real failures of the Bush foreign policy. I think a NASA-esque strategy of:
Smart Strong Steadfast
There is no argument against this strategy...but at the same time as the party out of power, we can point out places where the Bush administration fails this motto.
If there is a blunder somewhere, we claim that Bush's policy isn't smart. They don't plan enough, they dont look at their options.
If we have to pullout, because we are losing somewhere (like the first try in Falluja), we say they aren't steadfast.
When they get accused by some general of not giving enough attention to some aspect of the war on terror we claim that they aren't strong.
Every error fits into the theme, and the theme can not be criticized. If every democratic politician just start repeating smart, strong, and steadfast in every foreign policy comment, America will get the point. We have to weave their failures into a narrative. We don't have to become hawks.
Imagine if we had an election, where the vote diffence was like 60 votes. It would be like Florida in 2000, except instead of recounting a few counties, everyone would want every county counted. National media could not cover everything. Accountability would be almost non-existent. The election would be a complete mess, and frankly there would be NO easy way to resolve it. Unlike in Florida, where only 15% of the country felt the election was a cheated, any outcome of the nation-wide recount would be dubious.
Maybe we could change the rural bias and make electoral votes based on House members instead of house plus senate. That would be fine in my opinion and definitely more fair.
If we could ever get fair ditricting you could give each Congressional district one EC vote, but i think partisan line drawing is bad enough already. Giving the extra incentive of gerry-mandering the way to the presidency would be an unitigated disaster.
Once you've screwed, you're already screwed. Of course you would shoot a terrorist in the knee to save New York. Heck, i'd shoot anyone in the knee to stop a nuclear bomb from going off almost anywhere.
The problem is that this situation is a fake setup. We're so busy shooting detainees in the knee for no reason that no one wants to dedicate the resources to help us. If we stopped abusing people in Guantanamo and Abu Gahrid, we might get the type of intelligence help mentioned above. The conception that some force is necessary in some extreme is a false justification for the force used in much more mundane situations. This is the type of mind game used to justify the war hawk position and poke fun at the doves.
Stop falling for it!
The extension of the logic in this mind game to international affairs is why we are the target of terrorists today. If we weren't so quick to justify the aggressive use of force, no one would be callling us the great Satan and be plotting to kill us. I'm not "blaming America first", I'm blaming war hawks in America second. Right after the terrorists themselves.
Many of the posts have taken my post out of context. I am not speaking on the issues. I am speaking about how the issues play with the public. I, like most of you, think that the lawsuits Edwards pursued were legitimate, necessary, and not ambulance chasing. My point is that it just doesn't matter. The public isnt going to dig into it in the same manner that we will. The disctinction between a legitimate and illegimate lawsuit is immaterial. If they can make high casualty rate Swift boat duty on the rivers of Vietnam into a major campaign weakness and sign of cowardice, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and injury lawsuits will be a slamdunk. I don't want to send another candidate up to the stump to get slaughtered by the engines of deception that are the Republican party. We're not going to be dealing with a Jim Bunning campaign staff in 2008. It's going to be Karl Rove and the rest of his death squad.
We need someone without a past that will be become fodder for the right-wing spin machine. We need someone with a bit of a track record, but not enough to really attack. Barack Obama is charismatic, a good empathisizer, and most importantly he lacks the experience that makes the right-wing lie machine move. He's been a teacher at U-Chicago and a state senator. He's not even a millionaire...what a surprise, I haven't seen one of those mentioned in a while for a high office.
I know many people have angrily agreed with me that lawyering is a worthy profession...but here are some stats from Gallup...i should've put these in the normal post. Again, these are not my opinions, but the public's opinions. If we were all the kings and queens of America, they wouldn't matter.
Question: qn14o_FormB Field Date: 7/5/2002-7/8/2002
[SPLIT SAMPLE] For each of the following groups, please tell me whether most of the people in them can be trusted or that you can't be too careful in dealing with them? How about -- Lawyers?
Mean: N/A Total N: 515
1 Most can be trusted 25.35 131
2 Can't be too careful 70.08 361
3 OTHER/DEPENDS (VOL.) 2.74 14
4 DON'T KNOW 1.66 9
5 REFUSED 0.17 1
Percent saying profession has high or very high ethical standards:
Medical Doctors : 67% 5th /21
Lawyers: 18% 19th /21
Question: qn8 Field Date: 1/20/2003-1/22/2003
Do you think patients bring -- [Form A: Read 1-3; Form B: Read 3-1] -- Too many, About the right amount, or Too few -- lawsuits against doctors?
