Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 08:25pm

Or to put it as simply as possible:

Trump and the Kremlin both actively worked to prop up third party movements on the Left in 2016. They did not do so out of the goodness of their hearts. And when the fascists and white supremacists are actively trying to encourage you to do something, its probably a bad idea to do it.

A good rule to follow in politics: Don't follow the strategy your mortal enemies clearly want you to follow.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-16 08:45pm

Your article claims that this doesn't matter, because the Republicans are winning anyway. But WHY are they winning? In part, because of this very same internal divisiveness and shortsightedness among the ranks of their opponents. This sounds a great deal to me like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So Doug Jones who just screwed over blacks in Alabama and the rest of the country, they should keep voting for people like him? I remember this board lamenting at Republicans for voting against their own interests, yet we are fine with black people doing the same apparently?

Or maybe Democrats like Doug Jones should actually listen to the people that gave him his seat. You dumb fuck.
As to your saying that you'll register as a Republican- well, that is exactly where this kind of "both sides" thinking ultimately leads. "Both sides are bad (even though one is much, much worse), so why not vote for the ones who are "honest" about being fascists?" A lot of people thought that way in 2016. And now we're paying the price (along with the rest of the world, to varying degrees).

If that is the kind of "integrity" that you value, that is your choice as a voter (at least until Trump finishes consolidating his power and suspends elections*)- but do not complain when I call you a Quisling for it. Because whatever your motives, however legitimate your grievances... the end result is that you will have made yourself a willing tool for an aspiring fascist strong man.
Do you have any other modes of thinking that you are capable of?

There is no denying that the Democratic Party has been turning more Republican. There is no denying that the Republican party has turned more radical to the right as well. So no, I am not saying they are the same at all. I am saying that we need to pull the party back the other way, and your shitty thought process and narratives you have deluded yourself into is not helping.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-03-16 08:59pm

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 07:42pm
Well...
...damn. God, damn, it. Sigh...

I only knew of those Democrats who'd signed on to that bill, but not much more than the surface details. This... Adds a new dimension to my disappointment.
Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 07:42pm
Is it a purity test to ask Doug Jones to be a Democrat where the black vote propelled him to victory? Or is that really too much to ask for?

Filling up the Democratic Party with Republicans makes it a Republican party... I mean shit, at this point, I'll give up and register as a Republican. At least I'll be honest about where we're headed towards.
This is ... pretty much what I'm afraid of. These politicians. These fakes. These royal--and I use royal to describe both in emphasis and to reference this self-congratulatory mindset of theirs--assholes.

Not willing to use much of whatever political muscle they have. Tossing people they are supposed to represent and protect under the bus. Continually.

No. You are entirely right. Asking for them to represent Democratic interests at all is not too much to ask for. This is why they are running as Democrat. This is why they don't have (R) next to their names. Ostensibly they are supposed to hold onto what makes a Democrat a Democrat and not a Republican.

Forget being nice; I rather regret extending even that little benefit of the doubt now to these assholes.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-16 08:23pm
Considering that your source is an article which heavily implies that black people made a mistake by not automatically assuming that all white men are bad and their enemy, and claims that Doug Jones represents the entire Democratic Party, I'm going to take it with an ocean of salt.

To be clear: I don't blame people for being angry about spineless or overly-compromised conservative Democrats. I'm angry, and I'm a straight white middle class white guy. I'm sure I'd be a hell of a lot angrier if I were a black man. And I absolutely support primary challenges against Democrats who aren't prepared to take a stand against Trumpian policies. But I will vote Democrat in the primaries, and defend doing so, for a very simple reason:

Let me put it this way: You have a choice between a party who's more conservative members back Trump (according to your source) 60% of the time, in which 17 out of more than 40 of Senators backed the bank deregulation bill... and a party which will back Trump almost in lockstep. Which do you choose? Its not an ideal choice- but neither is having to choose between cutting off a limb and dying. Given the choice, I'll make the limited sacrifice to avoid total defeat.

As to the article's advocacy of local single issue third parties- that is a road to political chaos and impotency for the Left. In a democratic or semi-democratic system, especially one like America's, you need to get, if not a majority, at least a large minority in strategic areas in order to win. That means that you need a fairly big tend. Local level politics does matter, in building the foundation for that big tent party, but backing single-issue or local third parties designed for ideological purity or addressing only narrow concerns is a road to irrelevancy. Frankly, there is nothing Trump (and the Kremlin) would love more than for the Left to adopt such an approach- which is why they both tried so very hard to puff up "Bernie or Bust" and the Greens during the last election (to great effect).

Now, if you happen to live somewhere where there's a viable third party/independent candidate running (like in Bernie's Senate seat), fine. But I think that if you have any interest in maintaining any semblance of civil rights or rule of law in America, or any degree of global stability, and if you face the reality of the situation squarely, then the only logical choice in a general election is to vote for the candidate in each race who has the best chance of defeating the Republicans. And more than nine times out of ten, that candidate will be a Democrat.

Your article claims that this doesn't matter, because the Republicans are winning anyway. But WHY are they winning? In part, because of this very same internal divisiveness and shortsightedness among the ranks of their opponents. This sounds a great deal to me like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At least in the Democratic Party, there are significant blocks which are genuinely progressive, that you can work with and try to build up- unless they all quit and run off to a hundred different third parties, which will never accomplish anything other than to hand America to fascism.

As to your saying that you'll register as a Republican- well, that is exactly where this kind of "both sides" thinking ultimately leads. "Both sides are bad (even though one is much, much worse), so why not vote for the ones who are "honest" about being fascists?" A lot of people thought that way in 2016. And now we're paying the price (along with the rest of the world, to varying degrees).

If that is the kind of "integrity" that you value, that is your choice as a voter (at least until Trump finishes consolidating his power and suspends elections*)- but do not complain when I call you a Quisling for it. Because whatever your motives, however legitimate your grievances... the end result is that you will have made yourself a willing tool for an aspiring fascist strong man.


*If you think this is hyperbolic, Trump has made comments repeatedly in the last week or so about wanting to become President for life. Yeah, he'll wave it off as a "joke"... but considering his general fanboyism towards strong men, and all of the other ways he's tried to emulate them, I'm not buying it.
Consider, also: If the Democrats are a party full of quantum candidates, who may support Democratic positions in name and theory, but in practice may end up siding with two thirds of what their opposition proposes? Who can we really determine who will not throw us under the bus? Or not use some mealy mouthed excuse such as "oh, this is too radical of a change, we have to do this incrementally over the next several decades, that's the only way people will accept it!"

Because people of color in this country have constantly heard the latter and experienced the former. Constantly. For decades. It's why MLK made that quote about White Moderates. Even he, with his infinite patience, was sick to death of them betraying his faith in them.

If every candidate is a lottery ticket to getting even a basic sense of equality back into society, then some people are going to eventually quit playing the lottery, because the emotional, temporal, and financial investment is just not worth it. So, without even going into the concerns of others like queer people, this right here? Would come off as rather paternalistic to people of color. They've had many generations of White Moderates promising that something may eventually come, but instead of a nice logarithmic curve toward progress, they see politics related to them as a sine wave.

When you make promises and you constantly betray your promises, people are no longer going to trust you. That's plainly how humans work.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 09:08pm

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 08:45pm
So Doug Jones who just screwed over blacks in Alabama and the rest of the country, they should keep voting for people like him?
If the alternative is another child molester who openly talks about reversing the abolition of slavery and womens' right to vote, or a party that supports such men... then, honestly, yes.
I remember this board lamenting at Republicans for voting against their own interests, yet we are fine with black people doing the same apparently?
First of all, please address my views, and my posts. Don't make sweeping generalizations about what "the board" thinks and then apply them to my arguments.

Secondly, no, I'm not bloody fine with it. But when I honestly believe that the alternatives that you appear to be proposing would be actively and objectively worse for their interests, along with everybody else's, I'm going to say so.
Or maybe Democrats like Doug Jones should actually listen to the people that gave him his seat. You dumb fuck.
Of course he should listen to his constituents (within reason- I also don't think it is the role of a legislator to simply automatically do whatever the latest poll told him or her to). I am not defending Centre Right policies, and I have said repeatedly, in this thread and elsewhere, that I support progressive primary challenges.

But I guess you'd rather put words in my mouth as an excuse to spew cheap insults.

As I have said time and again, and as you have repeatedly ignored so that you can keep pushing your straw man, my position is not "The Democratic Party is perfect and must never change or be criticized." My position is "Go Progressive in the Primary, block Republicans (usually means voting Democrat) in the general." I want to push the Democrats Leftward while holding our ground against the Republicans' neo-fascism. Because that is the only way I see that we might, if we're lucky, get out of this mess without a dictatorship or a civil war.
Do you have any other modes of thinking that you are capable of?
If you say that you are going to willingly choose to join a neo-fascist party because the alternative doesn't oppose it strongly enough, then I will judge you by the company you choose to keep. I make no apologies for doing so, and sincerely hope that I am never capable of a "mode of thinking" which would condone joining or supporting a neo-fascist party, whatever the motivation.
There is no denying that the Democratic Party has been turning more Republican. There is no denying that the Republican party has turned more radical to the right as well. So no, I am not saying they are the same at all. I am saying that we need to pull the party back the other way, and your shitty thought process and narratives you have deluded yourself into is not helping.
The Democratic Party has been moving further to the Right, but I think we are seeing the beginnings of that reversing. But it will never come to pass if the progressives all say "The Democrats are just like the Republicans", leave the party, and waste their growing influence by scattering it between a hundred third parties.

If you really want to fix the Democratic Party, then you do so by voting progressive in the primaries- not by trying to derail the party in the general election. Especially not now, when it is questionable weather we will still have elections or opposition parties if we continue on our current course.

You keep doing this: pushing "both sides" false equivalencies, and now posting an article openly advocating support for third parties instead of the Democrats- then act indignant and insult me when I interpret that as you trying to undermine the Democrats.

