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Democratic Electoral Strategies: What Should They Do For 2012 And Beyond?

ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
I'll go ahead and link the most relevant article I've read recently to this topic, even though it's Matt Taibbi. So, going forward, those of us on the left are forced to watch the Republican party get dirtier and dirtier, and more and more effective in the electoral tactics they're using to get elected. Everything from voter ID laws, to posting signs in black neighborhoods that give the wrong day to vote, to trying to get liberal states to split their electoral votes. So, what should Democrats do to fight against this sort of thing? I, for one, am tired of watching the Democrats show up to a gun fight with a wiffle bat and one hand tied behind their backs, while the Republicans show up with a nuclear weapon. I would say there are four different places the electoral game is being played, and I'm going to talk about three of them; the ground game, the fourth, where you have actual people on the ground getting people to polling places and such, I think is someplace Democrats tend to do really well; it's the other three they tend to suck at: the media, legal strategies, and extra-legal strategies.

The media game: this is where Democrats tend to get beat the hardest. Republicans will run an ad for Swift Boat Veterans for truth in a tiny handful of super-cheap markets; that ad will be noticed by a national news station, which will then play it back for weeks on end, giving them a ton of free air time. We need to get Democratic groups running the dame sorts of ads. The Democrats need to do something like run ads in moderate districts pointing out that Republicans endorse candidates who think women should be executed for adultery; flash pictures of Jihadists during these ads. Run ads in conservative districts saying that the Republican candidates think that rich people should give away all of their money. Candidates who say they believe in the literal truth of the Bible are actually saying this shit, and it's such a thoroughly retarded position that it should be brought to light. And it's not like you're going to offend people who were going to vote Democrat, anyway.

The legal strategy: the Republicans are really good about this one, too. First, they pass laws instituting mandatory minimums for possession of drugs that are historically popular among the poor and minorities, and make possession of even a small amount of those drugs a felony; then, they pass laws disenfranchising people with felony convictions. Or they pass laws requiring all voters to have IDs in order to "prevent voter fraud," and shut down a bunch of DMVs in low-income areas as a "cost-saving measure." The thing is, the Democrats could be doing the same sort of thing in states they control. I think first and foremost, progressives should be working to repeal felon disenfranchisement laws, and mandatory minimums. In addition to that, I think we should look at ways to reduce Republican turnout. A few ideas:

*If there is an existent voter ID law in a state, close as many rural DMVs as possible.
*Pass laws allowing online voter registration while simultaneously slowing down the processing of registration by mail and in-person. This will hurt poor people, but it will hurt rural people and old people more.
*Copy the Republican strategy of advocating proportional splits of electoral votes, just do it in more conservative places. If we can get a vote or two out of Montana or Nevada, all the better.

One huge thing that would be a big winner on the national level: let the Republicans repeal the Americans with Disabilities Act. This has been a huge pet issue of the Chamber of Commerce for decades. It will be a strategic victory for the Democrats on a couple of levels: 1) All of the disabilities advocacy groups will be forced to completely switch gears. Right now, they spend a lot of their time advocating against abortion, against genetic research, and against euthanasia; this would make them spend all of their time fighting to get the ADA reinstated. 2) It would allow the Democrats to put polling places in non-handicap accessible areas in states like, say, Florida and Arizona, with large populations of old people. This would make it difficult (if not impossible) for a lot of them to vote. 3) This would also cause a huge backlash against the Republicans from the disability community (not that a ton of them are Republican, anyhow, but they've been starting to lean that direction lately, what with the insane anti-science shit they're into). It could help drive Democratic turnout.

Finally, extra-legal strategies. I think we need to get some Democratic groups trying the same sort of voter caging strategies that the Republicans use, things like giving the wrong date for election day, or convincing people that they've voted when they really haven't. Rural voters and the elderly are ideal targets for these sorts of things.

