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Sun May 18, 2014, 09:05 PM

Democrats OWN the Center: I'm Not Giving It Back Without a Fight

Ok, my two cents worth. Carter did not lose because he moved to the center. Carter lost, because some very bad people made a deal with the Iranians to exchange Hostages for Votes. McGovern lost by a landslide in 1972, because the GOP was able to portray him as the “Abortion, Acid and Amnesty” candidate—he had spent so much time courting the left wing of his own party in the primary, there was really no time for him to move back to the center for the general. And right now, with the Tea Baggers jettisoning their own semi-sane Republican incumbents in a rite of Calvinist slash and burn frenzy that would make the Salem Witch Hunters proud and replacing them with GOP candidates who are so crazy, so extreme, so far out in far out right field that Goldwater of 1964 would have said “What’s up with these guys?”---

Now is the time for the Democratic Party to proclaim “Hey, America, who are you gonna trust? Those crazy extremists who want to take away your Mom’s Medicare and Social Security? The ones who want to arm kindergarten teachers? The ones who want to privatize your fire department? The ones who would rather see your wife die from being pregnant than allow her to get an abortion? The ones who think that Blacks had it better under slavery? The ones who think that children born to undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay---as indentured servants, not subject to ordinary labor laws? The ones who want to criminalize sex? The ones who want the Bible---their version of the Bible—taught to your kids in school? The ones who want to wage holy war against Muslims? The ones who want to cut taxes on the rich while raising them on the working class? The ones who think you should get your health care in the Emergency Room? The ones who think that corporations are citizens and that the more money a citizen has, the more influence he should have in a democracy?”

Now is the time for Democrats to remind Americans that our party stands for equality for all before the law---a good old fashioned American value, straight out of the Bill of Rights. Democrats stand for freedom of religion. We stand for the right to privacy. We stand for one person, one vote. We stand for marriage---for all. We stand for children---including children’s safety and health. We stand for a country where no child should go to bed hungry at night. We stand for families---and we won’t stand for having families split apart, so that Dad can be sent to fight a war of choice for oil or that Mom can be sent “back” to a country she never knew where she could be killed.

Citizens United gave some rich folks the right to buy a party. They bought the Republican Party. They filled it with a bunch of kooks who are so far right that only a well-paid media whore could love---no, no one can love them---only a well-paid media whore can stomach them. And now, their party full of kooky, crazy Tea Baggers is having a very hard time trying to connect with ordinary Americans, because they say the kinds of things that only 1% of Americans want to hear. Imagine that.

Since this is politics and not a game of golf or darts, there is no reason why the Democrats have to offer to accept a handicap in order to make the upcoming elections more “sporting.” We do not have to say “Oh, you poor Republicans. Your corporate masters have saddled you with a lot of brainless, right wing zombies. Here, we’ll move on over to the far left, so that it will be a better contest.” We would be fools to make such an offer. Since the GOP has abandoned the Center of the Road as if the Center of the Road has a horrible infestation of cooties, I suggest---no, I demand that we stake a claim to the Center of the Road. We are supposed to be the Big Umbrella. We are supposed to be the party that represents as many people as possible. Seems to me that the Big Umbrella will catch more folks in its shade if we set it up right in the middle of the road where all the traffic will be going. And then, if I may stretch the metaphor, maybe we can gently nudge the traffic and get it moving in a direction that will benefit all of us, economically, socially, emotionally, culturally---

The trick will be resisting those within our own party who look at the Tea Baggers way, way off in right field and then look at us in the center of the road and then look at the Tea Baggers, so very, very far away with their "Privatize Medicare Now!" and "No Gay Marriage ever" and then look at us and then look at the Tea Baggers who call children on food stamps "feral" and then look at Hillary Clinton and proclaim "Hillary is the same as Ted Cruz! Eeek!" Just like all those folks back in 2000 who said "Gore is the same as Bush" though they could not have told you a single thing that Bush did as governor of Texas, because if they could, they would have known that Bush was never the same as Gore. They just liked the way that sounded "Gore is the same as Bush. Yeah, that sounds like something a political rebel would say. I'm a rebel. I wear white shoes after Labor Day!"

The Center of the Road is not a bad place. The Center of the Road is where most of the people who need our help---working class Americans of all colors, religions, ethnicities who are struggling to keep their jobs, their homes, their retirement savings---live in a democracy. It is Nancy Reagan's Morning in America, and while her campaign was a bunch of lies, if the Democrats promise the same thing, we can deliver. Oh, and if I remember 1984 (which I do) all of my liberal friends were absolutely delighted with the Democratic ticket--that got trounced by Reagan. Proving that going "center" was not what did us in.


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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democrats OWN the Center: I'm Not Giving It Back Without a Fight (Original post)
McCamy Taylor May 2014 OP
Doctor_J May 2014 #1
McCamy Taylor May 2014 #2
Hekate May 2014 #3
RobertEarl May 2014 #4
TreasonousBastard May 2014 #5
Tierra_y_Libertad May 2014 #6
Hippo_Tron May 2014 #7
Recursion May 2014 #8
Bluenorthwest May 2014 #9
LWolf May 2014 #10
IronLionZion May 2014 #11

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 09:08 PM

1. What an excellent two-hour rant

 

now about 2010...How did abandoning real Dems work for you that time?