Frankly, this makes it difficult not to conclude that you are arguing in bad faith.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-16 09:26pm

As I have said time and again, and as you have repeatedly ignored so that you can keep pushing your straw man, my position is not "The Democratic Party is perfect and must never change or be criticized."
Yet, you did just that to take the Root article with a grain of salt and countless times before and just now stating that all it does is help the Republicans!
You keep doing this: pushing "both sides" false equivalencies, and now posting an article openly advocating support for third parties instead of the Democrats- then act indignant and insult me when I interpret that as you trying to undermine the Democrats.

Frankly, this makes it difficult not to conclude that you are arguing in bad faith.
My position is "Go Progressive in the Primary, block Republicans (usually means voting Democrat) in the general." I want to push the Democrats Leftward while holding our ground against the Republicans' neo-fascism. Because that is the only way I see that we might, if we're lucky, get out of this mess without a dictatorship or a civil war.
This is perhaps the first time you have actually wrote this as your previous replies usually is just the above.

However, we will not be able to push for progressive candidates if the party continues to disenfranchise their ability to enter primaries to begin or have a superdelegate rule where they can put a heavy weight down on their chosen candidate rather than what people voted for and that means, surprise, surprise, *gasp* criticizing the party and forcing them to make changes.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-16 09:36pm

I do apologize for calling you a dumb fuck, TRR.

SDN habits die hard.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 09:40pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-16 08:59pm
This is ... pretty much what I'm afraid of. These politicians. These fakes. These royal--and I use royal to describe both in emphasis and to reference this self-congratulatory mindset of theirs--assholes.
I wouldn't say that they're necessarily "fakes", or that they're simply acting out of political expediency. Doug Jones may genuinely believe in more conservative policies, while still being less extreme, or vile, or self-serving than the Trumpers.

That doesn't make him right, of course. But I don't wish to attribute to corruption or dishonesty what may be simply an honest difference of opinion.
Not willing to use much of whatever political muscle they have. Tossing people they are supposed to represent and protect under the bus. Continually.

No. You are entirely right. Asking for them to represent Democratic interests at all is not too much to ask for. This is why they are running as Democrat. This is why they don't have (R) next to their names. Ostensibly they are supposed to hold onto what makes a Democrat a Democrat and not a Republican.

Forget being nice; I rather regret extending even that little benefit of the doubt now to these assholes.
Keeping in mind that I am not defending their policy choices, I wish that you would use a more nuanced argument than implying that they're just like the Republicans. I am sick beyond words of seeing intelligent people fall back on this lazy platitude. As bad as they are, they are not Republicans. They might have passed as moderate Republicans twenty years ago, but to equate them to the party of neo Nazis that the Republican Party has become is simply false. Even if you think that they really are no better, they are at any rate a different shade and flavor of asshole, with somewhat different goals and motivations, and need to be understood as such.

And the "both sides" narrative needs to fucking die. Its only purpose is to replace nuanced discussion with a sweeping generalization based on cynicism, to replace actual analysis with a simplistic meme, and to normalize political corruption and despotism.

I am asking everyone on this board: Please, if you care at all about being able to have a reasonable or useful political dialog about anything, try to be more specific and not fall into anything that smacks of "Oh, they're just like Republicans".

That said... no, its not too much to ask that they act like Democrats. And if that was all that he was saying, I'd have no argument with it. Where I disagree is in thinking that treating the most conservative Democrats as representative of all Democrats, employing a "both sides" false equivalency, and actively encouraging Leftists to divide their efforts between local, single-issue third parties is going to accomplish a damn thing to fix that problem.

No, all it will due is further politically neuter the Left, by breaking us into bite-sized chunks that will be easy for the Alt. Reich to swallow. This is very basic strategy- Divide and Conquer.
Consider, also: If the Democrats are a party full of quantum candidates, who may support Democratic positions in name and theory, but in practice may end up siding with two thirds of what their opposition proposes? Who can we really determine who will not throw us under the bus? Or not use some mealy mouthed excuse such as "oh, this is too radical of a change, we have to do this incrementally over the next several decades, that's the only way people will accept it!"

Because people of color in this country have constantly heard the latter and experienced the former. Constantly. For decades. It's why MLK made that quote about White Moderates. Even he, with his infinite patience, was sick to death of them betraying his faith in them.

If every candidate is a lottery ticket to getting even a basic sense of equality back into society, then some people are going to eventually quit playing the lottery, because the emotional, temporal, and financial investment is just not worth it. So, without even going into the concerns of others like queer people, this right here? Would come off as rather paternalistic to people of color. They've had many generations of White Moderates promising that something may eventually come, but instead of a nice logarithmic curve toward progress, they see politics related to them as a sine wave.

When you make promises and you constantly betray your promises, people are no longer going to trust you. That's plainly how humans work.
First of all, if you are (and I apologize if I have misread you) accusing me of being "paternalistic to people of color" or anyone else... that was certainly not my intention, and I apologize if it came off that way. I have a difference of opinion over the strategic usefulness of third parties (specifically, I believe that they have none except as a means of dividing ones' opponents)- a view which I have expressed at least as stridently to white progressives as to minority activists.

I also object to the "both sides" narrative as a poisonous fallacy, and moreover something which is objectively and demonstrably false/an oversimplification.

I am not trying to tell anyone, least of all people of color, that they should simply accept the status quo, or only incremental progress. What I am asking is: How can we most effectively address the problem? By dividing our efforts and fighting amongst ourselves? Or maintaining a unified front against the party of literal Neo-Nazis in the general elections, while working to move the Democrats Left-ward in the primaries.

Again, the Trump campaign, Republicans, and the Kremlin have all actively tried to encourage third party movements on the Left. Why? Because they want to fix the Democratic Party? No, because they want to break it utterly- and with it any organized resistance to them at the national level.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 10:01pm

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 09:26pm
Yet, you did just that to take the Root article with a grain of salt and countless times before and just now stating that all it does is help the Republicans!
Yes, but not because I think that there's no problem with the Democrats to address. Rather, its because the tactics and mindset it is advocating are, in my opinion, likely to be actively counter-productive to fixing the problem.

Will you acknowledge the distinction between "I think there is no problem" and "I disagree that this is an effective way to solve the problem"? You seem to interpret my position as the former, when I think I have been (and have certainly tried to be) clear that it is the latter.
This is perhaps the first time you have actually wrote this as your previous replies usually is just the above.
I've mentioned it before in various threads, and even briefly mentioned my support for primary challenges against conservative Democrats in my first reply to you in this thread, but perhaps I should have stated it more clearly, and frequently.
However, we will not be able to push for progressive candidates if the party continues to disenfranchise their ability to enter primaries to begin or have a superdelegate rule where they can put a heavy weight down on their chosen candidate rather than what people voted for and that means, surprise, surprise, *gasp* criticizing the party and forcing them to make changes.
Again, my problem is not with criticism, so much as with criticism that is more likely to be disruptive rather than constructive. Though I'll admit that two years of Bernie or Bust-type bullshit in the face of rising fascism have made me a little defensive on this point- perhaps too much so, at times.

I am hopeful that some reforms are being made on the primary front, however, since there has been a real push within the party to neuter the super delegates, and enact other reforms, perhaps most notably the Unity Commission's recommendation to cut the number of super delegates by 60%. Its not problem solved, yet, but its a start.

Then again, I also don't expect 2020 to be like 2016, because there is no single candidate who is the clear favorite of nearly the entire party leadership going in. If the Centrists are split between several candidates, and the progressives can stop tearing each other's throat out long enough to unite behind one candidate, we might have a shot.
Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 09:36pm
I do apologize for calling you a dumb fuck, TRR.

SDN habits die hard.
And its appreciated.

I think that we all (and I include myself in this) need to try to make more of an effort to understand what others are saying, before going into instant attack mode. I think the last two years in particular have put everyone in something approaching a siege mentality when it comes to political discussions, to the detriment not only of this board, but of our society in general.

I'm sick and tired of arguing with fellow Leftists, and yet when I see others making what I feel are needlessly divisive arguments, I paradoxically feel that I have to fire back. I'd love to get off of that particular hamster wheel, because the last thing that we should be doing right now is fighting among ourselves. If we can't find common cause when the Republicans are literally running child molesters, slavery advocates, and Nazis, then when?
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-16 10:44pm

Again, my problem is not with criticism, so much as with criticism that is more likely to be disruptive rather than constructive. Though I'll admit that two years of Bernie or Bust-type bullshit in the face of rising fascism have made me a little defensive on this point- perhaps too much so, at times.
As no one has actually thrown a chair in the Nevada Democratic Convention and claiming Bernie supporters are violent, the concept of Bernie or Bust, or sexist Bernie supporters for that matter has been overblown as well as we have seen in the polling of those who voted back in 2016. In other words, you bit into the Clinton narrative cleanly.

Things like third parties have only served as a scapegoat for the establishment loser to blame on. Nothing more.

Hell, Gore could have very likely won if he had went through the recount, but he was told not to if we want to go to there.
____
On the other hand, I find your kind of rhetoric as you have written before today enables the crap that Democrats has been pulling on us and is part of the reason why we keep pulling to the right to begin with. As long as people like yourselves see the party with just a few bad apples that's causing trouble rather than having a systemic issue on the whole and doing the latter means the Republicans win in your eyes, then we'll just continue to have shitty candidates on the ballot.

Black people have voted Democrat for a long time and for the most part, they have nothing to show for it except being taken for granted and they are getting tired of it. They should not "save" America for you from Republicans and not get anything in return for it. That's just asking for doubt and hopelessness into doing and thinking things like creating third parties or not showing up to the polls, and they don't need Putin for that. The symptoms you see as coming from outside sources like Putin and far right propaganda trolls, are really stemming from the party itself. And this is if Putin even had a hand in it anyway.

tl;dr: People on the left like to keep saying that the Democrats need to grow a backbone and actually fight for Democratic policies, but that's presuming they actually give a shit about us in the first place.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-16 11:35pm

Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 10:44pm
Again, my problem is not with criticism, so much as with criticism that is more likely to be disruptive rather than constructive. Though I'll admit that two years of Bernie or Bust-type bullshit in the face of rising fascism have made me a little defensive on this point- perhaps too much so, at times.
As no one has actually thrown a chair in the Nevada Democratic Convention and claiming Bernie supporters are violent, the concept of Bernie or Bust, or sexist Bernie supporters for that matter has been overblown as well as we have seen in the polling of those who voted back in 2016. In other words, you bit into the Clinton narrative cleanly.
This. This is what I am talking about. Leaping to conclusions and going on the attack, without reading what I am actually saying. Just attacking the straw man.