So, I'm sure there will be plenty of disagreement here on how far the Democrats should or should not go, or to what degree any of my ideas should be implemented. Also, let's hear your ideas! Also, you can talk about what a horrible person I am to suggest the Democrats shouldn't just roll over and die when it comes to these sorts of tactics.

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Posts

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    I don't know how effective the Republican tactics are going to be over the long term. Nearly all of the big Republican win states in the mid-terms are already having massive buyer's remorse, many whose governors have 30% approval ratings in their first terms.

    Furthermore, your ideas will ultimately result in Democrats being just as bad as Republicans. When your only code is winning, then the standards and morals that you would like to see as vested traits of our leadership will vanish. "Win at all costs" is where the Republicans started, and that resulted in shackling them with the Tea Monster... which really hasn't been good for the country as a whole.

    In short, I do not think this plan of yours will have the intended effect. I beg for you to abandon it.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    How sad is it that the main "advice" for winning a US election is focused on flare and trickery and not platform content.

  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    I think the Democrats need to take more initiative at framing issues.

    For example, during the past several national Presidential elections, the right has inevitably hit the Democratic candidate with the charge that they were the "most liberal member of the *insertlegislativepositionhere*"

    The typical democratic response is to run away from this charge by saying "No, I was more conservative here, here, and here." The issue with this is that it validates qualifying "liberal" as a bad word.

    What they should be doing, instead, is attempting define such terms in a more legitimate, forceful way.

    I yearn for the day when a Democrat's response becomes "there's nothing wrong with being liberal" and people actually believe them.

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  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    First I'll talk about your areas then I have ideas of my own. I think you are thinking of things too much like a game with real people and real effects, particularly when you advocate allowing the ADA to be repealed, but also with some of your voting rights arguments. Though obviously ending mandatory minimums and the disenfranchisement of felons would be good moves, both for those people and the Democratic Party. When it comes to legal means, I would push more for positive changes that expand access to the ballot box than aim for disenfranchising Republicans. Same effect, long term, but less dickish. We do win if we get turnout higher. Repeal the voter ID bullshit, obviously. My limit is when you are doing things purely for political gain that fuck over real people, particularly the relatively powerless.

    As for the media, I think it's essentially conservatively biased so their plays are going to inherently get more positive coverage while Democratic ads like those you suggest will be attacked as mean, nasty class warfare or unfair religion bashing and he really loves women. Changing that attitude is one of the larger changes we could make, but I'm not sure how. Maybe being more aggressive and confident would do it. I do know not having prominent Democrats join in the fainting couch (hi Jon Chait! Though this week it's the South Carolina party chair) routine would be helpful. But in terms of a larger media strategy, I think making Citizens United a major target should be one of the top non-jobs priorities of Democrats. Both from a self-interest perspective and from a good government perspective, which is the best kind of political strategy.

    Next, I think the job the President has done for the last seven days is generally the right idea. Take their argument directly to people, bypass the media. You'll get local coverage which politically speaking anyway is usually less retarded than cable news and evening news broadcasts on the networks. Moreover he's attacking Republicans as not being interested in governing but rather fucking people over so they can beat him. Which is good. And new since he took the oath of office. :^:

    Next, they need to be less practical and more nakedly opportunistic when it comes to Latino voters. If they can secure the Latino vote the way they have the black vote, they won't need to appeal to rural whites that tend to lead to most of our problems with the party. The extreme crackdown on illegal immigration in the vain hope to get an immigration reform bill through this Congress was the worst of the Obama administration's self-inflicted wounds. The way the GOP is behaving, we could have seen 80-20 margins among Latinos with higher turnout, but now they don't really trust Democrats either. I'm concerned we'll see low turnout in that demographic, which could cost Democrats New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado, which would be less than good.

    Finally, I think Democrats need to remind people why they were the default party for 50 years. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are good programs, that have saved the lives of millions of Americans. My grandfather has been alive without completely bankrupting himself or his children the last 15 years almost purely because of Medicare. That story is pretty common. Democrats should remind people that they're the ones responsible for that, they're the ones who want to strengthen those programs and not destroy them and generally BE DEMOCRATS.

