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Ready helps/bashes the Democratic party


ready182
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Friends,

 

I have hit some of these themes before, but I shall use my right of free speech yet once again.

 

First, full disclosure, in case anyone is not familiar with my posts, am am a Republican. As for my sexual preferences, I have intentionally been ambigious. If anyone gave a shit and looked up a few of my previous posts, they could quickly end the ambiguity.

 

Here's my 2 cents: the Democratic party is f'd up! You don't control the House, you don't control the Senate, and you don't control the White house. As Rick M. correctly pointed out, this also has an impact on the Supreme court -- an impact that will last for decades.

 

So, instead of sour grapes and bologna conspiricy theories and all of that other shit, just maybe you need to take a serious look at where the Dems just might be fk'ing up.

 

As I stated, I am a Republican, yet I have empathy for, and can understand, certain Democratic values. Yet, your party puts forward it's biggest assholes as it's leaders (I have posted on this point before, so will not retrace previous content).

 

Here are a few points for you to chew on:

 

1. What were you thinking when you chose a candidate for President with all that anti-veteran (Vietnam, etc) baggage???

 

2. While it gives me great pain to say so, do you understand that if John Edwards had been the presidential candidate (instead of vice-P), the the stupid women in this country would have given him the victory based on his charm & good looks (after all, that's what carried blow-job-Bill to his wins)!!!

 

3. Ask yourself, are idiots like Al Sharptin, Howard Dean, Al Gore, etc. really the best the Dems can put forward. I say obviously not. I think that - just based on the Iraq issue, plus the marginal economic state, this presidential election was an easy win for the Dems, had you not run a total butt-head.

 

4. Finally, never discount the likability factor. The press tried to tell everyone that Kerry won all of the debates. But most everything he had to say was nasty, whereas Bush's compassion and likabilty ultimately prevailed. During the Dem primary, Edwards avoided this trap, but once in the General election, he followed Kerry's lead and became a sour pill. It's the old "who would you rather have dinner/drinks with?" arguement, and I think it makes a difference.

 

... Much more sympathetic to the Dems than you think ...

 

Ready

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Great observations Ready!!! They just don't get it-- (Gay marriage aside) the old, dull, political guard of the Democratic Party is dead. Their greatest hope is Obama (who by the way may become a Republican convert as time goes on!) He's new, fresh, intelligent and has personality and best of all is not part of the political machine (at least yet!!). The Gay Marriage issue is a whole different discussion. But wouldn't the debate have been more simple if the religious element of "Marriage" has been left out and the gay community had pursued legal rights via civil union recognition? Now the damage has been done in 11 states and the ball is rolling. It would be people like level headed Obama who could have convinced the family values oriented right that we pose no threat to family values- partnered or single.:)

 

Peace,

 

Kippy

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I'm glad to see you two finally try to engage constructively with the Democratic members of this board.

 

You make some interesting points, but I'm not sure I can agree with them. Of course, I may be too close to recent events to see clearly. However, Kerry won the nomination through an extensive primary process. He wasn't picked in a back room like in the bad old days. That means that a lot of Democrats liked him as the head of the ticket. And at the end of the day he got nearly as many votes as Bush did.

 

As for anti-veteran, to my knowledge Kerry has been one of the biggest champions of veterans in Congress throughout his career. He's constantly supported better benefits for veterans, and fought tooth and nail against cutbacks by those who've tried eliminating their benefits. Gratitude and self-interest obviously didn't come into play in this election, at least not among some voters. But I also don't think Kerry communicated his outstanding pro-veteran record effectively, or worked hard enough to win the endorsement of the really influential pro-veterans organizations, who would ordinarily be more likely to support someone like Kerry who served with distinction in the military and strongly supported veterans benefits, instead of Bush who dodged active service and has actually tried to HURT veterans! Something clearly went wrong there, and that's the fault of the campaign and the party.