Nowhere in this thread or anywhere else have I said that chairs were thrown in the Nevada convention, or that all or most Sanders supporters were sexist, or any of those other bullshit narratives. I have, in fact, spent so much of my time arguing against them, on this board and elsewhere, that the Sanders campaign ought to write me a fucking cheque.

But "Bernie or Bust" actually existed. And it was actively promoted by Trump and Russia to split the vote. That is not a "Clinton narrative". It is a fact. Its nothing against Bernie himself, who knew better, nor against most of his supporters. I regard those people as having betrayed Bernie Sanders, and his movement, in an act of shortsighted and destructive spite.

It seems to me as though, while accusing me of blindly defending Democrats as flawless, you are refusing to acknowledge any criticism of any Sanders supporter- however valid. Or perhaps it is because you do not actually view it as a criticism. Because you share the view of the Bernie or Busters, and would rather hand the country to fascists, than compromise with a Democrat.
Things like third parties have only served as a scapegoat for the establishment loser to blame on. Nothing more.
The existence of third parties do not excuse the failures of "establishment" candidates, no. But at the same time, I do not see how you can argue that splitting the Left's voting power among various small/local parties will not dilute the power of that vote.
Hell, Gore could have very likely won if he had went through the recount, but he was told not to if we want to go to there.
I was under the impression that it was the Supreme Court that prevented a further recount, not Gore's unwillingness to do so.
____
On the other hand, I find your kind of rhetoric as you have written before today enables the crap that Democrats has been pulling on us and is part of the reason why we keep pulling to the right to begin with. As long as people like yourselves see the party with just a few bad apples that's causing trouble rather than having a systemic issue on the whole and doing the latter means the Republicans win in your eyes, then we'll just continue to have shitty candidates on the ballot.
In other words, you have ignored everything I've just said, because you insist on seeing every Democrat as bad, so bad that it is better to hand the country to literal Nazis than to work with them, and will accept nothing less.

And how is saying "We should primary conservative Democrats" ensuring that we'll always have bad candidates on the ballot? Do you honestly believe that the only way to fix the party is to destroy it?

And yet you express outrage if I suggest that the purpose of your posts is to undermine the Democratic Party, not to fix it.
Black people have voted Democrat for a long time and for the most part, they have nothing to show for it except being taken for granted and they are getting tired of it.
Again, I am not denying that there is a problem, nor am I blaming anyone for being frustrated. I am trying to say what I believe is the best, perhaps the only, way of addressing those problems, without losing everything in the process. Hurting the Democratic establishment will achieve worse than nothing, if the price is to give the country (and perhaps the world) over to fascism. Because as bad as the status quo is, it can get much worse. Hell, it has been much worse.

"All the politicians are bad and always will be, so let's throw the race to the fascists" is not a policy of reform. It is a policy of nihilism, of despair. If that is your position, very well. Say so, and I will waste no more words trying to convince you otherwise. If your goal is reform, however, then explain to me, addressing my actual arguments and not straw man caricatures, how you feel dividing the Left-wing vote among numerous small, narrowly-focused third parties or becoming a Republican will accomplish that.
They should not "save" America for you from Republicans and not get anything in return for it.
I'm not asking anyone to save America for me. I'm asking them to do it for themselves, and their children. I'm asking them to do it so that there is a country, or a world, to try to fix.
That's just asking for doubt and hopelessness into doing and thinking things like creating third parties or not showing up to the polls, and they don't need Putin for that. The symptoms you see as coming from outside sources like Putin and far right propaganda trolls, are really stemming from the party itself. And this is if Putin even had a hand in it anyway.
Why does it not surprise me that your a collusion denialist, as well?

And no, Russia didn't create this mindset. But it did its best to stoke the flames, as did Trump. Why? Because they want to reform the Democratic Party? Because they want to help minorities in America? Or because the most effective way to conquer is to divide the opposition?

So I'm not saying that it all came from Putin. I am saying that the fact that Putin (and Trump) is pushing this line should make you question weather its really in your best interests.

Nothing makes me sick at heart like watching self-styled Leftists and reformers repeating Trump and the Kremlin's propaganda, because they're so fixated on their vendetta against "establishment" Democrats that they'll hand the country to fascists instead.
tl;dr: People on the left like to keep saying that the Democrats need to grow a backbone and actually fight for Democratic policies, but that's presuming they actually give a shit about us in the first place.
If you cannot differentiate between the most conservative Democrats, and every Democrat, then any attempt to have a reasonable conversation on how to fix the party is a non-starter.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-03-17 12:25am

I had a longer response set up but it's rapidly becoming irrelevant and I got sidetracked by something else, so I'll condense it:

TRR, while I may intellectually know that "both sides are not the same", I cannot help but feel incredible frustration at their seeming disinterest in upholding their own values. When people started saying "well maybe it would be a good thing if sane Republicans joined us" I had an immediate gut reaction of HELL THE FUCK NO because why would you let this happen? The Democratic leadership thought it could sneak in a centrist agenda by forcing Hillary as the Chosen One, and it turned out to be a spectacular fiasco. Enough that the voter turnout for Hillary was not just not even close to the voter turnout for Obama's two campaigns, but some chucklefucks even went to the level of voting for Trump as a protest vote against her in a stupid attempt to stick the bird to her.

And people think that letting in Republican-lites is a good proposition? It's as if we completely forgot what happened in 2016.

While I intellectually realize both sides are not the same (and I have never claimed they were either), I reserve the right to speak with a harsh tone because my patience for the Democrats is close to depletion. If you think my strong language is one that has no nuance, well, to be frank TRR ... you have no fucking clue what the word nuance means. Because in reality, I am so far away from the ones who truly, without a doubt, have no nuance. Those people would not even be talking to anyone here. They may likely be more in favor of literally cracking your skull than having a rigorous debate with you.

Obama got the turnout he had in 2008 because he offered something that people believed in him for, and he got the turnout he had in 2012 because even though he fell short of achieving everything he'd promised, he at least had helped pass the ACA, helped pass Dodd-Frank, etcetera. What are Democrats like Doug Jones offering? Why would you put more people like him into Democratic ranks when they will not even live up to the standard Obama set?

And, uh, supporting a third party is comparable to falling for Kremlin propaganda?

...You know, I'm just going to let that stand on its own. It's so absurd an argument that I can't properly make a counter against it. And I'm someone who thinks Trump Did Do It and eagerly awaits Mueller's results.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-17 12:44am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-16 11:35pm
Soontir C'boath wrote:
2018-03-16 10:44pm
Again, my problem is not with criticism, so much as with criticism that is more likely to be disruptive rather than constructive. Though I'll admit that two years of Bernie or Bust-type bullshit in the face of rising fascism have made me a little defensive on this point- perhaps too much so, at times.
As no one has actually thrown a chair in the Nevada Democratic Convention and claiming Bernie supporters are violent, the concept of Bernie or Bust, or sexist Bernie supporters for that matter has been overblown as well as we have seen in the polling of those who voted back in 2016. In other words, you bit into the Clinton narrative cleanly.
This. This is what I am talking about. Leaping to conclusions and going on the attack, without reading what I am actually saying. Just attacking the straw man.

Nowhere in this thread or anywhere else have I said that chairs were thrown in the Nevada convention, or that all or most Sanders supporters were sexist, or any of those other bullshit narratives. I have, in fact, spent so much of my time arguing against them, on this board and elsewhere, that the Sanders campaign ought to write me a fucking cheque.
Calm down. I wrote that as an example to lead into the next part of my sentence...
But "Bernie or Bust" actually existed. And it was actively promoted by Trump and Russia to split the vote. That is not a "Clinton narrative". It is a fact. Its nothing against Bernie himself, who knew better, nor against most of his supporters. I regard those people as having betrayed Bernie Sanders, and his movement, in an act of shortsighted and destructive spite.
I said their effect was overblown. Anyway, I tried Googling for this connection you speak of and I don't see anything. I do remember however, the MSM bringing it up often though as Youtube can attest to.

While we're on the subject of Russian trolls. The person who first started noticing the Russian trolls even came out to state on MSNBC that their effect was negligible compare to the actual Trump campaign or for that matter the billions of free air time given to Trump.

Anyway, here's also an article from WAPO no less that stated that 85% of Sanders voter would go for Clinton during the time that Bernie or Bust was really coming to the fore.
It seems to me as though, while accusing me of blindly defending Democrats as flawless, you are refusing to acknowledge any criticism of any Sanders supporter- however valid. Or perhaps it is because you do not actually view it as a criticism. Because you share the view of the Bernie or Busters, and would rather hand the country to fascists, than compromise with a Democrat.
The effects they had on the election were overblown. I never said they didn't exist. There were plenty of criticism on how Bernie ran his campaign that I certainly agree with, but these are not them.
The existence of third parties do not excuse the failures of "establishment" candidates, no. But at the same time, I do not see how you can argue that splitting the Left's voting power among various small/local parties will not dilute the power of that vote.
Note that I only said that it is not surprising that people would call for third parties as an option, not that I necessarily advocate for them. I have stayed as a Democrat because fielding Progressive candidates in the primary is the way to go and we agree on that.
I was under the impression that it was the Supreme Court that prevented a further recount, not Gore's unwillingness to do so.
He accepted their ruling to not continue. Presumably he could've appealed and fought on, but decided to just stand down.
In other words, you have ignored everything I've just said, because you insist on seeing every Democrat as bad, so bad that it is better to hand the country to literal Nazis than to work with them, and will accept nothing less.
Er no, I never said this nor do I advocate for this.
And how is saying "We should primary conservative Democrats" ensuring that we'll always have bad candidates on the ballot? Do you honestly believe that the only way to fix the party is to destroy it?
I'm not even sure where you even got this from. I agree with you that we need Progressive to primary out the incumbents. However, you seem to be consistently saying that we shouldn't attack the very elected officials that needs to be turned out of office.
And yet you express outrage if I suggest that the purpose of your posts is to undermine the Democratic Party, not to fix it.
See above.
Again, I am not denying that there is a problem, nor am I blaming anyone for being frustrated. I am trying to say what I believe is the best, perhaps the only, way of addressing those problems, without losing everything in the process. Hurting the Democratic establishment will achieve worse than nothing, if the price is to give the country (and perhaps the world) over to fascism. Because as bad as the status quo is, it can get much worse. Hell, it has been much worse.
This is presuming that my path hurts the Democrats. I'm not, I'm saying what the Democratic Party is doing now is a systemic issue that is hurting everyone in the process. So again, I agree with you that these people need to be primaried out.
"All the politicians are bad and always will be, so let's throw the race to the fascists" is not a policy of reform. It is a policy of nihilism, of despair. If that is your position, very well. Say so, and I will waste no more words trying to convince you otherwise. If your goal is reform, however, then explain to me, addressing my actual arguments and not straw man caricatures, how you feel dividing the Left-wing vote among numerous small, narrowly-focused third parties or becoming a Republican will accomplish that.
I do believe I have mentioned Justice Democrats among other groups that are fielding candidates to primary Democratic establishment figures so no I don't give a shit about third parties.
I'm not asking anyone to save America for me. I'm asking them to do it for themselves, and their children. I'm asking them to do it so that there is a country, or a world, to try to fix.
Yes, and they're going to do it when the likes of Hillary calls them Superpredators and incarcerate their children or make sure they have a hard time getting a home loan (Jones), or are under heavy lopsided contracts to borrow from payday loans(Wasserman Schultz)...??? Okey dokey.