    Also, I wouldn't mind if we got some populism, like Elizabeth Warren is almost assuredly going to be pulling in Massachusetts. I hope she wins easily and is looked at as a model, though I know she'll be dismissed because she's running in LOLTaxachusetts.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I can probably agree that the gloves need to come off. All I'll point out for now is that targeting rural voters could backfire. For instance, while rural voters in general skew Republican, how do poor rural voters skew? The middle class folks in the boonies will still make it to the DMV, it's really only the bottom of the ladder you're hitting there.

    It's not quite like a city, where you can find some nice, dense, and relatively homogenous populations to fuck over.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    I gotta agree with Thanatos on this. I mean, sure, all those things that Ebum suggested are nice ideas, but they won't happen. Even if the Democrats had the power to pass immigration reform and repeal voter ID nonsense, which they don't, they don't even seem interested in taking on the issue. Instead they're actually talking about cutting cutting Medicare and Social Security.

    More importantly, us regular Joe's don't have any control over what strategy the Democratic elites use. But the strategies that Than proposes are stuff that volunteers can actually do.

    The pubs want to disenfranchise poor/minority voters? Fine, then let's see how they like it when their base of senile old voters can't find their way to the voting booth anymore. Yeah it's a dick move, but it's better than the alternative of simply surrendering to one-party rule.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    Heartlash wrote:
    I yearn for the day when a Democrat's response becomes "there's nothing wrong with being liberal" and people actually believe them.

    I think the problem is that the words "liberal" and "conservative" have baggage beyond their political meanings. "Liberal" parenting is permissive, letting your children run wild. You get pictures in your head of 60s flower children (who grew up to be Reaganites, of course). "Conservative" parenting, on the other hand, is imposing parental will on the unruly kids, doing it the way it's always been done, to produce well-mannered members of society.

    Unfortunately, we're largely stuck with our language baggage, unless we want to re-brand the left somehow. "We're not 'liberal,' we're 'open-minded.' They're not 'conservatives,' they're 'crypto-fascist oligarchs.'"

    You know, the truth.

    Gary Gygax wrote:
    ''The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules.''
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    I gotta agree with Thanatos on this. I mean, sure, all those things that Ebum suggested are nice ideas, but they won't happen. Even if the Democrats had the power to pass immigration reform and repeal voter ID nonsense, which they don't, they don't even seem interested in taking on the issue. Instead they're actually talking about cutting cutting Medicare and Social Security.

    More importantly, us regular Joe's don't have any control over what strategy the Democratic elites use. But the strategies that Than proposes are stuff that volunteers can actually do.

    The pubs want to disenfranchise poor/minority voters? Fine, then let's see how they like it when their base of senile old voters can't find their way to the voting booth anymore. Yeah it's a dick move, but it's better than the alternative of simply surrendering to one-party rule.

    I guess I don't see the reasoning behind electing Democrats if we're assuming they're all going to be Jim Webb. You need good policies too. And I continue to believe that actual good policy is good politics.

    Oh right, I forgot one: fix the fucking filibuster.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    This strikes me as a really good idea and relevant to this conversation. Basically Senator Merkley of Oregon is proposing the CBO also score any deficit reduction plan out of the Super Committee for jobs impact in addition to deficit impact. Re-orient the discussion towards the Dem friendly issue.

    Lose: to suffer defeat, to misplace (Ex: "I hope I don't lose the match." "Did you lose your phone again?")
    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • Captain MarcusCaptain Marcus Right here in River CityRegistered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    The pubs want to disenfranchise poor/minority voters? Fine, then let's see how they like it when their base of senile old voters can't find their way to the voting booth anymore. Yeah it's a dick move, but it's better than the alternative of simply surrendering to one-party rule.

    Sorry Mrs. Dershowitz, if you can't make it up the Voting Treehouse, you can't vote.

