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Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:08 PM

Exhaustive (and exhausting) list of obstacles to Democratic victory in 2014.

In no particular order...

1. Gerrymandering. Republicans have gone about gerrymandering with a strategic focus similar to business investment - using each round of it as a means to expand rather than merely protect what they have. The results have been an increasingly undemocratic partisan proportion that in no way reflects the American electorate, at times - like 2012 - resulting in GOP majorities in legislative bodies when the majority of voters had voted for Democrats.

2. Prison districting. This is a long-standing issue whereby rural, strongly conservative districts choose to locate prisons in their territory. The inmates of these facilities, most of whom cannot vote or wouldn't vote anyway, are then counted as constituents, resulting in quite a few Republican districts that would not otherwise exist or would have to be combined into one. I've read studies claiming that the GOP would not have won a single Congressional majority in the past three decades without this undemocratic phenomenon.

3. Jim Crow 2. Thanks to 5COTU5's ruling striking down key portions of the Voting Rights Act, and the high likelihood they will make further lawless decisions attempting to decide elections in favor of the GOP in advance, it is extremely likely that minority voters will face obstacles to voting unprecedented in generations. This only compounds the demographic tendency of low-income and minority voters to sit out midterm elections. Remember, that Tea Party operative who threw out voter registration forms in 2012 was never prosecuted by the Republican prosecutor in that area, so expect such tactics to be implemented on a massive scale this time around.

4. Perverse Blame. Bizarre as it seems, some people seem to think Congress is currently run by Democrats or even the President, and that they can just wave a magic wand and overcome absolute obstructionism. The Senate, which does have a Democratic majority, still has to deal with filibuster obstructionism, and obviously cannot dictate anything to the House.

5. The media is full of unhinged right-wing propaganda. But what else is new?

6. 5COTU5's lawless decisions turning elections into auctions. Since the rich are largely Republican, and since more of the middle and lower classes sit out midterm elections, the GOP will simply buy their desired result through even more pervasive right-wing propaganda campaigns than normally flood the media. The truth will simply be shouted down and locked out, lies will be believed for lack of any sufficiently-scaled challenge.

7. A distracted / priority-incompetent left. Again, what else is new? Achieving something will always be less important to some people ostensibly on our side than self-satisfaction.

8. 5COTU5 can always pull another Bush v. Gore if all else somehow fails them. They have shown their willingness in the past to simply throw out and arbitrarily decide elections as they see fit, and their level of brazenness these days approaches infinite.

9. Outright election-rigging is likely in some areas. No matter how many advantages right-wingers have in a legitimate election, they will always prefer a guaranteed result. They've tried before, and they've succeeded often enough to reward their efforts. Every election cycle makes their efforts more organized and increases its scale. With a newly energized Tea Party / brownshirts at work on behalf of their millionaire masters to end democracy in America once and for all, and knowing 5COTU5 has their back, expect new depths of brazen authoritarianism to be plumbed.

So...what are you gonna do about it?

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Reply Exhaustive (and exhausting) list of obstacles to Democratic victory in 2014. (Original post)
True Blue Door Jul 2014 OP
Maedhros Jul 2014 #1
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #5
Kablooie Jul 2014 #2
Cosmocat Jul 2014 #3
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #4
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #6
winter is coming Jul 2014 #7
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #10
winter is coming Jul 2014 #17
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #18
winter is coming Jul 2014 #20
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #21
winter is coming Jul 2014 #31
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #32
ancianita Jul 2014 #22
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #26
ancianita Jul 2014 #29
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #33
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Jul 2014 #8
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #11
Scuba Jul 2014 #9
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #12
Scuba Jul 2014 #13
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #15
blkmusclmachine Jul 2014 #14
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #16
ancianita Jul 2014 #23
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #24
ancianita Jul 2014 #25
True Blue Door Jul 2014 #28
ancianita Jul 2014 #30
1StrongBlackMan Jul 2014 #19
randys1 Jul 2014 #27

Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:10 PM

1. 7. A distracted / priority-incompetent PARTY.

 

Fixed that for you.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #1)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:29 PM

5. Those aren't mutually exclusive.

And your pretense that they are is kind of an example of what my original item mentions.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:12 PM

2. I, For One, Welcome Our New Insect Overlords

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:19 PM

3. Yep

it isn't good, and it probably is not going to be good in November.

The ONLY hope is somehow finding a way to hold on to the Senate by a hair, with maybe picking up some governorships as a consolation prize.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:21 PM

4. 10. Candidates who can't enthuse enough voters to vote for them.