If I didn't know any better, you have a White Saviour complex going on.
Why does it not surprise me that your a collusion denialist, as well?

And no, Russia didn't create this mindset. But it did its best to stoke the flames, as did Trump. Why? Because they want to reform the Democratic Party? Because they want to help minorities in America? Or because the most effective way to conquer is to divide the opposition?

So I'm not saying that it all came from Putin. I am saying that the fact that Putin (and Trump) is pushing this line should make you question weather its really in your best interests.

Nothing makes me sick at heart like watching self-styled Leftists and reformers repeating Trump and the Kremlin's propaganda, because they're so fixated on their vendetta against "establishment" Democrats that they'll hand the country to fascists instead.
What propaganda? Insofar, there has yet been any real credible evidence. If Trump or for that matter the cohorts in his administration is guilty of anything, it's laundering money and/or not disclosing business ties when placed into office and nothing to do with the election and we have seen how inept it has been at these sort of things.
If you cannot differentiate between the most conservative Democrats, and every Democrat, then any attempt to have a reasonable conversation on how to fix the party is a non-starter.
Er, this is not new, this is how people generally feel about the Democratic Party. Which is what makes your stance so fucking hilarious. Everyone but the likes of you think it's the end of the world if we find our own party horrendous.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Soontir C'boath » 2018-03-17 01:00am

Everyone but the likes of you think it's the end of the world if we find our own party horrendous.
This should be read as, "many think like this, but the likes of yourself think it's the end of the world if we find our party horrendous, apparently."

Stop living in a bubble.

Edit: Now that I think about it, I am also going to find it hilarious if our definition of progressive is different.
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season."

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-03-17 04:51pm

Here's the thing with continuing to vote for Democrats that would have run Republican a decade ago, or if they were in another state: It gives the DNC absolutely no motive to try and run people who actually support policies that are supposedly Democrat policies. I say supposedly because I'm not really sure, at this point, what the Democratic party stands for other than paying lip-service to opposing the Republicans. What good is there in supporting a guy who may not be one of the wolves that wants to eat you but is perfectly content to pass the salt when the wolf does eat you?

I honestly do not know which would be worse between business as usual with the DNC or black and other minority voters that have traditionally voted Democrat for the simple fact that Democrats don't actively want to oppress and murder them (but don't seem all that intent on preventing oppression and murder of minority groups) decided to not support candidates who pay only lip service to minority causes, until the DNC decides "Oh shit, we actually need to grow a collective spine and do what we claim to believe!"

Purity tests can be horrifically harmful and counter-productive. But there are certain issues that the Democrats really should not budge on. If all it takes is to call yourself a Democrat to be considered a Democrat, what the fuck does the party even stand for? I'm inclined toward voting Democrat before third party in national elections if for no other reason than the Democrats aren't actively putting forward proposals that are meant to do harm, yet sure as shit don't know what the party actually stands for with regards to policy. I can't think of a platform beyond "We're not as bad as the other guy!" That doesn't inspire people.

And, with regards to Hillary Clinton and 2016... I won't get into the Bernie Woulda Won shit. I don't know, I don't care. But I think there's something to ponder about the fact that she was victim of faithless electors. Were there any faithless electors for Donald Trump? Beyond saying that she was a centrist and proud of it, I don't particularly want to get into all the issues surrounding her as a presidential candidate. I will say that a big thing in the 2016 election was that people were not happy with business as usual, and Hillary's entire platform was effectively business as usual. The whites that vote Democrat don't want business as usual. Ostensibly unaffiliated voters don't necessarily want business as usual. Those that support liberal or progressive policies want, you know, progress toward more equality. The DNC doesn't seem interested in delivering this.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-03-17 05:30pm

Well, here's a question for those more knowledgeable. Why are the Democrats seemingly at a standstill? What is causing this with their leadership? Is it apathy? Comfort in knowing their slots are guaranteed? Lack of bravado? Lack of unity? Lack of political capital? Gerrymandering? Why do they seem to not be making the progress and change that it seems a growing portion if their voting base wants?
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-17 05:31pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-17 12:25am
I had a longer response set up but it's rapidly becoming irrelevant and I got sidetracked by something else, so I'll condense it:

TRR, while I may intellectually know that "both sides are not the same", I cannot help but feel incredible frustration at their seeming disinterest in upholding their own values. When people started saying "well maybe it would be a good thing if sane Republicans joined us" I had an immediate gut reaction of HELL THE FUCK NO because why would you let this happen? The Democratic leadership thought it could sneak in a centrist agenda by forcing Hillary as the Chosen One, and it turned out to be a spectacular fiasco. Enough that the voter turnout for Hillary was not just not even close to the voter turnout for Obama's two campaigns, but some chucklefucks even went to the level of voting for Trump as a protest vote against her in a stupid attempt to stick the bird to her.

And people think that letting in Republican-lites is a good proposition? It's as if we completely forgot what happened in 2016.

While I intellectually realize both sides are not the same (and I have never claimed they were either), I reserve the right to speak with a harsh tone because my patience for the Democrats is close to depletion. If you think my strong language is one that has no nuance, well, to be frank TRR ... you have no fucking clue what the word nuance means. Because in reality, I am so far away from the ones who truly, without a doubt, have no nuance. Those people would not even be talking to anyone here. They may likely be more in favor of literally cracking your skull than having a rigorous debate with you.
Yes, I don't doubt that there is a growing segment on the Left who would like to engage in physical violence against anyone who isn't sufficiently "pure" enough in their views. Hell, I would not be surprised if there are people here who think that I am a Nazi who ought to be put against a wall and shot.

Which is part of why I react so strongly to anything that smacks of refusal to compromise or demands for ideological purity. Because when that mindset takes root, the end result is Reigns of Terror.

Back on topic, I certainly don't blame you or anyone else for being angry. But we need to discuss the problems of the Democratic Party in terms other than "They're just like the Republicans". Because that is not only objectively false (as you acknowledged), but serves zero purpose towards reforming the party.

It is, however, a very potent narrative for those who wish to destroy the party, and to divide and conquer the opposition to Neo-Fascism.

It comes down to this: Are we actually interested in trying to fix the problem, or have we collectively given up on doing so, and seek only to vent our rage?

Again, I am not denying that there is a problem with conservative (and overly-timid) Democrats. But we also need to differentiate between someone like Doug Jones, and someone like, say, Elizabeth Warren. Rather than just branding "Democrats" collectively as Centrists/conservatives.
Obama got the turnout he had in 2008 because he offered something that people believed in him for, and he got the turnout he had in 2012 because even though he fell short of achieving everything he'd promised, he at least had helped pass the ACA, helped pass Dodd-Frank, etcetera. What are Democrats like Doug Jones offering? Why would you put more people like him into Democratic ranks when they will not even live up to the standard Obama set?
I wouldn't.

I have said repeatedly, in this thread and elsewhere, that I support primary challenges against overly-conservative Democrats.

But if they're already there, if its a choice between Doug Jones and a Republican... fuck yes I'd vote for Doug Jones.

What does he offer? Well, for voters three months ago, he offered an alternative to a child molester who publicly discussed abolishing the amendments that allowed women to vote and ended slavery. Would I rather have a Senate composed of 100 Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warrens? Sure. But I'll take Doug Jones over the Nazi Pedophile Party.
And, uh, supporting a third party is comparable to falling for Kremlin propaganda?

...You know, I'm just going to let that stand on its own. It's so absurd an argument that I can't properly make a counter against it. And I'm someone who thinks Trump Did Do It and eagerly awaits Mueller's results.
I stated three facts:

1. Dividing the Left's voting power among numerous parties, particularly single issue/local third parties, will dilute the power of that vote.

2. Both Trump and Russia worked very hard to prop up third party movements.

3. They did not do so out of the goodness of their hearts, but because it was to their advantage to do so.

I'm not saying that everyone who votes third party is doing so because they bought into Russian propaganda. That would, indeed, be an absurd position. What I am saying is that whatever their motives, dividing the vote has the practical effect of playing into Trump, the Republicans, and Putin's hands, and that people who want progressive reform should consider carefully weather it is a good idea to do exactly the thing that the fascists want them to do.

If you contest those facts, or the conclusion I draw from them, then you should justify that position- not simply assert that your simplified straw man of my position is so self-evidently absurd that you do not need to defend your argument.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-17 05:44pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-03-17 05:30pm
Well, here's a question for those more knowledgeable. Why are the Democrats seemingly at a standstill? What is causing this with their leadership? Is it apathy? Comfort in knowing their slots are guaranteed? Lack of bravado? Lack of unity? Lack of political capital? Gerrymandering? Why do they seem to not be making the progress and change that it seems a growing portion if their voting base wants?
I don't think its fair to say that the entire party is at a standstill. There's been a real shift to the Left on certain issues- 15 an hour minimum wage, for example, has gained a lot of traction at the state/local level, and some form of single payer is probably more mainstream now in the party (and backed by a lot of the prospective 2020 nominees IIRC). There has also been a serious effort to reduce the role of super delegates in the primaries.