 

Then there's the entire question of why lower and middle-class voters have been successfully seduced by the Republicans into voting against their own essential self-interests. Conventional wisdom has been that people vote their pocketbooks, above anything else. The Republicans have succeeded in getting the poor and middle-class to vote for bigger and better benefits for the super-rich by appealing to their religious values. The Democrats clearly haven't been able to counter this effectively, so far. Next time around (if there IS a next time now that the "Christian" fascists have sunk their teeth into the neck of the body politic) the Democrats will have to talk a lot more about faith and values, and involve people of faith in their campaigns to a much greater degree than they have so far.

 

Kerry started getting a clue during the debates, when he finally began explaining how his political values and motivation grow out of the powerful social justice teachings of the Catholic church. That humanized him and also resonated with many voters. But it was too little, too late. The Republicans have internalized and preached the dogmas of right-wing Christianity for years now, and got their right-wing Christian voting base to the polls in droves. The Democrats have a lot of catch-up to do in this regard. It's not impossible, but they're going to have to start dealing with that NOW, not waiting until right before the next election. The Democrats are going to have to gain strong allies among the leadership of the mainstream religious denominations in the U.S., bring them into the councils of the party, and get them to start talking among their faithful about the connection between their religious values and those of the Democratic party. Like it or not, they're going to have to end their squeamishness about these topics, because they're clearly very important to a great many voters. That won't solve all of the Democrats' problems, but it would be a very good start.

 

The Democrats are also going to have to make a major effort to re-connect with some of their traditonal base constituencies, like Afro-American, Hispanic and Jewish voters. For a variety of reasons, some of those traditional Democrats drifted away in numbers large enough to make a difference in key states. The Democrats are guilty of taking those core constituencies for granted, assuming they'll vote for Democratic candidates because "who else are they going to vote for?" That drift can be reversed, but it will take real work and paying much more than lip service to the needs and interests of those constituencies.

 

Another problem the Democrats have to start solving NOW is figuring out how to bring more people into the fold. Republicans have been successful at gathering in constituencies (like fundamentalist Christians) who wouldn't normally be expected to be attracted to the party. (Most fundamentalist Christians are middle or working-class; from an economic standpoint few of them would benefit from the Republicans' "it's all about wealth" philosophy.) Democrats are going to have to do a much better job of convincing constituencies like the evangelicals and other alienated groups that the Democrats have something worthwhile and meaningful to offer them. And the Democrats are going to have to be more serious about trying to listen to and understand the concerns of such constituencies. The party has apparently become kind of tone-deaf to groups that don't make up part of its traditional base.

 

There are many other things the Democrats could do to recover from this disaster, but these would be some good starting points.

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Tri brings up an interesting point. For many liberals and Democtrats

Christianity takes it's primary form in social justice issues. Interestingly, many of these formerly religious sponsored apostolates are now missions of the government (education, health care, social services etc...)and do not necessarily need church/religious backing to be efffective. Many people today (Evangelical Christians/Conservative Catholics/Jews/Mormons) see religion as a moral code which governs behavior and grounds the spiritual life. It's broad based social justice concerns are secondary. THIS is the piece that Dems and Libs need to reflect on in order to make inroads here.:)

 

Peace,

 

Kipp

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Bush compassionate? So you swallowed that line when his campaign managers came up with the phrase in the last election. Since then what has he done that one could consider compassionate?

Has he found a way to get more people health insurance? No, the number of Americans with no coverage has grown steadily.

Has he helped people out of work with new jobs? No, job growth is pathetic now, and the big tax cuts he's given the wealthy have just gone to line their pockets.

Has he helped gays and lesbians receive more understanding or any kind of equity in partner benefits? No, he's used gay "marriage" as an issue to frighten his already hysterical evangelical Christian base and many more besides.

Has he helped stop the AIDS epidemic in Africa? No, he made promises that he didn't keep about medications, and worse, he's forbidden the use of American grants to pay for condoms.

