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August 5, 2008

On Democrats Reshaping Themselves As Republicans

-- by Dave Johnson

I was thinking about how Obama squandered the enthusiasm and good faith of the activist "base" when he decided to "move to the right" to "appeal to the center." I am not quoting the Obama campaign, I am describing what happened to so many Democrats over the years who have helped move the goalposts ever rightward. In the face of an ongoing corporate propaganda campaign the "realists" and "pragmatists" have concluded they need to "go where the votes are" rather than fight back and work to counter that right-wing messaging and explain to the public why progressive values are better for them.

(NOTE - I think this is really more the fault of the funding base than the politicians. They just don't get it about building organizations capable of countering the messaging. And I am including everyone who is not giving all they can, even if that is only $20 a week, to progressive infrastructure organizations like Commonweal Institute and Speak Out California.)

All of this made me think of one of the great blog posts, from just after the 2002 elections. RENDEZVOUS WITH LUNACY

It begins with this picture:

PodvinAndMcAuliffe.jpg

From the post,

Why would voters choose a phony right wing Republican over the real thing? What made McAuliffe and Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt believe that rural conservative whites would choose warmongering Democratic slaves to Corporate America over warmongering Republican slaves to Corporate America? When I want to vote for a warmongering corporate slave, I always vote Republican.

[. . .] I am not an astute observer of the political scene – I am merely an embittered observer. Yet despite being a rank political amateur, I am able to understand that the path to power does not consist of alienating people who are willing to vote for you in order to ingratiate yourself to people who are unwilling to vote for you. The current Democratic leadership just can't seem to comprehend this most important concept.

[. . .] Abandonment of stated principles and unilateral surrender have now officially been discredited as tactics for regaining Democratic control of Congress. It is time for new party leaders to try a different approach, like treating their voters with respect. Bush and the Republican base have a symbiotic relationship – he attends to their concerns, and they respond by faithfully supporting the G.O.P. This intriguing arrangement might well serve as a useful model for the Democratic Party.

It includes the classic wisdom,


When your supporters don’t vote for
you, then you



LOSE.


Oh please go read the whole post. Classic blogging.

And we bloggers out here in the non-beltway wilderness keep trying to explain this message over and over.

Posted by Dave Johnson at August 5, 2008 12:57 PM

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Comments

Don't you ever get sick of banging your head against the wall? The dems are hopeless and will remain hopeless forever. You're in your mid-fifties, Dave, and I promise you that you will be whining about the same thing in your mid-sixties. The dems exist for one reason and one reason only -- to divert the energy and hope of people like you into the sewer. Stop wasting your life.

Posted by: richard at August 5, 2008 4:08 PM

the left wing has been so long demonized in this country that there IS no left wing anymore.

All a deliberate plan by the ruling lizard class in response to their horror at the 60s, a time when human beings actually embraced and tried to live by the principles enshrined in our constitution:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”


Posted by: getaclue at August 6, 2008 6:25 AM

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