There is a divide in the Democratic Party on economics and foreign policy, between Wall Street-friendly Centrists and anti-establishment progressives. And a spectrum of opinions within both camps, ranging from people who would have made good mainstream Republicans a few decades ago, to people who are basically socialists. Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders (who is a Democrat in all but name) are not Doug Jones.

There's even some overlap between the two camps: for example, Elizabeth Warren is progressive on economics but something of a foreign policy hawk.

As to why certain elements of the party, particularly in the leadership, are dragging their heels... I'd guess that it largely comes down to three things:

1. A belief among the old guard that only "moderate" Democrats are electable. A belief that probably grew out of the defeat of MGovern and Mondale, and the victory of the more Centrist Clinton and Obama. Its tempting to think that destroying Centrist Democratic campaigns by protest votes would cure them of this thinking, but its just as likely based on experience that they'll conclude that they need to become even more conservative to win.

2. A deep fear of anything that smacks of Socialism in the older generations. This is a problem that time will cure.

3. Greed. Politicians like their Wall Street donors.

Now, Bernie showed that an enthusiastic grass roots campaign can out-fundraise a Centrist candidate with lots of corporate donors. But only if you can get the progressives to unite behind a single candidate. So far, I haven't seen anyone else duplicate Bernie's fundraising machine at the national level, more's the pity.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-17 05:50pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-17 12:25am
I had a longer response set up but it's rapidly becoming irrelevant and I got sidetracked by something else, so I'll condense it:

TRR, while I may intellectually know that "both sides are not the same", I cannot help but feel incredible frustration at their seeming disinterest in upholding their own values. When people started saying "well maybe it would be a good thing if sane Republicans joined us" I had an immediate gut reaction of HELL THE FUCK NO because why would you let this happen? The Democratic leadership thought it could sneak in a centrist agenda by forcing Hillary as the Chosen One, and it turned out to be a spectacular fiasco. Enough that the voter turnout for Hillary was not just not even close to the voter turnout for Obama's two campaigns, but some chucklefucks even went to the level of voting for Trump as a protest vote against her in a stupid attempt to stick the bird to her.
Was that because Hillary Clinton was insufficiently leftist? Because I don't recall her being significantly to the right of, say, 2012 Obama. If Obama had run on the exact same platform Clinton did, he'd have won handily.

I don't think Hillary's terrible turnout was because of her being insufficiently leftist. I think it was because the far right has spent a quarter century going far out of its way to coordinate smear campaigns against her, and the smears stuck among large numbers of voters who would otherwise vote Democrat. Many of those voters are to the right of you, not to the left.
And people think that letting in Republican-lites is a good proposition? It's as if we completely forgot what happened in 2016.
Because of how American politics works, a "small tent" far-left Democratic Party is pre-committed to permanent congressional minorities. We will never win enough Senate races to hold even a quasi-stable majority, and we will always struggle to win enough House seats to matter.

A "big tent" Democratic Party has a much more flexible toolkit for shutting down the heinous bullshit currently being practiced by the Republican Party and keeping them out of power until such time as they stop throwing temper tantrums and become capable of functioning as a constructive part of the political order.

The problem you are smacking into is that America is not far enough to the left to suit you. I am inclined to agree; I don't think it's far enough to the left either. But fixing anything and bringing about constructive movement is going to hinge on shutting down the power of the Republican Party to deliberately sabotage things out of sheer unadulterated malice. And that is a job for a relatively broad consensus party of "everyone who doesn't want the government maliciously sabotaged for the benefit of the 1%," not a narrow party which lacks the muscle to get the job done.

We can split the big tent when the orcs are no longer camped at everyone's doorstep.

Because taking away the ACA? That's the orcs. Permanent tax cuts on corporations and eventual tax hikes on normal people? That's the orcs.
And, uh, supporting a third party is comparable to falling for Kremlin propaganda?

...You know, I'm just going to let that stand on its own. It's so absurd an argument that I can't properly make a counter against it. And I'm someone who thinks Trump Did Do It and eagerly awaits Mueller's results.
If the Kremlin propagandizes in favor of third parties, AND the Kremlin propagandizes in favor of Trump, it is reasonable to suppose that this is the product of an internally consistent policy on the Kremlin's part. Exactly what this policy is remains subject to debate, but that such a policy exists would be hard to deny if the original premises are true.

I would like to be cautious about plans that risk playing into the hands of said policy. I do not want to be thought of by foreign propagandists as a "useful idiot."
Napoleon the Clown wrote:
2018-03-17 04:51pm
Here's the thing with continuing to vote for Democrats that would have run Republican a decade ago, or if they were in another state: It gives the DNC absolutely no motive to try and run people who actually support policies that are supposedly Democrat policies. I say supposedly because I'm not really sure, at this point, what the Democratic party stands for other than paying lip-service to opposing the Republicans. What good is there in supporting a guy who may not be one of the wolves that wants to eat you but is perfectly content to pass the salt when the wolf does eat you?
Okay, so what do we do with a guy who, say...
1) Thinks the ACA is a desirable step and single-payer insurance would be a good thing for the country.
2) Despises the practice of repeatedly cutting taxes for the rich while the poor are sinking into immiserized suffering.
3) Demands a compassionate approach to the plight of said poor, including rehab for addicts, expanded welfare, et cetera.
4) Thinks gun ownership is an important right.
5) Thinks abortion is murder and opposes it accordingly.

I mean, do we spit on him because of (4) and (5), then act stunned when in his place is elected someone who believes (4) and (5) but also has terrible positions on the other issues, helps dismantle the ACA, votes in a massive tax cut for corporations, and strives in all things to dismantle all protections and hopes of survival for the poor insofar as the rich may profit from it?

The problem with living in a two-party system is that if you deliberately refuse to ally with people who are insufficiently supportive, you will be suffering from permanent political anemia, because you do not represent a majority of the population. Conversely, if you do represent a majority of the population, there will be internal dissension within your party, because the people in the leftmost 5% of the population simply do not and cannot agree on all things with people drawn from, say, the 45th or 40th percentile.

If you don't like that, stop wasting time yelling at people for being happy when a House seat passes from a conservative Republican to an insufficiently liberal Democrat, and start figuring out how to kill the two-party system before it kills us. If you can think of a way to do it, I'll be impressed.
Purity tests can be horrifically harmful and counter-productive. But there are certain issues that the Democrats really should not budge on.
Okay, but WHICH ONES? This is not a trivial question. We can't just look at every single insufficiently liberal person and say "they defy us on an issue we can't budge on" without doing the kind of moronic crap that results in the left losing elections even when 60-70% of the population supports left-leaning policy proposals.

We need to be able to pick a specific, 'lean' and focused list of core values and stick to them consistently, and welcome everyone who is on board with that message. Or at least willing to live with that message while helping us overthrow the enemies of that message.

...

The current system is basically the opposite of this, because (again) of the two-party system. Since there are two broad political affiliations, Red Tribe and Blue Tribe, EVERY issue becomes a point of dissension between the two tribes. And adopting extremist positions on the issues becomes a way to signal tribal affiliation, as does rejecting people who adopt more moderate positions.

So self-identified "deep blue" and "deep red" people stake out extremist positions on every issue, and don't prioritize, because that would involve backing off from their identification with Red Tribe or Blue Tribe and implicitly letting the enemy 'win.'

Which is the idiocy that gave us the idiocy that is the current Republican form of 'government.' They can't do anything, including basic common sense, that would in any way be a compromise that would in some sense let Blue Tribe 'win.'

Following them into the pit is having disastrous consequences for the left and for America as a whole.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2018-03-17 06:49pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 05:50pm
Napoleon the Clown wrote:
2018-03-17 04:51pm
Here's the thing with continuing to vote for Democrats that would have run Republican a decade ago, or if they were in another state: It gives the DNC absolutely no motive to try and run people who actually support policies that are supposedly Democrat policies. I say supposedly because I'm not really sure, at this point, what the Democratic party stands for other than paying lip-service to opposing the Republicans. What good is there in supporting a guy who may not be one of the wolves that wants to eat you but is perfectly content to pass the salt when the wolf does eat you?
Okay, so what do we do with a guy who, say...
1) Thinks the ACA is a desirable step and single-payer insurance would be a good thing for the country.
2) Despises the practice of repeatedly cutting taxes for the rich while the poor are sinking into immiserized suffering.
3) Demands a compassionate approach to the plight of said poor, including rehab for addicts, expanded welfare, et cetera.
4) Thinks gun ownership is an important right.
5) Thinks abortion is murder and opposes it accordingly.

I mean, do we spit on him because of (4) and (5), then act stunned when in his place is elected someone who believes (4) and (5) but also has terrible positions on the other issues, helps dismantle the ACA, votes in a massive tax cut for corporations, and strives in all things to dismantle all protections and hopes of survival for the poor insofar as the rich may profit from it?

The problem with living in a two-party system is that if you deliberately refuse to ally with people who are insufficiently supportive, you will be suffering from permanent political anemia, because you do not represent a majority of the population. Conversely, if you do represent a majority of the population, there will be internal dissension within your party, because the people in the leftmost 5% of the population simply do not and cannot agree on all things with people drawn from, say, the 45th or 40th percentile.

If you don't like that, stop wasting time yelling at people for being happy when a House seat passes from a conservative Republican to an insufficiently liberal Democrat, and start figuring out how to kill the two-party system before it kills us. If you can think of a way to do it, I'll be impressed.
The Democratic party, as things are, does not stand up for the things they claim to believe on a consistent basis. There are individual Democrats that do, but the party in general does not.

No matter what some may claim, the general consensus among Democrats is not "ban all guns" and you know it. So number 4 is a dishonest one to use as a "purity test" sort of situation in the first place.

Number 5? Yeah, I would side-eye the hell out of any Democrat that wants to help the Republicans end it because all it will do is make abortion less safe and be a net harm on society. We don't need anybody giving the Republicans a hand on the matter.