Recent polling has shown less than a quarter of the youth vote intends to vote in the midterms.

Given that the youth vote is usually sewn up by Dems, you'd think more candidates would be putting a lot more effort into showing that they're worth voting for, and get young adults interested in voting.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #4)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 03:31 PM

6. It's not their job to entertain you.

It's our job to pick the best option. Emphasis on option. If you don't like the options, then participate in primaries. If you don't like the primary options, then choose a different party. If you don't like any of the parties, then form your own. And if your own party doesn't win, then YOU are the problem.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 04:06 PM

7. "if your own party doesn't win, then YOU are the problem"

Isn't that what Erich was saying? Nowhere in his post did I see an indication that the youth vote needs to be entertained. If we want to get their votes, they need to be represented. We should be addressing issues that matter to them. If we aren't, and they don't like the options, they won't participate.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #7)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:36 PM

10. My objection is with the emphasis of the comment.

The attitude is that citizens are supposed to behave like passive consumers, and it's the fault of some distant authority if we fail to participate. That is extremely destructive.

As citizens, we choose what happens. Even failing to choose is itself a choice: A choice to delegate decisions to the rich and to highly-motivated radicals. That is what the youth vote needs to learn about reality, not that they should treat elections like American Idol.

Rather than trying to get the youth vote enthusiastic for a leader, get them enthusiastic for their own role in politics - for the fact that whether they like it or not, anything they do has consequences for this country. Get them to understand that they don't need to expect a political leader to convince them to be involved: That they are involved no matter what, and their choice is whether they take responsibility for what follows or just delegate their decisions to lobbyists.

How about instead of waging American Idol campaigns, we provide some damn Civics education?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 06:36 PM

17. Again, the only person talking about "American Idol" campaigns is you, and the implication

that young people are shallow and/or lazy is condescending. The younger voters I've talked to are disengaged from the process because they feel the system is so gamed that there's no point in participating: all they hear are vague wishy-washy canned sound bites from candidates who may not even mean what they're saying. There's not much interest in getting involved in something if you feel your efforts aren't making any difference.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #17)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 10:19 PM

18. Again, you're talking about how they feel rather than what's real.

I think probably the only way to rigorously deal with this is to have compulsory voting like in a number of other countries. Their experiences have, to my understanding, been largely positive.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 01:46 PM

20. People vote based on how they feel, not on "reality".

If we think we're doing a good job of representing younger voters, we need to express that in terms that reach those voters. If we can't articulate it, chances are we're not doing such a good job.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #20)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 04:30 PM

21. Then get them to think about how they feel differently.

A progressive party cannot pander to ignorance and remain progressive.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #21)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 08:20 PM

31. Informing potential voters about how policy affects them isn't "pandering".

It's an integral part of successful campaigning. Approaching potential voters as if they're lazy ignorant schmucks isn't a successful campaign strategy.

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Response to winter is coming (Reply #31)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 10:55 PM

32. Exactly. So don't do it.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #10)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 06:57 PM

22. You fail to show citizens' direct influence on the existence of the OP obstacles.

I said "direct" influence. You know good and well that citizens ARE distant in gerrymandering decisions, prison districting, SCOTUS rulings, media ownership, and election rigging.

You COULD mention, just mention, the undue burden you might possibly be putting on people whose days are spent working, looking for work, raising children, working with local organizations, staying informed from credible non-propaganda media. Not to mention taking hours off from work to go vote. Those are priorities that take up much of a 24-hour day.

You COULD mention, also, that national leaders, even moreso their donors, ignore national opinion polls on everything from legalizing marijuana to foreign policy to corporate personhood.

Your OP could mention that this is a huge country, with disparate income equality in a winner-take-all system rigged to pander to voters rather than deal with them honestly, and ignore those without money. The people who've caused the obstacles you outline above are exactly the people who make high art of misleading voters into thinking they will represent voters' interests.

Since you're fairly new (I think) and take some libertarian stand about how our -- OUR -- choices are totally, directly influential -- if we make them so -- ignores so much beaten down active citizenship -- protests, Occupy, petitioning, phone calling and other hard fought causes already performed by citizens young and old -- that I can't even begin to tell you how your "solutions" here defy feasibility.

The only thing I agree with is your OP use of the word exhausting. Yes, it always will be. At least until WE get money out of American politics.

Read more. Look into the huge fight the 99% are up against with the 1% who, save for court restrictions and other random regulations, can literally buy both federal and state governance in their favor. They're clearly showing the working class of many states that they don't even need the working class, or even voters, thereby, to run this country in their interests. Now, there's a context for rethinking your solutions.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #22)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:37 PM

26. Excuses to fail as citizens are not important.

As haggard and overworked as the American people are today, how bad do you think it was in the early 20th century for the activists who remade this country from a dystopian steampunk cesspool where employers literally held the power of life and death over their workers into a juggernaut of progressive politics by mid-century?