Mean: 2.47 Total N: 1007
3 Too many 56.88 573
2 About the right amount 22.61 228
1 Too few 13.14 132
4 DON'T KNOW 7.30 74
5 REFUSED 0.06 1
if you want any evidence that Dean isn't about to drive us off a cliff, check out what these conservatives are saying about him. All this talk about Dean as threat to the Democratic majority is dumb. When they talk about Hillary, they can't wait to run against her, but Dean seems to inspire respect of a worthy opponent.
wrong. these left wing "special interests" are the base of the democratic party. We don't live in this fantasy world. You are proposing political expediency. The difference between a policy stance and a policy position are lost on me. I don't want a party full of bumper sticker positions.
on a seperate note:
Market reforms are a bad idea. Market forces aren't the be all end all conservatives make them out to be. Just because you couch it in the terms of conservative trust of the common man doesn't mean it is a good idea. On the contrary, market forces of staple services like healthcare and education only open people up to exploitation. Its a system that works. We used to have market forces in these industries. Just think of the turn of the century, two centuries ago, before public education and widespread healthcare.
We have already won the most important part of the Iraq war. We have knocked Saddam Hussein out of power. His dictatorship is no longer a potential threat to America. That's the beginning and the end of it for many neocons. This is not partisan posturing, but instead a well-developed perspective in political science that many neocons ascribe to (realism or neorealism). In this view, there is a no place for humanitarianism. Foreign Policy starts with national security and ens with national security. As long as the Iraqi threat has been neutralized, the mission was accomplished. Eliminating a cruel dictatorship and restoring democracy was political fodder to justify the war. The common democratic argument that goes, if you want to topple Saddam so much, why dont you want to topple Musharraf in Pakistan or the Saudi governments? Why not invade North Korea first?. The reason these justifications seem so hypocritical is that they are hypocritical. They are NOT the justifications used by Bush's security advisers.
What about oil?
Let me first say that the long history of U.S. intervention in the Middle East has been based on oil. The first Gulf War was all about oil and nothing about rescuing Kuwait. Common justifications used by Joe Public are naive. Numerous facts show the validity of this stance. Does this make the first Iraq war a mistake? Not necessarily. If I wasn't rambling off-topic I'd explain further....But anyways, i'm receptive to the war for oil idea, but this conflict was not an oil war, at least not directly. We may be putting an end to Iraq's threat to the ME (rather than a threat directly to the contiguous 48 states), but we are not going after Iraq's oil.
The prospect for any stability in Iraq post- invasion was always a real long shot, (not impossible, but unlikely) which didn't bother anyone at the NSA. Without stability, oil production will never get above pre-war levels.
There is no way successes in Afghanistan were going to carry over to Iraq. In Afghanistan, power brokers were at war with the taliban or holding onto power under the Taliban, and they held the loyalty of much of the people. In Iraq opposition/regional power brokers had been executed 15 years ago, and Saddam was the only game in town. There is a huge power vaccuum in Iraq, as many political science people predicted. U.S. troops now fill that power vaccuum, and the results are disastrous. There wont be much oil coming out of Iraq until the conflict ends, at that wont be for a long time after we pull out with Baghdad burning behind us.
what does this mean for the public and the Bushies and us?
not much really. There's a reason the people on the NSA are as smart as they are. There's smart people on both sides of the fence in this ideological battle, and the public is never going to understand foreign policy. They are however an effective evaluator of the results.
So what do we do?
bash the war, bash the decisions of Bush, commisserate with the plight of our troops, and rant about how they are retreating because their policy has failed. If they end up sticking it out and adding more troops we say they are waging a second Vietnam war.... Right now this war is being called Iraq War II. We should seek to rename it as the Second War of Ideological Myopia. (Vietnam being the first). Leave the ideological fight to the expert and talk about results and errors in judgement. Sadly, our case will get stronger and stronger as time goes on.
You dont have to do all this, just go put some money up as margin, and short some dollars. Anything you lose from the coming depression you will make from your futures account....
however, the fact that someone is will to get long the dollar against you seems to indicate that there is a chance the dollar wont collapse. If there was no chance of averting a collapse, hedge funds would have already crushed the dollar down to a fair level. I would say dont do anything. There are people in the upper-echelons of the spectulating world asking these same questions (like George Soros), but they are determining the answers with much better information and expertise. If there was free money to be made this way, it would already be made, and the price would be right.