If the Democratic party can even cobble together a platform, and then have that be something that the majority of Democrats at a congressional or higher level more-or-less actively support it'll be easier to believe that they are an actual party with an actual platform. They are not that, at this juncture. They're highly fragmented with no consistent positions and a great number of members that only pay lip service to causes.
Purity tests can be horrifically harmful and counter-productive. But there are certain issues that the Democrats really should not budge on.
Okay, but WHICH ONES? This is not a trivial question. We can't just look at every single insufficiently liberal person and say "they defy us on an issue we can't budge on" without doing the kind of moronic crap that results in the left losing elections even when 60-70% of the population supports left-leaning policy proposals.

We need to be able to pick a specific, 'lean' and focused list of core values and stick to them consistently, and welcome everyone who is on board with that message. Or at least willing to live with that message while helping us overthrow the enemies of that message.

...

The current system is basically the opposite of this, because (again) of the two-party system. Since there are two broad political affiliations, Red Tribe and Blue Tribe, EVERY issue becomes a point of dissension between the two tribes. And adopting extremist positions on the issues becomes a way to signal tribal affiliation, as does rejecting people who adopt more moderate positions.

So self-identified "deep blue" and "deep red" people stake out extremist positions on every issue, and don't prioritize, because that would involve backing off from their identification with Red Tribe or Blue Tribe and implicitly letting the enemy 'win.'

Which is the idiocy that gave us the idiocy that is the current Republican form of 'government.' They can't do anything, including basic common sense, that would in any way be a compromise that would in some sense let Blue Tribe 'win.'

Following them into the pit is having disastrous consequences for the left and for America as a whole.
Honestly, it's hard to even say because, again, the Democratic party can hardly be said to actually stand for something. I would say that not wanting to outlaw abortion is a pretty damn big one. There's room in the Democratic party for people who are morally opposed but understand that it's a situation where people will die when they shouldn't if you outlaw it. That women will still find ways to terminate pregnancies. That unforeseen reasons for ending pregnancy that relate to the health of the mother can come up. That there will be net harm trying to outlaw it. Actually taking an active interest in protecting the very groups that consistently get Democrats elected would be nice, too.

But, there is no actual platform. So how can a list of the most basic, bare-bones desires even be made? I'd love to see the Democratic party actually have a platform to rally people around. "I'm not gleefully sadistic" is not an inspiring message, and with how... diverse... policy positions are among the Democratic party are at this point this is about the only thing that the Democratic party itself campaigns on.
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-17 07:01pm

Its a tricky balancing act. You want a party that actually has some bedrock principles, but you don't want a platform that rigidly excludes anyone who does not conform on a wide range of issues, because then you get a small party that can't win at the national level.

I would say that Democrats generally (with perhaps a small minority of exceptions) agree on the following points:

1. That there should be some form of progressive taxation (ie, the rich pay more taxes than the poor, both as an absolute and as a percentage of their income).

2. That some form of social safety net should be preserved, including maintaining Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

3. Health Care- the debate seems to be over weather to tinker with Obamacare, or scrap it and replace with single payer. Nobody in the Democratic Party wants to return to the pre-Obamacare status quo.

4. Support for broader gun control, including greater background checks. The debate is over how far to go on this point.

5. Opposition to Trump/Republican efforts to undermine key democratic institutions.

As well as some others I'm probably missing.


Additional things that I think should be bedrock principles:

6. Single Payer.

7. Support for protecting voting rights as widely as possible.

8. Short-term: the impeachment of Donald Trump.

9. Universal Basic Income- but I recognize that this is a pipe dream in America for the foreseeable future.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-17 08:16pm

Napoleon the Clown wrote:
2018-03-17 06:49pm
The Democratic party, as things are, does not stand up for the things they claim to believe on a consistent basis. There are individual Democrats that do, but the party in general does not.

No matter what some may claim, the general consensus among Democrats is not "ban all guns" and you know it. So number 4 is a dishonest one to use as a "purity test" sort of situation in the first place.
Oh, hell no. No, it is not dishonest. I will explain why, but I think I'm within my rights to expect you to take that back.

See, what I'm not sure you caught here is that this is about the "is-ought" issue. I'm talking about what the Democratic Party ought to do. Because the official stance of the party as an organization is pretty much "big tent." That is, if you are willing to vote against the Republicans significantly more often than not, the Democrats are willing to vouch for you if no candidate capable of beating you in a primary emerges.

The argument being advanced by others (e.g. Dragon Angel and yourself) seems to be that the Party ought to adopt a "small tent" approach. That the party should be narrowing the internal Overton Window of "this is what you can believe and still be considered a real Democrat" in hopes of cultivating greater sincerity and motivation among its ranks. Because as it stands, the party is accepting all these DINOs who are 'no better than a Republican' and who will throw us all to the wolves the first time the Republicans say to do so.

So then I turn that around and say "okay, if the Democratic Party did what you wanted, how would that look in practice?" I proposed a fairly consistent worldview that might plausibly be held by, say, a blue-collar Catholic who leans left on economic issues but right on a lot of social issues.

The person in question is who they are. That's a reality. How we deal with it is the question I want to ask.

...

Now, suppose you are chair of the DNC. You are faced with the object-level question of what to do with this person. They just won the Democratic primary for a race in the House or Senate, in a Republican-leaning constituency.

Do you support them or not? Do you disown them for their views on abortion, gun control, or both? What, specifically, would you do? What would you counsel some larger collective body to do? That's the question I'm trying to ask and get an answer to.

If I'm understanding Dragon Angel's argument correctly, the proper response is to shun people like Conor Lamb for being DINOs. Do I have that right? Would you support a similar course of action? Am I mistaken about this?
Number 5? Yeah, I would side-eye the hell out of any Democrat that wants to help the Republicans end it because all it will do is make abortion less safe and be a net harm on society. We don't need anybody giving the Republicans a hand on the matter.
Okay, so does that mean there is no such thing, or should not be allowed to be such a thing, as an anti-abortion Democrat? Is that issue to be a litmus test for anyone who seeks the Democratic Party's permission to run with a (D) after their name?

Again, what are the object-level implications of this statement of yours? What do we do, politically, with a hypothetical person who wishes to run as a Democrat, strongly opposes abortion, but things single-payer health care is important, wants to restrain corporations, and absolutely loathes what the current Republican Party is doing to democratic institutions?
Purity tests can be horrifically harmful and counter-productive. But there are certain issues that the Democrats really should not budge on.
Okay, but WHICH ONES? This is not a trivial question. We can't just look at every single insufficiently liberal person and say "they defy us on an issue we can't budge on" without doing the kind of moronic crap that results in the left losing elections even when 60-70% of the population supports left-leaning policy proposals.

We need to be able to pick a specific, 'lean' and focused list of core values and stick to them consistently, and welcome everyone who is on board with that message. Or at least willing to live with that message while helping us overthrow the enemies of that message.
Honestly, it's hard to even say because, again, the Democratic party can hardly be said to actually stand for something. I would say that not wanting to outlaw abortion is a pretty damn big one. There's room in the Democratic party for people who are morally opposed but understand that it's a situation where people will die when they shouldn't if you outlaw it. That women will still find ways to terminate pregnancies. That unforeseen reasons for ending pregnancy that relate to the health of the mother can come up. That there will be net harm trying to outlaw it. Actually taking an active interest in protecting the very groups that consistently get Democrats elected would be nice, too.

But, there is no actual platform. So how can a list of the most basic, bare-bones desires even be made? I'd love to see the Democratic party actually have a platform to rally people around. "I'm not gleefully sadistic" is not an inspiring message, and with how... diverse... policy positions are among the Democratic party are at this point this is about the only thing that the Democratic party itself campaigns on.
Okay, well I'm seriously asking you, what do you think the list of essentials is? At what point are we literally better off kicking someone out of the tent for not agreeing with us on a specific issue or set of issues, even if they agree with us on other issues?
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-03-17 08:38pm

You know, if we want to talk about core principles, I for one think "We will not let fascists control the government of the most powerful nation on Earth" is a good start. Its not enough, maybe, but its a fucking start.

So when people give every indication that they would rather Trump win than compromise with Democrats, and then have the gall to try to pass that off as "principle"... I'm not going to agree. Because whatever their motivations, however legitimate their grievances with the Democrats, the result is the same- they are helping fascists. If you can't even manage "Don't help the fascists", then you have no business lecturing anyone about principles.

If that offends people, so be it. But when I see a genuine and imminent threat of fascism controlling the most powerful nation on Earth, other priorities take a back seat. I'll do everything I can at the primary level to push the party Left. But I will not prioritize fighting Centrists and moderate conservatives over fighting actual fascists.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-03-17 11:08pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-17 05:31pm
Yes, I don't doubt that there is a growing segment on the Left who would like to engage in physical violence against anyone who isn't sufficiently "pure" enough in their views. Hell, I would not be surprised if there are people here who think that I am a Nazi who ought to be put against a wall and shot.

Which is part of why I react so strongly to anything that smacks of refusal to compromise or demands for ideological purity. Because when that mindset takes root, the end result is Reigns of Terror.

Back on topic, I certainly don't blame you or anyone else for being angry. But we need to discuss the problems of the Democratic Party in terms other than "They're just like the Republicans". Because that is not only objectively false (as you acknowledged), but serves zero purpose towards reforming the party.

It is, however, a very potent narrative for those who wish to destroy the party, and to divide and conquer the opposition to Neo-Fascism.

It comes down to this: Are we actually interested in trying to fix the problem, or have we collectively given up on doing so, and seek only to vent our rage?

Again, I am not denying that there is a problem with conservative (and overly-timid) Democrats. But we also need to differentiate between someone like Doug Jones, and someone like, say, Elizabeth Warren. Rather than just branding "Democrats" collectively as Centrists/conservatives.
You know, a problem I have with you (and I'm sure others experience this) is that you jump to conclusions so fucking often that it is very difficult to discuss something with you without having to also discuss whatever Interpretation Of The Day you have of my posts. I already have to deal with that shit from someone terminally prone to it in real life and if you start that here, I'm not going to bother with this.