    My two cents-
    I live in Oldpeoplesville, Florida. Obviously repealing voter ID laws and re-franchising felons are excellent strategies for the Dems (as well as ensuring that more of our citizens participate in the political process) but I think they need some way of counteracting all the people that write in to the local newspaper bitching about the U.N. and One World Government, lightbulbs etc.

    Where do they get their crazy ideas? Fox News, of course.

    The Democrats need a party mouthpiece just as the Republicans/business has one in the form of Fox News and the various A.M. radio hosts. Because, to be honest, Jon Stewart is great, but he's not on all the time.

    The new Liberty News Channel could be stuffed full of everyone's favorite "stick-it-to-the-man" types; Olbermann, former Rep. Weiner, maybe Maddow if she ever gets let go, etc etc. This would also go a long way towards dragged the political discourse towards the left again, after it moving rightwards for the last thirty years.

    Remember the Maine, Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!
  • UrcbubUrcbub Registered User
    Be more aggressive. Stop being defensive as soon as a republican accuse you of something. Either call out the attack for what it is (a derailing tactic) or attack back on something. The republicans do not have an impeccable track record, I say it is a horrible track record. Press them on specific issues, especially by demanding them to clarify themselves and provide proof, and they often fall to pieces.

    It is so common in debates that a republican will start attacking the democrat for something, usually through accusations loosely based in reality, and the democrats will spend a long time defending himself from a more or less baseless and irrelevant accusation. And when done, the republican throws out another accusation, the D defends yet again. This way the R controls the topic, and thus the debate, and will come out without being overly pressed on issues.

    For example: the job situation. Keep pressing them why there is no republican jobs plan after closing in on on year controlling the House. When the defense of "lower corporate taxes" creeps up hammer them on the fact that is didn't work last time, and that any tax cuts in recent time have not produced any jobs.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    I gotta agree with Thanatos on this. I mean, sure, all those things that Ebum suggested are nice ideas, but they won't happen. Even if the Democrats had the power to pass immigration reform and repeal voter ID nonsense, which they don't, they don't even seem interested in taking on the issue. Instead they're actually talking about cutting cutting Medicare and Social Security.
    So, presumably, we don't want them in office right? If they're going to be not quite as bad as the other side but still worse than doing nothing then why sink to tactics that are dubiously ethical at best just to keep them in office? It doesn't matter if you have one party, or two parties that happen to agree on everything except whose label gets attached to the government when they both actively engage in fucking people over (say ... cutting Medicare and Social Security).

    The Democratic Party needs to figure out how to manage to get some traction in the media or how to route around it and get directly to viewers. Anything that doesn't accomplish that will simply result in more of the same shit we've seen for a decade or so now.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    The pubs want to disenfranchise poor/minority voters? Fine, then let's see how they like it when their base of senile old voters can't find their way to the voting booth anymore. Yeah it's a dick move, but it's better than the alternative of simply surrendering to one-party rule.

    Why's it one or the other?

    sig.jpg
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    I question the electoral strategy of getting horrible people in office with a D next to their name rather than an R just so that its our horrible people and not theirs.

    It just vindicates their perspective, that being elected is the only real goal.

    You can run on strong Democratic principals without resorting to anti democratic tactics. And you'll get elected for it!

    sig.jpg
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Harrisonburg, VARegistered User regular
    Not if you roll over and let Republicans blatantly lie and break the law.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Syrdon wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    I gotta agree with Thanatos on this. I mean, sure, all those things that Ebum suggested are nice ideas, but they won't happen. Even if the Democrats had the power to pass immigration reform and repeal voter ID nonsense, which they don't, they don't even seem interested in taking on the issue. Instead they're actually talking about cutting cutting Medicare and Social Security.
    So, presumably, we don't want them in office right? If they're going to be not quite as bad as the other side but still worse than doing nothing then why sink to tactics that are dubiously ethical at best just to keep them in office? It doesn't matter if you have one party, or two parties that happen to agree on everything except whose label gets attached to the government when they both actively engage in fucking people over (say ... cutting Medicare and Social Security).