Has he done anything to make the air or water cleaner? No, he's constantly supported polluters, often appointing people from polluting companies to government posts that are supposed to regulate them.

Bush's interests are:

1. creating an America that believes in the God of the fundamentalist Christians who are his closest political allies

2. helping the wealthy elite who are his closest friends and from whose ranks he comes become ever more prosperous

3. making sure the other nations of the world understand that America is destined by God to lead them, and that he is destined to lead America.

Compassion is just part of a campaign phrase for him.

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>For many liberals and

>Democtrats

>Christianity takes it's primary form in social justice issues.

> Interestingly, many of these formerly religious sponsored

>apostolates are now missions of the government (education,

>health care, social services etc...)and do not necessarily

>need church/religious backing to be efffective. Many people

>today (Evangelical Christians/Conservative

>Catholics/Jews/Mormons) see religion as a moral code which

>governs behavior and grounds the spiritual life. It's broad

>based social justice concerns are secondary. THIS is the

>piece that Dems and Libs need to reflect on in order to make

>inroads here.:)

 

This does seem to be one of the great divides, although not necessarily between liberals and conservatives. Traditional Catholics should be concerned about the social justice teachings of the Church. They're as important a part of its core beliefs as opposition to abortion or capital punishment or same-sex marriage. Social justice is a powerful component of mainstream Jewish belief, too. And even though Protestantism tends to exalt faith over good works, mainstream Protestant denominations also value social justice concerns. You'd therefore expect followers of these faiths to be more naturally attracted to the Democratic party, which emphasizes a belief in society's collective responsibility for the less fortunate among us. Nevertheless, a small but significant percentage of Jewish voters ended up in the Republican column, as did many mainstream Protestants and the majority of Catholic voters.

 

Evangelical voters aren't monolithic, either, and there's room for the Democrats to grow there. Obviously, Democrats need to work hard to win back Catholic voters. There's certainly room for doing that, considering the Republicans' congenital passion for the death penalty, their contempt for the poor and unfotunate, and the Iraq war which fails all indicia of being a "just war" under Catholic teaching.

 

There's clearly a great religious revival in progress in the United States. The Democrats don't seem to have noticed this, and have failed to make the case to the religious among us that the Democratic Party's message and positions more accurately coincide with their core religious beliefs and values than the Republican platform does (despite Republican opposition to abortion, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage). Without finding a way to communicate with such a large part of the electorate in ways that connect political and religious values, the Democrats will fail to win over (or win back) this huge constituency.

 

To reach religious voters, Democratic candidates are going to have to learn to speak in the language and terminology of faith and the Bible. It's probably one of the reasons Bill Clinton was such a successful politician and why he continues to be revered among religious African-Americans, because he DOES know how to "talk the talk, and walk the walk." But he was apparently unable to teach his party the importance of these skills, or how to do it. Some remedial work is clearly necessary!

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>However, Kerry won the nomination through an

>extensive primary process. He wasn't picked in a back room

>like in the bad old days. That means that a lot of Democrats

>liked him as the head of the ticket.

 

Actually, almost NO ONE liked him at the head of the ticket. Kerry wasn't doing squat in the primaries - HOWARD DEAN was. When people started really paying attention and realized that Dean was insane, there was a mad scramble to pick SOMEONE other than Dean and they rallied around Kerry because of (his four months in) Vietnam. They felt he would look "tough" as a candidate since we were at war. I live in Manhattan, which is ground zero for the Loony Left, and I didn't meet a single solitary person who ever said they actually "liked" Kerry. It was always "anyone but Bush!".

 

As the history of this past election is written, you'll learn that Kerry was a goner on Day 1.

 

Reportedly yours,

 

FFF

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Great discussion thread on exactly the point I made in another thread here (Election Thoughts) before I read this one. There seems to be a consensus developing that Democrats, and moderates and liberals in general, need to get their act together in the religion department. Super posts! Thank you.

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