Before you say that I'm attacking your character, because dear god I already know you're going to, please note that from the start I've been suggesting a way for the Democrats to avoid becoming that exact kind of caricature. In your first reply to me, you accused me of having no nuance and calling them just like Republicans when you and Simon were, guess what, discussing the possibility of more Republican deserters joining the Democrats.

And I just go :wtf:?

I don't know whether you're aware of this or not, but the worst interpretation has me seeing you arguing in bad faith. So, I recommend that you stop forcing me to shadowbox a strawman. If every possible discussion about the Democrats from me may lead to you accusing me of acting like a mindless moderate, then you in essence make discussion of them impossible.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-17 05:31pm
I wouldn't.

I have said repeatedly, in this thread and elsewhere, that I support primary challenges against overly-conservative Democrats.

But if they're already there, if its a choice between Doug Jones and a Republican... fuck yes I'd vote for Doug Jones.

What does he offer? Well, for voters three months ago, he offered an alternative to a child molester who publicly discussed abolishing the amendments that allowed women to vote and ended slavery. Would I rather have a Senate composed of 100 Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warrens? Sure. But I'll take Doug Jones over the Nazi Pedophile Party.
I already implied that if I was unfortunate enough to live in Alabama, I would've voted for Jones anyway, simply because his opponent was a literal puppy-kicking cartoon villain. However, I want you to consider this: Why was Jones the candidate? Why couldn't someone who would truly support Democratic principles run instead? Why did Jones have to take that space?

Since Moore was that bad, in theory, any other candidate could have also beat him. Yet, somehow Jones was the one who ended up there. Could the Democrats not have scrounged up someone else who won't just go with two thirds of what the Republicans propose anyway? Is that such a high bar to pass?

It does not have to end with Republican-lites taking up valuable Democrat positions. If the only possible oppositions Democrats can give to puppy-kicking cartoon villains are Republican-lites, then the Democrats are fucked. That is not a statement without nuance. That is just mathematical fact. They will have lost their claim toward promoting liberal values.
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-03-17 05:31pm
I stated three facts:

1. Dividing the Left's voting power among numerous parties, particularly single issue/local third parties, will dilute the power of that vote.

2. Both Trump and Russia worked very hard to prop up third party movements.

3. They did not do so out of the goodness of their hearts, but because it was to their advantage to do so.

I'm not saying that everyone who votes third party is doing so because they bought into Russian propaganda. That would, indeed, be an absurd position. What I am saying is that whatever their motives, dividing the vote has the practical effect of playing into Trump, the Republicans, and Putin's hands, and that people who want progressive reform should consider carefully weather it is a good idea to do exactly the thing that the fascists want them to do.

If you contest those facts, or the conclusion I draw from them, then you should justify that position- not simply assert that your simplified straw man of my position is so self-evidently absurd that you do not need to defend your argument.
Just to make sure I wasn't hallucinating, I searched for "Kremlin" and found in your posts responses to me and Soontir where you implied that either of us was falling for Russian propaganda by even hinting at third parties. Can I take this as you withdrawing that implication?

And well, to reply to Simon here too...
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 05:50pm
If the Kremlin propagandizes in favor of third parties, AND the Kremlin propagandizes in favor of Trump, it is reasonable to suppose that this is the product of an internally consistent policy on the Kremlin's part. Exactly what this policy is remains subject to debate, but that such a policy exists would be hard to deny if the original premises are true.
Both of you need to realize the long-term consequences of what you're saying.

In effect, the inevitable conclusion from both of your statements will be "well if you don't vote for us, then it's your fault the fascists are going to get you". And that's fine for one, two Presidential terms, or three if you can really stretch it. Beyond that? If the Democrats never learn? Do you think that sales pitch is going to continue lasting? Or the alternative of "you're just playing into Putin's hands if you don't vote for us", which manages to both be defeatist and patronizing?

When will the Democrats be able to finally get it through their skulls that they can't keep running centrists or conservatives? Those sales pitches give them no motivation to change. They'll continue being corporate shills for whatever donors contributed to them, while maintaining ostensibly socially progressive ideals and their oh-so-high bar they set by not being Russian puppets as things to point to when election season arrives.

I would hope that neither of you are that cynical.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 05:50pm
Was that because Hillary Clinton was insufficiently leftist? Because I don't recall her being significantly to the right of, say, 2012 Obama. If Obama had run on the exact same platform Clinton did, he'd have won handily.

I don't think Hillary's terrible turnout was because of her being insufficiently leftist. I think it was because the far right has spent a quarter century going far out of its way to coordinate smear campaigns against her, and the smears stuck among large numbers of voters who would otherwise vote Democrat. Many of those voters are to the right of you, not to the left.
Hillary on the left side was viewed to be a cynical fake when it came to her progressive views. People saw her as switching to more progressive positions because it was more convenient, and they really, really did not like the foreign policy she executed under Obama. There is also the dislike for what the Democrats did to Bernie and for her seeming Manifest Destiny view of herself. And Tim Kaine as VP? Really, Hillary?

(Sidenote, here's a fun thing, Tim Kaine was one of the Democrats who voted to deregulate the banks recently. Progressive! :banghead:)

I'm not saying the smears over the last quarter century had little effect because they certainly contributed to her loss. But those smears were far from the only main causes of her defeat. In many ways, she herself was her worst enemy.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 05:50pm
Because of how American politics works, a "small tent" far-left Democratic Party is pre-committed to permanent congressional minorities. We will never win enough Senate races to hold even a quasi-stable majority, and we will always struggle to win enough House seats to matter.

A "big tent" Democratic Party has a much more flexible toolkit for shutting down the heinous bullshit currently being practiced by the Republican Party and keeping them out of power until such time as they stop throwing temper tantrums and become capable of functioning as a constructive part of the political order.

The problem you are smacking into is that America is not far enough to the left to suit you. I am inclined to agree; I don't think it's far enough to the left either. But fixing anything and bringing about constructive movement is going to hinge on shutting down the power of the Republican Party to deliberately sabotage things out of sheer unadulterated malice. And that is a job for a relatively broad consensus party of "everyone who doesn't want the government maliciously sabotaged for the benefit of the 1%," not a narrow party which lacks the muscle to get the job done.

We can split the big tent when the orcs are no longer camped at everyone's doorstep.

Because taking away the ACA? That's the orcs. Permanent tax cuts on corporations and eventual tax hikes on normal people? That's the orcs.
I'm sorry, but where have I stated that I will only accept far left candidates? Who are you arguing against?

Is "let's not take in so many centrists and conservatives" a statement that is supposed to imply "if candidates are not as communist as I am, then they're no good at all"?

I'd like you to modify your statement without pulling a TRR and jumping to conclusions about my positions, thanks. And I still do not see evidence that this hypothetical it will just work out in the end is going to happen. I do not see why it is the Democrats' responsibility to fix the Republicans. If the Republicans continue becoming batshit, then it doesn't follow that we have to run lighter versions of the Republicans circa early 2000s to win those seats. That's a fatalist attitude and that's just as destructive as holding all candidates to a far left purity standard.
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 08:16pm
The argument being advanced by others (e.g. Dragon Angel and yourself) seems to be that the Party ought to adopt a "small tent" approach. That the party should be narrowing the internal Overton Window of "this is what you can believe and still be considered a real Democrat" in hopes of cultivating greater sincerity and motivation among its ranks. Because as it stands, the party is accepting all these DINOs who are 'no better than a Republican' and who will throw us all to the wolves the first time the Republicans say to do so.

So then I turn that around and say "okay, if the Democratic Party did what you wanted, how would that look in practice?" I proposed a fairly consistent worldview that might plausibly be held by, say, a blue-collar Catholic who leans left on economic issues but right on a lot of social issues.

The person in question is who they are. That's a reality. How we deal with it is the question I want to ask.

...

Now, suppose you are chair of the DNC. You are faced with the object-level question of what to do with this person. They just won the Democratic primary for a race in the House or Senate, in a Republican-leaning constituency.

Do you support them or not? Do you disown them for their views on abortion, gun control, or both? What, specifically, would you do? What would you counsel some larger collective body to do? That's the question I'm trying to ask and get an answer to.

If I'm understanding Dragon Angel's argument correctly, the proper response is to shun people like Conor Lamb for being DINOs. Do I have that right? Would you support a similar course of action? Am I mistaken about this?
I'm not sure you want to cite Conor Lamb for this, because a quick Google shows he is decidedly pro-choice.

As far as a Democratic candidate who would hold a blue collar Catholic's views... Well, keep in mind that plenty of Catholics are not just pro-life, but also quite anti-queer. As a queer person myself ... there isn't much of a practical difference, is there? Voting for both of them fucks me over socially, and economically, it's already been displayed that Democrats are a high-stakes random number generator.

How can I also trust that said candidate would hold onto the other leftist principles? Or just not go with the Republicans on everything? If I can't trust that candidate, then I can't vote. I mean, you can scream "BUT FASCISM!" all you want, it's a hollow promise though to someone this candidate may be willing to throw under the bus anyway. If their moral character can include screwing the marginalized, what makes you think anything but a (D) mark would guarantee everything else?

If such a candidate would ever enter the scene, then I implore anyone listening: Please, in such an event, do not be so arrogant and paternalistic to demand a marginalized person vote for a candidate who is against their existence because it is supposedly for the Greater Good of the country.

(As far as my position on guns, at this point it's not an especially giant concern for me, although something more sane than the current systems would be extremely wonderful. It wouldn't break me against a candidate however.)
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Dragon Angel
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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Dragon Angel » 2018-03-18 11:56am

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-17 11:08pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 05:50pm
Because of how American politics works, a "small tent" far-left Democratic Party is pre-committed to permanent congressional minorities. We will never win enough Senate races to hold even a quasi-stable majority, and we will always struggle to win enough House seats to matter.

A "big tent" Democratic Party has a much more flexible toolkit for shutting down the heinous bullshit currently being practiced by the Republican Party and keeping them out of power until such time as they stop throwing temper tantrums and become capable of functioning as a constructive part of the political order.

The problem you are smacking into is that America is not far enough to the left to suit you. I am inclined to agree; I don't think it's far enough to the left either. But fixing anything and bringing about constructive movement is going to hinge on shutting down the power of the Republican Party to deliberately sabotage things out of sheer unadulterated malice. And that is a job for a relatively broad consensus party of "everyone who doesn't want the government maliciously sabotaged for the benefit of the 1%," not a narrow party which lacks the muscle to get the job done.