    The Democratic Party needs to figure out how to manage to get some traction in the media or how to route around it and get directly to viewers. Anything that doesn't accomplish that will simply result in more of the same shit we've seen for a decade or so now.

    Because, even though the Democratic party is filled with bad apples, they're still 100x better than the Republican party. If the republicans win control at all levels of government in 2012, they're might not even be an election in 2016. Not a fair one, anyway.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    The people you are suggesting we take all necessary means to get elected are the same people you are claiming are caving to the GOP party line Pi-r8. If that second claim is true, then they are just as bad.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. Registered User regular
    Not if you roll over and let Republicans blatantly lie and break the law.

    Who said anything about letting them? There's a world of difference between calling them out on their nonsense and prosecuting crimes and doing the very same things yourself like Thanatos advocates.

    sig.jpg
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Syrdon wrote:
    The people you are suggesting we take all necessary means to get elected are the same people you are claiming are caving to the GOP party line Pi-r8. If that second claim is true, then they are just as bad.
    No, the GOP party line is to completely abolish social security, medicare, and the EPA. Making cuts to those programs is bad, but not nearly as bad as what the GOP wants to do.

  • GogarGogar Registered User regular
    I think they just need to do a better job at messaging. For example, finding ways to summarize bills, policy proposals, etc. as simple, easy to understand, and good-sounding phrases. Even if they aren't the most accurate way to say what you're trying to say, the media will have an easier time repeating the sound-byte.

    Take Obama's extremely successful presidential campaign, for example. I often find myself in the minority when talking with friends about it, as I seem to be one of the few people that actually remembers specific issues that he talked about during speeches and whatnot, but they do remember the "hope and change" slogan as well as "The fundamentals of the economy are strong" and other bad sound-bytes from the McCain campaign. I can't help but think that people (at least people that might actually persuadable) are going to pay more attention to those than who wins a complex logical argument or whose plan holds up to greater scrutiny. They need to look at what made the Obama campaign so successful.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    The Democrats need a party mouthpiece just as the Republicans/business has one in the form of Fox News and the various A.M. radio hosts. Because, to be honest, Jon Stewart is great, but he's not on all the time.

    The new Liberty News Channel could be stuffed full of everyone's favorite "stick-it-to-the-man" types; Olbermann, former Rep. Weiner, maybe Maddow if she ever gets let go, etc etc. This would also go a long way towards dragged the political discourse towards the left again, after it moving rightwards for the last thirty years.

    There's really no audience for it, though. That's the problem. I've never gotten the impression that liberals have the kind of stomach for that kind of shrill echo-chamber bullshit that Fox peddles. Most people I know could barely stand Olbermann and/or Maddow. Even when they agree with everything they say. I think we've talked about this around here before, but liberals just seem to be wired differently when it comes to that.

    We're more than willing to create our own little echo chambers (which, to some extent, this can be) but the sort of cheerleading mouthpiece thing just doesn't often appeal to us.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    The Democrats need a party mouthpiece just as the Republicans/business has one in the form of Fox News and the various A.M. radio hosts. Because, to be honest, Jon Stewart is great, but he's not on all the time.

    The new Liberty News Channel could be stuffed full of everyone's favorite "stick-it-to-the-man" types; Olbermann, former Rep. Weiner, maybe Maddow if she ever gets let go, etc etc. This would also go a long way towards dragged the political discourse towards the left again, after it moving rightwards for the last thirty years.

    There's really no audience for it, though. That's the problem. I've never gotten the impression that liberals have the kind of stomach for that kind of shrill echo-chamber bullshit that Fox peddles. Most people I know could barely stand Olbermann and/or Maddow. Even when they agree with everything they say. I think we've talked about this around here before, but liberals just seem to be wired differently when it comes to that.

    We're more than willing to create our own little echo chambers (which, to some extent, this can be) but the sort of cheerleading mouthpiece thing just doesn't often appeal to us.