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #1)

Sun May 18, 2014, 09:14 PM

2. 2010 was the first test of Citizens United as you well know, and the usual rules did not apply.

So, the only conclusions you can draw from 2010 is that if you throw an enormous monkey wrench into the system, many people will take an election cycle or two to adapt. The Dems have now learned to solicit money just as well or even better than the GOP. Remember, there are many sectors of the economy and what is good for Oil and Banking is not good for other sectors.

Edited to add my own roflmao.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 09:26 PM

3. WELL DONE, McCAMY!

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 09:28 PM

4. It's the economy, stupid

 

That is how Clinton won.

Reagan reduced taxes and went on a spending spree. The deficit ballooned. No Citizen's United then, Reagan bought votes with federal spending.

Reagan was more leftist in those regards and so he won.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 11:03 PM

5. Right! The Center is where things get done...

everyone forgets those wonderful two years when Pelosi and Obama actually started to undo the worst of Bush and everyone sat back amazed that we were a working nation again.

Even then some pilloried them as too centrist, and now they are evil incarnate because not only didn't they bring every wet dream of the left to life back then, but they're not even trying any more.

FDR! FDR! For about a decade of our medium long history we are in the middle of the worst situation the world has seen. Europe is looking at a future of either Communism or Fascism, China went Communist, and Japan is looking to take over China and the rest of Asia. And we are dead broke. Of course FDR (one of the 1 percenters, himself, btw) tried stuff. Anyone would have in those days, except for asshole Congressional Republicans who stopped more stuff from being done. Who knows what FDR would do now? Probably not a whole hell of a lot more than Obama has done or tried to do.

Truman was of the Center. Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter... Even Nixon had his moments and despised the far right as much as the far left.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:16 AM

6. Moderates, Centrists, DLC, 3rd Way, Neo-lib. The "Not as bad" party.

 

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice. Thomas Paine

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 12:50 AM

7. All of those elections were won and lost based on factors entirely beyond anyone's control

American politics since World War II has been incredibly cyclical. After 8 years of one party, the incumbent party gets disillusioned and stays home and the out of power party is motivated to vote so the White House switches parties. 2 years later, the party in the White House is not motivated while the new opposition is, so Congress switches hands. The party in the White House realizes they need to keep the White House 2 years later, so they show up to vote. Then another 2 years later they're disillusioned and the opposition in Congress gains more strength. 2 more years later, the opposition wins the White House and it starts all over again.

Yes there are exceptions to this cycle. If you have enough bad shit happen to you, ala Jimmy Carter, you don't win re-election. If you have the first attack on America soil since Pearl Harbor, ala George W Bush, your party gains seats in the midterms. If the opposition party is dumb enough to impeach you over a blow job, ala Bill Clinton, your party gains seats in the second midterm. And if your opponents run an exceptionally shitty campaign, like Dukakis, you can get 12 years in the White House.

But the bottom line is that you have a limited time in office before voters vote in the other party for no particular reason other than the other side is motivated to show up and your side isn't anymore. Spending that limited time on watered down centrism seems like a waste. But that's just me.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #7)

Mon May 19, 2014, 04:21 AM

8. ^ That (nt)

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 09:01 AM

9. Until late in 2012, the 'centrist' position on marriage equality was 'against' and that was always

 

followed by lots of verbiage about God Mix and Pragmatism and lectures about being reality based and understanding that only civil unions would be possible for at least a generation and how gay folks needed to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good and stop asking for a pony.
Who was against equality? Obama and the Party. Hillary, all prayer meetings and sneers. Biden, shouting out 'I agree with Governor Palin' in the VP debate 'marriage is for one man and one woman'. The entire 'moderate wing' the whole of the Third Way. Some of them said ultra shitty things on a regular basis. I mean, you straights do understand that saying God is on your side against us is vile, don't you? Defining Christianity as 'against minorities' is vile, you do see that, don't you? Obama saying 'I'm a Christian so I am against it God is in the mix' was a man saying horrible, nasty, bigoted and heretical filth.
So yeah. Whatever. The 'Center' made the choice to bad mouth us for years and years. The casual co-opting of equality as your own cause serves us, but understand that you are not fooling us with that crap at all. We know who had Dan Choi dragged to jail, we remember the words of your 'centrist' bloggers, the actions of your politicians.
We remember everything.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 09:07 AM

10. I "own"

acres of noxious weeds. You can have them.

The weeds, not the acres.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 02:34 PM

11. I don't think its about center vs left, its more about winning the PR war

No matter what the policy positions are, any Dem will be painted to the left of lenin by the republicans.

Its important to inspire enough voters to come out and vote for our candidates. Some of the more extreme radicals in both parties manage to win by spending extraordinary amounts of time listening to their constituents and earning votes one at a time. Big money wins the TV ad war. But can only do so much with real people's hearts and minds. Old fashioned door to door campaigning still works in much of America.

After watching Ann Richards' documentary on HBO, I really want the Dems to be a 50 state party again and win in states like Texas as well as retaking more liberal places we should win like Maine and Wisconsin.

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