Freedom is for those who take it - who are willing to die or go to jail for it. Not for people who consider it an extracurricular activity. Money can't compete with people whose very selves are invested. But it can easily compete with, distract, and intimidate people who just feel dissatisfied and politely ask for their rights as an optional request in between playing videogames and reading celebrity gossip.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #26)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:54 PM

29. Then you naively play semantics, substituting "excuses" for reality. Of course they're important.

Rather than trying to get the youth vote enthusiastic for a leader, get them enthusiastic for their own role in politics - for the fact that whether they like it or not, anything they do has consequences for this country. Get them to understand that they don't need to expect a political leader to convince them to be involved: That they are involved no matter what, and their choice is whether they take responsibility for what follows or just delegate their decisions to lobbyists.

How about instead of waging American Idol campaigns, we provide some damn Civics education?


WE? How about you read around some past threads in DU, lurk more and see how concretely DU'ers have tactically linked and discussed your very handy solutions. But then you'd have to have a star membership to get access to archived threads.

You think you're telling people something new here? For the 3.5 years I've spent here, DU'ers have discussed and acted upon your high sounding solutions, not to mention sharing fundraising, petitioning and actual candidacy efforts that have had direct effects on national opinion polls.

Until you yourself outline your activist bona fides, accomplishments, and then lead by example along these lines, I really can't take your proclamations seriously, and neither should others here.

Thanks for your OP. It's good. But your solutions leave a lot out about the "how."



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Response to ancianita (Reply #29)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 11:04 PM

33. Wow. Just wow.

I suppose if I said 2 + 2 = 4, you'd wonder darkly if I'm a bona fide mathematics professor or just an amateur with an opinion.

Shall I scrounge up my liberal activist decoder ring and give you our Secret Handshake?

I'm not interested in silly ego-enhancing shibboleths and identity politics, just in giving what it is that I can give.

Do with it what you will. If you find my thoughts useless or unqualified, then you can ignore me and I'll return the favor.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 04:08 PM

8. Entertain? No. It's their job to get elected.

Not to make excuses for why they lost.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #8)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:37 PM

11. And it's our job to elect the better candidate.

Not to make excuses for how it's the candidate's fault if we fail as citizens.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #6)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:30 PM

9. You were doing quite well until this post.

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #9)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:38 PM

12. That's not constructive criticism.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #12)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:39 PM

13. Are you not capable of self-reflection?

 

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Response to Scuba (Reply #13)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:49 PM

15. I'm capable of both receiving and offering constructive criticism.

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:47 PM

14. #'s 8 and 9 especially problematic. You know those 5 lying liar psychopaths on the SCOTUS won't

 

hesitate 1 nanosecond to overturn election results in favor of the GOP. They are crooked, vile, black rob(b)ed thugs! True ACTIVISTS, ones that have never exercised this level of legal slimeballery since Bush v. Gore.

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Response to blkmusclmachine (Reply #14)

Sun Jul 6, 2014, 05:51 PM

16. Indeed.

I'm actually curious how some of the more submissive voices among us will deal with it when 5COTU5 rules that corporations have the vote, and that their number of votes is based on their money - which is basically inevitable at this point.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #16)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:14 PM

23. So you admit that near & distant money does overturn citizen activism, I take it.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #23)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:20 PM

24. Eh?

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #24)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:31 PM

25. My continuation of my points made above (#22).'Eh?' sounds a bit disengenuous, considering your big

speech about how WE control so much of what we get in politics.

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Response to ancianita (Reply #25)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:40 PM

28. Considering that politics is nothing but people relating to each other

saying that we control the outcome is not only obvious, but tautological. That you would take offense at that is beyond bizarre, and makes me wonder what exactly you're trying to accomplish - unless you think convincing people they're helpless is a legitimate progressive goal.

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Response to True Blue Door (Reply #28)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:57 PM

30. Now you're making silly accusations. I described a realistic context that your 'solutions' ignored

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 08:41 AM

19. Posted to for later reading. eom.

 

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Response to True Blue Door (Original post)

Mon Jul 7, 2014, 07:39 PM

27. Since when are we arguing about WHAT KIND OF ID, instead of NO id required???

Voter ID is unconstitutional, yet we are now debating what kind of ID the American Terrorist organization (republican and teaparty) can force people to provide.

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