    I'd say it's just related to the type of personality the differing views attract. There are measurable psychological differences across the political spectrum.

  • Death of RatsDeath of Rats Registered User regular
    I'm fairly sure it's because we don't want someone championing views. Most liberals are also rather individualistic in their views, and the idea of a figurehead just doesn't jive with that.

  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    Any politician I find trying to disenfranchise people is going to lose my support. So if my local democrat is closing rural DMV's I'm not voting for them, just keep that in mind in your calculations.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    I find that a lot of conservatives use Fox News, talk radio and the like in the same way that liberals use the wider culture - as their primary entertainment source. Where a conservative will watch six hours of Fox News, the liberal will load up Netflix.

  • RedTideRedTide Registered User regular
    I think it behooves the left to do their best to satisfy their ambitions in regards to the rights of homosexuals before the GOP realigns and does their best to court the ever growing hispanic community and use it as a wedge issue. The sooner that we win that fight and suffer any fallout, the weaker that fallout will be.

  • Boring7Boring7 Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Take the things the GOP has said and use them effectively. Play Mitch McChinless' "our primary goal is make Obama a one-term president" next to ANY politician saying, "American's are hurting" and then throw up the caption "party over country."

    In my experience the average voter doesn't ACTUALLY pay attention to most politics, so they only hear the dumbest, simplest, most repeated soundbytes. They don't KNOW that Rush Limbaugh said he wants America to fail. They don't KNOW that Republicans are championing raising taxes on the poor and cutting taxes on the rich. They don't KNOW that Republicans have openly sabotaged the economy to undermine Obama.

    Boring7 on
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Goldman Sachs may as well be named COBRA.
  • Brian KrakowBrian Krakow Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    Uh, am I missing something, because it looks like that article's by Ari Berman. Also, what's wrong with Matt Taibbi?

    Anyways, Democrats need to talk and act like Elizabeth Warren. But most won't, because that would be biting the hand that feeds them.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    I didn't see "Buy a 24 hour news channel and run it as a propaganda machine." so I think the list is missing the most important entry.

    Also, the rural DMV thing is just completely off base. If you're rural, you drive. Full stop. This isn't like it is in a major city where "I don't drive" is a reasonable statement and not the mark of an invalid or crazy fucker. All that would do is give ammo to the "Government sucks" argument.

    Trogg wrote: »
    Not as positive as AIDS and cancer, but positive nonetheless.
  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    Urcbub wrote:
    Be more aggressive. Stop being defensive as soon as a republican accuse you of something. Either call out the attack for what it is (a derailing tactic) or attack back on something. The republicans do not have an impeccable track record, I say it is a horrible track record. Press them on specific issues, especially by demanding them to clarify themselves and provide proof, and they often fall to pieces.

    It is so common in debates that a republican will start attacking the democrat for something, usually through accusations loosely based in reality, and the democrats will spend a long time defending himself from a more or less baseless and irrelevant accusation. And when done, the republican throws out another accusation, the D defends yet again. This way the R controls the topic, and thus the debate, and will come out without being overly pressed on issues.

    For example: the job situation. Keep pressing them why there is no republican jobs plan after closing in on on year controlling the House. When the defense of "lower corporate taxes" creeps up hammer them on the fact that is didn't work last time, and that any tax cuts in recent time have not produced any jobs.

    Nothing angered me more than the Weiner thing. Legitimate? Yes. But the instant it happened, Democratic lawmakers were happy to throw him to the dogs. I don't care, whatever. But who exactly do you think that you're impressing when you do that? Because Independent/Republican voters value loyalty over what can be played off as self-serving consternation.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    1) Buy/own/borrow an iPad or smartphone or whatever.
    2) Make sure the clip of the "let them die" applause line in the recent Republican debate is conveniently loaded up.
    3) Go house to house and tell people that the Republican base wants poor people to die. Show them the clip.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    1) Buy/own/borrow an iPad or smartphone or whatever.
    2) Make sure the clip of the "let them die" applause line in the recent Republican debate is conveniently loaded up.
    3) Go house to house and tell people that the Republican base wants poor people to die. Show them the clip.