We can split the big tent when the orcs are no longer camped at everyone's doorstep.

Because taking away the ACA? That's the orcs. Permanent tax cuts on corporations and eventual tax hikes on normal people? That's the orcs.
I'm sorry, but where have I stated that I will only accept far left candidates? Who are you arguing against?

Is "let's not take in so many centrists and conservatives" a statement that is supposed to imply "if candidates are not as communist as I am, then they're no good at all"?

I'd like you to modify your statement without pulling a TRR and jumping to conclusions about my positions, thanks. And I still do not see evidence that this hypothetical it will just work out in the end is going to happen. I do not see why it is the Democrats' responsibility to fix the Republicans. If the Republicans continue becoming batshit, then it doesn't follow that we have to run lighter versions of the Republicans circa early 2000s to win those seats. That's a fatalist attitude and that's just as destructive as holding all candidates to a far left purity standard.
I'd like to change this and acknowledge that after rereading, you didn't directly as much attack me by saying I would only accept far left candidates. Apologies. I've just seen that used as a counter for even the most lightly progressive positions so often, that it's very easy for me to interpret statements that imply we should end up making the Democrats more centrist or more conservative as this.

The rest of this still stands however.
"I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain.
And my head I'd be scratchin', while my thoughts were busy hatchin', if I only had a brain!
I would not be just a nothin', my head all full of stuffin', my heart all full of pain.
I would dance and be merry, life would be would be a ding-a-derry, if I only had a brain!"

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Re: Another Heavy GOP seat Flips to DEM

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-03-18 01:47pm

Dragon Angel wrote:
2018-03-17 11:08pm
Simon_Jester wrote:
2018-03-17 05:50pm
If the Kremlin propagandizes in favor of third parties, AND the Kremlin propagandizes in favor of Trump, it is reasonable to suppose that this is the product of an internally consistent policy on the Kremlin's part. Exactly what this policy is remains subject to debate, but that such a policy exists would be hard to deny if the original premises are true.
Both of you need to realize the long-term consequences of what you're saying.

In effect, the inevitable conclusion from both of your statements will be "well if you don't vote for us, then it's your fault the fascists are going to get you". And that's fine for one, two Presidential terms, or three if you can really stretch it. Beyond that? If the Democrats never learn? Do you think that sales pitch is going to continue lasting? Or the alternative of "you're just playing into Putin's hands if you don't vote for us", which manages to both be defeatist and patronizing?
Well, I would fondly hope that Russia won't keep futzing with our election cycles literally forever, or that once we learn to watch for it, and after Trump gets investigated to pieces for profiting from it, it may start doing a candidate more harm than good if the Russians are trying to throw out swarms of bots on his behalf.

[Of course, if the Russians are really clever bastards about this, and history suggests that they can be, they could start supporting everyone with bots and just laugh at the trollish results. But at least that's a problem that cancels itself out in terms of who wins the elections, probably]

However, I recognize that this isn't really a refutation of your point.



When will the Democrats be able to finally get it through their skulls that they can't keep running centrists or conservatives? Those sales pitches give them no motivation to change. They'll continue being corporate shills for whatever donors contributed to them, while maintaining ostensibly socially progressive ideals and their oh-so-high bar they set by not being Russian puppets as things to point to when election season arrives.

I would hope that neither of you are that cynical.
The question I was trying to get at earlier is, what happens when this abstraction meets the road? We're looking at an election here where people running as Democrats are taking seats that are historically very secure for Republicans, in large part because of how massively unpopular Trump is and how unpopular the congressional Republicans have become. These special elections are mostly happening in Republican-held districts, generally "deep red" ones. It is not obvious that progressive candidates would be able to carry them. And yet, comparatively right-wing candidates running as Democrats seem to be able to do so, in districts that normally vote Republican by huge margins.

So what's your argument here? I see a couple of interpretations:

1) That progressives at or around the Sanders benchmark would have as good a shot at winning in those districts/states as guys like Conor Lamb and Doug Jones. So the Democratic Party should run such progressives in such races instead.

2) That it honestly does not matter if Democrats-in-name-only like Lamb and Jones win in those districts/states, because they're just crypto-Republicans and for all practical differences it means nothing. There is no point in tolerating or welcoming such individuals in the Democratic Party.

Is it one of those? Both? A third thing I haven't thought of?
Hillary on the left side was viewed to be a cynical fake when it came to her progressive views. People saw her as switching to more progressive positions because it was more convenient, and they really, really did not like the foreign policy she executed under Obama. There is also the dislike for what the Democrats did to Bernie and for her seeming Manifest Destiny view of herself. And Tim Kaine as VP? Really, Hillary?

(Sidenote, here's a fun thing, Tim Kaine was one of the Democrats who voted to deregulate the banks recently. Progressive! :banghead:)

I'm not saying the smears over the last quarter century had little effect because they certainly contributed to her loss. But those smears were far from the only main causes of her defeat. In many ways, she herself was her worst enemy.
Okay, but to be blunt, some of the same accusations could have been leveled at Repeat Obama.

For political offices that are relevant at the national level, how far left do we expect our candidates to be? It's reasonable to say that no national-level Democrat (major committee leaders, presidential candidates) should be teetering on the edge of "y'know, before Tea happened, I'd be a Republican" territory. But is everyone noticeably to the right of the Sanders line suspect? Where's the limit?

If we draw the line far enough to the left, we get a very committed party that probably loses all the time. If we draw the line far enough to the right, we get a big party that can't do anything and is sprawled out over too wide an ideological spectrum to agree on anything. It is right and proper that you point this out.

At the same time... well, where do we draw the line? What do we do when things that actually happen... happen?
I'm sorry, but where have I stated that I will only accept far left candidates?
As noted, I didn't. To recap (yes I read your 'change this' post)...

My exact words were "not far enough to the left to suit you." That does not mean "you're not accepting anyone except far left candidates," it means "You're not accepting candidates who aren't far enough left to suit you. I mean, I have a cutoff line for "too far to the right" too, although it's more of a squishy rubber barrier that bends a bit depending on exactly which issues are being discussed. You are clearly drawing such a line here, which is why I'm trying to explore the implications of that line.
And I still do not see evidence that this hypothetical it will just work out in the end is going to happen. I do not see why it is the Democrats' responsibility to fix the Republicans. If the Republicans continue becoming batshit, then it doesn't follow that we have to run lighter versions of the Republicans circa early 2000s to win those seats. That's a fatalist attitude and that's just as destructive as holding all candidates to a far left purity standard.
To win which seats? The 'deep red' seats that swung Republican even in 2016 when Trump was running and it was... fairly clear that congressional Republicans were going to do more or less what they're doing now?

Do we run progressives in those states now, figuring on them to win in 2018? Or are you talking about other, historically blue or at least purple constituencies?
I'm not sure you want to cite Conor Lamb for this, because a quick Google shows he is decidedly pro-choice.
I'm not saying "these are Conor Lamb's exact views," I'm saying "what do we do about this guy, who's like Conor Lamb, or at least more like Conor Lamb than he is like either Bernie Sanders or Paul Ryan."
As far as a Democratic candidate who would hold a blue collar Catholic's views... Well, keep in mind that plenty of Catholics are not just pro-life, but also quite anti-queer. As a queer person myself ... there isn't much of a practical difference, is there? Voting for both of them fucks me over socially, and economically, it's already been displayed that Democrats are a high-stakes random number generator.
You could equally well argue that the same is true socially so what's the point of voting at all? A lot of us millenials thought Obama would be a progressive candidate in 2008. Now we're left either saying "sellout" or "he did the best he could with the shitty situation."

I'm not sure to what extent the problem is "the Democratic Party as such is flawed," and to what extent the problem is that BOTH parties have a more radical 'base/fringe' faction that each make up 10-15% of the American population, BOTH of which are screaming at their respective parties for being insufficiently committed to The Cause.
How can I also trust that said candidate would hold onto the other leftist principles? Or just not go with the Republicans on everything? If I can't trust that candidate, then I can't vote. I mean, you can scream "BUT FASCISM!" all you want, it's a hollow promise though to someone this candidate may be willing to throw under the bus anyway. If their moral character can include screwing the marginalized, what makes you think anything but a (D) mark would guarantee everything else?
What ever guarantees anything for anyone? I mean, candidates can say they care about the working class and then literally be Donald Trump. Aside from trying to gauge candidates' honesty and treat their actual stated positions as at least a rough guide to their real ones (plus or minus a likewise calculable factor for how honest they are)... What can ever be done about this issue? There is NO guarantee that candidates won't disappoint you, especially if they're in a position to pick up two votes by disappointing you but only one (yours) by doing what you want.

This is a sad yet empirically confirmed fact. I'm not a fan of it, and I'm not resigned to it, but if I let it stop me from voting every time I'll never vote at all.

Now, I'm not going to ask you to vote for a candidate you reasonably suspect of being anti-queer, because that hits you, personally, right where you live. I understand that. It would be fucking ridiculous to expect you to jump on a political grenade like that.

And yet the question remains: If such a person steps up to the plate and runs as a Democrat, in a district that normally leans Republican by something like 57-43 or 60-40, and it looks like he's winning... Well, we know what you'd do. But what exactly should the Democratic National Convention do? What should Democrats as a whole do? Be happy, sad, deeply troubled and ambivalent?

It's like, if the Democratic Party doesn't do everything in its power to advance queer rights, because its efforts to fix health insurance take precedence, all the queer people can reasonably complain that they are being thrown under the bus.

And if the Democratic Party doesn't do everything in its power to fix health insurance, because its commitment to queer rights takes precedence, all the straight people with no health insurance can reasonably complain that they are being thrown under the bus.

The queer people with no health insurance are miserable either way.

And I'm not telling you, or anyone, how to feel about that, or who to vote for because of that. But the tradeoff still exists, there is at least some extent to which excluding candidates over their deplorable stances on one issue may undermine the party's ability to accomplish another issue. And while we may accept that as the cost of doing business, we shouldn't pretend that it's just Not A Thing.
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