    This. It is neither a difficult nor lengthy message. One simply has to articulate it, and get one's audience to understand it.

    The problem is that when Ron Paul says things like "freedom is precarious" and "you shouldn't be forced to have healthcare", most people do not conceive of themselves as possibly being in real danger as a result of that position.

    People over-esitmate their own self-sufficiency (thanks, Descartes) and so cannot easily think through the repercussions of the Republican / Tea Party platform. Said another way, conservatives (and, probably, most voting human beings in the United States) do not honestly believe that they are, or could be, in a position of reliance.

    _J_ on
    Seriously J not only are you a monumentally umpleasant person when you start uttering the nonsense that passes for philosophy in your mind (shame on whatever institution you graduated in, and shame on your tutors for creating such a monster), but your sense of humor, such as it is, is awful.
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    There any particular reason why compulsory voting is not an option - especially if it's coming on the wake of the various voter disenfranchisement tactics like moving polling booths away from their usual locations or closing rural DMV offices.
    Sure it could even work if it was directed at the states, rather than the individuals (so the states can decide whether to pass penalties for not voting down to the non-voters themselves or take the penalty) - make a requirement that states have a certain % taking part in elections or they lose some powers when it comes to running them (since they are no longer sufficiently representative).

    Tastyfish on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic I've Done Worse Registered User regular
    Yea, what we need is definitely not more low information voters who have to be forced to vote by force of law.

    Trogg wrote: »
    Not as positive as AIDS and cancer, but positive nonetheless.
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Also, should we do that, it would be a democrat landslide, the republicans would have no power over anything except for the deepest pockets of the south.

    The people least likely to vote also happen to be the people who are most likely to vote liberal (young, minority, etc).

    But how would we enforce compulsory voting? Do we fine or imprison all the people who didn't make it to the polls? Would this law not target the young and minority populations?

  • SurikoSuriko AustraliaRegistered User regular
  • TwoQuestionsTwoQuestions Registered User regular
    I'll echo (heh) the lack of a need for an echo-chamber network. Most liberals already know that cable news is varying degrees of compete shit, so getting a Fair and Balanced(tm) network won't help us much. Where liberals need to concentrate is newer media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Internet journalism/blogs. How many derp-South Republicans even know what Facebook is, or watch anything save Fox? How many liberals do you see sitting in front of the TV all day rather than on Facebook? One of the reasons Obama won in 2008 is he blew McCain away on those fronts, and we should continue to press that advantage.

    We also need to work to get our views in a more repeatable and soundbiteable fashion. Nobody is going to remember a small paragraph on interest rates, or a Krugmanite dissertation on lack of demand. They will remember "Nobody has money to buy anything!" or "We need to prime the pump!" If it can't fit on a t-shirt and be read by a passerby, it's not going to be remembered, end of story.

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  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    syndalis wrote:
    Also, should we do that, it would be a democrat landslide, the republicans would have no power over anything except for the deepest pockets of the south.

    The people least likely to vote also happen to be the people who are most likely to vote liberal (young, minority, etc).

    But how would we enforce compulsory voting? Do we fine or imprison all the people who didn't make it to the polls? Would this law not target the young and minority populations?

    Or perhaps the parties would shift position, with the Republicans going back to the party that is supposed to keep government expansion in check and government efficient rather than whole heartedly trying to dismantle it. If the republicans really don't make up that big a majority in the total population, then why should they be given power as if they were? And if we're talking about what the Democrats can do to get an advantage without resorting to dirty tricks surely this is a good thing.
    Seems like it could easily be spun as making people take responsibility as much as the fear "they are going to try to cheat you out of your vote by making you go where the scary black people are to cast your ballot" angle.

    I'd have thought some small fine for non-voters (or voting being linked to some small tax incentive so your not actually taking money directly out of their hands), with the main penalty for non-voters being directed at the state/county/district levels if they fail to get a sufficient percentage of their residents to the ballots. Perhaps even a recount being required if the percentage drops below a certain threshold.

    I think an influx of low information voters is surely a better thing that having select demographics intentionally removed from the process, which appears to be the alternative. I'd be surprised tif there wasn't studies showing that compulsory voting didn't also lead to an average increase in political awareness in voters.

    I'm pretty sure it could even reduce voter fraud, as there are less 'spare' votes going around. It'd be a lot easier to see if things went missing, or you had more votes than people.

    Tastyfish on
  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    The bottom line is that Democrats largely put idealism and policy above unsavory campaign tactics, and by taking the high road for years and years, they no longer have the will or capacity to do what it takes to win.

    The Republicans continue to win by having large numbers of turnout in blocs of highly uneducated and/or misinformed voters who are normally apolitical, but the GOP has figured out how to mobilize that base by pandering to their unique special interest. It's why gay rights, abortion, guns, and border control have remained such hot-button issues for their elections in the last 15 years despite the fact that little has ever been done or pertinently required doing on the part of those issues by either party.

    Every time someone like Michelle Bachmann goes on a wild-eyed rant about abortion or gays, that's one more group of people who A) don't give shit about the economy, B) don't give a shit about the military, and C) don't give a shit about foreign or domestic policy but will beat a path to the polling station come election day to cast one for the Republicans.

    Both parties suffer from the fact that as a two-party system, each party is actually just collections of loosely-affiliated blocs. For Dems, this works far more against them than it does for the GOP because so many of their sub-blocs don't get along and often have conflicting issues. Blacks don't like gays; Southern and Midwestern Democrats don't like abortion; environmentalists attack the corporations that the unions depend on and that congressmen need to boost hirings in sluggish economies. Just look at Obama: everyone under the Democrat umbrella is pissed off at him. The conservative Dems say he's spending too much; the fiscal Dems are saying he's not spending enough; the gays are mad that he hasn't torn down DOMA; the peace-niks are mad that Gitmo is still in operation and that the wars are still ongoing; I've even seen lately on Al Sharpton's show that the Blacks are supposedly mad at him for "not doing enough for the Black community," though I've never seen any specifics on what that actually means.

    Progressivism is diffuse and aims for many targets; Regressivism is simply saying, "No."

  • SyphonBlueSyphonBlue Registered User regular
    What is the Democratic strategy for 2012? Nothing, because they're incompetent fuck heads who don't know how to actually govern and instead have replaced it with shooting themselves in the foot every. godamn. fucking. time.
    President Obama anticipated Republican resistance to his jobs program, but he is now meeting increasing pushback from his own party. Many Congressional Democrats, smarting from the fallout over the 2009 stimulus bill, say there is little chance they will be able to support the bill as a single entity, citing an array of elements they cannot abide.


    “I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation,” Senator Bob Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, said in an interview Wednesday, joining a growing chorus of Democrats who prefer an à la carte version of the bill despite White House resistance to that approach. “For that reason alone I think we should break it up.”

    Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, has said he will put the bill on the legislative calendar but has declined to say when. He almost certainly will push the bill — which Mr. Obama urged Congress to pass “right now!” — until after his chamber’s recess at the end of the month; Mr. Reid has set votes on disaster aid, extensions for the Federal Aviation Administration and a short-term spending plan ahead of the jobs bill.

    Republicans have focused their attack on the tax increases that would help pay for the spending components of the bill. But Democrats, as is their wont, are divided over their objections, which stem from Mr. Obama’s sinking popularity in polls, parochial concerns and the party’s chronic inability to unite around a legislative initiative, even in the face of Republican opposition.

    Some are unhappy about the specific types of companies, particularly the oil industry, that would lose tax benefits. “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana.

    A small but vocal group dislikes the payroll tax cuts for employees and small businesses. “I have been very unequivocal,” said Representative Peter A. DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon. “No more tax cuts.”

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